Recommended Posts

Haggadah-Four Cups-Promises-Events

The First Cup of Wine chronicles the history of the Jewish People from the time they descended to Egypt, through their enslavement and God’s bringing of the Ten Plagues; it corresponded to the first promise of redemption: taking them out from under the suffering of Egypt.


We are transported with the Second Cup to the final hours of the Jewish people’s stay in Egypt, their and our partaking of the last meal in Egypt, which corresponds to the second promise of redemption: rescuing the people from slave labor. As the Jewish people ate their meal of freedom on the last night of their stay in Egypt, their slavery was relegated to a memory. Never again, they hoped, would they be enslaved to their Egyptian taskmasters.

The Third Cup transports us in time to the confrontation at the Red Sea. It corresponds to the promise of being “redeemed with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.” Why does this promise referred to the miracles at the Sea? Because the miracles were done before the eyes of the Jewish People with Moshe acting as God’s extension, as God’s “extended arm.” In fact, twice in the story of the splitting of the Sea, God tells Moshe to stretch out his arm to perform the miracles, and twice more the Torah tells us that Moshe extended his arm to perform God’s miracles (Exodus 14:15–16, 14:21, 14:26–27)

Moshe extending his arm with God’s staff, the physical embodiment of God’s extended arm, redeemed the Jewish People from the fear and panic of being re-enslaved by Pharaoh’s army. In the process, it brought a “measured–for–measure” judgment on the Egyptians, who had “extended their arms” to seize, throw, and drown the Jewish male infants in their sea. In God’s world of justice, the punishment perfectly fit the crime.

The Fourth Cup corresponds to the Fourth promise of redemption that God spoke to Moshe, “And I will take you for Me as a people, and I will be for you as God, and you will know that I am the Infinite God, your Lord, Who takes you out from under the suffering of Egypt (Exodus 6:6–8).” This promise transports us to the Jewish People standing at the foot of Mount Sinai where “God took them to be God’s people (Exodus 19:4–6),” and revealed God’s self as the Infinite God, there Lord, Who took them out of Egypt. We dreamed this wine Cup of and blessed God for transporting us to Mount Sinai.

Go Back to Previous Page

  • Other visitors also read