When National Anthems Matter

We’ve been thinking here a lot about the Israeli national anthem these days, and experimenting with some alternatives. But it’s also useful to be reminded why an anthem means so much to its citizens on a visceral, emotional level. And reminded we were when sent this feelgood of feelgood stories today.

A wheel-chair bound Israeli woman, Moran Samuel, who is also a star athlete in the paralympic world, recently won a rowing competition in Italy. When she stood in front of the crowd to receive her prize, an anthem that was not the Hatikvah came blasting over the loudspeakers (something, in fact, that sounded a bit like disco). Unfazed, Samuel quickly asked for the microphone and…Well, watch it.

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Gal Beckerman

Gal Beckerman

Gal Beckerman is the Forward’s Opinion Editor. He was previously an assistant editor at the Columbia Journalism Review where he wrote essays and media criticism. His book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review and Bookforum. His first book, “ When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry, ” won the 2010 National Jewish Book Award and the 2012 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, as well as being named a best book of the year by The New Yorker and The Washington Post. Contact Gal Beckerman at beckerman@forward.com or follow him on Twitter at @galbeckerman

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When National Anthems Matter

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