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Discussions relating to Wikipedia's coverage of Jews and Judaism. (edit) (back to top)

WikiProject Judaism (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject iconThis page is within the scope of WikiProject Judaism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Judaism-related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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Aleph InstituteEdit

Would members like to create a page about the Aleph Institute N.E. Region. Current page is only regarding Florida branch. Helpfulguy101 17:34 17 December 2020 (UTC)

Talk:Ilhan_Omar#RFC has an RFCEdit


Talk:Ilhan_Omar#RFC has an RFC for possible consensus. A discussion is taking place. If you would like to participate in the discussion, you are invited to add your comments on the discussion page. Thank you.

Shem HaMephorash has an RFCEdit


Shem HaMephorash, which is within the scope of this WikiProject, has an RFC for possible consensus. A discussion is taking place. If you would like to participate in the discussion, you are invited to add your comments on the discussion page. Thank you.

Morris SollerEdit

Hello WPJ. I have created Morris Soller and have probable but not sufficient information. Because I have not done this before WPJ's input is welcome at Talk:Morris Soller. Thank you in advance. Invasive Spices (talk) 13 February 2022 (UTC)

Orthodox rabbisEdit

I am a categoriser. I dont know much about Judaism. The article Orthodox Judaism gives me the impression that orthodoxy is a relatively modern thing, but looking at articles about mediaeval rabbis many of them are in Category:Orthodox rabbis - even though few of the articles mention orthodoxy. Should we remove these orthodox categories? Rathfelder (talk) 18:25, 1 June 2022 (UTC)

I am student of Jewish history. Wikipedia categories, however, are much of a mystery to me. In any case, the reason for these weird categorizations you see is that modern Orthodoxy likes to claim they are the only legitimate heirs of Rabbinic Judaism. And so they go back and categorize medieval rabbis that are considered "rabbinic" (i.e., "Orthodox" by their meaning and understanding) as "orthodox" (as a WP category). It is basically a serious and mistaken anachronism, since medieval rabbis did not know and did not use the term "orthodox," which is indeed a modern concept as you correctly see it. I would remove all these anachronic categories immediately. But then again, since I don't know and don't understand by whom they are really used and for what purposes, I assume you will get speedily reverted if you tried that. And also, what do these categories really matter? Thank you, warshy (¥¥) 19:08, 1 June 2022 (UTC)
It sounds fair to me to remove them from premodern biographies where they would be anachronistic. However, I agree that you may get some pushback/reverting from people who disagree. --Dan Carkner (talk) 20:22, 1 June 2022 (UTC)
IMO this is not an problem. Categories aren't mutually exclusive, so this is a low-stakes issue, and to an extent we have to allow modern perspectives to shape our categorization of historical figures because they largely determine notability: Orthodox acceptance of these medievals is the only reason they have pages. You could even think of retroactive Orthodoxy as akin to Christian canonization -- take a look at Category:Catholic_saints and you'll see that many of them predate the mainstream Catholic theology or weren't particularly loyal to it, but they're "Catholic" in the sense that the Catholic Church understands itself as progressing from them. GordonGlottal (talk) 20:41, 1 June 2022 (UTC)
Theres a big difference with saints in that they are officially recognised by a church. What I dont like about this is that hardly any of the articles mention orthodoxy. Its a fairly fundamental principle of Wikipedia that assertions should be supported by evidence. Who says these rabbis were orthodox? What does that even mean in the 11th century? Mostly I am trying to put the articles into categories by century and country, and the orthodox categories just seem like unnecessary clutter.Rathfelder (talk) 21:18, 1 June 2022 (UTC)
In terms of ID: tradents in the 11th century will generally be called a "rishon" on their pages, which is internal Orthodox slang for an accepted authority of that period. Basically I think it makes sense to include the accepted medievals because "Orthodox Judaism" means "Judaism which accepts the rulings of the medievals as precedential". I think our friend Warshy is wrong in a crucial way. Whether Orthodoxy is the "legitimate heir of Rabbinic Judaism" in some ultimate sense, the medievals are attached to the same claim on it. Other streams of Judaism argue for their own legitimacy by attacking the legitimacy of these medievals. Every stream of judaism that is unwilling to proactively overrule these 11th century authorities is Orthodox, and every stream that is willing to is not. In contrast, I don't think Biblical figures or Talmudic sages are "Orthodox" in any way, because other forms of Judaism lay claim to them. BTW almost no rabbis, even today, will refer to themselves as "Orthodox" by choice. I could count the number of times I've seen it in Hebrew characters in a religious text on one hand. It's a reactionary term intended to distinguish oneself from more liberal movements, and so really only used by rabbis or institutions who have some specific reason to be concerned about being confused with them. I doubt there's any medieval currently listed in the category who wouldn't meet the definition on the Orthodoxy page: Orthodox Judaism is the collective term for the traditionalist and theologically conservative branches of contemporary Judaism. Theologically, it is chiefly defined by regarding the Torah, both Written and Oral, as revealed by God to Moses on Mount Sinai and faithfully transmitted ever since. Orthodox Judaism therefore advocates a strict observance of Jewish law, or halakha, which is to be interpreted and determined exclusively according to traditional methods and in adherence to the continuum of received precedent through the ages. It regards the entire halakhic system as ultimately grounded in immutable revelation, and beyond external influence. Key practices are observing the Sabbath, eating kosher, and Torah study. Key doctrines include a future Messiah who will restore Jewish practice by building the temple in Jerusalem and gather all the Jews to Israel, belief in a future bodily resurrection of the dead, divine reward and punishment for the righteous and the sinners. GordonGlottal (talk) 22:49, 1 June 2022 (UTC)
Were there any mediaeval rabbis who would not be orthodox on this definition?Rathfelder (talk) 08:31, 2 June 2022 (UTC)
Oh, definitely. Any number of medieval rabbis are or were excluded from the title. A lot of the proto-Kabbalists, for example, and all of the Karaites, anyone with real or suspected doubts about unified authorship, known document forgers, etc. In a later period, almost all Sabbateans. Though you could probably find an individual modern defender for most anyone. GordonGlottal (talk) 19:55, 6 July 2022 (UTC)
Orthodox Judaism is a modern movement. In the WP definition quoted above, note "contemporary" in the first sentence (not that WP itself is a reliable source), the term "traditionalist" (usually applied to modern efforts to claim traditional authority), and notice how the History section begins in late 18th C. A
Therefore, no pre-modern rabbi, no rabbi before 18th C certainly, should be categorized as Orthodox. Only a religious, i.e., Orthodox POV, treats medieval rabbis as if they are "Orthodox." See comment by @Warshy above.
One argument for retaining the categorization -- "Other streams of Judaism argue for their own legitimacy by attacking the legitimacy of these medievals." (by @GordonGlottal above) -- reads as a non-neutral POV and incorrect. Even were Orthodoxy the only stream to "lay claim" to these medievals, that anachronistic religious claim does not make it NPOV encyclopedic.
Thanks to @Rathfelder for bringing this our attention and I hope the categorizations will be changed. I appreciate your idea about categories by place and century, though this works well: Category:Rabbis by rabbinical period. ProfGray (talk) 02:44, 7 July 2022 (UTC)
I never felt strongly about this and I still don't. No objection to anything ProfGray says. I do think the parallel to Catholic sainthood is compelling. GordonGlottal (talk) 01:21, 8 July 2022 (UTC)

