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DER YIDDISH-VINKL March 14, 2003

The word “hamantashen,” which makes its distinguished appearance at Purim time, cannot be translated into English. The word refers to Haman, the evil pre-Hitler Hitler who wished to wipe out the Jews of ancient Persia. The word “tashn” means pockets. The combined word refers to a delicacy served at Purim in which dough is shaped as a sort of triangular “pocket” and filled, traditionally with prunes or poppy seeds. Symbolically, the eating of the hamantashen may be intended to tell the story of Jews devouring Haman, who wanted to devour the Jews.

The song “Hop Mayne Homentashn” is probably the most popular song associated with Purim. The English version is by Gus Tyler.

Hop Mayne Homentashn

Yakhne Dvozhe fort in shtot

Halt zikh in eyn pakn.

Zi darf oyf Purim koyfn mel

Homentashn bakn.


Hop mayne homentashn

Hop mayne vayse

Hop mit mayne homentashn

Hot pasirt a mayse.

S’geyt a regn, s’geyt a shney

S’kapet fun di dekher,

Yakhne firt shoyn korn mel,

In a zak mit lekher.


Yakhne trogt shoyn shalokh moness

Tsu der mume Yente

Tsvey dray shvartse homen-tashn

Halb roy, halb farbrente.


Let’s Make Hamantashen

Now Yakhne Dvoshe goes to town

Her mind’s on what she’s making

For Purim she needs meal of corn

She needs it for her baking.


Hey let’s make homentashn

Glistening white with glory

Hey, let’s make homentashn

That tell an ancient story.

It starts to rain, it starts to snow

The roofs are weepy, creaky

Yakhne totes her meal of corn

In a sack that’s leaky.


Yakhne brings her Purim gift.

Unto her old aunt’s dwelling

Two-three blackened hamantashen

Enough to set you yelling.



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