What a month we’ve just entered! Iyar contains the same Hebrew letters as the word “ya’ir,” to light up. It’s finally spring on this side of the planet, a season that brings light and renewal. The month of Iyar is an opportune time for several blessings.
First, there’s no better time to work on our middot than now. The author of Yesod V’shoresh Ha’avodah writes that holiness is abundant during this period, and anyone who has a desire to improve his soul will receive great assistance from Above. What a blessing! Is there a particular middah that you feel needs your attention? Now’s your chance! During Sefirah we work on a particular character trait every week.
Iyar is also the month in which the parnasah for the year is determined. It is the month when mann descended for the first time in the midbar and the be’er shel Miriam produced its first drops of water. It is the month when the wheat starts growing. There’s no better time to daven for your livelihood, your job, your bounty.
And the list of blessings goes on. Iyar is the month that’s mesugal for finding a zivug. It’s the time when your chatan will be lucky enough to find you! The pasuk in Mishlei says, “Eishet chayil mi yimtza,” on which commentators remark that the word “mi” has the numerical value of 50, the number of days in the Omer period between Pesach and Shavuot. The Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh refers to the special quality of these seven weeks for enhancing shalom bayit. These are the days that can bring a husband and wife closer. What a blessing!
Iyar is also an opportune time to heal body and soul. The word “Iyar” is an acronym for “Ani Hashem rof’echa—I am Hashem, your Healer.” Whether you or a loved one is suffering from an emotional or physical illness, this month—which is also known as “Yerach Ziv,” according to the Ohev Yisrael of Apta—is suited for true healing. “Ana Keil na refa na lah b’harot lah noam zivecha.” In the month of Ziv, “titchazeik v’titrapei,” your fears and anxieties can disappear, and you will merit to experience unadulterated simchat olam.
What is the special attribute that we can absorb from the month of Iyar? Every month in the Jewish calendar is represented by one of the shevatim, and Iyar is symbolized by Yissachar, who was the ultimate savlan: “Vayeit shichmo lisbol.”
What’s the connection between Iyar and patience? If you take a look at the calendar, this month contains no major chag. It’s a month of waiting; we wait patiently for Sivan, the month in which we accept the Torah. At the Seder we sang, “Ilu hotzianu miMitzrayim…v’lo natan lanu et haTorah dayeinu.” Why would it be enough for us to have left Mitzrayim without receiving the Torah?