Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online

Get access Subject: Jewish Studies

Editor-in-Chief: Dan Diner

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From Europe to America to the Middle East, North Africa and other non-European Jewish settlement areas the Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture covers the recent history of the Jews from 1750 until the 1950s.

More information: Brill.com

Table of Contents

(52 words)

Publisher’s Note to the English Edition Introduction Perspectives and MeaningsPeriodizing Jewish HistoryPansophy of Jewish ModernitiesModes of RepresentationFields of Knowledge Acknowledgments Instructions on Use Transcription and Spelling Citation Guide to Biblical and Rabbinical Literature List of Articles List of Authors List of Translators List of Images and Maps Articles
Date: 2017-08-21


(3,635 words)

Author(s): Walid Abd El Gawad
Arabic technical term for the exegesis of the Quran. Due to the proximity between the older Jewish and the still young Islamic textual culture in linguistic as well as lebenswelt terms, Jews were regarded as models and authorities on the field of Quranic exegesis even during the Prophet Muhammad’s lifetime. The influence of Jewish scholarship on the interpretation of Islamic sacred texts extended through the various types of medieval Quranic exegesis into the modern age. Following the exa…
Date: 2023-10-31


(4,242 words)

Author(s): Kanarek, Jane L.
The Talmud – transmitted in two separate works as a Palestinian and a Babylonian Talmud – is the literary founding document of post-biblical Judaism and rabbinic traditional literature. The extensive work, which was composed over several centuries during Antiquity, combines Jewish law (Halakhah) as well as multi-layered narrative traditions (Haggadah), intertwined in a complex fashion. It reflects not only the self-understanding and worldview of the class of rabbinic scholars who contribu…
Date: 2023-10-31

Talmud Torah

(4,137 words)

Author(s): Ancselovits, Elisha
Since Antiquity, the study (Hebr. talmud) of the Holy Scriptures, the “teachings” (Hebr. torah), has been considered a religious duty of Jewish men. It ultimately came to include studying the ancient and early medieval rabbinic texts in which biblical commandments were discussed and expanded. As a consequence, talmud torah developed increasingly into the study of Jewish traditional literature. In view of the social changes of the early modern age, medieval study traditions changed, too, with the ideal of lifelong study becoming an increas…
Date: 2023-10-31


(5,456 words)

Author(s): Liss, Hanna
The Hebrew Bible (Hebr. Tanakh) containing the creation myth about the origins of the world and the account of the history of the Jews from the beginning to the Babylonian exile is an important testimony of ancient Oriental narration as well as religious and historical experiences. Insofar as the Tanakh reports on the special and indissoluble covenant between God and the people of Israel, it is the religious and historical foundation of Judaism. Since the emergence of Christianity and Islam, …
Date: 2023-10-31


(3,109 words)

Author(s): Flavin, Michael
Tancred, or, The New Crusade was the title of a novel by Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881), who as a leading member of parliament for the Conservative party and two-time prime minister (1868, 1874–1880) had a significant impact on the politics of Great Britain during the Victorian era. As well as facilitating his ambitious social life, his successful literary career served as a means for Disraeli, who was from a Jewish family and was baptized at the age of 12, to formulate political visions. In  Tancred, Disraeli addresses his understanding of Judaism, of Christianity as the con…
Date: 2023-10-31


(3,367 words)

Author(s): M. Mitchell Serels
City in the far north of Morocco, home to a significant Jewish community for many centuries. Tangier’s status as a center of European diplomacy in Morocco from the late 18th century onward along with the International Zone established here between 1923 and 1956 meant that the history and social structure of the Jewish community of the city differed considerably from those of other communities in the Maghreb. Looking to Western languages and European education, Tangier’s Jews became pionee…
Date: 2023-10-31


(2,179 words)

Author(s): Silber, Marcos
In the interwar years, Tarbut (Hebr.; culture) was the most important network of Jewish-secular education in Eastern Europe. Especially in Poland, the association maintained a widely-ramified system of educational institutions for children and adults. It had its international legal basis in the educational autonomy for minorities, codified in the Paris Peace Treaties. The network was run by Zionist parties of the center as well as the moderate left to guarantee Hebrew-language training in keeping with the times. Tarbut had a lasting influence on the cultural self-und…
Date: 2023-10-31


