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The Nathan Fechheimer 
( 1900 - 1918 ) 
Memorial Collection 

The Gift of His Parents 






S. SCHKCHTIsR, M.A., Lin. 1). 


The Jewish Publication Society of America 
I 908 

< 'c>i'YRJ<;iir, lyoS, by 
' ruLs: jKWisfi 1*1 Bi.tCATK^iSi Soeitc'i v 

* » K A M K R 1 C- A 




The volume presented herewith to tlie public, 
under the title, “Studies in Juduism, Second Series,” 
forms, like the preceding series published some ten 
years ago, a collection of detached essays and articles 
written at long intervals and called forth by various 

The first two essays. “ A Hoard of Hebrew Manu- 
scripts,” were written shortly after my return from 
Egypt, when the examination of the contents of the 
Genizah was still in its initial stage. Since then, the 
Geniz^di has been constantly revealing treasures to 
the world, to which only volumes of description could 
do justice. The publications containing matter com- 
ing from this treasure- trove would by this time make 
a little library, whilst the editions of Sirach fragments 
and the literature of controversies provoked by the 
publication of the original of this Apocryphal book 
might fill a fair-sized shelf in themselves. But the 
work is only just beginning ; and as the field is so large 
and the workers so few, 1 confess that I look with envy 
upon the younger students who may one day, at least 
in their old age, enjoy the full and ripe fruit of these 
discoveries in all their various branches and wide 



Thq third and fifth essays, “ The Study of the 
Bible '' and On the Study of the Talmud/' were called 
forth by my appointment as Professor of Hebrew in 
the University College, London. The one on The 
Study of the Bible " was intended to explain my atti- 
tude toward a problem closely connected with a sub- 
ject I was called upon to expound to my class. The 
views I expressed on that occasion were described by 
a friend as “ rank scepticism," doubting an interpreta- 
tion of Jewish history now generally accepted as the 
final truth, and by men of a younger generation 
looked upon even as an ancient tradition. To this 
accusation I must plead guilty, and even confess that 
my scepticism has kept pace with the advance of 
years. The one “ On the Study of the Talmud " was 
meant to give some directions to theologians attend- 
ing my class, as to the way they might best profit by 
their Rabbinic studies. The essay being practically 
a plea for a scientific study of the Talmud, it was 
thought that it might be profitably read by wider 

The fourth essay, “A Glimpse of the Social Life 
of the Jews in the Age of Jesus the Son of Sirach," 
was suggested by niy work, The Wisdom of Ben 
Sira/V when preparing the finds of the Hebrew origi- 
nals of Ecclesiasticus for the press. It assumes, 



with many writers, that the Synagogue in the time 
of Sirach was, in most of its important features, 
already fairly developed, and that as a consequence 
the religious life, at 200 B. c. e. or thereabouts, did 
not greatly differ from what we know it to have 
been at 60 b. c. e.; though, of course, the Hellenistic 
persecutions must have greatly contributed toward 
emphasizing and intensifying it in various respects. 
The essay in question is, however, mostly devoted to 
the social life of the Jews, and tries to show how little 
such generalities as the common conception of the 
conversion of a Nation into a Church, answer the real 
facts. The Synagogue became a part of the Nation, 
not the Nation a part of the Synagogue. 

The sixth essay, “ The Memoirs of a Jewess of the 
Seventeenth Century,’' forms a review of the well- 
known diary of the Jewess Gliickel von Hameln 
(1645-1719). I found much pleasure in writing it, as 
the diary is quite unique as a piece of literature, and 
bears additional testimony to the fact that our grand- 
mothers were not devoid of religion, though they 
prayed in galleries, and did not determine the lan- 
guage of the ritual. Theirs was a real, living re- 
ligion, which found expression in action and in a sweet 



The eighth essay, “Four Epistles to the Jews of 
England,” was published as a protest against the ap- 
pearance on English soil of certain theological catch- 
words, which struck me as both misleading and 
obsolete. It is only fair to state that the writer’s 
opinions did not pass unchallenged, and provoked 
much controversy at the time. 

The seventh and ninth essays are closely con- 
nected ; but while “Saints and Saintliness” deals 
more with the thing “saintliness,” “ Safed ” treats 
more of saints, and the two arc intended to comple- 
ment each other in various ways. 

A prominent English writer in a moody moment 
remarked, that one would love to be a saint for at 
least six months. I do not think that there are many 
who cherish a similar desire, but there may be some 
few who would not object to an opportunity of ob- 
serving or dwelling with a saint for a few moments. 
They may perhaps learn that there is something 
better even than “modernity” — which is, eternity. 

For the rest, these essays written in a popular 
style, all technicalities being strictly excluded, need no 
further comment. The authorities for my statements 
in the text are given at the end of the book in a series 
of notes, while the essay on Safed is accompanied by 
two appendixes, giving, especially in Appendix A, new 



matter from manuscripts upon which I have largely 
drawn in the text. 

My thanks are due to the editors of The London 
Times, The Sunday wSchool Times (Philadelphia), The 
Jewish Quarterly Review, and The Jewish Chronicle 
(London), in which periodicals some of these essays 
appeared for the first time. 1 am also indebted to 
Mr. I. George Dob.sevage, of New York, who was 
always at my call during the progress of the work. 
My thanks are furthermore due to Rabbi Charles 
Isaiah Hoffman, of Newark, N. J., and Dr. Alexander 
Marx, Professor of History in The Jewish Theological 
Seminary of America, who helped me in various ways 
in the revision of the proofs. But I am under 
special obligations to my friend Miss Henrietta Szold, 
the able Secretary of The Jewish Publication Society 
of America, not only for the Index, but also for her 
painstaking reading of the proofs, and for ever so 
many helpful suggestions by which this volume has 

S. S. 

January, 1908. 



A Hoard of Hebrew Manuscripts I , . i 

A Hoard of Hebrew Manuscripts II . 12 

The Study of the Bible 31 

A Glimpse of the Social Life of the Jews in the Age of 

Jesus the Son of Sirach 55 

On the Study of the Talmud 102 

The Memoirs of a Jewess of the Seventeenth Century . . 126 

Saints and Saintliness 148 

Four Epistles to the Jews of England 182 

Safed in the Sixteenth Century— A City of Legists and 

Mystics 202 

Appendixes 289 

Appendix A 292 

Appendix B 302 

Notes 309 

Index 331 



The Genizah, to explore which was the object of 
my travels in the East (1896-1897), is an old Jewish 
institution. The word is deriv^ed from the Hebrew 
verb ganaz^ and signifies treasure-house, or hiding- 
place. When applied to books, it means much the 
same thing as burial means in the case of men. 
When the spirit is gone, we put the corpse out of 
sight to protect it from abuse. In like manner, when 
the writing is worn out, Ave hide the book to pre- 
serve it from profanation. The contents of the book 
go up to heaven like the soul. I see the parchment 
burning, and the letters flying up in the air,” were the 
last words of the martyr R. Chanina ben Teradyon, 
when he went to the stake wrapped in the scrolls of 
the Law. The analogy of books with men was so 
strongly felt that sometimes the term “hide” was 
used even in epitaphs : “ Here was hidden {jiignaz or 
nitman) this man.” When R. Eliezer the Great was 
buried, they said, ‘‘a scroll of the Law was hidden.” 
It was probably this feeling that suggested the in- 
junction to hide worn-out copies of the Pentateuch in 
the grave of a scholar. More often, however, they 
dug a grave for the dead books themselves in the 



cemetery, or hid them in some sort of shed adjoining 
the synagogue. ^ 

Happily for us, this process of “ hiding was not 
confined to dead or worn-out books alone. In the 
course of time the Genizah extended its protection to 
what we may call (to carry on the simile) invalid 
books ; that is, to books which by long use or want 
of care came to be in a defective state, sheets being 
missing at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end, 
and which were thus disqualified for the common pur- 
poses of study. Another class of works consigned to 
the Genizah were what we may call disgraced books, 
books which once pretended to the rank of Scriptures, 
but were found by the authorities to be wanting in 
the qualification of being dictated by the Holy Spirit. 
They were “hidden.*’ Hence our term “Apocrypha” 
for writings excluded from, or never admitted into, 
the Canon. Of course, such books came into the 
Genizah in a sound condition ; but the period at 
which synods and councils were able to test the 
somewhat indefinable quality of inspiration is now so 
remote that these “external works” have met, by 
reason of long neglect, with the same fate of decom- 
position that awaited sacred books, by reason of long 
and constant use. 

Besides these ^sacred and semi-sacred books the 
Genizah proved a refuge for a class of writings that 
never aspired to the dignity of real books, but are 
none the less of the greatest importance for Jewish 
history. As we know, the use of the sacred language 



was, among the Jews, not confined to the sacred liter- 
ature. With them it was a living language. They 
wrote in it their letters, kept in it their accounts, and 
composed in it their love-songs and wine-songs. All 
legal documents, such as leases, contracts, marriage 
settlements, and letters of divorce, and the proceed- 
ings as well as the decisions of the courts of justice, 
were drawn up in Hebrew, or, at least, written in 
Hebrew letters. As the Jews attached a certain 
sacredness to everything resembling the Scriptures, 
either in matter or in form, they were loth to treat 
even these secular documents as mere refuse, and 
when, they were overtaken by old age, they disposed 
of them by ordering them to the Genizah, in which 
they found a resting-place for centuries. The Geni- 
zah of the old Jewish community thus represents a 
combination of sacred lumber-room and secular record 

It was such a Genizah that I set out to visit in the 
middle of December, 1896. My destination was Cairo. 
The conviction of the importance of its Genizah had 
grown upon me as I examined the various manuscripts 
which had found their way from it into English pri- 
vate and public libraries, and which had already led 
to important discoveries. I therefore determined to 
make a pilgrimage to the source whence they had 
come. My plan recommended itself to the authori- 
ties of the University of Cambridge, and found warm 
supporters in Professor Sidgwick, Dr. Donald Mac- 
Alister, and especially Dr. Taylor, the Master of St 



John’s College. To the enlightened generosity of this 
great student and patron of Hebrew literature it is due 
that my pilgrimage became a regular pleasure trip to 
Egypt, and extended into the Holy Land. 

Noav that the sources of the Nile are being visited 
by bicycles, there is little fresh to be said about Cairo 
and Alexandria. The latter, at which I landed, is 
particularly disappointing to the Jewish student. 
There is nothing in it to remind one of Philo, whose 
vague speculations were converted into saving dogmas, 
or of the men of the Septuagint, whose very blunders 
now threaten to become Scripture. Nor is any trace 
left of the principal synagogue, in whose magnificent 
architecture and tasteful arrangements the old Rabbis 
saw a reflex of ‘^the glory of Israel.’* Cairo is not 
more promising at the first glance that one gets on 
the way from the station to the hotel. Everything in 
it calculated to satisfy the needs of the European 
tourist is sadly modern, and my heart sank within me 
when I reflected that this was the place whence I was 
expected to return laden with spoils, the age of which 
would command respect even in our ancient seats of 
learning. However, I felt reassured after a brief inter- 
view with the Reverend Aaron Bensimon, the Grand 
Rabbi of Cairo, to whom I had an introduction from 
the Chief Rabbi, the Very Reverend Doctor Herman 
Adler. From him I soon learnt that Old Cairo would 
be the proper field for my activity, a place old enough 
to enjoy the respect even of a resident of Cambridge. 

I must remark here that the Genizah, like the rest 



of the property of the synagogue in Cairo, is vested 
in the Rabbi and the wardens for the time being. To 
this reverend gentleman and to Mr. Youssef M. Cat- 
taui, the President of the Jewish Community, my best 
thanks are due for the liberality with which they put 
their treasures at my disposal, and for the interest 
they showed, and the assistance they gave me in my 

I drove to this ancient Genizah accompanied by 
the Rabbi. We left our carriage somewhere in the 
neighbourhood of the Fortress of Babylon,” whence 
the Rabbi directed his steps to the so-called Synagogue 
of Ezra the Scribe. This synagogue, which in some 
writings bears also the names of the prophets Elijah 
and Jeremiah, is well known to old chroniclers and 
travellers, such as Makreese, Sambari, and Benjamin 
of Tudela. I cannot here attempt to reproduce the 
legends which have grown up around it in the course 
of time. Suffice it to say that it has an authentic 
record extending over more than a thousand years, 
having served originally as a Coptic Church (St. Mi- 
chael’s), ^ind been thereafter converted into a syna- 
gogue soon after the Mohammedan conquest of 
P'gypt. Ever since that time it has remained in the 
uninterrupted possession of the Jews. The Genizah, 
which probably always formed an integral part of the 
synagogue, is now situated at the end of the gallery, 
presenting the appearance of a sort of windowless and 
doorless room of fair dimensions. The entrance is on 
the west side, through a big, shapeless hole reached 



by a ladder. After showing^ me over the place and 
the neighbouring buildings, or rather ruins, the Rabbi 
introduced me to the beadles of the synagogue, who 
are at the same time the keepers of the Genizah, and 
authorised me to take from it what, and as much as, 
I liked. 

Now, as a matter of fact, I liked all. Still, some 
discretion was necessary. I have already indicated 
the mixed nature of the Genizah. But one can hardly 
realise the confusion in a genuine, old Genizah until 
one has seen it. It is a battlefield of books, and the 
literary productions of many centuries had their share 
in the battle, and their disjecta membra are now 
strewn over its area. Some of the belligerents have 
perished outright, and are literally ground to dust in 
the terrible struggle for space, whilst others, as if 
overtaken by a general crush, are squeezed into big, 
unshapely lumps, which even with the aid of chemical 
appliances can no longer be separated without serious 
damage to their constituents. In their present condi- 
tion these lumps sometimes afford curiously sugges- 
tive combinations ; as, for instance, when you find a 
piece of some rationalistic work, in which the very 
existence of either angels or devils is denied, clinging 
for its veiy life to an amulet in which these same 
beings (mostly the latter) are bound over to be on 
their good behaviour and not interfere with Miss Jair's 
love for somebody. The development of the romance 
is obscured by the fact that the last lines of the amulet 
are mounted on some I. O. U., or lease, and this in 



turn is squeezed between the sheets of an old moralist, 
who treats all attention to money affairs with scorn 
and indignation. Again, all these contradictory mat- 
ters cleave tightly to some sheets from a very old 
Bible. This, indeed, ought to be the last umpire be- 
tween them, but it is hardly legible without peeling off 
from its surface the fragments of some printed work, 
which clings to old nobility with all the obstinacy and 
obtrusiveness of the parvenu. 

Such printed matter proved a source of great 
trouble. It is true that it occasionally supplied us 
with loose sheets of lost editions, and is thus of con- 
siderable interest to the bibliographer. But consider- 
ing that the Genizah has survived Gutenberg for nearly 
five centuries, the great bulk of it is bound to be com- 
paratively modern, and so is absolutely useless to the 
student of palaeography. I had, therefore, to confine 
my likings to the manuscripts. But the amount of 
the printed fragments is very large, constituting as 
they do nearly all the contributions to the Genizah of 
the last four hundred years. Most of my time in 
Cairo was spent in getting rid of these panrenus, while 
every piece of paper or parchment that had any claim 
to respectable age was packed in bags and conveyed 
to the forwarding agent to be shipped to England. 

The task was by no means easy, the Genizah be- 
ing very dark, and emitting clouds of dust when its 
contents were stirred, as if protesting against the dis- 
turbance of it^ inmates. The protest is the less 
to be ignored as the dust settles in one's throat. 



and threatens suffocation. I was thus compelled to 
accept the aid offered me by the keepers of the place, 
who had some experience in such work from their 
connexion with former acquisitions (perhaps they 
were rather depredations) from the Genizah. Of 
course, they declined to be paid for their services in 
hard cash of so many piastres per diem. This was a 
vulgar way of doing business to which no self-re- 
specting keeper of a real Genizah would degrade him- 
self. The keepers insisted the more on bakhshish, 
which, besides being a more dignified kind of remu- 
neration, has the advantage of being expected also for 
services not rendered. In fact, the whole population 
within the precincts of the synagogue were constantly 
coming forward with claims on my liberality — the 
men as worthy colleagues employed in the same 
work (of selection) as myself, or, at least, in watching 
us at our work 5 the women for greeting me respect- 
fully when I entered the place, or for showing me 
their deep sympathy in my fits of coughing caused by 
the If it was a /iVc day, such as the New Moon 
or the eve of the Sabbath, the amount expected from 
me for all these kind attentions was much larger, it 
being only proper that the We.stern millionaire should 
contribute from his fortune to the glory of the next 

All this naturally led to a great deal of haggling 
and bargaining, for which I was sadly unprepared by 
my former course of life, and which involved a great 
loss both of money and time. But what was worse, 



was, as I soon found out, that a certain dealer in an- 
tiquities, who shall be nameless here, had some mys- 
terious relations with the Genizah, which enabled him 
to offer me a fair number of fragments for sale. My 
complaints to the authorities of the Jewish community 
brought this plundering to a speedy end, but not be- 
fore I had parted with certain guineas by way of pay- 
ment to this worthy for a number of selected frag- 
ments, which were mine by right and on which he put 
exorbitant prices. 

The number of fragments procured by me amounts, 
I think, to about a hundred thousand. The closer 
examination of them has begun since my return to 
England, but it will take a long time before an ade- 
quate account of them is possible. Here I can offer 
only a few brief remarks about their general character, 
which, of course, must be taken with due reserve. 

The study of the Torah, which means the revela- 
tion of God to man, and the cultivation of prayer, 
which means the revelation of man to God, were the 
grand passion of old Judaism,- hence the Bible (Old 
Testament) and the liturgy constitute the larger part 
of the contents of the Genizah. The manuscripts of 
the Bible, though offering no textual variations of 
consequence, are nevertheless not devoid of points of 
interest j for some fragments go back as far as the 
tenth century, and are thus of great value, if only as 
specimens of writing ; others are furnished with mar- 
ginal glosses, or are interspersed with Chaldaic and 
Arabic versions ; whilst some are provided with quite 



a new system of punctuation, differing both from the 
Eastern and the Western. Regarding the Apocry- 
pha, I will here refer only to the fragment of the orig- 
inal of Ecclesiasticus, which it was my good fortune 
to discover on May 13, 1896, in the Lewis-Gibson 
collection of fragments. The communications which 
were then made by Mrs. Lewis to the press led to the 
discovery of further fragments at Oxford. All these 
undoubtedly come from a Genizah, and justify the 
hope that our recent acquisitions will yield more 
remains of these semi-sacred volumes. As to liturgy, 
the Genizah offers the remains of the oldest forms of 
the worship of the synagogue, and these throw much 
light on the history of the Jewish prayer-book. The 
number of hymns found in the Genizah is also very 
great, and they reveal to us a whole scries of latter- 
day psalmists hitherto unknown. 

Next to these main classes come the fragments of 
the two Talmuds (the Talmud of Babylon and the 
Talmud of Jerusalem) and Midrashim (old Rabbinic 
homilies). They are of the utmost importance to the 
student of Jewish tradition, giving not only quite a 
new class of manuscripts unknown to the author of 
the Variae Lectiones^ but also restoring to us parts of 
old Rabbinic works long ago given up as lost for- 
ever. It is hardly necessary to say that both Bible 
and Talmud are accompanied by a long train of com- 
mentaries and super-commentaries in Hebrew as well 
as in Arabic. It is the penalty of greatness to be in 
need of interpretation, and Jewish authoritative works 
have not escaped this fate. 



The number of autograph documents brought to 
light from the Genizah is equally, large. They ex- 
tend over nearly seven hundred years (eighth century 
to the fourteenth). What a rich life these long rolls 
unfold to us ! All sorts and conditions of men and 
situations are represented in them : the' happy young 
married couple by their marriage contract ; the mar- 
riage that failed by its letter of divorce ; the slave by 
his deed of emancipation ; the court of justice by its 
legal decisions ; the heads of the schools by their 
learned epistles j the newly-appointed “ Prince of the 
Exile ” by the description of his installation ; the rich 
trader by his correspondence with his agents in Mala- 
bar 5 the gentleman-beggar by his letters of recom- 
mendation to the great ones in Israel ; the fanatics by 
their thundering excommunications ; the meek man 
by his mild apologies j the fool by his amulet ; the 
medical man by his prescriptions ; and the patient by 
his will. To these may be added a vast amount of 
miscellaneous matter, philosophical and mystical as 
well as controversial, which is the more difficult to 
identify as almost every fragment bears witness to the 
existence of a separate work. 

All these treasures are now stored up in the libra- 
ry of the University of Cambridge, where they are 
undergoing the slow process of a thorough examina- 
tion. The results of this examination will certainly 
prove interesting alike to the theologian and the his- 



The examination of the contents of the Genizah is 
not yet concluded. “The day is short and the work 
is great/’ and the workman, if not actually “ lazy,” 
as the Fathers of the Synagogue put it, is subject to 
all sorts of diversions and avocations, such as lectur- 
ing, manuscrii)t-copying, proof-correcting, and — novel 
reading. The numberless volumes of “fresh divinity” 
which an indefatigable press throws on the market 
daily take up also a good deal of one’s time, if one 
would be “up to date,” though many of them, I am 
sorry to say, prove, at best, very bad novels. 

As stated in the previous article on the same sub- 
ject, there is not a single department of Jewish litera- 
ture — Bible, Liturgy, Talmud, Midrashim, Philoso- 
phy, Apologetics, or History — which is not illustrated 
by the Genizah discoveries. Naturally, not all the 
discoveries are of equal importance, but there are very 
few that will not yield essential contributions to the 
department to which they belong. How a Weiss or 
a I'riedmann would rejoice in his heart at the sight of 
these Talmudical fragments ! And what raptures of 
delight are there in store for the student when sifting 
and reducing to order the historical documents w'hich 
the Genizah has furnished in abundance, including even 



the remains of the sacred writings of strange Jewish 
sects that have long since vanished. Considerations 
of space, however, forbid me to enter into detailed de- 
scriptions ; these would require a whole series of 
essays. I shall confine myself in this place to general 
remarks upon the fragments in their various branches, 
the trials and the surprises awaiting one in the course 
of their examination, and some of the results they 
have yielded up to the present. 

The process of examining such a collection is 
necessarily a very slow one. In the ordinary course 
of cataloguing manuscripts, you have to deal with 
entire volumes, where the study of a single leaf tells 
you at once the tale of hundreds and hundreds of its 
neighbours and kindred. The collections from the 
Genizah, however, consist, not of volumes, but of 
separate loose sheets, each of them with a history of 
its own, which you can learn only by subjecting it to 
examination by itself. The identification of Biblical 
fragments gives the least trouble, as they arc mostly 
written in large, square characters, whilst their matter 
is so familiar that you can take in their contents at a 
glance. Still, a glance will not always suffice, for 
these fragments are not only written in different 
hands, testifying to various palaeographic ages, but 
many of them are also provided with Massoretic 
notes, or with an unfamiliar system of punctuation. 
Others are interspersed with portions of the Chaldaic 
or Arabic versions. They all have to be arranged 
‘‘after their kind, whilst as specimens of writing they 



have to be sorted into some kind of chronological 
order. To judge by the writing — which is, I admit, 
not a very trustworthy test — the Genizah furnishes us 
with the oldest known manuscripts of any part of the 
Bible, older even than the Pentateuch manuscript of 
the British Museum (Oriental 4445), described as 
dating “probably’' from the ninth century. On one 
Biblical fragment I found some gilt letters. Gold ink 
was well known to the Jews of antiquity. Some 
scholars even claim it as an invention of the People 
of the Book. But its use in the writing of the Scrip- 
tures was early forbidden by the Rabbis. The pro- 
hibition was meant to apply only to copies intended 
for public reading in the synagogue. But, as a fact, 
all manuscripts of the Bible are singularly free from 
such “ornamental aids.” The fragment in question 
forms a rare exception, and must, therefore, date from 
an age when simplicity and uniformity in the materials 
used for writing the Bible had not yet become the 

Of great rarity, again, are the fragments in which 
all the words (except those at the beginning of the 
verses) are represented by a peculiar system of 
initials only, as, for instance, “ In the beginning 
G. c. the h. a. the e.” (Gen. i : i). That such ab- 
breviations shoirid be employed even in copies of 
Holy Writ was only natural in an age when the 
chisel and the pen were the only means of makings 
thought visible. On the strength of the few ab- 
breviations they met with in Bible manuscripts, Ken- 



nicott and other scholars tried to account for cer- 
tain misreadings of the Septuagint. Take your Web- 
ster's Dictionary, and look up how many hundreds of 
words begin, for instance, with the letter and think, 
on the other hand, that in the sentence before you 
there is room for one ^-headed word only, and you 
will form some idea what a dangerous pitfall lay in 
every initial for the Greek translator, or even for the 
Jewish scribe. The Genizah has for the first time 
supplied us with samples proving that the abbrevia- 
tion system was not limited to certain isolated words, 
but extended to the whole contents of the Bible. 
The particular system represented in the Genizah 
seems to have been known to the old Rabbis under 
the name of Trellis- writing. Dr. Felix Perles, from 
his acquaintance with the few specimens acquired by 
the Bodleian Library, at once recognised their signi- 
ficance for the verbal criticism of the Bible, and made 
them the subject of some apt remarks in a recent essay 
{Analectcn zur Tcxtkritiky etc., Munich, 1895). The 
Cambridge collections include such examples in far 
greater number, and many more may still be found. 
They will probably be edited in a volume by them- 
selves, and will, I have no doubt, after careful study 
throw fresh light on many an obscure passage in the 
different versions. 

While the Trellis- written Bible was undoubtedly 
intended for the use of the grown-up scholar, in 
whose case a fair acquaintance with the sacred volume 
could be assumed, we have another species of Bibli- 



cal fragments, representing the “ Reader without 
Tears*' of the Old World. They are written in large, 
distinct letters, and contain, as a rule, the first verses 
of the Book of Leviticus, accompanied or preceded 
by various combinations of the letters of the alphabet, 
which the child had to practise upon. The modem 
educationalist, with his low notions of the ‘‘priestly 
legislation," — harsh, unsympathetic words, indeed — • 
would probably regard this part of the Scriptures as 
the last thing in the world fit to be put into the hands 
of children. We must not forget, however, that the 
Jew of ancient times was not given to analysis. Seiz- 
ing upon its bold features,, he saw in the Book of 
Leviticus only the good message of God's reconcilia- 
tion with man, by means of sacrifice and of purity in 
soul and body. Perceiving, on the other hand, in 
every babe the budding minister “without taint of sin 
and falsehood," the Rabbi could certainly render no 
higher homage to childhood than when he said, “ Let 
the pure come and busy themselves with purity." 
Every school thus assumed in his eyes the aspect of 
a holy temple, in which the child by his reading per- 
formed the service of an officiating priest. 

Sometimes it is the fragments forming the conclu- 
sions of books, or, more correctly, of whole groups 
of books, such as the end of the Pentateuch, the end 
of the Prophets, and the end of the Hagiographa, 
that yield us Important information ; for in some cases 
they possess appendixes or colophons that give the 
date of the manuscript, as well as the name of the 


owner and of the scribe. Occasionally we come upon 
a good scolding, as when the colophon runs: '‘This 
Pentateuch [or Psalter] was dedicated by N. N., in 

the year , to the synagogue . It shall not 

be sold, it shall not be removed, it shall not be 
pawned ; cursed be he who sells it, cursed be he who 
removes it,” etc. So far “the pious founder.” It is 
rather disconcerting to read these curses when you 
happen to know something about the person who 
removed the manuscript, but you have to make the 
best of such kind wishes if you want to get at its 
history. Perhaps my researches may, after all, prove 
helpful to the feeble efforts made by the pious donor 
to achieve immortality, inasmuch as his name will 
again be given to the world in the catalogue which 
will one day be prepared. His chances in the dust- 
heap of the Genizah were certainly much poorer. 

The foregoing remarks will suffice to show' that 
even the Biblical fragments, though naturally adding 
to our knowledge little that is fresh in matter, are not 
without their points of interest, and must by no means 
be lightly esteemed. But this is not all. Ancient 
manuscripts are not to be judged by mere outward 
appearances; they have depths and under-currents of 
their own. And, after you have taken in the text, 
marginal notes, versions, curses, and all, there flashes 
upon you, from between the lines or the words, a 
faint yellow mark differently shaped from those in the 
rest of the fragment, and you discover that it is a 
palimpsest you have m hand. Your purely Hebrew 


studies are then at an end, and you find yourself drift- 
ing suddenly into Greek, Palestinian Syriac, Coptic, 
or Georgian, as the case may be. Only in two cases 
have the palimpsests turned out to be Hebrew upon 
Hebrew. A new examination then begins, and to 
this you have to apply yourself the more strenuously 
as the under writing is usually of more importance 
than the later surface writing. 

This has proved to be especially the case with the 
liturgical fragments, among which the earliest, and 
perhaps the most important, palimpsests have been 
found. Personally, I am quite satisfied with their 
appearance. If they restore to us the older forms of 
the original prayers,*' as some of them indeed do, 
they need, of course, no further raison cVetre for the 
Jewish student, this being the only means of supply- 
ing us with that history of our ancient liturgy which 
is still a desideratum. But even if they represent only 
some hymn of the later Psalmists of the synagogue 
{Paitanini), I am not, on closer acquaintance, particu- 
larly anxious to see them improved upon. One likes 
to think of the old days when devotion was not yet 
procurable ready-made from hymn-books run by theo- 
logical syndicates ; and many a fragment in the Genizah 
headed “ In thy name, Merciful One,*’ and followed 
by some artless religious lyric or simple prayer, is full 
of suggestion regarding by-gone times. You can see 
by their abruptness and their unfinished state that 
they were not the product of elaborate literary art, 
but were penned down in the excitement of the 



moment, in a ‘*fit of love,” so to speak, to express the 
religious aspirations of the writer. Their metre may 
be faulty, their diction crude, and their grammar ques- 
tionable, but love letters are not, as a rule, distinguished 
by perfection of style. They are sublime stammering at 
best, though they are intelligible enough to two souls 
absorbed in each other. I am particularly fond of 
looking at the remnants of a Piyutim collection, writ- 
ten on papyrus leaves, with their rough edges and very 
ancient writing. In turning those leaves, with which 
time has dealt so harshly, one almost imagines one 
sees again the *^gods ascending out of the earth,” 
transporting us, as they do, to the Kaliric period, and 
perhaps even earlier, when synagogues were set on 
fire by the angels who came to li.sten to the service of 
the holy singers, and mortals stormed Heaven with 
their prayers. How one would like to catch a glimpse 
of that early hymnologist to whom we owe the well- 
known Piyut, which, in its iconoclastic victory 

of monotheism over all kinds of idolatries, ancient 
as well as modern, might be best described as the 
Marseillaise of the people of the Lord of Hosts — 
a Marseillaise which is not followed by a Reign of 
Terror, but by the Kingdom of God on earth, when 
the upright shall exult, and the saints trium- 
phantly rejoice. 

These are, however, merely my personal senti- 
ments. The majority of students would look rather 
askance upon the contents of the Sabbatical hymn 
under which the remains of Aquila were buried for 



nearly nine centuries. The story of Aquila, or 
Akylas, the name under which he passes in Rabbinic 
literature, is not a very familiar one to the public, and it 
offers so many points of interest that it is worth dwelling 
upon it for a while. He flourished in the first decades of 
the second century of the Christian Era, was a Graeco- 
Roman by birth, and was brought up in the pagan 
religion of his native place, Sinope, a town in the 
Pontos, in Asia Minor, which acquired fresh fame as 
the opening scene of the Crimean War. Both Jewish 
and Christian legends report him to have been a kins- 
man of the Emperor Hadrian, but there is no histori- 
cal evidence for it. It is, however, not unlikely that 
he had some relation with the court, as we know that 
Hadrian entrusted him with tlie restoiation of Jeru- 
salem, which he was planning at that time. Of his 
father we know only that he was well-off and a good 
orthodox heathen ; for it is recorded that Aquila, who 
was already professing Judaism when his father died, 
had great difficulties with his share in the inheritance, 
which included idols. In accordance with his inter- 
pretation of the Jewish law (Deut. 13 : 17), he refused 
to derive any profit from them, even indirectly, and 
threw their equivalent in money into the Dead Sea. 
His early training piust have been that of the regular 
Greek gentleman, sufficiently known from Plutarch's 
Lives, According to one report he began life as 
priest in the pagan temple of his native place, in which, 
considering his high connexions,' he probably held 
some rich benefice. 



According' to some writers Christianity formed the 
intermediary stage by which Aquila passed from 
paganism to Judaism. This would be a very natural 
process. But the matter, as represented by some 
Fathers of the Church, is not very flattering to 
Judaism. Their story is somewhat as follows: 
Aquila, abiding in Jerusalem, by the order of the 
Emperor, and seeing there the disciples of the Apostles 
flourishing in the faith, and doing great signs in heal- 
ing and other wonders, became so deeply impressed 
therewith that he soon embraced the Christian faith. 
After some time he claimed the ‘'seal in Christ,'' and 
obtained it. But he did not turn away from his former 
habit of believing, — to wit, in vain astronomy, of which 
he was an expert, — but would be casting the horo- 
scope of his nativity every day, wherefore he was re- 
proved and upbraided by the disciples. However, he 
would not mend, but would obstinately oppose to them 
false and incoherent arguments, such as fate and 
matters therewith connected ; so he was expelled 
from the Church as one unfit for salvation. Sorely 
vexed at being dishonoured in this way, his mind was 
goaded by wanton pride, and he abjured Christianity 
and Christian life, became a Jewish proselyte, and was 

The best historians, however, give preference to 
the Jewish account, which tells us nothing about 
Aquila's Christian days. In this he figures as Akylas 
the proselyte, the disciple of R. Eliezer and R. Joshua. 
With the former he is said to have had a rather bad 



encounter. Perusing the passage in the Scripture, 
“ For the Lord your God ... he does execute the 
judgment of the fatherless and the widow, and loveth 
the stranger {^Ga^ in giving him food and raiment^' 
(Deut lO: 17-18), Aquila exclaimed : '‘So, that is all 
which God has in store for the Gcr'^ How many 
pheasants and peacocks have I which even my slaves 
refuse to taste ” (so satiated are they with delicacies)? 
To be sure, modest wants and frugal habits are no 
great recommendation for a religion. At least, it can- 
not under such circumstances aspire to the dignity of 
the church of a gentleman. R. Eliezer resented this 
worldliness in his pupil, and rebuked him with the 
words: "Dost thou, Ger, speak so slightingly of the 
things for which the patriarch (Jacob) prayed so 
fervently?” (Gen. 33: 20). This harshness of R. 
Eliezer, we are told, nearly led to a relapse of the 
proselyte. He found, however, a more patient listen- 
er in the meek and gentle R. Joshua, w^ho by his 
sympathetic answer reconciled him to his new faith. 

The work which brought Aquila’s name to pos- 
terity is his Greek version of the Old Testament, 
which he undertook because he found the text of the 
Septuagint greatly disfigured, both by wilful inter- 
polations and by blundering ignorance. It was pre- 
pared under the direction of the two Rabbis just men- 
tioned (R. Eliezer and R. Joshua) and their fellow- 
disciple R. Akiba. The main feature of Aquila’s ver- 
sion is an exaggerated literalism, which, as one may 
imagine, often does violence to the Greek. It is 



such awkward Greek that, as somebody has said, it 
is almost good Hebrew. The alternative which lay 
before Aquila was, as it seems, between awkward 
Greek and bad and false renderings, and he decided 
for the former. One of the Church Fathers, when 
alluding to this version, says : ‘‘Thereupon (after his 
conversion to Judaism) he devoted himself most 
assiduously to the study of the Hebrew tongue and 
the elements thereof, and, when he had completely 
mastered the same, he set to interpreting (the Scrip- 
tures), not of honest purpose, but in order to pervert 
certain sayings of Scriptures, hurling his attacks against 
the version of the seventy-two interpreters, with a 
view to giving a different rendering to those things 
which are testified of Christ in the Scriptures.'' 

Now, so far as one can judge from the little 
retained to us of his version, Aquila's perverting 
activity did not go much farther than that which 
engaged the Revision Committee for many years, who 
also gave different renderings, at least in the margin, 
to the so-called Christological passages. It is true 
that Jews preferred his version to the Septuagint, 
which at that time became the playground of theolo- 
gians, who deduced from it all sorts of possible and 
impossible doctrines, not only by means of interpreta- 
tion, but also by actual meddling with the text. One 
has* only to read with some attention the Pauline 
Epistles to see with what excessive freedom Scriptural 
texts were handled when the severest rules of exegesis 
were abandoned! Some modern divines even exalt 



these misquotations and wrong translations as the 
highest goal of Christian liberty, which is above such 
paltry, slavish, considerations as exactness and accu- 
racy. Aquila’s version may thus have interfered with 
theological liberty. But there is no real evidence that 
he entered upon his work in a controversial spirit. 
His undertaking was probably actuated by purely 
scholarly motives. As a fact, the most learned of the 
Church Fathers {e, g. St. Jerome) praise it often as a 
thorough and exact piece of work. As to the Rabbis, 
tradition records, that when Aquila put his version 
before his Jewish masters, they were so delighted with 
it that they applied to it the verse in Psalms : Thou 

art fairer than the children of men, grace is poured in 
thy lips (45 : 3).” The Rabbis were, indeed, not 
entirely insensible to the grace of the Greek language, 
and they interpreted the verse in Genesis 9 : 27, to 
mean that the beauty of Japheth (the type of Greece), 
which is so much displayed in his language, shall, by 
the fact that the Torah will be rendered into the Greek 
tongue, find access to the tents (or synagogues) of 
Shem (represented by Israel.) In the case of Aquila, 
however, the grace admired in his version was, one 
must assume, the grace of truth. To the grace of an 
elegant style and fluent diction, as we have seen, it 
can lay no claim. 

For most of our knowledge of Aquila we are 
Indebted to Origen. We know his amiable weakness 
for universal salvation. He thought not even the 
devil beyond the possibility of repentance. Accord- 



ingly, he saved the Jewish proselyte^' from oblivion 
by inserting several of his renderings in his famous 
Hexapla^ which, however, has come down to us in a 
wrecked and fragmentary state. The Aquila frag- 
ments discovered in the Genizah represent, in some 
cases, Piyutim, in others, the Talmud of Jerusalem, 
and the Greek under them is written in uncials, stated 
by specialists to date from the beginning of the sixth 
century. They are the first continuous pieces coming, 
not through the medium of quotations, but directly 
from Aquila’s work, and must once hav^e formed a 
portion of a Bible used in some Hellenistic Jewish 
synagogue for the purpose of public reading. The 
Tetragrammaton is neither translated nor transcribed, 
but written in the archaic Hebrew characters found in 
the Siloam inscription. Considering that Aquila's 
version is so literal that the original is always trans- 
parently visible through it, these fragments will prove 
an important contribution to our knowledge of the 
state of the Hebrew text during the first centuries of 
our era, and of the mode of its interpretation. A part 
of these fragments have been already edited in various 
publications, by Dr C. Taylor, the Master of St. 
John's College, and Mr. Burkitt, the fortunate dis- 
coverer of the first Aquila leaf. But more leaves 
have since come to light, which will be edited in course 
of time. 

To return to the liturgical fragments found in the 
Genizah. Undec this head maybe included the di- 
dactic poetry of the synagogue. It is a peculiar mix- 



ture of devotional passages and sliort epigrammatic 
sentences, representing, to a certain extent, the Wis- 
dom literature of the Synagogue in the Middle Ages. 
Sometimes they are written, not unlike the Book of 
Prov^erbs in the old Bible manuscripts, in two columns^ 
each column giving a hemistich. The examination of 
this class of fragments requires great caution and close 
attention, not so much on account of their own merits 
as because of their strong resemblance to Ecclesias- 
ticus both in form and in matter. You dare not neg- 
lect the former lest some piece of the latter escape 
you. The identification of the Kcclesiasticus frag- 
ments is, indeed, a very arduous task, since our knowl- 
edge of this apocryphon has been till now attainable 
only through its Greek or Syriac disguise, which 
amounts sometimes to a mere defaced caricature of 
the real work of Sirach, But I hardly need to point 
out that the recovery of even the smallest scrap of 
the original Hebrew compensates richly for all the 
labor spent on it. Apart from its semi-sacred charac- 
ter, these Sirach discoveries restore to us the only 
genuine document dating from the Persian-Greek 
period (from about 450 till about 160 B. c. E.), the 
most obscure in the whole of Jewish history. And I 
am strongly convinced that with all his ‘‘Jewish 
prejudices'’ he will prove a safer guide in this laby- 
rinth of guesses and counter-guesses than the liberal- 
minded “backward prophet'' of the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury, whose source of inspiration is not always above 
doubt.3 I am happy to state that my labours in this 



department were rewarded with several discoveries of 
fragmfsnts from Sirach's Wisdom Book/* They will 
soon be submitted to the necessary study preceding 
their preparation for the press, when they will appear 
in a separate volume. 

The Rabbinic productions of the earlier sages, 
teachers, and interpreters, as they are embodied in the 
Mishnah, the Additions, and the Talmud of Jerusalem 
and the Talmud of Babylon, formed the main subjects 
of study in the mediaeval schools of the Jews. It is 
thus only natural that the Genizah should yield a 
large number of fragments of the works mentioned, 
and they do, indeed, amount to many hundreds. 
Some of these are provided with vowel-points, and 
occasionally also with accents, and thus represent a 
family of manuscripts hitherto known only through 
the evidence of certain authorities testifying to the fact 
that there existed copies of early Rabbinic works 
prepared in the way indicated. But what the student 
is especially looking out for is for remainders of the 
Talmud of Jerusalem, which, though in some respects 
more important for the knowledge of Jewish history 
and the intelligent conception of the minds of 
the Rabbis than the ‘‘twin-Talmud of the East,** 
has been, by certain untoward circumstances, badly 
neglected in the schools, and thus very little copied 
by the scribes. Its real importance and superi- 
ority above similar contemporary productions was 
only recognised in the comparatively modern centu- 
ries, when the manuscripts, as just indicated never 


very ample, had long disappeared. The Genizah opens 
a new mine in this direction, too, and the number of 
fragments of the Jerusalem Talmud increasing daily, 
also amounting to a goodly volume, will doubtless 
be published by some student in due time. 

Where the Genizah promises the largest output is 
in the department of history, especially the period 
intervening between the birth of Saadya (892) and 
the death of Maimonides (1205). This period, which 
gave birth to the greatest of the Eminences (Gaonim), 
Rabbi Saadya, Rabbi Sherira, and Rabbi Hai, which 
witnessed the hottest controversies between the Rab- 
binites and the Karaites and other schismatics, and 
which saw the disintegration of the great old scliools 
in Babylon, and the creation of new centres for the 
study of the Torah in Europe and in Northern Africa, 
forms, as is well known, one of the most important 
chapters in Jewish history. But this chapter will now 
have to be re-written j any number of conveyances, 
leases, bills, and private letters are constantly turning 
up, thus affording us a better insight into the social 
life of the Jews during those remote centuries. New 
letters from the Eminences addressed to their contem- 
poraries, scattered over various countries, are daily 
coming to light, and will form an important addition 
to the Responsa literature of the Gaonim. Even entire 
new books or fragments of such, composed by the 
Gaonim, and only known by references have been 
discovered. Of more significance are such documents 


as those bearing on the controversy between Rabbi 
Saadya and his contemporary Ben Meir, the head of 
the Jews in Palestine, which prove that even at 
that time th^ question of authority over the whole of 
Jewry, and of the prerogative of fixing the calendar, 
was still a contested point between the Jews of Pales- 
tine and their brethren in the dispersion. The con- 
troversy was a bitter one and of long duration, as 
may be seen from another document dating from the 
Eleventh Century, the Scroll of Abiathar, which, at 
the same time, reveals the significant fact that the 
antagonism between the. Priestly and the Kingly, or 
the Aaronide and Davidic families, had not quite died 
down even at this late period. Some of the docu- 
ments are autograph. It is enough to mention here 
the letter of Chushiel ben Elhanan (or Hananel) 
of Kairowan, addressed to Shemariah ben P 21 hanan 
of Egypt, written about the year 1000. To these two 
Rabbis, legend attributes a large share in the trans- 
planting of the Torah in Northern Africa, so that our 
document will prove an important contribution to 
the history of the rise of the Yeshiboth outside of 

Looking over this enormous mass of fragments 
about me, in the sifting and examination of which I 
am now occupied, I cannot overcome a sad feeling steal- 
^ ing over me, that I shall hardly be worthy to see all the 
' results which the Genizah will add to our knowledge 
of Jews and Judaism. The work is not for one man 



and not for one generation. It will occupy many a 
specialist, and much longer than a lifetime. How- 
ever, to use an old adage, ‘‘It is not thy duty to com- 
plete the work, but neither art thou free to desist 
from it.” 


There is a saying of an old Hebrew sage, In a 
place where one is unknown, one is permitted to say, 
I am a scholar.” Now I am, I fear, neither so hum- 
ble as to think myself quite a persona ignota^ nor am 
I, I trust, so arrogant as to claim, in the presence of 
so learned an audience, a title to deserve which I 
have still to do my life’s work. But being about to 
express opinions not quite in harmony with current 
views, I shall avail myself of this license so far as to 
say what I am not: I am no partisan, I hold no brief 
for a particular school, and I have no cause to 
defend. Such a declaration, which would be entirely 
out of ■ place in any other branch of human knowl- 
edge, is unfortunately still necessary in view of the 
particular nature of the subject which, by the courtesy 
of the Council and the Senate of the college, it will 
be my privilege to expound. My subject is the 
Hebrew language ; and the means of acquiring it are the 
same as make for proficiency in any other language — 
sound knowledge of its grammar, wide acquaintance 
with its vocabulary, and, above all, real familiarity 
with its literature ; for it is in the literature that the 
spirit still surviveth, even in the so-called dead lan- 
guages. But the literature by which the Hebrew 
language is represented is a sacred literature; a litera- 
ture which by common consent of the civilised world 



bears the name of a Testament. As such, every line 
in it claims to bear testimony to some eternal truth, 
to convey some moral lesson, and reveal some awful 
mystery- The very first text (Genesis) on which I 
shall have to lecture gives us an account of the Crea- 
tion, whilst the verse, ‘‘And God created man in his 
own image,” has kept busy pulpit and brush for 
nearly twenty centuries, and another twenty centuries 
may pass before humanity gets into possession of its 
sacred and secret dossier. However, this is the 
province of the artist and the preacher. But even in 
the region of mere exegesis we are confronted with 
two important theological schools — I say advisedly, 
theological schools. 

For, in spite of all professions of impartiality and 
freedom from prejudice, each school has its own theo- 
logical standpoint which greatly affects even its cty- 
mology. To give one instance: According to Well- 
hausen, the word Torah (nnin) meant originally the 
thing thrown or cast, a term borrowed from the lots or 
stones cast by the priests for the purpose of deciding 
difficult cases. On the other hand, the pure philolo- 
gist Barth derives it in his Etymologhche Studien from 
a root still extant in Arabic, denoting “the thing re- 
ported,” or “come down by tradition,” and proceeds 
to say, “Thus Wellhausen's hypothesis is not con- 
firmed.”* But. Wellhausen’s hypothesis is somehow 
strangely in harmony with Wellhausen’s conception 
of the law, which thus would originate in a sort of 
priestly fetich. 



However, this is a minor point. More serious is 
the question as to the dates at which the various 
books and documents of which the Old Testament is 
made up, were composed. When I speak of the old 
school, I do not refer to the class of commentators 
represented by Doctor Pusey in England and Profes- . 
sor Hengstenberg in Germany. I am rather thinking 
of the school led by Ewald, Bleek, Dillmann, Strack, 
Kittel, and many other men of prominence, none of 
whom could be suspected of being blind followers of 
tradition. They all accepted the heterogeneous com- 
position of the Pentateuch, and cheerfully took part 
in the difficult task of its proper analysis. In fact, 
few scholars have contributed more toward this analy- 
sis than Dillmann. And even a superficial acquaint- 
ance with their works shows that not a single 
tradition was allowed by them to stand, in which 
anything that might be construed as an anachronism 
could be detected. When we consider that this 
school has furnished us with grammarians, lexico- 
graphers, and general Semitic scholars at least as 
eminent as those of the new school, we shall at once 
perceive that the arguments for settling the dates of 
the various documents cannot possibly have been 
evolved on merely philological lines. Theological 
considerations as to the nature of inspiration and the 
real functions of religion, metaphysical speculations 
as to the meaning and the laws of progression and 
development in history, and, above all, the question 
as to the compatibility of a real living faith with a 



hearty devotion to the ceremonial law, play at least 
an equal part therein. To a certain extent it was the 
supposed antagonism between religion as a social 
institution, and religion as a matter personal and 
inward, which, on the one hand, turned post-exilic 
Judaism into a sort of “ revival camp” with the whole 
of the community on the mourners^ bench, and, on 
the other hand, converted the greatest collection of 
religious lyrics into a mere hymn-book, reflecting, not 
the aspirations and longings of the individual, but the 
corporate utterances of the community. 

Having to lecture on these sacred documents, I 
may perhaps be expected to take part in this contro- 
versy. In fact, I have already been asked the old 
question, **Art thou for us or for our adversaries?” 
I will, therefore, declare beforehand that, far from 
being the mouthpiece of a single school, I shall, 
when necessary, try to do justice to both, so far as I 
understand them. At the same time, however, I 
shall beg leave to maintain a sceptical attitude toward 
both schools, which will enable me to preserve my 
freedom of judgment. I say, when necessary, for, as 
a rule, literary criticism will be my province, and I 
shall not easily be drawn into the discussion of ques- 
tions in the settling of which theology and metaphys- 
ics occupy a more prominent part than philology and 

In adopting this course, l am guided by the follow- 
ing reasons : First, as I understand, the traditions of 
the University College of London have always tended 


to exclude all controversial matter which cannot well 
be discussed without a certain theological bias. The 
fact that we now conjure with the names of the neo- 
Platonist Schleiermacher and the Hegelian Watke, in- 
stead of appealing to the authority of Thomas Aquinas 
and Albertus Magnus, has by no means cooled down 
our theological temperature. As in days of old, theolo- 
gical controversies are still wanting in “sweet reason- 
ableness,’’ and should, therefore, receive no encourage- 
ment from a teacher. 

Another reason for reducing these discussions to a 
minimurh is economy. The old saying, “Art is long, 
and Life is short,” is to no subject more applicable 
than to the study of Hebrew. It is a strange world, 
both in language and in thought, quite bewildering for 
the beginner. It has practically no vowel-system • at 
least, not one which is perceivable to the European 
eye. The tiny little signs above and below the line 
proved a stumbling-block to a Goethe, and he 
gave up the study of Hebrew in despair. Yet how 
much depends on correct vocalisation. To give an 
example of a somewhat general character, I will only 
mention here two combinations of the letters Yod^ 
Zadiy and Rcsh. Read Yoser, it means “ he who forms, 
who fashions, who creates,” hence “creator.” Read 
YeseVy it denotes “frame, formation, imagination, de- 
sire, evil desire,” developing gradually, in the later 
Hebrew literature, into the mysterious, unspeakable 
angel we know so well from Milton’s “ Paradise Lost.” 
Hence the exclamation of a Rabbi in referring to the 


great dualism of flesh and spirit under which man is 
constantly labouring: “Woe unto me of my Yezery and 
woe unto me of my Yozer.'"^ On the other hand, the 
normal span of our academic life extends over the 
short period of nine terms, some eigliteen months in 
all. Considering now how little preparation the stu- 
dent receives for this branch of study in the schools 
leading up to the University, it is evident that there is 
no time to spare for discussions lying beyond the 
sphere of grammar and literary criticism. The temp- 
tation to indulge in theology and metaphysical recon- 
structions of history is very great, indeed, but it must 
be resisted at this stage of the student's new life. 

It may, perhaps, be objected, that in the majority of 
cases the student of Hebrew is less intent upon ac- 
quiring the knowledge of a Se;nitic language than 
upon gaining a fair acquaintance with the contents of 
the sacred volume. But I am inclined to think that 
even with this purpose in view I shall be more helpful 
to the student by lecturing on the Bible than by lec- 
turing about the Bible. For the great fact remains 
that the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible it- 
self. I remember to have read somewhere that the 
best commentary on the Sermon on the Mount is 
Lord Tennyson’s^ “ In Memoriam.” This is, I am 
afraid, a pompous platitude. But I think that every 
student will agree with me that, for instance, the best 
exposition of the “Priestly Code*/ is to be found in 
Ezekiel, that the most lucid interpretation of Isaiah is 
to be sought in certain portions of the Psalms, and that, 



if we were to look for an illustration of the ideals of 
the Book of Deuteronomy, we could do no better than 
study the Books of Chronicles and certain groups of 
the Psalms. To use a quaint old expression applied 
to Scripture: “Turn it and turn it over again, for the 
All is therein,’* both its criticism and its history. 
Introductions to the Old Testament, Lives and Times 
of the various prophets, and histories of the Canon, are 
excellent things in their own way; but unless we are 
prepared to exchange the older blind faith for the newer 
parrot-like repetitions of obscure critical terms, they 
should not be read, and, indeed, cannot be read with 
profit, before we have made ourselves masters of the 
twenty-four books of the Old Testament in the original. 

This, I should think, is an obvious truth, nay, a 
truism. Still, I am glad to have the opportunity to 
utter it for once. The dread of partiality for the 
Massoretic text is so great in certain circles that the 
notion seems to gain ground that the best qualification 
for writing on the Old Testament is ignorance of He- 
brew. Thus we are brought face to face with the 
multitude of books, essays, and articles on Biblical sub- 
jects by authors who freely confess, if not boast of, the 
fact that they know the Old Testament only through 
the medium of versions, but still insist on their ability to 
judge upon the gravest questions of dates and author- 
ship. Translations, some author has remarked, are 
the structures with which a kind Providence has over- 
bridged the deeps of human thought caused by the 
division of tongues at the Tower of Babel, The re- 



mark is as humble in spirit as it is prudent in practice. 
It is certainly safer to walk over the bridge than to 
swim the flood. But in this case we must be satisfied 
not to express opinions about the nature of the river, 
its various currents and under-currents, its depths and 
sliallows, and the original formation of its bed. To 
form a judgment on these and similar points, one must 
learn to swim and dive, nay, one must immerse him- 
self in the very element against whose touch the bridge 
was meant to protect him. To use a New Testament 
proverb, ** Wisdom is justified of her children,” or, as 
the Rabbis would have put it, ‘‘the sons of the Torah.” 
But the first duty which the loyal son performs to- 
ward his mother, is to make her language his own, 
so that he may dispense with interpreter and dictionary, 
and patiently listen to her tale from her own lips, told 
in her own way. She may not be always inclined to- 
ward humiliating confessions ; but a single gesture, a 
single turn of phrase, a sudden stammering where flow 
of speech is expected, and a certain awkwardness of 
expression, will at once reveal the critical points in her 
story. To learn her story through the medium of 
versions and introductions, means at best to rely on 
neighbourly gossip, which, however interesting and 
friendly, is never free from exaggerations and conven- 
tional phrases. It is only the knowledge of the 
original mother-story which enables us to detect the 
elements of truth this gossip may contain. 

I will, however, confess that it was neither mere 
deference to the liberal traditions of this learned Soci- 



ety, nor even considerations of economy, which were 
decisive with me in adopting the course I have just 
pointed out. These reasons are weighty enough, but 
they would hardly justify me in assuming the scepti- 
cal position I intend to maintain. In fact, nothing is 
more distressing to my mind than that mental squint- 
ing which finds permanent doubt the only point on 
which it can rest. The force of circumstances is, 
however, too strong for me. For I am convinced 
that, at present at least, there is little positive truth to 
state on the great questions at issue between the vari- 
ous schools of Bible criticism. 

That tradition cannot be maintained in all its state- 
ments need not be denied. The Second Isaiah, for 
instance, is a fact ; not less a fact is it that Solomon 
cannot be held responsible for the scepticism of the 
Book of Ecclesiastes, nor can David claim the author- 
ship of the whole of the Psalms for himself. The 
question at present, however, is not as it was with the 
older schools, whether tradition was not possibly mis- 
taken in this or that respect, but whether it contains 
elements of truth at all. For instance, had Moses, 
if ever there existed such a person, any connexion 
with that scries of books known as ‘'the Torah of 
Moses?” The existence of King David is still un- 
challenged, but did he write or, considering the pecu- 
liar religious circumstances of the age, could he, or 
even his contemporaries and successors for the next 
four centuries, have written a single hymn of the col- 
lection which tradition attributes to him? The 


SrrD/ES AV /67MAS.1/ 

answers given by the modern school to these and 
similar questions are mostly in the negative. But it 
may be doubted whether its reconstruction of the his- 
tory of Israel, as well as its re-arrangement of the 
documents included in the Canon of the Old Testa- 
ment have obtained that degree of certainty which 
would justify a teacher in communicating them to his 
pupils without constantly accompanying his remarks 
by a note of interrogation. 

In questioning the results of this school, I may 
premise that I am in no way opposed to criticism. 
Criticism is nothing more than the expression of con- 
science on the part of the student, and we can as little 
dispense with it in literature as with common honesty 
in our dealings with our fellow-men. Nor, I trust, 
have I ever given way to anybody in my respect for 
most of the leaders of the various schools of Bible 
criticism, Lower as well as Higher, The attempt at 
an analysis of the Bible into component elements, 
whether one agrees with its results or assumes 
a sceptical attitude towards them, is one of the 
finest intellectual feats of this century ; though a good 
deal of brutal vivisection is daily done by restless 
spirits whose sole ambition is to outdo their masters. 
This, however, is not the fault of the masters. No 
student can read a page of Kuenen’s Historisek- 
Kritischc Einleitimg, to the Old Testament, without 
doing homage to his genius as a critic and admiring 
his patient research and single-hearted devotion to 
what he considered to be the truth. But, as some- 


body has remarked, if tradition is not infallible, neither 
are any of its critics. 

The difficulties presenting themselves on both sides 
may perhaps be summed up thus: Whilst Tradition 
knows too much of the earlier and earliest history of 
Israel, our modern schools are too prolific of their 
information as to the later history of Israel, that is, the 
greater part of what is known as the Persian-Greek 
period. You will at once realise this peculiar distri- 
butiofi of knowledge and ignorance, if you compare 
two chronological tables, the one appended to a Bible 
which appeared in 1866, and the other incorporated 
in the second volume of Kautzschks Die heilige Schrift, 
published in 1894. The former is most complete in 
its record of events said to have taken place before 
1088 B. c. E., and is almost one large blank after 450 
B. c. E. In the latter the very opposite is the case, 
the blank being transferred to the first thousand years 
of Israel's history, whilst the Persian-Greek period 
teems with historical events and, in particular, with 
the chronology of the composition of various canonical 
writings. In the Rabbinic literature, as is well known, 
the whole duration of the Persian empire as contem- 
porary with the Second Temple shrank to some fifty- 
two years. This, as 1 hardly need say, is question- 
able chronology. But it is wise scepticism worthy of 
recommendation, implying, as it does, a confession of 
ignorance about a period of which we know so little. 

Modern learning has thus, with its characteristic 
horror vacm\ peopled these very centuries with 



lawgivers, prophets, psalmists, and apocalypse writers ; 
but every student will, I think, readily admit that 
there is still many an obscure point to be cleared up. 
For instance, the exact number of the Maccabaean 
Psalms, which is constantly shifting ; the exact date 
of the composition of the Book of Ecclesiastes, which 
is still a mere guess ; the causes leading to the con- 
clusion of the so-called second canon ; the precise 
nature of the work of creating new canons and some 
clear definition of the authority of the men who pre- 
sumed to execute this delicate task. Again, most of the 
theories advanced as to the dMe and the authorship of 
the group of Psalms assigned to the third century, of 
the Song of Songs, and of the Book of Ruth, are, to 
use a Talmudic expression, “ mountains suspended on 
a hair,’' and are in no way better than those they are 
meant to replace. Altogether, the period looks to me 
rather over-populated, and I begin to get anxious about 
the accommodations of the Synagogue, or, rather, the 
“ House of Interpretation ” {Beth ha-Mu/rash), which 
was not a mere Baniah, but a thing of moment in the 
religious life of those times. In its service were enlisted 
whole assemblies of men, whom neither the apcrfiis of 
a Wellhausen, nor the really learned researches of a 
Kuenen, can argue’'out of existence, and whose humble 
activity consisted in interpreting the law, raising up 
many disciples, and making “fences” round the Torah. 
But there is scarcely breathing-space left for such men 
as these in an ambitious age that was absolutely bent 
on smuggling its own productions into the Scriptures. 



Now, neither hypothesis of the rise of the Canon 
— that given by tradition and that afforded by the 
new school — ^is quite free from difficulties and improb- 
able assumptions. I cannot here enter into details, 
and must refer you to Kittefs Introduction,'' which 
V seems to me to be a fair exposition of the question 
on both sides. But I may be allowed to make one 
general remark, and that is, that there is no period in 
Jewish history which is so entirely obscure as the 
period extending from about 450 to 150 b. c. e. All 
that is left us from those ages are a few meagre notices 
by Josephus, which do not seem to be above doubt, 
and a few bare names in the Ik^oks of Chronicles of 
persons who hardly left any mark on the history of 
the times. One gets rather suspicious of a hypothe- 
sis with powers of vision which seem to grow in pro- 
portion to the increasing darkness surrounding an 
age. More light is wanted. 

This light promises now to come from the dis- 
coveries made within the last few years. I am refer- 
ring to the discovery of the original Hebrew of the 
apocryphal work, ‘^The Wisdom of Ben Sira," or, as 
it is commonly called, ^‘Ecclesiasticus," in contradis- 
tinction to Ecclesiastes. 

There is no need to enlarge on the importance 
of this work for the Biblical student. It is sufficient 
to remind you of two facts .* first, that it is the only 
Jewish literary production that has come down to us 
from those dark ages " which can boast of something 
like a date. As you can see in the various Introduc- 


tions to the Apocrypha, scholars are not quite unani- 
mous as to this date. But it is certain that it cannot 
be placed before about 280 b. c. e., nor much later than 
200 B. c. E. The second fact which I wish to recall 
to your minds is that the modern school has placed 
the greatest part of the Kethubhn, or the Hagiographa, 
at just about those dates. A great part, again, of the 
Psalms has been placed after those dates, namely, in the 
Maccabaian age. The Wisdom of Ben Sira was writ- 
ten in Hebrew, and would thus have furnished us with 
an excellent test of the mode of thinking as well as of 
the language and style of the period in question. But 
the original unfortunately disappeared for many centu- 
ries. To my knowledge, Samuel David Luzzatto was 
the first to enlist the Wisdom of Ben Sira in the service 
of Bible criticism. Judging from the few quotations 
from Ben Sira given in the Talmud, he was led to the 
belief that this apocryphal work was written in New- 
Hebrew, the dialect in which the Mishnah and cognate 
Rabbinic works were compiled. This being the stage 
of the language about 200 B. c. e., it follows that the 
Maccaba^an ^ge could not have produced Psalms com- 
posed in the best classical .style of an earlier age. 
Even more cogent was the argument of Professor Ehrt, 
who undertook to prove that Ben Sira had made use 
of Psalms supposed by the modern school to date from 
the Maccabaean age. He was silenced by the strange 
answer that his evidence had to be sifted. Perhaps 
what was meant was, that only the original of a work 
could enable us to see how far and how much the 



author copied from other works. But the original 
was then considered as lost for ever. The last Chris- 
tian who made mention of it was St. Jerome in the 
fourth century. One of the last Jews who stated that 
he had seen it was the Gaon R. Saadya, who died in 942. 
The unexpected, however, came to pass on Meiy 13, 
1896, when it was my good fortune to discover, 
among the Hebrew and Arabic fragments which Mrs. 
Lewis and Mrs. Gibson acquired on their travels through 
the East, a leaf of the original Hebrew of Ecclesiasticus. 
Subsequently more discoveries suggested by my de- 
scription of the discovered leaf were made, in Oxford, 
in Cambridge, and elsewhere. Of the Lewis-Gibson 
Fragment, together with the fragments deposited now 
in the Bodleian Library, there exist at present six 
editions : one by English scholars, two by German 
professors, two more by French savants^ and one by a 
Russian student. The editio princeps of the first find 
was published in the July number of '‘The Expositor,** 
in 1896. Of the Cambridge Fragments, covering a 
much larger ground than the fragments already made 
known, one leaf only was edited in “ The Jewish 
Quarterly Review** of January, 1898, under the 
heading of “Genizah Specimens.** The remaining 
leaves will shortly be published by the University 
Press of Cambridge.^ 

These discoveries when put together restore to us 
about twenty-five chapters of the original Hebrew of 
the Wisdom of Ben Sira, or about half of the whole 
book, consisting of fifty-one chapters. We are thus 



in a position now to form a fair judgment of the state 
of the Hebrew language about 200 b. c. e., or, it may 
be, 280 B. c. E., as well as of the standard of author- 
ship in that age. I am bound to say that this judg- 
ment is not flattering to our omniscience. I say it 
with a certain amount of regret, as for a goodly num- 
ber of years I was an ardent believer in the possibility 
of Maccaba;an Psalms, an hypothesis on which I built 
great hopes. This is a great disappointment to me. 
Alas, there is no insurance office in which students 
can insure theories against the dangers resulting from 
unexpected discoveries and fresh excavations. I must 
reluctantly submit to a ‘‘total loss” of my hypothesis. 

As regards the Ben Sira discoveries, to begin with 
a concrete example, I will mention the case of the Book 
of Job. The theories regarding the age in which this 
book was composed range tit present from about 1320 
to about 200 B. c. E. With that singular capacity 
for blundering which distinguishes the Greek trans- 
lators, the name of Job was omitted from the list of 
the heroes of Israel’s past whom Ben Sira praises in 
his Hymmts Patrum^ and some bolder spirits conse- 
quently felt themselves at liberty to make the writer 
of Job nearly a contemporary of Ben Sira. The re- 
stored original Hebrew proves that the Greek trans- 
lator mistook the name of the hero of the Book 
of Job, for Oyeby meaning enemy. The Greek runs 
thus: “For, verily, he remembered the enemies in the 
storm,” whilst the Hebrew reads, “Also he made men- 
tion of Job,” a point to which several scholars, among 



them Joseph Ilalevy, have drawn the attention of stu- 
dents. But Ben Sira knew more; he was, in fact, 
thoroughly familiar with the contents of the Book of 
Job. His whole cosmography is based on the last 
chapters of the Book of Job, from which he copied 
various passages. 

As to the language and the style of Ben Sira, it is 
true that certain portions of the book, especially the 
j ust mentioned Hymnus Patruui^ are written mostly in 
classical Hebrew. A careful analysis, however, will 
show that they are at best nothing more than a series 
of quotations from the canonical writings, joining verse 
to verse and phrase to phrase, all alike copied from 
the Bible. In other words Ben Sira was, like so 
many post-Biblical writers, an imitator of the Old 
Testament both in form and m matter; his model for 
the former being the whole of the Old Testament, 
whilst the matter is, as far as the gnomic part is con- 
cerned, generally borrowed from the Book of Proverbs. 

But like all imitators he was not always on his 
guard, and, in careless moments, terms, expressions, 
and idioms escaped him which make it sufficiently 
clear that in his time the New- Hebrew dialect, both 
in respect of grammar and of phraseology, had reached 
its highest development. What is even more to our 
present purpose, is the fact, rendered certain by the 
original Hebrew, that Ben Sira was acquainted with 
the Psalter in all its parts, those ascribed to the Per- 
sian period as well as those ascribed to the Macca- 
baean and post-Maccabaean ages. He copies freely 



from them, in some cases he borrows whole verses, 
though, quite in the fashion of the Rabbis, he is rather 
too liberal in their application. 

It would prove tedious to enter into an analysis of 
the Book of Ben Sira. This could not be done with- 
out giving complete lists of words, phrases, and 
idioms, amounting to many hundreds, but absolutely 
meaningless when disjoined from their context. I 
may, however, be permitted to reproduce a few verses 
from a hymn of Ben Sira which, echoing as it docs 
the time in which it was written, lends itself best to 

They are thus : 

1. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good ; 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

2. O give thanks unto the God of praises j 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

3. O give thanks unto him that is the guardian of Israel ; 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

4. O give thanks unto him that created all ; 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

5. O give thanks unto him that redeemeth Israel ; 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

6. O give thanks unto him that gathereth the outcasts of 

Israel ; 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

7. O give thanks Unto him that buildeth his city and his 

sanctuary ; 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

8. O give thanks unto him that maketh a horn to bud to 

the house of David ; 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 



9. O give thanks unto him that chose the sons of Zadok 
to be priests ; 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

10. O give thanks unto the Shield of Abraham ; 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

11. O give thanks unto the Rock of Isaac ; 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

12. O give thanks unto the Mighty One of Jacob ; 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

13. O give thanks unto him that chose Zion ; 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

14. O give thanks unto the King of kings of kings ; 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

15. And also exalteth the horn for his people, a praise for 

all his saints ; 

Even to the children of Israel, a people near unto him. 
Praise ye the Lord. (51:12^-1215). 

