Some are not content with the wide range of Purim costumes on the market, and are now proposing to import various costumes that are likely to cause a storm. In notices and flyers distributed recently in Neturei Karta centers, a group of activists from this extreme haredi movement assert that Nazi costumes and accessories are preferable to any costume which includes Zionist elements.
"After last year's success, in response to the extensive demand and after great effort, we have managed to organize the import of special costumes for Purim," they wrote in what they called a joyful notice for the holiday. Customers are promised that "these costumes are very rare and historically accurate."
According to the flyers, items available include German SS uniforms, Luftwaffe pilot uniforms, Hitler Jungen (the Nazi youth movement) uniforms, and Einsatzgruppe ('death squads') uniforms, as well as Inquisition costumes.
How is it possible that Jews wear the clothes of Jew-haters? These anti-Zionist activists do not shy away from the difficult question, offering convoluted excuses along the lines of "the sinner (Zionists) is worse than the killer (Nazis)."
They note that police uniforms have been accepted in Israeli society, and one can see haredi families in the clothes of the Zionist police, which is even worse.
A., a Neturei Karta member, told Ynet the Nazi costumes probably don't actually exist, and that they would almost certainly not be imported into Israel.
The advertisements, he asserted, were mainly meant to shock the public and emphasize how terrible it would be to dress up as those defined as the worst kind of "Israel-haters" (such as the IDF, ZAKA, police, and others).
Meanwhile, Safed's leading rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, has issued a halachic ruling that men are forbidden to dress as women, since the injunction "neither shall a man put on a woman's garment' (Deuteronomy 22:5) is valid also during the Purim holiday.
In response to a question sent as a text message, the rabbi noted that some authorities exclude children under the age of 13 from this injunction or permit the wearing of one women's garment, but said that those who follow the ruling strictly will be blessed.
The question and answer will be published in the synagogue bulletin, "Olam Katan" ("small world").