Religion & Beliefs

A Plastic Plague Upon Your House

A few years ago, I attended my first Seder with pretend plagues.  We had frogs and blood, and all kinds of other fun toys. I thought it was innovative, a neat way to make the Seder fun for kids, and … Read More

By / April 6, 2007

A few years ago, I attended my first Seder with pretend plagues.  We had frogs and blood, and all kinds of other fun toys. I thought it was innovative, a neat way to make the Seder fun for kids, and   chance to kitsch up the table at the same time.

Then, this week, in the wake of Hilary Swank's plague-of-a-Passover-flick (which seemed horribly scheduled to convert our important holiday a tacky marketing tactic), someone said to me that they think the plague toys are really awful.  They claimed that playing with dead babies and knick-knack-locusts trivializes what we're attempting to remember as a momentous religious event.

 And when they put it like that I couldn't argue. It does seem really dumb. Easy.  A trick. Purchasing power in the place of prayer.

But it's hard, finding a balance at your Seder, a middle ground between meaning and fun.  The Seder is a celebration, but it's also a chance for reflection, and I'm not sure what I think anymore about the "fun" stuff.  I'm not sure I like the idea of toy atrocities, especially now that these little gimmicks are as common as… well, lice.

Plastic plagues, cute fun or useless trend?