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CHAPTER XIII 


Moses MaAIMONIDES 


Maimon, Rambam = R. Moses, the son of Maimon, 
Maimonides.—His Yad Hachazaka and Moreh 
Nebuchim.—Gersonides.—Crescas.—Albo. 


THE greatest Jew of the Middle Ages, 
Moses, the son of Maimon, was born in 
Cordova, in 1135, and died in Fostat 
in 1204. His father Maimon was him- 
self an accomplished scientist and an 
enlightened thinker, and the son was 
trained in the many arts and sciences then 
included in a liberal education. When 
Moses was thirteen years old, Cordova fell 
into the hands of the Almohades, a sect of 
Mohammedans, whose creed was as pure 
as their conduct was fanatical. Jews and 
Christians were forced to choose conver- 
sion to Islam, exile, or death. Maimon 
fled with his family, and, after an interval of 
troubled wanderings and painful priva- 


MOSES MAIMONIDES 135 


tions, they settled in Fez, where they found 
the Almohades equally powerful and 
equally vindictive. Maimon and his son 
were compelled to assume the outward 
garb of Mohammedanism for a period of 
five years. From Fez the family emi- 
grated in 1165 to Palestine, and, after a 
long period of anxiety, Moses Maimonides 
settled in Egypt, in Fostat, or Old Cairo. 
In Egypt, another son of Maimon, 
David, traded in precious stones, and sup- 
ported his learned brother. When David 
was lost at sea, Maimonides earned a liv- 
ing as a physician. His whole day was 
occupied in his profession, yet he contrived 
to work at his books during the greater 
part of the night. His minor works would 
alone have brought their author fame. 
His first great work was completed in 1168. 
It was a Commentary on the Mishnah, 
and was written in Arabic. But Mai- 
monides’ reputation rests mainly on two 
books, the one written for the many, the 


136 JEWISH LITERATURE 


other for the few. The former is his 
“Strong Hand” (Yad Hachazaka), the 
latter his “Guide of the Perplexed ” (Moreh 
Nebuchim). 

The “Strong Hand” was a gigantic un- 
dertaking. In its fourteen books Maimon- 
ides presented a clearly-arranged and clear- 
ly-worded summary of the Rabbinical Hala- 
chah, or Law. In one sense it is an encyclo- 
pedia, but it is an encyclopedia written with 
style. For its power to grapple with vast 
materials, this code has few rivals and no 
superiors in other literatures. Maimonides 
completed its compilation in 1180, having 
spent ten years over it. During the whole 
of that time, he was not only a popular 
doctor, but also official Rabbi of Cairo. 
He received no salary from the commu- 
nity, for he said, “ Better one penny earned 
by the work of one’s hands, than all the 
revenues of the Prince of the Captivity, if 
derived from fees for teaching or acting as 
Rabbi.” The “ Strong Hand,” called also 


pipet eth RAE RAE sai ttissziiids Ssitizist 


MOSES MAIMONIDES 137 


“ Deuteronomy ” (Mishneh Torah), sealed 
the reputation of Maimonides for all time. 
Maimonides was indeed attacked, first, be- 
cause he asserted that his work was in- 
tended to make a study of the Talmud less 
necessary, and secondly, because he gave 
no authorities for his statements, but de- 
cided for himself which Talmudical opin- 
ions to accept, which to reject. But the 
severest scrutiny found few real blemishes 
and fewer actual mistakes. “‘ From Moses 
to Moses there arose none like Moses,” 
was a saying that expressed the general 
reverence for Maimonides. Copies. of the 
book were made everywhere; the Jewish 
mind became absorbed in it; his fame and 
his name “rang from Spain to India, from 
the sources of the Tigris to South Arabia.” 
Eulogies were showered on him from all 
parts of the earth. And no praise can say 
more for this marvellous man than the fact 
that the incense burned at his shrine did 
not intoxicate him. His touch became 


138 JEWISH LITERATURE 


firmer, his step more resolute. But he 
went on his way as before, living simply 
and laboring incessantly, unmoved by the 
thunders of applause, unaffected by the 
feebler echoes of calumny. He corres- 
ponded with his brethren far and near, an- 
swered questions as Rabbi, explained pas- 
sages in his Commentary on the Mishnah 
or his other writings, entered heartily into 
the controversies of the day, discussed the 
claims of a new aspirant to the dignity of 
Messiah, encouraged the weaker brethren 
who fell under disfavor because they had 
been compelled to become pretended con- 
verts to Islam, showed common-sense and 
strong intellectual grasp in every line he 
wrote, and combined in his dealings with 
all questions the rarely associated qualities, 
toleration and devotion to the truth. 

Yet he felt that his life’s work was still 
incomplete. He loved truth, but truth for 
him had two aspects: there was truth as 
revealed by God, there was truth which 


MOSES MAIMONIDES 139 


God left man to discover for himself. In 
the mind of Maimonides, Moses and Aris- 
totle occupied pedestals side by side. In the 
“ Strong Hand,” he had codified and given 
orderly arrangement to Judaism as revealed 
in Bible and tradition; he would now exam- 
ine its relations to reason, would compare 
its results with the data of philosophy. This 
he did in his “ Guide of the Perplexed” 
(Moreh Nebuchim). Maimoides here differed 
fundamentally from his immediate prede- 
cessors. Jehuda Halevi, in his Cugari, was 
poet more than philosopher. The Cuzari 
was a dialogue based on the three prin- 
ciples, that God is revealed in history, that 
Jerusalem is the centre of the world, and 
that Israel is to the nations as the heart 
to the limbs. Jehuda Halevi supported 
these ideas with arguments deduced from 
the philosophy of his day, he used reason 
as the handmaid of theology. Maimon- 
ides, however, like Saadiah, recognized a 
higher function for reason. He placed rea- 


140 JEWISH LITERATURE 


son on the same level as revelation, and 
then demonstrated that his faith and his 
reason taught identical truths. His work, 
the “ Guide of the Perplexed,” written in 
Arabic in about the year 1190, is based, on 
the one hand, on the Aristotelian system as 
expounded by Arabian thinkers, and, on 
the other hand, on a firm belief in Scrip- 
ture and tradition. With a masterly hand, 
Maimonides summarized the teachings of 
Aristotle and the doctrines of Moses and 
the Rabbis. Between these two independ- 
ent bodies of truths he found, not contra- 
diction, but agreement, and he reconciled 
them in a way that satisfied so many minds 
that the “ Guide”’ was translated into He- 
brew twice during his life-time, and was 
studied by Mohammedans and by Chris- 
tians such as Thomas Aquinas. With gen- 
eral readers, the third part was the most 
popular. In this part Maimonides offered 
rational explanations of the ceremonial and 
legislative details of the Bible. 


Weeettee re rerceter soto cot 2 Maan iiai tei abdiaiaia liga ie isiba Asef Ftsiiet ieneseota 


MOSES MAIMONIDES I4I 


For a long time after the death of Mai- 
monides, which took place in 1204, Jewish 
thought found in the “Guide” a strong 
attraction or a violent repulsion. Com- 


? mul- 


mentaries on the Moreh, or “ Guide,’ 
tiplied apace. Among the most original of 
the philosophical successors of Maimon- 
ides there were few Jews but were greatly 
influenced by him. Even the famous 
author of “The Wars of the Lord,” Ralbag, 
Levi, the son of Gershon (Gersonides), who 
was born in 1288, and died in 1344, was 
more or less at the same stand-point as Mai- 
monides. On the other hand, Chasdai Cres- 
cas, in his “ Light of God,” written between 
1405 and 1410, made a determined attack 
on Aristotle, and dealt a serious blow at 
Maimonides. Crescas’ work influenced the 
thought of Spinoza, who was also a close 
student of Maimonides. A pupil of Crescas, 
Joseph Albo (1380-1444) was likewise a 
critic of Maimonides. Albo’s treatise, 
“The Book of Principles”? ([kkarim), be- 


142 JEWISH LITERATURE 


came a popular text-book. It was impossi- 
ble that the reconciliation of Aristotle and 
Moses should continue to satisfy Jewish 
readers, when Aristotle had been de- 
throned from his position of dictator in 
European thought. But the “ Guide” of 
Maimonides was a great achievement for 
its spirit more than for its contents. If it 
inevitably became obsolete as a system of 
theology, it permanently acted as an anti- 
dote to the mysticism which in the thir- 
teenth century began to gain a hold on 
Judaism, and which, but for Maimonides, 
might have completely undermined the be- 
liefs of the Synagogue. Maimonides re- 
mained the exemplar of reasoning faith 
long after his particular form of reasoning 
had become unacceptable to the faithful. 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 


MAIMONIDES. 
Graetz.—II]I, 14. 
Karpeles—Jewish Literature and other Essays, p. 
145. 


MOSES MAIMONIDES 143 


Steinschneider.—Jewish Literature, pp. 70, 82 seq., 
94 seq. 

Schiller-Szinessy.—Encycl. Brit., Vol. XV, p. 205. 

His Works: 

Eight Chapters.—B. Spiers in Threefold Cord (1893). 
English translation in Hebrew Review, Vols. I 
and IT. 

Strong Hand, selections translated by Soloweycik 
(London, 1863). 

Letter to Jehuda Ibn Tibbon, translated by H. Adler 
(Miscellany of the Society of Hebrew Literature, 
Vol. I). < 

Guide of the Perplexed, translated by M. Fried- 
lander (1885). 

CRITICAL Essays ON MAIMONIDES: 

I. H. Weiss.—Study of the Talmud in the Thirteenth 
Century, J. Q. R., I, p. 290. 

J. Owen.—J. Q. R., III, p. 203. 

S. Schechter.— Studies in Judaism, p. 161 [197], etc. 

On Marmon (father of Maimonides), see L. M. 
Simmons, Letter of Consolation of Maimon ben 
Joseph, J. Q. R., Il, p. 62. 


CRESCAS. 

Graetz.—lV, pp. 146 [157], 191 [206]. 
ALBO. 

Graetz.—lV, 7. 


English translation of [kkarim, Hebrew Review, 
Vols. I, II, Il. 


CHAPTER XIV 


Tue DIFFUSION OF SCIENCE 


Provencal Translators.—The Ibn Tibbons.—Italian 
Translators.—Jacob Anatoli—Kalonymos.—Sci- 
entific Literature. 


TRANSLATORS act as mediators between 
various peoples and ages. They bring the 
books and ideas of one form of civilization 
to the minds and hearts of another. In 
the Middle Ages translations were of more 
importance than now, since fewer educated 
people could read foreign languages. 

No men of letters were more active than 
the Jews in this work of diffusion. Dr. 
Steinschneider fills 1100 large pages with 
an account of the translations made by 
Jews in the Middle Ages. Jews co-oper- 
ated with Mohammedans in making trans- 
lations from the Greek, as later on they 


THE DIFFUSION OF SCIENCE 145 


were associated with Christians in making 
Latin translations of the masterpieces of 
Greek literature. Most of the Jewish trans- 
lations, however, that influenced Europe 
were made from the Arabic into the He- 
brew. But though the language of these 
translations was mostly Hebrew, they were 
serviceable to others besides Jews. For 
the Hebrew versions were often only a 
stage in a longer journey. Sometimes by 
Jews directly, sometimes by Christian 
scholars acting in conjunction with Jews, 
these Hebrew versions were turned into 
Latin, which most scholars understood, 
and from the Latin further translations 
were made into the every-day languages of 
Europe. 

The works so translated were chiefly the 
scientific and philosophical masterpieces 
of the Greeks and Arabs. Poetry and his- 
tory were less frequently the subject of 
translation, but, as will be seen later on, 
the spread of the fables of Greece and of 


146 JEWISH LITERATURE 


the folk-tales of India owed something to 
Hebrew translators and editors. 

Provence was a meeting-place for Arab 
science and Jewish learning in the Middle 
Ages, and it was there that the translating 
impulse of the Jews first showed itself 
strongly. By the beginning of the thir- 
teenth century, Hebrew translation had be- 
come anart. True, these Hebrew versions 
possess no graces of style, but they rank 
among the best of their class for fidelity to 
their originals. Jewish patrons encouraged 
the translators by material and moral sup- 
port. Thus, Meshullam of Lunel (twelfth 
century) was both learned and wealthy, and 
his eager encouragement of Judah Ibn 
Tibbon, “the father of Jewish translators,” 
gave a strong impetus to the translating 
activity of the Jews. 

Judah Ibn Tibbon (about 1120-1190) 
was of Spanish origin, but he emigrated 
from Granada to Provence during the same 
persecution that drove Maimonides from 


THE DIFFUSION OF SCIENCE 147 


his native land. Judah settled in Lunel, 
and his skill as a physician won him such 
renown that his medical services were 
sought by knights and bishops even from 
across the sea. Judah Ibn Tibbon was a 
student of science and philosophy. He 
early qualified himself as a translator by 
careful attention to philological niceties. 
Under the inspiration of Meshullam, he 
spent the years 1161 to 1186 in making 
a series of translations from Arabic into 
Hebrew. His translations were difficult 
and forced in style, but he had no ready- 
made language at his command. He had 
to create a new Hebrew. Classical He- 
brew was naturally destitute of the techni- 
cal terms of philosophy, and Ibn Tibbon 
invented expressions modelled on the 
Greek and the Arabic. He made Hebrew 
once more a living language by extending 
its vocabulary and adapting its idioms to 
the requirements of medieyal culture. 

His son Samuel (1160-1230) and his 


148 JEWISH LITERATURE 


grandson Moses continued the line of faith- 
ful but inelegant translators. Judah had 
turned into Hebrew the works of Bachya, 
Ibn Gebirol, Jehuda Halevi, Ibn Janach, 
and Saadiah. Samuel was the translator of 
Maimonides, and bore a brave part in the 
defence of his master in the bitter contro- 
versies which arose as to the lawfulness and 
profit of studying philosophy. The transla- 
tions of the Tibbon family were in the first 
instance intended for Jewish readers only, 
but later on the Tibbonite versions were 
turned into Latin by Buxtorf and others. 
Another Latin translation of Maimonides 
existed as early as the thirteenth century. 
Of the successors of the Tibbons, Jacob 
Anatoli (1238) was the first to translate any 
portion of Averroes into any language. 
Averroes was an Arab thinker of supreme 
importance in the Middle Ages, for 
through his writings Europe was ac- 
quainted with Aristotle. Renan asserts 
that all the early students of Averroes were 


sn {SERENE ETHERS Hap 


THE DIFFUSION OF SCIENCE 149 


Jews. Anatoli, a son-in-law of Samuel Ibn 
Tibbon, was invited by Emperor Frederick 
II to leave Provence and settle in Naples. 
To allow Anatoli full leisure for making 
translations, Frederick granted him an an- 
nual income. Anatoli was a friend of the 
Christian Michael Scot, and the latter made 
Latin renderings from the former’s He- 
brew translations. In this way Christian 
Europe was made familiar with Aristotle 
as interpreted by Averroes (Ibn Roshd). 
Much later, the Jew Abraham de Balmes 
(1523) translated Averroes directly from 
Arabic into Latin. In the early part of 
the fourteenth century, Kalonymos, the 
son of Kalonymos, of Arles (born 1287), 
translated various works into Latin. 

From the thirteenth century onwards, 
Jews were industrious translators of all the 
important masterpieces of scientific and 
philosophical literature. Their zeal in- 
cluded the works of the Greek astronomers 
and mathematicians, Ptolemy, Euclid, 


150 JEWISH LITERATURE 


Archimedes, and many others. Alfonso X 
commissioned several Jews to co-operate 
with the royal secretaries in making new 
renderings of older Arabic works on as- 
tronomy. Long before this, in 959, the 
monk Nicholas joined the Jew Chasdai in 
translating Dioscorides. Most of the Jew- 
ish translators were, however, not Spani- 
ards, but Provencals and Italians. It is to 
them that we owe the Hebrew translations 
of Galen and Hippocrates, on which Latin 
versions were based. 

The preceding details, mere drops from 
an ocean of similar facts, show that the 
Jews were the mediators between Moham- 
medan and Christian learning in the Mid- 
dle Ages. According to Lecky, “the 
Jews were the chief interpreters to West- 
ern Europe of Arabian learning.” When 
it is remembered that Arabian learning for 
a long time included the Greek, it will be 
seen that Lecky ascribes to Jewish trans- 
lators a role of the first importance in the 


THE DIFFUSION OF SCIENCE 151 


history of science. Roger Bacon (1214- 
1294) had long before said a similar thing: 
“ Michael Scot claimed the merit of nu- 
merous translations. But it is certain that 
a Jew labored at them more than he did. 
And so with the rest.” 

In what precedes, nothing has been said 
of the original contributions made by Jew- 
ish authors to scientific literature. Jews 
were active in original research especially 
in astronomy, medicine, and mathematics. 
Many Jewish. writers famous as philoso- 
phers, Talmudists, or poets, were also men 
of science. There are numerous Jewish 
works on the calendar, on astronomical in- 
struments and tables, on mathematics, on 
medicine, and natural history. Some of 
their writers share the medieval belief in 
astrology and magic. But it is noteworthy 
that Abraham Ibn Ezra doubted the com- 
mon belief in demons, while Maimonides 
described astrology as “ that error called a 
science.” These subjects, however, are too 


152 JEWISH LITERATURE 


technical for fuller treatment in the present 
book. More will be found in the works 
cited below. 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 
Inn T1BBon FamiIty. 
Graetz.—III, p. 397 [4009]. 


Jacop ANATOLI. 


Graetz.—III, p. 566 [584]. 
Karpeles.— Sketch of Jewish History (Jewish Pub- 
lication Society of America, 1897), pp. 49, 57- 


JEWISH TRANSLATORS. 
Steinschneider, Jewish Literature, p. 62 seq. 
SCIENCE AND MEDICINE. 


Steinschneider.—Ibid., pp. 179 seq., 260 seq. 

Also, A. Friedenwald.—Jewish Physicians and the 
Contributions of the Jews to the Science of Medi- 
cine (Publications of the Gratz College, Vol. 1). 


CHAPTER XV 


Tue Dirrusion oF FoLk-TALES 


Barlaam and Joshaphat—The Fables of Bidpai— 
Abraham Ibn Chisdai—Berachya ha-Nakdan.— 
Joseph Zabara. 


Tue folk-tales of India were communi- 
cated to Europe in two ways. First, there 
was an oral diffusion. In friendly conver- 
sation round the family hearth, in the con- 
vivial intercourse of the tavern and divan, 
the wit and wisdom of the East found a 
home in the West. Having few opportu- 
nities of coming into close relations with 
Christian society, the Jews had only a small 
share in the oral diffusion of folk-tales. 
But there was another means of diffusion, 
namely, by books. By their writings the 
Jews were able to leave some impress on 
the popular literature of Europe. 

This they did by their translations. 
Sometimes the Jews translated fables and 


154 JEWISH LITERATURE 


folk-tales solely for their own use, and in 
such cases the translations did not leave 
the Hebrew form into which they were 
cast. A good example of this was Abra- 
ham Ibn Chisdai’s “ Prince and Nazirite,” 
compiled in the beginning of the thirteenth 
century. It was a Hebrew version of the 
legend of Buddha, known as “ Barlaam 
and Joshaphat.” In this the story is told 
of a prince’s conversion to the ascetic life. 
His father had vainly sought to hold him 
firm to a life of pleasure by isolating him 
in a beautiful palace, far from the haunts 
of man, so that he might never know that 
such things as evil, misery, and death ex- 
isted. Of course the plan failed, the prince 
discovered the things hidden from him, 
and he became converted to the life of self- 
denial and renunciation associated with the 
saintly teaching of Buddha. This story is 
the frame into which a number of charm- 
ing tales are set, which have found their 


way into the popular literature of all the 


THE DIFFUSION OF FOLK-TALES 155 


world. But in this spread of the Indian 
stories, the book of Abraham Ibn Chisdai 
had no part. 

Far other it was with the Hebrew trans- 
lation of the famous Fables of Bidpai, 
known in Hebrew as Kalila ve-Dimna. 
These fables, like those contained in the 
“ Prince and Nazirite,”’ were Indian, and 
were in fact birth-stories of Buddha. They 
were connected by means of a frame, or 
central plot. A large part of the popular 
tales of the Middle Ages can be traced to 
the Fables of Bidpai, and here the Jews 
exerted important influence. Some au- 
thorities even hold that these Fables of 
Bidpai were brought to Spain directly 
from India by Jews. This is doubtful, but 
it is certain that the spread of the Fables 
was due to Jewish activity. A Jew trans- 
lated them into Hebrew, and this Hebrew 
was turned into Latin by the Italian John 
of Capua, a Jew by birth, in the year 1270. 
Moreover, the Old Spanish version which 


Ne 
7 a od 


156 JEWISH LITERATURE 


was made in 1251 probably was also the 
work of the Jewish school of translators 
established in Toledo by Alfonso. The 
Greek version, which was earlier still, and 
dates from 1080, was equally the work of 
a Jew. Thus, as Mr. Joseph Jacobs has 
shown, this curious collection of fables, 
which influenced Europe more perhaps 
than any book except the Bible, started as 
a Buddhistic work, and passed over to the 
Mohammedans and_ Christians chiefly 
through the mediation of Jews. 

