Hour-long class in English followed by fascinating question and answer session.
For almost a year now, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh has been broadcasting an hour long class from Jerusalem in English, followed by a fascinating question and answer session.
These captivating classes have followed the general theme of delving deeply into either a biblical personality or story, revealing new and amazing perspectives.
Based on a wide range of Kabbalistic, Chassidic and Midrashic sources, Rabbi Ginsburgh weaves a tapestry of new insight and understanding that has left people around the world captivated.
The Jewish Month of Iyar
According to Sefer Yetzirah, each month of the Jewish year has a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a zodiac sign, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, a sense, and a controlling limb of the body that correspond to it.
Some of the personalities discussed so far have been Moses, Abraham, Jacob, Miriam, Chana, and Mashiach, the much-expected redeemer. One of the classes traced the deep connections and chronological flow between all the holidays of the Jewish year.
Last month Rabbi Ginsburgh discussed the connection between the holiday of Pesach and Abraham. Pesach is a time to strengthen and renew our faith, a cardinal soul-attribute of our father Abraham. By reviewing and arranging different aspects of his life according to the ten sefirot, a unified and holistic picture of not only Abraham emerges, but even more, the legacy, mission, and soul-qualities he engraved in the consciousness of the Jewish people.
These classes are sure to open for the viewer new spiritual vistas and gates of understanding. They are geared to people of all levels of religious experience and previous exposure to Jewish text
“Iyar” is the second of the twelve months of the Jewish calendar. In the Bible, the month of Iyar is called the month of “Ziv” (radiance). Iyar is also cognate to light. The month of Iyar is commonly referred to as the month of (natural) healing, for its name is an acronym for “I am G-d your Healer” (Exodus 15:26).
“Vav” is a link. Iyar links together the two months of Nissan and Sivan (by the power of “sefirat haomer,” which begins in Nissan, continues throughout Iyar, and concludes in Sivan), the month of redemption and the month of the giving of the Torah. Only these three months are referred to in the Torah as the first, the second, and the third month of “the Exodus of Israel from Egypt.”
Mazal: “Shor” (Taurus-ox).
The “shor” (the left face of the Divine Chariot) represents the spiritual origin of the “animal soul” of man. The month of Iyar is the month that man rectifies his animal soul, refines his innate character traits (each day of “sefirat haomer“), as he prepares to receive the Torah in Sivan. In Hebrew, the root “shor” also means to look or observe. Iyar is the month of introspection for the sake of self improvement.
Isaachar is the scholarly tribe of Israel. The Sanhedren was mostly composed from the tribe of Isaachar. In particular, Isaachar was the master of the “secret” of the Jewish calender, as is said of him: “knowers of understanding the times.” His basic nature is contemplative and he serves as the “advisor” to his brethren, the tribes of Israel (in particular to the king, Judah).
Thought here implies contemplation and introspection. It also signifies the power of calculation (as in the calculation of the calender). This is the month of counting (“sefirat haomer“). The root “to think” in Hebrew “chashav” means “numerical calculation,” “cheshbon.”
Our sages say “the kidneys give advice.” In particular, the right kidney relates to spiritual advice or introspection. The kidneys act similarly to the “conscience,” as is said “by night my kidneys chastise me.” This refers to the “chesbon nefesh” (introspection) of the month of Iyar.
More can be read Resources for Month of Iyar