The Bible refers to this month as “the second month” or as “hodesh ha Zif” (the month of blossoming or splendor) (1 Kings 6:1, 37) There are always two days of Rosh Chodesh Iyar (celebration of the new moon), the first of which is the 30th day of Nisan. Iyar always has 29 days. The month of Iyar lies fully within the period of “counting of the omer”, the 49 days between Pesach and Shavuot.
There are no major biblical or rabbinical holidays in Iyar, but there are two minor holidays. Pesach Sheni, the second Pesach, is a mandated make-up day for those who could not bring the paschal sacrifice at its appointed time. Pesach Sheni falls on the 14th of Iyar. Lag B’Omer, the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer, is celebrated with joy on the 18th of Iyar.
Two dates commemorating events in Israel’s modern history are celebrated in Iyar. Israel Independence Day is celebrated on the 5th of Iyar, and Jerusalem Day, the day Israel conquered Jerusalem during the Six Day War, is celebrated on the 28th day of Iyar. The 4th of Iyar is marked in Israel as its national memorial day for fallen soldiers (Yom HaZikaron).
On the first day of Iyar, King Solomon began the construction of the First Temple (1 Kings 6:1). On the exact same day, hundreds of years later, Ezra began the construction of the Second Temple (Ezra 3:8).
On the first day of Iyar following the exodus, the thirsty Israelites reached a well of bitter water (Exodus 15:23-26). Moses cast a tree into the water and it miraculously became sweet. God then promised that if Israel followed His ways: “The diseases I have placed on Egypt I will not place upon you, for I am the Lord your Healer.” The Hebrew letters Iyar form an acronym (aleph-yud-resh) of Ani YHVH Rapha. I am the Lord your Healer, thus Iyar is a wonderful time for healing.
Just after the 15th of Iyar following the exodus, the manna which fed the Israelites for 40 years during their sojourn in the desert began to fall from heaven (Exodus 16). Manna is supposed to have healing qualities, another association between Iyar and healing. Also, the Talmud tells us that “The Torah could have only been revealed to eaters of manna”. Therefore the rabbis believe that manna increased intellectual capacity and the ability to receive God’s revelation. So Iyar is a time of healing and developing one’s mental capacities and asking God for more revelation
The permutation of the four letter name of God through which divine energy flows through the cosmos during the month of Iyar is YHHV (yud hey hey vav). This name is hinted at in the Bible in a passage in Jeremiah, Yithallel Hamithallel Haskel Vyadoa, which means “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me” (Jeremiah 9:24 ) Iyar is thus a time especially conducive to developing the capacity to reflect and meditate on God.
1. The Issachar Month – 1 Chron. 12:32. Traditionally, the 12 months of the year have been assigned to the 12 tribes of Israel. The month of Iyar was assigned to Issachar. The anointing of Issachar, “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” Compare this with Eph. 5:15-17, which commands us to understand the times for the days are evil. This enables us to keep moving ahead. We should ask God to help you understand what the will of the Lord is, what He wants to do in our life, and determine to accept it.
2. The month of radiance, where light increases (It’s the season of spring, and the days are getting longer and the sun brighter, but not so bright as to be uncomfortably hot as in late summer). Just as natural light increases, God wants to give us more and more revelation about ourselves and our circumstances. If darkness tries to overtake us this month, God wants us to say “no” to it. He wants us to ask, instead, for an increase in revelation. Isaiah 60:1 says we are to arise and shine for the glory of the Lord has risen upon us. We need to “light up” this month.
3. Iyar is a month linked with healing including natural healing. God promised to put none of the diseases of the Egyptians upon Israel, and He also gave commands (like hand washing, dietary and other commands) that have to do with prophylaxis or natural healing. We can look to God to heal certain things naturally, through hand washing, lots of walking (as Israel did) and right diet, including herbs.
4. In this month where God said “I am God your healer (Jehovah Rapha)” Exodus 15:26, we will see the snares that Satan lays for us. The main snare is murmuring and complaining like the Israelites in the wilderness. In fact, this promise of healing came during a time they were murmuring. The Healer was manifested to help. When we murmur and complain, we open ourselves up for sickness, but if we thank and praise God for being our Healer, we open ourselves up for healing. In our family, we break bread frequently for healing, and that is specially appropriate in this month.
5. The “Vav” month – a month that links the Month of Redemption (Pesach) and the Month of Outpouring of the Spirit (Shavuot) (See Counting the Omer and Counting the Omer as a Spiritual Exercise.) (If we move rightly in this month, the rest of the year connects properly). Vav in Jewish scripture commentaries is like a “pipe” that lets the winds of heaven come down into our earthly lives, and a “tent peg.” Jael drove the peg into Sisera’s head (Judges 4:21). God’s judgment was executed through her. A good month to pray God’s judgment on our enemies (of course we shouldn’t try to bring about the judgment in our own strength – we are commanded to love our enemies, do good those who use us despitefully).
6. The month of Taurus, the Bull – looking and observing introspectively to find a place of improvement so strength manifests. We should keep moving, like a bull, but relying on the Lord whose yoke we have submitted to. (This is one of the signs of the Zodiac. But we have to remember that the occult can only mimic and try to copy the real. The Bible says “The heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm. 19:1).” The gospel of Mark is likened unto the ox, because it portrays Jesus as Servant.
7. A month to understand secrets (Issachar) – Thank God that He will show us how to do new things this year. Remember also, the secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him (or He confides in those who fear Him) See. Psalm 25:14 (we have been reading this Psalm a lot these days).
8. The month of hirhur (thinking or reflecting). God permeates the mind (the thinking process of the heart). If our emotions are messed up, we will not be able to think clearly. We can ask God to send healing to restore our thought processes.
9. The special part of the body associated with the month of Iyar is the right kidney! In broader terms, this is the month of the right kidney and the conscience (in will and thought). Kidneys are linked with emotions, thought processes, (Psalms 16:7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins (KJV English for kidneys) also instruct me in the night seasons) and adrenaline flow. Fear affects the kidneys. A good month to ask God to purify and strengthen with our conscience. The conscience is a window between the spirit and the soul. A clean conscience helps us understand God’s revelation more accurately. Also, a good month to ask that the blood of Jesus bring cleansing to our conscience and spirit, and, (why not?) even to our DNA to remove generational iniquities and ancestral curses that may be lurking in our lives.
10. On the 5th of Iyar 5708 (14th May 1948), modern Israel proclaimed itself an independent nation. The devil, working through the Israel’s neighbors, tried to destroy Israel at its birth, but Israel won handily its first war of Independence. An International Bible Contest, a worldwide competition on the Tanach (the Jewish Bible) is held each year on Independence Day (Yom Ha’Atzmaut), a contest at which the President and Prime Minister of Israel always attend. The day is preceded by Yom Zikaron (Remembrance Day for Israeli Fallen soldiers and Israeli Victims of Terrorism). Yom Zikaron reminds us of the price paid for Israel’s Independence, which was what was achieved as a result of the price being paid. This year, Yom Ha’Atzmaut falls on April 26. (See Prophecies fulfilled post 1948)