Title: Yerushalayim
Author: lrigD
Written: 15-02-2010
Summary: A song brings Ziva back to the country that she will always carry with her.
Words: 417
Rating: K, K+

Disclaimer: I don't own the song Yerushalayim shel zahav, NCIS, Israel, the Hatikvah, or anything else mentioned.

Ziva immediately recognized the first tunes of the song and looked at Tony in surprise – it was not his style, not even his language. Why was he listening to the song? And why was he looking at her, as if he was expecting some kind of reaction from her, a sign of recognition?

Avir harim zalul kayayin...

Ofra Haza's haunting voice always got to her, but this particular song spoke to her imagination, conjured images of an Israel she did not know, but longed for; an Israel without war, without the eternal conflict; but a place of peace, of tranquility.

Growing up, she had known such moments, but they were rare and sparse. As the daughter of the Mossad director, she had grown up with the harsh sounds of war, of spies and weapons around her; her first fight had been in training, when her father had purposely made her angry enough to fight. That had been her first lesson, too; never let your emotions control you.

As she became older, she heard the Hatikvah, recognized its meaning and longed for a place like that; a place where her people could live in peace, finally in peace...

Yerushalayim shel zahav
Ve'shel nechoshet ve'shel or...

The words never failed to bring her back to the Israel of her dreams; hot, sandy, dusty; but her country. She could see the hard-working citizens of Jerusalem, how they struggled to live together. The people in little desert villages came alive, became real people with hopes and fears. She could hear the shofar, see the water well, smell the never-disappearing odour of something she simply named Israel.

It did not matter that the song was about Jerusalem, the ancient city, even if she had grown up in Tel Aviv, which was much less seated on tradition, much more international and recreational – she had visited Jerusalem many times, as any good Israeli would, and she had enjoyed its atmosphere immensely; the distinct rhythm of leave, the Kotel, the way every stone was drenched in history; her history, too.

She longed back for that place: not just for the Israel she wished for, but also for the Israel she had left. Even if she knew Mossad would not welcome her anymore, and she might not even get into the country. Israel was in her bones the way water flows in a river; an everlasting stream, sometimes strong, sometimes weak, but never leaving her soul.

Im eshkachech Yerushalayim
Asher kulah zahav

City of gold, indeed.

Before you ask - no, I'm not from Israel.
But this song made me fall in love with it, with Jerusalem in particular. I've never even been there... the song is Yerushalayim shel zahav, and my preferred version is by Ofra Haza.
I'm also learning Hebrew, which makes the song even more interesting to me.
Translation of the sentences:
# The mountain air is clear as water (first sentence)
# Jerusalem of gold, and of light and of bronze
# If I forget thee, Jerusalem, city of gold.

The lyrics are just so beautiful, and Ofra Haza sings it in such a haunting and beautiful manner. It's not a very fast song, but I love it so much.

So, what do you think? Would it convince you to review and tell me what you think if I tell you that Wednesday's my birthday, and I actually have a test on that day? Reviews would cheer me up...

Hope you enjoyed! I know I did.