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Purim Sushi

This is the Torah of Sushi Purim:
What is Sushi Purim, why do we observe it, and what are its laws and statutes?
In the Mackerilla, the Book of Oyster** , we read in Ch. 9 v. 18 that "the Jews who were in Sushi had assembled both on the 13th and 14th days of the month (of Adar), and rested on the 15th day, making that a day of feasting and joy."

**(from Yiddish, "oys" = "out" or "outside", and "ter" or "tir" = "door" -- a reference to Ch. 5 v. 1 where the Queen anxiously awaits the King outside the entrance to the court) Our sages understood this verse to mean that, just as they feasted "in Sushi", they also feasted "on Sushi". As Sushi was a walled city, those who live in a walled city must also feast on sushi on this day.

What does it mean to feast on sushi? This means only kosher sushi, which may be either vegetable or fish sushi, either nigiri (on rice) or maki(roll), and either cooked or raw. Some poskim rule that sashimi (sliced rawfish) is also sushi for the purpose of the mitzvah. What is the minimum amount of sushi to constitute a feast? The majority decision is, at least 3 orders of nigiri and 2 of maki, per person.

This assumes for a nigiri order, the chef makes 2 pieces; otherwise one orders six (some authorities say, only when Sushi Purim doesn't coincide with Shabbat, as the two pieces then correspond to the double portion of manna). The Rambam disagrees, stating that there must additionally be at least one portion (two pieces) of salmon roe, colored purple to recall the cloak of white linen and purple which Mordecai wore when he left the king's presence (Mackerillat Oyster, Ch. 8 v. 15). A lengthy explanation of this opinion, and related hilkhot, can be studied in the Rambam's famous work, "Guide for the Purple Eggs".

We utterly reject the assertion of some Xtian commentators that the title of this latter work actually refers to the Xtian holiday of Oyster; (see "The April Dilemma"). The holiday of Oyster has a different derivation. It takes its name from the pots of dye used by children to color the Oyster eggs. If the dye was not thoroughly mixed, the eggs would emerge streaked, thus the cry of the mothers, "Oy! Stir that pot, will you?" which was eventually shortened to Oystir, or Oyster.Most authorities agree that the sushi seudah is invalid without the requisite minimum k'zayis of wasabi (blindingly hot green horseradish).

However, we are cautioned not to say a b'rachah on the wasabi, as one must not say a b'rachah over substances which place one's health in jeopardy.Each person who participates fully in the sushi seudah, including the required amount of wasabi, should also say Birkat HaGomel at the earliest opportunity.


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