, Standard Iyyar Tiberian ʾIyyār
; from Akkadian ayyaru
, meaning "Rosette; blossom") is the eighth month of the civil year and the second month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar
. The name is Babylonian in origin. In the Bible it is called Ziv
(). It is a spring month of 29 days. Iyar usually falls in April
on the Gregorian calendar
. Ziv is a Hebrew name. The meaning of the name is, light or glow.
Holidays in Iyar
- Yom Hazikaron
- Yom Ha'atzma'ut
(Israeli Independence Day)
- Pesach Sheini
- Lag Ba'omer
- Yom Yerushalayim
Iyar in Jewish history
) - Death of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Horodok
- Chassidic master Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Horodok (1730?-1788), also known as Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk, was one of the leading disciples of the second leader of the Chassidic Movement, Rabbi DovBer of Mezeritch. Upon the latter's death in 1772, Rabbi Menachem Mendel was regarded by his colleagues as the leader of the Chassidic community in Russia, and Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi considered him his rebbe and mentor. In 1777, Rabbi Menachem Mendel led a group of 300 Chassidim to the Holy Land and established Chassidic communities in Safed and Tiberias. Rabbi Menachem Mendel died on the 2nd of Iyar of 1788, and is buried in Tiberias.
4 Iyar - (1165) - Maimonides Saved
- The 4th of Iyar was observed by Maimonides (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon), 1135-1204) as a personal day of fasting and prayer. Maimonides recounts that when he and his family were fleeing Islamic persecution from Fez, Morocco to the Holy Land, their ship was caught in a fierce storm at sea. He cried out to God in prayer and vowed to fast each year on this date.
5 Iyar - (1948) - State of Israel Proclaimed
7 Iyar - (498 BCE) - Jerusalem Walls Dedicated
- The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem was celebrated with great jubilation nearly 88 years after they were destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia.
8 Iyar - (1096) - First Crusade Massacres Begin
- In the early 1070s, the Moslem Turks commenced an offensive against the Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem. Pope Gregory VII offered his help to defend the Greek Christians, but the army he promised never materialized. In 1095, his successor, Urban II, began to call for a holy war to liberate the Christians in Jerusalem. By the next year more than 100,000 men had rallied to his call, forming the first Crusade. Urban and the local clergymen in Europe felt that the Crusade had another purpose as well--to annihilate all non-Christians in Europe who refused to convert to Christianity. On their way to Holy Land the mobs of crusaders attacked many Jewish communities. On the Shabbat, the 8th of Iyar, the Jews of Speyer (Bavaria), Germany were massacred. Many of the Jews of Worms, Germany were also massacred on this day; some of them took refuge in a local castle for a week before being slaughtered as they recited their morning prayers (see Sivan in Jewish History" for Sivan 1).
10 Iyar - (1103) - Death of the Rif
- Rabbi Isaac Al-Fasi (1013-1103), known by the acronym "Rif," was one of the earliest codifiers of the Talmud. In 1088 he was forced to flee his hometown of Fez, Morocco, to Spain, where he assumed the position of rabbi in Alusina (Lucene).
11 Iyar - (1510) - Jewish Books Confiscated
11 Iyar - (1881) - Riots in Wasilkow and Konotop
- Anti Jewish riots (pogroms) continue to escalate in Russia and break out on the 11th of Iyar in Waslikow and Konotop. The Jews were blamed for the assassination of Czar Alexander II, who was assassinated by revolutionaries. The riots continued for three years across the entire Russia.
11 Iyar - (1948) - The Battle at Degania
- The Israeli Army defeated the advancing Syrian Army, following the shelling at the entrance of Deganya, which began at sunrise and lasted nine hours. It is considered the first Israeli victory following the start of the War of Independence.
13 Iyar - (1427) - Jews Expelled from Berne
- The Jews of Berne, Switzerland were expelled on this date in 1427. Berne had a long history of expulsions and anti-Jewish riots.
