14-20 Iyar 5779
19-25 May '19
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
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).
18-19 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
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.
Sunday night 19 May / 15 Iyar
Tonight is the appropriate time to eat Matzot and recall the Exodus from Egypt in commemoration of Pesach Sheni, since in Temple times the paschal lamb was offered on the afternoon of 14 Iyar and was eaten at a Seder Night with matzot and maror (bitter herbs) this evening.
Monday 20 May / 15 Iyar
On this day the 30-day supply of Matzot which the Children of Israel took with them out of Egypt came to an end, and when they cried out for food, HaShem sent them the Manna. This is a day to focus on the miracles with which the Almighty provides us with our livelihood, physical and spiritual, and to develop our trust that He will always supply us with everything we need. The practical expression of this trust is when we pray to Him for all that we need.
Today is the last of the three optional daytime fasts of BeHaB 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. The fast is observed from dawn until nightfall, and Selichot (penitential prayers) are recited in the synagogue. Great spiritual gains are available for those who are able to observe these fasts.
All medicines come from the earth. Therefore during the season when the earth gives forth her bounty and puts strength into all the trees and plants, i.e. during the month of Iyar when the fruits ripen, all medicinal plants have greater power, because the earth then puts strength into them. However at other times, even if one were to take exactly the same medicines, they would not have the same power. This is why people take medicines in the month of Iyar - May.
Rabbi Nachman, Likutey Moharan I, 277
Wednesday night-Thursday 22-23 May / 18 Iyar
Today is the 33rd day of the Omer count (Lamed=30; Gimmel=3), exactly two thirds of the way from Pesach to Shavuot, famous as the day when the plague that had struck Rabbi Akiva's students ceased in the merit of his foremost disciple, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, known as RaShBI, who revealed the kabbalistic teachings of the Zohar.
While Rabbi Akiva's other students failed to show each other sufficient respect,
R. Shimon said, "For me, everything depends on loving fellowship" (Zohar).
Lag BaOmer is considered the day of the Hilula (=heavenly ascent, lit. "wedding") of R. Shimon, and hundreds of thousands flock to the site of his burial cave on Mt Meiron facing Safed in the northern Galilee. All over the world Jews light bonfires and rejoice in honor of RaShBI. This is a propitious day for binding ourselves to all the true Tzaddikim and for the study of the secrets of the Torah.
Parents: Please ensure that your children are under proper supervision if they light a Lag BaOmer bonfire!
Lag BaOmer is also the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Moshe Isserles (1520-72) author of the Mappah, glosses on the normative Torah law code Shulchan Aruch which give the Ashknezi legal rulings where they differ from those of the main work. His grave is in the old Jewish cemetery in Cracow, Poland.
Thursday night-Friday 23-24 May / 19 Iyar
Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Riminov, (d. 1815), an important Hassidic leader who emphasized the benefit of daily recital of Parshat HaMann (Exodus 16:4-36 about the Manna) accompanied by prayers for livelihood.
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.
Shabbat Friday night-Saturday 24-25 May / 20 Iyar
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