Now on display: Purim Parodies  10 maart 2014

The Portugese Synagoge always exhibits special books from Ets Haim in the treasure chambers. This time, a few books on Portuguese songs and parodies for Purim are displayed in the exhibition case. 

EHPoeriem2ספר פורים  (Sefer Purim). Purim parodies, written by David Raphael ben Abraham Pulido, Livorno 1703. 

The celebration of Purim ('pur' is Oldpersian, meaning 'lot') commemorates and celebrates how the Jewish people, living in exile in the Persian kingdom in the 5th century BCE were saved from ruin. Grand vizier Haman, vexed by the refusal of the Jew Mordechai to bow before him, issued a law to approve the extermination of the Jewish people. A lot was cast to choose the day on which this was allowed.  Queen Esther, together with her uncle Mordechai, succeeded in averting this horrible fate. The story is recorded in the biblical book of Esther.

The celebration of Purim is exuberant and cheerful with beautiful songs, masquerades and costumes. Satirical purim performances (Purim Shpiel) and purim parodies, as shown here, were very popular. At the end of the book one finds a printed purim parody in Spanish with a handwritten titlepage: Micamoca/ Burlesca/ compuesto por Joseph/ Benjaes de/ Constantina. There's also a dedication of the author Manuel de Belmonte (The Hague, d. 1705).  The copyist of the manuscript most probably was Abraham da Costa Abendana, Amsterdam, at the beginning of the 18th century.

EHPoeriem3סדר הגדה  (Seder Haggadah). Purim Parody. Probably Dutch, 1797. 

A Purim parody on parchment in the form of a Passover Haggadah 'to be read  every year on the night of Purim in memory of the miracle that befell Israel'. One of the poems in this book is a so called acrostic, in which the first letter of each line of the poem spells out a word. In this case the letters form the name of Samuel, who most likely was the author. 






Orden de la Agada … en la Noche de Purim. Amsterdam 1788. 

Portuguese songs and parodies for purim, written by Samuel Mendes de Solla, Amsterdam, copied in 1788. In this work, one can find parodies of passages of the Talmud together with two poems with an indication of the melodies to use.