Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Purim

Today is the Jewish holiday Purim. And I will admit I am not really that observant, and while I knew Purim was coming, I had forgotten until I saw my facebook friends mentioning it.

Purim celebrates the story of Esther, which I think is part of the Christian Bible (it is isn't it?). Like most all Jewish holidays, we are celebrating the fact the someone wanted to kill all the Jews but failed, and the Jewish people survived. The main characters of the story are Mordechai (Esther's Uncle) who is the hero who saved the Jews and Haman the "bad guy" who wanted to kill all the Jews. Every year when they tell the story of Purim you are supposed to cheer when Mordechai is mentioned on boo when Haman is. The way to correctly celebrate Purim is to drink enough wine so that you when you hear the name Haman you can't remember if you are supposed to cheer or boo. O yes, us Jews know how to celebrate. (Of coarse you are also supposed to give baskets of food to the poor called Mishloach manot so they can celebrate too, but the drinking part is far more exciting).

Like all holidays (Jewish or not) food is always a big part. And the big Purim food are Hamantashen. These are cookies in the shape of triangles (supposedly the shape of Haman's hat) that are filled with jelly or chocolate. I was thinking of making some this year. But didn't quite get the ball rolling in time. I did a few years ago. But not this year. If you're curious here is a picture of some.
Prune Hamantashen

The other big part of Purim is dressing up. Think of it as a Jewish Halloween. Growing up, my Hebrew school used to have a Purim Carnival, where we could wear our costumes. My favorite game was always the cake walk. Kinda of like musical chairs, but when the music stopped you where on a certain number. They would then pull a number out of a hat, and that person would win a cake. No wonder I liked it, you got to win a cake!

The other big attraction was the Haunted House. Each grade was in charge of a certain booth or station, and every year the confirmation class was in charge or creating and running the haunted house. It's funny, I have FAR more memories of looking forward to being old enough to run the haunted house than I actually do the year I got to do the haunted house. When I had the chance, I think I actually spent more time taken tickets outside of it than anything else. It's funny, even though it already happened, part of me forgets and STILL looks forward to when its my turn. Anyone else ever feel that way about things?


Photo from Flickr originally uploaded by koshercom


  1. My dad is Jewish. He isn't too observant either.

  2. I've been seeing a lot of those cookies on foodgawker.com, I had no idea it was for a Jewish holiday! Cool! :)

    (btw, you seem to love cooking, so you should definitely check out that website!!)

  3. thanks for sharing. I didn't know anything about Purim until I read this post! granted, I'm not Jewish, but I feel like I should know these things... And I am Christian, though, not really that observant like you say, and I am somewhat familiar with the story of Esther. I love that food and wine are big parts of Judaism. maybe I should convert! :) :)

    p.s. thanks for the museum suggestion. I googled FIDM and that costume exhibit sounds super cool! I hope I can find time to go before the month is out...