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Let’s Keep on Talking!

Let’s Keep on Talking!


In the Passover Haggadah we read about four children at the Seder - the wise child, the wicked child, the simple child and the child who does not know how to ask questions. The Haggadah encourages the parents to speak to their children, their sons and their daughters, and to explain to each of them on their own level what it means to be a Jew.

This transmission from one generation to the next is the key to healthy Judaism. But it means that we have to find ways to talk to each other. The parents have to find a way to talk to the children - and the children have to find a way to talk to each other. This is one reason why the Haggadah puts the wise child, who feels positive and happy about Judaism, next to the so-called wicked child who feels turned off by it. Let them talk to each other!

All too often these groups separate from each other, whether the parents from the children or the "turned-on" from the "turned-off." Each forgets that the other exists. The Haggadah reminds us that the Jewish people are one: we all need each other, and none of us can exist alone.

Indeed, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, points out that we also have to look for the fifth child who has not come to the Seder at all!

Through finding each other, talking to each other, and simply being together - we will be truly one people, with one shared goal: to make the world an infinitely better place in which to live.

By Dr. Tali Loewenthal, Director of Chabad Research Unit, London, UK, and a frequent contributor to the weekly Torah reading section; based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
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Anonymous April 6, 2012

5th child Yes, that 5th child is so important to find.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Happy Pesach ! Reply

Hudel Oak Park April 5, 2012

5 children I very much enjoyed this. However, the fifth child can not be mentioned, Pesach should be full of simcha and thinking of the fifth child bring sorrow. Reply

Anonymous wisc April 17, 2011

The sixth child The sixth child is the child who is turned off and the more you try to talk to her/him, in the most loving, tender and astute manner, they turn off even further.. Left to their own devices they return.

The sixth child has their own sense of how to find Judaism, or not. They have the intelligence to find their way. Any interference is an insult to their intelligence. If you cannot read it, be prepared to talk to a wall, to find increasing resistance to any/every entreaty. Reply

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