(Heb., mourning) Seven days of mourning after the burial of a close relative (as in, "to sit shiva"). See shiva. shloshim.
(adj. Abrahamic) The patriarch who is acknowledged as a special early figure in the histories and folklore of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Presumed to have lived sometime in the period 2000-1700 BCE; father of Ishmael by Hagar and of Isaac by Sarah. See Bible Genesis 12-25; NT Galatians 3-4;
Adam (and Eve) -
(Hebrew for human, man) Name given to the first created male (with Eve as female) in the creation story in the Jewish ******ures (Genesis 1). Has been interpreted over the centuries both literally (as an actual historical person) and symbolically (as generic humankind; see allegory).
(adj. aggadic; Aramaic, "telling, narration") Jewish term for non-halakic (nonlegal) matter, especially in Talmud and Midrash; includes folklore, legend, theology/theosophy, ******ural interpretations, biography, etc.; also spelled haggada(h), not to be confused, however, with the Passover Manual called "the Haggada(h)."
(or better, Aqiba) ben Joseph Famous Jewish rabbi (c. 50-135 CE) in ancient Israel; a major legal scholar, who established an academy in Bne Brak, and was also a legendary mystic and martyr. He was tortured and killed by the Romans in 135 CE.
A term used in modern Judaism especially for migration (Heb., going up) to the land of Israel (Aliya can also be used for going up to the altar bimah to read from Torah.
Allegory (Greek term), -
adj. allegorical, vb
. allegorize Usually used in reference to symbolic interpretation of ******ures or other authoritative materials, in Judaism and Islam as well as in Christianity. See midrash,.
Historically, it usually refers to a raised surface (like a table) or platform on which sacrifices were performed. Thus it came to designate the central location for liturgical functions such as reading Torah (Jewish; see bima) or administering the eucharist (Christian).
Am haaretz -
(pl. ammey haaretz; Heb., "people of the land") A term used in Jewish ******ures for citizens, or some particular class of citizens; in rabbinic literature, for persons or groups that dissented from or were uninstructed in rabbinic halaka and rigorous purity and tithing norms. It sometimes signifies the unlearned, sometimes is used condescendingly (boor). It was also used of the broad mass of Jewish people of the 1st century CE, who cannot be categorized into any of the sub-groups of the time. See also Pharisees.
(Heb., standing; pl. amidot) The main section of rabbinic Jewish prayers, recited in a standing posture; also known as *tefillah or shemoneh esreh (eighteen benedictions).
(pl. amoraim; Heb.,"speaker") Rabbinic Jewish teachers of the 4th and 5th centuries CE who produced the gemara for the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds.
Greek term for a religio-political federation with its common focus a sanctuary dedicated to God; an association of neighboring states or tribes in ancient Greece that banded together for common interest and protection. This model has sometimes been used to describe the situation in "the period of the judges" (prior to Saul and David) in Ancient Israel.
(Greek, lit. "messenger") Came to be used specifically for a class of extrahuman ("spiritual") beings, both good (usually) and bad ("demons", "the devil"/Satan) who become involved in human affairs; common to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. A leader or special functionary among the angels is sometimes c alled an "archangel" (e.g. Michael, Gabriel).
Greek term for the attribution of human behavior or characteristics to inanimate objects, animals, natural phenomena, or deity. With regard to deity, anthropomorphism became a point of theological discussion in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Literally means opposed to Semites (which would include Arabic and other semitic peoples as well), but usually applied specifically to opposition to Jews (anti-Judaism).
(adj. apocalyptic) From the Greek, meaning "revelation." A genre of literature (attested in Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions) in which the author claims to have received revelation(s), usually about the end -time, and expresses them in vivid symbolism. The intertestamental Jewish and the early Christian apocalypses are often pseudepigraphical.
(Heb., binding [of Isaac]) The Jewish biblical account of God's command to Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice (Genesis 22).
Famous Jewish rabbi (c. 50-135 CE) in ancient Palestine; a major legal scholar, who established an academy in Bne Brak, and was also a legendary mystic and martyr. He was tortured and killed by the Romans in 135 CE. See Akiba.
