Drash Cards for Shabbat HaGadol (5770)
• What is big about this Shabbat? Many answers, all interesting
• It is the “War of the Egyptian First Born” – the first born of Egyptian government (priests) fought a battle about the release of the Israelites (1313 BCE)
• Ezra began the return from Babylon (348 BCE)
• Pri Chodesh: The Jewish people did their first mitzvah — setting aside land for sacrifices. This was like a Bar Mitzvah –> they became gadol
• Rabbis give extra length (gadol) sermons
• The Last Lubavitcher Rebbe: “We now return to the great Shabbat. Passover is a festival of glory and significance; it represents freedom, prosperity and nationhood. It is a heady time for the Jewish people; we are at our strongest during this holiday. Shabbat by contrast does not celebrate a high point forJews; it is a weekly occurrence set in place by God. By comparison it seems dull and unimportant.
• “Now along comes the Shabbat before Passover and reminds us where true greatness lies. It little to do with feeling achievement or greatness; it has everything to do with serving God. Shabbat is great because it is established by God as the day in which the creator is to be worshipped. No day stands above Shabbat. Not because there is no day more important; there are many more exhilarating days than Shabbat. Shabbat is great because it does not care to be exhilarating or significant. It cares only to be the day in which God is served”. So Shabbat HaGadol reminds us of the service to God.
• Finally, a new age answers: This is the Shabbat in which you decide which of your personal characteristics enslaves you and how you will be liberated from it during Pesach. Take 10 seconds and do so now