Hatikva means "HOPE".
"As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,
With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,
Then our hope - the two-thousand-year-old hope - will not be lost:
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem."
This song was written by Naphtali Herz Imber in 1886, a poet from Bohemia living in England at the time. It is now Israel's National Anthem.
Below is the song sung by survivors just liberated from the German concentration camp, Bergen Belsen on April 20, 1945. It was a recording just recovered by the Smithsonian Center for American Folklife. It was sung at their first Sabbath service while around them lie corpses on the ground as living people were lying down and dying. While trying to sing they were sobbing.
Twenty-four days and 3 years later, Israel was re-born on May 14, 1948. The process to become a state started much earlier, like with Chaim Weizmann and his knowledge of chemistry which helped to win the WWI. The pogroms in Russia caused leadership to arise and look for a place to hang their hat and call home once again, but it took much time to evolve. They quickly learned that the only home that would do was our original one that we were led to by G-d, that land now lying in what was being called Palestine, and it just happened to be lying fallow and up for grabs.
The trial of Dryfus was another catalyst in France. A good soldier was tried and found guilty just because he was Jewish and a useful scapegoat. These were some major events that happened since 70AD when Jews were forced to wander all over the earth settling in one place only to be forced out, which even happened in England.
Little did they realize that Nazis would try to exterminate a whole people. The state of Israel was not to become a reality until after the 2nd war. Jews went from being relocated and held in one section of Russia called the "Pale of Settlement", not allowed out without special passes, to being in the Warsaw Ghetto of Poland and slaughtered in mass and all the gas chambers in concentration camps.
We have gone to being granted the Jewish National Home in Palestine by WWI's British mandated legalists to find we must settle for a tiny section of that land only to be attacked while it was announced and in coming years in many wars from all sides.
We have gone through a massive war in 1967 attacked by all the neighboring states and won, not only from the attack but gained back Gaza and parts of ancient Israel of Judea and Samaria as well as the eastern part of Jerusalem all held illegally by Jordan. We have seen the nations deplore our right to this land even though we left Gaza completely for the sake of making peace which didn't happen. Instead it's a handy place to kill us from.
We are seeing certain Christian groups turn against us in a fight without bullets but are trying to harm us just as much. Anti-semitism has reared its ugly head to join the masses.
We haven't been granted much peace, even by the bombastic UN who has done little for this fledgling country, but we haven't given up hope! Am Israel Chai! The people of Israel live.
Victor Sharpe-sending me the website