20 En­gag­ing Ques­tions for the Passover Seder

Provoca­tive ques­tions on rel­e­vant top­ics to help bring your Seder to life

The Jewish Voice - - SPECIAL FEATURES - By: Rabbi Shlomo Buxbaum

The Hag­gadah tells us to adapt our Seder to the var­i­ous at­ti­tudes of the peo­ple we find present around the ta­ble. The “wise son” re­ceives wis­dom, the “evil son” re­ceives sharp con­fronta­tion, the “sim­ple son” is taught the ABC’s of Ju­daism, and the “one who doesn’t know how to ask” is en­gaged in di­a­logue that will open him up.

Many of us know how to en­gage kids with fun games, props, junk food, and the prom­ise of re­ally cool Afikomen presents. But how do we en­gage the adults and make sure the Passover Seder be­comes more than an an­nual fam­ily get-to­gether fea­tur­ing matzah and Man­i­she­vitz?

Ques­tions that pro­voke dis­cus­sion about rel­e­vant top­ics can help bring your Seder to life. Here are 20 ques­tions for your Seder ta­ble that will help you en­gage even the least in­ter­ested guests. You can pose the ques­tions your­self or pre­pare con­ver­sa­tion cards and hand them out to your guests.

1. When dip­ping the Karpas into salt wa­ter: Has any­thing ever hap­pened to you which seemed bit­ter at the time but later turned out to be sweet?

2. When break­ing the mid­dle matzah and hid­ing it for later: What is a “hid­den” as­pi­ra­tion that you have, i.e. some­thing that you have post­poned for later in life but you plan/as­pire to one day get to?

3. When speak­ing about God’s prom­ise to Abra­ham: Why did Abra­ham merit to be the fa­ther of the Jewish peo­ple? What does it mean to be the child of Avra­ham? Are we liv­ing up to it?

4. What con­tri­bu­tions have the Jewish peo­ple made to hu­man­ity over his­tory?

5. When speak­ing about how the Jewish peo­ple were sent down to Egypt: How have the hard­ships in our life helped us be­come bet­ter peo­ple?

6. Dur­ing Vehi She’Am­dah: Why has there al­ways been so much anti-Semitism in the world? Do you think anti-Semitism is on the rise to­day?

7. When speak­ing about the be­gin­nings of Jewish life in Egypt: How does the Jewish peo­ple’s as­sim­i­la­tion into Egyp­tian cul­ture re­sem­ble Jewish as­sim­i­la­tion through­out his­tory?

8. When speak­ing about Jewish iden­tity in Egypt: What does Jewish iden­tity mean in Ex­ile?

9. When speak­ing about the harsh slav­ery: In our day-to-day lives, do we re­ally love what we do or are we more like slaves to our work?

10. The word Mitzrayim (Egypt) re­sem­bles the He­brew word for con­stric­tion. What is your per­sonal Mitzrayim? What is hold­ing you back the most?

11. When speak­ing about the plagues: Are there signs in our life push­ing us to change that we are just re­fus­ing to see?

12. Are there signs around us that God ex­ists? What are they?

13. Pharaoh Vs. Moses: What are the in­gre­di­ents to be a great leader?

14. When speak­ing about the var­i­ous mir­a­cles: Does the ex­is­tence of the Jewish peo­ple defy the nat­u­ral or­der of the world? Are we a mir­a­cle?

15. If you knew for cer­tain that God would help you suc­ceed, even through mir­a­cles, what new en­deavor would you take on?

16. When speak­ing about jump­ing in the Red Sea: What have you done re­cently to step out of your com­fort zone?

17. When singing Dayneu: What are the gifts in our life that make it all worth it?

18. What Mitzvot/Jewish gifts are you most ap­pre­cia­tive of? Is­rael? Shab­bat? To­rah? Some­thing else?

19. When recit­ing Hal­lel: If you could fully ex­press grat­i­tude to some­one in your past who re­ally made a dif­fer­ence in your life, who would it be?

20. When eat­ing matzah: If you could erad­i­cate lazi­ness from your life and live with com­plete dis­ci­pline, what could you ac­com­plish?

How do we en­gage the adults and make sure the Passover Seder be­comes more than an an­nual fam­ily get-to­gether fea­tur­ing matzah and Man­i­she­vitz?

When speak­ing about the harsh slav­ery: In our day-to-day lives, do we re­ally love what we do or are we more like slaves to our work?

When dip­ping the Karpas into salt wa­ter: Has any­thing ever hap­pened to you which seemed bit­ter at the time but later turned out to be sweet?

When speak­ing about jump­ing in the Red Sea: What have you done re­cently to step out of your com­fort zone?

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