THE PASSOVER SEDER: AN EXERCISE IN COMMUNICATION WITH MILLENNIALS!
The survival of the Jewish people has got to be one of the greatest miracles in history. So many throughout the ages have risen and attempted to destroy us, yet our people have not only endured the onslaught but have become stronger and even thrived as a result.
This Friday night, millions of our brothers and sisters throughout the world will gather around the Seder Tables - as our ancestors have done for thousands of years - to transmit this remarkable story to the next generation. This represents an enormous challenge. Smartphones and social media have transformed the way young people behave. How then do we transmit our values and traditions to a generation so different to ours?
A small measure of comfort is available. Every generation has faced this hurdle only different in varying degrees. Which is why the Seder night is so brilliantly and uncanningly structured, creating a setting and atmosphere which allows the story of our people to be transmitted to our children.
The key to success lies in just one component. So subtle yet so powerful. So simple yet so true. It is perhaps the most important advice in the art of communication, especially with regard to our children. In one sentence it is: Listen before you talk.
At the very centre of our Seder experience are the four children. Each with their own distinctive personality and their own unique question. G-d tells each and everyone of us. Listen carefully to the question of your child and only after which you will be able you respond. Despite the most sophisticated mediums of communication, relationships today are proving to be a major challenge. Perhaps we have lost the ability to listen carefully to what others are saying? Perhaps it is because we are so preoccupied with ourselves and concomitantly with our own pressures that we have switched off our listening devices?
This timeless wisdom is more vital today than ever before. This Seder night; Let us all listen very carefully to what our children and our friends are saying.
Let us listen to their concerns.
Let us listen even more so to what they are not saying.
Let us show them that we care about them.
Let us not attempt answers before we understand the questions.
By so doing we will continue to be part of the great miracle, the survival and flourishing of the Jewish people