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In 1948, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, wrote a heartfelt letter to Chaya and Joshua Bankir, the parents of Shlomo Bankir, a fallen soldier in the War of Independence. Born in Poland in 1911, Shlomo moved to Belgium after high school to learn the craft of diamond polishing. There, he made the decision to leave for Eretz Yisrael with Hashomer Hatzair (“The Youth Guard”), a Socialist-Zionist, secular Jewish youth movement supporting Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine. Arriving in 1935, Shlomo moved to Kibbutz Mizra in the Jezreel Valley and joined the Haganah (the primary paramilitary organization of the Jewish population). Eventually settling in Netanya with his wife, Shlomo was among the first men to enlist in the Alexandroni Brigade as the War of Independence began to unfold.


On August 15, 1948, while touring the battlefield between Kfar Yona and Kakon, his car struck a mine. Two days later Shlomo succumbed to his wounds and was laid to rest in the Netanya military cemetery. The War of Independence was Israel's bloodiest to date, resulting in the death of one percent of the entire population, all of whom fought courageously against six attacking armies encroaching upon the entire border of the newly declared State of Israel. The sacrifices made by Shlomo Bankir, and his peers, were critical in the establishment of the modern Jewish nation, and the security of the Jewish people henceforth.

Israel, Handwritten on parchment (13.5x17cm); Hebrew text; Good Condition


Nothing compares to the pride one feels when watching the star and stripes of Israel’s blue and white flag fluttering in the breeze. More than a state, Israel is a people, a faith, and a light unto the nations. And in less than a century, Israel’s flag has become an iconic representation of the painful past, prodigious present, and fantastic future of the Jewish people - at home and abroad.


This hand-crafted flag, sewn during the earliest days of the founding of the state, pays homage to the sacrifices of Israel’s foundation generation in securing the miracle of modern statehood for generations to come. And it reminds us all that the Jewish people - wherever they may be - are united by the idea, and ideals, for which Israel so staunchly stands. 


Israel; Linen (78x105cm); Good Condition

JUNE 15, 1943

While their brothers and sisters sheltered from endless Nazi air bombardments on Allied European nations, fought from the partisan-packed forests of the front lines in the East, or worked as child slaves in the death camps across Poland, the school children of Jerusalem were worried; they wanted to help. And so they issued, and signed, the following public declaration during the summer of 1943, at the height of World War II:


"We, the children of the Land of Israel, living a free and quiet life in our Land, listen with heartfelt anxiety to what is being done every day, every hour, to our brothers and sisters in exile. Every morning, while we go satiated and bathed, to our schools and to our workshops, we are accompanied by the shadows of the thousands and tens of thousands of our  people's children led to slaughter - for what? Why? 


“And in the still of the night, while we lie in bed, the cries and screams of masses of murdered and slaughtered children break through seas and countries - Until when? For what? And why the slaughter of small children who have not sinned and done no evil?”

Israel; Printed and handwritten on paper (15x31cm); Hebrew text; Good Condition

MAY 14, 1948

This seemingly innocuous publication from Iton Rishmi, the official gazette of the Provisional Government of the State of Israel, bears a simple, five-word headline reading, “Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel”, and is the first printing of the historic document, as read by Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, on Friday, May 14, 1948, in the Tel-Aviv Museum (now known as Independence Hall).


Arguably the most important Jewish document of the past 2,000 years, this scarce first edition, first issue, was printed on the first day of the birth of Israel. It declares, “The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here, their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.” This issue also includes a manifest of the Provisional Government determining legislative rights; an official annulment of the 1939 White Paper (which restricted Jewish immigration to, and controlled the sale of land to Jews in, Mandatory Palestine); and the names of all 37 signatories of the declaration.


Published from 1948 to 1949, Iton Rishmi provided the official text of all legislation, decrees and notices issued by the Israeli government. After the establishment of the Knesset in February 1949, its name was changed to Reshumot.


Israel; Printed on paper, Bifolium leaf, 4 pages, (33x21cm); Hebrew text; Good Condition

The personal calling card of “Monsieur et Madame Théodore Herzl", also known as Theodor and Julie Herzl, is a rare item, and an ever rarer record of the couple’s extraordinary life together. We could locate no other examples of this card. The father of modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) was an Austro-Hungarian Jewish political activist and writer, founder of the World Zionist Organization.Herzl was a dedicated advocate of Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine for the establishment of a Jewish state. Although he died before realizing his dream, Herzl is recognized as the founding father of the modern State of Israel and is universally hailed as among the most important historical Jewish figures of all time. Officially referred to in the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel as, "the spiritual father of the Jewish State," Herzl’s foresight, commitment, and vision gave a practicable platform and foundational framework to political Zionism and birthed a nation for the Jewish people. 


France; Printed on medium-weight, off-white card stock (6x10.5cm); French text; Very Good Condition


A rare, museum-worthy item, it is estimated only approximately ten were signed by the famed artist and subject themselves. No similar copies were discovered in any institutional collections, including the National Library of Israel and the Hermann Struck Museum in Haifa. Entitled, "Bildnis Theodor Herzl" ("Portrait of Theodor Herzl"), the etching was created following meetings between Struck and Herzl in Egypt and Vienna during 1903.

Preliminary drafts were created by Struck at Herzl's Vienna home which later served as the basis for the portrait and were likely motivated by Struck's fervent Zionism and admiration for Herzl. During the 1903 Sixth Zionist Congress in Basel, Herzl beseeched Struck to allow him to sign a handful of the first etchings. 


After Herzl's death, Struck created two additional etchings of his portrait, but it is the one offered here that is considered Struck's most famous work - the apex of his oeuvre - and the most important portrait of the father of the Jewish State. The etching took on an even greater import following the untimely death of the charismatic leader in 1904, earning the respect of all in Zionist circles. By the founding of the State of Israel, the portrait epitomized zionism itself and decorated the walls of every Zionist event. Today, this image remains a quintessential symbol of the State of Israel - inspiring hundreds of items bearing Herzl’s image.


Germany; Etching on paper (20x15.5in); Signed in pencil; Good Condition


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