Thursday, April 24, 2008

Israel and the Four Sons

The Torah speaks of four sons: One wise, one wicked, one simple and one who does not know how to ask a question.

What does the wise son say?

"What is this country that God has given us and what are the laws and practices we must maintain to keep it safe?"

And you shall tell him that after the land is liberated through Divine aid and the blood of heroes one may not maintain the enemy there for he will surely rise up against you and give you neither. (Numbers 33:55)

What does the wicked son say?

"What is this labor of oppression to you? Let us retreat from the land, let us abandon it border by border and city by city and relocate somewhere where we may do whatever our heart desires."

To you and not to him. Since he excludes himself from the Jewish people, he betrays the heart of his identity and you shall say to him, "It is for the sake of this, that we should enter the land and keep it and serve Him that God liberated us from our exiles and from under the hand of cruel kings and tyrants. For us and not for you. The exile is in your soul and as you are exiled from your God and from your people, so too will you be exiled from the land wherever you may be."

What does the simple son say?

"What's all this? Why have all this fighting and killing. Why can't we all just live in peace?"

And you shall say to him, "As long as there is evil and evil men in the world, men of good courage must keep a sword raised and a rifle close to defend their families and their people against them. For where there is light there is also darkness and where there are those who hold true their ancient faith in one God, there shall be forever those who seek to destroy it until the end of days comes. Now be of good courage and know that true peace comes not from treaties or empty promises, but from those men who do their duty and stand against the darkness."

What of the Son who does not know how to ask?

And the son who does not know how to ask, you open the conversation for him by saying, as the Torah says: "And you should tell your son on that day, saying 'It is for the sake of this that Hashem did for me when I left Egypt.' And out of all the exiles as out of Egypt, we only truly come together as a people serving our God in the land of our ancestors."


Yobeeone said...

That was cool!
Next year in Jerusalem! :]

Sultan Knish said...


Keli Ata said...


Anonymous said...

Great-God and the land. I remember one recent post which focused on the importance of our land and that many have forgotten. That has been rumbling around in my head and has been included in some conversations. Thanks.

mendelbaum666 said...

humm , love your comments but.... yes there always is a but, anyhoos, you forgot about hakeh es shienov, you gotta punch the evil one in his teeth there by preventing him from answering back as a naughty boy might, and in an editing note you typed simple son twice and did not type the one who does not know how to ask.

Sultan Knish said...

good point, thanks

LemonLimeMoon said...

4 sons ,arba minim, 4 corners of the earth.
I guess there are 4 ways a person can go in life.
May we all choose the right way.

Bar Kochba said...

Amen v'amen! Sultan, that was beautiful and ingenious!

Chag sameach!

Would you mind blogrolling me? I blog primarily at For Zion's Sake ( but I have created a new blog dedicated to combatting the spiritual holocaust of the Jewish People ( I'll be adding you.

Keli Ata said...

wasn't the wicked son also the one who instead of asking questions stated things as declarations, as fact?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, I also liked Lemon's comment, clever.

Sultan Knish said...

thank you bar kochba and done

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