Study and Theory/
Purim

Origins of the Adloyada 

What is this strange word? What is its origin? And why does it connect to Tel Aviv specifically?

In Tel Aviv of the 1920s, a procession was held in the city streets, with costumes and portable stage decorations fixed to wagons and vehicles. They called this celebration a carnaval; however, in 1932 the municipal leadership of Tel Aviv, the Hebrew city, decided that the celebration must have a Hebrew name. For this purpose, the municipality appointed a panel of judges: Yehuda Granovsky (Gur), owner of the Hebrew Hotel, A. Smiatitsky of Omanut Publishing House, and the writers Jacob Fichman, Yehuday Karni and Y.D. Berkowitz.

Daniel Persky suggested several names: Purmata, Purina, and Purditza. By word of mouth, rumor had it that an anonymous municipality clerk was working behind the scenes to convince the judges that he had the best proposal: Hinga - Pur. Other considered it a waste of time, since it had already been decided that the name would be: Purimiada, pattern of Olympiada (Olympics).

Even the great H.N. Bialik got involved, and suggested Pura, as a Hebrew word with multiple meanings: First Purim; second, a song of joy and debauchery; third, a wine press and vineyard; fourth, a cover for merchandise out of doors (Talmudic), hint of a tour of symbolic plays; fifth, sixth, seventh (well, alright, that’s Bialik...)

Then one day came with an official notice: The judges, after long, hard deliberations, chose the name Adloyada, base on the Talmudic passage: Raba said: It is the duty of a man to mellow himself [with wine] on Purim until he cannot tell the difference between ‘cursed be Haman’ and ‘blessed by Mordechai’. A man is obligated to get drunk on Purim until he cannot distinguish cursed Haman from blessed Mordechai.

The name is given in the feminine form and rhymes with Olympiada, etc. The task of adding vowels to the name was given to Rabbi Avraham Avronin. And the inventor is none other than our friend Y. D. Berkowitz.

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Chagim Center

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