Avadim Hayinu – We Were Slaves


In the Haggadah we read: “In every generation, every person must regard themselves as if they had come out of Egypt.”   This is a directive that is unlikely to be achieved. What message were the writers of the Haggadah trying to convey? In this resource learners will explore the concepts of freedom and slavery and learn about how the story of the exodus has provided cultural inspiration for various struggles throughout human history, The further study section of this resource highlights the testimony of Nadia Tauterstein, a Jewish Soviet dissident, and contains additional suggestions that enhance the lesson . In addition, there are a variety of creative learning activities recommended, such as projecting an image of a sculpture (see suggested activities)  and asking the students to list at least three ways that this piece of art depicts as parts of the process of going from slavery to freedom.

The learners will:

  1. understand why the story of slavery in Egypt is still relevant for us today

  2. know some specific examples of freedom movements that were inspired by the exodus from Egypt and why this was so

  3. be able to write a response based on the lesson to the following prompt: Freedom is achieved through struggle and carries responsibilities

When you click on the Jewish Education by Design resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. Essential questions that get to the “heart” of the learning

  2. A hook/s to open the lesson in an engaging fashion and spark the learners’ curiosity

  3. In depth discussion questions that are designed to elicit conceptual thinking and personal reflections about the featured source/s

  4. Suggested activities that enable the students to both process and apply what was learned in a thought provoking and creative fashion

  5. A further study option/s to related materials on the JEBD site or to external links

Computer, Student Handout

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