☆ (theidolhands) wrote in 1word1day,


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Saturday & Sunday Word: Purim & Hamantaschen

pu·rim [ˈpʊərɪm]:
origin: (1535) Hebrew; pūrīm= "lots"; the casting of dice by Haman to schedule the massacre date {Esth 9:24–26}

Long ago and far away there was a man named Mordecai, who was cousin and foster parent to the fair & just Queen Ester. Mordecai was Jewish, as is the queen (secretly), but Hamman the Prime Minister of the King Ahasuerus's massive Persian empire is not.

When Mordecai refuses to bow to the anti-semite Hamman, the Prime Minister is so offended that he plans to have him and all jews killed as punishment; Hamman even has a gallows built specially for the job. However, thanks to timely actions, Mordecai is honored for saving the King's life, Ester pledges allegiance to her people while revealing that she is among those who would be killed, and Hamman is ironically hung from his own device! History worthy of the violence, justice, and intrigue found in any Hollywood film today.

Thus a holiday is formed, recognized on the 14th of Adar, to honor & remember the deliverance of the Jews from the massacre plotted by Haman: the Book of Ester is read twice, gifts are sent to freinds (mishloach manot), charity is given to the poor (matanot la'evyonim), and a celebratory feast is had (se`udat mitzvah).

flavors: apricot, cherry, prune, poppy and chocolate.

ha·man·tasch·en [ˈhä-mən-ˌtäsh-ən]:
origin: (1927) Yiddish; Hamen= villain in The Book of Esther + tash= pocket, purse, bag

noun, plural
A delicious mystery, for while eaten during Purim, no one is exactly certain why hamantashcen pastry ("hamantash" = singular) are called or made as they are.

Could the triad be the shape of a hat for Hamen's haberdashery? Or is it Queen Ester's three virtues? Is the pocket part to represent the silver Hamen tried to bribe the King with or do they resemble the dice he tossed (Royal Game of Ur) when deciding the date of their deaths? Is it a bastardized version of Yiddish word מאָן־טאַשן (montashn) or the German word Mohntaschen for "poppyseed pouch".

No matter, the results are always the same...a soft, rich, doughy cookie shaped into a pyramid and filled with various thick jams or sweetened fillings. Go ahead, eat your hat! Never has failure tasted so sweet.
Tags: biblical, german, h, hebrew, noun, p, wordsmith: theidolhands, yiddish

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