Volume 1, The Universal Jewish...

Created by Reform Rabbis and Jewish Scholars, many of whom escaped from Nazi Germany, the Encyclopedia exhibits a unique sensitivity to all forms of anti-Semitic agitation and malice and makes every effort to find allies among others, especially Christians, to forge a shield for Jewish people in the face of the coming catastrophe.

ALPHABET THE UNIVERSAL JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA [ 198] area. The question has finally been answered by Mar-tin Sprengling ( The Alphabet: Its Rise and Develop-ment from the Sinai Inscriptions, Chicago, 1931), who succeeded in deciphering the Sinai Inscriptions. Spreng-ling shows that the writing of the Sinai Inscriptions forms a link between the hieroglyphic writing of the Egyptians and the Semitic alphabet which was used by the Egyptians and eventually carried by the Phoeni-cians to the Western world. According to Sprengling, this alphabet probably orig-inated in the following manner: The Sinai peninsula, which received its name from the fact that it is identi-fied, probably falsely, with the Sinai of the Bible, is situated in that part of Arabia which is opposite Egypt. The Egyptians had extensive mining operations in that area, which employed many native workers. A Bedouin overseer, who was familiar with the hiero-glyphics and appreciated their convenience, decided to improve upon them by creating a series of symbols for the consonants. Making use of the Egyptian forms as models, he developed twenty- two letters. As a matter of fact, the Sinai inscriptions contain only twenty- one letters, the letter Teth being missing; but this is prob-ably only pure chance, as the letter is one but little used, and twenty- two has become the standard num-ber in such an alphabet as that of Hebrew. These sym-bols represented concrete familiar objects and each one was given the initial sound of its special object. This very convenient form of writing gradually spread northward and westward. It did not, however, replace the hieroglyphic writing in Egypt or the cunei-form writing of Mesopotamia. Between these two re-gions there was a broad strip of territory including Arabia, Palestine and Syria, where the new form of writing was welcomed. In course of time the forms of the letters were altered; the original pictures became unrecognizable and meaningless. Some of the original names were dropped and others substituted. The order of the letters was changed; and in this respect a cunei-form syllabary, or dictionary of syllable forms used in that type of writing, is so close to the Hebrew order that it suggests that it was the model according to which the Hebrew alphabet arranged its own letters. The names given to the letters in the Hebrew alpha-bet offer a number of clues as to the life of the people among whom it originated. They were apparently a pastoral people possessing herds of oxen ( Aleph) and camels ( Gimel). They lived in houses ( Beth) possess-ing windows ( He and Heth), but had not apparently entirely given up the use of tents with a triangular flap for a doorway ( Daleth). They cultivated the olive ( Zayin, probably originally Zayith), caught ( Tsade) fish ( Nun) from the waters ( Mem) and lived near springs ( Ayin). They were familiar with the use of hooks ( Vav) and drove their cattle by means of a goad ( Lamed), The remaining letters of the alphabet are either derived from parts of the body, such as the head ( Kof and Resh), the hand ( Yod, Kaf, and the earlier form of He), the mouth ( Pe), the eye ( another possible interpretation for Ayin), the teeth ( Shin); or else from marks, such as the cross ( Tav) and the cross within a circle ( Teth). These clues point to a people living in an inland probably hilly country, and not to a maritime people, such as the Phoenicians. It cannot be stated definitely at what time the He-brews adopted their alphabet. According to Spreng-ling, the Sinaitic alphabet was invented about 1850 to 1800 B. C. E., which is approximately the time of Abra-ham. Excavations from 1932 on at Tell el- Duweir, Palestine, which is now identified with the site of the ancient Lachish, turned up a dagger with an inscrip-tion in the ancient Canaanite script, dating about 1600 B. C. E., before the time of Moses. The Hebrews ap-parently took over this Canaanite alphabet sometime between the latter date and the time of the Judges ( 1150 to 1050), when most of the people were able to read and write ( Judges 8: 14). The alphabet with its twenty- two signs did not exactly fit the Hebrew lan-guage which had in reality twenty- five consonantal sounds, and so three of the letters ( Heth, Ayin and Shin) had to take two sounds each. II. Pronunciation. The main sources of informa-tion as to the pronunciation of the letters of the He-brew alphabet are the following: 1. The traditional pronunciation, an extremely valuable source, as Hebrew has been in continuous use among Jews down to mod-ern times; 2. transliterations of Hebrew words into the classical alphabets, especially Greek; 3. plays on words in Hebrew literature; 4. variant spellings of Hebrew words. The testimony of each source has to be weighed with care, since various groups of Jews have different traditional pronunciations, and there are disputes as to the actual pronunciation of the classical languages. However, a careful check gives the pronunciations listed below, which are almost certainly accurate. The order of the letters followed is the traditional one, which must date far back, as it appears in the earliest alphabetic acrostics in the Bible, such as Ps. 25 and 145; Prov. 31: 10- 31; Lamentations 1 to 1. Aleph. A silent letter. Originally it must have had a pronunciation of its own, a deep guttural sound for which there is no equivalent in modern alphabets. This sound was soon lost, and the letter became silent. In fact, at the be-ginnings of words, Aleph is frequently merely the indica-tion that the word begins with a vowel sound. 2. Beth. Pronounced as the English b. After an open syllable, however, the sound was somewhat aspirated, about equivalent to bh, or v, the latter pronunciation being the current Ashkenazic mode. 3. Gimel. Pronounced as the English hard g in get and give. After an open syllable there was originally a slight aspiration of the sound, but the distinction has long since disappeared. 4. Daleth. Pronounced as the English d. This letter apparently, had originally the same slight aspiration after an open syllable as Gimel, which it has likewise lost. 5. He. Pronounced as the English h at the beginning and middle of a word; at the end of a word it is usually silent, the only exception being the ending that indicates the pronominal adjective  her. In ancient writings He was used now and then to indicate vowel sounds, such as e and long o. 6. Vav. Pronounced by Sephardic Jews as w; by as v. Both are supported by ancient evidence. 7. Zayin. Pronounced as the English z. 8. Heth. Heth was one of the letters which originally were used for two distinct sounds. The first was a palatal sound, somewhere between h and k, and about equivalent to the German ch; the second was a sharp, energetic, hoarse h. In course of time there came a tendency to make the pronunciation of Heth uniform, and one or another of these two sounds was the favorite. In modern times, the German ch pronunciation is the usual one, as can be seen from the German transliterations Chaluz, Chanukka, Chas-sidim; but with many Jews in ancient times, and with English and American Jews of modern times, the strong AAR- AZU | BAA- CAN | CAN- EDU | EDU- GNO | GOD- IZS | JAB- LEX | LEX- MOS | MOS- PRO | PRO- SPE | SPI- ZYL   Chapter Home  | Index

