During the Passover Seder, the youngest capable child asks the four questions. Why is this night different than any other night? Why on other nights, do we eat chametz and matzo, but on this night only matzo? Why, on other nights, do we eat all vegetables, on this night only bitter herbs? Why on other nights, do we not dip vegetables even once, on this night we dip them twice. Why on other nights do some eat sitting, and some reclining, but on this night, we all recline? (I know, technically 5 questions). This is followed by a long answer involving sons, plagues, scholarly rabbinical commentary and multiplying fingers of G-d. A narrative that can be long and complicated and doesn’t really answer the questions. Not unlike life itself. A lot of questions, not many answers. It starts when we are babies, just learning to speak. “Why is the sky blue? Why do I have to wash my hands? What’s that? When is this new baby sister going back to her real mommy and daddy? What’s that? What’s that? Why? Why? But WHY?” It’s adorable. Until it isn’t. As we get older, we screen ourselves. We don’t want to appear nosy, rude, intrusive, uninformed, stupid. Worst of all, stupid. So we keep our mouths shut, we don’t ask questions, we don’t ask for what we need, we stumble around tripping over our own feet when all we have to do is ask someone where the %^*#ing light switch is. Well, I have some questions.
- Am I ever going to sleep again?
- Why do fools fall in love?
- What is that thing growing in my belly button?
- Why is the broken escalator always going up?
- Where the ^*%•*are the socks that keep disappearing from the laundry?
- What the hell is my husband taking about?
- Why do I say, “oy” every time I get up?
- What is jackfruit?
- What in G-d’s Green Acres is going on in my lady parts?
- Why, after almost 60 years of seders, did I have to google what the 4 questions are in English?
- Will the person who took my body and replaced it with my mother, please return it? No questions asked.
- How likely is it that that thing growing in my belly button grew around a cheese doodle crumb?
- Why doesn’t everyone think like me?
- Why aren’t jellybeans a fruit?
- Who let the dogs out?
- Why am I here?
- What am I supposed to be doing?
- Can I get a do-over?
- How do I get to someday?
- Why can’t someday be today?
- But, WHY?
I know, still adorable.
Like the Passover Haggadah, it’s all in the interpretation. We were slaves in Egypt, now we’re not. Thanks, G-d. Sometimes the endless questions are frustrating, sometimes though, it’s just another puzzle to solve. Another game. Who doesn’t like games? No, really, who? Really? But, WHY?On the Fence