This is the follow-up to this post.
I think the one sentence I'd pick to summarize the month of Iyar is this:
"The way to Sinai lay, and still lies, only through the wilderness."
(Collected Writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Vol. I, p.158, with the permission of Feldheim Publishers)
I'm not going to elaborate on how this plays out in the different eras of Jewish history and in our own feathery era, simply because I don't have time to do it justice.
I'll just throw another line of Rav Hirsch at you.
"When we gather together in peaceful houses of God in the early summer evening hours to count our days and weeks until the joyful day of our Torah festival, we probably reflect very little on the completely different circumstances and atmosphere under which our fathers counted these days. How often did they begin the counting and then wonder whether they would live to complete the counting at all and, if so, where they would complete it!"
He's talking about the era of the Crusades.
It isn't about the persecutions; it's about
The devoted, the just, and the blameless,
The holy communities that gave up their lives for the sanctification of His Name,
Who in life were beloved by Him and devoted to Him,
And who even in death did not separate themselves from Him...