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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Today is the Jewish Fat Tuesday

posted by on March 20 at 16:42 PM

Today is Purim, a.k.a. the Jewish Drinking Holiday!

Lots of people don’t even know that Jews have a drinking holiday ala St. Patty’s Day (fucking amateur night, if you ask me).

Here’s what it’s all about:

Jewish exiles from the Kingdom of Judah who had been living in the Babylonian captivity (6th Century BCE) found themselves under Persian rule after Babylonia was in turn conquered by the Persian Empire. According to the Book of Esther, Haman, royal vizier to King Ahasuerus / Xerxes, planned to kill the Jews, but his plans were foiled by Esther, who was made queen after Xerxes kicked out his previous queen, Vashti, and Mordechai, the palace gatekeeper for Xerxes who raised Esther when her parents died, though he was her cousin. This was evidence of divine intervention on behalf of the Jews. The Jews were delivered from being the victims of an evil decree against them and were instead allowed by the King to destroy their enemies, and the day after the battle was designated as a day of feasting and rejoicing.

Translation: Fuck Haman and GO ESTHER!

Things Jews do on Purim:

Drink this:

Eat these:


And make tons of noise with these:


If you want to participate (of course you do! It’s fucking fun!), some Jews are holding a party at the Capitol Hill Arts Center Lower Level. There will be Klezmer. Also, there will be dancing to non-Klezmer, which you will prefer to the Klezmer.

RSS icon Comments


Although I come from a long line of Catholics, I gotta back you up on this Ari. Purim KICKS ASS. In fact, pretty much all the Jewish holidays are super fun. But, I think you get drunker on Passover, what with Elijah's wine and all.

Posted by kerri harrop | March 20, 2008 4:51 PM

According to Grandpaw McCain, this is the Jewish Halloween. Senator Lieberman had to correct him. It was very cute.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | March 20, 2008 5:00 PM


Seriously, nothing like getting wasted and dancing till you drop on Klezmer ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 20, 2008 5:09 PM

Countdown to Issur... 3...2...

Posted by kid icarus | March 20, 2008 5:12 PM

I'm eating a poppy seed hamentaschen (sp? Feh, I'm a goy) as I type!

Posted by Michigan Matt (soon to be Balt-o-matt) | March 20, 2008 5:14 PM

Funny. I was in Miami Beach a while ago during Passover. In case you've never been there, Miami Beach is very, very Jewish. They literally shut the entire town down during Seder. You haven't lived until you try to get to your 40th-floor hotel room and find out that the elevators are shut off. No joke.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 20, 2008 5:18 PM

Plus, it's the subject of the most recent Christopher Guest movie.

Posted by kebabs | March 20, 2008 5:34 PM

It's been said before but it's worth repeating: Xerxes was a total douche.

Posted by nbc | March 20, 2008 5:50 PM

I bet if you took a poll in middle America, a large majority of respondents would believe Purim is a laundry detergent.
The Irish have a much better drinking holidsy, not St Patrick's day, but the clever indexical holiday known as Today.

Posted by kinaidos | March 20, 2008 6:15 PM

Try as you might, cake walks, costume parties, noise makers, and bean-bag tosses do not a St. Patrick's Day make.

Sorry Kerri, but only a goyish shlemil would say "pretty much all the Jewish holidays are super fun."

Posted by six shooter | March 20, 2008 6:36 PM

@6 makes me think Career Opportunity. Mom used to earn coin as a kid by flipping light switches for some of her lower east side neighbors.

Posted by umvue | March 20, 2008 6:42 PM

Whatever. Jewish guys are hotter than Irish guys! Just that word--"Manischewitz"--makes me swoon.

Posted by Irena | March 20, 2008 7:12 PM

Irena dear, while I agree that Jewish men are hot, I don't share your enthusiasm for Manischewitz. Almost all Kosher wine, apart from some very high-end labels, are nasty.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | March 20, 2008 7:18 PM

Oh, a New Yawka, eh? (or, as the natives these days call it, Nueva Jork). Go Red Sox! (Former New Englander here.)

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 20, 2008 7:21 PM

Where can you buy a hamantash in Seattle? Yummy apricot hamantashen are one of the few things I miss about living in the Bronx.

Posted by sneezer | March 20, 2008 8:38 PM

I'm with you, Sneezer. I want hamantashen. Really badly.

Posted by Abby | March 20, 2008 9:36 PM

@10: I'm not just a Goy, but also an Irish Catholic. I come from a family where booze had to be banned at family functions, after a riotous celebration of my grandparents' 40th anniversary ended with 4 cop cars, brothers fighting in the street, and one hospital visit.

I know my boozy holidays. And I stand by my words: Jewish holidays are super fun. They drink and talk shit with the best of the Micks. Maybe you aren't kicking it with the right Jews?

Posted by kerri harrop | March 20, 2008 9:45 PM

Passover is pretty awesome at my family, as is Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur after the fasting is done and we can all have bagels. There is a lot of drinking and talking shit.

I'm sad they're all in Denver now. Less people to have a seder with here.

Posted by Abby | March 20, 2008 11:08 PM

So the Jews were allied with the bad guy from that Spartans movie? It's a conspiracy!

Posted by Sirkowski | March 21, 2008 8:41 AM

is this the holiday where the torah instructs one to drink until you can't tell left hand from right? Or one certain letter from another? How's that go? Best religious instruction ever.

Posted by Juris | March 21, 2008 1:15 PM

Correct, but not the Torah. Purim is not actually in the Torah

Posted by Zack | March 21, 2008 1:40 PM

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