The Four Children
We are always proud, forever speaking of the wise one, the wise child.
What about the bad one (recalling, of course, Father Flanagan’s “There’s no such thing as a bad kid”)? If we have none of those, why are so many rabbis making rounds in the Big Houses across our fair land?
Who are these ghosts in the minimum, medium, and maximum prisons? Figments? (We had our Uncle Simcha who hid out with Grandpa for a few weeks. I think it was Prohibition and he was mixed up with some,
shall we say, undesirable fellows.)
Now comes the hard part, the special two – “simple” and “unable-to-ask.”
You may say “simple” means “nice” or “easygoing”, the kid who likes everything, is happy, and makes no demands. It’s the one you refer to
now that he or she is grown up when you say, “Joe (or Nancy) was an easy child.” All right, then — that’s three out of four.
But that still leaves “the one who doesn’t know how to ask”.
I think the pictures in the Haggadah are wrong, painting children so small.
They shift; they mislead. It doesn’t mean: “so young they can’t formulate the words.”
It means….We know what it means.
And if we just say it, with the pride of the first,
maybe this year more can come out of their hiding places.