Sunday, January 09, 2011

The bible quotes the "Evil" son but not the "Righteous" Son . (according to Rabbinic view)

When we read the haggadah during passover, there are 4 sons we read. The smart one, the wicked one, the simple one and the one that doesn't know how to ask. Why we call the first one "smart" and not righteous as we call the second one evil (not dumb) is another question I have. But sticking to this topic here.

This question mark is from:

In Exodus (12:26) And it says that when a child say to you "what is this service to you" and the answer is pretty standard in 12:27. Yet when we read this on passover we consider this a "wicked" son's question and we answer it would give a harsh answer that it would be for us not you.

But I have to take the biblical view more then the Rabbi's view that doesn't seem to think the question is so bad. Children are children. They can be very mean since they are children and they haven't fully developed yet. And they see this weird practice and they don't know what to make of it. So the biblical view is to explain it to them that it is a passover offering because God passed over our houses and not call them evil for asking this question!!!

Sadly though the Rabbinic view that we read in the Haggadah suggests this is evil. No where is the "smart son's" question mentioned in the bible. I just think to believe a 10 year old is going to just be like a saint actually I think is a dangerous type of ideology. What do you think? To start calling children a "rasha" is very bad because they can act mean like children do some time I don't think is good child rearing or realistic. Children at certain ages do challenge authority as it is part of the maturation process and to start calling a child "evil" I don't see any biblical support for it at all and is being a little too harsh to children.

So what do you think on this? Agree. Disagree.


SouthernBelle Rivky said...

You keep asking for input, but I have to wonder if you are getting bored with my replies!! Well the whole idea of calling people either adults or children 'rasha' is disturbing when it generally used in the context of a minor or even just a perceived offense. The real creeps aren't called rasha and well people come to their defense and rationalize their really bad actions. Especially in the last few years. It's messed up world. In case of children, especially little kids, there are certainly bad behaviors, being mean, rude, etc. but that doesn't make their core essence bad, just they need corrected, because they are kids, not little adults.

Specific to the Passover wicked son, he made the effor to show up to Seder and obviously is paying attention and not sleeping to be asking. The whole point of the Seder is to teach the children, so they are suppose to ask questions. That isn't challenging authority. I hope your kids ask you lots and lots and keep you on your toes... :)

If he was really a bad kid, he'd be robbing a gas station, setting fire to something or making a drug deal instead. Now that's really wicked kid behavior. So the idea of calling a kid 'wicked' over a question is wrong. Is a student wicked for asking a math teacher how they solve a problem because he doesn't see the how the answer was derived.

Kind of off topic, but sort of interesting, there's been a lot of attention this week over the WSJ article on Chinese style parenting vs. Western. Although, it is not on the level of wicked behavior, I sort of see some tie in.

Analytical Adam said...

I haven't been answering because I have a lot on your mind.

In terms of this artice "why chinese women are superior" yes I heard it on the Savage Nation and I don't agree with Savage. Savage is better on political then family issues. China has one of the most evil governments in the world and the Chinese have at times thrown away their won religion for communism and that doesn't suggest a people that were raised so well to fall for this.

Also this family this mother has 2 daughters and has a passive father. Doesn't this family have any sons. That isn't my idea of the way to raise healthy children and Savage is lucky in his own family he had an older sister and not a younger sister because he doesn't understand affirmative action in family situation which this mentality has spread to the home as well.

Savage is lucky in some ways and he doesn't realize in some area's he is very politically correct which if he wasn't he may not even by on TRN.

From listening to Savage for many years and the podcasts on family and social issues are not Savage's strong suit and this silly mother that has two daughters and a passive father is not a solution to anything. Savage doesn't even get a lot of men are messed up because of the fact they don't have any healthy male role model. They don't need someone to be so mean and harsh. I 100%% disagree with this article and this discussion Savage was having. In fact going to this degree raising children that only care about achievement and not how they treat others .

Analytical Adam said...

Savage is very "individualistic" which as we have discussed Judaism and many Western countries originally focused on the family unit as an entity of it's own and not everyone as an individual.

And this is a problem. I listen to Savage because on some issues he is good. On political issues and on science. On family issues his idea's I would have to say sometimes I agree sometimes I disagree and he is not as perceptive.

His home life having a sick brother and an older sister and a father that died young and a mother that never remarried he was needed as a man so he doesn't see men who the family discards or men who are older then a girl in the family and the family doesn't like that. They only like when the boy is younger and to some degree should have a little respect for their older sibling and usually at times has to take care of the younger sibling more then the other way around.

Analytical Adam said...

Regarding your answer to the Passover question and the "Evil" son. The words are taken straight for the Chumash from what I can see and the answer is not harsh.

This idea that the son is at the table. So what? From being at the table for a half hour it still is going to look strange. It still seems odd and to children who can be very ruled by base emotions it seems absurd and they think their parents are not with it or something.

If a 25 year old felt this way about Passover that it is just some crazy superstition understanding why we do it I would think it is evil to think that way. For a 10 year old I wouldn't think so though.

It just seems the Rabbi's who wrote this piece had a very harsh attitude towards children that ask questions which is nothing new under the sun as we picked this up from other cultures that do this. The fact that the Rabbi's think a a young child of 10 is gong to be like the "smart" one I think they expect kids at 10 to already be a certain way which I think is unrealistic.

After all how come this Parsha (and no where else?) do we have the question of the "wise" son. My answer is that God doesn't expect a kid to not see this as strange. Do you disagree?

Analytical Adam said...

One last comment. You mention some evil behavior all of it is related to some physical lawlessness but there are many other types of evil behavior that clearly is evil and very evil and caused much harm to people.

SouthernBelle Rivky said...

My other comment got nibbled up with some weird blogger error. Oh well, serves me right for not typing in Word first. Hope everything swimming in your mind goes really well for you.

Didn't you see I was agreeing with you? I agree there is plenty of bad behavior that isn't technically illegal or would be too difficult to prove. Emotional abuse extremely damaging. You probably won't like me saying this but why bother having kids if one is just going to be mean to them. I was pretty disgusted at the attention the Chinese mother philosophy was getting. What a horrible childhood to go through that every day. I knew you wouldn't be fond of it either. The WSJ article didn't mention it, but the later result of the child that was basically tortured over the dumb piano routine is that she later quits and takes up tennis instead. Basically the kid goes off the Chinese derech. Nice job /sarcarsm off!

Analytical Adam said...

Ok. Sorry! I was getting exercise today and was listening to the Podcast from yesterday's show from Michael Savage and I was really upset with MS thinking this is a good way to raise a child. I got so annoyed that I started listening to a different podcast on financial planning. On some issue MS is really good but on some issues especially some social issues I disagree.

Really. So the kid went off the path. That part of the article I guess Savage didn't read. I was just so annoyed. This is the way to raise a child that Savage was defending.

SouthernBelle Rivky said...

It wasn't in the original article, found out elsewhere online. There was a follow-up article on how one of the two kids went off. So there was a discussion of "What happened" when it was two kids had the same environment but the end product didn't turn out the same.

Most people aren't commenting on this because it isn't in the WSJ write-up or book reviews. I'll see if I can find the source.