Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Passover Story

With Pesach (Passover) coming up next week, I thought I would pass along this amusing true story about a seder I attended in college.

My Hillel (Jewish student organization) used to hold a seder every year. Usually our advisor, Herb, came to the seder with his family, but one year Herb did not come. In the absence of adult supervision, the college students drank (ahem) more than the halakhically required amount of alcohol. To give you some idea of how intoxicated we became: when we got to the part of the seder where we hold up the maror and say, "These are the bitter herbs...", someone called out, "I thought he wasn't coming"! (sorry, Herb: not a reflection on you, but only a reflection on our blood alcohol level!)

At the end of the seder, after most people had gone and only a few members of our Hillel board remained, someone looked over and noticed the Cup of Elijah. Elijah is a biblical prophet who, according to tradition, will return as the herald of the Messiah. During the seder, we pour an extra cup of wine for him and open the door to welcome him. We looked at this cup at the end of the seder and noticed that it was nearly empty. The cup was in the middle of a large table, too far from the seats for someone to drink it without being noticed. We all shared a brief, awestruck moment...

... then we noticed the large purple stain on the tablecloth at the bottom of the cup. The Cup of Elijah was cracked, and most of the wine had leaked out onto the table.


  • For more information about Pesach (Passover), see Pesach (Passover) at Judaism 101
  • Looking for a seder? Chabad probably has one near you! See their Seder Directory