Why Are There Four Cups of Wine at the Seder?

Date and Time


The Mishnah in Pesahim constructs its Seder around the four cups of wine, and these are a central feature of our Sedarim even today. But why? Why are there any cups at all? Why four? Why doesn't the Mishnah explain this? We'll look at a sugya from the Talmud Yerushalmi—the older, more mysterious cousin of the Talmud Bavli—that discusses this question from several angles, each giving us a window into what the Seder might be about.

Faculty Bio

Dr. Jeremy Tabick

Dr. Jeremy Tabick is the Content Manager and faculty at Hadar, where he teaches, curates, and edits Hadar's content—both online and in print—and Project Zug courses. Jeremy received his PhD in Talmud at JTS. He graduated from the University of Manchester (in the UK) with a Masters in Physics, and is an alumnus of Yeshivat Hadar and the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He lives in Riverdale with his wife and three children.

Why Are There Four Cups of Wine at the Seder?

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