Posts Tagged ‘Haggadah’

6
Apr

Through The Eyes of Children

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

In Tea Obreht’s wonderful novel, “The Tiger’s Wife,” Natalia explains to her grandfather that because of all the suffering of children she witnessed in the wars that ripped Yugoslavia apart, she had decided to become a pediatric surgeon.

“You’ll be leaving God out of it, then,” he said.

“What does that mean?” I said. I couldn’t remember when he had last mentioned God.

“Been around children much?”

“Why?”

“When men die, they die in fear,” he said. “They take everything they need from you, and as a doctor it is your job to give it, to comfort them, to hold their hand. But children die how they have been living – in hope. They don’t know what’s happening, so they expect nothing, they don’t ask you to hold their hand – but you end up needing them to hold yours. With children, you’re on your own. Do you understand?”

(“The Tiger’s Wife” p. 154)

I appreciate the description of the difference between a child and an adult facing death. I have sat at too many deathbeds, of both children and older people, to not know the difference between holding the hand of a dying child and that of an adult. It is gut wrenching to hold the child’s hand, and there is that sense of needing their perspective more than they need your’s. Perhaps it is because of my faith that I always sensed the presence of God in the child’s perspective. The grandfather who rarely speaks of God, has nowhere to turn when facing the death of a child under his care.

Our sages say, “During those many days, it happened that the king of Egypt died, and the Children of Israel groaned because of the work (Shemot 2:23),” that Pharaoh was stricken with leprosy and bathed in the blood of Jewish children as his cure. They are presenting a scene in which parents are groaning from their work even as their children are being massacred! Did they cry for their children? How can this happen?

They are that grandfather who lived without a sense of God, and had nowhere to turn in this worst of situations. “With children, you’re on your own. Do you understand?” I do understand why he was on his won. I also understand why the slaves in Egypt felt that they were on their own. They groaned, and it does not say, “to God,” and yet, the Haggadah describes this groaning as a “Cry to God,” “va-nitzak,” because God listened to their groans, as He does to ours, as a form of prayer.

I believe that at that moment, the Children of Israel sensed that their groans had been transformed by God into prayer; they sensed His listening to them, and they began to taste the coming redemption.

This is also why there is such a stress on children; The Four Sons, to teach us that it is still possible to see the world through the eyes of a child.

The Eyes of a Child

Through the eyes of a child

the world is grand

playing at the beach building castles of sand

Through the eyes of a child

the world is a wonder

on a stormy night hidden under the blankets scared of the thunder

Through the eyes of a child

the world is fascinating from the stars in the sky to natures sounds resonating

Through the eyes of a child

life has no time frame an endless mystery in a puzzle game

Through the eyes of the adult it all fades away

we live life so fast another hectic day

taking for granted our eyes of a child

now close them tight and as you open them let you imagination run wild.

By: Robin McGuigan

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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5
Apr

There is a School in Monsey…

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

“Therefore, thus said God: If you repent I will bring you back, let you stand before Me; if you bring forth an honorable person from a glutton, then you will be like My own mouth (Jeremiah 15:19).”

It is not enough to take a stand against evil; we must transform the evil into good, “bring forth an honorable person from a glutton.” My very dear friend, LS, was furious with people who defend rabbis who have been convicted of dastardly deeds, “Well, he did a lot of good with the money he stole!’ He wasn’t happy with people who took a stand; he wanted people to transform the evil into good by changing their behavior. So, while many were busy condemning Bernie Madoff, LS began a crusade for Yeshivot to focus more on ethics and honesty to the point of instituting “Honor Codes,” prevalent in many private schools. He wanted to, “bring forth an honorable person from a glutton.”

Jeremiah reminds us that we are familiar with such transformation, “If you repent I will bring you back,” for what is Teshuva if not bringing forth an honorable person from the wicked? He tells us that when we succeed in affecting such transformation we are as, “My own mouth,” which brought the world into being. We become partners in Creation.

