Fast of the Firstborn
Shmuel ben Moshe HaLevi
(and of course)
These are the symptoms of the brief
deliberate shunning of nourishment
I endure each year at this time.
Yes, but a reminder
I still live.
Much less unpleasant
than what happened
to the firstborn males of the Egyptians
all those millennia past
on that night
was spared the cold sword of
The Angel of Death.
The blood of the lamb
streaked across the lintel
of my ancestor’s slave shack
informed Death to pass over
its frightened occupants
cowering and clutching at their ears
to drown out the screams of horror
emanating from the abodes of the Egyptians.
From that moment on
every firstborn male
in every generation
would belong to God
and must be redeemed
with blood or sacrifice
of that awful event.
Tonight I will spill out a little of my wine
in memory of those who were slaughtered
enemies though they may have been
and invite all who are hungry
to join me in celebration of the Passover.
After a day without food
the bitter herbs will taste sweet.
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