Questions Are Better Than Answers (Discussion)

Judaism places a big emphasis on asking questions, especially on Pesach. Why is it so important to keep asking questions? Use these sources with the accompanying guide to lead a discussion with teens about the importance of asking questions.

Sources are based on What Successful People Know: The Joy of Questioning

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  1. If you have personal story about asking questions that helped you with your growth, share it. If not, you can find a story or skip to step 2. [3-4 min]
  2. Read the brief story on Isidor Rabi. Ask NCSYers their thoughts on this idea, that teaching children to ask questions is helpful. Carry on the conversation until many of the NCSYers opinions are heard. [5-10 min]
  3. Ask NCSYers why they think Judaism places emphasis on questions. [5-7 min]
  4. Drop cards on the table. [Cards will have the 20 topics that will be taught tomorrow, but they will not know that they will be offered tomorrow.] Go around group and ask NCSYs to articulate their questions. DO NOT GIVE THEM ANSWERS! Validate their question. [10-15 min]
  5. What holiday do you know of that has questions at its very center?
    • See sources on Pesach.
    • The single holiday that defines us more than any other as a people, freed from slavery and led toward the receiving of the Torah and Mount Sinai, that is where we see questions.
    • Questions are the brain’s way of pursuing information and answer. The process is key. When we are serious about our questions, the pursuit is the essence.
    • EVERYONE has questions. Rabbis, Regional Advisors, etc. That is NORMAL.
  6. See article by R’ Sacks. Have NCSYer read. Ask them to share their thoughts.
  7. Close with the repetition of the goal.