India-Israel Joint Issue Released in Tel Aviv

\"\"On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between \"\"India and Israel, a set of two postal stamps were issued by the Departments of Posts of the two countries on November 5, 2012 in Tel Aviv at a colourful ceremony organized by the Embassy of India in Israel.  The stamps were unveiled by Ms. Manjula Prasher, Secretary and Director General of India Post, H.E. Jaideep Sarkar, Ambassador-Designate of India to Israel, Mr. Sasi Shilo, Chairman, Israel Postal Company and Mr. Haim Elmoznino, President and CEO, Israel Postal Company and Yaron Razon Director, Israel Philatelic Service.  The stamps depict festivals of lights, Deepavali in India and Hanukkah in Israel.

The Indian stamp shows a row of traditional earthen lamps or diyas, representing Deepavali and the Israeli one features a menorah with the word “Zion” inscribed inside a Magen David star.  These limited edition stamps, designed by Indian artist Alka Sharma and Israeli artist Ronen Goldberg, will be available in Israel from November 5, 2012. ‘Deepavali’ which literally means  ‘rows of lamps’ commemorates the return of Lord Rama, along with wife Sita and younger brother Lakshmana, from his fourteen-year exile after vanquishing the demon-king Ravana.  It is said that in joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people welcomed them by illuminating the kingdom with diyas

 Hanukkah, is an eight day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century BC.  The Babylon Talmud describes how the Maccabees found only a little pure oil, enough to light the Temple menorah for a single day.  A miracle occurred and this oil lasted for eight days, by which time more oil was prepared.  Hanukkah, like Deepavali, celebrates the triumph of good over evil and the victory of justice over injustice.

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