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Course of the Year

(5,761 words)

Author(s): Goldberg, Sylvie Anne
The original meaning of the rituals and ceremonies of the Jewish course of the year as the markers of changes in the vegetation was already being buried in Biblical times under layers of religious and historical interpretations. This tendency grew even stronger in the diaspora where Jewish festivals were accorded considerable importance in both religious and social life. More recently, since the foundation of the State of Israel, the seasonal-agrarian origin of some festivals has been revitalize…
Date: 2018-11-16


(3,509 words)

Author(s): Goldberg, Sylvie Anne
A variety of calendars was already in use in Judaism in biblical times. An earlier lunar calendar was replaced by a lunisolar calendar of Babylonian origin, based on astronomical observations, which became increasingly exact in the postbiblical period. This calendar was in use both in the Land of Israel and in the entire Diaspora, where competing non-Jewish-majority calendars were also in use, to ensure unified and exact observation of religious festivals (Course of the Year). The Jewish…
Date: 2023-10-24


(6,396 words)

Author(s): Goldberg, Sylvie Anne
The Jewish understanding of time rests on biblical foundations and was shaped by ancient rabbinic scholars as well as medieval thinkers and mystics. After the destruction of the Second Temple (70 CE), and, above all, after the final compilation of the Babylonian Talmud (6th or 7th cent. CE), the terminology and the concepts associated with time were standardized and unified. By means of legal and exegetic interpretation of the contradictions found in the Bible, the rabbis, who claimed the…
Date: 2023-10-31


(6,862 words)

Author(s): Goldberg, Sylvie-Anne
Even more than the actual historical dispersal (Hebr.  pizur) of the Jewish people, usually designated by the originally Greek “Diaspora​,” exile (Hebr.  galut) represents one of the decisive concepts of the Jewish religion. To the biblical interpretation of the Babylonian exile as punishment for sins, rabbinic Judaism added the mystically-inspired interpretations of God’s immanence in exile (Aram.  shekhinta ba-galuta) and of the “hidden face [of God]” (Hebr.  hester panim). The traditional conception of exile seemed irreconcilable with modern Jewish self-u…
Date: 2018-11-24


(2,338 words)

Author(s): Goldberg, Sylvie Anne
The attitude to death is an essential part of Jewish self-understanding. Guided by belief in the bodily resurrection in a world to come, to the human body which concerns not only the dead, but also the living body. The doctrines of faith and rituals associated with death promoted a "memorial theology," which places death and everything related to it at the heart of ritual provisions. Although emancipation and secularization shifted the understanding of death to the individual, it remains a central reference point, which expresses the individual's ties to their origin. 1. Principles in…
Date: 2018-11-16


(4,913 words)

Author(s): Goldberg, Sylvie Anne
Die ursprüngliche Bedeutung von rituellen Zeremonien des jüdischen Jahreslaufs als Vegetationsfeste wurde bereits in biblischer Zeit von religiösen und historischen Interpretationen überlagert. Diese Tendenz verstärkte sich in der Diaspora, wo den jüdischen Festen im religiösen wie sozialen Leben der Juden erhebliche Bedeutung zugemessen wurde. In der jüngeren Geschichte, nach der Gründung des Staats Israel, wurde auf säkular-zionistische Initiative hin zum einen der jahres…


(2,280 words)

Author(s): Goldberg, Sylvie Anne
Die Haltung zum Tod ist ein wesentlicher Teil des jüdischen Selbstverständnisses. Angeleitet vom Glauben an die körperliche Auferstehung in einer kommenden Welt, entwickelte sich ein besonderer Bezug zur Physis, der sowohl den Leichnam als auch die Lebenden betrifft. Die mit dem Tod verbundenen Glaubenslehren und Rituale beförderten eine »Gedenktheologie«, die den Tod und alles ihn Betreffende ins Zentrum ritueller Vorgaben stellt. Obwohl Emanzipation und …

Tish’a be-Av

(1,791 words)

Author(s): Goldberg, Sylvie Anne
Seit der Antike ist der 9. Aw (hebr. tish’a be-Av) einer der bedeutendsten jüdischen Trauer-, Klage- und Fastentage. Der Tradition zufolge ereigneten sich an diesem Tag die größten Katastrophen und Tragödien der jüdischen Geschichte, weshalb viele historische Ereignisse nachträglich auf diesen Tag datiert wurden. Auch die mit Tish’a be-Av verbundenen liturgischen Gebräuche weisen diesem Tag eine besondere Bedeutung im jüdischen Kalender zu. Tish’a be-Av ist der neunte Tag des fünften Monats im religiösen beziehungsweise des elften Monats im zivilen jüdisch…

