Hi strangers! I’m back with important thoughts and wisdom. I’m still taking questions for future blogs (uhm, I will totally answer anything you ask if you send me a question, why is nobody asking?), but for this one, I thought I’d talk to you about something Jewey.
Tonight is the first night of Passover, the fab Jewish holiday where we celebrate that the Jews got the hell out of Egypt back in the days when we were slaves and built all those sexy pyramids. We have a big meal called a seder with symbolic foods (like processed and reformed boiled fish balls, and processed and reformed boiled cracker balls) and traditions, stories, songs, etc. The most important part of the seder is the re-telling of the story of Moses and the Exodus. Since most of y’all in the UK and internet don’t know what the eff I’m talking about (don’t worry, I know you’re not anti-Semitic, you’re just ignorant) I will explainate the story to you. Tell it to your loved ones over a bowl of Matzah ball soup and you’re halfway to Jewdom.
World Famous Jew, Sammy Davis Jewnior
The Story of Passover by Pistol Rubenstein:
So, we're in Ancient Egypt. There's this new horrible king in town called Pharaoh (Pharaoh is actually just the word for "king". I'm sure he had a full name, but he doesn't deserve to be called it.) It's a long time after Joseph did the shuffle in his fancypants coat, and the Jews don't have anyone left who has their back. Pharaoh has made all the Jews slaves, because when he's not applying his guyliner and worshipping cats, he's all about real-estate development, i.e., having the pyramids built, and he needs some free labour. Obviously, the Hebrews are not happy about this situation. Pharaoh is worried they might get Twitter and revolt all Arab-Spring style, so he orders his soldiers to go out and kill any new born Hebrew boy. A Hebrew slave named Yocheved has just had a baby boy, so she's all like, "Crap, what the eff am I supposed to do?" And her other son Aaron is all like, "Leave the baby in a dumpster and maybe someone will find it." And then her daughter Miriam is like, "No stupid, that's what irresponsible teenagers are supposed to do at the prom. Don’t be such an idiot. What she should do is leave him on the Dursley's doorstep and then he'll go to Hogwarts and become a famous wizard." They bounce these ideas around for a bit, until eventually they decide to put him in a basket and float him down the river with the hopes that Brangelina will adopt him.
Miriam volunteers to follow her baby brother as he floats down the river to see what happens to him. Eventually, he is found by none other than the Pharaoh’s daughter, the Princess. She's like "I'm totally gonna raise this baby as my own. He's so cute and he fits in my handbag." And no one really questions the fact that she is unwed and wasn't pregnant for 9 months and they all just accept this baby as the prince. She names him Moses, because that's what Gwyneth Paltrow named her kid and it sounded cool. It also means "drawn from the water", which totally applies to his situation. Cowinkydink! She of course needs a nanny, because princesses have a lot of important stuff to do like be fanned by palm fronds and buy sandals, and raising a kid takes up a lot of me-time. Miriam steps up and is like, "I'll help take care of your baby", which is all cool, until they're like "Wait a sec, who's gonna feed this baby, cuz neither of us have milk in our teats?" And then Miriam's like "ACTUALLY, I know JUST the woman, wink wink nudge nudge," and brings Yocheved in to the palace, so Moses' real mom ends up kinda raising him anyway.
Moses grows up as a prince, although he always feels a bit like the black sheep of the family. (He was also rumoured to have a stutter, which must have been tough for him, because bullying is like a big thing, and this was before Glee taught us to accept the weirdos.) He kind of figures out he's a Hebrew, probably in the way Madonna's Malawian son David has probably figured out by now he's not her biological child. One day he's out checking out the pyramid construction and sees an Egyptian guard whipping a Hebrew slave. "Th-th-that ain't cool!" Moses stammers out, right before his shit hits the fan and he goes all Russell Crowe on the Egyptian, accidentally killing him in the process. He’s all like, “Uhm, oops. I b-b-b-better get out of here before someone snaps this on their phone and it’s all over TMZ.” So Moses runs away to the desert and becomes a shepherd. That is not a euphemism for rehab. He totally tended to sheep. For realz.
