You are on page 1of 2

On Freedom Wishing Your Family

A Passover Message
Proclaim liberty throughout all the Land unto all the A Sweet Passover
Ask a child what it means to be free and he or she
will likely say it means being able to do anything
inhabitants thereof.
Leviticus 25:10 from the
one wants. Ask a child to describe a free country
and he or she is likely to describe a place where
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, Bi-Cultural Family
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the
people can do whatever they want, be whatever
‫חג כשר ושמח‬
freedom of others.
they want to be, and go wherever they want to go. Nelson Mandela (1918 - ), Anti-Apartheid Activist;
As we mature, however, and become sensitized to Former President, South Africa
the complexities of the human condition and the
I think of a hero as someone who understands the
ways of the world, we become aware that in fact
degree of responsibility that comes with his
true freedom is not the ability to do whatever we
desire. Moreover, a country in which everyone freedom.
Bob Dylan (1941 - ), Musician Philosopher
does whatever he or she craves is not a free
country, but an anarchical one. Seek freedom and become captive of your desires,
Undoubtedly this is the message the rabbis sought seek discipline and find your liberty.
to teach us when they playfully reread the words of Frank Herbert (1920 – 1986), Author of Dune
the verse recounting the inscribing of the Ten
None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the
Commandments on the two stone tablets: “The
rest love not freedom, but license.
words were inscribed on the tablets - " ‫אל תקראו‬
John Milton (1608 – 1674), English Poet
‫ אלא חרות‬,‫ “חרוט‬don’t read the verse as if it says
“inscribed (Charut),” but rather as if it says My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what
“freedom (Cheruth)” -- the words were freedom America will do for you, but what together we can
on the tablets. These basic laws, a gift to the do for the freedom of man.
Jewish People and to the world, don’t represent a President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
restriction to our freedom. Indeed, a world which
possesses a moral map, a world in which people In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it
respect the rule of law is the only truly free world. must be achieved.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945)
Passover, recalling our people’s exodus from
Egyptian slavery, is the holiday of freedom. Yet The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
unlike other Jewish holidays, Passover is not a self President Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)
contained celebration. From the second night of
Passover, we begin a formal count, the sefirah, for History does not teach fatalism. There are
7 weeks until we arrive at the holiday of Shavuot moments when the will of a handful of free men
which marks the giving of the Torah. This breaks through determinism and opens up new
connection between Passover and Shavuot is roads.
intrinsic to the very meaning of this season: we General Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970),
move from slavery, to physical freedom, to true President of the French Republic Bi-Cultural Day School
freedom: a freedom guided by law and a moral Celebrating Excellence in
code. Community Jewish Education for over 50 years
May this be a season to recognize the blessings of
freedom we experience living as Jews in the
Bi-Cultural Day School Dr. Gerald B. Kirshenbaum,
Headmaster
2186 High Ridge Road
United States of America. On behalf of Bi-Cultural
Stamford, Connecticut 06903
Day School, we wish you and your family a sweet 2186 High Ridge Road
(203) 329-2186
and meaningful Passover. Stamford, Connecticut 06903
office@bcds.org z www.bcds.org
Rabbi David A. Israel (203) 329-2186
Director of Community Education
Questions for Four, the Children
Family Discussion
Looking at the illustrations on the inside
of the pamphlet which show children
who are wise, wicked, simple, and
unable to ask:

• Which of the pictures do you like best? Prague, 1526 USA, 1879
Why?

• Which child do you feel is depicted most


differently in the illustrations? Why might
this be? Poland, 1939
• What common theme is depicted in the
pictures of the wise child? How does this
depiction relate to your understanding of
Jewish values? How does it relate to our
celebration of Passover and the Seder?

• Describe what you think each artist is trying


to portray in the wicked child. USA, 1981

• What do you think are the character traits of Amsterdam, 1695 USA, 1944
someone who is wise, wicked, simple, or
unable to ask?

• Is it possible to find each child’s opposite


within the four children? Who is the
opposite of the wise child? Who is the
opposite of the simple child? USA, 1920
Israel, 1985
• Is it possible to see these “children” as
representing different styles of learning
(which might exist at different times even
within one individual)? What traits make up
these different styles?

• Two of the illustrations specifically represent


the children at the same table. What does it
mean that they are all at the same table, USA, 1988
Israel, 2006
including the evil child?

Dedicated in loving memory of Julia Macy by Toby & Hyman Schaffer and family