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I 


THE 


JEWISH  RELIGION. 


BY    THE    SAME    AUTHOR. 


Second  Edition.    Price  is.  6d. 

TEXT-BOOK  OF  THE  JEWISH  EELIGION. 

"Embodies  in  an  equal  degree  thought,  learning,  and  experi- 
ence."— Academy. 

"Dr.  Friedlauder's  text-book  supplies  a  real  want,  which  must 
have  been  severely  felt  by  many  teachers  who  are  called  upon  to 
infuse  into  their  pupils  the  elements  of  the  Jewish  religion." — 
Jewish  Standard. 


LONDON : 
KEGAN  PAUL,  TRENCH,  TRUBNER,  &  CO.  L™ 


i/l/,  i/i  ^jjLAjtyi'^-^-^^^ 


THE 


JEWISH   RELIGION. 


M.  FRIEDLANDER. 


\ 

LONDON: 
KEGAN  PAUL,  TRENCH,  TRUBNER,  &  CO.  L™ 

PATERNOSTER  HOUSE,  CHARING  CROSS  ROAD. 
I8qi. 


The  rights  of  translation  and  of  reproduction  are  reserved. 


''"i 


PREFACE. 


In  presenting  this  volume  to  the  public  the  author 
does  not  claim  much  originality.  He  merely  desires 
to  reproduce  the  religious  principles  which  were  sown 
into  his  heart  by  his  parents,  V'T,  and  cultivated  by  the 
great  teachers  of  Israel — the  Prophets,  the  Soferim, 
and  their  successors — in  order  that  the  blessing  which 
he  himself  has  always  derived  from  these  principles 
may  also  be  enjoyed  by  his  brethren.  The  original 
sources  of  religious  knowledge,  \\z.,  the  Scriptures  and 
Post-Biblical  Jewish  Literature,  are  of  course  accessible 
to  all,  and  every  one  may  sit  at  the  feet  of  our  great 
teachers  and  listen  to  their  instruction.  But  there 
are  many  who  are  in  need  of  assistance,  who  require 
the  aid  of  an  interpreter.  The  present  volume  is 
intended  to  render  that  assistance  and  to  serve  as 
such  interpreter.  The  author  therefore  addresses  him- 
self to  his  brethren,  especially  to  his  disciples,  in  the 
words  of  an  ancient  teacher  of  the  Mishnah  (Aboth 
V.  25),  "Turn  it,  and  turn  it  over  again;"  and  if  he 
cannot  add  also  "  for  everything  is  in  it,"  he  hopes 

8947fiG 


vi  PREFACE. 

that  tluit  wliicli  is  in  it  will  be  found  useful  to  those 
wlio  seek  religious  knowledge,  and  that  it  will  prove 
an  incentive  to  many  "  to  learn  and  teach,  to  heed  and 
do,  and  to  fulfil  in  love  all  the  words  of  instruction 
in  tlie  Divine  Law." 

To  a  great  extent  this  work  owes  its  origin  to  the 
warm  interest  which  tlie  late  Mr.  Jacob  A.  Franklin, 
rry,  took  in  all  matters  connected  with  Judaism.  He 
repeatedly  urged  upon  tlie  author  the  necessity  of 
publishing  a  book  on  the  Jewish  Eeligion.  A  plan 
was  suggested,  discussed,  and  finally  adopted ;  but  the 
progress  of  the  work  was  slow  on  account  of  other 
literary  engagements  of  the  author.  Although  Mr. 
Franklin  departed  from  our  midst  long  before  it  was 
completed,  his  philanthropy,  w^hich  survived  him,  has 
a  share  in  its  completion,  the  book  being  printed  at 
the  expense  of  the  Jacob  A.  Franklin  Trust  Fund  for 
the  advancement  of  Judaism.  In  recognition  of  these 
facts  the  author  dedicates  this  work— 


5n  pictB* 

TO   THE 
MEMORY   OF    HIS   LATE   FRIEND, 

b"\  D^-la^<  ")  "innn  p  nap;?  'i 

JACOB  A.  FRANKLIN,  O.B.M. 

AND 

THE  AUTHOR  FURTHER  DEDICATES  THIS  VOLUME 

Jn  Bffcction, 

TO 

HIS    DEVOTED    WIFE,    HIS    DEAR    CHILDREN, 

AND   HIS   BELOVED   DISCIPLES. 


viii  PREFACE. 

In  conclusion,  the  author  begs  to  thank  the  Eev. 

S.  Singer  for  his  assistance  and   his   many  valuable 

suggestions  while  the  book  was  passing  through  the 

press. 

M.  FRIEDLANDER. 

Jews'  College,  3  lyar  5651. 


CONTENTS. 


Introduction •        .1-18 

What  is  Judaism  ?  ........         2 


OUR  CREED. 

Faith  as  commended  in  Bible  and  Tradition 

Faith  according  to  Saadiah 

„  „  Ibn  Gabirol         ..... 

„  „  Dunash  ben  Tamim,  Bach3'a  b.  Joseph 

„  „  Shem-tob ;  Abraham  b.   David ;  Jehudah 

hallevi  ..... 

„  „  Ibn  Ezra  ;  Maimonides  ;  Joseph  Albo 

„  „  Eliah  del  Medigo 

„  „  Moses  Mendelssohn    . 

The  Thirteen  Principles  of  Faith 

First  Group  of  Principles — Existence  of  God 
Natural  Religion 
Polytheism 
Pantheism 
Atheism     . 
Deism  ;  Theism 
The  First  Principle :  God,  the  Creator   and  Ruler  of  the 
Universe     . 
Natural  Laws  and  Miracles 
Evolution  and  Creation 
Principle    II. — Unity  of  God 
„        III.         .         .         . 
Anthropomorphism  in  the  Bible 
Principle  IV. 
V. 


5 

9 

II 

12 

13 
14 
15 
16 

19 

22 
22 

25 
26 
27 
29 

30 
31 
33 

38 
41 
41 

43 
44 


CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

A''arious  Attributes  of  God          ......  44 

Second  Group  of  Principles — Revelation           ....  46 

General  Remarks — Early  Revelations 46 

Prophet 49 

Text  of  Prophecies 53 

Massorah •         •  55 

Names  and  Authors  of  the  Books  of  the  Bible      •         •         •  55 

Pentateuch    ..........  57 

Earlier  Prophets    .........  62 

Latter  Prophets     .........  66 

Isaiah     ..........  66 

Jeremiah         .........  7° 

Ezekiel 75 

Minor  Prophets 78 

Hagiographa          .........  87 

Psalms .         .         .  8y 

Proverbs         .........  96 

Job 108 

The  Song  of  Solomon 1 12 

Ruth;  Lamentations      .         .         .         .         .         .         .11^ 

Ecclesiastes    .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .114 

Esther;  Daniel 116 

Ezra  ;  Nehemiah 125 

Chronicles       .........  126 

Apocrypha     .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .127 

The  Book  of  Wisdom 127 

The  Wisdom  of  Jesus,  Son  of  Sirach      .         .         .         .128 

Baruch 129 

Tobit ;  Judith 130 

The  Books  of  the  Maccabees           .....  131 

Principle      VI. — Truth  of  the  Prophecies    .         .         .         .131 

„           VII. — Distinction  of  Moses  from  other  Prophets  133 

„         VIII. ^ — Authenticity  of  the  Torah  .         .         -134 

The  Oral  Law 136 

Principle  IX. — Immutability  of  the  Torah    ....  139 

Third  Group  of  Principles — Reward  and  Punishment       .         .  142 

Divine  Justice  and  Man's  Free-will       .....  142 

Principle        X. — God's  Omniscience    .....  148 

„             XL — Reward  and  Punishment  ....  150 


CONTENTS. 


Principle    XII. — Messiah     .... 

„         XIII. — Resurrection — Future  Life 
Notes  on  the  Number  of  Principles  . 
On  Principle  I.       ....         . 

Creation  according  to  Maimonides 

„  „  Saadiah 

Bible  and  Science  .... 

On  Principle  V. — Efficacy  of  Prayer 
„  Revelation        ..... 

„  Principle  VI.    ..... 

Revelation  according  to  Saadiah   . 

„  „  Jehudah  hallevi 

„  ,,  Ibn  Ezra 

„  ,,  Maimonides 

„  „  Albo 

On  Principle    VII 

VIII 

„  Varise  Lectiones,  Tikkun  Soferim,  Ittur  Soferini 

,,  Al-tikre,  Biblical  Quotations  in  Talmud  and  Midrash 

„  Bible  Criticism  ....... 

„  the  Pentateuch  ....... 

Explanation  of  2  Kings  xxii.  8  sqq.        .... 

Abraham  ibn  Ezra's  View  on  the  Integrity  of  the  Pentateuch 
Authenticity  of  the  Book  of  the  Prophet  Isaiah    . 
Authenticity  of  the  Book  of  Daniel       .... 

On  Principle  IX.  ........ 

Explanation  of  Jer.  xxxi.  31-33    ..... 

,,  „   some  Talmudical  Passages    . 

The  Immutability  of  the  Torah  according  to  Maimonides 

The  Immutability  of  the  Torah  according  to  Jehudah  hallevi 

The  Immutability  of  the  Torah  according  to  Albo  and  R. 

Abraham  b.  David 


On  Principle    X.  . 
XL  . 

„  Eternal  Punishment 

„  Vicarious  Atonement 

„  Principle  XII. 
Maimonides  on  Messiah,  Jesus,  and  Mohammed 
Principle  XIII.     ...... 


PAGE 

155 
163 
169 

174 
174 
177 
178 

183 
190 
192 
192 
194 
197 
197 
201 
201 
202 
203 
204 
205 
205 
207 
210 
212 
214 
215 
216 
216 
217 
218 

219 
220 
221 
223 
224 
225 
226 
231 


xii  CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

OUR  DUTIES. 

On  Religious  Duties  in  General 233 

Classification  of  the  Divine  Precepts 239 

Object  of  the  Divine  Law  .......     242 

I.   The  Ten  Commandments  ......      247-272 

Notes  on  the  Ten  Commandments    .....      266-272 

Different  Opinions  on  the  Division  of  the  Commandments    .     266 
Ibn  Ezra  on  Exod.  xx.  2       ......         .     269 

Abarbanel  and  R.  S.  Hirsch  on  the  Ten  Commandments      .     270 
Parallels  to  the  Decalogue     .......     272 

II.   General  Moral  Principles        ......      272-328 

Duties  toivards  God  ........      273-291 

(a.)  Duties  of  the  Heart 273-278 

Fear  and  Love  of  God        .......     273 

Gratitude  toward  Him       .......     275 

Reverence  for  His  Name  .......     275 

Obedience  to  His  Will       .......     276 

Faith  and  Confidence  in  His  Goodness      .         .         .         -277 

Resignation  to  His  Will 277 

(6.)  Duties  with  reference  to  Speech     ....      278-288 

Prayer 280 

Study  of  His  Word 2S5 

(c.)  Duties  with  reference  to  Action     ....      2S8-291 
Sanctification  of  God's  Name     ......     289 

Imitation  of  His  Ways 290 

Duties  toioards  our  Fellow-creatures  .....      292-319 

General  Principles 292 

Duties  in  reference  to  the  Life  and  the  Property  of  our 


Fellow-man 


292 


Prohibition  of  Interest  and  Usury 294 

Duties    in    reference   to   our   Fellow-men's    Honour   and 

Well-being  ........     298 

Charity,  IDH  ni^CJ  and  Hpl^* 302 

Special  Duties        ........      305-318 

Children  and  Parents         .......     305 

Friends      ..........     306 

Husband  and  Wife 310 

Fellow-citizens  .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .310 

Fellow-members  of  a  Community 312 


CONTENTS.  xiii 

PAGE 

Duties  towards  IMembers  of  another  Community        .         .     312 
Employers  and  Employed  .         .         .         .         .  •     313 

Superiors  and  Inferiors      .         .         .         .  .         .         -313 

Teacher  and  Pupil ;  Master  and  Servant  ;  Rich  and  Poor     314 
Duties  towards  the  Old,   Magistrates,  and  all  to  whom 

Honour  is  due     .         .         .         .         .         .         .         '317 

Kindness  to  Animals     .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .318 

Duties  to  Ourselves    ........      319-328 

III.  Sifjns  as  Outward  Reminders  of  God  and  His  Will        .      328-338 
Tsitsith     ...........     329 

TefilUn 331 

Mcziizah 335 

Circumcision     ..........     336 

Notes         ...........     336 

IV,  Sabhath,  Festivals,  and  Fasts         .....      339-413 
On  Sabbath  and  Festivals  in  General        ....      339-360 

1.  113T  "Remember"   .......      340-349 

Kiddush  and  Ilabhdalah    .......     340 

Lessons  from  the  Pentateuch  and  the  Prophets         .         .     345 

2.  -lint:'  "  Take  Heed "  ......      349-353 

Work  Forbidden        ........     349 

3.  3Jy" Delight" 353-355 

Sabbath  and  Festivals  Days  of  Cheerfulness     .         .         .     353 

4.  nnD  "  Honour " 355-35^ 

Sabbath  and  Festival  Bread  and  Lights    .         .         .         -355 

Notes 358 

The  Jewish  Calendar  ........     360 

Notes 367 

The  Festivals     .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .      368-409 

The  Three  Festivals  U'h).^  ^h^ 369-400 

The  Four  Distinguished  Sabbaths  .....     369 

Passover     .........      372-392 

Seder-evening         ........     379 

Counting  of  the  Omer 3S9 

The  Days  of  the  Counting  of  the  Omer  .         .         .     392 

The  Feast  of  Wcchs     .......      393-394 

The  Feast  of  Tabernacles    ......      395-400 

Solemn  Days  D''X"n3  W)2'' 400-409 

New-year  ..........     402 


liv  CONTENTS. 

PACE 

Day  of  Atonement       ........     405 

Bistorical  Feasts  and  Fasts 409-413 

Chanuccah 409 

Purim 411 

The  Four  Fasts 412 

Optional  Fasts 413 

V.  Divine  Worship 413-455 

Beginnings  of  Divine  Worship 413 

Sacrifices  ...........     414 

Prayer      4i8-455 

Devotion        ..........  419 

Minhag  or  Custom         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         -419 

Prayer  in  Hebrew         ........  420 

Efficacy  of  Prayer 422 

Synagogue         ..........  423 

Instrumental  Music  in  Synagogue         .....  427 

The  Ritual,  in  Talmud  and  Midrash     .....  429 

Prayers  at  Fixed  Times         .         .         .         .         .         .         -435 

Shcma,  y)2t>; 436 

Amidah  or  Tefillah     ........  437 

Abridged  Forms  of  the  Amidah         .....  439 

Other  Constituent  Elements  of  the  Service        .         .         .  439 

Night-prayer 440 

Public  Service       .         .         .         .         .         .         .  -441 

Kaddish 441 

Kedushah  ..........  442 

Repetition  of  Amidah        .......  442 

Priests'  Benediction 442 

The  Reading  of  the  Law    .......  442 

Occasional  Prayers  ;  Benedictions  ;  Grace     ....  442 

Notes  on  Customs  in  Synagogue   ......  444 

Temporary  Substitutes  for  the  Service      ....  446 

Repetition  of  the  Amidah  .......  446 

Kedushah  ;  Kaddish          .......  447 

Sermons  and  Lectures .  448 

Special  Prayer-Meetings   .......  449 

Reform  of  the  Ritual 449 

Congregations  and  their  Religious  Guide  ....  454 

VI.  The  Dietary  Laics 455-466 


CONTENTS.  XV 

PAOE 

Their  Object 455 

n^iy  Fruit  of  Trees  in  the  First  Three  Years       .         .         .  457 

K'nn,  wahj,  nnycj' 457 

Meaning  of  nipn 458 

The  Killing  of  Animals  for  Food 459 

Prohibition  of  Blood 459 

Trefah 459 

Clean  and  Unclean  Animals          ......  459 

Forbidden  Fat 461 

The  Sinew  that  Shrank         .         .         .         .         .         .         .461 

Meat  and  Milk     .........  461 

Notes. — Explanation  of  Gen.  ix.  4 — Seven  Noachide  Precepts  462 

On  Shechitah     .........  463 

How  to  Kasher  the  Meat .......  463 

Explanation  of  Num.  xi.  22  and  Lev.  xvii.  13   .         .         .  464 

On  Clean  and  Unclean  Birds     ......  465 

Meat  and  Milk.         .         . 465 

Honey        ..........  466 

Wine  of  Libation       ........  466 

.VIL  Jeiuish  Life 467-496 

Guiding  Principles  in  Jewish  Life    ......  467 

Torah  and  Abodah  ;  Beth-hammidrash  and  Synagogue    .         .  469 

Charity 469 

Jewish  Women          .........  470 

The  Days  of  the  Week 473 

Anticipation  of  Sabbath,  Feast,  and  Fast         ....  474 

Friday  Evening. — Sabbath  and  Festivals         ....  475 

New-moon  and  FuU-moon         .......  476 

Important  Moments  in  the  Life  of  the  Jew      .         .         .      476-494 
Birth. — Initiation  of  the  Male  Child  into  the  Covenant  of 

Abraham        .........  477 

Redemption  of  the  First-born        ......  478 

Thanksgiving  of  the  Mother  after  Confinement     .         .         .  479 

^012n  n3-12 479 

Education      ..........  479 

Bar-mitsvah .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .481 

Choice  of  Vocation        ........  482 

Marriage       ..........  483 

Divorce 487 


CONTENTS. 


PAGE 


Obligatory  INIarriage  (□13'>)  and  Obligatory  Divorce  (n^vH)     4^8 

Death  and  Mourning 489 

Regard  for  the  Memory  of  the  Deceased       ....     494 

Notes  on  Customs  in  Connection  with  the  Burial  Rites         .     496 
Appendices : — 

I.  The  Thirteen  Principles  in  Hebrew  .         .      497-498 

II.  The  Jewish  Calendar        .....      498-501 

I.  Index   of   Quotations   from    Bible   and    Post-Biblical 

Literature  ........      502-512 

II.  General  Index       .......      513-520 

III.  Index  of  Names    .......      521-523 

IV.  Index  of  Hebrew  Terms 524-528 


THE   JEWISH  EELIGION. 


INTRODUCTION. 

"  Man  is  the  most  privileged  of  creatures  ;  he  has  been 
made  in  the  image  of  God.  His  privilege  is  still 
fm'ther  enhanced  by  the  fact  that  he  has  been  made 
aware  of  his  distinction"  (Aboth  iii.  14).  There  is  in 
man  a  consciousness  or  feeling  of  a  certain  relation 
between  him  and  a  superior  Being,  on  whose  Will  his 
own  existence  depends.  This  consciousness  is  the  basis 
of  religion,  but  is  not  religion  itself.  It  is  the  influence 
Avhicli  this  feeling  exercises  over  man's  actions  and 
conduct  in  life  that  forms  the  essence  of  religion. 
When  man  begins  to  feel  that  he  is  responsible  for 
his  actions  to  a  higher  Being,  and  forms  his  actions 
in  harmony  with  this  feeling,  he  may  be  called  reli- 
gious. Two  elements  must  therefore  be  distinguished 
in  religion :  the  notion  of  man's  dependence  on  and 
responsibility  to  a  superior  Being,  and  the  influence 
of  this  notion  on  his  actions :  religious  belief  and 
religious  practice,  or  faith  and  duty.  Religious 
belief  or  faith,  in  its  most  simple  and  most  general 
form,  may  be  said  to  be  common  almost  to  all  man- 
kind ;   and  in  the  great  variety  of  faiths,  produced  by 


2  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

various  circumstances  and  experiences,  this  simple  idea 
may  easily  be  detected  as  the  fundamental  principle 
of  all  of  them.  The  same  can  be  said  with  regard 
to  religious  practice.  There  are  certain  fundamental 
principles  of  duty  which  are  recognised  and  adopted 
by  the  most  diverse  religious  sects ;  they  form,  as  it 
were,  the  common  stem  from  whigh  a  large  number  of 
branches  spring  forth  ir.  all  directions.  These  branches 
diverge  more  and  more  the  larger  they  grow  and  the 
more  numerous  they  become. 

Judaism  is  one  of  these  various  religions.  It  has 
been  the  source  of  most  of  the  religions  of  the  civilised 
world,  and  is  destined  to  become,  in  its  simplest  prin- 
ciples, the  universal  religion. 

What  is  Judaism  ?  or  what  does  Judaism  teach  its 
adherents  to  believe,  and  what  does  it  teach  them  to 
do  ?  The  answers  to  these  two  questions  form  the 
main  subject  of  every  book  on  our  holy  religion.  The 
answer  to  the  first  question  must  include  our  doctrine 
about  God,  His  attributes.  His  relation  to  the  material 
world,  and  especially  to  man  ;  the  mission  of  man,  his 
hopes  and  fears.  The  answer  to  the  second  question 
must  include  our  duties  toward  God,  toward  our  fellow- 
men,  and  toward  ourselves.  Both  answers  must  be 
based  on  that  which  we  are  taught  in  the  Holy  Writ- 
ings, and  especially  in  the  Torah.  Eecourse  may  be 
had  to  philosophic  speculation,  to  which,  indeed,  the 
first  question  peculiarly  invites,  but  the  result  must  be 
rectified  by  the  teaching  of  the  Torah. 

In  accordance  with  the  maxim,  "  The  secret  things 
belong  to  the  Lord  our  God  ;  but  those  things  which 
are  revealed  belonj?  unto  us  and  to  our  children  for 


IXTRODUCTION.  3 

ever  :  that  wc  may  do  all  the  words  of  this  Law"  abstruse 
metaphysical  disquisitions  about  the  essence  and  the 
attributes  of  the  Divine  Being  will  be  avoided  in  the 
present  work,  as  also  every  attempt  at  proving,  philo- 
sophically or  mathematically,  truths  which  have  been 
revealed  unto  us  in  a  supernatural  way.^  But  the 
simple  truths  taught  in  the  Holy  Writings  and  ex- 
plained by  our  sages  will  be  expounded,  the  different 
opinions  about  them  will  be  examined,  and  it  will  be 
shown  that  these  truths  are  not  contradicted  by  common 
sense  or  by  the  results  of  scientific  research. 

The  second  question,  however,  What  does  Judaism 
teach  us  to  do  ?  refers  to  "  the  things  which  are 
revealed,"  and  must  be  treated  more  fully.  Care 
will  be  taken,  as  far  as  possible,  that  nothing  be 
omitted  that  is  required  for  the  right  understanding 
and  the  correct  estimate  of  our  religious  duties. 

^  When  our  great  theologians,  Saadiah,  Bachya,  Maimonides,  Albo, 
&c.,  considered  it  necessary  to  write  long  and  abstruse  metaphysical 
essays  in  order  to  firmly  establish  certain  truths,  it  was  done  rather  for 
the  purpose  of  combating  the  views  of  opponent  theologians  than  for  the 
instruction  of  the  multitude,  and  it  may  fairly  be  said  that  Maimonides 
has  done  far  greater  service  to  his  brethren  by  the  composition  of  a 
systematic  code  of  laws  than  by  his  philosophical  "  Guide."  The  former, 
the  Mishnch-Torah,  never  fails  to  enlighten  those  who  seek  in  it  en- 
lightenment with  regard  to  some  religious  duty,  whilst  the  "Guide" 
would  scarcely  relieve  anyone  of  his  perplexities  in  matters  of  religious 
belief.  There  is  a  saying  in  the  Talmud  Jerus.  (Chagigah,  ch.  i.), 
"Would  that  they  had  forgotten  me,  and  kept  my  commandments  !"  1/ 
or,  in  other  words,  "  Theologians  would  do  better  if  they  were  less  eager  ' 
to  investigate  into  the  essence  of  God  and  His  attributes,  and  were 
more  anxious  to  study  and  to  do  God's  commandments."  Instead  of 
devoting  their  chief  attention  to  the  knowledge  and  the  practice  of  the 
Law,  they  waste  their  energy  and  their  time  in  attempts  to  .solve  prob- 
lems to  which  the  human  mind  is  unequal  (S.  Plessner,  Religions — 
Unterricht,  p.  xxxviii.). 


4  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

Relifrion  therefore  includes  two  elements  :  faith  and 
practice.  In  religious  life,  as  well  as  in  the  teaching 
of  religion,  both  elements  are  equally  essential ;  faith 
without  religious  practice  does  not  suffice,  nor  the 
latter  without  faith.  We  are  accustomed  to  look  upon 
certain  dogmas  as  fundamental,  and  certain  practices  as 
ess'ential,  and  are  therefore  prone  to  renounce  beliefs 
which  are  not  fundamental  in  our  eyes,  and  to  abandon 
such  religious  practice  as  seems  to  us  less  essential. 
Hence  the  frequent  inquiry  as  to  what  is  the  minimum 
of  belief,  and  what  the  minimum  degree  of  conformity 
to  the  Law,  that  Judaism  demands.  But  in  reality 
there  can  be  no  compromise  in  religion,  whether  in 
matters  of  faith  or  of  practice.  Convinced  of  a  certain 
number  of  truths,  it  is  impossible  for  us  to  abandon 
any  of  them  without  being  false  to  ourselves ;  being 
convinced  of  the  binding  character  of  certain  religious 
commands  and  pi'ohibitions,  it  would  be  perverse  to 
pronounce  at  the  same  time  part  of  them  as  superfluous. 
Judaism  is  the  adherence  to  the  truths  taught  in  the 
Holy  Law,  and  the  faithfid  obedience  to  its  precepts. 

The  principal  Hebrew  equivalents  for  the  modern 
term  "  Religion,"  nmn  and  ^J')D^<5  confirm  this  view. 
In  the  Bible  mi/l  signifies  "  instruction,"  and  is 
applied  to  the  teaching  of  religious  truth,  as  well  as 
to  that  of  religious  precepts.  The  same  is  the  case 
with  the  second  term  ^J^D^?  which  signifies  "  firm- 
ness," *'  perseverance,"  or  "  permanence,"  and  is  used 
of  "  consistency  "  in  faith  as  well  as  of  conscientious- 
ness in  the  practice  of  the  Divine  ordinances.-^ 

^  Post-biblical  authors  frequently  employ  the  term  HJIOX  in  the 
sense  of  rfligious  belief,  and  min  in  the  sense  of  velrji'jus  duties ;  the 
equivalent  fox  religion  is  m. 


^-^/^^rS/^  ^C^c\    u  v\A   IV' 


I. 

OUR    CREED. 


Intuoduction. 

Faith  is  the  implicit  and  absolute  belief  in  the  truth 
of  the  commuuication  made  to  us  and  in  the  trust- 
worthiness of  him  who  makes  it  to  us.  The  child 
has  faith  in  its  parents  that  their  wishes  or  com- 
mands are  for  its  good;  the  pupil  in  his  teachers 
that  they  impart  correct  knowledge  ;  we  have  faith  in 
our  friends  that  they  have  no  intention  to  deceive  us  ; 
in  the  men  of  science  and  learning  that  the  results  of 
their  researches  may  be  accepted  as  well  established. 
In  all  these  cases  the  faith  is  but  imperfect  and  of  a 
relative  and  temporary  character.  Time,  investiga- 
tion, and  extended  observation  and  knowledge  may 
either  confirm  the  contents  of  our  faith  or  may  con- 
vince us  that  we  have  been  in  error.  This  is  not 
the  case  with  religious  faith.  It  keeps  within  the 
boundaries  of  its  own  domain  and  does  not  encroach 
on  that  of  the  senses  and  of  reason.  Whatever  can 
be  known  by  means  of  scientific  research  and  thorough 
investigation  we  need  not  accept  on  faith.  Religion 
— I  have,  of  course,  our  own  religion,  the  Jewish, 
in  mind  —  does  not  only  not  forbid  such  examina- 
tion, but  even  encourages  it.  Thus  we  read  in  the 
Book    of    Proverbs,    "  A   fool   believeth    every   word, 

5 


6  THE  JEWISH  REEIGION. 

but  the  prudent  man  looketh  well  to  his  going " 
(xiv.  I  5).  For  this  purpose  God  has  given  us  intel- 
lectual faculties  that  we  should  employ  them  in  our 
search  for  truth.  At  the  same  time,  however,  He  has 
set  limits  to  our  faculties,  and  there  are  things  which 
are  beyond  these  limits,  being  ?i2'ste7'6></t," things  hidden" 
from  our  senses,  whose  existence  has  been  made  known 
to  us  through  the  grace  of  God,  by  such  means  as  His 
infinite  wisdom  determined.  We  search  and  investi- 
gate, examine  and  demonstrate,  within  the  sphere  of 
our  senses  ;  but  all  that  is  beyond  their  reach  belongs 
to  the  nistaroth,  the  knowledge  of  which  can  only  be 
imparted  to  us  directly  by  the  Almighty,  or  indirectly 
by  those  to  whom  they  have  been  communicated  by 
Him.  Our  belief  with  regard  to  these  nistarotJi  may 
be  supported  or  strengthened  by  philosophical  or  dia- 
lectical arguments,  but  can  never  be  proved  by  mathe- 
matical or  logical  demonstration. 

The  sources  from  which  we  derive  our  knowledge 

of  these  nistaroth  are  Revelation  and  Tradition.      God 

re rea/.s  things  otherwise  unknown  to  man  to  such  persons 

or  to  such  a  generation  as  His  wisdom  chooses,  and  from 

those  thus  privileged  the  knowledge  spreads  to  the  rest 

of  mankind  by  means  of  Tradition.    In  addition  to  these 

two    sources  there  is   a   third  one   in  ourselves :   God 

^         implanted  in  our  souls  certain  ideas  common  to  all  of 

S<        l\^^  '^^  essential  elements  of  our  inner  life,  and  these 

k^  ideas  form    to  some    extent   the    basis   of   our  faith. 

^  Such  is,  e.g.,  the  idea  of  an   all-powerful   Being,  God, 

Avho  is  the  source  and  origin  of  everything  in  existence. 

There  is  no  real  conflict  between  faith  and  reason. 

It  may  s'lmetimes  seem  as  if  there  were  such  a  conflict, 


OUR  CREED.  7 

and  we  then  naturally  begin  to  doubt.  In  such  cases 
the  truth  of  our  faith  may  be  doubted,  but  the  correct- 
ness of  our  reasoning  is  no  less  subject  to  doubt.  We 
may  have  erroneously  included  in  our  faith  beliefs 
which  do  not  belong  to  it,  and  on  becoming  aware 
that  they  are  contrary  to  reason,  we  cast  them  aside 
without  the  least  injury  to  our  faith.  On  the  other 
hand,  our  reason  is  not  perfect ;  we  frequently  discover 
mistakes  in  our  arguments  and  conclusions,  and  reject 
opinions  which  we  hitherto  have  considered  as  firmly 
established. 

Through  patient  and  thorough  investigation  of  our 
doubts,  without  over-estimation  of  our  reasoning  facul- 
ties, we  shall  be  able  to  settle  the  seeming  conflict 
between  reason  and  faith  in  a  satisfactory  manner. 
The  examination  of  our  doubts  will  prove  that  none  of 
the  truths  which  the  Almighty  revealed  to  mankind 
are  contrary  to  reason. 

In  this  way  we  are  enabled  to  separate  from  our 
faith  all  elements  that  in  reality  are  foreign  to  it ;  we 
shall  be  able  to  distinguish  between  faith  and  supersti- 
tion. The  latter  consists  of  erroneous  notions  and 
beliefs  which  can  be  tested  and  subjected  to  the  ordi- 
nary means  of  inquiry.  Superstition  is  not  tolerated 
by  true  religion ;  strict  adherence  to  the  teachings  of 
our  holy  religion  is  the  best  check  to  superstitious 
beliefs. 

The  importance  which  the  Bible  attaches  to  im- 
plicit faith  in  God  and  His  word  may  be  gathered 
from  the  following  passages  : — 

"  And  he  (Abraham)  believed  in  the  Lord,  and  He 
reckoned  it  to  him  as  righteousness "  (Gen.  xv.   6). 


5  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

The  Hebrew  for  "  rigliteousness "  is  in  the  original 
ilpl)i  which  is  used  in  the  Bible  as  the  sum-total  of 
everything  good  and  noble  in  man's  life. 

When  the  Israelites  had  crossed  the  Red  Sea,  it  is 
said  of  them :  "  And  Israel  saw  the  great  work  which 
the  Lord  did  upon  the  Egyptians,  and  the  people  feared 
the  Lord :  and  they  helicvcd  in  the  Lord,  and  in  Moses 
His  servant "  (Exod.  xiv.  3  i ). 

Again,  when  Moses  and  Aaron  had  sinned  at  the 
waters  of  Meribah  by  striking  the  rock  instead  of 
speaking  to  it,  they  were  rebuked  for  want  of  n^lQJ^ 
"  faith,"  in  the  following  words  :  "  Because  ye  believed 
not  in  one  ("^2  DD^Di^n  Kb)  to  sanctify  me  in  the  eyes 
of  the  children  of  Israel,  therefore  ye  shall  not  bring 
this  assembly  into  the  land  which  I  have  given  them  " 
(Numb.  XX.   I  2). 

When  Moses  in  his  song  IJ^TJ*})!  blamed  the  Israel- 
ites for  their  evil  doings,  he  called  them  "  children  in 
whom  there  is  no  faith"  p?2^^  (Deut.  xxxii.  20). 

King  Jehoshaphat,  addressing  the  army  before  the 
battle,  says :  "  Have  faith  in  the  Lord  and  jou  will 
be  safe  ;  have  confidence  in  His  prophets  and  you  will 
succeed"  (2  Chron.  xx.  20). 

In  the  same  sense  Isaiah  says  to  King  Ahaz  :  '•'  If 
you  have  no  faith,  surely  you  will  not  be  safe  "  (Isa. 
vii.  9). 

Also  Jeremiah,  speaking  of  Israel's  disobedience  to 
the  word  of  God,  exclaims:  "  T/ie  faith,  njlQsn  is 
perished,  and  it  is  cut  off  from  their  mouth  "  (Jer. 
vii.  28). 

The  prophet  Habakkuk,  praying  to  God  for  an  expla- 
nation  why  evil-doers  succeed  and  prosper,   receives 


OUR  CREED.  q 

the  divine  answer  :  "  The  righteous  shall  live  by  his 
faith "  n^rr*  injiasn  pniil  (Hab.  ii.  4)  ;  and  when 
Hosea  predicts  the  future  redemption  of  Israel,  he  tells 
them  in  the  name  of  God,  "  And  I  will  betroth  thee 
unto  me  ly  faith''  HJlDNn  "h  "|'ni:^1Sn  (Hos.  ii.  22). 

Our  teachers,  the  sages  and  rabbis,  who  succeeded 
the  prophets,  have  been  equally  emphatic  in  commend- 
ing religious  faith.  The  following  are  a  few  of  their 
savings  concerning  faith  : — 

"  Great  is  the  merit  of  faith.  Through  their  faith 
in  the  Creator  of  the  universe  the  Israelites  were 
inspired  by  the  holy  spirit,  and  were  enabled  to  sing 
praises  to  the  Lord."  "  Faith  in  the  Lord  was  the 
source  of  all  the  temporal  and  eternal  blessings  which 
were  bestowed  upon  Abraham  ;  it  gave  him  the  enjoy- 
ment of  this  world  and  the  world  to  come."  "  When 
the  Psalmist  says :  '  This  gate  leads  to  the  Lord ; 
righteous  people  (DpHIi)  shall  come  in  through  it,'  he 
denoted  by  the  term  '  righteous '  those  icho  possess  faith 
in  God"  (Yalkut  on  Ex.  xiv.  31). 

