Poems for Passover

Here are a selection of my Passover poems for your enjoyment. They need to be read with one's tongue firmly pressed in one's cheek, infact some of the rhymes only work that way!

Best wishes

Martin Singer

Menora

A PASSOVER POEM

 

It started with Abraham, who made the news

By becoming the very first of the Jews.

He had a wife called Sarah and a 'friend' as well

Who gave him a son called Ishmael.

 

Sarah was quite old and getting dizzy

But to everyone's surprise had a son called Izzy

(His name was Isaac but Izzy will do)

And he became the very next Jew.

 

Abraham had to make a choice

Between Ishmael and Isaac, his two little boys

So he sent away Ishmael and his mum as well

And went to live in Israel.

 

Izzy met Rebecca and lost his head

So he asked the question and they soon got wed.

They had two sons for goodness sake

And called one Esau and the other Jake.

 

Jacob, the younger was so clever they say

So he and his mum made a plan one day,

Jake dressed as Esau and they both got busy,

To trick a promise out of old blind Izzy.

 

Izzy hoped that Esau could be a sensation,

As the one to found the Jewish Nation.

But in confusion he didn't know who to choose

So Jacob became the next of the Jews.

 

Jacob worked for seven years just to get wed,

Thought he'd marry Rachel but got Leah instead.

For Rachel he worked for seven years more,

(don't trust your bosses, that's for sure).

 

He ended with four wives and then twelve sons

So life for Jacob wasn't such fun.

The house was never empty, always full of noise

With his wives, their friends and all those boys.

 

Jake's youngest sons he loved more than the rest,

Benjamin and Joseph who was a real pest.

He translated dreams and told others that he

Would soon be just like royalty.

 

Joseph's brothers could take no more

They wanted him away for sure

So when they saw some merchants they gave a wave

And sold poor Joseph to be a slave.

 

But Joseph was a bit too clever for that,

For in Egypt he became a diplomat.

He persuaded the farmers to store their food

As he knew the good weather would change its mood.

 

When the famine came there were no fears,

Everyone had prepared for years.

But the brothers were hungry and getting thin,

No food in the fridge, no bread in the bin.

 

So they went to see their brother Jake,

To get some food and a piece of cake.

They said, "Help us our plate is empty",

Jake invited them to live in the land of plenty.

 

In Israel the crops all withered and died,

But living in Egypt the Jews multiplied.

Years later there became a new Pharaoh,

And of the family of Jacob, he did not know.

 

He said, "Who are these terrible Jews?

They eat our food and use our loos.

This is wrong, make them work for less,

And build me a palace at Ramases."

 

"A city at Pithom is what I crave,

I'll make every Jew a slave,

If that's not enough I'll take their toys,

And kill all of their baby boys."

 

A boy was born to a Jewish wife

And she was determined to save his life.

She made a basket that would float,

And put Moses on the river just like a boat.

 

Moses grew up to care for the sheep

A peaceful job he'd like to keep.

He enjoyed his life, didn't like to rush,

And then he saw a burning bush.

 

Although the bush was well on fire,

The flames seemed to get no higher.

The bush survived the flames just fine,

Moses decided this was a sign.

 

He had to go and save the Jews

There really was no time to lose!

He had to go and make it snappy,

The Jews were really quite unhappy.

 

Moses' brother knew a few neat tricks

That might put Pharaoh in a fix,

But when Moses said, "Let my people go".

Pharaoh just smiled and replied NO.

 

Moses said, "We'll turn the rivers to blood"

Pharaoh didn't believe he could.

Then on the day the water turned red,

Pharaoh changed his mind instead.

 

But then again he changed his mind

And said, "The Jews must stay behind".

Frogs were sent to make Pharaoh think

Which got in your bed and blocked your sink!

 

Pharaoh thought and thought and thought once more,

And he chose not to open the door,

He just wanted the Jews to stay,

He liked his palaces built that way.

 

Moses sent a plague of lice,

It made you itch, not very nice

Pharaoh didn't change in the least

So Moses sent some wild beasts.

 

Pharaoh wouldn't decide so quick,

And then the cattle all got sick.

But Pharaoh still wouldn't let them go,

So was covered with boils from head to toe.

 

To make Pharaoh think once again

Moses sent a plague of rain,

But this rain came in just like a gale

And instead of water, fell like hail.

 

Locusts then ate all the crops,

And all the food in all the shops,

But Pharaoh still wouldn't change his plan

He really wasn't that kind of man.

 

After all the plagues that Moses sent

Pharaoh was still adamant.

Darkness fell for half a week,

Pharaoh, he just went to sleep.

 

Moses said, "I've sent nine plagues,

You've not changed even one of your ways.

Now your last chance has come and gone

Tonight will die your only son."

