Have you listened to your country's national anthem? What does it make you feel when you hear it? Years ago, when Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement, there was a ceremony and I listened as they played my country's song. It was so beautiful, it was so special. It was so, so amazing.
Then I listened to the Jordanian national anthem and thought - they sign for peace, but play for war. Later, I looked up the words of their anthem and listened again. It starts with a drum roll...harsh, loud. The sound of an army. And each time the softer instruments come in, the drum beats again. The sound of war.
The words, when I finally heard that there were words, are interesting. It begins with "Long live the king, Long Live the king!" and they aren't talking about God. It continues "All the youthful men, are your armed armies; His determination never dies out; Getting from your meaning a symbol of well-being...the honor of dynasty. Talked about in the depths of books. May you stay the light and the guide. A master in being away of all sins and wrong doing. Living your life happily and well-respected! Under your flying flag rests the glory of all Arabs.
I have to be honest - I haven't to a clue what they mean and the music...well...you can listen and see their tribute to their king...listen for the drums, watch the planes and uniforms. We too are a nation of war...but it doesn't reach the depths of our souls - it is not our dream of the future, our hope. Apparently, it is theirs:
By contrast, our national anthem is called "The Hope." It speaks of a dream of 2,000 years to be a free people, free in our land of Zion and Jerusalem. It's so beautiful, so gentle...and today...today Chaim called to tell me that I should pay attention because maybe, just maybe, he will be the one asked to sing it at the ceremony I'll be attending later today.
Here's the Israeli version - listen, please, listen to the promise of hope, from a land that has always been, and forever will be, in our hearts. This is not a song of war, this is not a song sung to man. This is the promise of a God to His people, and from His people to the land He gave us. My beautiful country's national anthem: