Tell him: If you had been there, you would never have been liberated. (The Haggadah)

How will this response teach a child anything about the Exodus?

How will it draw any child any closer?

Because you must say it like this:

“If you had been there, before the Torah was given, you would have been lost to us forever.”

“But not this time around. Once we were taken from Egypt, we became a single nation, an indivisible whole, through our covenant of Torah. Each and every one of us became a vital, indispensable part of that whole. Including you.”

“We can never give up on you. And you will never be able to truly rip yourself apart from us. It became literally impossible for any Jewish soul to do so, no matter what that soul may do or purport to believe.”

“This precious Torah has made us one. So that you, at your core, are us, and we are you.”

Indeed, the first child mentioned in the Torah is the wicked child. Because it is this child that requires the most explanation, the most attention and the most love.

It is for this second child that we pour a second cup and recite the story of the Exodus.

Because this time around, no one can be left behind.

Likutei Sichot vol. 1, p. 247 and vol. 11, p. 2.