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Marcus Jastrow, Ph.D.

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

Contributions:
AMRAPHEL – Biblical Data: A king of Shinar (Gen. xiv. 1, 9), who invaded the West in conjunction with Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and others, and destroyed Sodom. The identity of the name has long been a subject of controversy among...
APOSTOMUS – The Talmudic Account. Among five catastrophes said to have overtaken the Jews on the seventeenth of Tammuz, the Mishnah (Ta'anit iv. 6) includes "the burning of the Torah by Apostomus" (written also Postemus and Apostemus)....
APPEAL – The carrying of a cause from a lower to a higher tribunal for a rehearing on the merits" is practically unknown to Jewish law. In the statute constituting courts of justice and setting forth the duty of the judges (Deut. xvi....
APPRAISEMENT – The setting of a value by a court of justice either upon property, or upon damage done to person or property. It differs from Estimate (Hebrew ), the fixing of values by the Law itself.The Appraisement of damages, or "measure of...
ARABIA – Peninsula lying between the mainlands of Africa and Asia. It is separated from Africa on the south by the Red Sea and on the north by the Sinaitic peninsula and the strip of land which in modern times has been cut through for...
'ARAKIN – A treatise of the Mishnah, the Tosefta, and the Babylonian Talmud in the order Ḳodashim.Analysis of the Mishnah. In the Mishnah the treatise 'Arakin consists of nine chapters (peraḳim), forming in all fifty paragraphs...
ARAM – Location. —Biblical Data: The name of a group of kindred tribes scattered over portions of Syria, Mesopotamia, and Arabia. It is not the name of a country or of a politically independent people; for the Aramaic peoples were...
ARIEL – Biblical Data: 1. Proper name of a man (Ezra viii. 16). The name is recognizable in the name of the Gadite clan Areli (Gen. xlvi. 16; Num. xxvi. 17, Ariel in LXX.), and occurs also in II Sam. xxiii. 20, R. V., and in I Chron....
ARIOCH – Biblical Data: 1. King of Ellasar, one of the four kings who invaded Palestine in the days of Abraham (Gen. xiv. 1, 9). The style of the chapter in Genesis is such as to make it probable that the narrative, though embellished,...
ARISTAI – A Palestinian scholar of the third amoraic generation (third century); colleague of R. Samuel b. NaḦman. The latter, commenting on Gen. xix. 24, "The Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out...
ARK OF THE COVENANT – Dimensions and Construction. —Biblical Data: The first mention of the Ark in the Bible is in Ex. xxv. 10 et seq., where Moses on Mount Sinai is told to have an Ark of shittim-wood made for the Commandments which are about to be...
ARK OF NOAH – Biblical Data: The vessel occupied by Noah and his family during the Deluge (Gen. vi. 14, vii., viii.).The English name should not be confounded with the Ark of the Covenant. The Hebrew name, , is the same as that of the chest...
ARNON – Biblical Data: A river and wady of eastern Palestine, the modern Wady Mojib (or Wady el-Mojib). The name means perhaps "noisy," a term which well describes the latter part of the course of the river. Its length is about 45...
ARTISANS – Terms. —In Bible and Talmud: The general term for "artisan" in the Bible is "Ḧarash" or "Ḧoresh," which, derived from a verb meaning "to cut," is applicable to any worker in a hard substance, such as metal, stone, or wood...
ASA – Biblical Data: Third king of Judah; son of Abijam and grandson of Rehoboam; reigned 917-876 B.C. (I Kings xv. 7-9). The most important event of his reign was the deliverance of Judah from Baasha, king of Israel, under whom the...
ASAHEL – Biblical Data: 1. Son of Zeruiah, sister of David (I Chron. ii. 16). He was noted as a swift runner. As one of the thirty heroes of David (II Sam. xxiii. 24; I Chron. xi. 26), he had command of the army in the fourth month (I...
ASAPH ("Mar Rab") – To judge from the title "Mar Rab," he was one of the Geonim (see Gaon). and, presumably, lived about the middle of the ninth century. The name occurs in a Cairo Genizah fragment, whose author was possibly Judah b. Barzilai of...
ASENATH – Biblical Data: Daughter of Poti-pherah, priest of On, and wife of Joseph (Gen. xli. 45). The name is apparently Egyptian; but no satisfactory explanation has yet been proposed.J. Jr. G. B. L.—In Rabbinical Literature: That...
ASHER – Biblical Data: The eighth son of the patriarch Jacob, and the traditional progenitor of the tribe Asher. He is represented as the younger brother of Gad; these two being the sons of Zilpah, the handmaid of Leah (Gen. xxx. 10 et...
ASHERI – A name by which Asher Ben Jehiel is frequently cited in rabbinical literature, especially in halakic discussions. Modern historians use the expression "Asherides" when speaking of the sons and descendants of Asher b. Jehiel.J....
ASHES – Use. —Biblical Data: The usual translation of the Hebrew "efer" which occurs often in expressions of mourning and in other connectionsIt is a symbol of insignificance or nothingness in persons or words (Gen. xviii. 27; Isa....
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...
ASHIMA – Biblical Data: One of the gods of the Hamathites, an image of which was set up in Samaria by the men of Hamath, whom Sargon settled there after 722 B.C. (II Kings xvii. 30). Jewish tradition explains the name as signifying a...
ASHKENAZ – The Ruins of Ashkelon.(After a photograph.)( ): A people traced back (Gen. x. 3; I Chron. i. 6) through Gomer to Noah's third son, Japheth. In Jer. li. 27, 28, it is mentioned in connection with the kingdoms of Ararat and Minni...
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....