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50 New Sheqalim 1992, Israel

in Krause book Number: 55c
Years of issue: 1992
Signatures: Governor of the Bank: Yaakov Frenkel, Chairman of the Advisory Committee: Shlomo Lorincz
Serie: 1985 - 1991 Issue
Specimen of: 04.09.1985
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 138 x 76
Printer: N. V. Grafische Inrichting Johann Enschede en Zonen, Haarlam

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

50 New Sheqalim 1992




Shmuel Yosef Agnon.


50 New Sheqalim 1992

‏‏שמואל יוסף עגנון‏‎‬‏‎

The engraving on banknote is made after this photo of Agnon, in a pensive mode. On background are his books.

Shmuel Yosef Agnon (Hebrew: שמואל יוסף עגנון) (July 17, 1888 – February 17, 1970) was a Nobel Prize laureate writer and was one of the central figures of modern Hebrew fiction. In Hebrew, he is known by the acronym Shai Agnon (ש"י עגנון). In English, his works are published under the name S. Y. Agnon.

Agnon was born in Polish Galicia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and later immigrated to Mandatory Palestine, and died in Jerusalem, Israel.

His works deal with the conflict between the traditional Jewish life and language and the modern world. They also attempt to recapture the fading traditions of the European shtetl (village). In a wider context, he also contributed to broadening the characteristic conception of the narrator's role in literature. Agnon shared the Nobel Prize with the poet Nelly Sachs in 1966.

Shmuel Yosef Halevi Czaczkes (later Agnon) was born in Buczacz (Polish spelling, pronounced Buchach) or Butschatsch (German spelling), Polish Galicia (then within the Austro-Hungarian Empire), now Buchach, Ukraine. Officially, his date of birth on the Hebrew calendar was 18 Av 5648 (July 26), but he always said his birthday was on the Jewish fast day of Tisha B'Av, the Ninth of Av.

His father, Shalom Mordechai Halevy, was ordained as a rabbi, but worked in the fur trade, and had many connections among the Hasidim, His mother's side had ties to the Mitnagdim.

He did not attend school and was schooled by his parents. In addition to studying Jewish texts, Agnon studied writings of the Haskalah, and was also tutored in German. At the age of eight, he began to write in Hebrew and Yiddish, At the age of 15, he published his first poem – a Yiddish poem about the Kabbalist Joseph della Reina. He continued to write poems and stories in Hebrew and Yiddish, which were published in Galicia.

In 1908, he moved to Jaffa in Ottoman Palestine. The first story he published there was "Agunot" ("Forsaken Wives"), which appeared that same year in the journal Ha`omer. He used the pen name "Agnon," derived from the title of the story, which he adopted as his official surname in 1924. In 1910, "Forsaken Wives" was translated into German. In 1912, at the urging of Yosef Haim Brenner, he published a novella, "Vehaya Ha'akov Lemishor" ("The Crooked Shall Be Made Straight").

In 1913, Agnon moved to Germany, where he met Esther Marx (1889-1973). They married in 1920 and had two children. In Germany he lived in Berlin and Bad Homburg vor der Höhe (1921–24). Salman Schocken, a businessman and later also publisher, became his literary patron and freed him from financial worries. From 1931 on, his work was published by Schocken Books, and his short stories appeared regularly in the newspaper Haaretz, also owned by the Schocken family. In Germany, he continued to write short stories and collaborated with Martin Buber on an anthology of Hasidic stories. Many of his early books appeared in Buber's Jüdischer Verlag (Berlin). The mostly assimilated, secular German Jews, Buber and Franz Rosenzweig among them, considered Agnon to be a legitimate relic, being a religious man, familiar with Jewish scripture. Gershom Scholem called him "the Jews' Jew".

In 1924, a fire broke out in his home, destroying his manuscripts and rare book collection. This traumatic event crops up occasionally in his stories. Later that year, Agnon returned to Palestine and settled with his family in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Talpiot. In 1929, his library was destroyed again during anti-Jewish riots.

