4 Questions of Passover

Dear CoHere Families,

March was filled with sessions about Passover. I told the Passover story from the birth of Moses through the burning bush and freedom from slavery. We went over what the items on the Seder plate stand for. Some of your kids are even practicing the classic 4 Questions!

We made posters to show all the Number 4s in Passover. There are 4 questions, 4 children in the Haggadah and 4 cups of grape juice or wine. The Israelites then wander in the wilderness for 40 years and Moses is on the top of Mt. Sinai with God getting the Torah for 40 days. 4 is one of the symbolic numbers of Torah for sure!

Passover is a doozy of a narrative. There is so much death and suffering. There is no real way to sugar coat it. One astute 3rd grader asked, “Rabbi Ari…who is the bad guy in this story?” What a deep question. Is it Pharaoh alone? Does God in the story do the “right thing?” What about the role Moses plays? He does kill the Egyptian task master. The story is quite nuanced. I tried to explain that most of the Passover story did not actually happen (although some of it is archaeologically sound). There are deep truths in the narrative though that last through to our day.

The main Passover take-away is seen in the commandment repeated most often in the Torah. Do not oppress the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I spoke with your children about what it means to take care of the most needy in our community and in our world. This is one of the core messages of Judaism.

Here is an interesting Eli Talks video about the beauty of Jewish ritual items and includes a fantastic description of the Seder plate.

I hope spring break is fun and relaxing. I hope spring comes soon! I hope you are feeling that we can spring clean and remove our excess baggage or the stuff weighing us down figuratively or literally and open the windows and make room for less clutter and distraction and more openness and peace. I hope time with family for Passover and Easter meals and gatherings is meaningful.

In April, we will be working on a Mitzvah Mania project that I am excited about.

As always, be in touch with questions or comments. Please consider an end of our year, tax deductible donation to CoHere. All donations made to CoHere help pay for supplies and helps make our monthly sessions possible. I am using every penny of our grant to make this work. Thank you for your support.