21 Jewish Wedding Songs to Celebrate Love and Faith
Including Jewish wedding songs as part of your ceremony and reception is a meaningful way to honor faith and tradition during your celebration. Songs steeped in Jewish tradition elevate the experience of each ritual of your wedding. If you're looking for ceremony music, upbeat tunes for dancing the hora, or songs to play during any other part of your wedding program, there are many great options available. Seek out wedding pros who are familiar with Jewish wedding songs when you're ready to hire a DJ or a live band (You can great options for both on The Knot). From melodies taken from Biblical text to modern tunes, here are 21 of our favorite Jewish songs for your wedding.
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Jewish Wedding Ceremony Songs
You've signed the ketubah, and now it's time to say your vows in front of family and friends. Ask your ceremony musicians to include a few of these songs during your prelude, as you walk to the chuppah and during the ceremony. Don't forget to include a high-energy song after smashing the glass.
"Yedid Nefesh," by Rabbi Elazar ben Moshe Azikri
Lyrics you'll love: Kee ye'erav lo yedidotekha/ Minofet tzuf v'khol ṭa'am.
English translation: To him your friendship will be sweeter/ than the dripping of the honeycomb and any taste.
Set the tone of your Jewish wedding by playing Yedid Nefesh as a prelude to your ceremony. Its calming melody will greet guests as they arrive. Meaning "lover of my soul," the song is taken from a traditional Jewish poem that is sung or recited during Shabbat.
"Ozi V'zimrat Yah," from Exodus 15:2; Isaiah 12:2; and Psalms 24:8
Lyrics you'll love: Ozi v'zimrat yah
English translation: My strength, balanced with the song of God, will be my salvation
Another lovely song to play as your guests arrive is Ozi V'Zimrat Yah. This Jewish wedding song is beautiful both slowed down and played as a prayer or performed as a folksy tune by a guitar trio. Also traditionally sung on Shabbat, the lyrics come from several Biblical texts that profess God as the source of salvation.
"Katonti," by Yonatan Razel
Lyrics you'll love: Katonti mi'kol ha'hasadim u'mi'kol ha'emet she'asita et av'deha.
English translation: I am unworthy of all the kindness and the truth that You have steadfastly shown Your servant.
Katonti's soothing melody is beautiful whether it is sung in Hebrew, or performed instrumentally on the violin or harp as guests arrive. The song tells the Biblical story of Jacob who called out to God in a moment of distress. The lyrics portray a powerful demonstration of gratitude and humility.
"Dodi Li," by Naomi Zuri
Lyrics you'll love: Dodi li va'ani lo/ Haro'eh bashoshanim
English translation: My beloved is mine and I am his/ The shepherd [grazing his flock] among the lilies.
This traditional Jewish song translates to "My beloved is mine." Sometimes performed as an upbeat tune, you can also slow it down for a calming melody perfect choice as a Jewish wedding processional song. "Dodi Li" was inspired by the Biblical book Song of Songs in the Old Testament, which is known for its ballads about love.
"Erev Shel Shoshanim," by Yafa Yarkoni
Lyrics you'll love: Layla yored le'at, Veru'ach shoshan noshvah/ Havah elchash lach shir balat, Zemer shel Ahava.
English translation: The night falls slowly, a breeze of roses blows/ Let me whisper a song to you quietly, a song of love.
Looking for a Jewish wedding chuppah song? Walk down the aisle to your chuppah to this romantic Hebrew tune. It's also a popular choice for the circling tradition, during which the bride circles clockwise around her partner seven times after the processional, but before the ceremony begins. "Erev Shel Shoshanim" was a hit song in Israel in the late 1950s and was later covered by several musicians throughout the 1960s and 70s. The title translates to "Evening of Lilies" or "Evening of Roses."
"Yerushalayim Shel Zahav," by Naomi Shemer
Lyrics you'll love: Yerushalayim shel zahav/ Veshel nechoshet veshel or/ Halo lechol shirayich ani kinor.
