This is a card designed for the Jewish New Year which was created in Germany in 1909. According to the information on the back of the postcard, it was sent from Thessaloniki to Constantinople.
The picture shows a golden eagle holding a golden Magen David with the Two Tablets with the Ten Commandments. The eagle is also holding two flags in his beak, one reads the “Flag of Israel” and the other the “Flag of Judea,” although the Hebrew spelling is incorrect, since the biblical name of Judea is spelledיהודה whereas the map has יחורא.
The eagle hovers over a wall with two towers or huts, four trees, and a domed building, probably an illustration of Jerusalem. The text that is written in the two gates of the wall is the beginning of the biblical verse: “As an eagle that stirs up her nest, hovers over her young, spreads forth her wings, takes them, and bears them on her pinions” (Deuteronomy 32:11). This verse is from Moses’ speech to the Israelites upon entering the Promised Land in the Parasha (Torah portion) of Ha’Azinu. In the speech God is depicted as an eagle hovering over his people and taking care of them.
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Shana Tova Cards - The earliest instance of a written “shana tova” greeting is a fourteenth-century letter written by the Ashkenazi rabbi known as the Maharil (Jacob ben Moses Moelin). This letter affirms the existence of this custom in German Jewish communities at the time. In the eighteenth century, the custom began spreading beyond the German-speaking realm to other large concentrations of Jews in Eastern Europe, especially Poland. By the end of the century, Shana Tova cards began to take on distinct characteristics, such as special writing paper, with the custom spreading throughout the entire Ashkenazi world during the nineteenth century. The postal service emerged around this time, and in the 1880s, Jewish entrepreneurs began to print commercial greeting Shana Tova cards. By this time, Shana Tova cards constituted the main body of postcards sent by Jews, and this would remain so for around 100 years.
Between the end of the nineteenth century and the end of First World War, a time known as the “Golden Age of Postcards,” the vast majority of the mail sent by Jews in Europe and America consisted of Shana Tova cards. Today, in the digital era, cards sent by post have given way to text messages and emails.