No wonder we begin Maggid with transformations and mouths: “This year we are as slaves, next year we will be free; this year we are here, next year in Jerusalem,” we will be transformed. “Ha Lachma Anya,” “This is the Bread of Affliction,” is also read, This is the Bread of Answers; the Bread of the Mouth, the Bread of Creators.

“They shall take other stones and bring them in the place of the stones; and they shall take other mortar and plaster the house (Vayikra 14:42).” It is not sufficient to remove the Tzara’at affliction from the home, to condemn the evil; we have to rebuild the impure house, the “glutton,” into a new home, pure, “an honorable person.”

There is a school in Monsey: Ateres Bais Yaakov, founded and headed by a real Rabbi and teacher, Rabbi A Fink, that lives this idea of Transformation:

I recently received the following email:

Dear Friends,

The horrific tragedy that took place a few weeks ago in Itamar has affected the Jewish Community around the globe. We were all shocked at the brutality of the terrorist attack, and pained at the thought of the unimaginable grief the Fogel family is suffering.

We spoke about how such a barbaric act is unfathomable, we mourned for the loss of the innocent lives of our brothers and sisters in Israel. We sighed, considering the shattered lives of the surviving orphans.

The Junior Class at Ateres Bais Yaakov asked: What can we do in the face of such atrocity? We can’t make sense of it all, but can we shine a ray of light at this dark hour?

And this is what followed. My eleventh grade students compiled their favorite Pesach recipes, and after working on this project tirelessly, they produced a Pesach Cookbook. The cookbook is dedicated to the Fogel family; in memory of those who lost their lives, and in support of the three surviving children.

All proceeds will benefit a fund set up for the three Fogel orphans.

The cookbooks are being sold at Ateres Bais Yaakov, $12 each. If you are interested in purchasing a cookbook, or making a donation to the fund, you can contact me via email: salvayfamily@gmail.com, or by phone: (845)641 1840.

May Hashem protect us, and save us from such anguish and sorrow.

Chag Kasher v’Sameach!

Sincerely,

Sarah Salvay,

11th Grade Mechaneches, Ateres Bais Yaakov

We can do more than condemn the horrible evil that massacred the Fogel family; we can create something good, beautiful and honorable. We can rebuild the house, begin Pesach, and become, “As My Mouth.”

