Subscribe to our Daily Briefing

"A Purim Revelation: How the Star of David and Earmuffs Were Discovered"

By  "A Purim Revelation:  How the Star of David and Earmuffs Were Discovered" | February 28, 2018 | Jewish World






"A Purim Revelation:  How the Star of David and Earmuffs Were Discovered"
 By Allan M. Levine, Ph. D., Purim, 2018 (Valley Village, California)

It was just before Purim eve a long time ago, two Jews ran into each other (frontally & literally) on the sidewalk, as they were rushing home for the holiday.  At the time, each of them was carrying an oversized, 3-cornered hamentash pastry. Fortunately, neither of them was injured, but the 2 l,large 3-cornered pastries they carried collided in a way that produced a large pastry cookie in the shape of a 6 –pointed star!

Each of these fellows was named David, so it became known as a "Star of David".

    As word of this got around, the custom arose in which Jews would rush to greet each other on Purim eve, while each carried an oversized, 3-cornered pastry.  With good humor, friendly intention and much fanfare, each neighbor bumping into another, would produce such a "Star of David".

   They discovered that since poppyseed or "mohn" filling was least likely to squirt out onto the neighbors' clothes when they bumped & the hamentashen (plural) collided, this became the preferred filling.  Local farmers would sometimes use their latest crop of prunes, strawberries or apricots as the filling, so today these fillings are also used.

   However, since such yearly "neighborly collisions" could be with so much force they might result in injury, people decided to modify this custom and for safety's sake instead, they began the practice of sending a dish or basket with at least 2 smaller hamentashen per plate, plus other goodies to neighbors' homes.  So each neighbor, if            he or she wanted to, could safely enjoy making, sharing or eating their own "Star of David" pastries for Purim.  Otherwise, they could just leave them as simple, triangle-shaped hamentashen for the


There's another pastry subsequently discovered  with special qualities that’s also worth mentioning, called Sufganiyot  (plural "soof-gah-nee-yoht", sufganiya is singular). 
These are jelly or cream-filled solid "DONUTS-without-a- hole".  Today these are popular and in wide use among Israelis and other Jews for Chanukah and at times, also for Purim. 

Interestingly, another Jewish neighbor discovered that if you take
two of these warm sufganiyot just prepared in your kitchen, attach them with a long cooked noodle or "loksh " and very carefully place one over each ear while they're held by the noodle placed over the head, your ears will stay warm and protected when you walk  home in cold wintry weather, during Purim season.  This not only warms the ears, but when small amounts of oil on occasion drips from them onto the ears and cheeks of the person "wearing" this, there’s an added benefit which prevents one's face and skin from becoming dry or chafed in the cold evening air.  And thus, earmuffs produced from sufganiyot, were created & discovered.

Now we know how these two popular foods for celebrations were added to Jewish tradition, created with unique shapes, and flavors and how the Star of David and Earmuffs were discovered and created, for later generations to embellish and enjoy!

Aahhh!  What a people!  What traditions!  What serendipity (roll the r

and it sounds almost like a Yiddish word)!

 Happy Purim, to one and all!



Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)

Rob Coles (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research) Rob Coles (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)

Connect with CIJR |

Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Feed from us via RSS Receive News & Briefings via e-mail