Another interesting collection of fables 
was made by Berachya ha-Nakdan (the 
Punctuator, or Grammarian). He lived in 
England in the twelfth century, or accord- 
ing to another opinion he dwelt in France 
a century later. His collection of 107 
“ Fox Fables” won wide popularity, for 
their wit and point combined with their 
apt use of Biblical phrases to please the 
medieval taste. The fables in this collec- 
tion are all old, many of them being 


SSCS TEPC 


THE DIFFUSION OF FOLK-TALES 157 


ZEsop’s, but it is very possible that the first 
knowledge of AZsop gained in England 
was derived from a Latin translation of 
Berachya. 

Of greater poetical merit was Joseph Za- 
bara’s “ Book of Delight,” written in about 
the year 1200 in Spain. In this poetical 
romance a large number of ancient fables 
and tales are collected, but they are thrown 
into a frame-work which is partially ori- 
ginal. One night he, the author, lay at 
rest after much toil, when a giant appeared 
before him, and bade him rise. Joseph 
hastily obeyed, and by the light of the lamp 
which the giant carried partook of a fine 
banquet which his visitor spread for him. 
Enan, for such was the giant’s name, of- 
fered to take Joseph to another land, pleas- 
ant as a garden, where all men were loving, 
all men wise. But Joseph refused, and 
told Enan fable after fable, about leopards, 
foxes, and lions, all proving that it was 


best for a man to remain where he was and 


158 JEWISH LITERATURE 


not travel to foreign places. But Enan 
coaxes Joseph to go with him, and as they 
ride on, they tell one another a very long 
series of excellent tales, and exchange 
many witty remarks and anecdotes. When 
at last they reach Enan’s city, Joseph dis- 
covers that his guide is a demon. In the 
end, Joseph breaks away from him, and 
returns home to Barcelona. Now, it is 
very remarkable that this collection of 
tales, written in exquisite Hebrew, closely 
resembles the other collections in which 
Europe delighted later on. It is hard to 
believe that Zabara’s work had no influence 
in spreading these tales. At all events, 
Jews, Christians, and Mohammedans, all 
read and enjoyed the same stories, all 
laughed at the same jokes. “It is,” says 
Mr. Jacobs, “one of those touches of na- 
ture which make the whole world kin. 
These folk-tales form a bond, not alone be- 
tween the ages, but between many races 
who think they have nothing in com- 


THE DIFFUSION OF FOLK-TALES 159 


mon. We have the highest authority that 
‘out of the mouths of babes and sucklings 
has the Lord established strength,’ and 
surely of all the influences for good in the 
world, none is comparable to the lily souls 
of little children. That Jews, by their dif- 
fusion of folk-tales, have furnished so large 
an amount of material to the childish ima- 
gination of the civilized world is, to my 
mind, no slight thing for Jews to be proud 
of. It is one of the conceptions that make 
real to us the idea of the Brotherhood of 
Man, which, in Jewish minds, is forever 
associated with the Fatherhood of God.” 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 
J. Jacobs.—The Diffusion of Folk Tales (in Jewish 
Ideals, p. 135); The Fables of Bidpai (London, 
1888) and Barlaam and Joshaphat (Introductions). 
Steinschneider.—Jewish Literature, p. 174. 
BERACHYA HA-NAKDAN. 
J. Jacobs —Jews of Angevin England, pp. 165 seq., 
278. 
A. Neubauer.—J. Q. R., II, p. 520. 
ZABARA. 
I. Abrahams.—J. Q. R., VI, p. 502 (with English 
translation of the Book of Delight). 


CHAPTER XVI 


Mosrts NACHMANIDES 


French and Spanish Talmudists——The Tossafists, 
Asher of Speyer, Tam, Isaac of Dompaire, Ba- 
ruch of Ratisbon, Perez of Corbeil—Nachmani- 
des’ Commentary on the Pentateuch.—Public 
controversies between Jews and Christians. 


NACHMANIDES was one of the earliest writers 
to effect a reconciliation between the French 
and the Spanish schools of Jewish litera- 
ture. On the one side, his Spanish birth and 
training made him a friend of the widest 
culture; on the other, he was possessed of 
the French devotion to the Talmud. Moses, 
the son of Nachman (Nachmanides, Ram- 
ban, 1195-1270), Spaniard though he was, 
says, “The French Rabbis have won most 
Jews to their view. They are our masters in 
Talmud, and to them we must go for in- 
struction.” From the eleventh to the 
fourteenth century, a French school of 


MOSES NACHMANIDES 161 


Talmudists occupied themselves with the 
elucidation of the Talmud, and from the 
“ Additions ” (Tossafoth) which they com- 
piled they are known as Tossafists. The 
Tossafists were animated with an alto- 
gether different spirit from that of the 
Spanish writers on the Talmud. But 
though their method is very involved and 
over-ingenious, they display so much mas- 
tery of the Talmud, such excellent discrim- 
ination, and so keen a critical insight, that 
they well earned the fame they have en- 
joyed. The earliest Tossafists were the 
family and pupils of Rashi, but the method 
spread from Northern France to Provence, 
and thence to Spain. The most famous 
Tossafists were Isaac, the son of Asher of 
Speyer (end of the eleventh century); Tam 
of Rameru (Rashi’s grandson); Isaac the 
Elder of Dompaire (Tam’s nephew); 
Baruch of Ratisbon; and Perez of Corbeil. 

Nachmanides’ admiration for the French 
method—a method by no means restricted 


~ 


seqgumansyreenectenttm cs = 


a 


scoseesenuntnpnenniint istnenenean limes roi 


162 JEWISH LITERATURE 


to the Tossafists—did=not blind him to its 
defects. ‘‘ They try to force an elephant 
through the eye of a needle,” he sarcasti- 
cally said of some of the French casuists. 
Nachmanides thus possessed some of the 
independence characteristic of the Spanish 
Jews. He also shared the poetic spirit of 
Spain, and his hymn for the Day of Atone- 
ment is one of the finest products of the 


new-Hebrew muse. The last stanzas run 
thus: 


Thine is the love, O God, and thine the grace, 

That holds the sinner in its mild embrace; 

Thine the forgiveness, bridging o’er the space 
’Twixt man’s works and the task set by the King. 


Unheeding all my sins, I cling to thee! 
I know that mercy shall thy footstool be: 
Before I call, O do thou answer me, 

For nothing dare I claim of thee, my King! 


O thou, who makest guilt to disappear, 

My help, my hope, my rock, I will not fear; 

Though thou the body hold in dungeon drear, 
The soul has found the palace of the King! 


Everything that Nachmanides wrote is 
warm with tender love. He was an enthu- 


MOSES NACHMANIDES 163 


siast in many directions. His heart went 
out to the French Talmudists, yet he cher- 
ished so genuine an affection for Maimon- 
ides that he defended him with spirit 
against his detractors. Gentle by nature, 
he broke forth into fiery indignation 
against the French critics of Maimonides. 
At the same time his tender soul was at- 
tracted by the emotionalism of the Kab- 
bala, or mystical view of life, a view equally 
opposed to the views of Maimonides and 
of the French school. He tried to act the 
part of reconciler, but his intellect, strong . 
as it was, was too much at the mercy of 
his emotions for him to win a commanding 
place in the controversies of his time. 

For a moment we may turn aside from 
his books to the incidents of his life. Like 
Maimonides, he was a physician by profes- 
sion and a Rabbi by way of leisure. The 
most momentous incident in his career in 
Barcelona was his involuntary participa- 
tion in a public dispute with a convert 


164 JEWISH LITERATURE 


from the Synagogue. Pablo Christiani 
burned with the desire to convert the Jews 
en masse to Christianity, and in 1263 he 
induced King Jayme I of Aragon to sum- 
mon Nachmanides to a controversy on the 
truth of Christianity. Nachmanides com- 
plied with the royal command most reluc- 
tantly. He felt that the process of rousing 
theological animosity by a public discus- 
sion could only end in a religious perse- 
cution. However, he had no alternative 
but to assent. He stipulated for complete 
freedom of speech. This was granted, but 
when Nachmanides published his version 
of the discussion, the Dominicans were in- 
censed. True, the special commission ap- 
pointed to examine the charge of blas- 
phemy brought against Nachmanides re- 
ported that he had merely availed himself 
of the right of free speech which had been 
guaranteed to him. He was nevertheless 
sentenced to exile, and his pamphlet was 
burnt. Nachmanides was seventy years of 


MOSES NACHMANIDES 165 


age at the time. He settled in Palestine, 
where he died in about 1270, amid a band 
of devoted friends and disciples, who did 
not, however, reconcile him to the separa- 
tion from his Spanish home. “TI left my 
family,” he wrote, “I forsook my house. 
There, with my sons and daughters, the 
sweet, dear children whom I brought up 
on my knees, I left also my soul. My heart 
and my eyes will dwell with them forever.” 

The Halachic, or Talmudical, works of 
Nachmanides have already been men- 
tioned. His homiletical, or exegetical, 
writings are of more literary importance. 
In “The Sacred Letter” he contended 
that man’s earthly nature is divine no less 
than his soul, and he vindicates the “ flesh 3 
from the attacks made on human character 
by certain forms of Christianity. The body, 
according to Nachmanides, is, with all its 
functions, the work of God, and therefore 
perfect. “It is only sin and neglect that 
disfigure God’s creatures.” In another of 


166 JEWISH LITERATURE 


his books, “The Law of Man,’’ Nachma- 
nides writes of suffering and death. He 
offers an antidote to pessimism, for he 
boldly asserts that pain and suffering in 


themselves are ‘ 


“a service of God, leading 
man to ponder on his end and reflect about 
his destiny.” Nachmanides believed in 
the bodily resurrection, but held that the 
soul was in a special sense a direct emana- 
tion from God. He was not a philosopher 
strictly so-called; he was a mystic more 
than a thinker, one to whom God was an 
intuition, not a concept of reason. 

The greatest work of Nachmanides was 
his “Commentary on the Pentateuch.” 
He reveals his whole character in it. In 
composing his work he had, he tells us, 
three motives, an intellectual, a theologi- 
cal, and an emotional motive. First, he 
would “ satisfy the minds of students, and 
draw their heart out by a critical examina- 
tion of the text.” His exposition is, in- 
deed, based on true philology and on deep 


£345 copia 


MOSES NACHMANIDES 167 


and original study of the Bible. His style 
is peculiarly attractive, and had he been 
content to offer a plain commentary, his 
work would have ranked among the best. 
But he had other desires besides giving a 
simple explanation of the text. He had, 
secondly, a theological motive, to justify 
God and discover in the words of Scripture 
a hidden meaning. In the Biblical narra- 
tives, Nachmanides sees types of the his- 
tory of man. Thus, the account of the 
six days of creation is turned into a proph- 
ecy of the events which would occur during 
the next six thousand years, and the 
seventh day is a type of the millennium. 
So, too, Nachmanides finds symbolical 
senses in Scriptural texts, “for, in the 
Torah, are hidden every wonder and every 
mystery, and in her treasures is sealed 
every beauty of wisdom.” Finally, Nach- 


manides wrote, not only for educational 
and theological ends, but also for edifica- 
tion. His third purpose was “to bring 


168 ##§§ JEWISH LITERATURE 


peace to the minds of students (laboring 
under persecution and trouble), when they 
read the portion of the Pentateuch on Sab- 
baths and festivals, and to attract their 
hearts by simple explanations and sweet 
words.”” His own enthusiastic and loving 
temperament speaks in this part of his 
commentary. It is true, as Graetz says, 
that Nachmanides exercised more influ- 
ence on his contemporaries and on suc- 
ceeding ages by his personality than by his 
writings. But it must be added that the 
writings of Nachmanides are his person- 
ality. 
BIBLIOGRAPHY 


NACHMANIDEs. 
I. H. Weiss, Study of the Talmud in the Thirteenth 
Century, J. Q. R., I, p. 280. 
S. Schechter.—Studies in Judaism, p. 99 [120]. 
Graetz.—III, 17; also III, p. 508 [617]. 
Jacos Tam. 
Graetz.—III, p. 375 [385]. 


TossaFIsTs. 
Graetz.—III, p. 344 [351], 403 [415]. 


CHAPTER XVII 


Tue ZOHAR AND LATER MysTICISM 


Kabbala.—The Bahir.—Abulafia—Moses of Leon.— 
The Zohar.—Isaac Lurya.—Isaiah Hurwitz. 
Christian Kabbalists—The Chassidim. 


Mysticism is the name given to the belief 
in direct, intuitive communion with God. 
All true religion has mystical elements, for 
all true religion holds that man can com- 
mune with God, soul with soul. In the 
Psalms, God is the Rock of the heart, the 
Portion of the cup, the Shepherd and 
Light, the Fountain of Life, an exceeding 
Joy. All this is, in a sense, mystical lan- 
guage. But mysticism has many dangers. 
It is apt to confuse vague emotionalism 
and even hysteria with communion with 
God. A further defect of mysticism is that, 
in its medieval forms, it tended to the 
multiplication of intermediate beings, or 


170 JEWISH LITERATURE 


angels, which it created to supply the 
means for that communion with God 
which, in theory, the mystics asserted was 
direct. Finally, from being a deep-seated, 
emotional aspect of religion, mysticism de- 
generated into intellectual sport, a play 
with words and a juggling with symbols. 

Jewish mysticism passed through all 
these stages. Kabbala—as mysticism was 
called—really means “ Tradition,” and the 
name proves that the theory had its roots 
far back in the past. It has just been said 
that there is mysticism in the Psalms. So 
there is in the idea of inspiration, the 
prophet’s receiving a message direct from 
God with whom he spoke face to face. 
After the prophetic age, Jewish mysticism 
displayed itself in intense personal reli- 
giousness, as well as in love for Apocalyptic, 
or dream, literature, in which the sleeper 
could, like Daniel, feel himself lapped to 
rest in the bosom of God. 


All the earlier literary forms of mysti- 


ZOHAR AND LATER MYSTICISM 171 


cism, or theosophy, made comparatively 
little impression on Jewish writers. But 
at the beginning of the thirteenth century “ Hie 
a great development took place in the 
“secret” science of the Kabbala. The 
very period which produced the rational- 
ism of Maimonides gave birth to the emo- 
tionalism of the Kabbala. The Kabbala 
was at first a protest against too much in- 


tellectualism and rigidity in religion. It 
reclaimed religion for the heart. A num- 


ber of writers more or less dallied with the 
subject, and then the Kabbala took a 
bolder flight. Ezra, or Azriel, a teacher 
of Nachmanides, compiled a book called 
“ Brilliancy ” (Bahir) in the year 1240. It — 
was at once regarded as a very ancient 
book. As will be seen, the same pretence | 
of antiquity was made with regard to an- | 
ther famous Kabbalistic work of a later 
generation. Under Todros Abulafia (1234- 
1304) and Abraham Abulafia (1240-1291), 
the mystical movement took a practical 


172 JEWISH LITERATURE 


shape, and the Jewish masses were much 
excited by stories of miracles performed 
and of the appearance of a new Messiah. 
At this moment Moses of Leon (born in 
Leon in about 1250, died in Arevalo in 
1305) wrote the most famous Kabbalistic 
book of the Middle Ages. This was 
named, in imitation of the Bahir, “ Splen-- 
dor” (Zohar), and its brilliant success 
matched its title. Not only did this ex- 
traordinary book raise the Kabbala to the 
zenith of its influence, but it gave it a firm 
and, as it has proved, unassailable basis. 
Like the Bahir, the Zohar was not of- 
fered to the public on its own merits, but 
was announced as the work of Simon, the 
son of Yochai, who lived in the second cen- 
tury. The Zohar, it was pretended, had 
been concealed in a cavern in Galilee for 
more than a thousand years, and had now 
been suddenly discovered. The Zohar is, 
indeed, a work of genius, its spiritual 
beauty, its fancy, its daring imagery, its 


ZOHAR AND LATER MYSTICISM 173 


depth of devotion, ranking it among the 
great books of the world. Its literary 
style, however, is less meritorious; it is 
dificult and involved. As Chatterton 
clothed his ideas in a pseudo-archaic Eng- 
lish, so Moses of Leon used an Aramaic 
idiom, which he handled clumsily and not 
as one to the manner born. It would not 
be so important to insist on the fact that 
the Zohar was a literary forgery, that it 
pretended to an antiquity it did not own, 
were it not that many Jews and Chris- 
tians still write as though they believe that 
the book is as old as it was asserted to be. 
The defects of the Zohar are in keeping 
with this imposture. Absurd allegories 
are read into the Bible; the words of Scrip- 
ture are counters in a game of distortion 
and combination; God himself is obscured 
amid a maze of mystic beings, childishly 
conceived and childishly named. Philo- 
sophically, the Zohar has no originality. 
Its doctrines of the Transmigration of the 


174 JEWISH LITERATURE 


Soul, of the Creation as God’s self-revela- 
tion in the world, of the Emanation from 
the divine essence of semi-human, semi- 
divine powers, were only commonplaces 
of medieval theology. Its great original 
idea was that the revealed Word of God, 
the Torah, was designed for no other pur- 
pose than to effect a union between the 
soul of man and the soul of God. 
Reinforced by this curious jumble of 
excellence and nonsense, the Kabbala be- 
came one of the strongest literary bonds 
between Jews and Christians. It is hardly 
to be wondered at, for the Zohar contains 
some ideas which are more Christian than 
Jewish. Christians, like Pico di Mirandola 
(1463-1494), under the influence of the 
Jewish Kabbalist Jochanan Aleman, and 
Johann Reuchlin (1455-1522), sharer of 
Pico’s spirit and precursor of the improved 
study of the Scriptures in Europe, made 
the Zohar the basis of their defence of 
Jewish literature against the attempts of 


igs 


ZOHAR AND LATER MYSTICISM 175 


various ecclesiastical bodies to crush and 
destroy it. 

The Kabbala did not, however, retain a 
high place in the realm of literature. It 
greatly influenced Jewish religious cere- 
monies, it produced saintly souls, and from 
such centres as Safed and Salonica sent 
forth men like Solomon Molcho and Sab- 
batai Zevi, who maintained that they were 
Messiahs, and could perform miracles on 
the strength of Kabbalistic powers. But 
from the literary stand-point the Kabbala 
was a barren inspiration. The later works 
of Kabbalists are a rehash of the older 
works. The Zohar was the bible of the 
Kabbalists, and the later works of the 
school were commentaries on this bible. 
The Zohar had absorbed all the earlier 
Kabbalistic literature, such as the ‘“ Book 
of Creation” (Sefer Yetsirah), the Book 
Raziel, the Alphabet of Rabbi Akiba, and 
it was the final literary expression of the 
Kabbala. 


176 JEWISH LITERATURE 


It is, therefore, unnecessary to do more 
than name one or two of the more noted 
Kabbalists of post-Zoharistic ages. Isaac 
Lurya (1534-1572) was a saint, so devoid of 
self-conceit that he published nothing, 
though he flourished at the very time when 
the printing-press was throwing copies of 
the Zohar broadcast. We owe our knowl- 
edge of Lurya’s Kabbalistic ideas to the 
prolific writings of his disciple Chayim Vital 
Calabrese, who died in Damascus in 1620. 
Other famous Kabbalists were Isaiah Hur- 
witz (about 1570-1630), author of a much 
admired ethical work, “The Two Tables 
of the Covenant ” (Sheloh, as it is familiarly 
called from the initials of its Hebrew title); 
Nehemiah Chayun (about 1650-1730); and 
the Hebrew dramatist Moses Chayim 
Luzzatto (1707-1747). 

A more recent Kabbalistic movement, 
led by the founder of the new saints, or 
Chassidim, Israel Baalshem (about 1700- 
1772), was even less literary than the one 


ZOHAR AND LATER MYSTICISM 177 


just described. But the Kabbalists, medie- 
val and modern, were meritorious writers 
in one field of literature. The Kabbalists 
and the Chassidim were the authors of 
some of the most exquisite prayers and 
meditations which the soul of the Jew has 
poured forth since the Psalms were com- 
pleted. This redeems the later Kabbal- 
istic literature from the altogether unfavor- 
able verdict which would otherwise have 
to be passed on it. 
BIBLIOGRAPHY 
KABBALA, 


Graetz.—III, p. 547 [565] 
MosEs DE LEon. 


Graetz.—lV, I. 
ZOHAR. 
A. Neubauer.—Bahir and Zohar, J. Q. R., IV, p. 
357. 


Steinschneider.—Jewish Literature, p. 104. 
Isaac Lurya. 

Graetz.—IV, p. 618 [657]. 
SABBATAI ZEVI. 

