Adar: Food as Transformation

Feb 13, 13 Adar: Food as Transformation

Posted by in Purim, Spiritual Practices

My latest post over at explores the transformational power of food, especially during the Jewish month of Adar and the Purim tradition (mitzvah) of sending Mishloach Manot.

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Hamantaschen: Symbol of Adar

Yes, it’s Adar and I decided to go exactly where you expected me to this month — Purim and Hamantaschen. But as opposed to doing a history of the fabled, and delicious, Purim cookie — I’m going to explore some of the mythic and ritual opportunities these humble cookies offer us.

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Purim: Enter the Trickster

Ahh….Purim.  Let’s invite the trickster in and see what havock s/he can wreak!   We think of Purim as the light-hearted, silly holiday, but the trickster sometimes has her own plans.  The month of Adar is the month associated with the Kesilah, the Fool, in the Kohenet model.  Generally, I think of the Kesilah as the light-hearted clown who’s sacred play helps us to break out our normal way of thinking.  There is also the trickster element, which is a bit more mischievous and dangerous than the fool. I think the Trickster what is what’s at play  in our current economic situation in the United States, and much of the rest of the world.  The Trickster has taken the entire world we know and turned it upside down.  The foundations of our economy have been entirely shaken — and the Trickster is waiting to see if we’ll ask the right questions here.  The Trickster knows that our economy has been  based on a joke.  How can our entire way of life be  built around buying things we really don’t need, can’t really afford, and are so low quality that we’ll have to replace them in a couple of years?  What an amazing joke has been played on us all. Now it’s Purim.  Now we can sing, dance, laugh, drink and make jokes.  Now we freely invite in the Trickster.  So, what will you do with the Trickster — now that you’ve invited her/him to dance? Purim is just one short month before Pesach.  I think I’ve realized this year, that Purim is when we take notice of what enslaves us.  Tradition says that the Israelites had gotten to the point they didn’t even know that they were enslaved and oppressed.  It’s just the way life was.  I think we have been in the same place.  We’ve allowed ourselves to be shackled to a economic system that is spiritually bankrupt.   We work so we can have more, more, more.  Quantity has replaced quality in too many...

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Esther, Ishtar, Morning Star

It’s Purim, it’s Purim! Yay!!! Well, okay as of sundown it’s Purim — but why quibble? Nothing to do this Purim? There’s a bevy of ways to honor the queen. Here in DC you can get your groove on at Play Nightclub, where there is going to be a rock-star style Purim Party. And of course in NYC, R’Jill Hammer and Telshemesh will be having a Purim/Equinox celebration at the Manhattan JCC. Wish I could be there for that, but it’s just not going to happen this year. It also looks like D’vorah Kelilah is having a ritual for those on the west coast. If you are in the San Francisco area, check out her website,, for local events. If nothing else have a hammentashen and read the annual Telshemesh Purim Play! Any more events people want to mention? Shout outs for all! [tags]purim, esther, equinox,...

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Moan for the Mohn!

I had a very quite Purim this year. In the past I’ve thrown a raucous Purimschpiel, so this was a little strange. I think I’ll throw the party again next year, I just felt kind of sad. My topsy-turvy Purim was to have a quite day instead of a big party where I read the bible and make people act it out. It’s much more fun than it sounds! I did manage to make some hamentashen, but they just weren’t up to my usual standards. The first problem is that I couldn’t find a single store in DC that sells the poppy seed filling and I just didn’t feel like trekking to the suburbs. I gave in and made my own, but it’s just not as good. I don’t know what I do wrong — maybe it’s sitting in corn syrup for months that gives the canned stuff that special touch. The filling turned out a lot better than my previous attempts, which may have been because I let it sit for a day before using it. I hope you all had a festive Purim and are now in preparation for Pesach. I have two tiny revisions to make the PeelaPom Haggadah, which I hope to have posted this week. There’s a couple of typos we discovered during the seder last year that both of my copy editors missed. [tags]mohn, hamentashen, poppy seeds, purim, baking, passover, pesach,...

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No Hammentashen

I’m kind of crushed. Every year I make homemade hammentashen for Purim, but I’m just too busy this year to do it. It’s actually become a tradition that my sister and I get together and make dozens of yummy poppy seed filled goodness. I guess I’ll have to make do with some store bought ones this year. Of course if I’m too busy for baking, I’m also too busy for a proper Purim party. Again — this is very distressing. I throw a killer Purim-schpiel. It’s kind of amazing that I can throw a party where I read the bible to people and they have to act it out — and people are still talking about it a year or two later. People have actually asked me when Purim is, because they can’t wait for the party. People who have never been have asked how they can get an invite. I think next year, I’m just going to have to clear my schedule better for Purim. Right now — I could use the emotional release that Purim provides. Here’s a link to one of my favorite Purim Web moments of...

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