It is important to notice that the hymn is omitted 
in all the versions. The reason for its omission by 
the Greek translator can be easily found. Living at 
a time when the house of Zadok was already super- 
seded by the Maccabsean line, the grandson of l^en 
Sira recoiled from publishing a hymn which claimed 
that the pnv (Sons of Zadok) were specially se- 
lected for the priesthood. But it is this very promi- 
nence given to the house of Zadok which establishes 
its authenticity. For, after the unworthy part played 
by the high priests of the house of Zadok during the 
Hellenistic troubles, it is highly improbable that any 
pious Jew — ^as the author of this hymn evidently wa.s- — 
would feel so enthusiastic about this family, that their 
continuation iru the sacred office would form the 
special topic of his thanksgiving to God, Such 



enthusiasm could have been displayed only by one 
who knew the best of the Zadokides, namely Simon 
the Just, and who prayed so fervently for the perpetu- 
ation of God’s grace upon the high priest and his 
children, that is, Ben Sira himself 

The model on which this hymn is formed is, as I 
hardly need say, Psalm 136. It is strongly reminis- 
cent of certain passages in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and 
Zechariah. The last verse is directly copied from 
Psalm 148: 14. But though Psalm-like in form, it is 
liturgical in spirit. And students of the Jewish 
prayer-book will at once recognise its influence on 
the so-called Eighteen Benedictions with their intro- 
ductory Blessings. The hymn is at present, I am 
inclined to think, in a defective state, for its model, 
the 1 36th Psalm, suggests to us that originally it con- 
sisted of twenty-six verses, of which twelve are now 
missing. But these might easily be supplied by the 
original prayers of the Synagogue, which in their turn 
were, as already hinted, modelled after Ben Sira. 
Enough, however, remains of this hymn to give us 
some insight into the state of religious thought in the 
times of Ben Sira. We learn first from it that the 
theocratic tendency of those ages has been unduly em- 
phasised by modern critics. At least, it never went 
so far as to suppress devotion to the house of David. 
Even with so strong a partisan of the High Priest 
Simon as Ben Sira was, loyalty to the descendants of 
Zadok went hand in hand with the hope for the 
restoration of the Davidic family, in which the Mes- 


sianic belief was embodied. If the first was com- 
manded by the Torah, the second was guaranteed by 
the Prophets, the fulfilment of whose words is a sub- 
ject of prayer for Ben Sira. To the harmony of these 
two beliefs, antagonistic as they may appear to the 
modern eye, all subsequent Jewish literature bears 
witness, in which the restoration of the priestly order 
to the service in the Temple and the advent of the 
Messiah ben David form so prominent a part, and are 
equally prayed for. 

We learn further from this hymn that what occu- 
pied the mind of this latter-day psalmist was the his- 
tory of his own times, not the events of the remote 
past. Living, as it would .seem, in comparatively 
peaceful times, which, however, were preceded by a 
great crisis in the history of the nation, he gives 
thanks for the rebuilding of the city and the Temple 
and for the gathering of the outcast of Israel. What 
he further praises God for are the two great religious 
institutions of his age ; the priesthood as represented 
by the house of Zadok, and. ‘'the house of David, 
which, embodying the hope of Israel in the future, 
passed with Ben Sira for a living reality. The invo- 
cation of the God of the Fathers, though Biblical in 
its origin, is at the same time a characteristic feature 
of the Jewish liturgy. In fact, the first of the Eigh- 
teen Benedictions is called ‘‘Fathers,’* The expres- 
sion “King of kings of kings” shows also the 
marked Persian, influence to which Ben Sira was 
as much subject as any later Rabbi who uses the 



same appellation for God. We thus see clearly that 
what inspired Ben Sira was the present and the future 
of his people. To these he refers in plain language, 
and in the language of his time. Is it possible, I ask, 
that Psalms written about the same age or even later 
should have so little distinct reference to the events of 
their own time, that we have the greatest difficulty in 
recognising their allusions ? Is it conceivable, I ask 
again, that Ben Sira, writing in comparatively unevent- 
ful times, should be entirely given over to the present, 
and yet the author of the 136th Psalm, writing as is 
alleged some fifty years later, should not have a single 
reference to the great events of his generation ? In- 
stead of making the Maccabiean victories the subject 
of his thanksgivings, he praises God for the Exodus 
from Egypt. Is it possible that Ben Sira should 
make the selection of the house of Zadok the theme 
of his thanks to God, and no Maccabaean writer 
should thank God in plain language for replacing it 
by the new dynasty? And quite apart from this new 
hymn, is there any adequate reason why Ben Sira, in 
celebrating his hero, should give us his name, Simon 
ben Johanan, whilst the Maccabaean heroes should be 
typified by Joshua, David, Solomon, Saul, and alluded 
to in all possible obscure ways, but never called by 
their right names? Again, is it possible that Ben Sira, 
with all his care as an imitator, and writing only two 
or three hymns, should forget himself so as to use an 
appellation of God in which the Persian influence is 
so manifest, whilst all the hosts of poets of the Per- 



Sian and the Greek period, of whom the Psalter is 
supposed to be the work, should succeed in divest- 
ing themselves of every trace of the influences of 
their times ? 

All these considerations added to others of not 
less weight, which would, however, lead us too far 
were I to produce them here, make it clear to me that 
we have been taking too many liberties with tradition. 
Least of all were we justified in undertaking the recon- 
struction of a period in Israel’s history of which 
scarcely a single historical record was left to us. 
Tradition had at least at its disposal legends and 
myths, if you prefer to call them so. We have nothing 
but a series of hypotheses which, in many respects, are 
more improbable than those they were meant to dis- 
place. It is, therefore, only with the utmost caution, 
doubting doubt itself, that we can at present express 
any positive opinions on such obscure points. 

I say, at present — for a single new discovery of a 
book like Ben Hagla, mentioned in the Talmud in 
connexion with Ben Sira, but lost to us, or a single 
fresh excavation in the field of Egyptology and Assyri- 
ology, may settle all these questions for us. I am 
thinking of another possibility. I have,” once said 
a sage of by-gone times, “ learned much from my 
teachers, more from my colleagues, but most from my 
pupils.” I am quite prepared to follow this wise ex- 
ample. And none would be more happy than I, 
should I succeed -in forming in this place a school of 
Biblical students whose zeal and devotion to Semitic 


studies should surpass mine, whose penetrating vision 
might remove all obscurities before them, so that they 
might disperse all doubts, allay all suspicions, and 
convert my cautious utterances into positive dogmatic 


My object in heading this paper “A Glimpse of 
the Life of the Jews in the Age of Jesus, the Son of 
Sirach,” or, as I shall call him, Ben Sira, was to indi- 
cate at once its limits and its limitations. Thus, it will 
be observed that I did not circumscribe the age which 
will occupy our attention by any exact date, and this 
for the simple reason that the age in which Ben Sira 
lived is still a controverted point amongst students, 
some fixing it at 280 b. c. e., others some two gene- 
rations later, about 200 b. c. e. Considering, how- 
ever, that in either case Ben Sira must have belonged 
to a generation which had already come under the 
Hellenistic influence under which Asia fell by the con- 
quests of Alexander the Great, but, on the other hand, 
never saw the reaction brought about against it by 
the Maccabaean rise, the question of precise date does 
not seriously affect the solution of our problem. 

Of more importance is the question as to the 
sources which should legitimately be made use of in 
this study. This is a case of advanced Bible Criticism 
versus Tradition. If we accede to the former, Ben 
Sira must have lived in an age when the Psalms were 
still in the process of composition, when sceptical 



books ” could still be smuggled into the Canon under 
an ancient, revered name, when certain Bedouins in 
some obscure corner of Arabia had just left off dis- 
cussing the most solemn mysteries of our being, when 
Shulamith and her Beloved were about to set out on 
their symbolic career. The Bible, then, should fur- 
nish us with the material, particularly the Plagi- 
ographa, or KctJnibiin, If we accept Tradition as our 
guide, Biblical authorship would be, in the age of Ben 
Sira, a matter of a remote past, and we should have 
to turn to the pages of the Talmud for information 
bearing on our subject, especially to those portions 
of it recording the activity of the Great Synagogue 
{iKcncsctli ]ia-Gedolali) and the Ordinances of Ezra. 

I have my serious doubts as to the soundness of 
the hypothesis of Maccabacan Psalms and similar 
theories tliat tend to fill the void in our knowledge of 
the period in question with shreds from the Bible."* 
But this scepticism by no means entirely removes our 
doubts in the trustworthiness of the Rabbinic records 
that were not reduced to writing for centuries after 
l^en Sira, and can thus hardly be considered as real 
contemporary evidence. To this description the Wis- 
dom of Ben Sira alone can lay claim. All other 
works, as the Tahnud, the ^‘Chronicle of the World,” 
and similar documents, can be regarded only as 
secondary sources, to be used as supplementary 
evidence, provided there is nothing incongruous in 
the nature of their statements with the times they 
profess to describe. 



But even the use of Ben Sira is not quite free from 
obstacles and pitfalls. There is a passage in the 
'‘Chronicle of the World'' to the effect that Elijah’s 
occupation since his transhxtion consists in “writing 
the history of all generations." I never realised the 
force of this legend so much as when studying Ben 
Sira’s Wisdom. For, apart from the difficulties in- 
herent in every author coming down to us from an- 
tiquity, such as additions, omissions, and textual cor- 
ruptions, there is always with Ben Sira the question 
whether he really meant what he said. We have no 
reason to question his veracity. “Gainsay not the 
truth, and humble thyself before God,” was an axiom 
of his. What impairs the value of his statements is 
the consideration that Ben Sira was, as proved else- 
where, ^ rather too much addicted to quoting from the 
Canonical Writings and giving ample extracts from 
them. It is, therefore, hard to decide whether his 
words can always be taken as stating a fact to which 
he was witness, or conveying a sentiment which he 
felt, or whether they are to be taken as mere repeti- 
tions of Scriptural phrases intended as ornamental 
flourishes. Thus, for instance, when we read in Ben 
Sira the various passages about the strange woman, 
we may reasonably ask, Do they describe the low state 
of morality in Jerusalem, or are they not bad exaggera- 
tions due to the author's thinking of similar passages 
in the Book of Proverbs ? Again, when he devotes 
almost a whole chapter to a prayer for the deliverance 
of his people from the hands of the oppressor, docs it 



indicate the actual hostile relations between Israel and 
the surrounding nations, or has it to be looked upon 
as being, in part at least, a mere exercise in a species 
of lyrics for which certain elegiac Psalms served him 
as models ? 

Only an Elijah with his angelic gift of omniscience, 
and his advantage of being the contemporary of almost 
all times and ages, could know whether Ben Sira was 
in the mood for writing history or doing composi- 
tion.” We poor mortals have to be on our guard not 
to know too much, and be satisfied with guesses and 
hypotheses. All that we can aspire to are mere 

Life with the Jew meant religion, and it is impos- 
sible to get a glimpse of his social life without at 
least throwing a glance at his spiritual life. This, in- 
deed, was even at those remote times fully developed. 
For not only was the Law in full operation, but Juda- 
ism had already entered upon its course of Rabbinism, 
the main function of which was to bring man with 
all his various faculties and aspirations under the sway 
of the Torah. The Canon of the Prophets is also an 
accomplished fact, and the words of Ben Sira regard- 
ing Isaiah, 

By a spirit of might he saw the end, 

And comforted the mourners of Sion (48 ; 24), 

thus attributing the comfort portions” to the same 
author to whom the first forty chapters are ascribed, 
are a guarantee also for the formation of tradition as 



to the rise and history of the books included in that 
portion of the Bible long before 200 b. c. e. 

Beside these two Canons there existed also “ the 
other Books of the Fathers,” as Ben Sira's grandson 
expresses himself, which probably represented all the 
writings included in the Hagiographa with 

the single exception, perhaps, of certain portions in 
the Book of Daniek 

The discontinuance of prophecy, however, must 
not be taken as proof of spiritual sterility. Prophecy 
might have been sorely missed by Ben Sira, but only 
as a means of prediction, not as a source of religious 
inspiration. This latter they had “ in the book of the 
Covenant of the Most High God,” or the Torah, 
which, in the words of Ben Sira (?), with whom she is 
identical with Wisdom, is ''the mother of fair love, 
and fear, and knowledge, and holy hope.” Far from 
causing sterility or stagnation. Wisdom, or the Torah, 
says of herself; 

.... I will water my garden, 

And will water abundantly my garden bed ; 

And, lo, my stream became a river. 

And my river became a sea. 

I will yet bring instruction to light as the morning, 

And will make these things to shine forth afar off. 

I will yet pour out doctrine as prophecy, 

And leave it unto generations of ages (24 : 3r). 

With such a Torah Ben Sira felt but little need for 
a new revelation. With the Psalmist he would pray, 
** Open thou mine hyes that I may behold wondrous 
things out of thy Torah,” which wondrous things 



consist mainly in divining God's will so far as it has 
any bearing upon life and conduct. This brings us 
to the Synagogue, or the House of Interpretation (of 
the Torah), which forms so prominent a feature in the 
religious life of post-exilic Judaism. With the 
scanty materials at our disposal it is difficult to define 
its exact position as a religious factor in those early 
times. First, however, we must cast a glance at least 
at the Holy Temple, which, by reason of its long his- 
torical prestige, its glorious ritual, performed by a 
hereditary imesthood and presided over by a pontiff, 
who not only had a seat in the councils of the nation, 
but practically represented in his person the whole 
legislature, must have almost monopolised the affec- 
tion and the devotion the people bestowed upon their 
religious institutions. The contents of Chapter 50 of 
the Wisdom of Ben Sira convey to us a fair idea of 
what the best of the nation felt when in the presence 
of their priestly rulers, and what impression the service 
in the Temple made on them. 

The central figure in that chapter is Simon the son 
of Johanan, “the great one of his brethren and the 
glory of his people," the patriot and the leader, 

Who took thought for his iieoplc against the spoiler, 

And fortified his city against the besieger (50: 4), 

whose personal appearance was so striking that Ben 
Sira enthusiastically exclaims : 

How glorious was he w'hen he looked forth from the tent ; 

At his coming forth out of the Sanctuary ! 

As the morning star in the midst of a cloud. 



As the moon at the full in the days of the solemn fast ; 

As the sun dawning^ upon the temple of the King, 

And as the rainbow seen in the cloud (50 : 5-7). 

It should, however, be noticed that a good deal of 
this enthusiasm may have been due as much to the 
gorgeous attire of the pontiff as to any personal charm 
Simon may have possessed. At least, this is the im- 
pression we receive from a similar description of a 
high priest left to us by the anonymous author of the 
Aristeas Letter, who rather revels in the minute de- 
scription of the various vestments the high priest 
wore, the robes, the diamonds, the bells, and the 
pomegranates, and he tells us that the effect produced 
on him by the sight of the high priest in full canoni- 
cals as required by the service, was to feel himself 
transferred to another world. 

In a similar strain are the lines of Ben Sira pictur- 
ing his hero at the moment when he was performing 
the service in the Temple : 

When he ascended the altar of majesty, 

And made glorious the precinct of the Sanctuary, 

When he received the pieces out of the hand of his brethren, 
While himself standing by the altar tires : 

Round him a crown of sons 
Like cedar plants in Lebanon. 

And they compassed him about like willows of the brook : 
All the sons of Aaron in their glory 

With the fire-offerings of the Lord in their hand (50 : 12-13). 
The culminating point of Ben Sira’s enthusiasm is 
reached with the choral part of the service, in which 
the laity had its due share in the responses ; 

Then sounded the sons of Aaron, the priests, 

With trumpets of beaten work. 



And they sounded, and made their glorious voice heard 
To bring to remembrance before the Most High. 

All flesh together hasted, 

And fell down upon their faces to the earth, 

To worship before the Most High, 

Before the Holy One of Israel 

And all the people of the land chanted 
In prayer before the Merciful. ..... 

Then he came down and lifted up his hands 
Over all the congregation of Israel, 

And the blessing of the Lord was on his lips 
And in the name of the Lord he gloried. 

And they bowed again a second time, 

The people all of them before him (50 : 16-22). 

Thus Ben Sira. The author of the Aristeas Letter, 
who writes for Gentiles, and dwells at great length 
on the sacrificial service, remarks that it was carried 
out in such deep silence as to make one think that not 
a single human being was to be found anywhere in 
the place. And yet, he proceeds to say, there were 
pre.sent, as a rule, about seven hundred ministering 
priests, in addition to the great crowds of the laity 
who brought the sacrifices. But all this was per- 
formed in solemnity and in a manner worthy of the 
great Deity, 

It will, however, be noticed that neither Simon nor 
the high functionaries surrounding him appear in the 
capacity of teachers or instructors of the people. The 
office of teaching was left, as already indicated, to the 
Synagogue, represented by the Scribes, or Sages, who 
were recruited from all classes of the people. It 


IS impossible to define the exact relation of the 
Synagogue to the Temple. Some writers describe 
the Synagogue as the altars on the high places 
of post-exilic Judaism ; others, again, fond of 
modern theological slang, as the Procathcdrals 
of the provinces. All these names, however, are 
to some extent misleading, implying, as they do, 
a certain conscious, antagonistic attitude in the Syna- 
gogue toward the Temple, for which there is no real 
evidence. We know fairly that there was a synagogue 
within the precincts of the Temple. Had there been 
room for the least suspicion of schismatic* tendencies, 
the priests would as little have allowed it accommo- 
dation within the sphere of their jurisdiction as, for 
instance, the dignibiries of the Vatican could be ex- 
pected to grant a site for a Protestant chapel in the 
court of St. Peter’s. Nor, indeed, is there known 
any conscious opposition to the Temple on the 
part of the Rabbis. Simon ben Shetach, Hillel, and 
all the other leaders of the Synagogue, were as zealous 
for the maintenance of the priestly order and the 
sacrificial worship as ever any high priest was. Some 
of these leaders were even priests themselves, and 
served in the Temple in such capacities. More 
appropriate, therefore, is the traditional designa- 
tion Beth ha-Kcncseth (House of Assembly), or the 
even more ancient and more classic name, Beth 
ha-Midrash (House of Interpretation)^ thus con- 
fining the activity of the Synagogue mainly to instruc- 
tion. Worship was only a secondary matter with it. 


srrrmES ix Judaism 

and stood in no competitive relation to that performed 
in the Temple, since no amount of prayer ever so 
sublime could relieve the Jew from the bringing of 
a meal-offering or a sin-offering when such was his 
duty in accordance with the injunctions of the Leviti- 
cal Code. The office of the Synagogue must, there- 
fore, have been looked upon as supplementary or aux- 
iliary to that of the Temple, which in the age of Ben 
Sira was generally limited to the functions of worship. 

If there was any element in the Synagogue which 
might have led to a rupture with the sister institution, 
it was not its teaching, but its democratic constitution, 
which, to some minds, must have contrasted favour- 
ably with the hierarchic government of the Temple. 

Three crowns there are,'’ said a Rabbi : the crown of 
royalty, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of the 
Torah. The first two are in the exclusive possession 
of two families, the lineage of David and the descend- 
ants of Aaron. But the crown of the Torah is free to 
all, and can be acquired only by labour. He who 
wants to take it, let him come and take it, as it 
is said *. ‘ Ho ! every one that thirsteth, come ye to 

the waters.’ Only a few generations after Ben Sira 
wo find Shemaiah and Abtalyon, descendants of 
proselytes, holding, according to tradition, the high 
offices of “President” and “ Father of the Court of 
Justice ” in the Sanhedrin. 

But in spite of its humble claims, and notwith- 
standing the lowly origin of those who served in it, 
there can be little doubt that the influence of the 


Synagogue as a religious factor even in the times of 
Ben Sira was more deeply felt than the scarcity of 
references to it in the contemporary literature would 
lead us to believe. For, judged in the light of subse- 
quent events, it is not impossible that the very darling 
priests whom Ben Sira admired as the crown of 
sons’* developed in later life into the class of trai- 
torous prelates who headed the paganising movement 
preceding the Maccaba^an rise, among whom Jason and 
the Tobiades were only the more notorious specimens. 
But whilst the priests, according to the Second Book 
of Maccabees, had no inclination to serve at the altar, 
but, despising the Temple and neglecting the sacri- 
fices, hastened to be partakers of the unlawful allow- 
ance in the place of exercise,*’^ there were, as we 
know from the same source, mighty men in Israel, 
every one who offered himself willingly for the Law. 
By those mighty men are meant the Scribes and the 
Assidaeans, but they had a large following, as is clear 
from another passage, ‘'in the many in Israel who chose 
to die that they might not profane the Holy Covenant.**^ 
Now, in pre-exilic times, the backslidings of the kings 
and the nobles as a rule involved the apostasy of the 
whole nation, and if the king “did that which was evil 
in the sight of the Lord,” the people were sure to do 
what was worse. But, in the age occupying our 
attention, we find the strange phenomenon that the 
bulk of the nation, far from being affected by the 
apostasy of their political leaders, arrayed themselves 
in organised resistance, determined to defend their 


religion against all attacks from within and without. 
Considering that these political leaders came mostly 
from the ranks of the priestly aristocracy, we must 
assume that there were spiritual forces at work other 
than the Temple, which prepared the nation for the 
crisis. This force was the Synagogue, which, by reason 
of its less elaborate service and its office of instruction, 
was admirably fitted to place religion within the reach 
of the people at large, and to teach them to consider 
man's relations to God as his own personal affair, not 
to be regulated by the conscience or caprice of cither 
prince or priest. 

This instruction was given free, without any expec- 
tation of reward, and ungrudgingly. For, as Ben Sira 
expresses it : 

All wisdom cometli from the Lord, .... 

She is with all flesh according to his gift ; 

And he gave her freely to them that love him (i : i-io), 

and as a Rabbi remarked : Man should in this respect 
imitate the Holy One, blessed be he. As with God 
it is a gift of free grace, so should man make it a 
free gift.® 

Next to the function of teaching came that of prayer. 
Prayer is, of course, not the invention of the Syna- 
gogue. It is, to use the words of an old mystic, as 
natural an expression of the intimate relations be- 
tween heaven and earth as courtship between the 
sexes. Inarticulate whisperings, however, and raptur- 
ous efiTusions at far intervals are sometimes apt to de- 
generate into mere passing flirtations. The Syna- 


gogue, by creating something like a liturgy, appoint- 
ing times for prayer, and erecting places of worship, 
gave steadiness and duration to these fitful and uncon- 
trolled emotions, and raised them to the dignity of a 
proper institution. 

Of the contents of this early liturgy little more is 
known than the pregnant headings of the Benedic- 
tions. They are Fathers (ni3N), Strengths (nnUJ), 
and Holinesses (niEJ'np), said to have been introduced 
by the men of the Great Synagogue, and are thus of 
pre-Maccabaian origin. The first three blessings of 
“the original prayers” (sometimes called the Eighteen 
Benedictions), still in use in the Synagogue, are known 
under the same headings. The burden of the first 
(max) is the proclaiming of God as the God of the 
Fathers, and “possessing heaven and earth.” It has 
a striking parallel in Ben Sira’s hymn, where thanks 
are given to the Shield of Abraham, the Rock of 
Lsaac, and the Mighty One of Jacob (5I: 12, j, k, 1.), 
whilst the heading “Fathers” strongly reminds one of 
Ben Sira's similar superscription on Chapter 44, “The 
Praise of the Fathers of the World ” nnN na{^>). 

The burden of the third is the praise of God in his 
attribute of holiness, and has probably its origin in the 
theophany of Isaiah, “ Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of 
hosts.” It is remarkable that the passage commen- 
cing, “Now, therefore,© Lord, impose thine awe upon 
all thy work” (Tina |n jaai), which is inserted in this 
Benediction on the New Year’s Day, contains many 
phrases and expressions to be found in the thirty-sixth 



chapter of Ben Sira. There is thus no objection to 
assuming that the contents of the Fathers and the 
Ilolincsscs Benedictions of the age of Ben Sira were 
almost identical with those recited by the Jews of the 
present day. It is more difficult to say what the exact 
wording of the Strengths Benediction was. The term 
itself, nnu:, seems to have been suggested by Job 26 : 
14, “ But the thunder of his strength (or power), who 
can understand?'' The Rabbis also speak often of 
the rinUJ, the power of God as shown by his 

bringing rain. The Strengths Benediction would 
thus mean the praise of God in his manifestation 
through nature. The text, however, of the Blessing 
of the same name in the Jewish Common Prayer-Book 
is, *‘Thou, O I.ord, art mighty forever, thou quick- 
enest the dead,” etc. 

This is practically less of a Benediction than the 
promulgation of a doctrine that the dead will rise one 
day. And here the question presents itself whether 
the belief in resurrection was a universally accepted 
dogma in the days of Ben Sira. I think this question 
must be answered in the negative. It is true that 
there is no real evidence that Ben Sira was opposed to 
this dogma. For such desponding passages as are 
reproduced by *Dr. Edersheim and other writers, 
tending to show Ben Sira's despair of man's condition 
after death, may be mere repetitions of the corres- 
ponding verses in Ecclesiastes, Job, and Psalms, 
and need not thus express the author's own views. 
Yet it must be admitted that there is some truth in 


Dr. Edersheim’s exclamation: What becomes of the 
spirit in Hades is scarcely clear to our writer, as there 
is no distinct reference to the doctrine of immortality 
or resurrection in Ben Sira.” Dr. Edersheim also 
complains that Ben Sira is reluctant to enlarge upon 
the subject of angels, as well as that he is still more 
chary in his references to Satan. He also suspects 
that Ben Sira’s creed did not include the doctrine of 
‘^original sin in the New Testament sense.”^ I am not 
responsible for the heterodoxies of Ben Sira, and am in 
no way anxious to convert him to a scheme of salvation 
of a much later period. But I may say in his defence, 
that with Ben Sira all those metaphysical hypotheses 
and theological certainties probably belonged to those 
“conceits of men and imagination of thoughts leading 
them astray,” against which he warns us with tlie words.* 

Search not the things that are too wonderful for tliee, 

And seek not that which is hid from thee. 

What thou art permitted, think thereupon, 

But thou hast no business with the secret things (3 ; 21-22). 

As Ben Sira lived in an age sadly deficient in all 
theological enterprise, but great in its admiration of 
the prophets, we can even imagine him replying to an 
intrusive inquirer: “Hadst thou the same belief in 
God’s just government of the world as an Isaiah had, 
thou wouldst speak less about man’s condition after 
death, and more about the rights and duties of life, less 
about angels and more about men, less of Satan and 
more of God;” and if 

The life of man is numbered by days, 

The days of Israel are innumerable (37 : 25). 



The great principle which he would impress upon 
mortals would be 

Prosperity and adversity, life and death, 

Poverty and riches come of the Lord (ii ; 14). 

But as to the mysterious workings of Providence 
in apportioning his lot to each man, nothing remains 
but to pray, 

For great is the mercy of God, 

And he revealeth his secret to the meek (5 : 20). 

I need hardly say that in the days of Hillel and 
Shammai, the doctrine of immortality was fully devel- 
oped, and universally accepted by all the Pharisaic 

The Synagogue found a powerful auxiliary in the 
home. The Sabbath was then more strictly observed 
than in later ages. The dietary laws, forming a part of 
the holiness code, and probably kept originally only by 
the priests, now helped to hallow every Jewish home 
which came under the influence of the Synagogue. 
The “Words of the Scribes,” as well as most of the 
other ordinances and laws whose origin can no longer 
be traced, probably arose about this time. These 
tended to give distinction and character to the nation 
at large. The Synagogue became a Temple on a small 
scale, and the Jewish home a Synagogue in miniature. 

When speaking of the artisan, Ben Sira says ; 

But they will maintain the fabric of the world ; 

And in the handiwork of their craft is their prayer (38 ; 34)*®. 



Let us now consider prayer outside of the appointed 
place of worship. I therefore propose that we quit 
Temple and Synagogue, and betake ourselves to 
more secular surroundings, to learn something of the 
social life of the Jew. I am the more anxious for 
this shifting of scenes, since there is some notion 
abroad that one of the evil effects of the introduc- 
tion of the “Priestly Code** was to convert a Nation 
into a Church, thus leading to the impression that a 
religious life, in the sense of the Torah, was incom- 
patible with what we understand by a civilised polity. 
The glimpses which the market-place and the Jewish 
home will now afford us will show how erroneous 
this conception is. Here we find the Jew occupied 
as farmer and cattle-breeder, or active as carpenter, 
builder, iron-smith, potter, and in similar trades. Ben 
Sira, a savant of the most approved type, has no 
particular sympathy with such vocations, thinking that 
conversation with animals and the noise of the hammer 
and the anvil are not conducive to wisdom (38: 33 
et seq,y He admits, however, that “without these 
cannot a city be inhabited, and that every one is wise 
in his works** (38: 32). Hence his injunction, 

Hate not appointed service of laborious work, 

For it has been apportioned of God ” (7 : 15). 

Ben Sira was less tolerant of the commercial classes, 
of whom he says : 

A merchant shall hardly keep himself from wrong-doing. 

And a huckster "shall not be acquitted from sin, 

For if he stumbles not in this, he stumbles in that (26 ; 29).** 



This is quite in harmony with the Rabbinic senti- 
ment, which, though having a higher opinion of the 
dignity of labour than Ben Sira, declares the hawker 
and the shop-keeper to be engaged in trades of “bad 
odour/’ whilst the latter is said to practise the “ handi- 
craft of robbery/’ These are harsh words, and I can 
say nothing in mitigation of them, except that they 
were not actuated by the kindly feelings which the 
gentleman presiding in his office on the first floor 
entertains for his dear neighbour behind the counter on 
the ground floor. It was not a question of wholesale 
or retail with Ben Sira. 

“Offend not” he says, “with a word him who labours truly, 
Nor even the hired man who gives his soul ” (7 : 20). 

His aversion was certainly not social. It was 
founded on his impression, rightly or wrongly con- 
ceived, that 

As a nail sticketh fast between the joinings of the stone, 

So doth sin stick close between buying and selling (27 : 2). 

Of professions we have to record four : the military, 
the clerical, the scholastic, and the medical. As to 
the first, we have evidence in contemporary docu- 
ments that Jews served as soldiers in the Ptolemaic 
armies. The chivalrous injunction of Ben Sira, 

Forget not a companion in the battle, 

And forsake him not in thy booty (37 ; 6), 

also points to the existence of such a class in the age 
of Ben Sira. But it does not seem that the position 
of the Tommy Atkins of antiquity was much better 
than that of his modern brother-in-arms. 



“Who will trust*’ says Ben Sira “a troop of warriors skipping 
from city to city ? ” (36 ; 31 ), 

whilst in times of peace he was utterly neglected, so 
that Ben Sira exclaims : 

There be two things that grieve my heart, 

And the third that makes me angry : 

A man of war that suffers poverty (26 28). 

The story of the Absent-minded Beggar all over 
again ! 

The clerical and the scholastic can hardly be 
called professions in the sense we attach to the word, 
since the former was not a matter of choice or of 
special training, but a mere accident of birth, whilst 
the latter, as indicated above, did not carry any 
pecuniary compensation with it. Ben Sira’s invita- 
tion to those he wishes to instruct runs thus : 

Turn unto me, O ye fools, 

And lodge in my house of learning. 

I opened my mouth and spake of her, 

Get ye wisdom in your possession without money (51: 23,25). 

With regard to the priests, the Rabbis spealc of the 
twenty-four Gifts, or sources of revenue, of the priest- 
hood.^-^ Still, I am inclined to think that it may seri- 
ously be doubted whether the common priest, ovin jn^, 
at least, found himself in much better circumstances 
than the general scribe. Of the twenty-four gifts, the 
Terumah (heave-offering) was the one on which the 
priest mostly depended, since it provided him with the 
products of the soil of which bread was made. This 
Terumah revenue, however, consisted, as later sources 



report, only of a tax of two per cent of the harvest in 
kind, and was hardly commensurate with the numbers 
of the priests, who must have constituted a much 
larger proportion of the population than one in fifty. 
Moreover, there were various subterfuges makingit pos- 
sible for the people to evade the whole law, of which 
probably many availed themselves. Nehemiah's sur- 
prise expressed in the words, “And I perceived that 
the portions of the Levites had not been given to them'' 
(13 : 10), must have been experienced by many a 
Jewish authority during the Second Temple. The 
daily press of those ages does not record any cases 
of “conscience-money." But even when the “por- 
tions" were punctually delivered, there were so many 
physical and other causes putting the priest into a 
state of Levitical impurity, and thus excluding him 
from every contact with “holy things," that the en- 
joyment of the Terumah and similar gifts was limited 
to the short intervals when he and his family and their 
dependents were “painfully clean." In seasons of 
“defilement" all that he could do with his Terumah 
was to use it as fuel. Again, on the gifts due him 
from the various sacrifices, consisting of meats, oils, 
and cakes, he could depend only for the time he was 
in active service m the Temple, and this did not ex- 
tend over two weeks in the year according to the 
arrangement of “the twenty-four priestly districts." 

There must have been, of course, some offices in 
the Temple worth having, especially those connected 
with the superintendence of the finances. But it 
would seem that such sinecures were kept for the 


special benefit of “ the younger sons and older daugh- 
ters of the high priests,” and were not within the reach 
of the lower clergy. ‘‘Woe unto us,” exclaimed an 
old Rabbi, “because of the House of Ishmael ben 
Piabi. Woe unto us because of their fist (violence). 
They themselves are high priests, their sons mana- 
gers, and their sons-in-law treasurers, whilst their 
slaves tyrannise over the people with sticks.” The 
common priests without family patronage had thus 
little hope of advancement. Indeed, their position 
was sometimes so desperate that some used to hire 
themselves out as hands on the threshing-floor, with 
the purpose of engaging the good-will of the owner 
of the harvest, who could patronise with his gifts any 
priest he liked. The Rabbis stigmatise such a pro- 
cedure as a degradation of the priesthood and as a 
“pollution of the holy things.” But we who know 
so much of the story of the perpetual curate with the 
large family and the small stipend will be inclined 
rather to pity than to anger. It must probably have 
been with an eye to this neglect of the priest and his 
abject poverty that Ben Sira wrote the following lines : 

Fear the Lord with all thy soul, 

And reverence his priests. 

With all thy strength love him that made thee, 

And forsake not his ministers. 

Honour the Lord and glorify the priest, 

And give him his portion even as it is commanded thee 

More of a profession in our sense of the word was 
the medical one. Ben Sira devotes a whole chapter 
to it, and we learn from it that 



The knowledge of the physician shall lift his head, 

He shall stand before the nobles, 

And from the king he shall receive gifts (38 : 3, 2). 

He was tlius, like the modern physician, a student of 
some sort, and likewise expected to be compensated 
for his services. Anatomy, physiology, etc., are not 
likely to have formed a part of his knowledge, though 
there is evidence from the second century that some 
Rabbis tried their hands at dissecting dead bodies. 
As it would seem, it consisted mainly in knowing 
the virtues of various herbs, for, as Ben Sira says, 

God bringeth out medicines from the earth; 

And let a prudent man not refuse them. .* 

By them doth the physician assuage pain (38 ; 4, 7). 

Ben Sira’s pleading, 

Was not water made sweet with wood 

To acquaint every man with his [God’s] power? (38 15), 

seems to have been directed against a sort of Jewish 
scientists who saw in the physician a man counteract- 
ing the designs of God. The Rabbinic remark on 
Exodus 21:19, that the Law gave permission to the 
physician to practise his art,’’ points also to the exis- 
tence of such objections on the part of some “pecu- 
liar” Jews. ‘^Nothing is new under the sun,” not 
even folly. 

Of course, as a pious Jew, Ben Sira perceived in 
the physician an instrument of Providence, or, as he 
expresses it. 

From God a physician getteth wisdom (38 : 2). 

Hence his advice to the patient : 

Pray unto the Lord, for he will heal (38 : 9). 



Ben Sira likewise assumes of the physician that 

He, too, will supplicate unto God, 

That he will prosper to him the mixture (38 ; 14). 

But he distinctly warns the people not to neglect the 
physician. Honour the physician,” Ben Sira says, 
before thou hast need of him” (38: i), and con- 
cludes the chapter with the words; 

He that sinneth against his Maker, 

Will behave himself proudly against a physician (38 : 15). 

In consequence of a misreading of the Hebrew by the 
Greek translator, the versions give 

He that sinneth before his Maker, 

Let him fall into the hands of the physician. 

Now, a community which has artisans and traders, 
hired men and employers, professionals and privi- 
leged classes, could hardly be expected to be free 
from social inequalities and even social injustices. 
Ben Sira touches in many a place on these social evils 
of his time. It was on the basis of such passages that 
a German Social Democrat, Herr Pfarrer Naumann, 
declared Ben Sira to have been a prototype of Karl 
Marx and Lassalle. I know the Pfarrer's article only 
from quotations given by Pastor Wohlenberg in an 
I^ssay headed Jesus Sirach und die sociale Fragc^ in the 
Neue Kirchliche Zeitschiift, To judge from these 
quotations Pfarrer Naumann’s main argument is based 
on the contents of Ben Sira’s Wisdom, Chapter 13, in 
which such lines tis the following occur : 

Wild asses are the prey of lions in the wilderness; 

So poor men are pasture for the rich 



A rich man speaketh and all keep silence; 

And what he sailh they extol to the clouds. 

A poor man speaketh, and they say, who is this ? 

And if he stumble, they will help to overthrow him (13 ; 

These, and other verses like these, testify to the 
existence of a class rapacious, perfidious, and unscru- 
pulous. Still they must not be interpreted as if they 
were meant to set up a conflagration to consume the 
foundations of an old world, replacing it by a state 
composed of communistic societies and socialistic 
brotherhoods. Nothing could be further from the 
thoughts of Ben Sira. The social problem in Israel is 
old, and is in no way characteristic of the age of Ben 
Sira. Those interested in the subject will find a fair 
account of it, and the way prophets and lawgivers 
tried to deal with it, in Professor Nowack’s and Pro- 
fessor Buhl's pamphlets on the social problems in 
Israel. For our present purpose it will suffice to 
refer to such passages as the one in Isaiah, '‘Woe 
unto them who join house to house and lay field to 
field, till there is no place " (5 : 8), or the one in 
Amos, " Hear this, ye who swallow up the needy, 
even to make the poor of the land to fail, saying, 
when will the new moon be gone, that we may sell 
the corn .... that we may buy the poor for silver 
and the needy for a pair of shoes?" (8: 5, 6), Nor 
did the suffering of the exile greatly contribute toward 
lessening covetousness. For we find, that one of the 
evils with which Nehemiah had to deal was the rapa- 


city of the nobles and princes, who kept in bondage 
the sons and the daughters of the people, who were 
compelled to sell them for the purpose of obtaining 
the barest necessaries of life, or to pay the King’s 
tribute (Nehemiah 5 : 1-3), The only new feature in 
Ben Sira is possibly the fact that with him the Hebrew 
word usually meaning ‘"the rich,” ‘‘the opu- 

lent,” becomes a sort of equivalent to our word 
“plutocrat,” with this difference, that the em- 
ploys his powers for his own unrighteous purposes, 
and hence is a synonym with “the wicked.” 
Says Ben Sira : 

What fellowship shall wolf have with lamb? 

Such is the wicked unto the righteous : 

And so is the rich unto a man that is destitute (13 ; 17-18).*^ 

And the fact might be easily explained by the 
aggravating turn matters took under Hellenistic in- 
fluence, when priests of aristocratic descent became 
tax-farmers, and the wealthy classes in their train, 
aping the nobility, probably abandoned themselves to 
outlandish and ungodly fashions and luxury, so that 
the rich could be easily described as “ the children of 
the violent among thy people, who do wickedly against 
the covenant.” 

In spite, however, of these passionate outbursts of 
indignation, we must not infer that lien Sira in any 
way aspired to the role of social reformer. In the first 
place, Ben Sira was, as already hinted at, a savant and 
a man of the world. Unlike the later Rabbis, who 
taught that the study of the Torah without a handicraft 



must fail in the end, and become the cause of sin, and 
were even proud of the fact that Hillel, the President 
of the Sanhedrin, began life as a wood-chopper, Ben 
Sira believed leisure to be indispensable for the acqui- 
sition of wisdom. For it is only the man devoid of 
occupation who shall become wise.'* He will 

Seek out the wisdom of all the ancients ; 

And will be occupied in prophecies. 

He will serve among great men, 

And appear before him that ruletli. 

He U'ill travel through the land of strange nations 
(39: 3-4). 

But serving among the great and mixing with 
courtiers and travelling require leisure and freedom 
from what Ben Sira would have called “the sordid 
cares of existence.*’ He could thus hardly have dis- 
owned a class which by means of its wealth enjoyed 
the privileges so dear to his heart. 

In the second place, Ben Sira was a highly con- 
servative gentleman, and entertained little doubt of 
the dogma of “the sacredness of property.” It is 
true that he had a strong suspicion that large fortunes 
are not always made in the most desirable way. 

He that pursues after gold shall not be innocent . . . 

For it is a stumbling block to a fool (31 ; 5, 7). 

Still his doctrine was : 

Good things and evil, life and death, 

Poverty and riches, are from the Lord (it : 14). 

Riches and poverty being thus alike meted out by 
Heaven, every human effort toward bringing about a 


radical reform in this respect must prove idle and vain. 
With many a Jewish philosopher he probably thought 
that every society has the rich it deserves. 

“When the Lord*', says Alcharizi, “is wroth 
against a community, he gives wealth to the wicked 
and those who shut their hands ; when he loves them, 
he bestows it on the best and most noble-minded.’* 

The only remedies which Ben Sira offers against 
the evils bound to come with such a state of society, are 
charity and liberality on the side of the rich, and 
modesty and resignation on the side of the poor. To 
the former (the rich man) he says : 

He that gives to the poor lendeth to the Lord, 

And who rewardeth but he? (35 : ii — gloss). 

Or : 

Be as a father to the orphans, 

And instead of a husband to the widows. 

And God shall call thee son, 

And shall be gracious to thee (4; 10). 

But almsgiving alone is not sufficient, for 

The gift of a fool shall not profit thee. 

He will give little and upbraid much, 

And he will open his mouth like a crier (20 ; 14, 15). 

In accordance with the Rabbinic sentiment, that 
charity is rewarded only in proportion to the gracious- 
ness which accompanies it,®*" Ren Sira gives the in- 
struction : 

My son, to thy good deeds add no blemish, 

And no grief of words in any way of giving. 

Shall not the dew assuage the scorching heat? 

So is a word better than a gift (18; 15-16). 

The rich man also receives the solemn warning, 



that accumulation of wealth by means of oppressing 
the poor will be speedily avenged by a righteous God, 

Pie that buildeth his house with other men’s money, 

Is like one that gathereth himself stones for the tomb 
of his burial (21 : 8). 

Nor will church windows or any other donations 
atone for his iniquities, for 

Whoso bringeth an offering of the goods of the poor, 

Doeth as one that killeth the son before his father’s 
eyes (34 : 18). 

To the latter (the poor) Ben Sira gives the counsel ; 

With little or much be well satisfied (29 : 23), 

Better is the life of a poor man under shelter of logs, 

Than sumptuous fare in another man’s house ( 29 : 22 ) . 

And far from considering poverty a vice, — as Renan 
somewhere imputes to Judaism, — Ben Sira perceives 
in it, as in all manner of suffering, a discipline : 

For gold is tried in the fire, 

And acceptable men in the furnace of adversity (2 : 5). 

Hence, as in other cases of suffering, the only safe- 
guards against it are patience and confidence in God, 
or, as Ben Sira expresses it, 

Accept whatsoever is brought upon thee ; 

And be long-suffering in the changes of thy humiliation. 

Put thy trust in him and he will help thee (2; 4, 6). 

I described Ben Sira as "'a man of the world.” 
But no reproach was meant by it. All that this 
epithet implies is, that Ben Sira represented a type 
of mind which, lacking both ignorance and en- 


thusiasm, made him sadly unfit for the role of 
social reformer. He may perhaps be best described 
as a gentleman of the old school. In religion the 
doctrines of the Prophets were good enough for him, 
and he would, as we have seen, discourage every theo- 
logical speculation on “things hidden,'* as imperti- 
nent inquisitiveness. In politics the only principle 
he would urge was strict honesty and forbearance, for, 
as he says, 

Sovereignty is transferred from nation to nation 
Because of iniquities, pride, and greed of money ( lo : 8). 

Otherwise, as we can see from his panegyrics, he 
revered “ the powers that be," and as a good conser- 
vative probably believed them to be meek and honest. 

Whether Ben Sira would have been quite welcome 
in the circles of those known to history by the name 
of Chasidim, or Saints, is rather doubtful. They 
certainly need not have been ashamed of the man 
whose maxim was 

Flee from sin as from the face of a serpent (21 : 2). 

But if it be true, as some historians maintain, that 
the saints of that period were given to an ascetic life, 
they could not have been very eager for the com- 
pany of one who, as we shall see presently, mani- 
. fested a great predilection for the good things of this 
world. If this was the case, I can only be sorry for 
them. But their loss is our gain. For it is precisely 



this touch of worldliness in Ben Sira which affords us 
that glimpse of the social life of his time for which 
there is very little room in the work of a mere saint. 

The diary of the somewhat profane Pepys — to 
give an instance near at hand — is both amusing and 
instructive, whilst the jottings of the godly Nehemiah 
Wallington are certainly more edifying, but withal 
dull and unprofitable reading for the historian. 

Ben Sira was not profane, but he had a special 
weakness for a good dinner, declaring that 

Him that is liberal of his meats the lips shall bless, 

And the testimony of his excellence shall be believed 
(31 : 23). 

With our present object in hand we cannot do bet- 
ter than accompany him to this important social func- 
tion. I call it a function, for a dinner in Jerusalem to 
which guests were invited was quite a solemn affair, 
though it never assumed the sad and sacramental 
character which distinguishes our banciuets. The 
first duty to be performed would be to appoint by lot 
or election a chairman, or ‘^head of the banquet 

The election to this office carried with it, as it 
seems, a certain ^dignity, of which vain men were not 
a little proud. For, among the petty conceits of which 
a man should not, according to the advice of an old 
Rabbi, boast to his wife, lest she despise him in her 
heart, is also this, that he should not go home and 
say unto his wife, have been made the ruler of the 
feast.""** The injunction of Ben Sira, 



Have they made thee ruler of a feast ? 

Be not lifted up (32 : i), 

points to the same fact. 

What the particular function of this ruler was is 
not clearly stated, but, as far as we can gather from 
Ben Sira and succeeding Rabbinic sources, it con- 
sisted in iirranging the seats, or ratlier couches, super- 
intending all the preparations, and doing the honours 
of the occasion : 

Take thouj^ht for them and then lie down, 

Supply their wants and afterwards recline, 

That thou mayest rejoice in their honour (32 *. i, 2).®^ 

It is not impossible tliat he had also to draw up a 
list of the guests to be invited, since we know from a 
later source that ^^the men of a refined mind” in 
Jerusalem never accepted an invitation, unless they 
knew beforehand the names of those who were to be 
their fellow-guests.''^ The hour for dining seems to 
coincide, in the Rabbinic age at least, with that of the 
Romans, namely eleven o’clock in the morning.^'^ The 
guests were expected to appear some time before, 
when they were taken to the vestibule, to wait there 
for their friends, and be treated to refreshments. In 
Jerusalem the fashion was to pass round three courses 
of refreshments, during which time a flag w^as hoisted 
on the front of the house, as a signal for the guests to 
appear. With the removal of the flag after the third 
course of refreshments, the ‘‘ten minutes of grace” 
were over, and the assembled guests entered the din- 
ing hall. This was furnished with couches and small 



tables, in the arrangement of which more heed was 
paid, I believe, to the rules of precedence than to 
those of comfort. The Talmud has a regular order 
of the table,’* which is exceedingly interesting, and 
should be studied in connexion with corresponding 
matter in Marquardt’s Privatleben der Romer, Here 
we must confine ourselves chiefly to Ben Sira. 

As to the menu, Ben Sira tells us *^the chief thing 
for life is water and bread ” (29:2 1). This is rather too 
frugal. More satisfactory is another passage, in which 
among “the things necessary for life” are given “salt 
and flour of wheat and honey and milk and the blood 
of grapes and oil ” (39 ; 26). One would not starve 
on this, but, as a fact, the Jews were not limited to a 
vegetarian diet on “good days.” The general rule 
was “no festive dinner without meat” In Jerusalem 
in particular tlic butchers were also employed as 
caterers, and heavily fined if the bill of fare did not 
answer the conditions under which the banquet was 
entrusted to ihemJ^ Nor was quantity a sole condi- 
tion,* for, as Ben Sira shrewdly remarks. 

The throat devours every meat, 

Yet one meat is more pleasant than another (36 : 23), 
whilst in another place he tells us ; 

Not all is good for all, 

Not every soul chooses every kind (37 : 28). 

Quality and variety apparently are also insisted 
upon. We even have it on record that a grateful 
guest was expected to admire the various kinds of 
wine which were placed before him, and the different 


sorts of pastry and meats of which he had a choice, 
and it is to be assumed that the host on his part was 
expected to do his best to deserve the compliment. 
A feast thus meant by no means a fast. What Ben 
Sira would urge would be gentlemanly behaviour and 
temperance. Here are a few of his injunctions : 

Sittest thou at the table of the great, be not greedy upon it, 
And say not, many are the things upon it. 

Stretch not thine hand whithersoever it [the eye] looketh, 
And thrust not thyself with it into the dish, 

Consider thy neighbour’s liking by thine own ; 

And be discreet in every point. 

Eat as becometh a man those things which are set before 
thee ; 

And eat not greedily, lest thou be hated. 

Be first to leave off for manners’ sake, 

And be not insatiable, lest thou offend. 

And if thou sittest among many, 

Reach not out thy hand before them (31 : 12, 14-18). 

Be not insatiable for every luxury 
And be not effuse in all dainties. 

For in much luxury resteth .sickness; 

By intemperance many perish utterly, 

But he that taketh heed shall add to life (37 : 29-31). 

Another rule of Ben Sira’s is : “At the time of 
the table multiply not words,” which the Talmud 
paraphrases: “They talk not during meals.” It is 
thus to be supposed that the gaieties did not begin 
till the actual eating was over. First, however, the 
toasts had to be given in honour of the host and the 
more important guests. A good number of these 
have come down to us from Jewish antiquity. They 
arc mostly of a homiletic nature, but they all have the 
virtue of brevity. *5* 


The obscure lines in Ben Sira addressed to the 
“ruler of the feast/' “for good manners thou shalt 
receive favour" (32: 2), may perhaps be construed to 
mean something similar to our vote of thanks to tlie 
chairman. More probably, however, the Hebrew 
text in this place is corrupt, and should read, as 
partly suggested by the Greek, 

That thou mayest receive a crozvn for thy well-ordering 
(32; 2). 

Some of the sources seem to hint at a custom, 
that the man honoured with saying tlie grace crowned 
liimself with a wreath for this function. The Hebrew 
formula picturing the saints in the world to come as 
sitting with wreaths on their heads and feasting on 
the glory of the Divine Presence, also points to the 
popularity of this adornment among the Jews. 
Should the custom just mentioned date back as far as 
200 B. c. E., we might perceive in the crown of Ben 
Sira a preparation for reading the grace after the 
meal, which also fell within the duties of the ruler of 
the feast. 3 *^ 

When toasts and grace were over, the gaieties 
began. These consisted in the joys of the cup and 
in listening to music. The Biblical term liter- 

ally, drinking, for feast or banquet, shows the import- 
ant part wine played on such occasions. Ben Sira 
and his generation must have had a special fondness 
for “the blood of the grape," which he defines, as we 
have seen, as one of “the necessaries of life." Thus 
Ben Sira exclaims : 



What life is there to him who is without wine ? 

It was from the beginning created for joy (31 : 27). 

And again he says : 

Joy of heart, gladness, and an ornament 
Is wine in its time and proper season (31 : 28). 

Indeed, it would seem that Ben Sira was so eager for 
the full enjoyment of the liquid ‘‘that gladdens God and 
men,” that he would advise men to avoid anything 
which might prove a disturbing element. His words 
are : 

Rebuke not thy neighbour at a banquet of wine, 

Neither set him at naught in his mirth : 

Speak not unto him a w'ord t)f reproach, 

And press not upon him by asking him back a debt (3r: 31), 

But please notice the qualification of time and season^, 
whilst in another place Ben Sira also insists on meas- 
ure. For the abuse of wine, as for the abuse of food, 
Ben Sira has only words of condemnation : 

A workman that is a drunkard shall not become rich. 

He that loveth flesh shall inherit poverty ( 19 : i), 

whilst in another passage he says 

Show not thyself valiant in wine ; 

For wine hath destroyed many (31 : 25). 

Drunkenness increaseth the rage of a fool unto his hurt ; 

It diminisheth strength and addeth wounds (31 : 30). 

Indeed, next to sexual immorality, there is noth- 
ine which Ben Sira abhors more than drunkenness. 



Wine and vice will make a man of understanding fall away 

(19: 2) 

(namely, from God). 

Yet Ben Sira advocated only temperance and mod- 



eratlon, not total abstinence. With his hero, Simon 
the Just, he might in exceptional cases approve per- 
haps of a man taking the vows of the Nazarite, who 
had to refrain from all intoxicating drinks. 3 ^ But he 
would certainly never have allowed the constitution 
of an ascetic order to become the rule of the nation 
at large. As of iron, salt, and other useful and indis- 
pensable articles, he says also of wine : 

All these things for good to the godly, 

So to the sinner they shall be turned into evil (39 : 27). 

The wine was accompanied by music. The enjoy- 
ment of a concert on festive occasions was not a post- 
exilic invention. '*Woe unto those,’’ we read in 
Isaiah, ^"that continue until night till wine inflame 
them. And the harp and the viol, the tabret and the 
pipe, and wine are in their feasts” (5; 12). But 
whilst the prophet protested, as they were probably 
then a source of abuse, Ben Sira thoroughly relished 
such performances, for 

As a signet of carbuncle in a setting of gold, 

So is a concert of music in a banquet of wine. 

As a signet of emerald in a work of gold, 

So is a strain of music with pleasant wine (32 : 5-6). 

There is a story in the Talmud of a Rabbi who 
gave a dinner tb his pupils, and who felt rather un- 
comfortable because of their shyness. Whereupon 
he said to his servant, Give wine to the young men, 
that they may break their silence.” 3 * We may thus 
imagine that also in the times of Ben Sira the wine 
.served as a signal for the opening of the conversation. 


His remarks in this respect are not uninteresting. 
There is first the venerable, serene, and sedate elder, 
but liable to become serious and heavy. To him Ben 
Sira says : 

Speak, O elder, for it becometh thee. 

And be modestly wise and hinder not song. 

In a place for wine pour not forth talk. 

Wherefore shouldst thou be overwise out of season? (32 : 


These lines recall strongly a saying in later Rab- 
binic literature to the following effect : “Three things 
make man popular with his fellow-creatures — an open 
hand, a free table, and a little gaiety.” 33 

There is also the assertive youth attending, per- 
haps, his first banquet, and rather inclined to monopo- 
lise the conversation. To him lien Sira’s counsel is : 

Speak, young man, if thou must. 

With an effort, if he asks thee twice or thrice. 

Compress the word and diminish it exceedingly (32 : 7-8). 

He also gives him the gentle hint, that it is modesty 
and blushing which will endear him to his elders for 

Before hail spreadeth lightning, 

And before one that is shamefaced favour (32 ; 10). 

On the other hand, there is the bore of superior 
airs, who is constantly in fear of committing himself, 
and tries to impose by his silence. Him Ben Sira 
would address with the words 

Refrain not from speech in season. 

And hide not thy wisdom for the sake of fair-seeming 

(4: 23). 

The most unbearable bore is he who never sees a 
point : 



Me that lelleth a tale to a fool, speakelh to one in slumber, 
When he hath told his tale, he will say, what is it? (22 : S). 

Yet it must not be thought that Ben Sira was blind 
to the evils of the tongue. None perhaps warned 
against them more emphatically than he. To be 
saved from them man requires special assistance from 
Heaven, for which Ben Sira prays in the following 
words : 

Who shall set a watch over my mouth, 

And a seal of shrewdness upon my lips, 

That I fall not suddenly by them, and that my tongue de- 
stroy me not? (22 : 27). 

O Lord, Father and Master of my life, 

Abandon me not to their counsel : 

Suffer me not to fall by them (23 : 1 ). 

The pitfalls set by the tongue are slandering, lying, 
perjuring, backbiting, betraying a friend’s secret, and 
the uttering of obscene words. Nay, the very thought 
of things impure is sinful and defiling. Hence Ben 
Sira’s exclamation : 

Who will set scourges over my thought ; 

And a discipline of wisdom over mine heart? 

That they spare me not for mine ignorances, 

And my heart pass not by their sins (23 : 2). 

But even in the speech without sin Ben Sira is con- 
stantly recommending caution, discretion, and reti- 
cence : 

Lo, thou surround thy vineyard with a hedge, 

And make a door and bar for thy mouth (28 : 24). 

Hast thou heard a w^ord, let it die with thee, 

Take courage, it will not burst thee ( 19 : to). 

Indeed, the difference between the fool and the wise 

man is : 



The heart of fools is in their mouth ; 

But the mouth of wise men is in their heart (21 : 26). 

The effusive gentleman would thus have been out of 
place at a banquet in Jerusalem. But 

Wine and music rejoice the heart, 

But the love of friends is above them both (40 : 20), 

“Friendship or death” was an old Jewish proverb, 
and no sacrifice was considered too great to obtain 
friendship.34 “Acquire for thyself a friend or a com- 
panion” is the injunction of Joshua ben Perachyah, 
who lived before our era, but the comment given on 
it by tlie Rabbis of later generations is : Let a man 
buy himself a friend who will eat and drink with him, 
who will study with him the written and the oral law, 
and to whom he will entrust nil his secrets both of a 
spiritual and a secular nature.^s Ben Sira, however, 
the man of the world, and apparently of much experi- 
ence, which alone, as he maintains, saved him from 
“ danger even unto death,” brought about “by cun- 
ning lips and weavers of lies,” is less effusive, and 
even inclined to suspicion. His counsel is; 

Separate thyself from thy enemies, 

And bew'are of thy friends (6 : 13). 

Still he in no way undervalued the blessing of true 
friendship, and he tells us, 

A faithful friend is balm of life, 

He that feareth God shall obtain him (6 : 16), 

only he would advise to caution, till the friend is tried 
and found not wanting : 


studies in JUDAISM 

As new wine so is a new friend. 

If it becomes thee, thou shalt drink it with gladness (9 : 10). 
What one has mainly to guard against in the acquir- 
ing of new friends is the tendency toward selfishness, 
sacrificing all to its own ends. Hence 

Let thyself beware of a counsellor, 

And know before what is his interest (37 ; 8). 

Very interesting is Ben Sira’s counsel as to those 
from whom we should not take advice .* 

Take not counsel with a woman about her rival ; 

Neither with a coward about war ; 

Nor with a merchant about exchange ; 

Nor with a buyer about selling ; 

Nor with an envious man about thankfulness ; 

Nor with an unmerciful man about kindliness ; 

Nor with a sluggard about any kind of work ; 

Nor with a hireling in thy house about finishing his work ; 
Nor with an idle servant about much business (37:11 etseq . ). 

Prudence and foresight do not exclude charita- 
bleness and kindness toward the bulk of mankind. 
At least they were compatible enough in the view of 
Ben Sira, who teaches : 

Forgive thy neighbour the hurt that he has done thee, 

And then thy sins shall be pardoned when thou prayest. 
Man cherishes anger against man, 

And does he seek healing from the Lord ? 

Upon a man like himself he hath no mercy, 

And does he make supplication for his sins ? (28 : 2-3). 

The same thought is expressed in Rabbinic literature 
by the words : He only who is merciful with man- 
kind may expect mercy from Heavcn.3^ Such senti- 
ments alone should suffice to discharge Ben Sira from 



the guilt of selfishness and cynicism brought against 
him by a certain school. 

But a friend and partner behave as occasion reejuires, 

And a prudent wife is above them (40 : 23). 

The prudent woman or the good woman is the con- 
stant theme of Ben Sira's praises, as he never gets 
tired of enlarging upon the evils of the bad woman or 
the foolish woman. 

The fraternity of bachelors was not popular with 
the Jews, the Talmud speaking of the wifeless man 
as deficient in humanity, whilst Ben Sira stigmatises 
him as a vagabond, wandering up and down. One of 
tlie two types of women a man was thus bound to 
have. The latter (the bad woman) was considered a 
punishment of God, which shall fall to the lot of the 
sinner,” the former (the good wife) was looked upon 
as a blessing from Heaven and the reward of “such 
as fear the Lord.” 

How far heiresses were fashionable in ancient Jeru- 
salem it is difficult to say. At present I can recall 
one case, of Joshua ben Gamala, whose fiancee, the 
millionairess Maratta bath Boethus, bought for him, 
from Agrippa II, the commission of high priest. But 
it must be owned that he made good use of his oppor- 
jtunities, for it was this Joshua who introduced com- 
pulsory education for children from the age of six and 
upward.37 Still, both the Rabbis and Ben Sira con- 



demned such marriages as unworthy and degrading. 
The words of the latter arc : 

There is anger and impudence and great reproach 
If a woman maintains her husband ( 25 : 22 ) 

The considerations which should weigh with a man in 
the choice of a wife are, according to Ben Sira, noble 
descent, beauty, modesty, thrift, and faithfulness. P'or 

A silent and loving woman is a gift from the I.ord, 

And there is nothing so much worth as a well-instructed 

As the sun when it arises in the highest places of the Lord, 

So is the beauty of a good wife in the ordering of a man’s 
house (26 : 14, 16), 

whilst her devotion to religion is described as follows : 

Eternal foundations on solid rock. 

And the laws of God in the heart of a saintly woman. 38 

Another consideration with Ben Sira, as with the 
later Rabbis, is Din% or noble pedigree, for 

So thy race which thou lovest shall be magnified, 

Having the confidence of their good descent (26 : 21). 

Good descent, however, is not everything, as chil- 
dren given to haughtiness and extravagance '*do 
stain the nobility of their kindred.'’ To insure *‘the 
goodness of the stock ’’ a sound education is indis- 
pensable. In the times of Ben Sira this was still left 
entirely to the father. According to the Rabbis the 
main duties of a father toward his son consisted in 
instructing him in the Torah, bringing him into wed- 
lock, and teaching him a trade, or, to be more accu- 
i^te, teaching him a handicraft.39 Ben Sira, in accord- 


ance with his low opinion of labour omits the third 
duty, and says : 

Hast thou sons, instruct them, 

And marry wives to them in their youth (7 : 23). 

But instruction was a serious business, and could 
not, in the view of Ben Sira, be successfully carried 
out without the aid of cane and rod : 

Bow down his neck in his youth, 

And smite his loins, when he is a little one (30 : r2). 

He that loveth his son causeth him oft to feel the rod (30:1), 

This is, of course, in accordance with the sentiment 
expressed so often in the Book of Proverbs and in 
other parts of the Old Testament Ikit this kict in 
no way relieves the severity of such a passage as 

Play with him and he will grieve thee ; 

Laugh not with him, lest thou have sorrow with him 
(30: 9, 10). 

With Ben Sira, as it would seem, the child is neither 
an angel nor a devil, but a mere mischievous animal. 
Hence his simile : 

An unbroken horse becomes stubborn, 

And a son left at large becometh headstrong (30 ; 8). 

Not less severe was the education of girls, though 
they are never mentioned in connexion with the in- 
fliction of corporal punishment. This decency prob- 
ably forbade. The more strict was the watch kept 
over them. Ben Sira's maxim was : 

Hast thou daughters, guard them (7 : 24). 

The education of a girl tended mainly, to judge 


from various Rabbinic sources, toward making a good 
housewife of her 5 and consisted in enabling her to 
attain such accomplishments as weaving, spinning, 
cooking, baking, nursing, and arranging the furniture/® 
These were, indeed, the services a woman had to do 
for her husband. Of course, it was a question of 
means, and the ability to keep servants might re- 
lieve her from some of the more onerous duties. 
But work of the lighter kind was insisted on even 
with the richest, as the best remedy against whims 
and morbidness. The choice of a husband was 
entirely in the hands of the parents, and success in 
obtaining good matches for one's offspring was a 
source of congratulation. 

Give away a daughter, and thou shalt have accomplished 
a great work, 

But join her to a man of understanding (7 : 25). 

In later Jewish literature daughters are spoken of 
as the winged birds taking flight after their husbands 
when married. The hope of the family thus reposed 
in the male line. The filial duties were many and 
arduous, the son being bound to maintain his parents 
in their old age and to serve them. But he was also 
expected to continue the traditions of the family, be- 
coming heir to .its feuds and its alliances. It was a 
special comfort when a father 

Left behind him an avenger against his enemies, 

And, one to requite kindness to his friends (30 : 6 ). 

In fact the immortality of whole chains of progenitors 
was invested in the dear boy, for 


His father dieth and is as though he has not died, 
For he has left behind him one like himself (30: 4). 

In the map of life with its diversity of colours mark- 
ing the high-roads of our earthly career with their 
innumerable by-ways and cross-ways, there is ever 
facing us in the distance a little dark spot to which all 
roads and ways converge. The distance is entirely a 
relative one, varying with our state of health, our 
sweetness of temper, and the di.sposition of our mind, 
morbid or cheerful. But there it remains ever con- 
fronting us, and not to be removed out of sight by 
any variety of euphemism, such as “haven of rest,’* 
“land of peace,” or “a better world.” Its real name 
is Death. 

Our sketch of life in ancient Jerusalem will be 
more than incomplete, unless we throw a glance, at 
least, at its decline toward the great borderland. 

Death, as a rule, is preceded by illness, and we 
have already seen the important part assigned to the 
physician. But he was assisted in his duties by 
nearly the whole of the community. Ben Sira’s 
injunction is : 

Be not slow to visit the sick, 

For through this thou shaft be beloved (7 : 35). 

This duty is known in Rabbinic literature under the 
term Bikkur Cholim^ visiting the sick, which, as is 
clear from certain injunctions in the Talmud in con- 
nexion with this duty,^* included in the case of need 



also nursing and sweeping the room. His friends 
also prayed for the patient, and it was a part of their 
duty to remind him to make a will and confess 
his sins, “for all those who were about to die 
had to confess their sins.’* They had also the belief 
that a confession which concluded with a prayer for 
forgiveness of sins might bring about his recovery. 
This is, as is clear from the whole context, the con- 
fession to which the Apostle James refers at the end 
of his Epistle. Ben Sira’s counsel to the sick man is : 

And from all transgressions cleanse thy heart (38 : 10). 

Ben Sira, whatever his shortcomings may have been, 
— indeed, he was hardly what we would call a sound 
theologian, — was not given to platitudes. He freely 
admits that death is a very “bitter remembrance” 
to the prosperous man of great possessions and a 
capacity for pleasure (31 : 1). Yet it had no terrors 
for him, for he regarded it not in the light of a pun- 
ishment, but in that of a Divine law, which has to be 
obeyed and fulfilled with the same submission and 
devotion as any law in the Torah, and thus he says : 

Be not afraid of death, thy covenant. 

Remember that those who went before, and they which 
come after will be with thee. 

This is the portion of all flesh from the Lord, 

And why dost thou refuse the Torah of the Most High? 

(41 '• 3-4). 

When death entered, the funeral ceremonies began, 
which, at a later period, before the reform of Rabban 
Gamaliel, were costly and rather showy. They 
became so heavy a tax, that sometimes the near- 



est relatives would take to flight, leaving the corpora- 
tion to take care of the dead body. Hence Ben Sira’s 
injunction : 

According to the custom bury his flesh, 

And hide not thyself when they die (38 : 16). 

The mourning lasted seven days, in which friends 
and acquaintances were expected to join : 

Be not wanting to them that weep, 

And mourn with them that mourn (7 : 34). 

In the time of the Rabbis the mourning in the case 
of parents extended over twelve months. But neither 
the Rabbis nor Ben Sira approved of prolonged 
mourning for an indefinite period. The Rabbis per- 
ceived in it a presumption on the part of man to be 
more merciful than God,^^ whilst ]3en Sira thought that 
we ought to save our tears for greater calamities : 

Weep for the dead, for light hath failed him ; 

And weep for a fool, for understanding hath failed him. 

Weep more .softly for the dead, because he hatli found 
rest (22 : n). 

Looking back at this life, we feel that for the most 
part we have been moving in a world very much like 
ours, guided by the same motives, moved by the same 
passions, and on the whole .striving after the same 
ideals. The “ Siicred Volume ” tells us : “Say not 
that the days of yore were better than these,” for it is 
unwisdom to say so. The lesson to be derived from 
Ben Sira is, say not that our days are better than the 
days of yore, for it is ignorance to say so. 


It is now more than half a century since Renan 
put the question, ‘‘ Has Jewish tradition anything to 
teach us concerning Jesus?” This question must be 
answered in the negative. As far as the contem- 
poraneous Jewish literature goes, it does not contain 
a single reference to the founder of Christianity. All 
the so-called Anti-Christiana collected by mediaeval 
fanatics, and freshened up again by modern igno-‘ 
ramuses, belong to the later centuries, when history 
and biography had given way to myth and speculation. 
Almost every Christian sect, every Christian com- 
munity, created a Christ after its own image or dogma. 
The Jewish legend — a growth of those later centuries 
— gave him an aspect of its own, purely apocryphal in 
its character, neither meant nor ever taken by the 
Jews as real history. 

But if the Rabbis have nothing to tell us about the 
personality of Jesus, Rabbinic literature has a good 
deal to teach us about the times in which he lived and 
laboured. And what is more important is that a 
thorough study of this literature might, with due dis- 
cretion, help us to a better understanding of the writings 
attributed to Jesus and his djsciples. To prove this 
by a few instances will be the aim of my present 
lecture. It is intended as an invitation to fellow- 


students to devote more attention to a branch of litera- 
ture, from the study of which the Christian divine 
might derive as much profit as the Jewish Rabbi. 

In justice to by-gone times, it should be pointed 
out that this fact had by no means escaped the search- 
ing eyes of Christian scholars of previous generations. 
They both recognised the importance of the Talmud for 
a better knowledge of the two Testaments, and applied 
themselves to an honest study of its contents. As 
the fruits of these studies, it is sufficient to mention 
here the Porta Mosis of Pocock, the De Synedriis of 
Sclden, the Horae Rahbinicae of Lightfoot. The Cam- 
bridge Platonists also dc.serve honourable mention. 
These great and hospitable minds extended the range 
of their literary acquaintances also to the Rabbis, and 
the Select Discourses of John Smith, and the Discourse 
Oft the Lord's Supper by Cudworth,"* show that this 
acquaintance was by no means a passing one. 

