Although the hamantash has been around for thousands of years,1 it was considered a moot point in higher academic circles. Other than being a tasty snack, it seemed to hold no special significance. Scientists found nothing in the hamantash but poppy,2 prune and other kinds of jam. Unfortunately, the hamantash's association with Purim3 festivities prevented it from being studied seriously.

New research, however, has recently discovered heretofore unknown angles of the hamantash. Hamantashologists now utilize these discoveries to serve mankind and improve the way we live.

The problem began when a comparative study on food design showed that there was no point at all in eating many of the foods around. Eggs, fruit, falafel, latkes, blintzes, tzimmmes, matza balls, muffins, rugelach, hot dogs and meatballs are all round. If there is no point at all in eating, the appetites of four point two billion people on earth would be affected, possibly leading to mass starvation.

The quest for the proper food pointed researchers in the direction of hamantash. It surpassed all their expectations. Not only did the hamantash have a point, it had a 200 percent increase of points—all at no extra cost. Three for the price of one! Among all foods known to man, only one, the hamantash is endowed with this unique configuration.4

So there's more than one side to the hamantash. But let's not go off on a tangent. From this point on, we will limit the scope of this thesis on hamantashology to three basic points: mathematics, education and psychology.

Mathematics

The hamantash is a recognized symbol in higher mathematics. An upright hamantash means "therefore", and an upended hamantash means "because." It is only logical that the versatile hamantash has more than one meaning, depending on the viewer's perspective. Therefore, its three points represent "therefore", and "because", because whatever your point of view, up or down, the hamantash makes its point.

The hamantash makes all the difference. In set theory it marks the difference between two sets, and in calculus it is the gradient providing direction up or down, left or right on many surfaces. Modern architecture uses the hamantash principle to build the Geodesic dome—the strongest structural arrangements known to man. The architect Buckminster Fuller became famous with his Geodesic domes, but actually, "Geodesic" is just a fancy name for dozens of hamantashen pressed together.

Education

I don't want to point fingers, but I know schools whose regular point system has failed, and in which abstract concepts come out half-baked in students minds. The hamantash, by contrast, is fully baked and coverts difficult geometry into a piece of cake, making it as easy as pi.5

As part of the curriculum, the hamantash will add flavor to dull classes, and give students something real to sink their teeth into. Instead of forcing it down students' throats, they will now enjoy every bit of it. Furthermore, hamantashen are an invaluable teaching resource and educational tool. A refreshing substitute for those hard, inedible plastic protractors, hamantashen are available in all kinds of triangles, isosceles, equilateral even right triangles.

The hamantash can thus serve a dual purpose, both as a handy triangle in the classroom, and a hearty snack in the cafeteria. In any case, it's food for thought.

Psychology

Psychologists have found that life is one long series of appointments and disappointments. Disappointments, in turn, are caused by going around in circles, the result of which is that people fail to see any point in life. Without a point in life, people wander aimlessly. This in turn leads some to contemplate suicide and other points of no return.

The hamantash poignantly demonstrates that there is a point to life. It points us towards a definite aim and goal. It drives the point home, providing us with a sense of purpose and direction. Then there is also a very fine point, which psychologists refer to as the point of pointlessness. As the Talmud points out, "A person should rejoice on Purim to the point of not knowing the difference between Haman and Mordechai."

You are probably wondering. "So what's the point of all this nonsense? Isn't this stretching the point a little too far?" You have a very good point there. But we are not here to just to score points. The primary point of this treatise is to point out the main point of hamantashen—to use them in the Purim observance of Mishloach Manot, sending food gifts to friends. This is such an important mitzvah , that we have no alternative but to stress the point over and over again.

So without belaboring the point any further, let me give it to you point blank: Share the holiday spirit and promote unity by sending a food gift of at least two edibles, preferably including a hamantash, on Purim day.