Related page move request.Edit

  • (Discuss)Shimon bar YochaiShimon ben Yochai – (Background: A previous discussion on this page led to a move to Simeon bar Yochai, which has apparently now been undone. A previous discussion of ben/bar ended without consensus.) Genuine Talmudic texts universally, without exception, refer to our subject as Shimon ben Yochai. The Steinsaltz edition of the Bavli incorrectly read "bar Yochai" in some places but, due to my efforts of a few hours ago, that has now been fixed. Our page on the Mekhilta of Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai also referred to the book as of "bar Yochai," even though it has never been called that, which I have fixed. This is a case of popular error occasioned by the forged Zohar which, in its pretense to have been composed by Aramaic-speaking sages, but without Palestinian Aramaic grammatical knowledge, referred to him in the wrong style, and it has sometimes broken into even scholastic spaces. Nonetheless it is obvious what his real name was, and the vast majority of scholastic references are aware of this. Ngram shows that despite the overwhelming popularity of "bar Yochai" among internet posts, the two are equally popular in books: here. A closer examination reveals that Kabbalistic titles refer to him as "bar Yochai" and wiki-reliable academic works, unless they are specifically referring to him in a Zoharic context, refer to him as "ben Yochai". GordonGlottal (talk) 19:48, 6 July 2022 (UTC)
    I appreciate your raising this issue.
    However, the reasoning for the article name should be based on Wikipedia:Article titles criteria, which means that we should draw upon reliable sources, such as "the usage of major international organizations, major English-language media outlets, quality encyclopedias..." "search engine data" and so on. A quick google search confirms that "bar" fits the "recognizable" criterion. Your reasoning is based on internal Jewish sources, which are not the WP criteria. ProfGray (talk) 03:13, 7 July 2022 (UTC)
    @ProfGray You've said this twice but it isn't true. I have not in any way based my argument on internal Jewish sources. I was explaining the rationale which explains why academics use "ben" only. You can see it in all standard reference works here and here and here and here and here and many others that are not available free online. Anyway please respond at the discussion itself to keep things neat. GordonGlottal (talk) 10:48, 7 July 2022 (UTC)
    Hi. Let me explain that the sources you cited in the "Discuss" paragraph above and again in your reply are not all "reliable sources" as understood by Wikipedia. These include Jewish sources -- books on Talmudic sages by Jewish publishers and what you refer to as "genuine Talmudic texts." Some of the other sources are quite dates, including the Toldot and the early 20th C Jewish Encyclopedia. Your use of google Ngram is fine. Jastrow could be relevant, but my more recent Frank Talmud Dictionary p. 292 has "bar." I suppose it's a see-saw and whichever name has the most evidence that fits the WP Criteria should be used. ProfGray (talk) 12:17, 7 July 2022 (UTC)
    Frank is neither a dictionary nor an academic resource; it's a tool for religious studies which explains the traditional interpretation of Talmudic idioms. It relies entirely on modern religious printed editions, which an academic source never would, and it seeks explicitly to explain terms in a way relevant to today's Orthodox religious context. Jastrow is older but dramatically more wiki-appropriate. Sokoloff, which is the newest academic Talmud dictionary, also says ben Yochai, though it's not available online. The same is true for the other sources I listed -- all are respected academic materials. It's not that I refer to them as "genuine Talmudic texts," I just mean to exclude the Zohar, which modern scholars universally agree is a forgery and is the first text to use bar Yochai, in the 13th century, 700 years after the close of the Talmudic period. GordonGlottal (talk) 13:17, 7 July 2022 (UTC)
    We also have COMMON, and I'd think bar is more common than ben. Sir Joseph (talk) 02:09, 8 July 2022 (UTC)

