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Passover 2019

Haggadah Rhymes - How to Experience an Effective Passover Seder

One of the most important goals of the seder night-if not the most important-is to keep the attention of the children while instilling Torah fundamentals. Parents must resort to any and all pedagogical techniques at their disposal. One of the most effective techniques, is to tell over various parts of the seder in rhyme

Haggadah Rhymes - How to Experience an Effective Passover Seder
INTRODUCTION:

One of the most important goals of the seder night-if not the most important-is to keep the attention of the children while instilling Torah fundamentals. Parents must resort to any and all pedagogical techniques at their disposal.

One of the techniques I’ve found effective is to tell over various parts of the seder in rhyme. Children enjoy guessing the rhyme words…and adults enjoy it even more. The rhymes are not an ends in and of themselves and should not be seen as such. They are a way of maintaining attentiveness and interest, and of making the evening enjoyable and exciting. They should serve as an entry point for parents to then explain the concepts being dealt with.

The rhythm in the poems is not always perfect, so you may have to play around a little by stretching some words and changing speeds. I have inserted dashes in order to help with the rhythm. Some of the words are written intentionally slangy or misspelled, for the sake of the cause.

Transliterated words are in italics. And please remember to pause before saying the rhyme word in each sentence, so that everyone present has a chance to guess them. I hope you find them useful and enjoyable.
 
1) WELCOME

We’d like to welcome - all who are here
For the biggest event - of the entire year
So get ready to drink, - to eat, and to listen
People without seders - don’t know what they’re missin’
Of course if you have - something you’d like to say
Please give it over - in your own special way
It could be a story - an idea or a vort
But do us one favor – please keep it short
We have lots of mitzvos - to do tonight
With Siyata Dishmaya - we’ll do them right
We hope you enjoy - yourselves and keep smiling
From the time we do Kiddush - ‘till “Leshana Haba Birushlayim
But one last thing - before we start
We have to say - with all of our heart
“Thank you” to Mommy (or Bubby or wife or hostess etc.) - for all that you’ve done
To make sure our seder - is a special one
 
2) KADDESH

Kaddesh is the beginning - of the seder
Right now is early-we’ll finish much later
We fill up our bechers – all the way to the top
And we’ll drink them down - to the very last drop
We drink behesaiva - only the boys and the men
If you don’t do hesaiva - you must drink it again
Some people use grape juice-some use strong wine
According to halacha- either way is fine
Now look at your clothing-all nice and clean
That’s quite likely change-if you know what I mean
Anticipate spilling-more then you think
That’s what’s expected - when people drink
 
3) URCHATZ

We wash our hands - at the sink
But it’s not as easy - as you think
We hope you have - a lot of hatzlacha
Remembering not - to make a bracha
The reason we wash - I’ll explain to you
You can think about it - while you chew
The halacha is - when something is dipped
You can not put it - past your lips
Unless you do - a full netila
 If you knew this already - I ask mechila
The reason we dip is - we’re bnei chorin
That means we’re free-we’re not avadim
 
4) KARPASS

Everybody - should take a piece
Less than kezayiss-it’s not much to eat
Carrots or celery-take your choice
And remember tonight - were going to dip twoice
Dip it in - and make it wet
But don’t start eating - or munching yet
We have to make - a bracha rishona
But we won’t be making - a bracha achrona
The water is salty - just like the tears
Of the Jews in Mitzrayim - for so many years
So much suffering – so much pain
They couldn’t wait - to be free again
But the geula came-just like a dream
So we dip tonight- like bnei chorin
 
5) YACHAYZ

We start with three matzos-all whole and nice
Just do me a favor -  don’t ask the price
We try to break one of them - right down the middle
But one piece will be big - and one will be little
The bigger piece - will be hidden away
Then the children will find it - and Daddy will pay
 
