Study: Israelis Love their National Anthem

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RAMAT GAN, Israel - A study by two Bar Ilan University professors showed that the Jewish state's national anthem evokes strong patriotic responses in an overwhelming majority of Israelis.

Results of the study by the university's Department of Music professors Dr. Avi Gilboa and Dr. Ehud Bodner, published in the Psychology of Music journal, revealed that a whopping 91 percent of respondents associated the state's national anthem with a deep love for the country.

Hatikva, which means "the hope," represents "the Jewish nation" and "the Israeli people," were typical responses. It's a national treasure that "belongs to everyone," others said.

In the first phase of the study, nearly 80 percent of the 350 Israelis polled said the national anthem enouraged them and inspired hope and pride in the Jewish state.

"The anthem evoked more national associations than any other song and this was a shared tendency despite the subcultural divergences," the study concluded.

Phase two of the study polled "marginal groups" in Israeli society, such as the ultra-Orthodox, who were generally less enthusiastic about the national anthem.

"We were expecting the haredim to all be non-national, but some of them were," Professor Gilboa told The Jerusalem Post. "It seems as though the haredim are growing closer to national symbols, such as the anthem," he said.

Phase three, which dealt with national symbols, such as the flag and the menorah, evoked similar pride in the State of Israel.

Below is a translation of Hatikva:

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 2,000-year-old hope - will not be lost:
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

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The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz contributed to this report.

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