Encyclopaedia of Judaism

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Subject: Jewish Studies

General Editors: Jacob Neusner, Alan J. Avery-Peck and William Scott Green

The Encyclopaedia of Judaism Online offers more than 200 entries comprising more than 1,000,000 words and is a unique reference tool.  The Encyclopaedia of Judaism Online offers an authoritative, comprehensive, and systematic presentation of the current state of scholarship on fundamental issues of Judaism, both past and present. While heavy emphasis is placed on the classical literature of Judaism and its history, the Encyclopaedia of Judaism Online also includes principal entries on circumcision, genetic engineering, homosexuality, intermarriage in American Judaism, and other acutely contemporary issues. Comprehensive and up-to-date, it reflects the highest standards in scholarship. Covering a tradition of nearly four thousand years, some of the most distinguished scholars in the field describe the way of life, history, art, theology, philosophy, and the practices and beliefs of the Jewish people.

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Pagan Historians on Judaism in Ancient Times

(9,195 words)

Author(s): Stertz, Stephen A.
The expansion of Greek civilization to the east, especially from the time of Alexander the Great onward, involved contact with many ethnic groups, following many religions. Judaism, with its monotheism and prohibition of graven images, was unique among these religions and presented difficulties for followers of Greek, and later Roman, polytheism. The Jews worshipped a God whom they would neither identify with a Greco-Roman god (syncretism) nor allow to be worshipped togethe…

Pagan Philosophers on Judaism in Ancient Times

(10,307 words)

Author(s): Berchman, Robert
Within the ancient world, lyric and epic poets were the first to comment on Judea, the Jews, and Judaism, (11) and their comments greatly influenced later Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman views of the Jewish people and their religion. The earliest reference to Palestine in Greek literature is from the writings of the poet Alcaeus (end of the seventh century b.c.e.), who mentions the destruction of the Philistine city Askelon by the Babylonians. Later, Choerilus of Samos (second half of the fifth century b.c.e.) wrote an epic poem on the Persian Wars in which he catalogued all th…

Parents, Honor of in Judaism

(6,414 words)

Author(s): Gilat, Israel Zvi
Four short normative texts relevant to our discussion appear in the Torah: “Honor your father and your mother ” (Exod. 20:12; Deut. 5:16); “Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father” (Lev. 19:3); “He who curses his father or his mother shall be put to death” (Exod. 21:17; see Lev. 20:9); and “He who strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death” (Exod. 21:15). Despite the texts' dispersion throughout the Torah, they seemingly make…

Passover

(7,554 words)

Author(s): Martola, Nils
The Passover Haggadah contains the text recited at the ritual meal—the seder—held on Passover eve in Jewish homes and communal gatherings ranging from synagogues to the Israeli kibbutzim. It is probably the most widely used text of the Jewish people, and it has exerted a noticeable influence on Jewish life and thought through the ages. Since the emergence of book printing, the Haggadah has appeared in several thousand editions, and it is represented in manuscripts from the ninth century and on. …