This is a basic overview of the parsha story in a “Q&A” format adaptable for kids of any age. Answers in brackets are traditional responses, from parsha text and midrash. But be open to anything your child might have to say!
To punish מֹשֶׁה, the newפַּרְעֹה is making them work harder than ever before!
ה׳ reminds משה of the promises he made to… (אברהם, יצחק and יעקב)
ה׳ uses four special words to explain how much he loves בני ישראל:
· וְהוֹצֵאתִי - I will bring you out of מִצְרַיִם
· וְהִצַּלְתִּי - I will save you from hard work
· וְלָקַחְתִּי - I will take you close to Me
We remember these four words at the סֵדֶר (Seder) with… (four cups of wine or grape juice!)
ה׳ also makes a fifth promise: וְהֵבֵאתִי - I will bring you to אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן !
סֵפֶר שְׁמוֹת is all about ה׳ keeping promises; all these things will come true!
Was life good for בני ישראל? (no, they were miserable)
Did they believe משה when he told them what ה׳ would do? (no, they were working too hard!)
משה and אַהֲרֹן went again to ask פרעה… (to let בני ישראל go)
Did פרעה listen to משה and אהרן? (no, he did not!)
אהרן and משה tried proving they really were sent from ה׳!
Was פרעה impressed? (no, his magicians could turn their sticks into snakes, too!)
What happened to the other magicians’ snakes? (אהרן’s snake ate them all up!)
פרעה’s heart was “hardened”; ה׳ knew he wouldn’t listen, no matter what.
ה׳ needed to send ten punishments – we call them מַכּוֹת (in English, plagues)!
All the water in מצרים turned… (into blood)
Did בני ישראל have water still? (yes, in גושן, the water didn’t change)
Each time, פרעה didn’t listen, so each time, ה׳ sent more מכות!
Some people say there was only one… (big frog; the מצריים hit it & it turned into many little frogs!)
פרעה’s magicians told him this was really from ה׳, but he still… (didn’t listen)
The fifth מכה was… (דֶּבֶר, cattle disease). All the animals of the מצריים… (got sick and died)
Did בני ישראל have sick animals? (no, all their animals stayed healthy)
Even after all of that, פרעה’s heart was hardened; he wouldn’t listen to משה and אהרן!
· He hoped they would do תְּשׁוּבָה, and
· He wanted בני ישראל to see how much He loved them.
We will learn about three more מכות in next week’s parsha!