A Clerical Holiday
Kibbutz Yir’on, 1964
The eternal flame of Purim
When Adar enters, it is already too late to increase joy. What’s the point? When a gentile wants to rejoice, he goes to the pub, drinks a few bottles of liquor, breaks the bottles and the skulls of his neighbors, and eternal joy is on his head. A Jew, when he wants to rejoice – must first check whether there is no yahrzeit in the neighborhood and whether he may, from a national-socialist-philosophical-social standpoint, rejoice at this time and in such a way; all the more so a kibbutz member, for whom approval for his joy is granted by the general assembly, the same assembly that in Adar had not yet finished choosing the institutions whose election began in Tishrei.
When kibbutz society took a glance at the face of Purim, it found it negative and antipathetic from all aspects. What flaw did they not find in it? A clerical holiday, embodying all negative aspects of parasitic diaspora life, devoid of national and social content; in short, a dark stain on the calendar, a frivolous disruption of our serious lives. It later became clear that people, as the common joke says, are just people, and sometimes not even that... One day a year they need to go crazy, but seriously – if not, someone could go mad on another day. We have therefore taken upon ourselves to fulfill the precept of going crazy in public, under the guidance of the authorized institutions, to the best of our ability.