6) HA LACHMA ANYA…

What kind of game is it - which we’re playing?
Inviting in people - who can’t hear what we’re saying?
The answer is - we’re not inviting
We’re doing something - much more exciting
We’re telling the story - of the Jewish nation
And this is what happened - in their situation
They left Mitzrayim - in a very big rush
Some of the people - didn’t get to take much
So those who did - called out nice and loud
Come eat with us-we don’t mind a crowd
Of course this is meant - to teach us a lesson
We must open our homes - and our hearts to do chessed
 
7) MA’ASEH BREBBE ELIEZER…

Five big tzaddikim - were at the seder
They didn’t notice it - getting later and later
They we’re all having - such a good time
Telling the story - of yetzias Mitzrayim
We today - can’t possibly measure
How much they enjoyed it – such a pleasure
In the morning their talmidim - came and said
We know you never- went to bed
You really got into - telling the story
Which demonstrates Hashem’s - honor and glory
We hate to have to - ruin your fun
But its zman krias shama - of the Magen Avrahm
 
8) AMAR REBBE ELAZAR BEN AZARYA…

Rebbe Elazar Ben Azarya - had a beard
But something about it - was a little weird
He went to sleep - as usual one night
When he awoke in the morning - some had turned white
So although he was young - just eighteen
He said out loud - Harei ani k’ven shivi’im
But why did this happen- this little ness?
Why was there a change - in the hair on his face?
As the new nassi - he had to speak
He gave a drasha - in the bais medrash each week
So in order that his words - should carry more weight
He had to look older - than ten plus eight
 
 
9) YACHOL MA’ROSH CHODESH

There’s a Torah assignment - for every father
And he can’t just say - “I don’t want to bother”
So if you’re a Jew - and not a goy
You must tell over - to all of your boys
How Bnei Yisrael did - as were told
Men and women – young and old
They followed Moshe - into the desert
It wasn’t easy –it was quite an effort
Now Rosh Chodesh is when - Pesach cleaning begins
This is a kapara - for all of our sins
There’s scrubbing and cleaning - and unpleasant moods
And don’t even bother - looking for food
If you’re lucky you’ll find - some bread and some chumus
And maybe some leftover - mishloach moonooss
O.k. o.k. - you know I’m just kidding
We’re more than happy - to do Hashem’s bidding
 The truth is that Pesach - cleaning is fun
Because Mommy gets help - from everyone
Smiling and singing - and lots of good cheer
Too bad we don’t do - Pesach cleaning all year  
So we might have thought - Rosh Chodesh is when
Fathers must tell over - the story again
The hagada teaches us - this isn’t so
It’s done at the seder - with matza and maror
 
10) MITCHILA OVDEI KOCHAVIM…

A long time before - the avodas perach
There lived a man - by the name of Terach
He sold many idols-some big and some small
His son Avram went - and smashed up them all
He put a stick - in the hand of the biggest
Said “It wasn’t me-it was him that did it”
So Terach told Nimrod- who went into a rage
He had Avram thrown - into kivshan ha’aish
But Avram was saved-not a singe or a burn
And after him - it was Haran’s turn
But he only believed in Hashem - with his lips
So he ended up being - burnt to a crisp
Hashem told Avram - take your things and your wife
Go to Eretz Yisrael - to start a new life
Yizchak was born - to him and to Sara
Such a fine boy-bli ayin hara
Yitzchok had two sons - one good and one bad
Ya’akov made him happy - Esav made him sad
 
11) BORUCH SHOMER HAVTACHASO…

At bris bein habesarim - Hashem had some news
What Avraham heard - was not good for the Jews
They would spend time as strangers - in a land not their own
They’d suffer and weep - they’d cry and they’d groan
It would last for a while - four hundred years
By the end of that time - they’d have pretty long beards
But then they would leave - there’d be a big switch
They’d depart from Mitzrayim - with each one quite rich
But the real rechush - was still on its way
I’ll give you a hint - we still have it today
That’s right, it’s the Torah - sweeter than pie
The presentation took place - at Har Sinai
 