A Desert Sheep
Shepherd life is really peaceful and lovely and Moses has a hot wife named Zipporah and thinks his life is sorted. Then one day, one of his sheep goes astray and when he goes after it he sees a bush all on fire and stuff. I guess this isn't too weird, until the bush starts speaking. Moses is like "OMG". Which is ironic, because it actually turns out to be God in the burning bush, who's all like "Dude, how could you forget about your people who are still back there being slaves? You have to DO something. Start a petition on Change.org. Write to your Congressman. Whatevs, just try something. Go back and free them!"
So, Moses goes back to Egypt. He's a little nervous about taking on the Pharaoh, especially because he still stutters like a Fatboy Slim remix. He’s like, “I’mma get me someone who’s good at sp-sp-speaking to talk for me” and he reunites with his brother Aaron who is all grown up and snarky as hell. Aaron helps him out and they go together to Pharaoh and say: "Let my people go!" And Pharaoh’s like: "Lolz". So Moses tries to prove that God is on his side by changing his shepherding staff into a snake. But Pharaoh has two magicians in his palace named Derren Brown and David Blaine and they do the same trick, and Moses is like, "Shit, that was all I got." Then God steps in and does some biblical shit to freak Pharaoh out. First all the water turns to blood like something out of a Wes Craven movie, and when Pharaoh still won't let the Hebrews go, God sends a bunch of frogs to infest the land, like something out of a PT Anderson movie. Pharaoh says "No" again. This keeps happening with a bunch more plagues like lice, flies, cattle disease, boils, hail, locusts, and darkness. Pharaoh is damn stubborn and won't negotiate.
The Plague of Darkness
Finally, God is like "I gotta do something way harsh. About midnight I’mma come down there, rings out. Every firstborn in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, to the firstborn of the slave girl, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. I AIN’T MESSING. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again." That’s some cold stuff, right? So, the Angel of Death flies down to Egypt to kill all the firstborn children, but hold up there’s an important thing here! Before this Angel dude comes around, God gives a little tip to the Hebrews, and says "Paint some lamb's blood on your door as a kind of 'Do Not Disturb' sign and that will be our little code so the Angel of Death will pass over your house and not kill anyone." Get it? PASS. OVER.
Sooooo, this happens and Pharaoh is finally broken into a simpering shell of a human being because his son has been killed. Moses and Aaron say "Let my people go" one last time, and Pharaoh's like, "Fine, just get out of here, but hurry before I change my mind."
Moses rounds up the Hebrew folk, and anyone else who is not crazy about living under Pharaoh’s rule, and they get out of there RIGHT quick. They don't even have time to let their bread rise. Can you imagine? Having to leave before your bread has risen? We have it so easy now! Anyway, the bread bakes on their backs as they carry it through the hot Egyptian sun, but it becomes this really grim hard cracker sort of thing because they didn't get to bake it properly. They called it Matzah. (Years later we will mash it up and boil it into delicious ball soup, but for now it's all they've got and honestly there are bigger things to stress over.)
They run as quickly as they can to get out of Egypt and eventually find their way to the Sea of Reeds. Just as they get there they turn around and see that Pharaoh has sent a bunch of Egyptian soldiers their way and there's like, nowhere to go but into the water. Oh, and there's NO BOAT. Moses raises his Godly-empowered shepherd staff again in the hope that something, anything will happen. Nothing does. Everyone is like: fuuuuuck. Then, this ballsy mother fucker named Nachshon, which is Hebrew for "ballsy mother fucker" takes a literal leap of faith and just jumps into the water. At that point, the waters part and the dry land underneath is available for the Hebrews and their Jew-loving pals to run away into. By the time Pharaoh’s soldiers catch up, the water closes back and the soldiers all drown. At this point, Miriam busts out some tambourines and bongo drums and leads everyone in a rousing rendition of Cee-Lo Green's "Fuck You" to celebrate. God is like, “Hold up, I mean, I know I just smote a bunch of kids, and drowned all those soliders, but don’t celebrate. They were my people, too, so calm the fuck down.” (I may have misappropriated that quote from MLK, but the idea is the same.) So Miriam’s like, “Naw dude, I’m not celebrating their death, I’m celebrating you for helping us.” And God’s like “Okay, cool. As you were.”
And that's it! We were free! Just 40 more years of wandering in the desert and a few more thousand years of name-calling, oppression, and genocide. But I won’t go into all that, because NO SPOILERS.
THE END. And Happy Passover!!!