Chag Same’ach – Seventh day of Pesach

The seventh day of Pesach, “Shvi’i shel Pesach”, begins tonight, running straight on into Shabbat tomorrow night, giving us an “8-day Pesach” along with our fellow Jews in the Diaspora (who celebrate an extra day of the festival).

Shvi’i shel Pesach is the day the Children of Israel finally crossed the Red Sea into the Sinai Desert after fleeing Egypt, witnessing the miraculous Splitting of the Sea.

There is a nice Dvar Torah about the power of the 7th day, Shvi’i shel Pesach in Arutz Sheva (from last year, but the Torah is timeless):

On the eve of the seventh day they descended into the sea, as it says ‘there was cloud and darkness which lit up the night’ [v. 20]. At daybreak Israel came up out of the Red Sea and the Egyptians were drowned. At that moment Israel sang the Song at the Sea, as it says ‘then Moshe and the children of Israel sang…’ . That was a Thursday, and it was the final Yom Tov day of Pesach” (Seder Olam Rabbah, Chapter 5).

We say the Hallel prayer (songs of praise to G-d) every day during Pesach, and the second verse, , from Tehillim קי’ד (Psalms 114), recalls that miraculous event and is most appropriate to mark the seventh day.

The words are as follows:

Psalms Chapter 114 תְּהִלִּים

א  בְּצֵאת יִשְׂרָאֵל, מִמִּצְרָיִם;    בֵּית יַעֲקֹב, מֵעַם לֹעֵז. 1 When Israel came forth out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;
ב  הָיְתָה יְהוּדָה לְקָדְשׁוֹ;    יִשְׂרָאֵל, מַמְשְׁלוֹתָיו. 2 Judah became His sanctuary, Israel His dominion.
ג  הַיָּם רָאָה, וַיָּנֹס;    הַיַּרְדֵּן, יִסֹּב לְאָחוֹר. 3 The sea saw it, and fled; the Jordan turned backward.
ד  הֶהָרִים, רָקְדוּ כְאֵילִים;    גְּבָעוֹת, כִּבְנֵי-צֹאן. 4 The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like young sheep.
ה  מַה-לְּךָ הַיָּם, כִּי תָנוּס;    הַיַּרְדֵּן, תִּסֹּב לְאָחוֹר. 5 What aileth thee, O thou sea, that thou fleest? thou Jordan, that thou turnest backward?
ו  הֶהָרִים, תִּרְקְדוּ כְאֵילִים;    גְּבָעוֹת, כִּבְנֵי-צֹאן. 6 Ye mountains, that ye skip like rams; ye hills, like young sheep?
ז  מִלִּפְנֵי אָדוֹן, חוּלִי אָרֶץ;    מִלִּפְנֵי, אֱלוֹהַּ יַעֲקֹב. 7 Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;
ח  הַהֹפְכִי הַצּוּר אֲגַם-מָיִם;    חַלָּמִישׁ, לְמַעְיְנוֹ-מָיִם. 8 Who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a fountain of waters.

Here are a couple of videos with radically different versions of the song. 🙂

The first is by yeshiva students in Sydney Kollel, with a modern version complete with cute graphics:

And here is the Chazan (Cantor) Avremi Rath singing the famous classical Modzitz version:

Chag Same’ach and Shabbat Shalom! I won’t be online until Saturday night or Sunday at the very earliest.

This entry was posted in Judaism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Chag Same’ach – Seventh day of Pesach

  1. Chaim and Avigayil says:

    Anne, Avigayil thanks you for the two musical clips which put us in the mood for Yom Tov, particularly the Modzitz rendition whicn seems to be the tune we sing all the time. While ask the exponent ( M.P.L.) by whom we ate eating tonight.

    • anneinpt says:

      Hi Chaim & Avigail, I’m so glad you liked the clips. They got me humming along too. I hope you had a nice chag. Sorry to have missed you but our complicated timetables never seem to match up!

