At the Passover Seder (ritual meal) the story of the flight from slavery to freedom is retold. Why?
This is done from generation to generation each year. Why?
It is done in the vernacular, if the original Hebrew and Aramaic are not accessible to youth. Why?
What are the four questions and answers that the youngest family member is to recite at the Seder? Why the youngest? Why are they important?
In every generation there will arise those who for purposes and interests of their own will rise up to deprive us of our freedoms. The freedoms may be political, economic, religious, or others. It doesn't matter. It is important, from generation to generation to fight to keep anyone from dictating how we choose to live our lives. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
The commandment is to teach each generation the story of the exodus from four hundred plus years of slavery to Pharaoh to the ascent to freedom in our own land. We are to see ourselves as being liberated from slavery, and lead to freedom. In this manner, we can appreciate the freedom to live our own lives on our own terms. With freedom comes responsibility.
Why communicate this in the language they best speak and understand at Passover to the next generation? In all other rituals, Services and celebrations, Orthodox and other traditional Jewish People do what we do in the original languages.
Why is this meal, this night different than all others linguistically, and generationally? The commandment is to tell the story of slavery to freedom to the next generation so they can understand and appreciate freedom.
Generally, we direct our communication to the Heavenly Father. We do so in the languages of our Scriptures. It is more important that we communicate in the original languages than in the vernacular. Even if we don't fully comprehend it, He does.
On Passover, the focus of the communication is to our next generation. They are the next link in the golden chain of our tradition. A link should strengthen and lengthen the chain. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Therefore, we make it as easy as possible for them to understand the value of what we do, and the freedom to be able to do it free of manipulation and or coercion.
Why does the youngest one present recite the four questions and answers? So we may pass from generation to generation what makes this night so special. What are the four questions and answers?
One. Why is this night different than all other nights? On any other night, we may eat either leavened or unleavened bread, but on this night only unleavened bread. Why? Because during the flight from slavery to freedom, there was not time to add yeast to let the bread rise. We were pursued by an army whose mission was to annihilate us. We needed to get out of danger.
Two. All other nights we may eat any species of herbs, but on this night only bitter herbs. Why? To remind us of the bitterness of slavery. We must never take freedom for granted. We ought not to allow ourselves to become slaves to others. We have our own lives to live. Our own values by which to live life. Our own traditions to uphold, to sustain and keep us as a people.
As the Jewish People keep our Commandments, customs and traditions, so too do they keep us alive. They have done this these last six thousand years. They will for as long as there is life as we know it on this and other planets.
Three. All other nights we do not dip even once, but on this night we dip twice. Why? About the Seder plate, there are things in which to dip which are bitter and sweet. The bitter symbolize the bitterness of servitude. The sweet represent the sweetness of freedom. Life gives us both. We need to know both to understand each, and choose wisely.
Fourth. All other nights we eat and drink either sitting or reclining, but on this night all of us recline. Why? Part of the answer is that in the flight from slavery to freedom there wasn't time to set up formal dining facilities when fleeing from an army sent to destroy us. Another explanation is that reclining was done at meals by free peoples, not slaves. On this night, no one is a slave to others. On this night, we eat and drink as free People.
For me and mine, spring is a time to celebrate freedom. We do so in a manner which insures that our freedom to be who we are and how we live will endure and survive from generation to generation.
In your heritages, philosophies, and approaches to life, what and how do you celebrate spring time? How do you communicate, and further for all time, one generation at a time your values, beliefs, culture, and lifestyles?
The point of this article is to show one, but obviously not all ways to live. One but not all key values. One, yet not all ways to conserve and progressively develop and sustain wise choices on how to live. Please be positive, remain on point, and do not misuse this article to hijack its theme, disrespect how others choose to live, or maintain what they hold dear.
Do share with us what you value in spring. Let us know how you pass it from one to the next generation. This we encourage. Other things we delete for cause. There is an entailment relationship of freedom and responsibility. Be an adult and write responsibly.
Why is this article different than many others? Other approaches and topics you are free to express in your own articles. Here we share and absorb. Here we teach and learn. Here we help by being respectful.