Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity and religion are interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance. Jews originated as an ethnic and religious group in the Middle East during the second millennium BCE, in the part of the Levant known as the Land of Israel; the Merneptah Stele appears to confirm the existence of a people of Israel somewhere in Canaan as far back as the 13th century BCE. The Israelites, as an outgrowth of the Canaanite population, consolidated their hold with the emergence of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah; some consider that these Canaanite sedentary Israelites melded with incoming nomadic groups known as'Hebrews'. Though few sources mention the exilic periods in detail, the experience of diaspora life, from the Ancient Egyptian rule over the Levant, to Assyrian captivity and exile, to Babylonian captivity and exile, to Seleucid Imperial rule, to the Roman occupation and exile, the historical relations between Jews and their homeland thereafter, became a major feature of Jewish history and memory.
Prior to World War II, the worldwide Jewish population reached a peak of 16.7 million, representing around 0.7% of the world population at that time. 6 million Jews were systematically murdered during the Holocaust. Since the population has risen again, as of 2016 was estimated at 14.4 million by the Berman Jewish DataBank, less than 0.2% of the total world population. The modern State of Israel is the only country, it defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state in the Basic Laws, Human Dignity and Liberty in particular, based on the Declaration of Independence. Israel's Law of Return grants the right of citizenship to Jews who have expressed their desire to settle in Israel. Despite their small percentage of the world's population, Jews have influenced and contributed to human progress in many fields, both and in modern times, including philosophy, literature, business, fine arts and architecture, music and cinema, science and technology, as well as religion. Jews have played a significant role in the development of Western Civilization.
The English word "Jew" continues Iewe. These terms derive from Old French giu, earlier juieu, which through elision had dropped the letter "d" from the Medieval Latin Iudaeus, like the New Testament Greek term Ioudaios, meant both "Jew" and "Judean" / "of Judea"; the Greek term was a loan from Aramaic Y'hūdāi, corresponding to Hebrew יְהוּדִי Yehudi the term for a member of the tribe of Judah or the people of the kingdom of Judah. According to the Hebrew Bible, the name of both the tribe and kingdom derive from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob. Genesis 29:35 and 49:8 connect the name "Judah" with the verb yada, meaning "praise", but scholars agree that the name of both the patriarch and the kingdom instead have a geographic origin—possibly referring to the gorges and ravines of the region; the Hebrew word for "Jew" is יְהוּדִי Yehudi, with the plural יְהוּדִים Yehudim. Endonyms in other Jewish languages include the Yiddish ייִד Yid; the etymological equivalent is in use in other languages, e.g. يَهُودِيّ yahūdī, al-yahūd, in Arabic, "Jude" in German, "judeu" in Portuguese, "Juif" /"Juive" in French, "jøde" in Danish and Norwegian, "judío/a" in Spanish, "jood" in Dutch, "żyd" in Polish etc. but derivations of the word "Hebrew" are in use to describe a Jew, e.g. in Italian, in Persian and Russian.
The German word "Jude" is pronounced, the corresponding adjective "jüdisch" is the origin of the word "Yiddish". According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fourth edition, It is recognized that the attributive use of the noun Jew, in phrases such as Jew lawyer or Jew ethics, is both vulgar and offensive. In such contexts Jewish is the only acceptable possibility; some people, have become so wary of this construction that they have extended the stigma to any use of Jew as a noun, a practice that carries risks of its own. In a sentence such as There are now several Jews on the council, unobjectionable, the substitution of a circumlocution like Jewish people or persons of Jewish background may in itself cause offense for seeming to imply that Jew has a negative connotation when used as a noun. Judaism shares some of the characteristics of a nation, an ethnicity, a religion, a culture, making the definition of, a Jew vary depending on whether a religious or national approach to identity is used.
