Passover.. Moses, BCBA (Updated)

A Seder table setting

חג פסח שמח (Happy Passover)!

Well, technically it started last night and it will end on the 2nd of April… I am obviously not a Jewish descendant (have you seen my picture?) but I do have some Jewish ties (I do own a yarmulke) and I have been to a few Passover seder(s). It marked the history that the Israelites left Egypt under the leadership of Moses. To learn more about this Jewish holiday, please click here. Allow me to nitpick this a little bit and dissect it in some ABA ways.

The Power of the MO

The great Don Corleone must have learned some valuable lesson from what Moses did to Pharaoh and he had done it wisely (“I’ll make [someone] an offer he/she/it/they can’t refuse”). Unfortunately, the Egyptian king was a bit stubborn and needed a little more (well, 10 more) persuasions to comply. Moses did not manipulate Pharaoh, but the environment he did (with a little help from above). Long story short, the AO had significantly altered the value of the Jewish people, and Pharaoh let them go (let’s skip the Red Sea part).


It took the Israelites 40 years to find their home but they overcame a lot of challenges. Long time, yes. Lots of people, yes. Crowd control ain’t easy, people! Ask a teacher about classroom management, let alone a whole nation! Ask me about dealing with my son! And for those who are working toward the BCBA certification, you and your loved ones are making sacrifice today (delaying your reinforcement schedule) for a better tomorrow. Let me borrow a play from Behaviourist at Play’s playbook. Better tomorrow we will have but difficult journey we shan’t forget!

Stimulus Pairing

This is a little far-fetched but I can see some stimulus pairing here. There is no doubt that I had made an association between many fond memories and nice people I met (SR+), and the Jewish traditions (Neutral Stimulus) . In some strange way, I do my weird little thing to honor these kind and gentle people who offer me their friendship. Thanks and I hope I have made their lives a little more… reinforcing as well. Heck, that’s the same way we all like that General Conditioned Reinforcer called money!

So, no, I didn’t have that pork for dinner!

I dedicated this post to my professional/mentor/אמא, Madeleine L.

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