Email Email   


Literally, country folk. It became a derogatory phrase, meaning one ignorant and uneducated in Jewish matters. The term originated in the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah. These two leaders urged those who returned from the Babylonian Exile with them to separate themselves from “the people of the earth,” called Ammei Ha-Aretz. This separation was necessary to prevent Jews from assimilating and losing their identity. The Talmud has many definitions of an Am Ha-Aretz, such as: “One of the multitude which knows not the (Jewish) law,” and “he who has children and does not educate them in the Law.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email