gezerah (geh-ZEY-rah) listen


  • n. In Jewish law, a prohibition enacted by the Sages as a measure to protect religious observance under changed conditions.

  • n. "Evil decree." (Steinmetz)

  • n. "An authoritative command either to perform or to refrain from performing a particular act." (Weiser)

  • n. "An addition to a previously existing precept." (Weiser)

Example Sentences

  • "A gezerah was instituted when occasion demanded." (source)

  • "According to the gzeira, you need to wait longer before you make havdala." (Weiser)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • גזרה gezera 'decree'

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


      • North America
      • South Africa


      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
      • Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

      gezera, gezerah, gzerah, g'zerah, gazerah, gezeirah, gzeirah, g'zeirah, gazeirah, gezeyrah, gzeyrah, g'zeyrah, gazeyrah, gzera, g'zera, gazera, gezeira, gzeira, g'zeira, gazeira, gezeyra, gzeyra, g'zeyra, gazeyra

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