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Judaism – The Various Factions in Ancient and Modern Times

Photo by Gila Brand. Judaica – candlesticks, etrog box, shofar, Torah pointer, Tanach, natla (נַטְלָה aka keli)
Attribution: The original uploader was Gilabrand at English Wikipedia., CC BY 2.5 <;, via Wikimedia Commons.  Page URL:
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The subject of religion, as popular advice suggests, is best kept to yourself and avoided in group discussions. Accordingly, this paper carefully avoids expressions of personal recommendation or beliefs in case readers may be offended. The entire content below is compiled from the sources as stated, but the information presented at those sources may contain inaccuracies or errors, and you must draw your own conclusions about the subject and claims made.

Political Unity[1]

Judaism is the world’s oldest monotheistic religion, dating back nearly 4,000 years. Followers of Judaism believe in one God who revealed himself through ancient prophets. There has been no political unity in Jewish society since the united monarchy. Since then, Israelite populations have always been geographically dispersed (see Jewish diaspora), so that by the 19th century:

Although a high degree of communication and traffic between these Jewish communities existed – many Sephardic exiles blended into the Ashkenazi communities which existed in Central Europe following the Spanish Inquisition – many Ashkenazim migrated to the Ottoman Empire, giving rise to the characteristic Syrian-Jewish family name “Ashkenazi”; Iraqi-Jewish traders formed a distinct Jewish community in India; to some degree, many of these Jewish populations were cut off from the cultures which surrounded them by ghettoisationMuslim laws of dhimma, and the traditional discouragement of contact between Jews and members of polytheistic populations by their religious leaders.

The Ruling Class of Jews in Israel

Gospels often refer to the Sadducees and Pharisees, as Jesus was in almost constant conflict with them. The Sadducees and Pharisees comprised the ruling class of Jews in Israel. There are some similarities between the two groups but important differences between them as well. The Sadducees and Pharisees were separate religious sects within Judaism during the time of Christ. Both groups honoured Moses and the Law, each with a measure of political power. The Sanhedrin, the 70-member supreme court of ancient Israel, had members from both the Sadducees and the Pharisees.[2]

Although there were many sects of Judaism within Palestine during (and before) the first century AD, there were four major ones: Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots.[3] But even when Christ walked the earth, there were minor sects, such as a new and growing sect of Judeo-Christians and the Sicarii, a splinter rebel group of Zealots.

While there were four major sects, that does not mean they were numerous. Don’t forget that there were fewer people around then, and sects or denominations necessarily maintained their communities in and around larger cities, such as Jerusalem.

Just as Christianity has branches like Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Baptist etc., Judaism has divisions too. Main groups can be divided into smaller groups – sometimes called sects. Sects are often further divided into smaller subgroups.[4]  Whilst all religious believers in most denominations share similar basic beliefs, specific groups in Christianity and Judaism fine-tune their theological doctrine, worship style, customs, politics, and possibly social issues. Whenever a major disagreement or source of conflict occurred within a group, sometimes they separated and started a new organisation. Various breakaway groups have been popping up for two millennia because people continue to adjust to what others (such as grandparents, parents, friends of influence etc.) have established and propounded as ‘the right way.’[5]

Before the 2nd century BC, organised Jewish sects were not common, but during the latter half of the Second Temple period, historical circumstances were “most conducive for spawning such groups” as it was a time of transition and upheaval for Jewish society. As one author wrote, during Herod’s rule, the Pharisees numbered only about six thousand, and about four thousand Essenes. The Sadducees were even fewer in number, and the Zealots even fewer.[6]

The differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees are known through a couple of passages of Scripture and through the extant writings of the Pharisees. Religiously, the Sadducees were more conservative in one doctrinal area: they insisted on a literal interpretation of the text of Scripture; the Pharisees, on the other hand, gave oral tradition equal authority to the written Word of God. If the Sadducees couldn’t find a command in the Tanakh, it is suggested they dismissed it as man-made. Given the Pharisees’ and the Sadducees’ differing views of Scripture, it’s no surprise that they argued over certain doctrines[7]:

  • The Sadducees rejected a belief in the resurrection of the dead (according to Matthew 22:23; Mark 12:18–27; Acts 23:8), but the Pharisees did believe in the resurrection.
  • The Sadducees denied the afterlife, holding that the soul perished at death, but the Pharisees believed in an afterlife and in an appropriate reward and punishment for individuals.
  • The Sadducees rejected the idea of an unseen, spiritual world, but the Pharisees taught the existence of angels and demons in a spiritual realm.

More about the Pharisees, Scribes, Sadducees, Essenes and Zealots can be found later in this paper.

The United Monarchy

The United Monarchy in the Hebrew Bible refers to Israel and Judah under the reigns of the Kings Saul, David, and Solomon.[8] It marked the national unification of all Israelites[9] and is traditionally dated to have lasted between c. 1047 BC and c. 930 BC. On the succession of Solomon’s son Rehoboam (around 930 BC), the biblical account reports that the country split into two separate kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel in the north, containing the cities of Shechem and Samaria; and the Kingdom of Judah in the south, encompassing the city of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. As to whether or not there is an archaeological basis for the United Monarchy – this remains a matter of ongoing debate.[10]

Picture Credit: “Arch of Titus” by Nick in Exsilio is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

The Evolution, Beliefs, Practices and Fate of the various Sects[11]

Among the extinct groups are:

  • Gnostics: 1st century Jewish sects that fused Gnosticism with Judaism.
  • Meristae: unidentified 1st century sect, possibly Jewish, recorded by Justin Martyr, an early Christian apologist and philosopher.
  • Genistae: An unidentified 1st century sect, possibly Jewish, recorded by Justin Martyr.
  • Publicans (a Social-Vocational Sect): Originally Publicans (publicani) were men who served in the public works or farmed public lands for the Roman government. They later became known as professional tax farmers, who made their profits from the excess taxes they collected. The right to collect taxes was sold at public auctions to private corporations of Publicans who gave the highest bid. Since the Publicans were native Jews of Palestine, they were detested, ostracised, and often excommunicated by most Jewish groups. But some Publicans, such as Matthew, received the gospel very readily, and Jesus frequently associated with them (according to Matthew 9:9–10Matthew 21:31–32Mark 2:15.)

­­­­­­Worthy of mention is the Samaritans[12]. At the time of Jesus, the Jews and the Samaritans were two mutually antagonistic communities. (according to Luke 9:52–56.) The Jews refused to consider the Samaritans as Israelites, mostly because of political and religious reasons. The Samaritans accepted the Pentateuch as the only inspired scripture, and they offered their sacrifices on Mount Gerizim rather than in Jerusalem. But these religious differences could have been bridged since other Judean groups had been permitted to profess similar views without being excommunicated. The primary cause for hostility between the Jews and the Samaritans was the political schism that split Solomon’s kingdom in two. Centuries later, animosity continued, even as Jews returned from Babylon to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (according to Ezra 4:1–10).

The Samaritans originated from a mixture of people living in Samaria and others who migrated into the area following the 721 BC conquest of Samaria by Assyria (according to 2 Kgs. 17). The chronicles of the Samaritans stress they were direct descendants of the Joseph tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. Strong rivals of the Jews, they occupied territory in central Palestine, where their own high priest supervised sacrifices offered on Mount Gerizim.

The Samaritans were frequently persecuted along with the Jews during the Persian and Greek eras but gained more favourable status than the Jews as the Romans gained control of Palestine. The Romans later helped the Samaritans rebuild their temple to reward them for fighting against Jewish zealots. Another sign of Samaritan influence during Christ’s time is apparent in the fact that Herod, the king of the Jews, ruled from a Samarian capital and had a Samaritan as one of his wives.

After the Romans expelled the Jews from Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Samaritans remained in Palestine, where they maintained their communities through the following Christian and Muslim eras. Today, a few hundred of them still reside in Israel.[13]

“My brothers, I am a Pharisee…

The apostle Paul shrewdly used the theological differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees to escape their clutches. Paul had been arrested in Jerusalem and was defending himself before the Sanhedrin. Knowing that some of the court were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, Paul called out, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead” (according to Acts 23:6).

Paul’s mention of the resurrection precipitated a dispute between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, dividing the assembly and causing “a great uproar” (verse 9). The Roman commander who watched the proceedings sent troops into the melee to rescue Paul from their violence (verse 10).

Socially, the Sadducees were said to be more elitist and aristocratic than the Pharisees. Sadducees tended to be wealthy and held more powerful positions. The chief priests and high priest were Sadducees, and they held the majority of seats in the Sanhedrin. The Pharisees were more representative of the common working people and had the respect of the masses. The Sadducees’ locus of power was the temple in Jerusalem; the Pharisees controlled the synagogues.

The Sadducees were friendlier with Rome and more accommodating to Roman laws than were the Pharisees – the Pharisees often resisted Hellenisation, but the Sadducees welcomed it. Jesus had more disputes with the Pharisees than with the Sadducees, probably because of the former’s giving preeminence to oral tradition. “You ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition,” Jesus told them (according to Mark 7:8, NLT; see also Matthew 9:14; 15:1–9; 23:5, 16, 23, Mark 7:1–23; and Luke 11:42 ). Because the Sadducees were often more concerned with politics than religion, they ignored Jesus until they began to become fearful it might bring unwanted Roman attention and upset the status quo. At that point, the Sadducees and Pharisees set aside their differences, united, and conspired to put Christ to death (according to John 11:48–50; Mark 14:53; 15:1). The Sadducees as a group ceased to exist after the destruction of Jerusalem, but the Pharisees’ legacy lived on. In fact, the Pharisees were responsible for the compilation of the Mishnah, an important document with reference to the continuation of Judaism beyond the destruction of the temple, and laid the groundwork for modern-day Rabbinic Judaism.

