Pesach Sheini (The Second Passover)
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 and granted 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.
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 Kohen Gadol (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 inundating G-d with our demand for the Geula Shleyma—the Final Redemption.
Based on an article from lchaimweekly.org