Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
If the Milk Can’t Be Unspilled, Why Not Cry?
Pesach Sheni, “the Second Passover,” is observed on the fourteenth of Iyar.
The origin of this semi-holiday is quite fascinating. On the first anniversary of the Exodus, while all the Jews were occupied with preparing their lambs for the annual Paschal offering, Moses was approached by a small group of Jews who were ritually impure and thus excluded from offering, or partaking of, the Paschal lamb. They weren’t satisfied with their “exemption” from this Passover mitzvah. “Why should we be deprived?” they exclaimed. “We, too, want to experience the spiritual freedom gained by participating in the Paschal service!”
Journey Toward Peace
It’s hard to be spiritual in a material world. Our possessions come to possess us; we can’t put down our smartphones or that last piece of chocolate cake. We can spend years working to achieve success in a career, in a relationship or in any other worthy pursuit, and then throw it all away for a foolish, temporary temptation.
So how do we achieve harmony in our lives? How do we get to a place where there is no conflict between our spiritual goals and our physical needs?
Don't Women Count?
The Parshah of Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1–4:20) begins with a census of the Jewish people.
“. . . a head-count of every male according to the number of their names. From twenty years old and upwards, all who are fit to go out to the army in Israel, you shall count them by their legions . . .”
The simple reason for this census was to count those who would be called upon to go to war.
On a deeper level, our sages explains that G‑d desired a census of the Jewish people because He treasures them.