Friday, March 10, 2017

The Space Alien's Purim Celebration

Your editor arrived at the insanely busy newsroom of the Space Alien Gazette and found the Space Alien bent over a desk in deep concentration.

Your Editor's Hamentashen
in the Oven
The holiday of Purim was at hand and your editor still had plenty of holiday baking to do.  (To read more about Purim, a holiday based on the Biblical Book of Esther, please click here.)

But she set these thoughts aside to greet the Space Alien.

"What are you working on?" she asked.

"I'm trying to work our latest crossword puzzle; it's a hard one!" answered the Space Alien.

"Maybe I can help!" said your editor.

King Ahasuerus
"OK, here are some of the clues.  The first one is: A powerful, but impulsive and not always thoughtful ruler."  

"Ah," said your editor, still thinking of Purim, "that would be King Ahasuerus, an ancient Persian king now more commonly known as Xerxes.  See if that fits!"

"No," said the Space Alien, "it's a five letter word, that begins with T and ends with P.   Oh, wait!  I just thought of it!"

And perhaps you, loyal reader, have thought of it as well!

"What's the next clue?" asked your editor.
Queen Vashti

"A woman dismissed from her position for refusing to follow that ruler's inappropriate command."

"That's easy!" said your editor.  "That would be Queen Vashti, who refused to obey the king's command to display her beauty to the king's inebriated guests wearing only her royal crown, and who was therefore removed from her throne!"  (And you, loyal reader may learn more about this too!  Just click here. )

"No," said the Space Alien, "it's not Queen Vashti, and this is a long one!"

The Space Alien fiddled with a pencil for a few moments and then cried out:  "Oh, I have it!   It's ActingAttorneyGeneralSallyYates!  Yes, look, it fits!"   (And you, loyal reader may  jog your memory if you'll just click here.)

"You are so smart!" exclaimed your editor!

Haman advises Ahasuerus  
"Thank you," replied the Space Alien, "but I'm trying to figure out the next clue.  It says:  An evil man who assumes great power as the ruler's top advisor, and attempts, using lies and distortions, to influence the ruler to do some very bad things."

A Gragger
"Oh that's an easy one!" said your editor.  "Of course this means the evil Haman, who told King Ahasuerus to kill all the Jews!"

"Hmm, no," responded the Space Alien, loudly shaking a gragger to blot out the sound of the dreaded name of Haman.   "Here I need a six letter word beginning with B and ending with N and with two N's in the middle!   I'll keep working on it!"

"When you figure it out let me know," said your editor, "and maybe I'll shake my gragger too!"

Mordecai and Esther
The Space Alien read another clue:  "A bright and beautiful young female who enjoys the protection and affection of the ruler, and her relation who is, in turn honored by the ruler." 

"I know," said your editor.  "That must be brave and heroic Esther and her wise uncle Mordecai!"

"That doesn't fit" said the Space Alien.  "All the letters that I have so far are I----T---- and J----K------."

Your editor frowned.  "If that's who I think they are, they are nowhere as wise as Mordecai or as brave and heroic as Esther; not even close!"

"Tell me more!" said the Space Alien.

So your editor told the Space Alien the thrilling story of how brave Queen Esther heroically risked everything, even her life, to protect her people from the deadly decree urged by the ruler's evil advisor Haman.  And you can read about this too in the Book of Esther in any Bible!

Brave Queen Esther Denounces Evil Haman to King Ahasuares
The Space Alien was inspired by this narrative to be wise like Mordecai and brave and heroic like Queen Esther.

But now it was time to get ready for Purim!

First, working in the kitchen at tachyonic velocities exceeding the speed of light, the Space Alien quickly  baked thousands of delicious hamentashen to share.  These were made with the Space Alien's very own recipe adapted for a plant-based diet from a course in Jewish Holiday Cooking that the Space Alien recently attended at the Cordon Bleu in Paris!  (q.v.)   
A Few of the Space Alien's Hamentashen

The Space Alien writes a check

Greater Chicago Food Depository 
Next the Space Alien borrowed your editor's checkbook and made a Purim contribution to the Greater Chicago Food Depository to help fill local food banks.   (You can do so too if you click here.)

And at last, the Space Alien was ready to join the big Purim celebration!   

As is clearly seen in this photo, everyone was there and the Space Alien was having lots of fun!
Everyone Was There!
Another Gragger

The Space Alien listened intently (and twice) to the reading of the Megillah, the Scroll of Esther, twirling a gragger noisily whenever the evil Haman was mentioned in order to blot out that evil name!

Hamentashen made by
the Space Alien
Afterwards, everyone enjoyed the delicious fruit and poppyseed hamentashen the Space Alien shared.

The Space Alien loved every minute of the wonderful celebration, and was inspired to be especially brave and heroic in the coming year!

The Space Alien wants to share these delicious hamentashen with every loyal reader of the Space Alien Gazette!    So if you happen to see the Space Alien on Purim (this year it's March 11 and 12), be sure to ask for some!  

The Space Alien has Hamentashen for YOU!

חג פורים שמח
[Khag Purim Sameakh]