Saturday, August 15, 2020 -
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Ma Nishtana

Why is this night different from all other nights? Millions of reasons.

Millions of voices.

Someone had the idea that at the Passover seder in Israel all the children should ask the Four Questions at exactly 8:30 p.m. around the entire country. This is just what happened.

In a country most of whose housing is condominiums, this simultaneous recital meant that in one apartment the voices of the children next door and across the way, wafting through the window, were also heard. How many children are there in Israel? This is how many children recited Ma Nishtana at once.

It was a beautiful protest against the medical quarantine and terrible pandemic that swept Israel, no less than other countries. Israel’s prime minister was the first in the world to impose severe restrictions on his country. Many called him autocratic. Many now wish others had done the same. Still another Israeli turn: toward the children, toward faith in a future; hope that the innocent voices of the children will perhaps reach where other voices raised in prayer might not.

Clearly it was a beautiful protest against confinement on the paradigmatic time of freedom, the seder night. May we see the seder’s message of political redemption penetrate the medical walls that now curtail our freedom.

Why is this night different from all other nights? Don’t look for the answers. Look for the innocent, fervent voices of the questioners.

Copyright © 2020 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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