Music plays a central role in Israel, especially during times of grief, suffering and war. This is how the Jewish people have always given expression to their deepest feelings of mourning and loss as reflected so brilliantly in the Psalms of David.
Israelis sing together in public at memorials and festivals, in times of joy and in times of pain which contribute to the process of healing – together.
We thought that during these days of loss and pain once again for so many families here in Israel, we would bring our readers a look at a song that has accompanied our people through many days of turmoil and sorrow.
We Don’t Need More Than That
The song by this title was originally sung by the beloved Israeli singer Shlomo Artzi during the years of the War of Attrition with Egypt, Jordan, the PLO and their allies just after the Six-Day War from 1967 to 1970. The lyrics were written about his friend Koren, who fell during the war, and expresses an honest and genuine request for the most important things in life.
The song was originally produced with a simple and naïve melody, and in 1998, Artzi’s son Ben put it to a more upbeat rhythm and the song became a huge success with its combination of a catchy and harmonious melody put to the touching narrative. Versions of the song are even sung as a prayer in some modern streams of Judaism. It is played on numerous occasions, including memorial events for IDF soldier who have given their lives to protect the country.
After terrorists abducted Elad Regev, Ehud Goldwasser and Gilad Shelly in 2006, Artzi dedicated the song to the three Israeli soldiers who were held captive by the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon. When Goldwater’s corpse was eventually returned to Israel, the song became a prayer emphasizing the words, “And let us see him again – We don’t need more [than that].”
In 2010 Artzi performed the song with the Israeli Philharmonic in the Eschol Park in the northern Negev in a concert dubbed, “Cry Concert to the World” after Private Gilad Shalit had been held in captivity for four years. A picture of Shalit was projected in the background and the line “And let us see him again. We don’t need more than that” became a cry and a prayer.
We Don’t Need More
by Shlomo Artzi
Our eyes are already dried out of tears, and our mouth is now mute, voiceless.
What more can we ask for, tell us what more? We already asked for almost everything.
Give us rain when the time is right, and in the spring, sprinkle flowers around us, and let him return to his home.
Deep down we’ve hidden a sigh. Our eyes are already dried out from crying. Tell us we’ve already passed the test.
Give us rain when the time is right, and in the spring, sprinkle flowers around us, snd let her be with him again
We don’t need more.
We’ve already covered a grave mound or two, we buried our hearts among the cypresses.
Our sigh will soon break through – Take it as a personal prayer.
Give us rain when the time is right, and in the spring, sprinkle flowers around us.
And let us see him again –
We don’t need more.