In Would there be anything wrong with opening the door earlier at the seder?, the OP lists two possible reasons for opening the door at the Seder, neither of which has any solid sourcing mentioned in the links.

I'm looking for sources (the earlier the better) that discuss why we open the door specifically before reciting Shefoch Chamascha. Is it because we wish to outwardly show that we are not afraid? Is it linked somehow to Eliyahu Hanavi?

1 Answer 1


This article gives a lot of background as to why the door is opened in the first place, and its possible connection to Eliyahu and Moshiach. It brings a bunch of explanations why the door is opened later rather than earlier, but most of them don't explain why specifically at shefoch chamasecha. Some excerpts of those that sort of do:

Bais Ha-Levi (19th century), Parshas Bo, p. 15 and the Chasam Sofer (18th century) in his notes to Shulchan Orach, 480

He answers that the Gemara in Pesachim (109 b) asks how can there be a halacha to drink four cups of wine if there is a danger to eat or drink things in pairs—which is known as zugos. The Gemara answers since it is Leil Shimurim, there is no danger. So the Bais Halevi says that we specifically open the door when the fourth cup is drunk to explain to the person who would ask why isn’t there a problem of zugos. We show him that it’s not a problem because it is Leil Shimurim as we open the door

Rabbi Yosef Zecharia Stern (19th century), Zecher Yehosef, p. 39

He says the Gemara in Pesachim says another way that there is no problem of zugos is if one opens the door to the street. So that is why we open the door specifically at this point in the seder.

Rabbi Shmuel Rozovski (20th century), Mikraei Kodesh (Harri), p. 548

Rabbi Shmuel Ruzuvsky suggested that the possible reason why the door is opened by Shefoch Chamascha is because when we used to eat the Korban Pesach the halacha is that one cannot take any of it out of the house so they used to lock the door. After bentching, they would go to the roof to say Hallel, so they opened the door.

I admit these more explain why around the fourth cup than specifically shefoch chamasecha, but I guess it's the first possible opportunity closest to that point.

  • These are all good answers. The last one, esp. is interesting esp. about going to the roof to say Hallel. Is there any further explanation of why they couldn't say Hallel in the home? What would make this more interesting if there was something that explained why Shfoch is said just before Hallel?
    – DanF
    Mar 23, 2018 at 19:21
  • @DanF I saw somewhere that it was very stuffy in there so they would rush to the roof afterwards for fresh air. I'll try to remember where
    – robev
    Mar 23, 2018 at 19:23

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