Shalom chaverim / Farewell, Good Friends


Shalom chaverim is a beautiful Israeli folk song that can be sung as a simple melody or as a three-part round. While literally translated "Peace, friends," the word shalom has more depth and richness of meaning than can be contained in any single English word. Hebrew scholars suggest something closer to "comprehensive well being" but that's difficult to set to music. 

Begin by inviting the community to repeat the text in Hebrew. Line out the melody until the group is confident, then divide the group and try it as a round. Leaders will often invite a step or swing from side to side, accenting the buoyant rhythm of the tune.

The piece is useful as a welcoming, blessing, or sending song, and is a wonderful way to invite the group to connect visually or kinesthetically through gentle bows, handshakes, high fives, fist bumps, or hugs. 

The Rev. Sylvia Miller-Mutia has written a thoughtful blog post about how she shares the song in her context.

Hebrew:
Shalom, chaverim.

Shalom, chaverim.
Shalom, shalom.
L'hitraot, l'hitraot,
Shalom, shalom.

English singing translation:
Farewell, my friends. 
Farewell, my friends. 
Shalom, shalom.
Till we meet again, till we meet again.
Shalom, shalom.


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