Graetz.—V, p. 118 [125]. 
CHASSIDIM. 

Graetz.—V, 9. 

Schechter.—Studies in Judaism, p. 1. 


CHAPTER XVIII 


ITALIAN JEWISH POETRY 


Immanuel and Dante—The Machberoth.—Judah 
Romano.—Kalonymos.—The Eben Bochan.— 
Moses Rieti—Messer Leon. 


Tue course of Jewish literature in Italy 
ran along the same lines as in Spain. The 
Italian group of authors was less brilliant, 
but the difference was one of degree, not 
of kind. The Italian aristocracy, like the 
Moorish caliphs and viziers, patronized 
learning, and encouraged the Jews in their 
literary ambitions. 

Yet the fact that the inspiration in Spain 
came from Islam and in Italy from Chris- 
tianity produced some consequences. In 
Spain the Jews followed Arab models of 
style. In Italy the influence of classical 
models was felt at the time of the Renais- 
sance. Most noteworthy of all was the in- 


pebapitane thee REE 


ITALIAN JEWISH POETRY — 179 


debtedness of the Hebrew poets of Italy to 
Dante. 

It is not improbable that Dante was a 
personal friend of the most noted of these 
Jewish poets, Immanuel, the son of Solo- 
mon of Rome. Like the other Jews of 
Rome, Immanuel stood in the most 
friendly relations with Christians, for no- 
where was medieval intolerance less felt 
than in the very seat of the Pope, the head 
of the Church. Thus, on the one hand 
Immanuel was a leading member of the 
synagogue, and, on the other, he carried 
on a literary correspondence with learned 
Christians, with poets, and men of science. 
He was himself a physician, and his poems 
breathe a scientific spirit. As happened 
earlier in Spain, the circle of Immanuel re- 
garded verse-making as part of the culture 
of a scholar. Witty verses, in the form of 
riddles and epigrams, were exchanged at 
the meetings of the circle. With these 
poets, among whom Kalonymos was in- 


180 JEWISH LITERATURE 


cluded, the penning of verses was a fashion. 
On the other hand, music was not so much 
cultivated by the Italian Hebrews as by the 
Spanish. Hence, both Immanuel and Ka- 
lonymos lack the lightness and melody of 
the best writers of Hebrew verse in Spain. 
The Italians atoned for this loss by their 
subject-matter. They are joyous poets, 
full of the gladness of life. They-are secu- 
lar, not religious poets; the best of the 
Spanish-Hebrew poetry was devotional, 
and the best of the Italian so secular that it 
was condemned by pietists as too frivolous 
and too much “ disfigured by ill-timed lev- 
ity.” 

Immanuel was born in Rome in about 
1270. He rarely mentions his father, but 
often names his mother Justa as a woman 
of pious and noble character. Asa youth, 
he had a strong fancy for scientific study, 
and was nourished on the “Guide” of 
Maimonides, on the works of the Greeks 
and Arabs, and on the writings of the 


ITALIAN JEWISH POETRY 181 


Christian school-men, which he read in 


Hebrew translations. Besides philosophy, 
mathematics, astronomy, and medicine, 
Immanuel studied the Bible and the Tal- 
mud, and became an accomplished scholar. 
He was not born a poet, but he read deeply 
the poetical literature of Jews and Chris- 
tians, and took lessons in rhyme-making. 
He was wealthy, and his house was a ren- 
dezvous of wits and scientists. His own 
position in the Jewish community was re- 
markable. It has already been said that he 
took an active part in the management of 
communal affairs, but he did more than 
this. He preached in the synagogue on 
the Day of Atonement, and delivered eulo- 
gistic orations over the remains of departed 
worthies. Towards the end of his life he 
suffered losses both in fortune and in 
friends, but he finally found a new home 
in Fermo, where he was cordially wel- 
comed in 1328. The date of his death is 
uncertain, but he died in about 1330. 


182 JEWISH LITERATURE 


His works were versatile rather than 
profound. He wrote grammatical trea- 
tises and commentaries, which display 
learning more than originality. But his 
poetical writings are of great interest in 
the history of Jewish literature. He lived 
in the dawn-flush of the Renaissance in 
Italy. The Italian language was just evoly- 
ing itself, under the genius of Dante, from 
a mere jumble of dialects into a literary lan- 
guage. Dante did for Italy what Chaucer 
was soon after to do for England. On the 
one side influenced by the Renaissance and 
the birth of the new Italian language, on 
the other by the Jewish revival of letters in 
Spain and Provence, the Italian Jews alone 
combined the Jewish spirit with the spirit 
of the classical Renaissance. Immanuel 
was the incarnation of this complex soul. 

This may be seen from the form of Im- 
manuel’s Machberoth, or “Collection.” 
The latter portion of it, named separately 
“Hell and Eden,” was imitated from the 


vanessa ASEH 


ITALIAN JEWISH POETRY 183 


Christian Dante; the poem as a whole was 
planned on Charizi’s Tachkemoni, a He- 
brew development of the Arabic Divan. 
The poet is not the hero of his own song, 
but like the Arabic poets of the divan, con- 
ceives a personage who fills the centre of 
the canvas—a personage really identical 
with the author, yet in a sense other than . 
he. Much quaintness of effect is produced 
by this double part played by the poet, 
who, as it were, satirizes his own doings. 
In Immanuel’s Machberoth there is much 
variety of romantic incident. But it is in 
satire that he reaches his highest level. 
Love and wine are the frequent burdens of 
his song, as they are in the Provencal and 
Italian poetry of his day. Immanuel was 
something of a Voltaire in his jocose treat- 
ment of sacred things, and pietists like 
Joseph Karo inhibited the study of the 
Machberoth. Others, too, described his 
songs as sensuous and his satires as blas- 
phemous. But the devout and earnest 


ee 


184 JEWISH LITERATURE 


Piety of some of Immanuel’s prayers,— 
some of them to be found in the Mach- 
beroth themselves—proves that Immanuel’s 
licentiousness and levity were due, not 
to lack of reverence, but to the attempt to 
reconcile the ideals of Italian society of the 
period of the Renaissance with the ideals 
of Judaism. 

Immanuel owed his thymed prose to 
Charizi, but again he shows his devotion 
to two masters by writing Hebrew sonnets. 
The sonnet was new then to Italian verse, 
and Immanuel’s Hebrew specimens thus 
belong to the earliest sonnets written in 
any literature. It is, indeed, impossible to 
convey a just sense of the variety of sub- 
ject and form in the Machberoth. “ Seri- 
ous and frivolous topics trip each other by 
the heels; all metrical forms, prayers, ele- 
gies, passages in unmetrical rhymes, all are 
mingled together.” The last chapter is, 
however, of a different character, and it has 
often been printed as a separate work. It 


ITALIAN JEWISH POETRY 185 


is the “ Hell and Eden” to which allusion 
has already been ‘made. 

The link between Immanuel and his 
Provencal contemporary Kalonymos was 
supplied by Judah Romano, the Jewish 
school-man. All three were in the service 
of the king of Naples. Kalonymos was 
the equal of Romano as a philosopher and 
not much below Immanuel as a satirist. 
He was a more fertile poet than Immanuel, 
for, while Immanuel remained the sole rep- 
resentative of his manner, Kalonymos gave 
birth to a whole school of imitators. Ka- 
lonymos wrote many translations, of Galen, 
Averroes, Aristotle, al-Farabi, Ptolemy, 
and Archimedes. But it was his keen wit 
more than his learning that made him pop- 
ular in Rome, and impelled the Jews of that 
city, headed by Immanuel, to persuade 
Kalonymos to settle permanently in Italy. 
Kalonymos’ two satirical poems were 
called “The Touchstone” (Eben Bochan) 
and “The Purim Tractate.” These satir- 


186 JEWISH LITERATURE 


ize the customs and social habits of the 
Jews of his day in a bright and powerful 
style. In his Purim Tractate, Kalonymos 
parodies the style, logic, and phraseology 
of the Talmud, and his work was the fore- 
runner of a host of similar parodies. 

There were many Italian writers of 
Piyutim, i. e. Synagogue hymns, but these 
were mediocre in merit. The elegies writ- 
ten in lament for the burning of the Law 
and the martyrdoms endured in various 
parts of Italy were the only meritorious 
devotional poems composed in Hebrew in 
that country. Italy remained famous in 
Hebrew poetry for secular, not for reli- 
gious compositions. In the fifteenth cen- 
tury Moses Rieti (born 1389, died later 
than 1452) imitated Dante once more in 
his “Lesser Sanctuary” (Mikdash Meat). 
Here again may be noticed a feature pecu- 
liar to Italian Hebrew poetry. Rieti uses 
regular stanzas, Italian forms of verse, in 
this matter following the example of Im- 


os o52 53 


ITALIAN JEWISH POETRY 187 


manuel. Messer Leon, a physician of 
Mantua, wrote a treatise on Biblical rhet- 
oric (1480). Again, the only important 
writer of dramas in Hebrew was, as we 
shall see, an Italian Jew, who copied Italian 
models. Though, therefore, the Hebrew 
poetry of Italy scarcely reaches the front 
rank, it is historically of first-rate import- 
ance. It represents the only effects of the 
Renaissance on Jewish literature. In other 
countries, the condition of the Jews was 
such that they were shut off from external 
influences. Their literature suffered as 
their lives did from imprisonment within 
the Ghettos, which were erected both by 
the Jews themselves and by the govern- 
ments of Europe. 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 


S. Morais.—Italian Jewish Literature (Publications of 
the Gratz College, Vol. I). 


IMMANUEL AND KALONYMOS. 


Graetz.—lV, p. 61 [66]. 
J. Chotzner.—IJmmanuel di Romi, J. Q. R., IV, p. 64. 


fattathwesueeciecsias 


wee 


188 JEWISH LITERATURE 


G. Sacerdote.—Emanuele da Roma’s Ninth Mehabbe- 
yet: TAO «(Ri AN A Ap. Fit. 


Jupau (LEONE) Romano. 
Graetz.—lV, p. 68 [73]. 
Moses RIETI. 
Graetz.—IV, p. 230 [249]. 
MEsseER LEon. 
Graetz.—IV, p. 289 [311]. 


= 


1b ae PS fasted qed athens ietisieceiocs 


CHAPTER XIX 


EruHicaL LITERATURE 


Bachya Ibn Pekuda.—Choboth ha-Lebaboth.—Sefer 
ha-Chassidim.—Rokeach.—Yedaiah Bedaressi’s 
Bechinath Olam.—Isaac Aboab’s Menorath ha- 
Maor.—Ibn Chabib’s “ Eye of Jacob.”—Zevaoth, 
or Ethical Wills—Joseph Ibn Caspi.—Solomon 
Alami. 


A LARGE proportion of all Hebrew books 
is ethical. Many of the works already 
treated here fall under this category. The 
Talmudical, exegetical, and philosophical 
writings of Jews were also ethical treatises. 
In this chapter, however, attention will ‘be 
restricted to a few books which are in a 
special sense ethical. 

Collections of moral proverbs, such as 
the “ Choice of Pearls,’ attributed to Ibn 
Gebirol, and the “‘ Maxims of the Philoso- 
phers ” by Charizi, were great favorites in 
the Middle Ages. They had a distinct 
charm, but they were not original. They 


ee 


190 JEWISH LITERATURE 


were either compilations from older books 
or direct translations from the Arabic. It 
was far otherwise with the ethical work 
entitled “Heart Duties” (Choboth ha- 
Lebaboth), by Bachya Ibn Pekuda (about 
1050-1100). This was as original as it was 
forcible. Bachya founded his ethical sys- 
tem on the Talmud and on the philosophi- 
cal notions current in his day, but he 
evolved out of these elements an original 
view of life. The inner duties dictated by 
conscience were set above all conventional 
morality. Bachya probed the very heart 
of religion. His soul was filled with God, 
and this communion, despite the ascetic 
feelings to which it gave rise, was to 
Bachya an exceeding joy. His book thrills 
the reader with the author’s own chastened 
enthusiasm. The “Heart Duties” of 
Bachya is the most inspired book written 
by a Jew in the Middle Ages. 

In part worthy of a place by the side of 
Bachya’s treatise is an ethical book written 


ETHICAL LITERATURE IgI 


in the Rhinelands during the thirteenth 
century. “The Book of the Pious” (Sefer 
ha-Chassidim) is mystical, and in course of 
time superstitious elements were interpo- 
lated. Wrongly attributed to a single 
writer, Judah Chassid, the “ Book of the 
Pious” was really the combined product 
of the Jewish spirit in the thirteenth cen- 
tury. It is a conglomerate of the sublime 
and the trivial, the purely ethical with the 
ceremonial. With this popular and re- 
markable book may be associated other 
conglomerates of the ritual, the ethical, 
and the mystical, as the Rokeach by Eleazar 
of Worms. 

A simpler but equally popular work was 
Yedaiah Bedaressi’s “ Examination of the 
World” (Bechinath Olam), written in 
about the year 1310. Its style is florid 
but poetical, and the many quaint turns 
which it gives to quotations from the Bible 
remind the reader of Ibn Gebirol. Its ear- 
nest appeal to man to aim at the higher 


192 JEWISH LITERATURE 


life, its easily intelligible and commonplace 
morals, endeared it to the “general reader” 
of the Middle Ages. Few books have 
been more often printed, few more often 
translated. 

Another favorite class of ethical books 
consisted of compilations made direct from 
the Talmud and the Midrash. The oldest 
and most prized of these was Isaac Aboab’s 
“Lamp of Light” (Menorath ha-Maor). 
It was an admirably written book, clearly 
arranged, and full to the brim of ethical 
gems. Aboab’s work was written between 
1310 and 1320. It is arranged according 
to subjects, differing in this respect from 
another very popular compilation, Jacob 
Ibn Chabib’s “ Eye of Jacob” (En Yaakob), 
which was completed in the sixteenth cen- 
tury. In this, the Hagadic passages of the 
Talmud are extracted without arrange- 
ment, the order of the Talmud itself being 
retained. The “Eye of Jacob” was an 
extremely popular work. 


ETHICAL LITERATURE 193 


Of the purely devotional literature of 
Judaism, it is impossible to speak here. 
One other ethical book must be here no- 
ticed, for it has attained wide and deserved 
popularity. This is the “ Path of the Up- 
right” (Messilath Yesharim) by Moses 
Chayim Luzzatto, of whom more will be 
said in a later chapter. But a little more 
space must be here devoted to a species of 
ethical tract which was peculiar to Jewish 
moralists. These tracts were what are 
known as Ethical Wills. 

These Ethical Wills (Zevaoth) contained 
the express directions of fathers to their 
children or of aged teachers to their dis- 
ciples. They were for the most part writ- 
ten calmly in old age, but not immediately 
before the writers’ death. Some of them 
were very carefully composed, and amount 
to formal ethical treatises. But in the 
main they are charmingly natural and un- 
affected. They were intended for the ab- 
solutely private use of children and rela- 


ew 


194 JEWISH LITERATURE 


tives, or of some beloved pupil who held 
the dearest place in his master’s regard. 
They were not designed for publication, 
and thus, as the writer had no reason to 
expect that his words would pass beyond a 
limited circle, the Ethical Will is a clear 
revelation of his innermost feelings and 
ideals. Intellectually some of these Ethical 
Wills are poor; morally, however, the gen- 
eral level is very high. 

Addresses of parents to their children 
occur in the Bible, the Apocrypha, and the 
Rabbinical literature. But the earliest ex- 
tant Ethical Will written as an independent 
document is that of Eleazar, the son of 
Isaac of Worms (about 1050), who must 
not be confused with the author of the 
Rokeach. The eleventh and twelfth cen- 
turies supply few examples af the Ethical 
Will, but from the thirteenth century on- 
wards there is a plentiful array of them. 
“Think not of evil,” says Eleazar of 
Worms, “for evil thinking leads to evil 


ETHICAL LITERATURE 195 


doing. . . . Purify thy body, the dwelling- 
place of thy soul. . . . Give of all thy food 
a portion to God. Let God’s portion be 
the best, and give it to the poor.” The 
will of the translator Judah Ibn Tibbon 
(about 1190) contains at least one passage 
worthy of Ruskin: “ Avoid bad society, 
make thy books thy companions, let thy 
book-cases and shelves be thy gardens and 
pleasure-grounds. Pluck the fruit that 
grows therein, gather the roses, the spices, 
and the myrrh. If thy soul be satiate and 
weary, change from garden to garden, 
from furrow to furrow, from sight to sight. 
Then will thy desire renew itself, and thy 
soul be satisfied with delight.” The will 
of Nachmanides is an unaffected eulogy of 
humility. Asher, the son of Yechiel (four- 
teenth century), called his will “ Ways of 
Life,” and it includes 132 maxims, which 
are often printed in the prayer-book. “Do 
not obey the Law for reward, nor avoid sin 
from fear of punishment, but serve God 


196 JEWISH LITERATURE 


from love. Sleep not over-much, but rise 
with the birds. Be not over-hasty to reply 
to offensive remarks; raise not thy hand 
against another, even if he curse thy father 
or mother in thy presence.” 

Some of these wills, like that of the son 
of the last mentioned, are written in 
thymed prose; some are controversial. 
Joseph Ibn Caspi writes in 1322: “ How 
can I know God, and that he is one, unless 
I know what knowing means, and what 
constitutes unity? Why should these 
things be left to non-Jewish philosophers? 
Why should Aristotle retain sole posses- 
sion of the treasures that he stole from 
Solomon?” The belief that Aristotle had 
visited Jerusalem with Alexander the 
Great, and there obtained possession of 
Solomon’s wisdom, was one of the most 
curious myths of the Middle Ages. The 
will of Eleazar the Levite of Mainz 
(1357) is a simple document, without lit- 
erary merit, but containing a clear exposi- 


ETHICAL LITERATURE 197 


tion of duty. “ Judge every man charita- 
bly, and use your best efforts to find a 
kindly explanation of conduct, however 
suspicious. . . . Give in charity an exact 
tithe of your property. Never turn a poor 
man away empty-handed. Talk no more 
than is necessary, and thus avoid slander. 
Be not as dumb cattle that utter no word 
of gratitude, but thank God for. his boun- 
ties at the time at which they occur, and 
in your prayers let the memory of these 
personal favors warm your hearts, and 
prompt you to special fervor during the 
utterance of the communal thanks for com- 
munal well-being. When words of thanks 
occur in the liturgy, pause and silently re- 
flect on the goodness of God to you that 
day.” 

In striking contrast to the simplicity of 
the foregoing is the elaborate “ Letter of 
Advice” by Solomon Alami (beginning of 
the fifteenth century). It is composed in 
beautiful rhymed prose, and is an import- 


198 JEWISH LITERATURE 


ant historical record. For the author 
shared the sufferings of the Jews of the 
Iberian peninsula in 1391, and this gives 
pathetic point to his counsel: “ Flee with- 
out hesitation when exile is the only means 
of securing religious freedom; have no re- 
gard to your worldly career or your prop- 
erty, but go at once.” 

It is needless to indicate fully the nature 
of the Ethical Wills of the sixteenth and 
subsequent centuries. They are closely 
similar to the foregoing, but they tend to 
become more learned and less simple. Yet, 
though as literature they are often quite 
insignificant, as ethics they rarely sink be- 
low mediocrity. 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 
EruicaL LITERATURE. 
Steinschneider.—Jewish Literature, pp. 100, 232. 
B. H. Ascher.—Choice of Pearls (with English 
translation, London, 1859). 
D. Rosin.—Ethics of Solomon Ibn Gebirol, J. Q. R., 
III, p. 150. 
BacHyYa. 
Graetz, ITI, p. 271. 


ETHICAL LITERATURE 199 


YEDAYA BEDARESSI. 


Graetz.—IV, p. 42 [45]. 
J. Chotzner.—J. Q. R., VIII, p. 414. 
T. Goodman.—English translation of Bechinath 


Olam (London, 1830). 
EruicaL WILLS. 
Edelmann.—The Path of Good Men (London, 1852). 
I. Abrahams, J. Q. R., IU, p. 430. 


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CHAPTER XX 


TRAVELLERS’ TALES 


Eldad the Danite—Benjamin of Tudela.—Petachiah 
of Ratisbon.—Esthori Parchi—Abraham Faris- 
sol.—David Reubeni and Molcho.—Antonio de 
Montesinos and Manasseh ben Israel.—Tobiah 
Cohen.—Wessely. 


Tue voluntary and enforced travels of 
the Jews produced, from the earliest period 
after the destruction of the Temple, an ex- 
tensive, if fragmentary, geographical liter- 
ature. In the Talmud and later religious 
books, in the Letters of the Gaonim, in 
the correspondence of Jewish ambassadors, 
in the autobiographical narratives inter- 
spersed in the works of all Jewish scholars 
of the Middle Ages, in the Aruch, or Tal- 
mudical Lexicon, of Nathan of Rome, in 
the satirical romances of the poetical globe- 
trotters, Zabara and Charizi, and, finally, 
in the Bible commentaries written by Jews, 


st BREST 


TRAVELLERS’ TALES 201 


many geographical notes are to be found. 
But the composition of complete works 
dedicated to travel and exploration dates 
only from the twelfth century. 

