Friday, March 22, 2013

If You Were God

The purpose of this blog is to fire up your Shabbat dinner table. Please print and share.

If you were God and had decided that Egypt needed to experience 10 plagues, which plague would be the first?

What would be your opening shot?
Ancient Egypt was a fabulously rich, powerful country, thanks in large part to the great Nile River. And they knew that the Nile was the source of their wealth and power. So naturally, these idolatrous people worshiped the Nile like a god.

So if you were God, wouldn't you strike the Nile first?

Imagine this scene: Achmud and Thasnas, an Egyptian couple, go down to the Nile river one morning with their buckets to get some water and just as they are putting in their buckets, the strangest thing in the world happens. The entire river turns red, blood-red.

Hmm, maybe it’s some kind of omen, maybe it’s just a natural phenomenon. But as surprised as they are at seeing the water turn red, when they draw out their buckets they’re completely shocked. It’s not just the color of blood, it is blood.


It’s easy to tell the difference between red-colored water and blood. Blood is thick, blood smells, blood coagulates.

And not only that, fish have a hard time surviving in a river of blood. In fact, all the fish in the river die. When you have millions of dead fish, what happens next? (It stinks.)

OK, so now we know it's no trick, no optical illusion.

So poor Achmud and Thasnas, what are they supposed to do? They went to get water for their families, and there’s no water. All there is is blood. Well, Egypt has other sources of water, there are other rivers, there are lakes, cisterns and so on. But soon they and every other Egyptian finds out that it’s not just the water in the river. It’s in every river in Egypt. In every lake, in every well, in every cistern.

In their bathtubs! Someone could have been in the middle of taking a bath and suddenly it was blood. Even water-based substances, like fruit. When you bite into an apple, normally a little juice will come out, right? That also was blood!

So Achmud and Thasnas go home without water hoping that they have enough stored in bottles to last until this water crisis is over. What do they find out when they get home? That even bottles of water in their homes have all turned to blood. This is a major crisis for Egypt, and for Achmud and Thasnas, who have no idea what’s going on.

Then the word comes around, there is a rumor, that the Jews have water. Achmud and Thasnas have no idea why, they don’t even stop to think why. By this time they are so desparate for water, they know a Jewish family not far away and they run to see if its true. If it is, the Jews are down-trodden slaves, they won’t even bother asking, they’ll just take the water.

So they get to the Jewish home. They know this guy, his name is Reuven and his wife Rivka and they’ve both done hard labor for Achmud and Thasnas in the past. They burst into Reuven’s home without knocking and see Reuven and Rivka each holding a glass of what looks like water.

“Reuven and Rivka, is that water?”

“Yessir,” Reuven says in a very humble way. He is, after all, a beaten, harrassed, molested slave.

“Hand it over.”

As soon as Reuven and Rivka give their glasses to Achmud and Thasnas, before everyone’s eyes, the water turns to blood.

“Aye!” you can imagine how disappointed Achmud and Thasnas are. By now they’re quite thirsty. But they’re also angry. “Is this some kind of magic?”


“Then how did your water turn to blood just now?”

“I don’t know, sir.”

“Aye, take it back, I can’t look at any more blood!!!!”

And as soon as Achmud and Thasnas hand the glasses back to Reuven and Rivka, do you know what happens? It turns back into water.

Achmud, Thasnas, Reuven and Rivka are all equally shocked to see this.

Reuven and Rivka slowly hand the water back to Achmud and Thasnas, and it turns to blood. They slowly hand it back, and it turns to water. They hand it back, it turns to blood, they hand it back, it turns to water.

How are Achmud and Thasnas going to drink water before they die of thirst?

“I know!” says Thasnas. “You hold the glass and pour the water into my mouth.”

So they try that [wait for them to mime this] but as soon as the water enters Achmud and Thasnas’s mouths, it turns to blood. Yech!!!

“I know!” says Achmud. “Let’s drink it together. Now I don’t want any tricks, or I’m going to beat you.”

So Achmud and Reuven are drinking out of the same glass of water at the same time and Thasnas and Rivka are drinking out of the same glass at the same time, but you know what happens? Reuven and Rivka are drinking water, but Achmud and Thasnas are drinking blood! It’s double-yech!!!

It turns out that the Egyptians learn that the only way they can drink water during this crisis is if they.....

Excerpted from the newly-updated Art of Amazement Haggada, now available for download as last year, and for the first time now available in a print edition. There are 2 versions, Leader and General.

1. Downloadable Art of Amazement Haggada (Leader’s Edition)
2. Downloadable 2013 Pesach Kit (includes both Haggados
+ 7 other goodies, including activities and games)3. Amazon print version – (Leader’s Edition)
4. Amazon print version – (Regular Edition)

Know someone running a Seder? Or who might benefit from a very-user-friendly Haggada or Pesach Kit? Please forward them this blog, or do what I did and send them the Haggada as a gift.


Shabbat Shalom and Happy Pesach

PS - Want to give your Table Talk rabbi a taste of freedom? Like it, tweet it, or just forward it to someone who might enjoy it.

As always, this message can be received via email. Sign up here.

And remember, when looking for 10-Plagues toys, other Passover books, even matzah, it's a mitzvah to do your search here:


No comments: