Passover is More Than You Think; Pesach is More Than You Can Imagine.

The Shabbat prior to Pesach (Passover) is called Shabbat HaGadol (the Great Shabbath). The word HaGadol occurs 26 times in the Torah, the same numerical value of the Tetragrammaon (YHVH) and 18 of those times the word HaGadol  (HGDL) is written with the cholam (vowel) instead of the Vav, giving it a numerical value of 42, the same as the 42-Letter Name of G-d. The number 18 is the well-known numerical value of Chai (life) and not coincidentally the square root of 18 is 4.2426, with 424 being the value of Moshiach Ben David. And all this is only to provide us with clues. The real significance of this is that Shabbat HaGadol acts as a gateway to Pesach, much as the Gate of 42 is the final gate before entering the Holy of Holies in the Holy Temples, including the Future Holy Temple. This gateway to Pesach is more than a metaphor. According to the sages  the first and last verses of the Torah link together seamlessly to form a complete cycle, or circle, which is why they are read together contiguous every year around the holiday of Sukkot. This analogy of an annual cycle is strengthen by the design which splits the 19 words into the 7 words of the first verse and the 12 of the last.  We realign our 12-month lunar cycles with our solar ones in cycles of 7 and 19, and this keeps the calendar progressing at an even pace and guides which portions of the Torah are read in which week in any given year. One Shabbat not long ago I challenged...