Shabbat Intentions - Welcoming the Month of Iyar

As we welcome Shabbat, we also continue welcoming the new month of Iyar, which began on Wednesday.

Iyar, which is a full month of Omer counting, brings brilliant light, natural healing and the opportunity for second chances.

The light of Iyar shines in the spring days that grow longer all month. The mystics call us to feel the radiance of the light and let it surround and fill us.

The healing of Iyar rises from the Israelites crossing of the sea. After the people stepped into the waters and made it to the shores of a new life, they sang, celebrated and then touched into great fear. In that moment, the Divine said to them, “I am yod heh vav heh your healer.”

Iyar is an acronym for this promise the Divine Mystery has made to us: I am your healer. On life’s journeys you will face the seas of struggle, celebration, fear and joy, and whatever comes, I am there to heal and guide you. (Exodus 15:26)

Iyar is a month of second chances because the full moon of Iyar provides the opportunity to make up for something that has been missed. During Temple times, it was considered essential for a person’s spiritual and material wellbeing to compete a sacrificial offering for Passover. If circumstances kept someone from someone from making this offering, he/she was given another opportunity to do so on the 15th day of the month of Iyar.

Iyar says it is never too late—no matter what situation we find ourselves in, no matter how far away we have traveled from our intentions or goals, it is possible to find our way back.

As we welcome Shabbat and continue to welcome this new month, may we be strengthened and inspired by the lights that shine forth from each other. May this month bring healing to our bodies and souls, to our country, the world and all the earth. And may we act with courage, forgiveness and love, allowing for ourselves and others the gift of a second chance.

- Rabbi Yael Levy