All Jewish celebrations, from holidays to weddings, include wine as a symbol of our joy – not to mention a practical way to increase that joy. Tonight we drink not one cup but four, as we recount the journey from slavery in Egypt to liberation in the promised land. We lift our cups and drink with gratitude for the journey from slavery and degradation and for the friends and family who are here with us tonight.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, borei p’ree hagafen.
We praise You, O Lord out God, Ruler of the World, who creates the fruit of the vine.
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam,
she-hechiyanu v’key’manu v’higiyanu lazman hazeh.
Drink the first glass of wine!
There is an extra cup of wine at this table. If a stranger should come in to celebrate the Seder with us, we would give him this guest cup. We call it "The Cup of Elijah". In the Jewish story books it is often said that Elijah wanders about the earth teaching children and helping the poor. It is also told that there will come a time when everyone in the world will be happy and good. Then Elijah will appear as a messenger and announce the coming of this perfect world.
On Passover we open the door to welcome any guest who may stand outside. We wish that all poor and hungry Jews might celebrate this Seder as we do. (One child goes to open the door.)
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