The Minhag is to fill up an additional cup towards the end of the seder known as Kos Shel Eliyahu. I was just wondering what the various minhagim are as to what to do with it after the seder is over.

  • 1
    Should probably be Community Wiki, since there won't be any one "right" answer.
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 16:32
  • 2
    Well, a correct answer can list and source many minhagim.
    – msh210
    Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 16:41
  • Similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/81171
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 23, 2017 at 6:45
  • All I know is that growing up I used to think that Eliyahu had stopped by when I saw the cup empty when I came down in the morning.
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 17:10

7 Answers 7


The Chabad minhag is to pour it back into the bottle after לשנה הבאה בירושלים. While this is being done, everyone at the table sings א-לי אתה ואודך to the tune composed by R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi.

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    Does singing keli ata have anything to do with the pouring, or is it just that they both happen to be done at the same time, after the seder?
    – msh210
    Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 19:12
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    Sefer Haminhagim just mentions these two things without drawing any connection between them. However, in one of his talks (hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=15991&pgnum=400 and following pages), the Rebbe zt"l develops the idea that the Cup of Eliyahu represents a level of G-dliness "beyond all measurements and limitations of the Order of Hishtalshelus"; pouring this into the bottle signifies drawing this down into "vessels" that we can apprehend; and that in this way אתה - the unknowable Thou of Hashem - becomes א-לי, the One with whom I have a personal relationship.
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 22:37

My father always used it the next day for Kiddush, and that is what I do.

  • As does my family.
    – yydl
    Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 21:07
  • Gershon Gold, @yydl, do you leave it the cup overnight? Ifso, do you cover the cup with a plate or similar (because of mashkim m'gulin (or dust))?
    – msh210
    Commented May 1, 2012 at 6:51
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    No he pours it back into the bottle and uses that bottle the next day. Commented May 1, 2012 at 15:01
  • @msh210 Oops. Looks like I should get my facts straight before posting. We do cover it (but leave it in the cup).
    – yydl
    Commented May 1, 2012 at 23:52

IIRC my father pours it back into the bottle (without first depugmifying it).


My great-grandfather's practice was to pour wine from the Kos shel Eliyahu into each person's fourth cup. (My grandmother used a spoon.)

I don't have a source or even a reason for the practice, but when I asked around I was told that it was an affirmation of early Religious Zionism, since Eliyahu's cup represents the fifth expression of redemption, "v'heveti," G-d's bringing us to the land of Israel. To show that this redemption has started again, everyone drinks from the wine.


Nechama Leibowitz' Haggada mentions that after establishment of the State of Israel Rabbi Kasher tried to convince the Rabbinate to add the fifth cup at the Seder.

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    I don't see how this answers the question, which was what to do with the kos shel Eliyahu. Or did you mean that, if we drank a fifth cup, it would supplant the kos shel Eliyahu?
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 18:48
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    Teiomonim have a fifth cup even before the state of israel was established. Commented Mar 31, 2013 at 2:06
  • hebrewbooks.org/2408
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 13:28

הגדה של פסח עם פסקי הלכה ומנהגים ממרן עמוד ההוראה הגאון רבי שלמה זלמן אויערבאך זצוק״ל, by ישראל יוסף ברונשטיין, published 5764, page 218, cites from ויגד משה‎ 30:5, in the name of קונטרס מנהגי החת״ם סופר, that since the cup was used for one מצוה it should be used for another, so some leave it covered until the morning and make קִדוש on it then. It further cites ויגד משה‎ 30:5 as saying that some pour from the cup into the various cups of the people at the סדר after "שפוך חמתך", but adds that that would only be for those who fill the fourth cup after saying "שפוך חמתך", which, it says, is not the prevalent custom.


Eliezer Brodt has a post on the Seforim blog where he analyzes the development of this custom in great depth: The Cup for the Visitor: What lies behind the Kos Shel Eliyahu?

His conclusion:

"There are definitely early sources that talk about a fifth cup of wine at the seder. According to some, this fifth cup at some point started being called Kos Shel Eliyahu. Starting from the late 1400s we find that people would pour a special kos, and call it Kos Shel Eliyahu. I have shown that there are early sources for opening the door at Shefoch Chamascha that give various reasons. I also showed that there are many drawings by Shefoch Chamascha of a man on a donkey and Eliyahu found in the early manuscripts and printed illustrated Haggadahs. This would logically lead us to conclude that there was a belief that he did indeed come to visit when the door is opened."

In terms of what to do with the cup after the seder, some of the sources he brings include: R. Hayyim Benveniste (1603-1673), who writes that Ashkenazim empty their cups at the end into a fifth cup that they call Elijah's Cup, and he adopted this custom and drank it; and Rabbi Moshe Hagiz (1671-1751) who writes that after the seder the head of the household sleeps next to the full cup.

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