Encyclopaedia of Judaism

Get access Subject: Jewish Studies
General Editors: Jacob Neusner, Alan J. Avery-Peck and William Scott Green

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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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Evil and Suffering, Judaic Doctrines of

(3,952 words)

Author(s): Kraemer, David
From the earliest canonical traditions of Israelite religion to contemporary Orthodox Judaism , suffering has been seen as punishment for the wickedness and sins of humanity. The persistence of this connection is evidence of its ability to explain the suffering of the people Israel and to provide comfort to sufferers. But, however powerful the explanation that associates suffering with sin, important questions always remain: Why is there evil in the first place? Why do human…

Evil Eye in Judaism

(11,676 words)

Author(s): Ulmer, Rivka
The concept of the Evil Eye is based upon the notion that an individual has the potential, voluntarily or involuntarily, to influence other individuals or objects by merely gazing at them. The belief in the Evil Eye is found throughout the ancient cultures that came into contact with Judaism, and in a substantial portion of Rabbinic literature the existence of the Evil Eye is acknowledged. The manifestations of the Evil Eye in Judaism generally do not differ from those in other cultures. An Evil…

Exegesis of Scripture, Medieval Rabbinic

(9,734 words)

Author(s): Basser, Herbert W.
Understanding the Hebrew Scripture to be the authoritative teachings of God or, at least, the mediated message of God, Jews always have looked to the Bible. as the ultimate source of knowledge of the divine will. To clarify and amplify this will, a tradition of analysis and commentary has emerged, stretching from the biblical period itself and continuing into the present day. Producing their works in diverse cultural, philosophical, and historical settings, including times of persecution and gre…

Exodus in Judaism

(7,078 words)

Author(s): Neusner, Jacob
The book of Exodus is mediated to Rabbinic Judaism by the midrashic compilation Mekhilta Attributed to R. Ishmael. That is a miscellany, not a coherent and systematic reading of the biblical book. The document, seen in the aggregate, presents a composite of three kinds of materials concerning the book of Exodus. The first is a set of ad hoc and episodic exegeses of some passages of Scripture. The second is a group of propositional and argumentative essays in exegetical form, in which theological principles are set forth and demonstrated. The third cons…