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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:
ASS-WORSHIP – The accusation that Jews worshiped the ass was for four centuries persistently made by certain Greek and Latin writers.Various Authors of the Calumny. (1) Mnaseas of Patras (second century B.C.) is quoted by Josephus ("Contra...
ASS-WORSHIP – The accusation that Jews worshiped the ass was for four centuries persistently made by certain Greek and Latin writers.Various Authors of the Calumny. (1) Mnaseas of Patras (second century B.C.) is quoted by Josephus ("Contra...
ASTROLOGY – Biblical. See Astronomy, Biblical.Terminology. —In the Apocrypha and in the Talmud: Neither (Isa. xlvii. 13), which the Greek translation renders "astrologers," nor (Dan. ii. 27 et seq.), the technical designation for the...
ASUSA, ASUTA – A sentiment expressed toward one who is sneezing. In Tosef., Shab. vii. (viii.) 5 it is declared to be a forbidden heathen (Amorite) practise to wish one health ("marpe"), whereas R. Eliezer b. Zadok, of the first century, says:...
ATHEISM – A term derived from the Greek, meaning literally the "disbelief in a God." As originally used in the writings of the people that coined it, it carried the implication of non-recognition of the God or the gods acknowledged as...
ATHRIBIS – A city, during the Ptolemaic period, in Lower Egypt on the Damietta arm of the Nile near the present Benḥa (Benḥa al-Asi), south-west of Zagazeeg. On the hill near Benḥa there are vestiges of the old city of Athribis. A Jewish...
ATHRONGES – Leader of the Jews during the insurrection under Archelaus (4 B.C.—6 C. E.). A shepherd and bold adventurer, without any other claim to power but that of gigantic strength and stature, he managed, in common with his four...
ATOMISM – The theory concerning atoms. Two opinions of the nature of matter were professed in the Greek philosophical schools. The Eleatic school asserted that matter is infinitely divisible. Democritus, Leucippus, and Epicurus...
ATONEMENT – The setting at one, or reconciliation, of two estranged parties—translation used in the Authorized Version for "kapparah," "kippurim." The root ("kipper"), to make atonement, is explained by W. Robertson Smith ("Old Testament in...
ATTRIBUTES – The fundamental and permanent properties of substance, so-called by logicians in contradistinction to accidents, which are modifications representing circumstantial properties only. Aristotle makes the distinction between...
ATTRIBUTES – The fundamental and permanent properties of substance, so-called by logicians in contradistinction to accidents, which are modifications representing circumstantial properties only. Aristotle makes the distinction between...
AUERBACH, SAMUEL B. DAVID TEBELE – A cabalistic commentator on the Bible; flourished in the seventeenth century. His father, David, died as a martyr during the persecution of the Jews in Poland, and he himself narrowly escaped a similar fate, first at Lublin,...
AUERBACH, SIMON (ZE'EB) WOLF B. DAVID TEBELE – Talmudist and rabbi of several large communities; born at Posen about 1550; died Nov. 12, 1631, at Prague. His father was either rabbi or, at least, an eminent Talmudic authority in Posen; and his father-in-law was Solomon b....
AUGURY – Originally, prophesying by the flight of birds; but later the term was applied to all forms of foretelling (augur = avi-gur, οἰωνὸς, οἰωνισταί, etc.).Augury was first systematized by the Chaldeans. The Greeks were addicted to...
AUTHORITY, RABBINICAL – The power or right of deciding the Law, in dubious cases, or of interpreting, modifying, or amplifying, and occasionally of abrogating it, as vested in the Rabbis as its teachers and expounders.In Biblical times the Law was...
AVENGER OF BLOOD – Biblical Data: (Hebrew "go'el"): The Hebrew name for the clansman, "next of kin," upon whom devolved the duties: (1) of avenging, on the person of the murderer, the blood of a murdered kinsman—in this capacity the more specific...
AVERROES – Jewish Preservation of His Writings. Arabian philosopher of the twelfth century; born at Cordova in 1126; died in 1198. Although himself a prolific writer on philosophy and medicine, his chief importance is as a commentator upon...
AVERROISM – Averroes, like his contemporary Maimonides, was a strict Peripatetic; yet they differed greatly in matters of faith. While Maimonides, with all his admiration for Aristotle, dared to contradict his theories, or at least sought...
AVESTA – The canonical book of the religious sect known as the Parsees, more frequently though less precisely called Zend-Avesta—an inversion of the Pahlavi phrase "Avistāk va Zand," the Scriptures and the Commentary or the Law and Its...
AVICENNA (ABU ALI IBN ABDALLAH IBN SINA) – Physician and philosopher of note; born at Bokhara in 980; died in 1037. His works, which were brought to Spain about one hundred years after their publication, exerted a great influence upon Jewish thought in the Middle Ages....
AVILA, SAMUEL BEN MOSES BEN ISAAC DE – Rabbi and preacher at Mequenez, Morocco, and later at Salé, Morocco, born in the first-named place in 1687 or 1688. He published, under the title of "Ozen Shemuel," a collection of sermons: Five on "Repentance," preached on the...
AZARIAS – General in the army of Judas Maccabeus, who, together with Joseph, son of Zacharias, was left in command of the Judean army (165 B.C.) when Judas and Jonathan were absent in Gilead and Simon in Galilee. Orders had been given to...
AZAZEL – The name of a supernatural being mentioned in connection with the ritual of the Day of Atonement (Lev. xvi.). After Satan, for whom he was in some degree a preparation, Azazel enjoys the distinction of being the most mysterious...
AZBAN, MORDECAI BEN ISAAC – Cabalist and rabbi in Leghorn; born in the interior of Africa; died at Jerusalem 1740. At Leghorn he had a controversy with Abraham Ḥayyim Rodriguez, which is printed in the latter's collection of decisions, entitled "Oraḥ...
AẒILUT – Cabalistic term for "emanation" or "eradiation"; but philosophical authors prefer "shefa'" or "hashpa'ah." The word is derived from "aẓal" in reference to Num. xi. 17; and in this sense it was taken over into the Cabala from...