Chad Gadyais a popular song sung in Aramaic at the conclusion of the Passover seder along with other concluding songs, like Echad Mi Yodea to amuse the children and keep them from falling asleep
Chad Gadyais a popular song sung in Aramaic at the conclusion of the Passover seder along with other concluding songs, like Echad Mi Yodea to amuse the children and keep them from falling asleep.
Chad Gadya’s meaning is one little goat or one kid (Hebrew: גְּדִיאֶחָד). It is sung at the end of the Passover Seder, the Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover.
Here is the translation of this song to English:
A father bought a kid for two zuzim;
A cat came and ate the kid;
a dog then bit the cat;
The dog was beaten by a stick;
The stick was burned by fire;
Water quenched the fire;
An ox drank the water;
A shohet (ritual slaughterer) slaughtered the ox;
The shohet was killed by the Angel of Death who in punishment was destroyed by God.
According to modern Jewish commentators, what appears to be a light-hearted song may be symbolic. One interpretation is that Chad Gadya is about the different nations that have conquered the Land of Israel: The kid symbolizes the Jewish people, the cat, Assyria; the dog, Babylon; the stick, Persia; the fire, Macedonia; the water, Rome; the ox, the Saracens; the slaughterer, the Crusaders; the angel of death, the Turks. At the end, God returns to send the Jews back to Israel. The recurring refrain of ‘two zuzim’ is a reference to the two stone tablets given to Moses on Mount Sinai.