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THE HISTORY 
OF THE JEWS 


BY 


Gotthard Weutsch, Ph.D. 


PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, HEBREW UNION 
COLLEGE 


BLOCH PUBLISHING COMPANY 
1910 








CopyRIGHT, I9I0, BY 
BLOCH PUBLISHING COMPANY 





TABLE OF CONTENTS 


CHAP. PAGE 
J. FROM THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY, 586 B.C., TO THE 
DESTRUCTION OF THE SECOND TEMPLE, 70 C.E. 7 


fe 


II. FROM THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM, 70, TO THE 


Mae 


r COMPLETION OF THE MISHNAH, DO aoe ele ep aU, 
IU. ERA OF THE TALMUD, 200-600. Sosa Sra vee tir Sea oO 
Religious History of the Bee eee cio beta LeoreO 


IV. FROM THE RISE OF ISLAM, 622, TO THE ERA OF THE 


4) ERUSADES) 1000s ce ries rey seco neo ten 35 
a Literary Activity of the DeniGd yey ks eas ee OD, 
34 V. Tue Jews or Eurors, 1040-1215 . . - - + 
Spiritual Life of the Parod Pees ote 
VI. PERIOD OF OPPRESSION, ADL TAG2 aN ioe Sire 53 

Ox Jewish Literature, Thirteenth to Fifteenth Cen- 
Pury Coes ed era Ba asap iss geen Bee 63 
VI. THE PERIOD OF IMPROVEMENT, 1469-1791 eee 
Intellectual and Literary Teste Si ee hs evans 83 
* VIII. THE PERIOD OF EMANCIPATION FROM 1791 . - - 90 
Culture in the Nineteenth Century - - - -: 100 
BE Da ie ec Oman eae es a ne eect 


3 
208418 


CS __...eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 


PREFACE 


THERE are two main difficulties confronting the 
historian, when he attempts to write history. He 
must always ask himself, First: Are the facts which I 
find recorded really facts, and Second: Do I interpret 
them correctly? Thiers, in his ‘‘Histoire du Con- 
sulat,’’? Paris, 1851, Vol. XI, p. 71, speaks of the 
enthusiasm with which the Jews of Portugal, who 
numbered 200,000, received the French troops in 1809. 
There were perhaps not two hundred Jews living in 
Portugal at that time, and they played no part in pub- 
lic affairs. In an address to the convention of the 
Order Brith Abraham, Mayor Gaynor, of New York, 
said on May 15, 1910: ‘‘The great Frederick issued 
a general privilege, and declared it as a maxim, that 
oppression of the Jews never brought prosperity to 
any state, and Napoleon not only followed the same 
course but convoked the Sanhedrin.’’ The facts are 
in the main correct, but the presentation is all wrong. 
Frederick issued his ‘‘Revidierte Generalprivilegium’’ 
of April 17, 1750, for the Jews of Prussia, but it is 
based on the medizeval idea of restrictions in the most 
elementary rights of human beings. His sentiment 
with regard to the Jews is evident from a letter which 
he wrote to the Minister von Hoym, May 17, 1780, in 
which he says: ‘‘If the Jews were expelled and Chris- 
tians would take their places as innkeepers, it would 
be for the good of the country, and we would have 
more human beings and less Jews’’ (Monatsschrift 
fuer die Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums, 
1895, p. 379). Napoleon had by the convocation of 
the ‘‘Assembly of Jewish Notables’ and the subse- 


5 














6 PREFACE 


quent Sanhedrin, 1806-1807, insulted the Jews. The 
law of September 27, 1791, had declared them as citi- 
zens, and he asked them whether they considered 
France as their fatherland, and when these and simi- 
lar questions were answered in the affirmative with 
emphatic protestation of loyalty, Napoleon neverthe- 
less reintroduced the medieval principle of Jewish dis- 
abilities by issuing laws restricting Jews in doing 
business on credit. The facts quoted by Mayor Gaynor 
prove the opposite of what he wished to prove by them. 

These instances taken from Jewish history could be - 
multiplied endlessly from every period and every sec- 
tion of the world’s history. Jewish history has to con- 
tend with two additional difficulties. It extends over 
every part of the civilized world, but it lacks chrono- 
logical sequence, at least until we come to modern 
times. Another difficulty is that it deals with almost 
every known spiritual activity of mankind. The stu- 
dent, in order to understand Jewish history, should 
know the constantly shifting boundary lines of the 
Italian states from medizval times until 1870, and he 
should know something of the morphological theories 
of Hebrew grammer and of scholastic philosophy. 

These difficulties make themselves especially. felt in 
a brief manual, and, no doubt, every teacher of Jew- 
ish history must have had such an experience. The 
Rabbis (Sanhedrin 93, b) find fault with Nehemiah for 
having spoken ill of his predecessors in office (Neh. V, 
15). Ido not wish to incur the same censure. It re- 
mains for the student and the teacher who use my 
book to judge whether I improved upon my predeces- 
sors. My object was to place in the hand of the stu- 
dent, who is guided by a capable teacher, a concise 
and yet readable manual of the whole post-biblical 
history. The biblical period I intentionally omit- 
ted, in order to avoid contested ground and to allow 
the book to be used in all schools regardless of 
dogmatic differences. 


GOTTHARD DEUTSCH. 
CINCINNATI, O., July, 1910. 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


CHAPTER I 


FROM THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY (586 B.C.) 
TO THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SECOND 
TEMPLE (70 C.E.) 


PALESTINE, the buffer state between Egypt) and Meso- 
potamia, the two rival powers of the ancient world, 
was an important base of operations for all conquerors, 
and its possession was eagerly sought. In 722 B.C., 
King Sargon of Assyria conquered the northern part, 
the kingdom of Israel. The southern part, the king- 
dom of Judah, was at that time protected by Assyria’s 
rising and already powerful rival, the Babylonian 
empire. When Babylonia had become the master of 
Mesopotamia, Judzea’s doom was sealed, and in 586 
Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem and made all of 
Palestine a province of his large empire. 

With the death of Nebuchadnezzar, the great Baby- 
lonian empire declined rapidly, and in 539, Cyrus, the 
King of Persia, captured the city of Babylon, and 
became the master of the whole of the Babylonian 
empire, and so of Palestine. He was favorably in- 
clined to the Jews, and gave permission to the descend- 
ants of the exiles from Palestine to return to the land 
of their fathers. Only a few thousand made use of 

7 





8 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


this, and returned under the leadership of Zerubbabel, 

| | a descendant of the House of David, and of Joshua ben 

we Jehozadak, the high priest. Of the right to build the 

j Hl Temple they made no use for the time, but erected 

instead an altar on the site of the former edifice. The 

development of the new commonwealth, however, was 
slow, until Ezra, a man learned in the law, and, there- 
fore, called the Scribe, returned from Babylonia in 

a 458 B.C. and taught the people the law of God. He 

p | was joined in 445 B.C. by Nehemiah, the cupbearer of 

the Persian King Artaxerxes, who received permis- 

i] sion from his ruler to go to Palestine and assist Ezra 
a in his work. He succeeded, after many difficulties, 
in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and giving the 

BP) new community a firm organization. In 432 B.C. he 

i ; returned to his post at the King’s Court, but upon 

learning that the new community was suffering from 

, many difficulties, he returned again to Palestine to 

a finish his work there. 

e It seems that the Jews lived in peace, for during 
the following century, while they were under Persian 
tule, only two incidents are recorded. In the reign of 
Artaxerxes III, Ochus (358-337 B.C.), the Jews re- 

belled; but the king defeated them near Jericho and 
| sent the rebels to Hyrcania into exile. About the 

t same time the high priest, Johanan, killed his 

5 | brother, Joshua, in the Temple, and the Persian gov- 

a ernor fined the Jews very heavily. 

j ~ Not long afterwards the mighty Persian empire was 

| conquered by Alexander the Great (333 B.C.), and the 

| 





Jews passed under the rule of the Macedonian king. 
ia There are various legends zbout Alexander’s kind- 
ness to the Jews, especially one which states that he 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 9 


showed great respect to the high priest. There is 
also a report that he exempted the Jews from paying 
taxes in the Sabbatical year. His immense empire 
fell to pieces soon after his early death, and various 
generals fought for a portion of the inheritance, each 
expecting to become the successor of the great con- 
queror. Palestine with Syria was first occupied by 
Ptolemy, who founded the dynasty named after him 
in Egypt in 320 B.C. He lost it to another general, 
Antigonus (315 B.C.), who was defeated by Seleucus 
at the battle of Gaza (312 B.C.), after which the king- 
dom of Syria with Antioch as its capital was founded. 
The Syrians counted their era from this date and the 
Jews adopted this custom, keeping it up until late in 
mediwval times. The struggle continued until, in 
301 B.C, the battle of Ipsus decided the issue in favor 
of Ptolemy and Palestine was united with Egypt until 
Antiochus III of Syria annexed it to his dominions in 
198 B.C. 

The Jews seem to have been treated with fairness 
until Antiochus IV, Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.), suc- 
ceeded his father. The latter had been defeated by 
the Romans in the battle of Magnesia (189 B.C.), and 
Antiochus IV was sent as hostage to Rome. Knowing 
that the Romans watched the growth of the Syrian 
kingdom with great jealousy lest it should become a 
powerful rival, he tried to consolidate his states and 
for this reason wished to remove everything which 
kept the Jews apart from their neighbors. In his 
attempt to Hellenize the Jews heswas supported by a 
party among them. Joseph, the son of Tobias, and 
the nephew of Onias II, the High Priest, had already 
under the Egyptian kings been appointed tax collector 





10 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


and was very powerful. He and his family sup- 
ported the Syrian kings in their desire to Hellenize the 
Jews. 

Simon, a member of this family, quarrelled with the 
High Priest, Onias III, and in order to revenge him- 
self he informed the Syrian government that the Tem- 
ple of Jerusalem contained large treasures. Heliodorus 
was sent to Jerusalem, but for some reason which 
legend has obscured by miraculous tales, he was pre- 
vented from looting the treasury. Onias was called 
to Antioch to answer certain charges of disloyalty, 
while his brother Joshua, or Jason as he called him- 
self, took his place. Jason offered Antiochus a higher 
tribute than his brother had paid, and declared his 
willingness to support the king in introducing Greek 
customs among the Jews. He became high priest, 
but shortly afterwards Menelaus, another member of 
the family, offered Antiochus a still higher tribute and 
was made high priest in Jason’s place. Unable to pay 
the sum he had promised, he appropriated valuable 
pieces from the Temple treasury to bribe the King’s 
Officials. Onias reproached him and was assassinated 
upon his order. 

This fact embittered the Jews. Menelaus was 
charged with sacrilege, but as he possessed ‘great in- 
fluence the case was dismissed and his opponents were 
executed. These events enraged the Jews still more, 
and when in 170 B.C., Antiochus was in Egypt en- 
gaged in warfare, the Jews rebelled at the false report 
of his death. Antiochus returned and took bitter 
revenge, pillaging thé city, and desecrating the Tem- 
ple. Two years later he sent his general, Apollo- 
nius, to punish the rebels and the latter did it in the 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 11 


most cruel manner. At the same time a strong fort 
was built in Jerusalem and the practice of the Jewish 
religion, particularly the observance of the Sabbath 
and the dietary laws, and the study of the Torah pro- 
hibited, on the ground that they tended to keep the 
Jews aloof from their neighbors. At the same time 
an altar to Zeus was erected in the Temple and 
other heathenish altars placed in various cities. 
The Jews were compelled under penalty of death to 
offer sacrifices to the Greek gods. 

The pious people fled from Jerusalem into the wil- 
derness in order to escape the fulfillment of the king’s 
orders. Among the leaders of those who were deter- 
mined rather to die than give up their religion was 
Mattathiah, an aged priest of the family of the Hasmo- 
nzans. In the little town of Modin he killed a Jew 
who made preparations to offer sacrifice on the hea- 
thenish altar, and an officer was sent to execute the 
king’s decree. This was the signal for rebellion. 
Mattathiah had five sons of whom Judah, called the 
Maccabee, was the leader in battle. Judah gathered 
a small number of the faithful around him and suc- 
ceeded in defeating various generals and finally the 
viceroy, Lysias. Then he entered Jerusalem, removed 
all traces of idolatry from the Temple and rededicated 
it to the service of God in 165 B.C. Shortly after- 
wards, in 164 B.C., Antiochus IV died and was suc- 
ceeded by his son, Antiochus V, still a boy, for whom 
Lysias governed as regent. The last having many 
difficulties to contend with, granted the Jews religious 
freedom. He and the young king, however, were 
soon killed, and Demetrius I, a nephew of Antiochus 
IV, came to the throne in 162 B.C. 








12 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


Demetrius continued to give the Jews religious free- 
dom, but he appointed a high priest named Alkymus, 
whom the people disliked, and so the rebellion started 
anew. Judah defeated the general Nikanor in 161 
B.C., but a year later he fell in battle and was suc- 
ceeded by his brother Jonathan. Meantime Syria was 
torn to pieces amid constant rebellion caused by 
various claimants to the throne, each of whom tried 
to win the Jews over to his side in order to obtain a 
free hand in fighting his rivals. Thus Jonathan was 
confirmed as high priest by the Syrian king (153 B.C.), 
but later on, being distrusted, was assassinated by the 
Syrian governor, Tryphon (143 B.C.) He was suc- 
ceeded by the last surviving son of Mattathiah, Simon 
(143-135 B.C.). Simon drove the Syrian garrison from 
the fort at Jerusalem and was not only confirmed as 
high priest but also as ruler of the Jews. He mani- 
fested his sovereignty by issuing coins bearing his 
name. 

The Romans, who were glad to see the power of the 
Syrian king weakened, formed an alliance with him, 
and so Israel was again an independent nation. 
Simon was assassinated by Ptolemy, his own son-in- 
law, and was succeeded by his son John Hyrcan 
(135-105 B.C.), who assumed the title of king and 
was at the same time the high priest. The Syrian 
kingdom became altogether dismembered, and John 
Hyrcan, aided by the Romans, united under his scep- 
tre not only the Jews living in Palestine but also con- 
quered those parts of the country which were inhabited 
by other nations. The Idumzans and the Samaritans 
were forcibly converted to Judaism. With the grow- 
ing power of the new kingdom the religious life of the 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 13 


ruling classes became weakened and the king alienated 
those people who had formerly been the most zealous 
supporters of the Maccabzean rebellion. Two parties 
were formed, one called the Sadducees, after the High 
Priest Zadok, was in sympathy with the government 
while the other, the Pharisees, became its opponent. 
The Pharisees (separatists) believed in freedom only 
as a means of protection of their religious life, and 
therefore opposed the king, who wasted the resources 
of the country in wars of conquest. 

Hyrcan was succeeded by Aristobul, his son, with 
whose reign a period of family feuds and palace 
intrigues began. He ordered his brother Antigonus to 
be killed and died soon afterwards, having reigned 
but one year (105-104 B.C.). His successor was his 
brother Alexander Jannai (104-78 B.C.). The latter’s 
highest ambition was to become a conqueror and he 
carried on constant but unsuccessful warfare with 
Arabic chieftains, and with the Egyptians and other 
neighbors. The people rebelled against him, but he 
quelled all uprisings with extreme cruelty, and on one 
occasion had six hundred pilgrims massacred in the 
courtyard of the Temple. The Pharisees were par- 
ticularly the objects of his hatred. 

Upon his death his wife, Salome Alexandra, came 
to the throne (78-69 B.C.). She made peace with the 
Pharisees, whose leader Simeon ben Shetach was her 
brother, and her reign was happier than that of her 
husband. Upon her death she left two sons, Hyrcan 
Il and Aristobul, of whom the first was to be high 
priest, while the second was to be king. But they 
soon quarrelled, and Hyrcan, who was a tool in the 
hands of Antipater, an Idumzean, his adviser, declared 





14 HISTORY. OF THE JEWS 


himself king. In the subsequent civil war, Pompey, 
the Roman general and statesman, was asked to act as 
arbitrator. He conquered Jerusalem, entered the 
Temple, and declared in favor of Hyrcan, who, how- 
ever, was not made king, but given the title of 
Ethnarch. Aristobul was sent to Rome and the cities 
inhabited by Syrians were annexed to the province of 
Syria (60 B.C.). Aristobul’s son, Alexander, the son- 
in-law of Hyrcan, rebelled, but was defeated in 57 B.C. 
In the following year Aristobul fled from Rome and 
organized a rebellion, but was soon defeated and sent 
a prisoner to Rome with his son Antigonus. 

Crassus, governor of Syria, entered the Temple and 
looted the treasury (54 B.C.). Shortly afterwards he 
fell in battle and the Jews rebelled again, but the 
uprising was cruelly suppressed, 30,000 being sold 
into slavery (53 B.C.). Czesar, who was now the ruler 
of Rome, liberated Aristobul to use him against his 
rival Pompey, but Aristobul was poisoned and his son 
Alexander executed (49 B.C.). Hyrcan and Antipater 
joined Czesar, who confirmed the former as Ethnarch 
and bestowed high distinction on the latter (47 B.C.). 
Antipater’s son, Herod, was made governor of Galilee, 
and as such executed the insurgent leader, Hezekiah, 
and put down the rebellion. Called before the San- 
hedrin for executing a citizen without trial, he defied 
the court, knowing that he had the support of the 
Romans. After Czsar’s assassination Antipater joined 
Cassius, but was himself assassinated (42 B.C.). His 
sons, however, remained in power, and after the bat- 
tle of Philippi they joined Antony, who confirmed 
them as governors (42 B.C.). Antigonus, the son of 
Aristobul, now returned, assisted by the Parthians, 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 15 


enemies of Rome, and was made high priest, combin- 
ing again the dignity of king and high priest (40-37 
B.C.). Herod fled to Rome, where he was appointed 
King of the Jews by the Senate. Returning to Pales- 
tine he defeated Antigonus and reigned as king (37-34 
B.C.). He married Mariamne, the granddaughter of 
Hyrcan and Aristobul, and appointed her brother, 
Aristobul, as high priest. Becoming jealous of his 
popularity, he caused him to be assassinated soon 
afterward. 

Herod’s reign was marked by its splendor, but he 
was hated by the people for his extreme cruelty. He 
had his wife, Mariamne, three of his sons, the old 
High Priest Hyrcan II, and various other members of 
his family, assassinated. His unpopularity grew in 
spite of the fact that the country was prosperous and 
that he rebuilt the Temple in magnificent style. Asa 
descendant of the Idumzans, whom Hyrcan I had con- 
verted to Judaism, he was considered a foreigner who 
held his power only through the assistance of Rome. 
From this time the name Edom became a synonym for 
Rome in Jewish Literature. 

Herod left three sons, Archelaus, Herod Antipas, 
and Philip, among whom he divided his empire. 
Archelaus received Judzea, Samaria and Idumza. He 
was to reside in Jerusalem and have the title of king. 
Herod Antipas was given dominion over Galilee, and 
Perzea and Philip received the northern district; both 
were to be called Tetrarchs. In Archelaus’ kingdom 
a revolt broke out at once, and 3,000 people were 
killed in the Temple courtyard. When he went to 
Rome to obtain confirmation of his title another rebel- 
lion broke out because of the cruelty of the Roman 


16 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


commander, and once more a great number of people 
were killed and the Temple sacked. Governor Varus 
was called from Syria to quell the contest and did so 

with great cruelty. The Roman Emperor Augustus 
confirmed Archelaus as ruler of Judza but refused him 
the title of king; he was merely called Ethnarch. 

Unable to control the people, who hated him, he was 
deposed and exiled to Gaul, and his land made a part 
of the Roman province of Syria (6 C.E.). The Roman 
governors carried on an arbitrary and oppressive rule. 

A census ordered by Quirinius was bitterly resisted 
and almost led to open rebellion. A party of Zealots 
was formed under the leadership of Judah, the son of 
Hezekiah, whom Herod had executed. Their object 
was to overthrow the Roman rule, and for this purpose 
they began a reign of terror against all people who, 
were supposed to be in sympathy with Rome, and 
assassinations were of daily occurrence. 

One of the most cruel of the Roman governors, Pon- 
tius Pilate (26-36), in every possible way provoked the 
religious sentiments of the people, and on the slightest 
show of resistance, ordered wholesale butcheries of 
them. Many complaints were sent to Romeand he was 
finally recalled. Under his administration the execution 
of Jesus is reported to have taken place. Emperor Cali- 
gula (37-41), a typical megalomaniac, ordered his bust 
placed in the Temple. Petronius, the military com- 
mander, reported that it was impossible to execute this 
order without driving the people into open rebellion, and 
so Caligula modified hisdemand. Only his assassina- 
tion prevented an outbreak of the people. Hewasa 
friend of Agrippa, the son of Aristobul, and the grand- 
son of Herod and Mariamne, and showered his favors 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS Li? 


upon him. Agrippa was first appointed the successor 
of his uncle Philip with the title of king, in 37. Upon 
the death of Herod Antipas, Galilee was added to his 
dominion, and finally Emperor Claudius, upon his 
succession to the throne in 41, gave him Judza also, 
so that he thus obtained the full heritage of his grand- 
father Herod. While a favorite of Rome, Agrippa was 
beloved by the people, but he died in the prime of his 
life in 44. His brother Herod, who was his suc- 
cessor, possessed no other right except to appoint the 
high priest; similarly Agrippa’s son, Agrippa II, 
while honored with the title of king, had practically 
no power. For at the death of Agrippa I Palestine 
was again placed under Roman governors, seven of 
whom held office from 44 to 66 and did their utmost 
to drive the people into despair by cruel executions 
and wanton disregard of religious feeling. The reign 
of terror continuing, a party called Sicarii, from Sica, 
a dagger, which they always carried under their gar- 
ments for the punishment of those who were suspected 
of Roman sympathies, arose and spread anarchy all 
through the land. 

The last of the governors, Gessius Florus, was the 
worst of all who held this office. His extortions and 
murders drove the people into despair. Especially in 
Czesarea, where the majority of the population was 
Greek, and constantly attacked the Jews, he refused to 
grant them protection. Agrippa II made an attempt 
to pacify the Jews and persuade them to send a com- 
mittee to Rome, but without avail. The daily sacri- 
fice on behalf of the Emperor was discontinued and 
open rebellion was declared (66). 

The Jews fortified the Temple, captured several 





18 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


Roman forts, including that of Jerusalem, and Cestius 
Gallus, the commander of Syria, was defeated. Ves- 
pasian, the ablest general of the Roman army, was 
placed in command and began the war in Galilee, 
where Flavius Josephus, the famous historian, was in 
command of the revolutionary forces (67). Josephus 
was besieged in the fortress of Jotapat, and, after 
weeks of hard fighting, surrendered. In the fall of 
67 all of Galilee was in the hands of the Romans. 

In 68 Vespasian conquered the land east of the Jor- 
dan, while in Jerusalem the reign of terror continued 
and the Zealots wasted their forces in a bloody civil 
war. Meantime a revolution had broken out in Rome 
and Nero had committed suicide (68). Three emperors 
followed each other in quick succession and the in- 
ternal troubles caused Vespasian to temporize in his 
warfare. But by 69 he had conquered the whole land 
with the exception of Jerusalem and three fortified 
cities held by the patriots. In this year he was pro- 
claimed Emperor and went to Rome, leaving the work 
of continuing the war to his son Titus. 

Titus began the siege of Jerusalem in April, 70, and 
at once the internal feuds ceased, the besieged doing 
their utmost to defend the place. Titus had to take 
the city step by-step. Finally on August 10th the 
Temple, the last retreat of the patriots, was stormed 
and destroyed by fire. Those who survived intrenched 
themselves in the upper city and continued their 
resistance until September 7th. According to Jo- 
sephus, 1,100,000 perished in the war and 97,000 were 
made captives and sold as slaves or taken to the cir- 
cus, where they were torn to pieces by wild beasts. 
Seven hundred, selected from the noblest families, 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 19 


were taken to Rome to be shown with the holy vessels 
captured in the Temple in the triumphal march. An 
arch of triumph was erected as a memorial of victory, 
which is still standing in Rome. Titus left the siege 
of the three remaining fortresses to his captains. 
They spent three more years in reducing them, Mas- 
sada, the last one, falling in 73. The last defenders 
of the place killed themselves in order to escape being 
taken alive by the Romans. Thus the last vestige of 
the independent Jewish kingdom, founded by the 
Maccabees, disappeared. 


