The third Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, once said: “The last day of Pesach is known as Acharon Shel Pesach, the ‘Final Day of Pesach.’ This day marks the conclusion of the theme begun on the first day of Pesach.

“We celebrate the first night of Pesach in order to commemorate the first redemption, when G‑d liberated us from Egyptian exile through Moshe, the first redeemer. However, this was only the beginning. On Acharon Shel Pesach we celebrate the final Redemption from the final exile, which G‑d will bring about through our Righteous Mashiach....”1

The relationship of Acharon Shel Pesach to the final Redemption is also apparent from the Haftorah recited on that day,2 which describes in detail the promises that will be fulfilled at the time of the final Redemption.

It is also known3 that the Baal Shem Tov was accustomed to partake of three festive meals on Acharon Shel Pesach, the final meal being called “the Feast of Mashiach,” for Acharon Shel Pesach isilluminated by a ray of the light of Mashiach.

What, indeed, is the difference between the first and final redemptions, celebrated respectively on the first and final days of Pesach?

With regard to the exodus from Egypt, Scripture states, “...for the people had fled;”4 the Jewish people had to flee the evil and impurity of Egypt, as “the evil in [their] souls was still in its strength.”5

Regarding the final Redemption, however, the Prophet states, “You will not depart in haste”; i.e., there6 will be no need to flee in haste inasmuch as evil and impurity will then cease to exist. This is in keeping with the verse which states that at the time of the final Redemption, “I will cause the spirit of impurity to depart from the world.”7

Furthermore, during the time of the final Redemption, evil will not only cease to exist, it will actually be transformed into good. This is stated in the Haftorah of Acharon Shel Pesach:“The nursing child will stretch out his hand over the viper”;8 i.e., even the viperous evil inclination will be transformed into goodness. And an anticipatory glimmer of this era may be sensed on Acharon Shel Pesach.

In a more general sense, this is also the difference between the first two and last two festive days of Pesach: the first two days are related to the first redemption, while the last two days — including the Seventh Day — are connected with the forthcoming Redemption.

The latter parallelism finds expression in the fact that the unholy Egyptians met their complete annihilation — “not a single one remained”9 — during the Seventh Day of Pesach, at the time the Jews crossed the Sea of Reeds This foreshadows the eradication of evil that will take place during the final Redemption.

There are other similarities as well. Concerning the time of the final Redemption, Scripture10 states: “And I shall pour forth My Spirit upon all flesh (including ‘servants and handmaidens’11 ) and they shall speak prophecy....” Indeed, at the time of the crossing of the Red Sea, “A handmaiden beheld at the sea that which was not revealed even to the prophets.”12

Additionally, just as at the time of the final Redemption evil and darkness shall be transformed into goodness and light — “the night shall be as bright as the day”13 — so, too, with regard to the events that took place at the time of the crossing of the Red Sea. For at that time, “there was the cloud and darkness [for the Egyptians], yet it illuminated the night [for Israel]”14 — the very darkness was transformed into light.

Based on Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXII,pp. 34-37.