The main difference between the Pharisees and the Sadducees was their differing opinions on the supernatural aspects of religion. To put things simply, the Pharisees believed in the paranormal: angels, demons, heaven, hell, and so on, while the Sadducees did not. In this way, the Sadducees were largely secular in their practice of religion.[14]

Are there differences between Hebrews, Jews, and Israelites?[15]

Generally speaking, when people talk of Hebrews, Jews, and Israelites, they all refer to the same people, namely the nation that sprang from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob – a nation promised and chosen by God in the Old Testament (according to Genesis 12:1-3) – but there are subtle nuances:

  • The term Hebrew is first used in the scriptures to refer to Abraham (according to Genesis 14:13). Then it is used of Joseph (according to Genesis 39:14,17) and the other descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob (according to Genesis 40:15; 43:32). It is uncertain why Abraham was called ‘the Hebrew.” However, Hebrews can be identified as the nation that descended from Abraham.
  • The name of Jacob, the son of Isaac (according to Genesis 25:26), who was the promised son of Abraham (according to Genesis 17:19), was changed to Israel when he wrestled with a man of God (according to Genesis 32:28). So, the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob (Israel) made up the nation of Israel and were sometimes called Israelites (as we are told in Exodus 9:7).
  • When the nation divided, the ten northern tribes arrogated to themselves the name Israel, and the two southern tribes became known as Judah. Both countries were taken captive; Israel by the Assyrians and Judah (later) by the Babylonians. When the Babylonian captivity ended, exiles of both nations (Israel and Judah) returned to their homeland and were again united under the designation of Israel.
  • The term Jews was first used to describe the inhabitants of Judah, the name taken by the two southern tribes of the nation of Israel during the division (according to 2 Kings 16:62 Kings 25:25). After the Babylonian captivity, the meaning was extended to embrace all of Israel. Jew (or Jews) is often used to contrast or to distinguish this nation from Samaritans, Gentiles, or proselytes[16] (according to John 4:9; Romans 2:9Acts 2:10).
  • All three of these terms – Hebrews, Israelites, and Jews – continued to be used in the New Testament to describe the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob (according to 2 Corinthians 11:22; John 4:9). Furthermore, the Israelites were God’s chosen people of the Old Testament, but in the New Testament, the terms Jew and Israel are occasionally used figuratively to represent God’s chosen people today – the spiritual seed of Abraham, the church (according to Galatians 3:29Romans 2:27,28; 9:6).

Most people assume the Jewish people are the sole remaining descendants of the ancient nation of Israel. This assumption, however, is incorrect, according to the United Church of God[17]. They say that technically the Jews are descendants of two of the Israelite tribes: Judah and Benjamin, plus a considerable part of a third, the priestly tribe of Levi. But, unknown to most, there are ten other tribes in ancient Israel that were
never called Jews. These northern tribes were historically distinct and politically separate from the Jews, their brothers and sisters to the south, who formed the kingdom of Judah, from which the term Jew was derived. The northern coalition of tribes, the
kingdom or house of Israel, had already become an independent nation, separate from the house of Judah, by the time the word Jew first appeared in the biblical narrative. In fact, the first time the term appears in the King James Version of the Bible, Israel was at war with the Jews (according to 2 Kings 16:5-6).

Jews—the citizens and descendants of the kingdom of Judah—are indeed Israelites, but not all Israelites are Jews. Since all 12 tribes, including Jews, are descendants of their father Israel (Jacob), The United Church of God says we can apply the term Israelite to all of the tribes. The term Jew, however, is accurate only for the tribes that comprised the kingdom of Judah and for their descendants.

During the time of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, the people were once called Hebrews. After Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, the people were called Israelites and continued as such for the entire biblical period until Rome ruled over an area that it called Judea when the people were called Judeans. There were a few instances of the word Yehudims – the Hebrew word for Jews used in the Book of Esther but not enough to make it a historical reality. The Judeans became what we know as the Jews, but the fact is that the word Jew does not appear in English until 1275.[18]

The people of Israel (also called the “Jewish People”) can trace a lineal descent from Abraham, who established the belief in only one God, the creator of the universe (see Torah). Abraham, his son Yitshak (Isaac), and his grandson Jacob (Israel) are referred to as “the patriarchs of the Israelites”. They lived in the Land of Canaan, which later became known as the Land of Israel. They and their wives are buried in the Ma’arat HaMachpela, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron (according to Genesis Chapter 23). The name Jew derives from Yehuda (Judah), one of the 12 sons of Jacob (Reuben, Shimon, Levi, Yehuda, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar (also, Yissachar or Yisachar), Zevulun, Yosef, Binyamin)(Exodus 1:1). So, the names Israel, Israeli or Jewish refer to people of the same origin.[19]

Wikipedia[20] records that Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group[21] and
nation[22] originating from the Israelites[23] and Hebrews[24] of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated,[25] as
Judaism is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people, although its observance varies from strict adherence to not at all.[26]  Jews originated as an ethnic and religious group in the
Middle East during the second millennium BC, in a part of the Levant known as the Land of Israel.[27] The Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt[28] appears to confirm the existence of a people of Israel somewhere in Canaan as far back as the 13th century BC (the Late Bronze Age).[29] The Israelites, as an outgrowth of the Canaanite population,[30]
consolidated their hold in the region with the emergence of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Some consider that these Canaan-sedentary Israelites melded with incoming nomadic groups known as the “Hebrews“.[31]

Caption: Mid-20th century mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel, from the Etz Yosef synagogue wall in Givat Mordechai, Jerusalem
Top row, right to left: Reuben, Judah, Dan, Asher Middle: Simeon, Issachar, Naphtali, Joseph, Bottom: Levi, Zebulun, Gad, Benjamin
Attribution: Ori229, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL:

The Ancients
The Pharisees

The Pharisees were a Jewish social movement and a school of thought in the Levant[32]
during the time of Second Temple Judaism. After the destruction of the Second Temple
in 70 AD, Pharisaic beliefs became the foundational, liturgical, and ritualistic basis for Rabbinic Judaism. As mentioned previously, conflicts between Pharisees and
Sadducees took place in the context of much broader and longstanding social and religious conflicts among Jews, made worse by the Roman conquest.[33] 

One conflict was cultural, between those who favoured Hellenisation (the Sadducees) and those who resisted it (the Pharisees). Another was juridical-religious, between those who emphasised the importance of the Second Temple with its rites and services and those who emphasised the importance of other Mosaic Laws. A specifically religious point of conflict involved different interpretations of the Torah and how to apply it to daily Jewish life, with Sadducees recognising only the Written Torah and rejecting
Prophets, Writings, and doctrines such as the Oral Torah and the resurrection of the dead.

Titus Flavius Josephus, the first-century Romano-Jewish historian and military leader best known for The Jewish War, was born in Jerusalem—then part of Roman Judea—to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry, was believed by many historians to be a Pharisee. He estimated the total Pharisee population before the fall of the Second Temple in Jerusalem to be around 6,000.[34] He claimed that the Pharisees’ influence over the common people was so great that anything they said against the king or the high priest was believed,[35] apparently in contrast to the more elite Sadducees, who were the upper class. Pharisees claimed Mosaic authority for their interpretation[36] of Jewish Laws, while the Sadducees represented the authority of the
priestly privileges and prerogatives established since the time of Solomon when Zadok (their ancestor) officiated as high priest.

Pharisees have also been made notable by numerous references to them in the New Testament. While the writers record hostilities between some Pharisees and Jesus, there are also several New Testament references to those who believed in him, including Nicodemus, who claimed Jesus was a teacher[37] sent from God, and Joseph of Arimathea, who was his disciple.[38]  The New Testament records that Jesus constantly berates the Pharisees about their strict interpretation of the Law and the lack of recognition of His mission.

The Scribes

A biblical manuscript is a handwritten copy of a portion of the text of the Bible. Biblical manuscripts vary in size from tiny scrolls containing individual verses of the Jewish scriptures (see Tefillin) to huge polyglot codices (multi-lingual books) containing both the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and the New Testament, as well as extracanonical works. The study of biblical manuscripts is important because handwritten copies of books can contain errors. Textual criticism attempts to reconstruct the original text of books, especially those published before the invention of the printing press.

The Aleppo Codex (c. 920 AD) and Leningrad Codex (c. 1008 AD) were once the oldest known manuscripts of the Tanakh in Hebrew. In 1947, the finding of the Dead Sea scrolls at Qumran[39] pushed the manuscript history of the Tanakh back a millennium from such codices. Before this discovery, the earliest extant manuscripts of the Old Testament were in Greek, in manuscripts such as the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. Out of the roughly 800 manuscripts found at Qumran, over a quarter (220) are from the Tanakh.

The Bible says that Scribes were the official scholars of the oral and written law and the instructors and interpreters of it (according to Mark 1:22). They preserved the Scriptures by copying it carefully and meticulously and by hand. In the old testament, Ezra (perhaps the best-known of all the biblical scribes) was a godly “skilled scribe in the Law of Moses” (ch. 7:6,11). In the new testament, most Scribes were from the sect of the Pharisees (according to Matthew 12:38). Although the scribes were honoured by the people for their education, their academic skills, and keeping to the word of the law, they were in constant controversy with Jesus (according to Matt. 22:34–4623:1314).[40]

The Sadducees

Much has already been said in this paper about the Sadducees and their near-constant falling out with the Pharisees. Bizarrely, the Sadducees were somewhat like the Tory party, and the Pharisees, the Labour party, at least that is how it might seem to some people. The Sadducees were conservative, wealthy, and aristocratic party of the status quo from c150 BC, whereas the Pharisees were the party of and for the people.

