hava nagila


hava nagila (HAH-vuh nu-GEE-luh) listen


  • n. Traditional Jewish melody, often played at simchot (Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations and weddings). Guests often dance the hora, a circle dance, to the tune. (Eisenberg and Scolnic)

Example Sentences

  • "The guests danced the Hava Nagila long into the night." (Glinert)

    Listen to recordings of this sentence: ( Recording 1)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • הבה נגילה 'Let us rejoice'

    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).

      Alternative Spellings

      hava nagilah, havah nagilah, havah nagila, hava negila, hava negilah

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