Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


God save the Queen

Filed under : Judaism
On March 2, 2007
At 12:30 am
Comments : 12

As promised in the post 3 centimeters below this one, it’s time to talk about Purim, the holiday beginning this Saturday night. I feel a little bittersweet as this is the last holiday in the cycle before I start repeating myself, as my blog began around Passover last year. But, I’m not actually allowed to feel bittersweet or bitteranything because I’m commanded to be happy not only on this holiday but for the whole freaking month. Don’t worry, that will not keep me from ranting about things that irritate me. And actually, since we’re talking about the Jewish month, it’s already half over anyway.

OK, so Purim, what’s it all about? Thanks for asking! Purim follows the general rule of any Jewish holiday which is, “they tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.” Added to this, we’re also ordered to drink. Coincidentally, I get more “gosh, I wish I were Jewish” remarks around this holiday than at any other time, I have no idea why. But, the story of Purim is actually pretty interesting, and should you not have read the Megillah of Esther lately, what’s stopping you? Even atheists would like it because God’s never mentioned. But here are the Cliff’s Notes in case you left your copy in your other purse (or man-purse, nothing wrong with that).

Long ago and far away in Persia (that’s Iran now, lucky thing that the place has been so quiet since all this transpired) there lived a king named Ahashverosh who dumped his Queen because she gave him attitude (oooh, no you dint!). Because The Bachelor and Flavor of Love didn’t yet exist, he sent his ministers around to find the hottest skirts in the land and bring them over to his crib to get the royal look-see. Long story short, he picked Esther who happened to be Jewish. Esther’s Uncle Mordechai who had adopted her hung around the palace gate to chill and keep an eye on things.

Haman, the King’s right-hand man, got pissed off because Mordechai wouldn’t bow down to him (as a Jew, he only bowed to God). Naturally, this meant all the Jews had to go. Isn’t that the only solution to the world’s problems that anyone can come up with? When Haman told the King his hot idea, Ahashverosh, not caring very much one way or another, said, “sure, you do your thang.” Shockingly, Esther felt a little differently about it. She gave a feast just for Ahashverosh and Haman. Haman was psyched! Then, at the feast, she said, “Sweetie, someone’s trying to kill me. No really. And all my people too.” The King was all like, “Holy fuck, who would dare?” and just like one of those courtroom dramas, Esther pointed at Haman and said, “That guy. The one cringing in terror right about now.” Ahashverosh was so furious that he had to walk out. That’s when Haman made his big mistake and fell all over Esther to beg for mercy. Then the King walked back in. Awk-ward!

To sum up, Haman got hung on a tree, the Jews smited their enemies, and we get to party. There’s a lot* I’m leaving out, obviously, but I have a lot of baking to do. About that. So the main rules of Purim are as follows:
1. Hear the Megillah read (my synopsis doesn’t count).
2. Get drunk enough to not be able to tell the difference between Mordechai and Haman (I’m all over this one).
3. Give packages of sweets to your friends and neighbors.
4. Give gifts to the poor.

I think 2 and 4 are actually reversed there. Oh well. Anyway, it’s traditional in my family to never serve or give anyone any food item that you didn’t make yourself and so, as my mother did, I make as many kinds of cookies as I possibly can. That usually means about four. I had a last minute switch in the line-up as a friend told me that my assortment was sorely lacking in chocolate. And so, I dedicate this picture to her.

Speaking of bittersweet, these are all the kinds of chocolate I’ll be using in my various recipes plus (on the bottom right) a bag of mini-chocolate bars from Israel to put in the package as well. You can click to enlarge but I don’t have tastablog yet. I’ll try to get in some pictures of the finished products on Sunday if I’m still alive. If I’m not, bury me with the chocolate.

* Get it, a lot? Oh hahahahahahaha! Oh right, I should explain. Purim means lots, as in Haman chose lots to figure out what day he should kill all the Jews. Yeah, still not all that funny.

The Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen (Live)