When you think about a busy time in the Jewish calendar, you might think about Elul and Tishrei (getting ready for and executing Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Succos, etc.). You might also think about Adar and Nisan (Purim and Pesach). Chances are you don’t think much about Iyar, but Iyar is a month surprisingly full of holidays. Obviously, there’s Rosh Chodesh, which all months have, and most of Sefiras HaOmer runs through Iyar, but what’s unique to this under-appreciated month?
First there’s Yom HaZikaron – Israel’s memorial day, commemorating those lost in Israel’s war for independence.
The very next day is Yom HaAtzmaut – Israel’s independence day.
Next comes Pesach Sheini. Historically, this was when those who could not offer the Passover sacrifice in the prescribed time got a “do-over.” Even today, many commemorate the occasion with matzah (and no Tachanun).
Following is Lag B’Omer, the joyous day commemorating when the students of Rabbi Akiva stopped dying of a plague.
Finally, there’s Yom Yerushalayim, which celebrates the re-unification of Jerusalem in 1967.
After that, you’ve got one week to get ready for Shavuos (6 Sivan).
So don’t overlook Iyar – it’s a month deserving of far more attention than it receives! (Find out more about all of these dates in OU Holidays!)