Wisdom eBooks Club

Wisdom eBooks Club



Titus Flavius Josephus

Titus Flavius Josephus

“Truth is a thing that is immortal and eternal.”

(c. 97) Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Against Apion, Contra Apionem, or Against (c. 99) The Life of Flavius Josephus, or Autobiography of Flavius Josephus (abbreviated Life or Vita)

(c. 97) Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Against Apion, Contra Apionem, or Against the Greeks, on the Antiquity of the Jewish People (usually abbreviated CA)

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The Renascence of Hebrew Literature

The Renascence of Hebrew Literature

The Revival of Hebrew

Initially published in French in 1903 as the Nahum Slouschz’s doctorate thesis at the University of Paris, this book explores the resurrection of Hebrew as a literary language and presents an analysis of the literature it has contributed, by a “grievous spectacle of poets and writers who are constantly expressing their anxiety lest it disappear within them.” European in extent and encapsulating all the passion and discord of the writings of a nation trying to find its voice, this is a compassionate and encouraging work, one that anyone will find practical and entertaining.
The evolution from Medieval Hebrew to Israeli or Modern Hebrew developed over many years. Many scholars tell us that the language began to change by the early 16th century. Amongst the first appearances were the first Yiddish‑Hebrew dictionary by Elijah Levita (1468‑1549), A. dei Rossi’s Me’or Einayim (1574) and the first Hebrew play by J. Sommo (1527‑92). They adapted Hebrew to modern needs, and it remains in use in writing today.

The Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment)

The first Hebrew newspapers appeared in the 18th century. I. Lampronti (1679‑1756) at Ferrara and, from 1750, M. Mendelssohn at Dessau were the forerunners. A periodical, Ha‑Me’assef, ran quarterly from 1784 to 1829. The “Society of Friends of the Hebrew Language” edited it, and it contained many writings from prominent leaders of the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) movement. In 1856 they printed the first weekly newspaper, Ha‑Maggid, in Russia. The leaders of the Jewish Enlightenment sought to revive Hebrew as a thriving language, by working to purify the language and advocating its correct use.

They likewise strengthened its capacity for communicating by borrowing and translating words from German and other Western languages. Many of the group’s leaders wanted to preserve Rabbinic Hebrew as an authentic element of the modernized language, but the bulk of them agreed to adopt the unadulterated form of Biblical Hebrew for verse and on an Andalusian style for writing instead. The Andalusian style is comparable to that practiced in the 12th and 13th centuries by the well-known family of Jewish translators, the Ibn Tibbons.
Many writers in the latter part of the 19th century paved the way for modern Hebrew; especially the playwright D. Zamoscz, who composed the first contemporary play in 1851, and novelist like A. Mapu who wrote the first book in this new style, and Yiddish linguists such as S.J. Abramowitsch.
Many of the 19th‑century authors sought to adopt a biblical form of the language and usually established a framework contradictory to its essence and that typically contained many grammatical errors. Mendele, who penned in both Hebrew and Yiddish, adopted into his terminology from various sources, including Biblical Hebrew and Yiddish. He along with many other writers made significant strides towards making sure that Hebrew would again become a spoken language.

Hebrew in Palestine (Pre-State Israel)

The printing of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda’s editorial titled “A burning question” in 1879 spawned a new generation of the Hebrew language. It made spoken Hebrew one of the most significant facets of the new settlement in Palestine.

