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Louis Ginzberg, Ph.D.

Professor of Talmud, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York City.

Contributions:
ABRAHAM HA-YAKINI – One of the chief agitators in the Shabbethaian movement, the son of Pethahiah of Constantinople; born—according to a not entirely reliable source, (Lemberg, 1871, p. 3)—on Sept. 8, 1611. He studied under Joseph di Trani of...
ABRAHAM BEN YEFET (JAPHETH) – Karaite poet; born about the beginning of the fifteenth century; died after 1460. He traced his descent to Moses Dar'i, the celebrated Karaite poet. He copied the religio-legal compendium of Samuel ha-Rofe ha-Ma'arabi in 1460....
ABRAHAM ẒEBI OF PIOTRKOW – Polish Talmudist; flourished at the beginning of the nineteenth century. He was a rabbi in several Polish communities, including Piotrkow, where he died. His work, "Berit Abraham" (Dyhernfurth, 1818), contains responsa covering...
ABRAVANEL, ABARBANEL – One of the oldest and most distinguished Spanish families, which traces its origin from King David. Members of this family lived at Seville, where dwelt its oldest representative, Don Judah Abravanel. Samuel Abravanel, his...
ABRECH – Biblical Data: The proclamation of the criers on the approach of Joseph (Gen. xli. 43). It has been variously explained. Some favor an Egyptian origin, others a Semitic one. Jewish commentators derive it from barak (to bend the...
ABSALOM THE ELDER – A Tanna, the dates of whose birth and death are unknown. A homiletic interpretation of Ex. xiv. 15 is recorded in his name in the Mekilta, Beshallaḥ, 3. There is no certainty about his name, for in a parallel passage (Ex. R....
ABTALION, POLLION – A leader of the Pharisees in the middle of the first century B.C. and by tradition vice-president of the great Sanhedrin of Jerusalem. He was of heathen descent (Bab. Yoma, 71b; 'Eduy. v. 6; Giṭ. 57b; Yer. M. Ḳ. iii. 81b; see...
ABTALION BEN SOLOMON – Italian rabbi; born at Consiglio about 1540; died Oct. 26, 1616. He was a pupil of Samuel Judah Katzenellenbogen, rabbi of Padua. His veneration for his teacher was so great that he had his portrait painted and hung in his...
ABU – Arabic word meaning "father." With its different cases aba (accusative) and abi (genitive), as well as its abbreviated form bu, it is frequently used in Arabic as the first element in certain compound names. The relation between...
ABU-L-KHEIR – A Spanish scholar and translator, who flourished in the fifteenth century. He was expelled from Spain in 1492, and settled at Padua, where, in 1496, he completed his Hebrew commentary upon Al-Fergani's "Extract from the...
ACCAD – Biblical Data: Word occurring once in the Old Testament (Gen. x. 10), as the name of a city; one of the four cities which formed the beginning of the kingdom of Nimrod. The exact location is unknown. On the Assyrian and...
ACHISH – Biblical Data: King of Gath in the time of David and Solomon (I Sam. xxi.-xxix. 1; I Kings, ii.). David, when fleeing from Saul, twice sought asylum with Achish, the first time incognito. He was, however, recognized, whereupon...
ACHSELRAD, BENEDICT (Bendet ben Joseph ha-Levi) – A darshan, or preacher, of Lemberg in the first half of the seventeenth century. He was the author of several homiletical works, of which the following have been published: "Ben Da'at" (The Son of Knowledge), Hanau, 1616,...
ADAH – Biblical Data: One of Lamech's two wives (Gen. iv. 19, 20). The name is mentioned in the poem in verses 23 and 24.The names of Lamech's wives have been variously explained. "Ornament" and "Shadow" are the meanings most often...
ADAM, BOOK OF – The Talmud says nothing about the existence of a Book of Adam, and Zunz's widely accepted assertion to the contrary ("G. V." 2d ed., p. 136) is erroneous, as appears upon an inspection of the passage in 'Ab. Zarah, 5a, and Gen....
ADAM ḲADMON – Philo. The various philosophical (Gnostic) views concerning the original man are, in spite of their differences, intimately related, being a compound of Oriental mythology, Greek philosophy, and rabbinical theology. The first to...
ADENI, SOLOMON BEN JOSHUA – Arabian author and Talmudist, who lived during the first half of the seventeenth century at Sanaa and Aden in southern Arabia, from which town he received the name "Adeni" or "the Adenite." He was a pupil of the Talmudist...
ADINO THE EZNITE – Biblical Data: In II Sam. xxiii. 8 et seq., in which the names of David's heroes are recorded, occur two mysterious words, (according to the ḳeri), which came to be regarded as the designation of one of the heroes. They are thus...
ADOI – Name of the father of Hananiah, a resh galuta (prince of the captivity), who flourished about 700. It is interesting as exhibiting the Persian form of a Semitic name, which is none other than the familiar Ida, or Ada (Adda),...
ADONI-BEZEK – Biblical Data: Canaanitish king (Judges, i. 5-7), in the town of Bezek. He was routed by Judah and fled, but was caught. His thumbs and great toes were cut off, as a divine retribution—as he himself acknowledged—for the same...
ADONIJAH – Biblical Data: 1. Fourth son of David, by Haggith. After Absalom's death he claimed to be the rightful heir to the throne, by summoning the court officials to a solemn sacrifice (I Kings, i. 5). Adonijah was supplanted by...
ADONI-ZEDEK – King of Jerusalem at the time of the Hebrew invasion of Palestine (Josh. x. 1, 3). He led a coalition of five of the neighboring Amorite cities to resist the invasion, but the allies were defeated at Gibeon, and suffered at...
ADORATION, FORMS OF – The various gestures and postures expressive of homage. In religious adorations these gestures and postures were originally innate and natural expressions of religious feeling, but in the course of religious development they...
ADRAMMELECH – Biblical Data: 1. Mentioned in II Kings, xvii. 31, as a god of Sepharvaim, which until recently was supposed to be the Hebrew name for the Babylonian city Sippar. After the inhabitants of Sepharvaim had been deported to Samaria...
AGAG – Biblical Data: King of the Amalekites, taken by King Saul after a successful expedition against him (I Sam. xv.). His life was spared by Saul; but the prophet Samuel, who regarded this clemency as a defiance of the will of YHWH,...