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    All the world’s a stage

    Shakespeare wrote the immortal words, “All the world’s a stage”. They apply to Pesach in a way he could not have imagined.

    Where every culture and creed marked their great events on the stage (including Christian enactments of episodes and legends in public squares with crowds of the devout watching), Judaism placed very little emphasis on the use of the stage as a national platform for performances.

    Probably the only major exception to this rule was Purim, when Purim Spiels portrayed the strong-willed Vashti and her vacillating kingly husband, the scheming Haman and the clever Mordechai, and above all the beautiful and brave Queen Esther.

    The great opportunity for a miracle play was the story of Pesach, but that was never scripted and performed on a stage before an audience. The genius of Judaism created the Seder, where the Jewish family lived the bitterness of the enslavement and the joy of the redemption. This was no staged depiction but a heartfelt human experience. We did not portray our history; we re-lived it.

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