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07                                             come from if not from Tanach, Mishna, or Gemara?

                            A Message from our                  Rashi, in Siddur Rashi, asks this same question and concludes

                                             Chazzan            that there’s no clear answer. He does, however, quote other
                                                                sources that assume this name was used as far back as the
                                           Yitzy Spinner        first and second centuries C.E.

                                                                The prevailing answer requires us to look at the conclusion of
                                                                the Haftorah, and to then read a bit between the lines:

                                                                W know that the first night of Pesach is called “Leil Shimurim.”
                                                                The Targumim, in explaining this Passuk above, teach that

                                                                Just as the original Leil Shimurim occurred before the first
                                                                Pesach, so too will the appearance of Eliyahu HaNavi happen
                                                                before Pesach. The Passuk here calls this day of Eliyahu’s
                                                                arrival “The Great Day of HaShem.”
      I remember learning, as a young student, the ‘alternate’
      names of the various Chagim. Pesach is also known as Chag   Our ascribing the name ‘Shabbat HaGadol’ to the Shabbat
      Ha-Aviv (the Holiday of the Spring). Sukkot is also known as   before Pesach, we not only identify its miraculous history, but
      Chag Ha-Asif (the Holiday of Harvest). We spent so much time   we also pray for its potential. May this year’s Shabbat HaGadol
      focusing on the actual names of the days that appeared in our   be the true Shabbat Hagadol - the one on which Eliyahu will
      yearly cycle.
                                                                finally arrive and usher in the true redemption.
      The names by which we refer to these days are significant.   On behalf of our children, Rachel and I wish you all a Chag
      Pesach because Hashem ‘passed over’ the houses of the Jews;   Kasher V’Sameach, filled with joy and laughter, surrounded
      Sukkot because we spend a week in Sukkot; Shavuot because   by family and friends.
      it concludes a period of seven weeks. Even Rosh Hashana and
      Yom Ha-Kippurim require no explanation.
                                                                Chazzan Yitzy Spinner
      We can even look at the Four Parshiyot that we just experi-
      enced, and each one is self-evident based on the particular
      reading for that day - Shkalim, Zachor, Parah, and Ha-Chodesh.

      Other days in our calendar cycle are named simply for the
      day on which they fall, like Tisha B’Av, Lag B’Omer, and Rosh

      Just before Pesach, however, we have a special Shabbat that is
      known by a unique name: Shabbat Ha-Gadol “The Great Shab-
      bat”. There is no other Shabbat throughout the yearly cycle
      that is known by this name. Additionally, there’s no mention in
      Tanach, Mishna, or even Gemara of a Shabbat Ha-Gadol. Where
      did this name come from, and what’s it all about?

      I remember being taught that the tenth day of Nissan, just
      days before the Jews left Egypt, was a Shabbat. It was on
      that day that the sheep for the Korban were collecting, and
      marched through the streets towards the Jews’ homes for         jnau raf dj
      slaughter. The Egyptians didn’t harm the Jews at the sight of
      their deity being prepared for slaughter, a great miracle, and so
      it was The Great Shabbat, Shabbat Ha-Gadol.

      While this reason satisfies curiosity, it doesn’t answer a simple
      question: Why this name? Why not the Shabbat of Silence? Why
      the Great Shabbat, and additionally, where did this name even

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