FLY (Heb. זְבוּב), which occurs in an analogous form in other Semitic languages, refers mainly to the housefly (Musca domestica) A dead fly turns foul anything it falls into (Eccles. 10:1). Among the visitations against which public prayer was offered up was a plague of flies (Ta'an. 14a). The Palestinian amora, Johanan, warned against flies as carriers of disease (Ket. 77b). One measure of a man's fastidiousness is how he reacts when a fly falls into his drink (Tosef., Sot. 5:9). One of the miracles that occurred in the Temple was that "no fly was seen in the slaughter house" (Avot 5:5). Rav reported from observation that "no fly is a year old"; in other words, that it does not live more than six months (cf. Deut, R. 5:2). Despite the repulsiveness of the fly, its existence was considered important in the balance of nature (TJ, Ber. 9:3, 13c). The people of Ekron worshipped an idol called Baal Zebub ("lord of the fly," see baal ), perhaps regarded as a protector against the plague of flies (II Kings 1:2). Besides the housefly, there are to be found in Israel stinging, blood-sucking flies, as well as carrion and fruit flies. Carrion flies (Lucillia) lay their eggs in carcasses. From the eggs hatch maggots (referred to in biblical passages as rimmah ve-tole'ah), which cause the decomposition of the corpse (Isa. 14:11; et al.). The maggots of fruit flies (Drosophila) feed on fruit and sweet food (cf. Ex. 16:24); the olive fly (Dacus olea) causes the fruit to fall from the olive (Deut. 28:40). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Tristram, Nat Hist, 327f.; J. Feliks, Animal World of the Bible (1962), 123f. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 224. (Jehuda Feliks)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fly — Fly, n.; pl. {Flies} (fl[imac]z). [OE. flie, flege, AS. fl[=y]ge, fle[ o]ge, fr. fle[ o]gan to fly; akin to D. vlieg, OHG. flioga, G. fliege, Icel. & Sw. fluga, Dan. flue. [root] 84. See {Fly}, v. i.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) Any winged insect; esp.,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Fly — (fl[imac]), v. i. [imp. {Flew} (fl[=u]); p. p. {Flown} (fl[=o]n); p. pr. & vb. n. {Flying}.] [OE. fleen, fleen, fleyen, flegen, AS. fle[ o]gan; akin to D. vliegen, OHG. fliogan, G. fliegen, Icel. flj[=u]ga, Sw. flyga, Dan. flyve, Goth. us… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fly — Ⅰ. fly [1] ► VERB (flies; past flew; past part. flown) 1) (of a winged creature or aircraft) move through the air under control. 2) control the flight of or convey in (an aircraft). 3) move or be hurled quickly through the air. 4) …   English terms dictionary

  • fly — fly1 [flī] vi. FLEW or, for vi. 10, flied, flown or, for vi. 10, flied, flying, flew [ME flien, flegen < OE fleogan, akin to MDu vlegen, Ger fliegen < IE * pleuk < base * pleu : see FLOW] 1. to move through the air; specif., a) …   English World dictionary

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