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Modena, Leone

(179 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (Leone Modena da Venezia; 1571, Venice – 1648, Venice). Modena enjoyed a broad education, including Italian literature, music, and song. His family's precarious finances forced him to make a living in various occupations: in his autobiography, he lists 26 different activities. His primary profession, however, was intellectual: he was a writer, teacher, and preacher. Running counter to the fashion of his period, he severely criticized the Kabbalah and defended the teaching of M. Maimonides. His apologetic Magen va-Herev, which remained unfinished, castigate…

Eupolemos

(197 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] was a Hellenistic Jewish historiographer whose work, Concerning the Kings in Judea, is preserved fragmentarily in excerpts from Alexander Polyhistor (transmitted by Eusebius and Clement of Alexandria). He should probably be identified with the Eupolemos mentioned in 1 Macc 8:17 and 2 Macc 4:11 as the leader of the Jewish embassy to Rome. His work, which may be dated around 158/157 bce, covers the period from Moses to his time. A brief passage concerning Moses as the “first sage” and inventor o…

Philosophy, Jewish

(4,134 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] I. Definition The combination of the terms Judaism and philosophy suggests two distinct but deeply related issues: the place of Judaism in the history of philosophy and the emergence of a distinctive “Jewish” philosophy. Viewed historically, the compound Jewish philosophy points to a process of cultural debate between Greek “philosophy” and thought shaped by Jewish religion and culture, during which the two were often treated as irreconcilable. The question of the existence and nature of “Jewish philosophy” was first r…

Lilith

(254 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] is the name of a female demon (Demons and Spirits: II) of Babylonian/Sumerian origin that is mentioned only once in the Bible in Isa 34:14. From a philological and tradition-historical point of view, the name Lilith cannot be deciphered with certainty (“night demon”?). In analogy to the Babylonian demon Labartu or Lamashtu, the endangering of pregnant women and the killing of newborn children are attributed to her. The Babylonian Talmud particularly emphasizes her sexual curiosity (Lilith as the seductress of men) and her position within demonology (b. ʿErub. 100b; b.…

de Rossi, Azaria

(166 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (c. 1511, Mantua – c. 1577, Mantua). After the expulsion of the Jews from the Papal States in 1569, de' Rossi moved to Ferrara, where he witnessed the earthquake of Nov 18, 1570. This event inspired him to devote himself to literary activities. De' Rossi's chief work, Meʾor ʿEnayim ( Light of the Eyes), consists of three parts: Qol Elohim (“The Voice of God”), in ¶ which he writes about the earthquake; Hadrat Zeqenim (“The Glory of the Elders”), a Hebrew translation of the Letter of Aristeas ; and Imre Bina (“The Sayings of Understanding”) o…

Aristeas, Letter of

(376 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] We know Aristeas only through a “precise report” ( diḗgēsis) concerning the causes and circumstances of the translation of the LXX for the (fictive) Philokrates. Though the description of events forms the framework of the letter (occasion for the translation: 1ff.; Philadelphos's request to the high priest Eleazar and positive response: 9–11; 28–51; …

Luzzatto, Samuel David

(131 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (acronym: Shadal; Aug 22, 1800, Trieste – Sep 30, 1865, Padua), Orthodox Jewish scholar. Luzzatto was an expert at combining biblical and general learning. In 1829 he was appointed professor of Bible, grammar, Jewish history, and theology at the Collegio Rabbinico Italiano in Padua, a position he held until his death. He rejected Hellenistic philosophy, the intellectualism of M. Maimonides, and the rationalism of B. de Spinoza, but also the Kabbalah. He ¶ is noted for his work as a Bible translator and his editions of medieval poetry. Giuseppe Veltri Bibliography I. Luz…

Magnes, Judah Leon

(175 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (Aug 5, 1877, San Francisco – Oct 27,1948, New York), Rabbi, one of the founders of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Magnes was ordained as a rabbi in 1900 at the Hebrew Union College. In 1902 he gained a doctorate at Heidelberg. In 1904 Magnes was Reformed rabbi of the Temple Israel in Brooklyn and in 1906 of the Temple Emanu-El in New York. Disappointments with Reform Judaism led him to Conservative Judaism. In 1910 he assumed the office of rabbi of Bʾnai Jeshurun. After Worl…

Philo of Alexandria

(1,243 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (Philo Alexandrinus or Philo Judaeus; 20/10 bce – 45 [?] ce), best-known and most influential philosopher and exegete in ancient Judaism (I). Scarcely anything is known of his life. According to the historian Flavius Josephus, Philo belonged to one of the leading families of Alexandria. The only certain fact about his life is that he took part in a legation to the Roman emperor Caligula in 39/40 ce (Jos. Ant. XVIII 259f.), which he describes in his Legatio ad Gaium. From the fact that he was already of advanced age when he undertook this journey (he describes himself as gerṓn,…

Hecataeus of Abdera

(198 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] The philosopher and historiographer Hecataeus was a contemporary of Alexander the Great and of Ptolemy I (Jos. Apion. I 183; Ptolemaic Dynasty). In his famous book, Aegyptiaca, Hecataeus deals with part of Jewish history, as well as Jewish customs, religion and military matters (fragments in Diodoros Siculus XL 3). Josephus cites Hecataeus's essay On the Jews ( Apion. I 183ff., cf. I 214), although its authenticity is doubted. According to Josephus, in this essay, Hecataeus deals with the relationship of the Jews to Ptolemy I, their fid…

