In just a few weeks we will gather at tables with friends and family to retell the story of our Exodus—going from a narrow, constrained space to one of openness and possibility. This Passover, MAZON, a Jewish response to hunger, has created a campaign encouraging us to include a fifth question at our Sederim, to take a moment to remember the millions who suffer from hunger every night:

The ORacle, April 2011 Issue

Why on this night are millions of people going hungry?

Ma-duah b’lilah zeh mil-yonai anashim re’evim?

Because on this night, like every other night, millions of people living in poverty have no other choice.

There are several ways to incorporate The Fifth Question into our Passover Sederim:

  • MAZON has created a Fifth Question placemat (see web address below for more info). Give a copy to each person at your Seder or place it at an empty place setting to remind everyone of the people whose plates are empty this night and every night. Encourage children to draw pictures of food on the empty plate – something they think hungry people would like to eat.


  • After the youngest person reads the four questions from the Haggadah, ask The Fifth Question and reflect as a group upon the crisis of hunger:

-Discuss how it would feel if you and your family lived meal to meal.

-Talk about the injustice of senior citizens missing meals to afford basic
necessities like rent and medication.

-Consider how hunger impacts a child’s ability to learn.

-Identify different ways to help such as:

-Contacting our elected officials to advocate on behalf of the hungry in our midst.

-Organizing a campaign in our community to raise awareness about hunger.

Donating to MAZON. Give what you can or what you would have spent feeding one more person at your Seder table.


More information and materials can be found at:


As always, Temple Beth Or will provide a place for those who would like to attend a Seder at the home of another congregant, and we also need members who have extra space at their tables. Please contact Terri in the office for details and to volunteer.

Chag Sameach, and may the time not be distant when The Fifth Question becomes obsolete.