The Sadducees’ religious responsibilities included maintaining the Temple in Jerusalem. Their high social status was reinforced by their priestly responsibilities, as mandated in the Torah. The priests were responsible for performing sacrifices at the Temple, the primary method of worship in ancient Israel. This included presiding over sacrifices during the three festivals of pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Their religious beliefs and social status were mutually reinforcing, as the priesthood often represented the highest class in Judean society. However, Sadducees and the priests were not completely synonymous. Not all priests, high priests, and aristocrats were Sadducees; many were Pharisees, and many were not members of any group at all.[41]

The Sadducees oversaw many formal affairs of the state.[42] Members of the Sadducees:

  • Administered the state domestically.
  • Represented the state internationally
  • Participated in the Sanhedrin and often encountered the Pharisees there.
  • Collected taxes. These also came in the form of international tributes from Jews in the Diaspora.
  • Equipped and led the army
  • Regulated relations with the Roman Empire
  • Mediated domestic grievances.

The Sadducees are often compared to other contemporaneous sects, including the
Pharisees and the Essenes. Both the Pharisees and Sadducees were devoutly Jewish and shared these beliefs:

  • There was only one true God, the God of Abraham, as revealed in Hebrew Scripture.
  • This God created the universe and everything in it.
  • This God selected the people of Israel as his chosen people.
  • This God would protect them if they obeyed his law but punish them if they did not

Despite agreeing on the above, they had significant differences in the areas of religion and politics. During the time of Jesus, the Sadducees were the political elite of Palestine.[43]

  • They were Jewish aristocrats, mostly from Jerusalem, wealthy and politically, and socially and religiously influential.
  • Some biblical scholars identify Sadducees as a political party, although not strictly in the modern, Western sense.
  • Because of their aristocratic position, Sadducees were generally conciliatory toward the Roman occupiers.
  • Most Sadducees were priests, but not all priests belonged to this sect.
  • Sadducees were closely connected to the Temple in Jerusalem.
  • The Sanhedrin, the Jewish governing council in Jerusalem, consisted predominantly of Sadducees.
  • Sadducees believed only the Torah was sacred.
  • Probably due to their connection with the Temple and with the priestly class, Sadducees emphasised observance of the law of Moses and strict adherence to Temple worship and sacrifices.
  • Their devotion to the temple made the Sadducees suspicious of every other Jewish sect, including Jesus’ followers, who would bring Roman interference into temple practices.
  • There was no resurrection of the dead and no afterlife.

The Essenes

The first reference to the Essene sect is by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder (who died 79 AD) in his Natural History.[44] World[45] describe the Essenes as:

“The Essenes were a Jewish sect that emerged in the 2nd century BC and established the community at Qumran. They emphasized ritual purity, copied books of the Jewish Scriptures, and wrote commentaries on the Books of the Prophets. They believed that history was predestined, and their apocalyptic theology resulted in a worldview polarized between good and evil.”[46] says:

“The New Testament does not mention them [the Essene sect], and accounts given by Josephus, Philo of Alexandria, and Pliny the Elder sometimes differ in significant details, perhaps indicating a diversity that existed among the Essenes themselves.”

The Essenes believed that priesthood, Temple sacrifices, and calendar were all invalid. Apocalyptically, they expected the world’s early end and did not believe in the resurrection.  They were a mystic Jewish sect during the Second Temple period that flourished from the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD.[47] The Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus records that the Essenes existed in large numbers, with thousands living throughout Roman Judaea. They were fewer in number than the Pharisees and the
Sadducees – the other two major sects at the time. The Essenes lived in various cities but congregated in communal life dedicated to voluntary povertydaily immersion, and
asceticism (their priestly class practised celibacy). Most scholars claim they seceded from the Zadokite priests.[48]

The Essenes have gained fame in modern times due to the discovery of an extensive group of religious documents known as the Dead Sea Scrolls (also called the Qumran Caves Scrolls), which are commonly believed to be the Essenes’ library. These documents preserve multiple copies of parts of the Hebrew Bible untouched from possibly as early as 300 AD until their discovery in 1946.  The Scrolls are ancient Jewish and Hebrew religious manuscripts discovered at the Qumran Caves in what was then Mandatory Palestine, near Ein Feshkha in the West Bank, on the northern shore of the Dead Sea. Dating from the 3rd century BC to the 1st century AD[49], they cast new light on the emergence of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism.

The Zealots

Zealots were extremist fighters who regarded political freedom as a religious imperative. They were an aggressive political party whose concern for the national and religious life of the Jewish people led them to despise even Jews who sought peace and conciliation with the Roman authorities.[50] They sought to incite the people of Judea Province to rebel against the Roman Empire and expel it from the Holy Land by force of arms, most notably during the First Jewish–Roman War (66–70 AD).

Zealotry was the term used by Josephus for a “fourth sect” or “fourth Jewish philosophy” during this period.[51] The word Zealot, frequently used in plural form, means someone who is zealous on behalf of God – in other words, a person who is passionate and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.

The Zealots were founded by Judas of Galilee (also called Judas of Gamala) in 6 AD against the Census of Quirinius, shortly after the Roman Empire declared what had most recently been the tetrarchy of Herod Archelaus to be a Roman province. According to Josephus, they “agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty, and say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord” (18.1.6).

The Jewish Encyclopedia article[52] on Zealots explains:

Judah of Gaulanitis is regarded as the founder of the Zealots, who are identified as the proponents of the Fourth Philosophy[53]. In the original sources, however, no such identification is anywhere clearly made, and the question is hardly raised of the relationship between the Sicarii, the upholders of the Fourth Philosophy, and the Zealots. Josephus himself, in his general survey of the various groups of freedom fighters (War 7:268–70), enumerates the Sicarii first, whereas he mentions the Zealots last.

Others have also argued that the group was not so clearly marked out (before the first war of 66–70/3 AD) as some have thought.[54]

The Lost Tribes of Israel

The ten lost tribes were the ten of the Twelve Tribes of Israel[55] that were said to have been deported from the Kingdom of Israel after its conquest by the Neo-Assyrian Empire circa 722 BC. These are the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Manasseh, and Ephraim – all but Judah and Benjamin (as well as some members of Levi, the priestly tribe, which did not have its own territory). The Jewish historian Josephus (37–100 AD) wrote that “there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers”.[56]              

Historians have generally concluded the deported tribes assimilated into the local population, and some of those who remained formed the Samaritan community.[57] 
However, this has not stopped various religions from asserting that some survived as distinct entities. Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, a professor of Middle Eastern history, states: “The fascination with the tribes has generated, alongside ostensibly nonfictional scholarly studies, a massive body of fictional literature and folktale.”[58]  Anthropologist Shalva Weil has documented different tribes and peoples claiming affiliation to the Lost Tribes throughout the world.[59]

The Present

Today, few communities, even small ones, are culturally or socially monolithic. Take Israeli Jews as an example. Some six million Jews live in Israel, but major religious, social and political differences divide them within the borders of their small country. Jewish religious movements, sometimes called denominations or sects, include different groups within Judaism which have developed among Jews from ancient times. Today, the most prominent divisions are between traditionalist Orthodox movements (including Haredi and Religious Zionist (Dati) sects); modernist movements such as Conservative, Masorti and Reform Judaism; and secular or Hiloni Jews.[60]Pew Research Center survey[61]
published in March 2016 finds that nearly all Israeli Jews self-identify with one of four subgroups:

  • The Haredim (“ultra-Orthodox”)
  • The Datiim (“Religious”)
  • The Masortim (“Traditional”)
  • The Hilonim (“Secular”)

The Haredim

Haredi Judaism (Hebrew: Yahadut Ḥaredit, also spelt Charedi in English; plural Haredim
or Charedim) consists of groups within Orthodox Judaism characterised by their strict adherence to halakha (Jewish law) and traditions – in opposition to modern values and practices.[62] Its members are usually referred to as ultra-Orthodox in English; however, the term “ultra-Orthodox” is considered derogatory by many of its adherents, who prefer terms such as Strictly Orthodox or Haredi.[63]

Haredi Jews regard themselves as the most religiously authentic group of Jews,[64] but even on that point, other movements of Judaism disagree.[65]  Some scholars have suggested that Haredi Judaism is a reaction to societal changes, including political emancipation, the Haskalah movement derived from the Enlightenment, acculturation, secularisation, religious reform in all forms from mild to extreme, the rise of the Jewish national movements, etc.[66]

In contrast to Modern Orthodox Judaism, followers of Haredi Judaism segregate themselves from other parts of society to an extent. However, many Haredi communities encourage their young people to attain a professional degree or establish a business. Furthermore, some Haredi groups, like Chabad-Lubavitch, encourage outreach to less observant and unaffiliated Jews and hilonim (secular Israeli Jews).[67] Thus, professional and social relationships often form between Haredi and non-Haredi Jews and between Haredi Jews and non-Jews.[68]  Haredi communities are found primarily in Israel
(representing 12.9% of Israel’s population)[69], North America, and Western Europe. Their estimated global population is over 1.8 million, and due to a virtual absence of
interfaith marriage and a high birth rate, the Haredi population is growing rapidly.[70] Their numbers have also been boosted since the 1970s by secular Jews adopting a Haredi lifestyle as part of the baal teshuva movement; however, this has been offset by those leaving.[71]

The Datiim

Religious Zionism (Tziyonut Datit) is an ideology that combines Zionism with Orthodox Judaism. Its adherents are also referred to as Dati Leumi (“National Religious”), and in Israel, they are most commonly known by the plural form of the first part of the term
Datiim (“Religious”). The community is sometimes called Kippah seruga, “Knitted kippah“, the typical head-covering worn by Jewish men.

