כֹּל עוֹד בַּלֵּבָב פְּנִימָה
Kol ‘od baleivav penimah
As long as in the heart, within
נֶפֶשׁ יְהוּדִי הוֹמִיָּה
Nefesh Yehudi homiyah
A Jewish soul still yearns,
וּלְפַאֲתֵי מִזְרָח, קָדִימָה
Ul(e)fa’atei mizrach kadimah,
And onward, towards the ends of the east,
עַיִן לְצִיּוֹן צוֹפִיָּה
‘Ayin leTziyon tzofiyah;
an eye still gazes toward Zion;
עוֹד לֹא אָבְדָה תִּקְוָתֵנוּ
‘Od lo avdah tikvateinu,
Our hope is not yet lost,
הַתִּקְוָה בַּת שְׁנוֹת אַלְפַּיִם
Hatikvah bat sh(e)not ’alpayim
The hope two thousand years old,
לִהְיוֹת עַם חָפְשִׁי בְּאַרְצֵנוּ
Lihyot ‘am chofshi b(e)’artzeinu
To be a free nation in our land
אֶרֶץ צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם
The land of Zion and Jerusalem
“Hatikvah” (English: “The Hope”) is a 19th century Jewish poem and the national anthem of Israel. Its lyrics are adapted from a poem by Naftali Herz Imber, a Jewish poet from Złoczów (today Zolochiv, Ukraine), which was then in the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria under Austrian rule. Imber wrote the first version of the poem in 1877, while he was a guest of a Jewish scholar in Iași, Romania. The theme of the romantic composition reflects the Jews’ 2,000-year-old hope of returning to the Land of Israel, restoring it, and reclaiming it as a free and sovereign nation.
When the State of Israel was established in 1948, “Hatikvah” was unofficially proclaimed the national anthem. It did not officially become the national anthem until November 2004, when an abbreviated and edited version was sanctioned by the Knesset in an amendment to the Flag and Coat-of-Arms Law.
In its modern rendering, the official text of the anthem incorporates only the first stanza and refrain of the original poem. The predominant theme in the remaining stanzas is the establishment of a sovereign and free nation in the Land of Israel, a hope largely seen as fulfilled with the founding of the State of Israel.
Some religious Jews have criticised “Hatikvah” for its lack of religious emphasis: There is no mention of God or the Torah.