Happy Passover! This is the time of year when I watch The Ten Commandments for the 87th time and still worry that the sea will close in on the escaping Jews. And I really wish that Pharoah’s horses didn’t have to go down with the troops. They certainly did not do anything wrong. I try to block out the thought that Charlton Heston is now the poster child for the NRA. It’s all good when he’s playing Moses throughout the 16 hour movie.
I appreciate Moses leading the Jews out of slavery, because it means that we can all have a really nice Seder together now. For those of you who may not know, the Seder centers on 4 questions that sort of summarize the whole escaping from Egypt thing. Typically the youngest child asks the questions, but if the kid is no good with Hebrew someone else will butt right in. So why is tonight different from all other nights?
Q: Why do we eat only unleavened bread on this night?
A: Because Giant was having a fantastic sale on matzoh.
Q: Why do we recline on pillows on this night?
A: Because chances are you will doze off at some point in the service.
Q. Why do we eat bitter herbs on this night?
A: Because we are Jews. It reminds us that we can’t just sit back and relax; we have to know that just because everything is fine now doesn’t mean we won’t be on the run again. Plus, it’s funny to make little kids eat bitter herbs. Oy, the faces they make!
Q: Why do we dip our foods twice tonight?
A: Because we all just had chicken soup—no one is going to get sick. Now do what your mother tells you to do and stop asking all these fekaktah questions a’ready.
If you want to know the “real” answers, have at it:
Passover is the time when Jews all over the world say “next year in Jerusalem!” Although I guess people who are actually in Jerusalem don’t say that. They probably say “next year in more comfortable chairs!”
Anyway, the spirit of the holiday strikes a familiar chord. We were persecuted, then we ran somewhere that was probably going to be chock full of even more persecution. Now pass the brisket.