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The Tastes and Sounds of Purim 

02/26/2023 06:36:42 PM

Feb26

     Purim is definitely in the air at Adath Shalom! It didn't just creep in quietly,  it announced itself with cheers, joy and song. As I write this we are still 8 days away from Purim, but we have already started celebrating.  Of course, a favorite theme of Purim songs is the food we eat.  After all, singing about traditional foods is almost as fun as eating them. One of my favorite yiddish  songs is   "Hop Mayne Hamantashen". This song  tells the story of a woman who is baking hamantashen but discovers she is lacking some key ingredients. 

Yachne Dvorshe is going to town,  wants to bake homentashen, but has no flour. It is raining and snowing, Everywhere it's dripping, Yachne's off to get her flour, but her sack has a hole. She forgot the poppy seeds, she forgot the honey, She's forgot the yeast! She is bringing her mishloach manot to her "bobe Yente", and it ends up she has three homentashen, half are raw and haflf are burnt.

Here is Theodore Bikel's version: click here

     And for the sephardim: Here is  a Purim song in Ladino by Flory Jagoda who brought her  Jewish musical culture of Sarajevo to the United States. Flory Jagoda performed and composed traditional sephardic songs from her native Bosnian Sephardic culture. This song,   El Dio De Purim is a charming children's purim song which is based on traditional lyrics.  The chorus: 

Biva yo, Biva el Re Bivan Todos Yisrael, Biva la Rena Ester Ke mos dyo tanto plazer 

Long life to me, long live the King, Long live all of Israel. Long live Queen Esther who gave us so much pleasure. 

     And, no surprise, this song does not mention hamantaschen, but rather fine halvah! In the introduction to the song in her  songbook, Flory Jagoda tells us that Purim in Sarajevo was a little like Halloween "except that you had to present something for your treat." She continues that it was the custom for girls to send to boys they liked "platikus di Purim" (plates filled with their own special homemade sweets) to show what treats were in store for them. Listen to this charming song here

     Of course the loudest and most joyful sound of Purim is not that of song, rather it is the exuberant rattle of graggers as we block out the name of the evil one.  When I hear it, I find myself wishing that indeed we might be able to eradicate evil simply by drowning it out. 

Thu, February 22 2024 13 Adar I 5784