Passover is TODAY! (WOO-HOO!)

Hi all!

Yes, Passover is TODAY!

Whatever am I talking about (and no, I haven’t overindulged today in the Turkish coffee that I love)?

Numbers 9:1-14 says:

And the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying: ‘Let the children of Israel keep the Passover in its appointed season. In the fourteenth day of this month, at dusk, you shall keep it in its appointed season; according to all the statutes of it, and according to all the ordinances thereof, shall you keep it.’ And Moses spoke to the children of Israel, that they should keep the Passover. And they kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at dusk, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel. But there were certain men, who were unclean by the dead body of a man, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day; and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day. And those men said to him: ‘We are unclean by the dead body of a man; wherefore are we to be kept back, so as not to bring the offering of the Lord in its appointed season among the children of Israel?’ And Moses said unto them: 'Stay you, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Speak to 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; in the second month on the fourteenth day at dusk they shall keep it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs; they shall leave none of it until the morning, nor break a bone thereof; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall keep it. But the man that is clean, and is not on a journey, and forbears to keep the Passover, that soul shall be cut off from his people; because he brought not the offering of the Lord in its appointed season, that man shall bear his sin. And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the Passover unto the Lord: according to the statute of the Passover, and according to the ordinance thereof, so shall he do; you shall have one statute, both for the stranger, and for him that is born in the land.’

Numbers is here talking about Pesah Sheni or Second Passover, which occurrs on the 14th of the month of Iyar (the “second month”). This is TODAY. When the Temples stood (and when the Temple stands again, may this be very soon!), any Jew who couldn’t participate in the bringing of the Passover lamb (I love roast lamb!) on the afternoon of the 14th of Nisan (it was eaten on the evening of the 15th of Nisan, the evening of April 23 this year; remember, our days start in the evening, not in the morning, see the wording in Genesis 1, evening always comes first) for whatever reason, was obliged to participate in the bringing of the Passover lamb on the afternoon of the 14th of Iyar (this afternoon) & eat it on the evening of the 15th. (This includes children who reached the age of majority between 15 Nisan and 14 Iyar as well as converts whose conversion was finalized in this period.) Those who participated in Pesah Sheni did not have to keep a 7 day Passover festival/holyday (which begins on the evening of 15 Nisan), nor did they have to observe al of the precepts regarding the getting rid of leavened grain products.

Nowadays, Pesah Sheni is marked by minor changes in the daily prayers (one or two prayers, depending on which day of the week it falls on, are not said) and the custom of eating leftover matzah (unleavened bread) from Passover the month before.

We (orthodox Jews) believe that the precepts of Pesah Sheni, like so many others that have been temporarily suspended since the destruction of the Second Temple :crying: , will be restored in full when the Messiah comes & the Temple is rebuilt (may this be very soon!).

Be well!

ssv :wave:

Hello, stillsmallvoice! :slight_smile:

I must admit that I did think you were overdoing
it on the Turkish coffee until I read the explanation.
I thought: Have I missed a chapter? I thought
Passover was a while back. My head swam.

Imagine the relief at finding that I was current
with current events, and learning something new
at the same time.

Hope you and your family have a fine week,
Best,
reen

Yes, I thought you had :smiley: overdone the Turkish coffee. Have a great week, & :wink: have an extra portion of lamb for me!!

Hi all!

Gotcha! I had some of you going there for a second!

I cite chabad.org/library/article.asp?AID=2900:

The eternal significance of the Second Passover, says Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), is that it is never too late to rectify a past failing. Even if a person has failed to fulfill a certain aspect of his or her mission in life because s/he has been “contaminated by death” (i.e., in a state of disconnection from the divine source of life) or “on a distant road” from his people and God, there is always a Second Passover in which s/he can make good on what s/he has missed out.

The Second Passover thus represents the power of teshuvah – the power of return. Teshuvah is commonly translated as repentance, but it is much more than turning a new leaf and achieving forgiveness for past sins. It is the power to go back in time and redefine the past.

Teshuvah is achieved when a negative deed or experience is applied in a way that completely transforms its significance. When a person’s contact with death evokes in him a striving for life he would never have mustered without that experience; when his wanderings on distant roads awaken in him a yearning for home he would never have otherwise felt – these hitherto negative experiences are literally turned inside out. Contact with death is transformed into a more intense involvement with life; distance into a greater closeness.

This explains the unique circumstances under which the institution of the Second Passover became part of Torah.

Virtually all of the mitzvot [precepts] of the Torah, including those governing rare and unforeseeable circumstances, were unilaterally commanded by God to Moses. The law of the Second Passover, instituted in response to the outcry of those who protested, “Why shall we be deprived?” is one of the few cases in which a mitzvah [precept] was elicited from God by a petition from mortal men.

(…).

It took a small group of Jews, contaminated by death and languishing on a distant road, to elicit the gift of teshuvah from the Almighty.

