Al HaNissim

Orthodox rapper remakes ‘Hava Nagila’ just in time for Hanukkah

‘The Hava Song’ by Nissim Black, who declares during the song that he’s ‘Black, Jewish and proud,’ is a modern take on the classic tune

JTA — The latest single by Nissim Black, a pathbreaking Orthodox Israeli-American hip-hop artist, reimagines what may be the most widely known Jewish song.

“The Hava Song,” released on Black’s 34th birthday Wednesday, is a modern and bass-forward reimagining of the traditional “Hava Nagila.” It features Black rapping about gratitude, his place in Jewish society and even allusions to a coming Messianic age.

“Big house coming down / from the sky to the crowd / we’re gonna sing it out loud / Black, Jewish and proud,” he sings.

Black’s previous releases, including the popular single “Mothaland Bounce,” have racked up tens of millions of views on Youtube and are popular with Orthodox Jewish audiences.

Jewish hip hop singer Nissim Black performs at a Hanukkah festival in Pittsburgh, 2018. (Esther Wayne/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images via JTA)

Black has been producing music since his teens but has been exclusively creating Jewish music with religious themes since his conversion to Judaism in 2012. He moved in 2016 from the US to Israel, where he currently lives with his wife and six children.

“I put my heart into my music and I love to give my heart to everyone. I’m a lover of humanity,” he told Alma back in February.

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