What is this work?

מה העבודה הזאת לכם
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Written by:
Lifnai Vlifnim Staff
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שמות פרק יב

And you shall keep this matter as a statute for you and for your children forever.

And it shall come to pass when you enter the land that the Lord will give you, as He spoke, that you shall observe this service.

And it will come to pass if your children say to you, What is this service to you?

you shall say…

כד. וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה לְחׇק־לְךָ וּלְבָנֶיךָ עַד־עוֹלָם

כה. וְהָיָה כִּי־תָבֹאוּ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יִתֵּן יְהֹוָה לָכֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֵּר וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת־הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּאת

כו. וְהָיָה כִּי־יֹאמְרוּ אֲלֵיכֶם בְּנֵיכֶם מָה הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּאת לָכֶם

כז. וַאֲמַרְתֶּם

Questions for Reflections

מה בו

What are בני ישראל being told to do here? 

What words stand out to you?

What questions do you have? 


מה לבו

Imagine you are a Jew living a few generations after Yetizat Mitzrayim. What are you doing around the holiday of Pesach? Why are you doing it?


What questions are your children asking you?


How would you respond to them?



מה לי בו


(a) “ושמרתם..לחק לך ולבניך” - What is something that you do, that may sometimes not make sense or feel meaningful to you, because others have told you it is important? 


“מה העבודה הזאת לכם…ואמרתם” - How would you explain why you are doing this if someone asked you?


(b) “ושמרתם” - What is something that you do because it is personally meaningful to you? 


“מה העבודה הזאת לכם” - What questions might someone ask you about it?


“ואמרתם” - How would you respond to them?

Notes to Teacher

  1. Choose one of the two examples and describe what you do to your chavruta. 
  2. Chavruta asks: מה העבודה הזאת לכם? 
  3. You respond with your answer.
  4. Chavruta reflects what you said back to you and asks again: מה העבודה הזאת לכם? 
  5. You respond with your answer.
  6. Switch chavrutot and start again.
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Please help others by sharing how you used the resource, how you adapted it (link to your own version!) and what worked more or less well. You can also post questions that Lifnai Vlifnim staff or community members will try to respond to.

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