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PASSOVER 6'1m*f RT: The tenth plague of Egypt, passover, exodus

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience.)

MOSES -- (enters wearing tunic, headdress and sandals, crosses
to podium) Good Morning. My name is Moses. I am the leader of
the Hebrews who are currently serving as slaves here in Egypt.
As you all know by now, our God, the God who created the
universe out of nothing, has devastated the Egyptians with nine
plagues. The reason I called this press conference is to
announce the tenth and final plague against Egypt. In this
plague the firstborn from every family will be killed by the
angel of death when he passes over Egypt. This is why we will
call this plague the PASSOVER.

REPORTER -- When you say EVERY family, does that include the
families of the Hebrews also, or will the Hebrews be excluded
from the plagues as in previous plagues?

MOSES -- Yes and No. In previous plagues God shielded the
Hebrews from the effects of the plagues categorically. That is,
he shielded them because they were Hebrews whether they were
obedient or not. During this tenth plague, there will be a test
of obedience.

REPORTER -- Can you tell us what obedience will be expected?

MOSES -- Yes. God has announced that beginning today at sundown,
the feast of the Passover must be celebrated by all who wish to
be spared the death of their firstborns.

REPORTER -- This FEAST... is this a religious ritual?

MOSES -- Yes. And any family who partakes in the ritual and
follows all the instructions to the letter will save their
firstborns from certain death.

REPORTER -- Wait a minute. If this is merely a matter of
obedience, the Hebrews are not the only ones who could partake
of it. What if the Egyptians read about this ritual in our
newspapers and THEY partake in the ritual too?

MOSES -- Theoretically, they will be spared from the death of
their firstborns.

REPORTER -- Theoretically? What does that mean?

MOSES -- I mean that after nine plagues, the Egyptians are just
as hard hearted as they were BEFORE the plagues began. They
COULD partake of the religious ritual but none of them will.

REPORTER -- Can you give us some details of this Passover
ritual?

MOSES -- Yes. At the center of the ritual is a lamb. Each family
or group of families must slaughter a lamb at sundown today and
paint their door frames with the blood of the lamb as a signal
to the angel of death. All households whose door frames are
painted with the blood of the lamb will be spared by the angel
of death.

REPORTER -- And what happens to the rest of the lamb after his
blood has been used up?

MOSES -- All the meat from the lamb must be roasted over an open
flame and must be completely devoured by the family or group of
families. There must be no meat left over in the morning.

REPORTER -- That's it? That's the ritual?

MOSES -- No. The ritual meal also includes wine, bitter herbs,
and bread made without yeast.

REPORTER -- Why these ingredients?

MOSES -- The other ingredients are included for future
generations.

REPORTER -- So, this ritual will be repeated in future
generations?

MOSES -- Yes.

REPORTER -- But why?

MOSES -- Without rituals like this, people forget God's
blessings on our lives. The bitter herbs will remind future
generations that the history of the Hebrews included 430 years
of bitter slavery.

REPORTER -- Why did the God of the Hebrews allow his chosen
people to be enslaved for 430 years?

MOSES -- He not only allowed it, he predicted it.

REPORTER -- When did God predict 430 years of slavery for the
Hebrews?

MOSES -- Through our ancestor Abraham while he was still
childless. But let's remember that the enslavement was not God's
plan. God's plan was to protect Jacob and the patriarchs from
famine through our ancestor Joseph. Enslavement was Pharaoh's
idea.

REPORTER -- Getting back to the Passover meal, what about the
wine and the bread made without yeast?

MOSES -- The bread and wine symbolize the body and blood of the
lamb that was slain to save the firstborns.

REPORTER -- But why bread WITHOUT yeast?

MOSES -- Bread made without yeast is used by travelers because
it takes up less room in the caravan. This symbolizes God's
certainty that we Hebrews will be leaving Egypt before the night
is over. But more important to the ritual is that yeast is a
symbol of sin. Bread made WITHOUT yeast reminds us that a lamb
without sin gave it's life at Passover.

REPORTER -- How can God be so certain that the Passover will
convince Pharaoh to let your people go?

MOSES -- Because the previous plagues weren't personal.

REPORTER -- Personal? By personal you mean...

MOSES -- In previous plagues Pharaoh had a minimum of personal
involvement and hardship.

REPORTER -- Wouldn't you categorize the palace being overrun
with frogs as a hardship?

MOSES -- Compared to the passover, the frogs will be remembered
as a mere nuisance. When Pharaoh himself looses his own son and
the heir to his throne, he will lose his will to fight, at least
for a while. He will not only allow us Hebrews to leave Egypt,
he will force us to go.

REPORTER -- It sounds as if this Passover night will be a busy
night for the Hebrews.... eat and run as it were.

MOSES -- Yes. We are asking everybody who participates in the
Passover ritual to do it with their traveling clothes on and
their belongings packed.

Now please, I beg you to print these instructions about the
Passover, so that my people will be ready. Thank you for coming.

(exits)

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