Ḥevra Kaddisha

(3,104 words)

Author(s): Goldberg, Sylvie Anne
Der hebräisch-aramäische Begriff Ḥevra Kaddisha bedeutet wörtlich »heilige Bruderschaft« oder auch »heilige Gesellschaft«; er bezeichnet ursprünglich eine exklusive Gruppe von Männern innerhalb der Gemeinde, der die Krankenpflege und die Bestattung der Toten vorbehalten war. »Heilige Gesellschaften« kamen zunächst im Mittelalter unter sephardischen Juden auf. Mit Beginn der frühen Neuzeit verbreiteten sie sich in allen Gemeinden Europas. Die Auffassungen von der »letzten Pflicht« wandelten sich im K…


(3,249 words)

Author(s): Goldberg, Sylvie Anne
Bereits in biblischer Zeit bestanden im Judentum unterschiedliche Kalender. Zum älteren lunaren Kalender trat der – in nachbiblischer Zeit zunehmend exakte – auf astronomischen Beobachtungen beruhende lunisolare Kalender babylonischen Ursprungs hinzu. Letzterer wurde sowohl im Land Israel als auch in der gesamten Diaspora, in deren nichtjüdischer Mehrheitskultur konkurrierende Kalender in Gebrauch waren, zur einheitlichen exakten Einhaltung der religiösen Feste im Jahreslauf verwendet. Der jüdis…

Tishʿah be-Av

(1,822 words)

Author(s): Goldberg, Sylvie Anne
Since Antiquity, the Ninth of Av (Hebr.  tishʿah be-Av) has been one of the most important Jewish days of mourning, lament, and fasting. Tradition holds that the greatest catastrophes and calamities in Jewish history occurred on this day, and many historical events have for this reason been retroactively assigned the same date. The liturgical customs associated with Tishʿah be-Av also award special significance to this day in the Jewish calendar.Tishʿah be-Av is the ninth day of the fifth month in the Jewish religious calendar and the eleventh month in the ci…
Date: 2023-10-31

Ḥevrah Kaddisha

(3,324 words)

Author(s): Goldberg, Sylvie Anne
The Hebrew-Aramaic term  Ḥevrah Kaddisha literally means “sacred brotherhood” or also “sacred society”; it originally denoted an exclusive group of men within the community to whom care for the sick and the burial of the dead was reserved. “Sacred societies” first appeared among Sephardic Jews in the Middle Ages, and spread throughout Europe at the beginning of the early modern period. Conceptions of the “last duty” changed in contact with the surrounding society, as well as under the influence of m…
Date: 2020-05-12

Life Cycle

(2,663 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Wagner-Rau, Ulrike | Preul, Reiner | Goldberg, Sylvie Anne | Michaels, Axel
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Practical Theology – III. Ethics (Phases of Maturation) – IV. Judaism – V. Hinduism I. Religious Studies In almost all cultures and religions, a person apparently experiences his life not only as a straight line, but more as cyclically sequenced, more-or-less discontinuous phases with varied social status and role claims. The transition between these phases usually takes place as a controlled “growing process,” not only accompanied by so-called rites of passage, but in f…

Mourning Customs

(3,303 words)

Author(s): Heller, Birgit | Podella, Thomas | Triebel, Lothar | Goldberg, Sylvie-Anne | de Boer, Martinus C. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies As an element of burial rites and the cult of the dead (Dead, Cult of the), mourning customs serve not only the survivors but also the departed. Ritual support of the dead or protection against them is usually one of the functions of a mourning period, which often concludes with a change in the status of the departed (e.g. admission to the realm of the dead at the end of a jour…


(11,861 words)

Author(s): Heller, Birgit | Cancik, Hubert | Liess, Kathrin | Necker, Gerold | Goldberg, Sylvie-Anne | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies and History of Religions – II. Death and the Realm of the Dead in the Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Philosophy – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. History of Dogma and Dogmatics – VIII. Ethics – IX. Practical Theology – X. Art – XI. Islam – XII. Buddhism – XIII. Hinduism I. Religious Studies and History of Religions 1. General Modern religious criticism regards religion as compensation for human anxiety in the face of death. …