The words to Hatikvah (The Hope) were written by Naphtali Herz Imber, a Jew from present-day Ukraine, and the music is most likely based on the melody of a Romanian folk song. It was written before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and did not become the official anthem until 2004, though it had been the de facto anthem for decades.
Unlike most other national anthems, it is played in a minor scale, and is sometimes thought of as mournful in tone, despite the title's reference to hope.
Kol ‘od balleivav penimah
Nefesh yehudi homiyah,
Ul(e)fa’atei mizrach kadimah,
‘Ayin letziyon tzofiyah;
‘Od lo avdah tikvateinu,
Hatikvah bat shnot alpayim,
Lihyot ‘am chofshi be’artzeinu,
כל עוד בלבב פנימה
נפש יהודי הומיה,
ולפאתי מזרח, קדימה,
עין לציון צופיה;
עוד לא אבדה תקותנו,
התקוה בת שנות אלפים,
להיות עם חפשי בארצנו,
ארץ ציון וירושלים.
As long as in the heart, within,
A Jewish soul still yearns,
And onward, towards the ends of the east,
An eye still gazes toward Zion;
Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.
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