When his novel Hachnasat Kalla ("The Bridal Canopy") appeared in 1931 to great critical acclaim, Agnon's place in Hebrew literature was assured. In 1935, he published "Sippur Pashut" ("A Simple Story"), a novella set in Buchach at the end of the 19th century. Another novel, "Tmol Shilshom" ("Only Yesterday"), set in Eretz Yisrael (Israel) of the early XX century, appeared in 1945.

On background are Agnong books.


50 New Sheqalim 1992

The two main objects of Agnon, mostlz described bz him in his many works - the East European Jewish "Shtetl" (at the bottom) and Jerusalem (at the top) - are encircled in two stylized semicircles, and the letters of the Hebrew alphabet "floating" in the sky of Jerusalem.

Also, in a semicircle, under the buildings of Jerusalem, in Hebrew, are the names of all 18 books written by Agnon.

From the buildings of Jerusalem is possible to recognize:

Montefiore Mill

On the left is the Montefiore mill.

60 years ago, a symbol of the time appeared in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem - a windmill. She worked only 18 years, but went down in history as a symbol of the capital of Israel.

In 1857, Sir Moses (Moshe) Montefiore, an English banker and philanthropist of Jewish descent, arrived in Jerusalem. The city was then ruled by the Ottoman Empire.

Montefiore acquired a piece of land outside the city walls, surrounded it with a stone wall for security, and called it “Kerem Mosheve-Yehudit” (Moshe and Judit vineyard). Here, in 1860, the first modern Jewish quarter in Eretz Yisrael was founded, called the Mishkanot Sheananim (Abode of the Peaceful).

The first thing Montefiore built on his plot was a windmill. It was equipped with the latest technology. Its height together with the tower reached 15 meters, and the wall thickness was about a meter. A mill was being built from nearby Jerusalem stone.

Equipment for the mill was made by a family from the English city of Canterbury. The cars were brought by sea to Jaffa, and from there camels were taken to Jerusalem. Local workers gathered them under the vigilant supervision of British experts.

The mill installed 4 pairs of millstones, which were driven by gears. A special device was equipped on the dome - extra wings, something like a small propeller. This device adjusted the position of the main wings so that they could turn in the direction of the wind. The construction of the mill, which lasted more than a year, was completed in 1858.

For 18 years, the Montefiore mill milled local wheat, supplying cheap flour and earning money to the entire Jewish community of the city, especially to residents of Mishkenot Sheananim.

The work of the windmill ceased in 1876 because a steam mill was put into operation in the nearby German Quarter, which was independent of the vagaries of nature.

The mill building for many years turned into an abandoned, although picturesque landmark of Jerusalem. The first repair of the Montefiore building was carried out by the British administration in the 1930s.

In 1948, shortly before the end of the British mandate in Palestine, the Hagan Jewish military organization established a strategic military base on the roof of the tower. It is said that one Sunday morning the British High Commissioner Allen Cunningheim, leaving the church, noticed an extension and ordered to blow up the whole mill.

However, the sappers were natives of Ramsgate, the English city where Moshe Montefiore lived for fifty years. Seeing a tablet with his name and the name of his hometown at the mill, they did not destroy it, but only blew up the extension on the roof.

In 1967, after the end of the Six Day War and the unification of Jerusalem, the mill was repaired. The masonry was restored, a new roof was laid, copper cladding of the dome was made and decorative wings were installed. The renewed mill has become one of the symbols of Jerusalem.

In 2006, the Jerusalem Foundation and Christians for Israel, based in Amsterdam, developed a plan to restore the mill to its original appearance. The authors of the project used the drawings of 1857, found in the National Library of London.

New windmill equipment was manufactured in the Netherlands and delivered to Jerusalem. It was installed and established by Dutch engineers, specialists in this field.

Most of the costs of reconstructing the mill were borne by the Dutch friends of Israel in honor of the 65th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. The revived mill in all its glory was inaugurated in August 2012. The ceremony was attended by descendants of the Montefiore family.

135 years after the cessation of work, the mill of Sir Moses Montefiore was returned to life and again began to produce flour. This is the only operating windmill in the world, the entrance to which is decorated with a mezuzah. (Леон Левитас .rus).


Right of mill is Abbey of the Dormition.