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English translation: Jerusalem of gold/ and of copper, and of light/ Behold I am a violin for all your songs.
Translated to "Jerusalem of Gold, " this Jewish wedding song has a hauntingly beautiful melody, especially when sung in the original Hebrew lyrics. It describes the Jewish people's longing to return to the city of Jerusalem and is often played at Jewish weddings. Ask a loved one to sing this Israeli folk song during your ceremony.
"Lecha Dodi," by Rabbi Shelomo Halevi Alkabets
Lyrics you'll love: Lechah dodi, likrat kalah/ Penei shabat nekabelah.
English translation: Come my beloved to greet the bride/ The sabbath presence let us welcome.
Lecha Dodi refers to welcoming Shabbat, also referred to as the bride, which makes it a fitting Jewish wedding chuppah song. Play an instrumental version as you walk down the aisle. Or add a modern twist by asking your ceremony vocalist to sing the hymn to the tune of "All of Me," by John Legend, or "Perfect," by Ed Sheeran.
"Sunrise, Sunset," by Sheldon Harnick
Lyrics you'll love: They look so natural together/ Just like two newlyweds should be
From the popular musical Fiddler on the Roof, "Sunrise, Sunset" is sung from the perspective of parents who can't believe how much their children have grown up and are now getting married. Although not necessarily classified as traditional Jewish music, it's often heard at Jewish celebrations. Include it in your processional, as part of your prelude songs, or during the ceremony.
"Eshet Chayil," from Proverbs 31
Lyrics you'll love: Eshet chayil mi yimtzah/ Verachok mip'ninim michrah
English translation: Who can find a wife of valor/ For her worth is far above jewels.
Eshet Chayil is taken from the Biblical text in the book of Proverbs that describes a woman of valor who is selfless and strong. Recited during the wine blessing on Shabbat, it's also a popular Jewish wedding ceremony song. Play this beautiful melody as your chuppah entrance song or during the circling tradition.
"Siman Tov u'Mazal Tov," Artist Unknown
Lyrics you'll love: Siman tov u'mazal tov.
English translation: Good luck and congratulations.
Play this cheerful and festive tune immediately after smashing the glass. Your guests won't be able to resist singing along as they celebrate your newly married status. The folk song originated around the late 19th century and is a well-known Jewish wedding song.
"Hevenu Shalom Alechem," Artist Unknown
Lyrics you'll love: Hevenu Shalom Alechem.
English translation: We brought peace unto you.
Searching for a Jewish wedding song for walking down the aisle? Shower yourself and your partner with wishes of peace and good fortune with this traditional Jewish folk song. This is another happy and upbeat tune to play as part of your recessional as you head down the aisle together. With its repeated line of "hevenu shalom alechem" it won't be hard for your guests to pick the tune and start singing too.
Jewish Wedding Reception Songs
"Hava Nagila," by Moshe Nathanson
Lyrics you'll love: Hava nagila ve-nis'mecha
English translation: Let us rejoice and be glad.
Whether you've been to a Jewish wedding or watched a movie that included a Jewish wedding, there's a pretty good chance you've heard Hava Nagila. The high-energy folk song is a perfect Jewish wedding song for the hora (chair dance). It starts slow and picks up more and more, which will likely get all of your guests out of their seats. Hava Nagila translates to "let us rejoice" and dates back more than 100 years.
"Od Yishama," by Rabbi Carlebach
Lyrics you'll love: Kol sason vekol simchah/ Kol chatan vekol kalah
English translation: Sound of joy and sound of gladness/ Voice of groom and bride.
Inspired by the book of Jerimiah in the Bible, Od Yishama is an uplifting song meant for celebrations. This song has some versatility depending on the vibe you want to capture during your reception. Ask your DJ or band to play it with a laid-back melody as you enjoy your dinner, or include a peppier version to get guests in the mood to dance.
"Hashem Melech," by Gad Elbaz
Lyrics you'll love: Hashem Melech, hashem malach/ Hashem imloch, leolam va'ed.
English translation: The Lord is King, the Lord was King/ The Lord will be King forever and ever.