In modern secular usage Jews include three groups: people who were born to a Jewish family regardless of whether or not they follow the religion, those who have some Jewish ancestral background or lineage, people without any Jewish ancestral background or lineage who have formally converted to Judaism and therefore are followers of the religion. Historical definitions of Jewish identity have traditionally been based on halakhic definitions of matrilineal descent, halakhic conversions; these definitions of, a Jew date back to the codification of the Oral
Levi ben Sisi
Levi ben Sisi or Levi bar Sisi was a Jewish scholar, disciple of the patriarch Judah I, school associate of his son Simeon bar Levi. Levi ben Sisi contributed baraitot. Many of Levi's baraitot were embodied in a compilation known as Ḳiddushin de-Be Levi. In the Babylonian Talmud Levi is quoted with his patronymic, neither in that nor in the Jerusalem Talmud nor in the Midrashim is he quoted with the title of "Rabbi", thus one is able to determine whether passages written under the name "Levi" without a patronymic must be credited to Levi bar Sisi or to a younger namesake, always cited as "R. Levi". Although Levi bar Sisi is referred to as "Rav," he was esteemed among scholars. Where an anonymous passage is introduced with the statement למדין לפני חכמים, the implication is that the argument was advanced by Levi before Judah I. Judah I spoke of Levi bar Sisi as of an equal. At the request of a congregation at Simonias to send a man who could fulfil the duties of a preacher, beadle and teacher, supervise general congregational affairs, Judah I sent Levi.
When Levi took up his position, he failed to satisfy the first requirement. Questions of law and of exegesis were addressed to him, he left them unanswered; the Simonias congregation charged the patriarch with sending someone unfit for the job, but he responded that Levi was as able as himself. He asked the same questions, which Levi answered all correctly. Judah inquired why he did not do so before and Levi answered that his courage had failed him. A late midrash speaks of him as a Biblical fine preacher. After Judah's death Levi retired with Ḥanina b. Ḥama from the academy, when Ḥanina received his long-delayed promotion Levi removed to Babylonia, whither his fame had preceded him. He died in Babylonia, was mourned by scholars. In the course of a eulogy on him delivered by Abba bar Abba it was said that Levi alone was worth as much as the whole of humanity. Bacher, Ag. Tan. ii. 536. 60a. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Isidore. "Levi b. Sisi"; the Jewish Encyclopedia.
New York: Funk & Wagnalls
Amoraim refers to the Jewish scholars of the period from about 200 to 500 CE, who "said" or "told over" the teachings of the Oral Torah. They were concentrated in the Land of Israel, their legal discussions and debates were codified in the Gemara. The Amoraim followed the Tannaim in the sequence of ancient Jewish scholars; the Tannaim were direct transmitters of uncodified oral tradition. The first Babylonian Amoraim were Abba Arika, respectfully referred to as Rav, his contemporary and frequent debate partner, Shmuel. Among the earliest Amoraim in Israel were Johanan bar Shimon ben Lakish. Traditionally, the Amoraic period is reckoned as eight generations; the last Amoraim are considered to be Ravina I and Rav Ashi, Ravina II, nephew of Ravina I, who codified the Babylonian Talmud around 500 CE. In total, 761 amoraim are mentioned by name in the Babylonian Talmuds. 367 of them were active in the land of Israel from around 200-350 CE, while the other 394 lived in Babylonia during 200-500 CE. In the Talmud itself, the singular amora refers to a lecturer's assistant.
The following is an abbreviated listing of the most prominent of the Amoraim mentioned in the Talmud. More complete listings may be provided by some of the external links below. See List of rabbis. Abba Arika, known as Rav, last Tanna, first Amora. Disciple of Judah haNasi. Moved from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia. Founder and Dean of the Yeshiva at Sura. Shmuel, disciple of Judah haNasi's students and others. Dean of the Yeshiva at Nehardea. Joshua ben Levi, headed the school of Lod. Bar Kappara Rav Huna, disciple of Rav and Shmuel. Dean of the Yeshiva at Sura. Rav Yehudah, disciple of Rav and Shmuel. Dean of the Yeshiva at Pumbedita. Adda bar Ahavah, disciple of Rav. Hillel, son of Gamaliel III, disciple and grandson of Judah haNasi, younger brother of Judah II. Judah II, disciple and grandson of Judah haNasi, son and successor of Gamaliel III as Nasi. Sometimes called Rabbi Judah Nesi'ah, Rebbi like his grandfather. Resh Lakish, disciple of Judah haNasi, Rabbi Yannai and others, colleague of Rabbi Yochanan.
Yochanan bar Nafcha, disciple of Judah haNasi and Rabbi Yannai. Dean of the Yeshiva at Tiberias. Primary author of the Jerusalem Talmud. Samuel ben Nahman Shila of Kefar Tamarta Isaac Nappaha Anani ben Sason Rabbah, disciple of Rav Huna and Rav Yehudah. Dean of the Yeshiva at Pumbedita. Rav Yosef, disciple of Rav Huna and Rav Yehudah. Dean of the Yeshiva at Pumbedita. Rav Zeira Rav Chisda, disciple of Rav and Rav Huna. Dean of the Yeshiva at Sura. Simon ben Pazzi Rav Sheshet Rav Nachman, disciple of Rav and Rabbah bar Avuha. Did not head his own yeshiva, but was a regular participant in the discussions at the Yeshivot of Sura and Mahuza. Rabbi Abbahu, disciple of Rabbi Yochanan. Dean of the Yeshiva in Caesarea. Hamnuna — Several rabbis in the Talmud bore this name, the most well-known being a disciple of Shmuel. Judah III, disciple of Rabbi Johanan bar Nappaha. Son and successor of Gamaliel IV as NASI, grandson of Judah II. Rabbi Ammi Rabbi Assi Hanina ben Pappa Raba bar Rav Huna Rami bar Hama Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah Abaye, disciple of Rabbah, Rav Yosef, Rav Nachman.
Dean of the Yeshiva in Pumbedita. Rava, disciple of Rabbah, Rav Yosef, Rav Nachman, Rabbi Yochanan. Dean of the Yeshiva at Mahuza. Hillel II. Creator of the present-day Hebrew calendar. Son and successor as Nasi of Judah Nesiah, grandson of Gamaliel IV. Abba the Surgeon Bebai ben Abaye Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak, disciple of Abaye and Rava. Dean of the Yeshiva at Pumbedita. Rav Papa, disciple of Abaye and Rava. Dean of the Yeshiva at Naresh. Rav Kahana, teacher of Rav Ashi Rav Hama Rav Huna berai d'Rav Yehoshua Rav Ashi, disciple of Rav Kahana. Dean of the Yeshiva in Mata Mehasia. Primary redactor of the Babylonian Talmud. Ravina I, disciple of Abaye and Rava. Colleague of Rav Ashi in the Yeshiva at Mata Mehasia, where he assisted in the redaction of the Babylonian Talmud. Mar bar Rav Ashi. Ravina II, disciple of Ravina I and Rav Ashi. Dean of the Yeshiva at Sura. Completed the redaction of the Babylonian Talmud; the "Stammaim" is a term used by some modern scholars, such as Halivni, for the rabbis who composed the anonymous statements and arguments in the Talmud, some of whom may have worked during the period of the Amoraim, but who made their contributions after the amoraic period.
See Savoraim. Gemara in the Talmud Map – University of Calgary Jewish Encyclopedia article for Amora
For the Tanna sage of the 5th generation, see Huna Kamma. For the Amora sage of the 3rd generation, see Raba bar Rav Huna. For the Amora sage of the 5th generation, see Huna b. Joshua. For the Amora sage of the 6th generation, see Huna b. Nathan. Rav Huna was a Jewish Talmudist who lived in Babylonia, known as an amora of the second generation and head of the Academy of Sura, he lived in a town, identified by Wiesener with Tekrit. He was the principal pupil of Rav, under whom he acquired so much learning that one of Rava's three wishes was to possess Rav Huna's wisdom, he was styled "one of the Babylonian Hasidim," on account of his great piety. The esteem in which he was held was so great that, though not of a priestly family, he read from the Torah on Shabbat and holy days the first passage, read by a Kohen. Rav Ammi and Rav Assi, honored Israeli Kohanim, considered Huna as their superior. Although Rav Huna was related to the family of the exilarch he was so poor at the beginning of his career that in order to buy wine to consecrate the Shabbat he had to pawn his girdle.
