Judaism’s Religious Texts

The 16 Scrolls of the complete Tanakh, Old Testament Scrolls on display in Glen Rose, Texas

Hebrew Bible

The Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible, also called the Tanakh (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 Daniel, Ezra...

Toras in Istanbul Ashkenazi Sinagogue

Torah Wisdom from the Jewish Sages

Torah Wisdom from the Jewish Sages Rabbi Simcha Bunam of Pshis’cha – People are not to blame for the fact that they sin. Indeed, they withstand great temptation though their strength is negligible. They are, however to blame for the fact that they do not repent their evil ways, because...

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Wisdom From The Old Testament

Wisdom From The Old Testament Exhortation to Righteousness, the Key to Life 1 Love righteousness,* you who judge the earth;a think of the LORD in goodness, and seek him in integrity of heart;b 2 Because he is found by those who do not test him, and manifests himself to those who...

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Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom In the spirit of Kohelet, which is a feature of Sukkot, I share with you some of my favorite words of Halachic and Talmudic wisdom. For a daily dose of Torah wisdom be sure to check out (and ‘Like’!) the “Torah Wisdom” page on Facebook.  The walls...

Wisdom/Hokhmah/Sophia

Wisdom/Hokhmah/Sophia: Feminine Images of the Divine in Second Temple Judaism Rabbinic Source About Wisdom and Proverbs The Canonicity of Proverbs Shabbat 30b The Book of Proverbs too they desired to hide, because its statements are self-contradictory. Yet why did they not hide it? They said, “Did we not examine Qohelet...

Female Aspects of Deity: Searching for Lady Wisdom

Female Aspects of Deity: Searching for Lady Wisdom

Female Aspects of Deity: Searching for Lady Wisdom Title and structure: Who is the biblical Wisdom- Hochma, Sophia?: weaving the threads together. i Wisdom in the Hebrew Bible ii Wisdom and her sisters in the Hellenistic world iii in New Testament iv in “Gnostic Gospels”. v Wisdom goddesses of the...

The Character of Wisdom

The Character of Wisdom An Introduction to Old Testament Wisdom Literature Wisdom Literature is a term applied to the Old Testament canonical books of Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, and sometimes to the Song of Songs (Song of Solomon).  It also includes the Apocryphal books of Sirach (The Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira or Ecclesiasticus)...

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Wisdom Literature: Ben Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon

Wisdom Literature: Ben Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon Jewish Literature of the Greco-Roman Period Wisdom literature is a genre that has roots deep in ancient Near Eastern culture. There are exemplars of wisdom literature from Egypt of the 2nd millennium B.C.E., and from not too much later written in Mesopotamia....

Psalms

Psalms The Book of Psalms (תְּהִלִּים‬, Tehillim, “praises”), commonly referred to simply as Psalms or “the Psalms”, is the first book of the Ketuvim (“Writings”), the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and thus a book of the Christian Old Testament.[1] The title is derived from the Greek translation, ψαλμοί, psalmoi, meaning “instrumental music” and, by extension, “the words accompanying...

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. 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...

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 Genesis

Book of Genesis The Book of Genesis (“Origin”, בְּרֵאשִׁית, “Bərēšīṯ“, “In [the] beginning”) is the first book of the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh) and the Old Testament.[1] It is divisible into two parts, the Primeval history (chapters 1–11) and the Ancestral history (chapters 12–50).[2] The primeval history sets out the author’s (or authors’) concepts of the nature of the...

The Dead Sea Scrolls

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...

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...

Yeshua, Torah and the Tree of Life

Yeshua, Torah and the Tree of Life Torah is also called the “Tree of Life,” as it points us to God as He reveals Himself in the Sephirot, and thus His salvation. Going back to the time of Moses, God Himself states that His Torah is the way of “life.”...

Judaism

“Finding Wisdom, Faith and Comfort in the Tanach”

“Finding Wisdom, Faith and Comfort in the Tanach” The following is one in a series of columns in which local community members write about their favorite Jewish books. This week’s column is by Larry Hurwitz, M.D., a senior editor for Torah Productions, Inc. My favorite book is the Tanach, the...

Old Testament Wisdom

Old Testament Wisdom The didactic books constitute the third group of writings in the Old Testament. They teach man to organize his personal, earthly life in such a way that it will be blessed by God and by men, and may give him prosperity and peace of soul. The wisdom...

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