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Rafael

(162 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (wörtl. “Gott heilt”, griech. Ραφαήλ; vgl. den PN in 1 Chr 26,7). In der jüd. Angelologie einer der vier bzw. sieben Erzengel, denen eine bes. Rolle innerhalb der Engelshierarchie zukommt, da sie vor Gottes Thron lobend preisen (äthHen 9,1; 20,3; 40,9). Dem Namen entsprechend ist R. der Engel des Heilens (vgl. hebr. rāfā, “heilen”), ‘der über alle Krankheit und alle Plage der Menschenkinder’ gesetzt ist (äthHen 40,9). Er spielt in der Tobit-Erzählung eine bed. Rolle, da er als Reisebegleiter Tobias hilft, den Dämon Asmodaios zu v…

Archiereus

(255 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] [1] griechisch s. Priester Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) [English version] [2] jüdisch Bereits in vormakkabäischer Zeit war der Hohepriester (hebr. kohen ha-gadol; griech. A.) die höchste kult. und polit. Instanz (vgl. Sir 50,1 ff.), die einer hierarchisch gegliederten, mehrere tausend Personen umfassenden Priesterschaft vorstand. Als Träger der “ewigen Heiligkeit” (mNaz 7,1) hatte er bes. Reinheitsvorschriften im Hinblick auf Verheiratung und Umgang mit Toten zu wahren. Während der Zeit Antiochos' IV. kam…

Eliezer ben Hyrkanos

(194 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Der Rabbi E. (ca. E. 1. bis Anf. 2. Jh.) gehört zu den in der Mischna und im Talmud meistgen. Tannaiten. Über sein Leben liegen zahlreiche legendenhafte Traditionen vor: Nachdem er erst im Alter von über zwanzig Jahren zur Tora gefunden hatte, verließ er sein reiches Elternhaus, um sich dem Studium der Tora im Schülerkreis Rabbi Jochanan ben Zakkais zu widmen. Dort fiel er durch seine große exegetische Begabung auf, die sogar seinen Vater von seinem Entschluß abbrachte, ihn zu en…

Jezira, Sefer ha-

(239 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (hebr. “Buch der Schöpfung”). Versuch einer systematischen Beschreibung der fundamentalen Prinzipien der Weltordnung. Das nur wenige Seiten umfassende hebr.-sprachige Werk, das in drei verschiedenen Rezensionen vorliegt, entstand wohl zw. dem 3. und 6. Jh. und gehört damit zu den ältesten Texten der jüd. Esoterik. Als Elemente der Schöpfung werden im ersten Teil die zehn Urzahlen sowie im zweiten Teil die zweiundzwanzig Buchstaben des hebr. Alphabets vorgestellt, durch deren Komb…

Geniza

(312 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Eine G. (“Aufbewahrung”, von aram. gnaz, “verbergen”) ist ein Ort, an dem im Judentum aus dem Gebrauch gezogene Bücher, die den Gottesnamen enthalten, oder Ritualobjekte aufbewahrt werden, um Mißbrauch oder Profanierung auszuschließen. Solche Räume befanden sich häufig in Synagogen; wurden diese abgerissen, dann “bestattete” man die Schriften auf dem Friedhof. Unter der Vielzahl von Genizot der jüd. Welt kommt der G. der Esra-Synagoge von Fusṭāṭ (Alt-Kairo) ganz bes. Bedeutung zu, deren wiss. Erschließung v.a. dem britischen Gelehrten S.…

Diaspora

(383 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Der Begriff D. (griech. διασπορά, “Zerstreuung”) bezeichnet israelitische bzw. jüd. Siedlungen, die sich außerhalb Palästinas befinden. Hauptgrund für ihre Entstehung waren Deportationen (Verschleppung) der Bevölkerung aufgrund mil. Eroberungen; daneben spielte auch die Flucht aus polit. Gründen, Auswanderungen wegen wirtschaftlicher Notsituationen oder der Handel eine Rolle. Bei beträchtlichen kulturellen Unterschieden bildete das Land Israel und speziell der Jerusalemer Tempel …

Gamaliel

(288 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] [1] G. I. G. I., »der Alte«; Enkel Hillels, gest. ca 50 Auch “der Alte” gen. (gest. ca. 50 n.Chr.), ein Enkel Hillels. G. war Pharisäer (Pharisaioi) und Mitglied des Sanhedrin (Synhedrion). G., über den histor. nur wenig bekannt ist (zur Problematik vgl. [1]), gilt als der Lehrer des Paulus vor seiner Bekehrung zum christl. Glauben (Apg 22,3). Nach Apg 5,34-39 rettete er durch sein Eingreifen Petrus und andere Apostel vor der Anklage des Sanhedrins. Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) [English version] [2] G. II. G. II., Nachfolger von Jochanan ben Zakkai, 1. Jh. Enkel von [1], wi…

Karäer

(260 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Die K. sind eine Gruppierung innerhalb des Judentums, die in der 2. H. des 8. Jh.n.Chr. unter der Führung Anans entstand, eines Mitglieds der Exilarchenfamilie (Exilarch), der bei bei der Besetzung des Exilarchats im J. 767 übergangen wurde. Fundament des Karäertums, das sich in verschiedene Unterströmungen aufspaltet, ist die Anerkennung der jüd. Bibel (hebr. miqra) als einziger Grundlage des Glaubens (vgl. daher auch die Bezeichnung K., die sich von hebr. qaraim oder bne bzw. baale-ha-miqra ableitet). Damit stellten die K. die Gültigkeit der Trad.…

Abbahu

(91 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Jüd. Lehrer und Rabbi (ca. 250-320 n. Chr.), Schulhaupt in Kaisareia [3]. A., Kenner griech. Sprache und Kultur, ist bekannt durch seine Disputationen mit den sog. “Minim” (Häretikern). Umstritten ist, inwiefern Christen zu den Diskussionspartnern A.s zu zählen sind. Darüberhinaus soll er samaritanische Priester seiner Stadt von der jüd. Gemeinde ferngehalten und die Samariter in rituellen Belangen den Heiden gleichgestellt haben. Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography L. J. Levine, Caesarea under Roman Rule, SJLA 7, 1975  S. T. Lachs, Rabbi A. and the Minim…

Magog

(210 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] In Ez 38,2 ist M. der Name des Landes des Großfürsten Gog, den Gott zusammen mit seiner Heeresmacht gegen Israel heranziehen läßt, um dieses zu überfallen; dabei wird er aber umkommen (zum Text Ez 38,1-39,29 und seinen einzelnen Schichtungen vgl. [1]; s. auch Gn 10,2, wo M. zu den Söhnen Jafets gezählt wird). Es wurde erwogen, ob Gog mit einer histor. Gestalt wie z.B. dem Lyderkönig Gyges in Verbindung steht, der in den Nachrichten Assurbanipals unter dem Namen Gug(g)u erscheint. M. wäre dann mit Lydien gleichzusetzen. Die Episode erfuhr eine breite Auslegung: Ios…

Kerub

(254 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (hebr. בורכ, von akkad. karābu, “weihen, grüßen”; Pl. Keruben/ kerubim). Mischwesen mit Menschenkopf, Löwenkörper und Flügeln, das höchste Kraft symbolisiert. Nach Gn 3,24 dienten K. zur Bewachung des Gartens Eden (vgl. auch Ez 28,14 und 16). Bes. Bed. kommt den K. in der biblischen Überl. von der Ausgestaltung des Salomonischen Tempels zu: Im Allerheiligsten befinden sich zwei aus Olivenholz angefertigte und mit Gold überzogene K. von je 10 Ellen Höhe. Mit ihren Flügeln von je 5 Ellen Sp…

