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Shabbos Hagadol

Yud Alef Nissan

Counting of the Omer

Pesach Sheni

   The Second Passover

Second Chances

Paschal Prerequisites

Women and Outreach

Never Despair

A Second Chance for Spiritual Progress

Still Time To Connect 1-4

Still Time To Connect 5-10

Continuing the Tasks

 
 The Second Passover Paschal Prerequisites


Second Chances

When you've missed the boat there's nothing you can do but wave to the passengers. If the train has already left the station, you might as well sit down and wait for the next one to arrive. There are many things in life that depend on being in the right place at the right time; if you're late, you've missed that opportunity forever.

Likewise, the Torah tells us that there are specific times for doing specific mitzvot. There is a proper time to put on tefilin, a proper time to light Shabbat candles, a proper time to eat matza, and a proper time to sit in the sukka.

The Torah's narrative about Pesach Sheini - the "Second Passover" (always on 14 Iyar), thus expresses a very radical concept in Judaism.

Right before their Exodus from Egypt, G-d commanded the Jewish people to offer the Passover sacrifice, on the 14th of Nisan. One of the requirements, however, was that a Jew had to be in a state of ritual purity. As a result, not everyone was permitted to bring an offering, and the Jews who were excluded felt terrible. "Why should we be left out?!" they demanded of Moses. They were so eager to observe the mitzva that G-d relented, granting them another opportunity to bring an offering one month later, on the 14th of Iyar.

This story reveals the unfathomable depths of the Jewish soul and the infinite power of teshuva, repentance. It teaches us that every Jew is so intimately connected to G-d that when he makes a sincere and heartfelt demand, it "forces" G-d, as it were, to open up new channels through which to send us His abundant blessings.

As the Previous Rebbe explained, the lesson of Pesach Sheini is that it is never too late to correct the past and return to G-d. It also emphasizes the power of a Jew's initiative. When a Jew cries out, from the depths of his soul and with a genuine desire to fulfill G-d's will, G-d listens to his plea and grants his request.

There is an additional message of Pesach Sheini. What, in fact, was the cause of the ritual impurity which excluded some Jews from participating in the sacrifice? The Torah states: "There were people who were defiled by contact with the dead and were unable to offer the Passover sacrifice on that day." According to one opinion in the Talmud, these Jews were involved in the mitzva of burying a dead person found on the roadside who had no known relatives to do so. Even a kohen (priest) and even a High Priest - neither of whom is normally permitted to come in contact with the dead - is obligated to defile himself by burying the dead person.

This concept applies on a spiritual plane, as well. When we encounter another person who is spiritually "lifeless" we are obligated to get involved with him, even if it takes us away from our own spiritual pursuits.

Ultimately, Pesach Sheini teaches us that we must never despair or give up on ourselves, on others, and especially in bombarding G-d with our demand that He send us Moshiach immediately.

 The Second Passover Paschal Prerequisites



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