(adj. Ashkenazic) The term now used for Jews who derive from northern Europe and who generally follow the customs originating in medieval German Judaism, in contradistinction to Sephardic Judaism, which has its distinctive roots in Spain and the Mediterranean ( see Sephardim). Originally the designation Ashkenaz referred to a people and country bordering on Armenia and the upper Euphrates; in medieval times, it came to refer to the Jewish area of settlement in northwest Europe (northern France and western German y). By extension, it now refers to Jews of northern and eastern European background (including Russia) with their distinctive liturgical practices or religious and social customs.
The process of becoming similar to something; used in discussion of religious and cultural developments to describe the process in which the characteristic traits of a person or group may be lost or modified during adaptation to differing surroundings or conditions. See syncretism.
(from Greek, no deity) A general term for the position that there is no God/deity
That to which submission of some sort is due, whether a person (as "the authority of the rabbi/bishop/imam") or an institution ("of the church/community") or some other appropriate focus ("of the law/******ure/tradition").
(or Ab)A month in the Jewish calendar; the 9th of Av is a day of mourning for the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 586 BCE and again in 70 CE.
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Ba'al Shem Tov -
(BeSHT; lit. Master of the Good Name) Founder of mid 18th century Jewish Hasidism (proper name was Israel).
bar (bat) mitzvah -
(Heb., son (daughter)-of-the-command-ment(s)) The phrase originally referred to a person responsible for performing the divine commandments of Judaism; it now refers to the occasion when a boy or girl reaches the age of religious majority and responsibility (thirteen years for a boy; twelve years and a day for a girl). In Christianity, compare confirmation.
(Heb., daughter, daughter of; Arabic bint) Used frequently in matronymics (naming by identity of mother); see also ben, *bar.
Jewish shorthand term for the Babylonian Talmud.
A term with multiple applications, from general assent or fidelity to a religious idea or position (constituting someone as a to specific reference to well defined religious conceptual objects (beliefs).. For classical Judaism, see the thirteen principles; Christianity has tended to be more preoccupied with defining beliefs than have classical Judaism or Islam.
(Heb., son, son of; Aramaic *bar; Arabic ibn) Used frequently in patronymics (naming by identity of father); Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph means Akiba son of Joseph. See also bat,.
(h)ah (Heb., blessing; Arabic baraka) In Judaism, an offering of thankfulness that praises God for a benefit conferred or a great event experienced (pl. berakot). See also shemonah esreh.
berit or brit -
(Heb., covenant) Used in Judaism especially for the special relationship believed to exist between God and the Jewish people.(See circumcision)
bet/beit midrash -
(Heb.); see also midrash, synagogue In Judaism, a place (beit = house) of study, discussion, and prayer; in ancient times a school of higher learning (see, for example, house of Hillel). Similarly, bet am (house of people), bet kneset (house of assembly) and bet tefilla (house of prayer) are designations for locations/functions that came to be included in the general term synagogue; bet din (house of judgment) refers to a halakic law court (see also sanhedrin).
(adj. biblical; from the Greek biblos meaning book) Designation normally used for Jewish ******ures (TaNaK = Protestant Christian Old Testament; plus the Apocrypha in classical Christianity) or Christian ******ures (OT plus the Christian New Testament). See also canon, Quran, Septuagint.
(from Greek beema, altar) Location in a synagogue from which worship (see liturgy) is led.
birkat haminim -
(Heb., (bene)diction concerning heretics) A prayer that invoked divine wrath upon Christian Jews and other heterodox Jewish groups. 12th section of the shemoneh esre.
brit (or berit) milah -
(Heb., "covenant of circumcision")
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In general, Christianity operates on a solar calendar based on the relationship between the sun and the earth (365.25 days per year). The main Christian observances are Easter, Pentacost, and Christmas. The Islamic calendar is lunar, based on the relationship of earth and moon (354 days in a year). Thus every 100 solar years are equal to about 103 lunar years. Judaism follows a lunar calandar adjusted every three years or so to the solar cycle (by adding a second 12th month) -- thus lunisolar. The oldest Jewish annual observances are Passover/pesah, *Shevuot, Yom Kippur and Sukkot; other ancient celebrations include Rosh ha-shana, Simhat Torah, Hannukah and Purim.
