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Put Your Knowledge to the Test With “Speed Maggid” This Passover

April 13, 2022

Test your knowledge with "Speed Maggid" this holiday!  During our Passover session in our Holiday Bootcamp series, journalist and Central member Abby Pogrebin shared this creative (and instructive!) way to recount the story of Exodus during seder. Are you up for the challenge? You can make your own rules, but here are two suggestions: Set a timer, and you (JUST YOU) call out the questions for the kids (or adults) to shout answers and try to beat your time record each year OR split the table into two teams or choose two relatives to compete. Keep score! 

1. The Torah is also known as The Five Books of_________?


2. In which of The Five books of Moses does the Passover story appear?


3. What is the Hebrew word for Exodus?


4. At the start of the story, Pharaoh looks around and sees too many Israelites populating Egypt, so he issues what decree?

Throw into the Nile every newborn Isarelite boy.

5. There are two midwives who refuse to carry out that order; what are their names?

Shifra and Puah.

6. What is the name of Moses’ sister?


7. Moses’ brother?


8. Baby Moses is spared by the midwives, and after he has been alive for 3 months and his mother, Yocheved, doesn’t feel she can hide him anymore, what does she do with him?

Puts him in a basket, sends it down the Nile River.

9 Who watches over his basket and makes sure he gets down the Nile safely?


10. Who finds Moses and pulls him out of the basket: Pharaoh’s wife or daughter?

Daughter - Batya.

11. What does Moses’ name mean?

“Drawn out of the water.”

12. When baby Moses is crying in Pharaoh’s daughter’s arms, who suggests that there’s a Jewish nursemaid who could feed him?


13. Who does Miriam recommend?

Moses’s mom, Yocheved.

14. So Moses is essentially adopted by Pharaoh and grows up in the Egyptian court. Did he know growing up that he was a Jew?


15. We have to make a quick detour for one Talmudic story about Moses, which we all heard growing up. Click on the arrow to see the full question.

Baby Moses is sitting on Pharaoh’s lap and reaches for Pharaoh’s crown. Pharaoh worries this means he’s going to steal the throne some day and says, ‘I guess I have to kill him.’ A test is suggested: put out a lump of gold and a lump of hot coal in front of Moses. Which does Moses reach for?

Answer: The coal.

16. What does Moses do with his fingers when he pulls them away from the hot coal?

 Touches his tongue, burns it.

17. How does this affect his speech forever?

He has a stutter. 

18. What does Moses say later when he tells God he’s not the right guy to lead his people out of Egypt?

I am slow of speech and tongue.

19. Moses is older, watching the Israelite slaves building the pyramids in terrible heat without much food or water, and he’s disturbed by what he sees. When an Egyptian slave master starts beating a slave, Moses is furious and does what in reaction?

Kills the Egyptian.

20. Moses knows he’s committed a murder, so what does he do out of fear?

Runs away.

21. He runs to Midian and gets a new job; what is it?


22. While tending sheep, he meets a woman and marries her; what is her name?


23. Was she Jewish?


24. Extra credit: what’s her dad’s name?

Jethro or Yitro.

25. One day Moses is out with his flock and God appears to him — in what form?

A burning bush. 

26. The bush is in flames, but what is odd about that fire?

It doesn’t consume the bush. 

27. When God calls out Moses’ name, what is the famous line that Moses answers – in English or Hebrew?

“Here I am” or “Hineini.”

28. When Moses starts approaching the bush, what piece of clothing does God’s voice instruct him to remove?


29. Why?

Because he’s standing on sacred ground.

30. What task does God instruct Moses to go and do?

Save his people, the Israelites.

31. How does Moses respond to that assignment?

No thanks. 

32. What does Moses tell God is the reason he’s not the right man for the job?

He doesn’t think the Israelites will listen to him; he’s slow of speech.

33. When Moses tells God that “The Israelites won’t believe that I speak for you,” what is one trick that God does to prove to Moses he’ll have powers?

Turns a staff into a serpent, turns water into blood, etc.

34. Moses finally goes back to Egypt and tells Pharaoh to do what?

“Let my people go.”

35. Does Pharaoh say okay, fine?


36. So God sends ten plagues. What is the first? Second? Ninth plague?

First: Blood

Second: Frogs

Ninth: Darkness

37. During the plague of darkness, some people could still see; which people?

The Jews; they were spared God’s punishment.

38: The plagues keep getting worse and worse, and after each one, Pharaoh at first says, “Okay, I’ll let your people go,” but then he changes his mind. Who, according to the Torah, makes him change his mind and “hardens his heart”?


39. What does God resort to as the worst plague?

Killing of the Egyptians’ first born.

40. Who gave a similar decree earlier at the beginning of our story?


41. When Moses instructs his people to get ready to escape, what does he tell them to do to their door frames and why?

Smear lamb’s blood so God will know to skip those houses with the tenth plague. 

42. How does that instruction relate to the name of this holiday?

God knew to “pass over” the Hebrew homes.

43. When the Jews follow Moses and run away into the desert, what do they eat there on the run?


44. How many minutes is the maximum you’re supposed to bake matzah?


45. When the Israelites escape, what is the name of the body of water that they reach?

The Red Sea. 

46. Extra credit: What is another name for that body of water?

The Sea of Reeds. 

47. When the Israelites get to the sea and are hesitant to cross it, who is brave enough to enter first?


48. What does Nachshon mean?


49. Once the Israelites get safely across, what happens to Pharaoh’s army which is coming up behind them —do they get across, too?

No; they get swallowed up in the sea that closes back over them.

50. What does Miriam do once the Israelites are safely across?

She leads them in dance and song.

51. Why does God admonish his angels for singing in celebration?

Because they’re celebrating the death of the Egyptians, who are also God’s creation. God said, “How dare you sing for joy when My creatures are dying?”

52. Once the Israelites are in the desert, how many years do they wander?

40 years. 

53. While they walk in the desert, God goes ahead of them and appears by day in a pillar of what?


54. To guide their way and at night, he appears in a pillar of what?


55. Who feeds the Israelites water in the desert from her special wells that travel with them?


56. When they get to Mount Sinai, what does Moses go up to the top to receive from God?

The Ten Commandments.

57. When he comes down, he discovers his people have doubted that he would ever return and they went back to worshiping idols. What did they build?

The golden calf. 

58. Which one of Moses’ siblings helped them build it?


59. What does Moses do with the 10 Commandments when he sees the golden calf?

He smashes the tablets.

60. So now Moses is empty-handed—no tablets. What does he do?

He goes back up to get another set.

61. Moses makes the Israelites grind up the golden calf, mix it with water and do what with it?

Drink it.

62. Name one of The Ten Commandments.

  1. Do not have any other gods.
  2. Do not make or worship idols.
  3. Do not disrespect or misuse God’s name.
  4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
  5. Honor your mother and father.
  6. Do not commit murder.
  7. Do not commit adultery.
  8. Do not steal.
  9. Do not tell lies
  10. Do not be envious of others.

63. What does the word “seder” mean?


64. What does “haggadah” mean?

The Telling. 

65. Who is the famous Jew who celebrated a seder now known as “the last supper”?


That’s Speed Maggid! Congratulations.

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