When recounting the story of the ten plagues at the seder table, you may have found that dipping a pinkie finger in wine is just not realistic enough. Wine is kind of reminiscent of blood, but hardly of locusts, or cattle disease, or death of the first born. Or darkness (that is, until after you’ve downed the fifth cup and your mother-in-law is standing over you singing “Dayenu“).
Would it help if the plagues covered all ten fingers? you wonder, covertly applying “Midrash Manicures (Torah at Your Fingertips) Ten Plagues Nail Decals” under the table (while reclining, of course). The frog and the locust (and somehow, the darkness) have googly eyes, but this definitely in no way detracts from the plague-y-ness of the plagues. They are still very scary, especially the boils on your left thumbnail, which, kein ayin hara, have no googly eyes.
This is working. Your joy at being free is, like, definitely diminished. (But actually, is it time to eat yet?) Thanks to the death-of-the-first-born on your pinkie, you are feeling genuinely bad for the ancient Egyptians! And unlike with the wine thing, you have no temptation to lick your finger.
April 11, 2014