Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Passover Game: Jeopardy

Actually, my wife does this one, not only for Passover but for every other holiday, too. This game will make a lot more sense if you've ever seen the television game show Jeopardy!.


One large bristol board, 20 to 30 index cards, tape that's not too sticky, and a marker.


Think up 4 or 5 categories of questions about Passover, and 5 or 6 questions in each category (examples below).

In the illustration, I picked 5 categories and 5 questions in each category. For these choices, you will need 25 index cards. Use 5 index cards for each category, numbered 100 to 500. These hide the "answers" on the board and also represent the points earned for providing the "question" to the answer.

Divide the bristol board into 6 rows, by 5 columns. In the top row of each column, write the name of the category. In the remaining rows, write the "answers" to the questions so that the answer fits under the index card. Lightly tape the index cards over the answers, ordered from top to bottom 100 to 500.

Use the illustration as a guide.

To Play

Place the board so that all participants can see it and divide the participants into two or three groups.

Taking turns, each group chooses a category and difficulty (the higher the number of points, the more difficult the question).

The "answer" is written on the board. The group must ask the correct question for that answer to win th points. If they cannot answer, if they ask the wrong question, or if they say the answer instead of phrasing it as a question, the next group gets to go. If they ask the correct question, they get to go again. You may want to alternate groups anyway, if one group answers too many questions.

The game ends when all answers have been revealed. The group with the highest total is the winner, of course.

Important Information

Finding the right "answers" that lead to the right questions is crucial. You can't just use "42" as an answer, since that is the answer to a lot of questions. You have to phrase the answer so that there can be only one correct question. For instance, the answer "the number you get when you multiply 6 times 7" has only one correct question, "What is 42?" or slight variations thereof.

Second in importance is ordering the questions from easiest to hardest, so that a 500 points is really worth more than a 100 point question. The exact level of difficulty depends greatly on your group of players.


Here are some example answers and questions:

Category: Numbers

Answer: The number of male Israelite between then ages of 20 and 60 that left Egypt
Question: What is 600,000?

Answer: The number of years of slavery, counting from the birth of Isaac
Question: What is 430?

Answer: The actual number of years of slavery
Question: What is 210?

Answer: The number of children born to each Jewish woman, according to Rashi
Question: What is 6?

Answer: The number of children that Amram and Jocheved had who are mentioned in the bible
Question: What is 3?

Answer: The number of plagues in Egypt
Question: What is 10?

Category: Dates

Answer: The date of the Exodus
Question: What is the 15th of Nissan?

Answer: The date that Moshe was born and died
Question: What is the 7th of Adar?

Answer: The date that Isaac was born
Question: What is the 15th of Nissan?

Answer: The date of "Second Passover"
Question: What is the 15th of Iyar?

Answer: The date of the last day of Passover in the diaspora
Question: What is the 22nd of Nissan?

Category: People

Answer: The first high-priest of Israel
Question: Who was Aaron?

Answer: She drew Moshe out of the water
Question: Who was Pharoh's daughter Batya?

Answer: Moshe tried to stop these two men from fighting
Question: Who were Datham and Aviram?

Answer: This is the name of Moshe's son
Question: Who was Gershon?

Answer: This person jumped into the Red Sea and then it split
Question: Who was Nachson Ben Aminadav?

Category: Places

Answer: The Jews built these two cities
Question: What are Pitom and Ramses?

Answer: This is where Joseph's bones were buried
Question: What is the bottom of the Nile river?

Answer: The Jews camped here while waiting to cross the Red Sea
Question: Where was Pihahiroth?

Answer: The Jews lived primarily in this region of Egypt
Question: Where was Goshen?

Answer: The Jews first complained about not having enough water here
Question: Where was Marah?

Category: Items

Answer: Moshe and Aaron both carries one of these
Question: What is a staff?

Answer: Pharoh responded to Moshe's first request to let the Jews go by no longer providing the Jews with this
Question: What is straw?

Answer: It's ingredients are often apples, dates, nuts, and wine
Question: What is haroset?

Answer: These are the two ingredients in matzoh
Question: What is flour and water?

Answer: The Jews had to wipe this on their door-posts on the night before the Exodus
Question: What is the blood of a lamb?

And so on. Make some more questions, and order them according to the level of difficulty they will present to your group.