Literally, the enjoyment of the Sabbath. Originally, it referred to social and cultural activities on Saturday afternoon, related to the “third meal” (See Sabbath). In the U.S. today it is mostly known as Oneg, the social activity following a Friday night or Saturday morning service.


(Aquila). Author of the Aramaic translation of the Bible, believed to be a convert to Judaism and one of Rabbi Akiva‘s students in the 2nd century. Targum Onkelos, or the Onkelos translation, occupies a prominent place in Jewish tradition. It is printed alongside the Hebrew text of the Bible and consulted by Jewish commentators in explaining obscure passages.


See Yiddish Literature.


Land of Solomon‘s gold, located somewhere between India and north central Africa. The Biblical account tells that King Solomon’s ships left for Ophir from Ezion Geber on the Red Sea every three years, together with the ships of Phoenician King Hiram. The ships came home laden with gold and silver, peacocks, ivory, and apes (I Kings 9:28; 10:11).


See Prague.


One of America’s leading nuclear physicists, Oppenheimer played a major role in the development of the atomic bomb. Head of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory from 1943 to 1945, he was Chairman of the General Advisory Committee of Atomic Scientists from 1946 to 1952 and a Professor of Physics at Princeton University’s Institute of Advanced Studies.


See Talmud.


Ceremonial transfer of authority. In Hebrew, semikhah, or the “laying on” of hands. The Bible tells how Moses ordained Joshua by laying hands upon him, and thus transferring the leadership to him (Num. 27:22-23). In the time of the Second Temple, the members of the Sanhedrin, the judicial and legislative body, were also ordained. The Talmud requires two rabbis to be present when the master lays his hands upon the head of his pupil as a sign that he is now qualified to teach. Semikhah traditionally refers to rabbinic ordination.


The Jewish population of 32,000 is divided mainly among Portland, Eugene, and Medford. Jews first arrived in 1849, mainly from Germany, and in 1858, the first synagogue was founded in Portland. The city of Heppner is named after the first Jew who settled in the northeastern part of the state. Portland has Reform and Conservative congregations.


See Music, Jews in.


The Organization for Rehabilitation through Training is a worldwide vocational training organization. Founded in Russia in 1880, it has since become a global movement in Jewish life. It now operates in 35 countries, with a student body of nearly 100,000 attending classes and workshops in more than 800 training units. Its institutions include vocational high schools, advanced technical courses and schools on the junior college level, apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship courses, factory schools, and prevocational programs for adults.

ORT’s largest program is ORT Israel with more than 70,000 students. It plays an important part in building Israel’s economic strength and social structure. ORT is represented in the U.S. by the American ORT Federation (AOF), founded in 1922.


See Judaism.


See Israel, State of.

Hasidic court jester of the 18th century in eastern Europe named Hirsch. He became a figure of Jewish folklore in many stories and jokes.

OZ, AMOS (1939- ).

Israeli novelist, considered the leading Israeli writer of his generation. A keen observer of Israeli society, he is best known for such novels as My Michael and A Tale of Love and Darkness. He is also a leader of the Israeli peace movement. In 1998, he received the Israel Prize, the highest honor in Israeli society.