web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Purim’

Oldest Known Masks in the World on Display in Israel

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

A new display in Jerusalem is showcasing the oldest-known masks in the world, believed to have originated 9,000 years ago, long before Purim.

The 11 masks are made of stones and were discovered in the Judean desert near Jerusalem. Experts believe the masks were meant to look like skulls, with each displaying a unique personality via emotional expressions of shock or grinning.

“When you go back to objects that are this old, that are so much before the theology that becomes Judaism, Christianity and then Islam, to feel that there is a kind of a connection, that this is all part of a continuous story, is something that is pretty thrilling,” said Israel Museum director James Snyder, the Associated Press reported.

The custom of mask making and wearing dates back at least 25,000 years although no masks that old have been found, according to exhibit curator Debby Hershman, with the earliest masks most likely made of animal materials. Later, stone masks originated at the time when humans living in the Fertile Crescent adopted agriculture.

“It’s the most important revolution that ever happened,” Hershman said. The people who fashioned the masks, she said, “are actually the founders of civilization.”

What Do Catholic Nuns Care about the Book of Esther?

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

A collaboration between an order of nuns and a British Jewish scribe to restore an ancient Hebrew scroll telling the story of Purim is drawing attention as a sign of progress in Catholic-Jewish relations.

Sofer (scribe) Mordechai Pinchas restored a megillah (scroll) of the Book of Esther and returned it to the Benedictine Tyburn Nuns at a London ceremony last week.

The parchment was written in Venice, Italy in the 18th century. It was donated to the order of nuns by Jordan and Lorraine Cherrick from St. Louis, Mo. The scroll is “a biblical artifact symbolizing ever-deepening Jewish-Catholic relations,” said Mother General Xavier McMonagle, according to the British Catholic Herald.

“It all shows something more than academic theological exercise. We get to know each other as real people. You can tell there is something deeper going on,” she said.

The Book of Esther tells the story of how Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai save the Jews from extermination by Haman, the royal advisor to King Ahasuerus of Persia. Jews around the world commemorate annually on the holiday of Purim, which this year begins after Shabbat on March 15.

According to McMonagle, the figure of Esther “has remained very powerful in Catholic Christian religion, devotion, and spirituality as a symbol, an image, and a model of powerful intercession with God to change the course of human events from bad to good.”

“The need for Esther’s example is ever present in our minds, whether we are Christians or Jews,” McMonagle said. “Esther is a memorial, a living point of confidence that God can change things for the better, and he can do it even by working miracles.”

Formerly known as the Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmartre, the Tyburn Nuns received their nickname due to the location of their motherhouse, which stands next to the site of the Tyburn gallows. Their 105 canonized or beatified Catholic martyrs were executed during the Reformation era.

Old Adloyadas Don’t Die

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

The Adloyada, which in Hebrew is broken down into ad lo yada, meaning “he no longer knows,” which is the traditional yardstick for how drunk must one be to be keeping the mitzvah of drinking on Purim: until he no longer knows the difference between “blessed be Mordecai” and “cursed be Haman.”

The Adloyada parade is a tradition dating back to the early days of Tel Aviv, when it was the Zionist response to the Fat Tuesday Carnival in Europe – and fell on about the same date, give or take.

Flash90 offered this morning a few images of Adloyada giant puppets which photographer Yonatan Sindel discovered in a junkyard near Kfar Saba.

It’s just 35 days till Purim. Have you put together a costume?

Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

We're told these are depictions of U.S. President Barack Obama, between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as they climb a volcano. Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

We’re told these are depictions of U.S. President Barack Obama, between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as they climb a volcano (?). Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Rolling Stones Really Coming to Israel this Time

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

The Rolling Stones will – or will not – perform in Israel in June, more than year after The Jewish PressPurim page announced a supposed gig, complete with Mick Jagger having an audience with President Shimon Peres.

The gag was clearly marked a prank and was an impossible tale that could be believed only by someone who just woke up from a 40-year-old coma.

Nevertheless, it was reported as fact, to the delight of fans of the Stones and to the chagrin of the Boycott Israel Movement. The Times of Israel noted that the spoof, published on Purim, was written in such a way that “even for the not-Jewishly aware, however, the fact that the article was illustrated with a blatantly photo-shopped image, ‘showing’ the Stones “holding” a large plaque bearing Israel’s state symbol, ought to have given the game away.”

Now the Hebrew language Yediot Acharonot is reporting that the Stones are negotiating for a $.5 million offer to play in Tel Aviv.

Purim is two months away, so the report may have some validity, especially it specifically names the promoters who are supposedly dickering with the Stones.

Full disclosure: I saw the Stones perform in Montreal in the 1970s when I was on the entertainment beat for a local tabloid. I almost caught lung cancer from the marijuana smoke that hardly left enough air for breathing in the Montreal Forum. I still suffer from tinnitus as a result of the on-stage noise.

But all that is worth if the Rolling Stones really do come to Israel this year and drive the Boycott Israel movement over the cliff.

