I’m standing in the Berlin airport waiting for them to open the gate for my flight to Tel Aviv, and I am awed. Due to the timing of our flight here, in front of me is a veritable sea of Jewish men wrapped in tallis and tefillin. This is my second time in Germany (last year I flew through Frankfurt), and it always leaves a bad taste in my mouth, being here, between it being the Nazi seat of power and, more personally, the country where two of the labor camps in which my grandmother was imprisoned were located. But I’m here. We’re all here. There is a full minyan of men being proudly and openly Jewish in the Berlin airport (and a bit of an ezras nashim off to the side). And Hitler is rotting in the ground.

gonnafindhope  asked:

Hi! I'm studying philosophy and one of my subjects is about judaism. I'm having trouble trying to understand the differences among words that refer to the Scriptures: Mishná, midras, halaka, haggada, Talmud, Guemará and Masora. (Especially Talmud, Tanakh, Masora and Torá). I've been doing some research but it just gets me more confused bc everyone says something different. Could you explain it to me or tell me about any website where all this concepts are well explained? Thank you very much!


I hope I an help.  I will define the above terms– but in a better order to make it easier to understand.

The Torah (the 5 Books of Moses, hasefer Torah, the first third of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), literally translates to “Law”, consists of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).  This is the holiest of texts of the Jewish people.  Traditional Jews believe that the Torah was given to Moses and to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai.  Progressive Jews believe that this text was written over a few centuries by several different authors (Documentary Hypothesis theory). 

The Torah is broken up into parshiot (parsha-singular) and read once per week.  It is tradition to read Torah on Monday, Thursday and Saturday (Shabbat).  This tradition stems from antiquity when our ancient ancestors would read Torah on “market days” so that everyone can hear its powerful words. 

The Torah itself is a large-duel scroll.  The text is written with a special ink on special animal-skin paper and is written by a sofer (a male Torah scribe) or in many Progressive communities a soferet (a female Torah scribe). Torahs can cost upwards of thousands of dollars/sheckels as it takes the scribe about a year to write a Torah.  A special jacket is kept on the Torah and is adorned with special “jewelry” and kept in a special closet called an ark (aron hakodesh) modeled after the Tabernacle in antiquity.

Because Torah means law, Jews symbolically pass the Torah from generation to generation (l’dor vador) from grandparent to parent to child and so on.  Also an important note is to distinguish “Torah” from “The Torah”.  The Torah is the physical scroll, the text of the 5 Books of Moses etc.  Torah (without the definite article) is Jewish law, I believe that every text, teaching and act of lovingkindess (done in a Jewish way) is Torah.   

For more on the Torah, check this out.

( Photo source)

The Tanakh is an acronym for the three sections of the Hebrew Bible: Torah, Nev’i’im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings).  Christians may understand the 24 books of the Tanakh as the Old Testament.  Many of these stories do appear in Muslim sources as well.

Jews read parts of the Prophets and Writings on Shabbat and holidays known as Havtorah.  Many psalms and other parts of the Tanakh appear in ancient and contemporary Jewish music, liturgy and prayer.  This is the Jewish or the Hebrew Bible, the ancient story of the Jewish people and the holiest piece of literature that we own as a nation.

Although the Torah appears in an actual scroll,  copies of the Tanakh are simple books (usually huge) that contain all of the books.

Halachah is Jewish law.  Literally meaning “the walking,” Halachah is rabbinic interpretation of the Tanakh and oral law for how to live an authentic Jewish life. For instance, rules about Shabbat and holiday practice exist in Halacha alongside law about how to treat one another.  Historically, Halachah has been used as a tool to keep the Jewish people together, to keep them believing and to keep them in wonder of G-d.  In the contemporary Jewish world, many Jews still keep Halachah in a traditional sense.  Some have reinterpreted many of its laws for the modern day and some do not acknowledge its importance but rather understand the great works of the Jewish people in their own way, a way that gives them meaning.  As you can probably guess, this is a VERY heated topic in the Jewish world.

The Talmud actually refer to two separate compilations of texts: the Babylonian Talmud (the Bavli) and the Palestinian/Jerusalem/Eretz Yisrael Talmud (the Yerushalmi). Essentially, the Talmud is a combination of oral law and Jewish interpretation of oral law.

Typically Jews today follow the teachings in the Babylonian Talmud because after the exile from the Land of Israel in 70 CE, most writers from the Holy Land were gone and the Babylonian authors and teachers held authority.

For the sake of this post, it will be mainly about the Bavli.  The Talmud has two components the Gamara and the Mishnah.  The Mishnah is ‘oral law’ (Torah sh’be’al pe or Torah of the mouth) passed down over generations and finally compiled between 200 and 220 CE.  The Gamara is the commentary on that law compiled circa 500 CE.

The Talmud is broken down into several sections such as zeraim (seeds), nashim (women) and than smaller sections.  For instance the moed (festivals) tractate breaks down into smaller sections on Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat and reading the Megilla.  Each of these smaller sections break down into verses much like in the Hebrew Bible(The Tanakh).

The Masoretic Period  (6th-11th century CE) in Jewish history was one which introduced vowels to Hebrew which made it easier to understand and read.   They were really committed to writing down everything and they are the reason why we have many of the great texts that we have today!

The Haggadah (meaning “telling”) is a special piece of liturgy that Jews use on Passover (Pesach) when they sit down to their sederim (seder-singular)– a seder, meaning order, is a special dinner on the first (usually also the second) nights of Passover.  The text is old, some date parts of it back to the time of the Mishnah (Oral Law).  Today, we have our own very special Haggadot (plural) that have the original text, but might interperate it in a modern way.   For instance, some have beautiful artwork in them and others bring feminism, LGBTQ rights and interfaith families into them.  Some are meant for kids, while others still harken back to a very traditional understanding of the text.

Hope that this helps!


Ohtaka’s Backstage vol.323: 

“The picture is a portion of the volume 31 omake. There will be two one-shots. I hope you enjoy reading Magi this week. 

We are continuing with the events in the Sacred Palace. The art is a bit messy, but please, join us for a little longer. Next week is a break, let’s meet again when the next backstage is posted in the week after the next!" 

Omake Preview 

Omake (1): "The life of Aladdin, Morgiana and Hakuryuu in the Kina Kingdom in the Dark Continent" 

Yamato: Hakuryuu, Morgiana is cute! 

Nashime: Nanaumi is master’s little sister. 

Omake (2): "The Adventure of Alibaba and Sinbad" 

Alibaba: Not bad, but someone like me who was raised in the slums is stronger. Sinbad: don’t underestimate the son of a fisherman. 

‘Alibaba line is concealed, but he’s mentioning something about a dungeon.

Sinbad: let’s take a look, there must be a mountain’s worth of treasure inside.

Magi 307 Spoilers

Warning: As usual, please note that my level of Japanese is basic at most, so I cannot guarantee the following snippets are completely accurate. In other words, these can be completely wrong, and I might have left some parts out because I didn’t understand them. Also, feel free to share the link, but please DO NOT REPOST these snippets anywhere, and don’t forget to support the official releases!!

In which Aladdin talks a lot, things start to move forward, and Judar… gets mentioned.

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