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Passover Quizzes from Rabbi Noah Farkas

Passover Quiz 2012

Limerick

Complete the limerick: 

One day God Called Moses on the Bat Phone
And said, Israelites You’re not alone
So put a lamb on the fire
Or your first ones will expire
And now we celebrate with the _______.

Answer: shank bone

It’s the bread of affliction
For Jews it’s an addiction
We left in haste,
So much for the taste,
Let’s raise the Matzah make a _______.

Answer: benediction


Multiple Choice:  Names for Passover

When the rabbis were editing the Haggadah they had to decide what to call the holiday, what are other names for the holiday?

  1. Stuff your face day!

  2. Cracker day!

  3. Buy more dishes Day!  (They wanted to call it that especially since bed bath offered 20% off coupon to all Jews buying new pesach dishes).

Answer: Cracker day! Actually, matzah is a cracker. Chag Hamatzot is another name for the holiday.

Stuff your face day wasn’t used because we already have Thanksgiving in America, and as Americans most people do this every day.

Change your dishes day wasn’t used because the rabbis couldn’t get sponsorship from Bed Bath and Beyond, especially since 20% was all they were offering.  


Will Shortz Style Puzzle

All the answers use some variant of the word “Passover.”  It gets very creative here, so watch out!  

After a huge meal and four cups of wine, Uncle Murry is what on the couch?  
("Passed Out")

Your cousin Barbara was supposed to be here 30 minutes ago with her hasroset.  But now the guests are getting restless and kids are running out of songs.  She texts you and says “I’m stuck in traffic because there’s a wreck on the...“
("Over Pass")

When God said to the Israelites that they would go free from Egypt only to wander in the desert for 40 years, a few Israelites might of said this.
(“I’ll take a pass” or "Pass me over on that one" or "I’ll Pass that one up") 

After the Angel of Death came swooping through Egypt and killed the first born. The Israelites went to their neighbors houses and said “Well, I guess they...“ Hint: another name for death.
(“Passed On” or “Passed Away”)

Your baby brother won’t stop crying because he ate too much maror. To calm him down you might give him a what?
(A Pacifier)

By the 4th night of eating Matzah and leftovers your uncle Izzy was known to say: “I’m done with the ___, let’s get to the ___.”
("Past;" Over")


Limerick

It’s the bread of affliction
For Jews it’s an addiction
We left in haste,
So much for the taste,
Let’s raise the Matzah make a _______.

Answer: benediction


Matzah Facts

Which one of these NEVER occurred?

  1. In 2001, Israel's Interior Ministry conducted raids on local restaurants to make sure they weren't serving leavened bread during Passover.  Fining Israeli about 100 NIS for every infraction.
  2. In 1973, Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan shouted, "Man, oh, Manischewitz," the matzo company's slogan, in the middle of his moonwalk.
  3. In 1992, at Barcelona Summer Olympic Games, Yael Arad, the Israeli Judo competitor, took Silver, Israel’s first Olympic metal.  When asked how she got interested in the sport she said, she used to watch her brothers practicing breaking wood blocks. She would then break a stack of matzahs to be just like them.
  4. In 2008, competitive-eating champion Joey Chestnut ate 78 matzo balls in eight minutes for a $1,500 prize.

Answer:  3.  Yael Arad did compete and take a Silver.

In 2001, the Israeli Government made almost 1,000,000 NIS charging Tel Aviv restaurant owners over the course of the holiday.

Gene Cernan’s shout was actually used in a Manischewitz commercial.

Joes Chestnut is a professional eater, if there is such a thing.  Holds several Guinness world records.


Top 10 List

Top 10 uses for matzah after the seder: (read from the bottom up)

  1. A dress for lady GaGa

  2. Heat shield for the space shuttle

  3. Frisbee

  4. Ceiling tile

  5. Graduation hat (Mortar Board)

  6. iPad cover

  7. Insulation

  8. Replacement Playing Cards

  9. Dartboard

  10. Coaster


Limerick

It makes your tongue sore
It’s so hot you’ll roar
But its great on a fish
With a carrot, a delish
Now someone pass the _______.

Answer: maror


Jewparadoy!

Category:  Bitter Herbs

100 – She was bitter that Moses, her son became a rabbi and not a doctor.  
Who was Yocheved?

200 – Now replaced by the ubiquitous Horseradish, this was the original food used for Maror. 
What is Romaine Lettuce?  (In fact it’s mentioned in the Talmud directly) The first to use Horseradish was Rabbi Meir HaKohen 1300s first to use the bitter root as Maror.  

400 – America’s 31st President, on his watch the stock market crashed bitterly leading to the Great Depression. 
Who is Herbert Hoover?

500 –  This fragrant herb has been used as a treatment for Rumetism, a balm for lower back pain, cough medicine, and even a strong aphrodisiac.
What is Horseradish?

1000 - This pepper, rating over 1,000,000 heat units on the Scoville Scale is so hot that it is used as both a weapon in pepper spray and as a remedy for summer heat by causing instant sweating.
What is the Ghost Naga Chili Pepper? 


Passover Quiz: 2013

Ever hear the NPR quiz show called “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me!”?  Well, here is my second annual Passover version of it that you can enjoy at your seder.  Thanks to Rabbi Rob Scheinberg for the stories this year.

Stories

Here are three interesting stories about Passover. Only two are true. Can you guess which one is false?

Story #1: 
You may know that the laws of avoiding Hametz (leavened products) on Passover are especially strict.  According to Jewish tradition, even the most minute quantity of Hametz can render something inappropriate to use on Passover.

And you may know that Israel's main water source is the Sea of Galilee (also known as Yam Kineret).  The water in the Sea of Galilee travels through Israel's National Water Carrier all the way to Jerusalem, more than 60 miles away.

Except... that about fifteen years ago, some religious Jews in Jerusalem became anxious.  They said, there are fishermen fishing in the Sea of Galilee, and maybe some of them are using bait that is Hametz.  If so, they said, this would render the entire Sea of Galilee hametz, and along with it, Israel's entire water system.  So, they said, TRULY observant Jews in Jerusalem should use only bottled water on Passover.

But because of the strength of Israel's religious political parties, they lobbied to the Jerusalem municipality to divert Jerusalem's water supply during the holiday of Passover.

And so, for the last 10 years, a few days before Passover each year, The Israeli Water Authority diverts the National Water Carrier so that Jerusalem gets its water from a different water source for that week only, and then they switch it back.

Story #2:
On April 3, 2009, the Hasidic Jewish residents of a brownstone in Boro Park, Brooklyn, were awakened by the knocks of agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration.  They came bearing warrants to search the home because of credible reports that illegal drugs were being grown there.

And sure enough, the brownstone was full, top to bottom, with small plants being grown hydroponically - exactly as one might expect in such an illegal greenhouse.

But when the DEA agents saw and smelled the plants, they were surprised -- because it was a different kind of plant than they had expected.
They had unexpectedly stumbled upon an urban greenhouse for the cultivation of ... wasabi.

How did this come to be?
Rabbi Shraga Ludkowitz and his family had realized what many of us have come to realize - that when you buy horseradish root from the store for your maror during the Pesach Seder, 

sometimes it packs a strong kick, but sometimes it's disappointingly weak and mild.
But Rabbi Ludkowitz knew that horseradish's Japanese cousin - wasabi -- has a consistently powerful taste and smell. But the problem is, wasabi grows primarily in Japan, and is therefore very difficult to find with a kosher for Passover certification.  This explains why Rabbi Ludkowitz converted his home into a wasabi hydroponic greenhouse, with the goal of marketing the first kosher for Passover wasabi with a money-back guarantee if it doesn't bring tears to your eyes at the seder.

The perplexed DEA agents left the rabbi alone... but sadly, Rabbi Ludkowitz's business venture was ultimately unsuccessful --  as his crop turned out an excellent harvest of kosher for Passover Wasabi -- just in time for Yom Kippur. 

Story #3:
Many of us are familiar with the ritual of selling Hametz -- it's a way for Jews to rid themselves of Hametz during the Passover festival by selling it to someone who is not Jewish.
Many synagogues, including our own, administer such sales.

But in Israel, the Chief Rabbinate wants to make so sure that the sale is done correctly that individual rabbis and individual synagogues are not allowed to arrange for the sale of Hametz of their members. The sale of Hametz is especially complicated -- so it is only Israel's CHIEF RABBI who is entitled to conduct the sale,  because only HE ALONE can be trusted to make sure that no detail goes wrong and possibly invalidates the sale.

And so each local community rabbi purchases all the Hametz from the members of his community,

and then sells it to the town chief rabbi, who sells it to the local region's chief rabbi,

who sells it to the  regional chief rabbi, who sells it to the Chief Rabbi himself (actually one of Israel's two chief rabbis, one Ashkenazic and one Sefardic),

and then the Chief Rabbi sells ALL of Israel's Hametz... to someone who is not Jewish.

It's a breathtaking religious pyramid scheme.

From 1986 to 1996, all of Israel's Hametz was sold to an Arab businessman and lawyer named Ahmed Mugrabi. Until in 1996 -- the Chief Rabbi realized that he had made a big big big big mistake.

Because - as it turns out - The Chief Rabbi had forgotten, for all those years, to verify one very important thing about Mr Mugrabi. Yes, you guessed it:  Mr Mugrabi is actually Jewish.

Oops.... Better luck next time....

[The answer for 5773  stories #1 and #3 are true (and embarrassing).  Story #2 is fictional.]


LIMERICK

Guess the final word or words!

Across the nation erupt yearly brawls,
Between all the Rosenthals
While they fancy themselves thinkers
They only fight over floaters and sinkers
Such is the epic battle over Bubbie’s ___?

