These Jewish Songs Are Made for Times of Crisis

More than 40 songs with messages of peace, healing and strength.

When I was a little kid, my favorite part of going to synagogue was the singing. Even if I didn’t know what the words meant, I craved singing Hebrew prayers and Jewish songs at the top of lungs at religious school. Every week it was a joyous release with a community I loved.

Now, in the midst of the heartrending humanitarian crisis that is the Israel-Hamas war, I find myself returning to those same Jewish songs as a source of comfort. With messages of peace, healing and strength, they are a balm in times of crisis.

Here are the Jewish songs I’ve been listening to lately. And you can stream the playlist here.

1. Oseh Shalom (sung by Debbie Friedman)

Transliteration of the prayer:

Oseh shalom bimromav, hu’yaseh shalom aleinu, va’akol yisrael. Vimru: amen.

English translation:

May the One who creates peace in the heavens bring peace to us and to all of Israel. And we say: Amen.

2. Mi Shebeirach by Debbie Friedman 


Mi shebeirach avoteinuM’kor hab’racha l’imoteinuMay the source of strengthWho blessed the ones before usHelp us find the courage to make our lives a blessingAnd let us say: Amen
Mi shebeirach imoteinuM’kor habrachah l’avoteinuBless those in need of healing with r’fuah sh’leimahThe renewal of body, the renewal of spiritAnd let us say: Amen

Transliteration of the full prayer:

Mi Sheberach
Avoteinu: Avraham, Yitzhak, v’Yaakov,
v’Imoteinu: Sarah, Rivka, Rachel v’Leah,
Hu yivarech virapei
et hacholeh/hacholah [insert name] ben/bat [insert names]
HaKadosh Baruch Hu
yimalei rachamim alav/aleha,
V’yishlach lo/lah bim-hera
r’fuah shlemah,
r’fu-at hanefesh u-r’fu-at hagoof,b’toch sh’ar cholei Yisrael v’cholei yoshvei tevel,
hashta ba’agalah u-vizman kariv,
v’no-mar, Amen!

English translation:

May the One who blessed our ancestors —
Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
Matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah —
bless and heal the one who is ill:
[insert name] child of [insert names]
May the Holy Blessed One
overflow with compassion upon them,
to restore them,
to heal them,
to strengthen them,
to enliven them.
The One will send them, speedily,
a complete healing —
healing of the soul and healing of the body —
along with all the ill,
among the people of Israel and all humankind,
without delay,
and let us all say: Amen!

3. Hashkiveinu by Dan Nichols 


Hashkiveinu Adonai Eloheinu l’shalom
V’ha’amideinu Malkeinu l’chayim
Spread the shelter of Your peace over us
Guide us in wisdom, compassion, and trust
Save us for the sake of Your name
Shield us from hatred sorrow and pain

Hashkiveinu… l’chayim
L’chayim, l’chayim

Transliteration of the full prayer:

Hashkiveinu Adonai eloheinu l’shalom, v’ha-amideinu malkeinu l’ḥayim.
Ufros aleinu sukat sh’lomecha,
V’tak’neinu b’eitza tova mil’fanecha,
V’hoshieinu l’ma-an sh’mecha.
V’hagein ba-adeinu, v’haseir mei-aleinu, oyeiv, dever, v’cherev, v’raav, v’yagon;
V’haseir satan mil’faneinu umei-aḥareinu,
Uv’tzeil k’nafecha tastireinu –
Ki Eil shom’reinu (umatzileinu ata;
Ki Eil melech chanun v’rachum ata.
Ushmor tzeiteinu uvo-einu – l’ḥayim) ul’shalom mei-ata v’ad olam.

English translation:

Grant, O God, that we lie down in peace, and raise us up, our Guardian, to life renewed. Spread over us the shelter of Your peace. Guide us with Your good counsel; for Your Name’s sake, be our help. Shield and shelter us beneath the shadow of Your wings. Defend us against enemies, illness, war, famine and sorrow. Distance us from wrongdoing. For You, God, watch over us and deliver us. For You, God, are gracious and merciful. Guard our going and coming, to life and to peace evermore.

4. Shalom Rav (sung by Alex Blue)

Transliteration of the prayer:

Shalom rav al Yisrael amcha
Tasim l’olam
Ki atah Hu Melech Adon
L’chol hashalom
V’tov b’einecha l’vareich
Et amcha Yisrael
B’chol eit uv’chol shah

English translation:

Grant peace to Your people Israel forever, for You are Ruler, Master of all Peace. May it be good in Your eyes to bless Your people Israel at every time and every hour with Your peace. Blessed are You, Eternal God, Who blesses Your people Israel with peace.

If you’re looking for the traditional rendition of the song, you can find it here.

5. Eli, Eli (sung by Ofra Haza)

Transliteration of the poem (by Hannah Senesh):

Eli, Eli
She lo yigamer leolam
Hakhol ve hayam
Rishrush shel hamayim
Berak hashamayim
T’filat ha’adam

English translation:

O God, my God
I pray that these things never end
The sand and the sea
The rush of the waters
The crash of the heavens
The prayer of the heart

And here are suggestions of songs and prayers from the Hey Alma community:


Salaam (Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu)

Chai by Ofra Haza

B’sheim Hashem

Al Kol Eleh

Anything by Matisyahu

U’macha Hashem Dima

Lo Yisa Goy

El Na Refa Na La (a prayer for healing)

Shalom Aleichem

Boee by Idan Raichel

Yoel’s Niggun by Zusha

Anything by Leonard Cohen

Olam Chesed Yibaneh


The Hope by Rick Recht

In Tehillim 83, 130, 142 and 46

The Pete Tobias version of Bayom Hahu

Tel Aviv by Omer Adam

Miriam’s Song by Debbie Friedman

Lu y’hi

Modeh Ani by Omer Adam

Va’ani Ashir Uzecha by Josh Warshawsky

Esah Einai by Dan Nichols

Anything by Eliana Light, Raza, Marni Loffman or Batya Levine

Broken Hearted Psalm 257 by Shir Yaakov

BaShana HaBa’a

Al Tira


Ana El Na

Anything by Barbra Streisand

Vehi Sheamda

Shema Yisrael by Uziya Tzadok

Karov by Batya Levine

Anything by Aly Halpert

Od Yishama

Turn! Turn! Turn! by Pete Seeger

Prince of Egypt Soundtrack

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

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