As Passover approaches, I receive many emails from gay Hebrews around the world wanting to know answers about this very holiday that brings many Jews together to celebrate "that other holiday besides the High Holidays." Therefore I've compiled the most common questions and answered them for you below:
"So what is Passover again?"
In ancient Egypt the Hebrews were slaves (we don't know why), and then a group of them teamed up and went to Moses, who was spared slavery because his mommy hid him, and said, "We don't want to do physical labor anymore! We want to be free!"
Moses went to the pharaoh and said, "Hey, let my Hebrews go!" The pharaoh was so sassy and said, "Whatever, Moses."
Moses quickly gathered the Jews and said, "Put something pretty on your door, like lamb's blood or whatever you can find around, so our Jewish God knows to 'pass over' your house when he goes all Nene on the Egyptians."
Moses then went all butch on the pharaoh and delivered those nasty plagues (darkness was my favorite; so not into blood or boils), and the Jews were freed. Yay!
The Jews then had nowhere to go, so they wandered the desert for 40 years (hellooo, major cardio!). Then the free Hebrews said to Moses, "We need more Jewish holidays!" So Moses declared Passover to be celebrated every year.
To reenact Jews wandering the desert for hundreds of miles, He'bro is proud to take part in AIDS Walk NYC -- and that's only 10 kilometers in Central Park, New York's very own desert! -- on Sunday, May 19. You can register to join Team He'bro here.
"So the Jews were in bondage? Heh, heh."
Yeah, we've heard this before. Har, har. We were in bondage, not into bondage. It's different! Look it up.
"Why can't we eat bread on Passover?"
Well, gays can never eat bread, so that's a bad question. (And by the way, silly gays, whole-wheat bread is still bread.) But to answer it, when the Hebrews escaped Egypt, they were super-hungry. They started cooking something really good, and Moses yelled, "Ain't nobody got time for that!" So they quickly took the unfinished food they were cooking out of their desert ovens, and it was flat, tasted like cardboard and had little taste. Therefore it was declared that we had to remember that tasteless food forever and be gluten-free for a full week. If you want to have similar-tasting food that is more widely used in the gay community, feel free to replace your matzo with Muscle Milk.
"If gays lie about their age, how will we know who actually is the youngest person at the Seder to sing that 'why is this night different?' song?"
Ask each person their age, then average each person's age with their age listed on Grindr. Then average that out with their age noted on Facebook. If no age is listed on any social media platforms, then add 15 years to whatever they answer.
"Four cups of wine, that's it?"
Yeah, we know, it's like a starter. It's entirely permissible to replace wine with vodka (kosher for Passover, of course). It's preferable to have a vodka cranberry, because the redness of it still reminds us of the blood plague. Remember to practice Safe Seder and have a sober person drive you home afterward!
"What's the deal with Elijah the Prophet coming over for a cocktail?"
Door open, room dark, no talking, alcohol on the table for him to drink... it's like a Craigslist ad gone bad. Seriously, by the time Elijah comes around (honestly, is your Seder still going, or did you stop it at dinner?), you should be messed up! You shouldn't actually know if he's there or not. Also, I told that prophet over and over that he should not be drinking from unattended cups that he didn't see poured. This is roofie city, Elijah! We don't even know if that's his real name, and how does he get to every house in the world? He's not Santa; he's got no reindeer, elves or a fun, red outfit. We don't even get to sit on his lap! Nothing! Invisible dude drinking our alcohol stash? The Jews got scammed.
"What's the deal with hiding the matzo?"
No clue. I think this is to make Judaism fun! (Note: Do not hide matzo in the bottom drawer of your nightstand. Remember that if anything wet touches the matzo, somehow it becomes unusable for Passover.)
"Was the Last Supper really a Seder for Jesus?"
Say what? Who?
"I'm sick of that 'Dayenu' song. What else can I sing?"
"Raise Your Glass" by P!nk is entirely kosher for Passover! Seriously, boys, the gay Jews at He'bro are not going to be singing "day-day-enu" at this year's Seder, but we will be singing "die, die, DOMA!" During the first two days of Passover, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on the legality of marriage equality: On March 26 the high court will hear oral arguments in the case of California's Proposition 8, and on March 27 it will hear oral arguments in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case. That's right during our Seders! Just as we all are celebrating the Jewish freedom from slavery, let's pray that freedom and equality are extended to the entire LGBT community around our country.
Have a happy Passover!