Opinion: I shouldn't still be singing the four questions in my 20's, right?
I’m the youngest child in my immediate family – including my 17 first cousins – so it makes sense that I did the four questions when I was a kid. Maybe I even did them a little longer than the average person did, right? I mean, no younger siblings or cousins to take over for a while, yeah I get it. But tell me how in God’s name am I 20 years old, going on 21, and still doing the four questions at this year’s seder?
Ok, I’ll give last year’s seder a break since it was towards the beginning of quarantine and we weren’t really prepared to do a Zoom seder. I spent the first and second night with a few members of my immediate family. But even before that, at our huge family seders, I was well into my late teens and still the youngest person who could recite the questions. Not the youngest person, mind you, but kids under 5 aren’t really able to read English yet, let alone memorize a Hebrew song they only do once a year.
I’m already feeling the foreboding feeling that washes over me when we start to approach the four questions portion of the seder. I duck my head down, I pretend to be really invested in the Haggadah, I try not to make eye contact with anyone as they look around; but without fail, every year they inevitably realize that I’m still the youngest person who can read Hebrew. My heart fills with the black dread of hearing everyone say my name and a gleeful “take us away!” that belies the sinister evil of making a fully grown adult sing a lullaby in front of their entire family. What cruel God would release our people from bondage but tie me to this fate year after year?
As we approach another seder in quarantine, I am already preparing myself for a solo rendition of the questions since group singing really doesn’t work over video chat. Happy Passover everyone, I guess. Here it comes.
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