Glossary

1. G-d, L-rd, A--noy, Shad--i, Elokim, Kel:
Names of the Creator. Because of their sacredness, they are not spelled out.

2. Hebrew Bible:
The Jewish Holy Scriptures,  known as the Old Testament.

3. Israel/Children of Israel:
The Jewish people, who are the descendants of Israel (Jacob), the grandson of Abraham. Israel and Jacob are synonymous, as seen in Genesis 32:29-"And [the angel] said: `Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with G-d and with men, and have prevailed.' "

The Jewish people and the Land of Israel (also known as the Holy Land) were divided into two monarchies:

4. The Kingdom of Judah:
Ruled by the House of David, this kingdom occupied the southern sector of the country and consisted of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. When the First Temple was destroyed, these tribes were exiled to Babylon (II Kings 25:11). They returned seventy years later (Ezra 2:64) and remained in the Holy Land until the Romans conquered Jerusalem and exiled them among the nations in 68 C.E. Many returned to their homeland in 1947.

5. The Kingdom of Israel:
This kingdom consisted of ten tribes-Reuben, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Manasseh, and Ephraim. They occupied the northern region of the country, until they were exiled to Assyria(II Kings 15:29). Who and where they are today is a mystery.

6. Josephus:
A first--century Jewish historian and general who defected to the Roman army during its invasion of Jerusalem. Under Roman jurisdiction and censorship, Josephus wrote his famous History of the Jews. Filled with both animosity toward rabbinic Judaism and supplication of the Gentiles, his works are considered authoritative by non--Jews.

7. Torah/Written Torah/Law:
The first five Books of the Hebrew Bible-Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy-which contain the 613 laws given to Moses for the Jewish people.

8. Oral Tradition:
The unwritten hidden meanings of letters, words and verses of the Hebrew Bible, along with the laws and customs taught to Moses on Mount Sinai and transmitted orally throughout the generations.

9. Talmud:
A compilation and detailed discussion of the Oral Tradition, which could no longer remain oral once the Jews were dispersed throughout the world.

The reader is advised not to pronounce the names Krishna, Buddha, and Jesus:

Exodus 23:13

...make no mention of the name of other gods, nor let it be heard out of your mouth.

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