This week at Azamra
9 Iyyar 5781 / 21 April 2021

Torah Calendar

29 Nissan-12 Iyar 5781
April 11-24, 2021

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Attributes of the month of Nissan: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH is the first in the order of permutations: YOD KEH VAV KEH, contained in the initial Hebrew letters of Yismechu Hashamayim Vetagel Ha'aretz -- "Let the heavens rejoice and the earth exult" (Psalms 96:11). The month's corresponding letter is: HEH; Human attribute: SPEECH; Body Part: RIGHT FOOT; Tribe: JUDAH; Constellation: RAM (Aries).

Sunday April 11 / 29 Nissan

Although today is the eve of Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) it is not customary to fast or hold the usual Yom Kippur Katan ("small" day of atonement) since we are still in Nissan, month of redemption, when fasting (except for the Fast of the Firstborn) is not appropriate.

Sunday night-Monday April 11-12 / 30 Nissan
First day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar

Add Ya'aleh Veyavo in evening, morning and afternoon prayers and in Grace after Meals. Following the morning Shacharit prayer, "half" Hallel and the additional Musaf prayer are recited. On Rosh Chodesh it is customary to eat a festive meal with bread.
Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Chaim Vital (1543-1620), leading student of Kabbalistic giant R. Yitzchak Luria ("ARI") and chief expositor of his system in the Tree of Life , Eight Gates etc.

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).

This month 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 night-Tuesday April 12-13 / 1 Iyar
Second day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar

Add Ya'aleh Veyavo in evening, morning and afternoon prayers and in Grace after Meals. Following the morning Shacharit prayer, "half" Hallel and the additional Musaf prayer are recited. On Rosh Chodesh it is customary to eat a festive meal with bread.
Today is the anniversary of Moses' count of the Children of Israel in the Wilderness (Numbers 1:1) and the beginning of the building of King Solomon's Temple.

"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 drugstores. 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

Tuesday night-Wednesday April 13-14 / 2 Iyar

Today is Yom Hazikaron, Remembrance Day, is observed in mourning for those who lost their lives in the struggle for Israel's Independence.

Wednesday night-Thursday April 14-15 / 3 Iyar

Israel Independence Day is held today marking the 73rd anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. This is an occasion for giving thanks to the Almighty for His mercies and for careful thought and introspection about what should be our true pathway combined with earnest prayer that we should quickly find and pursue it.

Friday night-Saturday April 16-18 / 5 Iyar
Shabbat parshat Tazria & Metzora

Tazria (Lev. 12:1-13:59) & Metzora (Lev. 14:1-15:33)
This Shabbat we read the double portion of Tazria (Lev. 12:1-13:59) & Metzora (Lev. 14:1-15:33) dealing with birth and boys' circumcision, symptoms of the various forms of Biblical Tzora'at ("leprosy") and other morbid conditions and purification from them. Chapter 2 of Pirkey Avot is read after the Minchah service on Shabbat afternoon.

It is customary to begin studying the laws of the coming festival thirty days beforehand. Thus today -- thirty days before the festival of Shavuot -- it is customary to commence the study of the laws of Yom Tov.

"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

Monday April 19 / 7 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.

Thursday April 22 / 10 Iyar

Second of the fastdays of "BeHaB". (This year the third fastday is not observed since it falls on Monday 19 May / 14 Iyar, which is the semi-festival of "Pesach Sheni", Numbers 9:1-22).

Friday night-Saturday April 23-24 / 12 Iyar
Shabbat Parshat ACHAREI-KEDOSHIM

This Shabbat we read the double portion of Acharei (Lev. 16:1-18:30) dealing with the Yom Kippur services in the Temple and the laws of incest & Kedoshim (Lev. 19:1-20:27) containing many Torah commandments. Pirkey AvotChapter 3 is read after the Minchah service on Shabbat afternoon


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