All the names just given belong to England, but 
the Continent in no way remained behind. The names 
of the Continental students of Rabbinism are duly re- 
corded in Zunz/s Zur Literatur und Geschichte^ and in 
other bibliographical works. It is sufficient to mention 
the name of Reuchlin, who saved the Talmud from the 
torch which a converted Jew was about to apply to it ; 
the two Buxtorfs, whose works bearing on Rabbinic 
literature fill pages in the catalogues of the British 
Museum 5 and Vitringa, whose books on Rabbinic 
topics are considered by the best scholars as classical 
pieces of work. 



However, these good things are (as already indi- 
cated) a matter of the past. The present shows a 
decided deterioration. Not only has the number of 
students devoting themselves to Rabbinic literature 
shrunk to a miserable minimum, but the quality of the 
work produced by these latter-day students is such as 
to show a distinct decay, among the very few praise- 
worthy exceptions being, for instance, the theological 
works of Dr. C. Taylor. No student who is interested 
in the constitution of the ancient Synagogue dare 
neglect Vitringa’s I)e Synagoga vcterc, which appeared 
in the year 1696; but he would certainly lose nothing 
by omitting to read most of the productions of our 
own century on tlie same subject. 

The causes of this decay are not to be sought for 
far off. There was first the influence of Schleier- 
macher, whose interpretation of Christianity formed, 
as far as its negative side is concerned, one long 
strained effort to divorce it from Judaism. hate 

historic relations of this sort,'' he exclaims in one 
place; and proceeds to say, ‘‘every religion is con- 
ditioned by itself, and forms an eternal necessity." 
Schleicrmacher's theory of the origin of Christianity 
was, as is well known, mainly based on the Johannine 
Gospel, to the disparagement of the Synoptics. The 
German Marcion had thus every reason to hate his- 
tory. But as the Talmud still reminded the world of 
these historical relations, Schleiermacher and his school 
adopted the course of vulgar JyanHit 7 is, and cut the 
Rabbis and their literary remains. The second cause 



of this decay is the suspicion thrown on all Jewish 
tradition by the higher criticism. Anybody who has 
ever read any modern Introductions to the Old Testa- 
ment will remember, that as a rule they open with a 
reference to the Rabbinic account of the rise of the 
Canon, followed by a lengthy exposition showing its 
utter untrustworthiness. - To make matters more 
complete, efforts were made to disqualify the Rabbis 
from bearing witness even to events which took place 
when the Synagogue was a fully-established institu- 
tion, administered by the ancestors of the Rabbis in 
their capacity as scribes and saints, or Chasidim. I 
am referring to the controversy as to the existence of 
the so-called Great Synagogue, commencing, accord- 
ing to tradition, with Ezra the Scribe, and succeeded 
by a permanent court, consisting of seventy-one mem- 
bers, called Sanhedrin; which court again was, ac- 
cording to tradition, presided over by two members, 
the one called Nasi, or Prince-President, whilst the 
other bore the title of Ab-Beth-Din, P^'ather of the 
Court of Justice, or Vice-President, both of whom 
were recruited for the most part from Pliarisaic circles. 
Modern criticism, mainly on the strength of certain 
passages in Josephus and in the New Testament, 
maintains a negative attitude toward these accounts. 
The questions involved are too important and too 
complicated to be entered upon in a casual way. We 
need notice only the following fact. This is, that the 
doubts regarding the traditional account of the consti- 
tution of the Sanhedrin were first raised in this century 



by Krochmal in the “forties/' taken up again by 
Kucnen in the “ sixties/' to be followed by Well- 
hausen in the “eighties." But when reading their 
works you will observe that, whilst Krochmal respect- 
fully questions tradition, and Kuenen enters into elab- 
orate examination of the documents, Wellhausen sum- 
marily dismisses them. Matters have now, indeed, 
come to such a pass that the principle has been laid 
down, that it is not necessary to have a thorough 
knowledge of Rabbinic literature in order to express 
an opinion about its merits or demerits. It is prob- 
ably thought that we may condemn it by mere intui- 
tion It is impossible to argue with transcendental 

Trusting that none of those present have any rea- 
son to hate history, or to believe in the superior virtue 
of ignorance, I will now proceed to the subject of my 

Let me first state the fact that the impression con- 
veyed to the Rabbinic student by the perusal of the 
New Testament is in parts like that gained by reading 
certain Rabbinic homilies. On the very threshold 
of the New Testament he is confronted by a gene- 
alogical table, 3 ^a feature not uncommon in the later 
Rabbinic versions of the Old Testament, which are 
rather fond of providing Biblical heroes with long pedi- 
grees. They are not always accurate, but have as a 
rule some edifying purpose in view. The Rabbis even 
declare that the Book of Chronicles, with its long 
series of names, has no other purpose than that of 



being interpreted/ that is to say, of enabling us to 
derive some lesson from them. In the fifth chapter 
of the Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, dealing mostly 
with round numbers, we read : There were ten gen- 
erations from Noah to Abraham to make known how 
long-suffering God is.'’ 

In the second chapter of Matthew the Rabbinic 
student meets with many features known to him from 
the Rabbinic narratives about the birth of Abraham ; 
the story of the Magi in particular impresses him as a 
homiletical illustration of Num. 24: 17, “There shall 
come a star out of Jacob,” which star the interpreta- 
tion of the Synagogue referred to the star of the 
Messiah. 5 This impression grows stronger the more 
we advance with the reading of the Apostle's writings. 
Take, for instance. Matt. 3: g, 'Giring forth fruit 
worthy of repentance.” This verse, like so many 
others in the New Testament in which fruits or har- 
vest are used as metaphors or similes in parables, gains 
both in intensity and in freshness when studied in con- 
nexion with many allegorical interpretations of the 
Rabbis in which the produce of the field and the 
vineyard play a similar part. One or two instances 
will not be uninteresting. Thus, with reference to 
Song of Songs 2: 2, “As the lily among the thorns, 
so is my love among the daughters,” a famous Rabbi 
says : There was a king who had a paradise (or gar- 
den), which he had laid out with rows of fig-trees, 
rows of vines, and rows of pomegranates. He put 
the paradise in the hands of a tenant, and left. In 


after days the king came to see what his tenant had 
accomplished. He found the garden neglected, and 
full of thorns and thistles. He then brought wood- 
cutters to cut it down. Suddenly he perceived a lily. 
The king plucked it, and smelled it, and his soul re- 
turned upon him. He turned and said, ‘‘For the 
sake of the lily the garden shall be saved.'' The lily 
is the Congregation of Israel ; intent on the strength 
of its devotion to the Torah, it saved the world from 
the destruction to which the generation of the deluge 
had condemned it by their wicked deeds. ^ 

In another place, however, it is the individual who 
is compared to the lily. Thus, Song of Songs 6 : 2, 
“My beloved went down to his garden to gather the 
lilies," is applied to the death of the righteous, whose 
departure from this world is a gathering of flowers 
undertaken by God himself, who is the beloved one.’ 

In connexion with this we may mention another 
Rabbinic parable, in which the wheat takes the place 
of the lily. It is given as an illustration of Song of 
Songs 7; 3, and Psalm 2 : 12. The Scriptural words 
in the latter place are nn which the Rabbis ex- 
plain to mean “kiss the wheat," illustrating it by the 
following parable : The straw and the chaff were argu- 
ing together. Jhc straw maintained that it was for 
its sake that the field was sown and ploughed, whilst 
the stem insisted that it was on its account that the 
work was undertaken. Thereupon the wheat said, 
“Wait until the harvest comes, and we shall know with 
what purpose the field was sown." When the harvest 



came, and the work of threshing began, the chaff was 
scattered to the wind, the stem was given to the 
flames, whilst the wheat was carefully gathered on the 
floor. In a .similar way the heathens say, “Itisfor 
our sake that the world was created,” whilst Israel 
makes the same claim for itself. Hut wait for the Day 
of Judgment, when the chaff will be eliminated, and 
the wheat will be kissed. I need hardly remind you 
of the parable in Matt. 13.® 

To return to Chapter 3. I will quote verse II, in 
which the Baptist in his testimony to Jesus says, “ I, 
indeed, baptised you with Avater unto repentance, but 
he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose 
shoes I am not worthy to bear ; he shall baptise you 
with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” The baptism, of 
course, represents the or immersion, of the Bible, 

enforced by the Rabbis in the case of proselytes. Ac- 
cording to some authorities it was also customary with 
people entering on a course of repentance. » The ex- 
pression, “whose shoes I am not worthy to bear,” re- 
minds one of the similar Talmudic, running, 
“he who will explain to me a certain word, I will 
carry his cloth after him to the bath,”*'’ that is to say, 
he will show submission to his authority by performing 
menial work for him. As to the term, “baptism by 
the Holy Ghost and fire,” the latter has a parallel in 
the Talmudic dictum, that the main n^' 3 lD, immersion, 
as a means of purification, is by fire.” The former 
term, “baptism by the Holy Ghost,” is certainly ob- 
scure, and has given a good deal of trouble to the 

. no 


commentators ; but it must have been readily under- 
stood by the jews, who even spoke of drawing the 
Holy Spirit, nn a term applied only to 

liquids/® Note also the following passage from a ser- 
mon by R. Akiba: ‘‘Blessed are ye Israelites. Before 
whom are ye purified, and who is he who purifies you ? 
Ye are purified before your Father in Heaven, and it 
is he who purifies you,'* as it is said, “The Lord is 
the Mikivch of Israel." *3 The word nipn is taken in 
the sense in which it occurs several times in the Pen- 
tateuch, meaning “a gathering of waters," or a ritual 
bath, taken after various kinds of uncleanness. The 
Rabbi then derives from the words of Jeremiah (17: 
13) the lesson, that as the Mikivch is the means of 
purification for defilement (in the sense of the Levitical 
legislation), so God is the source of purity for Israel. 
It should be borne in mind, that according to the 
Rabbinic interpretation, the term “defilement," 

applies to all kinds of sins, ritual as well as moral, 
especially the latter, whilst the process of purifying 
mostly concerns the heart. “ Purify our hearts, that 
we serve thee in truth," is the constant prayer of the 

or “purification," is, according to the mystic 
R. Phinehas ben Jair, of the second century, one of the 
higher rungs on the ladder leading to the attainment 
of the holy spirit. I do not know how far this con- 
ception may be connected with the gospel narrative, 
according to which the baptism of Jesus (or th^ 
Taharah of Jesus) was followed by the descent of the 



holy spirit. If R. Phinchas ben Jair could be taken, as 
some maintain, as one of the last representatives of 
the Essenes, there would, indeed, be no objection to 
see in the synoptic account an illustration of the prin- 
ciple laid down by these mystics. At any rate, it 
may serve as a transition to the verses I am about to 
quote from Matt. 3 (j6, 17), running thus.- ‘‘And 
Jesus, when he was baptised, went up straightway 
from the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened 
unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending 
as a dove, and coming upon him : and, lo, a voice out 
of the heavens saying, This is my beloved son in 
whom I am well pleased.'' The symbolism of the 
Holy Ghost by a dove is a common notion in Rab- 
binic literature. The dove is considered as the most 
chaste among the birds, never forsaking her mate. 
The congregation of Israel, which never betrays its 
God, is therefore compared to the dovc.*^ “Once 
upon a time," so runs a Rabbinic legend, which I 
give here in substance, “King David went out on a 
hawking expedition. Whereupon Satan came and 
turned himself into a deer, which David tried to hit, 
but could not reach. Constantly pursuing the animal, 
David was thus carried from his suite, owing to the 
machinations of Satan, into the land of the Philistines' 
where he was suddenly confronted by the relatives of 
Goliath, who were all thirsting for his blood. There- 
upon a dove descended before Abishai, who had re- 
mained behind irt the king's camp, and began to emit 
wailing tones. Abishai at once understood its mean- 



ing, saying, 'The congregation of Israel is compared 
to a dove, as it is said. Wings of a dove covered 
with silver’ (Ps. 68: 14), and thus interpreted the 
appearance of the dove as a sign that King David, the 
hope of Israel, was in danger of his life, and he set 
out to his rescue.”*^ 

A closer parallel, however, is the following pas- 
sage attributed to the well-known mystic, Ben Soma, a 
younger contemporary of the Apostles. The passage 
runs thus: R. Joshua ben Kananiah was standing 
upon the terrace of the Temple mountain. Ben Soma 
saw him, but did not rise up before him (as he ought 
to have done, seeing that R. Joshua was his master). 
R. Joshua asked him, "Whence and whither, Ben 
Soma?” The answer Ben Soma gave him was, "I 
was looking at (or rather meditating upon) the upper 
waters (above the firmament) and the under waters 
(under the firmament). The space between the two 
waters is not broader than three fingers ,• as it is said, 
'the Spirit of God was brooding upon the face of the 
waters,’ like a dove brooding over her young, partly 
touching them and partly not touching them.” ^7 

I need hardly say that we have here to deal with 
a fragment of a Jewish Gnosis, and I must refer the 
reader to the works of Joel, Graetz, and Freudenthal, for 
more information upon this point, but it must be noted 
that some parallel passages read "eagle” instead of 
"dove.” Deut. 32: ii lends some countenance to 
this reading, but the parallels just quoted from the 
New Testament as well as the famous vision of R. 



Jose, in which the daughter-voice is complaining in a 
tender voice like a dove, saying ''Woe unto the father, 
whose children were expelled from his table,’’*® speak 
for the reading given first. 

After the appearance of the Holy Ghost, Jesus is 
greeted, as we have seen, by a voice from the heavens, 
saying, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well 
pleased.” These words represent, as rightly remarked 
by the commentators, a combined paraphrase of Ps. 
2: 7 and Isa. 41 : i. The voice from heaven, as is 
well known, corresponds with the Rabbinic "daughter 
of a voice” ni), or daughter-voice, occupying the 
third place in the scale of revelation. I cannot enter 
here into the various aspects and functions of the 
daughter-voice, about which a good deal has been 
written, but I should like to note two peculiar features. 

The first is, that in many cases the daughter-voice, 
when employed as a means of revelation, finds its ex- 
pression, not in a fresh message, but in reproducing 
some verse or sentence from the Hebrew Bible. Thus 
it is recorded by the Rabbis that when they (the au- 
thorities) intended to include King Solomon in the 
number of those who forfeited their .salvation, the 
daughter-voice put in the protest of heaven, in the 
words of Job (34; 33), “Shall his recompense be as 
thou wilt, that thou refusest it?”®^ The great recon- 
ciliation, again, of God with the house of David, as 
represented by the exiled king Jcconiah, when the 
Babylonian captivity was nearing its end, was an- 
nounced by the daughter-voice in the words of Jere- 


1 14 

miah, ‘'Return, ye backsliding children, and I will 
heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; 
for thou art the Lord our God” (3 : 22).“* It should 
be noted, however, that the daughter-voice is not con- 
fined in its quotations to the Canonical Scriptures, 
Sometimes the daughter-voice even quotes sentences 
from the Apocrypha. This was the case in Jabnch, 
where the Sanhedrin met after the destruction of the 
Temple, There a voice from heaven was heard repro- 
ducing a verse from the Wisdom of Ben Sira (3 : 22), 
“Ye have no need of the things that are secret.” It is 
true that Ben Sira has “thou hast no need” (in the 
singular), but it would seem as if the voice from heaven 
is not always very exact in its quotations, adapting 
them in its own way to the message to be announced. 
Thus, for instance, on the occasion of Saul's dis- 
obeying the commandment of God regarding the exter- 
mination of the Amalekites, there came the daughter- 
voice and said unto him, “Be not more righteous 
than thy Maker,” qJlpID nn' pivn \Ve will easily 

recognise in this warning the words of Ecclesiastes 
(7: 16), “Be not righteous overmuch,” nnnn pnvn 
only that nann was altered into nn', required by the 
prefix of l^lpD, which word was apparently added by 
the voice from heaven. 

Another important feature of the daughter-voice 
is, that in some cases it is audible only to those who 
are prepared to hear it. “Every day,” says the 
rather mystically inclined R, Joshua ben Levi, “goes 
forth a voice from Mount Sinai, and makes proclania- 


tion and says, ‘Woe to the creatures for their con- 
tempt of the Torah/ ” As rightly pointed out by the 
commentators, this voice is heard only by fine, sensi- 
tive natures that are susceptible to Divine messages 
even after the discontinuance of prophecy. In this 
case the daughter-voice becomes something quite sub- 
jective, and loses a great deal of its authoritative char- 
acter. The renegade Elisha ben Abuyah, or, as he is 
commonly called, the “other one,” in his despair 
of “doing repentance”, heard a voice coming straight 
from behind the throne of God, saying unto him, 
'‘Come back, ye backsliding children, except thou 
‘other one,’” and thus he abandoned himself to an 
immoral Contrast this story with that of Ma- 

nasseh, the worst sinner among the kings of Judah. 
It is to this effect. When the captains of the King of 
Assyria defeated Manasseh and put him among thorns, 
and inflicted upon him the most cruel tortures, he 
invoked all the strange gods he was in the habit of 
worshipping, but no relief came. Suddenly he said, 
“I remember my father once made me read the fol- 
lowing verses (Dcut. 4: 30, 31), ‘When thou art in 
tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, 

. . . return thou to the I.ord thy God. For the Lord 
thy God is a merciful God; he will not forsake thee 
nor destroy thee.’” He then began to address his 
prayers to God. The angels — in a most unangelic 
way, I am sorry to say — shut up the gates of heaven 
against his prayer, but the Holy One, bles.sed be he, 
said, “ If I do not receive him, I shut the gate in the 


face of repentance/ And thus he was entreated of 
him and heard his supplication/ ” The moral of the 
two stories is, that the "‘other one’’ trusted to fresh 
messages, and went to perdition, while Manasseh fell 
back upon the family Bible and was saved. It is 
probable that it was such moral catastrophes as re- 
corded in the case of the “other one” which brought 
the voice of heaven into disrepute. The verdict of 
the Rabbis in the second century was, that no atten- 
tion is to be paid to it when it presumes to decide 
against the moral conviction of the majority. The 
Torah is not in heaven. "*7 Its interpretation is left to 
the conscience of catholic Israel. 

Now it is this conscience of Israel which is not 
satisfied witli the lesson to be derived from the Scrip- 
tures at the first glance, or rather the first hearing, 
but insists upon its expansion. Thus when interpret- 
ing Lev. 19: 36, the Rabbis somehow managed to 
derive from it the law of “let your speech be yea, 
yea; nay, nay.”®® Again, when commenting upon 
the seventh commandment, they interpreted it in such 
a way as to include the prohibition of even an un- 
chaste look or immoral thought.®"^ The rules of inter- 
pretation by which such maxims were derived from 
the Scriptures* would perhaps not satisfy the modern 
philologian. They, indeed, belong to the “second 
sense ” of the ScriiDturcs, the seiivse which is the heart 
and soul of all history and development. “God hath 
spoken once, twice I have heard this” (Ps. 62: 12), 
which verse is interpreted by the Rabbis to mean that 



Scripture is capable of many interpretations or hear- 
ings.^':^ But it is interesting to find that these interpre- 
tations of the Scriptures tending to improve upon the 
first sense” are sometimes introduced by the formula : 
“ I might hear so-and-so, therefore there is a teaching 
to say that,” etc. nDiS Put into 

modern language the formula means this ; The words 
of the Scriptures might be at the first glance (or first 
hearing) conceived to have this or that meaning, but 
if we consider the context or the way in which the 
sentences are worded, we must arrive at a different 
conclusion. This parallel may perhaps throw some 
light on the expression riKovaare, ‘‘you have heard that 
it was said . . . but I say unto you,” a phrase fre- 
quent in the Sermon on the Mount. After the 
declaration made by Jesus of his attachment to the 
Torah, it is not likely that he would quote passages 
from it showing its inferiority. The only way to get 
over the difficulty is to assume that Jesus used some 
such phrase as the one just quoted, “I might 

hear,” or “one might hear,” that is to say, “one 
might be mistaken in pressing the literal sense of the 
verses in question too closely.” Against such a nar- 
row way of dealing with Scripture he warned his dis- 
ciples by some formula, as mi!? “there is a 

teaching to say that the words must not be taken in 
such a sense.” But the formula being a strictly Rab- 
binic idiom, it was not rendered quite accurately by 
the Greek translator. Hence the apparent contradic- 
tion between Matt. 3 : 17, 20, and the matter follow- 



ing upon these verses. I only wish to add that in 
Rabbinic literature it is sometimes God himself who 
undertakes such rectifications. Thus we read in an 
ancient Midrash with reference to Jer. 4: 2, “And 
tliou shalt swear as the Lord liveth, in truth and in 
judgment’': “The Holy One, blessed be he, said 
unto Israel, "Think not that you may swear by my 
name, even in truth. You may not do so unless you 
have obtained that high degree of sanctity by which 
Abraham, Joseph, and Job were distinguished, who 
were called God-fearing men This limi- 

tation of swearing, even in truth, is indicated accord- 
ing to the Rabbis in Deut. 20 : 10, which verse is in- 
terpreted to mean, "" If thou fearest thy God, and art 
exclusively in his service, thou mayest swear by his 
name,'' not otherwise. 3 * 

Having mentioned the name of the patriarch, I 
may perhaps state the fact that, beside the epithets 
“the God-fearing” Abraham, or Abraham “the friend 
of God,” Abraham also bears in Rabbinic literature 
the title of Rock. The wording of the Rabbinical 
passage and the terms used in it will not be uninter- 
esting to the student of the New Testament. In 
Matt. 16: 1 8 we read: ""And I also say unto thee, 
that thou art J^c&os, and upon this petra I will build 
my church.” The Rabbinic passage forms an illus- 
tration of Num. 23: 9, “For from the top of the 
rocks I see him,” and runs thus : There was a king 
who desired to build, and to lay foundations he dug 
constantly deeper, but found only a swamp. At last 


he dug and found a petra (this is the very word the 
Rabbi uses). He said, ‘‘On this spot I shall build 
and lay the foundations.” So the Holy One, Blessed 
be he, desired to create the world, but meditating 
upon the generations of Enoch and the deluge, he 
said, “How shall I create the world seeing that those 
wicked men will only provoke me?” But as soon as 
God perceived that there would rise an Abraham, he 
said, “Behold, I have found the petra upon which to 
build and to lay foundations.” Therefore he called 
Abraham Rock, as it is said, ““Look unto the rock 
whence ye are hewn. Look unto Abraham, your 
father” (Isa. 51 : i, 2)?'^ 

The parallels given so far have been more accord- 
ing to the letter. I will now give one or two parallels 
according to the spirit. 

I have already referred to the attempts made by 
various authors to describe the life and times of Jesus 
Christ. The best book of this class is undoubtedly 
Schiirer^s History of the jezvish People in the A^e of 
Jesus Christ. It is a very learned work, particularly 
as far as the Greek and Roman documents are con- 
cerned. Its treatment of such topics as the geography 
of Palestine, the topography of Jerusalem, the plan of 
the Temple, and kindred subjects, is almost perfect. 
A most excellent feature in it is the completeness of 
its bibliography, there being hardly any dissertation 
or article in any of the learned periodicals which is 
not duly registered by the author. But all these fine 
things are, to use a quaint Rabbinic phrase, only 



“after-courses of wisdom.’* Bibliography in particu- 
lar is not even an after-course. It partakes more of 
the nature of the menu served sometimes by very 
ignorant waiters, possessing neither judgment nor 
discretion. The general vice attaching to this whole 
class of works is, that no attempt is made in them to 
gain acquaintance with the inner life of the Jewish 
nation at the period about which they write. Take, 
for instance, the subject of prayer. Considering that 
pre-Christian Judaism gave to the world the Psalms, 
and that post-Christian Judaism produced one of the 
richest liturgies^ considering again that among the 
various prayers which have come down to us through 
the medium of the Talmud, there is also one that 
forms a close parallel to the “Lord's Prayer;" con- 
sidering all this, one might expect that also in the 
times of Jesus the Jews were able to pray, and in fact 
did pray. The contents of their prayers might be of the 
greatest importance for the student, expressing as they 
probably did the religious sentiments of the age and 
the ideal aspirations of the nation. But what our 
theological waiters dish up is a minimum of prayer 
dressed up in a quantity of rubrics, in such a fashion 
as to stigmatise their authors as miserable pedants. 
And no attempt is made to enter into the spirit of even 
this minimum. No explanation is given, for instance, 
of the meaning of the terms “the kingdom of heaven," 
the yoke of which the Rabbi was supposed to receive 
upon himself, the “ Hear, O Israel," etc. The terms 
“sanctification of the name of God,*^ “Father in 



heaven/^ and “ renewed world,” are also frequent in 
Jewish literature and in the Jewish prayer-book, but 
no sufficient attention is given to them. To my knowl- 
edge Dalman is the only modern Christian scholar who 
recognises the importance of these terms, and similar 
ones, in their bearing upon a clearer understanding of 
the New Testament, and has at least made an attempt 
at their analysis in his book. Die Worte jesn. 

Another important point, which has never been 
properly examined, is the unique position which the 
Kenesetli Israel ^ the congregation of Israel, or ideal 
Israel, occupies in Rabbinic tlieology. Yet it forms 
a striking parallel to that held by Jesus in Christian 
theology. The Kencseth Israel was, like the Spirit of 
the Messiah, created before the world was called into 
existence. She is the beloved of God, in whom he 
rejoices ; ” and there is no endearing epithet in the 
language, such as son, daughter, brother, sister, bride, 
mother, lamb, or eye, which is not, according to the 
Rabbis, applied by the Scriptures to express the inti- 
mate relation between God and tlie Kencseth Israel. 
Not even the title of god,” of which God is other- 
wise so jealous, is denied to Israel, as it is written, 
‘‘ I have vsaid. Ye are gods.” Nay, God even says to 
Moses, “ Exalt Israel as much as thou canst, for it is 
as if thou wert exalting me ; ” whilst he who denies 
Israel or rises against Israel denies God. In fact, it is 
only through the witness of Israel that, God is God, 
and he would cease to be so were Israel to disappear, 
as it is written, ” Ye are my witnesses, . . . and I am 


God/' 3^ But there is no fear of such a calamity. 
Israel is as eternal as the universe, and forms the 
rock on which the world was built. As a rock tower- 
ing up in the sea, so the Keneseth Israel stands out in 
history, defying all tempests and temptations ; for 
‘‘many waters cannot quench the love" between God 
and the Keneseth Israel. 35 She is, indeed, approached 
by Satan and the nations of the world with the sedu - 
cing words, What is thy beloved more than another? 
Beautiful and lovely thou art, if thou wilt mingle 
among us. Why dost thou permit thyself to go 
through fire for his sake, to be crucified for his 
name ? Come unto us, where all the dignities in our 
power await thee." But Israel resists all tempta- 
tions ; they point to their connexion with God 
throughout their history, to his love unto them, shown 
by conferring upon them the gift of holiness, which 
even a Balaam envied, and to the promise held out to 
them of the Messianic times, when suffering will cease 
and Israel will revel in the glory of God." 3^ These 
few^ quotations suffice to show what an interesting 
chapter might be added to our knowledge of com- 
parative theology. 

Again, our knowledge of the spiritual history of 
the Jews during the first centuries of our era might be 
enriched by a chapter on miracles. Starting from the 
principle that miracles can be explained only by more 
miracles, an attempt was made sorne years ago by a 
student to draw up a list of the wonder-workings of 
the Rabbis recorded in the Talmud and the Midra- 



shim. He applied himself to the reading of these 
works, but his reading was only cursory. The list 
therefore is not complete. Still it yielded a harvest 
of not less than two hundred and fifty miracles. 
They cover all classes of supernatural workings 
recorded in the Bible, but occur with much greater 

A repetition of these miracles would be tiresome. 
I will content myself with reproducing a story from 
Tractate Chagigah, which will illustrate to you how 
much even the individual Jew shared in the glories 
conferred upon the Kencseth Israel. I am speaking, 
of course, of that individual who is described by the 
Rabbis as one “ who labours in the Torah for its own 
sake, who is called a lover of God and a lover of 
humanity. Unto him kingdom and authority are 
given. Unto him the secrets of the d'orah are re- 
vealed.'' The term “authority,” by the way, is 
given with the word suggested probably by 

Ben Sira 45: 17, pina “and he made 

him have authority over statute and judgment;” 
whilst Matt. 7 : 29, “ and he taught them as one hav- 
ing authority,” was probably suggested by Ben Sira 
3; 10, na “and he who has authority 

over it shall teach it.” As a man of such authority 
we may consider R. Johanan ben Zakkai, the hero of 
the story I am about to relate. He was the younger 
member of the “ Eighty Club ” of the school of Hillel, 
and thus a contemporary of the Apostles, though he 
survived them. He was an eye-witness of the terrible 



catastrophe of the destruction of the Temple by the 
Romans, an event which he prophesied forty years 
before it took place. He is best known by the school 
he established in Jabneh, whither the Sanhedrin, and 
with them the Divnne Presence presiding over this 
assembly, emigrated after the fall of Jerusalem. There 
(in Jabneh) he died about io8 c. e. 

It is related that Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai was 
riding upon his ass on the road, while his pupil, R. 
Eleazar ben Arach, was walking behind him. Said R. 
Eleazar to ]:iim, Master, teach me a chapter about 
the matter relating to the chariot,'^ that is, the vision 
in the first chapter of Ezekiel. The master declined, 
preferring to hear the pupil. R. Eleazar said again, 
“Wilt thou permit me to repeat in thy presence one 
thing which thou hast taught me ? '’ to which he gave 
his assent. R. Johanan then dismounted from his 
ass, and wrapped himself in his gown, and seated him- 
self upon a stone under an olive-tree. He said it was 
disrespectful that he should be riding on his beast, 
whilst his pupil was lecturing on such awful mysteries, 
and the Shcchinali (the Divine Presence) and the 
Malache ha-Shareth (the angels-in-waiting) were ac- 
companying them. Immediately R. Eleazar began his 
exposition. And there came down fire from heaven 
and encircled them and the whole field. And the 
angels assembled and came to hearken, as the sons of 
men assemble and come to look on at the festivities 
of bride and bridegroom. And the terebinth-trees in 
the field opened their mouths and uttered a song, 



Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons and all 
deeps. . . . Fruitful trees and all cedars, . . . praise ye 
the Lord.’' And an angel answered from the fire 
and said, “This is the matter of the chariot.” When 
he had finished, R. Johanan ben Zakkai stood up and 
kissed him on his head, saying, “ Praised be the God 
of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who has given our 
father Abraham a wise son, who knows howto discourse 
on the glory of our Father in heaven.” So much for 
the story. I need hardly recall to your mind the 
parallels in the Book of Enoch and in the New Testa- 


My lecture is at an end, not so the subject it treats. 
To accomplish the latter in a properly critical and 
scientific manner the aid of fellow-workers is neces- 
sary. I have often heard the wish expressed that a 
history of the rise of Christianity might be written by 
a Jew who could bring Rabbinic learning to bear upon 
the subject. I do not think that the time is as yet 
ripe for such an experiment. The best thing to be 
done at present is, that Christians devote themselves 
to the study of Rabbinic literature. The history 
which would be written after such study would cer- 
tainly be more scientific and more critical, though per- 
haps less edifying. 


Professor Doctor Kaufmann has, by his edition of 
the Memoiren dcr Gluckel von Ha7neln^ earned the 
thanks of all Jewish students as well as of the Jewish 
public at large. It is hardly necessary to say that 
these Memoirs are well edited. “ With the great 
nothing is small/’ And everyone who has the good 
fortune to be acquainted with Dr. Kaufmann ’s works, 
knows that whatever he did — whether he wrote on 
the history of the attributes of God in Jewish phil- 
osophy, or pointed out the greatness of George Eliot 
to his countrymen, or described for us the im- 
portance of the Anglo-Jewish ritual, or edited the 
registers of some obscure Jewish community — he did 
it well, in a thorough, scientific, and scholarly man- 
ner. And so these Memoirs, too, are provided with 
an excellent introduction, in which he not only gives 
an account of the manuscript from which his edition 
was prepared, but brings to bear upon his subject all 
the cognate contemporary literature both in print and 
in manuscript, whilst the footnotes giving explana- 
tions of many strange words and odd observations in 
the text prove greatly helpful to the reader. 

But it must not be inferred from this that the 
Memoirs belong to Dr. Kaufmann’s minor work. 
Only to those to whom Jewish literature is a mere 



exhibition of so many Books of the Dead — to be 
relegated to their dusty shelves after a brief study of 
the title-page — will the contents of these Memoirs 
appear trifling and unimportant. Those, however, to 
whom literature means life, with all its varying phases 
of folly and wisdom, of grief and joy, happiness and 
misery, will find in these Memoirs a source of infinite 
delight and instruction, revealing the history of a life 
extending over nearly three-quarters of a century. 
But what is more important is that these revelations 
come from the heart of a woman. Jewish literature 
on the whole is not rich in “ Lives,” but an autobio- 
graphy written by a woman is an almost unique phe- 
nomenon in it. 

Frau Gluckel Hameln, the author of these 
Memoirs, was the daughter of Lob Pinkerle, the Par- 
nas or president of the Jewish community in Ham- 
burg. He was a man of great influence among his 
Jewish fellow-citizens, and is described by his daugh- 
ter as the means of procuring for his brethren the 
permission to re-settlc in that city after their temporary 
expulsion from it about this period. Gliickcl, who 
was born in 1647, was a child of three years when 
this expulsion took place. 

By this date the reader will at once be prepared 
not to expect from her a description or a diary in the 
modern sense of the word. In the seventeenth century 
people were not yet inclined to undergo the process 
of self- vivisection, constantly registering their moods 
and humours and parading them before the world. 


STuniKS iisr Judaism 

Self-torture was not yet considered bliss, and to go 
down on one’s knees and pray to God for a handsome 
lord was not looked upon as a special act of intel- 
lectual spirituality. Matrimonial arrangements were 
quietly left to the parents. Our Gliickel, in particu- 
lar, with the many vicissitudes and cares which life 
brought to her, had hardly time for introspection. 
She was a simple-minded woman, a mere "" mother in 
Israel and as foolish as all mothers, hence doomed 
to many a disappointment with her children ,• idolising 
her husband and in consequence almost broken-heart- 
ed after his death, and so proud of her own and her 
husband’s family, which she probably overrated, that 
her own individuality was sunk in theirs. All the 
more do we hear from her about her connexions and 
relatives, who were mostly prominent members of the 
Jewish congregations scattered over a great part of 
Germany. Her Memoirs thus gain a particular inter- 
est, giving us as they do an insight into the social life 
of the important Jewish communities of Hamburg, 
Metz, and Altona, such as no other source affords. 

Her first recollections date from Altona, to which 
place (only about a mile from Hamburg) her family 
removed after the expulsion already mentioned. Al- 
tona, in which^they found a Jewish community con- 
sisting of about twenty-five families, formed at that time 
a part of the dominions of the righteous and pious 
King Frederick HI of Denmark.” The Jews were, 
it would seem, permitted to carry on business in their 
old home during the daytime, after procuring from 



the Mayor of Hamburg a special passport, for which 
they had to pay a tax of a ducat, and which had to be 
renewed every month. If the Jew was so fortunate 
as to have acquaintances among the politicians, the 
month was extended to eight weeks. But neither 
taxes nor the authority of the chief magistrate could 
protect them against the insolence of the Hamburg 
mob, so that every woman thanked the Lord when 
she .saw her husband in peace’* back in Altona as 
the evening approached.*^ 

Her family was the first to return to Hamburg. 
But Gliickel had little confidence in the Senate, who 
were instigated by the clergy not to suffer the Jews to 
take possession of their old places of worship. As 
we know from another account, the lAitheran minis- 
ters advised the Senate not to grant this privilege to 
the Jews unless they agreed to the appointment of a 
Christian Rabbi ’* to preach the Gospel in their syna- 
gogues. “ It lasted a long while,” Gluckel says, till 
we crept back (that is, returned slowly) to our syna- 
gogues. May the Lord, in the abundance of his 
mercy and lovingkindness, have compassion with us 
and send us our righteous Messiah, when we shall 
serve him in the integrity of our hearts and shall 
offer our prayers in the holy Temple in the holy city 
of Jerusalem. Amen.” ^ 

With Gluckel these words were not a mere phrase. 
She had cause enough to be eagerly expectant of a 
redeemer. She was a child of three or four when 
the Cossack leader, Bogdan Chmielnicki, let loose his 



savage hordes against the defenceless Jews of Poland. 
Tens of thousands were massacred, many more per- 
ished by famine and exposure to cold and all sorts of 
disease. Some, however, managed to escape “ the 
sword of the hero of holy Orthodox Russia,” and 
fled to Germany. Of these many found their way 
to llamburg and Altona, which were overcrowded 
with the refugees. Old Lob Pinkerle, as the llamas 
of the Jewish community, had a hard time of it in 
providing these unfortunates with subsistence and 
employment. ** It was after this event,” Gluckel 
writes, that the Wilna Jews ran away from Poland. 
Many came to Hamburg. They were afflicted with 
a contagious disease, but we had then no hospital in 
Hamburg .... and my father, of blessed memory, 
accommodated ten of them in the upper floor of the 
house.” Her grandmother, who, in spite of all the 
remonstrances of her children, insisted on visiting 
them four times a day and took care that they should 
be wanting in nothing, caught the malady and died 
after a few days. Gluckel also caught the contagion. 
This was the first severe illness through which she 
passed. 5 

The office of Parnas was thus in those troubled 
times not very J^leasant. But even this doubtful privi- 
lege — of converting his house into a hospital and 
endangering the lives of its inmates — poor Pinkerle 
was not allowed to enjoy in peace. As Gluckel tells 
us, his high dignity was contested by certain malicious 
people, who, playing the part of informers to the 



Danish Government, tried by these slanderous means 
to replace him in the office of Parnas. Pinkerle and 
his colleagues had to repair at once to Copenhagen ; 
but the court was convinced of their innocence, and 
matters were soon settled to the satisfaction of the old 

All 'this occurred before our Gliickel reached the 
age of twelve, with which year her childhood was 
brought to an end. Through the age of girlhood — 
the age of lofty dreams and low realities — she never 
passed. For her twelfth birthday finds her engaged 
to Chayim Hameln, and at fourteen she is married 
to him. 7 

The town to which Gliickel was transplanted 
through her marriage was Hameln, an out-of-the- 
way place in the northwest of Germany, better 
known to legend than to history. She tells us of the 
annoyance caused to her mother by the impossibility 
to procure respectable coaches for the journey. They 
had to make their way from Hanover to Hameln with 
all the wedding train on mean peasant- carts. Her 
father-in-law, Joseph Plamein, comforts them with the 
fact, that many years back, when he set out to many, 
no vehicles at all were to be found, and, though the 
son of the Parnas of all Hessen, he had to make his 
entry on foot into Stadthagen, where his dear Freud- 
chen lived, whilst his companion Fisch carried the 
dowry on his shoulders.® 

Gliickel dwells with evident delight on eveiything 
relating to her new home. The first who won her 



heart was, as it would seem, her father-in-law, the 
amiable and venerable Joseph Hameln, who, together 
with his wife, gave her much “ calmness of spirit.” 

Who can describe,” she exclaims, “their charity 
and piety, and with what kindness and consideration 
they treated mc; far better than I deserved.” She is 
not quite insensible to the dulness and dreariness of 
Hameln, which was a petty village in comparison 
w'ith her native place, only two Jewish families living 
there. But she quite forgets -Hamburg when she 
thinks of her saintly and energetic father-in-law He 
got up every morning at three o’clock, dressed him- 
self in his synagogue suit {ScJm/rock)^ and read aloud 
his prayer or other religious book. Her room ad- 
joined his, and the opportunity of observing him and 
listening to him when lie. prays or studies fully com- 
pensates her for all the delights of the Hanseatic city. 
And wdiat pious and noble children his were ! What 
a sage her brother-in-law, Reb Abraham ! He spoke 
little, but evciy word that escaped his mouth “ was 
sheer CJioclima'' (wisdom). As a youth he was sent 
to Poland, which w^as then a great centre of Talmudi- 
cal learning, and he “was full of Torah as a pome- 
granate is full of seed.” Her other brother-in-law, 
Reb Shmuel, •also went to Poland for the purpose of 
studying. The two brothers there made excellent 
matches, especially the latter (Shmuel), who married 
a woman of “a very noble family,” the daughter of 
the great Reb Shulem, the Chief Rabbi of Lemberg.^ 
The Chmielnicki persecution, already referred to. 



brought both brothers back to Germany with their 
families, and they had to commence life over again. 
Shmuel was soon elected Chief Rabbi of Hildes- 
heim, where he lived and died as a saint. Another 
of her numerous brothers-in-Iaw was Reb Lob 
Bon, a fine character, who, though not a student, 
was still ‘La beautiful knower of books’" {i, fairly 
read in lighter Hebrew literature), who was for a long 
time Parnas in the Cologne province. And what a 
noble and modest woman her sister-in-law Esther — a 
great sufferer, one who bore her affliction with 
patience and submission to God ! 

The most important of the Hamelns — to Gliickel 
at least — was her husband, Chayim Hameln, the 
eighth son of Joseph Hameln. Though she proba- 
bly never saw him before her wedding, she very soon 
finds that the “great, dear God” has “brought them 
together and guided them well.” She hardly ever 
mentions him without the endearing epithet of “the 
crown of my head,” He is her saint, who, though 
in very delicate health and working himself half dead 
to earn a living for his fimily, never omits to go 
through his fixed readings in the Torah and to fast on 
Mondays and Thursdays. She knew few Rabbis, 
Gliickel maintains, who read their prayers with so 
much devotion {Kazvomi) as her husband did, and he 
would not interrupt them even at the risk of losing 
great opportunities. To her he is “the consumma- 
tion of a good Jew,” patient and forgiving, modest to 
a fault, never putting up as a candidate for any honor- 



ary ofifice in the community and exceedingly honest 
in money transactions.” Gliickel is not a little proud 
of the fact that such a saint and good Jew held her 
in high esteem and kept her “ like the apple of his 
eye/’ ” and never consulted anybody but her, though 
she was so young. 

The newly-married couple found Hameln, as it 
seems, too small a place for their commercial enter- 
prises, and moved soon to Hamburg, where they set- 
tled as dealers in jewelry. There they lived in a fair 
state of prosperity for thirty-eight years, Chayim 
travelling far and wide, carrying his trade to Leipzig, 
Frankfort, and Amsterdam, and Gliickel attending to 
her household and nursing the children. Anxious 
for his health, she prevailed upon him to take a part- 
ner, and she sits up the whole night drawing up the 
contracts. I am sorry to say that the partnership did 
not prove a success, imd she gets a mild scolding for 
all her kindness. The occasional losses of money, 
death of relatives, illness of children (who came in 
rapid succession to the number of twelve), belong to 
the regular programme of life, and the Hamelns had 
their share of sorrow as any other mortals. ”The 
Almighty is just,” Gliickel comforts herself. We 
sinful creatures know not what is good. What we 
look upon as the greatest evil, turns out to be the best 
fortune which has ever befallen us.” 

The affairs of the Jewish community, of which 
the younger Hamelns are now prominent members, 
are also conducted wisely and soberly by the sage 



Parnasim, the congregation incurring no new debts, 
so that there is very little reason for excitement.*^ The 
spiritual life is, as everywhere, concentrated in the 
synagogue. The Chalpha 7 iint (money-brokers), who 
apparently constituted a large part of the Hamburg 
congregation, Gluckel tells us, go, after the day's 
work is over, to the synagogue, where they read 
Minchah. Thence they proceed to their various Cheb- 
ralts (a sort of religious club), to study Torah there.*^ 

The only great public event during Gliickers resi- 
dence in her native place worth recording, was the 
rise of the Pseudo-Messiah Sabbatai Zebi. The Mes- 
sianic fever which spread from the E!ast was soon 
caught by almost the whole of P^uropean Jewry, and 
raged most violently in Hamburg. 

‘‘ About this time (1665 ?), Gluckel reports, “peo- 
ple began to talk of Sabbatai Zebi. Woe unto us, 
for we have .sinned. . . When I think of the ‘repent- 
ance done’ by young and old I despair of describing 
it. . . And what joy when there arrived letters from 
Smyrna ! Most of these were addressed to the 
Sephardim. To their synagogue the Germans, too, 
betook themselves to hear the letters read. The 
Sephardic youth attending the meetings appeared in 
their best dress, and wore the colours (green) of Sab- 
batai Zebi. Many sold their houses and farms, and 
thus prepared for early emigration. My father-in-law 
left his house and furniture in Hameln and moved to 
Hildesheim (to join the Jewish community there in 
the new exodus), and even sent us to Hamburg two 



boxes full of good things as provisions for the way” 
(to Palestine). . . All proved an illusion after nearly 
three years of excitement. ‘‘ O my God and Lord, 
still thy people Israel despair not, but trust to thy 
mercy that thou wilt redeem them whenever it will 
be thy holy pleasure to do so. . . I am certain that 
thou wouldst long before have had mercy witli us, 
were we but to fulfil the commandment, ' Thou shalt 
love thy neighbour as thyself.* ” 

The marriage of their daughter Zipporah with 
Kossman Gomperz, the son of Elia Gomperz, of 
limmerich, was the great event in the Hameln family. 
For Elia was the most prominent Jew in the Prus- 
sian provinces, and was held in much esteem by the 
Court of the great Elector Frederick William, of 
Brandenburg, who employed him in various political 
missions to the Dutch Republic. In fact, people were 
not willing to believe that the match would ever come 
off, considering that Gomperz was a regular German 
Kazm (Prince in Israel), whilst the Hamclns had no 
claim to such distinction. The wedding, which took 
place in Cleves, where they went with a suite of 
twenty people, accompanied, as it seems, by a band of 
musicians, was the triumph of GliickePs life. The 
house in which* the guests were lodged resembled a 
regular palace, magnificently furnished, and they were 
constantly receiving visits from the local aristocracy, 
who came to see the bride. “ And,” fond and foolish 
a mother as Gliickel was, she adds, ‘‘for a truth, my 
daughter looked so beautiful that nothing ever seen 



could be compared with her.’* At the ceremony itself, 
there were present, besides so many people of noble 
birth, Frederick III, the future king of Prussia, and 
Prince Maurice of Nassau, holding all the time the 
hand of her dear Mordecai, a boy of fiv^e years, who, 
attired in his best frock, was declared to be the pret- 
tiest child in the world.” There came also to the 
wedding many influential members of the Jewish- 
Sej)hardic community (in Amsterdam). ” One 
among them was named Mocatti, who traded in dia- 
monds. They were all so much occupied in prepar- 
ing a proper reception for those high personages that 
they even forgot to write the KetJmbaJiy so that the 
ofUciating Rabbi had to read it from a book.” ^9 The 
festivities concluded with the appearance of masks, 
who performed the death dance. Mrs. Lily Grove, 
in her charming and learned book, ‘‘Dancing,” says 
that it is still customary in some parts of Germany to 
perform it at weddings. “ The name sounds grue- 
some, but it is a merry .sport, in which kissing is not 

The Memoirs, besides their bearing upon the social 
history of our ancestors in ages gone by, of which 
illustrations have been given above, have also a cer- 
tain theological interest, which must not be left un- 
noticed. The interest will perhaps be the greater 
.since we live in a time in which ignorance has almost 
succeeded in making the world believe that it was 
only with the introducing of the holy rite of confirma- 
tion that Jewish women w'ere brought under the influ- 
ence of the synagogue. 



The reader hardly expects to meet with a Jewish 
St. Theresa. Gliickel was not a religietisc. Piety was 
not her profession. do not consider myself fro 7 nni''^ 
(pious), she says, 'T am actually a sinful woman exempt 
from very few transgressions. O that I might be worthy 
to supplicate (for mercy) and to be really repentant.*’ 
The call she received — which, let us hope, was not less 
Divine than that ever heard by any Abbess in the Middle 
Ages, or any lady settlement worker about to devote her 
life to the cause of Humanity in modern times — was to 
be a mother, and as such she was soon absorbed by her 
household duties, nursing her darlings, and assisting 
her husband in various ways. After his death (1689), 
the whole burden of the family fell on her ; she 
had both to carry on his business and to attend to 
the bringing up of her eight orphans. She had thus 
little time left for performing real or apparent devotions. 
Nor do we think that she could lay any claim to a “ su- 
perior education.” Her Memoirs are written in Hebrew 
letters, but the language is the current Judisch-Dcutsch 
of the time. Her father, she tells us, had his children 
instructed both in things heavenlyand things worldly. 
By the latter she probably understood some know- 
ledge of French and playing on the Klaffenzimmer ” 
(Clavier), in which art her half-sister was highly 
accomplished.®* We may also assume that she knew 
sufficient Plebrew to read her daily prayers and to 
understand various familiar phrases and terms, which 
became almost a part of the language of the Juden- 
gasse. But we doubt whether she was ever able to 



read a Hebrew book with ease. At least we know 
that when she wished to make herself acquainted with 
the contents of R. Abraham Hurwitz’s Ethical Will, 
she had to have it read to her in an extempore German 
translation.*"* The store from which she drew her 
spiritual nourishment was, apart from the Bible, that 
edifying literature written in Jiidisch-Deutsch so 
admirably described in an essay by the late Dr. P. F. 
Frankl on the Erbauungslecture 7inserer Altvordc7'enJ^ 
But such books could be and were probably read by 
all who were educated at the Cheder in their youth, 
as Gliickel had been. *4 Her views about God and the 
world offer thus nothing exceptional, but just on that 
account they are the more interesting to us as repre- 
senting the general way of thinking by Jewish women 
of that age. 

She opens her Memoirs with the words : “ What- 

soever the Ploly One, blessed be he, created, he 
created but for his glory. The world is built up by 
mercy. We know that God, praised be he and 
praised be his name, does not require us ... . but 
created everything out of sheer lovingkindness and 
mercy.” *5 Xhis is followed by a long theodicy explain- 
ing and justifying the ways of Providence. Her rea- 
soning is just as little cogent as that of all other 
theodicies. The real point is that, she herself being 
convinced of the soundness of her argument, hers 
was a just God, and she had not to face the taunt, 
hurled against those who, carrying the doctrine of 
necessity to its utmost consequences, were told that 



they ought to add to their creed : “I believe in God 
because he is unjust.” 

The conception of God’s mercy and love pervades 
all of Gluckel’s thoughts. She expresses herself in 
the following way : ‘‘ The great good God is merciful. 

We are his children. His mercy upon us surpasses 
that of a father (of flesh and blood). For this latter 
may sometimes lose patience with his wicked son and 
disown him at last; but we poor children are con- 
stantly sinning against God. Still the great, good 
Heavenly Father, in spite of the impurity attaching to 
us through our transgressions, tells us that we have 
only to repent of our sins, and he will again receive 
us as his children. Hence, my heartily beloved 

children, de.spair not The Lord is merciful 

and gracious, long-suffering, to righteous and to 
sinners alike.” Even suffering and pain are only an 
effluence of God’s goodness. The sinful creatures are 
mischievous children in whose education the great 
gracious God takes a pleasure, so that we may be 
worthy children and servants of our Father and 
Lord.''^ “ I implore you,” she says to her children, 
to accept everything that God sends (suffering 
and pain) in a humble and submissive spirit, and never 
cease to pray to him. We sinful creatures know not 
what is really good for us.” We ought to rejoice in 
suffering and thank God for it. And on a certain 
occasion of great grief and loss which she could not 
help feeling deeply, she reproached herself with the 
words ; I know that this complaining and mourning 



is a weakness of mine. It would be much better for 
me to praise and thank the great and gracious God for 
all his mercy toward such an unworthy woman as I 
am. How many better and worthier people are there 
who have not the means of defraying even a single 
meal.” "*9 On another similar sad occasion she says: 
“And for all this I thank and i)raise thee, my Creator, 
who, even in thy chastisement, showest to me, an 
unworthy, sinful woman, more grace and mercy than 
I deserve, and teachest me through these troubles 
patience and humility. ... I do pray thee, Almighty 
good God, for thy grace, which will give me the 
strength to serve thee, so that I may not appear in a 
state of impurity before thee.” 

The appearance before God takes place after death 
when man has “ to give account and reckoning before 
the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be he.” 
This belief in immortality, which permeates all her 
thoughts, forms a part of Gliickel’s theodicy; for it is 
in the next world that man has to pay his real debts 
or has to expect his real reward, wherefore he should 
submit to suffering in meekness and joy as a means 
of salvation.^^^ The terror of sin consists partly in this, 
that in some mysticeil way it takes possession of man’s 
soul, so that not even deeith can relieve him, and it 
accompanies him to the next world.3= In brief, the 
soul is given in trust to man only for a certain time, 
returning unto him who has given it to us. 33 And 
when the “crown of her head” was so roughly removed 
by the premature death of her husband, her comfort 



was that he was transplanted to a better and eternal 
world. “It is for us/* she continues, “to pray that our 
end should be in accordance with his will and plea- 
sure, and that it should please the Most High to bring 
us to the Gan Eden'' 3^ The world is a stormy sea 
full of dangerous temptations, in which man is easily 
drowned. But the Torah is the life-belt which the 
great, gracious God has thrown out in these bottom- 
less depths that man may get hold of it and be saved. 
This is the meaning of the words in the Scripture, 
“Therefore choose life.** 3s 

This was the belief of Jewish men and Jewish 
women for thousands of years, and we would hardly 
dwell on it but for the fact that a certain class of 
amateur theologians, who supply our periodical liter- 
ature with divinity and morality, show a strong bias 
to make the doctrine of immortality an exclusive 
monopoly of Christianity. Whatever may have been 
the attitude of ancient Judaism towards this doctrine, 
there can be little doubt that belief in reward and 
punishment after death has been an essential dogma 
of the Synagogue for more than two thousand years. 
“ The way to eternal life or salvation is given in the 
holy beloved Torah.** 

The term Heavenly Father is with Gliickel, as with 
many Jewish moralists, a favourite expression. And, 
she argues, if we are commanded in the Torah to 
honour our parents, how much more careful must we 
be to honour our Father in heaven, and not do any- 
thing that might call forth the anger of the great, 



kindly God.^^^ The readiness of our ancestor Abra- 
ham to sacrifice his only son Isaac at the command of 
God — ^and I, as a mother, know that parents suffer 
more at seeing their children in affliction than when 
they are themselves in pain — should alone suffice as 
an example how to serve God, and to give up for 
his sake all worldly considerations and joys/' 37 

Another main point is. Thou shalt love thy 
neighbour as thyself, which, she says, “is so little 
observed in our generation/’ “ We know,” she 
says, “that it is the Most High who said it, and if we 
were truly pious from the bottom of our hearts and 
not so bad as we are, I am certain that God would 
have mercy with us, if we would only keep the said 
law.” 3^ It is interesting to notice how like a child 
Gliickel speaks of the law and its commandments. 
When reading of the crime of certain of her co-religion- 
ists, who tried to hide it afterwards, she says, “ But it is 
written in our Ten Words, ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ and 
therefore the Omnipresent, blessed be he, did not help 
them.” 39 But with wives and mothers the first lessons 
in altruism are given in the family circle, and charity 
begins with them at home,* “for the great Heavenly 
Father and only God has established in his wisdom ” 
that we first love our children, then our near relatives ; 
otherwise the world could not exist. There is, 
indeed, a certain practical vein running through the 
whole of these Memoirs, showing that she well knew 
how to take care of herself. But even in her harsh 
moments, which are usually when she thinks that 



the offspring of Chayim and Gliickel Hameln are 
not so well treated by the world as they deserve, 
she is always under the control of religion, and 
reproaches herself for her complaints. ‘‘ Great, Only 
God, I implore thee from the depth of my heart to 
forgive me, because it is possible that I have wronged 
him (the enemy of her son). Perhaps he acted as he 
did (with the best intentions) for God’s sake.” On 
another similar occasion she prays that the Name, 
blessed be he, should forgive those who enticed a 
relative of hers to live in Hameln, which was the 
cause of great misfortune and misery to him. Lastly, 
we give here her injunctions to her children for whose 
benefit these Memoirs were composed, and whom she 
entreats to be indulgent with her as she was in great 
distress when she wrote them. '‘Serve God,” she 
says, “ my dear children, with all your hearts, with- 
out hypocrisy and falsehood. . . Say your prayers 
with devotion and awe. . . . and do not interrupt 
them by talk, which you must consider as a great 
sin. . . . But have a fixed time for the study of the 
Torah every day. Attend diligently to your business, 
for the providing a livelihood for one’s wife and chil- 
dren is a great religious work {MitzivaJi). In particular, 
be honest in your money dealings, both with Jews 
and non- Jews, so that the name of Heaven be not 
profaned through you. If you have in hand money 
or wares of other people, then be more anxious about 
them than if they were your own ; so that you, God 
forbid, wrong nobody. The first question put to man 



in the next world is, whether he was faithful in his 
money transactions/’^® “I give thanks and praise 
to God,” she says somewhere, *^who enabled me to 
leave Hamburg without owing a farthing to Jew or 
Christian.” ^3 

Gliickel survived her husband for nearly thirty-five 
years. It is a gloomy, hard life which she leads, full 
of care., anxiety, and trouble. She travels far and 
wide to the great fairs, which expose her to the most 
unbearable heat in summer and bitterest cold in win- 
ter, and spends the days in her warehouse.^'^ As it 
would seem, her plans were, after settling her chil- 
dren in life, “to give up the vanities of the world, and, 
as every pious and good Jewess ought to do, emigrate 
to Palestine to serve there the Lord with all her soul 
and all her might.” But this was not to be. For her 
children, aware of her intentions, are naturally anxious 
to retain her near them ; and it is at their urging that, 
after having refused many proposals, she allows her- 
self to be persuaded to enter wedlock for a second 
time with Cerf Levy of Metz, where her daughter 
Esther Schwab lived. The wedding with Cerf Levy, 
the Parnas of the Jewish community and the greatest 
banker in Lorraine, took place in Metz in 1 700 ; and 
with it begins a new series of misery and distress in 
Gluckel’s life. For Levy, after two years (1702), fails 
in his business, the firm is ruined, and Gliickel, who 
is so proud of her good name in the commercial 
world, has the mortification to see her husband un- 
able to fulfil his obligations toward his creditors. The 



little fortune she brought to him was also lost, and 
they had to live on a grant from his children. Levy 
dies a broken-hearted man in 1712. Gluckel, who 
always dreaded the thought of becoming a burden to 
her children, lived for three years longer in great 
isolation and privation, till at last (1715) starvation 
compelled her to yield to the entreaties of her good 
daughter Esther, who was the support and the con- 
solation of her old age. Gliickel despairs of doing 
justice to Esther’s virtues. She is modest, saving, 
and an excellent housekeeper, and her mother-in-law, 
Frau Jachet-Agathe Schwab, bears witness to the 
superiority of Esther to herself in the great art of pre- 
paring nice dishes. She is very regular in her attend- 
ance at the synagogue, never absenting herself from 
any Divine service. Her house is open wide to the 
poor, and her table is always adorned by the presence 
of her Rabbi (a sort of domestic chaplain) and that of 
an alumnus of the Talmudical College. She and her 
husband, who is now Parnas of the community, are 
popular with poor and rich, all enjoying their hospi- 
tality. As to Gluckel herself, they are exceedingly 
kind to her, “showing her all the honours in the world” 
and treating her with great consideration and regard. 
“ May Heaven reward them ” for all their goodness. -*7 
Gluckel, who continued her Memoirs to 1719, 
died on the 19th of September, 1724. She departed 
from this world “with a good name.” The Memoirs 
were copied out by her grandson, Moses Hameln, 
Chief Rabbi of Baiersdorf. After a hundred and 



seventy-two years of dead silence Gliickel speaks to 
us again. And her words are well worth listening 


Some two years ago, in a conversation with a lady 
of the Jewish persuasion, of high culture and wide 
reading, she made the remark to me that, as far as she 
knows, Judaism is the only one among the great reli- 
gions which has never produced a saint, and that there 
is, indeed, no room in it for that element of saintliness 
which, in other creeds, forms the goal the true be- 
liever endeavors to reach. The conclusion which she 
drew from this alleged fact was, that good enough as 
Judaism may prove for the daily wear and tear of life, 
men and women of finer texture of soul than the com- 
mon run of humanity must look to other religions for 
higher aspirations than to that which had come down 
to her from her ancestors. 

Strange as such an assertion must appear to the 
student of Hebrew literature, I was not altogether 
surprised at her statements, considering the religious 
environment in which she had been brought up. 
Carlyle said of Voltaire that “ he dearly loved truth, 
but of the triumphant kind.” My lady-friend loved 
Judaism fairly in her own patronising way, but her 
J udaism was of the sane and plausible kind. It made no 
demand on faith. It was devoid of dogma, and shunned 
everything in the nature of a doctrine. Its great 
virtue consisted in its elasticity, in being adaptable to 
the latest result of the latest reconstruction of the Bible, 



and in being compatible with any system of philosophy 
ever advanced, — provided, of course, that the system 
in question was still a subject o{ languid conversation 
in fashionable drawing-rooms. Above all, Judaism 
was with her a sober religion, hostile to all excesses 
of mysticism and enthusiasm, all prudence and com- 
mon sense, but little of wisdom and less of soul and 
emotion. But enthusiasm and mysticism are the V'^ery 
soil upon which saintliness thrives best. It is, there- 
fore, not to be wondered at if Saints and Saintliness 
were excluded from Judaism as conceived by her and 
her teachers. 

It is not my intention to enter into a controversy 
as to such a conception of Judaism. Starting afresh 
in the world as we did, to a' certain extent, at the end 
of the eighteenth century, it was only natural that 
with the zeal of new converts \vc should be eager to 
assimilate all sorts of ideas ; and whilst we have learned 
Zi good deal of Latin, a good deal of Greek, a good 
deal of history, and also acquired some methodical 
habits in our scientific work, — for all of which benefits 
we ought to feel truly grateful, — we have been at the 
same time too much accessible to all kinds, of rational- 
istic platitudes, and to a sort of free-thinking and 
materialistic dogmatism long ago obsolete among the 
great majority of thinkers. It is ample time that 
we become free men, and begin to use our powers of 
discretion. We ought to remember that we live now 
in the twentieth century, not at the end of the eigh- 
teenth. True, the twentieth century is still in its in- 



fancy, and has hardly had time to develop a line of 
thought of its own. But as it is the heir of the past, 
we know that among the ideals bequeathed to it by 
the last decades of the nineteenth century which it 
cherishes most, are the following : That in religion 
catholicity is good, sectarianism is badj that great 
religions can live only on ideas and ideals, not on 
mere organisation; that plausibility is more often a 
sign of mediocrity than a test of truth ; that soberness 
is good, but that inspiration and enthusiasm are better, 
and that every religion wanting in the necessary sprink- 
ling of Saints and Saintliness is doomed in the end 
to degenerate into commonplace virtues in action, and 
Philistinism in thought, certain to disappear at the first 
contact with higher life and higher thought. 

It will readily be perceived that under these altered 
conditions of thought there must be much in the 
scheme of salvation drawn up some seventy or eighty 
yea?s ago that is badly in need of revision. And this 
revision does take place, in spite of all the frenzied 
attacks upon romanticism, mysticism, and Orientalism. 
The only section of humanity never afflicted with 
this last vice were, as far as I know, the Red Indians. 
They were good Western gentlemen sa7is rcproche^ 
without a taint of Orientalism and all its terrible con- 
sequences. However, I do not wish to argue this 
point just now. Here we shall confine ourselves to 
the subject of Saints and Saintliness in Judaism, an 
aspect of Judaism almost entirely neglected by our 



The best Hebrew equivalent for the term saint is 
the adjective commonly used in the sense of 

pious, devout, reverend, godly j but the noun non is 
found together with )n and D^’Dnn, thus implying the 
qualities of grace, graciousness, gracefulness, and 
kindness. Thus we read of EvSther, “And the King 
loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained }n 
and in his sight” (Esther 2 : 17); that is to say, 
she found grace and kindness in his sight. Of the 
virtuous woman it is said, “She opens her mouth with 
wisdom, and in her tongue is non nilD, the law of 
kindness (or graciousness)” (Prov. 31: 26). When 
God reminds Israel of the honeymoon at the outset 
of her spiritual career, when she was wedded to the 
Torah, he says, “ I remember thee the grace (ion) of 
thy youth,” etc. (Jer. 2 : 2). When an ancient 
Rabbi wanted to be polite to a newly-married couple, 
he would compliment the bride with the words, 

(beautiful and graceful).'" Applied to matters 
spiritual, the equivalent for an'on or nn^on would 
be “beautiful souls.” 

Closely connected with the terms Chasid uth and 
Chasid are the terms Kedushah (holiness) and 
Kadosh (holy). The two ideas are so naturally 
allied with each other that they are interchangeably 
used in Rabbinic texts. But it must be remarked 
that the term Kedushah does not entirely cover the 
Phiglish word holiness, the mystical and higher aspect 
of it being better represented by the term Chasiduth 
(saintliness). Whilst I shall thus consider myself at 



liberty to utilise freely such Biblical and Rabbinic mat- 
ter as gives evidence of the existence and nature of 
Kedushah in Judaism, I shall, on the other hand, try 
to sift the material in such a way as to give promi- 
nence to the element of Chasiduth, and all that this 
term implies. 

'Fhe notion of Chasiduth, or saintliness, is varicnisly 
described by different Jewish writers. The only 
point about which they fairly agree is the feature of 
individualism that distinguishes the Chasid, or saint, 
from other religionists.^ The golden mean, so much 
praised by philosophers and teachers of ethics, has 
no existence for him, and he is rather inclined to ex- 
cesses. Nor can he be measured by the standard of 
the Law, for it is one of the characteristics of the 
saint that he never waits for a distinctive command- 
ment. The various precepts of the Bible are for him 
so many memoranda, or head-lines, each leading to 
new trains of thought and suggestive of any number 
of inferences. But inferences are subject to different 
inteipretations.4 Hence the fact that each writer 
emphasises the special feature in the saint with which 
he was most in sympathy by reason of his own bent 
of mind or particular religious passion. The saint 
thus belonging* to the subjective species, our theme 
would be best treated by a series of monographs, or 
lives of the various saints. But those could hardly 
be brought within the compass of an essay. It will 
therefore be best for our purpose to combine the 
various features characteristic of the saint into a gen- 



eral sketch, though such a mode of treatment will 
necessarily bring more into prominence the thing 
saintliness, than the person practising it. 

