27 Iyar-12 Sivan 5781
May 9-23, 2021
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 May 10 / 28 Iyar
Today is the Yahrzeit of Samuel the Prophet, andYom Yerushalayim ("Jerusalem Day") commemorating the reunification of the Holy City on this Hebrew date during the Six Day War (7 June 1967).
Tuesday May 11 / 29
Eve of Rosh Chodesh Sivan
Today is observed as Yom
Kippur Katan ("a minor day
of atonement") with optional fasting
and penitential prayers for self-purification
in preparation for the coming month of
Sivan, time of the Giving of the Torah,
which begins tonight.
Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz, known as the ShLaH after his great work Shney Luchot Habris ("Two Tablets of the Covenant"), instituted the recital on Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan of a special prayer that our children and children's children should go faithfully in the path of HaShem.
Attributes of the month of Sivan: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH: YOD VAV KEH KEH, contained in the initial Hebrew letters of Yedotav U-letzela Hamishkan Hasheinit - "...for its tenons and for the second side of the tabernacle..." (Exodus 26:19-20). The month's corresponding letter is: ZAYIN; Human attribute: MOTION; Body Part: LEFT FOOT; Tribe: ZEVULUN; Constellation: TE-OMIM (Gemini, the Twins).
Tuesday night-Wednesday May
11-12 / 1 Sivan
Rosh Chodesh Sivan
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.
On this day the Chidren of Israel encamped before Mount Sinai in preparation for receiving the Torah.
Thursday May 13 / 2 Sivan
On this day G-d invited the Children of Israel to be His treasured nation.
Friday May 14 / 3 Sivan
Today is the first of the "three days of separation" (purification) prior to the Giving of the Torah on the coming festival of Shavuot. "During the three days of separation there is a radiation of that same purity that shone in the days before the giving of the Torah" (Shevet HaLevy).
On this day in Jerusalem some customarily visit the burial site of Rabbi Ovadiah of Bartenura (1445-c.1515) at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Renowned for his commentary on the entire Mishnah, he travelled widely and on arrival in Israel he was accepted as leader of the Jewish communities in Jerusalem and Hebron.
Friday night-Saturday May
14-15 / 4 Sivan
Shabbat Parshat BAMIDBAR
Torah Reading: Numbers 1:1-4:20 recording the count of the Tribes of Israel and the Levites in the Wilderness a year after the Exodus from Egypt. Haftara: Hosea 2:1-22. On Shabbat afternoon we read chapter 5 of Pirkey Avot. On Shabbat afternoon we read chapter 6 -- the concluding chapter -- of Pirkey Avot.
Saturday night May 15 - 5 Sivan
At the end of the evening service for the conclusion of Shabbat, we count the 49th and final day of the Omer Count.
Sunday May 16 / 5 Sivan
Eve of Shavuot
It is customary to bedeck the synagogue with flowers and greenery in commemoration of the Giving of the Torah at Sinai, and to prepare milk and cheese dishes for one or more of the festival meals.
Full guide to the meaning of Shavuot and its observances HERE.
The first ten days of Nissan correspond to the letter Yod of A-D-N-Y; 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.
Sunday night-Monday May 16-17
/ 6 Sivan
Festival of Shavuot
It is the custom for those who can do so to remain awake studying Torah for all or most of the night in preparation for receiving the Torah anew on Shavuot. Those who eat a meal of milk and cheese on Shavuot morning prior to eating a meal of meat should take care to observe all the laws relating to the separation of milk and meat (rinsing/cleansing the mouth after the milk meal, reciting Birkhat HaMazon, eating the meat meal on a separate tablecloth).
Monday night-Tuesday May 17-18
/ 7 Sivan
Israel: ISSRU CHAG; Diaspora SECOND DAY OF SHAVUOT
In Israel, today is observed as Issru Chag (see Psalms 118:27 alluding to the day after the conclusion of the festival) a semi-festive day marked by wearing Yom Tov clothes and eating a festive meal in order to allow the Shavuot joy to linger with and strengthen us as we return to our weekday lives,.
In the Diaspora today is Yom Tov Sheni, Second Day of Shavuot.
Outside Israel today is celebrated as a full festival day and all melachot (labors) are forbidden except for those relating to the preparation of food.
Today is the Yahrzeit of King David and of R. Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760, founder of Chassidism). In honor of King David some read the entire Book of Psalms today.
Tuesday night-Wednesday May 18-19 / 8 Sivan
In the Diaspora today is Issru Chag (see Psalms 118:27 alluding to the day after the conclusion of the festival) a semi-festive day marked by wearing Yom Tov clothes and eating a festive meal in order to allow the Shavuot joy to linger with and strengthen us as we return to our weekday lives,.
Tuesday May 18-Sunday May 23 (7-12 Sivan): "Six Days of Completion"
In Temple times, pilgrims who came to Jerusalem for Shavuot could bring their special festival sacrifices on any of the six days following the festival (Sheshet Yemey HaHashlamah, "Six days of Completion"), which are thus marked by the continuation of the festival joy. Many communities do not recite Tachanun during these six days.
Friday night-Saturday May
21-22 / 11 Sivan
Shabbat Parshat NASO
Torah Reading: Numbers 4:21-7:89, the longest parshah in the Torah -- completing the account of the duties of the Levites, giving certain commandments including the law of the Sotah (unfaithful wife) and Nazirite, and describing the inauguration of the Wilderness sanctuary; Haftara: Judges 13:2-25.telling the story of the birth of Samson, who was a Nazirite.
After the Shabbat afternoon service, some communities today begin a new cycle of weekly study of one chapter of Pirkey Avot, "Ethics of the Fathers".
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