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If only the sea would split for us….

שביעי של פסח תשפ"ד

* Translated by Janine Muller Sherr

Five Ideas about the Chag Tonight

1)The Holiday beginning tonight is called “Shevii Shel Pesach,” “The Seventh Day of Pesach.” On the first night of Pesach, Seder Night, we commemorated the Exodus from Egypt and tonight we celebrate the Splitting of the Sea. Pharaoh and the Egyptian army were drowned in the Sea of Reeds, while the Children of Israel crossed through the Sea on dry land.

2) On the Seventh Day of Pesach, it is our custom to recite “Shirat Ha Yam” or “The Song of the Sea,” which describes the wonder of the Splitting of the Sea. When our ancestors witnessed this incredible miracle, they spontaneously burst into a moving song of praise and gratitude to God.

3) Of course, we continue to eat matzot until the night following the Seventh Day. Special prayers that we add on this day include, “Ya’ale V’Yavo,” Hallel, and the Musaf for the Chagim. In many communities, it is also the custom to recite the Yizkor prayer. Jews living in the diaspora will celebrate a second day of this holiday.

4) Many sources suggest that we should also pray on this day for our own “Splitting of the Sea,” in any area for which we hope for salvation. For example, in finding a life partner and maintaining a livelihood, as well as for the redemption of the Jewish people and the entire world. This year we so desperately long for the “ Splitting of the Sea” to occur in so many different areas of our lives. This holiday reminds us that even when the situation feels hopeless and that there is no way for us out to escape our troubles, since we have managed toextricate ourselves from even more difficult situations in the past, we can do so again.  Our reality can change in a moment, and with God’s help, we can discover an unexpected solution to our problems. May this will happen for all of us, and very soon.

5) Many have the custom of hosting “Seudat Mashiach,” “Moshiach’s Meal,” towards the end of the afternoon (after the Mincha service) of the Seventh Day (or on the Eighth Day in the diaspora). This is a tradition that was institutedby the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l, who urged his followers to celebrate this meal with matzot and wine in anticipation of the Final Redemption.  And finally, on the night following the last day of Chag, the beautiful Mimouna holiday takes place, which has its roots in the Moroccan community but is celebrated today by Jews of all backgrounds. A holiday of faith and hope.

Chag Sameach!


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