New Stamps from Israel

Submarines in Israel

israel submarines stampsThe Israeli Navy did not have any submarines when it was founded in March 1948. S Class Submarine, 1959 The Navy’s flotilla of submarines was established in 1959 and included two outdated submarines purchased from the British Navy’s surplus. These submarines, with all their limitations, served as a first step for Israel’s young Navy. One of them, the INS (Israeli Naval Ship) Tanin, participated in a daring operation during the Six Day War. T Class Submarine, 1967 Based on its experience to that point, it was decided that the Navy should acquire newer submarines, the T Class, which were also British-made. The second in the series, the INS Dakar, sank en route to Israel with its entire crew of 69 onboard. The cause remains a mystery to this day. The Navy subsequently decided not to purchase any more used submarines, but rather to order new ones. Gal Class Submarines, 1976 The Gal Class Submarines were manufactured in Britain to the Israeli Navy’s specifications. The first in the series arrived in Israel in 1976.

Issue Date:19.12.2017 Printer:Joh. Enschede, The Netherlands Process:Offset Size:H30 / W40

Integration into Society

israel intigration with societystampFifteen percent of the Israeli population, about 1.1 million adults and children, have disabilities. People with disabilities are an essential and integral part of society. It is our civic duty to promote true and full inclusion of disabled people in our society. Integration is a perfect expression of mutual responsibility, Zionism and love of Israel. There are many aspects to integration, but the most crucial is work. This was the basis of the historic law enacted on January 1, 2017 requiring an equal chance to integrate at least 5% of people with disabilities into every governmental organization of over 100 employees. This stamp issue expresses Israel’s recognition of the importance of including people with disabilities in society and promoting their increased involvement in the life of the country; not only as those who receive but also and most importantly as those who want to give, contribute and share their talents with society and country.

Issue Date:19.12.2017 Printer:Joh. Enschede, The Netherlands Process:Offset Size:H30 / W40

Snakes in Israel

israel snakes stampsIsrael is home to many different reptile species thanks to its location at the meeting point of three different continents and the wealth of habitats it provides. Some 100 reptile species make their homes here, among them approximately 40 species of snakes, nine of which are venomous. Snakes are an important component in ecological systems and in the food chain of predators and prey. Schokari Sand Racer (Psammophis schokari) Length: to 120 cm This is a rear fanged snake, i.e. it has venomous back teeth.

Issue Date:19.12.2017 Printer:Joh. Enschede, The Netherlands Process:Offset Size:H30 / W40

 Ancient Roman Arenas

israel roman arena stampsEntertainment and sporting events constituted a significant part of the cultural activity in ancient Rome. The city rulers, who coined the phrase “bread and circuses”, distributed free food and built arenas as a way to placate the masses. Roman soldiers and officials brought their customs to every corner of the vast empire and contributed to the dissemination of this culture among local populations. Thus, these arenas became an important part of the urban landscape in Eretz Israel during the Roman Period. The most common arena was the semi-circular Theater, in which all seats faced the front stage. Every self-respecting city built a theater and overall more than 30 theaters of varying sizes were constructed in Eretz Israel. The theater was adopted from the Greeks who preceded the Roman Period. Dramas, comedies and tragedies were performed in the Greek theaters, but the audiences’ tastes changed and in the Roman Period most of the performances were pantomimes and social satire. Rabbi Abbahu, an amora (Jewish Talmudist) and head of a yeshiva who lived in Caesarea in the 4th century described a satire performance in which actors dressed as animals took the stage as part of a show that mocked Jewish customs. The Jerusalem Talmud features a description of the role of an actor in a pantomime who hires the services of female musicians and dancers, applauds them, dances and plays the cymbals before them. The elliptic Amphitheater, in which the audience sat around a central stage, was built outside the city. This venue hosted bloody performances, mostly featuring battles between gladiators or men versus animals. The Amphitheater also served as a venue for executions, as those sentenced to death were pitted against wild animals or were forced to fight for their lives in hopeless battles. These brutal shows were well liked by the Romans but not by local residents. Only a few Amphitheaters were discovered in Eretz Israel and these were built in cities where Roman troops were posted, such as Beit She’an, Caesarea and Beit Guvrin. The Jewish Sages, who generally forbade watching these bloody shows, allowed it in unusual circumstances “because shouting saves”: customarily, the audience was given the right to decide whether to kill the warrior who lost the battle, and Jewish spectators could lend their voices against the killing and possibly even save the life of a Jew fighting in the ring. The Hippodrome (hippos = horse) was also built outside the city and mainly served as a venue for chariot races. The seats were placed along the long sides of the arena. One end had a curved wall and the other had a straight wall where the chariot gates were located. A grand divider decorated with statues and columns was erected in the center of the arena, between the two tracks. The chariots rode around this divider repeatedly during the race. The winning chariot driver got to hold a palm spoon and Sages equated the waving if the lulav during the Sukkoth festival to victory before God. The Jewish Sages rejected the foreign culture brought to Eretz Israel by the Romans and considered it to be a complete contradiction to Jewish culture. “One may go to synagogues and places of Torah study or one may go to theaters and circuses” (Bereishit Rabbah 67:4). However, the Sages were well aware of what occurred at those entertainment venues and used this reality to illustrate their views to their followers.

Issue Date:19.12.2017 Printer:Joh. Enschede, The Netherlands Process:Offset Size:H30 / W40

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