TEL AVIV (Mar. 4)
Hiring back seats of taxi-cabs in garages at fifty cents for a night’s lodging–
Sleeping in huge freight crates put up as garages by German Jewish newcomers–
Standing in lines two deep to get a glass of orange juice at five times the usual price–
Spending eight hours in the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem train on a journey usually taking three hours–
Such were some of the adventures of those people who came down to see the Purim Carnival this year, only to be scoffed at by their friends upon their return to their native haunts.
It is not generally known that the Ashkenazic pre-war community of Jerusalem–the followers of the Agudath Israel–had pronounced a “cherem,” excommunication, on the city of Tel Aviv during the Purim festivities, for bidding ultra-orhodox Jews to visit the city because the holy feast of Purim was being celebrated with too much gaiety. The street carnival was particularly denounced by Chief Rabbi Duschinsky’s adherents.
Some interesting figures were featured in the street procession on Thursday afternoon, March 1, depicting in satire the political and current topics of the day. Hitler was the chief target for mockery, the largest figure being a huge creature seated on a dragon of three heads, painted red with a huge swastika. In the pictorial representation there were figures of Jewish intellectuals, guarded by Nazi brownshirt bullies in concentration camps. Scattered through the parade were figures of books, bearing names of Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Einstein, Remarque, Zweig, Ludwig, Wasserman, and other banned German writers. And the dragon was growling the whole time.
“American Jewry,” in the parade of the Twelve Tribes of Israel Then and Now, was represented as a massive “All-Rightnik” Yankee Jew, standing on a heap of golden coins flowing into collection-boxes, himself woebegone and showing the empty linings of his pockets. Behind was the representation of a crashing skyscraper, with a falling dollar sign, symbolizing the financial situation among American Jews today.
Assimilation of Western Jewry was depicted in a huge figure of a monocled, bespatted, frock-coated “gentleman.” under which was pictured a smart dance in progress in a luxurious hall and a pork and champagne party.
The blue-and-white clad Maccabee band, marching behind the German dragon, was a high spot of the parade, evoking cheers. Of local interest was the large blue cow, named Palestine, being milked into pails transfered to a large can labelled “The British Treasury.”
Boycott German Products” was the name of a float on which a shop with smashed windows was shown. “Free Immigration” was a lorry-load of bronzed and sturdy Palestinian children, native born, singing national melodies. Finally a beautiful Queen Esther rode a camel and brought forth enthusiastic plaudits.
There was a special broadcast concert by the Tel Aviv experimental wireless station, for which amplifiers had been erected in the city, and was dedicated to the Levant Fair, Purim, and Tel Aviv’s Quarter-of-a-Century anniversary.