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Amoraim

(236 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
[German Version] The Talmud and Midrash already use the term amoraim for “reciters” (from 'mr, “speak, recite”) associated with certain rabbis; their exact function is unknown. It is also used for rabbis of the talmudic period who are not tannaim or saboraim. Abraham Ibn Daud introduced the division of the Palestinian amoraim into five generations and of the Babylonian into seven. Neither the Palestinian nor the Babylonian amoraim expounded normative doctrine. Their major functions involved study of the Torah and instruction, as well…

Yahrzeit

(297 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
[German Version] In Judaism yahrzeit denotes the anniversary of a parent’s death, observed every year. The word itself appears to have been borrowed from the language of the church in the Middle Ages by Ashkenazic Jews (Judaism: II). According to Rashi (on b. Yebam. 122a), the anniversary of the death of famous rabbis was already being solemnly observed in the talmudic period, when their students and the people would make a pilgrimage to the rabbi’s burial site. Although the Talmud ( b. Ned. 12a; 14a) already speaks of fasting on the day of a parent’s death and its anniversar…

Tradition

(8,661 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Hezser, Catherine | Liss, Hanna | Schröter, Jens | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In general usage, tradition (from Lat. transdare/ tradere, “hand on, transmit”) connotes retention and safeguarding, understood as a conservative handing down of mores, customs, norms, rules, and knowledge. The emphasis is on continuity with the past. Jan Assmann interprets tradition as an exemplary case of “cultural memory,” an enduring c…

Property

(6,503 words)

Author(s): Elwert, Georg | Frick, Frank S. | Meggitt, Justin J. | Honecker, Martin | Hezser, Catherine | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Property ownership is a social convention that allows and restricts access to physical or socially constructed objects and links that access with certain obligations. In many societies, the obligations of and restrictions on use, especially in connection with land, are managed by a separate supervisory office. Such an office can be vested in a priest, as in the Tobriand Islands or the West African institution of the “landlord.” There are many things that can be involved in transactions only after being defined as property. Specific to each society are forms of interaction or transaction that bring things under legal control as forms of property. The application of the property model to personal names, songs, or bodies of knowledge in the form of intellectual property is not peculiar to modern societies. As Lips has shown, the concept of intellectual property is also found in preindustrial societies. The social character of property ownership can be lost sight of when the state makes the property system appear unassailable, so that the reciprocal character of property rights appears to have been superseded by purchase. In the 19th century, the social character of property was apprehended independently in France (Léon Duguits) and England (Henry Maine), a discovery that influenced constitutional law (e.g. the social responsibility of pr…

Literature, History of

(11,666 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Utzschneider, Helmut | Reiser, Marius | Hezser, Catherine | Heinzmann, Michael
[German Version] I. The Concept and its Problems – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Judaism – V. Church History I. The Concept and its Problems Since the emergence of historical consciousness in the late 18th and early 19th century, literary historiography has attempted to present literary phenomena not simply as a sequential chronological or lexical (alphabetical) list but in their internal, substantial coherence and its historical development. The notion of literary history goes back to antiquity, but to …

Human Beings

(18,165 words)

Author(s): Gregersen, Niels H. | Grünschloß, Andreas | Figal, Günter | Janowski, Bernd | Lichtenberger, Hermann | Et al.
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences and Psychology – II. Religious Studies – III. Philosophy – IV. Old Testament – V. New Testament – VI. Church History – VII. Dogmatics and Ethics – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. Natural Sciences and Psychology 1. Evolution From the perspective of the natural sciences, the theory of evolution offers the most comprehensive framework for understanding human beings. It views the human species as a late product of a biogenetic process that began with the origin of life (VI) on earth some 3.8 billion …

Jerusalem

(8,314 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Hezser, Catherine | Dan, Joseph | Küchler, Max | Bieberstein, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Early Church – V. Patriarchates – VI. Islam – VII. Religious and Political Situation Today – VIII. Archaeology I. Old Testament Jerusalem (ירושׁלם/ yerûšālēm, MT yerûšālayim) was founded c. 1800 bce…

