In this timely holiday season, let’s look at a tradition and a story that continues to inspire people of different faith traditions up to this day. In the Scriptures, God liberated His people from Egyptian slavery with Moses and Aaron. They then journeyed towards the Promised Land with the hope of freedom and a just society. What can our kids learn from this story? Even if you are not religious or from a different faith tradition, there are lessons that you can give your children from this story and celebration.
Engage Children with Questions
Allow your children to ask about your traditions and current events. By doing this, you can allow your children to think critically and to allow them to appreciate traditions well. Let them be engaged in family celebrations and dinners to feel a sense of community
In the Jewish tradition, the youngest are asked to recite the Four Questions during Passover. These include, “Why is this night different from all the other nights? That on all other nights we eat both breads with yeast and without yeast, on this night, we eat only those without yeast?”
With that, the older ones explain to them that the bread without yeast represents their haste and escape from Egypt. There is even the story of the Four Children – the simple child, the wise child, the wicked child and the child who does not know how to ask. With that, you can answer questions and cater to the unique needs of different children.
Teach Your Children About the Joys and Pains of Life
Teach your children that there are joys and sufferings in life and about the value of resilience while working hard for a goal. In the Passover Seder meal, there is the dipping of the karpas (the fresh parsley that represents joy, rebirth and new life) in the salt water representing the tears of slavery. In life, there is both joy and suffering. There is also the mixing of bitter herbs with the sweet fruit mixture (turning a bitter history into a sweet celebration). Even during our dark times, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel. We can work hard for our goals and make lemons out of lemonades and turn problems into opportunities.
Plagues, Problems in Society and Making the World a Better Place
In Exodus, there is the story of the plagues and the sufferings in society. You can teach children about hope in the midst of the chaos and society’s problems. For instance, even with the crisis going on, you can teach about hope for the future. You can teach your children about the modern plagues, such as discrimination, poverty, hunger, environmental destruction and violence, and about ways to solve these problems. In the Passover, there is the hope of redemption and progress. Teach your children that they can help make the world a better place with their talents and that they can treat others with kindness and respect.
Teach your children to be thankful for their blessings in life and the opportunities that they receive. In the tradition of the Passover, there is the emphasis on giving thanks to God, the family and the community. Teach them to be appreciative of the good things in their life and to count their blessings. But at the same time, it is also important to teach them to be generous and to use what they have to give to others in need. In the wilderness, the Israelite community did their best to help and support each other. Here in AHEAD, we teach our students to be thankful and to strive.