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Taking Things Into Her Own Hands: Disabled Israeli Athlete Belts Out Hatikvah

In 1878, Naphtali Herz Imber, an English poet originally from current-day Ukraine, paid tribute to the dream of a Jewish homeland. His poem later set to music and renamed “Hatikvah,” was unofficially adopted as the national anthem of the infant state in 1948.

Undoubtedly Imber would have been proud to hear his lyrics sung by a young woman in a wheelchair more than 134 years after he set them down.

While the Jewish world has been enthralled watching the young gymnast Aly Raisman wrack up three gold medals for the U.S. Olympic team in London, this unrehearsed performance went viral on Youtube. 

Israeli rower Moran Solomon entered a competition for disabled athletes to be held in Italy this summer, and she was ready for the challenge. When Moran was 25, she woke up one morning to find she was not able to feel or move anything below the waist. A stroke had attacked her spinal cord while she slept.

Moran refuses to let her paralysis keep her from enjoying life, including competitive athletics. She sinks her fair share of baskets in a basketball league for men with disabilities. And she’s as powerful and proficient a rower as you will find anywhere.

Moran won the rowing completion, and when it was evident officials had not prepared the Israeli anthem, she took up a microphone and belted out “Hatikvah,” lingering lovingly on each and every word.

As she sang, Moran displayed the same spirit that makes her a top athlete. “If you look at an obstacle as an obstacle, there’s a good chance it can knock you over,” she told the Israeli press. She added, “but if you look at an obstacle as a challenge, you’ll do the maximum to overcome it.”

A Jewess with attitude if I've ever seen one. Row on, sing on, Moran!

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How to cite this page

Raub, Deborah Fineblum. "Taking Things Into Her Own Hands: Disabled Israeli Athlete Belts Out Hatikvah." 13 August 2012. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on September 24, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/taking-things-into-her-own-hands-disabled-israeli-athlete-belts-out-hatikvah>.

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