Today is the 14th of Iyar - Pesach Sheni.
During the time of the Holy Temple, anyone who deliberately fails to participate in the Pascal sacrifice on Passover eve is punished by karett, a terrible punishment that amounts in the severance of a person’s soul from the Jewish people. Yet, a person who was far away from the Holy Temple or ritually impure on the afternoon of 14th of Nissan, when we prepare the Pascal Lamb Sacrifice that we partake of on Seder night, the eve of the 15th of Nissan, is given a second chance. Hashem invites all those who were “ritually impure” and “far away” to return to the Holy Temple a month later on the 14th of Iyar. They fulfill the obligation of “Pesach Sheni” – a second chance to fulfill the Pascal sacrifice – and are completely forgiven for missing Pesach Rishon, the first Pesach.
You are the greatest, Hashem!
Few people could have been “further away” or more “ritually impure” than I was, the way my secular lifestyle used to be. But Hashem is ever so patient – He grants us a second chance. In fact, “far away” and ritually impure” are not only the two tickets to a second chance, they describe much of our assimilated youth. But don’t give up on them – Hashem gives everyone a second chance. We should help others become aware of that second chance. Just as a little footnote, Pesach Sheni – the second chance – is not only prophetic for me, it’s the story of my life. I was born on Pesach Sheni.