Schwartz Family Haggadah


















Schwartz Family Haggadah, revised 2003

In 1969, Arthur Waskow published a new Haggadah in Ramparts magazine. This Haggadah, motivated by the death of Martin Luther King, brought together many of the ideals of the civil rights movement of the 1960s with the ancient civil rights tradition of the Haggadah. Waskow incorporated centuries of Jewish striving for freedom with the contemporary struggle. We adopted this Haggadah and, over the years, have tried to add to Waskow’s work by adding words from new struggles, deleting some parts that no longer seem relevant, and returning many of the traditional elements Waskow had left out.

In his  original work, Waskow said we are obligated to rewrite the Haggadah from time to  time. We hope that our family Haggadah will be used in that spirit by our own  family and by others who see freedom as a central element in Judaism’s message  to all people

This  Haggadah evolves with the world.  Older versions talked a lot of Soviet era  anti-Semitism and the rescue of Jews from Ethiopia,  The current version is  written with my Dad in the hospital, depressed about his age (86) and his back  injury,  The images of family come from the last three years’ seders..  

Dad’s  illness at the time of Seder, bring to mind something that happened at one of the the first seders  using this Haggadah.  A guest complained, “Why must Judaism be grim?”   At the 2003 seder my Dad gloried in having his whole family together ..gloried  in this while we read about the sufferings in Egypt (we did not use this  Haggadah).  His joy seems to me to teach a lesson of the Seder, we can have  happiness by reflecting on our attachment to Judaism, to our tribe and its  achievements.

The  Buddha discovered one way to leave grief behind, giving up attachment.   Some see this as another side of Judaism, one friend, John Gallant has offered  this poem:

“Zen Judaism”
Accept misfortune as a blessing.  Do not wish for perfect health or a life without  problems.  What would you talk about?
Let go of pride, ego, and opinions.  Admit your errors and forgive those of others.  Relinquishment will lead to calm and healing in your relationships.  If that doesn’t work, try small-claims court.
The Torah says,  “Love they neighbor as thyself.”  The Buddha says there is no “self.”  So maybe you’re off the hook.
If there is no self,  whose arthritis is this?
Wherever you go, there you are. Your luggage is another story.

(From  Zen Judaism:  For You a Little Enlightenment  by David M. Bader (Harmony Books)   © 2002)  

How does  Buddha fit in? Buddhism and Judaism share a belief in practice and reason.   The eight fold path, coming from Buddhist introspection, or the 613 mitzvot  (laws) derived by scholarly reflection on the torah both lead to detailed ways  of living and to high, though different ethical standards.  The fundamental  difference is that Buddha’s rules come from his discovery that suffering comes  from giving up attachments.   But Judaism teaches that attachments are  essential … attachments to freedom, to charity, and even to the self.  As  Hillel taught:

If I am  not for myself who is for me; and being for my own self what am I? If not now when?

In  Judaism we see this attachment not only in the acts of our civil rights leaders  but in the achievements of our scientists and writers, a glory of achievement  reflected in the long list of Jewish Nobel winners.   Is it better to be attached and suffer  than to not suffer and not attach oneself to life and love?

Anyhow,  throughout the online Haggadah you can read about things by clicking on text in blue … like this link to a  site on family haggadahs… or this link  describing Pesach in detail.  There are also beveled pictures that make  “buttons” like the book by Rodger Kamenetz that link to websites..


Haggadah: instructions for the seder

  Prior to beginning the seder, the table must be set with a plate and wine  glass for each individual, plus a wine glass filled for Elijah. The seder  plate, the ritual matzah cover with three pieces of matzah (uncovered), an  additional supply of matzah (about one piece for each four participants), and  a cloth napkin to serve as a cover for the afikoman should be available in  front of the seder leader’s place. The seder leader also needs a wash basin or  large bowl of warm water and a clean towel. At least three candles should be  set up at the table with matches available but not yet lit. (Shabbat candles,  if already lit, should be additional to the candles used in the seder.) The  seder leader should have already agreed with the other adults on an  appropriate ransom for the afikoman.

Service Begins

Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai E-lo-hei-nu, me-lech ha-o-lam she-he-che-yanu v’ki-y’man-u v’hi-gi-a-nu laz-man ha-zeh.

Praised are You, Adonai our God, King of the universe for keeping us in life, for sustaining us, and for helping us reach this moment.

Passover, Bergen Belsen, 1944:

The leader holds up the uncovered matazah as the following is read:

The Jewish prisoners in the German concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen did not have matzah for the observance of Passover in 1944. Under the circumstances, the sages in the camp permitted the eating of leavened bread, for which occasion the following benediction was composed.

Our father in heaven, behold it is evident and known to thee that it is our desire to do thy will and to celebrate the festival of Passover by eating matzah and by observing the prohibition of leavened food. But our heart is pained that the enslavement prevents us and we are in danger of our lives. Behold we are prepared and ready to fulfill thy commandment: “And ye shall live by them and not die by them.”

We pray to thee that thou mayest keep us alive and preserve us and redeem us speedily so that we may observe thy statutes and do thy will and serve thee with a perfect heart. Amen.

Cover the matzah.


First Cup

Pour first cup. Lift the cup and recite:

When the first night of Passover is a Friday evening, the blessing over the wine starts with the following:

And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

Everyone should say this blessing together:

Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai E-lo-hei-nu, me-lech ha-o-lam, bo-rei pe-ri ha-ga-fen.

Blessed is the Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Do not drink wine yet.

Words in brackets are added on Friday evenings.

Blessed is God, who chose us among all people to seek holiness through his commandments. With love, you have given us, O Lord [Sabbaths for rest], festivals for joy — [this Sabbath day and] this Passover Feast — this Feast of Freedom, a holy gathering to remember the Exodus from Egypt. You have chosen us and given us a heritage of [Sabbath and] festivals for joy and gladness. Blessed be God who sanctifies [the Sabbath and] Israel and the festive seasons.

