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 h sound is often preferred, as can be seen from the Ameri-can transliterations Halutz, Hanukah, and Hasidim. Since the Arabic alphabet has divided Heth into three letters, two of which have the above sounds, while the third has a pronunciation akin to z, it is possible that the Hebrew Heth may sometimes have had this pronunciation, and there is some support for this in ancient Hebrew words. However, if this pronunciation existed at all, it disappeared at an early period. 9. Teth. Pronounced as the English t. 10. Yod. Yod, when followed by a vowel, has about the same pronunciation as the English consonantal y. How-ever, there is evidence of transliteration, supported by analogy from other Semitic languages, which would tend to show that in ancient times Yod at the beginning of a word was pronounced like the vowel i, as in the word Israel ( now pronounced in Hebrew yisrael). Yod is used in Hebrew to indicate the vowels ee and ey ( as in they), and combined with vowel sounds to form the diphthongs ai ( pronounced as eye) and oi ( as in point). 11. Kaf. The ordinary pronunciation of Kaf is that of the English k; after an open syllable it has the same Ger-man ch sound as Heth. 12 to 14. Lamed, Mem, and Nun. Pronounced, respec-tively, as the English l, m, and n. 15. Samech. The traditional pronunciation of Samech is that of the sharp English s in  see. Some scholars are of the opinion that it was sibilated from the front of the mouth, giving a still sharper sound. 16. Ayin. Another of the letters which originally had two sounds. The first was a g, somewhat more guttural than that in English words such as  get; the second was the same sound pronounced much further down in the throat, and with no equivalent in any Western alphabet. In course of time, the second sound fell into disuse, and the first was considerably softened. At the time when the Septuagint translation was made ( about 300 B. C. E.) Ayin was no longer pronounced in some words ( such as Oba-diah) and was near a g in others ( such as Gomorrah). In modern times Ayin is a silent letter with Ashkenazic Jews, as in Shema, while Sephardic Jews give it the pro-nunciation ng, as in Shemang. 17. Pe. Pronounced as the English p. After an open syllable it is aspirated, becoming f. 18. Tsade. The traditional pronunciation of Tsade is that of the English ts; but there are indications from an-cient spellings that it was at least occasionally given a pronunciation very close to sharp s. 19. Kof. Pronounced as the English hard c in  cool and  coal. 20. Resh. Pronounced as the English r, with a slight roll of the tongue. In some words, however, Resh seems to have been pronounced deep in the throat, something like a growl. 21. Shin. Shin still preserves its double pronunciation of the English sh and sharp s, having the first in about half the words in which it is used, and the second in the rest. The well- known story of the test- word Shibboleth ( Judges 12: 5- 6) shows that the tribe of Ephraim used only the s sound of Shin; the same peculiarity is found among the Lithuanian Jews of modern times. 22. Tav. Pronounced as the English t. After an open syllable it is aspirated into th, which was pronounced first as in  hothouse and later as in  thin. In modern times Sephardic Jews give the aspirated Tav the sound of a weaker t, as for instance in emet ( for  emeth,  truth), while the Ashkenazic Jews sound it as sharp s, emess. III. Consonants and Vowels. The Hebrew alpha-bet was thus wholly consonantal. But four letters were able to indicate vowel sounds, and as Hebrew contains fourteen vowel sounds, the number of signs available was far from adequate. The ancient Hebrew alphabet was not so much an alphabet, in the sense that we un-derstand it, as a system of speedwriting. It was about equivalent to what English spelling would be if all the words were written out phonetically and with the five letters a, e, i, o and u omitted. [ 200 ] As long as Hebrew continued to be a spoken lan-guage, this shortcoming was not seriously felt. The Si-loam inscription ( 8th cent. B. C. E.), which was written by ordinary workmen, since it makes no mention of a king or superior officer, shows that even the common people at that time found no difficulty in using the signs. In course of time, however, as Hebrew began to be replaced by Aramaic, the need for vowels began to be felt. The consonantal vowels Vav and Yod were employed more and more in writing out words. Begin-ning some time in the Common Era different systems of vowels arose, and these were inserted into the con-sonantal text to facilitate the reading of the Hebrew of the Bible and the prayer- book. The present system of vowel points, with its seven signs that are used either singly or in combination with one another and with Vav and Yod, was not completed until the middle of the 10th cent.; it came into common use as the result of the authority of Maimonides ( 12th cent.). It should be noted, nevertheless, that the use of vowels never became universal in Hebrew. They were supplied in the Bible and the prayer- book, which every individual was supposed to know; whereas in the scrolls of the Torah, in the Talmud, and in all the later Hebrew literature, intended for more advanced scholars, the old consonantal alphabet was retained. IV. Forms of the Letters. Hebrew is written from right to left, the opposite direction from Western alphabets. Therefore, there has been a constant tend-ency to shift the vertical strokes of the letters to the right- hand side, while the open spaces are usually found on the left- hand side. The ancient Hebrew script is variously called kethab  ibri,  Hebrew script; kethab raatz,  broken from its appearance; and kethab daatz,  mint script, since it was used on coins. This writing is closely akin to Phoenician script and was used not only by the Is-raelites but also by their immediate neighbors such as the Moabites. It has been found on seals and in in-scriptions on such monuments as the Moabite Stone; unfortunately no specimens of its manuscript form, ex-cept on sherds, have been uncovered. It is a rather rough and ready form of writing, angular, full of cross-strokes and only moderately legible. During the period of the Second Temple this ancient Hebrew writing began to be replaced by the Syrian, or square character now employed in nearly all printed Hebrew. Since in this period the regions to the north-east of Palestine were no longer called by their original name Aram, but by the name of the ancient Assyrian empire, Asshur ( hence the modern geographical term, Syria), this writing was called kethab  ashurith. A later term for it was kethab meruba,  square charac-ter, because of its shape. It is less angular and more economical of lines than the ancient Hebrew, and for this reason it is more easily written and considerably more legible. A Talmudic tradition ( Sanh. 21b) reports that in the time of Ezra ( about 450 B. C. E.) the Torah began to be written in the Syrian character, while the plain people still used the ancient Hebrew character. This is probably not far from wrong, as it explains many vari-ants between the Masoretic text and that underlying the Septuagint ( 300 B. C. E. on). It is not known ex- 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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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.

