The History of Israel as Seen in Rosh Hashanah Postcards

Sept. 23 2022

Since the Middle Ages, Jews have ushered in the new year by sending friends and family written greetings. In the early 20th century, an “entire industry” was dedicated to producing postcards for the occasion. The National Library of Israel shows how Rosh Hashanah cards marked specific developments in Zionist history, beginning with one that commemorates the meeting of the Second Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. Later cards show scenes from the Land of Israel itself:

During the first three decades of the state of Israel, new year’s greeting cards were the most common mail item in the country. These cards expressed the spirit of the new year in every Jewish home in Israel. In the last few weeks of each Hebrew year, the post office would switch into high gear to meet the challenge posed by the countless postcards that flooded the postal system. The diverse images on the postcards expressed the hopes of Israeli citizens.

The year 1967 was an exciting one. After days of anxious waiting and uncertainty, Israel quickly defeated its neighbors in the Six-Day War. One of the symbols of this victory was the liberation of Jerusalem’s Old City after nineteen years of Jordanian rule and 2,000 years of Jewish longing. [One] postcard shows an armored vehicle entering the Old City through the Lion’s Gate. Blasts of mortar fire can be seen through the gate and outside it. Written on the postcard is the Hebrew text: “Like lions, the warriors of Israel prevailed,” along with “Peace and security.”

The postcards can be seen in this video (1 minute), and at the link below:

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More about: Israeli history, Rosh Hashanah, Six-Day War, Theodor Herzl

 

How the Death of Mahsa Amini Changed Iran—and Its Western Apologists

Sept. 28 2022

On September 16, a twenty-two-year-old named Mahsa Amini was arrested by the Iranian morality police for improperly wearing a hijab. Her death in custody three days later, evidently after being severely beaten, sparked waves of intense protests throughout the country. Since then, the Iranian authorities have killed dozens more in trying to quell the unrest. Nervana Mahmoud comments on how Amini’s death has been felt inside and outside of the Islamic Republic:

[I]n Western countries, the glamorizing of the hijab has been going on for decades. Even Playboy magazine published an article about the first “hijabi” news anchor in American TV history. Meanwhile, questioning the hijab’s authenticity and enforcement has been framed as “Islamophobia.” . . . But the death of Mahsa Amini has changed everything.

Commentators who downplayed the impact of enforced hijab have changed their tune. [Last week], CNN’s Christiane Amanpour declined an interview with the Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, and the Biden administration imposed sanctions on Iran’s notorious morality police and senior officials for the violence carried out against protesters and for the death of Mahsa Amini.

The visual impact of the scenes in Iran has extended to the Arab world too. Arabic media outlets have felt the winds of change. The death of Mahsa Amini and the resulting protests in Iran are now top headlines, with Arab audiences watching daily as Iranian women from all age groups remove their hijabs and challenge the regime policy.

Iranian women are making history. They are teaching the world—including the Muslim world—about the glaring difference between opting to wear the hijab and being forced to wear it, whether by law or due to social pressure and mental bullying. Finally, non-hijabi women are not afraid to defy, proudly, their Islamist oppressors.

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Read more at Nervana

More about: Arab World, Iran, Women in Islam