the schmooze

*Such A Treat

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

No doubt you've heard of the Jewish test maven, Stanley H. Kaplan. When people asked him what the "H" stands for, he would say "Higher scores" or, with a sly wink, "Preparation." IF Mr. Kaplan were to create a Purim S.A.T. in celebration of the Annual Symposium, "The Latke-Hamantash Debate," what questions might he include? (The purpose of the Symposium is to answer the question, "How does the round pancake square off against the tri-corner pastry?)

Grab a #2 "blayer" (Yiddish for pencil) and let's see how well you do on this not-so-serious quiz. A perfect score? 2400! Don't "dayge" (worry). Once in 4th grade, Stanley Kaplan got a B-plus on his report card and was so stunned that he wandered aimlessly around Avenue K in Flatbush, Brooklyn, ashamed to show the grade to his mother.


1. According to the late Leo Rosten ("Hooray For Yiddish"),
A) The correct way to pronounce Purim is to use the "u" of "pure"
B) Purim is pronounced POOR-im
C) "Ver vaist"? (Who knows?)

2. Which Professor penned these lines:

Though David admired Bathsheba's torso He liked her hamantashen more so.

A) Professor Irwin Corey (The World's Foremost Authority). There's the story
about Corey, who was performing at a hotel in the Catskills. Irwin had arrived early for an evening performance and decided, in his own capricious way, to replace the maitre d' and seat the guests. A particularly heavy ("zoftic") woman arrived alone at the dining room door. Corey greeted her, "Good evening, madam. How many are you?"
B) Professor Alan Dershowitz
C) Professor Ralph Marcus

3. Rabbi Marc Gellman uses the following ingredients in his recipe for latke (potato pancakes):

two extra large eggs
1/2 oz. kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 lb. flour
5 lbs. potatoes
1 lb. peeled and trimmed onions
peanut oil

Marc Gellman is
A) Editor of the magazine, "Heeb"
B) One half of "The God Squad"
C) A member of the motorcycle club,"Chai Riders"
D) President of the motorcycle club,"Members of the Tribe"

4. According to Rabbi Adam ("Jooz Nooz"), there is a short summary for every
Jewish holiday: "They tried to kill us, we won, now let's eat."
A) True
B) False

5. According to Michael Chertoff, Jewish children will be subject to random Shalach Manos searches this Purim season. Additionally, local police have been ordered to detain any individuals appearing to be Haman, Dathan, Aviram, Ahasueros, or other characters designed to evoke fear. :-) (Martin Bodek,
A) True
B) False

6. A "Purim-shpiel" is a rowdy play on the Megillah story (or other theme) traditionally performed on Purim.
A) True
B) False

7. According to Ohr Somayach Int'l, "10 Ways to Know When You Have Drunk Enough on Purim," includes
A) You begin speaking Yiddish with a Sephardic accent
B) You agree with hamentashen...and lose
C) You ask people how many candles they lit last night
D) You begin telling awful jokes

Avraham: "Waiter, waiter, I'm in a hurry. Will my humantashen be long?"
Waiter: "No, sir, it will be triangular."

8. On Purim,
A) Children use noisemakers to blot out Haman's name whenever it is mentioned
B) Gifts of food are sent to friends and neighbors
C) Jews are permitted to drink until they're "shiker" (drunk/intoxicated)
D) All of the above

9. Which cartoonist said, "Your latkes need work. The children are mistaking them for dreidels"?
A) Rich Tennan ("The Fifth Wave")
B) Lynn Johnston ("For Better or Worse")
C) Dean Young ("Blondie"

10. Rain Pryor, daughter of the late comedian, Richard Pryor, starred in a one-woman show titled,
A) "H is for Hamantashen and Haman"
B) "Fried Chicken & Latkes"
C) "Vemen baristu?" (Whom are you kidding?)

11. Shalamith, who lives on a steep "bergl" (hill) works at a kosher "bekeray" (bakery) which specializes in baking hamantashen.

She goes to work by "velosiped" (bicycle) at an average speed of 20 miles an hour. Work is 10 miles away.  She returns home at an average speed of 15 miles per hour along the same 10-mile route. How long does she spend commuting each "mes-les"
(24-hour period)?
A) 30 minutes
B) 35 minutes
C) 40minutes
D) 60 minutes
E) 70 minutes

12. Who wrote "Ode to a Latke":

A Jew develops from a cradle
A craving for a knish and kneydl.
He'll glorify gefilte fish,
But I, I love the latke dish.

A) Prof. Edward Stankiewicz
B) Mal Z. Lawrence
C) Freddie Roman
D) Myron Cohen Esterita "Cissie" Blumberg ("Remembering The Catskills") wrote that when Myron performed in the Catskills, Mrs. Cohen would sit with her back to the stage, knitting, during her husband's performance!  "I can't watch him one more time"
said Miriam Cohen.

13. Complete this definition of the word "latkes":

A pancake-like structure not to be confused with anything the _____________ would put out. In a latke, the oil is in the meal. Latkes can be eaten with apple sauce, but NEVER with maple syrup. There is a rumor that in the time of the Maccabees they lit a latke by mistake and it burned for eight days. What is certain is you will have heart burn ("harts-brenenish") for the same amount of time.
A) House of Pancakes
C) Cracker Barrel
D) Ratner's

14. According to Eric Sommer, this year prime-time TV networks have agreed to create Purim episodes of popular TV shows. One example: NYPD. In a sequel to the "Sefer Torah" episode, a group of Chassidim come to the precinct to report that their Megillah has been stolen. Sipowicz comments that "them Jews sure use a lot of scrolls," then goes undercover once again as a Chasid to catch the culprit. At one point, tensions arise between Rabbi and Lt. Fancy, who is accused of not doing enough to help the Chassidim because he is black. Meanwhile, Kirkendahl and Medavoy pursue a serial killer who has been attacking his victims dressed up as Haman. The suspect is captured, and he turns out to be a schizophrenic, who actually believes himself to be Haman.  Jill, playing along with his delusion, comes into the coffee room dressed as Queen Esther, at which point the killer confesses and begs for mercy.
A) True (according to Eric Sommer)
B) False

1. B
2. C
3. B
4. A
5. A
6. A
7. A, B, and C
8. D
9. A
10. B
11. E
12. A
13. A
14. A :-)

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is from the generation of Kaplan students who were taught "boo, boo, boo, square root of two," to help them remember how the Pythagorean formula applies to an isosceles right triangle.

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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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