Wine, Easter and the Passover: the miracle of the grape vine

giotto marriage at cana

Above: Giotto’s “Marriage at Cana,” 14th century (image via Wikipedia).

We all know the story of Jesus turning water into wine at Cana, as recounted in the Gospel According to St. John.

The miracle is significant, of course, because “it is the first of the seven miraculous signs by which Jesus’s divine status is attested, and around which the gospel is structured” (Wikipedia).

But therein is also another miracle, a human and much more mundane one. According to Jewish tradition, a marriage cannot be performed without a blessing over the wine. Had Jesus not transformed the water into wine, there would have been no marriage that day.

Anyone familiar with Jewish liturgy knows that a blessing over the wine and a sip thereof is a fundamental element of nearly all Jewish ritual. Neither wedding nor circumcision can be performed without wine; the Sabbath cannot be welcomed without wine; a young person cannot become Bat or Bar Mitzvah without wine.

Here’s the short version of the blessing “over the wine,” the Kiddush or sanctification:

“Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine” (click here for the complete Sabbath Kiddush).

Why was wine so important in Jewish liturgy at the time?

Please click here to continue reading my post for the Boulder Wine Mechant.

And Happy Easter and Hag Sameach to all!

7 thoughts on “Wine, Easter and the Passover: the miracle of the grape vine

  1. “And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.” Isaiah 26:6

  2. I am grateful for my Jewish brothers and sisters who remind me that the sacred is found reliably and repeatedly in our daily existence. Chag Sameach.

  3. Happy holidays, everyone. :)

    Charles, thank you. Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks.

    Michael (Los Pilares), GREAT quote… I feel a blog post coming.

    Vinogirl, Giovanni and I will be up in your neck of the woods in June. We must taste together!

    Geoff, I’ll tell you a funny story next time I see you… The “Mel Brooks” bris. Hag sameach…

    Kirsten, thank you for being here and G-d bless!

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