(from Latin, one who sings) in Hebrew Hazzan In Judaism, a reciter and chanter/singer of liturgical materials in the synagogue; also used similarly in Christian con****s (choir leader, etc).
The practice of refraining from sexual relationships in the interest of religious purity, known in Judaism among the Essenes and developed extensively in Christianity (see monk, priest).
In Judaism, the special canopy under which a marriage ceremony is conducted
(from Latin, to cut around) The minor surgical removal of the skin covering the tip of the penis. In Judaism, it is ritually performed when a boy is eight days old in a ceremony called brit milah, which indicates that the ritual establishes a covenant between God and the individual. In Islam, it is performed at any time up to the age of puberty, depending on the cultural tradition (e.g. birth, 7 years, puberty, etc.).
classical Judaism, Christianity, Islam -
The forms of the religions that have survived as traditional throughout the centuries. See rabbinic, orthodox. See also conservative.
See kohen. Priest (Judaism).
(Heb., mitzvot; sing, mitzvah). According to rabbinic Jewish tradition, there are 613 religious commandments referred to in the Torah (and elaborated upon by the rabbinic sages). Of these, 248 are positive commandments and 365 are negative. The numbers respectively symbolize the fact that divine service must be expressed through all one's bodily parts during all the days of the year. In general, a mitzvah refers to any act of religious duty or obligation; more colloquially, a mitzvah refers to a "good deed."
A term often used in religious discussions (frequently in express or implied contrast to liberal or modernist) to indicate a relatively traditional (even classical) stance towards the matters considered centrally important.
Conservative Judaism -
A modern development in Judaism, reacting to early Jewish Reform movements in an attempt to retain clearer links to classical Jewish law while at the same time adapting it to m odern situations. Its scholarly center in the US is the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.
covenant A pact between two parties. The major covenants in Jewish ******ures are God's covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15), and the Sinai/Moses (Exodus 19-24) between God and Israel. In Judaism, the covenant (Hebrew, brit) is a major theological concept referring to the eternal bond between God and the people of Israel grounded in God's gracious and steadfast concern (Hebrew, h.esed) that calls for the nation's obedience to the divine commandments (mitzvot) and instruction (torah). For Christianity (e.g. Paul), God has made a "new covenant" (rendered as "new testament" in older English) with the followers of Jesus/Joshua in the last times, superseding the "old covenant" (thus, "old testament") with Moses at Sinai (see Jeremiah 31.31-34).
(sometimes cultus, from Latin) A general term for formal aspects and interrelationships of religious observance, often as focused on a particular phenomenon (e.g. the temple cult, the cult of saints).
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Jewish folkhero around 1000 BCE, to whom many biblical psalms are attributed and who is credited with politically and militarily uniting the ancient Israelite king amphictyony into a centralized kingdom with Jerusalem as its capital. David is said to have planned for the Temple which his son and successor Solomon built.
Dead Sea Scrolls -
The site near the northwest corner of the Dead Sea in modern Israel (west bank) where the main bulk of the Jewish "Dead Sea Scrolls" were discovered abound 1946. The "Qumran community" that apparently produced the scrolls seems to have flourished from the 3rd century BCE to the 1st century CE, and is usually identified with the Jewish Essenes, or a group like them. See Qumran.
A Greek term referring to the ten commandments (Heb. 'aseret hadibrot) received by Moses on Mount Sinai according to Jewish ******ures (Exodus 2O.1-17; Deuteronomy 5.1-21).
(see deity) To make something or someone God-like.
Greek scattering. Often used to refer to the Jewish communities living among the gentiles outside the holy land of Canaan/Israel/Palestine.
dietary laws -
, see kosher
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early Judaism -
, also sometimes called formative,proto-,middle, and even late Judaism Refers to Judaism in the intertestamental period (and slightly later) as a development from the religion of ancient Israel, but prior to the emergence of its classical, rabbinic form in the early centuries CE.
The name of paradise in the Jewish biblical account in Genesis 1, where Adam and Eve were created.
ein sof -
(Heb., without limit) In Jewish kabbalism, a designation for the divine -- "the unlimited one."
