Medical Remedies in the Month of Iyar

1. The Zodiac sign of Iyar is the ox-Taurus, for in this month grass is plentiful for the ox to eat.

2. Iyar is also called the month of Ziv, meaning splendor or brilliance. In Iyar right after the rainy season yet full of sunlight before the ground dries up (in Israel) trees and flowers are in their full glory and splendor.

3. Iyar is attributed with having medicinal abilities. This was mainly due to the fact that in Iyar the Jews fist received manna in the desert. Manna was the ‘food of angels’ not having any shells or waste. The Jews were commanded to take their portion of manna daily. It was totally absorbed in the blood not needing elimination from the body and that is what made it a source of healing.

Maimonides teaches us that the main source of healing comes from eating correctly. Through the blessings upon eating the food and keeping the laws of kashrut, one merits to separate the physical aspect from the food and utilize the spiritual aspect to the point that he can reach clairvoyance.

4. The letters that spell Iyar in Hebrew form an acronym for the words ‘Ani Hashem Rofecha’ –‘I am G-d that heals you’. In this month G-d Himself comes to heal people. This is higher than the regular form of healing as G-d uproots the ailment as if it never happened.

5. This month is the most full of daily mitzvoth with the counting of the Omer which in the time of the temple was a Biblical commandment.  

6. There is a custom to fast on Monday Thursday and Monday consecutively in the beginning of Iyar as penitence for the possibility that our happiness on Passover may have crossed lines and caused us to sin.  (There’s a similar fast in Cheshvan after the Sukkot holiday. Most congregations do not fast and suffice with saying the additional selichot (supplication for forgiveness) prayers on those days.

7. Iyar symbolizes the start of summer. In the introduction to the ‘Chapters of our Fathers’, which we start reading on the Shabbat after Passover through the whole summer, the Midrash Shmuel writes; “Now is the time that it warms up and physical desires are aroused. The evil inclination starts to feel free and starts arising. Therefore we start learning the ‘Chapters of the Fathers’ every Shabbat because it is full of admonishment and it arouses a person to pursue every good trait and helps the Good inclination overcome the evil inclination.”

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