March 16, 2014

Purim celebration in Tel Aviv

Dancing in Purim costumes
[Note | I updated the festival dates this year from my original post on Purim 2009.]

Purim celebrates a story in the biblical Megillat Esther (Book of Esther), in which Queen Esther saves the Jewish people from (Ahasuerus advisor) Haman's plot to destroy them.

This year, 2014, Purim started after sunset on Saturday, March 15, and continues for two days until Monday, March 17. In the Hebrew calender, a day begins at sunset on the previous day.

Purim eve, 2009, Tel Aviv's tree-lined Rothschild Boulevard was a virtual sacred space where the Megilla reading, singing, playacting, and music blared under glowing night-lights while children and dogs wandered around and beneath rows of white plastic chairs.

On this holiday (observed with fanciful costumes), the spirited multigenerational crowd also listened to Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau's history lessons and encouragement. Other highlights included "Secrets of the Palace," an enactment of the Purim story told in the Megilla, awards for best costumes, and merry singing and dancing — all celebrating the festival in which, instead of being annihilated, the Jews lived.

Watch my video (5:13 minutes).

Four mitzvot, commandments on observing Purim:
  • Listen to the reading of Megillat Esther
  • Participate in the Purim feast
  • Send Mishloach manot, gifts to friends
  • (most important) Give Matanot LaEvyonim, gifts to the needy
My Purim posts


Anonymous said...

Delicious video!!! what a great idea - a public reading, with acting scenes in between for kids!

Savtadotty said...

I was there! I coulda been a movie star! Love your video. So does my cousin the Rabbi: I sent it to him. Hope to see you soon, neighbor.

Tamar Orvell said...

You already are a movie star (in my Josh Gomes is scoring points for Israel video). Remember? There, you make a cameo appearance as a secular Jew with your iPhone and signature red-framed eyeglasses.

Tamar Orvell said...

Savta Dotty — P.S. I hope to see you tomorrow, at your Soup Salon!

Anonymous said...

It's great! It's interesting and well edited, really good! Yeah for Tamar! L,L

Rurality said...

I will agree, you do a great job editing and putting it all together!

Anonymous said...

It is amazing! I am really impressed by the initiative in Tel Aviv. You captured it well. Thank you.

Ronni Bennett said...

That was wonderful, Tamar. Like being there.

Happy Purim!

Joe said...

Brava! Brava! It's so good to see the Jewish nation in its happiness, strength and fun-making.

We'll have a planeload of Broadway and Hollywood types there to help with the theatrics. The movie-making and editing is exceptional so no help required there, but certainly no Zero Mostels in the crowd.

At least Esther believed in the sake of all involved.