Pesah

(446 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (hebr. psḥ; griech. πάσχα, LXX, bei Phil. de sacrificiis Abelis et Caini 63 und Phil. legum allegoria 3 als διάβασις/ diábasis erklärt; dt. Passah). Alljährlich nach dem jüd. Kalender im Frühjahr vom Abend des 14. bis zum 22. Nisan begangenes jüd. Fest. Es zählt zu den wichtigsten jüd. Festen und erinnert an den Auszug und die Errettung Israels aus Äg. (vgl. Ex 7-14). Zentrales Symbol sind die ungesäuerten Brote (hebr. maṣṣōt), die die Eile des Auszugs versinnbildlichen sollen (Ex 12,34; 14,39). Daher ist alles Gesäuerte vor dem Fest aus dem Haus z…

Aqiba

(148 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Rabbi A. (ca. 50-135 n. Chr.), bedeutender jüd. Lehrer aus der Zeit von Jabne, erscheint in den Diskussionen um die Auslegung der Schrift häufig als Kontrahent Rabbi Jischmaels. Er spielt im Kontext früher esoterischer Traditionen eine bedeutende Rolle (vgl. die Erzählung von den Vieren, die das Paradies betraten; bHag 14b par.). Er soll Bar Kochba als Messias Israels proklamiert haben (“Stern aus Jakob”; vgl. Nm 24,5), was - wegen der vorwiegend anti-apokalyptischen Tendenz der …

Saboräer

(68 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (von hebr. śābar, “nachdenken, prüfen, schlußfolgern”). Bezeichnung für diejenigen jüd. Talmudgelehrten des 6. bzw. 7. Jh. n. Chr., die die Endredaktion des babylon. Talmud (Rabbinische Literatur) durchführten und diesen durch umfangreichere Abschnitte produktiv ergänzten. Die S. folgten auf die Tannaiten (Ende 1. - Anf. 3. Jh. n. Chr.) und die Amoräer (3.-5. Jh. n. Chr.). Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography G. Stemberger, Einl. in Talmud und Midrasch, 81992, 205-207.

Amoräer

(88 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Der Terminus A. (von hebr. amar “sagen, kommentieren”) bezeichnet nach der traditionellen Periodisierung diejenigen rabbinischen Lehrer, die in der Epoche vom Abschluß der Mischna (ca. 200 n. Chr.) bis zu der Zeit, als der Babylonische Talmud - abgesehen von der Schlußredaktion - im wesentlichen abgeschlossen war (ca. 500 n. Chr.), sowohl in Palästina als auch in Babylonien wirkten. Ihre Ausführungen kommentieren die Auslegungen der früheren Tannaiten, denen nach der Tradition mehr Autorität zukommt. Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography G. Stemberger, Einl…

Noah

(294 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (Νῶε, lat. Noa, Noe; hebr. Nōaḥ). Nach biblischer Überl. ist N. die Hauptfigur der Sintflutgesch. Gn 6,5-9,29, die wiederum in Mesopot. ihre trad.-gesch. Wurzeln hat (vgl. u.a. das Gilgamesch- sowie das Atraḫasis-Epos; Sintflutsage). Als Gerechter wird N. vom Gericht Gottes verschont und so als Vater von Sem, Ham und Japhet (Gn 6,10; 9,18), die die drei Erdkreise repräsentieren, zum Vater der Menschheit. Nach der traditionellen Pentateuchkritik verschränkt die biblische Erzählung zwei…

Gaon

(213 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (hebr. gāōn, “Erhabenheit”, dann “Exzellenz”; Pl.: Gōnı̄m). Offizieller Titel der Vorsteher der rabbinischen Akademien im babylon. Sura und Pumbedita. Die G. fungierten dort vom 6. Jh. n.Chr. bis zum Ende der Akademien im 11. Jh. als die höchsten Lehrautoritäten (vgl. die Bezeichnung dieser Epoche als “gaonische Zeit”). Als bedeutendste Vertreter dieses Amtes gelten Amram ben Scheschna (gest. ca. 875 n.Chr.; Verf. des frühesten uns erh. Gebetbuches), Saadja ben Josef (882-942; z…

Leviten

(365 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Nach dem chronistischen Geschichtswerk (Bibel) bilden die L. - von den Priestern deutlich unterschieden - eine Art Klerus minor, der mit der Aufsicht über Tempelhöfe, Vorratskammern mit kultischen Gerät, Opfer und Abgaben betraut bzw. als Sänger, Musiker und Türhüter tätig ist und der die Priester beim Opferdienst unterstützt. Aus unterschiedlichen Genealogien gehen interne Streitigkeiten und Rivalitäten hervor. Die Gesch. der L. ist im einzelnen nur schwer und bedingt aufzuhelle…

Adversus Iudaeos

(216 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Titel verschiedener patristischer Traktate, die sich apologetisch mit dem Verhältnis des Christentums zum Judentum auseinandersetzen (Tertullianus, Cyprianus, Johannes Chrysostomos, Augustinus) und weitere Werke gleichen Inhalts (Barnabasbrief, der Brief an Diognetos, Justinus' Dialog, die Passa-Homilie des Melito etc.). Im Vordergrund steht weniger Judenfeindschaft und Mission, sondern die innerchristl. Belehrung und rel. Unterweisung, die die christl. Glaubensinhalte angesichts…

Hekhalot-Literatur

(327 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Die H., zu der als wichtigste Makroformen Hekhalot Rabbati (‘Die großen Paläste), Hekhalot zuṭarti (‘Die kleinen Paläste), Maase Merkaba (‘Das Werk des Thronwagens), Merkaba Rabba (‘Der große Thronwagen), Reuyyot Yeḥeqkel (‘Die Visionen des Ezechiel), Massekhet Hekhalot (‘Traktat der Paläste) und der 3. Henoch gehören, ist ein Zeugnis der frühen jüd. Mystik, für die ein ‘experimentelles, durch lebendige Erfahrung gewonnenes Wissen von Gott’ [4. 4] konstitutiv ist. Eines der bedeutendsten Motive ist die Himmelsre…

Judith

(313 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (Ιουδιθ, Iudith, Iudit). Das Buch J., das uns h. nur in griech. und (davon abhängig) in lat. Sprache erh. ist und zu den Apokryphen (Apokryphe Literatur) zählt, geht auf ein hebr. Original zurück. In der polit. und mil. schwierigen Lage, in der die Bewohner der Gebirgsstadt Betylia von Holofernes, dem Feldherrn Nebukadnezars belagert werden und daher unter Wassermangel leiden, erscheint J., die Heldin der Erzählung, eine junge, reiche und gottesfürchtige Witwe. Nach der Ermahnung d…

Mamre

(339 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Nach biblischer Überl. (wahrscheinlich von hebr. Wz. mr, “fett werden, mästen”, als “Ort, der fett ist/macht”; griech. Μάμβρη; lat. Mambre) ein Eichenhain, an dem Abraham [1] einen Altar erbaute (Gn 13,18) und wo ihm bei der gastlichen Aufnahme dreier Männer, als Gotteserscheinung gedeutet, die Geburt seines Sohnes Isaak [1] angekündigt wurde (Gn 18). Nach biblischen Angaben ist diese Ortslage mit Hebron identisch (so Gn 23,17 u.a.; vgl. aber Gen 13,18: “in” bzw. “bei Hebron”). Ab dem 2. Jh.v.Chr.…

Nasi

(168 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (hebr. “Fürst”). Bezeichnung des jüd. Patriarchen, der nach der Zerstörung des Jerusalemer Tempels (70 n.Chr.) als offizieller Repräsentant des Judentums gegenüber den Römern fungierte und die oberste Autorität in halakhischen Fragen (Halakha) nach innen darstellte. Ob bereits Gamaliel [2] II. (ca. 80-120 n.Chr.) dieses Amt innehatte, ist nicht gewiß; verm. war Simon ben Gamaliel II. (140-175 n.Chr.) der erste N. Die größte Machtentfaltung erfuhr das Amt unter Jehuda ha-Nasi, mei…

Adam

(320 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Die frühjüd. und rabbinischen Überlieferungen zu A., dem ersten Menschen, den Gott aus dem Staub der Erde (hebr. adama) formte und dem er den Lebensodem einhauchte (vgl. den sog. jahwistischen Schöpfungsbericht), kreisen hauptsächlich um den Sündenfall. Das frühjüd. Schrifttum verweist auf A.s urspr. Herrlichkeit (Weish 10,1 f.; Sir 49,16; 4 Esra 6,53 f.) und Schönheit (Op 136-142; 145-150; Virt 203-205), wobei er sogar als Engel bezeichnet werden kann (slHen 30,11 f.). Seine Sünde jedoch brachte…

Ethnarchos

(148 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Der Titel E. wurde sowohl Hyrkanos II. (63-40 v.Chr.) als auch dem Herodes-Sohn Archelaos (4 v.-6 n.Chr.) von den Römern verliehen (Hyrkanos II. durch Caesar 47 v.Chr., vgl. Ios. ant. Iud. 14,192ff.; Archelaos durch Augustus nach dem Tode des Herodes, vgl. Ios. ant. Iud. 17,317). Damit sollte einerseits die Herrschaft der betreffenden Person über das jüd. Volk zum Ausdruck gebracht, gleichzeitig jedoch eine bewußte Abgrenzung vom Königstitel vollzogen werden (vgl. Ios. ant. Iud. …

Jabne

(170 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (Ἰάμνια). Stadt, südl. des h. Tel Aviv gelegen, bildete nach der Zerstörung des Jerusalemer Tempels im J. 70 n.Chr. das neue Zentrum, in dem sich das Judentum zunächst unter Rabbi Jochanan ben Zakkai sowie später unter Gamaliel [2] II. als rabbinisches Judentum neu konstitutierte. Eine erste Formulierung des Materials, das später in die Mišna eingehen sollte, wurde hier vorgenommen, wobei der Aspekt einer Ordnung des rel. Lebens ohne Tempelkult und Priester sowie der Aufbau einer…

Pentateuch

(521 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (ἡ Πεντάτευχος sc. βίβλος, wörtlich “Fünfrollenbuch”, so Orig. comm. in Jo 4,25; vgl. Hippolytos 193 Lagarde; lat. Pentateuchus, Tert. bei Isid. orig. 6,2,2). In der christl. Trad. Bezeichnung für die Überlieferungseinheit der Bücher Gn, Ex, Lv, Nm und Dt am Anfang der hebr. Bibel. Die jüd. Trad. spricht stattdessen von spr htwrh, “Buch der Weisung” (vgl. auch die nt. Bezeichnung νόμος/ nómos, Lk 10,26, oder νόμος Μωϋσέως/ n. Mōÿséōs, Apg 28,23) bzw. von ḥmyšh ḥwmšy twrh (wörtlich “fünf Fünftel Tora”, bSan 44a). Während die oben genannten Namen dieser B…

Armilus

(154 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Legendärer Name eines Gegen-Messias, der in den späten apokalyptischen Midraschim aus dem ausgehenden 7.Jh. (z.B. Midrash Wa-yosha, Sefer Serubbabel, Nistarot shel R. Shimon ben Joháai) erscheint. Als Etym. wird “Remulus” - Sinnbild für die röm. Herrschaft schlechthin - angenommen. A., Sohn einer Marmorstatue, wird zusammen mit zehn Königen nach Jerusalem ziehen, den wahren Messias besiegen und Israel in die Wüste verbannen, worauf die Heiden jenen Stein, der A. gebar, als Göttin…

Responsion

(199 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (hebr. šeēlōt u-tešūḇōt, wörtl. “Fragen und Antworten”; Pl. “Responsen”). Rabbinische Gattungsbezeichnung; Korrespondenz, bei der die eine Partei die andere in einer halakhisch (Halakha) schwierigen Frage konsultiert. Während bereits in der talmudischen Lit. (Rabbinische Literatur) auf die Existenz dieser Gattung hingewiesen wird (vgl. bJebamot 105a), entwickelte sich eine R.-Lit. bedeutenderen Umfangs erst in gaonäischer Zeit (Gaon, 6.-11. Jh. n. Chr.), als sich Juden aus der wei…

Apokalypsen

(464 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Ausgehend von der Selbstbezeichnung der Johannesoffenbarung als ἀποκάλυψις (Offb 1,1) wurde der Ausdruck A. zur Gattungsbezeichnung für dieses und verwandte Werke. Einem auserwählten Offenbarungsempfänger werden durch Visionen, ekstatische Erlebnisse, Träume von ehrwürdigen Gründergestalten (Henoch, Moses, Prophet, Apostel), Himmelsreisen und Engelbelehrungen Geheimnisse über die Schöpfung, den Lauf der Geschichte (Vergangenheit, Zukunft und bes. das Weltende) oder das Jenseits m…

Haggada

(356 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Der Terminus H. (abgeleitet vom Hif'il der hebr. Wz. ngd - “sagen, erzählen”) bzw. dessen aram. Äquivalent Aggada bezeichnet sämtliche nicht-halakhischen Überlieferungen der rabbinischen Lit. und ist somit ein Sammelbegriff für alle im weitesten Sinne narrativen Stoffe dieses umfangreichen Literaturcorpus. Eine solch negative Definition des Begriffes findet sich bereits im MA bei Šmuel ha-Nagid (993-1055): ‘Haggada ist jede Auslegung im Talmud, zu jedwedem Thema, das nicht Gebot ist.’ Dabei kommt…

Masora, Masoreten

(433 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Weil das hebräische Alphabet ein Kons.-Alphabet ist und somit keine Vok. ausdrückt, können geschriebene Wörter häufig unterschiedlich ausgesprochen und gedeutet werden. Um diesem Problem zu begegnen, wurden bereits früh einzelne Kons.-Zeichen auch als Vokalzeichen ( matres lectiones) benutzt (sog. Plene-Schreibung; vgl. schon für das 9. Jh.v.Chr. in aram. Dokumenten oder in der Siloah-Inschr. aus dem 7. Jh.v.Chr.). Zu einer definitiven Sicherung der Aussprache des hl. Textes wurde darüber hinaus die sog. M. (“Überlieferung”, von hebr. msr, “überliefer…

