CAPER

CAPER (Heb. צָלָף; ẓalaf), the shrub Capparis spinosa, which grows wild in Israel in rocky places, as well as in old stone walls, including the Western Wall. The personal name Zalaph occurs in the Bible (Neh. 3:30). The caper's fruit, the evyonah, is mentioned in Ecclesiastes 12:5 as a symbol of shortness of man's life, because very soon after it blossoms, the fruit scatters its seeds and the plant withers; "The almond-tree shall blossom… and the caperberry shall fail; Because man goeth to his long home…." Frequently mentioned in aggadah and halakhah, the caper was grown for its edible flowerbuds, the kafrisin, as also for its young fruit, which was eaten after being   pickled in salt or vinegar. The plant produces new fruit daily and Rabban Gamaliel used this phenomenon as proof that in messianic times "trees will yield fruit every day" (Shab. 30b). The caper flower's structure is unique: its ovary, from which the fruit develops, is borne on a long style which protrudes from the flower, a fact noted by the rabbis (TJ, Ma'as. 4:6, 51c). The rabbis were unsure whether to consider the caper a tree or a vegetable, the distinction bearing on which blessing is to be said over it, and whether the law of orlah applies to it (Tosef., Kil. 3:17). The caper grows tenaciously among rocks and is difficult to uproot; thus the Talmud declares that the caper among shrubs is distinguished for its strength even as is "Israel among the nations" (Beẓah 25b). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Feliks, Olam ha-Ẓome'aḥ ha-Mikra'i (1968), 132; Loew, Flora, 1 (1928), 322ff. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 132. (Jehuda Feliks)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Synonyms:
(in a frolicsome mood), , , , , , , , , (in a frolicsome mood), , , , , , , ,


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Caper — Ca per, n. [F. c[^a]pre, fr. L. capparis, Gr. ?; cf. Ar. & Per. al kabar.] 1. The pungent grayish green flower bud of the European and Oriental caper ({Capparis spinosa}), much used for pickles. [1913 Webster] 2. (Bot.) A plant of the genus… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • caper — CÁPER, caperi, s.m. Arbust spinos care creşte în regiunile calde ale Europei, cu flori mari albe sau roşietice (Capparis spinosa). – Din it. cappero. Trimis de valeriu, 11.02.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  cáper s. m., pl. cáperi Trimis de siveco,… …   Dicționar Român

  • caper — caper1 [kā′pər] vi. [prob. < CAPRIOLE] to skip or jump about in a playful manner; frisk; gambol n. 1. a playful jump or leap 2. a wild, foolish action or prank ☆ 3. Slang a criminal plan or act, esp. a robbery cut a caper or cut capers …   English World dictionary

  • caper — ● caper verbe transitif Poser la cape d un cigare. ● caper (synonymes) verbe transitif Poser la cape d un cigare. Synonymes : rober caper v. tr. (Maurice) d1./d Mordre (en parlant d un chien). Le chien lui a capé le mollet …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • caper — ‘jump about’ [16] and the edible caper [15] are two different words. The former is a shortening of capriole ‘leap’, now obsolete except as a technical term in horsemanship, which comes via early French capriole from Italian capriola, a derivative …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • caper — Ⅰ. caper [1] ► VERB ▪ skip or dance about in a lively or playful way. ► NOUN 1) a playful skipping movement. 2) informal an illicit or ridiculous activity or escapade. ● cut a caper Cf. ↑cut a …   English terms dictionary

  • caper — ‘jump about’ [16] and the edible caper [15] are two different words. The former is a shortening of capriole ‘leap’, now obsolete except as a technical term in horsemanship, which comes via early French capriole from Italian capriola, a derivative …   Word origins

  • Caper — Ca per, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Capered} p. pr. & vb. n. {capering}.] [From older capreoll to caper, cf. F. se cabrer to prance; all ultimately fr. L. caper, capra, goat. See {Capriole}.] To leap or jump about in a sprightly manner; to cut capers;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Caper — Ca per, n. A frolicsome leap or spring; a skip; a jump, as in mirth or dancing; a prank. [1913 Webster] {To cut a caper}, to frolic; to make a sportive spring; to play a prank. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Caper — (Caperschiff, engl. Privateer, franz. Armateur), Schiffe, welche zu Kriegszeiten mit Erlaubniß des kriegführenden Staates von Privaten ausgerüstet werden, um der feindlichen Macht durch Angriffe auf ihre Kriegs od. Handelsflotte Schaden zuzufügen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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