Beit Midrash

To dedicate this lesson
condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:55

Full Months and “Missing” Months


Various Rabbis

Av 12 5779
Gemara: [The gemara deals with the following chronological problem about the time of Exodus. If the 15th of Nisan was on a Thursday, wouldn’t Rosh Chodesh Sivan have been on a Sunday? (Assuming Nisan is 30 days, Iyar usually has 29 days).] Rabbanan will explain to you that the month of Iyar of that year was a 30-day month.

Ein Ayah: Time has a characteristic of independence and a characteristic of being a medium between other things. The independent nature of time relates to those special matters that occur and are displayed during that time and positive things that the time can provide. The matter of it being a medium has to do with the ability of the time to enable a higher level to occur at some later time, in such a way that the future has more potential to be the right time than the present has.

In the months of the year, we have "full months" and "months of missing." The full months represent that time expands due to its independent content. In other words, it is not proper to limit the month’s value by making it shorter than it could be, and it should be measured by overloading the "measuring utensil" in which it is placed. A missing month relates more to the idea of time as a medium in preparation for another, future time. Therefore, it extends only the minimum amount of time necessary.

The month of Iyar served as a bridge between the great event of the Exodus and the great event of Hashem’s revelation during the giving of the Torah. From the fact that it is the transitional time between the time of the two great events, it has the status of a facilitator, and in that way we would expect the month to be a missing month. But in another manner, it has a characteristic that gives it its own independent value, not as a simple transition, but as a complex power that can absorb two great lights. The two events are so great that they need to have a time separation between them. When a time has to facilitate an event in a manner of complexity and it needs to absorb two distinct characteristics, it is considered to have an independent purpose (which justifies a 30-day month).

The acquisition that came with the Exodus from Egypt is that of an independent nature that comes with the freedom of the nation, so that it is able to have a national spirit that is free from the affliction of foreigners. The characteristic of the giving of the Torah is the divine light that can be absorbed, which is possible only when the independent essence of Israel is already developed and has clearly emerged. The month of Iyar, which in Tanach is called Ziv (which means a glow), is the month that received the complex nature to bridge between the formative independence of Bnei Yisrael and the divine light of the Torah. This made it more than a simple facilitator but one that also has an independent value and for this reason it was a full month of 30 days that year.
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