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If the Milk Spilled, Buy a New Carton

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Holidays » Passover » Pesach Sheni | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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On the first anniversary of the Exodus, while all the Jews were occupied with their Paschal Lambs, Moses was approached by a small group of Jews who were ritually impure and thus excluded from offering, or partaking of, the Paschal Offering. They weren’t happy with their “exemption” from the Passover Mitzvah. “Why should we be deprived?” they exclaimed. “We, too, want to experience the spiritual freedom provided by the Paschal Offering!” Moses agreed to convey their grievance to the Almighty, and incredibly, the heartfelt wishes of this small group caused G-d to add a mitzvah to the Torah. G-d instructed that, from that year and onwards, all those who weren’t capable of offering the Paschal Lamb in its proper time on the 14th of Nisan, due to impurity or distance from the Temple, should offer the Paschal Lamb exactly one month later, on the 14th of Iyar. Hitherto, Pesach Sheni, “the Second Passover,” is celebrated every year on this date.

As mentioned several times, holidays are not mere commemorations of historical events; rather, they are spiritual reenactments. Furthermore, no two holidays are alike—every holiday features a distinct Divine energy, offering every Jew the opportunity to gain inspiration and the necessary spiritual powers in a specific area of our service for G-d. On Passover we receive strength to liberate ourselves from our natural enslavement to our impulses and destructive habits; on Shavuot we tap into the core of the Torah, recommitting ourselves to connecting with G-d through studying the Torah, His infinite wisdom; on Sukkot we fill the reservoirs of our hearts with true joy, etc. Every holiday we stock up on a unique spiritual power, enough to last us for an entire year, until the holiday returns once again. The Mitzvot unique to each holiday are tools which allow us to tap into the spiritual energies present at that time.

On Passover we receive strength to liberate ourselves from our natural enslavement to our impulses and destructive habits
Passover is the first holiday of the year (the “holiday calendar” commences on the 1st of Nissan), and immediately after this holiday we are taught an important lesson, which actually applies to all the holidays: Indeed, there is a designated time for the holiday, but a person who for one reason or another has missed out and did not take advantage of the benefits which the holiday has to offer can have a personal Passover whenever he is sincerely yearning for Divine assistance in any particular area. According to Kabbalah, the months of Nissan and Iyar are exact opposites: Nissan is a month of Divine Kindness, when G-d redeems even those who are unworthy of redemption, and Iyar is a month of self-improvement, when we must earn the right to receive the Torah in the beginning of the next month. Yet, the penitent Jew has the ability to experience a Nissan holiday even during the month of Iyar!

It’s no use crying over spilt milk, because G-d has an infinite supply of milk which can be accessed anytime—provided that we have a sincere thirst, and express to Him this feeling.


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Holidays » General Information » Holiday Information

Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Passover
A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
Sukkot
A seven day autumn festival commemorating the miracle of the Heavenly Clouds which enveloped the Jews while traveling in the desert for forty years. On this holiday we dwell in makeshift booths and shake the Four Species.
Mitzvot
Plural form of Mitzvah. Commandments of G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Kabbalah
Jewish mysticism. The word Kaballah means "reception," for we cannot physically perceive the Divine, we merely study the mystical truths which were transmitted to us by G-d Himself through His righteous servants.
Moses
[Hebrew pronunciation: Moshe] Greatest prophet to ever live. Led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage amidst awesome miracles; brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai; and transmitted to us word-for-word the Torah he heard from G-d's mouth. Died in the year 1272 BCE.
Nissan
The first month of the Jewish calendar. This month, which falls out in early spring, is known for the holiday of Passover which starts on the 15th of Nissan.
Shavuot
Early summer festival marking the day when the Jews received the Torah at Mount Sinai in the year 2448 (1312 BCE).
Iyar
The second month on the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to April-May. The 18th of this month is the holiday of Lag b'Omer.
Exodus
1. The miraculous departure of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage in 1312 BCE. 2. The second of the Five Books of Moses. This book describes the aforementioned Exodus, the giving of the Torah, and the erection of the Tabernacle.
Pesach
Passover. A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
Temple
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.