Studies in the History of the Jews in Old Poland (Scripta Hierosolymitana, XXXVIII)
The twenty-one studies on the Jews of Old Poland here collected explore many hitherto uncharted aspects of Jewish life and experience in the Polish-Luthuanian Commonwealth.

Reading Guide and Index, The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia
Great introduction to all areas covered by Encyclopedia. All entries are hyperlinked to relevant Encyclopedia articles.

The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Ezra and Nehemiah
A commentary on one of the most interesting for the modern reader books of the Bible.

Tanna Debe Eliyyahu: The Lore of the School of Elijah
Tanna debe Eliyyahu is a midrashic work thought to have been composed between the third and the tenth centuries. Unlike all the other Midrashim, it is a unified work shaped with a character of its own. This work has never before been translated from the original Hebrew.

The Jews of the Kingdom of Valencia. Hispania Judaica, v. 9
A comprehensive study of the Jews in this kingdom from the massacres of 1391 to the Expulsion.

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The International Critical Commentary (ICC): PROVERBS
... the crown belongs to Crawford H. Toy's voluminous interpretation of the book of Proverbs --Rudolf Smend, from Wisdom in Ancient Israel , Cambridge, 1997.


The Life of the People in Biblical Times
When books survive as long as our biblical collection has survived, a certain discrepancy between intention and comprehension is inevitable. But if we wish to read attentively, we must make the effort to reconstruct the concrete shell of the past as well as its essential spiritual factors. This is exactly what this book gives us.

The Fifty-Third Chapter of Isaiah according to the Jewish interpreters (in 2 vols.)
Collection of printed texts and MSS. by Jewish commentators on the 53rd Chapter of Isaiah, brought together by AD. Nubauer and translated with assistance of S.R.Driver.

The Jewish Encyclopedia Vol. 11
A monumental work which laid the foundation of Jewish scholarship in America. Written by more then 400 contributors from all over the worldmany considered founding fathers of their respective disciplinesthis massive 12-volume Encyclopedia remains unsurpassed in many areas. Each of its 12 volumes was re-created by craftsmen of Varda Graphics, Inc. to look as close to the original as possible, while allowing the reader to take advantage of the latest computer technology.

A Commentary on the Book of Exodus
The last of the commentaries rendered into English, this Cassuto's work ranks among the finest modern contributions to the treasury of Biblical learning.

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.

The Devil and the Jews: The Medieval Conception of the Jew and Its Relation to Modern Anti-Semitism
The medieval conception of the Jew as devil literally and figuratively is the subject of this classic work, first issued in 1943. The full dimension of the diabolization of the Jew is presented through document, analysis, and illustration. It is a chilling study but an exceedingly important one.

Amulets and Magic Bowls: Aramaic Incantations of the Late Antiquity
The book contains the texts of all the legible amulets in Aramaic known today as well as 13 unpublished till now bowls. Their study allows us to peak into the religious feelings and practices of common people in the Talmudic period. The book contains a wealth of new material for the history of magic in the Middle East.

Luah Hashanah 5774
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's official calendar for the Jewish year. It is intended to guide congregations and individuals through the liturgy during the Jewish year 5774.

This book is intended for those interested in the conflict of Judaism with the culture of the ancient world and its impact on the Jewish life of today.

