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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.
Kol ode balevav
The title of the national anthem, HATIKVA, means "The Hope." It was written by Naftali Herz Imber (1856-1909), who moved to Palestine in 1882 from Galicia. The melody was arranged by Samuel Cohen, an immigrant from Moldavia, from a musical theme in Smetana's "Moldau" that is partly based on a Scandinavian folk song.
HaTikva expresses the hope of the Jewish people, that they would someday return to the land of their forefathers as prophesied in the Hebrew Bible. The Jewish people were exiled from Israel in 70 C.E. by the Roman army led by Titus who destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem. During the two thousand years of exile, the Jewish people said special daily prayers for return to Israel while facing the East in the direction of Jerusalem. They celebrated the holidays according to Hebrew seasons and calendar. Zion is synonymous with Israel and Jerusalem (Source of this info: Science.co.il).
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