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Marcus Jastrow, Ph.D.

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

Contributions:
BIRTHRIGHT – Biblical Data: The right of possession into which the eldest son is born. The first son born to the father occupied a prominent place in the Hebrew family (Gen. xxvii. 19, xxxv. 23, xli. 51, xlix. 3; II Sam. iii. 2). Such a one...
BISNA, BISINAH, BISNI (BIZNA) – Palestinian scholar of the fourth amoraic generation (fourth century); contemporary of Berechiah II., with whom he appears in a halakic discussion (Yer. Ma'as. v. 52a—"Bisinah"; Yer. Ned. iii. 37d; Yer. Shebu. iii. 34d, where...
BLOOD – Blood an Object of Awe. —Biblical Data: The importance of blood for the continuance of life must have been recognized even in most remote antiquity and under the most primitive conditions. Any one could see that the death of...
BOAZ – Biblical Data: One of the relatives of Elimelech, husband of Naomi; a wealthy Judean, living at Bethlehem in Judah (Ruth ii. 1). He was one of the kinsmen of Ruth; as such he had the privilege of redeeming the family estate sold...
BOUNDARIES – Limits of a tract of land. When the Hebrew tribes gave up their nomadic life and settled in Palestine in agricultural communities, the most important matter was the fixing of definite boundary-lines to separate the lands of the...
BRAZEN SEA – Biblical Data: The brazen laver of the Mosaic ritual; made by Solomon out of bronze captured by David at Tibhath and Chun, cities of Hadarezer (I Chron. xviii. 8). It served the same purpose for the officiating priests of...
BREACH OF PROMISE OF MARRIAGE – Nature of Contract to Marry. The refusal of either party to a contract of marriage to fulfil it. In order that there may be a breach of promise, there must be a contract cognizable by the law. Unlike the law in many modern...
BREACH OF TRUST – Violation by fraud or omission of any duty lawfully imposed upon a trustee, executor, or other person in a position of trust. It is thus a branch of criminal law, and under this aspect will be considered in the present...
BREASTPLATE OF THE HIGH PRIEST – Biblical Data: A species of pouch, adorned with precious stones, worn by the high priest on his breast when he presented in the Holy Place the names of the children of Israel. The etymological significance of the Hebrew word is...
BRIBERY – The offer or receipt of anything of value in corrupt payment for an official act done or to be done.The moral basis for the Jewish law against bribery is clearly expressed in Deut. xvi. 19-20; see also Ex. xxiii. 8. Divine...
BROKER – One who acts as middleman between seller and buyer, or makes it his business to bring buyer and seller together; also one who acts as agent for hire. The Neo Hebrew word for broker is "sirsur." It occurs with the former and more...
BUN – As a personal prenomen this name is a dialectic abridgment of "Abun" ("Abin," "Rabin"; see Jastrow, "Dictionary," 147a; compare Pesiḳ, xxx. 192b; Yer. Ḥag. i. 76c; Yer. Suk. v. 55d), and appears exclusively in Palestinian...
BURDEN OF PROOF – In law, the obligation resting upon one or other of the parties to a suit to bring proof of a fact when the opposite party alleges the contrary. The Talmudic phrase is "'alaw ha-rayah" (on him is the proof). Of course, the...
BURGLARY – Biblical Data: In English and American law burglary is the offense of breaking into a dwelling-house at night, with the intent to commit a felony, generally with the intent to steal. The Biblical passage on the subject (Ex....
BURNING BUSH – Biblical Data: The name commonly given to the tree from which the angel of Jehovah manifested himself to Moses in a flame of fire; the distinctive feature of the revelation being that the tree was not consumed (Ex. iii. 2-4).—In...
CALEB – Biblical Data: According to the Biblical text, Caleb was of the tribe of Judah. He represented that tribe among the twelve spies whom Mosessent from the wilderness to spy out Canaan. He and Joshua alone brought back an...
CALF, GOLDEN – Biblical Data: A portable image overlaid with gold, made by Aaron at Mount Sinai (Ex. xxxii.). As the text stands, it narrates how Moses had gone up into the mountain to receive the Ten Words, and remained forty days. When the...
CANCELATION OF DOCUMENTS – An instrument in writing may be canceled by cross-lines or by other marks obliterating it, or by burning or tearing the material on which the writing occurs.A Torn Document Invalid. In the Jewish law there are certain peculiar...
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT – In the Pentateuch: Warrants for the infliction of capital punishment, as opposed to private retribution or vengeance, are found in the Pentateuchal codes for the commission of any one of the following crimes: adultery (Lev. xx....
CAPTIVES – Biblical Data: The Bible makes no provision for the treatment of captives taken in war. Captives were considered as slaves, and as such were subject to all the laws that govern the relations between the master and his non-Jewish...
CAPTIVITY – By "exile" is meant any form of forced emigration in which the selection of his new habitation is left to the choice of the person banished. In a particular sense the word is used to designate the enforced emigration of larger...
CARCASS – Pollution from Carcass. —Biblical Data: The carcass of a clean animal that had not been properly slaughtered, or that of an unclean animal of the land, the water, or the air, polluted until the evening the person who touched it...
CAUL – Biblical Data: Nowadays applied to the membrane surrounding the human fetus; used also in other senses. In the Bible:1. A rendering of the Hebrew , the second on the list of toilet articles worn by the women of Jerusalem (Isa....
CHATTELS – In English and American law property is divided into two kinds: real or landed, and personal or chattels; in Continental law, into immovable and movable. Jewish law speaks of "ḳarḳa'ot" (ground) and "miṭṭalṭelin" (movables)....
CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE – Evidence consisting of circumstances which afford reasonable ground for believing in the guilt or innocence of an accused person. Circumstantial evidence is generally stated to be inadmissible according to Jewish law; but this...