But Rav blessed him with riches, Rav Huna displayed great wealth at the wedding of his son Raba bar Rav Huna. He owned numerous flocks of sheep, which were under the special care of his wife, he traveled in a gilded litter. Rav Huna was generous; when the houses of the poor people were thrown down by storms he rebuilt them. After Rav's death, Huna lectured in his stead in the Academy of Sura, but he was not appointed head until after the death of Rav's companion, Samuel, it was under Rav Huna that the Academy of Sura, which until was called sidra, acquired the designation of mesivta, with Rav Huna being the first "Resh Mesivta". Under Huna the academy increased in importance, students flocked to it from all directions, their instant lecturers were occupied in teaching them. When his pupils, after the lesson, shook their garments they raised so great a cloud of dust that when the Palestinian sky was overcast it was said, "Huna's pupils in Babylon have risen from their lesson". Under Rav Huna, Palestine lost its ascendency over Babylonia.
In Babylonia, during his lifetime, the Sura academy held the supremacy. He presided over it for forty years, when he died more than eighty years of age, his remains were buried by the side of Hiyya Rabbah. Rav Huna's principal pupil was Rav Chisda, his companion under Rav. Other pupils of his whose names are given were: Abba bar Zavda, Rav Giddel, R. Helbo, R. Sheishet, Huna's own son, Rabbah, he transmitted many of Rav's halakot, sometimes without mentioning Rav's name. His own halakot are numerous in the Babylonian Talmud, although some of his decisions were contrary to Rav's, he declared Rav to be the supreme authority in religious law. Rav Huna's deductions were sometimes casuistical. According to Rav Huna, the halakah transmitted in the Mishnah and Baraita is not always to be taken as decisive, he had some knowledge of medicine and natural history, used his knowledge in many of his halakic decisions. He interpreted many of the difficult words met with in the Mishnah and Baraita. Rav Huna was distinguished as an aggadist, his aggadot were known in The Land of Israel, where they were carried by some of his pupils, Rav Zeira among them.
His interpretation of Prov. xiv. 23, transmitted by Rav Zeira, is styled "the pearl". Many of his aggadot, showing his skill in Biblical exegesis, are found in the Babylonian Talmud, some in the name of Rav, some in his own, he took special pains to reconcile conflicting passages, as, for instance, II Sam. Vii. 10 and I Chron. Xvii. 10. He endeavored to solve the problem presented by the sufferings of the righteous, inferring from Isa. liii. 10 that God chasteneth those. Rav Huna's notable sayings include: "He who occupies himself with the study of the Law alone is as one who has no God". "When leaving the synagogue, one must not take long steps". "He who recites his prayer behind the synagogue is called impious or rasha. "He, accustomed to honor the Shabbat with light will have children who are scholars. "Saul fell once, he was dismissed. David twice, yet he stayed on." Rav Huna was tolerant. He was very modest, he was not ashamed, before he was rich, to cultivate his field himself, nor to return home in the evening with his spade on his shoulder.
When two contending parties requested him to judge between them, he said to them: "Give me a man to cultivate my field and I will be your judge". He patiently bore Rav's hard words, because the latter was his teacher, but he showed on several occasions that a scholar must not humiliate himself in presence of an inferior; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Isidore. "Huna". The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. Bacher, Ag. Bab. Amor. pp. 52–60. Grätz, Gesch. 3d ed. iv.291 et seq. Halevy, Dorot Ha'Rishonim, ii.411 et seq. Heilprin, Seder Ha'Dorot, ii. Lichtmann
A sukkah or succah is a temporary hut constructed for use during the week-long Jewish festival of Sukkot. It is topped with branches and well decorated with autumnal, harvest or Judaic themes; the Book of Vayikra describes it as a symbolic wilderness shelter, commemorating the time God provided for the Israelites in the wilderness they inhabited after they were freed from slavery in Egypt. It is common for Jews to eat and otherwise spend time in the sukkah. In Judaism, Sukkot is considered a joyous occasion and is referred to in Hebrew as Yom Simchateinu or Z'man Simchateinu, the sukkah itself symbolizes the frailty and transience of life and its dependence on God; the halakha requires traditionally sleeping in the sukkah. However, Jews are not expected to remain in the sukkah if they would be uncomfortable there. For this reason, Jews living at northern latitudes will not sleep in the sukkah due to the low temperatures of autumn nights; some Jews in these locales will spend some time in the sukkah eating and relaxing but go indoors to sleep.
