Outline of Judaism

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Judaism:

Biblical and holy books and people[edit]

History of Judaism[edit]

Pre-monarchic period[edit]

  • History of ancient Israel and Judah – Israel and Judah were related Iron Age kingdoms of ancient Canaan. The earliest known reference to the name Israel in archaeological records is in the Merneptah stele, an Egyptian record of c. 1209 BCE.
  • Ugaritic mythology – The Levant region was inhabited by people who themselves referred to the land as 'ca-na-na-um' as early as the mid-third millennium BCE
  • Ancient semitic religions – The term ancient Semitic religion encompasses the polytheistic religions of the Semitic speaking peoples of the ancient Near East and Northeast Africa. Its origins are intertwined with Mesopotamian mythology.

Monarchic period[edit]

United monarchy[edit]

  • Solomon's Temple – the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount (also known as Mount Zion), before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE.
  • Elohim – a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language.
  • Asherah – a Semitic mother goddess, the wife or consort of the Sumerian Anu or Ugaritic El, the oldest deities of their pantheons
  • Baal – a Northwest Semitic title and honorific meaning "master" or "lord" that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor
  • King Saul – the first king of the united Kingdom of Israel.
  • King David – the second king of the United Kingdom of Israel
  • King Solomon – the final king before the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah

Further information:

  • Tel Dan Stele – a stele (inscribed stone) discovered in 1993/94 during excavations at Tel Dan in northern Israel.
  • Mesha Stele – a black basalt stone bearing an inscription by the 9th century BC ruler Mesha of Moab in Jordan.

Divided monarchy[edit]

Return from captivity[edit]

Development of rabbinic judaism[edit]

Branches and denominations[edit]

Oral Law and Talmud[edit]

Acharonim Rishonim Geonim Savoraim Amoraim Tannaim Zugot


Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Jewish history. But the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmudic era, as opposed to medieval and modern rabbinic writing, and thus corresponds with the Hebrew term Sifrut Hazal (ספרות חז"ל; "Literature [of our] sages [of] blessed memory," where Hazal normally refers only to the sages of the Talmudic era). This more specific sense of "Rabbinic literature"—referring to the Talmudim, Midrash, and related writings, but hardly ever to later texts—is how the term is generally intended when used in contemporary academic writing. On the other hand, the terms meforshim and parshanim (commentaries/commentators) almost always refer to later, post-Talmudic writers of Rabbinic glosses on Biblical and Talmudic texts.

Mishnaic literature[edit]

The Mishnah and the Tosefta (compiled from materials pre-dating the year 200) are the earliest extant works of rabbinic literature, expounding and developing Judaism's Oral Law, as well as ethical teachings. Following these came the two Talmuds:

The Midrash[edit]

Midrash (pl. Midrashim) – Hebrew word referring to a method of reading details into, or out of, a Biblical text. The term midrash also can refer to a compilation of Midrashic teachings, in the form of legal, exegetical, homiletical, or narrative writing, often configured as a commentary on the Bible or Mishnah.

Later works by category[edit]

Major codes of Jewish law[edit]


Jewish thought, mysticism and ethics[edit]


Later rabbinic works by historical period[edit]

Works of the Geonim[edit]

The Geonim are the rabbis of Sura and Pumbeditha, in Babylon (650 - 1250) :

Works of the Rishonim (the "early" rabbinical commentators)[edit]

Rishonim The Rishonim are the rabbis of the early medieval period (1000 - 1550), such as the following main examples:

Works of the Acharonim (the "later" rabbinical commentators)[edit]

Acharonim The Acharonim are the rabbiqs from 1550 to the present day, such as the following main examples:


Meforshim is a Hebrew word meaning "(classical rabbinical) commentators" (or roughly meaning "exegetes"), and is used as a substitute for the correct word perushim which means "commentaries". In Judaism this term refers to commentaries on the Torah (five books of Moses), Tanakh, the Mishnah, the Talmud, responsa, even the siddur (Jewish prayerbook), and more.

Classic Torah and Talmud commentaries[edit]

Classic Torah and/or Talmud commentaries have been written by the following individuals:

Classical Talmudic commentaries were written by Rashi. After Rashi the Tosafot were written, which was an omnibus commentary on the Talmud by the disciples and descendants of Rashi; this commentary was based on discussions done in the rabbinic academies of Germany and France.

Holy days and observances[edit]

Philosophy and jurisprudence[edit]



Major legal codes and works[edit]

Examples of legal principles[edit]

Examples of Biblical punishments[edit]


Dietary laws and customs[edit]

Mysticism and the esoteric[edit]


Names of God in Judaism:

Religious articles and prayers[edit]

Movement to and from Judaism[edit]

Repentance and return[edit]

Return to Judaism:
Conversion to Judaism:


Apostasy in Judaism

Interactions with other religions and cultures[edit]