Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Guest Post: Frankfurt Purim by Mendy Meyer.

Today marks a day once celebrated in Frankfurt as "Purim Vitz" or "Frankfurt Purim". There is much discussed online about the various "local" Purims- for regional nissim throughout our exile, as well as the Halachos surrounding the institution of a local or private Purim. There is also much historical background discussing the uprising and squashing of Vincent Fettmilch's rebellion and the Pogrom and expulsion he orchestrated upon Frankfurt's Jewish population. Below follows a loose translation of the Sefer Yosef Ometz in it's description of the ironic turn of events and salvation of the Jewish community. Remember that Rav Hirsch ZT'L identifies irony as the source of all humor, and, I would add, that this is behind the added merriment of the Purim festivities. 

"And for the miracles that happened on this day, namely that we were returned to our streets by the Commander and General....with much grandeur, among many nationalities who came out in numbers, in military regalia, flags, horns, and drums. And at that very moment we saw the expulsion of our great enemy Vincent and his followers. And they beheld the great honor bestowed upon us and they were humiliated as they were escorted to prison,some of them, and some were sent from the city to be hung and punished before us. Literally, as we were escorted through the very gate that they were driven from. And we literally passed the stage and (guillotine?) built upon the Rose Mark. And not one of the onlookers accosted us. To the contrary, they helped us clear the refuse that had been piled, blocking the entrance to our quarter. So that the two wagons in our entourage could pass: One wagon carried three distinguished shields with the seal of the Kaiser to be placed at three prominent gates and they were immediately affixed there by soldiers....and the second wagon carrying my father-in-law...who could not walk....May it be Hashem's will that we witness the prophecy fulfilled:"Greater shall be the Temple, the latter than the former. Amen."


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