Tevet / טֵבֵת

Moon of Clarity (December/January)
Tevet is a month to seek clarity on our path; even though the days are still short and the nights are long and dark.

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Basics

  • Linear Month: 4
  • Torah Month: 10
  • Season: Winter
  • Holidays:  Hanukkah, Chag haBanot, Asara b’Tevet
  • Offerings1: Symbols of Seeking and Light
  • Symbol1: Candles
  • Element2: Eish (אֵשׁ) Fire within Mayim (מַיִם) Water
  • Spiritual Focus3:  Personal connection to Divine through creative expression
  • Tarot Card4: Devil
  • Soul Trait5: Sakranut (סקרנות) Curiosity
  • Netivah: Doreshet (דורשת) Seeker
  • Astrological Sign:  G’di (גדי) Capricorn / Kid Goat
  • Letter: Ayin – ע
  • Tribe: Dan
  • Sense: Anger

Note: Letter, Tribe, and Sense are derived from the Sefer Yetzirah
See NOTES for additional information on sources of these all correspondences.


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Tevet – Who Frees the Bound

Tevet is the month of darkness.  Tevet is the month our vices have the most opportunity to enslave us. Tevet is the crucible.  Without this difficult month the promise of Kislev’s rainbow can never be realized as the star of Shevat. Anything we did in Kislev that we shouldn’t have, will rear its ugly head in Tevet.  Spend too much?  Bills arrive in Tevet.  Drink or eat too much?  You’ll feel it now.

But that’s the negative way to look at it.  The devil card also offers us the opportunity to realize that things that we think are binding us, aren’t.  It allows us to see that often we bind ourselves to these situations.  So you spent too much, now’s your chance to address the emotional and spiritual reasons you may have done that and free yourself from debt.  So you ate too much; now’s the chance to really start addressing the emotional and spiritual reasons you aren’t caring for your body.

The story of Joseph continues to be apropos as parshot for Tevet.  His crucible seems to end in Tevet, with his rise to power, but it’s really just beginning.  Now he’s tested.  Now, when he’s grown so much from his adversity — he’s really put to the test.  What kind of a man is he going to be?  Is he going to let his shadow side, vices, and flaws be brought out again as he gains power, or is he going to be the man he can be? 

Tevet is also the month of the Doreshet, the Seeker. What do you need to help you find your way through this challenging month?  Would wearing a compass symbolically help you to remember to find your personal “true north” this month?  Maybe you need to wear or explore the symbol of the  hamsa to ward of the evil eye and help you see more clearly.

Whatever you do, remember that this month may be difficult — but it’s a chance to free yourself. Shevat is the shining star. Use Tevet to unbind yourself so you can bath in the radiant light of the month to come.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, מַתִּיר אֲסוּרִים
Blessed are you, Holy One who forms the world, freeing the bound.


Key Dates in Tevet

1stRosh Chodesh Tevet
7th Hanukkah Candle
Esther made Queen 362 BCE (traditional)
Chag haBanot, Festival of the Daughters, celebrated in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia
2nd8th Hanukkah Candle
3rdLast day of Hanukkah (ends at sunset)
9thYahrzeit of Ezra the Scribe and Nehemia (traditional)
10thAsara b’Tevet
20th?Yahrzeit of Moses ben Maimomedes (Rambam)
12th Century CE
29thRosh Chodesh Sh’vat
Find Gregorian Calendar Dates: https://www.hebcal.com/hebcal/

Shabbat Torah/Haftarah Readings

5781Parashat Miketz
Parashat Vayigash
Parashat Vayechi
Parashat Shemot
5782Parashat Vayigash
Parashat Vayechi
Parashat Shemot
Parashat Vaera
5783Parashat Vayigash
Parashat Vayechi
Parashat Shemot
Parashat Vaera
5784Parashat Miketz
Parashat Vayigash
Parashat Vayechi
Parashat Shemot
5785Parashat Vayigash
Parashat Vayechi
Parashat Shemot
Parashat Vaera

Netivah Readings

These readings were selected by Kohenet Ketzirah HaMa’agelet to pair with the weekly Torah portions.

  • Genesis 25:22-25:23
    We read Genesis 25:22-25:23 to learn from Rebekah’s direct seeking of Divine wisdom. What she learned changed the course of history, but would you do what she did? What can we learn from Rebekah’s story?
  • Ruth 1:1 – 1:16
    We read the beginning of the book of Ruth, because here we have three visions of the Doreshet path of Shekhinah: Naomi, Ruth and Orpah. All three are seeking what they need and choose paths that others might not.

Go Deeper:

Notes

1: Offerings & symbols were developed by Kohenet Ketzirah haMa’agelet for use as physical offering practices or in artwork.

2: Elements follow R’Jill Hammer’s elemental system as explained on her website www.telshemesh.org and her book The Jewish Book of Days. See pages 16-19 for explanation of elemental system.

The interpretations of the Sephirot are also from Rabbi Jill’s teachings.  Specifically, they are from her Omer Calendar of Bibilical Women.

3: The spiritual focus is my own concept of sustainable spiritual practice.  It is based on my interpretation of the wheel of the year and the Jewish holidays, as taught by many.  The specific focus is for a season, as based on the element have/need system taught by R’Jill Hammer in the The Jewish Book of Days, as referenced above.  For example Autumn is the time of Air within Earth, we have Earth we need Air and is the spiritual focus of Community (Air) within Resources (Earth) or more simply: communal resources.  

4: While tarot is not intrinsically Jewish, it is a derivative of Kabbalah and a can be a useful tool for self discovery and exploration. Tarot correspondences here follow Kabbalistic tree of life by Issac ben Luria, the Ari, as opposed to some of the more common Christian systems.

5: The soul-traits for each month are based on Kesharim K’doshim Mussar, developed by Kohenet Ketzirah HaMa’agelet.

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