The Four Questions For Making A Difference From A Distance

Four Questions for Making a Difference from a Distance

A highlight of the Passover seder is maggid: telling the story of the Exodus from Egypt. Questions are our springboard to explore how this night is different from all other nights. Th is year, around the world, Passover will be different from all others.

In this time of global pandemic, our lives have been disrupted in significant ways and we find ourselves asking questions we may not otherwise have ever thought to ask. Tonight, we bring our questions to the table with hopes to gain wisdom and understanding.

?מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת

Mah nishtanah halailah hazeh mikol haleilot
How is this night different from all other nights

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה – כֻּלּוֹ מַצָּה

Sheb'chol haleilot anu ochlin chametz umatzah, halailah hazeh, kuloh matzah.
On all other nights, we eat chametz (leavened foods) and matzah. Why on this night, only matzah?

Just as the Israelites hastily baked matzah as they left Egypt, many of us recently made hasty preparations for an unknown journey. How did your rush to prepare shape your feelings of readiness for the journey ahead? How do we gather enough provisions while making sure everyone can access what they need?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת – הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה (כֻּלּוֹ) מָרוֹר

Sheb'chol haleilot anu ochlin sh'ar y'rakot, halailah hazeh, (kuloh) maror.
On all other nights, we eat all vegetables. Why, on this night, (only) bitter herbs?

Being in restricted and narrow places reminds us that many things are beyond our control. How can we remain aware of those around us who were already struggling and now must navigate this time too?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אָנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּעַם אֶחָת – הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים

Sheb'chol haleilot ein anu matbilin afilu pa'am echat; halailah hazeh, sh'tei f'amim.
On all other nights, we don't dip even once. Why on this night do we dip twice?

When we dip twice in salt water it reminds us of the abundance that we celebrate in the spring as well as the salty tears of those experiencing scarcity. How can we identify both material and non-material abundance, knowing every person has something to contribute? Can offering gratitude shape our approach to moving through challenging days?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין – הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָּנוּ מְסֻבִּין

Sheb'chol haleilot anu ochlin bein yoshvin uvein m'subin; halailah hazeh, kulanu m'subin.
On all other nights, we eat either sitting upright or reclining. Why on this night do we all recline?

How do we recognize and share our own privilege in moments like these? How do we share our surplus with those who are increasingly vulnerable? Can we zoom out beyond our personal narrative in this moment and find our role in the broader collective of who makes up our community?

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haggadah Section: -- Four Questions