Menasseh ben Israel

(185 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (1604, Madeira – 1657, Middelburg, Netherlands), rabbi, author and printer, who lived mostly in Amsterdam. Menasseh was a theologian of Judaism who knew how to use secular and rabbinic knowledge in defense of Judaism. In 1626 he founded the first Jewish printing works in Amsterdam. He published a number of writings which were intended to appeal to non-Jews as well as Jews ( De creatione, 1635; De resurrectione mortuorum, 1636; De fragilitate humana, 1642). He was seen as an intellectual representative of the Jewish people, and was in contact with H. G…

Moscato, Judah

(162 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (c. 1530, Osimo – c. 1593, Padua), one of the most important rabbis of the Renaissance. When the expulsion of the Jews commanded by Pius V in 1569 (Persecutions of Jews) forced Moscato to leave Osimo, he became the official preacher of the Jewish community in Padua and in 1587 its chief rabbi. His approach was eclectic. In addition to his rabbinic training, he mastered several secular disciplines – medicine, music, astronomy, rhetoric, and Jewish and Classical philosophy. He combined Kabbalah with neoplatonic ideas (Neoplatonism: III). His works include Nefuzot Yehuda

Judah Loew

(191 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (of Prague; 1525 – Aug 12, 1609, Prague), known as “the Maharal” (“our rabbi, Rabbi Loew”), distinguished himself as a teacher of the Talmud and as a rabbi. Judah's legendary life is historically attested for the period from 1559 to 1573 in which he was the rabbi of Nikolsburg and the chief rabbi of Moravia. In 1573, he moved as a private individual to Prague, where he became the head of the school Die Klaus. After the visit of the German emperor Rudolf II, Judah left Prague in 15…

Rationalism

(3,896 words)

Author(s): Fricke, Christel | Steiger, Johann Anselm | Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] I. Philosophy The term rationalism is used in philosophy in a wider and a narrower sense. In its wider sense, it stands for all those antiskeptical positions (Skepticism: I) in the theory of being and its epistemology that see the only reliable source of certain knowledge not in sensory perception but in the activity of ratio, reason (I). The paradigm for reasoning activity that guarantees certainty (I) is provided by mathematical thought with its concepts of tautologies and deductive conclusions. In its narrower sense, Rationalism st…

Holy Scriptures

(1,139 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Veltri, Giuseppe | Drecoll, Volker Henning | Graham, William A.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Judaism – III. Christianity – IV. Islam I. Religious Studies Any kind of written document relating to a religious symbol system (Symbols/symbol theory) can be considered a holy Scripture. The existence of a written text as a criterion is a convenient starting point for a systematic orientation within the variety of religious texts produced throughout history. The process of reducing something to written form always implies more or less distanced reflection on what …

Hospitality

(2,520 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Wilson, Walter T. | Dell, Katharine | Koenig, John | Leppin, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Ancient Near East – III. Greco-Roman Antiquity – IV. Old Testament – V. New Testament – VI. Church History – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. History of Religion “Hospitality” refers to the customs that regulate the temporary admittance of a stranger to a particular group. This aspect can be well illustrated, for instance, with the Greek term for hospitality, ϕιλοξενία/ philoxenía (the “welcoming of a stranger”). The host protects the guest from the numerous perils to which he or she is exposed in his precarious …

Feasts and Festivals

(7,156 words)

Author(s): Borgeaud, Philippe | Otto, Eckart | Veltri, Giuseppe | Schramm, Tim | Wiggermann, Karl-Friedrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. Early Christianity – V. Church History – VI. Liturgical and Practical Aspects I. Religious Studies The words “feast” and “festival” (cf. fête, festa, fiesta, Fest, etc.) derive from the Latin festus ( dies). They refer to the calendar and also evoke the notion of the divine: a feast day is a special day set aside and dedicated to a certain supernatural being. “Feast” or “festival” can therefore be understood as synonyms for religious celebrations. To speak,…

Astrology

(3,924 words)

Author(s): Thiede, Werner | Koch, Klaus | Hübner, Wolfgang | Veltri, Giuseppe | Kiener, Ronald C. | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Biblical – III. Greco-Roman Antiquity – IV. Judaism – V. Practical theology I. History of Religions 1. Term . Astrology is the functional use of quantitative astronomical observations and calculations in the service of a qualitative cosmic and anthropological interpretation of the heavens. Inasmuch as the first of these two elements has not yet been, or is minimally, …

Rome

(11,156 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram | Cancik, Hubert | Veltri, Giuseppe | Wallraff, Martin | Schimmelpfennig, Bernhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. History and Archaeology 1. History and archaeology. On a favorable site, on the road from Etruria to Latium and Campania, at a ford over the Tiber about 30 km from its mouth, and also on the road from the coast going in the direction of the Apennines, and in fertile lands by the river, there were small settlements from at least the 14th century bce (esp. on the Capitol). According to legend, Rome was then founded in 753 bce by Romulus, who became its first king. Other legends make Aeneas, son of Anchises ¶ and Aphrodite, the most important Trojan hero after Hector, into …

Italy

(7,951 words)

Author(s): Beck, Rolf K. | Schneider, Helmuth | Paoli-Lafaye, Elisabeth | Ricca, Paolo | Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] I. General – II. History and Sociology I. General Since 1861 (the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy), Italy has been the name of the first unified nation on the Italian peninsula since the Lombard invasion in 568. Following a referendum in 1946, Italy became a republic (Repubblica Italiana) with a bicameral parliament. The president is the representative chief of state; the government is headed by the prime minister. Since 1870, with the dissolution of the Papal States, the capital has been Rome (population 2.7 million in 2000). Italy has an area of 187,179 km2, with…
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