Kadesh means to sanctify. But what does it mean to sanctify? It means to make holy or special. We make tonight special by telling our children about our ancestors’ Exodus from Egypt. And by relating the Exodus to the struggles of Jews throughout history and the struggles of everyone ever oppressed. Some oppressions come from outside, but some come from within ourselves.

We pray tonight for those who suffer from inner struggles and hope that they can experience freedom from their suffering.

Four Cups of Wine

On this night we drink four cups of wine. Each cup represents one of the four promises God made to the Jewish people in Egypt.

  1. I will free you from the forced labor of the Egyptians
  2. I will deliver you from bondage
  3. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and through mighty acts and judgment
  4. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God.

First Cup of Wine

“To life, to life L’Chaim, L’Chaim, L’Chaim to life.” From Fiddler on the Roof to welcoming Shabbat, from bris to wedding ceremony, Jews celebrate with wine, as a symbol of joy. We sanctify this celebration by drinking the first cup of wine.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

(Drink the Wine)

haggadah Section: Kadesh
Source: Dessen Passover Haggadah