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Louis Ginzberg, Ph.D.

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

Contributions:
AGUR BEN JAKEH – Biblical Data: The compiler of a collection of proverbs found in Prov. xxx. The text (ver. 1) seems to say that he was a "Massaite," the gentilic termination not being indicated in the traditional writing "Ha-Massa" (compare...
AḤA (AḤAI) OF SHABḤA – A prominent Babylonian Talmudist of the eighth century. He enjoys the distinction of being the first rabbinical author known to history after the close of the Talmud.The gaon of Pumbedita having died, Aḥa was universally...
AHIJAH, AHIAH, AHIJAHU – Etymology of the name uncertain. 1. Youngest son of Jerahmeel; or it is possible to take the name as that of his first wife; Atarah, the second, being given in the next verse (I Chron. ii. 25). 2. A Benjamite chief (I Chron....
AHIJAH – A leader among the Babylonian Jews of the second century, perhaps a resh galuta (exilarch). He was the chief ally of Hananiah, the nephew of Joshua ben Hananiah, in his endeavor to emancipate the Jews of Babylonia from the...
AḤIḳAR – Hero of a wide-spread legend, and supposed author of a number of proverbs. His name has been variously distorted, but probably was originally or 'Aχιάκαρυς; compare , the name of a tosafist, which survives among Jews to-day; the...
AHIMELECH – Biblical Data: 1. Son of Ahitub, grandson of Phinehas, and great-grandson of Eli. He was priest at Nob during David's halt in his flight from Saul (I Sam. xxi. 1-9). Owing to his friendship for David he was slain by Doeg the...
AHITHOPHEL – Biblical Data: A native of Giloh in the highlands of Judah, and privy councilor to David. He was a man of extraordinary sagacity and insight in political affairs (II Sam. xv. 12, xvii. 21-23), but showed himself devoid of...
AKIBA BEN JOSEPH – Palestinian tanna; born about 50; martyred about 132. A full history of Akiba, based upon authentic sources, will probably never be written, although he, to a degree beyond any other, deserves to be called the father of...
AKIBA BEN JOSEPH – Palestinian tanna; born about 50; martyred about 132. A full history of Akiba, based upon authentic sources, will probably never be written, although he, to a degree beyond any other, deserves to be called the father of...
AKIBA [BEN JOSEPH]'S BOOK ON LETTER-ORNAMENTS – According to the Haggadah (Men. 29b), Akiba found a significance in every little ornament or flourish upon the letters of the Torah; to him therefore a Midrash has been ascribed, which treats of the little curves or...
ALEXANDER II., of Judea – Born about 100 B.C.; died 47 B.C. He was the eldest son of Aristobulus II. and son-in-law of Hyrcanus. Upon the conquest of Jerusalem by Pompey in 63, he and his parents, brothers, and sisters were sent to Rome as prisoners of...
ALEXANDER, Son of Herod – Born about 35 B.C.; died about 7 B.C. His mother was the Hasmonean princess Mariamne. The unfortunate fate which persistently pursued the Hasmonean house overtook this prince also. As heir presumptive to the throne by right of...
ALEXANDER BALAS, King of Syria – Date of birth unknown; died 145 B.C. A youth of lowly origin, he was set up as a pretender to the throne of Syria as being the son of Antiochus Epiphanes, in 153 B.C., in opposition to the Seleucid Demetrius Soter. The...
ALEXANDER, THE FALSE – A pretender to the throne of Judea. About 4 B.C., a Jewish youth living in Sidon and reared by a Roman freedman claimed the throne. He asserted that he was Alexander, the son of Herod and Mariamne, pretending that the assassins...
ALEXANDER JANNÆUS (Jonathan) – King of Judea; born about 126 B.C.; died 76 B.C. He was the third son of John Hyrcanus, by his second wife, and ascended the throne in the year 102 B.C. He was always badly treated by his fathern order thereby to enhance the...
ALEXANDER OF MILETUS – Flourished between 105 and 40 B.C. He was the author of a book entitled Περὶ Ιονδαίων ("Upon the Jews"). This work, of which only a few fragments have been preserved, quoted in the works of Eusebius and Clement of Alexandria,...
ALEXANDER (SENDER) BEN MORDECAI – Associate rabbi of Prague in the second half of the seventeenth century. His work, "Sheḥiṭot u-BediḲot," in Hebrew and Judæo-German (Amsterdam, 1667), deals, as its title implies, with the precepts on the slaughtering of cattle...
ALEXANDER SUSLIN HA-KOHEN OF FRANKFORT – Aguddah." One of the most important Talmudists of his time; flourished in the first half of the fourteenth century. He was rabbi first in Cologne and Worms, and then moved to Frankfort-on-the-Main, where he died some time before...
ALEXANDER THE ZEALOT – One of the chiefs of the political party of Zealots about the year 50 of the common era. Led by him and his colleague Eleazar, an armed body of Jews fell upon the city of Samaria, pitilessly massacring old men, women, and...
ALEXANDRA – Daughter of King Aristobulus II.; brought to Rome with her parents and brothers as prisoners of war by Pompey in the year 63 B.C. She was liberated by the senate in the year 56 B.C., it being held sufficient to detain...
ALEXANDRA – The only Jewish queen regnant with the exception of the usurper Athaliah; born 139 B.C.; died 67 B.C.; she was the wife of Aristobulus I., and afterward of Alexander Jannæus.That Alexandra, the widow of Aristobulus I., was...
ALLEGORICAL INTERPRETATION – That explanation of a Scripture passage which is based upon the supposition that its author, whether God or man, intended something "other" (Greek, ἀλλος) than what is literally expressed. Expositors of this system may be called...
ALLON BACHUTH – Biblical Data: An oak near Bethel, at the foot of which Deborah, the nurse of Rebekah, was buried (Gen. xxxv. 8). In Judges, iv. 5 a tree is referred to as the "palm-tree of Deborah," which has been identified by some with the...
ALLUF – In the Babylonian colleges, title of the chief judge, third in rank below the gaon. As a special distinction it was granted to prominent non-Babylonian scholars, particularly to those of Palestine. There were, however, others...
AMARILLO, AARON BEN SOLOMON – Talmudic author of the eighteenth century. He was a descendant of the Amarillos, a family of scholars that gave several great rabbis to Turkey. Like his father, Solomon, and brother, Moses, both authors of several rabbinical...