Before that time, however, interest in 
the whereabouts of the Lost Ten Tribes 
gave rise to a book which has been well 
called the Arabian Nights of the Jews. 
The “ Diary of Eldad the Danite,’’ written 
in about the year 880, was a popular ro- 
mance, to which additions and alterations 
were made at various periods. This diary 
tells of mighty Israelite empires, especially 
of the tribe of Moses, the peoples of which 
were all virtuous, all happy, and long-lived. 

“ A river flows round their land for a distance 
of four days’ journey on every side. They dwell 
in beautiful houses provided with handsome 
towers, which they have built themselves. There 
is nothing unclean among them, neither in the 
case of birds, venison, nor domesticated ani- 
mals; there are no wild beasts, no flies, no foxes, 
no vermin, no serpents, no dogs, and, in general, 
nothing that does harm; they have only sheep and 


cattle, which bear twice a year. They sow and 
reap, they have all kinds of gardens with all kinds 


202 JEWISH LITERATURE 


of fruits and cereals, beans, melons, gourds, onions, 
garlic, wheat, and barley, and the seed grows a 
hundredfold. They have faith; they know the Law, 
the Mishnah, the Talmud, and the Hagadah.... 
No child, be it son or daughter, dies during the 
life-time of its parents, but they reach a third and 
fourth generation. They do all the field-work them- 
selves, having no male nor female servants. They 
do not close théir houses at night, for there is no 
thief or evil-doer among them. They have plenty 
of gold and silver; they sow flax, and cultivate the 
crimson-worm, and make beautiful garments... . 
The river Sambatyon is two hundred yards broad, 
about as far as a bow-shot. It is full of sand and 
stones, but without water; the stones make a great 
noise, like the waves of the sea and a stormy wind, 
so that in the night the noise is heard at a distance 
of half a day’s journey. There are fish in it, and all 
kinds of clean birds fly round it. And this river 
of stone and sand rolls during the six working-days, 
and rests on the Sabbath day. As soon as the 
Sabbath begins, fire surrounds the river, and the 
flames remain till the next evening, when the Sab- 
bath ends. Thus no human being can reach the 
river for a distance of half a mile on either side; 
the fire consumes all that grows there.” 


With wild rapture the Jews of the ninth 
century heard of these prosperous and 
powerful kingdoms. Hopes of a restora- | 
tion to former dignity encouraged them to 
believe in the mythical narrative of Eldad. 


TRAVELLERS’ TALES 203 


It is doubtful whether he was a bona fide 
traveller. At all events, his book includes 
much that became the legendary property 
of all peoples in the Middle Ages, such as 
the fable of the mighty Christian Emperor 
of India, Prester John. 

Some further account of this semi-myth- 
ical monarch is contained in the first real 
Jewish traveller’s book, the “ Itinerary ” of 
Benjamin of Tudela. This Benjamin was 
a merchant, who, in the year 1160, started 
on a long journey, which was prompted 
partly by commercial, partly by scientific 
motives. He visited a large part of Europe 
and Asia, went to Jerusalem and Bagdad, 
and gives in his “ Itinerary ” some remark- 
able geographical facts and some equally 
remarkable fables. He tells, for instance, 
the story of the pretended Messiah, David 
Alroy, whom Disraeli made the hero of one 
of his romances. Benjamin of Tudela’s 
“ Itinerary ” was a real contribution to geo- 


graphy. 


204. JEWISH LITERATURE 


Soon after Benjamin, another Jew, Pe- 
tachiah of Ratisbon, set out on a similar 
but less extended tour, which occupied 
him during the years 1179 and 1180. His 
“ Travels” are less informing than those of 
his immediate predecessor, but his descrip- 
tions of the real or reputed sepulchres of 
ancient worthies and his account of the 
Jewish College in Bagdad are full of ro- 
mantic interest, which was not lessened for 
medieval readers because much of Peta- 
chiah’s narrative was legendary. 

A far more important work was written 
by the first Jewish explorer of Palestine, 
Esthori Parchi, a contemporary of Mande- 
ville. His family originated in Florenza, 
in Andalusia, and the family name Parchi 
(the Flower) was derived from this cir- 
cumstance. Esthori was himself born in 
Provence, and was a student of science as 
well as of the Talmud. When he, together 
with the rest of the Jews of France, was 
exiled in 1306, he wandered to Spain and 


TRAVELLERS’ TALES 205 


Egypt until the attraction of the Holy 
Land proved irresistible. His manner was 
careful, and his love of accuracy unusual 
for his day. Hence, he was not content to 
collect all ancient and contemporary refer- 
ences to the sites of Palestine. For seven 
years he devoted himself to a personal ex- 
ploration of the country, two years being 
passed in Galilee. In 1322 he completed 
his work, which he called Kaphtor va- 
Pherach (Bunch and Flower) in allusion to 
his own name. 

Access to the Holy Land became easier 
for Jews in the fourteenth century. Before 
that time the city of Jerusalem had for a 
considerable period been barred to Jewish 
pilgrims. By the laws of Constantine and 
of Omar no Jew might enter within the 
precincts of his ancient capital. Even in 
the centuries subsequent to Omar, such 
pilgrimages were fraught with danger, but 
the poems of Jehuda Halevi, the tolerance 
of Islam, and the reputation of Northern 


206 JEWISH LITERATURE 


Syria as a centre of the Kabbala, combined 
to draw many Jews to Palestine. Many 
letters and narratives were the results. One 
characteristic specimen must suffice. In 
1488 Obadiah of Bertinoro, author of the 
most popular commentary on the Mishnah, 
removed from Italy to Jerusalem, where 
he was appointed Rabbi. In a letter to his 
father he gives an intensely moving ac- 
count of his voyage and of the state of 
Hebron and Zion. The narrative is full of 
personal detail, and is marked throughout 
by deep love for his father, which strug- 
gles for the mastery with his love for the 
Holy City. 
A more ambitious work was the “ Itin- 
era Mundi” of Abraham Farissol, written 
in the autumn of 1524. This treatise was 
based upon original researches as well as 
on the works of Christian and Arabian 
geographers. He incidentally says a good 
deal about the condition of the Jews in 
various parts of the world. Indeed, al- 


TRAVELLERS’ TALES 207 


most all the geographical writings of Jews 
are social histories of their brethren in 
faith. Somewhat later, David Reubeni 
published some strange stories as to the 
Jews. He went to Rome, where he made 
a considerable sensation, and was received 
by Pope Clement VII (1523-1534). Dwarf- 
ish in stature and dark in complexion, 
David Reubeni was wasted by continual 
fasting, but his manner, though harsh and 
forbidding, was intrepid and awe-inspiring. 
His outrageous falsehoods for a time found 
ready acceptance with Jews and Christians 
alike, and his fervid Messianism won over 
to his cause many Marranos—Jews who 
had been forced by the Inquisition in Spain 
to assume the external garb of Christianity. 
His chief claim on the memory of posterity 
was his connection with the dramatic 
career of Solomon Molcho (1501-1532), a 
youth noble in mind and body, who at 
Reubeni’s instigation personated the Mes- 
siah, and in early manhood died a martyr’s 


208 JEWISH LITERATURE 


death amid the flames of the Inquisition at 
Mantua. 

The geographical literature of the Jews 
did not lose its association with Messianic 
hopes. Antonio de Montesinos, in 1642, 
imagined that he had discovered in South 
America the descendants of the Ten 
Tribes. He had been led abroad by busi- 
ness considerations and love of travel, and 
in Brazil came across a mestizo Indian, 
from whose statements he conceived the 
firm belief that the Ten Tribes resided and 
thrived in Brazil. Two years later he vis- 
ited Amsterdam, and, his imagination 
aflame with the hopes which had not been 
stifled by several years’ endurance of the 
prisons and tortures of the Inquisition, per- 
suaded Manasseh ben Israel to accept his 
statements. On his death-bed in Brazil, 
Montesinos reiterated his assertions, and 
Manasseh ben Israel not only founded 
thereon his noted book, “The Hope of 
Israel,’ but under the inspiration of simi- 


mebeneccestss cera itractetlscsitaetietts cc esti 


TRAVELLERS’ TALES 209 


lar ideas felt impelled to visit London, and 
win from Cromwell the right of the Jews 
to resettle in England. 

Jewish geographical literature grew 
apace in the eighteenth century. A famous 
book, the “ Work of Tobiah,”’ was written 
at the beginning of this period by Tobiah 
Cohen, who was born at Metz in 1652, 
and died in Jerusalem in 1729. It is a 
medley of science and fiction, an encyclo- 
pedia dealing with all branches of knowl- 
edge. He had studied at the Universities 
of Frankfort and Padua, had enjoyed the 
patronage of the Elector of Brandenburg, 
and his medical knowledge won him many 
distinguished patients in Constantinople. 
Thus his work contains many medical 
chapters of real value, and he gives one of 
the earliest accounts of recently discovered 
drugs and medicinal plants. Among other 
curiosities he maintained that he had dis- 
covered the Pygmies. 

From this absorbing but confusing book 


210 JEWISH LITERATURE 


our survey must turn finally to N. H. Wes- 
sely, who in 1782 for the first time main- 
tained the importance of the study of geo- 
graphy in Jewish school education. The 
works of the past, with their consoling 
legends and hopes, continued to hold a 
place in the heart of Jewish readers. But 
from Wessely’s time onwards a long series 
of Jewish explorers and travellers have 
joined the ranks of those who have opened 
up for modern times a real knowledge of 


the globe. 
BIBLIOGRAPHY 
Steinschneider.—Jewish Literature, p. 80. 
A. Neubauer.—Series of Articles entitled Where are 
the Ten Tribes, J. Q. R., Vol. I. 
BENJAMIN OF TUDELA. 

A. Asher.—The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela 
(with English translation and appendix by Zunz. 
London, 1840-1). 

PETACHIAH OF RaTISBON. 
A. Benisch.—Travels of Petachia of Ratisbon (with 
English translation. London, 1856). 
ABRAHAM FARISSOL. : 
Graetz._lV, p. 413 [44o]. 
Davip REvBENT. 
Graetz.—IV, p. 491 [523]. 
H. WeEsseEty. 
Graetz.—V, p. 366 [388]. 


CHAPTER XXI 


HISTORIANS AND CHRONICLERS 


Order of the Tannaim and Amoraim.—Achimaaz.— 
Abraham Ibn Daud.—Josippon.—Historical Ele- 
gies, or Selichoth—Memorial Books.—Abraham 
Zacuto.—Elijah Kapsali—Usque—Ibn Verga.— 
Joseph Cohen—David Gans.—Gedaliah Ibn 
Yachya.—Azariah di Rossi. 


Tue historical books to be found in the 
Bible, the Apocrypha, and the Hellenistic 
literature prove that the Hebrew genius 
was not unfitted for the presentation of the 
facts of Jewish life. These older works, as 
well as the writings of Josephus, also show 
a faculty for placing local records in rela- 
tion to the wider facts of general history. 
After the dispersion of the Jews, however, 
the local was the only history in which the 
Jews could bear a part. The Jews read 
history as a mere commentary on their 
own fate, and hence they were unable to 
take the wide outlook into the world re- 


212 JEWISH LITERATURE 


quired for the compilation of objective his- 
tories. Thus, in their aim to find religious 
consolation for their sufferings in the Mid- 
dle Ages, the Jewish historians sought 
rather to trace the hand of Providence than 
to analyze the human causes of the changes 
in the affairs of mankind. 

But in another sense the Jews were es- 
sentially gifted with the historical spirit. 
The great men of Israel were not local 
heroes. Just as Plutarch’s Lives were part 
of the history of the world’s politics, so 
Jewish biographies of learned men were 
part of the history of the world’s civiliza- 
tion. With the “Order of the Tannaim 
and Amoraim” (written about the year 
1100) begins a series of such biographical 
works, in which more appreciation of sober 
fact is displayed than might have been ex- 
pected from the period. In the same way 
the famous Letter of Sherira Gaon on the 
compilation of the Rabbinical literature 
(980) marked great progress in the critical 


HISTORIANS AND CHRONICLERS 213 


examination of historical problems. Later 
works did not maintain the same level. 

In the Middle Ages, Jewish histories 
mostly took the form of uncritical Chroni- 
cles, which included legends and traditions 
as well as assured facts. Their interest 
and importance lie in the personal and 
communal details with which they abound. 
Sometimes they are confessedly local. This 
is the case with the “ Chronicle of Achi- 
maaz,” written by him in 1055 in rhymed 
prose. In an entertaining style, he tells of 
the early settlements of the Jews in South- 
ern Italy, and throws much light on the 
intercommunication between the scattered 


Jewish congregations of his time. A 


larger canvas was filled by Abraham Ibn 
Daud, the physician and philosopher who 
was born in Toledo in 1110, and met a 
martyr’s end at the age of seventy. His 
“ Book of Tradition ” (Sefer ha-Kabbalah), 
written in 1161, was designed to present, 
in opposition to the Karaites, the chain of 


214 JEWISH LITERATURE 


Jewish tradition as a series of unbroken 
links from the age of Moses to Ibn Daud’s 
own times. Starting with the Creation, 
his history ends with the anti-Karaitic 
crusade of Judah Ibn Ezra in Granada 
(1150). Abraham Ibn Daud shows in this 
work considerable critical power, but in 
his two other histories, one dealing with 
the history of Rome from its foundation to 
the time of King Reccared in Spain, the 
other a narrative of the history of the Jews 
during the Second Temple, the author re- 
lied entirely on “ Josippon.” This was a 
medieval concoction which long passed as 
the original Josephus. “ Josippon”’ was 
a romance rather than a history. Culled 
from all sources, from Strabo, Lucian, and 
Eusebius, as well as from Josephus, this 
marvellous book exercised strong influence 
on the Jewish imagination, and supplied 
an antidote to the tribulations of the pres- 
ent by the consolations of the past and the 
vivid hopes for the future. 


HISTORIANS AND CHRONICLERS 215 


For a long period Abraham Ibn Daud 
found no imitators. Jewish history was 
written as part of the Jewish religion. Yet, 
incidentally, many historical passages were 
introduced in the works of Jewish scholars 
and travellers, and the liturgy was enriched 
by many beautiful historical Elegies, which 
were a constant call to heroism and fidelity. 
These Elegies, or Selichoth, were com- 
posed throughout the Middle Ages, and 
their passionate outpourings of lamenta- 
tion and trust give them a high place in 
Jewish poetry. They are also important 
historically, and fully justify the fine utter- 
ance with which Zunz introduces them, an 
utterance which was translated by George 
Eliot as follows: 

li there are ranks in suffering, Israel takes pre- 
cedence of all the nations—if the duration of sor- 
rows and the patience with which they are borne 
ennoble, the Jews are among the aristocracy of 
every land—if a literature is called rich in the pos- 
session of a few classic tragedies, what shall we say 
to a National Tragedy lasting for fifteen hundred 


years, in which the poets and the actors were also 
the heroes? 


216 JEWISH LITERATURE 


The story of the medieval section of this 
pathetic martyrdom is written in the Seli- 
choth and in the more prosaic records 
known as “ Memorial Books ” (in German, 
Memorbiicher), which are lists of martyrs 
and brief eulogies of their careers. 

For the next formal history we must pass 
to Abraham Zacuto. In his old age he 
employed some years of comparative quiet, 
after a stormy and unhappy life, in writing 
a “ Book of Genealogies” (Yuchasin). He 
had been exiled from Spain in 1492, and 
twelve years later composed his historical 
work in Tunis. Like Abraham Ibn Daud’s 
book, it opens with the Creation, and ends 
with the author’s own day. Though Za- 
cuto’s work is more celebrated than histor- 
ical, it nevertheless had an important share 
in reawaking the dormant interest of Jews 
in historical research. Thus we find Elijah 
Kapsali of Candia writing, in 1523, a “ His- 
tory of the Ottoman Empire,” and Joseph 
Cohen, of Avignon, a “ History of France 


HISTORIANS AND CHRONICLERS 217 


and Turkey,” in 1554, in which he included 
an account of the rebellion of Fiesco in 
Genoa, where the author was then residing. 
’ The sixteenth century witnessed the pro- 
duction of several popular Jewish histories. 
At that epoch the horizon of the world was 
extending under new geographical and in- 
tellectual discoveries. Israel, on the other 
hand, seemed to be sinking deeper and 
deeper into the slough of despond. Some 
of the men who had themselves been the 
victims of persecution saw that the only 
hope lay in rousing the historical consci- 
ousness of their brethren. History became 
the consolation of the exiles from Spain 
who found themselves pent up within the 
walls of the Ghettos, which were first built 
in the sixteenth century. Samuel Usque 
was a fugitive from the Inquisition, and 
his dialogues, “ Consolations for the Tribu- 
lations of Israel”? (written in Portuguese, 
in 1553), are a long drawn-out sigh of pain 
passing into a sigh of relief. Usque opens 


218 JEWISH LITERATURE 


with a passionate idyl in which the history 
of Israel in the near past is told by the 
shepherd Icabo. To him Numeo and Zi- 
careo offer consolation, and they pour balm 
into his wounded heart. The vividness of 
Usque’s style, his historical insight, his 
‘sturdy optimism, his poetical force in inter- 
preting suffering as the means of attaining 
the highest life in God, raise his book 
above the other works of its class and age. 

Usque’s poem did not win the same pop- 
ularity as two other elegiac histories of the 
same period. These were the “Rod of 
Judah ” (Shebet Jehudah) and the “ Valley 
of Tears” (Emek ha-Bachah). The for- 
mer was the work of three generations of 
the Ibn Verga family. Judah died before 
the expulsion from Spain, but his son Solo- 
mon participated in the final troubles of the 
Spanish Jews, and was. even forced to join 
the ranks of the Marranos. The grandson, 
Joseph Ibn Verga, became Rabbi in Adri- 
anople, and was cultured in classical as 


HISTORIANS AND CHRONICLERS 219 


well as Jewish lore. Their composite work, 
“The Rod of Judah,” was completed in 
1554. It is a well-written but badly ar- 
ranged martyrology, and over all its pages 
might be inscribed the Talmudical motto, 
that God’s chastisements of Israel are chas- 
tisements of love. The other work refer- 
red to is Joseph Cohen’s “Valley of Tears,” 
completed in 1575. The author was born 
in Avignon in 1496, four years after his 
father had shared in the exile from Spain. 
He himself suffered expatriation, for, 
though a distinguished physician and the 
private doctor of the Doge Andrea Doria, 
he was expelled with the rest of the Jews 
from Genoa in 1550. Settled in the little 
town of Voltaggio, he devoted himself to 
writing the annals of European and Jewish 
history. His style is clear and forcible, 
and recalls the lucid simplicity of the his- 
torical books of the Bible. 

The only other histories that need be 
critically mentioned here are the “ Branch 


220 JEWISH LITERATURE 


of David” (Zemach David), the “ Chain of 
Tradition” (Shalsheleth ha-Kabbalah), and 
the “ Light of the Eyes” (Mesr Enayim). 
Abraham de Porta Leone’s “ Shields of the 
Mighty” (Shilte ha-Gibborim, printed in 
Mantua in 1612); Leon da Modena’s 
“Ceremonies and Customs of the Jews,” 
(printed in Paris in 1637); David Conforte’s 
“ Call of the Generations ” (Kore ha-Doroth, 
written in Palestine in about 1670); Yechiel 
Heilprin’s “ Order of Generations” (Seder 
ha-Doroth, written in Poland in 1725); and 
Chayim Azulai’s “Name of the Great 
Ones ” (written in Leghorn in 1774), can 
receive only a bare mention. 

The author of the “ Branch of David,” 
David Gans, was born in Westphalia in 
about 1540. He was the first German Jew 
of his age to take real interest in the study 
of history. He was a man of scientific cul- 
ture, corresponded with Kepler, and was 
a personal friend of Tycho Brahe. For 
the latter Gans made a German translation 


HISTORIANS AND CHRONICLERS 221 


of parts of the Hebrew version of the 
Tables of Alfonso, originally compiled in 
1260. Gans wrote works on mathematical 
and physical geography, and treatises on 
arithmetic and geometry. His history, 


“Branch of David,’ was extremely popu- 


lar. For a man of his scientific training it 
shows less critical power than might have 
been expected, but the German Jews did 
not begin to apply criticism to history till 
after the age of Mendelssohn. In one re- 
spect, however, the “ Branch of David” 
displays the width of the author’s culture. 
Not only does he tell the history of the 
Jews, but in the second part of his work 
he gives an account of many lands and 
cities, especially of Bohemia and Prague, 
and adds a striking description of the 
secret courts (Vehmgerichie) of Westphalia. 

