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    It’s almost Pesach, so much to plan, so
    much to prepare. On our to-do list is
    purchasing wine for the seder. Some like
    it sweet, others appreciate the dry wine
    The connoisseurs amongst us are busy
    selecting their bottles, and for some it
    means a different choice for each of the
    Arba Kosos, the Four Cups.
    More important than which wine when, is
    to understand the message of the Arba
    The number four is highlighted several
    times during the seder. Four cups, four
    questions, four sons. The Gemara in
    Brachos tells us that there are four
    instances that would require a person to
    recite a Birchas Gomel, the Thanksgiving
    Blessing. One who crosses an ocean or a
    desert, one who recovers from a serious
    illness, and one who is released from
    prison or captivity. All come with hazards,
    and all are situations where one needs

    HaShem’s help. These four occurrences
    are also alluded to in Chapter 107 of
    Tehillim, the Chapter of Hodu L’HaShem
    Ki Tov, Give thanks to HaShem, for He is
    good. “They wandered in the
    wilderness…. They sat in darkness, and
    the shadow of death, shackled in affliction
    and iron… He would send forth His word
    and cure them (from illness)….. Those
    who go down to the sea in ships…”
    The generation of the Exodus endured all
    four experiences. They were freed from
    the prison of Egypt. They crossed the sea,
    and trekked through the desert. And,
    when they stood at Sinai, they were cured
    from all illness.
    With each of the four cups on seder night,
    it’s proper to not only recall the
    miraculous Exodus, but also reflect upon
    instances in our own lives when HaShem
    brought us healing, recovery and saving.
    Instances that compel to say Hodu
    L’HaShem Ki Tov.
    Our avos and imahos, our patriarchs and
    matriarchs are always with us. At the

    seder, the three matzohs remind us of our
    three avos, Avrohom, Yitzchok and
    Yaakov, while the four cups of wine
    recall our imahos, Sora, Rivka, Rochel
    and Leah.
    Chazal teach that it was in the merit of
    the nashim tzidkonios, the righteous
    women, that our ancestors were
    redeemed from Egypt. Righteous women
    who followed in the path of our imahos.
    Each one of the imahos transmits to us a
    different life lesson.
    The Shelah HaKodosh connects each of
    the imahos to a different kos.
    Sora – Kiddush, the first kos. We say
    “asher kid’shanu b’mitzvosav, to be
    sanctified with HaShem’s mitzvos, to live
    as kedoshim. Sora was the mother who
    brought so many under the wings of
    HaShem, teaching them to live with
    sanctity. Her life was one of emunah,
    creating the spiritual DNA that has been
    passed down from generation to
    generation to this very day.
    Rivka – In the recitation of the Haggadah
    leading up to the second kos, we recall
    the story of Lavan, Rivka’s brother.
    Rivka’s abandonment of her lifestyle in
    Aram teaches us that us that everyone
    has the power to change the course of
    their lives. She left everything behind
    in order to marry Yitzchak, and become
    a matriarch of Am Yisroel.
    Rochel – The third kos. The kos which
    follows Birchas Hamazon, Grace after
    Meals. “Rochel mevakeh al boneha,
    Rochel cries for her children”. Her
    heart is with Am Yisroel. A lesson she
    taught her son Yosef, to feel for others.
    It was Yosef who was concerned about
    providing “mazon”, food for his entire
    extended family. We think of Rochel
    and Yosef, and the lesson of caring, as
    we recite Birchas Hamazon.
    Leah – the fourth and final kos. At the
    birth of her fourth son, whom she
    named Yehuda, Leah proclaimed
    “hapaam odeh es HaShem, this time I
    will thank HaShem”. Yehuda, a name
    that expresses gratitude. Hodaah, to
    acknowledge the good. As we conclude
    the seder by singing the words of
    Hallel, words of praise and thanks to
    HaShem, we are reminded of Leah.
    Teachings of our imahos. Teachings of

    the Haggadah, teachings we should strive
    to make a part of our very being.
    An additional teaching is that each cup
    relates to one of the four leshonos of
    geulah, expressions of redemption,
    depicting HaShem’s saving Bnei Yisroel
    from the pain of Egyptian subjugation.
    “Vehotzeisi – and I will take you from the
    suffering of Egypt.” HaShem’s saving
    our ancestors from the mental anguish
    and loss of dignity endured while being
    “Vehitzalti – and I will rescue you from
    their labor.” This refers to the hard,
    grueling, back-breaking labor that Bnei
    Yisroel was subjected to in Mitzrayim.
    “Vegoalti – I will redeem you with an
    outstretched arm.” HaShem’s taking Bnei
    Yisroel out of Egypt with wonders and
    “Velokachti – and I shall take you to be
    My people.” To be HaShem’s nation.
    HaShem brought us to Sinai, and gave us
    the gift of His Torah.
    Gracing each seder table, there is one
    more cup, the fifth cup, the cup of Eliyahu
    HaNavi. This is the cup of “veheiveisi,
    and I will bring you to the land”. The land
    of Eretz Yisroel. The promise of
    veheiveisi, and I will bring you, has yet to
    be fulfilled. Throughput our history, our
    nation has survived threat after threat to
    its existence. Threats we are once again
    living through today. As we gaze upon
    the Kos shel Eliyahu, the “untasted” cup,
    we should have in mind acheinu kol Beis
    Yisroel, our brothers, the entire House of
    Israel – no matter where they are – may
    they be protected and safe. May Eliyahu
    HaNavi watch over them. May it be this
    year that we realize the true meaning of
    veheiveisi, that HaShem will bring all of
    us to Eretz Yisroel, to live together in
    peace and harmony, with the coming of