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From Ancient Greek βῆμα (bêma, a step), from the root of βαίνω (baínō, I go, step). Doublet of bima.



bema (plural bemas or bemata)

  1. A platform from which speakers addressed an assembly.
  2. Raised area of worship in a synagogue upon which rests the Holy Ark containing Scrolls of Torah.


  • 1707, Royal Society, Miscellanea curiosa: Being a collection of some of the principal phaenomena in nature, accounted for by the greatest philosophers of this age. Together with several discourses read before the Royal society, for the advancement of physical and mathematical knowledge, Volume 3, page 46:
    I observed but one step from the Body of the Church to the Bema or place where the Altar formerly stood.