The Modern 10 Plagues

One of the most important parts of our Passover Seder is our discussion of the 10 modern plagues. In our family, retelling the story of Passover is only worthwhile if the themes of the story are made relevant to the 21st century. Otherwise, why do we pass this story on from generation to generation? It is to recall our freedom from bondage, certainly, but it is also to remember others’ bondage today, and our responsibility to help those born less free or powerful.

With that, I give you the Modern Ten Plagues.

  1. POLLUTION
  2. DISEASE
  3. POVERTY
  4. HUNGER
  5. THIRST
  6. EXPLOITATION
  7. ABUSE
  8. CORRUPTION
  9. GENOCIDE
  10. WAR

The (Very Abridged) Story of Passover

Today I’ve been working on the story of Passover for the Haggadah. Some people really like to bring the tale alive, with props and songs and activities, whereas some people would prefer to get to dinner as soon as possible. If you are a member of the latter category, here are two versions for you – from short to shortest.

Hyatok_flickr

by Hyatok

 

What is the story of Passover?

Version 1:  Moses, born a Hebrew but raised as an Egyptian prince at a time when the Hebrews are enslaved in Egypt, is told by God that he is the liberator of the Hebrew people.  He asks the Pharaoh to free the Hebrews, but the Pharaoh refuses. God (with Moses as messenger) unleashes ten plagues upon Egypt, and after the last one Pharaoh finally agrees to let the Hebrews go. The Hebrews rush to leave, but even so, get stuck between the Sea of Reeds and the Egyptian army, who have been ordered by the Pharaoh to bring them back. Moses lifts his staff and the sea parts in two, with enough room for the Hebrews to hurry through to the other side. The Egyptians try to follow, but are drowned when the sea returns to its normal state. The Hebrews celebrate their freedom. They go on to receive the Ten Commandments from God, but when they lose faith and worship a golden calf, they are doomed to wander the desert for 40 years before finally arriving at the Promised Land.

 

What is the story of Passover?

Version 2: They tried to kill us, God saved us, let’s eat!