In the section called the “Four Sons,” the Passover seder very wisely recognizes that different children learn differently, depending on their disposition, level of knowledge, age, etc. Here’s how I got my kids to care about the Four Sons at our seder last night:
The wise son almost always follows the rules. He wants nothing more than to learn from his teachers and to use his learning for the good of others. A lifelong learner, he embodies the spirit of tradition, and uses his skills to live those traditions and pass them on.
Why is he wicked? Not because he is not learned; he knows enough to ask questions! And not because he doesn’t care; he is sitting at the seder table (or the Jedi council, as the case may be). His problem is that he separates himself from those around him, and in so doing, he becomes increasingly self-centered. The wicked son’s choices are about what is best for him and him alone. If others have to suffer to accomplish this, so be it.
The Simple Son
The simple son is not the cleverest or most knowledgeable, but his heart is in the right place. He asks unsophisticated questions, but he cares deeply about what is right. If we explain simply, and encourage him to participate as an equal, he will grow in his understanding and skill and can make a real contribution.
The Son Who Does Not Know How to Ask
The fourth son has not had the benefit of having been taught. Either because he is too young, or because he simply had no access to the proper education (or because he was being hidden from his Sith Lord father in an effort to save him and the galaxy from destruction). He is not simple, and he is not wicked, but he lacks the knowledge that he needs and does not even know where to begin asking questions. He can be taught, and he can become a great leader, but he needs guidance.
7 thoughts on “The Four Children (of Star Wars)”
I’m printing this and slipping it into our Haggadahs
Awesome, Micah, just awesome!
Nice concept, but you’ve got the sons wrong! 🙂
Obi-Wan is not the wise son. His overconfidence led him to defy the Jedi Council and insist on training Anakin, the failure of which led to Anakin’s being lost to the dark side of the Force.
The real wise son is Yoda.
Anakin is not the wicked son – he was never at the “table” to begin with. it’s Han Solo. A better translation would be “rebellious son.” Han was always looking out just for himself, and, like the rebellious children at our seder, there is always hope that they can learn to overcome their selfishness and become a true leader!
The simple son is not Jar-Jar. First of all, the prequels suck. But more importantly, what the simple son yearns for most is a good story. And even though C3-PO is fluent in over six million forms of communication, he just doesn’t “get it.” But his heart is in the right place, and eventually, he becomes a master story teller, to the great delight of the Ewoks of Endor.
As for the son who doesn’t know how to ask, it’s not a son at all, it’s a daughter – Princess Leia Organa! Unlike Luke, who does indeed ask many questions about his past, Leia has no idea about her connections to the other heroes and villains in the story. It’s finally up to Luke to fill her in, to her great surprise, about who her family really is.
Well, thanks for the inspiration to flex my Star Wars nerd and Jewish nerd muscles in a single comment, and enjoy your Darth Seder’s, everyone!
Love this! Both the original description and Eric’s. Celebrating the Seder isn’t part of my heritage, but I love this!
Hi Micah, Though I wasn’t a Star Trek fan, I might use this as a change of pace this weekend. Thanks. Also, I think you should send this to Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory – see what he says!