Message from a Man in Black…to a Man of Hate

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

I love this video – posted to YouTube around 5 months ago… it’s a message from one Hassidic Jew (representing so many others) to a man of hate (and to so many like him). It was posted before the Jewish holiday of Purim…

Purim is the story of a Persian king, his right hand man who wanted to kill the Jews, a Jewish man and his niece, who becomes the queen. An evil plot… unraveled at the last moment, twisted around to destroy the one who created the plot. It is about justice in the end, but more, it is about the Jewish people and where we put our faith. It is why we defeated Haman, that ancient Persian… and why we will defeat his ancestors – the followers of Ahmadinejad… and today’s “moderate” Iranian president who joined his outgoing colleague just days ago in wishing Israel off the face of this world.

Ari Lesser – you’re great! I hope this video reaches around the world…



Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Shabbos Holds 100 Proof for Whiskey Lovers

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Jewish whiskey lovers have scheduled their second annual “Whiskey Jewbilee” for October, after the High Holidays, following last year’s stunning success of the first festival that was arranged after the wider known WhiskeyFest was held on the Sabbath.

Drinking a glass of “schnapps” and saying “L’Chaim” is not a Jewish law or even an ancient tradition, but it has been ingrained in modern Jewish life. There is barely a single Bar Mitzvah, wedding or other “simchah” without whiskey. And on Purim, the corks pop faster than one can drown out “Haman.”

Last year’s WhiskeyFest was held on Friday night Saturday, precluding many observant whiskey lovers from attending.

The relatively new Jewish Whiskey Company staged a  “counter festival” on a week night at a West Side synagogue and drew 250 people, according to The New York Times , and delivered the proof that one can enjoy a whiskey festival and still observe the Sabbath.

Whiskey companies that were not represented at the Jewbilee realized that the WhiskeyFest’s Saturday event cost them customers.

Although whiskeys are often kosher without special procedures, many producers are attracting Jewish drinkers by offering their bottles with kosher supervision.

An estimated 50 percent of former WhiskeyFest events were attended by orthodox Jews, but many of them were drawn last year to the Jewbilee, which is hoping to attract a lot more this year, with a second event in Westchester County.

The Jewish Whiskey Company pushes Jewish identity and uses a watermark of the Star of David on the front of its bottles.

Black Leaders Want Hikind’s Head for Purim Blackface (+ Video)

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

The day after Purim (Monday), Orthodox Jewish Assemblyman Dov Hikind apologized for his choice of blackface as his Purim costume. But that didn’t quite satisfy the folks he offended, the fuming African American community leaders who probably never tatsed a decent hamantashen.

Because, let’s face it (no pun intended), in addition to his forthright twitter apology: “I am sincerely sorry that I have hurt anyone,” and “I apologize for the pain that I have caused anyone by this incident, and by any remarks that I have made in connection with it,” Hikind, according to Gothamist, also said stuff like “sorry if you’re offended,” and (on Zev Brenner’s radio show) “Would that be OK Zev? If I played a gay person next year?”

So, incomplete contrition in anyone’s books. In response, on Tuesday, several elected officials and African American community leaders—including Mayor Bloomberg— spoke out against Hikind at a press conference at City Hall, calling his Purim choice and his comments “arrogant,” “degrading,” “shameful” and an attack on the dignity of the African-American people.

Oy vey.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (center).

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (center).

Assemblywoman Inez Barron criticized Hikind for his general lack of enthusiasm for erasing the ravages of slavery (mostly because Hikind never hid his strong support for racial profiling).

“Dov Hikind’s latest antic is another reveal of who Dov Hikind really is,” Barron said. “His assertion that he did not know that appearing in blackface is offensive to black people is incredulous… Mr. Hikind, your egregious behavior is shameful, degrading, unacceptable and unworthy of a leadership position.”

I’ll tell you, we could be offended by this incredibly disingenuous exploitation of one man’s temporary loss of political savvy (Hikind is such a clever political animal normally, he’s been running for years as the only Republican elected official who is part of the Democratic caucus in Albany). But, to be fair, if we lose control over every joke at the expense of Jewish Hollywood moguls, we can’t cry foul over a blackface.

Barron’s husband, City Councilman Charles Barron, called on Gov. Cuomo and Speaker Sheldon Silver (another Orthodox Jew, but less Republican) to take away Hikind’s post of Assistant Majority Leader.

“His inability to repent, to generally repent and ‘get it,’ is another problem,” Barron said. “The governor needs to say something, and we need to go beyond condemnation verbally.”

Local community leaders in front of City Hall also said Hikind’s costume was more than just an offense. “The NAACP…fought against ‘blackface’ in the ’20s and ’30s. For an elected public official to feel comfortable not only dressing in blackface but defending his actions is an outrage that says to me that the dignity of African-American people is under attack,” cried Reverend Conrad Tillard, a minister at the Nazarene Congregational Church of Christ in Bedford-Stuyvesant. “As a clergyperson, I am here to say that we will defend our dignity. We will not allow public officials, corporations or anyone else to demean or deprive us of the dignity that we deserve.”

Silver, by the way, has already publicly rebuked Hikind’s Purim choice, as did Anti-Defamation League director Abe Foxman.

By the way, Mayor Bloomberg was not planning to be in the press conference, he was just passing by on his way into City Hall, when Councilman Barron asked for his opinion on the scandal and Bloomberg answered: “This time, we agree.”

Part 1

Part 2

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/yoris-news-clips/black-leaders-want-hikinds-head-for-purim-blackface/2013/02/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: