Friday, February 18, 2011

Week of March 7 - March 11 Judaism, Passover and Slavery

Hi everyone,

Today we are going to talk about Judaism, the religion of the Jewish people, which is featured in our upcoming play, The Whipping Man. More specifically, the slaves in this play take part in a religious ceremony called a seder, which is special meal Jews share during the Passover holiday. In many homes, this meal is known as the Feast of Freedom, so it is quite relevant that slaves are having this meal in our play.

I. Please visit these websites to learn about the story of Passover. You will watch a series of videos:

II. Please visit this website to see the 10 plagues: The Animated Ten Plagues

III. Please visit this website to read The Passover Story.

IV. Please look at this vocabulary list of Passover words, and click on any you don't know. They come up in the play.

V. Please visit this website to read about Jewish Americans who had slaves.

VI. Please answer the questions below in Microsoft Word and then post your answers to our blog:
  1. How is the story of Passover related to the story of slavery in the US?

  2. What did you learn about the Passover seder? List three things.

  3. What surprised you about what you learned today?

  4. How do you feel about the fact that there were Jewish Americans who had slaves and why?


  1. This story is related to the slavery in the US because the Jews in Egypt were forced to be slaves too. The Jews tried to get their freedom thousand years ago. They are minorities too in Egypt and they were suffering through years of living. Passover Seder is performed the same way by the Jews all over the world, Passover Seder is performed by feast to mark the beginning of Jewish holiday of Passover, and Passover Seder is also performed to retell the story of the liberation of slavery in Egypt. The only thing that surprised me the most is that all of the religion in the world are basically the same and similar. Even the different names given by the religious people are because the difference of the languages. My feeling for the Jewish people who had slaves in the US is sad, ironic, and disappointed. Since the Jewish people were slaves thousands of years ago, it’s sad if they think that it’s okay to have slaves.

  2. The Jews were treated so bad by Egyptians. Once the Egyptians told them to move they were running out of the country. The Egyptian army went over them. They were trapped between ocean and army. Finally they were successful to pass the ocean and get their freedom.If the Jews people wouldn’t leave the Egypt, they wouldn’t have a day call Pass-over and if they wouldn’t have pass over they wouldn’t be free. They were tortured and not treated well in Egypt. During the time they were escaping they didn’t eat hot food, no food that is baked. They had to survive eating dry foods. The situation like suffering and the escaping were the same as US slavery. The most interesting for me was the animated ten plagues. I really feel bad for those Jews who had to work as a slave and didn’t get any help from some of the Jews Americans. Slavery is judging people as others materials but not human. I think it was crucial for those who had been slaves over years and years.
    by Sangjukta and Jeannette

  3. From Sangjukta to - christian
    your paragraph contains a lot of information about slavery. i like the part most where you talked about the Jewish Seder.

  4. 1. The relationship between the Passover and slavery in the U.S. is that both had a time where a nation used to have slaves. In Egypt, Jews were slaves by the Egyptians and Americans used to enslave African Americans.
    2. Passover seder is the mark or the beginning of the jewish holidays. It’s a feast where jews retell the stories about the experience of jewish people in Egypt and how they were freed.
    3. and 4. I’m surprised that as a Christian, all religions are related and connected that we share the same stories and history and we try to learn something out of it. Particularly about slavery, that its very ironic how jewish people used to be slaves and then many years later, some jewish people use African Americans as slaves related to the story in the “whipping man”

  5. I think it is related with the slaves who did not have rights. I learned about the Passover Seder, it is realized for different way as the beginning, and the freedom of slaves. I was surprised to learn that the slaves in Egypt were threaded the same way as the slaves in the US. I feel sad because I can understand why some people think that a person can be a slave and ignore theirs rights.

  6. 1 The story that we watch related to US in many different way , one of the way that treatment was the same ‘they were getting punished for nothing just like in US , also people wanted have freedom and fought for it .
    2 They make Matzah to eat ,celebrate freedom from slavery , that Egypt people let them go and then went to kill them again
    3 One thing that really surprise me today was the bread I didn’t know what were they were eating when they escape from Egypt
    4 I feel sad about it because ,it’s not normal to have slaves , and they did knew what that some of they people were slaves and still keeping the laves that not normal
    By Alisha and Macej

  7. The Jewish history was very terrible and helpless. They have be slavery for long period, but they didn’t give up the freedom, they had fight for it. Then the Passover made. The Passover show up the all Jewish’s soul. When the US slavery them, they will remember the history and stand up. I learn the Passover Seder 1.hope of freedom. is really good time.3.something is after we did then can feel it. Jewish history surprised me. They was so sad and difficult. We look for the hope, the history makes our remember and remind these things.

  8. 1The slavers from The US and the Jews they were fighting for their freedom..
    2.They make the Matzah to celebrate the Passover.And the Passover was created for celebrate their freedom.
    3If the Jews never cross the sea today there still been slaves.
    by silvia and jiajun

  9. The story of Passover related to the story of slavery in the US by Jewish people were also forced to be slaves and they didn’t have any rights. Something surprised me is king of Egypt kept Jewish people until they had ten plagues. I don’t understand why didn’t he just let them go. Weiwei and Diprojith dey

  10. It was clearly the same type of story because they were also slaves being captured and been abused. They had to work outside from sunrise to sunset. First I learned how Moises went to Pharaoh and ask him to free the slaves that were very brave of him, because he could have been captured as well for just asking such a huge thing to the king. Even the children had to work as adult’s average type of work. After the children were born they were thrown to the river. It is very chocking because how can you be a Jew and you’re making your own kind miserable, it’s terrible and extremely devastating to hear such a thing.

    Lovely….. Yanyan

  11. I think it related to the slavery in the US because they forced to be the slavers too. also they forced to leave.

  12. 1. The Passover and the story of the U.S. slaves are similar because in both of these stories the slaves are getting freedom. And it’s a form of reminder of abolishment of Slavery.
    2. I learned that it’s the day that the Jewish celebrate their Passover. Second, its when the Jewish had to eat it so fast because they were followed by the soldiers. Third, it’s a symbol of their freedom.
    3. I didn’t know that the Jewish had to eat Matzah without it being cooked.
    4. It just horrible to know that there were a lot of Jews slaves in America and it’s also interesting to learn about all of this.

  13. I think this story is about pharaoh’s advisors had been warning him as to the growing threat of the Jewish nations. His sorcerers had seen in the stars that a Jewish boy would be born who would grow up, overturn the entire Egyptian empire and lead his people to freedom. It is linking the black slavery in America. Like Lincoln lead north people fight with south people and got win, then black people got freedom.
    A lot of people die for pestilence in Egypt. This leader is Egyptian empire.
    I learn they can make the Matzah is fast and surprised.
    I feel they are so poor because they are slaver in the past time, but I am happy because they got free.
    wen &Jonnathan

  14. I think it has some similarities the both were treaded very badly and unfairly, but from freedom its kind different because for the slaves in USA the government help them to get it ,but for the Jews Moses helps them to leave the land that they were slaves. The three thing I learned are: Masta special kind a bread that has nothing on it like sure or something, all jews can’t eat no bread during that specially period and they have to eat together with a special pray before to eat. The thing that surprise me the most is how all of them get together and celebrate , I feel little sad because they were slaves,but I’m happy because the happy now.

  15. i think is related to the history of slavery in the united states because Jews were forced into slavery too, and were treated unequally. they struggled for many year for their liberty.Passover marks the beginning of jewish holiday. Its a feast in which they retell their stories of hoe they got freedom. They eat Matzah. One thing that surprised me was that Jews had so many similarities with the african american slaves, they shared many things in common, such as their religion. Its so ironic that some slaves owners were Jews American because altought they had a similar background related to slavery they did the same to those african American slaves, even knowing how terrible and awful was being in that situation.

  16. The slavery of Passover is the shadow of the slavery in the US. They are almost the same, but the slavery of Passover happened before the slavery in the US in different place, which the slaves are Jews. When I study the Passover, I learned how to make Matzah, I learned how Jews escaped from Egypt, and I learned the 10 plagues. The 10 plagues surprised me, because it is very cruel for a person to experience them. I feel about Jewish Americans who had slaves. Because the "cruel reality" replay again. The people used to be slaves become owners of slaves.

  17. 1- the relationship between the passover and the story of the slavery in US is that,they were both hard times for the people because they had to do anything just to eat because they had no time to cook or utensils.
    2-Passover is a jewish holiday and it reminds them about those times when they only could eat that kid of food.
    3-and 4- what surprised me today was how they could survive by only eating that kind of food . I think that it is horrible for jews and african americans to be the only ones who were slaves.

  18. It is very sad to hear that the history of humans always talk about sadness and cruelty. Slavery is one of them. The past of many people were very sad and many cultures had suffered slavery. The Passover is one of those stories that relate us stories about slavery. It is very sad to hear it. Many people say that Jews were victims of slavery, and personately I think it is true because of the absense of liberty that they used to have.