The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Judaism:
- Ugaritic mythology – The Levant region was inhabited by people who themselves referred to the land as 'ca-na-na-um' as early as the mid-third millennium BCE
- Ancient semitic religions – The term ancient Semitic religion encompasses the polytheistic religions of the Semitic speaking peoples of the ancient Near East and Northeast Africa. Its origins are intertwined with Mesopotamian mythology.
- El (deity) - the supreme god of the Canaanite religion and the supreme god of the Mesopotamian Semites in the pre-Sargonic period.
- Elyon - "God Most High"
- El Shaddai - "God Almighty"
- Elohim – a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language.
- Asherah – a Semitic mother goddess, the wife or consort of the Sumerian Anu or Ugaritic El, the oldest deities of their pantheons
- Baal – a Northwest Semitic title and honorific meaning "master" or "lord" that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor
- Yahweh – the national god of the Iron Age kingdoms of Israel (Samaria) and Judah.
- Tetragrammaton - YHWH
- King Saul – the first king of the united Kingdom of Israel.
- Ish-bosheth – the second king of the united Kingdom
- King David – the third king of the United Kingdom of Israel
- King Solomon – the final king before the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah
- Solomon's Temple – the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount (also known as Mount Zion), before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE.
- Tel Dan Stele – a stele (inscribed stone) discovered in 1993/94 during excavations at Tel Dan in northern Israel.
- Mesha Stele – a black basalt stone bearing an inscription by the 9th century BC ruler Mesha of Moab in Jordan.
Return from captivity
Development of Rabbinic Judaism
- Oral Torah
- Talmud (as encompassing the main Oral Law)
- Jerusalem Talmud
- Babylonian Talmud
- Mishnah, the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions known as the "Oral Torah".
- Gemara, rabbinical analysis of and commentary on the Mishnah
- Aggadah, a compendium of rabbinic texts that incorporates folklore, historical anecdotes, moral exhortations, and practical advice in various spheres, from business to medicine.
- Tosefta, a compilation of the Jewish oral law from the late 2nd century, the period of the Mishnah
- Midrash, the genre of rabbinic literature which contains early interpretations and commentaries on the Written Torah and Oral Torah (spoken law and sermons), as well as non-legalistic rabbinic literature (aggadah) and occasionally the Jewish religious laws (halakha), which usually form a running commentary on specific passages in the Hebrew Scripture (Tanakh).
- Midrash halakha
- Geonim, presidents of the two great Babylonian, Talmudic Academies of Sura and Pumbedita, in the Abbasid Caliphate, and generally accepted spiritual leaders of the Jewish community worldwide in the early medieval era
- Rishonim, the leading rabbis and poskim who lived approximately during the 11th to 15th centuries, in the era before the writing of the Shulchan Aruch (Hebrew? , "Set Table", a common printed code of Jewish law, 1563 CE) and following the Geonim (589-1038 CE)
- Acharonim, the leading rabbis and poskim (Jewish legal decisors) living from roughly the 16th century to the present, and more specifically since the writing of the Shulchan Aruch (Hebrew? , "Set Table", a code of Jewish law) in 1563 CE.
Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Jewish history. But the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmudic era, as opposed to medieval and modern rabbinic writing, and thus corresponds with the Hebrew term Sifrut Hazal ( "?; "Literature [of our] sages [of] blessed memory," where Hazal normally refers only to the sages of the Talmudic era). This more specific sense of "Rabbinic literature"—referring to the Talmudim, Midrash, and related writings, but hardly ever to later texts—is how the term is generally intended when used in contemporary academic writing. On the other hand, the terms meforshim and parshanim (commentaries/commentators) almost always refer to later, post-Talmudic writers of Rabbinic glosses on Biblical and Talmudic texts.
