It is difficult not to be jealous of Elijah, who for many years held the enviable job of prophet and who now is welcomed in any civilized home, ushered in through the door and served immediate refreshment. (Consider, in comparison, the sad case of Santa Claus, a figure from a more prominent and less interesting religion, who is forced to enter homes via the chimney and must bribe the residents with gifts if he expects any kindness before returning to his home in one of the least habitable regions of the globe.)

Like many prophets, Elijah is invisible and silent, so if you are one of the people asked to go open the door for him, rather than the people who stay behind at the table to “check on the wine,” you can think up the sort of conversation you might have with Elijah and reply out loud with statements such as “What a handsome vest, Elijah!” or “Elijah, it really seems like you’ve had more than enough wine for one evening,” or even “Certainly, Elijah, I’d love to take a ride in your automobile, just let me get my coat,” and soon everyone in the house will be rushing to the door in the hopes of catching a glimpse of him.

haggadah Section: Bareich