12) V’HI SHE’AMDA…

No matter how hard - our enemies try
To wipe out the Jews - and commit genocide
They’ll never succeed-of that we are certain
Hashem made a promise - which will never be broken
They’ll scheme and conspire - they’ll plan and they’ll plot
Reshaim like Haman - and Achmadinijad
But we know no matter - how hard they try
We will survive - and they’re gonna die
This is the way - Hashem demonstrates
That He’s protecting us - in all times and places
So we lift up our cups - and say loud and clear
With Hashem watching over - we have nothing to fear
 
13) TSAI U’LMAD…

Lavan had - two wonderful daughters
Yaakov met Rachel - at the water
Right there he decided - she’d be his wife
He worked for her - seven yeas of his life
But Lavan switched - he gave Yaakov her sister
Yaakov confronted him - said “Hey, mister
I worked for Rachel - so why did you cheat
You’re the biggest crook - I’ll ever meet”
Lavan just laughed - in Yaakov’s face
“You don’t know the rules - of our little place
The younger sister - must wait her turn
I guess that’s something - you’ll have to learn”
Every time - they made a deal
Lavan would lie - and try to steal
Yaakov took his family - and ran away
But what they went in a week - Lavan went in a day
Hashem came to Lavan - and told him quite clearly
If you start up with Yaakov - you’re going to pay dearly

14) VAYAIRED MITZRAIYMA…

Yaakov Avinu - went to Mitzrayim
He met his son Yoseph - Menashe and Ephraim
The Bnei Yisrael were increasing - in leaps and bounds
The Mitzri’im felt invaded - there were Yidden all around
The mommies were having - six babies at a time
To order a mohel - you had to wait in line
The Mitzri’im didn’t want Yidden - all over the place
So they made them build - Pitom and Ra’amsess
Hashem saw all of - their suffering and then
He decided it was time - for it all to end
So He brought the makos – the total was ten
When one was finished - they got hit again
They came at the rate - of one per chodesh
That’s what they got – that was their onesh
 
15) BIMSEI ME’AT…

Six little babies - make lots of noise
Crying and screaming - and fighting over toys
Pushing the buggy - was no easy feat
Considering it was wider - than the street
Cooking and cleaning - and making the meals
The mother had to be - the “real deal”
The father had pressure – parnassa was tough
And this was before - having to marry them off
Just imagine - what it was like
If one of them ever - wanted a bike
Dad didn’t buy one – he had to buy six
Think of all the tires - he had to fix
And if he decided - to buy a ball
He couldn’t buy one – he had to buy for them all
It must’ve been a project - just to take baths
It’s easy for you - to just sit here and laugh
Then the next year - she gave birth to six more
It was probably so crowded - they had to sleep on the floor
But just remember - what the truth is
There’s no bigger bracha - for parents than kids
 
16) SHEHAYU YISRAEL METZUYANIM…

Metzuyanim means - they didn’t change
Their language or clothing - or their names
You could tell a Yid - with just one glance
By looking at his shirt - or at his pants
They didn’t have names - like Greg or Steve
I know you find it - hard to believe
Not Mary or Jane - or Jeff or Wendell
No, they had names - like Miriam and Mendel
The women wore clothing - tznius and long
They knew what was right - and they knew what was wrong
The music they played - was aidel and sweet
It didn’t sound like people - yelling in the street
Of course this also - applies in our days
To behave like Yidden - and not change our ways
 
17) DAAM

Just imagine - going to the sink
All you want - is water to drink
And then you yell out - “Yuch – its all red”
You won’t even taste it – it looks so ‘bed’
 Than you decide - to take a shower
With soap and shampoo – you’ll smell like a flower
You get yourself ready - and turn on the spray
But a stream of blood - comes flying your way
So you decide to go - to the beach for a swim
You’ll get yourself clean - once you go in
But the water’s all red – people are screaming
You pinch yourself – you must be dreaming
It you think this is bad - there’s still something worse
You have no way - of quenching your thirst
So you walk around - till you find a Yid
And then pay good money - for a little liquid
 
