September 6, 2012

0315 ISRAEL - The map of the Holy Land

The Holy Land is the territory where took place the biblical events, as described in Tanakh or Old Testament, some of which being listed (without geographical detailing) also in Quran. For some biblical authors, the territory corresponds to the concept of the Promised Land, and for others refer to all places and events linked by the people of Israel, i.e. the regions that have religious significance for the three monotheistic Abrahamic religions:
- in Judaism - Jerusalem is the place where was the Jewish Temple, and the region is considered the Promised Land, the gift of God to his people. The Jewish holy cities are Jerusalem, Hebron, Tzfat and Tiberias.
- in Christianity - is the place of birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Savior or Messiah). The Christian holy cities are Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth.
- in Islamism - is considered sacred Tuwa, the depression located near Mount Sinai, and the city of Jerusalem.

The first Kingdom of Israel was established around the 11th century BC, but later it was divided into the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah, which lasted for the next 400 years. After the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 BC, the Kingdom of Judah persisted until the Babylonian conquest in 586 BC. Until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century AD, the region was under the domination of Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Seleucid Greeks, experienced a period of independence for two centuries as jewish kigdom of Hasmoneans and Antipaters, and then was under the rule of Roman Empire, Sassanid Empire and Byzantine Empire. The jewish presence in the region has diminished considerably after the failure of Bar Kochba revolt against the Roman Empire (132-136 AD), the people who survived being expelled or emigrating in large numbers. The Romans even renamed the region Syria Palæstina (after the name of Philistines, a people who was absorbed by the surrounding peoples between 10th and 7th centuries BC), in an attempt to suppress Jewish connection to this land.

Islamic powers - first the Arabs, and then the Turks - conquered the region for nearly 1300 years, with a break during the Crusades. After 1917, when Palestine came under British administration, Jewish emigration in this region has greatly increased, mainly due to the persecutions that they suffered in Europe, and in 1948, after the end of the mandate, was founded State of Israel. Currently, the territory of the biblical Holy Land is divided among three states: a Hebrew one (Israel) and two Arabs (Jordan and the Palestinian Authority).

About the stamps
The first two stamps are part of Hebrew Alphabet definitive set (22 stamps), designed by E. Lorentsov and issued on February 13, 2001.

The third is part of Israeli Football Legends series, designed by Ofir Begun and Meir Eshel, and issued on December 6, 2011 (all with the same value, 1.7 ILS):
• Avi Cohen
• Nahum Steimach
• Eli Fuchs
• Natan Panz
• Avi Ran
• Menachem Ashkenazi
• Jerry Beit Halevi
• Shmuel Ben-Dror
• Ya'akov Grundman - it's on the postcard
• Ya'akov Hodorov

The fourth is part of the Fruits series, designed by Meir Eshel and issued on February 17, 2009:
• orange - it's on the postcard
• lemon
• avocado
• grapes
• pomegranate

Holy Land - Wikipedia
Israeli Football Legends series - World Online Philatelic Agency
Fruits series - World Online Philatelic Agency

sender: Oleg Malkin (direct swap)
sent from Tel Aviv (Israel), on 01.07.2012
ilustrated by Evgeny Barashkov

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