Purim and Hamentashens

23 Mar

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Purim is, I think, my favorite Jewish holiday, mostly because it’s got everything you could possibly want.

Alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol.

And it’s only one day.

And you get to eat a lot. Actually, that pretty much applies to every Jewish holiday. On Purim, though, there are no restrictions on using electricity—meaning that when you finish stuffing your face you can them migrate over to the couch and digest while watching TV.

Purim also has the best story of all the Jewish holidays—and to me, of the entire Hebrew Bible. The Book of Esther is pretty much a  biblical version of Game of Thrones. There’s blood and sex and war and death and more blood and more sex  and no mention of God or the supernatural, which to me makes it a more entertaining tale to read than, say, those involving impossible-to-believe miracles like the splitting of an entire sea.

So yeah, I’m excited about Purim’s arrival. I love everything about it.

Everything, that is, except, hamentashens. Those I just don’t get.

For those non-Tribespeople unfamiliar with the food, a hamentashen is a cookie, usually filled with jelly—though if you’re lucky you get your hands on a chocolate chip one—that is rolled into a three-corner shape. Why three corners? Because Haman, the evil villain from the Book of Esther who was essentially Hitler 1.0, supposedly wore a three-cornered hat while prancing around town.

Well, that’s not really the why, and this—and jelly, I don’t like jelly!—is what bothers me about these cookies. That why illuminates what the three-corner shape represents. What it does not do is explain why in the hell we celebrate a holiday and the Jewish people surviving an attempted genocide by making a delicious cookie in the shape of the villain’s hat. This would be like celebrating the downfall of Hitler by baking swastika-shaped cake. It just doesn’t make sense.

Make a cookie in the shape of a crown, to honor Queen Esther. Or a horse, for Mordechai. If you want to incorporate Haman into the ritual do so in a way that mocks him (like booing during the reading of the Book of Esther, which is already done), or makes people think about the vile person that he was. Don’t hand him the honor of dessert.

Perhaps I’m missing something here—if I am please let me know—but to me, none of this makes sense and so this Purim I will be taking a stand against Hamentashens. It’s time to put an end to this nonsense.

(Unless someone brings some chocolate ones. Or chocolate and peanut butter. Those are delicious and I’m sucker for pastries.)

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One Response to “Purim and Hamentashens”

  1. Sid Neeto March 12, 2014 at 1:21 am #

    Hmmm… never thought about it that way… good point!

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