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Tuesday, Adar 26, 5778 / March 13, 2018

Questions & Answers about the Pesach Seder


Q.  During all other times of the year, after reciting the blessing over the first cup of wine, we can drink as many cups of wine as we want, without reciting a blessing over each cup.  Yet, at the Seder we drink four cups of wine and we recite the blessing over the wine (“Borei Pri Hagafen”) before eachcup.  Why?  


A.The reason we drink four cups at the Seder is to commemorate the fourexpressionsof redemptionwhich G-d used in connection with the Exodus.  Each cup represents a different expression and is a separatemitzvah, thus a separate blessingis required for each cup.


Another reason is that the lengthy passages of the Hagadah and the discussions we are encouraged to have about the story of the Exodus constitute an “interruption” between the cups of wine and thus necessitate an individual blessing for each cup.


Q.  At the Seder, when we eat the matzah and drink the four cups of wine, we are required to sit in a recliningposition.  One of the Four Questions is why do we recline at the Seder. What is the reason to this question?


A.In ancient times, noblemen would eat in a recliningposition.  The average person, especially a servant, did not recline. At the Seder, when we celebrate our freedom from slavery, the Rabbis instituted that we demonstrate our freedomthrough action and recline when performing the special mitzvot at the Seder.


Q. Why do we recline on the leftside, not on the right side?


A.  Our sages established that we recline on the left side when eating or drinking for safety reasons, so that the food should not accidentally enter the upper part of the windpipe, which may cause chocking.


Q.  Before reciting the Hagadah, we break the middle matzah. We hide the bigger part for the Afikoman, to be eaten at the end of the meal. The smaller piece we put back onto the Seder plate.  What is the reason for breaking the middle matzah before reciting the Hagadah?


A.In the Torah, Matzah is called, “Bread of affliction.” Although, at the Seder, we celebrate our freedom, we also remember and recall our slavery and affliction. One can appreciate the miracle of freedom even more, after remembering the pain and suffering before becoming free. Thus, we recite the Hagadah over the brokenmatzah – which represents the bread of affliction.




In memory of Parents Jeno Zoldan ( 5th of Shvat) and Margaret Zoldan (26th of Adar) .  You are always remembered, and missing from our daily lives.

Andre, Esther, Zachary, Benjamin, Jonah.


May the Neshamah have an Aliyah.