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What’s the very first Jewish song you heard in real life?
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Hashem_n_Farfel




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 5:10 am
Memory time.

A few days into New York, after maybe a week or so, the host offered to take me to shul for mincha or maariv (don’t remember which) for the very first time. I agreed to go!
Was kinda thrilled to be going to shul for the very first time!! I was not yet converted yet but I wanted to go really badly.
Obviously then my Hebrew was not the way it is now lol but the shul had English artscroll siddurs. I had my own that I brought months before I left my mother’s so I brought my siddur with me just in case.

The ezras nashim was empty. I was the only person there. I remember just standing behind the mechitza watching the men and young boys davening.
Then a while later I recognized a couple words and tune. It took a while for me to hear exactly what was being sung and when I finally did I burst into tears.
That was one of the few first “frum” songs I heard back when I was living with my mother but it was the more modern Israeli tune. But I recognized the words. I found them in the siddur. I knew the first two words and alternatively cried and read along in English (to myself!) and looked down at the men and boys.

ANYWAY!

I’ve been LOOKING for the version they sung in that shul for years now and I can’t even describe how happy I am now that I FINALLY found it on YouTube, and I just cried again cuz of the feelings it brought back to me from that first time I heard it, and now that I know what is being sung (not word for word but overall) oh my goodness. 😭 it’s unreal.

I watched over 30 videos of this tefilah to find it!!! Now I can sleep in peace. BH.

Here it is. It’s a tiny bit different than what they sung in the shul but the melody is the same.
https://youtu.be/zCZEaQEwGGo

I wish they had the same tune in Apple Music so I can listen on repeat...and I kinda wanna play my piano now. Yes, at 5am with earphones. Does anybody know where I can find this version so I can listen to it whenever I want?

Oh my. I’m just super happy right now.

What’s the first frum thing you heard once you were able to hear in real life?
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 5:29 am
I remember listening to uncle moishie when I was a little girl Smile
And a record called 613 Torah Avenue Smile
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 7:31 am
I don't think this ever made it into the list of great jewish songs, but it is one of the earliest I remember. We used to sing it in kindergarten.

I'll tell you
What every Jew should do
And when I tell you
You should do it too.

Every jew should....

And we went round the room with everyone taking turns to suggest some Mitzvah. Once someone insisted that every Jew should have white rabbits (her parents disagreed) but it was normally things like keep Shabbos, eat kosher, say Shema and so on.
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naomi2




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 7:42 am
Hashem_n_Farfel wrote:
Memory time.

A few days into New York, after maybe a week or so, the host offered to take me to shul for mincha or maariv (don’t remember which) for the very first time. I agreed to go!
Was kinda thrilled to be going to shul for the very first time!! I was not yet converted yet but I wanted to go really badly.
Obviously then my Hebrew was not the way it is now lol but the shul had English artscroll siddurs. I had my own that I brought months before I left my mother’s so I brought my siddur with me just in case.

The ezras nashim was empty. I was the only person there. I remember just standing behind the mechitza watching the men and young boys davening.
Then a while later I recognized a couple words and tune. It took a while for me to hear exactly what was being sung and when I finally did I burst into tears.
That was one of the few first “frum” songs I heard back when I was living with my mother but it was the more modern Israeli tune. But I recognized the words. I found them in the siddur. I knew the first two words and alternatively cried and read along in English (to myself!) and looked down at the men and boys.

ANYWAY!

I’ve been LOOKING for the version they sung in that shul for years now and I can’t even describe how happy I am now that I FINALLY found it on YouTube, and I just cried again cuz of the feelings it brought back to me from that first time I heard it, and now that I know what is being sung (not word for word but overall) oh my goodness. 😭 it’s unreal.

I watched over 30 videos of this tefilah to find it!!! Now I can sleep in peace. BH.

Here it is. It’s a tiny bit different than what they sung in the shul but the melody is the same.
https://youtu.be/zCZEaQEwGGo

I wish they had the same tune in Apple Music so I can listen on repeat...and I kinda wanna play my piano now. Yes, at 5am with earphones. Does anybody know where I can find this version so I can listen to it whenever I want?

Oh my. I’m just super happy right now.

What’s the first frum thing you heard once you were able to hear in real life?


I don't have a first song memory but I agree that this adon olam is really beautiful ❤️
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animeme




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 7:49 am
shabbatiscoming wrote:
I remember listening to uncle moishie when I was a little girl Smile
And a record called 613 Torah Avenue Smile


Yes!

"There is so much to learn you see,
All the books in the library.
It will take so long to learn each one.
I'm afraid I'll never be a talmid chacham."

And when Uncle Moishy actually used the word "Saturday."

But likely, my first song heard sung by not my parents was something like "Hoshia es amecha" on Simchas Torah.
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zaq




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 8:10 am
The melody of the Adon Olam that H&F refers to is taken from one of the many songs composed during the Six-Day War. The original song is called Sharm-a-Sheikh and commemorates the IDF's capture of Sharm-A-Sheikh, a port town on the Sinai Peninsula.

