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Shabbat Passover – Teaching What Counts


During the confinement and quarantine that we have all been subjected to, there has been one strong emphasis that families have been consumed with, educating our children.

Mothers and fathers have joined the ranks of teachers and Rabbis investing most of their days into their child’s education.

The very first all night educational seminar took place on the night of the Exodus from Egypt.

One of the very first commandments of the Torah was educational, “In order that you may relate to your children and grandchildren the wonders that I did in Egypt.“

One question which is commonly asked about the Haggadah that we read at the Passover Seder is that there is hardly any mention of the central figure in the entire story, Moshe. The central character who dominated the entire story is absent.

An interesting and novel answer is that this commandment was initially only applicable to Moshe, and could not apply to the Jews of the exodus since all their children had personally experienced and witnessed all the miraculous events. The only ones who had no personal knowledge of all that had transpired were Moshe’s children who were in Midian with his wife and her family and did not join him until after the exodus. Hence, the first Haggadah and narration of the exodus was the account that Moshe gave his own children. As such, Moshe being the most humble of men, downplayed his own place in this epic story.

In Jewish tradition, a child’s education comes from the home, the mother and father are the child’s teachers, coaches, guides and mentors. Not only did Moshe educate his children about their collective national experience, but he also showed the value of modesty and humility. As stay at home educators, we should act as Moshe. While it is important to teach them and give them an education, teaching them what counts is even more important. 

~ Rabbi Shaul