Company & Culture
February 27, 2018
8 minute read

If you’re looking for Purim hats or costume ideas, you can’t go wrong with Pinterest. And if you’re planning a party, be sure to include Purim Song by the Maccabeats. Festivity, hats and costumes, gift baskets, the Megillah, and hamantaschen are what we think about when it’s time to celebrate Purim.

Haman and the Three-Cornered Hat

As if we needed an excuse to eat cookies? The story goes that Haman the Agagite wore a 3-cornered hat. So we celebrate his demise by eating his hat.

Research by renowned scholars into the tradition of hamantaschen for Purim, which goes back to the Middle Ages and for which the exact translation is “Haman’s pockets,” has never been explained. But the Swedes “have a suspiciously similar cookie, called Napoleon’s Hats or ‘Napoleonhattar,’ which are traditionally filled with almonds. That actually makes a certain degree of sense: Tri-cornered hats were popular in Napoleon’s time,” says Jewcy.

It’s a Mitzvah to Wear a Funny Hat

Author Lawrence Cohen says for his rabbi, wearing a funny hat to the reading of the Megillah is “…the supreme mitzvah. Visiting the sick, accompanying the dead, attending the bride, don’t even come close.” In fact, rabbis are so divided on the why-do-we-wear-the-hat topic that at one historical point they declared Teyku (“Let the decision be made by Moshiach when he comes.”).

Perhaps the ‘Hats’ are ‘Crowns’

Another theory reigns: The hats are supposed to represent the crown of King Ahasuerus, who decided to kill Haman rather than the Jews. His decision may have been self-serving: He wanted to keep his wife Esther around, but we remain happy he chose that option.

Celebrate Purim

If you have the real reason we wear funny hats to celebrate Purim, let us know! Meanwhile, we wish you and your family and friends Chag Purim Sameach! Wear a funny hat Thursday, March 1, 2018.  Another  Mitzvah for Purim is Matanot L’evyonim, which translates to  donations to the poor or charity.  You can donate to Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago by clicking here.

It’s a mitzvah.

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