The HIAS Haggada's 5th Cup

In recognition of the escalating refugee situations in countless countries, HIAS (The Hebrew Immigration and Aid Society, committed in the past to bringing Jews to the United States is now committed to bringing asylum seekers to the United States and resettling them) created its own Haggada for 2019.
In their Haggada HIAS introduces a new custom of the fifth communal cup of wine not for consumption in honor of the millions of refugees who are not yet free:

"Have a participant open the door for Elijah. Make sure that all participants have an extra
wine glass that has not been used for the previous three cups of wine and will not be used
for the fourth cup of wine. Pour a cup of wine into the additional wine glass. Raising the
additional cup of wine and read as a group:
Gathered around the Seder table, we ultimately pour four cups, remembering the gift
of freedom that our ancestors received centuries ago. We delight in our liberation from
Pharaoh’s oppression.
We drink four cups for four promises fulfilled.
The first cup as God said, “I will free you from the labors of the Egyptians.”
The second as God said, “And I will deliver you from their bondage.”
The third as God said, “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great
The fourth because God said, “I will take you to be My People.”
We know, though, that all are not yet free. As we welcome Elijah the Prophet into our homes,
we offer an additional cup, a cup not yet consumed.
An additional cup for the more than 68 million refugees and displaced people around the
world still waiting to be free – from the refugee camps in Chad to the cities and towns of
Ukraine, for the Syrian refugees still waiting to be delivered from the hands of tyrants, for the
thousands of asylum seekers in the United States still waiting in detention for redemption to
come, for all those who yearn to be taken in not as strangers but as fellow human beings.
This Passover, let us walk in the footsteps of the One who delivered us from bondage. When
we rise from our Seder tables, may we be emboldened to take action on behalf of the world’s
refugees, hastening Elijah’s arrival as we speak out on behalf of those who are not yet free.
Place this additional cup of wine down untasted."

HIAS ties up the the fifth cup at the end of the Seder, where an empty cup us passed around, inviting each of the participants to pour some of the their wine from their fifth cup into the empty one. The passing around serves as a call to action for the participants of the Seder.

"As the final blessing of the Seder HIAS blesses the communal cup of wine saying:
Tonight, we honor the strength and resilience of refugees and asylum seekers across
the globe. We commit ourselves to supporting them as they rebuild their lives and to
championing their right for protection. Just as our own people now eat the bread of
liberation, we pray that today’s refugees and asylum seekers will fulfill their dreams of
rebuilding their lives in safety and freedom in the year to come.
Blessed are all those who yearn to be free.
Blessed are we who commit ourselves to their freedom.
Blessed are You, Adonai Our God, source of strength and liberation."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License