HASHEM (God) spoke to Moses saying: Speak to the children of Israel saying, Any person who becomes unclean from [contact with] the dead, or is on a distant journey, whether among you or
in future generations, he shall make a Passover sacrifice for HASHEM. In the second month, on the fourteenth day, in the afternoon, they shall make it; they shall eat it with matzah (unleavened cakes) and bitter herbs.
This Sunday, the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, is called Pesach Sheni – the 2nd Passover.
A year after the Exodus, God instructed the people of Israel to bring the Passover offering on the afternoon of the fourteenth of Nissan, and to eat it that evening, roasted over the fire, together with Matzah and bitter herbs, as they had done on the previous year just before they left Egypt. “There were, however, certain persons who had become ritually impure through contact with a dead body, and could not, therefore, prepare the Passover offering on that day. They approached Moses and Aaron… and they said: ‘…Why should we be deprived, and not be able to present God’s offering in its time, amongst the children of Israel?'” (Numbers 9).
In response to their plea, God established the 14th of Iyar as a “Second Passover” for anyone who was unable to bring the offering on its appointed time in the previous month. The day thus represents the “second chance” achieved by teshuvah, the power of repentance and “return.” In the words of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch, “The Second Passover means that it’s never a ‘lost case’.”
So often we hear people’s response to getting involved in Jewish practice and observance “it’s too late for me…I wasn’t raised that way… Why should I start now?”… Along comes the 2nd Passover with its loud and clear message – “It is NEVER too late in Judaism”. Every Mitzvah counts and the Mitzvah of each and every Jew is so precious and longed for by the Almighty.
I think this applies to anyone, whether Jewish or not, to any kind of self-improvement we want to make in our ives. It’s never too late to start. Never too late to take that first step and then continue stepping.