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Kadesh - Sanctifying the Wine

Kadesh -

Reciting Kiddush for Passover

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After the candles have been lit and everyone is seated around the Seder Table, we are ready to begin the Passover Seder by saying Kiddush over the first cup (kos rishon) of Passover wine. This is also called the "Cup of Sanctification" (i.e., Kiddush).

The word Kiddush means sanctification, which means to set apart or make holy. When the LORD said that He would take the Israelites out from Egypt, He separated them and therefore sanctified them.

The Four Cups of wine used in the Seder symbolize four distinct promises made by God as told in Exodus 6:6-7. These are traditionally referred to as follows:

  1. Cup of Sanctification - "I will bring you out (i.e., hotzeti: הוֹצֵאתִי) of Egypt"
  2. Cup of Deliverance - "I will deliver you (i.e. hitzalti: הִצַּלְתִּי) from Egyptian slavery"
  3. Cup of Redemption - "I will redeem you (i.e., ga'alti: גָאַלְתִּי) with My power"
  4. Cup of Restoration - "I will take you (i.e., lakachti: לָקַחְתִּי) as My people"

Which cups did Yeshua drink during his early Passover Seder with his disciples? He drank the first two cups in the traditional way. At the third cup, the Cup of Redemption, he said: "This is my blood" (Matt. 26:27-39). Jesus told his disciples that He would not drink the fourth cup (the Cup of Restoration), but promised to do so with them in the coming Kingdom (Matt. 26:29), after the Great Tribulation when "all Israel shall be saved."

In the traditional Seder, the leader cries out: "Kadesh!" and we fill our cups with wine. Now we will recite the following traditional blessing over the wine:

Kos Rishon
Blessing over the First Cup

Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
borei peri hagafen.

"Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine."

Next, the Seder leader will read the following from the Haggadah:


Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
asher bachar banu mikol am veromemanu mikol lashon,
v'kideshanu b'mitzvotav. Vatiten lanu Adonai eloheinu b'ahavah
mo'adim l'simchah, chaggim uzemanim l'sason,
et yom chag hamatzot hazeh, z'man cheruteinu,
mikra kodesh, zikher litziat mitzrayim.
Ki vanu vacharta v'otanu kidashta mikol ha'amim,
umod'adei kodshekha b'simchah uvesason hinchaltanu.
Barukh attah Adonai, m'kadesh Yisrael v'hazemanim.

"Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the Universe, who chose us from all peoples and exalted us from all tongues, and sanctified us with His commandments. And You gave to us, Lord our God, with love appointed times for gladness, festivals and times for joy, the day of this festival of Matzah, the time of our freedom, a holy convocation, a memorial of the exodus from Egypt. For you chose us and sanctified us from all the nations and the festivals of your holiness in gladness and in joy you gave us a heritage. Blessed are You, Adonai, who sanctifies Israel and the seasons."

The Shehecheyanu Blessing

After reciting the Kiddush for the first cup, the Shehecheyanu blessing is recited:

Shehecheyanu Blessing

Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
she-hecheyanu v'ki-yemanu v'higianu lazeman hazeh.

"Blessed art thou, Lord our God, Master of the universe,
who has kept us alive and sustained us and has brought us
to this special time."

After the Shehecheyanu, everyone drinks the first cup while leaning or reclining to the left. You will need your pillows for this step of the Seder.

Note: If Passover occurs on Shabbat, then additional words are added to the Kadesh. See a good Siddur for more information.

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