il portale dell'ebraismo italiano

The duty to ask

By Anna Segre

During the Passover seder, the narrative of liberation from slavery cannot begin without a question. It is not just a device to attract the attention of the little ones: the Talmud explicitly prescribes that even “two learned scholars, who know the rules of Pesach, ask each other”, or even, in the absence of others people with whom it is possible to dialogue, “he asks himself”. To ask, especially to oneself, means to doubt, not to already know the answer in advance. Therefore, we can get to the seder with many beautiful texts by authoritative commentators, many beautiful literary quotes, or even many beautiful ideas generated by our heads. But we should be ready to doubt, question everything, and ask other questions. In a way, the seder is a question to which we must arrive unprepared.