The Best Story at Passover? The Four Sons

March 30, 2017

On Sunday, April 9 at 1:30pm, THIRTEEN premieres The Four Sons And All Their Sons: A Passover Tale, a documentary that begins and ends at a Passover Seder.

The Four Sons are the focus of one of the most beloved and intriguing stories in the Haggadah, the book read and sung at the Passover Seder. It’s a short fable about four boys at the Seder table and how they’re treated by their father. One is wise, one is wicket, one is simple, and one doesn’t know how to ask questions.

What’s intriguing is that the fable has been revised relentlessly over the centuries —- in words, in art, in music — until it must be right up there with Shakespeare’s plays among the most re-interpreted tales ever told.

Why so many versions? Because Passover and its Seder are really about passing on heritage —- or any belief — to your children. And The Four Sons story suggests how to do that, as many suggestions as there are versions.

The documentary shows the variety of those versions as it moves constantly from an actual Seder to Four Sons stories in art, words, and music, and features interviewees from ages 17 to 70.

An Animated Four Sons

To warm you up for our broadcast on April 9 at 1:30pm, here’s an animated version of The Four Sons, set in Moscow.

Your Family’s Four Sons Story

If you observe Passover, what turns has your story-telling taken over the years? Who plays which son or child, representing the wise, the wicked, the simple and the one who doesn’t know how to ask questions? Share your versions and twists in the tale in the comments, below!