The Matzah Connection

A new seder song

Excerpted with permission of the author from Uncle Eli’s Special-for-Kids Most Fun Ever Under-the-Table Passover Haggadah (No Starch Press).  

The Four Questions

Why is it only
on Passover night
we never know how
to do anything right?
We don’t eat our meals
in the regular ways,
the ways that we do
on all other days.

eli's haggadah‘Cause on all other nights
we may eat
all kinds of wonderful
good bready treats,
like big purple pizza
that tastes like a pickle,
crumbly crackers
and pink pumpernickel,
sassafras sandwich
and tiger on rye,
fifty felafels in pita,

with peanut-butter
and tangerine sauce
spread onto each side
up-and-down, then across,
and toasted whole-wheat bread
with liver and ducks,
and crumpets and dumplings,
and bagels and lox,

and doughnuts with one hole
and doughnuts with four,
and cake with six layers
and windows and doors.

on all other nights
we eat all kinds of bread,
but tonight of all nights
we munch matzah instead.

And on all other nights
we devour
vegetables, green things,
and bushes and flowers,
lettuce that’s leafy
and candy-striped spinach,
fresh silly celery
(Have more when you’re finished!)

cabbage that’s flown
from the jungles of Glome
by a polka-dot bird
who can’t find his way home,

daisies and roses
and inside-out grass
and artichoke hearts
that are simply first class!

Sixty asparagus tips
served in glasses
with anchovy sauce
and some sticky molasses–

But on Passover night
you would never consider
eating an herb
that wasn’t all bitter.

And on all other nights
you would probably flip
if anyone asked you
how often you dip.

On some days I only dip
one Bup-Bup egg
in a teaspoon of vinegar
mixed with nutmeg,

but sometimes we take
more than ten thousand tails
of the Yakkity-birds
that are hunted in Wales,
and dip them in vats
full of Mumbegum juice.
Then we feed them to Harold,
our six-legged moose.
Or we don’t dip at all!
We don’t ask your advice.
So why on this night
do we have to dip twice?
And on all other nights
we can sit as we please,
on our heads, on our elbows,
our backs or our knees,|
or hang by our toes
from the tail of a Glump,
or on top of a camel
with one or two humps,
with our foot on the table,
our nose on the floor,
with one ear in the window
and one out the door,
doing somersaults
over the greasy k’nishes
or dancing a jig
without breaking the dishes.
on all other nights
you sit nicely when dining–
So why on this night
must it all be reclining?

Avadim Hayinu

We were slaves to King Pharaoh,
that terrible king,
and he made us do all kinds
of difficult things.
Like building a pyramid
of chocolate ice cream
when the sun was so hot
that the Nile turned to steam,
and digging a ditch
with a spade of soft cotton.
That Pharaoh was wicked
and nasty and rotten!
He made us prepare him
a big birthday cake
and buy fancy presents
for Pharaoh to take,
and he kept us awake
with a terrible noise,
but he never allowed us
to play with his toys.
It’s a good thing that God
took us out of that place
and gave evil old Pharaoh
a slap in the face.
Because if he hadn’t,
we’d all be in trouble,
still slaving away
in the dust and the rubble,
cleaning up the king’s mess
and still folding his clothes
and arranging his torn socks
in eighty-four rows,
and balancing eggs
on the tips of our toes.
Yes, even if we were
as smart as my mother,
as wise as my best friend Dov’s
four-month-old brother,
if we’d read all the books
in the public library
or watched as much TV
as old Auntie Mary–
We still should keep telling
this wonderful story
of how we got out
in a huff and a hurry.

The Four Children

To our seder last year
came a strange-looking man
with four sons:
Nasty, and
Simple, and
Now Smarty was smart–
yes, so clever and wise,
he could do the whole seder
while closing his eyes.
From beginning to end,
from the end to the start,
he recited it
over and over by heart.
In Hebrew and Hindu,
in Snufic and Roman,
from the first Ha Lachma
to the last Afikoman.
But Nasty refused
to take part in the seder.
He just sat there and smiled
with his pet alligator
as he pulled people’s hair
and he poked people’s eyes
and sprinkled their matzah
with beetles and flies.
What he needs is a thwack
on the back of the hands,
or a slap in the face
or a kick in the pants.
Away in the corner
sits sweet sister Simple.
Whenever she smiles
her face breaks out in dimples.
She only asks
about simple facts
like “What’s a
and “Tell me how tall is a Gloogasaurus Zax?”
And Sam doesn’t even
know what to say.
He just sits in his box
till the end of the day,
till his Dad packs him up
and takes him away/

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