Object ID


Object Name

Postcard, Picture





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Black and white photograph of men in military uniforms, hats and shorts, marching down a street. Includes Hebrew text in a banner on lower lefthand corner, and Hebrew text on the bottom middle. Back: Black printed postcard lines. Message written in blue on left side, addressed to M. Leibel on right side. Black Star of David with olive branch and sword on upper left, printed Hebrew text on bottom left and in middle. Two pasted stamps, each red and depicting an illustration of wings. Black circular hand stamp over them. Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:The custom of sending Jewish New Year's cards dates to the Middle Ages. Shana Tova, meaning "Have a good year" in Hebrew, reflects the belief that one's fate is sealed for the coming year on Rosh Hashanah, and thus Rabbis would encourage congregants to begin letters sent during the Jewish month of Ellul with the blessing "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year." The custom has continued over the years even as the thematic content of the Shana Tova card has changed to reflect changing social and historical needs and circumstances. If early cards reflected biblical themes and motifs, later ones referred to religious customs and practices often staged in a studio using amateur actors. Later scenes depicted the religious and social life of East European Jews in a nostalgic manner, often with the intention of preserving traditions, customs and social life lost in the Holocaust. With the mass immigration of Jews to the shores of America in the first decades of the twentieth century, Shana Tova cards depicted the new homeland as a beacon of hope, prosperity, and religious freedom. Other cards focused on Zionist ideology and contemporary views of the land of Palestine. Secular views were more commonly expressed in Shana Tova cards, with images of pioneers working the land and building kibgutzim. With World War II there is the obvious focus on Jewish immigration, of refugees fleeing a Europe devastated by the Holocaust, with ships and boats bringing in immigrants to the shores of a Palestine still under the British mandate. We see as well the burgeoning of an enormous pride that reflects a people at last feeling more in control of their fate, not only raising families and celebrating holidays but images of an intense self-reliance, images of the "tough" Jew hardened by working the land, raising a defense force with both men and women as co-participants, as well as scenes depicting Israelis in a celebratory mood, dancing the hora, or singing Hatikvah.


3 3/4 x 5 1/2"


Leibel, Star of David, Olive Branch, Sword, Stamps, Shana Tova, Early Israel Defense Force, Flying Scroll, New Year's, Rosh Hashanah, Ellul, Palestine

Shana Tova [Happy New Year's] Early Israel Defense Force



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