note re itemsEdit

Hi. Are there any project coordinators, or simply some active project members here, whom I can discuss some general ideas with? I am working on a few different resources, designed to promote collaboration and communication throughout the communtiy in a wide variety of ways. I have been editing Wikipedia for over fifteen years. I would be glad to describe my ideas, simply by opening a discussion here on this talk page. could you please simply let me know who might be here and active on this page, who might be willing to discuss some ideas?

I greatly appreciate it. by the way, I live in Brooklyn, NY. Also, I am the Lead Project Coordinator at WikiProject History. I am hoping to discuss some possible areas for collaboration, plus some possible ideas and methods to promote greater community collaboration. thanks very much!! Sm8900 (talk) 14:01, 7 July 2022 (UTC)

I think the best thing to do is start the conversation here. I don't know how many active users there are, but I do know many people have this on their watchlist and contribute when they can. Sir Joseph (talk) 17:00, 7 July 2022 (UTC)
I have been working for the last few years on articles about the Yiddish literature/music/theatre side of things, not so much about the religious topics that would be in the scope of this Judaism wikiproject (although people often tag non-religious articles in this WP too). There is also the Jewish History wikiproject which has some occasional activity, though not a lot. The Jewish Culture one seems to have been inactive for a while, which is unfortunately because it most closely matches what I write about. What do you have in mind ? --Dan Carkner (talk) 20:40, 7 July 2022 (UTC)
well, actually, I am still getting familiar with some of the topical areas. so I guess I will take a littlle more time, and then contact you again later. I appreciate your replies. thanks! Sm8900 (talk) 20:22, 19 July 2022 (UTC)

Jews in Hong Kong peer reviewEdit

The article Jews in Hong Kong is currently undergoing peer review here. Any feedback is appreciated. — Golden call me maybe? 15:23, 8 July 2022 (UTC)

Category:Jewish communistsEdit

Hello WikiProject Judaism, there is an unsalting request open at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection/Decrease. The prior deletion and protection was related to disruptive editors back in 2007. Is there still a good reason to prevent this category from being used? Feedback is welcome at the discussion. Best regards, — xaosflux Talk 13:57, 19 July 2022 (UTC)

The discussion page is gone now. Not sure what happened. Dan Carkner (talk) 22:35, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
The category has been unprotected. [1] Given the obvious issues regarding potential abuse, people should keep an eye on how it is being used. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:45, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
Got it, thanks. Dan Carkner (talk) 22:51, 19 July 2022 (UTC)

"Maccabiah Games" articles for deletion under this projectEdit

Articles for deletion:

  1. Judo at the 2009 Maccabiah Games
  2. Judo at the 2013 Maccabiah Games
  3. Judo at the 2017 Maccabiah Games
  4. Judo at the 2022 Maccabiah Games

The above articles, under this project, are currently being considered for deletion (see discussion HERE), following the deletion of the Judo at the 2005 Maccabiah Games article. Some of the deletion supporters argue that ALL "SPORT at the YEAR Maccabiah Games" article should be deleted, not just the judo ones. Feel free to join the discussion. CLalgo (talk) 07:07, 16 August 2022 (UTC)

Jews of ColorEdit

Please contribute to this new article draft on Jews of Color. Coin945 (talk) 19:59, 17 August 2022 (UTC)