CHAPTER II 


FROM THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM (70) TO 
THE COMPLETION OF THE MISHNAH (200) 


THE destruction of Jerusalem had thrown the Jew- 
ish people into a terrible crisis. Although the Jews, 
as individuals, did not fare worse than during the pre- 
ceding one hundred and thirty years, Judea was now 
a province of the Roman Empire. 

The only new law, enforced after the destruction of 
Jerusalem, was that of a special tax of two Drachme, 
which every male had to pay. This tax, called 
“‘Fiscus Judaicus,’’ took the place of the half-shekel 
formerly paid by every male Jew into the treasury of 
the Temple, according to the Rabbinic interpretation 
of the Law in Exodus xxx, 11-16. Some of the Jews 
were sold into slavery; some went to Rome, where 
they swelled the congregation existing there since the 
second century B.C., and where they had several 
synagogues and catacombs used as cemeteries. Others 
again emigrated to Babylonia, where a Jewish settle- 
ment existed since the destruction of Jerusalem by 
Nebuchadnezzar, or settled on the northern coast of 
Africa, and on the islands of the Mediterranean. 

Under Domitian, the brother and successor of Titus 
(81-96), the tribute of the ‘‘Fiscus Judaicus’’ was 
exacted with great severity. Domitian was altogether 
hostile to the Jews; yet in his reign Jewish propa- 

20 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 21 


ganda increased in Rome, and people belonging to the 
highest class of society, among them Flavius Clemens, 
a nephew of the Emperor, with his wife Clementina, 
were converted to Judaism. Flavius Clemens was put 
to death and his wife exiled for their change of faith, 
as the Roman law consideréd it a crime, and called it 
atheism. Dio Cassius, the historian of Rome, speaks 
of a class of people who were not Jews by descent, but 
had adopted the Jewish religion. Similar proofs of 
the existence of a Jewish propaganda are found in the 
New Testament (Matthew xxiii, 25) where the Phari- 
sees are denounced for their efforts in making con- 
verts, and in the daily service, composed about one 
hundred, in which a special prayer for the proselytes 
is offered. 

Under Emperor Nerva (96-98) the ‘‘Fiscus Judaicus’’ 
is said to have been abolished. 

Under Trajan (98-117) serious rebellions of the Jews 
occurred in Egypt, Cyprus, Cyrene, and Mesopotamia. 
About ‘the causes of the disorder and the battles of the 
rebellion, we know nothing definite. It may be said, 
however, that in all likelihood oppressive taxation, 
cruel treatment of the people by the Roman officials, 
and the traditional enmity between the Jews and the 
Greek-speaking population of the Orient were the 
causes of this constant friction. Trajan sent his gen- 
eral, Quietus, to quell the uprising, and made him 
governor of Palestine. The insurrection was still in 
progress when Hadrian came to the throne (117-136). 
At first he was friendly toward the Jews and began to 
rebuild the Temple, by which he hoped to reconcile 
them. This new Temple, however, was to be dedi- 
cated to the Jupiter of the Capitol, who, as Hadrian 











22 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


believed, was also the God of the Jews, although he 
had a different name. As the Jews, however, were 
not willing to accept this condition, Hadrian resorted 
to severe religious persecution. He prohibited the 
practices of the Sabbath, circumcision, and the study 
of the Law. The result was another rebellion under 
the leadership of Simeon Bar Koziba, who adopted the 
name of Bar Kochba—‘‘The Son of the Star ’’—with 
reference to the prophecy of the star which would 
smite the enemies of Israel (Num. xxiv, 17). Bar 
Kochba, who called himself Prince of Israel, and had 
coins struck with his name, was supported by a priest, 
Eleazar of Modin, and by Rabbi Akiba. Details of 
this war are unknown. It lasted, however, over three 
years (132-135), and then was quelled by Tineius 
Rufus, and Julius Severus, the latter having been called 
from Great Britain to take some of the troops against 
the rebels. The victory was complete. Whatever 
had been left of Jerusalem after its destruction by 
Titus was destroyed. The city was called Alia Capi- 
tolina, in honer of Hadrian, whose first name was 
lius and in honor of the Jupiter of the Capitol, to 
whom the Temple, built on the site of the ancient 
Temple of Solomon, was erected. Over one of the 
gates of the city Hadrian had the head of a swine 
placed, and the Jews were forbidden entrance into the 
city. A great many Jews were killed in battle and 
many prisoners, including the most prominent spirit- 
ual leaders of the rebellion, such as Rabbi Akiba, ex- 
ecuted. A medizval legend speaks of ten martyrs, 
and gives a list which, however, comprises men who 
lived in different ages. 

With the death of Hadrian, and the succession to 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 23 


the throne of Marcus Antoninus Pius (136-161) a 
change for the better took place. We are informed 
that, upon the representations of prominent Jews, 
Antoninus repealed the cruel laws passed by his prede- 
cessor. Jewish legends have preserved the name of 
Antoninus Pius as one of the most benign of rulers, 
and they represent him as a close personal friend of - 
Judah the Patriarch, as a great admirer of Judaism, 
and even as a secret convert. 

Only a few disconnected facts are known about 
the following emperors. Under Marcus Aurelius, the 
philosophic author (161-180), who, in one instance 
speaks with contempt of the Jews, we hear of a slave, 
named Callistus, sentenced to penal servitude in the 
mines of Sardinia for having disturbed the services of 
a synagogue. 

Under Septimius Severus (193-211), we learn of the 
participation of the Jews in a rebellion, and an edict, 
passed in 204, declared conversion to Christianity 
from Judaism a crime. It was evidently intended to 
check the rapid progress of Christianity. Alexander 
Severus (222-235) is said to have been very favorable 
to the Jews, and his mother, |\Mammza, who was 
regent during the first years of his reign, is said to 
have been favorably inclined toward the Jewish relig- 
ion. Alexander had a statue of Abraham in his room 
and on the wall was inscribed the famous saying of 
Hillel, ‘‘What is hateful unto thee, do not unto thy 
neighbor.’? The Jews of Rome had a synagogue 
which was named the Synagogue of Severus in his 
honor; he presented to it a scroll of the Torah which 
had been brought from Jerusalem. The mobs in 
Alexandria and Antioch, ever hostile to the Jews, 





24 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


called him Archysynagogos, ‘‘leader of the Syna- 
gogue.’’ 

The spiritual life of the Jews, after the destruction 
of the Temple, received its strongest impetus from 
Johanan ben Zakkai, in Jabneh (Jamnia), whom legend 
makes a disciple of Hillel and a member of the San- 
hedrin in Jerusalem at the time of the destruction of 
the Temple. Legend further says that he succeeded 
in escaping from Jerusalem during the siege at a time 
when the Zealots in the city would not allow any one 
to leave it, and that he came to Vespasian, to whom 
he prophesied his elevation to the throne of Rome, for 
which, out of gratitude, the latter allowed him to 
open a school and establish a Sanhedrin in Jabneh. 
At any rate, Jabneh became the spiritual centre of 
Judaism at that time. Various ordinances, which 
Johanan ben Zakkai issued, show his desire to har- 
monize ancient traditions with the conditions as they 
developed after the destruction of the Temple. Thus, 
it is understood that he ordered the Shofar to be blown 
in Jabneh, even if New Year fell on a Sabbath; this 
formerly had been done only in the Temple at Jeru- 
salem. 

His successor was Gamaliel, usually called Gama- 
liel II, Gamaliel the elder, or Gamaliel of Jabneh 
(100-130). He was the great-great-grandson of the 
famous Hillel, who, according to tradition, was presi- 
dent of the Sanhedrin during the time of King Herod 
(Hillel, Simeon, Gamaliel, Simeon, Gamaliel). In the 
work of harmonizing tradition with the exigencies of 
the time, Gamaliel followed in the footsteps of Johanan 
ben Zakkai. His main activities consisted in the 
organization of public worship. To him is ascribed 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 29 


the introduction of the daily prayer (Tefillah), the 
eighteen benedictions (Shemoneh Esreh), to which 
later in his life he added one more, containing a peti- 
tion against sectaries (Minim). He also composed the 
grace after meals, and the Passover Haggadah. He 
further endeavored, in all possible ways, to strengthen 
the authority of the President or Nasi or Ab Beth Din 
of the Sanhedrin, especially by claiming for himself 
the exclusive right to fix the calendar. In the inter- 
pretation of the law he took a lenient attitude, insist- 
ing more on the spirit than on the letter. 

Opponents of his hierarchical tendencies were Eliezer 
ben Hyrkanos and Joshua ben Hananiah; Akiba occu- 
pied an undecided position between the two parties. 
Eliezer, who seems to have been favorably inclined 
toward Christianity, objected to a fixed ritual, but 
otherwise was rigorous in his interpretation of the 
law, and a firm believer in the authority of tradition. 
From obscure reports we learn that he was excom- 
municated by Gamaliel, his brother-in-law. Joshua 
was strongly opposed to Christianity, and to the hier- 
archical tendencies of Gamaliel, and his harsh treat- 
ment by the latter caused opposition, with the result 
that Gamaliel was removed from office and Eleazer 
ben Azariah appointed in his place. But later ona 
reconciliation took place, and Gamaliel was rein- 
stated. 

Akiba, the disciple of Eliezer, was the strictest 
opponent of Christianity, and especially of the prin- 
ciple which declares that the law is merely a symbol, 
and also of the demand that the Jews give up their 
national distinctiveness. His opposition to the sym- 
bolic interpretation of the law led him into its literal 


26 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


interpretation, based on the view that every word and 
letter of the Torah must be explained independently of 
the context. He was also a zealous advocate of 
Israel’s national independence, and so became the 
spiritual leader of the Bar Kochba rebellion. When 
he said, ‘‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; 
this is the fundamental principle of the Torah,’’ he 
probably gave expression to his nationalistic senti- 
ments. Evidently in order to accentuate the univer- 
sality of Judaism, Simeon ben Azai, Akiba’s contem- 
porary, says that the words, ‘‘This is the book of the 
generation of Adam,’’ are the fundamental principles 
of the Torah. Rabbi Akiba’s principle of interpret- 
ing the Torah was opposed by his contemporary, 
Rabbi Ishmael, who says the Torah speaks the lan- 
guage of men; that is, every text must be explained 
by its context. An important figure of that time 
seems to have been Elisha ben Abuyah, who is called 
Acher the Apostate. The stories told of him are 
legendary to such an extent that it is impossible to 
know how much, if any, historical fact underlies 
them. 

The uprising of Bar Kochba and the subsequent pro- 
hibition of the study of law interrupted, for a while, 
the development of religious doctrine. Soon, how- 
ever, after the succession to the throne of Antoninus 
Pius, in 136, the study of the law was resumed. A 
synod of prominent rabbis, who were mostly disciples 
of Akiba, met at Usha, and passed several resolutions, 
mostly in regard to civil law, required by the exi- 
gencies of the time. One of these provides that every 
one shall give one-fifth of his income to charity, thus 
diverting the two tithes formerly devoted to the sac- 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS ot 


rificial needs, the Levites or the poor, to communal 
requirements. Another resolution declared that every 
father was under the duty of providing for his son 
until the latter was twelve years old. The spiritual 
leaders of this age were Rabbi Meir, Judah bar Ilai, 
and Jose bar Halafta, and the office of Nasi was given 
to Gamaliel’s son, Simeon ben Gamaliel II (140-170). 
The latter was in turn succeeded by his son, Judah 
Hanasi, called Rabbi, or Rabbenu-Hakadosh, who 
according to a legend was born on the day on which 
Rabbi Akiba died (135-216). To him is due the com- 
pilation of the Mishnah or compendium of the Rab- 
binic law. 

The word Mishnah is derived from Mishneh Torah 
(repetition of the law), the name of Deuteronomy. 
This compilation was preceded by others on a smaller 
scale which we do not possess. They are called, after 
their authors, the Mishnah of Rabbi Akiba, that of 
Rabbi Meir, and that of Rabbi Nathan. The object 
of the code compiled by Judah Hanasi was to collect 
the whole of the Rabbinic law. The authorities 
quoted in the Mishnah are called Tanaim, from §2n, 
which is the Aramaic, for mw, the latter being a 
word derived from Mishnah. The Mishnah was not 
intended to be a code of the law but a compendium 
for its study. It was soon, however, accepted as an 
infallible book of laws, and believed to be based on 
early tradition dating back to Moses himself. 





CHAPTER III 


ERA OF THE TALMUD (200-600) 


THE constant progress made by Christianity in Pal- 
estine had an unfavorable effect on the condition of 
the Jewish population and the Jews began to emigrate 
to Babylonia in constantly growing numbers. The 
latter country had, in the meantime, passed from the 
rule of the Parthians to that of the neo-Persians, or 
Parsees (225). These having thrown off the yoke of 
foreign invaders, acted like others under similar con- 
ditions and introduced a government marked by relig- 
ious and national fanaticism, from which the Jews 
suffered very severely. The Parsees, who worshipped 
fire, would not allow the Jews to have any light on 
the Sabbath during their period of mourning, which 
comprised the shortest winter days, and consequently 
the Hanukah lights were also forbidden. Another 
prohibition, which the Jews especially resented, was 
directed against the burial of the dead, not allowed 
by the religion of the Parsees. 

At the same time, the Roman Empire, passing more 
and more under Christian rule; became hostile toward 
the Jews. Of Diocletian (284-305) it is reported that, 
while he tried to suppress Christianity, he allowed the 
Jews freedom of worship. Another story reported of 
him, to the effect that he ordered Judah Hanasi to 
appear before him on the Sabbath, wishing to punish 

: 28 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 29 


him for the insult he had suffered from Jewish boys, 
while a swineherd, is evidently legendary. Constan- 
tine (305-337), who removed all the disabilities from 
which the Christians had suffered, and according to 
some authors, a professing Christian himself, issued 
the first edict which discriminated against the Jews. 
This law prohibited the circumcision of a slave, and 
there is no doubt that it was intended to check propa- 
ganda for Judaism. 

Julian the Apostate (361-363), who wished to sup- 
press Christianity and attempted to reintroduce a 
refined worship of the old gods, is said to have at- 
tempted to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem. The 
church historians tell us that an earthquake and simi- 
lar accidents made this impossible. It is, however, 
not unlikely that the whole report was merely an 
invention to show that the Temple could never be 
rebuilt, and that all attempts to fight Christianity 
must be vain. 

The discrimination against the Jews became stronger 
when Theodosius issued the edict of Ravenna (380), 
which made the profession of Christianity a require- 
ment for all who held office under the government. 
After the death of Theodosius the Roman Empire was 
divided into an Eastern and a Western Empire. Pal- 
estine and the majority of the Jews were in the Eastern 
Empire, with its capital at Constantinople; and they 
remained subject to this rule until the Holy Land was 
conquered by the Mohammedans in 634. 

The legal treatment of the Jews, in both divisions 
of the Empire, was hostile, but the authorities tried 
to protect their lives and properties against the con- 
stantly increasing attacks of the mob. Such outbreaks 


30 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


occurred especially in the Greek cities of the Orient. 
Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, and St. Simeon, the 
Stylite, who for years lived on a pillar, stirred up the 
religious fanaticism of the masses by setting them 
against the Jews. These attacks resulted in loss of 
life and property, and when the emperors issued 
orders demanding the punishment of the lawless ele- 
ments, the ecclesiastic leaders condemned this action 
as the evidence of partiality toward the Jews. Under 
Emperor Justinian (527-565) we hear for the first 
time of an interference with the internal religious life 
of the Jews by the secular authorities. An edict of 
this Emperor prohibited the reading of the Deuterosis 
in the synagogue. The word isa literal translation 
of the word Mishnah, but as the Mishnah could not 
have been read in the synagogue, we must assume 
that other Rabbinic works or the Targum are meant. 
The Byzantine Empire frequently had wars with its 
Persian neighbor, and one of these which threatened 
to be very critical occurred under Emperor Heraclius 
(622-628). In this, the Jews at first sided with the 
Persians, but when the Emperor on his way to the 
East appeared in Palestine, he promised them an am- 
nesty if they would join his cause. This they did. 
On his return he broke his pledge, the monks assuring 
him of the divine pardon for this breach of faith, and 
punished the Jews severely for their defection. 


RELIGIOUS HISTORY OF THE ERA 


The position of the patriarch remained hereditary 
in the house of Judah Hanasi, until the office was abol- 
ished by the decree of Emperor Theodosius II (about 
420). The successors of Judah Hanasi were Gamaliel 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 31 


Ill, Judah II, Gamaliel IV, Judah Il, Hillel Il, Gama- 
liel V, Judah IV, and Gamaliel VI. These patriarchs, 

owever, were not prominent as scholars, and while 
they were the religious heads of the community, the 
prerogatives of the president of the school of Tiberias 
were transferred to a scholar of prominence. Thus 
Judah Hanasi himself appointed his son Gamaliel as 
his successor before his death, but Rabbi Hanina was 
named as president of the school. It is probable that 
the head of this school presided also over the court 
sessions, so that he was the Ab Beth Din; the Nasi, 
who formerly exercised these prerogatives, was the 
representative of the Jewish community only through 
the dignity of his office. 

Prominent among the disciples of Hanina were 
Johanan bar Nappaha, Simeon ben Lakish, and Eleazar 
bar Padath (250-280). Even at this period the Mish- 
nah was already considered revealed law, which 
the teacher could only explain, but not alter. We 
therefore very often find their names in the Tal- 
mud at the head of discussions of a passage in the 
Mishnah. They introduced the period of the Pales- 
tinian Amoraim, as the scholars following the era of 
the Mishnah are called in contradistinction to the 
teachers of the Mishnah, known as Tanaim. To the 
school of Johanan belong all prominent Palestinian 
rabbis of the succeeding generation. Prominent among 
them is Abbahu of Cesarea. He is known not merely 
as an expounder of the law but as a controversialist 
against Christianity. 

Tiberias continued to be the center of Jewish spirit- 
ual life, and quite a number of young scholars from 
Babylonia came there to finish their studies; some of 


32 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


them remained in Palestine. Of the teachers of the 
fourth century, little more than their names is known. 
Prominently mentioned, however, is Rabbi Jose, to 
whom is ascribed the final redaction of the Palestin- 
ian Talmud (350). At about this time Hillel II gave 
up the only tangible privilege of the Nasi, the an- 
nouncement of thecalendar. Instead of announcing 
the leap-year whenever it was necessary to postpone 
the Passover, fixed rules for the calendar were made. 
By this arrangement it became necessary to keep the 
second holydays, which had been celebrated in those 
places the messengers of the Nasi could not reach in 
time. Hillel ruled, however, that this practice had 
become hallowed by tradition, and that even hence- 
forth the Jews living outside of Palestine should con- 
tinue to celebrate two holydays. 

When finally the office of patriarch was abolished, 
Palestine lost its place as the spiritual center of 
Judaism. The study of the law declined, and from 
the middle of the fourth century we find in Palestine 
studies confined to homiletical and exegetical works, 
due in part to the controversies with the Christians. 
Some of their greatest teachers, such as Jerome, the 
translator of the Bible into Latin, were disciples of 
Palestinian rabbis. Of the homiletical explanations 
collections were made; these are called Midrash. The 
oldest of these collections is the Midrash Rabba to 
Genesis, compi!ed in the seventh century. 


BABYLONIA 


‘| Although in the fifth century B.C., Ezra is already 
mentioned as an expounder of the law, who had come 
from Babylon, although Hillel is said to have arrived 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 33 


in Palestine also from Babylon in the first century 
B.C. with a reputation for scholarship, and although 
Judah Hanasi is quoted as having said that the only 
man whose superiority he acknowledged was Huna, 
the Exilarch of Babylon, we find no distinct traces of 
literary activity in Babylon until the third century. 
At that time two men were prominent as scholars: 
Abba Areka, called Rab, and Samuel. Both had 
spent some time in Palestine, studying under Judah 
Hanasi. Rab was a member of the committee which 
assisted Judah Hanasi in the compilation of the Mish- 
nah. Before he left Palestine, he was ordained by 
Judah Hanasi somewhat restrictedly, because it was a 
rule that the full prerogatives of the members of the 
Sanhedrin could not be exercised outside of the Holy 
Land. Probably for this reason Judah Hanasi refused 
to confer ordination upon Samuel. Rab taught in 
Sura, and Samuel in Nehardea. Both these places 
were for centuries the seats of prominent schools. 

At this time, Rab was considered the greatest 
authority on ritual law, while Samuel was considered 
learned in civil law. Rab’s decisions are character- 
ized by rigorous interpretation of the law, especially 
as to Passover. Samuel accommodated himself more 
to the spirit of the times. From him we have the 
famous decision which makes the civil law of the 
country binding upon the Israelites as a religious obli- 
gation. He also partly abolished those laws of the 
Sabbatical year which had become obsolete, such as 
the cancellation of debts. He also declared that the 
celebration of the second holydays was unnecessary. 
He further laid down the principle that the Messianic 
prophecy merely meant the political independence of 


34 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


the Jews, and not a change in the condition of 
humanity. 

To the next generation (250-300) belong Nahman 
bar Jacob, who reformed the legal procedure by intro- 
ducing an oath in cases where formerly no oath had 
been necessary, Huna, Hisda, Shesheth and Judah bar 
Ezekiel, the last of whom was the founder of the new 
school of Pumbeditha, subsequently the most promi- 
nent of all Babylonian schools existing until the mid- 
dle of the eleventh century. The characteristics of 
this age were the growth of dialecticism, Pilpul, and 
the neglect of Biblical studies. To the succeeding 
generation belong Rabba bar Nahmani and Rab Jo- 
seph. The latter is known as the author or compiler 
of the Aramaic translation of the prophets (Targum), 
more a paraphrase than a translation. 

In the succeeding generation we have (350-380) Abaje 
and Raba, whose teachings are quoted as the most 
pronounced type of keen dialecticism. The most im- 
portant of Babylonian Amoraim is Rab Ashe (350-431) 
who compiled the commentaries and the discourses on 
the Mishnah, and so became, with his successor Rabina 
(died 499), the compilers of the Babylonian Talmud. 
The successors of these teachers are called Saboraim 
(reasoners). Of their chronology and work we know 
nothing with exactness except that they lived during 
the sixth and in the early part of the seventh century. 
They arranged the subject-matter of the Talmud, 
which they divided into chapters and to which they 
added some explanatory remarks. 


CHAPTER IV 


FROM THE RISE OF ISLAM (622) TO THE ERA 
OF THE CRUSADES (1096) 


JEWS had been living in Arabia long before the time 
of Mohammed, perhaps as early as the pre-Christian 
era. Their mode of life was like that of the Arabs. 
They were divided into tribes, and had fortified places 
to which they retreated in case of feuds with their 
Arab neighbors. Like the Arabs they had their war- 
riors, who were at the same time poets. A famous 
man from the time preceding Mohammed is Samuel 
ibn Adijah. He is known among the Arabs as a 
faithful friend, because when an Arab chieftain, one of 
his friends, sought refuge in his fortress, he allowed 
his son, who was in the hands of the enemy, to be 
killed rather than deliver the fugitive into their hands. 

Mohammed had frequent intercourse with the Jews, 
and received from them the first impetus to found a 
new religion in place of the crude worship of the old 
Arabs. He laid particular stress on converting the 
Jews to the new religion, which was to be a universal 
theocracy. For this purpose he adopted some of the 
Jewish ideas, customs, and modes of worship, the 
strict monotheistic idea, the fast of Yom Kippur and 
the turning toward Jerusalem in prayer. The Jews, 
however, were offended at his sensuality, and ridi- 
culed him for his ignorance. He therefore became 

35 





36 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


their enemy, and after the capture of one of their 
forts, killed the inhabitants who had surrendered. All 
other Jews were expelled from Arabia, which was to 
be a theocratically governed state, where only the 
religion of Mohammed would be tolerated. 

