This week at Azamra
21 Iyyar 5784 / 29 May 2024

Torah Calendar

11-24 Iyar, 5784
May 19-June 1, 2024

For this week's study schedule & classes, CLICK HERE

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).

Wednesday May 22 / 14 Iyar

In Temple times those who had been ritually impure or far from Jerusalem at the time of the Pesach sacrifice on 14 Nissan had a second opportunity to bring their paschal sacrifice on Pesach Sheni, "the second Pesach" (see Numbers 9:1-22).
Today is a semi-festival and the usual Tachanun supplications are not recited in the Synagogue services. Some celebrate Pesach Sheni by eating Matzot. The most appropriate time to eat the Matzot would be on Wednesday evening May 22 since the Pesach Sheni sacrifice was offered on the afternoon of 14 Iyar and eaten that night at a "Seder" together with Matzot.

The lesson of Pesach Sheni is that even if we are unable to put things right the first time, G-d gives us a second chance!!!

Today is the Yahrzeit of the great Tanna, Rabbi Meir "Baal HaNess" ("Master of the miracle"), familiar from his teachings throughout the Talmud. He is buried in Tiberias, Israel. It is also the Yahrzeit of his equally outstanding contemporary, Rabbi Yehudah bar Ilai, who is buried aside the Safed-Meiron road.

Wednesday night May 22 / 15 Iyar

Tonight is the appropriate time to eat Matzot and recall the Exodus from Egypt in commemoration of Pesach Sheni, since in Temple times the paschal lamb was offered on the afternoon of 14 Iyar and was eaten at a Seder Night with matzot and maror (bitter herbs) this evening.

"All medicines come from the earth. Therefore during the season when the earth gives forth her bounty and puts strength into all the trees and plants, i.e. during the month of Iyar when the fruits ripen, all medicinal plants have greater power, because the earth then puts strength into them. However at other times, even if one were to take exactly the same medicines, they would not have the same power. This is why people take medicines in the month of Iyar - May."

Rabbi Nachman, Likutey Moharan I, 277

Thursday May 23 / 15 Iyar

On this day the 30-day supply of Matzot which the Children of Israel took with them out of Egypt came to an end, and when they cried out for food, HaShem sent them the Manna. This is a day to focus on the miracles with which the Almighty provides us with our livelihood, physical and spiritual, and to develop our trust that He will always supply us with everything we need. The practical expression of this trust is when we pray to Him for all that we need.

"Any rains that fall during the month of Iyar are a great remedy for all sicknesses -- there is no remedy like them in all the drugstores. It is good to stand in the rain and bare one's head a little and open one's mouth to the rain"

The Ohev Yisrael of Apta

Friday night-Saturday May 24-25
Shabbat Parshat BEHAR

This Shabbat we read the portion of Behar (Leviticus 25:1-26:2) dealing with the Sabbatical cycles and the laws of sale and possession of land and moveables.

Saturday night-Sunday May 25-26 / 18 Iyar
Lag BaOmer

Today is the 33rd day of the Omer count (Lamed=30; Gimmel=3), exactly two thirds of the way from Pesach to Shavuot, famous as the day when the plague that had struck Rabbi Akiva's students ceased in the merit of his foremost disciple, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. While the other students failed to show each other due respect, R. Shimon said, "For me, everything depends on friendship" (Zohar).
Lag BaOmer is observed as the Yahrzeit of R. Shimon -- known as RaShBI -- and in Israel hundreds of thousands flock to his burial cave on Mt Meiron in the northern Galilee. All over the world Jews light bonfires and rejoice in honor of RaShBI, author of the kabbalistic teachings of the Zohar. This is a propitious day for binding ourselves to all the true Tzaddikim and for the study of the secrets of the Torah.

Parents: Please ensure that your children are under proper supervision if they light a Lag BaOmer bonfire!

Sunday night-Monday May 26-27 / 19 Iyar

Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Riminov, (?-1815), an important Hassidic leader who emphasized the benefit of daily recital of Parshat HaMann (Exodus 16:4-36 about the Manna) accompanied by prayers for livelihood.

Friday May 31 / 23 Iyar

Anniversary of the massacre of hundreds of Jews by crusaders in the German town of Worms.

Friday night-Saturday May 31-June 1 / 24 Iyar
Shabbat Parshat BECHUKOTAI
Shabbat Mevarchin SIVAN

This Shabbat we read the portion of Bechukotai (Leviticus 26:3-27:34) setting forth the blessings and curses for keeping or infringing the Torah code.

After the Torah reading we bless the coming month of Sivan, month of the Giving of the Torah. Rosh Chodesh (the New Moon) will be on Thursday night-Friday June 6-7. The Molad (junction of the Sun and the Moon) is on Friday June 7 at 12:25 (& 9 chalakim) AM.

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