The Egyptian backstop: a Pesach special

Please note that this blog post is going to contain a lot of predictable jokes, frequently but not exclusively connected to the Brexodus. Sorry in advance, but in my defence, what else was I supposed to do?

Pesach’s arrival tomorrow, though later in the secular year than usual, is particularly well-timed as, turning on BBC Parliament, we see the spectre of innocent well-meaning people being abused by whips. After a year dominated by the Brexodus and by promises of being, next year, in a country redeemed, how pleasing to think that we’re cleverly outwitting starvation by rationing our own diets and selflessly selling off our staple food.

Meanwhile, the distastefully-named Grand Wizards of Brexit have been talking late into the night about their dreams of a no-deal crash-out… talking so late into the night, indeed, that eventually their advisors came to them to announce (Too predictable. Move on. -Ed.)

Now, the day before Passover, Jews up and down the country are making jokes about the Labour party leaning to the left and thinking about how to incorporate four Meaningful Votes into their family seder – perhaps one after each cup?

There’s also a great sense of communal relief at the postponement of Brexit until Halloween. Stockpiling food has been stressful enough; imagine having to stockpile twice to cater for both a Pesach and a non-Pesach Brexit…

To take your minds, for a few moments, off the doom and gloom and uncertainty, why not sit back, dunk some karpas and dig into this year’s edition of Pesach News:

So how about that. Meanwhile, don’t miss out on the list of suggested topical seder plate additions below.

Y’tziat Ecuador

“Could I pass for Moses yet and sneak out of here?”

It’s not just the Israelites who are marking newfound freedom this week. Everyone’s favourite internet troll Julian Assange (pictured left) has come forth from the confines of his room in the Ecuadorian embassy, after President Moreno kicked him out with a mighty leg and an outstretched foot.

Mr Assange managed to get himself sent out into the wilderness of Knightsbridge by wreaking ten plagues on his hosts, including ingratitude, skateboarding, dirty protest and unwashed dishes. A sea of journalists parted to let him enter the Promised Police Van. There are probably some other parallels too. That’s it really.

It would have been enough

Sing along to a well-known tune by clicking the play button below:

If May had triggered Article 50,
Only triggered Article 50
And hadn’t made an Irish backstop –

Chorus: Day-day-einu, day-day-einu, day-day-einu, dayeinu dayeinu dayeinu (x2)

If May had made an Irish backstop,
Only made an Irish backstop
And hadn’t ruled out revocation –


If May had ruled out revocation,
Only ruled out revocation
And hadn’t promised resignation –

If May had promised resignation,
Only promised resignation
We’d all have been truly delighted –


Of course, as anyone who’s read the Book of Numbers (and frankly, who hasn’t?) knows, the fleeing Israelites grumbled against Moses and found it difficult to agree on what should happen next. So really, they could have benefited from some indicative votes…

But once they decided what to do with their newfound freedom, the next big decision was: how do we celebrate it? So…

Beefing up your seder plate

We’ve all heard of the tradition of adding an orange to the seder plate, to remember those margnialised for their gender identity or sexuality – or adding shoelaces (for refugees), an olive (for peace between Israelis and Palestinians), coffee beans (for fair trade) etc. Personally, I like to add a pomegranate to recall the civil disobedience of Shifra and Puah, the Egyptian midwives who saved Hebrew babies.

But this year, Gabrielquotes is delighted to present a more topical list of potential seder plate additions for Pesach 2019…

  • The shank bone of a Dover sole to represent the parting of the English Channel in readiness for a no-deal Brexit
  • A cactus whose resilience in a hostile environment reminds us of Chuka Umunna and The Independent Group
  • A burger to celebrate Luciana’s brave stand against anti-Semitism
  • A chocolate teapot to remind us that Chris Grayling is still a member of the Cabinet
  • A bunch of rocket to mourn the passing of Israel’s moon mission
  • A date to recall the coming into force last year of the General Date Protection Regulation
  • £350m in cash to remind us of the claim that the NHS would receive an extr (Yes, I think we get the gist of this one. -Ed.)
  • A cravat to mark the first tied vote in the House of Commons since 1993 (Move on. -Ed.)


Our blog post is now completed. We’ve sung the songs, cracked the jokes and eaten the matzah in the background that it took me ages to remember how to do because it’s been a year since I last did it. How fortunate we are to live in a free society where we can take the proverbial out of powerful people and institutions without fearing attack, prosecution or sanctions. Next year in West Jerusalem! Next year in a world redeemed. And preferably in the European Union.

The four sons (and other actors)

So, as the afikomen of time is found by the overexcited child of destiny, and as the karpas of fate is dipped into the salt water of eternity, it appears to be the end of the blog post.
In this week’s episode, Pesach News was produced by the Biblical Broadcasting Corporation and read by Gabriel Webber. Dayeinu was given a special Theresa May theme, while the indicative votes were held by Pharaoh. This was an Gabrielquotes production.


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