ABCs of Passover

Haggadah Section: Introduction



          A is for April, when Passover’s here!
          (Unless it’s in some other month of the year.)

B is for Boils, Beasts, Blackout, and Blood.
Dinner conversation never had it so good!

C is for Challah — egg bread: you can’t beat it!
And during this holiday, nor can you eat it.

D is for Drinking: four full cups of wine.
Required — a mitzvah! (Or grape juice, it’s fine.)

E is for Egypt, land the Jews fled.
Then shook the Egyptians in the Sea that is Red.

F is for Fish, “gefilte” it’s called,
Carp and pike, both thoroughly mauled.

 is for Gathering, that’s what we do!
The more, the moanier, when you’re a Jew.

H is for Hebrew, language Semitic.
“I’m saying it wrong? Everybody’s a critic!”

I is for Israel, the land we hold dear.
But no rush to go; there’s always next year!

J is for Jewish — that is, not a goy.
You know, like that nice Star-of-Bethlehem boy.

 is for Kosher, fit for consumption.
Or, put another way: “okay to eat,” according to basic laws derived from two of the five books of the Torah — Leviticus and Deuteronomy; but the details and practical applications of those laws were transmitted over centuries through oral law (eventually codified in the Mishnah and Talmud) and later elaborated upon in rabbinical literature… and the rationale for most of which is nowhere to be found.

L is for Lamb, star meat of the meal.
So tender! So juicy! Oh, wait… no — that’s veal.

M is for Matzo, a crispy delight.
(Yet fifty-one weeks of the year: out of sight.)

N is for Neighbors, like-minded feasters.
Unless they’re the kind who celebrate Easters.

O’s for Oppression, cruel subjugation.
Was that any way to treat God’s Chosen Nation?

P is for Pharaohs, harsh ancient rulers,
Who nearly deprived mankind of wholesale jewelers.

Q is for Questions, of which there are four:
“Why us?” 
“Is it over?” 
“When’s dinner?” 
“There’s more?!”

R’s for the holiday highlight: the reading.
I’m kidding! We’re Jews. It’s all about eating.

S is for Seder, from Hebrew for “order.”
Each one takes as long as the journey to Mordor.

T’s for Tradition. (I’m sure that you knew it!)
“Because your great-grandmother did it,” you do it.

U’s for Unleavened, describing the food,
But also, in consequence, everyone’s mood.

V is for Visitors. Pull up a chair!
Thinking of slipping out early? Don’t you dare.

WWisdom, the words of the sages.
But seriously, guys. How many more pages?

X as in Exodus, book of the Torah.
But turn back for saucy reports from Gomorrah.

Y is for Yeast, fungus forbidden!
How fast can you find where the Wonder Bread’s hidden?

Z is for Zzzzz, but no one is snoring.
The story’s not new, but it’s never boring.

So there it is: Passover, letter by letter.
(And not even Moses himself could do better.)

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Passover Guide

Hosting your first Passover Seder? Not sure what food to serve? Curious to
know more about the holiday? Explore our Passover 101 Guide for answers
to all of your questions.

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