...washing the hands causes the children to ask...

Passover Child

Passover is so much the festival of the child. For it is the child who evokes in us the realization that we, too, are children of G‑d, and are thus inherently and eternally free. It is the child who opens our eyes to the ultimate significance of Passover: that in taking us out of Egypt to make us his chosen people, G‑d has liberated us of all enslavement and subjugation for all time.

The child is thus the most important participant at the Passover seder. Many of the seder customs are specifically designed to mystify the child, to stimulate his curiosity, to compel him to ask: "Why is this night different from all other nights?" For the entire Haggadah, the "telling" of the story of our redemption from Egypt at the seder, is built around the concept of "When your child shall ask you... You shall tell your child." On Passover, we want to enter the child’s mind, to view reality from his perspective. For how else could we taste freedom?