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Monday, Adar 27 5783 (Hakhel Year) / March 20, 2023


The Exodus from Egypt, for which we celebrate the holiday of Pesach – Holiday of our Freedom, took place 3,335 years ago. This year, Pesach begins Wednesday night, April 5. Although the Exodus from Egypt took place so many years ago, it is a mitzvah that we today, at the Seder, should know and feel that just as our forefathers were liberated from their Egyptian bondage, WE too, in a spiritual sense, are liberated every year when celebrating the Pesach holiday.


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.


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 we recline at the Seder. What is the answer?


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 various actions which exhibit freedom. Thus, we recline when performing the special mitzvot at the Seder.


Q. Why don’t we recline for eating the Maror (bitter herbs)


A. The Maror is not a sign of freedom. It is to remember the bitterness of our slavery in Egypt. Thus, we do not recline when eating Maror.


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, which our forefathers suffered in Egypt.




In memory of Margaret Zoldan, Z”L - Miriam Yita Bat Avraham - a  sensitive,  devoted, loving, caring Mother and Grandmother. Deeply missed by her family. May her Neshamah have an Aliyah.
Andre, Esther, Zachary, Benjamin, Jonah