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Glossary

8 Pages
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Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG100Y1
Professor
Andre Maintenay

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Chapter 2 The Jewish Tradition
Aggadah:anecdotal or narrative material in the Talmud; see also hallakha
Apocalypse:from the Greek for unveiling (the Latin equivalent is revelation); the final battle between
the forces of darkness and light expected at the end of time. Apocalyptic literature
flourished in Hellenistic era
Ashkenazim:Jews of northern and eastern Europe, as distinguished from the Mediterranean
Sephardim.
Bar Mitzvah:son of the commandments; the title given to a thirteen year old boy when he is
initiated into adult ritual responsibilities; some branches of Judaism also celebrate a bat
mitzvah for girls.
Berith:Hebrew term for covenant, the special relationship between god and the Jewish people
Cantor:the liturgical specialist who leads the musical chants in synagogue services.
Diaspora:dispersal, the Jewish world outside the land of ancient Israel; it began with the
Babylonian exile, from which not all Jews returned
Documentary
hypothesis: The theory (1894) that the Pentateuch was not written by one person (Moses) but
compiled over a long period of time from multiple sources
eschatology:doctrine concerning the end of the age, from the Greek for study of the end
exile:the deportation of Jewish leaders from Jerusalem to Mesopotamia by the conquering Babylonians
in 586 BCE; disrupting local Israelite political, ritual, and agricultural institutions, it
marked the transition from Israelite religion to Judaism
exodus:the migration of Hebrews from Egypt under the leadership of Moses, understood in later
Hebrew thought as marking the birth of the Israelite nation
Gaon:title of a senior rabbinical authority in Mesopotamia under Persian and Muslim rule
Gemarah:the body or Aramaic commentary attached to the Hebrew text of the Mishnah, which
together with it makes up the Talmud(both the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian
Talmud)
Haggadah:the liturgy for the ritual Passover supper
Halakha:material in the Talmud of a legal nature; see also aggada
Hasidim:Pious ones; applied to two unrelated groups of loyal or pious Jews: those who resisted
Hellenism military in second century BCE Palestine, and the mystically inclined
followers of the Baal Shem Tov in eighteenth century Poland and their descendants today.
Hesed:Hebrew term for the loyal conduct, sometimes translated as mercy or loving kindness,
incumbent on God and on humans as parties to the covenant relationship.
www.notesolution.com
Holocaust: burnt offering or burnt sacrifice; one of the ancient sacrifices mandated in the Hebrew
bible. The term has more recently been applied to the persecution and murder of 6,000,000
European Jews by the Nazis before and during the Second World War (1939-45)
Humash:the first five biblical books, the Pentateuch, when bound in book form for private study; in
synagogue worship the same text is read from a scroll (see Sefer Torah)
Kabbalah:the medieval Jewish mystical tradition; its central text is a commentary on scripture called
the Zohar, compiled by Moses ben Shemtov of Leon (d. 1305) but attributed to Rabbi
Shimon bar Yohai, a famous second century rabbinic mystic and wonder worker.
Karaites:Scripturalists, an eighth century anti rabbinic movement that rejected the Talmud
and post biblical festivals such as Hanukkah, taking only the Bible as authoritative
Kippah:dome or cap; the Hebrew word for skullcap or yarmulke
Kosher:term for food that is ritually acceptable, indicating that all rabbinic regulations regarding
animal slaughter and the like have been observed in its preparation
Logos:word; a kind of divine intelligence thought to mediate between God and humanity and
carry out Gods intentions on earth
Masada:the fortress whose Jewish defenders are said to have committed suicide rather than
surrender to Rome.
Menorah:the seven branched candlestick, a Jewish symbol since ancient times, well before the
widespread adoption of the six pointed star; the nine branched menorah used at
Hanukkah is sometimes called hanukiah
Midrash:commentary on scripture
Minyan:the quorum of ten required for a prayer service in the synagogue
Mishnah:the Hebrew summary of the oral law inherited from Pharisaism and ascribed to Moses
arranged by topic; edited by Rabbi Judah ha Nasi before 220 CE, it has an authority
paralleling that of the written Torah
Mishneh
Torah:a topically arranged code of Jewish law written in the 12th. C. By Moses Maimonides.