In speaking of saints it should be premised that I 
am not referring to organisations or societies bearing 
this name. The references in Jewish literature to such 
organisations are few and of a doubtful nature, and 
will certainly not stand the test of any scientific 
criticism. Besides, one does not become a saint 
by reason of a corporate act, or by subscribing to a 
certain set of rules, though a man may be a saint 
despite his being a member of a society or community 
composed of iDrofessional saints. Saintliness is essen- 
tially a subjective quality. An ancient Rabbi put the 
matter well when ho said, ^*As often as Israel per- 
ceived the Holy One, blessed be he, they became 
saints.’’ s Put in a modern equivalent, wc should say 
that saintliness is the effect of a personal religious ex- 
perience when man enters into close communion with 
the Divine. Some New England mystic describes such 
communion as the mingling of the individual soul with 
the universal soul. This is just as obscure as any other 
term the new or the old world may choose to de- 
scribe old ideas. When the Rabbis spoke of per- 
ceiving God, they probably thought of Psalm 17 ; 15, 
“I will behold thy face in righteousness ; I will be 
satisfied when I awake with thine image.*’ ^ Some 
versions paraphrase the second half of the just quoted 
verse : ‘‘ I will be satisfied by gazing on thy like- 

ness,” an expression denoting the highest fellowship 



with God, almost, as it were, a fellowship of the 

As to the way in which these blissful moments of 
close communion with the Divine might be made last- 
ing and effective, the Rabbis give us a hint when they 
say that Israel, when they became saints, sang a song,^ 
The same thought may also perhaps be divined in 
the words of another Rabbi, who maintained that 
saintliness consists in man's zealous compliance with 
the prescriptions in Berachotli, the Talmudic tractate 
dealing mostly with matter appertaining to benediction 
and prayer.^ Under song and prayer we have to 
understand all those manifestations of the soul in 
wliich the individual attempts to reciprocate his 
revelation of the Divine. As was pointed out in 
another placed with regard to the Bible, its unique 
character consists in furnishing us with both the reve- 
lation of God to man, as given in the Pentateuch and 
in the Prophets, and the revelation of man to God, as 
contained in the Psalms and in other portions of the 
Scriptures of a liturgical nature.*® Hence the value 
the saint attached to prayer. Pie longs for the 
moments when he can pour out his soul before his 
God in adoration and supplication. The hours of the 
day appointed for the three prayers, evening, morning, 
and noon, are for him, a Jewish saint expresses it, the 
very heart of the day.** Apparently, however, the 
saint is not satisfied with these appointed times. He 
is so full of expectation of the time of prayer, that he 
devotes a whole hour of preparation to put himself in 



the proper frame of mind for It, and he is so reluctant 
to sever himself from such blissful moments that he 
lingers for a whole hour after the prayer, in “after- 
meditation/’ It was in this way that the ancient saints 
spent nine hours of the day in meditation and suppli- 
cation.” The ancient Rabbis had a special formula of 
tlianksgiving for the privilege of prayer, and the saints 
availed themselves of this privilege to its full extent. ^3 
Besides the obligatory prayers, the Jewish saint had his 
own individual prayers, some of which have come 
down to us. The burden of these is mostly an appeal 
to God's mercy for help, that he may find him worthy 
to do his will. May it be thy will," runs one of 
these prayers, ‘‘that we be single-hearted in the fear 
of thy name; that thou remove us from all thou 
hatest ; that thou bring us near to all thou lovest, 
and that thou deal with us graciously for thy name's 
sake." Another Rabbi prayed, “ It is revealed before 
thee, God, that we have not the power to resist the 
evil inclination. May it be thy will to remove it from 
us, so that we may accomplish thy will with a perfect 
heart." such prayer God and man meet, for, as an 

old Agadist expressed it, in a rather hyperbolic way, 
“From the beginning of the world, the Holy One, 
blessed be he, established a tent for himself in Jeru- 
salem, in which, if one may say so, he prayed, ‘May 
it be my will that my children accomplish my will.' " 
Midnight, with its awe-inspiring silence and the 
feeling of utter isolation which comes upon man, was 
considered by the saints as another favourable moment 



for prayer. In allusion to Psalm 1 19 : 62, the Rabbis 
report that above the couch of David there hung a 
harp.^7 <‘The midnight breeze, as it rippled over the 
strings, made such music that the poet-king was con- 
strained to rise from his bed, and, till the dawn flushed 
the Eastern skies, he wedded words to the strains." 
The music was not silenced with the disappearance of 
the harp of David. It kept awake many a Jewish 
saint even during the Middle Ages. Of one of these 
saints the record is that he used to rise up in the 
depths of the night and pray : “My God, thou hast 
brought upon me starvation and penury. Into the 
depths of darkness thou hast driven me, and thy 
might and strength hast thou taught me. But even 
if they bum me in fire, only the more will I love thee 
and rejoice in thee, for so said the Prophet, ‘And 
thou shalt love thy God with all thy heart.' " In the 
later Middle Ages, a whole liturgy was developed, 
known under the name of nivn pp'»n, or “The Order 
of Prayers for Midnight" It is composed of a collec- 
tion of Psalms and Biblical verses, mostly of a mourn- 
ful nature, expressing Israel’s grief over the destruc- 
tion of the Holy Temple and the suffering of God’s 
children in the dispersion. It is accompanied by a 
number of soul-stii;ring hymns, composed by the poets 
of the Synagogue. They are mostly of a deep, spirit- 
ual nature, of matchless beauty, infinitely superior to 
any we have acquired lately in our modern hymn 
books. *9 It is one of the great tragedies of modern 
Judaism that it knows itself so little. A people that 

saijYts A.xn SAixTLmi:ss 


has produced the Psalmists, a R. Judah Halevi, a R. 
Israel Nagara, and other hymnologists and liturgists 
counted by hundreds, has no need to pass round the 
hat to all possible denominations begging for a prayer 
or a hymn. It contains further a confession of sins 
which are the cause of deferring the manifestation of 
the glory of God and the establishing of the kingdom 
of heaven on earth. Perhaps I may remark that con- 
fession of sin is an especieil feature of the Jewish liturgy, 
which the Jew is eager to reiDcat as often as the op- 
portunity offers itself. The Occidental man, in his 
self-complacency, thinks this a mark of Oriental crin- 
ging, unworthy of a citizen who believes himself good, 
and is prosperous. Perhaps the reader will be more 
reconciled to this feature in our liturgy if I quote the 
following from a letter of IJncoln to Thurlow Weed. 
It probably refers to a passage in his second inau- 
gural, in which, if I am not mistaken, he makes the 
whole nation a participant in the sin of slavery. He 
writes: ‘‘I believe it is not immediately popular. 
Men are not flattered by being shown that there has 
been a difference of purpose between them and the 
Almighty, To deny it, however, in this case, is to 
deny that there is a God governing the world. It is a 
truth which I thought needed to be told, and, as 
whatever of humiliation there is in it falls most directly 
on myself, I thought others might afford for me to 
tell it.*’"*® When the Jewish saint said, “We have 
sinned, we have betrayed,” and so on, he meant 
chiefly himself, and others might at least afford for 
him to tell it. 



The Sabbath, with its opportunities for rest and 
devotion, is described as the harvest of the week,®^ the 
advent of which is impatiently awaited by the saint. 
It Is a gift of the Lord, and the saint shows his grati- 
tude by the preparations he makes to accept it. In- 
deed, lie would avoid anything which in some cir- 
cuitous way might lead to the breaking of the Sab- 
bath, even in such cases where breaking it would be 
permitted by the Law. Queen Sabbath is met by 
him on her way with song and praise, and greeted 
royally ; and when she has arrived, he experiences 
that sense of the plus-soul, or over-soul,'^'* which im- 
parts to his devotion and Iiis rest a foretaste of the 
bliss to come. Other nations, it is pointed out, have 
also days of rest, but they stand in the same relation 
to the Jewish Sabbath as a copy to the original — 
wanting in life and soulJ^ The Sabbath is mystically 
described as the mate of Israel.®'^ Hence, with the 
saint, every profane or secular thought would be con- 
sidered as a breach of connubial duty. And when, 
against his will, his thoughts were directed to money 
transactions, or improvement in his estate, the saint 
would decline to profit by them.-^ But, as ei rule, his 
very thoughts rest on that day. Even in the prayers 
nothing. concerning mundane affairs is allowed to come 
in.''^ It is all joy and no contrition. It is entirely the 
day of the Lord. 

The same may be applied to the festivals, which 
the saint observes with similar strictness ; for they arc 
so many occasions of enjoying fellowship with the 



Divine. The Penitential Days, extending from the 
first to the tenth of the month of Tishri, with the 
opportunity they afford for reconciliation with God, 
are the subject of his special solicitude. A well- 
known saint expressed himself, that all the year he 
does nothing but listen impatiently to catch the sound 
of the hammer, knocking at the doors in the early 
hours of the morning, calling the faithful to the syna- 
gogue, when the Penitential Days are about to arrive. *7 
The saint is further described as a regent, having 
absolute control over all his organs. Of these the 
mouth is one of the most important. The maxim of 
Judaism, as conceived by the great moralists, is that 
the things which enter the mouth as well as those 
which proceed from the mouth may be unclean. Ac- 
cordingly the Jewish saint would constantly watch 
both the imports and the exports of his mouth. With 
regard to the former it is hardly necessary to say that 
the saint would refrain from all those various forbid- 
den foods which the Bible describes as unclean, an 
abomination,” and fetid. These have, according to 
the general Jewish opinion, the effect of polluting the 
soul, and there is no difference upon this point between 
the teachings of the Pentateuch and those of the 
Prophets, unless w’e choose to interpret these latter in 
the spirit of Paul and Marcion, and their modern suc- 
cessors. The saint, with his abhorrence of anything 
impure, would avoid the least contact with them. 
True, the saint is an individualist, but an extensive 
menu and the indulgence of other appetites forbidden 



by the Scriptures, are no mark of a strong person- 
ality. We Occidentals are greatly proud and jealous 
of our right of private judgment. But the first con- 
dition for private judgment is that the judge sliould 
not be bribed by considerations of comfort and con- 
venience. The great majority of Jewish saints had 
no difficulty in reconciling themselves to any ob- 
servance or ceremony. Speech about the Divine 
has to be in metaphors, and action corresponding 
to such speech can be only in signs and symbols. 
Those mystically inclined perceived in them the 
reflex of things unseen, assuming proportions in 
the regions above never dreamt of by the vulgar. 
Certainly, there were a few, especially among the 
mystics, who had antinominian tendencies, but they 
never stopped at the ritual part. They equally 
resented the moral restraint imposed upon them by 
the Torah. They all became notorious profligates, 
and terminated in apostasy. 

The individualism of the saint found expres- 
sion in the following principle : ‘‘ Sanctify thyself 
even in that which is permitted to thee.” As 
Nachmanides points out, the Torah has forbidden 
us certain kinds of food, but allowed the eating 
of meat and the drinking of wine, . but even within 
these limits can the man of impure appetite be- 
come a drunkard and a glutton. From doing this, 
man is warded off by the general commandment of 
holiness, which keeps him aloof from all animal de- 
sircs.^*^ R. Joseph Caro had his menu regulated by 



his angel, or the spirit of the Mishnah, created by his 
devotion to that part of the oral law, who, again and 
again, impresses upon him the fact that every morsel 
of food and drop of drink not absolutely necessary to 
support life is a sacrifice to the strange god. Even 
the luxiiiy of drinking too much water is considered 
by him a concession to the Evil One.^^ 

On the whole, the saint w'ould be rather inclined 
to asceticism. His inference from such command- 
ments as, for instance, that regarding the Nazarite 
who had to abstain from wine, or that concerning the 
refraining from food altogether on the Day of Atone- 
ment, would be, that restraint and discipline in eveiy 
respect are pleasing to his Father in Heaven. The 
statement is often made that Judaism is not an ascetic 
religion, and, indeed, there are passages in Jewish 
literature which might be cited in corroboration of 
this view. But the saint, by reason of his aspirations 
to superior holiness, will never insist on privileges and 
concessions. His models will be the heroic Elijah, 
with his rough mantle of earners hair, his dwelling in 
the chcrit, and sleeping under a desert-broom, and 
preparing himself for a revelation on Mount Horeb 
by a fast of forty days; or the Psalmist, who says, 
‘‘My knees are weak from fasting, and my flesh faileth 
of fatness''; or the laymen of the Second Temple, 
called “ Men of the Station,’* representing the Third 
Estate in the Holy Temple, where they fasted four 
days a week, and spent their time in meditation and 
prayer. 3"* And thus we find any number of saints in 

i 62 


Jewish history, as notorious for their asceticism with 
all its extravagances as those of any other religion. 
Long lists might be drawn up of Jewish saints who 
fasted, as the phrase is, from the beginning of the 
week to the end, except the Sabbath ; or, at least, 
Monday and Thursday of every week. Others again, 
confined themselves to vegetable food and plain water; 
whilst others inflicted upon themselves all sorts of 
torture, taking snow baths in winter and exposing 
themselves to the heat in summer. ^3 The remarkable 
thing about these saints is, that many among them 
warned their disciples against asceticism. Of the 
Gaon of Wilna, the story is, that when he remon- 
strated with his disciple R. Zalman against wasting 
himself by frequent fasts and keeping vigils through 
the night, he answered him, *^But I understand the 
master himself lived such an ascetic life in his younger 
days.’’ ‘^Yes,” answered the Rabbi, “I did; but I 
regret it deeply now,” The rejoinder of Rabbi Zal- 
man was, ‘‘I also wish to have something to regret.” 34 
The reader will probably have noticed that even 
the modern man, notwithstanding all his ad- 
miration for flesh and muscle, speaks of a fine 
ascetic face, which he usually identifies with spir- 
ituality and inner worth. Even the community 
at large, which could not afford to spend itself 
in fasts and vigils, never doubted that self-denial is 
better than self-indulgence. They were all strongly 
impressed with the truth that the man insisting upon 
his three square meals a day, and everything else in 



correspondence, is less accessible to discipline and 
self-sacrifice than the man who follows the rule of the 
sages: ‘'A morsel of bread with salt thou must eat, 
and water by measure thou must drink, thou must 
sleep upon the ground, and live a life of trouble the 
while thou toilest in the Torah.*' 35 Xhe toiler in 
the Torah is hardly conscious of the trouble. The 
story is of a famous Jewish saint who indulged in 
the luxury of fasting the first six days in the week ; 
when asked how he accomplished this* feat, he an- 
swered that he never meant to fast : he simply forgot 
to cat. 

Even more stringent was the watch which the 
saint would keep over the things which proceed from 
the mouth. *'Bc careful not to utter an untruth,” 
says an old Jewish saint, even in the way of a joke, or 
in the way of over-emphasis, ‘Tor,” an old Jewish 
moralist tells us, “against the most weighty sins we are 
warned in the Bible with only one prohibitive command, 
whilst the law forbidding the speaking of untruth is 
ever so many times repeated in the Scriptures.” 3^ In- 
deed, truth is one of the specialties of the Jewish saint. 
“The soul,” the moralist remarks, “is extracted from 
the place of the holy spirit, hewn out from a place all 
purity. She is created of the superior splendour, the 
throne of glory. In the Holy of Holies, there is 
no falsehood ; all is truth ; as it is said : ‘ God — 

truth.'. . . He who will meditate over these things, that 
his soul is extracted from the very source of truth, 
will do truth ; never allow a lie an inlet into the place 



of the holiness of truth.*' 37 ‘‘Truth,’* again the ancient 
Rabbis said, is the seal of the Holy One, blessed be 
he,” and everything proceeding from the saint, either 
in thought, or in word, or in deed, would bear this 
impress. He speaks the truth in his very heart. 
Untruth has no existence for him, and he would, 
under no consideration, agree to any concession or 
compromise in this direction. Thus, one of the saints 
prescribes, ‘‘Guard thyself against anger, flattery, and 
falsehood. If untruth has become a matter of habit 
with thee, make it a rule to tell people, ‘ I lied,’ and 
thus thou wilt accustom thyself that no falsehood 
escape thy mouth.” 3® “The Messiah will come,” 
a Jewish saint said, “only when the world will have 
realised that to speak an untruth is as heinous a 
crime as adultery.” 39 The same saint was wont to say 
to his disciples, “Rather allow your soul to expire 
than that an untruth should proceed from your 
mouth,” and considered this prohibitive commandment 
among the precepts of the Torah for which man is 
bound to undergo martyrdom.'^® It is of this saint, or 
a pupil of his, that the story is recorded that the 
Russian Government, suspecting the Jews of his town 
of smuggling, consented to withdraw the charge if he 
declared his brethren innocent. Having no alternative 
but either to bring misfortune on his brethren or to tell 
an untruth, he prayed to God to save him from this 
dilemma by sending death upon him. And, lo, a 
miracle happened! When the officials came to fetch 
him before the law court, they found him dead. 



The last paragraph brings us to that part in the 
programme of the saint which the Talmud calls ‘‘laws 
regulating the relations between man and man,” and 
which we would classify under the general heading of 
conduct. “He who is desirous of being a saint,” one 
Rabbi remarked, 'Tet him fulfil the precepts of that 
part of the law which deals with ‘damages.* ” In 
observing these, he avoids everything that might result 
in an injury to his fellow-man. We need not enlarge 
here upon matters of commonplace integrity, “which 
it is no honour to have, but simply a disgrace to want.** 
Lying, backbiting, slandering, and the acquisition of 
wealth by dishonest means come under the prohibitive 
laws, the transgression of which has, according to the 
Rabbis, a defiling effect, and they are put into the same 
category as murder and idolatry.^® It is thus no 
special mark of saintliness to avoid these deadly sins. 
But the saint would go further : he would speak the 
truth in his very heart. He would, for instance, con- 
sider himself bound to a money transaction even when 
the promise made never assumed the shape of a com- 
mittal by word of mouth, having been only a deter- 
mination of the heart. -*3 As to avoiding injury, he 
would do this at the very risk of his life, though not 
bound to do so by the letter of the law. Thus, when 
the Roman Government once besieged the town of 
Lydda, and insisted upon the extradition of a certain 
Ula bar Koseheb, threatening the defenders with the 
destruction of the place and the massacre of its in- 
habitants in the case of further resistance, R. Joshua 


ben Levi exerted his influence with Ula, that he would 
voluntarily deliver himself to the Romans, so that the 
place might be saved. Thereupon, the Prophet Elijah, 
who often had communion with R. Joshua ben Levi, 
stopped his visits. After a great deal of penailce, 
which the Rabbi imposed upon himself, Elijah came 
back and said, ‘'Am I expected to reveal myself 
to informers?'' Whereupon the Rabbi asked, “ Have 
I not acted in accordance with the strict letter of the 
law?" “But," retorted Elijah, “this is not the 
law of the saints." 

By injury is also understood anything which 
might cause one’s fellow-man the feeling of nausea or 
disgust. As it would seem, these were cases which 
the court could not well reach. They fell under the 
class of secret things, but the rabbis applied to them 
the verse in Ecclesiastes (12 : 14), “God shall bring 
eveiy work into judgment with every secret thing." 
But we have on record that there were saints who 
made it a specialty to go about cleaning such public 
places as by the carelessness of passers-by might 
have proved offensive to the public. 

Altogether, there is no room in the soul of the 
saint for those ugly qualities which, in one way or 
another, are bound to impair the proper relations 
between man and his fellow-man. These are, accord- 
ing to one authority, “pride, anger, petulance, des- 
pair, hatred, jealousy, dissipation, covetousness, desire 
for power, and self-assertion." They all belong to the 
ugly qualities of man, making man's communion with 



God impossible, and hence are incompatible with saintli- 
ness/' ‘‘Pride," or vanity, it is pointed out, “is at 
the root of all evils," man setting up himself as an 
idol, worshipping his own self, and thus bound to 
come into collision with both God and feIlow-man/7 
Hence, the prayer at the conclusion of the Eighteen 
Benedictions ; “O my God ! Guard my tongue from 
evil and my lips from speaking guile 5 and to such as 
curse me let my soul be dumb, yea, let my soul be 
unto all as the dust." Man's love of self is, how- 
ever, too deeply rooted to be overcome by these 
reminders, few and too far between. We therefore 
read of a saint who was overheard constantly whis- 
pering the prayer : “ May the Merciful save me from 
pride." “The man who has a taint of pride or inso- 
lence, though he be righteous and upright in all other 
respects, is worth nothing. Indeed, a man may fulfil 
ever so many laws and fast six days in the week, and 
be nevertheless a disciple of the wicked Balaam," who 
though a prophet was of a haughty spirit and a 
swelled soul, and thus destined to perdition. 
The same saint was in the habit of saying, “The 
devil will make man all possible concessions, if he 
can only succeed in impressing upon him the fact of 
his prominence and his greatness. He will show him 
what a great scholar he is, what a pious man he is, 
what a great orator he is, what a clear fine hand he 
writes, what a fine figure he makes when dancing, 
and so on." 5 ® Should a man happen to be devoid of 
all accomplishments, and a fool in the bargain, he 



will compliment him on his sagacity and wisdom. 
Should he be lacking in all sympathy with religion, 
especially of the practical and living kind, he will con- 
gratulate him on his deep spirituality. Infatuated 
with his own importance, man before long will be in 
opposition to man and God, who keep his due from 
him. The best remedy against this ugly quality is 
love. Hence the warning of the saint : ‘ He who 

hates an Israelite, hates Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
the grandsircs of Israel.' " Again, he who hates man, 
hates the Holy One, blessed be he, who created man. 
We are all children unto the Lord our God, all souls 
rooting in him.^^ The injunction of the saint is, there- 
fore, Let man love all creatures, including Gentiles, 
and let him envy none."^* This, by the way, is the 
distinct precept of the Jewish saint of the sixteenth 
century. It is not known to rtie that any Christian 
saint of the same period made the love of the Jew a 
condition of saintliness. This is a love which leaves 
no room for self. Man will not succeed in attaining 
to this love until he has acquired the virtues of humil- 
ity and meekness. There is hardly any Jewish moral- 
ist who does not enlarge upon the significance of 
humility, and the references to it would easily fill a 
volume, One.of the most emphatic is, '‘Be exceed- 
ingly lowly of spirit, since the hope of man is but the 
worm." 53 

Man must be so thoroughly convinced of his own 
unworthiness, that he is even bidden to love those 
who rebuke him and hate those who praise him.54 



Nay, he should feel under torture when he hears his 
own praise, as it is sure to be undeserved. In addi- 
tion to this, there is with the saint the conception 
of the superiority of his fellow-man, which proves 
another stimulus toward the cultivation of meekness 
and humbleness. When man quits the world, he 
is asked, according to an ancient Midrash, ‘^Hast 
thou been busy in the study of the Torah, and in 
works of lovingkindness? Hast thou declared thy 
Maker as King morning and evening? Hast thou 
acknowledged thy fellow-man as king over thee 
in meekness of spirit?'' ^6 Man should accordingly 
perceive in his fellow-man not only an equal whose 
rights he is bound to respect, but a superior whom he 
is obliged to revere and love. In every person, it is 
pointed out by these saints, precious and noble ele- 
ments are latent, not to be found with anybody else. 
In fact, every human being is a servant of God in 
posse. One of these saints declined to be considered 
as one of the righteoife of his generation, saying he 
had no right to this distinction so long as he felt 
that he loved his children better than the rest of man- 
kind. -^7 Whenever the saint heard of a birth in the 
community, he used to break out in wild joy, wel- 
coming the new-born child as a future volunteer in 
the service of God, taking his or her place in the rank 
and file of militant Judaism. Hence, the prayer of 
certain of these saints : May it be thy will that we 
shall not sin either against thee or against thy crea- 
tures whilst another saint used to add to his morn- 



prayer, the short prayer, ‘"O God, establish in my 
heart faith, humility, and mieekness/' and his favourite 
saying was, ‘‘As a man is anxious for his very life, so 
should he be anxious to be permeated by the thought 
that he is less important than anybody else/’ sq pje 
used especially to be very severe with his family when 
they unkind to his domestics. Another of 
the saints expresses it, “ Let each man be considered 
in thy eyes as better than thou, even the servant in 
thy house.” ^ Of one of these godly men legend re- 
ports that he was in the habit of addressing all the 
people with whom he came in contact as “saints,” or 
“righteous ones,” and, indeed, believing them to be 
so. One day, the story is, when walking in the street, 
he saw two cabmen fighting over the right of way, 
giving force to their arguments with the whips whicli 
they applied to each other. The godly man was 
embarrassed, and he prayed, “Lord of the universe, it 
is my duty to separate them, but who dares interfere 
between two saints?” 

Another consequence of this love is that men 
should never break out in anger against any one. 
This is a precept to be found in all the moralist litera- 
ture of the different ages, but R. Joseph Caro, even 
the author of tlie Shulchan Aruch^ in the special manual 
for his own guidance adds, that anger should be 
avoided even in the cause of religion, where zeal 
for the glory of God might give some justification for 
it.^* Indeed, we should love all, including those who 
‘ have gone astray, this being the only means of bring- 


ing them back into the fold. When a certain pious 
man came to the saint, asking his advice as to what 
he should do with his son who had left the faith of 
his ancestors, the answer was, ‘‘ Love him. The in- 
fluence of thy love will be his salvation.'' And so it 
came to pass. Of another saint, the story is that he 
used to make special journeys to places settled by 
converts to the dominant religion. To these converts 
he made a gift of his share of the bliss awaiting the 
pious in the world to come, at the same time eliciting 
the promise that they would read every day the verse, 
rOK', ‘‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the 
Lord is One." This proved a link between them and 
the faith they had left, to which, in time, many of 
them returned.^® Indeed, prayer must be universal, 
lie who prays shall not direct his attention to him- 
self. Any prayer in which the whole of Israel is 
not included, is no prayer. Nay, one must pray 
even for the wicked among the Gentiles.^^ Of 
course, there were other saints who were distin- 
guished more by their zeal than by their powers 
of persuasion. They were good haters, and Elijah 
was their model, but it may be said in their 
favour, that so far as Judaism is concerned their 
motives were pure 5 their zeal was never dictated by 
consideration of self or by ambition. Sometimes I 
am inclined to think that the haters and the lovers 
were both right. 

In matters of philanthropy, the saint would be 
inclined to extravagance. “It is a strange though 



true thing,” some philosopher has remarked, “that 
virtue itself has need of limits.” At a certain epoch 
in history, when mendicancy was made a special sign 
of holiness, the Rabbis drew the limit when they s^iid, 
“He who wishes to be lavish in his philanthropic 
work, let him not spend more than twenty per cent of 
his income.” The saint transgresses this limit, 
taking as his norm, “What is mine is thine, and what 
is thine is thine.” He would also remove any barrier 
or obstacle preventing the poor from reaching him 
personally, whilst he would, at the same time, save 
no effort to make others do their duty to the poor.^^^ 
And this duty practically means to make the poor 
equal partners in one's property. Thus, in the sacred 
letter of R. Shneor (Senior) Zalman, a well-known 
saint of Russia, he writes to his adherents to the 
following effect : 

“ My beloved ones, my brethren and my friends : — I have no 
doubt about the distress of the time. The means of getting a 
livelihood have become very small, and certain acquaintances 
of mine, whom I knew to have been in prosperous circum- 
stances, are now compelled to borrow in order to maintain their 
families. May the Lord have mercy upon them. Nevertheless, 
they do not act properly when they shut their hands and refuse 
to supply the poor with their needs. If we have no mercy with 
them, who will ? It is true that the law teaches that man's own 
life comes first, but this is to be applied only to things on which 
life depends, as, for instance, ^hen men are in a desert, and there 
is sufficient water to quench the thirst of only one person, and 
save him from death. In this case we say that the owner has 
first right upon it But if it is a question of bread and clothes 
and wood on one side, and dinners with fish and meat and fruit 
on the other side, the latter have to be given up as things super- 



fluous. First the poor must be provided with the necessaries 
of life. This is the real meaning of the law, but it is indeed 
not worthy of a man to insist upon the law in such cases. He 
ought not to think of his life. We are all in need of the mercy 
of heaven, and those who have no mercy on earth, be their 
reason what it may, can never hope for God’s mercy.” 

He then proceeds, in a long, mystical discourse, to 
show how this grace of heaven can be encouraged to 
flow into the proper channels, as the term is, only by 
manifestations of grace on earth, heaven and earth 
acting in harmony to reveal the great attribute of love. 

The literature and stories bearing on charity and 
the saint’s share in it are too extensive to be entered 
upon here, even in a casual Wciy. The greatest sacri- 
fice is told of a certain Rabbi who used to save the 
whole of the year enpugh money to enable him to 
buy an Ethrog for the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23: 
40). When he 'was in possession of six rubles 
he made a special journey from his village to Brody, 
to buy the Ethrog. But on the way he met a poor 
man who made a livelihood by means of his horse-cart, 
on which he carried water for the neighbourhood. Un- 
fortunately, the horse died on the way. Thereupon 
the Rabbi gave him his six rubles to buy another 
beast, saying, What is the difference ? To buy an 
Ethrog is a command of God, and to help this poor 
man is also a command of God.” Naturally, a mir- 
acle happened afterwards. The Rabbi was presented 
by some rich man with a fine Ethrog for the feast. 

I will only remark that charity belongs, according to 
the mystics, to the commandments that work a certain 



re-birth in man, or rather give a new soul to those 
who make strenuous efforts to fulfil them.^ 

It will, perhaps, be interesting to hear, that these 
saints were by no means so unpractical as their mys- 
tical discourses would lead us to imagine. The suc- 
cessor of this R. Shneor Zalman, Rabbi Beer, in an 
epistle written in a time of great distress and perse- 
cution, writes to his followers not to engage so much 
in commerce. 

The best for you,*^ he says, is to learn proper 
trades, in factories, under the superintendence of prac- 
tical men/' He also gives them counsel to take up 
agricultural pursuits, buy land either from the great 
landlords, or from the Government, and employ for 
the first two or three years non-Jews who will teach 
them this new vocation. “ Did we not," he says, “ in 
Palestine derive all our livelihood from our labour in 
field and in vineyard? It is only in this way," he 
says, '‘that we can hope to find favour with the Gov- 
ernment. Who knows what will be our end ? They 
may, God forbid, expel us to some far-away coun- 
try." 7^ 

Sympathy and tenderness are by the saint not con- 
fined to the human species. They extend also to 
dumb creation.* Thus we read in the "Little Rook of 
Saints," "Refrain thy kindness and thy mercy from 
nothing which the Holy One, blessed be he, created 
in this world. Never beat nor inflict pain on any ani- 
mal, beast, bird, or insect; nor throw stones at a dog 
or a cat; nor kill flies or wasps." 7* Indeed, man will 



be punished who will make his animal carry larger 
burdens than it is able to bear. In connexion with 
this, we read the story of a man who was cruel to his 
dog. The dog, however, sought refuge under the 
robes of a sage. When the man approached the 
dog with the purpose of beating him, the sage pro- 
tested with the words, ‘'Since this dog sought my 
protection, you shall not touch it,” and applied to him 
the verse in Genesis ( 19 : 8 ), “Only unto these do 
nothing, for they came under the shadow of my roof” 7® 
Another story illustrating the same trait in the saint is 
the following : R. Isaac Loria weis once the guest of 
a good and upright man. Before he left, the saint 
said to his host, “How can I compensate you for 
your kind hospitality?” The master of the house 
then answered that his only grief was that God had 
not given him the blessing of children. Whereupon 
Loria, who knew everything going on in heaven and 
earth, said to him, “ The cause of your misfortune is, 
that you were not kind to animals.” After making 
inquiries it turned out that the man had poultry in his 
yard, with a cistern in it. In this cistern there was a 
ladder by means of which the water at the bottom 
could be reached by the young chickens as yet unable 
to use their wings. Once his wife inadvertently 
had the ladder removed, which fact was the cause of 
great suffering to the animals. The man replaced the 
ladder, and the children came in due time.73 

The relations between the sexes are regulated by 
the law. Judaism, as we know, not only did not 



encourage, but distinctly objected to celibacy. Only 
one or two instances are recorded of* Jewish saints 
who remained single all their lives. But, on the 
other hand, if marriage was not made a sacrament 
in the Roman Catholic sense, it was a thing holy. 
Maimonides, with that fine tact so characteristic of 
him, grouped the marriage laws under the general 
heading of “ Kedushah’* (Holiness); whilst Nachman- 
ides wrote a whole treatise called the ‘‘ ^Sacred Letter,” 
dealing exclusively with the most intimate moments 
in the lives of the sexes, and showing how even such 
functions as were declared by other religions as dis- 
tinctly animalic, can with the saint be elevated into 
moments of worship and religious exaltation. It is, 
in fact, a vindication of the flesh from a religious point 
of view. All the more strongly did the Jewish saint 
insist upon making these relations pure and chaste, 
stigmatising even an impure thought as being as bad 
as an impure action, if not worse. It was only by 
reason of the purification of these relations and their 
thorough sanctification, that the whole vocabulary of 
love could afterwards, in moments of rapture and 
ecstasy, be used by the saints in their prayers and 
hymns, to symbolise the relation between the human 
and the Divine, and the longing of man for the 
moment of total absorption in the Deity. The Song 
of Songs became the great allegory, picturing the 
connexion between God and Israel. The act of rev- 
elation is described as the wedding between heaven 
and earth. The death of the righteous, when the 



soul returns unto God, is described as a kiss ; whilst 
each individual mystic considered his particular action 
of losing himself in the Divine as a new matrimo- 
nial act. 

I have referred once or twice to saints who were 
visited by angels, who had peculiar visions, and who 
even wrought miracles. Writing for a modern 
public, I consider it due to these true saints that the 
reader should not suspect them of untruth, because of 
failure to reconcile these happenings with his own 
experiences. Things absolutely impossible to us 
may have been, and, indeed, were, an actual reality 
with them. Ruskin, in his lecture, ‘‘Pleasures of 
Faith,*' given in a not less sceptical age than ours, 
thus said to his hearers: 

“You have all been taught by Lord Macaulay and his school 
that because you have carpets instead of rushes for your feet ; 
and feather-beds instead of fern for your backs ; and kickshaws 
instead of beef for your eating ; and drains instead of holy 
wells for your drinking ; — that, therefore, you are the cream of 
creation, and every one of you a seven-headed Solomon. Stay 
in those pleasant circumstances and convictions, if you please ; 
but don’t accuse your roughly-bred and fed fathers of telling 
lies about the aspect the earth and sky bore to them , — till you 
have trodden the earth as they, barefoot, and seen the heavens 
as they, face to face.” 

I grudge no one his Persian rugs or his mineral- 
waters. I have even personally a sneaking desire 
for such things, and do prefer the electric light to 
the tallow-candle with which I was .brought up. 
But one has a right to resent the superior smile which 
one meets when speaking of those times and those 



men. I find that the terms saints, mystics, and 
Cabbalists, are used as terms of reproach nowadays. 
This attitude is quite inconceivable to me. Has the 
German nation ever disowned its Master. Ekkehart, 
or its Boehme? Has the French nation ever looked 
with contempt on the School of the Jansenists, or is 
it not even more proud of Pascal's Pensecs than of his 
scientific discoveries? If one will attempt to live 
like these saints, he will have the same experiences. 
Let him try only to spend nine hours a day in prayer, 
and the rest in the study of the Law, and in the relief 
of suffering; to fast six days out ofseven, and break 
the fast on bread and water; to give to sleep three 
hours out of twenty-four, and these on a stone instead 
of a feather-bed. Let him make martyrdom the 
dwelling-point of his thoughts for a time, and the death 
of a martyr the goal of his ambitions and achievements. 
Let him make this experiment for half a year only, 
and see whether the experiences which he will have 
to relate will not be the same as those of a Loria, a 
Caro, and other saints. 

The saint must not be judged by the common 
standard of humanity. Consciousness of sin and 
the assurance of grace are the two great motive 
powers in the forking of religion. Without them, 
religion sinks to the level of a mere cult, or a 
kind of ethico-aesthetico-spiritual sport in which 
there is no room for devotion and submission ; but 
what is with the common religionist a mere dogma, 
is with the saint an awful reality, dominating all 



his actions and pervading all his being. Under these 
two realities — the reality of sin and the reality of 
grace — the saint is constantly labouring. My sin is 
ever before me/’ is the cry of the Psalmist, and it is 
echoed by every Jewish saint. Hence the tendency 
toward self-accusation so manifest in many a compo- 
sition by the Jewish saints. Sometimes it is the sin 
of his fellow-man for which he holds himself fully 
responsible. We possess formulas of confessions writ- 
ten and read by Jewish saints, in which they arraign 
themselves for the most heinous offences, and which 
it would take a dozen lifetimes to commit. This is 
rightly explained on the ground that the sense of 
solidarity and responsibility was so keen with the 
Jewish saint that he saw nothing incongruous in plead- 
ing guilty to the sum total of iniquities committed by his 
contemporaries. 74 But, with the Psalmist, he is equally 
certain of the assurance expressed in the passage, 
have set God before me continually ; for with him at 
my right hand I cannot be moved. Therefore my 
heart is glad and my glory exults, my flesh also 
dwells in safety.” 75 One of our higher critics thinks 
that these verses may, without effort, be called Chris- 
tian. I am proud to call them Jewish. The notion 
of the permanency of the Divine Presence is the great 
safeguard against sin. The exhortation to feel shame 
before the Holy One, blessed be he, who is present 
everywhere and witnesses man’s deeds, is a favourite 
appeal with all the Jewish moralists. The saint, how- 
ever, is so strongly overawed by the shame before 



God, that he said : sinful thought should bring a 

blush to man’s face, and make him experience the 
same sensation of confusion and shame, as he would 
at the sudden appearance of an intimate friend at the 
moment when he is about to engage in some dis- 
graceful action.” Thus the saint "‘cannot be moved,” 
but when a slip happens, there is the Divine grace 
surviving sin, whicli latter is only an outcome of 
human frailty. The very realisation on the part of 
man of his loss through his departure from God has 
brought him back to God; or, as a Jewish liturgical 
poet expressed it, ''And where shall I flee, if not from 
thee to thee?” Hence the despondency bordering 
on despair which you will find in the composition of 
many a saint, but which suddenly passes into exalta- 
tion and joy. For, indeed, for him the world is God- 
full, though disfigured by sin and misery; but, even 
in the depths of this misery and sin, the saint divines 
those "'inshinings of the pure rays of holy celestial 
light,” which, in God’s own time, will lift and purify 
fallen creation. The Devil himself is an angel of 
God, though a fallen angel, and he has to be prayed 
for, whilst the hope is expressed that Hell itself will, 
with the disappearance of sin, be converted into a 
Paradise. 7® 

The period of struggle in the life of the saint, and 
the stage of serenity and peace following upon it, are 
described by one of the saints in the following words : 

“And when the soul has realised God's omnipotence and 
his greatness, she prostrates herself in dread before his great- 



ness and glory, and remains in this state till she receives his 
assurance, when her fear and anxiety cease. Then she drinks of 
the cup of love to God. She has no other occupation than his 
service, no other thought than of him, no other intent than the 
accomplishment of his will, and no other utterance than his 

But even during his struggle the fear of the saint is 
not of punishment, for suffering is looked upon by liim 
as another token of God’s love, indeed, as a gift of 
heaven ; nor is his hope connected with reward, which 
he would consider unworthy and mercenary. Death 
has no terrors for him. “When I am afar from 
thee,” prayed an ancient Jewish saint, “my death is 
in my life; when I cleave to thee, my life is in my 
death.” 78 What he dreads is separation from God, 
what he longs for is fellowship with God. 

Some mystics defined the saint, or tlie Chasid, as 
one who acts Chasid-like with his Maker , wlu'ch 
may be interpreted to mean that not only does he 
not insist upon the letter of the Law, but all his 
worship is an act of grace without any hope of reward 
or fear of punishment. ^9 

One of the saints expressed this thought in the 
following rather bold words : 

“ I have no wish for thy Paradise, nor any desire 
for the bliss in the world to come. I want thee and 
thee alone.” ^ ' 


p:ngland ^ 

Jews and Anglo-Saxons 

I beg to submit to your readers the following pas- 
sage taken from '‘The Letters of Robert Louis 

What a strange idea to think me a Jew-hater ! Isaiah and 
David and Heine are good enough for me, and 1 leave more 
unsaid. . . . The ascendant hand is what I feel most strongly ; 
I am bound in and with my forbears ; were he one of mine 1 
should not be struck at all by Mr, Moss, of Bevis Marks, I 
should still see behind him Moses of the Mount and the Tables, 
and the shining face. We are nobly born ; fortunate those who 
know it ; blessed those who remember. 

I quote Stevenson as an author familiar to your 
readers. The same sentiment, however, is exprc.ssed, 
if less forcibly, by hundreds of Jewish writers in an- 
cient and modern times, all of which goes to show that 
the now fashionable cry (among the Little-Israelites), 
of our being Anglo-Saxons or Englishmen of the 
Jewish persuasion, is but a sickly platitude. 

Those familiar with Judaica know that the cry was 
raised in Germany some generations ago, many Rab- 
bis and many more laymen shouting it with the whole 
power of their lungs: “We are Gcrmancn of the 
Mosaic persuasion !" The theory is now exploded in 
Germany, and our repeating such platitudes after the 
terrible experience of the last decades can only be 



explained on the principle of Martineau, who remarks 
somewhere that in matters intellectual the English are 
sometimes apt to act as the younger brothers of the 
Germans, putting on the trousers which their elder 
brothers left off wearing years ago. 

The doctrine professed now by those who are not 
carried away by the new-fangled ''yellow " theology 
is, there is no Judaism without Jews, and there are no 
Jews without Judaism. We can thus only be Jews of the 
Jewish persuasion. Blessed those who remember!” 

Jews as Missionaries 

I offer for the consideration of your readers another 
quotation. It is taken from a correspondence, still in 
manuscript, between two scholars of my acquaint- 
ance: “Can you imagine the ancient chosen people 
of God going about begging for a nationality — clamor- 
ing everywhere, ‘We are you I’ — joining the Boxers of 
every nation on earth, and using the last crumbs of 
the sacred language in which God-Shalom addressed 
his children to invoke his blessing upon the ' Mitrail- 
leuse,’ the 'Kruppgun,’ ‘Dum-dum’ and 'Long-tom,’ 
and other anti-Messianic contrivances?” 

The terrible irony of the situation becomes ap- 
parent when we remember that while millions of 
Aryans lay eager claim to the name and heritage of 
Israel, Israel, ashamed of its Semitic origin, seeks 
to disavow itself and to ape the Occident in all things 
except its admiration for Israel. It has become for it 
almost a sacred duty to occidentalise its religion. It 



forgets all the while that, however richly endowed the 
European genius may be, religion is not one of its 
gifts. Not a single European god has survived the 
awakening of mankind from savagery and barbarism. 
Nor has Europe produced a single great religious 
founder. St. Francis of Assisi, the hero of modern 
sentimentalism, remains, despite all decoration in tlie 
latest French style, a crude imitation of the Semitic 

But perhaps the saddest feature amid so much that 
is farcical is that we still profess to have a mission to 
the world. The idea of this mission is certainly an 
old one. A community forming a Kingdom of Priests 
must have the whole world for its parish. But is the 
constant endeavour to level down the intellectual and 
spiritual standard to that of our surroundings com- 
patible with the missionary ideal ? Missionaries are 
only witlt the people, but not of the people. They 
share their griefs, but hold aloof from their orgies. 
They convert the world, but do not allow the world 
to convert them. They neither court popularity nor 
pander to prejudice. They must destroy the idol be- 
fore they can proclaim the God. Abraham, the first 
missionary, the ‘'P'riend of God,’' had to stand alone 
contra inunduni^ a*nd in this his real greatness is said 
to have consisted. Such passive virtues as we may 
possess arc somewhat too common to be very im- 
posing, while our success in the various callings of life 
is of too material a nature to be used as a spiritual 
weapon. In the realms of pure thought we remain in 



spite of all our boasting only second-rate, not posses- 
sing a single man who might be called a leader of 
thought. It is more than passing strange that under 
the screw of the Inquisition and the Chcrcin we could 
produce a Spinoza, while to-day, with all our pros- 
perity, we cannot show even a commentator on 
Spinoza. But the world will never be conquered by 
mediocrities. If, then, our endless talk about a reli- 
gious mission is not to degenerate into mere cant, a 
religious atmosphere will have to be created quite 
different to that in which we have lived hitherto. 
This atmosphere will, in the first place, have to be 
thoroughly and intensely Jewish. The centre of 
gravity of all our thought and sympatlues will have 
to be placed, irrespective of country, among Jews. 
Whatever our political destiny may be, our religious 
destiny can never be worked out by the West in isola- 
tion. The religious energies of all our brethren of 
the West and of the East, in closest communion, will 
be required for its consummation. We have got the 
men, we have got the money, and a good deal of sys- 
tem, too, but they have the simple faith, they have the 
knowledge of Jewish lore, and they have the will and 
the strength, inured as they arc to suffering, to live 
and to die for their conception of Judaism. They 
permit no “free love"' in religion. Universality means 
with them what it meant with the prophets and their 
Jewish successors — that the whole world, should be- 
come Jews, not that Judaism should fade out into the 
world. We have the method and they have the mad- 



ness; only if we combine can the victory be ours. A 
closer communion of sympathies will probably be facil- 
itated by our devoting some more time to the Hebrew 
language, which is still the depository of all that is 
sacred to the Eastern Jew. From this literature we 
shall obtain the revelation of his standard of religious 
fervour and real spirituality, the height of which re- 
mains unsuspected and undreamt of by the Occi- 

Above all, religious enthusiasm and zeal, if they 
are to be effective, will have to be brought to the boil- 
ing point. It is only that zeal which will consume all 
worldliness, which will suffer no rival, and which will 
not falter in its devotion because of any dread of one- 
sidedness that can be of any use to the missionary. 
Now Judaism has often been accused of being defi- 
cient in enthusiasm, the great mysterious power of 
spiritual propagation. It was always inconceivable to 
me how such an accusation could be brought against 
a people which has produced the Psalms, or, in a 
later period, the great allegorical commentaries on the 
Song of Songs. But in view of the constant boast of 
our common sense, and the pains we take to avoid 
anything which might be suspected of eccentricity or 
even idealism, ouf morbid craving for the applause of 
the majority, and our eager desire to lose ourselves 
in the majority, our deification of the balance-sheet 
and the cold, stiff, business-like spirit in which our 
institutions are conducted, we cannot deny all justifi- 
cation for these attacks. I shall probably be told that 



we are acting thus as practical Englishmen. But 
where are then our John Wesleys, our Newmans, or 
even our Liddons? Surely,- they, too, were eminently 
English ! 

Spiritual Religion versus Spiritual Men 

I had occasion in my last letter to use the word 
“spirituality.” The term is obscure, and it has 
caused a good deal of confusion. A few explanatory” 
remarks, therefore, may perhaps prove instructive to 
your readers. 

Some, indeed, identify the term with “morality.'* 
There is some truth in this, inasmuch as nothing im- 
moral can possibly be spiritual. But, unfortunately, 
people arc too eager to be guided by the principle of 
Becky Sharp, according to which your chances of 
heaven increase with the number of the ciphers in your 
banking account, and they are thus inclined to think 
spirituality the exclusive privilege of wealth. Some 
witty Bishop is recorded to have said of his worldly 
brethren of the dissenting camp, “that their second 
horse stops at the church door of its own accord.” 
Our smart carriages do not stop at the synagogue or 
at any place of worship, but they are too often the 
symptoms of a spirituality betokened by a strong 
antipathy to the religion of the humbler classes, and 
an insatiable appetite for new prayers — chiefly written 
for the benefit of the poor. 

Others, again, believe spirituality to be opposed to 
the Law, and especially the ceremonial part of it. 



Their religious superiority can, therefore, only be 
shown by the rejection of both. For instance, if you 
refrain from food and drink on the Kippur, walk to 
the Synagogue, and spend the day there reading your 
ancient liturgy, and listen to an exposition by your 
preacher of the lesson from the Scriptures, then you 
are a worshipper of the common type, a slave labour- 
ing under the yoke of the letter. But if you ride up 
to the Temple after an ordinary breakfast, pass an 
hour or two there listening to an oratorio and in fol- 
lowing a sermon on the merits of the last novel of 
Hall Caine, or on the more subtle subject of the in- 
tellectual relations between Master David Grieve and 
the Reverend Robert Elsmere, and employ the rest 
of the day in looking after your affairs and taking 
your other two meals, as a rational being should, then 
you have acted as a spiritual Jew, and have worship- 
ped your God in spirit and in truth. This may seem 
a caricature, but signs are not wanting that matters 
are drifting that way. 

Now, I do not intend to give a new definition of 
‘^spirituality.'’ It is as indefinable as the spirit itself, 
and its meaning can be as little conveyed in words as 
a soul can bej^ainted. But I may be permitted to 
reproduce here the substance of a conversation 
between a foreign gentleman and myself bearing upon 
our subject, which conversation, though rambling in 
part and largely coloured by prejudice and partiality, 
is not without the merit of freshness. I must only 
premise that my benighted foreigner hailed from a 



certain town in Russia where he lived as a mere lay- 
man, occupied with his trade,- which circumstance, 
however, did not prevent him from being an excel- 
lent Talmudist and well-versed in other branches of 
Jewish literature. 

Our acquaintance is of comparatively recent date, 
and was made in a German watering place. Our con- 
versations were long and many, on all possible sub- 
jects, English Jews and English Judaism among 
them. And then there happened a strange thing. 
Whilst he spoke with the utmost deference of our 
great philanthropists and the enduring merit of their 
labours on behalf of Israel, he kiirly staggered at our 
claims to the religious leadership of Judaism. On 
my representing to him that there was probably no 
Jewish community in the world in which the subject 
of religion occupies the mind of the people so much 
as in ours, and this, too, as I added with some em- 
phasis, spiritual religion, he answered, “ That is exactly 
where we differ. You incessantly prate about a 
spiritual rcligiou^ whilst we insist upon .spiritual men'' 
When I asked for further explanation, he replied 
vehemently: “It is your Western arrogance w^ith your 
pretensions to perfection — ^your ‘ theologians, indeed, 
have never forgiven Judaism for in.sisting upon man’s 
shortcomings — which prevents you from tracing the 
evil to its real sources. It flatters your vanity to think 
yourselves demi-gods, or even gods only hyphenated 
with man. When you find your idols wallowing in 
the mire of their appetite, like any other animal, you 



proceed to blame religion for its lack of spirituality, as 
not being sublime enough for your darling gods. 
But did the Psalmist, whom even you consent to 
patronise in your moments of condescension, plead 
for new commandments, or did he pray for a new 
heart and a new spirit to perceive the wonders of the 
old ones? We, of the P^ast, have a less elevated 
opinion of ourselves. You reproach us with being 
servile and cringing, which means, in fact, that we arc 
not blind to our inferiority. Instead of blaming reli- 
gion, we reproach ourselves. It is not that which 
comes from the Torah which defiles. It is the things 
which proceed out of the man, his mental attitude 
during the performance of the Divine commandment, 
his purpose in fulfilling it, which may leave a defiling 
effect even on things heavenly and pure. ‘ Two men 
may be eating the Paschal lamb,’ say the ancient 
Rabbis, ‘the one devours it like a mere glutton, with 
the intention of satisfying his appetite, and is a 
stumbling sinner ; the other eats it with the purpose of 
showing obedience to his Maker, and is a walker in 
righteousness.’ P>en more incisive are the Jewish 
mystics who declare that ‘Torah (or religion) per- 
formed without love and awe never takes its flight 
into the regions* above.’ Man hiis thus to furnish the 
Law with wings of love and awe to make it return 
to God who gave it, and it is his fault if, instead of 
this, he becomes a dead weight to the Law, dragging 
it down to the earth and to things earthly against its 
real nature. But your much-glorified man is, unfortu- 



nately, an unreliable beast. ‘ Wherever a man is, 
there shall be a lie,’ was a favourite saying of a great 
writer. This may be an exaggeration, but he is cer- 
tainly a creature of mixed motives, full of cross-refer- 
ences, which mostly point to his own dear self.” 

My friend continued: '‘Now, having recognised 
how greatly the proper performance of a Mitzwah is 
dependent on the nature of the performer, and that it 
is man who becomes a burden to the Law, not the 
Law a burden to man, we left religion undisturbed, 
and set to work upon man. Our remedy for all evil 
is the principle, t'shmah^ or. rshmo, which insists that 
the commandments of the Torah should be carried 
out with the sole purpose of pleasing God, thus rais- 
ing the standard of the performer to that of the per- 
formance, in the same proportion as he is able to 
divest himself of worldly interests and selfish motives. 
Hence the radical difference between your ideal of a 
great man and ours. When you speak of your lead- 
ers, you praise them as 'men of affairs,’ 'great organi- 
sers,’ 'finished orators,’ 'suave diplomatists,’ 'states- 
men,’ and similar expressions, all of which have a cer- 
tain ring of worldliness and worldly success about them, 
suggesting the acting of a part, and the acting it well. 
When we get enthusiastic about our Rabbis or Zaddi- 
kim, wc describe them as 'sacred unto God,’ 'holy and 
pure,’ 'contrite of spirit’ {zerbrocheitcr Jud), or as 'men 
hiding themselves in the stuff’ (i Sam. 10 : 22), and by 
similar phrases conveying the idea of an ascetic life, a 
shrinking from publicity, — religious delicacy.” 



I interposed that asceticism was a monastic ideal, 
and that there is no room for it in Judaism. 

“Oh!” he exclaimed angrily, “this is again one of 
your platitudes. Who is Judaism? You and I, or is 
it the prophet Elijah, Rabbi Zadok, R. Simon ben 
Yochai, Bachye, and the Gaon of Wilna?” 

“To be sure,” he added, “you are the people of 
miisadar Judaism. Of course, you are only parroting 
the silly phrase prevalent some half-century ago when 
it was suddenly discovered that outdoor sports and 
good feeding and brutality of the martial kind were an 
integral part of primitive Christianity. You at once 
took up the phrase, and are now thoroughly con- 
vinced that nothing is so conducive to holiness as 
underdone beef and stout, bare knees and champion- 
ship contests at football. It is only your ignorance of 
Jewish life and Jewish thought that makes you so 
susceptible to every fashionable craze of the moment, 
and ready to claim it as the Jewish ideal.” 

In this way he went on pouring out torrents of 
abuse and speech, which I dare not repeat, but I will 
record here his concluding remark, which was to the 
following effect: “One of your philosophers,” he 
said, “maintained that the world cannot be too often 
reminded that there once lived such a person as So- 
crates, and you cannot too often remember that Baal 
Shem, R. Elijah Wilna, Krochmal, the last real great 
reformers of Judaism, not mere tiesthetes, were Rus- 
sian or Polish Jews. As for spirituality in particular, 
I will only direct your attention to a book, Nephesh 



ha-Chayirn, written by one of the pupils of R. Elijah 
Wilna with the express purpose of checking the mys- 
tical tendencies represented by the Chasidim, and I 
challenge you to show me, in your Anglo-Judaean 
publications, a single page equalling it in spirituality 
and in depth of religious feeling/’ 

I am now reading the book, and I am compelled 
to confess that our alien” was right. 

Despising a Glorious Inheritance 

Some time ago, when discussing University topics 
with a colleague, my friend made the remark that Jews 
and women are in proportion to their lesser numbers 
more strongly represented in the various branches of 
natural science — to the neglect of all other subjects — 
than any other section of the nation. With that in- 
veterate habit of ours to interpret all facts in a way 
flattering to our vanity, I at once jumped to the con- 
clusion that there must be some mysterious mental 
affinity between ''Johanna Bull ” and "Young Israel,” 
making them take up the same intellectual pursuits in 
life. My friend shook his head, and said: "The rea- 
son is .simple enough, neither Jews nor women have 
any traditions of real learning.” To be a member of 
a community in whose ears it is always dinned that it 
represents "the people of the Book,” and to be sud- 
denly told that one is a mere parvemu in the world of 
thought, is bad enough ^ but what makes it worse is 
the unfortunate circumstance that the taunt is not 
entirely devoid of truth. 


I am only a teacher, not an educationalist, and 
University statistics do not fall within the range of my 
studies i there may thus be some flaw in the figures 
which were at the disposal of my friend. But his 
remark was perfectly justified, if it was based on the 
very insignificant part we take in the study of Semit- 
ics, more particularly in that of the Hebrew language. 
In this respect we resemble much more the Japanese 
and the Hindus whose traditions are pagan, or the 
African races who have no traditions, than the dwel- 
lers of these islands with whom the original language 
of the Old Testament is an object of deep love and 
reverential study. Now and then a Jewish under- 
graduate takes advantage of his confirmation days, 
and freshening up his Parashah and his prayer-book, 
he manages to carry off a Hebrew exhibition or sizar- 
ship. On rare, very rare, occasions it even happens 
that a Jewish undergraduate takes up Semitics as a 
subject for honours. But there the matter ends. Un- 
like the Anglo-Saxon of Christian persuasion, the 
Anglo-Saxon of Jewish persuasion never becomes a 
Semitic student or even a “ Hebrew scholar,” devoting 
to the study of the sacred language all his time and 
energies. All classes of the nation are engaged in 
this labour of love — sons of Cabinet Ministers, sons of 
generals, sons of high ecclesiastics, sons of great finan- 
ciers, making theology and the study of the Hebrew 
language — ^sometimes the study of the Hebrew lan- 
guage without the theology — the sole occupation of 
their lives, toiling in it enthusiastically until their dying 



day, and enriching it with their contributions. W e are 
the only cool-headed people who remain perfectly in- 
different in the presence of all this enthusiasm. The 
consequence is that with one glorious exception we 
are as little represented in that gigantic literature 
which centres round the Bible — commentaries, arch- 
aeological researches, studies in Cuneiform and Egypt- 
ology, grammatical treatises, histories of Israel, and 
other helps to the “ Book ” — as the semi-civilised races 
mentioned above. Like politics in America, theology 
and all that is connected with it has become with us a 
close profession of no mortal interest to those who are 
not in it, which a gentleman may tolerate and even 
contribute toward maintaining, but in which he must 
never engage personally. 

The situation becomes serious when we have to 
witness that even those classes that are supposed to 
constitute the close profession of theology are gradu- 
ally drifting away from the study of the Torah, be- 
coming strangers to any deeper knowledge of Jewish 
literature. I am referring to the Jewish clergy, who, 
labouring under a cruel system which reduces man to a 
mere plaything of politico-economic forces, arc rapidly 
losing touch with the venerable Rabbi of Jewish tradi- 
tion, whose chief office was to teach and to Icm^n Torah. 
With us the duty of learning (or study of the Torah) 
seems to be of least moment in the life of the minister. 
As long as he is in statu pupillari^ most of his energies 
are directed toward acquiring the amount of secular 
learning necessary for the obtaining of a University de- 



gree, whilst in his capacity as full Reverend he is ex- 
pected to divide his time between the offices of cantor, 
prayer, preacher, book-keeper, debt-collector, al- 
moner, and social agitator. No leisure is left to him to 
enable him to increase his scanty stock of Hebrew 
knowledge acquired in his undergraduate days. Oc- 
casionally rumour spreads anent some minister, that he 
neglects his duty to his congregation through his 
being secretly addicted to Jewish learning. But such 
rumours often turn out to be sheer malice, and form in 
the worst case only the exception to the rule. Of 
course, as in so many other respects, we are also in 
this only imitating the Establishment, in which, by a 
peculiar history of its own, the man of business or the 
great organiser has of late years gained the ascen- 
dency over tlie man of thought and learning. 

Now, there is ev^en in the Church a party which 
resents this ascendency, rightly feeling that souls can- 
not be “organised'' and that the qualities which go 
toward the making of a “man of God” are not ex- 
actly those required of a successful manager of a 
company. But this distrust of the man of affairs must 
grow deeper in a community professing a religion that, 
unlike Christianity, which to a certain extent began 
life with defying learning and throwing down the 
gauntlet to scholars, entered upon its career (of Rab- 
binic Judaism) with the declaration, “On three things 
the world is based: on the study of the Torah, on 
worship, and on lovingkindness.” Such a religion 
cannot well convert itself suddenly into a large charity 



agency, without doing serious injury to one of its 
most important life-springs. Nor must it be forgot- 
ten that the Church is not quite dependent for its 
necessary modicum of learning upon the bishops’ 
bench or on the rest of the active clergy. For this 
ample provision is made in our great universities 
where Queen Theology is still holding her own, and 
where there is hardly any branch of divinity for which 
a chair was not created and endowed in such a way 
as to make its occupation desirable. But there is 
naturally little room in our alma mater for that special 
sort of learning of which the Synagogue is in need 
(of post-Biblical literature), whilst we can hardly hope 
that the laity will devote itself to a subject holding out 
little hope of success in the world and public recogni- 
tion. We can, therefore, only rely upon our Rabbis, 
who were always considered the depositaries of the 
Torah, to remain faithful to their trust; and unless we 
choose to degenerate into a mere ranting sect, we 
shall have to give up looking upon our ministers as a 
sort of superior clerks in whom the business-like ca- 
pacity is more in demand than any other virtues they 
may possess. 

But if there was ever a time when a revival of 
Hebrew learning meant the very existence of Judaism, 
it is this. It must be clear to everybody, I think, 
who does not allow himself to be deceived by the few 
political distinctions which have fallen to our share 
within the last fifty years, that the new century does 
not open under very favourable auspices for Judaism. 



Everything seems to be out of gear. Our Scriptures 
are the constant object of attack, our history is ques- 
tioned, and its morality is declared to be of an inferior 
sort, our brethren are either directly persecuted, or 
allowed to exist only on sufferance everywhere with 
the exception of England and Italy. The number of 
conversions is constantly increasing, assuming in the 
less enlightened countries such frightful proportions 
as are known to history only in the days of Ferdinand 
the Catholic ; whilst even in the more civilised parts 
of the world, where we enjoy full equality with our 
fellow-citizens, some of our greatest families, forming 
in the days of yore the pride and the hope of Israel, 
are perpetually crumbling away through conscious 
and unconscious amalgamation. It is no exaggera- 
tion to say that every letter patent conferring nobility 
upon a Jew contains an indirect invitation to leave the 
Pale and join tlie majority of his new compeers. 
Worst of all is the attitude of the younger generation, 
who, if not directly hostile, arc by dint of mere ignor- 
ance sadly indifferent to everything Jewish, and thus 
incapable of taking the place of their parents in the 
Synagogue. Notwithstanding our self-congratulating 
speeches at the annual di.stributions of religious prizes, 
it is a fact thal ignorance is on the increase among 
our better situated classes. Very few are capable of 
reading their prayers, and less are able to understand 
what they read ; whilst the number of those who 
know anything of Israel's past and share in its hopes 
for Israel’s future, forms almost a negligible quan- 



tity. I'hose who have some dim recollection of the 
religious exercises practised in the houses of their 
fathers, still entertain some warm regard for Jewish 
life and Jewish ways of thinking but religious warmth, 
like heat in general, is apt to evaporate with the in- 
creasing distance of the conductors, and the children 
or the grandchildren of these sympathetic lookers-on 
are bound to end in that cold critical attitude toward 
Judaism terminating in the drifting away from it al- 

The outlook is thus dark enough ; dark enough, 
indeed, to be followed by some great revival or renais- 
sance, or as the Rabbis put it : “ The redemption of 
Israel is preceded, like the dawn, by intense darkness, 
as it is said : When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall 
be a light unto me/’ Now the Renaissance is usueilly 
described as the moment in history in which man dis- 
covered himself In a similar way the Jew will also 
have to re-discover himself This discovery, which 
should be undertaken with a view to strengthening 
the Jewish consciousness, can be made only by means 
of Jewish literature, which retains all that is immortal 
in the nation. There it Avill be found that we have no 
need to borrow commentaries on our Scriptures from 
the Christians, nor constantly to use foreign fertilisers 
in our sermons. Jewish soil is rich enough for all 
purposes, and those who, instead of using their dic- 
tionary of quotations and other aids to pious com- 
position, will courageously dig in the perennial mines 
of Jewish thought, will find that there is no need to 



go begging for an “ over-soul ” from Emerson, or for 
crumbs of a tame pantheism from Wordsworth, or for 
a somewhat brusque immortality from Tennyson, or 
even for a Kingdom of God with something like a 
converted political economy from Ruskin. I yield to 
no man in respect for these writers, but unless we are 
prepared to see the Synagogue lose its Jewish com- 
plexion, the Jewish pulpit must be reserved for tlie 
teaching of the Bible with such illustrative matter as 
is to be found in the Mechilta, Siphre, Pesikta, and in 
the writings of Ibn Gabirol, Jehudah Halevi, Maimon- 
ides, Nachmanides, Luzzatto, the Gaon, the Baal 
Shem, and other Jewish classics. 

Above all, however, it is, as already indicated, of 
supreme importance that we re-possess ourselves of 
our Scriptures. The Torah is, as the Rabbis express 
it, '' the bride of the congregation of Jacob,” but to ac- 
quire a knowledge of it through the medium of Chris- 
tian commentaries means to love by proxy, and never 
to gain the spiritual nearness which made it so easy 
for our ancestors to die and even to live for it. I am 
not unmindful of the profit which the Biblical student 
may derive from the works of such men as t^wald, 
Dillmann, Kuenen, and many others of the same 
schools. But it*must not be forgotten that there is 
such a thing as a Christian bias, prevalent even in 
works of the Higher Criticism, and to ignore Rashi, 
Ibn Ezra, and Kimchi, in favor of Stade and Duhm, 
means to move from the Judengasse ” into the Chris- 
tian Ghetto. With Christian commentators, whether 



orthodox or liberal, the Old Testament is only a pre- 
amble to the New Testament, all the prophecies and 
hope of salvation culminating in Jesus. Post- Biblical 
Judaism is almost entirely neglected by them, in spite 
of the light it may shed on many Biblical points, 
insisting as they do that Jewish history terminated 
about tlie year 30 of our era. With the Jew the Old 
Testament is final, though its aspects may vary with 
the interpretation given to it by an ever-changing his- 
tory and differing phases of thought, whilst it is Israel, 
■'‘the servant of God,’' in whom all the promises and 
hopes of the Prophets centre. It is in this spirit that 
a Jewish commentary should be written to the whole 
of the Bible (including the Apocrypha) for the great 
majority of the Jewish public, with whom the Scrip- 
tures should again become an object both of study 
and of edification. This should be the next task to 
which our clergy should devote themselves in the near 
future. But a quite different standard of learning will 
have to be created to enable them to undertake such 
a task. Our ministry will surely rejoice in the op- 
portunity of being translated from the noisy platform, 
with its temptation of loathsome and vulgar self-adver- 
tisement, to the quiet study, and the community, if it 
is as much alive to the duties of the West End as it is 
to its responsibilities to the East End, will have to re- 
lieve the minister from many an uncongenial and un- 
profitable duty, which not only makes learning among 
us impossible, but deters many a noble and indepen- 
dent thinker from entering the sacred profession to 
which he could add only lustre. 



Safed is a small city in Upper Galilee situated on 
a hill in a mountainous country, and forming part 
of the Holy Land assigned in the Scriptures to the 
tribe of Naphtali. Of the various cities of Palestine 
boasting of a large Jewish population it is relatively 
the most modern. Neither the Bible nor the Talmud 
has any definite reference to it, whilst the mention of 
a locality Zephed, by Kalir, is obscure, and can serve 
little for purposes of identification.^ 

Yet this was the spot of which R. Joseph Caro 
wrote in the sixteenth century : “After nearly fifteen 
hundred years of living in the exile and persecution, 
he (God) remembered unto his people his covenant 
with their fathers, and brought them back from their 
captivity, one of a city and two of a family, from the 
corners of the earth to the land of glory, and they 
settled in the cit;^ of Safed, the desire of all lands.”* 
The impulse under which the “one of a city and 
two of a family” acted when they preferred the “land 
of glory” to the great commercial centres of Europe 
was a religious one. 

Samuel Usque, the famous author of the “ Con- 
solacam as tiHhnlacocs de YsracC' ( “ The Consolation and 



the Tribulations of Israel”), has the following passage 
in praise of the country in which most of his fellow- 
sufferers from the Pyrenean peninsula found an asylum : 
“Great Turkey, . . . there the gates of freedom and 
equal opportunity for the unhindered practice of 
Jewish worship are ever open to Israel ; they are never 
closed against thee. There thou canst renew thy in- 
ward life, change thy condition, strip off thy habits, 
cast away erroneous teachings, recover thy ancient 
truths, and abandon the practices which, by the violence 
of the nations among which thou wast a pilgrim, thou 
wast forced to imitate. In this land thou receivest 
boundless grace from the Lord, since therein he grant- 
eth thee unlimited freedom to begin thy repentance.” ^ 

The inducement thus held out to the exiled from 
Spain and Portugal was not only that they would in 
the new country be allowed to serve their God, with- 
out let or hindrance, but also that an opportunity 
would be granted them of a total regeneration and 
renewal of heart. 

The sense of sin apparently weighing so heavily on 
Usque may be detected also in other writers, as, for 
instance, Joseph Jabez, who depicted the spiritual con- 
dition of the Jews in Spain in the darkest colours, and 
describes the men who witnessed the expulsion as an 
'‘evil generation, increasing rebellions and transgres- 
sions without number.” He declared that it was 
mainly the Spanish Jewesses who remained faithful, and 
who themselves suffered, and made their husbands 
suffer, martyrdom for the Sanctification of the Name.-* 



Anotlicr instance is found in the chronicler Abraham 
ben Solomon, of Torrutiel in Spain, who says, '‘Our 
iniquities had increased over our heads, and our 
trespasses had grown up unto the heavens, seeing the 
evils and the sin and the terrible pride so rampant 
among the Jews in the kingdom of Spain/' Jabez and 
Abraham ben Solomon belonged to the anti-rationalistic 
party of the Spanish Jews, and may have exaggerated 
the evils of the situation in their accusations, but their 
feelings were very likely shared, to some extent, by all 
other exiles.5 Nathan Nata of Hanover, the well-known 
author of the Yevcn concludes his account of 

the terrible suffering of the Jews during the Chmielnicki 
persecution with the words: “What shall we speak, or 
how shall wc call ourselves? The Lord has found out 
our sins. Does God execute judgment without justice?”^ 
The sufferers of Spain doubtless viewed their misfor- 
tunes from the same standpoint. And since these evils 
must have been in some way proportionate to the 
greatness of the catastrophe which had overtaken 
them, those of deeper religious sensitiveness must cer- 
tainly have felt the need of a new life and a regeneration. 

It is to this need that we have to attribute the fact that 
large numbers ©f the exiles were impelled to emigrate 
to the Holy Land, the country which, from the times 
of the prophets down to Judah Halevi in the twelfth 
century, and from the time of Judah Halevi down to 
the disciples of Elijah Wilna and Israel Baal Shem in 
the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was always 
considered a country of great “spiritual opportunities." 



As a Spanish Jew of the thirteenth century who took 
a vow to emigrate to the Holy Land expressed it, 
'‘There (in Jerusalem, or near it) is the place for ful- 
filling the commandments and receiving upon oneself 
the Kingdom of Heaven. Our worship there is accept- 
able, for there is the House of our God and the Gate 
of Heaven.” ^ 

Indeed, it may be stated without fear of contradic- 
tion, that there never was a time in which the Holy 
I.and was not an object of attraction and deep longing 
for the pious Jew, even though he was not always able 
to gratify his longing in this respect As we know now, 
there were for centuries after the destruction of the 
Holy Temple, every year during the Feast of Taber- 
nacles, large meetings on the Mount of Olives con- 
stituted of pilgrims from Palestine itself, B^ibylon, 
Egypt, and perhaps also from Europe. ® 

These meetings were probably brought to an end in 
the eleventh century through the troubles of the Cru- 
sades; but the second decade of the thirteenth century 
witnessed the famous pilgrimage of three hundred 
Rabbis from France, England, and Spain to the Holy 
Land.9 In the fourteenth century the well-known 
traveller Pharchi explored the Holy Land, and reported 
about different settlements in various localities.*'^ 
Emigration to Palestine assumed, however, larger 
dimensions in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, 
caused by the general distress of the Jew^s. in almost 
all parts of Christendom. The majority of the refugees 
escaped to Turkey, but a considerable minority, com- 



posed, as already indicated, of the more spiritual-minded 
among them, directed their steps to the Holy Land. 

As hinted before, Safed has no Biblical nor even 
Talmudic record. Its first appearance in Jewish his- 
tory dates from about the beginning of the thirteenth 
century, when the traveller Samuel ben Shimshon re- 
ports the existence of a community there of more than 
fifty members. Somewhat later it is mentioned in con- 
nexion with a document relating to the Maimonides con- 
troversy, which bears also the signatures of R. Moses 
ben Judah and his colleagues, the Rabbis of Safed. ” 
R. Hananel Ibn Askara and R. Shem Tob Ibn Gaon, 
of Spain, migrated to Safed in the same century;^® whilst 
R. Isaac ben Joseph Chelo, of Laresa in Spain, and 
Pharchi, mentioned above, visited Safed in the four- 
teenth century and speak of a large Jewish community 
dwelling there. *3 Joseph Mantabia, who visited Safed 
in 1481, speaks of it as a “fine” community, number- 
ing about three hundred families, including those living 
in the neiglibouring villages. 

