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I have been informed, this morning, from two different sources, that the original Shabbat Hagadol was the Shabbat on the 10th of Nissan when the Children of Israel were preparing for the Exodus. They were commanded to take a lamb on the 10th of Nissan and keep it for 4 days, and then slaughter it as the sacrifice. The 10th was on Shabbat. A write up includes the following statement

Commenting on the greatness of the day, the Halacha Yomi from Dirshu writes, (discussing the role of "eved", slave and not following the statement that "slavery" ended on Rosh Hashana)

Slaves cannot possibly possess anything of their own since immediately upon acquisition of anything, the owner takes possession. On Rosh Chodesh Nissan Hashem commanded that on the upcoming tenth day of the month each man should acquire a lamb for his household. In effect, this mitzvah was to restore their humanity and liberty that was denied to them their entire lives. Acquiring a lamb was to grant them the rights and ability to possess their own personal property.

Wouldn't this process call for a few actions which are violations of Sabbath rules? The chabad site includes the statement

The Egyptians were aware that the Children of Israel observed Shabbat and did not busy themselves tending animals on that day, so when the Egyptians saw them taking lambs and binding them to their bedposts on Shabbat, they were surprised and decided to investigate what was happening.

Between selecting and singling out one animal (maybe a form of borer?), to acquiring, to hachana, preparing for something after the Sabbath, this all seems to demand violating a variety of prohibitions (whether or not they are slaves). Were the laws of melacha on Shabbat suspended (or temporarily superseded) for this Shabbat and if so, in toto or just in selected categories?

  • The Aruch HaShulchan says they tied a permanent knot to hold the animal in place – robev Apr 11 at 17:17
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    What I mean to say is, yes, various Midrashim indicate that they kept Shabbos before, but since they weren’t commanded to do so there’s nothing wrong with violating it this one time. – DonielF Apr 11 at 17:33
  • Right but was the nature of the violation a suspension of Shabbat or of specific prohibitions, was it a matter of pikuach nefesh, or does a certain type of new mitzvah (hora'at sha'ah) superses a standing obligation? – rosends Apr 11 at 17:41
  • One of my resources reports that it wasn't hachana because it was a fulfillment of its own "at that moment" obligation. – rosends Apr 11 at 19:55
  • It was probably hora’at sha’ah – Lo ani Apr 13 at 23:10

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