A long time ago in the land of Egypt, there was a king called Pharaoh. He was very mean to the Jewish people and made them slaves, which means that they had no choices. They had to work all day and all night for Pharaoh making bricks and buildings. They couldn't stop when they were hungry to have a snack, they couldn't stop to take a nap when they were tired, and they couldn't spending time with their families and friends.

The Building Song (by Shirley Cohen)

Bang, bang, bang: Hold your hammer low

Bang, bang, bang: Give a heavy blow

For it's work, work, work

Every day and every night,

For it's work, work, work

When it's dark and when it's light.

Dig, dig, dig: Get your shovel deep

Dig, dig, dig: There's no time for sleep

For it's work, work, work

Every day and every night

For it's work, work, work

When it's dark and when it's light.

Finally, things got so bad that the Jewish people said, "We can't do this any more. Please help us!"

God heard their prayer and told Moses - a caring Jewish person - to tell Pharaoh to let the Jewish people go free. Moses said, "Are you sure you want me? I don't speak very well."

God said, "Yes! I want YOU to do it."

So Moses went to Pharaoh and said, "Let the Jewish people leave Egypt!"

Pharaoh said, "No!"

So, God sent a terrible thing called a plague to change Pharaoh's mind. When Pharaoh woke up the next morning, all the water had turned into blood - YUCK! Pharaoh called Moses and told him the Jewish people could leave Egypt. The blood turned back to water, and Pharaoh changed his mind.

So God sent another plague. This time, when Pharaoh woke up, there were frogs everywhere!

The Frog Song (by Shirley Cohen)

One morning when Pharaoh awoke in his bed 
There were frogs in his bed, and frogs on his head 
Frogs on his nose and frogs on his toes 
Frogs here, frogs there 
Frogs were jumping everywhere.

Pharaoh told Moses the Jewish people could leave, the frogs disappeared, and Pharaoh changed his mind again.

(Sung to the melody of  I've Been Working on the Railroad, lyrics by Carol Boyd Leon)

The Jews were building Pharaoh's cities

All the live-long day.

The Jews were working hard for Pharaoh

But they wanted to go and pray.

Moses went to meet with Pharaoh and said,

"Let my people go!"

Stubborn Pharaoh wouldn't listen;

To Moses, he said, "No!"

Moses: Let my people go!             Pharaoh: No!

Moses: Let my people go!             Pharaoh: No!

Moses: God said to                                                

Let my people go, so                  

                   Let my people go!        Pharaoh: No!

Moses: Let my people go!             Pharaoh: No!

Moses: Let my people go!             Pharaoh: No!!!

Eight more times, God sent a plague, but Pharaoh changed his mind. Finally, the plagues were so terrible that Pharaoh told the Jewish people to get out.

Moses called his people together and told them to hurry and pack their bags so they could leave before Pharaoh changed his mind again. They packed so quickly that they didn't have time to make bread with yeast; they had to let the dough bake on their backs and make a hard bread called matzah.

Pharaoh did change his mind and chased after the Jewish people with his soldiers, but when they got to the Sea of Reeds, the water parted, and they could walk to the other side. The waters closed up behind them, and they were safe from Pharaoh. They were so happy, they began singing and dancing because they were free at last.

To remember the time when the Jewish people left Egypt and became free, we get together with our friends and families to celebrate every year. We have a Seder, tell the story, and sing songs. We read the Haggadah and eat special foods like matzah, charoset, and maror. We are happy to be free.


haggadah Section: -- Exodus Story