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Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira, Midrash and

(10,199 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
The book of Jesus ben Sira, the so-called Ecclesiasticus or Siracides, considered in Jewish and Protestant tradition to be apocryphal, but in the Catholic Church to be an authentic biblical book, is very peculiar in the history of the biblical canon with regard to its use and understanding in midrashic and talmudic tradition. Composed as a book of proverbs and maxims, it claims to be an ethical tribunal not only for Israel's contemporary society but also for its past. Ben Sira is one of the firs…

Philo

(1,162 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[English Version] von Alexandrien (Ph. Alexandrinus oder Ph. Judaeus; 20/10 v.Chr. – 45 [?] n.Chr.), der bekannteste und einflußreichste Philosoph und Exeget des antiken Judentums (: I.). Von seiner Vita ist kaum etwas bekannt. Nach dem Historiographen Flavius Josephus soll er zu den führenden Familien Alexandriens gehört haben. Das einzige sichere Datum seines Lebens ist seine Teilnahme an einer Gesandtschaft zum röm. Kaiser Caligula in den Jahren 39–40 n.Chr. (Flav.Jos.Ant. XVIII 259f.), die er i…

Rossi

(155 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[English Version] Rossi, Azaria de' (ca.1511 Mantua – ca. 1577 ebd.). Nach Vertreibung der Juden aus dem Kirchenstaat 1569 zog er nach Ferrara, wo er das Erdbeben des 18.11.1570 erlebte, das ihn zu seiner lit. Tätigkeit anregte. R.s Hauptwerk, »Me'or ‘Enayim« (»Licht der Augen«), besteht aus drei Teilen: »Qol Elohim« (»Gottes Stimme«) über das Erdbeben; »Hadrat Zeqenim« (»Glanz der Ältesten«), eine hebr. Übers. des Aristeasbriefes; »Imre Bina« (»Sprüche des Verständnisses«) über Philo von Alexandrie…

Philo of Alexandria

(1,243 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (Philo Alexandrinus or Philo Judaeus; 20/10 bce – 45 [?] ce), best-known and most influential philosopher and exegete in ancient Judaism (I). Scarcely anything is known of his life. According to the historian Flavius Josephus, Philo belonged to one of the leading families of Alexandria. The only certain fact about his life is that he took part in a legation to the Roman emperor Caligula in 39/40 ce (Jos. Ant. XVIII 259f.), which he describes in his Legatio ad Gaium. From the fact that he was already of advanced age when he undertook this journey (he describes himself as gerṓn,…

de Rossi, Azaria

(166 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (c. 1511, Mantua – c. 1577, Mantua). After the expulsion of the Jews from the Papal States in 1569, de' Rossi moved to Ferrara, where he witnessed the earthquake of Nov 18, 1570. This event inspired him to devote himself to literary activities. De' Rossi's chief work, Meʾor ʿEnayim ( Light of the Eyes), consists of three parts: Qol Elohim (“The Voice of God”), in ¶ which he writes about the earthquake; Hadrat Zeqenim (“The Glory of the Elders”), a Hebrew translation of the Letter of Aristeas ; and Imre Bina (“The Sayings of Understanding”) o…

Magnes, Judah Leon

(175 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (Aug 5, 1877, San Francisco – Oct 27,1948, New York), Rabbi, one of the founders of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Magnes was ordained as a rabbi in 1900 at the Hebrew Union College. In 1902 he gained a doctorate at Heidelberg. In 1904 Magnes was Reformed rabbi of the Temple Israel in Brooklyn and in 1906 of the Temple Emanu-El in New York. Disappointments with Reform Judaism led him to Conservative Judaism. In 1910 he assumed the office of rabbi of Bʾnai Jeshurun. After Worl…

