Monthly Archives: March 2014

Purim Israel 2014

Shalom Y’All:

Purim everywhere is fun, but Purim in Israel is especially fun.

As you probably know, Purim commemorates the defeat of Haman in ancient Persia. Under King  Achashverosh in 485-465 BCE, Haman, the king’s advisor, sought to have all the Jews in the Persian Empire killed. Deliverance came through the hand of Esther the Queen, who unbeknownst to everyone, was Jewish. To celebrate, Jews listen to the Megillah reading at night and in the morning, send baskets of food to friends, give charity, dress in costumes, eat a hearty meal and drink alcoholic beverages. 

There’s no need to run around to special Purim shops, as the major supermarkets and many small stores as well, start selling Purim supplies about two weeks earlier. Items include boxes of chocolates, wines, hats, baskets, hamentaschen, paper boxes, ribbons, masks, candy and of course already filled Purim baskets.

Purim Supplies Israel

Happy Purim

Best of all, you can celebrate Purim for two days. All cities besides Jerusalem celebrate Purim on the 14th day of Adar on the Jewish calendar. The Megillah says that Shushan, which is a walled city, celebrated Purim for two days. To remember that, all walled cities in Israel, celebrate Purim on the 15th of Adar, one day later. Since Jerusalem is the only walled city in Israel,  only Jerusalem celebrates Purim on the 15th of Adar.

So you can celebrate Purim outside of Jerusalem on one day and go into Jerusalem the next day for more Purim celebrations. The biggest Purim parade in the country is in Holon, but there’s one in Tel Aviv and possibly other cities.  A carnival atmosphere pervades the country and many public and private parties are held. A good time is had by all. Here are a few photos from the festivities in Jerusalem and Bet Shemesh.

Purim Israel 2014

A Jolly Good Time

Now as you know, when Purim is over, PASSOVER is not far behind. This year Passover begins on the evening of April 14, so it’s only three weeks away.

For Passover t shirts for kids and adults and for hostess gifts, click here.

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Another “It Happened In Israel” Moment- The Makuya

Strolling down Ben Yehuda, a pedestrian mall in Jerusalem, we heard music and saw a crowd gathered. Ever curious, we walked closer and noticed a big banner that said, “The 63rd Makuyka Pilgrimage to Israel.” Of course, we had no idea who the Makuya were. We saw a group of people with Japanese features waving Japanese and Israeli flags and singing a Hebrew song. We approached a young woman who spoke a little English, who informed us they are a group of Japanese Christians who are very supportive of the State of Israel. Here are a few photos:

Welcome Friends

Shalom Chaverim!

Shalom Friends

Welcome Friends

The Makuyas sang several Hebrew songs and danced with Israelis who were gathered around.

After we got back to our computers, we, of course, did a Wikipedia search on Makuya.  We discovered that Makuya   is a religious movement in Japan which started in 1948. Mayuka is the Japanese equivalent of  “Holy Tabernacle,”  the portable structure carried by the Israelites which served as the focus of the Lord’s interaction with the Jews.    The Mayukas believe in living according to the Bible and the original gospel of the early Hebraic Christians. They stress the importance of the Divine Presence in everyday life. They are concerned not just with individual salvation, but with the spiritual restoration of each nation and group. They do not proselytize, and believe in religious tolerance and coexistence.  They consider themselves an  inclusive movement,  rather than a sect.

Unlike other Christians, the Makuya’s symbol is not a cross, but a seven branch menorah, which they say emphasizes hope rather than suffering. They believe that the establishment of the State of Israel and the reunification of Jerusalem were fulfillments of Biblical prophesies and so are fervent supporters of Israel and the Jewish people. The Makuyas send their youth to Kibbutzim and make pilgrimages to Jerusalem. They have held pro Israel demonstrations in Japan and have argued Israel’s case at the United Nations.

The Makuyas have about 100 branches throughout the world, and while the exact number of their followers is unknown, their monthly magazine has about 300, 000 subscribers.

Who knew?

Categories: Israel, It Happened In Israel, Jerusalem, Jewish, Makuya | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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