The Hebrew month of Iyar.
The Hebrew month of Iyar aligns with Taurus - the bull - in the Gregorian calendar.
Contributed by Rav Nissim Mordechai Makor
May this article be an Ilui Neshamah for Chaim ben Moshe Aharon HaLevi.
Remember, Astrology is not about telling the future. By understanding the energy of each month, we are able to navigate smoothly through the month, because one cannot act the same way every month. Every month has a different energy and it helps to know what that specific energy is.
Iyar is a very interesting month. On one hand it is a month of judgment with the Omer and other reasons, yet on the other hand it is called, Chodesh Ziv, the month of Light. The whole month is filled with light. How can it be, light and judgement are complete opposites?
Unlike Nissan and Sivan where only a part of the month is in the Omer, with Iyar the whole month is in the Omer.
Iyar is considered a negative month. Why?
There is a lot of judgement associated with this month. Taurus is the left column of the three earth signs. It is also the second month(gevurah-judgement) in the six month cycle starting from Nissan. The planet that controls this month is Venus which is the only planet that moves in a clockwise motion, from left to right, again judgement. The ox which is the symbol of this month also represents the side of judgement. The burden of judgement in this month is very heavy.
However, Hashem is merciful and there is no sickness in the world without a cure. The cure for this month is the holiday of Lag B’ Omer, the death anniversary of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. Why is this day so special and also why did Rabbi Shimon pass away on this day? It is written that some Tzadikkim choose the day they are going to pass away.
Rabbi Shimon revealed a great Light (the Kabbalah) during his life and he is the conduit for bounty and blessing for Klal Yisrael. Rabbi Shimon is everyone’s Rebbe and that is the reason over half a million people go to Meron on Lag B’Omer. Even secular people are attracted to Meron on Lag B’Omer because Rabbi Shimon has the power to attract every Jew. It says about Rabbi Shimon, Sukkah 45, “I can free the entire world from judgements.”
Think about this statement for a minute. He had the power to stand up by himself for the whole world. Even Avraham could not do this with Sdom. There is story in the Zohar where Rabbi Shimon was tested to see if he would stand up for the whole world and he passed the test. The antidote to the heaviness of this month is Lag B’Omer and Rabbi Shimon. From Lag B’Omer the judgement is easier. Weddings are allowed on Lag B’Omer and also we are allowed to cut our hair and listen to music after Lag B’Omer.
Many things happened on Lag B’ Omer but the one that stands out is that Rabbi Shimon revealed to his son and students the most sublime Kabbalistic secrets. These secrets are part of the Zohar and is called the Idra Zuta. Lag B’Omer is also connected to Purim. They always fall on the same day of the week.
It is written in the Zohar, Parashah Naso, “And because the Israelites in the future will taste from the Tree of Life, which is this book of the Zohar, they will leave the exile with mercy”. This statement was made nearly 2000 years ago.
Rabbi Shimon chose Lag B’Omer to leave this world because he knew the secret of this day. In the Omer, Lag B’Omer is the thirty third day of the Omer and the corresponding Sefirah is Hod of Hod. Why is this Sefirah so important?
According to Kabbalah, the energy (shefa) that we receive in this physical world comes through the Sefirah of Yesod. Yesod is like a funnel that gathers all the energy from the Sefirot above and sends(funnels) it down to Malchut, the physical world. Yosef haTzadik is connected to the Sefirah of Yesod and that is what he did, he gathered all the money. In theory Yesod is just a funnel and Malchut is the vessel to receive the shefa. Therefore, in the spiritual world, Hod of Hod is the same as Malchut of Malchut in the physical world. What does this mean? In the spiritual world, Hod of Hod is Shavuot but only in potential. We still need seventeen days, (Tov in Hebrew with a numerical value of 17), to bring that potential into manifestation in the physical world. This is a very deep Kabbalistic concept and all we need to know is that Lag B’Omer is a very powerful day and this is the reason Rabbi Shimon chose this day. The same as the Torah was revealed on Shavuot, the deepest secrets of the Torah, the Kabbalah was revealed on Lag B’Omer. It is written in the Zohar that Rabbi Shimon called his students to his house on the day of his passing to reveal these secrets to them. It says that there was a ring of fire around his bed and only his son, Rabbi Elazar and his student who wrote down his teachings, Rabbi Aba were allowed to enter this ring of fire. This concept might be difficult for some people to grasp, but we need to remember, Rabbi Shimon was one of the greatest Tzdaikkim and he had complete control over physicality. There is a story in the Gemara that says Rabbi Shimon once heard that one of his students had gone to the big city and had become wealthy. He came back and tried to convince some of the students to leave the Yeshiva and go to the city to make money. When Rabbi Shimon heard this, he took the students into the field, said a prayer and gold coins came raining down. He said to his students, that if they wanted to get rich they don’t have to go to the city, they could just take the gold coins, but for every one they took, they would lose a portion of their World to Come. Nobody took anything. Now I ask just one question, who can make gold coins rain down? Some people might have difficulty believing this, but to be honest, this is one of the smallest things Rabbi Shimon did. Also everything written in the Gemara is 100% true.