Nehardea

(113 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Stadt am Euphrat in Babylonien, die bereits vor der Zerstörung des Jerusalemer Tempels im J. 70 n.Chr. eine jüd. Besiedlung aufweisen konnte (Ios. ant. Iud. 18,311). Nach rabbinischer Überl. befand sich dort eine bed. Talmudschule und der Sitz des babylon. Exilarchen. Die Blütezeit der Stadt war in der Mitte des 3. Jh. Nachdem sie - wohl um ihre wirtschaftliche Kraft zu brechen - im J. 259 n.Chr. von den Palmyrenern zerstört worden war, verlagerte sich das Zentrum des babylon. Judentums nach Pumbedita. Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography Y.D. Gilat, s.v. N., Encyc…

Jabne

(183 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Ἰάμνια; Iámnia). City, situated south of modern Tel Aviv. After the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in AD 70, it became the new centre in which Judaism reconstituted itself as rabbinic Judaism, initially under Rabbi Jochanan ben Zakkai and later under Gamaliel [2] II. A first formulation of the material which was later to be incorporated into the Mišna was undertaken here, whereby the aspect of an ordering of the religious life without temple cult and priests, as well as th…

Baruch

(193 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] According to Biblical tradition, he was Jeremiah's companion and scribe. A highly significant figure in early Jewish tradition. In the apocryphal Book of B., he appears foremost as a preacher who calls Israel to penance but also promises consolation. In the B. writings (for instance in SyrBar and GrBar, Ethiop. B. apocalypse), B. predominantly acts as a prophetic recipient of revelation, who can even be superior to Jeremiah when telling him about God's decision (SyrBar 10,1ff). B.…

Circumcisio

(346 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Circumcision (Hebrew mûla, mîla; Greek περιτομή; peritomḗ; Latin circumcisio), the removal of the foreskin of the male member, was originally an apotropaic rite widespread amongst western Semitic peoples that was performed at the onset of puberty or prior to the wedding (cf. Exodus 4,26 Is. 9,24f; Jos. 5,4-9; Hdt. 2,104,1-3). As this custom was not known in Mesopotamia, circumcision became a distinguishing feature between the exiled people and the Babylonians during the time of Babylonian…

Exilarch

(195 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The Exilarch (Aramaic rēš alūṯā, ‘Head of the diaspora’) was the leader of the Babylonian Jews and the official representative at the court of the Parthian king in the Talmudic and Gaonic periods ( c. 3rd-10th cents. AD). This institution, which claimed its origins in the House of David, was probably introduced during the administrative reforms of Vologaeses. I. (AD 51-79) [3]. The first certain details about the office date from the 3rd cent. (cf. yKil 9,4ff [32b]). The Exilarch had authority primarily in juridic…

Saboraeans

(71 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (from Hebrew śābar, 'consider', 'verify', 'reason' ). Term for those Jewish Talmud scholars of the 6th/7th cents. AD who carried out the final editing of the Babylonian Talmud (Rabbinical literature) and copiously amplified it with more extensive chapters. The Saboraeans followed the Tannaites (late 1st - early 3rd cents. AD) and the Amoraim (3rd-5th cents. AD). Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography G. Stemberger, Einleitung in Talmud und Midrasch, 81992, 205-207.

Adonai

(107 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Literally: ‘my Lords’. The plural suffix presumably recurs as an adjustment to the Hebrew word for God, Elohim, which is grammatically a plural form. When early Judaism tabooed the divine name Yahweh for fear of an abuse of its utterance (cf. i.a. Ex 20.7), adonai became a substitute. Thus, the Septuagint expresses the name ‘Yahweh’ as the divine predicate ‘Lord’ (κύριος; kýrios). The  Masoretes ( c. 7th-9th cents. AD), who initially set the text of the Hebrew Bible which only consisted of consonants and supplied its vowels, vocalized the tetra…

Ethnarchos

(155 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The title ethnarchos was given by the Romans to both Hyrcanus II (63-40 BC) and the son of Herod, Archelaus (4 BC-AD 6) (Hyrcanus II by Caesar 47 BC cf. Jos. Ant. Iud. 14,192ff.; Archelaus by Augustus after Herod's death, cf. Jos. Ant. Iud. 17,317). Formal expression was thus given to the designated person's rule over the Jewish people, while at the same time deliberately avoiding the title of king (cf. Jos. Ant. Iud. 20,244). The head of the Jewish community in Alexandria, who is s…

Karaites

(286 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The K. are a group within Judaism which emerged in the 2nd half of the 8th cent. AD under the leadership of Anan, a member of the exilarch family ( Exilarch), who was passed over when the exilarch was appointed in the year 767. The basis of Karaite beliefs (the K. being split up into subgroups) is the recognition of the Jewish Bible (Hebrew miqra) as the only foundation of the faith (hence, the term K. which is derived from Hebr. qaraʾim or bne/ baʿale-ha-miqra). In so doing, the K. called into question the validity of the tradition of Rabbinic Judaism, the so-c…

Levites

(434 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] According to the Chronistic History ( Bible), the Levites - clearly distinguished from the priests - form a type of clerus minor who are entrusted with the supervision of the Temple courtyards, provision rooms with cult equipment, sacrifices and offerings as well as being active as singers, musicians and gatekeepers and assisting the priests in the sacrificial service. Various genealogies document internal disputes and rivalries. The details of the history of the Levites can be clarified only with dif…

Amoraim

(84 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The term Amoraim (from Hebr. amar, ‘to say, comment’) describes in the traditional periodization those rabbinic teachers who worked both in Palestine and Babylon in the period from the finalization of the Mishna ( c. AD 200) to the time when the Babylonian Talmud was essentially completed, except for a few final revisions ( c. AD 500). They commented on the interpretations of the early  Tannaites, who have more authority in tradition. Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography G. Stemberger, Einleitung in Talmud und Midrasch, 81992.

Halakhah

(727 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The term (derived from the Hebrew root hlk, ‘to go’) describes both a particular Jewish legal requirement or fixed regulation as well as the entire system of legal requirements dictated by Jewish tradition. The fundamental principles of these requirements, traditionally considered to be the ‘Oral Torah’ ( Tora she-be-al-peh) and the revelations to Moses on Mt. Sinai, form the legal corpora of the Pentateuch (e.g., the so-called ‘Book of the Covenant’ [ Ex 20,22-23,19], Deuteronomic law [Dt 12,1-26,15] or the Holiness Code [Lv 1…

Priestly document

(542 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Based on its choice of words, style and motifs, Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918) was able to identify a certain segment of the OT Pentateuch as distinct from the other documents that have been preserved, using the findings of older Pentateuchal criticism in the context of the 'Documentary Hypothesis' (1876 f.). Characteristic of this document are not only certain concepts and phrases (e. g. ēdā, 'assembly', 'community'; megūrīm, 'sojourning'; berīt ōlām, 'everlasting covenant'), but also numbers, lists and genealogies as well as an emphasis on the …

Gamaliel

(279 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] [1] G. I. »The Old Man«; grandson of Hillel Also called ‘the Old Man’ (died c. AD 50), a grandson of Hillel. G. was a Pharisee ( Pharisaei) and member of the Sanhedrin ( Synhedrion). G., about whom little is known historically (for discussion of the problem, cf. [1]), is thought to have been  Paulus' teacher prior to his conversion to Christianity (Acts 22:3). According to Acts 5:34-39 his intervention saved Peter and other apostles from prosecution by the Sanhedrin. Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) [German version] [2] G. II. Successor to Jochanan ben Zakkai Grandson of [1], a…

