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How to Address the Four Sons in Our Own Homes & Communities

The Holy Child; the Angry Lad; the Spineless Youngster and the Apathetic One

2 hr 2 min

Class Summary:

Rabbi YY Jacobson delivered this Pesach lecture, on Thursday evening, 6 Nissan 2016, April 14, 2016, on the subject of: How Do We Address the Four Sons of the Hagaddah in Our Own Homes and Communities?


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  • H

    Helen -5 years ago

    My husband and I were discussing how to get through the Ma Nishtana at the Seder with about twenty people having to say it. My husband is makpid about eating afikoimen before chatzos. What would you suggest we do to make it work.

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    • RY

      Rabbi YY -5 years ago

      Both of you should be very attentive to each child saying it, embracing them with attention, love and nurture.
      Making each one feel special and truly valued.
      That's the main thing. Then the other parts of saying the haggda can be done faster.
      The focus is the children. 

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      • H

        helen -5 years ago

        Your sensitivity to making yiddishkeit meaningful and pleasurable for the next generation is a breath of fresh air. Loads of nachas from yours and a chag kosher vesameach

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  • Anonymous -5 years ago

    Beautiful class! One suggestion

    The source sheet looks very basic. I wish it could be more detailed so that it's easier to follow the structure of the lesson by looking at the sources. Written translations are also always nice.

    Thank you so much for your dedication towards teaching beuatiful Torah insights!

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  • Y

    yaakov -6 years ago

    blunt the teeth

    In many of the pre pesach shiurim you spoke about the rasha and blunting his teeth, the common theme was that we must see beyond his bark and reveal to him the source of his problem, namely that he has removed himself from the Klal but in reality he in fact does have a place in Klal Yisroel, and if we were only to remove his teeth (שיניו) he is revealed to be a tzadik (רשע-שינו=צדיק).

    The cynic though may ask, why not say it like it is? If you are telling me that really this rebellious son contains with in him the soul of a tzadik and all we have to do is bring it out can't the Rabbi's find a better way to express that than "blunt his teeth"? I mean if they are so careful with their words why not say put your arm around the poor guy and give a brother a hug?

    I think the answer can be illustrated by something that happened to me many years ago. I was a bachur in yeshiva and there was a bachur a little younger than me that was going through a hard time. As I passed by him in the hallway I put my arm on his shoulder and asked him "How's it going". He turned to me with a nasty cynical look on his face and said "Oh, so it makes you feel geshmak to give the younger bachurim some chizuk" Now whether he was right or wrong we can debate, but the truth is if someone is instructed to see through the outer roughness of a rebellious child and does his duty out of a sense of duty without actually internalizing the underlying truth, he isn't really seeing through the roughness he is just going about a motion. Which can sometimes be worse than doing nothing. One has to be able to see depth to see the soul of the tzadik hidden in the rasha.

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  • M

    mendel -7 years ago

    this insight takes the animus/resentment/anxiety/ ill feeling etc toward the rasha away.

    According to the knock his teeth out – the Rasha cant eat matzo – hard to to without teeth; issur of chovel on yom tov; the blood could stain the table cloth or carpet – tzoveah – and lets not even get started on the sugya of mapis mursah – which would replace sipur yetzias mitzrayim – as well as if you are allowed to call hatzoloh for the injured rasha.

    So how can anybody explain it literally?!

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  • AJ

    a jew -7 years ago

    why does the fourth son not ask? Did his father, teacher, whomever shut him up? Is his head fogged with no clarity? Was he abused? Is he scared? Why? What's the problem to begin with? It sure seems like most of the above and based on the "aat psach loi" it seems like some of the questions above may have happened because of harshness, impatience and abuse etc. the "aat psach loi" is talking to the father as welll but it sais "aat" loishon nekeiva and that's interesting to me. My thoughts are that this child is full of infinite potential etc. and can ask but was shattered and destroyed and therefore the "aat" is no coincidence. It's telling the teacher, father or whomever is involved in this child's life that, you shut him up and destroyed and shattered his world so "aat pesach loi", get yourself together, stop forcing, be more patient, gentle and loving etc. like a woman usually is to her child and so on.

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Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • April 14, 2016
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  • 6 Nisan 5776
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