FOR THE FIRST CUP AND THOSE WE MISS

At the seder, each cup of wine represents one of the promises God made to our people while we were enslaved: 

  • to bring us out of Egypt, 

  • to deliver us to safety, 

  • to redeem us from our slavery, 

  • and to draw us close to holiness and divinity.

This year, as we see our communities opening up, we can remember the four promises of connection: 

  • to bring us out of a narrow world, 

  • to deliver us to compassion and kindness,

  • to redeem us from our anger and pain, 

  • and to draw us close to our humanity.

With this first cup, we remember the people we’ve missed this year, who we only saw online, whose voices were broken or silenced by the distance, who we hope to see again soon.

We invite you to put in the chat the names of people you haven’t seen all year.

FOR THE SECOND CUP AND THOSE KEPT CLOSE

With this second cup, we remember the people who held our hands, slept in our arms, played games with us, built with us, called to us from across the street, remembered us at the grocery store, delivered our medicine, laughed with us, suffered with us, grew with us, and gave us space.

Whether they were our constant companions who quarantined with us, or they were the ones who broke our solitary isolation with surprise driveby concerts and funny greeting cards, these are the people who accomplished the promise to deliver us to compassion and kindness during this difficult year.

These are the people who accomplished the promise to deliver us to compassion and kindness during this difficult year.

We invite you to put in the chat the names of people you may have seen everyday, all year because you went through this together. 

FOR THE THIRD CUP AND THOSE WE LOST

With this third cup, we remember the people we lost for good, though it felt like we lost them for nothing. We remember the people whose heads we would have stroked, whose blankets we would have smoothed, whose final words we ached to hear. And we cannot honor them without nurturing a hope that we, as a nation, can respond better next time, so that we, the ones on the threshold of mourning, can choose, for ourselves, how best to be present. We also can’t honor them without releasing a cry of despair for the empty spaces so that those expanses don't collapse.

These are the people whose memories will become gifts and blessings that will redeem us from our anger and pain, over the course of time.

We invite you to put in the chat the names of people you lost this year.

FOR THE FOURTH CUP AND THOSE TO MEET SOMEDAY

With this fourth cup, we remember the people we have yet to meet. The infants that will toddle up to us when we see them for the first time, our oldest friend's newest love, the new allies from a breakout room of a workshop, the people we don’t even know about yet who will cross our paths as the future unfolds.

These are the people who will draw us near to our own humanity, teaching us new ways to see, to hope, and to love our community.


haggadah Section: Kadesh
Source: Written for Carolina Jews for Justice by Heidi E. H. Aycock