Encyclopaedia of Judaism

Get access 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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Life Cycle in Judaism

(9,556 words)

Author(s): Green, William Scott | Mishkin, J.
Judaism defines a divinely ordained system of required behaviors, referred to as mitzvot , fulfillment of which expresses acquiescence to the divine will. Among these behaviors, life cycle ceremonies enhance worship of God by elevating otherwise ordinary moments into opportunities to fulfill God's demands. Even as life under foreign rule and over a period of thousands of years has created many distinctive Jewish cultures, through life cycle rituals, the Jewish people have maintained and…

Liturgy of Judaism, Content and Theology

(8,678 words)

Author(s): Neusner, Jacob
Life under the law means praying—morning, noon, night, and at meals—both routinely and when something unusual happens. As a Jew in the classical tradition, one lives life constantly aware of the presence of God and always ready to praise and bless God. The way of Torah is the way of perpetual devotion to God. Here we look into the substance of that devotion: for what do pious Jews ask when they pray? For what do they thank God? We find that Judaism's liturgy of home and synagogue expresses the theology of classical Judaism. In every synagogue that addresses God in the wor…

Liturgy of Judaism: History and Form

(6,068 words)

Author(s): Hoffman, Lawrence A.
The general term Jewish worship refers more specifically to Rabbinic worship, that is, the system of worship codified by the generations of authorities known loosely as “the rabbis.” While Rabbinic myths date some liturgical customs as far back as Moses and even the patriarchs, it is in fact difficult to establish the existence of even elementary Rabbinic worship prior to the second century b.c.e. Only in the first century c.e. does the character of Rabbinic worship come clearly into focus. In particular we find that the Tannaim (c. 70–200 c.e.) are responsible for the structure of …