It is hard to think that the authors of 
the “Chain of Tradition” and of the 
“Light of the Eyes’ were contemporaries. 
Azariah di Rossi (1514-1588), the writer 


222 JEWISH LITERATURE 


of the last mentioned book, was the 
founder of historical criticism among the 
Jews. Elias del Medigo (1463-1498) had 
led in the direction, but di Rossi’s work 
anticipated the methods, of the German 
school of “ scientific ” Jewish writers, who, 
at the beginning of the present century, 
applied scientific principles to the study 
of Jewish traditions. On the other hand, 
Gedaliah Ibn Yachya (1515-1587) was 
so utterly uncritical that his “ Chain 
of Tradition” was nicknamed by Joseph 
Delmedigo the “Chain of Lies.” Geda- 
liah was a man of wealth, and he expended 
his means in the acquisition of books and 
in making journeys in search of sacred and 
profane knowledge. Yet Gedaliah made 
up in style for his lack of historical method. 
The “ Chain of Tradition” is a picturesque 
and enthralling book, it is a warm and 
cheery retrospect, and even deserves to be 
called a prose epic. Besides, many of his 
statements that were wont to be treated as 


HISTORIANS AND CHRONICLERS 223 


altogether unauthentic have been vindi- 
cated by later research. Azariah di Rossi, 
on the other hand, is immortalized by his 
spirit rather than his actual contributions 
to historical literature. He came of an 
ancient family said to have been carried to 
Rome by Titus, and lived in Ferrara, 
where, in 1574, he produced his “ Light of 
the Eyes.” This is divided into three 
parts, the first devoted to general history, 
the second to the Letter of Aristeas, the 
third to the solution of several historical 
problems, all of which had been neglected 
by Jews and Christians alike. Azariah di 
Rossi was the first critic to open up true 
lines of research into the Hellenistic liter- 
ature of the Jews of Alexandria. With 
him the true historical spirit once more 
descended on the Jewish genius. 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 


Steinschneider.—Jewish Literature, p. 75, seq., 250 seq. 
A. Neubauer.—Introductions to Medieval Jewish 
Chronicles, Vols. I and II (Oxford, 1882, etc.). 


224 JEWISH LITERATURE 


SELICHOTH. 
Zunz.—Sufferings of the Jews in the Middle Ages 
(translated by A. Lowy, Miscellany of the Society 
of Hebrew Literature, Vol. 1). See also J. Q. R., 
VIII, pp. 78, 426, 611. 
ABRAHAM IBN Daun. 
Graetz.—III, p. 363 [373]. 
ABRAHAM ZACUTO. 
Graetz.—lV, pp. 366, 367, 391 [393]. 
EviyAu KapsAtt. 
Graetz.—IV, p. 406 [435]. 
JosEPH CoHEN, Usgque, Inn VERGA. 
Graetz.—IV, p. 555 [590]. 
Chronicle of Joseph ben Joshua the Priest (English 
translation by Bialoblotzky. London, 1835-6). 
Evia DELMEDIGO. 
Graetz.—IV, p. 290 [312]. 
Davip GANs. 
Graetz.—lV, p. 638 [679]. 


GEDALIAH Inn YACHYA. 
Graetz.—IV, p. 609 [655]. 


AZARIAH D1 Rosst. 
Graetz.—IV, p. 614 [653]. 


CHAPTER XXII 


Isaac ABARBANEL 


Abarbanel’s Philosophy and Biblical Commentaries. 
—Elias Levita—Zeéna u-Reéna.—Moses Al- 
shech.—The Biur. 


Tue career of Don Isaac Abarbanel (born 
in Lisbon in 1437, died in Venice in 1509) 
worthily closes the long services which the 
Jews of Spain rendered to the state and to 
learning. The earlier part of his life was 
spent in the service of Alfonso V of Por- 
tugal. He possessed considerable wealth, 
and his house, which he himself tells us 
was built with spacious halls, was the meet- 
ing-place of scholars, diplomatists, and 
men of science. Among his other occupa- 
tions, he busied himself in ransoming Jew- 
ish slaves, and obtained the co-operation of 
some Italian Jews in this object. 

When Alfonso died, Abarbanel not only 


226 JEWISH LITERATURE 


lost his post as finance minister, but was 
compelled to flee for his life. He shared 
the fall of the Duke of Braganza, whose 
popularity was hateful to Alfonso’s succes- 
sor. Don Isaac escaped to Castile in 1484, 
and, amid the friendly smiles of the cul- 
tured Jews of Toledo, set himself to resume 
the literary work he had been forced to lay 
aside while burdened with affairs of state. 
He began the compilation of commentaries 
on the historical books of the Bible, but 
he was not long left to his studies. Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella, under the very eyes of 
Torquemada and the Inquisition, entrusted 
the finances of their kingdom to the Jew 
Abarbanel during the years 1484 to 1492. 

In the latter year, Abarbanel was driven 
from Spain in the general expulsion insti- 
gated by the Inquisition. He found a tem- 
porary asylum in Naples, where he also 
received a state appointment. But he was 
soon forced to flee again, this time to 
Corfu. “ My wife, my sons, and my books 


ISAAC ABARBANEL 227 


are far from me,” he wrote, “and I am 
left alone, a stranger in a strange land.” 
But his spirit was not crushed by these 
successive misfortunes. He continued to 
compile huge works at a very rapid rate. . 
He was not destined, however, to end his 
life in obscurity. In 1503 he was given 
a diplomatic post in Venice, and he passed 
his remaining years in happiness and 
honor. He ended the splendid roll of 
famous Spanish Jews with a career pecu- 
liarly Spanish. He gave a final, striking 
example of that association of life with lit- 
erature which of old characterized Jews, 
but which found its greatest and last home 
in Spain. 

As a writer, Abarbanel has many faults. 
He is very verbose, and his mannerisms 
are provoking. Thus, he always intro- 
duces his commentaries with a long string 
of questions, which he then proceeds to 
answer. It was jokingly said of him that 
he made many sceptics, for not one in a 


{ 
} 


228 JEWISH LITERATURE 


score of his readers ever got beyond the 
questions to the answers. There is this 
truth in the sarcasm, that Abarbanel, de- 
spite his essential lucidity, is very hard to 
read. Though Abarbanel has obvious 
faults, his good qualities are equally tangi- 
ble. No predecessor of Abarbanel came so 
near as he did to the modern ideal of a 
commentator on the Bible. Ibn Ezra was 
the father of the “ Higher Criticism,” i. e. 
the attempt to explain the evolution of the 
text of Scripture. The Kimchis developed 
the strictly grammatical exposition of the 
Bible. But Abarbanel understood that, to 
explain the Bible, one must try to repro- 
duce the atmosphere in which it was writ- 
ten; one must realize the ideas and the life 
of the times with which the narrative deals. 
His own practical state-craft stood him in 
good stead. He was able to form a con- 
ception of the politics of ancient Judea. 
His commentaries are works on the phi- 
losophy of history. His more formal phi- 


ISAAC ABARBANEL 229 


losophical works, such as his “ Deeds of 
God” (Miphaloth Elohim), are of less 
value, they are borrowed in the main from 
Maimonides. In his Talmudical writings, 
notably his “Salvation of his Anointed ” 
(Veshuoth Meshicho), Abarbanel displays 
a lighter and more original touch than in 
his philosophical treatises. But his works 
on the Bible are his greatest literary 
achievement. Besides the merits already 
indicated, these books have another im- 
portant excellence. He was the first Jew 
to make extensive use of Christian com- 
mentaries. He must be credited with the 
discovery that the study of the Bible may 
be unsectarian, and that all who hold the 
Bible in honor may join hands in elucidat- 
ing it. 

A younger contemporary of Abarbanel 
was also an apostle of the same view. This 
was Elias Levita (1469-1549). He was a 
Grammarian, or Massorite, i. e. a student 
of the tradition (Massorah) as to the He- 


230 JEWISH LITERATURE 


brew text of the Bible, and he was an ener- 
getic teacher of Christians. In the six- 
teenth century the study of Hebrew made 
much progress in Europe, but the Jews 
themselves were only indirectly associated 
with this advance. Despite Abarbanel, 
Jewish commentaries remained either 
homiletic or mystical, or, like the popular 
works of Moses Alshech, were more or 
less Midrashic in style. But the Bible was 
a real delight to the Jews, and it is natural 
that such books were often compiled for 
the masses. Mention must be made of the 
Zeéna u-Reéna (“Go forth and see”), a 
work written at the beginning of the eigh- 
teenth century in Jewish-German for the 
_use of women, a work which is still beloved 
of the Jewess. But the seeds sown by 
Abarbanel and others of his school eventu- 
ally produced an abundant harvest. Men- 
delssohn’s German edition of the Penta- 
teuch with the Hebrew Commentary 
(Biur) was the turning-point in the march 


ISAAC ABARBANEL 231 


towards the modern exposition of the 
Bible, which had been inaugurated by the 
statesman-scholar of Spain. 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 
ABARBANEL. 

Graetz.—_lV, 11. 

I. S. Meisels.—Don. Isaac Abarbanel, J. Q. R., I, 
P. 37. 

S. Schechter—Studies in Judaism, p. 173 [211]. 

F. D. Mocatta.—The Jews of Spain and Portugal 
and the Inquisition (London, 1877). 

Schiller-Szinessy.—Encycl. Brit., Vol. 1, p. 52. 


ExeEGEsiIs 16th-18th CENTURIES. 
Steinschneider.—Jewish Literature, p. 232 seq. 
Brur. 


Specimen of the Biur, translated by A. Benisch 
(Miscellany of the Society of Hebrew Literature, 
Vol. DI. 


CHAPTER XXIII 


THE SHULCHAN ARUCH 


Asheri’s Arba Turim.—Chiddushim and Teshuboth. 
—Solomon ben Adereth.—Meir of Rothenburg. 
—Sheshet and Duran.—Moses and Judah Minz. 
—Jacob Weil, Israel Isserlein, Maharil.—David 
Abi Zimra.—Joseph Karo.—Jair Bacharach.— 
Chacham Zevi—Jacob Emden.—Ezekiel Lan- 
dau. 


THE religious literature of the Jews, so 
far as practical life was concerned, cul- 
minated in the publication of the “Table 
Prepared” (Shulchan Aruch), in 1565. 
The first book of its kind compiled after 
the invention of printing, the Shulchan 
Aruch obtained a popularity denied to all 
previous works designed to present a di- 
gest of Jewish ethics and ritual obser- 
vances. It in no sense superseded the 
“Strong Hand ” of Maimonides, but it was 
so much more practical in its scope, so 
much clearer as a work of general refer- 


THE SHULCHAN ARUCH 233 


ence, so much fuller of Minhag, or estab- 
lished custom, that it speedily became the 
universal hand-book of Jewish life in many 
of its phases. It was not accepted in all 
its parts, and its blemishes were clearly 
perceived. The author, Joseph Karo, was 
too tender to the past, and admitted some 
things which had a historical justification, 
but which Karo himself would have 
been the first to reject as principles of con- 
duct for his own or later times. On the 
whole, the book was a worthy summary of 
the fundamental Jewish view, that religion 
is co-extensive with life, and that every- 
thing worth doing at all ought to be done 
in accordance with a general principle of 
obedience to the divine will. The defects 
of such a view are the defects of its quali- 
ties. 

The Shulchan Aruch was the outcome of 
centuries of scholarship. It was original, 
yet it was completely based on previous 
works. In particular the “ Four Rows” 


234 JEWISH LITERATURE 


(Arbéa Turim) of Jacob Asheri (1283- 
1340) was one of the main sources of 
Karo’s work. The “ Four Rows,” again, 
owed everything to Jacob’s father, Asher, 
the son of Yechiel, who migrated from 
Germany to Toledo at the very beginning 
of the fourteenth century. But besides 
the systematic codes of his predecessors, 
Karo was able to draw on a vast mass of 
literature on the Talmud and on Jewish 
Law, accumulated in the course of cen- 
turies. 

There was, in the first place, a large col- 
lection of “ Novelties” (Chiddushim), or 
Notes on the Talmud, by various authori- 
ties. More significant, however, were the 
“Responses” (Teshuboth), which resem- 
bled those of the Gaonim referred to in 
an earlier chapter. The Rabbinical Cor- 
respondence, in the form of Responses to 
Questions sent from far and near, covered 
the whole field of secular and religious 
knowledge. The style of these “ Re- 


THE SHULCHAN ARUCH 235 


sponses ” was at first simple, terse, and full 
of actuality. The most famous representa- 
tives of this form of literature after the 
Gaonim were both of the thirteenth cen- 
tury, Solomon, the son of Adereth, in Spain, 
and Meir of Rothenburg in Germany. Solo- 
mon, the son of Adereth, of Barcelona, was 
a man whose moral earnestness, mild yet 
firm disposition, profound erudition, and 
tolerant character, won for him a supreme 
place in Jewish life for half a century. 
Meir of Rothenburg was a poet and mar- 
tyr as well as a profound scholar. He 
passed many years in prison rather than 
yield to the rapacious demands of the local 
government for a ransom, which Meir’s 
friends would willingly have paid. As a 
specimen of Meir’s poetry, the following 
verses are taken from a dirge composed by 
him in 1285, when copies of the Penta- 
teuch were publicly committed to the 
flames. The “Law” is addressed in the 
second person: 


236 JEWISH LITERATURE 


Dismay hath seized upon my soul; how then 
Can food be sweet to me? 

When, O thou Law! I have beheld base men 
Destroying thee? 


Ah! sweet ’twould be unto mine eyes alway 
Waters of tears to pour, 

To sob and drench thy sacred robes, till they 
Could hold no more. 


But lo! my tears are dried, when, fast outpoured, 
They down my cheeks are shed, 

Scorched by the fire within, because thy Lord 
Hath turned and sped. 


Yea, I am desolate and sore bereft, 
Lo! a forsaken one, 

Like a sole beacon on a mountain left, 
A tower alone. 


I hear the voice of singers now no more, 
Silence their song hath bound, 

For broken are the strings on harps of yore, 
Viols of sweet sound. 


I am astonied that the day’s fair light 
Yet shineth brilliantly 

On all things; but is ever dark as night 
To me and thee. 


Even as when thy Rock afflicted thee, 
He will assuage thy woe, 

And turn again the tribes’ captivity, 
And raise the low. 


THE SHULCHAN ARUCH 237 


Yet shalt thou wear thy scarlet raiment choice, 
And sound the timbrels high, 

And glad amid the dancers shalt rejoice, 
With joyful cry. 


My heart shall be uplifted on the day 
Thy Rock shall be thy light, 

When he shall make thy gloom to pass away, 
Thy darkness bright. 


This combination of the poetical with 
the legal mind was parallelled by other 
combinations in such masters of “ Re- 
sponses” as the Sheshet and Duran fam- 
ilies in Algiers in the fourteenth and fif- 
teenth centuries. In these men depth of 
learning was associated with width of cul- 
ture. Others, such as Moses and Judah 
Minz, Jacob Weil, and Israel Isserlein, 
whose influence was paramount in Ger- 
many in the fifteenth century, were less 
cultivated, but their learning was asso- 
ciated with a geniality and sense of humor 
that make their ‘‘ Responses” very human 
and very entertaining. There is the same 
homely, affectionate air in the collection 


238 JEWISH LITERATURE 


of Minhagim, or Customs, known as the 
Maharil, which belongs to the same period. 
On the other hand, David Abi Zimra, 
Rabbi of Cairo in the sixteenth century, 
was as independent as he was leatned. It 
was he, for instance, who abolished the old 
custom of dating Hebrew documents from 
the Seleucid era (311 B. C. E.). And, to 
pass beyond the time of Karo, the writers 
of “Responses” include the gifted Jair 
Chayim Bacharach (seventeenth century), 
a critic as well as a legalist; Chacham Zevi 
and Jacob Emden in Amsterdam, and Eze- 
kiel Landau in Prague, the former two of 
whom opposed the Messianic claims of 
Sabbatai Zevi, and the last of whom was an 
antagonist to the Germanizing tendency of 
Moses Mendelssohn. 

Joseph Karo himself was a man of many 
parts. He was born in Spain in 1488, and 
died in Safed, the nest of mysticism, in 1575. 
Master of the Talmudic writings of his pre- 
decessors from his youth, Karo devoted 


THE SHULCHAN ARUCH 239 


thirty-two years to the preparation of an 
exhaustive commentary on the “ Four 
Rows” of Jacob Asheri. This occupied 
him from 1522 to 1554. Karo was an en- 
thusiast as well as a student, and the emo- 
tional side of the Kabbala had much fasci- 
nation for him. He believed that he had a 
familiar, or Maggid, the personification of 
the Mishnah, who appeared to him in 
dreams, and held communion with him. 
He found a congenial home in Safed, 
where the mystics had their head-quarters 
in the sixteenth century. Karo’s com- 
panion on his journey to Safed was Solo- 
mon Alkabets, author of the famous Sab- 
bath hymn “Come, my Friend” (Lecha 
Dodi), with the refrain: 


Come forth, my friend, the Bride to meet, 
Come, O my friend, the Sabbath greet! 


The Shulchan Aruch is arranged in four 
parts, called fancifully, “ Path of Life” 
(Orach Chayim), “Teacher of Knowl- 


240 JEWISH LITERATURE 


edge” (Yoreh Deah), “Breastplate of 
Judgment” (Choshen ha-Mishpat), and 
“Stone of Help” (Eben ha-Ezer). The 
first part is mainly occupied with the sub- 
ject of prayer, benedictions, the Sabbath, 
the festivals, and the observances proper to 
each. The second part deals with food and 
its preparation, Shechitah, or slaughtering 
of animals for food, the relations between 
Jews and non-Jews, vows, respect to par- 
ents, charity, and religious observances 
connected with agriculture, such as the 
payment of tithes, and, finally, the rites of 
mourning. This section of the Shulchan 
Aruch is the most miscellaneous of the 
four; in the other three the association of 
subjects is more logical. The Eben ha- 
Ezer treats of the laws of marriage and 
divorce from their civil and religious as- 
pects. The Choshen ha-Mishpat deals 
with legal procedure, the laws regulating 
business transactions and the relations be- 
tween man and man in the conduct of 


THE SHULCHAN ARUCH 241 


worldly affairs. A great number of com- 
mentaries on Karo’s Code were written by 
and for the Acharonim (=later scholars). 
It fully deserved this attention, for on its 
own lines the Shulchan Aruch was a mas- 
terly production. It brought system into the 
discordant opinions of the Rabbinical au- 
thorities of the Middle Ages, and its publi- 
cation in the sixteenth century was itself a 
stroke of genius. Never before had such a 
work been so necessary as then. The Jews 
were in sight of what was to them the dark- 
est age, the seventeenth and eighteenth cen- 
turies. Though the Shulchan Aruch had 
an evil effect in stereotyping Jewish reli- 


— 


gious thought and in preventing the rapid 
spread of the critical spirit, yet it was a 
rallying point for the disorganized Jews, 
and saved them from the disintegration 
which threatened them. The Shulchan 
Aruch was the last great bulwark of the 
Rabbinical conception of life. Alike in its 
form and contents it was a not unworthy 


242 JEWISH LITERATURE 


close to the series of codes which began 
with the Mishnah, and in which life itself 
was codified. 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 
Steinschneider.—Jewish Literature, p. 213 seq. 
I. H. Weiss.—On Codes, J..Q. R., I, p. 280. 
ASHER BEN YECHIEL. 

Graetz.—IV, p. 34 [37]. 
Jacosp AsHERI. 

Graetz.—IV, p. 88 [95]. 
SOLOMON BEN ADERETH. 

Graetz.—III, p. 618 [639]. 
MErR oF ROTHENBURG. 

Graetz.—III, pp. 625, 638 [646]. 
Jupau Miwnz. 

Graetz.—IV, p. 204 [317]. 
MaAHARIL. 

S. Schechter.—Studies in Judaism, p. 142 [173]. 
DAviD BEN Axpi ZIMRA. 

Graetz.—IV, p. 393 [420]. 
Jatr CHAyim BacHARACH. 

D. Kaufmann, J. Q. R., III, p. 292, etc. 
JOsEPH Karo. 
_ Graetz.—lIV, p. 537 [571]. 
Moses IssERLEs. 

Graetz.—IV, p. 637 [677]. 
CHIDDUSHIM. 

Graetz.—IV, p. 641 [682]. 


CHAPTER XXIV 


AMSTERDAM IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY 


Manasseh ben Israel—Baruch Spinoza.—The Drama 
in Hebrew.—Moses Zacut, Joseph Felix Penso, 
Moses Chayim Luzzatto. 