Answer: matzo balls

In his day he was a pariah,
But now He declares the Messiah
We open the door just a bit
And give him a place to sit,
What! Who drank the cup of ___?

Answer: Elijah

If I might give you a suggestion
Your seder gives the kids indigestion
It’s so boring to hear
The same speech every year
So please can you start with a _____?

Answer: question


ANAGRAMS (Like Will Shortz)

All the answers have at least one anagram that speaks to the holiday:

Example:  The reason for Carmageddon I and Carmageddon II.  OVERPASS – Passover

  • Another name for the cast of characters in a seder sketch: [Answer: PLAYERS – Parsley]

  • Walking through a haunted house you will encounter this many times. -  [Answer:STAGED GORE –Roasted Egg]

  • If found, the part of this famous shark, is used in a special Japanese soup: [Answer: A MAKO FIN – Afikoman]

    Passover Quiz 2014​​​​​​​

Passover Quiz Show: April 2014 by Rabbi Noah Farkas

Game of Many Thrones: The new season is underway! One of the many commandments we celebrate on Passover is to recline while we eat. In the show, the throne is made of melted swords (not so nice for the tuchus). In the quiz below, these chairs however are great for sitting on during the seder. Read the descriptions below and have your guests guess what kind of chair it is.

  1. In ancient times the Pharaoh would sit on this throne while the royal priest used incantations and incense to keep the kingly locks from absorbing evil spirits. In Medieval times kings would sit atop this throne for a blood-letting, hair-cropping combo. Now each of us can get the royal treatment, all we have to say is to sit on this throne and say, “just a little off the top, Mo!” Barber’s Chair
  2. While his minions sit lowly on the ground, this Pharaoh can relax in great splendor on this outdoor wooden chair made of 11 flat boards with armrests and a high back Known for its invention in 1903 in the mountainous town of Westport, New York. Adirondack Chair
  3. Pharaoh can grab a seat on this versatile throne, for Seinfeld said, “It’s named after a whole empire based on putting your feet up.” Ottoman
  4. This Japanese throne popular with the Emperor is made of bamboo and padded with a pillowy bowl. It is perfect for snacking on delicacies or while directing armies to conquer the world. Now it graces dorm rooms across the globe, boasting the best seat in the house to snack on potato chips and command your soldiers to conquer the universe – on the xbox or Playstation. Bowl Chair or Pappasan
  5. This is the last chair you’ll ever sit on. Complete with contoured armrests, a high back, and matching leather straps, “Old Sparky” will sure light up your life (while bringing the plague of darkness to the rest of the neighborhood.) Electric Chair

Breaking Bad (matza-style) We all love to hate Walter White and his chemistry magic. We also love to hate Passover food, especially when it tries to imitate food from the rest of the year. So, let’s take a look at the ingredients from some popular Passover foods and see if you can figure out what they are!

  • Cake Meal, Sugar, Potato(es) Starch, Vanillin, Flavoring, Red 3, Yellow 5, Blue 1 - Passover Cereal
  • Sugar, Tapioca Syrup, Agar, Citric Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Natural and artificial flavors, Artificial colors, Yellow #5, Yellow #6, Red #40, Blue #1 - Jelly Fruit Slices
  • Sugar, Cake Meal, Potato Starch, Partially Hydrogenated Cotton Seed Oil, Cocoa Powder, Salt, Glycerol Monooleate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Polysorbate 60, Natural and Artificial Flavors – Marble Cake
  • Unsulfured Coconut, Potato Starch, Egg White, Sugar, Invert Sugar, Tapioca Glucose, Sodium Bicarbonate, Salt, Monocalcium Phosphate, Potassium Sorbate. – Chocolate Cookie Crisps

Sephardic Style:

  • Sugar, (Corn Syrup in some places) Water, Cocoa, Xanthum Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Vanillin - Fox's U Bet Sundae Syrup
  • Sugar, Chocolate processed with alkali, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin – an emulsifier, vanilla, corn syrup, water, Agar-Agar, Citric Acid, Artificial Raspberry flavor, FD&C 3 #40 - Manhattan Chocolate Covered Jelly Rings

Anagrams

Two words describing someone who is excellent at language and speech, add an 'h' to second of the two words and rearrange the letters to spell and iconic Jewish company.Semantic Whiz - Manischewitz

As soon as he was elected President, Barak Obama told his family that they are adopting a new dog, Bo. Take a phrase that might describe this canine's relationship with the first family, and rearrange the letters to spell the center of the Passover table. Leader’s pet - Seder Plate

Two words describing a conversation amongst an expert biologist, ecologist, and anthropologist at a Passover program in your local synagogue. Rearrange these two words to find their topic of conversation. Guest Panel - Ten plagues


Passover Food Fest - Limericks

Read the Limerick out loud and pause before the final word to see if your guests can guess what the rhyme is.

As a boy he used to cry
Until bubbie wiped a tear from his eye
But the real fixer-upper
Was what she made for supper
A mountain of hot matzo brei

My account is in the red
These prices spin my head
I had to take out a loan
Just to buy the shank bone
It was for this - from Egypt we fled?!

For some it's broiled meat
For others a roasted beat
Whether veggie or not
We all take a shot
And say, hey! When do we eat?


Wait! Wait! Tell Me Another!

Based on the popular radio show, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell me, here are a series of stories related to Passover. You have to guess which one is true!

Last year, Chabad reported what they are calling the world’s largest Passover Seder, ever. Each year members of Chabad hold their "Seder on Top of the World" in Kathmandu, Napal for Jewish locals and travelers alike. Last year they had around 2,000 people attend the festivities, including local Jews, Chabad supporters, and about half of the Israelis traveling abroad after their army service. You better believe that between the flowing wine and the thin air, it was quite the party. (TRUE)

Two years ago on the East Coast a group of Jewish farmers and other Jewish foodies were celebrating a Passover seder at a local retreat center. The leader of the seder hid the afikomen in the shed, knowing that the children would go there to look after they reenacted the splitting of the Red Sea next to the duck pond. When it came to time to look for the matza, the children searched and searched and could not find the bag. After hours, the Jews, who are not able to end the seder without the Afikoman were about to give up. It turns out that one of the goats grabbed the bagged from the shed and dragged it into a field. Prompting them to bring the goat into the house and pass it around to be petted as the “afikoman” Not to mention renaming it “Pascal” – after all of its Passover hijinx.(FALSE)

Sailors in the Israeli Navy drew in a breath of relief recently when Admiral Ram Rothberg recently sent a cable saying that sailors on board submarines who wished to celebrate Passover can briefly surface the vessels and open the hatch to allow Elijah the Prophet to come visit the submersible seder table. Admiral Rothberg said that he was under pressure from the religious community to make the accommodation, and that he hopes this will bring the naval warfare service men and women together for a night of unity. He did ask if the sailors could sing Eliyahu Hanivi quietly, since his sailors are supposed to serve in the ‘silent service’ (FALSE)


Passover Quiz: 2015

Istanbul is Constantinople

Cities have a way of changing their names through history.  I’ll give you the name of the old cities and some of the Jewish history and you have to guess the new one.

A Jewish presence existed in this French town of Lutisha  ever since the Roman period, but the community mainly consisted of isolated individuals, rather than an established community. After the Roman conquest of Jerusalem, boats filled with Jewish captives landed in Bordeaux, Arles and Lyons. Archeological finds of Jewish objects with menorahs that lit up the Temple imprinted on them date back to the first through fifth century. What is the name of this modern French city? Paris

Jews were living in this English colonial village of North Hampton Town since before the arrival of William Penn.  It’s first synagogue named  Agudas Achim, however, was not established until the name of city changed shortly before the Civil War period.  As America grew powerful, a native businessman named Andrew Carnegie established a steel factory there. The new name was adopted after the town’s founder Chief Justice William Allen.  What is the name of this town? Allen Town, PA

The first Jewish presence in Kirat Arba goes back, all the way back to Abraham.  He came here after his tiff with Lot, and settled under some large trees in the town’s center called Mamre.  Later Abraham purchased a burial plot here from a Hittite named Ephron. After the First Temple was destroyed, the Jews were exiled and only a small group lived near the tomb.  This city was one of the last places that fell to the Islamic invasion in the medieval period.  And one of the last to fall to the Crusaders.  Today it is known as a contentious city in Israel’s south, a site of many fights between Palestinians and Jews.  What is the name of this city? Hebron

If French colonial laws had been strictly enforced, there would be no history of Jews in 18th century Port Bajou St. John.  According to the Code Noire, promulgated in 1724, Jews were excluded from this American French territory. Yet as was often the case with American colonies of European nations, colonists were more focused on developing trade in the region than following the strictures of royal courts thousands of miles away.  From the colonists’ perspective, Jews had useful experience and connections in shipping and commerce.  So when Isaac Monsanto and his business partner Manuel de Britto, two Sephardic Jews, arrived at mouth of the Mississippi River from Curacao in 1757, they faced few if any legal restrictions as they built a successful trading business.  Monsanto sued in the colonial court, bought and sold property, and even worked as a court translator.  Six of his siblings soon joined Isaac.  This thriving city now boasts many Jewish congregations and even a kosher butcher who calls himself the “Kosher Cajun” - What is the name of this American City?  New Orleans

The first Jewish first Jewish resident in this town once known as Shakomackson, was named Jonas Aaron. His name appears in 1703 ("American Historical Register," April, 1895). Isaac Miranda, the first Jew in the English colonies to hold a judicial position, owned property in the town at an early date; he arrived in 1710 and at once engaged in trade with the Indians. William Penn renamed Shakomackson as way of showing that the Americans could aspire to love each other in harmony. What is the name of this city? Philadelphia

Jews arrived to Luden in 1070 under the reign of William I. This island nation took in the Jews in the hopes that they would improve the economy. While Jews thrived for a time, the political winds turned against them, and under King Edward I, Jews were expelled in 1290. After the Jews have returned, they began to occupy a large swath of this city’s Northern environs.  As the famed author J.K. Rowling wrote, Anthony Goldstein, Ravenclaw, was a Jewish Wizard from this city. What is the city?  London

This beautiful city rests atop the mountains of Judea and has been called by nearly 72 different names! It was at one time either a jebusite fortress, a mountain altar, a regional trade center, and the seat of the Kingdom of United Israel.  It has been said that this city holds the keys to the universe, and that God has given ten blessings to it and ten blessings to the rest of the world.  It’s names include Moriah (Gen. 22) Yevus (Jud. 19:10) City of David (2Sam 5:7-10)  Naveh Tzedek “Oasis of Justice", (Jeremiah 31:22.), kiryat melekh rav Psalm 48:2. polis megalou basileos (city of the great king) Matthew 5:35. Aeilla Capitolina, Al-Quds.  It is the subject of bards and song, poems and sonnets. Today it is a business and intellectual center with coffee shops and cafes, universities and museums.  Anyone visiting will recognize it by the ubiquitous limestone that covers its buildings, and the diversity of Jews who walk its streets. It is known today by its most famous and most sacred name, mentioned over 669 times in the Bible.  What is the name of this city? Jerusalem


Passover Broadway Mashup

Let’s take two of our favorite things and mash them up together! I’ll tell you the story of a Broadway play that has a Passover twist.  You then name the play’s Passover-themed title.  

Here’s a whimsical story of two youthful roommates attending university.  When they attend the local hillel house for Passover, one of the became the star of the show as she so eagerly sought the approval of the rabbi.  Seeing these shenanigans the other child becomes  green anger and storms out with her pet monkeys.  Songs like, “Moses and I” “Defying Pharaoh”, and  “What is all of this to you?” became soaring hits.

Wicked Child

Jonathan Larson’s Bohemian exploration of a group of friends living in a downtown loftwhen, on the eve of Passover, they hope of making it big, by decorating their apartment with yards of fabric and junk from the Oriental Trading Company.  They quickly realize that life isn’t so easy and are let down by bland taste of Gefilte fish.  It’s breakout song, “5775 Years of Creation” swept up the charts.  The play get’s it’s name from iconic pad they create for their seder.    

Tent

Two young men endeavor to change the world by teaching a tribe of villagers the way of their God.  But after zany antics and a bit of slapstick irreverent humor the two become a priest and prophet to these villager.  They then lead the  tribe to freedom and prosperity by establishing a religion.  

The Book of Exodus


The Worst Pickup Lines in the Bible

Simple.  Who said it?

You’re on fire, but you’re not burning, just like that bush I once saw in the desert” Moses

Is that frog in your pocket are you just happy to see me?  I know a few things about frogs. There were frogs on my head and frogs in my bed. Frogs here;frogs there; frogs were jumping everywhere. (even in my underwear - wink) Pharaoh

My brother Moses, told us we all have to share that paschal lamb.  So,  ya’know,  do you want to eat dinner at your place or mine? Aaron

Listen buddy, just because I’m known for a little song and dance, doesn’t mean you can come over here and shake my tumbrel any time you like it.  Miriam

Hey Baby, one kiss from me and you’ll never kiss another another person again...never, ever  again… Angel of Death.  


Wait! Wait!  Tell Me Another!

Based on the popular radio show, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell me, here are a series of stories related to Passover. You have to guess which one is true!

1)In an effort once again to capture the Jewish Vote, both Republicans and Democrats have been out doing each other by ratcheting up the religious restrictions of Passover. One political analyst said, “ Passover seders are the most celebrated religious ritual, If they can’t make Israel a partisan issue, then maybe they can make Passover a partisan issue If we can show the Jews that we care more about the Exodus and not eating chametz then our opponents, then they will want to vote for our candidate.”  In an effort to reach out Jews, one Democratic congressman wrapped his entire office in tin foil, saying, “I can’t allow a single crumb in my office this week.”  In response, House Republicans declared that during the week of passover, all the congressional cutlery and tableware needs to be replaced with cheap paper and styrofoam.  The moves were hailed by the Jewish caucus whose representative was quoted saying, “now the rest of the world knows what we have to go through every year.” (False)

2)  Abraham Lincoln Was Assassinated During Passover. According to the American Jewish Historical Society, many Jews were in synagogue for the holiday when news of Lincoln's assassination broke. Altars in temples were quickly draped in black and, instead of Passover melodies, the congregations chanted Yom Kippur hymns. Rabbis set aside their sermons and wept openly at their pulpits, as did their congregants.  Sadly, a time that was supposed to be full of celebration became one of mourning. Rabbi Isaac M. Wise who delivered after Lincoln’s assassination, he said: "The lamented Abraham Lincoln believed himself to be bone from our bone and flesh from our flesh. He supposed himself to be a descendant of Hebrew parentage. He said so in my presence."This lead many to believe that President Lincoln had Jewish roots. (TRUE)

3) For the new season of the SyFy Network’s hit reality show Ghost Hunters they have decided to track down ancient ghost stories across the globe.  This season, their dispatching crews to Mexico to hunt down the ancient Mayan ghost of King Pacal who is said to walk the streets on the Day of the Dead. They are traveling to Israel to detect if the ancient ghost of Elijah the prophet will show himself on the Night of The Passover.  “We have the newest equipment  and some promising leads.”  The Tishbi Family, owners of Tishbi Wineries near  Mt. Carmel have said that workers report feeling an eerie presence in the spring evenings and occasionally wine goes missing from their wine cellar. “We think the winery might be haunted, and thought it might be Elijah.” Jason Hawes, the lead paranormal investigator says, “ There’s one location in a field near the farmhouse, that has strange readings and a few x-ray hotspots, so we’re hopeful. Afterall Elijah is said to be related to the Tishbi family, so it all makes sense to me.”  


Passover Quiz: 2016

Welcome to my annual Passover Quiz Show!  It’s a series of games that make the seder more … ahem…. palatable.  This is my fifth year writing the show, and I’m so excited to share all the new material with you! This year’s show features games about Uber, wild animals, Moses and the presidential election.  We’ve also got our perennial limericks and “It’s a Shanda, But It’s True.” I always love your feedback.  Write me an email at nfarkas@vbs.org, follow me on Twitter at @RabbiNoah, or find me on Facebook and leave me your comments!


 It’s Like Uber…

Today everyone wants to create the next Uber. In this game I’ll pitch an app that’s just like Uber, but with a Jewish twist and you have to name that app. 

For example, if I said, “It’s like Uber but it’s for everything Jewish.” You might say the app is called “Jewber.

  1. It’s like Uber, except it delivers fresh green onions to your doorstep just in time to whack your siblings while you all sing this traditional seder song.
  2. It’s like Uber, but it tells you when the next concert is for the formerly Hasidic, now simply spiritual reggae and rock sensation.
  3. It’s like Uber for the Oscar-winning, Broadway show about a Milkman and his troublesome Daughters.
  4. It’s the God-praising app for the 21st century! It’s like Uber except it’s based totally on the Book of Psalms. 
  5. Jewish  Composer George Gershwin’s most famous composition written in 1924 has come to your iPhone! With a touch of a button you can hear this gritty, jazzy, musical masterpiece over and over again!
  6. Who wants to be a Billionaire? Now you can find out how from America’s most centrist Jewish businessman and one time Mayor of New York City.  This  app instantly streams excoriating advice about how to invest your money, take more power for yourself, and which sodas to ban in your home!

Answers: 1) Dayenuber 2)  Matisiyahuber 3)  Fidluber on the Roof 4)Haleluber 5) Rhapcity in Bluebluber 6)Michael Bluberberg


Animals Gone Wild!

The fourth plague in the Passover story is called  Arov or "Wild Beasts!" (Exodus 8:20–21) According to legend, out of the fields and forests came snarling animals ready for an all-you-can-eat Egyptian buffet.  In this game, I come up with some of the lesser known no-good rotten animals that ravaged the countryside of Egypt.  You tell me the name of the animal.  Each answer rhymes, so get creative.  

Here's an example:

This red crustacean gangster ruled with an iron claw.  To exact his revenge he boiled his enemies alive and served them with butter and a nice chardonnay.  What is the name of this Don of Delmonico's?  Lobster Mobster.

Under her perfectly coiffed fur, this Queen of the Beasts entranced the Egyptians with her ukulele,  her strong limbo legs and her swaying hula hips.  Once seduced, the Egyptians would follow her up to the little known volcano just outside of Ramses, where they would offer themselves as tribute by jumping into the boiling lava while onlookers sipped mai tais.  Who is this felonious feline? 

This lumbering mammal accosted Egyptian families with vacation discounts to Palm Springs, including free margaritas and rounds of golf.  All the Egyptians had to do was to sit through a three-hour presentation about the wonderful opportunities of fractional ownership in his pride’s new resort called the Las Shvindel Gardens. 

Swimming cooly up from the Nile this enormous reptile gathers his buddies together to do battle by  laying down beats and improvising rhymes that damage, ravage and savage the city.  Of course no one has the moves or rhythms like this guy. 

Answers:  Hawaiian Lion, Timeshare Bear,  Freestyle Crocodile


The Elders of Scion

Everybody loves the Jews!  According to the famed Sociologist Robert Putnam, we are living in an age in America where the Jews are the most beloved minority. (Wish that was true abroad). We are so beloved that in this year’s presidential election, nearly all the candidates have Jewish relatives. For those who don’t, they claim to own part of the Jewish story.  In this game I’ll describe a Jewish relative of one of the presidential contenders  and you name the candidate.

