Found In: Purim
You will need home baked or purchased hamantashen in different favors, probably a glass of milk or other beverage to wash it down, candles, copy of Psalms. This ritual can be done as an individual experience or in a group. As with everything in Judaism, communal experience should be preferable.
Take a few minutes to settle everyone down, and take a few deep breaths together.
Casting the Circle / Transitioning to Sacred Awareness
Have everyone stand in a circle and one-by-one, clockwise, intone the word “Shema” (listen). Keep repeating the word until you are all chanting it together, and let the sound grow and grow. Think about who you are commanding to “listen” – yourself, those with you, ancestors, angels, G!d/dess!
Light your candles. f this is a solo ritual, then just light two candles. If you are doing this as a group use two or one candle for each participant. Below are suggested versions of the traditional brakhot to use. Please use whatever form is truthful and resonant for you:
Blessed are you Holy One, your Presence fills creation, forming the connections between us that are illuminated by holiday lights of Purim.
Give everyone a plate of 6 hamantashen. You want people to eat all six, so make them small if you need to. Why six?
- 3 corners on each cookie: symbolic of complete patterns (3 patriarchs, 3 matzot, 3 blasts of the shofar, 3 phrases of priestly blessing).
- 6 is the number of balance or the final step in a process: (magen david, sixth day, Shavuot 6th day of 6th month)
- 18 corners: all the cookies together give you 18 corners. 18 is the numerical equivalent of the word “Chai,” meaning life.
Say the blessing over cookies:
Blessed are You, Holy One, your Presence fills creation forming many kinds of nourishment.
Say the blessing over wine (if using wine, champagne, or grape juice):
Blessed are You, Holy One, your Presence fills creation, forming the fruit of the vine.
If you are using juice other than grape juice, please say appropriate blessing over that juice.
Have each person name each cookie for an “enemy” that is oppressing her/him. Be honest — this can be a person, situation, emotion, behavior. You can have fun trying to figure out why you would associate each flavor with that enemy. For each cookie, if you wish, think about what are the three steps you need to take to truly overcome that enemy — or what three resources you already have to overcome that enemy.
If you all wish, cookie by cookie, share what enemy you are trying to overcome and the resources you have or need.
Eating the Hamantashen
After declaring what the cookie represents to you, either silently or aloud, hold the cookie in your hands and say:
Masculine G!d/dess language:
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu Ruakh HaOlam, Matir Asurim
Feminine G!d/dess language:
Brukha at Shekhinah, Eloteinu Ruakh HaOlam, Matirah Asurim
Blessed are You, Holy One, your Presence fills creation, Freeing the Bound
Eat the hamantashen thinking about what it is you are trying to overcome and the resources you have or need to do this. Envision each bite removing all the obstacles and freeing you from what oppresses you.
Finish each cookie with a toast of “Ani Chofshi” (men) or “Ani Chofshia” (women) – I am Free, and drink down whatever liquid you are using.
Closing the Ritual
Recite Psalm 145 all together. Consider using the version found in Rejoice, Beloved Woman!, The Book of Psalms, or Opening to You — or any translation or Hebrew you prefer.
Releasing the Circle / Returning to Standard Awareness
Have everyone stand in a circle again and intone the word “Shema” (listen) all together – loud. One-by-one, counter clockwise, drop out of the chant until there is silence. Think about who you are commanding to “listen” – yourself, those with you, ancestors, angels, G!d/dess!
Take three deep, cleansing breaths together and say three times: Keyn Yehi Ratzon– May it be Your Will!