Hotianpwas the centre of Jewish hope in 
the seventeenth century, and among its tol- 
erant and cultivated people the Marranos, 
exiled from Spain and Portugal, founded 
a new Jerusalem. Two writers of Mar- 
rano origin, wide as the poles asunder in 
gifts of mind and character, represented 
two aspects of the aspiration of the Jews 
towards a place in the wider world. Ma- 
nasseh ben Israel (1604-1657) was an enthu- 
siast who based his ambitious hopes on the 
Messianic prophecies; Baruch Spinoza 
(1632-1677) lacked enthusiasm, had little 
belief in the verbal promises of Scripture, 
yet developed a system of ethics in which 


244 


JEWISH LITERATURE 


God filled the world. Manasseh ben 
Israel regained for the Jews admission to 
England; Spinoza reclaimed the right of 
a Jew to a voice in the philosophy of the 
world. Both were political thinkers who 
maintained the full rights of the individual 
conscience, and though the arguments 
used vary considerably, yet Manasseh ben 
Israel’s splendid Vindicie Judeorum and 
Spinoza’s “ Tractate” alike insist on the 
natural right of men to think freely. They 
anticipated some of the greatest principles 
that won acceptance at the end of the eigh- 
teenth century. 

Manasseh ben Israel was born in Lisbon 
of Marrano parents, who emigrated to Am- 
sterdam a few years after their son’s birth. 
He displayed a youthful talent for oratory, 
and was a noted preacher in his teens. He 
started the first Hebrew printing-press es- 
tablished in Amsterdam, and from it issued 
many works still remarkable for the ex- 
cellence of their type and general work- 


AMSTERDAM 245 


manship. Manasseh was himself, not only 
a distinguished linguist, but a popularizer 
of linguistic studies. He wrote well in 
Hebrew, Latin, English, Spanish, and Por- 
tuguese, and was the means of instructing 
many famous Christians of the day in He- 
brew and Rabbinic. Among his personal 
friends were Vossius, who translated Ma- 
nasseh’s “ Conciliator” from Spanish into 
Latin. This, the most important of Ma- 
nasseh’s early writings, was as popular with 
Christians as with Jews, for it attempted 
to reconcile the discrepancies and contra- 
dictions apparent in the Bible. Another 
of his friends was the painter Rembrandt, 
who, in 1636, etched the portrait of Manas- 
seh. Huet and Grotius were also among 
the friends and disciples who gathered 
round the Amsterdam Rabbi. 

An unexpected result of Manasseh ben 
Israel’s zeal for the promotion of Hebrew 
studies among his own brethren was the 
rise of a new form of poetical literature. 


246 JEWISH LITERATURE 


The first dramas in Hebrew belong to this 
period. Moses Zacut and Joseph Felix 
Penso wrote Hebrew dramas in the first half 
of the seventeenth century in Amsterdam. 
The “ Foundation of the World” by the 
former and the “ Captives of Hope” by the 
latter possess little poetical merit, but they 
are interesting signs of the desire of Jews 
to use Hebrew for all forms of literary 
art. Hence these dramas were hailed as 
tokens of Jewish revival. Strangely 
enough, the only great writer of Hebrew 
plays, Moses Chayim Luzzatto (1707- 
1747), was also resident in Amsterdam. 
Luzzatto wrote under the influence of the 
Italian poet Guarini. His metres, his long 
soliloquies, his lyrics, his dovetailing of 
rural and urban scenery, are all directly 
traceable to Guarini. Luzzatto was never- 
theless an original poet. His mastery of 
Hebrew was complete, and his rich fancy 
was expressed in glowing lines. His 
dramas, “ Samson,” the “ Strong: Tower,” 


and “ Glory to the Virtuous,’ 


AMSTERDAM 247 


BJ 


show classi- 
cal refinement and freshness of touch, 
which have made them the models of all 
subsequent efforts of Hebrew dramatists. 
Manasseh ben Israel did not allow him- 
self to become absorbed in the wider in-. 
terests opened out to him by his intimacy 
with the greatest Christian scholars of his 
day. He prepared a Spanish translation 
of the Pentateuch for the Amsterdam Jews, 
who were slow to adopt Dutch as their 
speech, a fact not wonderful when it is re- 
membered that literary Dutch was only 
then forming. Manasseh also wrote at this 
period a Hebrew treatise on immortality. 
His worldly prosperity was small, and he 
even thought of emigrating to Brazil. But 
the friends of the scholar found a post for 
him in a new college for the study of He- 
brew, a college to which it is probable that 
Spinoza betook himself. In the mean- 
time the reports of Montesinos as to the 


presence of the Lost Ten Tribes in Amer- 


imac i a a 


248 JEWISH LITERATURE 


ica turned the current of Manasseh’s life. 
In 1650 he wrote his famous essay, the 
“ Hope of Israel,” which he dedicated to 
the English Parliament. He argued that, 
as a preliminary to the restoration of Israel, 
or the millennium, for which the English 
Puritans were eagerly looking, the disper- 
sion of Israel must be complete. The hopes 
of the millennium were doomed to disap- 
pointment unless the Jews were readmitted 
to England, “the isle of the Northern 


” 


Sea.” His dedication met with a friendly 
reception, Manasseh set out for England 
in 1655, and obtained from Cromwell a 
qualified consent to the resettlement of the 
Jews in the land from which they had been 
expelled in 1290. 

The pamphlets which Manasseh pub- 
lished in England deserve a high place 
in literature and in the history of modern 
thought. They are immeasurably supe- 
tior to his other works, which are eloquent 
but diffuse, learned but involved. But in 


AMSTERDAM 249 


his Vindicie Judeorum (1656) his style and 
thought are clear, original, elevated. There 
are here no mystic irrelevancies. His re- 
marks are to the point, sweetly reasonable, 
forcible, moderate. He grapples with the 
medieval prejudices against the Jews in a 
manner which places his works among the 
best political pamphlets ever written. 
Morally, too, his manner is noteworthy. 
He pleads for Judaism in a spirit equally 
removed from arrogance and _ self-abase- 
ment. He is dignified in his persuasive- 
ness. He appeals to a sense of justice 
rather than mercy, yet he writes as one 
who knows that justice is the rarest and 
highest quality of human nature; as one 
who knows that humbly to express grati- 
tude for justice received is to do reverence 
to the noblest faculty of man. 

Fate rather than disposition tore Manas- 
seh from his study to plead before the Eng- 
lish Parliament. Baruch Spinoza was 

spared such distraction. Into his self- 


250 JEWISH LITERATURE 


contained life the affairs of the world could 
effect no entry. It is not quite certain 
whether Spinoza was born in Amsterdam. 
He must, at all events, have come there in 
his early youth. He may have been a 
pupil of Manasseh, but his mind was nur- 
tured on the philosophical treatises of Mai- 
monides and Crescas. His thought be- 
came sceptical, and though he was “ intox- 
icated with a sense of God,” he had no love 
for any positive religion. He learned 
Latin, and found new avenues opened to 
him in the writings of Descartes. His as- 
sociations with the representatives of the 
Cartesian philosophy and his own indiffer- 
ence to ceremonial observances brought 
him into collision with the Synagogue, 
and, in 1656, during the absence of Manas- 


seh in England, Spinoza was excommuni- 
cated by the Amsterdam Rabbis. Spinoza 
was too strong to seek the weak revenge 
of an abjuration of Judaism. He went on 
quietly earning a living as a maker of 


AMSTERDAM 251 


lenses; he refused a professorship, prefer- 
ring, like Maimonides before him, to rely 
on other than literary pursuits as a means 
of livelihood. 

In 1670 Spinoza finished his “ Theolo- 


_ gico-Political Tractate,” in which some bit- 


terness against the Synagogue is apparent. 
His attack on the Bible is crude, but the 
fundamental principles of modern criticism 
are here anticipated. The main importance 
of the “ Tractate ” lay in the doctrine that 
the state has full rights over the individual, 
except in relation to freedom of thought 
and free expression of thought. These are 
rights which no human being can alienate 
to the state. Of Spinoza’s greatest work, 
the “ Ethics,” it need only be said that it 
was one of the most stimulating works of 
modern times. A child of Judaism and of 
Cartesianism, Spinoza won a front place 
among the great teachers of mankind. 


252 JEWISH LITERATURE 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 


MANASSEH BEN ISRAEL. 

Graetz.—V, 2. 

H. Adler.—Transactions of the Jewish Historical 
Society of England, Vol. Tay 25. 

Kayserling.—Miscellany of the Society of Hebrew 
Literature, Vol. I. 

Lady Magnus.—Jewish Portraits, p. 109. 

English translations of works, Vindicie Judeorum, 
Hope of Israel, The Conciliator (E. HH. Lindo, 
1841, etc.). 

SPINOZA. 

Graetz.—V, 4. 


J. Freudenthal—History of Spinozism, J. Q. R. 
VIII, p. 17. 


’ 


HEBREW Dramas. 
Karpeles.—Jewish Literature and other Essays, p. 
220. 
Abrahams.—Jewish Life in the Middle Ages, ch. 14. 
Graetz.—V, pp. 112 [119], 234 [247]. 


CHAPTER XXV 


Moses MENDELSSOHN 


Mendelssohn’s German Translation of the Bible — 
Phedo.—Jerusalem.—Lessing’s ‘“‘ Nathan the 
Wise.” 


Mosrs, the son of Mendel, was born in 
Dessau in 1728, and died in Berlin in 1786. 
His father was poor, and he himself was of 
a weak constitution. But his stunted form 
was animated by a strenuous spirit. After 
a boyhood passed under conditions which 
did little to stimulate his dawning aspira- 
tions, Mendelssohn resolved to follow his 
teacher Frankel to Berlin. He trudged the | 
whole way on foot, and was all but refused 
admission into the Prussian capital, where 
he was destined to produce so profound an 
impression. In Berlin his struggle with 


poverty continued, but his condition was 


254 JEWISH LITERATURE 


improved when he obtained a post, first as 
private tutor, then as book-keeper in a silk 
factory. 

Berlin was at this time the scene of an 
intellectual and esthetic revival dominated 
by Frederick the Great. The latter, a 
dilettante in culture, was, as Mendelssohn 
| said of him, a man “ who made the arts 
and sciences flourish, and made liberty of 
thought universal in his realm.” The Ger- 
man Jews were as yet outside this revival. 
In Italy and Holland the new movements 
of the seventeenth and the eighteenth cen- 
tury had found Jews well to the fore. But 
the “German” Jews—and this term in- 
cluded the great bulk of the Jews of Eu- 
rope—were suffering from the effects of in- 
tellectual stagnation. The Talmud still ex- 
ercised the mind and imagination of these 


Jews, but culture and religion were sepa- 
tated. Mendelssohn in a hundred places 
contends that such separation is dangerous 
and unnatural. It was his service to Juda- 


MOSES MENDELSSOHN 255 


ism that he made the separation once for 
all obsolete. 

Mendelssohn effected this by purely lit- 
erary means. Most reformations have been 
at least aided by moral and political forces. 
But the Mendelssohnian revival in Juda- 
ism was a literary revival, in which moral 
and religious forces had only an indirect 
influence. By the aid of greater refine- 
ment of language, for hitherto the “ Ger- 
man” Jews had not spoken pure German; 
by a widening of the scope of education in 
the Jewish schools; by the introduction of 
all that is known as culture, Mendelssohn 
changed the whole aspect of Jewish life. 
And he produced this reformation by 
- books and by books alone. Never playing 
the part of a religious or moral reformer, 
Mendelssohn became the Jewish apostle of 
culture. 

The great event of his life occurred in 
1754, when he made the acquaintance of 


Lessing. The two young men became 


| 256 JEWISH LITERATURE 


constant friends. Lessing, before he knew 
Mendelssohn, had written a drama, “ The 
Jews,” in which, perhaps for the first time, 
a Jew was represented on the stage as a 
man of honor. In Mendelssohn, Lessing 
recognized a new Spinoza; in Lessing, 
Mendelssohn saw the perfect ideal of cul- 
ture. The masterpiece of Lessing’s art, 
the drama “ Nathan the Wise,’ was the 
monument of this friendship. Mendelssohn 
was the hero of the drama, and the tolera- 
tion which it breathes is clearly Mendels- 
sohn’s. Mendelssohn held that there was 
no absolutely best religion any more than 
there was an absolutely best form of gov- 
ernment. This was the leading idea of his 
last work, “‘ Jerusalem ”’; it is also the cen- - 
tral thought of “ Nathan the Wise.” The 
best religion, according to both, is the 
religion which best brings out the indi- 
vidual’s noblest faculties. As Mendelssohn 
wrote, there are certain eternal truths which 


God implants in all men alike, but “Judaism 


MOSES MENDELSSOHN 257 


boasts of no exclusive revelation of im- 
mutable truths indispensable to salvation.” 

What has just been quoted is one of the 
last utterances of Mendelssohn. We must 
retrace our steps to the date of his first in- 
timacy with Lessing. He devoted his at- 
tention to the perfecting of his German 
style, and succeeded so well that his writ- 
ings have gained a place among the 
classics of German literature. In 1763, 
he won the Berlin prize for an essay on 
Mathematical Method in Philosophical 
Reasoning, and defeated Kant entirely on 
account of his lucid and attractive style. 
Mendelssohn’s most popular philosophical 
work, “ Phedo, or the Immortality of the 
Soul,’ won extraordinary popularity in 
Berlin, as much for its attractive form as 
for its spiritual charms. The “ German 
Plato,” the “‘ Jewish Socrates,” were some 


of the epithets bestowed on him by multi- 
tudes of admirers. Indeed, the “ Phzdo ” 
of Mendelssohn is a work of rare beauty. 


——e 


258 JEWISH LITERATURE 


One of the results of Mendelssohn’s pop- 
ularity was a curious correspondence with 
Lavater. The latter perceived in Mendels- 
sohn’s toleration signs of weakness, and be- 
lieved that he could convert the famous 
Jew to Christianity. Mendelssohn’s reply, 
like his “Jerusalem” and his admirable 
preface to a German translation of Manas- 
seh ben Israel’s Vindicie Judeorum, gave 
voice to that claim on personal liberty 
of thought and conscience for which the 
Jews, unconsciously, had been so long con- 
tending. Mendelssohn’s view was that all 
true religious aspirations are independent 
of religious forms. Mendelssohn did not 
ignore the value of forms, but he held that 
as there are often several means to the 
same end, so the various religious forms of 


the various creeds may all lead their respec- 
tive adherents to salvation and to God. 
Mendelssohn’s most epoch-making work 
was his translation of the Pentateuch into 
German. With this work the present his- 


MOSES MENDELSSOHN ~* 259 


tory finds a natural close. Mendelssohn’s 
Pentateuch marks the modernization of the 
literature of Judaism. There was much 
opposition to the ‘book, but on the other 
hand many Jews eagerly scanned its pages, 
acquired its noble diction, and committed 
its rhythmic eloquence to their hearts. 
Round Mendelssohn there clustered a band 
of devoted disciples, the pioneers of the 
new learning, the promoters of a literature 
of Judaism, in which the modern spirit re- 
animated the still living records of antiqu- 
ity. There was certainly some weakness 
among the men and women affected by 
the Berlin philosopher, for some discarded 
all positive religion, because the master 
had taught that all positive religions had 
their saving and truthful elements. 

It is not, however, the province of this 
sketch to trace the religious effects of the 
Mendelssohnian movement. Suffice it to 
say that, while the old Jewish conception 
had been that literature and life are co- 


— 


260 + JEWISH LITERAT URE 


extensive, Jewish literature begins with 
Mendelssohn to have an independent life 
of its own, a life of the spirit, which cannot 
be altogether controlled by the tribulations 
of material life. A physical Ghetto may 
once more be imposed on the Jews from 
without; an intellectual Ghetto imposed 
from within is hardly conceivable. Toler- 
ance gave the modern spirit to Jewish liter- 
ature, but intolerance cannot withdraw it. 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 
Moses MENDELSSOHN. 
Graetz.—V, 8. 


Karpeles.—Sketch of Jewish History, p. 93; Jewish 
Literature and other Essays, p. 293. 


English translations of Phedo, Jerusalem, and of 
the Introduction to the Pentateuch (Hebrew Review, 
Volk): 

Other translations of Jerusalem were made by M. 
Samuels (London, 1838) and by Isaac Leeser, the 
latter published as a supplement to the Occident, 
Philadelphia, 5612. 


THE MENDELSSOHNIAN Movement. 
Graetz.—V, to, 


es = 


INDEX 


Abayi, Amora, 51. 
‘Abba Areka, Amora, 47, 48, 51. 
popularizes Jewish learning, 


49. 
wide outlook of, 50. 

Abbahu, Amora, 48-49. 

fade 7 de Balmes, translator, 
149. 

Abraham de Porta Leone, histo- 
rian, 220. 

Abraham Ibn Chisdai, story by, 
154-155. 

Abraham Ibn Daud, historian, 
213-214. 

‘peck po Ibn Ezra, on Kalir, 


life of, 115. 
quotations from, 115. 
activities and views of, 116, 
123, 151. 
oa Abulafia, Kabbalist, 
1. 
Abraham Farissol, geographer, 
206. 
Abraham Zacuto, historian, 216. 
Abul-Faraj Harun, Karaite au- 
thor, 77. 
Abulwalid Merwan Ibn Janach, 
grammarian, 101. 
works of, translated, 148. 
Achai, Gaon and author, 70. 
Acharonim, later scholars, 240. 
sop, used by Berachya ha- 
Nakdan, 157. 
“Against Apion,’’? by Josephus, 
34. 
Akiba, a Tanna, 23, 24-26. 
characteristics and history of, 
24-26. 
school of, 26. 
fable used by, 65. 
Alphabet by, 175. 
Al-Farabi, works of, translated, 
185. 
Alfassi. See Isaac Alfassi. 
‘Alfonso V of Portugal, Abar- 
banel with, 225. 
Alfonso VI of Spain, takes To- 
ledo, 126. 


Alfonso X of Spain, employs 
Jews as translators, 150, 156. 
Almohades, the, a Mohamme- 
dan sect, 134, 135. 
«* Alphabet of Rabbi Akiba,’’ 
Kabbalistic work, 175. 
Amoraim, the, teachers of the 
Talmud, 44. 
characterized, 45-46. 
some of, enumerated, 46-52. 
Amram, Gaon, liturgist, 70. 
‘Anan, the son of David, found- 
er of Karaism, 75. 
Andalusia, the Spanish Piyut 
in, 85. 
«« Answers.”’ See ‘‘ Letters ’’; 
«« Responses.”’ 
“* Antiquities of the Jews,”’ by 
Josephus, 34. 
Antonio de Montesinos, and the 
Ten Tribes, 208, 247. 
Apion, attacks Judaism, 36. 
Apocrypha, the, addresses of 
parents to children in, 194. 
Aquila, translates the Scrip- 
tures, 26. 
identical with Onkelos, 26-27. 
Aquinas, ‘Thomas, studies the 
** Guide,’”’ 140. 

Arabic, used by the Gaonim, 71. 
in Jewish literature, 83. 
poetry, 84. 
translation of the Scriptures, 

91, 93, 94. 
commentary on the Mishnah, 
135. 
Aragon, Spanish Piyut in, 85. 
Aramaic, translation of the Pen- 
tateuch, 27. 
used by Josephus, 37. 
language of the Talmud, 44, 
used by the Gaonim, 71. 
translation of Scriptures in 
the synagogues, 94. 
language of the Zohar, 173. 
Arbiia Turim, code by Jacob 
Asheri, 234, 289. 
Archimedes, works of, trans- 
lated, 150, 185. 


264 


INDEX 


Aristotle, teachings of, summar- 
ized, 140. 
interpreted by Averroes, 149. 
works of, translated, 185. 


Aruch, the, compiled by Ze- 
mach, 70. 
by Nathan, the son of Ye- 


chiel, 121, 200. 
Asher, the son of Yechiel, the 
will of, 195-196. 
codifier, 234. 
Ashi, Amora, compiler of the 
Talmud, 51-52. 
Atonement, the Day of, hymn 
for, 162. 
“* Autobiography,’”’ the, of Jose- 
phus, 34. 
Averroes, works of, translated, 
148, 149, 185. 
Azariah di Rossi, historian, 221- 
222, 223. 
Azriel, Kabbalist, 171. 
Azulai, Chayim, historian, 220. 
Babylonia, Rabbinical 
in, 44. 
centre of Jewish learning, 49, 
68 


schools 


loses its supremacy, 92. 

Bachya Ibn Pekuda, works of, 
translated, 148. 

ethical work by, 190. 

Bacon, Roger, on the scientific 
activity of the Jew, 150. 

Bahir, Kabbalistic work, 171. 

Bar Cochba, Akiba in the re- 
volt of, 24. 

‘*Barlaam and Joshaphat,’? by 
Abraham Ibn Chisdai, 154- 
155. 

Baruch of Ratisbon, Tossafist, 
161. 

Beast Fables, in the Midrash, 
64-67. 

examples of, 65-66. 

Bechinath Olam, by Yedaiah 
Bedaressi, 191-192. 

Benjamin of Tudela, traveller, 
203. 


