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Old 07-11-2017, 04:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Let it Be \ Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote

Hi there!

Extremely glad and thankful I found this forum. I've been planning on getting Lu Yehi tattooed for the past year as the Beatles song has always had a lot of meaning in my life. I had read that it was a hebrew rendition of the Beatles 'Let it be', but recently read through the lyrics. Does the phrase Lu Yehi, or לוּ יְהִי carry a negative connotation? I understand that the direct translation is "may it be", but after reading through the lyrics, it seems as though it's more of 'of only it may be'. Does anyone have any insight or opinion?

Also (thanks), can someone translate this section of a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: "To know even one life has breathed easier".

Thanks again!
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It was The Beatles who wrote the song Let it be, שיהיה [Sheiye] in Hebrew, in 1970. You can read about The Beatles and this song here:
הביטלס The Beatles | הביטלס The Beatles "שיהיה" Let It Be

Naomi Shemer was going to translate this song into Hebrew in 1973. However, when the
Yom Kippur War - also known as the 1973 Arab–Israeli War - broke out she changed the song's name Sheiye, meaning "let things be as they are" to Lu Yehi meaning "may it be" expressing hope for the safety of the Israeli soldiers and a quick end to the war. She changed the lyrics of the Beatles' song to fit the war and she also changed the tune to a more Jewish tune upon her husband Mordechai Horowitz's request. You can read about it here:
https://sites.google.com/a/mevogalil...ywt-wd-nmy-smr
https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/לו_יהי
http://shironet.mako.co.il/artist?ty...738&wrkid=1895

Here is Naomi Shemer's version translated into English:
Lyrics Translate | Multilingual translation community. Lyrics translations from-to English, Greek, Spanish, Turkish, Romanian, Arabic and others.

So in my opinion you should choose the original title of the Beatles
שיהיה and not Naomi Shemer's
לו יהי

Last edited by Cloelia; 07-11-2017 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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“To know even one life has breathed easier [because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.]” is not a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote although it is widely attributed to Emerson on the internet. It actually originates with "What is Success?” by Bessie Anderson Stanley in Heart Throbs Volume Two (1911):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessie_Anderson_Stanley

I also think it's difficult to translate "to know even one life has breathed easier." You cannot translate it literally since "life" is plural in Hebrew and I'm also not sure about the "even" in this half-sentence. I guess it means "at least" here. Maybe a native like beky4 has an idea of how your half-sentence should be translated but I don't know when she or another native will come to the forum again.

Well "one life" would probably be translated as "one soul(, spirit, life)" that is נפש אחת , nefesh akhat, just as in the famous
כל המציל נפש אחת, כאילו הציל עולם מלא , He who saves a single life, saves the entire world which is the headline of this article:
https://tinyurl.com/y7fvbaot

Last edited by Cloelia; 07-11-2017 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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this is all incredibly helpful and honestly quite interesting. Does Sheiye (שיהיה) ever carry a negative connotation of "whatever", as it could in English with, 'I dont care'?
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh, I see that you have asked this question three years ago at the wordreference forum and then you were told this by the member airelibre.
https://forum.wordreference.com/thre...it-be.2878166/

But morfix doesn't give the "whatever" translation. It gives the "let it exist"/"let it happen" translation:
מורפיקס - מילון עברי א×*גלי ×—×™×*ם - Free Morfix Dictionary
תוצאות תרגום לאנגלית עבור: שיהיה (Translation results for: שיהיה ) :
to be, to exist ; to happen, to take place, to occur ; to become, to develop into
See also
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/היה
http://www.pealim.com/dict/454-lihyot/ Imperative היה heye! Be!

whatever in Hebrew | Morfix Dictionary מילון מורפיקס | whatever תרגום

And why should they give the Beatles' song the name "Whatever"? Those who named it must have understood the lyrics.
Gil Brand also uses שיהיה in his homage to the song: Let it be - the Beatles = שיהיה - החיפושיות
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEZm2vy65c4

Last edited by Cloelia; 07-11-2017 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hahah, obviously it's worried me a bit . Thank you so much!
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Cloelia, just wanted to say that I am impressed by your research!
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