In  spite  of  the  fact  that  the  Torah  and  the  prophets 
most  emphatically  declare  faith  r\y\'!2tk  to  be  a  very 
essential  element  in  Judaism,  it  does  not  seem  to  have 
the  same  importance  in  the  writings  of  Jewish  theo- 
logians and  philosophers,  some  of  whom  have  endea- 
voured to  substitute  reasoning  and  logical  arguments 
for  simple  faith,  and  to  rebuild  upon  scientific  research 
the  religious  edifice  erected  on  the  foundation  of  faith. 
The  following  are  the  utterances  of  the  principal 
Jewish  theologians  since  the  close  of  the  Talmud  on 
the  relation  between  faith  and  reason : — 

The    Gaon    Saadiah   of  Favvum   wrote   a   book   On 


lo  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

creeds  and  religious  beliefs  (/njl^SS^'lNpnyNI  J^^<:Na^i 
JlUm).  In  tlie  Introduction  to  this  work  the  philo- 
sopher describes  the  causes  of  human  error  and  doubt, 
and  assumes  four  classes  of  believers.  There  are,  first, 
those  who  recognise  the  truth  found  by  them,  cling  to  it, 
and  are  happy  in  it.  There  are,  secondly,  those  who 
have  the  true  principle  before  them,  but  do  not  recog- 
nise it,  doubt  its  correctness,  and  abandon  it  again. 
The  third  class  includes  those  who  adopt  an  opinion 
witliout  having  recognised  it  as  true;  they  mistake 
falsehood  for  truth.  The  last  division  consists  of  those 
who  form  no  definite  opinion,  but  remain  continually  in 
an  unsettled  state  of  mind.  Saadiah  is  anxious  to  see 
at  least  his  co-religionists  in  the  first  class,  and  his  work 
was  intended  to  help  them  towards  this  end. 

According  to  Saadiah,  belief  or  faith  must  be  an 
integral  part  of  our  soul ;  the  various  truths  which 
form  the  faith  are  stored  up  in  the  soul  as  in  a  reposi- 
torj,  completely  ready  for  use  whenever  required.  It 
is,  however,  possible  that  we  store  up  opinions  as  true 
which  are  false.  Tests  must  be  applied  to  each  opinion 
in  order  to  ascertain  its  right  character.  Three  of  the 
tests  are  of  a  general  nature,  but  the  fourth  has  its 
force  only  for  us,  the  believers  in  the  truth  of  the 
Holy  Writings.  The  first  three  tests  will  show  us 
whether  a  certain  opinion  is  confirmed  or  contradicted 
by  our  senses,  by  our  innate  ideas,  or  by  our  logical 
reasoning.  In  addition  to  these  we  possess  a  fourth 
test  in  the  trustworthy  communication  (n^0^<3n  mjn), 
i.e.,  the  contents  of  Holy  "Writ  and  Tradition.  Holy 
Writ  recognises  the  necessity  of  the  three  general 
tests,   and  frequently  exhorts  us  to  apply  them.     On 


OCR  CREED.  1 1 

the  other  hand,  Saadiah  is  convinced  tliat  the  con- 
tents of  Holy  Writ  and  Tradition  are  never  contra- 
dicted, but  in  many  cases  are  confirmed  by  these  tests. 
Such  confirmation  is  in  reality  superfluous ;  but  the 
Imman  mind  feels  more  at  ease  when  it  finds  tliat  the 
teaching  of  Holy  Writ  is  supported  by  other  proofs. 
Besides,  attacks  on  the  Bible  come  frequently  from 
these  tests,  and  it  is  therefore  useful  to  learn  how  to 
refute  them.  According  to  Saadiah,  the  truth  taught 
in  the  Bible  can  never  be  contradicted  by  the  results  of 
scientific  or  philosophical  research. 

Thus  to  Saadiah  philosophy  and  science  are  mere 
■luxuries,  and  cannot  be  considered  as  handmaids  to  the 
Torah.  They  are  not  studied  on  account  of  their  in- 
trinsic value  or  as  helps  for  the  understanding  of  Holy 
Writ,  but  merely  for  the  purpose  of  procuring  proper 
weapons  for  theological  warfare,  or  of  superadding  the 
conviction  that  what  is  known  to  us  from  the  most 
trustworthy  source  is  confirmed  from  other  less  reliable 
sources. 

The  poet  and  philosopher  Solomon  ibu  Gabirol,  who 
is  lost  in  enthusiasm  in  contemplating  the  powers  of 
the  human  soul,  humbly  acknowledges  that  it  was  his 
faith  that  saved  him  from  fall  and  ruin.  Referring  to 
man's  faculty  of  acquiring  knowledge,  he  says  in  his 
"Royal  Crown"  /IID^.^D  "IJID  :  "Who  can  comprehend 
Thy  wisdom  in  giving  to  the  soul  the  faculty  of  acquir- 
ing knowledge,  on  which  her  existence  depends,  know- 
ledge being  her  foundation  ?  She  is  permanent  and 
immortal  in  the  same  measure  as  her  foundation  is  well 
established."  But,  reflecting  on  human  weakness,  he 
expresses  his  feeling  of  gratitude  to  the  Creator  for  His 


12  THE  JEn'ISH  RELIGION. 

sruidauce  in  the  followincr  words :  "  Thou  hast  done 
yet  more  for  me.  Thou  hast  implanted  in  my  heart 
a  perfect  faith,  so  that  I  believe  in  Thee  as  the  true 
God,  and  in  Thy  prophets  as  true  prophets ;  Thou  hast 
not  cast  my  lot  among  those  that  rebel  against  Thee,  or 
among  those  who  provoke  Thy  name,  despise  Thy  Law, 
attack  Thy  servants,  and  disbelieve  Thy  prophets." 
Knowledge  —  philosophy  und  science  —  is  the  very 
essence,  the  immortal  element  of  the  soul,  and  yet 
without  the  Word  of  God  man  would  go  astray  and 
be  lost. 

The  boundaries  between  faith  and  reason  are  more 
distinctly  set  forth  in  the  Commentary  on  Sefer  Ye- 
tsirah  by  Dunash  ben  Tamira  (ed.  L.  Dukes  in  Shi7'e 
Shdomoh,  i.  p.  vi.  seq.) :  "  All  these  beings  above  and 
below  have  been  created  by  God,  and  it  is  within  the 
province  of  man  to  explore  and  to  examine  all  of 
them  ;  but  he  must  not  pass  beyond  these  boundaries 
to  investigate  into  the  essence  of  God  ;  '  for  in  the  city 
of  his  refuge  shall  he  dwell,'  and  '  if  he  goeth  out  of 
his  place,  and  the  avenger  of  blood  smite  him,  he  hath 
no  remedy.'  Besides,  wisdom  and  science  acknow- 
ledge that  man  is  unable  to  comprehend  by  his  own 
intellect  anything  that  exists  outside  the  sphere  of 
created  beings." 

R.  Bachya,  son  of  Joseph  hassephardi,  who  lived 
in  the  eleventh  century,  treats,  in  the  Introduction 
to  his  "  Duties  of  the  Heart,"  of  the  three  sources 
of  human  knowledge  —  Holy  Writ,  Tradition,  and 
Reason.  Bachya  is  fully  convinced  that  the  know- 
ledge derived  from  the  first  two  sources  is  complete 
and    correct.      "  If   vou    are    a    man  •  endowed    with 


OUR  CREED.  13 

knowledge  and  reason,  and  are  able  to  demonstrate  the 
principles  of  your  belief  and  your  religious  practice, 
which  you  have  been  taught  by  the  Sages  in  the 
name  of  the  prophets,  it  is  your  duty  to  do  so,  and 
to  let  reason  coniirm  what  Tradition  teaches.  If  you 
abstain  from  attempting  this  investigation,  you  neglect 
your  duty  towards  your  Creator." 

Still  more  emphatic  is  Shem-tob  ibn  Palqera  in 
demanding  the  right  of  free  inquiry  into  everything 
taught  by  Revelation  and  Tradition.  In  a  dialogue 
between  the  believer  and  the  inquirer  (UammchhakkcsJt) 
the  former  is  represented  as  iscnorant  of  evervthini^' 
our  mind  desires  to  know ;  whilst  the  wise  man,  who 
combines  belief  and  confidence  in  Tradition  with  the 
right  use  of  his  reason,  knows  how  to  satisfy  the 
inquirer,  and  lays  down  the  rule,  "  Let  the  study  of 
the  Torali  be  the  foundation,  and  the  study  of  other 
things  secondary  ;  believe  nothing  that  is  not  proved 
by  reason  or  by  God"  (i.e.,  by  the  word  of  Revelation). 

R.  Abraham  ben  David,  in  Einunah  raviah:  "Because 
three  out  of  four  scholars  (R.  Akiba,  Ben-azai,  Ben- 
zoma,  and  Ehsha)  were  unsuccessful  in  tlieir  philo- 
sophical researches,  therefore  many  turn  their  backs 
upon  science,  and  in  consequence  of  this  neglect  thev 
remain  ignorant  of  the  chief  principles  of  our  religion." 
The  object  of  his  book  is  to  reconcile  religion  and 
science. 

R.  Judah  hallevi,  in  his  "  Kuzari,"  endeavours  to 
convince  the  Kuzarite  king  of  the  truth  of  the  Jewish 
religion  by  philosophical  arguments,  but  gives  unhesi- 
tatingly the  preference  and  the  higher  authority  to 
Divine   revelation.      He   is   convinced  that  reason  or 


U  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

philosophical  argument  could  never  refute  any  prin- 
ciple taught  in  the  Law.  He  says :  '•  Prophecy  is 
certainly  stronger  than  logical  inference." 

R.  Abraham  ibn  Ezra  believes  that  man's  intellectual 
faculties  are  insufficient  to  solve  all  transcendental  prob- 
lems ;  thus,  e.g.,  the  nature  of  the  spirit  of  man  is 
unknown  to  most,  and  is  only  comprehended  by  iiim 
"  whose  thoughts  are  weighed  in  the  balance  of  reason, 
and  are  established  on  the  four  elements  of  wisdom, 
viz.,  the  three  R's  :  reading,  writing,  and  reckoning; 
(in  Hebrew,  the  three  D:  "I^Bp  "1SD  IDD)  and  the  Divine 
Law."  Ibn  Ezra  recommends  the  study  of  science, 
united  with  the  belief  in  Divine  revelation.  "  The 
Torali,"  Ibn  Ezra  remarks  in  his  Commentary  on  Ps. 
xix.  8,  ''is  perfect  in  itself;  it  requii'es  no  evidence 
from  without  for  the  truths  which  it  teaches." 

Maimonides'  "  Guide  to  the  Perplexed  "  is  entirely 
devoted  to  the  problem  how  to  reconcile  Scripture  and 
reason.  Scripture  cannot  contain  anything  contrary 
to  reason  ;  nor  can  the  result  of  scientific  research  and 
philosophical  speculation  be  conceived  as  contrary  to 
reason,  which  is  their  very  basis.  But  where  any  such 
contradiction  is  perceived,  ive  are  at  fault  either  in  our 
reasoning  or  in  our  interpretation  of  the  Divine  Writ- 
ings. The  Incorporeality  and  Unity  of  God  are  doctrines 
that  have  been  fully  proved,  and  Scripture  cannot  teach 
anything  that  is  contrary  to  them.  Where  we  believe 
them  to  be  contradicted  in  the  Holy  Writings  the 
contradiction  is  only  apparent,  and  by  assuming  an 
allegorical  use  of  words  and  phrases  the  seeming  con- 
tradiction is  removed. 

R.  Joseph  Albo  prefaces  his  book  on  the  principles 


OUR  CREED.  15 

of  Judaism  as  follows  :  "  As  the  human  understanding 
is  incapable  of  finding  out  what  is  true  and  what  is 
good,  there  must  be  a  higher  Being  that  assists  us  in 
determining  what  is  good  and  in  comprehending  what 
is  true.  It  is  therefore  necessary,  above  all,  to  study 
and  to  know  the  divine  Law  that  guides  man  in  these 
problems." 

E.  Eliah  del  Medigo,  in  his  Bcchinath  kaddath 
(Examination  of  Religion)  says  as  follows  : — 

"  Let  us  first  see  whether  or  not  the  study  of  philo- 
sophy is  permitted  to  the  followers  of  our  religion ; 
and,  if  it  be  permitted,  whether  the  study  is  to  be  con- 
sidered a  duty  and  a  laudable  act.  The  right-minded 
Jew  does  not  doubt  that  the  Law  aims  at  leadinjr  us 
to  humane  conduct,  good  deeds,  and  true  knowledge, 
the  common  people  according  to  their  capacity,  and 
the  more  gifted  according  to  their  abilities.  Certain 
fundamental  truths  are  therefore  set  forth  in  the  Law 
and  the  Prophets  in  an  authoritative,  poetical,  or  dia- 
lectical style  ;  but  the  higher  order  of  intellects  are 
encouraged  to  search  for  proper  proofs.  Thus  the 
whole  nation  is  addressed  by  Isaiah :  '  Lift  up  your 
eyes  on  high  and  see  who  hath  created  these,'  and 
the  like.  Also  the  chief  of  the  Prophets  tells  the 
Israelites  :  '  Hear,  0  Israel,  the  Lord  is  our  God  ;  the 
Lord  is  One.'  Those  who  are  more  highly  endowed 
than  their  fellow- men  are  exhorted,  either  directly  or 
indirectly,  to  follow  the  course  which  is  suitable  to 
them.  The  direct  exhortation  to  philosophical  research 
is  contained  in  the  words :  '  Know  then  this  day, 
and  take  it  to  thy  heart,  that  the  Lord  He  is  God,' 
&c.  ;   and  indirectly  it  is  contained  in  the  command- 


i6  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

ment  to  love  and  to  fear  God,  as  has  been  explained 
by  R.  Moses  Maimonides.  —  The  study  of  science 
•will  certainly  be  of  use  to  the  scholar ;  it  leads 
to  a  knowledge  of  the  created  things,  and  through 
these  to  a  knowledge  of  the  Creator.  Such  study 
may  even  be  considered  as  necessary  to  the  Jewish 
scholar,  though  not  to  the  ordinary  Jew.  The  scholar 
must,  however,  not  entirely  rely  on  his  research,  but 
on  that  which  is  taught  in  the  Law.  In  this  the 
scholar  and  the  ordinary  man  are  equal,  that  both 
accept  the  teaching  of  the  Torah  as  infallible  ;  only 
with  this  difference,  that  the  scholar  can  in  addition 
satisfy  his  thirst  for  knowledge  and  confirm  by  scien- 
tific proof  what  he  has  already  accepted  as  true  on 
the  authority  of  the  Bible." 

Of  modern  scholars  I  only  quote  Moses  Mendelssohn's 
theory.  He  accepts  unconditionally  the  teaching  of 
the  Bible ;  all  its  truths  are  absolute  and  perfect ;  no 
reasoning  whatever  can  refute  them  ;  but  difficulties 
may  sometimes  present  themselves  to  us  in  recon- 
ciling the  teaching  of  the  Bible  with  that  of  our 
reason.  What  have  we  then  to  do  ?  The  philo- 
sopher declares :  "  If  I  were  to  find  my  reason  in 
contradiction  to  the  Word  of  God,  I  could  com- 
mand reason  to  be  silent ;  but  the  arguments,  so 
long  as  they  have  not  been  refuted,  will  nevertheless 
assert  themselves  in  the  innermost  recesses  of  my 
heart ;  the  arguments  will  assume  the  form  of  dis- 
quieting doubts,  which  will  resolve  themselves  into 
childlike  prayers,  earnest  supplication  for  enlighten- 
ment. I  should  utter  the  words  of  the  Psalmist  : 
'  Lord,  send  me  Thy  light,  Thy  truth,  that  they  may 


OUR  CREED.  17 

fjuide  inc,  and   bring  me   to   Thy  holy  mount,  to  Thy 
clsvelling-place  ! ' " 

The  conception  which  Moses  Mendelssohn  had  of 
Jewish  belief  and  its  relation  to  reason  we  learn  from 
the  following  passage  : — "  I  recognise  no  other  eternal 
truths  than  those  which  are  not  only  comprehensible 
to  the  human  mind,  but  also  demonstrable  by  human 
powers.  This  principle  by  no  means  brings  me  into 
conflict  with  my  own  religion  ;  on  the  contrary,  I 
consider  it  an  essential  element  in  Judaism,  and  the 
characteristic  difference  between  Judaism  and  Chris- 
tianity. Judaism  has  no  revealed  religion  in  the  sense 
in  which  Christianity  has.  The  Jews  have  a  revealed 
legislation  which  instructs  them  in  the  divinely  ordained 
means  by  which  they  may  attain  the  eternal  bliss.  Laws 
and  rules  for  conduct  in  life  were  revealed  to  Moses 
in  a  supernatural  way,  but  no  doctrines,  no  saving 
truth,  and  no  general  laws  of  logic.  The  latter  the 
Eternal  reveals  to  us,  as  to  all  men,  through  nature 
and  through  the  things  themselves ;  never  through 
words  and  letters.  The  divine  book  revealed  to  Moses, 
though  a  book  of  laws,  includes  an  inexhaustible  trea- 
sure of  truths  and  doctrines.  .  .  .  The  more  we  study 
it  the  more  we  wonder  at  the  depth  of  the  knowledge 
contained  in  it.  But  these  truths  are  taught,  and  not 
forced  upon  us  as  dogmas.  Belief  does  not  allow  itself 
to  be  commanded ;  it  is  based  upon  conviction.  In 
the  Hebrew  language,  the  very  word  which  is  gene- 
rally translated  '  faith,'  viz.,  ^3^D^i  denotes  originally 
confidence,  trust  that  the  promise  made  will  also  be 
fulfilled,  and  not  what  we  understand  by  '  religious 
faith.' " 

B 


i8  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

These  words  of  Mendelssohn  show  how  greatly  those 
err  who  quote  his  opinions  in  support  of  the  dictum 
that  Judaism  recognises  no  dogmas.  According  to 
Mendelssohn,  Judaism  does  not  consist  entirely  of  laws  ; 
it  teaches  also  certain  truths.  We  have  certain  dogmas 
without  which  the  laws  can  have  no  meaniiag,  yet  there 
is  no  precept,  "  Thou  shalt  believe."  Nowhere  in  our 
Law,  whether  written  or  oral,  is  a  solemn  declaration  of 
our  creed  demanded.  In  so  far  Mendelssohn's  view  is 
correct ;  but  when  he  believes  that  all  the  truths  we 
are  taught  in  Scripture  can  be  made  evident  by  logical 
demonstration  he  is  mistaken.  As  to  the  meaning  of 
ni1!2J^  comp.  supra,  p.  4. 


THE  THIETEEN  PEIXCIPLES 


OUR     CREED. 

