Tag: Ancient Jewish History


Pigs and Their Prohibition

Because no single discipline or explanation seems adequate to understandthis practice, the search draws data from biology, anthropology, ancient history, mythology, religion, and ecology. Some have dismissed religious explanations as ar- bitrary and tautological, but the information provided in this article shows that religious beliefs are important.


The Divine Eye in Ancient Egypt and in the Midrashic Interpretation of Formative Judaism

Generally, the eye in the ancient Near Eastern world represented an all-seeing and omnipresent divinity. The eye served as the focus of all types of myths relating to the visually perceivable. In other words, a deity was reduced to an eye, and the form of the symbol suggested a meaning to the viewer or religious practitioner. When the eye is transformed into language, an ocular icon becomes a verbal icon.


Was there Science in Ancient Judaism? Historical and Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Religion and Science

This essay will attempt to map part of this terrain and to chart directions for further study. It will begin by considering some of the methodological challenges involved in seeking evidence for scientific interests and inquiries in our ancient Jewish sources. It will then survey material related to astronomy and cosmology in Second Temple and Rabbinic Jewish sources.