How Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga Saved The Jewish People

We are learning about Passover in my 2nd grade religious school class right now (it begins at sunset on March 29), and I wanted to share something hilarious that my class did this morning. When I arrived at school I was really excited to find a Passover Mad Lib in my teacher mailbox. Kids who are seven or eight years old LOVE Mad Libs, and we’ve done one in class for Purim before, but never Passover, so I was eager to use it.

What follows is the Mad Lib that the class created, with their crazy fill-in-the-blank suggestions in bold type. (P.S. I did NOT fill in any of the blanks myself: it’s all from the mouths of babes!) After the Mad Lib, you can read what the story REALLY is, in case you’re curious.

The Story of Hanukkah

Many years ago, the Jewish people, called Hebrews, lived in the land of the North Pole. At first everything was fine and the Hebrews could play Wii, soccer, hockey, and football, and pray to their God as they pleased. But soon a new Pharaoh came into power and he was very super-excited. He forced the Hebrews to do homework, jump off cliffs, and drown in the water. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he also said that every baby boy born to a Hebrew mother was to be hurled into Lake Erie.

One day around this time a Hebrew baby boy was born. His name was Justin Timberlake. His mother did not want him to die, so she put him in a round container and set him to float in the DuPage River. His sister, Lady Gaga, hid behind a rosebush to see who would find him. Soon a princess named P!nk found him and decided to keep him. Lady Gaga went up to P!nk and said, “I know just the right person to take care of this baby,” and she went to get her mother, (figure skater) Tara Lipinski. And so it came to be that Tara Lipinski raised Justin Timberlake in the palace of the Pharaoh. When Justin Timberlake grew up, he saw that his people suffered and this made him cry really bad. When he was standing by a well one day tending to some sharks, he was visited by God. “Go to Pharaoh,” said God, and tell him “You are weird!”

So Justin Timberlake went to Pharaoh and said “You are weird” and Pharaoh responded “You are mean.” Justin Timberlake warned Pharaoh that terrible things would happen if he did not set the Hebrews free. Five hundred and seven times, bad things called plagues happened and each time Pharaoh promised to set the Hebrews free but then he changed his finger. The last plague, the killing of all the first born North Pole sons was so bad that Pharaoh said “Go and leave the North Pole.”

Word spread via two tin cans on a string that the Hebrews should pack quickly for their journey. They took suitcases and undies but they did not have time to make watermelon. Rather than wait for the watermelon to be ready, they threw together some chocolate and wine, and brought that with them.

When the Hebrews reached the Pacific Ocean they realized that Pharaoh’s army was following them. But a great miracle happened. The water froze and the Hebrews were able to cross to freedom while Pharaoh’s army played water polo. The Hebrews were no longer slaves and they were able to make religious school crafts freely.

Every year from then on Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah by cleaning their homes and getting rid of steak. They gather together at a swim meet to tell the story of Hanukkah and remember that though they were once slaves, they are now free. Each year, the children ask four questions:

1. Why are frogs green?
2. Why do we have hands?
3. Why is grass green?
4. Why do mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears?

As they read through a special book called Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the questions are answered. At the swim meet they eat special foods such as baseball soup and cheeseburgers, and drink 400 cups of soda. They sing special songs such as “The Climb” and “Tik Tok”. A special piece of cheeseburgers, called the Afikomen, is hidden, and as a result of the searching, the children all get iPod Touches.

The real story?

The Story of Passover

Many years ago, the Jewish people, called Hebrews, lived in the land of Egypt. At first everything was fine and the Hebrews could practice their faith and pray to their God as they pleased. But soon a new Pharaoh came into power and he was very mean. He forced the Hebrews to work very hard and made them slaves. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he also said that every baby boy born to a Hebrew mother was to be hurled into the river.

One day around this time a Hebrew baby boy was born. His name was Moses. His mother did not want him to die, so she put him in a basket and set him to float in the Nile River. His sister, Miriam, hid behind the bulrushes to see who would find him. Soon a princess named Bithya found him and decided to keep him. Miriam went up to Bithya and said, “I know just the right person to take care of this baby,” and she went to get her mother, Yochaved. And so it came to be that Yochaved raised Moses in the palace of the Pharaoh. When Moses grew up, he saw that his people suffered and this made him angry. When he was standing by a well one day tending to some sheep, he was visited by God. “Go to Pharaoh,” said God, and tell him “Let my people go!”

So Moses went to Pharaoh and said “Let my people go!” and Pharaoh responded “No!” Moses warned Pharaoh that terrible things would happen if he did not set the Hebrews free. Ten times, bad things called plagues happened and each time Pharaoh promised to set the Hebrews free but then he changed his mind. The last plague, the killing of all the first born Egyptian sons was so bad that Pharaoh said “Go and leave Egypt.”

Word spread via mouth that the Hebrews should pack quickly for their journey. They took flocks and herds but they did not have time to make bread. Rather than wait for the bread to be ready, they threw together some flour and water, and brought that with them.

When the Hebrews reached the Red Sea they realized that Pharaoh’s army was following them. But a great miracle happened. The water parted and the Hebrews were able to cross to freedom while Pharaoh’s army drowned. The Hebrews were no longer slaves and they were able to pray freely.

Every year from then on Jewish people celebrate Passover by cleaning their homes and getting rid of chametz. They gather together at a seder to tell the story of Passover and remember that though they were once slaves, they are now free. Each year, the children ask four questions:

1. “Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we eat only matzoh?”
2. “Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?”
3. “Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?” and
4. “Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?”

As they read through a special book called a haggadah, the questions are answered. At the seder they eat special foods such as matzo ball soup and matzah, and drink 4 cups of wine or grape juice. They sing special songs such as “Dayenu” and “Chad Gadya”. A special piece of matzah, called the Afikomen, is hidden, and as a result of the searching, the children all get small prizes or money.

In case you were wondering how my family in particular celebrates the Passover holiday, you can read about it here.

©2010 Suburban Scrawl

  1. Dude. I'm totally with these kids on the whole "Forget the watermelon – just bring the chocolate and wine" part…

  2. I love their creativity! And I do believe that a dip in Lake Erie is a fate worse than death. Did you post the one they did from Purim? I'd love to hear which female figure saved the Jews.

  3. ok…this is going to be OUR HAGADDAH THIS YEAR! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This is such a great idea..and great way to get everyone involved. I have never heard of this!!!!Passover today is so much more fun than it was in my day..boxes of plagues, song parodies and now madlibs!!! Fun teacher, you are! Yea, they get itouches in our house too!! I'd like to see/hear JT do "let my peeps go"!

  4. All day I saw your post on the google reader on my blackberry and I'm thinking to myself "Justin isn't Jewish, is he? GaGa I don't know but Justin I think not". Hmm

    This may be the BEST mad lib story I have ever read. I just lost it at the end with Tik Tok and iPod touches! LOL! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Hahaha what a fabulous mad lib. "they threw together some chocolate and wine, and brought that with them" love it!

    I can't believe Passover is almost here! My husband and I went a little overboard last year with buying macaroons and matza…we still have some left! Not sure why we thought we would want to keep eating them after Passover…

  6. You forgot to mention that the brought Sexy back, with a Poker Face.

    Fun way to teach the kids!

    Enjoy!

  7. are they birth siblings or perhaps is one of them adopted? b.c they don't really look alike.

  8. The hell with the real story. The first story was perfect!!!

    I am so proud of the Hebrews for having their priorities straight and packing the wine and chocolate (and not waiting for the watermelon)!

  9. SO cool. And hey, if I could travel with chocolate and wine, I'd be all over it. Great job by them. And to think that I'm missing iPod touches every year 😉