Rosh Hashanah is an opportunity for self reflection, new beginnings...and Israeli chart music. In the moments before Rosh Hashanah begins, Israel’s Song of the Year is announced! Here’s an opportunity to frame Rosh Hashanah and its connection to Israel in a totally new way, and listen to some cool Israeli tunes!
And the Winner is...
In Israel, ushering in the Jewish New Year holds great religious significance for some, and secular or cultural associations for others. This is arguably most present in the immediate lead up to Rosh Hashanah, when Israel counts down to the Song of the Year. As in North America, the anticipation over who will be #1 is huge!
For Israel’s first season of The X Factor, this 18-year-old from Kiryat Shemona native went viral with her very first audition, singing Christina Aguilera's Hurt. Combining Mizrachi music with soul, pop, and R&B, Ben Zaken placed second in the hit TV show.
Right behind Ben Zaken in the 5777 Song of the Year countdown, at number two, was the duo Static and Ben El Tavori with their international hit טודו בום (Toodoo bom, "It’s okay" in Portuguese). [Read the translated lyrics in English] In 2018, it dipped slightly to number three.
The runner up song of 5778 has us thinking. Hanan Ben Ari released a song and video titled "Wikipedia," in which this rising star speaks his mind openly, satirically, and with depth [Read the translated lyrics in English]:
And closing out 5778 at number one is 'נצ'י נצ (Nechi Nech) with כל הזמן הזה (All this time). This song about a breakup is told from the perspective of the girlfriend—and doesn't go easy on him [Read the translated lyrics in English]: