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A pirate ship, in the middle of the Red Sea. BLACK MOSES, a pirate captain, is calling out to his imaginary shipmates.
Moses: Argghhh! Avast, ye kvetching knaves, this is what you call sailing? Aye, ‘tis a black day when I see such mishegos pass for mastery of the seas.
(MIRIAM, a pirate wench, rushes in.)
MIRIAM: Captain, the Pharaoh is hard a port!
MOSES: A plague on him! Is Aaron manning the cannons?
MIRIAM: Aye, he is.
MOSES: Then fire upon him, and as I be a Semite, we shall part the very waters with our shots.
MIRIAM: The Captain says fire!
(The cannons roar.)
He’s still coming, hard a starboard now.
(More cannon fire. The boat rocks.)
MOSES: Great Abraham’s balls, who needs this tsurris? Fire again, Aaron, fire again!
Miriam, we have sailed the seas together a long time now, you and I, and who knows, this voyage may be our last. But to lose to Pharaoh without a fight, that truly would be a shanda. So we shall fight him with all the strength we have left, and just pray we don’t end up in Davy Birnbaum’s locker. Fire again, Aaron, fire again!
(There is another cannon shot, and the Pharaoh fires back. MOSES and MIRIAM rush offstage, looking for cover. RABBI TZIPPORAH FINESTEIN enters. She reads from her sermon.)
tzipporah: Moses parted the Red Sea, right? What does that mean? It says in this parsha, “Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong East wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” Some people think that means there was a low tide, that the Jewish people passed through the water unharmed, but by the time the Egyptians followed, the water had risen. But Rashi points out that it does not say the water was divided, it says the waters were divided. So he says that not only was the water in the sea divided, but also the water in the cisterns and ditches, not only the terrestrial water, but also the supernatural water. What is supernatural water? In the Midrash Rabbah, it says that when Moses stretched his hand over the waters and commanded it to part, it refused. It said, “Why should I part for you? You were created on the sixth day, but I was created on the third.” But then God put God’s own hand upon Moses’ hand, and the waters parted. So I ask again, why are the waters supernatural?
(JOSH and RACHEL, two congregants [played by the actors who played MOSES and MIRIAM], walk up to TZIPPORAH. RACHEL is pregnant.)
JOSH: I enjoyed your sermon, Rabbi. I, uh, got a little lost in the middle. But it was good.
TZIPPORAH: Thank you, Josh. And how are you two doing?
RACHEL: The baby’s going to pop out any moment. I think this is the last time I’ll be at services, for a few weeks. Until the baby comes.
tzipporah: Mazel Tov. You know, I had the oddest dream, last night, while I was writing this sermon. I dreamt that Moses was a pirate, and he was fighting the Pharaoh on the high seas. But the two of you were in it, too.
rachel: Who were we?
tzipporah: I don’t remember.
Josh: May I speak to you privately, Rabbi?
tzipporah: Of course. What about?
rachel: There may be a problem with the baby.
tzipporah: A problem. What sort?
Josh: They’re not sure. Some…irregularities.
tzipporah: Oy. I’m so sorry.
Rachel: Would you say a mishaberach?
tzipporah: For you, of course.
rachel: Not for me. For the baby.
tzipporah: By Jewish law, the baby isn’t a person till it’s born. That’s when it gets its soul. But I could say a personal prayer. When my sister was having a baby, I prayed for it right after the Amidah. There’s room for it there.
rachel: Thank you, Rabbi.