Friday, March 10, 2017

The Good, the Bad and the Yummy

The goal of this blog is to lighten up the Shabbat table in good taste. Please forward, like, tweet or at least print and share.
Wishing Dede bat Sima a speedy and complete recovery.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT - The Amazing Jewish-Fact-a-Day Calendar has been updated (v. 2.11). It should be available for all iOS devices. Either search by title, or by my name, or use this link. With the proceeds, we are hoping to release a completely revamped v. 3.0 later this year. In the meantime, enjoy!

71d8e19470ab8e144cfbd2d5fb4e0f29Last week's reader-challenge failed to turn up a superior Jewish joke, so the "two guys in Argentina joke" remains at the top.

In the meantime, hamantasch (
that favorite Purim cookie) factories big and small have been at full-steam, leading us to a question for your table:

What would you guess are the three most popular hamantasch flavors?

(Answer below.)

That question leads us to some good news, some bad news, and some yummy news.

The good news is more people than ever before are doing Purim this year.

Why is that good news?

Because one of the main ways to celebrate Purim is to give gifts (money and food). So more people celebrating = more giving.

The bad
news is that the world still has a few Haman-wanna-bes. The current front-runner is the president of Persia/Iran, Mr. Rou-Haman-i (who took over for Mr. A-Haman-nijadad in 2013.

Still building the bomb, still wants to kill the Jews.

Note that Persia is the setting of the ancient Purim story.

Rouhani-RouHaman(In case the face doesn't ring a bell, click on it and learn something about the Haman of our day. Or click here, or here.)

The yummy news is what these modern Hamans have taught us about hamantaschen.

We have all wondered why are they shaped like that, and what does hamantash mean, anyhow?

When I was a kid, we used to call them “Haman’s hat”. But that’s because we didn’t spreken Yiddish. Then I went to Israel where they call them “Oznay Haman” - Haman’s ears. So I thought that tashen meant ears.

And then I stumbled upon these photos, hard evidence that the ear theory is correct. At least that's one benefit of Rou-Haman-i's election.

HamabbasSo I'm guessing you're thinking, "What are supposed to do, Rabbi, defeat our enemies by mocking them?"

This calls for a Monty Python line:

“We spit on you, you silly Persian. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries. Now go away or we will taunt you a second time!” (say with French accent)

(Here is a YouTube clip that says it best.)

Like I said, more people are doing Purim this year. Here are the stats from Israel alone:

+ Some thirty million hamantaschen are being baked.
+ This year Israelis will be able to buy goat cheese and onion hamantaschen.
+ Goat cheese and onion has a ways to go before it overtake the most popular flavors of poppy-seed, chocolate and date.

(For the adventurous, here ere are some other interesting flavor innovations.)

Final questions for your table: What's your favorite hamantaschen flavor? What flavor would you never want to try?

The time to eat them is of course this coming Sunday afternoon, remembering that every Haman has his hour, and his downfall.

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Purim

PS - All kidding aside, two of the great Purim mitzvot can be done online:

- Gifts to the poor - Here or here or here or ....
- Care packages to friends, neighbors, family - Amazon's selection

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