It is, however, not until the last decade of the 
fifteenth century that Safed begins to be especially 
noted for the importance of its Jewish population. The 
man who was the most significant factor in the develop- 
ment of this Jewish settlement, which excelled Jerusalem 
not only in the size of its Jewish population but also 
in the number of great men it harboured, was R. 
Joseph Saragossi. Saragossi, hailing perhaps originally 
from Spain, was an exile from Sicily, and, after a resi- 
dence in Beyrout and Sidon, finally settled in Safed, 



where he most likely established a school. He was of 
humble disposition, making peace between man and 
man, including non-Jews, and he probably did his best 
to blend the various elements of the new settlement, 
consisting of natives, of exiles from Spain, and of immi- 
grants from the Barbary States, into one great com- 
munity. "5 

The preference given to Safed, a non-Scriptural 
town, over Jerusalem, the historical metropolis of 
Palestine and the holiest city of the Holy Land, may 
be accounted for by the unfavourable conditions 
prevailing in Jerusalem at that time. As evidenced by 
certain contemporary documents, the administration of 
the Jewish community in Jerusalem was influenced by 
a rather ungenerous spirit, imposing heavy taxes on new 
arrivals, and making residence there a great hardship. 
The Mohammedan population seems also to have been 
hostile to the Jews, rapacious, and extortionate. 
Safed, on the other hand, never having had before this 
time an important Jewish population, the community 
there had no occasion to make regulations calculated to 
exploit the foreigner, whilst the non-Jewish population 
seems to have been more kindly disposed toward the 
Jews, sparing them the heavy taxation which was the 
rule in Jerusalem. R. Obadiah of Bertinoro, who had 
no opportunity to visit the north, writes, in his famous 
letter dated 1489, that, according to report, the Jews of 
Safed and of other places in Galilee lived in peace and 
in quiet, not being exposed to persecution on the part 
of the Mohammedans. He writes, '‘They are mostly 



poor, spending their time in villages, going about 
peddling in houses and on farms, asking for food.” *7 
Another reason which may have been decisive in 
favour of attracting immigrants to Safed was the simple 
life led by the inhabitants of that city. The old saying, 
‘‘Love work and hate lordship” (in modern parlance, 
snobbery), was followed by them to the letter. An 
anonymous traveller who passed through Safed in the 
year 1496 writes of the learned Rabbi Pharez Colobi, 
the head of the community, that he kept a shop where 
articles of food were sold, by which he made a living. 
Shlomel of Moravia, the author of one of the legendary 
biographies of Loria, writing from Safed in the year 
1607, says of its citizens that there were to be found 
among them ‘‘great scholars, saints, and men of action, 
full of Divine wisdom, so that they were worthy of the 
gift of the Holy Spirit,” but what he seemed to admire 
most was the simplicity and the humility of spirit which 
they possessed. “None among them,” he writes, “is 
ashamed to go to the well and draw water and 
carry home the pitcher on his shoulders, or go to the 
market to buy bread, oil, and vegetables. All the 
work in the house is done by themselves,” without 
servants. Shlon^prs statement may be illustrated by the 
following story: Once, R. Abraham Galanti, the leading 
disciple of Cordovero and the author of many works, 
was carrying a sack of flour on his shoulders from the 
market. But there came the famous scholar R. Solo- 
mon Sagis (?) and snatched away the sack from the 
shoulders of Galanti, and pronounced an oath, that no 



man should be permitted to carry this sack of flour to its 
destination except himself, who was so much younger 
and stronger. On another occasion, Galanti was carry- 
ing a cask of water on his shoulders from a village 
near Safed when the Saint R. Misod met Iiim and said, 
‘‘Master, give me a drink, as I am very thirsty.*' 
Whereupon Galanti offered him the cask. R. Misod 
theiv snatched away the burden and carried it to 
Galanti's home in Safed. 

Thus material as well as spiritual considerations 
combined to make Safed the chosen city for the time 
being. The rapid growth of Safed may easily be seen 
by the fact that whilst, according to one ciccount, Safed 
counted three synagogues in 1522, and could point 
perhaps to only one Talmudic college established by 
Saragossi, it could a few years later boast of being the 
centre of learning in Palestine, and, in 1603, accord- 
ing to Shlomel's letter of that year, it conteiined not 
less than eighteen Talmudic colleges and twenty-one 
synagogues, besides a large school for the children 
of the poor, with twenty teachers and* four hundred 
pupils, maintained by wealthy Jews in Constantinople, 
who also provided the latter with clothes. The Jews 
in Turkey were particularly interested in maintaining 
the Safed schools, and special messengers were sent 
from this community to collect moneys. We even 
find mention of a single bequest for the Yeshiboth of 
Safed amounting to 100,000 lebanim.'^^ 

The history of the world, some maintain, is but the 
record of its great men. This is especially true of the 



history of Safed in the sixteenth century, which is 
essentially spiiitual in its character, made and developed 
by men living lives purified by suffering, and hallowed 
by constant struggle after purification and holiness. 
The two figures standing out most prominently among 
these are R. Joseph Caro, the leading legist of the time, 
and his contemporary, R. Isaac Loria, the generally 
recognised head of the mystical school of Safed. 
It will, therefore, be advisable to group our remarks 
around these two heroes. From their eminence we 
shall be able to obtain a general view of the lives of 
the other mighty men in Israel engaged in the same gen- 
eral religious activities and pursuing the same spiritual 
ends, contributing their share to the fame which Safed 
has achieved in Jewish hi.story. 

R. Joseph Caro was born in the Pyrenean penin- 
sula (probably Spain) in the year 1488, whence he 
emigrated as a boy of four, in the year 1492, with his 
fiithcr PIphraim, who was also his first teacher. After 
many wanderings and great suffering, they reached Nic- 
opolis, in European Turkey, in which city the son 
Joseph remained until the year 1522.®* Pie was advised 
there by his Maggid, a kind of Mentor- Angel (of whom 
more presently), to leave this place, whose inhabitants 
seem to have been rather close-fisted in their relations 
to the poor, and lacking in devotion to the Torah, 
and to move to Adrianople, in European Turkey, one 
of the various gathering points of the Spanish exiles. 
There he remained for some years, serving in the 



capacity of the head of the Yeshibah, or Talmudic 
College. It was in this town that he began the com- 
position of his work Beth Joseph, which occupied him 
for the next thirty years of his life (1522-1552). 

The Beth Joseph is a gigantic work comprising four 
big folio volumes, the first edition of which appeared 
1550-1559. It forms a sort of commentary to R. 
Jacob ben Asher’s ‘‘Digest of the Law,” Arha Ttiriiti^ 
tracing each law to its original sources for nearly fif- 
teen hundred years, pursuing it through its various 
stages of different interpreters and codifiers, giving in 
di.sputed cases the arguments on both sides, and bring- 
ing it down to his own time. It is hardly necessary 
to point to the tremendous learning and unsurpassed 
acquaintance with the Law in all its branches and 
ramifications displayed in the Beth Joseph, But what 
distinguishes it above other work of its kind is not 
only Its comprehensiveness, covering as it docs all the 
contents of the Oral Law which had not become obso- 
lete by the destruction of the Holy Temple, but also 
the methodical treatment in which he was a master, 
and which enabled him to bring system and order 
into this chaos of argument, accumulated in every 
department of the Law, in its passage through the dis- 
cussions of the schools for many centuries. Caro was 
by this work soon recognised as the greatest legist of 
his time, and was appealed to in matters of law even by 
his contemporaries, as the first Halachic avithority. 

Next to this in importance is his work Shulchan 
Artichy which he finished in the year 1555. It forms 



only a sort of manual intended by Caro to serve chiefly 
as a repertory for his great book. The Shulchan Amch 
soon proved to be the most popular code with students, 
both on account of its practical qualities and its close 
correspondence with the greater work of Caro, in which 
the origin of each law could be easily traced. It passed 
through several editions, and it is still consulted with 
profit by Rabbis engaged in giving ritual decisions ac- 
cording to the Law of Moses and the Talmud, even at 
this day representing the great bulk of the Jews — 
eleven millions and nine hundred thousand out of twelve 
millions. The Shulchan Anich is disfigured by a few 
paragraphs expressing views incompatible with our 
present notions of tolerance. But there the discretion 
of the Rabbi comes in. By tacit consent these are con- 
sidered obsolete by all Jewish students. Every Jewish 
scholar well knows that the fugitive from the tyranny 
of the pious royal couple, Ferdinand and Isabella of 
Spain, was not the person to make an effort to suppress 
intolerant matter. To meet intolerance with equal in- 
tolerance was considered a sort of self-defence. Nay, 
the student is even convinced that Caro himself would 
have hesitated to put such laws into practice. He 
would rather have followed the rule laid down by 
himself for himself, which was never to be betrayed 
into anger, even in matters of religion. 

The other works of Caro published during his life 
or after his death add little to the greatness of 
Caro as a scholar, except, perhaps, certain portions of 
his Keseph Mishneh, forming a commentary to Mai- 



monides' Mishneh Torahy and in his Kelale ka-Talrniul^ 
on the methodology of the Talmud, as well as certain 
Responsa embodied in various collections, in which 
Caro’s passion for system and order and lucid and 
logical thinking is displayed even more clearly than 
in the works before named. 

There is still one work to be considered, which 
brings us closer to Caro’s personality, and that is the 
Maggid Mesharim, which appeared some thirty years 
after the death of its author. The Maggid Mts/iarim 
is a long dream, lasting for nearly half a century. 
For, remarkable enough, the great legist and logical 
thinker was at the same time a dreamer of dreamers. 
Caro was passionately fond of the Mishnah, to which he 
is supposed to have written a commentary, lost to us, 
and its contents became so identified with his own self, 
that they shaped themselves into a species of Genius 
taking the form of a living reality personified in the 
Mentor-Angel above mentioned. This Mentor-Angel 
addresses him with such expressions as, am the 
Mishnah that speaketh through thy mouth ; I am the 
soul of the Mishnah; I and the Mishnah and thou are 
united into one soul.”*^ 

As a rule, this I-Mishnah appeared to him in the 
depths of the night, after Caro had studied for some 
time one or more chapters of the Mishnah. Then the 
voice of his beloved, as Caro expressed himself, would 
begin to sound in his mouth, ‘‘singing of itself.” The 
voice was also audible to by-standers, as is clear from 
the famous letter of Alkabez, of whom I shall .speak 



later, who was once fortunate enough to observe his 
friend Caro in such a fit of ecstasy, and who has left us 
a full account of the message delivered by the Mentor- 
Angel on that occasion. From a description given 
by Caro himself of his prospects of being worthy one 
day to hold communion with the prophet Elijah, and 
the manner in which this communion will take place, 
we may also conclude that the listeners recognised 
in the strange sounds of the Mentor-Angel Caro’s 
own voice, though to Caro himself these sounds 
appeared something alien, not himself. His other 
organs seem to have been at complete rest, which fact 
produced the impression in Caro that he served only as 
a sort of musical instrument to the sweet melody of 
the Mishnah. On the other hand, his mental faculties 
remained fairly unimpaired, as he retained complete 
recollection of all the Mentor- Angel revealed to him. 

This recollection he wrote down in the Maggid 
Mcsharini, which thus forms a mystical diary, record- 
ing the spiritual experience of a long lifetime. The 
fact that the book containing these recollections fills 
only a small volume proves nothing against this theory, 
as we possess it in a very defective state, whilst we 
also know that he did not always commit to writing 
the contents of his visions, for which neglect he is 
reproved by the Mentor- Angel. 

It must, however, not be thought that it is the 
explanation of obscure passages of the Mishnah that 
are revealed to Caro in his Mishnah visions. In the 
whole of the Maggid Mesharim there are only a few 



lines of a legal nature. Caro was sober enough not 
to allow his mystical proclivities to have a marked 
influence upon his judgment in matters of law. What 
occupied his thoughts in these moments of rapture was 
chiefly the mysteries of the Torah, as well as matters 
of conduct, falling under the heading of ‘^superior 
holiness.’* I say ‘^chiefly,” for the '‘I,” or Self, oc- 
casionally asserts itself and introduces matter which 
is rather of a private nature, as, for instance, liis matri- 
monial affairs. From these we learn that he became 
a widower twice. His third wife, who brought him a 
large dowry, was the daughter of R. Zechariah Zech- 
scl.“® Caro also refers in a somewhat unkindly manner 
to certain great personalities. These reflections, which 
might have better been left unexpressed, were jotted 
down probably in moments of depression and resent- 
ment, for which we may not judge him too severely.*^ 
In the great majority of cases, however, Caro’s Self 
was under the strict control of the Mishnah, or his ideal 

The Mentor- Angel is very exacting in his demands. 
“I am the mother that chastises her children,” the 
Mishnah says to him, “be strong and cleave unto me.’’^*’ 
This chastisement consisted partly in imposing upon 
Caro a number of regulations of an ascetic nature. 
He is bidden to fast on various occasions, and even on 
ordinary days his menu is prescribed for him, reduced 
to a minimum. He must not fully satisfy his desire 
for food and drink, not even in the first meal after a 
day of fasting. Of course, he must not indulge in 



mucli Wine, but he is at the same time rebuked by his 
Mentor- Angel for having allowed himself to be filled 
with water. He is likewise warned against too much 
sleep, and when he married one of his daughters and, 
according to custom, spent much time at the banquet, 
so that he went to bed late and got up just one hour 
after the breaking of dawn, he was reproved for his 
slothful behaviour, and the Mentor-Angel tells him 
that it would only serve him right were he to abandon 
him, seeing that he separated his heart from the Torah 
for so long a time. 33 On another occasion, when 
Caro went to market to buy meat and poultry for 
Sabbath and failed in his errand, the Mentor-Angel 
declared himself responsible for this failure, proceeding 
to say that he wanted to show Caro that meat and wine 
are the habitation of the Evil One, that the Sabbath 
can be honoured without such luxuries, and concluding 
his admonition with the words, “Think about nothing 
but the Law of the Lord; thou art strictly observed 
in all thy actions, hence, be careful.'' 34 

Other instructions worth mentioning here are these : 
Be exceedingly lowly in spirit. — Never be betrayed 
into anger, not even in matters relating to Heaven. — 
Be chaste in thy behaviour. — Have always thy sins 
before thine eyes, and mourn over them. — Never 
speak an idle word. — Give a mild answer to every 
man. — Never indulge in laughter and in scoffing. — 
When thou readest the Skema, let thy thoughts be so 
single-minded that they become the seat of the Divine 

Presence. 33 



He is also reminded by the Mentor-Angel of the 
necessity of reading devotional books ; among these 
the abridged version of Bachye's Duties of the 
Heart’' is especially recommended.^*^ He is further 
bidden by the Mentor-Angel to devote himself 
more diligently to the study of the Cabbala, which 
Caro seems to have neglected for a long time. ‘‘ If 
thou wilt have appointed times for the acquisition of 
the knowledge of the Cabbala, I will open thy heart 
so that thou shalt receive the most hidden secrets 
unrevealed to man for many years.” 37 

The Mentor-Angel, however, was not always 
severe. His motherly ways are not limited to chas- 
tisement. Thus he once began his address, Behold, 
I kiss thee the kiss of love; behold, I embrace thee.” 3 ^ 
Nor does he confine himself to rebukes and strictures. 
He also holds out hopes and promises. These give 
us a fair insight into Caro’s aspirations as a scholar 
and a saint. They may, perhaps, be summed up in 
the following three points. 

The first aspiration was that the books with 
which Caro happened to be occupied, especially the 
Beth Joseph^ should be free from error, and after pub- 
lication accepted as standard works all over the 
Dispersion, whilst he himself should be recognised as 
an authority of the first rank.39 There is a human 
touch in the fact, that notwithstanding this anxiety 
Caro regards it as a joyful message when his Mentor- 
Angel tells him that he will be blessed with a son 
who, besides being one of the greatest mystics of the 



time, will also write strictures on his father's works.^ 
Caro was especially anxious for the privilege of 
spreading Torah in Israel, and had the repeated 
promise from his Mentor-Angel that he would be 
worthy of presiding over the greatest gathering of 
disciples in Israel, and that he would also receive 
sufficient material support for his college to enable 
his disciples to devote themselves entirely to the study 
of the Torah. 

As a mystic, all things on earth are to Caro only 
a reflex of some original in heaven, and thus in his 
capacity as the master of the greatest Torah-school 
here below, he is brought into communion with its 
prototype in the regions above. It is from there 
that his Mentor-Angel often brings him greetings in 
the typical expression, “Peace from the College of 
Heaven." Sometimes the greeting begins with the 
words, “ Behold the Holy One, blessed be he, and all 
the sons of the (heavenly) college, send unto thee 
peace, and are opening unto thee the gates of light." ^3 
Occasionally these greetings drift off into a string of 
solemn promises of the bliss and reward awaiting 
Caro in the world to come, where he will associate 
with all the heavenly hosts and the souls of the 
departed saints and scholars whose interpreter he was 
in this world. It is interesting to see how the Men- 
tor-Angel, with pedagogical insight, uses these very 
promises for a moral lesson. For instance, in one 
place where he gives him a full description of the 
glorious reception with which he will meet in the 



circle of the righteous, headed by the Divine Presence, 
and the fetes which will be given in his honour, he 
winds up with the words : Beloved, the Holy One and 
all the members of the Heavenly Academy send me to 
make thee acquainted with this secret, in order that thou 
mayest see thyself in this high degree, and thus thou wilt 
never come into the power of sin, not even by an evil 
thought. Should temptation become overpowering, 
rebuke it and say, ‘ Shall a man like me, whose future 
is meant for such glories, allow himself to sin, be it 
even only by an evil thought ? ’ ” 45 This is indeed one 
of the Mentor- Angel's pedagogical tactics, to impress 
Caro with his great importance, and at the same time 
show what duties such importance involves. By 
the very breath of his mouth when occupied with the 
uttering of the Mishnah, Caro creates whole hosts of 
angels, surrounding him as a suite surrounds a king. 
Every word of his, every thought, creates worlds ; 
but so does it destroy worlds if it is of an unworthy 
and idle nature.'^^ 

The second aspiration of Caro was that he might 
be worthy to settle in the Holy Land.47 This is a 
thought which probably occupied his mind for many 
years before he settled in Safed. The promise to 
help him realise that wish turns up again and 
again in the addresses of the Mentor-Angel. Solo- 
mon Alkabez, in the letter referred to above, reports 
how the Mentor- Angel said, “ Lose no moment to go 
up to the Holy Land, for not all times are favourable. 
Regard not your stuff (i, e., hou.sehold things) ... I 



will maintain thee.'' It would seem that material 
considerations, at least for a time, prevented Caro from 
accomplishing the wish of his heart, for we find in 
another place, in which the Angel promises him that 
within a year he will be in Palestine, he says to him : 
“ There is no need for thee to trouble thy mind ; thou 
hast wanted nothing these last forty years, and thou 
wilt never know want. Thy income is prepared for 
thee. Thou hast seen this very moment that the 
Holy One, blessed be he, gave thee as much profit in 
two thousand Zuz as in five thousand.”^® When Caro 
tarries too long on his way, through war and other 
causes, the Mentor-Angel tells him that he may stay 
in certain cities, such as Salonica and others, for some 
time, but he must never settle anywhere until he reaches 
the Holy Land. Of course, with this aspiration is 
also connected his hope that he will be worthy of be- 
coming the head of the Yeshibah and an elder of the 
Holy Land. 

His third aspiration was that he should die 
the death of a martyr at the stake. This is a 
wish which Caro cherished when he was still in 
Nicopolis, and which mingled with his dreams 
throughout his entire life.s® Caro assures us that 
in visions without number he received the promise 
that he would be worthy to be burned for the 
sanctification of the Holy Name, 5* so that every 
taint of sin which may have cleaved unto him in his 
passage through this world would be removed, and his 
soul cleansed, and thus reach the degree of the holy 



and pure ones. Here again the Mentor-Angel 
employs this dearest wish of Caro's heart for his 
pedagogical purposes, as when he tells him : Behold, 
I have singled thee out to be a burnt-offering, to be 
consumed in fire for the sake of the sanctification of 
the Name, but thou knowest that in the burnt-offering 
no blemish may be found, not even in thought. 
Hence, take care that all thy thoughts are absorbed 
by the Torah." 52 Qn the whole, the promises of the 
Mentor-Angel were fairly kept, except this. Turkey 
was perhaps at no time the country in which the 
crown of martyrdom could be easily gained. For 
this, one had to go to the lands of Christendom, 
where love was preached and murder acted. Caro 
showed no particular desire to return to Europe. In 
this connexion it is rather interesting to note that 
Caro was not quite free from anxiety, for he found it 
worth his while to write down the following apparently 
good message of his Mentor-Angel : During the 
afternoon prayer, when the reader was chanting the 
portion from the scroll of the Law, I was told, ‘‘Know, 
my beloved and dear Joseph, that the Sultan will win 
the battle in which he is now engaged against the 
King of Edom." w 

The Maggid Mesharim occasionally contains refer- 
ences to different personages mentioned in Caro's 
other works. But whilst in these latter they are cited 
with their proper titles, as “ Rabbi," “ Master," or “the 
great Rabbi ," in the Maggid Mesharim, as befitting a 
production of an angelic being, this official stiffness dis- 



appears. Titles are, for the most part, dropped, and 
they are introduced with such endearing epithets 
as my chosen Moses” (Maimonides), ‘^my saintly 
Asher” (Rosh), “my God-fearing Jonah” (Rabbenu 
Jonah), “my dear Jacob” (Jacob ben Asher, the author 
of the Turmi)y “my modest Jeruham ” (author of a 
well-known code of the Rabbinic Law). But the 
name which occurs most frequently is that of “my 
chosen Solomon.” 54 This name is at most times used 
for Solomon Molko, but it is not impossible that in 
one or two places it refers to Solomon Alkabez, two 
beautiful souls who seem to have been the especial 
favourites of 

We must digress for a moment from Caro himself 
to consider the career of these two worthies. Solo- 
mon Molko deserves a monograph to himself. He 
would best form the subject of a great historical 
novel. If our novelists were somewhat less of realists, 
and would stop their eternal harping on the problem 
of mixed marriages, which is certainly no problem to 
those who begin to consider it in the light of a problem, 
and if they further possessed something of the sympa- 
thetic intuitioh of a Disraeli and the artistic insight into 
the past of a Sir Walter Scott or Charles Reade, they 
would find Molko the hero of one of the greatest 
historical romances ever written. For our purpose of 
presenting the friend of Caro a few data must suffice. 

Solomon Molko was born in Portugal about the 
year 1501, as. a crypto-Jew, or Marrano, where he 



received the name Diogo Pires. He was endowed 
with all the graces of Nature calculated to make his 
personality both pleasing and impressive. He enjoyed 
an excellent education, and at an early age he was able 
to speak and write Latin, the learned language of the 
time. Like so many other Marranos, he received, in 
secret, instruction in Hebrew subjects, such as the 
Bible and the Talmud, and even the Cabbala, in which 
branches of study he acquired great proficiency. His 
various accomplishments secured for him rapid advance- 
ment in official circles. He was very young when he 
was appointed secretary at one of the high courts of 
justice in Lisbon. He was also a great favourite at 
the Court, But neither the duties of his office nor 
the diversions of Court life were sufficient to fill the 
vacuum he felt under the false life he led. His thoughts 
and his heart were with Judaism, over whose destiny 
and his part in it he constantly brooded. This brooding 
soon resulted in all sorts of visions and wild dreams, 
which visited him day and night. At the first impulse, 
supposed to have been given him by the famous 
adventurer David Reubeni, who was then travelling 
in Europe in the questionable capacity of an ambassador 
of the lost Ten Tribes, he was initiated into the 
covenant of Abraham, and became a Jew. This 
occurred about the year 1523. He then entered upon 
a course of ascetic practices, fasting for many days 
without interruption, depriving himself of sleep, and 
spending his time in prayer and meditation, which was 
naturally followed by more visions of an apocalyptic 



nature. The visions were manifested to him, as in the 
case of Caro, by a Maggid, who communed with him 
from heaven in dreams. In obedience to the command 
of this heavenly messenger, he left Portugal for Turkey, 
which was a safer place for men of Molko's cast 
of mind. There, as it would seem, he spent the next 
five or six years. The appearance of this enthusiastic, 
handsome young mystic made a deep impression 
upon the Jewish communities visited by him. Molko 
probably visited also Jerusalem and Safed in 
Palestine. There is no positive evidence for this fact, 
but it is hardly possible that he should have fiiiled to 
explore the places which he saw with his spiritual eye 
in his mystic moments. Legend reports also that 
even after his death he would pay visits to his Jia7tce€ 
in Safed on every PTiday evening, reading in her 
presence the Sanctification- Benediction over the cup of 
wine (Ku/dus/i) with which the Sabbath is initiated. 
This would doubtless suggest that he had once been 
at this place. 57 The end of the year 1529 finds him at 
Ancona in Italy where he preached on the advent of the 
Messiah. His sermons seem to have made a great sen- 
sation, and were listened to by large crowds, both Jews 
and Christians, including some high dignitaries of the 
church. Some time after this he repaired to Rome, 
in which city he had again all sorts of visions and 
dreams. He soon gained access to the Pope, Clement 
VII, who felt rather attracted toward him, and together 
with certain cardinals, not less favourable to Molko than 
the Holy Father himself, protected him against the 

SAFED 225 

dangers threatening him from the Roman police as a 
renegade from the Christian faith. He predicted to 
the Pope the flood which was soon to come upon 
Rome, and went to Venice for a time. He returned 
to Rome and had several more conferences with the 
Pope and other high personages, all the time preaching 
publicly repentance as a preparation for the approaching 
advent of the Messiah, in which he was to play a con- 
spicuous part, either as the forerunner of the Messiah 
or as the Messiah ben Joseph. But all the patronage 
he had did not protect him from the intrigues of his 
deeidly enemy, the Jewish physician Jacob Mantino, 
who is not to be held entirely guiltless of his falling 
into the hands of the Emperor, Charles V. The latter, 
in turn, handed him over to the Inquisition. The end 
was that Molko was burned as a heretic in Mantua, in 
1532. When approaching the stake, he was offered 
pardon in the name of the Emperor, if he Avould recant. 
Molko replied that he longed for the death of a martyr, 
to become ‘‘a burnt-offering of sweet savour unto the 
Lord ; if he had anything to repent of, it was that he 
had been a Christian in his youth.’' 

Caro’s acquaintance with Molko must have been 
formed either in Adrianople or in Salonica, both of 
which cities were visited by the latter during his 
travels. The acquaintance grew into a strong attach- 
ment, at least on the part of Caro, who thought 
himself indebted to Molko for certain spiritual influ- 
ences which he had on his life. Thus said the 
Mentor- Angel to Caro, “God brought thee together 



with my chosen Solomon to see whether thou wilt 
know him, and it was a merit (or rather, good fortune) 
that thou didst learn to know him and also didst learn 
from him to fear me/’^s jt however, an exaggera- 
tion to think that it was Molko who converted Caro 
to his belief in the Cabbala, or that it was the martyr- 
death of Molko that incited in Caro the desire to end 
his life in a similar manner. Cabbala was in the air ; 
the greatest men of Israel were committed to it, and 
it required no special agencies to make Caro one of its 
adherents. The fact is, that Molko was lovable, and 
Caro loved him. That the tragic death of Molko made 
a deep impression upon Caro, and mingled with his 
dreams and visions, only proves that the legalistic 
studies which formed the main occupation of Caro’s 
life, do not incapacitate a man for the qualities of 
admiration and love. As to the longing of Caro for the 
death of a martyr, we have seen that he had the privilege 
of calls from the Mentor- Angel while he was still a 
resident of Nicopolis, and it was there that he received 
the promise of martyrdom for the first time from his 
heavenly messenger. This occurred about 1522, long 
before Caro even knew of the existence of such a 
person as Molko. It is to be noted that martyrdom 
in case of necessity is a regular command, forming one 
of the six hundred and thirteen laws. According to 
some authorities, the supreme act of martyrdom, like 
the fulfilment of any other command of the Law, should 
be preceded by a benediction, namely, ‘^Blessed art 
thou, O Lord our God, King of the world, who hast 



sanctified us with thy commandments, and hast bidden 
us to hallow thy Name among the many/’ Now, if 
we consider how anxious a legist of Caro’s frame of 
mind must have been to fulfil a commandment, — the 
characteristic of the legalistic saints of every generation, 
— no further explanation is needed for Caro’s longing 
for martyrdom. It was simply his desire to fulfil a 
commandment of the Torah. As one of the saints 
expresses it ; If the Heavenly Court were to decree 
hell punishment against him, he would jump into the 
pit with all his might and without a moment’s delay, 
embracing with joy the opportunity to fulfil a Divine 

Much less is known of the life of the second 
Solomon — Solomon Halevi Alkabez. There are no 
records enabling us to determine the place where he w^as 
born, nor the dates of his birth and death. We know, 
Iiowwer, that he flourished about the first half of the 
sixteenth century, that he was the disciple of Joseph 
Taytasak, Rabbi of Salonica, and that later he became 
the master and brother-in-law of the famous Cabbalist 
Moses Cordovero. His acquaintance with Caro 
probably dates from the third decade of that century, 
he having met him in Salonica or Adrianople. Alkabez 
was a scholar and a poet. Of his books it suffices to 
mention here the Mayioth ha-Levi (Gifts of the Levite), 
a homiletical commentary on the Book of Esther, 
in which he showed his wide acquaintance with 
Rabbinic literature, having had, as it seems, access . 
to manuscripts which he very judiciously used in the 



said work. The story is that the title of the book was 
suggested by the fact that it formed a present to his 
fiancee on the occasion of the Purim festival. His 
father-in-law and the girl, the tradition is, were more 
pleased with this gift than with costly jewelry, which 
young men were then in the habit of sending to their 
sweethearts on the day of Purim. But he is best 
known by his poem, Lechah Dodi, “ Come, my Be- 
loved, etc.,” with which he and his friends used to 
receive Queen Sabbath. The Sabbath was to him a 
living reality to be welcomed after a six days* ab- 
sence with that expectant joy and impatient love 
with which the groom meets his bride. It is perhaps 
one of the finest pieces of religious poetry in existence, 
and has been translated by Herder and by Heine into 
German. Catholic Israel, whose love for Bride Sabbath 
and whose hope for final redemption it echoed so well , 
soon honoured Alkabez* poem with a prominent place 
in almost all its rituals ; and the Lechah Dodi is now 
sung all over the world on Sabbath eve, when Queen 
Sabbath holds her levee in the tents of Jacob.^ 

To return to Caro and Safed : When Caro arrived in 
Palestine, which could not well have been earlier than 
after the middle* of the year 1536, Safed was already 
grown to the size of one thousand Jewish families. 
The additions to the community were mostly made 
up of Spanish and Portuguese exiles, who were 
soon in a position to build a second synagogue 
for the purpose of accommodating their newly- 

SAFED 229 

arrived countrymen. Their numbers were so 
increased that they considered themselves strong 
enough to attempt to force their special usages 
with regard to the regulating of dowries upon other 
sections of the community. The Spanish language, 
the vernacular of the Sephardim, became soon the 
teaching medium in the schools, suppressing all other 
languages.^® They quickly won, both by their numbers 
and by the distinction of their leaders, such an ex- 
ceptional position that we find men of importance and 
standing among the native Jewish population vain 
enough to call themselves Sephardim, the name com- 
mon to Jews hailing from Spain and Portugal . ^3 There 
is reason to believe that at this time also a German 
Jewish community was established in Safed, perhaps 
presided over by the father-in-law of Caro. We have 
furthermore references to a synagogue, an 
Italian synagogue, and a Greek synagogue, dating from 
about the same time.^^ The constitution of these 
communities seems to have been strictly autonomous, 
each community having its own synagogue, its own 
preacher, and its own Yeshibah. They were even, to 
a certain extent, jealous of every outside interference^ 
and it was expected that each new arrival would join 
the congregation composed of his own fellow-country- 
men. ^5 On the other hand, there is evidence that they 
had a Beth Wdad (meeting house), forming a sort 
of general board consisting of the Rabbis of the 
various synagogues, to which occasionally Rabbis 
attached to no congregation in particular were invited. 



This board probably dealt only with matters of grave 
importance and of general interest.^ 

The means of gaining a livelihood were various. 
The natives, or, as they were called, the Moriscos, 
were probably still engaged in peddling, as their 
ancestors had been/7 There is also evidence that they 
cultivated the ground in the neighbouring villages, 
producing wheat, barley, beans, cotton, oil, wine, and 
figs. Those, again, who possessed some capital, 
which was probably the case with many of the Spanish 
immigrants, were engaged in trading, exporting grain, 
wine, and oil to Damascus and other places, and import- 
ing from there articles for which there was a demand in 
Safed.^^ There also grew up in Safed a large trade in the 
weaving of wool and in the manufacturing of clothes; 
these trades were entirely in the hands of the Jews.^ 
Indeed, R. Levi ben Chabib, of whom I shall speak 
presently, sarcastically asks whether it was because of 
the large quantity of clothes manufactured there that 
Safed arrogated to itself the leadership of Judaism. 7 ® 
Wealthy Jews in Constantinople and in Damascus 
would, as it seems, send ships laden with wool to 
Safed for the purpose of encouraging the wool industry 
there and giving employment to those engaged in it. 
About the year .1600, such a ship, containing wool to the 
value of nearly 100,000 Keseph and 10,000 Keseph in 
cash for the desperate poor, was wrecked on its voyage, 
which caused distress in Safed. There was also in 
Safed a great demand for such artisans as weavers, 
smiths, tailors, tanners, wood-workers, and builders. 



There was probably also some demand for men con- 
nected with the printing trade, which was established 
in Safed about the year 1653 by two German Jews. 
The first book printed there was the commentary of 
R. Moses Alsheich to Daniel, and was followed by 
several other works. ‘‘ The print of these books is 
excellent, and testifies to the good taste and the 
prosperity of the Safed community at that time. ''7* 
The only profession for which there was not any room 
in Safed was that of teacher, since the community 
was, we are told, sufficiently provided with schools 
and instructors. Nor was there any place for servants, 
as ever>"body, as we have seen, attended to his own 
domestic work.^s The prosperity was so great 
that they were envied for it by their brethren abroad. 
Thus a Roman Jew writes in 1543, “The good 
message has come from the land of Desire (Palestine) 
that the Lord remembered his people and his land 
and the Children of Israel, granting to them wealth 
and honour in most trades.''74 

However, men did not settle in Palestine for the 
purpose of developing the natural resources of the 
country. What led them there was, as indicated 
above, the spiritual wealth which the Holy Land alone 
could afford. In such wealth, Safed, at this period, 
was particularly rich. I have already mentioned the 
letter of Shlomel, with its reference to the population 
of Safed and the various Talmudical colleges main- 
tained there. Though Shlomel writes at the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, there is nothing 



to indicate that the last decades of the sixteenth 
century witnessed a particular increase of immigration 
out of proportion to that of the preceding decades. 
Indeed, we shall see later on that in his time the glory 
of Safed was already on the wane. We have the right 
to assume that the number of Rabbis of the sixteenth 
century was at least not smaller than that of the 
seventeenth. Shlomel's statistics are, of course, like 
all statistics, not very reliable; indeed, the number 
three hundred occurs too frequently in the letters 
relating to Safed. It has also to be pointed out that 
the term “ Rabbi” with Shlomel does not exactly mean 
the officiating minister, but simply a man who, both on 
account of his learning and his saintly life, — two indispen- 
sable qualifications for a Rabbi in olden times, — might 
easily perform the functions of a Rabbi. Still, there can 
be little doubt that no place in Jewish history since the 
destruction of the Holy Temple could point to so 
brilliant a gathering of men, so great in their respective 
branches, so diversified in the objects of their study, 
and so united by the dominant thought of religion, as 
were attracted to Safed during the greater part of the 
sixteenth century. 

The fame of the saints and men of action ” must 
have spread “^outside of the land ” early in the 
sixteenth century, and it was probably the desire for 
their society which determined Caro in his choice of 
Safed. For such was the promise given him by 
the Men tor- Angel : ” I will give thee places to walk 
among these that .stand by” (Zech. 3:7), ‘'making 



thee worthy to go up to the land of Israel and join 
there my beloved Solomon and the Associates to 
learn and to teach. ”^6 

The most prominent among these was doubtless 
R. Jacob Berab. 77 Berab, who was an emigrant 
from Castile, Spain, and held the office of Rabbi in 
various Jewish communities, settled in Safed about 
the year 1535, where he soon became the recognised 
head of the Jewish community, which consisted at that 
time of at least seven congregations. It seems that 
he gathered around him some of the best minds of 
Safed, who acknowledged themselves as his disciples. 
Caro himself recognised him as an authority, quoting 
him as a rule with the epithet “ our great master.” 
Berab has left us a volume of Responsa, to which are 
appended commentaries on certain portions of the 
Talmud, but he is best known to history by his 
unsuccessful efforts to re-introduce the institution of 
“Ordination” {Setnichalt) among the Jews. This at- 
tempt was made in the year 1538, and bears evidence 
to the high position held in Jewry by the sages of 
Safed, both by their numbers and by the weight of 
their great learning: this fact alone could have em- 
boldened Berab and his friends to embark upon their 
daring enterprise. 7 ^ Ordination, as they intended it, 
was not the mere ceremonious laying on of hands in 
connexion with a candidate for Rabbinical office with 
some solemn speech attendant thereon. What Berab 
aimed at, was the re-establishment of the body of the 
Sanhedrin (that could exist only in Palestine), which 


would wield supreme authority over the whole of 
Israel in various ways, thus forming a new Jewish 
spiritual centre. His great opponent in this matter 
was R. Levi ben Chabib, a former resident of Safed, 
living then at Jerusalem. 

This is not the place to enter into the arguments of 
both sides, which both parties drew from the Talmud. 
There may have been also some petty personal 
jealousies ; some of the arguments are certainly of a 
rather petty character, particularly on Berab’s side. 
Berab was something of what we might call a strong 
man, of strenuous tendencies, and his treatment of 
Ben Chabib was by no means tender. But there is 
no doubt that Berab’s aspirations were of great national 
importance, and if realised would have served to 
strengthen the bonds of union in Israel. The scholars 
of Safed worked in harmony with Berab, twenty-five 
of their number signing the epistle sent to the sages 
of Jerusalem that contained the resolution of the 
former to re-introduce Ordination. The resolution 
was soon translated into action, Berab ordaining four 
elders, representing the flower of Safed’ s scholarship. 79 
Caro, who was one of the four, and apparently figured 
also among the signatories of the correspondence 
with Jerusalem, is especially complimented by his Men- 
tor-Angel for the zeal shown by him for the great cause. 
He must also have entertained the hope that he might 
succeed one day where Berab had failed j at least, he 
received the heavenly promise that he would be the 
instrument through which Ordination should be 



restored.^® This is another of the Mentor-Angel’s 
unfulfilled prophecies. 

The excitement of the Ordination controversy 
subsided with the death of Berab, which occurred 
shortly after 1540. Caro, who devoted his time to 
lecturing to his disciples, writing his books, and 
attending to social work, or, as it is usually called 
in Hebrew literature, the needs of the congregation,” 
was constantly growing in influence and authority. 
He apparently felt trouble in his mind about this 
interference with his studies, for we find that the 
Mentor- Angel has to comfort him and make it clear 
that the social work in which he was engaged was also 
a part of his duties, which he had no right to ignore. 

His most formidable rival was R. Moses ben Joseph 
Trani, who settled in Safed in the year 1518, and 
became Rabbi of the Spanish congregation Beth Jacob, 
and the head of the Yeshibah connected with it, in 
1521, which offices he retained until his death in 1580.®® 
Like Caro, he was ordained by Berab, to whom he 
stood in the relation of a colleague-disciple, and he 
showed even more zeal for the honour of his master 
than Caro. Indeed, he resents in one place the in- 
difference of Caro to the attacks made on Berab in 
connexion with certain legal decisions.®^ Trani wrote 
several works, one of which was of a semi-philosoph- 
ical nature on doctrinal questions, but he is chiefly 
famous for the collection of his Responsa, which 
show him to have been a Talmudist of the first order 
and regarded as such by his contemporaries. Though 



generally, like all other Rabbis of the place, confined in 
his jurisdiction to his own congregation, he seems to 
have been regarded by the whole community as a 
specialist in real estate questions. “I have,^’ he says, 
“been one of the first in everything relating to the 
holiness of the land in the city of Safed since the year 
5335* God put it in my heart to build up the deso- 
late places thereof. I have watched over them in 
most of their building enterprises, that no man should 
encroach upon the property of his neighbour, and 
other matters relating to questions of surveying and 
ancient lights, even with regard to the synagogues 
which were built all these years, when (the worship- 
pers) coming from Turkey and other places divided 
according to their languages.'* 

Several cases occurred in which Trani had the 
opportunity to clash with Caro’s opinions j the most 
important of these seems to have been one in connex- 
ion with the observance of the Sabbatical Year, the 
laws in regard to which were not considered entirely 
obsolete in the Holy Land. The great majority of 
scholars, however, were in favour of Caro's opinion, 
to enforce it as the norm for the practice. This 
case arose in the year 1 574, a year before Caro's death, 
but his recognition as a master of the Holy Land or, 
as he expressed it somewhere else, “the great codifier 
of the Holy Land," came long before. In almost 
all the Opinions of that generation, Caro’s signature 
appears first, and his Yeshibah had, according to tradi- 
tion, a seating capacity of seven hundred students.®^ 


This is probably an exaggeration, but the attendance 
at his Yeshibah was undoubtedly veiy large, and in- 
cluded some of the greatest names of the time. As one 
of the Safed scholars expressed it, “We are all his dis- 
ciples, drinking his waters, and bound to honour him." 
Among these, Cordovero and Alsheich deserve special 
mention, both because of their connexion with the 
history of Safed and their influence on posterity. 

R. Moses Cordovero was born in 1522 and died 
in 1570. Little is known about his private life except 
that he married a sister of Solomon Alkabez. In 
Talmud he was a disciple of Caro, who was apparently 
very proud of him and applied to him the verse, “ My 
son, if thy heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even 
mine" (Prov. 23; 15). We know also that he acted as 
one of the Dayanim (J udges) of Safed and had a Yeshibah 
of his own. A Responsum of his incorporated in the 
Responsa Collection of Caro, testifies to his ability as 
a Rabbinical scholar, but his fame rests on his mystical 
work, in which he by far excelled all his predecessors,^® 
At the early age of twenty, the Voice warned him to 
“heal the altar of the Lord which is broken down," 
under which he understood his neglect of a proper 
study of the mysteries of the Torah.®^ The “ healing" 
came from his brother-in-law, Alkabez, in whom he 
perceived a holy angel come down from heaven, and 
who apparently figured at that period as the leading 
Cabbalist of Safed. Even Caro himself did not hesitate 
to seek instruction from Alkabez about a certain 



obscure passage in the Zohar.9° At the age of twenty- 
six (1548), we find Cordovero in the company of the 
Associates {Chaberi}}i). This was a society consisting 
of mystically-inclined students of Safed, apparently 
presided over by Alkabez. Very little has come 
down to us relative to the activity of this society, 
beyond the fact that its members used occasionally to 
undertake excursions to visit the graves of the ancient 
Rabbis supposed to be buried in the neighbourhood of 
Safed, on which occasions they would discuss mystical 
subjects.s>^ But we possess in manuscript a list of moral 
precepts drawn up by Cordovero, of which there is good 
reason to assume that they were not meant exclusively 
for the guidance of their author, but formed a sort of 
hand-book for all the Associates. The following ex- 
tracts will convey some idea of the frame of mind and 
the tender conscience of these men. 

They afe bidden not to divert their thoughts from 
the words of the Torah and things holy, so that their 
hearts become the abode of the Shechmahf not to be 
betrayed into anger, as anger delivers man into the 
power of sin ; not to speak evil of any creature, 
including animals never to curse any being, but to 
accustom oneself to bless even in moments of anger ; 
never to take an oath, even on the truth ; never to 
speak an untruth under any condition; to be careful 
not to be included among the four classes excluded 
from the Divine Presence, namely, the hypocrites, 
the liars, the scoffers, and the tale-bearers ; not to 
indulge in banquets except on religious occasions. 



They are enjoined to mingle their minds with the 
minds of their fellow-men (that is, not to stand aloof 
from the world, but to share both in its joys and in its 
sorrows), and to behave in a kindly spirit toward their 
fellow-men, even though they be transgressors ; to meet 
with one of the Associates for one or two hours every 
day for the purpose of discussing matters spiritual; 
to talk over with an Associate every Friday the deeds 
accomplished during the week, and then set out for the 
reception of Queen Sabbath; to pronounce Grace in 
a loud voice, letter by letter and word by word, so 
that the children at the table can repeat after the 
reader; to confess their sins before every meal and 
before going to sleep; to use the sacred language 
when speaking with the Associates, and to let this be 
always the language of conversation on Sabbath with 
other scholars as well. In another set of precepts 
drawn up by Alkabez, dating from this time and 
probably also meant for the guidance of these Asso- 
ciates, we have the ordinance that the students should 
rebuke or admonish each other, but the person ad- 
monished or rebuked must not make any reply in his 
defence before the lapse of three days.9® 

The most prominent among those for whose bene- 
fit these regulations were composed was the author 
himself, Cordovero, whose interviews with Alkabez 
seem to have been more frequent and of a more inti- 
mate nature than those of the other Associates. At 
a later period the relations of the latter to their mastei 
appear to have been almost forgotten, and they an 



quoted as the Associates of Cordovero. Indeed, it 
would seem that it was the great popularity achieved 
by the works of Cordovero that is responsible for the 
comparative oblivion into which the mystical writings 
of Alkabez fell, so that the greater part of them 
remained unpublished.93 

Cordovero* s inagnuvi opus is the Pardes (the Garden), 
the clearest and most rational exposition of the Cabbala 
in existence, distinguished by the same qualities of 
methodical thought and logical argument which dis- 
tinguished Caro’s works in the department of things 
legal. The Pardes gave rise to a great number of 
works written by various mystics in Safed, in Italy, and 
in Germany. 9-^ The book is still considered a standard 
authority, even by modern scholars who have ever 
written anything worth reading about the Cabbala, 
Cordovero wrote besides this many other works, some 
of which are extant only in manuscript. The library of 
the Jewish Theological Seminary of America possesses 
a fine copy of his famous work A/ima/i, known from 
quotations by certain mystics. But these by no means 
fully represent his literary activity. R. Menahem 
Azariah, of Fano, in Italy, one of the greatest of 
Cordovero’s students, states that the Pardes, in itself 
a big folio volume, forms only a thirtieth part of the 
works which Cordovero wrote, not counting many 
additions, appendixes, and a number of larger and 
smaller treatises which he composed.^s His master, 
Caro, who survived him, gave the funeral oration at 
his death, in which he spoke of him as ''the Holy Ark 



of the Torah, to be hidden away in the grave," whilst 
Loria is said to have seen two pillars of fire attending 
the hearse, a compliment shown by Heaven only to 
one or two men in a generation. I.oria is also 
reported to have applied to him, in allusion to his 
name (Moses), the well-known phrase, "‘Moses is true, 
and his teaching is true."^^ 

The second of the disciples of Caro deserving 
especial mention is R. Moses Alsheich, who sur- 
vived his master for many years, being still alive in 
the year 1593. The master of his early youth was 
probably Joseph Taytasak. We possess from Al- 
sheich a volume of Responsa in which his opinions 
in matters of the law were solicited by various Rabbis 
of repute. He also wrote Talmudical discourses 
and a commentary to the MidrasJi Rabbah lost to us. 
He lectured in two Yeshiboth in Safed (which Vital 
attended in the capacity of a pupil), and performed 
all the other functions of a Rabbi of that time. 
He is, however, best known by his homiletical Com- 
mentary on the Bible, which was studied both by 
preachers and laymen for centuries afterward, and is 
still popular with preachers in various countries. 
This Commentary is usually cited under the title, 
“ tlie Holy Alsheich. " Loria gave the testimony 
that most of his interpretations “hit the truth," 
though in spite of the efforts of Vital he did not admit 
him into his mystical circie.^^7 



Besides these and other Rabbis known more or less 
to posterity, we have in the contemporary literature 
any number of references to sages and saints of Safed 
flourishing about this time, in addition to a goodly 
number of Rabbis and students whose spiritual pedi- 
gree cannot be easily determined. The influence of 
these scholars was not confined to the schools. A 
religious atmosphere seems to have pervaded all 
classes of the Jewish population, so that the impression 
the Safed of the sixteenth century leaves on us is that 
of a revival camp in permanence, constituted of peni- 
tents gathered from all parts of the world. Life 
practically meant for them an opportunity for worship, 
to be only occasionally interrupted by such minor 
considerations as the providing of a livelihood for their 
families and the procuring of the necessary taxes for 
the government. Prayer was the main and universal 
occupation. For this purpose special teachers were 
appointed to instruct women and children in the liturgy 
and in the prescribed benedictions. But the regular 
order of the service, with its fixed hours, morning, 
afternoon, and evening, did not satisfy their longing 
for prayer. For them the day began in the middle 
of the night, when the “learned” and the “men of 
action” would repair to the synagogues dressed in 
black, seating themselves upon the floor and reading a 
special liturgy, the burden of which was mourning 
over the destruction of the Holy Temple and the 
downfall of the people of God, and which concluded with 
a confession of the sins of Israel delaying the redemp- 



tion.99 The example set by them seems soon to have in- 
fected the general Jewish public. The man who was 
especially distinguished for his religious activity among 
the masses was the mystic R. Abraham Halevi Beruchim. 
His main work was of a missionary nature. He was 
constantly preaching to the multitudes and exhorting 
Israel to repentance. In the middle of the night he 
would rise and walk through the Jewish quarter, 
exclaiming in tears, My brethren of the House of 
Israel! Is it not known to you that our Strength, 
the very Divine Presence, is in exile because of our 
sins j that our Holy Temple is laid in ashes j that 
Israel is subjected to the most bitter persecutions, 
saintly men and women being daily martyred by 
sword and by fire. . . .? And ye, my brethren, allow 
yourselves to enjoy your sleep on your beds in quiet 
and rest. Come, my brethren; come, my friends! 
Rise, ye holy children, blessed by the Lord, and let us 
supplicate the Lord our God, the King who sitteth on 
the throne of Mercy.” Thus he used to walk about, 
knocking on the doors, giving the inhabitants no rest 
until they rose and went to their places of worship, so 
that at one o’clock in the morning the voice of prayer 
or of the study of the Torah could be heard from all 
the synagogues. On Friday afternoon, again, he 
would go about in the market-place, in the high-roads, 
reminding the people to be prompt in their preparations 
for the coming day, so that they might not, by being 
late, become involved in the sin of the desecration of 
the Sabbath.^^ The eve of the New Moon offered 



another opportunity for an additional service, when all 
the people fasted, and “men, women, and students 
would spend the day in supplications, confession of 
sin, and in various ascetic practices. The eve of the 
seventh day of Passover, of the first day of the Feast of 
Weeks, of the Day of Atonement, and of the seventh 
di\y of the Tabernacle Feast were also distinguished by 
special readings from the Scriptures and the chanting 
of hymns, lasting nearly the whole of the night.""** 
R. Abraham Halevi was probably assisted in his 
missionary work by certain “saints and men of action 
of whom it is reported that they used, on certain 
occasions, to preach on the subjects of meekness, sin, 
and repentance. Possibly they were members of the 
society Tent of Peace {Succath Slialoui)^ mentioned 
by R. P^liezer Azkari, for which he wrote his devo- 
tional treatise, Sepher Charcdiui. In this he tried to 
show how “those that tremble at the commandments 
of our God ” (Ezra lO: 3) should consecrate the whole 
of man, in his various functions and different occupa- 
tions, to the service of the Lord. The thought 
absorbing the minds of the “tremblers” and forming 
the object of their discus.sions at their meetings, was 
the delay of the advent of the Messiah, and the sins 
responsible for this delay, but it was also a part of 
their programme to cause “the many to turn away from 
sin ’ ' by lectures and exhortations. Like the Associates 
of Cordovero, the members of this society were also 
pledged to auricular confession, each of them giving at 
their weekly meetings a full and detailed account of 



his actions during the preceding week. The necessity 
of having to lay bare one’s life before his fellow-men, 
and the shame following upon it in the case of an 
unworthy action would, so they thought, prove a 
preventive against sin. It should, however, be 
remarked that Vital, notwithstanding all his other 
vagaries and ascetic tendencies, protested against this 
institution, and declined to follow his friends in its 

Besides the Tent of Peace, we have also on record 
the existence of a Society of Penitents, especially dis- 
tinguished for its ascetic practices, which were of a 
very severe nature. Some of its members, we are 
told, refrained from food and drink during the day, 
performed their afternoon devotions in tears, and put 
on sackcloth and ashes. Others, again, observed 
every week a fast extending over two or three days 
and nights in succession. R. Elijah de Vidas, in his 
attempt to show how much one can accomplish in 
the ascetic line, points with evident pride to these 
Penitents, saying : I saw many of them rise in the 
middle of the night, when they would commence to 
study, which occupied them until the morning, and 
then fast the whole of the day. All this they were 
able to accomplish by special Divine aid, for man 
does not live by bread alone.” Of the Associates 
of Cordovero we read that some among them used to 
observe a fast extending over three or four days and 
nights, at the change of the four seasons of the year. 
It is further recorded that there were many pious 



scholars who refrained from wine and meat during 
week-days, whilst others observed on certain days of 
the year the same laws of levitical purity in respect to 
their food as the priests in olden times when eating 
the heave-offering and other sacrificial pieces. 

It should, however, be remarked that '‘ doing pen- 
ance” and chastisement of the flesh were not considered 
by them as synonymous with repentance. Repentance 
meant chiefly the absolute determination never to return 
to sin at the very risk of one's life, which must precede 
all regeneration of the heart. As Azkari himself 
expresses it, ” Fasts and ascetic practices arc vanity 
and the work of error without this preceding resolu- 
tion,” and he goes on to quote his contemporary, 
the Saint R. Jacob Gavinezo, who communicated to 
him the fact that a man committed a most atrocious 
crime after a continuous fast of three days. Like the 
sacrifice in the Temple, penance is only of value when 
preceded by purification of the heart, humility, and 

It is hardly needful to say that charity formed an 
important item in the Safed scheme of salvation. The 
injunction of the mystic is to give alms every day 
according to one’^ means. This injunction, though 
originally intended for a small circle, was accepted by 
the general public, following the example of the saints 
of old, who used always to make some donation to 
the poor before beginning their prayers. The custom* 
in Safed was to make a regular collection during the 
morning prayers in the synagogues. The men, how- 



ever, with special aspirations to saintliness would tax 
themselves to the amount of twenty per cent of their 
income, and it is stated that even among the poor 
there were persons known to give two tithes. Others, 
again, would adopt boys and girls early orphaned, 
educating them in their own families, and bringing 
them into the holy state of matrimony when they 
approached the marriageable age.*°® 

Yet Safed shows certain characteristics of its own 
which greatly redeem it from many an unpleasant 
feature which we are accustomed to associate with the 
modern revival camp. It is true that the strain was 
great, salvation being the absorbing topic of the 
community, and the terror of sin delaying this sal- 
vation ever present. No opportunity was allowed to 
pass for reminding men that Zion was still in ruins, 
and that man is a sinful creature and in need of grace, 
hence the injunction to confess sins before meals 
and before retiring to sleep, whilst the 137th Psalm, 
“By the rivers of Babylon we sat, etc.,” was added to 
the Grace after meals. 

That this strain should produce certain psychologi- 
cal phenomena more interesting to the pathologist 
than to the theologian, is hardly necessary to state. 
The literature of the time, abounding in stories of all 
sorts of demoniacs, bears ample evidence to this fact.”^ 
We also have stories of men who through their 
importunate storming of Heaven for Salvation were, 
for some relapse from grace, suddenly hurled down to 
the very depths of hell, and doomed to perdition. The 



most tragic among these is the story of Joseph de la 
Reina, who flourished in Safcd in the early decades of 
the sixteenth century. De la Reina is a sort of Jewish 
Faust, who, in his passion for salvation, did not 
hesitate to employ certain exorcisms and conjurations 
of a very daring nature. He succeeded in bringing 
the Evil One into his power, whose destruction is 
a preliminary condition to the advent of the Messiah. 
But in an unfortunate moment he was persuaded to 
show compassion to this fallen angel, allowing him to 
smell of the frankincense. The fiend then regained 
his former strength, and achieved full mastery over his 
captor, who, after realising his fall, abandoned himself 
to the most revolting immoralities, and ended his life 
by suicide.”* 

In spite of this strain, however, with all its hysteria 
and its dire results in some cases, it must not be 
thought that the Safed community was constantly on 
the mourning-bench and spent all its vitality in groaning 
and lamentations. Cordovero laid down the rule not to 
indulge in pretentious meals except on religious 
occasions, but these religious occasions were happily 
not infrequent, and the people were apparently not 
slow to avail themselves of the opportunities given 
to them. The* Sabbath was such an opportunity, 
being held as a day of joy and recreation in every 
respect, physically and spiritually. Fasting was not 
only strictly prohibited on the Sabbath, but it was 
considered a religious work to partake of three meals, 
which, Caro’s Mentor-Angel to the contrary notwith- 



standing, had to be distinguished by certain delicacies. 
Wine also was served at these meals, which even 
the Penitents would drink. The meals were further 
distinguished by a special set of hymns sung or 
chanted during the intervals between the various 
courses.”® The prescribed ritual, again, in the 
synagogue was all joy and promise, containing no 
confession or the slightest reference to anything of a 
despondent nature. Indeed, the Sabbath should give 
man a foretaste of the blis.sful Messianic times when 
sin and sorrow sliall have disappeared from the 
world. Reluctant to part with these hours of serene 
peace and unalloyed joy, and anxious to prolong 
them as much as possible, the Sabbath received an 
extension both at the beginning and at the end. Thus 
they would, early Friday afternoon, dress in their best 
clothes and set out in groups to receive Queen Sabbath, 
with song and praise, reciting certain Psalms and 
singing certain hymns composed for the occasion. In 
like manner, they would refrain from work for several 
hours after the Sabbath sun had set, and spend them 
in chanting hymns and in feasting. They had even a 
special society whose members would meet to spend 
the end of the Sabbath, reaching way into the night, 
with song and dance. The New Moon was also 
observed as a partial holiday, affording an opportunity 
for relaxation and enjoyment, not to speak of festivals 
prescribed in the Bible, such as the Passover, the 
Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. 

All these things must have contributed more or 



less toward mitigating the evil effects of an exaggerated 
asceticism. Nor must it be forgotten that joy forms a 
prominent feature in the programme of the mystic. His 
maxim was : the Divine light reaching man through the 
fulfilment of the commandment is only in proportion 
to the joy expressed by him when performing a 
religious action. ”5 

Moreover, it must be borne in mind that Safed was 
just as famous for its scholarship as for its piety. 
Most of the leaders of the ascetic and mystical move- 
ments were at the same time distinguished scholars. 
Ranting in such intellectual society was just as 
much out of place as idle brooding and unprofitable 
gloom. The study of the Torah, to which they were 
so much devoted, was always considered a joy, and the 
Safed of the sixteenth century must have been a 
veritable Paradise on earth to any man with a tendency 
toward intellectual pursuits. If his interests lay in 
the regions of the visible, he would attend the lectures 
of Caro, Trani, or Sagis, and various other Rabbis at 
the head of the great Yeshiboth of the place. If he 
were mystically inclined, he would attach himself to 
Alkabez or Cordovero ; if he had a taste for homiletics, 
he would go to listen to the Biblical expositions of 
Alsheich, whilst* he might also spare an hour for the 
lectures of R. Samuel de Useda on the Chapters of the 
Fathers {Pirke AbotJi)^ whose work on this ethical 
tractate is still considered a standard commentary. 
He might besides this pay a visit with profit to the 
ancient R. David ben Zimra, who, though at the period 



of his second settlement in Safed, he must already have 
reached the age of ninety, was still a member of the 
General Board mentioned above, and interested in public 
affairs. An occasional walk with Vital might also have 
possessed its own attractions, for, besides being an adept 
in the Cabbala, he was, like so many devotees of nature- 
mysticism, likewise interested in alchemy, astronomy, 
astrology, magic, and all kinds of occult sciences. In 
the way of recreation one might attend recitals of the 
mystical bard, R. Israel Nagara, the author of the 
hymn book Zemiroth Israel, who, though somewhat 
“vividly erotic’' in his metaphors, counted angels 
among his auditors, and probably came often to Safed 
on visits to his father, R. Joseph Nagara, a kimous 
scribe of that city.”^ 

Safed reached the zenith of its fame with the advent 
of Loria.”7 Isaac Loria was born in Jerusalem in the 
year i 534. He was a descendant of the famous German 
family Loria, on account of which fact he was also 
called Isaac Ashkenazi. It is not impossible that his 
ancestors came from the Rhine Provinces, from which 
most of the earlier scions of the Loria family hailed. 
Elijah Loanz (flourished about the end of the sixteenth 
century), who claimed some relationship with our 
Loria, was a native of Frankfort. One branch of this 
family settled in Poland, whilst the other seems to 
have emigrated to Palestine. The emigration of 
German Jews to Mohammedan countries was by no 
means confined to this case. The impulse to this 



expatriation from a land in which they had lived 
for many centuries and in which they had almost 
the claim of original settlers, came from the Epistle 
of a certain Joseph Zarphathi, whom fate drove from 
Germany to Turkey in his early youth. In this 
Epistle he described ‘‘the happy lot of the Jews under 
the Crescent as compared with their hard fate under 
the shadow of the Cross/' and called upon them to 
escape from the German house of bondage and 
emigrate to Turkey. If the German Jews, he said, 
could realise but a tenth part of the prosperity await- 
ing them in Turkey, they would brave rain and 
snow, and would rest neither by day nor by night 
before reaching there. Another inducement that he 
offered them was that there is a route to the Holy 
Land lying open to them through Turkey. Though 
distance forbade emigration en masse from Germany, 
there can be no doubt that Zarphathi's Epistle was 
not quite without effect, for we soon find small con- 
gregations, both in Turkey and in Palestine, composed 
of Jewish emigrants from Germany. The Karaite 
PIlijah Bashiatsi, of Adrianople, even complained of 
the bad influence of these newly-arrived Rabbinical 
students from Germany, alarming the community with 
their fringes and phylacteries, and their long gowns 
and their hoods, making themselves conspicuous and 
overawing the crowds.^*® 

The birth of Loria was, as in the case of so many 
wonder-men, heralded to his father by the prophet 
Elijah, who said unto him : ‘L . . Be it known unto 



thee that the Holy One, blessed be he, sent me to 
bring thee the good message that thy wife will bear 
thee a son. Thou shalt name him Isaac ; he will 
deliver Israel from the power of the Husks (that is, the 
powers of evil and contamination which are at war with 
the powers of the good and the holy, and obscure 
them) ; and he will redeem many souls that are under- 
going the agony of transmigration, and through him 
shall be revealed the teaching of the Cabbala to the 
world.” He was further bidden not to begin the 
initiation of his son into the covenant of Abraham 
until aware of the prophet’s presence in the synagogue. 
The father did as he was bidden, and the boy proved 
indeed a wonder-child. At the tender age of eight 
he was considered to be a marvel of Rabbinical learn- 
ing, so that none of the Jerusalem scholars could 
compete with him in a Talmudical discussion. Un- 
fortunately, the father, Solomon, died about this time, 
and left his widow in such needy circumstances that 
she was not able even to procure the necessary books 
which her son required for his studies. There was 
nothing left for them to do but emigrate to Cairo, 
where her brother, the wealthy tax-farmer Mordecai 
Francis, resided. Mordecai received them kindly, and 
made generous provision for his sister and those 
dependent upon her. Her son Loria he adopted as 
his own, and placed him under the care of R. Bezaleel 
Ashkenazi, the famous author of the Shittah Mchibe- 
zetk, under whose guidance he continued his Rabbinical 
studies until he reached the age of fifteen, when he 



married the daughter of his benefactor. ”9 His intro- 
duction to the teaching of the Cabbala followed 
some two years later. According to legend, it took 
place in the following way: A stranger, whose 
business transactions led him to Cairo, came one day 
to perform his devotions at the synagogue in which 
Loria was in the habit of worshipping. It so happened 
that he took his seat opposite Loria and ostensibly 
began to read his prayers from a written book which 
he held in his hands. Loria, whose curiosity was 
evidently aroused by the sight of the manuscript, 
managed to take a glance at the volume, and was 
surprised to see that its contents embodied the great 
mysteries of the faith. Whereupon he approached 
the owner of the book and questioned him as to his 
person and his profession, and also demanded from him 
some information as to the contents of the manu- 
script. The owner, who felt embarrassed by Loria’s 
importunate questioning, stated finally that he was a 
mere Marrano, and even ignorant of the Hebrew 
letters of the Torah, and confessed that he was 
only simulating the reading of the volume in his 
hands out of sheer shame before the other worship- 
pers, who were all reading their prayers from the 
prayer-books* open before them. Loria then began to 
urge him to sell him the manuscript, since it was of no 
real value to its owner. This request was at first 
refused, but afterwards our Marrano agreed to part 
with his treasure on condition that Loria would 
employ his good offices with his father-in-law, the 



tax-farmer, to have the duties upon the wares which 
he was about to import to. Egypt remitted for him. 

The book, as it seems, proved to be the Book of 
Splendour, or Sephcr ha-Zohar^ ascribed to R. Simon 
ben Yochai, of the second century, and being, as is 
well known, the main classic of the Cabbalists. Loria 
tljen, for eight years, abandoned himself to the study 
of the Cabbala with all the energy and 'Tanatical 
enthusiasm’' of which he was capable. The principal 
subject of his devotion was the Zohar, but it \vould 
seem that during the first six years of his study he 
did not always succeed in divining the real meaning 
of its supposed author, Simon ben Yochai. However, 
he received indications from “heaven” that to reach 
the desired end it would be necessary for him to sub- 
mit to a more austere mode of living than had been 
his habit until then. He thereupon retired to a certain 
village, in the neighbourhood of Cairo, which belonged 
to his father-in-law, where he built for himself a cot- 
tage on the banks of the Nile. Here he lived during 
the whole week, returning to his family in the city 
only for the Sabbath. The other six days were spent 
in strict solitude, and in fasting, praying, and frequent 
ablutions, beside other kinds of voluntary self-chas- 
tisement. This continued for two years, when Loria, 
by reason of his holy life and complete absorption in 
medi?Stion upon the holy mysteries, reached the 
degree of being worthy of the gift of the Holy Spirit, 
as well as of having communion with the prophet Elijah. 
Nothing is known of Loria’s occupation during the 



next eight or ten years, preceding his emigration to 
Safed. We are told that this exodus was undertaken 
in obedience to a distinct command from Heaven, 
which announced to him that his tenure of life would 
be a short one, and ordered him, among other things, 
to leave the polluted land (Egypt) and go up to Safed 
in Upper Galilee.”® 

It will have been observed that no mention has been 
made of Loria’s master in the department in which he 
was most to excel. Legend, which has served us 
as the source for the preceding description, is quite 
silent on this point. Nor was there any real need for 
a master in human shape. For, according to legend, 
it was the prophet Elijah himself who performed the 
functions of teacher in the case of Loria. It is further 
narrated that every night Loria's soul, released from 
all earthly ties, would ascend to heaven in the com- 
pany of the ‘^ministering angels,'’ who watched over 
him until he reached the abode of the Celestials. 
Upon his arrival there, he would have his choice of 
attending any of the super-mundane academies, in 
which the souls of departed saints and great sages 
continue the occupations which formed their moments 
of bliss in the course of their earthly careers. But 
it may be humbly suggested also that Loria had, 
besides, a very fair library, in which, apart from the 
Zohar, were contained the works of various mystics 
who had preceded him. We know that he occasion- 
ally referred to them, assigning to each his proper 
place in the chain of mystical tradition. It is also 



possible that in the beginning he may have received 
some aid from R. David ben Zimra, at that time the 
Chief Rabbi of Cairo, who was also a great Cabbalist ; 
as well as from his master, Bezaleel, who is recorded 
as having been learned in the mysteries of the Torah. 

More important is the indebtedness of Loria to Cor- 
dovero. This indebtedness is suggested by a passage 
in the Writings” of Loria, in which Cordovero is 
cited as “our master and teacher.”^'*'* The vagueness 
of the plural, however, as well as the uncertainty as 
to the genuineness of these “ Writings ”, make it rather 
hazardous to base an important biographical fact upon 
them. But we are fully justified in doing so after the 
evidence of Sambari, who reports that “Cordovero 
was the master of Loria for a short time,” whilst Con- 
forte describes him as a disciple-colleague of Cordo- 
vero. ”3 This evidence gathers strength from certain 
occasional remarks in a version of the life of Loria, in 
which the personal relations between the two masters 
are not entirely obliterated. Thus we learn that among 
the “men of wisdom and understanding whom Loria 
found in Safed upon his arrival there, were Caro, Cor- 
dovero, and R. Joseph Ashkenazi.” The fact that these 
three sages were singled out by name, would suggest 
that Loria came into close relationship with them. 
From another place it is clear that it was practically 
Cordovero himself who designated Loria as his succes- 
sor. Naturally, legend accounts for it by a miracle. 
Indeed, we are told that it was only to spare Cordo- 
vero’ s sensitiveness that Loria hesitated so long before 



revealing his greatness to the world. But we may 
conclude that while Cordovero lived, Loria occupied 
the inferior position, — that is, that of a disciple in the 
presence of his master. 

