FLESH

FLESH (Heb. בָּשָׂר, basar), a word used both in the Bible and Talmud for mortal man and for the flesh of animals (for the latter aspect, see meat ). Eve is called by Adam "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" (Gen. 2:23), i.e., "my close relative" (cf. Gen. 29:4). In Genesis 6:3: The basar of humans is contrasted with ru'aḥ of God, which animates them. "My breath shall not abide (?) in the human forever, for that he is also flesh; therefore shall his days be a hundred and twenty years." Whereas God's breath is eternal, flesh is mortal. At death the flesh returns to the dust whence it came while the eternal breath returns to God (Gen 2:7; Eccl.. 12:7.) In Psalms 84:3 – "my heart and my flesh sing for joy unto the living God" – it designates the whole physical part of man. In Isaiah 66:16 "all flesh" is used as a synonym for mankind as a whole, while in the Alenu prayer "the sons of flesh" is used with the same connotation. In Talmud and Midrash the more comprehensive phrase basar va-dam ("flesh and blood") is used, largely to indicate the mortality of man as against the eternity of God, particularly in the contrast between the frailty and ephemerality of a mortal king compared with the "supreme King of kings, the Holy One blessed be He." The corruptibility of flesh in the grave is constantly referred to. "The more flesh, the more worms" (Avot 2:7); "Know … whither thou art going, to a place of dust, worms and maggot" (ibid. 3:1); and the word basar is regarded as an acronym of bushah ("shame"), seruḥah ("putrefaction") or she'ol ("the grave"), and rimmah ("worm"; Sot. 5a). At the same time, it is regarded metaphorically as the symbol of softness and pliancy in contrast with the hardness of bone (ibid.). (Louis Isaac Rabinowitz / S. David Sperling (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Synonyms:
(of animal bodies) / , / , (of fruit) / (as opposed to spirit), , (as opposed to the spiritual) / , , / , , / , ,


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flesh — (fl[e^]sh), n. [OE. flesch, flesc, AS. fl[=ae]sc; akin to OFries. fl[=a]sk, D. vleesch, OS. fl[=e]sk, OHG. fleisc, G. fleisch, Icel. & Dan. flesk lard, bacon, pork, Sw. fl[ a]sk.] 1. The aggregate of the muscles, fat, and other tissues which… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flesh — [flesh] n. [ME < OE flæsc, akin to Ger fleisch < ? IE base * plēk , to tear off > FLAY] 1. a) the soft substance of the body (of a person or animal) between the skin and the bones; esp., the muscular tissue b) the surface or skin of the… …   English World dictionary

  • flesh — ► NOUN 1) the soft substance in the body consisting of muscle tissue and fat. 2) the edible pulpy part of a fruit or vegetable. 3) the surface of the human body with reference to its appearance or sensory properties. 4) (the flesh) the… …   English terms dictionary

  • flesh´i|ly — flesh|y «FLEHSH ee», adjective, flesh|i|er, flesh|i|est. 1. having much flesh; fat; plump. SYNONYM(S): corpulent, stout …   Useful english dictionary

  • flesh|y — «FLEHSH ee», adjective, flesh|i|er, flesh|i|est. 1. having much flesh; fat; plump. SYNONYM(S): corpulent, stout …   Useful english dictionary

  • Flesh — Flesh, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Fleshed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Fleshing}.] 1. To feed with flesh, as an incitement to further exertion; to initiate; from the practice of training hawks and dogs by feeding them with the first game they take, or other… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flesh — is the soft part of the body of a person or animal which is between the skin and the bones. In ordinary speech, it typically contrasts with bone, as in the merism flesh and bone . It mainly refers to skeletal muscle and associated fat, though it… …   Wikipedia

  • flesh — [n1] body tissue, skin beef, brawn, cells, corpuscles, fat, fatness, flesh and blood, food, meat, muscle, plasm, plasma, protoplasm, sinews, thews, weight; concept 392 flesh [n2] humankind animality, carnality, homo sapiens, humanity, human… …   New thesaurus

  • flesh|ly — «FLEHSH lee», adjective, li|er, li|est. 1. of the flesh; bodily; corporeal. 2. Figurative. of man s physical nature; sensual: »pretty lyrics of fleshly love (Joseph Slater) …   Useful english dictionary

  • flesh|er — «FLEHSH uhr», noun. 1. a person who fleshes hides. 2. a knifelike tool used for fleshing. 3. Scottish. a butcher …   Useful english dictionary

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