The Child's Questions
Message from the President, Dr. Alan Kadish, on the coming holiday of Passover.
The holiday of Pesach (Passover) begins on the evening of March 25th and continues through April 2nd. Passover’s story of the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt is not only retold during the festive seder meals of the holiday’s first two nights, but we are told to relive and internalize the story.
As the epicenter of Passover, the seder is rich in historical tradition, rituals and symbols, such as salt water, representing the tears shed by those enslaved in Egypt, and bitter herbs reflecting the hardships they suffered. The Passover story teaches us that belief and faith can change our collective and personal destiny.
But there is another symbol which resonates both at the seder and beyond the holiday. It is the youngest child who asks the “four questions” about the meaning of Passover. The entire narration of the Passover story continues after the “four questions” are asked. Reflected in the child’s inquisitive nature is the Judaic heritage of transmitting knowledge from generation to generation.
The child’s questions embody the passion for learning and growing; values which enliven Touro’s spirit of intellectual inquiry. Touro is a community of scholars who are dedicated to research and the ideals of scholarship; and of learners who seek to transform their lives through education. Intrinsic to our mission is the imperative to ask, imagine and become a partner in the learning process. At the heart of Touro’s spirit of intellectual inquiry is finding meaning and value in the questions themselves.
As Passover approaches, let us see the questions asked by the child at the seder table not only in their innocence but in their power and potential. I invite all members of the Touro family to join me in asking the questions that will fulfill the potential of our great college and university system. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and administration, I wish each of you and your families a חג כשר ושמח - a happy holiday season.
Dr. Alan Kadish