The History of Israel as Seen in Rosh Hashanah Postcards

September 23, 2022 | National Library of Israel
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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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