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.

Epikoros

Who is Epikoros? Epikoros (or Apikoros or Apikores or Epicurus; אפיקורוס, lit. “Heretic”, pl. Epicorsim ) is a Jewish term cited in the Mishnah, referring to one who does not have a share in the world to come: “All Israel have a share in the world to come as states:...

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Jewish Views On Love

Jewish Views On Love Judaism offers a variety of views regarding the love of God, love among human beings, and love for non-human animals. Love is a central value in Jewish ethics and Jewish theology. Love among human beings One of the core commandments of Judaism is “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus...

Tzniut, Modesty in Judaism

Tzniut, Modesty in Judaism Tzniut (צניעות tzniut, tzeniut(h), tznius; “modesty” or “privacy”; באשיידנקייט‎ basheydnkeyt) describes both the character trait of modesty and discretion, as well as a group of Jewish laws pertaining to conduct. In modern times, the term has become more frequently used with regard to the rules of dress for women within Judaism.[1] The concept is most important within Orthodox...

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Happiness In Judaism

Happiness in Judaism Happiness in Judaism and Jewish thought is considered an important value, especially in the context of the service of God. A number of Jewish teachings stress the importance of joy, and demonstrate methods of attaining happiness. Terminology There are a number of words in the Hebrew language that denote happiness: Simcha (שמחה‎), a generic word...

Yichud

What Is Yichud? In Jewish religious law (halakha), the laws of yichud (איסור ייחוד issur yichud, prohibition of seclusion) is the prohibition of seclusion in a private area of a man and a woman who are not married to each other. Such seclusion is prohibited in order to prevent the two from being tempted or...

Women In Judaism

Women In Judaism The role of women in Judaism is determined by the Hebrew Bible, the Oral Law (the corpus of rabbinic literature), by custom, and by cultural factors. Although the Hebrew Bible and rabbinic literature mention various female role models, religious law treats women differently in various circumstances. Gender has a bearing on familial lines:...

Ketubah

What Is Ketubah? A ketubah (כְּתוּבָּה, “written thing”; pl. ketubot) is a Jewish prenuptial agreement. It is considered an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage, and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom, in relation to the bride. In modern practice, the ketubah has no agreed monetary value, and is seldom enforced...

Jewish Religious Terrorism

Jewish Religious Terrorism Jewish religious terrorism is religious terrorism committed by extremists within Judaism motivated by religious rather than ethnic or nationalistic beliefs.[1][2] History Zealotry in the 1st century According to a paper authored by then Center for Defense Information research analyst Mark Burgess, the 1st century Jewish political and religious movement called Zealotry was one of the first...

Organ Donation In Jewish Law

Organ Donation In Jewish Law Certain fundamental Jewish law questions arise in issues of organ donation. Donation of an organ from a living person to save another’s life, where the donor’s health will not appreciably suffer,[1] is permitted and encouraged in Jewish law. Donation of an organ from a dead person is equally...

Jewish Views On Suicide

Jewish Views On Suicide Jewish views on suicide are mixed. In Orthodox Judaism, suicide is forbidden by Jewish law, and viewed as a sin. Non-Orthodox forms of Judaism may instead recognize the act as more akin to a death by a disease or disorder (except in cases of purposeful assisted suicide). Rabbinical scholars (certainly...

Bereavement In Judaism

Bereavement In Judaism Bereavement in Judaism (אֲבֵלוּת, avelut, mourning) is a combination of minhag and mitzvah derived from Judaism’s classical Torah and rabbinic texts. The details of observance and practice vary according to each Jewish community. Mourners In Judaism, the principal mourners are the first-degree relatives: parent, child, sibling, and spouse. There are some...

Gehenna

What Is Gehenna? Gehenna is a small valley in Jerusalem. In the Hebrew Bible, Gehenna was initially where some of the kings of Judah sacrificed their children by fire.[1] Thereafter, it was deemed to be cursed (Jer. 7:31, 19:2–6).[2] In rabbinic literature Gehenna is a destination of the wicked.[3] This is different from the...

Gilgul

What Is Gilgul? In Kabbalistic esoteric mysticism, Gilgul/Gilgul neshamot/Gilgulei Ha Neshamot (גלגול הנשמות, גלגולים Gilgulim) is a concept of reincarnation. In Hebrew, the word gilgulmeans “cycle” or “wheel” and neshamot is the plural for “souls.” Souls are seen to “cycle” through “lives” or “incarnations”, being attached to different human bodies over time. Which body...

Heaven in Judaism

Heaven in Judaism Shamayim (שָׁמַיִם), the Hebrew word for “heaven” (literally heavens, plural), denotes one component of the three-part biblical cosmology, the other elements being erets (the earth) and sheol (the underworld). Shamayim is the dwelling place of God and other heavenly beings, erets is the home of the living, and sheol is the realm of the dead, including, in post-Hebrew Bible literature (including the New Testament), the abode of...

The Tree of Life in Kabbalah

The Tree of Life in Kabbalah The tree of life is a diagram used in various mystical traditions.[1] It usually consists of 10 nodes symbolizing different archetypes and 22 lines connecting the nodes.[2] The nodes are often arranged into three columns to represent that they belong to a common category.[2] The nodes are usually represented as spheres and the lines are usually...

Jewish Mysticism

What Is Jewish Mysticism? Academic study of Jewish mysticism, especially since Gershom Scholem’s Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941), distinguishes between different forms of mysticism across different eras of Jewish history. Of these, Kabbalah, which emerged in 12th-century Europe, is the most well known, but not the only typologic form, or the earliest to emerge. Among previous...

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...

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