- From Akkadian shabatu, meaning "the month of destroying rain," from the verb shabatu, meaning "to beat, kill, destroy." It is related to a Hebrew verb that means "to strike, smite," which is also the source of the Hebrew noun shevet, meaning "rod" or "staff" and hence "tribe." Cool!
- "the eleventh month"
- Called "Shevat" in Zechariah 1:7, where Zechariah was given a very nice prophecy (see later verses, below):
- 15th of Shevat, in Hebrew Tu B'Shevat: the New Year for the Trees. Used for calculating special offerings taken from trees after three years of bearing fruit, only after which their fruit may be eaten.
1 Shevat - Moses begins speaking to the Children of Israel towards the end of their forty-year sojourn in the wilderness (see Deuteronomy 1:3)
2 Shevat - Hasmonean King Alexander Jannaeus (aka Yannai), a Sadducee, died on this day in 76 BCE. The Rabbis (i.e., Pharisees) declared it a holiday. See Megillat Taanit. (Interesting note: Upon his death, he was succeeded as monarch by his wife, Shlomtzion Hamalka. Among other things, she merited having a street named after her in Jerusalem.)
- "Şubat" is the name for the month of February in Turkish.
According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the following correspond to the month of Shevat:
- Letter: tzadi
- Color: blue-green
- Jewish zodiac sign: pail (The New Year of Trees of the month of Shevat is the time that the rain waters of the winter months begin to ascend in the veins of the tree and bring it new life. The ascent of water in general is represented by the pail.)
- Tribe: Asher
- Sense: eating, taste
- Controlling organ/limb: stomach, esophagus