21 December 1878 Naphtali Imber writes Hatikvah (“the Hope”), Israel’s national anthem #otdimjh

On This Day In Messianic Jewish History


“My heart is conquered by the Gospel, but my head does not agree with it.”

Naphtali Zvi Imber (1856 – 8 October 1909), “Israel’s first bohemian”, was born in Złoczów (now Zolochiv, Ukraine), in Galicia. In his youth he travelled in Hungary, Serbia, and Romania, and the tune of HaTikvah is influenced especially by Romanian folk music.


In 1882 Imber moved to Ottoman Palestine as a secretary of Sir Laurence Oliphant, a Christadelphian and Christian Zionist who had a messianic and mystical expectation of the Jewish return to Zion. Imber lived with Oliphant and his wife Alice in their homes in Haifa and Daliyat al-Karmel. In 1883, Imber left the Oliphants and moved to Jerusalem, where he became ill and stayed in the London Society Hospital, preferring it to the lice and poor treatment of the Rothschild Hospital.

Hermann Friedlander, a CMJ missionary, Jewish believer in Yeshua and friend of

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