What does the fifth glass of wine on the seder meal represent?

4 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Of course, the asker is quite correct regarding a 5th cup. It has to do with our gratitude for the 5th expression of redemption in the Torah, whereby G-d promises to bring the Jews into the Land of Israel.

    Many Jews today drink a fifth cup at the end of the seder. I live in Jerusalem, and my family does so.

    According to highly respected interpretations of the Mishna, the great sage, Rabbi Tarfon advocated drinking a 5th cup.

    [Among those who explain that R. Tarfon advocated drinking a 5th cup were: the Rambam (Maimonides), R. Alfasi (the Rif), Rav Amram Gaon and others. In more "recent" times, the Maharal of Prague agreed and revived this ancient custom.]

    Rabbi Chaim Wasserman's article illuminates the different interpretations of R. Tarfon's approach. http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:dUSe-aBl...

    See also this brief discussion by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_efVwkYLYdU8/S7UKR3BmTeI/...

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  • 9 years ago

    There are only 4 glasses of wine at a seder. They represent the blessings Gd made to the Jewish people which are from the Torah

    :1. “I will take you out…”

    2. “I will save you…”

    3. “I will redeem you…”

    4. “I will take you as a nation…”

    Source(s): MA psyc, Orthodox Jewish
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  • Melkha
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    There are only 4 glasses of wine.Many reasons are given for drinking four cups of wine. Here are some of them:

    When promising to deliver the Jews from Egyptian slavery, G‑d used four terms to describe the redemption (Exodus 6:6-8): a) "I shall take you out..." b) "I shall rescue you..." c) "I shall redeem you..." d) "I shall bring you..."

    We were liberated from Pharaoh's four evil decrees: a) Slavery. b) The ordered murder of all male progeny by the Hebrew midwives. c) The drowning of all Hebrew boys in the Nile by Egyptian thugs. d) The decree ordering the Israelites to collect their own straw for use in their brick production.

    The four cups symbolize our freedom from our four exiles: The Egyptian, Babylonian, and Greek exiles, and our current exile which we hope to be rid of very soon with the coming of Moshiach.

    The words "cup of wine" are mentioned four times in Pharaoh's butler's dream (Genesis 40:11-13). According to the Midrash, these cups of wine alluded to the Israelites' liberation.

    There are four forces of impurity (anti-divinity, or kelipah). On Passover, when we celebrate our physical freedom, we also celebrate our liberation from these spiritual forces. Our physical departure from Egypt was a reflection of our spiritual one—we were pulled from the clutches of depravity and impurity and set on the path to receiving the Torah and connecting with G‑d.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    There isn't one. Only four.

    And they don't actually represent anything.

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