The Cup of Elijah

Haggadah Section: Hallel

The custom of opening the door for Elijah began in the Middle Ages, with the proliferation of the "Blood Libel." Frequently, if a Christian baby would die unexpectedly, the body would be "planted" in the courtyard of a Jewish home, and then the police would be summoned to "investigate the murder." Passover time was especially volatile, since Jews were accused of using the blood of Christian babies to bake matzahs.

Therefore, the custom began to keep the door open on Passover night, in order to watch out for anyone sneaking into the courtyard to start a blood libel.

This is why we declare at this time: "Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which... have devoured Jacob."

In general, Passover is a night of special protection for the Jews, as the Torah (Exodus 12:42) calls it Lail Shimurim – a night of protection. On that first Seder night, God spared our first born, and kept the Egyptians at bay while we slaughtered their "god" – the lamb.

Because this is a night of special protection, the halacha states that before going to sleep, we can omit many of the regular prayers, since no extra "protection" is necessary!

Shraga Simmons


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Now we sing Hallel to express our joy and Freedom!

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Passover Guide

Hosting your first Passover Seder? Not sure what food to serve? Curious to
know more about the holiday? Explore our Passover 101 Guide for answers
to all of your questions.

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