Why is Shabat haGadol celebrated based on day of the week (Shabat) and not day of the month, if it happened on the 10th of Nissan? Most other days of commemoration in Judaism are celebrated by a day of the month, and not "day of the week relative to a date." What makes this one different?

  • Shabbat is the day we read the haftara
    – Double AA
    Mar 30, 2015 at 23:50
  • Why the -1 there is actually a good reason @DoubleAA
    – helloworld
    Mar 30, 2015 at 23:51
  • Why should it be? I think you're assuming there's a particular reason why the days is celebrated, but in fact there are many such reasons, many of which have nothing to do with the 10th.
    – Ypnypn
    Mar 30, 2015 at 23:54
  • A good reason doesn't make this a good question. Try editing the question to clarify what happened when and why you don't understand the way Shabbat hagadol is celebrated
    – Double AA
    Mar 30, 2015 at 23:55
  • 1
    @DoubleAA Does my edit help, you think?
    – MTL
    Mar 31, 2015 at 0:12

3 Answers 3


According to chabad.org

"A further reason why we recall the miracle on Shabbat rather than on the tenth of the month is that, forty years later, Miriam died on that day and the well which accompanied the Children of Israel and provided them with water in the wilderness, disappeared. When the anniversary of Miriam's death fails on a weekday, some observe it as a fast for the righteous."


The Chasam Sofer gives the following explanation (I heard this quoted, don't know where to find it) for why it is called Shabbos HaGadol. Every Motzai Shabbos we say ויהי נועם to lengthen the return of the souls that were released from Gehinnom for Shabbos who must go back on Motzai Shabbos (Tur O.C. 295). However, when Yom Tov is during the week, we don't say it, because the souls are not returned to Gehinnom for such a short period since they will be coming back in less than a week, when Yom Tov arrives. Therefore, the extra soul of Shabbos remains for the week, and the sanctity of Shabbos is thereby extended into the week. The first time this happened was the Shabbos immediately before the first Pesach. In commemoration of this "big" Shabbos, we call it "Shabbos HaGadol."

This would explain why it is a title unique to the Shabbos, not to the date.


The Bach (430:1) writes that Shabbos was set aside to commemorate this miracle - and not the tenth of the month (when the miracle actually happened) in order to prevent confusion with the miraculous Crossing of the Jordan, which also happened on the tenth of the month.

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