Narrator 1: The story of Moses has been told and retold. It is a reminder to the Jewish people that once we were slaves in Egypt, but now we are free. Once, we were downhearted, but now we are happy. In our times of despair, it is important for us to remember the miracles performed by a merciful G-d, whose love for His people is never-ending.
And so, this year, as in all years before, for generation upon generation, we tell the story of Passover. Now, I invite you to relax, lean on a pillow, and listen to this tale.
Pharaoh: Yes, I’ll have one order of caviar, with a Diet Pepsi. And Super Size it.
Slave: Yes, your highness. And if I do say so myself, the weather is lovely, is it not? What sayest your wonderfulness?
Pharaoh: uh huh
Slave: My wife and family do enjoy the most wonderful of all lives you’ve afforded them. Carrying bricks is just the disciplinary measure that my 28 sons need.
Pharaoh: uh huh. 28??? Did you say 28 sons?
Slave: Indeed I did, your most fabulousness.
Pharaoh: Leave my quarters. I must think. This is not good. Here we have many thousands of members of a strange culture living among us. They are not Egyptians; how do I know that in time of war they might not turn against Egypt and fight for our enemies? I must find a way to decrease this alien population.
Herald: Hear ye, hear ye. It is hearby decreed by Pharaoh, ruler of the land of Egypt, that any son born to a Jew is to be drowned in the Sea of Reeds.
Yocheved: There is no way that I will let Pharaoh take my baby. I have to hide him.
Narrator 2: Yocheved wove a basket of reeds, put her son into it, and hid it in the reeds by the river. She sent her young daughter Miriam to hide near by and watch. A princess came down to the water to bathe.
Princess: What is this?
Princess’s Attendant: It appears to be a baby, your highness.
Princess: A baby?
Princess’s Attendant: Why yes, your highness.
Princess: Well, should we pick it up?
Princess’s Attendant: I suppose.
Princess: Then pick it up!
Princess’s Attendant: Yes, your highness.
Princess: Isn’t it cute? Let’s take it home so you can take care of it and change its diapers and feed it, and it can love and respect me as its mother.
Princess’s Attendant: Sounds great.
Miriam: Excuse me, your majesty, but would you like me to I call a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby instead, so that your attendant can attend to you?
Princess: A good idea. I hadn’t thought of that. All right, your Hebrew woman may nurse my child, and when he is old enough to walk, she shall bring him to the palace for me to adopt. What should we call it? How about “Drawn from the Water”?
Princess’s Attendant: Drawn from the Water? What’s wrong with Bob?
Princess: I think it’s a good name. We’ll call him Moses for short.
Princess’s Attendant: Whatever you say, your majesty.
Narrator 1: And so Yocheved’s son, Moses, grew up as the Pharaoh’s adopted grandson, with all the riches and prestige that such a position entailed. While Yocheved never told her son that he was Jewish, he felt great pity for the Hebrew slaves. One day, he came upon an Egyptian beating an old slave for not working hard enough. With a heart filled with rage, Moses killed the guard. Of course, by doing so he was breaking the law and would have to face Pharaoh as a consequence. So, he ran away from home, into the desert, and became a shepherd.
Narrator 2: One fine morning one of Moses’ sheep strayed a bit from the path.
Narrator 2: Moses followed the sheep and came across a bush that was burning, but not being consumed. He turned to look at it, and G-d called out to him.
G-d: Moses, Moses
Moses: Here I am
G-d: I am the G-d of thy father, the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac, and the G-d of Jacob. I have surely seen the affliction of My people that are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I now their pains; and I am come to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. And now, I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
Moses: B-b-but why should, I mean, why, why should I be the one t-t-to lead m-m-my puh, my people?
G-d: Certainly I shall be with thee.
Moses: Whah-what shhhould I t-t-t-ell the p-p-people? When I t-t-t-tell them that you sssssent me, and they ask wha…what is your your name, wha…what do I ssssay?
G-d: ‘I AM THAT I AM’; Thus shalt you say unto the children of Israel. And they shall hearken to your voice. And thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and you shall say unto him: The G-d of the Hebrews hath met with us. And now, let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to our G-d. And I know that the king of Egypt will not give you leave to go, except by a mighty hand. And I will put forth My hand, and smite Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in the midst thereof. And after that he will let you go.
Moses: B-b-but I cannot, I cannot d-d-d-o this. I am ssssslow of sssp-p-peech and sssslow of t-t-tongue.
G-d: Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh a man dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt speak.
Moses: Puh-puh-puh-please send sssssomeone else…
G-d: Is not Aaron thy brother the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Thou shalt speak unto him, and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with thy mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
Narrator 2: And so Moses went to the people Israel, and convinced them that G-d had spoken to him. He then went to the Pharaoh and told Aaron what to say.
