Women of Holy Blossom: Rosh Chodesh Iyar
About the Month of Iyar – Zodiac Sign – Taurus (The Bull)
Iyar is the second month on the Jewish calendar counting from Nissan also called “the Month of light” (Chodesh Ziv) because the trees are bright with blossoms. The name of Iyar is also an acronym for the initials of Abraham, Isaac, Yakow and Rachel.
Shortly after the Exodus, the thirsty Israelites reached a well of bitter water. Moses cast a stick into the water and it miraculously became sweet. Gd then promised that if Israel followed His ways, “the diseases I have placed on Egypt I will not place upon you, for I am Gd your Healer (רפאך יי אני).” The acronym for this last phrase spells out the name of the month of Iyar (אייר), thus indicating that Iyar is a propitious time for healing.
The entire month of Iyar is Holy because it is a mitzvah to count the 49 days of the Omer—between Passover and Shavuot. The Omer is a period of introspection and self-refinement, as we prepare ourselves to receive the Torah on Shavuot. The 33rd day of the Omer on May 9th is known as Lag B’Omer, a mini-holiday and in Israel, it is celebrated with outings, bonfires and other joyous festivities; including marriages. The Tribe of the month is: Issachar, a tribe of great scholars studiously preparing to receive the Torah in Shavuot. The Limb of the month: Right Kidney which represents in Kabalistic terms Netzach which means victory, endurance to hone our animal soul.
The letter of the Month: ו Vav, you will notice that it’s in the shape of a hook that connects the first month of Nisan to the second month of Iyar. It is like the word “and” in English. Every Rosh Chodesh we receive new vitality, new energy, and we start anew, therefore, the letters of the full name of G/d are in a different order. The permutation for the month of Iyar is: יההו
But only in this should one glory: In his earnest devotion to Me. For I the LORD act with kindness, Justice, and equity in the world; for in these I delight—declares the LORD. (Jeremiah, chapter 9, v23)
The zodiac sign for the month is Taurus – The Bull, which in Jewish mysticism symbolizes the animal soul which like the Bull is unruly but could be productive if it is harnessed. Chassidic thought understands that the negative tendencies of our animal soul stem from an amorphous koach hamit’aveh, a force that desires.
Without a harness, the “desirous force” will lean toward self-gratification, but with a yoke, the animal soul can be abundantly productive. Therefore, our mission in Iyar is to tame the animal soul within us through prayer, meditation and service to G/d. Each night, after we’ve counted the Omer, we say a little prayer wherein we ask Gd to rectify a small part of our animal soul.
The 14th day of Iyar is Pesach Sheni, “the second Passover” and an opportunity to make up for past mistakes. Pesach Sheni reminds us that it’s never too late and with sincere effort, yesterday’s missed opportunity can become today’s achievement!
Ken Yehi Ratzon.
Teresa Quiroz, On behalf of Women of Holy Blossom
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Yasher koach Tere on your Rosh Chodesh blog. It is always interesting and informative! Thank you!