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When You Mess Up

When You Mess Up


You’ve taken a wrong turn. You’ve made a decision that you now recognize is going to cost you dearly. Is there any way to get back on track? Can you make up for the lost time and momentum? Is the path of return too tedious and too impossibly difficult?

Judaism has an empowering and uplifting message, learned from the fascinating holiday of Pesach Sheni, “the Second Passover.”

In the first year after the Exodus, the Jewish people were instructed to bring the Paschal sacrifice on the 14th of Nissan and eat it that evening, just as they had done the previous year. There were individuals, however, who had become ritually impure and could not bring the offering. They approached Moses, asking for some recourse.

In response, G‑d established the 14th of Iyar as a Second Passover. Anyone who did not bring a Passover offering—either because of impurity or because he had willfully transgressed G‑d’s will—was given the opportunity to compensate for his shortcoming by bringing an offering on Pesach Sheni.

There are three points that I find fascinating about this holiday:

  1. Unlike other holidays, which were unilaterally commanded by G‑d, this holiday was inspired in response to the outcry of individuals.
  2. Unlike Passover, which is seven days in length, this holiday accomplishes its purpose in only one day.
  3. The holiday falls a month after Passover.

The lesson of Pesach Sheni is that it’s never too late.

No one is ever too lost or too forgone to make amends in their lives. When we stray or mess up, if we recognize how far gone we are and we are shaken to our core, we can rebound. But what’s fascinating is that this rebounding is not the regular step-by-step conventional formula. In a single instant—or in this case, in a single day—rather than the seven-day process of Passover, we can redefine our past and mold our future.

But for this to be real, it needs to come from deep within. It’s all about the inner cry—the resolve that we have to make change a reality in our lives.

And that is why Pesach Sheni needed to happen through our own motivation, by us crying out to G‑d that we shouldn’t be left out. This is also why it is celebrated in the month of Iyar, whose theme is individual endeavor, as exemplified through the counting of the Omer and our work on self-refinement.

We all mess up. We weren’t created as perfect individuals who can always make balanced judgements. But the good news is that we don’t need to. Even when we make the worst possible error, there is no cause for despair. Quite the contrary, there is cause for acknowledgement, resolve and then action.

As a great quote reads: There are those who debate whether the glass is half-full or half-empty. And then there are those who realize that the glass is refillable.

Let’s refill those glasses!

Chana Weisberg is the editor of She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
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Christina Bend Oregon May 10, 2017

Thank you Chana Weisberg your messages are always uplifting and have perfect timing. Reply

Howard Wright Jacksonville May 9, 2017


Hadassah Cedarhurst May 9, 2017


This is beautiful message!

Well done. Reply

Yehudis Tzfat May 9, 2017

Pesach Sheni - from heart to heart Bs"D
Kol HaKavod, Chana, shetichye
You are zoche to bring Yidden closer to Hashem and their heritage, with your articles.

As the Rebbe Shlita once told Rabbi J.J. Hecht, זכר לברכה, a message from the heart enters the heart ( of another - my addition).

Your heartwarming messages must enter so many hearts. And from their hearts straight Hashem.

השם יברך אותך. Am Yisroel Chai! Reply

jim dallas May 8, 2017

Hashem is Hashem for one particularly enormous reason...everything is His, even the glass. Reply

Dana May 8, 2017

Wow! This is uplifting and hope giving. Reply

Chana South America May 8, 2017

Lovely Reply

Mrs. Chana Weisberg via May 31, 2016

diane sorry I don't know where the quote is from, but I saw it and liked it. Reply

Diane Albuquerque & Maine May 31, 2016

Where is the quote from? Just had chance to read this.

I love the idea that the glass is refillable.
I was wondering where the quote is from so I can use it.

I have learned that when tired & out of energy, to pray to Hashem to refill us with energy from the always flowing Heavenly spring!
So, that must be where we need to be refilled on the inside, not just the glass! Reply

Mrs. Chana Weisberg via May 22, 2016

what to eat? It is customary to eat matza (especially left over from Passover) on Pesach Sheni. Reply

Anonymous Italy May 20, 2016

The Second Passover What can I eat for the second passover? Reply

Anonymous May 17, 2016

glass re-fillable cute...I never heard that version: that the glass is re-fillable - very nice, I like that.... Reply

i zwickau May 17, 2016

boker tov, the problem is people do not always have the power to run a long distance with a minimum but there is already a hint in the old testament how long it takes to see fruits of the effort. wish you a wonderful day Reply

Anonymous Brampton May 16, 2016

Thank you Reply

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