Sabbath

(537 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew šabbat; Greek σάββατον/ sábbaton; Lat. sabbata). Seventh day of the Jewish week and day of rest observed weekly; its origin is unclear (cf. suggestions of a connection with the Akkadian šapattu, the day of the full moon). It is likely that it developed in ancient Israel as an expression of Yahweh's prerogative, based on the commandment to let the land lie unplowed during the seventh year (Ex 23:10 f.). The Sabbath was explained in two ways in the Biblical tradition. In the version contained in the Deute…

Sirach

(369 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Σοφία Σιραχ/ Sophía Sirach). The apocryphal book of Jesus son of Sirach (Hebrew Ben Sîrâ), one of the most significant works of wisdom literature, was written in Hebrew in about 190 BC by S., a Jewish scribe from Jerusalem, and later translated into Greek by his grandson (cf. the preface). The earliest Hebrew fragments were found in Qumran and Masada; two thirds of the Hebrew text were discovered in MSS of the Cairo Genizah. Although not adopted into the canon of the Jewish tradition, S. is cited in the Talmud (Rabbinical literature) as a canonical book. S. consists of indi…

Raphael

(177 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Literally 'God heals', Gr. Ραφαήλ/ Rhaphaḗl; cf. the personal name in 1 Chr 26:7). In Jewish angelology, one of the four (or seven) archangels who have a special role in the celestial hierarchy for their praise and glorification of God before His throne (1 Enoch 9,1; 20,3; 40,9). True to his name, R. is the angel of healing (cf. Hebr. rāfā, 'to heal'), ruling over "all illnesses and all torments of the children of men" (1 Enoch 40,9). He plays a significant role in the Book of Tobit, where, disguised as Tobias' travelling companion, he d…

Toledot Yeshu

(239 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew for ‘Life of Jesus’), a Jewish popular pseudo-history of the life of Jesus (A.1.), describing his birth, life and death in a satirical and polemic manner. The mediaeval compilation, which was in circulation in numerous different versions in several languages (including Hebrew, Yiddish, Judaeo-Arabic and Judaeo-Persian) and whose roots can be traced back as far as Talmudic tradition (cf. e.g. bSot 47a; bSan 43a; 67a; 107b), tells e.g. of Jesus's ignominious origin, since hi…

Abbahu

(93 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Jewish teacher and rabbi ( c. AD 250-320), head of the school in Caesarea [3]. A., who knew Greek language and culture, is famous because of his disputations with the so-called ‘Minim’ (heretics). It is a matter of controversy whether Christians were among A.'s discussion partners. Furthermore, he supposedly kept his city's Samaritan priests away from the Jewish community and in ritual matters equated the Samaritans with gentiles. Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography L. J. Levine, Caesarea under Roman Rule, SJLA 7, 1975 S.T. Lachs, Rabbi A. and the Minim, in: …

Seder Olam Rabba

(197 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew/Aramaic, literally 'great world order' in contrast to the less comprehensive work Seder ôlām zuṭâ , 'small word order'). Midrash work presenting a chronological record of dates from the creation of the world to the Bar Kochba revolt (AD 132-135;; Bar Kochba). The Persian Period conspicuously comprises no more than 34 years, and the dates of Alexander [4] the Great to Bar Kochba are presented in summary only. The work, attributed to the Rabbinic scholar Jose ben Ḫalaftâ (c…

Tannaites

(157 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (from Aramaic  tenâ = Hebrew šānāh 'repeat, teach, learn',  cf. also the technical term  Mishnah). In the traditional periodization of rabbinical literature, a term for the rabbinical teachers who worked in the period of the edition of the Mishnah, and therefore between Hillel and Shami (around the beginning of the Common Era), up to Yehudah ha-Nasi (Jehuda ha-Nasi) and his sons (beginning of the 3rd cent. AD). According to Joseph ibn Aqnin, a pupil of Maimonides (who died in 1204), the era of …

Bar Pandera

(92 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Figure who is mentioned in connection with magic and idolatry (bShab 104b; bSanh 67b); name of Jesus in rabbinical literature (KohR 1.1,8; tHul 2,22f.; yAZ 2,2 [40d], ySab 14,4 [14d]; KohR 10,5). Detailed research of the various traditions was able to show that B. did not originally belong to the context of anti-Christian polemics, but was only identified secondarily with Jesus during the repressive Byzantine religious politics before the Arabic conquest.  Adversos Judaeos;  Anti-Semitism Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography J. Maier, Jesus von Nazareth in d…

Magog

(240 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] In Ez 38:2 M. is the name of the country of the grand duke Gog, whom God has advance together with his armed forces against Israel to attack it; in doing so, however, he will die (for the text Ez 38:1-39:29 and its individual layers cf. [1]; see also Gn 10:2 where M. is counted among the sons of Japheth). Experts have raised the question whether Gog is to be associated with a historical figure, e.g. the Lydian king Gyges, who appears in documents of Assurbanipal under the name Gug(g)u. M. would then be identifiable with Lydia. The episode was diversely interpreted: Iosephus s…

Genizah

(356 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] In Judaism, a genizah (‘safekeeping’, from Aramaic gnaz, ‘to hide’) is a repository for books which are no longer in use but which contain the name of God, or for ritual objects, in order to prevent misuse or profanation. Such rooms were frequently found in synagogues; if the synagogue itself was demolished, the books and objects were ‘interred’ in the cemetery. Of particular importance amongst the multitude of genizahs in the Jewish world is the genizah of the Esra synagogue in Fusṭāṭ (Old Cairo), whose academic evaluation was due mainly to the British…

Mamre

(392 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Mentioned in the Bible (probably from the Hebrew root mr, ‘become fat, fatten’, as ‘place that is fat/fattens’; Greek Μάμβρη/ Mámbrē; Latin Mambre) as an oak grove where Abraham [1] built an altar (Gn 13:18), and where, as he played host to three men, interpreted as a divine apparition, the birth of his son Isaac [1] was announced to him (Gn 18). According to Biblical indications, the place is identical with Hebron (thus Gn 23:17 etc.; but cf. Gn 13:18: ‘in’ or ‘near Hebron’). M. has been located in t…

Eliezer ben Hyrkanos

(214 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrkanos ( c. end 1st/early 2nd cent.) is one of the most frequently mentioned Tannaites in the Mishnah and Talmud. Records of his life have survived in numerous legends: he only found his way to the Torah after the age of twenty and left the home of his wealthy parents to devote himself to studying the Torah as one of the disciples of Rabbi Jochanan ben Zakkais. There he was noted because of his outstanding exegetical abilities, which were so remarkable that they eve…

Archisynagogos

(93 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebr. rosh ha-knesset). Title of the head of the synagogue who was responsible for the conduct of services. There is literary (i.a. Mk 5,21-43; Lk 13,14; Acts 18,8) and epigraphic (i.a. CIJ II 991; 1404; 741; 766; CIJ I 265; 336; 383) documentation for the office from Palestine and the diaspora. Since the title was later applied to women and children as well, there is some discussion if women could hold the office or if the designation was merely an honorary title. Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography Schürer, vol. 2, 434-436.

