From “The Pharoah and the Frog” IN God’s Mailbox: More Stories about Stories in the Bible by Marc Gellman (NY: Beech Tree, 1996)
…While he was under the covers, [Pharaoh] heard a frog voice. “Let’s see now,” the frog voice said. “Plague number one was blood, then there were frogs (that’s how I got here), then fleas, then flies, then dead cows, then zits, and now we have the charming plague of ice balls with fire mixed in, and still you won’t let the people go? What a dope!”
…Then Moses put his arm around the Pharaoh’s shoulder and said to him quietly, “Listen to me, and listen well. This is the last time we will see each other. If you do not let my people go by this time tomorrow, the last plague will come and it will be so horrible you will never forget it. Don’t make God punish you and your people this way. You can’t win. You can’t stand against freedom, and you can’t stand against God.”
The Pharaoh said, “God has nothing to do with all this stuff. We are just having a run of bad luck, real bad luck!…Moses, if you are in Egypt tomorrow, I will have my soldiers find you and kill you, along with that frog!”
…after the ice balls with fireballs mixed in, after the locusts and after the darkness, every first-born person and animal died in all the land of Egypt. That day the Pharaoh cried a cry that was so loud that people all over Egypt heard him. That day the Pharaoh let the people go.
As Moses and his people walked out of Egypt with all their stuff and with all their animals, they did not cheer and they did not laugh and they did not sing. They saw how the plagues had ruined Egypt, and they were sad for the Egyptians, so they just left quietly.
The Pharaoh was alone. Between his tears he heard a frog way in the distance. The frog was croaking over and over, “You can’t stand against freedom, and you can’t stand against God!” — Exodus 7:14-12:36
This book and Gellman’s earlier volume, Does God Have A Big Toe? Stories about Stories in the Bible (NY: HarperCollins, 1989) are great companions to the Torah — for adult readers as well as for children. We’ve used this particular story for multi-age seders.
Click on the “WeeklyTorah” tag for more resources on the weekly portion throughout the year, or on a portion name for parashah-specific notes. (The series began with Numbers; posts for Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus are being drafted, week-by-week.) You can also zero-in on particular types of “Opening the Book” posts by clicking Language and Translation, Something to Notice, a Path to Follow, or Great Source in the tag cloud.
The “Opening the Book” series is presented in cooperation with the independent, cross-community Jewish Study Center and with Kol Isha, an open group pursuing spirituality from a woman’s perspective at Temple Micah (Reform). “A Song Every Day” is an independent blog, however, and all views, mistakes, etc. are the author’s.