And I Will Surely Hide My Face

Walking Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods on Thursday you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d somehow forgotten it was Halloween, as costumed children – and some adults – line doorways and flood the streets. But it’s March, the party buses circling the streets are blasting electronic renditions of Yiddish songs and jack-o’-lanterns, graveyard scenes and sexy nurses are notably absent. Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people from the Persian minister Haman, as recorded in the biblical Book of Esther. Said to be an allusion to God’s hidden hand in the Purim story, youngsters masquerade in decidedly wholesome costumes, while families bring gifts of food to friends and hand out money to the poor.

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