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5
Apr

Misreadings

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

“We guess as we read, we create; everything starts from an initial error…A large part of what we believe to be true…with an obstinacy equalled only by our good faith, springs from an original mistake in our premises (“The Fugitive” by Marcel Proust) Proust already introduced the mistakes we make in “Swann’s Way,” when young Marcel encounters Uncle Adolphe on the street, riding in his carriage, and is so moved by his uncle’s kindness and so remorseful for having caused the family rift between his parents and uncle that he considered merely raising his hat to him an inadequate gesture. So he did nothing, turning his head away. Uncle Adolphe, concluding that Marcel was acting on his parents’ instructions, never forgave them, and Marcel never saw his uncle again. I have seen families and friendships ripped apart by such basic and incurable misreadings, and wonder how often do I make such mistakes in relationships and in reading texts. Had the Haggadah never described the question as that of a Wicked Son, would I assume that the question was evil? I’m not so sure. Would I have read the verse that describes a parent teaching a child, not in response to a question, as the frustrating scene read by the Haggadah of dealing with Pierre, “who doesn’t care” enough to ask? I think not. Would I risk defining a child by a single question? I hope not. Was it possible for the Kohen to whom a man is brought with a questionable Tzara’at affliction to read the man as anything other than a sinner? It’s hard to believe. We are taught a list of sins for which a man is stricken with this miraculous disease; would the Kohen automatically begin to wonder which sin on the list without wondering whether he was a sinner at all? I guess no more than we begin to measure people by the type of Kipah or head covering they wear. I fear my own misreadings even more than I resent being misread. When the Metzorah is healed and purified, he comes to the Kohen for atonement. He brings two birds as his offering, one which will be offered on the Altar, and the second that will be set free. The healed Metzorah doesn’t choose which bird will be offered and which will be set free; it’s the Kohen’s choice. The Kohen becomes part of the process because he too needs atonement; he may have ruled on the Tzara’at affliction, but there was the inevitable judgment and misreading as well. At one point of the Pesach story, after he hears two Jews arguing about his killing the Egyptian, Moshe reflects and says, “Now, I understand!” He was wondering why the Jews were suffering, and when he heard two of them speaking Lishon Harah, negatively judging his actions, misreading his behavior, Moshe understood that such people did not merit protection, let alone, salvation. Rav Yaakov Kamenestky points out (Emet L’Yaakov, Metzorah) that Moshe also had a chance before the exodus to see that the people had changed their behavior: Moshe urged the people to “borrow” gold and silver from the Egyptians, and not a single Jew informed the Egyptians that the “loans” would never be repaid. The people stopped speaking Lishon Harah. There is another example of this change when the people bow down with joy after hearing they will have children, even though the child mentioned is the Wicked Son of the Haggadah. They stopped judging. They stopped misreading. This is why we mention the Rasha in the Haggadah; not to judge him, but as a reminder of how he represents a major change in the people; they stopped judging. They didn’t view him as a Rasha, but as a child, which is probably why we switch some of the responses the Torah instructs us to give; don’t see the child as he is now, don’t misread him; see him as he can become. This is also why we eat and dip Karpas before the Haggadah; we recall the story of Joseph and his brothers; a story of one brother misreading the others and speaking negatively of them to Yaakov Avinu, and the brothers misreading Joseph, and dipping his Coat of Many Colors, Ketonet Passim – hinted to in the word Karpas, as we dip the Karpas in salt water, to fool Yaakov, who ended up misreading the situation, and suffering needlessly. (This also led to a split in the family, as in Yachatz, when we split the Matzah.) Karpas and Yachatz are warnings against such misreadings before we “read” Maggid, and after we have declared Kiddush; our intention to act with sanctity. Hopefully, we will be able to take these lessons from Pesach and apply them throughout the year. Author Info: Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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1
Apr

Toadmen: Ten Plagues

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

In Devonshire, toads were burned because they were believed to be in league with the devil, while in Cambridgeshire, toads were said to be able to predict storms. In the same country there were “toadmen” who had devilish power over horses and were able to make them either controllable or uncontrollable at whim.

The last known record of the practice was as recent as 1938. To become a toadman it was necessary to skin a toad or alternatively to pin it to an anthill until its bones were picked clean. The aspiring toadman would carry the bones in his pocket until they were completely dry. Then, waiting for the full moon, he would plunge the bones into a stream at midnight. Directly they were immersed, the bones would scream aloud one would drift of on its own. Providing he was able to rescue this bone, then the demonic league would be made and a fully-fledged toadman would emerge.  (The Devil’s Dominion)

There’s more than one way to be attacked by a frog! I imagine that the Egyptians reacted to the plague of frogs with fear of being attacked by Toadmen, or Toads “in league with the devil.”

It begins with a superstition; another type of slavery: Toads are in league with the devil. The next step is to figure out a complex ceremony or process through which we can figure out how to access the toad’s power. The Egyptians were big on magic and superstition. The plague of Blood attacked their belief in the mysterious, ‘godly,” powers of the Nile. The plague of Frogs attacked their belief in “magic.” It forced them to confront their superstitious fears, and prove to them that they too were slaves; slaves to their fears. The Children of Israel did not fear the frogs. They were free of them, (a taste of freedom), and free of the fear (more freedom).

The Seder is a complex ceremony filled with mystery and secrets behind each step. It’s ripe for superstition. I know people who use breaking the Matzah to break their enemies. They dip the Karpas with the belief that it will bring them wealth. Frankly, it’s no more than superstition; another form of slavery. I guess we could call them Toadmen!

We do believe that everything we do during the Seder matters, but not as a superstition, but as a form of changing ourselves; growing into greater human beings, not Toadmen.

We can use each step of the Seder to work on ourselves:

Kadesh: Setting a goal of achieving Sanctity in all we do.