14 Iyar - (1312 BCE) - "Second Passover"
- A year after the Exodus, God instructed the People of Israel to bring the Passover offering on the afternoon of Nissan 14, and to eat it that evening, roasted over the fire, together with matzah and bitter herbs, as they had done on the previous year just before they left Egypt. "There were, however, certain persons who had become ritually impure through contact with a dead body, and could not, therefore, prepare the Passover offering on that day. They approached Moses and Aaron ... and they said: '...Why should we be deprived, and not be able to present God's offering in its time, amongst the children of Israel?'" (Numbers 9). In response to their plea, God established the 14th of Iyar as a "second Passover" (pesach sheini) for anyone who was unable to bring the offering on its appointed time in the previous month.
14 Iyar - (1605) - Jews of Bisenz Massacred
- The Jews of Bisenz, Austria were massacred on the 14th of Iyar, 5365 (1605).
14 Iyar - (1933) - Germans Burn Jewish Books
- Following the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany in the year 1933, the Nazis burned thousands of books written by Jews on the 14 of Iyar of that year.
14 Iyar - (1960) - Eichmann Captured in Buenos Aires
- Adolf Eichmann, a key party in implementing of Hitler's "final solution," was captured by agents of the Israeli "Mossad" in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Eichmann was in charge of all transportation required for the shipment of Jews to the extermination camps. The height of his career was reached in Hungary in 1944, when he managed to transport 400,000 Jews to the gas chambers in less than five weeks.
- After the war, Eichmann fled to Argentina and lived under the assumed name of Ricardo Klement for ten years until Israeli Mossad agents abducted him on May 11, 1960 and smuggled him out of the country to stand trial in Jerusalem for his crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
- During the four months of the trial over one hundred witnesses testified against him. Eichmann took the stand and used the defense that he was just obeying orders. "Why me," he asked. "Why not the local policemen, thousands of them? They would have been shot if they had refused to round up the Jews for the death camps. Everybody killed the Jews." Eichmann was found guilty on all counts, sentenced to death and hanged at Ramleh Prison on May 31, 1962.
) - Jews
Expelled from Ukraine
15 Iyar - (1883) - Riots in Rostov-on-Don
- Rostov-on-Don, Russia, was home to 14 Synagogues and many communal institutions. With the encouragement of local Russian officials, a wave of anti-Jewish riots (pogroms) swept the city on the 15th of Iyar of 1883.
15 Iyar - (1939) - "Nuremberg Laws" Passed in Hungary
- The Nazi Nuremberg Laws, depriving Jews the rights citizenship, were passed by the government of Nazi Germany in 1935. In 1939, on the 16th of Iyar, the laws went into effect in Nazi-allied Hungary.
15 Iyar - (1945) - Dachau Liberated
- Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp and the model for the other concentration camps. During the war, 200,000 Jews were housed in Dachau. More than 30,000 were killed and tens of thousands died due to the conditions and spread of disease in the camp.
- The camp was freed by the 45th Infantry Division of the U.S. Seventh Army on the 16th of Iyar, 1945. It was the second concentration camp to be liberated following the end of WWII. The U.S. troops forced the citizens of the local community to come to the camp, observe the conditions, and help clean the facilities.
) - Roman Garrison Defeated
- Following the theft of silver from the Holy Temple in Jerusalem] on the 17th of Iyar of the Hebrew year 3826 (66 CE), the Jewish defense force attacked and defeated the Roman garrison stationed in Jerusalem.
17 Iyar - (1793) - Death of "Noda B'Yehudah"
18 Iyar (Lag BaOmer) - (circa 120 CE) - Plague among Rabbi Akiva's Disciples Ends
- In the weeks between Passover and Shavuot, a plague decimated 24,000 students of the great sage Rabbi Akiva--a result, says the Talmud, of the fact that they "did not respect one another." The plague's cessation on Iyar 18--the 33rd day of the Omer Count or "Lag BaOmer"--is one of the reasons that the day is celebrated each year.
18 Iyar - (2nd century CE) - Death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai
- Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai ("Rashbi"), was a leading disciple of Rabbi Akiva and one of the most important tana'im whose teachings of Torah law are collected in the Mishnah. He was also the first to publicly teach the mystical dimension of the Torah known as the "Kabbalah", and is the author of the basic work of Kabbalah, the Zohar. For 13 years Rabbi Shimon hid in a cave to escape the wrath of the Romans whose government he criticized. On the day of his death--Iyar 18, the 33rd day of the Omer Count--Rabbi Shimon gathered his disciples and revealed many of the deepest secrets of the divine wisdom, and instructed them to mark the date as "the day of my joy."