Hakhamim

(156 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
[German Version] In Wisdom and Sirach, Palestinian students of the Torah are already referred to as ḥakhamim, “wise men,” since wisdom is identified with the Torah (cf. e.g. Sir 24:19–29). The same meaning is attached to the term “wise” in the Qumran texts (Qumran) and in the NT. In rabbinic literature, ḥakhamim

Heresy

(7,453 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas | Mell, Ulrich | le Boulluec, Alain | Jorissen, Hans | Schuck, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Philosophy and Religious Studies – II. Christianity – III. Practical Theology – IV. Church Law – V. Judaism – VI. Islam I. Philosophy and Religious Studies The word “heresy” derives from Gk αἵρεσις/ haíresis (“act of choice,” “decision”). In the Hellenistic period, when a plurality of philosophical schools had developed, the word was used to express the need of budding philosophers to choose between these schools. Hence it came to be used to denote both a philosophical school and the school's teaching; in…

Hillel/School of Hillel

(331 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
[German Version] According to rabbinic traditions, Hillel was from Babylonia and lived at the time of Herod. Since the earliest traditions associated with Hillel first occur in the Mishnah, which was probably edited at the beginning of the 3rd century ce, and since these traditions are not regarded as historically reliable, it is impossible to reconstruct the life of Hillel and his precise words and teachings. The opinions and rules attributed to Hillel in the Mishnah may trace back to Hillel's students who transmitted Hillel's teachi…

Ordination

(8,047 words)

Author(s): Hartenstein, Friedhelm | Sänger, Dieter | Peters, Christian | Brandt, Reinhard | Meßner, Reinhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Church History – IV. Dogmatics – V. Liturgy – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Law and Legal History – VIII. Judaism I. Old Testament The search, mainly from a Protestant perspective, for antecedents of ordination in the Old Testament does not seem very promising, since no direct equivalent to Christian ordination as public commissioning of office-bearers by the community is to be found in the Hebrew Bible. Relevant research is mainly limited to the OT Jewish background of early Christia…

Community

(5,842 words)

Author(s): Kehrer, Günter | Rüterswörden, Udo | Banks, Robert J. | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Marquardt, Manfred | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Practical Theology – VIII. Church Law – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. History of Religion In the following …

Social History

(4,845 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph | Schaper, Joachim | Hezser, Catherine | Leutzsch, Martin | Herrmann, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology and Theory In its scientific exploration of…

Mitzvot

(324 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
[German Version] The Hebrew term mitzvah (“law,” pl. mitzvot) denotes a central and basic concept of Judaism that characterizes and appropriately expresses Jewish religiousness. The extremely frequent use of the term in Hebrew and Yiddish religious, philosophical, and literary texts points to the significance of the concept of mitzvah in Judaism from antiquity to the present day. The term mitzvah is not only used for biblical and rab-¶ binic laws and regulations, or good deeds done by one person to another; it refers much more widely to the basic stance of obedi…

Yavne

(519 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
[German Version] (Jabne, Jamnia). Situated in the Judean coastal plain, the town of Yavne became an important center after the First Jewish Revolt against Rome. After the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, according to Josephus ( Bell. IV 444), Vespasian (69–79 ce) settled the Jews who had surrendered to the Romans without a struggle in Yavne (and Lydda). Rabbinic literature has preserved several versions of the story of Yohanan ben Zakkai’s flight to Yavne and his founding of a school there ( A…

Scribes

(2,748 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
Throughout antiquity, scribes were professional writers of manuscripts and documents (Roberts, 1970; Haines-Eitzen, 2000; Hezser, 2001). Since writing was a technical skill that required special training, it was usually done by professionals who practiced their trade to make a living. In First and Second Temple times, scribes who were experts in writing Torah scrolls were associated with the Temple. The Temple (Temple, Jerusalem) would also have needed administrative …
Date: 2024-01-19