Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Take two- Pesach Sheni

I love Pesach Sheni!  One month ago was Pesach, celebrating and commemorating the exodus from Egypt. In the Torah, when the second Korban Pesach was performed, not everyone was able to participate. In Bamidbar 9:6-8 those who missed out approached Moshe and Aaron for advice on their omission. There Hashem explains Pesach Sheni, an opportunity for people in certain situations to offer the sacrifice exactly one month later.

This is a day which many Chabad and other chassid groups hold dear because of the theme of second chances.  I find this component very moving.  Usually if you miss something you miss it, but here Hashem is saying, "I know it wasn't your fault that you missed out, please share your korban with Me." Pretty profound.

Sefer Hachinuch provides an even more powerful look at the mitzvah of Pesach Sheni. Pesach is one of the greatest examples of Hashem's awesome control over the world. Yitzeat mitzrayim, the amazing miracles, signs, and wonders He created to free us from bondage, produced a cornerstone of our belief in Him. Hashem wants everyone to have the opportunity to celebrate that belief and trust in His control over the world.

In spite of these two impressive reasons for Pesach Sheni, the lack of a Beit Hamikdash prevents much from happening today.  There is a tradition to eat matza. People don't say Tachanun.

For a week my girls have been getting excited for Pesach Sheni (as a date between Yom Haatzmaut and Lag B'Omer).  When I asked if they wanted matza pizza for lunch Gabi looked confused.
"But we don't eat matza pizza at seder," she replied.
"I don't like matza so much. Why can't we have charoset and marror?" Cohava added.
"Yes! Charoset! And huevos haminados!"

Why not?
I didn't make it to the shops for marror, I wasn't cooking huevos haminados for 8 hours, and the charoset has to be nut-free, but I think they will still be happy at lunch time.

May your second chances be meaningful and your days filled with awe for Hashem.

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