Iyar is also the month of healing. The acronym for Iyar in Hebrew stands for, “for I am Hashem, your Healer”, Exodus 15:26.
In this month we can heal ourselves of any ailment we have.
The letters of this month are Pei, which is the letter that created the planet Venus and Vav which is the letter that created Iyar. Together these two letters have a numerology of 86 which is the same as Hashem’s Name for judgement. In the morning prayers, just after the Shema, we have the words, “Podeinu uMatzileinu, MeiOlam Hoo Shemecha.
The first letters of the first two words are Pei and Vav, which connect us to this month, and the first letters of the next three words are Mem, Hei and Shin, which is one of the seventy two names of Hashem. This combination is all about healing and connects us to this month.
This month is controlled by the planet Venus, which is the planet of love and the line of the Ana Becoach is the fifth line.
The biggest trait of people born in Taurus is that they love comfort. They love their homes and are very happy to stay at home. This is one of their tikkunim (corrections). People born in Taurus need to get out of their comfort zone and move, become more involved. Being an earth sign, it is difficult for people born in this month to get up and move. The earth, gravity, pulls them down. Taureans excuse everything; themselves, others, the universe. The whole world is all good by them and they don’t like ugliness. They remain unmoved by unpleasant situations because they believe evil has no hold on them. They refuse to see the bad and will always find something good in a situation. This can be a problem because they can become insensitive to others who don’t see the world like they do. Taureans are very loyal and can be friends for life. They love physical possessions especially beautiful things and this fits in with their trait of being comfortable. They love to possess but will give away things easily especially to their family.
For people born in this month who are reading this, please note that these characteristics are general and if one does not have them, it only means that they may corrected them in a previous life or their rising sign or moon is stronger than their main sign. Also, remember each month is not only for people born in that month. Every month, every person has all the same tests. We all have to watch these traits this month.
Our work in this month is all about the counting the Omer. On the first night of Pessach we were redeemed and were able to go out from the 49 gates of impurities. This was a free gift from Hashem to get us going, but we lost this gift the next day. From then on until Shavuot we had to start earning it. How do we do that? We count the Omer. Counting the Omer purifies us so that we reach perfection on the 50th day, Shavuot. We also need to take stock of our middot (character traits) in this time and look for ways to improve.
Shavuot(the giving of the Torah) is coming. We need to worthy. During the Omer we read the Ethics of the Fathers.The reason is that we use the Tzadikkim as role models and try to learn from them how to improve. Especially Rabbi Shimon who gave us the Zohar.
Another idea about Iyar.
In Hebrew this astrological sign of this month is called Shor (Ox). Shor has a numerical value of 506. This is a special number. 506 is the numerical value of Ahavat Chinam(Love for no reason). The second Temple was destroyed because of Sinat Chinam(hatred for no reason). Love for no reason is the key to bringing the Massiach. If the Jews could get on with each other, Massiach would come today. 506 is also the numerology of the acronym of the first letters of the first line of the Ana Becoach prayer. Aleph Bet Gimmel Yud Taf Tzadi. These six letters are actually a very powerful Name of Hashem and by meditating on it, you connect straight to the Tree of Life.
There is a Halachah that says:
Eisav sonei Yaacov, Eisav hates Yaacov.
What does this all mean???
In the commentaries on the portion of VaYishlach, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai says that Eisav has to hate Yaacov unless Yaacov does his work. What is this work. Yaacov and Eisav were brothers and when Yaacov came to meet Eisav, in Parasha VaYishlach, Yaacov came with unconditional love for his brother. Eisav came to kill Yaacov, he came with 400 men (there are 400 negative forces). When he encountered Yaacov, Rabbi Shimon says Eisav’s kiss was sincere. At that moment he didn't want to kill Yaacov anymore, because Yaacov's love turned his hatred around. Hate cannot stay in the same place as love. Either it gets turned around or it has to run away.
Shlomo Hamelech in Kohelet brings down, that the same way as a persons face is reflected in water, the same way a persons emotions are felt by the person opposite one. This is a big secret and I am sure everybody has experienced this with other people. Many times one encounters a person in a bad mood and immediately feels the negative vibes the person is giving off or a person walks into a room and automatically does not like one person.
The way to turn people around is to come to them with love. When you meet a person, send them love and they will suddenly be nice to you. Use this idea and you will be amazed at the results.
Stop judging and start practicing Love for no Reason in your life and you will see miracles. When you meet people meditate in your mind to send them Love for no Reason. Their souls will feel it!!!
In this article are some deep Kabbalistic secrets. Some people might not be able to understand some of these concepts. If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Being that the Hebrew month Iyar, is bathed in Light, take advantage of this and connect to the positive side of this month and let go of the judgement. See the good in people.
Have a great month.