Get Those Sheep Ready – You May be Needing Them Soon
Rabbi Sholom Kesselman
It happened over 200 years ago in the great and holy city of Jerusalem. There, the renowned scholar and author, Rabbi Dovid Pardo, headed the famous Yeshiva Chesed L’Avraham U’Binyan Sholomo.
The students returned to the yeshiva after spending Pesach at home. As they prepared to begin the new semester, a lively discussion took hold among them. While they had all thoroughly enjoyed their Pesach and felt themselves spiritually uplifted from it, they couldn’t help but bemoan the fact that there were was no Beis Hamikdash and could not as such offer up the korban Pesach. This led them to wonder what would happen if Moshiach came right then. Would they be able to or even be obligated to offer up the korban Pesach on Pesach Sheini?
Seeing an opportunity here, their wonder grew into excitement. Very soon the whole yeshiva was buzzing with the talk of Moshiach and the possibility of offering the korban Pesach. As the discussion grew and unfolded, the students began to wonder about many of the fine details associated with Pesach Sheini. Very soon they had a long and growing list of pressing questions that they needed answers to.
They brought their list of questions to their rosh yeshiva, who in turn sent them to his son, Rabbi Avraham Pardo, to be researched and resolved. His response was both brilliant and thorough. His father-in-law, the Chida (Rabbi Chaim Yosef Dovid Azulay), was so impressed by it that later he included it in his famous work, Yosef Ometz (Chapter 6).
Presented here are a summary of some of the questions that were posed and the answers that were given by R’ Avraham Pardo:
Question 1: If Moshiach came between Pesach and Pesach Sheini, would we obligated/able to offer up the korban Pesach on Pesach Sheini?
Answer 1: Yes. There are multiple sources that seem to indicate Pesach Sheini is only for individuals who missed out and not for the entire nation. R’ Avraham though proves that is only true when the issue was ritual impurity. In our case, where it’s the lack of a Beis Hamikdash which prevented us from offering the Pesach, the entire nation would indeed be obligated to do Pesach Sheini.
Question 2: Are women too obligated/able to do Pesach Sheini?
Answer 2: Yes. Ideally they should join a group that has some men in it. If that is not possible, they may arrange a group of only women or offer it alone, but they wouldn’t be obligated to.
Question 3: Would only those Jews who were living in Eretz Yisrael during Pesach be obligated in Pesach Sheini, or even those that came after with the ingathering of the exiles (kibbutz goluyos)?
Answer 3: All Jews would be obligated. So long as they are living and settled in Israel when Pesach Sheini comes around, they too do Pesach Sheni.
Question 4: If techiyas hameisim (resurrection of the dead) were to occur before Pesach Sheini, would those that just came back to life also do Pesach Sheini?
Answer 4: It depends. If we are talking about the resurrection of certain individuals then yes – they would do Pesach Sheini. If however we are talking about the resurrection of all the dead, then no. This is because at this point the mitzvot will no longer be in effect, as the Talmud states that the mitzvot will become nullified in the future.
Question 5: If someone was lax and did not offer the korban Pesach on Pesach Sheini, would they be punishable with kareis?
Answer 5: This is subject to a disagreement between Rambam and Ravad. Rambam maintains that he would be punishable and Ravad claims he wouldn’t. R’ Avraham humbly acknowledges that he is not the one to decide who among these two giants is correct and leaves the matter unresolved.
Question 6: Would gentiles that convert to Judaism after Moshiach comes be obligated?
Answer 6: Yes. If they are full-fledged Jews by the time Pesach Sheini comes around, they are obligated just like all the other Jews.
Question 7: If Moshiach were to come and the Beis Hamikdash built but there wasn’t enough time for us to become ritually pure before Pesach Sheini, would we be able to offer the korban in our state of impurity or not?
Answer 7: This is subject to a dispute between Rambam and the Tosafos. Rambam maintains that we would not be able to, while Tosafos claims we would. R’ Avraham this time does take sides and he accepts the view of Rambam as the law.
Let us hope that we indeed merit the coming of Moshiach now and then we may still get to do the korban Pesach this year on Pesach Sheini. I hope you all have your sheep ready and standing by!