On Saturday nights the following is added:

Blessed be God who made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, who exalted humankind by breathing into us the life of the mind and the love of freedom, who sanctified us that we might know and say what was holy and profane, what was freedom and what slavery. Blessed be God who differentiates between light and darkness; between the holiness of this festival, Sabbath and days of work; between the holiness of Israel and the holiness of other nations. Blessed be God for this Feast of Unleavened Bread, the season of our freedom, a holy convocation, a memorial of the departure from Egypt. Blessed be God who sanctifies humankind, freedom, Israel, and the seasons.

Drink the wine while reclining. Do not refill cup yet.

Rachatz (Hand washing)

The leader washes his or her hands in preparation for the eating of Karpas (a plant such as parsley or celery). No blessing is said. The bowl and towel may be passed around the table for everyone to wash their hands. The bowl and towel should be left at the leader’s position for use later in the seder.

Karpas (Salted vegetables)

Everyone is given a piece of vegetable dipped in salt water. This may be parsley, celery, or lettuce. Some people use boiled potato and mash it in the salt water. The Karpas is then eaten as the first food of the seder, an hors d’oeuvre.

Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-o-lam bo-rei pe-ri ha-ada-mah.

Blessed is our Lord, God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the earth.

Yachatz (Preparation for the Afikoman)

The middle matzah of the three is broken in two. Half is wrapped in a cloth napkin and “hidden” by the leader (usually at the back of the leader’s chair) for the children to steal. Tradition does not allow the adults to leave the Seder table after dinner until everyone has shared the afikoman. The children steal the afikoman and ransom it for presents or money.

Maggid: Let All Who Are Hungry. . .

Uncover the matzahs, raise the Seder plate, and say:

This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in need come and celebrate Passover. This year we are here: next year, in the land of Israel! This year we are slaves: next year, free men and women!

And as another tradition says, “Ubi libertas, ibi patria” — where there is liberty, that is my country. That is my Israel. For were we sitting tonight in Jerusalem, we should still say, “Next year in Jerusalem.” For this year, many people remain slaves and aliens: we hope next year all shall be free. This year, all people eat as aliens in a land not wholly theirs; next year we hope all will celebrate in “the land of Israel,” — that is, in a world made one and a world made free.

The Four Questions

Mah nish-ta-nah ha-lai-lah ha-zeh mi-kol ha-le-lot.

1. She-b’khol ha-le-lot a-nu okh-lin cha-metz u-ma-tzah.  Ha-lai-lah hazeh kul-lo ma-tzah.

2. Sheb’khol ha-le-lot a-nu okh-lin sh’ar y’ra-kot. Ha-lai-lah  hazeh ma-ror.

3. She-b’khol ha-le-lot en a-nu mat-bi-lin a-fi-lu pa-am  e-chat. Ha-lai-lah hazeh sh’tay f’a-mim.

4. She-b’khol ha-le-lot anu okh-lin ben yosh-vin u-ven  m’subin. Ha-lai-lah ha-zeh ku-la-nu m’su-bin.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

1. On all other nights, we can eat bread or matzah: why tonight, only matzah?

2. On all other nights we can eat any kind of herbs: why, tonight, bitter herbs?

3. On all other nights, we don’t dip the herbs we eat into anything: why tonight, do we dip twice? (first into salt-water, then into charoset?)

4. On all other nights, we can eat either sitting up straight or reclining: why, tonight, do we recline?

The Story of Passover

The story is read consecutively by the participants around the table. Points to change readers are marked by a  Y“. Prayers, except where marked for the leader, are read by the person reading the current portion of the text, accompanied by everyone else. Adults may choose to interrupt to discuss an important point or explain the story. Remember, the story is supposed to be read for the children!

We Were Slaves. . .

We do all these things because our  ancestors were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt. The Lord our God brought us forth  from thence, with a mighty hand, and an outstretched arm; and if the most Holy,  blessed be He! had not brought forth our ancestors from Egypt, we, and our  children, and our children’s children, would have continued in bondage to the  Pharaohs in Egypt. Therefore, even were we all wise, all of us of great  understanding and experience, all of us having knowledge in the law, it  nevertheless would be incumbent upon us to tell the story of the departure from  Egypt. Those who talk most of the departure from Egypt and the origins of our  freedom are accounted praiseworthy.


The More One Talks. . .

Passover is a time of talking, of conversing, of exchanging thoughts. Thus the story is told that a number of rabbis were holding a seder at B’nei B’rak — Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Joshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarfon — and they went on talking about the Exodus from Egypt all night, until their students came and said, “Teachers, it is already time to read the morning Sh’ma!”

But there have also been some who thought silence the most eloquent conversation. Rabbi Buber tells us of Rabbi Mendel of Rymanov that he “was a very pertinacious man, even stubborn. He did not incorporate many things into the innermost core of his will; those he did so incorporate were sheltered as nowhere else. Thus, long ago, in his youth, he had appointed the Seder evening as the time of the great hope of his heart. At no other time than on this night, on which the faring forth of the hosts took place and on which the event was annually renewed, would the great new faring forth be prepared…. If there was such a being in the world as the community of man then in this night of Seder the wishes of all those flaming souls everywhere must arise and coalesce on high. More was not needed. Nothing was to be commanded or be prescribed. If either were to be necessary, then the one thing needed simply did not exist. ‘This is the beaker of salvation for all mankind,’ said Rabbi Mendel when he raised up the first cup of the Seder.”

May all of us tonight, when we speak, inform our speech from the silence, the stillness, the depth, of Rabbi Mendel; and when we are silent, may we inform our silence from the speech, the conversation and the sharing of the Rabbis at the Seder at B’nei B’rak.


All the electric lights should now be extinguished and there should be a few moments of silent, individual thought.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who createst darkness and commands us to meditate in silence.

After a few moments, the reader lights all but one of the candles on the table and says:

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who createst the light of the fire and commands us to converse with each other about the departure from Egypt.