When rain falls on the sukkah, one is not required to stay inside. The Mishna in Sukkah 28b compares rain falling on a sukkah to a master who receives a drink from his servant and throws it back in the servant's face; the analogy is that through the rainfall, God is showing displeasure with the performance of the mitzvah by not allowing the Jews to fulfill their obligation of sitting in the sukkah. In Israel and other temperate climates, observant Jews will conduct all their eating and sleeping activities in the sukkah. Many Jews will not drink anything outside the sukkah. Others will eat fruit outside the sukkah. In Israel, it is common practice for hotels, snack shops, outdoor tourist attractions to provide a Kosher sukkah for customers to dine in. All Lubavitcher Hasidim and some Belzer Hasidim do not sleep in the sukkah due to its intrinsic holiness. Though the halakha doesn't obligate one to eat or sleep in the sukkah if it is raining, Lubavitcher Hasidim will still eat there. A popular social activity which involves people visiting each other's Sukkot has become known as "Sukkah hopping".
Food is laid out so. According to halakha, a sukkah is a structure consisting of a roof made of organic material, disconnected from the ground for the purpose of the commandment. A sukkah must have three walls, it should be at least three feet tall, be positioned so that all or part of its roof is open to the sky. Most authorities require its floor area to be at least 16 square cubits. In practice, the walls of a sukkah can be constructed from any material that will withstand a anticipated terrestrial wind. If the material is not rigid and therefore will sway in the wind, the sukkah is not kosher. Accordingly, there is a discussion among contemporary halakhic authorities whether canvas may be used for walls: Some, such as R. Ovadiah Yosef hold that the slightest degree of swaying in the wind will disqualify the sukkah walls, thus canvas cannot realistically be employed. Others, such as the Chazon Ish, permit motion to and fro of less than three handbreadths, thereby facilitating the usage of canvas walls which are anchored at all sides.
The specific details of what constitutes a wall, the minimum and maximum wall heights, whether there can be spaces between the walls and the roof, the exact material required for the s'chach can be found in various exegetical texts. A sukkah can be built on an open porch or balcony. Indeed, many observant Jews who design their home's porch or deck will do so in a fashion that aligns with their sukkah-building needs. Portable sukkot made of a collapsible metal frame and cloth walls have become available for those who have little space, or for those who are traveling; the roof covering, known as s'chach in Hebrew, must consist of something that grew from the earth but is disconnected from it. Palm leaves, bamboo sticks, pine branches and the like can all be used for s'chach, unless they were processed for a different use. There must be enough. However, there must be sufficient gaps between the pieces of s'chach so that rain could come through. Many people hang decorations such as streamers, shiny ornaments, pictures from the interior walls and ceiling beams of a sukkah.
Fresh, dried or plastic fruit—including etrogs and the seven species for which Israel is praised —are popular decorations. Some families line the interior walls with white sheeting, in order to recall the "Clouds of Glory" that surrounded the Jewish nation during their wanderings in the desert; the Chabad custom is not to decorate the sukkah, as the sukkah itself is considered to be an object of beauty. One turn-of-the-century Sabbath Observer decorated a Succah wall with his stack of "Pink Slips" that he had convinced multiple employers to give: "one small favor". According to Jewish law, one must recite the following blessing; the blessing is recited after the blessing made on food, such as on bread or cake: ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך ה
Babylonia was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia. A small Amorite-ruled state emerged in 1894 BC, which contained the minor administrative town of Babylon, it was a small provincial town during the Akkadian Empire but expanded during the reign of Hammurabi in the first half of the 18th century BC and became a major capital city. During the reign of Hammurabi and afterwards, Babylonia was called "the country of Akkad", a deliberate archaism in reference to the previous glory of the Akkadian Empire, it was involved in rivalry with the older state of Assyria to the north and Elam to the east in Ancient Iran. Babylonia became the major power in the region after Hammurabi created a short-lived empire, succeeding the earlier Akkadian Empire, Third Dynasty of Ur, Old Assyrian Empire; the Babylonian Empire, however fell apart after the death of Hammurabi and reverted to a small kingdom. Like Assyria, the Babylonian state retained the written Akkadian language for official use, despite its Northwest Semitic-speaking Amorite founders and Kassite successors, who spoke a language isolate, not being native Mesopotamians.
