An old world comes alive during colorful Purim

The ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She'arim gets loud and festive in celebration of Purim.

By HADAS PARUSH
March 10, 2012 01:49
1 minute read.
Haredi children celebrate Purim in Jerusalem

Haredi kids in Purim costumes. (photo credit: Hadas Parush)

 
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Mea She'arim, one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, populated by haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews, was a sight to behold on Friday, when people took to the streets in costumes and drunken spirits to celebrate the holiday of Purim.

Little girls dressed up as brides and little boys dressed as old Hassidic men ran down the ancient alleys asking for Purim charity, while young men ran up singing songs and calling people to join them in celebration.

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Mishloach Manot, traditional food gifts given during Purim, were delivered from house to house, each one was a feast to the eyes alone.

To celebrate Purim, a spectrum of colors was suddenly added to the regular black and white palette of the haredi wardrobe. Their walk turned to dance, and their prayers to songs. The streets of Mea She'arim were filled with the sounds of drums, violins, and traditional Jewish songs.  

In other words, it was pure drunken fun. After all, during Purim it is a mitzva (good deed) to be merry and to drink until you don’t know the difference between Haman the cursed and Mordechai the blessed.

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