The message of Seudat Moshiach
By Elana Mizrahi
My husband and I had been married for three and a half years, and we desperately wanted children. We were living in Jerusalem at the time.Passover was coming to an end, and although we had had a wonderful holiday, there was a sadness that clouded our joy. It had been anotherSeder without a baby, another week ofChol HaMoed without a child to take around to parks and festive events, another year of asking, “When will our personal redemption come?”
On the Passover was coming to an endseventh day of Passover, we ate what I thought was going to be the last holiday meal in the mid-morning, and I settled down to read and enjoy the last hours of Passover. (In Israel, Passover is celebrated for seven days; outside of Israel, an eighth day is observed as well.) All of a sudden, I heard a knock on my door. Two friends had come to visit. One of them was single, and the other newly married.
“Elana, come. We’re taking you to my mother in-law’s cousin. She’s married to a great tzaddik (righteous man).” Here was an opportunity for me to receive a blessing for children.
We wound our way through the twisted alleyways of a very religious neighborhood in Jerusalem, until we arrived at the tzaddik’s home. His wife, therebbetzin, opened the door. She greeted us as though we were old friends, although she didn’t even know who I was or why I was coming to meet her and her husband. She rushed us to the dining room table, which was laid out with salads and delicacies. Before I knew it, I was sitting at the table, surrounded by this incredible family and being served tons of food.
Now, just as a side note, by this point in the week I had had my full of meat and chicken and potatoes. I definitely was not hungry, and had no idea that I was going to be eating yet another (mind you, delicious) Passover meal. I thought that I was done already. But no, the rebbetzin informed me that we were taking part in the Seudat Moshiach (Meal of Moshiach). I had no idea what she was talking about. She then turned to me and said, “I’m not trying to be nosy, but do you want a blessing from my husband for children?”
I nodded yes. I had already received various blessings; undergone many, many treatments; and tried dozens of things to become pregnant. How could one more blessing hurt?
And, a Should they go back to Egypt? Should they fight? What now?year later to the day, I gave birth to my son. A few months after his birth, my single friend got married, and five years later she gave birth to her second son, also on the last day of Passover.
So, what is the Seudat Moshiach? What is its power?
G‑d took the Jewish people out of Egypt, and seven days later they stood before the Red Sea. The Egyptians were almost upon them, and there was nowhere to go. They felt desperation. Should they go back to Egypt? Should they fight? What now? Moses stretched out his arm and raised his staff to the sea. Nothing happened. Then one man, Nachshon the son of Aminadav, jumped into the sea. Nothing happened. He kept walking until the water was up to his chest, then up to his neck, then his nose. And then it happened. The sea split, and the nation of Israel passed through. Once they reached the other side, their enemy came chasing after them, and the wall of water crashed down, drowning the Egyptian soldiers in the stormy sea.
What would have happened if Nachshon hadn’t jumped in? What would have happened if he hadn’t kept walking into the waters? Would G‑d have split the sea open? I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not.
What would have happened if you decided you couldn’t meet “one more” person? What if you had turned down that opportunity to go on “one more date,” the one where you met your husband? Would you be married now? I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not.
What would have happened if you decided that you had had enough, and you were done trying to conceive? What if you decided this when you had only one more chance to ovulate? Would you have a baby now? I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not.
And what It’s about “one more”if you were tired of dealing with rejection and sending out resumes? If you hadn’t sent out that last one, would you be working now? Maybe, maybe not.
The last day of Passover, when we have the Seudat Moshiach, is about the “one more.” The one more meal, one more blessing, one more date, one more try. It’s about the one more good deed that will tip the scales and bring the redemption.
And for me, it will always be about the blessing I received on the last day of Passover, and the precious baby I was given on that day—my Avraham Nissim, for nissim means “miracles.”