PASSOVER SERVICE

by Rosé Cohen
(Santa Fe, NM)

PASSOVER SERVICE

While traveling in foreign parts
Avoiding arrows dodging darts
And guided by some ancient charts
I bought from an Arab
I came across a manuscript
Half buried in a dusty crypt
Called exodus from old Egypt
Inscribed on a scarab

As I remember it the Jews
Built pyramids and sang the blues
So Pharaohs could forever snooze
Above the baking sand
Egyptian lords embalmed in spice
Lay in eternal Paradise
While Jews their lives a living sacrifice
Slaved in a foreign land

And one was born named tongue-tied Moses
One chosen by the God of the long noses
To free his people from the rubber hoses
The Pharaoh's men would wield.
By trick of fate he chanced to be
Raised in Egyptian luxury
Brought up within the Pharaoh's family
And one day God revealed…

But let's all drink a toast to Moses
To the God of the long noses

And one day God revealed his plan
To free His people from the Man
And thus to Moses he began:
“Early tomorrow morn
Rise up and go to Pharaoh's door
Take brother Aaron as your orator
Say let my people go we slave no more”
And deep as a French horn

God's mighty voice in anger boomed
God who appeared that day costumed
As bush that would not be consumed
Although it burned in flame
So Moses eighty years of age
Stepped up upon the Pharaoh's stage
To free his people from their prison cage
He called upon God's name

And gave his staff a little shake
And hurled it down as it would break
And lo it turned into a snake
Then Pharaoh gave a sign
And his magicians threw their rods
Which turned to snakes in writhing squads
But Moses' snake ate all the other bods
On each one did it dine

Let's drink to slavery's abolition
To Pharaoh's mummy's slow decomposition

But Pharaoh would not let them go
And thus the Lord spake unto Mo:
“Stretch out thine hand you and your bro
And wherever waters flow
They will be turned to blood” and lo
It came to pass exactly so
Before the peoples' eyes, before Pharaoh
And still his word was No

And so the Lord sent frogs, then lice
Then flies, then cattle paid the price
All of them dead to be precise
Then boils on everyone
Then hail, then locusts filled the air
But still the Pharaoh didn't care
He'd say “Go free” caught up in his despair
Then when a plague was done

He'd change his mind insist they stay
Then God sent darkness every day
So thick Egyptians felt it weigh
Upon their every breath
Until the Pharaoh cried: “Go free
But leave your herds right here with me”
“We need our herds” “Then stay in slavery
And it will be your death…”

Let's drink to innocent Egyptians
To God who caused Pharaoh conniptions

“If once again you see my face
On that day shall your death take place
You'll disappear without a trace”
And then the Lord dealt out
Of all His punishments the worst
The land of Egypt was accursed
It came to pass that night he killed the first
Born and a tremendous shout

A shout throughout the land a cry
Went up from every mouth unto the sky
Because in every house at least one did die
Except among the Jews
For God had given strict instruction
On how they could avoid destruction
And more important than mere reproduction
He said they must forever fuse

The image of this holy day
Upon their souls and never stray
In the least detail from this holy way
For God said: “Kill a lamb
And smear its blood upon the door
Tonight when I do what I swore
And smite Egyptian first born by the score
I God of Abraham…”

We must drink up for Abraham
To the blood of the sacrificial lamb
To the God of those who eat no ham

“I shall Passover the marks of red
While filling Egyptian homes with dead
This night eat ye unleavened bread
And ye must eat in haste
There is no time for dough to rise
Eat bitter herbs to symbolize
The pain of bondage and to memorize
Forever slavery's taste”

And Pharaoh called for Moses in the middle of the night
“Begone with all your people thou accursed Israelite”
And so six hundred thousand folk on foot began their flight
And then the manuscript
Went on: “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial”
Spake God unto His children God the incorporeal
“And ye shall keep it as a feast for time immemorial
How I brought you out of Egypt

And went before to lead the way
By night a flaming pillar, a ray
In a pillar of cloud I led by day
I led you in my glory
Remember how I divided the sea
Gave you water from stone, from the sky toast and tea
Gave you a commandment on adultery
But all that's another story”

Now eat we this unleavened bread
With bitter herbs as the Lord said
And drink to God the fountainhead

That's why we celebrate the miracle
Of Passover it's just empirical
And sometimes the Lord likes to hear it told lyrical

So remember
The Lord of Hosts lays down some heavy shit
And He insists that all ye mortals hearken unto it.

©1995,2012 Rosé
rosetonka@aol.com

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