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A SHORT PLAY
by Joel Schechter
Donald Trump at his first White House seder
Secret Service agents
Children 1, 2, 3, and 4 (who search for afikomen throughout the scene)
Elijah the Prophet
Setting: A Passover dinner table in the White House as the Passover seder nears its conclusion. We hear the Trump family singing a song about Elijah.
Jared: And this is the moment when we open a door so that the Prophet Elijah can enter.
Donald: If his papers are in order, it shouldn’t be a problem. He’ll be right at home, we all enjoy profits, am I right?
Child 1: I found the matse!
Melania (whispers): That’s been on your plate all evening. Find the hidden piece.
Ivanka: Jared told me Elijah originally came from Eastern Europe.
Melanie: Like me.
Donald: Except more Jewish.
Ivanka: Like me.
Jarad: Let’s not keep Elijah waiting. Please open all the doors.
Secret Service Agent: That would be a security risk, sir. A homeless man has been waiting at the guardhouse for an hour. He says his name is Eliyahu Hanovi.
Donald: Do a background check!
Child 2: I found the afikomen!
Melania (whispers): No, that matse has been on my plate all evening. Find the hidden piece.
Child 2: Can I ask the FBI to help me look?
Jared: Someone drank Elijah’s cup of wine.
Donald: I thought the special cup was for me.
Ivanka: You are a prophet in your own time, Daddy, but . . .
Jared: Let the other prophet in.
Secret Service Agent: He could be an illegal, Sir. No papers, old clothes.
Jared: It must be him! Let him in, or we’re going to turn away the greatest prophet in the history of the Jewish people.
Donald: What about that Madoff guy? He made gazillions in profits, until the fake news brought him down. It’s never going to happen to me.
Ivanka: That’s “profits,” Daddy. Elijah is a Jewish prophet, you know, he speaks for God!
Donald: I thought that was Bibi’s job. All right, look, I have to send out a couple of tweets. “Elijah’s back and we’ve got him!” “Greatest seder since the Last Supper!”
Child 3: I found the matse! It’s says (has trouble reading): “Ten Commandments from Vladimir Putin.”
Donald: Give that to me. That’s not the afikomen! But I’ll give you ten dollars for it.
Child 3: Twenty and it’s yours, Pharaoh.
Ivanka: Stop calling him Pharaoh!
Secret Service Agent (announcing): I have the pleasure of announcing the arrival of Mr. Eliyahu Hanovi.
Elijah (entering. He looks exactly like Bernie Sanders): Go ahead and tweet it: “The prophet has arrived.”
Donald: Ivanka, would you call the Forward’s photographer in, please? Elijah, I hear you’re a big-time prophet. Big-time, really. Has anyone told you that you look a lot like Bernie!
Elijah: I’ll take that as a compliment. I’m a lot older than the Bern.
Donald: Let’s get him a coat and tie -- give him yours, Jared. If it’s all right with you, Eli, we’re going to hold a little press conference. (Press corps is ushered in.) Gentlemen, ladies, it is my pleasure to announce the arrival of a great Jewish leader, just in time for Passover. Some say he’s here to herald the coming of another Messiah. Ahem. My friend, Elijah the Prophet. He’s very, very profitable. Big time. Say something to the press, Eli.
Elijah: I’d prefer to take questions.
Donald: All right, I’ll start. Why is this night different from all other nights?
Child 4: Hey, that’s my question! (Donald slips the child twenty bucks.)
Elijah: First of all, let me say I’m pleased to be here at my first White House seder.
Donald: Obama never invited you?
Elijah: He didn’t need me the way you do.
Donald: Hey, my ratings are higher than Pharaoh’s ever were!!
Elijah: Very possible, Mr. President, but you want your ratings to rise, so I’ll tell you the secret. First of all, let the refugees in, welcome them from their Exodus. Have Israel withdraw from the occupied territories and grant equal rights to all its residents. Get America to go 100% green. End drone warfare. Stop gun and arms sales. Fund Medicare for all with former military allocations. Pay more for public education, infrastructure, and the arts. You’ll have a great country.
Donald: You didn’t vote for me, did you?
Elijah: The last group I supported was the Bund in Warsaw.
Donald: And you can’t endorse my ban on refugees?
Elijah: Not a chance. Are you going to take my advice?
Donald: Not a chance.
Jared: No one listens to prophets anymore.
Donald: Tell me about it. (To Elijah) Try some Trump wine. I drank your cup.
Elijah (muttering to himself): Next year in Jerusalem . . . or Havana, or Brooklyn. Anywhere but here.
Joel Schechter is a contributing writer to Jewish Currents and the author of Radical Yiddish and Eighteenth-Century Brechtians.