This Saturday and Sunday is the Jewish holiday of Purim. What's Purim? The short answer, "Jewish Halloween" is also the wrong answer. But there are costumes involved as well as a lot of drinking, so it's easy to see where folks could get confused.
So real quick: Purim is the biblical story of Queen Esther and how she saved all the Jews by being the most beautiful and appealing to her husband the king's sensibilities regarding mass murder. It's a familiar story: Some guy (in this case, Haman) tried to kill all the Jews (a goal that never seems to get old). Some good guys (King Ahasuerus, Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai) work it out so the bad guy pays in the end. Then we drink, and eat.
Specifically, we drink until we can't tell the difference from the good guy and the bad guy in the story (which is hard to do, considering every time someone says the bad guy's name everybody starts making noise like it's going out of style). And we eat hamantaschen, which are little triangular-shaped shortbread cookies filled with jam, poppy seeds or most anything, really. Just no bacon, OK guys?More »