Thursday, March 18, 2010

#131 Israel...Thanks Ori!

The 4.60 ILS stamp is from 2009 Israel-Romania joint issue depicting The Yiddish Theatre,the world's first professional Yiddish-language theater, in Iasi,Romania in 1876.

Yiddish theatre consists of plays written and performed primarily by Jews in Yiddish, the language of the Central European Ashkenazi Jewish community. The range of Yiddish theatre is broad: operetta, musical comedy, and satiric or nostalgic revues; melodrama; naturalist drama; expressionist and modernist plays. At its height, its geographical scope was comparably broad: from the late 19th century until just before World War II, professional Yiddish theatre could be found throughout the heavily Jewish areas of Eastern and East Central Europe, but also in Berlin, London, Paris, and, perhaps above all, New York City.

Yiddish theatre's roots include the often satiric plays traditionally performed during religious holiday of Purim (known as Purimspiels); other masquerades such as the Dance of Death; the singing of cantors in the synagogues; Jewish secular song and dramatic improvisation; exposure to the theater traditions of various European countries, and the Jewish literary culture that had grown in the wake of the Jewish enlightenment.

On the tab is shown Abraham Goldfaden (1840-1908),who was an Ukrainian-born Jewish poet, playwright. stage director and actor in the languages Yiddish and Hebrew, author of some 40 plays. Goldfaden is considered the father of the Jewish modern theatre.

In 1876 he founded in Romania what is generally credited as the world's first professional Yiddish-language theater troupe. He was also responsible for the first Hebrew-language play performed in the United States.

The stamp on the right corner is 2007 My Own Stamp issue.

The 1.60 ILS stamp at the bottom was issued in 2010 depicting Aravah, a leafy branch of the willow tree. It is one of the Four Species used in a special waving ceremony during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The other species are the lulav (palm frond), hadass (myrtle), and etrog (citron).

The aravah is also used for a separate ceremony on Hoshanah Rabbah, the last day of Sukkot, when five branches are beaten against the ground to the accompaniment of special verses.

The aravah tree typically grows by the side of a river, although in Israel it grows wild in many people's backyards. The branches grow long and are lined with long, narrow leaves. Since this tree requires much water to grow, the picked branches dry out within two or three days. In order to keep them fresh as long as possible for the mitzvah of the Four Species, they are kept in the refrigerator until use, or wrapped in a moist towel.

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