17 Shevat 5780 AM
Today is Purim Saragossa!
“The Jewish main street of the city Saragossa contained 12 synagogues. At the annual royal visit, three Torahs dressed in gold and silver were taken from each synagogue to welcome and parade the King through the town. One day the leaders of the community decided that the practice violates the sanctity of the Torah and that henceforth the Torah containers would be marched dressed as before but empty without the Torahs. The practice went well for 22 years.
“One day an apostate by the name of Marcus revealed the secret at a royal meeting. The King in a fury ordered a surprise inspection the next day, and the slaughter of all Jews if Marcus is indeed correct. That night the Prophet Elijah appeared in the dreams of each of the 12 sextons and ordered them to insert the Torah in the empty cases. The next day, upon finding the scrolls in the containers the King ordered Marcus executed and relieved the Jews of taxes for a period. As a result of the miracle, a scroll was written and the 17th of Shevat celebrated as the Purim of Saragossa, still observed in many Sephardi families to this day.”