If Hava Nagila didn't get your family and friends up and dancing, this one definitely will. It's upbeat, catchy and incredibly fun. This song released in 2013 has earned its place in the rotation of Jewish wedding reception songs. Play the original, or the remix featuring American Hasidic rapper Nissim Black.
"Nigun Atik," by Yehoram Gaon
Lyrics you'll love: Od nashuva el nigun atik/ Ve'hazemer yif ve'ye'erav/ Od gavia meshumar nashik, nashik/ Alizei eiyanim ve'levav.
English translation: We will yet return to the ancient melody/ And the song will continue/ We'll raise another glass/ with bright and cheerful eyes.
Meaning "ancient melody," Nigun Atik is known for the Israeli folk dance that pairs with the song. Originally choreographed by Rivka Sturman in 1956, the dance includes clapping and dancing in a circle. At Jewish weddings guests dance in a circle around the newlyweds during the reception.
"Chayim Sheli," by Eden Ben Zaken
Lyrics you'll love: Oy atta hachayim sheli/ Ech sheyesh li otcha/ Mazal sheyesh li otcha leyadi.
English translation: Oy you are my life/ I'm so happy I got you/ I'm lucky to have you by my side.
Play this beautiful love song during your first dance with your partner, or to cap off the end of your reception. The song, which translates to "My Life," talks about the happiness that comes with true love and the desire for it to last for eternity. Released in 2019, it's sung by Eden Ben Zaken, who gained recognition for her second-place win on X Factor Israel.
"Al Kol Eleh," by Naomi Shemer
Lyrics you'll love: Hashiveyni va'ashuva/ El ha'arets hatovah.
English translation: Bless the sting and bless the honey/ Bless the bitter and the sweet.
Al Kol Eleh explores the realization that life brings sweetness, and sometimes sadness, but there is a prayer of blessing and protection over each. Share a slow dance with your partner with your loved ones by your side. The title translates to "For All These Things" and was first released in 2000 with several covers since then.
"Libavtini Achoti Chala," from Song of Songs 4:9-11
Lyrics you'll love: Libavtini ba'achat me'einayich/ Ma yafu dodayich.
English translation: You captured my heart with one of your eyes/ How beautiful is your love.
Taken from the Biblical text of Songs of Songs, the title translates to "You Have Ravished My Heart." The word translated as "ravished" can also mean "made my heart beat faster." This calming and melodic love song fits in with your reception dinner music or as a slow song toward the end of the evening.
"Ohevet Oti Amiti," by Omer Adam
Lyrics you'll love: Ani choshev al atid/ Me'az shenifgashnu/ Yadati itach letamid.
English translation: I think about the future/ eve since we me/ I knew it's with you for forever.
This is another romantic Jewish song for weddings to consider for your first dance. The Jewish wedding song talks about knowing early on that you want to spend your life with someone, and falling in love with them more each day. Ohevet Oti Amiti is also gorgeously played via violin and could fit in as dinner music or during your ceremony.
"Chosen Kallah Mazel Tov," by Sigmund Mogulesko
Lyrics you'll love: Ai ai ai chosen kallah mazel tov
English translation: Congratulations to the bride and groom
Similar to Hava Nagila, this energetic song starts slowly, then builds into a fast-paced tune that will get your dancing feet moving. It's another fun Jewish wedding chair dance song
to play during your reception. The song was originally written for the operetta Blimele and was popular during vaudeville acts during the 1920s and 30s.
"Mahapecha Shel Simcha," by Lior Nakis and Omer Adam
Lyrics you'll love: Ma ha peja shel simja/ Ki culanu mishpaja/ Ve nirkod ve teruf/ Ki higuia sman lauf
English translation: Revolution of joy/ because we're all family/ And we'll dance like crazy/ Because it's time to fly.
Have your band or DJ throw on this party song to keep the party going during your reception. It's all about having a good time with family and friends and embracing love while dancing the night away. The song title translates to "A Revolution of Happiness," and what could be happier than celebrating love?