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A New “Mah Nishtana:” Four Questions for Our Time

A Supplement Which You May Use At Your Seder

 

Bechol haleilot, On all other nights we eat hurried and rushed meals. Haleila hazeh, Tonight we are gathered together as a family without other distractions.

 

What can we do to strengthen our bonds as a family and to ensure that we focus our attention and time on the ones we love?

 

Bechol haleilot, On all other nights we speak about mundane matters. Haleila hazeh, Tonight we retell the story of our history and emergence as a people.

 

What can we do to ensure the survival of the Jewish people so that the generations that come after us will also gather and tell our story and feel it is theirs?
 

Bechol haleilot, On all other nights we may not be particular in regard to what we eat. Haleila hazeh, Tonight we are guided by Jewish law and focus on eating only what is permitted.

 

What Jewish customs, practices and observances can we try to perform on a more regular basis?

 

Bechol haleilot, On all other nights we do not think of our past, our origins or where we came from. Haleila hazeh, Tonight we are reminded we were once slaves.

 

What does this mean, and how can we transform this message into showing compassion for others?

 

 

 


Also published on Medium.

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Stuart Weinblatt

Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt is the President of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America. From 2009 - 2014 he served as Director of Israel Policy and Advocacy for the Rabbinical Assembly.
Rabbi Weinblatt is the rabbi of Congregation B'nai Tzedek in Potomac, Maryland, a vibrant Conservative synagogue of 650 families he founded in 1988, along with his wife and a handful of families.