Volume 1, The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia


About Book Volume 1, The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia

Front MatterHalf Title PageCopyright PageCONTRIBUTORS TO VOLUME ONEDedication PageSponsors, Friends, and Co-Workers of THE UNIVERSAL JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA PrefaceRules Governing Transliterations, Citations, Spelling of Proper Names, and AbbreviationsAAR - AZU ( I )BAA-CAN ( II )CAN - EDU ( III )EDU - GNO ( IV )GOD - IZS ( V )JAB - LEX ( VI )LEX - MOS ( VII )MOS - PRO ( VIII )PRO - SPE ( IX )SPI - ZYL ( X )INDEX TO GUIDE
volume universal jewish encyclopedia page https publishersrow ebookshuk books hebrew ebooks created reform rabbis scholars many whom escaped from nazi germany exhibits unique sensitivity forms anti semitic agitation malice makes every effort find allies among others especially christians forge shield people face coming catastrophe
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Tractate Bava Basra I: Commentary and Study Guide
The third of the three Talmudic tractates of the order Neziḳin, dealing with man's responsibilities and rights as the owner of property, of a house or field. The tractate is divided into ten chapters, the contents of which may be described as follows: (1) Regulations relating to property held by more than one owner (ch. i.); (2) responsibilities of an owner of property with regard to that of his neighbor (ch. ii.); (3) established rights of ownership and rights connected with property

Lost Love: The Untold Story of Henrietta Szold
The book tells the story of Henrietta Szold s lost love through her correspondence with Louis Ginzberg and a previously unpublished private journal.

History of the Jews, Vol. 2: From the Reign of Hyrcanus (135 B.C.E.) to the Completion of the Babylonian Talmud (500 C.E.)
A condensed reproduction of the first comprehensive attempt to write the history of the Jews as the history of a living people and from a Jewish point of view. The second volume covers the period from the reign of Hyrcanus to the completion of the Babylonian Talmud.

THE CONCILIATOR


Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Vol. 12
The most comprehensive work in its class; includes articles on all religions, ethical systems and movements, religious beliefs and customs, philosophical ideas, moral practices, as well as related subjects in anthropology, mythology, folklore, relevant areas of biology, psychology, economics and sociology.

From Diplomacy to Resistance: A History of Jewish Palestine, 1939-1945
The Second World War was a crucial period in the history of Jewish Palestine. Between 1939 and 1945, the Zionist movement and Jewish Palestine underwent considerable transformation. This carefully documented work recounts the events of that period of time.

Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica Vol.3
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STUDIES IN JEWISH EDUCATION III: Teacher, Teaching, and Community
Deals with concrete issues of the teaching process in schools.

The Birobidzhan Affair: A Yiddish Writer in Siberia
The Birobidzhan Affair is the autobiography, “a chronicle of heart-rending events” recounting Emiot's eight years at hard labor in various work camps in Siberia. Poignant, remarkably understated in tone, it provides evidence of his travails as a Jewish victim of the bitter bureaucracy that was Stalinist Russia.

Tosefta Ki-Fshutah v. 7
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Blessed is the Match: The Story of Jewish Resistance
This book is a classic account of Jewish tragedy, faith, hope, and triumph. Published originally in 1947, it is one of the first works to deal with the horrors and the heroism of the Holocaust years.

The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Ecclesiastes
A straightforward, engaging commentary on the Book of Kohelet.

Jewish History: An Essay in the Philosophy of History
This essay exhibits in a remarkably striking way the author's art of making “all things seem fresh and new, important and attractive.” The author attempts, for the first time, a psychologic characterization of Jewish history. He endeavors to demonstrate the inner connection between events, and develop the ideas that underlie them.

The Battle for Jerusalem: June 5-7,1967
Enhanced by fascinating photographs and an epilogue tracing the subsequent lives and military careers of the key participants, Rabinovich's gripping narrative brings the reader to the scene of this brilliant military victory and emotional reunion of a people with their sacred city.

THE EIGHT CHAPTERS OF MAIMONIDES ON ETHICS


Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Vol. 3
The most comprehensive work in its class; includes articles on all religions, ethical systems and movements, religious beliefs and customs, philosophical ideas, moral practices, as well as related subjects in anthropology, mythology, folklore, relevant areas of biology, psychology, economics and sociology.

Dawn Over Baghdad
Gripping, up-to-the-minute report on America's most urgent national struggle today, as seen through the eyes of the U.S. servicemen and Iraqis who are trying to make a new country out of the most dangerous place in the world; distinct contrast to the gloomy picture of America's presence in this war zone so often painted by the mainstream media.

Judaism as a Civilization: Toward a Reconstruction of American-Jewish Life
Judaism as a Civilization remains one of the most original and thought-provoking contributions toward creating a comprehensive program for creative Jewish life. In this seminal work, Kaplan offers his now famous concept of Judaism as an evolving religious civilization.

Conversos and the Inquisition in Jaén. Hispania Judaica, v. 7
Description of the fate of the Conversos in the Kingdom of Jaén at the hands of the Inquisition Tribunal which operated there for 43 years, from 1483 until 1526.

Studies in Jewish Education XI: Languages and Literatures in Jewish Education
Languages and Literatures in Jewish Education is dedicated to Prof. Michael Rosenak, the founder of the discipline of the Philosophy of Jewish Education.

Tosefta Ki-Fshutah v. 9
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Islam Unveiled
In Islam Unveiled, Robert Spencer dares to face the hard questions about what the Islamic religion actually teaches — and the potentially ominous implications of those teachings for the future of both the Muslim world and the West.

To Dwell in Unity: The Jewish Federation Movement in America Since 1960
The 1960s and 1970s were years of turbulent events and historic changes for the Jewish federations of North America. The book▓s title was chosen because unity is the hallmark of the federations. It is this unity that has pervaded the many federation developments in the historic and dramatic years of the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.

Types of Jewish-Palestinian Piety
Original and interesting study of the meaning of piety amoung observant Jews of the late Second Temple period.

New Heart, New Spirit: Biblical Humanism for Modern Israel
New Heart, New Spirit confronts the ethical and moral values of the Bible in the context of the critical situation that Israel and Zionism are facing. It is an outcry and a challenge to the xenophobic movements focused on “holy wars,” power, land, and blood.

Like a Reed: the Message of the Mezuza
A thoughtful reminder of what is really important in life.

The Return of Anti-Semitism
An anti-Semitic contamination is now world-wide. This sad truth is brilliantly evoked in Gabriel Schoenfeld's important study. Necessary reading. --Elie Wiesel

Volume 5, The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia
Created by Reform Rabbis and Jewish Scholars, many of whom escaped from Nazi Germany, the Encyclopedia exhibits a unique sensitivity to all forms of anti-Semitic agitation and malice and makes every effort to find allies among others, especially Christians, to forge a shield for Jewish people in the face of the coming catastrophe.

