Do you ever feel like you’re the last at something? The last to achieve a certain goal or hear a piece of news? The last to finish a race or complete a project? The last one to show up at a party, or the last to leave?
Well, Passover — and Judaism — has some news for you: not only is last not the least, last might actually be the most!
Is it better to finish first or last?
It depends on the situation: A marathon is best finished first. Life, however, is one race you most definitely want to finish last.
The last day of Passover is called Acharon Shel Pesach., “the last of Passover.” Acharon acharon chaviv, “the last is the most cherished,” is a famed Jewish expression found in the Midrash.
Why is the last the most cherished? Is not the beginning of something the most joyous, and the end the most painful? Look at a human being: birth, the beginning of life, is the greatest celebration, and death, the end of life, is the saddest. Why then does the Torah say acharon acharon chaviv?
The answer may be found in the difference between three different types of races: the sprint, the marathon, and the relay.