Encyclopaedia of Judaism

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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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Talmud, Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Approaches

(8,864 words)

Author(s): Solomon, Norman
The interpretation of Halakhah occupies a central place in Rabbinic Judaism, and over the centuries several methods of interpretation have evolved and been formalized, ranging within the tradition of Judaism from Midrash Halakhah to pilpul—a term used to describe various kinds of casuistry or dialectic. But, towards the end of the nineteenth century in the yeshivot of Lithuania and Belorus, particularly Volozhin, the way people studied the legal sections of the Talmud underwent a radical transfo…

Talmud of Babylonia in Historical Perspective

(12,752 words)

Author(s): Neusner, Jacob
The Talmud of Babylonia is one of the great, classical writings of human civilization—enduring, influential, nourishing. It claims its place among the most successful pieces of writing in the history of humanity, along with the Bible, Plato's Republic, Aristotle's oeuvre, the Quran, and a very few other writings. What those books have in common is the power to demand attention and compel response for many centuries after their original presentation. The Quran, for example, is received by Muslims as God's word, as is the Bible by Chri…