Under Mohammed’s successors, the Caliphs, Islam 
rapidly spread over a great part of Asia and the theo- 
cratic principle could not be maintained. Under 
Omar (634-644), who conquered Jerusalem in 637, a 
law called the Covenant of Omar governing the treat- 
ment of non-Mohammedans was proclaimed. By this 
law the Jews had to pay a poll-tax, and were exempt 
from military service. In spite of certain disabilities, 
they enjoyed a relative state of freedom, and, as the 
literature of the period proves, greeted the rise of 
Islam as a relief from the oppression they had suffered 
in Christian countries and in Persia. They also 
looked upon Islam as the first step toward the reali- 
zation of the Messianic kingdom. The improvement 
of their condition was especially manifest in Spain, 
which was conquered by the Mohammedans in 711. 


GERMANIC NATIONS 


Beginning with the fourth century, various Ger- 
manic tribes settled on the soil of the old Roman 
Empire, and began to establish independent kingdoms 
in the fifth century within its limits, until in 476 the 
last Emperor, who was a ruler in name only, was 
deposed. In Italy, where Theodoric had founded the 
kingdom of the Ostrogoths in 493, the Jews were 
fairly treated, although Theodoric, a fanatical Chris- 
tian, considered the Jews an undesirable element. He 
would, however, allow no injustice to be done them, 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 37 


and when a mob in Ravenna destroyed a synagogue 
in 519, he ordered the city to make restitution ; for this 
he was severely censured by Ambrosius, the Bishop of 
Milan. The Jews held the rule of the Goths to be 
preferable to that of the Byzantines, and in the war 
between these two powers, which ended with the 
overthrow of the Gothic kingdom (555) they aided 
the former, and their bravery in defending the city 
of Naples was highly praised by Greek historians. 
After a short period of domination by the Byzan- 
tines, the Longobards, another German tribe, con- 
quered Italy in 568. They do not seem to have taken 
any interest in the Jews, as their government was 
restricted to members of their own nationality. The 
Jews, as Roman citizens, were under the authority of 
the Roman government, which, as the Byzantines could 
not exercise any authority, was left almost entirely in 
the hands of the Bishop of Rome, the highest local 
dignitary. From the records of this period, we pos- 
sess information as to the attitude of Pope Gregory I 
(590-604), in dealing with Jewish affairs. While nat- 
urally not in sympathy with the Jews, he insisted that 


they be treated fairly. Thus, he ordered that a cross, 


which a Jewish convert to Christianity had placed ina 
synagogue to spite the Jews, be removed, and when 
a synagogue had been converted into a church, he 
ordered an indemnity paid to its former owners. But 
he very often censured the Frankish kings for allow- 
ing the Jews to hold public offices and to keep Chris- 
tian slaves. 
FRANCE 

The Merovingian kings who conquered Ancient 

Gaul in 496 were the first of the Germanic rulers to 


38 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


adopt the Roman Catholic religion. All the others 
were Arians. In the sixth century they treated the 
Jews kindly; we hear of a Jew named Priscus, a fa- 
vorite of King Hilperic (561-584), whom that king 
loved so well that he wished him converted to Chris- 
tianity. On one occasion Priscus discussed religious 
problems very freely in the presence of the King, with 
Bishop Gregory of Tours, and criticized Christian 
dogmas fearlessly. In spite of the representations of 
Pope Gregory I, the Frankish kings entrusted the Jews 
with offices, such as tax collector, and allowed them 
to deal in Christian slaves. Church councils, how- 
ever, as early as the fifth century, legislated against 
social intercourse between Christians and Jews. 


SPAIN 


The Visigoths, who ruled over Spain, treated the 
Jews worse than any other nation at that time. All 
the medizval disabilities, such as the seclusion of the 
Jews in certain quarters and the restriction of their 
worship, had their origin in that country. Frequently 
we hear of a law prohibiting the holding of Christian 
slaves by Jews. Repeatedly Jews were converted by 
force, and occasionally whole communities expelled. 
Bishop Isidore of Seville (560-630) wrote a book 
entitled ‘‘Against the Jews,’’ which was widely read 
and translated into different languages. His example 
was imitated in later times. In the Frankish king- 
dom, Agobard, Archbishop of Lyons (814-840), wrote 
five books on the Jews, the titles of which show his 
animus: ‘‘On the Insolence of the Jews,’’ ‘‘On the 
Necessity of Guarding Against Having Company with 
Jews,’’ etc. He opposed the law which prohibited the 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 39 


baptism of heathenish slaves owned by Jews and agi- 
tated for their social seclusion. Similar was the liter- 
ary activity of Amolo, Archbishop of Lyons (841-852), 
who wrote a book against the Jews and dedicated it 
to Emperor Charles III. 

Charlemagne (768-814) is reported to have called 
Kalonymus of Lucca to Mayence as chief rabbi of all 
the Jews of Germany; but this report is legendary. 
Equally unauthentic are laws ascribed to Charlemagne, 
among them the one imposing upon the Jews an igno- 
minious form of oath. A law of Charlemagne’s son 
Louis (814-840), required the markets to be held on 
Sundays in order to make it possible for the Jews to 
attend them. 

The Jews in those days were chiefly traders, import- 
ers of merchandise from foreign lands, and slave 
dealers, and acted as the pioneers of commerce in the 
countries of Western and Northern Europe. 


LITERARY ACTIVITY OF THE PERIOD 


The improvement in the condition of the Jews of 
Spain, which began with the Arabic conquest of that 
country in 711, made itself felt in their literary ac- 
tivity. Especially was this the case in the Caliphate 
of Cordova, under Abderrahman (912-961). At his 
court, Hasdai ibn Shaprut rose to prominence, and, 
like the Mohammedan nobles of the time, gathered 
around him a number of eminent authors and schol- 
ars. Among them were Menahem ben Saruk and 
Dunash ibn Labrat, who first laid the foundation for 
a scientific Hebrew grammar. Their disciples were 
Judah Hayug and Mervan ibn Ganah, called Marinus. 
The center of Jewish learning still remained in Baby- 


40 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


lonia, where, after the conquest of the Persians by the 
Mohammedans, a revival of learning took place. 

The two principal schools were those.of Sura and 
Pumbeditha, and at the head of each was a president, 
xna‘ndp wy. The one at Sura was the higher in rank, 
and was called Gaon (excellency), a title which later 
was transferred to the president of the school in Pumbe- 
ditha. The function of the Gaon was to preside over 
the regular course of studies, Sidra, and the popular 
extension course called Kalla, held. twice a year in the 
months preceding the Passover and the fall festivals. 
He further rendered decisions in important cases sub- 
mitted to him from all parts of the world. A num- 
ber of collections of these decisions called Teshubot 
(Responsa), have come down to us. They are written 
partly in Aramaic and partly in Arabic, according to 
the language in which the question was written. 

The Gaon licensed rabbis, or judges, as they were 
called, because their chief function was to act as 
judges in civil cases. These licenses were endorsed 
by the Exilarch, Resh Galutha, the political head of 
the communities in Babylonia, representing them be- 
fore the government and appointing the Gaon. The 
former, in turn, was appointed by the Caliph, and his 
office was hereditary as a rule. The oldest literary 
works of the period are collections of laws regarding 
matters of frequent occurrence, such as liturgy, 
mourning, the reception of proselytes, etc. They are 
known as the ‘‘Small Tractates,’’ and are usually 
found in the ninth volume of our editions of the 
Talmud. 

Other compendia of the law are the Halakot Gedo- 
lot by Simeon Kayara, written in the eighth century, 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 41 


and the Sheeltot of Ahai of Shabha, the latter arranged 
according to the Pentateuch, and containing some 
moral lessons besides the legal exposition of the text. 
The compilation of these works was opposed by the 
Gaonim, who considered them injurious to the study 
of the law and detrimental to their own authority. 

In the ninth century the first Talmudic dictionary 
yY was written by Zemah Gaon. His work has not 
come down to us, but most of it was incorporated in 
the Talmudic dictionary of the same name, written by 
Nathan of Rome in the eleventh century. The title 
has also been retained by subsequent compilers of 
Talmudic dictionaries, including the Aruch Comple- 
tum, edited by Alexander Kohut (1878-1892). At 
the same time Amram Gaon compiled the first liturgy, 
Seder Rab Amram, and thus is the originator of our 
present prayer-book. The form in which this com- 
pilation has come down to us is not as the original 
left the hands of its editor, for quite a number of later 
texts are found in it and its order of services is not 
exactly identical with any of the rituals in use at 
present. Still, it is the groundwork of the liturgy of 
Judaism to-day all over the world. 

From the same period dates, probably, the first Kab- 
alistic book which we possess, the ‘‘Sefer Yezirah’’ 
(Book of Creation). It may be called a theosophical 
treatise, written in the language and form of the Mish- 
nah, and based on the philosophy of the Pythagorean 
and Alexandrian schools. Its subject-matter naturally 
makes it obscure; from the tenth century at least it 
has been commented upon. Legend has ascribed its 
authorship to Rabbi Akiba, and even to Biblical per- 
sons such as Abraham. 


s 


42 } HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


In the ninth century we meet the first traces of a 
scientific literature. Prominent here is Saadya Gaon 
(892-942), born in Fayum, and called to Sura as 
Gaon, quite an unusual event. His literary activity 
extends over the whole field of Jewish literature. He 
wrote commentaries on the Bible besides an Arabic 
translation, and on Talmudic topics. He also com- 
posed religious hymns, but the most important of all 
his works is his myst) mioN (Dogma and Science), the 
first attempt at a scientific apology for Judaism from 
a philosophical point of view. His independence 
brought him into conflict with the Exilarch David ben 
Zakkai, to whose dictates he would not submit in a 
matter which he regarded as unjust; consequently he 
was deposed. Saadya contended that this act was 
illegal and excommunicated the Exilarch. The latter 
proved stronger and Saadya was forced into exile. 
Later on, however, they became reconciled, and 
Saadya was reinstated (934). 

The last two Gaonim of any importance lived in 
Pumbeditha. They were Sherira, who died in 999, 
and his son, Hay Gaon, who died in 1038. From the 
former we possess a very important historical treatise 
on the development of Rabbinic law known as the 
epistle of Sherira Gaon. It was written at the request 
of a man in Morocco, and was inspired by apologetic 
motives to prove that the law had been handed down 
unaltered from generation to generation. From Hay 
Gaon we have various Talmudic works, many responsa, 
and a didactic poem. Their contemporary was Samuel 
ibn Hofni, a rationalistic writer, who rejected the be- 
lief in the miracles related in the Talmud. Otherwise 
the age of the Gaonim is characterized by a blind faith, 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 43 


not only in Bible and Talmud, but also in popular 
superstitions and in the preservation of superstitious 
customs. Hay was succeeded by Hezekiah, who after 
holding his office for two years was put to death by 
the Caliph in 1040. After this time the office lost all 
significance. Names of a few of those who held office 
after this time are found, but nothing is known of 
their activity, nor has any literary work of this age 
come down to us. 

The blind faith which characterized the period of 
the Gaonim aroused considerable opposition, culminat- 
ing in the foundation of a religious sect called the 
Karaites, xp °32, ‘‘Sons of the Bible.’? Their founder 
was Anan ben David (760) who claimed the Bible as 
the only authority for faith and practice, and there- 
fore rejected all Rabbinic law. His successors founded 
a congregation in Jerusalem, and very soon spread in 
the East. The most prominent teachers of the Kara- 
ites are Benjamin of Nehawend, and Salman ben 
Jeroham, the latter of whom carried on a literary con- 
troversy with Saadya. Judah Hadassi, in the thir- 
teenth century wrote 1937 5awx, the standard work of 
the Karaite law, written in rhymed prose. Other im- 
portant Karaite scholars are Aaron ben Elijah, who 
died in 1369, the author of [Y }3, a compendium of 
the religious law, and ovn py, a work on religious 
philosophy. : 

In the fifteenth century Elijah Bashjazi wrote 
another compendium of the Karaite religion entitled 
Wex NN. By this period a large Karaite community 
settled in Lithuania, where Isaac of Troki wrote a 
very able polemical treatise directed against Chris- 
tianity, known as mnpK pin. In 1698, Jacob Trigland, 





44 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


professor at Leyden, made inquiries concerning the 
Karaites by means of a letter addressed to their chief 
sent through an ambassador to Poland. He received 
a reply, ‘277075, written by Mordecai ben Nissim. 
This was, for a long time, the only source of informa- 
tion on the history of the Karaites. The last Karaite 
author of any consequence was Abraham Firkovitch 
(1787-1874) of Russia, who discovered and published 
important Karaite documents. Some of these, how- 
ever, he forged in the interest of the Karaite claim 
that the Karaites represent the original Judaism from 
which the Rabbanites seceded. 

At the same time that the Karaite schism occurred, 
the Chazars, a Tartar tribe, were converted to Judaism. 
Reports of the existence of a Jewish kingdom had 
reached the Jews of Western Europe. Hasdai ibn 
Shaprut wrote a letter of inquiry on this. He received 
a reply from the King of the Chazars, and these two 
letters are the chief source of information concerning 
this remarkable event. Toward the end of the tenth 
century the kingdom of the Chazars was conquered by 
the Russians. Judah Halevi, who wrote his Kuzari 
about 1140, used the story of the conversion of the 
Chazar King in the form of a philosophic dialogue be- 
tween him and the rabbi who converted him. The 
knowledge he had of an independent Jewish state was 
the basis of the fanciful reports circulated by an 
adventurer who called himself Eldad Hadani and 
pretended to be a descendant of one of the lost ten 
tribes. Their habitation and modes of life he de- 
scribed in a book. He appeared in the tenth century 


in Morocco, but nothing is known as to what finally 
became of him. 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 45 


In the ninth century, the literature of religious 
hymns, Piyut, begins. The authors of these are called 
Payetanim (poets). Their works are characterized 
by arbitrary handling of the Hebrew grammar, by the 
creation of new words in an arbitrary style, and 
finally, by obscure allusions to the Midrash. The 
oldest of these poets are Jose ben Jose and Jannai. 
Their successor, Eleazar ben Kallir, is the most pro- 
lific of all. Of his life we know nothing with cer- 
tainty. 

The literary activity of the Jews of Europe began in 
the ninth century. The first work is probably the 
Josippon, a history of the Jews from the ‘destruction 
of Babylon by Cyrus to the downfall of Jerusalem in 
70, which was ascribed to Josephus Flavius. Another 
anonymous writer, who lived in Italy in the ninth 
century, is the author of the Midrash, called Pirke 
Rabbi Eliezer. But the first Jewish author who lived 
in Europe, known by name, is Sabbatai Donolo 
(913-982), who wrote on medicine, astrology, and 
Kabbala. 











CHAPTER V 
THE JEWS OF EUROPE (1040-1215) 


THE first mention of Jews in Germany is found in 
two orders of Emperor Constantine (321), in which he 


’ regulated the condition of the Jews of Cologne. It is 


possible that this settlement was of a temporary char- 
acter, for nothing is heard of the Jews in Germany 
until the tenth century. A statement to the effect 
that Charlemagne called Rabbi Kalonymus of Lucca in 
Italy to be Chief Rabbi of all the Jews of Germany is 
first reported in the sixteenth century, and is in all 
likelihood legendary. Under Charlemagne the Jews 
appear in Germany only as travelling traders. In 
1016, however, there was already a bloody persecution 
of the Jews in Mayence. Gershom ben Judah, a native 
of France, was rabbi in Mayence. He occupied so 
prominent a position that he was called rbin 7x 
(light of the exile). He wrote commentaries on 
various parts of the Talmud, responsa, other Talmu- 
dic works, and liturgical poetry. He died in 1028. 
To him are ascribed various rules, among them a 
prohibition of polygamy and an injunction to respect 
the secrecy of letters. At the same time there lived 
in Mayence Simeon bar Isaac, the liturgical poet, 
whose hymns are found in the ritual of the German 
Jews for the second day of Rosh Hashana. 

In 1090 Emperor Henry IV granted charters to the 
Jews of Worms and Speyer. These are the oldest 

46 


~ 











HISTORY OF THE JEWS 47 


laws regulating the status of the Jews in Germany, 
granting to them freedom of trade and travel, pro- 
claiming the inviolability of their cemeteries, and 
prohibiting the kidnapping and baptism of their chil- 
dren. Six years later the first crusade broke out, and 
the mobs composing the army of the crusaders on the 
Rhine invaded the Jewish settlements, chiefly Cologne, 
Mayence, Speyer and Worms, in that part of the coun- 
try. Houses were sacked, synagogues desecrated, and 
many Jews cruelly murdered; others committed suicide 
after killing their own children in order to save them 
from forced conversions. A number of Jews who had 
been converted to Christianity, in order to save their 
lives, later on returned to Judaism in spite of the 
ecclesiastic law which put this under the penalty of 
death. The Emperor, who at that time was in Italy, 
sanctioned this in spite of the protests of the Pope. 
Another persecution broke out in 1146, when the 
second crusade began. But the consequences were 
not as serious as those of the first crusade. Bernard 
of Clairvaux strongly condemned all acts of violence 
toward the Jews, who found refuge in the castles of 
the lords, and the Bishop of Speyer opened his castle, 
the Wolkenburg, to them, protecting them from the 
attacks of the mob. Still, in Wuerzburg, quite a 
number were killed, under the charge of having mur- 
dered a Christian. This may be considered the first 
blood-accusation on the European continent, although 
no particular motive for the crime was given. There 
is, however, a case on record in England in 1144, 
where the Jews were accused of having murdered a 
boy, William of Norwich, and nailed him to a cross in 


_ order to mock the crucifixion of Jesus. 





48 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


During the course of the twelfth century, local 
outbreaks of mob violence occurred everywhere in 
Europe, notably at Blois, France, in 1171, where thirty- 
four Jews were burned at the stake. In 1189, on the 
occasion of the coronation of King Richard Cceur de 
Lion, a bloody persecution took place in London, and 
soon spread over the other cities of the kingdom. 
Notable is the case of Benedict of York, who, in order 
to save his life, turned to Christianity and returned to 
Judaism on the next day. Both King Richard and 
the Archbishop of Canterbury permitted this, although 
it was against the canonical law. 

The climax of the ill-treatment of the Jews was 
reached in 1215, when the Lateran Council, presided 
over by Pope Innocent III, passed various laws repeat- - 
ing the usual prohibition against office-holding by 
Jews, and decreeing that they should wear a distinct 
mark on their outer garments. This is the origin of 
the Yellow Badge, which in some countries continued 
to be in force until the end of the eighteenth century. 
The Pope stated that the Jews should be like Cain, 
singled out for their wickedness, and that their treat- 
ment should be an object lesson to Christians. 


SPIRITUAL LIFE OF THE PERIOD 


The spiritual life of the Jews reached its highest 
development in Spain, where the contact with the cul- 
tured Arabs, whose language the Jews spoke, made the 
works of the ancient Greek philosophers and scientists 
accessible to them. In the beginning of the eleventh 
century Bahya ibn Pakuda, a philosopher, wrote ‘‘The 
Duties of the Heart,’’ perhaps the most popular work 
of this literature. His ideal of life is asceticism. 

















HISTORY OF THE JEWS 49 


His contemporary, Solomon ibn Gabirol (born 1022), 
wrote a philosophical book, ‘‘The Fountain of Life,’’ 
which, however, is only extant in a Latin translation. 
He also wrote an ethical treatise, ‘“‘The Choicest of 
Pearls,’? and some Hebrew poetry. His poems, of 
which quite a number have found place in the liturgy, 
are among the best works of their class. Of his 
secular poems in Hebrew, a wine song is the most 
famous. About the same time Samuel Hanagid was 
secretary to the King of Granada. He was not only a 
patron of Jewish learning but an author of considera- 
ble note. He wrote an introduction to the Talmud, 
and various works which are sequels to Biblical books, 
such as Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. His son, 
Joseph, succeeded him, and was killed in a riot in 
1060. 

The greatest Hebrew poet of medizval times is 
Judah Halevi (born about 1080, died 1141). Of his 
numerous poems, some are of a religious, others of a 
secular character. Of the latter the best known is a 
description of a sea voyage; of the former, the Ode to 
Zion, embodied in the ritual for the ninth of Ab and 
translated into various modern languages. He also 
wrote an apology for Judaism, called Kuzari, previ- 
ously mentioned, which presents its doctrines in the 
form of dialogues between the King of the Chazars 
and the rabbi who converted him. In 1140 he went 
to Palestine to spend the remainder of his days there. 
He seems to have died before he reached his goal. A 
younger contemporary is Abraham ibn Ezra (1092- 
1167). He was born in Spain, and travelled through 
a great part of Europe and the Orient. Of his numer- 
ous works, comprising the fields of poetry, Hebrew 











50 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


grammar, astrology, and other subjects, the most note- 
worthy is his commentary on the Pentateuch, which 
makes him rank as the first Biblical critic. He proved 
by his strong critical arguments that the Pentateuch 
aS we possess it does not come from Moses but was 
partly the product of later times. His contemporary 
is Moses ibn Ezra, a very prolific Hebrew poet, whose 
poems, however, suffer from an excessive play on 
words. It is not known whether the two Ibn Ezras 
were relatives. 

The most illustrious author of medizval times is 
Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides, born at Cordova, 
1135; died at Cairo, 1204). His first work was a 
commentary on the Mishnah, written in Arabic, and 
translated into Hebrew by Samuel ibn Tibbon. This 
work was a preparation for the greatest work of his 
life, the ‘‘Mishneh Torah,’’ in which he presents the 
whole doctrine and law of Judaism. It is written in 
clear Hebrew, and, while in the law following the Rab- 
binic sources, it shows here and there, especially in 
the dogmatic part, the author’s object to harmonize 
Judaism with philosophical thought. He is the author 
of a philosophic work, ‘‘The Guide of the Perplexed,’’ 
written in Arabic and known by its Hebrew title, 
Moreh Nebukim. His object of harmonizing religion 
with philosophy is made manifest in the first part of 
this work by his attempt to explain the anthropomor- 
phic passages of the Bible. He also explains prophecy 
as a divine gift and tries to present reasons for the 
divine laws, showing that they are intended for the 
instruction and the material and moral elevation of 
mankind. The book was translated into Hebrew by 
Samuel ibn Tibbon in the twelfth century, and by 








HISTORY OF THE JEWS 51 


Judah Alcharizi in the thirteenth. It was at an early 
date translated into Latin, and in recent times into 
various modern languages. Maimonides in addition 
wrote quite a number of works on scientific subjects, 
notably on medicine, and various Rabbinic works. 
He was physician in ordinary to the Sultan. 

Of the Talmudists of this period, the greatest is Solo- 
mon ben Isaac (Rashi) of Troyes (1040-1105). He 
wrote a commentary on almost the whole Babylonian 
Talmud printed in all Talmuds, and a standard work 
to-day. He is the author of commentaries on most of 
the Biblical books. His commentary on the Penta- 
teuch contains in clear and concise language the Rab- 
binic interpretation of the Mosaic law and well-chosen 
homiletical interpretations from the Midrash, and is 
one of the most popular works in the Rabbinic litera- 
ture. It has been printed with the text of the 
Pentateuch innumerable times, and is a very popular 
text-book in Jewish study circles all over the world. 
Rashi wrote other Rabbinic works and religious 
hymns. The most prominent Rabbinic author of this 
period in Spain was Isaac Alfasi (born in Fez, 1013; 
died in Spain, 1103). He wrote an abridged Talmud, 
omitting all discussions of matters not of legal inter- 
est and all the laws not in force after the destruction 
of the Temple. By this method he facilitated the ren- 
dering of legal decisions. In Italy there lived at this 
time Nathan ben Jehiel of Rome, who wrote a Tal- 
mud dictionary ‘‘Aruk,’’ using the work of the same 
title by Zemach Gaon. 

Rashi’s grandsons, Samuel, Isaac and Jacob ben 
Meir were also prominent Talmudic authors. Samuel 
ben Meir (Rashbam) wrote several Talmudic treatises, 








52 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


supplements to his grandfather’s commentaries, and a 
commentary on the Pentateuch somewhat more free 
from the blind, unrestricted submission to Rabbinic 
authority which characterizes his grandfather’s work. 
The greatest Talmudist among the brothers was Jacob 
ben Meir (Rabbenu Tam, died 1171), whose chief 
work is ‘‘Sefer Hayashar,’’ in which he proclaims the 
principle that the contradictions in the Talmud must 
be harmonized. These men are the founders of a 
school of authors known as Tosafists, from ‘‘Tosafot’’ 
(Additions), glosses to Rashi’s Talmud commentary. 
These glosses are printed in most of our editions of 
the Talmud. Through the activities of these men the 
French province of Champagne and Western Germany 
became the chief seats of Rabbinic studies. 