 

On that spring night the moon was round

And in the morning it was found,

That it was just as Moses had feared

Only the Jewish homes were spared.

 

In other homes throughout the land

No eldest son could raise a hand

All has died during the night

And before the morning light .......

 

Moses went to Pharaoh who dried his eyes

He said, "Don't wait for your bread to rise,

Don't eat breakfast or have a shower,

Take your people and go within the hour."

 

They took all they could and became free,

And ran all the way to the Red Sea.

But Pharaoh sent his army to follow them

As he had changed his mind again.

 

The Jews would be caught on dry land

But the Red Sea opened leaving dry land

They charged through and when they turned round

They saw Pharaoh's army had all been drowned.

 

Passover poem 1996

 

Long time ago in a far away land,

A powerful king lived amid the sand

The Pharaoh ruled as he did choose

And he didn't think much of those pesky Jews.

 

He made them slaves so they'd do his bid

And build for him a pyramid.

But he wouldn't want them when its done

So he decided to kill off every baby son.

 

When Moses was born his mum didn't fret

She wasn't gonna lose her son just yet

She thought she'd hide him for a while

And set him afloat on the River Nile

 

Moses' sister made sure he was OK

As he cruised the river both night and day

Till Pharaoh's daughter found him there

As she was washing her underwear

 

She looked and said "well goodness me,

I really wanted a little baby.

Having one yourself can't be much fun,

So I'll just take care of this little one."

 

Moses grew up in the princess's pad

And soon he became quite a lad

But his sister was his nanny and made sure he knew

That like all the slaves he was a Jew.

 

One day Moses saw what seemed a fight

A guard beating a slave with all his might

Mo killed the guard with a great big thump

And the noise even made Pharaoh jump.

 

Moses ran away, he had to dash

Had to get a job, he had no cash

With no qualifications and no degree

All he knew was how to live like royalty.

 

The job centre wouldn't help one little bit

Said he couldn't get no benefit

A friend suggested "Work on the land,

Look after the sheep, its cash in hand."

 

T'was easy money, no tax to pay

Then a bush started burning along the way

Moses thought "What can this be?"

And a voice said, "Go, set your people free."

 

This worried Moses 'cos there was no fee

And he'd just got a job with security

But Moses knew he'd do what he was told,

Didn't ask no questions, he wasn't that bold.

 

Went to Pharaoh's court, said "What d'ya know,

It's time to let my people go."

Pharaoh laughed and sent him packing

But Moses turned at the door and shouted back in..

 

"I'll send you plagues, the first of blood

Then you'll see I ain't no dud.

And if you'll not let the slaves go free

They'll be nine more plagues, just wait and see."

 

First blood then frogs then lice came and went

Soon wild beasts and cattle sickness Moses sent.

Everyone had boils and were hurt by hail

Locusts ate the crops and the light did fail.

 

Pharaoh didn't care a little bit

He'd had the last plague and thought that was it

He needed his slaves to work night and day

The new palace wasn't finished anyway.

 

Moses spoke to the Jews and said "listen here

I'll make my instructions very clear

Go and have dinner but don't eat what you wish

Don't cook no beef or chips and fish

 

Make sure you cook a meal with lamb

(You don't need me to tell you to eat no ham!)

Dab some blood from the lamb above the door

Then we'll know you're Jews for sure.

 

The angel of death will Passover the place

Of every member of the Jewish race

But death will strike as you will see

In the houses of those who don't have lamb for tea."

 

Pharaoh woke to find his son had died

He just sat down on his throne and cried

He knew that he had no other choice

And said "Let them go" with a very sad voice.

 

Before the sun rose the Jews had to go

No time to pack or pay the milk bill so...

They left some change on the doorstep

They didn't want to leave behind no debt.

 

They went to the sea and the passed through it

Pharaoh's army chased them, you just knew it

He'd decide that after all the plagues has gone

He still needed his palaces done

 

But the sea wouldn't stay and the soldiers were drowned

The Jews walked free but then they found

They had to walk for forty years more

And were ordered around like slaves as they were before!

 

 

 

Passover 1997 (Election Year)

 

There was no food in the Promised Land

All the fields had turned to sand

No rain had fallen for quite a time

The rivers were dry and full of slime.

 

The situation was very grave

And Jacob's sons just weren't so brave

So they went to see their brother Joe

They'd sold him several years ago.

 

As a slave he went across the sea

To Egypt, and soon he was set free

Cos, he'd solved the famine of the Egyptian nation

And also invented refrigeration.

 

He knew food storage was the key

To increase personal equity

His business mind was able and willing

The market was there, he made a killing.

 

So that's how the Jews came to stay

In a place so far away.

They worked hard to earn their pay

And paid their tax in the usual way.

