Finding A Child to Say Mah Nishtana
A few years ago, I was teaching a class and asked why children were the focal point of the Seder. In fact, many Seders have no children at all. My wife, Tova, commented that perhaps the Seder is a calling for each of us to find our “child within.” She went on to relate how her father, now a grey-bearded grandfather, still recites the Mah Nishtanah, after all the children leave centre stage.
I began thinking how it’s a challenge to view life with “fresh eyes” and a sense of excitement. When I think of my father-in-law singing the Mah Nishtana, I look beyond the grey beard and see the young boy within, sitting around a table with faces now long gone.
This year, the number of Seders worldwide has multiplied exponentially. Yet, the average participants in attendance, at each one, has greatly diminished. At the countless Seders of solitude, or those with too many seats empty, we need to find the children - those within us.
True liberation is the ability to find fresh eyes. May all of our Seders be filled with children – even those with grey beards.
Rabbi Daniel Green