Haggadah: “Give Me A Sign” From The Diary of A Former Slave
The silence after Moshe said, “There’s more,” was scary. We had no idea what to expect. Moshe looked down for just a moment and then he said, “Tell me why are you willing to offer the animal at the risk of your life.” We answered, “We are no longer scared.”
Moshe said, “How does it feel to no longer be scared?” We didn’t even need to think, “We felt, we feel, free.”
So Moshe said, “I want you to take the animal you will give us an offering and tie it up in front of your house so that your former Egyptian masters can see and know that you are no longer afraid.”
We didn’t even need to think. We were willing to do it.
Moshe continued, “You’ll do that in 10 days, on the 10th of this month, because remember, we have begun a new calender; your calendar, the calendar that is determined by your development as a free people.
One man raised his hand and asked Moshe, “Does this offering have a name?”
“Yeah,” he said, “Pesach.”
“It means “Passover,” as in, God will pass over your homes to protect them during the next plague. It will be the worst of all the plagues. The firstborn of every Egyptian family, not only human beings, but even animals, not only your masters, but even their slaves who never supported you, not only the citizens but even in the King’s Palace, the firstborn will die.”
“God will release an angel of the destruction in Egypt who will visit every single home, but God will pass over your home to protect you and every one and everything.”
Some Rabbi, I think his name was Onkelos, stood up and said, “Doesn’t Pesach also mean, love?”
“Yes,” said Moshe, “this is God’s way of showing His love for you. God will pass over your homes to show you His love. He will protect you.
Someone raised his hand to ask Moshe, “How will God know which homes are ours?” Everyone chuckled, “Come on, it’s God! He knows.”
Surprisingly Moshe said, “No, don’t laugh! It’s a good question. God wants you to mark your home in a special way. He wants you to mark your homes. Take some different branches tie them up and after you slaughter your offering on the 14th of this month, He wants you to dip the branches in the blood and splash a little bit of the blood on your doorposts. That will be your sign.”
“Doesn’t God know?”
“Yes,” said Moshe, “but until now God has been giving the signs to you. Now God wants you to make signs for Him.”
We were shocked. We didn’t understand. Moshe continued, “This is not a one-way relationship. This is a two-way relationship. We now use your calendar. You will make an offering, and you will give a sign. God will respond by showing you His love and passing over your homes while every Egyptian home experiences death.”
“By the way,” said Moshe, “there’s more…”