views updated


The Zionist anthem, unofficial national anthem of the State of Israel.

"Ha-Tikva"based on a poem written in Jassy, Romania, by Naphtali Herz Imber (18561909)was formally declared the Zionist anthem at the Eighteenth Zionist Congress in 1933, and it was sung at the opening and closing of the ceremonial Declaration of the State of Israel in 1948. It is sung at communal events across the Jewish diaspora, generally alongside the local national anthem. By contrast, its status in Israel has been more debated, particularly with the increasing recognition that Arab citizens do not necessarily identify with the hope of "the Jewish soul" referred to in the words.

The original poem, entitled "Our Hope" (Tikvatenu), was inspired by the founding of the Petah Tikvah settlement in 1878. Closely echoing Psalm 126 (a feature of the Sabbath liturgy expressing the Jewish desire to return to Zion), the words were revised, set to music, and then adapted by the Zionist movement. In 1882 Samuel Cohen, a settler of Rishon le-Zion originally from Moldavia, composed the melody, based on a Moldavian-Romanian folk song"Carul cu Boi" (Cart and oxen)also used in Bedrich Smetana's opera Moldau.


Edelman, Marsha Bryan. Discovering Jewish Music. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2003.

Ginor, Zvia. "Is There Hope for Hatikvah? Text, Context, Pretext." Yakar Le'Mordecai (1999): 167185.

george r. wilkes