A Bisl Torah

Strength In a Cookie

We continued our annual tradition of baking hamantaschen. This year, the experience was a little different. Sinai Temple joined 75 other families on zoom, communally made dough and laughed through our baking questions. How much flour? How do you create the perfect triangle shape? How many minutes in the oven?

But we also asked, “Why hamantaschen?” Meaning, why do we eat this funny shaped cookie during the holiday of Purim? Also called oznei-haman, the cookies are said to resemble Haman’s ears, the villain of the Purim story. Another popular explanation: in medieval Europe, yummy pastries called Mohn Taschen hit the bakeries. These poppy seed filled pocket-treats caught on, reminded Jews of the name Haman, and as they say…the rest is history.

One more lesson: Tash is Hebrew for the word “to weaken.” The eating of hamantaschen may remind us of ways to weaken those that wish us gone. But perhaps, more importantly, the making of hamantaschen reminds us of the ways to strengthen ourselves. That in a moment in time in which the Jewish community could have easily faded in the night, we continue to stand together. Baking. Learning. Growing. Strengthening our core of faith. Strengthening our ever-beating heart.

Who knew a little cookie had so much to teach?

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Purim Sameach!

Through our partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.

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