As we come to the end of the seder, we refill our wine glasses one last time and will soon open the front door to invite the Prophet Elijah to join our seder.
Elijah was a fierce defender of G-d who convinced a disbelieving people to live more harmoniously and equally with one another. At the end of his life, rather than dying, he was whisked away to heaven. Tradition holds that he will return to herald in the coming of messianic days and a new era of peace. Thus, Elijah is a symbol of hope to come.
As was the custom of Rabbi Naftali of Ropschitz, we will now pass Elijah's Cup so that everyone here may pour some of their wine into his. As we fill his cup with wine from our cups, we fill it with our own hopes for redemption will be shaped by all of our efforts.
We are about to open the door in the hope that Elijah the Prophet will enter and announce that the Messiah, a descendant of King David, is about to arrive and usher in the time of redemption for all humanity. But the line of David has become commingled with all other families and we no longer know who his heirs are. It is therefore possible that anyone seated around this very table could be his heir. G-d migh choose any one of us to help redeem the world.
If Elijah comes tonight, he will announce who has been found worthy to take that role. If he does not come, or if we are not sure whether he has come, we must close the door against anyone who tells us that our society, our people, our world, is messianic, ideal, the best possible. If we cannot see Elijah enter, it means G-d has asked each of us here tonight to help realize the world for which all people yearn. If we have opened the door and looked only upon darkness, we must realize that the darkness calls each one of us to help bring the light.
DIRECTIONS: THE YOUNGEST OPENS THE DOOR FOR ELIJAH WHILE WE ALL SING:
אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַנָּבִי, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּי,
אֵלִיָּֽהוּ, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַגִּלְעָדִי.
בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵֽנוּ יָבוֹא אֵלֵֽינוּ
עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד, עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד
Transliteration: Eliyahu hanavi Eliyahu hatishbi Eliyahu, Eliyahu, Eliyahu hagiladi Bimheirah b’yameinu, yavo eileinu Im mashiach ben-David, Im mashiach ben-David
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