Sunday, April 17, 2016

Seder Prep 2016

You may have been wondering how we are doing regarding Pesach chinuch this year.

Blessedly, Ari feels that all chinuch should be done b'sha'ah sheyesh matzos umaror munachim lefanecha (at the time when the matza and maror is placed before you) i.e. that night.  This is excellent because all chinuch for the seder is at the seder.

Last year (I went searching for the blog post about last year's seder because it felt like a horrible disaster to me but I apparently didn't blog about it) the combination of the boys' ages and the lateness of seder meant that most of the seder was overtired children running around and fighting, knocking over chairs, screaming, losing their shi equanimity.  It was, delightfully, our very first seder with our new son-in-law, who is the 2nd to youngest of 8 children and used to a seder that focuses on lots of detailed torah study, not out of control chaos and tantrums a seder with tired young children who might have been better off having been put to sleep instead of trying to hold a seder.

P.S.  My husband thought it was not bad.  Probably because his job was one-on-one chinuch with each child while I was fielding the conflicts.  Add that to really needing to focus on the needs of the smaller children while fretting about the needs of my grown children (a conflict I have felt over the years as a homeschooler of children with a wide age range, magnified for this special night) and I didn't feel able to have interesting and emotionally stimulating conversations with the older people at the seder.  I was glad we chose to do the sedarim with no company.  And I can't even remember the second seder!

Anyway, we haven't seriously moved out of that phase this year.  Elazar can easily stay awake until 11, hopefully without destroying things.  Jack does okay until about 10:30.  Aharon usually starts disintegrating soon after 8.  It's not our year for Sarah and Moshe.  So if I put Aharon to bed (he's almost 5, he's the youngest, I remember how excited we were for the seder when our oldest was 3 and could "understand" but now we're tired and "there's always next year," which is my newish homeschooling mantra) hopefully things will be more manageable.

Now the question is Chana.  She's she'aino yodea lish'ol par excellence.  She knows the story and has no questions.  She finds the seder boring.  She learned Shmos this year (the Chumash class she dropped) and I thought the Ramban about Pharoah and free will would be interesting, but she learned it already.  I asked her to tell me the story if they were anime, and she described it to me.  I don't know if she'd be interested in sketching a few scenes for us for the seder.  I'm going to buy a hagadda with illustrations that she will hopefully find interesting.  And I have to think about some larger philosophical questions to entice her.  Though I vaguely remember from experience that I haven't had much success in these endeavors.  I have recently begun to wonder if I am trying too hard with my teenager and that wanting so deeply for her to find Torah meaningful is something that an evolving young adult will find very offputting as s/he is trying to find his or her own identity.  I remember learning so many ideas that I was so enamored of and found so wondrous.  I wondered why I hadn't been taught them when I was younger.  But maybe trying to teach them robs my teenager of the joy of her own discovery and causes her to put them into the "reject" folder in her mind.

Huh.  I did blog about last year.  All I had to do was search "seder"
Seder 2015

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