I've been wondering: how much hamentashen must one consume on purim? Is this independent of type or amount of filling? If not, what kinds of hamentashen qualify?

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

  • 4
    Man! I didn't realize just how lema'aseh this query was! You remind me of Gene Wilder in the Shabbat afternoon escape scene in The Frisco Kid.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 22:58
  • @IsaacMoses, man? I prefer jam (or lekvar).
    – msh210
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 23:23
  • @IsaacMoses I always make my hamentashen with Crisco.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 23:24

7 Answers 7


Everyone knows the concept of שמר את נפשותיכם מעד. Interestingly, the gematria of שמר is 540, and the gematria of מן (poppy) is 90. From here we can deduce that if you eat six poppy hamentashen on Purim, you'll have fulfilled the commandment of keeping watch over your body.

  • 6
    +1, excellent purim tora: uses the wrong wording of a pasuk and the wrong spelling of a Yiddish word to build a gimatriya. I love it.
    – msh210
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 0:48
  • 6
    Um, yeah, I totally meant to use all those wrong spellings. Definitely. :)
    – eykanal
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 0:49

I question the premise. Clearly there's a chiyuv to eat hamentashen only in Jerusalem when Purim is on Friday - i.e., when we have Purim Meshulash (lit., "three-sided Purim").

  • Odd because we have the seudah and mishoach manot on Sunday! +1
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 1:54

A little know rule about kosher hamentashen is that the the 3 walls must be made on the sides BEFORE the filling is set in the middle, as the Shulchan Aruch rules in OC 688:1:

והוא שהוקף ולאח"כ ישב
As long as it was surrounded and then settled

To justify the common practice, he does bring down another opinion (which is not brought in the talmud Megillah 3b) that says that if the filling was originally set down in the middle with the intention of setting up the walls later, then it is still kosher.

Thankfully, the Rama there notes that we can assume in general that our hamentashen were made in the correct order, although Achronim debate if his assumptions regarding the bakers of Cracow, Poland apply to modern times.

  • The three sides of answer are just filled with so much awesome. I wish I could upfold-er-vote it again and again.
    – Seth J
    Commented Feb 22, 2013 at 19:46

I don't know about filling, but I do know that if you bake your hamentashen with 4 corners and then cut one off, you can no longer use it for the mitzva as it says:

תאפה: לא מן האפוי!‏

  • 3
    If there are four corners you may (k)need Tzitzis on such a Hamentash. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 23:16
  • 1
    @ShmuelBrill Tzitzit only go on something if it covers your shoulders too, not just your ears!
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 23:18
  • If you bake it with four corners and cut one off it would be osser because of makeh bepatesh, as you would now have two kosher three sided hamantashen Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 18:06

As far as filling goes, there's the famous opinion of Rabbi Bob Emaaseh that you can only fulfill the mitzva on hamantashen with pomegranate filling. Everyone knows the halacha that Jews are "מלא רימון כמצוות", and which mitzvos are full of pomegranate? Exactly! Hamantashen!

Of course, there's a machlokes; the eminent rabbi Rabbeinu HaRav Hagadol Boich Sevara says that they must be poppy-filled (because everyone knows that opium comes from poppy), and you must eat them "עד דלא ידע"!

Everyone (even Rabbi Maaseh) agrees that you must eat the hamantashen "עד דלא ידע" . But of course there's the disagreement on what "עד דלא ידע" means.

  • First we must see what is causing the "עד דלא ידע".

    • According to the first opinion, it's the sugar high from eating an enormous amount of hamantashen.
      • (Some say, that since we learn it from "מלא רימון כמצוות", the person too must be full of pomegranate, not just the hamantashen! This means that he must eat hamantashen until the amount of pomegranate filling he has consumed is equivalent to his body weight.)
    • According to the second opinion, it means that the minuscule amount of opiates, contained in the poppy filling, intoxicates the person. Obviously, he too holds that this is an large amount of hamantashen.
  • Second, what counts as "לא ידע"?

    • Rabbi Maaseh holds that it's until he doesn't know how many hamantashen he ate.
    • Harav Sevara holds that it's until he doesn't know what a hamantash is!
  • 4
    Your answer would be move valuable if you'd include a source.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 3:23
  • @IsaacMoses The first opinion is HaRav Bob Emaaseh, and the second is Rabbi Boich Sevara. Should I edit those in?
    – HodofHod
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 3:45
  • 5
    HodofHod, a belated welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for this informative answer! Yes, please edit whatever you can about your sources into the answer itself. There's an "edit" button under the answer for that, but if you want, you can just use this one, which is closer to where your gaze is now, anyway: edit. I'm pleased to see that if the author of the second opinion acted leshitato, it would only enhance his ability to reason.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 3:52
  • @IsaacMoses Ouch! :-D
    – HodofHod
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 4:00

Based on https://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/14552/732

The filling represents the food served by the meal served on Purim by Achashveirosh.

While everyone agrees that caviar was served, there was an argument as to what type.

Some say Black Caviar was served, so we have to fill the Hamentash with something black, like poppy, while others say it was "red" (salmon) caviar, so we have to fill the Hamentash with something "red", like Jam.


According to many authorities, you can only be yotzei with Poppy seed hamentashen since this is the true mitzvah of hamentashen. One posek said "a hamentashen without poppy seed is like a chulent without meat, chicken soup without chicken and gefilte fish without fish!" Another posek said "a purim without poppy seed is like a pesach without matzah balls, a shavuous without milchig and a rosh hashana without pomegranates!".

There is an old macholkes regarding jam hamentashen. Some authorities say its OK, while others say its better not to rely on kulos. The MB says one should be machmir regarding apricot jam (the actual lashon is ?קאַמאַן, אַפּריקאָס), but that you can rely on the more meikel shitos for strawberry or rasberry jam.

Poskim in Israel and America disagree about Chocolate hamentashen. If they are made from new flour, Israeli poskim forbid it, as do most rishonim. If they are made from chocolate spread, American poskim forbid it, and not just on purim. If they're made from Godiva chocolate everyone agrees its mehadrin and hiddur. You can can follow your own minhag hamakom. There is a machlokes regarding chocolate spread hamentashen that were brought from America to Israel.

Prune hamentashen are definitely forbidden. One rabbi said "a prune hamentash is like Hamen or chazer" (commentaries explain that it holds up its hooves pretending to be poppy until you bite into it and realize.") If you buy a prune hamentash thinking it was poppy seed, its a mekach ta'os and the store owner may need to pay you for any suffering it caused.

However, each group can follow their own custom, as long as they recognize that poppy seed hamentashen are clearly superior.

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