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MOTHER'S NATURE

by Rabbi Daniel Estreicher    
Torah from Dixie Staff Writer    

"The son who doesn't even know how to ask, you (Hebrew -- att) must initiate the subject for him." -- Passover Haggadah

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"The son who doesn't even know how to ask, you (Hebrew -- att) must initiate the subject for him." -- Passover Haggadah

There is a famous question asked by the commentators on the peculiar language employed in the Haggadah regarding the above-mentioned son who doesn't know how to ask. Why is the feminine form of the Hebrew word "att" (you) used? That would imply that only the mother is required to instruct such a son. However, isn't the commandment to teach one's children an obligation on the father as well? The commentators explain that the son who doesn't know how to ask needs the soft, understanding approach of a woman in order to be effectively reached.

This idea is extremely important to be aware of when teaching others, or for that matter, in dealing with our fellow human beings. We are all teachers and students. What we say and even the particular tone of voice which we use are of essential importance in conveying a point. Using the wrong approach can lead to catastrophic results, as our important message may fall on deaf ears. We must be constantly aware of this if we are to be successful in imparting Jewish values.

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Rabbi Daniel Estreicher has been a teacher and legend at the Yeshiva High School of Atlanta for over twenty years.

You are invited to read more Passover articles.

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