Hebrew Months(8): Iyyar

´╗┐Tradition: Lag be-Omer, the 18th day of lyyar, marks the death of Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai. Children light bonfires and play with bow and arrow. One of the explanations for the lighting of bonfires is connected to the manner in which Simeon bar Yohai departed from the world, accompanied by a great fire that surrounded his bier. Jewish tradition asserts that on Lag be-Omer the deaths of Rabbi Akiva's pupils ceased, and so the mourning practices come to an end, and many couples are wed on this day. Ashkenazi Jews also do not wed between Lag be-Omer and Shavuot, to commemorate the destruction of the European Jewish communities during this time of the year in the Crusades.

Sign of the Zodiak: The Bull.

In nature: the first blossoming of plants alongside rivers and streams, such as oleander.

Written by Dr. Dov Herman, Bar-Ilan University.

The stamp was issued in 2002, one of 12 stamps dedicated to the months of The Hebrew Calendar. Designer: Miri Sofer. Zodiak sign stamp issued 1961, designer: I. Blaushild.