I lay no claim to be initiated in the science of 
the invisible, and am thus unable to determine with 
any exactness how far this indebtedness of Loria to 
Cordovero extended. To cite a Biblical expression 
frequently used in such connexion, I am merely 
looking through the lattice.’* And what one can 
perceive by means of such dim vision is that all 
the Cabbalists laboured under an awful alternative — 
the dread of confusing the creature with his Creator, 
and the dread not less keenly felt of the horror vacui^ 
or a God-less world, in addition to the well-known 
metaphysical, or rather physical, difficulty of the 
possibility of evolving a finite world from the Infinite. 
This dread called into being a whole system of emana- 
tions and immanations, of straight rays and reflected 
lights, of radiations and beams, crossing each other 
and commingling, and forming endless combinations, 
creating universes. But these universes are, on the 
other hand, affected by a whole series of checks and 
balances, or defects and faults, disabling them from 
becoming identical with the life permeating them, 
but (just because of these defects) giving them 
tangible substance, by which process alone the 
creation of the world, as we see it, becomes possible. 
Still, this world, notwithstanding the endless grada- 



tions and disguises and husks, is not only reached 
by a Divine Essence, which created it, but is per- 
vaded by it and is full of it. Cordovero’s expression 
with regard to the first immanations, that they are 
identical and not identical, may be applied also to all 
other developments in the scale of the universes. 
They are just effect enough not to be entirely confused 
with their cause, but in such close proximity or con- 
tiguity to the cause that they cannot be thought 
separated from the cause. Some mystics were bold 
enough to declare the world not only united with 
God, but one with God. Even the lowest worm in 
this scale becomes to a certain extent identical with 
all the causes of worlds or emanations preceding it. 
There is, accordingly, a constant blending of the 
temporal and the eternal. Indeed, the action of the 
first emanation, which assumes some room for imma- 
nation, became possible only by the process of the 
Divine Essence concentrating itself into itself, and 
thus making a place for a world or the possibility of 
emanations. This self-concentration of the Divine, 
creating space for the universes, or for ideas or 
attributes from which a universe might evolve, is 
counteracted by a process of expansion, or an out- 
flow of the Divine Essence, thus making Creation 
God-full. The impossibility, however, on the part of 
the universes, or the ‘‘vessels”, to become a real 
receptacle for the light emitted from Divine Grace, 
inasmuch as the receptacle cannot be identical with 
the thing received, caused a deterioration in the 

26 o 


descending sca/a of universes or worlds, which brought 
about the condition of chaos, in which the origin of 
evil is to be sought. The chaos is so thorough and 
so complete that evil cannot be entirely without good, 
indeed, it would have no existence ; whilst the good, 
in the lower worlds at least, is not entirely free from 
evil. This is especially the case with this world of 
ours, the most substantialised. It is the world of the 
Husks, of mere appearances or disguises, obscuring 
the real realities, and but for the ^‘sparks”, or beams, 
of the holy and pure scattered in it, it would disappear 
into nothingness, and be swallowed up by its own 
unredeemable darkness. The elimination of evil, and 
the restoration of the world to Divine goodness, is the 
great problem under which creation is labouring. 

Loria is usually described as the author of this 
system of Concentration, called in Hebrew Zimztnn, 
Now, it is true that Cordovero, as far as I could see, 
only once uses this term in his Pardcs. But it 
should be remarked that R. Sabbatai Horwitz, the 
author of the Shcplui Tal (Abundance of Dew), an 
avowed disciple of Cordovero, and considered the 
best expounder of his system, is constantly operating 
with Zimzum, at the same time giving the most lucid 
expositions of* the Concentration theory to be found 
in any Cabbalistic book; but he never so much as 
mentions Loria. However, I am prepared to accept 
in good faith the testimony of R. Menahem Azariah 
of Fano, mentioned above, who spent a large fortune 
in procuring the writings of Cordovero and in giving 



them wide circulation, but who subsequently declared 
that the system of I^oria bears the same relation to 
that of Cordovero as the latter sustains to the Biblical 
commentaries of Kimchi, which give only the simple 
meaning of the Scriptures and never touch on the 
mysteries of the Torah. 

Some light perhaps may be thrown on this point 
by a remark ascribed by legend to Cordovero him- 
self, to the effect that Cordovero on a certain occasion 
expressed his opinion that there was no real disagree- 
ment between his system and that of his successor 
(Loria); only whilst he himself dwelt more on the 
aspect of the Sephiroih (Emanations), his successor 
enlarged more on the ParzMphiviy as they are to be 
found in the Idras of the Zoliar.*"*^ Parzuphim, a 
Greek term, signifies, when occurring in the regular 
Rabbinical literature, faces, visages, forehead, and 
features. The mystic seemed to use the term in the 
wider sense of the “full stature,"' comprising all parts 
of the human body, allegorised, sublimised, to repre- 
sent attributes and ideas. Starting from the favoured 
notion of the mystics, conceiving man as a microcosm 
(or the world in miniature), virtually connected with 
and focussing all the different orders of creation, and 
pressing (rather unduly) the logical consequence in- 
volved in the Scriptural statement, “So God created 
man in his own image" and similar verses, the mystic 
reverses the process, and if he does not exactly create 
God in the image of man, he conceives even in the 
ideal universe “man in enlargement", and looks to 



hivS image for the illustration of all Existence and 
Generation. His language then becomes less abstract 
and his metaphors much bolder. He imposes on 
himself, it is true, absolute silence with regard to the 
Infinite, or the Unknowable, or the Super- Essential, 
who is transcendentalised beyond language and beyond 
thought. But more intrepid grows his phraseology 
when he reaches the first manifestation of the Most 
Hidden of all Hidden, which he terms the Original 
Man, or the Ideal Man {Adam Kadmon)^ the arche- 
type of creation, endowed with certain qualities making 
it possible to establish likeness ** between the image and 
him who fashioned it.** The danger of this system, 
with its bold negations on the one hand, and its 
hazardous ‘^anthropology** on the other, is evident 
enough and needs no further explanation. It should, 
however, be remarked that no one felt this danger 
more deeply and warned against it more emphatically 
than the Cabbalists themselves. It is sufficient here 
to refer to the compiler of the Idras, which, as just 
indicated, were the main source of Loria*s inspiration. 
The Idras may, perhaps, be characterised as the 
mystical anatomy of the Original Man**. They 
dilate, naturally, upon the corporeal expressions of 
the Bible in connexion with the Deity, but add to 
them also limbs and organs of the human body not 
occurring in the Scriptures, describing them minutely 
and explaining them in a theosophic and mystical 
manner. But this lengthy discourse (especially the 
so-called Great Idra, claiming to have been promul- 




gated in the circle of the ancient Rabbis) is prefaced by 
a solemn warning by R. Simon ben Yochai, the alleged 
hero of this gathering, not to take these metaphors 
and terms literally. He enjoins them to rise and lift 
their hands when he pronounces the anathema over 
those not heeding his warning, with the Scriptural 
words, “Cursed be the man that maketh any graven 
or molten image an abomination unto the Lord, the 
work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in 
a secret place. And all the people shall answer, and 
say Amen” (Dent. 27:15). 

Loria was apparently more given to this branch of 
the Cabbala than to any other. This is, at least, the 
impression one receives on examining the works or 
the hymns attributed to him. There the anthropo- 
morphistic element is more conspicuous, and the 
terminology more concrete than in the works of his 
predecessors, and it is not impossible that it was just 
this novel feature in his teaching which proved attract- 
ive to the more daring spirits. But there must have 
been, besides, something great and attractive about 
Loria's personality that gave him this overwhelming 
influence in a city so abounding in great scholars and 
great mystics as was Safed. This will be more clearly 
seen if we follow his career in his new home. 

The whole ministry of Loria in Safed lasted at the 
utmost six years. With the exception of R. David 
ben Zimra, whom he had known in Cairo, there is 
nothing on record to show that he had any connexion 



with the leading spirits of Safed before his settling in 
this city. But we find him soon, as shown before, in 
the society of Caro and Cordovero, the recognised heads 
of the Talmudic and mystical schools respectively. 
His relation to Cordovero was that, as we have 
already pointed out, of a disciple or disciple-colleague 
to his master. As to Caro, we are in possession of a 
Responsum showing that Loria solicited his advice in 
the decision of a civil case, which suggests a certain 
subordination on the part of Loria in purely Rabbinic 
matters. But this did not prevent Caro from being 
counted, according to legend, among the greatest 
admirers of Loria. Their rdations must have grown 
more intimate when Loria* s son became engaged to a 
daughter of Caro. Shlomel, to whom we owe the 
knowledge of this fact, reports in this connexion, in 
the name of Caro’s widow, that when her husband 
came home from the banquet given in honour of this 
betrothal, he said to her, “My wife, I can hardly 
describe to you how much I profited in my knowledge 
of the secrets of the Torah coming from the mouth of 
Loria at this banquet. Not even an angel is in pos- 
session of such heavenly lore as he displayed this 
night, his soul being that of an ancient prophet.** It 
should, however, be noted that Shlomel naively 
proceeds to say that Loria rather discouraged Caro in 
his efforts to become his disciple in the Cabbala, 
maintaining that Caro’s soul was only fit to receive 
wisdom on the plane of Cordovero. As a proof of 
this, Loria is supposed to have given the fact, that as 



often as he began to reveal some great mystery to 
Caro^ the latter would fall asleep, so that Caro himself 
became convinced that he was not sufficiently prepared 
for the revelations of Loria.^^o 

The ascendency of I.oria probably dated from the 
year 1570, when he succeeded Cordovero as the head 
of the mystical school. But whilst Cordovero was 
admired and revered as a saint and a scholar, Loria 
was looked upon as one of those superhuman beings 
who, by a special act of Providence, are permitted to 
visit us mortals for the especial purpose of our salvation. 
Their real home is heaven, and they come to us only 
on leave of absence. According to his biographers, 
his face was shining like the sun, and his thoughts 
were chaste and holy. In his knowledge of the Divine 
there was none like him since the glorious days of R. 
Simon ben Yochai. He was, moreover, master of all 
the sciences. He knew physiognomy and chiromancy, 
and understood the conversation of the trees, and the 
language of the birds, and the speech of the angels. 
Looking at the forehead of a man he could tell at a 
glance from what particular source his soul was derived, 
and the processes of transmigration through which it 
had passed, and what its present mission was on earth. 
He also could discern the souls of the wicked which 
(as a punishment) had taken up their abode in woods 
and in stone quarries, in the beasts of the field, in 
insects and unclean birds. He was able to tell men 
their past as well as predict their future, and to 
prescribe for them the rules of conduct calculated to 


make amends for their shortcomings in a previous 

existence. *3* 

The name under which Loria usually appears in 
this new hagiology is ARI (Lion), forming the anagram 
of the Hebrew words signifying '^the Divine Rabbi 
Isaac,’* whilst his disciples and other enthusiastic fol- 
lowers are termed ‘'the Lion- Whelps.” Probably 
they included among their number several of the 
old Associates of Cordovero who, indeed, under 
the leadership of Loria seem to have become more 
consolidated and to have figured more prominently 
as a compact body than in former days. It is true 
that we have indications that some of the disciples of 
Cordovero hesitated for some time in their recognition 
of the new master, putting him to the test in various 
ways. But all opposition seems soon to have ceased, 
so that Loria maintained the field. 

The most important acquisition to the Lion- Whelps 
was R. Chayim Vital who, it seems, had until then 
pursued his mystical studies entirely independent of the 
Cabbalists of Safed. At the time of Loria’s appearance 
on the stage. Vital was living in Damascus, occupied in 
writing a commentary on the Zohar. He paid little 
attention to the rumours reaching him from Safed, that 
a great new master had arisen in Israel. These 
rumours, however, were strengthened by visions in 
dreams of the night, which, according to legend. Vital 
could no longer disregard, so that he determined to 
go to Safed and meet Loria. They had hardly met 



before Vital had occasion to learn that at last he had 
found a master. He soon became the most devoted 
member of Loria’s school and the most active in the 
propagation of his teaching. *^3 

The text-book of the school was the Zohar, which 
Loria would expound to his disciples after due prep- 
aration for it on their peirt. The Idra, referred to 
above, seems to have been the object of their particular 
inquiry and curiosity. But it must be remarked that 
even in the narrow circle of his trusted pupils, Loria 
was not very communicative in the revelation of what 
he considered to be the “mystery of mysteries.'’ 
The few revelations he did make were made, according 
to the testimony of his disciples, only under protest, 
at their urgent solicitation and at the very risk of the 
life of the master, he having been apparently unwilling 
to reveal such great secrets to insignificant mortals. 
But even his disciples could not prevail upon him to 
give a presentation of his system in a book for the 
benefit of posterity. Nay, even the permission to take 
down notes of his lectures was given only grudgingly 
and, as it seems, was withdrawn subsequently. ^34 

Next to the mysteries of the Torah, it was apparently 
the personality of Loria himself which exercised their 
minds. Loria, it is true, was vaguely known to the 
general population of Safed as “the Holy Man” and 
“the Divine Cabbalist.” Occasionally he gave an 
edifying lecture in some synagogue. There is also a 
tradition that he was a member of the Board of 
Censors in Safed, composed of various Rabbis who 



were responsible for the morals of the city, and that 
he distinguished himself there by defending the hon- 
our of a woman who lay under grave suspicion/^s 
According to another account, he came also in contact 
with the world through his business relations, to which 
he gave up three days of the week. *3^ I do not think 
that this report is correct. It is more probable that 
he had some competency granted to him by his rich 
uncle and father-in-law. Be this as it may, there is 
no doubt that he was best known to the Associates, 
numbering ten or twelve, who constituted the inner 
circle of Loria’s acquaintance and converted themselves 
into as many Boswells. None of his movements 
escaped them. They watched to see how he rose 
from his bed and when ; how he washed his hands, 
how he cut his nails, how he read his prayers, how he 
ate his meals, and more often, how he fasted and when ; 
how he said Grace after meals, how he addressed 
himself to his fellow-men, and what his relations to 
them were ; how he prepared himself for the Sabbath, 
and how many garments he wore on that day; what 
songs he intoned during the meal, and how he cut 
the bread, and what shape the table had at which 
these meals w<^e served. This fitted in well with 
their system, in which man, as already hinted, plays 
the important part, especially the ‘‘superman,’' sur- 
rounded by that Divine halo which makes him, to 
use a Talmudical expression, a partner of the Holy 
One, blessed be he, in the creation of the world. *37 
In the Talmud, this distinction of creating worlds is 



bestowed on the man who administers justice . lyi 
the Cabbala, this function of creating worlds, and not 
less of destroying worlds (in the case of evil-doers), 
is extended to all the actions of man by reason of his 
soul being the plexus of the whole scale of worlds. 
This makes a whole universe sensitive to all his 
motions. In the case of Loria arose a whole literature, 
dealing with what is called Attentions, or Devotions, 
including the rules of conduct observed by I^oria. 
The Attentions ^re for the most part of a mystical 
nature, bearing upon Loria's interpretation of the 
contents of the ritual and the mystical meaning which 
he divined in the performance of every commandment ; 
but there are also Attentions of more general interest. "39 
Loria's first care was naturally for the young 
“ Lions or the Associates, who were apparently in 
need of a little taming and discipline, to effect which 
he erected for them an enclosure”, or rather, square, 
a block of buildings, providing chambers also for their 
wives and children. Isolation from the world, though 
living in the world, forms a part of the programme of 
every mystic. But the experiment was not successful. 
After a few months had passed, the women began to 
quarrel, and imparted their grievances to their hus- 
bands, leading to unpleasantness among the Associ- 
ates. This mortified Loria very deeply."^'" 

The Associates were divided into two classes, 
probably in accordance with their knowledge of mysti- 
cal lore, but this did not prevent Loria from considering 
them as one body in the fullest sense of the word. 


each of the Associates being held only as a member 
or a joint of the body, so that in loving himself he 
loved the whole organism. Loria further bade them 
to pray constantly one for the other, and especially to 
feel the distress of each other in the case of sickness 
and misfortune. The love of the organism, however, 
extended to the whole of Israel, and Loria prescribed, 
that before beginning prayers man should receive upon 
himself the affirmative commandment, “And thou 
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself** (Lev. 19: 17), so 
that he may pray for Israel, in Israel, and with Israel. 
And it was this overwhelming sense of his solidarity 
with Israel which urged him to read the Confession 
prescribed for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) in all 
its fullest details, explaining that though there may be 
sins which he himself had not committed, he felt him- 
self to be a member of the great body of Israel 
whose individual members form only one great unit 
of souls. Vital, the favourite pupil of Loria, prescribes 
as one of the conditions for the acquiring of the gift of 
the Holy Spirit, “ Love all creatures, including non- 
Jews.***^® Loria himself was careful not to kill any 
living creature, be it even an insect or a worm. This 
was probably a result of his belief in the teaching of 
Metempsychosis, so prominent in Loria's system, 
which peopled for him the animate world with the 
souls of a fallen humanity, now appearing in the shapes 
of lower creation. *^3 

Prayer, as may be expected, was to Loria one of 
the main functions of life, there being, according to him. 



no prayer in which man, by reason of his close com-, 
munion with God, does not become the receptacle of 
new Divine light and a new outflow of Divine mercy. 
Every word of the ritual, every letter in it, had, besides 
its literal meaning, also its awful mysteries, occupying 
a most prominent place in the writings attributed to him 
or to his disciples. He saw in the lack of proper de- 
votion during prayer the great obstacle in the way of 
the redemption of Israel. It is hardly to be wondered 

at that such sublime prayer, accompanied by all the 
Attentions” as Loria prescribed them, should be 
preceded by a series of ablutions, forming a part of the 
mystical programme at all times. It is reported that 
Loria said that physical purity, obtained by such 
ablutions, is greatly helpful to man, and he would 
perform them in the severest cold. On the other 
hand, it is recorded that when his mother objected to 
them on account of his delicate health, he would 

defer to her wishes cheerfully. 

This trait of considerateness was an essential 
feature of his character. He led, as we can imagine, 
a very simple life, dressing very plainly and spending 
little on himself, but he would accept the budget of 
his wife without a protest, and grant all the expense 
she considered It was also his custom to pay 

for any object required for religious purposes the 
amount asked, whatever it might be. Anger he 
declared to be the source of all evil, considering it 
as a sort of spiritual suicide, and though he was very 
tender in the treatment of his disciples, he once 



rebuked one of the Associates who showed too much 
resentment against his brother for not being sufficiently 
attentive to his studies. *^7 The man who is betrayed 
into anger puts up a strange god in his heart, which 
is a sanctuary, and where the Divine Presence should 
dwell. Hence, let no man be betrayed into anger, 
either against a Gentile or a Jew, not even in the case 
when he has been robbed or insulted, but let always 
his mind remain calm. ‘'The Lord, his God, is with 
him, and the shout of the King is in him.'* It is 
reported that the Loria Associates made it a rule not 
to initiate anyone into the mysteries of the Cabbala 
who was by temperament inclined to anger. There 
is also a story about Loria that he would, on his 
walks, usually place himself behind a certain student 
of Safed. It seems that his disciples rather resented 
this humility of their master, and expostulated with 
him. His answer was to the effect that he could see 
that the student felt especially honoured by walking 
before him ; since this was his desire, Loria thought it 
his duty to satisfy it 3 just as we, according to the 
Rabbinic law, are bound to provide a proper escort for 
the poor of noble descent, if they have been accus- 
tomed to it all their lives. *^9 

It is hardly necessary to say that Loria was chari- 
table 3 he had appointed times every day when he 
gave a certain amount of alms to the treasurer of his 
synagogue, but he further considered it as a solemn 
act, and would, as in the most important prayers, 
stand on his feet when he gave his Perutah, Often he 



would give all the money in his possession, not look- 
ing to see whether anything remained in his pocket. 
This is certainly against all the rules of scientific charity. 
I hope that we shall overlook this defect in his 
character when we remember the remark of a French 
philosopher of the eighteenth century, who said that 
magnanimity owes no account of its motives to 

He was especially strict in the fulfilment of the 
command bidding us to pay the workman his wages 
on the very day on which he has performed his labour 
(Deut. 24; 15), and it went so far with him that he 
would not allow himself to read the afternoon prayer 
before getting the necessary money to pay off debts of 
this kind, saying, “ How dare I approach my Maker 
when such a commandment came within my reach and 
I did not accomplish it?” 's* 

In this connexion, the following story may be re- 
produced : As we have seen, many Jews in Safed were 
engaged in the clothing trade. Among these was R. 
Abraham Galanti, referred to above. One day Galanti 
came to Loria asking him, as the phrase was, to ‘^give an 
improvement to his soul,” — that is, to tell him whether 
Loria had not detected that he was backward in the 
fulfilment of one of the commandments. Loria at first 
declined to comply with his wish, as Galanti was one 
of the scholars and saints of Safed; but after much 
urging, he fixed his eyes on Galanti’s forehead and 
said to him, that he was defective in the commandment 
* Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him* ’ * 



(Lev. 19: 13). The mystical notion is that sin and 
passion leave their impression on the face of man, and 
disfigure the image of God. Galanti went home trem- 
bling in every limb, and deeply mortified that he 
should have disgraced himself so far as to be in- 
volved in the sin of dishonesty. He put on sackcloth 
and spread ashes on his head in accordance with the 
usage of penitents, and called a meeting of all the 
hands engaged in his factory. When they arrived, he 
said to them : '' Know ye not that I am only flesh and 
blood, and therefore subject to error? Accordingly, 
I must ask that you should examine most carefully 
your accounts with me, to see that I do you no 
wrong.” Their answer was: ^‘We have no account 
against you. Since we have been in the master’s em- 
ploy we are wanting in nothing, and the Lord has sent 
us his blessing. There is none among us who would 
think of making a bill of his demands.” Thereupon 
the Rabbi said : ‘Ht is through your negligence in this 
respect that I have become the victim of sin. I will, 
therefore, put money before you; take what you de- 
sire, and forgive any claims you may have against 
me.” But they would not touch the money, except 
one woman, wjio stretched out her hands and took 
two Pcrutoth, Galanti then went to Loria, who said, 
as he came out to meet him, ''Why did you feel so 
mortified?” Galanti answered, “Is it a small matter 
that I should feel that I may possibly have robbed 
somebody? Now, if I have found grace in your eyes, 
tell me if the mark of this sin is still upon my fore- 



head?” Loria answered, ‘‘No sign of sin is visible 
any longer,” and revealed to him that the mistake 
consisted in the fact that this woman who had taken 
two Pcnitoth was one of the best weavers in his factory, 
and should have been better paid than the other em- 
ployees. ‘‘But they are very particular in heaven 
about such things,” said Loria, “ hence the ugly mark 
which I perceived on you.” ^52 

Sabbath was the day of days with Loria and the 
Associates, new heavenly light reaching our sublunar 
regions on that day. The preparation for the Sabbath 
began Friday morning, when Loria would read the 
portion of the week from a scroll of the Pentateuch. 
Then would come dressing the hair, ablutions, and 
arraying himself in white garments in honour of the 
Sabbath. Early in the afternoon, Loria would form a 
procession, together with the Associates, to the fields 
to receive there Queen Sabbath with the song, “Come, 
my Beloved.” *^3 It was on such occasions that Loria, 
who was otherwise, as we have seen, rather reserved in 
revealing the mysteries of the Torah, would become com- 
municative and uncover Divine secrets which no ear had 
been worthy enough to listen to before. And not only 
would the living profit by this hour of grace, but 
also the souls of the departed would benefit, wandering 
about for eternities, and taking up their abodes in the 
different kingdoms, the mineral, the vegetable, and the 
animal. These would on such occasions come to 
Loria, asking for his prayers to lift them up into the 
higher regions. “He saw spirits everywhere, and 



heard their whispers in the rushing of the water, in 
the movements of the trees and grass, in tlie song or 
twittering of the birds, even in the flickering of 
flames.*' ^54 The neighbourhood of Safed, to which 
legend, long before this period, had transferred from 
judeca the earthly remains of prophets and ancient 
sages, became to Loria, who saw their souls hovering 
on the graves, a veritable Valley of Jehoshaphat in the 
hour of resurrection. He held intercourse with them, 
and united, in ''concentrated prayer,’* his soul with 
theirs. ^55 ] 3 ut, above all, it was contemporary human- 

ity which harboured these souls, if such an expression 
be permissible with Loria. Indeed, recognising as 
Loria did, by the process of metempsychosis, in every 
person he met old acquaintances from history, with 
whom he had associated in a former existence, and 
believing further, as he did, that it was only with the 
advent of the Messiah that this transmigration of souls 
would cease, all limits of space and time practi- 
cally disappeared for him. To him the "generations 
past and the generations to come formed with those 
who are alive one single whole.** All souls w’ere 
evolved from the " original soul ** of Adam, derived from 
the different parts of his body, and they suffered by his 
Fall. All live eternally, and are swayed by almost the 
same passions and by the same ideals as they were 
before. A certain neighbour of Loria, of a quarrel- 
some disposition, was none else to him than Korah of 
old, whilst Loria himself was a spark of the soul of 
Moses.^56 Abraham Halevi, referred to above, was 



reported by legend to have perceived the Divine Glory 
during his prayers at the Holy Wall in Jerusalem, 
l^oria thereupon discovered in him a spark of the soul 
of tlie prophet Jeremiah, who, according to a Rabbin- 
ical legend, had a similar vision on the same conse- 
crated spot.^'^^ R. Moses Alsheich, again, famous, as 
noted above, for his homilctical works, was pregnant 
with the soul of R. Samuel ben Nachmani, the famous 
Agadist of the fourth century. ^58 Loria himself and 
the Associates, in their present capacity as mystics, 
represented the reincarnation of the supposed heroes of 
the Zohar, headed by R. Simon ben Yochai and his son 
R. EIeazar."S9 Men were not to him what they were, but 
what they had been once, and it was their former exist- 
ence which determined his relations to them. Thus it 
is reported that one morning his disciple R. Samuel de 
Useda entered the house of Loria, who was lecturing 
to the Associates. Loria, upon perceiving him, at 
once arose before him and greeted him with the words, 
‘‘Blessed be he that cometh,” took him by the hand, 
placed him at his right side, and had a long conversa- 
tion with him. Vital, who was present, was curious 
to know why his master showed this young man 
so much honour, and asked him the reason. He 
said : It was not before him that I arose, but before 
the soul of R. Phinehas ben Jair, who lived some 
eight hundred years ago, and was especially distin- 
guished by his acts of charity and lovingkindness. 
Of this soul the young man became possessed to-day. 
Upon inquiry, Useda confessed that that morning, on 



his way to the synagogue, he had passed by a house 
from which the voice of lamentation and crying 
reached his ears. When he went in, he found the 
tenants all naked, robbers having taken away their 
clothes. He at once gave them all the raiment he 
had on, and returned home, where he clad himself in 
his Sabbath garments. 

Such things Loria saw best on the eve of the 
Sabbath by the aid of the Divine light radiating from 
the holiness of the day to come. When the prayers 
and the songs in the fields were over, Loria would 
return home, where he would be met by his mother, 
whom he kissed on entering the house. As it would 
seem, he was accompanied by Vital, who used to 
spend the Sabbath with him. Then would begin, as 
we can imagine, the Kiddush (Sanctification of the day 
over the cup of wine), and the meal, at which any 
number of concentrated “Attentions” were observed. 
We are also in possession of three mystical songs 
composed by Loria himself, sung at the three meals 
by which the Sabbath day was distinguished.*^* 

The Sabbath emitted its rays, lighting up the whole 
\veek, sanctifying even such moments of human life 
as those in which material needs and common passions 
arc very little favourable to spirituality. Loria, in 
common with other mystics, succeeded in spiritualis- 
ing the whole life of man, just as the legalist finds 
nothing in human affairs which is either above or 
below the Torah. De Vidas, referred to before, the 
favourite pupil of Cordovero, wrote a book, Reshith 



Chochntah, dealing with such topics as the fear of God, 
the love of God, holiness, humility, sin, reward and 
punishment, and repentance, but he did not disdain to 
devote whole pages to such subjects as the intimate 
relations or intercourse between the sexes, commerce 
and trade, good manners and social etiquette, all of 
which form a part of the sacred life. The same thing 
may be observed of the pupils of Loria. The book, 
Ez ha^Chayim (The Tree of Life), ascribed to Vital and 
supposed to represent a compilation of the most 
important of Loria’s teachings, is prefaced among 
others by this motto, ‘‘Depart from evil and do good'' 
(Psalms 34 ; 14). It is followed by a number of rules, 
some of which we have already met with in the pre- 
ceding remarks. The first of them impresses upon 
the mystic the necessity of the strict fulfilment of the 
Law in all its minutiae, whether Scriptural or tradi- 
tional.^^* ‘^The Gates of Holiness," by Vital, gives 
a set of rules for those who are in search of eternal 
perfection, the absorption in the Divine, and is per- 
vaded by the same spirit of loyalty to the Law, both 
in its ceremonial and moral’ parts. 

Thus the Safed of the sixteenth century, at least, 
is free from all antinominian tendencies, which are the 
supposed inevitable consequences of mysticism. The 
Safed Jew of that period saw no antagonism of principle 
between Caro and Loria. Caro was for him the authority, 
Loria the model. But just as Loria was amenable to 
the discipline of the Law, so was Caro not unresponsive 
to the finer impulses of love and admiration. 


Loria died in the year 1572 (according to some, in 
1 574) after a short illness of three days/^3 Vital took 
over the leadership, and it was under his direction 
that various writings and works were soon compiled 
and put into circulation, claiming the authority of 
Loria. How far Loria would have felt himself 
responsible for all that was then written and said in 
his name, is a question not to be easily decided. 
Probably he would have disowned a great deal of 
what was afterwards known as the writings of Loria. 
I have already referred to his hesitation in giving 
publicity to what he considered to be the secrets of 
the Torah, but he must also have felt that his highly- 
coloured metaphors and rich imagery might become 
a stumbling-block to those who had not passed 
through all the grades of holiness, and were not 
satisfied with being brought near God on the 
religious-fatigue” system, but preferred to have God 
brought down to them. We have it also on good 
authority that before his death he said to his disciples, 
‘‘Know for a truth that you have not a single 
Proposition (of the mystical lore expounded by Loria) 
that can be considered complete.” When they said 
to him, “ Not even R. Chayim Vital?” he answered ; 
Perhaps he knows a little more than you, but not 

The Propositions, however, concerned only a few 
exalted personages among the mystics, who made 
them the special subject of their studies and further 
development. What filtered through these Proposi- 


28 e 

tions and reached those who laid no claim to this title, 
‘‘was not metaphysic but moral, not immanence but 
sin,’* or rather the fear of sin. The Propositions 
placed man, as already hinted at, upon a pedestal, the 
eminence of which caused giddiness to many an exalted 
personage, who, deeming himself a god or a demi-god, 
lost his balance and fell beyond hope of redemption. 
The great majority of Israel remained mindful 
of the old warning, “Be not rash with thy mouth, 
and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any- 
thing before God : for God is in heaven, and thou 
upon earth- therefore let thy words be few** (Eccles. 
5 : 2 ). Haste and rashness became especially dis- 
credited after the bursting of that theological bubble 
known in history as the Pseudo-Messianic claims 
of Sabbatai Zebi. The Propositions, with the over- 
emphasis of the God-likeness of man, were only 
allowed to stand so far as God-likeness demanded 
superior holiness on the part of man With a proper 
instinct the people at large left the TZs' ha-Chayiin 
by Vital, with its Propositions, to the few, and it 
lasted nearly two centuries till it first appeared in 
print; but his book “The Gates of Holiness,’* with 
its deeply ethical contents, became at once a 
popular tract, and passed through many editions. 
Likewise, the Jewish public took but little notice of 
R. Moses Chayim Luzzatto’s “ One Hundred and 
Thirty- Eight Doors of Wisdom**, but it did appreciate 
at once his noble “Path of the Upright’*, preaching 
morality and holiness. The book is constantly going 



through new editions, and in certain parts of the East 
there are special “Path of the Upright Societies” 
devoted to the study of this book. The Safed influence 
is especially marked on the devotional works of R. 
Isaiah Horwitz, R. Aaron Kaydanower, and R. Pdijah 
Cohen, which works became the common spiritual good 
of the people. Their morality is austere, their tone 
sombre, and their demands on man’s religious capa- 
bilities exacting. All this is traceable enough in the 
work of the Safed penitents. They certainly have not 
erred on the line of self-complacency and self-righteous- 
ness. They warn man not to behave “as so many 
fools do,” who are so over-confident of their salvation 
because they are engaged in their trade the whole day, 
recite punctually the three prescribed prayers for the 
day, and neither steal nor rob nor commit any other 
acts of gross immorality, and harm nobody. These are 
cheap virtues, according to our moralists, of which even 
the Gentiles are not devoid, and which one’s neigh- 
bours from motives of self-preservation would compel 
one to observe. What justifies man to entertain exalted 
hopes of the “world to come” is, according to the 
stern moralists, the minute observance of the Law in 
all its details “in great love,” the constant increasing 
in the quality of saintliness, the possession of the 
quality to please God and man, and the readiness to give 
up his life in perfect joy for the sake of the love of 
God. On the other hand, they have, as indicated 
above, retained enough of the Safed emphasis of the 
God-likeness of man to disregard in the end the 



dualism of flesh and spirit, a conception un-Jewish in 
its origin, and now revived only under a mistaken 
notion of spirituality.*’ In spite of the ascetic teach- 
ings, with their depreciation of the “turbid body,” to be 
threatened by the terrors of hell and cajoled by the 
joys of paradise, they were thus able to insist upon the 
holiness of the flesh {Kedushath ha-GnpJi) and upon its 
purity as much as upon that of the soul, as well as to 
accord to the flesh a share in the bliss to come, held 
out to man as a consequence of a holy and religious 
life, which a supercilious philosophy entirely denied. 

Caro passed away in 1575, Trani five years later 
(1580). The decline of Safed soon set in. Samson 
Bak, who travelled in Palestine in 1588, was com- 
pelled to leave Safed for Jerusalem on account of the 
distress which had overtaken the former city at that 
period. R. Isaiah Horwitz, who settled in Palestine 
soon after the beginning of the seventeenth century, 
describes the Jerusalem population as richer in num- 
bers than that of Safed. 

The men who succeeded Caro and Loria were, for 
the most part, their disciples. R. Moses Galanti, an 
ordained disciple of Caro and an adherent of Loria, 
R. Yomtob Zahalon, described as the head of the city 
of Safed and of the Yeshibah, and R. Joseph Trani, the 
son of R. Moses Trani, who obtained in later life 
even more distinction than his famous father, seem to 
be the most prominent names of this period. At least 
this is the impression we receive from their Responsa 



collections, in which they figure as men of weight and 
authority. They still meet in the general board ; and 
in a document giving the minutes of such a meeting 
dating from the first decade of the seventeenth century, 
we have the signatures of not less than twenty Rabbis, 
with some of whom we made acquaintance in the former 
pages. Mention is also made of a rabbi Joshua ben 
Nun, who is described as the Chief Rabbi and the head 
of all the heads of the colleges, and who was, besides, 
the administrator of all the charities of the city. The 
old devotion to the study of the Torah and the occu- 
pation with mystical literature are still continued. After 
they finished their prayers, the whole congregation 
formed themselves into groups, listening to lectures on 
such subjects as Bible, Halachah, Hagadah, or the 
Zohar, so that none left the Synagogue to go to business 
before he gave some time to study. The fifth day in the 
week (Thursday) seems to have been a special day of 
devotion, when they would all gather in one big syna- 
gogue to pray for Israel and to bless those who sent 
support for the poor of the Holy Land. The service 
would conclude with a sermon by Galanti and other 
men distinguished for their humility and saintliness. It 
is not impossible that this synagogue was the one built 
by a wealthy man in Constantinople in memory of Loria, 
and richly endowed by him.*^7 None, however, was 
sufficiently great to make his authority felt in such 
a way as to give him any real prominence over his 
contemporaries. Even VitaFs authority does not seem 
to have been quite undisputed. He afterwards left 



Safed and died in Damascus in 1620, and the sons of 
Caro and Trani emigrated to Turkey. The Chmiclnicki 
persecutions of the middle of the seventeenth century, 
which must have taxed the resources of Jewry to its 
utmost, probably withdrew a good deal of the support 
which Safed had received till then for its Talmudical 
Colleges; whilst the excesses of certain Cabbalists 
about the same period, who joined pseudo-Messiah 
movements, must have put a damper upon the zeal 
of the mystics and the study of mysticism which was 
the special glory of Safed. 

Safed thus ceases to be a centre of attraction. 
It decays slowly, and Jerusalem comes to its rights. 
It lives on the past, profiting by the glory of Caro, 
Trani, Loria, and Cordovero. Even to-day the Syna- 
gogue of Caro and the Synagogue of Loria form the 
main sights in Safed. But it is not any longer the 
Safed of the sixteenth century. 



The following two Appendixes bear upon the subject of the 
ninth essay^ “ Safed in the Sixteenth Century ” — A City of Legists 
and Mystics.’* In Appendix A are published, for the first time, 
from manuscripts, four lists of moral precepts and usages ob- 
served by the saints of Safed, in some cases by the community 
at large. They throw important light upon the spiritual history 
of the community in that century, and they are often referred 
to in the Notes on this essay. These four lists were composed 
by R. Moses Cordovero, Abraham Galanti, Abraham Halevi, 
and Moses of (Lieria?). The first three are famous 

names, and occur often in our text, whilst Moses of is 

known only by a reference to him in the Responsa of R. 
Abraham de Boton, in connexion with a money litigation, where 
he is called Chacham, Three of these lists are reproduced 
from a manuscript in the Library of the Jewish Theological 
Seminary of America, whilst the first was copied from MS. C 812, 
X893, bearing the title Likkute Shoshanim, in Columbia Univer- 
sity Library, containing only this list, but in a better text. On 
the other hand, there are missing in it the last five precepts, 
which were supplied from the Seminary MSS. They are indi- 
cated by square brackets. 

Appendix B forms an attempt to furnish a list of the names 
of the sages and the saints of Safed in the sixteenth century, 
not all of whom could well be brought into the text. It is im- 
possible to adhere rigidly to the date, and there occur names of 
persons who come to the front in the first two or three decades 
of the seventeenth century, after the disappearance of Caro, 
Trani, Cordovero, and Loria. But as they were more or less 
connected, either as disciples or followers of the authorities Just 
mentioned, and certainly had already reached the meridian of 
life when the seventeenth century broke upon them, we have a 
right to include them in this list. Others, again, came to Safed 
only in their old age, or they may have stayed there only for a 
time, but they all contributed to the fame of Safed in that cen- 
tury. The sources used are the regular biographic and biblio- 



graphic authorities, such as Conforte, Sambari, Azulai, Michael, 
to which general references are given. In other cases, references 
are given to Responsa and to the Diary of Vital, and to the 
book In questionable cases, the doubt is indicated by 

a query. Of course, this list is to be considered as a mere 
attempt. It is impossible to obtain certainty in all cases, for 
tiiere occur in the Responsa names connected with Safed for 
which there is really no authority that they ever lived in this 
place, their opinions having been obtained through correspond- 
ence with the Safed Rabbis. 


Occurring in Appendix B (pp. 302-6) and in the Notes on 
“ Safed tn the Sixteenth Century (pp. 317-28) 

An. Jb. Letter by an anonymous traveller, published in the 
Jahrbuch fur die Gesch. desjuden.y vol. 3. Leipzig, 1863. 
Az. or Azulai. Chayim Joseph David Azulai. — 

Azkari. Eliezer b. Moses Azkari. — DHin “1BD (ed. Warsaw, 

Bertinoro. Letters of travel by R. Obadiah, of Bertinoro, 
published in the Jahrbuch fur die Gesch, des Jtiden.y vol. 
3. Leipzig, 1863. 

Calimani. R. Baruch b. Simchah Calimani. — Introduction to 
the Commentary of R. Moses Alsheich to the Pentateuch 
(Venice, 1601). 

Caro I. R. Joseph Caro — Responsa.— 

Caro II. Responsa on (ed. Mantua, 1730). 

Chabib. R. Levi Aben Chabib.— Responsa (Venice, 1565). 
Ch.Y. D'D' mfin, ascribed to Nathan of Gaza; but see also 
*7133 by Menahem Mendel Heilperin (ed. Livorno, 

Con. or Conforte. David Conforte. — nnnn fit'll? (ed. Cassel). 
Frumkin. Arye Low Frumkin.— 

Ghirondi. Samuel Mordecai Ghirondi, partial author of 


V'3. nSD (Przemysl, 187s). 



Kahana. David Kahana. — 

Kaydanowkr. R. Zebi b. Aaron Samuel Kaydanower. — 


Ml. Heimann Joseph Michael. — D''nn (Frankfort, 1891). 

MM. by Caro (ed. Wilna, 1879). 

MN'. D'D'J nionn nSD (Constantinople, 1720). 

Pardes. Moses b. Jacob Cordovero.— 

Rabinowitz. Saul Pinchas Rabinowitz. — nblll 'XVJD (Warsaw, 

Radbaz (usually abbreviated T'3'T"l). David b. Solomon 
Abi Zimra. — Rcsponsa. 

Samb. or Sambari. “ Mediaeval Jewish Chronicles ” (ed. Neu- 
bauer, Oxford, 1SS7).— Containing also extracts of the 
Chronicles of Joseph b. Isaac Sambari, pp. 115-162. 

Schwarz. }n«n by Joseph Schwarz (ed. A. M. 

Liincz, Jerusalem, 1900). 

SG. Moses ben Jacob Cordovero. Venice, 1600. 

Sh. J. Baruch (Jacob b. Moses Chayim). — (con- 
taining also a traveller’s account of Palestine, in 1522, by 
an anon3'mous author. Livorno, 1785). 

Shlomel. R. Solomon b. Chayim Meinsterl, better known as 
Shlomel. — n^n together with the (Li- 

vorno, 1790). 

Trant. R Moses b. Joseph of Trani. 

Vital. R. Chayim b. Joseph Vital. — D'''*n 
(Ostrog, 1826). 

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[ .ma 'S3 nvj.ena nae' baa iiobb ] 

[ .jni'B' m'3B'on ba paE> baa innb ] 

[ .nmsb HD by nvatya O'piB 'a paB> baa yi’b ] 


vnrnoD DDnn t* n^riDD ipn:?in 
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ni'D33 'naa pvaprin ovn nwn mN ainian !)in 'C' 'n 

•DV DV imx pEnsoi pDamDi D'T'E'n i'E) pnipi 
siiD D'wipij? pnpi n!)''!) nisna pnoiy nDD!)E» 't!>'’!) ^ 
niB>pa onoiNi ipian aj? mm nam paanoi yam EmBaE» 
DKva HBTD D’W !5ip3 nnoiNi Dn'^iJT by ]n»iyniB>pan Dvoai 

.onvBB bNai?) 

nnK nam rib'b baa D’aiao a»iyn m’SD 'b’b ba ‘r 
inoty’ piDBaB» rinx niNi mam d"d ia E»'e» wjn’ o'pbK aioTDO 
nniKb py'JDE‘3 aoiyn m’BD nnx nr iiDto paipE’a nb'b baa isa’i 
nnmb nam nnixa bip omno nb’bn nmw njja Nmt5» nam 
DW’ Nb nra piaoE' ’de' oa'a nbap tr'i it nb'b bty ir nam 'a 
.mrBj 'j’na moK n’n’B' '’bk onioNn n'aa nns nb'b 
’anxiE'yty nnN mytj' 'a in nnN nye> d’je'’ myuE' any 'n 
bnpi bnp ba nvDja 'naa o'vapno nb'PNn nnx nb'baty 'Bb nyio 
m'JE»o) D'amai D'N'33 nnm pnipi nb'bnba D'je»’ dj'ni ibc) n"33 
mrp npaa D’baits oyn ba ini npan nix ny 'xnpa mcnm nnn 
anya pbamE' nb'aon nabo niox 'b nmta xn’xna manty nban 


oba naty D'bapoi n"3 nntybiN nne^b D'xm' E'"y ba 'd 
bty poTBi D’bx '33 'nb lan niona D'noixi naty 'n3aa n'tyaibo 

.naE>n oi'b n'E> mot» a"nNi nac' 
D'3331 m’D33 'naa n'vapno Dvn 'vna nona 3 "' oi'b '' 
maDae^biBanET^a ny nmxai oi'n mixaty by D'nsDDi D'333pi 

.D'i3n pnxa D’bi3 13N 

Dn’ai n33n pa atyn o'o bt? pmp onx bB33 3*0 any 'n' 

.3’3Bb btaiD mDty 'oa noni 

noD pnip nen tba ni'n ba n*3D D'nv)’ os'n a"B B3'a a"’ 

.a*D any ntya B'baiN D3'Ki mm’ Baenp'nM p 



’-ip'D nojn ni^'brt ba }'3E>' p's D'ns'an dv j"' 
maSnai n"’ nn^na ppoiyi i^a d^jb” vn 

.D'tai'sai nwac>ni nn't^ai ^1:^•y nn'aty 
.Dn'D^m D''t^’3'l Q'B’JK pjjjnD n"T any n"' 

mn’!?Di D'^'nn naoa nS'Sn ^a pnip nai Nwin b'b V'o 

.■iBDi>nDD pa 

imNpp^nDi ant? e’aa pjip 'aaay ba ntyyo 'B’jk 


niSD pB»iyi n^iD enN^’p '3 3Da pcny 'B'js t"' 

nnNi nnx i^a^) nivD O'jnwi nnioty 
.nnnvi apai any niavn ny b^ann^ n"’ 
.anyai npaa n'3'itJ'Nn nna-yo nvnb ta"' 
nana '"ax nina n"Dt5> {ot bai nban jot ba nanb Kht? 'a 


ny’ap amp \i^b xban nb'bai ava nninb a'ny yupb N"a 

.nninb a'ny 

.baa ninnj by more inba’n by pnipt? nivyo 'B'jn r' a"a 
pa niana pa mis nysoB' 'd bab mbabi ya’a by niayb 3"a 
.nn'aB^nb t"y at? np"Dt? msanya mis ^'b1^b sbt? t?"ai riB'yaa 
anipi nan ait?a yj't? amp maea laipa vn' bia'b n"a 

.nsoiaa nin n'aynb ypnp '33 by *iinn'B> 
m mn"ni3Tb nma.n by IT a'B>b m'a nnaa sswa n"3 


a'na ans ba* i'33 a'nnj pya 'a niyiaan a'nn33 nntnb 3"a 
sb npt?b 'iai 'n np3' sb 'a a'nai nai aa'33 ns 'n'an siE?b 'S3t? 

.npt?b sbs nos 

nan? ntys bsnt?' jiy 'n nna na's n'nan 'nan nbs 
n"iin' B6?n paa'n n33a am nnmb 3 'd a.m ana 'ni ansn anis 

.injya apy' 'pbs OD"pDm anpn 
I3''nn 'naaa b"3a nt?yn nt?y niifo pD"pD nbi3D 'n'n' t?’ t"a 
t3ns3inispn'3iDiDn’bsi3'B»ni'n bao anam mnn ''nityy'a 

AP /' KJVn/X A 


ipsn nt’x }npE3n ns' pya nn^ nsnn niyo^ jdud nvn!) 
'O '’EN^ ni'JK’Dii icn’EE HNE 'a E'n H'laiy 'i pnanai idn 

.p niE'yS ayn’ ay NinB» 
naE> ' 1 JE 3 D'E’eiSd nn:o nns nat*^ n^EpnS pjna n'p 
.nSa wn nac' nSapn b^> avsn D"nNi D'l'cn n’E7 pmp 
JV3 an^T 'n nnjoai 'n ipnai hee' 'do D'pis 'n pup naty 
.n^E ’oie'P n"E naE riEC* 'oe d’peb n"E no^’ ympn o'ee 
ns niEy^j nosnon po’ h]! nrni) irn^s 'n n"E kj Sej' nnyi 

.i"''EN .E1D new yno e^de 'n' a^yr 

nnni< nvnon cn nSi< 
ono my')'2r^ ncan 
'^2 ]vbvn Tonn |d 

neii 2mn ^'on 

n'^DE nnjD pSSEnoy D’oc 'ne' iEeije -Sya eie jejd 's 

•IEEE ''ESI Dvn ^E D'HOD D'E^nE p^Brn 
COEy^) ei^NljEiEp D'Eon ''BN1 n"E EEy Doyno ni^JiEpn eie 'e 
!?ee nnjD D'SSEnoi E'cn aaynoK’ riEie’n 'i^yE riEEn v' 'j 
'E yuB' ^EE oaynor ono tyE ebki pn nip^oi nyoEi h’see di’ 

'31 D'O" '3 E’E rrh'b '31 d'o' 

pEK^J D'EBE' EloS^’ .eS'Se 'ynE D’OpB'E HEin '^yE EIE 'E 
nEEn CB’iy pi n'En pEn Sy D'eiei oaiipoi omnc^ n’Boynoi 

.Eotran Dv HEityn pyE 

•3 E”1 D'EED 'E D.EO E'" B"y n3E’D D'EDI^ HEin 'SyE EIE '.E 


E'"y Eiyi .Dn^JE’ 'Ep!? cijEio d-db' 'ke' nEin '^:'yE noE '1 

.riEE'n Se d’3e^ n’E'Ei^i ^in^ e'Ep pE ^'EEnb ]'^eio 
D'^SE pDI D'3E^ D'EEE^QI' EiyED E'"y d'SyV TIinE HOE 't 
ElOtOI "EIE lEE^ pOtBI CI'Sn '3E IEH EIDIO pElpl HEE' '3B 

.rho 'KiE '01N1 riEE'n ovb e'E' 
'»D1 n"EE pi D'EDtOI D’^^noi D'EEIE'O niEiyO '3 ^EE 'H 



.mivD ^>33 D'pna 'n nniUD ‘32 nat}^ 'dd onob nipi 
imn K’Kno yaxs ann nN-a o'n’JD nrion an 'o 

.nijjavK 'a nn j'n'jo 

a'nrnb nvjnn !?yi asm avn ^a D’abintr ono b'' 

•Dv niyao iD'janbi naB'n bv 
mip n3E>a a'cya. 'a nmtsa pSin pbaiK )nD e^’ 

.naicn 'm naan 

B'iB' a*'Di j"'D Drt’nwai onoa ns D'N'ewdho e>' a"' 
ly poDH b'aB'a nnvi d'jb> n"3 oniK D'n’jon |o lan 
.nin'D n »3 a^nnoi nnay nca nB^y'B' 
‘jpa^Ji miE'S nae* 'sno ^a o'a'^inB' man j"’ 

.nbai jnn 

'I ^a Dn'H’i noa mioB' n^to pbaix min 'bya an n"’ 

.nn»n 'j'tt noa an'enai 
npan hn iy niyiat? b'‘b nnoi^ nnin ’^ya ba i"a 
.nin'^oS xjynn b'b o'op oyn pram p loai a"3 Njytnn 
.D'n m'B^a n^an nmp npns amj n"3 ^aa 1 "’ 
n!?an O'japi D'E^j no^i? nanoa D'aaio ano^ra t?’ t"' 


.’W ^)a anai^ mm ’^ya naa n"’ 

^3 p' pnitn ntya pbaix pNB' anmn mm 'bya noa a"' 

.|nmi3iy ^yi pnnn ^ry pbasnoty yiac'n 
n’men nb'axa natt'^ anp n'n a^nyty nix aa naa 'a 

.pibn *131 iny in!iE> natt' ’Kma pi tna^ai 
annrai nasa i^’axi bb 2 pyaB's p«B> anx '3a naa «"a 

•nas nan^i 

niij'^* '31 D'a' '3 ’n3B'a b"*i p3yna an'an naa a"a 

.niBipn nyaiKa 

*liBB oniR a'N'B'ai anma “ima niam'i a'am’ d'bn3B 3"a 


.ptwa na«!)Da ppaiyi n"n a’sapna |a’3 n^na i"a 



pron 'ba {jaappoynoinina noa o’vapno jd'j n''aa n"a 
niba £ 3 i '3 'fi’i 'iii xi'i ay 'roB'n nva 'na 'a r‘'’P' 
.'iai pap palp dv ijaai pnj papi 


aycsm dva pa’ nmaa pbBmn’55D n'jn^ 'n 
inanNi 'n nxa'^ iwo ub I'^jy piyas' 'a n'h la |niXDB> '« 
nj'N p^ani o’^d napsc' n^an ^a ’a onaix a' na’na D’jpnn 'i 
pi'am n’btsa ni^ann wnai n'anx pian bttoDe' 'Jbo nbapno 
tJ^aya neny DaNB^ nisom nawnt^'a n'^ynbiaa mani^pK 
^a pijan n’jo u’nk' 'ci Nan aSy^ mabo iS I'CJay mn 
'n' ’3Bi)D NV ’aaaoa' n^nj anr naoy^ nait W’K ova 
D'aj? 'NJB> ^Naa'' ^y a^nn O’^aopDi a^aan D'at? D'yaa>ty 
anis anp sin ovn baainbanbap^annn’joni D3n 'Jiaaa 
b]) nt^^abn oayn ’’aj nmy nt<i inr D’paa an^abD aioxb 'k 5B' 
.B'xa H*' p^J'an vaxiv np!?n i?yi a^ pfian ra' 
aiar inn oaip anx nyB> ninaS di' aiyao nat5> D’jan!) 'a 
fl’Din^ a'aifE> |N3» n"N acNJ nae'n av nat^n av tin 
n"aB'ia a"V3i 'je' vja as aaip fi'Dia u's asi E'ap bv biao 
laoB' njE' 'ja nipua nsaa ns ^a n'ao n^n a"’E’a3 '"jb> 
>l'niia^ s^js ps aaB* an'aiasE' yaa py sSa n'D’oa 
an ns 'n la’a p i’y 'sje* pjD las’i^’a laD'wa Enp^iyhao 
p enn an aiyao in'jao a si ns s^s a»s3 nb narn an nae^n 
''sbi njn'j Env ib^jna asi p 'naa aiai piaa b^ n"a ''aiji py 

.ana la an ns aiat 

^B> unjo sinr 's nya a"’ 3 i ninaa^a a'jaS anaa ena^Ji 'j 
'n n»iai n'ja^ eioynai n'jab B>ai^B> 'sy^js a"a nain’ 'a 
p py inn ais 'aja n'jaS ''E^ai^j a"a ninaE >3 nioE'inB' 'a 
pEay noa!) pEnyE> noE’ bsar' nnnE>s '3 .'n laaa amsa 
nj’aE'n pi ainE> sinE> paa E'abna 'n bma r\bvd? njaa 
inj’aBn 'n naa^a nisji 'Js.aamB' niaapnw E'a^s 'sje' 



i>tnr'pa«n '’eh nia niD «inE> D’orna D'K'a^noi D’etj^ants 
iDN) .n^jyob nny irK ntiob neny wn i*n dki oipoa natyb 
ay p"Da ny a"' nbiy nini«n ay p"oa nat? n6 toini ’"OB' 
( .a’jai» nnja vn’ ny baa ainan -ion nr byi a"’ a"i nbiy nbon 
’naai nvoja 'naa pvapnoi n"T aiy moa’o *i 

n"aiB>n ajoa ibni pn nyon nbana avn am nitmo 
enpon ri'a jain by niaa OB' by “laon noa ’in'! pc? noyn 
noynn ayoj annN py riNi ajiy hn mnn^ 'kjb ' m now byi 
'a loin pB'bo inon hn B’ian'4 inn noinn na B”mnb 'n 
inn labn anpo vB'ayi pip anpo a^p anpon nwB' jcta 
aiNB' foraB' o aaoni aaabn b’dd aao aao anpi w mK 
Nin naiB'n nBnyi njyno nihb' jotai pnn jo ponm nnao Noin 
['03 i"D] a’om Nint? labN siibN -inao )3-i3i int anano 
am abna aiano Nin imnnioi am-iao Nin yBnn .a'pbN 

.pm a’om NinB' 

nai moB’oi moao baa '"BnnE' nB'yo ''B'3N1 aman 'n 
.a3ipb a’aE' a-iN oainnwyn nom naiB-n ooyi ny3ani panaa 
by B'pab aman ba by ambma' a'ca' 'ni' aiN oa a" 'i 
npnvn o’ao ibiniN aono oyNin aNinibiaa an Noa'ninron 
a’npo 'b la'yi '’q pi 'iai n"‘'bn ^"bN 'ooa nnto 'a nnton ayoj 
nnabaan' Nin bNoaa' 'ab aaina 'n3aan '"na' n"b'i n"3p n"tiro 
.bwo Nin nnton noo invnai pan nNon 
ayoi jtNn aN-io yasN ann nN'D amoo n3no anr 'i 
nioa pa a^na pa n33 Nin naba nivon nNiac? ’ab it nnra 
'’SI nin' Nina' ima’ v'nai on’3’ an'Nn ba inn 'mn' Nina' 
'0 ba myi nbisa Nina' ia ainn aniaon aa'B' 'mn'b 'a 'mn' 
inoa3 by pobia' nna no3n nNoio nina nN'a n'30 o'NB' 
nDNi a'' a'bn3 a'oyoi nna n"-i n"'nB’n N"bi aP’E'Ni n"ND 
nisoi nnvn ann nN’Ba'n'30 na'yo ’a'3Ni a'Ton baN anib3b 
ny nboB' avo nb’bai ava loy n'on N'na' niso nNaa n3’N it 
im n"i' a’B'n aN 'mn' i3"n ''bD .loy nabm inioai inio av 



C .nw’ nn n 

DJJD1 'ne>n ri'a ij/ttn nnvn ■)»»> n^3^> «bt5> D'mt3c;> 'n 
n)r\vw^ ni» .nB'« -133 k^b' db'dh 'b^j it nixo 

ni33im3ij;ni tna^ baiN nS D3 '’E^np nnyty ’3 nn’nB’nb nnioN 
trai?' h '? inn ntfK ''3{:>j? xijB'inri nB*«3 ^)3^3n' inDB'3 nN'vaB' 
.nt IK^) pj? maiyn ncs *1133 ^3i>3n'B’ nc'x n^DB> 333 
'b’nn'B' nj;t;>o onaaio D3 ’n nis’jtD 'B’3 ki D’p’Dn noats' 't3 
b’nnnB' [njtB'DB’] 'n aain dj?di nacy^j i3'’S5? iD'^D’e' nj; 

Dipca nbBnnE> 'a .nayn ny naab airnb 'int j'N oy aaa^* 
anvDH 'n nv’niN aapoB' nns i3«3y n' iiy Kin jaap ''di jaap 
D'onan aayoi aapoB' '3n .B'dd 'n bx pap inn nns nnx 
ny pan nao ^''n D’p^^xn Kin 'n inn naonan ny pani pan cy 
ntJ’yo nan n^aapa !ikdd DD'sao bin naa aaaoni n'onan nao 
3ani ntjnapa D3ab nsae' bKDD nt 'avon hk ^'1 ia 'K3B' n"yaD 
•binn pai enpn pa b'aanbi pB'bo bma iniK jotsi iniK 
D'nan by orn naip niyt:> P v“]} Dobine' Dn-on b^’E' '' 
D"pDn baB' naB' na'ioE'' by aaK '3a a'ntnb niKiaon byi 
3"’an aon aB»n ^»’3 n'PB' inn nison ba D"p ib'Ka nas' na’DB> 
3"’an by aaiys' pioi pKi d'de> K'PaB' D'pbK Kins' i"b aKB'’ 
HB'y nisD 'niVD 'maim 'mi»» yiDB'b Dn3K» n3K ay 'k 3E' mxo 
.na byas' naim anaas' nain 'main ns’yn Kbi 




(For List of Abbreviations see pp. 290-1.) 

Aaron b. Eleazar (the Blind). Mi., p. 147. 

Abraham See Manassehb. \^x2iftVs Nishmaih 

Chayiniy III : 10 ; Caro I, 124. 

Abraham de Boton. Con. 48 a. 

Abraham Gabriel. Con.; Mi.; ^"5, 88b. 

Abraham Galanti. Con.; Samb.; Az. 

Abraham b. Gedaliah b. Asher. Con.; Samb.; Az.; Mi. 
Abraham Halevi D'Dm. Con.; Az.; Mi. (p. 61. See references, 
but confused there with Abraham Halevi the Elder. Cf. 
Frumkin, 72). 

Abraham b. Isaac Laniado. Mi., no. 145. 

Abraham b. Isaac Zahalon. Mi. 

Abraham b. Jacob Berab. Con. 

Abraham Lachmi. See Manasseh b. Israel’s Nishmath Chayimy 
III: 10. 

Abraham Shalom (the Elder). Con. (see especially 33 b ); 
Samb.; Mi. 

Abraham Shalom (the Younger). Con.; Mi. (p. 122). 
Abraham b. Solomon See Preface to Zechariah b. 

Saruk’s Commentary on Esther. 

Benjamin Halevi. Con. (p. 49 b.) (?); Samb.; Mi. (pp. 

Chayim b- Lsaac nnnn. Con.; Samb.; Az.; Mi. 

Chayim Vital. See text. 

Chiya Rofe (the physician). Con.; Samb.; Az.; Mi. 

David Amarillo. See Solomon Adeni, Introduction to his 

David de Con. 48 a. See Notes. 

David Cohen. Vital, 14 b. 

David Habillo. Con.; Samb.; Az.; Mi. 

David Navarro. Con.; Samb. 

David b. Zechariah pjit. See Mi., nos. 718 and 813. See 
also Frumkin, 58. 

David Abi Zi.viRA. Con.; Samb.; Az.; Mi. 

Eliezer Azkari. Con.; Samb.; Az.; Mi. 



Eliezer Ginzburg, son-in-law of See David Griinhut, 

•►Xn mo, title page. 

Eueazar n. Isaac xniX. Con.; Az.; Mi. 

Eleazar b. Yochai. Con.; Samb.; Az.; Mi. 

Euijah Falcon. Con.; Samb.; particularly p. 152; Az., and 
s, n. Moses Alsheich ; Mi. See Mana.s.seh 1 ). Israel’s 
Nishmath Chayirn, III : 10. 

Elijah de Vidas. Con.; Samb.; Az.; Mi. .See also text. 

Elisha Gallico. Con.; Samb.; Az.; Mi. See also Ziinz, In- 
troduction to De Rossi, Meor Enayirn. 

Gedaliah Alkabez. See Az. Cf. Steinschneider, Catalogue, 
col. TrX)2. 

Gedaliah Cordovero. Con.; Mi. 

Gedaliah Halevi. Con. 48 a; identical with Vital’s brother- 
in-law; see Vital, 3 a, and 87 b. 

Isaac Alfandaki. Con. 46b. 

Isaac Con., especially p. 41 a. 

Isaac de Boton. Con. 48 a. 

Isaac Cohen. Vital, 20 a, 23 b ; cf. Con. 41 a. 

Isaac Gerson. Con. 

Isaac Krtspin. .Samb. 152 (?). 

Isaac Loria. See text. 

Isaac b. Menahem 1 DD 3 . See Neubauer, Cat., no. 41 1. 

Isaac Misod. Con. 36 a. Perhaps identical with Isaac b. 
David, called ‘*Mi.sod,” mentioned by Trani, I, 32. 

Isaac See Az.; Abraham b. Asher and references; 

Con. (?). 

Ishmael Halevi Ashkenazi. Vital, 14 b. 

Israel CoRiEL. Con,; Samb.; Az. 

Israel Saruk. Con. 46 b; Az., and .sub Solomon Loria. 

IssACHAR Sasson. Coii.; Samb. 

JAcob Abulafiah. Samb.; Az. MN 7 band 12a. See, how- 
ever, Modena, Art Noham, 19 h. 

Jacob dh etc. Samb. 151 (?). 

Jacob or or D'ntD^K. Vital, 14 b; Samb. 

Jacob Berab. See text. 

Jacob Berab (b. Abraham) (the Younger). Con.’; Samb. 162. 

Jacob b. Chavim. Pref. to "IK 3 . 



Jacob Falcon. Con. 

Jacob Perhaps a corruption of See Samb.; Vital, 

25 a, 151, and Azkari, 95. 

Jacob Sasson. Con. 48 a. 

Jacob Zemach. Con.; Az. 

Jedidiah Galanti. Con.; Mi. 

Jehiel Ginzburg. See p. 187. 

Jehudah b. Urt (of Heidelberj^). See Caro 11 , 62 c. 

Jeremiah of Candia. Con. 48 b. 

Jonathan Galanti. Con. 48 a. 

Jonathan Sagis. Con. 48a; Vital, 23 b; 88 a. 

Joseph Arzin. Vital, 23b; ^":i, 81 a. Cf. HD by R. 

Moses Ahnosnino, 18 b. 

Joseph Ashkenazi. Con.;Samb.; Az. Cf. Kaufrnann, Monats- 
schrift, vol. 42, p. 38 seq., and Bloch, vol. 47, p. 153. 
Joseph Barzillai. Mi. 

Joseph Con. 48 a. 

Joseph of (Lteria). Az.; Samb. 

Joseph Sagis. Con.; Samb,; Az. (?). 

Joseph Sajjah. Con.; Az. 

Joseph Saragossi. Samb.; Az, 

Joseph Skandrani. Con. 30b; Az.; Mi., no. 1042. 

Joseph b. Tabul. Con. 40 b and 48 a; Vital, 23 b. Probably 
identical with Joseph Maarabi. 

Joseph Tibbon. Con. 41 a. 

Joseph Vital. .Samb.; Az. 

Joshua B. Nun, Con.; Az. 

Judah Vital, 23 b; Con. 40 b; 88 a. 

Lapidutii. Az. .See Vital, i a. 

Levi b. Chabib. Con. ; Sami).; Az. ; Mi. See also P'rumkin, 30 a. 
Menahem b. Abraham Galanti. Kaydanower, ch. 15. 
Menahem ha-Babli. See Caro II, 35 b (?). 

Menahem Gallico. Ghirondi, 252. 

Misod Azulai. Con. Perhaps identical with Misod Maarabi. 

See Shlomel, 34 b, and Con. 40 b. 

Mokdecat hA“Cohen (author of a commentary on the Bible). 
Con.; Az. 

Mordecai Dato. Con. 42 b; Landshut, s , n . 



Moses Alkaiikz. Con.; Ghirondi, 2 ^ 2 , 

Moses Alsheich. Sue text. 

Moses Baki;ch. Con.; Az. See also Caro II, 17 a. 

Moses Basula. Con.; Ghirondi, 250. Cf. also Mortara, p. 7. 
Moses Cordovero. vSee text. 

Moses G a la n 11 . Con . ; Sanib . ; Az. 

Moses IlAEEVi Con.; Samb. 

Moses b. Israel Nagara. Con.; Sainb.; Az. 

Mosics JoNAif. Con. 41 a; ^"3, 89a. 

Moses b. Joseph Trani. See text. 

Moses of (Lieria). Boton, ni no, 1S4. 

Moses b. Machir. Con.; Az. 

Moses Mint/,. ^"3, 88 b; ha~Chayim, 6a. Cf. Mi., no. 531. 
Moses Nig.rin. Con.; Az. ; c f. also CBiirondi, 226. 

Moses Onkenkyra. Az. See Caro I, 124, spelled .somewhat 

Moses of Roisie. See V' } 

Moses Saadva. Con.; .Samb. See also Caro II, 17a. Cf. 

Vital, 12 b, 15 b. 

Pharez Colobt, See text. 

Sabbatai Manasskh, .Samb.; cf. Caro I, 124, and ^"3,91 a. 
Sa.mL'EL BfAGi. See Manasseh 1 ). Israel’s Nis/iutafh ChayUn. 
.Sameel Gallico. Con.; Az. 

Samuel b. .Shem Tob Atiya. Con.; .Samb. .See Frumkin, 51. 
.Samuel DE UsEDA. Con.; .Samb.; Az. 

.Samuel Verg a. Con.; .Samb.; Az. 

.Shem Tob Atiya. Con.; Az. 

.Simon Ashkenazi. See Peri Ez Chayhn. 

Solomon Con.; Samb.; Az. .See also Jewish Quar- 

terly Review, IX, p. 269. 

.Solomon Adeni. See his Introduction to his Commentary 

to the Mishnah (Wilna, 1887). For this reference I am 
obliged to Dr. L. Ginzberg. 

Solomon Alkabkz. .See text. 

Solomon Cohen. Con. 48 a. 

Solomon Sagis. Con.; Az. 

Solomon Con.; Samb.; Az. Cf Frumkin, 44. 

Solomon b. Yakar. Chabib, Responsa, 322 a. 



SuLAiMAN B. NjniX. Con.; Variously spelled. See especially 
p. 42 a, and Cassel’s note ; Sanib.; Az. D i, identical with 
the writer of the same name known by his notes to the 
Siphre and the Mechilta. Cf. Pardo’s Preface to his 
commentary to the Siphre. 

Tobiah Halevi. Con.; Samb.; Az.; Mi. 

Yomtob Zahalon. Con.; Az. 

Zechariah b. Solomon (father-in-law of Caro). 

Differently spelled by various authors. Samb.; Az.; Mi. 
(p. 364). Cf. also Frumkin, 59. 





^ Published in The Times, London, August 3, 1897, and in The 
Sunday School Times, FMiiladelphia, about the same date. 



' Most of the contents of this article, written when the exami- 
nation of the Genizah had been proceeding for several months, 
were published in The Jewish Chronicle, London, October 15, 
1897, and April i, 1898. 

See above, page 9 seq. 

^ See below, page 41 seq. 


