Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Remember The Point

If you have one last blog post to read before Yom Tov, make it this one at Adventures in Chinuch: What's the Deal with Mah Nishtana? Teaching by Example. Excerpt:
Interestingly, the four questions of the mah nishtana are focused on pointing out the strange things we do at the seder, and we don't even answer why. Imagine the following scenario:

The bell rings

Teacher: Okay class, today in halacha, we are going to learn some strange things about Judaism. Isn't it weird that on Succos we walk around in circles with branches and fruit? That makes no sense! And what's about Tzitzis? Boys are supposed to wear strings on a shirt that has four corners? Stu-pid! Anybody have other examples?

Jerry: Oooh! Pick Me!

Teacher: Yes, Jerry.

Jerry: What's the deal with Shabbos? We are supposed to rest, so why can't we turn off the lights? How do I rest with the lights on? I mean, come on!

Teacher: Beautiful Jerry! That is a great example of how strange our religion is. Okay everyone, have a wonderful Shabbos! Don't forget to share what we learned at the Shabbos table!

Not exactly the paradigm of chinuch.

So, what is the deal? Why are we encouraging questions that we don't answer (at least not directly?
Go read the answer.

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