What Is the Moshiach's Meal?

Following a tradition instituted by the Baal Shem Tov, Jews all over the world celebrate the waning hours of Passover with Moshiach’s Meal (Moshiach’s Seudah in Yiddish), a feast celebrating the Divine revelation yet to come.

Why Do We Celebrate This Meal?

On the last day of Passover, we read verses from the book of Isaiah as the haftorah.1 This reading includes many wondrous prophecies about the era of Moshiach.

The prophecy foretells of a leader upon whom “the spirit of the L‑rd shall rest, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and heroism, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the L‑rd.”

In addition to bringing peace to mankind (“he will judge the poor justly, and he shall chastise with equity the humble of the earth”), the new peace and G‑dly understanding will extend to all of G‑d’s creatures: “And a wolf shall live with a lamb, and a leopard shall lie with a kid . . . and a small child shall lead them.”

The Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the chassidic movement, was the first one to celebrate this meal, with an open door, allowing anyone who wished to partake.

The sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe explained that on the last day of Passover the radiance of Moshiach is already shining.

When Is the Moshiach's Meal

Moshiach’s Meal is held following Minchah (the afternoon service) on the eighth day of Passover. In Israel, where Passover is seven days long, Moshiach’s Meal is held on the seventh day.

The celebration customarily extends past nightfall, ushering out Passover amid song, words of Torah and inspiration.

How Is the Moshiach's Meal Celebrated?

In 1906 Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber of Lubavitch incorporated four cups of wine and matzah into Moshiach’s Meal, mirroring the Seder held the week before. You can also serve fruit and other Passover goodies.

If you will be celebrating with a group you can have people prepare stories or Torah thoughts related to Moshiach. The actual program is flexible, but you want to pace your four cups throughout the singing and speaking. Customarily, the leader of the group announces which cup you are up to. Note that you do not need to drink these cups in their entirety. A sip suffices.

Read a more in-depth treatment of this meal

Print a suggested program for your meal at home

Learn more about Moshiach