Mitzvah:a commandment; in the Roman era, the rabbinic movement identified exactly 613 specific
commandments contained within the Torah
Passover:the major spring festival of agricultural rebirth and renewal, given a historical dimension
by association with the hasty departure of the Israelites from Egypt under Moses
leadership
Patriarchs &
Matriarchs:ancestors of the Israelite nation in the Hebrew Bibles narratives of origins; patriarch was
also a title given to the head of the Jewish community in early rabbinic times
Pentateuch:the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, ascribed by tradition to Moses by regarded by
modern scholars as the product of several centuries of later literary activity
www.notesolution.com
Phylacteries:the usual English term for tefillin
Rabbi:a teacher, in roman times an expert on the interpretation of Torah; since priestly sacrifices
ceased with the destruction of the temple, the rabbi has been the scholarly and spiritual
leader of a Jewish congregation
Responsa
Literature:from the Latin for answers (singular, responsum); accumulated correspondence by
medieval and recent rabbinical authorities, consisting of rulings on issues of legal
interpretation. Also known as Teshuvoth
Rosh
Hashanah:The new year festival, generally occurring in September
Sabbath:the seventh day of the week, observed by Jews since ancient times as a day of rest from
ordinary activity
Seder:order; the term used for the ritual Passover supper celebrated in the home; the six
divisions of the Mishnah are also called orders or Seders
Sefer Torah:book of the law; a special copy of the first five books of Moses, hand lettered on
parchment for use in synagogue rituals (see also humash)
Sephardim:the Jews of the pre-modern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern world, as opposed to the
Ashkenazim of northern and eastern Europe
Septuagint: the Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures, made in Alexandria in Hellenistic times
Shekhinah:the divine presence or dwelling, often described in visionary terms by ancient
commentators on Ezekiel and by medieval mystics
Sukkah:a temporary booth or shelter, originally constructed in autumn to protect ripening crops
and given a historical interpretation recalling the migration experience of the Exodus
Synagogue:the local place of assembly for congregational worship, which became central to the
tradition after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple
Takkanah:remediation; a principle (Attributed to Hillel) that facilitated borrowing by allowing the
court to take over farmers’ debts in years when their fields were fallow.
Tallith:a shawl worn for prayer, usually white with blue stripes and with fringes at the corners
Tanakh:the entire Hebrew bible, consisting of Torah or law, Nebiim or prophets, and Ketuvim or
sacred writings, and named as an acronym of these three terms
Tannaim:the rabbinic authorities whose opinions are recorded in the Mishnah, as distinguished from
the rabbis (amoraim) whose opinions appear in the Gemarah material of the Talmud
Tefillin:small black leather boxes, also termed phylacteries, containing words of scripture, tied to
the forehead and forearm by leather thongs.
Teshuvoth:also called shealoth veteshuvoth; see response literature
Torah:a word meaning teaching or instruction; applied most specifically to the Law of Moses
(the Pentateuch) but may also refer to the entire scripture, including commentaries, and
even the entire spiritual thrust of Jewish religion
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Chapter 2 The Jewish Tradition Aggadah: anecdotal or narrative material in the Talmud; see also hallakha Apocalypse: from the Greek for unveiling (the Latin equivalent is revelation); the final battle between the forces of darkness and light expected at the end of time. Apocalyptic literature flourished in Hellenistic era Ashkenazim: Jews of northern and eastern Europe, as distinguished from the Mediterranean Sephardim. Bar Mitzvah: son of the commandments; the title given to a thirteen year old boy when he is initiated into adult ritual responsibilities; some branches of Judaism also celebrate a bat mitzvah for girls. Berith: Hebrew term for covenant, the special relationship between god and the Jewish people Cantor: the liturgical specialist who leads the musical chants in synagogue services. Diaspora: dispersal, the Jewish world outside the land of ancient Israel; it began with the Babylonian exile, from which not all Jews returned Documentary hypothesis: The theory (1894) that the Pentateuch was not written by one person (Moses) but compiled over a long period of time from multiple sources eschatology:doctrine concerning the end of the age, from the Greek for study of the end exile: the deportation of Jewish leaders from Jerusalem to Mesopotamia by the conquering Babylonians in 586 BCE; disrupting local Israelite political, ritual, and agricultural institutions, it marked the transition from Israelite religion to Judaism exodus: the migration of Hebrews from Egypt under the leadership of Moses, understood in later Hebrew thought as marking the birth of the Israelite nation Gaon: title of a senior rabbinical authority in Mesopotamia under Persian and Muslim rule Gemarah: the body or Aramaic commentary attached to the Hebrew text of the Mishnah, which together with it makes up the Talmud(both the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud) Haggadah: the liturgy for the ritual Passover supper Halakha: material in the Talmud of a legal nature; see also aggada Hasidim: Pious ones; applied to two unrelated groups of loyal or pious Jews: those who resisted Hellenism military in second century BCE Palestine, and the mystically inclined followers of the Baal Shem Tov in eighteenth century Poland and their descendants today. Hesed: Hebrew term for the loyal conduct, sometimes translated as mercy or loving kindness, incumbent on God and on humans as parties to the covenant relationship. www.notesolution.com
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