Passover is over. Time to jump back on the wagon!

I’ve written zero, zippo, nada since my limericks on the day before Passover, and I now have three pieces outstanding to editors, the first of which is due on Friday. YOW!

As a religious Jew, I was unable to write for most of the Pesach holiday, and chose not to during the more lenient, intermediate days (chol hamoed), as well. Hence the pile up on my to-do list. This post will necessarily be brief. I’ve got to peruse the notes I scribbled two weeks ago, when I received the assignment that’s due first, and start writing.

I think the vacation from writing was good for me, though. I spent a lot of creative energy on cooking (including trying a couple new recipes, even inventing an awesome vegan chocolate chip cookie that is 1) totally kosher for Passover, 2) easy, and 3) scrumptious) and also just playing with and enjoying my husband and kids. We played hours and hours of Monopoly Deal & Old Maid, and visited fun places in L.A. like the zoo and a local U-Pick farm. I let my husband and eldest son pick most of our outings–the WWII Aviation Museum was an unexpected delight. Letting them be in charge allowed me to relax and let go.

Now it’s back to creative work, but it seems a little less like work after the vacation.

Pesach Limericks for Maggid (because I need a break from my kitchen right now)

pyramid of giza, exodus

On the way outta there!

Many of us have memories of childhood seders. Even when the memories are fond ones (like these shared recently by Jessica Soffer on the Prosen People blog), we were often confused by the Maggid section of the Haggadah. I’ve pried myself from the kitchen to share some wacky Passover poetry to read a the seder during Maggid, hoping it’ll help.

Chag kasher v’sameach, chaverim! (“Have a kosher and joyous holiday, friends!”) Continue reading

Believe it or not! Writing reality that’s stranger than fiction

Tablet just published a personal essay about my grandfather.  Please check it out. (And share, and like, and comment!)

Passover seder has been a bit spooky (in a good way) for me ever since childhood, when my sister and I were convinced Elijah the Prophet was none other than the Bogey Man.

And then we had a real ethereal visitor during Pesach.

It’s one of those stories that you tell and people think you are making it up. I probably would have thought that it was a figment of my imagination if my husband hadn’t recalled the event, as well. I feel a little more confident about the subject matter now, too, since the daughter of Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg (zt”l) described a similar encounter by her parents in a recent issue of Binah Magazine. 

Have you ever written a piece of non-fiction about something readers might not believe is possible?

Pesach is just a couple weeks away! Here’s a post from three years ago, with wacky Pesach songs I created for our seder. I’ve long wanted to add another couple songs, perhaps for the story of the rabbis in Bnei Brak, but not sure I’ll get to it this year.

Do you have other songs or traditions that liven up your family’s seder? Please share them in the comments below!

Rebecca Klempner

The central mitzvah of the Passover seder is “L’higgadeta L’vincha”—to relate the story of our redemption to children.This means the section of the haggadah called “Maggid” is the most essential portion of it.However, most of the exciting songs and actions of the seder come before or after “Maggid”. Some children, even some adults, don’t really enjoy this part of the seder for that reason.

I know Pesach is long past, but it’s never too early to get ready for next year…

Here is a supplement to the haggadah to be used during “Maggid”.Here are the best songs that I wrote this year to help tell the story of our first Pesach. My original lyrics are sung to familiar children’s songs for ease of use, and I tried to be true to the original text.Please enjoy and tizku l’mitzvos!

To the tune of “Oh, Susanna”

Oh…

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Pesach is on its final approach!

Last year, I posted some goofy songs to add to your seder. The songs belong in the all-important “Maggid” section of the Haggadah, which is often unclear to children.
I’m in the process writing a new song, for when the Jews reach the Yam Suf (Sea of Reeds). Will post by the end of the week, IY”H.

Wacky Pesach songs

The central mitzvah of the Passover seder is “L’higgadeta L’vincha”—to relate the story of our redemption to children. This means the section of the haggadah called “Maggid” is the most essential portion of it. However, most of the exciting songs and actions of the seder come before or after “Maggid”. Some children, even some adults, don’t really enjoy this part of the seder for that reason.

I know Pesach is long past, but it’s never too early to get ready for next year…

Here is a supplement to the haggadah to be used during “Maggid”. Here are the best songs that I wrote this year to help tell the story of our first Pesach. My original lyrics are sung to familiar children’s songs for ease of use, and I tried to be true to the original text. Please enjoy and tizku l’mitzvos!

To the tune of “Oh, Susanna”

Oh, we came to old Cana’an

To Mitzrayim for some wheat.

We had to leave our father

For we had no food to eat.

Chorus:

Folks of Egypt!

Can you spare us some wheat?

We had to leave our father

For we had no food to eat.

We rode into old Egypt

There we met a strange viceroy.

He told us he was Yosef

Then embraced us all with joy.

Chorus

We rode back to our abba

Yaacov Avinu was his name.

Then we Jews crossed the desert.

Seventy to Egypt came.

Chorus

To the tune of “My Darlin’ Clementine”

(same as “Found a Peanut”)

We were free men, we were free men,

Lived in Goshen with our flocks,

Kept our names, clothes and our language,

But then Yosef, folks forgot.

We were free men, we were free men,

Then they turned us into slaves.

Made us build Egyptian cities.

Then the cities became our graves.

Made us work long, make us work tough,

’til we cried out to Hashem,

“Please save us, please redeem us,

then we’ll serve you, Lord, again.”

To the tune of “Camptown Races”

Jews leave Egypt sing a song

Doo-dah, doo-dah

Jews leave Egypt sing a song

O De-Doo-dah-day

Thank Hashem all night

Thank Hashem all day

Thank Hashem with all our might

Let Moshe lead the way!