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.
Sivan Rahav Meir, my favourite “Rebbetzin” and commentator on both current affairs and the Torah, has this lovely insight into the 7th Day:
Shvi’i Shel Pesach (the Seventh Day of Passover) is just ahead of us. There are commentaries that claim that the thing that happened on this day – the splitting of Yam Suf (the Sea of Reeds) – is more dramatic than the Exodus from Egypt and the Giving of the Torah. Why? This is how *Rebbetzin Yemimah Mizrachi* explains it:
“On the Seventh Day of Passover the sea was split. A fierce wind started blowing, and in front of the incredulous eyes of the Children of Israel and the Egyptians, something started happening, that no one could believe would happen: ‘It is splitting, it is splitting!’ Yes, it is possible. And you take a step and another step and another step, and exit the trail on the other end, and in the meantime, behind you, you leave all the sorrow and troubles and all the enemy soldiers who have persecuted you. You really must recite the Song of the Sea and picture it, like a painting; to picture yourself passing through, your children are bundled in your dresses, not believing what they see. You walk between those transparent walls, finding your own path to freedom. Everyone needs a Splitting of the Sea: in livelihood, in health, education, marriage, in our private and national affairs – this mechanism worked then and it works now as well. We must believe that it is possible to change and to be changed. It is possible to exit from the other end of the sea, to go out from narrow straits to well-being.”
Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!
More food for thought comes from the UK Chief Rabbi Efraim Mirvis, with these insights into the last days of Pesach and the days that come after it:
I would like to wish all those celebrating Chag Same’ach and Shabbat Shalom – and if you are outside Israel, yet another Chag Same’ach! 😀
Happy cleaning up after Shabbat! See you all on the other side.