The Four Children

Blessed be the Lord our God, who in the Torah He gave to His people Israel tells us how to explain Passover to four kinds of children: a wise child, a wicked child, one who is simple, and one who is yet too young to ask questions.


The wise child quotes the Torah to ask: “What are the duties and statutes and principles commanded by God?” In reply, you can instruct the child about the detailed laws of the Passover, including such laws as the rule against having dessert brought to the table after having eaten the paschal lamb, and the prohibition, as set out in the Mishnah: “After the Passover meal one must not disperse for revelry.” But most importantly, you shall discuss the substance of our freedom and the child shall work out his or her own ideas on the meaning of Passover. Together, you may write a new Haggadah from year to year.


The wicked one chooses a different quote: “What mean you by this service?”. This child stresses you, and not himself; and because he excludes himself and thus denies God, you can reply with another verse chosen to blunt the child’s teeth: “It is because of what God did for me when I came out of Egypt.” For me, and not for him. Had this child been there, he or she would not have been redeemed.


The simple child quotes, “What is all this?” Explain, “We are remembering that a long time ago, in another country, when we and our families were forced to work for other people as slaves, we became free men with the help of the Lord; and we are celebrating our freedom.”


For the child too young to ask questions, you should yourself begin to explain without waiting for a question, as it says, “And thou shalt tell thy son that day saying, ‘This is done because of that which the Lord did for us, when we went forth from Egypt. For out of death, and sorrow, and slavery, He gave us life, and joy, and freedom; and so, tonight we remember both the death and the life; both the sorrow and the joy; both the slavery and the freedom. To remember the sorrow, we eat bitter herbs; to celebrate in joy, we drink sweet wine. And we sing of life because we love you!'”


We speak to our children of the departure from Egypt because we know that in our generation too it will be necessary to seek liberation. Indeed, even before the sojourn from Egypt, it was necessary to seek liberation. In the first generation of our people, the liberation was one of the mind and spirit. In the beginning, our ancestors were idolators, but the Almighty has brought us to His worship. The story is in the Torah:

“And Joshua said unto all the people, thus saith the Lord, God of Israel. Your ancestors — Terah, father of Abraham and Nahor — dwelt on the other side of the river and they worshiped other gods. I took your father from the other side of the river, and settled him in the whole land of Canaan, built up his family, and gave him Isaac. To Isaac, I gave Jacob and Esau, who has Mount Seir as an inheritance. But Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.”

He looked ahead to the end of bondage when He said to Abraham: “Thy seed will be strangers in a strange land, and will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will judge the nation to whom they are enslaved. Afterwards your children will come out with great substance and a new freedom to make a decent life, one with a law of justice for all.”

The leader covers the matzah.

Lift the wine cup as the leader says:

It is this same promise, of life and freedom, which has been the support of our ancestors, and of us also; for not one only has risen up against us, but in every generation there are some who rise up against us, to annihilate us; but the Most Holy, blessed be He, has delivered us out of their hands.

Sets the cup on the table without drinking. The leader uncovers the matzah.


The Miracles Spelled Out. . .

Look at what Laban the Syrian intended to do to our father Jacob! Pharoah decreed the destruction of the males only; but Laban intended to root out the whole, as it is said: “A Syrian would have destroyed my father: he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; and he became there a great, mighty and populous nation.”

“He went down to Egypt” — impelled by God’s decree; “and sojourned there” — not to settle permanently; “few in number” — not more than “three score and ten”; “great, mighty and populous” — as in the verse: “I caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field…”

“And the Egyptians ill-treated, humiliated and imposed hard bondage upon us.”

“Ill-treated us,” as it is said: “Let us deal cleverly with them, lest they multiply…and join our enemies”; “afflicted us” — with task masters to build Pithom and Ramses; “hard bondage” — enslaving the children of Israel “with rigor.”

Search further, and inquire, what our own fathers Moses and Joshua intended to do to our brothers the Canaanites, for as it is said, “We took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed every city, the men, and the women, and the little ones; we left none remaining.”

Search still further and inquire in the last generation, what Hitler intended to do; for once again he intended to destroy all Israel and enslave humankind.

And in this generation, search and demand to know about those who shape the fire of the sun to murder nations and all humankind; for at last those who rise up against us, to annihilate us, make no distinctions of race or belief, but plan to destroy us all, without exception. May the Most Holy, blessed be He, deliver us out of their hands again!



Let us continue with the story of Moses and the rebellion of our ancestors against slavery:

“When Moses was a young man, he became curious about the Hebrew slaves and one day went to the brickyards where some of them were working. The first thing he saw was an Egyptian boss hitting a Hebrew laborer. Moses was a powerful young man. He lost his temper. He hit the boss — and killed him! He buried the body hastily in the sand, and went back to the palace.

“But a fire had been kindled in Moses’ heart, a fire of concern about his people and their suffering.

“Only, after a while, God came into the picture. What was the sign that God had come? It was a bush that burned and burned and did not stop burning.

“What was God all burned up about? The voice that came out of the bush said, ‘I have seen the affliction of my people that are in Egypt and have heard their cry by reason of their oppressors.’ It was the physical, economic, and spiritual suffering, the injustice, the degradation to which actual people were subjected here on earth, that caused God concern.

“And the proof that God had entered into Moses, and that Moses had really been ‘converted,’ was that he had to go back and identify himself with his enslaved people — ‘organize them into Brickmakers’ Union Number One’ — and lead them out of hunger and slavery into freedom and into ‘a good land, and a large, a land flowing with milk and honey.’


“At the head of the Ten Commandments stand these great words: ‘I am the Lord thy God which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the slave-house. Thou shalt have no other God before me’ — before this God who is in the hearts of his prophets as the Eternal Flame that will not let them rest where there is injustice and inequality until these have been done away with and people set about building God’s House instead of the slave-house.

“To be religious, the Hebrews discovered, is to get out of Egypt into Canaan; to refuse to be slaves or contented drafthorses; to build brotherhood and freedom — because that is what men, the children of God, were created to do!