 

But then there was a General Election

A big mistake on reflection,

As the new leader came to be

Pharaoh, (They called him the big P)

 

He said, "Who are these Jewish folk,

There's too many of them, that's no joke

They could vote me out if they all voted Labour."

(He sounds a bit like our John Major)

 

"I'll make sure they have no power

They'll have to work for nothing an hour.

They'll slave away and it won't matter

Cos I'll not sign that Social Chapter!"

 

But Moses said "This isn't right,

We work hard both day and night

Pharaoh must see this isn't fair"

(He sounds a bit like Tony Blair)

 

"If you won't let my people go

I'll send you plagues like billy-o.

The rivers will all turn blood red"

And it happened just as he had said.

 

He sent frogs and lice and locusts too

The Egyptians just didn't know what to do

Boils and hail, the cattle got sick

But Pharaoh had another trick.

 

He'd say, "You go" but then changed his plan

He was a very stubborn man

He would keep on and on telling lies,

He just refused to compromise.

 

Moses gave him one last chance

To move from his intransigent stance

His ideology had to go

New Pharaoh, New rules, New manifesto.

 

But big P wouldn't listen anymore

He was right and he was sure

Moses had one last try,

"Let us go or your only son will die!"

 

And on that night, the first Passover feast

Egyptians didn't celebrate in the least

In every family the firstborn male

Had died, the last plague didn't fail

 

And Pharaoh he said "Emigrate,

You're too much trouble so don't be late.

And if I think you pack too slow

I'll get my soldiers to kick you" .... so

 

The Jews got their clothes and hat and scarf

They got their passport photograph

They took Walkers crisps and their French fries

But they couldn't wait for their bread to rise

 

And so each year we tell the Passover story

The nice bits and some that are gory

We smile as we all eat our Matzot

Cos long ago in Egypt the ovens weren't so hot.

 

Passover Poem 1998 (A bit topical)

 

Abraham and Isaac led such exciting lives

But not as much as Jacob who had four wives.

And then with twelve sons so it would seem

He could manage the first Israeli football team.

 

Benjamin the youngest was very cute

Even though he was just the substitute

And Joseph was the winger in his brightly coloured kit

But he'd dribble not pass and didn't seem to fit.

 

The team had to change, it was such a pity

So Joseph was sold to play for Cairo City

And there became the team's main man

As he introduced a seven year plan.

 

Told Egypt to save in the years of plenty

As without their larders would soon be empty

Food was stored, Joseph kept a list

He was a pretty cool economist.

 

Soon the Israeli Team came to play

And though they lost they wanted to stay

To learn the Egyptian Football Skill

And eat some food and not get ill.

 

Years later they still hadn't learnt it all

There came a Pharaoh who hated football

He just wasted his palaces to be built up

And he'd never heard of The World Cup

 

Then there came Moses with his football brain

Knew he had to get the team home so they could train

To free Jewish slaves was his first goal

And then to teach them proper ball control

 

Pharaoh wasn't happy , needed his work done

A half finished palace is not much fun

Moses needed his Jewish nation

There were matches to play in qualification

 

He went to Pharaoh with his brother the priest

Pharaoh he didn't care in the least

Moses warned of plagues if he didn't play ball

And taught him all about the offside rule

 

So rivers turned to blood so Pharaoh could see

The power of Moses' prophecy

Frogs and Lice made everyone itch

And wild beasts ruined the football pitch.

 

It was as bad as playing Leeds United

Then Pestilence came, the cattle were blighted.

And the cows were as ill as they could be

This plague was worse than BSE

 

Boils covered the Egyptians from heads to feet

It hurt to sit or stand or lie or eat

Then came hail as big as golf balls

Which smashed the windows and damaged the walls.

 

Moses sent locusts who ate all the corn

Then darkness came they was no dawn

After nine plagues the Pharaoh did make no sound

He wouldn't let the Jews play on their home ground

 

Moses said, "Were now in added time,

You've one last chance to toe the line.

If you don't let my people go

Things will be worse than you could ever know."

 

"Because if my team can't leave to train

The first born of Egypt will not rise again.

This will happen, it will be done

And be sure it will include your eldest son."

 

That night as the Jews filled their bellies

With a meal of lamb, ice cream and jelly.

But the Egyptian sons that night all died

Just as Moses had prophecied.

 

So Pharaoh finally said "You must go,

It's time to leave as you well know.

Pack all your clothes and all your pies

You've no time to wait for your bread to rise.

 

And Moses led them back to the promised land

Across the sea and across the sand

'Cos through the dessert they all did roam

For forty years to get back home.

 

And then the World cup again came near

And though the team had trained for forty years

They tried to play as they had been told

But after forty years they were just to old.