HomeFebruary 2014Kosher for Purim

Kosher for Purim

Once there were three little pigs who lived together in a sturdy brick house in Ein Gedi. The little pigs worked hard during the week, and on the weekends they relaxed by soaking in the mineral-rich muds of the hot springs where they lived.
One sunny morning, the pigs were returning from town, where they had been buying supplies for their spring garden. In town, they saw preparations being made for the Purim Carnival the next day.
“Let’s go to the Purim Carnival tomorrow! It will be fun, and what a great break from work it will be!” offered the first pig.
“We will need costumes, of course,” suggested the second pig.
“Let’s make crowns. We can each be the melech of the Purim parade!” decided the third pig.
The three little pigs put aside their bags and collected their craft supplies to make crowns to wear to the carnival.
The first little pig, whose name was Rishon, made his crown out of bright purple construction paper. This did not take him long, and then the little pig spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the mud.
The second little pig, named Sheni, made his crown out of poster board and gold foil. Cutting the poster board and gluing the foil to it took a little more time, but when the crown was finished, there was still time for a dip in the wet dirt with Rishon.
Shlishi, the third little pig, made his crown from poster board, too, and then he strengthened it with papier mache. He mixed flour and water together to form a paste, dipped strips of newspaper into the paste, and stuck them onto the poster board crown. While waiting for the crown to dry, Shlishi put away the supplies from town. Afterward, he painted and decorated the crown. It took all afternoon to complete his crown and clean up after himself and the other pigs.   Shlishi didn’t take even a minute of time to play in the mud before it was time to go to bed.
The next morning, Rishon, Sheni and Shlishi excitedly put on their crowns and set out for town and for the Purim carnival. They squealed with delight when they arrived. The street was packed with dozens of game booths, prize tables and food stands. Music, cheering and laughter could be heard up and down the street. Everybody, young and old, was dressed in every imaginable costume and color. The little pigs had never seen such a carnival. After first helping themselves to their favorite Purim treat, oznei haman, the three little pigs ran off in different directions, agreeing to meet again in a little while.
The three little pigs did not know it, but a big, bad wolf had been hiding in a cave near their sturdy brick house.  When he saw the pigs with their crowns and their curly pink tails running down the hill towards town, he became very interested. He sneaked down the hill, following them.
Once he arrived at the Purim carnival, the big, bad wolf became very hungry. The delicious aromas of all the food there reminded him that he hadn’t had a good meal in a very long time.  The wolf quickly became aware that he was the only one without a costume.  He had to have a costume fast, or he’d be recognized for the big, bad wolf that he was, and no one would sell him a thing to eat! Too late to make a costume, the wolf decided he would take one from someone else.  That was when he saw Rishon, the first little pig. Rishon was admiring the baskets of mishloach manot collected for tzedakah. The big, bad wolf leaped in front of Rishon and growled:
“Little pig, little pig, give me your crown!”
“Not for all the oznei haman in town!” exclaimed the first pig.
“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your crown down!”
… and that’s just what the wolf did!  The crown, made only of construction paper, flew off Rishon’s head and onto the street. Before the wolf could reach it, the crown was trampled under the feet of those passing by them.
A moment later, the big, bad wolf spotted Sheni, the second little pig. Sheni was decorating a Megillah cover at the craft table. The wolf bounded in front of Sheni and snarled:
“Little pig, little pig, give me your crown!”
“Not for all the oznei haman in town!” hollered the second pig.
“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your crown down!”
… and that’s just what the wolf did.  Twice.  Cardboard is stronger than construction paper, but after the second blow, the crown fell off Sheni’s head. Sheni tripped over himself and crushed the crown beneath his own feet as he ran away from the wolf.
Immediately, the big, bad wolf noticed the third little pig among a crowd of children making ra’ashanim. The wolf jumped in front of Shlishi and howled:
“Little pig, little pig, give me your crown!”
“Not for all the oznei haman in town!” shouted the third pig.
“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your crown down!”
… and that’s just what the wolf did. Twice. Three times. Again and again  the wolf blew, but the sturdy crown stayed on Shlishi’s head. The wolf schemed for a moment; then, as the wolf was reaching forward to grab the crown with his paws, a child dressed as Mordechai, in a robe and kippah, stepped forward from the crowd. He offered the wolf a hat instead of a crown, a black, three-cornered Haman hat, which the wolf eagerly placed upon his head. The other children booed and shook their ra’ashanim, and the embarrassed wolf ran away from the carnival and all the way back to the cave, certainly dropping the hat somewhere along the way.

Laura Aron Milhander has a background in Jewish studies and both Jewish and secular education.  She and her husband, Rabbi Kenneth Milhander, are the parents of four children and live in Orange County.

Why is this story called
“Kosher for Purim?”
The title is humorous, because the main characters of this story are pigs. Pigs are not often featured in Jewish stories or elsewhere, because they are not kosher.

What are some of the special
words used in this story?
These are Hebrew words. Hebrew is the everyday spoken language of Israel and is also used in prayer and study by the Jewish people around the world. Did you recognize any of the Hebrew words in this story?

Purim (pur-IM) the festive holiday that retells the Biblical book of Esther
Rishon (ri-SHONE) first
Sheni (she-NI) second
Shlishi (shli-SHI) third
Melech (MEH-lech) is king
Oznei Haman (oz-NEI ha-MAN)
Hamantaschen, Purim cookies
Mishloach manot (mish-LO-ach mah-NOTE) giving gifts of food
Tzedakah (tze-da-KAH) righteous and dutiful giving to aid another
Megillah (meh-gi-LAH) the scroll from which the story of Purim is read
Ra’ashanim (ra-a-sha-NIM) noise-makers
Kippah (ki-PAH) yarmulke, skullcap

Where is Ein Gedi?
Ein Gedi is a city in Israel near the Dead Sea. It is so old that it is mentioned in the Bible. Ein Gedi is well-known for its nature and animal preserves and for its mud, rich in minerals. People from all over Israel and all over the world come to “play in the mud” in Ein Gedi!   ✿


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