The Monastery of the Assumption of Our Lady (Abbey of the Dormition) is an abbey and the name of a Benedictine community in Jerusalem on Mt. Zion just outside the walls of the Old City near the Zion Gate.

Between 1998 and 2006 the community was known as the Abbey of Hagia Maria Sion, in reference to the Basilica of Hagia Sion that stood on this spot during the Byzantine period, but it resumed the original name during the 2006 celebrations of the monastery's centenary. Hagia Maria Sion is now the name of the foundation supporting the abbey's buildings, community and academic work.

The Byzantine basilica Hagia Sion was built under John II, Bishop of Jerusalem in the early 5th century. Relics attributed to Saint Stephen were transferred to the church on 26 December 415. The church is shown in the 6th-century Madaba Map. It was destroyed in the 614 siege of Jerusalem by Sasanian king Khosrau II. Its foundations were recovered in 1899, when architect and building's manager of the Diocese of Cologne, Heinrich Renard (1868-1928), investigated the site. Connected with this is the thesis of Bargil Pixner of a pre-Crusader Church of Zion.

A monastic order known as the Abbey of Our Lady of Mount Zion was established at the site in the XII century, with a church built on the ruins of the earlier demolished Byzantine church. The XII century church was again destroyed in the XIII century, and the monks moved to Sicily. The order was eventually absorbed into the Jesuits in 1617 (the Congregation of Notre-Dame de Sion is an unrelated monastic order founded in 1843).

The order was chosen as the namesake of the "Priory of Sion hoax" created by French esotericist Pierre Plantard during the 1960s.


To the right of the Monastery of the Assumption of Our Lady is the YMCA building in Jerusalem, at Jerusalem, st. King David, 24.

YMCA - The Christian Association of Young People is the largest youth organization in the world.

Other names: "Imka" and "Three Arches".

English: Young Men's Christian Association

Jerusalem International YMCA

Hebrew abbr. ימק"א

Hebrew: איגוד צעירי הנוצרים

The building of the Christian Association of Young People is one of Jerusalem's most famous landmarks.

The YMCA complex was built between 1926-1933. Arthur Loomis Harmon, American architect, co-founder of the Empire State Building in New York.

The foundation stone was laid by Lord Herbert Plamer, the British High Commissioner in Palestine, on land acquired from the patriarchy of the Greek Orthodox Church.

The building was opened in 1933 in the presence of YMCA leaders from around the world.

Every detail of the building, with its elegant arches, domes and towers, was described in the world press, which welcomed the complex as a source of cultural, sports, social and intellectual life.

The club, library, archaeological museum, and restaurant are located in the central part of the building.

Above the lobby stands an Art Deco tower with a height of 45 meters.

In the right and left wings are a swimming pool and gyms. Classical concerts are regularly held in the concert hall.

To decorate the building, stone and cast-iron elements were used, among which a 5-meter bas-relief of the six-winged seraph from the Old Testament:

“Seraphim stood around him; each of them has six wings: with two it covered its face, and with two it covered its legs, and with two it flew. And they cried out to each other and said: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts! the whole earth is full of His glory! ”(Isa. 6, 2-3)

The interior is even more striking. Here, the decorative elements of the three Abrahamic religions are artfully intertwined.

In the concert hall, 12 dome windows symbolize 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of Jesus Christ and 12 followers of the prophet Muhammad. The cross, crescent and star of David are visible in the chandeliers.

Previously, the YMCA Stadium, built in 1920, and until 1991, the only football stadium in Jerusalem, was part of the complex.

The stadium was demolished in 2006 to make way for an elite housing project. ( .rus).

‏שער שכם‏‎

Right of YMCA building is Damascus Gate.

Damascus Gate (Arabic: باب العامود‎, romanized: Bāb al-ʿĀmūd, Hebrew: שער שכם, Sha'ar Sh'khem) is one of the main entrances to the Old City of Jerusalem. It is located in the wall on the city's northwest side and connects to a highway leading out to Nablus, which in the Hebrew Bible was called Shechem or Sichem, and from there, in times past, to the capital of Syria, Damascus; as such, its modern English name is Damascus Gate, and its modern Hebrew name, Sha'ar Shkhem (שער שכם), meaning Shechem Gate, or Nablus Gate. Of its Arabic names, Bab al-Nasr (باب النصر) means "gate of victory," and Bab al-Amud (باب العامود) means "gate of the column." The latter name, in use continuously since at least as early as the 10th century, preserves the memory of a Roman column towering over the square behind the gate and dating to the II century AD.

