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Gk. from Aram. reqa', "empty, worthless, good for nothing").

A common term of contempt in the time of Christ (Mt 5:22), denoting a certain looseness of life and manners. The word appears often in the writings of the Jewish rabbis with the meaning of "ignorant, senseless." To say raca to a person was like saying, "You Airhead!." It differs from "fool," which conveys the idea of impious, godless, because such a one neglects and despises wisdom.