The summer had arrived, school would soon be over and the long awaited holidays would begin. Everybody seemed to be in good spirits, all except for two girls.

Rita and Eta sat together on the school bus on the way to school that day with worried expressions on their faces. The two of them had not properly completed their coursework, they had not worked properly for most of their exams, and it looked as though, when the results came out, both of them would do very badly.

'If I hadn't gone away to my sister's wedding I'm sure this wouldn't have happened!' said Eta, depressed, 'I was so caught up in the excitement of going to America, it was all I could talk about - that and the wedding.'

'Yes,' said Rita, 'and I wish I hadn't been ill for all that time. Three months in the hospital, no energy to study and although I was able to come in for the exams… I hardly knew anything!' She looked ready to cry.

'Ah,' she sighed, 'what are we going to do?' And she looked out the window glumly as the bus pulled up outside the school and the girls began to pile off the bus. She heaved herself up from her seat, 'I guess we'd better get off the bus,' she said, as though it wasn't worth even going into school.

Soon they were seated in class and Miss Levy was giving them a class on Jewish history. The girls listened in silence as their teacher told them about the Jews in the desert.

'Some of the Jews were very unhappy,' Miss Levy  was saying, 'they had been commanded by G‑d to bring the Pesach Offering in commemoration of the Jews leaving Egypt, just as they had done the previous year, when they had actually left the land of Egypt. But this year there were a few individuals that were unable to bring the Sacrifice because they had been impure at the time of offering - and an impure person may not bring a sacrifice in the Sanctuary. So they all got together and came to Moses complaining, "It is not fair, we also want to have the chance to bring up the Pesach offering - why should we miss out?"'

Rita listened to the lesson with interest. What was being described reminded her of her own predicament with the exams - and she felt just like those impure Jews, who by no fault of their own were unable to bring the Pesach Offering. She, too, had been ill through no fault of her own and was therefore unable to study. Her teacher continued:

'Moses said, "Wait here while I speak to G‑d and He will advise us on this matter." Then G‑d said to Moses: "If a Jew was impure or was unable to come to the Sanctuary to offer his Offering at the right time, there will be a second chance for them. One month later, on the 14th of Iyar, in the afternoon hours, they should come to the Sanctuary and bring up the Pesach Offering, and they should eat it together with Matza and Maror, just like on the real Pesach a month earlier, and through this they will not miss out and they will be able to perform the Mitzvah just like the rest of the Jewish people."

Their teacher continued: 'When the Jews heard the news, they were exhilarated. It was in fact not too late to bring the offering, they were now able to perform the Mitzvah just like everyone else!'

Rita heard the words, and the message to her was clear. 'Perhaps I can re-take the exams in the winter,' she thought to herself, wondering why this thought had not occurred to her before, 'there is no need for us to be depressed,' she thought, thinking of Eta too.

She looked over to where Eta was sitting and their eyes met, and they both broke out into a smile. 'Eta has been listening too,' Rita laughed to herself, 'now we can truly enjoy the summer sunshine without worrying! Well, I guess we will have to study a little - but we can do that together, and won't we have fun!'