Tuesday, May 13, 2014

For Pesach Sheni


In honour of Pesach Sheni, which is observed this Wednesday, the 14th of Iyar:

The korban pesach celebrates our nation’s formation, the origins of our national connection to G-d, and our belief in Divine supervision of, and intervention in, the world. This message of the korban pesach is so spiritually critical for the Jewish nation that G-d gives every Jew two opportunities to participate. One who misses the first Pesach on the 14th of Nisan is able to bring the korban one month later, on the 14th of Iyar (Mitzvah #380). The korban is brought on the 14th of Iyar and eaten on the night of the 15th of Iyar; the celebration is called Pesach Sheni.

Like the korban pesach brought in Nisan, the korban brought on the 14th of Iyar is eaten with matzah and marror (#381), and other rules are likewise retained: nothing of the korban may be left over until morning (#382), and one may not break any bones from the korban (#383). However, only the laws of the original korban pesach that pertain directly to the korban are applied to Pesach Sheni; one may own chametz on Pesach Sheni (although one may not eat it with the korban), one may perform melachah on that day, and there is no seven-day celebration. Also, Hallel is not recited when eating the korban of Pesach Sheni.

There is some debate regarding whether we are instructed to recite the story of leaving Egypt when eating the korban pesach of Pesach Sheni. This mitzvah might be linked specifically to the night of the 15th of Nisan, which was the night before leaving Egypt. (Sfat Emet to Pesachim 95a)

It is often noted that when the Koreich paragraph in our Haggadah describes the practice of combining the korban pesach with matzah and marror, it quotes the verse of Pesach Sheni (Bamidbar 9:11) instead of the verse of the first Pesach. (Shemot 12:8) Various ideas are suggested to explain this; according to the popular approach of the Belzer Rebbe, by using this verse we express our wish that Mashiach should come before the 14th of Iyar, and that we should be able to bring Pesach Sheni. (For more regarding this question, see Pesachim 120a; Chatam Sofer Orach Chaim 140; Avnei Nezer Orach Chaim 383:8; Meishiv Davar 1:32; Minchat Chinuch 380; Seder haAruch 108 note 11 and 151:12-14.)

Have a great day,

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