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The Second Cup and Rachatz

THE SECOND CUP is the “cup of plagues.” The fruit of the vine is poured into this cup and then “Papa’s” finger is dipped one time into the cup for each of the 10 plagues. As those present call out the name of a plague, “Papa” dips his finger, transferring the fruit of the vine on it to another bowl or cup, known as the “cup of iniquity.”

THE RACHATZ (washing of the hands). The Scripture teaches that only a person who has clean hands and a pure heart may stand in God’s presence (Psalm 24:3-4). At the Passover Seder, it is customary for the father to dip his hands into a basin of water and dry them—symbolically cleansing them. “Papa” then washes the hands of the person on his right. That person then washes the hands of the person to his right, and so forth, until all are symbolically clean before God.

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