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.

[ 205 ] THE UNIVERSAL JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA ALPHABET IN MYSTICISM The Jews have developed three minor alphabets out of Hebrew. During the Middle Ages Arabic works were frequently written in Hebrew letters that were equated to the Arabic letters, strokes being used to identify certain additional Arabic letters. The Spanish Jews, after being expelled from the Iberian peninsula at the end of the 15th cent., used a Hebrew alphabet for writings in their Ladino dialect, also making use of signs to indicate extra letters. In more modern times Yiddish has developed an alphabet based on Hebrew letters, but differing from the Hebrew alphabet in that Ayin is used for e, Aleph with various vowel signs for the shorter vowels, and different combinations of the letters for sounds that do not occur in Hebrew itself. In the 20th cent. there has been a tendency to re-verse this process. Yiddish is now often printed in Roman characters in Europe, while in Palestine Ithamar ben Avi heads a movement to use Roman characters for Hebrew itself. VII. Tables. The tables on pages 202 and 203 indicate the main development of the alphabet from the earliest times to the present day. The nature and date of each type of letters is indicated at the top of the column. More elaborate tables of the alphabet will be found in some of the literature cited below. See also: ABBREVIATIONS; ACROSTICS; ALPHABET IN MYSTICISM; ANAGRAMS; CALLIGRAPHY; CRYPTOGRAPHY; GEMATRIA; JOT AND TITTLE; MNEMONICS; NOTARIKON; NUMBERS IN MYSTICISM; VOWELS; WRITING. CASPAR LEVIAS. Lit.: Sprengung, Martin, The Alphabet: Its Rise and Development from the Sinai Inscriptions ( 1931); Olmstead, A. E., History of Palestine and Syria ( 1931) 240- 43; Gaster,  The Romance of the Hebrew Alphabet, in Jung, Leo, The Jewish Library ( 2nd series, 1930); Gesenius, Hebrew Grammar ( 1910) 24- 39 and frontispiece; Jewish Encyclo-pedia, vol. 1, pp. 439- 54; Madden, History of Jewish Coin-age; Zimmern, Vergleichende Grammatik der semitischen Sprachen ( 1898); Steinschneider, Moritz, Handschriftkunde ( 1897); Jensen, Hans, Geschichte der Schrift ( 1926). ALPHABET IN MYSTICISM. The written word was always regarded as sacred, particularly by the Jews. This veneration has continued even to modern times. A torn page or a loose leaf from the Hebrew Bible or the prayer- book is guarded with great care. It is an act of desecration to throw it away. Usually a special depository ( Genizah) is kept in the syna-gogue where all the shemoth ( manuscripts containing divine names) are kept. They are buried in the ceme-tery with funeral ceremonies. It was because of this custom that the famous Genizah in Cairo, Egypt, pre-served invaluable manuscripts which were unearthed by Solomon Schechter in 1896 to enrich our knowledge of Jewish history. The sanctity of the written word was derived from the spoken word.  And God said, Let there be light, and there was light ( Gen. 1: 3). An elaborate system of both philosophic and theological thought developed from the belief in the power of the word. When the Psalmist declares,  By the word of God were the heavens made ( Ps. 33: 6), and in Isaiah occurs the expression,  The words that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw, there is a potency associated with the  Word, which is regarded as divine. Later the concept developed into the  Logos of the Greek philosophers, used by Plato to denote the manifestation of divine powers and ideas of the uni-verse. To the Stoics it meant divine reason. From the Greek school of philosophy Philo derived the doctrine of the  Logos as the rational thought emanating from God, and in the New Testament the  Logos became the embodiment of the Messiah. While in Judaism the Memra or  Logos never be-came personified, the word became vested with a di-vine power, to be used for theurgic purposes, or for the accomplishment of a desired aim. If the spoken word was divine, the written word which was per-manent was vested with even greater sanctity. The fact that the Ten Commandments were the work of God,  and the writing was the writing of God ( Ex. 32: 16), was probably the basis for the belief that the written word was sanctified, and endowed its possessor with the power to perform miracles imitatio dei. The inscription  holiness unto God, engraved upon the plate worn on the forehead of the high priest, may have been the inspiration for the later develop-ment of the use of amulets containing inscriptions from the Bible, either in the form of direct quotations or in the combination and permutation of letters and mystic symbols. Every word, every letter, every dot and stroke in the Bible became holy. If used properly according to the systems and rules formulated by the mystics, nothing could stand in the way of fulfilling any wish imaginable. From the Talmud and Midrash we learn that the alphabet played an important role in the creation of the world. The selection of the proper letter with which to begin the creation came only after all the letters of the alphabet put forth their respective claims for priority. Their arguments were rejected because each was found to be the initial letter of an objection-able word. Finally the letter Beth was chosen because it is the initial letter of the word berachah,  blessing. Furthermore, the letter Beth had other desirable fea-tures.  Just as the Beth is closed on all sides and open in front, likewise we have no right to inquire what is below, what is above, what is in back, but only from the day that the world was created and thereafter ( Midrash Gen. 1: 13). The claim of the letter Aleph was also acted upon favorably. It was placed at the beginning of the Ten Commandments. This Midrash is included in the Alphabet of Rabbi Akiba, served as the basis for the development of the system of letter permutation. In other passages of the Midrash, as well as in the later mystical literature, a variety of explanations are offered regarding the origin of the alphabet. In Midrash Gen. 12: 9 and Men. 29b we are informed that  the Holy One, Blessed be He, created the world with two letters, but we do not know whether He created this world with the letter He and the next world with the letter Yod, or vice versa. But the verse reads: These are the generations of heaven and earth behibaram ( when He created them). Do not read behibaram, but behe baram; He created this with He and hence the next world with Yod. The Sefer Raziel states that Adam engraved the letters out of the likeness of the fallen angels from Aleph to Tav. Every angel must appear as soon as his name is uttered. Abraham knew the secrets of the Chapter Home  | Index AAR- AZU | BAA- CAN | CAN- EDU | EDU- GNO | GOD- IZS | JAB- LEX | LEX- MOS | MOS- PRO | PRO- SPE | SPI- ZYL

