On the night of the seder, Elijah the Prophet plays Santa Claus (well, those aren’t the exact words) hopping from one seder to the next, visiting every matzah-crumby table and sipping wine left out for him. But Elijah isn’t all jolly: in the Bible he goes through a really tough time. Tormented and threatened by Jezebel, he finally cries out to God, “I have had enough — let me die! I have dreams, goals and values that I will never achieve. What reason is there for me to live?” You might expect that God would respond with a bolt of lightning, or a cavern swallowing him up, but instead God responds with a “still small voice” and Elijah is reassured. He lives.
With Elijah’s biblical journey in mind, a New Yorker named Efrem Epstein founded Elijah’s Journey: A Jewish Response to Suicide, which helps those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, while destigmatizing mental illness. This year Elijah’s Journey published a seder supplement to read when you come to Elijah’s cup. It reminds everyone that saving a life can be as simple as being the still small voice that says, “I’m here to listen.” “You are important to me.” “I care about you.”