There are all kinds of ideas online for how to do a simple DIY pop-up greeting card. Here’s one site I found helpful: http://mashustic.com/category/pop-up-and-other-cards/. Pop-ups can be as simple and as complex as one wishes, one for the person whose personality is ‘I just can’t be bothered’ to the person who likes getting lost in endless detail.

Here is the cover of the completed card….

This is the Hebrew wording for a Rosh Hashanah hymn/song which begins (reading right to left), ‘On Rosh Hashanah, On Rosh Hashanah…’

And when the card is opened, here is the English translation…..

And here is the watercolour painted scene with three pop-up klezmer musicians:

(card surface is 4.25″ x 5.75″)

This was such a fun and entertaining project, especially during these pandemic-restricted days when we really don’t quite know what to do with ourselves, ha ha.

A Happy and Blessed New Year to our Jewish brothers and sisters everywhere!

Rosh Hashanah 2021 con’t…

September 6, 2021

As described in yesterday’s posting, my interest in making a Jewish New Year card has centred around recreating the atmosphere of a 19th century Eastern European shtetl (yiddish for ‘village’) where the Jewish community developed a rich heritage of customs, including a unique style of musical tradition called klezmer.

Here is a taste–more likely a reminder–of what klezmer sounds like, being rich in the minor keys and featuring clarinet, violin, accordion and trumpet:

And here is the initial painting of my Rosh Hashanah 2021 greeting card….

Rosh Hashanah 2021

September 5, 2021

In Hebrew, ‘rosh’=’head’, ‘ha’=’the’, and ‘shanah‘= ‘year’: ‘head [of] the year’, or, new year. Another name for this holiday is ‘Yom Teruah’ which means ‘day of shouting or blasting’. So on Rosh Hashanah, most commonly in Synagogue, the ram’s horn is trumpeted and it is itself a major symbol of the beginning of what are the High Holy Days when Jews around the world prepare themselves for fresh starts and new beginnings. Often a meal is served among family and will include the traditional apples and honey which signify a sweet year ahead.

To celebrate this auspicious and happy occasion, I created a greeting card of my own since I’ve not been able to lay my hands on any Rosh Hashanah cards in our small city of 100,000. I know there is a Jewish community in Kamloops, but not being Jewish myself, have yet to explore what it may have to offer by way of greeting cards and other such items.

The famous and well-loved musical ‘Fiddler On The Roof’ is set in a Polish/Russian shtetl (which in Yiddish means ‘small town’ or ‘village’), a part of a larger city which is populated by the Jewish community. And I wanted my card to have the feel of this loved and enjoyed Broadway show and film.

Using early photographs of Eastern European klezmer musicians, I set about searching out subjects for an authentic-looking greeting card, wanting to populate it with 19th century shtetl villagers and their klezmer-playing musicians:

L’Shanah Tovah!

September 15, 2020

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year marks the beginning of The High Holy Days which include Yom Kippur, the annual Day of Atonement. These are days full of ancient meaning and heartfelt traditions where symbolism and family celebrations meld together to create deep bonds linking Jews all over the world.

The sounding of the shofar—a trumpet made from a ram’s horn—is an essential and emblematic part of both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The ancient instrument’s plaintive cry serves as a call to repentance and a reminder to Jews that God is their king.

“A New Year Dawns”, watercolour, 3.5″ x 5″ by Lance Weisser

After religious services are over, many Jews return home for a festive meal which typically begins with the ceremonial lighting of two candles and eating apple slices dipped in honey. Ancient Jews believed apples had healing properties, and the honey signifies the hope that the new year will be sweet. Rosh Hashanah meals usually include an assortment of sweet treats for the same reason.

Round challah: On Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath) and other holidays, Jews eat loaves of the traditional braided bread known as challah. On Rosh Hashanah, the challah is often baked in a round shape to symbolize either the cyclical nature of life or the crown of God. Raisins are sometimes added to the dough for a sweet new year.

“L’shana tovah”: Jews greet each other on Rosh Hashanah with the Hebrew phrase “L’shana tovah,” which translates to “for a good year.”

[source: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/rosh-hashanah-history%5D

Western Wall

January 31, 2020

I’m not much of a traveller. Outside of Canada and 45 U.S. States, I’ve visited Taiwan, The Philippines, and Israel. In 1990, the regional tensions were at an uneasy rest and we were able to go all through areas like The West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights.

It is geographically and culturally stunning. Some places are visited for their beaches, their ability to bring an almost somnambulant quality, where rest and relaxation are a given. Israel offers endless contrasts, confrontation, challenge and comparison. I doubt anyone can go and have their presuppositions confirmed. I am quite sure everyone who leaves, leaves changed.

I have never been so moved by a place and a people as I was in Israel.

“Morning Prayer”
watercolour on Arches Cold Press 140# Paper
by Lance Weisser
12″ x 16″
SOLD

In January of 1990 I had the privilege of going on a tour of Israel conducted by an outstanding Orthodox guide named Joe, who was so completely well-versed in history and biblical understanding that archaeological sites acquired lively, humanized detail under his well-studied knowledge of what we believe took place there.

Though he was conducting about a dozen clergy, he was able to draw comparison between traditions which were tied to ha aretz (הארץ), to the land, helping us see the visceral, physical connections we’d only tried to understand through having read the ancient texts and stories.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 ‘Western Wall Shacharit’

watercolour on Arches Hot Press 140# Paper, 10″ x 15″, sold

The Western Wall is almost certainly the most revered of all sites in Israel, as it physically connects worshipers to those before them who also had to struggle to build a homeland–who also had to appeal to that higher power to protect and defend them.

I felt privileged to have been able to see Israel at a time when the intifada was at a standstill and veritably every location in the country was accessible and security was more relaxed.  We could travel the Golan Heights as well as the West Bank, stand at the Lebanese border and visit the historic cities and towns throughout the land.

…this is a repost from an entry several years ago

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