Hatikvah: The story behind the anthem

Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, predates the establishment of the Jewish state by decades. Zionist leader Theodor Herzl hated it and many of Israel’s citizens refuse to sing it. So, how did this unlikely song take the national anthem top spot? What were the alternatives? And are there any plans to change it? Join Noam Weissman as he deconstructs the music, melody and meaning behind Hatikvah.

  • Review
  • Discussion
  • Activities
  • Reflection
  • Further Learning
  1. Naftali Herz Imber wrote Hatikvah:
    • When Israel was established
    • During the Holocaust
    • In the 19th century
    • After the 6 Day War
  2. HaTikvah became the “official” anthem of the state of Israel in:
    • 2004
    • 1948
    • 1982
    • 1967
  3. True or false, there are Israelis who feel that the anthem is not inclusive of them.
  4. Who said the following quote: “pessimists and optimists die the same death but they live very different lives”
    • David Ben Gurion
    • Shimon Peres
    • Menachem Begin
    • Benjamin Netanyahu
  1. What’s more important in a national anthem: that it includes all of its citizens, or that it embodies the spirit upon which the country was founded and that it strives to maintain?
  2. Imagine that you are the president of a new country and are seeking the perfect national anthem to fit it. What elements, ideas and sentiments do you include?
  3. In reflecting more on the words of “HaTikvah” and thinking more deeply about the way the anthem has penetrated the hearts and souls of Jewish people for over a century, in what ways do you identify with and internalize the lyrics and meaning of the anthem?
  4. As a Jew living outside of Israel, does “Hatikvah” have particular significance to you even though you do not live in Israel? If so, how?
  5. When seeing that some people have a problem with “Hatikvah,” do you feel empathy for them or feel frustrated by them, and why?
  1. Hatikvah Kahoot!
  2. Lead a podcast listening party. Download our PDF Guide

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