Hallelujah: Israeli Style

While Israel may still proudly sing the Hatikva as its official national anthem, Israelis have come to adopt many other songs over the years which represent the beauty and unique magic of Israel.


A whole 42 years ago, at the 1979 Eurovision contest held in our very own Jerusalem, Israel took home first prize with their hit "Hallelujah", a song that soon became an anthem of peace and hope not only in Israel, but around the world!


Taken directly from the Hebrew language, the word hallelujah translates into "Praise the Lord" and has become a symbol of faith, peace, and hope for all of humanity!

Originally written to sing the year before in the contest, the song was ultimately rejected, and famously made its comeback a year later, sung by the Israeli group Milk and Honey- quite an apropos name for our beautiful country! What made the performance so unique was the way it was sung. Most groups in Eurovision begin on stage together. But the members of Milk and Honey, beginning with lead female vocals Gali Atari, came out one by one, building the song slowly.


The song's win was the 4th time in Eurovision history where the host country won the competition in their own home country! Since 1979, Hallelujah has been reprised 3 more times during subsequent Eurovision events, and has become a world-wide favorite. Today, many Jews especially around the world have taken this song as a symbol of their faith and love of their nation.


What makes this song so special?

Well, take a look at the words for yourself and see just how meaningful they are!


"Hallelujah to the world,

every one will sing

One word only

and the heart is full of thanks

And beats as well what a wonderful world


Hallelujah with the song,

for a day that shines

For all that has been

and for all that is about to happen


Hallelujah to the world,

every one will sing

And the big bells

will be echo in a lot of notes

And together with us they will say - hallelujah


Hallelujah for every thing,

yesterday and tomorrow

Hallelujah hand in hand

and sing in one heart - hallelujah!"


It is a song about love, about unity and togetherness. It is a song that reminds us that we are all human, living together in this world. It is a song of hope, and has carried the Israeli nation out into the world!

 

Here is a version recorded in 2020 by the original lead singer, Gali Atari, singing the translated English version with Dutch kids for Junior Eurovision!