We don’t talk much about the solstices and equinoxes in maintstream Judaism. If you do, you are likely to be accused of being “Pagan.” It’s sad, really. Judaism is such an inherently earth-based religion, if you choose to incorporate those elements. The Jewish calendar and the holidays make so much more sense if you allow this layer to permeate your understanding of what it’s all about. At least I think so!
The word Tekufah means “periods” or “circuits,” and according to most sources I can find. It is used the Tanach, but not to refer to the equinoxes or solstices. It is interesting to note that it does appear four times in the Tanach, so make of that what you will. The idea of the Tekufot to mean seasons, or refer more specifically to the solstices and equinoxes comes from the Talmud and later traditions. [Read more…]