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Efrayim Dror (translation)

Efrayim Dror (Troche) (Heb: אפרים דרור (טְרוֹכֶה); 1903-1981), born in Warsaw, was a Hebrew translator of musical texts and an Israeli music critic. In 1925, he immigrated to Mandate Palestine. During World War II he translated songs of warriors and anthems of the Allies, which were distributed to the soldiers of the Jewish Brigade. Beginning in the 1940s, he translated songs for the Erets Israel Opera (later the Israeli Opera). In the 1950s, he was also the regular translator of Eitan Lustig, conductor of the Tel Aviv Chamber Choir, translating many books and works performed in the concert hall in seven languages. He was a music critic and a member of the Committee for Musical Terms of the Academy of the Hebrew Language.


לה מרסֵיֶיז | La Marseillaise, by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1792); Hebrew translation by Efrayim Dror (ca. 1940)

Contributed on: 27 May 2022 by Aharon N. Varady (editing/transcription) | Efrayim Dror (translation) | Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle |

La Marseillaise” is the national anthem of France. This Hebrew translation was made by Efrayim Dror for the Free French Army (Forces Françaises Libres) and its many Jewish volunteers during the early years of World War II. The translation was published in 1951. The song was written in 1792 by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in Strasbourg after the declaration of war by France against Austria, and was originally titled “Chant de guerre pour l’Armée du Rhin” (“War Song for the Army of the Rhine”). The French National Convention adopted it as the Republic’s anthem in 1795. The song acquired its nickname after being sung in Paris by volunteers from Marseille marching to the capital. After the fall of Napoleon in 1815 “La Marseilles” was banned and it became the anthem of the French left. The Government brought back the iconic anthem in an attempt to motivate the French people during the Franco-Prussian War. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, “La Marseillaise” was recognized as the anthem of the international revolutionary movement; as such, it was adopted by the Paris Commune in 1871, albeit with new lyrics under the title “La marseillaise de la Commune.” Eight years later, in 1879, it was restored as France’s national anthem. On Simḥat Torah (18–19 October) 1973, the Lubavitcher Rebbe adapted the melody to the Jewish prayer “Ha’aderet v’ha’emuna”. In ḤaBaD, the melody is believed to convey the idea of a “spiritual French revolution” – in that Torah should be spread around the world as an advent to the messianic era. . . .