Haggadah

(396 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The term Haggadah (the Hif'il of the Hebrew root ngd ‘say, tell’) or its Aramaic equivalent Aggada refers to all non-Halachic traditions from Rabbinic literature and is therefore a collective term for all in the widest sense narrative materials in this extensive corpus of literature. Such a negative definition of the term can already be found in the Middle Ages in Šmuel ha-Nagid (993-1055): ‘Haggadah is any interpretation in the Talmud on any topic which is not a commandment.’ Quite particular im…

Apocalypses

(490 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Beginning with the self-attribution of the Revelations of John as ἀποκάλυψις ( apokálypsis; Rev 1,1), the term Apocalypses became the generic name for this and related works. A chosen recipient of revelations is informed by visions, ecstatic experiences, dreams of honourable founders (Enoch, Moses, a prophet, an apostle), heavenly journeys or instruction by angels about the course of history (past, future and esp. the end of the world) or the afterlife with its entire geography (Heavenly Jeru…

Noah

(340 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Νῶε/ Nôe, Lat. Noa, Noe; Hebr. Nōaḥ). In the Bible, Noah is the main character in the story of the Flood in Gn 6,5-9,29. This story originated in Mesopotamia (cf. the Gilgamesh Epic and the Atraḫasis Epic; legend of the Flood). As a righteous man Noah is spared God's punishment and thus he became the father of mankind, as father of Shem, Ham und Japheth (Gn 6,10; 9,18), who represent the three continents. According to the traditional interpretation of the Pentateuch, the Biblical story…

Theodotion

(133 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Θεωδοτίων/ Theodotíōn; according to Epiphanius, De mensuris et ponderibus 17; 2nd cent. AD), in the view of the ancient Church a proselyte from Ephesus (Iren. Adversus haereses 3,21). T. did not produce (in contrast to Aquila [3] and Symmachus [2]) a new Greek translation of the Old Testament, rather he revised a Greek translation in accordance with the Hebrew text. Whether his model was identical with the Septuaginta is debatable, since there are also 'Theodotionic' readings in texts earlier than T. [1] identified T. with the author of the k aige- or Palestinian rece…

Rabbinical literature

(1,703 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] I. Definition Collective term for the literature of rabbinical Judaism (AD 70 to 1040), traditionally considered the 'oral Torah' ( tōrā šæ-be-al-pæ) revealed to Moses [1] on Mount Sinai (mAb 1,1). In terms of content, a distinction is made between Halakhah, i.e. the legal-judicial tradition, and Haggadah, which contains narrative elements. The essential literary works of this transmitted corpus are the Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmud, various Midrash works and the Targumim (Targum). RL is not the work of i…

Šekinā

(271 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (literally the 'inhabitation [of God]' from Hebrew šāḵan, 'dwell, inhabit'). Rabbinical term for the presence of God in the world; follows notionally from the description of God's dwelling in the Temple (Jes 8,18; Ez 43,7-9) or in his people (Ex 29,45) (cf. also the comparable reception of the concept in John's theology of incarnation, Jo 1,14). The concept of Šekinā is used to describe the immanence of an intrinsically transcendental deity. Proceeding from the idea of the continuous presence of the Šekinā in the Temple (according to [1] …

Nehardea

(122 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] City on the Euphrates in Babylonia which, even before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in AD 70, showed a Jewish settlement (Jos. Ant. Iud. 18,311). According to rabbinical tradition, an important Talmud school (Judaic law) was situated there as well as the headquarters of the Babylonian exilarchs (Exilarch). The city's heyday was in the middle of the 3rd cent. After it had been destroyed by the Palmyrenes in AD 259 - probably in order to break its economic strength - the centre of Babylonian Judaism moved to Pumbedita. Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography Y.D. Gi…

Pesah

(491 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew psḥ; Greek πάσχα, LXX, explained in Phil. De sacrificiis Abelis et Caini 63 and Phil. Legum allegoria 3 as διάβασις/ diábasis; German Passah; English Passover). Annual spring celebration from 15 to 22 Nisan according to the Jewish calendar. It is one of the most important Jewish festivals and commemorates the Exodus and the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt (cf. Ex 7-14). A central symbol is unleavened bread (Hebrew maṣṣōt), which is supposed to recall the haste of the Exodus (Ex 12:34; 14:39). Hence any leavened bread has to be remov…

Aaron

(228 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Post-Biblical traditions of A. are designed to idealize this figure, who appears ambivalent in the Biblical tradition (e.g. the Golden Calf episode), against a background of disputes starting with  Menelaus over the office of High Priest, which had abandoned hereditary succession, and thus affirming that A. (and his successors) were worthy of the office. The  Qumran community, which broke with the Jerusalem community of worship in protest over the progressive desacralization of th…

Nazirite, Nazir

(226 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] According to biblical records (Nm 6:1-21), a male or female (cf. Jos. BI 2,313: Berenice) nazirite vowed - normally for a limited period of time - to take up certain ascetic rules of behaviour: abstention from vine products and haircutting, ban on getting impure by touching a dead person (Nm 6:3-12; cf. also the rules in the Mishnah, or Talmud and Tosefta tract Nazir). If the nazirite vow was not, as in the case of Samson (Judges 13,5), taken for life, then it ended, after the deadline set in the vow, with offers of various sacrifices (cf. Ac…

Jezira, Sefer ha-

(259 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew ‘Book of creation’). Attempt at a systematic description of the fundamental principles of the world order. This Hebrew text, comprising only a few pages and extant in three different recensions, was probably written between the 3rd and 6th cent. and thus is one of the oldest texts of Jewish esoteric writing. In the first part, the ten original numbers, and in the second part the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet are presented as elements of creation through whose c…

Masorah, Masoretes

(494 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Since the Hebrew alphabet is a consonantal alphabet and thus does not write any vowels, written words can often be pronounced and interpreted in various ways. In order to solve this problem, individual consonant letters were used also as vowel letters ( matres lectionis) from early on (so called plene writing; cf. Aramaic documents from as early as the 9th century BC or the Shiloah inscription from the 7th century BC). Furthermore, in order to secure the pronunciation of the holy text definitively, the so-called Masorah (‘tradition’, from Hebrew msr, ‘to pass down’) w…

Death, angel of

(231 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew Malakh ha-mawet). Figure of Rabbinical angelology, can be identified with  Sammael or  Satan (e.g. bBB 16a). The angel of death, given by God the power over life and death, stands at the side of someone who is dying. If that person opens his or her mouth in fright, the angel casts a drop of gall from his sword into the open mouth, whereupon death occurs (bAZ 20b). Up until the sin of the golden calf (Ex 32,1-24), the angel was intended only for the peoples of the world, beca…

Elisha ben Abuja

(158 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Eliša b. Abuja). Jewish scholar of the first half of the 2nd cent. AD, in the Rabbinic literature considered a prototypical apostate and probably therefore bearing the name Aḥer (Hebrew ‘the Other’). However, Rabbinic legendary tradition attributes to him a number of very different heresies: the reference in bHag 15a, according to which he believed in the existence of two heavenly powers, seems to point to Gnostic ideas ( Gnostics); according to yHag 2,1 (77b), he is supposed to …

Diaspora

(418 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The term diaspora (Greek διασπορά; diasporá, ‘scattering’) refers to Israelite or rather Jewish settlements outside Palestine. The main reason for their formation was the  deportation of the population as a consequence of military conquest; but alongside that, flight for political reasons, emigration in response to economic hardships, as well as expansion of trade also played a part. Despite considerable cultural differences, the country of Israel and in particular the temple in Jerusa…

