"...in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple" (Esther, 8 15)
The Book of Esther opens with a description of the king's feast that took place in his garden decorated with marble pillars, amethyst and mother of pearl floors with gold and silver beds and azure, white and purple fabrics. This description, along with the emphasis on the number of countries ruled by Ahasuerus - twenty-seven and a hundred from India to Kush - were intended to emphasize the wealth and splendor of the king's court.
Much emphasis is also given in the Megillah to the description of the characters' attire; When Mordecai hears the evil of Haman's decree he takes off his clothes and wears a sack as a sign of mourning. Esther, on the other hand, in coming to seduce Ahasuerus and please him, wears royal robes. When Haman is asked what should be done to the who finds favor in the kings' eye, he replies that he should be dressed in expensive clothes and marched through the streets of the city for all to see. The description of Mordechai's clothes parallels the description of the king's garden, a parallel that emphasizes the splendor of Mordechai's dress and the honor bestowed upon him.
Generations of children in Israel and in the Diaspora have disguised themselves as Queen Esther, Mordechai the Jew, figures from the Bible and other popular figures. These have changed over the years depending on the spirit of the period. We were all a bride, a brave soldier, a daughter of Pharaoh and an angel, but today the traditional costumes seem to have been abandoned in favor of more exciting costumes. Because of this, here at the S. A. Nahon Museum of Italian Jewry in Jerusalem, we have decided to shake the dust off some of these costumes by presenting some of the most unique and intriguing objects in the museum's collection.
What did a soldier look like in World War I? What did a bride wear a hundred years ago? Or two hundred years before that? How were Egyptians and the Pharaohs depicted in the 17th century, and who does Aaron the Priest look like in printed Haggadahs from the 18th century?
Behind the silhouettes of the characters, you will find clothes, inscriptions and other objects that once belonged to brides and soldiers, alongside works of art depicting kings and queens, messengers, angels and more.
Curator: Daniel Niv | Graphics: Shift Rathaus | Assisted: Liora Weisz
Feel free to create costumes inspired by the exhibition with us!
So what do you need?
All the works can be done with a minimum of materials, or a maximum, and it is entirely your choice! We recommend using materials you already have at home, but of course you can also buy. In addition, it is advisable to prepare the materials in advance, and arrange them according to creation.
General equipment: scissors, stick glue, hot glue (recommended under adult supervision), bristol and/or colored sol, stapler.
Flowers: sol, small office rubber bands, skewers and/or hair bow, green crepe paper (optional).
Epaulets: sol, cardboard, woolen threads.
Crown: bristol pre-cut according to the stencil, staples and decorations to taste.
Other possible equipment: pipe cleaners, markers/paints, foil, stickers, sequins, buttons and more!