Rabbi David Paskin
It's the BIG One!
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From Rabbi David
This Shabbat is the BIG one! It's called Shabbat HaGadol - literally, "the big (or great) Shabbat." There are a few different ideas as to why this Shabbat is so "BIG" but the main reason is that it is right before Passover. Anyone who has had a home to clean, a seder to host, food to cook and everything else that goes into passover knows how BIG of a lift it can be. So, perhaps appropriately the Shabbat before hand is always called Shabbat HaGadol.
Here's the thing about all of the "bigness" of Passover. To me - there's a lot of humility and smallness in the symbols and story of Pesach. The matzah is flat and flavorless - poor person's bread; the sprigs of parsley on the seder plate right next to the meatless bone; the cleaning out of the chametz leaving us with macaroons and Passover cereal (yuch.) Surely we have turned Passover into a well-deserved celebration of our survival and Exodus from Egypt with tables overflowing with food and cups with wine. At its core though, I think Passover is about simpler things: Understanding that what you have might be more valuable than what you need; ensuring that every person has food to eat and is able to share in a Seder meal; having the courage to ask questions.
These are some of the "little" Passover lessons that resonate with me.