Feb 02

שמות Exodus for Shorashim and Shteelim (N-3, N-4, K)

Below is the version of שמות (Shmot-Exodus) chapters 3-15 that nursery and kindergarten children have been hearing at the Jewish Enrichment Center.

The Burning Bush

A long time after that, the old Pharaoh died. The Israelite slaves cried out to God. God heard the Israelites crying and remembered his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

One day Moshe led Yitro’s flock of sheep into the wilderness and came to Chorev, the mountain of God. There an angel of God was in a blazing fire in the middle of a bush. Moshe saw that the bush was burning, but was not burned up by the flames.

Moshe said, “I must go look at this! Why isn’t the bush burning up?” Then God called to Moshe out of the bush: Moshe! Moshe!” Moshe answered, “Here I am.” God said, “Do not come any closer! Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. “What if they will not listen to me?” said Moshe. “What if they say, ‘God did not come to you!’” God replied, “What is in your hand?” Moshe answered, “A staff.” God said, “Throw it to the ground.” So Moshe threw it to the ground, and it became a snake. Then God said to Moshe, “Grab the snake by its tail.” Moshe did so, and the snake turned back into a staff. God said, “Now they will believe that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has come to you.” Then God said, “Put your hand inside your shirt.” Moshe did so. When he pulled out his hand, it was white and itchy.” Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your shirt.” Moshe did so, and when he pulled out his hand a second time, it wasn’t white and itchy anymore.” “If the Israelite leaders don’t believe you yet,” said God, “take some water from the Nile river, pour it on the ground, and the water will turn into blood.”

But Moshe said, “Please, God, my mouth isn’t good at talking.” God said to him, “Go on now, I will be with you as you speak and tell you what to say. But Moshe said, “Please God, choose someone else.”

God became angry with Moshe and said, “Your brother, Aharon, is on his way to meet you, and he will be happy to see you. I know that he speaks well. I will be with both of you as you speak and will tell you both what to do. Now go back to Egypt, because the men who wished to kill you are now dead. Take this staff with you, to do the signs (the three things I showed you – the snake, white/itchy hand, and blood) .

Then Moshe went back to Yitro and said, “Let me go back to my family in Egypt and see how they are doing.” Yitro said, “Go in peace.” Then Moshe placed his wife and two sons upon a donkey and headed toward the land of Egypt.

The Ten Plagues

Moshe and Aharon came to speak to the Israelites in Egypt. They told the people everything God said to Moshe and did the signs for the people and the people believed them.

Then Moshe and Aharon went to Pharaoh and said, “Let us go three days into the desert and pray to our God.”

But Pharaoh said to them, “You are stopping the people from doing work.”

Pharaoh said, “The Israelites are lazy. From now on I will not give you any straw to make bricks but you have to make the same number of bricks as before.”

So the people had to work even harder and they did not make enough bricks. The Israelite leaders said to Moshe and Aharon, “May God punish you [that’s like the Israelite leaders saying I hope bad things happen to you…] for giving the Egyptians a reason to hurt us.”

God said to Moshe, “Go to Pharaoh and say everything I told you to say and your brother Aharon will speak to Pharaoh. Tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave his land.”

So Moshe and Aharon went to Pharaoh but Pharaoh wouldn’t let the Israelites leave the land.”

God brought 10 plagues on the Egyptians.

דם שחין
צפרדע ברד
כינים ארבה
ערוב חשך
דבר מכת בכורות

Aharon took the staff and struck the water in the Nile before the eyes of Pharaoh and his servants and all the water in the Nile turned to blood.

Pharaoh’s magicians also made blood, and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened.

Seven days passed, then Aharon stretched his staff over the water of the Nile and frogs came out and covered the land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh called his magicians and they also made frogs cover Egypt.

But when the frogs went away, Pharaoh’s heart hardened again.

And Aharon brought lice on the people and the animals in Egypt. Now the magicians tried to make lice come, but they could not.

Moshe and Aharon brought millions of insects into Egypt but in Goshen, where the Israelites lived, no insects came. Pharaoh still would not let the people go.

Then God struck the animals of Egypt with a plague, but no animals of the Israelites died. Still Pharaoh did not set the people free.

The people and animals of Egypt got boils, [red things on their body that hurt a lot] but God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.

God rained hail and fire on the land of Egypt, the animals and the people, the trees and the grasses; everything got broken. But there was no hail in Goshen, where the Israelites lived.

Pharaoh called Moshe and Aharon to come quickly and said, “Stop this hail!” But when the thunder and hail stopped, Pharaoh again began to do wrong.

When it was morning, the locusts came. They covered Egypt and the ground went dark. The locusts ate everything that was green–every plant that the hail didn’t destroy. But God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he did not let the people go.

And Moshe stretched out his arm and dark covered everything. For three days, no one could go out, but the Israelites had light in their houses.

Pharaoh said to Moshe, “Go pray to your God. Your children can go too. But you cannot take your sheep and cattle.”

But Moshe said, “We will take with us our sheep and cattle. No animal will stay behind.”

And again God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he said to Moshe, “Go away from me! Do not see my face again, for on the day you see my face, you will die!”

And Moshe said, “You are right, I will not see your face again.”

God said to Moshe,  “I will bring one last plague upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. After that, he will let you go.

Then Moshe said to Pharaoh, “God says: ‘At midnight I will go out among the Egyptians and every firstborn (The first baby that a mommy and daddy have) in the land of Egypt will die–from the firstborn of Phraraoh on his throne, to the firstborn of the slave girl, and all the firstborn of the cattle. And there will be a loud cry through the land of Egypt, that has never been heard before and will never be that loud again.

But God hardened Par’oh’s heart so that he would not let the people go.

And now at midnight, God struck dead every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoners in jail to every firstborn of the animals.

Pharaoh got up in the night, and everyone in Egypt, and there was a loud cry in Egypt.

That night Pharaoh called Moshe and Aharon and said, “Get out of my land, you and the Israelites with you! Go pray to your God. Take your sheep and your cattle and leave.”

All the Egyptians rushed the Israelites to leave quickly, saying, “We will soon all be  dead.”

The Israelites took their dough in bowls, wrapped in their clothing. They traveled as six hundred thousand men on foot, and the women and children. And they baked the dough they had brought into flatbread because they were driven out of Egypt in a great hurry and did not have time to make food for the trip.

The Splitting of the Sea of Reeds

When Pharaoh learned that the Israelites were gone, his heart changed. He said, “Why did we let them go?”

He got his chariot ready and he took six hundred warriors, and they chased after the Israelites. They reached the Israelites while they were camping at sea.

When the Israelites saw the Egyptians coming, they were afraid and they cried out to God.

They said to Moshe, “Did you bring us into the wilderness to die? What have you done to us taking us out of Egypt?”

But Moshe said to them, “Do not be afraid! Wait and see how God will save you today! The Egyptians that you see today, you will never see again. God will fight for you. Now be quiet!”

Then God said to Moshe, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to keep moving forward. Hold your staff out over the sea and split it, so that the Israelites can walk through the sea on dry land. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so they will come in after the Israelites. Then the Egyptians will know that I am God.”

Then Moshe stretched his arm out over the sea, and God drove back the waters with a strong east wind all night, so that the sea turned into dry land, and the waters were split apart. The Israelites walked into the sea on dry land, and the waters formed a wall to their right and to their left.

The Egyptians came after them into the sea, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and horsemen. At sunrise, God made things crazy for the Egyptian army. God locked the wheels of their chariot so they had trouble moving forward.”

Then God said to Moshe, “stretch your arm over the sea, so that the waters crash down upon the Egyptians, their chariots, and their horsemen.”

At Sunrise, Moshe stretched his arm out over the sea, and the water came back.” God threw the Egyptian army into the sea, so that the waters covered the chariots and horsemen, and Pharaoh’s entire army. No one was left.

But the Israelites marched through the sea on dry land, and the waters made a wall on their right and on their left.

So God saved Israel from the Egyptians that day. When the people saw God’s mighty power, they believed in God and in Moshe.

Then Moshe and the Israelites sang this song to God:

I will sing to God, because God has triumphed.

Horse and rider God has thrown into the sea!


Mi Chamocha, ba’elim Adonai

Mi Chamocha, ne’dar bakodesh

Who is like you, O God, among the mighty?

Who is like you, great in holiness!


Then Miriam the prophet took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, dancing with their tambourine and drums.

Miriam chanted to them:

Sing to God, for God has triumphed-

Horse and rider God has thrown into the sea!




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