CHAPTER VI 
PERIOD OF OPPRESSION (1215-1492) 


DURING the thirteenth century the persecutions of 
the Jews continued, although they are of a more spo- 
radic character than those of the time of the crusades. 
In 1235 a number of Jews were killed in Fulda on the 
charge of ritual murder. This is the first distinct 
case of its kind, but was frequently repeated in France 
and various places in Germany, although Emperor 
Frederick II (1236) and Pope Innocent IV (1247) de- 
fended the Jews against this accusation. 

An important change in the political condition of 
the Jews resulted from the law of Frederick the Belli- 
gerent of Austria (1244). In this law the territorial 
ruler for the first time proclaimed his right to legislate 
for the Jews, heretofore considered the exclusive priv- 
ilege of the Emperor of Germany, as overlord of all 
the Jews. This law deals largely with the regulation 
of money-lending. It permits a very high rate of in- 
terest, and allows the Jews to be tried in accordance 
with their own laws. It prohibits all violence toward 
the persons and properties of the Jews, their syna- 
gogues and cemeteries, and forbids the forcible bap- 
tism of Jewish children. It became the prototype for 
all similar medizval legislation, and was repeated 
almost verbatim in subsequent laws issued by the 
kings of Bohemia, Hungary, the Dukes of Saxony and 


Silesia, and others during the thirteenth century. 
53 








WM 54 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


In England, the Jews were constantly being black- 
Hi mailed by King John (1199-1216) and by King Henry 
i III (1216-1272). The most notable and typical in- 

stance of the extortion of money from the Jews, is 
{ that reported of King John, who imprisoned a Jew 

and ordered that one of his teeth should be drawn 

every day until he agreed to pay the sum demanded of 

him. The heavy taxes laid upon the Jews forced 
WW them to charge higher rates of interest, thus embitter- 
a ing the people against them, and making them so 
alii miserable that they asked to be permitted to emigrate. 
vii Finally Edward I, in 1290, ordered the expulsion of all 
the Jews from England. They were permitted to take 
: | their property with them, and a sea captain, who put 
Bhi) the Jewish exiles aboard his vessel on a sand bar 
Sih) where they were drowned by the high tide, was put to 





dh death. 
f In France the vassals possessed power independent 


P of the crown. There the Jews were expelled from the 
I territory of the king and recalled several times during 
the fourteenth century. At each expulsion they were 
robbed, so that an assembly of Jewish notables pro- 
posed to declare it unlawful, under penalty of excom- 
munication, for any Jew to settle in territory from - 
which the Jews had been previously expelled. Judah 
Hechasid, author of a book on religious ethics, how- 
ever, condemned this resolution because it would not 
z|| be effective and merely cause the Jews to transgress 
d the law. 
| A very serious persecution broke out in Franconia, 
| in 1298, the Jews being accused of desecrating the 
te host in Roettingen. This is the first case of this kind, 
BI |, often repeated up to the sixteenth century. The 











HISTORY OF THE JEWS 55 


leader of the mob was a man named Rindfleisch. 
Another bloody persecution broke out in Alsace, in 
1336, under the leadership of an innkeeper, John Arm- 
leder, so called because he fastened to his arm a patch 
of leather which was imitated by all his followers. 
These riots were finally suppressed after having 
brought great misery upon the Jews, but the evil-doers 
were not punished. 

The most serious persecutions broke out in 1348- 
1349, during the so-called Black Plague which spread 
all over Europe. As a reason for these attacks the 
rumor was circulated that the Jews had poisoned the 
wells or had smeared some poisonous salve on the 
doors. In many cases the Jews were killed and their 
houses sacked. The protection of the Emperor availed 
them nothing; even if the Emperor threatened a city 
with punishment for breach of the peace, the affair 
was usually compromised by allowing the city to 
retain part of the plunder taken from the Jews, the 
Emperor taking the rest. The Flagellants, who ap- 
peared at about this time, by their religious fanati- 
cism also stimulated the hatred against the Jews. 

Other annoyances were frequent. On the basis of 
the view that the Jews were chattels of the king, 
various rulers occasionally declared void the bonds 
held by the Jews. The most typical instance is that 
of Wenzel, King of Bohemia and German Emperor, 
who in 1385 annulled all the bonds held by Jews and 
accepted from the debtors a fraction of their debts in 
settlement. 

During the fifteenth century frequent expulsions 
took place. The cities, originally small settlements 
where the Jews were the merchants and bankers, had 











56 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


grown in size and importance, and the citizens were 
jealous of their successful Jewish competitors. Such 
expulsions were often ordered under the excitement 
aroused by some false accusation. Thus, in 1421, the 
Jews of Vienna were accused of having desecrated 
the host, and a number of them were publicly burned 
at the stake, all the others being expelled from the 
city and the entire province. Such expulsions took 
place in 1426 at Cologne, the oldest Jewish settlement 
in Germany, in 1440, at Wittenberg, and in 1475 at 
Bamberg. 

The religious troubles of this period contributed to 
turn the people against the Jews. The Hussites were 
then a great menace to the Church, and John Capis- 
trano, an Italian monk, preached against them in 
various places in the kingdom of Bohemia. Every- 
where he set the mob against the Jews, and occasion- 
ally as at Breslau in 1453, he tried them on the charge 
of ritual murder. A number of Jews were burned at 
the stake, and many others expelled. From other 
cities of that kingdom, as Bruenn and Olmuetz, the 
Jews were expelled. 

Another Catholic revivalist, Bernardin of Feltre, 
appeared in Trent, where he arranged a ritual murder 
trial. The body of a boy named Simon was found, 
and the Jews were accused of having murdered him 
(1475). Again a number of Jews were cruelly put to 
death and the remainder expelled in spite of the fact 
that the Doge of Venice exonerated them from the 
charge, and that the Pope declared the accusation to 
be baseless. Simon was considered a martyr and 
later on made a saint. A similar charge was brought 
against the Jews of Ratisbon, but they succeeded in 








HISTORY OF THE JEWS 57 


proving their innocence. The expulsions continued. 
In 1499 the Jews were expelled from Nuremberg and 
Ulm, in 1493 from Magdeburg, in 1496 from the prov- 
ince of Styria, and somewhat later from Ratisbon and 
Saxony. The exiles sought refuge in villages and 
little towns under the rule of the nobles, or emigrated 
to Poland, where, toward the end of the fifteenth 
century, there was already a considerable Jewish set- 
tlement. This soon became in numbers the most im- 
portant in Europe. 


FRANCE 


Under Louis IX (1226-1270), a religious fanatic, 
the Jews were treated badly. In 1236 a mob of cru- 
saders attacked them, and wrought great suffering 
among them. In 1240 Nicholas Donin, a converted 
Jew, brought charges against the Talmud as contain- 
ing statements which were blasphemous to the Chris- 
tian freligion. Consequently all copies that could be 
found were seized and in cart-loads were publicly 
burnt at Paris in 1244. In 1254 the King decreed the 
expulsion of all the Jews from France, but the decree 
was repealed under Philip IV (1288-1314). All the 
Jews found in the kingdom were imprisoned and their 
property confiscated under Philip’s successor, Louis X. 

They were recalled in 1315, but under Philip V 
suffered greatly from a fanatical mob, known as Shep- 
herd Crusaders. After many vicissitudes their final 
expulsion was decreed in 1394. Only in the south of 
France, where the feudal barons still had sovereign 
rights, and in the Papal possessions at Carpentras and 
Avignon, a few isolated Jewish communities, with a 
ritual of theirown, remained. Most of the Jews exiled 














58 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


from France went to the adjoining German territories 
of Alsace and Lorraine, and when these territories 
were annexed to France in the sixteenth and seven- 
teenth centuries, the Jews were permitted to remain 
there. But they were not allowed to settle in France 
proper until 1791. 


SPAIN 


The Christian kingdoms in the latter part of the 
Middle Ages continually expanded, so that the Moors 
were restricted to the southern part of the peninsula. 
The growing religious fanaticism of the Christians 
affected the condition of the Jews unfavorably, but 
individuals rose to prominence as financiers or physi- 
cians. James VIII of Aragon ordered a public dispu- 
tation between Jews and Christians held at Barcelona 
in 1263. The Jewish side was defended by Moses 
ben Nachman, and, although he had been assured per- 
fect freedom of speech, the Christians took such offence 
at his remarks that they demanded his execution. 
The King sent him instead into. exile. He went to 
Palestine, where he died. Alphonso X (1254-1284), 
of Castile, employed Don Isaac, a Jew, as his astrono- 
mer. Alphonso’s constitution, regulating the condi- 
tion of the Jews, is rather severe. They were restricted 
in their commercial activity and compelled to wear 
yellow badges. 

In a civil war between Peter the Cruel (1350-1369) 
and Henry II (1369-1379) the Jews sided with the 
former, and although Henry was victorious he treated 
them with moderation. In 1391 Ferdinand Martinez 
began to preach violent sermons against the Jews in 
Toledo, the largest. Jewish community of Spain. His 











HISTORY OF THE JEWS 59 


example was followed in many other places, and in 
consequence of these incendiary speeches, riots broke 
out all over Christian Spain. A great many Jews 
were killed or forcibly converted to Christianity. 
Many of the latter fled as soon as they were able to 
do so to Mohammedan countries in order to be able to 
practice the Jewish religion openly. They were called 
Marannos, probably from the Hebrew pom» (excom- 
municated). The Jews called them o'p128 (compelled 
to profess the Christian religion). 

In 1413-1414 another public disputation between 
Jews and Christians was arranged by Pope Benedict 
XIII, one of the three who claimed the Papal throne 
at that time. It took place in Tortosa, Aragon. The 
idea had been suggested to the Pope by Solomon 
Halevi, a converted Jew who called himself Paul and 
later on became Bishop of Burgos. He was an influ- 
ential friend of the King of Castile. Another convert, 
a Jewish scholar like Paul, had written a satire 
against Paul and his conversion. This was Joshua 
Alorqui, who as a Christian took the name of Geron- 
imo de Santa Fe, and was derisively called by the 
Jews 413, ‘‘Blasphemer.’’ 

Among those who took up the cudgels for the Jews 
at Tortosa was Joseph Albo, author of the philosophic 
work ‘‘Ikkarim.’’ The many converts whom the 
Church forced to remain ‘in her fold while they were 
Jews at heart and secretly practiced Judaism, pro- 
voked the ecclesiastic authorities. For their sakea 
special court of inquiry, called the ‘‘Inquisition,’’ 
was created in 1480. This may be defined as a court- 
martial to try cases of heresy. It proceeded with the 
utmost severity and with absolute disregard of the 











60 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


most elementary forms of court procedure. From 
time to time it arranged public executions, at which 
those convicted of heresy were burned at the stake, 
often after having undergone terrible’ tortures. Such 
an execution was called an auto-da-fe. 

In 1483 Thomas Torquemada was appointed Grand 
Inquisitor, and he was assisted by the blind monk, 
Peter Arbues. During the time of the existence of 
the Inquisition (1480-1808), 31,712 were burned at 
the stake and hundreds of thousands were punished 
with imprisonment, confiscation of property, or were 
publicly disgraced. One of the latter kinds of pun- 
ishment was the sentence compelling the victim to 
wear a hideous penitential gown, the San Benito. 
Peter Arbues was assassinated by Marannos, and 
Pope Pius IX declared him a saint in 1868. The vic- 
tims of the Inquisition were, mostly converted Jews, 
although there were also Moors and native Christians 
among them. In spite of the terrors of the Inquisi- 
tion, the Jews assisted the Marannos in the observance 
of the Jewish religion, and this was the cause of the 
edict of expulsion promulgated by Ferdinand, King of 
Castile, and his wife Isabella, Queen of Aragon, on 
March 30, 1492, soon after the capture of Granada, 
the last Moorish stronghold in Spain. 

Most of the exiled fled to Portugal, where they found 
a temporary home. But when Manuel, King of Por- 
tugal, married the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, 
it was stipulated in the marriage contract that the 
Jews should be expelled from that country also. This 
expulsion took place in 1498. Most of the exiles 
went to Turkey, where they were kindly received. 
Others went to the Barbary States in Northern Africa, 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 61 


and especially to Morocco. A number went to Italy 
and settled in the various cities, even in the Papal 
possessions. Still there were a great many Marannos 
left in Spain, and while they were compelled to pro- 
fess and practice the Catholic religion, they remained 
Jews for many generations. Hence up to the end of 
the eighteenth century, they were always autos-da-fe 
held at which Jews were publicly burned. From time 
to time the wealthy Marannos would escape and seek 
refuge in countries where they were permitted to 
publicly practice their religion. 


ITALY 


Italy was split up into many petty states whose 
boundary lines were constantly shifting. The treat- 
ment of the Jews varied in its details according to 
time and locality but is the same in general through- 
out medizval times. It was characterized by restric- 
tion of economic liberty and humiliation in social 
position. The Jews produced quite a number of emi- 
nent scholars, physicians (sometimes attending on the 
Popes), astronomers and translators of Arabic works 
into Latin. Their economic activity was largely con- 
fined to money-lending and, in the fourteenth century, 
they became the pioneers of banking by combining 
the pawn-shops in a certain city into companies which 
were given the exclusive privilege of money-lending. 

In the fifteenth century clerical agitation became 
very strong, and loan associations were formed under 
priestly management to suppress money-lending by 
Jews. One of the most notable agitators in this re- 
spect was Bernardin of Feltre, who is known through 
his participation in the ritual murder trial at Trent 











62 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


(1475). Italy became a force in Jewish culture by the 
establishment of the first Hebrew printing presses. 
The first book printed seems to have been published 
in 1474. One of the earliest printed books was the 
“*Psalms’’ with the commentary of David Kimhi, 
1475. The edict of the expulsion of the Jews from 
Spain affected also those of Sicily and southern Italy, 
at that time Spanish dependencies. Since that period 
there has existed no Jewish community in that part of 
Italy. 
HUNGARY 


In Hungary the Jews settled at a very early date. 
They were tax-farmers and financiers. Our first 
documentary evidence goes back to 1251, when King 
Bela IV granted them a charter, essentially a repro- 
duction of that granted by the Duke of Austria in 
1244. Under Louis (1342-1382) they were given the 
alternative of expulsion or conversion to Christianity. 
During the fifteenth century the Jews suffered from 
persecution and expulsion. 


POLAND 


In Poland the Jews appear in the thirteenth century 
as fa small community without any intellectual life. 
In 1264 they obtained their first charter, this being 
confirmed by Casimir the Great (1333-1370). It is 
also a reproduction of the Austrian law of 1244. 
When Capistrano appeared (1450) in Poland the Jews 
suffered from mob attacks but fared not as badly as 
those of Bohemia. The persecution of the Jews in 
Western Europe, beginning with the crusades, drove 
many of them to emigrate to the large and thinly 
settled kingdom of Poland. Hence toward the close 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 63 


_ of the fifteenth century, Poland was the center of 
Rabbinic learning and has to-day proportionately the 
largest Jewish population in the world. 


THE EAST 


In 1187 Saladin reconquered Jerusalem. From that 
time Jews began to emigrate to Palestine and Egypt. 
The persecution of the Jews through the Inquisition 
and their expulsion from Spain drove many to Morocco 
and Algeria. The conquest of Constantinople by the 
Turks in 1453 brought many Jews to the Balkans, 
and the number of the immigrants was so large that 
their dialect, Ladino, became the universal language 
of the Jews of the East, just as in Poland and Hun- 
gary the immigrants from Germany made Yiddish 
predominant. 


JEWISH LITERATURE, 
THIRTEENTH TO FIFTEENTH CENTURY 


From the thirteenth century the spiritual life of the 
Jews declined. Talmudic literature, ritualism and 
Kabbala were almost exclusively cultivated. Poetry, 
exegesis, philosophy and scientific literature were con- 
stantly declining. The most prominent representative 
of Maimonides’ tradition is David Kimhi of Narbonne, 
1170-1230. He wrote a Hebrew Grammar, Sy$on, and 
commentaries to most of the Biblical books. He also 
took an active part in the defense of Maimonides’ 
works when the orthodox of Spain and France, influ- 
enced by the zeal of the Dominican Friars in their 
attack on the Albigenses and the scholastic philosophy, 
wished to commit the ‘‘Moreh’’ to the flames. Be- 
sides Kimhi two members of his family are noted for 














64 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


grammatical and exegetical works. These are his 
father Joseph and his brother Moses. To Southern 
France belongs also the family of Ibn Tibbon, four 
generations of which were prominent translators of 
philosophical, Rabbinic and scientific books from 
Arabic into Hebrew. 

Judah the Elder (1100-1150) translated Bahya’s 
‘‘Duties of the Heart,’? Saadya’s ‘‘Dogma and 
Science,’? and Judah Halevi’s ‘‘Kuzari.’’ His son 
Solomon translated Maimonides’ ‘‘Moreh’’ and the 
commentary on the Mishna. But the orthodox party 
prevailed in their opposition to Maimonides, and in 
1233 the ‘‘Moreh’’ was publicly burned at Paris. The 
Dominicans, who had been appealed to, extended their 
inquisitory activities, and on the testimony of Nicholas 
Donin, a converted Jew, charged the Talmud with 
hostility to the Christians. All copies of the book 
that could be found were burned at Paris in 1244. In 
spite of these attacks philosophical studies did not die 
out completely. In the fourteenth century Levi ben 
Gershom (1288-1344) flourished in Southern France. 
His philosophical work, ‘‘The Wars of the Lord,’’ is an 
attempt to reconcile Judaism with Platonic philosophy. 
He also invented an astronomic instrument in which 
the great astronomer Kepler was much interested. 

To the fourteenth century belongs Hasdai Crescas, 
whose commentary to Maimonides’ ‘‘Moreh’’ and 
philosophical treatise, ‘‘The Light of the Lord,’’ have 
great scientific value. Of little independent value 
is the work ‘‘Ikkarim’’ (Fundamental Principles), by 
Joseph Albo (1380-1440). He is an imitator of Mai- 
monides; but, instead of thirteen fundamental articles 
of faith, he recognized only three—God, revelation 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 65 


and the future life. To the school of the preachers 
belongs Isaac Arama, whose work, ‘‘Akedat Yizhak,’’ 
is a philosophical interpretation of the Midrash, and 
follows the weekly portions of the Haggadic writers. 

Isaac Abarbanel, born in Lisbon, 1447, died in 
Venice, 1508, wrote various dogmatic treatises in 
which, as in his commentaries on the Pentateuch, he 
outlined his views. He showed little independence, 
sometimes plagiarized, and is very verbose. He put 
together a great number of questions on some topic in 
Biblical literature, and attempted to answer them. 
From this time philosophy and scientific literature are 
on the decline. The intellectual activity of the Jews 
is confined mostly to Rabbinic literature. 

Secular subjects are rarely taken up until the end 
of the eighteenth century. Then a revival of secular 
knowledge and scientific literature took place. | Of 
the scientific writers Jacob Anatoli, 1200-1250, in 
Italy, translated serious scientific works from Arabi¢ 
and Hebrew into Latin for Frederick II. Kalonymos 
ben Kalonymos of Rome, 1280-1340, wrote an ethical 
treatise, ‘‘Eben Bohan’’ (Tried Stone from Isaiah 
XXviii, 16), and a travesty on the Talmud, ‘‘Masseket 
Purim.’’ To the same period belong Immanuel ben 
Solomon of Rome, a friend of Dante, author of 
‘‘Mehabberot,’’ a poem in the style of the ‘‘Divina 
Commedia.’’ This in some places is lascivious, and 
was condemned by Joseph Caro in the ‘‘Shulhan 
Aruk.’’ In the style of Dante, Moses Rieti (1388- 
1460) wrote his ‘‘Mikdash Meat.’’ 

To the fifteenth century belong Judah Messer Leon 
of Mantua, who wrote a text-book on rhetoric in 
Hebrew, Nofet Zufim (honeycombs), and Elijah del 








66 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


Medigo, a native of Crete, who was professor of phi- 
losophy in Padua. He wrote an apology for Judaism 
in Hebrew, ‘‘Behinat Ha-Dat’’ (Evidenced Religion). 
In this class the polemical writers against Christianity 
are included. Joshua Allorqui of Spain, who later on 
became a convert to Christianity, wrote such a polem- 
ical treatise under the title ‘‘Be not like thy fathers.’’ 
In scientific literature we have the anthology of 
the Midrashim called ‘‘Yalkut Shimeoni,’’ by Simeon 
Kara (the Bible reader) of the thirteenth century. 
This is a selection of homiletical expositions from old 
Rabbinic works arranged in the order of the books of 
the Bible. A similar work is the ‘‘Yalkut Machiri’”’ 
of uncertain date, but most likely from the fourteenth 
century, by Machir ben Aba Mari. Only parts of it 
are in existence. 


TALMUDIC LITERATURE 


In the beginning of the thirteenth century, ortho- 
dox authorities in France and Spain attacked Maimon- 
ides’ philosophy. Their leaders were Meir Abulafia in 
Spain, and Solomon ben Abraham of Montpellier in 
France. They denounced the work of Maimonides to 
the Dominicans, and the latter burned it publicly at 
Paris in 1244. Of Talmudic authorities who possessed 
secular learning and worked in the field of exegesis the 
most prominent was Moses ben Nachman of Gerona 
(Ramban, 1200-1270). His commentary on the Pen- 
tateuch contains sound exegetical views, is strictly 
traditional and gives space to Kabalistic interpreta- 
tions. He indulged in vehement invectives against 
Ibn Ezra, and in his notes on Alfasi vehemently 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 67 


attacked Zerahiah Halevi for his critical remarks on 
Alfasi in ‘‘The Wars of the Lord.’’ 

One of the most prominent Spanish Rabbis was 
Solomon Ibn Adret (Rashba), in the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries. He was opposed to philosophy 
and issued a prohibition that no one should read the 
Moreh before he was twenty-five years old. He pro- 
fessed a belief in every statement in the Talmud, even 
if in conflict with well-known scientific facts. He 
left thousands of responsa. 

A younger contemporary of his is Asher ben Yechiel, 
a disciple of Meir of Rothenburg (German rabbi of the 
thirteenth century), who emigrated to Spain in 1305 
and died in Toledo in 1327. He wrote a work on the 
plan of that by Alfasi, making an abstract of the 
practical laws of the Talmud. It is printed in most 
of the Talmud editions, and quoted as Rosh. He had 
eight sons who were Talmudic scholars, and of these 
the most prominent was Jacob ben Asher, who died 
in 1350. He wrote an important set of codes of 
the Rabbinic law, called Turim. The first, Orah 
Hayyim, treated chiefly of liturgics, the second, Eben 
Haezer, of matrimonial laws, the third, Yoreh Deah, 
of dietary laws, the fourth, Hoshen Mishpat, of civil 
laws. : 

Another disciple of Meir of Rothenburg was Mor- 
decai ben Hillel, who was killed in Nuremberg during 
the Rindfleisch riots of 1298. He wrote notes to Al- 
fasi’s code of value, because of their many historical 
references. To the fourteenth century belongs Isaac 
ben Sheshet (Ribash) of Barcelona, who fled after the 
persecution of 1391, and became Chief Rabbi of Al- 
giers, where he died about 1410. In his decisions 











68 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


he is very orthodox, but distinguished by his humani- 
tarian views. Thus he forced his congregations to 
rescind an order against the landing of further immi- 
grants. His successor was Simeon ben Zemach Duran, 
whose responsa are collected under the title (Tashbez). 
He is supposed to have been the first rabbi who 
received a salary. In Italy, in the thirteenth century, 
Isaiah di Trani the Elder, and his grandson, Isaiah di 
Trani the Younger, flourished. 

