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The Four Questions

March 16, 2011

As we sit around the Passover seder table, retelling the story of the Exodus from Egypt, we are encouraged to ask questions. Many of these come about naturally (why were frogs a plague?), but others are formally written into the Haggadah.

The best known of these are "the four questions." Each of the questions starts the same way, "Mah nishtanah?" ("Why is this night different from all other nights?")

It is customary for the youngest child at the Passover seder to recite the four questions from the Haggadah. Adults traditionally respond, explaining the differences between the customs of a seder night and a regular dinner night.

For the words, in Hebrew, English and transliteration, click here.

Roni recites the four questions, singing the traditional tune in Hebrew:

Hebrew for "what is different," the first words of the Four Questions, traditionally recited by the youngest child at the Passover seder. Hebrew for "telling," the text that outlines the order of the Passover seder. There are many, many versions of this book, which dates back almost 2,000 years. Because we are commanded to expand upon the story, the Haggadah contains ancient interpretations, as well as stage directions and explanations, for the Passover meal. The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." A language of West Semitic origins, culturally considered to be the language of the Jewish people. Ancient or Classical Hebrew is the language of Jewish prayer or study. Modern Hebrew was developed in the late-19th and early 20th centuries as a revival language; today it is spoken by most Israelis.
Hebrew for "order," refers to the traditional course of events, or service, surrounding the Passover and Tu Bishvat meals.

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