Ma Nishtana

Haggadah Section: -- Four Questions

Ma Nishtana  and Making a Change 

The life of a slave never changes. 

The clothes are the same. The food is the same. The routine is the same. 

At the very beginning of the Seder, we ask an important question: "Ma nishtana ha'lailah hazeh?"

Why? We could surely ask the same question during Succot, when we sleep outside in a fragile booth. Or on Purim when we put on masks and drink all day. Why on Passover?

Because the changes on this night are more fundamental - in fact, change itself is Passover in a nutshell. On Passover, we move - we PASS OVER - from slavery to freedom. We're not stuck; we're not trapped. We can control our lives and change what we want. And once we change what we want, everything changes.  

Every child learns Ma Nishtana ; we even ask our youngest children, before they have any experience of life, to recite it, like a mantra. From the earliest stages we have to imbed it deep inside - we are free. We can be different. 

Ma Nishtana is the song of hope. Things can be different. We are slaves no longer. 

Activity for Seder: 

Make the seder table different this year. Put something new on it - sparkles, chocolates, a gimmick or props. Encourage conversation - "Ma nishtana?"


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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.

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