Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Purim Potpurri from Tiberias, Scotland, America...

What holiday is it? Original caption from the Torrance
collection:  "Rabbi Aboulafia blowing a shofar," but the
scroll the rabbi is holding is most certainly the Megillat
Esther read on Purim. The shofar is traditionally blown
on Rosh Hashanna. The Aboulafia family has been
associated with Tiberias for centuries.
The mirthful festival of Purim will be celebrated in the Jewish world on Sunday. Residents of Jerusalem celebrate "Shushan Purim" on Monday.

We present pictures we found in the Scottish Dundee University Medical Archives, including the mysterious picture of "Rabbi Aboulafia" blowing a shofar and holding what appears to be a Megillat Esther read on Purim.

What an unusual sight! Snow in Tiberias. (Torrence collection)















The Jews of Palestine used to celebrate heartily at the Purim Adloyada ["until they don't know"] festival and parade held in Tel Aviv in the 1920s and 30's. 

Some commentators make a crude comparison to Marde Gras partying, but the merriment is based on an ancient rabbinic tradition of Jews imbibing on Purim to the point where they do not know the difference between sobriety and drunkenness, between Mordechai and Haman -- but without losing their wits.
The American Colony's "Book Club"
(1898). Certainly not Purim-related,
but great costumes!

The Purim tale did not take place in Eretz Yisrael, but in Persia.  A villain named Haman arose and tried to destroy the Jewish people.  Through guile and disguise, Mordechai and Esther were able to thwart Haman's genocidal plans and save the Jewish people.  To this day there is a custom to dress up in disguises.

See last year's post -- Purim in the Holy Land: Tales of Disguise, Mirth and the Constant Threat of Haman


Click on pictures to enlarge. Click on captions to see original photos.

 
View Yaakov Gross' film of the Tel Aviv celebrations in the 1930s here: 


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