07 May 2012

Iyar is such a weird month

So far as I can make out, the underlying sense of Adar (the month which contains Purim) is something like:
I am not in control of my life; haha, Hashem is.
And that of Nisan (the following month, which contains Pesach) is something like:
I am not in control of my life; Hashem is, and I will run after Him.

I phrased these in the singular but they could also be plural: we, as a nation.

I could be right or wrong about Adar and Nisan, but here Iyar is halfway over (extra points if you saw the Supermoon on Saturday night) and I still have not a clue what this month is about.

Iyar does not have a major holiday, so there are no shortcuts to figuring it out.
It does have the minor holiday of Lag ba'Omer. But it also has a period of mourning which shifts around depending on your custom, and can even end up spilling over into Nisan, a month that is halachically happy. Totally wacky.

So here we are counting up to receiving the Torah. (These are the intermediate days between Pesach and Shavuos; but, unlike the intermediate days of Sukkos, they're not a holiday.) And meanwhile all the grass is dying for the summer and we're mourning. That's weird enough.
Then, Lag ba'Omer celebrates a cessation of the period of mourning - an odd occasion for rejoicing; and, it commemorates the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai: why, in this religion full of symmetry, is he the only person with his own holiday?
And if Iyar and Lag ba'Omer are not confusing enough, you can throw Yom HaAtzmaut into the mix. Why not, go ahead and add it, as it is I'll be here till next Iyar trying to figure out what the month is about.

I'll let you know if I get it. Please leave a comment if you do.

(Should've learnt about it on Shabbos, but I learnt something from the Piaseczner Rebbe instead. Yum.  Too many pies to choose from.)

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