The formal telling of the story of Passover is framed as a discussion with lots of questions and answers. The tradition that the youngest person asks the questions reflects the centrality of involving everyone in the seder.
Asking questions is a core tradition in Jewish life. The rabbis who created the set format for the seder gave us the Four Questions to help break the ice in case no one had their own questions. If everyone at your seder is around the same age, perhaps the person with the least seder experience can ask them – or everyone can sing them all together.
Why is this night different from all other nights?
מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילות
Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol haleilot (mikol haleilot)?
1. On all other nights, we eat either leavened or unleavened bread. Why on this night do we eat only matzah?
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכלין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ מצה
Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin chameitz u-matzah (chameitz u-matzah).
Halaila hazeh (halaila hazeh) kulo matzah.
2. On all other nights, we eat vegetables of all kinds. Why on this night must we eat bitter herbs?
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר
Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin shi’ar yirakot (shi'ar yirakot)
haleila hazeh (haleila hazeh) maror.
3. On all other nights, we do not dip vegetables even once. Why on this night do we dip twice greens into salt water and bitter herbs into sweet charoset?
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אָֽנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּֽעַם אחָת הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעמים
Shebichol haleilot ain anu matbilin afilu pa-am echat (afilu pa-am echat).
Halaila hazeh (Halaila hazeh) shtei fi-amim.
4. On all other nights, everyone sits up straight at the table. Why on this night do we recline and eat at leisure?
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין. :הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָּֽנוּ מְסֻבין
Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin bein yoshvin uvein m’subin (bein yoshvin uvein m’subin).
Halaila hazeh (Halaila hazeh) kulanu m’subin.
Does anyone else have any questions they'd like to ask?
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