A BREXIT SONG FOR PASSOVER: Guest Post by Deborah Maccoby

April 18, 2019

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Parliament and the British people are now taking a very welcome and much-needed break from Brexit, in what is known as “the Easter recess”.  Yet during this holiday season, the Brexit link continues.  Easter coincides this year with the Jewish festival of Passover (Pesach), which celebrates the Exodus from Egypt.  Boris Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary, recently advised the Maybot, in an article in the Daily Telegraph: “It is time for the PM to channel the spirit of Moses in Exodus and say to Pharoah in Brussels – let my people go”. [1]

Despite the obvious differences between the EU and Pharoah, this analogy has not been lost on the UK Jewish community as Passover approaches.  See this tweet two weeks ago from the Orthodox Jewish comedian Ashley Blaker about his Brexit Haggadah (the Haggadah – Hebrew for “telling” — is the prayer book for Passover; it contains narrative, rituals and songs):

Blaker revises the Haggadah’s story of the Four Sons.  In the original, the wise son asks the meaning of the Pesach rituals being enacted by the father; the wicked son asks what they mean to his father, thus dissociating himself from them; the simple son merely asks “what is this?”; the son who does not know how to ask does not proffer any question (the meaning of the mysterious Fourth Son has been much debated over the centuries).

I have written a song, based on Blaker’s version, that I am going to sing at a Seder (festive Passover meal) tomorrow (Friday April 19).  Here is the song on this Twitter thread: