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GALLERY: Hamantaschen

Hamantash is also spelled hamentasch, homentash, homentasch, homentaschan, or even (h)umentash. The name hamantash is commonly viewed as a reference to Haman, the villain of Purim, as described in the Book of Esther. The pastries are supposed to symbolize the defeated enemy of the Jewish people. The word tasche means "pouch" or "pocket" in German, and thus may refer to Haman's pockets, symbolizing the money that Haman offered to Ahasuerus in exchange for permission to destroy the Jews. In Hebrew, tash means "weaken", and the hamantash may celebrate the weakening of Haman and the hope that God will weaken all of the enemies of the Jews. Another possible source of the name is a folk etymology: the original Yiddish word מאָן־טאַשן (montashn) or the German word Mohntaschen, both meaning poppyseed-filled pouches, was transformed to hamantaschen, likely by association with Haman. In Israel, hamantaschen are called oznei Haman (Hebrew: אוזני המן‎), Hebrew for "Haman's ears" in reference to their defeated enemy's ears. [whose?]

The word "hamantash" is singular; "hamantashen" is plural and is the more common word form. However, many people refer to these pastries as hamantashen even in the singular (for example, "I ate an apricot hamantashen"). [7]

Hamentaschen are triangular-shaped pastries that are traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim. The Purim tradition is rich with feasting . A big part of Purim is and the custom of making Purim baskets and gifting food to others during the holiday ( mishloach manot).  Hamentaschen are a popular basket-stuffer.

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