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Poster Commentary
"We hate war. We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown, and when strawberries bloom in Israel."Golda Meir
Poster design:Chana Helen Rosenberg


by Sarah Gershman

Recently, our family discussed Noah’s ark and why God chose a flood to destroy the world. Why not an earthquake or famine? My 7-year-old daughter answered, “Maybe the flood was God’s tears.”

The flood was tragic. War is tragic. “We hate war.” Joy comes not from winning wars, nor from ending floods. With Noah, we rejoice not when the rain ceases, but when the dove returns with a branch in her beak—the promise of renewal. If the floodwaters are God’s tears, then the rain that sustains life is like the waters in the womb—nurturing, protective, and giving us space to grow. 

Meir notes that “We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown.” We rejoice when we push ourselves to reach our potential. God’s rainbow was not simply a promise never to destroy the world, but a sign of God’s partnership with us to continue to create and innovate to renew a better world.

“We rejoice when strawberries bloom in Israel.” Strawberries are among the first fruits to bloom. While living in Israel, my friends and I were excited about this new fruit and declared a “Yom Tutim”—“Strawberry Day.” We made a whole feast of dishes from strawberries. There was such promise in the air. Strawberries today! What wonders would bloom tomorrow?

Noah must have felt this sense of wonder when he saw the dove carrying back that first sign of new life. How would Golda Meir react to today’s technology and developments in Israel?! 


Sarah Gershman is president of Green Room Speakers, where she teaches nonprofit leaders, corporate executives, and government officials how to craft and deliver compelling presentations. Gershman is an adjunct professor of communication at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. She studied as a Wexner Graduate Fellow for a master’s in social work at Columbia University and a master’s in Judaic studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Gershman is the author of two award-winning Jewish children’s books, directs children’s musical theater, and writes original Purim shpiel musicals. 

Conversation Guide

What do you THINK?

1. Do you agree that we do not rejoice in victory? Why or why not?

2. What invention or innovation makes you particularly joyful or fill you with wonder? 

3. What about contemporary Israel might elicit a similar response to Golda Meir’s wonderment about strawberries and cotton?


What do you SEE?

1. Name the different elements that you find in this image. How does each relate to the quote? What emotions does this poster arouse in you?  

2. Why might the artist have used the imagery of a rainbow and a dove?

3. Why do you think the artist has depicted this particular group of people (soldier, kibbutznik, man, woman, and children)?


Copyright© 2015 Harold Grinspoon Foundation

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Proudly Jewish©2015, Chana Helen Rosenberg, Quote: Golda Meir, Harold Grinspoon Foundation, West Springfield, MA