It so happens that UAlbany’s 2019 main commencement graduation falls on the minor (but biblical) Jewish holiday called Pesach-Sheini, or the Second Passover. This has to be a pretty rare occurrence, considering how late the regular Passover fell this year, and that Pesach-Sheini should also fall on a Sunday. 

What’s the connection and lesson?

First some background on this little-known holiday called Pesach-Sheini. Back after the Exodus, Jews who missed the original Passover asked for a second chance. This one-day make-up is one month to the Hebrew date from the first Passover. Nowadays with no Jerusalem Temple and no Paschal Lamb, it is observed with eating a little Matzah and emphasis on the concept of second-chances and “it is never too late”. 

Here are three possible Graduation takeaways from Pesach-Sheini:

INITIATIVE: As per the biblical narrative, #PesachSheini only came about because some people asked for it. Nowadays many career opportunities & life breaks only happen when we take initiative, when creating (or facilitating) opportunities not only waiting for them.

ANOTHER CHANCE: Of course, we should strike when its hot, but we must remember there are always more opportunities ahead. That ship sailed, but there’s another coming. This door closes, another opens. Never think it is over and done with.

WITH CHAMETZ: On the first and regular Passover holiday all Chametz (bread, leaven etc) is strictly prohibited (not only to eat but even to possess), but not so on PesachSheini (the second chance Passover, when you can have and eat Matzah & Chametz together! The message? Post-Graduation your learning opportunities will be enmeshed & intertwined with life, not separate from it.