Happy 60th IsraelMay 12, 2008
IMO, the most beautiful national anthem of the world is the Hatikvah of Israel. It has an almost ghostly clarity in its melody which speaks directly to the heart. It sounds like a song of mourning, which is strangely different from the usual fare of national anthems that usually tell of marching, victory, and bravery. What’s more ironic is that the Hatikvah is the national anthem of a country surrounded by hostile nations of which some of have sworn for its eternal destruction.
Yet instead of a call to war for its defense, Israel has the Hatikvah, which in English means The Hope. And despite having a mournful melody, Hatikvah has an uplifting lyrics that fully captures the hope of every devout Jew in the Diaspora: to be a free nation in their land. The lyrics for the song in Hebrew, English transliteration, and translation is shown in this link.
Recently, Israel celebrated its 60 years of independence, its 60 years of realizing The Hope. Yet 60 years is not enough for the nation of Israel to realize what it truly means to be the living realization of The Hope. With a diverse population consisting of 20% Arabs (9% Christians, 9% Druze, and 82% Muslims alike) and 80% Jews hailing from every corner of the world, it faces the challenge of living as a country. And with the added problems of secular and religious controversies, worldwide antisemitism, and hostile nations; it also faces the challenge of continuing to exist as a country.
Nevertheless, 60 years is still young for a country, and for every year that Israel exists as a country is also another year of realizing Hatikvah. Happy 60th Israel!!