18 Iyar - (1573?) - Death of Rama
- Rabbi Moshe Isereles ("Rama") of Cracow (1525-1573?) authored the glosses ("hagga'ot") on Rabbi Yosef Caro's the Code of Jewish Law and is regarded as the definitive Halachic authority for Ashkenazic Jews.
18 Iyar - (1690) - Ettingen Jews Acquitted
- Following a blood libel and the decree, if found guilty, to destroy the synagogue of Ettingen, Germany, the Jews were acquitted. The local Jews celebrated this day as a local "Purim" celebration-day of thanksgiving.
18 Iyar - (1948) - IDF Created
- The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was created on Lag BaOmer of 1948. The IDF comprises the Israeli army, Israeli air force and Israeli navy. It was formed to defend the existence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state of Israel and combat all forms of terrorism which threaten the daily lives of its inhabitants.
18 Iyar - (1948) - Hurva Synagogue Destroyed
- The Hurva synagogue located, in the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, was captured and dynamited by the Arab Legion of Jordan during the battle for Old Jerusalem in 1948.
- The synagogue was built by the group of disciples of Rabbi Elijah (the "Vilna Gaon") who immigrated from Lithuania in 1864. The synagogue was built on the ruins of the synagogue built by Rabbi Judah Chassid (Segal) and his disciples in 1700, which was destroyed by Arab mobs in 1721. It was therefore named the "Hurvat Rabbi Judah HaChassid" -- the ruins of Rabbi Judah the Chassid, or simply "The Hurva" -- The Ruin.
) - Death of Maharam of Rothenberg
- Renowned Talmudist Rabbi Meir ("Maharam") of Rothenburg (1215?-1293) died in his cell in the Ensisheim fortress, where he had been imprisoned for ten years in an attempt to exact a huge ransom from the Jewish community. The money had been raised, but Rabbi Meir refused to have himself redeemed, lest this encourage the hostage taking of other Jewish leaders. (see Adar 4)
19 Iyar - (1945) - Goebbels Committed Suicide
- Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Propaganda Minister under Adolf Hitler, was known for his zealous anti-semitism. Following Hitler's death he served as Chancellor for one day. A day later, he approved the murder of his own six children and committed suicide.
20 Iyar - (1312 BCE) - Journey From Mount Sinai
- Almost a year following, On the 20th of Iyar 2449 (1312 BCE)--nearly a year after the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai--the Children of Israel departed their encampment near the Mountain. They resumed their journey when the pillar of cloud rose for the first time, from over the "Tabernacle--the divine sign that would signal the resumption of their travels throughout their encampments and journeys over the next 38 years, until the reached the eastern bank of the Jordan River on the eve of their entry into the Holy Land.
20 Iyar - (1288) - Troyes Jews Burned at Stake
- Thirteen Jews in Troyes, France were burned at the stake by the Inquisition on the 20th of Iyar in 1288. They were accused, in a blood libel, for the supposed murder of a Christian child. The thirteen Jews chosen were from among the richer members of the community. Jews were also killed in a "blood libel" in Neuchatel, Switzerland on this date.
20 Iyar - (1637) - [[Venice Jews Forbidden to Practice Law
- The Jews of Venice, Italy were forbidden the right to practice law or to act as advocates in the Courts of Venice on the 20th of Iyar of 1637.
20 Iyar - (1939) - Mt. Scopus Hospital
- The Hadassah University Hospital and Medical Center was opened on Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem. The hospital, designed by renowned Bauhaus architect Erich Mendelssohn, opened as a modern, 300-bed academic medical facility.
20 Iyar - (1942) - Pregnant Women Sentenced to Death
- In the ghetto of Kovno, the Nazis decreed the execution of all pregnant Jewish women.
21 Iyar - (1946) - Frank Hanged in Prague
- Karl Hermann Frank, the German Nazi official in Czechoslovakia during World War II, was hanged on this date in 1946. Frank surrendered to the American army on May 9, 1945 and was extradited and tried in a court in Prague. Following his conviction for war crimes, Frank was sentenced to death and hanged in the courtyard of the Pankrac prison in Prague as 5,000 onlookers witnessed his death.
