Shabbos HaGadol: Make Every Day Count!
By Harav Yonah Burr שליט״א
There is a widespread Minhag, quoted by Poskim, of reviewing the Hagadah on Shabbos HaGadol, during the afternoon. The purpose of this particular Minhag is quite understandable. Every important event requires preparation; certainly, the Seder night is no exception. Seder night is the time that we recharge our spiritual batteries by reliving the miracles of leaving Mitzrayim, relearning the lessons of belief and trust in Hashem, and experiencing the same closeness that the Jews felt back then when they left Egypt.
Seder night is the time that we recharge our spiritual batteries by reliving the miracles of leaving Mitzrayim, relearning the lessons of belief and trust in Hashem, and experiencing the same closeness that the Jews felt back then when they left Egypt.
All Year Long
At the Seder, we elaborate and explain the story in great detail. However, there is also a Mitzvah, the Ba’al Hagadah reminds us in the name of Ben Zoma, to mention the Exodus, every day, twice a day, all year round. Thus, the goal of the Seder is to impress us so profoundly that simply referencing it every day will enable us to retain the lessons learned.
However, the twice-daily Mitzvah to remember Yetzi'as Mitzrayim was clearly not enough. Chazal designed our entire Tefillah upon the concept of the redemption from Egypt, as we see from the following Gemara:
״אמר רבי יוחנן כל הסומך גאולה לתפלה הרי הוא בן עולם הבא״
"Rabbi Yochanan said: Anyone who arranges his davening to immediately follow the mentioning of the geulah, will merit the world to come."
Such a statement begs for an explanation: What is so incredibly meritorious about סומך גאולה לתפלה? Rabbenu Yonah offers a beautiful one.
The entire purpose of our being redeemed from Egypt was to become the servants of Hashem. Our greatest expression of service to Him is our Tefillah. When we mention the Geulah and immediately follow it with our Tefillah, we are showing that the purpose was fulfilled: we were redeemed, and we are His servants ready to serve. Rabbenu Yonah explains further, that the miracles were meant to inculcate us with trust in Hashem- again, our Tefillah, by turning to Hashem with all of our needs, is our biggest expression of trust in Him. Through our service and expression of trust, we are demonstrating that the purpose of the redemption was fulfilled. We are His servants, and we place our trust totally in Him. If we allow these ideas to transform us, we are truly deserving of the world to come!
How fortunate we are to have these gifts! We have the ability to day by day transform ourselves into true servants of Hashem!
Let us prepare and be prepared for this awesome night, to be able to reap the rewards throughout the entire year!
Have a wonderful Shabbos!