I am wondering if anybody can point me to background information on the Hebrew folksong Hevenu shalom aleichem. (I think of this as an "Israeli folksong", but I am not sure if that is an accurate description.) Specifically: As far as I know there are just three words, and "shalom aleichem" is a stock Jewish greeting. Does the phrase "Hevenu shalom aleichem" appear in a scriptural or liturgical source?
- Anybody can ask a question
- Anybody can answer
- The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
closed as off-topic by Shmuel Brin, sabbahillel, Daniel, Gershon Gold, Danny Schoemann Jan 24 at 9:11
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
According to some research done by the zemereshet website, the song originated in a German cigarette company commercial ("Salam Alaikum" was its name), and performed by a Turkish band (they actually say "we smoke Salam Alaikum", and if you look at the commercial's slides, you're in for a weird experience).
Later, in 1943, the same tune was found in an American songbook for Jewish soldiers. There's some more information in the above link.
According to this book, page 194, many of the "early Israeli" folktunes such as the one you mention were influenced by the culture of the early immigrants. This song comes from roughly the same era as the popular "Hava Nagila". "Heveinu Shalom Aleichem's" tune originated from a Hassidic tune.
The words "Shalom Aleichem" are mentioned most notably as part of Kiddush Levana prayer as well as Friday night song before the meal. They are probably mentioned in the Talmud as well as other places, though, I can't think of it, now.
It's possible that liturgy may have influenced the composer to use these words to this tune, though the addition of the word "Hevienu" I don't think is found in any Biblical or Talmudic source. As the song was meant, in a sense, to convey greetings and friendship, it seems the composer appended this word.