Jewish Journal

A Very Special Hatikvah

by Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

May 6, 2012 | 11:10 pm

Moran Samuel sat in her wheelchair on the dais after winning a gold medal in the rowing competition. She waited for the Hatikvah to start. And waited. And then a strange song started that sounded nothing like Hatikvah. She signaled that this was not the right song. What happened next you will never forget.

Moran Samuel was not always disabled. She awoke one day when she was 24 and was paralyzed from the chest down due to a rare stroke in her spine. Undeterred by her disability, she became the leading woman player in Israeli wheelchair basketball, and began rowing competitively.

She arrived in Italy ready to win her last competition before the paralympics in London. The Italians though were not as thoroughly prepared as Moran. They didn’t have Hatikvah ready, maybe because they didn’t think that an Israeli was going to win.

When Moran realized that they didn’t have the music, she took the microphone, and sang it herself. See the video below courtesy of Mideasttruth.com

Hat tip to TM


Rabbi Yonah is an Oxford educated Rabbi who loves music, blogging, and Jewlicious. You can follow him on @rabbiyonah

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Yonah Bookstein is Rabbi and Co-Founder of Pico Shul, a dynamic spiritual community in Los Angeles and the Alevy Family Campus Rabbi in Residence at University of Southern...

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