Wednesday, August 24, 2005

searching "here"?

One of the interesting things about having a blog is the ability to see what search terms brought strangers in to my territory. Sometimes it makes sense – like when they look for terms like “religious Zionism” or “computer cent sign”. I’ve written about those issues, so I understand why they came.

Others are more unusual. For example, I apparently misspelled the word tchotchke as
chochkey. (It is also spelled tsatske). I’ve received a number of searches for chochkey. Well, as a service to those who might end up here for similar reasons in the future, here are a couple of links about the real meaning and origin of the word:

But the most common searches are for names of songs. I assume people are looking for the lyrics, but maybe they just want to find people discussing songs. A little while ago, I wrote about the song “Never Been To Me”. Now that’s probably the most common search term for the site.

But today I was reminded of the significance of a particular search that I see now and then on the site.

Back in June,
I posted about an end of the year party for my daughter’s second grade class. They were singing classic Israeli songs, most of whom had been written by people who had died in the past year (Naomi Shemer, Uzi Chitman, Ehud Manor, etc.) At the time, I was thinking about the significance in light of a terrorist attack the day before, and the dread of the unknown about the disengagement plan, which would only come to pass nearly two months later.

Today was the last day of the disengagement. Emotions are still high in the country, particularly where I live. There are signs of despair, of anger, and of doubt. But I did see signs of hope. Every summer, the Jerusalem municipality hosts a huge arts and crafts fair called Chutzot HaYotzer. It’s actually more than just arts and crafts – there are activities for kids, lots of different foods, musical performances and more. This year it was held in the Sultan’s Pool, just outside the Old City walls. The place was packed, and conspicuous in the crowd were the anti-disengagement folks. You could identify them by the orange ribbons still on the backpacks, or the slightly anachronistic t-shirts. But despite the crisis they have faced, they still came to celebrate with the rest of the city. It’s sort of the way that Tu B’Av follows Tisha B’Av. The pragmatism of the Jewish people continues to shine, even in dark hours.

As we were walking out, my wife pointed out who was singing on one of the stages. It was Moshe and Orna Datz, a married couple and fairly popular pop duo. The last song they sang was Kan (“Here”). In my previous post I mistakenly entitled it, Kan Noladti, which is the term that keeps popping up in searches. That was the song that Israel submitted to the Eurovision song contest in 1991, written by Uzi Chitman, and performed by the Datz duo.

I remember that song, because 1990-1991 was my first year in Israel, just out of high school. It was a wonderful year, and changed my life in so many ways I can’t count. It was the year of the first Gulf War, and I think all the participants on my program were infused with a special kind of patriotism that stays with us until this day. And that song, Kan, which was probably the last Zionistic entry to the contest (and one of the last that was only in Hebrew) really struck a chord with us (pardon the pun.)

You can see the lyrics and their translation here.

Back in 1991, we could identify with the lyrics “Here is my home, here is where I was born” despite the fact that we were a bunch of 18 year olds coming from the US and Canada. Why? Because we believed the line “I have no other place in the world.”

Perhaps this song can also be a consolation for those who now have trouble saying “here is my home, here is where I was born.” Because in the end, in this land, we all should be able to say “after two thousand years, an end to my wandering.”