SIGNS and WONDERS
Raphael Abecassis (Israeli) PASSOVER
The following family activity based on the ten plagues can add fun and drama to your Pesach Seder meal.
Make a gift “Plague Packet” for each child and insert small labelled bags containing each of the plagues that offer ‘hands-on’ application. At the appropriate plague they can open the small bag and toss the contents at their friends!
Or, as we have done in our (Cindy’s) home, enjoy one sign and wonder on each of the 9 days prior to Pesach eve with the hope of stirring up questions and discussion, and of building excitement in anticipation of the Seder.
Enjoy and adapt according to your child / family. Use any or all ideas.
1. WATER INTO BLOOD (Exodus 7:14-25) You need red food coloring.
I’m not sure if this one is more fun for the child or the parent. Put a few drops of food coloring in a glass prior to the family sitting down at the breakfast table. Once everyone is seated, pour water into each glass — oooh… the water turns red!
At the Seder table you also can have fun with the food coloring and water. To add to the ‘Plague Packet’ you could make drops of blood by cutting two tear drop shapes out of red felt. Sew the top of the tear drop together and a child can slip it over his / her finger.
2. FROGS (Exodus 7:25-8:11) You need little plastic frogs.
These little guys are way too much fun! On frog day, you can put them in a lunch bag, or half in and half out of a sandwich (you want your family to see them not eat them); strew some on the breakfast table or place some on your child’s bed before he or she wakes up.
The possibilities are endless! In shoes, on toothbrush etc., etc.
3. LICE (Exodus 8:16-19) You can use llittle beads or confetti.
Sprinkle the beads / confetti over your child when sleeping so they have to shake them off when they wake up. Put some in their hairbrush. Sprinkle on your table and counters. Again, the possibilities are endless…the clean up is worth the fun.
4. WILD BEASTS, possibly flies* (Exodus 8:20-32) You need toy plastic lions and tigers and bears, insects. Oh my! Place them around your house.
Flies are just too hard to resist. Freeze them in your ice cube tray and put the cubes with the frozen flies in your families beverages.** Enjoy the beverage with wild / zoo animal cookies.
I (CIndy) found a fun alternative for this sign and wonder to use this year — a fun little ‘beast’ straw to enjoy juice or milk with the wild animal cookies.
5. DISEASED LIVESTOCK (Exodus 9:1-7) You need a toy cow, goat, sheep etc..
Place them around your house in strategic places.
6. BOILS (Exodus 9:8-12) You need round colorful stickers.
Place the stickers on everyone’s face. Another option is to get those wonderful gel stickers, cut into circles and place on all the mirrors in the house.
7. HAIL (Exodus 9:13-35) You need styrofoam or marshmallows.
Cover your table top and counters. Be ready for some snowball fights!
8. LOCUSTS (Exodus 10:1-20) You need toy winged insects.
Set around your house, on meal plates…etc.
9. DARKNESS (Exodus 10:21-29) You need sunglasses.
Wear sunglasses inside. At Seder meal you can turn off the lights suddenly.
10. PESACH EVE – SEDER
If you would like a beautiful picture book to use along with, or in place of, the ideas mentioned above, consider From Darkness to Light by Gadi Pollack — it’s a gem! Stunning illustrations, simple text, and a special study section at the end of the book to help understand the meaning of each sign and wonder and how it might correspond to the hardships suffered by Bnei Yisrael – the Israelites.
You can purchase this book via Amazon.com From Darkness to Light
In his six part Passover series, Rabbi Fohrman opens up layers of meaning of Biblical text, asking questions most of us have never even thought of asking and bringing it all home to who we are and the time we find ourselves in. An absolute favorite teacher!
Visit Rabbi Sack’s website and type Passover in the Search box. You’ll find a number of inspiring and thought provoking teachings that are perfect for this season.
Avivah Zornberg, a Torah scholar, is one of the most original Biblical teachers I have ever heard. Inspired by Scripture and Rabbinic midrash, Zornberg illuminates Scripture; injecting life into them.
You can enjoy two of her teachings pertaining to this season for free on iTunes Exodus, Cargo of Hidden Stores and The Transformation of Pharaoh, Moses, and God. If you don’t have access to iTunes visit On Being with Krista Tippett and type Avivah Zornberg in the search box.
* The majority of Rabbinic commentators say that the fourth sign was wild beasts. They understand the Hebrew word arov ( עָרֹב ) to mean a mixture. Rashbam translates arov as a wolf-like beast. The wolf – arov, attacks at night and is related to the Hebrew word erev (עֶרֶב) meaning evening.
** Be careful that as the ice melts you or your little ones don’t swallow any flies!
*** You can access each of the teachers websites by clicking on their names.
A BLESSED CHAG PESACH SAMEACH TO YOU