Aqiba

(149 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Rabbi A. ( c. AD 50-135), an important Jewish teacher in the time of  Jabne, often appears as an opponent of rabbi Yishmael in discussions on the interpretation of Scriptures. He plays a significant role in the context of early esoteric traditions (see the tale of the four who entered Paradise; bHag 14b par.). He allegedly proclaimed Bar Kochba the Messiah of Israel (‘Star of Jacob’; cf. Num 24,5), which provoked objections because of the primarily anti-apocalyptic tendency of the ea…

Zion

(288 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Ζιών/Ziṓn or Σιών/Siṓn, fem.; Lat. Zion, masc., fem. or neutr.). The Hebrew proper noun Z. was originally the name for the citadel of the Jebusite city of Jerusalem on the southeastern karst hill above the source of the Gihon, which was conquered by David [1]. The Hebrew text explains the phrase 'Fortress of Z.' ( meṣudat ṣijjōn) as 'David's City' (2 Sam 5:7; cf. 1 Kg 8:1; for the distinction from the remainder of the city cf. 2 Sam 6:10; 6:12; 6:16). After the expansion of Jerusalem under Solomon the name could also be applied to th…

Judith

(331 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Ιουδιθ, Iudith, Iudit). The Book of J., which has come down to us only in Greek and (dependent on it) in Latin and belongs to the Apocrypha ( Apocryphal literature), goes back to a Hebrew original. In a politically and militarily difficult situation, with the inhabitants of the mountain city of Betylia besieged by Nebuchadnezzar's commander  Holofernes, and consequently suffering from lack of water, Judith, a young, rich and pious widow, appears. After admonishing the people to tru…

Hillel

(170 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] the elder, of Babylonian descent, lived at the time of  Herodes [1] the Great (end 1st cent. BC/beginning 1st cent. AD); pupil of the Pharisees Shemaya and Abtalion. H. was one of the most important ‘rabbinic’ authorities from the period before the destruction of the temple of  Jerusalem (AD 70). Tradition ascribes to him the seven rules of interpretation ( Middot), strongly influenced by Greek rhetoric, as well as the introduction of the so-called prosbul: according to this a creditor could demand payment of his debt even after a sabbat…

Jehuda ha-Nasi

(292 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Most often simply called ‘rabbi’ or ‘our holy rabbi’, c. AD 175-217; son and successor of Simeon ben Gamaliel [2] II, the most important of the Jewish Patriarchs, under whose rule the office was at its most powerful. He was officially acknowledged by the Romans as the representative of Judaism and in addition acted as the head of the Sanhedrin ( Bēt Dīn;  Synhedrion), being the highest authority in questions of teachings ( Ḥakham). J. had at his disposal a solid financial basis, and maintained extensive trading relations and contacts with the  Diaspora…

Targum

(402 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew targûm, 'translation'). Name of the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible since the Tannaitic Period ( c. 2nd cent. AD). Of the Pentateuch, several Targum versions exist: a) Targum Onqelos, probably based on a Palestinian text ( c. late 1st/early 2nd cents. AD) and revised in Babylonia presumably between the 3rd and the 5th cents. AD, is largely a literal translation of the Hebrew text; b) Targum Neofiti, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan (= Targum Jerushalmi I) as well as the Fragment Targum (= Targum Jerushalmi II), …

Gaon

(240 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew gāōn, ‘Eminence’, later ‘Excellency’; pl.: Gōnı̄m). Official title of the head of the Rabbinic academies in Babylonian  Sura and  Pumbedita. There the gaons functioned from the 6th cent. AD to the end of the academies in the 11th cent. as the highest teaching authorities (cf. the name of this period as the ‘Gaonic period’). The most important representatives of this office were Amram ben Sheshna (died about AD 875; author of the earliest preserved prayer book), Saadiah be…

Sambation

(177 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (also Sanbation or Sabbation; Greek Σαββατικός/ Sabbatikós, Jos. BI 7,5). Mythical river, behind which the ten tribes of Israel (Judah and Israel) were said to have been exiled by the Assyrian king Salmanassar. According to Jewish legend, this river had the miraculous property of resting on the Sabbath, while on all other days its current was so strong that it hurled stones (among others, BerR 11,5; cf. already Plin. HN 31,24). Iosephus [4] Flavius describes the river, which according t…

Responsa (rabbinical)

(201 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew šeēlōt u-tešūḇōt, literally 'questions and answers'; plural 'responses'). Rabbinical genre name; correspondence, in which one party consults the other on a difficult question of Halakha. While the Talmudic literature (Rabbinical literature) already indicates the existence of this genre (cf. bYebamot 105a), a scope more significant to responsa literature only developed in the Gaonic period (Gaon, 6th-11th cents. AD), when Jews from the widespread diaspora turned to the halak…

Armilus

(179 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Legendary name of an anti-Messiah, who appears in late 7th cent. apocalyptic Midrashim (e.g. Midrash Wa-yosha, Sefer Serubbabel, Nistarot shel R. Shimon ben Joháai). The etymological source is assumed to be ‘Remulus’, symbol of Roman rulership as such. The legend holds that A., son of a marble statue, will march to Jerusalem with ten kings, defeat the true Messiah and send Israel into exile in the desert, whereupon the pagans will worship the stone that gave birth to A. as a godde…

Sandalphon

(187 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew sandālfōn). Name of one of the most important angels in rabbinic angelology. S.'s size spans from earth into the heavenly realm and he surmounts his angel companions by 500 years 'while making wreaths for his creator' (bHag 13b with the interpretation of Ez 1:15; PesR 20 [97a]). Related traditions identified these wreaths with the prayers of Israel that S. presents to God (Bet ha-Midrasch 2,26 Jellinek). It is highly probably that his name is derived from the Greek συνάδελφος/ synádelphos, 'fellow brother' (in the community of angels or specifically o…

Archiereus

(279 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] [1] Greek see  Priests Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) [German version] [2] Jewish Already during the pre-Maccabean period, the High Priest (Hebr. kohen ha-gadol; Greek archiereus) was the highest religious and political authority (cf. Sir 50,1 ff.), heading a hierarchically structured priesthood comprising several thousand individuals. Holding the status of ‘eternal holiness’ (mNaz 7,1), it was his responsibility to preserve certain rules of purity with regard to marriage and dealings with the dead. During the …

Sammai, Shammai

(150 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] ( c. 50 BC-AD 30). Significant representative of Pharisaic Judaism (Pharisaei). Š. figures in the traditional rabbinical chain from the revelation of the Torah of Moses (Pentateuch) to the 'Five Pairs' ( zugot; cf. mAvot 1,15); his counterpart is Hillel, to whom Š. is opposed in a cliché fashion in rabbinical literature: in questions of law, whereas Hillel made rather lenient decisions, Š. is characterized by strictness and rigour (cf. bShab 31a). Rabbinical tradition sees Š. as the founder of a school of scholars (Hebrew bēt-Šammai) that is likewise contrasted wi…

Seraph(im)

(187 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew sārāf, plural serāfîm, from the verb srf, 'burn'; Greek σεραφιν/ seraphin, Latin seraphin). Old Testament term for the cobra (cf. Egyptian Uraeus). Apart from the natural threat from this animal (Dtn 8,15; Nm 21,9) an apotropaic aspect plays a particular role in the Old Testament tradition: a seraph attached to a pole repels a plague of snakes in the Israelites' camp (Nm 21,7-10) {{6-9 in AV, but not saying this}}. Finds of numerous seals, primarily from the 8th century BC, indicate th…

