Monday, May 9, 2016

At Touro April 16, 2016

Yesterday was Shabbat Hagadol, the Great Shabbos.  The only thing we did differently is recite a special Haftorah from the book of Malachi. In his sermon Rabbi Marc Mandel mentioned that the reason it is called Shabbat Hagadol is unknown. Since nature and Judaism abhor a vacuum, there are various theories.  Perhaps it is from the tradition of a major and long sermon on this day. This goes back to times before a weekly sermon became obligatory.  Rabbi Mandel preferred a verse from the special Haftorah, which links the Haftorah to Pesach,  [Malachi 3:23]: “Hinei Anochi Shole’ach Lachem Et Eliyahu Hanavi Lifnei Bo Yom HaGadol V’hanorah,”, or "Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord."  Rabbi Mandel's talk was great, but concise.  The mention of Elijah led to the Seder, which Elijah traditionally attends. And to the great(gadol) treasures that the Egyptians willingly gave to the Israelites when they left Egypt.  I wonder if the Egyptians were eager to be rid of us after the ten plagues. The treasures were not very useful in the desert, due to the lack of shopping centers. But Hakadosh Baruch Hu came along soon with a greater treasure, one that we still benefit from, the Torah.  Have a zisn Pesach!

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