The Four Archetypal Children

Haggadah Section: -- Four Children

The Four Archetypal Children

Jewish tradition speaks of four types of people who react differently to the themes of a Passover Seder.  Historically these are children, but we know many of these types as adults.   It's like a Jewish Myers-Briggs test!  

What does the wise child say?

The wise child asks,  What are the teachings given to us for how to live as a community in freedom?

This child or adult is responsive to guidelines for how to observe the holiday of Passover and make it meaningful.  

What does the alienated or confused child say?

The alienated or confused child asks,  What does this whole thing mean to you?

Notice that the alienated or confused child does not include herself or himself in the question.  One traditional, but problematic Jewish response is to say, “It is because of what God did for me in taking me out of Egypt. Me, not you. Had you been there, you would have been left behind."    But this only drives an alienated or confused child even further away.  This child or adult is indirectly asking for compassion, not shaming or blaming.   What would be another, kinder response to this child's alienation or confusion?  

What does the simple child say?

The simple child asks, What is this?

To this child, answer plainly: “When we were slaves in Egypt, we were helped and redeemed by a force beyond our comprehension."  (Hat-tip to the Jewish theology of Star Wars.)

What about the child who doesn’t know how to ask a question?

Help this child ask, by offering stories and listening to their own.

Start telling the story:

“Once we were slaves, and now we are free.”

Do you see yourself in any of these children?  Which archetype resonates with you, and why?

Inspired to create
your own Haggadah?

Make your own Haggadah and share with other Seder lovers around the world

Have an idea
for a clip?

People like you bring their creativity to Haggadot.com when they share their ideas in a clip

Support Us
with your donation

Help us build moments of meaning and connection through
home-based Jewish rituals.

OUR TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Esther Kustanowitz
4 Haggadahs38 Clips
contributor image
JQ International
1 Haggadah40 Clips
contributor image
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
5 Haggadahs109 Clips
contributor image
18Doors
1 Haggadah13 Clips
contributor image
JewishBoston
1 Haggadah78 Clips
contributor image
Truah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
1 Haggadah36 Clips
contributor image
American Jewish World Service
1 Haggadah44 Clips
contributor image
JewBelong
3 Haggadahs57 Clips
contributor image
Repair the World
12 Clips
contributor image
HIAS
5 Haggadahs48 Clips
contributor image
Be'chol Lashon
2 Haggadahs27 Clips
contributor image
PJ Library
1 Haggadah17 Clips
contributor image
Jewish World Watch
3 Haggadahs42 Clips
contributor image
Secular Synagogue
10 Clips
contributor image
SVIVAH
1 Haggadah9 Clips
contributor image
The Blue Dove Foundation
12 Clips
contributor image
ReformJudaism.org
24 Clips
contributor image
Jewish Emergent Network
1 Haggadah22 Clips

Passover Guide

Hosting your first Passover Seder? Not sure what food to serve? Curious to
know more about the holiday? Explore our Passover 101 Guide for answers
to all of your questions.

Haggadot

Haggadot.com by Recustom, is a free resource for all backgrounds and experiences. Consider making a donation to help support the continuation of this free platform.

Copyright © 2024 Custom and Craft Jewish Rituals Inc, dba Recustom, dba Haggadot.com.
All Rights Reserved. 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. EIN: 82-4765805.