Shabbat HaGadol (“Great Shabbat” שבת הגדול) is the Shabbat immediately before Passover. There is a special Haftarah reading on this Shabbat of the book of Malachi. Traditionally a lengthy and expansive sermon is given to the general community in the afternoon.
Shabbat HaGadol begins at sundown on Fri, 23 March 2018.
In the Haftorah of the Shabbat prior to Pesach we read the possuk [Malachi 3:23]: “Hinei Anochi Shole’ach Lachem Et Eliyahu Hanavi Lifnei Bo Yom HaGadol V’hanorah,”, or “Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.” This reason places Shabbat HaGadol in the same category as Shabbat Hazon, Shabbat Nahamu, and Shabbat Shuva for their name is derived from the Haftarah.