6 Tishrei 5781 / Thursday, September 24, 2020 | Torah Reading: Ha'azinu
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Get it Right the First Time    

Get it Right the First Time

Pesach Sheni: It is the most incredible concept – you can do something now, to change the past! Hashem gives you another chance to fix it. Just ask!




I wish I could go back in time and tell my 20 year old self to put the drink down, run from that bar, and never go back. I wish I could tell him to embrace the mitzvah of shmirat habrit - purity - with a full heart and start learning a skill like coding so he can weather every employment difficulty with strength. I wish I could tell him to focus on prayer and stop wasting time and energy in pursuit of despicable thrills that only suck the life out of him.  


But I can’t.  


All I can do is be grateful for the second chance Hashem gives me. 


The Blessing of the Second Chance 

We are celebrating Pesach Sheni, or the second chance at Passover. It is the most incredible concept – you can do something now, to change the past! 


If someone was unable to participate in the Pesach offering at its proper time, he would be given the chance to perform it one month later.  


If he seized the special opportunity, he will have fulfilled the mitzvah. His past, which recorded an “absent” for Pesach, now retroactively changes to “fulfilled.” 


Our Lifetime of Second Chances 

Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein related in one of his classes that there are over a billion people in the Next World begging Hashem for a second chance.  

  • - They had the chance to put on tefillin every day.  

  • - They had the chance to say Shema 

  • - They had the chance to keep Shabbat.  

  • - They had the chance to guard their tongue.  

  • - They had the chance to smile at someone and brighten their day.  

  • - They had the chance to see a personal setback as a gift from Hashem and thank Him for it. 


When they made it to the Next World and saw the rewards that awaited them for every mitzvah they did, they begged Hashem for another chance to return to this world and try again.  


Why? Because the reward for a single Divine act is greater than all the wealth in this world combined. Combine the assets of Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Page. Their half a trillion dollars pale in comparison to what we merit on reciting a single blessing with the proper intent.  


Seizing the Second Chance and Righting the First One 

At every moment of our lives, we are surrounded by opportunities to do immeasurable good in this world. Today, while the world is covered in darkness, we have the special chance to perform mitzvot in the face of it all.  


Maybe we aren’t maxing out our potential. Maybe we are wasting another day not utilizing so much as a handful of minutes to recite a single Psalm.  


If that is the case, then we blew it.  


But as long as we breathe, we can try again. Every day, we can start again! Every day is filled with second chances.  


This is true of every day – but in particular, of Pesach Sheni. Take this special day (this year, from Thursday night May 7 through Friday until the beginning of Shabbat) and set aside some time to ask Hashem to give you a second chance on your life. On the regrets in your life. On the things you think you could never fix. Today – Hashem gives you another chance to fix them! All you have to do is ask. 


It’s the opportunity to do something new, and to do it so well that our happiness is only tempered with the regret of what could have been had we done this from the start.  


The combination of return, rejoice, and regret turns the “sin” of missing out at the beginning into a real catalyst of seizing the new moment. We transform even the past and pave the way for a better future.  


The greatest voyages in life are to those places within yourself you discover when you take the opportunity to do  something   new 


* * * 


David Ben Horin lives in Israel with his wife and children. 




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