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"For many Jewish children, the Ma Nishtana represents their first public performance... What is interesting, and characteristically Jewish, is that this first public performance is composed of questions. Questions have played a critical role in Jewish life from the very beginning. In the Bible, they are often directed to God... However, unlike demanding theological questions, the Four Questions of the Ma Nishtana are directed at one's parents. And the queries presuppose that the questioner intends to observe the holiday's rituals but simply wants a greater understanding of how and why to do so.
Jewish children have been reciting the Ma Nishtana for about a hundred generations and, as this book makes clear, in many different countries. But of one thing we can be sure: As long as children a chanting these questions, the Jewish people will go on."
--From the introduction by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin