Jonathan Prokter

The Four Sons: During the Seder, we ask four questions that are modeled after personalities of four different children. This is to expand our understanding of Passover, and to view it from different perspectives.

The Origins of the Four Sons

When God decided to create Man on earth, four peculiar animals confronted him and asked various questions as to why he had to create Man. An owl asked: what is the meaning of creating man? A snake asked: why do you have to create Man, and what does it mean to you? A cat asked: what is this? Finally, an earthworm who felt that he was too insignificant to ask a question, only shared his presence in the conversation. God assessed each animal’s question and responded accordingly.

To the owl he said, “Man is being created so that he may subdue the earth, and pass along my commandments.”

To the snake he said, “Man is being created so that someone can work the earth for me. I must have a companion to aid me. How about you help me in observing Man?

To the cat he said, “With the utmost precision and care, I am creating Man”

To the earthworm he said, “I am creating Man for the sake of you and all living creatures on earth.”

All the animals were content with their answers, and left God’s presence. However, as they were leaving the snake scoffed behind God’s back, “I do not care for Man, I am more fit to rule than this so called subduer. I will see to it that Man shall do a horrible deed, so that God will make him leave.”

So as the owl was thinking, as the cat was grooming herself, and as the earthworm was staring, the snake awaited the creation of man, eagerly.

As Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, the snake slithered up behind them and uttered to Adam the four questions about Man. The snake sardonically laughed at him, as he tried to ponder the curious inquiries. However, Adam was insistent upon finding the answers to these interesting questions. When Cain and Abel were born, Adam sat both of them down and retold the questions to them. However, he only told his personal answers to Abel, and since Cain killed Abel, those answers were lost. Cain continued the tradition of retelling the questions to his descendants, and watching them interpret the questions themselves. The questions eventually found their way to Moses, who proclaimed them towards God when he went to receive the Ten Commandments. Having forgotten the answers, God told Moses to make it a tradition that when the Israelites remember their deliverance from Egypt, they should remember those very questions.

haggadah Section: -- Four Children