Volume 31 Number 83
                 Produced: Tue Mar 28  6:10:09 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"____________ - Taschen"
         [Adam Ferziger]
Change in tune at Lo Seivoshi
Eicha Tune for Megilla
Haman's Ear
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
         [Joseph Geretz]
         [Lee David Medinets]
Megillah question
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
         [Richard Alexcander]
         [Joseph Geretz]


From: Adam Ferziger <ferziger@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 11:20:33 +0200
Subject: "____________ - Taschen"

Regarding R. Bulka's appeal for non-Amalekite "taschen".  Here in Israel
we eat "Oznei Haman" [the ears of Haman].  I wonder what effect a change
to plain "Oznaiyim" or "Oznei shezifim" [prune ears] or "Oznei Pereg"
[poppy seed ears], would have upon the mass baked goods market.  On
second thought, by devouring many "Haman-taschen" are we not
participating in a physical form of "destruction of Amalek".
Personally, I find the revisonist idea of a "Blueberry-Tasch" far more
dangerous than continuing the mimetic tradition, despite the apparent
linguistic perversion, that served our forefathers for many generations.

Rosh Hodesh Adar Sheni sameah,

Adam Ferziger
Kfar Sava, Israel


From: <JoshHoff@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 07:38:01 EST
Subject: Re: Change in tune at Lo Seivoshi

 <<But they [most congregations] have one thing in common:  About 90 percent 
 of the time, they will sing the first five verses [of Lecha Dodi] one way, 
 and then starting with Lo  Seivoshi they will switch to a different melody. 
 Why is that done?>> >>

Many years ago I reads in a pamphlet, whose author I don't remember,
that the tune changes then becase that is when we start talking about
moshiach. I once told this to Rabbi Ahron Kahn, and he responded that if
so the tune should have changed at an earlier stanza.


From: <daniel_werlin@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 08:54:24 -0500
Subject: Eicha Tune for Megilla

Can anyone refer me to a source for reading certain verses or parts of
verses of the Megillah to Eicah trop?  Is this a more recent minhag?



From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 08:40:06 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Haman's Ear

 The miscalled ha-mantashen has the same problem in Hebrew - ozen haman
(= haman's ear). R. Rashabi, a known Yemanite posek wrote that it should
be called ugiyat (=cookie) Purim, so that this rasha's name, should not
be over-mentioned.
 BTW he also points out that Purim costumes are an Ashkenazi custom, and
non-Ashkenazim shouldn't bring children in Purim cotume to the Beit
HaKeneset, and not to waste money on expensive ones. R. Mazuz, a known
Tunisian posek & Rosh Yeshiva, wrote that the source of this is from the
mardi gras!
 Hodesh Tov 


From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 23:17:43 -0500
Subject: Haman-Taschen

Rabbi Bulka wrote:

> As I pointed out last year, it is so absurd that we name a Purim
> gastronomic centerpiece after the archvillain who wanted to destroy
> the Jews, and for whom the obligation "timheh et zekher Amalek..."
> (obliterate the memory of Amalek) surely applies.
> There is no precedent for us doing this with any other villain in
> Jewish history. It is a mistake that we would be well served to
> correct.

Perhaps the following thought will make the Haman-Taschen more palatable
to those who object to the common name.

I'd like to connect 3 seemingly unrelated facts, to come up with a
rationale for the name Haman-Taschen.

1. These tri-cornered delicacies are fashioned in the shape of Haman's hat.
2. Ateres Z'Keinim B'nei Banim - The crown of the elders are grandchildren
(Mishle 17:6)
3. Some of Haman's grandchildren learned Torah in B'nai Brak (Sanhedrin

Yes, it's absolutely true. Haman had a single Z'chus (merit) in that he
was the catalyst for an entire generation of Klal Yisrael to do Teshuva
(repentance). This merit bore fruit years later, when some of his
grandchildren converted to Judaism and studied Torah in Yeshiva in B'nei
Brak. The ultimate V'nahafoch Hu (turnaround)!!

So perhaps, these tricornered Haman-Taschen which we eat, are an
allusion not to the Rasha himself, but rather to his righteous
grandchildren, according to the Pasuk in Mishle which compares
grandchildren to the crowning garment (e.g. hat) of their
grandparents. Haman-Taschen are constructed of a sweet filling hidden
inside of a comparatively bland dough wrapper, just as Haman's
grandchildren were the hidden seed which sprouted, blossomed and yielded
sweet fruit in later generations.

Purim Torah? Maybe, maybe not. In any case, enjoy it...  Enjoy the
Haman-Taschen as well...


Joseph Geretz
Focal Point Solutions, Inc.


From: Lee David Medinets <LDMLaw@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2000 20:34:44 -0500
Subject: RE: Hamantashen

I must respectfully disagree with Rabbi Bulka's conclusion that the use
of the generic term "hamantashen" is the result of "an unfortunate
error."  Rabbi Bulka demonstrated in his recent posting that
"hamantashen" actually means, "the pockets stuffed with mon or man.
("Mon or "man" is sweetened poppy seeds).  I agree with Rabbi Bulka's
etymology.  However, I disagree that the use of the term "hamantashen"
to refer to all of these little triangular stuffed pastries is therefore
an error or a mistaken compliment to the Purim villain.  Rabbi Bulka
argues that it is "so or absurd that we name a Purim gastronomic
centerpiece after the archvillain who wanted to destroy the Jews, and
for whom the obligation "timheh et zekher Amalek..."  (obliterate the
memory of Amalek) surely applies."  On the contrary, "hamantashen" is
obviously an intentional play on words.

