By: Emil G. Hirsch
Tenth ecclesiastical and fourth civil month; it invariably has twenty-nine days. The name, like those of the other months, appears to be taken from the Assyro-Babylonians, who called their tenth month, described as the month of violent rains, "Ṭebetu" (Delitzsch, "Wörterbuch," p. 298). This month fell near the close of the rainy season in Palestine, to which fact the gloss in Ta'an. 6b alludes, holding that the year will be fertile if Ṭebet be "ugly" (i.e., rainy). The observation that that year will be a good one in which Ṭebet is "widowed" (i.e., rainless) presupposes that a sufficient precipitation had preceded the month, the rainy season normally beginning with the month of Ḥeshwan (the 8th month).
Of notable events and dates connected with this month, the following are among the more important:
Ṭebet 1 and 2: Seventh and eighth days of anukkah. Ṭebet 5: See Ezek. xxxiii. 21; R. H. 18b. Ṭebet 8: Day on which the translation of the Septuagint was completed, when the earth was shrouded in darkness for three days ("Megillat Ta'anit," end). Ṭebet 9: Fast-day, but for reasons not known (ib.; Shulḥan 'Aruk, Oraḥ Ḥayyim, 580); it is said to have been the day on which Ezra died (ib.), and Abu Ḥusain Joseph ibn Nagdela was killed on this day (1066). Ṭebet 10: Fast-day, commemorating the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar (see Jer. lii. 4; II Kings xxv. 1; Ezek. xxiv. 1; R. H. 18b); when this fast-day falls on the Sabbath, it is observed on the day following. Ṭebet 12: Ezekiel received a revelation (Ezek. xxix. 1). Ṭebet 20: Death of Moses Maimonides (1204). Ṭebet 24: The discomfiture of the Sadducean party (B. B. 115b) by Johanan ben Zakkai (according to "Megillat Ta'anit," this occurred on the 24th of Ab). Ṭebet 25: Said to have been the day of Alexander the Great's appearance before the walls of Jerusalem (Yoma 60a). Ṭebet 28: Another anti-Sadducean feast-day ("Megillat Ta'anit," x.); on this day the majority of the Sanhedrin passed over to the Pharisees.