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Pesach Sheni

This coming Wednesday (5/14) we observe Pesach Sheni, the Second Passover, on which it is customary to eat some matzah, although it is permitted to eat bread as well. Though it is a minor holiday, it demonstrates an important concept - that we can always have a second chance and start anew.

The historical background for this celebration speaks volumes. The Torah relates that a group of men approached Moshe and voiced their concern that when the Passover sacrifice was offered in the year after leaving Egypt, they themselves were ritually impure and therefore unable to participate in this sacred mitzvah. Nevertheless, they wished to have the privilege of making that offering to G-d. Moses was at a loss as to how to respond to their request (Numbers 8) and told them that he would have to consult G-d. It was then that Hashem proclaimed Pesach Sheni - a Second Passover. The obvious question that must occur to all of us is if Pesach Sheni is part of G-d’s design, why didn’t He inform the nation about it up-front, along with all the other mitzvot? It is the answer to that question that makes Pesach Sheni so special, for it teaches that if we so desire, we can always have a second chance. We need never be despondent, for we can rectify the past and start all over again. This lesson is of profound significance to all of us. It is never too late for a new beginning. We must keep that in mind for ourselves and grant the privilege to others as well.