المسجد الأقصى

Behind Damascus Gate is minaret of Al-Aqsa Mosque visible.

Al-Aqsa Mosque (Arabic: ٱلْـمَـسْـجِـد الْاَقْـصَى‎, romanized: Al-Masjid al-Aqṣā, "the Farthest Mosque"), located in the Old City of Jerusalem, is the third holiest site in Islam. The mosque was built on top of the Temple Mount, known as the Al Aqsa Compound or Haram esh-Sharif in Islam. Muslims believe that Muhammad was transported from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to al-Aqsa during the Night Journey. Islamic tradition holds that Muhammad led prayers towards this site until the 17th month after his migration from Mecca to Medina, when Allāh directed him to turn towards the Kaaba in Mecca.

The covered mosque building was originally a small prayer house erected by Umar, the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate, but was rebuilt and expanded by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik and finished by his son al-Walid in 705 CE. The mosque was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 746 and rebuilt by the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur in 754. It was rebuilt again in 780. Another earthquake destroyed most of al-Aqsa in 1033, but two years later the Fatimid caliph Ali az-Zahir built another mosque whose outline is preserved in the current structure. The mosaics on the arch at the qibla end of the nave also go back to his time.

During the periodic renovations undertaken, the various ruling dynasties of the Islamic Caliphate constructed additions to the mosque and its precincts, such as its dome, facade, its minbar, minarets and the interior structure. When the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, they used the mosque as a palace and the Dome of the Rock as a church, but its function as a mosque was restored after its recapture by Saladin in 1187. More renovations, repairs and additions were undertaken in the later centuries by the Ayyubids, Mamluks, Ottomans, the Supreme Muslim Council, and Jordan. Today, the Old City is under Israeli control, but the mosque remains under the administration of the Jordanian/Palestinian-led Islamic Waqf.

The mosque is located in close proximity to historical sites significant in Judaism and Christianity, most notably the site of the Second Temple, the holiest site in Judaism. As a result, the area is highly sensitive, and has been a flashpoint in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

שער הרחמים

To the right of the Al-Aqsa Mosque are the Golden Gate.

The Golden Gate, as it is called in Christian literature, is the only eastern gate of the Temple Mount and one of only two that used to offer access into the city from that side. It has been walled up since medieval times. The date of its construction is disputed and no archaeological work is allowed at the gatehouse, but opinions are shared between a late Byzantine and an early Umayyad date.

The Hebrew name of the Golden Gate is Sha'ar HaRachamim (שער הרחמים), Gate of Mercy. In Jewish sources[dubious - discuss] the eastern gate of the Temple compound is called the Shushan Gate. If the Golden Gate does preserve the location of the Shushan Gate, which is only a presumption with no archaeological proof, this would make it the oldest of the current gates in Jerusalem's Old City Walls. According to Jewish tradition, the Shekhinah (שכינה) (Divine Presence) used to appear through the eastern Gate, and will appear again when the Anointed One (Messiah) comes (Ezekiel 44:1-3) and a new gate replaces the present one; that might be why Jews used to pray in medieval times for mercy at the former gate at this location, another possible reason being that in the Crusader period, when this habit was first documented, they were not allowed into the city where the Western Wall is located. Hence the name "Gate of Mercy".

In Christian apocryphal texts, the gate was the scene of the meeting between the parents of Mary after Saint Joseph's first dream, so that the gate became the symbol of the Immaculate Conception of Mary and Joachim and Anne Meeting at the Golden Gate became a standard subject in cycles depicting the Life of the Virgin. It is also said that Jesus, riding on a donkey, passed through this gate on Palm Sunday, in fulfillment of the Jewish prophecy concerning the Messiah. The Synoptic Gospels appear to support this belief by indicating Jesus came down from the direction of the Mount of Olives and immediately arrived at the Temple Mount. The Gospel of John alternatively suggests the Pharisees were watching the arrival, possibly from the Temple Mount. Some equate it with the Beautiful Gate mentioned in Acts 3.

