The Power of Questions
A Note about Passover from Trip Leader Raquel Kirszenbaum Didio
During the Passover seder, we love hearing our children ask the four questions. Why are these questions an integral part of the seder? Why is asking questions an essential part of Judaism?
Passover marks the beginning of the Jewish people. We left our enslavement in Egypt and we became the Jewish nation. As we celebrate Passover each year, we have the opportunity to consider who we are and why being Jewish is important to each one of us. By asking questions, we refine what we know and we recommit to our people. We remember what we lived through and why our story is so meaningful to us.
Asking questions fills us with excitement. It makes us feel like children again. Children are filled with a sense of innocence. They ask questions, and the answers they receive become part of their hard drive and their way of viewing the world.
When we have a new boyfriend or girlfriend, we’re constantly asking each other questions to get to know each other better. When we get a new job, we ask a lot of questions because we want to know everything there is to know. But then our jobs, our relationships, and our lives become more routine. Asking questions at the seder reawakens our excitement in our story and in who we are. Asking questions inspires greater intimacy. Asking questions leads to us fall more deeply in love with our people, with our heritage, and with G-d.
Asking questions also fosters a sense of humility in each one of us. The more questions we ask, the more we realize how little we know. Our knowledge is a drop in the ocean, and we simply cannot know everything. In Judaism, the wisest person is called a “talmid chacham,” a wise student. The wisest student is the student who asks the most questions. As the Jewish sage Rashba said, “The ultimate goal of all knowledge is to make one realize that one really does not know.”
Realizing that our knowledge is limited can bring us closer to God. On Passover, we remember the miracles that were created for our people. On Passover, we celebrate our faithfulness and trust in God, and we celebrate the beginning of the Jewish people.
This Passover, let us continue to ask questions and to nurture a love of asking questions in our children. By asking questions about our heritage and our story, we will fall more deeply in love with our history and traditions, and appreciate the countless miracles in our lives.
Chag Sameach! Happy Passover!