(2,492 words)

Author(s): Dynner, Glenn
In the small towns and villages of premodern Eastern Europe, taverns provided not only places of hospitality, but were also popular meeting places for the discussion of commercial and public affairs, as well as for religious celebrations. They were predominantly operated by Jews who had leased the premises and alcohol licenses from Polish landowners. Both social reformers and government officials blamed Jewish innkeepers for the epidemic of drunkenness among the rural population, despite…
Date: 2023-10-31


(2,218 words)

Author(s): Ben-Artzi, Yossi
Technical educational institution founded in Haifa at the beginning of the 20th century on the initiative of the Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden (Aid Association of German Jews). After conflicts regarding the status of Hebrew as the language of instruction, courses began to be taught at the Technion in 1924. During the first decades of its existence, it was characterized by German teaching and research methods and by the German education system in general. By 1950 it had grown into a reno…
Date: 2023-10-31


(1,426 words)

Author(s): Balke, Ralf
Hebrew name for a blue color and a dye that was applied in the production of textiles for ritual use during the Temple period. Beyond the original significance of the color as a magical shield against evil,  tekhelet symbolizes the connection of Jews with Erets Israel, as well as their religious autonomy. The Zionist movement (Basel), in its endeavor to create national symbols such as the flag for the State of Israel, separated the color from its sacred, magical context and charged it with secular meaning.In the Temple period, the textile fittings of the Tabernacle ( mishkan) and the fabri…
Date: 2023-10-31

Tel Aviv

(3,237 words)

Author(s): Sonder, Ines
Tel Aviv is considered to be the first Jewish city of the present era. Founded as a Jewish garden suburb of Jaffa in 1909 and named the following year after the Hebrew title of Theodor Herzl’s utopian novel  Altneuland (“Old New Land,” 1941), the location soon developed into the urban center of the new Yishuv, and the secular antipode to the religiously-molded Jerusalem. In the 1930s, Jewish architects, who came to Palestine from Central Europe with the Fifth Aliyah, transformed the city into a laboratory of modernism: the so-…
Date: 2023-10-31

Tell Halaf

(2,575 words)

Author(s): Gilibert, Alessandra
An ancient settlement hill near the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn, discovered in 1899 by Max Freiherr von Oppenheim (1860–1946). His privately-financed excavations at Tell Halaf are among the highlights of German Near Eastern archaeology. Oppenheim, who came from a converted Jewish banking family (Bankers), repeatedly tried to act in the interests of Germany, including through plans for inciting Muslims against the enemies of the German Reich in the First as well as in the Second Wor…
Date: 2023-10-31


(2,727 words)

Author(s): Ariel, Yaakov
As Judaism’s central holy site, the Temple in Jerusalem was an intrinsic element of the political and religious life of the ancient Israelites. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Jews expressed their hopes of its reconstruction during the promised messianic era in their writings and liturgies. In Europe and the United States, the term “temple” developed into a cipher used by proponents of reform from the 19th century onward. The “temple” of more liberal communities con…
Date: 2023-10-31


(2,968 words)

Author(s): Ariel, Yaakov
Since Antiquity, the Hebrew term  teshuvah (lit. reversal; return) has designated the confession and repentance of sins in order to achieve forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Teshuvah is a central component of the Jewish faith. From the Middle Ages onward it was sometimes also linked with ascetic ideas. Movements of cultural-religious returning to tradition developed during the modern era, initially among secular, religiously liberal Jews in Germany and Italy, among other places. After t…
Date: 2023-10-31


(6,691 words)

Author(s): Miron, Dan
Tevye, the Yiddish form of the Hebrew-Biblical Tovyah (Tobias), is the most nuanced and three-dimensional literary figure in the works of Shalom Rabinovitch (1859–1916), published under the pen name of Sholem Aleichem. The writer, whose popular-humoristic texts (Humor) played a significant part in the evolution of modern literary Yiddish, described the confrontation between the traditional shtetl and the European modern age in tragicomical monologue form in a series of nine short stories published between 1895 and 1914 under the title of Tevye der milkhiker (“Tevye the Dairym…
Date: 2023-10-31