In the latter half of the fifteenth century Joseph 
Colon wrote a volume of responsa. His opponent was 
Elijah Kapsali. Of special interest in Colon’s deci- 
sions is the case of the congregation of Nuremberg, in 
which he held that all German congregations were 
obliged to contribute toward the expenses of the trial 
of Israel Bruna, who was accused of complicity in the 
murder of a Christian child in 1477. In Germany the 
most important rabbi of the fifteenth century was 
Israel Isserlein of Marburg, 1400-1470, author of 
Terumat Ha-Deshen, a collection of responsa contain- 
ing important historical notes. When the authori- 
ties in Breslau issued a law that Jews had to swear 
with uncovered head and by the name Yahve, he 
permitted it, provided it was not meant as an attempt 
to convert the Jews. 

The German and French rabbis in the thirteenth 
century were characterized by their strict adherence 
to authority and rigorous view of the law. The most 
prominent is Judah ben Samuel Hechasid, author 
of ‘‘Sefer Hasidim.’’ Eleazar ben Jehudah of Worms, 
a descendant of the Kalonymos family, and author of 
Rokeah (druggist), is a type of this ascetic school. 
Another is Moses of Coucy, author of a compendium 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 69 


of the 613 commandments Sefer Mizwot Haggadol, 
abbreviated Semag. 

In the thirteenth century the study of Kabbala 
received strong impetus from Isaac, the blind, son of 
Rabed. His discipies were Ezra and Ezriel; their 
disciple was Ramban, and he introduced Kabbala 
into his commentary on the Pentateuch. About 1390 
Moses of Leon wrote the Zohar, a Kabbalistic Midrash 
on the Pentateuch, which he claimed was written by 
Simeon ben Yohai, disciple of Akiba, and discovered 
by him inacave. It is written in Aramaic. 








CHAPTER VII 
THE PERIOD OF IMPROVEMENT (1492-1791) 


THE Jews of Spain went to Turkey, North Africa, 
Oriental countries, and especially to Palestine. They 
came in such numbers that their language, the so- 
called Ladino, became the language of the Jews in 
these countries, taking the place of Arabic and Greek. 
Sultan Bajazed II, 1481-1513, is reported to have said 
that he could not understand why Ferdinand of Spain 
should be called a wise king, since he had impover- 
ished his own country and enriched Turkey. Jews 
stood very high at Court. Joseph Hamon was physi- 
cian to Sultans Bajazed II and Selim I (1512-1520) 
and his son, Moses Hamon, to Sultan Soliman II 
(1520-1566). Joseph Mendes (died 1579) and his 
aunt, Gracia, whose daughter Reyna he had married, 
were Marranos who had fled from Spain to Antwerp, 
then to Venice, and finally to Constantinople. Joseph 
was a special favorite of the Sultan, who forced the 
Republic of Venice to surrender the property of Don- 
na Gracia, which had been confiscated. The Sultan 
made. Joseph Duke of Naxos, and he seriously con- 
templated the establishment of a Jewish state there. 
Owing to Don Joseph’s influence, the Pope was forced 
to free a number of Marranos who had been impris- 
oned in the Papal States and charged with apostasy. 
A number of Jews, prompted by Messianic expecta- 
tions, founded settlements in Jerusalem and Safed. 

70 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 71 


In Italy the condition of the Jews changed for the 
worse. Venice established the first ghetto, called thus 
after the gun foundry ‘‘Gietto’’ in the vicinity. At 
the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the six- 
teenth century the Popes employed Jewish physicians, 
such as Bonet del Lattes under Leo X. But Paul IV 
and Pius V issued oppressive laws against the Jews, 
restricting their commercial activity to trading in 
cast-off clothing, enforcing the marks of distinction, 
Jew Badges, and ordering the censorship of Hebrew 
literature. The reaction against Protestantism and 
the foundation of the Jesuit order further tended to 
make the condition of the Jews still worse. The 
Council of Trent, 1563, prohibited the Talmud alto- 
gether, but later on modified its decree to the effect 
that the word Talmud should not be printed on the 
title page of the work and that every edition should 
be submitted to the ecclesiastic censor aided by Jewish 
converts. Prominent among the latter were Elijah and 
Solomon Romano, grandsons of Elijah Levita. 

The Italian Jews, in order to obviate the dangers 
arising from informations against Jewish literature, 
decided in 1564 that no book should be printed with- 
out the consent of three prominent rabbis and the 
trustees of the congregation in the district where the 
press was located. By these measures the Hebrew 
printing trade, which had flourished in Italy during 
the first half of the sixteenth century, was ruined and 
the press transferred to Poland. There, owing to the 
low state of industry, the art of printing declined. 

The frequent expulsions and the constant oppres- 
sions fostered Messianic hopes. In 1507 a Messianic 
pretender arose in Northern Italy. His name was 











72 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


Asher Lemlein. Of the particulars of his career we 
know nothing. Of greater importance is the appear- 
ance of a man who called himself David Reubeni in 
Venice, 1522. He pretended to be the brother of the 
reigning king of the tribe of Reuben, living in Ara- 
bia, and planned an alliance of the Christian powers 
against the Mohammedans. For this he pledged the 
aid of the ten tribes living there. The Pope sent him 
to Portugal, where he made the acquaintance of Solo- 
mon Molcho, a young Marrano, who returned with 
Reubeni to Italy, preached and prophesied there and 
became a favorite of the Pope. The Jews feared the 
results of his eccentricities and denounced him to the 
authorities as an apostate from Christianity, but 
the Pope shielded him. Finally both went to Germany 
in 1530, where they hoped to win Charles V to their 
plans. They were imprisoned; Molcho, as an apos- 
tate, was burned at the stake and Reubeni sent to 
Portugal, where every trace of him was lost. Who he 
was is not known. He seems to have travelled in the 
East, and probably was an Arab. 

The Reformation of 1517 at first influenced the con- 
dition of the Jews for the better. The accusations 
that the Jews desecrated hosts ceased. As late as 
1492 a number of Jews were burned for this supposed 
crime at Sternberg in Mecklenburg. In 1510, thirty- 
nine Jews were burned at Berlin for the same cause. 
But aside from this Protestantism in itself stood for 
religious toleration. Luther, in the beginning of his 
career, spoke of the Jews as ‘‘cousins of our Lord,’’ 
who should be treated with kindness. He thought 
that his purified Christianity would win them over, 
but, toward the end of his life, when he had failed in 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 73 


his efforts and was embittered for other reasons, he 
wrote two pamphlets filled with invective against the 
Jews. In these he advocated the confiscation of their 
property, the destruction of their synagogues, and the 
forcible baptism of their children. Still more bitter 
than Luther’s attacks were those of John Eck, his 
Catholic opponent. 

It seems, however, that the Reformation increased 
the number of Jewish converts. Prominent among 
these was Emanuel Tremellius, an Italian, who first 
became a monk and then a Protestant. He was a 
friend of Calvin, and translated the Bible for him into 
Latin. He also translated Calvin’s Catechism into 
Hebrew. Another convert was Luke Helic, who as- 
sisted the Moravian Brethren in translating the Bible 
into the Slavic language. A calumniator of Judaism 
was Antonius Margaritha, the son of a rabbi of Ratis- 
bon, named Jacob Margaliot, who in 1530 wrote a 
libel on Judaism. Characteristic was the act of the 
Protestant Landgrave, Louis of Hesse, who advised 
the suppression of an anti-Jewish book, ‘‘Jiidenfeind,’’ 
by Nigrinus (1570) saying that the same arguments 
might just as well be used by Catholics against 
Protestants. 

The Renaissance, which produced the Reformation, 
also had a favorable effect on the position of the 
Jews. When John Pfefferkorn, a convert from Juda- 
ism, in 1506 accused the Jews of blaspheming Jesus 
in their prayers and in their literature, and proposed 
the eonfiscation of all their books, John Reuchlin, 
a famous diplomat and expert Hebrew scholar, ren- 
dered an opinion in their favor. The Dominicans of 
Cologne, among them a former rabbi, Victor von 














74 _ HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


Karben, whose tool Pfefferkorn had been, made the 
latter’s cause their own, but did not succeed. In 
Frankfort-on-the-Main, where the books had been 
confiscated, they were ordered to be returned to their 
owners, and a long and bitter controversy, in which 
both parties engaged in vile attacks, ensued. In the 
meantime the Reformation intervened; and the Pope, 
who had been appealed to, ended the matter by an 
order in 1516 that both parties should keep their 
peace. He reversed this decision in favor of the 
Dominicans in 1520. 

Such occasions as the calumniations of Pfefferkorn 
and others showed the arbitrariness of municipalities 
and lords in the treatment of the Jews, and pointed 
out the advisability of Jews appointing an advocate, 
“*Shtadlan,’’ who would always defend their rights 
when necessary. One of the most famous of these 
was Josel Rosheim (1478-1554) who was originally 
appointed as their advocate by the Jews of Alsace, and 
often acted in behalf of all the Jews of Germany, here 
and there arbitrating dissensions in congregations. 
He obtained various charters from Emperor Charles 
V, in which protection to the Jews was promised. 
Among these stipulations, one issued in 1530 is of 
special interest. The Emperor prohibited the ex- 
pulsion of Jews from his territory without his con- 
sent. This rule, however, was not even observed in 
the immediate possessions of the German rulers. At 
various times Ferdinand I, brother of Charles V, and 
German Emperor (1522-1564) ordered expulsions from 
Austria in 1557, and in 1541 and 1561 from Bohemia; 
they were hardly ever carried out. When the expul- 
sion from Bohemia was decreed, Mordecai Meisels, a 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 75 


wealthy Jew of Prague, 1528-1601, and the descend- 
ant of the Italian family Soncino, which in 1513 estab- 
lished a printing press in Prague, went to Rome and 
obtained a bull from the Pope for the protection of the 
Jews. The law of expulsion from Bohemia was re- 
pealed. Meisels was in other ways a great benefactor 
of his co-religionists. 

In Berlin, where the Jews had been expelled in 1510, 
Leopold (Lippold) was a physician and favorite of 
the Margrave Joachim II of Brandenburg. After the 
death of his master he was accused of having pois- 
oned him and executed in 1573. A new refuge was 
opened to the Jews in Holland, when this country 
gained its independence from Spain. A family of 
fugitive Marranos is said to have been driven to Em- 
den, Hanover, by unfavorable winds, and thence they 
were advised to go to Amsterdam (1593). Moses ben 
Uri of Emden followed them and instructed them in 
Judaism. Some other converts followed, among them 
monks, statesmen and scholars. One of the most 
prominent rabbis of Amsterdam was Menasseh ben 
Israel, who in 1654, tried to obtain from Cromwell 
official permission for the Jews to resettle in England, 
whence they had been expelled in 1290. A bill intro- 
duced into Parliament for the readmission failed to 
pass, but prominent jurists rendered an opinion that 
the expulsion was not a legal act. The Jews already 
in London were not molested, opened a synagogue 
and acquired a cemetery in 1660. Charles II was 
favorable to the Jews, some of whom had assisted 
him financially before he had ascended the throne; in 
1664 he confirmed their right of residence. 

About the middle of the seventeenth century a col- 

















76 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


ony of Marranos from Amsterdam settled in Brazil, 
which was then under Dutch rule. When the Portu- 
guese reconquered it (1654) the Jews were expelled 
and settled in the Dutch West Indies and New York, 
then New Amsterdam. Governor Stuyvesant objected 
to their landing, but the directors of the West India 
Company, among whori there were several Jews, 
overruled his decision. Meantime the Jews had set- 
tled in Rhode Island, where Roger Williams had 
promulgated full religious freedom in 1657. 

In Amsterdam the Portuguese community combined 
strict. traditional piety with secular learning and great 
commercial activity. To the Portuguese Jews, Am- 
sterdam owes its importance as the center of the 
diamond trade. Uriel Acosta, who held high office 
in Spain and emigrated to Holland in order to openly 
profess Judaism, became imbued with deistic ideas, 
was tried as a heretic and did penance. Then, ex- 
communicated as a backslider, he became despondent 
and, having attempted to kill Rabbi Saul Morteira, 
committed suicide in 1640. Baruch or Benedict 
Spinoza (1633-1677) was also excommunicated, but 
disregarded all attempts to bring him back to Juda- 
ism. He is the originator of a famous system of 
philosophy, called Pantheism or Monism, laid down 
in his principal work, the ‘‘Ethics.’? He also occu- 
pies a prominent place in the history of Biblical 
Criticism through his work, ‘‘Tractatus Theologico 
Politicus.’’ 

In 1666, the year which the Christian Millenari- 
ans regarded as Messianic by reason of a passage in 
Revelation xiii, 18, Judaism was stirred by Sabbatai 
Zebi of Smyrna, who proclaimed himself the Messiah. 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 77 


Expelled from that city he went to Egypt, where he 
received the enthusiastic support of Raphael Joseph, a 
wealthy tax-farmer. In Palestine, whither he went, 
he found many admirers, and the prophet, Nathan 
of Gaza, proclaimed him the true Messiah. Being 
denounced for high treason, Sabbatai was brought to 
Constantinople and imprisoned in the fort of Abydos, 
but the means supplied by his followers enabled him 
to hold court like a prince. Everywhere in Europe 
the majority of the Jews believed him to be the Mes- 
siah. The representatives of the Jews in Poland sent 
two prominent rabbis as a committee to him, but 
Nehemiah Hakohen, the Polish Kabbalist, who had 
come to ascertain the truth, denounced him as an im- 
postor. Sabbatai Zebi was brought before the Sultan 
to answer a charge of high treason; and, in order to 
save his life, he turned to Islam. The Sultan gave 
him an office, and for ten years, until his death, he 
remained in contact with the Jews. Many of his 
followers turned to Islam, and still exist as a special 
sect called Donmah in Salonica. Others of his fol- 
lowers who remained true to Judaism formed a mys- 
tic community, which adopted the name of Hasidim. 
They were excommunicated by the most prominent 
rabbis, but progressed rapidly, although many of 
them were unmasked as frauds. Nehemiah Hayon, an 
Oriental, wrote a book in which he taught the doc- 
trine of the Trinity (1712) and Jacob Frank, a Polish 
Jew, formed a Judeo-Christian sect. The latter was 
supported by those who wished to convert the Jews 
to Christianity, and lived in princely style in Offen- 
bach, where he died in 1793. 

The center of Hasidism was in Podolia and Volhy- 








78 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


nia; Israel Besht, 1695-1760, may be considered as its 
founder. His work was continued by his disciples, 
among whom Baer Mezdzyrzecz (1700-1772) was the 
most prominent. Later Nahman of Bratzlav (1779- 
1810) developed the theory of miiaculous powers of 
healing granted to favored individuals and the mystic 
interpretation of the Bible and the Rabbinic com- 
mands. They still have a great number of devotees 
in parts of Austrian and Russian Poland. 

Persecutions in the seventeenth century are of rarer 
occurrence than in former times. The most serious 
one was that which, with several interruptions, lasted 
from 1648 to 1655, and the leader of which was the 
Cossack captain Chmelnicki. The Cossacks, who were 
under the sovereignty of the Polish king, rebelled 
against their masters, and the Jews had to suffer, 
partly because they were unable to protect themselves, 
and partly because, as tax-farmers, they had been the 
instrument of the extortion practised by the Polish 
nobles. Thousands were massacred, and since that 
time the 20th of Sivan is observed as a fast-day in 
Poland. They fled in all directions, and many great 
Talmudists among them became rabbis in Western 
Europe. ; 

The Jesuits in Poland and in those places where the 
Catholic Church had succeeded in crushing the Ref- 
ormation became very powerful and fostered hatred 
of the Jews, often resulting in mob violence. In 1664 
such a massacre occurred in Lemberg. The Jews 
were accused of the murder of Christians ; similar 
charges were often made. In 1659 two prominent 
Jews were put to death on Rosh Hashanah in Rossieny, 
Lithuania, under the charge of ritual murder; in 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 79 


1694 Lazarus Abeles and a friend of his were impris- 
oned in Prague, charged with having killed the son of 
Abeles, who wanted to become a Christian. Abeles 
hanged himself and his friend was cruelly put to 
death. In Vienna and Prague mission services, which 
the Jews were compelled to attend every Sabbath, were 
held by the Jesuits since 1630. In 1670 Emperor 
Leopold I expelled the Jews from Vienna, influenced 
partly by the hatred of the citizens and partly by the 
bigotry of the Empress, a Spanish princess. Some of 
the refugees were given permission by the Elector 
Frederick William of Brandenburg to settle in Berlin. 
At about the same time Halle, Halberstadt and Dessau 
were opened to them. In 1670 Herz Levi of Metz was 
accused of having murdered a Christian child and was 
put to death. His innocence was afterwards proved. 
Peculiar to the history of the seventeenth and eigh- 
teenth centuries were the court Jews, Hof-Jude, Hof- 
factor, Minister-Resident. Prominent among them 
were Elijah Gomperz of Cleve, Moses Benjamin Wolf 
of Dessau, Jost Libman of Berlin, Behrendt Lehman 
of Dresden, and Samuel Oppenheimer and Samson 
Wertheimer of Vienna. These Jews did service 
as jewelers, bankers, general brokers and army con- 
tractors, and, as such, were exempt from Jewish taxes 
and certain disabilities. They possessed great in- 
fluence, which they used to good advantage for their 
fellow-Jews. Samuel Oppenheimer, who died in 1703, 
obtained from Emperor Leopold an order of confisca- 
tion of an anti-Jewish book, ‘‘Entdecktes Juden- 
thum,’’ by J. A. Eisenmenger (1700), which, up to 
date, hasserved as a repertory for anti-Semitic writers. 
In 1614 a serious riot broke out in Frankfort-on- 








80 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


the-Main, led by the guilds, which accused the patri- 
cians controlling the municipal council of partiality 
to the Jews. The council, aided by imperial troops, 
succeeded in suppressing the rebellion after consider- 
able difficulty. Vincent Fettmilch, the leader, was 
quartered, his home demolished, and his family 
expelled from the city. Other ringleaders were 
beheaded. - While the city council thus showed its 
sincere intention to have the law respected even with 
regard to the Jews, the new legal regulation for the 
Jews of Frankfort, “*Juden-Staettigkeit,’’? was a speci- 
men of medizeval ideas, maintaining the usual restric- 
tions on occupation, marriage, residence and quite a 
number of measures, like the yellow badge, meant to 
disgrace a Jew. It remained in force until 1807. 

The political condition of the Jews at this time 
nevertheless shows steady improvement, although their 
threatened expulsion from the city of Metz and their 
actual expulsion from Vienna and the province of 
Lower Austria in 1670 were a relapse into the condi- 
tions of the "fifteenth century. Still, such events are 
local and few and far between; on the other hand, an 
improvement is manifest in various instances where 
Jews were admitted to countries or cities from which 
they had been expelled in medizval times. Particu- 
larly important was their settlement in Hamburg and 
Berlin at this time. In Hamburg the municipal coun- 
cil gave to some Portuguese Marranos, who came 
there to escape from the Inquisition, the right of resi- 
dence in spite of clerical protest. The first settlers 
were soon followed by Jews from Germany in the 
course of the seventeenth century, and finally (1710), 
they formed a legally-organized congregation. Simi- 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 81 


larly Portuguese Jews had found a haven of refuge in 
various cities of Southern France, although there ina 
Catholic country they had to conceal their Judaism. 

In Berlin and the Margravate of Brandenburg, the 
Elector Frederick William I allowed some Jews, 
expelled from Vienna, to settle in his states on their 
plea that they were persecuted for conscience’ sake 
(1671). Still more important was the readmission of 
the Jews to England by Cromwell in 1654; and, 
although the bill for their readmission did not pass, 
their settlement was quietly overlooked and declared 
by jurists to be legally justified. Another new coun- 
try was opéned to Jewish settlement by the end of the 
sixteenth century when the Spanish Netherlands had 
made themselves independent of the Spanish crown. 
The constitution of the new country was based on 
perfect religious freedom, and naturally fugitives from 
the Inquisition were among the first to avail them- 
selves of this opportunity. They were soon joined by 
the settlers from other countries, and in the seven- 
teenth century Amsterdam was one of the leading 
Jewish communites of the world. 

The greatest importance, however, attaches to the 
settlement of the Jews in the New World. While in 
the Spanish colonies there was not only no religious 
liberty but even persecutions of Marranos culminating 
in autos-da-fe, as in the mother country, the conquest 
of Brazil by the Dutch in 1624 resulted in the first 
organized Jewish community on the American conti- 
nent. The loss of Brazil in 1654 forced the Jews to 
emigrate, and some settled in the Dutch and British 
possessions in Central and South America, Surinam, 
Curacoa and Jamaica. But the most important settle- 








82 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


ment was that of New York in 1654. The intolerance 
of the Dutch governor Stuyvesant drove some of the 
newcomers to Newport, R. I. (1657), where Roger 
Williams had proclaimed full religious liberty. 

In 1733 some Portuguese Jews from England availed 
themselves of the opportunity created by James Ogle- 
thorpe, who made Georgia an asylum for convicts who 
were willing to reform. They sent some of their poor 
to Savannah. As the governor was unfavorable to 
the settlement of the Jews, fearing that their presence 
would prejudice the success of the colony, some Jews 
went to South Carolina, for which the philosopher 
John Locke had drafted a liberal constitution (1697). 
He expressly declared equal rights for non-Christians. 
They formed a congregation at Charleston in 1750, 
for a long time the most flourishing Jewish settlement 
in the territory now comprised in the United States. 
Yet up to the end of the eighteenth century only six 
Jewish communities are known: New York, Newport, 
Risky Savannah, Ga., Charleston, S. C., Philadelphia, 
and Lancaster, Pa, These Jews took part in the 
American Revolution, and their patriotism was ex- 
pressly recognized in the reply of George Washington 
to their addresses of congratulation when he was 
elected President, 

An English law of 1740 gave to the Jews in the 
American colonies full rights of naturalization, also 
extended to Canada when it became a British posses- 
sion. The growth of Jewish population was slow and 
did not begin until the reactionary governments of 
Europe, after the July revolution of 1830, made the 
hope of any improvement appear vain. Thus, since 
1830 large streams of Jewish immigrants have settled 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 83 


all over the United States. Another far stronger cur- 
rent of immigration began in consequence of the per- 
secutions in Russia in 1881. The Jewish population 
of America may now accordingly be figured at 2,000, - 
000 souls. In Spanish America the only settlement of 
any consequence is in Argentine. 


INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY LIFE 


The Reformation was promoted by the Renaissance, 
essentially a critical examination of traditional views. 
While this movement had not a very deep influence on 
the Jews, it did not pass entirely unnoticed. Elijah 
Mizrahi, Chief Rabbi of Constantinople (1455-1525), 
took notice of the Copernican system, and in his super- 
commentary on Rashi, tried to harmonize this modern 
conception of the cosmos with Rabbinic statements. 
He also wrote a text-book of arithmetic, a commentary 
on Euclid’s elements, an astronomical book, besides 
various Talmudic works. 

More evident is the influence on Elijah Levita, 
born in Neustadt-an-der-Aisch, Bavaria, 1468, died in 
Venice, 1549. Elijah Levita was a teacher of many 
prominent Christian theologians, both Catholic and 
Protestant, then very much interested in the study 
of Hebrew. He wrote various works on Hebrew 
grammar, among them “‘Bahur’’ (1518), a glossary of 
Rabbinic words, ‘‘Tishbi’’ (1541), and a book on the 
Massorah, ‘‘Massoret ha-Massoret’’ (1548), in which 
he laid down the bold and since that time generally- 
accepted theory that the vowel points and accents 
were not invented until the eighth century. He was 
also a writer of popular works, translated the Psalms 
into Judezo-German and published the Bobo book, a 








84 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


translation of an Italian romance based on the English 
story of ‘‘Sir Bevis of Hampton, ’’ underlying Shake- 
Speare’s ‘‘Hamlet’’ (1540). 

Another exponent of the Renaissance was Azariah 
dei Rossi of Ferrara (1511-1578), who in his work, 
““Meor Enayim,’’ a collection of critical essays, de- 
fended the theory that the Talmudic writings are not 
authoritative on matters of history and science, but 
merely on Rabbinic law. Joseph Solomo del Medigo, 
born in Crete, 1591, died at Prague, 1655, was an am- 
biguous character and adventurer, a wanderer dur- 
ing most of his life. In his work, ‘‘Elim’’ (1629), he 
had the courage to criticize Rabbinic theology, and 
especially the Kabbala. Leon Modena of Venice 
(1571-1648), who was a very prolific author, went 
still further, attacking the Rabbinic law as in many 
instances incongruous with the Bible, and recommend- 
ing a change of the religious practices. In the works 
which he published he merely indicated his liberal 
ideas; he clearly stated them in works that remained 
unpublished for two centuries. 

