Shir LaShalom – Song of Peace


This is a lesson plan provided by the National Library of Israel.

In a country that has had to fight many wars in its short existence, the popularity of peace songs is not surprising.  Shir Lashalom, inspired by the anti-war songs of the 1960s, is written as if spoken by the fallen and calls on the country to fight for peace.  Originally performed during the 1969-70 War of Attrition,  the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, moments after he joined in singing the song at a peace rally in 1995, catapulted Shir Lashalom to renewed fame.  Despite its popularity, the song’s lyrics are regarded by some Israelis as highly controversial.  Through analysis of the lyrics and recordings of the song, as well as creation of art work to accompany the song, this resource presents thought provoking discussion questions which immerse the learners in understanding the complex background of and public response to this iconic peace song.

The learner will:


  1. understand why this song evokes a variety of strong emotional reactions
  2. know the history of the song Shir Lashalom such as, who wrote it, where it was sung, and with which events it is associated
  3. be able to express his/her reaction to the song through the creation of a poster that accompanies the song
About the National Library and its educational materials:

The mission of the National Library of Israel is to provide a home for items of national, historic or cultural significance. Each of these primary sources serve as unique entry points into the collective memory of the people of Israel as well as the Jewish people worldwide.

The education department at the library curates the collection of primary sources and uses them as windows into the past; to foster a deeper understanding of Jewish history, and to enable learners to personalize and connect to earlier events.


When you click on the National Library of Israel resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:


  1. A group activity to open the lesson and engage the learners.
  2. Discussion ideas and/or questions that are designed to get the learners thinking more deeply about the content.
  3. A creative activity that gives students the opportunity to go beyond learning and analyzing, to crafting something new, that personalizes how they relate to the  primary sources featured in the resource.
  4. The primary sources in this resource have individual links (listed in Expand your horizons below) that provide expanded information. In addition there are nuanced discussion questions that will enable students in small groups to engage independently and effectively in the process of  observing, interpreting, and connecting to the primary sources.

    Link to the lesson plan:
    Shir LaShalom – Song of Peace

Student handouts, computer, projector, art supplies

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