' Given as Inaugural Lecture on my appointment as Professor 
of Hebrew in University College, London, January 26, 1899. 

* See Barth, Eiymologische Studien, p, 14 seq. 

® Berachoth, 61 a. 

^Several more editions, embodying also fragments of Ben 
Sira that have come to light since the article was written, have 
been added. It should be noted that doubts zvere also r r- 
pressed since then against the authenticity of these fragments, 
but those who raised these doubts were, with the exception 
of two or three students, hardly justified to speak about the 
matter. One of them even confessed that he did not study the 
question. His objections were i)robably on general principles 
to object to everything, whilst the doubts which came from the 
two or three serious students were refuted in ever so many bro- 
chures and articles in learned papers. The consensus of the 
great majority of scholars in America, England, France, Ger- 
many, and even Russia, who did study the question thoroughly 
and most carefully examined all the evidence pro and contra,, is 
in favour of the authenticity of discovered fragments. 



PP- 54-79 

*See “The Wisdom of Ben Sira,’’ edited by S.Schechter and 
C. Taylor (Cambridge, England), 1899. especially Intro- 
diu'iioHy pp. 7 to 38, where the arguments advanced in these last 
pages are given more fully. 


^ Lecture delivered at the Jewish Theological Seminary of 
America, in the series of Public Lectures, Academic Year 

^ See above, p. 41 seq. 

® See above, p. 47. 

^ See Ben Sira^ original Hebrew, 51:23. 

^ See Mishnah Aboth, IV, 13, and Aboth d. Rabbi Nathan, 1,31. 

®See 2 Maccabees, IV, 14. 

’ See 2 I\Iaccabees,VI, 19, and i Maccabees, I, 62, 63, and II, 42. 

^ See Bechoroth, 29 a, of Derech Erez Zuia IV, of which the 
text is a paraphrase. 

® See Dr. Edersheim’s Introduction to his commentary on 
Ecclesiasticus in the Speaker’s Bible. 

^®So Revised Version. Cf. also Ryssel in Kautzsch’s Apo- 
crypha, on this verse. The sense probably is that they pray for 
the prosperity of their work. 

vSee also Syr. Version. 

See Kiddiishm, 82 a. 

See original Hebrew, cd. Schechter-Taylor, and notes. 

See Baba Kama, 1 10 b. 

Pesachim, 57 a. 

See Bechoroth, 26 b. It should, however, be remarked that 
according to Siphre, 145 a (ed. Friedmann), the majority of the 
priests were w^ell olf. I am inclined to think that this latter 
statement must be confined to certain places and certain ages. 

” See Bechoroth, 45 a. 

See Baba Kama, 85 b. 

The originality of Ben Sira can be maintained only by 
assuming, with Botticher, Dillrnann, and others, that tlie ‘I't&T, 
the “rich” of Isaiah (53 : 9), is a corruption of ri 'b'V, “evil- 
doers,” or ** oppressor.” In this case Ben Sira would 

be the first to identify the I'tyr with the 

pp. 81-103 



^See Sukkah, 49 b. 

See Aboth d. Rabbi Nalha?i, ed. Schechter, II, 15, text and 

See Edersheim’s commentary to these passages. 

See Sanhedrin, 23 a. 

See Skabbath, ij a. 

^•^See Tosefta Berachoth, 6, and references and the commen- 
hiries to it. Cf. Aruch, si. v, and Friedmann in his work on 
the Agadah of Passover, p. 20 se(|. 

^ See Tosefta Berachoth, ed. Zuckermandel, ch. 4. 

Tosefta Berachoth, ch. 7. 

®”See Sirach, XXXII, 11, original Hebrew, and Ta'anith, 5 b. 

^^See 63 b. 

See Leopold Low, Gesammelte Schriftcfi, III, 407. 

NaAr, 4 b. 

See Sanhedrin, 38 a. 

See Aboth d. Rabbi Nathan^ II, 31. 

®^‘See Tdanith, I, 23 a. 

See Aboth, I, 6, ^\\d Aboth d. Rabbi Nathan, I, 8. 

^®See Siphre, 93 b, and references given there. 

^^See Yebarnoth, 6 ra, and Graetz, Geschichte, 111:444. 

There is strong doubt about this verse. See RyssePs com- 
mentary on T)ie Spriiche Jesus, etc., 26 : 18. 

See Kiddushin, 30 b. 

^^See Kethuboth, 59. See also Tosefta Kethuhoth, 5. Cf. 
Maimonides, Mishnch Torah, Hilchoth Ishuth, 21, and com- 

See Midrash Rabbah to Lamentations, I, 4. 

Jerusalem Talmud, Peah, III, 9, Nedarim, 40, and Tractate 
Semachoth Zutarti, ed. Horowitz, and reference given there. 

See Nedarim, 40 a. 


' Paper read before the Hebrew class at University College, 
London, October 19, 1899. 

^ In connexion with this work I should like to call the atten- 
tion of students to Das letzte Passahmahl Christi und der Ta^ 
seines Todes, by Professor D. Chwolsoh (St. Petersburg, 1892), 
a work which, for the depth of its Rabbinic learning and tlie 



pp. 106-122 

critical acumen disjilayed in it, has hardly its equal. It is, in- 
deed, so far as I know, the first attempt to treat what one may 
call the flalachic part of the New Testament with the thorough- 
ness and devotion usually bestowed only on doctrinal points. 
“Cf. p. 45, nnrn. 

* Leif. Rabbah^ 1 . 

'"See especially the Midrash Lekach Tob^ ad loc. 

Cant. Rabbah, ad loc. 

^ Ibid. 

® Pesikta Rabbathi (ed. Friedmann), p. 36, text and notes. 
^^Shibbole Hallekct, 145 a. 

T. Baba Mezia, 45 a, and parallel passages. 

“ B. T. Sanhedriny 39 a. 

*^Jer. T. Sukkahy 55 a. 

MisJmahYornay VIII, 9. 

Cant. Rabbahy I, and parallel passages. 

Cant. Rabbahy ibid. 

B. T. Sanhedritiy 95 a. 

” B. T. Chagigahy 15 a, and parallel passages. 

B. T. Berachothy 3 a. 

^®See Low, Gesammeite Schrifteny II, p. 58, note i. A good 
essay on the subject is still a desideratum. 

Num. Rabbahy XIV, and parallel passages. 

’^^Lev. Rabbahy XXI. 

^^Jer. T, Sotahy 22 a. 

Chapters of R. Eliezery XLIV, but see also B. T; Yoma, 22 b. 
See Perek R. Meir. 

B. T. Chagigah, 15 a. 

Pesikta (ed. Buber), p. 162 seq. 

B. T. Baba Mezuiy 59 a. 

Torath Kohdnim (ed. Weiss), 91 b. 

^See Pesikta Rabbathiy 124 b. 

B. T. Sanhedriuy 34 a. 

Mechiltay 3 a, 6 a, etc. 

Ta?ichumay niOD- 

Yalkuty I, ? 766. See Dr. Taylor's Sayings of the Jewish 
Fathers, 2d ed., p. 160. 

®*See Jewish Quarterly Review, VI, pp. 419 and 634, for 

pp. 122-141 



Yalkuty ibid.; Ge^iesis Rabbah, I, and Cant. Rabbah, VIII. 
Cant. Rabbak^ VII; Num. Rabbah, II ; Siphrc (ed. Fried- 
mann), 143 a ; and Rashi’s Commentary to Cant. V, 9. 

*'B. T. Chagigah, II, and the Jerusalem Talmud, ibid. 


' Die Memoir en dcr Giuckel von Harnctn^ her- 

aiisgcgebcn von Professor Dr. David Kaufmann (Frankfort, J. 
Kauffmann, 1S96). 

^ Diary, p. 24. 

^ Ibid. pp. 24 and 25. 

* Ibid. pp. 26 and 27. 

^ Ibid. pp. 36 and 37. 

® Ibid. p. 57 seep 
7 Ibid. p. 58. 

” Ibid. pp. 59 and 60. 

®Ibid. pp. 6r, 62, 63, and 66. 

Ibid. pp. 66 and 67. 

Ibid pp. 68 and 69. 

Ibid p. 125. 

Ibid. p. 74. 

Ibid, pp, 108, III, 1 13, and 116. 

Ibid. p. 121. 

*®Ibid. p. 57. 

Ibid. p. 235. 

Ibid, p, 80 seq. 

^'^Ibid. pp. 145-148. 

^Ibid. p. 24. 

^Ubid. p. 34* 

” Ibid. p. 264. 

See Monatsschrifty XXXIV, p. 145 seq. 

See Diary, p. 26. 

See ibid. p. 1 seq. 

Ibid. pp. 6 and 7. 

Ibid. p. 8. 

Ibid. p. 13. 

Ibid. p. 125. 

^ Ibid. p. 272. For similar passages, see pp. 93, 89, 121, 172, etc. 



pp. 141-15S 

Ibid. pp. 5, 6, and 13. 

Ibid. p. 141. 

’^Mbid. p. 133. 

Ibid. p. 185. 

’’^Ibid. pp. 4-15. 

Ibid. p. 2. 

Ibid. p. 18. 

•'^Ibid. pp. 17 and 82. 

Ibid. p. 136. 

'•‘^Ibid. p 15. 

Ibid. p. 1 25. 

^®Ibid. pp. 18 and 19. 

^^Ibid. p. 277. 

*Mbid. p. 274. 

^'■’Ibid. p. 275. 

Ibid. pp. 296-303. 

Ibid. pp. 312 and 321. 


* Delivered in the Course of Public T.ectures of the Jewish 
Theological .Seminary of America, I'ebruary 9, 1905. 

Kethuboth^ 17 a. A fair collection of references to Rabbinic 
Literature regarding the expressions Chasid and Chesed is to 
be found in the Sefer Chasidim, Parma, p. 240, note i. 

* Rabbi Bachye ben Bakodah, nilin^n milD, ch. 9; by 
IVIaimonides, ch. 4 and ch. 6. Cf. Schechter, Jewish Quarterly 
Review, X, pp. 8-12, quotations given there in the text and notes. 

*See R. Moses Chayim Luzzatto, nS^DO, ed. Wilna, 

p. 48, something of this definition. 

^ .See Midrash to Psalms, 149. 

*^See Schultz, Old Testament Theology,” II, p. 80. 

See ibid. , 

” Baba ICama, 30 a. 

See above, p. 9. 

"See Kuzari, cd. Sluzki, p. 61 ; n"R1D, 113, on n'DH. 

" See Berachoth, 30 b and 32 b. 

^^^^^ Sotah, 40 a; T. J. Berachofh, 4d. 

" T. J. Berachoth^ 7 d. 

'^T. J. ibid. See the end of the prayer of R. Tanchum. 



pp. 155-166 

Midrash to Ps., ch. 76. 

Berachoth, 3 b. 

^*^800 Bachye, ^"nin, ed. Sliizki, 127 a. 

’•^See |V^ a liturgical collection very popular in the 


Abraham Lhicoln, Complete IVorhs^ vol. II, p. 661. 

See Kuzari, ibid. 

See Bezahy 16 a. 

Kiizariy 62 b. 

Pesikta Rabbathiy 117 b. 

*^See Shabbathy 150 b, and Pesikia Rabhathiy ii6b„ 
Shabbaihy 12 b. 

See Life and Conversations of R, Nachman of Braslaw, 
See Kuzariy 59 a. 

Yebamothy 20 a. 

^ See his commentary to Leviticus, 19:2. 

See below, p. 216. 

See Mishnah Talanithy JV, 3. 

^^See HDOn by R. Elijah de Vidas, especially the 

chapters on Holiness and Repentance. See also below, p. 245. 

See D“i 5 < nn' 7 in, by Ezekiel Feivel ben Zeeb, containing 
the life of that Rabbi. 

See Abothy V ; 4. 

^'See Little Sefer Chasidim (page 13 a), by Rabbi Moses 
Cohen ben Eliezer, printed in Warsaw, 1866. Cf. Guedemann, 
Geschichte des Erziehimsswesens, etc.. Ill, p. 212. 

®^See D-p'lV (Kdnigsberg), p. 41 a. 

'^rr^in ■'DIpS, by Rabbi Mordecai of Czernobile, Lemberg, 
1867, p. 6 b. 

®^See Dnj £3 lyilD of Rabbi Pinchas, of Korzek, 26 b. To be 
quoted hereafter as M, P, 

See 31, P. 27 a. 

See Baba Kamay 30 a. 

^^See Warsaw, 1884, where all the Rabbinic 

references on this point will be found. 

Makkothy 24 a. Cf. also Rashids commentary. 

J. T. Terumothy 46 c. 

See. Ecclesiastes Rabbah, and Sefer Chasidim y 44. 



pp. 167-181 

46 n£ 7 npn Rabbi Chayim Vital, Warsaw, 1876, p. 9 a., 

to be (jiioted in this article as Vital. 

See Vital, 15 a. 

^ See 31 , P. 21 b. 

^®See Horodetzky, Hashiloah, XV, 167. 

See M, P, 2 1 b and 24 b. 

Vital, 17 a. 

Vital, 9 a. 

IV: 4. 

Dererh Ere:2 Zuia^ 10. 

P. 22 a. 

®®See Vital, p. 13 a, who introduces this passage with 
whilst the whole style proves it to be a Midrash. Cf. Shab- 
bathy 31 a, but it forms no exact parallel passage. 

'■^’Guttman, pi, Warsaw, 1898, 7 a. 

^ Sefer Chasidim^ Parma, 363. 

P, 28 a. 

nunjn of Rabbi Melech, 

®‘ See below, p. 216. 

P, 26 a. 

®^See Horodetzky, Hashiloah^ XV, 170. 

®*See Kethubothy 50 a. See also commentaries. 

Aboihy V : 10. 

^ See Baba Bathray 7 b. 

See onroN ed. Wilna, 1896, p. 52 a seq. 

‘^Guttman, ibid., p. iia. 

^®.See below, p. 277, the story of Loria and Useda. 

See Chayim Meir Heilman, no, Berditczev, 1892, TI : 3 a. 
See Li/i/e Sefcr Chasidiniy 13 a, See also below, p. 238. 
See Sefer Chasidiniy Parma, 477 and 478. 

See Kaydanower, ch. 7. 

See above, p. 157, and also below, p. 270. 

Ps. 16 : 8, 9 seq. 

‘*See p0|» by Naphtali Bacharach, 121 c, to be quoted 

hereafter as Bacharach. 

’'See Bachye, 126 b seq. 

’^See Rabbi Judah Halevi, Dwatiy II, 91a. 

See ZahaVy ed. Krotoschin, to Num., p. 222 b. Ibid, to 

pp. 181-207 



Deut., p. 281 a. Cf. Luzzatto, 29 a. See also 

Se/er Chasidim, Parma, p. 240, note i. 

^See ' 3 *^ n' 3 , I: 16 a. 


^ Published in The Jewish Chronicle, London, 1901. 

(For List of Abbreviations see pp. 290-1.) 

’ See Schwarz, p. 476 ; cf. Baedeker, Index. See also Rapt)- 
port, Introduction to Bnnn N"np of Shalom Cohen (Warsaw, 

®See Caro I, i. 

’’See Graetz, Geschichte d.Juden, 2d ed., IX : 29seq. ; cf also 
English Translation, IV .-400 seq. 

* D'’'nn ch. V ; cf Kayserling, Geschichte d. Jiuicn in Por- 

tugal, pp. 42 and 96. 

° See Neubauer’s^^ Mediaeval Jewish Chronicles,” I : iii. Simi- 
lar sentiments may also be found in R. Isaac Arama’s ntyp 

®Ed. Pietrkow (1902), p. 42. 

^ See Responsa of K. Asher (Rosh), VIll : 10. 

®See Epstein, Revue des Etudes Juives, XLII, p. 18, and 
Biichler, XLIV, p. 241 seq. 

^See Graetz, Geschichte, VII : 13; cf Schwarz, 443. Of 
course, this brief outline has to be completed by the accounts 
of the travels of Benjamin of Tudela, ivud R. Pethahiah, and 
similar works. 

i«See Pharchi, nn£P 

'’See Hebrew Appendix Ozar Tob to Magazin, 1 1027; see 
also Graetz^ Geschichte , VII : 182; cf Hebrew periodical Jeru- 
salem, edited by Lunez, II, p. 7. 

'^See Graetz, Geschichte, VII : 308-9^ and Jerusalem, II, p. T2. 

See Carmoly, Itineraires, 261, from an unpublished MS. 
(cod. Paris, 1070); cf also Pharchi, 284. 

’’See Jerusalem, VI, p. 337. 

See Graetz, Geschichte, IX ; 28; cf the Hebrew translation, 
VII : 26, notes 2 and 4. The name points to a Spanish origin; 
cf also Azkari, 24 a, and Azulai, n. The date of Saragossi’s 
settling in Safed cannot be ascertained, but it must have been 
during the first two decades of the sixteenth century. 

3 i 8 


pp. 207-226 

*'*See Bertinoro, 209 and 222; cf. Graetz, GescfdchieyiW .' 278, 
and IX: 26, and Rabinowitz, 213 ; but see also Lnncz in Jcf'usa- 
lent, I, p. 58. It should, however, be remarked that the travellers 
are not quite unanimous in their evidence as to the hostility of 
the Mohammedan population toward the Jews. On the other 
hand, it seems that matters with regard to taxes deteriorated 
later in Safed. Cf. Caro I, i, and Jerusalemy V, p. 161. 

See Bertinoro, 222. 

^”See An. Jb., 277. 

’®See Shlomel, 42 d; see also Kaydanower, ch. 16, and 
I, 43 a. 

^See Sh. J, 16 b; Shlomel, 43 a; see also Responsa of R. 
Solomon Cohen, II, 38 ; Responsa 3*1 by R. Abraham 

Boton, 14S ; HD by R. Moses Almosnino, 16 a. 

See in general about Caro, Graetz, Geschichtey IX, Index ; 
Rabinowitz, Index ; Cassel, Joseph Karo und das Maggid 
Mescharim (Berlin, 1888), and the authorities mentioned in Dr. 
Louis Ginzberg’s article “Caro,” J. Encycl. See Neubauer, 
Catalogue, no. 2578, containing a list of ten eulogies on the 
death of Joseph Caro, and as to the untrustworthiness of the 
Mentor-Angel, see Rabinowitz, p. 43, note 4. 

MM 17 a. 

Cassel, ibid., is almost the only writer who doubted the 
authenticity of this work. His arguments are in every respect 
weak, whilst there contemporary evidence to the contrary. 
See Rabinowitz, 242 seq., Briill, Jahrbiichery IX ; 150, and 
Ginzberg, ibid. 

** See MM 4 a, 13 c, 18 c, 23 d, 33 b, 49 a. 

See MM 3 c. 

^^^See Horwitz, (ed. Warsaw), 162a seq. 

See MM 22 c. 

See MM ii c,*-i2a, 17 a, 25 c, cf. Graetz, GeschichtCy IX; 
340 and 561, but see also Hebrew translation, VII: 415, and 
appendix at the end by Jaffe. 

See especially MM, pp. 25 c and 26 a about 
; cf. Kahana, 77, note i. 

*®See MM 18 c and 28 a. 

See MM 4 a, 16 a, 37 a. 

** See MM 6 b, 34 a, 50 a. 

pp . 216 726 



»*SeeMM 28 a. 

See MM 35 c. 

^ See MM 2 b. 

See MM 30 d, 37 b. 

37 See MM 16 a, 18 d, 46 a. 


33 See MM 3 a, 14 a, 21 c, 24 c, 25 d, 34 d, 44 d. 


See MM 3 d, 21 b, c. 

« See MM 52 b. 

*3 See MM 29 d. 

♦‘See MM 3b, 41 d. 

See MM 3 b. 

♦®SeeMMi3a, 18 c. 

♦7 See MM 8 a, 10 b, 19 d, 23 d, 26 b. 

♦« See MM 8 1 >, c. 

♦3 See MM 50 d. 

®^SeeMM4d, 13 d, 14 a, 19 d, 20 d, 21a, 27 a, 29 b. About 
Nicopolis in particular, ibid., 17 b. 

See MM 25 c. 

32 See MM 12 d, 13 a. 

38 ]\|]\| 2 ^ 

3 ‘ See MM 5 a, 6 b, 8 d, 14 c, 25 b and c, 27 a, b, c, 28 d, 30 a 
and b, 34 b, 42 c, 

33 See MM 3d, 4 b and r, 8c, 9 c, 16 d, 19(1, 24 d, 30 c, 46 c, 
50 a and d. About the possibility of references to Alkabez, 
see Rabinowitz, 245, note i. See also below, note 76. 

3 ® The following remarks about Molko are mostly based on 
Graetz, Geschichie, IX, Index. See also English translation 
IV, Index, and Vogelstein and Rieger, Ceschichte der‘ Judcn 
in Rom, II, Index. 

37 See Graetz, Ceschichte, VIII: 253 and 562, and references 
given there, to which Sambari, p. 147, maybe added. .See, how- 
ever, Rabinowitz, 152, note i. His doubts are fully justified, as 
there is not a single real trace in all the contemporary literature 
coming from Palestine pointing to Molko’s staying in that 

3 ® vSee references given to MM in note 55, especially the one 
to MM 50 a. 



I^p. 227 233 

above, note 50. See also Horwitz, n I, 134 b, and 
Guttman, 31 njlOX 1 * 11 , Warsaw, 189S, 14 b. 

^ See Azulai n. ; cf. also Gliirondi, i >. 380 seq. See also 
Alkabez, Introduction to his 'iSn n'lD (Lemberg, 1863); cf. 
Hriill, Jafirbiicher, IX, 150, and Rabinowitz, 245. See also 
Landshut, rn^rn 

See MM 50 d (headed 01:^3’), which is dated in the MSS. of 
the MM the second Adar (March, 1536), and it is clear from 
the contents that Caro was still in yin at that period. For 

the fact that there were about one thousand families in Safed, 
I have only the authority of Graetz, Geschichte, VII : 302. See 
Trani, III, 48. 

See Trani, I, 28; Caro II, 16 c. Alsheich, Responsa, 
no. 27, and cf. Shlornel, 43 a. 

See Frumkin, 7. 

'■’^See Responsa of Berab, no. 22; Bacharach, 109 c; Boton, 

Dn*7, no. 92, and Vital, 13 b. There are also in the book 
ppn, by R. Issachar b. Mordecai b. Shushan, references 
to Dniflon mSnp and Snp. 

See Trani, III, 48. 

See Trani, I, 106; II, ii5andi3T; Responsa by Alsheich, 
no. 27 ; Responsa by R. Joseph Trani, I, 82. 

‘*^Sce Sh. J., 16 b, and Bertinoro, 222. 

««See Sh. J., 16 b, and Trani, III, 46. 

®^See Berab, no. c”; Trani, I, 171 ; II, 25; Radbaz, II, 638, 
and Responsa of R. Moses Galanti, no. ii. 

See Chabib, 292 d. 

'* See R. Chayim Alsheich^s Preface to the Pentateuch Com- 
mentary of R. Moses Alsheich, ed. Venice, 1601, p. 6 a. Cf. Leo 
Modena’s Brief c (ed. by I’rof. Dr. L. Blau), Letter 147. 

See Berliner, periodical Jerusaleni^ II, 68 secj. The Jewish 
Theological Seminary Library po.ssesses the most important 
productions of this press. 

^'*See Sh. J., iGb, and Shlornel, 43 a. 

See Responsa of R. Isaac de Latas, p. 54 ; cf. Graetz, 
Geschichtc, IX, end. 

See above, p. 209. 

See MM 19 d ; cf. ibid. 4 d. There can be little doubt that 
the Solomon mentioned there is Solomon Alkabez. 

pp. 233-237 



About I^erab and the history of the Ordination controversy, 
sec Gractz, Gcschic/iie, IX : 3CK) seq. ; Rabinowitz, 218 seq. ; 
and the references ^iven there, especially to the 
forming an appendix to the Responsa of Chabib. It should 
never be forgotten that in judging Berah we are entirely depen- 
dent on material coming from an opponent, who in the heat 
of the controversy could with all his meekness not remain 
impartial to his antagonist, and therefore large deductions 
should be made from all that is said in the aforementioned 
appendix of the harshness of Berab’s character and of the real 
motives for his action. Cf. also Frumkin, 38 seq. 

See Chabib, 186 d, 198 cl, 302 b, and 305 c. 

See Chabib, 188 d. Of the four ordained, we have only the 
names of Caro and Trani. Graetz, Ccschichte IX : 307, note, 
and Frumkin, 73, note i, advance hypotheses as to the names 
of the other two. Yachya in his nS^pn speaks of ten 

who received the Ordination, but the meaning of the passage 
is not quite certain. 

^See MM 29a; cf. Graetz, ibid. 31 1. Caro seems to have 
given up the matter altogether afterwards, there being not a 
single reference to the Ordination question, either in his 
tDiStyo, no. 61, or in his commentary to Maimonides' rr^in 
jmnJD 'n, iv. Only in his H'D to the ]l 7 n, no. 295, 
there is a faint reference to it. Cf. Azulai’s 0*^2 to 
D 3 C 7 D, 64. 

81 See MM 16 d. 

*8* About Trani, see Fin, (octavo edition), II, 586 seq. 

88 See Trani, II, 67; cf. also I, 41 and 47. 

8* See Trani, III, 48. 

8^ See e. g. Trani, I, 156, 189, 274, 336, II, 46 and 180; cf. 
Caro I, 24. 

8* See n:inK, Anon., 26 d. Cf. also Caro I, 14, where he 
speaks of his lack of time, which is given to lecturing to the 
Chaberim both in the morning and in the evening. 

8^ See Alsheich, Opinion incorporated in Caro I, 73. 

88 See Caro I, 92 ; II, 14 seq. Cf. R. Menahem Azariah of 
Fano, Preface to the pD'in Cf. also Azulai ; Conforte ; 

Sambari ; and Kahana, p. 80 seq. 



pp. 237-246 

™ See Parties, Preface. 

wSee'l^^n n-l 3 , 39bseq. 

See SG, pp. i a, 23 a and b, 24 b ; cf. Kahana, p. So, note 2. 

®*See Appendix A. 292, 293. With regard to Alkabez see 
ij;-nDn nino, ii, 25 b. 

®*See by Popers, 23 b. See also reference given 

above, note 60. 

See Kahana, p. 145, note 6, to which are to be added 
' R. Menahem Azariah of Fano and R. Sabbatai Horwitz, the 
author of ^^3 

See Preface to the work mentioned in note 88. Cf. Catalog 
der hebrdischcn IJandschriftcn der kgL Bibliothek in Modena, 
S. Jona, p. 10 seq.; cf. also Kaufmann. 

^ See the authorities quoted above in note 88 ; cf. also 
Bacharach, 7 a and 33 c. 

^^Miesides the usual authorities, such as Conforte (Index), 
Sambari (Index), and Azulai, s, see also Calimani, and 
Alsheich^s Preface to his Commentary to Proverbs. Cf. Leo 
Modena’s Bnefe, Letter 98. Most of the biographers give the 
relation of Loria as stated in the text. Cf. also Vital, 2 b. 
Rabbi Abraham Chazkuni, however, in his book npin HKT 
states in the name of Alsheich that he had a direct tradi- 
tion from Loria regarding a certain mystic point, whilst accord- 
ing to Calimani he was one of the direct recipients of Loria’s 
mystical teachings. See also Steinschneider, Jemsalem^ III, 

33 c, to a MS. njyp min by Alsheich on the precarious con- 
dition of the Jews of Safed. Unfortunately, the MS. was 
inaccessible to me. 

See Appendix A 298 : 17. 

^ See Appendix A 297 : 4 ; 293 : 20. 

^•^’See Conforte^ (Index), and Azulai, s. n. Cf. Bacharach 
109 c ; Ch. Y. II, 4 a, and IV, lob ; Kaydanower, 93, and Popers, 
7 b. 

^®^See Appendix A 294 r i, 2; 295 ; 6, 8; 296 : 13, 14, 15 ; 
297: 2; 298: 15. 

See Azkari, Preface ; cf. Kahana, p. 149. 

See Appendix A 297 : 3. 

J^See nODH (ed. Cracow), 174 a. 

^‘^See Appendix A 294 : 36 ; cf. 298 : ii, 19, 22. 

pp. 246-251 



*°^See Azkari, 95 a seq. 

See Appendix A 293 : 25 i cL Baba BathrUy 10 a, 
no. 92, end. 

See Appendix A 296 : 27 ; 298 : 16, 27. 

*”®See Appendix A 293 : 22 ; cf. 294 : 4. 

See Shlomel and Vital, where such legends are scattered 
over the books, parallels to which are to be found in Bacharach’s 
and Kaydanower’s works in various places. Sambari, of whose 
chronicles the Jewish Theological Seminary J.ibrary po.ssesses 
a good copy, is also replete wnth such stories. Cf. also riDtS^J 
D"*n, III, 10; see Kahana, pp. 146, 148, and 150. Yachya in 
his has also any number of such stories. 

The legend about Joseph is incorporated in the book 
(Livorno, 1790) ; Kahana, p. ii, note 5. 

See Appendix A 293 : 21 ; 297 ; 8. 

Cf. Shabbath^ 12 a and b, and the references given there on 
the margin to the codes of Maimonides and Caro. 

See Appendix A 293 : 19 ; 295 : 9 ; 297 : 7, 8 ; 298 : 13, 20. 

See D'p'’‘iy incorporated in the Hebrew book men- 

tioned above in note in, 69 b. 

See Azulai, ,9. Ch. Y., II, 55 b. 

The main sources for Ionia’s biography are the legendary 
accounts, of which two versions exist. The one is that first 
published in the Sammehaerk BiSdu (see Zcclner, 356), 

and republished any number of times both as appendix to other 
works as well as by itself under the name of This 

is the version made use of by almost all writers on the subject. 
The second version, strongly related to it, but in a somewhat 
more connected form as well as more precise in its dates, is the 
niJOn published first in Constantinople in 1720, 
and then in Safed by R. .Samuel Heller in the year 1876. See 
also IX by Moses Mordecai Lebtob, pp. 214-216, where 

the first two or three pages of this version are reproduced. 
Sambari’s account of the life of Loria is omitted by Neubauer, 
but the Jewish Theological Seminary Library possesses a 
photograph copy of the whole work as preserved in the Paris MS., 
and a copy of the omissions relating to Safed from the Oxford MS, 
This account of Samban is almost identical with the second 
version. Much material is also to be found in Bacharach, 6 a, 7 b, 



p. 252 

10 b to 14 a, 33 a to 34 a, 77 a, 109 c, 1 16 b and c, 126 a and d, 138a, 
141 c, 142a and b, 143 a, 146 b, c, and d, 152 to 154. Bacharach’s 
story is, as is well known, based on Shlomel. Kaydanower has 
also various legends about Loria (see chs. 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 16, 22, 
31, 34, 46, 48, 77, So, 87, and 93), which agree on the whole with 
the second version. Ch. Y. also made use of this version. This 
version, hardly known to any modern writer except Bloch, in 
his Die Kabbalah aiif ihretn Hohepunkt und ihrc Meister^ 
(Pressburg, 1905), is extant in various MSS. Jt is hardly 
necessary to say that all these legends are greatly exaggerated, 
and sometimes even written “with a purpose. “ Cf. Modena, 
□nj ch. 25 ; but on the whole, the legends fairly represent 
the estimation in which Loria was held by his contemporaries. 
Cf. also Caliniani, Conforte Index, Sambari Index, and Azulai, 
.y. See further, Graetz, Geschichfe^ IX, Index, and Kahana. 
The account in the text is mostly based on the Constantinople edi- 
tion, to be (jiioted as MN, the initials of the Maasch Nissim 
version. Cf. also Dr. Ginzberg’s article “Cabala,” Jewish 
Encyclopedia, and the literature given there about the various 
mystical systems, to which has to be added Bloch as above. 
The reader who will study the question will find that we are 
still in want of a good exposition of Loria’s Cabbala, its strange 
and bewildering terminology, and how far it is to be considered a 
development of Cordovero’s system. The best es.say on this 
subject is undoubtedly the just mentioned article by Dr. Ginz- 
berg, and the book of Mieses mentioned by him ; but even in 
these articles we have more of the system of Cordovero as 
expounded by R. Sabbatai Horwitz than that of Loria as con- 
veyed by his disciple Vital. 

*^^vSee Graetz, Geschichtt\ VIII : 211-213. See also ibid., p. 
292, note. Cf Frumkin, pp. 15, 58, 61-68. From the Responsa 
of R. Samuel de Modena, 2, it is clear that the German-Jewish 
settlements in the Turkish Empire preceded those of the 
Spanish Jews. Cf Solomon Rosanis, ’’D'' 

p. 163 seq. Graetz’s statement in Geschichie^ IX: 24, that 
the Jewish settlement in Jerusalem counted in the year 1522 
fifteen hundred families rests on a mistaken reading of his 
authority, where Graetz, by some oversight, added the word 
/IIKD, which is not to be found in the text. The sense in the 

pp. 254-261 



Sh. J. is plain enough, that the German community counted 
fifteen families. Cf. Schwarz, pp. 453 and 457. See also 
Epstein, pp. 33 and 35. It is interesting to see 

that our Loria’s son was named Solomon Loria, probably after 
his grandfather. 

See MN 2 a. Cf. Azulai, s , and Ch. Y., 13 b. According 
to Conforte (40 b), however, Loria was the pupil of R. David 
Abi Zimra and the colleague of R. Bezaleel, a view which is 
supported by Vital, 9 a, 

^^See MN 2 a-b. The MS. has the following important 
additional matter : in’3a mun'l Ninn IBDn ;n'1 

nnx . . . 1^) D’-iDix . . . D’OB' HW n'vna 

n’vna kx’ p iniKnai D'aiB'tnno d’e>p onns D'siro 
onn« D’jc' '3 Di*?’3 nnj*? iidd n3{}'’n onxDD •nunn'? p 

in' 3 i> n 3 E> 33 J^ ^ 331 . Sambari has the following words : 

Nipan onxD ft<"P»n 'jcr nns iei 33 Dni*D3 

.ini6;'33 n'n issn nn !?nj n'nB> von '"y 

See Shlomel’s chronology (p. 33 d), wdiich is somewhat different. 
It is to be observed that the MS. contains no statement 
as to the date of Loria’s leaving Egypt, so that it may be 
fixed with Graetz, Geschichie^ IX : 587, not later than 1568. 
This would allow ample time for his making the acquaintance 
of Cordovero, who died in 1570, and becoming his regular 
disciple. Kahana’s arguments against Graetz (p. 150) are not 
convincing. We have always to remember that the tendency 
was to reduce Loria’ s residence in Safed to a minimum, so as to 
make him entirely independent of Cordovero. 

See Shlomel, 33 b, and Preface to the □''Tin About 
the mystical writings of R. David Abi Zimra, and those of R. 
Bezaleel, see Azulai, s. n. 

See Kahana, p. 203, note i. 

^'-^^See Sambari, 151, and Conforte, 40 b. 

See MN i b. The MS. adds Joseph Ashkenazi. 

See Pardes, 77 a. 

Pardes, 26 a, 

Introduction to the pD’in nSfl, 3 b. 



pp. 261-269 

**®See MN 2 b and 3 a. More fully in the MS. 3 a-b. 

. . . nn^ “IDK nODJB' DV31 . . . p"D-in 'JBa iriK'aj 
nrnan ‘snj mn’Da nn 'nana D'oinn nti^np '-iivs rn 
Ninn B>’Nn E^as’i nmrsn anr i^jn* 'nio nnt? nn’BD 
nm'K s"*! B"D3 Kn'STB D'Bi^iaB jru’naa 'lan. See also 
Preface to n"nj?. Cf. Graetz, Geschichte^ IX : 589. See also 
Bloch (as above, note 117), p. 35. 

See above, note 120, and below, note 163, as to the date 
of Loria’s death. 

See Shlomel, 44 b, and Bacharach, 6 c. It is to be noticed that 
Vital maintained a sceptical attitude toward the relations of Caro’s 
Maggid. See Kahana, p. 268, text and notes, and Rabinowitz, 
243. It is not impossible that the distrust was mutual. 

See Shlomel, 34 b seq. See also Preface to 

’^^See MN 3 a and 5 b. The author of the DOID was a 
discii)le of Cordovero. 

‘^■\See MN 3ab. 

*** See MN 4 ab. The MS. 5 a has that Loria said : 'HVI? 
in'3 D3DK . . . '3D0 Vm'V .10 aiDB’ D3D nns 
i"m nub n^n ainsS The question whether Loria wrote 

anything, and how far these so-called traditions in his name are 
to be relied upon is still a very mooted one. See Kahana, p. 202, 
text and notes, and references given there. The general im- 
pression one receives from the various legendary accounts 
quoted above is that he declined to write anything, and that he 
was reluctant to impart any mystical knowledge even by word 
of mouth. 

^^®See Azulai, s. n. See MN 3 a with regard to Loria*s 
serving on a board. 

See Modena, DHJ p. 66. 

See such* works as the in its various editions 

and arrangements (Zedner, 379), and the myoiTJJ by R. Jacob 
ben Chayim Zemach (Zedner, 299). 

See Shabbath, loa. 

See above, note 137, to which has to be added the 
by Vital. 

See Shlomel, 141 b. seems to mean a block of build- 

ings with a S5magogue attached to it. According to the Ch, Y., 
34 c, it means a College or a Yeshibah. See also Vital, 16 a. 

pp. 270-283 



See Graetz, Geschichie, XI: 587 seq., and references 
given there. See also nuo (ed. Jessnitz, 1723), i a. 

See above, p. 168. 

See nno, 2d; cf. Kahana, p. 203, note 5. 

*^*See ni 3 D, iic. 
m)D, ib. 

^«*SeemVD1 TJJ, 45 b. 

See 6c. Cf. D'pnif 67 a. 

See Azkari, p. 48. See also the statement of the traveller 
Samson Bak, Jerusalem^ II, p. 145. 

See nuO, 3 a. 

’'“See np^v r\i 3 ‘?n •"'iNn ym. 

See nuo, I a. 

'“See Ch. Y., IV, 53a and b. 

nuo, 3 b seq., 24b seq. Bacharach, it d. 

*^See Shlomel, 39 c, Bacharach, ira, and Ch. Y., I, 37 b. 

See Shlomel, 39, and Bacharach, ibid. 

'“See (Przemysl, 1875), 86a and b. 

See Azulai, s. and Kaydanower, ch. 93. Cf. Pesikta 
Rabbathi^ 131b seq., and the Second Esdnis, ch. 10, r. v. 

See Azulai, s, n, 

‘"'•’See Shlomel, 39a, Bacharach, 10 d. Cf. Graetz, Geschichte^ 
IX : 588. See also 50 seq.; 61 seq ; 87 d seq., abont various 
contemporaries of Loria. Cf. also Steinscimeider, Catalogue 
Munich, 2d ed., Berlin, 1895, pp. 250-1. 

’’’’’ See Shlomel, 35 b. 

See m 30 , 1 b, and Ch. Y., I, 48 b, 51 b, and 59 b. 

See Preface to the n'T!;?, 

The date of Loria’s death is given by most bibliographers 
as the year 1572. Against this we have, however, the evidence 
of Conforte, 41 a, who fixes it in the year 1573, for which he is 
attacked by Azulai and others. Sambari, p. 151, fixes it in the 
year 1574, which is also confirmed by the traveller Samson Bak. 
See Jerusalem, II, p. 146, text and notes. 

See the statement of R. Moses Galanti, the Younger, in the 
preface to the book pD, by R. David Abi Zimra ( Am.sterdam, 

‘^’'Horwitz is the one who dwells more on the mystical 
exposition, of the ideal man than any of the authors of 



pp. 283-284 

who became popular with the large masses, and a careful 
reading of the first seventy pages of his (ed. Warsaw, 8®) 

will show that it is chiefly the niynp and the hope conse- 
quent upon it which he is aiming at. Cfi especially page 19 b ; 
20 a seq. ; 28 a seq. ; 30 b seq.; 33 a seq. ; 47 a seq. ; 59 a seq. 

SfiQ Jerusalem, II, p. 143, and Frumkin, 117. 

^®^See Azulai under these names. Cf. also Shlomel, 36 a and 
41 d. See also the Responsa of R, Joseph Trani, I, 82. Cf. 
also Sambari, 16 1, witli regard to the Loria Synagogue. 



[This Index is to he snl>plcincntcci by the list of sages and saints 
of Safed constituting Appendix B, pp. 302-6. \ 

Aaron, the descendants of, alluded 
to, 64. 

Aaron Kaydanower, influence of 
Safed on, .282. 

Ah-Beth-Din, the, officer of the 
Sanhedrin. 105. 

See also ** Father of the Court 
of Justice.*’ 

Abiathar, the Scroll of, and the 
calendar controversy, 29. 

Abishai, rescues David, 111-12. 

Abraham, the Shield of, in Ec- 
clesiasticus, 67; in Christian 
and Jewish sources, 107; 
epithets of, 118*19; independ- 
ence of, 184. 

Abraham, brother-in-law of Cluck- 
el von Ilameln, 1.32, 133. 

Abraham de Boton, Responsa by, 

Abraham Gal anti, honour done to, 
208; and the treatment of 
workmen, 273-5; precepts by, 

Abraham Halevi Beruchim, mystic, 
missionary preacher, 243-4 T 
exhortations of, 243; urges 
preparations for the .Sabbath, 
243; and Jeremiah, 276-7; pre- 
cepts by, 289. 

Abraham Hurwitz, the ethical will 
of, alluded to, 139. 

Abraham ben Solomon, on the 
Jews of Spain, 204. 

Abtalyon, a proselyte, holds a high 
office in the Sanhedrin, 64. 

Abundance of Dew, Cabbalistic 
book by Sabbatai Ilorwitz, i 

260. I 

Adam Kadmon, a Cabbalistic term, 

Adler, Herman, Chief Rabbi of 
England, alluded to, 4. 
Adrianoplc, Joseph Caro in, 210- 
11; alluded to, 225, 252. 
Advice, Ben Sira on asking, 94. 
Africa, Northern, Jewish study 
centres established in, 28. 
Agadist, an, on God’s praying, 


Agricultural pursuits, Jews urged 
to engage in, 174; by the na- 
tives of Safed, 230. 

Agrippa II, alluded to 95. 

Akiba, Aquila under the influence 
of, 22; quoted, 110. 

Akylas, Rabbinic name for Aquila. 

See Aquila. 

Alcharizi, quoted, 81. 

Alexander the Great, alluded to, 


Alexandria, Jewish, disappointing, 

4 * 

Alimah, by Moses Cordovero, 240. 
Alkabcz. See Solomon Halevi 

Alsheich. See Moses Alshcich. 
Altona, in the Memoirs of Gluck- 
el von Hamein, 128-9; privi- 
leges of the Jews in, 128-9; 
victims of Chmielnicki in, 

Amos, the prophet, on social prob- 
lems, 77. 

Amsterdam, alluded to, 134, 
Amulets, in the Genizah, ri, 
Analecten sur Textkritik, by Dr. 
Felix Perles, cited, 15. 



Anatomy, studied by the Rabbis, 

Ancona, Solomon Molko preaches 
in, 224. 

Angels, in Ecclesiasticus, 69; 
created by Joseph Caro, 219. 

Anger, impairs tlic relation be- 
tween man and his fellow, 
166, 170; Joseph Caro on, 

212, 216; Moses Cordovero on, 
238; Isaac Loria on, 271-2. 

Animals, the treatment of, and 
saintliness, 174-5, 270. 

Anthropomorphistic element in 
the Cabbala, 262-3. 

Anti-Christiana, mythical character 
of, 102. 

Antinominian tendencies, conse- 
quences of, 160; Safed free 
from, 279. 

Apocrypha, the, defined, 2; frag- 
ments of, in the Genizah, 10; 
quoted by the daughter-voice, 

1 14; a Jewish commentary on, 
needed, 201. 

Apologetics, in the Genizah, 12. 

Apostasy, in the time of Ben Sira 
contrasted with that in earlier 
times, 65-6. 

Apostles, the, alluded to, 123. 

Aquila (Akylas), remains of, in 
the Genizah, 19; Rabbinic 
name of, 20, 2 1 ; historical 
and legendary account of, 
20-2; proselyte to Christianity 
and Judaism, 20-2; Greek ver- 
sion of the Bible by, 22-5. 

Arabic, versions of the Bible in, 
in the GenizaR, 9, 13; com- 
mentaries in, in the Genizah, 

Arba Turim, by Jacob ben Asher, 
commentary on, 21 1; alluded 
to, 222. 

Ari, epithet of Isaac Loria, 266. 

Aristeas Letter, the, on the vest- 
ments of the high priest, 61; 
on the Temple service, 62. 

Arrogance of the Jew in the West, 

Artisan, the, and prayer, in Ec- 
clesiasticus, 70; Ben Sira on, 
71 - 

See also Handicrafts; Trades, 

Aryans, the, and Israel, 183. 

Ascetic practices, in Safed, 244; 
Vital opposed to certain, 245; 
of the Society of Penitents, 
245-6; Azkari on, 246; of 
Isaac Loria, 255. 

See also Ascetic teachings; As- 
ceticism; Fasting. 

Ascetic teachings, in Safed, 282-3. 

Asceticism, and saintliness, 161-3; 
modern admiration of, 162; 
in Judaism, 191-2; practiced 
by Joseph Caro, 215-16; of 
Solomon Molko, 223; the evils 
of, mitigated, 250. 

See also Ascetic practices; As- 
cetic teachings; Fasting. 

Asher, epithet of, in the Maggid 
Mesharim, 222. 

Ashkenazi. See Bezaleel Ash- 
kenazi; Isaac Loria; Joseph 

Askara. Sec Ilananel Ibn As- 

Assidaeans, the, ascendency of, 65. 

Sec also Chasidim, the. 

Associates, the, of Alkabez. See 
Associates, the, of Moses Cor- 

Associates, the, of Loria, devotion 
of, to their master, 268; live 
in isolation, 269; divided into 
two classes, 269-70; exclude 
those prone to anger, 272; 
celebration of the Sabbath by, 
275; as reincarnations, 277. 

See also Associates, the, of 
Moses Cordovero; “ Lion- 
Whelps, The.” 

Associates, the, of Moses Cor- 
dovero, and Joseph Caro's 
Mentor- Angel, 233; presided 



over, by Alkabcz, -2.^8, 239; tic- 
scribed, 238-9; precepts drawn 
up for, 238-9, 244; ascetic 

practices of, 245-6; under 
Isaac Loria, 266. 

See also Associates, the, of 

Atonement, the Day of, s])ecial 
prayers ftjr, in Safed, 244: 
confession of sins on, 270. 

Attentions, the, of Isaac I.oria, 
269, 271, 278. 

Autofiraph documents, in the Geni- 
zah, 1 1, 29. 

Autonomy of the various com- 
munities in Safed, 229, 233, 

Azkari, Sec Eliczer Azkari. 

Baal Shem. See Israel Baal 

Babylon, the schools of, cease, 
28; alluded to, 205. 

Babylon, Fortress of,’’ in Cairo, 


Babylonian Talmud, the, frag- 
ments of, in the Genizah, 10; 
compared with the Jerusalem 
Talmud, 27-8. 

See also Talmud, the. 

Bachelors, the Jewish view of, 95. 

See also Celibacy, 

Bachye, an exponent of Judaism, 
192; the writings of, recom- 
mended to Joseph Caro, by 
the Mentor-Angel, 217. 

Baiersdorf, alluded to, 146. 

Bak, Samson, on Safed, 2S3. 

Bakhshish, facilitates work in the 
Genizah, 8. 

Banquet, a, in the time of Ben 
Sira, 84-91. 

Banquets, permitted, 238, 248. 

See also Dining. 

Baptism, in Jewish literature, 109- 

Barbary States, th^ immigrants 
from, in Safed, 207, 

Barley, produced near Safed, 230. 

Barth, philologist, quoted, 32. 

Basliiatsi. See Elijah Bashiatsi. 

Bt'ans, produced near Safed, 230. 

Beer, on non-commercial pursuits 
for Jews, T74. 

Benediction, a, preceding martyr- 
dom, 226. 

See also Prayer. 

Ben Ilagla, a lost hook, 53. 

Benjamin of Tiulela, traveller, on 
Cairo, 5. 

Ben Meir, controversy of, with 
Saadya, 29. 

Bensimon, Aaron, Grand Rabbi of 
Cairo, 4, and the Genizah, 5. 

Men Sira, the dates of, 55-6; 
sources on, 56-7 ; the state of 
Judaism, etc. in the time of, 
58; scarcity of references to 
the Synagogue in the time of, 
65; the hymn of, and the 
ICightcen Benedictions, 67-8; 
on the future life, 68-9; occu- 
pations of the Jews in the time 
of, 7 t; on artisans, 71; on the 
commercial classes, 71-2; on 
the military classes, 72-3; on 
the scholastic profession, 73; 
on the priests, 75; on the 
medical profession, 75-7; as a 
social reformer, 77-9, 81, 83; 
on the value of leisure, 80; 
conservatism of, 80-1; on un- 
righteous wcaltli , 8r-2; on 

poverty, 82; religion and poli- 
tics of, 83; as a man of the 
world, 84-9 T ; on temperance, 
87; on wine, 88-90; pn drunk- 
enness, 89; on seriousness and 
modesty, 91; on the bore, 
91-2; on the evils of the ton- 
gue, 93-3; on friendship, 93-4; 
on asking advice, 94; on char- 
itableness, 94; on women, 95; 
on marriage, 96, 98; on pedi- 
gree, 96; on the education of 
children, 96-8; on heirs, 98-9; 



on visiting the sick, 99-100; 
on death, 100; on burial, 10 1; 
on the period of mourning, 


Sec also Ecclesiasticus. 

lien Sira, The Wisdom of. See 

lien Soma, and Joshua ben Ila- 
naniah, 112. 

IJcquest, a, for Yeshiboth in 
Safed, 209. 

lierab. Sec Jacob lierab. 

Berachoth, prescriptions for prayer 
in, 154. 

Bertinoro. See Obadiah of Berti- 

Beruchim. Sec Abraham Halevi 

Beth ha-Kencseth, the, a name for 
the Synagogue, 63. 

Beth ha-Mi(irash, the, the impor- 
tance of, 42; a name for the 
Synagogue, 63. 

Beth ha-lVa’ad, a General Board, 
in Safed, 229-30, 251, 284. 

Beth Jacob, Spanish congregation 
in Safed, 235, 

B^th Joseph, the, by Joseph Caro, 
described, 21 1; Joseph Caro 
desires the perfection of, 217. 

Beyrout, alluded to, 206. 

Bezaleel Ashkenazi, teacher of 
Isaac Loria, 253, 257. 

Bible, the, regulations for writing, 
14; treatment of Christologi- 
cal passages in, 23; dates of 
the books of, 33-4: purpose of 
the study of Hebrew, 36; 
study of, shpuld precede its 
criticism, 37; ignorance of 
Hebrew and criticism of, 
37-8; value of the Hebrew Ec- 
clesiasticus for the study of, 
43-4; the style of, imitated in 
Ecclesiasticus, 47; and the 
dates of Ben Sira, 56; on 
corporal punishment, 97; the 
Talmud important in the 

'* study of, 103; Introductions 
to, and Rabbinic literature, 
105; and Jewish scholars, 195; 
the object of attack, 198; Jew- 
ish devotion to, needed, 199- 
201 ; and Christian scholars, 
200; a Jewish commentary on, 
201; and Safed, 202; taught 
to Marranos, 223; commen- 
tary on, by Moses Alshcich, 

See also Bible, the, fragments 
of; Bible, the, Greek version 
of; Canon, the; Exegesis, Bib- 
lical; Torah, the; and under 
the various Books of the 

Bible, the, fragments of, in the 
Genizah, 9-10, 12; easily iden- 
tified, 13; oldest Bible manu- 
scripts known, 14; abbrevia- 
tion system illustrated in, 14- 
15; for children, 15-16; colo- 
phons to, 16-17; palimpsests, 

Bible, the, Greek version of, by 
Aquila, 19, 22-5; literalism of, 
22-3, 24, 25; compared with 
the Septuagint, 23-4; pre- 
served by Origen, 24-5. 

Bibliography, value of, 120. 

Bikkur Choliin^ in Rabbinic litera- 
ture, 99. 

Bills, among the Genizah frag- 
ments, 28. 

Bleek, alluded to, 33. 

Bodleian Library, the, alluded to, 
15; fragments of Ecclesiasti- 
cus in, 45. 

Boehme, alluded to, 178. 

Books, kinds of, consigned to a 
Genizah, 2-3, 7. 

Bore, the, Ben Sira on, 91-2. 

Boton. See Abraham de Boton. 

Bride, term for the Keneseth 
Israel, 121. 

British Museum, the, alluded to, 



Brother, term for the Keneseth 
Israel, 121. 

Buhl, on social problems in Israel, 

Builders, in demand in Safed, 

Building, occuiiation of the Jews 
in the time of Ben Sira, 71. 

Burkitt, F. C., editor of Aquila 
fragments, 25. 

Butchers, act as caterers, 86. 

Buxtorfs, the two, and Rabbinic 
literature, 103. 

Cabbala, the, the study of, urged 
by Joseph Caro’.s Mentor- 
Angel, 217; taught to Mur- 
ranos, 223; Solomon Molko 
converts Joseph Caro to, 226; 
authoritative work on, 240; 
Isaac Loria introduced to, 
‘254'5» taught to Isaac Loria 
by Elijah, 256; the world as 
viewed by, 258-60; man as 
viewed by, 261-3, 268-9; 
anthropomorphisms, 262-3; 
and the Propositions, 280-1. 

See also Chayim Vital; Isaac 
Loria; Moses Cordovero, etc.; 
and Zoh^r, the. 

Cabbalists, the, the difficulties of, 

Caine, Hall, alluded to, 188. 

Cairo, the Genizah at, 3; modern 
character of, 4; buildings in, 
5; Isaac Loria at, 253-6. 

Calendar, the, controversy on, 29. 

Cambridge, the University of, and 
the Cairo Genizah, 3-4, ii. 

Canon, the, value of histories of, 
37; hypothesis of the rise of, 
unsatisfactory, 43; and the 
dates of Ben Sira, 56; Rab- 
binic account of, and the 
higher criticism, 105. 

See also Bible, the. 

Canon, the second, causes leading 
to, doubtful, 42. 

Carlyle, quoted, 148. 

Caro. See Joscjih Caro. 

Carpentry, trade of the Jews in 
the time of Ben Sira, 71. 

Cattaui, Youssef M., liberality of, 
5 * 

Cattle-breeding, occupation of the 
Jews in the time of Ben Sira, 
71 - 

Celibacy, and saintliness, 176-7. 
Sec also Bachelors. 

Censors, the Board of, Isaac Loria 
on, in Safed, 267-8. 

Ceremonies, and the saint, 160; 
and spirituality, 187-8. 

Corf Levy, second husband of 
Gliickel von Hameln, 145-6. 

Chahcriui, See Associates, the. 

Chabih. See Levi ben (Abcn) 

Chagigah, a story from, 123-4. 

Chaldaic versions of the Bible, in 
the Genizah, 9, 13. 

Chalphanim, the, in Hamburg, 135. 

Chanina ben Teradyon, quoted, i. 

Charitableness, Ben Sira on, 94; 
in Rabbinic literature, 94. 

Charity, Ben Sira on, 81; and 
saintliness, 17 1-4; is practiced 
in Safed, 246-7; of Isaac 
Loria, 272-3. 

Charles V., Emperor, and Solomon 
Molko, 225. 

Chasid, defined, 151. 

See also Saint. 

Chasidim, the, and Ben Sira, 83-4; 
discredited by the higher 
criticism, 105, 

See also Assidaeans, the. 

Chasiduth, saintliness, 151* 

See also Saintliness. 

Chastity, Joseph .Caro on, 216. 

Chayim Hameln, husband of 
Gliickel von Hameln, 131, 
133; saintliness of, 133-4; 



a business man, 134; death of, 


Chayim Vital, disciple of Moses 
Alsheich, 241; opposed to cer- 
tain ascetic practices, 245; the 
accomplishments of, 251; fol- 
lower of Isaac Loria, 266, 
270, 277; goes to Safed, 266-7; 
on the love of the non-Jew, 
270; spends the Sabbath with 
Isaac Loria, 278; book ascrib- 
ed to, 279, 281; book by, 
279, 281 ; successor to Isaac 
Loria, 280; authority of, in 
Safed, 284-5; death of, 285. 

Chebrahs, in Hamburg, 135. 

Cheder, the, Gliickel von Hameln 
taught in, 139. 

Chelo, See Isaac ben Joseph 

Chiromancy, Isaac Loria an adept 
in, 265. 

Chmielnicki, Bogdan, victims of, 
in Hamburg, etc., 129-30, 133; 
alluded to, 204; effect of, on 
Safed, 285. 

Christian scholars, and the Tal- 
mud, 103-4; on the Jews in 
the time of Jesus, 120-1; and 
the study of the Bible, 200-1; 
and post-Biblical Judaism, 

Christianity, Aquila a proselyte 
to, 21; Schleiermacher’s view 
of, 104; the history of the 
rise of, 125. 

Christological passages, in the 
Bible, treatment of, 23. 

“ Chronicle of»thc World,” the, a 
secondary source on Ben Sira, 
$6; quoted, 57. 

Chronicles, the Books of, inter- 
pret Deuteronomy, 37; on the 
Persian-Greek period of Jew- 
ish history, 43 ; purpose of, 

Chronology, the, of the Persian- 
Greek period, 41. 

Church, the Established, and the 
study of theology, 196, 197. 

Chushiel ben Klhanan (or Han- 
anel), letter by, 29. 

Clement VII., Pope, and Solomon 
Molko, 224-5. 

Clergy, the Jewish, and theology, 
195*7; and the Bible, 200, 

Clcves, alluded to, 136. 

Clothes, manufactured in Safed, 

Cohen. See Elijah Cohen. 

Colobi. See Pharez Colobi. 

Colophons, to Biblical Genizah 
fragments, 16-17. 

Columbia University, manuscript 
in, used, 289. 

** Come, my Beloved. See Lcchah 

Commentaries, fragments of, in 
the Genizah, 10, 

Commentary, a Jewish, on the 
Bible needed, 201. 

Commercial classes, the, Ben Sira 
on, 71-2; Rabbinic sentiment 
on, 72. 

See also Trading. 

Compulsory education, in Judaea, 
95 - 

Sec also Education; and In- 

Concentration, the system of, in 
the Cabbala, 259, 260. 

Confession of sins. See Sins, the 
confession of. 

Confirmation, the rite of, and wo- 
men in the synagogue, 137. 

Conforte, on Isaac Loria and 
Moses Cordovero, 257. 

Congregation of Israel, the, com- 
pared to a lily, 108; symbol- 
ised by a dove, iii. 

See also Keneseth Israel, the. 

Consolacam as tribulacoes de 
Ysrael, by Samuel Usque, 
quoted, 202-3. 



“ Consolation and Tribulations of 
Israel, The,” by Samuel 
Usque, quoted, 202-3. 

Constantinople, the Jews of, sup- 
port Safed institutions, 209; 
trade with Safed, 230. 

Contemporaneous history in Ec- 
clesiasticus, 51-3. 

Controversial works, in the Geni- 
zah, II. 

Controversies, theological, 34-5* 

Converts, how brought back to the 
faith, 171. 

Conveyances, among the Genizah 
fragments, 28. 

Coptic-Hebrew palimpsests, 18. 

C'ordovero. See Moses Co rdovero. 

Corporal punishment, Ben Sira on, 
97 - 

Cotton, produced near Safed, 230. 

Covetousness, impairs the relation 
between man and his fellow, 

Criticism, the Higher. See Ex- 
egesis, Biblical. 

Crusades, the, and pilgrimages to 
the Holy Land, 205. 

Cooking, taught to girls, 98. 

Cudworth and the Rabbis, 103. 

Dalman, and Jewish terms, 120. 

Damascus, trades with Safed, 230; 
alluded to, 266, 285. 

“ Dancing,” by Mrs. Lily Grove, 
quoted, 137. 

Daniel, the Book of, late date of, 
59; commentary on, jjrintcd in 
Safed, 231. 

Dates of the composition of the 
Biblical books, how' deter- 
mined, 33-4* 

Daughter, term for the Keneseth 
Israel, 121. 

Daughter-voice, the, in the vision 
of Jose, 1 13; a means of 
revelation, 113-16; reproduces 
Biblical verses, 113-14; quotes 
the Apocrypha, 114; to whom 

audible, 114-15; when authori- 
tative, 1 1 6. 

Daughters, as described in Jewish 
literature, 98. 

David, and the authorship of the 
Psalms, 39; restoration of the 
line of, in Ecclesiasticus, 50-1; 
alluded to, 64; a Rabbinic 
legend on, 111-12; the harp 
of, 156. 

David ben (Abi) Zimra, position 
of, in Safed, 250-1; teacher 
of Isaac Loria, 257, 263. 

David Reubeni, and Solomon 
Molko, 223. 

Death, various designations of, 
99; Ben Sira on, 100; and 
saintliness, 181. 

Defilement, interpreted Rabbinic- 
ally, Jio; the cause of, 190. 

I)e la Keina. See Joseph de la 

Despair, impairs the relation be- 
tween man and his fellow, 

De Synagoga vetere, by Vitringa, 
importance of, 104. 

De Synedriis, by Selden, and the 
Talmud, 103. 

Deuteronomy, the Book of, in- 
terpreted ,by other books of 
the Bible, 37; passages in, in- 
terpreted, 20, 1 18; quoted, 

112, 1 15, 263, 273. 

Devotional works, the Mentor- 
Angel urges the reading of, 
on Joseph Caro, 217; in- 
fluence of Safed on, 282-3. 

Devotions, the, of Isaac Loria, 
269, 271, 278. 

Die heilige Schrift, by Kautzsch, 
cited, 41. 

Die Worte Jesu, by Dalman, and 
Jewish terms, 121. 

Dietary laws, the, in the time of 
Ben Sira, 70. 

See also Forbidden food. 



“ Digest of the Law,** by Jacob 
ben Asher, 211. 

Dillmann, alluded to, 33, 200; 

analysis of the Pentateuch by, 


Dining, in the time of Ben Sira, 
84-91; regulations for, 84-5; 
invitations for, 85; hour for, 
85; room for, 85-6; menu for, 

See also Banquet, a; and Ban- 

Disraeli, alluded to, 222. 

Discourse on the Lord's Supper, 
by Cudworth, and the Rabbis, 
T 03- 

Dissipation, impairs the relation 
between man and his fellow, 

“ Divine Cabbalist, Tlic,** epithet 
of Isaac Loria, 267. 

Divine Essence, the, in the Cab- 
bala, 259. 

Divine Presence, the, and the 
saints after death, 88; in ex- 
ile, 124, 243; respect for, 124; 
pure thoughts the seat of, 
2x6; classes excluded from, 

** Divine Rabbi Isaac,*’ epithet of 
Isaac Loria, 266. 

Divorce, bills of, in the Genizah, 

1 1 . 

Dove, the, symbolises the Holy 
Ghost, I11-J2. 

Drunkenness, Ben Sira on, 89. 

Duhm, alluded to, 200. 

“ Duties of the Heart, The,” by 
Bachye, recommended to Jo- 
seph Caro, by his Mentor- 
Angel, 217. 

Eagle, the, a Rabbinic symbol. 

Ecclesiastes, the authorship of, 39; 
the date of, doubtful, 42; 
verses from, in Ecclesiasticus, 
68; quoted, 114, 166, 281. 

Ecclesiasticus, chief source for the 
time of Ben Sira, 56; pitfalls 
in the use of, 57-8; quoted 
57 ct seq., 114, 123; on the 
Temple service, 60-2; and the 
Eighteen Benedictions, 67-8; 
on resurrection, 68-9; on an- 
gels, 69; on original sin, 69. 

Sec also Ben Sira; and Ec- 
clesiasticus, the original of. 

Ecclesiasticus, the original of, 
fragments of, in the Genizah, 
10, 26; value of, in historical 
research, 26-7; value of, to 
the Biblical student, 43-4; 
46-7; date of, 43-4; used by 
Luzzatto , 44; mentioned by 
St. Jerome and Saadya, 45; 
discovery of, 45; editions of, 
45; number of chapters of, 
found, 45; the language of, 
46, 47; Job known to the 

author of, 47; the Psalms 
known to the author of, 47; 
hymn from, 48-9, 50; proof of 
the authenticity of, 49; litur- 
gical elements in, 50, 51 ; re- 
ligious thought exhibited in, 
50; contemi)orancous history 
ju, 51-3; Persian influence in, 

See also Ben Sira; and Ec- 

Edersheim, Dr., on Ben Sira, 

Education, compulsory, in Judaea, 
95; in the time of Ben Sira, 
96-8; facilities for an, in 
Safed, 209. 

See also Instruction. 

Egypt, alluded to, 205. 

Ehrt, on Maccabaean Psalms, 44. 

Eighteen Benedictions, the, in- 
fluenced by Ecclesiasticus, 50, 
51; in their earliest form, 
67-8; and Ben Sira, 67, 68; 
and Isaiah, 67; conclusion of, 



Eighteenth century, the, ideas of, 

Ekkehart, alluded to, 178. 

Eleazar ben Arach, and the first 
chapter of Ezekiel, 124-5. 

Eleazar ben Simon, the Associates 
of Loria the reincarnations 
of, 277, 

Eliezer Azkari, and the society 
Tent of Peace, 244; on ascetic 
practices, 246. 

Eliezer, the Great, eulogy on, i ; 
teacher of Aquila, 21*2. 

Elijah, Gaon of Wilna, on fasting, 
162; exponent of Judaism, 
192; a Jewish reformer, 192; 
book by a pupil of, 192-3; 
and the study of the Bible, 
200; alluded to, 204. 

Elijah, the Prophet, synagogue 
at Cairo named for, 5 ; oflice 
of, as historical recorder, 57, 
$8; the model of the saint, 
161; and Joshua ben Levi, 
166; the model of zealots, 
171; an exponent of Juda- 
ism, 192; Joseph Caro worthy 
of communion with, 214; an- 
nounces the birth of Isaac 
Loria, 252-3; Isaac Loria in 
communion with, 255; the 
teacher of Isaac Loria in the 
Cabbala 256. 

Elijah Bashiatsi, Karaite, on the 
German Jews in Palestine, 

Elijah Cohen, influence ot Safed 
on, 282. 

Elijah Loanz, a kinsman of Isaac 
Loria, 251. 

Elijah de Vidas, on the Society of 
Penitents, 245; work by, 

Eliot, George, Kaufmann on, 126. 

Elisha ben Abuyah, and the daugh- 
ter-voice, 1 15. 

Elsmere, Robert, alluded to, 188. 

Emanations, the, of the Cabbala, 
258; dwelt upon by Moses 
Cordovero, 261. 

Emancipation, deeds of, in the 
Genizah, ii. 

Emerson, alluded to, 200. 

Eminences. Set* Gaonim. 

England, Rabbis from, go to the 
Holy Land, 205. 

English Jews, a foreigner on, 189- 


Enoch, the Book of, alluded to, 

Ephraim, the father of Joseph 
Caro, 210. 

Epitaphs, the wording of, j. 

Erbauun^slcciurc unscrer Altvor^ 
dcren by Dr. P. F. Eranki, 
referred to, 139. 

Essenes, alliuled to, rir. 

Esther, sister-in-law of Gliickel 
von ITamcln, 133. 

Esther, the Book of, quoted, 151; 
homiletical commentary on, 

Esther Schwab. See Schwab, Es- 

Ethrog, the, charity and the duty 
of, 173-4- 

Etymologische Studien, by Barth, 
quoted, 32. 

Etymology, affected by theology, 

Europe, Jewish study centres es- 
tablished in, 28. 

Ewald, alluded to, 33, 200. 

Excommunications, in the. Geni- 
zah, IT. 

Exegesis, Biblical, two theological 
schools in, 32-4; value of, 40; 
value of the Hebrew Ec- 
clesiasticus for, 43-4; and the 
dates of Ben Sira, 55-6; mod- 
ern, and the Talmud, 105-6; 
and Christian bias, 200, 

See also Intert>retation. 

" Exile, The Prince of the,” 
Genizah documents on, 11. 



Exodus, the Book of, passage in, 
interpreted, 76. 

Exports from Safed, 230. 

“ Expositor, The,” first to publish 
the original Hebrew of Ec- 
cicsiasticus, 45. 

Eye, term for the Keneseth Israel, 


Ezekiel, expounder of the “ Priest- 
ly Code,” 36; vision of, 124-3. 

£2 ha-Chayim, book ascribed to 
Vital, 279; for the few, 281. 

Ezra, the Book of, quoted, 244. 

Ezra the Scribe, Synagogue of, 
at Cairo, 5; the Ordinances 
of, and the dates of Ben 
Sira, 56; alluded to, 105, 

Farming, occupation of the Jews 
in the time of Ben Sira, 71; 

, near Safed, 230. 

Fasting, inferences from the com- 
mand of, 1 61; by saints, 
161-3; enjoined upon Joseph 
Caro by his Mentor-Angel, 
215; practiced by the Asso- 
ciates, 245*6; prohibited on 
the Sabbath, 248. 

See also Ascetic practices; As- 
cetic teachings; Asceticism. 

** Father in heaven,” not under- 
stood by Christian writers, 


See also Heavenly Father. 

** Father of the Court of Justice,” 
a proselyte, 64. 

See also Ab-Beth-Din, 

” Fathers,” the first of the Eigh- 
teen Benedictions, and Ec- 
clesiasticus, 51, 67, 68. 

Fathers, the other Books of the, 
Ben Sira's description of the 
Hagiographa, 59. 

Fathers of the Church, the, cited, 
21, 23. 

See also Jerome, Origen. 

