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Pesach Sheni occurs every year on the fourteenth day of Iyar. This date is exactly one month after the fourteenth of Nisan, the day before Passover when the Paschal lamb was selected for the holiday.

Pesach Sheni literally means “Second Passover” and was instituted in the Law to provide an opportunity for those who were unable to participate in the Passover earlier. Some of the events are the same: the roasted meat, the matzo and bitter herbs, and that leftovers are to be burned. The Hallel is again recited during the offering.

During Pesach Sheni, it is not necessary to remove all leaven from the home. The festival is only one day this time, rather than seven.

The celebration of a second Passover finds its roots in the teaching of the Scriptures. A year after the exodus from Egypt, God instructed the Israelites to remember the night of the passover of the death angel of any Jewish home that had been sprinkled with the lamb’s blood. They were to celebrate the feast and bring an offering to God in its honor. They were to eat of the roasted lamb, together with matzah and bitter herbs, as they had done the previous year when they left Egypt.

Numbers 9:6-7 recount that certain individuals had become ritually unclean and could not participate in the Passover. Some of the men approached Moses and Aaron and were concerned that they were going to be deprived of the chance to be right with God. They asked what should be done, and in response, God allowed for a “second chance” for the celebration of the Passover a month later.

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