Shana Tova Card
A Shana Tova (New Year) card printed after the Six Day War in 1967. The card shows soldiers dancing next to the Kotel – the Western Wall. The soldiers seem to be dancing and celebrating; this was possibly shortly after capturing the Old City of Jerusalem.
To the left of the photograph there are greetings for the Jewish New Year in Hebrew, English and French.
This postcard reflects the emotions in Israel and the Jewish World after the Six Day War in Israel. Since the War of Independence in 1948, the Old City of Jerusalem and the sacred Jewish site, the Western Wall, had been under Jordanian rule. For nineteen years the Jewish people had been denied the right to visit and pray at the only remnant of the Jewish Temple. In 1967 the Arab nations attacked Israel, but Israel fought back and within six short days, the war was over. Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem and as Commander Motta Gur said: "The Temple Mount is in our hands." The ensuing days were days of great happiness; Israel had survived a difficult war, and the Western Wall was finally under Israeli rule.
This Shana Tova card is just one of many postcards that show the elation felt by the Jewish people following the victory of the Six Day War in 1967. Many such cards include motifs of soldiers and the military, expressing the gratitude felt after the war.
Among the many interesting collections in the National Library of Israel is a large collection of Shana Tova (New Year) cards. The cards illustrate themes and personalities which were important at the time and which can teach us a lot about contemporaneous sentiments and ideas.
Shana Tova cards were first sent in the fourteenth century in Germany. The custom spread to different parts of the Jewish world and was especially popular from the end of the nineteenth through the twentieth century until the era of email and text messages.
What is this card?
Describe the photograph that appears on the card.
Where was the photograph taken?
Who are the people in the photograph and what are they doing?
The card was printed shortly after the Six Day War. What happened in the Six Day War and how is this connected to the photograph on the Shana Tova card?
What is the Wailing Wall? Why is it so special?
Have you ever sent or received Shana Tova cards? What did they look like? What themes were in the design? What do the designs represent? (You can look for examples on the internet.)
Do you send Shana Tova cards nowadays? How do you wish your friends and family a Happy New Year?