Chumash (Judaism)
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''Chumash'' (also Ḥumash; he, חומש, or or
Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language historically spoken by Ashkenazi Jews. It originated during the 9th century in Central Europe, providing the nascent Ashke ...
: ; plural Ḥumashim) is a
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 ...
in printed and book bound form (i.e.
codex The codex (plural codices ) was the historical ancestor of the modern book. Instead of being composed of sheets of paper, it used sheets of vellum, papyrus, or other materials. The term ''codex'' is often used for ancient manuscript books, with ...
) as opposed to a
Sefer Torah A ( he, סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה; "Book of Torah"; plural: ) or Torah scroll is a handwritten copy of the Torah, meaning the five books of Moses (the first books of the Hebrew Bible). The Torah scroll is mainly used in the ritual of Tora ...
, which is a
scroll A scroll (from the Old French ''escroe'' or ''escroue''), also known as a roll, is a roll of papyrus, parchment, or paper containing writing. Structure A scroll is usually partitioned into pages, which are sometimes separate sheets of papyrus ...
. The word comes from the Hebrew word for five, (). A more formal term is , "five fifths of Torah". It is also known by the Latinised Greek term
Pentateuch 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 ...
in common printed editions.


Etymology

The word is a standard Ashkenazic vowel shift of , meaning "one-fifth", alluding to any one of the five books; by
synecdoche Synecdoche ( ) is a type of metonymy: it is a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something is used to refer to the whole (''pars pro toto''), or vice versa (''totum pro parte''). The term comes from Greek language, Greek . Example ...
, it came to mean the five fifths of the Torah. The
Modern Hebrew Modern Hebrew ( he, עברית חדשה, ''ʿivrít ḥadašá ', , ''Literal translation, lit.'' "Modern Hebrew" or "New Hebrew"), also known as Israeli Hebrew or Israeli, and generally referred to by speakers simply as Hebrew ( ), is the ...
and
Sephardic Sephardic (or Sephardi) Jews (, ; lad, Djudíos Sefardíes), also ''Sepharadim'' , Modern Hebrew: ''Sfaradim'', Tiberian: Səp̄āraddîm, also , ''Ye'hude Sepharad'', lit. "The Jews of Spain", es, Judíos sefardíes (or ), pt, Judeus sefa ...
pronunciation is an erroneous reconstruction based on the assumption that the Ashkenazic accent, which is almost uniformly penultimately stressed, had also changed the stress of the word. In fact, preserves the original stress pattern and both pronunciations contain a shifted first vowel. In early scribal practice, there was a distinction between a
Sefer Torah A ( he, סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה; "Book of Torah"; plural: ) or Torah scroll is a handwritten copy of the Torah, meaning the five books of Moses (the first books of the Hebrew Bible). The Torah scroll is mainly used in the ritual of Tora ...
, containing the entire Pentateuch on a parchment scroll, and a copy of one of the five books on its own, which was generally bound in
codex The codex (plural codices ) was the historical ancestor of the modern book. Instead of being composed of sheets of paper, it used sheets of vellum, papyrus, or other materials. The term ''codex'' is often used for ancient manuscript books, with ...
form, like a modern book, and had a lesser degree of sanctity. The term strictly applies to one of the latter. Thus, strictly means "the Genesis fifth", but was misread as and interpreted as meaning "The Pentateuch: Genesis", as if was the name of the book and the name of one of its parts. Compare the misunderstanding of " Tur" to mean the entirety of the
Arba'ah Turim ''Arba'ah Turim'' ( he, אַרְבָּעָה טוּרִים), often called simply the ''Tur'', is an important Halakha#Codes of Jewish law, Halakhic code composed by Yaakov ben Asher (Cologne, 1270 – Toledo, Spain c. 1340, also referred to as ...
. In the legal codes, such as
Maimonides Musa ibn Maimon (1138–1204), commonly known as Maimonides (); la, Moses Maimonides and also referred to by the acronym Rambam ( he, רמב״ם), was a Sephardi Jews, Sephardic Jewish Jewish philosophy, philosopher who became one of the mos ...
' ''
Mishneh Torah The ''Mishneh Torah'' ( he, מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה, , repetition of the Torah), also known as ''Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka'' ( he, ספר יד החזקה, , book of the strong hand, label=none), is a Legal code, code of Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbi ...
,'' it is laid down that any copy of the Pentateuch which does not comply with the strict rules for a Sefer Torah, for example, because it is not a parchment scroll or contains vowel signs, has only the same sanctity as a copy of an individual book (). In this way, the word (or ) came to have the extended sense of any copy of the Pentateuch other than a Sefer Torah.


