I've seen a lot of Jews write BSD on the top of their papers. It makes sense that they like BSD - it's a fairly robust Operating System, but such obsession?

And which BSD do religious Jews support?

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    As long as it’s not BDS...
    – Joel K
    Feb 26, 2018 at 20:46
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    @JoelK: Ahem. My initials are BDS. I hope you haven't spent the year from last Purim to this Purim (may it come to us for drunkenness) hiding from me. Mar 7, 2019 at 15:13

7 Answers 7


Actually, the more right-leaning Orthodox Jews use Fedora.


It is commonly said that:

"Two of the most famous products of Berkeley are LSD and Unix. I don’t think that is a coincidence."

In short, BSD's logic and use are so convoluted, only a talmudic scholar could comprehend it. It's not so much that Jews like it, it's that no one else would ever possibly use it. As such, Jewish nerds like to show off their use of BSD as a way of demonstrating their Jewishness.


I don't think their writing "BSD" atop their papers is a sign of support or an indication that they like BSD. I mean, many great rabbis have written "עמי עשו" ("Esau with me") atop their papers, and surely they don't like or support the fact that Esau is with them. It seems to be, not a sign of support, but an excuse, something like "please excuse this poor work: it's the best I could do with Esau here" / "…best I could do on BSD".


When written in Hebrew letters, the abbreviation stands for בסיעתא דשמיא meaning, "With G-d's help".

If you have seen how cryptic UNIX commands are, believe me ... you will need loads of help from G-d to understand what some of these commands do, and how to use each command umpteen different options. The UNIX manual is practically useless for a novice. And, I've spoken to people from Berkley who were involved with BSD about the BSD / UNIX language. Let's say that after talking to them, I don't know who needs more help - they or me!

In short, if you're using BSD, G-d help you!


There are three main flavors of BSD -

  1. FreeBSD - Can't be, the logo is that of a Daemon, and we don't like them.
  2. OpenBSD - Can't be, the logo is a non-kosher fish.
  3. NetBSD - Found it! The logo is that of a flag, a Jewish symbol. Moreover, it's one of the smallest of the BSDs, (apropos for "the smallest nation").

And, as a side point, those who write ב"ה must be secret Linux lovers - the Hei stands for System V (Which Linux traditionally emulated).


The Jews putting "BSD" at the top of their papers are part of an outreach program to bring secular Jews into greater observence. "Benching", "Shehakol" and "Davening" are their main focus, since even those without much in the way of Hebrew or Jewish education can at least perform those simple mitzvot. That's also why the Jewish authors in question are mostly to be found in extremely secular (and academic) settings!


BSD does not refer to the operating system.

It's actually an acronym for Bind which is Teffilin. Shema the Shema prayer and Daven referring to the Shmona Esreh tefilla. Shema and the Shmona Esreh teffila are both actions that one must do while wearing teffilin as we find in Brachos (14b):

אמר עולא כל הקורא קריאת שמע בלא תפילין כאלו מעיד עדות שקר בעצמו פירוש שהוא עושה הפך קריאתו שהוא מקבל עליו עול מלכות שמים בפיו ובשפתיו ואינו מקיים מצותו

  • Why a downvote on a Purim answer? So weird Feb 27, 2018 at 17:57

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