Questions are a central part of the Passover Seder. Our very youngest participants are tasked with asking the Mah Nishtana – why this night, this holiday, is different from every other night of the year. Questions help instill a love of learning and encourage the observation and exploration of our world. They encourage dialogue and build connections between people. Questions are also the privilege of those who are free. Rabbi Akiva, after whom our school is named, was a shepherd who only began learning Torah in his forties, and he was known as a persistent student who was not afraid to ask and explore the most difficult and profound questions in life. He believed that the principle commandment of the Torah was “Love thy neighbor as you love yourself.” As we gather around our Seder tables this Passover with family and friends, may we ask a lot of questions, engage with our heritage and our traditions, and with each other, and may we remember the kindness, compassion and love of learning that is Akiva.
Director of Jewish Life and Learning