During the month of Iyar we perform most of the commandment of counting the omer. This article explores three levels of light that are brought down by the act of counting the omer and the effect that each has in refining our character.
The most important events in the short history of the State of Israel all occurred in the month of Iyar. From the only holiday in Iyar, the second Passover, we learn that there is always a second chance and it is still possible to rectify our communal future in the Land of Israel.
It is related in the Prophets (Kings I, 6:1) that King Solomon began the building of the First Temple “in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the House of G-d.” The Radak explains: “The month Ziv is the month of Iyar… and it is called Ziv, as our sages explain, because of the splendor of the trees, namely the brilliance of the flowers and buds.” Ziv means “splendor” or “brilliance.” In this month of “brilliance” King Solomon “began to build the House of G-d.”
Notable Dates in Iyar
1 Iyar – Rosh Chodesh
1 Iyar – Yahrzeit of Rebbe Shmuel Shmalke (Horowitz) of Nikelsburgh (5538)
1 Iyar – Yarhzeit of Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk (5548)
14 Iyar – Second Passover
18 Iyar – Lag Ba’omer/Yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai
18 Iyar – Yahrzeit of Rabbi Moshe Isserles, the Rama (5332)
19 Iyar – Yahrzeit of the Maharam (Rabbi Meir) of Rothenberg (5053)
19 Iyar – Yahrzeit of Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Riminov (5575)
26 Iyar – Yahrzeit of Rabbi Isaac of Homil (1857)
28 Iyar – Yahrzeit of Samuel the Prophet