Hatikvah

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For the political party, see Hatikva (political party). For the Tel Aviv neighbourhood, see Hatikva Quarter.
הַתִּקְוָה
English: The Hope
HaTikvah
Hatikva.svg
The lyrics of 'Hatikvah' above a half transparent flag of Israel.

National anthem of  Israel
Lyrics Naphtali Herz Imber, 1878
Music Samuel Cohen, 1888
Adopted 1897 (First Zionist Congress)
1948 (unofficially)
2004 (officially)
Music sample

"Hatikvah" (Hebrew: הַתִּקְוָה, pronounced [hatikˈva], lit. English: "The Hope") is the national anthem of Israel. Its lyrics are adapted from a poem by Naftali Herz Imber, a Jewish poet from Złoczów, then part of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, Austria-Hungary, (today, Zolochiv, Ukraine). Imber wrote the first version of the poem in 1877, while the guest of a Jewish scholar in Iași, Romania. The romantic anthem's theme reflects the Jews' 2000-year-old hope of returning to the Land of Israel, restoring it, and reclaiming it as a sovereign nation.

History[edit]

Lyrics[edit]

The text of Hatikvah was written in 1878 by Naphtali Herz Imber, a Jewish poet from Zolochiv, a city often referred to by its nickname "The City of Poets",[1] in the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, Austro-Hungary, today Zolochiv, Ukraine. Imber emigrated to Ottoman Palestine in the early 1880s and lived in two or more of the first Jewish colonies. The foundation of Hatikvah is Imber's nine-stanza poem named Tikvatenu [Our Hope] . In this poem Imber puts into words his thoughts and feelings in the wake of the establishment of Petah Tikva, one of the first Jewish settlements in Ottoman Palestine. Published in Imber's first book Barkai [The Shining Morning Star], Jerusalem, 1886 , the poem was subsequently adopted as an anthem by the "Hovevei Zion" and later by the Zionist Movement at the First Zionist Congress in 1897. The text was later revised by the settlers of Rishon LeZion, subsequently undergoing a number of other changes.

Before the establishment of the State of Israel[edit]

The British Mandate government briefly banned its public performance and broadcast from 1919, in response to an increase in Arab anti-Zionist political activity.[2]

A former member of the Sonderkommando reports that the song was spontaneously sung by Czech Jews in the entryway to the Auschwitz-Birkenau gas chamber in 1944. While singing they were beaten by Waffen-SS guards.[3]

Adoption as national anthem[edit]

When the State of Israel was established in 1948, Hatikvah was unofficially proclaimed the national anthem. However, it did not officially become the national anthem until November 2004, when it was sanctioned by the Knesset in an amendment to the Flag and Coat-of-Arms Law (now renamed the Flag, Coat-of-Arms, and National Anthem Law).

In its modern rendering, the official text of the anthem incorporates only the first stanza and refrain of the original poem. The predominant theme in the remaining stanzas is the establishment of a sovereign and free nation in the Land of Israel, a hope largely seen as fulfilled with the founding of the State of Israel.

Music[edit]

The melody for Hatikvah derives from La Mantovana, a 16th-century Italian song, composed by Giuseppe Cenci (Guiseppino del Biado) ca. 1600 with the text "Fuggi, fuggi, fuggi da questo cielo". Its earliest known appearance in print was in the del Biado's collection of madrigals. It was later known in early 17th-century Italy as Ballo di Mantova . This melody gained wide currency in Renaissance Europe, under various titles, such as the Pod Krakowem (folk song) (in Polish) , Cucuruz cu frunza-n sus [Maize with up-standing leaves] (in Romanian)  and the Kateryna Kucheryava (in Ukrainian) .[4] This melody was also famously used by the Czech composer Bedřich Smetana in his symphonic poem celebrating Bohemia, Má vlast, as Vltava (Die Moldau).

The adaptation of the music for Hatikvah was done by Samuel Cohen in 1888. Cohen himself recalled many years later that he had hummed Hatikvah based on the melody from the song he had heard in Romania, Carul cu boi [The Ox Driven Cart] .

