The Haredi And Purim – The Jewish Traditional Carnival

The Haredi imagination is intrigued by physicality, adventurism and by military life. This can be deduced from indirect evidence, such as analysis of children’s and youth’s costumes on Purim – the Jewish traditional carnival.

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran

Purim in Mea ShearimCostumes may subtly express identification with an ideal model, yearning for something far-off and the playing out of fantasies. Apart from Haredi popular disguises as exemplary figures from Jewish mytho-history (such as the High Priest, the Prophet Moses or King David), Haredim are also fond of disguises of contemporary modern Israeli figures, mainly pilots, paratroopers, policemen and firemen.

The latter – all Zionist icons – represent physicality, manliness and action-seeking. As already mentioned, Haredim tend to equate Zionism with activism, violence and an emphasis on the body. This Haredi tendency reveals hidden admiration and envy of Zionism, due, among other reasons to its perception as made of elements of virility and aggressiveness.

Taken from “Body, Violence and Fundamentalism: The Case of Jewish Ultra-Orthodoxy” By Gideon Aran.

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