Chazal
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Chazal or Ḥazal ( he, חז״ל), an
acronym An acronym is a word or name formed from the initial components of a longer name or phrase. Acronyms are usually formed from the initial letters of words, as in ''NATO'' (''North Atlantic Treaty Organization''), but sometimes use syllables, as ...
for the Hebrew "Ḥakhameinu Zikhronam Liv'rakha" (, "Our Sages, may their memory be blessed"), refers to all Jewish sages of the
Mishna The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Torah ...
,
Tosefta The Tosefta ( Jewish Babylonian Aramaic: תוספתא "supplement, addition") is a compilation of the Jewish oral law from the late 2nd century, the period of the Mishnah. Overview In many ways, the Tosefta acts as a supplement to the Mishnah ...
and
Talmud The Talmud (; he, , Talmūḏ) is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (''halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the center ...
eras, spanning from the times of the final 300 years of the
Second Temple of Jerusalem The Second Temple (, , ), later known as Herod's Temple, was the reconstructed Temple in Jerusalem between and 70 CE. It replaced Solomon's Temple, which had been built at the same location in the Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy), United Kin ...
until the 7th century CE, or  250 BCE –  625 CE.


Rabbinical eras; eras of the Halakha

Chazal are generally divided according to their era and the main writing done in that era: * '' Soferim'' ("scribes"): Sages from before the era of Ezra the scribe until the ''
Zugot The ''Zugot'' ( he, הַזּוּגוֹת ''hazZūgōṯ'', "the Pairs"), also called Zugoth or ''Zugos'' in the Ashkenazi pronunciation, refers both to the two-hundred-year period ( 170 BCE – 30 CE, he, תְּקוּפַת הַזּו ...
'' era, including the men of the
Great Assembly According to Judaism, Jewish tradition the Men of the Great Assembly ( he, כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה) or Anshei Knesset HaGedolah (, "The Men of the Great Assembly"), also known as the Great Synagogue, or ''Synod'', was an assembly ...
. This era stretches from the '' Matan Torah'' ("giving of the Law"; Moses receiving the Torah on
Biblical Mount Sinai Mount Sinai (, ''Har Sīnay'') is the mountain at which the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by Tetragrammaton, God, according to the Book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible. In the Book of Deuteronomy, these events are described as having transp ...
), to the ''
Halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halocho'' ( ), is the collective body of Judaism, Jewish religious laws which is derived from the Torah, written and Oral Tora ...
'' ("traditions") era, including the times of Simeon the Just. * ''
Zugot The ''Zugot'' ( he, הַזּוּגוֹת ''hazZūgōṯ'', "the Pairs"), also called Zugoth or ''Zugos'' in the Ashkenazi pronunciation, refers both to the two-hundred-year period ( 170 BCE – 30 CE, he, תְּקוּפַת הַזּו ...
'' ("pairs"): Five pairs (''zugot'') of sages from consecutive generations, who lived during a period of around 100 years towards the end of the Second Temple era. (142 BCE – ' 40 BCE) * ''
Tannaim ''Tannaim'' (Mishnaic Hebrew, Amoraic Hebrew: תנאים , singular , ''Tanna'' "repeaters", "teachers") were the rabbinic Sage (philosophy), sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah, from approximately 10–220 CE. The period of the ''Tan ...
'' ("teachers"): Refers to the sages of the
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Tor ...
, who lived in the
Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of the Southern Levant. Related biblical, religious and historical English terms include the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, and Palestine (region), Palesti ...
until 220 CE. In addition to the Mishnah, their writings were preserved in the
Midrash ''Midrash'' (;"midrash"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
he, מִדְרָשׁ; ...
. Key figures among the Tannaim include
Hillel the Elder Hillel ( he, הִלֵּל ''Hīllēl''; variously called ''Hillel HaGadol'', ''Hillel HaZaken'', ''Hillel HaBavli'' or ''HaBavli'', was born according to tradition in Babylon c. 110 BCE, died 10 CE in Jerusalem) was a Jewish religious leader, Sag ...
,
Rabbi Akiva Akiva ben Yosef (Mishnaic Hebrew: ''ʿĂqīvāʾ ben Yōsēf''; – 28 September 135 Common Era, CE), also known as Rabbi Akiva (), was a leading Jewish scholar and sage, a ''Tannaim, tanna'' of the latter part of the first century and the beginn ...
, and
Judah haNasi Judah ha-Nasi ( he, יְהוּדָה הַנָּשִׂיא‎, ''Yəhūḏā hanNāsīʾ‎''; Yehudah HaNasi or Judah the Prince) or Judah I, was a second-century rabbi (a tanna of the fifth generation) and chief redactor and editor Edi ...
. * ''
Amoraim ''Amoraim'' (Aramaic language, Aramaic: plural or , singular ''Amora'' or ''Amoray''; "those who say" or "those who speak over the people", or "spokesmen") refers to Jewish scholars of the period from about 200 to 500 Common Era, CE, who "sai ...
'' ("expounders"): Refers to the sages of the
Talmud The Talmud (; he, , Talmūḏ) is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (''halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the center ...
who were active during the end of the era of the sealing of the Mishnah, and until the times of the sealing of the Talmud (220 CE – 500 CE). The Amoraim sages were active in two areas, the Land of Israel, and
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Bāḇel'' * syc, ܒܒܠ ''Bāḇel'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bāvel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babi ...
. In addition to the
Babylonian Talmud The Talmud (; he, , Talmūḏ) is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (''halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the center ...
and the
Jerusalem Talmud The Jerusalem Talmud ( he, תַּלְמוּד יְרוּשַׁלְמִי, translit=Talmud Yerushalmi, often for short), also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmud of the Land of Israel, is a collection of rabbinic notes on the second-century ...
, their writings were preserved in midrashs such as Midrash Rabba. * '' Savoraim'' ("reasoners"): Refers to the sages of ''
Beth midrash A ''beth midrash'' ( he, בית מדרש, or ''beis medrash'', ''beit midrash'', pl. ''batei midrash'' "House of Learning") is a hall dedicated for Torah study, often translated as a "study hall." It is distinct from a synagogue (''beth kness ...
'' (Torah study places) in Babylon from the end of the era of the Amoraim (5th century) and until the beginning of the era of the
Geonim ''Geonim'' ( he, גאונים; ; also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated Gaonim, singular Gaon) were the presidents of the two great Talmudic Academies in Babylonia, Babylonian Talmudic Academies of Sura Academy , Sura and Pumbedita Academy ...
(from the end of the 6th century or the midst of the 7th century).