The harmony of Hatikvah follows a minor scale, which is often perceived as mournful in tone and is rarely encountered in national anthems. There is a modulating shift to Major key as the words Tikvatenu and Hatikva appear, both mingled with a romantic octave leap which gives new dramatic energy to the melodic line. As the title "The Hope" and the words suggest, the import of the song is optimistic and the overall spirit uplifting.

Official text[edit]

The official text of the national anthem corresponds to the first stanza and amended refrain of the original nine-stanza poem by Naftali Herz Imber. Along with the original Hebrew, the corresponding transliteration[a] and English translation are listed below.

Hebrew Transliteration English translation
כֹּל עוֹד בַּלֵּבָב פְּנִימָה Kol ‘od balevav penimah As long as in the heart, within,
נֶפֶשׁ יְהוּדִי הוֹמִיָּה Nefesh yehudi homiyah, A Jewish soul still yearns,
וּלְפַאֲתֵי מִזְרָח, קָדִימָה, Ul(e)fa’atei mizrach kadimah, And onward, towards the ends of the east,
עַיִן לְצִיּוֹן צוֹפִיָּה, ‘Ayin letziyon tzofiyah; An eye still gazes toward Zion;
 
עוֹד לֹא אָבְדָה תִּקְוָתֵנוּ, ‘Od lo avdah tikvateinu, Our hope is not yet lost,
הַתִּקְוָה בַּת שְׁנוֹת אַלְפַּיִם Hatikvah bat sh(e)not ’alpayim, The hope of two thousand years,
לִהְיוֹת עַם חָפְשִׁי בְּאַרְצֵנוּ, Lihyot ‘am chofshi b(e)’artzeinu, To be a free people in our land,
אֶרֶץ צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם. ’Eretz-Tziyon viy(e)rushalayim. The land of Zion and Jerusalem.
BBC recording from 20 April 1945 of Jewish survivors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp singing Hatikvah, only five days after their liberation by Allied forces. The words sung are from the original poem by Imber.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Some people compare the first line of the refrain, “Our hope is not yet lost” (“עוד לא אבדה תקוותנו”), to the opening of the Polish national anthem, Poland Is Not Yet Lost (Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła), or to the Ukrainian national anthem, Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished (Ще не вмерла Україна; Šče ne vmerla Ukrajina). This line may also be a Biblical allusion to Ezekiel’s “Vision of the Dried Bones” (Ezekiel 37: “…Behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost”), describing the despair of the Jewish people in exile, and God’s promise to redeem them and lead them back to the Land of Israel.

The official text of Hatikvah is relatively short; indeed it is a single complex sentence, consisting of two clauses: the subordinate clause posits the condition (“As long as… A soul still yearns… And… An eye still watches…”), while the independent clause specifies the outcome (“Our hope is not yet lost… To be a free nation in our own land”).

Text of Tikvateinu by Naftali Herz Imber[edit]

Below is the full text of the original nine-stanza poem Tikvateinu by Naftali Herz Imber. The current version of the Israeli national anthem corresponds to the first stanza of this poem and the amended refrain.

Hebrew Transliteration English translation
–I–
כל עוד בלבב פנימה Kol-‘od balevav penimah As long as in the heart, within,
נפש יהודי הומיה, Nefesh yehudi homiyah, A Jewish soul still yearns,
ולפאתי מזרח קדימה, Ul(e)fa’atei mizrach kadimah, And onward, towards the ends of the east,
עין לציון צופיה; ‘Ayin letziyon tzofiyah; An eye still looks toward Zion;
 
חזרה   Refrain
עוד לא אבדה תקותנו, ‘Od lo avdah tikvateinu, Our hope is not yet lost,
התקוה הנושנה, Hatikvah hannoshanah, The ancient hope,
לשוב לארץ אבותינו, Lashuv le’eretz avoteinu, To return to the land of our fathers,
לעיר בה דוד חנה. La‘ir bah david k'hanah. The city where David encamped.
 
