Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – April 15-16, 2022 (15 Nisan 5782)

April 15-16, 2022
Shabbat Pesach
15 Nisan 5782

Some large families set a special table just for the children at the Seder. At my house, the little ones sit side-by-side with the older ones. This way, the children stay more engaged with the service itself and are more likely to ask questions. (As a bonus, children also are more likely to be on their best behavior sitting beside Zayde, instead of with their rambunctious cousins.) As the youngest in my family, it was my responsibility to ask The Four Questions. But my siblings and cousins and I were encouraged to ask questions all throughout the evening. The Rabbis of the Talmud understood the importance of keeping children engaged and encouraging questions:

Everyone is obligated to drink four cups of wine—men, women, and children. Rabbi Yehuda asked: “What satisfaction would children get from wine? Instead, give them ears of corn and nuts so that they won’t fall asleep, and will instead ask questions.” Rabbi Eliezer said: “One eats matzah excitedly on the night of Passover so that the children will not fall asleep and will ask questions” (Talmud Pesachim 108b-109a).

Don’t give children wine, they might fall asleep and become too tired to ask questions! Instead, get them excited about the Seder and the food and the questions. The medieval Rabbis even suggested that every element of the Seder is meant to inspire questions.

May our Passover Seders inspire questions from children and adults alike, and may our questions connect us from generation to generation. Passover is truly the holiday of questions. And nothing beats having an honored seat next to Zayde, Grandpa, or Papa.

Please join in upcoming Shabbat/Pesach celebrations
Join us for services in the Synagogue (limited seating; masks required) or on Channel 1960

Friday at 4:30 PM First Seder in the Dining Room (advance reservations required)

Saturday at 10:00 AM Pesach Day I/Yom Tov Service followed by blessings in Dining Room
Saturday at 4:30 PM Second Seder in the Dining Room (advance reservations required)

Sunday at 10:00 AM Pesach Day II Yom Tov Service followed by blessings in Dining Room

Shabbat/Holiday Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 7:04 PM
Shabbat ends/light holiday candles Saturday evening after 8:01 PM
Holiday ends Sunday after 8:02 PM

Shabbat Shalom & Pesach Sameach!                                                                     Rabbi Sherman

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