The  main  source  of  our  creed  is  the  Bible,  and  among 
the  Biblical  books,  chiefly  the  Pentateuch  (rTnj"l).  lu 
tliese  books  we  find  many  truths  taught  by  God  Him- 
self, or  by  His  inspired  messengers,  and  they  form 
the  substance  of  our  creed.  It  matters  little  how  we 
arrange  them,  how  we  collect  them  into  groups,  and 
subdivide  these  again,  provided  we  believe  in  them 
implicitly.  In  the  Bible  they  are  not  arranged  syste- 
matically ;  they  are  intermingled  with,  and  are  con- 
tained implicitly  in,  the  history  and  the  laws  that  form 
the  subject-matter  of  the  Scriptures ;  it  is  the  observ- 
ance of  those  laws  which  constitutes  the  best  evidence 
of  the  belief  seated  in  the  heart.  No  declaration  or 
recital  of  a  creed  is  commanded  in  the  Pentateuch  ;  no 
tribunal  is  appointed  for  inquiring  whether  the  belief 
of  a  man  is  right  or  wrong  ;  no  punishment  is  inflicted 
or  threatened  for  want  of  belief.  It  became,  however, 
necessary  to  formulate  the  truths  taught  in  the  Bible, 
when  disputes  arose  as  to  their  meaning  and  to  their 
validity.  The  Mishnah,  therefore,  declares  certain 
opinions  as  un-Jewish  and  contrary  to  the  teaching 
of  the  Divine    Word.      Later  on,  when    controversies 

19 


20  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

multiplied  between  the  various  sections  of  the  Jewish 
nation,  as  well  as  between  Jews  and  Christians  and 
Jews  and  Mohammedans,  it  was  found  most  impor- 
tant to  settle  the  form  and  arrangement  of  our 
beliefs.  Moses  Maimonides,  the  great  religious  philo- 
sopher, taught,  in  his  Commentary  on  the  Mishnah, 
thirteen  principles  of  faith,  which  found  general 
acceptance  among  the  Jews,  and  are  known  as  the 
Thirteen  Principles.  They  have  found  their  way  into 
the  Prayer-book  in  two  different  forms,  one  in  prose 
and  one  in  poetry.  Maimonides,  in  commending  them 
to  the  reader,  says  :  "  Read  them  again  and  again  and 
study  them  well,  and  let  not  your  heart  entice  you  to 
believe  that  you  have  comprehended  their  full  meaning 
after  having  read  them  a  few  times  ;  you  would  then 
be  in  a  great  error,  for  I  have  not  written  down  what 
occurred  to  my  mind  at  first  thought.  I  first  thoroughly 
studied  and  examined  what  I  was  going  to  write,  com- 
pared the  various  doctrines,  the  correct  ones  and  the 
incorrect  ones,  and  when  I  arrived  at  what  we  ought 
to  accept  as  our  creed,  I  was  able  to  prove  it  by 
arguments  and  reasoning."  The  thirteen  articles  as  put 
forth  by  Maimonides,  and  called  by  him  principles  and 
foundations  of  our  religion,  are  the  following  : — 

1 .  The  first  principle :  The  belief  in  the  existence 
of  the  Creator ;  that  is,  the  belief  that  there  exists  a 
Being  who  requires  no  other  cause  for  His  existence, 
but  is  Himself  the  cause  of  all  beings. 

2.  The  second  principle  :  The  belief  in  the  Unity  of 
God ;  that  is,  the  belief  that  the  Being  who  is  the 
cause  of  everything  in  existence  is  One ;  not  like  the 
imity    of   a    group    or    class,    composed    of   a    certain 


OUR  CREED.  21 

number  of  individuals,  or  the  unity  of  one  individual 
consisting  of  various  constituent  elements,  or  the  unity 
of  one  simple  thing  which  is  divisible  ad  infinitum, 
but  as  a  unity  the  like  of  which  does  not  exist. 

3 .  The  third  principle :  The  belief  in  the  Incor- 
poreality  of  God ;  that  is,  the  belief  that  this  One  Creator 
has  neither  bodily  form  nor  substance,  that  He  is  not 
a  force  contained  in  a  body,  and  that  no  corporeal 
quality  or  action  can  be  attributed  to  Him. 

4.  The  fourth  principle  :  The  belief  in  the  Eternity 
of  God  ;  that  is,  the  belief  that  God  alone  is  Avithout  a 
bejxinninof  whilst  no  other  being'  is  without  a  becinnino-. 

5.  The  fifth  principle  :  The  belief  that  the  Creator 
alone  is  to  be  worshipped,  and  no  other  being,  whether 
angel,  star,  or  ought  else,  all  these  being  themselves 
creatures. 

6.  The  sixth  principle  :  The  belief  in  Prophecy  ; 
that  is,  the  belief  that  there  have  been  men  endowed 
with  extraordinary  moral  and  intellectual  powers,  by 
which  they  were  enabled  to  reach  a  degree  and  kind 
of  knowledge  unattainable  to  others. 

7.  The  seventh  principle  :  The  belief  that  our 
teacher  Moses  was  the  greatest  of  all  prophets,  both 
those  before  him  and  those  after  him. 

8.  The  eighth  principle :  The  belief  in  the  Divine 
origin  of  the  Law  ;  the  belief  that  the  whole  Pentateuch 
was  communicated  to  Moses  by  God,  both  the  pre- 
cepts and  the  historical  accounts  contained  therein. 

9.  The  ninth  principle  :  The  belief  in  the  integrity 
of  the  Law  ;  that  both  the  written  and  the  oral  Law 
are  of  Divine  origin,  and  that  nothing  may  be  added 
to  it  or  taken  from  it. 


>  s 


-f 


22  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

1 0.  The  tenth  principle  :  The  belief  that  God  knows 
and  notices  the  deeds  and  thoughts  of  man. 

1 1 .  The  eleventh  principle :  The  belief  that  God 
rewards  those  who  perform  the  commandments  of  His 
Law,  and  punishes  those  who  transgress  them. 

12.  The  twelfth  principle:   The  belief  that  Messiah 
jT        will  come  at  some  future  time,  which  it  is  impossible 

for  us  to  determine ;  thab  he  will  be  of  the  house  of 
David,  and  will  be  endowed  with  extraordinary  wisdom 
and  power. 

1 3.  The  thirteenth  principle :  The  belief  in  the 
revival  of  the  deady  or  the  immortality  of  the  soul. 

These  thirteen  principles  (Onp^*  T^i?  n^b^)  may 
be  divided  into  three  groups,  according  to  their  rela- 
tion to  the  three  principles: — i.  Existence  of  God. 
2.  Revelation.  3.  Reward  and  punishment.  The  first 
group  includes  the  first  five  principles,  the  second  the 
next  four,  and  the  third  the  remaining  four.  In  this 
order  they  will  now  be  considered. 

I.   Existence  of  God  NlUil  mN'JJD. 

The  notion  of  the  existence  of  God,  of  an  invisible 
power  which  exercises  its  influence  in  everything  that 
is  going  on  in  nature,  is  widespread,  and  common  to 
almost  the  whole  human  race.  It  is  found  anions' 
all  civilised  nations  and  many  uncivilised  tribes.  The 
existence  of  God  may  be  regarded  as  an  innate  idea, 
which  we  possess  from  our  earliest  days.  This  is  the 
origin  of  Natural  Religion.  Thinkers  of  all  ages  and 
nations  have  attempted  to  confirm  this  innate  idea 
by  convincing  arguments.     Prophets  and  divine  poets 


OUR  CREED.  23 

have  frequently  directed  the  attention  of  those  whom 
they  addressed  to  the  marvels  of  nature  in  order  to 
inspire  them  with  the  idea  of  an  All-wise  and  All- 
powerful  Creator. 

"  Lift  up  your  eyes  on  high,  and  behold  who  hath 
created  these  ?  Who  is  He  who  bringeth  them  forth 
by  number  ?  All  of  them  He  calleth  by  name,  by  the 
greatness  of  His  might,  and  for  that  He  is  strong  in 
power,  not  one  is  lacking  "  (Isa.  xl.  26).  "  The  heavens 
declare  the  glory  of  God,  and  the  firmament  sheweth 
His  handy woi-k  "  (Ps.  xix.  2). 

The  regularity  in  the  rising  and  setting  of  the 
heavenly  bodies,  which  enables  us  to  foretell  the 
exact  time  and  duration  of  an  eclipse  of  the  sun  or 
the  moon,  is  cei'tainly  a  strong  argument  for  the  belief 
that  there  is  a  mighty  and  wise  Creator  who  fixed 
the  laws  in  accordance  with  which  these  luminaries 
move. 

"  Beautiful  are  the  luminaries  which  our  God  has 
created.  He  has  formed  them  with  knowledge,  reason, 
and  understanding ;  He  endowed  them  with  power  and 
strength  to  rule  in  the  midst  of  the  world.  Full  of 
splendour  and  beaming  with  light,  they  illumine  the 
whole  world ;  they  rejoice  when  they  rise,  they  are 
glad  when  they  set,  doing  in  reverence  the  will  of 
their  Master  "  (Sabbath  Morning  Service). 

A  similar  regularity  we  notice  when  looking  on 
the  face  of  the  earth.  The  various  seasons  of  the 
year,  each  with  its  peculiar  aspect  and  inihience,  the 
sequence  of  day  and  night  at  regular  intervals,  the 
gradual  and  systematic  development  of  vegetable  and 
animal  life — all   point  forcibly  to  the  fact  that  these 


24  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

things  do  not  owe  their  existence  to  chance,  but  to  the 
will  of  an  Almighty  and  All-wise  Creator. 

Arrain,  if  we  consider  the  structure  of  a  single 
plant,  or  of  a  single  animal,  we  find  that  every  one 
of  the  members  and  parts  of  which  it  is  composed  has 
its  peculiar  function  or  purpose  in  the  economy  of 
the  whole  plant  or  the  whole  animal.  Let  one  of 
these  component  parts  refuse  its  function  or  cease 
to  fulfil  its  purpose  and  the  whole  is  disorganised. 
Certainly  there  must  be  a  Being  who  makes  the 
different  members  of  an  organism  co-operate  for  the 
development  and  advantage  of  the  whole.  The  idea 
of  purpose  which  regulates  this  co-operation  cannot 
have  originated  in  the  parts  nor  in  the  whole,  but 
in  the  conception  of  Hiui  by  whose  Will  these  were 
created. 

"  The  finger  of  God  "  is  further  recognised  in  the 
important  events  of  the  life  of  the  individual  as  well  as 
in  the  history  of  whole  nations.  We  are  frequently 
reminded  of  the  lesson,  "  The  heart  of  man  deviseth 
his  way,  but  the  Lord  directeth  his  step"  (Prov.  xvi. 
9).  "  Salvation  is  the  Lord's,  and  on  Thy  people  it  is 
incumbent  to  bless  Thee  "  (Ps.  iii.  9). 

Another  argument  in  support  of  the  belief  in  the 
existence  of  God  is  taken  from  the  moral  consciousness 
which  every  human  being  possesses.  This  points  to 
the  existence  of  a  higher  Being,  perfect  in  goodness, 
as  the  origin  and  cause  of  the  moral  consciousness  in 
our  own  heart. 

These  and  similar  arguments  are  employed  to 
strengthen  and  purify  our  belief  in  God.  The  ques- 
tion, however,  arises,  Are  these  arguments  alone  suffi- 


OUR  CREED.  ^  25 

cient  to  convince  us  ?  Are  tbey  strong  enough  to 
resist  the  attacks  of  scepticism  ? 

On  examining  them  thoroughly  we  shall  find  them 
of  excellent  service  to  the  believer.  His  belief  is 
strengthened  against  many  doubts  by  which  he  may 
be  assailed  ;  and  scepticism  will  be  kept  at  bay  by 
these  arguments.  But  of  themselves  and  unsup- 
ported they  may  not  always  suffice  to  establish  belief 
in  God  ;  and  if  they  carry  conviction  with  them  for 
the  moment,  we  are  not  sure  whether  fresh  argu- 
ments of  opponents  might  not  again  unsettle  the 
mind.  Another  method  was  therefore  chosen  by  the 
Almighty,  by  which  certainty  is  attained,  and  a  sure 
guide  is  given  for  our  moral  and  religious  life.  It  is 
Revelation.      Of  this  we  shall  speak  later  on. 

The  principal  forms  of  religion  or  worship  that 
sprang  from  the  natural  belief  in  God  are  Polytheism, 
Pantheism,  Atheism,  Theism,  and  Deism. 

I.  The  first  form  of  Diviue  worship  of  which  history 
and  archgeology  give  us  information  is  rolytheism.  The 
creating  and  ruling  power  of  some  invisible  Being  was 
noticed  everywhere.  Every  manifestation  of  such  in- 
fluence was  ascribed  to  its  peculiar  deity,  which  was 
worshipped  according  to  the  peculiar  conception  of  the 
deity  in  the  mind  of  the  individual  person,  family,  or 
nation.  This  is  chiefly  the  kind  of  idolatry  mentioned 
in  the  Bible  and  combated  by  the  prophets. 

A  very  general  object  of  worship  were  the  stars. 
IJabbi  Jehudah  ha-Levi,  in  Kuzari  iv.  i,  in  trying  to 
explain  the  origin  of  this  practice,  says  as  follows : — 
"  The  spheres  of  the  sun  and  the  moon  do  not  move  in 
the  same  way.      A  separate  cause  or  god  was  therefore 


26  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

assumed  for  each,  and  people  did  not  think  that  there 
was  a  higher  force  on  which  all  these  causes  depended." 
The  ancient  monuments  and  the  treasures  stored  up 
in  our  museums  show  liow  great  was  the  variety  of 
forms  which  idolatry  took,  and  to  how  great  an  extent 
people  adhei-ed,  and  still  adhere,  to  this  kind  of  wor- 
ship. But  there  have  been  thinkers  and  philosophers 
even  among  the  idolatroub  nations  who  sought  a  unity 
in  the  construction  and  working  of  the  universe,  and 
early  arrived  at  the  idea  of  a  First  Cause  as  the  sole 
source  of  all  that  exists. 

2.  The  fact  that  the  influence  of  the  Divine  power 
makes  itself  perceptible  to  the  observing  eye  of  man 
everywhere  produced  another  kind  of  human  error : 
Pantheism  (All-God).  Modern  Pantheism  dates  from 
Spinoza ;  but  long  before  Spinoza,  when  the  secret 
forces  at  work  in  the  changes  noticed  by  us  in  all 
material  objects  were  recognised  as  properties  inherent 
in  the  substance  of  things,  these  forces  were  con- 
sidered as  the  sole  independent  causes  of  the  existing 
universe,  and  the  combination  of  these  forces,  called 
Nature,  was  considered  to  be  the  First  Cause,  or  God. 
A  modification  of  this  theory  is  contained  in  the  phi- 
losophy of  Spinoza.  According  to  this  great  philo- 
sopher's system,  the  universe  in  its  entirety  has  the 
attributes  of  the  Deity  :  there  exists  nothing  but  the 
Substance  (God),  its  attributes,  and  the  various  ways 
in  which  these  attributes  become  perceptible  to  man. 
Spinoza  tried  to  defend  himself  from  the  reproach 
of  describing  God  as  corporeal,  but  he  did  not  suc- 
ceed. The  attribute  of  extension  or  space  which  God 
possesses,    according   to    Spinoza,   is  only  conceivable 


■VAX 


OUR  CREED.  27 

in  relation  to  corporeal  thing^s.  The  philosophy  of. 
Spinoza  is  in  this  dilemma:  either  God  is  corporeal, 
or  the  corporeal  world  does  not  exist.  Both  assump- 1 
tions  are  equally  absurd.  It  is  true,  in  one  of  his 
letters  he  complains  that  he  has  been  misrepre- 
sented, as  if  he  believed  God  to  consist  of  a  certain 
corporeal  mass.  But  we  cannot  help  assuming  the 
existence  of  a  certain  corporeal  mass,  and  if  this  is  not 
God,  we  must  distinguish  in  our  mind  God  and  some- 
thing that  is  not  God,  contrary  to  the  fundamental 
doctrine  of  Pantheism.  Besides,  there  are  many  in- 
congruities and  improbabilities  involved  in  this  theory. 
It  has  no  foundation  for  a  moral  consciousness.  The 
wicked  and  the  good  are  alike  inseparable  from  God. 
They  both  result  with  necessity  from  the  attributes  of 
God,  and  they  cannot  be  otherwise  than  they  actually 
are.  If  we,  by  the  consideration  that  injury  done  to 
us  by  our  fellow-man  was  not  done  by  that  person 
alone,  but  by  a  series  of  predetermined  necessary  causes, 
may  be  induced  to  conquer  hatred  against  the  apparent 
cause  of  our  injury,  we  may  equally  be  induced  by  the 
same  reasoning  to  consider  the  kindness  and  benefits  of 
our  friends  not  worthy  of  gratitude,  believing  that  they 
were  compdhd  to  act  in  this  manner,  and  could  not  act 
otherwise. 

3.  l^antheism,  by  teaching  All  in  One  and  One  in 
All,  is  opposed  to  the  theory  of  man's  responsibility  to 
a  higher  Being,  denies  the  existence  of  God  in  the 
ordinary  sense  of  the  word,  and  is,  in  its  relation  to 
true  religion,  equal  to  atheism. 

In  the  Bible  atheism  is  stigmatised  as  the  source  of 
all  evils.     Thus  the  patriarch  Abraham  suspected  the 


28  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

people  of  Gerar,  that  there  was  "  no  fear  of  God  "  in 
the  place,  and  was  afraid  "  they  might  slay  him  "  (Gen. 
XX.  1 1 ) ;  whilst  Joseph  persuaded  his  brothers  to  have 
confidence  in  him  by  the  assertion,  "  I  fear  God  "  (lb. 
xlii.  1 8).  The  first  instance  of  an  atheist  we  meet 
in  Pharaoh,  king  of  Egypt,  when  he  defiantly  said,  "  I 
know  not  the  Lord,  neither  will  I  let  Israel  go " 
(Exod.  y.  2).  Another  form  of  atheism  is  warned  against 
in  the  words  of  Moses  :  "  Lest  tbou  say  est  in  thine 
heart,  My  strength  and  the  power  of  my  hand  has  got 
for  me  all  this  wealth"  (Deut.  viii.  17);  and  "Lest 
they  say.  Our  hand  is  high,  and  it  is  not  the  Lord 
that  hath  done  all  this"  (lb.  xsxii.  27).  The  prophets 
likewise  rebuke  the  people  for  want  of  belief  in  God. 
In  the  Psalms,  the  crimes  and  evil  designs  of  oppres- 
sors are  traced  to  godlessness.  "  The  wicked  says 
in  his  heart.  There  is  no  God"  (Ps.  xiv.  i).  But 
this  atheism  of  the  Bible  is  not  a  theoretical  or  dog- 
matic one  ;  it  is  not  the  result  of  thought,  or  of  deep 
inquiry  into  the  causes  of  things,  but  merely  the  voice 
of  an  evil  inclination  which  tempts  man  to  act  con- 
trary to  the  command  of  God,  and  assures  him  of 
immunity,  under  the  impression  that  his  actions  are 
not  watched  by  a  higher  authority.  In  post-Biblical 
literature  we  meet  with  the  phrase,  1*'^  ^^^"^  V"^  J^'^'^ 
"There  is  no  judgment,  and  there  is  no  judge,"  as 
the  basis  of  atheism. 

