1. Although the offering of Pesach Sheni was brought on the 14th of Iyar, there is a close connection between it and the present date, the eve of the 15th. The Pesach offering was brought on the 14th of Nissan and eaten on the eve of the 15th. This was also the case with the Pesach Sheni. Furthermore, the eating of the Pesach offering is of unique importance. The sacrifice and the eating of all other sacrifices are considered as one Mitzvah. In regard to the Pesach offering, however, there are Halachic opinions that maintain that each one is considered a separate Mitzvah.

Thus, even in the times of the Temple, when sacrifices were brought, there was a connection between the eve of the 15th and Pesach Sheni. This is particularly true now, when the Temple is destroyed, and the sacrifices have been replaced by prayer and study — a spiritual service [which is not regulated to the day only, but is also applicable at night]. Hence, the custom of eating Matzah on Pesach Sheni is also applicable now — the eve of the 15th.

The Previous Rebbe once said that Pesach Sheni teaches that “nothing is ever lost, one can always correct oneself.” This applies even now. Even if one was “on a far off way” (albeit willingly) or impure, one can correct oneself through Teshuvah.1 This service of Teshuvah will lift one to a high level, as our sages commented: “In the place where a Baal Teshuvah stands, a perfect Tzaddik cannot stand.” Through Teshuvah, we will compensate for all that is lacking in our service. The Hebrew word for compensate “Mashlim” is also related to the word “Shleimus,” meaning a complete state. Through Teshuvah we can reach a state of completion and also reach a state of ultimate completion, which will be reached with the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our days.

2. In Halachah, there are two general perspectives concerning Pesach Sheni, one that it is intended as “compensation” for Pesach Rishon. The other that it is a festival in its own right. Even according to the second opinion, someone who brought the Pesach Rishon is not obligated to bring Pesach Sheni. The difference between them will arise in regard to a child who became Bar Mitzvah, or someone who converted, between Pesach Rishon and Pesach Sheni. [According to the second opinion, they are obligated to bring an offering, while the first opinion would exempt them, since at the time of Pesach Rishon, they had no obligation.]

The question arises: According to the second opinion, how can we say, as the Previous Rebbe did, that Pesach Sheni teaches “nothing is ever lost, one can always correct oneself?” How are the children and the convert correcting themselves? They had no obligation to begin with.

With regard to the child, the following answer could possibly be given. A child can be included in his father’s sacrifice on Pesach Rishon. Even though the Torah does not obligate the child to do so, he would have freed himself in this manner from the obligation to bring a Pesach Sheni. Hence, the fact that he did not, can be considered a “fault” which must be corrected. This answer is difficult to accept, however. The following possible explanation in regard to a proselyte is even more difficult. The Chidah notes that a proselyte is called “a proselyte who converts,” not “a gentile who converts.” He explains that the souls of the proselytes are Jewish and were also present at Mt. Sinai. However, that Jewishness is not revealed until conversion. Hence, one might argue that such an individual suffered a lack by not bringing the Pesach Rishon offering and could compensate for it. However, this explanation is difficult on the level of Torah law, since in that context there is no obligation whatsoever on the part of the gentile.

This question can be explained in the light of the two meanings of the word Mashlim — (a) to compensate and (b) to reach fulfillment. According to both definitions a lack exists. According to the first, the lack is clear; a deed that was necessary to have been carried out, was not performed. According to the second definition, there was no obligation that was not fulfilled. Nevertheless, something is also missing which can be fulfilled through one’s actions.2

— A parallel concept can be seen in regard to Tzedakah. Torah law declares that one must give a poor person “enough to fulfill what he is lacking; however, you are not obligated to make him rich.” Tzedakah must satisfy his basic needs (the first level of completion), it need not satisfy his desire for wealth (the second level). However, both levels are interrelated. Once an individual has tasted wealth, he becomes used to it. If he lacks it, he (and indeed the Torah) considers it a genuine need. Therefore, if one is accustomed to having “fifty men running before him,” the laws of Tzedakah requires that “need” to be met as well. (Hence, we see that everything depends on one’s will, as the Baal Shem Tov in fact declares “Wherever a person’s will and desire is, there he is to be found.”) —

