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(Assyro-Babylonian, Shabatu) (30 Days)
January/February (New year for trees, winter figs).
Zech 1:7; 1 Macc 16:14
11th month of the religious calendar.
5th month of the civil calendar.
Shebat 1 - New Moon
Shebat 15 – New Year for Trees
This is the coldest month, which brings with it dark and gloomy days and heavy rainfalls. It was considered the New Year's Day for Trees because most of the annual rains occurred before Shebat, so that the trees which blossom afterward were considered as belonging to another year.
Note: The school of Shammai determined that the New Year for Trees occurred on the first day of the month, and the school of Hillel reasoned that the 15th of the month was the New Year for Trees with respect to the tithe. Because the school of Hillel is considered the standard authority, the 15th of Shebat has continued to be observed as a semi holy day.
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