Moscato, Judah

(162 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (c. 1530, Osimo – c. 1593, Padua), one of the most important rabbis of the Renaissance. When the expulsion of the Jews commanded by Pius V in 1569 (Persecutions of Jews) forced Moscato to leave Osimo, he became the official preacher of the Jewish community in Padua and in 1587 its chief rabbi. His approach was eclectic. In addition to his rabbinic training, he mastered several secular disciplines – medicine, music, astronomy, rhetoric, and Jewish and Classical philosophy. He combined Kabbalah with neoplatonic ideas (Neoplatonism: III). His works include Nefuzot Yehuda

Eupolemos

(197 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] was a Hellenistic Jewish historiographer whose work, Concerning the Kings in Judea, is preserved fragmentarily in excerpts from Alexander Polyhistor (transmitted by Eusebius and Clement of Alexandria). He should probably be identified with the Eupolemos mentioned in 1 Macc 8:17 and 2 Macc 4:11 as the leader of the Jewish embassy to Rome. His work, which may be dated around 158/157 bce, covers the period from Moses to his time. A brief passage concerning Moses as the “first sage” and inventor o…

Luzzatto, Samuel David

(131 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (acronym: Shadal; Aug 22, 1800, Trieste – Sep 30, 1865, Padua), Orthodox Jewish scholar. Luzzatto was an expert at combining biblical and general learning. In 1829 he was appointed professor of Bible, grammar, Jewish history, and theology at the Collegio Rabbinico Italiano in Padua, a position he held until his death. He rejected Hellenistic philosophy, the intellectualism of M. Maimonides, and the rationalism of B. de Spinoza, but also the Kabbalah. He ¶ is noted for his work as a Bible translator and his editions of medieval poetry. Giuseppe Veltri Bibliography I. Luz…

Philosophie, jüdische

(4,048 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[English Version] I. Definition Die Verbindung zw. Judentum und Philosophie deutet auf zwei unterschiedliche, aber doch tief miteinander verbundene Sachverhalte hin: die Stellung des Judentums in der Gesch. der Philos. und die Entstehung einer eigenen »jüd.« Philos. Das Kompositum »jüd. Philos.« verweist dabei hist. gesehen auf einen Prozeß kultureller Auseinandersetzung zw. der griech. »Philos.« und des durch die jüd. Rel. und Kultur geprägten Denkens, wobei beide Seiten oft als unversöhnliches Ge…

Judah Loew

(191 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (of Prague; 1525 – Aug 12, 1609, Prague), known as “the Maharal” (“our rabbi, Rabbi Loew”), distinguished himself as a teacher of the Talmud and as a rabbi. Judah's legendary life is historically attested for the period from 1559 to 1573 in which he was the rabbi of Nikolsburg and the chief rabbi of Moravia. In 1573, he moved as a private individual to Prague, where he became the head of the school Die Klaus. After the visit of the German emperor Rudolf II, Judah left Prague in 15…

Hecataeus of Abdera

(198 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] The philosopher and historiographer Hecataeus was a contemporary of Alexander the Great and of Ptolemy I (Jos. Apion. I 183; Ptolemaic Dynasty). In his famous book, Aegyptiaca, Hecataeus deals with part of Jewish history, as well as Jewish customs, religion and military matters (fragments in Diodoros Siculus XL 3). Josephus cites Hecataeus's essay On the Jews ( Apion. I 183ff., cf. I 214), although its authenticity is doubted. According to Josephus, in this essay, Hecataeus deals with the relationship of the Jews to Ptolemy I, their fid…

Aristeas, Letter of

(376 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] We know Aristeas only through a “precise report” ( diḗgēsis) concerning the causes and circumstances of the translation of the LXX for the (fictive) Philokrates. Though the description of events forms the framework of the letter (occasion for the translation: 1ff.; Philadelphos's request to the high priest Eleazar and positive response: 9–11; 28–51; …

