Postcard from Gabi

Gabriella Rosenthal, 1913–1975, Israeli illustrator, cartoonist, author, art teacher, and tour guide.

Munich born Gabriella Rosenthal emigrated to Palestine in 1935 with her husband at that time, Schalom Ben-Chorin, a distant cousin of Bella Thannhauser Wirz. Her humane and witty watercolor and ink work appeared weekly (Fridays) in the Palestine, now Jerusalem, Post under the rubric Palestine People. She illustrated several books and a Megillat Esther and has written and published in four languages: English, German, Arabic and Hebrew.

Gabi posted this card on December 29, 1950, while on vacation in Lugano, Switzerland. The card arrived in Jerusalem on January 24, 1951, nearly a month later. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, as they say.

Postcard from Gabriella Rosenthal
Postcard from Gabriella Rosenthal, front.
Postcard from Gabriella Rosenthal
Postcard from Gabriella Rosenthal, back.

Master! Do you know what I got from my brother and his sister? A yellow silk paisley scarf!

So, if I am nice in the future, then it is really thanks to your most special charms. (Minus that I must know perhaps what it costs.)

Here, even the sausages wear little ballet skirts and silk sashes around their enormous waists. And the sparrows eat only what comes from pure buttercake.

[The little bird says, “Pooh! Blue Band.” (Blue Band was an Israeli margarine brand.)]

But I’m nevertheless coming back soon to this shitty home and am already looking forward to when the two of us, in yellow silk, will be complaining in Hermon [café in the Rosh Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem] on the Medine [in Israel]. So long, with a nice kiss to the ladies.

Your Gabi

The mysterious Gabi would also seem to be the author of this little comic strip.

Comic strip by Gabi
Comic strip by Gabriella Rosenthal, front.
Comic strip by Gabi
Comic strip by Gabriella Rosenthal, back.

From Mother to Daughter….

“That one there? My child, don’t let looks fool you—it’s completely dried out—and you won’t know it until it’s too late!”

“No, that one is way too green! Don’t touch it, the woman can’t stand it!”

“And that on the left over there, Mama?”

“Trust an experienced woman, darling—the one to the right, true, it’s not very big, but weight alone doesn’t do it. If you listen to your mother: that one has what it takes!”

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