      Wishing you a guten sommer (though with this weather it looks like the sommer has taken a detour!)

  2. Reality says:

    My uncle a big Rabbi z”l used to jump over a bowl of water whilst holding a bag on his shoulder to commemorate the crossing of the Red sea. There is also a tradition to eat a special meal towards the end of the last day(tommorrow) called Seudat HaMashiach(the saviors feast).They say he may come tommorrow.(That’s ok my house is finally clean!)
    The clips are delightful,thank you.
    Wishing everyone a Chag Sameach, a healthy summer, &a happy rumpelnacht(cleaning up after Pesach session!)

    • anneinpt says:

      I remember when our uncle used to jump over the water. And I remember the time when he jumped INTO the water (by mistake…) 🙂

      Wishing you a good summer too (but where is it!!??)

  3. cba says:

    חג שמח, שבת שלום

  4. Pete says:

    The splitting of the Sea remains one of the great miracles in the Bible. Today, we often portray this mysterious event in movies – as if the waters somehow simply divided. But actually, if you read the words describing the event – you will see that God sent a great wind. A strong wind blew for several hours before the sea water was parted. It is unclear what the wind did precisely – did the wind blow the waters so that they were separated? Or was the wind simply another telltale sign of an even greater natural phenomenon on Earth that also took place? We do not know the full answer. We simply know that something amazing happened that allowed the Israelites to cross on land … in a place where was a sea.

    There also seems to be some debate about WHERE exactly the people crossed. Some say it was the Red Sea. Others say it was a place called the Sea Of Reeds – a shallower sea that was an offshoot of the Red Sea. Again – confusion about the exact historical event.

    What seems to be NOT in confusion – is that the pursuing Egyptian army was drowned when they tried to pursue the Israelites. Something remarkable happened, an event shrouded in a certain amount of mystery. And that is the nature of FAITH – that we will never fully know.

    Pete, USA

    • anneinpt says:

      Pete, I wonder f you were listening in on our Rabbi’s sermon! 🙂 He said almost the same thing!

      Indeed, the splitting of the sea occurred after a “strong east wind” blew all night. So people could rightly ask where is the miracle? It was a natural event! The answer is – it’s all in the timing. What were the chances of such a peculiar natural event occurring at precisely the right time to allow the Israelites to cross the sea, and yet let the waters crash back over the pursuing Egyptians? So whichever you look at it, it was indeed a miracle.

      And yes, you’re 100% right. In the end, it is faith that causes us to believe the Bible and the stories within it. In fact, if everything were proven scientifically and empirically there would be no need for faith. So it’s better if some if not all the events are NOT proven, in order to allow space for our faith.

      As to the more prosaic question of where the crossing of the sea took place, the Sea of Reeds and the Red Sea are one and the same place. In Hebrew the Red Sea (which would translate as “HaYam HaAdom”) is called the Reed Sea – “Yam Soof”. Bible historians are of the opinion that an early translation of the Bible made a simple typo, and wrote Red instead of Reed.

      On the other hand, it could also be because the mountains around the Red Sea are indeed red (because of their copper content I presume). If you ever visit Eilat or Aqaba, the view is breathtaking. The sea is bright blue and the mountains in the background are deep red, and the contrast is quite dramatic. The lands of Jordan and/or Saudi Arabia are called Edom in the Hebrew Bible, which is formed from the same letters as the Hebrew word for red: Adom.

      • cba says:

        I’m trying not to get concerned about the thunder and lightening we’ve had for the last few days… is HaShem trying to tell us something? Or does He just have a snarky sense of humour?

        • anneinpt says:

          I think He’s doing a clearance sale. The last couple of months were quite dry and it’s now officially spring so He’s decided to dump the last of the winter stocks on us in one go.

          Or maybe He has a sick sense of humour. I do not remember such a cold wet end of Pesach in all my 37 years here.

          Must be global warming. 😛

Comments are closed.