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 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...

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...

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...

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...

Uzair, Ezra in Islam

Uzair, Ezra in Islam Uzair عزير‎, ʿUzayr) is a figure mentioned in the Quran, in the verse 9:30, which states that he was revered by the Jews as “the son of God”. Uzair is most often identified with the biblical Ezra. Modern historians have described the reference as “enigmatic”, since such views have not been found in...

Lot in Islam

Lot in Islam Lut (لوط‎, Lūṭ), known as Lot in the Old Testament, is a prophet of God in the Quran.[2][3] According to Islamic tradition, Lot was born to Haran and spent his younger years in Ur, later migrating to Canaan with his uncle Abraham.[4] He was sent to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as a prophet,[5] and was commanded to preach to...

Paul the Apostle

Who Is Paul the Apostle? Paul the Apostle (c. 5 – c. 64 or 67),[3][5][6] commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus,[8][9] was an apostle (although not one of the Twelve Apostles) who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world.[10] Paul is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age[11][12] and in the...

Uzair

Prophet Uzair Uzair (عزير‎, ʿUzayr) is a figure mentioned in the Quran, in the verse 9:30, which states that he was revered by the Jews as “the son of God”. Uzair is most often identified with the biblical Ezra. Modern historians have described the reference as “enigmatic”, since such views have not been found in Jewish...

Elisha

Prophet Elisha Elisha (אֱלִישָׁע, ʼElišaʻ, ʼĔlîšāʻ, “My God is salvation”, Ἐλισ[σ]αῖος, Elis[s]aîos or Ἐλισαιέ, Elisaié) was, according to the Hebrew Bible, a prophet and a wonder-worker. Also mentioned in the New Testament and the Quran,[2] Elisha is venerated as a prophet in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Amongst new religious movements, Bahá’í writings refer to him by name.[3] His name is commonly transliterated into English as Elisha via...

Ezra

Prophet Ezra Ezra (עזרא, ‘Ezrā;[1] fl. 480–440 BCE), also called Ezra the Scribe (עזרא הסופר, Ezra ha-Sofer) and Ezra the Priest in the Book of Ezra, was a Jewish scribe (sofer) and priest (kohen). In Greco-Latin Ezra is called Esdras (Greek: Ἔσδρας). According to the Hebrew Bible he was a descendant of Sraya (Ezra 7:1)[2] the last High...

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...

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) –...

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...

Abstinence in Judaism

Abstinence in Judaism Abstinence is the refraining from enjoyments which are lawful in themselves. Abstinence in general can be considered a virtue only when it serves the purpose of consecrating a life to a higher purpose. The saints, or adherents of religious and philosophical systems that teach the mortification of the...

Ta’anit, Fasting in Judaism

Ta’anit, Fasting in Judaism A ta’anit (taanis in Ashkenaz pronunciation, or taʿanith in Classical Hebrew) is a fast in Judaism in which one abstains from all food and drink, including water. A Jewish fast may have one or more purposes, including: A tool for repentance An expression of mourning Supplication, such as the Fast of Esther. Jewish fast days Full fasts A...

Ascension of Jesus

Ascension of Jesus The ascension of Jesus (anglicized from the Vulgate Latin Acts 1:9-11 section title: Ascensio Iesu) is the departure of Christ from Earth into the presence of God.[1] The biblical narrative in Chapter 1 of the Acts of the Apostles takes place 40 days after the resurrection: Jesus is taken up from the disciples in their sight, a cloud hides him from view, and two men in white appear to...

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