The holiday of Purim: the one day on the calendar in which we are permitted to go crazy and have a good time....we dress up in costume...drink a little alcohol....laugh at a few jokes, and celebrate the fact that one maniacal anti-Semite after another has tried (and failed) to destroy the Jewish People throughout history.
Click here for everything you ever wanted to know about Purim.
When it comes to food on Purim, it all comes down to the hamantaschen. Three recipes worth trying out this weekend and all year round!
1) The Traditionalist (you'll have to let me know how it is; I have an aversion to prunes!)
2) The Contemporary Alternative - this recipe for hamantaschen filled with chocolate filling (yum) comes from Vered Guttman, one of the food writers for the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.
3) The Radical Newcomer - who says hamantaschen just have to be for dessert? This recipe is savory and can be served as an entree or side dish during a meal. (We're trying it tonight for our Shabbat dinner...stay tuned!)
The great paradox of Purim is that it is both ridiculously silly, and deadly serious.
For your dose of silliness, check out the annual Purim website that the major American Jewish newspaper the Forward puts up. They call it the Backward. Get it? If the parodies there (check out the review of the Bar Mitzvah) don't make you smile, consider watching the 2006 movie For Your Consideration: by far the best (only?) mainstream American movie about Purim ever made! You can rent it on YouTube for only $1.99!
And for your dose of seriousness, do read Rabbi Daniel Gordis' sobering column today in the Jerusalem Post about the chasm that continues to divide Israelis and Palestinians.
Wishing you all a belatedly festive, joyous, and thought-provoking Purim,