Alternative Spellings

aveirah, aveyra, avera


  • religious transgression (Glinert: "An aveirah is an infringement on the Torah, the opposite of a mitzvah.")

Example Sentences

  • "Speaking gossip is an aveirah."

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish


Heb עבירה averá, Yiddish עבֿירה avéyre

Who Uses This

Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


North America


The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).


a sin of lust or uncontrollable emotion, something one would not ordinarily do, committed against one's better judgment. It is a sin done knowingly, not in brazen defiance of G-d's will, but rather because a "spirit of foolishness" came over the sinner.

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