Benjamin Nahavendi, Karaite 
author, 77. 

Berachya ha-Nakdan, fabulist, 
156-157. 

Berlin, under Frederick the 
Great, 254. 


Beruriah, wife of Meir, 28. 
Bible, the. See Scriptures, the. 


| Bidpai, Fables of, and the Jews, 
155-156. 

Biur, the, commentary on the 
Pentateuch, 230. 

Bohemia, the Kalirian Piyut 
in, 85. 

** Book of Creation, The,’’? Kab- 
balistic work, 175. 

“* Book of Creation, Commen- 
tary on the,’’ by Saadiah, 
95. 

** Book of Delight, The,’ by 
Joseph Zabara, 157-158. 
“Book of Genealogies, The,’’ 
by Abraham Zacuto, 216. 

“ Book of Lights and the High 
Beacons, The,’’ by Kirki- 
sani, 80. 

“* Book of Principles, The,’’ by 
Joseph Albo, 141. 


** Book of Roots, The,’’? by 
David Kimchi, 117. 
““Book Raziel, The,’’ -Kabba- 


listic work, 175. 

** Book of the Exiled, The,”’ by 
Saadiah, 94, 

“Book of the Pious, 
ethical work, 191. 

** Book of Tradition, The,’? by 
Abraham Ibn Daud, 213-214. 

Braganza, Duke of, friend of 
Abarbanel, 226. 

Brahe, Tycho, friend of David 
Gans, 220. 

** Branch of David, The,’? by 
David Gans, 219, 220-221. 

‘* Breastplate of Judgment, 
The,’’ part of the Shulchan 
Aruch, 240. 

“* Brilliancy,’’ Kabbalistic work, 
171. 

Browne, Sir Thomas, 
to, 127. 

Buddha, legend of, 154-155. 

Burgundy, the Kalirian Piyut 
in, 85. 

Buxtorf, as translator, 148. 


The,”’ 


alluded 


“* Caged Bird, The,’’ fable, 65. 

Cairo, Old. See Fostat. 

Calendar, the Jewish, arranged, 
48, 


**Call of the Generations, The,”’ 
by David Conforte, 220. 

“* Captives of Hope, The,’’ by 
Penso, 246. 


INDEX 265 


Castile, the Spanish Piyut in, 


85. 

Catalonia, the Spanish Piyut 
in, 85. 

“© Geremonies and Customs of 
the Jews,’ by Leon da Mo- 
dena, 220. 

Chacham Zevi, author of “ Re- 
sponses,’’ 238. 

“‘ Chaff, Straw, and Wheat,”’ 
fable, 65. 

«Chain of Tradition, The,” by 
Gedaliah Ibn Yachya, 220, 
222-223. 

Chanina, the son of Chama, 
Amora, 46. 

Charizi, on Chasdai, 99-100, 107. 

on Moses Ibn Ezra, 114. 

as a poet, 131-132. 

a Immanuel of Rome, 
ethical work by, 189. 
geographical notes by, 200. 

Chasdai Ibn Shaprut, patron of 

Moses ben Chanoch, 97. 
Charizi on, 99-100, 107. 
activities of, 100. 
as a patron of Jewish learn- 

ing and poetry, 100-101, 102. 
and the Chazars, 102-103. 
as translator, 150. 

75-69 Crescas, philosopher, 

studied by Spinoza, 251. 
Chassidim, the, new saints, 176. 
hymns by, 177. 

Chayim Vital Calabrese, Kabba- 
list, 176. 

Chazars, the, and Chasdai Ibn 
Shaprut, 102-103. 

Chiddushim, Notes on the Tal- 
mud, 234. 

Chiya, Amora, 49. 

Chizzuk Emunah, by Isaac 
Troki, 81. 

Choboth ha-Lebaboth, by Bach- 
ya Ibn Pekuda, 190. 

«Choice of Pearls, The,” by 
peenon Tbn Gebirol, 110, 

9. 

Choshen ha-Mishpat, part of the 
Shulchan Aruch, 240. 

“ Chronicle of Achimaaz,”’ 213. 
Clement VII, pope, and David 
Reubeni, 207. : 

*‘ Cluster of Cyprus Flowers, 
A,” by Judah Hadassi, 80. 


“Cock and the Bat, The,” 
fable, 65. 
Cohen, Tobiah, geographer, 209. 


“ Collections.” See Machbe- 
roth. 

«© Gome, my Friend,” Sabbath 
hymn, 289. 


«* Gonciliator, The,’’ by Manas- 
seh ben Israel, 245. 

«© Gonsolations for the Tribula- 
tions of Israel,’’ by Samuel 
Usque, 217-218. 

Constantine, forbids Jews to 
enter Jerusalem, 205. 

Cordova, centre of Arabic learn- 
ing, 96-97. 

a Jewish centre, 103, 112. 
in the hands of the Almo- 
hades, 134. 

Corfu, Abarbanel in, 226. 

Council, the Great. See Synhe- 
drion, the. 

Cromwell, and Manasseh ben 
Israel, 248. 

Crusades, the, and the Jews of 
France, 124. 

Cuzari, by Jehuda Halevi, 127, 
139. 


et Jehuda Halevi in, 

Daniel, the Book of, commen- 
tary on 48. 

Dante, influences Jewish poets, 
179, 182, 183, 186. 

David, the son of Abraham, 
Karaite author, 79. 

David ben Maimon, prother of 
‘Moses, 185. 

David Abi Zimra, author of 
«© Responses,’’ 238. 

David Alroy, pseudo-Messiah, 

203. 

David Conforte, historian, 220. 

David Gans, historian, 220-221. 

David Kimchi, grammarian, 117, 

123. 

David Reubeni, traveller, 207. 

“ Deeds of God, The,” by Abar- 

banel, 229. 

Descartes, studied by Spinoza, 

250. 

“Deuteronomy.” See «< Strong 

Hand, The.” 

“Diary of Eldad the Danite,’’ 

201-203. 


266 


a ee ee 


Dictionary, Hebrew rhyming, 
by Saadiah, 93. 
See also Lexicon. 
Dioscorides, works of, trans- 
lated, 150. 


Doria, Andrea, doge, physician 


of, 219, 
Dramas in Hebrew, 246-247. 
Dunash, 
grammarian, 101, 123. 


Duran family, writers of “ Re- 


sponses,’’ 237. 


Eben Bochan, by Kalonymos, 


185, 


Eben ha-Ezer, part of the Shul- 


chan Aruch, 240. 
Egypt, Jehuda Halevi in, 129. 


Eldad the Danite, traveller, 201- 
203. 


Eleazar of Worms, writer, 191. 


Eleazar the Levite, will of, 196- 


197. 
Eleazar, the son of Azariah, 
Saying of, 25-26. 


Eleazar, the son of Isaac, will 


of, 194-195, 
Elias del Medigo, critic, 222. 
Elias Levita, grammarian, 229, 
Elijah Kapsali, historian, 216. 
Elisha, the son of Abuya, and 
Meir, 28. 
Emden, Jacob, author of ‘‘ Re- 
sponses,’’ 238. 
Emek _ ha-Bacha, 
Cohen, 218, 219. 
Emunoth ve-Deoth, by Saadiah, 


by Joseph 


95. 

En Yaakob, by Jacob Ibn Cha- 
bib, 192. 

Enan, giant in ‘‘ The Book of 
Delight,”? 157-158. 

England, the Kalirian Piyut in, 
85. 


Jews re-admitted into, 244. 
**Ennoblement of Character, 
The,” by Solomon Ibn Ge- 
birol, 110. 
Eshkol _ha-Kopher, by Judah 
Hadassi, 80. 
Esthori Parchi, explorer of Pal- 
estine, 204-205. 
Ethical Wills, prevalence and 
character of, 198-194. 
examples of, and quotations 
from, 194-198. 
“* Ethics, the,” by Spinoza, 251. 


the son of Labrat, 


Euclid, works of, translated, 
149, 


Eusebius, used in ‘« Josippon,”’ 
214, 

** Examination of the World,”’ 
by. Yedaiah Bedaressi, 191- 
192. 

Exilarchs, the, official heads of 
the Persian Jews, 72. 

“* Eye of Jacob, The,”? by Jacob 
Ibn Chabib, 192. 

Ezra, Kabbalist, 171. 


Fables. See Beast Fables; Fox 
Fables. 


“Faith and Philosophy,” by 
Saadiah, 95. 
Fathers, the Christian, and 


Simlai, 47, 
Fayum, birthplace of Saadiah, 
91 


Ferdinand and Isabella, Abar- 
banel with, 226. 
Fez, the Maimon family at, 135. 
Fiesco, rebellion of, 217, 
Folk-tales, diffusion of, 153. 
Fostat, Maimonides at, 135. 
“Foundation of the World, 
The,’’ by Moses Zacut, 246, 
“* Fountain of Life, The,” by 
Solomon Ibn Gebirol, 110. 
“Four Rows, The,’ code by 
Jacob Asheri, 234, 239. 
““Fox and the Fishes, The,’’ 
fable, 65. 
cs Fox as Singer, The,’ fable, 
66. 


Fox Fables, by Meir, 64. 
by acta ha-Nakdan, 156- 
157. 


France, the Kalirian Piyut in, 
85. 


a Jewish centre, 116, 119, 194. 
Jewish schools of, destroyed, 
124, 
Friinkel, teacher of Mendels- 
sohn, 253. 
Frederick II, emperor, patron 
of Anatoli, 149. 


Frederick the Great, the Berlin 


of, 254, 


Galen, works of, translated, 150, 
185. 


Galilee, centre of Jewish learn- 


ing, 20. 


INDEX 267 


ea aE EnISEEEe 


-Galilee, continued. 
explored by Esthori Parchi, 
205. 
Gaonim, the, heads of the 
Babylonian schools, 68. 
work of, 68-69. 
literary productions of, 69-71. 
language used by, 71. 
*‘ Letters ’’ of, 71-74. 
religious heads of the Jews of 
Persia, 72. 
as writers, 74. 
Karaite controversies with, 78. 
works of, collected, 104. 
analyze the Talmud, 121. 
Gedaliah Ibn Yachya, historian, 
222-223. 
Gemara. See Talmud, the. 
Genesis, commentary on, by 
Saadiah, 94. 
Geographical literature among 
the Jews, 200. 
German Jews, 
among, 254. 
Germany, the Kalirian Piyut in, 
85. 


stagnation 


Gersonides. See Levi, the son 
of Gershon. 

“‘ Glory to the Virtuous,” by 
Luzzatto, 247. 

Graetz, H., quoted, 21, 168. 

Grammar, Hebrew, works on, 
71, 79, 117. 

Granada, Jewish literary cen- 
tre, 112. 

aren 3 the Kalirian Piyut in, 
5 


Greek, translation of the Scrip- 
tures, 26. 
used by Josephus, 37. 
used in the Sibylline books, 
39. 
used among the Jews, 48. 
Grotius, friend of Manasseh ben 
Israel, 245. 
sear. influences Luzzatto, 
“* Guide of the Perplexed, The,”’ 
by Moses Maimonides, 186, 
189-141, 142. 


Habus, Samuel Ibn Nagdela 
minister to, 103. 

Hagadah, the poetic element of 
the Talmud, 47. 

Hai, the last Gaon, 71, 


Halachah, the legal element of 
the Talmud, 47, 55. 

Halachoth Gedoloth, compila- 
ae of Halachic decisions, 
fo. 

Haman, a fable concerning, 66. 
Hassan, the son of Mashiach, 
Karaite author, 78, 79. 
“Heart Duties,” by Bachya 

Ibh Pekuda, 190. 
Hebrew, the, of the Mishnah, 


29. 
used by the Gaonim, 71. 
the language of prayer, 83. 
influenced by Kalir, 88. 
translations into, 145, 146, 

a living language, 147. 
studied by Christians, 230. 
Beliprin, Yechiel, historian, 

220. 
Heine, quoted, 128. 
‘Hell and Eden,’? by Imman- 
uel of Rome, 182, 184-185. 
“Higher Criticism,’’ the, fa- 
ther of, 116. 

Hillel I, parable of, 62. 

Hillel II, arranges the Jewish 
Calendar, 48. 

Hippocrates, works of, trans- 
lated, 150. 

Historical works, 33-34. 
Historical writing among the 
Jews, 211-212, 2138, 217. 

“‘ History of France and Tur- 
key,”’? by Joseph Cohen, 217. 

** History of the Jewish Kings,”’ 
by Justus, 34. 

“History of the Ottoman Em- 
pire,’ by Elijah Kapsali, 


Holland, a Jewish centre, 243. 
Homiletics, in the Midrash, 57. 
in Sheeltoth, 70. 

“Hope of Israel, The,”? by 
Manasseh ben Israel, 208- 
209, 248. 

Hosannas, the Day of, hymn 
for, 89. 

Huet, friend of Manasseh ben 
Israel, 245. 

Huna, Amora, 49-50. 


Ibn Roshd. See Averroes. 

Icabo, character in Samuel Us- 
que’s poem, 218. : 

Iggaron, dictionary by David, 
79. 


268 


INDEX 


Ikkarim, by Joseph Albo, 141. 
Immanuel, the son of Solomon, 
Italian Jewish poet, 179, 
180. 
life of, 180-181. 
works of, 182-185. 

Isaac the Elder, Tossafist, 161. 
Isaac, the son of Asher, Tossa- 
fist, 161. 
Isaac Abarbanel, 
225-226. 
writes commentaries, 226, 227. 

in Castile, 226. 
in Naples and Corfu, 226-227. 
in Venice, 227. 
as a writer, 227-228. 
as an exegete, 228, 229. 
as a philosopher, 229. 
Isaac Aboab, ethical 
192. 
Isaac Alfassi, Talmudist, 121- 
122. 
Isaac Lurya, Kabbalist, 176. 
Isaac Troki, Karaite author, 
81. 
Isaiah Hurwitz, Kabbalist, 176. 
Isaiah, the Book of, Abraham 
Ibn Ezra on, 116. 
Islam, sects of, 75-76. 
Le emai Kabbalist, 176- 
177. 
Israel Isserlein, author of ‘‘ Re- 
sponses,’’ 237. 
“It was at. Midnight,’ by 
178- 


in Portugal, 


writer, 


Jannai, 86. 
Italian Jewish . literature, 
180, 187. ‘ 
cee the Kalirian Piyut in, 


*‘Ttinera Mundi,’”? by Abraham 
Farissol, 206. 

“‘Ttinerary,’’ by Benjamin of 
Tudela, 203. 


Jabneh. See Jamnia. 

Jacob Ibn Chabib, writer, 192. 
Jacob Anatoli, translator, 148. 
patron and friend of, 149. 
Jacob Asheri, compiler of the 
Turim, 234, 239. 
Jacob Weil, author of 

- sponses,’’ 237. 
Jacobs, Mr. Joseph, quoted, 65, 
66, 156, 158-159. 
Jair Chayim Bacharach, author 
of ‘* Responses,’’ 288. 


“ Re- 


Jamnia, centre of Jewish learn- 
ing, 19-22. 
Jannai, originator of the Piyut, 
86. 
date of, 87. 
Japhet, the son of Ali, Karaite 
author, 78, 79. 

Jayme I of Aragon, orders a 
public disputation, 164. 
Jehuda Halevi, models of, 107. 

subjects of, 109. 
prominence of, 126. 
youth of, 126-127. 
as a philosopher and physi- 
cian, 127-128, 139. 
longs for Jerusalem, 128. 
on his journey, 128-129. 
quotation from, 129-130. 
works of, translated, 148. 
Jerome, under Jewish influence, 
48. 
ae Jefuesteus by Mendelssohn, 
56. 
*‘ Jewish War, The,’? by Jus- 
tus, 34. 
** Jews, The,’’ by Lessing, 256. 
Jochanan, the son of Napacha, 
Amora, 46, 47, 51. 
Jochanan, the son of Zakkai, 
characterized, 20-21, 24. 
as a Tanna, 23-24. 
Jochanan Aleman, Kabbalist, 
174. 
John of Capua, translator, 155. 
Joseph Ibn Caspi, will of, 196. 
Joseph Ibn Verga, historian, 
218-219. 
Hcg 3 al-Bazir, Karaite author, 
78, 79. 
Joseph Albo, philosopher, 141. 
Joseph Cohen, historian, 216- 
217, 219. 
Joseph Delmedigo, on Gedaliah 
Ibn Yachya, 222. 


Joseph Karo, prohibits the 
Machberoth, 183. 

compiler of the Shulchan 
Aruch, 233. 


life of, 238-239. 

See Shulchan Aruch, the. 
Joseph Kimchi, exegete, 116. 
Joseph Zabara, poet, 157-158. 

geographical notes by, 200. 
Josephus, Flavius, historian, 34- 

38. 
works of, 34. 
characterized, 35-36. 


INDEX 269 


Josephus, Flavius, continued. 
champion of Judaism, 36, 37- 


38. 
style of, 36-37. 
language used by, 37. 
used in ‘‘ Josippon,’’ 214, 
Joshua, the son of Levi, Amora, 
47. 
“« Josippon,’’ a romance, 214. 
Judah the Prince, a Tanna, 23, 
28-29. 
characterized, 28-29. 
“— Ibn Ezra, anti-Karaite, 
14, 
Judah Ibn Tibbon as a trans- 
lator, 146, 147. 
as a physician, 146-147. 
Judah Ibn Verga, chronicler, 
218. 
Judah Chayuj, grammarian, 101. 
Judah Chassid, ethical writer, 
191. 
Judah Hadassi, Karaite author, 
80-81. 
Judah Minz, author of ‘ Re- 
sponses,’’ 237. 
Judah Romano, school-man, 185. 
Judaism, after the loss of a 
national centre, 21. 
championed by Josephus, 36, 
philosophy of, 77. 
Justus of Tiberias, historian, 
works of, 34. 


Kabbala, mysticism, 170. 
development of, 171. 
and Christian scholars, 174. 
the later, 175. 
Kalila ve-Dimna. See Bidpai, 
Fables of. . 
Kalir, new-Hebrew poet, 85, 86, 
87. 


date of, 87. 
style of, 87-88, 107. 
subject-matter of, 88-89. 
quotation from, 89-90. 
Kalirian Piyut, the, 85. 
Kalonymos, the son of Kalony- 
mos, translator, 149, 185. 
as poet, 179, 180, 185-186. 
Kant, and Mendelssohn, 257. 
Kaphtor va-Pherach, by Es- 
thori Parchi, 205. 
Karaism, rise of, 75-76. 
a reaction against tradition, 


Karaism, continued. 
defect of, 76. 
literary influence of, 77, 
history of, 80. 
Rabbinite opposition to, 82. 
opposed by Saadiah, 91, 92. 
Kepler, correspondent of David 
Gans, 220. 

Kether Malchuth, by Solomon 
Ibn Gebirol, 110. 

quotation from, 111-112. 

Kimchi. See Joseph; Moses; 
David. 

Kirkisani, Karaite author, 80. 

Kodashim, order of the Mish- 
nah, 31. 

Kore ha-Doroth, by David Con- 
forte, 220. 


“Lamp of Light, The,” by 
Isaac Aboab, 192. 

Landau, Ezekiel, author of 
** Responses,’’ 238, 

Lavater, and Mendelssohn, 258. 

“* Law of Man, The,’’? by Nach- 
manides, 166. 

Lecha Dodi, Sabbath hymn, 239. 

Lecky, on the scientific activity 
of the Jews 150. 

Leon da Modena, historian, 220. 

Leon, Messer, physician and 
writer, 187. 
Leshon Limmudim, by Sahal, 
the son of Mazliach, 79. 
‘‘Lesser Sanctuary, The,’ by 
Moses Rieti, 186. 

Lessing, and Mendelssohn, 255- 
256. 

“Letter,’? by Sherira, 70-71, 
212. 


“Letter of Advice, The,’’ by 
Solomon Alami, 197-198. 
“Letter of Aristeas,’? by Aza- 

riah di Rossi, 223. 
“ Letters,”’ the, of the Gaonim, 
scope of, 71-73. 
style of, 74. 
geographical notes in, 200. 
and the ‘“‘ Responses,’’ 234. 
Levi, the son of Gershon, phil- 
osopher, 141, 
Lexicon, by Sahal, 79. 
by David, 79. 
by David Kimchi, 117. 
bg ane Talmudical. See Aruch, 


270 INDEX 


* Light of God, The,’’ by Chas- 
dai Crescas, 141. 
“Light of the Eyes, The,’’ by 
Azariah di Rossi, 220, 223. 
Literature, Jewish, oral, 21-22. 
principle of, 23-24. 
under the influence of Kara- 
ism, 77. 
See Mishnah, the. 
Liturgy, the, earliest additions 
to, 83. 
See Piyut, the. 
Lorraine, the Kalirian Piyut in, 
85. 
Lost Ten Tribes, book on, 201. 
in Brazil, 208. 
Lucas, Mrs. Alice, translations 
by, quoted, 63. 
Lucian, used in ‘‘ Josippon,”’ 
214. 
Luzzatto, Moses Chayim, Kab- 
balist and dramatist, 176. 
ethical work by, 193. 
as dramatist, 246-247. 
Lydda, centre of Jewish learn- 
ing, 20. 


