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Shabbat Hagadol: Elijah and the Children

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29.07.2021

The Shabbat before Pesach is known as “Shabbat Hagadol—the great Shabbat.” What makes this Shabbat so great? The standard explanation is that of Rabbi Shlomo Luria (the Maharshal 1510- 1573). Maharshal explains: the year of the Exodus had the 10th day of the month of Nissan—the day the Israelites were commanded to set aside the lamb for the Passover sacrifice— occurred on Shabbat. On that Shabbat, the Jews took lambs, an animal worshiped by the Egyptians, and designated them to be sacrificed, despite the idol status they had. This act of rebellion marked the beginning of the Israelite’s freedom and took place on this Shabbat. Yet, there is another, more technical explanation that sheds light on the essence of Passover and the world we all ought to aspire for.

Rabbi Yaakov ben Asher of Cologne, most famous for his magnum opus, the Tur, explains that the reason the Shabbat before Passover is called Shabbat Hagadol is because of the words of the verse read in the Shabbat’s Haftorah. The Haftorah, read after the Torah reading in Synagogue, is taken from the book of Malachi (chapter 3). These words concluding........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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