by Stan Beiner
We've used this book at our seder for 20 years, ever since my eldest was 5. It's got short plays for every sedra — and the four for the exodus are outstanding. They are directly based on torah text, but also just a bit silly and lots of fun for kids to do. The humor works for adults, teens, and kids. Ours rehearse while the grownups have a grownup discussion; then they rejoin the seder and take center stage.
54 skits — everything from Bereishit to V'zot HaBracha. The author finds something that works even for the harder sedras where there isn't any obvious “storytelling.” New edition is gender-sensitive (God is not a dude).
Excerpt from Shemot
NARRATOR: And Moses was tending the sheep of his father-in-law Jethro and he drove his flock toward Mt. Horeb, the mountain of God.
MOSES: Look at that. A burning bush. It is on fire but it is not burning up. That is incredible. How is it doing that? I’ve got to get in closer for a better look.
GOD: Moses! Moses!
MOSES: Here I am. Who said that? Where are you?
GOD: Don’t come closer. Remove your sandals for you are on holy ground.
MOSES: Who is talking?
GOD: I am the God of your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
MOSES: Oh. Sorry to disturb you. I’ll leave quietly. Nice bush.
GOD: Stay, Moses. It is time to rescue the Hebrew people from slavery and bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey.
MOSES: That’s very nice.
GOD: I shall send you to Pharaoh and you shall free the Hebrews.
MOSES: Me? I am a wanted criminal. You must have made a mistake.
GOD: You, Moses.
MOSES: All right. Suppose I go? When the Hebrews ask, who shall I say sent me?
GOD: I Am that I Am. The Being of the universe sends you. You tell them that.
MOSES: What about Pharaoh? What if he doesn’t listen to me?
GOD: He will listen. Throw your rod down.
MOSES: This rod is important to me. I tend sheep and climb hills with it. Oh, okay. Hey, it’s turned into a snake.
GOD: Pick it up.
MOSES: Pick up a snake?
GOD: Trust me, Moses.
MOSES: Okay. Ho! It turned back into a rod. Excellent.
GOD: Good. Now go.
MOSES: But I can’t speak to Pharaoh. I stu, stu, stu, stutter.
GOD: If necessary, your brother Aaron can act as spokesperson. Even now, he’s coming to greet you. Now move along.