לחם! בקרב עדות ודתות בארץ - הלחם בטקסי מחזור החיים  
Bread in the Cycle of Life Scenes from the Baker's World Bread and Politics From Seed to Loaf Home Page עברית
 
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Purim, which occurs on the fourteenth of Adar, celebrates the day on which the fate of the Jews living as exiles in Persia and Media "was turned from sorrow to gladness, and from mourning into a good day" (Esther 9:22). To heighten the joy on this festival, each Jewish community prepares baked goods in accordance with its own particular tradition. These are served at a festive Purim meal, or else they are used for mishlo'ah manot - exchanging gifts or "sending portions to one another."

Purim Hallot in the shape of fish Heimish Bakery, 2002
Photo: Noam Ben Yossef

Jews of Moroccan origin insert into their loaves hard-boiled eggs representing the eyes of Haman, the evil minister in the Book of Esther who sought to destroy all of the Persian Empire's Jewish subjects. When people extract the eggs from this bread, they are symbolically pulling out Haman's eyes. At their Purim meal, Ashkenazi Jews often delight in the koyletsh, a large, sweet, elaborately braided hallah that is also used for mishlo'ah manot.

Moroccan chibze de Haman (Haman's bread)
Handmade by Esther Katsav, Jerusalem, 2002
Photo: Orpa Slapak


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