Thursday, March 22, 2007

Shabbat Hagadol

The Shabbat before Pesach is called Shabbat Hagadol. The reason why it’s called Shabbat Hagadol, Mipenei Nes Hagadol She-Karah Bo, because of the great miracle that took place on that day during the year of Yetziat Mitzrayim. It was the 10th day of Nissan, which that year happened to fall out on a Shabbat, and G-d told the Jewish people to take a Se (sheep), and tie it to their bedpost. You have to keep in mind that the sheep was the Avodah Zarah of the Egyptians, and when the Egyptians saw us taking the sheep they asked what are you doing with that animal, and we answered them, that we’re taking it and we are going to sacrifice it to our G-d, and we’re going to eat from it. So the Egyptians logically should have rose against the Jewish people to kill them, as it was blasphemy against their religion. But miraculously G-d brought a disease to the Egyptians where they were all forced to relieve themselves in the bathroom. They weren’t able to attack, because they were too busy worrying about their problems, and the Jews were saved. Now different questions were asked on this Halacha: Why do we commemorate it on the Shabbat before Pesach? Seemingly we should commemorate it on the day it happened. The miracle was on the 10th of Nissan, so therefore shouldn’t we commemorate on the 10th of Nissan every year whether it comes out on a Tuesday or Thursday or whatever day it is, and that should be the day we commemorate? So why do we commemorate on the Shabbat before Pesach? So someone explained that it was the fact that it was Shabbat, that they believed us, that we were really going to slaughter the animal, and just because it’s Shabbat and they the Jews don’t slaughter, then they’re not doing it yet, but once already Sunday and Monday came, they said its a bluff and they are not slaughtering it. Therefore it was on Shabbat they truly believed that we were going to do it, and therefore the miracle was because of Shabbat. Once Sunday came along, they said if you were going to do it you would have done it already, now you’re just bluffing, and you’re not really gong to do it, and the miracle wore off. So since the miracle was because of Shabbat, so therefore we commemorate it on Shabbat.

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