Tuesday, December 10, 2019 -
Print Edition

A ‘potluck’ Purim

I have never smoked pot nor experimented with any other drug and am certainly against promoting recreational drugs of all kinds. And I confess this is not your average family friendly idea. But with Purim around the corner, and mishloach manot (Purim baskets) having sort of become an opportunity at creativity, corny humor, or drawing on current events for humorous inspiration, the recent legalization here in Denver of marijuana is a goldmine.

A “pot luck” Purim meal (seudah). With pot roast or a crock-pot hot dish, chicken pot pies and pot-atoes on the menu. Pot stickers instead of the traditional kreplach. And pot-pourri fragrantly sprinkled on the tables for some extra panache.

Or, simply, a “pot luck” themed mishloach manot (a lotto ticket and happy brownies, etc.). Because hey, luck, the lotto, is what the name of the holiday Purim means. A pur, a lot, figures prominently in the story; it was how the fate of the Jews was decided. Hence, “pot-luck.”

What about a Harry Pot-ter themed mishloach manot or costume? Dressed up with Mary Jane shoes? I know. I know. So corny. Work with me here, though.

So, what of “The Joint” effort of Mordechai and Esther in bringing the miracle of Purim by destroying Haman the dope? Whose whole plan went up in smoke?

Then there is the whole effect of pot, the much-fabled munchies — munching on mishloach manot and treats on Purim, being part of the character of the day.

Then there is the whole Colorado “Green Rush,” because although the Talmud describes Esther as being one of the most beautiful women in the world, it also portrays her skin color as having a hue of . . . you guessed it, green.

OF course, all the merriment, humor, irreverence and revelry of Purim are simply a mask, a conduit to deeper, more profound themes of the day. In fact, the companion holiday to Purim is none other than our holiest day, Yom Ha-Kippurim (literally, “a day similar to Purim,” known as “Yom Kippur”). This flip flop, costumed, full of surprises kind of day of reversals and emphasis on lack of discernment (not knowing the difference between Mordechai and Haman) masks profound teachings and messages — but all through the fun of Purim.

Ultimately, the purpose of the mitzvah of mishloach manot is “to increase peace and friendship,” to develop communal bonds.

With that, this year I hope you hit the jackpot . . . reaching a new high.

Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Tehilla R. Goldberg

IJN columnist | View from Central Park

Leave a Reply