Contributed By Dov Pianko (Abridged)
Children are an integral part of the Seder. There is a tremendous focus on them, and specifically within the realm of questions. However, as much as we want to pass on to the next generation, and teach them, an integral part of the Seder is to also learn from them.
Kids like to ask questions. They are generally not afraid to, as they are expected to not know all the answers. They are not embarrassed to ask. However, as they get older, they are not as prone to continue. However, when we stop questioning, it is often because we lose interest. We don’t become bored because there aren’t any questions; we become bored because we stopped. We should never discourage children from asking, and we should look to reinvigorate ourselves to question.
Richard Saul Wurman (creator of TED conference/talks) said, “In school, we’re rewarded for having the answer, not for asking a good question,” which may explain why kids—who start off asking endless “why” and “what if” questions—gradually ask fewer and fewer of them as they progress through grade school.
So when we focus on the children on Pesach, we should pay attention to what they ask, say, and think. There is a lot to glean from the simplistic world of children, to our complex world.
May we be able this Pesach, to teach our children, learn from our children, and reinvigorate our interest in exploring our own foundations in Torah and faith.
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