The Community Mitzva by Willie Roth


In this week’s Parsha there are many lessons that we can learn.  One is about Pesach Sheni.  After Bnai Yisrael celebrated Pesach in the desert for the first and only time, a group of people approached Moshe and asked what they should do since they were טמא לנפש (impure from contact with a dead person), and as a result they would not be able to bring the Korban Pesach.  A question then arises, who exactly were these people? 

The Gemara (Succah 25b) gives two answers.  One answer is that they were the people who carried the coffin of Yosef.  The second answer is that they were involved with מת מצווה (Mitzvot concerning the dead).  These people had such a strong desire to fulfill Mitzva, that they still wanted to bring the Korban Pesach, even though they had a legitimate reason not do so.  למה נגרע they said, “why should we lose out?”  Their attitude towards Mitzvot was that they were opportunities to get closer to Hashem, and were not a burden.  They wanted to do this Mitzva even though העוסק בהמצוות פטור מן המצוות “Someone who is involved in one Mitzvah, is פטור (exempt) from another Mitzvah.”

Why did Hashem make Pesach Sheni on one specific day,י"ד אייר , and not just any day when either a רחוק(someone who lives far away) or טמא is able and fit to give the Korban?  The answer is that the Korban Pesach is a Mitzvah that should be done with as much of the community as possible.  Just like Hashem took Bnai Yisrael out of Mitzrayim as a nation, so too Korban Pesach should be done with the nation.

This is why the טמאים said to Moshe, not only למה נגרע “Why should we lose out,” but also בתוך בני ישראל “from being among Bnai Yisrael?”  They had two concerns.  One that they would lose the opportunity to bring the Korban Pesach, and the other that they would not be involved with the rest of the nation.  This teaches us that it is not always just enjoy to do the Mitzvah, but to do it with the community or nation.

Lighting Souls by Yehuda Turetsky

Message of the Aron by Moshe Rapps