Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oznei Haman


I have a Jewish calendar in my cubicle that has a special photograph that is symbolic for each month. This month's pages have pictures related to Purim. A gentile friend came to my desk today and asked me about the pictures. He first pointed to the gragger and I explained that it was a noisemaker. Then he pointed to a plate of hamentashen and I explained that those were cookies that we make and send to our friends. He said, "Ooo, you're going to make me some cookies?" I said, "Sure, I'll make you some so you can share in our tradition." I then went on to tell him how they were named hamentashen after a man named Haman. I explained that in the book of Esther the story is told of how Haman wanted to kill all the Jews. Because "oznei haman" was in my head, I told him that the translation of the name for the cookie was "Haman's ears". He looked at me and said, "you bake and eat cookies to represent the ears of someone that wanted to kill the Jews"? I replied, "Um...yes, I guess so."

I don't think he wants me to make him any hamentschen anymore.

4 comments:

The Babka Nosher said...

I'd leave the oznei Haman section out of your explanation next time!

Kol Ra'ash Gadol said...

Well, if it makes you feel better, hamantaschen aren't the same thing as oznei haman. Oznei Haman are actually ear-shaped,(also kind of filo-dough-ish, and drenched in honey) for one thing - I used to buy them at the local bakeries when I lived in LA, and there were a ton of persian and moroccan jews living in the area. Hamantaschen are just filled cookies.

Rivster said...

Because if they were Haman's hats, he'd be more inclined to ingest some haberdashery??

Kol Ra'ash Gadol said...

I read recently that oznei haman comes from the old persian custom of cutting the ears off convicted criminals. Yum!