Most Jewish festivals commemorate a past event coupled with an effort to learn lessons for the present. The eighth day of Passover is different. On this date, we celebrate the ultimate, future Redemption by Moshiach (Jewish Messiah), with an effort to live presently with a future-focus.
The highlight of this festival is the traditional ‘Feast of Moshiach’ held in the evening at the conclusion of Passover. This unique feast is dedicated to leaning into the message of our future freedom from the limitations of Exile, transforming it into a mindset for the year ahead.
Festival of the Future is the annual "Moshiach Day" when synagogues, families and Jewish groups worldwide celebrate a forward-facing historic, nearly-complete mission. Through educational programs, inspirational messages, and engaging activities, we are inspired by the vision of a future messianic era and its effect on the here and now.
Who instituted the Feast of Moshiach?
The Feast of Moshiach (Moshiach Seudah) is a meal of matzah instituted by the Baal Shem Tov. It is held on the last day of Pesach just before the end of Yom Tov. The addition of four cups of wine was added by the Rebbe Rashab, the fifth Rebbe of Lubavitch.
What (or who) is Moshiach?
Maimonides, at the end of his magnum opus, the Mishneh Torah, describes the era of Redemption in halachic detail: in this utopian time to come, there will be no more wars, world peace, and plenty of food and luxuries. A Jewish king called Moshiach (literally: the anointed one), descended from King David, will rebuild the third Temple in Jerusalem and gather in the exiles to the Land of Israel from all over the world. G-dliness will be revealed.
Why on the last day of Passover?
The connection between the last day of Pesach and the coming of Moshiach is emphasized in the Haftorah of the day. This passage from Isaiah (10:32-12:6) prophesizes the future time of Moshiach.
On the first night of Pesach, at the Seder, we look back into history and remember the Exodus from Egypt. In contrast, at this last meal of Pesach, we look forward into the future and celebrate the imminent Redemption to come. In this way, the holiday of Pesach is bracketed by a holistic celebration of G-d’s salvation: the beginning, a Festival of our First Freedom—and the last, a Festival of the Future.
What Should I Expect at a Feast of Moshiach?
The Feast of Moshiach is a unique experience. It is a Jewish event, so food is certainly served, but its primary edibles are matzah and wine. Food for the spirit, however, is plentiful and savory.
You can expect an inspiring evening of melody and discussion for the entire Jewish community—men, women, and children:
We share teachings and insights regarding the Redemption, and examine its allure in inspiring detail.
We sing joyous, reflective, and uplifting melodies to arouse the heart, awaken the soul, and invigorate our faith in G-d’s redemption.
We raise four glasses of wine in exultant lechaim; toasting the imminent coming of Moshiach.
We hone our faith, enthusiasm, and aspiration for Moshiach’s imminent arrival.
We celebrate Moshiach with food and drink, thereby we invite into our very bloodstream the aura of Moshiach that shines with exceptional intensity on this day, so that it becomes a tangible part of ourselves. This allows our body to relate to, experience, and actively channel our faith in the Redemption, which foreshadows what we will experience in the era of Moshiach.
This celebration is neither a social occasion, nor a formal lecture: It is an evening of camaraderie, learning, and inspiration: a farbrengen with an ambiance of unity, a shared sense of mission, and a goal that can be achieved through united effort.
A Prophetic Narrative of Wonders
The books of our prophets are replete with prophecies regarding Moshiach. Much of our hope and vision for Moshiach flow from these amazing prophecies—particularly those of Isaiah who prophesied prolifically regarding the ultimate redemption.
Following the public reading of the Torah in the synagogue, ancient custom calls for the reading of the haftarah—a brief selection from the Prophets. On this day, we read prominent selections from Isaiah to bolster our enthusiasm for and faith in the Redemption, and to illustrate its impact on our present.
Here are several of its more familiar highlights:
“A wolf will reside with a lamb, and a leopard will lie beside a kid goat. . . . And a small child will herd them. A cow and a bear will graze together. . . . And a lion, like cattle, will eat straw.”
“They will not harm or destroy on all of My holy mountain, for the land will fill with the knowledge of G-d as waters cover the seabed.”
These prophecies are already beginning:
Historically, empirical nations have largely lost their appetite for violent conquest, and most nations denounce the notion.
A splendid foretaste of Divine knowledge is currently being disseminated through the teachings of Chasidus.