This Sunday, thirty days after Passover begins, there is another holiday – one almost no one has heard of. This holiday is called “Pesach Sheni” – second Passover- and has no celebrations, no special services, no seder. Yet, perhaps we should consider reviving it.
Originally, it appears in the Bible because there were a number of people who were, for reasons out of their control, unable to celebrate the Passover a year after leaving Egypt. Upset that they would be unable to celebrate, they complained to Moses, and were instructed to observe it a month later, just for one day.
Second Passover is the holiday of second chances.
Second chances aren’t for everyone. You have to want it. You have to be willing to go an extra mile, to try and make happen what you couldn’t make happen before.
Israelis and Palestinians have both missed chances to make peace. And both societies have indulged, and sometimes encouraged, the worst of themselves. On the eve of the day of the remembrance of the Holocaust, Israel’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Yair Golan, reminded us, “There is nothing easier than hating the alien. Nothing is easier and more simple than provoking anxiety and horror. Nothing is easier and simpler than brutalization, jadedness and self-righteousness.”
But both Israelis and Palestinians still want peace; both sides still want a democracy in a homeland of their own. On Pesach Sheni, we are reminded that while, when an opportunity is missed, it doesn’t return in the same way, there is still another chance to grasp it – but that we cannot wait too long, because opportunities do not wait eternally.
And second chances don’t last forever. Sometimes, you run out of time. Stand with Americans for Peace Now so that we can make that second chance – and make it count.