Wine gladdens the heart. The Torah tells us four times to recount the story of our redemption from slavery and we will drink wine four times during the course of this Seder while reclining; twice before the meal and twice after the meal. Wine is a symbol of joy and happiness and we thank God that we are able to gather together again with friends and family to observe this Festival just as our ancestors have done for centuries.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, borei p'ri ha-gafen.

Praised be thou, O Lord Our God, King of the Universe, who has created the fruit of the vine!

You have called us for service from among the peoples and have hallowed our lives with commandments. You have given us festivals for rejoicing, seasons of celebration, this Festival of Freedom, a day of sacred assembly commemorating the Exodus from bondage.

In the Passover story, God promises deliverance four times: “I will take you out from under the burdens of Egypt; and I will deliver you from their bondage; I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judg- ments; and I will take you to Me for a people.” As we drink the first of four cups of wine, we thank God for giving us life, for sustaining us, and allowing us to reach this moment. We know that life is fragile. Each day is a gift to be cherished and no moment should be taken for granted. We thank God for helping us maintain a life of meaning and we are thankful for having opportu- nities to sanctify our lives by performing good deeds that make a difference in the world.

All drink the first cup of wine

haggadah Section: Kadesh
Source: Telling the Story: A Passover Haggadah Explained