Singing the Song of Israel

Songs have been important to Israelis from the very beginning of the creation of the state. Some songs have biblical themes, some describe the beauty of the land and nature, while others express the desire for peace and the warmth of the people.

Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Independence Day, is a time to sing old songs and to write new songs about the hopes and dreams of Israel and to celebrate its accomplishments.

In this lesson, we will listen to popular Israeli songs of the past, discover new songs, and create a video montage in honor of Yom Haatzmaut.

First, a review of Yom Haatzmaut and the other special days that together are sometimes called the Israeli High Holidays>

The beautiful land of Israel is the topic of many popular Yom Haatzmaut songs.

Becoming familiar with the land is important to Israelis and hiking throughout the country is a favorite activity.

In the Torah, the first thing that God told Abraham to do after giving him the land, was to get up and take a hike.

(יד) וַֽיהוָ֞ה אָמַ֣ר אֶל־אַבְרָ֗ם אַחֲרֵי֙ הִפָּֽרֶד־ל֣וֹט מֵֽעִמּ֔וֹ שָׂ֣א נָ֤א עֵינֶ֙יךָ֙ וּרְאֵ֔ה מִן־הַמָּק֖וֹם אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּ֣ה שָׁ֑ם צָפֹ֥נָה וָנֶ֖גְבָּה וָקֵ֥דְמָה וָיָֽמָּה׃ (טו) כִּ֧י אֶת־כָּל־הָאָ֛רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּ֥ה רֹאֶ֖ה לְךָ֣ אֶתְּנֶ֑נָּה וּֽלְזַרְעֲךָ֖ עַד־עוֹלָֽם׃ (טז) וְשַׂמְתִּ֥י אֶֽת־זַרְעֲךָ֖ כַּעֲפַ֣ר הָאָ֑רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֣ר ׀ אִם־יוּכַ֣ל אִ֗ישׁ לִמְנוֹת֙ אֶת־עֲפַ֣ר הָאָ֔רֶץ גַּֽם־זַרְעֲךָ֖ יִמָּנֶֽה׃ (יז) ק֚וּם הִתְהַלֵּ֣ךְ בָּאָ֔רֶץ לְאָרְכָּ֖הּ וּלְרָחְבָּ֑הּ כִּ֥י לְךָ֖ אֶתְּנֶֽנָּה׃
(14) And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had parted from him, “Raise your eyes and look out from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west, (15) for I give all the land that you see to you and your offspring forever. (16) I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, then your offspring too can be counted. (17) Up, walk about the land, through its length and its breadth, for I give it to you.”
  • Why do you think that God wanted Abraham to walk the land that he would be inheriting?
  • What do you learn about the land when you hike that you can't learn any other way?

The following song begins with the words spoken to Abraham, קום והתהלך בארץ, Get up and walk around the land!"

Another type of song was recorded by Israel's most well-known singers in honor of Yom Haatzmaut 2019. This song talks about connecting to the land and loving the country and its people.

Now it's your turn!

In honor of Yom Haatzmaut this year, create a photo montage using a popular Israeli song and photos of Israel.

  1. Choose a song
    • Find a song from the YouTube Yom Haatzmaut playlist.
    • Use one of the songs on this sheet.
    • Find one of your favorite songs about Israel on YouTube.
  2. Find pictures of Israel. Your pictures should show a variety of places in Israel including different areas of the country, nature and city, historical and new. Photos can be found on the internet. If you have been to Israel, you can add photos from your trip.
  3. Create a montage using iMovie or wevideo.
  4. Share your videos with the class. Turn it into a Yom Haatzmaut celebration by eating an Israeli treat during the party.

Many people include the Prayer for the State of Israel and the Prayer for the Israeli soldiers in their Yom Haatzmaut celebrations.

אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם, צוּר יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגוֹאֲלוֹ, בָּרֵךְ אֶת מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, רֵאשִׁית צְמִיחַת גְּאֻלָּתֵנוּ. הָגֵן עָלֶיהָ בְּאֶבְרַת חַסְדֶּךָ, וּפְרֹשׂ עָלֶיהָ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ, וּשְׁלַח אוֹרְךָ וַאֲמִתְּךָ לְרָאשֶׁיהָ, שָׂרֶיהָ וְיוֹעֲצֶיהָ, וְתַקְּנֵם בְּעֵצָה טוֹבָה מִלְּפָנֶיךָ. חַזֵּק אֶת יְדֵי מְגִנֵּי אֶרֶץ קׇדְשֵׁנוּ, וְהַנְחִילֵם אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְשׁוּעָה וַעֲטֶרֶת נִצָּחוֹן תְּעַטְּרֵם, וְנָתַתָּ שָׁלוֹם בָּאָרֶץ, וְשִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם לְיוֹשְׁבֶיהָ. וְאֶת אַחֵינוּ כָּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, פְּקׇד נָא בְּכָל אַרְצוֹת פְּזוּרֵיהֶם, וְתוֹלִיכֵם מְהֵרָה קוֹמְמִיּוּת לְצִיּוֹן עִירֶךָ וְלִירוּשָׁלַיִם מִשְׁכַּן שְׁמֶךָ, כַּכָּתוּב בְּתוֹרַת מֹשֶׁה עַבְדֶּךְ דברים ל,ד-ו: "אִם יִהְיֶה נִדַּחֲךָ בִּקְצֵה הַשָּׁמָיִם, מִשָּׁם יְקַבֶּצְךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֶיךָ וּמִשָּׁם יִקָּחֶךָ. וֶהֱבִיאֲךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יָרְשׁוּ אֲבֹתֶיךָ וִירִשְׁתָּהּ, וְהֵיטִבְךָ וְהִרְבְּךָ מֵאֲבֹתֶיךָ. וּמָל יְיָ אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת לְבָבְךָ וְאֶת לְבַב זַרְעֶךָ, לְאַהֲבָה אֶת יְיָ אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכׇל לְבָבְךָ וּבְכׇל נַפְשְׁךָ, לְמַעַן חַיֶּיךָ". וְיַחֵד לְבָבֵנוּ לְאַהֲבָה וּלְיִרְאָה אֶת שְׁמֶךָ, וְלִשְׁמֹר אֶת כׇּל דִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָתֶךָ, וּשְׁלַח לָנוּ מְהֵרָה בֶּן דָּוִד מְשִׁיחַ צִדְקֶךָ, לִפְדּוֹת מְחַכֵּי קֵץ יְשׁוּעָתֶךָ. הוֹפַע בַּהֲדַר גְּאוֹן עֻזֶּךָ עַל כׇּל יוֹשְׁבֵי תֵּבֵל אַרְצֶךָ, וְיֹאמַר כֹּל אֲשֶׁר נְשָׁמָה בְּאַפּוֹ: "יְיָ אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֶלֶךְ, וּמַלְכוּתוֹ בַּכֹּל מָשָׁלָה!" אָמֵן סֶלָה.
Avinu Shebashamim Rock and Redeemer of Israel Bless the State of Israel The start of flowering of Redemption Shield it with Your love Spread over it the shelter of Your peace Guide it's leaders and advisors with Your light and Your truth. Establish for them Your good counsel. Strengthen the hands of the defenders of our Holy Land Cause them to inherit, our God, deliverance Place the crown of victory upon them Give the land peace And everlasting joy to its inhabitants
מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אֲבותֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקב הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת חַיָּלֵי צְבָא הֲגַנָּה לְיִשרָאֵל, בעומְדָם עַל מִשְׁמַר אַרְצֵנוּ וְעָרֵי אֱלהֵינוּ מִגְּבוּל הַלְּבָנון וְעַד מִדְבַּר מִצְרַיִם וּמִן הַיָּם הַגָּדול עַד לְבוא הָעֲרָבָה בַּיַּבָּשָׁה בָּאֲוִיר וּבַיָּם. יִתֵּן ה' אֶת אויְבֵינוּ הַקָּמִים עָלֵינוּ נִגָּפִים לִפְנֵיהֶם. הַקָּדושׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יִשְׁמר וְיַצִּיל אֶת חַיָלֵינוּ מִכָּל צָרָה וְצוּקָה וּמִכָּל נֶגַע וּמַחְלָה וְיִשְׁלַח בְּרָכָה וְהַצְלָחָה בְּכָל מַעֲשה יְדֵיהֶם. יַדְבֵּר שונְאֵינוּ תַּחְתֵּיהֶם וִיעַטְרֵם בְּכֶתֶר יְשׁוּעָה וּבְעֲטֶרֶת נִצָּחון. וִיקֻיַּם בָּהֶם הַכָּתוּב: כִּי ה' אֱלהֵיכֶם הַהלֵךְ עִמָּכֶם לְהִלָּחֵם לָכֶם עִם איבֵיכֶם לְהושִׁיעַ אֶתְכֶם: וְנאמַר אָמֵן:
May He who blessed our fathers, Avraham, Yitschak and Yaakov bless the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, in their standing guard upon our land and the cities of our God - from the border of the Lebanon to the Wilderness of Egypt and from the Great Sea to the approach of the Arava - on land, in the air, and in the sea. May the Lord give our enemies that rise against us plagues in front of them. May the Holy One, blessed be He, guard and rescue our soldiers form all trouble and distress and from all affliction and illness; and send blessing and success in all the work of their hands. May He crush those that hate us below them and crown them with the crown of salvation and with the wreath of victory. And through them let the verse be fulfilled (Deuteronomy 20:4), "For it is the Lord, your God, that walks with you to fight for you against your enemies to save you." And let us say, Amen.