Given my recent trip to ארץ ישראל, I thought that I would offer the Israeli anthem, which means “the hope.” The song reminded me of one of my favorite pieces, “Vltava,” from Smetana’s Má Vlast. I discovered that both works owe some of their beauty to an Italian Renaissance tune, “La Mantovana.”
Hatikva is not as sublime as the Czech masterpiece, but it makes for a worthy anthem. You may read the poem’s words on Wikipedia.
On the long flight to Tel Aviv, I repeatedly transitioned between states of sleep and consciousness while catching glimpses of other people on the plane, hearing random conversations, and watching film sequences on personal entertainment monitors. I was particularly intrigued and confused by scenes from the neighboring monitor’s display of The Tree of Life. Then, I caught the faint sound of Smetana’s “Moldau,” and I quickly grabbed an earphone set to listen to the movie’s soundtrack. Imagine the joy of a man in a desert who happens upon a spring, and you have some idea of my psychic state at that moment.