v’hegadeta l’vincha

And so on the night of Pesach when we are commanded “v’hegadeta l’vincha” to
tell our children the story of yetzias mitzrayim, the Torah tells us that we must do so
on four different levels, each one in accordance to the questions the child may ask.
Each child must be delt with differently. The answer we give them will depend on
their questions.
The Torah tells us that all children fall into one of four categories. There is the
smart son who tries to understand the specific purpose of all the different type of
commandments. There unfortunately also exists the evil son that believes that it’s
not for him. He excludes himself and sees absolutely no purpose in all of it. Then we
have the simple son referred to as the Tam who just wants a simplistic explanation
and doesn’t seem able to comprehend the many details. Then we have the son who
knows nothing at all. He was brought up in a public school and the only thing he
may have seen was a Christmas tree.
All children fall into one of these four categories and each one of them must be
given his appropriate answer and dealt with on his own level. Each of them will only
be able to comprehend the story of Yetzias Mitzrayim in accordance with his own
The story of Yetzias Mitzrayim is the basic foundation of our belief and must be
retold in its entirety each year at the Seder table. It must begin with the concept of
“Mokom.” We must believe in Hashem the way our father Avraham did. It must be
on the level of “naase v’nishma” – first we do and then we try and understand the
reason. We do it because this is G-d’s command. There need be no other reason.
We show them how the makos proved that not only does Hashem have full control
of all of matter but that there is no place that His presence is not felt. He supplies the
constant energy that gives everything its existence. While most people in the world
also believe in the existences of a G-d, their concept of G-d is very different then
ours. When Hashem offered to give them the Torah they began asking questions.
They wanted to know what was written in it. Would they be able to manage their
lives with it? A real G-d is One we must follow blindly as Avrohom had done. If we
think we know better or that we may question Him, then our belief in G-d can’t be
worth much. We must follow his decrees blindly even if we can’t grasp their reason.
That’s because G-d Who created heaven and earth certainly knows best!
And so, unfortunetly, whenever tragedy chas v’shalom strikes, we always use the
Name Mokom, for despite the great suffering, we know that Hashem is always there
with us. It is only our strong faith and trust in Hashem that gives us the strength to
survive the dark and bitter golus. We always remember the words of the great Rabbi
Akiva who said that “All Hashem does, is ultimately for our good.”