Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Glimpse of Things to Come

The last days of Pesach, Shvii and Acharon Shel Pesach, are the only Yom Tov days that we don't recite Shehechyanu. The simple reason brought by the great codifiers of Jewish law, is that all the days of Pesach are considered one long holiday. Since we can only recite Shehechyanu over a new holiday, and the last days are not a new holiday, the last days, therefore, are included in the Shehechyanu of the first days.

However, had there been something new about the last two days, we would have to recite Shehechyanu.

What could have been new about the last days of Pesach, that were nevertheless refuted as a good enough reason to recite Shehechyanu?

The first is the miracle of the splitting of the sea. Perhaps this great miraculous salvation, that happened on the seventh day of Pesach can be considered a reason to say Shehechyanu.

However, the splitting of the sea, though it was arguably the greatest miracle we have experienced, it is only the culmination of our Exodus from Egypt, and the final blow in the destruction of our oppressors, Egypt.

Another possibility, is the last days connection to the future redemption. As the splitting of the sea, was a hint of things to come in the future redemption, though the future redemption will be by far greater. Just as it was the total destruction of Egypt, the future redemption will be the total destruction of evil in the world. Also we find that the song the Jewish people sang at the sea, Oz Yashir Moshe, contains prophecies of the future redemption.

The Haftora on the seventh day of Pesach, is the song of King David, the father of Moshiach, which ends with blessings of Moshiach.

On the last day of Pesach the light of Moshiach shines bright. The beautiful Haftora is all about Moshiach. And it is a holiday created by the Jewish people, and is the total transformation of the day, from mundane to holy. Moshiach is just that, it is the total transformation of the world from mundane to holy.

Perhaps the last days connection to Moshiach should warrant the recital of Shehechyanu.

However, this is refuted as well, because, you only say Shehechyanu over an event that happened in the past. Secondly, reciting Shehechyanu over the future coming of Moshiach, which we long for and has not come will have the opposite effect, as it will depress us, instead of adding joy to the holiday. And it is the joy of the holiday that brings out the essence of the last days. With brotherhood, love and joy, we get a sense of what awaits us in the future, a taste of Moshiach.

May we finally merit to experience the coming of Moshiach soon, and have a good reason to say Shehechyanu on these last days of Pesach as well.


  1. Beautiful. Thank you for giving others chizuk and inspiration! May all your efforts stand you and your dear family in good stead and may all your Tefillos be answered L'tova ul'brocha! A Gebenched Shabbos and Yom Tov!

  2. Thank you. Looking forward to saying the blessing of shehecheyanu with you!

  3. My mother and I had this discussion just before lighting candles on Thursday @ sunset! To say or not to say...Thanku for ur insight. You and your beautiful family are such an inspiration to us.

  4. Thank you Rabbi, you have given me something beautiful to hold on to. Mindy Leff

  5. Thank you Rabbi, you have given me something beautiful to hold on to. Mindy Leff

  6. Wow I am so excited every time, I admire your positive.. day at school we learned you must I live in Israel . We pray for you
    speedy recovery :)

  7. This saved me from making a bracha l'vatola when lighting candles erev yomtov :). Thank you!