The eighth and last day of Passover week has a special connection to the Final Redemption – the future era of divine goodness and perfection to be heralded by the arrival of Moshiach – as reflected in the themes of today’s Haftarah from the Book of Isaiah, one of the primary prophecies for the End of Days.
The connection of last day of Pesach with Moshiach is underscored by the custom instituted by the Baal Shem Tov, the 18th century founder of the Chassidic Movement, to partake on this day of a Moshiach Banquet – a mirror Seder of sorts that includes matzah and wine.
Today is, therefore, an opportune time to speak a bit about the Moshiach, and try to decipher some of the mystery and controversy shrouding this topic. The biggest question of all is: What relevance does the Moshiach have for us? How do we explain to our children the importance of the Moshiach and the Final Redemption? And what can we do to help speed their arrival?
And, in this context, what is the significance of the Moshiach Banquet instituted by the Baal Shem Tov on this day?
Let us explore the potency of the last day of Pesach and see how we can tap into it in ways that will transform our lives, by teaching us how redemption – personal and global – is within our very reach.
This is a two-part sermon:
PART I: PASSOVER AND THE END OF DAYS
PART II: THE MOSHIACH’S BANQUET
The last section contains a few words relating the above to Yizkor.