Bar minan

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"Bar Minan" (Hebrew - בר מינן) [bahr-mee-nohn] is a Sephardic Jewish saying which literally translates to "far from us" or "except us." This expression is used when referring to a certain mishap or calamity which one is discussing that he wishes not to befall on himself. One could say, for example, "a man whose children died, bar minan, is exempt." The expression is very similar to other Hebrew sayings such as, "Chas VeShalom" and "Lo Alenu".[citation needed]

The first time the term appears in any text is in the Shut (responsa) of Rabbenu Gereshom Me'or HaGolah (960-1040 CE) about how a person should act if he becomes a mourner on Purim, Bar Minan.[1] It is also used by the Rosh and various other Rishonim such as the Radbaz, Rivash, Ritva (Shut), Ran (Shut), Rabbi Yosef Albo, and the Shiboleh Haleket. (The words "בר מינך," which are similar to בר מינן, except it means "far from you", appear in various places in Onkelus' Targum Al HaTorah, but in different context.)[citation needed]

It is also appropriate to use this expression when referring to a certain person, place or thing which is considered bad or wrong in Judaism[citation needed]. For example, (someone might say to another person who is doing something inappropriate or immoral) "Bar Minan!!".[citation needed] Or, one may refer to an inappropriate place as a "Bar Minan" place.


  1. ^ שו"ת רבינו גרשום מאור הגולה סימן לג