18) TSFARDAYA

There was one big tsfardaya - slimy and green
Biggest tzfardaya - you’ve ever seen
He hopped around – cried “ribbit ribbit”
The Mitzri’im ran over - and hit it, hit it
But each time they gave it - a good hard smack
More jumped out - and started to attack
The more they hit - the more came out
They filled up Mitzrayim - and jumped about
 Now just imagine - sitting down
From underneath - you hear a sound
It’s just the chair – that’s what you wish
But in your heart you know - you felt a squish
When you put your leg - into your pants
You suddenly jumped - and started to dance
When you opened the fridge - to get a snack
Something green - was on the rack
Every room - that you enter
Has become a major - tzfardaya center
There’s nowhere to run - and nowhere to hide
Even the bodies - have them inside
When you started to eat - and took a bite
You could tell right away - something’s not right
Something green - got caught in you teeth
It was so distasteful - you couldn’t breathe
 
19) KINIM

Just imagine - what it would be like
Mornings without - a scream or a fight
Hair nice and clean - without anything crawling
No special lice combs-no crying or bawling
As bad as it is - the Mitzri’im had it worse
All over their bodies, - their pants and their shirts
All they could do - was stand there and scratch
Their arms and their legs - their heads and their backs
So next time your’e thinking - “What can we do
Can’t someone invent - some sort of shampoo?
To pour on the head - and use it just once
Instead of spending - so much time going nuts”
Realize things aren’t - as bad as you think
They were worse for the Mitzri’im - and Paroah their king
Imagine what Mitzri - gannenets went through
Every one of the kids - had a head like a zoo
“Achmad and Walid - you have to go home
Don’t come back until cleaned - by a kinim comb”
But the boys didn’t go - they stayed and protested
“With all due respect ma’am - you too are infested”  
 
20) AROV

Lions and tigers - with very sharp teeth
Bears and wolves - looking for something to eat
Huge elephants - that weighed a ton
Stomping on Mitzri’s - and having fun
Hippos that could swallow - whole watermelons
Swallowing Mitzri’s - who were cryin’ and yellin’
They ran in a panic - and tried to hide
But the animals found them - and dragged them outside
“Please please” they yelled -“have milchiks to eat”
“No thanks” said the beasts – “what we want is meat”
But they didn’t hurt Yidden - not even one baby
Banish the thought - don’t even think maybe
The Yidden could relax - they were the winners
The Mitzri’s however - became the animals’ dinners
 
21) DEVER

Horses and donkeys - camels and sheep
These creatures were dead - not just asleep
The Mitzri’im were suffering - pretty upset
Bnei Yisrael laughed - said “That’s what you get”
They cried and they groaned - didn’t think it was funny
Because during this maka - they lost lots of money
Moshe had warned them - but they didn’t listen
So lots of their animals - ended up missin’
 
22) CHOSHECH

Imagine we went in - for a visit
To a Mitzri home – and they said “Who is it?”         
We wouldn’t answer - we’d have nothing to fear
We’d listen to them - this is what we’d hear
“What’s that noise - I hear in my home?
I’ve got the feeling - we’re not alone
Hey somebody please - turn on the light
It’s so dark in here - it seems like night
I can’t move my head - or my feet or my hands
I can’t run or walk - or put on my pants
They’re opening cabinets - closets and drawers
While I can do nothing – can’t even see the floor
They want to find gold - and silver and jewels
This isn’t fair-they’re breaking the rules
But of course they were – very much mistaken
Bnei Yisrael searched-but nothing was taken
 
23) MAKAS BECHOROS

Moshe said “get ready – it’s going to hurt
This is the maka - that’s going to be worst
There will not be - a Mitzri bechor
Who by tomorrow - will be alive anymore
In every home - there’s going to be crying
“Help us” they’ll yell - “the bechors are all dying”
In some of the houses - more than one died
 Because the true father - couldn’t be identified
Paroah went running - “where’s Moshe?” he shouted
“You all have to leave - get out out out outed!”