Urchatz: Honoring our actions with preparation. I wash my hands before visiting the ill just as I wash before I pray. I wash my hands before comforting a mourner. I wash my hands before calling my Rebbi to wish him a Good Shabbos.

and there’s more…

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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1
Apr

Hachodesh as Introduction to Hallel for Rosh Chodesh Nissan and the Seder Hallel

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week, Prayer

Rav Yehuda said in the name of Shmuel: The Song in the Torah was said by Moshe and Israel at the moment when they rose from the Sea. Who said this Hallel? The prophets who lived amongst them established for Israel that they should say it on each chapter, and on each trouble that it should not come, and when they are redeemed from a trouble they should recite it over their redemption.” (Pesachim 117a)

Why do we need an Amorah (Rabbi of the Talmudic era) to inform us that Moshe and Israel sang the Song of the Sea when they exited the Sea? Why does Rav Yehuda bring this song into a discussion about Hallel?

Rav Yehuda asks, “Who said this Hallel,” yet doesn’t answer his question. He informs us when the prophets taught us to sing the Hallel, but that wasn’t his question!

What does, “on each chapter” mean? If we sing the Hallel so that a trouble will not come, why will we need to be saved from the trouble; did our Hallel not work?

“When they rose from the Sea,” is different than saying when they exited the Sea: It teaches us that Moshe and Israel sang their song as a way of stepping up to the next stage; it was a song of how the past prepared them for the “New,” the “Chadash,” the next stage, or, in Rav Yehuda’s words, “the next chapter” of their lives.

The prophets taught us to continue the Song of Moshe and Israel each time we sing the Hallel before what is the next chapter in our lives. We must sing Hallel to celebrate, empower, and prepare for the next stage in our lives.

If we do not sing Hallel over each new chapter as it begins, we will have to sing Hallel over a trouble that we see coming; singing Hallel as a Future Song that will elevate us so that we will not need the trouble to learn what God is teaching us. If we do not sing the Hallel before the trouble comes; we will only be able to sing it as a song celebrating redemption from the trouble we could have avoided.

How do we know when we are entering a new chapter so that we can sing our future oriented Hallel? Hachodesh; by celebrating the new, and by singing the Nisan Hallel over what is coming as a Song of Elevation; a Song of the Future.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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1
Apr

Whaling: Lachatzeinu

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“Well, well, my dear comrade and twin brother, thought I, as I drew in and then slacked off the rope to every swell of the sea: what matters it, after all? Are you not the precious image of each and all of us men in this whaling world? That unsounded ocean you gasp in is life; those sharks, your foes; those spades, your friends; and what between sharks and spades you are in a sad pickle and peril, poor lad.” (“Moby Dick” by Herman Melville – One of his few obituaries noted that, “Even his own generation has long thought him dead.”)

Lachatzeinu: “Our oppression,” refers to the fact that the Egyptians compressed us so that we could not expand beyond Goshen (even before the servitude began). (Based on Rabbeinu Bachya, Exodus 3:9, in the name of Rabbeinu Chananel. See too, Torah Sheleimah, Volume 9, page 139)

There were hints of the coming disaster long before the actual slavery began. The Egyptians forced us to remain in the Jewish ghettoes. They limited our freedom. They stopped us from expanding. They wanted us to feel as Melville describes whaling; stuck between friend and foe, spade and shark, in a sad pickle and peril. They deprived us of opportunity. They made sure to limit our drive by enclosing us in a fixed space, a repetitive and unchanging pattern of work.

We are describing any job that doesn’t offer an opportunity to grow, as oppressive. When we feel stuck because others erect boundaries to our growth; we are oppressed. A person who does not experience room to expand, is oppressed.

No wonder there are so many people who feel oppressed in their Torah learning and observance! Too many of us feel that we constantly are confronted by limitations, whether our frustration with the language, our battle with Gemara, or our inability to find answers to our questions. A teacher who does not allow questions, oppresses his students.