Elohim, El -
Hebrew general term for deity. See also YHWH
(h) (Heb., "faith"; see Arabic iman) See faith.
eretz Yisrael/Israel -
(Heb., land of Israel) In Jewish thought, the special term for the Palestinian area believed to have been promised to the Jewish people by God in the ancient covenant.
The name of a Jewish sub-group in the 1st century CE according to Josephus, Philo and other sources. See also Qumran.
(Greek, customs; see Latin mores [morals]) A general designation for value systems governing human activities considered to be "right" or "wrong," usually with reference to some "higher" authority (as in "you have no ethics" or "what are the ethics of this situation?"); also refers to the study of such systems.
(also aetiology), from the Greek for cause or origin A term used to describe or label stories that claim to explain the reason for something being (or being called) what it is. For example, in the old Jewish creation story (Genesis 2.23), woman (ishshah is given that name because she has been taken out of (the side or rib of) man (ish).
A citron; the fruit of goodly trees (Leviticus 23.40) carried in procession in the synagogue with the lulab during the festival of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).
(Rosh Galut, from Greek, ruler of the exile; corresponds to Aramaic resh galuta, head of the exile) A term used in early rabbinic Judaism for the head of the Jewish community in exile in Babylonia. The exilarch was depicted as an imperial dignitary, a member of the council of state, living in semi-royal fashion, who appointed communal officers and judges and was a descendant of the house of David
The term refers to the various expulsions of Jews from the ancestral homeland. Over time, it came to express the broader notion of Jewish homelessness and state of being aliens. Thus, colloquially, "to be in galut" means to live in the diaspora and also to be in a state of physical and even spiritual alienation in Hebrew galut.
A modern philosophical position that has influenced Jewish and Christian thought significantly, with emphasis on the idea that meaningfulness must be created by people, to whom only existence is given
(from Greek to exit or go out) Refers to the event of the Israelites leaving Egypt (see also Passover) and to the biblical book (see Pentateuch) that tells of that event.
Name of a person in the Hebrew Bible with whom the reestablishment of Judaism in Jerusalem in the 5th century BCE is associated. The events are recorded in a biblical book known by his name, and he is also associated with apocryphal books and traditions.
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fast, fasting -
A general term for the religious rite or practice of going without food at certain times or for certain periods. See, Yom Kippur.
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An angel or archangel from Jewish tradition who is closely associated with the virgin birth in Christianity, and with the revelation of the Quran in Islam.
(pl. Geonim,; adj. geonic; Heb., eminence, excellence) A title given to the Jewish head of the Babylonian academy and then to distinguished talmudic scholars in the 6th to 12th centuries.
Geiger, Abraham -
(1810-1874) Early Jewish reform advocate in Germany, noted for his scholarship, his modern prayer book, and his advocacy for Judaism as a "world religion."
(Heb., Aramic to Say) Popularly applied to the Jewish Talmud as a whole, to discussions by rabbinic teachers on Mishnah, and to decisions reached in these discussions. In a more restricted sense, the work of the generations of the amoraim in completing Mishnah to produce the Talmuds.
An interpretative device in rabbinic Judaism which focuses on the numerical value of each word.
(Heb., hiding) A hiding place or storeroom, usually connected with a Jewish synagogue, for worn-out holy books. The most famous is the Cairo Genizah, which contained books and ********s that provide source material for Jewish communities living under Islamic rule from about the 9th through the 12th centuries. It was discovered at the end of the 19th century.
Gittin- Get -
(Heb.; sing get). Jewish practice related to divorce. A get is a Jewish divorce.
A general designation for the deity (Hebrew Elohim, Yhwh; Greek Theos; Arabic Allah).
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(pl. hachamim; Heb., the wise) A Jewish title given to pre-70 CE proto-rabbinic sages/scholars and post-70 CE rabbinic scholars.
In Jewish liturgy, designates a specific section of the biblical prophets read in synagogue services immediately after the corresponding Torah (Pentateuch) section called the parasha(h).
(From he word to learn the story of exodus from Egypt) "The Haggada(h)" is a liturgical manual used in the Jewish Passover Seder and repeat.
(h)/halakha (adj. halakic) Any normative Jewish law, custom, practice, or rite -- or the entire complex. Halaka is law established or custom ratified by authoritative rabbinic jurists and teachers. Colloquially, if something is deemed halakic, it is considered proper and normative behavior.
