web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



God Wore a Mask

God Wore a Mask

Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90

Share Button

The info line at the Israeli Flash90 image service where I obtained this picture reads: “A child stands near a wall decorated with masks at her school which is preparing for the holiday of Purim.”

I got the sneaking suspicion from the line above that it is the wall which is preparing for the holiday of Purim, rather than the lovely child or her school – but that’s OK, walls can celebrate, too.

But why is Purim associated with wearing makss, or, alternatively, sticking them on a wall? Ask Wikipedia!

The custom of masquerading in costume and the wearing of masks probably originated among the Italian Jews at the end of the 15th-century. [Kohler, Kaufmann; Malter, Henry, (2002). "Purim". Jewish Encyclopedia.]

The concept was possibly influenced by the Roman carnival and spread across Europe. The practice was only introduced into Middle Eastern countries much later during the 19th-century. The first among Jewish codifiers to mention the custom was Mahari Minz (d. 1508 at Venice).[Responsa no. 17, quoted by Moses Isserles on Orach Chaim 696:8.]

While some authorities were concerned about the possible infringement of biblical law were men to don women’s apparel, the accepted consensus was to permit all masquerade, as it was viewed as a form of merry-making. Some rabbis went as far to allow the wearing of rabbinically-forbidden shatnez (but not Torah level shatnez, which is a mix of wool and linen).[Yitzchak Sender (2000). The Commentators' Al Hanissim: Purim: Insights of the Sages on Purim and Chanukah.]

Other reasons given for the custom: It is a way of emulating God who “disguised” his presence behind the natural events described in the Purim story, and has remained concealed (yet ever-present) in Jewish history since the times of the destruction of the first Temple—the “hester panim,” God hiding His “face.” Mind you, God’s name is not mentioned in the Megillah, even though His hand is felt in every chapter, which is the Biblical expression of hester panim. God is wearing a mask, if you will.

And since charity is a central feature of the day, when givers and/or recipients disguise themselves this allows greater anonymity thus preserving the dignity of the recipient.

Share Button

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “God Wore a Mask”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Abbas and Hanieyh on poster, next to a picture of Arafat.
Kerry’s Talks Achieve Peace Between Hamas and Fatah
Latest News Stories
Abbas and Hanieyh on poster, next to a picture of Arafat.

The Palestinian Authority has granted itself its death wish, unless Obama wants to make a death wish for Israel.

William Rapfogel, the ousted leader of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty in New York, reportedly will plead guilty for his role in a scheme to steal more than $7 million from the social service agency. Rapfogel, who had served as CEO and president of the Met Council from 1992, was scheduled to enter a […]

Vice News journalist Simon Ostrovsky is being held hostage by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Two dead men whose bodies were marked with signs of “brutal torture” were found dumped near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk.

Closed-minded liberal sophomoics think that anyone against Ground One Mosque and for profiling possible terrorists is a racist.

Tensions continue to mount in eastern Ukraine, with reports of casualties continuing to stream out of the provinces in dispute,

Israeli researchers discover a common blood pressure medication can prevent epilepsy from developing after TBI.

The Fatah terror faction has agreed to form a unity government — again with Hamas.

An Israeli-American journalist has been kidnapped in eastern Ukraine and is being held hostage by separatists there.

The US has decided to begin restoring its military aid to Egypt, apparently in response to the Egypt-Russia MiG-35 deal that is on the table.

Attacks against former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar get as petty as which robe he is wearing, and when he is running his Lag B’Omer bonfire.

 
MiG-35
52

The picture above is of a Russian MiG-35. It is Russia’s most advanced fighter jet. Reports say that Israel’s neighbors to the south will be getting 24 of them. In case you see one flying overhead, now you’ll know what it is.

A Holocaust memorial and the grave of the brother of the late Lubavitcher rebbe were vandalized in Ukraine, amid a string of anti-Semitic attacks in the country.

Bashar Assad will be running for president of Syria again…

This massive Russian-Egyptian arms deal is a slap in the face for President Obama and his failed foreign policy.

It is no wonder that Marionville is ”the home of the white squirrels.” Black ones wouldn’t stand a chance, forget about Jewish ones.

More Articles from Yori Yanover
rain ATM

A Jerusalem woman is trying to hold on to her umbrella while withdrawing some cash at a Meah Shearim ATM, Sunday, March 9, 2014. The rain appeared out of the blue (which is how rain should), after a warm week that started to feel like summer. Well, it don’t feel like summer no more. Last […]

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party, is not happy.

“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”

Here’s the Israeli Navy boat INS Hanit arriving in Eilat on Saturday, March 8, 2014, after capturing the Klos C, which was carrying dozens of advanced Iranian-supplied weapons made in Syria and intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. Here’s Israeli Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg speaking with the INS Hanit soldiers in […]

Pat Condell has a new video out, so, sit back, have fun. By the way, Message to Offended Muslims should not be confused with Message to Off Handed Muslims. Also, I’d love to hear what he has to say about Haredim.

The description that came with this picture says: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with American actor Bette Midler during an event at the house of Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in Hollywood on March 6, 2014. But Bette Midler is not really an actor, she’s a singer who made movies for the LGBT community and […]

We will shut them up in the campuses, we will shut them up in the high schools, we will shut them up at the 92nd St. Y.

An Israeli female soldier (because they’re better at removing babies from their homes) evacuates a baby from a settlement in Judea and Samaria some time in the recent past. I’m thinking, if the baby was angry enough, couldn’t he evacuate in return, right there in her arms? Imagine the same picture, except with a settler […]

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/god-wore-a-mask/2013/02/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: