A Month of Light and Radiance
The Month of Iyar, Ziv – Part One
A Month of Light and Radiance
Part of an ongoing series entitled Hidden Sparks Beneath the Surface
By Elisheva Tavor aka Betty Tabor Givin
All the months are interrelated, each connecting to the next in the cycle of the seasons, the ‘round’ of the year…set up by The Creator from the beginning for our benefit to make up what we call time…like a beautiful string of pearls…each is significant to the whole…and each carries within it a special spark that lies hidden beneath the surface, waiting to be discovered And this month sandwiched in between the two Giant months of Nisan, the month of the Exodus from Egypt and the month of Sivan, the month of Matan Torah, the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai is no exception…for it plays a most vital link.!
We ask the question, having been redeemed from Mitzrayim, that narrow place of Egyptian slavery for over 400 years, were the Children of Israel with their new found freedom ready to go straight to Sinai and receive HaShem’s Torah and be brought into Eternal Covenant with? The answer is a resounding “No!”
Iyar/Ziv – A Bridge
Sandwiched right here in the middle of the two Giants, Nisan and Sivan, where we have the major Festivals of Pesach and Shavuot, we come to the month of Iyar or Ziv, the second month.
Given this placement, one might at first suppose this month to be insignificant, but that is not at all the case for as we delve deeply we will discover more of those hidden sparks beneath the surface within it.
The month of Iyar has a definite purpose as do all things created by HaShem. According to the Jewish sages, Iyar is a month of Light and a month of Healing and also a month of Counting. It is a month that Rabbi Richman of the Temple Institute refers to as “a bridge from the past to the future” It is a bridge from slavery to freedom, from Pesach to Sinai…and that ancient bridge, remains intact for us to cross over today.
HaShem knows the hearts of His children and He knew that the Children of Israel of antiquity desperately needed this bridge between these two awesome Festivals, these mo’edim, where they were called upon to meet with Him. Thus in His perfect plan He provided that bridge for His children so that they could take stock, prepare and purify themselves and be ready to meet him at the Mountain. In our present time many of us are coming to the realization that we are indeed in need of this bridge during this time period today. We ask ourselves, “Are we ready to meet Him at the mountain?”
His Presence and the Redemption
Going back to Pesach for a moment and the events leading up to this amazing Festival, we recall the account at the burning bush when HaShem told Moshe that He was to free his people from slavery in Egypt and bring them out of Mitzrayim? And what did HaShem answer to Moshe when he asked, “Who shall I say sent me?” His response was Eheyeh asher Eheyeh. The translation most of us are more familiar with is “I Am what I Am or I Will Be What I Will Be”
Rav Moshe Dror Cassuto of the Emunah Channel has an interesting teaching on Eheyeh asher Eheyeh which provides some additional insights. He says that HaShem is saying, “I will be with you,” but then again He repeats, “I will be with you,” meaning…I will be with you in the redemption out of Egypt (the first redemption) and I will be with you in the desert, as you build the Mishkan/Tabernacle, as you go into the land and build the temple and on through the centuries…through the exile, through all the persecutions, the pogroms, the Holocaust, up through the establishment of the State of Israel and beyond…I will be with you into the future redemption which will be the final redemption!
Jeremiah 16:14 powerfully brings out this promise regarding the future redemption, “Therefore, behold the days are coming says HaShem, when it shall no more be said, As HaShem lives, that brought up the children of Yisrael out of the land of Mitzrayim, but, As HaShem lives, that brought the children of Yisrael from the land of the north, and from all the lands into which He had driven them and I will bring them back into their land that I gave to their fathers.”
Rav Dror also said that there is even a deeper more personal meaning to HaShem’s words here, Eheyeh asher Eheyeh and that is, I will be with you as YOU are with me. In other words, I will be with you and reveal myself to you as you open yourself up to me. We know that HaShem is always with us, but it is up to us to let him in.
And how do we do that? How do we let Him in? We do it through exercising emunah and bitachon, faith and trust, by acknowledging His Presence at all times, in all things…Through G-d Consciousness…even in the dark…especially in the dark, when so many of us are hurting,, scared, challenged, bewildered, when we don’t know what to do…like today when we are in the midst of this present global pandemic.
HaShem, the Source of all Light
We let Him in through opening up our hearts to Him and to one another. By refusing to remain in darkness and negativity, we turn and lift up our faces towards Him. We develop that G-d Consciousness little by little, sometimes in baby steps simply by just letting in the Light…like a rheostat on a light switch, the light may be dim at first, but as we turn the dial, it gets brighter and brighter and soon the room that was once dark is transformed for it is filled with Light, that Glorious Light, that Light which is a manifestation of The Kavod, His Very Presence and those hidden sparks beneath the surface become brighter and brighter as they begin to come forth!
In the beautiful words of the Aaronic or Priestly Benediction,”May HaShem bless you and keep you, May HaShem make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May HaShem lift up His Countenance upon you and give you peace”… (Exodus 3:13-15)
Shalom! Stay tuned for Part Two – Healing and Counting of the Omer.
2 Iyar 5780 – written by Elisheva Tavor