Every year, amid cleaning, cooking, and unboxing the pesach dishes, my mother says: “We talk and talk about how important it is to tell the story of yitziat mitzrayim, but we never actually tell the story!”
So we would try to come up with ways to integrate the actual story into the already too long Seder. When High School Musical came out, my siblings and I did a live performance of Maggid Musical, during which we performed the original songs with Passover-themed lyrics and original choreography. Numbers included: He Won’t Let The People Go and Breaking Free.
In 2010 we did a short skit of A Night at the Seder Table, based on A Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian which has always been a family favorite. My baby brother does a mean Kah Mun Ra impression. And there was also a chicken.
And to be honest… it was my mom’s idea. She had a stroke of brilliance around Chanukah time and said to me: we have to make this game. As soon as she said it, I was obsessed. I kept a Google doc open on my phone for writing down card ideas. I stayed up way too late at night writing them down. I decided I wanted to have 300, because that seemed a decent amount to have with the expected 13 people at that year’s Seder (of course, in the end we were 17).
As Pesach approached, I mentioned to my roommate that I was planning on printing this game, and she asked if she could have a copy as well. So I looked into a price quote for 2 decks. Then she wanted to give one as a gift, so I looked into printing 3 decks. Then I posted about it on Facebook, and my roommate shared my post in Orthodox Ladies United in Fandom.
But then there were 45 orders from OLUF and many outside of Israel who were disappointed that they could not receive the printed version.
Yes, it’s true, I released the digital version for free. It wasn’t about making money for me, I was proud of what I had created and I thought it would be nice if other people could enjoy this.
Anyway, we spent hours playing this, even after the Seder was over and the …um… adults had gone to bed. We played again over chag and multiple times on chol hamoed. I made a box for the cards that was cut out of a KFP cereal box with a bright yellow label reading “Kosher for Passover (for legumes consumers).”
The feedback from the first print was incredible. One friend of mine bought a game, and then asked if she could buy 2 more to send to her nieces and nephews in Australia. People posted all over Facebook about how much fun they had. One person wrote,
“No Pesach will ever be complete without this game from now on.”Liba Horenstein
And then of course, actual Pesach came around, which made me realize a whole bunch of obvious card ideas that were not in the original deck (e.g. Eating off the Seder plate) and I had to write up an expansion. I wanted to release it this year but due to constraints from the printing plant, it’s going to have to wait until the bread rises.
Now, a bit of background:
At the time the initial print was done, I was at an extremely difficult point in my life. I was struggling with a physical disability that had suddenly set in and cost me my job and took a high toll on every aspect of my life. I was not strong enough to work. I was extremely depressed and low functioning. I had no idea what was causing it or if it was even something that could change.
After barking up a hundred trees in the Israeli healthcare system, it was time for a change. I moved to the USA to live with my grandmother in a mutually beneficial housing arrangement where both of us are pretty happy at the moment.
The thing is, the disability has not gone away. It’s a little better, but I’m still not really able to have a regular job.
So it’s kind of like my own exodus from Egypt.
The success of this game opened my eyes to the fact that even though my body is not what I always expected it to be, I can still make something of value that people will enjoy.
I’m not saying these things to try to arouse pity. It’s just what happened. The tiny margin of income I gained from the first sale of Seder Cards was a lifesaver in a time when I had lost my job as well as my ability to work, and had not yet figured out the bureaucratic workings of Bituach Leumi. * (By the way, I have now – and if you are in a similar situation, please check out this video I made for you.)
In every generation, one should see themselves as if they personally were redeemed from Egypt. My metaphorical Egypt – the narrow place, has been pretty bitter, but I have faith that I will eventually get out.
So really, there are loads of reasons to support this game and its creator: one, the game is hilarious and hours of fun. Two, stick it to the patriarchy by proving that feminists do have a sense of humor. Three, how else are you going to stay up talking about the exodus until it’s time for the morning prayer?