Leader's Guide Shabbat Song Demo

Hinei Mah Tov – How Good It Is, How Sweet It Is – A zipper movement Song

The Hebrew words Hinei Mah Tov come from Psalm 133 one of the most popular Jewish texts.

These words have been set to countless melodies. It is likely that at least some of your community members have heard the words, but might not know their meaning. You might wish to introduce the song with a more common melody to help jog the memory of the Hebrew words.

This can help your singers be ready to participate in congregational and communal life as they grow.

Incorporate melodies and songs that are shared commonly in other areas of the community (congregational services, religious school programs, etc.) with your young learners to lay a foundation for future confident engagement with their community.



This is a “zipper” song, so there are LOTS of moves that you can do during each verse.

Some of the movements and activities that children have suggested that the community have enjoyed are:

Clapping, Stomping, Toe Tapping, Knee Patting, Blinking, Stretching, Waving, Hi-5ing, Jumping, Spinning, Crawling, Doing Ballet, Doing Yoga, Being a Robot, Zombie Walking, Blowing Kisses, Tip Toeing, Texting, Facetiming, Jumping Jacks, Planking, Snapping, Cleaning Up, Shaking Hands, Nodding, Floor Banging, Tushie Shaking, Break Dancing, and Whiteboard Cleaning.

Of course, take from this list but add your own, and ask your participants for ideas.

Teaching tip:

Sometimes kids will get frustrated if they did not have a chance to contribute their idea to the song when you were collecting ‘zipper’ ideas, so sometimes, for the last verse, I’ll announce “This last time, you are in charge of your own moves- show me your favorite way to move to the music- make your own choices this time!” and that way hurt feelings are avoided (although sometimes I respond to the protest ‘but I didn’t get a turn!’ with ‘that is true! Not everyone gets a turn every time!’).

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