We all know that chicken soup is considered Jewish penicillin, famous for curing the common cold. How many people, however, know that it is also a cure for a hangover? It is and I have proof.
It all happened several years ago. Purim fell out on Friday which is always a challenge. Not only do we need to hear the megillah, pass out mishloach manot, give tzedakah, and prepare for a suedah, but we have to do it all in the morning. We must wash for the Purim meal before noon. And ideally we finish the suedah early enough so we have time to get ready for Shabbat.
On this particular year my newlywed son brought his lovely kallah to join us at our suedah. We were thrilled to have them with us but I was not thrilled to see that my son arrived already drunk and it was just a little after eleven in the morning.
I have to admit here that I do not appreciate the drinking on Purim. Unfortunately my opinion is a minority opinion in my family and most of my men folk are mehadrin on the mitzvah of drinking until they do not know the difference between Haman and Mordechai.
My son continued drinking until the point that not only did he not know the difference between Haman and Mordechai, but he was also throwing up. His wife was very patient with him, more patient than his mother. She was relieved, though, when he finally passed out. She had a fond thought that he would sleep it off and not wake up until the morning.
But his older brother, who was feeling no pain, had a different thought. Right before candle lighting he woke up the chatan, threw him in the shower, and then tossed him over his shoulder and took him to the Beit Kenneset with his younger brother, also not sober, running after them.
It was a very spirited tefillah that Friday night, interspersed with lots of dancing, singing, and laughter. Our chatan did not participate. Every time one of his brothers stood him up he fell back down. I am not sure how he made it home after services, but he did. And he was able to stay at the Shabbat table through Kiddush, motzei, and the chicken soup. By the time he finished the soup, though, he was finished. He passed out in his bed and no one woke him up this time.
I could just imagine the headache he would have the next morning when he got up, if he got up. Actually I did not expect to see him until the late hours of the afternoon.
Did he surprise me! He was up and in Beit Kenneset on time without a touch of a headache or nausea. There was simply no hangover. No one could have been as drunk as he was without some hangover symptoms unless they had some mighty powerful medication. Jewish penicillin.
So remember the chicken soup when you make your Purim menus!
Megillah: The scroll containing the story of Purim
Mishloach manot: Gifts packages of, at least, two ready-to-eat foods that are given to friends on Purim
Tzedakah: monetary donation given to one in need
Mehadrin: extra stringency
Beit Kenneset: synagogue
Kiddush: blessing over wine
motzei: blessing over bread