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Tuesday, Adar 28 5783 (Hakhel Year) / March 21, 2023


The highlight of the Pesach holiday is the Seder when the family gets together to celebrate the holiday of our freedom.  In Israel one Seder is performed.  In the Diaspora we make two Sedarim.


Q.  Why is the celebration of our freedom called "Seder?"


A.  "Seder" means "order."  On all other holidays, as well as Shabbat, we recite the Kiddush and continue with the Shabbat or holiday meal.  On Pesach, however, there is an order. After Kiddush we wash our hands, dip the “karpas” in salt water, we break the middle matzah, we recite the chapters of the Hagadah, etc.  After the second cup of wine we wash again for the matzah, we eat the matzah and maror and then a sandwich of matzah and maror together. After the meal we eat the Afokoman, etc.  The entire evening is celebrated in a specific order – a Seder.


Q.   Why is this night of Pesach different than all other holidays that we celebrate with a Seder?


A.   The Pesach Seder teaches us that a Jew can truly appreciate freedom only with order in one’s life.  True freedom is not when one does whatever one wants, whenever one wants, without any restrictions.  That is anarchy and chaos.  Freedom comes with responsibility. The ability to choose right from wrong and to do what’s right.  Thus, on Pesach when we celebrate our freedom, we remember the importance of putting order (Seder) into our lives.


Q.   When did Jews celebrate their first Seder?


A.   On the night before the Exodus.  It was the night of the plague of the first-born.  G-d commanded them to eat the meat of the Pascal offering together with matzah and maror that night. The Jewish people were confident that they will be liberated the next day.


Q.  What is the reason and significance of the four cups of wine which we drink at the Seder?


A.  As mentioned previously, various reasons are given for the four cups of wine.  According to one opinion in the Talmud, they represent the four expressions of redemption (Exodus 6:6-7) which G-d used regarding the liberation from Egypt.


The four expressions are: "I will bring you out... I will deliver you... I will redeem you... I will take you."  They represent different stages in redemption. According to the MaHaRal, the four cups of wine represent our four matriarchs: Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah. It was in their merit and in the merit of the Jewish women of that generation that G-d liberated the people from Egypt. 




In loving memory of  Irving Zaritsky- Yitzchak ben Avraham (z”l) -as we honor his Yartzeit.

May his soul rest in peace in Gan Eden.  Remembered with love and blessing.