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Instrumental performance of Hava Nagila
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|Music for Holidays|
“Hava Nagila” (הבה נגילה Havah Nagilah, "Let us rejoice") is an Israeli folk song. It is perhaps the first modern Israeli folk song in the Hebrew language that has become a staple of band performers at Jewish weddings and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. It was composed in 1920s Palestine at a time when Hebrew was first being revived as a spoken language for the first time in 2,000 years (since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE). For the first time, Palestinian Jews were being encouraged to speak Hebrew as a common language, instead of Yiddish, Arabic, Ladino, or other regional Jewish languages.
Abraham Zevi Idelsohn, a professor at Hebrew University, began cataloging all known Jewish music and teaching classes in musical composition. One of his students was a promising cantorial student, Moshe Nathanson, who later worked in New York, most famously composing the nearly-universal melody that is sung with the Birkat Hamazon ("Grace After Meals"). Idelson presented the class with a 19th-century, slow, melodious, chant (niggun) assigning the class to add rhythm and words in order to fashion a modern Hebrew song.
The niggun is attributed to the Sidigorer Chassidim, who lived in what is now Ukraine. It uses the Phrygian dominant scale common in music of Transylvania. The commonly used text was probably refined by Idelsohn in 1918 as one of the first songs designed to unite the early Yishuv [Jewish enterprise] that arose after the British victory in Palestine during World War I and the Balfour Declaration, declaring a national Jewish homeland in the lands newly liberated from Turkey by the Allies and entrusted to Britain under the Treaty of Versailles. Although Psalm 118 (verse 24) of the Hebrew Bible may have been a source for the text of "Hava Nagila", the expression of the song and its accompanying hora ("circle") dance was entirely secular in its outlook.
|Transliteration||Hebrew text||English translation|
|Hava nagila ve-nismeḥa|
הבה נגילה ונשמחה
|Let's rejoice and be happy|
|Hava neranenah ve-nismeḥa|
הבה נרננה ונשמחה
|Let's sing and be happy|
|Uru, uru aḥim!|
!עורו, עורו אחים
|Awake, awake, brothers!|
|Uru aḥim be-lev sameaḥ|
עורו אחים בלב שמח
|Awake brothers with a happy heart|
|(repeat line four times)|
|Uru aḥim, uru aḥim!|
!עורו אחים, עורו אחים
|Awake, brothers, awake, brothers!|
|With a happy heart|
|This section contains embedded lists that may be poorly defined, unverified or indiscriminate. (August 2013)|
Although "Hava Nagila" was known among Jews (particularly the more secular-oriented Zionist organizations) and became a staple at weddings and bar mitzvahs, its explosive popularity was triggered by the unexpected victory of Israel in its 1948 War of Independence, a war in which the nascent state was expected to be annihilated by five invading armies. The Weavers started the trend of mainstreaming the songs of the newly emergent State of Israel with their recording of "Tzena, Tzena" which they rode to the top of the charts. "Hava Nagila" soon followed into 1950s radio.
Supporters of the Dutch association football club AFC Ajax, although not an official Jewish club, commonly use Jewish imagery. A central part of Ajax fans' culture, the song Hava Nagila can often be heard sung in the Stadium by the teams supporters, and at one point ringtones of "Hava Nagila", could even be downloaded from the club's official website.
Supporters of the English football club Tottenham Hotspur commonly refer to themselves as Yids and are strongly associated with Jewish symbolism and culture. The song "Hava Nagila" has been adopted as an anthem of sorts by the club, and is one of the most frequently sung songs at White Hart Lane.
|1994||Lilia Podkopayeva||Gymnastics||1994 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships|
|1995–1997||Tony Yeboah||Football||all season long|
|1998–1999||Evgeni Plushenko||Figure skating||all season long|
|1999–2000||Maurizio Margaglio||Figure skating||all season long|
|1999–2000||Barbara Fusar-Poli||Figure skating||all season long|
|2000||Yekaterina Lobaznyuk||Gymnastics||2000 Sydney Olympics|
|2000–2001||Irina Lobacheva||Figure skating||all season long|
|2000–2001||Ilia Averbukh||Figure skating||all season long|
|2002–2003||Alina Kabaeva||Rhythmic Gymnastics||all season long|
|2004–2005||Daisuke Murakami||Figure skating||all season long|
|2007–2008||Wang Chen||Figure skating||all season long|
|2007–2008||Yu Xiaoyang||Figure skating||all season long|
|2009–2010||Roman Zaretsky||Figure skating||all season long|
|2009–2010||Alexandra Zaretsky||Figure skating||all season long|
|2010||Sandra Izbasa||Gymnastics||all season long|
|2011–2012||Aly Raisman||Gymnastics||2011 CoverGirl Classic through Floor gold medal performance at 2012 London Olympics|
|2011–2012||Israeli Team||Rhythmic Gymnastics||all season long|
|2012||Neta Rivkin||Rhythmic Gymnastics||all season long|