The events leading to the liberation of Bnei Yisrael from Egyptian bondage make for a great story. There’s action, suspense, intrigue, the ‘good guy’ vs. the ‘bad guy,’ and finally, the villain’s downfall. Nothing like a good story to keep kids busy and entertained.
Indeed, retelling the story of the exodus from Egypt to our children is emphasized in the Seder.
Here’s the thing.
We don’t do it to keep them entertained, but rather to continue our legacy, because the children are the future. It may seem a paradox to build the future by focusing on what happened thousands of years ago, yet amazingly, it’s been effective for centuries.
We’ve been telling the same story for generations, in every corner of the world, way before technology turned the world into a global village. That’s why we’ve endured. It’s been said that, “A nation that forgets its past… has no future.” Jewish tradition is about remembering the past and honoring it as well.
How do we link the past and the future more than once yearly at the Seder? The answer is quite simple and possible at any given moment. It’s about honoring those who represent the past, essentially, our parents.
So, when focusing on the children at the Seder, remember-there is no future without a past. Set the original focus on those who represent the past. Ask them, listen to them. If you’re lucky and they’re still around, the older they are, the better. They were once ‘the future’ and have earned priceless insights and viewpoints that can help us build our future.
It’s good for them, good for you, and good for your children. Win-win-win!!
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