Hiney MaTov

הִנֵּה מַה טוֹב וּמַה נָּעִים
Hine(y) ma tov u’ma-nayim
Behold how good and how pleasant it is

שֶׁבֶת אָחִים גַּם יַחַד
Shevet ach-im gam ya-chad
For brothers to dwell together

‘See how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity –’
Tehillim (Psalms) 133:1

The lyrics are from the first verse of Psalm 133, which is translated by the JPS Tanakh as “How good and how pleasant it is that brothers dwell together.”

Hine Ma Tov continues to be a popular hymn for several Israeli folk dances and is a common song sung by school children and Jewish and Israeli scouting groups. It has been recorded by artists as diverse as Joshua Aaron, Theodore Bikel, The Weavers, Dalida, Meir Finkelstein, Ishtar, the Miami Boys Choir, the Abayudaya of Uganda and the dub group Adonai and I. Harry Belafonte recorded a version on his 1960 album, Belafonte Returns to Carnegie Hall. ’60s rock band Spirit recorded an original adaptation for their second studio album, The Family That Plays Together, simply titled “Jewish.”

The lyrics of Hine Ma Tov, when translated into English, form the basis for several songs in contemporary Christian music, as well as in various hymnals.


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