Modena, Leone

(179 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (Leone Modena da Venezia; 1571, Venice – 1648, Venice). Modena enjoyed a broad education, including Italian literature, music, and song. His family's precarious finances forced him to make a living in various occupations: in his autobiography, he lists 26 different activities. His primary profession, however, was intellectual: he was a writer, teacher, and preacher. Running counter to the fashion of his period, he severely criticized the Kabbalah and defended the teaching of M. Maimonides. His apologetic Magen va-Herev, which remained unfinished, castigate…

Philosophy, Jewish

(4,134 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] I. Definition The combination of the terms Judaism and philosophy suggests two distinct but deeply related issues: the place of Judaism in the history of philosophy and the emergence of a distinctive “Jewish” philosophy. Viewed historically, the compound Jewish philosophy points to a process of cultural debate between Greek “philosophy” and thought shaped by Jewish religion and culture, during which the two were often treated as irreconcilable. The question of the existence and nature of “Jewish philosophy” was first r…

Menasseh ben Israel

(185 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (1604, Madeira – 1657, Middelburg, Netherlands), rabbi, author and printer, who lived mostly in Amsterdam. Menasseh was a theologian of Judaism who knew how to use secular and rabbinic knowledge in defense of Judaism. In 1626 he founded the first Jewish printing works in Amsterdam. He published a number of writings which were intended to appeal to non-Jews as well as Jews ( De creatione, 1635; De resurrectione mortuorum, 1636; De fragilitate humana, 1642). He was seen as an intellectual representative of the Jewish people, and was in contact with H. G…

Lilith

(254 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] is the name of a female demon (Demons and Spirits: II) of Babylonian/Sumerian origin that is mentioned only once in the Bible in Isa 34:14. From a philological and tradition-historical point of view, the name Lilith cannot be deciphered with certainty (“night demon”?). In analogy to the Babylonian demon Labartu or Lamashtu, the endangering of pregnant women and the killing of newborn children are attributed to her. The Babylonian Talmud particularly emphasizes her sexual curiosity (Lilith as the seductress of men) and her position within demonology (b. ʿErub. 100b; b.…

Rationalismus

(3,793 words)

Author(s): Fricke, Christel | Steiger, Johann Anselm | Veltri, Giuseppe
[English Version] I. Philosophisch Der Terminus »R.« wird in der Philos. in einem weiteren und einem engeren Sinn verwendet. In seinem weiteren Sinn steht er für alle antiskeptischen Positionen (Skepsis/Skeptizismus: I.) in der Theorie des Seins und seiner Erkenntnis, die die einzig verläßliche Quelle für Erkenntnisgewißheit nicht in der sinnlichen Wahrnehmung, sondern in der Tätigkeit der ratio, der Vernunft (: I.) sehen. Das Paradigma für die Gewißheit (: I.) garantierende Vernunfttätigkeit liefe…

Rationalism

(3,896 words)

Author(s): Fricke, Christel | Steiger, Johann Anselm | Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] I. Philosophy The term rationalism is used in philosophy in a wider and a narrower sense. In its wider sense, it stands for all those antiskeptical positions (Skepticism: I) in the theory of being and its epistemology that see the only reliable source of certain knowledge not in sensory perception but in the activity of ratio, reason (I). The paradigm for reasoning activity that guarantees certainty (I) is provided by mathematical thought with its concepts of tautologies and deductive conclusions. In its narrower sense, Rationalism st…

Feasts and Festivals

(7,156 words)

Author(s): Borgeaud, Philippe | Otto, Eckart | Veltri, Giuseppe | Schramm, Tim | Wiggermann, Karl-Friedrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. Early Christianity – V. Church History – VI. Liturgical and Practical Aspects I. Religious Studies The words “feast” and “festival” (cf. fête, festa, fiesta, Fest, etc.) derive from the Latin festus ( dies). They refer to the calendar and also evoke the notion of the divine: a feast day is a special day set aside and dedicated to a certain supernatural being. “Feast” or “festival” can therefore be understood as synonyms for religious celebrations. To speak,…
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