How to Survive Purim in Tel-Aviv

2 min read
Yonatan Engler, Citizen Café Hebrew teacher
Yonatan Engler, Citizen Café Hebrew teacher

Purim is probably the most colorful and festive holiday in Israel with people of all ages dressing up in their most campy costumes and partying all night. But Purim is also a bit like a poppy seed Hamantaschen – people either love it or absolutely hate it.

I belong to the second group. Since I was a kid, I’ve preferred other holidays that are more family-oriented and less flashy. So for those of you who can relate, here are a few tips to help you, my fellow Purim-dislikers, to survive Purim in Tel Aviv!

Bring an umbrella

Although Purim is usually celebrated near the end of winter, there is one small catch – even if the day before is sunny and cozy, it will rain on Purim. Always. I recommend bringing an umbrella מטריה (meet-ree-yah) with you or at least choosing a costume that will keep you warm once it starts drizzling.

Don’t overdo your Mishloach Manot

Giving משלוח מנות Mishloach Manot (also known as a Purim basket) is a well-known Purim tradition that consists of decorating a celebratory basket filled with sweets and goods and exchanging it with your friends or colleagues. My tip: don’t bother buying fancy gifts and candies because you will probably get the exact opposite in return – a few flimsy Hamantaschens אוזני המן (ohz-nehi hah-mahn) from your neighborhood store thrown on a cheap disposable plate wrapped in cellophane.

Avoid The Kerem

Every year, כרם התימנים Kerem HaTeymanim (the Yemenite quarter) hosts the biggest Purim street party in Tel Aviv. Hundreds of people in costumes swarm through the Shuk and Nahalat Binyamin to hang out in this trendy neighborhood. So, if you’re not into crowded places and loud music, I’d suggest heading over to the more quiet parts of the city where you can still have a fun night out.

Be creative

If, for some reason, you do decide to go out looking for a Purim party, make sure your costume is original. When choosing a costume תחפושת (tahch-poh-seht), write down all of your ideas, throw the first nine into the trash and go for the 10th option. Trust me, you don’t want to be one of a dozen Elsas, Tinder swindlers, or Coronaviruses at the party…

However you choose to celebrate Purim, don’t forget this holiday is all about having fun. Whether you’re going out or staying home, you’re good as long as you follow my favorite Purim tradition – drinking עד לא ידע (ad lo yada), or in other words, until you’re seeing double. Happy Purim everyone!

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