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"ENTER HIS GATES WITH THANKSGIVING
AND HIS COURTS WITH PRAISE"
PSALM 100:4
 

Songs and Praise

Israeli Folk Songs
 
Hava Nagila has been the favorite of my groups for over two decades.  It's the first song I teach on the bus.  I actually identify with the song, for "Gila" means joy.  At our final dinner, the "sunshine committee" often parodies me to the tune of "Hava Nagila."
 
Hava Nagila, Hava Nagila, Hava Nagila Come, let us rejoice
Ve-nis-ma-cha And we’ll be happy
(2)
Hava Nay-rah-nay-nah (3) Come, let us refresh ourselves
Ve-nis-ma-cha And we’ll be happy
(2)  
Uru Ahim, Wake up, wake up brothers and sisters
Uru Ahim Be-lav Samayach (6) With a happy heart!
   
If you’d like to hear a spirited rendition of “Hava Nagila,” which you'll want to sing along with, order From the Bible for Revival from Gila’s Gift Shop.
 

From the Bible for Revival CD of Israeli folk music

 
Ode Avi-new Chai enthusiastically declares that the patriarchs (and the matriarchs too, of course) are still with us.  And that the spirit of the ancient Israelites beats in the modern nation of Israel.  Very often on Mondays and Thursdays when the Torah is read, you’ll hear people singing and dancing “Am Yisrael Chai” after the Bar Mitzvah ceremony at the Western Wall.  Now you can join in!
 
Ode Avi-new Chai (hey!) The patriarchs are still alive (and with us)!
Ode Avi-new Chai (hey!)  
Ode Avi-new Ode Avi-new  
Ode Avi-new Chai (hey)  
(2) – medium rhythm the first time and fast rhythm the second
   
Am Yisrael, Am Yisrael, The people of Israel are still alive (and
Am Yisrael Chai kicking!)
(4)  
slower now and softer and softer….  
   
Ode Avi-new Chai (hey!) The patriarchs are still alive
Ode Avi-new Chai (hey!)  
Ode Avi-new Ode Avi-new  
Ode Avi-new Chai (HEY!!!)  
   
Please note: the “ch” in “Chai” is a gutteral h, like when you are clearing your throat in the morning. Practice in the shower if you want to win the competition. (only kidding!)
 

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Shalom Chaverim is an all-time favorite.  "L’hitraot" means “hope to see you again soon,” like au revoir.  My mother once had a friend who had difficulty learning Hebrew.  When he forgot how to pronounce “l’hitraot,” he’d mumble “let Hitler rot.” People were initially startled, but then realized he was a new immigrant.  If you’d like to learn some Hebrew yourself before you come on pilgrimage, look at Hebrew for Pilgrims.
Shalom Chaverim, shalom chaverim,
Shalom, shalom
L’hit-rah-oat, L’hit-rah-oat
Shalom, shalom

Shalom my friends, shalom my friends, shalom, shalom
Till we meet again, till we meet again
Shalom, shalom.

Shalom Chaverim, shalom chaverim
Shalom, shalom
L’hit-rah-oat, L’hit-rah-oat
Shalom, shalom
(The "ch" again is a gutteral h.)
Halleluyah means "praise the Lord."  This version of "Halleluyah," sung by an Israeli group called "Milk and Honey," won the European Song Festival Competition in 1970.  Since then it is very popular in Israel.
Halleluyah la-olam Halleluyah to the world,
Halleluyah yashiru kullam Halleluyah, our banner’s unfurled
Bemilla achad bodedah Just one little word will sound out,
Halev Maleh ba-hamon todah And I’ll sing my thanks in a joyous shout
Veholem gam who ay-zeh olam nifla Till the world resounds with our Halleluyah.
Chorus:
Halleluyah im ha-shir Halleluyah, that’s my song
Halleluyah al yom sheme-ir Halleluyah, let’s sing it along,
Halleluyah al mah shehayah Halleluyah, for you and for me
Oo-ma she-ode lo haya And what tomorrow can be,
Halleluyah Halleluyah.
More singing suggestions:
Best places to sing Israeli folk songs:
Let's splash through Hezekiah's Tunnel

Let's walk the Old City ramparts

Let's wander in the wilderness of Zin

     

GILA YUDKIN TCHERNIKOVSKI 64A JERUSALEM ISRAEL
gila@itsgila.com

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Holy Land Photography by Gila Yudkin