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Pot for Purim: Can You Replace Wine With Weed on Judaism’s Most Festive Holiday?

2 minute Read

This weekend is the festive holiday of Purim. Billed as the Jewish Halloween, Purim is often celebrated by wearing costumes and getting drunk. In fact, the Jewish text is frequently interpreted as commanding people to get so intoxicated that they can’t tell the difference between “cursed be Haman,” the bad guy in the Purim story, and “blessed be Mordechai,” the good guy.

If drinking isn’t your thing, however, cannabis could potentially replace alcohol in the holiday festivities.

The main mitzvah, or commandment, on Purim is with wine, since that was the beverage served at the party that begins the book of Esther, the Purim story’s protagonist, Rabbi Avi Shafran, a spokesman for the ultra-Orthodox organization Agudath Israel, tells Jane Street. “So even other alcoholic beverages are somewhat ‘liberal’ interpretations of the exhortation to drink to excess,” he says. “What might be of interest, though, is that the word used in the Talmud {body of Jewish law} to refer to intoxication on Purim is ‘libsumi,’ which literally means ‘to become spiced’ — the usual word for drinking is not used. So it’s anyone’s guess, I suppose, whether smoking intoxicating aromatics might be encompassed by the use of that word.”

As with most aspects of Jewish study, the commandment to get so inebriated you’re falling asleep or have no idea what’s going on is up for debate. Los Angeles-based Orthodox Rabbi Simcha Green, whose name incidentally means “Happy Green,” thinks getting too intoxicated is a misunderstanding of the text.

“Think about how it would affect you,” he says. “Would it put you in the situation that you can’t function properly, or just that you feel very good because it’s Purim?” No one should ever get too drunk, so cannabis could be a great substitute, Green says.

The obligation to rejoice on Purim is well established. Whether you do that with cannabis, alcohol, or both is a personal choice. But if you do go the reefer route, you can get creative with how to incorporate cannabis into the holiday tradition.

Try some weed hamantaschen, for instance. The triangle shaped cookies, made with chocolate, apricot, poppy seed, or raspberry filling, are a nod to Haman, the Purim story’s antagonist. One hamantaschen recipe by Jeff the 420 Chef calls for filling the dough with cannabis caramel.

Both the dough and caramel are made by infusing three and a half grams of bud into one and a third sticks of butter. The rest of the ingredients are pretty simple: flour, salt, vanilla extract, brown sugar, heavy cream, condensed milk, and so on. You can get the full recipe here. Just remember, since digested THC (the main compound in cannabis) affects you differently than smoked THC (see Jane Street‘s how-to-not-freak-out guide), be careful to dose the edibles properly and not eat too much, lest the cannabis put you to sleep rather than lift your spirits for one of the happiest holidays of the year.

Pot for Purim: Can You Replace Wine With Weed on Judaism’s Most Festive Holiday?