June 5, 2014

Top 10 Most Popular Shabbaton Songs

One of the most beautiful and inspiring parts of a Shabbaton are the songs sung during kumsitz, ebbing, and Havdalah. For some, these songs are held onto and taken with for years after the Shabbaton. Check out our list of the top 10 most popular Shabbaton songs of all time.

1. Hinei Keil – הנה קל

If you were a Shabbaton-goer any time after that fateful Dveykus album was released, you cannot hear this song without reminiscing of an NCSY Havdalah. Just walking into a dark room hearing this song playing triggers an almost Pavlovian response of excitement to savor the conclusion of the Shabbos..


2. Acheinuאחינו

A staple of NCSY ebbing and lately the concluding refrain of the final circle of the Shabbaton. Acheinu typically begins seated and concludes standing on chairs.


3. Tov Lehodosטוב להודות

Another kumsitz and ebbing classic, Tov Lehodos seems to possess a magical power that engrosses one in its song and flow.


4. Rotzoh – רצה הקדוש ברוך הוא

Sometimes energy is spontaneous. Other times it slowly builds up an incredible massive crescendo. Those who have ever “done Rotzoh” during Havdalah have experienced the power of that crescendo with lucid recall.


5. Nay Nay Nay (Harachaman) – הרחמן הוא ישלח לנו

Part of the joy of being an NCSYer is trying to undermine the staff. Whether or not you’re yet into benching, there always seems to be mischievous euphoria in hijacking “circle time” with this tune. Plus, there’s still that whole “Shabbos/Menucha” oompa-loompa routine two Harachaman’s later.


6. Mizmor L’David / Yedid Nefeshמזמור לדוד / ידיד נפש

These songs are standard for shalosh seudos, but for many they are first discovered near the onset of ebbing. For scores of alumni, these songs elicit a truthful memory of where they learned what shalosh seudos could be.

7. Shema Koleinuשמע קולינו

Also of Dveykus origin, Shema Koleinu is the paradigmatic kumsitz song that expresses the heart and depth of the entire kumsitz experience.


8. Eliyahu Hanavi – אליהו הנביא

A classic melody at NCSY Havdalah, this gem is often sung after Hinei Keil.


9. Simcha L’Artzecha – שמחה לארצך

Similar to Rotzoh, but with kneeling and a drop less enthusiasm, Carlebach’s exhilarating composition reinvigorates the room with dependable gusto. This is a song that is not going anywhere in the approaching future.


10. Lo Alecha – לא עליך

A final classic from Havdalah, Lo Alecha (from Pirkei Avos 2:21) reminds us we don’t have to be completely perfect to get closer to G-d, we just need to put in our best. In many ways, the mission of an NCSY Shabbaton is encapsulated in Lo Alecha’s timeless message.


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