My son is too young to understand, and even too young to be 'the simple son' but my daughter is starting to be old enough for some stuff to sink in. So I've been talking to her about what Passover means to me and how it teaches the importance of social justice and kindness and fairness towards all people. We talked about how even now there are people who don't have enough to eat, don't have a safe place to live, don't have a job that treats them fairly (if they have a job at all)... And of course the many many people who don't get treated the same as everyone else because of how they look, or what they believe, or who they might choose to love.
I'm not sure how much of this resonates with a privileged 7 year old, but for me at least Passover is the right time to try. She has a lot of books about people who overcame adversity and they taught a little about the civil rights movement in her school for MLK day, so she understands a little. I was proud of her for tasting the maror, and I tried my best to explain why we eat it. I think that at least a little bit is getting through.
Someday I want to work on a social-justice haggadah, maybe for kids, maybe not. Something that will recognize that Passover is not about Jews, but about all people of all faiths and backgrounds. We have all been slaves in one form or another, and we all need to remember our humble beginnings and realize the kinship that we share with those who may be suffering. The disease threatening the world now equalizes us, though many do not seem to realize it yet.
I have not really talked with her about the plague we are suffering now. I don't want her to be any more frightened than she already is, and I am trying hard to put on a brave face for her and her brother even when I am consumed with worry. It doesn't always work.
In the midst of this horrible crisis we have been trying our best to look out for the people who rely on us, most notably our nanny and our cleaning people. I feel that it is incumbent on those of us with the means to help those who may be more vulnerable, particularly at times like these.
Anyway, to the few who may be reading this, I wish you health and safety on this second night of Passover. May this plague pass over all of our houses as others did in those bygone days. I hope that you might share some of your good fortune with those around you in whatever way feels right to you.