The Seder is our opportunity to recognize barriers we have erected to our growth and that of others. It is our chance to break down those walls, to free ourselves of those limitations, and to pray that God free us from the oppression of others.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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31
Mar

Beware Portia

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

The Bard invokes Portia to show how lawyers behave and misbehave, as well as how justice prevails. Portia is a resourceful and cunning courtroom manipulator. But those who are her judges, whatever their bias and prejudice, are not fooled. Justice wins the day. Antonio warns against any corruption that would stain Venice’s reputation for justice, offering a practical rather than moral argument:

“For the commodity that strangers have

With us in Venice, if it be denied,

Will much impeach the justice of the state, Since that the trade and profit of the city

Consisteth of all nations.”

It seems strange that we praise God for giving the Torah before we praise His taking us out of Egypt: “Blessed is the Omnipresent. Blessed is He. Blessed is He, Who gave the Torah to His nation, Israel. Blessed is He.” Why are we leaping to Shavuot and the giving of the Torah before breaking the skin of the Exodus story? Why do we mention the gift of Torah just before we list the Four Sons?

Justice.

This is a night for being Portia; resourceful, cunning, insightful, creative, even, at times, manipulative. We are free to question, ask, challenge, analyze, theorize, posit, argue and debate. We are about to sit in judgment of our children’s questions; Only a wise child asks that. That’s a wicked son’s question. You’re too simple minded. “Nu! Ask already!”

Our behavior on Pesach must reflect the Torah we received.

Our behavior at the Seder reflects on the Torah God gave us.

How’re we doing?

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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31
Mar

Looking at the Interpreters

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“In 1948, Ralph Ellison heard the street slang Oh man, I’m nowhere and heard the identity crises, negation and psychic despair provoked by daily life under white supremacy. In 1961, James Baldwin, writing ‘Fifth Avenue, Uptown,’ perhaps writing from Paris, remembered a different greeting: ‘How’re you making it?’ ‘Oh, I’m TV-ing it.’ Perhaps those greetings and their interpretations say more about the interpreters than about those who are purported to use them. Don’t get corrupted!” (“Harlem is Nowhere” by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts)

We will spend much of the Seder examining and interpreting the words of people who are hurting: “What does the Wicked son say?” We examine the Son who does not care enough to ask. We wonder how the slaves reacted to their suffering: “Why did they cry about their work when their children were being slaughtered to provide baths of blood for Pharaoh?” How could the students of the Rabbis interrupt their teachers’ Pesach discussions to remind them to say Shema?

I suspect this is why we, the interpreters, begin Maggid with an (worthless in practical terms) invitation to all who need a place to celebrate Pesach: We have to interpret the story with a generous spirit. We have to listen to all the ideas and opinions offered over the Haggadah with generosity. We have to create an environment in which the stranger will feel comfortable joining our Seder.

We must also not, as did Baldwin, write while in Paris of the angst in Harlem; if we want to understand Abraham and Jacob, if we want to examine our children’s questions, if we want to discuss the slaves in Egypt; we have to be where they are/were: “In every generation a person must see himself as if he left Egypt.” Be there. Be a generous interpreter. Don’t get corrupted!

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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31
Mar

Who is Evil?

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

Peter Godwin has been described as “The Dante in Mugabe’s Hell,” for his book, “The Fear – Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe.” He describes Mugabe as a, ‘musty anti-colonialist in Saville Row suits. Mugabe likes to wrap his cudgel in a veneer of bureaucratic normality. Lawyers defend torture victims in the courts, but judges are arrested when they rule against the government.” A policeman berates Godwin for blocking traffic, then goes back to cracking women’s and children’s skulls with his stave.   (Think of Moshe’s reaction to the Egyptian striking the slave.) And two Anglican bishops, one legitimate, the other a pro-Mugabe usurper – duel, prissily, with their ceremonial crosiers inside a sedate Harare cathedral. (Think of Pharaoh sending his “bishops,” the magicians, to duel with Moshe.)

We are all too familiar with evil in the veneer of normality. We are the Dantes of countless hells all over the world, throughout history: “In very generation they stand against us to destroy us.”

