Since President Joe Biden has restored so many of former President Barack Obama's policies and personnel it is with great anticipation that we await his decision to restore the custom of holding a White House Passover Seder as well. From 2009 to 2016, there were plentiful media reports about Obama's White House Seders. Indeed, Wikipedia has an article devoted to the subject with the introduction that:
"The White House Passover Seder was an annual private dinner held at the White House on the Jewish holiday of Passover during the presidency of Barack Obama. Obama initiated it in 2009 for his family, staff members, friends, and their families. The gathering recited the Passover Haggadah, discussed the themes of the Passover Seder and their relation to current events, and partook of a holiday-themed meal. Obama hosted and attended the Seder each year from 2009 to 2016. It was the first Passover Seder to be conducted by a sitting U.S. president in the White House."
While not holding our breath to find out, there are in fact so many Jews in Biden's government and they could use a Passover Seder to learn what it truly means in Jewish tradition.
I tried to imagine what such a future Biden White House Seder would look like and that imagination went wild and came up with the following scenario :
President Joe Biden dressed in a white Kittel robe presides as his Jewish Chief of Staff Ron Klain and Jewish Secretary of State Tony Blinken act as his assistants. President Biden has never run a Seder so things are confusing to him.
He asks if the three large Matzos are wafers and if with the wine are for a Communion since he is a Roman Catholic and he is used to that in church. Ron Klain and Tony Blinken tell him no, this is more like the Last Supper that was a Passover meal and that it starts with four questions asked by the youngest member in attendance who will be one of Biden's Jewish grandchildren.
There are so many nice Jewish guests and their spouses. Bobby Grandma Janet Yellen the Treasury Secretary who is paying for this special meal and Aunt Ann Chanie Neuberger the head of Cyber Security who has agreed to divulge her secret recipe for Matzo ball Kneidlach chicken soup and delicious boiled pickled brisket both came with their husbands.
The reciting of the Haggada Passover story is greatly anticipated since all present have been in a four year exile that feels more like four hundred years since the last time they did this kind of Passover Seder. President Biden is beginning to nod off, especially after drinking two cups of wine and it being close to midnight, well past his regular bedtime.
There is one very happy member of the group Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, who has not enjoyed such a good meal since he was last at his Yiddishe Mama's place in his home town of Brooklyn. He and all the Jewish people present are so grateful to President Biden for bringing so much Jewish joy back into their lives by keeping up all of President Obama's policies.
When the Marror (bitter herbs) were served everyone was confused why they had to eat a salad, but Ann Neuberger, the most religious and learned of the Jewish government people, explained that it's in memory of the bitter exile and slavery the Jews suffered in ancient Egypt where there were once so many Jews, and that their Israelite leader Joseph was in an earlier Pharaoh's government.
This threw everyone at Biden Seder into confusion because as modern Jews in government serving their own leader they could not fathom why the Jews had become slaves to the Egyptian government. They saw no connection between themselves serving President Biden and the past Israelites enslaved to King Pharaoh of Egypt, which sort of defeats the purpose of having a Seder, but they were determined to have a good time so they ate on.
No one had warned President Biden that everyone must drink four cups of wine. By the time he downed his third cup he was singing merry Irish melodies about freedom for Ireland from the British. At that point Merrick Garland the Jewish Attorney General realized it was a perfect teaching moment and pointed out to Biden that a long, long time ago the Children of Israel, not of Ireland, were slaves in the Egyptians, not the British Empire, at which point Biden opened one eye and said he got it, but why do you have to stay up a whole night to get that one point across? Garland was stumped because he had never studied that question during his after school Talmud Torah days.
It was getting late and the Jewish head of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas was getting nervous about all the talk of the Egyptians getting hit with plagues when his job is to help people stay alive and not get hurt by plagues, unlike the ancient Egyptians who were hit with ten deadly plagues. But he saw how happy Biden was with the night's festivities so he calmed down.
All rise, they were told by Chief of Staff Ron Klain which puzzled everyone as he went and opened the White House front door and shouted out: Welcome, Elijah the prophet! They all stared toward the open door but there was no one to be seen! Klain had to explain to them that it is all a game of make believe pretending as if someone was there. At this point President Joe Biden burst out laughing because he, better than anyone else, knew how to make believe in Washington DC when no one is home!
They all downed the fourth and final cup of wine and felt quite inebriated, Avril Haines, the Jewish director of National Intelligence and Jewish deputy director of the CIA David Cohen, got quite nervous that national secrets would begin to spilled by the inebriated celebrants of this first ever Biden White House Seder. Their fears were confirmed when all were led into singing Next Year in Jerusalem that would only strengthen every conspiracy theorist's fears that America was really controlled by Israel and the Zionists!
President Biden was so happy with the quality of the wine in the four cups he had drunk that he ordered a four year's supply of Manischewitz wine for all official White House celebrations once the Corona quarantine was over. He wished everyone Chag Sameach, a happy Passover holiday, and retired for the night to dream sweet dreams of Israel's liberation from all its enemies! We don't know what happened when he sobered up.