Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, monotheistic, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text. It encompasses the religion, philosophy, and culture of the Jewish people.

Jewish Music

What Is Jewish Music? Jewish music is the music and melodies of the Jewish people. There exist both traditions of religious music, as sung at the synagogue and domestic prayers, and of secular music, such as klezmer. While some elements of Jewish music may originate in biblical times, differences of rhythm and sound can be found among...

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...

Jewish Renewal

What Is Jewish Renewal? Jewish Renewal (התחדשות יהודית‎, hitḥadeshut yehudit) is a recent movement in Judaism which endeavors to reinvigorate modern Judaism with Kabbalistic, Hasidic, and musical practices. Specifically, it seeks to reintroduce the “ancient Judaic traditions of mysticism and meditation, gender equality and ecstatic prayer” to synagogue services.[1] It is distinct from the baal teshuva movement of return to Orthodox Judaism.[2] Overview The term...

Tzedakah

What Is Tzedakah? Tzedakah or Ṣ’daqah in Classical Hebrew (צדקה‎) (A-Sadaqah الصدقة ), is a Hebrew word literally meaning “justice” or “righteousness”, but commonly used to signify charity. Notably, this concept of “charity” is different from the modern Western understanding of “charity”, which is typically understood as a spontaneous act of goodwill and a marker of...

Hanukkah

Hanukkah Hanukkah (חֲנֻכָּה ḥanuká, ḥanuká, Chanukah, Ḥanukah) is a Jewish festival commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. It is also known as the Festival of Lights (ג הַאוּרִים, ḥag ha’urim). Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days,...

Hasidic Philosophy

Hasidic Philosophy Hasidic philosophy or Hasidism (חסידות), alternatively transliterated as Hasidut or Chassidus, consists of the teachings of the Hasidic movement, which are the teachings of the Hasidic rebbes, often in the form of commentary on the Torah (the Five books of Moses) and Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). Hasidism deals with a range of...

Jewish Eschatology

What Is Jewish Eschatology? Jewish eschatology is the area of theology and philosophy concerned with events that will happen in the end of days and related concepts, according to the Hebrew Bible and Jewish thought. This includes the ingathering of the exiled diaspora, the coming of a Jewish Messiah, afterlife,...

Moses in Islam

Moses in Islam Mûsâ ibn ‘Imran[1] ( ٰمُوسَى‎, Mūsā) known as Moses in Judaeo-Christian theology, considered a prophet and messenger in Islam, is the most frequently mentioned individual in the Qur’an, his name being mentioned 136 times.[2][3] The Qur’an states that Musa was sent by Allah to the Pharaoh of Egypt and his establishments and the Israelites for guidance...

I Am that I Am

I Am that I Am I am that I am is a common English translation of the Hebrew phrase אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה, ’ehyeh ’ăšer ’ehyeh – also “I am who I am”, “I am what I am” or “I will be what I will be” or even “I create what (ever) I create“. The traditional...

Tetragrammaton

Tetragrammaton The tetragrammaton (meaning “[consisting of] four letters”), יהוה in Hebrew and YHWH in Latin script, is the four-letter biblical name of the God of Israel.[1][2] The books of the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Bible (with the exception of Esther and Song of Songs) contain this Hebrew name. Religiously observant Jews and those who follow Talmudic Jewish traditions do not pronounce יהוה, nor do they read...

Elohim

Elohim Elohim (אֱלֹהִים) in the Hebrew Bible refers to deities, and is one of the many names or titles for God in the Hebrew Bible.   The word is identical to the usual plural of el, meaning gods or magistrates, and is cognate to the ‘l-h-m found in Ugaritic, where it is used for the pantheon of Canaanite gods, the children of El,...

El Shaddai

El Shaddai El Shaddai (אֵל שַׁדַּי) or just Shaddai is one of the names of the God of Israel. El Shaddai is conventionally translated as God Almighty (Deus Omnipotens in Latin) but the construction of the phrase fits the pattern of the divine appellations in the Ancient Near East and as such can convey various types of semantic relations between...

Elyon

Elyon Elyon (עליון; Elyōn) is an epithet of the God of the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible. ʾĒl ʿElyōn is usually rendered in English as “God Most High“, and similarly in the Septuagint as ὁ Θεός ὁ ὕψιστος (“God the highest”).   The term also has mundane uses, such as “upper” (where the ending in both roots is a locative, not superlative or...

What are The Different Names of God, and What do They Mean?

What are The Different Names of God, and What do They Mean? Each of the many names of God describes a different aspect of His many-faceted character. Here are some of the better-known names of God in the Bible: EL, ELOAH [el, el-oh-ah]: God “mighty, strong, prominent” (Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 139:19) –...

Yahweh

Yahweh Yahweh was the national god of the Iron Age kingdoms of Israel (Samaria) and Judah.[3] His exact origins are disputed, although they reach back to the early Iron Age and even the Late Bronze:[4][5] his name may have begun as an epithet of El, head of the Bronze Age Canaanite pantheon,[6] but the earliest plausible mentions of...

Baal

Baal Baal (Baʿal), was a title and honorific meaning “owner,” “lord” in the Northwest Semitic languages spoken in the Levant during antiquity. From its use among people, it came to be applied to gods.[6] Scholars previously associated the theonym with solar cults and with a variety of unrelated patron deities,...

Gender of God in Judaism

Gender of God in Judaism Although the Gender of God in Judaism is referred to in the Tanakh with masculine imagery and grammatical forms, traditional Jewish philosophy does not attribute the concept of sex to God, but does attribute gender.[1] At times, Jewish aggadic literature and Jewish mysticism do treat God as gendered. The ways in which God is...

Tzimtzum

What Is Tzimtzum? The tzimtzum or tsimtsum (צמצום ṣimṣūm “contraction, constriction, condensation”) is a term used in the Lurianic Kabbalah to explain Isaac Luria’s doctrine that God began the process of creation by “contracting” his Ohr Ein Sof (infinite) light in order to allow for a “conceptual space” in which finite and seemingly independent...

Jehovah

Jehovah Jehovah is a Latinization of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה, one vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה (YHWH), the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible[1] and one of the seven names of God in Judaism. The consensus among scholars is that the historical vocalization of the Tetragrammaton at the time of the redaction of the Torah (6th century BCE) is most...

God in Judaism

God in Judaism In Judaism, God has been conceived in a variety of ways.[1] Traditionally, Judaism holds that YHWH, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the national god of the Israelites, delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and gave them the Law of Moses at biblical Mount Sinai as...

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