27 February 2010
Here's To Haman er Mordechai Hic!
Judaism is not known for its terribly fun holidays. Even Chanukah requires all sort of duties in a certain number of candles for a certain number of days while remembering and commemorating why you needed all that light. For the harvest season, you actually have to build a whole house. We won't discuss the ones that require all sorts of dismal activities such as fasting. However, there is one where we get to whoop it up. In fact, you are ordered to do so ... now how is that for a holiday?
So let's here it for Purim where you are specifically instructed to drink to the point of not knowing the difference between "cursed is Haman" and "blessed is Mordechai."
The children get costumes
The formerly dieting get cookies
Alcohol is required (well alcohol is required on a lot of holidays, but for this one the order is over indulgence - a very, very non-Jewish state).
Now that's a HOLDAY!!!!! Well there is that downer about remembering how the Jews of Persia narrowly escaped annihilation thanks to the bravery of Queen Esther, but eat drink and be merry anyway because Jews are always escaping annihilation.
When it comes to drinking on Purim, the Talmud clearly understood what the scroll of Esther (the Megillah) was all about. And you thought that only meant Megillah Gorilla in a Hanna Barbera cartoon. In practically every chapter of the Megillah, someone is imbibing heavily at a drinking party. And the scroll concludes with Mordecai's instruction to the entire Jewish people to celebrate these days as "days of drinking and rejoicing" (Esther 9:22).
Whether you are a so so cook or one of the gourmet variety, here are some recipes for a sumptuous Purim table. Put on your crowns and have at it. While you are having a fun time in costumes, eating too much and drinking a "tad" too much, do remember that this is also a holiday to give to those with less reason to celebrate. You just might want to click on the Shelter Box link to the right.