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                       Ten Questions for Seder Night

                                                Rabbi Dovid Horwitz


The recital of the “Four Questions” on Seder night by the younger children is always one of the highlights of the evening. Indeed, the very tradition of asking questions is of vital importance. In fact, the gemara tells us that even if a person is alone at a seder, he must ask himself the Four Questions and then answer them. The Hagaddah states that even if we are all wise and knowledgeable and we are familiar with all of the details of the Exodus from Egypt, we still have an obligation to discuss our history in question and answer form. The Sages are relaying to us an important message. Seder night is not just about gleaning facts of history. It is about making an impression upon us and our children. Even if we know everything there is to know about our early history, we still have to question and ponder what our lives are all about.

I would like to suggest not four but ten questions to ask ourselves and our children on this seder night.

Why does G-d need his own “special” people, or put another way, why did He need to create people at all?

Does G-d really care about the small things that I do or don’t do?

What is the purpose for observing the Torah and its commandments and how does the concept of freedom come into play when there are so many restrictions in Judaism?

Why can’t I be a good person without Judaism?

What is our purpose in life? Is it to have fun and to live life for myself or is there a higher calling?

Do we make Torah our top priority or is it somewhere toward the bottom of our list? Is Torah really worth more to us than all of the riches in the world?

What kind of role models are we to our children? Are we setting good examples for them to emulate?

Why are there so many religious youth who are leaving the path of Torah Judaism and what can we do to protect our families from this danger?

Why is it so important to live as a Jew in Eretz Yisrael? Is life better in America or South Africa?

Are we really expecting Eliyahu or Mashiach to come through our door on Seder night? If he does come, how will that affect our lives? Will we hearken to his call?