Happy Pesach Shaynee! A Second Opportunity for Those Meeting Specific Conditions
There are many very good reasons to care about this very special holiday today, 14 Eeyar (Iyar), “Pesach Shaynee,” the second Pesach (exactly one month after 14 Nissan, the day before Pesach, and the date on which the Pesach offering is brought in the afternoon in the times of the Holy Temple, may it be again soon).
Pesach Shaynee is special because it is a proof from the Torah that if specific conditions are met, a person can in fact receive a second opportunity. This is kindness from H-shem.
A year after the going out from egypt, meaning in Nissan 2449, there were some people in the encampment in the midbar who could not bring the Pesach offering, as they were ritually impure from having come into contact with a corpse.
One opinion of how this could have occurred is that those people were very holy souls who were carrying the coffin of Yosaif haTzadeek zt”l; after all, someone had to (This is the opinion of R’ Yossi HaGilili in Succa 25a). (By extension, those people also could have been holy souls carrying the coffins of any of Yosaif’s brothers also, as all of the brothers were brought from egypt as stated in Shemos/t 13:19, see Rashi on end of that pasuk, “eetihchem”).
These people were ritually impure not only through no fault of their own, they were actually involved in a mitzva, and since those gone from this world cannot return kindness, the kindness done for them, including carrying the coffins, is the primary example of the truest kindness (chesed shel emes/t).
So the people transporting the coffins came before Moshe and Aharon and said that since their state of ritual impurity was no direct fault of their own, they should not be prevented from fulfilling the mitzva of the Pesach offering.
And because of their deep desire to draw close to H-shem Creator of the universe, the holiday of Pesach Shaynee was given by H-shem, as a kindness to allow those who were not at fault as to what prevented their fulfilling the Pesach offering in its proper time on 14 Nissan, a second opportunity one month later to fulfill it.
The point of “meeting specific conditions” is important, because those who did not care the first time are not included amongst the people who are given a second opportunity.
It is interesting to note that the section in the Torah describing this special holiday of Pesach Shaynee is found in Bamidbar 9:1-14, exactly 14 pesukim long, and the date of Pesach Shaynee is 14 Eeyar.