Defining Judaism, like defining any phenomenon, is fraught with problems. WhoseJudaism? What counts as valid data, or not? Who decides on the parameters of inclusion and exclusion? Definition is a politically-and ideologically-charged activity, something imposed, both retroactively and from the outside, on a complex and often unwieldy set of data. Definition often forces order when there is no such thing. This imposition of order on chaos is reflected in the very act of defining something: we must first isolate that which is to be defined, the definiendum, from its immediate contexts, subsequently dislodge it by removing all that had hitherto connected it to these contexts, and then analyze it by comparing and contrasting it to other definienda. Such analysis can either signal the object’s uniqueness (for a critique of this approach, see Smith 1990, 36-53) or attempt to point out the resemblances, familial or otherwise, with other phenomena that have been ascertained using similar methods. Definition, like so many of our academic activities, is a fragile, highly fractured, and ultimately artificial process.