There are two traditions for how much wine is needed to commemorate the ten plagues. The first is to spill wine from your glass, and the second is to dip a finger into the wine and wipe droplets onto a napkin or plate.

According to the Torah, the people of Israel sang and danced on the shores of the Red Sea after the Egyptians drowned. According to Midrash (oral Torah), the angels also sang and danced at the destruction of the Egyptians. But God rebuked them, saying, "Are they not also my children?" As such, though we celebrate, we also must commemorate the hardships of the Egyptians. Because wine is a symbol of celebration and joy in Judaism, some traditions say that we spill out some from our cups, for each plague, to show that our joy is incomplete if it comes at the cost of other human suffering.

One of the reasons that the first two plagues didn't convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites was because his magicians and sorcerers could duplicate them. He didn't believe their God to be all that powerful if his gods could keep up. The first plague that his magicians could not replicate was the plague of lice. They couldn't conjure something smaller than a grain of wheat. But they told Pharaoh not to worry. This is not the hand of the Hebrew God at work - it is is only the tip of God's little finger. So some traditions hold that we dip our little finger into the wine for each plague.

Tonight, follow whichever tradition you prefer.

haggadah Section: -- Ten Plagues