New Israeli worship album to have accessible message to nonbelievers

Israeli-born worship leader Shilo Ben Hod is working on his upcoming album which will have “a new sound” and a message that will make it more relatable for nonbelievers as well.

“My heart for this album is to reach nonbelievers,” Ben Hod told Kehila News. “So the songs are more accessible to nonbelievers in a way.”

Ben Hod is a second generation sabra (Israeli born) believer who grew up in the house of prayer during his early teens and now leads prayer watches at Succat Hallel, a 24/7 house of prayer in Jerusalem. 

“Most of the songs I’ve written originated in the prayer room,” Ben Hod explained. “I just worship and pray and I receive a song. Then I start to build it.”

His upcoming album — which is due to be recorded soon — is comprised of 10 songs which were written over the past two years. Ben Hod’s first album, Ad HaYom (Until Today) was a compilation of 10 years of songwriting. 

The new recording will feature a new sound and a different message. In his songs, the 26 year old avoids using jargon that believers use in congregational settings.

“I think what’s special about my approach for worship is that I try to say things differently, to avoid using words that people who are outside the Messianic community will not understand,” Ben Hod said. “It is written in a language that some people may not be used to hearing in a worship song, and it may be controversial for some. But for me, it is just reality — this is how I worship when I’m alone with the Lord.” 

The musical style combines traditional and modern Israeli music with Messianic musicians from around the country playing on the album. There will also be English versions of some songs so non-Hebrew speakers can enjoy the music as well.

A classically trained pianist, Ben Hod said usually uses a guitar when he is leading worship.

“It is easier to be more engaged with the worship,” he said. “With the piano I think mostly about the music.”

A husband and father of one with a baby on the way, Ben Hod keeps busy. He has several freelance jobs including computer programming, digital media and equipment rentals plus a part-time position at Succat Hallel where he leads watches, helps organize conferences and works with the internship program.

In his promotional video Ben Hod said that he believes that God has called him “to be a worshiper and an intercessor, to be part of raising the worship and prayer movement in Israel, and to be a light to the nations.”

His upcoming album will be a way to make that happen. Ben Hod opened a crowdfunding page to help produce the album which will be recorded in Jerusalem at an estimated cost of $23,500.