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Marcus Jastrow, Ph.D.

Rabbi Emeritus of the Congregation Rodef Shalom, Philadelphia, Pa.

Contributions:
BENJAMIN B. GIDDEL, R – A Palestinian amora of the fourth generation (fourth century), contemporary of R. Aḥa III. (Yer. Ma'as. Sh. v. 56b; Yer. Yeb. i. 2b). His name is but rarely met with in the Talmud, and then only in the Halakah (Yer. Ma'as. i....
BENJAMIN GINZAKAYAH – A Babylonian scholar of the third century, contemporary of Mar Samuel. All that is known of him is that death overtook him when he was on the point of deciding a ritual question in accordance with the views of Rab, as opposed to...
BENJAMIN B. IHI – A Babylonian scholar of the second and third amoraic generations (third century); brother of Abbahu b. Ihi, the disciple of Samuel. Both brothers, while intensely exclusive and diffident, so that they would have no dealings with...
BENJAMIN B. JAPHET – A Palestinian scholar of the third amoraic generation (third century), disciple of R. Johanan and senior to R. Zeïra I. (Ber. 33a, 38b; Ket. 77a). He cultivated both the Halakah and the Haggadah; in his halakic deliverances,...
BENJAMIN B. LEVI, R. – A Palestinian amora of the fourth century (third or fourth generation), junior contemporary of R. Ammi and R. Isaac (Yer. Peah i. 15a), and senior to Abin II. (Yer. Pes. vii. 34c; Yer. Hor. i. 46a). His name is connected with...
BENJAMIN THE SHEPHERD – A shepherd who lived in Babylonia at the beginning of the third century. The Talmud has transmitted the formula of a blessing of which he was the author. Benjamin, who possessed no knowledge of Hebrew, and was therefore unable...
BENJAMIN HA-ZẠDDIḲ – A philanthropist of the tannaitic period. According to a Baraita, he was manager of certain charitable funds. Once there appeared before him a woman begging alms, but Benjamin protested that the treasury was exhausted. The poor,...
BEQUEST – Definition. A gift of personal property in a last will and testament. Modern English law and American law distinguish between a bequest and a devise; the former being a testamentary gift of personal property, and the latter one...
BERAKOT – The name of the first treatise of Seder Zeraim, the first Order of the Talmud. By the term "Berakot" a special form of prayer is understood, that begins with the words "Blessed art thou, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe."...
BEREBI – Title of learning in the period of the Tannaim, conferred especially upon scholars who were the sons of scholars, or upon members of the family of the patriarch. The explanation of the word as a compound of ("house") and...
BERECHIAH I., R. – A Palestinian scholar of the second amoraic generation (third century), always cited without the accompaniment of patronymic or cognomen. Once only (Lev. R. i. 4) is he quoted as Berechiah Saba (the Elder), by R. Abin III., the...
BERECHIAH II., R. – A Palestinian amora, of the fourth century. In the Talmud he is invariably cited by his prænomen alone; but in the Midrashim he is frequently cited with the addition of "ha-Kohen," and sometimes with the further addition of the...
BERERAH – Its Concept. —In Talmudic Law: The concept "Bererah," known to the later Babylonian Amoraim, is a development of the law of joint property, and, just as in Roman law, this branch of the law presents very great difficulties....
BERESHIT RABBAH – Expository Midrash to the first book of the Pentateuch, assigned by tradition to the amora Hoshaiah, commonly Osha'yah, who flourished in the third century in Palestine. The Midrash forms a haggadic commentary on the whole of...
BERURIAH – Daughter of the martyr R. Hananiah ben Teradion, and wife of R. Meïr; born in the first quarter of the second century, she lived at Tiberias after the Hadrianic persecutions. Her traits of character, gleaned from Talmudic...
BET BELTIN – A steep hill above the Euphrates, on which is built the modern town of Bir; lat. 37° 3' N., long. 38° E. Travelers and caravans from Aleppo to Diarbekir, Bagdad, and Portia cross the Euphrates at this point. According to the...
BET DIN – Rabbinical term for court-house or court. In view of the theocratic conception of the law, which pervades Biblical legislation and is strictly carried out by rabbinical Judaism, including both civil and religious law, the bet...
BET HILLEL AND BET SHAMMAI – The "School (literally, "house") of Hillel" and the "School of Shammai" are names by which are designated the most famous antagonistic schools that flourished in Palestine during the first century (first tannaitic generation),...
BET HA-MIDRASH – Meaning. High school; literally, "house of study," or place where the students of the Law gather to listen to the Midrash, the discourse or exposition of the Law. It is used in contradistinction to the Bet ha-Sefer, the primary...
BETHULIA – Name of the city which, according to the Book of Judith, was besieged by Holofernes; the home of Judith. In the shorter version of the legend published by Gaster ("Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archeology," 1894, xvi....
BETROTHAL – The term "betrothal" in Jewish law must not be understood in its modern sense; that is, the agreement of a man and a woman to marry, by which the parties are not, however, definitely bound, but which may be broken or dissolved...
BETTING – The mutual agreement of two parties as to gain and loss upon a certain contingency. It seems to have been unknown in Biblical times. There is no mention of it in the Scriptures, unless an allusion to this kind of easy gain is...
BEẒAH – Name of a Talmudic treatise of Seder Mo'ed, the second of the six "sedarim" or orders of the Talmud. Its place in the Seder is not fixed. In the Babylonian Talmud it occupies the fourth place and follows immediately after...
BEZALEL – Palestinian amora of the fourth century, who is known in Midrashic literature only as the author of haggadistic sentences. Two of these have been handed down by Berechiah, the well-known haggadist and transmitter of haggadistic...
BIKKURIM – Name of the last treatise of Seder Zera'im. It treats of the way of carrying out the commandment concerning first-fruits mentioned in Deut. xxvi. 1-11. The commandment includes two things: (1) the bringing of the first-fruit,...