Writings - Ketuvim

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Writings - Ketuvim


PSALMS - TEHILLIM

  • "Tehillim" - "praises" - the Hebrew name of Psalms, refers both to the content and purpose of this book.
  • King David gives expression to the whole range of human emotion and thought as it relates to G-d.
  • He captures through poetry and song the praise of the soul for G-d in all situations, both favorable and unfavorable.
  • Much of Jewish liturgy, music and poetry is based on Psalms. They form a central part of the Jewish prayerbook (Siddur) and were sung by the Levites in the Temple.


The Written Torah | The Oral Torah | Five books of Moses - Chumash | Prophets - Neviim | Writings - Ketuvim:
Psalms | Proverbs | Job | The Five Megillot | Daniel | Ezra and Nehemiah | Chronicles

PROVERBS - MISHLEI

  • Proverbs was written by King Solomon and contains his ethical instructions in the form of parables.
  • This book forms the basis of many later works of rebuke, ethics and character improvement, known as "Mussar" literature.


The Written Torah | The Oral Torah | Five books of Moses - Chumash | Prophets - Neviim | Writings - Ketuvim:
Psalms | Proverbs | Job | The Five Megillot | Daniel | Ezra and Nehemiah | Chronicles

JOB - IYOV

  • The book of Job recounts the story of the sufferings of a righteous man, Job, and various responses to his suffering.
  • Philosophers throughout the centuries have found insights here, into some of the major philosophical problems in religious thought, such as:
  • The suffering of the righteous
    The existence of evil
    Divine Providence and free will
    The workings of Divine Justice


The Written Torah | The Oral Torah | Five books of Moses - Chumash | Prophets - Neviim | Writings - Ketuvim:
Psalms | Proverbs | Job | The Five Megillot | Daniel | Ezra and Nehemiah | Chronicles

THE FIVE MEGILLOT


The Written Torah | The Oral Torah | Five books of Moses - Chumash | Prophets - Neviim | Writings - Ketuvim:
Psalms | Proverbs | Job | The Five Megillot | Daniel | Ezra and Nehemiah | Chronicles

SONG OF SONGS - SHIR HASHIRIM

  • The Song of Songs is described by our Sages as being the most holy of all Prophetic literature.
  • King Solomon, the author, presents the love between the Jewish people and G-d in the form of a poetic dialogue between a man and a woman.
  • Extensive Midrashic and Rabbinic commentaries elucidate this beautiful work and explain the depth of the allegories used by King Solomon.


The Written Torah | The Oral Torah | Five books of Moses - Chumash | Prophets - Neviim | Writings - Ketuvim:
Psalms | Proverbs | Job | The Five Megillot | Daniel | Ezra and Nehemiah | Chronicles

RUTH

  • During the period of the Judges, a Moabite woman, Ruth, and her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi, both lost their husbands after having left Israel during a famine.
  • Instead of returning to her people, Ruth converted to Judaism, and after marrying Boaz gave birth to a son who was King David's grandfather.
  • She embraced Judaism with the famous phrase: "Wherever you go, I will go,... your nation is my nation, and your G-d is my G-d."


The Written Torah | The Oral Torah | Five books of Moses - Chumash | Prophets - Neviim | Writings - Ketuvim:
Psalms | Proverbs | Job | The Five Megillot | Daniel | Ezra and Nehemiah | Chronicles

LAMENTATIONS - EICHA

  • The prophet Jeremiah predicted and witnessed the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians.
  • In this book he mourns the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, the desolation of Israel, and the exile of the Jewish people.
  • "Eicha," meaning "How" is the first word of the book:
  • "How does the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become like a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become a vassal!"


The Written Torah | The Oral Torah | Five books of Moses - Chumash | Prophets - Neviim | Writings - Ketuvim:
Psalms | Proverbs | Job | The Five Megillot | Daniel | Ezra and Nehemiah | Chronicles

ECCLESIASTES - KOHELET

  • Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon, who refers to himself here as Kohelet, Son of David.
  • In this book King Solomon analyzes the futility of a totally materialistic life, and points out the frustrations and the cynicism of one who lives without a spiritual dimension.
  • The famous opening statement of Kohelet is "Vanity of vanities, said Kohelet, vanity of vanities, all is vanity."


The Written Torah | The Oral Torah | Five books of Moses - Chumash | Prophets - Neviim | Writings - Ketuvim:
Psalms | Proverbs | Job | The Five Megillot | Daniel | Ezra and Nehemiah | Chronicles

ESTHER

  • The Scroll of Esther, named for Queen Esther, relates the story behind the celebration of Purim.
  • Set in the capital city of Persia, Shushan, in about 350 B.C.E., it details the threat to the Jewish people by Haman's plan of annihilation. The Jews were saved by a miraculous turn of events, precipitated by Mordechai and Queen Esther.
  • It is read publicly on Purim and teaches us to give thanks to G-d, and to "give charity to the poor and send presents to our friends."


The Written Torah | The Oral Torah | Five books of Moses - Chumash | Prophets - Neviim | Writings - Ketuvim:
Psalms | Proverbs | Job | The Five Megillot | Daniel | Ezra and Nehemiah | Chronicles

DANIEL

  • Daniel, a Judean youth, of great wisdom and beauty, was captured and taken to Babylon prior to the destruction of the Temple. He was trained to be a servant to the King Nebuchadnezzar.
  • There, he laid the foundations of the Torah study for which Babylonian Jewry later became famous.
  • Daniel's book is written in Aramaic, the language of Babylon. In it he portrays the various enemies of the Jewish people using the famous metaphor of the four beasts.


The Written Torah | The Oral Torah | Five books of Moses - Chumash | Prophets - Neviim | Writings - Ketuvim:
Psalms | Proverbs | Job | The Five Megillot | Daniel | Ezra and Nehemiah | Chronicles

EZRA and NEHEMIAH

  • The books of Ezra and Nehemiah are usually considered as one book, due to their common author, Ezra, and their common subject matter, the return from captivity in Babylon.
  • The return and settlement of the Jewish people in Israel and the building of the Second Temple are described in detail.
  • Ezra is well known for instituting the public reading of the Torah on Mondays and Thursdays, in addition to the reading on Shabbat which was introduced by Moses.


The Written Torah | The Oral Torah | Five books of Moses - Chumash | Prophets - Neviim | Writings - Ketuvim:
Psalms | Proverbs | Job | The Five Megillot | Daniel | Ezra and Nehemiah | Chronicles

CHRONICLES - DIVREI HAYAMIM

  • Chronicles is known in Hebrew as "Divrei Hayamim," meaning "the events of the days."
  • It details the genealogy of all the major figures in the Tanach, from Adam to Ezra the Scribe.
  • Chronicles is also a summary of Jewish history from the beginning of time until the building of the Second Temple.


The Written Torah | The Oral Torah | Five books of Moses - Chumash | Prophets - Neviim | Writings - Ketuvim:
Psalms | Proverbs | Job | The Five Megillot | Daniel | Ezra and Nehemiah | Chronicles

Compiled by Rabbi Mordechai Becher and Rabbi Moshe Newman
HTML Design: Michael Treblow

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