JERUSALEM (AP) _ The Berlin Philharmonic, touring the Jewish state for the first time, is finding that applause is drowning out the voices of protest from Holocaust survivors who remember the days when the orchestra entertained Adolf Hitler.

The seven-concert tour was sold out from the onset, the latest sign that with the passage of time, cultural symbols once associated with the Nazis are gradually being accepted in Israel.

The visit by the Berlin Philharmonic, under the direction of Israeli guest conductor Daniel Barenboim, climaxes Wednesday night in Tel Aviv with a joint concert with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra led by Zubin Mehta.

''Twenty years ago, this visit would not have been possible. But people now have the courage to separate between what happened during World War II and the high standards of this orchestra,'' said Chanoch Ron, music critic of the daily Yediot Ahronot.

Ron said he and many other Israelis were moved to tears when the 120 Berlin musicians stood up and played Israel's national anthem Hatikvah (the Hope).

Ron said the moment for him symbolized the fact that the Jewish spirit survived while the Third Reich was destroyed.

''Where are you, Hitler?'' he wrote in a review the next day. ''I was looking for you yesterday when your philharmonic orchestra ... played Hatikvah here in Israel.''

There were dissenting voices, including that of Dov Shilansky, the speaker of Israel's Parliament and a survivor of the Dachau death camp.

''I'm very sorry that we are receiving the orchestra of Berlin. It doesn't have a place here,'' said Shilansky. ''The shame of Germany will not be erased in a thousand years.''

During the Third Reich, the Berlin orchestra was closely linked to the Nazis. For example, Ron said, it played Beethoven's Ninth Symphony for Hitler on his birthday and staged a concert each time Nazi troops occupied one of Germany's neighbors.

The association with the Nazis continued after the war through conductor Herbert von Karajan, who led the orchestra from 1955 until his death in 1989.

Von Karajan was a member of the Nazi party during the Third Reich, and while he lead the Berlin Philharmonic, Israel rejected requests by the orchestra to perform in the Jewish state.

Today, there are no survivors of the Nazi-era orchestra. Most of the musicians are too young to have any association with the Nazi regime.

Barenboim, 47, said it was time to open a new chapter and that the Berlin Philharmonic visit offered a unique chance to restore the close bond between the German and Jewish cultures.

Speaking after orchestra members toured the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Barenboim said the orchestra symbolized the best of German culture and its striving for the highest standards.

''This concept of German music or German culture, a concept that has been so abused by the Nazis, needs somehow to be repurified .. . and I don't think there is a better place for them to do this than here in Israel,'' Barenboim said.

Several orchestra members were in tears as they viewed the exhibits in Yad Vashem, where details are recorded of how 6 million Jews perished in Nazi death camps.

''Of course, we know the pictures from home, but it has a different meaning here,'' said cellist Alexander Wedow, 56, who has been with the orchestra for 28 years.

''It goes very deep into your soul. It is a deep sadness,'' said oboe player Hansjoerg Schellenberger, 42. ''This can always happen again. Mankind has this black part in its soul.''

Some musicians said they had been somewhat apprehensive about audience reaction before their first concert, and that they were overwhelmed by the standing ovations after each performance.

Among those cheering were several elderly German-born Israelis who are often torn between pride in the culture of their youth and hatred of the Nazis who uprooted them and killed their families.

Alfred Frankenstein, 84, who fled Berlin in 1935, said the sounds of Schubert and Brahms brought back the days when he covered the orchestra as a music critic.

''An old man likes to relive the beautiful moments of his youth, and this was one of them. The faces (of the musicians) have changed, but the Berlin Philharmonic remains one of the best orchestras,'' said Frankenstein.

The warm welcome is the latest sign that while the Holocaust still shapes Israeli attitudes, there is less sensitivity about old taboos, in part because a new Israeli generation has emerged with no direct experience of Nazi rule.

Earlier this year, Gottfried Wagner, the great-grandson of 19th century German composer Richard Wagner, toured Israel to push for the lifting of a boycott on the music of Wagner.

He won support from Israel's music establishment, and Ron said Barenboim was trying to put together a Wagner concert with the Israel Philharmonic this fall. Orchestra officials said they were unaware of any such efforts.