September 8, 2010, - 12:13 pm
Below are vintage Rosh HaShanah postcards from my collection. The first two show Israeli soldiers guarding the border and praying on the holiday (some are wearing the white Jewish prayer shawls with black stripes) while protecting Israel. Yes, even on this holiday, soldiers who are religious must work to protect Israel from terrorist attacks (and so they pray wherever they find themselves on Israel’s front lines). What this postcard says to me is what we all know: the world doesn’t have the outrage against Muslim murders of Jews on Jewish holidays (or any other days)–or the Muslim murder of Christians on Christian holidays and other days of the week–that it has for one fringe Christian preacher burning the Koran in Florida (because their holy book is more important than our lives, right?).
The third postcard is from Arthur Levine, a Jewish American soldier serving in World War II, writing his relative, Jack Berkowitz, in 1944 on a Jewish Welfare Board postcard. The Jewish Welfare Board (JWB) was an organization founded during World War I, and it served as the American Jewish community’s effort to support our troops in battle. The organization provided all American soldiers–Gentile and Jewish–with postcards, care packages, portable games, shaving kits, and all kinds of stuff to make our soldiers feel valued and supported. Stateside, the JWB had welcome centers on or near most of the major military bases, giving soldiers food, drink, and a place to hang out.
Translation: “May It Be Your [G-d's] Will That This Year is a Year of Blessing and Peace. A Year of Redemption and Salvation” [part of Rosh HaShanah prayer]
Tags: American soldiers, Arthur Levine, Israel, Israeli soldiers, Jack Berkowitz, Jewish, Jewish Holidays, Jewish Welfare Board, JWB, postcards, Rosh HaShanah, World War II, WWII