What change was made in the song "Hatikvah" before it became the national anthem of Israel?
#109563. Asked by star_gazer. (Oct 08 09 10:39 AM)
The Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah, has been attributed to Naftali Herz Imber, but the Hatikvah that is sung today has little resemblance to the original poem written in 1878 and published in 1886.|
The poem was first published under the title of Tikvatenu (Our Hope) in Imber’s Barkai.
The inspiration of the poem is said to have been the founding of the city of Petach Tikvah (Gateway of Hope) in Israel. The themes of the poem were possibly influenced by Polish patriot songs. The Polish song, “Poland is not yet lost, while we still live,” became the Polish national anthem with the birth of the republic between the two world wars.
In 1882, Imber went to Rishon L’Zion where Tikvatenu was received with enthusiasm. Samuel Cohen, who was living in Rishon L’Zion at the time, put the poem to music based on an old Moldavian-Romanian folk song, “Carul cu Boi” (Cart and Oxen).
The Moldavian born Cohen did not receive credit due to lack of a copyright on the melody.
The pattern of the tune for Hatikvah can be recognized in many tunes that were famous in Europe at the time. Bedrich Smetana used the tune as the basis for the classical “Moldau”.
The wording went through a number of changes over the years, reflecting changes of nationalistic ideas and customs. The words “Where David once lived” were exchanged for “Zion and Jerusalem” in the choruses. The poem was cut to two verses and the chorus and the call was to be “a free nation in our own land,” not just to “live in the land of our fathers.” The accent was switched to the Sephardic pronunciation. The melody was also changed to fit the cadence and syllable stress of the new version. These changes can be traced through the various printed editions of the work such as the one from the Hebrew Publishing Company of 1909.
The first competition for the national anthem was announced in Die Welt, a German newspaper, in 1898. Another competition was called for by the Fourth Zionist Congress in the year 1900, but no song was officially chosen. In 1901, one of the sessions of the Fifth Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, ended with the singing of Hatikvah (still called Tikvatenu).
It wasn’t until 1905 that the entire Hatikvah was sung by all the delegates present at the Seventh Zionist Congress. It can be said that Hatikvah was then unofficially adopted as the Zionist anthem.
The change in question came in one of the lines actually set to music from Imber's original poem. The original is translated as: "...The ancient hope / to return to our ancestor's land / [and] the city in which David encamped..." Since only eight lines of the original poem were used for the anthem, they were rearranged to fit a better rhyme scheme, and which would be more appropriate for non-Jerusalemites as well as those who lived in the capital. The translation of the rearranged lines are: "...The hope of our two thousand years / to be a free nation in our land, / the Land of Zion and Jerusalem."|
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