This is a Shana Tova card (Jewish New Year card) that shows the ceremony of lighting the Menorah in the Temple in Jerusalem. At the front of the postcard you can see the special clothing of the Cohen HaGadol, the High Priest. Behind the Menorah are many people, including some men holding spears and shields. At the bottom of the postcard is the text: "The Festival of the Hasmoneans (Chanuka)" חג החשמונאים (חנוכה). This text suggests that the characters in the picture are the Maccabee soldiers (or the Hasmoneans) and that the drawing illustrates the first lighting of the Menorah in the Temple after fighting the Greek army.
This postcard was part of a series of Shana Tova cards that were popular in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. They presented different Jewish themes, even those not specifically relevant to the month of Tishrei and the Jewish New Year.
· Describe the picture on the postcard.
Who is the figure lighting the candles?
What is the Menorah?
Where is the scene taking place?
· What is written at the bottom of the postcard?
· Which scene from the story of Chanukah appears on the postcard?
· In this picture the priest is lighting the Menorah. At Chanukah, we light the Chanukia. What is the difference between the two?
· This picture appears on a Shana Tova card. Can you find an explanation why a picture of Chanukah would appear on this card?
· Do you send Shana Tova cards? If so, describe the drawings on the cards you send. What other ways do you send New Year greetings?