I recently learned that there is another son that doesn't ask any questions. This is the Willfully Blind Son, who doesn't ask questions because of unwillingness to reconsider a prejudice.
The writer of the following article, which appeared in the New York Times Friday Erev Pesach, is surprised by a sign at a pet store, and she assumes that she has chanced upon some sort of absurdity. It must be either a joke or muddleheaded religious tomfoolery.
This is an intelligent woman, a person with a good liberal education. One would expect an erstwhile philosophy major to be curious about something foreign to her experience. But instead of seeking out an explanation, instead of simply asking a question- a question that any fifth grader at an Orthodox Jewish school could have answered- she prefers to hold fast to her prejudice.
Had she asked, the hypothetical child would have told her that there is are several verses in in the Bible, e.g., Exodus 12:19 and 13:7, that prohibit even possession of Chametz on Passover. A more advanced child would have said that we are not allowed to benefit from Chametz on Pesach, and feeding our pets is a benefit. The latter rule, though, is not explicit in the Torah, so it probably would be meaningless to her.
But instead of asking, she prefers that it remain a joke, because a joke doesn't threaten her comfortable presumptions.
Keeping Your Pets Kosher for Passover
By JODI LISS
Petland Discounts on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Striped sunflower seedsSmall Animals
Dogs – Science DietNext sign: “Approved by the Chicago Rabbinical Council for Passover”
Cats – Science Diet
Dog Treats – Science Diet
How do you know your fish is Jewish? What are the signs?
Was your fish or bird born Jewish, or did they convert for your sake?
Does your dog know he’s Jewish? Does the cat?
Do your pets participate in the Seder?
Aren’t shrimp and oysters traif anyhow?
Is this for real, or did someone forget to take down the April Fool’s joke?
How did Chicago get so far ahead of New York on this?
There are still people who take the Torah very seriously, who make an effort to study and understand it in order to faithfully comply with both the letter and the spirit of the law. We've always been around, and we always will be.