Many Palestinian Jews already used Hebrew as a language spoken by individuals who had differing primary languages. However; Hebrew was never implemented universally, and the different emigrant communities persisted in speaking their primary languages. A primary element that helped Ben‑Yehuda to reestablish the Hebrew language was the absence of an existing nationalized language in the country, an eagerness by eastern and central European Jews to restore their culture, and remembrances of the ancient nobility that the Jews had previously experienced in Palestine. While in Jerusalem in 1881, Ben‑Yehuda moved forward with his aspiration of transforming Hebrew into a language fit for everyday practice. Ben-Yehuda set out to advance a fitting terminology, in which he blended words from archaic and out-of-date literature to form original words incorporated into his Thesaurus. Ben‑Yehuda describes the processes utilized for tailoring the language daily use in his Thesaurus.
The biggest hindrance to establishing Hebrew as a widespread language was the origination of new words. Therefore, discovering new words became the primary task of Ben‑Yehuda and the Language Council. Mechanisms established to adapt Hebrew for everyday practice include the addition of words taken from Arabic, based on their linguistic closeness to Hebrew, and a return to the scientific and specialized Hebrew terminology of the Ibn Tibbons translations. Ben‑Yehuda adopted many effective Hebrew and Aramaic phrases, and Latin and Greek loanwords, from the Talmud and the Mishnah.
They applied Aramaic linguistic patterns and suffixes for infrequently used biblical words, and root words confirmed in Biblical Hebrew were manipulated to extract new words conforming to their historic morphological forms.

Nahum Slouschz

  • Nahum Slouschz was born on November 1872 in Smarhon, Vilna district, Byelorussia and died in Tel Aviv, Israel on December 23, 1966. Slouschz was a Russian-born Israeli archaeologist, writer and linguist recognized for his research of the “secret” Hebrew communities in North Africa, particularly, Ethiopia, South Africa, Tunisia and Libya, but also in many secluded territories of Africa, and also in Portugal.
  • When he was 10 years old, the family moved to Odessa where his father, R. Dovid-Shloyme, became the rabbi at a temple on the outskirts of Moldavanka. Besides being a rabbi, Nahum’s father was a member of the Lovers of Zion and a Hebrew writer. 
  •  Nahum frequently studied the Talmud and the Tanakh with his father, in addition to learning foreign languages and worldly studies from his private tutors.
  • At nineteen, the Hovevei Zion Society of Odessa sent him to Palestine to research the possibility of settling a territory in the Holy Land. He was not unsuccessful and returned home, but did return to Palestine in 1919 and became a permanent resident of the country. In 1896 he traveled to Austria and Lithuania and Egypt before going back to Palestine.
  • Slouschz graduated from the Rabbinical Seminary in Odessa, and afterward taught Hebrew literature at Sorbonne University in Paris, and then in America. He was an associate of Theodor Herzl, the founder of the Zionist Organization, and was known as the father of the State of Israel. Slouschz headed archeological expeditions in Tiberias and Jerusalem.
  • He studied philosophy and belles-lettres at the University of Geneva in 1898. During this period, Nahum assisted in the set-up of the Swiss Federation of Zionists. He travelled to Paris in 1900, where he learned Oriental languages. He worked as a journalist at several newspapers, including Ha-Melitz and Ha-Tsefirah. In 1902, he taught school in Auteuil. In 1903, he finished his doctorate at the University of Paris and wrote his thesis on the topic of the renaissance of Hebrew literature. His thesis was initially published in French and a later revision in Hebrew under the title “Korot ha-Sifrut ha-Ìvrit ha-Hadasha.” The English version was released in 1909 incorporating new material, and was published under the title The Renascence of Hebrew Literature (1743-1885). In 1904, he taught on Neo-Hebraic composition at the University of Paris.

Publicated Wroks

  • Among his best works were books entitled “Across Unknown Jewish Africa,” and “The Renaissance of Hebrew Literature.”
  • His first article was written in 1887 called Haeshkol (The Cluster), and he later wrote articles for: Hamelits (The Advocate), Hatsfira (The Siren), Hapisga (The summit), Haḥavatselet (The Daffodil), and Voskhod (Sunrise), among others.  At that time, he published in book form: Kat hamityahadim berusya (A group of converts to Judaism in Russia) (Vienna, 1889); Ma yaase haadam velo yeḥele (What a person needs to do so as not to get sick) (Jerusalem, 1891), 46 pp.; Haosher meain yimatse (Where is happiness to be found?) (Jerusalem, 1894); and Mnemotekhnik (The art of memory), in Russian.
  • In 1903 he obtained his doctoral degree for his treatise, La Renaissance de la littérature hébraique, 1734-1885, and it was later published in book form in French (Paris, 1903) and in Hebrew as Korot hasifrut haivrit haḥadasha (Warsaw, 1906), and in English as Renascence of Hebrew Literature (1909).


  • Nahum Slouschz won the Bialik Prize for Jewish thought in 1942. The Bialik Prize is a yearly literary award presented by the city of Tel Aviv, for notable achievements in Hebrew literature.

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The International Jewish Cookbook

The International Jewish Cookbook

Traditional Jewish Cookery

The International Jewish Cook Book, by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum, is a book about Traditional Jewish Cuisine, is a compilation of the various culinary practices of Jewish communities.
It is a distinctive style of cooking that developed over many generations, defined by Jewish dietary laws, Jewish Festivals and Shabbat (Sabbath) rituals. Jewish cooking is shaped by the agriculture, cooking practices, and the economy of the many countries where Jewish people lived and differs all over the globe. The distinctive styles of Jewish cuisines are Arab, Ashkenazi, Indian, Latin-American, Mizrahi, Persian, Sephardi and Yemenite. There are likewise unique recipes for differing Jewish nations stretching from Central Asia to Ethiopia. Since the State of Israel was established in 1948, and especially since the 1970s, an emerging Israeli “fusion cuisine” has evolved, embracing and modifying aspects of all the Jewish styles mentioned previously.
New dishes have sprung up based on the different agricultural crops that have been introduced since 1948 and blending in Middle Eastern foods and other foreign cuisines.

This is an old-fashioned cook book originally printed in 1911 that includes over 1600 recipes. The aim of this cookbook was to feature those time-honored Jewish recipes passed down through the generations by Jewish homemakers for the Sabbath and Biblical High Holy Day meals. However; the book includes many other recipes including the beloved recipes of Australia, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Russia and also has hundreds of recipes practiced in American homes.
This book literally contains recipes of most any kind of food that appeals to the Jewish palate, and which the Jewish homemakers could adapt to the dietary laws, making this a genuinely international cook book.
Utilizing agricultural crops from foods of a particular Jewish culinary tradition to embellish dishes of separate Jewish culinary traditions, and combining and altering various Middle Eastern dishes from the resident non-Jewish community of Israel. Israeli Jewish cooking is both genuinely Jewish, typically kosher, and uniquely regional “Israeli”, yet a complete hybridization of its diverse Jewish roots.

Short Biography of the Author

  • Florence K. Greenbaum, was born on December 30, 1905 and died on July 16, 1995 in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Florence Greenbaum graduated from Hunter College in New York City, where she studied food chemistry and diet and got a comprehensive knowledge of the experimental methods for blending foods.
  • The first half of Malan’s translation is included in Rutherford Hayes Platt Jr’s book The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden as the “First Book of Adam and Eve” and the “Second Book of Adam and Eve”. We find parts of this version in the Talmud, the Koran, and elsewhere, showing what a vital role, it played in the original literature of human wisdom.

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Chosen Peoples by Israel Zangwill

Chosen Peoples by Israel Zangwill

Practices and Rituals

Are the Jews the Chosen People?

Israel Zangwill

ghetto children

The “of the Ghetto” books:

  • Children of the Ghetto: A Study of a Peculiar People (1892)
  • Grandchildren of the Ghetto (1892)
  • Dreamers of the Ghetto (1898)
  • Ghetto Tragedies, (1899)
  • Ghetto Comedies, (1907)

Other Works

  • Chosen Peoples, (1919)
  • The Big Bow Mystery (1892)
  • The King of Schnorrers (1894)
  • The Master (1895) (based on the life of friend and illustrator George Wylie Hutchinson)
  • The Melting Pot (1909)
  • The Old Maid’s Club (1892)
  • The Bachelors’ Club (London : Henry, 1891)
  • The Serio-Comic Governess (1904)
  • Without Prejudice (1896)
  • Merely Mary Ann (1904)
  • The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes (1903) which include The Grey Wig; Chasse-Croise; The Woman Beater; The Eternal Feminine; The Silent Sisters

Playwrights and Associated Films

  • Children of the Ghetto, directed by Frank Powell (1915, based on the play Children of the Ghetto)
  • The Melting Pot, directed by Oliver D. Bailey and James Vincent (1915, based on the play The Melting Pot)
  • Merely Mary Ann, directed by John G. Adolfi (1916, based on the play Merely Mary Ann)
  • The Moment Before, directed by Robert G. Vignola (1916, based on the play The Moment of Death)
  • Mary Ann, directed by Alexander Korda (Hungary, 1918, based on the play Merely Mary Ann)
  • Nurse Marjorie, directed by William Desmond Taylor (1920, based on the play Nurse Marjorie)
  • Merely Mary Ann, directed by Edward LeSaint (1920, based on the play Merely Mary Ann)
  • The Bachelor’s Club, directed by A. V. Bramble (1921, based on the novel We Moderns)
  • We Moderns, directed by John Francis Dillon (1925, based on the play We Moderns)
  • Too Much Money, directed by John Francis Dillon (1926, based on the play Too Much Money)
  • Perfect Crime, directed by Bert Glennon (1928, based on the novel The Big Bow Mystery)
  • Merely Mary Ann, directed by Henry King (1931, based on the play Merely Mary Ann)
  • The Crime Doctor, directed by John S. Robertson (1934, based on the novel The Big Bow Mystery)
  • The Verdict, directed by Don Siegel (1946, based on the novel The Big Bow Mystery)

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The Antiquities of the Jews

The Antiquities of the Jews

Judean Antiquities

antiquities jews

Antiquities of the Jews is a 20-volume historical composition, penned in Greek, by the Jewish writer Flavius Josephus in AD 94 during the 13th year of the reign of Roman emperor Flavius Domitian. In the foreword of Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus tells why he wanted to do this work.
He writes:“Now I have undertaken the present work, as thinking it will appear to all the Greeks worthy of their study; for it will contain all our antiquities, and the constitution of our government, as interpreted out of the Hebrew Scriptures.”
The book consists of a record of history of the Jewish society for Josephus’ gentile cohorts. In its first 10 volumes, Josephus describes the stories of the Hebrew Bible commencing with the creation of Adam and Eve. The next 10 volumes outline Jewish history beyond the scriptural text and up to the Hebrew War, or the First Hebrew–Roman War, 66 to 73 CE.

The Wars of the Jews

wars of jews

This publication, along with Josephus’s other notable work, The Jewish War (De Bello Iudaico), contributes valuable cultural knowledge for historians trying to learn 1st-century AD Judaism and the early Christian era.
Antiquities of the Jews incorporates an abundance of exclusive, and treasured, ancient information. This includes the history of Armenia, the Hellenistic states, Parthia, the Nabatean kingdom and Rome’s subjugation of the territories of Western Asia. Scholars regard this work of Josephus as one of the most influential publications in classical Roman history, along with the writings of Suetonius, Tacitus and Titus Livius. Jerome, one of the most knowledgeable Christian writers of the 4th–5th centuries, referred to Josephus Flavius as “Titus Livius of the Greeks”. Louis Feldman, a Josephean scholar, pointed out several falsehoods about the Hebrews that were being 
They believed that the Hebrews had no outstanding historical leaders and no solid history of their societies. It was believed that they held hostility toward non-Hebrews, and were disloyal and unpatriotic. It is because of these sentiments throughout the Roman Empire that Josephus decided to produce an “apologia” of the Hebrew past.