Before the establishment of the State of Israel, most Religious Zionists were observant Jews who supported Zionist efforts to build a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. Religious Zionism revolves around three pillars: the Land of Israel, the People of Israel, and the
Torah of Israel.[72] The Hardal (Ḥaredi Le’umi; “Nationalist Haredi“) are a sub-community, stricter in its observance and more statist in its politics. Those Religious Zionists, who are less strict in their observance but not necessarily more liberal, are informally referred to as “dati lite”.[73]

Zionism is a nationalist[74] movement that espouses the establishment of and support for a homeland for the Jewish people centred in the area roughly corresponding to what is known in Jewish tradition as the Land of Israel, which corresponds in other terms to the region of Palestine, Canaan, or the Holy Land, based on a long Jewish connection and attachment to that land.[75]

Modern Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in Central and Eastern Europe as a national revival movement, both in reaction to newer waves of antisemitism and as a response to Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment.[76] Soon after this, most leaders of the movement associated the main goal with creating the desired homeland in Palestine, then an area controlled by the Ottoman Empire.[77]

Zionist ideology included the negation of Jewish life in the Diaspora.[78] From 1897 to 1948, the primary goal was to establish the basis for a Jewish homeland in Palestine and consolidate it afterwards. In a unique variation of the principle of self-determination,[79] it viewed this process as an ‘ingathering of exiles‘ (kibbutz galuyot) whereby Jews everywhere would have the right to emigrate to historical Palestine, as a haven from persecution, an area which Moses in the Bible stated was the land of their forefathers.[80] The Lovers of Zion united in 1884, and 13 years later, the first Zionist congress was organised.

Although members of the Dati group are as religiously observant as the Haredim, they are not opposed to the idea of integrating into modern society and working secular jobs. Datiim believers make up 10 per cent of adults in Israel, and nearly all of them believe in the existence of God and, just like the Haredim, their community follows the Jewish law to the letter. They observe Shabbat, study the Torah, keep kosher and dress modestly like the Haredim, but the men wear skullcaps, and the women cover their hair if they are married, though not necessarily with a wig. The Datiim value career, success, and world travel, and the men are more likely to serve in the Israeli military than the Haredim.[81]

The Masortim

The Masortim, whose name translates as ‘traditional people,’ make up 29 per cent of Israeli Jews and are identified as the country’s second-largest group. Out of the four groups, they hold the most diverse views and live between the boundaries of Orthodox and secular teachings, so while they may not conform to religious practices fully, they are more likely to follow Jewish laws and traditions compared with secular Jews. They will avoid non-kosher food, observe the separation of milk and meat in the kitchen and take part in traditional events such as bar mitzvah and brit milah. The men don’t always wear a kippa. If they do, it’s mostly on Shabbat and during Jewish festivals.

While the Haredim and Datiim are united in their views of not using public transport during Shabbat, the Masortim are split on the issue, with 52 per cent opposing the closure. They are also more likely to marry outside their group and maintain close ties with the other subgroups – ‘less than half of a Masortim’s close friends are from their own group,’ according to the Pew Research survey mentioned earlier.

The Hilonim

The Hilonim are the largest Jewish group in Israel, making up almost half of Israeli Jews. As the number of immigrants from European countries has increased, so has the number of secular Jews in Israel.

Their name comes from the Hebrew word Hulin, meaning secular or mundane. While most of them share a secular outlook and consider Judaism to be about tradition, culture and ancestry rather than religion, about 18 per cent of the community are certain in their belief in God. They observe Hanukkah and attend Passover celebrations but consider these as being cultural rather than religious events.

The Hilonim clash with the Haredim over the latter’s lack of participation in the Israel Defense Forces and for supporting the closure of shops during Shabbat. The Hilonim are also likely to marry someone from their group and socialise with people who share their views. Although the Hilonim are proud to be Jewish and believe in a Jewish state, 59 per cent say they consider themselves as being Israeli first and Jewish second.

Jewish Encylopedia (Judaica)

The Encyclopedia Judaica is a 22-volume English-language encyclopedia of the
Jewish people, Judaism, and Israel. It covers diverse areas of the Jewish world and civilisation, including Jewish history of all eras, cultures, holidays, language, Scripture, and religious teachings.

The English-language Judaica was also published on CD-ROM, which has been enhanced by at least 100,000 hyperlinks and several other features, including videos, slide shows, maps, music and Hebrew pronunciations. The Encyclopedia was written by Israeli, 
American and European professional subject specialists.[82] While copies of the CD-ROM version are still available, the publisher has discontinued its production.[83]

The Jewish Encyclopedia website[84] contains the complete contents of the 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia, which was originally published between 1901-1906. The unedited full text of the 1906 version is now in the public domain and contains over 15,000 articles and illustrations. Since the original work was completed at the beginning of the last century, it does not cover a significant portion of modern Jewish History (e.g., the creation of Israel, the Holocaust, etc.). However, it contains a large amount of useful and interesting information.


The words ‘Hatred of Jews’ have been around for centuries, but only in the late 1800s were they referred to as ‘anti-semitism’. It came about because of the perception of an altered relationship between Jews and the people among whom they lived that could not accurately be described as simply Judeophobia or Jew-hatred. Regarded as a form of racism, anti-semitism is hostility to, prejudice towards, or discrimination against Jews.

It can be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Jews to organised pogroms by mobs or police forces or military attacks on Jewish communities. Although the term did not come into common usage until the 19th century, it is also applied to previous and later anti-Jewish incidents. Notable instances of persecution include the Rhineland massacres preceding the First Crusade in 1096, the Edict of Expulsion from England in 1290, the 1348–1351
persecution of Jews during the Black Death, the massacres of Spanish Jews in 1391, the persecutions of the Spanish Inquisition, the expulsion from Spain in 1492, the Cossack massacres in Ukraine from 1648 to 1657, various anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire between 1821 and 1906, the 1894–1906 Dreyfus affair in France, the Holocaust
in German-occupied Europe during World War II and Soviet anti-Jewish policies. Although historically, most manifestations of anti-semitism have taken place in Christian Europe since the early 20th century, it has increased in the Arab world as well.[85] 

Confusingly, the root word Semite gives the false impression that antisemitism is directed against all Semitic people, e.g., including ArabsAssyrians, and Arameans. The compound word Antisemitismus (‘anti-semitism’) was first used in print in Germany in 1879[86] as a scientific-sounding term for Judenhass (‘Jew-hatred’), and it has been its common use since then.[87]

The origin of “antisemitic” terminologies is found in the responses of Moritz Steinschneider to the views of Ernest Renan. As Alex Bein writes: “The compound anti-Semitism appears to have been used first by Steinschneider, who challenged Renan on account of his ‘anti-Semitic prejudices’ [i.e., his derogation of the “Semites” as a race].”[88]

Avner Falk similarly writes: “The German word antisemitisch was first used in 1860 by the Austrian Jewish scholar Moritz Steinschneider (1816–1907) in the phrase
antisemitische Vorurteile (anti-semitic prejudices). Steinschneider used this phrase to characterise the French philosopher Ernest Renan’s false ideas about how ‘Semitic races‘ were inferior to ‘Aryan races‘”.[89]

To add to all the confusion, there is something called religious anti-semitism, which according to my research, is an aversion to or discrimination against Jews as a whole, based on religious doctrines of supersession that expect or demand the disappearance of Judaism and the conversion of Jews, and which figure their political enemies in Jewish terms.[90] This has often led to false claims against Judaism and religious antisemitic canards. It is sometimes called theological antisemitism. Anti-Judaism, as a rejection of a particular way of thinking about God, is distinct from anti-semitism, which is more akin to a form of racism. Scholars wishing to blur the line between theology and racism have since coined the term as ‘religious anti-semitism’.[91]

Some scholars have argued that modern antisemitism is primarily based on non-religious factors, John Higham being emblematic of this school of thought, but this interpretation has been challenged. In 1966 Charles Glock and Rodney Stark first published public option polling data showing that most Americans based their
stereotypes of Jews on religion. Further opinion polling in the US and Europe appears to support this conclusion.[92][93] put the issue like this:

“Anti-Semitism, as a concept and a movement, was a response to the so-called Jewish Question, which was itself precipitated by the remarkable economic, cultural, and political ascent of the Jews during the 19th century and their entry into mainstream European life. For some of the peoples [sic] among whom they lived, this rapid accumulation of power was ominously threatening. Accustomed to seeing Jews as small-time chisellers, heretics, peddlers, and parasites, they were now confronted by Jewish political leaders, cultural luminaries, bankers, captains of industry, army officers, professors, and bosses. No longer powerless outsiders, Jews were seen as wielders of surreptitiously acquired power. Seeing only the dramatic success stories, this view ignored the thousands of still impoverished Jews dwelling in Eastern Europe and in the slums of central and western European cities. Nevertheless, it was the fear of what Jews would do with their wildly exaggerated power that animated efforts to disempower them before it was too late — first in Germany, and then in many other countries.” 

Criticism of Judaism refers to criticism of Jewish religious doctrinestextslaws, and
practices. Early criticism originated in inter-faith polemics between Christianity and Judaism. Important disputations in the Middle Ages gave rise to widely publicised criticisms. Modern criticisms also reflect the inter-branch Jewish schisms between Orthodox JudaismConservative Judaism, and Reform Judaism.

Jewish Christians[1](Footnote)

The following text is about the historical concept. To compare the two religions as they exist today, see Christianity and Judaism. For the modern-day religious movement, see 
Messianic Judaism.

The term Jewish Christian (or Messianic Jew) appears in historical texts contrasting Christians of Jewish origin with gentile Christians, both in the discussion of the New Testament church[94] and the second and following centuries.[95] It is also a term used for Jews who convert to Christianity but keep their Jewish heritage and traditions.

Jewish Christians (Yehudim Notzrim) were the followers of a Jewish religious sect that emerged in Judea during the late Second Temple period (first century AD). The Nazarene
Jews integrated the belief in Jesus as the prophesied Messiah and his teachings into the Jewish faith, including the observance of the Jewish law. The name may derive from the city of Nazareth, from prophecies in Isaiah and elsewhere where the verb occurs as a descriptive plural noun, or from both. Jewish Christianity is the foundation of Early Christianity, which later developed into Christianity.

Christianity started with Jewish eschatological expectations, and it developed into the worship of a deified Jesus after his earthly ministry, his crucifixion, and the post-crucifixion experiences of his followers. Modern scholarship is engaged in an ongoing debate about the proper designation for Jesus’ first followers. Many see the term Jewish Christians as anachronistic, given that there is no consensus on the date of the birth of Christianity. Some modern scholars have suggested the designations “Jewish believers in Jesus” or “Jewish followers of Jesus” better reflect the original context.

Jewish Christians drifted apart from mainstream Judaism, eventually becoming a minority strand which had mostly disappeared by the fifth century. Jewish–Christian gospels have been lost except for fragments, so there is considerable uncertainty about the scriptures used by this group.

The split of Christianity and Judaism took place during the first centuries AD. While the
First Jewish–Roman War and the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD were main events, the separation was a long-term process in which the boundaries were unclear.

Caption: Maccabees by Wojciech Stattler (1842) (see information on the Maccabees in the Glossary (next))
Attribution: Wojciech Stattler, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL:


  • Aron Hakodesh: All synagogues have a large cupboard facing Jerusalem (in the UK, this means facing East) called the Aron Hakodesh. It symbolises the Ark of the Covenant, which held the tablets of stone on which were carved the Ten Commandments received by Moses. It is the centrepiece of the synagogue and holds the Torah scrolls.[97]
  • Bar Mitzvah:  The event on a boy’s coming of age at 13 years old, usually marked by a synagogue, ceremony and family celebration.
  • Bat Mitzvah: As above but for girls from 12 years old. It may be marked differently between communities.
  • Bet (or Beth) Din: Jewish court, which decides if a Jewish couple (usually Orthodox) may divorce.
  • Bimah: A Dias or Dias (raised platform) primarily for reading the Torah in the synagogue.
  • Brit Milah: Circumcision – the religious rite performed by a qualified Mohel on all Jewish boys, usually on the eighth day after birth.
  • Challah Cover: An opaque cloth, often made from embroidered velvet, used to cover the challah bread at the outset of the Sabbath meal. It is customary to keep the loaves covered until after the kiddush blessing is recited over wine.
  • Challah: Enriched bread eaten particularly on Shabbat and during festivals.
  • Chuppah: The canopy under which the bride, groom and Rabbi stand during the marriage ceremony.
  • Diaspora: The scattering (that is, the separation of people from their geographic place of origin and living elsewhere) from 70 AD after the temple’s destruction when the Jews were scattered all over the world and before there was an Israel (1947).[98]  
  • Haggadah (also Haggada), Haggadot (pl.): The special book containing the story of the biblical Exodus as it must be retold at the beginning of the seder dinner on Passover (Pesach).[99]
  • Havdalah Candles: A braided candle with multiple wicks – used in the ceremony of Havdalah to mark the transition between the end of the Sabbath and the beginning of a new week.[100]
  • Havdalah: Ceremony marking the conclusion of Shabbat.
  • Hebrew: the ancient Semitic language; the language of the Tenakh (Hebrew Scripture) and also used by Jews for prayer and study. Also, everyday language in Israel.
  • Herem: is the highest ecclesiastical censure in the Jewish community, being the total exclusion of a person from the Jewish community and is similar to vitandus “excommunication” in the Catholic Church.
  • Issac: Son of Abraham.
  • Jacob: The son of Isaac.
  • Jew: A member of the Jewish race and a member of the religious group of Judaism.
  • Joseph: The son of Jacob.
  • Judea: The Roman province where the Bible says Jesus of Nazareth was born and spent most of his life.
  • Kaddish: The prayer publicly recited by mourners for the deceased.
  • Kashrut: Laws relating to keeping a kosher home and lifestyle.
  • Kibbutz: Israeli collective village based on socialist principles.
  • Kiddush: A prayer sanctifying Shabbat and festival days, usually recited over wine.
  • Kippah (also Capel, Yamulka): A small round cap) traditionally worn by Jewish men so that their heads may be covered. Some men wear Kippah during prayers, while others wear them at all times.
  • Knesset: Assembly – the Israeli parliament.
  • Kol Nidrel (or Kol Nidre): A Hebrew and Aramaic prayer recited in the synagogue before the beginning of the evening service on every Yom Kippur (“Day of Atonement”).[101]
  • Kosher (Kasher or Kashrut): A set of dietary laws dealing with the foods Jews are permitted to eat and how those foods must be prepared according to Jewish law. Food that may be consumed is deemed kosher, from the Ashkenazic pronunciation of the Hebrew kashér, meaning “fit”.[102] (see also trayfah)
  • Ladino: Language used predominately by Sephardic Jews.
  • Maccabees: The Maccabees were a group of Jewish rebel warriors who took control of Judea, which was part of the Seleucid Empire at the time.[103] They founded the
    Hasmonean dynasty, which ruled from 167 BC to 37 BC, being a fully independent kingdom from about 110 to 63 BC. They reasserted the Jewish religion, partly by
    forced conversion, expanded the boundaries of Judea by conquest and reduced the influence of Hellenism and Hellenistic Judaism.
  • Magen David: Shield of David, popularly called Star of David. The Star of David is a generally recognised symbol of both Jewish identity and Judaism. Its shape is that of a hexagram: the compound of two equilateral triangles.[104]
  • Masada: The hill fort where the Zealots were said to have committed suicide rather than surrender to the Romans during the revolt in the 60s AD. It is an important place of pilgrimage for Jews.
  • Matzah, Matzot (pl.): A flat cracker-like bread which has been baked before it rises; eaten particularly at Pesach (Passover).
  • Menorah: The seven-branched candelabra which was lit daily in the Temple at Jerusalem.
  • Mezuzah: A scroll affixed to doorposts in Jewish homes, containing a section from the Torah and often enclosed in a decorative case. It contains two handwritten passages in Hebrew, called the ‘Shema’.
  • Midrash: Collections of various Rabbinic commentaries on the Tenukah.
  • Minyan: Quorum of ten men over the Bar Mitzvah age that is required for a service. Progressive communities may include women but do not always require a minyan.
  • Mishkan: The original travelling sanctuary used before the permanent Temple in Jerusalem was built.
  • Mishnah: The first writing down of the Oral Tradition. An authoritative document forming the part of the Talmud that was codified about 200 AD.
  • Mitzvah, Mitzvot (pl.): The Torah contains 613 mitzvot. Commonly used to describe good deeds.
  • Mohel: A person trained to perform Brit Milah.
  • Moshav, Moshavim (pl.): Collective village or farm in Israel.
  • Ner Tamid: Eternal Light. The perpetual light above the Aron Hakodesh.
  • Noachide Laws: Seven Laws given to Noah after the flood, which are incumbent on all humankind. These laws form the foundation for a just society.
  • Orthodox: The modern name for strictly traditional Jews.
  • Parev, Parveh: Neutral foods, which are neither milk nor meat. e.g. vegetables, eggs, fish.
  • Pesach (Passover): Festival commemorating the Exodus from Egypt. One of the three biblical pilgrim festivals. Pesach is celebrated in the spring.
  • Pikuakh Nefesh: The setting aside of certain laws to save a life.
  • Pirkei Avot, Pirke Avoth: Sayings of the Fathers. Part of the Mishnah containing the ethics of Rabbinical sages.[105]
  • Pogrom: Organised attack on Jews, especially frequent in the 19th and early 20th century in Eastern Europe.
  • Purim: Jewish festival commemorating the rescue of Persian Jewry as told in the book of Esther.
  • Rabbi: An ordained Jewish teacher. Often, The Rabbi is the religious leader of a Jewish community.
  • Reform: The modern movement encouraging change in traditional ways to accommodate contemporary needs.
  • Rosh Hashanah: Head of the Year. Jewish New Year.
  • Sandek: The name given for the ‘sponsor’ of a child to be circumcised in the ceremony of Brit Milah.
  • Seder: A home-based ceremonial meal during Pesach, at which the Exodus from Egypt is recounted using the Haggadah.
  • Sefer Torah: The five books of Moses, which were handwritten on parchment and rolled in a scroll.
  • Shabbat, Shabbos: Day of spiritual renewal and rest commencing at sunset on Friday and terminating at sunset on Saturday.
  • Shatnez, Shaatnez: Cloth garments containing wool and linen which, under Jewish law, derived from the Torah, prohibits wearing. The relevant biblical verses (as set out in Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:11) prohibit wearing wool and linen fabrics in one garment, the blending of different species of animals, and the planting together of different kinds of seeds (collectively known as kilayim). The word is not of Hebrew origin, and its etymology is obscure. Wilhelm Gesenius‘s Hebrew Dictionary cites suggestions that derive it from Semitic origins, whilst others suggest Coptic origin, but neither is convincing. The Septuagint translates the term meaning ‘adulterated’.[106]
  • Shavuot: One of the pilgrim festivals. Shavuot is celebrated in the summer, seven weeks after Pesach.
  • Shekhina: The divine presence.
  • Shema: Major Jewish prayer affirming belief in one God. The Shema is found in the Torah.
  • Shiva: Seven days of intense mourning following the burial of a close relation. During this period, all ordinary work is prohibited.
  • Shofar:  A ram’s horn blown at the season of Rosh Hashanah.
  • Siddur: Daily prayer book.
  • Simchat Torah: The festival celebrating the completion and recommencement of the cycle of the weekly Torah reading.
  • Sukkah, Suhhot (pl.): A temporary dwelling that is used during Sukkot.
  • Sukkot: One of three biblical pilgrim festivals, Sukkot is celebrated in the Autumn.
  • Synagogue (Temple or Shul): Synagogue means ‘assembly’. A synagogue is a place of worship for Jews. There are no images of God or people in a synagogue, as the Ten Commandments forbid making and worshipping idols.[107]
  • Tallit: A fringed garment worn as a prayer shawl by religious Jews. The Tallit has a special twined and knotted fringe known as tzitzit attached to its four corners. The cloth part is known as the “beged” (meaning garment) and is usually made from wool or cotton, although silk is sometimes used for a tallit gadol.[108]
  • Tefillah: Tefillah is the Hebrew word for prayer.
  • Tefillin (or Phylacteries): Small leather boxes containing passages (Hebrew texts on vellum) from the Torah, strapped on the forehead and arm for weekday morning prayers.
  • Tenakh (or Tanakh): sacred text in Judaism often referred to as the Hebrew Bible. It is known by Jews as the written law. The word Tenakh is an acronym made up of the three sections found within the book: (1) Torah (seen as the holiest part of the Tenakh. It contains the five books of Moses and the mitzvot), (2) Nevi’im or Nebi’im containing the words of 15 prophets, including Isaiah, Joshua and Samuel. They encourage Jews to follow the laws in the Torah) and (3) Ketuvim (further collection of writings that don’t necessarily relate to each other. Some are based on history and others on poetry).[109]
  • Teshuva:  Repentance is one element of atoning for sin in Judaism, which recognises that everybody sins occasionally but that people can stop or minimise those occasions in the future by repenting for past transgressions. A Jewish penitent is traditionally known as a baal teshuva.[110]
  • Torah: The Torah is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. In that sense, Torah means the same as the Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses. It is also known in the Jewish tradition as the Written Torah.[111]
  • Torah Scroll: A handwritten copy of the Torah (the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible), which is mainly used in the ritual of Torah reading during prayers.
  • Treyfah: Foods that are forbidden under the laws of kosher.
  • Western Wall: The only remaining part of the temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, an important place of pilgrimage for all Jews.
  • Yiddush/Yiddish: Language used mainly by Ashkenazim.
  • Yom Hashoah: Day to commemorate the Shoah.
  • Yom Kippur: The Day of Atonement. A day of fasting that occurs on the tenth day after Rosh Hashannah; a solemn day of Tefillah and Teshuva.

