He Stands by us – Vehi Sheamda – Yossi Azulay

Vehi Sheamda – He Stands by Us

 It is this – His salvation – that has stood by us through all generations.

A song from the Passover Haggadah – the Exodus story read at the Passover Seder – tells of the enemies that have risen up against the Jews in every generation, in their attempt to deny and dishonor God through the eradication of His people. But  God – Blessed be His Name – is faithful to deliver us from their hands.

Ve’hi sheamda le’avoteinu ve’lanu.
She’loh echad bilvad amad aleinu le’chaloteinu
Elah she’bechol dor va’dor omdom aleinu le’chaloteinu.
Ve’haKadosh Baruch Hu matzileinu mi’yadam.

It is this  {His salvation] that has stood by our fathers and us:
For not only one [enemy] has risen up against us to destroy us
But in all generations they rise up against us to destroy us.
But the Holy One, Blessed is He, saves us from their hands.


prayers 11

Yossi Azulay’s beautiful second CD of Prayers – Tefilot – includes this special song of a Passover prayer in the Haggadah – the Exodus account read at the Seder meal.

Listen to Vehi Sheamda , sang by Yossi Azulay posted below.

Purchase here via Amazon.com Vehi Sheamda

We highly recommend Yossi Azulay’s complete album Prayers, Vol. 2 , which surpasses his Vol.1 if possible, and contains Shabbat songs such as ‘Shalom Aleichem Malchaei Ha’Melachim‘, Boi Kalah – Come oh Bride; and Adon Olam – Lord of All; also the beautiful Traveller’s Prayer – Tefilat HaDerech, and Shabachi Yerushalayim, and Rachem – Comfort Your City Jerusalem and Your people Israel,  all rendered in Azulay’s unique, smooth and soothing Sephardic style. It’s a blessing!

You can also purchase Vehi Sheamda, or Prayers, Vol 2 album, via iTunes


El Adon – Yossi Azulay

El Adon - Yossi Azulay

Download El Adon lyrics here.

Yossi Azulay is one of Israel’s leading popular singers today. He has recorded two beautiful  Prayer or Tefilot albums. This is a sample track of a centuries old prayer prayed during the Shabbat morning service in a synagogue.

El Adon – God, Lord of all creation. As Rabbi Jonathan Sacks describes: “It is a hymn of praise to God as Creator of the heavens, stars and celestial forces.” Hence the footnote at the end of the poem referring to the signs of the zodiac (Please note the reference is not to astrology and horoscopes. Rather, it is to the astronomical wonders of the Universe.)

Reference also is made to the Merkava / Chariot, which is considered a mystical or Kabbalistic concept. Please don’t let that concern you, The concept is based on Ezekiel’s vision of the Divine chariot (Chapter 1).

The prayer is structured as an alphabetical acrostic; which is an excellent memory tool. The song is sung through twice, the second time with translation, to enable you to follow more easily. Enjoy!

Listen to El Adon, sang by Yossi Azulay posted below.

Purchase here via Amazon.com El Adon
We highly recommend Yossi Azulay’s complete album Prayers, Vol. 1

You can also purchase El Adon, or the  Prayers, Vol 1 album, via iTunes

Yefe Nof – Hebrew Poem by Yehuda Halevi – sung by Etti Ankri

Etti Ankri

Download the lyrics here.

Listen to this song at YouTube – posted below
Purchase this song via Amazon.com
Yefe nof

You might consider the full CD, Etti Ankri – Songs of Rav Yehudah HaLevi,
which is a true delight.

Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi was born in Toledo, Spain, circa 1080.  Indeed in the tradition of the Levitical priesthood, he was considered the greatest medieval “singer of Zion.” Also a highly accomplished medical physician, philosopher and writer, HaLevi’s deep and lonely yearning for Zion and his sense of being torn between East and West, Israel and the courts of Spain, were given expression in his poetry.  As he wrote in another poem, Between East and West:

All the goods of Spain are as chaff to my eye, but
The dust on which once stood the Tabernacle
is as gold to my eye!

Israeli singer and musician, Etti Ankri, has composed hauntingly beautiful and powerful melodies to accompany the poems, songs, and prayers of Yehudah HaLevi. Here is one example: Yefe Nof – Beautiful Vista, which, while referring to the earthly Jerusalem with the ruins of its once glorious Temple, also alludes to the Heavenly Jerusalem that…

“…sits up high and shines on the world, You city,
throne of the Lord of the world.”


Shema Yisrael

soldier-praying*IDF soldier praying. (Photo: Libi/Israel365)


The Shema is the oldest and greatest, the very heart, of Jewish prayer. It has been part of the liturgy since Temple times and is recited morning and evening. Its opening line, sung here in the link below, is among the first words taught to a Jewish child and among the last  a Jew speaks before death. It truly resounds as the shofar cry of a human heart!

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks describes: “The word Shema itself means ‘listen’ and the recital of the Shema is a supreme act of faith-as-listening: to the voice that brought the Universe into being, created us in love and guides us through our lives.” (Koren Siddur, 98)

Download Shema Yisrael – Hebrew, Transliteration, and Translation here.

Listen to Shema Yisrael by Joshua Aaron posted below
Purchase via Amazon.com (free with Amazon Prime) Shema (feat. Don Heist)

Eich Shir Nolad? — How is a Song Born?

Sixteenth Lamb

Enjoy this delightful song, Eich Shir Nolad, from the very well-loved Israeli children’s CD,
The Sixteenth Lamb.

Download Hebrew, Transliteration, and Translation here.

Listen to this song at Youtube – posted below
You can purchase this highly recommended and delightful CD (or animated DVD – great to share with children!)  for your enjoyment – and Hebrew practice! – via Amazon.com – Sixteenth Lamb

Music To My Ears – Introduction

shema Israel*Michel D’anastasio “Shema Israel

Language, with it’s rhythms and sounds, can fit the category of music;  and Hebrew maybe more than any other as it is the language of creation.* So, what better way to naturally absorb Hebrew than by combining the rhythms and sounds of this rich and ancient language with the beauty, form, and harmony of music. 

Prayer in the synagogue is led by a cantor who weaves the words of prayer together with melody. Even the reading of the Torah is done with a particular form of intonation and melody known as cantillation. Prayers of praise in many forms of worship are lifted in song. Music and language indeed blend well together.

It has been proven that music not only helps trigger memory recall but the rhythm of music can help with the articulation of words. It is an easy way to increase vocabulary and learn the melody of the language itself.

Singing songs certainly speeds up the time it  takes to learn a new language. Research has found that singing the new language allows for a faster processing mode rather than just repeating the phrases over and over again. This is because the melody provides an extra boost to help embed the new language into one’s brain.**

We will be bringing you soundtracks to help in your learning of Hebrew. So sit back, relax, and remember the one rule — listen! Let the language internalize before you vocalize. Let it move from your ears to your heart.

* Psalm 33:6
** Cognitive Neuroscience of Music, Wikipedia