Brookwrite

Columns - 2018

    Passover Egg Hunt Fools

    On the heels of last month's heart melting convergence of Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day comes a triple confluence -- a hat trick of multicultural calendar events the likes of which hasn't been seen since the last time it happened.

    Some years, the world is graced with Purim beginning on a Saturday night, which results in what's uncommonly known as Esther Sunday. This year is even gracier, as April 1st is a confluence of the second day of Passover, Easter Sunday, and April Fools Day.

    Of course, there are numerous traditions and observances tied to this rare event, which almost nobody has ever read enumerated in the Talmud.

    Why is this year different from all other years? This year, the only thing harder than finding eggs for the seder plate that aren't painted is hunting for the seder egg while searching for the afikomen. If the seder egg disappears at the second seder, look where the cat toys usually hide. If the egg is found painted, look where the kids usually paint the cat.

    While the kids are scrambling after the seder egg, several references to animals throughout the seder are replaced with bunnies. Not in the ten plagues. "Blood, frogs, vermin, beasts, and cattle disease," would become, "blood, bunnies, wild bunnies, bunnies, and bunny disease." Who wants that?

    No, the kids have to stay up late to enjoy how this night becomes different from all the other nights that are different from all other nights. On this night, the seder replaces Chad Gadya with one little bunny. There's also the introduction of the little-known midrash about Moses' lucky rabbit's foot that he carried throughout his visits to Pharaoh and through the exodus.

    However, before the introduction of these Christian symbols gets anyone else's goat, there is the third piece of this holy tri...fecta to consider.

    The Talmud instructs that when April Fools Day coincides with the start of Passover, the celebration of freedom that is the seder is to be embellished with practical jokes.

    Ever since the first seder where matzah secretly replaced the more palatable cardboard eaten in remembrance of the makeshift luggage used during the exodus from Egypt, myriad pranks have passed over many a Passover. Each successful trick is followed with a perfectly timed, "Seder Fools!"

    Here are a few modest examples, exactly as they were suggested nearly two thousand years ago in the Talmud.

    For the ritual splitting of the middle matzah, wield an ancient Talmudic sword: a tlisha katana.

    When reciting the four questions in Hebrew, end each of the four questions as if they were actually in the form of questions by adding "yo?"

    Whoever reads the wise son does so with no literacy. The reader for the son who does not know to ask invokes Stanislavsky's Method approach to acting, by not saying a word.

    When recounting the ten plagues, substitute them with relatable contemporary equivalents, such as Barry Manilow turned up to eleven or the Yankees making the postseason.

    After singing just the first word of Dayeinu, cut it off and move on. Because it was enough for us.

    Hide all the matzah so the leader can't say the blessing after washing the hands and must stay quiet. Everyone leaves.

    For the Hillel sandwich, pull out a jar of jelly to go with the marror.

    In the minutes leading up to the meal, use spray aroma to fill the house with the smell of freshly baked bread. For the Sociology Department, record for later evaluation who became hungry for bread versus who was angry that Passover was being violated.

    When singing Echad Mi Yodeia ("Who Knows One?") rework the song in base-eight. Minority opinions in the Talmud also suggested binary or hexadecimal.

    When singing the acrostic Addir Hu, spontaneously reorder the lyrics so that the Hebrew follows an acrostic pattern based on the English alphabet.

    When opening the door for Elijah, instead of the traditional prank of having a Jehovah's Witness or someone dressed as Santa appear at the door, have someone in a bunny costume pulling out a gold watch and saying, "I'm late!"

    Doug Brook has never been an April fool, mainly because he hasn't asked an April out yet. Or is that why he is one? To read past columns, visit http://brookwrite.com/. For exclusive online content, like facebook.com/rearpewmirror.

    Copyright Doug Brook. All rights reserved.