This Parsha this week is Parshas Tzav. The Parsha is also known as Shabbos Hagodal, - “The Great Shabbos”. This is because of the great miracle that occurred on this Shabbos, as the Jews in Egypt prepared for their upcoming departure from Egypt. Hashem told the Jewish people that each person had to take a sheep on the Tenth of Nissan so that it would be prepared for the slaughtering of the Paschal lamb on the Fourteenth. The year of the Exodus from Egypt, the Tenth of Nissan came out on Shabbos. Thus, each Jew took a sheep to prepare it to be slaughtered on the Shabbos before the Exodus.
At the time of the Exodus, the Egyptians worshiped the sheep. Thus when every Jewish family took a sheep to prepare it to be slaughtered, one could well imagine how easy it would have been for a massive pogrom to erupt, as Egyptians attacked the Jews for the audacity to ready themselves to slaughter their deity. When the Egyptians felt powerless to stop the Jews, this Shabbos earned the title of “Shabbos Hagodal – the Shabbos of the great miracle”.
The obvious question is, why does the Shabbos get the credit for this day? Shouldn’t it be the tenth of Nissan that is remembered - regardless of what day of the week it comes out on?
The obvious lesson is that somehow the ability of the Jews to stand up and take the very Deity of the Egyptians and prepare to slaughter it, was influenced by the Shabbos. The power of Shabbos, when a Jew declares his or her firm belief that G-d created the world in six days and rested on the Seventh, when a Jew refrains from engaging in any form of creative work, regardless of what others may think, simply because this is what the Creator of the world has told us to do, gives us renewed strength to carry out His will. The power of that Shabbos message gave the Jews at the time of the Exodus strength to take the Paschal lamb and ready it, the first step towards their actual redemption. This is the power we seek to harness into every year as we mark Shabbos Hagodal – the power emulate the way of our fathers of old, to do the will of our Creator, regardless of what anyone else may say or think.