This book is an authoritative and accessible reference work for a twenty-first-century audience. Its entries, written by eminent scholars, define the spiritual and intellectual concepts and religious movements that distinguish Judaism and the Jewish experience; they discuss central personalities and places, formative events and enduring literary and cultural contributions and they illuminate the lives of ordinary Jewish men and women. Essays explore Jewish history from ancient times to the present and consider all aspects of Judaism, including religious practices and rituals, legal teachings and legendary traditions and rationalism, mysticism and messianism. This reference work differs from many others in its broad exploration of the Jewish experience beyond Judaism. Entries discuss secular and political movements and achievements and delineate Jewish endeavors in literature, art, music, theater, dance, film, broadcasting, sports, science, medicine and ecology, among many other topics from the Bible to the Internet.