Written by Zvika Gasner Koheleth 3-March-2019, Edited 24-February-2021, Photography by Angela Hechtfisch
Purim holiday & festival
Purim, from the Hebrew word “Pur” meaning lottery, is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from “Haman”, the contemporary villain who was planning to kill all the Jews leaving in Persia, nowadays Iran. The happy end of the tale was that he was hanging out with his sons in the city square.
The legend is part of the Biblical “scriptures of Esther”. According to the Scriptures of Esther, Haman, a royal vizier to King Achashverosh plan to kill all the Jews in the empire, but his plans were foiled by the “Jewish Mordecai” and his cousin and adopted daughter Esther, who had risen to become Queen of Persia. To commemorates the Day of saving the Jewish people from being exterminated is a day of festivity and rejoicing, drinking, dancing, sending gifts & sweets (with the traditional triangle sweet pastry called “Haman ears”) to one another, and putting on costumes.
Nowadays, it is still celebrated by reading the Ester scriptures in synagogues. The devoted Jewish prayers play along their theatrical part with traditional musical instruments played in the appropriate places where “Haman” name is being mentioned, and a great noise sound is to be heard. Having costume parties is also a known tradition for the more liberal and modern public. The most famous celebration is the Tel Aviv (the liberal and cultural capital of Israel) is the Purim rave that took place in “Kikar Hamedina” in 2018 where roughly a half-million participates gather together for a festivity of dancing & drinking. In 2019, a free entry for adults parties will take place in two locations: the “Meir Garden” rave next to the hotel’s beach border walk, Friday, March 22nd starting at 12:00 and the “Ad-Lo-Ya-Da” (means in Hebrew “Drinking so much until you don`t know anymore”) a costume carnival at “Florentin”, Thursday 21st, starting at 10:45.
In 2020 there were mild celebrations, and in 2021 all festivals are canceled. We say a little pray that in Purim 2022 normalization will be back again, and Corona will be connected only with the name of Mexican beer.
This time of the Year (March) by Jewish calendar is the “Adar” month which the phrase says: “When Adar comes in – it brings joy with it”, and Tel Aviv has plenty of high spots to experience, like the sunny beaches, museums, great restaurants and many more. The “Shalom hotel”, a nearby business boutique hotel, is highly recommended with reasonable prices.