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    4 sons in one – Pesach

    The four sons, from the Prague Haggadah. 1536

    The Haggadah tells us that the Torah speaks of four sons who each need their questions handled individually: the wise son, the wicked son, the simple son and the son who doesn’t know how to ask.

    Having worked through the Seder components for many years, I have come to the conclusion that the four sons could well be one composite son who oscillates between the four characteristics we are used to.

    Sometimes a person is in a wise mood, sometimes in a nasty mood; sometimes a person is more sophisticated and sometimes less; sometimes a person’s mind is sharp and sometimes it is sluggish. Nobody is clever all the time. Nobody is always nice and in a good mood. Sometimes one is deep-thinking and sometimes the opposite.

    It recalls Rav Soloveitchik who said that the beginning of B’reshit speaks of two Adams, who turn out to be one Adam who fluctuates between the poetic and the practical.

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