"Jerusalem of Gold" (ירושלים של זהב, Yerushalayim Shel Zahav), a song so well known it might be considered by some as the better alternative to the national anthem than Hatikvah, was written originally by Naomi Shemer, an Israeli musician and songwriter. The song was crafted for the Israeli Song Festival in 1967, literally the night after Israel’s Indepdendnece Day at a time in history when the Old City was still under Jordanian rule. This was just three weeks before the Six Day War erupted.
At this time in 1967, the Jewish people were still not permitted to enter the Old City and East Jerusalem, including their homes or possessions. The song encapsulates Shemer’s sentiments for a city the Jewish people could return to after 2,000 years of prayers and hope, and ultimately for the beautiful ancient city she loved
Written by Erin Parfet