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(378 words)

Author(s): Reif, Stefan C.
[German Version] The postbiblical Hebrew word maḥzor is derived from the root חזר/ ḥzr, commonly used in Aramaic, meaning “return” or “repeat.” It occurs in the talmudic and midrashic literature in the sense of “cycle,” with particular reference to the solar and lunar cycles. In the post-talmudic period, it came to be used to refer to a cycle of Jewish religious texts as they were read in the course of the year. In the Cairo Genizah, it refers to a cycle of biblical readings or a collection of liturgical poems. In the oriental Jewish communities, the words maḥzor and siddur or seder were common…


(532 words)

Author(s): Reif, Stefan C.
[German Version] I. General – II. Geniza in Cairo I. General The earliest occurrences in Hebrew literature of the root gnz, from which the word “genizah” is derived, are found in late sections of the Hebrew Bible where it refers to the storage of valuable items. In the wider field of Semitics ¶ the root has the meanings of “hide,” “cover,” “bury.” In early rabbinic literature the term is used to describe special treasures stored away by God, such as the Torah and the souls of the righteous. In Jewish religious law, which prohibits the obliterati…

Prayer Books

(2,126 words)

Author(s): Neijenhuis, Jörg | Reif , Stefan C.
[German Version] I. General In general a prayer book is a book for laity intended for private use outside the public liturgy of the church; that is the sense in which it will be used here. Of course private prayer has always been practiced: it is nurtured by the prayer of public worship, which it influences in turn, as in the Early Church where prayers like the Paternoster and Psalms were learned by heart during instruction for baptism. But a distinct mode of prayer that is private and based on a b…


(8,787 words)

Author(s): Zimmerman, Joyce Ann | Neijenhuis, Jörg | Praßl, Franz Karl | Felmy, Karl Christian | Ebenbauer, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Phenomenology – II. History – III. Dogmatics – IV. Practical Theology – V. Ethics – VI. Orthodox Church – VII. Judaism – VIII. Art History – IX. Asia, Africa, Latin America I. Phenomenology The term liturgy has been used for Christian worship since the end of the 16th century; by the end of the 18th century, it had gained general acceptance. In secular usage, Gk λειτουργία/ leitourgía means work done in public service (from λαός/ laós, “people” [Laity] and ἔργον/ érgon, “work”); the LXX used it for the temple cult. It appears only 15 times in the N…


(20,376 words)

Author(s): Dondelinger, Patrick | Auffarth, Christoph | Braulik, Georg | Reif, Stefan C. | Johnson, Luke T. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The German word Gottesdienst (“worship,” lit. “service of God”) is attested since the 13th/14th century as a German translation of Latin cultus (Cult/Worship). It came into common use in the 16th century, especially in Luther’s works. Starting with an ethical understanding of the word, Luther himself used it as a technical term for the common celebration of the Word of God, as it evolved from the evangelical reform of the Catholic sacrifice (IV) of the mass. For centuries the term Gottesdienst remained limited to this specific form of worship of …


(13,283 words)

Author(s): Alles, Gregory D. | Reventlow, Henning Graf | Gebauer, Roland | Förster, Niclas | Wallmann, Johannes | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Prayer is one of the most frequent and important religious acts in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It also appears in other religions – for example the indigenous religions of America. But it does not appear to be universal. Some Buddhist traditions, for example, are atheistic, and in them there is no prayer in the strict sense; these traditions often allow their adherents to pray to gods (e.g. Hindu gods), but they value the goals of such prayer less than enl…