Pesach Sheni "Al HaAish!"
Ok, so I'm finally posting. About Pesach Sheni. What is that, you say? (What you really mean is, 'isn't ONE Pesach enough already?!)
Pesach Sheni is a special day one month after Pesach (on yud-daled Iyar, the 14th of Iyar) which was set aside for those people who, because of being tameh - impure - were not able to bring the Pesach korban, or sacrifice, on the night of the 14th of Nissan, the first night of Pesach (the 15th being the first day of Passover). These people, through contact with a corpse, possibly in the course of doing a mitzvah, a commandment, were excluded from fulfilling the commandment of bringing the Pesach sacrifice within its time frame.
The Passover korban was so important, these people felt left out. In the Torah Parsha of Beha'alotcha, in the book of Bamidbar (Numbers), which we will be reading this coming Shabbat, it is written about a group of people who came to Moshe Rabbenu (Moses) complaining that because of their impurity they were unable to bring the sacrifice. Like any good leader without an ego, Moshe went directly to Hashem (G-d) and asked what he should do. G-d instructed Moshe to set aside a day - a 'second-chance,' if you will - exactly one month later, to give these people an opportunity to fulfill the commandment of bringing the Pascal lamb (yes, NOT the Pascal beef) as a korban.
Every year we have some matzah left over from Passover (we always buy too much!), and we always intend to eat some on Pesach Sheni, which literally means 'the second Passover.' Suffice it to say, we always forget to eat it. Our intentions are honorable, but the day always passes and the next day, or two days later, my husband and I look at each other, and say--oh no--we forgot to eat matzah on Pesach Sheni, AGAIN!
So this year (one can say, mah nishtanah ha-shanah ha-zot, mi-kol ha-shanim??), my husband had a brilliant idea: let's invite some people over for a BBQ, and serve matzah--so there is no way we will forget to eat matzah on Pesach Sheni, and thus mark the day!
And that is exactly what we did; 'some people' escalated into twenty-five; we had an Al-HaAish (literally: "on the fire") BBQ on our HUGE grill (which we of course intelligently bought after all the kids left home), and served grilled marinated chicken pieces, shishlik with onions tomatoes and green pepper (beef, not lamb. Hard to find lamb in this town...), and hotdogs, with cole slaw, potato salad, humus, chips, guacamole (it was an ecumenical evening) and watermelon, the potato salad and watermelon having been brought by friends- served--you guessed it--on matzah!
When was the last time you had a hotdog with ketchup, mustard and relish on matzah?
The weather cooperated and we all sat out on the patio, at the picnic table & benches which my husband built many years ago, when we first arrived here, at the round glass patio table under the umbrella, and on various and sundry lawn chairs.
One of our guests gave a Dvar Torah (a 'Torah talk') about the significance of Pesach Sheni, which was very appropriate because it was also her birthday.
There were several friends and neighbors of ours, families with small children, whose older kids really seemed to listen with interest o the dvar Torah.
All in all, it was a lovely evening, with good friends and neighbors, observing a somewhat unrecognized holiday. The only thing missing was, you guessed it--our own children.
I highly recommend Rabbi Trugman's audio shiurim (classes) on Pesach Sheni. You can access it and others at his Ohr Chadash (which means in English "New Light") website at: http://www.thetrugmans.com/index.shtml. His audio classes can be found at: http://www.thetrugmans.com/trugman_audioclasses_holidays.php
I will write more about the Trugmans and Ohr Chadash at a later date. Below is a video about a Torah tour walking on Pesach Sheni to the site of the Beit haMikdash, currently occupied (yes, occupied) by the Dome of the Rock. It should be interesting for those of you who understand Hebrew (my apologies to my non-Hebrew speaking friends.)
Right now, I must hit the sack, because tomorrow is a work day, and I'm too young to stay up late.
Pesach Sheni Sameach!
*gurnisht: "nothing," in Yiddish