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Hava Nagila

"Hava Nagila," meaning "Let Us Rejoice," is perhaps the best known Jewish folk song and is a staple for bands playing at Jewish festivals. The melody was taken from a Ukrainian folk song. The lyrics were probably written by Abraham Zvi Idelsohn in 1918 to celebrate the British victory in Palestine during World War I as well as the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

The Belfour Declaration was an important early step in the formation of the modern State of Israel in 1948. It was a formal policy statement by the British government written by Arthur James Balfour.

"His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

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Hava Nagila Sheet Music

Lyrics in English

Let's rejoice
Let's rejoice
Let's rejoice and be happy
Let's sing
Let's sing
Let's sing and be happy

Awake, brothers, awake
Awake, brothers, with a happy heart
Awake, brothers, awake brothers
With a happy heart

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