  1. Jared Kushner the son of New York Jewish real estate mogul Charles Kushner, goes to Orthodox synagogue Congregation Kehilath Jershurun.  He and his wife Ivanka have three children (one who just had his bris).  The older two attend  the Ramaz School, a religious prep school for Jewish kids. When Jared was dating, he told his then girlfriend, that she needed to convert. Now their Zaydie is running for President.
  2. Marc Mezvinsky was born to Ed Mezvinksy and Marjorie Margoles.  Both of Marc’s parents at one time served in Congress, making Marc a very political baby.  As he grew up,  Marc met the love of his life, Chelsea, as a teenager at a political retreat.  Their love grew and they were finally married in 2010 under a chuppah by Yale’s chief rabbi.  The 38-year-old investment banker has been going to his job and tending to the couple’s 16-month-old daughter, Charlotte and staying off the campaign trail while his wife stumps for his mother-in-law. 
  3. Rafael, a Cuban born self-styled evangelical preacher, is the father of this candidate. Rafael preaches a type of Christian theology called Dominionism which asserts that the American government should be dominated by Christian doctrine and that our laws should be modelled on a literal interpretation of Bible. His son, the junior Senator from Texas has suggested that he was sent on a mission by God to run for president.  After winning the Iowa Caucuses, he held firm in his belief that America was built on “Judeo-Christian values,” a term that some in the Jewish community have seen as appropriating Judaism into a larger schema of Christianity. This prompted one Jewish leader to write, “[W]hen you use the term “Judeo-Christian” to really mean “Christian,” you erase the distinctions between our faiths — and you essentially erase Jews.
  4. A few years after Anne Vukovich married her husband, John, a mail carrier and son of Czech immigrants, she was determined to give their son the best advice possible for growing up in a successful family.  She said to her son, and future presidential candidate, “if you want to look for a really good friend, get somebody who’s Jewish … [N]o matter what happens to you, your friend, your Jewish friend, will stick by your side and fight right with you and stand by you.”
  5. Raine Riggs is a neuropsychologist married to Levi, a long-time advocate for people seeking Social Security benefits.  They have three children they adopted from China.  Levi, 46 grew up in a activist family whose patriarch, in keeping with his anti-authoritarian ways, insisted that Levi never call him “Dad.”  Rather, Levi could be heard calling out to his father during crowded community meetings in their small apartment saying, “Bernard! Bernard!”

Answers: 1) Donald Trump; 2) Hillary Clinton; 3) Ted Cruz; 4) John Kasich; 5) Bernie Sanders


Who’s The Boss of The Bible? 

In 1984, Tony Danza played retired baseball player, Tony Micelli, who becomes the housekeeper of Angela Bower, an advertising executive in New York. Together they raise their kids and hilarity ensues.  He wasn't the first hero to have a crazy boss.  I'll give you characters in the Bible or Seder Story and you tell me who their boss is. 

  1. This young egotistical boy was the show-off kid in this family's very Full House.  He let his magical gifts go to his head, once proclaiming that the sun, moon, and stars will all bow down to him.  His brothers, the jealous sort, threw him into a pit and sold him into slavery.  Through a series of shenanigans, this young lad becomes the second most powerful man in Egypt, essentially acting as the Big Brother, where he plays tricks on his family.  Watch as our hero maneuvers his way to the top.  Who is the boy, and who's his boss? 
  2. Back in the day, this beauty queen became the real queen of an empire by winning the Miss Sushan contest.  Known both for courage and smarts, this Jewish princess put on the perfect dinner party, making her Top Chef. But to save her people from being chopped she has to ask her husband, and king to remove the evil decree set forth by his viceroy Haman.  Watch as this zany couple eats, drinks, and make merriment and the Jews are saved from certain death.  Who is our hero, and who's the boss?
  3. This young Jewish boy is cast into the Nile because of new fertility laws instituted by the Egyptian monarch.  It's Man vs. Wild, until the princess of Egypt pulls him from the river and raises him the royal palace!  After seeing the Jewish slaves treated terribly, he sneaks out to fields as the Undercover Boss, where he murders an Egyptian taskmaster who was beating a slave.  Watch as he returns from exile to take on the political order in this thrilling biblical version of Celebrity Death Match! Who is the hero and who’s the boss?
  4. .Once Upon a Time, This cute little animal was bought for a family for only two zuzim. In short order, our little hero gets bit by a cat, who is bit by a dog, who gets hit by a stick, that is burned by water, that is quenched by water, that is lapped up by a cow, who is slaughtered by a butcher, that dies at the hands of the Angel of Death. The Big Boss, makes an appearance to take death down and save the little goat. Watch as each of these characters tries and fails at an epic game of Survivor.

