Thursday, April 6, 2017

Halocho #1806 - What's great about Shabbat Hagadol?

Today, 10 Nissan, in the year 2449, the Jews in Egypt selected lambs for their Pesach sacrifice.

Forty years later, on 10 Nissan, the prophetess Miriam - sister of Aaron and Moshe - died.

A year later on 10 Nissan, the Jews crossed the Jordan river, as recorded in Joshua 3-4.

The Jews in Egypt were commanded to take home a lamb for their pre-Exodus Seder on 10 Nissan, four days before it was going to be sacrificed.

It was a miracle that the Egyptians didn't harm the Jews when they did this, since lambs were considered sacred objects in Egypt.

Since we left Egypt on Thursday 15 Nissan, this miracle happened on a Shabbat. To commemorate this miracle, the Shabbat before Pesach is called Shabbat Hagadol - the Great Shabbat - and a special Haftarah is read; the last chapter in Malachi which predicts the future redemption, may we merit it in our days.

The custom is to read the narrative section of the Haggada - from Avadim Hayinu (we were slaves) until (but not including) Rabban Gamliel's admonition to say "Pesach, Matza and Marror" - at Mincha on Shabbat Hagadol.

Source: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 430

Shabbat Shalom

- Danny
Thursday, 10 Nissan 5777

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