11

I'd like to preface this by saying that I have a lot of respect for the Jewish people and if this is at all insulting I certainly don't intend it and you all should please find in your hearts to forgive me.

Must have been a year ago, I attended a Jewish Passover Seder. I found it very interesting. There were four ceremonial wine blessings and everyone drank four cups of wine. (The kids had grape juice.) There was sweet bubbly white, there was Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah. One guy drank port.

Mealtime was over and the singing began. They explained the first songs were Psalms. But after the fourth cup of wine I think it finally got to them and they started singing silly songs.

So I'd like to ask about one of those songs. They told me the name was "Ah, Dear Me" or something like that, I don't remember exactly, but I think most of the song was in Hebrew.

However, the refrain of the song, it was repeated many times throughout the song, was: "Cabernet! Cabernet!"

2 times, just like that. After every stanza.

I understand a drinking song about wine. But why sing about Cabernet? Does it hold more religious significance than the other wines? Or did they sing about all the wines, maybe that was the only one I understood. Maybe if someone explains the whole song it will make more sense.

Oh, and I don't know what the following means but it's on the bottom of every question so I'm putting it here too:

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

closed as off-topic by msh210 Mar 23 at 22:24

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Purim Torah questions are on-topic only once a year, and will be closed after Purim. For details, see: Purim Torah policy" – msh210
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Re - "Oh, and I don't know what the following means but it's on the bottom of every question so I'm putting it here too." - You can read up about what the holiday of Purim is pretty much anywhere on the web. "Purim Torah" is a term that refers to making jokes and quips about the Torah, Jewish law, etc. in honor of the spirit of happiness and joviality of Purim. – DanF Mar 7 at 23:37
  • 3
    אדיר הוא, קל בנה? – Dr. Shmuel Mar 7 at 23:53
9

Here’s part of the text of the song. At first blush (so to speak), it reads like someone demanding more wine of all sorts of varieties:

Ah, dear me, ah, dear me, give me Bordeaux and Merlot; Barbera, Barbera, Nebbiolo, and Merlot, Cabernet, Cabernet; make me Bordeaux and Merlot.

Baker, too, Gadol, too, Double, too, give me Bordeaux and Merlot; Barbera, Barbera, Nebbiolo, and Merlot, Cabernet, Cabernet; make me Bordeaux and Merlot.

There’s several more stanzas, but I think you get the point. It’s not just Cabernet; there’s plenty more to go around.

Why do we sing this at the Seder night? Well, if you remember all the way back to Tu Bishvat, many have a custom to drink four cups of wine, of varying mixtures of white wine and red wine, which correspond to the four worlds discussed in Kabbalah (more on this concept here at Chabad). With this connection of wine to the four worlds, it should become apparent why we sing about wine: at the final part of the Seder, we sing about such lofty concepts as the four worlds through which action is made possible. We can’t describe the worlds in such vivid detail (partly because of the metaphysicality of it, partly because we’re drunk and half asleep), so we use the metaphor of wine and wine merchants instead.

  • 2
    Hey, DoubleAA, is there any connection between you and the winery Double A? – DonielF Mar 8 at 1:34
  • 3
    My running theory is he is named after the tana rabbi dubel and his two names shortened into aa – Dr. Shmuel Mar 8 at 1:39
  • Well played. You had me at "first blush" – Y     e     z Mar 8 at 3:54
1

You misunderstood -- they were demanding caberet, surely someone would have gotten up and performed after all of that drinking!

1

On second thought, they were in fact cheering for Cabernet. You see, the fourth cup ritually drunk will receive its own after-blessing, which contains the phrase return us to Israel, where we will thank you for the Land and the wine. However if the wine used for that cup is a product of Israel, you say "for the Land and its wine." Therefore many prefer to use an Israeli wine for the fourth cup.

By the time they got to "Ah dear me", the fourth cup had been drunk; at this point you're not supposed to eat any more food, but you can drink more wine. Having already satisfied the ritual preference for an Israeli wine, they're now asking for something French. And who is better than sighing ah, dear me than the French?!

Furthermore, many French Jews will be in Israel for the holiday and then return to France for work, so they were singing about beito b'karov, "his house is nearby", as many of them are commuting between Israel and France.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .