Sunday, May 2, 2010

Jewish Music

It’s Lag Ba’Omer, and I have to say, although I enjoy acapella music, I am very glad to be able to listen to music again. I love music, mainly because it is a form of expressing emotions that can’t be communicated by words. No matter what situation I’m in, no matter how I’m feeling, I can always find a song or tune that goes with it. I love Jewish music because the combination of spiritual tunes and psukim from the Torah have the power to inspire in ways which previously seemed impossible.

One pet peeve of mine is that the more recent Jewish music artists who put words to tunes which completely don’t match at all. If the words are upbeat, then why is the tune somber? If the words are serious, an upbeat tune just doesn’t match. I think this happens when Jewish singers and composers attempt to compete with modern pop artists in the secular world. My favorite example of this is a song by the Miami Boys Choir (who I am a big fan of, don’t get me wrong) to which the words are “Simon Tov U’Mazel Tov.” Thos lyrics are usually sung on joyous occasions, yet the melody is slow and melancholy. Why would you put Simon Tov to that tune? It doesn’t fit at all.

In honor of Lag B’Omer, I was thinking of making a list of my top 10 favorite Jewish songs, but when I started to make the list, I realized that there were too many songs that I wanted to put on the list. So I changed it to “top 15” and that just wasn’t enough either, since there are certain songs I enjoy when I’m exercising/working out, while there are other songs that I prefer to listen to during “down time,” such as on a long car ride or train ride. So I decided to create 3 categories (the third one is shabbos songs, which deserves its own section) and make a “top 15 for each of those categories. Here are my “Top 15” Playlists (the song and who sings them/the CD that they are on):

Top 15 Jewish work out playlist (in no particular order):

1. Yavo- Miami boys choir
2. Ogil- Sheves Achim
3. Hisytzvu- Avraham Fried
4. Chazak- Miami boys choir (Side note: This song is awesome to listen to while exercising because the lyrics are saying “Be strong,” which is a message I always need when I’m sweating and breathing heavily while exercising)
5. Lecha- The Chevra (2)
6. V’Ishei Yisrael- Eli Gerstner
7. Kos Yeshuos- Yehuda! (Generations of Song)
8. Omar- Shwekey (Yedid)
9. V’Ahavta- Yeshiva Boys Choir (2)
10. Emes- Shwekey
11. Higid- Baruch Levine
12. LeGabay by Dovid Gabay
13. Ufduyey Moshav Band
14. Sameach- Avodas Tzedaka
15. Biglal Avos- Shlomo and Eitan Katz

Top 15 “down time” playlist (in no particular order):

1. Hashem Yimloch by Dovid Stein on the CD Melech
2. V’atoh Kisvu- Menucha
3. Ozreinu- V’Havienu 2
4. Adon Olam- Yeshiva Boys Choir
5. Ovinu- Shwekey on Ad Bli Dai
6. V’Nikasi- Ananim by the Nochi Krohn Band
7. Ashrey Tivchar- Eitan Katz on Boruch Hu
8. Odcha- Chevra 2
9. All D’veykus songs. And actually, all Carlebach songs/tunes as well. It’s impossible to pick just one. They are all my favorite.
10. Esah Einay- Kol Achai on the CD Hashkifa
11. Im Eshkachech- Lev Tahor 2
12. Yehi Shalom- Shalsheles 2
13. Chatzos by Miami Boys Choir on Torah Today
14. Melech Rachaman- Shlomo Katz on U’Shmuel B’Korei Shmo
15. Habeit- Aish CD

15 Best Shabbos Songs:

1. Yismachu- Shlomo Katz on Vehakohanim
2. Yedid Nefesh- Avraham Fried on the CD “We are ready!”
3. Kel Adon- Benny Kton
4. Kol Hami’oneg- Lev Tahor 4
5. Ma’ein Olam Haba- Eli Gerstner on V’Ishei Yisrael
6. M’leim on Yeshiva Boys Choir 2
7. Ana BiKoach- Omek Hadavar
8. Lecha Dodi- Six13
9. Mein- The Secret of Shabbos
10. Nishmas- Shalsheles 3
11. Shabbos Kodesh- Moshav Band (This one is probably in the top 5 shabbos songs- if it’s Friday and you want to get in the mood for shabbos, turn this on, and you’ll be ready to go by the time the song is over!)
12. Horachaman- Ophie Nat
13. Anim Zemirot- Kol Achai
14. Aishes Chayil- Shwekey
15. Ilu Phinu- Shalsheles Junior

I would be very curious to see other people's Top 15 (or 10) Jewish songs that they enjoy!


  1. Amazing list! Shabbos Kodesh is one of my favorite songs.
    I barely listen to Jewish music while exercising. I need more "heavy" beats, but your list still seems like fun!

  2. Thanks! The ones I put on the work out list have pretty good beats, but I agree it's hard to find good Jewish music to work out to. What songs to you listen to?

  3. what a great list.. Shabbos Kodesh- Moshav Ban , agreed! So glad i found this..

    thank you for taking the time to do this.. :) with love from Wisconsin.


Thanks for commenting! Comments are welcome, especially on old posts. Please do not use inappropriate language. Thanks!