What Passover Can Teach Us About News

Michael Rosenblum
4 min readApr 19, 2024


Rembrandt — Moses With The Ten Commandments

Next week is Passover.

Jews the world over will gather for the traditional Passover Seder, during which they will commemorate the departure from Egypt and the giving of the Ten Commandments at Sinai.

From an historical, as opposed to a religious perspective, it is a fascinating holiday. It celebrates an event that is, by most measures, 3,500 years old.

The story of the Exodus resonates not just with Jews but also with Christians as well as Muslims. (The Commandments appear in the Koran 6:151–153).

Why does something that happened so long ago have such a powerful hold on humanity after so many years?

It is rather amazing that some 3500 years after the event, the story still resonates with us, and the Ten Commandments still carry both weight and meaning for so many people. Why is that?

It is not so much the Ten Commandments, per se, that capture our attention and remain with us, but rather the story through which the Ten Commandments are delivered. As human beings, we are wired to respond to a good story. The story gets our attention, and then, if you are it holds you attention and grabs your imagination, the ‘facts’ or the important information is wrapped within the story.

Great stories have been the way that we, as a culture, have communicated ideas from generation to generation since before antiquity. Human beings are inveterate storytellers and more important, story listeners. And after thousands of years, and millions of stories, we can see the stories that, through process of elimination, work. They are the ones we remember and continue to tell and retell, like the story of the Exodus. Ironically they are all pretty much the same.

If the Ten Commandments had been delivered as a Tweet (or an X now, I suppose) would anyone remember them an hour after they read them, let along 3500 years later?

@Moses @God says no kill, no adultery, no other Gods #tablets #Sinai

I don’t think so.

So why are the 10 Commandments so meaningful; why do they still resonate with us after more than three millennia?

It is because the Ten Commandments are in fact wrapped in a great story. A great and epic tale. Moses is a young man, met with a challenge and a mission. He doesn’t want to do it. He tries to run away from it. In the desert he has a moment of utter clarity when God speaks to him. He takes up the challenge, and despite enormous difficulties, he succeeds — and takes a long and difficult journey along the way, until finally, he reaches Sinai, and the revealed purpose of his life.

Like I said, it’s a great story. You could almost make a movie out of it.

Several people did. One with Charlton Heston, but another one with Mark Hamil and another with Al Pacino. That’s because the story of Moses and the story of Luke Skywalker and Michael Corleone are pretty much the same story. Young man, doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life, a bit lost, suddenly given a mission, one that he initially doesn’t want to accept. At first her runs away (like to Sicily, for example), but finally rises to his mission in life and despite encountering enormous difficulties and trials — The Death Star, The Pharoah, Hyman Roth, they overcome their far more powerful adversary and succeed in their life’s mission. Also see Odysseys. Also Muhammad or The Buddha or Jesus or Noah or Walter White for that matter.

In human experience, there is one universal story that resonates with us over and over. It is what Joseph Campbell, in his masterpiece, The Hero With A Thousand Faces calls The Hero’s Journey.

When it comes to the news and journalism business, there is no point in going to all the effort to research and report an important story if no one ever sees it. Running BREAKING NEWS all over it neither attracts an audience, nor more importantly, engages one. BREAKING NEWS — TEN COMMANDMENTS FROM GOD is not something we would be celebrating 3500 years later. But the story of Moses is.

BREAKING NEWS — NBC Nightly News gets 5 million viewers in a country of 340 million people — or 1.5% of the population. This is not news that resonates. But what does? Netflix has 270 million subscribers — and they pay for the privilege. What does that tell us? That a great story resonates.

What if you were to marry the outstanding journalism of a dedicated news organization with the highest standards — like The BBC or NBC, and marry their journalism to great character-driven, Campbellian structured storytelling?

This is what we have been doing in our bootcamps. And it works.

When TV news was invented, God did not deliver a set of rules for how news should be presented at Sinai. The way it is delivered now is a function of the limits of the technology of the 1950s. It is time for a change. Marry news to Netflix storytelling. It works. And it works remarkably well.

In a world filled with social media driven, TikTok nonsense. making quality, dependable journalism accessible has never been more important. Democracy may depend upon it.

You don’t need Four Questions here — only one. Can I do this? You can.



Michael Rosenblum

Co-Founder TheVJ.com, Father of Videojournalism, trained 40,000+ VJs. Built VJ-driven networks worldwide. Video Revolution. Founder CurrentTV, NYTimes TV. etc..