12 Apr Kosher Wines Now in Stock for Passover
The Passover Seder is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is conducted throughout the world on the evening of the 14th day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar (April 20, 2019). Seder customs include telling the story, discussing the story, drinking four cups of wine, eating matzah, partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder Plate, and reclining in celebration of freedom. The Seder is performed in much the same way by Jews all over the world. The Seder is the most commonly celebrated of Jewish rituals.
The Four Cups – There is an obligation to drink four cups of wine during the Seder. The Mishnah says (Pes. 10:1) that even the poor are obliged to drink the four cups. Each cup is imbibed at a specific point in the Seder. The first is for Kiddush (קידוש), the second is for ‘Maggid’ (מגיד), the third is for Birkat Hamazon (ברכת המזון) and the fourth is for Hallel (הלל).
The Four Cups represent the four expressions of deliverance promised by God Exodus 6:6–7: “I will bring out,” “I will deliver,” “I will redeem,” and “I will take.”
The Vilna Gaon relates the Four Cups to four worlds: this world, the Messianic age, the world at the revival of the dead, and the world to come. The MaHaRaL connects them to the four Matriarchs: Sarah, Rebeccah, Rachel, and Leah. (The three matzot, in turn, are connected to the three Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.) Abarbanel relates the cups to the four historical redemptions of the Jewish people: the choosing of Abraham, the Exodus from Egypt, the survival of the Jewish people throughout the exile, and the fourth which will happen at the end of days.
The four cups might also reflect the Roman custom of drinking as many cups as there are letters in the name of the chief guest at a meal, which in the case of the Seder is God Himself whose Hebrew name has four letters.