Judaism’s Religious Texts

Judaism’s Religious Texts

Judaism is the oldest of the Abrahamic religions, and its primary sacred text is the Tanach, or the Jewish Bible, which is composed of the Pentateuch (Torah), the Prophets (Nevi’im) and the Writings (Ketuvim). Tanach is an acronym for these three books. 

Jewish Apocrypha

What Is Jewish Apocrypha? Jewish apocrypha includes texts written in the Jewish religious tradition either in the Intertestamental period or in the early Christian era, but outside the Christian tradition. It does not include books in the canonical Hebrew Bible, nor those accepted into the canon of some or all...

Zohar

What is Zohar? The Zohar (זֹהַר, “Splendor” or “Radiance”) is the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah.[1] It is a group of books including commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah (the five books of Moses) and scriptural interpretations as well as material on mysticism, mythical cosmogony, and mystical psychology. The...

Weekly Torah Portion

Weekly Torah Portion It is a custom among religious Jewish communities for a weekly Torah portion, popularly referred to as a parashah, to be read during Jewish prayer services. The parashah (Hebrew: פָּרָשַׁת הַשָּׁבוּעַ Parashat ha-Shavua), popularly just parashah (or parshah /pɑːrʃə/ or parsha) and also known as a Sidra (or Sedra /sɛdrə/) is a section of the Torah (Five Books...

Book of Jubilees

Book of Jubilees The Book of Jubilees, sometimes called Lesser Genesis (Leptogenesis), is an ancient Jewish religious work of 50 chapters, considered canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as well as Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews), where it is known as the Book of Division (Ge’ez: መጽሃፈ ኩፋሌ Mets’hafe Kufale). Jubilees is considered one of the pseudepigrapha by Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Churches.[1] It is also not considered canonical...

Sirach

What Is Sirach? The Book of the All-Virtuous Wisdom of Yeshua ben Sira,[1] commonly called the Wisdom of Sirach or simply Sirach, and also known as the Book of Ecclesiasticus (abbreviated Ecclus.)[2] or Ben Sira,[3] is a work of ethical teachings, from approximately 200 to 175 BCE, written by the Jewish scribe Ben Sira of Jerusalem, on the inspiration of his...

Neviim

What Is Neviim? Neviim (נְבִיאִים Nəḇî’îm, “Prophets”) is the second main division of the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh), between the Torah (instruction) and Ketuvim (writings). The Nevi’im are divided into two groups. The Former Prophets (נביאים ראשונים Nevi’im Rishonim) consists of the narrative books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings; while the Latter Prophets (נביאים אחרונים Nevi’im...

Aggadah

Aggadah Aggadah (אַגָּדְתָא “tales, lore”) refers to non-legalistic exegetical texts in the classical rabbinic literature of Judaism, particularly as recorded in the Talmud and Midrash. In general, Aggadah is a compendium of rabbinic texts that incorporates folklore, historical anecdotes, moral exhortations, and practical advice in various spheres, from business to...

Jesus in The Talmud

Jesus in The Talmud There are several passages in the Talmud which are believed by some scholars to be references to Jesus. The name used in the Talmud is “Yeshu“, the Aramaic vocalization (though not spelling) of the Hebrew name Yeshua.[1][2] The identification of Yeshu as Jesus is problematic. For example, the Talmud mentions Yeshu ben Pandera/ben...

Hannah's prayer

Prayer In The Hebrew Bible

Prayer In The Hebrew Bible Prayer in the Hebrew Bible is an evolving means of interacting with God, most frequently through a spontaneous, individual, unorganized form of petitioning and/or thanking. Standardized prayer such as is done today is non-existent, though beginning in Deuteronomy, the Bible lays the groundwork for organized prayer, including basic liturgical...

Judaism’s Religious Books

Judaism’s Religious Books Judaism’s Sacred Texts The importance of Judaism’s sacred texts extends far beyond their religious significance. These ancient documents embody not only Judaism’s religious precepts, but also the historical, cultural and social heritage of the Jewish people. In Israel, where attitudes towards tradition range from the ultra-orthodox to...

Jewish Religious Texts

Jewish Religious Texts The importance of Judaism’s sacred texts extends far beyond their religious significance. These ancient documents embody not only Judaism’s religious precepts, but also the historical, cultural and social heritage of the Jewish people. In Israel, where attitudes towards tradition range from the ultra-orthodox to the secular, sacred...

Torah reading

The Torah

What Is The Torah? The Torah is Judaism’s most important text. It is composed of the Five Books of Moses and also contains the 613 commandments (mitzvot) and the Ten Commandments. The word “Torah” means “to teach.” Five books of story, law, and poetry For Jews, the concept of “Torah”...

Weekly Torah Readings

Weekly Torah Readings Each week in synagogue, we read (or, more accurately, chant, because it is sung) a passage from the Torah. This passage is referred to as a parshah. The first parshah, for example, is Parashat Bereishit, which covers from the beginning of Genesis to the story of Noah....

Tosefta

What Is Tosefta? The Tosefta (Jewish Babylonian Aramaic תוספתא “supplement, addition”) is a compilation of the Jewish oral law from the late 2nd century, the period of the Mishnah. Overview In many ways, the Tosefta acts as a supplement to the Mishnah (tosefta means “supplement, addition”). The Mishnah (Hebrew: משנה‎) is the basic compilation...

Torah Database

Torah Database A Torah database (מאגר תורני or מאגר יהדות) is an electronic collection of classic Jewish texts in electronic form, the kinds of texts which especially in Israel are often called “The Traditional Jewish Bookshelf” (ארון הספרים היהודי); the texts are in their original languages (Hebrew or Aramaic). These databases...

Torah reading

Torah

The Torah The Torah (תּוֹרָה, “Instruction”, “Teaching” or “Law”) has a range of meanings. It can most specifically mean the first five books (Pentateuch) of the 24 books of the Tanakh, and it is usually printed with the rabbinic commentaries (perushim). It can mean the continued narrative from the Book of Genesis to the end...

The Obligations Of Faith According To The Torah

The Obligations Of Faith According To The Torah Faith in God without Idolatry But I am the Lord your God… You shall acknowledge no God but Me, no Savior except Me. (Hosea, 13:4) O Lord… there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below. (1 Kings,...

The Importance Of Remembering God And Saying In the Torah

The Importance Of Remembering God And Saying In the Torah Speaking of God … In all your ways acknowledge Him [Lord], and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs, 3:6) Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that...

Talmud

What Is Talmud? The Talmud (תַּלְמוּד talmūd) is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (halakha) and Jewish theology.[1][2][3] Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of Jewish cultural life and was foundational to “all Jewish thought and aspirations”, serving also...

Tanakh

Tanakh, The Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible, also called the Tanakh (תַּנַ״ךְ, Tenakh, Tenak, Tanach) or Mikra, is the canonical collection of Hebrew scripture, which is also the textual source for the Christian Old Testament. These texts are composed mainly in Biblical Hebrew, with some passages in Biblical Aramaic (in the books of...

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