Rav Avigdor Miller on Pesach Sheini


Q: What’s the significance of commemorating Pesach Sheini?

A: I can tell you one thing from my little head. When the korban Pesach was made in the Midbar, at that time it states that there were people who were unclean because they were carrying the coffin that contained the body of Yosef Hatzaddik. They were carrying a dead body and because of their uncleanliness, they could not participate in the korban Pesach.

The possuk says that they came to Moshe Rabbeinu and they were complaining, לָמָּה נִגָּרַע – Why should we be left out? All the Bnei Yisroel are making a Pesach offering! Everybody will participate except us?!”

The question is, what are you worried about? You’re absolved! If you’re tamei, you’re patur. Nobody’s going to blame you. It’s not your fault!

And the answer is, fault heint, fault morgen, they weren’t satisfied with being absolved! “We don’t care! We want to participate!”

Now, when Hakodosh Boruch Hu saw that, He said, “That’s a good argument – a very good argument.” And He gave Pesach Sheini as compensation for those who desired to do more than they were capable of: “If you’re regretting it so much,” says Hashem, “then I’m going to give you another chance; you’ll be able to fulfill the korban Pesach thirty days later.” And He gave them another chance. A month later, it was a Pesach Sheini. The people who were unclean the first time have another chance.

And so we see how important it is – and this is one of the lessons of Pesach Sheini – that even where you’re blameless, when nothing could be held against you at all, nevertheless to miss out on a mitzvah is a sadness; it’s something that deserves much regret. לָמָּה נִגָּרַע – “Why should we be left out?” And when you regret missing out on a mitzvah, even if it wasn’t your fault, you find favor in the eyes of Hakodosh Boruch Hu and He gives you new opportunities.

TAPE # E-43 (December 1995)

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