Aaron: Pharaoh, we are here to demand, in the name of an omnipotent, omniscient G-d, that you release the Hebrew people from bondage.
Pharaoh: He he. Amusing guys. Good show, good show. So, Moses, back after all of these years to bring shame on your own house and your own father?
Aaron: You cared for my brother for many years. At one time, he loved you as a grandfather. But he is the son of a Hebrew slave. If you love him, you will let his people go.
Pharaoh’s son: Moses! I missed you! Wanna play Risk with me? Dad’s teaching me so I know how to take over the world later. Hey, who are you?
Aaron: I am Aaron, Moses’ brother.
Pharaoh’s son: I thought I was his brother! Fine. I guess I’ll go play Pyramid Solitaire. By myself. All alone.
Aaron: Pharaoh, if you do not release G-d’s chosen people, Egypt will be smitten with a greater plague than it has ever before seen.
Narrator 1: G-d sent many plagues to Egypt. He turned the water in the Nile to blood; He sent a plague of frogs; he sent lice and flies.
Pharaoh’s son: Dad! I don’t like this! Make it stop!
Aaron: Now will you let my people go?
Pharaoh: OK Aaron, I have some really good news.
Aaron: So you’ll let our people go?
Pharaoh: Of course not, but I just saved 15% on my chariot insurance.
Narrator 1: Plague after plague fell on Egypt. The cattle illness, boils, hail, locusts. The most remarkable thing about these plagues was that they only touched the Egyptians. The Hebrew slaves were safe.
Aaron: Pharaoh, we don’t know what we can do to make you see that eventually you will have to give in. We’re warning you now that G-d has told Moses what the next plague will be. He is going to kill the firstborn of every Egyptian household, up to and including your son. Pharaoh, don’t let this happen! Let my people go!
Pharaoh: I do not know your god, and I will not let your people go. Get out of my house! Get out!
Narrator 2: G-d came to Moses and had him tell the Jewish people to slay a lamb and mark their doorposts with its blood. Then, the Angel of Death flew over Egypt. He took the lives of all of the firstborn, except for those in the homes marked with blood. It was devastating! The people of Egypt were saddened and horrified.
Aaron: Pharaoh, grandfather of my brother’s childhood, we are sorry for your loss.
Pharaoh: Go away! Go away and leave me to my grief!
Aaron: But Pharaoh, now that you have seen how powerful G-d is, will you let my people go?
Pharaoh: Fine. Just go. Just….sob…just go.
Narrator 1: In our seder, we fill our wine ups to remember our joy in being able to leave Egypt. Yet our happiness is not complete, because the Egyptians, who are also G-d’s children, suffered from the plagues, and eventually were killed so that we could be free. Therefore, we spill a drop of wine from our cups as we say each plague.
All: BLOOD, FROGS, LICE, BEASTS, CATTLE DISEASE, BOILS, HAIL, LOCUSTS, DARKNESS, PLAGUE OF THE FIRSTBORN
Aaron: Listen to me! Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for the strength of the hand of the Lord has brought you from this place, and the Lord shall guide you to the Promised Land.
Moses: We m-m-m-ust go in haste. We must m-m-m-ake food, but…but hurry, we must, we must, we must go before, before Pharaoh changes his mind.
Miriam: Moses, the bread won’t have time to rise!
Aaron: It doesn’t matter, we’ve got to go. Just come quickly!
Pharaoh: I have just let my slaves all go. This is not good for the people of Egypt. All that my fathers have worked for will vanish if I lose the Hebrew slaves. Who will build the pyramids? Who will build the cities? The entire economy of Egypt will collapse without the Hebrews. It will be the end of an empire. I WANT THEM BACK.
Herald: All soldiers and warriors – get your swords and armor. Saddle your horses. After them!
Miriam: Look! The Egyptians are coming! They will kill us all! They will work us to death! Moses, my brother, do something!
Moses: D-d-do not be afraid. G-d has, has pr-provided for us up to now, and he…he…he will continue to do, to do so.
G-d: Lift thou up thy rod and stretch out thy hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go into the midst of the sea on dry ground.
Narrator 2: This Moses did, and the children of Israel walked through the parted waters. When Pharaoh’s armies followed in pursuit, the waters closed in upon them.
Miriam: We made it across the Red Sea! We are free! Sing ye to the Lord, for He is highly exalted: The horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea. Who is like you, G-d, among the gods that are worshipped? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, doing wonders?
Narrator 1: And Miriam took a timbrel in her hand; and all of the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. Then, the Hebrew people followed Moses toward the Promised Land. Thus, Adonai our G-d brought us out of Egypt, not by an angel, nor by a seraph, nor by a messenger, but alone – with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with great terror, and with signs and wonders.
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