It retained the Sumerian language for religious use, but by the time Babylon was founded, this was no longer a spoken language, having been wholly subsumed by Akkadian. The earlier Akkadian and Sumerian traditions played a major role in Babylonian and Assyrian culture, the region would remain an important cultural center under its protracted periods of outside rule; the earliest mention of the city of Babylon can be found in a clay tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad, dating back to the 23rd century BC. Babylon was a religious and cultural centre at this point and neither an independent state nor a large city. After the collapse of the Akkadian Empire, the south Mesopotamian region was dominated by the Gutian people for a few decades before the rise of the Third Dynasty of Ur, which restored order to the region and which, apart from northern Assyria, encompassed the whole of Mesopotamia, including the town of Babylon. Mesopotamia had enjoyed a long history prior to the emergence of Babylon, with Sumerian civilisation emerging in the region c. 3500 BC, the Akkadian-speaking people appearing by the 30th century BC.
During the 3rd millennium BC, an intimate cultural symbiosis occurred between Sumerian and Akkadian-speakers, which included widespread bilingualism. The influence of Sumerian on Akkadian and vice versa is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a massive scale, to syntactic and phonological convergence; this has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian in the third millennium as a sprachbund. Akkadian replaced Sumerian as the spoken language of Mesopotamia somewhere around the turn of the third and the second millennium BC. From c. 3500 BC until the rise of the Akkadian Empire in the 24th century BC, Mesopotamia had been dominated by Sumerian cities and city states, such as Ur, Uruk, Isin, Adab, Gasur, Hamazi, Akshak and Umma, although Semitic Akkadian names began to appear on the king lists of some of these states between the 29th and 25th centuries BC. Traditionally, the major religious center of all Mesopotamia was the city of Nippur where the god Enlil was supreme, it would remain so until replaced by Babylon during the reign of Hammurabi in the mid-18th century BC.
The Akkadian Empire saw the Akkadian Semites and Sumerians of Mesopotamia unite under one rule, the Akkadians attain ascendancy over the Sumerians and indeed come to dominate much of the ancient Near East. The empire disintegrated due to economic decline, climate change and civil war, followed by attacks by the Gutians from the Zagros Mountains. Sumer rose up again with the Third Dynasty of Ur in the late 22nd century BC, ejected the Gutians from southern Mesopotamia, they seem to have gained ascendancy over much of the territory of the Akkadian kings of Assyria in northern Mesopotamia for a time. Followed by the collapse of the Sumerian "Ur-III" dynasty at the hands of the Elamites in 2002 BC, the Amorites, a foreign Northwest Semitic-speaking people, began to migrate into southern Mesopotamia from the northern Levant gaining control over most of southern Mesopotamia, where they formed a series of small kingdoms, while the Assyrians reasserted their independence in the north; the states of the south were unable to stem the Amorite advance, for a time may have relied on their fellow Akkadians in Assyria for protection.
King Ilu-shuma of the Old Assyrian Empire in a known inscription describes his exploits to the south as follows: The freedom of the Akkadians and their children I established. I purified their copper. I established their freedom from the border of the marshes and Ur and Nippur and Kish, Der of the goddess Ishtar, as far as the City of. Past scholars extrapolated from this text that it means he defeated the invading Amorites to the south and Elamites to the east, but there is no explicit record of that, some scholars believe the Assyrian kings were giving preferential trade agreements to the south; these policies were continued by Ikunum. However, when Sargon I s
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the traditional Jewish name for an area of indefinite geographical extension in the Southern Levant. Related biblical and historical English terms include the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, Palestine; the definitions of the limits of this territory vary between passages in the Hebrew Bible, with specific mentions in Genesis 15, Exodus 23, Numbers 34 and Ezekiel 47. Nine times elsewhere in the Bible, the settled land is referred as "from Dan to Beersheba", three times it is referred as "from the entrance of Hamath unto the brook of Egypt”; these biblical limits for the land differ from the borders of established historical Israelite and Jewish kingdoms. Jewish religious belief defines the land as where Jewish religious law prevailed and excludes territory where it was not applied, it holds that the area is a God-given inheritance of the Jewish people based on the Torah the books of Genesis and Exodus, as well as on the Prophets. According to the Book of Genesis, the land was first promised by God to the descendants of Abram.
