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    Intellect or morality? – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. What is the wicked son doing in the Haggadah? The other three sons are different types of intellect, but wickedness is not an intellectual but a moral question.

    The wise and wicked sons, as depicted in the Szyk Haggadah

    A. He figures next to the wise son because like the chacham the rasha has a good, penetrating mind, superior to the tam and she’eno yode’a lish’ol. Our problem is not that he lacks brains but that his attitude is too negative. He asks a good question, but out of hostility.

    It may be that he is placed beside the chacham in the hope that the latter may influence him to be more positive and sympathetic and use his intellectual talents to benefit and not undermine Judaism.

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