It had been six days since we walked out on our Egyptian taskmasters, but our liberation was not yet complete. Not until the seventh night, when the Sea of Reeds parted for us—and then crashed down to utterly destroy our Egyptian pursuers. Only then did we feel our chains fall away forever.

We relive that taste of ultimate freedom on the seventh and eighth days of Passover.

Holiday Observances:

Light holiday candles on both nights, and make kiddush and have festive meals on both nights and both days.1 We don’t go to work, drive, write or switch on or off electric devices. We are permitted to cook and to carry outdoors (except on Shabbat).

Splitting the sea wasn’t just a spectacular scene; it was a clear vision of a deeper cosmic order

First Night:

Splitting the sea wasn’t just a spectacular scene; it was a clear vision of a deeper cosmic order. Many relive the experience by staying up tonight with friends, studying Torah and absorbing the holiness of the night.

First Day:

We read the Sea of Reeds story from the Torah, and the song of praise we sang afterward. All rise when the song is read.

Second Night:

Some have the custome to light a 24-hour yahrtzeit candle for a deceased parent. (If the first day is Shabbat, make sure to light only after dark.) Light from a pre-existing flame.

Second Day:

Yizkor during the morning service.

On the final day of Passover, there is special focus on the final liberation, the one that’s yet to happen (as of this printing). The haftorah is a classic prophecy of that era. To celebrate, the Baal Shem Tov would make a festive meal, which he called the Feast of Moshiach. You can bet your local Chabad center will be hosting one, replete with matzah and four cups of wine. It usually starts shortly before sunset.

It takes some time to repurchase the chametz that was sold for Passover. Hold out just one more hour after nightfall before eating any chametz.