“And religious leaders are those who identify themselves with the oppressed, so that men may carry out this, their true mission in the world.”

Thus wrote the prophet Abraham Johannes Muste.


The Ten Plagues

And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror, and with signs and wonders.

One way to treat this verse is as follows: “with a mighty hand” — refers to two plagues; “with an outstretched arm” — two; “with great terror” — two; “with signs” — two; and “with wonders” refers to two plagues. Thus we have the ten plagues which the Most Holy, blessed be He, brought on the Egyptians in Egypt:

Each member of the seder drops wine from the cup ten times while saying the names of the ten plagues.



Even More Plagues. . .

Tradition says there were even more plagues than these. Rabbi Jose, the Galilean, said: “How can one infer that the Egyptians were afflicted with ten plagues in Egypt, and on the sea with fifty plagues? Concerning the ten plagues in Egypt, it is said: ‘And the magicians said to Pharaoh: “This is the finger of God,” but concerning the sea, it is said: ‘And Israel saw the mighty hand with which the Lord smote the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord, and believed in the Lord and his servant Moses.’ Now, if by the finger they were afflicted with ten plagues, one can infer from this that in Egypt (where the word finger is used) they were smitten with ten plagues, and at the sea (where the word hand is used) they were smitten with fifty plagues.”

The tradition says that we spill wine from our cups in recounting the plagues because it is incumbent on us to reduce our pleasure as we remember the suffering of the Egyptians. And the tradition also tells us that when the angels rejoiced in the suffering of the Egyptians, the Lord our God, blessed be He, rebuked them, saying, “Are these not my people also, and the work of my hands?” Let us therefore grieve for the sufferings of our brothers the Egyptians.



The Dayenu is read responsively.

How many wonderful things we have to thank god for!

Ilu ho-tsi, ho-tsi-a-nu, Ho-tsi-a-nu mi-Mitz-ra-yim, Ho-tsi-a-nu mi-Mitz-ra-yim, Da-ye-nu!

Had He saved us from Egypt, and left them still armed — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! .

Had He smashed their might, and left their gods unharmed — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! .

Had He dealt with their gods, and not slain their first-born — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! .

Had He slain all their first-born, and not given us their property — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! . Had He given us their wealth, and not divided the sea for us — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! .

Had He split the waves, and not freed a dry path for us — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! .

Had He brought us across, and not drowned our oppressors — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! .

Had He drowned our oppressors, and not helped us forty years in the desert — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! .

Had He met all our needs, and not fed us manna — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! .

Had He fed us manna, and not given us the Sabbath — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! .

Had He given us the Sabbath, and not brought us to Mount Sinai — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! .

Had He brought us to Mount Sinai, and not given us the Torah — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! .

Had He given us the Torah, and not brought us into the Land of Israel — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! .

Had He brought us into the Land of Israel, and not built for us the Holy Temple — it would have been enough!

. CHORUS: . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Dai, da-ye-nu, . Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! .

He built us the Temple — the house of his choosing — Hurray!

How great, doubled and redoubled, has God’s bounty been to us!

The next verse is read by the leader of the seder.

Each person raises his or her cup, but does not drink.

How much then are we indebted for the manifold favors the Omnipresent conferred on us!

Lower the cup.

So speaks the Dayenu, and the collective wisdom of our fathers. Let us not forget that the Dayenu begins with resistance and confrontation, proceeds in travail, and ends with the the triumphant creation of a new law and a new arena for the expression of that law.

Either side of the Petra Drachma coin

Continue with the next reader.


The Lesson of the Plagues

Let us remember the lesson of the plagues: the winning of freedom has not always been bloodless. Through the generations, our prophets, our rabbis, and our shoftim — men like Micah who spoke the word of God directly to the kings and the people, men like Hillel who worked out the law of justice in daily life, revolutionary leaders or “judges” like Gideon and Golda Meir who led us as a nation, or philosophers like Maimonides and Spinoza who sought to understand the reality of the Torah in the light of reason — all of these have faced the struggle for freedom.


It was not bloodless in the dark months of 1942 when Emmanuel Ringelbaum wrote from the Warsaw ghetto:

“Most of the populace is set on resistance. It seems to me that people will no longer go to the slaughter like lambs. They want the enemy to pay dearly for their lives. They’ll fling themselves at them with knives, staves, coal gas. They’ll permit no more blockades. They’ll not allow themselves to be seized in the street, for they know that work camp means death these days. And they want to die at home, not in a strange place. Naturally there will only be resistance if it is organized, and if the enemy does not move like lightning, as in Cracow where, at the end of October, 5500 Jews were packed into wagons in seven hours one night. We have seen the confirmation of the law that the slave who is completely repressed cannot resist. The Jews appear to have recovered somewhat from the heavy blows they have received; they have shaken off the effect of their experiences to some extent, and they calculate that now going to the slaughter peaceably has not diminished the misfortune but increased it. Whomever you talk to you hear the same cry: ‘The resettlement should not have been permitted. We should have run out into the street, have set fire to everything in sight, have torn down the wall, and escaped to the other side. The Germans would have taken their revenge. It would have cost tens of thousands of lives, but not 300,000. Now we are ashamed of ourselves, disgraced in our own eyes, and in the eyes of the world, where our docility has earned us nothing. This must not be repeated now. We must put up a resistance against the enemy, man and child.'”


Remembrance: the Holocaust

May we remember and honor tonight and at every Passover the bleak and hopeless courage of those who, during the week of Passover, 1943, began the Ghetto uprising in Warsaw as well as the bitter sacrifice and cruel deaths of Jews and others who died in the Holocaust.

For the name of each concentration camp, spill one drop of wine onto your plate.


Cursed is he who says         “Revenge.         Vengeance for the blood of a small child,         Satan has not yet created.”

