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Kaufmann Kohler, Ph.D.

Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth-El, New York; President of the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Contributions:
ABINU MALKENU – The initial words and name of a portion of the liturgy recited with special solemnity on the Penitential Days from New Year to the Day of Atonement inclusive. In the ancient liturgy the two invocations, "Our Father" and "Our...
ABLUTION – For the purpose of actual or ritual purification, ablutions or washings form an important feature of the Jewish religious ceremonial. Judaism is in thorough accord with the proverb, "Cleanliness is next to godliness" (see...
ABNER – Cabalist and teacher of Isaac of Acco (Acre) about 1150, mentioned by Isaac as a great authority in mystic philosophy.Bibliography: Michael, Or ha-Ḥayyim, No. 28.K.
ABOAB – The name of an ancient and widely distributed Spanish family, among whose members were many most able scholars. The family can be authentically traced to the thirteenth century, and representatives thereof are to be found in...
'ABODAH – Originally the benediction recited during the morning sacrifice while the Temple still existed, and afterward the benediction containing the prayer for the restoration of the Temple sacrifice, recited also as part of the morning...
ABRACADABRA – Magic word or formula used in incantations, especially against intermittent fever or inflammation, the patient wearing an amulet upon his neck, with the following inscription: The underlying idea was to force the spirit of the...
ABRAHAM – Birth and Wanderings. —Biblical Data: According to the Bible, Abraham (or Abram) was the father of the Hebrews. The Biblical account of the life of Abram is found in Gen. xi. 26 to xxv. 10. According to this narrative, he was...
ABRAHAM'S BOSOM – In the New Testament and in Jewish writings a term signifying the abodeof bliss in the other world. According to IV Macc. xiii. 17, the righteous who die for their faith are received by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in paradise...
ABRAHAM, TOWER OF – Often mentioned in the Book of Jubilees as a mansion of great importance, said to have been built on the height of Hebron by Abraham, who bequeathed it to Jacob, his grandson (xxii. 24; xxix. 16, 19; xxxvi. 12-20; xxxvii. 14;...
ABRAHAM BEN ELIEZER HA-LEVI BERUKIM – A cabalistic writer; born before 1540; lived for a long time in Jerusalem, and died at an advanced age in 1600. A pupil of Moses Cordovero and Isaac Luria (died 1572), and a man of great piety and sincerity, Abraham, by his...
ABRAHAM BAR ḤIYYA HA-NASI – As a Mathematician and Astronomer: A celebrated Jewish mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher of the twelfth century. He lived in Barcelona in 1136. According to S. D. Luzzatto, there exists a manuscript, dated April 10,...
ABRAHAM BEN ISAAC OF GRANADA – Cabalist of the thirteenth century. He wrote: (1) A work on the Cabala, under the title of "Sefer ha-Berit." This is quoted by Moses Botarel in the introduction to his commentary on the "Sefer Yeẓirah," which passage contains a...
ABRAHAM BEN JOSIAH OF JERUSALEM – A Karaite author, who flourished in the first half of the eighteenth century. He went from Palestine to the Crimea, where, in 1712, he finished "Emunah Omen," a work on Karaite theology, edited by Jacob ben Abraham Firkovitch,...
ABRAHAM BEN SAMUEL COHEN OF LASK – A Jewish ascetic who flourished at the end of the eighteenth century. He went to live at Jerusalem in 1785, but afterward traveled through Europe as an agent for the collection of donations for the Polish Jews in Palestine,...
ABRAHAM BEN SIMEON BEN JUDAH BEN SIMEON OF WORMS – Cabalist; born 1410; died 1440. He was the author of "Segullat Melakim" (Royal Devices), a treatise containing information on practical Cabala and on magic and natural science, which he collected on his travels. This treatise he...
ABRAXAS – A term of Gnostic magic, of uncertain etymology. According to Irenæus ("Adversus Hæreses," i. 24, 3-7), the Gnostic Basilides (died about 130) gave the name of Abraxas to the highest Being, who presides over the 364 kingdoms of...
ABSALOM – Biblical Data: Third son of King David, born in Hebron in the early years of that king's reign. His mother, Maachah, was the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur (II Sam. iii. 3; II Sam. xiii. 37; I Chron. iii. 2).Absalom appears...
ABSTINENCE – Refraining from enjoyments which are lawful in themselves. Abstinence can be considered a virtue only when it serves the purpose of consecrating a life to a higher purpose. The saints, or adherents of religious and philosophical...
ABUDARHAM, DAVID BEN JOSEPH BEN DAVID – A commentator on the Synagogue liturgy, who lived at Seville, Spain, about 1340, and was a pupil of Jacob ben Asher. He belonged to the class of writers who, in an age of decline, felt the need of disseminating in popular form...
ABULAFIA, ABRAHAM BEN SAMUEL – One of the earliest cabalists; born 1240 at Saragossa, in Aragon; died some time after 1291. Very early in life he was taken by his parents to Tudela, in Navarre, where his aged father carefully instructed him in the Bible and...
ABYSS – Term for the (Gen. vii. 11) of the Old Testament, used in the apocalyptic, New Testament, and cabalistic literature for the place of punishment of the wicked; hell; the abode of certain demons. As such the Abyss of Fire is...
ACACIA – Biblical Data: A hard and durable but light wood; at first yellowish, but gradually turning very dark, like ebony. Of this the Ark and its altars, with their staves, and the bars of the Tabernacle were made (Ex. xxxv. 7; Deut....
ACHAN – Biblical Data: The son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, who committed sacrilege during the capture of the city of Jericho by the people of Israel in taking a portion of the spoil devoted to the Lord....
ACHERON – The fiery river of Hades in Greek mythology, mentioned in Plato's "Phædo," 113a, which figures also in Jewish eschatology. In the Sibyllines, i. 301 (also in Enoch, xvii. 6), the souls of the dead traverse Acheron to enter the...
ADAM – Biblical Data: The Hebrew and Biblical name for man, and also for the progenitor of the human race. In the account of the Creation given in Gen. i. man was brought into being at the close of the sixth creative day, "made in the...