Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I was at my kid's school this morning for a ceremony, and of course they ended it with singing ha-Tikvah.

I have heard quite a few national anthems in my life (I used to watch the Olympics religiously), but I don't think I have ever heard one as unique and beautiful as this. For one thing, unlike many anthems, which glorify violence, struggle and superiority, ours is focused on hope. And the music reflects the sentiment of the words. It is not brassy, pompous, self-aggrandizing - it is plaintive, a little melancholy, the song of a people that have suffered way too long, but have not given up hope.

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.


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