16.04.2011 12.Nisan, 5771
On the fifth cup we recite the Blessing of the Song.
During the majestic and magical evening of the Pessah Seder, how many matzot does the leader of the proceedings take, two or three? And how many cups of wine, do the participants drink, four or five? I daresay the overwhelming majority of readers will respond: three matzot and four cups of wine. But in my Seder, we all take two matzot and drink five cups of wine. The reason stems from Halacha and Zionism.
The simple interpretation of a talmudic passage (Brachot 39B) would suggest two matzot: “Rav Papa maintains that everyone agrees that on Pessah evening we place the broken matza within [or under] the whole matza and make a blessing thereon” – two matzot, or rather one and one half, and so rules the Vilna Gaon….