Iyar is here and it is a month of healing. This is due to the Acronym from the Torah verse – אני יהוה רפאך. This phrase translates as “I am HaShem your healer.” It also in an acronym for Iyar using the first letter of each of the 3 words that spell the word Iyar (Aleph Yood Resh איר).
Usually Iyar is spelled according to the Aramaic spelling using two Yoods. This leaves its gematria as 221. According to the Sefer Yetzirah there are 221 gates associated with the Hebrew Aleph Bet. The English translation of the Sefer Yetzirah by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan indicates that the gates refer to the Hebrew Letters when said 2 at a time. This means אב אג אד אה etc. According to the “School of Prophets” teaching this is a good thing to do to practice using the root vowel for each letter.
(Root vowel is explained by looking at the name of each letter spelled out. (Some examples are בית for the letter bet. גמל for the letter ג. The root vowel for Beit is Bai or Bay and for Gimmel is Gee. The same is true for each of the letters). Each letter spelled out starts with the letter itself and the vowel associated with that letter from the spelling out is called the root vowel.)
This is actually one of the first techniques taught to expand your consciousness and prepare yourself for Ruach Hakodesh (usually translated as Holy Spirit but has much more in depth meaning) and ultimately the level of prophecy. Iyar is a good month to practice this technique along with the Counting of the Omer and the character evaluations that are done as part of that counting.
In the Torah the second month is called the month of Ziv. Ziv is the Hebrew word for Brilliance and one of the 13 synonyms for Light in Hebrew. Iyar is cognate to the word Ohr (light in Hebrew).
According to Jewish Astrology the energy of the month of Iyar is Light and Brilliance. This is the correction of the people born in Iyar. They perceive the world through so much light that they do not perceive problems and thus everything is ok with them. Their correction or Tikune is to pierce the light to recognize the truth in their situation. This will also apply to each of us during this month of Iyar, as the light will be very strong and if we do not practice restriction we will not be able to perceive truth.
Letters of the month: Pey פ is the letter that created the planet Nogah, the planet Venus. Venus has a cloud cover that does not let us see its surface easily. This cloud cover represents the concealment of the letter Bet within the Pey. Kabbalistically Nogah is also the name of the malchut level of the negative tree because it has within it both positive and negative energy. Pey is the letter that is a word that means mouth. When written correctly the Pey has a Bet concealed within it. Another technique to expand our consciousness is to attempt to “see” both the Pey and the Bet at the same time. The Bet represents the Blessing that can come from our mouths. This will help to balance the Loshon HaRa that we have said in our lives. One might consider saying Blessing for or to people or over food to start this wonderful healthy spiritual practice.
Vav ו is the letter that created the constellation Shor or Ox. The word Vav means Hook or connection and it represents the month of Iyar as Iyar connects the month of Nissan the month of redemption with the month of Sivan which is the month of the revelation of the Torah. It also includes the majority of the days of the counting of the Omer which also connects the two lights (Redemption and Revelation). Actually they are the same light. The light at Pesach comes for Free and without Bread of Shame as a gift from HaShem. The light of Shavuot comes as a gift as it represents the gift of Torah as well. If one has not built the vessel to handle the light than it does come with Bread of Shame (Chas V’Shalom). To explain this further: the light of Pesach came on the first night which is the Sedar night. It came without bread of shame, even though we did not earn it. This is a free gift from HaShem. It is due to HaShem's Mercy. This light goes away and we have the 49 days of the Omer to build our vessel to receive the Light of Shavuot which is the Light of the Torah. The Torah is also considered a gift as the Hebrew is Matan (gift of) Torah. What happens if we do not build our vessel properly during the Omer? Then the light of Torah comes with the potential for Bread of Shame. Bread of Shame means I can not keep this light unless I earn it. If I do not build my vessel properly during the Omer, then I loose the Light of Torah. The other way to earn the Light of Torah is to study Torah and Live Torah. This is called Receiving Torah. When we receive the Torah we remove Bread of Shame. The Counting of the Omer is the easiest way to build our vessel to receive the Torah. Of course we can never be sure we built our vessel properly so it is best to continue to study Torah.
There is another attribute of the Vav which manifests in the month of Iyar. When a Vav is put at the front of a verb it transforms the tense of the verb. (Past tense becomes future tense and future tense becomes past tense.) How does this unity of time manifest in Iyar? Due to the power of LIght during Iyar we can see unity on many levels during Iyar. We just have to try to see the unity in all things!