 Chaim Nachman Bialik, 1873-1934


The Sixties Generation

It was not bloodless in the free world of America.  After the horrors of the World War, Americans rose up to defend freedom in their own country, freedom especially for the descendents of the American slaves.  The student Bob Moses wrote:

“We are smuggling this note from the drunk tank of the county jail in Magnolia, Mississippi … later on Hollis will lead out with a clear tenor into a freedom song, Talbot and Lewis will supply jokes and McDew will discourse on the history of the Black man and the Jew.

“McDew — a Black by birth, a Jew by choice, and a revolutionary by necessity — has taken on the deep hates and strong loves which America and the world reserve for those who dare to stand in a strong sun and cast a strong shadow …

“This is Mississippi, the middle of the iceberg. Hollis is leading off with his tenor, ‘Michael row the boat ashore, ALLELUIA; Christian brothers don’t be slow, ALLELUIA; Mississippi’s the next to go, ALLELUIA.’ This is a tremor in the middle of the iceberg — from a stone that the building ejected.”


For web reading only:


For seder:


Pharaoh probably never saw the Jews as anything other than cheap labor, as  property.  He fought to save his property as the American settler would  seek to remove the less than human natives from the westward expansion and the  South would later fight the North to maintain the “Special Institution.”   Slaves, Black or Jews, are merely goods and natives .. Americans, Australians,  Africans merely another form of animal to be cleared in the name of  civilization..

As horrible as these tacit forms of  racism were, hatred rose to new forms in the 20th century where genocide, destruction of  whole peoples, became an acceptable political goal of national parties.   The first of these new horrors was in 1915 when the Turkish government decided  to solve its ethnic problem by removing the Armenians from Armenia.  “Enver  Pasha, member of the ruling triumvirate in 1916m said “The Ottoman Empire should  be cleaned up of the Armenians and the Lebanese. We have destroyed the former by  the sword, we shall destroy the latter through starvation.”

We in the US are blessed to have  escaped such crimes, yet here too the seeds of genocide germinated  in the  form of the KKK and Father Coughlin.  As in Turkey and  Europe, the average good person was all to willing to look the other way and all  to often the victims themselves failed to resist until too late.  .

(web  version only)  Coughlin, beginning  in the name of social justice,  later alienated by the Great Depression, saw godless Jews as his enemy … a  paranoia that somehow linked Bernard Baruch’s capitalism with Trotsky’s  communism. The contemporary view of this Jewish conspiracy is well set out by David Duke,   Lest we forget the American role in the horrors of the last century, listen here to Coughlin’s views from the mid 20th century.

Jews should never be satisfied by  joining with other’s bigotry.  As Hitler’s evil arose in Germany, Father  Coughlin, a popular radio commentator reminiscent of today’s talk show hosts,  told of how his Christian movement differentiated between good Jews and bad  Jews:  
“The average Jew, the kind we  admire and respect, has been placed in jeopardy by his guilty leaders. He pays  for their Godlessness, their persecution of Christians, their attempts to poison  the whole world with Communism. My purpose is to help eradicate from the world  its mania for persecution, to help align all good men. Catholic and Protestant,  Jew and Gentile, Christian and non-Christian, in a battle to stamp out the  ferocity, the barbarism and the hate of this bloody era. I want the good Jews  with me, and I’m called a Jew baiter, an anti-Semite.”  (Liberty magazine (12th August, 1939).


Let us all remember that the civil rights movement in the 50’s and the 60’s consisted of an alliance between blacks and many whites and that a substantial number of the whites were Jewish. We have to remember that three college students — named Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner — one Black, two Jews — were murdered together because of their commitment to human rights and willingness to fight against oppressive laws. To fight bigotry is hard work. It requires a caring for people of other religions and ethnic backgrounds so that they will come to see each other not as “they” but as “we”.

And Jews have continued to fight for freedom, remembering the Holocaust as “Never AGAIN” not only for the survival of Jews, but never again shall we tolerate a Hitler or the horrors of slavery and intolerance in the South. Nadine Gordimer, A Jewish South African and Nobel Laureate in Literature writes of today’s South Africa:

“Well, you know … , there was a sense that the (Afrikaners) were a chosen people, that they were bringing civilization to the blacks. And look at the whole race purity theory. Is that not one of a chosen people? Why would it be diminishing the race to have a mixture of blood? Why would it be that the dilution of the blood would be such a terrible thing? And yes, you believe that your blood producing a white skin marks you as privileged in some way. God has marked you up as superior. So although they may not have called themselves the chosen people, the way they behaved was as a chosen people. “

When Jews were called in the Torah as the chosen people, it was to be chosen to serve, to do good, to teach … as Gordimer has tries to teach us all that no one, no race, no clique should ever elect itself as master over others.

As Saul Alinsky taught:

“So you are a Jew. ……….. How do you feel about the frock-coated Jews in Williamsburg? …. Maybe you are a Spanish Jew and you look down on the German Jew, or you are a German Jew and you look down with utter contempt upon the Russian and Polish Jew.

So you’re a Negro. ………How do you feel about Jews? … Catholics? How do you feel about your own people? …light-skinned people feel superior to dark-skinned. .

So you’re a Pole. You have a proverb that when a Pole has no money he comes to church and when he does he goes to the Jews. Many of you hate Negroes too, just as deeply.

So you’re a Mexican. Many of … Mexican leaders they take pleasure in referring to themselves as Spanish-Americans, and bitterly resent the feeling on the part of North Americans that Mexicans are not “white.” ”

Alinsky saw that those who fight for equality as radicals, “radicals  have fought because they like people, all people…”   Elie Wiesel, in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize wrote, ” As long as one dissident is in prison, our freedom will not be true. As long as one child is hungry, our lives will be filled with anguish and shame. What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs.

 Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hast promised us a world of peace, justice and freedom. Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who strengthened our ancestors to win their liberty and fulfill thy promise to end the captivity in Egypt and create an example for others.




