All Together Now… Hatikva

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 The Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, was written by Naftali Hertz Imber, a Galician Jewish poet, in Zolochiv in the Ukraine in 1878 as a nine – stanza poem named “Tikvatenu” (Our Hope). The poem was an expression of Imber’s thoughts and feelings for the establishment of Petah Tikva, one of Israel’s first Jewish settlements. Following the poem’s publication as part of Imber’s first book – “morning star” (Hebrew – Barkai) the poem was adopted as the “Hoevei Zion” anthem as well as the Zionist movement anthem, , later on, in 1897, during the first Zionist Congress. The melody (of folk origin) was arranged by Samuel Cohen, a Moldavian immigrant. The lyrics were also later on revised by the Rishon LeZion settlers. The anthem’s underlying message is about “hope” the wish of attaining national independence in the Land of Israel.

 Surprisingly the Hatikva did not become the official anthem until November 2004, when it was sanctioned by the Knesset in an amendment to the “Flag and Coat-of-Arms Law” (now called “The Flag, Coat-of-Arms, and National Anthem Law”) though being Israel’s unofficial anthem upon it’s establishment as a state.

 The current Hatikva lyrics includes only the first stanza and refrain of the original poem. The most significant element in the additional stanzas is the establishment of a sovereign and free nation in the land of Israel.