One line that always perplexed me is "at Sharam-a-Sheik, chazarnu elayich shenit" (You're Sharm-a-Sheikh, we've returned to you again.) I can only assume that it's something of a poetic exaggeration, and that Sharm was simply part of the territory that Israel captured during the 1956 Sinai War and returned to Egypt under pressure from the UN. Sharm is a wonderfully scenic spot, but I know of no reason for any sentimental attachment to it.
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vicki




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 8:20 am
zaq wrote:
The melody of the Adon Olam that H&F refers to is taken from one of the many songs composed during the Six-Day War. The original song is called Sharm-a-Sheikh and commemorates the IDF's capture of Sharm-A-Sheikh, a port town on the Sinai Peninsula.
Was going to say.
את בליבנו....ליבנו תמיד
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vicki




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 8:23 am
The first Jewish song I heard in real life is probably זום גלי גלי גלי זום גלי גלי. Or תשתחווי בת-שבע. These are some songs I learned as a child.
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 9:08 am
Maybe we should shift the focus to songs that made an impact on our adult life instead of children's songs.

When I was in israel in seminary, I was struggling through the Yom Kippur davening. The tunes weren't the familiar ones I grew up with, and the whole set up.was just uncomfortable somehow. Then we got to the Avodah, which is about the hardest Hebrew in the entire day. I heaved a sigh and plunged into all these complex words that I couldn't understand, and waited for a few familiar markers to show me where everyone else was up to.

As I realized there was only another page or two left, suddenly everyone around me burst into song. I'd never heard מראה כהן before. Hearing it then, for the first time, when I was struggling through all those words, felt like coming out of a tunnel into the light. It was absolute exaltation, and carried the relief if the Kohen Gadol after he had successfully accomplished the Avodah. I've loved the song ever since.
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Crookshanks




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 10:48 am
shabbatiscoming wrote:
I remember listening to uncle moishie when I was a little girl Smile
And a record called 613 Torah Avenue Smile

Walk. Walk. Walk. Don't walk. Don't walk. Don't walk. Eliezer. Eliezer. Eliezer.
By the time I listened to it it was a tape not a record Very Happy
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Kiwi13




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 10:56 am
I'm not 100% sure which was first, but probably one of these:

Modeh Ani
Shema
HaMalach HaGoel
Torah, Torah
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Kiwi13




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 10:56 am
Might also have been the Aleph Beis. Not sure.
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essie14




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 11:14 am
Elfrida wrote:
Maybe we should shift the focus to songs that made an impact on our adult life instead of children's songs.

When I was in israel in seminary, I was struggling through the Yom Kippur davening. The tunes weren't the familiar ones I grew up with, and the whole set up.was just uncomfortable somehow. Then we got to the Avodah, which is about the hardest Hebrew in the entire day. I heaved a sigh and plunged into all these complex words that I couldn't understand, and waited for a few familiar markers to show me where everyone else was up to.

As I realized there was only another page or two left, suddenly everyone around me burst into song. I'd never heard מראה כהן before. Hearing it then, for the first time, when I was struggling through all those words, felt like coming out of a tunnel into the light. It was absolute exaltation, and carried the relief if the Kohen Gadol after he had successfully accomplished the Avodah. I've loved the song ever since.

I love this story!
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 11:32 am
Elfrida wrote:
Maybe we should shift the focus to songs that made an impact on our adult life instead of children's songs.
.


I think this thread can be both.

As for the OP, this is reminding me of one of the most memorable passages I read in an Alexander McCall Smith book (and I have a lousy memory for these things). In Tears of the Giraffe Mr. JLB Matekoni takes a picture of his foster children and realizes that no one ever cared enough about them to take a picture and his heart catches.

Hashem n Farfel, you spent so long without this as a part of you life. Thank you for sharing your introduction, that "first photo" in your life. A very worthy one too. The beauty of the melody but much more, the beauty of the words.

Let's use this thread to share beautiful moments.
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Crookshanks




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 11:37 am
I went to a museum about Gush Katif where they showed a movie of the fight to save the shuls and what happened to them in the end. The background music in the movie was the song tefillah l'ani. It became my favorite song and I walked down to it two years later.
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 12:46 pm
Crookshanks wrote:
I went to a museum about Gush Katif where they showed a movie of the fight to save the shuls and what happened to them in the end. The background music in the movie was the song tefillah l'ani. It became my favorite song and I walked down to it two years later.


It was the song they sang as they left their homes.
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Crookshanks




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 12:57 pm
Elfrida wrote:
It was the song they sang as they left their homes.

I also saw a video of tefillah l'ani being sung at the funeral of the three boys. It was a YouTube video posted by someone French. I lost rack of it and would love love love to watch it again. Did anyone else see that video\have footage of it?
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alwayssmiling




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 1:07 pm
this isnt my first song but worth a mention
benny friedman's/chayalle neuhause's song a yid followed on the heels of the deaths of plenty of people close to me
this is the song that makes me cry yet strengthens me every time again
"and yet as we rise to greet another day
and the sun is still bright in the sky
always a reason to hope for better times"
and we dont need to know the answers!

cuz a yid never breaks!
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Living Princess




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 1:24 pm
Yanky and Shabbos and Yanky and the Pesach Seder with Zeidy were of my first favorites
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cbsp




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 12 2021, 1:32 pm
Mitzvah Tree (the record!) anyone?

As an adult, I think Ishai Ribo's Elul תשע"ט made a huge impact on me - especially when I listened to it again several months later after the world had turned upside down.

Special mention to Uri Davidi's "Mah Sheyesh Lo"
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