Sources and Further Reading

End Notes: References and Explanations

[1] Source: Mainly from

[1] Source:

[2] Source:

[3] Source: Zucconi, Laura M., Ancient Medicine: From Mesopotamia to Rome, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2019), p. 324.

[4] Source: “What Are Some of the Sects of Christianity?” (6th April 2020),

[5] Source:

[6] Source: Levine, Lee I., “Jewish Sects in the Second Temple Period”, (My Jewish Learning  at 

[7] Source:

[8] Sources: (1) Dever, Beyond the Texts: An Archaeological Portrait of Ancient Israel and Judah, SBL Press, 2017, pg. 349, (2) Harvey, Graham (1996). The True Israel: Uses of the Names Jew, Hebrew, and Israel in Ancient Jewish and Early Christian Literature. Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-391-04119-6, and (3) de Vaux, O.P., Roland (1997). Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions. Translated by McHugh, John. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8028-4278-7. Referenced at:

[9] Explanation:  Israelites, as defined by The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion, see

[10] Sources: (1) Amihai Mazar, “Iron Age Chronology: A Reply to I. Finkelstein” Levant (1997), pp. 157–167, (2) Amihai Mazar, “The Debate over the Chronology of the Iron Age in the Southern Levant” in (eds. Lvy & Higman) The Bible and Radiocarbon Dating: Archaeology, Text, and Science (2005), pp. 15–30, and (3) Raz Kletter, “Chronology and United Monarchy: A Methodological Review”, Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins (2004), pp. 13–54.

[11] Source and Acknowledgement: (Adapted from). The ‘Difference to’ information comes from:

[12] Source:

[13] See Facts About Israel, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, 1970, p. 69, and LaMar C. Berrett, Discovering the World of the Bible, Brigham Young University Press, Provo, Utah, 1973, p. 323.)

[14] Source:

[15] Source:

[16] Explanation: A proselyte is a person who has converted from one opinion, religion, or party to another.

[17] See:

[18] Source:

[19] Source:

[20] See:

[21] Multiple sources, listed at:

[22] Sources: (1)  M. Nicholson (2002). International Relations: A Concise Introduction. NYU Press. pp. 19–. ISBN 978-0-8147-5822-9. “The Jews are a nation and were so before there was a Jewish state of Israel“, and (2) Alan Dowty (1998). The Jewish State: A Century Later, Updated With a New Preface. University of California Press. pp. 3–. ISBN 978-0-520-92706-3. “Jews are a people, a nation (in the original sense of the word), an ethnos”

[23] Sources: (1)  Raymond P. Scheindlin (1998). A Short History of the Jewish People: From Legendary Times to Modern Statehood. Oxford University Press. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-19-513941-9. Israelite origins and kingdom: “The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites”, (2) Facts On File, Incorporated (2009). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East. Infobase Publishing. pp. 337–. ISBN 978-1-4381-2676-0.”The people of the Kingdom of Israel and the ethnic and religious group known as the Jewish people that descended from them have been subjected to a number of forced migrations in their history”, and (3) Harry Ostrer MD (2012). Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People. Oxford University Press. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-0-19-997638-6.

[24] Sources: (1) “Jew | History, Beliefs, & Facts | Britannica”. In the broader sense of the term, a Jew is any person belonging to the worldwide group that constitutes, through descent or conversion, a continuation of the ancient Jewish people, who were themselves descendants of the Hebrews of the Old Testament, and (2) “Hebrew | people | Britannica”.

[25] Sources: (1) Eli Lederhendler (2001). Studies in Contemporary Jewry: Volume XVII: Who Owns Judaism? Public Religion and Private Faith in America and Israel. Oxford University Press. pp. 101–. ISBN 978-0-19-534896-5. “Historically, the religious and ethnic dimensions of Jewish identity have been closely interwoven. In fact, so closely bound are they, that the traditional Jewish lexicon hardly distinguishes between the two concepts. Jewish religious practice, by definition, was observed exclusively by the Jewish people, and notions of Jewish peoplehood, nation, and community were suffused with faith in the Jewish God, the practice of Jewish (religious) law and the study of ancient religious texts”, and (2)Tet-Lim N. Yee (2005). Jews, Gentiles and Ethnic Reconciliation: Paul’s Jewish identity and Ephesians. Cambridge University Press. pp. 102–. ISBN 978-1-139-44411-8. “This identification in the Jewish attitude between the ethnic group and religious identity is so close that the reception into this religion of members not belonging to its ethnic group has become impossible.”

[26] Sources: (1) Ernest Krausz; Gitta Tulea (1997). Jewish Survival: The Identity Problem at the Close of the Twentieth Century; [… International Workshop at Bar-Ilan University on the 18th and 19th of March, 1997]. Transaction Publishers. pp. 90–. ISBN 978-1-4128-2689-1. “A person born Jewish who refutes Judaism may continue to assert a Jewish identity, and if he or she does not convert to another religion, even religious Jews will recognise the person as a Jew”, and (2) “A Portrait of Jewish Americans”. Pew Research Center. 1 October 2013. But the survey also suggests that Jewish identity is changing in America, where one-in-five Jews (22%) now describe themselves as having no religion.

[27] Source: “Facts About Israel: History”. GxMSDev.

[28] Explanation: The Merneptah Stele, also known as the Israel Stele or the Victory Stele of Merneptah, is an inscription by Merneptah, a pharaoh in ancient Egypt who reigned from 1213–1203 BC. Discovered by Flinders Petrie at Thebes in 1896, it is now housed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Referenced at:

[29] Sources: (1) Noll, K. L. (7 December 2012). Canaan and Israel in Antiquity: A Textbook on History and Religion: Second Edition. A&C Black. ISBN 978-0-567-44117-1, and (2) Thompson, Thomas L. (1st January 2000). Early History of the Israelite People: From the Written & Archaeological Sources. BRILL. pp. 137ff. ISBN 978-90-04-11943-7. They are rather a very specific group among the population of Palestine which bears a name that occurs here for the first time that at a much later stage in Palestine’s history bears a substantially different signification.

[30] Source:  John Day (2005), In Search of Pre-Exilic Israel, Bloomsbury Publishing, pp. 47.5 [48] ‘In this sense, the emergence of ancient Israel is viewed not as the cause of the demise of Canaanite culture but as its upshot’.

[31] Source: Day, pp. 31–33, p. 57, n. 33.

[32] Explanation. The Levant is the stretch of land bordering the Mediterranean in South-western Asia, i.e. the historical region of Syria (“Greater Syria”), which includes present-day IsraelJordanLebanonPalestineSyria and most of Turkey southwest of the middle Euphrates. Its overwhelming characteristic is that it represents the land bridge between Africa and Eurasia. Source:

[33] Source:  Sussman, Ayala; Peled, Ruth. “The Dead Sea Scrolls: History & Overview” Referenced at:

[34] Source: Antiquities of the Jews, 17.42 Referenced at:

[35] Source:  Josephus, Flavius. The Antiquities of the Jews, 13.288. Referenced at:  

[36] Source: Ber. 48b; Shab. 14b; Yoma 80a; Yeb. 16a; Nazir 53a; Ḥul. 137b; et al. Referenced at:

[37] See: John, 3.2: He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Source:

[38] See: John 19:38: “After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.” Source:

[39] Explanation: Qumran is an archaeological site in the West Bank managed by Israel’s Qumran National Park. It is located on a dry marl plateau about 1.5 km from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, near the Israeli settlement and kibbutz of Kalya. Source:

[40] Source:

[41] Source: Cohen, Shaye (2006). From the Maccabees to the Mishnah. p.155. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-664-22743-2.

[42] Source: Wellhausen, Julius (2001). The Pharisees and the Sadducees.p.45. Macon: Mercer University Press. ISBN 978-0-86554-729-2.

[43] Source:

[44] Pliny the Elder. Historia Naturalis. V, 17 or 29; in other editions V, (15).73. English translation at: Referenced at:

[45] At:

[46] At:

[47] Source: (Cyprus), Saint Epiphanius (Bishop of Constantia in (2009). The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis: Book I (sects 1-46). BRILL. p. 32. ISBN 978-90-04-17017-9. Referenced at:

[48] Source:  F.F. Bruce, Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Paternoster Press, 1956. Referenced at:

[49] Source: “The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls: Nature and Significance”. Israel Museum Jerusalem. Referenced at: and

[50] Source:

[51] Source:

[52] Source: Jewish Encyclopedia, second edition, vol 21, p.472. Referenced at:

[53] Explanation: The Fourth Philosophy, by which Josephus meant the fourth Jewish sect (after the Essenes, Pharisees, and Sadducees), began with Judas the Galilean or Gaulanite. In 6 AD when Quirinius, proconsul of Syria, assessed Judea for taxation, Judas incited many Jews to rebel. He took a hard line in his devotion to Yahweh alone as Master and Lord. If Jews paid this tax, he maintained, it would be cowardice and apostasy from their commitment to God. Source:

[54] Source:  Richard Horsley‘s “Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs” and Tom Wright‘s “The New Testament and the People of God”. Referenced at:

[55] See also:

[56] Source:

[57] Source: Tobolowsky, Andrew, ed. (2022), “The Tribes That Were Not Lost: The Samaritans”, The Myth of the Twelve Tribes of Israel: New Identities Across Time and Space, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 66–106, ISBN 978-1-316-51494-8. Referenced at:

[58] Source: Benite, Zvi Ben-Dor (2009). The Ten Lost Tribes: A World History. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 9780195307337.

[59] Source:  Weil, S. 1991 Beyond the Sambatyon: the Myth of the Ten Lost Tribes. Tel-Aviv: Beth Hatefutsoth, the Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora. Referenced at: 

[60] Source and Reference: “Israel’s Religiously Divided Society”. Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project. 8th March 2016. Referenced at:

[61] Based in Washington DC, Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

[62] Source and References: (1) Raysh Weiss. “Haredim (Charedim), or Ultra-Orthodox Jews”. My Jewish Learning. What unites Haredim is their absolute reverence for Torah, including both the Written and Oral Law, as the central and determining factor in all aspects of life. … In order to prevent outside influence and contamination of values and practices, Haredim strive to limit their contact with the outside world, and (2) “Orthodox Judaism”. Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. Haredi Judaism, on the other hand, prefers not to interact with secular society, seeking to preserve halakha without amending it to modern circumstances and to safeguard believers from involvement in a society that challenges their ability to abide by halakha.

[63] Source:  Shafran, Avi (4th February 2014). “Don’t Call Us ‘Ultra-Orthodox”.

[64] Source and References: (1) Tatyana Dumova; Richard Fiordo (30th September 2011). Blogging in the Global Society: Cultural, Political and Geographical Aspects. Idea Group Inc (IGI). p. 126. ISBN 978-1-60960-744-9. Haredim regard themselves as the most authentic custodians of Jewish religious law and tradition which, in their opinion, is binding and unchangeable. They consider all other expressions of Judaism, including Modern Orthodoxy, as deviations from God’s laws, and (2) “Orthodox Judaism”. Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. Orthodox Judaism claims to preserve Jewish law and tradition from the time of Moses.

[65] Source and Reference: Nora L. Rubel (2010). Doubting the Devout: The Ultra-Orthodox in the Jewish American Imagination. Columbia University Press. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-231-14187-1. Mainstream Jews have—until recently—maintained the impression that the ultraorthodox are the ‘real’ Jews.

[66] Source and Reference:  For example, Arnold Eisen, Rethinking Modern Judaism, University of Chicago Press, 1998. p. 3.

[67] Source and Reference:  Waxman, Chaim. “Winners and Losers in Denominational Memberships in the United States”.

[68] Source and Reference: Wertheimer, Jack. “What You Don’t Know About the Ultra-Orthodox.” Commentary Magazine. 1st July 2015/4th September 2015.

[69] Sources and References: (1) Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel at, and (2) The Israel in Society Orthodox-Ultra of Yearbook, at

[70] Sources and References: (1) Norman S. Cohen (1st January 2012). The Americanization of the Jews. NYU Press. p. 389. ISBN 978-0-8147-3957-0, (2) Wise, Yaakov (23rd July 2007). “Majority of Jews will be Ultra-Orthodox by 2050”. The University of Manchester. (3) Buck, Tobias (6th November 2011). “Israel’s secular activists start to fight back”. Financial Times, and (4) Berman, Eli (2000). “Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist’s View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews” (PDF). Quarterly Journal of Economics. 115 (3): 905–953.

[71] All referenced at (1) Šelomo A. Dešen; Charles Seymour Liebman; Moshe Shokeid (January 1, 1995). Israeli Judaism: The Sociology of Religion in Israel. Transaction Publishers. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-4128-2674-7. The number of baalei teshuvah, “penitents” from secular backgrounds who become ultra-Orthodox Jews, amounts to a few thousand, mainly between the years 1975-1987, and is modest, compared with the natural growth of the Haredim; but the phenomenon has generated great interest in Israel, (2) Harris 1992, p. 490: “This movement began in the US, but is now centred in Israel, where, since 1967, many thousands of Jews have consciously adopted an ultra-Orthodox lifestyle.”, (3) Weintraub 2002, p. 211: “Many of the ultra-Orthodox Jews living in Brooklyn are baaley teshuva, Jews who have gone through a repentance experience and have become Orthodox, though they may have been raised in entirely secular Jewish homes”, and (4) Returning to Tradition: The Contemporary Revival of Orthodox Judaism, By M. Herbert Danziger: “A survey of Jews in the New York metropolitan area found that 24% of those who were highly observant (defined as those who would not handle money on the Sabbath) had been reared by parents who did not share such scruples. […] The ba’al t’shuva represents a new phenomenon for Judaism; for the first time, there are not only Jews who leave the fold … but also a substantial number who “return”. p. 2; and: “These estimates may be high… Nevertheless, as these are the only available data, we will use them… Defined in terms of observance, then, the number of newly Orthodox is about 100,000… despite the number choosing to be orthodox, the data do not suggest that Orthodox Judaism is growing. The survey indicates that although one in four parents were Orthodox, in practice, only one in ten respondents are Orthodox” p. 193.

[72] Source:  Adriana KempIsraelis in Conflict: Hegemonies, Identities, and Challenges, Sussex Academic Press, 2004, pp. 314–315. Referenced at:

[73] Source:  Adina Newberg (2013). Elu v’Elu: Towards Integration of Identity and Multiple Narratives in the Jewish Renewal Sector in Israel, International Journal of Jewish Education Research, 2013 (5-6), 231-278); Chaim Cohen (n.d.). Torah Sociology: Dati Torani and Dati Liberal – Is Dialogue Desirable?Israel National News. Referenced at:

[74]  Zionism has been described either as a form of ethnic nationalism or as a form of ethno-cultural nationalism with civic nationalist components.Source: Gans, Chaim (2008). A Just Zionism: On the Morality of the Jewish State. Oxford University Press.  ISBN 9780199867172.

