of coming days of note in the Torah calendar
7-13 Iyar 5775
26 April-2 May'15
Attributes of the month of Iyar: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH: YOD KEH KEH VAV, contained in the initial Hebrew letters of Yithalel Hamithalel Haskeil Veyado'a -- "Let him that glories [glory in this, that] he knows and understands [Me]" (Jeremiah 9:23).
The month's corresponding Letter is: VAV; Human attribute: THOUGHT; Body Part: RIGHT KIDNEY; Tribe: ISSACHAR; Constellation: SHOR (Taurus, the Ox).
The month of Iyar is particularly conducive to deep contemplation and understanding. It is also conducive to healing since all the sick among the Children of Israel who left Egypt were completely healed in this period in preparation for the Giving of the Torah. Thus the Hebrew name of the month of Iyar is made up of the letters Aleph-Yud-Reish, the initial letters of the Hebrew words Ani YKVK Rophecha, "I HaShem am your Healer" (Exodus 15:26).
Monday 27 April / 8 Iyar
Today is the first of the three optional "BeHaB" daytime fasts (signifying days 2, 5 & 2 of the coming two weeks, i.e. "Monday-Thursday-Monday") that follow the Pesach festival after the end of Nissan. The practice is based on Job 1:5, where Job sacrificed to atone for possible inappropriate behavior on the part of his children during their feasting. Great spiritual gains are available for those who are able to observe these fasts.
"Any rains that fall during the month of Iyar are a great remedy for all sicknesses -- there is no remedy like them in all the pharmacies. It is good to stand in the rain and bare one's head a little and open one's mouth to the rain"
The Ohev Yisrael of Apta
Thursday 30 April / 11 Iyar
Today is the second of the fast days of "BeHaB".
Shabbat Friday night-Saturday 1-2 May / 13 Iyar
Torah reading: Israel: Emor; Diaspora: Acharey-Kedoshim.
After the Shabbat afternoon service we read the third chapter of Pirkey Avot.
Saturday night-Sunday 2-3 May / 14 Iyar
In Temple times those who had been ritually impure or far from Jerusalem at the time of the Pesach sacrifice on 14 Nissan had a second opportunity to bring their paschal sacrifice on Pesach Sheni, "the second Pesach" (see Numbers 9:1-22).
Today is a semi-festival and the usual Tachanun supplications are not recited in the Synagogue services. Some celebrate Pesach Sheni by eating Matzot. The most appropriate time to eat the Matzot would be on Sunday evening since the Pesach Sheni sacrifice was offered on the afternoon of 14 Iyar and eaten that night at a "Seder" together with Matzot.
The lesson of Pesach Sheni is that even if we are unable to put things right the first time, G-d gives us a second chance!!!
Today is the Yahrzeit of the great Tanna, Rabbi Meir "Baal HaNess" ("Master of the miracle"), familiar from his teachings throughout the Talmud. He is buried in Tiberias, Israel. It is also the Yahrzeit of his equally outstanding contemporary, Rabbi Yehudah bar Ilai, who is buried aside the Safed-Meiron road.
The first ten days of Nissan correspond to the letter Yod of the holy name A-D-N-Y "our Lord"; the four days of checking the Paschal lamb from 11-14 Nissan correspond to the Dalet The fifty days from the first day of Pesach to the eve of Shavuot correspond to the Nun and Shavuot itself corresponds to the Aleph, signifying our complete acceptance of the kingship of G-d through our service in this period.