4.  Although  the  conviction  of  man's  responsibility 
to  a  higher  authority  is  the  essential  element  in  the 
belief  in  God,  yet  the  notion  of  godlessness  was  so 
intimately  connected  with  crime  and  wickedness,  that 
those  who  rejected  the  authority  and  mastership  of  the 


OUR  CREED.  29 

Deity  refused  to  be  called  godless  or  atheists.  Many 
philosophers  retained  the  name  "  God "  (theos,  dcus) 
for  theii'  "First  Cause"  of  the  universe,  although  it  is 
deprived  of  the  chief  attributes  of  God.  Thus  we 
have  as  the  principal  religious  theories  resulting  from 
philosophical  investigations,  Tlieism  and  Deism.  Lite- 
rally these  two  terms  denote,  Theory  of  God,  or  Belief 
in  God  ;  the  one  word  being  derived  from  the  Greek 
theos,  the  other  from  the  Latin  dcus,  both  meaning 
"  God." 

There  is,  however,  an  essential  difference  between 
the  two  theories.  Theism  and  Deism  have  this  in 
common,  that  both  assume  a  spiritual  power,  a  divine 
being,  as  the  cause  and  source  of  everything  that 
exists.  They  differ  in  this  :  to  Theism  this  power  is 
immanent  in  us  and  the  things  round  us  ;  Deism  con- 
siders this  power  as  separate  from  the  things.  Re- 
velation or  prophecy  is  altogether  denied  by  the  Deists, 
whilst  the  Theists  would  accept  it  after  their  own 
fashion  and  rationalise  it. 

All  these  various  systems  of  religion  have  this  in 
common,  that  they  attempt  to  remove  from  religion 
everything  that  cannot  be  comprehended  by  human 
reason.  But  all  attempts  to  substitute  human  reason 
for  Divine  authority  have  failed.  A  limit  has  been  set 
to  human  reason,  and  that  cannot  be  overcome.  In 
every  system  of  religion — the  natural  and  the  rational 
included — there  is  a  mystic  element,  which  may  be 
enveloped  in  a  mist  of  phrases,  but  remains  unex- 
plained. Whether  we  call  the  Creator  and  Ruler  of 
the  universe  God,  Deus,  or  Theos,  His  relation  to 
the    universe,  and    to    man    in   particular,   cannot  be 


30  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

determined  by  the  laws  which  determine  the  natural 
phenomena  in  the  universe,  created  by  His  Will. 

What  is  our  conception  of  the  Deity  ?  The  funda- 
mental idea,  from  which  all  our  notions  concerning 
God  are  derived,  and  which  we  have  in  common  with 
all  other  believers  in  God,  is  that  He  is  the  First 
Cause,  the  Creator  of  the  universe.  This  idea  ex- 
pressed in  the  terra  ^D'^  "JIIl/T'  NllQn  forms  the  basis 
of  our  creed.  It  is  the  Creator  that  is  described  in  it. 
Seven  of  the  articles  begin,  "  I  believe  with  a  perfect 
faith  that  the  Creator,  blessed  be  His  name,"  &c. 

We  do  not  use  the  term  "  First  Cause,"  because  it 
is  too  narrow  ;  it  only  expresses  part  of  the  truth,  not 
the  whole  of  it.  By  "  First  Cause  "  some  understand 
the  cause  of  the  gradual  development  of  the  primitive 
matter  into  the  innumerable  variety  of  things  contained 
in  the  universe;  the  development  of  the  original  chaos 
into  system  and  order.  It  is  true  that  the  Creator  is  the 
cause  of  all  this  ;  but  He  is  more  than  this  :  He  is  the 
cause  of  the  primitive  matter,  and  of  the  original  chaos. 
For  He  has  created  the  world  out  of  nothing.  The  first 
verse  of  the  Bible  teaches  us  creation  from  nothing 
(creatio  ex  nihilo) :  ''In  the  beginning  God  created  the 
heaven  and  the  earth"  (Gen.  i.  i);  that  is,  the  whole 
universe.  It  is  true  that  there  were  men  who  explained 
the  meaning  of  the  Hebrew  root  ii''\2  in  a  different 
manner,  and  desired  to  assign  to  it  the  meaning  :  cutting 
out,  forming  out  of  a  given  material.  But  they  certainly 
misunderstood  the  spirit  of  the  Scriptures.  The  eternal 
coexistence  of  God  and  matter  would  imply  a  dualism 
utterly  incompatible  with  the  teaching  of  the  Bible.  The 
frequently  repeated  declaration,  "  He  is  our  God ;  there 


OUR  CREED.  31 

is  none  besides  "  (ny  yi^),  clearly  excludes  every  form 
of  dualism.  Those  who  assert  that  the  universe  could 
not  come  from  nothing  belong  to  the  class  of  people 
of  whom  the  Psalmist  says,"  "And  they  returned  and 
tempted  God,  and  set  limits  to  the  Holy  One  of  Israel  " 
(Ps.  Ixxviii.  41). 

If  we  cannot  understand  the  act  of  the  Creation,  it 
is  our  own  intellect  that  is  limited ;  and  if  we  were  to 
persuade  ourselves  that  we  understand  better  the  eter- 
-nity  of  matter,  we  should  deceive  ourselves.  We  can- 
not conceive  matter  without  form  as  existing  in  reality, 
nor  can  we  have  a  clear  notion  of  anything  infinite. 
We  are  human  beings,  endowed  by  the  will  and  wis- 
dom of  the  Creator  with  limited  physical  and  intellec- 
tual faculties,  and  in  things  that  surpass  our  powers 
we  cannot  do  better  than  follow  the  guidance  of  the 
Divine  Word.  If  we  do  so  we  may  be  sure  that  we 
shall  be  on  the  right  way  to  truth. 

The  first  principle  declared  in  our  creed  is  this : 
God  is  not  only  the  Creator  of  the  heavens  and  the 
earth,  with  all  their  hosts ;  He  is  also  the  constant 
ruler  of  all  created  beings ;  Ho  is  ;i\12QT  ii'^)^2•  We 
therefore  praise  Him  in  our  daily  Morning  prayer 
as  "  Doing  wonders ;  renewing  in  His  goodness  the 
work  of  the  creation  every  day."  When  we  observe 
the  ordinary  phenomena  in  nature,  occurring  in  ac- 
cordance with  certain  fixed  laws  which  have  been 
discovered  and  described  by  man,  we  see  in  them  the 
greatness  of  the  Creator  by  whose  will  these  laws  are 
still  in  force,  and  by  whose  will  any  or  all  of  these 
laws  may  one  day  cease  lo  continue. 

It  has  been  asserted  that  any  interruption  or  change 


32  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

of  these  fixed  laws  would  indicate  a  weakness  and  want 
of  foresight  on  the  part  of  the  Creator,  and  a  fault  in 
the  plan  of  the  Creation.  This  notion  has  led  people 
either  to  deny  the  truth  of  the  Biblical  accounts  con- 
ceruing  the  miracles  wrought  by  the  Almighty,  or  to 
admit  the  correctness  of  the  facts  while  denying  their 
miraculous  character,  or  to  consider  the  fixed  laws  of 
nature,  together  with  their  exceptions,  as  designed  in  the 
original  plan  of  the  Creation.  How  short-sighted  is  man ! 
He  cannot  even  fully  comprehend  his  own  short-sighted- 
ness! God  made  him  ruler  over  the  works  of  His  hands, 
and  he  presumes  to  be  the  ruler  of  God  Himself!  When 
we  learn  from  numerous  observations  and  experiments 
the  law  that  seems  to  regulate  certain  recurring  phe- 
nomena, liave  we  then  fathomed  the  infinite  wisdom  of 
God  in  the  Creation  ?  Do  we  know  the  reason  which 
led  Him  to  produce  certain  things  according  to  certain 
laws,  and  not  otherwise  ?  Have  we  in  discovering  a 
law  of  nature  obtained  the  power  cf  prescribing  the  same 
law  to  God,  and  disallowing  Him  to  deviate  therefrom  ? 
Far  be  it  from  us  human  beings,  dust  and  ashes,  to 
arrogate  to  ourselves  such  a  right !  It  may  even  be 
one  of  the  objects  with  which  miracles  were  wrought 
to  teach  us  that  we  do  not  yet  know  all  things,  that 
events  may  happen  which  we  are  unable  to  foresee,  that 
phenomena  may  appear  which  we  are  unable  to  explain 
according  to  the  laws  hitherto  discovered  ;  in  short, 
that  our  knowledge  and  wisdom  are  limited. 

The  fact  that  God  has  created  the  universe  ex  nihilo 
has  been  expressed  by  Jewish  philosophers  as  fol- 
lows : — God  is  the  only  Being  who  demands  no  cause 
for  His  existence ;  the  very  idea  of  God  implies  exist- 


OUR  CREED.  S3 

ence,  and  cannot  be  conceived  without  it.  All  other 
beings  owe  their  existence  to  certain  causes,  in  the 
absence  of  which  they  would  not  exist.  God  alone  is 
therefore  only  active,  without  ever  being  passive,  only 
cause  without  ever  being  effect,  whilst  every  other 
being  is  both  active  and  passive,  cause  and  effect ;  it 
has  been  produced  by  certain  causes,  and  is  in  its  turn 
the  cause  of  the  existence  of  other  beings.  In  the  first 
article  a  phrase  expressing  this  idea  has  been  added  : 
"  And  He  alone  is  the  active  cause  of  all  things, 
whether  past,  present,  or  future."  By  tlie  addition 
of  this  sentence  it  was  intended  to  deny  the  Eternity 
of  matter  (Q^li^H  JllDIp)-  The  reference  to  past,  pre- 
sent, and  future  is  to  emphasise  the  constant  action 
of  the  Creator,  and  the  dependence  of  the  natural 
forces  on  His  Will.  The  first  principle  has,  therefore, 
the  following  form  : — 

"  /  firmly  helieve  that  the  Creator,  blessed  he  His 
name,  is  both  Creator  and  Ruler  of  all  created  beings, 
and  tiled  He  cdone  is  the  active  cause  of  all  things, 
ivhether  past,  present,  or  future."  ^ 

Before  passing  on  to  the  second  principle  concerning 
God,  let  us  briefly  answer  a  question  that  has  frequently 
been  asked  :  What  is  the  relation  between  the  theory 
of  evolution,  or  in  general  the  results  of  modern  science, 
and  the  history  of  the  creation  as  related  in  the  Bible  ? 
In  the  Biblical  account  of  the  creation  the  various 
kinds  of  plants  and  animals  are  described  as  the  result 
of  different  and  distinct  acts  of  the  Creator,  whilst 
according  to  the  theory  of  Evolution  one  creative  act 
sufficed,  and  the  great  variety  of  creatures  is  the  result 

^  For  the  Hebrew  see  Appendix  I. 

C 


34  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

of  gradual  development  according  to  certain  laws 
inherent  in  the  things  created.  The  Bible  tells  us 
of  six  days  of  the  creation,  whilst  according  to  the 
theory  of  evolution  it  naust  have  taken  millions  of 
vears  before  the  various  species  could  have  developed 
the  one  from  the  other.  Whilst  the  Biblical  account 
describes  the  earth  as  the  centre  of  the  universe, 
astronomy  shows  that  the  earth  is  one  of  the  most 
insignificant  of  the  bodies  that  fill  the  infinite  space 
of  the  universe.  According  to  astronomy  and  geology, 
the  age  of  the  earth  numbers  millions  of  years ;  from 
the  Biblical  account  we  infer  that  the  earth  is  com- 
paratively young.  In  the  Bible  man  is  described  as 
the  aim  and  end  of  the  whole  creation;  natural  history 
and  the  theory  of  evolution  consider  man  simply  as 
one  of  the  forms  resulting  from  a  natural  development 
of  the  animal  world.  What  shall  be  our  decision  in 
this  discrepancy  ?  Shall  we  shut  our  eyes  to  the  results 
of  modern  science  in  our  firm  belief  in  the  truth  of  the 
Bible  ?  Or  shall  we  accept  the  former  and  abandon 
the  latter  ? 

We  should  adopt  neither  of  these  alternatives.  We 
have  great  confidence  in  our  reasoning  power,  and  in 
the  results  of  science  based  on  reason,  but  we  have 
still  greater  confidence  in  the  truthfulness  of  Divine 
teaching.  The  conflict  is  not  a  modern  product ;  it 
existed  in  former  times  as  well.  When  the  Jews  first 
became  acquainted  with  Greek  literature  and  philo- 
sophy, faith  was  shaken  in  the  heart  of  many  a  Jew 
that  was  led  away  by  the  attractive  language  and  the 
persuasive  arguments  of  the  Greek.  Such  was  the 
case  wuth  the  Jews  in  Alexandria,  who  were  almost 


I 


I 


OUR  CREED.  35 

more  Greek  than  Jewish.  Feeling  that  their  faitli  in 
their  old  traditions  was  beginning  to  give  way,  they 
looked  about  them  for  the  means  of  reconciling  faith 
and  philosophy.  Where  the  literal  sense  of  Hoi}'" 
Writ  was  awkward,  the  allegorical  interpretation  was 
substituted  for  it ;  but  the  authority  of  the  Bible 
was  recognised.  Later  on,  in  the  Middle  Ages,  when 
Aristotle,  as  understood  and  interpreted  iu  the  Arabic 
schools,  was  infallible,  perplexity  again  became  general, 
among  the  educated  and  learned,  as  to  the  course  to 
be  pursued  in  case  of  a  conflict ;  whether  to  remain 
true  to  the  Bible  or  to  join  the  banner  of  Aristotle. 
The  most  prominent  amongst  the  Jewish  theologians 
who  sought  the  way  of  reconciliation  was  Moses 
Maimouides.  This  philosopher  wrote  his  famous  work, 
"  Guide  of  the  Perplexed,"  expressly  for  those  scholars 
who,  whilst  firmly  adhering  to  the  inherited  faith,  had 
been  trained  in  the  study  of  philosophy,  and  were 
unwilling  to  abandon  either.  Maimonides  shows  the 
way  how  to  explain  Biblical  passages  implying  state- 
ments contrary  to  philosophical  teachings,  and  how  to 
reconcile  theology  and  philosophy.  A  similar  task  was 
undertaken  in  modern  times  by  Moses  Mendelssohn  in 
his  "  Jerusalem  "  and  "  Morgenstunden,"  in  order  to 
show  that  strict  adherence  to  the  Jewish  religion  is 
quite  compatible  with  the  teaching  of  philosophy.  The 
various  systems  of  philosophy  in  Alexandria,  in  the 
Mohammedan  countries  in  the  Middle  Ages,  and  in 
Germany  in  the  last  century,  which  threatened  to 
endanger  our  religion,  have  lived  their  time  and  have 
gone  to  their  fathers,  giving  way  to  new  systems  and 
new  ideas,  whilst  the  authority  of  the  Word  of  God 


36  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

has  maintainecl  its  place.  This  having  been  the  case 
in  former  days,  there  is  no  reason  why  we  should  not 
in  the  present  conflict  assume,  jjrm4  facie,  that  the 
scientific  and  philosophical  dogmas  now  in  favour, 
alike  with  Jews  and  non-Jews,  will  have  their  time, 
and  will  ultimately  give  way  to  other  theories,  and  the 
present  conflict  will  then  likewise  terminate,  dying  a 
natural  death.  This  reflection  should  put  us  on  our 
guard  lest  we  be  persuaded  by  the  plausibility  of  the 
modern  philosophical  and  scientific  dogmas,  and  throw 
aside  our  religious  faith  and  traditions.  We  ought 
to  bear  in  mind  that,  however  correct  the  conclusions 
of  modern  science  may  appear  that  can  be  tested 
by  our  senses,  theories  which  are  not  subject  to  such 
tests  are  in  reality  nothing  but  hypotheses  to  which 
a  greater  or  lesser  degree  of  probability  attaches. 

Suppose  now — always  bearing  in  mind  the  imper- 
fect character  of  our  powers  of  observation — we  were 
to  observe  that  certain  plants  or  species  of  animals 
developed  by  training  and  circumstances  into  new 
species,  or  to  see  plants  being  transformed  into  animals, 
or  even  to  notice  literally  "  the  foal  of  a  wild  ass  born 
a  man,"  what  would  all  this  prove  ?  That  the  Creator 
endowed  the  species  of  plants  and  animals  with  such 
properties  as  would  enable  them  to  transform  into  new 
species,  or  into  any  other  of  the  species  already  in 
existence ;  but  it  does  not  follow  that  the  Creator 
roust  have  adopted  the  same  method  in  the  act  of 
creation.  He  created  as  many  species  as  His  wisdom 
determined,  although  they  might  all  have  been  able  to 
develop  from  one  single  species.  Suppose  the  problem 
which  the  Alchymists  of  the  Middle  Ages   proposed 


OUR  CREED.  27 

to  themselves,  viz.,  to  produce  an  animal  being  by  mere 
chemical  combination,  had  actually  been  solved,  would 
any  one  have  believed  that  all  animals  had  been  pro- 
duced in  that  way  ?  Or  does  the  success  of  artificial 
hatching  of  eggs  convince  any  person  that  all  birds 
have  sprung  from  artificially  hatched  eggs  ?  The 
same  argument  applies  to  the  geological  formation  of 
the  earth.  We  notice  changes  brought  about  through 
natural  forces,  and  mark  the  amount  of  change  effected 
in  a  certain  period  ;  we  are  then  able  to  calculate  what 
time  would  be  required  for  such  or  such  a  change — 
provided  that  only  those  laws  be  in  force  which  we 
have  noticed  in  our  calculation.  Is  it  reasonable  or 
logical  to  apply  to  the  act  of  creation  the  laws  which 
have  been  brought  into  force  through  this  very  act  ? 
"  He  said,  and  it  was  :  He  commanded,  and  they  were 
created  "  (Ps.  xxxiii.  9).  The  word  of  God  produced 
in  a  moment  what  the  natural  forces  established  by  the 
Creator  would  effect  by  gradual  development  in  millions 
of  years. 

