Vol 18.14 - Behaalotecha 4                 Spanish French Audio  Video

Hebrew Text:

Page126   Page127   Page128   Page129   Page130   Page131  

HaYom Yom Pesach-Sheini


(5740) Pesach Sheini - "it's never too late" ("Nita Ken Farfallen") (Hayom Yom) according to Halacha.



1. Regarding Pesach Sheini there is a well-known saying of the Rebbe Rayatz:

“The theme of Pesach Sheini is that it is “never too late” (Falfallen). It is always possible to put things right. Even if one was tamei (ritually impure), or one was far away, and even in a case of “lachem”, when this (impurity etc.) was deliberate - nonetheless he can correct it”.

(Note: The Pesach Sheini, second Passover sacrifice, was to be offered by those who, at the time of first Pesach, were "...defiled (tamei) by a dead body or on a distant journey for yourselves (lachem)..." Here an opportunity is offered to anyone who failed to bring the Pesach offering in its proper time, for whatever reason - even impurity, even "alienation" ("...on a distant journey etc..."), even if this was deliberate - to repair the situation. He may celebrate Pesach Sheini, the Second Pesach, month later.

One must understand:

It is indeed true that the aspects and explanations of Pnimiyut HaTorah are sometimes in accordance with one opinion in the exoteric aspect of Torah (niglah). Moreover, they are sometimes stated when the Halacha is like the second opinion. This is so because both of these opinions are the Word of the Living G-d. Therefore, one is required to and must make a blessing on the Torah even for studying the (second opinion – for example, the) words of Beit Shammai, even though, according to the Talmud, the opinions of Beit Shammai are not learnt in place of the words of Beit Hillel.

Nevertheless, it would have been more fitting if the saying also corresponds to the opinion that is in accordance with the Halacha. This is especially so in our case, where the saying is that this is the “theme” (of Pesach Sheini).


It is well and good according to the opinion that Pesach Sheini is “a Tashlumin (a make-up) of the first Pesach”. For then it is understood why one says with regard to Pesach Sheini that “its theme is . . that it is never too late. It is always possible to put things right.. to correct it”.

It also conforms to the opinion that it is a “takanta” – “rectification of the first Pesach”, namely that the Torah told us how to rectify (through offering the Pesach Sheini korban) – if one, deliberately did not offer the first Pesach offering.

However, according to the opinion of Rebbe (R’ Yehudah HaNasi) –

which is also the Halacha, that Pesach Sheini is a “festival in its own right” and “the second (Pesach Sheini) is not dependent of the first (Pesach) but rather, it is an independent obligation like the other festivals”-

how, can one say according to this opinion that ”its theme is that it is never too late. It is always possible to put things right”?

2. In reality, this is not really a question. For even according to the opinion of Rebbe that it is an “festival in its own right”, the obligation of Pesach Sheini is specifically when one did not offer it on the first Pesach.

(So much so that one who did offer the Pesach Rishon may not bring a Pesach Sheini korban).

Moreover, even where one deliberately did not offer the Pesach Rishon korban, “he may offer the Pesach Sheini korban”, and thereby he is exempt from the punishment of Koret (excommunication).

Therefore, it comes out that even according to Rebbe’s opinion, the “theme (of Pesach Sheini) is that “it is never too late”.

This was also in actuality, from the very onset, an innovation and Mitzvah which was given in order to rectify. In order that those who were “ritually unclean because of contact with a dead person” not be “excluded” (״נגרע״), G-d gave the command:

“Speak to the children of Israel saying, Any person who becomes unclean from contact with the dead, or is on a distant journey, whether among you or in future generations, he shall make a Passover sacrifice for the L-rd”.

The reason why according to Rebbe, Pesach Sheini is a “festival in its own right” is (mainly) with regard to liability of karet for failing to offer it (the second Pesach as an independent festival). As Rambam states: “How is this? If a person inadvertently or because of forces beyond his control failed to offer the first Paschal sacrifice, if he intentionally refrained from offering the second, he is liable for karet”.

However, it is not understood:

Due to this reason that it is a “festival in its own right”, Rebbe maintains (and so rules Rambam) that even:

“A convert who converts between the first Pesach and the second Pesach and similarly, a child who comes of age between these two holidays are obligated to offer the second Paschal sacrifice.”

Thus, how can one clarify with regard to the aforementioned, convert and child that the “theme (of Pesach Sheini) is “it is never too late”? They were not obligated at the first Pesach.

3. With regard to a “child who comes of age between these two holidays” who is “obligated to offer the second Paschal sacrifice” (in which is emphasized the aspect that “it is never too late”), one could (albeit with difficulty) explain that:

Since a child is counted (נמנה) in the Korban Pesach, so much so that there is a reasoning that the Paschal “lamb for a household” is Biblical, and Rambam rules that If one slaughtered the first Paschal sacrifice for the sake of the minor, the minor is exempt from bringing the second sacrifice,

Therefore, one sees that the child has a relation to the Mitzvah of Korban Pesach. Therefore, in a situation where the Korban Pesach was not slaughtered for his sake, and he became an adult between the two Pesach’s, that “he is obligated to offer the Pesach Sheini”. This is a semblance of a Tashlumin (compensation), and its “theme is that it is never too late” (of the first Pesach – which, if they had offered it on the first Pesach for his sake, he would have been exempt from the Pesach Sheini).

However, with regard to a Ger (convert) who converts, who had no relation at all to Pesach Rishon, how is it relevant to state with regard to him that “it is never too late”?

4. One could say the explanation of this is:

On the contrary, the view of Rebbe that it is a “festival in its own right” expresses, even more so, the aspect that “it is never too late”- even more than the other opinions that it is a “compensation for the first Pesach” or conversely that it is a “rectification of the first Pesach”:

According to the views that it is a Tashlumin/compensation, or a rectification of the first Pesach, the (primary) “time” of offering the Korban Pesach is at the occurrence of the first Pesach, on the fourteenth day of Nissan. However, one can “make up” or “rectify” the obligation that is incumbent upon him (of Pesach Rishon). The Torah, however, did not give another “time” of Pesach.

Whereas, according to the view and precise wording of Rebbe that it is a: “festival in its own right”, the Torah indeed gave (in addition to the time of Pesach Rishon, even another) festival – a “time” on the fourteenth day of Iyar to offer the Korban Pesach.

When one offers the Korban Pesach on the fourteenth day of Iyar it is

(in addition to making up that which he missed out on (the offering of the first Pesach korban, also)

an independent offering of the Korban Pesach. This means that the fourteenth day of Iyar is the “time” of the Korban Pesach – as the Talmud states- it is the holiday (מועדו) of Pesach.

This means that according to the view of Rebbe, one is obligated to offer the Pesach Sheini korban, not because there remained upon him the obligation of offering the Korban Pesach on the fourteenth day of Nissan (according to the view that it is a Tashlumin or rectification). But rather because – the fourteenth day of Iyar is a time which obligates him to offer a Korban Pesach (if he did not offer it on the fourteenth day of Nissan).

(The reason that if one offers the Korban Pesach at the first Pesach, must not offer a Korban at Pesach Sheini is because for the exodus from Egypt, there is only one Korban, as is simple).

Therefore, the intent of Pesach Sheini having “The theme that it is never too late” is not (just) that one can “always rectify” a thing that was lacking, meaning that he can compensate for it, in general. But rather that it is accomplished in all its details, the deed is complete.

According to this it is also understood with regard to “convert who converts between the first Pesach and the second Pesach and similarly, a child who comes of age between these two holidays”.

The reason that they are “obligated to offer the second Paschal sacrifice (even though they did not lack the offering of Pesach Rishon is because its aspect is not (just) to compensate for that which was lacking, but rather to fulfill an obligation which comes now – at the time of the fourteenth day of Iyar – independently. This also has a relation to the aforementioned Ger and child) since in the condition that they are in now, on the fourteenth day of Iyar, they are obligated in the Mitzvot.

