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How a TikTok Song Became Israel’s War Anthem

By Randy Pinsky

Social media clips depicting the return of Israeli soldiers from the war in Gaza often have a common background song; one that has become ubiquitous to the reunions. The crescendo in the music perfectly matches the reaction from their families when they walk in, making it a powerful and evocative melody.

But where did the song come from? And how did it become associated with the Israel-Hamas war?

From Unknown to Top on the Charts

Israeli Tiktok singer and pop music artist Yigal Oshri launched his singing career in 2020, making his mark with his distinctive sound and unique combination of R&B, hip-hop and electronic genres. Singles like “Nobody’s Perfect” and “Not Always Right” gained some attention, but nothing career breaking.  

In 2023, Oshri signed with the Liam Productions record company led by singer Eyal Golan. It was in August of that year that he would release Latzet Medika’on” (“Get Out of Depression”). The song resonated with a society torn apart by the October 7 massacre, and it soon became iconic with the Iron Swords Israel-Hamas war, being ranked as one of Israel’s top ten songs of the year. 

Offering Hope in Challenging Times

What is it about Latzet Medika’on which strikes a chord in its listeners?

Many would describe the song as the ‘war anthem,’ offering hope when it is most needed. Oshri’s haunting voice “full of sincerity and intention” would become the song of choice for videos of wartime reunions shared on social media.  

The guiding refrain of “there will be good days to come- I promise” is eerily fitting, despite the song having been written three months before the conflict. Particularly poignant is the line, “even in the dark hours of the night, there will always be a little star that will light the way home for you.”

From TikTok to International Fame

In addition to continuing to write songs, Oshri has been in over ninety performances for soldiers, families evacuated from danger zones, and at memorials. His commitment to provide comfort for others comes from being directly affected as his brother’s partner Kim Dukarker was murdered at the Nova music festival. When interviewed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, he said that “every time he sings the song, in his heart he dedicates it to Dukarker.”

As of December 2023, the song had been featured in 17,000 TikTok videos, mostly of reunions, providing many with needed strength, comfort and connection. It has also been streamed more than 3.5 million times on Spotify, “making Oshri the second-most listened-to Israeli artist.”

The Power of Song

“Latzet Medika’on” joins a long tradition of iconic Israeli songs written to boost spirits in challenging contexts. These include the classic “Yihye Tov” (“Things Will Get Better”) by David Broza and Yonatan Geffen in 1977, written on the eve of peace negotiations with Egypt. “Anachnu Na’avor” (“We Shall Pass”) by Yehiel Mohar and Moshe Wilensky moreover, was written during the Six-Day War in 1967, however the song most associated with that conflict was Naomi Shemer’s[1] “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav” (“Jerusalem of Gold”)[2].

“Music can produce shared allegiances and feelings of unity,” shared Murray Forman, professor of Media and Screen Studies at Boston’s Northeastern University. “In times of extreme crisis, people turn to…music… [in] an attempt to stabilize their emotions [so they can] continue and persist.”

For instance, Skylar Grey’s “I’m Coming Home” is often used in videos of returning American soldiers. The song was recently adapted for the hostages still held in Gaza. Sung by Shiri Maimon in Jerusalem before 240 beams of light (each representing a hostage), it is a collective wish for their safe and prompt returns. 

A Melody of Hope

Whenever Oshri performs “Latzet Medika’on”, he thinks of the families torn apart in the war. “It’s Israel’s song,” he maintained. “I feel like G-d gave me a mission.”

“It’s the song our nation has chosen to listen to.” 



[1] “Lu Yehi” by Naomi Shemer was originally intended to be a Hebrew version of the Beatles’ famed “Let It Be” however upon its translation, she realized the title had a completely different meaning. Instead of “Let it be'', it is a wistful, “Let there be.” The change transformed the song into a prayer for peace, particularly when the 1973 Yom Kippur war broke out two months later. “Rather than Paul McCartney’s acceptance of what is, Shemer call[ed] out for what could be,” a much more proactive message. 

[2] Discussing the historical reunification of Jerusalem. 

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