The Winner of the First Annual Matzav Music Awards is…Anovim!

18 is proud to announce the winner of the First Annual Matzav Music Awards. This first installation of the awards focused on the Jewish songs that had the greatest impact of the year 5769. We thank the thousands of readers in dozens of countries all over the globe who participated in this year’s Matzav Music Awards. The feedback and excitement was phenomenal. So without further ado, the winner of the Matzav Song of the Year for 5769 is Anovim!

Anovim got off to a quick start in the voting and maintained a strong showing throughout. The runner-up is Vehi She’amda, which posed a formidable challenge and was defeated, amazingly, by less than 100 votes. Hentalach came in a distant third place.

In analyzing the results, several people in the Jewish music industry with whom we spoke this morning suggested that while Hentalach is a wildly popular song, the reason it came in third place is because when voting for a top song, people take into account the inherent quality of the song, rather than its popularity or the “pump” of the melody.

“Also,” said one musician, “it is possible that many people assumed that Hentalach would win and therefore didn’t bother voting or voted for one of the other selections. It is indeed very interesting to ponder, but there’s no question that Anovim is well deserving of the award.” 

singersAnovim was composed by the world renowned composer Yossi Green. This heart-stirring song was actually composed years ago, and was first sung by Mordechai ben David and Yossi Green at a Priority One concert almost a decade ago. The song, however, was not officially released until it was included on Yossi Green’s album, “The Eighth Note,” where it is sung by both MBD and Yossi. This composition is sung all over the world and virtually every wedding in the year 5769 has featured this touching niggun.

Click below to listen to two versions of Anovim, the first sung by Yossi Green and MBD and the second sung by Yossi Green and Yaakov Shwekey:

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Runner-up: Vehi She’amda was composed by Yonatan Razel. This moving melody has captured the hearts of Yidden in Eretz Yisroel, as well as Jews across the globe. It has already been sung and rerecorded, and continues to gain popularity. Sung by Yonatan Razel and Yaakov Shwekey at a concert in Caesarea, the song is also included as the last selection on Yaakov Shwekey’s newest album, Shwekey V – Ad Bli Dai, which was released this month.

Click below for a video of Vehi She’amda:

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Third place: Hentalach was composed by Chilu Posen. Few songs over the last decade have gained the attention of Jewish music listeners like Hentalach, but apparently it didn’t gain the popularity to beat out Anovim and Vehi She’amdah. Featured as the last song on Lipa Schmelczer’s album “A Poshiter Yid,” Hentalach is in a genre all its own, uplifting Jews and raising the spirits of participants at simchos and events across the globe. A bright young composer, Chilu Posen, has created a unique niggun that has been enhanced and made popular by the talent and creativity of Lipa.

Click below for a video of Hentalach:

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Congratulations to Yossi Green, master composer and musician of Sea Gate, NY, on the selection of Anovim as the Matzav Song of the Year for 5769.

Note: Every single vote that was cast was tallied by However, the votes of those who voted twice or voted for more than one song were discarded. will now conduct a raffle of all those who cast votes for the Matzav Song of the Year for 5769. One voter will be chosen as the winner of a free DVD of the newly released The Event, a beautiful concert featuring Lipa, MBD, the Pirchei Choir, Dedi, and an emotional tribute to the unforgettable Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum zt”l. The winner will be announced tomorrow here on We thank Sheya Mendlowitz for sponsoring this raffle.

Stay tuned until the next installation of Matzav Music Awards

Thanks to all of you for participating!

{Elisha Newscenter}


  1. I might have voted for anovim with the shwekey version. musically vehi was superior to the version of anovim you gave us to choose from.

    Love to know where the words of Anovim are from!! Anyone know?

  2. I hate that you feel the need to “rationalize” why Hentalach didn’t win.
    People voted for the song they wanted.

    Maybe people actually PREFER the other two songs? Why does that seem so incomprehensible to the writer? Is it because the writer is inserting his/her own personal bias?
    This is what happens when you assume 😉

  3. I think the reason why Anovim won over Vehi Sheumda is because Anovim had much more exposure here in America. I feel that the reason for this is because Vehi Sheumda is much more complicated and difficult to sing. It is therefore not song as often as Anovim.

    If people would hear Vehi Sheumda sung properly as often as they here Anovim, there is no doubt Vehi Sheumda would have won by leaps and bounds!!

  4. I agree with Vehi Sheumda Fan that Anovim won due to its bigger exposure, but not due to his reason. It is just simply a function of the calendar. Anovim has been out a year and a half already, and Vehi She’omda was just released on a studio recording for the first time last week. Yes, it was on the Shweker concert, but many people (myself included) don’t buy concert recordings, because 80-90% of the songs are the same ones already on the regular CDs, just re-sung in a different atmosphere.

  5. MBD and Yossi Green on the 8th Note cd do a terrific job of Anovim- it’s just that the particular clip of them from years ago was of poor quality.
    Yossi Green himself sounds a lot better in the second clip with Shwekey than he did years ago during that original clipping with MBD, which of course shouldn’t take away the tremendous talent of the one and only MBD.

  6. all 3 contending songs are not top songs all though there is hype and its played a lot most music lovers and those that understand music hate these songs its the air head concert goers and teen agers who are the ones voting on it.
    Anovim is popular because of its interesting words and message most ppl don’t even know all the words, the tune itself is not hartzig and does not elevate the soul it dosent work for kedusha or any other part of davening.

  7. I like the Shwekey version better but I voted for anovim based on the beautiful words (as I did vehi she’amda) Mazel tov to Yossi Green!

  8. it’s from Yalkut Shimeoni:

    ???? ????? ????? ?? ???? ?? ?? ??? ????? ???? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ????? ???? ??? ???????, ??? ??? ??? ??????? ??? ????? ????

    Very inspiring