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On this Spanish island, Purim used to be the biggest holiday for persecuted Jews

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain — On this island south of Barcelona, Jews celebrate Purim these days pretty much as they do most anywhere else in Europe — finally.

There is the reading of the Book of Esther at the small synagogue near the marina, followed by a costume party bringing together the different contingents of Palma’s Jewish population of several hundred: unaffiliated Israeli families, retired British sun lovers, Sephardic locals and French businessmen, to name a few.

But only 50 years ago, Purim was the holiest day of the year — comparable to Yom Kippur — for this island’s unique Jewish community.

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