Purim’s Hidden Foodie Message

March 3, 2009

Did you know that the Purim story lasted for 13 years? 13 years in which God was hidden.

Food combined with hidden spirituality is a major theme of the Purim story and it was through this the Jewish people were saved.

Here are a collection of interesting insights into both food and customs and some Persian dishes that may just have been served at the time in Shushan.

  • During the Purim meal, it is customary in many communities to serve kreplach, meat-filled dumplings. The “hidden” meat is an allusion to the Purim miracle which though orchestrated by G d’s hand, was hidden in seemingly natural events. Even if the meal lasts well into the night, the V’al Hanissim is still recited in the Grace after Meals.
  • When Purim falls on Friday, there are some who will start their Purim meal before nightfall and continue into the night—combining the Purim meal with the Shabbat meal. If this option strikes your fancy, speak to your Rabbi. He will let you know whether it is advisable in your situation, and if yes, he will tell you how it is done (how and when to make the kiddush, eat the challah, etc.).
  • It is a mitzvah to drink wine or other inebriating drinks at this meal—”until one knows not the difference between cursed is Haman and blessed is Mordechai.”

Happy Purim! Chef Yochanan Lambiase Founder of The Jerusalem Culinary Institute www.jerusalemculinaryinstitute.com