SECTION 430 The Custom of [Commemorating] Shabbos HaGadol, “The Great Shabbos” (1-3)

סימן תל מִנְהַג שַׁבָּת הַגָּדוֹל וּבוֹ ג' סְעִיפִים:

1 The Shabbos that precedes Pesach is called Shabbos HaGadol, “the Great Shabbos,” because a great miracle1 occurred on [that day.2 To explain: The lamb to be offered for] the Paschal [sacrifice in] Egypt was set aside on the tenth of the month [of Nissan], as it is written:3 “On the tenth of this month, each of them shall take a lamb for a family….” That day was Shabbos, for the Jews left Egypt on a Thursday,4 as will be explained in sec. 494[:1]. Since the fifteenth of Nissan was a Thursday, the tenth of Nissan was Shabbos. When the Jews took [the lambs for] their Paschal sacrifice on that Shabbos, the firstborn of the nations of the world gathered around the Jews and asked them: “Why are you doing this?”

The [Jews] answered: “It is a Paschal sacrifice to G‑d Who will slay the firstborn of Egypt.”

The firstborn [of each family] went to their parents and to Pharaoh to ask them to release the Jews, but they did not agree. The firstborn waged war against [Pharaoh and his supporters] and slew many of them. This is alluded to by the verse,5 “To strike Egypt with their firstborn.”

[The Rabbis] established the commemoration of this miracle for the [future] generations on the Shabbos [preceding Pesach] and called it Shabbos HaGadol. Why did [the Rabbis] not establish [the commemoration of this miracle] on the tenth of the month regardless of whether [that date fell] on Shabbos or during the week, as all the other festivals are commemorated [on a given date]?6 Because Miriam [the prophetess] died on the tenth of Nissan and [the Rabbis] established a fast [on that date] when it falls during the week,7 as will be explained in sec. 580.8 Consult that source.

א א שַׁבָּתב שֶׁלִּפְנֵי הַפֶּסַח קוֹרִין אוֹתוֹ "שַׁבָּת הַגָּדוֹל", לְפִי שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה בּוֹ2 נֵסג גָּדוֹל,ד,1 שֶׁפֶּסַח מִצְרַיִם הָיָה מִקָּחוֹ מִבֶּעָשׂוֹר לַחֹדֶשׁ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּבה,3 "בֶּעָשֹׂר לַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה וְיִקְחוּ לָהֶם אִישׁ שֶׂה לְבֵית אָבֹת וְגוֹ'", וְאוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם שַׁבָּת הָיָה, שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּה' בַּשַּׁבָּת יָצְאוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּצְרַיִםו,4 כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תצ"ד,ז וְכֵיוָן שֶׁט"ו בְּנִיסָן הָיָה בְּה' בַּשַּׁבָּת, אִם כֵּן עֲשָׂרָה בְּנִיסָן הָיָה בְּשַׁבָּת,ח וּכְשֶׁלָּקְחוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל פִּסְחֵיהֶם בְּאוֹתוֹ שַׁבָּת, נִתְקַבְּצוּ בְּכוֹרֵי אֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם אֵצֶל יִשְׂרָאֵל וּשְׁאָלוּם: לָמָּה זֶה הֵם עוֹשִׂין כָּךְ? אָמְרוּ לָהֶם: זֶבַח פֶּסַח הוּא לַה' שֶׁיַּהֲרֹג בְּכוֹרֵי מִצְרַיִם, הָלְכוּ בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם אֵצֶל אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם וְאֶל פַּרְעֹה לְבַקֵּשׁ מֵהֶם שֶׁיִשַׁלְּחוּ אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא רָצוּ, וְעָשׂוּ הַבְּכוֹרוֹת עִמָּהֶם מִלְחָמָה וְהָרְגוּ הַרְבֵּה מֵהֶם, וְזֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּבט,5 "לְמַכֵּה מִצְרַיִם בִּבְכוֹרֵיהֶם".י וְקָבְעוּ נֵס זֶה לְזִכָּרוֹן לְדוֹרוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת, וּקְרָאוּהוּ "שַׁבָּת הַגָּדוֹל".

