The 4 Sons of the Passover Seder:
At the Passover Seder, we read about the 4 Sons and their very different approaches and interactions with the Seder. I have symbolically incorporated several themes into this paper cut.
The Chacham (wise son) with the 3D image and planting a carob tree realizes he is part of the living organism that is the Jewish People. He is prepared to build something so that it will be perfectly in place for someone who he will never meet nor will ever know of him.
The Rasha has turned the same dots into something strange, unrecognizable and impossible: i.e. unviable “Tum’a”. Although he is also a blessing, he requires quite a different response.
Tam (the simple son) has almost all the dots, but has only been able to construct a 2D shape. He lacks perspective.
She’ayno Yode’a (the one who doesn’t know [how] to ask) doesn’t have enough data points to even formulate a question!
The 4 sons represent each one of us. Depending on one’s depth of understanding in any particular area of knowledge, his/her abilities and approaches to reality will differ. We all have parts of our lives for which we cannot even begin to formulate questions. We all experience what seems to be a rejection of reality or only a broad sweeping perception of it. And at times we can sense being completely integrated into the fabric of time through relationship.
As the 4 Sons we are bound together with the most difficult commandment to achieve at the Seder: “In each and every generation, an individual must regard his essence as if he personally went out of Egypt.” This is shown graphically by the border calligraphy
This piece is also a play on the meaning of “In every generation” or דור, which is related to the Hebrew word דר and דרור, which means freedom! According to Rav Matis Weinberg, through the pursuit of freedom we have come to understand that asking questions is the answer! The Haggadah stresses this by making no real attempt to answer the 4 formal questions asked at the Seder (The Ma Nishtana); Rather, the 4 questions are meant to serve as a jumping off point for deeper questions. In the end, exercising our freedom to ask the big questions is what leaving Egypt is all about and it is our taking the initiative to ask, do, and hear that causes Yismach HaShem Bema’asav (God to be joyful in His Creation).