Josephus omitted many stories in the Hebrew narrative. For instance, the “Song of The Sea” chanted by Moses and the Israelites after their salvation at the Red Sea is eliminated from Josephus’ work. Likewise, owing to his apprehension with pagan antisemitism, Josephus eliminated the full incident regarding the golden calf from his version of the story of Israelites at Mount Sinai. Other Hebrew scholars have proposed that he feared that the scriptural account could be used by Alexandrian anti-Semites to add credence to their charge that the Hebrews worshiped an ass’s head in the Temple (cf. Apion 2:80, 114, 120; Tacitus, Histories 5:4).

Josephus writes that Abraham himself educated the Egyptians in science, and they likewise educated the Greeks, and that Moses established a parliamentary clerical nobility which resisted sovereignty, like Rome. Josephus presented the major characters of the scriptural stories as philosophical leaders to make the history of the Hebrew’s more acceptable to his Greco-Roman advocates.
The surviving copies of this book, which all stem from Christian sources, includes 2 disputed verses about Jesus. They call the lengthier one the Testimonium Flavianum. If legitimate, it is one of the earliest nonbiblical accounts of Jesus, and is often pointed to as proof of the factual existence of Jesus.
In the 9th–10th centuries, a Hebrew translation known as the “Josippon”, appeared in Italy. It depicted Hebrew history and the major events throughout the earth from the time of the construction of the Tower of Babel to the seizure of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. This work was a truncated translation of Jewish Antiquities and The Jewish War, but Joseph ben Gorion was declared the author. With the advent of printing, Jossipon was actually published before the work of Josephus Flavius in1476, making it just as popular as the major work Antiquities of the Jews.


  • The first Greek translation of Antiquities of the Jews in Greek occurred in 1544. Other publications followed in 1611 and 1634 (Cologne), 1687 (Oxford), 1691 (Leipzig), 1700 (Oxford), 1726 (Leiden), etcetera. They translated Antiquities of the Jews into French, Italian, German and Spanish during the 15th – 16th centuries. It has been published in contemporary languages, Latin and Russian.
  • The best-known rendition of the Antiquities of the Jews was completed by William Whiston in 1737. Whiston’s version has been in publication since then. A cross-reference hierarchy for the Works of Josephus and the Biblical canon exists also.

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Ancient Hebrew VS Modern Jewish Calendar Comparisons

Ancient Hebrew VS Modern Jewish Calendar Comparisons

Many of the practices included on the contemporary Jewish calendars are the same as those used in ancient times, but there are many differences as well. Our website calendar strictly adheres to the ancient Hebrew Scriptural commands given by the Torah and the Old Testament biblical texts.
We do not use Babylonian names, such as Nissan or Tammuz, for the new moons (months). Instead, we use numbers, i.e., Chodesh Rishon (First New Moon) (first month), as are used in the Torah and the Old Testament.

  • We do not use Babylonian names, such as Nissan or Tammuz, for the new moons (months). Instead, we use numbers, i.e., Chodesh Rishon (First New Moon) (first month), as are used in the Torah and the Old Testament.
  • We consider the date of creation, based on biblical creation timelines, to be 7520 years ago instead of 5781 years ago. One of our magazine articles examines and explains the Scriptural Creation Timeline.
  • We do not include additional holy days to account for travel by people who might be in diaspora. We strictly adhere to the Scriptural time-periods and give no special considerations for travel time as they gave none in ancient times.
  • We put the new moon’s and all holy days on the calendar on their exact date, we make no adjustments to prevent them from falling on Shabbat (the Sabbath).
  • Our new moon festivity durations are 1-day events, never 2-day events.
  • Our calendar does not include any holy days that are not explicitly ordained as such in the Scriptures like: Hanukah, Purim, Second Passover, Lag B’ Omer, the Three Weeks or the 15th of Av.
  • We do not refer to the holy day of Yom Teruah as Rosh Hashana (Head of the Year, New Year’s Day). We use the Chodesh Rishon (First New Moon) (1st month) of the year Aviv (the month of Spring) as stated in the Torah and in Exodus 12:1-2 as the Head of the Months (start of the year).

Ancient Hebrew Calendars, Jerusalem (Israel)

Ancient Hebrew Calendar, Georgia (USA)

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