Usage

The word ''ḥumash'' generally only refers to "book" bound editions of the Pentateuch, whereas the "scroll" form is called a ''sefer Torah'' ("book f theTorah"). In modern Jewish practice: * A printed ''ḥumash'' usually sets out the Hebrew text of the Torah with ''
niqqud In Hebrew language, Hebrew orthography, niqqud or nikud ( or ) is a system of diacritical signs used to represent vowels or distinguish between alternative pronunciations of letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Several such diacritical systems were ...
'' (vowel marks) and cantillation marks, separated into its 54 constituent weekly Torah portions (''parashiyyot''), together with the '' haftarah'' for each portion and, often, translations and notes. * A ''ḥumash-Rashi'' also contains the
Targum Onkelos Interlinear text of Hebrew Numbers 6.3–10 with British_Library.html"_;"title="Aramaic_Targum_Onkelos_from_the_British_Library">Aramaic_Targum_Onkelos_from_the_British_Library. Targum_Onkelos_(or_Onqelos;_Hebrew_language.html" "title="B ...
and the commentary of
Rashi Shlomo Yitzchaki ( he, רבי שלמה יצחקי; la, Salomon Isaacides; french: Salomon de Troyes, 22 February 1040 – 13 July 1105), today generally known by the acronym Rashi (see #Name, below), was a France in the Middle Ages, medieval Fr ...
, and may or may not have a vernacular translation of the text. * A '' Tikkun soferim'' or ''Tiqqun Qore'im'' sets out, in parallel columns, the unvocalized text of the Pentateuch as it would appear in a Torah scroll and the normal printed text as it appears in a Chumash; it sometimes includes '' haftarot'' and the Five Megillot. It exists as an aid for '' soferim'' (Torah scribes) and for those preparing to read from the sefer Torah in the synagogue. * A multi-volume set in Hebrew only, often but not always including the entire
Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
'' masoretic notes (sometimes),
Targum A targum ( arc, תרגום 'interpretation, translation, version') was an originally spoken translation of the Hebrew Bible (also called the ''Tanakh'') that a professional translator ( ''mǝturgǝmān'') would give in the common language of the ...
im and several classical commentaries, is referred to as ''
Mikraot Gedolot A ''Mikraot Gedolot'' (''Great Scriptures''; in Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken language ...
'' ("Great Scriptures").


Various publications

* ''The Pentateuch and Haftorahs'', London 1937, known as the "Hertz Chumash", containing the commentary of former British
Chief Rabbi Chief Rabbi ( he, רב ראשי ''Rav Rashi'') is a title given in several countries to the recognized religious leader of that country's Jews, Jewish community, or to a rabbinic leader appointed by the local secular authorities. Since 1911, thro ...
Joseph Hertz * '' Soncino Chumash'', (1st of the 14 volume Soncino Books of the Bible series) ed. Abraham Cohen, containing notes summarizing the traditional commentaries (
Mikraot Gedolot A ''Mikraot Gedolot'' (''Great Scriptures''; in Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken language ...
). * ''Torah and Haftarot'', translation by Philip Birnbaum (Hebrew Publishing Company, 1983. ) * '' Etz Hayim Humash'' (Published by the Jewish Publication Society of America ): associated with
Conservative Conservatism is a Philosophy of culture, cultural, Social philosophy, social, and political philosophy that seeks to promote and to preserve traditional institutions, practices, and values. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in r ...
movement * Gutnik Chumash with
Onkelos Onkelos ( he, אֻנְקְלוֹס ''ʾunqəlōs''), possibly identical to Aquila of Sinope, was a Roman Empire, Roman national who converted to Judaism in Tannaim, Tannaic times ( 35–120 CE). He is considered to be the author of the Targum ...
,
Rashi Shlomo Yitzchaki ( he, רבי שלמה יצחקי; la, Salomon Isaacides; french: Salomon de Troyes, 22 February 1040 – 13 July 1105), today generally known by the acronym Rashi (see #Name, below), was a France in the Middle Ages, medieval Fr ...
and commentaries of the
Lubavitcher Rebbe Chabad, also known as Lubavitch, Habad and Chabad-Lubavitch (), is an Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Jewish List of Hasidic dynasties, Hasidic dynasty. Chabad is one of the world's best-known Hasidic Judaism, Hasidic movements, particularly for its ...
* ''The Torah: A Modern Commentary, Revised Edition.'' W. Gunther Plaut, ed. New York: Union for Reform Judaism, 2006: associated with American
Reform Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word in this way emerges in the late 18th century and is believed to originate from Christopher Wyvill#The Yorkshire Associati ...
movement * ''The Torah: A Women's Commentary'', edited by Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Andrea L. Weiss, Union for Reform Judaism/Women of Reform Judaism, 2008


References


External links


Judaism 101: Chumash
{{Jews and Judaism, state=collapsed Sifrei Kodesh