Want to Understand Hebrew/Being Israeli? Listen to the Music
People often ask me as an Israel tour guide - "how can I learn Hebrew?" I often respond with "listen to the music." It's why I include music on all my tours - to connect with the soul and the feeling of the people and their connection with the land and the state. My playlist is attached below.
Famed Israeli writer and thinker Yossi Klein HaLevi made a list of 12 songs, which symbolize for him something essential about Israeliness. While he was tempted to choose stories about "war and peace; through its shift from west to east to a synthesis of both; through its transformation from carrier of the secular Hebrew ethos to carrier of the re-Judaization of culture; through its great love songs, the renewal of the ancient voice of Hebrew romance," in the end he chose a different path.
The final list he made (for Israel's Independence Day) were "songs about the experience of statehood - the renewal of national sovereignty , the ingathering of the exiles, the rediscovery of a tactile relationship with the land of Israel, the fulfillment and the shattering and the reimagining of our dreams."
You can see the article below, which of course includes Youtube clips of all of the songs: