Hebrew Language #10 Hebrew Literature #7 The Geōnīm

The Geōnīm The order of the Amoraim, which ended with the close of the Talmud (C.E. 500), was succeeded by that of the Sabōrāīm, who merely continued and explained the work of their predecessors, and these again were followed by the Geōnīm, the heads of the schools of Sura and Pumbeditha in Babylonia. The office […]

Hebrew Language #8 Hebrew Literature #5 Talmud and Masorah

In the previous chapter we said that traditional teaching was not confined to halakhah, or the ordinances regulating religious observances. We saw that it was the duty of the teachers to show the connexion of practical rules with the written Law. And as such Midrash, exposition, from darash arised to “investigate” a scriptural passage and […]

Lilith an intriguing figure who has taken on many shapes over the millennia

Lilith is first mentioned in ancient Babylonian texts as a class of winged female demons that attacks pregnant women and infants. From Babylonia, the legend of “the lilith” spread to ancient Anatolia, Syria, Israel, Egypt and Greece. In this guise—as a wilderness demoness—she appears in Isaiah 34:14 among a list of nocturnal creatures who will […]

Organizing the Bible and the Talmud

Originally posted on The Thousand-Year View:
My latest blog post for The Jewish Journal: Do you know what it says in the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 8, verse 3? Unless you’re a rabbi or a savant, you probably don’t. Neither do I. But we know how to look it up. We just open the Torah,…