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WATCH: Purim in 1930s Tel Aviv
February 22, 2013 08:53
The traditional Purim balls sees Mayor Meir Dizengoff elect Queen Esther, as people and camels crowd Allenby Street for the parade.
Tel Aviv Mayor Meir Dizengoff with Queen Esther 1928, Tzipora Tzabari.

Queen Esther 1928. (photo credit:YouTube screenshot)

Before party-goers attend the Tel Aviv Purim Adloyada ["until they don't know"] street party of 2013, it is worth noting that the Jews of Palestine in the 1920s and 30's participated in the very same traditional celebration.

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The festival is based on an ancient rabbinic tradition of Jews imbibing on Purim to the point where they do not know the difference between sobriety and drunkenness, between Mordechai and Haman - but without losing their wits.

The video footage, taken from Purim clips from "Legend in the Sands" directed by Jacob Gross, shows clips archival films in the Spielberg Archive and Israel Film Archive - Jerusalem Cinematheque.

It features then-mayor Meir Dizengoff leading the Tel Aviv carnival on a horse, with the Brit Trumpeldor Orchestra playing national tunes. Dizengoff would elect a "Queen Esther" every year at the traditional Purim balls, and she would stand next to him. In 1928, Queen Esther was Tzipora Tzabari.

Anyone who owned a piano was asked to play it as close as possible to their balconies, to add to the party atmosphere.

In 1933, during the Nazi threat, signs cried out: "Jews: Reject all German made merchandise!" as the parade displayed a float of swastika guns threatening world peace.

Larry Ben-David contributed to this report.
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