Where Every Jew is Family

Second Chances

I know what you’re thinking: “What does a rabbi who works with college students do after graduation?”

Well, I’ll tell you. For one, we participate in the local farmers market. This gives us a chance to meet new people in the community and raise Jewish awareness around Oswego. We also continue to have Shabbat every week. But one of the most time-consuming things we do is prepare for the upcoming school year.

And we can’t just go into the school year with nothing. We need to make sure we have all of the supplies and food we need to provide the students at SUNY Oswego with everything they need to experience and appreciate their Jewish heritage.

Our main summer fundraising is done through our raffle. For just $36, you get a chance at $10,000 plus other great prizes. Plus, for every 5 tickets you buy, you’re entered into a bonus raffle of a trip for two to Israel! And best of all, the money from the ticket sales goes directly to Chabad of Oswego where every dollar is put towards a Jewish soul!

Please visit www.oswegoraffle.com to buy your tickets today!

Your grassroots support is what keeps us going! In fact, that’s what today is all about. To explain:

Today is Pesach Sheini, the Second Passover. If someone was unable to bring the Passover offering in the times of the Holy Temple, they had a second chance to do so one month later (which would be today).

This was due to some individuals who were impure and complained to Moses that it wasn’t fair for them to be left out of G-d’s mitzvah. Moses talked with G-d and he was told the law of Pesach Sheini.

The third Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, comments that the divine service of Passover is a first step of “turning away from evil”, hence the complete ridding of leavened products, which represent haughtiness and ego. This service leads us to a higher level of service of “doing good,” in which we may have leavened products with our matzah.

The question is: if Pesach Sheini is somewhat of an afterthought, not even mentioned by G-d until the people complain, how is it a higher form of divine service?

The answer, is that we do it! Passover is very holy. It’s a gift from above that we, in essence, didn’t work for or deserve. G-d chose us, told us what to do, and brought us out of Egypt. The Second Passover comes from OUR desire to connect to G-d. While it might be limited by our own finitude, it is much more precious to G-d because we’re not acting like robots, but freely choosing to serve Him.

And that is also why your participation in our summer raffle is so important. It’s inspiring to give during the holidays when giving is “in the air.” But when it’s summer and the students are temporarily gone, your effort to keep our doors open and prepare for the future is that much more precious!

Good luck, and G-d bless!
~Rabbi Yossi

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