Last week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “Which of the four children in the Haggadah is most like you?” Of the 91 people who responded, 59% said “One who is wise”; 22% said “One who doesn’t know how to ask”; 14% said “One who is innocent”; and 5% said “One who is evil.” Comments were submitted by 14 people. A few follow.
All of them! Each one represents a part of our personality or the potential to become a part of our personality. Be wise and accept responsibility for your good stuff and not so good stuff.
I object to the “evil” label. There’s nothing wrong with challenging conventions and not mindlessly accepting what you are told. I also think those children deserve more thoughtful answers than that suggested by the Haggadah.
I am wise because I am cognizant of what I know, do not know and still need to know. I understand when it is appropriate to listen, to engage and to inquire. I am wise because I have made myself a lifelong learner — a reader, patron of theater and Osher student.
I started as the one who doesn’t know how to ask, learned how to ask four questions, morphed into the evil one.
In the Hagaddah we use, we note that everyone has a bit of each of these children in them. No one is only wise or evil or innocent or silent.
I’m all of them. Each of us is all of them. That’s why they’re in the seder — so we can see different parts of ourselves.
I’m skeptical about religion in general. I would place myself in a fifth category: Who believes any of this actually occurred? PJC