This video dives into the history of Israel’s iconic national anthem, HaTikvah. While some students may be familiar with these words, do they know their meaning, or the anthem’s complex backstory? Originally a nine-stanza poem, HaTikvah’s melody may have been lifted from an earlier Italian or Czech song. Today, HaTikvah both inspires and irritates. It is an aspirational anthem, which connects Jews around the world, and it also alienates others who do not connect to the themes. This episode begs the important question: What’s more important in a national anthem- that it include all of its citizens or that it embody the spirit upon which the country was founded and that it strives to maintain?
Watch this video and use the prompts to dig deeply into an intriguing piece of history and foster meaningful contemporary discussion.