This week we read Parshas Bo. In this weeks Parsha, we read of the final three plagues that befell Egypt, and of the actual Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt. The Jewish people are instructed to slaughter the Paschal lamb, and to conduct the Passover seder. The Torah tells us in four different places, four different ways how we should answer our children when they ask for the reasons of the commandments. As we know from the Haggadah, this is done because there are four different sons that the Torah refers to. In Chapter 12, verse 26 the wording used is Vehaya ki yomru alaichem benaichem – and it will be when your children will say to you. The sages tell us that this is the conversation that we have with the wicked son. Why is it that when dealing with all our other sons the wording is when your sons will ask you, and when dealing with the wicked son the wording is when your sons will tell you?
The Meshech Chochmah tells us that there is a big difference between someone who asks a legitimate question, and someone who is just trying to offer an excuse why they behave in a certain way. When the wise or simple son speak, they ask for an answer; they want to know what the right thing to do is. When that happens, we do everything in our power to help and to explain. When the wicked son speaks, however, he is not looking for answers. He is only looking for an excuse to justify his actions. He is not really asking a question, but trying to answer himself. He is not asking, but saying. This is not an approach that is deserving of an answer from us. We believe in searching for truth, not in avoiding it.
When we are faced with situations in life, this is a lesson that must be kept in mind. The correct thing is to always search for the truth, and find it, though it may not necessarily be the easy way out. With that in mind, we can hope to find truth and be correct in all our steps through life.
Wishing you and your family a great Shabbos!!!
Rabbi Moshe Travitsky