April 28, 2007

Rare recording of Al Jolson singing Hatikva

Click here to hear Al Jolson sing Hatikvah, found on Mt. Zion Congregation website.

The following link goes to a recording introduced by NPR's Scott Simon from 61 years ago. It features a reporter who was with the British army when they liberated Bergen Belsen in May 1945. In the midst of chaos, with dead bodies lying around them, the surviving Jews, some barely able to stand, joined voices to sing Hatikva, "The Hope," which would become the Israeli National Anthem. It will bring tears to your eyes.

http://genealogy.org.il/BergenBelsenHatikva.mp3

And if you'd like to follow along with the lyrics, you can find them in both Hebrew, a transliteration of the Hebrew and English at this Israeli site. You'll also find a number of other versions including a performance by Barbra Streisand:

http://www.science.co.il/Israel-Anthem.asp

Daled Amos has another excellent post on Al Jolson as well as the original words to Hatikva, here.