Machberoth, by Immanuel of 
Rome, 182-185. 
Maggid, familiar of Joseph Ka- 
To, 239. 
Maharil, collection of Customs, 
238. 
Maimonides, Moses, the fore- 
runner of, 95. 
youth of, 134-135. 
activities of, 135-136. 
disinterestedness of, 136. 
attacks on, 1387, 141. 
prominence of, 137-138. 
as a philosopher, 138-141, 142, 
151. 
works of, translated, 148. 
and Nachmanides, 163. 
studied by Spinoza, 250. 
Mainz, Rashi at, 122. 
Majorca, the Spanish Piyut in, 
85 


Manasseh ben Israel, and the 
Lost Tribes, 208-209, 243, 
247-248. 

political activity of, 244, 248. 

life of, 244. 

attainments and friends of, 
245. 

activities of, 247. 

as a pamphleteer, 248-249. 


Manasseh ben Israel, continued 
and Spinoza, 250. 
Manetho, historian, and Jose- 
phus, 36. 
Massechtoth, tractates of the 
Mishnah, 31. 
** Maxims of the Philosophers,’’ 
by Charizi, 189. 
Mebo ha-Talmud, by Samuel Ibn 
Nagdela, 104. 
Mechilta, a Midrashic work, 57. 
Megillath Taanith. See‘‘ Scroll 
of Fasting, The.’’ 
Meir, a Tanna, 28, 27-28. 
characterized, 27-28. 
fables by, 64. 
Meir of Rothenburg, poet, 131, 
235-237. 
writer of ‘* Responses,’’ 235. 
** Memorial Books,’’ historical 
sources, 216. 
Menachem, the son of Zaruk, 
grammarian, 100, 101, 123. 
Mendelssohn, Moses, antago- 
nized by Ezekiel Landau, 
238. 
life of, 253. 
objects to the separation of 
culture and religion, 254. 
service of, to Judaism, 254- 
255. 
and Lessing, 255-256. 
style of, 257. 
and Lavater, 258. 
translates the Pentateuch, 
258-259. 
circle of, 259. 
influence of, 259-260. 
Menorath ha-Maor, by Isaac 
Aboab, 192. 
Meér Enayim, by Azariah di 
Rossi, 220. 
Meshullam of Lunel, patron of 
learning, 146, 147. 
Messiah, the, Joshua on, 47. 
Messilath Yesharim, by Moses 
Chayim Luzzatto, 193, 
Metre, in Hebrew poetry, 84. 
Michlol, by David Kimchi, 117, 
wai the, characterized, 55- 
57. 
poetical, 56, 57. 
popular homiletics, 57. 
works called, 57-58. 
style of, 58-59. 
proverbs in, 59-60. 
parables in, 60-64, 


INDEX 271 


Midrash, continued. 
beast fables in, 64-67. 
and the Piyut, 86, 88-89. 
used by Rashi, 123, 124. 
Midrash Haggadol, a Midrashic 
work, 58. 
Midrash Rabbah, a Midrashic 
work, 58. 
Mikdash Meit, by Moses Rieti, 
186. 
Minhag, established by the 
Gaonim, 69. 
Miphaloth Elohim, by Abar- 
banel, 229. 
Mishnah, a paragraph of the 
Mishnah, 31. 
Mishnah, the, origin of, 22. 
principle of, 24. 
compiled by Rabbi, 28. 
contents and style of, 29-31. 
divisions of, 31. 
development of, 43. See Tal- 
mud, the. 
date of, 52. 
Sherira on, 70. 
Maimon’s commentary on, 
135. 
commentary on, 206. 
personified, 239. 
Mishneh Torah. See ‘‘ Strong 
Hand, The.’’ 

Moed, order of the Mishnah, 31. 
Mohammedanism assumed by 
the Maimon family, 135. 
Moreh Nebuchim. See ‘‘ Guide 
of the Perplexed, The.’’ 
Moses, teachings of, summar- 

ized, 140. 
Moses of Leon, author of the 
Zohar, 172, 173. 
Moses, the son of Chanoch, 
Sai a school at Cordova, 
97. 
Moses, the son of Maimon. See 
Maimonides, Moses. 
Moses Ibn Ezra, and the Scrip- 
tures, 107, 109. 
life of, 112-113. 
quotation from, 113-114, 
hymns of, 114. 
Charizi on, 114. 
Moses Ibn Tibbon, translator, 
148. 


Moses Alshech, homiletical 
writer, 230. 
Moses Kimchi, grammarian, 117. 


Moses Minz, author of “ Re- 
sponses,’’ 237. . 
Moses Rieti, poet, 186-187. 
Mysticism, an element of reli- 
gion, 169-170. 
in Judaism, 170. 


Nachmanides, Moses, Talmud- 

ist, 160-168. 

on the French: Rabbis, 160, 
162. 

as a poet, 162. 

gentleness of, 163. 

in a disputation, 163-164. 

in Palestine, 165. 

as an exegete, 165-168, 

teacher of, 171. 

will of, 195. 

Nahum, poet, 109. 

“Name of the Great Ones, 
The,” by Chayim Azulai, 
220. 

Naples, Abarbanel in, 226. 

Nashim, order of the Mishnah, 


31. 
“‘Nathan the Wise,’? by Les- 
sing, 256. 
Nathan, the son of Yechiel, 
lexicographer, 121. 
Nehardea, centre of Jewish 
learning, 44. 
Nehemiah Chayun, Kabbalist, 
176. 
New-Hebrew, as a literary lan- 
guage, 83. 
New-Hebrew poetry, and the 
Scriptures, 107. 
characteristics of, 108-109. 
after Jehuda Halevi, 130-131, 
132. 
See also Piyut. 
Nezikin, order of the Mishnah, 
31. 


Nicholas, monk, translator, 150. 

“* Novelties,’’ Notes on the Tal- 
mud, 234, 

Numeo, character in Samuel 
Usque’s poem, 218. 


Obadiah of Bertinoro, Rabbi of 
Jerusalem, 206. 

Omar, forbids Jews to enter 
Jerusalem, 205. 

Onkelos. See Aquila. 

Orach Chayim, part of the 
Shulchan Aruch, 239, 240. 


272 


INDEX 


** Order of Generations, The,’’ 
by Yechiel Heilprin, 220. 

** Qrder of the Tannaim and 
Amoraim,’’ 212. 

Orders of the Mishnah, 31. 

Origen, under Jewish influence, 

‘ 48. 


Pablo Christiani, convert, and 
Nachmanides, 164. 
Palestine, the Kalirian Piyut 
in, 85. 
the Maimon family in, 135. 
explored, 204-205. 
open to Jews, 205-206. 
Parables, in the Midrash, 60-64. 
examples of, 62, 63. 
Parallelism of line, 
Scriptures, 108, 
Passover, hymn for, 86. 
** Path of Life, The,’’ part of 
the Shulchan Aruch, 239, 
240. 
** Path of the Upright, The,’’ 
Lif Moses Chayim Luzzatto, 
Penso, Joseph Felix, dramatist, 


Pentateuch, the, translated, 27, 

247, 258. ; 
as viewed by Meir, 27. 
commentary on, 166-168, 230. 
See also Scriptures, the. 

Perakim, chapters of the Mish- 
nah, 31. 

Perez of Corbeil, Tossafist, 161. 

“* Perfection,’? by David Kim- 
chi, 117. 

Persia, the Jews of, independ- 
ent, 72. 

See also Babylonia. 

Pesikta, a Midrashic work, 58. 

Petachiah of Ratisbon, travel- 
ler, 204. 

“* Phedo, or the Immortality of 
ay Soul,’’ by Mendelssohn, 
257. 

Philo, on Judaism, 38. 

Philosophy, Jewish, created by 
Saadiah, 91, 95. 

Pico di Mirandola, and the Kab- 
bala, 174. 

Piyut, the, 
83 


in the 


characteristics of, 


two types of, 84-85. 
Kalirian, 85. 
Spanish, 85. 


Piyut, continued. 
creator of, 85-86. 
by Samuel Ibn Nagdela, 105. 
in Italy, 186. 

Poetry. See New-Hebrew poet- 
ry; Piyut. 

Poland, the Kalirian Piyut in, 
85. 

Porphyry, on the Book of Dan- 
iel, 48. 

Prayer-Book, the, 
Amram, 70. 

arranged by Saadiah, 95. 

Prester John, Eldad on, 203. 

*< Prince and _ Nazirite,’’ by 
Abraham Ibn Chisdai, 154- 
155. 

Pepyence, the Spanish Piyut in, 


compiled by 


Jewish learning in, 146. 
Proverbs, in the Midrash, 59-60. 
quoted, 59. 
Psalms, the, and new-Hebrew 
poetry, 104-105, 108. 
mysticism in, 169, 170. 
Ptolemy, works of, translated, 
149, 185. 
Pumbeditha, centre of Jewish 
learning, 44, 72. 
“Purim ‘Tractate, The,’’ 
Kalonymos, 185-186. 
Pygmies, the, discovered by 
Tobiah Cohen, 209. 


by 


“ Questions and Answers,”’ de- 
cisions, 73. 


Rab. See Abba Areka. 

Rabba, the son of Nachmani, 
Amora, 51. 

Rabbi. See Judah the Prince. 

Rabbinical schools, in Babylo- 
nia, 44. 

Rabina, Amora, compiler of the 
Talmud, 51, 52. 

Ralbag. See Levi, the son of 


Gershon. 

Ramban. See Nachmanides, 
Moses. 

Rashbam. See Samuel ben 
Meir. 

Rashi (R.. Shelomo  Izchaki), 


importance of, 119. 
style of, 119-120. 
characteristics of, 120-121. 
life of, 122. 
as an exegete, 123-124, 


INDEX 27 


Rashi, continued. 
descendants of, 124, 161. 

Rava, Amora, 51. 

Rembrandt, friend of Manasseh 
ben Israel, 245. 

Renaissance, the, and Italian 
Jewish literature, 178, 182, 
184, 187. 

Renan, on the students of Aver- 
roes, 148. 

** Responses,’’ on religious sub- 
jects, 234-235, 237-238. 

Reuchlin, Johann, and the Kab- 
bala, 174. 

Rhyme, in Hebrew poetry, 84. 
“* Rod of Judah, The,’? by the 
Ibn Vergas, 218-219. : 
Rokeach, by Eleazar of Worms, 

1S: 
** Royal Crown, The,’’ by Solo- 
mon Ibn Gebirol, 110. 
quotation from, 111-112. 


Saadiah, Gaon, 70, 91-97. 
activities of, 91, 95. 
opposes Karaism, 92, 94. 
Sore the Scriptures, 93, 
style of, 93. 
conflict of, with the Exilarch, 
arranges a prayer-book, 95. 
as a philosopher, 95-96, 139. 
works of, translated, 148. 
Sabbatai Zevi, and the Kab- 
bala, 175. 
opponents of, 238. 
** Sacred Letter, The,’? by 
Nachmanides, 165. 
Safed, Kabbalist centre, 175. 
rere the son of Mazliach, 77- 
78. 
Salman, the son of Yerucham, 
Karaite author, 78. 
Salonica, Kabbalist centre, 175. 
** Salvation of his Anointed,’’ 
by Abarbanel, 229. 
** Samson,’’ by Luzzatto, 246. 
Samuel, Amora, 47-48, 51. 
astronomer, 48. 
Samuel, the son of Choini, 
Gaon and author, 71. 
Samuel ben Meir, exegete, 124. 
Samuel Ibn Nagdela, Nagid and 
minister, 103. 
as a scholar, 104. 
as a poet, 104-105. 


Samuel Ibn Tibbon, translator, 
147, 148. 
son-in-law of, 148. 
Samuel Usque, poet, 217-218. 
Scientific activity of the Jews, 
151. 
Scot, Michael, friend of Anatoli, 
149, 151. 
Scriptures, the, translated into 
Greek, 26. 
commentaries on, 77, 79, 123, 


translated into Arabic, 91, 
93, 94. 

translations of, in the syna- 
gogues, 94. 

on new-Hebrew poetry, 107- 
108. 

characteristics of the poetry 
of, 108. 

addresses of parents to chil- 
dren in, 194. 

See also Pentateuch, the. 

“‘ Scroll of Fasting, The,’’ con- 
tents, character, and pur- 
pose of, 40-41. 

Sedarim, order of the Mish- 
nah, 31. 

Seder ha-Doroth, by Yechiel 
Heilprin, 220. 

Sefer Dikduk, by Sahal, the son 
of Mazliach, 79. 

Sefer ha-Chassidim, ethical 
work, 191. 

Sefer ha-Galui, by Saadiah, 93. 

Sefer ha-Kabbalah, by Abraham 
Tbn Daud, 213-214. 

Sefer Yetsirah, by Saadiah, 95. 

Kabbalistic, 175. 


‘Seleucid era, the, abolished, 


238. 
Selichoth, elegies, Zunz on, 215- 
216. 


Sepphoris, centre of Jewish 
learning, 20. 

Septuagint, the, style of, 26. 

Seville, Jewish literary centre, 
112. 

Shaaloth u-Teshuboth,  decis- 
ions, 73. 

Shalsheleth ha-Kabbalah, by 
Gedaliah Ibn Yachya, 220. 

Shebet Jehudah, by the Ibn 
Vergas, 218-219. 

Sheeltoth, by Achai, 69-70. 

Sheloh, by Isaiah Hurwitz 176. 

Shelomo Izchaki. See Rashi. 


274 INDEX 


Sherira, Gaon and historian 70-| Spinoza, Baruch, continued. 


71. 
Sheshet family, writers of “‘ Re- 
sponses,’’ 237. 
“* Shields of the Mighty, The,’’ 
by Abraham de _ Porta 
* Leone, 220. 
Shiites, the, Mohammedan sect, 


75. 
Shilte ha-Gibborim, by Abra- 
ham de Porta Leone, 220. 
Shulchan Aruch, the, publica- 
tion of, 232. 
scope of, 232-233. 
sources of, 233-234. 
parts of, 239-240. 
value of, 241. 
SE books, the Jewish, 38- 
40. 


on the Jewish religion, 38-39. 
language of, 39. 
quotations from, 39, 40. 

Siddur, the, compiled by Am- 
ram, 70. 

Sifra, a Midrashic work, 57. 

Sifre, a Midrashie work, 57. 

Simlai, Amora, 47, 48. 

Simon, the son of Lakish, 
Amora, 46. 

Simon, the son of Yochai, al- 
leged author of the Zohar, 
172. 

Solomon the son of Adereth, 
writer of ‘* Responses,’’ 235. 

Solomon Ibn Gebirol, and the 
Scriptures, 107. 

subjects of, 109. 

life of, 109-110. 

works of, 110. 

quotations from, 111-112. 
works of, translated, 148. 

Solomon Ibn Verga, chronicler, 
218. 

Solomon Alami, ethical writer, 
197-198. 

Solomon Alkabets, poet, 239. 

Solomon Molcho, and the Kab- 
bala, 175, 207. 

Song of Songs, the, and new- 
Hebrew poetry, 107. 

Spain, Moorish, the centre of 
Jewish learning, 96-97. 
Spanish-Jewish poetry. See 

New-Hebrew poetry. 

Spanish Piyut, the, 85. 

Speyer, Rashi at, 122. 

Spinoza, Baruch, influenced by 
Chasdai Crescas, 141. 


philosopher, 243, 244, 249-251. 
life of, 250-251. 
works of, 251. 
Steinschneider, Dr., on Jewish 
translators, 144. 
** Stone of Help, The,’’ part of 
the Shulchan Aruch, 240. 
Strabo, used in ‘“ Josippon,’’ 
214. 

** Strengthening of Faith, 
The,’? by Isaac Troki, 81. 

** Strong Hand, The,’’ by Moses 
Maimonides, 136-137, 139, 
232. 

““ Strong Tower, The,’”? by Luz- 
zatto, 246. 

Sunnites, the, Mohammedan 
sect, 75. 

Sura, centre of Jewish learning, 
44, 72. 

Saadiah at, 91, 96. 
gore the, at Jamnia, 19- 


“*Table Prepared.”’ See Shul- 
chan Aruch, the. 
sake of Alfonso, in Hebrew, 
221. 
Tachkemoni, by Charizi, 131- 
132, 183. 
Talmud, the, commentary on 
the Mishnah, 43. 
language of, 44. 
two works, 44. 
the teachers of, 44. 
character of, 45, 50, 53. 
the two aspects of, 47. 
ie Rab and Samuel, 47-48, 
influences traceable in, 50-51. 
compilation of, 51-52. 
beast fables in, 64-67. 
lexicon of, 70. 
and the Piyut, 86. 
commentary on, by Rashi, 
120. 
geographical notes in, 200. 
Notes on, 284. 
Talmud, the Babylonian, 44. 
the larger work, 44. 
Talmud, the Jerusalem, 44. 
Tam of Rameru, Tossafist, 161. 
Tanchuma, a Midrashic work, 


Tannaim, the, teachers of the 
Mishnah, 22. 


eres 


INDEX 275 


Tannaim, continued. 
four generations of, 23. 
Targum Onkelos, Aramaic trans- 
lation of the Pentateuch, 27. 
Sore by Moses Ibn Ezra, 
“Teacher of Knowledge, The,’”’ 
part of the Shulchan Aruch, 
239-240. 
Teharoth, order of the Mishnah, 
31 


Teshuboth. See  ‘* Letters,”’ 
the; ‘‘ Responses,’’ the. 
** Theologico-Political Trac- 
tate,”? by Spinoza, 244, 251. 
Tiberias, centre of Jewish 
learning, 20. 
Todros Abulafia, Kabbalist, 171. 
Toledo, Jewish literary centre, 
112. 
cosmopolitanism of, 126. 
“© Topaz, The,’’ by Moses Ibn 
Ezra, 114. 
Torah, the. See Pentateuch, the. 
Tossafists, the, French Talmud- 
ists, 160-161. 
Tossafoth, Additions, 161. 
*< Touchstone, The,’’ by Ka- 
lonymos, 185. 
Tractates of the Mishnah, 31. 
Tradition, the Jewish, investi- 
gated at Jamnia, 21. 
Sherira on, 70. 
reaction against, 76. 
See Mishnah, the. 
Translations, value of, 144. 
made by Jews, 144-145, 146, 
149-151, 153-154, 155-156. 
“* Travels,’ by Petachiah of 
Ratisbon, 204. 
Troyes, Rashi at, 122. : 
‘© Two Tables of the Covenant, 
The,’ by Isaiah Hurwitz, 
176. 
Tyre, Jehuda Halevi in, 129. 


Usha, centre of Jewish learn- 
ing, 20 


“‘ Valley of Tears, The,” by 
Joseph Cohen, 218, 219. 
Venice, Abarbanel in, 227. 
Vindicie Judeorum, by Manas- 
seh ben Israel, 244, 249, 258. 
“‘ Vineyard,’ the. See Jamnia. 


Vossius, friend of Manasseh ben 
Israel, 245. 


‘Wars of the Jews, The,” by 

Josephus, 34. 
the language of, 37. 

“‘ Wars of the Lord, The,” by 
Gersonides, 141. 

“Wars of the Lord, The,”’ by 
Salman, the son of Yeru- 
cham, 78. 

Wessely, N. H., pedagogue, 210. 

‘“ Wolf and the two Hounds, 
The,’’ fable, 65. 

“Wolf at the Well, The,” fa- 
ble, 65. 

“‘Work of Tobiah, The,’ by 
Tobiah Cohen, 209. 

Worms, Rashi at, 122. 


Yad Hachazaka. See ‘‘ Strong 
Hand, The.’’ 

Yalkut, collected Midrashim, 
58. 

Yedaiah Bedaressi, writer, 191- 
192. 

Yeshuoth Meshicho, by Abar- 
banel, 229. 

Yoreh Deah, part of the Shul- 
chan Aruch, 240. 

Yuchasin, by Abraham Zacuto, 
216. 


Zabara, satirist, 127. 

Zacut, Moses, dramatist, 246. 

Zeéna u-Reéna, homiletical 
work, 230. 

Zeira, Amora, 46. 

Zemach, the son of Paltoi, Gaon 
and lexicographer, 70. 
Zemach David, by David Gans, 

220-221. 
Zeraim, order of the Mishnah, 
31. 
Zevaoth. See Ethical Wills. 
Zicareo, character in Samuel 
Usque’s poem, 218. 
Zion, odes to, by Jehuda Ha- 
levi, 109, 129-130. 
Zohar, the, Kabbalistic work, 
172-174. 
style and language of, 172-173. 
contents of, 173-174. 
Christian ideas in, 174, 
importance of, 175,