Meir, Golda


Lovely Israeli postcard depicting one of Europe’s oldest historic synagogues signed by the eminent stateswoman


Type: Signed postcard
Description: (1898-1978) Ukrainian-born Israeli political leader, lived in US (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) before emigration to Palestine. Foreign Minister 1956-66, PM 1969-74. Under her leadership Israel defeated Arab armies in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and experienced the horrors of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games crisis.

Mint 4 x 5 ½ brown printed Israeli 50 old shekel postcard depicting Prague’s “Altnai” (Old New) Synagogue, caption in English & Hebrew, signed in Hebrew in blue ink by Golda Meir. With photo portrait of Mrs. Meir for matting and framing. No place (Israel), no date (ca. 1958 or thereafter).

Prague’s Old-New synagogue’s name is believed to come from the Hebrew “altnai”, or “provisional”, in German is pronounced “altneu”, similar to “old-new”. It was the 1st synagogue in Prague and one of the 1st buildings of the Jewish Quarter. Built ca. 1270-75, it is one of the Prague’s 1st Gothic buildings.

For centuries it survived nearly all the big fires in Josefov, the Jewish Quarter. The ghetto’s inhabitants sought refuge within its walls during persecutions to which they were subjected. It even survived the 19th century demolition of the ghetto in which only several historical buildings were kept . In 1920 and in 1960, the Altnai Synagogue was reformed and restored, still one of the most important religious centers in Prague, even during the communist period. The Gestapo spared the building during the Nazis’ destruction of Prague’s synagogues. The “Altnai” Synagogue is the oldest European synagogue still serving its purpose and one of the oldest ones in the world.

The inside right-hand nave is decorated with bronze candelabras. There hangs the standard of Prague’s Jews featuring the Star of David and the hat that ghetto inhabitants were forced to wear in the 14th century. The most sacred part of the temple is the ark (chest) where Torah scrolls are kept. There is a wooden chair where 16th century Chief Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel sat, under the sign of the Star of David. It is said that the body of the “Golem”, created by Rabbi Loew to protect the community during pogroms, is in the attic where the “genizah” (holy storage place) of the community is kept.

Condition: Very good, trivial spots center top & bottom.

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