If you have been puzzled as to why Jewish children and adults have paraded around in costumes this time last year, you will see that same scenario again in a couple of weeks, February 25the and February 28th and every year after that. This is not an early Halloween celebration, but part of the celebration of Purim.Purim is the celebration of Queen Esther, a Jewish woman that secretly kept her Jewish identity in her heart even when King Achashverosh, the King of Persia, chose her as his new Queen. The old Queen just didn’t measure up to his standards anymore. The King’s Prime Minister, Haman, was not a friend to the Jews and looked for any excuse to turn the Persian nation against the Jews.
When Haman approached Mordecai the Jew and told him to bow down to him, Mordecai refused. Haman was livid. Coincidentally, Queen Esther was also the niece of Mordecai-talk about a small Jewish world-and was informed of Haman’s decree that the Jews should be put to death, men, women, and children. Esther had to do something and fast, and fast is exactly what she requested of Mordecai and the entire Jewish people.
Esther also fasted. In fact Jews have come together during many turbulent times as a nation in order to overturn their enemies’ deadly intentions. This is also why the Fast is called the “the Fast of Esther”. Esther advised Mordecai to : ‘Go and gather all the Jews who are found in Shushan and fast over me, and do not eat and do not drink three days, night and day; and I and my maidens will also fast thus.’ (ibid. 4).
We don’t keep three days of the fast, we keep one. On what would have been the third day of the fast, we get together with friends and family and enjoy a Purim Seudah (festive meal) followed by something sweet in the shape of Haman’s triangular hat. Hello, hamentaschen, it is so nice to see you. If this is a word you’ve never seen before and you think that it might be the latest iPhone application, you are wrong. The word hamentashen is a triangular like pastry that tastes like the best sugar cookie you have ever had filled with chocolate, poppy seeds, apricot jam, or prunes. These cookies are easy to make at home, but if you would like to win your very own gourmet tin of hamentashen, you’ve come to the right blog. No, you don’t have to fast to win your very own gourmet tine of hamentashen from the folks at Kosher.com. Contest Rules The hamentashen contest will run from Monday, February 8th – Friday, February 12th with a winner chosen on Monday, February 15th. This contest is now closed. You can still check out kosher.com at anytime, they’re always having something special going on! Happy Purim!
1. Visit http://www.kosher.com and return to my blog and leave a comment with the type of Hamentaschen cookie you would like to try and why. In order to officially enter this contest, your comment must include a link to the Kosher.com site.
2. Join my fan page on facebook here http://tinyurl.com/yfgnc8h
This contest will end Friday, February 12, 2010, at sundown.
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