Iyyar | אִייָר‎

Moon of Healing (April/May)
Iyyar is an acronym for “I am YHVH your Healer” (Exodus 15:26).  It is a month to explore healing practices for ourselves, our communities, and our world.

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  • Linear Month: 8
  • Torah Month: 2
  • Season: Spring
  • Holidays: Counting of the Omer, Yom HaZikaron, Yom HaAtzm’aut, Lag B’Omer, Yom Yerushalayim, Pesach Sheni
  • Offerings1:  Barley & Wheat; Challah with Honey, Healing Herbs
  • Element2: Transition Aphar (עָפָר) Earth within Ruach (רוּחַ) Air to Mayim (מַיִם) Water within Eish (אֵשׁ) Fire
  • Spiritual Focus3: “Resources through Community” to “Creativity through Divine Connection”
  • Netivah: Meyaledet מְיַלֶדֶת (Midwife)
  • Constellation: Shor שׁוֹר (Taurus/The Ox)
  • Letter: Vav – ו
  • Tribe: Issachar –  יִשָּׂשׁכָר
  • Sense: Thought
  • Tarot Card4: Hierophant – כּוֹהֵן גָדוֹל
  • Soul Trait5: Savlanut (סבלנות) Patience

Note: Letter, Tribe, and Sense are derived from the Sefer Yetzirah
See NOTES for additional information on sources of these all correspondences.

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Iyyar is the month to find your own balance.  It is the month to heal your manifest world by connecting it to the Divine and and heal your spiritual world by acknowledging the necessary connections to the manifest world.

So now is the question for you.  In Iyyar, who or what is your tree and for whom or what will you act as transformational force?  In Nisan we burned away our “chametz” and escaped from bondage, which can leave us feeling raw and exposed.  Now is the time to heal and transform through a grounded Divine connection.  Who or what is the teacher, healer, or midwife that you need to guide you through this transition?  And even as we heal, we heal others.  This way when we arrive at the foot of the mountain in Sivan, we are all ready to experience the union of Shavuot.

Key Dates in Iyyar

1stRosh Chodesh Iyyar

New moon
14thPesach Sheni
15thFull Moon
16thFirst appearance of Manna (traditional)
18thLag B’Omer, 33rd Day of the Counting of Omer — a joyful celebration day where weddings, haircuts, picnics and bonfires are traditional

Gate between Earth (עָפָר) within Air (רוּחַ) to Water (מַיִם) within Fire (אֵשׁ) and time to transition your spiritual focus.
28thYom Yerushalayim, Israeli holiday commemorating the re-unification of Jerusalem in 1967

Yarhzeit Samuel the Prophet
Find Gregorian Calendar Dates: https://www.hebcal.com/hebcal/

Shabbat Torah/Haftarah Readings

5781Parashat Tazria-Metzora
Parashat Achrei Mot-Kedoshim
Parashat Emor
Parashat Behar-Bechukotai
5782Parashat Kedoshim
Parashat Emor
Parashat Behar
Parashat Bechukotai
5783Parashat Tazria-Metzora
Parashat Achrei Mot-Kedoshim
Parashat Emor
Parashat Behar-Bechukotai
5784Parashat Kedoshim
Parashat Emor
Parashat Behar
Parashat Bechukotai
5785Parashat Tazria-Metzora
Parashat Achrei Mot-Kedoshim
Parashat Emor
Parashat Behar-Bechukotai
For more see: https://www.hebcal.com/sedrot/
Note some months the parshiot fluctuate and in others it is always consistent.

Netivah Readings

These readings were selected by Kohenet Ketzirah HaMa’agelet to pair with the weekly Torah portions.

  • Genesis 35:9-35:21: Here in the month of Iyyar we read the passages of the Midwife.  In Genesis, we read in the same passage where Jacob transforms into Israel of Rachel’s midwife informing her that she will give birth to son before she dies.  Here in this moment is the first time that the full names of the sons of Israel are read together.  By reading this passage we act as the midwife so the twelve tribes can be reborn again and again.
  • Exodus 1:15-1:21:In our second passage, from Exodus, we pay honor to the most famous of Biblical midwifes: Shifrah and Puah.  When so many biblical women were not given the honor of being named, these two were.  Some say that Shifrah and Puah were actually Yocheved and Miriam.  We read this passage to honor those brave women who stood bravely before Pharaoh and protected the lives of children of Israel.

Go Deeper:


1: Offerings & symbols were developed by Kohenet Ketzirah haMa’agelet for use as physical offering practices or in artwork.

2: Elements follow R’Jill Hammer’s elemental system as explained on her website www.telshemesh.org and her book The Jewish Book of Days. See pages 16-19 for explanation of elemental system.

The interpretations of the Sephirot are also from Rabbi Jill’s teachings.  Specifically, they are from her Omer Calendar of Bibilical Women.

3: The spiritual focus is my own concept of sustainable spiritual practice.  It is based on my interpretation of the wheel of the year and the Jewish holidays, as taught by many.  The specific focus is for a season, as based on the element have/need system taught by R’Jill Hammer in the The Jewish Book of Days, as referenced above.  For example Autumn is the time of Air within Earth, we have Earth we need Air and is the spiritual focus of Community (Air) within Resources (Earth) or more simply: communal resources.  

4: While tarot is not intrinsically Jewish, it is a derivative of Kabbalah and a can be a useful tool for self discovery and exploration. Tarot correspondences here follow Kabbalistic tree of life by Issac ben Luria, the Ari, as opposed to some of the more common Christian systems.

5: The soul-traits for each month are based on Kesharim K’doshim Mussar, developed by Kohenet Ketzirah HaMa’agelet.

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