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Normally if you have wine and refill your glass during the meal you don't make a new borei p'ri hagafen. Why do we (at least Ashkenazim) say a new b'racha for each cup at the seder? I think I've seen an explanation somewhere about them having four different purposes, but I couldn't find it in any of the haggadot I have handy (and I thought that's where I read it).

  • Note that Sefardim don't. They say on cups 1 and 3. – Double AA Mar 17 '13 at 23:33
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    "On all other nights, when we drink wine, we refill our glasses and drink without making separate brachahs.... Why tonight do we make 4 brachahs?" :-) – Charles Koppelman Mar 18 '13 at 0:42
  • My rav at the shabbos hagadol drasha said the four mitzvos are kiddush hayom, maggid, birchat hamazon, and hallel. Each one is said 'al hakos' just like bris milah, or birchas hamazon, or kiddush hayom. – sabbahillel Apr 13 '14 at 2:05
  • Also note that no matter what you would need to make a borei pri hagafen on the first cup (because it's the first) and the third cup (because it's after bentching). The most you could ask is why the first doesn't exempt the second, and why the third doesn't exempt the fourth. – DonielF Mar 29 '17 at 22:17
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    I was told that so much stuff (mitzvas, etc.) goes on between each cup that it's consisdered being mafsek to the purview of the original bracha (or something) – SAH Mar 31 '17 at 19:27
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The Magen Avraham (OC 474:1 and similarly in Taz there) explains that each of the four cups is a separate mitzva, and it is therefore considered as if he had in mind specifically not to exempt the other cups with his Brocha. The Pri Megadim adds that it is preferable to actually have this in explicitly in mind.

The Minchas Shlomo (vol. 1 18:6) questions this explanation, for granted that each cup is a separate mitzva but the question was why we make a separate "hagofen" for each cup. "Hagofen" is not a brocha recited before doing a mitzva (bircas hamitzvos) , but rather a brocha said before eating (bircas hanenen) and so what relevance is there to the fact that each cup is its own mitzva? He explains that because each cup is an independent mitzva, the Sages established that one should not have the subsequent cups in mind while reciting the blessing in order to give each cup it's own importance. See there are length.

The Gra there (quoted by Mishna Berura :4) brings an alternative explanation, that since one may not drink between the first and second cup (after he starts reciting the hagada) this is considered an interruption that requires a new Brocha.

  • Comments have been archived in chat. – Monica Cellio Mar 29 '17 at 22:23
  • Putting aside the Minchas Shlomo's issue, according to the Magen Avraham and especially the Pri Megadim, is it not a bracha she'eina tzricha? – DonielF Apr 5 '17 at 0:31
  • Note that the Gra is summarizing the debate between the Rif and Milchamos versus the Ba'al HaMa'or in Pesachim 23b b'dapav. – DonielF Apr 5 '17 at 0:37

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