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Nisan       Iyar (אִייָר)       Sivan
Declaration of Independence

The Israeli Declaration of Independence, today
commemorated on Yom Ha'atzmaut, was publicly
proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister
of Israel
, on the 5th of Iyar, 5708.
Month Number: 2
Number of Days: 29
Season: Spring
Gregorian Equivalent: April–May

Iyar (Hebrew: אִייָר‎ or אִיָּר, Standard Iyyar Tiberian ʾIyyār ; from Akkadian ayyaru, meaning "Rosette; blossom") is the eighth month of the civil year (which starts on 1 Tishrei) and the second month of the ecclesiastical year (which starts on 1 Nisan) on the Hebrew calendar. The name is Babylonian in origin. It is a spring month of 29 days. Iyar usually falls in April–June on the Gregorian calendar.

In the Hebrew Bible, before the Babylonian Exile, the month is called Ziv (1 Kings 6:1, 6:37). Ziv is a Hebrew name, which means "light" or "glow".

Holidays in Iyar[edit]

Iyar in Jewish history[edit]

  • 4 Iyar (1165) - Maimonides survives a fierce storm at sea while fleeing from Islamic persecution in Fez. From then on he observed the day as a personal day of fasting and prayer.
  • 5 Iyar (1948) - Proclamation of the State of Israel on Friday, 14 May 1948, before sunset.
  • 7 Iyar (498 BCE) - Jerusalem's rebuilt walls are dedicated, nearly 88 years after they destruction by Nebuchadnezzar.
  • 8 Iyar (1096) - First Crusade Pogroms Begin - On their way to Holy Land, mobs of crusaders along with local inhabitants attacked many Jewish communities, most notably in the Rhineland towns of Worms, Germany and Mainz. On the Shabbat, the 8th of Iyar, the Jews of Speyer were also attacked. However, most of them were allowed refuge in the bishop's castle and neighbouring towns, such as Heidelberg. (See Sivan in Jewish History" for Sivan 1).
  • 10 Iyar (circa 2870/2871 BC) Death of Eli the High Priest and his two sons[1]
  • 10 Iyar (1103) - Death of the Rif
  • 11 Iyar (1510) - 1,500 Jewish books were confiscated in Frankfurt am Main, Germany at the instigation of an apostate.
  • 11 Iyar (1881) - Pogroms in Wasilkow and Konotop as Jews are blamed for the assassination of Czar Alexander II, who was assassinated by revolutionaries. The riots continued for three years across all of Russia.
  • 11 Iyar (1948) - 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 of War of Independence.
  • 13 Iyar (1427) - Jews expelled from Bern, Switzerland
  • 14 Iyar (1312 BCE) - "Second Passover" - an additional opportunity to offer the paschal sacrifice, for individuals who were impure on the main Passover holiday. (Numbers 9).
  • 14 Iyar (2nd Century BC) - Death of Rabbi Meir Baal haNeis
  • 14 Iyar (1605) - Jews of Bisenz, [Austria]] were massacred.
  • 14 Iyar (1933) - Nazis burned thousands of books written by Jews.
  • 14 Iyar (1960) - Adolf Eichmann captured in Buenos Aires.
  • 15 Iyar (1727) - Jews Expelled from Ukraine by Empress Catherine I, a few months prior to her death.
  • 15 Iyar (1883) - Pogrom in Rostov-on-Don with the encouragement of local Russian officials.
  • 15 Iyar (1939) - "Nuremberg Laws" - 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 by the U.S. Army.
  • 17 Iyar (66) - Jews attack and defeat the Roman garrison in Jerusalem, following the theft of silver from the Holy Temple.
  • 17 Iyar - (1793) - Death of the Noda B'Yehudah
  • 18 Iyar (Lag BaOmer) - (circa 120 CE) - A plague which killed 24000 of Rabbi Akiva's disciples ceases.[citation needed]
  • 18 Iyar (2nd century CE) - Death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai[citation needed] 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, who is regarded as the definitive Halachic authority for Ashkenazic Jews.
  • 18 Iyar (1690) - Ettingen Jews acquitted of a blood libel, avoiding the danger of the decree to destroy their synagogue were they to be found guilty. The local Jews celebrated this day as a local "Purim" celebration-day of thanksgiving.
  • 18 Iyar (1948) - IDF created.
  • 18 Iyar (1948) - Hurva Synagogue captured and dynamited by the Arab Legion of Jordan during the battle for Old Jerusalem. 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.
  • 19 Iyar (1293) - Death of Maharam of Rothenberg 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 commits suicide as World War II nears its end.
  • 20 Iyar (circa 1312 BCE) - The Children of Israel departed their encampment near Mount Sinai.
  • 20 Iyar (1288) - Thirteen Troyes Jews burned at the stake by the Inquisition for supposedly murdering 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 Neuchâtel, Switzerland on this date.
  • 20 Iyar (1637) - Venice Jews forbidden the right to practice law or to act as advocates in the Courts of Venice.
  • 20 Iyar (1939) - Mt. Scopus Hospital 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) - All pregnant women in the ghetto of Kovno sentenced to death by the Nazis.
  • 21 Iyar (1946) - Karl Hermann Frank, the German Nazi official in Czechoslovakia, was hanged. 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 begin to be searched for and confiscated by Giovanni Antonio Costanzi, the Vatican librarian and author of a catalogue of the Vatican's Hebrew manuscripts, in all the Jewish quarters throughout the Papal States. More confiscations continued over the next twenty years.
  • 22 Iyar (1944) - Two months after the Nazi occupation of Hungary, Nazis began deportation of Hungarian Jews 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
  • 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 - 1,200 Jews massacred by an Arab Christian mob attack on the Jewish section of Toledo, Spain
  • 26 Iyar (942) - Death of Rabbi Saadia Gaon (892?-942).
  • 26 Iyar (1747) - Death of Ramchal in a plague in Akko.
  • 26 Iyar (1945) - Theresienstadt concentration camp liberated by the Soviets.
  • 26 Iyar (1967) - Six Day War begins.
  • 27 Iyar (1962) - Eichmann hanged at Ramleh Prison.
  • 28 Iyar (1967) - Jerusalem conquered during the Six Day War. The day is marked in Israel as "Jerusalem Day".
  • 28 Iyar (circa 1020 BCE) - Death of Samuel the Prophet, marked by pilgrimages to his tomb on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Many Jews consider this a Ta'anit Tzadik and fast.[2]

Other uses[edit]

  • In Arabic, Ayyar or Eyyar (Arabic: ﺃ ﯦﺎ ﺮ‎) refers to the month of May.


  1. ^ Eli The High Priest, Chabad org
  2. ^ The Twenty Eighth of Iyar