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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pesach Sheini


Today is Pesach Sheini, the 14th of Iyar. Pesach Sheini is the make up date for those who missed Pesach the first time around due to their inability to bring the Korban Pesach on Pesach. In fact the Yerushalmi says that if Moshiach would arrive between Pesach and Pesach Sheini we would bring the Korban Pesach on Pesach Sheini. Especially significant is the fact that it is the only day on the Jewish calendar that was granted as a holiday because the people wanted it, a topic for a more spiritually inclined post.

When Pesach Sheini was in effect, the schedule was as follows: On the 14th of Iyar they would bring the Korban Pesach, and on that evening, which was the beginning of the 15th of Iyar, they would eat the Korban Pesach together with Matzoh and Maror.

In this day and age, when we don’t have the Beis Hamikdash, how do we celebrate Pesach Sheini?

Matzah

Many have a custom to eat matzah on Pesach Sheini as a remembrance. When this Matzah should be eaten is subject to dispute. Logically it would seem that it should be eaten on the night following Pesach Sheini, the eve of the 15th, because that’s when the Matzah would’ve been eaten. This was in fact the custom of the Maharam Ash. This was also the opinion of Rav Tuvya Goldstein and is the opinion of Rav Dovid Feinstein.

The vastly common custom is however to eat the Matzoh on the 14th of Iyar. There are various reasons given for this, some Kabalistic some very technical. (See Kli Chemdah Parshas Veaschanan and Minhag Yisroel Torah).

Other Foods

The widely accepted custom among those who eat Matzoh on Pesach Sheini is to eat Matzoh only.  There were various other customs, among them to eat Maror, Charoses and boiled eggs. These minhagim don’t seem to have caught on.

Tachanun

Most congregations do not recite Tachanun on Pesach Sheini. It’s notably absent from the list of days on which Tachanun is omitted that is found in Shulchan Aruch and is not added by the Rema or the Mishna Berura. It is however mentioned by the Shaarei Teshuvah who discusses whether Tachnun should be omitted on the 15th of Iyar as well. It seems that the Minhag is to omit Tachanun on the 14th. In a minority of congregations outside of Israel it is omitted on the 14th and 15th.

Regarding Mincha on the 13th, there are various customs, most Yeshivos do say Tachanun, and most Shuls do not.

There is also a Chasidic custom to omit Tachanun for the seven days following Pesach Sheini, based on the Zohar.

Eis Ratzon

The Zohar writes that the gates of Heaven open on Pesach Sheini for everyone and remain open for seven days. This is an auspicious time for all of our prayers to be heard.

Much of the source material for this article was found in Minhag Yisroel Torah

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Meet Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch HaberRabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber is sought after by all who know him for his Halachic and practical advice. His keen ability to put complicated matters into a digestible perspective coupled with his ability to get the facts, make him the perfect blogger to help us all “Do It Right”.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber spent his childhood globetrotting with his family. His pioneering spirit first surfaced in Melbourne, Australia, where he was excited to be a member of the opening class of Mesivta Bnei Torah. From Australia the Haber family settled down in Monsey, NY. Ever the maverick, Tzvi promptly left home to study in Yeshiva Ohr Hameir in Peekskill, where he became a mainstay of the Yeshiva, and inspired his younger brothers as well as several friends from the Mesivta in Melbourne to follow him. He then joined his chaburah in Jerusalem, first at the Mir Yeshiva and then at the Bais Medrash of Rav Dovid Soloveitchik, a senior scion of the famed Brisk dynasty. As his globetrotting family returned to Jerusalem, Tzvi returned to the US, to freeze in the famed, yet comparatively chilled Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood.

 In 2004 he met his wife, Suzanne Schor, a native of the warmer Los Angeles climate, and the couple settled in Lakewood, where he focused his pioneering and independent strengths on the study of Halacha, or Jewish law. His innovative spirit and innate ability to help others seeking to clarify the finer points of Judaism and integrate them into their daily lives inspired his decision to commute daily from Lakewood to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in order to bask in the day to day exposure to the world renowned Posek, HaRav David Feinstein. The daily commute was more than compensated for when he received Semicha from Rav Feinstien and the Kollel L’Torah U’lhorah (a division of Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem) in Tamuz 5768, June 2008.

In August 2009, the Habers moved west, heading toward Los Angeles where Rabbi Haber joined the LINK-LA Kollel. After being an active member of the Kollel for several years, he joined the business world, however he is still actively involved in teaching and learning in LA.

Actively involved in all aspects of TorahLab, Tzvi has taken upon himself a quasi-role as administrator of quality control and has effectively improved and upgraded many of the smaller yet vital details involved in our site. His advice is eagerly sought and gracefully given.

Rabbi Haber is now living in the La Brea section of Los Angeles with his wonderful family. He can be contacted at tzvi@torahlab.org