As long as deep in the heart,
The soul of a Jew yearns,
And towards the East,
An eye looks to Zion,
Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.
HaTiqvah (literally “The Hope”) is the national anthem of Israel. The words were written by Naphtali Herz Imber, a secular Galician Jew from Zolochiv (located today in Lviv Oblast, Ukraine), who moved to Palestine in 1882. The music was written by Samuel Cohen, an immigrant from Moldavia, who based the melody on a musical theme in Smetana’s “Moldau.” The anthem’s theme revolves around the nearly 2000-year-old hope of the Jewish people to be a free and sovereign people in Eretz Israel, a national dream that would eventually be realized with the founding of the modern nation of Israel. When the State of Israel was established as an independent nation in 1948, HaTiqvah was adopted by most Israelis as their unofficial national anthem. It was made the official national anthem by the Knesset in November, 2004.
Lyrics and video courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State of Israel