Four Freedoms by David Bodner


We all know that we drink four cups of wine at the Seder.  We also know the four famous expressions of Geulah that represent the four cups: “VeHotzeiti,” “VeHitzalti,” “VeGaalti,” and “VeLakachti,” meaning Hashem will bring us out of Egypt, rescue us, redeem us, and take us [to Him as a nation].  But what relevance do these cups have to us?

Besides these four expressions of Geulah, there are many different ways to interpret what the four cups represent.  Rashi in Sefer BeMidbar teaches, “The four fringes of the Tzitzit also represent these four expressions of Geulah.”  Perhaps we can say that we kiss our Tzitzit during Shema to remember the Yetziat Mitzraim.  At the end of Shema, we state that when we wear Tzizit, we should remember Yetziat Mitzraim, evidence that the Torah connects the two.

The Talmud Yerushalmi in Masechet Pesachim presents two other reasons of how the four cups are represented.  The first is the four times Paroh’s name is mentioned in the Sar HaMashkim’s dream.  The second is the four empires that ruled over the Jewish people and put them into exile.  When we were in exile, we kept the Mitzvot, whereupon Hashem took us out of exile.

The Bnei Yissaschar gives another reason, namely, the four things Bnei Yisrael did not change about themselves while in Egypt.  They did not change their names, their language, they did not marry anyone forbidden by the Torah, and they didn’t speak Lashon HaRa.

In all of these cases, we were freed from exile using the four Leshonot of Geulah.  May we see in our redemption the four Leshonot of Geulah.

Connection to the Past by Eli Lehman

The Missing Berachah by Michael Billet