We describe our encounter with the Mugabe of Egypt, Pharaoh: “And the Egyptians did evil to us,” as it says, “Come, let us outsmart him, lest they increase…” I read this as, “The Egyptians portrayed us as evil,” to themselves and to us. They created a reality in which we had to prove our loyalty to their land.

The Egyptians were not the first Mugabes: “Pharaoh decreed only against the males, and Laban wanted to uproot everything.” Laban used his propaganda to portray Jacob as a thief who could not control his urges. “Why do you sneak away as a thief in the night?” “Why did you steal my gods?”

Laban was the first Mugabe. He wrapped himself in his own Saville Row suits of righteousness, “I am the patriarch of this family. The girls are my daughters. The boys are my sons. I am the Zaidy of this family.”

Laban wanted to flip the whole picture upside down: He, not Abraham, was the patriarch of the family. He wanted to discombobulate our identity as a family with a grand mission.

The story continues in a world that challenges the most moral nation on the planet for being immoral. They speak with the same intention as did Laban and Pharaoh; they want to deprive us of our identity as a unique and holy nation.

Pesach night is our celebration of identity and our ability to hold on tight to that identity despite the unceasing attacks of the Labans, Pharaohs, and all the Mugabes in history.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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31
Mar

The Moment of Execution

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Relationships

“There is no such thing in man’s nature as a settled a full resolve, either for good or evil, except at the very moment of execution.” (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

I wonder if the Ba’al Haggadah (Author) would agree: The way most of us understand the Four Sons is as each having a fully resolved nature. “What does the Wise Son say,” implies an established nature; he is a wise child. So too, with the wicked, the “simple,” and the one who doesn’t care enough to ask. Our responses certainly seem to be to defined characters: if the Wicked child doesn’t have a fixed nature; why would we take such a firm, almost aggressive approach?

We are all too familiar with people who become the way they are treated. Why would we respond in such a manner, rather than offer an opening to a new way of thinking. Yes, I can explain the answer in a different way, but the words are the words, and they convey a hostile response.

“Blessed is the Omnipresent. Blessed is He. Blessed is He Who gave the Torah to His nation Israel. Blessed is He. The Torah spoke “Kineged,” corresponding to four children.”

Actually the Torah describes four questions, and offers answers different from some of the ones we offer in the Haggadah. Many are under the impression that the four questions listed in the Torah are about Pesach. Some are, and some are not! The Wicked and the one who doesn’t care to ask are about Pesach. The Simple question is about the complexities of the redemption of the First Born people and animals. The Wise question is about becoming someone who naturally knows how God wants him to act. The different issues instigate different sorts of questions.

The Wicked son is only child’s question presented in the present to the people about to offer the first Pesach; the rest are in the future, after we enter the land of Israel. The Wise question is presented in the context of an unusually elevated level; no wonder it’s the Wise child who appears! The different contexts stimulate different questions.

Perhaps Hawthorne was correct: their natures are not fully resolved. The “moment of execution” shapes the question and the questioner. Our challenge at this point of the Haggadah is to create an environment that will nurture a certain type of question, and not another. We create the “Kineged,” the environment to which the child responds.

There is the home that focuses on, “Blessed is the Omnipresent,” God is everywhere. His Presence permeates the family.

There is the home that lives, “Blessed is He,” in which God is an ill-defined pronoun, a weak force, of which the parents speak in vague terms. The family observes without any clarity.

There is the home of, “Blessed is He Who gave the Torah to His nation Israel,” that focuses on our unique relationship to God, and that He speaks to us through His Torah. And, there is the other type of “Blessed is He,” home, in which God is an empty noun, without any real feelings or awareness.

Each home becomes a “Kineged,” as a wife is an, “Eizer Kinegdo,” a force that pushes against the most important issues, and motivates growth.

The Torah offers answers to four types of questions. The Haggadah evaluates four types of environments.

The Seder night is our moment of execution. We can look at our Seder, see which nature or environment we have expressed, and better understand our children’s questions.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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