–II–
כל עוד דמעות מעינינו Kol ‘od dema‘ot me‘eineinu As long as tears from our eyes
יזלו כגשם נדבות, Yizzelu kegeshem nedavot, Flow like benevolent rain,
ורבבות מבני עמנו Urevavot mibbenei ‘ammeinu And throngs of our countrymen
עוד הולכים על קברי אבות; ‘Od hol(e)chim ‘al kivrei avot; Still pay homage at the graves of (our) fathers;
 
חזרה   Refrain
 
–III–
כל עוד חומת מחמדינו Kol-‘od chomat mach(a)maddeinu As long as our precious Wall
לעינינו מופעת, Le‘eineinu mofa‘at, Appears before our eyes,
ועל חרבן מקדשנו Ve‘al churban mikdasheinu And over the destruction of our Temple
עין אחת עוד דומעת; ‘Ayin achat ‘od doma‘at; An eye still wells up with tears;
 
חזרה   Refrain
 
–IV–
כל עוד מי הירדן בגאון Kol ‘od mei hayarden bega’on As long as the waters of the Jordan
מלא גדותיו יזלו, Melo’ gedotav yizzolu, In fullness swell its banks,
ולים כנרת בשאון Uleyam kinneret besha’on And (down) to the Sea of Galilee
בקול המולה יפֹלו; Bekol hamulah yippolu; With tumultuous noise fall;
 
חזרה   Refrain
 
–V–
כל עוד שם עלי דרכים Kol ‘od sham ‘alei drachayim As long as on the barren highways
שער יכת שאיה, Sha‘ar yukkat she’iyah, The humbled city gates mark,
ובין חרבות ירושלים Uvein charvot yerushalayim And among the ruins of Jerusalem
עוד בת ציון בוכיה; ‘Od bat tziyon bochiyah; A daughter of Zion still cries;
 
חזרה   Refrain
 
–VI–
כל עוד דמעות טהורות Kol ‘od dema‘ot tehorot As long as pure tears
מעין בת עמי נוזלות, Me‘ein bat ‘ammi nozlot, Flow from the eye of a daughter of my nation,
ולבכות לציון בראש אשמורות Velivkot letziyon berosh ’ashmorot And to mourn for Zion at the watch of night
עוד תקום בחצי הלילות; ‘Od takum bachatzi halleilot; She still rises in the middle of the nights;
 
חזרה   Refrain
 
–VII–
כל עוד נטפי דם בעורקינו Kol ‘od nitfei dam be‘orkeinu As long as drops of blood in our veins
רצוא ושוב יזלו Ratzo’ vashov yizzolu, Flow back and forth,
ועלי קברות אבותינו Va‘alei kivrot avoteinu And upon the graves of our fathers
עוד אגלי טל יפלו; ‘Od eglei tal yippolu; Dewdrops still fall;
 
חזרה   Refrain
 
–VIII–
כל עוד רגש אהבת הלאום Kol ‘od regesh ahavat halle’om As long as the feeling of love of nation
בלב היהודי פועם, Beleiv hayhudi po‘eim, Throbs in the heart of the Jew,
עוד נוכל קוות גם היום ‘Od nuchal kavvot gam hayyom We can still hope even today
כי עוד ירחמנו אל זועם; Ki ‘od yerachmeinu ’eil zo‘eim; That a wrathful God may still have mercy on us;
 
חזרה   Refrain
 
–IX–
שמעו אחי בארצות נודִי Shim‘u achai be’artzot nudi Hear, O my brothers in the lands of exile,
את קול אחד חוזינו, Et kol achad chozeinu, The voice of one of our visionaries,
כי רק עם אחרון היהודִי Ki rak ‘im acharon hayhudi (Who declares) That only with the very last Jew —
גם אחרית תקותנו! Gam acharit tikvateinu! Only there is the end of our hope!
 
חזרה   Refrain
–X– (unofficial)
לֵךְ עַמִּי, לְשָׁלוֹם שׁוּב לְאַרְצֶךָ, Lech ʻammi, leshalom shuv le’artzecha Go, my people, return in peace to your land
הַצֱּרִי בְגִלְעָד, בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם רוֹפְאֶךָ, Hatzeri vegilʻad, biYrushalayim rofecha The balm in Gilead, your healer in Jerusalem,
רוֹפְאֶךָ יְיָ, חָכְמַת לְבָבוֹ, rofecha YY (adonai), chochmat levavo Your healer is God, the wisdom of His heart,
לֵךְ עַמִּי לְשָׁלוֹם, וּרְפוּאָה קְרוֹבָה לָבוֹא... lech ʻammi leshalom, ur(e)fuʼah k(e)rovah lavoʼ...` Go my people in peace, healing is imminent...

