We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
This morning, when I went out to fetch the morning newspaper, at my door was a box, a gift from the local Chabad, containing all the makings but the feast for the Passover seder. Instead of wasting my time over tea to scan the headlines which repeat mostly the answers that the legacy media want us to repeat, I went online to see what wisdom I'd find at the Chabad.org website, a frequent source of thoughtfulness.
The Passover Haggadah is the booklet containing the order of the prayers and rituals at the seder feast table on Passover. It starts off with the Four Questions by each of four sons of differing knowledge and attitude. The point of this Chabad essay is that the point of the seder is to solicit questions from the young, so they may understand what's truly meaningful, not just to repeat what authority tells them to. Authority rewards youth for repeating what authority wants them to say and think. Education rewards youth for questioning the delivered authority and then finding out what is accurate.
So, I tossed the morning newspaper aside. Each year I find some meaningful readings from different angles and insights to share with my sons at the seder table. Here's the one that spurred this post that I'll share with my sons tonight night at the first seder. You may share it with me.
The Seder plate, as I've often explained at my own Seders, is the world's first example of multi-media teaching. Each of the six items on the Seder plate opens up an entire lesson in history and ethics and philosophy. The Haggadah (the printed lesson plan and script) lists the stories, songs, prayers and the order in which each of these are used to impart the greatest impact in the lessons.