Kenneth Cohen

Shabbat Hagadol

This week we celebrate Shabbat Hagadol. It represents our declaration of freedom from bondage, and the exodus from Egypt. This took place on the tenth of Nissan, which meant the Jewish people left their slavery on Thursday. The first ever Pesach Seder, took place on Wednesday night. This year, our Seder will also take place on Wednesday night.

Some refer to this coming Shabbat as שבת הנס הגדול, the Sabbath of the great miracle. The word, “great” is added because the Jews tied their lambs to their bedposts, and told the Egyptians, they would be sacrificing and eating their objects of worship. The miracle was that there was no protest by the Egyptians.
Another reason for the word, “Gadol,” comes from the Haftarah from the Prophet Malachi. He spoke of the “great day that was coming,” when all evil would be destroyed. And Hashem would send Eliyahu Hanavi to announce the final Redemption.

We are living through a time of turmoil, where there is a lack of clarity, as to what is taking place all around us. We should be comforted in knowing that all of this was predicted in the Talmud and the Zohar.

Before the final Redemption, there will be great disrespect in the world. People will not seek the word of G-d for direction. There will be chaos created by scoffers and non-believers. But when this cloud of confusion clears, significant, positive changes will take place for the Jewish people.

Just like all attempts to undermine the sanctity of the Jewish people, has failed in the past, it will fail again. Holiness and goodness will reign, and the Hashem will again be acknowledged as the King of Kings. The Prophet Yechezkel described what awaits us, when Hashem said, “And you will be my people, and I will be your G-d.”

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at
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