I learned the Four Questions in the kitchen. My mother handed me a towel and said: “I’ll wash, you dry. I’ll sing a few words, and you repeat.” And so we sang, from the night after Lit. "Lots." A carnival holiday celebrated on the 14th of the Jewish month of Adar, commemorating the Jewish victory over the Persians as told in the Book of Esther. Purim is celebrated by reading the megilla (Book of Esther), exchanging gifts, giving money to the poor, and holding a festive meal. At the megilla reading, merrymakers are dressed in costumes, people drink, and noisemakers (graggers) are sounded whenever the villain Haman's name is mentioned., every night until I’d learned it all.
I taught the Four Questions at bath time to two little ones, lithe and slippery as seals. “I’ll sing a few words, and then you sing,” I said. They loved to dip and splash for “sh’tei f’amim.” And so we sang, from Purim to Passover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God "passed over" the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc).. Every night until they learned it all.
This is a rite of passage. We learn our part and take our turn.
Wine trembles in our cups. Candles flicker. Conversation stops.
First we ask the prescribed questions. Then, we add our own.
The Journey Continues: The Ma’yan Lit. "Telling.” The haggadah is the book used at the seder table on Passover to tell the story of the Exodus, the central commandment of the holiday. It is rich in song, prayer, and legend. There are many different version of the Haggadah produced throughout Jewish history. can be purchased for $12 + $4 s/h by emailing Ma’yan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
From The Journey Continues: The Ma’yan Haggadah (Ma’yan 2000).