Answers: 1) Joseph and Pharaoh; 2);Esther and Achashverosh; 3) Moses and Pharaoh; 4) The kid and God


Moses not Moses

There have been many great actors who’ve played Moses in TV and the movies.  Many of them have also played some other very iconic roles.  I'll give you a quote from famous movies said by our would-be Moseses and you tell me the name of the name of the actor.  For a bonus tell me the name of the other movie. And for a double bonus tell me the name of the movie in which his Moses appears. 

  1. Iceman: You! Maverick, you are still dangerous. You can be my wingman any time. Maverick: BullS***! You can be my wingman.  
  2. George: "Get your hands off of me you damn dirty ape!”
  3. Carmine Falcone: “Who are you?” Batman: "I'm Batman"
  4. King Louis XVI: "It's Good to be the King"
  5. J.D. to Heather: "Chaos is great! Chaos is what killed the dinosaurs, darling."

Answers:  1)Val Kilmer - Top Gun - (1986) The Prince of Egypt  (1998) 2)Charlton Heston - Planet of the Apes (1968) - The Ten Commandments (1956) 3)Christian Bale - Batman Begins (2005) - Exodus Gods and Kings (2014) 4) Mel Brooks - History of the World Part I (1981) - Same movie. 5)Christian Slater- Heathers 1988 - The Ten Commandments (for TV 2007)


Limerick

Who doesn't love a four line, uh, poem. Fill in the blank to complete the rhyme. 

1)God said once that He chose us
But after four hundred years how could he know us.
We worked all day, sometimes without hay.
And now you send us some guy named ______

2)Uncle Steve's desserts will make you swoon.
But these Passover these don't need a spoon.
They’re not from a can, they're made with pecan,
There's nothing quite like a chocolate _______

3)On passover night  we recline
And after four hours I expand my waistline.
Tomorrow I'll work out, that is if I don't pass out
After drinking four cups of ________. 

Answers: 1) Moses; 2) Macaroon; 3) Wine


It’s a Shanda but It’s True!

Back again with three interesting stories about Passover. All of them are outlandish, but only one is true.  Can you guess which one it is?

  1. According to the newspaper, Haaretz, The United States Transportation Security Administration has promised to act sensitively with passengers traveling during Passover. A statement posted on the website of the administration, said that it anticipated an increase in the number of individuals traveling before and during Passover  carrying boxes of matzah, which are consumed as part of the Passover ritual. Passengers should be assured that they can put the Matzah in the x-ray scanner without worry of invalidating its use for the holiday. “As long as it’s wrapped, no moisture or other crumbs will infiltrate the matzah rendering it unfit, or treif” one TSA agent familiar with the laws of Passover said. However matzah, "can be machine or handmade and are typically very thin and fragile, and break easily."  Passengers may request a hand inspection if they wish.  This suggestion  led to the controversy about opening the matzah to inspection for fear that moisture from the surrounding environment might get into the matzah and render it treif, leaving some Jews to wonder if machine or hand inspected matzah is considered a higher level of observance.
  2. The vegan movement is on the rise, but it's a lot more than just a few new vegan cafes in Israel. Sasha Bojoor, 27, started 269life as a radical animal rights organization.  Bojoor named the group after a white calf that was branded with the number 269 within the first few days of its short life. This year for Passover 269life opened an animal rescue farm based on the song Chad Gadya.  The radical vegans raid  industrial farms and brings the animals to their Chad Gadya farm for shelter. "We have six goats, and two cows so far." says Boojor, "We're small, but if God (as they say) saves the little goat in the song, then we can too."  When asked about dogs and cats, he said, "Why not.  Have you seen the stray cats in our country? It's cruel that they are homeless. We should find them a home." (FALSE) However 269life and Sasha Boojoor is real.
  3. At Canadian university, McGill, the Hillel hosts a massive progressive seder on campus for students and faculty.  Every fifteen minutes a new seder begins in a separate location on campus. Participants then walk from one part to another experiencing the entire order of the evening. As the program grew in popularity organizers had a problem with the Afikoman.  They asked, “how are we going to split up one piece of matza for everyone to taste with all these groups coming?”   One industrious business student proffered a solution.  Just take the afikoman from the beginning of one group's seder and feed it to another group. The plan was simple enough.  As each group came for its tzafoon, a student would grab the tzafoon from another group "hide it" and give the pieces to a separate party. This worked for a while, (although not under Jewish law) until enough guests came to the seder where there was just not enough matza to go around. The jig was up when an economics professor Dr. Thalia Schwartzberg, ready for her piece of the afikoman matza called on the director to produce it who simply could not.  Upset by the apparent swindle, the professor declared this the great Passover Ponzi Scheme of 2011." The name stuck and ever since Mcgill Hillel Director has been called the "Passover Ponzi"

Answer: Number One - Haaretz Newspaper  April 12, 2014

Tue, June 2 2020 10 Sivan 5780