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The Plate When It Happens

A Note from Emily:

I’m not sure how well y’all remember, but back last fall, there was an election in the United States. Oh, you do remember? You still have nightmares? Yeah, about that….

Even before November 8th, listening to the language tossed about during the campaign made me furious. I wanted to be in the US where I could go door to door, openly campaigning, and instead, I was stuck in Jerusalem. I could make phone calls, but it wasn’t the same.

So it was that, about a week before the election, before Jake and I even knew that we were going to release a 2017 Hamilton Haggadah, I sat down and started writing. I came out with this. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but I decided to email it to Jake anyway (you can entertain yourselves by guessing what’s censored there):

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 5.21.00 PM.png

Jake replied:

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 5.27.41 PM.png

The election happened. I recorded the song with my cheap headphones and built-in MacBook Air mic. Someday, someday, maybe I will get some studio time. When I am not a poor rabbinical student. Anyway, Leslie Odom Jr. (and the other amazing Aaron Burrs) I am not, but, hey, if I have given it all I got I cannot regret it.

Lyrics below. Listen here!

(Also– apologies for the lyrics formatting. It looks much better on Google Docs but wordpress is being finicky. It’ll look good in the haggadah.)

 

The Plate When It Happens (“The Room Where It Happens”)

[ORANGE]: Ah, Mister Matzah

[MATZAH]: Madam Orange, I see

[ORANGE]: Didja hear the news about curly parsley?

[MATZAH]: No

[ORANGE]: You know the karpas?

[MATZAH]: Yeah

[ORANGE]: Jews made parsley the minhag. To dip in salt water for their tears

[MATZAH]: Cheers.

[ORANGE]:And all it has to do is grow.

[MATZAH]: That’s not so much work

[ORANGE]: You oughta give it a go.

[MATZAH]: Ha

[ORANGE]: Now how’re you gonna make your seder debut?

[MATZAH]: I guess I’m ‘a be baked by a wandering Jew

[ORANGE]: How?

[MATZAH]: “Rise less. Dry more.”

[ORANGE]: Ha

[MATZAH]: Be a symbolic note of the Hebrew trek ‘cross the desert floor.

[ORANGE]: Hey, Pesach and Maror are over there.

[MATZAH]: Welp, they’re my friends, gotta meet ‘em

[MAROR]: Matzah!

[MATZAH]:I’m sorry, Suz, I’ve gotta go

[ORANGE]: But—

[MATZAH]: Dramatics are happening over dinner

[ORANGE]: A bone, an egg, maror, two veggies, and haroset on a plate

[ORANGE AND ENSEMBLE]: Reppin’ liberty from slav’ry

[ORANGE]: Gamliel says the shankbone’s a, symbol of Hashem passing

[ORANGE AND ENSEMBLE]: Over so we’d be

[ENSEMBLE]: Free.

[ORANGE]The matzah shows that the Israelites couldn’t tarry and wait for bread. They had to take it raw and let it bake flat. The maror symbolizes the bitterness of life in Egypt. I could keep going but my point is that:

[ORANGE]Nothing else is on the

The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens

Nothing else is on the

The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens

No one knows how the early seders went

What was their intent

Who set the precedent

There was a point when it happened

And nothing else was on

The plate when it happened.

 

 

 

[ENSEMBLE]

The plate when it happens
The plate when it happens

Seders went
Who set the precedent

A point when it happened
The plate when it happened.

[ORANGE AND COMPANY]: Torah claims–

[MATZAH]: Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years Mumbling and munching manna

[ORANGE AND COMPANY]: Torah claims—

[MATZAH]: Hebrews said—

[HEBREWS]: I don’t have any meat!

[MATZAH]: And basic’ly griped each step of the way

[ORANGE AND COMPANY]: Torah claims—

[MATZAH]: God told Moshe to tell the folks: “You’ll have a long trip, but this will be a chag some day.”

[ORANGE AND COMPANY]: Rabbis claim—

[MATZAH]: Well, some rabbis wrote some books. They ruled in the mishna, gemara, the works.

[ORANGE]: And! Nothing else is on–

[ORANGE AND COMPANY]: The plate when it happens, The plate when it happens, The plate when it happens

[ORANGE]: Nothing else is on–

[ORANGE AND COMPANY]: The plate when it happens, the plate when it happens,The plate when it happens

[ORANGE]No one knows exactly how the

Seder plate was set

The Torah and the Mishna are

A decent starting bet

There was a point when it happened

And nothing else was on

The plate when it happened.

[COMPANY]
Seder plate was set
A decent starting betA point when it happened.
The plate when it happened.

[ORANGE AND COMPANY]: Meanwhile—

[ORANGE]: Time is passin’, centuries are gone, and now there are some great Jews who would like equality.

[COMPANY]: Meanwhile—

[ORANGE]: Rabbis are fighting over whether to accept gays–

Company screams in chaos

[ORANGE]: It isn’t pretty. Professor Susie Heschel speaks at Oberlin’s seder, And somehow then her story gets made into a fable.

[“RABBI”]:I’m a made up Orthodox rabbi and I say a woman can’t be on the Bima. What a diva!

[MATZAH]: Oh dear

[ORANGE]: Yeah, this wasn’t real.

