For a Passover Seder as Sweet as Uncle Walt … and Twice as Jewish! A special Passover Haggadah.
To mark the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, we offer our Jewish patrons this special Passover Haggadah, with new text, new meanings [and helpful commentary and guidance by our Editors].
According to tradition, the Seder begins with the order (not from a local restaurant, but of the Seder itself). By chanting this list together – which includes the drinking of the wine, the drinking of the more wine, the blessing over the bread, and the jarring reminder that this week we’ll survive on matzah — we recall that there are 15 traditional steps. Also, that God didn’t intend for everyone to sing out loud.
Unfortunately, 10 of these 15 steps occur before we get to the meal! Therefore, the Seder of Disney, Blessed Be He, avoids this unpopular delay by replacing the Hebrew recitation of the 15 steps — including such favorites as Kadesh, Karpas, Yachatz, Motzi, and Shulchan Oreich — with a shorter list of Disney characters with similar names:
- Kaa Deets,
- Mowgli, and
- Shere Khan Orgoch.
Not only does this amuse the children and minimize whining (of the “I’m hungry! When do we eat?” variety), but it reminds us that on the equally important, but noticeably less popular, Festival of Succot we symbolically invite significant people, like Moses, to dine with us. [Ed: Wouldn’t it be nice to have Mickey and Minnie at your Seder — even if they won’t sign your Disney autograph book because it’s a holiday and they’re Orthodox?]
The Four Questions:
At every Seder the youngest asks four questions (actually, there is one question with four sub-parts … but who’s counting?) (as you’ll see, WE are). This year we will rephrase them in Disneyspeak:
Why are Aladdin’s Arabian Nights different from all other nights?
- On all other nights the Lady and the Tramp share spaghetti and meatballs; why on this night only Kosher beef meatballs?
- On all other nights we eat all manner of vegetables, even bitter herbs; why on this night do we eat a spoonful of sugar, and how exactly does that help the medicine go down?
- On all other nights we don’t sing even once; why on this night do we sing ad nauseam, including those classics of liberation, Let My People Go and Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah?
- On all other nights we eat sitting or reclining; why on this night are we on a magic carpet serenaded by Will Smith? Could we join the Mad Hatter’s tea party instead?
And sometimes we add a fifth question: Tell me, Princess, now when did you last let your heart decide? [Ed: This is spoken, not chanted, to remind us there are ways to deal with the tone deaf.]
The Ten Plagues:
Our forefathers recalled the Ten Plagues God afflicted on the Egyptians, forcing them to free the Israelites from slavery and pick lice from their beards. Tonight we do not recite these traditional plagues, such as blood and frogs, but rather identify ten modern scourges that threaten the Disney-American way of life, including:
- Antitrust Laws
- Universal Studios
- Public Domain
- Nickelodeon Binge-Watchers
- Droit Morale
- Six Flags Promo Codes
- Political Correctness [Ed: really, what’s wrong with a little blackface?]
- Xinjiang Film Credits
- Aggressive FTC Regulators
The Four Children (And Then Some):
The Rabbis speak of Four Sons. But tonight we speak of Seven Dwarves [Ed: Really just six: Sleepy dozed through the following exchanges]:
- Sneezy, what does he ask? “What – achoo! – is the meaning – ahhhh-Choo! – of these observances – haCHEW!!” To him you will retell the story of the Israelites’ escape from Egypt and remind him that Moses always had tissues handy because he, too, was allergic.
- Grumpy, what does he ask? “What do all these rules mean to ME?” To him say: “Stop being such a GRUMP. Why do you think you’re never invited back for the second night?”
- Happy, what does he ask? “What makes happiness a warm puppy, or any kind of puppy? I’ve always thought of it as a playful platypus. Also, why is laughter the best medicine? Because it’s cheap and you don’t need a prescription?” To him say, “Stop quoting Bartlett’s and read your Bible!”
- Doc, what does he ask? “Did you sign an insurance waiver?” To him you answer: “Yes, also a HIPAA waiver.” Then describe your symptoms and see what he prescribes. [Ed: Laughter? Spoonfuls of sugar? Be open-minded.]
- As to Bashful and Dopey, if you wait for them to ask, you’ll be here long past the morning Sh’mah. So you shall instruct them on the customs of the holiday, including that we are not permitted to eat dessert after the Pesach offering, unless it contains dark chocolate.
The Three Symbols:
The Rabbis used to say: Whoever does not discuss the following three things on Passover is as shameful as one who does not return his grandmother’s phone calls or who, after calling her back, pretends he’s getting another call and hangs up:
- Traffic Jam: Oops, we meant “Pascal lamb.” This symbolizes the sacrifice made by the Israelites to really aggravate the Egyptians, to whom the lamb was revered, especially when served as kebabs with a mint yogurt sauce.
- Matzah: The crumbly carboard-like substance that looks like a pancake run over by a rotary cultivator. We refer to this as the Bread of Affliction because, well, you know, try eating it.
- Maror: The bitter herbs, which remind us that our ancestors liked their lamb kebabs with a kick.
The Four Cups of Wine:
At this point, a question naturally arises: What’s with all the numbers: 4 here, 15 their, 10, 3, etc. Is this a Seder or a math quiz? [Ed: The answer, of course, is: yes.] Which leads us to recall that, on this night, we are commanded to drink four cups of wine (though not all at once), to remind us that the Holy One, Blessed Be Them, taught our ancestors how to make wine from grapes, like Lucille Ball, and commanded them to go online to the Disney Once Upon a Vine wine collection and order the Skywalker Pinto Noir.
The Holy One also gave tips on using non-bitter herbs to make schnapps. But that’s a topic for another Seder.
Together we recite our annual wish: Next Year in Chuanshaxinzhen! [Ed: Where we can all stay at the Shanghai Disney Resort!]