The Mishnah and the Tosefta (compiled from materials pre-dating the year 200) are the earliest extant works of rabbinic literature, expounding and developing Judaism's Oral Law, as well as ethical teachings. Following these came the two Talmuds:
The midrash is the genre of rabbinic literature which contains early interpretations and commentaries on the Written Torah and Oral Torah, as well as non-legalistic rabbinic literature (aggadah) and occasionally the Jewish religious laws (halakha), which usually form a running commentary on specific passages in the Tanakh. The term midrash also can refer to a compilation of Midrashic teachings, in the form of legal, exegetical, homiletical, or narrative writing, often configured as a commentary on the Bible or Mishnah.
Later works by category
Major codes of Jewish law
Jewish thought, mysticism and ethics
Later rabbinic works by historical period
Works of the Geonim
The Geonim are the rabbis of Sura and Pumbeditha, in Babylon (650 - 1250) :
The Rishonim are the rabbis of the early medieval period (1000 - 1550), such as the following main examples:
- The commentaries on the Torah, such as those by Rashi, Abraham ibn Ezra and Nahmanides.
- Commentaries on the Talmud, principally by Rashi, his grandson Samuel ben Meir and Nissim of Gerona.
- Talmudic novellae (chiddushim) by Tosafists, Nahmanides, Nissim of Gerona, Solomon ben Aderet (RaShBA), Yomtov ben Ashbili (Ritva)
- Works of halakha (Asher ben Yechiel, Mordechai ben Hillel)
- Codices by Maimonides and Jacob ben Asher, and finally Shulkhan Arukh
- Legal responsa, e.g. by Solomon ben Aderet (RaShBA)
- Jewish philosophical rationalist works (Maimonides, Gersonides etc.)
- Kabbalistic mystical works (such as the Zohar)
- Mussar literature ethical works (Bahya ibn Paquda, Jonah of Gerona)
The Acharonim are the rabbis from 1550 to the present day, such as the following main examples:
- Important Torah commentaries include Keli Yakar (Shlomo Ephraim Luntschitz), Ohr ha-Chayim by Chayim ben-Attar, the commentary of Samson Raphael Hirsch, and the commentary of Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin
- Important works of Talmudic novellae include: Pnei Yehoshua, Hafla'ah, Sha'agath Aryei
- Codices of halakha e.g. - for Sephardim: Ben Ish Hai by Yosef Hayyim, Kaf ha-?ayim by Yaakov Chaim Sofer and the Yalkut Yosef ;
for Ashkenazim: Mishnah Berurah by Yisrael Meir Kagan and the Aruch ha-Shulchan by Yechiel Michel Epstein
- Legal responsa, e.g. by Moses Sofer, Moshe Feinstein
- Kabbalistic mystical commentaries
- Philosophical/metaphysical works (the works of the Maharal of Prague, Moshe Chaim Luzzatto and Nefesh ha-Chayim by Chaim of Volozhin)
- Hasidic works (Kedushath Levi, Sefath Emmeth, Shem mi-Shemuel)
- Mussar literature ethical works: Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, Yisrael Meir Kagan and the Mussar Movement
- Historical works, e.g. Shem ha-Gedolim by Chaim Joseph David Azulai.
- Meforshim is a Hebrew word meaning "(classical rabbinical) commentators" (or roughly meaning "exegetes"), and is used as a substitute for the correct word perushim which means "commentaries". In Judaism this term refers to commentaries on the Torah (five books of Moses), Tanakh, the Mishnah, the Talmud, responsa, even the siddur (Jewish prayerbook), and more.
Classic Torah and Talmud commentaries
Classic Torah and/or Talmud commentaries have been written by the following individuals:
- The Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna, 18th century Lithuania
- The Malbim, Meir Leibush ben Yehiel Michel Wisser
Classical Talmudic commentaries were written by Rashi. After Rashi the Tosafot were written, which was an omnibus commentary on the Talmud by the disciples and descendants of Rashi; this commentary was based on discussions done in the rabbinic academies of Germany and France.
Branches and denominations
Behavior and experience
Holy days and observances
Belief and doctrine
Major legal codes and works
Examples of legal principles
Examples of Biblical punishments
Dietary laws and customs
Names of God
Mysticism and the esoteric
Religious articles and prayers
Return to Judaism
Interactions with other religions and cultures
- ^ "midrash". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
- ^ ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 14, pg 182, Moshe David Herr