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The Nine Lives of ‘Hava Nagila'

14 days ago   |   By Tablet Mag

“Hava Nagila” is perhaps the best-known Jewish song in the United States. Jewish and non-Jewish wedding and bar/bat mitzvah attendees alike know that its first few notes are our cue to link arms on the dance floor and drag or be dragged through a never-ending and increasingly chaotic hora .
But how many people know that the song originated not in Israel but in Ukraine, and that its greatest ambassador was not Jewish at all? In Hava Nagila , a documentary that opens in a limited theatrical release this month, director Roberta Grossman traces the song's history from a Hasidic enclave in the...
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