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. 6: A Memoir of the Author by Dr. Philipp Bloch, A Chronological Table of Jewish History, An Index to the Whole Work, and Four Maps
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 sixth volume contains a memoir of the author by Dr. Philipp Bloch, a chronological table of Jewish history, an index to the whole work, and four maps.

The Gate Behind the Wall: A Pilgrimage to Jerusalem
When Samuel Heilman took a sabbatical from teaching sociology to spend time in Jerusalem, he did not know that it would become a personal pilgrimage. What had begun by engaging the social scientist in me would end by awakening the Jew, Heilman writes.

The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Isaiah I-XXVII
In religion, as elsewhere, great personalities count first, and it is the privilege of a student of the Book of Isaiah to come face to face with one, if not two, such personalities...

Studies in Mishnaic Hebrew (Scripta Hierosolymitana, XXXVII)
The twenty-two articles in this collection represent the latest results of the research into Mishnaic Hebrew that is conducted in Israel.

Ideology and Settlement
The first deep and detailed research conducted on the subject of carrying out of the policies and enterprises of the JNF in the years prior to World War I.

ARAMAIC OSTRACA OF THE FOURTH CENTURY BC FROM IDUMAEA
The 201 of containing in the book Aramaic ostraca dating 361-311 BC are almost exclusive source for the study of the ethnic structure and the economic life for end of the Persian rule in the Land of Israel and the beginning of the Hellenistic period.

A Separate Republic
Based on the Libro Grande, which is included in this volume, this authoritative analysis of the Venetian Jewish community of the 17th century gives a snapshot of the political and social structure of the Jews of Venice as they related to the general population of the Venetian Republic of that period and to the ethnic,economic, and religious diversity within their own community.

Chess in Jewish History and Hebrew Literature
This book deals with the origins of chess from before 500 A.D. and its appearance in Jewish sources and literature until the middle of the 19th century.

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.

Conversos on Trial. Hispania Judaica, v. 3
This story is eloquently related on the basis of Inquisition files which depict the Conversos' deep yearning to their Jewish past and the ultimate sacrifice they were prepared to offer for their continued adherence to their ancestral faith.

The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times
Norman A. Stillman continues the saga he so eloquently began in his first volume, The Jews of Arab Lands, up through the dramatic events of the twentieth century. This book focuses on the forces, events, and personalities that over the past 150 years have shaped the Jewish communities of the Arab world.

Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Vol. 8
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.

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.

The Bunker
The book tells a story of seven Jews who succeeded in escaping the massacre of Jews that followed the Warsaw uprising in 1944. From about September 1944 until January 1945 the author lived with six others in a bunker under inconceivable conditions. Yet they survived. How they managed this is told in The Bunker.

Europe's Century of Discontent: The Legacies of Fascism, Nazism and Communism
With the demise of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, a number of questions regarding the conventional understanding of totalitarianism could now be viewed in the new light. The classical studies of totalitarianism were undertaken when Nazism and Fascism had been vanquished, while the Soviet system still existed: this created an asymmetry which could now be overcome. The ideological Cold War edge which sometimes accompanied debates about totalitarianism was similar

The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Obadiah, Joel
Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the following Biblical books: Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Obadiah and Joel by John M. P. Smith, William H. Ward, and Julius A. Bewer.

Maimonides
The first of a series of books dealing with “Jewish Worthies,” this volume presents the biography of, perhaps, the most famous Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages with special regard to the general history of the period at which he lived.

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.

Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, 2nd English Edition
Interactive edition of one of the most important Biblical Hebrew grammar ever published in English.

