The Fifth Cup

Tonight, as Jews around the world hold our Sederim, we will pour and drink four cups–and leave a fifth cup for Elijah the prophet, in the hope that he will finally come this year to herald the coming of the Messiah and bring us back to Israel.
What was that? Bring us back to Israel? But we’re here!
Waiting for Messiah has been a way for the rabbinic authorities throughout the ages to subdue the Jewish People and stop them from going to the Land of Israel on our own. But the time to wait has come and passed, and, therefore, the need to hold out hope for some Messianic Era is gone. As Shmuel–the first generation Babylonian Sage–is recorded as saying in the Babylonian edition of the Talmud, “There is no difference between this world and that of the Messianic era, except for Jewish independence from the dominion of foreign kingdoms [BT Berachot 34b].
Thus, let us bring back the tradition of Rabbi Tarfon, who used to drink a fifth cup on recitation of the Hallel–thanking the Eternal for being with us as we have created the State, fought its wars and taken care of its citizens.
We’re free. We’re independent from foreign kingdoms, at least for the moment, and we need not wait for a Messiah any longer. Only the People of Israel , in the Eternal’s grace, will be able to maintain that freedom by good deed and right action.
Hag Sameah!
(Here is a lesson sheet I developed on the subject–texts only). <crossposted>


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