Torah Fax

Friday, April 29, 2005 - 20 Nissan, 5765

Candle Lighting time (4/29): 7:32 PM
Candle Lighting time (4/30):
(from a pre-existing flame) after 8:36 PM
Begin preparing for the second day of Yom Tov (4/30): after 8:36 PM
Yom Tov ends (5/1) 8:38 PM

Please allow the Rabbi about an
hour to buy back your chametz.

Get To The Point

“The bottom line” is an expression borrowed from Talmudic law. To avoid any confusion by all the “legalese” in the text of a contract, it was necessary to repeat its most salient features at the end. The bottom line encapsulated all that was important in the contract.
Passover also has a bottom line. The eighth day of Passover is referred to, not as the “eighth day,” but rather as “Acharon Shel Pesach, the last day of Passover.” All of the multi-faceted, spiritual dimensions of the first seven days of Passover are reintroduced on the last day. In a certain sense, if one properly observes the last day of the festival, it is as if he has observed all of the preceding seven.
The significance of the last day of Pesach can also be appreciated by way of an analogy.
When the Jews were in the desert, they traveled in formation. There were four camps (each consisting of three tribes), the last of which was the Camp of Dan. Our sages tell us that the Camp of Dan had a special task. They were obligated to retrieve anything that might have been left behind by any of the other tribes who traveled ahead of them.
Dan’s was not merely required to pick up lost objects and return them to their rightful owners (though this in itself is in fulfillment of the Biblical injunction known as Hashavas Aveidah, returning a lost item).Dan’s “lost and found” also dealt with the spiritual losses and shortcomings of the Jewish nation. By virtue of their being the last camp, Dan was charged with the responsibility of replenishing the spiritual losses of the Jewish people.
The last day of Passover is not just a continuation of the holiday, nor is it merely a “grand finale.” It is the day that enables us to retrieve all of Pesach’s spiritual resources that we might have left untapped. On this day, one has the ability to recover any opportunities that were lost during the first seven days of Passover.
What is so unique about the last day of Passover? What gives it this special power?
The first seven days of Passover deal with the Exodus from Egypt. On the first day we celebrate the Exodus itself, when the Jews actually left Egypt. The Jewish people then traveled through the desert for seven days until Pharaoh’s army caught up with them at the Sea of Reeds and G‑d saved them by splitting the Sea. The seventh day, therefore, celebrates the great miracle of the splitting of the Sea (as is reflected in the Torah reading for that day). The last day of Passover is dedicated to the ultimate redemption, when all subjugation and exile will be negated forever. This is reflected in the Haftorah, the prophetic reading recited on this day (Isaiah 10:32 - 12:6) which gives a vivid description of the Messianic Age. Furthermore, the Ba’al Shem Tov instituted the eating of a special meal at the end of Passover known as Moshiach’s Meal. More recently, it has become customary to drink four cups of wine at this meal.
The message of the last day of Pesach is simple: “True G‑d, You took us out of Egypt, but is that the last word on redemption? Are we truly free people now? Don’t we say at the very beginning of the Haggadah “this year we are slaves but next year we will be free?” Doesn’t the Haggadah tell us that, just like Pharaoh, people rise up in every generation to try to destroy us, G‑d forbid? It is time for You, dear G‑d, to  complete the long journey of the Exodus, to put an end to all exile and suffering, by ushering in the Messianic Era.”
We can now see why Acharon Shel Pesach is a time that we can make up for any lost Pesach opportunities. It is a day connected with the time of Moshiach, which will bring perfection and completion to the preceding age of exile. Similarly, the last day of Pesach can enhance all of the preceding seven days and all of the spiritual energies they possessed.

and thirst to be free. When hunger and spiritual hunger. And finally, we conclude with a declaration that by manifestation of our proximity to the Messianic : "This year we are here, next year in the Land of Israel; this year we are servants, next year we will be free!
Moshiach Matters
Look with favor, L-rd our G‑d, on Your people Israel and pay heed to their prayer; restore the service to Your Sanctuary and accept with love and favor Israel's fire-offerings and prayer; and may the service of Your people Israel always find favor. May our eyes behold Your return to Zion in mercy. Blessed are You, L-rd, who restores His Divine Presence to Zion. (From the Amidah prayer said three times daily)
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