Kerub

(322 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew ‎‏בורכ‏‎, from Akkadian karābu, ‘to dedicate, to greet’; pl. kerubs or cherubs/ kerubim). Composite creature with a human head, body of a lion and wings symbolizing the highest power. According to Gn 3:24, kerubim served to guard the garden of Eden (cf. also Ez 28:14 and 16). Particular significance is attached to the kerubim in the Biblical tradition of the arrangement of the Temple of Solomon. In the holy of holies there are two kerubim made of olive wood and plated with gold, each 10 cubits in height. With their wings with a span each of 5 cub…

Sammael

(188 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew Sammāel). Negative angel figure in Jewish tradition, often identified with Satan. S. is mentioned for the first time in Ethiopic Henoch 6, where he is one of a group of angels that rebels against God (cf. the name Σαμμανή/ Sammanḗ or Σαμιήλ/ Samiḗl in the Greek version). According to Greek Baruch 4,9, he planted the vine that led to the fall of Adam; S. was therefore cursed and became Satan. In the 'Ascension of Isaiah', S. is identified with the figure of Beliar (4,11). Rabbinical literature represents S. in the s…

Talmud

(142 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] ('study, learning', from Hebrew lamad, 'learn'). The central work within rabbinical literature, consisting of a) the Mishnah, the oldest authoritative collections of laws of rabbinical Judaism ( c. AD 200) and b) the Gemara, i.e. interpretations of and discussions on the material of the Mishnah. Since in the rabbinical period there were two centres of Jewish scholarship, i.e. Palestine and Babylonia (Sura, Pumbedita), two different Talmudim came into being: the Palestinian (= Jerusalem Talmud; essentially finalized c. AD 450) and the Babylonian (essentiall…

Esther

(340 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Ester). The Hebrew Book of Esther, dated to either the end of the Persian or the beginning of the Hellenistic period, recounts (a) the decision that the Persian King Ahasverus (485-465 BC) is said to have taken (cf. especially 3,13), at the urging of the anti-Jewish Haman, one of his most influential officials, to eliminate his kingdom's Jews, and (b) the salvation of the Jews, in which a major part was played by the Jewish E., who had entered the court without being recognized, …

Pumbedita

(140 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew pwmbdyt). Babylonian (Babylonia) city on the Euphrates. According to rabbinical tradition, it was distinguished by the fertile land around it (cf. bPes 88a), and because of its flax production, it represented an important site for the textile industry (bGit 27a; bBM 18b). The epistle of Rav Šerira Gaon indicates a centre for studying the Torah (Pentateuch) there by the time of the Second Temple (520 BC - AD 70). The destruction of Nehardea by the Palmyrans (Palmyra) in AD…

Adam

(322 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The early Jewish and rabbinic traditions of A., the first man whom God created from the dust of the Earth (Hebr. adama) and gave the breath of life (see the Yahwistic account of creation), mainly revolved around the original sin. Early Jewish writing emphasized A.'s original glory (Wisdom 10,1 f.; Sir 49,16; 4 Ezra 6,53 f.) and beauty (Op 136-142; 145-150; Virt 203-205), occasionally even describing him as an angel (slHen 30,11 f.). However, his sin brought death to his descendants (4 Ezra 3,7,21; 7,…

Adversus Iudaeos

(242 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Title of several patristic treatises that discuss Christianity's relationship to Judaism in apologetic terms ( Tertullianus,  Cyprianus,  Iohannes Chrysostomos,  Augustine) and other works of similar content ( Epistle of Barnabas, the Epistle to  Diognetus,  Justinus' Dialogue, the Passa Homily of  Melito etc.). Instruction within Christianity and religious teaching that attempted to legitimize the content of the Christian faith in the presence of Judaism (which was considered a p…

Pentateuch

(576 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (ἡ Πεντάτευχος sc. βίβλος/ hē Pentáteuchos sc. bíblos, literally 'book of five scrolls', Orig. comm. in Jo 4,25; cf. Hippolytus 193 Lagarde; Latin Pentateuchus, Tert. in Isid. orig. 6,2,2). In the Christian tradition, a collective term for the the books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy at the beginning of the Hebrew Bible. The Jewish tradition, however, refers instead to the spr htwrh, 'book of instruction' (cf. also the NT term νόμος/ nómos, Luke 10:26, or νόμος Μωϋσέως/ n. Mōÿséōs, Acts 28:23) or to ḥmyšh ḥwmšy twrh (literally 'five-fifths of t…

Hekhalot literature

(365 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Hekhalot literature (HL), to which belong, as the most important types, Hekaloth Rabbati (‘the great palaces’), Hekaloth zuṭarti (‘the small palaces’), Maʿase Merkabah (‘the work of the throne chariot’), Merkabah Rabbah (‘the great throne chariot’), Reʾuyyot Yeḥeqkel (‘the visions of Ezechiel’), Massekhet Hekaloth (‘treatise of the palaces’) and the 3rd Henoch, is a testimony to early Jewish mysticism constituted by an ‘experimental knowledge of God won through lively experience’ [4. 4]. One of the most significant motifs…

Priesterschrift

(444 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Aufgrund von Wortwahl, Stil und Motivik konnte Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918) auf der Grundlage älterer Ergebnisse der Pentateuchkritik in der sog. “Neuesten Urkundenhypothese” (1876 f.) eine von den anderen Überl.-Materialien zu unterscheidende eigene Schicht aus dem Pentateuch im AT herauslösen. Charakteristisch hierfür sind neben bestimmten Begrifflichkeiten und Wendungen (z. B. ēdā, “Versammlung, Gemeinde”; megūrīm, “Fremdlingschaft”; berīt ōlām, “ewiger Bund”) Zahlen, Listen und Genealogien sowie - in inhaltlicher Hinsicht - ei…

Adonai

(101 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] wörtlich “meine Herren”. Das Pluralsuffix rekurriert vermutlich auf eine Angleichung an das hebr. Wort für Gott, Elohim, das gramm. eine Pluralform ist. Als das Frühjudentum aus Furcht vor Mißbrauch die Aussprache des Gottesnamens Jahwe tabuisierte (vgl. u. a. Ex 20,7), diente A. als Ersatz. Die Septuaginta gibt dementsprechend den Eigennamen “Jahwe” durch das Gottesprädikat “Herr” (κύριος), wieder. Die Masoreten (ca. 7.-9. Jh. n. Chr.), die den zunächst fast nur aus Konsonanten bestehenden Text der hebr. Bibel fixierte…

Halakha

(644 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Der Terminus H. (abgeleitet von der hebr. Wz. hlk - “gehen”) bezeichnet sowohl eine einzelne jüd. Gesetzesbestimmung oder feststehende Regel als auch das gesamte System der gesetzlichen Bestimmungen der jüd. Tradition. Die Grundlagen dieser Bestimmungen, die nach traditioneller Auffassung als “mündliche Tora” ( Tora she-be-al-pä) und als Mose am Sinai offenbart gelten, bilden die Gesetzescorpora des Pentateuch (z.B. das sog. “Bundesbuch” Ex 20,22-23,19), deuteronomisches Gesetz (Dt 12,1-26,15) oder Heiligkeitsgesetz (Lv 17…
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