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Wilhelm Bacher, Ph.D.

Professor, Jewish Theological Seminary, Budapest, Hungary.

Contributions:
NIDDAH – State of Uncleanness. A treatise in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and both Talmuds. In the Mishnah it stands seventh in the order Ṭohorot, but in the editions of the Talmud first, and is divided into ten chapters, containing...
NIGHT – The period between sunset and sunrise (see Calendar; Day). The older Biblical term for the whole day was "yom wa-lailah" or "yomam wa-layelah." Later "'ereb wa-boḳer" was used (Dan. viii. 14). Corresponding with it is νυχθήμερον...
NIMROD – Biblical Data: Son of Cush and grandson of Ham; his name has become proverbial as that of a mighty hunter. His "kingdom" comprised Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Sinar, otherwise known as the land of Nimrod...
NISIBIS – City in northeastern Mesopotamia, in the ancient province of Migdonia. The Biblical Accad (Gen. x. 10) is rendered "Neẓibin" (Nisibis) by the Targumim of pseudo-Jonathan and Jerusalem; but the Targum of Jonathan renders Canneh...
NISSIM BEN JACOB BEN NISSIM IBN SHAHIN – African Talmud exegete and moralist; lived during the first half of the eleventh century in Kairwan. He received his early instruction from his father, Jacob ben Nissim, president of the yeshibah of Kairwan. After Ḥushiel ben...
NOAH – Biblical Data: Son of Lamech and the ninth in descent from Adam. In the midst ofabounding corruption he alone was "righteous and blameless in his generations" and "walked with God" (Gen. vi. 9). Hence, when all his...
OG – Biblical Data: Amorite king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and was conquered by Moses and Israel in the battle of Edrei (Num. xxi. 33), sixty fortified cities, with high walls, gates, and bars, comprising the region of...
OHALOT – Treatise in the Mishnah and the Tosefta dealing with defilement through a dead human body, through the dead body of an animal, or through contact with one that is diseased; based on Num. xix. 14-16. In the Tosefta it is called...
OKLAH WE-OKLAH – Old Masoretic work in which the notices and rules of the Masorah are collected; it consists of groups of rare words or of certain peculiarities of the text arranged either alphabetically, or in the order of the books of the...
ONIAS (ḤONI) HA-ME'AGGEL – Teacher and miracle-worker; lived in the first century B.C. Tradition declares him to have been a descendant of Moses (Tan., Wayera, ed. Buber, p. 22). He was an Essene, stood in high repute, and was respected on account of his...
ONḲELOS – Tanna of the end of the first century C.E. Although the proselyte Onḳelos is frequently confounded with the proselyte Aquila in the Talmud and the Tosefta, even the designation of the official targum to the Pentateuch as "Targum...
ORDINATION – Appointment and solemn public dedication to the office of judge and teacher of the Law and to all the functions associated therewith. The custom of ordination is a very ancient one; Joshua was ordained by Moses, who thereby...
'ORLAH – Name of a treatise in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Yerushalmi, devoted to a consideration of the law, found in Lev. xix. 23-25, which ordains that the fruit of a newly planted tree shall be regarded as "'orlah" (A. V....
PALṬOI B. ABAYI – Gaon of Pumbedita from 842 to 858. He was the first of a series of prominent geonim at that academy, the influence of which he extended to such a degree that the exilarch was obliged to go to Pumbedita if he wished to convene a...
PAPA – Babylonian amora of the fifth generation; born about 300; died 375; pupil of Raba and Abaye. After the death of his teachers he founded a school at Neres, a city near Sura, in which he officiated as "resh metibta," his friend...
PAPPOS B. JUDAH – Haggadist of the first half of the second century; contemporary and fellow prisoner of Akiba. At the time of the persecutions by Hadrian, when it was forbidden to study the Torah, Akiba imperiled his life in order to hold...
PARABLE – A short religious allegory. That the Hebrew designation for "parable" is "mashal" (comp. David Ḳimḥi's commentary on II Sam. xii. 1-4 and on Isa. v. 1-6) is confirmed by the fact that in the New Testament the Syriac "matla,"...
PARAH – Name of a treatise in the Mishnah and the Tosefta, included in the order Ṭohorot. The Pentateuchal law (Num. xix.) decrees that a red heifer, "wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke," shall be burned and her ashes...
PARḤON, SOLOMON B. ABRAHAM IBN – Spanish philologist of the twelfth century; a native of Ḳal'ah (Ḳal'at Ayyub, Calatayud), Aragon. In the preface to his lexicon he mentions as his teachers, besides a certain R. Ephraim of whom nothing more is known, the two...
PATRIARCHS, THE – Biblical Data: As early as the Biblical period Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are nearly always invoked together. God remembers the covenant which He has made with the three Patriarchs, and will therefore liberate their descendants...
PE'AH – Name of a treatise of the Mishnah, the Tosefta, and the Palestinian Talmud, defining the laws set forth in Lev. xix. 9, 10, xxiii. 22, and Deut. xxiv. 19-22 which relate to the portion of the harvest to be given to the poor, and...
PEDAT B. ELEAZAR – Palestinian amora of the fourth generation (first half of the fourth century). He was his father's pupil (Ber. 77b; M. Ḳ. 20a) and the assistant lecturer ("amora") of R. Assi. If the latter asked him to repeat any of his...
PEREDA – Palestinian amora of the second generation; probably a pupil of R. Ammi, to whom he addressed a halakic question (Men. 53a). Once, when his pupils announced the visit of R. Ezra b. Abtolemus (Eu[p]tolemus), adding that he was a...
PESAḤ SHENI – The second Pesaḥ sacrifice. It was called also "Pesaḥ Ḳaṭon" (Aramaic, "Pisḥa Ze'ira") = "the lesser Pesaḥ" (R. H. i. 3), and was offered on the 14th of Iyyar by those who had been unable, because of absence from the Holy City...
PESAḤIM – Name of a treatise of the Mishnah and the Tosefta in Babli and Yerushalmi, treating chiefly of the regulations in Ex. xii., xiii. 3-7, xxiii. 15, xxxiv. 18; Lev. xxiii. 5 et seq.; Num. ix. 2-15, xxviii. 16-25; Deut. xvi. 1-8. In...