In Arabic, it is known as Bab al-Dhahabi, also written Bab al-Zahabi, meaning "Golden Gate"; another Arabic name is the Gate of Eternal Life.[citation needed] Additionally, for Muslims each of the two doors of the double gate has its own name: Bab al-Rahma, "Gate of Mercy", for the southern one, and Bab al-Taubah, the "Gate of Repentance", for the northern one. Similar to Christians, Muslims generally believe this was the gate through which Jesus as Messiah, entered Jerusalem.

Lahva Czortkow Polska

Below, also in a semicircle, is a Jewish place or "Shtetl", which Agnon often wrote about.

A shtetl (Yiddish: שטעטל‎, shtetl, singular; שטעטלעך, shtetlekh, plural) was a small town with a large Jewish population, which existed in Central and Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. Shtetlekh and shtetls were mainly found in the areas that constituted the XIX century Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire, the Congress Kingdom of Poland, Austrian Galicia and Romania.

In Yiddish, a larger city, like Lviv or Chernivtsi, is called a shtot (Yiddish: שטאָט‎, German: Stadt); a village is called a dorf (Yiddish: דאָרף‎ German: Dorf). Shtetl is a diminutive of shtot with the meaning "little town". In official parlance the shtetl was referred to as a "Jewish miasteczko", a type of settlement which originated in the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

A shtetl is defined by Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern as "an East European market town in private possession of a Polish magnate, inhabited mostly but not exclusively by Jews" and from the 1790s onward and until 1915 shtetls were also "subject to Russian bureaucracy", as the Russian Empire had annexed eastern part of Poland, and was administering the area of Jewish settlement. The concept of shtetl culture describes the traditional way of life of Central and East European Jews. Shtetls are portrayed as pious communities following Orthodox Judaism, socially stable and unchanging despite outside influence or attacks.

The decline of the shtetl started from about the 1840s. Contributing factors included poverty as a result of changes in economic climate (including industrialisation which hurt the traditional Jewish artisan and the movement of trade to the larger towns), repeated fires destroying the wooden homes, and overpopulation. Also, the anti-Semitism of the Russian Imperial administrators and the Polish landlords, and later, from the 1880s, Russian pogroms, made life difficult for Jews in the shtetl. From the 1880s until 1915 up to 2 million Jews left Eastern Europe. At the time about three quarters of its Jewish population lived in a shtetl. The Holocaust resulted in the total extermination of shtetls. It was not uncommon for the entire Jewish population of a shtetl to be rounded up and murdered in a nearby forest or taken to the various concentration camps. Some shtetl inhabitants did emigrate before and after the Holocaust, mostly to the United States, where some of the traditions were carried on. But, the shtetl as a phenomenon of Ashkenazi Jews in Eastern Europe was eradicated by the Nazis.


The history of the oldest Eastern European shtetls began around the XIII century and saw long periods of relative tolerance and prosperity as well as times of extreme poverty, hardships, including pogroms in the XIX-century Russian Empire.

The attitudes and thought habits characteristic of the learning tradition are as evident in the street and market place as the yeshiva. The popular picture of the Jew in Eastern Europe, held by Jew and Gentile alike, is true to the Talmudic tradition. The picture includes the tendency to examine, analyze and re-analyze, to seek meanings behind meanings and for implications and secondary consequences. It includes also a dependence on deductive logic as a basis for practical conclusions and actions. In life, as in the Torah, it is assumed that everything has deeper and secondary meanings, which must be probed. All subjects have implications and ramifications. Moreover, the person who makes a statement must have a reason, and this too must be probed. Often a comment will evoke an answer to the assumed reason behind it or to the meaning believed to lie beneath it, or to the remote consequences to which it leads. The process that produces such a response, often with lightning speed, is a modest reproduction of the pilpul process.

The May Laws introduced by Tsar Alexander III of Russia in 1882 banned Jews from rural areas and towns of fewer than ten thousand people. In the XX century revolutions, civil wars, industrialisation and the Holocaust destroyed traditional shtetl existence.


Designer: Eliezer Weishoff​.​