It  is  true  that  the  earth  is  one  of  the  most  insignifi- 
cant bodies  in  the  universe,  and  man  is  a  small  portion 
of  the  creatures  on  earth,  and  yet  it  is  neither  im- 
possible nor  unreasonable  to  believe  that  the  benefits 
which  man  derives  from  the  various  parts  of  the 
creation,  from  the  sun,  the  moon,  and  the  stars,  were 
essential  elements  in  the  scheme  of  the  All-wise 
Creator. 

Attempts  have  frequently  been  made  to  interpret  the 
Biblical  account  of  the  creation  in  such  a  manner  as 
to  reconcile  it  with  the  scientific  theories  of  the  time. 
Thus  it  has  been  argued  that  the  period  between  the 


38  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

crecation  of  "  lieaven  and  earth  "  and  the  creation  of 
"  the  light "  is  not  described  in  the  Bible,  and  may 
have  been  millions  of  millions  of  years.  It  has  like- 
wise been  suggested  that  the  term  "  day "  is  to  be 
understood  in  the  sense  of  "  period."  It  has  further 
been  pointed  out  that  the  account  of  the  creation  of 
animals  indicates  a  process  of  development  rather  than 
a  creatio  ex  nihilo ;  for  it  says,  "  And  God  said,  Let 
the  waters  bring  forth  abundantly  living  beings,"  &c. 
(Gen.  i.  20).  "  Let  the  earth  bring  forth  living 
beings,"  &c.  (Ibid.  24),  These  interpretations  may  be 
true,  and  may  suffice  temporarily  to  check  sceptical 
ideas  that  rise  in  our  mind  ;  but  without  the  fimn 
belief  in  the  Word  of  God,  and  the  consciousness  of 
the  insufficiency  of  human  reason  thoroughly  to 
understand  the  plans  and  ways  of  God,  our  faith 
can  never  be  safe.  Supported  by  this  belief  we  shall 
always  be  able  to  brave  the  ever-recurring  billows  of 
scepticism. 

2.  The  next  principle  contained  in  our  Creed  con- 
cerning God  is  the  Unity  of  God. 

"  I  am  the  Lord  thy  God,  who  brought  thee  out 
from  the  land  of  Egypt,  out  of  the  house  of  bondage : 
thou  shalt  have  no  other  gods  before  me  "  (Exod.  xx. 
2-3).  This  is  the  first  lesson  the  Israelites  were 
taught  when  God  revealed  Himself  to  them  on  Mount 
Sinai.  The  words,  "  Hear,  0  Israel ;  the  Lord  is  our 
God,  the  Lord  is  One "  (Deut.  vi.  4),  are  proclaimed 
by  us  thrice  every  day ;  we  recite  them  when  we 
rise ;  keep  them  in  memory  during  the  day,  and  re- 
peat them  in  the  evening  before  we  go  to  rest ;  they 
form  our  watchword  throughout  our  life,  and  with  these 


OUR  CREED.  39 

words  upon  our  lips  we  end  our  earthly  existence. 
The  Unity  of  God  is  the  doctrine  that  distinguishes 
the  Jews  from  other  religious  sects,  in  so  far  as  the 
Jews  were  the  first  nation  of  Monotheists.  From 
them  Monotheism  has  spread  among  other  peoples, 
who,  however,  did  not  always  receive  or  preserve  it 
in  its  original  purity.  We  not  only  proclaim  God 
as  One,  refusing  to  recognise  as  divine  any  power 
beside  Him,  but  refrain  also  from  attributing  to  God 
anything  that  might  directly  or  indirectly  involve  any 
notion  contrary  to  the  Unity  of  God. 

For  this  reason  certain  Jewish  philosopliers  con- 
sidered it  unlawful  to  assign  to  God  any  positive  at- 
tribute. They  feared  this  might  lead  to  dualism,  to 
believe  in  God  and  in  His  attribute  as  two  distinct 
beings,  because  attributes  are  so  easily  personified  and 
addressed  as  separate  deities.  Some  theologians  even 
were  of  opinion  that  the  admission  of  God's  attributes 
is  itself  a  form  of  dualism  which  must  be  excluded 
from  our  faith.  Nevertheless,  attributes  are  assigned 
to  God  both  in  the  Scriptures  and  in  our  Prayers.  We 
must  not,' however,  forget  that  such  attributes  do  not 
describe  anything  inherent  in  the  Divine  Being,  but 
only  God's  relation  to  man  and  His  actions  in  such 
terms  as  are  intelligible  to  human  beings.  Most  of 
the  attributes  are  interpreted  as  being  of  a  negative 
character,  indicating  w^iat  we  must  not  say  of  God. 
When  we  speak  of  the  Will,  Wisdom,  and  Spirit  of  God, 
we  do  not  speak  of  anything  sepai"ate  from  the  Divine 
Being,  but  of  the  Divine  Being  Himself,  The  Jewish 
doctrine  of  the  Unity  of  God  does  not  admit  any  kind 
of  dualism  in  the  Divine  Being,  and  therefore  rejects 


40  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

the  existence  of  Divine  Attributes  as  distinct  from 
God  Himself.  He  is  One,  simple  and  indivisible. 
Even  this  property  of  being  One  seemed  to  some 
theologians  to  be  contrary  to  strict  unity,  and  we 
are  therefore  taught  that  we  must  not  understand 
it  in  the  sense  of  a  numerical  unit,  in  which 
sense  the  term  is  used  uhen  applied  to  created  beings. 
The  second  article  therefore  declares :  ''  The  Creator 
is  One,  and  there  is  no  Oneness  like  His  in  any 
way." 

The  Unity  of  God  is  the  creed  which  the  Jews  have 
always  proclaimed  by  word  of  mouth,  to  which  they 
have  given  expression  throughout  their  literature,  and 
for  which  they  have  willingly  sacrificed  their  lives  as 
martyrs.  When  persecuted  by  Mohammedans  or  Chris- 
tians the  Jews  were  frequently  forced  to  break  the  Sab- 
bath, to  ignore  the  dietary  laws,  and  to  neglect  Divine 
worship.  They  bore  all  this  patiently  when  under 
pressure  of  persecution,  but  when  they  were  asked  to 
renounce  the  belief  in  God's  Unity  they  did  not  doubt 
for  a  moment  as  to  what  their  duty  was  ;  they  adhered 
firmly  to  DK^H  nn*  "  the  belief  in  God's  Unity,"  and 
sacrificed  their  lives  for  DZTI  mip  "  the  sanctification 
of  God's  name." 

The  Jews  have  been  victorious.  In  spite  of  persecu- 
tion and  oppression  they  have  maintained  their  faith. 
The  doctrine  of  the  Unity  of  God,  for  which  they  had 
to  suffer  so  much  in  past  centuries,  is  now  admitted  as 
true  by  most  of  their  former  persecutors. 

In  order  to  make  clear  what  we  mean  by  unity,  and 
to  express  that  God  could  not  be  conceived  as  existing 
at  any  time  in  a  double  form,  we  add  the  words  :   "  And 


OUR  CREED.  41 

He  alone  was,  is,  and  will  be  our  God."  The  second 
article  runs  therefore  as  follows : — 

"  /  firmly  helicvc  that  the  Creator,  Messed  le  His 
name,  is  One ;  that  there  is  no  Oneness  like  His,  in 
any  way,  and  that  He  alone  was,  is,  and  will  he  our 
God:' 

3.  The  strict  Unity  of  God,  iu  the  sense  explained 
above,  implies  His  Ineorporcality ,  which  forms  the  sub- 
ject of  the  third  article.  Corporeality  implies  substance 
and  form,  a  dualism  which  must  be  rigidly  excluded 
from  God.  It  would  not  have  been  necessary  to 
formulate  a  special  article  for  the  exclusion  of  cor- 
poreality from  the  idea  of  God  but  for  the  fact  that 
many  erroneous  notions  have  been  entertained  on 
the  subject.  Besides  the  fact  that  the  corporeality 
of  God  was  assumed  by  certain  religious  sects,  there 
have  been  scholars  among  the  Jews  who  defended 
the  literal  sense  of  anthropomorphic  phrases  in  the 
Scriptures. 

In  the  Bible  anthropomorphic  exj^ressions  are  em- 
ployed in  order  to  illustrate  the  different  acts  of  Divine 
Providence  in  such  a  way  as  to  render  them  more  intel- 
ligible to  us  human  beings.  We  consist  of  body  and 
soul,  and  we  produce  an  impression  or  exercise  an 
influence  on  others  by  means  of  our  body  and  by 
the  activity  of  our  bodily  organs.  How  an  incorporeal 
being  acts  upon  the  corporeal  world  we  are  unable 
fully  to  comprehend,  much  less  to  describe.  If  we  de- 
sire to  picture  to  ourselves  or  to  others  the  fact  that 
through  Divine  Providence  something  has  been  pro- 
duced on  earth,  we  must  employ  the  same  phrases 
which  we  use  in  describinsc  human  acts   which  effect 


42  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

a  similar  result.  In  reality,  however,  there  is  no  com- 
parison or  similarity  between  God  and  corporeal  beings, 
between  His  actions  and  ours. 

When  we  thei-efore  speak  of  the  house  of  God  we 
mean  the  house  which  we  devote  to  our  prayers,  in 
which  wc  feel  the  omnipresence  of  the  Almighty  more 
than  in  any  other  place.  The  heaven  is  called  the 
throne  of  God  and  the  earth  His  footstool  only  to 
express  the  idea  that  the  majesty  of  God  is  far  beyond 
comparison  with  that  of  any  earthly  ruler,  and  that 
the  house  of  God  built  by  human  hands  is  not  intended 
to  satisfy  the  requirements  of  the  Supreme  Being  but 
those  of  man.  We  call  Him  our  Father  and  He  calls 
us  His  children,  because  we  love  Him  as  we  love  our 
father,  and  He  loves  us  as  a  father  loves  his  children. 
In  the  same  sense  the  Psalmist  (ii.  7)  repeats  the 
words  of  God  to  him,  "  Thou  art  my  son  ;  I  have  this 
day  begotten  thee."  Such  expressions  as  these  are 
anthropomorphic. 

The  Bible  frequently  exhorts  us  not  to  imagine 
or  ascribe  to  God  any  form  or  likeness.  Comp.  Deut. 
iv.  15,  "Take  ye  therefore  good  heed  unto  your- 
selves ;  for  ye  saw  no  manner  of  form  on  the  day  that 
the  Lord  spake  unto  you  in  Horeb  out  of  the  midst  of 
fire."  In  the  same  sense  the  prophet  asks  in  the 
name  of  God  (Isa.  xl.  18),  "  To  whom  then  will  you 
liken  God,  or  what  likeness  will  you  compare  unto 
Him?"  "To  whom  then  will  you  liken  Me,  that 
I  should  be  equal  to  Him?  saith  the  Holy  One" 
(Ibid.  25). 

We  declare  therefore  in  the  third  article  : — 

"  /  fiymly  believe   that    the   Creator,   blessed   be   His 


OUR  CREED.  43 

name,  is  not  a  hodi/,  that  corporeal  relations  do  not  a2:iply 
to  Him,  and  that  there  exists  nothing  that  is  in  any 
%vay  similar  to  Him" 

4.  The  next  property  we  declare  of  God  in  the 
Creed  is  the  eternity  of  God.  As  He  is  the  cause 
of  everything  in  existence,  and  requires  no  cause 
for  His  existence,  and  as  it  is  impossible  to  separate 
the  idea  of  existence  from  the  idea  of  God,  it  follows 
that  God  is  always  in  existence,  and  that  neither 
beginning  nor  end  can  be  fixed  to  His  existence. 
Maimonides,  in  expressing  his  belief  in  the  eternity 
of  God,  lays  stress  only  on  God  being  without  a 
beginning,  and  in  this  sense  he  interprets  the  phrase 
Dip  "rh'i^  (Deut.  xxxiii.  27),  "the  eternal  God"  who 
is  without  a  beg-inninof.  That  God  is  without  end 
is  equally  true,  but  Maimonides  did  not  desire  to 
introduce  this  idea  into  the  fourth  article  as  a  dis- 
tinguishing characteristic,  as  it  is  not  necessary  to 
believe  that  the  universe  will  once  come  to  an  end. 
If  it  please  the  Almighty  to  give  the  universe  exist- 
ence for  ever,  it  will  continue  for  ever.  Following, 
however,  the  example  of  the  prophets,  who  told  us  in 
the  name  of  God,  "  I  am  the  first,  and  I  am  the  last," 
we  express  this  idea  in  our  Creed,  and  understand 
it  thus  :  If,  by  the  will  of  the  Almighty,  the  entire 
universe  should  come  to  an  end,  God's  existence 
would  still  continue.  Thus  the  Psalmist  says,  "  Of 
old  hast  Thou  laid  the  foundation  of  the  earth ;  and 
the  heavens  are  the  work  of  Thy  hands.  They  shall 
perish,  but  Thou  shalt  endure ;  yea,  all  of  them  shall 
wax  old  like  a  garment :  as  a  vesture  shalt  Thou 
change  them,   and  they  shall  be  changed  :   but  Thou 


44  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

art  the  sciine,  and  Thy  ^-ears  shall  have  no  end " 
(Ps.  cii.  26-28). 

The  fourth  article  is : — 

"  /  firmly  believe  that  the  Creator,  blessed  be  His 
name,  was  the  first,  and  ivill  be  the  last." 

6.  After  having  declared  our  faith  in  God  as  the  sole 
Ruler  of  the  universe,  who  is  One,  incorporeal  and 
etei'nal,  we  proclaim  Him  as  our  Supreme  Master, 
who  alone  is  capable  of  granting  our  petitions.  All 
existing  things  are  under  His  control ;  all  forces  in 
nature  only  work  at  His  will  and  by  His  command. 
No  other  being  possesses  the  power  and  independence 
to  fulfil  our  wishes  of  its  own  accord,  if  it  were 
approached  by  us  with  our  prayers.  It  is,  therefore, 
to  Him  alone  that  we  can  reasonably  address  our 
petitions,  and  in  doing  so  we  have  confidence  in  the 
efficacy  of  our  prayers,  for  "  the  Lord  is  nigh  to  all 
those  who  call  upon  Him,  to  all  who  call  upon  Him  in 
truth"  (Ps.  cxlv.  18). 

This  article,  although  expressly  directed  against 
idolatry,  and  primarily  against  the  worship  of  "the 
angels,  the  stars,  and  the  spheres,"  implies  our  belief 
in  God  as  the  Omnipotent,  who  can  do  everything, 
and  can  help  us  when  we  have  not  any  prospect  of 
relief. 

We  therefore  declare  in  the  fifth  article  : — 

"  /  fir7nlt/  believe  that  the  Creator,  blessed  be  His 
name,  alone  is  ivorthy  of  being  worshipped,  and  that 
no  other  beiiuj  is  worthy  of  our  worship." 

The  Omnipotence  of  God  is  also  implied  in  the  first 
article,  which  declares  Him  the  Creator  and  the  Ruler 
of  the  universe.      That  Maimonides  does  not  directly 


OUR  CREED.  45 

make  omnipotence,  like  unity,  incorporeality,  &c.,  the 
subject  of  a  separate  article  lias  its  good  reason,  and 
is  not  "  the  result  of  mere  chance,"  Silly  questions 
Avere  frequently  asked  ;  e.f/.,  how  far  the  omnipotence 
of  God  extended,  whether  it  implied  the  power  of  mak- 
ing twice  two  equal  to  three,  or  the  whole  of  a  mag- 
nitude larger  than  the  sum  of  its  parts,  and  similar 
logical  impossibilities.  To  avoid  misunderstanding, 
Mairaonides  did  not  express  our  belief  in  the  omni- 
potence of  God  in  a  separate  article,  but  the  first  and 
the  fifth  articles  imply  it. 

We  believe  of  God  that  He  is  immutaUe  or  iinrJtavr/c- 
ahle.  It  is,  however,  not  necessary  to  express  this  in 
a  separate  article.  By  declaring  the  Unity  of  God  we 
proclaim  also  His  Immutability,  since  unity,  in  the 
sense  in  which  we  conceive  it,  is  incompatible  with 
any  kind  of  change.  Whatever  the  change  might  be 
that  we  assumed  in  God,  it  would  destroy  the  idea 
of  His  unity. 

There  are  other  qualities  which  we  ascribe  to  God. 
We  call  Him  perfect,  all-wise,  good,  kind,  merciful, 
long-suffering,  and  the  like ;  in  short,  whatever  we 
find  in  our  own  person  good  and  noble  we  believe  to 
be  present  in  God  in  a  higher  degree,  in  the  most 
perfect  form.  But  these  attributes  approach  very 
closely  anthropomorphisms,  which  Maimonides  rigidly 
excludes  from  the  Creed.  They  express  rather  the 
impressions  produced  in  our  soul  by  the  different 
acts  of  God's  Providence,  and  do  not  describe  God 
Himself. 

Of  this  class  of  attributes  are  the  thirteen  divine 
attributes,  HMD  7]")^^  wbv  (Exod.   xxxiv.  6).      They 


46  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

describe  in  thirteen  terms  tlie  goodness  and  mercy  of 
God  towards  man  in  liis  various  conditions  of  innocence, 
guilt,  and  repentance.  These  are  not  distinctly  men- 
tioned in  our  Creed,  but  when  we  declare  that  He  is 
the  only  Being  whom  we  can  address  in  our  prayers,  we 
are  certainly  conscious  and  convinced  that  He,  being 
good,  kind,  and  merciful    listens  to  our  supplications. 


