Beta Israel

\ ˈbe-tə- How to pronounce Beta Israel (audio) \

Definition of Beta Israel

: a people of highland Ethiopia who practice a variety of Judaism

Note: The Beta Israel are also referred to as Falasha, a term that continues in widespread use but is considered to be offensive.

First Known Use of Beta Israel

1919, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Beta Israel

borrowed from Hebrew bēyṯeʼ yiśrāʼēl (Geez betä ʼəsrāʼel), literally, "house of Israel"

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The first known use of Beta Israel was in 1919

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Cite this Entry

“Beta Israel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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