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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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.

Mishnayoth


Volume 4, 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.

Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Vol. 5
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.

History of the Jews, Vol. 1: From the Earliest Period to the Death of Simon the Maccabee (135 B.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 first volume covers the period from the entry of Israelite tribes into the land of Canaan to the settlement of the Judeans in Egypt.

Ah, Assyria... (Scripta Hierosolymitana XXXIII)
Thirty outstanding papers on Assyrian history and its connection and impact on Biblical Israel.

A History of the Marranos
The tradegy and romance of the story of the secret Jews of the Spanish Peninsula is a lesson that every one must learn and always remember.

R. Juspa, Shammash of Warmaisa (Worms)


Volume 2, 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.

Jew or Juif?: Jews, French Canadians, and Anglo-Canadians, 1759-1914
Michael Brown s landmark study offers an unusual perspective on the origins of Canadian-Jewish assimilation in Anglo-Canada and the fear and insecurity that Canadian Jews experienced under the French Canadians.

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.

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.

Luah Hashannah 5778
A guide to prayers, readings, laws, and customs for the synagogue and for the home

The Goddess Anath
A major contribution to Ugaritic scholarship, The Goddess Anath--Cassuto's work on Canaanite Epics of the Patriarchal Age--is a classic authored by one of the greatest Bible scholars.

Ahad Ha-Am Asher Ginzberg: A Biography
Ahad Ha-Am's “spiritual Zionism” is still as capable, as it was fifty years ago, of giving inspiration and guidance to a large segment of the Jewry.

Candles in the Night: Jewish Tales by Gentile Authors
To keep aglow the candles of human sympathy, the editor has compiled nearly a thousand items of significant non-Jewish literary and historical expression about the Jews. This volume includes twenty-three short stories and episodes from fourteen different national literatures.

Tractate Pesachim: Commentary and Study Guide
Master a Mesikta Series is probably the most advanced commentary and study guide to Talmud available in English. By providing background material, outlining the contents of the Talmud and its commentaries, explaining the sequence of the Talmud,offering overviews of the topics discussed and clarifying the aggadic literature and its interaction with the legal discussions, this series enables the student to focus on the unity of the tractate, and serves as an aid in helping him in its master

THE CONCILIATOR


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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.

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.

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

Selected Poems of Jehudah Halevi
The gift of song, cherished and tended as it was by the Spanish Jews of the Middle Ages, reached its highest development in the poems of Jehudah Halevi. His love poems are made of dew and fire. But in his poems to Zion there is no such combination of a poet's ordinary artifices. It is his soul that is the instrument—and on his heartstrings is played the song of Israel's hope.

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.

Tractate Pesachim: Commentary and Study Guide
Master a Mesikta Series is probably the most advanced commentary and study guide to Talmud available in English. By providing background material, outlining the contents of the Talmud and its commentaries, explaining the sequence of the Talmud,offering overviews of the topics discussed and clarifying the aggadic literature and its interaction with the legal discussions, this series enables the student to focus on the unity of the tractate, and serves as an aid in helping him in its master

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.

Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica Vol.2
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Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Vol. 1
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.

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Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Book of Samuel
Electronic edition of one of the most influential books ever written about the Bible; S.R. Driver's meticulously detailed reconstruction and analysis of Samuel has remained vital for over a century.

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.

History of Jewish Coinage and of Money in the Old and New Testament
Madden's work constitutes . . . a record of many rare or unique examples of Jewish art, preserving spontaneity and directness in our contact with the Jewish past. Michael Avi-Yonah Professor of Archaeology at Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Nazarene Jewish Christianity
A comprehensive study of the immediate heirs of the earliest Jerusalem church.

Folk-lore in the Old Testament: Studies in Comparative Religion Legend and Law. Vol. II
Many traces of the old modes of life and thought survive in the form of folklore. A few such relics of ruder times, as they are preserved like fossils in the Old Testament, are illustrated and explained by the author in this book. The second volume covers Jacob and the kidskins, the passage through the Red Sea, the judgment of Solomon, and other stories.

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.

Kiddush Ha-Shem: An Epic of 1648
One of the earliest historical novels in modern Yiddish literature, Kiddush ha-Shem is a story of Jewish martyrdom during the Chmelnitsky uprising in mid-17th century Ukraine and Poland.

The Sages -- Their Concepts and Beliefs
...an indespensable book for all those who are curious to know how the rabbis of the Talmud handled philosophical and theological issues. It has few peers. --David Weiss Halivni

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.

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 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.

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.

Tosefta Ki-Fshutah v. 9
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JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis
The JPS Torah Commentary series guides readers through the words and ideas of the Torah. Each volume is the work of a scholar who stands at the pinnacle of his field.

Origins of the Kabbalah
Gershom Scholem opened up a once esoteric world of Jewish mysticism, the Kabbalah, to concerned students of religion: a tradition of repeated attempts to achieve and portray direct experiences of God. A history of the Kabbalah before the Zohar, this book analyzes the leading ideas of Jewish mysticism up to the period of its classical formulation.

AN EMPIRE IN THE HOLY LAND


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.

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.

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Studies in Aggadah and Folk-Literature (Scripta Hierosolymitana, XXII)
With the acception of one article, Tales of the Sage by Uffenheimer, which concerns with Biblical exegesis, all other contributions approach their material from literary perspective or as a part of investigation into their history.

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.