Naomi Shemer, the woman who wrote the soundtrack of an entire nation with famous songs such as Yerushalayim shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold) and other famous songs – passed away 15 years ago, this week. Her son, the singer song-writer, Ariel Horowitz, said recently in an interview with the Hidabroot website about one of the last things that his mother told him, and the message he has learned from this:
“There is a story that is related to my mother, and is a great inspiration for me in all aspects of my life. In my mother’s last days, my sister and I didn’t leave her for a moment. In any given moment at least one of us was with her. On one of those nights, and I will never forget it, she suddenly said that she knows clearly that soon she will say goodbye to us, and right after that she said: I have put in a full day’s work. In these words, she actually meant to say: I’ve done what I had to do. I worked hard and accomplished things. Now I can go. I was very happy to hear it, because when one is so at peace with what one did in life, it both creates a good feeling and the conditions in which it is easier to say goodbye. The truth is that I, too, want to leave this world feeling that I did my best, that I acted in the place and time in which I lived in a good way, that ‘I put in a full day’s work’.
“It is a privilege to feel such peace and wholeness, and it also makes me remember that there is no difference whether I record a new song in a studio, or teach music somewhere, because I always have to give that which I have to give in this world. It does not matter whether it is exciting, with a surge of adrenaline, like recording a song or performing, or whether it is routine-like, like teaching students who will make their own music in the future. As long as you benefit others to the best of your ability – you are in the right place for you, and you must be there completely at that moment and give your best. To put in a full day’s work.”
In her memory.