‘Twas the Night Before Pesach

By Marc Levy

‘Twas the night before Pesach, and all through the house

not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The mice were too hungry to squeak or to scurry;

the chametz had all been cleaned up in a hurry.

The table was laid with the silver and china,

the linen was spotless, the crystal was shine-a.

Charoset and horseradish, set in their dish,

And fifty-six balls of gefilte-fized fish.

The wine had been poured in the glasses with care,

in hopes that tomorrow Elijah'd be there.

The whole house was immaculate, clean as you please,

As we lay digesting our dinner - Chinese.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of matzoh balls danced in their heads.

And Mom in her shmata and I in my cap

had just settled down for a long Pesach nap,

But one minute later, sleep came to a halt

when my wife woke me screaming "Oy vey! Oy gevalt!"

For out on the lawn there arose a great clatter;

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

I looked out the window and saw quite a scene.

Blinking my eyes, I said, “Is this a dream?”

For there in the driveway, bathed in moonlight,

Was a miniature Moses, and eight tiny Israelites.

Right up to my door this strange caravan came.

They were schlepping a sleigh, and Moish called them by name:

“Hey Shloimy!” he shouted, “Hey Sammy and Sadie!

Let’s hustle!” he ordered, “we’re running quite latey!”

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Moses let himself into my house, with a bound.

He was dressed rather poorly, and covered with schmutz,

With Israeli sandals on both of his foots.

This Moses looked tired, like he’d traveled quite far.

He was huffing and puffing; he smoked a cigar.

But he seemed rather merry, and did a small waltz,

And he shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of schmaltz.

It was clear what he wanted; on his goal he was homing:

He went straight to the table, and stole the afikomen!

Then turning around at a fairly brisk clip,

he grabbed Elijah’s wineglass, and drank down a sip.

Then he sprang to his sleigh, shouted, “Let’s move it, Harry!

We’ve got to keep moving, we’ve no time to tarry”!

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Ziesen Pesach to all, and to all a good night”!

© Marc Levy 2002

haggadah Section: Introduction