22 Iyar - (1731) - Jewish Books Confiscated
- Giovanni Antonio Costanzi, the Vatican librarian and author of a catalogue of the Vatican's Hebrew manuscripts, directed searches in all the Jewish quarters throughout the Papal States to confiscate Jewish holy books. The confiscation begun on the 22nd Iyar in 1731. More confiscations continued over the next twenty years.
22 Iyar - (1944) - Hungarian Jews Deported
- Two months after the Nazi occupation of Hungary, where the Jewish population prior to WWII was 725,000, the Nazis began deportation of the Jews to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Eichmann personally oversaw the following day the start of the extermination process. Eight days later an estimated 100,000 had been murdered.
24 Iyar - (1945) - Germany Surrenders to Allied Forces
- In Rheims, France, the Chief-of-Staff of the German Armed Forces High Command signed the unconditional surrender documents for all German forces to the Allies, thus marking the official end of World War II. The surrender took place following a fierce seven days of battles and truces across Europe.
25 Iyar - (1096) - Cologne Jews Saved
- During the First Crusade, the crusaders are locked out of Cologne, Germany and the local Jews are saved, following the orders of the local bishop to close the gates to the city. In a number of local provinces, where the local bishop tried to avert the masses from harming the Jews, the Bishop would have to escape for his own safety.
25 Iyar - (1355) - Toledo Massacre
26 Iyar - (942) - Death of Rabbi Saadia Gaon
- Iyar 26 is the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the death) of Rabbi Saadia Gaon (892?-942), author of Emunot V'deot, one of the earliest works of Jewish philosophy. ("Gaon" was the title given to the leading Sages of Babylonia in the post-Talmudic period).
26 Iyar - (1747) - Death of Ramchal
- Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato (known by the acronym "Ramchal"), philosopher, kabbalist and ethicist, was born in Padua, Italy, in 1707. While still in his twenties, he authored numerous works of Torah scholarship, including Derech Hashem ("The way of God"), a systematic exposition of the fundamentals of Judaism. In 1740, (at the turn of the Jewish century 5500), he published his most famous work, Mesilat Yesharim ("Path of the Just"). Like many other great men of his age, Luzzatto longed for the Holy Land, and in 1743 he settled in Acco. He was not to enjoy a long stay there, however, and on Iyar 26, 5507 (1747), at the age of 39, he and his entire family died in a plague. According to most traditions, he was buried in Tiberias, next to the tomb of Rabbi Akiva.
26 Iyar - (1857) - Death of Rabbi Eizik of Homel
- Rabbi Yitzchak Eizik Epstein (1770-1857), who served as the rabbi of the town of Homel in White Russia for 58 years, was a leading figure in the first three generations of Chabad Chassidism. As a young man, he became attracted to the teachings of the first Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, and remained a devoted follower of the 2nd and 3rd Rebbes, Rabbi DovBer and Rabbi Menachem Mendel. He authored a number of Chassidic works, including Sh'tei HaMeorot and Chanah Ariel.
26 Iyar - (1967) - Six Day War
- On Iyar 26 (June 5, 1967), Israel launched a preemptive strike on its southern frontier. In just six days, the Jewish army defeated five Arab armies on three fronts and liberated territories of its promised homeland amounting to an area greater than its own size, including the old city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
27 Iyar - (1962) - Eichmann Executed
- Adolf Eichmann was hanged at Ramleh Prison in Israel following his trial and conviction for his crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity and war crimes during World War II. Eichmann was a key party in implementing of Hitler's infamous "final solution." The height of his "career" was reached in Hungary in 1944, when he managed to transport 400,000 Jews to the gas chambers in less than five weeks.
28 Iyar - (1967) - Jerusalem Liberated
- The Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount were liberated during the 1967 Six Day War. The day is marked in Israel as "Jerusalem Day."
- Death of Samuel the Prophet, marked by pilgrimages to his tomb on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
- In Arabic, Ayyar or Eyyar (Arabic: ﺃ ﯦﺎ ﺮ) refers to the month of May.