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Browse Zemanim: Pesah: Shebii Shel Pesah

Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi

This Shabbat is the seventh day of Pesah. Unlike Shemini Asseret, the seventh day of Pesah is not a separate holiday, thus it does not require a blessing of Shehehiyanou. While Shemini Assesret serves as a separate holiday from Sukot, the seventh day of Pesah is a direct continuation of Pesah.

If this day is just a continuation of the holiday, why does the Torah specifically signal out the day, stating that it is a holy day, and that one is forbidden to perform labor?

According to our Masoret, it was on the seventh day of Pesah that Bnei Yisrael reached the waters of Yam Souf. It was on the seventh day of Pesah that the waters split, allowing our nation to walk through the ocean, while on dry land.

While the first day of Pesah is usually mentioned in the Torah in direct relation to the miracle of the great exodus, the seventh day of Pesah has no reason mentioned with it in the Torah. When the Torah speaks about Yam Souf in parashat Beshalah, it is merely describing the story of events. The miracle of Yam Souf is not mentioned anywhere near the verses where Bnei Yisrael are commanded to keep the seventh day of Pesah as a Yom Tob. Why doesn't the Torah give the reason why the seventh day of Pesah is Yom Tob, just as it does for the first day of the holiday?

The reason is simple. Hashem does not rejoice in the downfall of evildoers, because ultimately they are still His creation. The Egyptians did need to be punished, however, they were still Hashem's creation. Hashem's day of Yom Tob cannot be established based on their demise, for if it would have been, Hashem would be "giving the green light" for Bnei Yisrael to celebrate Yom Tob because of the annihilation of their enemy. That is not a divine quality.

This is why the Torah does not connect the seventh day of Pesah back to Yam Souf, and why Bnei Yisrael are even told of the holiness of this day before the miracle of Yam Souf even occurs. Instead, we are to focus on Shirat Hayam, the song that Moshe and Bnei Yisrael sang as they crossed Yam Souf- a song that was recited in Ruah Haqodesh, established in the Torah and tefillah for all time- a song that showed the level that the nation could reach as a collective whole. The message is twofold: firstly, to long to reach the level we merited back then, and secondly to not be joyous when our enemies fall.
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