Rabbi Pinto Explains: What is the Other Name of the Month of Iyar?

  (photo credit: Shuva Israel)
(photo credit: Shuva Israel)

Referring to the month of Iyar which began on Shabbat, Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto outlines several directives that apply to it.

He writes: The month after Nissan is called Iyar. This name is the Babylonian term for the month; the Torah’s name for it is the “second month” - the second month after Nissan, which is the first month of the year as the Torah states (Deuteronomy 1:1) "And God spoke to Moses ... on the first of the second month in the second year."

The month of Iyar is called by another name, Ziv, which is mentioned in the Prophets: "And it was four hundred years and eighty years from the Children of Israel coming out of the land of Egypt, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, in the fourth year of King Solomon’s reign over Israel, that he built a house for God." (Kings I 6:1).

When it comes to writing the name Iyar on divorce documents and legal deeds, you have to write Iyar with two yuds [אייר]. The zodiac of the month of Iyar is Taurus. We have a tradition from Rabbi Yehuda haHasid, that there is a danger of coughing up blood when slaughtering a goose or eating it on the first day of Iyar.

6 Iyar is the thirtieth day from the holiday of Shavuot. The sages debated whether one should learn the laws of Shavuot thirty days before it occurs or only in the week when it falls.

A person who is suspected of the various forms of adultery spelled out in the Torah sections of Acharei Mot-Kdoshim should not be called for an aliya to the Torah in those sections. This is true only if he is suspected of these sins. But if he knows that he has committed one of these indecent acts, it is appropriate to call him up, for perhaps he will be ashamed and stop them.

While the Temple was in existence, whoever did not offer a Passover sacrifice at its time on the 14th of Nisan because he was impure or distant from Jerusalem, was obliged to offer this sacrifice on the 14th of Iyar as the verse says: And God spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to the children of Israel saying: If any person who was impure because someone had died or because it is a long distance for you or for your descendants [to Jerusalem], should make a Passover sacrifice to God. In the second month, on the fourteenth day in the afternoon, they should make it and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They should not leave any of it until morning and should not break a bone in it. They should fulfill all the laws of the Passover sacrifice.” (Numbers 9:9-12)

This day is called Pesach Sheini [“Second” Passover], after the Passover sacrifice that was offered in the second month, Iyar. The Mishnah calls it a Small Passover, since it is only one day and not seven days like the original Passover, and also because it has several leniencies compared to the original Passover.

This article was written in cooperation with Shuva Israel