Chacham Ma Hu Omer

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As we surely know, the chacham’s question can be found in parshas Vo’es’chanan, yet the answer we give the chacham is different then the answer the Torah tells us to give him. When the chacom in the Torah asks about the meaning of the eyduschukim, andmishpatim, we are told to answer him “Avodim hoyinu...” Yet when the chacham asks the very identical question at the seder table we are told to explain him the laws of the Korban Pesach until the law which says that one is not permitted to eat any food after partaking from the Korban Pesach. Now if the Torah tells us the answer we are to give this child, why look for another one. It’s hard to believe that anyone can do better then the Torah. Why don’t we stick to the Torah’s text? Why even bother looking for other answers? Do as we’re told.

The answer may be that the wise son in the Torah is not asking the same question as the wise son sitting at the seder table. The wise son, whom the Torah refers to, asks a very general question. He wants to know the reason that Hashem gave us a Torah filled with three different types of mitzvos – eduschukim and mishpotim. He wants to understand every detail of every type of mitzvah. Him we must tell that our ancestors were once slaves in Egypt and Hashem took us out on condition that we keep all his commandments and of course explain each one to him. The wise son sitting at the seder table surely knows that tonight is the time we are required to discuss our exodus from Egypt. He therefore directs his question to the particular mitzvah of korban Pesach that is the only mitzvah that contains all three elements of edus, chukim and mishpotim. We therefore answer his question by going into all the details of this particular korban until the very last detail which has nothing to do with preparing or eating the korban itself but comes after we actually finish eating it.

And so while both the Torah and the Haggadah discusses the wise son’s question, each one of them is asking a different question and therefore gets a different answer.