Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov tells us that in the month of Iyar (usually around the month of May), all medicinal plants and herbs have a greater power to heal (Likutey Moharan I:277).

In fact, the Talmud (Shabbos 147b) mentions cures that are effective only at this time of year. The Chozeh of Lublin explains that this quality is alluded to in the very name “Iyar,” which can be read as an acronym for “Ani Hashem rofecha – I am G-d, your healer” (Exodus 15:26).

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After mentioning the special power of healing in the month of Iyar, Rebbe Nachman also points out that the word “Iyar” can be read as an acronym for “Oivai yashuvu yeivoshu raga – My enemies will turn back and be ashamed in an instant” (Psalms 6:11). As Rabbi Yaakov Meir Shechter explains, this is related to the idea that we should do good even to our enemies, because when we overcome the spiritual enemy within us – our desire for revenge and our bad character traits – we automatically subdue the supernal source of all evil in the world.

The nature of Hashem’s creation is such that when we encounter adversaries and difficulties in our lives, it is because there are accusing forces working against us in the spiritual worlds above due to our aveiros and misdeeds. But if we silence these accusing forces by engaging in teshuva and refining our characters, our human adversaries will automatically disappear.

Rebbe Nachman is telling us that since Iyar is a month of healing, it is a good time to work on healing our souls, which will in turn cause our earthly enemies to disappear automatically. This can be done by uprooting the bad traits in our personality and replacing them with good ones, for this is the truest form of spiritual healing.

The Chida, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Azulai, also writes about the importance of spiritual healing during the springtime: “At the beginning of summer it is customary to engage in healing … The procedure for healing those who are spiritually ill is to purge the character from the filth and mildew of negative traits, to free the mind from false and harmful beliefs, and to expand the heart with a love for G-d and an understanding of His Torah” (Chadrei Beten, ch. 8:24, as quoted in the book The Scent of Eden, p. 46-47). May Hashem help us to utilize this special opportune time to engage in much spiritual healing.

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Rabbi Nosson Rossman is a rabbinic field representative for the Orthodox Union. He can be reached at nathanlrossman@gmail.com.