Five Minutes for Israel
wishes our Jewish readers
a sweet and happy New Year
Some explanation required for this unconventional card
Creating festival cards has become a Five Minutes for Israel tradition. Mostly I use the traditional elements. In the past we have employed iconic Jewish New Year shofar blowers and apples dipped in honey.
This year I was inspired (or perhaps the Devil made me do it) to attempt something completely out of the box.
As usual I left the card to the last moment. This year, that moment was in the middle of the worst dust storm in the Middle East for the last seventy-five (75). I’ll have to take the Weather Bureau’s assurance for that – I haven’t been around for that long. Satellite images showing our part of the Middle East under a blanket of thick dust have gone viral.
I wondered if there was an appropriate reference to dust in the Bible and I found this.
Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living creature. Genesis (Bereshit) 2:7
This New Year day is said to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of humanity’s role in God’s world. Created from dust and also a neglected reference to the festival.
The image of Adam and Eve† is taken from a mural in Abreha wa Atsbeha Church, Ethiopia. Some scientists think all humans are descended from Ethiopia.
There is an issue, of course, of using Christian imagery for a Jewish event but there is no ancient Israeli equivalent because of the ban on graven images. I felt the Ethiopian image was both immediately recognisable as the biblical story but simplified enough not to offend by nudity or be immediately associated as Christian.
In addition, it references the vibrant Israeli Ethiopian community. When was the last or first time you saw one on a Rosh Hashana card?
- Scientists baffled by Middle East dust storm, i24NEWS, 11 September 2015
† Flipped for the composition so as to be looking towards the Holyland, if you are a purist.