Mah Nishtanah – DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK!

The entire Seder is built around the unique phenomenon that the child must ask. Judaism doesn’t shun questions, rather it promotes them. We do everything possible to stimulate the child’s mind and get him to question. We are not satisfied to have the child sit back and relax while we feed him the necessary information. We want him to ask for it. And so the seder opens up with the Mah nishtanah

A renowned thinker once said that he owes his great genius to his mother. Whenever he arrived home from school she would never ask him, What did you learn in school today? but rather, What good question did you ask in school today?

Questions breed greater thought. A child that doesn’t ask questions may sometimes show apathy. It may show that he’s not interested or concerned. It may mean that he couldn’t care less. If someone is concerned and really wants to know then he will ask questions. Questions stimulate the mind toward greater knowledge.

In Torah, one can never know everything. The Torah represents G-d’s wisdom which is infinite. One can never learn enough. Questions enhance a person’s knowledge. It keeps him growing.

It is the very many questions that fill the Talmud that help us uncover their true meanings and help us find proper answers.

Questions make us probe more deeply. Questions make us search for better answers. Yiddishkeit does not shun questions. It encourages them. We are never satisfied with what we already know. We want to know more. We want to understand it better. The search never ends. For the Torah itself is endless. One can never comprehend Hashem himself. It is impossible! Yet our questions help make our knowledge of Him better and better, and brings us closer and closer-. Isn’t this the entire purpose of the great miracles He made in Mitzrayim “Let all know that they are your creation” (Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur davening).

Our faith is built on questions. Yet, if we are to find the truth, we must learn to ask the proper questions. We must be careful to formulate the question as the chochom does! We must attempt to seek the meaning of the Eidos chukim andmishpatim. For the more we understand them, the greater will be our fear and love for Hashem.

As our knowledge increases, so does our appreciation of our Creator. The better we understand the miracles He has done for us in Mitzrayim, the more our appreciation grows. For the better the question, the better the answer. We must continually search deeper and deeper. This way our appreciation for Hashem will grow greater and stronger. “The more a person dicusses the story of Yetizas Mitzrayim, the more praiseowrthy he is”.