Why Four Cups of Wine?

Wine is considered a royal drink, one that symbolizes freedom. It is the appropriate beverage for the nights when we celebrate our freedom from Egyptian bondage.

Many reasons are given for drinking four cups of wine. Here are some of them:

When promising to deliver the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery, HaShem used four terms to describe the redemption (Exodus 6: 6-8): a) "I shall take you out..." b) "I shall rescue you..." c) "I shall redeem you..." d) "I shall bring you..."

We were also liberated from Pharaoh's four evil decrees: a) Slavery b) The ordered murder of all Hebrew males by the Hebrew midwives c) The drowning of all Hebrew boys in the Nile by the Egyptians and d) The decree ordering the Israelites to collect their own straw for use in their brick production.

Although there is a long tradition of drinking wine for celebrations if one has found that drinking does not make them joyous it is perfectly fine to drink grape juice instead.

haggadah Section: Introduction