The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Daniel
The very detailed handling of the original languages of Daniel (Hebrew and Aramaic) and frequent references to scholarly works in Latin, French, and German make this the commentary for scholars.

The Responsa Literature
An interesting presentation of an extraordinary type of correspondence between communities and foremost Jewish authorities during the past fifteen hundred years by which social, economic and religious problems were discussed and solved.

The Jews of Santa Coloma de Queralt. Hispania Judaica, v. 6
A reconstruction of the Jewish life in a small community, on the basis of notary acts found in local archives.

JPS Bible Commentary: Jonah
This fine commentary is based closely on the author's original Hebrew commentary (Am Oved, 1992), with some revision and expansion.

Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash
The classic work on the field. Not for beginners; for those interested in a more historical and critical study of Talmud and Midrash.

Tosefta Ki-Fshutah v. 11

A comprehensive literary inquiry into a history of the Exodus tradition as it has evolved through time. The book examines the narrative of Exodus, compares it to biblical sources as well as to information provided in Apocryphic, Pseudepigrahic, Hellenistic and Midrashic documents.

Talmud: Mesekhet B'rakhot, in 4 volumes
A Study in the development of the Halakha and Haggadah in the Land of Israel and Babylonia.

The International Critical Commentary (ICC): ESTHER
Extraodinary book which retained its freshness and technical insight after almost a century of existance.

Rabbinic Fantasies: Imaginative Narratives from Classical Hebrew Literature
This extraordinary volume is framed by two major original essays by the editors. Through sixteen unusual selections from ancient and medieval Hebrew texts, sensitively rendered into English prose, it reveals facets of the Jewish experience and tradition that would otherwise remain unknown.


Rabad of Posquieres: A Twelfth-Century Talmudist
This biographical treatise captures the personality of Rabbad of Posquieres or Rabbi Abraham ben David one of the most creative talmudic scholars of the twelfth century, chronicles his role in the intellectual history of the Jews in southern France during the twelfth century, and outlines his influence on subsequent generations.

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.

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges: The Book of Deuteronomy
The force and individuality of this Book; its consistency and distinctiveness from the other documents of the Pentateuch as well as its differences from much of the custom and practice both in early and later Israel, make it stand out.

The Jewish Community: Its History and Structure to the American Revolution. Vol. I.
This is the first volume of the work that is centered on the European Jewish community of the Middle Ages and early modern times. The author offers a comprehensive historical and sociological analysis of the Jewish communal evolution during the Emancipation era.

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

The Jews of Egypt: From Ramses II to Emperor Hadrian
This is the story of the adventures and misadventures of the Jewish people in the land of Egypt shrouded in the mists of biblical history under the Pharaohs; the strange intermezzo of the Jewish mercenary detachment on the island of Elephantine on the upper Nile; the apogee of Jewish culture under the Ptolemies; and, finally, the Jewish community's rapid decline and catastrophic disappearance under Roman rule.

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.

History of the Jews, Vol. 5: From the Chmielnicki Persecution of the Jews in Poland (1648 C.E.) to the Present Time (1870 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 fifth volume covers the period from the Chmielnicki Persecution of the Jews in Poland to the Present Time.

Tosefta Ki-Fshutah v.4

Volume 6, 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.

Biblical and Oriental Studies (2 volumes)
Two-volume set of U. Cassuto's Biblical and Ancient Oriental Texts essays.

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

JPS Bible Commentary: Haftarot
The most recent addition to the JPS Bible Commentary series covers the varied selections from the Nevi'im that comprise the haftarot, chanted on Sabbaths and holy days in synagogues.

Bernard Revel: Builder of American Jewish Orthodoxy
A biography of and assesment of ideas of one of the major personalities of American Jewish Orthodoxy.

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


Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica Vol.2

A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ (in 5 vols.)
The most valuable general modern work (on the subject) . . . Encyclopedia Britannica

Ethics of Responsibility: Pluralistic Approaches to Conventional Ethics
Ethics of Responsibility bridges the gap between liberal Jewish philosophy and modern Orthodoxy. It is thoughtful reading for both the Jewish and non-Jewish scholar, teacher, and for all readers interested in the study of ethics and morality.

Jewish Life In The Middle Ages
A sweeping view of Jewish historical and cultural experience. Written in the end of the 19th century by an extremly astute historian and a storyteller, this volume will assist readers in better understanding the position of Jews in today's world as well.

JPS Hebrew-English (Jewish Bible) Tanakh
A true searchable (offline -- English only; in optional online mode -- both English and Hebrew) replica (including Biblical Hebrew vowel and cantillation marks) of the original 2nd printed edition. It is a MUST for any serious student of The Holy Scriptures and perfect a participant in Bible-study groups.