Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Four Sons

Tomorrow night the holiday of Pesach begins. This is the birth of the Jewish nation, when we went from a family to a nation. G-d took us from slavery to freedom and gifted us with the honor and responsibility of being a light unto the nations. G-d did not just physically remove us from slavery, he showed us how to live with a mentality of a free people and individually as a person without limitations. This is a holiday so rich with traditions and special foods and it all revolves around the children, who have always been the future of the Jewish people. During the Seder, we talk about the four sons and the different questions they ask. The wise son, the wicked son, the simple son and the one who does not know how to ask. And we learn what the proper answer is for each one. Last year as we were reading this part of the Haggadah, it occurred to me that I have gone through each of those 'sons' in the last few years, and that process has repeated itself numerous times. 
When Yitzi first got sick, if I was asked how I am doing, or what can be done I absolutely had no words. All I could do was an 'I have no idea' motion with my hands. I was locked in a silent world where there were no words to describe the emotions and thoughts I had. Slowly I moved to the 'Why' stage and the 'How' stage and the 'What' stage. Why would G-d do this? How will we survive? What did we do to deserve this?  I definitely went through an angry stage. I was sure I could outsmart G-d. I would argue with Him all the time. 'G-d, if you think this is going to make us stronger, or better, or teach us something I guarantee you that it won't work. Soon you will realize nothing good will come from this and you will give up on this grand plan.' And why G-d do You think you get to do this to people and then we say 'May G-d comfort you...' You don't get both. Either you destroy us or you comfort us, pick one!  Occasionally I feel slightly wiser, I can see so much good and can use this to comfort so many others. I see how Yitzi has inspired so many in need of inspiration and reminded us all not to take life for granted. He may be locked in his body but his mind and heart and soul sing with freedom. 
In the Haggadah we learn how to respond to these stages. The one who does not know how to speak, we learn that the mother comforts and opens their mouth for them. Sometimes all we can do is give a hug and be there. You have to figure out how to help and what to do for that person. The simple son needs a simple answer. G-d has done miracles and can and will again. There are no real answers to those questions, just faith. In the Haggadah it says that the wicked son gets a sharp answer. Sometimes perspective is everything. And if one is truly wicked, perhaps a sharp answer, but we are not really wicked. We are scared and angry and feel a total loss of control and if G-d is lucky, (and we are lucky) we argue with Him and don't abandon Him. The wise son gets a more detailed answer. Although I am most definitely not a wise son, I do really want to understand, and most of the time I am open to learn. 
Many of us have experienced this cycle more then once. I hope and I pray that this year we receive the ultimate answer from G-d. The one that leaves no more questions and makes us whole again. Tomorrow night is one of the most auspicious times of the year. G-d personally redeemed each and every one of us and can most definitely do it again. Use your time wisely and ask for what you need. May this be the last of our exile and this year in Jerusalem.

This is dedicated to my beloved husband Yitzi who has been a wise son since I met him. His faith and joy and love has made this world so much of a better place. He is good through and through and I love every day with him. May this year bring miracles and blessings to us all. 


  1. beautiful! May your family be redeemed from all pain and suffering. With blessings for good news and a Happy Pesach!

  2. Amen, may G-d bless your family with every blessing imaginable and beyond forever! and all the Jewish people and good people of the world!

  3. Dina you are a wise son! To think of such an analogy is brilliant. May Hashem give Yitzi and your family a true yetzias mitzraim.
    Thank you for continuing to inspire others. We can all apply your messages to our own personal struggles.
    Miriam in Australia

  4. I"m always inspired by your sharing. With your "pain, weakness and limitation" you give us all so much strength and lessons to learn from you. I wish you complete recovery and redemption.