Modern Haggadah



We were slaves to our employers, working seven days a week with no benefits, and then the unions were organized, and decreed a five-day workweek and many holidays in the end of the year. Now if the unions had not gotten their act together, then we, and our sons, and even our grandsons, would still have to work on Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Xmas, and New Years. But our daughters and granddaughters still await their salvation.

Even on Shabbat, one can easily reach 12 different kinds of gefilte fish: Rabbi Yosi HaGlili said, How can we show that four different fishes can make twelve different dishes? Because we ate four different fishes in Egypt, (whitefish, pike, carp, and whitefish-pike,) but we are now able to buy them three different ways. We can buy them ready-to-eat in jars, frozen in loaves, or ground raw at the fish store. Now, it follows that if there were four different species, then there are 12 different gefilte fishes. Rabbi Eliezer said, How can we show that each of the twelve fishes is actually eight dishes? Because they can be made with or without salt, with or without sugar, and with or without matzo meal, and there are eight combinations of those three options. Thus, if there are twelve fishes that can be prepared eight ways, then there are a total of 96 dishes! Rabbi Akiva said, How can we show that each of the twelve fishes is actually sixteen dishes? Because each of Rabbi Eliezer's eight recipes can be made either cooked or baked. Thus, if there are twelve fishes that can be prepared sixteen ways, then there are a total of 192 dishes!

There are four types of children who ask questions on Pesach: the wise one, the bad one, the simple one, and the one who does not know to ask. What does the wise one ask? I don't know; I couldn't understand him either. Him you must send to a school for gifted children. What does the bad one ask? He says, "What is this holiday to you?" Because he excludes himself from the community, you must exclude him from your table, and he will go back to his employer and get paid double-time and a half for working on Pesach. What does the simple one ask? He simply asks, "What is this?" You will say to him, "This is dinner." As for the one who does not know to ask, you must go to his room, wake him up and say, "Next year, remember to come to the table!"



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