Maggid – Sharing the Story

Leader:

It is not enough to just “tell” the story of the Exodus each year. We must find ways to experience it, as though we were there. This is the nature of sacred stories – to help us experience truths that change how we act in the world.

Tonight we will each take on one of the characters of the Passover story. We will each tell the story from that character’s perspective, as though it is truly our personal story. As you tell the story and hear others telling it, take note of what you feel, think, and experience.

All:

our stories

make us

who we are.

only they

travel with us

near or far.

remember when?

where were you?

these are the things

that define us

forever.

these are the moments

that bind us

together.

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Participant: (as Joseph)

My name is Yosef, and this story begins with me.

I have always had visions and been an interpreter of dreams, and this has been both a gift and a curse. I came to Egypt as a slave, betrayed by my brothers and sold to into a life of oppression. My ability to read dreams, was my redemption in Egypt, allowing me to find my freedom and helping Egypt to prepare for the most devastating famine anyone could remember. In the end I became the most powerful man in Egypt, next to Pharaoh. I was reunited with my family and they came to live with me in Egypt.

I ensured all people's loyalty to Pharaoh and we lived in peace for generations.

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Participant: (as Pharoah)

I am Pharaoh, god-King, of Egypt. I do not know this “Yosef.” I care not who "Yosef" was.

I do care that these Hebrews are outnumbering my own people, and they will not take our customs or our gods.

They even dare to say that I am not a god.

I will show them that the gods of Egypt are more powerful than their nameless desert god.

(thinks for a moment)

These Hebrews are like rats…

No matter what we do to them, they continue to breed.

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Participant: (as Shifrah, the Midwife)

My name is Shifrah.

My sister Puah and I are the chief midwifes to the Hebrews.

Today, we were called before Pharaoh, and he ordered us to kill all of the male children of the Hebrews.

We stood silently and wept.

Pharaoh mistook our silence for compliance.

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Participant: (as Puah, the Midwife)

Shifrah and I were called before Pharaoh again today, as we knew we would be.

We were prepared.

We told Pharaoh, "The Hebrew women are unlike the Egyptian women, more like animals; before the midwife comes to them, they have given birth." It saved our lives, but not the children.

We stood by helplessly, as Pharaoh ordered soldiers to drown all Hebrew male child in the Nile.

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Participant: (as Yocheved, mother of Moses, Miriam, and Aharon)

Today I had a boy….

Today a boy was born to Yocheved and Amram. This should be a happy occasion, but I can only weep. If the soldiers find him they will drown him in the Nile. Instead here I am sending him into God’s hands; hiding my youngest son in a basket and putting it into the river.

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Participant: (as Bat-yah – daughter of Pharaoh and adoptive mother of Moses)

I found a child in the river today. I knew it was a Hebrew child, a boy. He should be left to die – but I could not.

I drew him from the water. He is my son, my Moshe.

Should my brother, the Pharaoh, discover my treachery I will be killed.

May the nameless god of the Hebrews protect Moshe, and may Isis protect my secret.

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Participant: (as Moses, prophet of Israel)

I am Moshe, the Prince of Egypt.

Why did I save that slave? The taskmaster had every right to beat him. Why did I kill the taskmaster?

Yesterday I was a prince of Egypt.

Now I am no more than a slave and a murderer leaving all I know and love in hopes of saving my worthless life.

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Participant: (as Tzipporah, wife of Moses)

He came to the land of Midian and married me, Tzipporah, the daughter of Jethro.

He says little of his past, but I know it was a hard one. Moses named our son Gershom, which means “I have been a stranger in a strange land.”

The mountain of God, the God of Avraham and Sarah, of Yitzak and Rivka, of Yaakov and Leah v'Zilpah and Rachel v'Bilah spoke to Moshe out of a burning bush and told him that he must go back to Egypt and demand of Pharaoh that the Hebrew people be set free.

And so we go.

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Participant: (as Aaron, brother of Moses and Miriam)

Yesterday I was Aharon, son of Amram, a slave. Now I am brother of Moshe, the redeemer, and go before Pharaoh to speak for my brother.

I stood before Pharaoh, unafraid, and said, “Thus says the Holy One, the God of Yisrael: Let My People Go.”

Pharoah refused, of course.

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Participant: (as an Egyptian Mother)

We followed Pharaoh through nine plagues of pestilence and destruction over our land. Of course we did, he is Pharaoh. Who are we to question?

But tonight the cries in the night are too much. Tonight all around me is death, my first-born son and my husband, who was also first-born. Even my cattle and animals are dying – each of the first-born.

The pain is too great.

Could we have brought this on ourselves? What could we have done to deserve nine terrible plagues and then this? What did I do?

I scream. I weep. I pray to all the gods that will listen to end this horrible night. Whatever we have done, we must have paid enough. Just make this night end without any more death.

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Participant: (as Serach bat Asher, last of the original family of Joseph that came to Egypt)

On this darkest of nights, I force myself to remember. I am the last of the generation that came to Egypt.

“How could Serach live so long,” they all ask; if they think to ask. If they even know. I am older than even I can remember.

No one should live as a slave as long as I have – especially when you remember what it is like to be free. Tonight I know why. I am the only one who can fulfill the promise to Joseph. I am the only one who remembers where the bones are buried.

Tonight this old woman will help Yosef make the long journey home.

Tonight I will remember.

Tonight I will be free.

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Participant: (as Miriam the Prophetess, sister of Moses and Aharon)

I am Miriam the prophetess, sister of Moshe. Sing with me. Dance with me.

Today we are free -- today the real work begins.

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Leader:

This is our story. This is the story of our slavery and the story of our flight to freedom.


haggadah Section: -- Exodus Story
Source: Kohenet Ketzirah haMa'agelet