Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv 1935
Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv 1935
Photo: Yehudah Eisenstark
Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv in 1935

From Tel Aviv with love: A 1935 Purim greeting to Jewish world

'It is from here we send our blessings of encouragement and peace to all those in exile,' wrote city's first mayor Meir Dizengoff in newly released letter that appears to make reference to rise of Nazis in Germany

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 03.10.20 , 23:16
A 1935 Purim greeting from Tel Aviv's first mayor Meir Dizengoff appears to address the desire of the Jewish people for a homeland as well as recognizing the danger posed by the rising Nazi party in Germany.
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  • "In hard days such as these," wrote Dizengoff in a letter calling the residents of Tel Aviv to participate in the Purim festivities, "in a time when our brothers in exile are being deprived of their rights to freedom, creation and employment, the world's eyes are fixed on us."
    Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv 1935Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv 1935
    Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv in 1935
    (Photo: Yehudah Eisenstark)
    "We who successfully broke the shackles of exile and slavery in order to build new foundations in our own homeland, it is from here that we send our blessings of encouragement and peace to all those in exile, while calling for them not to despair or give up. We have overcome all obstacles and made our way here, and it is here that we are waiting for you."
    Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv 1935Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv 1935
    Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv in 1935
    (Photo: Ephraim Arda)
    In March 1935, the onset of the holiday was signaled by trumpets and the central Allenby Street was closed to traffic for a public reading of the Book of Esther.
    Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv 1935Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv 1935
    Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv in 1935
    (Photo: Yehudah Eisenstark)
    The reading is a tradition at the heart of Purim and tells the story of Hebrew woman in Persia who marries the king in order to thwart the genocide of her people.
    Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv 1935Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv 1935
    Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv in 1935
    (Photo: Ephraim Arda)
    During the three-day celebrations, the streets of Tel Aviv had their names temporarily changed in honor of the festivities, while people filled the streets in order to participate in nonstop celebrations.
    Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv 1935Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv 1935
    Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv in 1935
    (Photo: Ephraim Arda)
    The second day of the festival included the Adloyada celebration (which derives its name from a Talmudic saying that one should revel on Purim by drinking "until one is no longer sensible") that saw thousands of people parading through the streets of Tel Aviv wearing colorful customs in celebration of the freedom of the Hebrew people from tyranny.
    The festival ended with a torch-lit parade in the center of Tel Aviv, culminating in a firework display and folk dancing accompanied by an orchestra.
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