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Pale of Settlement

The western territories of the Russian Empire in which Jews were permitted permanent settlement. Known in Russian as cherta postoiannogo zhitel’stva evreev, the English word pale was borrowed from the term applied to the area of English settlement in Ireland, where the lands of the “wild Irish” were considered “beyond the pale.”) [See Pale of Settlement.]


A method of reasoning in Talmud study, pilpul is also used colloquially to denote unnecessarily complex and specious argumentation. [See Talmud Study.]

Protocols of the Elders of Zion

A libelous fraud purporting to record a meeting of Jewish conspirators plotting to control the world. The work originated in the late nineteenth century in circles of the Russian secret police who borrowed material from certain French and German antisemitic writings. The Protocols continues to be reprinted in many languages, to circulate widely in Eastern Europe, and to buttress antisemitic sentiments.


An essayist who addresses contemporary concerns generally in the daily or weekly press. The treatment of such concerns was generally referred to as publitsistika (publicistics).