This website quotes Rabbi Menasheh Klein author of Mishne Halachos.

"Why did they establish 4 cups for Seder and not 5?...The Zohar in Parshat Shemini explains the Kohen may not enter the Holy Place inebriated with wine, even though wine 'gladdens the heart of humanity' (​yayin yismach lev enosh)...with wine, the beginning is joy and the end is sadness as its written, "Give wine to the bitter at heart"; that when we left Egypt one in 5 left and 4 out of 5 died in Egypt, and even so, we left [Egypt] on account of their merit....they established for them 4 cups to symbolize mourning and comfort on the 4 parts of the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who died in Egypt... *Classically, the 4 cups relate to the 4 expressions of freedom or redemption mentioned in Exodus 6:6. Alternatively, sources point to the 4 cups of wine mentioned in connection with Joseph and the Chief Cupbearer in Gen. 40: 11, 14. Here, Rabbi Menashe Klein suggests the 4 cups represent a recognition of mourning and loss upon leaving Egypt, a sense of sadness and grief at a time we tend to think of as positive and uplifting for the Israelites.

Does anyone know the exact source. Mishne Halachos is 16 volumes and I couldn't find it in the index. Alternatively also asking for someone who says a similar idea.


1 Answer 1


It can be found in Mishne Halachos 7:67.

See below:

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