Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Truth About Pesah Sheni

מוצש"ק פר' אמור תשע"ג

This past Wednesday was the 14th Day of the Second Month, Pesah Sheni.

במדבר ט
ו  וַיְהִי אֲנָשִׁים, אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ טְמֵאִים לְנֶפֶשׁ אָדָם, וְלֹא-יָכְלוּ לַעֲשֹׂת-הַפֶּסַח, בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא; וַיִּקְרְבוּ לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה, וְלִפְנֵי אַהֲרֹן--בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא.ז  וַיֹּאמְרוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים הָהֵמָּה, אֵלָיו, אֲנַחְנוּ טְמֵאִים, לְנֶפֶשׁ אָדָם; לָמָּה נִגָּרַע, לְבִלְתִּי הַקְרִיב אֶת-קָרְבַּן יְהוָה בְּמֹעֲדוֹ, בְּתוֹךְ, בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.ח  וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם, מֹשֶׁה:  עִמְדוּ וְאֶשְׁמְעָה, מַה-יְצַוֶּה יְהוָה לָכֶם.ט  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר.י  דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵאמֹר:  אִישׁ אִישׁ כִּי-יִהְיֶה-טָמֵא לָנֶפֶשׁ אוֹ בְדֶרֶךְ רְחֹקָה לָכֶם, אוֹ לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם, וְעָשָׂה פֶסַח, לַיהוָה. יא  בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם, בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם--יַעֲשׂוּ אֹתוֹ:  עַל-מַצּוֹת וּמְרֹרִים, יֹאכְלֻהוּ. יב  לֹא-יַשְׁאִירוּ מִמֶּנּוּ עַד-בֹּקֶר, וְעֶצֶם לֹא יִשְׁבְּרוּ-בוֹ; כְּכָל-חֻקַּת הַפֶּסַח, יַעֲשׂוּ אֹתוֹ.

Numbers 9
6 But there were certain men, who were unclean by the dead body of a man, so that they could not keep the passover on that day; and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day. 7 And those men said unto him: 'We are unclean by the dead body of a man; wherefore are we to be kept back, so as not to bring the offering of the LORD in its appointed season among the children of Israel?' 8 And Moses said unto them: 'Stay ye, that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you.' 9 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 10 'Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: If any man of you or of your generations shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD; 11 in the second month on the fourteenth day at dusk they shall keep it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs; 12 they shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break a bone thereof; according to all the statute of the passover they shall keep it.

So, there are several customs for Pesah Sheni, like eating matzah, not saying tahanun (supplication), having a nice meal, etc.

This year I heard many talk about the musar (ethics), hassiduth, and or qabbalistic concepts learned from Pesah Sheni. Many were focused on the concept of having a "second chance," or HaShem's mercy by giving us a second chance, or HaShem's reward for those desiring to fulfill a misswah (commandment).

I believe that these are all positive concepts to study, and are certainly all easily found within our texts.

I heard many Jews also mention hope and prayer that next year we would be able to bring the Qorban Pesah, (Passover Sacrafice), if not in the First Month (Nissan), then in the Second Month (Iyyar).

However, I did not hear anyone at all talk about what they or their communities were actually doing to bring the Qorban Pesah. None. Wait around for Mashi'ah, I suppose.

Yet, we can bring the Qorban Pesah, even now, and even in a state of tum'ath hameth (defilement from contact with death). (See Ramba"m, Hil. Qorban Pesah, Ch. 7:1.)

Teshuvah (repentance) is not just embarrassment and regret, two crucial components of teshuvah, but also a commitment to refrain from making the same mistakes again, as well as making restitution.

How can we proceed if nobody is even talking about possible plans of action?

There is, of course, Rabbi Yisra'el Ariel, Head of the Temple Institute, has been trying to educate Jews for years about bringing the Qorban Pesah, as well as other qorbanoth. He has even does demonstrations of the Qorban Pesah, making sure that the animal was disqualified for a qorban first.

The Temple Mount Faithful try to bring the Qorban Pesah, as well as try to bring the corner stone for the Temple itself. They mostly just getting smacked around, and thrown back down the stairs.

Rabbi David Bar-Hayim Head of Machon Shilo also teaches about the Qorban Pesah, and works hard to spread the word about the possibility of bringing it.

What do our "mainstream" rabbis say? Well, one rabbi from the Mamlakhti (undying state loyalist) town of Eli says, "העם לא מוכן." (The people are not ready.)

That  may be so, but what the heck does that have to do with fulfilling a misswah?? Absolutely nothing.

I'll tell you who is not ready. Those Mamlakhti rabbis aren't ready. They are ready to step on some toes, toes of government officials, some of whom they seem to worship, and the toes of Arabs, who they obviously fear, even though HaShem is on our side. After all, we want to do a misswah, don't we? Well, at least some of us do. In fact, aren't some of us like those of us, wandering in the wilderness, asking Moshe Rabbeinu, "How can WE, too, do this misswah?"

Well, one religious attorney I know, took this seriously. He wrote an official request to Israel's Chief Rabbinate, asking that it request permission from the Wakf for the Jewish People to be allowed to bring the Qorban Pesah. The Wakf is the Muslim religious authority in control of the Temple Mount. No matter what anyone, Arab or Jew, says, it is the the Wakf in control of what goes on, on the Temple Mount. When Jews are finally allowed to pray there, then you are welcome to correct me on this.

Anyway, when this attorney followed up on his registered letter to Israel's Chief Rabbinate, he found that "the letter did not exist." That's right. "It did not exist."

It wasn't received, and rejected, blasted, or responded to politely. It wasn't even sent back as "undeliverable." No. According to Israel's Chief Rabbinate the letter was never received.

That's our "Chief Rabbinate" for you.

And so, next year when you're discussing the Exodus from your Seder table, in the event that we are still unable to bring the Qorban Pesah, don't just talk about how sad it is that we are unable to bring it. Talk about what each and every one of us can do to make sure that we bring it, when we are given a second chance on the 14th Day of the Second Month, תשע"ד/5774.

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