Their cry of “Why shall we be deprived?”, expressing a depth of yearning for attachment to God that only their currently distant state could have evoked, prompted God to supersede the formulation of His will as articulated in the Torah and grant them a mandate to redefine the past with a second Passover."

(…)

Indeed, the story behind the Second Passover is a classic example of how the “me” instinct, generally a most destructive force to man’s relationship with his Creator, was transformed into an impetus for greater commitment to God. A group of Jews approached Moses with the prototypically selfish complaint, “Why should we be deprived?” But in their case, these words did not express a need to have and be, but a desire to give and serve. In their petition, the ferment and leavening of their selves was not the antithesis of humble and self-effacing matzah, but rather its complement. Leaven and matzah coexisted in their souls, ego and self-abnegation jointly giving rise to a desire to serve one’s Creator.

On the Second Passover, the festival that came into being out of their egotistical cry, there is no need to banish leaven from our homes. For when the self asserts itself in such a manner, it is a welcome participant in our celebration of the freedom we achieved at the Exodus – the freedom to actualize our quintessential identity as servants of God.

Be well!

ssv :wave:

Hello, stillsmallvoice,

Gotcha! I had some of you going there for a second!

You sure did!

I found the following of great interest:

“Why should we be deprived?” But in their case, these words did not express a need to have and be, but a desire to give and serve."

Am I correct in seeing the fulfilling of the mitzvoth [sp?]
as a priviledge, rather than a thing of “legalism” and
drudery?

Isn’t it not only a matter of obedience to
the Mosaic Law, and therefore to G-d, but also
a work of peace and joy?

best,
reen

Dear stillsmallvoice,

I really enjoyed reading the article at the link you provided. G-d is truly so merciful to provide for the transforming of the negativity of a past deed so that one can return to the right path in life. (As Roman Catholics, we experience the mercy and forgiveness of G-d when we go to confession and do penance.)
Orthodox Jewish teachings are very profound. It’s hard to imagine why all Jews would not want to be Orthodox. Even reading one article such as this should cause one (Jew) to run to the shul! :gopray:

I once read a book about a Jewish man raised in a Reform Jewish home who began his spiritual journey in young adult life. Along the way he even had a Christian girlfriend but later let that relationship go. His journey eventually led him to Orthodox Judaism where he found his real “home”.

More recently, I read the book “Toward A Meaningful Life. The Wisdom of the Rebbe” by Menachem Mendel Schneerson. It is a great book full of wisdom that really applies to people of all faiths.

Happy Second Passover! :wave:

Thanks for sharing this! :blessyou:

Hi all!

Reen12, you posted:

Am I correct in seeing the fulfilling of the mitzvot as a privilege, rather than a thing of “legalism” and drudgery?

No, fulfilling the precepts (mitzvot) is a duty & an obligation but…

Isn’t it not only a matter of obedience to the Mosaic Law, and therefore to G-d, but also a work of peace and joy?

…one which we should perform joyfully, enthusiastically & lovingly.

Rabbi Nahman of Breslav (ou.org/about/judaism/rabbis/breslov.htm) says:

Mitzva gedolah l’hiyot b’simcha tamid or "It is a great precept to be joyful always.

He also says:

Simcha gedolah l’hiyot b’mitzva tamid or “It’s a great joy to be in [doing] a precept always.”

:slight_smile:

Blanka, you posted:

It’s hard to imagine why all Jews would not want to be Orthodox.

Actually, it’s quite easy to imagine why all Jews would not want to be Orthodox. Roman Catholicism & orthodox Judaism (despite our rather obvious differences) have much in common. Our views on many ethical & moral issues are similar. But beyond that, ours are faiths with rules, with authority & structure & with discipline. Ours are not make-it-up-as-you-go-along faiths & never have been (I suppose Protestantism & Reform Judaism are like that); i.e. we’re not cafeteria faiths. Rather than mold the faith to fit the individual, I think that we believe that it is the individual who must mold him/herself to fit the faith. The late former Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth, Lord Immanuel Jakobovitz (of blessed memory), once said that a faith which demands nothing is worth nothing. To be an orthodox Jew demands a great deal & I have learned that to be a Roman Catholic is similarly very demanding.

Thus, not being an orthodox Jew is quite easy!

Eden, you posted:

Thanks for sharing this!

You’re welcome!

You also posted:

:blessyou:

Thank you (I need all the help I can get)!

Be well!

ssv :wave:

With all the faith I can muster, enjoy a wonderful Passover with your family!

Subrosa

hello, stillsmallvoice! God Bless you in this Passover and always!

Hi all!

I just had a very weird thought. The article that I cited above says (inter alia) that:

The eternal significance of the Second Passover, says Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), is that it is never too late to rectify a past failing. Even if a person has failed to fulfill a certain aspect of his or her mission in life because s/he has been “contaminated by death” (i.e., in a state of disconnection from the divine source of life) or “on a distant road” from his people and God, there is always a Second Passover in which s/he can make good on what s/he has missed out.

