01 Apr Shabbos Hagadol
In Tur Orach Chaim 430, he explains why the Shabbos before Pesach is called Shabbos Hagadol. A great miracle happened in Mitzrayim. Hashem had commanded the Bnei Yisroel to take a sheep on the tenth of Nissan, which fell out on Shabbos. Every Yid took a sheep and tied it to his bed. The Mitzriyim asked the Yidden, “Why are you doing this?” They responded, “We will slaughter these sheep as Hashem commanded us.” All the Mitzriyim could do was grind their teeth that Bnei Yisroel were slaughtering their idol. They could not say anything. Because of this miracle, this Shabbos is called Shabbos Hagadol. Another answer could be based on the Medrash, Bereishis Raba 11:8 that says that Shabbos came to Hashem and said that everything in the world has a pair except for me. Hashem responded that Klal Yisroel will be your pair. The Medrash in Shmos Raba 1:28 and 5:18 it says that the Yidden kept Shabbos in Mitzrayim. So what was the chiddush that they became partners on Shabbos Hagadol? The answer is that as long as Bnei Yisroel were in Mitzrayim they were not considered a nation as we say in the Hagada “V’at Eirom V’Erya.” At the point of Yetzias Mitzrayim, when the Yidden were commanded to do Mitzvos, that is when Hashem told them “Mishchu -” pull away from Avoda Zara and accept the yoke of Yiddishkeit. This happened on Shabbos Hagadol, which is when Shabbos finally got its pair; therefore it is called Shabbos Hagadol. Another reason it is called Shabbos Hagadol is because Shabbos helped them remove themselves from Avoda Zora. This is based on the gemara in Shabbos 118a that says that one who keeps Shabbos kehalacha, even if he serves Avoda Zora like in the generation of Enosh, will have all his aveiros forgiven. Since the koach of this miracle came as a result of Shabbos, it is therefore called Shabbos Hagadol. We find in the above-mentioned Tur that the Mitzriyim could not say anything to Bnei Yisroel at the time. It sounds like the Mitztriyim could have had a ta’aneh but they were stopped from saying anything to the Yidden. What could they have said to the Bnei Yisroel? The Rav of Tchechenov said the Mitzriyim could have claimed that the Yidden were liars. Initially, they said we need to leave Mitzrayim since we can’t shecht their idol right in their face, and then they did an aboutface and were shechting the korban in faces of the Mitzriyim. The Mitzriyim had a ta’aneh, but they were stopped from saying anything. How could Bnei Yisroel have lied and said that they can’t shecht and then make an about-face? Initially, they were not able to shecht in front of the Mitzriyim because of the kochos of Tumah that was there. That is why Moshe would leave Mitzrayim to daven when he wanted to stop a makka. Once the Yidden were moser nefesh to bring the korban Pesach into their house, thereby weakening the koach hatumah of Mitzrayim, they were making Mitzrayim a place where they could now shecht the Korban Pesach, even in front of the Miztriyim. This was a big thing. That is why it is called Shabbos Hagadol. May we be zocheh to be mekayem Korban Shabbos properly in the Bais Hamikdash.