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.

Jewish Cooking Around the World: Gourmet and Holiday Recipes
The book presents a variety of recipes from foreign countries and recipes for the Sabbath and festivals, all complying with the Jewish dietary laws. Every recipe has been tested by the author.

Zionism at the UN: A Diary of the First Days
This book records in diary form the events the author was involved in as an emissary of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine to the United Nations Conference, meeting in San Francisco in the late spring and early summer of 1945. The demand for a Jewish state on the official level was first made clear at this conference.

The Jews Among the Greeks and Romans
The book is a study of the contribution of the Jews to the modern civilization. The Romans and Greeks were originators of a great many elements of our civilization, but the Jews' impact was no less real or lasting. There was a time when Greek and Roman and Jew were in free contact. The results of this contact the author skillfully explores.

A Grammar of Samaritan Hebrew
The importance of the Samaritan pronunciation of Hebrew has gained wide acceptance as essential for reaching a correct understanding of the processes that affected the development of the Hebrew language in the late second temple period.

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.

History of the Jews in Russia and Poland, Vol. 2: From the Death of Alexander I until the Death of Alexander III. (1825–1894)
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 second volume treats of the history of Russian Jewry from the death of Alexander I (1825) until the death of Alexander III (1894).

The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Amos and Hosea
The author has taken up in connection with the first two of the immortal Twelve, many questions that concern just as closely the prophetic books. It is especially felt in the Introduction; in fact Harper's introduction to Amos and Hosea is really an introduction to Prophecy as such.

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.

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.

Come Under the Wings: A Midrash on Ruth
Grace Goldin makes the character of Ruth more vivid in her poetry. Two classical idioms, that of the Jewish imagination, and that of English verse, are strikingly joined in the book.

Studies in Bible I (Scripta Hierosolymitana VIII)
Publication of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem

A History of the Jews in Christian Spain. Vol. 1
One of the century s great classics of Jewish historiography. This first volume of the two-volume set takes the story down to the middle of the thirteen century in Castile.

Tosefta Ki-Fshutah v. 6
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Defenses of the Imagination: Jewish Writers and Historical Crisis
A carefully selected set of critical and biographical essays that offer analyses of a spectrum of poems, stories, historical and critical works by selected Jewish writers, who witnessed the presence of humanistic values in the most ghastly historical circumstances of the twentieth century.

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges: The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah
Few books oner such a variety of interest or embrace material of such deep significance as Ezra and Nehemiah do. The teaching of these books is of especial value in reference to the faithfulness of the divine promise, the discipline of disappointment, the hallowing of common life, and the preparation for the messianic age.

The Pharisees: The Sociological Background of Their Faith (2 volume-set)
The Pharisees constituted a religious Order of singular influence in the history of civilization. Judaism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism all derive from this ancient Palestinian Society. This book uncovers the origins and fundamental aspects of Pharisees' faith from sociological point of view.

The Jewish Encyclopedia Vol. 1
A monumental work which laid the foundation of Jewish scholarship in America. Written by more then 400 contributors from all over the world—many considered founding “fathers” of their respective disciplines—this 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.

Tractate Ta'anis: Commentary and Study Guide
This is hard-core serious commentary on traditional Jewish belief that climatic conditions are entirely dependent upon the deeds of people. Taanis, one of the most interesting Talmudic Tractates, explicates this principle.

Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica Vol.2
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Conversos on Trial. Hispania Judaica, v. 3
This story is eloquently related on the basis of Inquisition files which depict the Conversos' deep yearning to their Jewish past and the ultimate sacrifice they were prepared to offer for their continued adherence to their ancestral faith.

Studies in Hebrew and Ugaritic Psalms
The volume offers a fresh analysis of a central problem of comparative Ugaritic Biblical scholarship: the relationship between biblical psalms and Canaanite literature.

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.

Aspects of the Jewish Economic History
A survey of the far-ranging Jewish contribution to economic progress of the Western world.

Selected Religious Poems of Solomon Ibn Gabirol
Solomon Ibn Gabirol was not only a great poet, but also a great philosopher. His vision was broad and his penetration keen. This volume of translations from this rare singer of the Ghetto limits itself to such of his poems as have been incorporated in or designed for the liturgy of the Synagogue.

Tosefta Ki-Fshutah v. 5
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Volume 3, 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.

Tosefta Ki-Fshutah v.4
wert

Studies in Jewish Education V: Teaching Classical Jewish Texts
This volume is dedicated to issues arising in the process of teaching classical Jewish texts.

A Treatise on the use of the Tenses in Hebrew
If you work with the Hebrew verbal system, this is a book you *must* have read.

Jerusalem Curiosities
This volume not only seeks to provide pleasurable reading but also enables the reader to grasp Jerusalem's unique role in the history of mankind. Those who read this book will encounter Jerusalem with eyes that see and hearts that understand.