Pashkvilim. If walls could talk
Photo: Israel Bardugo

Exhibit traces history of pashkvil

Nahal Haredi soldiers 'captured' by the army, death curse and strict modesty rules. New exhibition at National Library of Israel reflects tradition and changes in ultra-Orthodox society

Even those used to seeing bulletin boards filled with pashkvilim in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak will likely find an interest in a collection of tens of thousands of these street posters in one place.


The National Library of Israel in Jerusalem has scanned pashkvilim dating back to the Ottoman era up to these days and is presenting them in a new exhibit titled, "An Open Letter from Jerusalem's Wise Men."


The display includes dozens of pashkvilim reflecting the tradition and changes in the haredi society (see examles below).


"The digital collection of pashkvilim is unique in its quantity and variety, which reflects all factions of the haredi society," says Dr. Hezi Amiur, curator of the National Library's Israel collections.


"The messages reflected in the pashkvilim are sophisticated and sharp-witted, and include wording based on internal codes of the haredi society, intentional grammatical errors and abbreviations.


"Through them we can learn about the borders the haredi society is seeking to set for itself and its contact with the surrounding Israeli society."


Here are some of the leading pashkvilim:


Malicious joy


"The Pulsa Denoura (Kabbalistic death curse) has taken its toll – Agron is dead." Published after the death of Jerusalem Mayor Gershon Agron, who approved the opening of a mixed swimming pool.


Most blatant


"1,500,000 Jews murdered in the State of Israel." Ad published as part of the haredi struggle against abortions.


Most aggressive


"77 dear souls are about to be delivered to the army cremators next week." The battle against joining the Nahal Haredi battalion takes to Mea Shearim's bulletin boards.




"Warning and request from daughters and sisters." The campaign for modest clothing was in its midst in 1929.


Big Brother


"We hereby declare a strict boycott on this despicable tool and on any Jewish household taking in this impure thing called television." The war on the television is ancient as well.


Shabbat soccer


"The villains desecrating Shabbat in public are criminals." Watching 22 people chase a ball, and on Shabbat of all days?



Most mobile


"Get out of our neighborhood and stop distributing contaminated cellphones." Cellular phone? It's not kosher.


The hottest


"The repulsive and despicable place called 'Turkish bath-house' is the center of all the abominations in the world." The crisis with Turkey began many years ago.


Say no to movies


"Stop! The opening of cinemas on the holy Shabbat in Jerusalem is the cause of Arab riots in the Land of Israel."



פרסום ראשון: 09.18.11, 08:46
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