A ceremony related to the Jewish Levirate law of marriage, which frees the widow to marry someone other than her husband's brother. In this ceremony the widow removes a shoe from her brother-in-law's foot, which is symbolic of removing his possessive right over her. See also levirate marriage.
(h) (Heb., dedication) A Jewish festival (of lights) that commemorates the rededication of the Jerusalem temple after it was violated by the Greek,to more *traditional modes of Jewish worship by Judah the Maccabee around 164 BCE. See also calendar.
hasidim, hasidism -
(Heb., pious ones) The term may refer to Jews in various periods: (1) a group that resisted the policies of Antiochus Epiphanes in the 2nd century BCE at the start of the Maccabean revolt; (2) pietists in the 13th century; (3) followers of the movement of Hasidism founded in the first half of the 18th century by Israel Ba'al Shem Tov.
(Heb.) Jewish rationalistic enlightenment in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe. See maskilim, Mendelson, reform.
Descendants of Hashmon, a Jewish family that included the Maccabees, the high priests and kings who ruled Judea from 142 to 63 BCE.
(Heb., separation) The Jewish ceremony using wine, spices, and candles at the conclusion of the Sabbath. Smelling the spices signifies the hope for a fragrant week; the light signifies the hope for a week of brightness and joy.
A term used variously to designate such locations as the abode of deity, or the place where those favored by God will ultimately arrive, or an area of (spiritual) activity above the material earth, or the place where spiritual/ideal realities abide. See also paradise.
(from Heb. to pass over, cross over) An old name given to the people of Israel, and also to their language.
(also hades [Greek]) Place of punishment for the departed dead who do not attain to heaven, See also sheol, Satan.
(adj. hellenistic; Greek word for "Greekish") The civilization that spread from Greece through much of the ancient world from 333 (Alexendar the Great) to 63 (dominance of Rome) BCE. As a result, many elements of Greek culture (names, language, philosophy, athletics, architecture, etc.) penetrated the Near East and certain groups of Jews in Israel.
Principles of interpretation (from the Greek, to interpret, translate). The term is often used with reference to the study of Jewish and Christian ******ures.
Herzl, Theodor -
Hungarian Jewish author of Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State) in 1896 and consider to be the founder of the modern secular political Zionism
Often called by the title "the Elder." Probably a Babylonian, Hillel was an important sage of the early Jewish period in Palestine around the turn of the era. His teachings convey the Pharisaic ideal, through many epigrams on humility and peace (found in Sayings of the Fathers 1-2); and were fundamental in shaping the Pharisaic traditions and modes of interpretation. In rabbinic lore, Hillel is famous for a negative formulation of the "golden rule" (recited to a non- Jew): "What is hateful to you do not do to your fellow man. That is the whole Torah, the rest is commentary. Go and learn it." His style of legal reasoning is continued by his disciples, known as *Beit Hillel ("House/School of Hillel"), and is typically contrasted with that of Shammai (a contemporary) and his school.
(from Greek, entire burnt offering) A term used in recent times to refer to the Nazi German policy to exterminate the Jewish people in the second world war period
A modern term used (sometimes pejoratively) of the position that focuses on human values and needs without special concern for arbitrary religious traditions or values. Also applied more traditionally to the embracing of classical Greek and Latin values, rediscovered through classical learning (as contrasted to late Medieval scholasticism; see also renaissance).
huppah or chuppah -
(Heb.) In Judaism, the special canopy under which a marriage ceremony is conducted.
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A Greek term for t he worship of what are perceived to be "idols" or false "gods," forbidden in the biblical traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
One of the Israelite patriarchs, son of Abraham and father of Jacob, in the accounts in the book of Genesis.
A name given to the Jewish patriarch Jacob according to the etiology of Genesis 32.38. In Jewish biblical times, this name refers to the northern tribes, but also to the entire nation. Historically, Jews have continued to regard themselves as the true continuation of the ancient Israelite national-religious community. The term thus has a strong cultural sense. In modern times, it also refers to the political state of Israel. Christians came to consider themselves to be the "true" Israel, thus also a continuation of the ancient traditions.
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One of the Israelite patriarchs, son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham, in the accounts in the book of Genesis.
