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Wilhelm Bacher, Ph.D.

Professor, Jewish Theological Seminary, Budapest, Hungary.

Contributions:
ASHI – A celebrated Babylonian amora; born 352; died 427; reestablished the academy at Sura, and was the first editor of the Babylonian Talmud. According to a tradition preserved in the academies (Ḳid. 72b), Ashi was born in the same...
ASHYAN – The name of several Palestinian amoraim and of one, probably Babylonian, amora. 1. Ashyan, "the Carpenter (Naggara)," of the third century, who handed down certain utterances of Johanan (Yer. 'Ab. Zarah iii. 42b; Gen. R. lxxxii....
BABA BEN BUṬA – Teacher of the Law at the time of Herod, and perhaps a member of the prominent family known as "The Sons of Baba" ("Bene Baba"), who, at the time of the siege of Jerusalem by Herod (37 B.C.), resisted its surrender, and whom...
BEKOR SHOR, SAADIA – Alleged son of Joseph Bekor Shor, and reputed anthor of a frequently published poem on the number of letters in the Bible. This poem is mentioned in a Masoretic work written in the fourteenth century in southern Arabia, and is...
BEN 'AZZAI – Connection with the Canon. A distinguished tanna of the first third of the second century. His full name was Simon b. 'Azzai, to which sometimes the title "Rabbi" is prefixed. But, in spite of his great learning, this title did...
BEN BAG-BAG – An early tanna. At the end of the Mishnah Abot (v. 22, 23) two sentences are given concerning the study of the Torah; one by Ben Bag-Bag, the other by Ben Hê-Hê. Both sentences are also ascribed to Hillel (Ab. R. N. xii.); as...
BEN KAFRON – One of the three disciples of Menahem ben Saruk (last third of tenth century) who defended the honor of their teacher against his critic, Dunash ben Labrat. Judah ben Sheshet, a disciple of Dunash, wrote a violent polemic...
BEN ZOMA – Tanna of the first third of the second century. His full name is Simon b. Zoma without the title "Rabbi"; for, like Ben 'Azzai, he remained in the grade of "pupil," and is often mentioned together with Ben 'Azzai as a...
BENJAMIN OF TUDELA – A celebrated traveler of the twelfth century. Beyond his journey, no facts of his life are known. In the preface to his itinerary, entitled "Massa'ot shel Rabbi Binyamin" (Travels of Rabbi Benjamin), the information is furnished...
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...
BIBLE EXEGESIS – Jewish: 1. Israel has been called "the People of the Book"; it may as fitly be called "the people of Scripture exegesis," for exegesis in the largest sense of the word is in a way the one indigenous science which Israel has...
BOKHARA – Capital of the khanate of the same name in Central Asia; a principal seat of Islam and, with Samarcand, a center of Mohammedan culture in Central Asia since early times. The city probably had a Jewish population even at the...
CONCORDANCE – An alphabetical list of all the words in a book, with references to the passages where each word is found. The appellation indicates the concordance or similarity of all such passages. In Jewish literature the term is applied...
CONCORDANCE – An alphabetical list of all the words in a book, with references to the passages where each word is found. The appellation indicates the concordance or similarity of all such passages. In Jewish literature the term is applied...
DAGESH – The diacritical point placed in the center of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet to indicate either their intensified (doubled) pronunciation, or, in the case of the letters (b, g, d, k, p, t), their hard (unaspirated)...
DALET (ר) – Fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The name is evidently connected with "delet," meaning "door," and was borrowed from the shape of the letter in the Phenician (ancient Hebrew) script (see Alphabet). It corresponds to the...
DAVID BEN ABRAHAM – Karaite lexicographer of the tenth century. His surname "al-Fasi" shows that he came from Fez. From a reference by Abu al-Faraj Harun ("Rev. Et. Juives," xxx. 252; compare Pinsker, "Liḳḳuṭe Ḳadmoniyyot," i. 183), and from the...
DICTIONARIES, HEBREW – The earliest known work giving a lexical survey of part of the Hebrew language, with comments, is the dictionary of Biblical proper names (Ερμενεία Εβραικῶν ΟΝομάτων) ascribed to Philo of Alexandria, and in any case the work of...
DOSA – Father of the tannaite Ḥanina b. Dosa, famous for his piety.S. S. W. B.
DOSA – Palestinian amora, probably of the fourth century. The Jerusalem Talmud has preserved two of his halakic decisions, and Midrashic literature several of his haggadic utterances. Among the latter is the assertion that the...
DOSA B. ṬEBET – Palestinian amora of the fourth century, in whose name the following curious sentences on the two most dangerous instincts of man are handed down by the eminent haggadist Huna (Cant. R. vii. 8): "In His world God has created two...
DOSETAI – A name, corresponding to the Hebrew "Mattaniah" or "Nethaneel," which seems to have been a favorite one both in Palestine and in Alexandria (Josephus, "Ant." xiii. 9, § 2; xiv. 10, § 18; xv. 6, § 2). It has been borne by the...
DUAL – Form of a noun or verb indicating its application to two persons or things. Arabic is the only Semitic language that has the dual form for the verb as well as for the noun; in Syriac only a few traces of the dual have been...
DUNASH BEN LABRAṬ – Philologist and poet of the tenth century. For the name "Dunash," which Joseph Ḳimḥi on one occasion ("Sefer ha-Galui," p.62), for the sake of the rime, writes ("Dunosh"), see Dunash Ibn Tamim. "Labraṭ" ( , generally written...
DUNASH IBN TAMIM – Scholar of the tenth century and pioneer of scientific study among Arabic-speaking Jews. His Arabic name was "Abu Sahl"; his surname, according to an isolated statement of Moses ibn Ezra, was "Al-Shafalgi," perhaps after his...