Saturday, March 04, 2006


B'diavad (alternatively spelled bidiavad)- בדיעבד literally means "after the event", and in Latin "post factum" or "post facto" (I know no Latin grammar so I can't tell you the difference.) It generally refers to a situation where a less than ideal action has occurred, and there is a need for a halachic decision.

The Eastern European pronunciation is "b'dieved" (or bidieved), and while I don't have anything to add on the etymology of the word, it's Adar, so I thought this was a good opportunity for a joke (thanks RL):

A man proposes marriage to a woman.
Woman: Look, you're an ok guy, but I'm quite lazy and I don't like housework. I'll marry you on condition that you provide me with a servant that will be at my beck and call, to perform all the housework and do my every wish.
Man: As you wish.
They marry, and when they arrive home the man introduces his bride to her new servant, who is quite well-mannered and courteous, but also happens to be 3 feet tall.
Woman: You call that a slave? I've been deceived -- I want a divorce.
They go to the rabbinical court, and the woman explains that her marriage was on false premises -- a mekach ta'ut -- and thus it is invalid.
The rabbi examines the servant -- all 3 feet of him, strokes his beard utters a few "hmm"s and "aah"s, and says:
"Look, it's a little bitty eved, but the marriage is valid."

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