Mechanical attempt to represent the special Jewish name for deity, YHWH.
From the religious viewpoints of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the main city in ancient Palestine (= modern Israel), where the Temple of David/Solomon had been located, Jesus/Joshua had been crucified/resurrected, Muhammad had journeyed to heaven (his miraj), among other significant things. Thus for all three religions, in some senses Jerusalem is a or the "holy city."
(Jesus is the Greek attempt to transliterate the Semitic name Joshua) The somewhat mysterious Palestinian popular figure from the 1st century CE whose death and alleged resurrection as God's Messiah/Christ became foundational for an early Jewish sub-group known as Nazarenes, from which Christianity ultimately developed as a separate religion.
From the Hebrew name of the patriarch Judah, whose name also came to designate the tribe and tribal district in which Jerusalem was located. Thus the inhabitants of Judah and members of the tribe of Judah come to be called Judahites or, in short form, Jews. The religious outlook associated with these people after about the 6th century BCE comes to be called 'Judaism,' and has varying characteristics at different times and places: see especially early Judaism, rabbinic Judaism. See also Hebrew(s)rael'>Israel.' style='display:none' />
Josephus or Flavius Josephus -
Jewish general and author in the latter part of the 1st century CE who wrote a massive history (Antiquities) of the Jews and a detailed treatment of the Jewish revolt against Rome in 66-73 CE (and his involvement in it), among other things.
Judah the Prince -
(Heb., haNasi) Head of the rabbinic Jewish community in Palestine around 200 CE. Credited with publication of the Mishnah
Judaism, Jew -
From the Hebrew name of the patriarch Judah, whose name also came to designate the tribe and tribal district in which Jerusalem was located. Thus the inhabitants of Judah and members of the tribe of Judah come to be called Judahites or, in short form, Jews. The religious outlook associated with these people after about the 6th century BCE comes to be called "Judaism," and has varying characteristics at different times and places: see especially early Judaism, rabbinic Judaism. See also Hebrew(s)rael">Israel.
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Kabala(h) or Kabbala(h) (Kabalism) -
(Heb. qabbala, receiving, tradition) A system of Jewish theosophy and mysticism. See also kavanah, Zohar.
A classical Jewish prayer (mostly in Aramaic) with eschatological focus extolling God's majesty and kingdom recited at the conclusion of each major section of each liturgical service; a long version (called rabbinic kaddish) follows an act of study; also a prayer by mourners during the first year of bereavement (see shiva,*****oshim) and on the anniversary of the death of next-of-kin. Compare the Christian "Lord's Prayer," Islam's Fatiha.
kahal (qahal) -
(Heb., congregation, gathering) Used to refer to the corporate Jewish community of medieval Europe. See also synagogue,.
Karaism, Karaites -
Derived from Heb. qara, ******ure. A Middle Eastern heterodox Jewish group that arose in opposition to Rabbinism in the 8th century CE, and emphasized the written ******ures while criticizing the rabbinic use of oral law.
kasher, kashrut -
(Heb., intention) A mystical instrument of the Jewish kabalists; a meditation which accompanies a ritual act.
(Heb., community) Jewish sense of community, in a particular sense, within the larger kneset Israel
keneset Israel (Heb.) -
Assembly of Israel, or the Jewish people as a whole. See kehilla; compare Christian church.
ketuva(h) or ketuba(h) -
(Heb.) traditional Jewish marriage contract. The ketuba is usually read during the marriage ceremony, under the bridal canopy the purpose of the Ketuba is to secure the rights of the woman See also *get.
Ketuvim or Ketubim (Heb., -
The third and last division of the classical Jewish Bible (TaNaK), including large poetic and epigrammatic works such as Psalms and Proverbs and Job as well as a miscellany of other writings (Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Qohelet, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles).
(Heb., sanctification; derived from kadosh (qadosh), holy) A ritual of Jewish sabbath and other holy days, usually accompanied by a cup of wine, which proclaims the holiness of the day.
kiddushin (Heb., -
Denotes Jewish betrothal for marriage, signifying the sanctity of the relationship.
