This Passover story, for children ages 3-6, is part of a series of three Passover readings for children and adults created by American Jewish World Service (AJWS) to connect the holiday of Passover to the theme “from disaster to development.” As the recent earthquake in Haiti reminds us, we cannot only respond to disasters immediately after they happen, but we must support communities in their long-term efforts to recover and rebuild. Indeed, the Passover story itself contains this message—liberation from the trauma of oppression was not achieved in the single moment of the Exodus but rather unfolded gradually over 40 years in the desert and continues to unfold for us personally throughout our lives. Truly supporting and standing in solidarity with people who have suffered disaster and oppression means working with them over the long term to build strong, independent communities.

You can read this fanciful story of the people of Plink at the seder immediately before drinking any one of the four cups of  wine or grape juice. The story introduces very young children to several concepts concerning disaster relief and development. 

The first is that we must all work together to achieve positive results. The second concept, which is represented by building a plumbing system rather than relying on fetching water by cup every day, is that the best solutions to disaster are ones that are sustainable and address long-term needs.  Finally, the story helps children develop empathy for those less fortunate than themselves, one of the main themes of the Passover holiday.

When you read this story with the young children at your seder, consider following up with one or more of these questions:

• Why didn’t the people of Plink have any water?

• Why did the girl suggest that they work together?

• How do you feel when you share something with your friends?

• Why didn’t the people of Plink want to use cups to get water from the lake?

haggadah Section: Commentary / Readings