Purim celebrates the saving of the Jewish community from persecution in ancient Persia, thanks to Queen Esther and her cousin Mordecai, who prevailed over the evil Haman.
Purim begins at sundown on Thursday, February 25.
Megillat Esther, despite its dubious historicity, remains entrenched in the Jewish heart. Maimonides envisioned that at the end of days, only the Torah and the Book of Esther would remain in the Jewish canon. Somehow, this tall tale, void of any mention of God, earns a spot beside our most sacred text.
On Purim, it is our obligation to make a reversal, a turning upside down of the inequalities we see.
They look like Haman’s three-cornered hat. Or because the German word tasche means pocket, the cookies could be Haman’s pockets that held the money he offered the king for permission to kill us. Whichever it is, it’s not Purim until the hamantaschen are baked and devoured!
What? You never heard of Taco Hamantaschen?!? It may not be traditional but stuffing triangular shells with vegetarian taco fixings, with guacamole and salsa at the ready, how can that be a bad thing?! You might even start a new tradition—Taco Tuesday Hamantaschen!
Find them all here.
On Purim, we should get drunk. Yes, according to the Megillah, we are supposed to drink until we cannot distinguish between “Blessed is Mordechai [baruch Mordechai]” and “Cursed is Haman [arur Haman].” Why? Rabbi Howard Goldsmith (Congregation
Emanu-El of Westchester) suggests it’s to dull the ego. “When we can no longer tell the difference between [Mordechai and Haman], we become a bit unsure of the morality of our views. Instead of one side or the other, maybe we should try to find a space in the
grays and nuances of any issue … And then, when we’ve stopped drinking the day after Purim, perhaps we can find a collaborative, humble way forward.” Above all, Rabbi Goldsmith would also caution us to imbibe safely. And to enjoy these Purim cocktails!
As we read the Book of Esther, remember to blot out Haman’s name whenever it’s mentioned by stomping, booing, and shaking your grogger! Here are some ways to make your own:
The Better-Than-Best Purim by Naomi Howland
This sweet Jewish lady is all set to prepare hamantaschen for Purim and needs the help of her furry friends. However, they are too busy to help her. Secretly, her friends are planning a surprise. Check out the recipe at the end for the hamantaschen!
And in Yiddish (because it’s fun to say), Freilechen Purim!