First Purim in the State of Israel

Just five days after the War of Independence officially ended, the young State of Israel celebrated its first Purim holiday. In Tel Aviv, the festival was celebrated with art exhibitions,dancing, raffles, banquets, and live orchestral performances. The newspaper HaBokerreported on these celebrations: “In the evening, Purim balls and festive parties were held. For stores and businesses, revenue increased despite the high prices of products.” In the newspaper Davar, the editor, Haim Shorer, published an article which alluded to Passover: “How will this Purim night be different from any other Purim night? Onall other Purim nights, we read about schemes, decrees, persecution, and humiliation. But on this Purim night, we talk about our achievements and victories.”

In Haifa an attempt was made to integrate the new olim children in the holiday events, as written in Hatzofeh

In a strong expression of the miracles and wonders of those days and times, a festive demonstration was attended by over 1000 people,including religious youth organizations, naval and defense departments, new immigrants from the temporary absorption camps, and the general public. Addressing the audience, the Minister of Religion spoke about the educational values found within Purim customs which encourage and strengthen the spirit of the people.

The war-wounded were not forgotten either, and the Haifa Fighters and Soldiers Bureau appealed to the public to deliver mishloach manot (traditional Purim gift baskets) to the wounded.

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