chag purim!

March 19, 2011


Trzebinia, Poland, Purim, 1938

tonight is the start of purim, one of the happiest, most celebratory jewish holidays! as a kid, purim was always the best holiday because you got to wear a crazy costume, eat a ton of hamantaschen (triangle shaped jelly-filled cookies), and crank your gragger at the mention of the bad guy’s name (BOOO!!!!!!). we would put on plays re-enacting the story of purim which, in a nutshell goes like this: the brave queen esther reveals that she’s jewish to her husband, king ahashverosh of persia, in order to save her brother mordechai and the jews, whom the king’s evil henchman, haman, had planned to kill.

while the kids celebrate with masks and noisemakers, the adults are busy getting drunk–wine is also a huge part of of the story of purim. drinking, dressing up, and eating cookies–what else could we ask for?! in the end, the story is about survival, bravery and standing up for your people. and i always liked that a woman was responsible for it all (although god is supposedly the driving force…)

throughout history, jews have celebrated purim with parades and parties and costumes. here are some of my favorites from the archives of yad vashem, flickr, the center for jewish history, and various personal photo albums online.

Brussels, Belgium, 1944, Purim at the Jewish orphanage.

Herrlingen, Germany, A Purim play, March 1938 & Wels, Austria, Purim at the DP camp.
Purim at an Israeli school, 1970s Jaffa
c. 1920s

Gan-Szold in Netanya, 1965
Purim in Tel Aviv
Purim Party at Ludwig Satz’s House in Sea Gate, Brooklyn, ca. 1925
Quneitra-Merom Golan, circa 1967

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One Response to chag purim!

  1. duffy Bride on March 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    rebecca
    those purim cookies were always my favorite…a tricornered hat with prune or apricot filling is my idea of good eats….speaking of good food holidays…are you coming to reno for passover…
    duf

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