The Torah obligates us  explicitly to recount the exodus from Egypt to our child on the Eve of Pesach (Exodus 13:8). Then what to do when we have no child, no child around, and if we do, how should we narrate? Let me propose a new approach.

The rabbis agree that even when we’re alone, we need to read the Hagadah, ask the questions and answer them. Let me give a novel reason.

There are people who are comfortable to steal “when no one is looking” but that is a mistake. Two are always looking. There is the One Who sees it all. And then – and that is worse – the thief sees himself. How can you ever erase if you saw that you turned into a thief? Don’t ignore yourself!

Likewise, we all are children of our parents. The first child you need to tell the account is yourself. But we already know the story!

Yet, we do not tell this as intellectual information. Academic knowledge needs to be mastered, but Jewish learning needs to master us. It must change us, in thought, feelings and deeds. What we learn Jewishly should move us.

Now, we know that children do not do what you tell them but act in accordance with how you behave. How convenient!

When we tell ourselves the story of the exodus, we will change (again) and the children around us will then too.

Happy Passover!