Our ancestors felt deeply the strength of that promise as the breath of all their work: so deeply that they honored not themselves, but the Almighty, for conferring upon us His abundant favors of freedom, justice, sustenance, and law. Yet the work was their own; the profound conversation between the Promise and the Work, the Vision and the Creation; freedom, justice, and law were all made real by our forebears’ own hands.  As Rabbi Buber has written, “Man, while created by God, was established by Him in an independence which has remained undiminished. In this independence he stands out over against God. So man takes part with full freedom and spontaneity in the dialogue between the two which forms the essence of existence.”

No, the moments of resistance have not been bloodless. The blood of tyrants and the blood of free men has watered history. We may not rest easy in that knowledge. The freedom we seek is a freedom from blood as well aa freedom from tyrants. It is incumbent upon us not only to remember in tears the blood of the prophets and martyrs, but to end the letting of blood. To end it, to end it!




Tonight, in tears, we also remember a non-Jew whose death by violence at a time near Passover seems almost a universal lesson of the Passover. Martin Luther King called us to know:

“The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But the principle of nonviolent resistance seeks to reconcile the truths of two opposites — acquiescence and violence. The nonviolent resister rises to the noble height of opposing the unjust system while loving the perpetrators of the system. Nonviolence can reach men where the law cannot touch them. So — we will match your capacity to inflict suffering with our capacity to endure suffering. We will not hate you, but we cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws. And in winning our freedom we will so appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process.”

But even Ghandi, who made his life a call to nonviolent revolution, warned his people, “Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence. Unless you feel that in nonviolence you have come into possession of a force infinitely superior to the one you have and in the use of which you are adept, you should have nothing to do with nonviolence and resume the arms you possessed before.”




So the struggles for freedom that remain will be more dark and difficult than any we have met so far. For we must struggle for a freedom that enfolds stern justice, stern bravery, and stern love.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God! who hast confronted us with the necessity of choice and creating our own book of thy Law. How many and how hard are the choices and the tasks the Almighty has set before us!

We may also learn lessons of courage and hope out of trial, as in the words of Anne Franks’s diary, written while hiding in an attic between 1942 and 1944:

“…We have been pointedly reminded that we are in hiding, that we are Jews in chains, chained in one spot, without rights, but with a thousand duties. We Jews must not show our feelings, must be brave and strong, must accept all inconveniences and not grumble, must do what is within our power and trust in God. Sometime this terrible war will be over. Surely the time will come when we are people again and not just Jews.

“Who has inflicted this upon us? Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up until now? It is God that has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, who will raise us up again. If we bear all this suffering and if there are still Jews left when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be held up as an example. Who knows, it might even be our religion from which all the peoples of the world learn good, and for that reason and that reason only do we have to suffer now. We can never just become Netherlanders, or just English, or representatives of any country for that matter, we will always remain Jews, but we want to, too…

“If God lets me live, I shall attain more than Mummy ever has done, I shall not remain insignificant, I shall work in the world and for mankind!

“And now I know that first and foremost,, I shall require courage and cheerfulness.

“Yours, Anne.”




These words are also reflected in the poetry of Hannah Senesh, a Palestinian Jew who parachuted into Hungary in 1944 to help lead the underground:


As the poem is recited, a woman should either hold a lit match and, after the poem, light the last candle, or proceed directly to lighting the last candle.


Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.

Blessed is the flame which burns in the secret fastness of the heart.

Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honor’s sake.

Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.

Let us also remember one of Hannah’s companions on the volunteer suicide mission for the Allies, a young woman named Havivah Reik. After parachuting into Poland, the young women organized radio communications with the Allies and Jewish partisan groups. They helped refugees escape. Both women were captured and killed by the Nazis only a short time before Liberation. Today, Givat Havivah Center promotes peace between Arabs and Jews in her memory. We remember Havivah’s heroism and love of life in naming our daughter after her.




Hannah and Havivah, along with an  estimated 2 million Jewish soldiers fought the Nazi’s in World War II.   Their fight was a unique one, while other fought to defeat Germany and Japan,  the Jews fought to survive.  Never before, not even after the destruction  of the Temple, had our existence been so threatened.  Even though we had no  home, no nation as Lord Byron wrote,

“The white Dove Hath Her Nest, The Fox  His Cave, Mankind Their Country — Israel But the Grave!”

Before Hitler, Byron was wrong.   We were citizens of many countries.  Herman Cohen aptly described the  Jewish attitude before Hitler,

“We love our homeland as a bird loves  its nest, but because…we have drawn our intellectual culture.. from the  treasures and mines of the German spirit, …the spirit of classical humanity  and of true cosmopolitanism. What other people has a Kant? …And, what people  has this spiritual unity of poetic heroes such as have enlivened our spiritual  history through Lessing and Herder, through Schiller and Goethe…. It is really  natural that we German Jews feel ourselves integrated as Jews and as Germans.”

After Hitler, there was no longer a  Jewish home in Europe.  From the ashes of Buchenwald, Israel was born.   Yet the story does not end.  Israel is threatened by its neighbors who do  not see us as children of a common stem but as interlopers. Where once there was “a land without a people,” the  forces of Zionism, the forge of anti-Semitism  in Europe and religious  bigotry amongst the Muslims accustomed to the Jews as a lower caste, as dhimmi, and the advent of a sense of  national identity amongst the Palestinian people have given rise not to one but  two peoples who contend for this one home.   We pray with all good  people for peace amongst brothers and sisters.


The Story is now done. Next the leader explains the contents of the seder plate.


The Three Essentials


Rabban Gamaliel used to say:

“To fulfill your obligation on Passover, you must declare these central words: PESACH — MATZAH — MAROR.”




Point to the bone and say:


Why did our ancestors eat the Passover sacrifice when the Temple still stood? Because God had “passed over” the houses of our ancestors in Egypt (during the slaying of the first-born); as it says: “It is the sacrifice of God’s Passover, in that he passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt.”