Abram's name was changed to Abraham, with the promise refined to pass through his son Isaac and to the Israelites, descendants of Jacob, Abraham's grandson. This belief is not shared by most adherents of replacement theology, who hold the view that the Old Testament prophecies were superseded by the coming of Jesus, a view repudiated by Christian Zionists as a theological error. Evangelical Zionists variously claim that Israel has title to the land by divine right, or by a theological and moral grounding of attachment to the land unique to Jews; the idea that ancient religious texts can be warrant or divine right for a modern claim has been challenged, Israeli courts have rejected land claims based on religious motivations. During the League of Nations mandatory period the term "Eretz Yisrael" or the "Land of Israel" was part of the official Hebrew name of Mandatory Palestine. Official Hebrew documents used the Hebrew transliteration of the word “Palestine” פלשתינה followed always by the two initial letters of "Eretz Yisrael", א״י Aleph-Yod.
The Land of Israel concept has been evoked by the founders of the State of Israel. It surfaces in political debates on the status of the West Bank, referred to in official Israeli discourse as the Judea and Samaria Area, from the names of the two historical Jewish kingdoms; the term "Land of Israel" is a direct translation of the Hebrew phrase ארץ ישראל, which occurs in the Bible, is first mentioned in the Tanakh in 1 Samuel 13:19, following the Exodus, when the Israelite tribes were in the Land of Canaan. The words are used sparsely in the Bible: King David is ordered to gather'strangers to the land of Israel' for building purposes, the same phrasing is used in reference to King Solomon's census of all of the'strangers in the Land of Israel'. Ezekiel, though preferring the phrase'soil of Israel', employs eretz israel twice at Ezekiel 40:2 and Ezekiel 47:18. According to Martin Noth, the term is not an "authentic and original name for this land", but instead serves as "a somewhat flexible description of the area which the Israelite tribes had their settlements".
According to Anita Shapira, the term "Eretz Yisrael" was a holy term, vague as far as the exact boundaries of the territories are concerned but defining ownership. The sanctity of the land developed rich associations in rabbinical thought, where it assumes a symbolic and mythological status infused with promise, though always connected to a geographical location. Nur Masalha argues that the biblical boundaries are "entirely fictitious", bore religious connotations in Diaspora Judaism, with the term only coming into ascendency with the rise of Zionism; the Hebrew Bible provides three specific sets of borders for the "Promised Land", each with a different purpose. Neither of the terms "Promised Land" or "Land of Israel" are used in these passages: Genesis 15:13–21, Genesis 17:8 and Ezekiel 47:13–20 use the term "the land", as does Deuteronomy 1:8 in which it is promised explicitly to "Abraham and Jacob... and to their descendants after them," whilst Numbers 34:1–15 describes the "Land of Canaan", allocated to nine and half of the twelve Israelite tribes after the Exodus.
The expression "Land of Israel" is first used in a book, 1 Samuel 13:19. It is defined in detail in the exilic Book of Ezekiel as a land where both the twelve tribes and the "strangers in midst", can claim inheritance; the name "Israel" first appears in the Hebrew Bible as the name given by God to the patriarch Jacob. Deriving from the name "Israel", other designations that came to be associated with the Jewish people have included the "Children of Israel" or "Israelite"; the term'Land of Israel' occurs in one episode in the New Testament, according to Shlomo Sand, it bears the unusual sense of'the area surrounding Jerusalem'. The section in which it appears was written as a parallel to the e