How to Ask the 4 Questions at Passover

The 4 questions are asked as a reminder of why Jews follow special customs at Passover. Here's how to pull off asking them like a pro.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Finish the third question with, "Why on this night do we dip foods twice?" And the answer: "To remind us of our tears and the mortar we used to lay bricks in Egypt."
  • Step 2: Finish the fourth question with, "Why on this night do we recline on pillows?" The answer is, "Because that is how royalty sat in ancient times."
  • Step 3: Notice that behind each of the 4 questions and their answers is the message that Jews should remember how they were enslaved and brought to freedom. Hence, the Passover holiday is a celebration of freedom.
  • FACT: President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated during Passover in 1865. Many Jews attending services draped their synagogues altars in black when they received the news.
  • Step 4: Finish the second question with, "Why on this night do we eat only bitter herbs, or maror?" The response is, "As a reminder of the bitterness of slavery."
  • TIP: The host or hostess of the Seder answers each question, but other participants should be encouraged to chime in.
  • TIP: Following Jewish tradition, the questions should be posed by the youngest child who is capable of asking them, but if no children are present an adult can do the asking.
  • Step 5: Start each of the 4 questions by saying, "Why is this night different from all other nights?"
  • Step 6: Finish the first question with, "Why on this night do we eat only matzah and no leavened bread?" A short answer is, "Jews escaping from Egypt did not have time for their bread to rise."
  • Step 7: Practice reciting the 4 questions before the Passover meal, or Seder, with the person who will answer them at the dinner table.

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