Torah Retold: And Your Child Will Ask

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when you observe this seven day festival
you must explain to your children
it is because of what the lord did for us
when we were set free from the land of egypt

your child will ask
did the lord free us from the land of egypt
only that we might conquer a land inhabited by others
the canaanites the hittites the amorites
the hivites and the jebusites

and your child will ask further
did the lord free us from the land of egypt
only that we might lash out at the world
with a mighty hand
or rather to reach out with an outstretched arm
to all who seek liberation

your child will ask still further
did we mark our doorposts on that dark night
only to cower from the angel of death
or rather to announce to the world
that god stands with the oppressed and
that we have nothing to fear and nothing to hide
all who are hungry please
come and eat

(Parashat Bo, Exodus 12-13)


Passover Observance Then and Now


and when your children ask you what
do you mean by this rite tell them
in the beginning we offered late night sacrifices
and supplications while our god meted out
punishments against the gods of egypt later
we hid behind behind doorjambs swelled with
dread murmuring pour out your wrath on
those who seek our blood and destroy the nations who know
not your name but now we observe by bursting the
gates of fear wide open proclaiming let all who’ve been
broken gather each another’s scattered
shattered pieces let all who seek liberation
come to the table let all who are hungry
come and eat

(Exodus 12:12, 26-27)