ASS


ASS
ASS (Heb. חֲמוֹר, ḥamor), in the Talmud the feminine form ḥamorah occurs, or aton whose colt is called ayir. The ass belongs to the genus Equus to which belong the horse and the wild ass. Various strains exist in Ereẓ Israel. The most common is small, usually brown in color (ḥamor is connected with Ar. ḥamar, "to be red"). However, other kinds exist such as the Damascus ass, which is tall, strong, and usually white or pale brown. This species is probably referred to in Judges 5:10 as ridden by the upper classes. Among other peoples the ass is regarded as a foolish animal; in ancient Jewish sources, however, it is the symbol of patience and understanding. Issachar, who chose the life of the modest farmer, is likened to a "strong-boned ass" who bowed his shoulder to bear (Gen. 49:14–15). One of the best-known incidents associated with the animal is the story of balaam (Num. 22:22–30) whose ass sees an angel unperceived by his master and is given the power to speak in order to reprove Balaam for his obstinacy and quick temper. Unlike the horse which was regarded as a luxury or for war, the ass exemplifies the life of work and peace. The prophet Zechariah describes the savior of the people as "lowly and riding upon an ass, even upon a colt the foal of an ass (aton)." It is possible that the statement in the Talmud that "he who sees an ass in a dream should hope for salvation" (Ber. 56b) is connected with this passage. Today the ass is still employed in Israel as a beast of burden. (Jehuda Feliks) -In Folklore According to medieval bestiaries, the ass "has no sense at all" and this was the general attitude toward the domesticated ass in folkloric beliefs and tales, especially in Mediterranean countries. It played an essential role in the European medieval Feast of Fools; and in oral animal tales current among Jewish storytellers, it is the most foolish of all animals. The view of the ass in Jewish tradition stems from the aggadic fable of the lion, the fox, and the ass (Yal. 1:182; cf. Aesop-Chamdry, no. 199, ed. Span, no. 22), which ends with the statement of the ass "having no heart (brains)." The derogatory notion that the ass is the most stupid of all animals gave rise to the aggadic comparison of the Gentile to an ass (based on Gen. 22:3). The concept is relatively late, as the old aggadic attitude toward the ass was positive (see above). In Hebrew proverbial lore, the ass ascending a ladder denotes an incredible and impossible feat, such as the elephant "passing through the eye of a needle" mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 55b; BM 38b), and the similar camel in the Synoptic Gospels (Matt. 19:24) and the Koran (7:40). It serves as a metaphor for the wisdom attributed to fools in medieval and later literature. (Dov Noy) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Aharoni, Torat ha-Ḥai (1923); S. Feigin, Studies in Memory of Moses Schorr (1944), 227; J. Feliks, Animal World of the Bible. IN FOLKLORE: Ginzberg, Legends, 7 (1936), 116; J.L. Zlotnik, Midrash ha-Meliẓah (1938), 62–64; Scheiber, in: Folia Ethnographica, 1 (Budapest, 1949), 1–3. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 232.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • ass — S2 [æs] n [Sense: 1; Origin: Old English assa, from Latin asinus] [Sense: 2; Date: 1800 1900; Origin: Changed spelling of arse (11 21 centuries), from Old English Ars, ears] 1.) not polite a stupid, annoying person = ↑ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • ASS — steht für: Ass (Spielkarte), eine Spielkarte Ass (Sport), einen nicht parierten Aufschlag bei einigen Ballsportarten wie Tennis, Volleyball oder Faustball das sogenannte Flieger Ass, einen erfolgreichen Jagdflugzeugpiloten Hole in one, das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ass — [ æs ] noun ▸ 1 part of body you sit on ▸ 2 stupid/annoying person ▸ 3 animal like a horse ▸ 4 for emphasizing orders ▸ 5 sexual activity ▸ + PHRASES 1. ) count IMPOLITE the part of your body that you sit on. British usually arse 2. ) count a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Ass — steht für: Ass (Spielkarte), eine Spielkarte einen nicht parierten Aufschlag bei einigen Ballsportarten wie Tennis, Volleyball oder Faustball das sogenannte Fliegerass, einen „erfolgreichen“ Jagdflugzeugpiloten Hole in one, das Spielen einer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ass — Ass, n. [OE. asse, AS. assa; akin to Icel. asni, W. asen, asyn, L. asinus, dim. aselus, Gr. ?; also to AS. esol, OHG. esil, G. esel, Goth. asilus, Dan. [ae]sel, Lith. asilas, Bohem. osel, Pol. osiel. The word is prob. of Semitic origin; cf. Heb.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ass — may refer to: *Ass (animal) or donkey ** Asinus *Buttocks, in colloquial usage * Ass (album), by Badfinger *ASS (car), a French car made from 1919 to 1920 *ASS (gene), a human gene that encodes for the enzyme argininosuccinate synthetase… …   Wikipedia

  • Ass. — Ass. 〈Abk. für〉 Assessor, Assistent * * * Ass. = Assessor; Assistent. * * * Ass.,   Abkürzung für Assessor, Assessorin. * * * Ass. = Assessor; Assistent …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Ass — Ass: Das Wort bezeichnete ursprünglich die »Eins« auf Würfeln, später auch auf Spielkarten. Weil das Ass in den meisten Kartenspielen die höchste ‹Trumpf›karte ist, nennt man heute (nach engl. Vorbild) im übertragenen Gebrauch z. B. auch einen… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • ass — ass1 [as] n. [ME asse < OE assa, assen: prob. < OIr assan or Welsh asyn, both < L asinus] 1. any of a number of horselike perissodactylous mammals (family Equidae) having long ears and a short mane, esp. the common wild ass (Equus… …   English World dictionary

  • Ass — Ạss 〈n.; Gen.: es, Pl.: e〉 1. 〈urspr.〉 die Eins auf dem Würfel 2. Spielkarte mit dem höchsten Wert; Syn. Daus 3. 〈fig.〉 Spitzenkönner auf einem Gebiet, bes. im Sport; ein od. das Ass im Boxen, auf der Geige 4. 〈Sport; Tennis〉 ein für den Gegner… …   Lexikalische Deutsches Wörterbuch


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