Pesach Sheni Sameach! Happy Second Passover!
As the moon waxes full, on this one month anniversary of Pesach, the Torah and our rabbis gift us with a second chance. The Mishnah (Pesachim 9:1) teaches us:
“One who was ritually impure or on a distant journey and did not observe the first Passover should observe the second.
If one unwittingly forgot or was prevented beyond their control and did not observe the first, they should observe the second.”
This group of participants in the Pesach Sheni ritual includes those who have been precluded from bringing their Passover offering because of illness and those who have just given birth. The Talmud even expands the list to take into account those who have converted to Judaism and children who have become B’nai Mitzvah in the month between the first and second Passovers.
Rabbi Avi Killip of Hadar shared a beautiful teaching that our ancient rabbis’ extended list of Pesach Sheni participants comes to teach us that,
“Redemption cannot happen without everyone.”
As our lives change, our relationship to community changes, as do our points of entry and the barriers that keep us from connecting. Rabbi Killip encourages us to pay attention to those on the margins of our communities and to continuously ask the question, “Who is left out now/here/this year?”
As we ask this question this spring, we would love to hear your reflections:
Together, may we create a community of care and belonging for all.