Menu JTA Search

Israeli Youngsters Celebrate Feast of Purim with Departures from Tradition

The iconology of modern youth the world over was evident in the Purim festivities that swept through the streets of Tel Aviv tonight. Traditional “Queen Esthers” and “Mordechais” were very much in evidence. But the show was stolen by mini-skirted girls, youngsters in hippie garb, “spacemen”, “cowboys” and many “Bonnie and Clydes.”

Israeli youngsters cut loose as is usual on Purim, a festival that celebrates the legendary rescue of Persian Jews from destruction. But most adults, who normally join them, cancelled celebrations because of the death last week of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. The gesture was one of personal respect. Jewish religious law does not permit mourning during the Hebrew calendar month of Adar.

The Megillah (tale) of Esther was read in Tel Aviv’s Great Synagogue and broadcast by loudspeaker to thousands on the streets outside. Special security measures were taken but no incidents were reported.