The Jewish people are going through a very difficult time. And as always, they are making music to give expression to their inner worlds.
On Bagels.TV, I curate the best music and videos from around the Jewish world. Normally, it’s a happy mix of upbeat songs, light-hearted comedy, and interesting shows and documentaries from Israel and diaspora communities. But the past five weeks have not been normal.
I made a decision early on in the war to focus on videos that would inspire and uplift, not enrage or horrify. So most of what we’ve been sharing since October 7 has been music (and a bit of comedy, mostly from Eretz Nehederet), not news.
Israeli music released during this time runs the entire spectrum of experiences that Israel has gone through over the last month – sadness, shock, anger, acceptance, hopefulness, and optimism about a better future that lies ahead. In many ways, the corpus of work produced serves as an incredible journey through the hearts of our people.
To this end, I’ve put together a broad playlist of music produced since the beginning of Israel’s war in Gaza. Check out the Spotify playlist below, and continue reading for some of the songs I’ve connected with.
I hope you enjoy the following selection. Please feel free to share your comments below.
Eyal Golan’s optimistic Am Yisrael Chai is possibly the most popular song that has been released since the events of October 7. The Mizrahi star sings “Soon the sun will rise, we will know beautiful days from these, the heart fights with worries, everyone will return home, we will wait for them downstairs, hopefully we’ll hear good news.”
Singer-songwriter Hanan Ben Ari’s released his hit song, Moledet (Homeland) nine days after the attack, raw with pain tempered with strength. “The prophets envisioned something different for you. Someone fell asleep on the watch. Where is the dream, there is no truth and no peace, nor is there justice, just a crack.”
Former rap team Subliminal and The Shadow, once hailed as the pioneers of Zionist hip-hop, got back together this summer for a reunion tour. A new live version of their classic anti-war anthem Hatikva, first released more than 20 years, sounds like it could have been written last month. “Let’s continue, life is ahead of us. It’s not too late, because tomorrow is a new day. The dream will die if we lose hope, so let’s reach out for love.”
Rami Kleinstein’s Tefillot Hayeladim (Prayers of children) isn’t a new song, but the new version he recorded with his daughter Meshi aptly expresses the pain felt among many families at this time. “I have a prayer – that instead of news we will see cartoons, that every boy and girl in the world will have parents… I have a prayer – that instead of wars we will all have a party and that someone will explain to me the word ‘love’.”
Everything Idan Raichel puts his name on is beautiful, and his haunting project with Roni Dalumi calls out longingly to a hostage taken by Hamas, begging him to come home safely. “Come back today, I wish so much that you’d come back, if only you’d come without telling me first.”
Eden Ben Zaken’s stirring Malachim (Angels) is drenched with sadness. The 29-year old queen of Israeli pop music sings to her lover that “Angels are crying in the sky and the rain is falling again. Let’s close our eyes And we will never part.”
Singer Odeya Azoulay and rapper Erez Sharon (known as EZ) teamed up to lament the “Winter of ‘23”, arguing with God and demanding answers. “I want to talk to my Father about everything that happened today. Again I feel alone, Abba make a place for me.”
EZ also released another powerful song, “The 7th of October”, just days after the attack, one of the first artists to respond to the tragedy.
We conclude with Osher Bitton’s prayer “Our hope is not lost.” “Give us love and unity in your people. Give us the strength to run after you. Every day we will only acknowledge you, living and existing king, master of the universe.”
You can find much more amazing and inspiring music on Bagels.TV.
Praying for our hostages to come and for victory and peace. Am Yisrael Chai.