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Passover

By Rabbi Michael Skobac

THE BEST IS YET TO COME!

The Shabbat before Passover, is called ShabbatHaGadol - The Great Sabbath. There are many reasons offered to explain this name.

One reason derives from the special Haftarah (passage from the prophets) that is read after the weekly Torah portion in the synagogue. The special reading for Shabbat HaGadol is from the last chapter of Malachi. The passage concludes with the verse "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord." (This is actually the second to the last verse, but then it is repeated for emphasis after the last verse is read).

This "great and awesome day" of Hashem refers to the Messianic Age when God will be One and His Name will be One (Zechariah 14:9) and when all of humanity will be united in peace, living as brothers and sisters, children of One Father.

Passover celebrates the redemption of Israel from Egypt 3300+ years ago. But just as God redeemed Israel, our great hope is that one day soon, the entire world will be redeemed. This Shabbat, Shabbat HaGadol, urges us to look not only at the past redemption, but to keep our eyes looking forward to the great day to come!

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