In the early 1950's, the famous Israeli caricaturist Kariel Gardosh (better known by his nickname Dosh) designed the figure of Srulik, as a symbol of the nation. The boy with the "Tembel hat" (a typical Israeli hat, see more about it below) became the hero of his cartoons and a symbol for "sabras" (Israelis born in the Land of Israel) and the State of Israel, similar to Uncle Sam in the United States. The public grew fond of the character and it was chosen to represent Israel's 10th anniversary. Srulik had accompanied all national events in the 20th century with prickly, amusing and often painful satire.
Dosh hesitated whether to have Srulik "grow up" over the years. In the end, he decided to let him retain his eternal youth. "Our nation, too, has not grown older," claimed Dosh. "Despite all our achievements and troubles, our mentality is still that of teenagers, feeling strong and weak at the same time, with extreme bouts of enthusiasm and fits of depression, wavering between self-confidence and utter dejection - longing for love...".
The Tembel hat became an Israeli national symbol. It has no loose edge for shadowing the face and the neck. It can be folded easily and fit into any pants pocket. The tembel hat was commonly worn by Jews in the Holy Land from the beginning of the 20th century until the 1970s. In Hebrew slang, "tembel" means a fool. It is not known whether the slang term was named after the hat or the hat after the slang term. It is likely that "tembel" derives from the Turkish or Ottoman word "tembel" which means lazy.
Dosh was born in Budapest in 1921 to an assimilated Jewish family. With the outbreak of World War II he and his family were arrested by the Nazis. Dosh was sent to mine copper as forced labor, and most of his family was killed in Auschwitz concentration camp. In early 1946 he left Hungary and moved to study comparative literature at the Sorbonne University in France. In 1948 he immigrated to Israel. In 1953 he joined the staff of the daily newspaper Ma'ariv where he published a daily political cartoon for many years. Gradually he began to engage in writing articles, stories and skits for the newspaper as well. Dosh and three of his colleagues at Maariv - Yosef Lapid, Ephraim Kishon and Yaakov Farkash (Ze'ev), were affectionately called "the Hungarian mob."
In 1981–1983 Dosh worked at as a Cultural attaché at the Israeli embassy in London. After his return he held various public positions and continued to work as a political cartoonist for Ma'ariv and for the Jerusalem Post. Dosh won the Herzl Prize, the Nordau Prize, the Jabotinsky Award and the Sokolow Prize in recognition of his work. He died in early 2000.
The stamp was issued at the end of 1997 to commemorate Israel 50 jubilee. Designer: K. Gardosh ("Dosh").