Point to the matzah and say:


Why do we eat this matzah? Because when our ancestors in Egypt were trying to escape, God revealed himself to them and saved them before the bread they were baking had time to rise; as it says: “And they baked unleavened wafers of the dough which they brought out of Egypt.”




Point to the bitter herbs and say:


Why do we eat this bitter herb? Because the Egyptians embittered the lives of our ancestors in Egypt; as it says: “They made their lives bitter with hard labor, in mortar and in brick, and all manner of hard work in the fields. In all their work, they made them slave with rigor.”


In Every Generation. . .




As the Torah says: “And thou shalt tell thy daughter and thy son in that day saying: It is because of what God did for me when I came out of Egypt.”




As the Torah says: “And He took us out from there to bring us to the land which He had promised to our ancestors.”


Uncover the matzah, hold it up and say:


This is the MATZAH OF DELIVERANCE. On Passover, at the Seder table, Jews everywhere are enjoined to remember the heart of the stranger, for as we were slaves in Egypt, others remain slaves today. Just as Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai preserved Judaism despite the loss of the Temple, on this Passover, we call to all of our brothers and sister, Jews an all who love justice, to call to mind our Jewish brothers and sisters in Iran where 13 Jews are under death threat for daring to close their shops on Shabat. We declare our unity with all people who survive as unwelcome strangers in their own lands. We will not rest until this rupture in K’lal Yisrael is repaired for we are copartners with God in the holy task of pidyon shevuyim, the deliverance of the prisoners from the dungeons of despair.


Set the matzah down, and leave it uncovered.




Continue with the next reader.


Lift up the cup of wine and say:


At this moment, then, we thank God: we praise, glorify, exalt and bless the Power that did all these miracles for our ancestors and us. He brought us from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from mourning to holiday, from darkness to a great light, from servitude to redemption. Let us then sing a new song: HALLELUIAH.


Set the cup down.



The Hallel: First Part


The Hallel is a series of psalms (113-118) which the Levites chanted in the Temple during the offering of the paschal lamb (Mishnah Perashim V. 7). Only the first two Hallel psalms are recited before the Seder meal. Psalm 113:1 calls upon “the servants of the Lord” to praise him; this rabbinical tradition interprets to mean: “servants of the Lord, but not servants of Pharaoh” (Megillah 142).


The Hallel is read responsively. Each person reads one line, and everyone reads the indented lines together.


Halleluiah! Praise Adonai; sing praises, you servants of Adonai.

Let Adonai be praised now and always.

From east to west, praised is Adonai.

He is exalted above all nations, His glory extends beyond    the heavens.

Who is like Adonai our God, enthroned on high, concerned with all below in heaven and on earth?

He lifts the poor out of    the dust, He raises the needy    from the rubbish heap,

He seats them with the noble, with the nobility of His people.

He sets a barren woman in her home as a mother happy with    children. Halleluyah!

When Israel left Mitzrayin, when the House of Jacob left alien people,

Judah became His holy one, Israel His domain.

The sea fled at the sight; the river Jordan retreated,

Mountains leaped like rams and hills like lambs.

O sea, why did you flee? Jordan, why did you retreat?

Mountains, why leap like rams? and hills like lambs?

Even the earth trembled at the Lord’s presence, at the presence of Jacob’s God.

For He turns rock into water, flint into fountains.


The leader of the seder covers the matzah and says:


Blessed art thou, O Lord our God! Sovereign of the Universe! Who hast redeemed us, and our ancestors, from Egypt; and caused us to attain the enjoyment of this night, to eat thereon unleavened cakes and bitter herbs.

O Lord our God! and the God of our ancestors, mayest thou cause us to attain other solemn festivals and seasons, which approach us; that we may rejoice in the building of thy city of justice, and exult in thy service: then we will give thanks unto thee with a new song for our deliverance and redemption. Blessed art thou, O Eternal! who redeemeth Israel.




Continue with the next reader.


Blessed are thou, O God! who not only redeemeth Israel but through Israel addresses mankind and invites mankind to address thee unafraid. Blessed art thou, O Lord our God! whom we have been creating through mankind’s history as thou created us through thy eternity. Blessed art thou, O Lord our God! who breathed into us the Law that we have written for thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe — the only King that we acknowledge. Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe — the King to whom we do not kneel.




The leader of the seder says:


Blessed art thou, O Lord, who hast commanded us to answer the questions of our children about the departure from Egypt, but who also inspired our ancestors in the tradition to leave some questions unanswered. For as no question is ever fully answered, so the four questions that our young people asked tonight have not been fully answered. May they and we seek out answers for ourselves and, seeking, ask new questions!


The reading pauses. Starting with the person to the right of the leader, everyone takes a turn asking a question or making a comment. Anyone may comment or answer the questions and discussion may continue for five or ten minutes.




Second Cup


The second cup is filled.

The leader designates someone, usually an older child, to say:

Ba-ruch a-tah a-do-nai e-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-o-lam, bo-ray pe-ri ha-ga-fen.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God! King of the Universe, who createst the fruit of the vine.


Drinking the Second Cup: Recline on your left side and drink the wine but do not empty your cup.


The leader continues:


Ba-ruch a-tah a-do-nai e-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-o-lam, a-sher ki-d’sha-nu b’mitz-vo-tav vitzi-va-nu al n’til-at ya-dim.

Blessed art thou O Lord our God! King of the universe, who hast sanctified us with thy commandments and commanded us to wash the hands.


The leader uses the bowl and towel to wash his or her hands again. If people wish, the bowl and towel may be passed around.


Another child may be volunteered to say:


Ba-ruch a-tah a-do-nai e-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-o-lam, ha-mo-tzi le-chem min ha-a-retz.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God!, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.



The leader takes the upper two matzot and passes them around the table. Each participant takes a piece and says the following blessing:

Ba-ruch a-tah a-do-nai e-lo-hei-nu melekh ha-o-lam, a-sher ki-d’sha-nu b’mitz-vo-tav v’tzi-va-nu al a-khi-lat ma-tzah.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God! King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with thy commandments, and commanded us to eat unleavened cakes.


