Yossi Gamzu: The Kotel (The Western Wall)

Written by Israeli lyricist Yossi Gamzu and performed by Israeli singer Ofra Haza, the song HaKotel conveys the significance of the Western Wall by the stories of three people who pray there: a young girl, a paratrooper, and a bereaved mother. Although the lyrics are in Hebrew, the English and transliterated lyrics can be seen below. 

The Western Wall

A girl stood facing the kotel (western wall)
She drew her lips and chin close to it.
She said to me, the shofar’s blasts are strong
But the silence is even stronger.
She told me: Zion, the Temple Mount
She was silent, about the reward and the right.
And what shone on her forehead at evening
Was the purple of royalty.

The kotel, moss and sadness.
The kotel, lead and blood.
There are people with a heart of stone.
There are stones with a human heart.

The paratrooper stood at the kotel.
Of his whole division – the only one.
He told me that death has no image
But it has a diameter –
Nine millimeters only.
He told me, I’m not shedding tears
And again lowered his glance.
But my grandfather, God knows,
Is buried here, on Har Hazeitim (the Mount of Olives).

The kotel…

She stood, dressed in black, at the kotel.
The mother of one of the infantry soldiers.
She told me, it’s the eyes of my son that are shining
And not the candles on the wall.
She told me: I’m not writing
Any note to hide between the cracks.
Because what I gave to the kotel only last night
Is greater than any words or writing.


Amda na’ara mul hakotel
S’fatayim keirva v’santeir.
Amra li, t’kiyot hashofar chazakot hein
Aval hash’tika od yoteir.
Amra li, Tziyon, Har Habayit
Shatka li, hag’mul v’hazchut.
Uma shezahar al mitzcha ben arbayim
Haya argaman shel malchut.

Hakotel – eizov v’atzevet
Hakotel – oferet vadam
Yesh anashim im lev shel even.
Yesh avanim im lev adam.

Amad hatzanchan mul hakotel
Mikawl maklachto, rak echad
Amar li, lamavet ein dmut
Ach yesh koter –
Rak tish’a millimeter bilvad.
Amar li, eineni domei’a
V’shav v’hishpil mabatim
Ach saba sheli, Elohim hayodei’a,
Kavur kan b’Har Hazeitim.


Amda bish’chorim mul hakotel
Imo shel echad min hachir
Amra li, einav na’ari hadolkot hein
V’lo haneirot shebakir.
Amra li, eineni roshemet
Shum petek litmon ben s’dakav
Ki ma shenatati lakotel rak emesh
Gadol mimilim umik’tav.