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Pesach Questions


Well-Known Member
Some questions came up during the first 2 days of Passover. Some, I'm sure, have been asked before but I wanted to put them all out here just to keep people thinking. And if you know of some good answers, please post.

1. Why are the four questions called the 4 questions. At best, we have 1 question and 4 answers (how is this night different? In the following 4 ways). I know that there is much commentary about the four, but what is it called the four questions?

2. Why those items -- not only have some not happened yet, so a child wouldn't know to ask, but there are more important things about the meal that could be questioned

3. Why claim that on all other nights we don't dip? On the sabbath, we dip bread in salt

4. Why claim that on all other nights we can have chameitz or matzah? For the 2 weeks before Pesach, we cannot eat matzah!

5. If, according to Ha Lachama Anya, the matzah was the bread that we ate in Egypt, why make a big deal about the fact that it was eaten also when we left?

6. Why, as part of telling about the exodus, do we use the frame of 4 sons? Why not just tell the story?

7. Similarly, why add Koreich to the seder?


Well-Known Member
So a few more thoughts about the wording of the 4 "questions"

Why do we say that we eat "kulanu misubin" -- that must mean "we are all leaning", but during the eating of marror we are told specifically NOT to lean. So it seems it means "tonight, [at times] we are required to lean whereas on other nights, there is never any obligation to lean.

But a secondary thought to the idea of heseiba, leaning. In the story about the rabbis staying up all night it says "shehayu mesubin" - that they were leaning (reclining). I know that there were ancient customs to eat on couches so one is reclining the entire time, but
a) is this not a time of either sitting or lying (shechiva)? Why call it specifically leaning?
b) why was there position when doing maggid (during which there is no obligation to lean because that is not when we are eating) the defining feature of their presence?

If we have to insert the idea of "we are required to" so as to differentiate (on all other nights we are allowed to eat any vegetables but tonight we are required to eat maror" then why not point out karpas, which we are required to eat also? (the nature of "requirement" vs. "practice" vs. "tradition" seems very murky as it relates to the seder). And if one eats horseradish, that is neither a green nor a vegetable. Just saying.

Back to the point about "have to" vs. "practice" -- if we HAVE to dip, then why is there no bracha on the dipping?


Well-Known Member
Another question (one's brain is a whirl while making muffins...)

We have an obligation to remember the exodus every day. Why do we not do so via questions?

On Sukkot, we do enough weird stuff to prompt a child to ask questions, and one understanding of sitting in the sukkah is to recall Hashem's guarding us during the exodus and our travels in the desert.