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Hatiqvah (Hatikva)  Definition

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Hatiqvah - (also Hatiqva, Hatikva, Hatikvah -pronounced "Hahtiq' vah ) National anthem of Israel and anthem of the Zionist movement. Hatiqvah (incorrectly transliterated hatikvah) means "The Hope." The words were written by Naftali Hertz Imber about 1878, apparently in honor of the founding of Petah Tiqva, the first new Jewish settlement. The poem was originally called Tiqvateynu (Our Hope) and had somewhat different words than the modern version. 

The figure shows what is apparently the manuscript of Tiqvatenu

Hatikva mannuscript

The original words of the refrain did not mention Jerusalem by name, but rather "the city in which David camped," and mentioned the "ancient hope" rather than the "2,000 year hope." The wording mentioned "return to the land of fathers" rather than being " a free people in our own land" The words in transliteration were:

Od  lo avda tikvateinu

hatqvah hanoshana

lashuv le'eretz avoteinu

la'ir ba david chanah.

in 1881 Imber's poetry appeared in a volume called "Barkai" published in Jerusalem. In  1882, Samuel Cohen of Rishon Le Tziyon  put Imber's words to the melody of a Rumanian-Bohemian folk tune, Carul cu Boi (Cart and Oxen).  The same folk melody can also be heard in Smetena's "Moldau."

In 1898, the Zionist organization advertised a competition for an official anthem in the newspaper, Die Welt, and again in 1900 a song was called for, but none was found. In 1901, the song that was then called Tiqvateynu was sung at a Zionist congress, and in 1905 Hatiqvah was sung by all the delegates at the seventh Zionist congress.

In the course of its evolution, the words of Hatiqva were changed slightly. The modern wording was adopted in 1933.  The accenting of the words was changed from the Ashkenazi (European) pronunciation to the Sephardic (Spanish or eastern) pronunciation which was adopted for modern Hebrew. That change necessitated a change in the melody as well.

Hatikva Pronunciation

The name of the song is pronounced "Hah tiq' vah," with the accent on the penultimate (next to last) syllable, because that is how names are pronounced in Hebrew, following the Ashkenazi (European) pronunciation. However, in the song, the word "tiqvah," meaning "hope," is accented on the last syllable, - "tiq vah' " -- because that is the accepted modern Hebrew pronunciation. In correct transliteration, Hatiqvah should be spelled with a q and with an h at the end. The accepted popular transliterated spelling is Hatikva however.

Hatikva Lyrics

The words in transliteration:

"Kol od ba levav penima
nefesh yehudi Homiyah
Ulefa'atei mizra'h kadima
Ayin le tziyon tsofiah

Od lo avda tiqvateinu
Hatiqva bat alpayim
Lihiot am 'hofshi bey'artzeynu
Eretz tsiyon viyerushalaim
Lihiot  am 'hofshi be artzeinu
Eretz tsiyon viyerushalaim

In English:

As long as deep in the heart,
A Jewish soul yearns
And to towards the ends of the east
An eye is scouting for Zion

Our hope is as yet not lost
The hope that is  2000 years old
To be a free nation, in our own country
The land of Zion and Jerusalem
To be a free nation, in our own country
The land of Zion and Jerusalem

 


Synonyms and alternate spellings: Hatiqvah, Hatiqvah, Hatikva, Hatikvah

Further Information:


Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.


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This work and individual entries are copyright 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel

 

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