We are commanded to destroy the memory of Amalek.  Amalek's name is
written in the Torah in the very command to destroy its memory.  Are we
commanded to eventually blot out that name from every Sefer Torah?  I
don't think so.  >From what I have learned from Rabbi Matis Weinberg,
which I hope I will deliver correctly, the explanation is rather
different.  Amalek is the cynical people and the cynical voice that
tells us we are not worthy of having a relationship with HaShem.  It
tells us that we are not worthy of HaShem's attention or his affection,
and we are certainly not worthy to be saved from harm by Him.
Therefore, why pray, why do mitzvahs, etc.  Amalek is a kind of
spiritual boogie man that scares us from trying by telling us that
success is impossible.  The impediments shown to us by Amalek, who is
also the Satan, the Accuser and the Evil Inclination, seem impossibly,
monstrously, overwhelmingly large - totally insurmountable.  But with
HaShem's help, if we are strong, if we are clever and if we persist, we
are able to dis-illusion ourselves and see how we were being tricked.
Then the very thing that was once so frightening becomes a joke.

I never discussed hamantashen, specifically with Rabbi Weinberg, but I
believe that this issue fits into the picture quite well.  At the time
of the Iraq war everyone in Israel was issued gas masks and had to
choose between protection from poison gas (stay upstairs) and protection
from bomb blasts (stay in the basement).  There were Rabbis who
announced confidently, around this time of year, that these gas masks
would be Purim masks by the time the holiday came, and they were right.
The war was over as quickly as we all remember.  Jewish casualties were
miraculously light.  And the big scare of gas attacks from Scud missiles
suddenly looked hollow and silly.  Haman is like that.  He seemed so
invincibly powerful, the virtual ruler of 127 countries, the best friend
of the king, the power behind the throne, all his attention, interest
and malevolence directed solely upon the destruction of the Jews.  And
yet, a few days after he reaches the height of his power, he is made a
mockery and finally hanged on the scaffold he built himself against his
enemy.  Everything that frightened us turned out to be a joke because
HaShem does love us and does protect us and He cares about our prayers
and our mitzvahs and our teshuva.

So when we take a pastry and make it into a symbol of Haman with a play
on words, we eat are EATING HAMAN FOR BREAKFAST.  There is no power in
Haman when we recognize that all power belongs to HaShem.  That is the
meaning of "Timheh et zekher Amalek - Obliterate the memory of Amalek."


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 18:43:57 +0200
Subject: Re: Megillah question

Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...> asked:

>  Does anyone know why we allow the reading of Megillat Kohellet on
> Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot, and the Megilla of Shir HaShirim on Shabbat
> Chol Hamoed Pesach?  My question is not relating to those two megillot
> on those days, but rather why is the megilla reading in those two cases
> allowed on Shabbat.  If Purim falls on Shabbat we push it off to Sunday
> because people might carry the megilla on Shabbat.

 I am sorry i cant remember a source for this, but i think i remember
hearing the difference stated as follows:
 The Megilla on Purim was decreed as a *requirement*, and therefore, to
prevent ignorant people mistakenly carrying the scroll on Shabbat, the
sages decided it must not be read on that day. The other Megillot are a
*custom*, and not having the element of a required action, there was no
need seen to impose additional stringencies.

Shimon Lebowitz           
Jerusalem, Israel                   mailto:<shimonl@...>


From: Richard Alexcander <JAlexan186@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 09:30:58 EST
Subject: Purim

In regard to Perry Zamek's statement in a recent posting: Perhaps in
Yerushalayim the 14th of Adar cannot occur on Shabbat, but out here in
Galut it most certainly can.  If it does, Purim is celebrated on Sunday,
the 15th, and Taanit Esther is kept on Thursday, the 12th (instead of on
the 13th).

Richard Alexcander

From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2000 08:31:16 -0500
Subject: Taschen

Rabbi Bulka wrote:

> As I pointed out last year, it is so absurd that we
> name a Purim gastronomic centerpiece after the
> archvillain who wanted to destroy the Jews, and
> for whom the obligation "timheh et zekher Amalek..."
> (obliterate the memory of Amalek) surely applies.
> There is no precedent for us doing this with any
> other villain in Jewish history. It is a mistake that
> we would be well served to correct.

Actually, if my memory serves me correctly, there is precedent for
this. I don't have sources with me now, but can someone confirm if there
was a chamber in the Bais HaMikdash named after an evil sorcerer who
actually attempted to destroy the Bais HaMikdosh? So perhaps the term
Haman-Taschen is not so absurd after all. In general, I'm very hesitant
to dismiss a custom which is almost universal as being a mistake. It may
not be.

Furthermore, it is extremely derogative and denigrating to your enemy,
to eat his hat after you have bested him!


Joseph Geretz
Focal Point Solutions, Inc.


End of Volume 31 Issue 83