Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Seder night speaks to us. Haggadah. We are given the gift of speech to communicate our hopes, our visions, and our dreams.

We talk about the four sons. The ‘rasha’, the ‘chocham’, the ‘tam,’ and the child who is ‘eino yodea lishol.’ Many parents and families can relate. Children bring much joy and yet, there are many struggles. What is a parent to think? How can a parent find the koach to go on?


Before we bring the four sons to our seder table, the haggadah proclaims: “Baruch HaMakom, Baruch Hu, Baruch Shenasan Torah LeAmo Yisrael, Baruch Hu.” And then, in the same breath, we say “Kineged arbaah banim dibrah Torah – the Torah speaks about four sons.”

What is the connection?

Look carefully. Four times we mention the word ‘baruch’ – blessed. Because we must know that every child is considered to be ‘baruch’ – a blessing. Yes, even in the most difficult situation, there is bracha to be found. Seder night gives us a new perspective.

Look at where we have come from. We were slaves, despondent, living a life of marror. How easy it would have been to simply give up. But Am Yisrael continued to breathe life into this world. Shifra and Puah refused to surrender and courageously cheered on the women of Klal Yisrael. Every child was made beautiful for their mother, thus the name ‘Shifra.’ Every child was calmed and cooed to, bringing us to appreciate the power of ‘Puah.’ Every child was seen as a gift from the heavens Above. Never give up on a child.

Metichilah ovdei avodah zarah hayu avoseinu – from the beginning, our fathers were idol worshipers.” Tonight, as we celebrate Hashem’s love for us, we recall our shameful past of idol worship. Why bring this up at the seder? Can you imagine attending a grand celebration, setting the table with your finest silver, most delicious food and wines, and then speaking about the guest of honor’s tarnished past? What’s the point?

Herein lies the sparks of hope for each of us as we sit around our seder table.

We begin seder night with one word. “Kadesh.” Because tonight, every single Jew, every single child, no matter who you are, no matter where you’ve been – you are kadosh. You are holy. Yes, it is true that your forefathers worshiped idols. They did not see the hand of Hashem. Who could have imagined that we would flourish and become Hashem’s most treasured nation? Anything is possible! You must only tap into the faith of your fathers and mothers, your zaydies and bubbies who made footsteps for you. They climbed great heights, never allowing the darkness of the day to overcome them.

Baruch HaMakom….” There is great blessing to be had. The ‘pintelah yid,’ that holy spark, lies within each and every one of us. Seder night is our opportunity to recharge. If we will it, we can kindle the flame of faith that sometimes seems to have been snuffed out. But we must know that the fire has never gone. It is waiting for us to open our eyes and hearts as we discover the flicker of light within.

We conclude our seder with a prayer for Yerushalayim, our holy city. For thousands of years we have yearned to return home. We have traveled the four corners of this earth but never forgot Jerusalem of gold. Under the chuppah, one of our most joyous of times, we take a moment to remember the destruction of our Bais HaMikdash and break a glass. “LeShanah HaBaah B’Yerushalayim:

My uncle, Rabbi Jacob Jungreis told me that when the evil Nazi’s shoved him, our family, and all the precious souls around him into the cattle cars, they would savagely scream ‘Shnell!” “Quickly!” Shnell, get into the cattle cars! Shnell, stand at roll call! Shnell, in line for the gas chambers! “Ribbono shel Olam,” my uncle said, “I too say shnell! Shnell, take us back to Yerushalayim! Shnell, help our nation come home to You! Shnell, rebuild our beautiful Bais HaMikdash! Shnell, bring us Mashiach!”

LeShanah HaBaah B’Yerushalayim. Shnell.


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Slovie Jungreis Wolff is a noted teacher, author, relationships and lecturer. She is the leader of Hineni Couples and the author of “Raising A Child With Soul.” She gives weekly classes and has lectured throughout the U.S., Canada, and South Africa. She can be reached at [email protected].