Pesach - First Day
Exodus 12:21 - 51 / Maftir Numbers 28:16-25

"It Was Exactly Midnight" ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated in the loving memory of Naomi Channah, Mrs. Naomi Lipton Kravitz may she rest in peace, by her son, Daniel Kravitz, and family.

The tension had been escalating for years. Feelings of resentment were at an all time high. Friction filled the air. Cooperation was at an all time low. People were gathering in small pockets throughout the entire country. The talk was everywhere. Among the ruling party there were many factions. The indifferent said, "Let them go, they are nothing but trouble anyway! Look at all the misfortune over this past year."

Staunch party members felt, "The government needs to step in and make a stand! Enough of this rebellion! Teach them a lesson they won't forget"

The liberals denounced the administration, "Rebellion! Anarchy! Terrorism! What do you expect from the working class? Their living conditions are so congested with all the children. They're like insects. They're everywhere! They need better housing, more free time, a few days to cool their jets in the hot desert sun."

The religious party used this opportunity as a forum to attract new members. It was clear from their view that "the gods were very angry." They went from house to house, street to street throughout the entire country proclaiming their doomsday message, "The world is coming to an end! Let the working class go! The G-d of the working class is angry! Their G-d is warring with our gods..."

The intellectual class called on government members to renew peace accords with powerful leaders of the working class. "Certainly something could be worked out if the ruling class and the working class would just sit down and talk..."

Tensions had only increased during the past year since the return of an exiled holy man formerly of the ruling class. Union bosses jumped at the opportunity to support this charismatic leader of the grass roots civil rights organization called "Free My People." The working class throughout the country joined together making outrageous demands. Months earlier, they rioted and danced in the streets setting the entire country on fire. Several reporters stated, "It was like hellfire falling from the heavens." Crops were burned, buildings leveled. The country was declared a disaster area except for Goshen county which surprisingly remained unscathed.

Many of the working class attributed great miracles to the leader of FMP. The government issued many denials. When the waters of the Nile turned red as blood, the working class said their leader had smote the waters. The government issued a denial stating scientists working in conjunction with the National Weather Service were on record for years warning that such an unusual phenomenon could happen under certain conditions. They also issued statements about the frogs and the lice and the death of cattle which resulted from the Nile turning red.

The working class, on the other hand, accredited their leader with the supernatural power of bringing on these national tragedies.

The ruling class was becoming increasingly more skeptical with the government's denials, especially their latest. No one was buying the government's explanation that the terrifying darkness had gripped the entire country because the sun god was angry.

A growing number of the ruling class were very fearful of Moshe and his brother Aharon, leaders of FMP! An increasingly large number were openingly acknowledging their fear over his latest proclamation called, "First Death." These fears were heightened yesterday when members of the working class throughout the country gathered young lambs for a ritual slaughter to take place in several days, on 14 Nisan.

The entire country was in an uproar! The government seemed powerless to stop this uprising of the working class. Government leaders were demanding that this revolt be put down immediately. Members of the government who were known worshipers of the lamb god were angry and very out spoken! Debates are expected to continue late into the night...

In anticipation of the government crushing this revolt and ordering a nationwide curfew on 14 Nisan, the General of the army of Mitzriam ordered all inactive members to report immediately... stating, "All soldiers of the mighty army of Mitzriam will be on active duty to enforce the curfew." He denied numerous reports that many members were refusing to report and that many active members had deserted!

As government breakdown continued, the ruling class began offering appeasement to the working class with gold, silver, jewels, art and great wealth. The entire country was in disarray!! The working class, in direct defiance of the government, began slaughtering thousands of lambs and placing the lambs' blood on their doorposts...

There is enormous fear! Many of the ruling class are attempting to flee the country in defiance of the curfew. Soldiers are posted on the roads to turn them back... Darkness is approaching as the fear mounts... Night comes....

Then... it... was... exactly... midnight...

Dear reader, holy reader, one can only imagine what it must have been like for those living in Mitzriam during the months, weeks, days and even hours leading up to the tenth and final plague when B'nei Yisroel would be driven out...

It is our obligation to reach back, to revisit that day, to renew our connection with our past and to teach our children about all the glory and miracles of Pesach.

Wishing you a very Kosher Pesach,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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