[75] Sources and References: (1) Gideon Biger,The Boundaries of Modern Palestine, 1840-1947, Routledge, 2004 ISBN 978-1-135-76652-8 pp. 58–63.: ‘Unlike the earlier literature that dealt with Palestine’s delimitation, the boundaries were not presented according to their historical traditional meaning, but according to the boundaries of the Jewish Eretz Israel that were about to be established there. This approach characterises all the Zionist publications at the time … when they came to indicate borders, they preferred the realistic condition and strategic economic needs over an unrealistic dream based on the historic past.’ This meant that planners envisaged a future Palestine that controlled all the Jordan‘s sources, the southern part of the Litanni river in Lebanon, the large cultivatable area east of the Jordan, including the Houran and Gil’ad wheat zone, Mt Hermon, the Yarmuk and Yabok rivers, the Hijaz Railway …, (2) Motyl 2001, pp. 604, and (3) Herzl, Theodor (1988) [1896]. “Biography, by Alex Bein”Der Judenstaat [The Jewish state]. Translated by Sylvie d’Avigdor (republication ed.). New York: Courier Dover. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-486-25849-2. Referenced at:

[76] Sources and References: (1) Ben-Ami Shillony (2012). Jews & the Japanese: The Successful Outsiders. Tuttle Publishing. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-4629-0396-2. Zionism arose in response to and in imitation of the current national movements of Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe, (2) LeVine, Mark; Mossberg, Mathias (2014). One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States. University of California Press. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-520-95840-1. The parents of Zionism were not Judaism and tradition, but antiSemitism and nationalism. The ideals of the French Revolution spread slowly across Europe, finally reaching the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire and helping to set off the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment. This engendered a permanent split in the Jewish world, between those who held to a halachic or religious-centric vision of their identity and those who adopted in part the racial rhetoric of the time and made the Jewish people into a nation. This was helped along by the wave of pogroms in Eastern Europe that set two million Jews to flight; most wound up in America, but some chose Palestine. A driving force behind this was the Hovevei Zion movement, which worked from 1882 to develop a Hebrew identity that was distinct from Judaism as a religion, and (3) Gelvin, James L. (2014). The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War. Cambridge University Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-107-47077-4. The fact that Palestinian nationalism developed later than Zionism and indeed in response to it does not in any way diminish the legitimacy of Palestinian nationalism or make it less valid than Zionism. All nationalisms arise in opposition to some “other”. Why else would there be the need to specify who you are? And all nationalisms are defined by what they oppose. As we have seen, Zionism itself arose in reaction to anti-Semitic and exclusionary nationalist movements in Europe. It would be perverse to judge Zionism as somehow less valid than European anti-Semitism or those nationalisms. Furthermore, Zionism itself was also defined by its opposition to the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants of the region. Both the “conquest of land” and the “conquest of labour” slogans that became central to the dominant strain of Zionism in the Yishuv originated as a result of the Zionist confrontation with the Palestinian “other”. Referenced at:

[77] Sources and References: (1) Cohen, Robin (1995). The Cambridge Survey of World Migration. Cambridge University Press. p. 504.  ISBN 9780521444057. Zionism Colonize Palestine, (2) Gelvin, James (2007). The Israel–Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0521888356, and  (3) Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 2006, pp. 10–11. Referenced at:

[78] Sources and References: (1)  Bernard LewisSemites and Anti-Semites: An Inquiry into Conflict and Prejudice, W. W. Norton & Company, 1999 ISBN 978-0-393-24556-1 p. 20, (2) Ian S. Lustick‘Zionist Ideology and Its Discontents: A Research Note’, Israel Studies Forum Vol. 19, No. 1 (Fall 2003), pp. 98–103 [98] ‘Zionism was and is a serious ideology and deserves to be treated as such.’, and (3) Gadi Taub, ‘Zionism,’ in Gregory Claeys, Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought, Sage CQ Press, 2013 ISBN 978-1-452-23415-1 pp. 869–72 p.869.:’Zionism is an ideology that seeks to apply the universal principle of self-determination to the Jewish people.’ Referenced at:

[79] Sources and References: Nils A. Butenschøn, 289 ‘Accommodating Conflicting Claims to National Self-determination. The Intractable Case of Israel/Palestine,’ International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, Vol. 13, No. 2/3 (2006), pp. 285-306 p.289:’the Zionist claim to Palestine on behalf of world Jewry as an extra-territorial population was unique, and not supported (as admitted at the time) by established interpretations of the principle of national self-determination, expressed in the Covenant of the League of later versions), and as applied to the other territories with the same status as Palestine (‘A’ mandate).’ Referenced at:

[80] Source: Alan Gamlen, Human Geopolitics: States, Emigrants, and the Rise of Diaspora Institutions. Oxford University Press, 2019 ISBN 978-0-198-83349-9 p. 57. Referenced at:

[81] Source:

[82] Source: “Encyclopaedia Judaica eBook version”Gale. Macmillan Reference USA.

[83] Source:  Brill Academic PublishersArchived 2010-02-27 at the Wayback Machine Note: There may be issues of compatibility with hardware and software. See user reviews at:

[84] At:

[85] Source:

[86] Source: Bein, Alex (1990). The Jewish Question: Biography of a World Problem. p.595. Translated by Harry Zohn. Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. ISBN 978-0-8386-3252-9. Referenced at:

[87] Referenced at:

[88] Source: Falk, Avner (2008). Anti-Semitism: a History and Psychoanalysis of Contemporary Hatred. p.21. Westport, CT: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-313-35384-0. Referenced at:

[89] Ibid

[90] Source: Nirenberg, David (2014). Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition. (in the Introduction and Epilogue). W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-34791-3. Referenced at:

[91] Source:

[92] Source:  Robert Michael (2005). A Concise History of American Antisemitism. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 101. ISBN 9780742543133. Referenced at:

[93] At:

[94] Sources and Commentary: (1) Tomson, Peter J.; Lambers-Petry, Doris, eds. (2003). The Image of the Judaeo-Christians in Ancient Jewish and Christian Literature. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament. Vol. 158. TübingenMohr Siebeck. p. 162. ISBN 3161480945. Though every definition of Jewish Christians has problems, the most useful is probably that they were believers in Jesus, of ethnic Jewish origin, who observed the Torah and so retained their own Jewish identity., (2) Shiffman, Lawrence H. (2018). “How Jewish Christians Became Christians”. My Jewish Learning, (3) “Christianity: Severance from Judaism”Jewish Virtual LibraryAICE. 2008. A major difficulty in tracing the growth of Christianity from its beginnings as a Jewish messianic sect, and its relations to the various other normative-Jewish, sectarian-Jewish, and Christian-Jewish groups is presented by the fact that what ultimately became normative Christianity was originally but one among various contending Christian trends. Once the “gentile Christian” trend won out, and the teaching of Paul became accepted as expressing the doctrine of the Church, the Jewish Christian groups were pushed to the margin and ultimately excluded as heretical. Being rejected both by normative Judaism and the Church, they ultimately disappeared. Nevertheless, several Jewish Christian sects (such as the NazarenesEbionitesElchasaites, and others) existed for some time, and a few of them seem to have endured for several centuries. Some sects saw in Jesus mainly a prophet and not the “Christ”, others seem to have believed in him as the Messiah, but did not draw the Christological and other conclusions that subsequently became fundamental in the teaching of the Church (the divinity of the Christ, trinitarian conception of the Godheadabrogation of the Law). After the disappearance of the early Jewish Christian sects and the triumph of gentile Christianity, to become a Christian meant, for a Jew, to apostatise and to leave the Jewish community., (4) Tabor, James D. (2013). Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity. New YorkSimon & Schuster. p. 24. ISBN 978-1439134986. […] the original apostolic Christianity that came before Paul, and developed independently of him, by those who had known and spent time with Jesus, was in sharp contrast to Paul’s version of the new faith. This lost Christianity held sway during Paul’s lifetime, and only with the death of James in 62 AD, followed by the brutal destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70, did it begin to lose its influence as the centre of the Jesus movement. Ironically, it was the production and final editing of the New Testament itself […] supporting Paul’s version of Christianity, that ensured first the marginalization, and subsequently the death of this original form of Christianity. (5) Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (1972), p. 568. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey William Bromiley, Gerhard Friedrich: “When the Jewish Christians whom James sent from Jerusalem arrived at Antioch, Cephas withdrew from table-fellowship with the Gentile Christians”., and (6) Cynthia White, The emergence of Christianity (2007), p. 36: “In these early days of the church in Jerusalem there was a growing antagonism between the Greek-speaking Hellenized Jewish Christians and the Aramaic-speaking Jewish Christians”. Referenced at:

[95] Source and Commentary: Michele Murray, Playing a Jewish game: Gentile Christian Judaizing in the first and Second Centuries AD, Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion (2004), p. 97: “Justin is obviously frustrated by continued law observance by Gentile Christians; to impede the spread of the phenomenon, he declares that he does not approve of Jewish Christians who attempt to influence Gentile Christians”. Referenced at:

[96] Mostly sourced from:

[97] Source:

[98] Historically, the word Diaspora was used first in reference to the dispersion of Greeks in the Hellenic world, and later Jews after the Babylonian exile. Referenced at: Sources: (1) “Diasporas”. Migration data portal, (2) Edwards, Brent Hayes (8th October 2014). “Diaspora Keywords for American Cultural Studies, Second Edition”, and (3) “Diaspora definition and meaning, Collins English Dictionary”.

[99] Source:

[100] Source:

[101] Source:

[102] Source:

[103] Cohn, Marc (2007). The Mathematics of the Calendar. p. 60. ISBN 978-1430324966, and (2) Fischer-Lichte, Erika (2005). Theatre, Sacrifice, Ritual: Exploring Forms of Political Theatre. Routledge. pp. 195ISBN 978-0415276757.

[104] The Star of David is a derivation of the seal of Solomon, which was used for decorative and mystical purposes by Muslims and Kabbalistic Jews. Its adoption as a distinctive symbol for the Jewish people and their religion dates back to 17th century
Prague. In the 19th century, the symbol began to be widely used among the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe, ultimately coming to be used to represent Jewish identity or religious beliefs.It became representative of Zionism after being chosen as the central symbol for a Jewish national flag at the First Zionist Congress in 1897. By the end of World War I, it had become an internationally accepted symbol for the Jewish people, being used on the gravestones of fallen Jewish soldiers. Today, the star is used as the central symbol on the national flag of the State of Israel. Source:

[105] Source:

[106] Source: 

[107] Source:

[108] Comment: The term is, to an extent, ambiguous. It can refer either to the “tallit katan” (small tallit) item that can be worn over or under clothing and commonly referred to as “tzitzit”, or to the “tallit gadol” (big tallit) Jewish prayer shawl worn over the outer clothes during the morning prayers (Shacharit) and worn during all prayers on Yom Kippur. The term “tallit” alone, usually refers to the tallit gadol. There are different traditions regarding the age from which a tallit gadol is used, even within Orthodox Judaism

[109] Source:

[110] Source:

[111] Source: https://en.wikipedi

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