|Zeev Hatorah- Doesn’t Know To Ask|
|Written by Rabbi Shmuel Brazil|
The Kalaver Rebbi Shlita Rav Moshe Taub told me that the success of Yiddishkeit for your children is dependent upon the pronounciation of just one letter, the aleph. If the vowel under the aleph is a patach then it is pronounced as an ahh sound as if one is smiling and pleased. If the vowel beneath the aleph is a kametz then it is pronounced as an awe sound like in the word awful. The vowel patach means to open wide and we open our mouth wide when we say it. The vowel kametz means constriction and therefore one’s lips and mouth constrict when pronouncing it. Children pick up with their emotional and intellectual antennas every nuance and mood of the parent when it comes to mitzvah fulfillment. If they sense that his parent is unexcited about the mitzvah whether in the preparation of it or the actual fulfilling of it, then he will acquire a definite attitude of negativity towards it as well. This stems from the “awe” syndrome of the parent. If however the child perceives enthuthiasm and excitement towards a mitzvah even though some of it might be exaggerated for the purpose of educating one’s child, then he will have integrated a positive outlook for the performance of the mitzvah. This stems from the “ahh” attitude displayed by the parent.
Let us extend the thought of the Rebbi and apply it to the son of the Haggadah who does not know how to ask. The reason why he doesn’t ask is because he is not interested in Pesach and all it pertains to. All he hears in his house is the KPS - kametz parent syndrome when it comes to the preparations of the Yom Tov. Even when he sits at the Seder his father does not involve him in the Seder as much as he involves his older siblings or his guests. The entire scene to him is one big kametz. Kametz also spells mekaitz – the end. His interest and curiosity are terminated. So the Baal Hagaddah advises את פתח לו you should open him with a patach, make the environment and atmosphere friendly and embracing even though lots of pressure envelopes you. By this manner, a parent can hopefully transform his child from a non-interested participant into an involved partner in the preparations and the Seder of this wonderful Yom Tov experience.