In Italy, where secular education was not held in 
such abhorrence as was the case in Northern Europe, 
in the seventeenth century*two women wrote Italian 
poetry and made translations from Hebrew. These 
are Deborah Ascarelli and Sarah Copia Sullam,. An 
attempt to rationalize Talmudic Passages was made 
as early as the beginning of the sixteenth century. 
Jacob ibn Habib, who was among the exiles from Spain, 
settled in Constantinople, and collected the Haggadic 
Passages of the Talmud, with the intention of pub- 
lishing them with an apologetic commentary. He 
died in 1516 after having finished only part of his 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 85 


work; it was edited after his death by his son. It is 
even now, as “‘En Jacob,’’ a very popular book for 
the study of Talmudic ethics. 

While on one side there was a liberal tendency 
noticeable in Rabbinic Judaism, on the other a con- 
solidation of the Rabbinic legalism and a progress of 
mysticism were noticeable. Joseph Caro (1488-1575), 
a native of Spain who toward the end of his life lived 
in Safed, Palestine, compiled a brief compendium of 
the Rabbinic law, ‘‘Shulhan Aruk.’’ It was printed 
during the author’s lifetime in Venice in 1564, and 
often reprinted afterwards. The author followed the 
arrangement of Jacob ben Asher, but otherwise is 
quite independent. It was his object to give the 
whole Rabbinic law in one volume, without showing 
its development and without regard to different opin- 
ions. He prepared himself for his work by writing 
exhaustive commentaries on the codes of Maimonides 
and Jacob ben Asher. During his lifetime the book 
was annotated by Moses Isserls of Cracow (1520-1572), 
who called his notes ‘‘Mappah’’ (tablecloth). It was 
his object to lay down the practice of the German 
Jews, neglected by Joseph Caro asarule. This codi- 
fication was strongly attacked by some of the more 
liberal rabbis of the time. Solomon Luria (1500- 
1573), rabbi of Lublin, but of German descent, took a 
more critical view of the old sources, although apart 
from legal decisions he proclaimed his absolute faith 
in traditions and condemned the liberal tendencies of 
Abraham ibn Esra and Maimonides. 

A strong opponent of Azariah Dei Rossi was Loewe 
Ben Bezalel (1530-1609), rabbi of Posen and Prague 
and the hero of many legends. He maintained the ab- 




















86 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


solute belief in Rabbinic authority in every respect. 
In spite of occasional opposition the ‘‘Shulhan Aruk’’ 
soon attained general popularity and was considered 
an authoritative book, to which many prominent 
rabbis, as Abraham Gombiner, Sabbatai Cohen and 
David Halevi added their glosses. These were in the 
later editions added to the ‘‘Shulhan Aruk,’’ the 
authority of which is indicated by the fact that the 
glossaries are called ‘‘Aharonim’’ (epigones). 

The sufferings which Jews had to endure during the 
fifteenth century and of which the expulsion from 
Spain and Portugal was the culmination, were the 
cause of a strengthening of mysticism. Particularly 
in Palestine, to which quite a number of Spanish Jews 
were drawn by Messianic hopes, such a center was 
formed. In Safed, where Joseph Caro wrote his ‘‘Shul- 
han Aruk,’’ a number of disciples gathered around 
Isaac Luria, who preached a religion based on the be- 
lief in the mysterious. He did not write, but numer- 
ous disciples put his ideas in writing. Among them 
were Hayyim Vital, who was considered a worker 
of miracles, and Elijah de Vidas, whose work, ‘‘The 
Beginning of Wisdom,’’ became a favorite book for 
edification. Another Kabbalistic author of the same 
circle was Solomon Halevi Alkabez, best known by 
his popular Sabbath hymn, ‘‘Lekah Dodi,’’ which also 
has a Kabbalistic tendency. 

German Jews came to Palestine to join the circle 
of mystics. One was Isaiah Horowitz (1550-1630), 
who had been rabbi of Frankfort-on-the-Main and 
Prague. Of his works a large Kabbalistic compen- 
dium, ‘‘The Two Tablets of the Covenant’’ (Shelah), 
became very popular. Abstracts of it were made and 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 87 


translated into Judzeo-German. Even in Italy, where 
secular culture was far more general among Jews 
than in any other country in Europe, Kabbala had a 
strong hold on the people. A great enthusiast for 
the doctrine of mysticism was Moses Hayyim Luzzatto 
(1707-1747), who wrote allegorical dramas in Hebrew, 
one of which, ‘‘Praise to the Righteous,’’ is a mas- 
terpiece of modern Hebrew literature. His ethical 
treatise, ‘‘The Path of the Righteous,’’ is also de- 
servedly popular. He went to Palestine hoping to 
receive prophetic inspiration there, and died at the 
age of forty of the plague. 

Talmudic literature monopolized the activities of 
the German and Polish Jews, the latter being con- 
sidered the leaders in this line and filling most of 
the Rabbinic positions in Western Europe during the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Among the 
most prominent dialecticians may be mentioned Jacob 
Joshua of Lemberg (1680-1756), rabbi of Frankfort- 
on-the-Main, Aryeh Loeb of Minsk, rabbi of Metz 
(1700-1786), Ezekiel Landau (1713-1793), rabbi of 
Prague, and Jonathan Eybeschuetz (1690-1764), rabbi 
of Metz and Altona, whose works show the highest 
development in this branch. Already in the eight- 
eenth century a sounder development of Rabbinic 
studies, showing the beginnings of criticism and an 
interest in historical and archeological questions, 
began. 

Among those who led to the scientific presentation 
of Rabbinic literature in modern times are to be men- 
tioned Jair Hayyim Bacharach (1634-1702), rabbi of 
Worms, of whose works very little has been preserved 
but who was interested in the scientific presentation 








eee 


88 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


of Rabbinic theology as the theory of oral tradition, 
and Jacob Emden (1696-1776), the bitter opponent of 
Jonathan Eybeschuetz, who gathered historical mate- 
rial on Sabbatai Zebi, and the mystics who followed 
him and had the boldness, although a believer in Kab- 
bala, to state that the Zohar, as we possess it, is not 
the work of Simeon ben Johai. An emancipation 
from the strict Rabbinic dialectics by better attention 
to correct Rabbinic texts and to the study of philologi- 
cal and archeological questions is found in the works 
of Joseph Steinhart (1706-1776), rabbi of Fuerth, 
Isaiah Pick (1720-1799), and Elijah of Wilna (1720- 
1797). 

The sufferings of. the Jews in Spain stimulated in- 
terest in historical literature and various authors, 
chiefly prompted by a desire to keep up the courage of 
the Jews in the midst of persecutions, wrote historical 
works. Among them may be mentioned Gedaliah ibn 
Yahya, an Italian who wrote the ‘Chain of Tradi- 
tion,’’ Solomon ibn Verga, a Spaniard who emigrated 
to Turkey and wrote ‘‘Shebet J ehudah,’’ Joseph Cohen 
of Avignon, who- wrote ‘‘The Valley of Weeping,”’ 
and Samuel Usque, who wrote a work in Portuguese 
called ‘‘Consolations in Tribulation,’’ all of the six- 
teenth century. Somewhat later David Gans (died at 
Prague in 1617) wrote a dry compilation of events in 
Jewish and general history under the title ‘‘Zemah 
David.’’ 

To the seventeenth century belongs the Oriental, 
David Conforte, his ‘‘Kore Hadorot’’ being chiefly 
valued for its accounts of Rabbinic literature in the 
Orient. Jehiel Heilprin of Minsk, eighteenth century, 
wrote a history in the style of a chronicle, beginning 








SS 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 89 


with Creation. It shows a naive belief in the historic- 
ity of the Midrash but is very valuable by reason of 
its collection of historic passages from Rabbinic litera- 
ture. Secular education was slowly beginning to find 
its way among the Jews. Quite a number of German 
Jews studied medicine in Italy, chiefly from a practi- 
cal point of view. Tobias Cohen of Metz (1652-1729) 
studied in Frankfort-on-the-Oder, being supported by 
the Elector of Brandenburg. In his later years he 
lived in the Orient, where he wrote a compilation on 
various scientific subjects, ‘‘Maaseh Tobiyah.’’ In this 
he shows sound knowledge of medicine. 




























CHAPTER VIII 
THE PERIOD OF EMANCIPATION FROM 1791. 


IN the middle of the eighteenth century a slow but 
marked improvement in the condition of the Jews is 
noticeable. To some extent this is due to the change 
in the economic life of the Jews, many of whom were 
engaged in manufacturing pursuits and in such mer- 
cantile enterprises as were of noticeable benefit to the 
State. Some Jews were farmers of the tobacco monop- 
oly, in many states an important part of the revenue, 
others engaged in various manufacturing enterprises 
and thus received privileges which exempted them 
from the disabilities imposed on other Jews. This 
was the case in Prussia, where Jewish enterprises 
created the flourishing textile industry in and near 
Berlin. One of these manufacturers was Bernhard 
Isaac, in whose house Moses Mendelssohn lived first 
as tutor and then as bookkeeper. Frederick the Great 
gave to some Jews the same rights as Christian mer- 
chants, although he was in general not well disposed 
toward the Jews, and would not allow them to engage 
in agriculture or ship-building. Aaron Elias Selig- 
mann established a large tobacco manufactory in 
Laimen, Bavaria, in 1779, which gave occupation to 
many hands; for his merit in developing industry the 
King of Bavaria bestowed a baronetcy on him in 1814, 
Israel Hénig was farmer of the tobacco monopoly 

90 











HISTORY OF THE JEWS 91 


in Austria, and was in 1789 knighted by Emperor 
Joseph II. 

The distinctions bestowed on individual Jews, how- 
ever, did not improve the condition of the masses. 
The progress of liberal ideas made this question a 
matter of serious concern for legislators. In England 
a bill giving the Jews political rights was passed in 
1753, but aroused such opposition among the populace 
that the government found itself compelled to repeal 
it in the same year. Of more permanent value were 
the measures of the humane Joseph II of Austria 
(1780-1790). In various legislative acts, and espe- 
cially in the so-called ‘‘Toleranz-Edict’’ of January 2, 
1782, he laid down the principle that the Jews should 
be treated like human beings. Although they were 
still under considerable restrictions, their lot. was in 
many ways improved, and the Emperor laid special 
stress on their education. As a tangible evidence of 
the improvement in their condition the abrogation of 
the poll tax, ‘‘Leibzoll,’’ the Jew badge and Jew taxes 
may be noted. The abolition of these medieval dis- 
criminations, which were based on the principle that 
the Jew was a foreign and injurious element of the 
population, became more and more general by the end 
of the eighteenth century. 

France abolished the poll tax in 1784. As early as 
1781 the Academy of Metz offered a prize for the best 
essay on the improvement of the Jews. The prize was 
won by Abbé Grégoire, a Catholic priest, who advo- 
cated the abrogation of all Jewish disabilities. About 
the same time Christian F. Dohm, an official in the 
Prussian war department, wrote an essay on the civil 
improvement of the Jews, in which he likewise advo- 































92 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


cated the granting of full equality to the Jews. This 
principle became for the first time a fact when on 
September 27, 1791, the French National Assembly 
passed a bill giving the Jews full civic and political 
equality with other citizens. 

When the French rule spread over adjacent coun- 
tries this was everywhere adopted. Such was the case 
in Holland in 1796, and in all parts of Germany which 
directly or indirectly came under French influence. 
In Cologne, where for nearly four hundred years no 
Jew had been permitted to reside, Jews began to set- 
tle in 1798. In Mayence the population tore down 
the gates of the ghetto in 1798, and this was done in 
Rome when the French ruled there. In Frankfort-on- 
the-Main, where the Jews labored under cruel dis- 
criminations, their condition was considerably im- 
proved in 1807 by an edict of the Grand Duke, Baron 
von Dahlberg, and in 1811 they were given full civil 
equality. Even reactionary countries like Prussia 
could not resist the current of the time, and the edict 
of March 11, 1812, declared the Jews to be citizens, 
gave them freedom of residence and occupation and 
the right to professorships in the universities ; and 
although it withheld from them political rights, it 
promised to grant them such in the future. 

Jews have been drafted into the army in Austria 
since 1787, and in Prussia since 1812; but numerous 
Jews joined the army as volunteers and distinguished 
themselves by acts of bravery during the wars of 
liberation. In 1809 the Austrian Jew, Israel Honig, 
was made lieutenant for bravery on the battlefield of 
Aspern, and a few years afterwards was promoted to 
the rank of captain. In Prussia several Jews were 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 93 


promoted to the rank of officers during the Napoleonic 
wars. 

Meantime reaction began to set in. Napoleon, who 
as commander of the army in the Orient in 1798, had 
called upon the Jews to join his army and conquer 
Palestine, changed his policy. Moved by complaints 
against the business methods of the Jews, he called an 
assembly of Jewish notables in 1806 and laid before 
them twelve questions, including whether the Jews 
considered themselves Frenchmen, whether their law 
permitted them to take usurious interest from non- 
Jews and whether intermarriage with Christians would 
be permitted. The answers given by this body of 
men were satisfactory, and the Emperor in 1807 estab- 
lished a Sanhedrin to ratify these principles and form 
a supreme ecclesiastic authority for all the Jews of the 
world. While thus apparently showing favor to the 
Jews, he issued a law in 1808 which imposed some 
restrictions on the freedom of trade of the Jews of 
Alsace. With his downfall, however, a general reac- 
tion set in. Some states repealed the laws which had 
given full freedom to the Jews, while others, among 
them Prussia, limited the efficacy of these laws by 
interpretation. 

In Rome, where the rule of the Pope was reinstated, 
all oppressive measures were put in force again. In 
Hamburg and Luebeck, where, during the French 
rule, the Jews had enjoyed full equality, the former 
restrictions were partly reintroduced. From Luebeck 
the Jews were unconditionally expelled in 1816. In 
some cities of Bavaria attacks on the Jews were 
organized by the mob under the cry of ‘‘Hep-hep’’ in 
1819, and an article of the Congress of Vienna of 





94 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


1815, which declared that the Jews should retain all 
the rights they had acquired during the time of tran- 
sition, became practically a dead letter. 

The July Revolution of 1830 strengthened liberal 
ideas and brought the Jewish question up for discus- 
sion in various Parliaments, particularly in Southern 
Germany. In Baden and Bavaria the petition for the 
improvement of the condition of the Jews was regu- 
larly met with the demand that the Jews should first 
show their willingness to assimilate with their envi- 
ronment by a change of their religious beliefs and 
practices. Legislation made very little progress, and 
in some instances new reactionary measures were 
introduced. King Frederick William III of Prussia in 
1836 ordered that Jews should not have any Christian 
names. The decisive change came about after the 
French Revolution in 1848. 

By and by all states of Western Europe recognized 
in their constitutions the full civil and political equal- 
ity of the Jews, and in the ‘Parliaments which were 
elected on this basis, Jews were members. Gabriel 
Riesser (1806-1864) was one of the vice-presidents of 
the National Assembly in Frankfort. The first Aus- 
trian Parliament had five Jewish members and the 
Diet of Bavaria two. When the storm passed away, a 
reactionary spirit again took hold, although the liber- 
ties granted to the Jews were not entirely repealed. 
Some countries like Austria suspended the constitu- 
tion, while others like Prussia interpreted it in a sense 
which rendered nugatory some of the rights given 
to the Jews in theory. This, however, was mostly 
the case with regard to the right of holding official 
positions. Civic equality and the right to vote at 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 95 


elections and hold elective offices remained uncon- 
tested. 

Finally toward the end of the ’sixties even these 
disabilities were removed. The Austrian constitution 
of 1867 granted to the Jews unrestricted equality. 
The law of the North German Federation of July 3, 
1869, declared that every state must remove all dis- 
abilities imposed upon citizens on the ground of their 
religious belief. This law was embodied in the con- 
stitution of the German Empire in 1871. Sweden, 
which had admitted the Jews only at the end of the 
eighteenth century, and in 1838 still restricted their 
residence to four cities, granted them full equality in 
1870. Switzerland, while a republic, had for a long 
time restricted the Jews to two places in the Canton 
of Aargau. Not until 1878 were they given full 
equality with other citizens. Norway had, until 1851, 
a law on its statute-book which prohibited even the 
temporary residence of Jews in the country. 

England made slow but steady progress. In 1830 
the first attempt was made to give the Jews political 
rights, a year previously the disabilities imposed on 
Christian dissenters having been removed. In 1833 
Francis H. Goldsmid was admitted to the bar, and in 
1835 David Salomons was elected sheriff of London 
and Middlesex, the first municipal office held by a 
Jew. In 1845 he was elected alderman and in 1855 
Lord Mayor of the city of London. The entrance of 
Jews to Parliament was opposed with great vehemence 
by the Conservative Party. In 1847 Baron Lionel de 
Rothschild was elected to Parliament, but could not 
take his seat because the prescribed oath contained 
‘‘upon the true faith of a Christian.’’ Not until 1858 





OO ee 


96 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


was a bill passed which allowed a Jew to omit these 
words from the oath. His son, Baron Nathan de 
Rothschild, was in 1885 admitted as the first Jew to 
the House of Lords. 

Only in the East of Europe restrictions continued. 
Czar Alexander I in 1804 issued a law which encour- 
aged the Jews to take up agricultural pursuits and 
acquire secular knowledge. This step was isolated, 
and in the reign of Nicholas I (1825-1855) the Jews 
were subjected to terrible persecutions, the worst of 
which was that children were forcibly taken from the 
houses of their parents and brought up in barracks 
as soldiers to serve twenty-five years after they had 
reached the age required for the army. Under Alex- 
ander II (1855-1881) a slow improvement in excep- 
tional cases took place. Jews who engaged in manu- 
facturing or business enterprises, skilled mechanics 
and those who had received a college education, were 
exempt from most of the disabilities imposed on the 
masses, but the condition of the latter was not 
changed. They were still restricted in their rights of 
residence and occupation and excluded from all polit- 
ical rights. 

With the assassination of Alexander Il a new era of 
persecutions began. This culminated in bloody riots, 
which spread over a great part of Southern Russia and 
were periodically repeated afterwards. The bloodiest 
persecutions were those of Kishineff and Homel in 
1903, and of Odessa and a great many other cities in 
Southern Russia in 1905, and of Bialystok in 1906, 
when more than a thousand people lost their lives. 
Even further restrictions were introduced. Thus a 
law of May 3, 1882, prohibited the residence of Jews 








HISTORY OF THE JEWS 97 


in rural districts and the acquisition of rural estates, 
and while in former times the acquisition of secular 
knowledge by Jews was encouraged by the govern- 
ment, laws of December 5, 1886, and July 6, 1887, 
restricted the attendance of Jewish students at high 
schools and universities to a percentage ranging from 
three to ten. While the Jews obtained the right to 
participate in the elections of the Duma, the Imperial 
Parliament, they have no right to participate in mu- 
nicipal elections and are represented in the municipal 
boards only by a few members who are appointed by 
the government. They are also excluded from the 
county boards, Zemstvo. 

Similar conditions prevail in Rumania. When that 
country gained its autonomy in 1856, it not only 
denied to the Jews political rights but declared them 
to be foreigners. Frequent mob attacks and arbitrary 
treatment on the part of the courts and the officials 
made them practically outlaws. A hope for improve- 
ment seemed to loom up when in 1878 the Congress of 
Berlin embodied an article in the treaty which com- 
pelled the newly founded sovereign and autonomous 
states of Servia, Bulgaria and Rumania to remove 
from their statute-books all laws discriminating 
against citizens on the ground of religious belief. 
They complied with this requirement, but Rumania — 
availed itself of a ruse by which the law was practi- 
cally rendered nugatory. By declaring the Jews to be 
foreigners, and naturalizing some Jews, it apparently 
complied with the law, while almost all the 250,000 
Jews of the country remained in their former state of 
misery, enhanced by new regulations restricting their 
economic freedom. 


98 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


It looked in 1878 as if Europe had guaranteed the 
fair treatment of the Jews even in countries of oppres- 
sion; opposition began in popular ranks, and in the 
Same year anti-Semitism arose as a new name for 
hostility toward the Jews. This first made itself felt 
in Germany through the foundation of the Christian 
Socialist party in 1878, started with the avowed object 
of withdrawing from the Jews their political rights, 
including that of holding public office and advocating 
the prohibition of the immigration of Jews. 

From Germany the movement spread to Austria, 
where it first was taken up by the radical German 
party in 1883, and later on by the clericals. It spread 
then to Hungary and France, where the’ publication 
of Drumont’s ‘‘La France Juive’’ in 1886 marks the 
beginning of the movement culminating in the Drey- 
fus case. Captain Alfred Dreyfus in 1894 was charged 
with high treason in order to stir up anti-Jewish feel- 
ing, and this was not abated until his innocence had 
finally been established in 1906. Another sign of an 
unfavorable change in the attitude of the masses 
toward the Jews was the revival of the blood accusa- 
tion. When in 1840 it made its appearance in Damas- 
cus, where Jews were imprisoned and tortured for this 
Cause, it seemed that such a return to medieval bar- 
barism was confined to the Orient. In 1882, however, 
it took place in Tisza-Ezlar, Hungary, and other cases 
followed in Western Europe: at Xanten, Germany, in 
1891, at Konitz in 1899, and at Polna, Bohemia, in 
1900. 

The disappointment caused by the unlooked-for 
reaction manifested itself also in the attitude of the 
Jews with regard to their future. Soon after it had 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 99 


become evident that the condition of the Jews in 
Rumania would not be improved by the Treaty of 
Berlin, and after the bloody persecutions in Russia had 
destroyed the hope that Russia would slowly improve 
the condition of its Jews, a movement for the settle- 
ment of the Jews in Palestine began. In 1882 the 
foundation of a society, ‘‘Lovers of Zion,’’ marked 
the beginning of a movement looking toward the 
resettlement of the Jews in Palestine. It assumed 
more systematic shape by the publication of ‘‘Der 
Judenstaat,’’ by Theodor Herzl in 1896, which was 
followed in 1897 by the first Congress of Zionists con- 
vened at Basle, which declared in its platform the 
object to establish ‘‘a legally secured home for the 
Jewish people in Palestine.’’ At the same time an 
unprecedented emigration took place from Russia and 
Rumania to free countries, particularly to the United 
States, Canada, Australia and South Africa, with a 
smaller but also considerable stream of emigration to 
England. 

Baron de Hirsch attempted to regulate the emigra- 
tion by turning it to Argentine, where he acquired 
large tracts of land in 1890. Indeed, agricultural 
settlements were founded there, although they did not 
realize the expectations of those who would have 
turned large masses of immigrants into that country. 

In spite of the retrogressive movement which the 
history of the Jews seemed to present, Western Europe 
not only retained the principles enacted by the con- 
stitutions promulgated in and after 1848, but individ- 
ual Jews have risen to prominence in political life. 
Almost all states of Western Europe have had Jews 
as members of their Parliaments, and some have ob- 








100 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


tained prominent positions in the government service. 


France had several Jews as ministers, Cremieux was 


minister of justice in 1848, Godchaux and Achille 


_ Fould served under Napoleon III, and Raynal under the 


republic. In Italy, Wollemborg was once and Luzzatti 


Six times minister of finance, and Joseph Ottolenghi 
_ Was minister of war. In 1910 Luzatti became pre- 


mier. Holland had repeatedly Jewish ministers, and 
England saw in 1909 the first Jew, Herbert Samuel, 
member of the cabinet. The United States had ‘a Jew 
in the cabinet in the person of Oscar S. Straus, sec- 
retary of commerce and labor (1906-1909). In the 
Grand Duchy of Baden, Moritz Ellstaetter was minis- 
ter of finance (1868-1893). Quite a number of Jews 
have occupied positions as judges, as professors at 
universities, and in other public activities. 


CULTURE 


The improvement of the political conditions influ- 
enced the intellectual and social life of the Jews to a 
considerable degree. This is noticeable in their litera- 
ture, education, religious life and finally in their com- 
munal organizations. 

Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786), of Dessau, came 
as a boy to Berlin. After a youth filled with hardship 
he found employment in the house of a manufacturer, 
first as tutor and then as bookkeeper. His main 
object was to raise Jews from their intellectual isola- 
tion. He translated the Pentateuch, the Psalms and 
some smaller books of the Bible into correct German, 
and edited this work with a Hebrew commentary. It 
soon became popular and was the medium for teach- 
ing the young people the German language. He also 








HISTORY OF THE JEWS 101 


defended Judaism against various attacks and pre- 
sented its teaching in a German work, ‘‘Jerusalem.’’ 
In his work on the Bible, he was assisted by various 
co-workers, among whom the most prominent is 
Naphtali Herz Wesel, who called himself Hartwig 
Wessely (1725-1805). The latter’s epic on the life 
of Moses, patterned on Klopstock’s ‘‘Messias,’’ was 
written in elegant Hebrew verse, and became an 
inspiration to many other writers disgusted with the 
obscure and artificial style of Rabbinic Hebrew, and 
having a taste for literary beauty. An organ for such 
endeavors was presented by the publication of the first 
Hebrew magazine, ‘‘Meassef’’ (1784). 

The progress of secular education made Hebrew 
literature soon disappear in Western Europe, but the 
influence of Wessely and his disciples made itself very 
strongly felt in the East of Europe, and particularly 
in the countries comprising the former kingdom of 
Poland. Their modern Hebrew writings introduced 
the young men to the knowledge of history and 
science, and gave them a taste for secular education 
and for a western conception of life. Isaac Bar 
Loewinson (1788-1860) wrote works in defense of 
Judaism, and advocated secular culture, patriotism, 
manual trades and the emancipation from medieval 
conditions still existing in these countries. Marcus 
Aaron Guenzburg (1795-1846) worked chiefly as 
translator of popular works, such as juveniles like 
Campe’s ‘‘Robinson Crusoe.’’ 

A more independent character was given to Hebrew 
literature by Abraham Mapu (1808-1867) who wrote 
two novels from Biblical life, ‘‘The Love of Zion,’’ and 
“The Guilt of Samaria,’’ and another describing the 





102 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


life of the Jew in his Lithuanian home, ‘‘The Hypo- 
crite.”” Mapu used Biblical Hebrew with great facil- 
ity and became the father of a new development in 
Hebrew and later in Yiddish, giving to Jewish litera- 
ture a high literary character. He was followed by 
Judah Loew (Leon) Gordon (1833-1892), whose satir- 
ical poems not merely possess a value for the ease with 
which the author handled the Hebrew language, but 
have been a great force impressing upon the minds of 
the Jews in Eastern Europe the defects of their in- 
tellectual isolation and the shortcomings of Rabbinic 
teachings. Among the later poets Chayim Nachman 
Bialik, born 1873, is the most popular. His elegy on 
the massacre of Kishineff is one of the gems of 
modern Hebrew literature. 

Yiddish literature from its earliest beginnings in the 
sixteenth century was mostly used as a vehicle for 
the religious instruction of women and people of little 
education or merely adapted and translated some of 
the popular literature of the countries where its ex- 
ponents lived. From the middle of the nineteenth 
century it commenced to assume a more independent 
character and thus secured a place in the world’s his- 
tory as is shown by the fact that some of its works were 
translated into other European languages. Among 
the novelists may be mentioned Shalom Jacob Abram- 
owitsch (born 1836) who writes under the pseudonym, 
“‘Mendele the bookseller,’? Shalom Rabinowitsch 
(born 1859) and, the most popular of all, Isaac Loeb 
Peretz (born 1851). A poet who presents the tragic 
as well as the humorous side of the New York ghetto, 
Morris Rosenfeld, born 1864, is to be mentioned; his 
works have been translated into various European 








HISTORY OF THE JEWS 103 


languages. Of dramatists whose works have occa- 
sionally found their way to the German and English 
stage there are Shalom Asch, and Jacob Gordin 
(1853-1909), who deals with the life of Russian Jews 
in America. 

The disappearance of the social and intellectual 
isolation in the life of the Jews created a special 
literature which is called the ghetto novel. This 
deals with the life of the Jews in the era of transition 
from their isolation to modern culture. This litera- 
ture began in Germany and its best known repre- 
sentatives are Aaron Bernstein (1812-1884), Leopold 
Kompert (1822-1886), Karl Emil Franzos (1848-1904), 
and, among Christians who view the life of the East- 
ern Jews with sympathy, Leopold von Sacher-Ma- 
soch (1835-1895) and Eliza de Orzeska (1842-1910). 
Sketches from the life of the Alsatian Jews were pre- 
sented in French by Alexander Weill (1811-1898) and 
in Danish by Meier Aaron Goldschmidt (1819-1887). 
In the English language, Israel Zangwill, born 1864, 
wrote novels dealing with the life of the foreign Jews 
in England. Among his works ‘‘The Children of the 
Ghetto’’ has obtained a place in the world’s best lit- 
erature. The English stories of Martha Wolfenstein 
(1869-1906) deal with the life of European Jews. 

A place in modern Jewish literature belongs to the 
Jewish press as it has developed in the nineteenth cen- 
tury. The first Jewish periodical that had more than 
an ephemeral existence was ‘‘Meassef,’’ published in 
Hebrew with some parts in German. It began to ap- 
pear in 1784, and with some interruptions was kept 
up until 1810. The oldest periodical still in existence 
is the ‘‘Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums,’’ begun 








104 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


by Ludwig Philippson, rabbi in Magdeburg, in 1837. 
It was followed by the ‘‘Archives Israélites’’ in 1840 
in Paris, and by the ‘‘Jewish Chronicle’’ in 1841 in 
London. Of the numerous periodicals published in 
the United States, the oldest still existing is the 
‘‘American Israelite,’? founded by Isaac M. Wise in 
Cincinnati in 1854. 

The first Hebrew weekly, which dealt not only with 
Jewish affairs, was the ““Hamaggid,’’ founded by Laz- 
arus Silbermann in Lyck, East Prussia, in 1858. The 
first Hebrew daily paper was the ““Hazefirah,’’ pub- 
lished first as a weekly in 1862 and afterwards as a 
daily from 1886. Quite a number of valuable maga- 
zines dealing with Jewish history and literature have 
been published since the middle of the nineteenth 
century in Hebrew and in various modern languages. 
“‘Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift fuer Juedische Theo- 
logie’’ (1835-1840) and ‘‘Juedische Zeitschrift fuer 
Wissenschaft und Leben’’ (1862-1875) were both 
edited by Abraham Geiger; the ‘‘Monatsschrift fuer 
Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums,’’ begun 
by Zechariah Frankel in 1854, was discontinued in 
1887 and has been republished since 1891. ‘‘Revue 
des Etudes Juives’’ dates from 1881; ‘‘Jewish Quar- 
terly Review’’ appeared from 1888 to 1908. Of the 
Hebrew magazines there are ‘‘Kerem Hemed,’’ of 
which nine volumes were published from 1833 to 
1856, Bikure Ha-ittim (1820-1831), and ‘‘Haschiloach’’ 
since 1896. 

Rabbinic literature of the older type, dealing with 
the law and Talmudic dialecticism has, also a great 
number of representatives during this’ period. Among 
the foremost may be named Moses Schreiber (Sofer), 








HISTORY OF THE JEWS 105 


born at Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1762, died as rabbi 
of Presburg in 1839, and Akiba Eger (1761-1837). 
In Western Europe this literature shows a steady 
decline. Of the authors whose life belongs entirely 
to the nineteenth century may be mentioned Jacob 
Ettlinger, rabbi of Altona (1798-1871), and Seligman 
Bar Bamgerger, rabbi of Wuerzburg (1807-1878). Very 
numerous, however, are the Rabbinic authors of East- 
ern Europe and the Orient, among whom Isaac Elha- 
nan Spector, rabbi of Kovno (1810-1896), Hayim David 
Hazan, rabbi of Jerusalem (1790-1868), Hayim Pa- 
laggi, rabbi of Smyrna (1784-1868), and Hayim Heze- 
kiah Medini (1834-1904), may be mentioned. 

Already before Mendelssohn’s time individual Jews 
in Germany and Austria distinguished themselves in 
literature and science. But the education of the 
masses was almost entirely confined to Bible and Tal- 
mud. With the popularization of secular knowledge 
the necessity for schools arose and the first institution 
of this kind was founded in Berlin as the ‘‘Jewish 
Free School’? in 1778. The efforts of Emperor Joseph 
II to promote secular culture among the Jews of Aus- 
tria led to the establishment of a primary school in 
Prague in 1782. Others followed in different cities: 
the Wilhelm Schule of Breslau was founded in 1791; 
the Herzog Franz-Schule in Dessau in 1799. Higher 
schools were the Jacobson Schule in Seesen in 1801, 
the Samson Schule in Wolfenbuettel in 1803, and the 
Philanthropin in Frankfort-on-the-Main in the next 
year. Even in Eastern Europe, where religious fanat- 
ieism was bitterly opposed to secular education, such 
schools came into existence like the one founded in 
Tarnopol by Joseph Perls in 1815. The Alliance 





106 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


Israelite Universelle, founded in 1860, made it one of 
its principal objects to establish schools for secular 
education in the Orient, and it now has a great num- 
ber of schools which it maintains in Turkey, Northern 
Africa and Asia, extending from Palestine and Asia 
Minor to Persia and Mesopotamia. 

With the growing number of schools the need for 
special training schools for Jewish teachers arose. 
The first of these was founded in Berlin in 1825. 
More important was the need for training schools for 
rabbis. The old method of education by which every 
young man who devoted himself to study was a Tal- 
mudic scholar was discontinued in Western Europe. 
On the other hand, it became necessary to give the 
rabbis a more systematic training. The first modern 
school of this kind was established in Padua, then 
under Austrian rule, in 1829. Later the Yeshibah of 
Metz was transformed into a Rabbinic seminary and 
subsequently transferred to Paris. In 1854 the Rab- 
binic seminary of Breslau was founded and this was 
followed by the establishment of similar institutions 
in European countries. In 1875 the first Rabbinic 
seminary in America, the Hebrew Union College of 
Cincinnati, was opened. In New York the Jewish 
Theological Seminary was established in 1886. 
Various educational institutions devoted to special 
needs, such as the school for the deaf-mutes opened in 
Nikolsburg in 1845, and later transferred to Vienna, 
and the first Jewish institute for the blind established 
in the latter city in 1872, deserve to be mentioned in 
this connection. 

The removal of the disabilities which kept the Jews 
from agriculture and mechanical trades, and the de- 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 107 


sire of the Jews to direct the young generation into 
such pursuits gave rise to quite a number of institu- 
tions all over the world devoted to these purposes. 
Several of these are located in the Orient and were 
founded or subventioned by the Alliance Israélite. It 
established the first agricultural school near Jaffa in 
Palestine in 1871. The Hebrew Technical Institute 
of New York, founded in 1884, the agricultural schools 
at Ahlem, founded 1893, at Woodbine, N. J., 1891, 
and at Doylestown, Pa., 1896, may be mentioned. 

With the emancipation from Rabbinic studies a new 
development in Jewish learning took place. This 
showed itself in what is called the ‘‘Science of Juda- 
ism,’’ and may be defined as a systematic study of 
Jewish history and literature. The pioneer in this 
work was Leopold Zunz (1794-1886) who wrote books 
on the history of Jewihs homiletics, on the syna- 
gogal poetry and various minor essays on all phases 
of Jewish literature. He found numerous followers, not 
merely in western Europe, but also in the East, and 
thus contributed largely to the intellectual elevation 
of the Jews. 

In Eastern countries the first who wrote on these 
topics in Hebrew were Nahman Krochmal (1785- 
1840) and Solomon Loew Rapoport (1790-1867). The 
latter, inspired by the works of Zunz, was the author 
of biographies of prominent medizval rabbis. In 
Italy we have Isaac Samuel Reggio (1784-1855) and 
Samuel David Luzzatto (1800-1865), who used the 
excellent collections of old Hebrew prints and manu- 
scripts for the elucidation of the history of Jewish 
literature. The external side of the literature was 
presented in erudite form by the great bibliographer 





108 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


Moritz Steinschneider (1816-1907). History in more 
readable form was written first by Isaac Marcus Jost 
(1795-1860), and then by Heinrich Graetz (1817- 
1891), the latter’s work having gone through various 
editions and been translated into F rench, English, 
Hebrew and Yiddish. Numerous authors worked at 
the elucidation of portions of Jewish history and care- 
fully edited old manuscripts. Thus they shed light on 
obscure parts of the Jewish past and showed the 
many-sided activity of the Jews during the long period 
of their history and their influence on all human 
activities. 

In this connection the participation of the Jews in 
spiritual activity ought to be mentioned. We find _ 
them as authors, artists, inventors and scholars in 
all lines. Only the most prominent can be named. 
Ludwig Boerne, formerly Loeb Baruch (1784-1837), 
is one of the classic essayists of German literature. 
Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) is one of the greatest of 
lyric poets. Both Heine and Boerne became converted 
to Christianity. A classic author of village idyls is 
Berthold Auerbach (1812-1882). Among the greatest 
tragedians of the world are Eliza Rachel Felix (1821— 
1858), in her days the foremost actress on the French 
stage, and Adolf von Sonnenthal (1832-1909) consid- 
ered the most prominent German actor of his time. 
Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) is one of the world’s 
best known composers. Moritz Oppenheimer (1800— 
1881) was a prominent painter, and his scenes from 
Jewish life possess, besides their value as works of 
art, great worth as historic scenes. Marcus Antokol- 
sky (1842-1902) is one of the most famous sculptors, 
and Joseph Israels (born 1824) and Max Liebermann 


HISTORY OF THE JEWS 109 


(born 1849) are among the greatest painters of our 
age. In the lines of science and scholarly work 
the names of prominent Jews are too numerous to 
mention. 

The great change in the life of the Jews and their 
education brought about the necessity of harmonizing 
their religious practices with their new life. Thus 
the reform movement began. The forces which pro- 
moted it were esthetic, political and dogmatic. In 
the first class may be reckoned the efforts of Israel 
Jacobson (1769-1828). Although not a professional 
scholar he was a man of considerable Jewish learn- 
ing, and his object was to make the services of the 
synagogue more attractive to the younger generation. 
The synagogue established by him in connection with 
the school which he founded in Seesen in 1810 was 
the first that introduced some of the reforms which 
since have been generally accepted, namely, a sermon 
in the vernacular and decorum and modern music. 

In 1818 the first reform congregation was estab- 
lished in Hamburg. It was followed in 1824 by a 
similar organization in Charleston, S. C.; this, how- 
ever, was soon dissolved. These synagogues intro- 
duced a ritual different from the one which had up to 
this time been generally in use. The most important 
changes were those which eliminated the belief in the 
return of the Jews to Palestine and consequently also 
in the restoration of the sacrificial cult. These were 
followed by an attempt to present systematically the 
teachings of modern Judaism and to apply the prin- 
ciples of the modern critical school to the whole of 
Jewish life, particularly the observance of the dietary 
and marriage laws. 


110 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


The desire to work in harmony led to the convoca- 
tion of Rabbinic assemblies, the first of which was 
held in Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1844. As the ex- 
ponent of the most radical views Samuel Holdheim 
(1806-1860) is to be mentioned. It was his idea that 
Judaism had lost all its former national significance. 
On this basis the reform congregation of Berlin, whose 
first rabbi Holdheim was, was established in 1845, 
introducing for the first time solemn services on 
Sunday. 

The most prominent scientific exponent of the 
reform idea was Abraham Geiger (1810-1874), one of 
the most prominent workers in scientific Jewish litera- 
ture. He stood for a more historic conception of the 
reform principle, although as a Bible critic his posi- 
tion was advanced. His views were shared by two 
of the leading rabbis of America, David Einhorn 
(1809-1879) and Samuel Hirsch (1815-1889). They, 
together with Samuel Adler (1809-1891), represented 
the progressive ideas of German theology in America. 

In 1842 reform was definitely introduced in the 
synagogue of Charleston, S. C., following the example 
set by the foundation of the West London Synagogue 
of British Jews the year previously. In America, 
however, reform took strongest hold and soon was 
accepted by the leading congregations composed of 
the native and the naturalized element. The most 
prominent figure in the popularization of this move- 
ment in America was Isaac Mayer Wise (1819-1900). 

A more conservative view, usually spoken of as 
that of historic Judaism, was represented by Zecha- 
riah Frankel (1801-1875). He stood for freedom of 
thought in theoretical matters but advocated con- 





HISTORY OF THE JEWS 111 


servatism in worship and practice. Another division 
was formed by those who stood uncompromisingly for 
the preservation of the traditional Jewish life based 
on a strict belief in the divine origin of the Bible and 
the authenticity of Rabbinic interpretation, differing 
from the old school only in so far as they admitted 
secular education. The chief exponent of this thought 
was Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888). In Amer- 
ica his views were represented by Isaac Leeser (1806— 
1868) and Sabato Morais (1823-1897), while a com- 
promising attitude was taken by Benjamin Szold 
(1829-1902) and Marcus Justrow (1829-1903). The 
traditional view of Judaism in the sense in which it 
had generally existed until the latter half of the eight- 
eenth century, was restricted to the Orient and East- 
ern Europe and to congregations formed by recent 
immigrants from these countries in Western Europe 
and America. As a literary champion of this uncom- 
promising attitude Hillel Lichtenstein (1815-1891) 
deserves mention. 

One of the features of modern Jewish development 
is the communal organization rendered possible by 
the freedom of movement in religious, charitable and 
political activities. The Alliance Israélite Universelle 
deserves for this the first place. It was founded for 
the purpose of defending the interests of the Jews in 
countries of oppression and promoting their economic 
and moral as well as their intellectual status. This 
organization was followed by others with similar 
objects, the Israelitische Allianz of Vienna, started in 
1873, the Anglo-Jewish Association, founded in 1871, 
and the Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden, in 1901. 

Of the many organizations confined to particular 





112 HISTORY OF THE JEWS 


countries the Deutsch-Israelitischer Gemeinde-Bund, 
founded in 1869, and the Union of American Hebrew 
Congregations, established in 1873, deserve special 
mention. Very numerous are the societies created for 
the promotion of the welfare of the Jews, and aside 
from the local institutions, like hospitals, homes for 
the aged, orphan asylums and sanitariums, the so- 
cieties for the promotion of mechanical trades and 
agriculture are distinctly a product of the Jewish con- 
ditions of the nineteenth century. 

Of organizations having a wider scope, the Jewish 
Colonization Association founded by Baron Moritz 
de Hirsch in 1891, has the greatest capital. These 
schemes of colonization, to which the work done by 
the Zionist organizations and that, contemplated by 
the Jewish Territorial Organization founded in 1905, 
have to be added, are as yet only in their infancy. 
In general, however, since the French Revolution 
there has been a steady progress of Jewish life in all 
directions. 





INDEX 


Aaron ben Elijah, 43 
Abarbanel, Isaac, 65 
Abaye, 34 
Abba Areka (Rab), 33 
Abbahu of Cesarea, 31 
Abderrahman, 39 
Abeles, Lazarus, 79 
Abraham ibn Ezra, 49 
Abramowitsch, Shalom 
Jacob, 102 
Abulafia, Meir, 66 
Acosta, Uriel, 76 
Adereth Elijahu, 34 
Adler, Samuel, 110 
Zélia Capitolina, 22 
Agobard, 38 
Agrippa, 16, 17 


—II,17 

Ahai of Shabha, 41 
«‘Aharonim,’’ 86 
Akedat Yizhak, 65 
Akiba, 22, 25, 26, 27, 41 
Albigenses, 63 

Albo, Joseph, 59, 64 
Alcharizi, Judah, 51 
Alexander I, 96 


— Jannai, 13 

—, son of Aristobul, 14 

— the Great, 8 

—, successors of, 9 

Alexandra Salome, 13 

Alfasi, Isaac, 51, 66, 67 

Algiers, Chief Rabbi of, 67 

Alkabez, Solomon Halevi, 86 

Alkymus, 12 

Alliance Israelite Univer- 
selle, 106, 107, 111 

Alorqui, Joshua, 59, 66 


Alphonso X, 58 

Alsace, 55, 58, 74, 93, 103 

Ambrosius, 37 t 

America, 838, 99, 100, 109, 
110, 111 

America, Early Jewish Com- 
munities in, 81, 82 

American Revolution, 82 

Amolo, 39 

Amoraim, 31 

Amram Gaon, 41 

Amsterdam,75, 76, 81, 82, 100 

Anan ben David, 43 

Anatoli, Jacob, 65 

seat: Jewish Association, 

Antigonus, 9 


—, 14 
Anti-Jewish books, 38, 39, 


73, 79 
Antiochus III, 9 
— IV (Epiphanes), 9, 11 
V, 11 


Antipater, 13, 14 
Anti-Semitism, Rise of, 98 
Antokolsky, Marcus, 108 
Antony, 14 

Apollonius, 10 

Arabs, 35, 39, 48, 49, 58 
Arama, Isaac, 65 
Arbues, Peter, 60 
Archelaus, 15 

Arians, 38 

Aristobul, 13 

—, 18, 14 

Armleder, John, 55 
Artaxerxes, 8 

—III, Ochus, 8 

Aruk, 41, 51 


118 





114 INDEX 

Aryeh Lob, 87 Bohemia, 62 

Ascarelli, Deborah, 84 Bonds, Annulling of, 54 
yo Shalom, 103 Brazil, 81 


Ashe, Rab, 34 

Asher ben Yechiel, 67 

Auerbach, Berthold, 108 

Augustus, 16 

Austria, 79, 91, 92, 94, 95, 98, 
105 

Auto-da-fe, 60, 61, 81 

Avignon, 57 

Azariah dei Rossi of Fer- 

" rara, 84, 85 


Babylonia, 7, 8, 31, 32, 38, 40 
Bacharach, ‘Jair Hayyim, 87 
Bahya ibn Pakuda, 48, 64 
Bajazed II, Sultan, 70 
Balkans, 63 
Bamberger, Seligman Bar, 
105 
Barcelona, Disputation at, 58 
Bar Kochba, Simeon, 22, 26 
Bashjazi, Elijah, 43 
Basle, Zionist Congress at, 
99 


Bavaria, Roe in, 93 

Bela IV, 6 

Benedict SIL, 59 

— of York, 48 

Benjamin of Nehawend, 43 

Berlin, 72, 75, 79, 81, 90, 100, 
106, 110 

— , Treaty of, 97, 99 

Bernard of Clairvaux, AT 

Bernardin of Feltre, 56, 61 

Bernstein, Aaron, 103 

Besht, Israel, 78 

Bevis of Hampton, Sir, 84 

Bialik, Chayim Nachman, 
102 

Bialystok, 96 

Bikure Ha-ittim, 104 

Black Plague, 55 

Blois, France, 48 

Blood- -accusation, 47, 58, 56, 
61, 78, 79, 98 

Bobo book, 83 

Boerne, Ludwig, 108 


Breslau, 56, 68 

— , Rabbinic Seminary at, 106 
Bruna, Israel, Trial of, 68 
Bulgaria, 97 

Byzantine Empire, 30, 37 


Cesar, 14 

Czesarea, 17 

Caligula, 16 

Callistus, 23 

Calvin, 73 

Capistrano, John, 56, 62 

Caro, Joseph, 65, 85, 86 

Carpentras, 57 

Casimir the Great, 62 

Cestius Gallus, 18 

Champagne, province of, 52 

Charlemagne, 39, 46 

Charles II of England, (53 

— III of France, 39 

Charleston, S. C., Reform 
Congregation at, 109, 110 

Charters, 46, 47, 62 

Chazars, 44, 49 

“Children of the Ghetto, ’’ 
03 


Chmelnicki, 78 

Cincinnati, Rabbinic Semi- 
nary of, 106 

Claudius, 17 

Clemens, Flavius, 21 

Clementina, 21 

Cohen, Joseph, 88 

— , Sabbatai, 86 

—, Tobias, 89 

Cologne, 56, 92 

Colon, Joseph, 68 

Conforte, David, 88 

Constantine, 29, 46 

Constantinople, Conquest of, 
63 


Cordova, Jews in Caliphate 
of, 39 

Crassus, 14 

Cremieux, 100 

Crescas, Hasdai, 64 





INDEX 


Cromwell, 75, 81 

Crusades, 47, 57, 62 

Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, 
30 


Cyrus, 7 
Czars, 96 


Dahlberg, Baron von, 92 

Damascus, Blood Accusation 
in, 98 

Dante, 65 

David Halevi, 86 

David ben Zakkai, 42 

Delmedigo, Jos. Sol., 84 

Demetrius I, 11 

Dessau, 79 

Deuterosis, 30 

Deutsch -Israelitischer Ge- 
meinde-Bund, 11 

Dialecticism (see Pilpul) 

