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Purim - A License To Drink

Purim, the festival that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from the evil Persian viceroy Haman some 2500 years ago, is one of the most colorful and enjoyed holidays in the Hebrew calendar.

This week I followed the Purim festivities in Bnei Brak, the mainly religious town near Tel Aviv, walking from party to party, in the streets, private homes and synagogues, looking for iconic celebration images.

Not only is it traditional to wear fancy dress costumes, but for many, it is a license to drink to excess. According to custom, the faithful are required to drink wine and spirits till they fall down drunk and cannot tell the difference between the curse on Haman, and the blessing on Mordechai, the Persian Jew who saved his people from destruction.

Many ultra-Orthodox Jews will hold noisy private celebrations in their homes, or visit friends and family. Hassidic Jewish men gather in the synagogue for a communal feast with their Rabbi, where they celebrate the festival with food and drink, song and dance.

And as far as fancy dress is concerned - almost anything goes!

David Silverman is a wine, travel and lifestyle photographer whose work is distributed worldwide by Getty Images

Photos by David Silverman/dpsimages. Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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