Biblical holiday of Pesach Sheni celebrates second chances

Those who were on a long journey or declared ritually impure could partake of the Passover holiday one month later, according to the Bible. Today, Second Passovers is still commemorated.

By BEN BRESKY
May 18, 2019 22:25
1 minute read.
matzah Passover

Baking matzah for the Passover holiday at the Meir Moshe Levy Synagogue in the Nachlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem, April 11, 2019. (photo credit: BEN BRESKY)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Pesach Sheni, or Second Passover, begins Saturday night and lasts until Sunday evening. The holiday marks the date in which those who were unable to celebrate Passover a month earlier, would have a mini Passover. 


The day has its origins in the Bible, where a group of people who became ritually unclean approached Moses and asked him how they too could participate in the holiday they missed. Numbers 9:10-11 states, "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: If any man of you or of your generations shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the Passover unto the Lord...  they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs..." (Translation from Mechon Mamre)
Today, on Pesach Sheini, the traditional matzah, or unleavened bread, is eaten and some hold a mini seder. The Jewish Virtual Library states, "The bringing of the Passover offering was considered so important that this is the only instance of a Torah commandment in which an official 'make-up day' is established to ensure performance."


Michael M. Cohen, in an opinion piece for The Jerusalem Post, called Second Passover "a minor holiday with a major message." He explained, "Pesach Sheni reminds us, a month after Passover, that the walk of freedom and redemption sometimes requires a second chance."

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, chief rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, wrote in his weekly article on the Torah portion for the Post, "if we look carefully, this halacha (Jewish law) of Pesach Sheni was not given the way most other commandments were given... This halacha was given to Moses only after a demand was made by the nation. Only when people came and complained about their bitter fate, about not being able to fulfill the mitzvah of eating the Passover sacrifice was this halacha stated that allowed them a second chance to fulfill the commandment.


"The passion, the sincere desire, the positive attitude – these are what merited the halacha of Pesach Sheni."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

An El Al plane in Ben Gurion Airport
June 27, 2019
Russia reportedly interfered with air navigation in Israel

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF

Cookie Settings