Tevet is the fourth month of the Jewish civil year, tenth of the religious year. Its zodiac sign is Capricorn (in Hebrew, Gedi, meaning goat). The word Tevet is of Akkadian/Babylonian origin, and the month always has 29 days. Tevet is mentioned by name in the Bible only in the Book of Esther (2:16), although there are references elsewhere in the Bible to the "fourth month."

The new moon of Tevet occurs during Hanukkah. The tenth of Tevet (Asarah b'Tevet) is a fast day in commemoration of the commencement of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuhadnezzar (II Kings 25:1). The Israel chief rabbinate has named 10 Tevet as General Qaddish day (Yom ha-Qaddish ha-Kelali) in memory of the millions of Jewish victims of the Holocaust whose exact date of death is unknown.

In ancient times, a fast day was observed on the 8th of Tevet to mark the completion of the translation of the Bible into Greek (see Francine Klagsbrun's article on Septuagint). According to tradition, the 9th of Tevet marks the anniversary of the death of Ezra (5th cent. BCE priest and scribe, who was primarily responsible for laying the spiritual foundations of the new Judean commonwealth after the Babylonian exile), and the 20th of Tevet marks the anniversary of the death of Maimonides (also known as Rambam; 12th century physician, philosopher, and codifier; born in Spain, but spent most of his life in Egypt).




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