Chazal's authority

Until the end of the Savoraim era, Chazal had the authority to comment on the Torah according to the Talmudical hermeneutics standards required by the
Law given to Moses at Sinai A law given to Moses at Sinai ( he, הלכה למשה מסיני, Halakhah le-Moshe mi-Sinai) refers to a Halakha, halakhic law for which there is no Torah#Biblical law, biblical reference or source, but rather was Oral tradition, passed down orall ...
,"הלכה למשה מסיני"
(Hebrew wikipedia)

Jewish Virtual Library Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
sometimes even expounding a word or phrase outside its plain and ordinary sense. Nowadays in
Orthodoxy Orthodoxy (from Greek: ) is adherence to correct or accepted creeds, especially in religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified p ...
, this authority is not delegated to the current generation's sages, and thus the
Torah The Torah (; hbo, ''Tōrā'', "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Book of Genesis, Genesis, Book of Exodus, Exodus, Leviticus, Book of Numbers, Numbers a ...
can not be commentated on, in matters concerning the ''
halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halocho'' ( ), is the collective body of Judaism, Jewish religious laws which is derived from the Torah, written and Oral Tora ...
'' ("Jewish Law"), if it contradicts Chazal's commentary. Until the middle of the Tannaim era, when there was a
Sanhedrin The Sanhedrin (Hebrew language, Hebrew and Aramaic: סַנְהֶדְרִין; Greek language, Greek: , ''synedrion'', 'sitting together,' hence 'Deliberative assembly, assembly' or 'council') was an assembly of either 23 or 71 elders (known as ...
(a High Court of
Jewish law ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halocho'' ( ), is the collective body of Judaism, Jewish religious laws which is derived from the Torah, written and Oral Tora ...
), Chazal had also the authority to decree restrictions and to enact new religious regulations, in any matter they saw fit, concerning issues that were not included in the written Torah, or were not delivered at Mount Sinai. These rabbinical ''
mitzvot In its primary meaning, the Hebrew language, Hebrew word (; he, מִצְוָה, ''mīṣvā'' , plural ''mīṣvōt'' ; "commandment") refers to a commandment Divine law, commanded by God to be performed as a religious duty. Jewish law () in l ...
'' ("commandments") include the holidays of
Purim Purim (; , ; see Name A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context. The entity identified by a name is cal ...
and
Hanukkah Hanukkah (; ) is a Jewish holidays, Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah ...
, the laws of '' muktzeh'' ("set-aside items") on
Shabbat Shabbat (, , or ; he, שַׁבָּת, Šabbāṯ, , ) or the Sabbath (), also called Shabbos (, ) by Ashkenazi Hebrew, Ashkenazim, is Judaism's day of rest on the seventh day of the seven-day week, week—i.e., Saturday. On this day, religious ...
, the ritual washing of one's hands (''netilat yadayim'') before eating bread, the construction of '' eruvim'' (liminal gateways), and the institution of the current schedule of daily prayer services – ''
shacharit ''Shacharit'' ( he, שַחֲרִית ''šaḥăriṯ''), or ''Shacharis'' in Ashkenazi Hebrew, is the morning ''Jewish prayer, tefillah'' (prayer) of Judaism, one of the three daily prayers. Different traditions identify different primar ...
'' (morning prayer), ''
mincha Mincha ( he, מִנחַה, pronounced as ; sometimes spelled ''Minchah'' or ''Minḥa'') is the afternoon prayer service in Judaism. Etymology The name ''Mincha'', meaning "present", is derived from the meal offering that accompanied each sacrif ...
'' (afternoon prayer), and ''
ma'ariv ''Maariv'' or ''Maʿariv'' (, ), also known as ''Arvit'' (, ), is a Jewish prayer service held in the evening or night. It consists primarily of the evening ''Shema'' and ''Amidah''. The service will often begin with two verses from Psalms, ...
'' (evening prayer).


See also

*
Jewish commentaries on the Bible Jewish commentaries on the Bible are List of biblical commentaries, biblical commentaries of the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh) from a Jewish perspective. Translations into Aramaic language, Aramaic and English, and some universally accepted Jewish comm ...


References


External links


Wiktionary: Chazal
{{Savoraim Acronyms Talmud concepts and terminology