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Front: White card with black Hebrew text on upper left, black English text on upper right. Illustration of man with white and blue tallis, black cap and grey beard writing on a scroll with a quill pen on a table with blue and white table cloth and candle.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Shana Tova card of scribe, quill penin hand, creating a Torah scroll. Sending Shana Tova-Jewish New Year- cards has been a venerable Jewish tradition, even as the themes and motifs of these cards have changed with changing times and circumstances. Biblical themes were commonplace for many years. Later cards would reflect the customs and traditions of the eastern European shtetl Jews. Alternatively, they could evoke a sense of pride in their prosperity, carrying on Jewish customs and a thriving family life in larger European cities. As Jews left the “old country” at the turn of the twentieth century for new lands, Shana Tova cards reflected an emigrant’s desire for opportunity, religious freedom, and freedom from persecution in their new homeland. In the wake of the Holocaust, Shana Tova cards could thematize Jewish refugees-the surviving remnant- seeking sanctuary from a Europe devastated by the Nazi scourge. There were perilous journeys in salvaged boats and ships to a Palestine that seemed as elusive as the Promised Land for Moses. Yet as the immigrants eventually settled their new homeland, raising families, working and defending their cities and kibbutzim- men, women and children co-participants in the common project of building a new nation- Shana Tova cards would reflect a burgeoning pride: photos of men and women proudly marching in their military uniforms, but as well singing Hatikvah and dancing the Hora. Shana Tova cards feature this Jewish pioneer who is self-reliant, hardened by working the land, raising a family as well as a military force: a secular Zionist who would never again fall prey to aggressor nations wishing his demise.
2 1/4 x 4"
Shana Tova, New Year, Pen and Quill, Rosh Hashanah
"Shana Tova [Happy New Year's]" (2015). Bulmash Family Holocaust Collection. 2015.2.39.