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(168 words)

Author(s): Reichman, Ronen
[German Version] (סִפְרָא), Aramaic for “book” (also traditionally called torat kohanim, “priestly law”), is a tannaitic (early rabbinic) exposition (Rabbinic literature) of Leviticus; it is assigned to the second group (school of Rabbi Akiba) of halakhic midrashim. The work is a continuous commentary on Leviticus and hence contains primarily halakhic traditions (Halakhah), many of which exhibit parallels to the Mishnah and Tosefta. The version of Sifra in printed editions includes later additions: an introduction, in which the 13 rules of exegesis ( middot) are explained, th…

Death Penalty

(3,790 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | de Boer, Martinus C. | Reichman, Ronen | Owens, Erik C. | Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Judaism – IV. Law – V. Ethics I. Old Testament The death penalty in the Old Testament has three causes: 1. blood revenge as a direct legal reaction by a family damaged by a homicide; 2. cultic law involving severe violations of religious taboos such as witchcraft, sodomy and apostasy (Ex 22:17–19); 3. family property …


(3,846 words)

Author(s): Grundmann, Stefan | Bayer, Stefan | Schneider, Helmuth | Kessler, Rainer | Strohm, Christoph | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Legal Aspects – III. Economics – IV. Non-Christian Antiquity – V. Bible – VI. Christianity – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. Concept Interest is payment in exchange for a right of use or exploitation, typically on a temporary basis and always agreed for a fixed period of time. Money later gained increasing importance as an object of lending and now occupies a dominant position, although other items or rights remain possible as objects of lending, as for example rent. In economics (see III below), this mutual commitment between the conferral…

Dietary Laws

(4,404 words)

Author(s): Borgeaud, Philippe | Willi-Plein, Ina | Ebner, Martin | Puza, Richard | Reichman, Ronen | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Christianity – V. Judaism – VI. Islam – VII. Buddhism – VIII. Indian Religions I. Religious Studies A human society's dietary laws and prohibitions give us an excellent insight into its symbolic and ritual practices. The choice of nourishment (preferences and prohibitions) is closely tied to the overall image that a culture develops of itself, with whic…


(512 words)

Author(s): Reichman, Ronen
[German Version] In rabbinic usage, Aram. אתפסות (“addition, supplement”) is a general term for Tannaitic traditions (Tannaim) that were considered supplementary to existing teachings ( b. Šabb. 8:1 [11a]). In some cases the term refers to collections of extra-mishnaic Tannaitic traditions ( baraitot; b. Meg. 28b). Today it serves as the title of a surviving Tannaitic work that largely echoes the structure and thematic material of the Mishnah (see the detailed outline of the Mishnah). Except for the tractates Avot, Tamid, Middot, and Qinnim, all the tractates of the Mishnah ar…


(1,866 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Otto, Eckart | Reichman, Ronen | Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] I. History of Religion Instances in which a certain share of a person’s gains were ceded to the gods are known from the religions of the ancient Near East and of Classical Antiquity; on the evidence of the Old Testament (e.g. Lev 27:32f.; 1 Sam 8:15), Judaism and Christianity were also familiar with tithing (see III, IV below). Even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), which only cultivates a loose relationship to biblical tradition, takes up this notion in the B…


(415 words)

Author(s): Reichman, Ronen
[German Version] (סִפְרֵי), Aramaic for “books,” is the traditional designation of tannaitic (early rabbinic) collections (Rabbinic literature) of exegetical traditions in relation to Numbers and Deuteronomy (and sometimes also Exod.). Today a distinction is made between three different halakhic midrashim (Halakhah) on Numbers and Deuteronomy. I. Sifre Bemidbar (SifBem) is an expository work on Numbers, containing expositions of Num 5–12; 15; 18f.; 25:1–13; 26:52–30:1 (Eng. 29:40); 30:2*–31:24; and 35:9–34. A substantial portion consists of ha…