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The Missing Fifth – Passover Yizkor 5775 by Rabbi Annie Tucker

Rebellious. Mischievous. Questioning. Stubborn. If you ask me, any of these descriptions would be far preferable to “rasha – wicked,” the label used by the haggadah for our tradition’s spirited child. Forget the idea that pigeonholing students can be quite damaging, ignore the fact that it’s not even clear that the wicked child’s question is so wicked for the wise one, too, employs the second person “you” rather than the first person “we” while speaking to his parent, push aside the great folly of the father’s response, setting his child’s teeth on edge rather than opening up an important conversation. To me what seals the deal that the rasha is redeemable, or perhaps even is already quite fine as he is, is that he shows up on seder night and joins in the discussion at all, albeit with a critical eye. Continue reading →

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