5. According to the aforementioned, one could say that even according to Rebbe‘s view, Pesach Sheini is a “Tashlumin”.

The word “Tashlumin” contains two connotations:

  1. Completing (משלים) a lacking.
  2. Completeness (שלימות) – meaning that even though without this, there is no lacking in the thing, one nevertheless comes to a completeness in the thing, through the additional deed.

This is similar to what we find with regarding to the wording “whole” () in conjunction with the word “year” ():

The Talmud states that the word “whole” is necessary to teach us the inclusion of an intercalary month” (חודש העיבור), even though even without the intercalary month it is called a “year” for there is no lacking in it.

Similarly it is stated with regard to the Beit HaMikdash that there is a concept of a Temple-service that is not considered a complete (Avodah Tamma) on its own, since there is another service after it that follows . For example, like slaughtering the animal and collecting the blood and carrying it which are only preparatory steps leading up to the sprinkling of the blood on the altar”. (A complete Temple-service (Avodah Tamma) is one that completes and fulfils its purpose, such as sprinkling the sacrificial blood on the altar, burning incense etc. and pouring out the water libation on the altar on the festival of Sukkot etc.).

For even though there is no lacking in the essential service (עצם העבודה), for it is performed properly. However, it is not called “a complete service”, since there is another service that follows it. Moreover, the service that follows, is the one that “completes and fulfils the thing” – it concludes and completes the preparatory previous service.

(Which therefore is why with these preceding services “even though a non-kohen is exhorted not to take part in a Temple-service that involves the service of the Korbanot, nevertheless a non-kohen is not liable for death except if he takes part of those services that are considered ‘complete’“).

This is also a semblance of the two aspects which are found in Tzedaka:

The verse states:

“But you shall surely open your hand to him, and shall surely lend him sufficient for his deficiency in that which is deficient for him” (די מחסורו אשר יחסר לו)

The Talmud states:

“the Sages taught: “Sufficient for his deficiency”; this teaches that you are commanded to support him, . . However, the verse also states: “Which is deficient for him”; this includes even a horse upon which to ride and a servant to run in front of him (for the sake of his stature, and more than that) “to make him wealthy“, even though this is not an aspect that he is lacking.

6. According to this one could say that the reason that we say that “The second (Pesach) is not a compensation for the first but it is a festival in its own right” means to express that this is not a type of “Tashlumin” that is in order to complete a lacking, but rather a “festival in its own right” – meaning that the thing becomes accomplished in completeness.

In this context, even a Ger that converts, possesses the aspect of Tashlumin, that even though beforehand he was not allowed to offer a Korban, there is the aspect of “it is never too late”. He does not lose the completeness of offering the Korban Pesach.

This becomes even more fitting according to the well-known precision of the Chida in the expression a “Ger who converts” (גר שנתגייר) - and not the expression a “non-Jew who converts”, like it states regarding a “servant that was freed” or a “child that matured” and so forth. For even before one actually converts, he already is a convert. This means that (while he is a non-Jew) he possesses a spark of a holy soul. It is just that visibly, this is expressed when he converts. Therefore, it comes out that even on the first Pesach, he had a relation to Pesach, and Pesach Sheini is a Tashlumin – from the word completeness (שלימות), in his relation to the first Pesach.

7. On a deeper and more inner understanding, one could say that:

Since both explanations are in the same word: “Tashlumin”, it is understood that even the explanation of Tashlumin from the connotation “completeness”, has a relation to the simple explanation of Tashlumin, namely that one compensates and completes the lack.

The explanation of this is:

Since it could come subsequent to the previous condition, it (the previous condition) can also be considered a lacking. The completeness becomes a property of the whole, which could have transpired.

