Thousands Celebrate Purim in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Streets

A festive Purim atmosphere dominated Israel today with thousands of children and youth in fancy dresses filling the streets and adults frolicking at fancy dress balls.

The festivities were climaxed in midday when several thousand young people participated in a youth carnival which attracted thousands of Israelis who had flocked into Tel Aviv starting early Wednesday.

A reading of the Scroll of Esther took place in the Great Synagogue of Tel Aviv and it was relayed by the Kol Israel radio to remote corners of Israel, bringing the religious flavor of Purim to every part of the country.

In Jerusalem where Purim is celebrated a day later, in keeping with custom, the festival was ushered in tonight with a reading of the Book of Esther on Mt. Zion and on Mi Scopus, where a tiny Israeli force stands guard over the ridge-top enclave.

Receiving the new Soviet Ambassador, Mikhail Bodrov, who presented his credentials today, President Itzhak Ben Zvi served Hamentacher., the Purim pastry. In a private conversation, in Russian, the President explained the traditional significance of the pastry to the Ambassador.

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