Hebrew Language Blog

Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring: The Four Seasons in Hebrew Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

Photo by Ayana

Photo by Ayana


Summer – קַיִץ

Watch the video below to learn how to draw summer, the origin of the Hebrew word אַרְטׅיק (popsicle), and what you may find in the beach of Israel:

[The link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHfcUPDcWR8]


Autumn – סְתָיו

The Hebrew word for autumn appeared as early as the bible, though without the modern meaning. It appeared only once in the enjoyable Song of Songs:  

״כִּי הִנֵּה הַסְּתָיו עָבָר הַגֶּשֶׁם חָלַף הָלַךְ לוֹ, הַנִּצָּנִים נִרְאוּ בָאָרֶץ עֵת הַזָּמִיר הִגִּיעַ וְקוֹל הַתּוֹר נִשְׁמַע בְּאַרְצֵנוּ״

(שיר השירים ב׳, י״א־י״ב)

[For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning the vines has come, and the song of the turtledove is heard in our land (Song of Songs 2, 11-12)].

Unlike the סְתָיו we know as a season that indicates the descent of the scalding summer and the ascent of the gloomy winter – the סְתָיו in the above verse is a synonymous with the rainy season. The biblical סְתָיו comes before the flourishing spring, hence, its original meaning is winter. And so it was for hundreds of years. Until the book “לימודי הטבע” (Nature studies) was published in 1836 and defined סְתָיו as:

“והעת אשר במשך שלו יכלה החום מעט מעט והקור ימלא מקומו יכנה בשם סתיו”

(and the time of a slowly declining heat and of increasing cold will be called autumn).


Winter – חֹורֶף

A famous Jewish narrative tells the story of Honi Ha-me`agel. Honi was a Jewish scholar from the 1st century BC. One winter without any precipitation, the people asked Honi to pray for rain. Honi drew a circle in the dust, stood inside it, and informed God that he would not move out of it until it rained. When it began to drizzle, Honi asked for stronger rain. When it began to pour, Honi asked for calmer rain. Calmer rain then began to fall, but didn’t stop until Honi asked God to stop it. This Mishnaic hero enters every Israeli kindergarten during the winter, and even has several streets in Israel named after him. Honi HaMe’agel Street in Tel-Aviv for example.


Spring – אָבִיב

There’s nothing better than a jovial children song from the 70’s to learn about the spring:

[The link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNCQNiGojBc]

A video with the punctuated lyrics of the song:


[The link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kawo1X6PiEg]


Related posts:

Aviv and Stav: The Origin and Meaning of Two Common Hebrew Names

Winter Has Come in Israel!

Hebrew Winter Clothing: How to Use the Hebrew Word for Scarf


Keep Calm and Learn Hebrew


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  1. emad:

    Thank you

    • Ayana:

      @emad You are welcome 🙂

  2. Negesu:

    Jewish people is the most of the world smart people and God select this people you know i love this people if God willing i want visit one day Jerusalem okay you know all person miss your country and Jerusalem okay i want long live this country and people bye for now

    • Ayana:

      @Negesu Hi Negesu 🙂 I really hope you will visit Jerusalem one day, and many other sites in Israel. As you mentioned – there are not only cities to explore in Israel, but also interesting people and unique culture.