The gematria of the 2 letters Pey and Vav is 86. This is the gematria of two Hebrew words that are Attributes of God. Elokim the attribute dealing with judgment and Hatevah the Hebrew word for Nature which is the system set up by the Creator to manifest judgment in the physical world. By saying the fifth verse of the Ana Bekoach and meditating on these two Hebrew letters we have the opportunity to create a vaccine and protection shield that only allows positive judgments into our lives. Most people do not consider Nature to be an attribute of HaShem. This is something to bring into our consciousness all the time. HaShem is a name that includes both Adonai and Elokim and Elokim is also inclusive of Nature. If you do not understand this, contemplate it. Eventually it will become clear. It is also good to say the following verse (especially during Elul) – Adonai Hu HaElohim אדני הוא האלהים. We say this verse as the last thing during Neilah of Yom Kippur. We say Adonai Hu HaElohim 7 times. This contemplation will assist you during the High Holidays as well.
Constellation: The constellation is the Shor or Ox. The word Shor is spelled שור , which are the same letters as the 72 Names – Name of God Vav Shin Resh. This Name allows us to “see” the patterns in our lives that deal with memories. This name allows us to “see” the patterns in our lives where we continue to make the same mistake time after time and this name allows us to see this pattern and change it. Also remember that this gematria of 506 connects to Ahavat Hinam or Unconditional Love. This is a good attribute to contemplate during this month of Iyar, as this is the trait that will bring complete healing. Healing on all levels, physical and spiritual.
Holidays: There are 29 days in Iyar this year. All of them are potentially days of Holiday but we do not consider them holidays because of the counting of the Omer. The Omer counting, as we said last month, is a Holiday but we usually do not yet have the vessel to handle this energy so it is considered a negative period. We also have the Holiday of Pesach Sheini (2nd Pesach). This is on the 14th day of Iyar and it is the same energy as Pesach but with much less to do. All we have to do is have a meal with Matzah and say the Blessing After the meal (Birchat Hamazon). Of course if you did not do the Seders during Nissan it is a second chance to do so. It is also the spiritual lesson taught during Iyar. There is always a second chance to succeed so never give up. And keep trying! Have you learned this lesson? Have you forgotten this lesson? Relearn it – it is too important to forget.
Tribe: The tribe of Issachar is the second of the Tribes when it comes to giving offerings at the Mishkan dedication. Issachar is considered the King of the Torah. There is much to be learned from the Name Issachar about the characteristics of the month of Iyar,
Sense: Thought. The sense of thought as discussed in the book Sefer Yetzirah implies contemplation and introspection. Of course this is what the Counting of the Omer is all about. It also signifies the power of calculation. Issachar had the most members of the Sanhedrin and the Sanhedrin has the responsibility to calculate the New Moon. As noted Iyar is the month during which most of the Counting of the Omer occurs. In Hebrew, the root meaning “to think” (לַחְשׁוֹב ) is equivalent with the verb “to mathematically calculate” (לְחַשֵׁב ), from which stems also the Hebrew word for “mathematics” (חֶשְׁבּוֹן ). Cheshbon also means calculation. All of this helps us understand that thought includes contemplation, introspection, and calculation. What are you thinking about right now?
Controller: The right kidney. In the Bible, the kidneys are a symbol of innate wisdom. Thus, the sages say that “the kidneys give advice.” In particular, the right kidney relates to spiritual advice or introspection. As King David describes, the kidneys act similarly to the moral conscience of our minds, “By night my kidneys chastise me.” This again refers to the moral introspection that the month of Iyar is particularly suited for.
The color of the month is Yellow as in the light of the sun on the physical world.
Energy Days: The whole month of Iyar is concerned with the Counting of the Omer. Please use the essence of Iyar and its sense of thought to contemplate your character traits and your personality traits and see which you want to change. Relate them to the Sefirot.
Also take advantage of the Tzadikim that left during this month of Iyar. There is someone who left each day and they will relate to the Sefirah of that day. The more you learn about an individual Tzadik the more you can be assisted in your spiritual work by the work that the Tzadik did during his lifetime. He is making him or herself available to you. I hope you will utilize them. All you have to do is light a 25 hour candle in his or her name.
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