Literature and Poetry/
Pesach

Zwig

And You Shall Tell your Son

Written for 2nd Passover Ritual for Akiva Club, 5738

"And you shall tell your son" – have we actually told?
Have we related the thoughts from the depths of our hearts?
What we received at our homes, what we hoped and dreamt of,
The joys, the disappointments, the happiness and pains.
And had we related this... would the son then understand?


Have we told about the exodus of Egypt?
The historic release and the one that’s now occurring?
Have we related the reason to exit from exile to freedom? 
Have we related it all down to the last detail?
And had we related this... would the son then understand?

 

Have we discussed the slavery of body and soul?
Slavery of hunger – or slavery of a pot of meat,
Sparkling slavery – or decaying slavery.
Have we spoken about being a foreigner and a stranger?
And had we related this... would the son then understand?

Have we spoken of freedom – that of body and of soul,
Freedom – in poverty or freedom with a pot of meat,
Freedom to be alone, among those who resemble you, 
to live your life – wretchedly or cheerfully?
And had we related this... would the son then understand?

 

Can this be told to another – who is also a son,

Had we not lived it within our hearts?
The words fall like Autumn leaves
If between us a uniting link would not have formed
And had we related this... would the son then understand?

 

Have we lived our lives as we had once wished to?
Or was the dream for only "then,"
As we were about to relate our words to our sons-
Have the wings dropped out and has the gold dimmed?
And had we related this... would the son then understand?

 

Is our dream still alive – or has it died in the interim?
And how can we inherit a dream that has demised?
And perhaps we ought to revive our dream – 
Had our dream been a truthful one!
And had we related this... would the son then understand?

 

From Egypt – we have been released, have we unleashed our chains?
May we tell the son "We've had enough" – for each and every stage?
Are we able to celebrate the Spring of our people?
And even if we, personally have weathered through - to Fall?
And had we related this... would the son then understand?

 

Have we related to "our four sons"
That we were in "One little Kid" – the kid,
And all the cats, the dogs and the sticks,
Were aimed at them and not only at me...
And had we related this... would the son then understand?

 

"And you shall tell your son" – on the page of life we shall tell him,
Only this language shall he thoroughly conceive,
If "You shall tell" – your life – if it is true,
It shall be written on our hearts – and we shall tell it to our son.

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