Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

Nothing Says Passover Like a Modern 10 Plagues Manicure

Rabbi Yael Buechler

Wondering how to address that whole Passover nail situation? Midrash Manicures has a new interpretation of the ten plagues that will make any fashionista happy — and spark meaningful Seder conversation.

Rabbi Yael Buechler’s modern ten plagues include everything from Ebola to NFL scandals, to the war on women. And the parents among you may be happy to see that “Frozen”s Olaf is duly represented.

“[I’m] always looking for new and meaningful ways to help people engage with the Haggadah,” Buechler wrote in an email. “How can we in modern times connect with the concept of the ten plagues that afflicted the Egyptians? What plagues are we experiencing in modern society? From the lighthearted plague of Frozen paraphernalia, to the serious and deadly plagues of Ebola and gun violence, [I] want to expand the conversation at Seders worldwide.”

Buechler has also created a handy dandy PDF document that you can print out and share at your Seder table (and nail salon).

Below are questions that Buechler suggests as starting points for a constructive holiday table discussion. Add the required four cups of wine to the mix and you’ve got the perfect recipe for that annual Passover family blowout.

Nail 1: War on Women

“There’s a fierce battle between politicians over a woman’s right to choose. Where do you stand on this issue?”

Nail 2: NFL Scandals

“Ray Rice initially received a two-game suspension for domestic violence. What do you think of the NFL’s response to this scandal?”

Nail 3: Frozen

“This top-grossing animated film continues to plague our sound waves, lunch boxes, and Purim costumes. Which song is most stuck in your head?”

Nail 4: Anti-Vaccinators

“The recent measles outbreak at Disneyland has been linked to low vaccination rates. What’s your take on the anti-vaccination movement?”

Nail 5: Ferguson

“This “hands up don’t shoot” symbol represents the protests that began in Ferguson, Missouri, as a result of tensions between law enforcement and the Black community. How do you think this gap can be bridged?”

Nail 6: Ebola

“Outbreaks of this deadly disease have been rampant in West Africa. What is our responsibility to support the development of treatments?”

Nail 7: Gun violence

“Gun violence continues to plague this country. How can we ask our lawmakers to step up?”

Nail 8: Anti-Semitism

“Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe and our hearts are with the families of the victims of the Paris Kosher market attack. How can we show support to the Jewish community abroad?”

Nail 9: Clopenings

“Franchises have been in the news for giving inflexible hours to employees, often requiring employees to have “clopenings” where they both close a store late at night and open it first thing in the morning. Do you think employees should have more of a voice in their schedules? Why or why not?”

Nail 10: Hackers

“Many major retailers have had their security systems hacked and our credit card information has been stolen. What steps should be taken to protect our personal data?”

What would make your list of modern plagues? Let us know in the comments.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.