The Hebrew word for Mitzrayim
, Egypt, is etymologically related to meitzar
, straits and limitations. Yetzias Mitzrayim
, the exodus from Egypt, then, means freedom from all constraints and limitations. Included in this is the freedom from the limitations and constraints of time.
That is to say, when the person attains the spiritual state of Yetzias Mitzrayim, he becomes so spiritually uplifted and transformed that he links himself to G-d's Ineffable Name, Havayah, which is the degree and level that transcends time, the realm where "past, present and future are all as one."
If this is so with regard to Yetzias Mitzrayim that took place on the first day of Pesach, how much more so with regard to Shevi'i Shel Pesach (the Seventh Day of Pesach), when the sea split before the Jewish people and they were finally, once and for all, rid of their Egyptian nemesis. Surely, on this day, the revelation of Havayah, where "past, present and future are all as one," is felt all the more.
If a person views Yetzias Mitzrayim merely as an event in the distant past, he has not at all escaped nor been freed from his limitations of time. One is to similarly feel that the events of the Seventh Day of Pesach, the Splitting of the Sea, and the Song of the Sea are actually occurring presently on each Shevi'i Shel Pesach in the annual cycle.
In light of the above, we can better understand the saying of our Sages that since the Song of the Sea opens with the expression: "Then Moshe ... will sing," (in the future tense) rather than, "Then Moshe ... sang," we derive therefrom that the concept of "Revival of the Dead," Techiyas HaMeisim, is of Torah origin.
What is the connection between the Song of the Sea and Techiyas HaMeisim, in that the Torah specifically utilizes the Song of the Sea as an allusion to the concept of the "Revival of the Dead"?
According to the previous explanation, the matter is eminently understandable: When the sea split, the level of "past, present and future are all as one" was drawn down and revealed. Therefore, when the Jewish people sang the Song of the Sea, all of time was contained and compressed in those moments, including the future time of Techiyas HaMeisim.
Since Acharon Shel Pesach, the Final Day of Pesach, comes as a continuation of the Seventh Day of Pesach, it follows that on this day as well there is drawn down the revelation of the Time to Come.
Thus the Baal Shem Tov would eat three meals on Acharon Shel Pesach, calling the final late afternoon meal the "Meal of Mashiach," since on Acharon Shel Pesach, a flickering gleam of the revelation of Mashiach is revealed.
Just as on the Seventh of Pesach we are to envision and relive the Splitting of the Sea and the Song of the Sea so that we feel that these events are taking place in the immediate present, this is also the case with regard to Acharon Shel Pesach:
We are to feel that the "Song of the Future" - the song that will be sung in the Time to Come and which is included within the Song of the Sea ("Then Moshe ... will sing") - is a song that is being sung by us on the very day of Acharon Shel Pesach. We are to look upon this song not merely as a song that we shall eventually sing in the future, but that we sing in the present as well.
Why was the relationship of Acharon Shel Pesach to the time of Mashiach and the "Song of the Future" revealed specifically through the Baal Shem Tov?
The general aspect of the Baal Shem Tov himself, is connected to the revelation of Mashiach. Thus the famous response of Melech HaMashiach to the Baal Shem Tov when he asked him when he would arrive. Mashiach responded to the Baal Shem Tov's query with the statement: "When your wellsprings [the chassidic teachings of the Baal Shem Tov] will spread forth."
Just as from generation to generation, the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov have become more and more widespread, so too with regard to the flickering gleam of the revelation of Mashiach that is manifest at the "Feast of Mashiach" on Acharon Shel Pesach: in each successive generation this revelation has become more discernible and apparent.
Since "Torah speaks about the majority [of the populace]," we can understand from this that the ability to feel the flickering gleam of the revelation of Mashiach on Acharon Shel Pesach is not limited to a select few, but is applicable to all. This ability is greatly enhanced by eating the "Feast of Mashiach," whereby this aspect is drawn down into one's very body through one's eating.
Moreover, as Mashiach's arrival is imminent, it becomes even easier to truly feel the flickering gleam of the revelation of Mashiach on this very special day of Acharon Shel Pesach.
Based on Likkutei Sichos, Vol. VII, pp. 270-273.
- (Back to text) Shaar HaYichud VehaEmunah, ch. 7.
- (Back to text) Sanhedrin 91b.
- (Back to text) Shmos 15:1.
- (Back to text) See HaYom Yom, p. 47.
- (Back to text) Iggeres HaKodesh of the Baal Shem Tov, printed at the end of Poras Yosef, et al.