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Pesach Sheini, Carmel Gat’s birthday, and Second Chances

פסח שני כרמל גת

* Translated by Janine Muller Sherr

A second chance. How we all long for a second chance: to start again, to throw away our misconceptions, to remember who we really are.
It's the perfect day to begin grabbing hold of second chances, because today we commemorate “Pesach Sheini.”

When Bnei Yisrael were in the desert, those who were unable to observe Pesach (on the 14thof Nissan), begged and pleaded and were ultimately granted another opportunity to celebrate this holiday one month later. The Lubavitcher Rebbe explained that this day comes to teach us an important lesson: It is never too late for a person to change.

Today is also the 40th birthday of Carmel Gat, the beloved yoga teacher from Kibbutz Be’eri who is still being held captive in Gaza. If only everything could be turned around for her, for the other hostages, and for all of us.

Here is an excerpt from the correspondence between Carmel and her partner’s brother, Shlomi Hazoni, from the settlement of Kedumim, on Carmel’s last birthday, exactly one year ago today.

Like her mother, Kinneret, who was murdered last Simchat Torah, Carmel loves Tanach (the Bible), the Land of Israel, and history. It has always been important for her to celebrate her Hebrew birthday.
So Shlomi explained to Carmel the significance of her birthday this way:
“(Pesach Sheini) is the first instance of Moed Bet (a “second chance” to take an exam) in history.”
And Carmel wrote back: “That’s funny. I learned something new.”

Mazal Tov Carmel bat Kinneret. May we all be granted a “Moed Bet” in every area of our lives.


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