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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