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What is the "Second Passover"?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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


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The 14th of Iyar is Pesach Sheni—the Second Passover. When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, all those who weren’t capable of offering the Paschal Lamb in its proper time on the 14th of Nissan (due to impurity or distance), would offer the Paschal Lamb exactly one month later, on the 14th of Iyar.1

On this semi-festive day we don’t say Tachanun, and it is customary to eat Matzah. It is best to eat Shmurah Matzah if possible.

The lesson of Pesach Sheni is that it is never too late. E.g. don’t think, “everyone else has already (spiritually) left Egypt and are well on their way toward receiving the Torah—and I haven’t even begun my spiritual journey!” Don’t despair, you too can make the leap, join everyone else in their state of Redemption, and be worthy of receiving the Torah on the holiday of Shavuot.

Footnotes

  • 1. Numbers 9:6-12

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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.
Matzah
(pl. Matzot). Unleavened bread which is eaten on Passover, especially at the Passover Seder (feast), commemorating the Matzah which the Jews ate upon leaving Egypt. It consists of only flour and water and resembles a wheat cracker.
Passover
A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
Tachanun
Sections of the prayers involving confession and asking for forgiveness. Tachanun is omitted from the prayers on the festive days of the Jewish calendar.
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.
Jerusalem
Established by King David to be the eternal capital of Israel. Both Temples were built there, and the third Temple will be situated there when the Messiah comes.
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.