Mishnah Berurah Tiferet

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Dear Jido,

As much as my husband and I are looking forward to spending time with our family and friends on Passover this year, we’re already bracing ourselves for the political arguments that will most likely break out over the Seder table. Trump, Israel, and the objectivity of the press are just a few of the potentially-charged topics we fear. We’re very concerned that these sensitive issues will diminish the spirit and the meaning of the Passover holiday – so much so that I’m thinking it would be best if we did not host this year’s Seder.

My husband, on the other hand, thinks that we should forge ahead with our plans. As the hosts, he feels, we can ensure that the mood at the Seder table is one of hope, freedom, and optimism, whatever the political climate is here in the Unites States. I’m just fearful that this won’t be the case and, to me, the likelihood of fighting and arguing at the Seder table is too great to risk.

I would like to know if you have any suggestions before we make a final decision.

Signed,

Concerned about Politics on Pesach

Dear Concerned,

By all means, Forge Ahead! When else did we have the opportunity to have three of the Four Sons embodied in one President?

The Sederis a night of asking questions and getting answers. What’s the difference if a six-year-old
recites mah nishtanaor if a sixty-year-old asks about things hedoesn’t understand?

Of course, it would be best to confine this “discussion” to the meal itself. You can preempt the “interruptions” by telling your relatives up front, “I can’t wait until the meal; I have strong opinions about what’s going on in the world!” This will politely keep the political banter at bay and allow for maggidto proceed as it should.

Brush up on your Tanach. Read Yechezkel and Zechariah. See what they say about the nations of the world and how Jerusalem will become the global center of attention. Read the end of the gemara Sotah and reflect on how accurately it describes the times we are going through now. Don’t be afraid of the comments and the questions. Your 40, 60, and 80-year-old guests might need to hear “answers” as much as the children do.

Haphoch bah va’haphoch bah ki kolah bah.The Torah has the answer for everything. I suggest turning your political discussion into a Torah-infused rout! Use the opportunity to remind everyone that Hashem knows the future and foretold where we would be as we approach the end of this long exile.

Remember, Hashem hishev et haketz– Hashem determines the ending. Let’s pray that he’ll soon reveal when this last and longest exile will come to an end. Who knows, it might even be the Republicans who bring it about!

Hag kasher ve’sameach,

Jido