Stamp of the Month: July 2019

Israel 1.5.2019

Hava Nagila (English: “Let us be happy”) is an Israeli folk song that is sung to Jewish festivals. The melody is based on a Hasidic Nigun, a religious melody sung mostly without lyrics. When Hebrew was revived as a spoken language in Palestine in 1915, Abraham Zevi Idelsohn (1882-1938), professor at the Hebrew University, began cataloging all known Jewish compositions. The melody is attributed to the Sadigurer Khasidim, who lived in present-day Ukraine. The later cantor Moshe Nathanson (1899-1981), a student of Professor Idelsohn, was commissioned to write a text for the melody to make a modern Hebrew song. The song is mostly danced as circle dance (hora) with any number of people.