Hatikvah, or “The Hope” in Hebrew, is the name of the Israel’s national anthem. It was composed by the poet Naphtali Herz Imber and first published in 1886 in Jerusalem. The lyrics of the anthem express modern Jewish aspirations for a sovereign state in Eretz Israel, the Land of Israel. Already at the fifth Zionist Congress in 1901, and also at the seventh Congress in 1905, the participants were enthusiastically singing these unforgettable words.
Hatikvah was only officially adopted in 1933 at the 18th Zionist Congress as the national anthem of the Jewish people. When the new State of Israel was born in May 1948, it quite naturally adopted the anthem from the Zionist movement which had been singing it already for over half a century.
Yet for more than five decades Hatikvah remained the unofficial anthem of the new Jewish state. Only in 2004 did the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, enact the Flag, Coat-of-Arms and National Anthem Law which legally approved Hatikvah’s final version including two stanzas with 28 words in Hebrew.