I'm no dummy, but hey, Passover gets kind of complicated with all of that intense seder talk about slavery and stuff. While we're busy navigating our ways around aluminum-clad kitchens, taped up cabinets containing chometz, all the while popping lady fingers and peeling vegetables, it's easy to forget why we celebrate the holiday altogether. I'm here to assure you, the story of Passover doesn't need to be complicated. In fact, everything that you do need to know is written here in this piece. I have therefore taken it upon myself to compile a synopsis of what went down along with all of the minutiae I've collected throughout the years sitting at my Passover table.
For like the matzah we eat, those details can be hard to digest.
What Went Down
After serving the Egyptian Pharaohs for, like, centuries, the Jewish people were clearly in distress. The women were having bad hair days; the men suffered from scoliosis among multiple other life threatening ailments; and Akiva the chiropractor didn't have an opening for another six years. G-d didn't like seeing his people experience heartache, so he sent Moses, the homeboy of the Jewish people, to pay Pharaoh a visit to partake in a little man-to-man chat. Pharaoh to Moses, Moses to Pharaoh.
"Let my people go!"
"G-d said to send forth his people so that they may serve him!"
"You'll regret this."
"Ooh! I'm so scawwed! Bring it on, Moses."
G-d brought it on in the form of 10 plagues, with each plague causing Pharaoh to get his robes up in quite the bunch. The final plague eradicated all of the Egyptian male firstborns with G-d only passing over the homes occupied by the Jewish people, sparing them. The punishment was appropriate revenge, as Pharaoh had similarly commanded upon the Egyptian people to dispose of the Jewish male firstborns dating back to when Moses was in diapers and sunbathing in a bad-ass basket.
G-d passed over the Hebrew homes, hence, resulting in a holiday called "Passover." Ha, and all this time I thought it was aptly named merely for the crap load of food served at the seder table. "Pass-over the potatoes ... and then, please pass-over the potatoes? ... And when you're done with that, I'd like the potatoes passed-over."
After the 10th plague had ceased and the firstborns had been de-ceased, Pharaoh went all ape-s*** on the Jews and demanded that the Jews beat it. Just beat it. So while the men played brick-breaker (literally), the women packed up the family belongings.
"You really need all of those pairs of gladiator sandals?"
"Do you even know how to get to Mount Sinai?"
"Of course I do. ETA 40 years. Is there anything to eat?"
"YES. I'm preparing it RIGHT NOW. Tuna fish or cream cheese in your sandwhich?"
They were all set to travel, but the women had underestimated the time allotted for the bread to rise. Typical, huh? Yet, they had no choice. Hungry grown men were simply not an option.
Together, they carried the flat round layers of perfectly rolled out circles over their heads as they trekked up the stone path, exactly like the picture displayed on the cover of those colorful haggadahs. Uncanny how realistic those drawings are.
"Are we there yet?"
"Are we lost? We passed that rock an hour ago."
"No, of course we're not lost. I'm just trying out a new route."
Together, 600,000 male adults (that's a whole lot of testosterone) along with the women and many children, journeyed to Mount Sinai, where they would later receive the holy Torah; signifying their rebirth as a Jewish people.
One thing was for certain; after all of those years in the sweaty dessert, the women sure could use a trip to the Sinai salon. Let's just say, "burning bush" had begun to take on a whole new sort of meaning. A mani-pedi wouldn't kill them either, if you know what I mean.
So, there you have it; Passover in a nutshell. And as you grimace while chewing on your bitter herbs, remember the trials and tribulations our people overcame prior to the exodus. Remember our strength and our adversity; remember the G-d who spared the lives of our brothers from other mothers and sisters from other misters.
Don't let Passover pass you by.