If you missed the holiday yesterday, take a moment to give it a second look. Yesterday was, after all, the Jewish festival of second chances. If you haven’t heard of it before, take a moment to catch up.
Every year at the end of Passover, my mother takes a box of matzoh and puts it aside for a few weeks. Then, on the 14th day of Iyar, exactly a month after Passover eve, she takes it out and eats it — as do many other Jews around the world — to remember the holiday of Pesach Sheni, the Second Passover. This practice reflects the biblical story in which a group of Jews came to Moses very upset that they missed out on the first Passover in the desert because they had been in a state of impurity and were thus excluded from this seminal national event. Moses, baffled, approached God, who replied by creating the Pesach Sheni ritual. From then on, any Jew who was unable to take part in the Passover festival, whether for reasons of impurity or logistical/economic difficulty, celebrated Passover a month later, in a quintessential second chance.