• Issue: July 1978
  • Designer: D. Cohen
  • Stamp size: 20 x 51.4 mm
  • Plate no.: 546
  • Sheet of 20 stamps Tabs: 10
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

The text of the national anthem of Israel was written by the itinerant Hebrew scholar and poet Naftali Herz Imber (b. 1856, in Ziocow, Galicia; d. 1909 in New York) and was published for the first time in Jerusalem in 1878 under the title "Tikvatenu" (Our Hope). It was adopted as the hymn of the "Hovevel Zion" movement and sung at the 6th Zionist Congress in 1903 but became the official Zionist hymn only at the 18th Congress in 1933.

After the proclamation of independence, it was granted the status of national anthem by parliamentary resolution, as the most popular song among Jews everywhere and the familiar symbol of their traditional aspirations. Even before the foundation of the State, at the suggestion of Dr. Matmon-Cohen, founder of the "Herzlia" gymnasium, the second stanza was amended to express the 2000 year old hope of becoming a free people in the ancient homeland, instead of stressing the Return to Zion, "to the city in which David dwelt".

"As long as still a Jewish heart Beats in a Jewish breast, As Jewish eyes in longing smart To find in Zion rest..."

Thus starts the song which for a hundred years has affirmed the unbreakable bond between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. The melody has been ascribed to Samuel Cohen. a pioneer settler of Rishon Leziyyon. However, Peter E. Gra denwitz, in his book "The Music of Israel", quotes a personal acquaintance of Imber's to the effect that the latter had borrowed it from a composition by the famous cantor Nissan Beizer. In any case, the theme is similar to those commonly found in Spanish singing, possibly of Oriental origin, and used in Smetana's "Vitava", as well as in Eastern European melodies.

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