2.   Bcvdation,   D'D'Z^H  p   nnP. 

The  second  group  of  principles  refers  to  Revelation. 
The  real  process  of  revelation,  by  what  means  and  in 
what  manner  the  infinite  and  incorporeal  Being  makes 
His  Will  known  to  man,  and  how  the  latter  becomes 
conscious  and  convinced  of  the  fact  that  a  Divine  com- 
munication has  been  made  to  him,  remains  a  mystery 
to  all  but  those  privileged  persons  who  have  been 
actually  addressed  by  the  Almighty.  "  As  the  blind 
man  who  had  never  possessed  the  sense  of  sight  is  in- 
capable of  comprehending  the  actual  process  of  seeing, 
so  are  we,  born  without  that  wonderful  prophetic  eye, 
without  the  prophetic  faculty  of  the  mind,  incapable 
of  comprehending  and  depicting  the  process  of  inspira- 
tion that  goes  on  within  the  mind  of  the  privileged  " 
(Schmiedl,  Studiai,  p.  183).  God  reveals  Himself  also 
in  nature,  in  tlie  power  and  wisdom  displayed  in  its 
phenomena.  He  i"eveals  Himself  in  the  history  of 
nations,  and  especially  in  the  history  of  Israel.  He 
reveals  Himself  in  the  intelligence  of  man.  In  all  these 
cases  the  revelation  is  made  to  all  alike.     Those  who 

have  eyes  may  see,  those  who  have  ears  may  hear,  and 

46 


OUR  CREED.  47 

recognise,  every  one  according  to  Iiis  capacity,  tlie 
presence  of  the  Almighty  in  the  working  of  the  laws  of 
nature,  in  the  development  and  fates  of  nations,  and 
in  the  life  of  every  individual  person.  In  all  these 
cases  we  can  test  and  prove  tlie  revelation  by  ourselves, 
and  need  not  exclusively  rely  on  authority.  When, 
however,  a  Divine  communication  is  made  to  one  pi'ivi- 
leged  individual,  through  whom  it  is  made  known  to 
a  whole  community,  or  to  mankind,  there  is  no  other 
means  of  testing  the  correctness  of  the  revelation  than 
the  trustworthiness  of  the  privileged  individual. 

The  first  lesson  or  proof  given  to  the  Israelites  of 
the  fact  that  such  revelation  was  not  only  possible, 
but  had  actually  been  vouchsafed  by  the  Almighty, 
was  the  revelation  on  Mount  Sinai,  the  TD  "in  "IDJJD, 
which  became  the  foundation  of  the  faith  of  Israel. 
"  And  the  Lord  said  unto  Moses,  Lo,  I  come  unto 
thee  in  a  thick  cloud,  that  the  people  may  hear 
when  I  speak  with  thee,  and  may  also  believe  thee 
for  ever  "  (Exod.  xix.  9).  The  trustworthiness  of 
Moses  having  thus  been  tested  and  established  "  for 
ev^er,"  his  teaching  remained  the  foundation  of  the 
teaching  of  all  succeeding  prophets,  and  the  test  of 
their  truthfulness  and  genuineness.  A  prophet  who 
taught  anything  opposed  to  the  law  of  Moses  could  not 
be  a  true  prophet,  although  he  supported  his  words 
by  signs  and  miracles  (Deut.  xiii.  2,  sqq.).  Besides, 
revelation  of  the  Divine  Being  had  taken  place  before. 
God  revealed  Himself  to  the  first  man.  Adam  heard 
the  voice  of  God ;  he  felt  the  presence  of  the  Al- 
mighty, and  learnt  the  amount  of  evil  man  brings 
upon  himself  by   disobeying  the   word  of  God.      The 


48  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

consciousness  of  the  existence  of  God,  and  of  the  fact 
that  He  has  revealed  Himself  to  man,  has  been  in- 
herited by  the  descendants  of  Adam.  It  has  not  been 
preserved  in  all  men  in  the  same  strength  and  purity. 
The  notion  of  a  Divine  Being,  and  of  His  revelation  to 
man,  became  in  course  of  time  corrupt,  and  led  to  the 
corruption  of  the  human  race,  with  the  exception  of 
Noah  and  his  family,  "  Noah  was  a  righteous  man  ; 
perfect  he  was  in  his  generations  :  with  God  did  Noah 
walk"'  (Gen.  vi.  9).  The  inherited  consciousness  of 
God's  existence  and  of  His  rule  over  man  was  strength- 
ened in  him  by  fresh,  direct  revelation  of  God.  He 
was  told  that  the  wicked  would  be  destroyed  by  a 
Hood,  and  that  he  with  his  family  would  be  saved. 
"  The  rio^hteous  man "  witnessed  the  infliction  which 
the  wicked  brought  upon  themselves  by  evil  deeds,  and 
also  that  protection  of  himself  and  his  family  which  had 
been  promised  and  granted  by  the  Almighty.  After 
Noah  had  left  the  ark  the  word  of  God  was  again  com- 
municated to  him,  promising  that  never  again  would  a 
Hood  be  sent  to  destroy  all  living  beings — a  promise 
which  succeeding  generations  up  to  the  present  have  seen 
fulfilled.  In  the  midst  of  rain  the  "  sign  of  covenant," 
the  rainbow,  reminds  us  still  of  His  promise  and  its 
fulfilment.  Of  the  descendants  of  Noah  the  Semites 
alone  seem  to  have  preserved  the  belief  in  God's 
existence  and  His  revelation  to  man  in  its  oricjinal 
purity;  and  of  the  Semites  it  was  Abraham  who  was 
chosen  by  Providence  to  be  the  founder  of  a  family  of 
faithful  believers  in  God,  who  formed,  as  it  were,  the 
centi'e  from  which  the  true  faith  should  spread  in  all 
directions  over  the  whole  face  of  the  earth.     Abraham 


OUR  CREED.  49 

received  Diviue  communications,  and  so  also  liis  sou 
Isaac  and  his  grandson  Jacob.  Even  when  the  children 
of  Israel  were  in  Egyptian  slavery,  and  when  they  did 
not  hearken  to  Moses  "  because  of  anguish  of  spirit, 
and  because  of  cruel  bondage,"  the  memory  of  these 
revelations  was  never  entirely  extinguished  in  their 
minds  ;  and  when  again  addressed  by  Moses  and  Aaron 
"  the  people  believed ;  and  when  they  heard  that  the 
Lord  had  visited  the  children  of  Israel,  and  that  He 
had  seen  their  affliction,  then  they  bowed  their  heads 
and  worshipped"  (Exod.  iv.  31).  Their  faith  was 
strengthened  when  they  witnessed  the  fulfilment  of 
the  Divine  message  which  was  brought  to  them  by 
Moses  :  "  And  they  believed  in  the  Lord,  and  in  Moses 
His  servant"  (Ibid.  xiv.  31). 

The  foundation  of  the  belief  in  the  possibility  of 
Divine  revelation  having  thus  been  laid,  that  belief  was 
further  strengthened  through  the  revelation  on  Mount 
Sinai,  when  every  Israelite  heard  and  understood  the 
words  addressed  to  him  by  God,  "  who  had  brought 
them  out  of  Egypt,  of  the  house  of  bondage ; "  they 
heard  the  very  words  which  Moses  subsequently  told 
them  in  the  name  of  God,  and  they  were  convinced 
of  the  truth  of  the  words  of  Moses.  He  tau<rht 
them  that  there  would  be  other  persons  chosen  by 
God  to  bring  messages  from  Him  to  the  children  of 
Israel  or  to  mankind,  and  at  the  same  time  he  laid 
down  the  rule  by  which  the  truth  of  such  messages 
could  be  tested. 

A  person  favoured  by  Divine  communications  was 
called  a  prophet,  s'^nJ-  That  which  characterised  a 
prophet  and  distinguished  him  from  the  ordinary  man 

D 


50  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

was  the  privilege  of  being  chosen  by  Providence  to 
be  >>  ")X^)D  "  the  messenger  of  God "  to  man.  This 
notion  of  the  characteristics  of  a  prophet  explains  the 
circumstance  that,  although  Daniel  was  favoured  with 
numerous  prophetic  visions,  the  book  called  after  his 
name  was  not  placed  among  the  Prophets,  but  among 
the  Hagiographa.  It  is  on  account  of  his  addressing 
his  brethren  and  informing  them  of  the  Will  of  God 
that  a  person  was  called  a  prophet.^  By  simply  re- 
ceiving a  communication,  without  the  direction  to  impart 
the  knowledge  acquired  to  others,  a  person  may  become 
a  man  of  God,  a  man  in  whom  there  is  the  spirit  of 
God,  but  not  a  prophet. 

It  is  our  belief  that  God  would  not  reveal  Himself 
to  any  one  that  is  unworthy  of  such  distinction.  As 
a  conditio  sine  qud  non  it  was  necessary  that  the  pro- 
phets distinguished  themselves  in  every  kind  of  virtue, 
that  they  set  to  their  fellow-men  an  example  of  purity  in 
thought,  loftiness  in  speech,  and  nobility  in  action.  As 
regards  general  knowledge  and  experience  they  were 
inferior  to  none  of  their  contemporaries.  In  the  Talmud 
the  saying  occurs :  n\n  p  D«  X^X  DlX  b  ^W  r^y2:^r\  px 
"i''L"y'i  "1133  Dsn  "  The  Divine  spirit  does  not  rest  on  man, 
unless  he  is  wise,  strong,  and  rich"  (Babyl.  Talm. 
Shabbath,  92a).  This  is  certainly  a  true  conception 
of  the  character  of  a  prophet,  "  strong  "  and  "  rich  " 
being  understood  in  a  figurative  sense :  "  strong "  in 
possessing  mastery  over  his  passions,  and  "  rich  "  in 
being  contented  with  what  he  has  (Aboth  iv.  i).  It 
was  a   matter  of  indiflference,   however,   whether   the 

'  The  Hebrew  S'33  as  well  as  the  Greek  Trpo<pr]Tr]s  "  prophet,"  signi- 
fies "speaker"  or  "preacher." 


OUR  CREED.  51 

prophet  was  strong  in  body  or  weak,  whether  he  had 
many  earthly  possessions  or  none  at  all. 

In  spite  of  his  distinction  from  his  fellow-mcn  in 
wisdom,  moral  strength,  and  contentedness,  the  prophet 
remained  a  human  being ;  he  was,  like  every  other 
person,  exposed  to  the  temptation  to  sin  and  liable  to 
error.  The  sins  and  errors  of  prophets  are  recorded 
in  order  to  save  us  Irom  despair  when  we  are  conscious 
of  our  sinfulness,  and  to  show  us  the  way  to  repent- 
ance. This  is  illustrated  especially  in  the  history  of 
the  prophet  Jonah.  The  records  of  the  sins  of  pro- 
phets serve  as  a  warning  that  we  should  not  consider 
any  man  as  perfect  or  deify  him. 

Although  the  prophet  is  assumed  to  have  been  wise, 
surpassing  his  fellow-men  in  knowledge  and.  wisdom, 
it  is  by  no  means  necessary  to  believe  that  he  was 
familiar  with  all  sciences,  or  that  he  knew  any  of  the 
discoveries  made  in  later  times.  The  prophet  had  fre- 
quently to  inform  his  brethren  of  what  would  happen 
in  future,  to  tell  them  of  things  which  no  human  eye 
could  foresee.  But  he  had  in  general  no  greater  know- 
ledge of  coming  events  than  other  men,  except  in  refer- 
ence to  those  events  concerning  which  he  had  received 
a  message  from  God  for  His  people  or  for  mankind. 

Can  a  man  be  trained  for  the  office  of  a  prophet  ? 
Was  there  a  school  or  institution  for  this  purpose  ? 
Every  one  could  certainly  be  trained  in  the  primary 
conditions  of  a  prophet,  in  the  exercise  of  all  human 
virtues,  and  in  the  acquisition  of  all  available  know- 
ledge ;  and  it  was  the  duty  and  the  aim  of  the  prophets 
to  encourage  all  their  brethren  to  such  training  by  their 
own  example.     But  the  principal  element  in  prophecy, 


52  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

the  Divine  communication,  depended  solely  on  the  Will 
of  God.  "The  sons  of  tlie  prophets"  are  generally- 
believed  to  be  the  pupils  of  the  prophets  ;  they  formed 
"  the  schools  of  the  prophets."  These  schools,  how- 
ever, could  not  have  been  schools  or  colleges  in  the 
ordinary  sense  of  the  word.  The  sons  of  the  prophets 
were  instructed  by  the  prophets,  but  not  with  the 
purpose  of  training  them  as  prophets.  It  seems 
that  the  sons  of  the  prophets  served  as  agents  for 
promulgating  the  inspired  messages  of  their  chief. 
Most  probably  they  led  a  simple,  pious  life,  were  God- 
fearing, and  spent  their  time  when  meeting  together 
in  music  and  song,  repeating  hymns  and  lessons  taught 
by  their  master. 

An  account  of  some  of  the  messages  and  deeds  of 
the  prophets  is  given  in  the  Biblical  books ;  some 
of  their  speeches  also  are  preserved,  in  the  section 
of  the  Bible  called  '*'  Latter  Prophets,"  nijnnt*  n''i<''22. 
The  speeches  of  the  prophets  were  in  some  cases  pre- 
pared and  written  down  before  they  were  spoken,  in 
others  delivered  ex  tem2iorc  without  preparation,  and 
were  written  down  afterwards  from  memory,  either  by 
the  prophet  himself  or  by  one  of  his  hearers,  or  were 
handed  down  vivd  voce  from  generation  to  generation 
before  they  were  committed  to  writing. 

There  is  another  kind  of  Divine  revelation  which 
did  not  find  expression  in  any  message  to  the  Israel- 
ites or  to  mankind,  but  in  a  certain  supernatural 
impulse  given  to  the  thought  or  will  of  a  person  as 
regards  his  words  and  actions.  Such  an  impulse  is 
called  inspiration,  and  the  inspired  person  is  moved  to 
speak  or  act  by  the  i''  mi  "  spirit  of  the  Lord." 


OUR  CREED.  S3 

It  was  tlie  spirit  of  the  Lord  that  moved  Samson 
to  heroic  deeds  against  the  enemies  of  his  people ; 
David  likewise  felt  that  Divine  impulse  when  pouring 
forth  his  heart  before  the  Lord  in  his  Psalms.  He 
says :  "  The  spirit  of  the  Lord  spake  in  me,  and  His 
word  was  on  my  tongue"  (2  Sam.  xxiii,  2).  It  was 
the  spirit  of  the  Lord  that  filled  the  hearts  of  those 
who  collected  and  sifted  the  Holy  Writings  containing 
law,  history,  prophecies,  and  poetry,  and  gave  them 
the  form  in  which  we  possess  them  now. 

We  are  not  quite  certain  as  to  the  form  of  the 
letters  in  the  original  copies  of  the  Holy  Writings  ;  but 
from  the  way  in  which  the  Pentateuch  is  written  now 
in  the  Synagogue  scrolls,  we  may  infer  with  certainty 
that  the  ancient  copies  of  the  Torah  contained  no 
vowels  or  accents,  and  that  these  have  come  down  to 
us  by  oral  tradition. 

For  the  multiplication  of  copies,  human  copyists 
had  to  be  employed.  It  is  by  no  means  contrary  to 
our  faith  in  the  Bible  to  assume  that,  as  far  as  the 
human  work  of  these  copyists  is  concerned,  it  must 
have  been  subject  to  the  fate  of  all  human  work,  to 
error  and  imperfection.  And,  in  fact,  there  are  many 
copies  of  the  Bible  that  abound  in  mistakes  ;  there  are 
passages  in  Scripture  that  vary  in  the  different  manu- 
scripts ;  hence  the  numerous  varim  ledioncs  met  with 
in  the  critical  editions  of  the  Bible.  But,  on  the 
other  hand,  it  would  not  be  reasonable  to  assume  that 
the  holy  literature  and  the  national  treasure,  very 
limited  in  size,  should  have  been  neglected  by  the 
religious  authorities  of  the  time  to  such  an  extent  that 
no  reliable,  correct  copy  was  kept,  to  be  consulted  in  case 


54  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

of  doubt  or  difference  of  opinion.  This  being  the  case 
with  all  Biblical  books,  it  applies  with  special  force  to 
the  Torah  or  Pentateuch,  which  contains  the  Divine 
commandments.  The  least  alteration  made  by  copyists 
— unknowingly  or  knowingly — might  involve  a  question 
of  life  and  death.  Must  it  not  have  been  the  duty  of 
the  judicial  authority  to  heep  a  correct  authorised  copy 
in  a  safe  place  ?  It  is  certainly  most  reasonable  to 
assume  that  such  a  copy  was  kept,  and  that  there  were 
in  every  generation  among  the  priests  or  prophets  men 
who  had  a  thorough  knowledge  of  the  Law,  and  could 
easily  detect  any  interference  with  the  text.  As  the 
laws  do  not  form  a  separate  section  of  the  Bible,  but 
are  interwoven  with  a  historical  account  of  important 
events  from  the  Creation  to  the  death  of  Moses,  the 
entire  Pentateuch,  composed  of  both  laws  and  history, 
was  preserved  with  the  same  anxiety  and  watchfulness. 
That  great  care  was  taken  in  copying  the  Law  we  learn 
from  the  fact  mentioned  in  the  Talmud,  that  Ezra 
minutely  examined  the  three  scrolls  he  found  in  the 
Temple,  and  in  three  passages  noticed  different  readings, 
of  which  he  adopted  the  one  found  in  two  copies. 

The  other  books  of  the  Bible  are  of  less  importance, 
but  the  exclusion  of  error  on  the  part  of  the  copyist, 
though  it  has  not  the  same,  has  yet  a  high  degree  of 
certainty,  inasmuch  as  they  too  formed  part  of  the 
holy,  national  literature.  If  a  mistake  should  be  clearly 
proved,  it  would  not  be  contrary  to  our  religious  prin- 
ciples to  admit  it.  But  we  shall  find,  after  thorough 
study  and  examination  of  the  impugned  passages,  that 
there  is  in  each  case  far  greater  doubt  as  to  the  correct- 
ness of  any  of  the  numerous  emendations  suggested 


OUR  CREED.  55 

than  of  the  traditional  and  Massoretic  text  before  us. 
It  may  frequently  occur  that  some  emendations  appear 
strikingly  correct,  and  yet  after  due  reflection  they  are 
found  more  doubtful  than  the  original.  It  is  therefore 
our  duty  thoroughly  to  examine  each  proposed  emen- 
dation, and  to  hesitate  long  before  admitting  the  in- 
correctness of  the  received  text  and  the  correctness  of 
the  emendation. 

