Environment and Nature in Hebrew Thought

  • Jeanne Kay Guelke
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_8565

It is perhaps inappropriate to include a section on Hebrew thought in an encyclopedia on non‐Western cultures. When the Hebrew Bible was adopted in translation as the Christian Old Testament, it became one of the intellectual cornerstones of western civilization. The two principal divisions of Jewish culture and ethnicity, central and eastern European (Ashkenazi) and Mediterranean and Near Eastern (Sephardi), have extensive European roots. Nevertheless Christianity and Judaism diverged in critical ways over the interpretation of their shared scriptures.

The Hebrew Bible and Jewish Law

The essential core of Jewish belief is the first five books of the Bible, notably the set of 613 commandments (mitzvoth) handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai. The rabbinical interpretations of Mosaic law (halakhah) and explanations of biblical narratives codified principally in Babylon and Palestine during the first centuries of the Common Era as the Talmud (together with some subsequent commentaries on...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanne Kay Guelke

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