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Pesach Sheni

May 3, 2020 – Rav Schachter

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A group of rabbis in Israel recently made a request of the Prime Minister to support their efforts to bring a Korban Pesach on Pesach Sheini, the 14th day of Iyar. There is a disagreement in the Talmud Yerushalmi whether a Korban Pesach is brought on Pesach Sheini if the Beis Hamikdash is rebuilt between Pesach Rishon and Pesach Sheini. The Rambam rules based on the Talmud Bavli that the Korban Pesach is only brought on Pesach Sheini if the majority of the Jewish people already brought the Korban Pesach on Pesach Rishon in a state of purity.

Since, in the absence of a Beis Hamikdash, no Korban Pesach was brought on Pesach Rishon, there is no significance to the “holiday” of Pesach Sheini, and indeed the Minhag Ashkenaz is to say Tachanun on the 14th of Iyar. Minhag Sefard is to omit Tachanun on the 14th of Iyar, but this is only as a remembrance to those periods when the Beis Hamikdash was in existence and the Korban Pesach would have been brought on that day. However, all would agree that there is no possibility of bringing the Korban Pesach on Pesach Sheni when there was no Korban Pesach on Pesach Rishon. Accordingly, while we all pray for a speedy redemption and the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash, my hope is that the government will not allow the bringing of the Pesach Sheini, as it will not be a valid korban.

Similarly, the Chazon Ish was opposed to the practice of eating matzah on the 14th of Iyar. Some have advised those who were ill and unable to eat matzah on Pesach to eat matzah on Pesach Sheni. However, this is incorrect, as the mitzvah of eating matzah is limited to Pesach Rishon and can not be made up on Pesach Sheni. Even in the time of the Beis Hamikdash, matzah was only eaten on Pesach Sheini in conjunction with the Korban Pesach. Certainly nowadays, in the absence of the Beis Hamikdash and Korban Pesach, there is no benefit to eating matzah independently on Pesach Sheni.

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