A Jewish headcovering worn for worship, religious study, meals, or at any other time; also called yarmulke.
kohen or cohen (pl. kohanim; Heb.) -
An Israelite priest, generally descended from the tribe of Levi. A functionary usually associated, in antiquity (including early Judaism), with temples and their rites (including sacrifice)
kosher (Heb., kasher) -
Proper or ritually correct; kashrut refers to ritually correct Jewish dietary practices. Traditional Jewish dietary laws are based on biblical legislation. Only land animals that chew the cud and have split hooves (sheep, beef; not pigs, camels) are permitted and must be slaughtered in a special way. Further, meat products may not be eaten with milk products or immediately thereafter. Of sea creatures, only those (fish) having fins and scales are permitted. Fowl is considered a meat food and also has to be slaughtered in a special manner
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See torah, commandments, oral and written law, halaka, Shulhan Aruch.
A fermenting substance used to make bread dough rise, making it lighter with air bubbles. In Jewish ritual, leaven is not premitted at passover time, when "unleavened" bread (matzah) is a major symbol. Classical Christianity has also been influenced by this prohibition in its Easter and eucharist practices (see host).
levirite marriage -
From the Latin levir for the Hebrew yabam, brother-in-law; a biblical system of marriage in which the levir marries his brother's widow (Deuteronomy 25.5-10).
(from Latin, free [thinker]) A general term used in religion discussions to indicate a person or view that breaks significantly from the conservative traditional position(s). See also modernist
A general term used in religion discussions to indicate a person or view that attempts to interpret the ******ures and other recognized classical religious authorities in a straightforward, literal manner. See also fundamentalism, verbal inspiration, allegory.
liturgy (adj. liturgical) -
Rites of public worship, usually institutionalized in relation to temple, synagogue, church, kaba, or mosque locations and traditions, but also in other formalized observances see also:, prayer, shema, , siddur.
The palm branch used with other plants in the Jewish Sukkot (Tabernacles) celebration.
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(from Heb., "evening") Jewish synagogue evening prayer or service. See also liturgy.
See Hasmoneans, hasidim, Hannuka
the special prayer book used on holidays
magen David -
(Heb., "shield of David") The distinctive six-pointed Jewish star, used especially since the 17th century.
(Heb., a speaker) A kabalistic notion of how the holy spirit is mediated to the mystic; later meant a preacher among the eighteenth-century Hasidim.
or Moses ben Maimon A major medieval rabbi, physician, scientist, and philosopher (1135-1204), known by the acronym RaMBaM (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon). Born in Spain, Maimonides fled from persecution to Morocco and finally settled in Egypt. His Major works include a legal commentary on the Mishnah, a law code called Mishnah Torah, and the preeminent work of medieval Jewish rational philosophy, The Guide of the Perplexed.
Refers to what now appears to be, or to have been, the influential majority (or dominant authority) in a continuum; see classical, orthodox, traditional.
An old Spanish term meaning "swine," used to execrate medieval Spanish Jews who converted to Christianity but secretly kept their Judaism.
(Heb., the enlightened ones) Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Jews who engaged in secular rationalistic studies and facilitated the acculturation of Jews to Western society; members of the haskalah.
Masoretes, Masoretic **** -
Derived from masorah, meaning "tradition"; the Masoretes were the rabbis in ninth-century Palestine who sought to preserve the traditional **** of the Bible (hence called the Masoretic ****), which is still used in contemporary synagogues. The Masoretes were scholars who encouraged Bible study and attempted to achieve unlformity by establishing rules for correcting the **** in matters of spelling, grammar, and pronunciation.
Jewish unleavened bread used at Passover.
(Heb., scroll) Usually refers to the biblical scroll of Esther read on the festival of Purim. Or, if indefinite, one of the five megilloth.
(Heb., plural of megillah, scrolls) One of five biblical scrolls in the Ketuvim: Ruth, Esther, Qoheleth, Song of Songs, and Lamentations. One of the scrolls is read on major feast and fast days; for example, Esther is read on the festival of Purim and the Song of Songs is read during Passover.
Mendelssohn, Moses -
(1729-86) Important German Jewish thinker whose ideas helped lay the base for Reform Judaism (see haskala).
Jewish Symbol, candelabrum with special religious significance; a nine-branched menorah is used at Hannukah, while the seven-branched was used in the ancient Temple.