Alternate proposals and objections[edit]

Religious objections to Hatikvah[edit]

Main article: HaEmunah

Some observant Jews object to Hatikvah on the grounds that the anthem is too secular and lacks sufficient religious emphasis, such as not mentioning God or the Torah. Thus, some religious Zionists have altered the song by switching the word "חופשי" (free, which in modern Hebrew can allude to a secular Jew being free of mitzvot) with the word "קודש" (holy), thus reading the line: "To be a holy nation", referring to the verse in Exodus 19:6 "וְאַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ לִי מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּהֲנִים וְגוֹי קָדוֹש" (you shall be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation).

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook objected to the secular thrust of Hatikvah and wrote an alternative anthem titled “HaEmunah” ("The Faith") in the hope that it would replace Hatikvah as the Israeli national anthem. Rav Kook did not object to the singing of Hatikvah (and in fact endorsed it) as he had great respect for secular Jews, indicating that even in their work it was possible to see a level of kedushah (holiness).[5]

Objections by non-Jewish Israelis[edit]

Some Arab Israelis object to Hatikvah due to its explicit allusions to Judaism. In particular, the text’s reference to the yearnings of “a Jewish soul” is often cited as preventing non-Jews from personally identifying with the anthem. In 2001, Saleh Tarif, the first Arab appointed to the Israeli cabinet in Israel's history, refused to sing "Hatikvah".[6] Ghaleb Majadale, who in January 2007 became the first Muslim to be appointed as a minister in the Israeli cabinet, sparked a controversy when he publicly refused to sing the anthem, stating that the song was written for Jews only.[7] In 2012, Salim Joubran, an Israeli Arab justice on Israel's Supreme Court, did not join in singing "Hatikva" during a ceremony honoring the retirement of the court's chief justice, Dorit Beinisch[8]

From time to time proposals have been made to change the national anthem or to modify the text in order to make it more acceptable to non-Jewish Israelis.[9][10] To date no such proposals have succeeded in gaining broad support.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In the transliterations that appear on this page, a right quote (’) is used to represent the Hebrew letter aleph (א) when used as a consonant, while a left quote (‘) is used to represent the Hebrew letter ‘ayin (ע). The letter e in parentheses, (e), indicates a schwa that should theoretically be voiceless, but is usually pronounced as a very short e in modern Israeli Hebrew. In contrast, the letter a in parentheses, (a), indicates a very short a that should theoretically be pronounced, but is usually not voiced in modern Israeli Hebrew.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weiss, Jakob (2011), The Lemberg Mosaic, New York: Alderbrook, p. 59 .
  2. ^ Morris, B (1999), Righteous victims: a history of the Zionist-Arab conflict, 1881–1999, Knopf .
  3. ^ Gilbert, Shirli, Music in the Holocaust: Confronting Life in the Nazi Ghettos and Camps, p. 154 .
  4. ^ IV. Musical examples: Baroque and classic eras; Torban Tuning and repertoire, Torban .
  5. ^ Kook, Rav, Response to Hatikvah, "In more recent years, some Israeli Mizrahi (Eastern) Jews have criticized the song's western perspective. For Iraqi and Persian Jews, for example, the Land of Israel was in the west, and it was to this direction that they focused their prayers." 
  6. ^ "Not All Israeli Arabs Cheer Appointment of Druse Minister". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2001-03-06. Retrieved 2012-04-26. "It is the Jewish anthem, it is not the anthem of the non-Jewish citizens of Israel." 
  7. ^ "Majadele refuses to sing national anthem". Ynet News. 2007-03-17. Retrieved 2007-05-09. "I fail to understand how an enlightened, sane Jew allows himself to ask a Muslim person with a different language and culture, to sing an anthem that was written for Jews only." 
  8. ^ Bronner, Ethan (3 March 2012). "Anger and Compassion for Arab Justice Who Stays Silent During Zionist Hymn". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Philologos. "Rewriting 'Hatikvah' as Anthem for All". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Carlebach, Neshama. "An Anthem For All?". The Jewish Daily Forward (recording). Retrieved 29 April 2012. . A proposed modified version.

External links[edit]