The Second Passover thus represents the power of teshuvah – the power of return. Teshuvah is commonly translated as repentance, but it is much more than turning a new leaf and achieving forgiveness for past sins. It is the power to go back in time and redefine the past.

Teshuvah is achieved when a negative deed or experience is applied in a way that completely transforms its significance. When a person’s contact with death evokes in him a striving for life he would never have mustered without that experience; when his wanderings on distant roads awaken in him a yearning for home he would never have otherwise felt – these hitherto negative experiences are literally turned inside out. Contact with death is transformed into a more intense involvement with life; distance into a greater closeness.

This explains the unique circumstances under which the institution of the Second Passover became part of Torah.

Virtually all of the mitzvot [precepts] of the Torah, including those governing rare and unforeseeable circumstances, were unilaterally commanded by God to Moses. The law of the Second Passover, instituted in response to the outcry of those who protested, “Why shall we be deprived?” is one of the few cases in which a mitzvah [precept] was elicited from God by a petition from mortal men.

(…).

It took a small group of Jews, contaminated by death and languishing on a distant road, to elicit the gift of teshuvah from the Almighty.

Their cry of “Why shall we be deprived?”, expressing a depth of yearning for attachment to God that only their currently distant state could have evoked, prompted God to supersede the formulation of His will as articulated in the Torah and grant them a mandate to redefine the past with a second Passover."

Look at the underlined portions. Do you what this reminds me of? Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Comin’ Home:

It’s been so long since I’ve been gone
Another day might be too long for me
Traveling around I’ve had my fill
Of broken dreams and dirty deals
A concrete jungle surrounding me
Many nights I’ve slept out in the streets
I paid my dues and I changed my style
Seen hard times. all over now
I want to come home. it’s been so long since I’ve been away
And please, don’t blame me ’cause I’ve tried
I’ll be coming home soon to your love to stay…

Their cry of “Why shall we be deprived?”, expressing a depth of yearning for attachment to God that only their currently distant state could have evoked

Nobody appreciates home and God more than the one who has been alone & lonely on a distant road subconsciously looking for something to provide meaning in his/her life & finding nothing but phantoms & emptiness. (Now I know that the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd have probably never heard of Second Passover but it is the nature of art to inspire & inspiration is like beauty, i.e, it’s in the eye of the beholder.)

Be well!

ssv :wave:

Hi, stillsmallvoice,

Your quote of Rabbi Schneerson:

…“contaminated by death” (i.e., in a state of disconnection from the divine source of life)…"

is rendered “mortal sin” in Catholicism [unless the term
"contaminated by death" refers soley to literal,
physical death]. Do the members of a family have
to perform the ritual bath after services for the dead?
[please excuse my abysmal ignorance, here.]

The reality of *teshuvah *is also addressed in the
Christian scriptures as The Parable of the Prodigal
Son.

I understand and heartily agree with the reality of
teshuvah having a depth and meaning beyond the
term “repentance.”

The Catholic poet, Francis Thompson, articulated
the finest example of *teshuvah *I’ve had the
priviledge to read, in The Hound of Heaven.

"I fled Him down the nights and down the days,
I fled Him down the arches of the years,
I fled Him down the labyrinthan ways of
mine own mind,
And, in the midst of tears, I hid from Him,
and under running laughter;
Down vistaed ways I sped,
Shot, precipitated, down titanic glooms
of chasm’d fears…

and, at the close of the poem, he makes the
turning.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on teshuvah.

Be well,
reen12

Hi all!

Reen12, you posted:

Your quote of Rabbi Schneerson:

…“contaminated by death” (i.e., in a state of disconnection from the divine source of life)…"

is rendered “mortal sin” in Catholicism [unless the term
"contaminated by death" refers soley to literal,
physical death]. Do the members of a family have
to perform the ritual bath after services for the dead?
[please excuse my abysmal ignorance, here.]

I’m not sure that this comparison is accurate. As I understand it, a mortal sin in Catholicism is one for which there is no repentance (at least not in this world). By “…“contaminated by death” (i.e., in a state of disconnection from the divine source of life)…” ", I believe that the author is referring to the uniquely Jewish concept of tumah, which is usually translated as “ritual impurity” or some such similar phrase. (see beingjewish.com/kresel/facts.html for a pretty good explanation about it). Tumah, both the literal & figurative kinds, can be removed.

The rite of the red heifer (Numbers 19) had to be carried out in order to make the “waters of lustration” which were necessary to remove the tumah that a Jew would contract by touching, or being under the same roof as, a dead body, or by coming into contact with someone who had touched a dead body or been under the same roof as one (this particular tumah could be passed along indefinitely; all Jews today are considered to have contracted it). Somone who had contracted this kind of tumah was excluded from the holy parts of the Temple and could attend/participate in any services/rites there. A priest would be barred from receiving or eating his tithes.

Mourners do not go to the mikvah (ritual bath) after a funeral or after the various mourning periods are over (see jewfaq.org/death.htm) although it is customary to wash one’s hands when leaving a cemetery.

Be well!

ssv :wave:

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