Shabbat Hagadol

You’ll forgive me if I’d rather write about Passover than this week’s parsha that extends the conversation about leprosy. Even if you knew nothing about Passover, you’d know that it was a big deal by all that precedes it. For four Shabboses (Shabbatot for the machmir among us) before Passover we prepare collectively to be the community which will relive our birth as a people. Shabbat Shekalim reminds us that all of us must contribute to the maintenance of the Temple and therefore to the maintenance of our community; Shabbat Zachor is a sharp message of alertness against enemies within and without; Shabbat Parah celebrates the preparation for the lamb chop sacrifice at Passover; and Shabbat HaHodesh marks the month of Nisan, the first of months, a time of spring and love. If this were not enough we have Shabbat Hagadol, the great Sabbath, called so because of the greatness of Passover. Another reason it was called great is because it was one of the two times a year the rabbi gave a sermon, and the service lasted much longer than normal. Remember that we’ve warned you. (Just kidding–have a ziesen Pesah!)