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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:
'ALENU – Original Form of the Prayer. The last prayer of the daily liturgy in most congregations, so called from its initial word, "'Alenu," which means "It is incumbent upon us,"or "It is our duty." It is one of the most sublime prayers...
ALEPH – The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. For its symbolic meaning, see Mishnah Shabbat, i. It was employed as a numeral to mark No. 1 of the shekel-boxes in the Temple (SheḲ. iii. 2). Aleph and Tav being the first and the last...
ALEXANDER THE GREAT – The celebrated conqueror of the East, 356-323 B.C. By introducing Hellenic culture into Syria and Egypt, he had probably more influence on the development of Judaism than any one individual not a Jew by race. Yet, curiously...
'ALIYAH – In synagogal services, the going up, or being called up, to the reading-desk (almemar), for the reading of a portion of the Law. According to an ancient institution of the synagogue seven men are called up in succession to read...
ALMEMAR – Corrupted from the Arabic al-minbar, "the chair," "the pulpit," is an elevated platform in the synagogue, on which the desk stands for reading the lessons from the Pentateuch and Prophets. In the synagogues following the Spanish...
ALMS – A word derived from the Greek ἐλεημοσύνη (mercifulness), used by Greek-speaking Jews to denote almost exclusively the offering of charity to the needy, from a feeling of both compassion and righteousness (ẓedaḳah). (See LXX. on...
ALPHA – The Greek name for Aleph was, according to the older tradition of R. Ishmael (SheḲalim, iii. 2; compare Aleph), used as a mark for the first of the shekel boxes in the Temple. According to Men. ix. 1-6, Alpha designated the...
ALPHA AND OMEGA – An expression found in several places in the Revelation of John (xxi. 6, xxii. 13, i. 8), a book which is to-day almost universally recognized by New Testament scholars of the critical school as derived from an originally Jewish...
ALTAR – Biblical Data: In the book of Genesis it is often said that altars were erected (viii. 20, xii. 7, xiii. 8, xxvi. 25, xxxiii. 20, etc.). These altars were usually heaps of stones such as Laban and Jacob built to sacrifice upon...
AMALEK, AMALEKITES – Position and Connections. —Biblical Data: Name of a nomadic nation south of Palestine. That the Amalekites were not Arabs, but of a stock related to the Edomites (consequently also to the Hebrews), can be concluded from the...
'AM HA-AREẒ – A term used in common parlance in the sense of "ignoramus," applied particularly to one ignorant of Jewish matters. Compare Gamaliel's maxim (Abot, ii. 5): "No 'Am ha-Areẓ can be pious [Ḧasid]; also Lev. R. xxxvii.: "Jephthah,...
AMARKOL – A title applied to "a Temple trustee superintending the cashiers" (Jastrow, "Dict."; see Sheḳ. v. 2). While the three—or, according to Baraita, Tamid, 27a, thirteen—cashiers (gizbarim) handled all the money that flowed into the...
AMILTAI – In Greek mythology, the goat, whose horn overflowing with nature's riches has become the symbol of plenty (the cornucopia), and that nursed the infant god Zeus with her milk. This name occurs twice in ancient Jewish legend: (1)...
AMMON, AMMONITES – Derivation and Relationship. —Biblical Data: A nation in eastern Palestine. As to their origin from Lot, compare Gen. xix. 38, in which "Ben-ammi" (son of my paternal uncle; that is, of my nearest relative) is paro-nomasia, not...
AMON – An Egyptian god, whose name occurs in Jer. xlvi. 25 ("Amon of No," R. V.) and in Nahum, iii. 8 (No-Amon). He was originally only the local divinity of Thebes; but on the accession of the eighteenth dynasty, became the supreme...
AMON, KING OF JUDAH – Biblical Data: The Biblical accounts of Amon are found in II Kings, xxi. 18-26 and in II Chron. xxxiii. 20-25; and he is mentioned in I Chron. iii. 14 among the descendants of King David. Elsewhere he is spoken of merely as the...
AMORITES – Biblical Data: The descendants of the fourth son of Canaan (Gen. x. 16, I Chron. i. 14). They form part of the ancient inhabitants of Palestine (Gen. xv. 21; Ex. iii. 8, 17, xxiii. 23; Joshua, iii. 10, xxiv. 11; I Kings, ix. 20;...
AMOS – Home and Occupation. —Biblical Data: Jewish prophet of the eighth century B.C.; date of birth and death unknown. Among the minor prophets there is none whose personality is so familiar as that of Amos. His name occurs not only...
AMRAM, FATHER OF MOSES – Biblical Data: A son of Kohath, and grandson of Levi. He married his own aunt, Jochebed, Kohath's sister, by whom he became the father of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam (Ex. vi. 18-20; Num. iii. 19, xxvi. 58; I Chron. vi. 2, 3, 18)....
AMRAM OF MAYENCE (MENTZ) – Amram's Church. A saint and rabbi of whom the following legend is told. After having been the head of a school at Mayence, his native place, he went to Cologne to found a school. As his end drew near, he expressed to his pupils...
AMRAPHEL – Biblical Data: A king of Shinar (Gen. xiv. 1, 9), who invaded the West in conjunction with Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and others, and destroyed Sodom. The identity of the name has long been a subject of controversy among...
ANAKIM – Biblical Data: A pre-Canaanite tribe, dwelling (according to Josh. xi. 21, 22, and Judges i. 10, 20) in the hill country of Judah and in the Philistine plain (Hebron, Debir, Anab, Gaza, Gath, Ashdod). Three clans are mentioned:...
ANATHEMA – Derivation and Definition. A term used both in the sense of consecration and of condemnation. The old Greek 'Aνάθημα signifies a votive offering, something devoted to, or set aside for, the special use of the gods; in its...
ANCIENT OF DAYS – Biblical Data: A poetical epithet for God. It is an incorrect rendering of the Aramaic 'attiḳ yomin (Dan. vii. 9) or 'attiḳ yomaya (ib. vii. 13, 22), which should be translated "an aged one," "the aged one" (compare Dalman, "Die...
ANGELOLOGY – Biblical, Talmudical, and Post-Talmudical: Angelology is that branch of theology which treats of angels. Angels (from αγγελōς = messenger, Greek equivalent of the Hebrew ) are according to the usual conception superhuman beings...