Ruby of Cochin: An Indian Jewish Woman Remembers
This book is a Cochin cake, full of secret goodies and unexpected surprises and mysterious tastes, exotic and familiar. Each story told by Ruby Daniel reveals the unique way of life of the Cochin Jews and preserves it for future generations.

Volume 10, The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia
Created by Reform Rabbis and Jewish Scholars, many of whom escaped from Nazi Germany, the Encyclopedia exhibits a unique sensitivity to all forms of anti-Semitic agitation and malice and makes every effort to find allies among others, especially Christians, to forge a shield for Jewish people in the face of the coming catastrophe.

MEDICINE AND MEDICAL ETHICS IN MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN SPAIN


Legends of the Jews
A most remarkable and comprehensive compilation of stories connected to the Hebrew Bible drawn largely on Jewish lore and tradition. It is an indispensable reference on that body of literature known as Midrash, the imaginative retelling and elaboration on Bible stories in which mythological tales about demons and magic co-exist with moralistic stories about the piety of the patriarchs.

Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer
Kabbalistic midrashic work on Genesis, part of Exodus, and a few sentences of Numbers ascribed to R. Eliezer b. Hyrcanus.

The Jews of Charleston: A History of an American Jewish Community
The small group of Jewish inhabitants of Charles Town in South Carolina met in 1750 to organize themselves permanently into a religious community. This book tells that community's story down to the present day. It describes the process of adjustment both of the Jews and their religion.

Types of Jewish-Palestinian Piety
Original and interesting study of the meaning of piety amoung observant Jews of the late Second Temple period.

Aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Scripta Hierosolymitana IV)
Ten contributions from various perspectives on this unique find: from the departments of Bible, Archaeology, Hebrew Philology, Linguistics, and Comparative Religion, by E.Y. Kutscher, Yigael Yudin, N. Avigad, Jacob Light, M. H. Segal, Chaim Rabin, Shemaryahu Talmon, Z. Ben-Hayyim, and David Flusser.

Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew
Winner of the National Jewish Book Award, this book will be a stimulating and rewarding step to exploring and restoring Jewish theology – and faith – at a time when belief is continually challenged and yet so very needed.

Dona Gracia of the House of Nasi
The noted historian Cecil Roth presents the first full-length biography of Dona Gracia in the English language. Banker, diplomat, philanthropist, defender of her people and promoter of its culture, she was revered by her sixteenth-century contemporaries and earned the highest esteem among Jewish historians in succeeding generations.

Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew
Winner of the National Jewish Book Award, this book will be a stimulating and rewarding step to exploring and restoring Jewish theology – and faith – at a time when belief is continually challenged and yet so very needed.

The Shema: Spirituality and Law in Judaism
The Shema has been described as the central watchword of Jewish faith. The book represents an extensive commentary on the words of the Shema, drawing upon the wide range of traditional sources and the author's own reflections.

JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus
Masterly commentary on the second book of the Bible by eminent Jewish scholar.

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Legends of the Bible
This is storytelling with a grain of salt and a lot of wit; tales springing from the antiquity of oral tradition, told with sheer delight in the glory of a book transformed by a hundred generations whose daily thoughts and deeds were transformed by The Book.

Does God Belong in the Bedroom?
In Does God Belong in the Bedroom? Rabbi Michael Gold turns to the Torah, the wisdom of the rabbis of the Talmud, the Midrash, and other classic Jewish sources. More than a study of texts, the book presents readers with a frank and honest approach to sexual ethics.

History of the Jews in Russia and Poland, Vol. 1: From the Beginning until the Death of Alexander I (1825)
A History of the Jews in Russia and Poland from the pen of S. M. Dubnow (based upon a work in Russian which was especially prepared for JPS) needs neither justification nor recommendation. The work is divided into thee volumes. The first volume contains the history of the Jews of Russia and Poland from its beginnings until 1825.

Jews, Arabs, Turks
Select essays on Middle Eastern history dealing with Israel, Egypt and Turkey with a focus on politics and cultural relations of Jews, Arabs, and Turks.

Renewing the Covenant: A Theology for the Postmodern Jew
Renewing the Covenant presents the first systematic statement of theology since Abraham J. Heschel set forth his distinctive, comprehensive philosophy of Judaism. This unique book will long be discussed by thoughtful readers.

Hebrew: The Eternal Language
The extraordinary story of the Hebrew language is the subject of this book.

Studies in Bible II (Scripta Hierosolymitana, XXXI)
The seventeen articles in this collection, present a true sense of the Jerusalem School of Biblical scholarship with its commitment to united the unique heritage of Jewish learning with the methodology and accomplishments of modern biblical research.

Ezra Studies