Soldiers and Theodore Herzl, Israel, 1950
This is a Shana Tova card printed in 1950 (Jewish year 5710). It shows a group of Israeli soldiers marching with the Israeli flag. To the right of the soldiers is a portrait of Theodore Herzl, the father of modern political Zionism. Beneath the images is the text "שנת בטחון והתרחבות" – hope for a year of security and expansion.
This card was printed when the State of Israel was two years old. The memory of the Holocaust was still very fresh, and the fact that there were Jewish soldiers protecting the Jewish state and holding the Jewish flag was very exciting and moving. Many cards from the early years of Israel include pictures of soldiers, and this choice emphasizes the pride people took in the Israel Defence Forces. Images of soldiers also represent the feelings of security and gratitude that people felt toward the soldiers. Herzl appears here almost like a father figure to the young soldiers who are protecting the Jewish state that he had envisioned. The text with its hope for security and expansion expresses the longing for a life without wars and with greater opportunities for the country and its citizens.
This Shana Tova card can contribute to meaningful discussions on many different topics.
Teachers of Jewish History could use this card when teaching about the early years of the State of Israel. Teachers teaching Jewish Studies or Hebrew could show this card, together with others from the NLI collections, before Rosh Hashanah. Through these cards, teachers could discuss hopes for the New Year both today and in the past. In Art classes different types of Shana Tova cards could serve as inspiration for students in creating their own cards.
Describe the card. What images and text appear on the card?
Theodore Herzl appears on the right of the card. Who was Herzl? Why do you think he is portrayed on the card?
This card was printed in 1950. What was happening in Israel during this time?
What is written on the card? How is this connected to the time when the card was printed?
Why do you think the designer included soldiers on the card?
Design a Shana Tova card of your own. What will you draw on the card? Will you add portraits of famous people? Which ones? What other elements will you add? Which elements are relevant for a Shana Tova card? Which greetings and wishes will you add to the card?
Think of what you would like to wish for the Jewish people and the State of Israel.