Based on this concept, the aforementioned question about a proselyte can be answered. Through the act of conversion, it is revealed that his soul is Jewish and obligated to fulfill all the Mitzvos of the Torah. From the standpoint of his soul, therefore, he was also connected to the sacrifice of Pesach Rishon3 and it can thus be considered that he was lacking this service even before conversion. However, since this lack was not revealed until after his conversion, it can only be considered a lack according to the second definition of Shleimus.

Accordingly we can see how the Previous Rebbe’s expression, “Pesach Sheni teaches how nothing is ever lost,” applies to all Halachic opinions.

There is a practical lesson from the above that applies to each of us in our efforts of spreading Torah and Mitzvos. Sometimes we view these efforts as important, but not essential, a Hiddur Mitzvah and therefore not worthy of eager and fervent application. However, the above teaches us that the state of completion reached is not merely a state of wealth, over and above his needs. Rather it may in fact represent the service that is most necessary for his soul on this world. As the Besht declared, G‑d sends a soul down into the world and he lives seventy or eighty years for the purpose of doing a favor to another Jew in physical matters. How much more is this so in regard to spiritual matters. Therefore, if one does not carry out this favor, he will have ignored the entire purpose for which his soul descended into the world. Since we cannot know which specific favor is meant, we must reach out to our fellow Jew through every possible means, in a manner described by the Previous Rebbe as “grab and eat, grab and drink.” i.e. We must seize every opportunity to do a favor to a fellow Jew. In this manner we will bring our souls to fulfillment and also bring the entire world to the ultimate level of fulfillment with the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our days.

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3. The above refers to the lesson that can be derived from Pesach Sheni every year. This year, being a Shemittah year, a year that is a “Shabbos unto G‑d,” a new lesson results. Just as on Shabbos (a) “all your work is completed” and (b) “you shall call the Shabbos a delight,” similarly, in the Shemittah year, these two elements are present.

These two qualities are related to the two definitions of Shleimus mentioned above. The completion of work is related to the idea of compensation, and “delight” to the fuller meaning of completion.

In this context, we can also see a connection to R. Shimon bar Yochai and Lag B’Omer. A Torah sage, particularly one whose “occupation is Torah” as R. Shimon, is called “Shabbos,” for Torah is also connected with pleasure. Even though Torah demands Kabbalas 01 (acceptance of G‑d’s yoke) which is seemingly the very opposite of pleasure, nevertheless, by completely giving oneself over to G‑d, one becomes a vessel to appreciate G‑d’s infinite pleasure. For that reason, Lag B’Omer, the day of R. Shimon’s passing, is celebrated as a day of “great joy.” On the day of a Tzaddik’s passing, his entire life service is revealed. Since R. Shimon’s service was filled with joy, the day of his passing is a day of celebration.4

There is also a unique lesson that can be learned from the fact that Pesach Sheni falls on Wednesday in the week of Parshas Emor, the Torah portion which deals with all the festivals, including the festival of Pesach and the Mitzvah of Sefiras HaOmer. The mention of the Mitzvah of Sefiras HaOmer within the account of the festivals is difficult to understand, since Sefiras HaOmer is a period of mourning. However, this problem can be resolved by explaining that this portion is an allusion to the festival that is within Sefirah, namely Lag B’Omer.5

In fact, the joy of Lag B’Omer exceeds that of the other festivals. One of the AriZal’s students, R. Avraham Halevi, would include “Nacheim,” the prayer lamenting the destruction of the Temple, in his prayers, every day of the year [even on Shabbos and Yom Toy]. When he did so on Lag B’Omer he suffered a misfortune, for the joy of Lag B’Omer nullifies the need of the recitation of Nacheim.

