Thursday, May 11, 2017

Second Chance




Just when you might have thought we were done with Jewish holidays for a while, Pesach Sheini, or the Second Passover, comes along.   Before your blood pressure goes through the roof and you have heart palpitations with the thought of cleaning your kitchen thoroughly for a couple of days followed by a marathon Seder lasting into the early dawn hours, please take a deep breath. This is a largely symbolic day that we actually celebrated this week.  Historically, in ancient times of the Temple in Jerusalem, anyone who would be unable to participate in the Passover offering due to either being a great distance away or in a state of ritual impurity was able to have a makeup date one month later. Hence the holiday, Pesach Sheini.
Yet, before we dismiss this day as a relic of the past which has no practical relevance, it may be worth it to internalize the greater message of this day.  It seems to be a minor Jewish holiday with a major universal message. Many times we do not experience success in our initial attempts toward important endeavors. It is frustrating to invest time, energy and financial resources into something we hold dear, only to see it fail. It does not just fail the first time; in many instances, there are multiple failures. With each subsequent failure, we get more discouraged and lose hope of ever succeeding. Yet, we can never give up. There is always another day that brings new opportunities and plateaus that one can conquer.
If you were not successful the first time, please remember the mitzvah of Pesach Sheini.  Some of the greatest accomplishments or achievements the world has ever seen were not successful the first time around. Even the first set of tablets that Moses received at Sinai were smashed almost immediately. So, if you are lying on the mat feeling down after another setback, just dust yourself off and try again.
Happy Pesach Sheini.

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