Fathers of the Synagogue, the, 
quoted, 12, 107. 

Sec also Pirke Aboth, 

Faust, a Jewish, 248. 

Ferdinand, of Spain, alluded to, 212. 

Festivals, the, as viewed by the 
saint, 158. 

Figs, produced near Safed, 230. 

Fire, baptism with, 109. 

Fisch, friend of Joseph Hameln, 
13 ^. 

Forbidden food, and the saint, 
159-61; Nachnianides on, 160, 
See also Dietary laws, the. 

I'raginents, the, in the Genizah, 
character of, 5-6; irregular 
traffic with, 9; number of, 9; 
classes of, 9-11, 12-13; diffi- 
cult to classify, 13-14; hand- 
writing of, 14; trellis-writing 
exemplified in, 14-15; by 
Aquila, 19, 25; on the period 
of the Gaonim, 28-9. 

See also Bible, the, fragments 
of, in the Genizah; Genizah, 
a; Liturgy, the. 

France, Rabbis from, go to the 
Holy Land, 205. 

Frankfort, alluded to, 134; a 
branch of the Loria family in, 

Frankl, Dr. P. F., on the litera- 
ture in Jiidisch-Deutsch, 139. 

Frederick III, of Denmark, the 
Jews under, 128. 

Frederick William, Elector of 
Brandenburg, and Elia Gom- 
perz, 136; at the wedding of 
Gliickel von Hameln's daugh- 
ter, 137. 

Freudehen, wife of Joseph Ha- 
mrln, 131. 

Freudenthal, alluded to, 112. 

Friedmann, Meyer, alluded to, 12. 

Friendship, the Jewish view of, 
93; Ben Sira on, 93-4. 

Fruits, metaphorically used, 107* 

Funerals, costliness of, loo-i. 



Gabirol, and the study of the 
Bible, 200. 

Galanti. See Abraham Galanti; 
and Moses Galanti. 

Galilee, Upper, Safed in, 202; the 
situation of tlie Jews of, 207. 

Gamaliel, and funeral reform, 100. 

Gaon. See Shem Tob Ibn Gaon. 

Gaonim, the, period of the most 
prominent of, reconstructed 
by the Genizah fragments, 
28*9; letters and books by, 

Garden, The, Sec Parties, 

** Gates of Holiness, The,” by 
Chayini Vital, 279; a popular 
book, 281. 

Gavinezo, See Jacob Gavinezo. 

Genealogical tables, in Rabbinic 
literature, 106. 

General Board. See Beth ha- 

Genesis, the Book of, a passage 
in, interpreted, 24; quoted, 

32, 17s. 

Genizah, a, defined, 1-2; coin- 
tents of, 2-3. 

Genizah, the, at Cairo, 3, 5*30; 
manuscripts in, 6-7; printed 
matter in, 7; difficulties of 
working in, 7-8; classes of 
fragments in, 9-11, 12-13, 13- 
30; specimens of handwriting 
in, 13-14; Aquila’s Bible ver- 
sion in, 1 9, 25; and the 

Gaonim, 28-9. 

See also Fragments, the, in the 

** Genizah Specimens,” published 
in ” The Jewish Quarterly 
Review,” 45- 

Gentiles, to be loved, 168, 270; to 
be prayed for, 171. 

Georgian-Hebrew palimpsests, 18. 

German community in Safed, 229. 

German Jews, emigrate to Moham- 
medan countries, 251-2; intro- 

duce the printing trade in 
Safed, 231. 

Gibson, Mrs. See Lewis-Gibson 
collection, the. 

Gifts of the Levite, by Solomon 
Alkabcz, 227-8. 

Gifts, the twenty-four, of the 
priesthood, 73-4. 

Girls, the education of, 97-8. 

Gliickel von Ilamcln, importance 
of the Memoirs of, 126-7; 
parentage of, 127; simplicity 
of, 128; first recollections of, 
128-9; on the return of the 
Jews to Hamburg, 129; on 
the Chmiclnicki persecution, 
130; illness of, 130; marriage 
of, 131; on her husband’s 
family, 131-3; on her hus- 
band, 133-4; removes to Ham- 
burg, 134; as a business wo- 
man, 134; on Sabbatai Zebi, 
135*6; daughter of, married, 
136-7; humility of, 138, 140-1, 
144; activities of, 138; edu- 
cation of, 138-9; a theodicy 
by, 139-40; on the mercy of 
God, 140; on immortality, 
141-2; on service of God, 142- 
3; on love of neighbour, 143; 
injunctions of, to her chil- 
drefi, 144-s; last years of, 
145-6; second marriage of, 
145-6; death of, 146. 

Gnosis, fragment of, a Jewish, 
1 12. 

God, love of and saintliness, 

Goethe, as a student of Hebrew, 
35 - 

Gold ink, used by Jews, 14. 

Goliath, alluded to, iii. 

Goinperz, Elia, father-in-law of 
Gliickel von Hameln’s daugh- 
ter, 136. 

Gomperz, Kossman, son-in-law of 
Gliickel von Hameln, 136-7. 



Gospels, the, and Schleiermacher, 

See also Johannine Gospel, the; 
and Synoptic Gospels, the. 

Grace, the reality of, and saint- 
liness, 179, 180-1, 

Grace after meals, at a banquet, 
88; how to pronounce, 239; a 
Psalm added to, 247. 

Graetz, alluded to, 112. 

Grain, exported from Safed, 230. 

Great Synagogue, the, and the 
dates of Ben Sira, 56; contro- 
versy about, 105-6. 

Greatness, human, the ideal of 

Greek, the use of, by Aquila, 22-3, 
24; esteemed by the Rabbis, 

Greek-Hebrew palimpsests, 18, 25. 

Greek synagogue, in Safed, 229. 

Greek version of the Bible, the, by 
Aquila, 22-5; in the Genizah, 
25; value of Gcnizali frag- 
ments of, 25. 

Green, the colour of Sabbatai 
Zebi, 135. 

Grieve, David, alluded to, 188. 

Grove, Mrs. Lily, quoted, 137. 

Hadrian, Emperor, kinsman of 
Aquila, 20. 

Hagiographa, the , colophons to 
manuscripts of, i6; date of, 
44; and the dates of Ben Sira, 
56; Ben Sira on, 59. 

Hai, alluded to, 28. 

Ilakwy, Joseph, on Job and Ec- 
clesiasticus, 46-7. 

Hamburg, the re-settlement of the 
Jews in, 127, 129; in the 

Memoirs of Gluckel von Ha- 
meln, 128; victims of Chmiel- 
nicki in, 130; the home of 
Gluckel von Ilameln, 134-5; 
Messianic fever in, 135. 

Hameln, difficulty of journey to, 

Hananel Ibn Askara, migrates to 
Safed, 206. 

Handicrafts, and the Torah, 79-80; 
in the education of children, 

See also Artisan; and Trades. 

Handwriting of the Bible frag- 
ments in the Genizah, 13-14. 

Hanover, alluded to, 131, 204. 

Harvest, metaphorically used, 107. 

Hatred, impairs the relation be- 
tween man and his fellow, 

** Head of the banquet house,’* 
84 ' 5 - 

Heave-offering. Sec Terumah. 

Heavenly Academy, the, greetings 
from, to Joseph Caro, 218-19; 
Isaac Loria and, 256. 

Heavenly Father, a favourite ex- 
pression with Gluckel von 
Hameln, 142-3. 

Sec also ** Father in heaven.” 

Hebrew, secular use of, 3; the 
study of, difficult, 35; impor- 
tance of vocalisation of, 35-6; 
purpose of the study of, 36; 
ignorance of, and criticism of 
the Bible, 37-8; in the time of 
Ben Sira, 46; how much 
known by Gliickel von Ham- 
cln, 138-9; and Jewish uni- 
versity students, 194-5; need 
of the study of, 197-8; ignor- 
ance of, among Jews, 198-9. 

Hebrcw-ITebrew palimpsests, t8. 

Hebrew literature, a Testament, 

Heine, and Lechah Dodi, 228. 

Heiresses, in Jerusalem, 95. 

Heirs, male, Ben Sira on, 98-9. 

Hellenistic influence on the age of 
Ben Sira, 55. 

Hengstenberg, Prof., alluded to, 
33 - 

Herder, and Lechah Dodi, 228. 

Hessen, Parnas of. See Joseph 



Hexapla, the, preserves render- 
ings by Aquila, 25. 

High priest, a, commission bought 
for, 95. 

High priest, the, as described in 
the Aristeas Letter, 61. 

High priests, the, privileges of, 75. 

Higher criticism, the. See Ex- 
egesis, Biblical. 

Hildesheim, alluded to, 135. 

llillel, and the Temple, 63; the 
doctrine of immortality in the 
time of, 70; a workingman, 
80; alluded to, 123. 

}J istorisch-KrULsche Einleitung (to 
the Old Testament), by 
Kuenen, value of, 40. 

History, in the Genizah, 12, 13, 
28-9; contemporaneous, in Ec- 
clcsiasticus, 51-3. 

History of the Jewish Peofle in 
the Age of Jesus Christ, by 
Schurer, value of, 119-20. 

IlolineSvS, allied with saintliness, 
151; defined, 15 1*2; heading 
for marriage laws, 1 76. 

ITolinesses, the third of the Eigh- 
teen Benedictions, 67-8. 

Holy Ghost, the. See Holy Spirit, 

Holy Land, the, a refuge for 
exiles, 202, 203, 204-6; de- 
scribed by Samuel Usque, 
203; pilgrimages to, 205-6; ex- 
plored, 205; Joseph Caro de- 
sires to settle in, 219-20; 
attraction of, 231-3. 

“ Holy Man, The,” epithet of 
Isaac Loria, 267. 

Holy Spirit, the, and Canonical 
books, 2; baptism with, 109; 
as used in Jewish literature, 
no; and purification, iio-ii; 
symbolised, 111-12; and truth, 

Home, the? Jewish, in the time of 
Ben Sira, 70. 

Homiletic commentary on the 
Bible, by Moses Alsheich, 241. 

Homiletic nature of toasts, 87. 

Horae Rabbinicae, by Lightfoot, 
and the Talmud, 103. 

Horwitz. See Isaiah Horwitz; and 
Sabbatai Horwitz. 

House of Assembly, the. See 
Beth ha-Keneseth, the 
House of Interpretation.” See 
Beth ha-Midrash, the; and 
Synagogue, the. 

Humility, of Gliickcl von Hameln, 
138, 1 40- 1, 144; the antidote 

to all unsocial qualities, i68- 
70; story illustrating, 208-9; 
of Isaac Loria, 272. 

Hurwitz, Abraham. See Abraham 

Husks, the, the powers of evil, 
Isaac Loria delivered from, 
253; disgnivses, 260. 

Hymns, for the Sabbath meals, 

Hymnus Pat rum, in Ecclesiasticus, 
46, 47, 48-9, 50, 67-8. 

Hypocrites, excluded from the 
Divine Presence, 238. 

Ibn Ezra, alluded to, 200. 

Idras, the, of the Zohar, 261-3; 
studied by the school of 
Isaac Loria, 267. 

Idra, the Great, 262-3. 

Immanations, the, of the Cab- 
bala, 258, 259. 

Immersion, in Jewish literature, 

Immortality, the doctrine of, in 
Ecclesiasticus, 69; accepted in 
the Pharisaic schools, 70; 
Gliickcl von Hameln on, 
141-2; belief in, a Jewish doc- 
trine, 142. 

** In Memoriam;” and the Sermon 
on the Mount, 36. 

Indians, the, and Orientalism, 150. 

Informers, how looked upon, 166. 



Injury to one’s neighbour, and 
saintliness, 165-6. 

Ink, gold, used by Jews, 14. 

Instruction, main function of the 
Synagogue in Ben Sira’s time, 
63; free in the Synagogue, 66. 

See also Education. 

Interpretation, Rabbinic rules of, 
1 16-18. 

Intolerance, displayed by the 
Shulchan Aruch, a 12. 

Introductions to the Old Testa- 
ment, value of, 37. 

Iron-smiths, among the Jews in the 
time of Ben Sira, 71. 

Isaac, the Rock of, in Ecclesiasti- 
cus, 67. 

Isaac ben Joseph Chelo, on Safed, 

Isaac Loria , mystic, narrative 
about, 17s; prominent figure 
in Safed, 210; on Moses Cor- 
dovero, 241 ; on Moses Al- 
sheich, 241; the family of, 
251; the birth of, 252-3; the 
circumcision of, 253; pre- 
cocity of, 253; adopted by his 
uncle, 253; teachers of, 253, 
257; introduced to the Cab- 
bala, 254-5; devoted student 
of the Cabbala, 255; Elijah 
teaches the Cabbala to, 256; 
legendary account of, 256; 
library of, 256; indebted to 
Moses Cordovero, 257-8, 261; 
Associates of, in Safed, 257, 
263-5; and the system of Z«m- 
eunij 260-1; inspired by the 
Idras, 262-3; •life of, in Safed, 
263-4; so*' of, 264; estimate 
of, as 3 Cabbalist, 265-6; 
epithets of, 266, 267; the fol- 
lowers of, 266; and Chayim 
Vital, 266-7; reticent on Cab- 
balistic subjects, 267, 27s, 280; 
personality of, 267 et seq, ; 
a literature on, 269; and his 
Associates, 269-70; prayer in 

the system of, 270-1; consid- 
crateness of, 271-2; charitable- 
ness of, 272-3; relation of, to 
workmen, 273-5; the Sabbath 
celebrated by, 275-8; holds 
intercourse with the departed, 
275-6; and metemps>chosis, 
275-7; mystical songs by, 278; 
spiritualises the whole life of 
man, 278-9; abstract of the 
teachings of, by V^ital, 279; and 
Joseph Caro,, 279; death of, 
280; questionable authenticity 
of the writings ascribed to, 
280; adherents of, 283; syna- 
gogue in memory of, 284. 

Isabella, of Spain, alluded to, 212. 

Isaiah, the Prophet, the Second, a 
fact, 39; alluded to, 69. 

Isaiah, the Book of, interpreted by 
the Psalms, 36; reminiscences 
of, in Ecclesiasticus, 50; Ben 
Sira on, 58-9; and the Eigh- 
teen Benedictions, 67; on so- 
cial problems, 77; quoted, 90, 
1 19. 

Isaiah Ilorwitz, influence of Safed 
on, 282; on Safed, 283. 

Ishmael ben Piahi, high priest, 
complaint against the house 
of, 75. 

Israel Baal Shem, a Jewish . re- 
former, 192; and the study of 
, the Bible, 200; alluded to, 

Israel Nagara, alluded to, 157; 
as a devotional poet, 251. 

Italian synagogue in Safed, 229. 

Jabez. See Joseph Jabez. 

Jabneh the daughter- voice heard 
in, 114; and Johanan ben 
Zakkai, 124. 

Jachet-Agathe Schwab, mother-in- 
law of Gluckel von Hameln’s 
daughter, 146. 

Jacob, the Mighty One of, in Ec- 
clcsiasticus, 67. 



Jacob ben Asher, author of Arba 
Turim, 21 1; epithet of, in the 
Maggid Mesharim, 222. 

Jacob Berab, position of, in Safed, 
233*5; recognised as an au- 
thority, 233; works of, 233; 
attempts to re-introduce Ordi- 
nation, 233-s; opponent of, 
234; ordains elders, 234, 235; 
death of, 235. 

Jacob Gavinezo, quoted by Eliczer 
Azkari, 246. 

Jacob Mantino, betrays Solomon 
Molko, 225. 

James, apostle, alluded to, 100. 

Jansenists, the School of the, al- 
luded to, 178. 

Jason, a traitorous priest, 65. 

Jealousy, impairs the relation be- 
tween man and his fellow, 

Jcconiah, and the daughter-voice, 

Jeremiah, the Prophet, synagogue 
at Cairo named for, 5; alluded 
to, 277. 

Jeremiah, the Book of, reminis- 
cences' of, in Ecclesiasticus, 
50; quoted, 114, 15 1; passage 
in, interpreted, 118. 

Jerome, on Aquila’s Greek version 
of the Bible, 24; mentions 
Ecclesiasticus, 45* 

Jeruham, epithet of, in the Mag- 
gid Mesharim, 222. 

Jerusalem, a dinner in, S4-91; a 
religious centre, 204-5; ^•^* 

favourable conditions prevail- 
ing in, 207; Solomon Molko 
visits, 224; outstrips Safed, 


Jerusalem Talmud, the, fragments 
of, in the Genizah, 10, 25, 
27-8; scientific value of, 27-8. 

See also, Talmud, the. 

Jesus, Jewish literature on, 102; 
the time of, 102; the baptism 
of, iio-ii; Jewish life in the 

time of, not properly treated, 
120; place of, in the Old Test- 
ament studies by Christians, 

Jesus Sirach und die socials 
Frage, by }*astor Wolilenberg, 
quoted, 77. 

Jesus the son of Sirach. See Ben 
Sira; and Ecclesiasticus.' 

Jewish persuasion, the, and, na- 
tionality, 182-3. 

“ Jewish Quarterly Review, The,*’ 
publishes the original Hebrew 
of Ecclesiasticus, 45. 

Jewish Theological Seminary of 
America, The, in possession 
of AHmah, by Moses Cor- 
dovero, 240; a manuscript in, 
used, 289. 

Jews, the, and the Septuagint, 23; 
and national self-conscious- 
ness, 182-3; and a religious 
mission, 184-7; and intellect- 
ual achievements, 184-5; of 
the East and West contrasted, 
185-6, 189-93; and the natural 
sciences, 193; and the Hebrew 
language, 194*5; theology, 
195 - 

Job, the Book of, theories on the 
date of, 46; the name of, 
omitted in the Greek Ec- 
clesiasticus, 46-7; and the cos- 
mography of Ben Sira, 47; 
and the Eighteen Benedic- 
tions, 68; verses from, in Ec- 
clesiasticus, 68; quoted, 113. 

Job, epithet of, 118. 

Joel, M., alluded to, 112. 

Johanan ben Zakkai, and the first 
chapter of Ezekiel, 123-5. 

Johannine Gospel, the, as used by 
Schlciermaclier, 104. 

Jonah, Rabbenu, epithet of, in the 
Maggid Mesharim, 222.. 

Jose, vision of, 112-13. 

Joseph, epithet of, 118. 



Joseph Ashkenazi, and Isaac 
Loria, 257. 

Joseph Caro, legist self-control of, 
160-1; on the avoidance of 
anger, 170; on Safed, 202; 
prominent figure in Safed, 
210; birth and early life of, 

210- 11; the first Halacliic au- 
thority, 211-12; works by, 

211- 13; the Mentor- Angel of, 
213 et scq.; and Elijah, 214; 
matrimonial r.flfairs of, 215; 
asceticism practiced by, 215- 
16; maxims by, 216; reading 
and studies, urged upon, by 
the Mentor- Angel, 217; three 
aspirations of, 217-21; desires 
recognition as an intellectual 
authority, 217-19; the son of, 
217-18, 285; desires to settle 
in the Holy Land, 219-20; 
desires martyrdom, 220-1, 
226-7; attachment of, to Solo- 
mon Alkabez, 222, 237; at- 
tachment of, to Solomon 
Molko, 222, 225-7; reasons of, 
for settling in Safed, 22S, 
^32-3; and Jacob Berab, 233, 
234; ordained elder, 234; in- 
fluence of, grows, 235, 236-7; 
as head of a Talmudical col- 
lege, 236-7; on Moses Cor- 
dovero, 240-1; alluded to, 250; 
and Isaac Loria, 257, 264-5, 
279; and the Cabbala, 264-5; 
death of, 283; disciple of, 

Joseph Ilameln, father-in-law of 
Gliickel, marriage of, 131; 
Gluckel’s veneration for, 132. 

Joseph Jabez, on the Jews of 
Spain, 203, 204, 

Joseph Mantabia, on Safed, 206. 

Joseph Nagara, scribe in Safed, 


Joseph de la Reina, fate of, 248. 

Joseph Saragossi, a resident of 
Safed. activities of, 206-7; 

Talmudic college established 
by, 209. 

Joseph Taytasak, teacher of Solo- 
mon Alkabez, 227; teacher of 
Moses Aisheich, 241. 

Joseph Trani, emigrates to Turkey. 

Joseph Zarphathi, the Epistle of, 

Josephus, on the Persian-Greek 
period of Jewish history, 43, 
used by the higher criticism, 

Joshua, teacher of Aquila, 21, 22. 

Joshua ben Gamala, how made 
high priest, 95. 

Joshua ben Hananiah, and Ben 
Soma, 112. 

Joshua ben Levi, and the daugh- 
ter-voice, 1 14-15; and Elijah, 

Joshua ben Nun, rabbi in Safed, 

Joshua ben Perachyah, on friend- 
sbip, 93. 

Joy, the place of, in the life of 
the mystic, 250. 

Judah Halevi, alluded to, 157, 
204; and the study of the 
Bible, 200. 

Judaism, Aquila a proselyte to, 20, 
21, 22; the state of, in the 
time of Ben Sira, 58; limita- 
tions ignorantly ascribed to, 
148-9, 161, 186, 190; and the 
ideas of the twentieth cen- 
tury, 150; and the relation of 
the sexes, 175-6; charged with 
lack of enthusiasm, 186, 190; 
English, a foreigner on, 189- 
93; asceticism in, 191-2; 
proper exponents of, 192; the 
reformers of, 192; spirituality 
in, 192-3; and learning, 196-7; 
unfavourable position of, 

Judaism, post-exilic, character of, 
34; the Synagogue in, 60. 



Judisch-Deutsch, language of the 
Memoirs of Gliickel von Ila- 
mein, 138; literature in, and 
Gliickel von Ilainein, 139. 

Kalir, and Safed, 202. 

Kaliric period, the, s])ccinicns of, 
in the Genizah, ig. 

Karaites, the, controversies of, 
with the Rabbinites, 28. 

Kaufmann, David, as editor, 126-7. 

Kautzsch, chronology of the Per- 
sian-Greck period by, 41. 

Kaydanower. See Aaron Kay- 

“ Kedushah,” heading for mar- 
riage laws, 176. 

Kedushah, holiness, allied with 
Chasiduth, 151-2- 

Sce also Holiness. 

Kedushath lia-Gufyh, holiness of 
the flesh, insisted on, 283. 

Kelale ha-Talwud, by Joseph Caro, 


Kenescih ha-Cedolah, the, and the 
dates of Ben Sira, 56. 

See also Great Synagogue, the. 

Keneseth Israel, the, in Rabbinic 
theology, 121-2; and the indi- 
vidual, 123-5. 

See also Congregation of Tsr.acl, 


Kennicott, on the Septuagint, 15. 

Keseph Mislinch, by Joseph Caro, 

Kctliubah, tlic, forgotten at the 
wedding of Gliickel von 11 a- 
meln’s daughter, 137. 

KetJiubim, the. See liagiographa, 

Kiddush, the, and Solomon Molko, 
224; made by Isaac Loria, 

Kimchi, alluded to, 200, 261. 

“ Kingdom of Heaven, The,’* not 
understood by Christian writ- 
ers, 120. 

Kind, on the rise of the Canon, 


Korah, alluded to, 276. 

Krochmal, on the Sanhedrin, 106; 
a Jewish reformer, 192. 

Kuenen, as a Bible critic, 40; 
alluded to, 42, 200; on the 
Sanhedrin, 106. 

Lamb, term for the Keneselh Is- 
rael, 121. 

I-aresa, alluded to, 206. 

Lassallc, alluded to, 77. 

Law, the, in the time of Ben 
Sira, 58; the standard of, not 
applicable to the saint, 152; 
and spirituality, 187-8, igo; 
the proper performance of, 
igi; the need of study of, 197, 

200- T. 

See also Bible, the; Pentateuch, 
the; and Torah, the. 

Leases, among the Genizah frag- 
ments, 28. 

Lcchali Dodi, by Solomon Alka- 
bez, popularity t)f, 228; sung 
by Isaac Loria, 275. 

Legal documents, in the Genizah, 


Legends, regarding Aquila, 20-2; 
regarding Jesus, 102; regard- 
ing Solomon Molko, 224; re- 
garding Isaac Loria, 252-3, 
254, 256, 257; regarding Cor- 
dovero, 261 ; regarding Jere- 
miah, 277. 

Leipzig, alluded to, 134. 

Lemberg, alluded to, 132. 

Letters, among the Genizah frag- 
ments, 28. 

Levi ben (Aben) Chabib, on the 
leadership of Safed, 230; op- 
ponent of Jacob Berab, in the 
Ordination controversy, 234. 

Levitical Code, the, binding in the 
time of Ben Sira, 64. 

See also Priestly Code, the. 



Leviticus, the Book of, value of, 
for children, i6; a passage in, 
interpreted, ii6; quoted, 270, 


Levy, Cerf. Sec Cerf Levy. 

Lewis-Gibson collection of frag- 
ments, the, and Ecclesiasticus, 

JO, 45- 

Lewis, Airs. See Lewis-Gibson 
collection, the. 

Liars, excluded from the Divine 
Presence, 238. 

See also Lying. 

Liddon, alluded to, 187. 

Lieria. See Aloses of Lieria. 

I.ightfoot, and the Talmud, 103. 

Likkiite Shoshanim, manuscript in 
Columbia University, 289. 

Lily, the, used allegorically in 
Rabbinic literature, 108. 

Lincoln, Abraham, on the sin of 
Slavery, 157. 

** Lion-Whelps, The,*’ the follow- 
ers of Isaac Loria, 266. 

Lisbon, alluded to, 223. 

Literature, Hebrew, a Testament, 
3 1 “2. 

“ Little Book of Saints,” quoted, 


Liturgical elements in Ecclesiasti- 
CU.S, 50, 51. 

Liturgy, a, created by the Syna- 
gogue, 67; for midnight, 156. 

Liturgy, the fragments of, in the 
Genizah, 9, 10, 12, 38-19, 

25-6; palimpsests, 18-19; s“JJ* 
ilarity of, to Ecclesiasticus, 
26; confession of sins in, 157. 

See also Paitaitim; Piyutim; 
and Prayer. 

Lives, The, by Plutarch, cited, 20. 

Loanz. See Elijah Loanz. 

Lob Bon, brother-in-law of Gliick- 
el von Hameln, 133. 

Lob Pinkerle, father of Gliickcl 
von Hameln, 127; provides for 
the victims of Chmielnicki, 
130; informed against, 130-1. 

“ Lord’s Prayer,” the, parallel to, 
in the Talmud, 120. 

Loria, Isaac. See Isaac Lorkw 

Lorraine, alluded to, 145. 

Love, the antidote to all unsocial 
qualities, 168-71; the vocabu- 
lary of, applied to the relation 
of man to God, 176. 

Luzzatto, Moses Chayim, books 
by, 281-2. 

Luzatto, Samuel David, as a Bible 
critic, 44; and the study of 
the Bible, 200. 

Lydda, alluded to, 165. 

Lying, classified, 165. 

See also Liars. 

MacAlister, Dr. Donald, alluded 
to, 3- 

Maccabaean Psalms, the, the num- 
ber of, doubtful, 42; lan- 
guage of, 44; hypothesis of, 
not endorsed by the original 
Ecclesiasticus, 46, 47-8; scep- 
ticism as to the hypothesis of, 

See also Psalms, the. 

Maccabseans, the, the rise of, 
after . Ben Sira, 55. 

Maccabees, the. Second Book of, 
cited, 65. 

Maggid, the, of Joseph Caro, See 
Mentor- Angel, the, of Joseph 

Maggid, the, of Solomon Molko, 

Maggid Mesliarim, the, by Joseph 
Caro, 213; diary of spiritual 
experiences, 214; non-legal 
nature of, 214-15; names oc- 
curring in, 221-2. 

Magi, the, story of, as viewed by 
the Rabbinic student, 107. 

Maimonides, alluded to, 28; on 
marriage laws, 176; and the 
study of the Bible, 200; Jo- 
seph Caro commentator on 
the works of, 212-13; epithet 



of, in the Maggid Mesharin:, 
222 . 

Mdiinonidcs controversy, a docu- 
ment on the, and Safed, 206. 

Makreese, on Cairo, s* 

Malache ha-Shareth, the, 124. 

Man, in the Cabbala, 261-3, 268-9. 
281; the Original, 262. 

Manasseh, repentant, 115-16. 

Manoth ha-Levi, by Solomon 
Alkabez, 227-8. 

Mantabia. See Joseph Mantabia. 

Mantino. See Jacob Mantino. 

Mantua, Solomon Molko dies at, 

Manuscripts in a Genizah, 6-7, 11. 

Maratta bath Boethus, heiress, 95. 

Marcion, epithet applied to 
Schleiermacher, 104; alluded 
to, 159. 

Marquardt, alluded to, 86. 

Marrano, a, the education of, 223; 
and the Cabbalah, 254. 

Marriage, Ben Sira on, 96, 98; the 
Rabbis on, 96. 

See also Bachelors; and Celi- 

Marriage contracts, in the Geni- 
zah, IT. 

Marriage law.s, Maimonides on, 

Marseillaise, applied to a Piyut, 

Martineau, quoted, 183. 

Martyrdom, and saintliness, 178; 
of the Jewesses in Spain, 203; 
desired by Joseph Caro, 
220-1 ; of Solomon Molko in- 
fluences Joseph Caro, 226-7; 
benediction preceding, 226-7, 

Marx, Karl, alluded to, 77, 

Massoretic notes on Bible frag- 
ments in the Genizah, 13. 

Massoretic text of the Bible, the, 
dread of partiality for, 37* 

Matthew, the Gospel of, compared 
with Rabbinic literature, xo7- 
xo; quoted, 123, 

Maurice of Nassau, at the wed- 
ding of Gliickel von Haracln’s 
daughter, 137. 

Meal-offering, the, indispensable 
in the time of Ben Sira, 64. 

Meat, at dinners in Jerusalem, 

86, 87- 

Mcchilta, and the study of the 
Bible, 200. profession, the, in the 
time of Ben Sira, 72, 75-7. 

Meir. See Ben Meir. 

Memoiren der Gliickel von Ha- 
mein, edited by Kaufmann, 
126-7; character and contents 
of, 127-8, 137; language of, 
138; opening words of, 139; 
how preserved, 146-7. 

** Men of the Station,’* and 
ing, 161. 

Menahem Azariah, on Moses Cor- 
dovero’s fertility as an au- 
thor, 240; on Cordovero’s sys- 
tem, 260-1. 

Mentor-Angel, the, of Josepli 
Caro, advises him to leave 
Nicopolis, 210; and the Alish- 
nah, 213; the voice of, 213- 
14; reproves Joseph Caro, 
214, 216; control exercised 

by, 215; exacting demands by, 
215-16; instructions by, 216; 
reading and studies recom- 
mended by, 217; tenderness 
of, 2.17; promises by, to Jo- 
seph Caro, 217-21; pedagog- 
ical tactics of, 218-19, 221; 
and sojourn in the Holy 
Land, 219-20; and Solomon 
Molko, 225-6, 233; on Joseph 
Caro’s dwelling-place, 232-3; 
and Ordination, 234-5; on Jo- 
seph Caro’s social work, 235: 
on the Sabbath meals, 248. 

See also Mishnah, the. 

Menu of a dinner in Jerusalem, 

86 . 



Messiah, the, the star of, 107; 
creation of the Spirit of, 121. 

See also Messiah, the, the ad- 
vent of. 

Messiah, the, the advent of, pray- 
ed for in the time of Ben 
Sira, 51; preached by Solo- 
mon Molko, 224, 225; dis- 

cussed by the society Tent of 
Peace, 244; Joseph de la 
Reiiia on, 248; and the trans- 
migration of souls, 276. 

Messianic belief, the, in Ecclesias- 
ticus, 50-1. 

Metaphors, Biblical, in the Cab- 
bala, 262-3. 

Metempsychosis, Isaac Loria to re- 
deem souls from, 253; in 
Isaac Loria’s system, 270, 
^ 75 * 7 - 

^Met:^, in the Memoirs of Gliickel 
von Hamcin, 128; home of 
Gliickel von Ilameln, 145*6. 

Midnight, a time for prayer, 
J5S'6; order of prayers for, 
156-7; the confession of sins 
at, 157. 

Midrash, the, quoted, 118, 169, 

Midrash Rahhah, the, commentary 
on, 241. 

Midrashim, the, fragments of, in 
the (jcnizah, 10, 12; miracles 
in, 122-3. 

Mighty One of Jacob, in Ec- 
clesiasticus, 67. 

Mikweh of Israel, explained, 110. 

Military class, a, in the time of 
Ben Sira, >2-3. 

Milton, alluded to, 35. 

Minchah services attended by 
business men in Hamburg, 


Miracles, place of, in the spiritual 
history of the Jews', 122-5. 

Mishnah, the, the language of, 
44; as Caro’s Mentor- Angel, 
161, 213; Caro’s fondness for. 

213; Caro’s visions of, 213- 

See also Mcntor-Angcl, the, of 
Joseph Caro. 

Mishneh Torah, by Maimonidcs, 
commentary on, 213. 

Misod, humility of, 209. 

Mission, a Jewish, 184-7. 

Missionaries, characteristics of, 
184, 186. 

Mitzw'ah, a, the proper perform- 
ance of, 1 9 1. 

Mocatti, a Sephardic merchant, 
* 37 * 

Modesty, Ben Sira on, 91. 

Mohammedan countric.s, migration 
of Jews to, 251-2. 

Mohammedans, the, relation of, 
to the Jews of the Holy Land, 

Monday, a fast, 162. 

Moral precepts, composed by 
Moses Cordovero, for the As- 
sociates, 238-9; composed by 
Solomon Alkabez, 239; ob- 
served by the saints of Safed, 
289, 292-301. 

Morality, and spirituality, 187. 

Mordecai Francis, tax-farmer, 
uncle of Isaac Loria 253, 
254-s, 268. 

Moriscos, the, in Safed, 230. 

Mosaic persuasion, the, and na- 
tionality, 182-3. 

Moses, and the authorship of the 
Torah, 39; alluded to, 276. 

Moses Alsheich, book by, printed 
in Safed, 231; disciple of Jo- 
seph Caro, 237, 241; as a 

scholar, 241; alluded to, 250; 
and Samuel ben Nachman i, 

Moses Cordovero, Cabbalist, a dis- 
ciple of, 208, 278; brother-in- 
law of Solomon Alkabez, 227, 
237; disciple of Joseph Caro, 
237; as Talmudist, 237; and 
Solomon Alkabez, 237, 239-40; 



moral precepts composed by, 
238-9, 248, 289; chief work 
of, 240; other works of, 240; 
eulogies on, 240-1; alluded to, 
250; and Isaac Loria, 257-8, 
261, 264; on the first im- 
manations, 259; and the sys- 
tem of Zimsum, 260- r; rever- 
ence for, 265; the disciples 
of, and Isaac Loria, 266. 

Moses Galanti, disciple of Joseph 
Caro, 283, 284. 

Moses of Haraeln, grandson of 
Gluckel, 146. 

Moses ben Joseph Trani, Rabbi 
at Safed, 235-7; ordained an 
elder, 235; devotion of, to 
Jacob Berab, 235; works of, 
235; a specialist on real estate 
quotations, 236; differs with 
Joseph Caro, 236; alluded to, 
250; death of, 283; son of, 
283, 28s. 

Moses ben Judah, signs a docu- 
ment in the Mainionidcs con- 
troversy, 206. 

Moses of Lieria, precepts by, 289. 

Mother, term for the Keneseth 
Israel, 12 1. 

Mourning, the period of, 101. 

Music, at a banquet in the time of 
Ben Sira, 88, 90. 

Mystical works, in the Genizah, 

1 1 . 

Mystics, Jewish, on the Law and 
love, 190; on the world and 
God, 259. 

Mysticism, and saintliness, 149, 

Nachmani, Sec Samuel ben Nach- 

Nachmanides, and the dietary 
laws, 160; on the relation of 
the sexes, 176; and the study 
of the Bible, 200, 

Nagara. See Israel Nagara; and 
Joseph Nagara. 

Naphtali, Safed in the allotment 
of the tribe of, 202. 

Nasi, the, officer of the Sanhe- 
drin, 105. 

Nathan Nata, on the sinfulness 
of the Jews, 204. 

Nationality, and the Jewish per- 
suasion, 182-3; Jews begging 
for a, 183-4. 

Natural sciences, the, and the 
Jews, 193. 

Naumann, on Ben Sira, 77. 

Nazarite vow, the, Ben Sira on, 
90; inferences from, 16 1. 

Needs of the Congregation,” so- 
cial work, 235. 

Nehemiah, the Book of, on the 
portions of the Levites, 74; 
and social evils, 78-9. 

Nephesh ha-Chayim, spirituality 
displayed in, 192-3, 

Neue Kirchliche Zcitschrift, al- 
luded to, 77. 

Newman, alluded to, 187. 

New-Hcbrew, language of Eccle- 
siasticus, 44, 47. 

New Moon, the, additional service, 
on the eve of, in Safed; 
243-4; a holiday, 249. 

New Testament, the, cited, 38; 
the Talmud important in the 
study of, 103; used by the 
higher criticism, 105; com- 
pared with Rabbinic homilies, 
106 ct seq.; Rabbinic phrase- 
ology in, 117; relation of, to 
the Old Testament, 201. 

New Year’s Day, the third Bene- 
diction for, 67-8. 

Nicopolis, Joseph Caro in, 210; 
alluded to, 220, 226. 

Nineteenth century, the, ideas of, 

Nowack, on social problems in Is- 
rael, 78. 

35 « 


Numbers, the Book of, a passage 
in, used homiletically, 107; 
a i^assage in, interpreted, 118. 

Nursing, taught to girls, 98. 

Oaths, a Midrash on, 118; Moses 
Cordovero on, 238. 

Obadlah of Bertinoro, on the Jews 
of Safed, 207-8. 

Oil, produced near Safed, 230; ex- 
ported from Safed, 230. 

Old Testament, the, relation of, 
to the New Testament, 201 ; 
finality of, 201. 

See also Bible, the. 

Olives, the Mount of, meetings of 
pilgrims on, 205. 

** One Hundred and Thirty-Eight 
Doors of Wisdom,” by Moses 
Chayim Lu2zatto, 281. 

Oral Law, the, codified in the 
Beth Joseph, 21 1. 

See also Talmud, the. 

** Order of Prayers for Midnight, 
The,” 156. 

Ordinances of Ezra, the, and the 
dates of Ben Sira, 56. 

“ Ordination,” attempts to re-in- 
troduce, 233-5; meaning 

of, 233-4; importance of, 234. 

Origen, and Aquila’s Greek ver- 
sion of the Bible, 24-5. 

Original sin, the doctrine of, in 
Ecclesiasticus, 69. 

Orphans, treatment of, in Safed, 
247 - 

Oxford, fragments of Ecclcsiasti- 
cus at, 10. 

Paitanim, the trcligious value of 
the work of, i8-ig. 

Sec also Liturgy, the. 

Palestine, the Loria family in, 

See also Holy Land, the. 

Palimpsests, among the Genizah 
fragments, 17-18, 25. 

” Paradise Lost,” alluded to, 35. 

Pardes, the, a Cabbalistic work, 
by Moses Cordovero, 240; 
and Zimsum^ 260. 

Parnas, of Hamburg, 127, 130-1; 
of Plessen, 131, 132; in the 
Cologne province, 133; of 
Metz, 145, 146. 

Parsuphim, dwelt upon by Isaac 
Loria, 261; defined, 261, 

Pascal, alluded to, 178. 

Passover, the, special prayers for, 
in Safed, 244. 

“ Path of the Upright, The,” by 
Moses Chayim Luzzatto, 

Pathological interest attached to 
Safed, 247. 

Pedigree, Ben Sira on, 96. 

Penance, and repentance, 246. 

Penitential Days, the, as viewed 
by the saint, 159. 

Penitents, tlic .Society of, de- 
scribed, 24s, 249. 

Pensees, by Pascal, alluded to, 

Pentateuch, the, disposition of 
worn-out copies of, i ; colo- 
phons to manuscripts of, 16, 
17; criticism of, 33-4; the 
revelation of God to man, 
154 - 

See also Bible, the; Law, the; 
Torah, the. 

Pepys, the diary of, alluded to, 

Perles, Dr. Felix, on trellis-writ- 
ing, 15. 

Persecutions, and the Jewish 
genius, 185. 

Persian influence in Ecclesiasticus, 
51 * 3 - 

Persian-Greck period, the, of Jew- 
ish history, a document of, 26; 
according to modern Bible 
critics, 4X, 42, 43, 

Pesikta, the, and the study of 
the Bible, 200, 



Peira, in the New Testament and 
in Rabbinic literature, 118-19. 

Petulance, impairs the relation be- 
tween man and his fellow, 

IMiarchi, traveller, explores the 
Holy Land, 205, 206. 

Pharez Colobi, head of the Safed 
community, a merchant, 208. 

I'harisaic Schools, the, and the 
doctrine of immortality, 70. 

Philo, alluded to, 4. 

Philosophical works, in the Gcni- 
zah, II, 12. 

Phinehas ben Jair, on purification, 
iio-ii; the reincarnation of, 

Physiognomy, Isaac Loria an 
adept in, 265, 

Physiology, studied by the Rabbis, 

Pilgrimages, to the Holy Land, 

Pires, Hiogo, Marrano name of 
Solomon Molko, 223. 

Pirke Aboth, quoted, 12, 30, 107; 
a commentary on, 250. 

Piyutim, of the Kaliric period, 
ig; palimpsests, 25. 

See also Liturgy, the; and 

** Pleasures of Faith,” by Ruskin, 
quoted, 177. 

Plutarch, cited, 20. 

Pocock, and the Talmud, 103. 

Poland, the Jews of, victims of 
Chmielnicki, 129-30; a centre 
for Jewish studies, 132; the 
Loria family in, 251. 

Polish Jews, as reformers, 192. 

Political distinctions, value of, to 
the Jews, 197, 

Politics, the, of Ben Sira, 83. 

Porta Mosis, by Pocock, and the 
Talmud, 103. 

Portugal, the exiles from, in the 
Holy Land, 203, 228-30; al- 
luded to, 222. 

Post-Biblical literature, the study 
of, 197; Judaism and Chris- 
tian scholars, 201. 

See also Talmud, the. 

Potters, among the Jews in the 
time of Ben Sira, 71. 

Poverty, Ben Sira’s view on, 82. 

Power, desire for, impairs the re- 
lation of man and his fellow, 

Prayer, the revelation of man to 
God, 9, 154; in the Syna- 

gogue, 66-8; nature of, 66; 
and the artisan, 70; the place 
of, among the Jews, 120-r; 
and saintliness, i54'7; thanks- 
giving for, 155; by God, 155; 
favourable time for, 155-6; 
must be universal. 171; the 
place of, in Safed, 242-3; 
and charity, 246-7; in the 
system of Isaac Loria, 270-1, 

See also Liturgy, the. 

Prayer-Book, the, fragments of, in 
the Genizah, 10. 

See also Liturgy, the. 

Prescriptions, medical, in the 
Genizah,! I. 

“ President ” of the Sanhedrin, a 
proselyte, 64. 

See also Nasi, the. 

Pride, impairs the relation be- 
tween man and his fellow, 
166; the source of all evils, 

Priesthood, the crown of the, 64. 

‘‘ Priestly Code,” the, exjiounded 
by Ezekiel, 36; supposed evil 
efTects of, 71. 

See also Levitical Code, the. 

Priests, the, admired by Ben Sira, 
65; traitors, 65-6; and the die- 
tary laws, 70; revenues of, 
73*5; desperate position of, 
7S; as tax-farmers, 79. 

Printers, in demand in Safed, 231. 

Privatleben der Romer, by Mar- 
quardt, alluded to, 86. 



Products of the neighbourhood of 
Safed, 230. 

Professions, the, in the time of 
Ben Sira, 72. 

Property, sacredness of, held by 
Ben Sira, 80-1. 

Prophets, the, value of Lives and 
Times of, 37; Ben Sira’s faith 
in, 51; admired in the time 
of Ben Sira, 69. 

Prophets, the Books of the, colo- 
phons to manuscripts of, 16; 
the Canon of, formed in the 
time of Ben Sira, 58; the rev- 
elation of God to man, 154. 

Propositions, the, and the Cab- 
balists, 280-1. 

Proverb, a Jewish, 93. 

Proverbs, the Book oi, written in 
two columns, 26; a model for 
Ecclesiasticus, 47, 57; on cor- 
poral punishment, 97; quot- 
ed, I SI, 237- 

Psalms, the, quoted, 24, 59, i53-4» 
156, i6i, 179, 247, 279; used 
as a hymn-book, 34; inter- 
pret Isaiah, 36; interpret 
Deuteronomy, 37; the author- 
ship of, 39; date of, 42; 
known to Ben Sira, 47-8; and 
the dates of Ben Sira, 55*6; 
a model for Ecclesiasticus, 
48-9, 50, 58; verses from, in 
Ecclesiasticus, 68; passages in, 
interpreted, 108, 116-17, 122; 
the revelation of man to God, 
154; testify to enthusiasm in 
Judaism, i96. 

See also Maccabacan Psalms, 

Psalter, the. Sec Psalms, the. 

Pseudo-Messianic movements, ex- 
cesses of, 281, 285. 

Ptolemaic armies, the, Jews in, 

Punctuation, system of, in Gcni- 
zah fragments, 10, 13- 

l*urification, Phinehas ben Jair 
on, 1 1 o. 

Pusey, Dr., alluded to, 33. 

Rabbi, how the title was used, 

“ Rabbi, a Christian,” in the syna- 
gogues of Hamburg, 129. 

Rabbi, an ancient, quoted, 153, 

See also Rabbis, the. 

Rabbinic literature, on gaiety, 91; 
on charitableness, 94; on vis- 
iting the sick, 99; in the time 
of Jesus, 102; view of some 
Christian scholars on, 104-6; 
compared with the New Testa- 
ment, 106 et seq.; studied by 
Christians, 125. 

See also Rabbis, the; and Tal- 
mud, the. 

Rabbinic phraseology, in the New 
Testament, 117. 

Rabbinism, in the time of Ben 
Sira, 58. 

Rabbinites, the, controversies of, 
with the Karaites, 28. 

Rabbis, the, on Aquila’s Greek 
version of the Bible, 24; and 
the Temple, 63* on trades and 
vocations, 72; and medical 
studies, 76; on friendship, 93; 
on marriage, 96; on pedigree, 
96; on the education of chil- 
dren, 96; on the period of 
mourning, 101; and the daugh- 
ter-voice, 116; interpretations 
of, 116-18; on the privilege of 
prayer, 155; and regard for 
truth, 164; on the limits of 
almsgiving, 172; on the cause 
of defilement, 190; on the 
value of study, 196; on the 
redemption of Israel, 199; on 
the Torah, 200. 

[ See also Rabbinic literature; 
and Talmud, the. 



Ueade, Charles, alluded to, 222. 

*■ Reader without Tears,” 16. 

Real estate, Moses ben Joseph 
Trani a specialist on the law 
of, 236. 

Redemption, the, of Israel, and 
prayer, 271. 

Religion, and the European genius, 

Religion, the, of Ben Sira, 83. 

Renaissance, the, defined, 199. 

Renan, quoted, 102. 

Renewed world,” not understood 
by Christian writers, 121. 

Repentance, and baptism, 109; the 
saving power of, 115-16; de- 
fined, 246. 

Reshit h Chochmah, by Elijah dc 
Vidas, 278-9. 

Responsa, by Joseph Caro, 213, 
264; by Jacob Bcrab, 233; 
by Moses ben Joseph Trani, 
^35; Moses Cordovero, 

237; by Moses Alsheich, 241; 
by Safed authorities, 283-4; 

Resurrection, the doctrine of, in 
the time of Ben Sira, 68-9. 

Reubeni. See David Reubeni. 

Reuchlin, and the Talmud, 103. 

Revelation, place of the daughter- 
voice in, 113. 

Reward and punishment, a Jewish 
doctrine, 142. 

Rock, epithet of Abraham, 118-19. 

Rock of Isaac, the, in Ecclesiasti- 
cus, 67. 

Rome, Solomon Molko, in, £24-5. 

Rosh. See Asher. 

Royalty, the crown of, 64. 

Ruler of the feast, the, functions 
of, 85; honor paid to, 88. 

Ruskin, quoted, 177; alluded to, 

900 , 

Russian Jew’s, as reformers, 192. 

Ruth, the Book of, date of, doubt- 
ful, 42. 

Saadya, alluded to, 28; contro- 
versy of, with Ben Meir, 29; 
and Kcclesiasticus, 45. 

Sabbatai Ilorwitz, Cabbalist, and 
Moses Cordovero, 260. 

Sabbatai Zebi, Pseudo- Messiah, 
Gluckel von Ilameln on, 
^35-6; alluded to, 281. 

Sabbath, the, the observance of, in 
the time of Ben Sira, 70; as 
viewed by the saint, 158; the 
mate of Israel, 158; no fast- 
ing on, 162; the reception of, 
2i6ji 228, 239, 243; a day of 
joy, 248-9; society for cele- 
brating the end of, 249; cele- 
liration of, by Isaac Loria, 

Sabbatical year, the, different 
views on, 236. 

“ Sacred Letter, The,” by Nacli- 
manides, on the relation of 
the sexes, 176. 

Safed, situation of, 202; in Jew- 
ish literature, 202, 206; emi- 
gration to, 206; in the four- 
teenth and the fifteenth cen- 
tury, 206; elements of the 
population in, 207; why pre- 
ferred to Jerusalem, 207-9; 
simple life in, 208; humility 
of the scholars of, 208-9; 
synagogues in, 209, 228, 229, 
230, 284; growth of, 209, 

228-9; the great men of, 210- 
1 1 ; Solomon Molko visits, 
224; at the time of Joseph 
Caro, 228-33; the Sephardim 
in, 229-30; various nationali- 
ties in, 229-30; general meet- 
ing house in, 229-30; trades 
and occupations in, 230-31, 
273; products of neighbour- 
hood of, 230; jjrosperity in, 
231; the spiritual and intel- 
lectual life in, 231-3, 242 et 
seq,, 2 so; worship in, 242-4; 



intellectual opportunities in, 
250-1; at its zenith, 251; Isaac 
Loria conies to, 256; Chayim 
Vital comes to, 266-7; the as- 
cetic influence of, 282-3; de- 
cline of, 283-5; a list of the 
saints of, 302-6. 

Sages, the. Sec Scribes, the 

Sagis. See Solomon Sagis. 

Saint, the, in the world to come, 
88; Hebrew equivalent for, 
151; individualism of, 152, 
159, 160; longing of, for 

prayer, 1 54*7 1 and the Sab- 
bath, 158; and the festivals, 
158; and the Penitential 
Days, 159; self-control of, 
159*61; and asceticism, 161-3; 
and regard for the truth, 
163-4; and the laws of con- 
duct, 165-70; and injury to 
his neighbour, 165-6; and hu- 
mility, 167-70; and love of 
neighbour, 170-1; and zeal for 
the faith, 17 1; and almsgiv- 
ing, 1 7 1-4; and dumb beasts, 
174-5; and marriage, 176-7; 
and mysticism, 177-8; and sin, 
178-80; and grace, 179, 180-1; 
and death, 18 1; defined by 
mystics, 181. 

See also Safed; and Saintliness. 

St. Francis, of Assisi, and Se- 
mitic religion, 184. 

St. Jerome. Sec Jerome. 

St. Michaels, Coptic church, a 
synagogue, 5. 

St. Paul, alluded to, 159. 

St. Peter’s chwrcli at Rome, al- 
luded to, 63. 

Saintliness, and mysticism, 149; 
Hebrew equivalent for, 151; 
allied with holiness, 151-2; 
defined by Jewish writers, 
152; a subjective quality, 153; 
communion with the Divine, 
153-4; and prayer, 154-7. 

See also Saint, the. 

Saints, organisations of, among 
Jews, 153. 

Saints, the. See Assidieans, the; 
and Chasidim, the. 

Salonica, alluded to, 220, 225, 


Sambari, chronicler, in Cairo, 5; 
on Isaac Loria and Moses Cor- 
dovero, 257. 

Samson Bak, traveller, in Safed, 

Samuel, the First Book of, quoted, 

.Samuel ben Nachmani, Agadist, 
and Moses Alshcich, 277. 

Samuel ben Shimshon, on Safed, 

.Samuel de Useda, commentator on 
Pirkc Aboth, 250; reincarna- 
tion of Phinehas ben Jair, 

Samuel Usque, on the Holy Land, 

“ Sanctification of the name of 
God,” not understood by 
Chri.stian writers, 120; and 
martyrdom, 203; by Joseph 
Caro, 220-1. 

Sanhedrin, the, offices of, held by 
proselytes, 64; the constitu- 
tion of, 105-6; at Jabneh, 124; 
attempt to re-establish, 233-4. 

Saragossi. Sec Joseph Saragossi. 

Satan, pursues David, 111-12. 

.Saul, and the daughter-voice, 114. 

Sayings of the Jewish Fathers. 

See Pirkc Aboth, 

Scholastic profession, the, in the 
time of Ben Sira, 72, 73. 

Shechinah, the. See Divine Pres- 
ence, the. 

Schleiermacher, alluded to, 35; 
and the Talmud, 104. 

Schiirer, the value of the history 
by, 119-20. 

Schwab, Esther, daughter of 
Gliickel von Hameln, 145; vir- 
tues of, 146. 



Schwab. See Jachet-Agathc 

Scoffers, excluded from the Divine 
Presence, 238. 

Scott, Sir Walter, alluded to, 222. 

Scribes, tlie, the teachers, 62; as- 
cendency of, 65; ordinances 
of, 70. 

See also Ezra the Scribe. 

Scriptures, the. See Bible, the. 

Sects, Jewish, writings of, in the 
Genizah, 13. 

Seldcn, and the Talmud, 103. 

Select Discourses, by John Smith, 
and the Rabbis, 103. 

Self-assertion, impairs the relation 
of man and his fellow, 166. 

Self-consciousness, lack of, among 
Jews, 183-4, 185, 199-200; how 
strengthened, 199. 

Semichalu See “ Ordination.” 

Senior. See Shneor Zalman. 

Sephardim, the, and Sabbatai Zebi, 
13s; of Amsterdam at the 
wedding of Gluckcl von Ha- 
meln’s daughter, 137; in 
Safed, 229-30. 

Sec also under Portugal, and 

Sepher Charedhn, by Eliezer Az- 
kari, 244. 

Sepher ha-Zohar, See Zohar, the, 

Sephiroth. See Emanations. 

Septuagint, the, excessively es- 
teemed, 4; misreadings of, ac- 
counted for, 15; compared 
wdth Aquila’s version of the 
Bible, 23; inaccuracies in, 


Sermon on the Mount, the, com- 
mentary on, 36; Rabbinic 
phraseology in, 117. 

Servants, not in demand in Safed, 
208, 231. 

Sexes, the relation of the, as 
viewed by Judaism, i7S‘7> in 
the Reshith Chochmah, 279. 

Shammai, the doctrine of immor- 
tality in the time of, 70. 

Sharp, Becky, alluded to, 187. 

Shein Tob Ibn Gaon, migrates to 
Safed, 206. 

Shema, the, Joseph Caro on, 216. 

Shemariah, a proselyte, holds a 
high office in the Sanhedrin, 

Shemariah ben Elhanan, letter ad- 
dressed to, 29. 

Shepha Tal, Cabbalistic book, by 
Sabbatai Horwitz, 260. 

Sherira, alluded to, 28. 

Shield of Abraham, the, in Ec- 
clesiavSticus, 67. 

Shittah Mekubeceth, by Bczaleel 
Ashkenazi, 253. 

Shlomel of Moravia, on the resi- 
dents of Safed, 208; on edu- 
cational facilities in Safed, 
209; on Safed, 231-2; on the 
relation between Isaac Loria 
and Joseph Caro, 264. 

Shmucl, brotlier-in-law of Gliickel 
von Hanicln, 132, 133; Chief 
Rabbi of Tlildeslieim, 133, 

Shneor Zalman, on charity in a 
time of distress, 172-3; suc- 
cessor to, 174. 

Shulamith, alluded to, 56. 

Shulchan Aruch, the, alluded to, 
170; value of, as a code, 21 1- 

Shulem, Chief Rabbi of Lemberg, 
connected with the Hameln 
family, 132. 

Sicily, alluded to, 206. 

Sick, visits to the, 99-100. 

Sidgwick, Professor, alluded to, 3. 

Sidon, alluded to, 206. 

Siloam inscription, the, referred 
to, 25. 

Simon the Just, son of Johanan, 
high priest, extolled by Ben 
Sira, so; described by Ben 
Sira, 60-1, 62; and the vows 
of a Nazarite, 90. 



Simon ben Shetach, and the Tem- 
ple, 63, 

Simon ben Yochai, an exponent of 
Judaism, 192; reputed author 
of the Zohar, 255; on Biblical 
metaphors, 263; compared 
with Isaac Loria, 265; Isaac 
Loria the reincarnation of, 

Sin, the Hebrew term for, 110; 
the consciousness of, and 
saintliness, 178-80; Joseph 
Caro on, 216; the sense of, 
displayed by Jewish writers, 
203-4; disfigures the face of 
man, 274. 

See also Sins, the confession of. 

Sin offering, the, indisp .usable in 

. the time of Ben Sira, 64. 

Sinope, birthplace of Aquila, 20. 

Sins, the confession of, before 
death, 100; in the Jewish lit- 
urgy* 157; in the Safed order 
of service, 242; by members 
of societies, 244-5 J Isaac 
Loria, 270. 

See also Sin. 

Siplire, and the study of the Bible, 

Sirach. See Ecclesiasticus. 

Sister, term for the Keneseth Is- 
rael, 121. 

Slander, classified, 165. 

Slavery, Lincoln on the sin of, 


Sleep, indulgence in, forbidden to 
Joseph Caro, by bis Mentor- 
Angel, 216. 

Smith, John, aii^ the Rabbis, 103. 

Smiths, in demand in Safed, 230. 

Smyrna, alluded to, 135, 

Social conditions in the time of 
Ben Sira, 77-9. 

Social problems in Israel, 78-9. 

Social reforms, Ben Sira on, 79, 
80, 83. 

Societies in Safed, 244-6. 

Socrates, alluded to, 192. 

Solomon, relation of, to Ecclesias- 
tes, 39; the daughter- voice in- 
tercedes for, 1 1 3. 

Solomon, the father of Isaac 
Loria, 253. 

Solomon Halevi Alkabez, and 
Carols Mentor- Angel, 213-14, 
219-20; referred to in the 
Maggid Mesharim, 222; data 
of the early life of, 227; 
books and poems by, 227-8; 
and Joseph Caro's Mentor- 
Angel, 233; and Moses Cor- 
dovero, 237, 239-40; and Jos- 
seph Caro, 237-8; presides 
over the Associates, 238, 239; 
precepts drawn up by, 239; 
alluded to, 250. 

Solomon Molko, frequent refer- 
ence to, in the Maggid Me- 
sharim, 22a; as the subject of 
an historical novel, 222; early 
life of, 222-3; and David 
Reubeni, 223; visions of, 
223-4; In Palestine, 224; in 
Italy, 224-5; as Messiah ben 
Joseph, 225; betrayed, 225; 
death of, 225; influence of, on 
Joseph Caro, 225-6. 

Solomon Sagis, humility of, 208-9; 
alluded to, 250. 

Son, term for the Keneseth Israel, 

Song of Songs, the, date of, 
doubtful, 42; the interpreta- 
tion of passages in, 107-8; 
allegory of the relation of 
God and Israel, 176-7; testifies 
to enthusiasm in Judaism, 186. 

Spain, Rabbis from, go to the 
Holy Land, 205; the exiles 
from, in the Holy Land, 203, 
206, 228-30; tjie Jews of, re- 
proved, 203-4; in Adrianople, 
210 . 

Spanish, used in Safed, 229. 

Speech, Ben Sira on the evils of, 



Spinning, taught to girls, 98. 

Spinoza, and persecutions, 185. 

Spirituality, defined, 187-8; in 
Judaism, 192-3. 

See also Saint, the; and Saint- 

Stade, alluded to, 200. 

Stadtliagen, home of Joseph lla- 
meln, 131. 

“ Stevenson, Robert Louis, The 
Letters of,’* quoted, 182. 

Strack, alluded to, 33. 

Strengths, the second of the Eigh- 
teen Benedictions, 67, 68. 

Succath Shalom, See Tent of 
Peace, the society of. 

Swearing. See Oaths. 

Synagogue, the, in post-exilic 
Judaism, 60; teaching the 
function of, 62, 63, 66; rela- 
tion of, to the Temple, 63-4, 
70; designations of, 63; func- 
tions of, 63-4, 66; democratic 
constitution of, 64; as a re- 
ligious factor in the time of 
Ben Sira, 64-5 ; prayer the 
function of, 66-8; and the 
home, 70. 

Synagogue, the Gr^t. See Kcne- 
seth kO’Cedolah; and Great 
Synagogue, the. 

Synagogues in Safed, 209, 228, 
229, 230, 284. 

Synoptic Gospels, the, and Schlei- 
ermacher, 104. 

Syriac, Palestinian, — Hebrew pa- 
limpsests, 18. 

Tabernacles, the Feast of> a time 
of pilgrimages, 205; special 
prayers for, in Safed, 244. 

Taharah, the, of Jesus, iio-ii. 

Tailors, in demand in Safed, 230. 

Tale-bearers, excluded from the 
Divine Presence, 238. 

Talmud, the, fragments of, in the 
Genizah, 10, 12, 27-8; com- 

mentaries on, in the Genizah, 
10; quotations from Ben Sira 
in, 44; lost book mentioned in, 
53; and the dates of Ben Sira, 
56; a secondary source on 
Ben Sira, 56; on the order of 
the tabic, 86; quoted, 87, 109; 
a story from, on the effect of 
wine, 90; on visiting the sick, 
99-100; important in the study 
of the Bible, 103; and Chris- 
tian scholars, 103-4; and 
Schleiennachcr, 104; and the 
higher criticism, 105-6; par- 
allel to tlie “ Lord’s Prayer ” 
in, 120; miracles in, 122; and 
the laws of conduct, 165; and 
Safed, 202; methodology of, 
213; taught to Marranos, 22^3; 
commentary on, by Jacob 
Berab, 233; on man as creator 
of the world, 268-9. 

See also Babylonian Talmud, 
the; Jerusalem Talmud, the; 
Law, the; Oral Law, the; 
Rabbis, the; and Rabbinical 
literature, the. 

Talmudic Colleges, new light on 
the rise of, 29; at Safed, 209, 
229. 235, 236-7, 237, 241, 285; 
at Adrianopic, 21 1. 

Tanners, in demand in Safed, 230. 

Tax-farmers, priests act as, 79. 

Taxes, on immigrant Jews, in 
Jerusalem, 207. 

Taylor, Dr. C., patron of Hebrew 
literature, 3-4; editor of 
Aquila fragments, 25 ; and 
Rabbinic studies, 104. 

Taytasak. See Joseph Taytasak. 

Teachers, not in demand in 
Safed, 231. 

Temperance, urged by Ben Sira, 

Temple, the, in the time of Ben 
Sira, 60-2; the service in, 
61-2; relation of, to the Syna- 



goguc, 63-4, 70; a synagogue 
within the precincts of, 63; 
and the Rabbis, 63; aristocra- 
tic constitution of, 64; de- 
spised by the priests, 65; 
lucrative offices in, 74-5. 

"rcn Tribes, the, ambassador of, 

Tent of Peace, the society of, de- 
scribed, 244-5. 

Tennyson, alluded to, 36, 200. 

Terumah, the, chief revenue of 
the priests, 73-4; enjoyment 
of, limited, 74. 

Tetragriiminaton, the, on the 
Aquila fragments, 25. 

Theodicy, a, in the memoirs of 
GUickel von Ilamcln, 139-40. 

Theological controversies, 34-5. 

Theology, in Biblical exegesis, 
32-4; in the time of Ben Sira, 
69; the Kencseth Israel in the 
Rabbinic, 121*2; not studied 
by Jews, 195; and the Jewish 
clergy, 195-7. 

Thursday, a fast, 162; a special 
day of devotion, 284. 

Toasts, in Jewish antiquity, 87. 

Tobiades, the, traitorous priests, 

Torah, the original meaning of, 

Torah, the, the revelation of God 
to man, 9; authorship of, 39. 

See also Pentateuch, the. 

Torah, the, Ben Sira on, 59-60; 
the crown of, 64; and handi- 
crafts, 79-80 f as interpreted 
by Catholic Israel, 116; stud- 
ied by business men in Ham- 
burg, 135; the spread of, one 
of Joseph Caro’s aspirations, 

See also Oral Law, the; Rabbis, 
the; Rabbinic literature; Tal- 
mud the. 

Torrutiel, alluded to, 204. 

Trades, Jews urged to engage in, 
174; pursued in Safed, 230-1. 

See also Artisan; and Handi- 

Trading, by residents of Safed, 

See also Commercial classes, 

Tradition, the validity of, 39, 41, 
43» 53; and the early history 
of Israel, 41; and the dates 
of Ben Sira, 55-6. 

Trani, See Joseph Trani; and 
Moses ben Joseph Trani. 

Translations, proper use to be 
made of, 37-8. 

Transmigration of souls. See 
Mctcm psychosis, 

T-ellis-writing, exemplified in the 
Cicnizah fragments, 15. 

Truth speaking, and saintliness, 

Turim. See Arba Turim, 

Turkey, a refuge for Jews, 205, 
252; the Jews of, support 
schools in Safed, 209; toler- 
ant treatment of the jews in, 
221; Solomon Molko takes 
refuge in, 224. 

Twentieth century, the, ideals of, 

“ Twin-Talmud of the East,** the 
Babylonian Talmud, 27. 

Ula bar Koseheb, and Joshua ben 
Levi, 165-6. 

Universality, true meaning of, 185. 

Universe, according to the Cab- 
bala, 258-60. 

Useda. See Samuel de Useda. 

Usque. See Samuel Usque, 

Vanity, the root of all evils, 167-8. 

Variac Lectiones, alluded to, 10. 

Vatican, the, alluded to* 63. 

Venice, alluded to, 225. 

Vidas. See Elijah de Vidas. 



Vineyard, metaphorically used, 

Vital. See Chayim Vital. 

Vitritiga, and Rabbinic studies, 
103, 104. 

Voltaire, Carlyle on, 148. 

Wallington, Nehemiah, alluded to, 
84 * 

Watkc, alluded to, 35. 

Wealth, dishonest, classified, 165. 

Weavers, in demand in Safed, 

Weaving, taught to girls, 98; a 
trade in Safed, 230. 

Weed, Thurlow, alluded to, 157. 

Weeks, the Feast of, special pray- 
ers for, in Safed, 244. 

Weiss, Isaac llirsch, alluded to, 

Wellhausen, hypothesis of, on the 
word Torah, 32; alluded to, 
42; on the Sanhedrin, 106. 

Wesley, John, alluded to, 187. 

W'heat, used allegorically in Rab- 
binic literature, 108-9; pro- 
duced near Safed, 230. 

Wife, qualities of a good, 96, 98. 

Wilna, Jews from, flee to Ham- 
burg, 130. 

Wills, in the Genizah, ii* 

Wine, at banquets in the time of 
Ben Sira, 86, 88, 8g, 90; in- 
dulgence in, forbidden to Jo- 
seph Caro, by his Mentor-An- 
gel, 215-16; produced near 
Safed, 230; exported from 
Safed, 230; served at Sabbath 
meals, 249. 

Wisdom, identical with the Torah, 
59 - 

Wisdom literature, the, of the 
Middle Ages, 26. 

Wisdom of Ben Sira, The. See 

Wohlenberg, alluded to, 77. 

Woman, passages on, the strange, 
in Ecclesiasticus, 57; Ben Sira 

on, 95, 96; and the national 
sciences, 193; instructed in 
the liturgy, in Safed, 242. 

Wood-workers, in demand in 
Safed, 230. 

Wool, the weaving of, in Safed, 

“ Words of the Scribes, The,” 70. 

Wordsworth, alluded to, 200. 

Workmen, and Isaac Loria, 273-5. 

Worship, in the synagogue of Ben 
Sira’s time, 63. 

See also Liturgy, the; and 

Yeshibah. See Talmudic College, 

Yeshiboth. See Talmudic Col- 

Yeser, explained, 35-6. 

Yomtob Zahalon, prominent in 
Safed, 283. 

Yom Kippur. See Atonement, the 
Day of. 

Yozer, explained, 35-6. 

Zadok, an exponent of Judaism, 

Zadok, the priestly house of, 
superseded, 49, 50; in Ecclesi- 
asticus, 51. 

Zahalon. See Yomtob Zahalon. 

Zalman, and the Gaon of Wilna, 

Zalman. See Shneor Zalman. 

Zarphathi. Sec Joseph Zarphathi. 

Zeal, religious, and saintliness, 
171; and missions, 186. 

Zeehariah, the Book of, remin- 
iscences of, in Ecclesiasticus, 

Zeehariah Zechsel, father-in-law of 
Joseph Caro, 215. 

Zemiroth Israel, by Israel Nagara, 


Zephed, and Safed, 202. 



Zimctim, the system of, 260. 
Zipporah, daughter of Gliickel von 
Ilameln» married, 136-7. 

Zoliar, the, explained by Solomon 
X Alkabe/-, 238; given to Isaac 
Loria by a Marrano, 254-5; 
studied by Isaac Loria, 255; 
the Idras of, 261-3; commen- 

tary on, 266; studied by the 
school of Isaac Loria, 267. 

See also Cabbala, the. 

Zunz, and students of Rabbinism, 

Zur Litcraiur und Geschichtc, by 
Zunz, and students of Rabbin- 
ism, 103. 

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