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The Message of Shabbat HaGadol

By: Josh Brooks ('08-'09)


So I would like to start off by thanking Rav Bronfeld and the Reishit Rebbeim for giving me this zechus and I can only hope I can help shed some light on this upcoming Shabbos Kodesh. 
So everything is more or less based on the teachings of Rav Moshe Weinberger of Aish Kodesh and he raises the question “What’s so great about Shabbos HaGadol  in the first place? The Haftorah for Shabbos HaGadol is always read from the back of the Books of Prophets which discusses the promise of redemption which will be announced by Eliyahu HaNavi. The verses mention specifically how Eliyahu HaNavi will restore the heartfelt relationship of parents to their children and vice versa. So we see from here that there is an obvious connection between Eliyahu HaNavi and Shabbos HaGadol but what is that kesher?
We’re taught in the Seforim Hakdoshim (Holy Books) that there are two different ways to speak…chitzoniyos and pnimiyus or outward speech vs. inward speech which can be represented by two different words…Ldibur and Lhaggid respectively. When we wish to convey something on the mundane level we speak in an outward  way of ‘Ldibur’ , however if we wish to convey something from the depths of our souls and wish to give over life to another yid, this is the essence of Lhaggid which we utilize when we speak of the Redemption from Egypt in the Haggadah. Just as a ‘Gid’ in Hebrew means a vein which transports the blood throughout the physical body sustaining our very lives, so too it’s the words of this inward expression of Lhaggid that vivifies our spiritual lives. These two ways of approaching life are represented by the slave and the child, Eved and the Ben. A slave simply does as he is told and rarely, if at all, takes any of his masters’ words to heart but simply hears an order and carries out his task with no thought to it. However, the Holy Zohar teaches us that when a child is told to do something by his father, if the father conveys the instruction in the right way, the child knows that the father is trying to convey something deeper. The child knows that his father is trying to infuse some form of moral instruction that will ultimately lead the child to have a better future. The child then seeks the intent of his father and will take those words directly to his heart.
We could easily apply these holy words to our Avodas Hashem. Some yidden simply hear the words of Hakadosh Baruch Hu as an eved, a slave, and will do all the mitzvos and keep all of Torah and that is fine and dandy. However, there is a much deeper and higher level that we ALL have the potential to attain and that is the status of a ben, who not only hears the words “Keep Shabbos” but he will take those words to heart and seek the intent of our Father in Shamayim and he will LIVE for shabbos and will do all that he can to sanctify shabbos! This was the problem the Jewish people faced in Egypt. We became slaves and as slaves we forgot that we were the children of the Creator of the World and we forgot what it means to take words to heart and to think deeply about our lives. WE FORGOT OUR PURPOSE IN THIS WORLD!
So when we left Egypt, the real essence is that we left the status as slaves and we entered into a new relationship with Hashem and attained the status of children who live to serve our Creator and no one or nothing else. There was no other yid who could exemplify this approach of serving Hashem as a true ben as Eliyahu HaNavi. Eliyahu HaNavi sanctified every aspect of his physical life to the degree that the Angel of Death couldn’t even kill him and he instead went up to the Heavens in a chariot of fire! Its Eliyahu HaNavi who comes to every Bris Milla of a baby boy who conveys the message that this boy doesn’t have to be a small nobody slave but is the child of Hasehm and should be great and this is why we say the verse “Ze Hakatan Gadol Yhiyeh”…”Grow up, Be a Person! Be a child! Not a slave! Come to Torah and the Chupah in a deep way not just a mundane way! It is Eliyahu HaNavi who we invite at the door of the seder to teach us the message of coming inside to the lashon of LHaggid and as the son of Hashem. Eliyahu in Hebrew is the same Gematria as Ben…52! This is why we eat the Korban Pesach INSIDE…even the Rasha of the 4 sons who lives his life in the outward way of Ldibur, even he comes INSIDE to hear the Haggadah! Its Eliyahu HaNavi who reminds the fathers to turn their hearts to their children and children to their fathers on the physical plane. But on a deeper level, it reminds us all that we are the holy children of the Creator of the World and Eliyahu reminds Hashem that we are His children and that we wish to serve Him in a deep and genuine way and that we should be Zocheh to the Final Redemption where we can serve Hashem whole heartedly and properly in the Beis Hamikdash in our home of Eretz Yisroel and we should be zocheh to the ultimate shidduch of Hashems son of Mashiach Tzidkanu to his daughter of Am Yisroel…
We should be zocheh this Nissan…Shabbat Shalom Achi!