Where but YouTube would you be able to hear a new version of a national anthem? The Forward newspaper asked Neshama Carlebach to sing Hatikvah, but not just any recording. The article was suggesting some new lyrics that could potentially be more inclusive to all Israelis of whatever creed, color or religion in a democratic society. This proposed change is not just for Arabs (not Palestinians, but Israeli Arabs), but also may resonate with other minorities now living in Israel including Christians, Bahai, Druze, Buddhists and peoples of other faiths and ethnic groups.
Neshama Carlebach, daughter of the late Shlomo Carlebach, took up the idea and has released a YouTube video with the suggested new and “old”-er texts. Of course the lyrics of this song “Hatikvah” have been changed before, and also those other famous Jewish songs, such as “Jerusalem of Gold.” Each time, these changes have come about due to changes in historic circumstances. Below is also a link to an article about the specific changes. It’s quite controversial, and has been stirring the press and pundits since Israel Independence Day. JMWC is happy to repost links to the YouTube and some articles for readers to hear and read for themselves.
A Jerusalem Post article:
Neshama herself writes:
I hope blessings surround you.
Recently I was asked to express my thoughts about the concept of
Redemption (quoted above).
It was a deep and ever evolving assignment. I remain tremendously
grateful for this valuable and precious exercise.
Shortly thereafter I was asked by The Jewish Daily Forward (NY)
to sing their new version of Hatikvah (“The Hope”), the Israeli
National Anthem, with lyrics created by their staff.
The intention and prayer is for these new lyrics to not only open
the door to more inclusion and peace, but also create the space
for a global conversation about what that would mean, hopefully
leading to more support for Israel. Since this was not the first
time these lyrics were altered, I felt elated to have the
opportunity to also create an impact. How incredible it is to
witness these beautiful little souls in the 1930’s expressing the
same longing we all feel when we sing this timeless melody!
There has been controversy and misunderstanding attached to my
recording of Hatikva but I know we are moving toward a better
place and a new moment of perspective as a result.
Please scroll down to read my press release.
In my own search for truth and meaning, I’ve thought about these
two projects/opportunities a lot. My view continues to expand.
After these experiences, it has become clear to me that our
ultimate redemption and great healing will come from us. It is
absolutely in our hands.
To find hope and redemption, we have to be who we are, without
exception. It’s about connecting to the Source and recognizing
our unique gifts and the pure joy found within the call of our
personal mission . We should be invigorated, not depressed, by
this challenge. There are times we all fall apart, but we must
consciously choose to stand up again, stronger, more capable, and
filled with more life-power than before. Then, as soon as
possible, we should seize the opportunity to use our experience
to inspire others to find strength within themselves. A broken
heart is absolutely the most whole; we pray to be broken so that
when we heal we can recreate ourselves with new depth, empathy
and understanding. When we find this, we are able to include
every human being in a meaningful and redemptive manner. When we
find each other, we find the Hope that allows us to grow and
break free from everything holding us back. If we can love others
from this place, aware of their vulnerability and all that we
share in common, we can start to build a new world.
I hope you feel me praying for this- our Hope and Redemption- as
I sing. It is my dream and personal mission to be a part of the
inspiration for this change. I know we can get there.
With great pride, I also want to share our first video clip from
our collaboration with Odyssey Networks. Please G-d, may this be
the first of many we will create together. I remain so blessed by
the Holy Work my team and I do together.
I’m looking forward to singing with you, in person, in your City,
very soon. In the meantime, I send love to all corners of our
world, to every one of you.
Peace and love,