Pesach is a holiday almost exclusively dedicated to passing on our traditions to our children. We are commanded to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt to our children, to make it feel like we are reliving the experience all over again, to teach it to them. As Pesach approaches, we are especially on the lookout for teachable moments.
One day when we stopped in at my daughter’s best friend’s house, I was surprised by the greeting we received. My daughter’s friend, Rina, was having difficulty with static electricity and her skirt was sticking to her tights. No matter what she did, no matter which way she pulled, her skirt would not sit properly! When we walked in, she announced in frustration, “my skirt is having a tantrum!”
“Wow!” I said. “A metaphor! You just made a fantastic metaphor!”
“A what?” she asked.
“A metaphor. A metaphor is when you compare two things without using ‘like’ or ‘as’,” I continued. At this point, my daughter is rolling her eyes. “When you compared what your skirt is doing to someone having a tantrum, you made a metaphor.”
“Really?” asked Rina.
“Yes! What a great metaphor! I love it!” I replied. We went on to talk about metaphors. Well, I did, anyway. Periodically over the following few months, the topic would reappear, usually by me asking Rina if she remembered what a metaphor was. She always remembered and it has become a standing joke between our families.
In the midst of our cleaning, and shopping, and cleaning, and cooking (lucky you, if you are cooking already:)), let’s keep our eyes and ears open for those teachable moments. Let’s not let them slip us by in the whirl of pre-Pesach activity.