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Jerusalem Mea Shearim posters

A Hareidi Jew reading pashkvilim on a wall in Mea Shearim

A pashkvil (Hebrew: פשקוויל‎ pl. pashkvilim פשקווילים) is a broadside or poster that has been situated on a public wall or location in an Orthodox Jewish community, and most commonly within Hareidi enclaves. Pashkvilim are frequently distributed anonymously however many are often posted with rabbinic endorsements or the name of an activist group appended to the bottom.


The pashkvilim “make clear what is virtuous or acceptable behavior and what is not. They serve as expressive media that show what those who prepare and post as well as those who allow the poster to be displayed (the latter by attending to its meaning and not removing or covering it) consider to be acceptable or worthy of notice… The informed observer can thus use such signs as a window through which to glimpse what is appropriate behavior as well as what is on the mind of the community, its interests and concerns.” [1]


“The Yiddish word pashkvil was borrowed from the Polish paszkwil, which comes from the French pasquil or pasquille, which goes back to the French pasquin, which derives from the Italian pasquinata (whence English “pasquinade,” a satire or lampoon).” [2] The word made its way "from Yiddish into the Hebrew of the Old Ashkenazi Yishuv in Jerusalem"[3] and was consequently adopted by Modern Hebrew.


A pashkvil containing an excommunication notice

See also


  1. Heilman, Sliding to the Right: The Contest for the Future of American Jewish Orthodoxy, p. 22
  2. Jewish Daily Forward: On Language by Philologos
  3. Jerusalem Post: The Writing on the Wall by Rena Rossner


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