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Tuesday, Nissan 11, 5779 / April 16, 2019


The Pesach Seder, which we will celebrate this Friday night, is performed with our children as major participants. We involve the children at the Seder, as the Torah tells us that we must give the children special attention at the Seder and tell them all about the Exodus.


The Torah tells us, “And you shall tell your son on that day, saying, it is because of this (the mitzvot of Pesach sacrifice, matzah and maror), that G-d did this for me when I went out of Egypt.”


The name “Hagadah” is derived from the above verse which commands us to tell our children, as the word to tell is Vehigadta.


From the Hagadah we recite, “The Torah speaks about four sons, one is wise, one is wicked, one is a simpleton and one is a son who doesn’t know what to ask.” We have to attend to each of these four sons at their level and tell them the story of the exodus.  


Q.  Why is the wicked son placed second, after the wise one rather than last? 


A.  One reason is that they are placed according to their level of intelligence.  Although he may be wicked, yet he is more intelligent than the two after him. 


The Lubavitcher Rebbe, who was born on this day (11 of Nissan) 117 years ago, explains that we place the wicked son next to the wise one, so that the wise son will influence him to better his ways. The wicked son is very important at the Seder table. The Seder is for him as much as for the wise son. No Jew should be left behind. We should never give up on anyone.   


In fact, in the Torah, the wicked son is actually mentioned first! This teaches us that we shouldn't reject any child, not even the bad one. Instead, we must try and influence the wicked one so that he, too, will become wise and follow in the ways of the Torah.


Q.  At the time of the Exodus, the Jewish people came out of Egypt with great wealth, as G-d had promised Abraham many years earlier.  Why don’t we make any symbol for the great wealth at the Seder?


A.  The Lubavitcher Rebbe, writes, "Jewish wealth are not houses and gold. Everlasting Jewish wealth is, being Jews who keep Torah and mitzvot and bringing into the world children and grandchildren who behave properly and keep Torah and mitzvot."


The fact that we sit at the Seder together with family members, surrounded by our children and grandchildren, who participate in the customs and traditions of the Seder and the great Nachas we derive this night, is a display of our great wealth!