This is similar to what is physically observed. When one is given wealth, after having cried for it for so long, nevertheless, after a time, he does not consider it wealth and an addition, but rather, something that he “lacks”, as aforementioned. This even includes a “servant that runs before him”.

One could say that in spirituality (in thought in Avodat HaNefesh) that just as this is so when one actually receives the “wealth”, so too is this also when his thought and striving (שטרעבונג) is “wealth”.

Since “In the place of one’s desire it, there he is found”, the wealth and completeness is (already) considered by him to be something that “he lacks”. And when he receives the wealth, for him, this is an aspect of compensation for his deficiency (תשלומין דהחסר), fulfilling that which he lacked.

Toward Heaven it is revealed (כלפי שמיא גליא) that even beforehand, he had “fifty men running before him etc.” However here below in this physical world, “a judge has only what his eyes see” (אין לדיין אלא מה שעיניו רואות). In this world below and in actual Halacha, when is it revealed that this is a deficiency for him – specifically after he has already received the wealth and has become accustomed to it.

8. With regard to a Ger who converts between Pesach Rishon and Pesach Sheini – since even before he actually converts, he is even beforehand a convert, as aforementioned, he possesses within him (even while being a non-Jew) a spark of a holy soul. Thus even though, visibly, this is expressed when he converts, at that time, however, it is revealed that even retroactively he had (due to the soul) a relation to the Mitzvot of the Torah.

Therefore, it comes out that not only does he add completeness, through the offering of the Korban Pesach Sheini, but that this also compensates for his deficiency. For due to the soul he “lacked” in the offering of the Korban Pesach at the occurrence of the first Pesach.

9. The lesson from this to each and every one in their Avodat HaShem, is how much there must be the endeavoring in spreading Torah and Judaism, and especially the spreading of the wellsprings (of Chassidut).

A person could think:

This work is certainly very dear. However, this is only a beautification of the Mitzvah (הידור מצוה). It is a completeness which he achieves when he does it. However, what is the necessity in this, and why is there such an urgency? (אייליניש)

The answer is that an aspect that one thinks is just a completeness, may be, in truth, a compensation for a person’s deficiency in a thing that is necessary to his Avodah and the root of his soul.

This is like the Torah-teaching of the Baal Shem Tov that G-d sends a soul below into this world, and he lives for seventy or eighty years, where the epitome of the intent of this mission is to do a physical goodness in general, and in particular, in spirituality, for another Yid.

It could be that this very goodness which he must do for this Yid, on this day, is the purpose of his soul’s descent into this world. Moreover, if, G-d forbid, he misses this opportunity, he not only lacks a completeness, but rather – the primary purpose of his soul descending into this world.

Since, “no one among us knows to what extent” – we do not know which deed is the one that prevailed that our soul should descend for, there must be the endeavoring in spreading Judaism in a manner that one ‘rushes and grabs to eat and grabs to drink”, since he has been presented the opportunity.

Through this, one merits the true and complete Geulah. According to both connotations of the word “complete”, all one’s deficiencies during the time of Galut are compensated for, and completeness is also achieved in the world, even higher than it was before the Sin of the Tree of Knowledge (as it states “This is the history of the heavens and the earth – they were created complete”) –“And these are the generations of Peretz- written completely (with two vav’s)”

(Note: “Throughout the entire Torah the word “toldot” is written missing one vav, except in two places. One is here and the other is ‘Eileh toldot’ — ‘these are the products of the heavens and the earth when they were created’ (2:4). The reason is because when Adam sinned, six (vav = 6) things were taken away from him and they will not return until the son of Peretz — Moshiach — will appear.”

In the words of Rambam, “In that era, there will be neither famine or war, envy or competition (there will be completeness – for there will not be any aspect of lacking) for good will flow in great abundance . . The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-d (absolute completeness).

Soon mamosh, with the coming of our righteous Moshiach, in our days, mamosh

MSichas Pesach Sheini 5740

 Date Delivered:   Reviewer:       
Date Modified:    Date Reviewed: