Opening the door for Elijah
Elijah lived centuries after the Exodus.
There is no connection between his actions and the Jews leaving Egypt. Yet he has become one of the central figures and symbols of the Passover Seder. Moses - the hero of the Exodus - is practically never mentioned. Yet we all know about Elijah's cup and opening the door for Elijah.
We pour the cup but do not drink it. We open the door but no one comes in.
The prophet Malachi says: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and awesome day of God. And he will turn the heart of fathers to their children and the heart of children to their fathers . . . "
Elijah brings together the hearts of people and generations. Elijah is the peacemaker in a world of strife and discord. Opening the door for Elijah is a harbinger of the future redemption to come.
The Seder is not about a single moment of redemption that occurred thousands of years ago. By remembering the exodus from Egypt, we rekindle our hope in the ultimate breakthrough - however long it takes - to peace and harmony.
Elijah is the messenger of hope.
Would we recognize Elijah if he were standing at the door when we opened it? Can a complete stranger actually bring us peace and hope in our lives?
Activity for Seder:
Have you ever had an "Elijah the Prophet moment" - when a complete stranger suddenly appeared and brought you peace and hope?
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