Hatikva — The Hope

A Bissel of This and That

Our thanks to David Schindler for the original topic and input.

Hatikva, what is now the National Anthem of Israel, originated as a nine-stanza poem titled “Tikvateinu” meaning “our Hope.” Written in Palestine (then controlled by the Ottoman Empire) by Naftali Herz Imber in 1886(7) and set to music by Samuel Cohen in 1888, it expresses the Jewish hope to return to the land of Zion. It asks to return after more than 2000 years to live as a free nation in peace and that G-d will still have mercy on us.

Imber began reading his poem Tikvateinu at the campfire gatherings of the Jewish Agricultural Settlements in 1887. It was greatly accepted and repeated often. After a while, the nine stanzas were shortened to the first two. It became the official anthem of the Zionist Movement in 1897.

It continued to flourish through the years, even though some people (both Jews and Non-Jews) objected to it. During WWII it could be heard being sung at night in some concentration camps. It was openly sung in the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp at the first Sabbath service after its liberation.

Unofficially adopted in 1948 as the national anthem of the newly formed State of Israel, it wasn’t officially made the anthem until November 10, 2004 when the Knesset formally amended the Flag, Coat of Arms and National Anthem Law of 1949.

Our hope for peace continues today, not only for Israel but for the entire world during these times of great stress brought on by the Pandemic, and political and social unrest.

English Translation of Hatikva:

“As long as in the heart within,
The Jewish soul yearns,
And toward the eastern edges, onward,
An eye gazes toward Zion.
Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope that is two-thousand years old,
To be a free nation in our land,
The Land of Zion, Jerusalem.”

Hatikva Video:

Sources: Knesset.Gov; Wikipedia: Jewish Virtual Library; HonestReporting.com