Everyone eats their piece of matzah.


The leader takes some pieces of bitter herb (slices of raw horseradish) and dips each one into some charoset and passes them to the participants while saying:


Ba-ruch a-tah a-do-nai e-lo-hei-nu melech ha-o-lam, a-sher ki-d’sha-nu b’mitz-vo-tav v’tzi-va-nu al a-khi-lat ma-ror.

Blessed art thou. O Lord our God! King of the Universe, who hast sanctified us with thy commandments, and commanded us to eat bitter herbs.

Everyone eats the bitter herb.


Hillel Sandwiches                     



The leader then breaks off pieces of the undermost matzah and distributes the pieces, after putting some of the horseradish on each piece, and says:





In memory of the temple after the manner of Hillel:

Thus did Hillel during the time the holy temple stood: he used to wrap together unleavened cake, and bitter herb, and eat them together, that he might perform what is said: with unleavened cake and bitter herbs shall they eat it.

May we give everyone each other strength in the struggle, just as we share this matzah and maror.


Everyone eats.


The following is read in unison.


Brothers and sisters, we have been remembering our slavery and our liberation.


The reader pauses and pours some of the remaining wine from his or her glass into the glass of the next person — who does the same until the wine has circled the table and the last person has poured wine into the reader’s glass. All then lift their glasses and say in unison:




All drink.


The Meal is Served


After the Meal


The Third Cup


Ba-ruch a-tah a-do-nai e-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-o-lam, bo-ray pe-ri ha-ga-fen.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God! King of the Universe, who createst the fruit of the vine.


Drink the wine while reclining.


Lift the cup of wine and recite:


Praised be He who has kept His promise to His people Israel; praised be He. It is this promise that has stood our ancestors and ourselves in good stead, for not just one enemy has arisen to destroy us; rather in every generation there are those who seek our destruction, but the Holy One, praised be He, always saves us from their hands.

Set the cup down.


The coming of Elijah


There is a moment after the Seder that is quite mysterious. The meal is over, but before finishing there is a break. The wine cups are refilled one more time. The front door is opened for “Elijah” and, with the door still open a prayer is recited. The rest of the seder emphasizes joy and thankfulness, but these three sentences are a burst of anger. It is generally thought that these sentences were added to the seder during the Middle Ages during the slaughters that accompanied the crusaders. It is easy to tie the horror of the crusades to the hope that the coming of the Messiah will be preceded by the return of Elijah.


The tradition also says that the cup of Elijah will mysteriously empty while the door is open. This miracle often happens while the children are at the door, welcoming the prophet.


Fill the fourth cup and open the door for the prophet.


“Behold, I will send to you the prophet Elijah before the great and awesome day of Adonai comes. He will reconcile parents to children and children to parents.” (Malachi 3:23)


Close the door.


Eliyahu Hanovi


Ey-lee-ya-hu ha-na-vee, Ey-lee-ya-hu ha-tish-bee, Ey-lee-ya-hu (x3), ha-gil-odee.


Bim-hei-roh v’yo-mey-nu Yo-vo ey-ley-nu; Im ma-shoo-ach ben Dovid. (x2)


The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.



The Fourth Cup


Ba-ruch a-tah a-do-nai e-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-o-lam, bo-ray pe-ri ha-ga-fen.

Blessed is our Lord, God, King of the Universe who creates the fruit of the vine.


Drink the fourth cup.


The Afikoman


Next, the afikoman must be ransomed. The meal can not be finished until everyone eats a piece of the stolen matzah. The adults are not supposed to leave the table until this dilemma is resolved. There are different traditions. Ours is to bargain with the kids for a ransom price which they then share amongst themselves.


Ransom the afikoman.


Pass the afikoman around so everyone may take a piece and eat it, as the Conclusion is read in unison.



Seder’s over, as of yore, Full of ordinance and lore: If next year to meet once more Let our actions speak to Thee. Thou, so pure, who dwell’st on high, Count the ‘countless,’ bring us nigh, End Thy people’s endless cry, Joyful and in Zion free.

L’shana haba’ah b’yerushalayim














Let My People Go

              When Israel was in Egypt land               Let my people go.               Oppressed so hard they could not stand,                Let my people go.

Refrain: Go down Moses, way down in Egypt land,               Tell old Pharaoh, let my people go.

Thus saith the Lord, bold Moses said,               Let my people go.


              If not I’ll smite your firstborn dead,               Let my people go.


              As Israel stood by the water side,               Let my people go.

By God’s command it did divide,               Let my people go.



Only One Kid


This is the kid That Dad bought. Two zuz at most Was all it cost. Poor little kid! Poor little kid!


This is the cat That ate the kid That Dad bought.


This is the dog That bit the cat That ate the kid That Dad bought.


This is the stick That beat the dog That bit the cat That ate the kid That Dad bought.


This is the fire That burnt the stick That beat the dog That buit the cat That ate the kid That Dad bought.


This is the rain That quenched the fire That burnt the stick That bit the cat That ate the kid That Dad bought.


This is the ox (with crumpled horn) That drank the rain (the very next morn) That quenched the fire That burnt the stick That beat the dog That bit the cat That ate the kid That Dad bought.




Then came a butcher (all forlorn) Who slew the ox (with crumpled horn) That drank the rain That quenched the fire That burnt the stick That beat the dog That bit the cat That ate the kid That Dad bought.


Beezlebub — that so-and-so — Now laid the mournful butcher low. He’d killed the ox That drank the rain That quenched the fire That burnt the stick That beat the dog That bit the cat That ate the kid That Dad bought.


Now God spoke up, in Whom we trust: ‘Beezlebub must bite the dust: He’s slain the butcher Who killed the ox That drank the rain That quenched the fire That burnt the stick That beat the dog That bit the cat That ate the kid That Dad bought.’


Two zuz at most Was all it cost. Poor little kid! Poor little kid!