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Kaufmann Kohler, Ph.D.

Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth-El, New York; President of the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Contributions:
AZRIEL (EZRA) BEN MENAHEM (BEN SOLOMON) – Founder of the speculative Cabala, and called "The Saint"; born at Gerona in 1160; died in 1238. As to the identity of Azriel and Ezra, taken for two brothers by Grätz ("Gesch." vii. 447 et seq.) and Bloch (Winter and Wünsche,...
'AZZUT PANIM – A term applied to an impudent person. The phrase "'az panim" occurs in Deut. xxviii. 50 ("a nation of fierce countenance"), and in Dan. viii. 23 ("a king of fierce countenance"). "The brazen-faced one goes to Gehenna, the...
BA'AL – Hebrew word for possessor or owner of an object. In connection with many nouns, it expresses some relation between the person and an object. Many of these combinations are found in Bible phraseology, and are still used,...
BA'AL SHEM – Designation of certain people who were supposed to work miracles through the name of God. This belief in the miraculous power of the Sacred Name is very old, having a history that covers more than two thousand years (compare...
BA'AL SHEM-ṬOB, ISRAEL B. ELIEZER – Founder of the sect of Ḥasidim; born about 1700; died at Miedzyboz (Medzhibozh), May 22, 1760. The little biographical information concerning him that exists is so interwoven with legends and miracles that in many cases it is...
BA'ARAS – A place in the ravine Zerḳa Ma'in above the city of Macherus on the northeastern shore of the Dead Sea, where are, according to Josephus ("B. J." vii. 6, § 3), the so-called Iron Mountains. According to Eusebius ("Onomasticon,"...
BABA (THE GREAT) – Son of Nathaniel and grandson of Aḳbun, the high priests; a prominent leader and high priest of the Samaritans in the time of the emperor Constantine (fourth century). According to Samaritan traditions (see Neubauer, "Chronique...
BABOVICH, SIMḤA – Head man of the Karaites of the Crimea in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, and president of the Karaite Council of the city of Kozlov, Eupatoria. The exact date of his birth is unknown, but he was probably born about...
BACON, ROGER – English philosopher and scholar of the thirteenth century; born at Ilchester, England, about 1214; died about 1294. He studied at Oxford and spent some years in Paris, where he obtained the degree of doctor of theology. In 1250...
BAER, DOB B. SAMUEL – Polish Ḥasidic writer of the end of the eighteenth century. He is the author of "Shibḥei ha-Besht" (Praises of Israel Ba'al Shem-Ṭob), which his son Judah Löb published after his death, in 1815. The book, which is a collection...
BAER, ISSACHAR B. ELHANAN – Rabbi at Eibenschütz; born at Frankfort-on-the-Oder in the second half of the seventeenth century. He was the author of a collection of cabalistic homilies and commentaries, entitled "Arba' Ḥarashim" (Four Skilful Artificers),...
BAER, ISSACHAR BEN PETHAHIAH BEN MOSES – Cabalist; lived at Kremnitz, Hungary, at the beginning of the seventeenth century. He seems to have traveled in the East and sojourned some time at Safed; and he frequently refers in his writings to the cabalistic school...
BAER (DOB) OF MESERITZ – His Early Asceticism. First apostle of Ḥasidism and its most important propagator; born in Volhynia in 1710; died in Meseritz, Dec. 15, 1772. Little is known of Baer's youth, and scarcely more of the interval preceding his...
BAHIR – Authorship Erroneously Ascribed. Pseudonymous work attributed to the tanna Neḥunya ben ha-Ḳanah, a contemporary of Johanan ben Zaḳḳai (first century) because it begins with the words, "R. Neḥunya ben ha-Ḳanah said" ( ). No...
BAḤTAWI, ABU YA'AḲUB JOSEPH, THE BABYLONIAN – Karaite scholar; flourished in the ninth century. He was called "the teacher of the diaspora," and esteemed for his brilliant intellect. None of his works has survived; but many of them are known by quotations made by Karaite...
BAḤYA (BEḤAI) BEN ASHER BEN HALAWA – Introduces Cabala into Bible Exegesis. One of the most distinguished of the Biblical exegetes of Spain; born about the middle of the thirteenth century at Saragossa; died 1340. A pupil of Solomon ben Adret, Baḥya did not, like...
BAḤYA (BEḤAI) BEN ASHER BEN HALAWA – Introduces Cabala into Bible Exegesis. One of the most distinguished of the Biblical exegetes of Spain; born about the middle of the thirteenth century at Saragossa; died 1340. A pupil of Solomon ben Adret, Baḥya did not, like...
BAHYA BEN JOSEPH IBN PAḲUDA – System of Ethics. Dayyan and philosopher; flourished at Saragossa, Spain, in the first half of the eleventh century. He was the author of the first Jewish system of ethics, written in Arabic in 1040 under the title "Al Hidayah...
BAHYA BEN JOSEPH IBN PAḲUDA – System of Ethics. Dayyan and philosopher; flourished at Saragossa, Spain, in the first half of the eleventh century. He was the author of the first Jewish system of ethics, written in Arabic in 1040 under the title "Al Hidayah...
BAKI, SIMSON – 1. Born either in Germany or Italy, and very probably related to the Bachi family, members of which flourished successively at Vercelli and Casale. He lived about 1582-84, and wrote at these dates from Safed and Jerusalem three...
BALAAM – Balak Solicits His Aid. —Biblical Data: A son of Beor and a prophet of Pethor in Mesopotamia. The narrative relating to Balaam is found in Num. xxii.-xxiv. According to this narrative, Balak, king of Moab, sent messengers to the...
BALI, MOSES BEN ABRAHAM – Karaite physician and ḥakam at Cairo at the end of the fifteenth century and at the beginning of the sixteenth. He was the author of 224 poems, finished in 1489, on the weekly lessons, entitled "Sefer Zeraḥ." Another selection...
BALSAM – Word used as the translation (R. V., margin) of the Hebrew (Cant. v. 1) and of (ib. v. 13, vi. 2), for which the A. V. has "spice." An aromatic gum or spice, probably the product of a Balsam tree or plant. The Balsam tree of...
BAN – herem": A proclamation devoting or consecrating to the Deity persons or things to be excluded from use, or, as was the rule in Biblical times, to be utterly destroyed. The noun "ḥerem," or the verb "heḥerim," translated in A. V....
BANISHMENT – Biblical Data: In ancient Israel an exclusion, permanent or temporary, from the native land, as a divine punishment. Adam's Banishment from the garden of Eden (Gen. iii. 24) and Cain's from the presence of the Lord (Gen. iv. 16)...