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Hatikva, the National Anthem

Israel's national anthem, "Hatikvah" ("The Hope"), is about the hope of the Jews to return to Israel, the land of their forefathers, after 2,000 years of exile caused by the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE.

The first version of the text - originally called "Tikvatnu" - was a poem written by the Galician poet Naftali Hertz Imber around 1878, several years before he moved to the Land of Israel. By the time he left in 1888, Rishon-le-Zion's pioneers spread the word about his poem, which had become a song.

It was first published in Jerusalem in 1886.

The melody was later composed by Samuel Cohen, who based it on a Moldavian-Romanian folk song called “Carul cu Boi” (Cart and Oxen). It rapidly spread in the Land of Israel as part of the new Hebrew songs and folk dances.

In 1901, "Tikvenu" was sung for the first time during the Fifth Zionist Congress. In 1905, at the end of the Seventh Congress, a revised and shortened version of "Tikvenu" called "Hatikva" was sung.

In 1933, during the 18th Congress, the Hatikva song was declared the Zionist Anthem.

After the declaration of Independence in 1948, "Hatikva" was naturally accepted as Israel's Anthem, but became the official National Anthem only in 2004, after being legislated in the new version of the Flag and Emblem Law called the Flag, Emblem and National Anthem Law.


"As long as deep in the heart,

The soul of a Jew yearns,

And forward to the East

To Zion, an eye looks

Our hope will not be lost,

The hope of two thousand years,

To be a free nation in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem."

You can see in the following video an explanation of the "Hatikva" melody's origins, and its path in history to become the National Anthem of Israel.



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