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Haggadah Section: Maggid - Beginning

A long time ago in the land of Egypt, there was a king, called Pharaoh. He was very mean to the Jewish people. He forced them to work all day long. They were not free to do what they wanted; they could eat only what Phar-aoh wanted. They didn’t have much time to eat and they hardly had any time to sleep. They could not spend time with their families and friends- all they did was make bricks out of mud and straw and build day after day.


Finally, the Jewish people said, “We’re really tired. We can’t stand this any-more.” G-d heard the people’s cry and decided to help. One day Moses saw a fire in a bush, but the bush wasn’t burning up. G-d spoke to Moses from the fire in the bush and said, “Moses! Go tell Pharaoh to let my people go!” Moses said, “Are you sure you want me? I’m too scared to do it. And I’m not a very good speaker.” G-d said, “Yes, and bring your brother Aaron with you.”


So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Let the Jewish people leave Egypt.” Pharaoh said, “NO!”


G-d sent a terrible thing called a plague, to change Pharaoh’s mind. When Pharaoh woke up, there were frogs everywhere! Pharaoh called Moses and told him the Jewish people could leave Egypt. The frogs went away, and Pharaoh changed his mind- the Jewish people had to stay and be slaves. G-d sent another plague, when Pharaoh woke up there were locusts every-where! Pharaoh told Moses all the Jews could leave. But when the bugs went away, Pharaoh changed his mind again! Eight more times, G-d sent plagues and Pharaoh sent the Jewish people could go free, but each time he changed his mind. Finally, the plagues were too terrible, and Pharaoh told the Jewish people to GO!

Moses called the Jewish people and told them to pack their bags- it was time to leave Egypt. “Hurry, before Pharaoh changes his mind again!” The people packed so quickly that they did not have time to let their bread dough rise. Instead, they put the dough on their backs. The sun baked into flat, hard crackers called matzah.


The Jewish people left Egypt as quickly as they could, walking as fast as they could go. Soon, Pharaoh changed his mind again! He and his men set out in chariots to bring the Jews back to Egypt. The Jewish people had just arrived at the Red Sea when they saw Pharaoh and his men be-hind them. They were very frightened and called to Moses, “What are we going to do?!”
Moses called to G-d for help. G-d said, “Lift up your staff and hold your arm over the sea.” Moses did, the water split, and the Jewish people crossed the sea, walking on dry land between the walls of water. When the last Jewish person reached the other side safely, the waters came to-gether.


When they were safe on the other side of the Red Sea, Miriam, Moses’ sister, began to sing because they were free. The Jewish people danced and sang songs with Miriam, because they were very happy to be free at last.
To remember the time when the Jewish people left Egypt and became free, we get together with our family and friends every year to celebrate. We have a Seder, tell the Passover story and sing songs. We read the Ha-gaddah and eat special foods like matzah, charoset and maror. We are happy to be free, live the way we want and not to be slaves anymore.

Source:  
JCC Manhattan Nursery school

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