Israel Forever

For the week ending 21 January 2012 / 25 Tevet 5772

The Fourth Cup

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

On Pesach eve at our Seder we drink four cups of wine. Our Sages point out that they correspond to the four expressions of redemption from Egyptian bondage which G-d spoke to Moshe as recorded in this week's Torah portion.

The first three – "I shall take you out from the burdens of Egypt", "I shall rescue you from their service" and "I shall redeem you" – all refer to the actual liberation from Egypt and the destruction of their pursuing slave-masters. The fourth expression – "I shall take you to Me for a people" – refers to the purpose of the Exodus, the giving of the Torah at Sinai.

Once we became G-d's chosen people – "So you shall know that I am your G-d" –we were deserving of the ensuing promise of "I shall bring you to the land which was promised to the Patriarchs."

This connection between loyalty to Torah and receiving Eretz Yisrael as a heritage has been tragically forgotten by some Jews who see Israel as nothing more than just another country imitating the nations of the world. It is to be hoped that they will learn to appreciate the security which is provided by the religious community's dedication to Torah which makes us worthy of enjoying Israel forever.

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