[MATZAH]: Not the deal?

[ORANGE]: Wouldn’t you like to hear how I got put on the plate?

[MATZAH]: Yes I surely would

[ORANGE]: Well, I’ll tell you the whole tale.

[MATZAH]: And you’ll tell the whole truth?

[ORANGE]: Absolutely, forsooth.

[MATZAH]: Let’s go

[ORANGE]: Nuh–

[COMPANY]: —thing else was on the plate when it happened

[ORANGE AND COMPANY]: The plate when it happened, The plate when it happened, Nothing else was on The plate when it happened, The plate when it happened, The plate when it happened

[ORANGE]: My God!

[ORANGE AND COMPANY]: God’s got our back, But we’ve had to work so hard for men to see that. Each year, pesach happened.

[ORANGE]: And nothing else was on the plate when it happened

[COMPANY]: Doc Susannah Heschel!

[MATZAH]: What did you do to make us all want to put a big round orange on the table?

[COMPANY]: Doc Susannah Heschel!

[MATZAH]: Was Haroset jealous of the produce? Was there patriarchal pressure to become juice?

[COMPANY]: Doc Susannah Heschel!

[MATZAH]: Or did you know, even then, it doesn’t matter. What old bearded men say about you?

[ORANGE]: Cuz we’re in the shuls, We’re not on the sides

[MATZAH]: You’ve got folks to affirm

[ORANGE]: And we’re propping doors wide. When you got patriarchy, you fight patriarchy, and if all goes to plan you smite patriarchy. Oh you work hard for it. You work long for it. You get nothing if you…

[MATZAH AND COMPANY]: Wait for it, wait for it, wait!

[ORANGE]: God help and uplift me. I wanna do something that’s gonna change his’try

[MATZAH/MAROR]

What do you want, Suz?

What do you want, Suz?

If you make it to the fore, then what will be in store?

[COMPANY]

What do you want, Suz?

What do you want, Suz?

What do you want, Suz?

What do you want?

[ORANGE]: I wanna be on the plate when it happens, The plate when it happens. I wanna be on the plate when it happens the plate when it happens

[ORANGE]

I
Wanna be

on the plate when it happens
I
I wanna be on the plate

Oh

Oh
I wanna be

I wanna be
I’ve got to be

I’ve got to be

On that plate

On that big ol’ plate

 

[COMPANY]

I wanna be on

The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens
I wanna be on

The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens

I wanna be on

The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens
I wanna be on

The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens

[COMPANY]: The fruit of the margin’lized–

[ORANGE]: We won’t be disenfranchised.

[COMPANY]: We spit our seeds and show hate the door–

[ORANGE]: There are so many Jews today we still ignore.

[COMPANY]: We push for a better day–

[ORANGE]: But we know that we’ve still got a long way

[ORANGE AND COMPANY]: To be on the plate when it happens

[ORANGE]

I’ve got to be on

The plate…
I’ve got to be…
I’ve got to be…
Oh, I’ve got to be on

The plate when it happens…

I’ve got to be, I’ve gotta be, I’ve gotta be…

On the plate!
Chew-spit!

[COMPANY]

The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens
The plate when it happens
The plate when it happens

The plate when it happens

I wanna be on the plate

When it happens!

Chew-spit!

Featured

The Four Questions

Hi everyone! Passover is coming oh-so-soon, and even though it won’t be too long now before we publish our full 2017 Hamilton Haggadah, we wanted to tease a little something. There wasn’t really a question when it came to choosing a ‘Hamilton’ song for The Four Questions. There’s only one song about little kids in the whole show! So, enjoy this lullaby (recording here), updated for seder. And there’s much more where this came from, so just you wait….

The Four Questions (“Dear Theodosia”)

[CHILD 1]

Ma Nishtana, ha-laila hazeh

Mi kol, haleilot?

Why is this night its own thing, different from the rest?

 

Sheb’chol ha-leilot

Anu oclin, hametz umatzah

Ha-laila, ha-laila hazeh

Kulo matza

 

Every other night we eat what we like

Sometimes it’s leavened, sometimes it’s not

On this night we only eat the flat bread,

Why do that to ourselves? What is the thought?

What is it ‘bout this night?

Ha-lailah

Ha-lailah hazeh

Ha-lailah

 

[CHILD 2]

Sheb’chol, haleilot anu ochlin

Sh’ar y’rakot

Ha-lailah,  hazeh maror

What’s with all the bitter herbs we have in store?

 

Sheb’chol, ha-leilot ein anu

Matbilin

Afilu, pa’am echat

Ha-lailah hazeh

Sh’tei p’amim

 

[CHILD 1]

Sh’tei p’amim

 

[CHILD 2]

Ha-lailah

Sh’tei p’amim

[CHILD 1]

Sh’tei p’amim

 

[CHILD 2]

On other nights we don’t dip

 

[CHILD 1]

But on this night we can’t skip

 

[CHILD 1/CHILD 2]

Why do we dip and re-dip?

Sheb’chol ha’leilot anu ochlim

Bein yoshvin, u-vein m’subeen,

Ha-lailah hazeh kulanu

M’subeen– why do we lean?

What is it ‘bout this night?

Ha-lailah

Ha-lailah hazeh

Ha-lailah