St. John’s and hamentash

I had coffee and a hamentash at the Hungarian Pastry Shop with Fabulous Girl. It was nice to catch up with her and feel like a grownup with a social life, you know? Afterwards, we went into the cathedral of St. John the Divine, which I’d somehow not managed to go into yet, despite living so close to it. I knew it was large, but the sheer size of it doesn’t hit you until you go in.

The building inspires awe. Pure, simple awe. Though I’m not much of one for organized religion, I do think that this is one of the things that it ought to do. I mean seriously, if you’re going to put up an edifice in the glory of God, it ought to darn well inspire awe. I can worship on my own, but a cathedral is a physical manifestation of the idea that individuals are small and that there are things that are much, much greater than we are. You know?

It helped, of course, that they were tuning the pipe organ for tomorrow’s rededication. It was haunting although at times a little unpleasant when a reed was particularly out of tune. I’ve never heard a pipe organ bend notes before. Pretty darn cool.

As I’m writing this, it strikes me as amusing that I started the day with a hamentash — a pastry from the Jewish holiday of Purim — and then went to a massive cathedral. I have to say, as impressive as the cathedral is, the idea of making cookies seems more practical. Or at least tastier.

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5 Responses

  1. Amal

    Oooh, I’d never heard of hamentash (which isn’t surprising to me, given that I only discovered what matzah ball soup was a few months ago, in New Jersey), but it looks almost identical to fatayer, except the latter are always savoury. The ones in the image are stuffed with spinach, onions, and sometimes swiss chards.

  2. Kai Jones

    I remember making hamentaschen with the Sisterhood at the Conservadox synagogue in town when I belonged there, back when my kids were tiny. We made them for a fundraiser every year and sold them by the dozen. My favorite was prune, then chocolate, poppyseed last.

    Synagogues aren’t supposed to inspire awe, but community and education. G-d doesn’t need any help being awesome!

    1. -e-

      Poppyseed LAST? for me, it’s first, then prune. Chocolate seems wrong somehow, sort of like a blueberry bagel.

      Mary, one of my favorite factoids about the Cathedral of St. John the divine… You know that little figure of Christ in the very center of the big rose window… the figure you can barely make out? Well, that figure is life size, about six feet tall.

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