וְלָמָּה לֹא קְבָעוּהוּ בַּעֲשִׂירִי לַחֹדֶשׁ סְתָם, בֵּין שֶׁחָל בְּשַׁבָּת בֵּין שֶׁחָל בְּחֹל, כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁנִּקְבְּעוּ כָּל הַמּוֹעֲדִים?6 לְפִייא שֶׁבַּעֲשָׂרָה בְּנִיסָן מֵתָה מִרְיָם, וְקָבְעוּ בּוֹ תַּעֲנִית כְּשֶׁחָל בְּחֹל,7 כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תק"פ,יב,8 עַיֵּן שָׁם:

2 It is customary in these countries that on Shabbos HaGadol, [after] the Minchah service, rather than recite [the psalms beginning] Borchi nafshi,9[the passages from the Hagadah beginning with] Avadim hayinu are recited.10 [The rationale is that] Shabbos HaGadol marked the beginning of the redemption, and the miracles [associated with the Exodus from Egypt]. Even when Shabbos HaGa­dol falls on the day before Pesach, Avadim hayinu is recited [at this time].11

ב נוֹהֲגִין בִּמְדִינוֹת אֵלּוּ שֶׁבְּשַׁבָּת הַגָּדוֹל בְּמִנְחָה אֵין אוֹמְרִים "בָּרְכִי נַפְשִׁי",יג,9 אֶלָּא אוֹמְרִים "עֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ וְכוּ'",יד,10 לְפִי שֶׁבְּשַׁבָּת הַגָּדוֹל הָיְתָה הַתְחָלַת הַגְּאֻלָּה וְהַנִּסִּים.טו וַאֲפִלּוּ שַׁבָּת הַגָּדוֹל הוּא עֶרֶב פֶּסַח אוֹמְרִים "עֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ":טז,11

3 It is customary in these countries that when Shabbos HaGadol [falls on] the day before Pesach, [the passage] from Malachi [beginning] V’arvah12 [is recited] for the Haftorah.13[The rationale is that] this passage [includes the verse],14 “Bring the [entire]… tithe to the storehouse...” Thus, [this passage] reflects the event [that would take place on that day], for the day before Pesach was the time when [the people] would divest [themselves of their tithes]. For on the day before Pesach of the fourth year of the seven-year cycle, and on the day before Pesach of the seventh year of the seven-year cycle, every person is obligated to remove from his home all the tithes15 that he separated from his grain during all of the three preceding years of the seven-year cycle.16 Thus, the tithes from all three years would be set aside in one’s home, and on the day before Pesach, [the person] would be obligated to bring [the tithes] to the house of a Levite.17

(True, there are authorities18 who maintain that the time [when one must] divest [himself of the tithes] is not the day before the first festive day of Pesach, but the day before the final festive day of Pesach, and fundamentally, [the halachah follows this view,] as stated in Yoreh Deah, sec. 331.19 Nevertheless, the custom has spread [to follow] the first opinion).

ג נוֹהֲגִין בִּמְדִינוֹת אֵלּוּ כְּשֶׁשַּׁבָּת הַגָּדוֹל הוּא עֶרֶב פֶּסַח, מַפְטִירִין בּוֹ בְּמַלְאָכִי12 "וְעָרְבָה וְגוֹ'",יז,13 לְפִי שֶׁבְּאוֹתוֹ פָּרָשָׁה כָּתוּב:14 "הָבִיאוּ . . הַמַּעֲשֵׂר אֶל בֵּית הָאוֹצָר וְגוֹ'", וַהֲרֵי זֶה מֵעֵין הַמְּאֹרָע,יח שֶׁבְּעֶרֶב פֶּסַח הוּא זְמַן הַבִּעוּר, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁבְּעֶרֶב פֶּסַח שֶׁל שָׁנָה הָרְבִיעִית שֶׁבַּשְּׁמִטָּה וּבְעֶרֶב פֶּסַח שֶׁל שָׁנָה שְׁבִיעִית שֶׁבַּשְּׁמִטָּה, חַיָּב כָּל אָדָם לְהוֹצִיא מִבֵּיתוֹ כָּל הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת15 שֶׁהִפְרִישׁ מִתְּבוּאָתוֹיט כָּל הַג' שָׁנִים שֶׁעָבְרוּ מֵהַשְּׁמִטָּה,16 וְהָיוּ הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת שֶׁהִפְרִישׁ מֻנָּחִים בְּבֵיתוֹ, וּבְעֶרֶב פֶּסַח זֶה מְחֻיָּב לַהֲבִיאָן לְבֵית הַלֵּוִי.17

(וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ אוֹמְרִיםכ שֶׁזְּמַן הַבִּעוּר אֵינוֹ בְּעֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁל פֶּסַח אֶלָּא בְּעֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב הָאַחֲרוֹן שֶׁל פֶּסַח,18 וְכֵן עִקָּר, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בְּיוֹרֶה דֵּעָה סִימָן של"א,כא,19 מִכָּל מָקוֹם נִתְפַּשֵּׁט הַמִּנְהָג עַל פִּי סְבָרָא רִאשׁוֹנָה).