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Glossary of Terms in Judaism:
The TaNaKh: This includes the Torah (five books of Moses); Nevi'im (prophets, e.g. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel); and Ketuvim (Writings) e.g. Psalms, Proverbs Job, Esther, etc.) Christians call this "the Old Testament." Jews call it the Tanakh, or Torah She'bikhtav תורה שבכתב ("the written law")
The Oral law -
Judaism's oral law is recorded in:
Pantheism is the belief that god is the universe, and the universe is god. There is no transcendent nature to God, no Mind.
Panentheism (note spelling difference) God is the universe, and the universe is god -
However, there is much opposition to beliefs and laws from the Zohar, as historians have shown that the Zohar is a medieval invention, and contains questionable Gnostic beliefs. As such, some within Modern Orthodoxy, and many non-
Jewish philosophy (פילוסופיה יהודית) is the attempt to fuse the fields of philosophy with the religious teachings of Judaism. This worldview is called philosophical rationalism. Rationalism is the alternative to mysticism.
=== Some important Rabbis to know ===
Early medieval Rabbis
Sa'adiah Gaon. Egypt 882/892, d. Baghdad 942 CE. Rabbi, Jewish philosopher, and exegete of the Geonic period.
Rashi (Shlomo Yitzchaki) (1040-
Abraham Ibn Ezra (1089–1167) Spanish rabbi. Excelled in philosophy, astronomy/astrology, mathematics, poetry, linguistics, and bible commentary.
Rambam = Maimonides = Moses Ben Maimon, 1135-
Ramban = Nachmanides = Moses ben Nachman . 1194–c. 1270) Spanish Sephardic rabbi, philosopher, physician, kabbalist, and biblical commentator.
Levi ben Gershon (1288–1344), aka Gersonides or the Ralbag, was a philosopher, Talmudist, mathematician, physician and astronomer.
Moshe de Leon -
Later medieval Rabbis
Isaac (ben Solomon) Luria Ashkenazi (1534-
Joseph Karo, author of the Shulkhan Arukh ("Set Table", code of Jewish law.)
Yisroel (Israel) ben Eliezer, the Besht, founder of Hasidic Judaism
Schnuer Zalman of Liadi, the Alter Rebbe. Founder of Chabad Lubavitch Judaism. He was the author of these works, specific only to Chabad Lubavitch:
Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808 – 1888) German. Founder of the Torah im Derech Eretz school Orthodox Judaism, aka neo-
Zechariah Frankel -
Solomon Schechter -
Joseph B. Soloveitchik -
Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907 – 1972) Polish-
Isaac Klein -
Louis Jacobs, was in line to become the next (Orthodox) Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom. His acceptance of the validity of historical study of the Torah led to the Jacobs Affair, which created a schism in Britain's Orthodox community. Those who held by Jacobs became the British Masorti (Conservative) Movement
Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935) was the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine, the founder of Yeshiva Mercaz HaRav Kook (The Central Universal Yeshiva), Jewish thinker, Halakhist, Kabbalist and a renowned Torah scholar.
Aharon Kotler (1891 – 1962) was a prominent leader of Orthodox Judaism in Lithuania, and later the United States, where he founded Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood Township, New Jersey, the largest Rabbinical College in the United States.
Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902 -
Modern day Rabbis
José Faur (Hebrew: יוסף פאור) is a Sephardi Hakham (rabbi), teacher and scholar. He was a Rabbi in the Syrian-
Ovadia Yosef (1920 – 2013) was an Iraqi-
Jonathan Sacks, Baron Sacks ( is a British rabbi, philosopher and scholar of Judaism and one of the most influential Modern Orthodox Rabbis in the world today. He is member of the British House of Lords and was knighted by the Queen.
He served as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013. As the spiritual head of the United Synagogue, the largest synagogue body in the UK, he was the Chief Rabbi of those Orthodox synagogues