Torah Tidbits

The Message of the Mysterious Guest…featured-rabbi


7th and 8th Day of Passover!


April 10-11, 2015 – 21-22 Nisan 5775


Dear Friends,


One of the most precious moments of the Passover Seder is the opening of the door to Eliyahu HaNavi [Eliyah the Prophet].  Often done by the youngest child at the Seder, the opening of the door to Elijah, followed by the scrutinizing of Elijah’s cup to see just how much of his wine he tasted, is just so much fun!


Interestingly and mysteriously, Elijah’s name is not mentioned in the actual text of the Haggadah. It is found in the “instructions” preceding the reading of a portion of the Haggadah.


Why is Elijah’s name not part of the actual text of the Haggadah?


Perhaps because the custom of opening the door to Elijah was a later addition to the Passover ritual.  Or, perhaps, because the Exodus story is just the beginning of the story of redemption.


According to our tradition, the appearance of the Prophet Elijah will herald the beginning of the Messianic era in which the world will be fully redeemed!  But, we are clearly not there yet!  Although we truly yearn to greet Elijah at the Seder, we must still acknowledge that the fulfillment of God’s promise of redemption remains elusive.  And so, we acknowledge that redemption is still a work in progress: We invite Elijah in to sip of the wine of the Seder, but his name is not yet a part of the actual text of the Haggadah.  The act of opening the door for Elijah is meant to be both inspirational and aspirational.


As we open the door for Elijah, we are reminded of the many doors that are open to us – doors that invite our participation in tikkun olam – in acts of loving kindness that help us to “repair the world” one sacred deed at a time.   That is the message of our mysterious guest – a message that remains with us well after the Seder is over…


Shabbat Shalom and a Happy and Kosher Passover to all!




Rabbi Gilah Dror