My Pesach Seder Questions 5771
THE CUSTOM of having the youngest child recite the “four questions” has its origin in Rabbinic sources from Second Temple times. However the Mishna in describing the ancient seder service shakes up our usual assumptions
They fill a second cup of wine for him (the leader of the Seder) – and here the child (the inquisitive child) asks his father. If the child lacks intelligence (“daat”), his father teaches him: “How different this night is from all other nights! For on all other nights we eat leavened bread and matza, etc..."(Pesachim 10:4). With that in mind, I have formulated some of my own relevant questions about being Jewish in the 21st century for Pesach 5771
Pesach Seder Questions 5771
Why are there so many versions of the Haggadah?
Why do we go through the motions of this ritual year after year, even though many of us doubt God’s existence?
If you had to spend one shabbat with a representative of an ideology that you disagree with, who would you choose?
If you were given a million dollars to promote freedom which you had to spend it in one week, what would be your plan?
If you could only choose one option, would you rather Israel be a Jewish or democratic state?
Would people be more generous to each other with or without religion?
The most repeated expression in the Torah is "you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, having been strangers in the land of Egypt (Exodus 23:9)". Why do you think we need to reminded so many times?
If Judaism was one of the largest religions in the world as opposed to one of the smallest, would there be less antisemitism?
Yalkut shimon teaches us that the Jews were redeemed from Egypt because of four things. That they did not change their names, language, reveal their secrets(about taking Egyptian wealth), or stop circumcising their children. Of these four items, what is most important to maintaining Jewish identity today?
At the end of the haggdah we ask God to “Pour out your wrath on the nations who not know you…. Pursue them in fury and destroy them beneath Adonai’s sky.” Is this the best way for God to respond to his enemies?
If helping others didn’t make us feel good about ourselves, would we still be generous with our time and money?
If you had to choose between significantly simplifying the way you live by reducing the number of resources you use, or living in a world with more frequent environmental calamities, which would you choose?
In other words, would you prefer being a slave to economic growth or to environmentalism?
How would you answer these contemporary four children:
Activist Child- “The Torah tells me, ‘Justice, justice shall you pursue,’ but how can
I pursue justice?
Skeptical Child - How can I solve problems of such enormity?”
Indifferent Child- Why is it my responsibility to care?
Uninformed Child – I don’t have any question to ask.
When spilling 10 drops of wine from your glass, which of the 21st century plagues do you want to help try to eradicate? And ask yourself were all 10 plagues needed?
Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart?
If you were to draw the four children in 2011, how would you illustrate each one?
בכל דור ודור חייב אדם לראות את עצמו כאילו הוא יצא ממצרים