Encyclopaedia of Judaism

Get access Subject: Jewish Studies
General Editors: Jacob Neusner, Alan J. Avery-Peck and William Scott Green

The Encyclopaedia of Judaism Online offers more than 200 entries comprising more than 1,000,000 words and is a unique reference tool.  The Encyclopaedia of Judaism Online offers an authoritative, comprehensive, and systematic presentation of the current state of scholarship on fundamental issues of Judaism, both past and present. While heavy emphasis is placed on the classical literature of Judaism and its history, the Encyclopaedia of Judaism Online also includes principal entries on circumcision, genetic engineering, homosexuality, intermarriage in American Judaism, and other acutely contemporary issues. Comprehensive and up-to-date, it reflects the highest standards in scholarship. Covering a tradition of nearly four thousand years, some of the most distinguished scholars in the field describe the way of life, history, art, theology, philosophy, and the practices and beliefs of the Jewish people.

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Dialectics in Judaism

(4,041 words)

Author(s): Neusner, Jacob
A dialectical argument is a give and take in which parties to the argument counter one another in a progression of exchanges (often, in what seems like an infinite progress to an indeterminate conclusion). The dialectical argument addresses not the problem and the solution alone but the problem and the various ways by which a solution may be reached. It is not a set-piece of two positions, with an analysis of each, such as formal dialogue exposes with elegance; it is, rather, an unfolding analyt…

Disabilities, Judaism and

(7,397 words)

Author(s): Abrams, Judith Z.
Judaism defines disabilities as the inability to hear and speak, the inability to learn because of mental illness, mental disability, or immaturity and, to a lesser extent, the inability to see, and physical disabilities. Priests are considered disabled if they are physically blemished in some way or have impure bloodlines. Judaism does not define impure bloodlines and physical blemishes, such as an irregularly shaped head, as disabilities in regular Israelites. The basic theory of disabilities depends, in the main, on an individual's ability to receive knowledge,…

Diseases in Jewish Sources

(9,516 words)

Author(s): Rosner, Fred
There are many ways to approach the subject of biblical and talmudic medicine. One method is to study the Bible sequentially and identify medical passages and diseases. For example, in Genesis, the Bible. relates that when Abraham came to Egypt he told Pharaoh that Sarah was his sister and not his wife. As a result, Pharaoh took her, and God afflicted Pharaoh and his family with a mysterious disease (Gen. 12:17). What was this sickness? Later in the book of Genesis we are told that Sarah, at the age of ninety years, gave birth to Isaac. How was this possible? Did her m…

Disputes on Law in Rabbinic Judaism

(9,228 words)

Author(s): Neusner, Jacob
In the Halakhic documents, the Mishnah, Tosefta, Yerushalmi, and Bavli, Rabbinic sages ubiquitously record disagreements on matters of law. But disputes reinforce the unity of the law at its fundamental levels. Conflicts between authorities underscore the prevailing consensus about fundamental truth. Indicators of concurrence in deep structures of thought abound even—or especially—in the context of disputes, properly situated in perspective and proportion. Conflict concerns detail, consensus, go…