As we celebrate Christmas and the new year, we are delighted, filled with hopes of improvement in every aspect of our lives. It is the time of renewal, revival and restoration. The New Year also brings the cheerful feelings of rejuvenation spiritually, emotionally and physically. This is a time when we make vows of new beginnings, kind of a fresh start to various aspect in our life. This time can be characterized in three simple words: Time of tik•vah, (time of hope).
To make a Hebrew noun definite we add to it to prefix ‘ha.’ Hatikva’ the Hope’ became the national Israel’s national anthem. Ha•tik•va as a notion was inspired by the prophet of the Old Testament but is lyrics were adapted from a poem by Naftali Herz Imber who wrote the first version of the poem in 1877. The romantic anthem’s theme reflects the Jews’ 2000-year-old hope of returning to the Land of Israel, restoring it, and reclaiming it as a sovereign nation.
At time of grave distress many people tend to lose hope. It has happened to many Jews during the ‘Shoah,’ The Holocaust. It has happen to many of the nation of Israel when Jerusalem was destroyed and its people were taken into captivity. The prophets then ceased their usual calling as ‘prophets of wrath and took the role of ‘prophets of comfort,’ to bring God’s promise of better future, new beginning and hope, tik•vah to the desperate people.
‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.’
The prophet Jeremiah also nourishes the captives feelings of hope to return from exile to the land of Israel:
‘Thus says the Lord; Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope for your future, says the Lord, that your children shall come again to their own border.’
The New Testament teaches about about the nature of hope – it can exist only by faith:
‘For we were saved in hope, but hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for that which he sees? But if we hope for that which we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.’