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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 appears as a self-designation of the Tannaim. In the Mishnah and the Tosefta, halakhic teachings (Halakha…

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…

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 stanc…

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 an…

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 ( ARN A 4, ARN B 6, 13, b.Giṭ. 56b, Lam. Rab. 1.31). This story claims that Yohanan had prophesied Vespasian’s becoming emperor; when the prophecy was fulfilled, he requested Yavne of Vespasian as a place to continue running his school. The story may be taken as the foundation legend of rabbinic Judaism. The rabbinic account appears to have been influenced by the biblical model of Jeremiah (Jeremiah/Book of Jeremiah), who prophesied the capture of Jerusalem by the king of Babylon, who later spared him from …

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

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 …

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 the past, all historiography aims at a synthesis in the sense of a valid overview of what has gone before. At best, however, the quest can succeed only paradigmatically and typically, because any reconstruction of an histoire totale is doomed to failure. Nevertheless historiography cannot abandon the ven-¶ ture of viewing history (History/Concepts of history) as a whole, because ot…

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 as a fortified town in the central Palestin…

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 …

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 mainl…

Society

(6,607 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Kippenberg, Hans G. | Thiel, Winfried | Wehr, Lothar | Münch, Richard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The word society ( societas, société) has changed from a term denoting particular forms and modes of human coexistence to a term (in both sg. and pl.) denoting the totality of human coexistence; it has thus become the basic term of the theoretical sciences that deal with human coexistence. The German equivalent, Gesellschaft (from OHG sal, “room,” and selida, “dwelling place”), suggests ties that arise from sharing the same room (cf. Geselle, “apprentice,” etymologically “someone ¶ sharing accommodations” with a master) or belonging to the same “house” (House/Hou…

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 cultural construction of identity. In religions appeal to tradition is a prominent element justifying interpretations, practices, clai…

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…

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 …