The above connection between Pesach Sheni and Lag B’Omer, is in addition to the connection that exists between them every year — even in a year when Pesach Sheni does not fall out on the fourth day of Parshas Emor. [According to Kabbalah there are seven emotional attributes, each one including within it all seven thus reaching a total of forty-nine. Each of the forty-nine days of the Omer is related to a specific quality and each week to a general quality which includes seven particular aspects. The first of these qualities is Chesed; the fifth, Hod.] Pesach Sheni begins the fifth week of the Omer, the week of Hod. It is Chesed ShebeHod, and Lag B’Omer is on the fifth day of that week, Hod ShebeHod. Chesed is the beginning which contains all the other qualities of each particular Sefirah. Hence, Chesed ShebeHod is related to all the days of Hod, particularly its most essential day, Hod ShebeHod.

R. Shimon’s work is also connected with Pesach Sheni. R. Shimon constantly strived to correct and bring to completion the affairs of the Jewish people. He declared (and actually carried out) his promise that “I can free the entire world from judgment.”6 For that reason, a rainbow was never seen in his generation. A rainbow is G‑d’s sign that he will no longer destroy the world. In R. Shimon’s generation, there was no need for that sign, for R. Shimon had declared, “I can free the world from judgment.”

There is a Halachic statement of R. Shimon’s which is also connected to Pesach Sheni. On the verse “a man who is impure or on a far off way,” which refers to those individuals who must bring a Pesach Sheni, R. Shimon commented “a man and not a community” — one man’s Pesach sacrifice may be postponed until Pesach Sheni, but not that of the majority of the community.

Why does R. Shimon espouse this opinion? R. Shimon cannot allow the entire Jewish community delay bringing the Pesach sacrifice for an entire month. Hence, this decision is related to his statement “I can free the entire world from judgment.” There is no way R. Shimon could maintain that the majority of the Jewish people should not offer a7 Pesach sacrifice.8 R. Shimon’s decision led to the impossibility9 of the majority of the Jewish people becoming impure.

May we see the spreading of the Torah of Rashbi, which will hasten the coming of Moshiach. This effort is connected to R. Shimon, for through his teaching, even the children of his generation studied and revealed the secrets of Torah. This is particularly connected with Lag B’Omer, a day on which the Mitteler Rebbe would reveal wonders. He would go out into the field with the Chassidim, drink much Mashka (even though it was detrimental to his health), and reveal wonders; such as giving blessings to conceive children — children who later grew up to be “signs and wonders in Israel.”

May we soon, with the Sefer HaZohar, leave Golus with mercy, with our sons and daughters, together with our elders, speedily in our days.

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4. Pesach Sheni means the “second Pesach.” At times, it is also called “the small Pesach.” The difference between these names is as follows: The “small Pesach” indicates a lower level than the first Pesach. In contrast, the name Pesach Sheni implies that it has an advantage over the first Pesach because of the principle “always proceed higher in holy matters.” This same principle can be seen in regard to the month of Iyar, which is called the second month. It possesses a higher quality than Nissan, the first month. In Nissan, the Jewish people’s service centers around ‘Iscafiah,’ subduing evil. In Tanya, the Alter Rebbe explains that the Jews fled Egypt, in order to escape from the evil which was still affecting their souls. Similarly, each year the service of Nissan is connected with leaving the impurity of Egypt, subduing evil. In the second month Iyar, the service of a Jew centers on ‘Is’hopchah,’ transforming evil into good. (The ultimate state of fulfillment comes in the third month, when the Torah was given.)

The above is related to the two meanings of Shleimus mentioned above, According to the first meaning: Pesach Sheni is a secondary holiday, merely compensating for the first Pesach. According to the second definition, Pesach Sheni has a unique importance. It can contribute a unique level of completeness and fulfillment to the service of Pesach Rishon.