ONION

ONION (Heb. בָּצָל), the Allium cepa, one of the earliest cultivated plants. It is mentioned only once in the Bible as one of the vegetables eaten in Egypt for which the Israelites longed when they were in the wilderness (Num. 11:5). Onion growing was widespread in Egypt and drawings of it are found on the pyramids. The onion, with its concentric skins, symbolized in Egypt the stellar and planetary system, and was an object of idol worship, some swearing by its name (Pliny, Historia naturalis, 19:101). The word appears in family names. Among the Nethinim (see gibeonites and nethinim ) who went from Babylon to Ereẓ Israel, a family of the children of Bazluth is mentioned (Ezra 2:52), and the Jerusalem Talmud (Ḥag. 2:2; 77d) mentions a Miriam bat Alei Beẓalim ("onion leaves") which may be a reference to Miriam the mother of Jesus. The onion is frequently mentioned in rabbinic literature. R. Judah used to say "Eat baẓal (onions) and sit ba-ẓel (in the shade), and do not eat geese and fowl" (Pes. 114a), i.e., do not desire luxuries but be content with little. They made a distinction between "rural onions" (TJ, Shev. 2:9, 34a) and "urban onions which were the food of city folk" (Ter. 2:5). A species very near to the onion was called beẓalẓul (Kil. 1:3), which is possibly the shallot, the Ashkelon onion, and therefore sometimes called "scallion" which was praised by Theophrastus, Strabo, and Pliny. The onion was usually pulled up before it flowered and some of the plants were left to flower and produce seed (Pe'ah 3:3 and TJ, Pe'ah 17c). Many species of Allium of the same genus as the onion grow wild in Israel, where the climate and soil are very suitable for onion plants. To the Liliaceae family of onion belong some of the most beautiful of Israel's flowers (see flowers of the Bible). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Loew, Flora, 2 (1924), 125–31; H.N. and A.L. Moldenke, Plants of the Bible (1952), index; J. Feliks, Olam ha-Ẓome'aḥ ha-Mikra'i (19682), 169–71. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 38. (Jehuda Feliks)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Onion — On ion, n. [F. ognon, fr. L. unio oneness, unity, a single large pearl, an onion. See {One}, {Union}.] 1. (Bot.) A liliaceous plant of the genus {Allium} ({Allium cepa}), having a strong flavored bulb and long hollow leaves; also, its bulbous… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • .onion — Введение 2004 Тип домена псевдо домен верхнего уровня Статус действующий Регистратор Tor Назначение Обеспечение доступа к анонимным сервисам сети Tor …   Википедия

  • onion — (n.) early 12c., from Anglo Fr. union, O.Fr. oignon (formerly also oingnon), from L. unionem (nom. unio), colloquial rustic Roman for a kind of onion, also pearl (via notion of a string of onions), lit. one, unity; sense connection is the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • onion — [un′yən] n. [ME oynon < OFr oignon < L unio (gen. unionis), oneness, unity, also a kind of single onion: see UNION] 1. a plant (Allium cepa) of the lily family, having an edible bulb with a strong, sharp smell and taste 2. the bulb of this… …   English World dictionary

  • onion — см. Приложение 1 (Allium). (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • onion — onion. См. луки. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • onion — ► NOUN ▪ an edible bulb used as a vegetable, having a pungent taste and smell and composed of several concentric layers. ● know one s onions Cf. ↑know one s onions DERIVATIVES oniony adjective. ORIGIN Old French oignon, from Latin unio …   English terms dictionary

  • Onion — Onions redirects here. For the name and those bearing it, see Onions (surname). This article is about the plants. For other uses, see Onion (disambiguation). Onion Onions Scientific classification …   Wikipedia

  • onion — onionlike, adj. oniony, adj. /un yeuhn/, n. 1. a plant, Allium cepa, of the amaryllis family, having an edible, succulent, pungent bulb. 2. any of certain similar plants. 3. the bulb of the onion plant. 4. the flavor or odor of this bulb. 5.… …   Universalium

  • .onion — Infobox Top level domain name=.onion background=#ADFF2F introduced=2004 type=Pseudo domain style host suffix status=Not in root, but used by Tor clients, servers, and proxies registry=Tor sponsor= intendeduse=To designate a hidden service… …   Wikipedia

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