Nobody appreciates childish behaviour in an adult. As adults, we’re expected to do adult things: Act responsibly, react to situations with maturity, be practical- and retain a basic level of cynicism.
When Pesach arrives, we shift focus for a night or two. Seder night is kids’ night. That’s not to say that the Seder is for kids only. Nor does it suggest that the Seder is the only time Judaism highlights children. Rather, the Seder is the time to become a child again.
Traditionally, the youngest child asks the Four Questions. But, if there’s no child available, an adult has to assume the child’s role and ask the questions. Karpas- dipping a veggie piece into salt water- was designed to get the children asking questions. Let’s be honest, it has you asking too. Singing Pesach songs and pondering (or acting out) the 10 plagues have a childish sparkle to them. As you analyze the four sons, you must wonder which of the four you are. And who doesn’t have just as much fun as the kids when it’s time for the Afikomen hide-and-seek game towards the end of the Seder?
The Pesach Seder is not only about entertaining the kids, it’s about becoming a child again.
As healthy as it is to be an adult, there are some childlike traits that are worth trying to recapture. Innocence, naiveté and wild imagination are childhood treasures we should earth up once in a while.
Pesach is about breaking barriers, transcending personal issues and liberating the spirit. To do those things, you need to become a child again- trusting and unafraid to dream.
Babies are naïve enough to make the leap from crawling to walking, and youngsters’ dream they will change the world. Pesach invites us to join this world of unfettered trust and fantastic dreams- and empowers us to make them happen.