Ha-Tikvah

[Am Ve-Artzo vol. 2, pp. 251-252 - translated by Rabbi Gil Student]

Question: There is a custom in the Diaspora, in order to show unity with the State of Israel, to sing Ha-Tikvah on Israel Independence Day and Jerusalem Reunification Day, and at weddings and bar mitzvah parties, together with the anthem for that country.
I remember, however, when I studied in Israel that we never sang "Ha-Tikvah" on Israel Independence Day but, rather, "Shir Ha-Ma'alot" with the tune for "Ha-Tikvah".
Some say that it is a disgrace to the Nation of Israel that there is no reference to G-d in its national anthem even though many other countries praise G-d, such as Britain's "G-d Save the Queen".
I heard an opinion to replace the word "Chofshi" (free) [towards the end of "Ha-Tikvah"] with the word "Kodshi" (holy), thereby hinting to G-d without separating oneself from the general population, since no one can hear this difference while singing...
Answer: It is true that there is no mention of G-d in "Hatikvah." There is, however, nothing against G-d either and there is national value in it. Therefore, there is certainly no prohibition against singing this anthem. We definitely have more important songs of faith in G-d and also in nationalism, like "Shir Ha-Ma'alot" and "Shir Ha-Emunah" that Rav Kook wrote. If the entire community is singing "Ha-Tikvah," however, one should not separate from them but should join them, since through this they are demonstrating their connection to the Land and State of Israel, which is a big obligation, even though there are better ways of doing it. There is therefore no need to change "Chofshi" to "Kodshi," since being free is also something of value. There is a mitzvah that this Land [of Israel] should be under our rule and not that of another nation, as the Ramban wrote, so there is certainly a mitzvah to be free in our Land...