Pour the first glass of wine (don't drink yet!)
Over the course of the Seder we drink 4 cups of wine. This is traditionally done to commemorate the promises G-d made to the people of Israel in Exodus 6:7-6 to free them from slavery in Egypt, to redeem them, to take them as His people, and to be their G-d.
The beginning of all journeys is separation. You’ve got to leave somewhere to go somewhere else. It is also the first step towards freedom: You ignore the voice of Pharaoh inside that mocks you, saying, “Who are you to begin such a journey?” You just get up and walk out.
The wine helps us separate ourselves from the worries of the everyday life so that we can put ourselves in a special space. It's special because we're remembering our ancestors, it's special because we're saying the same words they have said for thousands of years, and it's special because we're here together today.
That is why we now saw the blessing over the wine, which has two meanings: to transcend the mundane world, and to sanctify our time together so that we can put introduce higher purpose into everything we do.
Baruch atah Adonai, Elohenu Melech haolam, borei p'ri hagafen.
( Blessed are You, Our G-d, Ruler of the world, Creator of the fruit of the vine. )
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higianu laz’man hazeh.
(Blessed are You, Our G-d, Ruler, Sovereign of the universe, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season.)
Drink the first glass of wine!
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