Dio Cassius, 21 

Diocletian, 28 

Disputations, 58, 59 

Divina Commedia, 65 

Dod Mordecai, 44 

Dohm, Christian F., 91 

Dominican Friars, 63, 64, 66, 
73, T4 

Domitian, 20 

Donin, Nicholas, 57, 64 

Donmah, 77 

Donolo, Sabbatai, 45 

Dramatists, Yiddish, 103 

Dreyfus, Capt. Alfred, 98 

Drumont’s ‘‘La France 
Juive,’’ 98 

Duma, 97 

Dunash ibn Labrat, 39 

Duran, Simeon ben Zemach, 
68 


Eben Bohan, 65 

— Haezer, 67 

Eek, John, 73 

Edward I, 54 

Eger, Akiba, 105 
Einhorn, David, 110 
Eisenmenger, J. A., 79 
Eldad Hadani, 44 


115 


Eleazar ben Azariah, 25 

—ben Jehudah, 68 

— ben Kallir, 45 

— of Modin, 22 

— bar Padath, 31 

Eliezer ben Hyrkanos, 25 

Elijah Levita, 83 

— de Vidas, 86 

—del Medigo, 66 

— of Wilna, 88 

Elisha ben Abuya (Acher the 
Apostate), 26 

Ellstaetter, Moritz, 100 

Emden, city, 75 

—, Jacob, 88 

Emigration from Russia and 
Rumania, 99 

Emunot Wedeot, 42 

England, 54, 75, 82, 91, 95, 
100, 110 

En Jacob, 85 

‘‘Entdecktes Judenthum,’’79 

Eshkol Hakofer, 43 

Ethics, 76 

Ets Hayim, 43 

Ettlinger, Jacob, 105 

Pee of Jews, Arabia, 


—, Austria, 74 

—, Berlin, 75, 79 
—, Bohemia, 74 

—, England, 54, 75 
—, France, 57 

—, Germany, 56, 57 
—, Hungary, 62 

—, Luebeck, 93 

—, Portugal, 59, 60 
—, Spain, 60, 62 
—, Vienna, 79 

= eee goue: Jonathan, 87, 


8 
Ezra, the Scribe, 8, 32 } 
—, the Kabbalist, 69 
Ezriel, 69 


Felix, Eliza Rachel, 108 i 
Ferdinand of Spain, 60, 70 | 
—I of Austria, 74 

Firkovitch, Abraham, 44 





116 INDEX 


“*Fiscus Judaicus,’’ 20, 21 

Flagellants, 55 

Fould, Godchaux and Achille, 
100 


France, 37, 38, 39, 48, 58, 54, 
57, 58, 68, 91, 98, 100 

Frank, Jacob, 77 

Frankel, Zechariah, 104, 110 

Frankfort-on-the-Main, 80, 
92, 110 

Franzos, Karl Emil, 103 

Frederick II of Germany, 
53, 65 

— ie Belligerent, Law of, 
5: 


— the Great, 90 

— William III, 94 

_ Mei of Brandenburg, 
7 


French Revolution, 94 


Gabirol (see Solomon ibn) 
Gamaliel II, 24, 25 

Gan Eden, 43 

Gans, David, 88 

Gaonim, 40, 41, 42, 43 
Gaza, Battle of, 9 
Gedaliah ibn Yahya, 88 


Geiger, Abraham, 104, 110 


Germany, 36, 37, 39, 46, 52, 
53, 54, 55, 56, 68, 72, 73, 
74, 75, 79, 80, 81, 89, 90, 
91, 92, 98, 98, 101, 103 

Geronimo de Santa Fe (see 
Alorqui, Joshua) 

Gershom ben Judah (Meor 
Hagolah), 46 

Gessius Florus, 17 

Ghetto, 71, 92 

Ghetto novel, 103 

Pinetree. Meier Aaron, 

3 

Goldsmid, Francis H., 95 

Gombiner, Abraham, 86 

Gomperz, Elijah, 79 

Gordin, Jacob, 103 

Gordon, Judah Loew, 102 

Goths, 37, 38 

Graetz, Heinrich, 108 


Granada, 49 

Grégoire, Abbé, 91 

Gregory I, 37, 38 

Gregory of Tours, 38 
Guenzburg, Aaron, 101 
““Guide of the Perplexed,’’ 50 


Habib, Jacob ibn, 84 
Hadrian, 21, 22 

Halakot Gedolot, 40 
Halberstadt, 79 

Halle, 79 

Hamaggid, 104 

Hamburg, 93, 109 

Hamon, Joseph, 70 
Hanina, Rabbi, 31 
Haschiloach, 104 

Hasdai ibn Shaprut, 39, 44 
Hasidim, 77 

—, Sefer, 68 

Hasidism, 77, 78 
Hasmoneans, 11 

Hay Gaon, 42 

Hayon, Nehemiah, 77 
Hazan, Hayim David, 105 
“*‘Hazefirah,’’ 104 
Heche Judah ben Samuel, 


Heilprin, Jehiel, 88 

Heine, Heinrich, 108 

Helic, Luke, 73 

Heliodorus, 10 

Henry II of Aragon, 58 

— III of England, 54 

— IV of Germany, 46 

‘‘Hep-hep”’ riots, 93 

Heraclius, 30 

Herod, 14, 15 

— Antipas, 15 

Herzl, Theodor, 99 

Hezekiah, 14 

—, Gaon, 43 

Hilfsverein der deutschen 
Juden, 111 

Hillel, 23, 24 

— II, 32 

Hilperic, 38 

Hirsch, Baron Moritz de, 99, 
112 





INDEX 


Hirsch, Samson Raphael, 111 
—, Samuel, 110 

Hisda, 34 

Hizuk Emunah, 43 
Hof-Jude, Hof-factor, 79 
Holdheim, Samuel, 110 
Holland (see Amsterdam) 
Homel, 96 

Honig, Israel, 90, 92 
Horowitz, Isaiah, 86 

Hoshen Mishpat, 67 

Host Desecration, 54, 56, 72 
Huna, 33, 34 

Hungary, 62 

Hussites, 56 

Hyrcan, John, 12 


Ibn Ezra, Abraham, 49, 85 
—, Ganah, 39 

—, Moses, 50 

— Tibbon, Samuel, 50, 64 
Idumeans, 12, 138, 15 
Ikkarim, 59, 64 

Immanuel ben Solomon, 65 
Innocent III, 48 

— IV, 53 

Inquisition, 59, 60, 63, 80, 81 
Ipsus, Battle of, 9 

Isaac ben Meir, 51 

— ben Sheshet (Ribash), 67 
—, Bernhard, 90 

—, Don, 58 

— of Troki, 43 

—, son of Rabed, 69 
Isabella, 60 

Isaiah di Trani, 68 
Ishmael, Rabbi, 26 

Isidore of Seville, 38 
Islam, 36, 77 

Israelitische Allianz, 111 
Israels, Joseph, 108 
Isserlein, Israel, 68 
Tsserls, Moses, 85 


Jabneh, School of, 24 

Jacob ben Asher, 67, 85 

Jacobson, Israel, 109 

Jakob ben Meir (see Rab- 
benu Tam) 


117 


James VIII, 58 
Jannai, 45 
—, Alexander, 13 
Jason (Joshua), 10 
Jastrow, Marcus, 111 
Jerome, 32 
Jerusalem, Siege of, by Ti- 
tus, 18 
—, by Hadrian, 22 
—, by Saladin, 63 
Jesuits, 71, 78, 79 


Jew Badge (see Yellow 
Badge) 

Jewish Colonization Associ- 
ation, 112 


= Fronds, in Rome, 21, 
— a: Fetes Organization, 
i: 


Joachim II, Margrave, 75 

Johanan bar Nappaha, 31 

—, high priest, 8 

— ben Zakkai, 24 

John, King of England, 54 

— Hyrcan, 12 

Jonathan, Maccabee, 12 

Jose bar Halafta, 27 

— ben Jose, 45 

—, Rabbi, 32 

Joseph II of Austria, 91, 105 

—, Rab, 

—, Raphael, 77 

_, an of Samuel Hanagid, 
4 


—, son of Tobias, 9 
Josephus, Flavius, 18, 45 
Joshua ben Hananiah, 25 
— ben Jehozadak, 8 

—, Jacob, 87 

Josippon, 45 

Jost, Isaac Marcus, 108 
Jotapat, Siege of, 18 
Judeo-Christian sect, 77 
Judah bar Ezekiel, 34 

— bar Ilai, 27 

— ben Samuel Hechasid, 68 
— Hadassi, 43 

— Halevi, 44, 49, 64 

— Hanasi, 27, 28, 30, 33 





118 INDEX 


Judah, successors of, 31 
—-Hayug, 39 

—, son of Hezekiah, 16 
—, the Elder, 64 

—, the Maccabee, 11 
—, the Patriarch, 23 
Jiidenfeind, 73 
Judenstaat, Der, 99 
Julian, the Apostate, 29 
Julius Severus, 22 
Justinian, 30 


Kabbala, 41, 45, 63, 69, 77, 
84, 86, 87, 88 

Kalla, 40 

Kalonymos ben Kalonymos, 
65 


— family, 68 

— of Lucca, 39, 46 
Kapsali, Elijah, 68 
Kara, Simeon, 66 
Karaites, 48, 44 
Karben, Victor von, 74 
Kerem Hemed, 104 
Kimhi, David, 62, 63 
—, Joseph, 64 

—, Moses, 64 
Kishineff, 96, 102 
Kohut, Alexander, 41 
Kompert, Leopold, 103 
Krochmal, Nahman, 107 
Kuzari, 44, 49, 64 


Ladino, 63, 70 

Laimen, Bavaria, 90 
Landau, Ezekiel, 87 
Lateran Council, 48 
Lattes, Bonet de, 71 
Leeser, Isaac, 111 
Legislation, Medizeval, 53 
Lehman, Behrendt, 79 
“‘Lekah Dodi,’’ 86 
Lemberg, 78 

Lemlein, Asher, 72 
Leo X, 71 

Leon, Judah Messer, 65 
Leopold (Lippold), 75 
— I of Austria, 79 


Levi ben Gershom, 64 

—, Herz, 79 

Levita, Elijah, 71, 83 

Libman, Jost, 79 

Lichtenstein, Hillel, 111 

Liebermann, Max, 108 

Literary Activity in Europe, 
Earliest, 45 

Lithuania, 78 

Liturgy, 41, 49 

Locke, John, 82 

Loeb, Aryeh, 87 

Loewe Ben Bezalel, 85 

Longobards, 37 

Louis I of Germany, 39 

— of Hungary, 62 

— IX of France, 57 

— X of France, 57 

— of Hesse, 73 

Luebeck, 93 

Luria, Isaac, 86 

—, Solomon, 85 

Luther, 72, 73 

Luzzatti, Luigi, 100 

Luzzatto, Moses Hayyim, 87 

—, Samuel David, 107 

Lysias, 11 


Maaseh Tobiyah, 89 
Maccabee, Judah the, 11 
Machir ben Aba Mari, 66 
Magnesia, Battle of, 9 
Maimonides, 50, 51; 63, 66, 85 
Mammea, 23 
Manuel, 60 
Mapu, Abraham, 101, 102 
Marannos, 59, 60, 61, 70, 72, 
76, 80, 81 
Marcus Aurelius, 23 
Margaliot, Jacob, 73 
Margaritha, Antonius, 73 
Mariamne, 15, 16 
Marinus (see ibn Ganah) 
Martinez, Ferdinand, 58 
Massada, Siege of, 19 
Masseket Purim, 65 
Mattathiah, 11 
Mayence, 46, 92 
**Meassef,’’ 101, 108 





INDEX 


Medic (see Delmedigo, Jos. 


ol. 

Medigo, Elijah del, 66 

Medini, Hayim Hezekiah, 105 

Meir of Rothenburg, 67 

—, Rabbi, 27 

Meisels, Mordecai, 74 

Menahem ben Saruk, 39 

Menasseh ben Israel, 75 

Mendele the bookseller (see 
Abramowitsch) 

Mendelssohn, Moses, 90, 100, 
101, 105 

Mendes, Joseph (Duke of 
Naxos), 70 

—, Gracia, 70 

Menelaus, 10 

Meor Enayim, 84 

Merovingian kings, 37 

Messiah, 33, 36, 70, 71, 76, 
TT, 86 

Metz, 91, 106 

Meyerbeer, Giacomo, 108 

Mezdzyrzecz, Baer, 78 

Midrah, 45, 65, 66 

Miklol, 63 

Ministers, Jews as, 100 

Mishnah, Compilation of, 27, 
30, 31, 33, 34 

—, Commentary, 50, 64 

Mishneh Torah, 50 

Mizrahi, Elijah, 83 


Mob Violence, 39, 40, 37, 46, 


48, 54, 55, 57, 62, 78, 79, 
80, 93, 96, 99 
Modena, Leon, 84 
Modin, 11 
Mohammed, 35, 36 
Mohammedans, 29, 39, 40, 
70, 72 ‘ 
Molcho, Solomon, 72 
Monism, 76 
Morais, Sabato, 111 
Moravian Brethren, 73 
Mordecai ben Hillel, 67 
—hben Nissim, 44 
Moreh Nebukim, 50, 63, 64, 


67 
Morteira, Rabbi Saul, 76 





119 


Moses ben Maimon (see Mai- 
- monides) 
— ben Nachman, 58, 66 
— ben Uri, 75 
— ibn Ezra, 50 
~ of Coucy, 68 
— of Leon, 69 


Nahman bar Jacob, 34 
— of Bratzlav, 78 
Naples, 37 

Napoleon I, 93 

— III, 100 

Nathan of Gaza, 77 

— of Rome, 41, 51 
Naxos, Duke of, 70 
Nebuchadnezzar, 7 
Nehardea, School in, 33 
Nehemiah, 8 

— Hakohen, 77 

Nero, 18 

Nerva, 21 

New York, 102 

—, Rabbinic Seminary of, 106 
Nicholas I, 96 
Nigrinus, 73 

Nikanor, 12 
Nikolsburg, 106 
Norway, 95 
Nuremberg, 67, 68 


Odessa, 96 

Offenbach, 77 
Oglethorpe, James, 82 
Omar, Covenant of, 36 
Onias III, 10 
Oppenheimer, Moritz, 108 
—, Samuel, 79 

Orah Hayyim, 67 
Organizations, 111, 112 
Orzeska, Eliza, 103 
Ostrogoths, 36 
Ottolenghi, Joseph, 100 


Padua, School at, 106 

Palaggi, Hayim, 105 

Palestine, Character of Stud- 
ies in, 82 

Pantheism (Monism), 76 





120 


Parliaments, Jews as mem- 
bers of, 94, 95, 97 

Parsees, 28 

Parthians, 14, 28 

Paul IV, 71 

Payetanim, 45 

Peretz, Isaac Loeb, 102 

Perls, Joseph, 105 

Persecutions (see Mob Vio- 
lence, Host Desecration, 
and Blood Accusation) 

Persia, 8, 30, 40 

Peter the Cruel, 58 

Petronius, 16 

Pfefferkorn, John, 78, 74 

Pharisees, 13, 21 

Philip, son of Herod, 15 

— IV of France, 57 

— V of France, 57, 72 

Philippi, Battle of, 14 

Philippson, Ludwig, 104 

Pick, Isaiah, 88 

Pilpul, 34, 87, 88 

Pirke, Rabbi Eliezer, 45 

Pius V, 71 

—, Marcus Antoninus, 28, 26 

Piyut, 45 

Podolia, 77 

Poland, 57, 62, 71, 77, 78 

Pompey, 14 

Pontius Pilate, 16 

Popes, 37, 38, 48, 53, 57, 59, 
61, 70, 71, 72, 74, 93 

Portugal, 60, 76, 80, 81, 82 

Press, Jewish, 101, 103, 104 

Printing, 62, 71, 75 

Priscus, 38 

Propaganda, 20, 29° 

Protestantism, 72, 73 

Prussia (see Berlin and Ger- 
many), 90, 92, 94 

Ptolemy, of Egypt, 9 

—, son-in-law of Simon the 
Maccabee, 12 

Pumbeditha, School of, 34, 
40, 42 


Quietus, 21 
Quirinius, 12 


INDEX 


Rab (see Abba Areka) 
aba, 34 

Rabba bar Nahmani, 34 

Rabbenu-Hakadosh (see Ju- 
dah Hanasi) 

— Tam, 51, 52 

Rabbi (see Judah Hanasi) 

Rabina, 34 

Ramban, 66, 69 

Rapoport, Solomon Loew, 
107 


Rashba (see Solomon ibn 
Adret) 

Rashbam, 51, 52 

Rashi, 51, 52 

Ratisbon, 56, 57 

Ravenna, 37 

Rebellion of Jews, under 


Trajan, 21 
Reform Movement, 109, 110, 
111 


Reformation, 72, 78, 74, 78, 
83 


Reggio, Isaac Samuel, 107 

Renaissance, 73, 83, 84 

Resh Galutha, 40 

— Methibta, 40 

Responsa (see Teshubot) 

Reubeni, David, 72 

Reuchlin, John, 73, 74 

Reyna, 70 

Rhode Island, 76, 82 

Ribash (see Isaac ben She- 
shet) 

Richard Coeur de Lion, 48 

Riesser, Gabriel, 94 

Rieti, Moses, 65 

Rindfleisch riot, 55, 67 

Reettingen, 54 

Rokeah, 68 

Romano, Elijah, 71 

—, Solomon, 71 

Rome, 18 sa. (see Popes), 
93 


Rosenfeld, Morris, 102 

Rosh, 67 

Rosheim, Josel, 74 

Rossi, Azariah dei (see Aza- 
riah) 





INDEX 


Rothschild, Baron Lionel de, 
95 


—, Baron Nathan de, 96 
Rumania, 97, 99 
Russia, 96, 97, 99 


Saadya Gaon, 42, 43 

Sabbatai Zevi, 76, 77, 88 

Saboraim, 34 

Sacher-Masoch, Leopold von, 
103 

Sadducees, 13 

Safed, 70, 86 

Saladin, 63 

Salman ben Jeroham, 43 

Salome Alexandra, 13 

Salomons, David, 95 

Samaritans, Conversion of, 


12 
Samuel of Naharder, 33 
— ben Meir (see Rashban:) 
—, Herbert, 100 
— Hanagid, 49 
— ibn Adijah, 35 
— ibn Hofni, 42 
San Benito, 60 
Sanhedrin, 24, 25, 38, 93 


Sargon, 7 

io Modern, 105, 106, 
07 

Schreiber, Moses (Sofer), 
04 


“‘Science of Judaism,’’ 107 

Secular Education, Rise of, 
101, 105 

Seder Rab Amram, 41 

Seesen, 109 

Sefer Hayashar, 52 

Seleucus, 9 

Seligmann, Aaron Elias, 90 

Selim I, Sultan, 70 

Semag, 69 

Servia, 97 

Severus, Alexander, 23 

—, Septimius, 23 

“*‘Shebet Jehudah,’’ 88 

Sheeltot, 41 

Shepherd Crusaders, 57 

Sherira, Epistle of, 42 


121 


Shesheth, 34 

Shtadlan, 74 

Shulhan Aruk, 65, 85, 86 

Sicarii, 17 

Sidra, 40 

Silbermann, Lazarus, 104 

Simeon bar Isaac, 46 

— ben Azai, 26 

— ben Gamaliel II, 27 

— ben Lakish, 31 

— ben Shetach, 13 

— ben Yohai, 69, 88 

— Kayara, 40 

—, the Stylite, St., 30 

Simon, the reformer, 10 

—, the Maccabee, 12 

—, of Trent, 56 

Sofer, Moses, 104 

Soliman II, Sultan, 70 

Solomon ben Abraham of 
Montpellier, 66 

— ben Isaac (see Rashi) 

— Halevi (Paul, Bishop of 
Burgos), 59 

— Ibn Adret (Rashba), 67 

— ibn Gabirol, 49 

— Ibn Verga, 88 

—, son of Judah, 64 

Soncino family, 75 

Sonnenthal, Adolf von, 108 

Spain, 38, 39, 48, 49, 58, 70, 
81, 88 

Spector, Isaac Elhanan, 105 

Speyer, 46, 47 

Spinoza, Benedict, 76 

Steinhart, Joseph, 88 

Steinschneider, Moritz, 108 

Straus, Oscar S., 100 

Stuyvesant, Governor, 76, 82 

Sullam, Sarah Copia, 84 

Sultans, 70 

Sura, School in, 38, 40, 42 

Sweden, 95 

Switzerland, 95 

Syria, 9, 10, 12 

Szold, Benjamin, 111 


Talmud, Burning of, 57 
—, Palestinian, 32 








~—=> 


122 - INDEX 


Talmud, Babylonian, 34, 46, 


51, 52, 64, 67, 71, 84 

—, Travesty on, 65 

Talmudic Dictionaries, 41, 51 

— Literature, 66 

Tanaim, 27, 31 

Targum, 34 . 

Tarnopol, 105 

Tashbez (Simeon Duran), 68 

Terumat Ha-Deshen, 68 

Teshubot (Responsa), 40, 42, 
46, 67, 68 

Theodoric, 36 

Theodosius I, 29 

— II,-30 

Tiberias, School of, 31 

Tineius Rufus, 22 

Tishbi, 83 

Titus, 18 

Toledo, 58 

‘“Toleranz-Edict,’’ 91 

Torquemada, Thomas, 60 

Tortosa, Disputation at, 59 

Tosafists, 52 

Tractatus, Theologico Politi- 
cus, 76 

Trajan, 21 

Trani, Isaiah di, 68 

Tremellius, Emanuel, 73 

Trent, Blood Accusation at, 
56, 61 

—, Council of, 71 

Trigland, Jacob, 48 

Tryphon, 12 

Turim, 67 

Turks, 63, 70 


Union of American Hebrew 
Congregations, 112 

United States (see America) 

Uriel Acosta, 76 

Usha, Synod at, 26 

Usque, Samuel, 88 


Varus, 16 

Venice, 70, 71, 72 
Vespasian, 18, 24 
Vidas, Elijah de, 86 





Vienna, Congress of, 93 

—, School for blind and deaf 
mutes at, 106 ~ 

Visigoths, 38 

Vital, Hayyim, 86 

Volhynia, 77 


Washington, George, 82 
Weill, Alexander, 103 
Wenzel, King of Bohemia, 55 
Wertheimer, Samson, 79 
Wesel, Naphtali Herz, 101 
Wessely Hartwig (see Wesel) 
West India Company, 76 
William of Norwich, 47 
Williams, Roger, 76, 82 
Wise, Isaac M., 104, 110 
Wolf, Moses Benj., 79 
Wolfenstein, Martha, 103 
Wolkenburg Castle, 47 
Wollemborg, 100 

Worms, 46 

Wuerzburg, 47 


Yalkut Machiri, 66 

— Shimeoni, 66 

Yellow Badge, 48, 58, 71, 91 
Yezirah, Sefer, 41 

Yiddish, 63, 102 

Yoreh Deah, 67 


Zadok, 13 

Zangwill, Israel, 103 

Zealots, 16, 18, 24 

“‘Zemah David,’’ 88 

Zemah Gaon, 41, 51 

Zemstvo, Jews excluded from 
the, 97 

Zerahiah Halevi, 67 

Zerubbabel, 8 

Zevi, Sabbatai (see Sabba- 
tai 


ai) 
Zion, Ode to, 49 
—, Lovers of, 99 
Zionism, 99, 113 
Zohar, 69, 88 
Zunz, Leopold, 107