One  of  the  means  of  preserving  the  text  of  the 
Scriptures  in  its  integrity  has  been  the  Massorah. 
The  notes  which  are  found  in  the  margin  of  Biblical 
books  form  part  of  the  Massorah.  At  first  the  Massorah 
was  part  of  the  oral  tradition ;  exceptional  forms  of 
letters,  punctuation,  and  words  were  probably  taught 
vivd  voce,  and  learnt  by  heart,  especially  by  scribes, 
readers,  and  teachers.  Where  a  confounding  with 
other  and  similar  forms  was  apprehended,  attention 
was  called  to  the  fact,  and  by  certain  notes  and  rules 
it  was  guarded  against.  The  material  for  the  Massorah 
increased  in  the  course  of  time,  in  the  same  degree  as, 
with  the  multiplication  of  copies  of  the  Scriptures, 
the  number  of  misreadings  and  misinterpretations 
increased.  Although  these  notes  were  arranged  and 
written  down  at  a  late  period,  they  helped  to  preserve 
the  Biblical  text  in  its  integrity,  and  it  is  therefore 
stated  in  the  Mishnah  (Aboth  iii.  13):  "Massorah 
(tradition)  is  a  fence  to  the  Law." 

As  to  the  name  of  the  author  of  each  book  or 
section,  and  the  time  and  place  of  its  composition,  we 
are  guided  by  the  headings  where  such  are  extant ;  in 
the  absence  of  these  we  are  left  to  the  resources  of 
our  own  judgment  or  fancy.      There  is  no  reason  what- 


56  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

ever  to  doubt  the  correctness  of  these  headings,  as  the 
religious  and  learned  authorities  of  the  time  were 
trustworthy  men,  who  would  not  add  a  heading  where 
none  was  handed  down  to  them  by  tradition.  Several 
books  and  many  psalms  are  therefore  left  without  a 
headincr :  there  was  no  sure  tradition  about  them. 
How  far  the  heading  of  a  book  or  section  extends, 
whether  it  was  meani;  only  for  the  beginning  or  for 
the  whole  of  it,  is  in  some  cases  doubtful,  and  must  be 
decided  by  the  nature  and  contents  of  the  book.  For 
instance,  the  second  part  of  Isaiah,  from  chap.  xl.  to 
the  end,  has  no  heading  of  its  own  ;  it  is  therefore 
open  to  discussion  whether  the  heading  in  the  first 
verse  of  the  first  chapter  describes  only  the  first  thirty- 
nine  or  all  the  sixty-six  chapters  of  the  book.  It  is 
possible  that  Psalms,  ascribed,  according  to  their  head- 
ing, to  David,  consist  of  two  or  more  parts,  of  which  one 
only  was  composed  by  David.  The  names  of  the  books 
do  not  necessarily  imply  a  reference  to  the  author. 
The  Book  of  Joshua,  e.g.,  may  have  received  its  name 
from  its  contents,  the  history  of  the  Israelites  under 
Joshua  being  contained  in  it.  The  two  books  of 
Samuel  could  not  have  been  written  by  Samuel,  not 
even  the  whole  of  the  first  book,  since  the  death  of 
Samuel  is  therein  recorded ;  but  they  owe  their  name 
to  the  fact  that  the  first  book  commences  with  the  his- 
tory of  Samuel. 

The  Books  of  the  Bible,  Y'Jn 

The  collection  of  books  known  by  these  names  are 
cnp  nsD  or  ^n\)  •'ana  "  holy  books  "  or  "  holy  writings," 
because  the  authors  of  these  books   were  holy  men, 


OUR  CREED.  57 

their  object  is  a  holy  one,  viz.,  to  train  man  to  holiness, 
and  the  contents  of  the  books  is  holy,  free  from  all 
blemish  and  error.  The  books  vary  greatly  in  char- 
acter, in  style,  and  in  purpose,  but  truthfulness  is 
common  to  all  of  them.  Whether  they  narrate  events 
or  proclaim  God's  decrees,  or  instruct  or  edify  their 
hearers,  what  they  say  is  true. 

The  name  Bible  is  derived  from  the  Greek  /Bi/SXiou, 
"  book,"  •]"jn  (pronounced  fenach)  has  no  meaning  in 
itself,  and  is  a  word  formed  of  the  initials  of  min 
□''3'in3  D"'X''3J.  Sometimes  •]"jx  (the  initials  of  the  Chal- 
dee  ]''2''n3  1\X"'33  Nnnix)  is  used  instead  of  Y'3n.  Another 
name  is  N"ipO  "  text  for  reading,"  as  opposed  to  vivd 
voce  tradition.  A  passage  quoted  from  the  Bible  is 
called  sip  or  anplD  or  niriD.  Christians  call  the  books 
of  the  Hebrew  Bible  the  Old  Testament  as  distinguished 
from  the  New  Testament. 


I.   min   Lena. 

The  Torah  or  Law  is  divided  into  five  books,  and  is 
therefore  called  ti^Din  or  Pentateuch  (Fivefold  or  Five- 
book).  The  names  of  the  five  books  are :  ( i )  rctysia 
Genesis  (Creation);  (2)  n10t^♦  Exodus  (departure,  sell., 
of  the  Israelites  from  Egypt)  ;  (3)  Kip''"!  Leviticus  (on 
the  laws  concerning  the  Levites  or  priests),  also  called 
D''3n3  min  "  law  of  the  priests  ;  "  (4)  inicn  Numbers  ; 
(5)  D^"i31  Deuteronomy,  a  Greek  term  denoting 
"second-law"  or  "repetition  of  the  law,"  a  translation 
of  the  Hebrew  nnin  tmvo. 

These  names  are  derived  from  the  beginnings  of  the 
books.      The  Hebrew  names  are  either  the  first  word 


58  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

of  the  book,  as  is  the  case  in  the  first  and  the  third 
books  (jT'rxia  and  NipM),  or  the  first  characteristic 
word,  as  is  the  case  in  the  other  three  books  (nine'  the 
second  word,  -\yT02  the  fifth,  cnm  the  second).  The 
English  or  Greek  names  describe  the  subject-matter  of 
the  first  section  of  the  book.  This  applies  also  to  the 
rest  of  the  Biblical  writings. 

The  contents  of  the  five  books  are  as  follows  : — 

The  first  hook  (n'•:^'X^3). — It  begins  with  the  important 
lesson,  the  basis  of  all  that  is  taught  in  the  whole 
Bible :  that  God  is  the  Creator  of  the  whole  universe. 
Then  follows  an  account  of  the  Creation,  the  history 
of  the  first  man  and  the  first  woman,  their  transition 
from  the  state  of  innocence  and  happiness  to  the 
state  of  sin  and  toil,  their  descendants,  the  beginnings 
of  industry  and  civilisation,  the  deterioration  of  man- 
kind, the  flood,  Noah,  and  the  succeeding  generations 
to  Abraham ;  the  history  of  the  patriarchs  Abraham, 
Isaac,  and  Jacob,  or  Israel  ;  the  immigration  of 
Jacob  with  his  family  into  Egypt ;  and  with  the 
death  of  Joseph,  the  son  of  Jacob,  the  book  con- 
cludes. 

The  book  contains  principally  history,  but  mention 
is  made  also  of  some  religious  institutions.  Reference 
is  thus  made  to  the  institution  of  marriage  (ii.  23—25)  ; 
Sabbath  (ii.  I -3);  the  Covenant  of  Abraham  or  the 
commandment  of  circumcision  (xvii.  i  — 14);  the  pro- 
hibition of  eating  flesh  cut  oS*  from  an  animal  while 
alive  (ix.  4,  >nn  ]0  i^x),  of  murder  (ix.  5-6),  and  of 
eating  "the  sinew  that  shrank"  (xxxii.  33,  nt'jn  Tj). 

The  second  look  (niDB'). — The  history  of  the  family 
of  Jacob,  the  Israelites,  is  continued  :  their  sojourn  in 


OUR  CREED.  59 

Egypt,  the  Exodus,  the  journey  to  Mount  Sinai,  the 
Revelation,  the  erection  of  the  Tabernacle,  and  the 
events  in  the  camp  of  the  Israelites  during  their  stay 
in  the  wilderness  of  Sinai. 

The  Divine  precepts  take  a  more  prominent  place 
in  this  book.  Chief  among  these  are  the  institution  of 
the  Jewish  Calendar,  appointing  the  month  of  Abib — 
Nisan — to  be  the  first  month  (xii.  2) ;  the  Sacrifice  of 
the  Passover  and  the  Feast  of  Unleavened  Bread  (chap, 
xii.) ;  the  Sabbath  (xvi.  22—30) ;  the  Decalogue  (chap. 
XX.  I  — 12);  civil  legislation  (xxi,  to  xxiii.)  ;  the  year 
of  release  (xxiii.  10,  ii);  and  the  D^^Ji  tr^K'  or  fes- 
tivals of  pilgrimage  to  the  sanctuary  of  the  Lord  ;  viz., 
Passover,  Pentecost,  and  Tabernacles  (nos,  niJJUt:'  and 
ni3D  xxiii.  14-17)- 

The  third  hook  (K"ip'''i)  contains  the  laws  revealed 
during  the  stay  of  the  Israelites  near  Mount  Sinai. 
A  few  historical  incidents  are  mentioned  in  illustra- 
tion of  the  Law.  Leviticus  contains  the  laws  concern- 
ing the  sacrifices  (i.  to  vii.)  ;  the  initiation  of  Aaron 
and  his  sons  as  priests  (viii.  to  x.)  ;  dietary  laws  (xi.) ; 
laws  about  cleanness  and  uncleanness  (nSDIDI  mnt2)  in 
man  and  woman  (xii.  to  xv.) ;  the  Day  of  Atonement 
(xvi.)  ;  prohibition  of  blood  (xvii.  i  O—  1 4)  ;  marriage 
laws  (xviii.  and  xx.  10—22);  laws  concerning  the 
holiness  of  man  (xix.) ;  laws  concerning  the  priests 
(xxi.,  xxii.  16)  and  sacrifices  (xxii.  17—33);  the 
Festivals  of  the  Lord  (xxiii.) ;  the  year  of  release 
and  the  year  of  jubilee,  and  land-laws  connected  with 
these  (xxv.) ;  laws  concerning  the  transfer  of  property 
to  the  sanctuary  and  the  priests. 

The  fourth  booJc  records  the  departure  of  the  Israelites 


6o  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

from  Mount  Sinai,  their  journeyings  until  they  came 
to  the  east  of  the  Jordan  in  the  plains  of  Moab  ;  the 
chief  incidents  during  these  travels,  viz.,  the  conse- 
cration of  the  altar,  and  the  instalment  of  the  Levites 
as  assistants  to  the  priests  in  the  performance  of  the 
Divine  Service ;  the  first  appointment  of  a  council  of 
seventy  elders ;  the  puni?;hment  of  Miriam  for  slander  ; 
the  spies ;  the  rebellion  of  Korah  ;  death  of  Miriam  ; 
Moses  and  Aaron's  sin  at  Meribah,  and  their  punish- 
ment ;  death  of  Aaron  ;  wars  with  Sihon  and  Og ;  the 
blessings  of  Bileam  instead  of  his  intended  cursings  ;  the 
zeal  and  distinction  of  Phineas  ;  war  against  Midian  ; 
the  appointment  of  Joshua  as  future  leader  of  Israel. 

There  is  also  in  the  book  a  list  of  all  the  stations 
where  the  Israelites  had  encamped  during  their  travels 
through  the  Arabian  desert  (chap,  xxxiii.),  and  a 
minute  description  of  the  boundaries  of  the  land  of 
Canaan  (chap,  xxxiv.). 

The  following  are  the  principal  laws  mentioned  in 
Numbers :  the  laws  concerning  Nazirites ;  concerning 
a  woman  suspected  of  faithlessness  against  her  hus- 
band ;  the  second  Passover  (•'JC'  nos)  for  those  who  could 
not  fulfil  their  duty  on  the  I4tli  of  Nisan ;  the  law 
of  fringes  (riY'^v) ;  the  law  of  purification  of  persons 
who  have  become  unclean  through  contact  with  the 
dead  body  of  any  person  (nnnx  ms  chap,  xix.) ;  the 
law  of  inheritance  (xxvii.) ;  the  sacrifices  for  the  fes- 
tivals (xxviii.,  xxix.) ;  the  laws  of  vows  (xxx.) ;  laws 
concerning  murder  and  cities  of  refuge  (xxxv.). 

The  fifth  hooh  (nnm)  contains  speeches  of  Moses 
which  he  addressed  to  the  Israelites  during  the  last 
year  of  his  life,  reminding  them  of  their  repeated  dis- 


OUR  CREED.  6 1 

obedience  to  the  Divine  command,  and  their  want  of 
confidence  in  Him,  and  exhorting  them  to  be  faithful 
to  God.  He  frequently  emphasises  the  truth  that 
blessing  and  happiness  can  only  be  obtained  through 
obedience,  trouble  and  curses  being  the  certain  .result 
of  sin  and  transgression.  Chapter  xxviii.,  called  nriDin 
"exhortation"  or  '"' rebuke "  (see  also  Lev.  xxvi.\  is 
especially  devoted  to  this  principle.  In  the  song  1j"'Txn 
(chap,  xxxii.),  which  all  the  people  were  to  learn  by 
heart,  Moses  rebukes  his  brethren  for  their  ingratitude 
to  God,  and  foretells  them  that,  in  the  remote  future, 
similar  conduct  will  be  visited  severely,  and  that  after 
a  period  of  punishment  God  will  show  mercy  to  them, 
and  again  restore  them  to  a  state  of  happiness  and  glory. 
Before  his  death  he  gives  a  special  blessing  to  each  tribe. 
The  book  concludes  with  the  death  of  Moses,  the  suc- 
cession of  Joshua,  and  the  praise  of  Moses  as  the 
greatest  of  all  prophets. 

Many  of  the  commandments  are  repeated  in  the 
course  of  the  exhortations :  the  Decalogue,  the  laws 
concerning  the  three  agricultural  and  national  festivals 
(whri  f^h^),  and  such  other  laws  as  Moses  considered 
necessary  to  impress  on  the  heart  of  the  Israelites  be- 
fore he  departed  from  among  them.  The  Israelites 
being  near  Jordan,  and  about  to  take  possession  of  the 
promised  land,  their  attention  is  called  to  such  laws  as 
would  then  come  into  practice,  e.g.,  those  which  refer 
to  the  political  and  judicial  arrangements  of  the  country 
(xvi.  to  xviii.)  ;  and  the  solemn  declaration  of  allegiance 
to  the  Will  of  God  (xxvii.). 

The  Pentateuch  is  divided  into  verses  (opiDS),  para- 
graphs   (nipDD),    and    into    sections    called    nmo    or 


63  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

"  weekly  portions."     The  division  into  chapters  is  of 
comparatively  modern  origin. 


2.    The  Prophets 

are  divided  into  two  groups  :   Earlier  and  Latter  Pro- 
phets (D"'3nns  D^snJi  D^:"it'"">?n  D^s'-nj). 

The  Earlier  Prophets  do  not  contain  prophecies  in 
the  usual  meaning  of  the  word.  They  contain  the 
history  of  Israel  from  the  accession  of  Joshua  to  the 
leadership  of  Israel,  to  the  capture  of  Jerusalem  by 
Nebuchadnezzar,  king  of  Babylon.  They  are,  never- 
theless, called  "  Prophets,"  for  two  reasons  : — 

(i.)  The  history  is  written  in  a  prophetic  spirit,  with 
the  view  of  illustrating  the  principle  that  obedience  to 
the  word  of  God  was  the  cause  of  Israel's  prosperity  and 
success,  disobedience  the  cause  of  trouble  and  misery. 

(2.)  The  Earlier  Prophets  include  the  history  of 
Deborah,  Samuel,  Nathan,  Ahijah,  Elijah,  Elisha,  and 
a  few  anonymous  prophets. 

No  collection  of  their  speeches  has  been  made  or 
preserved  in  the  Scriptures,  and  they  are  thus  distin- 
guished from  the  latter  prophets,  whose  prophecies  have 
been  collected  and  form  the  contents  of  the  "  Latter 
Prophets." 

The  following  books  belong  to  the  Earlier  Pro- 
phets : — 

I.  The  Book  of  Joshua  (yt^irT*),  containing  the  his- 
tory of  the  conquest  and  division  of  the  land  of  Canaan 
by  the  Israelites,  from  their  crossing  the  Jordan  to  the 
death  of  Joshua. 

Amonir  the  various  incidents  related  in  the   book 


OUR  CREED.  63 

the  following  are  noteworthy : — The  circumcision  of 
those  who  had  been  born  during  the  wandering  of 
Israel  in  the  wilderness ;  the  celebration  of  the  first 
Passover  in  the  Holy  Land  ;  the  appearance  of  "  the 
prince  of  the  host  of  the  Lord  "  (v.  14),  just  before 
the  war  commenced,  in  order  to  remind  Joshua  that 
"  the  place  upon  which  he  stood  was  holy;"  ^  the  cross- 
ing of  the  Jordan ;  the  taking  of  Jericho ;  the  disas- 
trous consequences  of  Achan's  sin,  as  an  illustration  of 
the  principle  that  the  whole  community  is  made  re- 
sponsible for  the  crime  of  the  individual  till  the  crime 
is  discovered  and  punished ;  the  battle  at  Gibeon, 
famous  through  Joshua's  exclamation,  '•'  Sun,  stand 
thou  still  upon  Gibeon ;  and  thou  moon,  in  the  valley 
of  Ajalon  !  "  (x,  12)  ;  and  the  appointment  of  the  cities 
of  refuge. 

2.  The  Book  of  Judges  (□"'asi:;')  contains  episodes  of 
the  history  of  the  Israelites  from  the  death  of  Joshua  to 
the  days  of  the  high-pi'iest  Eli.  The  name  "  Judge  " 
is  identical  with  that  of  chief  magistrate,  or  simply 
chief  or  leader.  The  judges  were  persons  chosen  by 
God,  and  inspired  with  an  extraordinary  spirit  of 
courage  and  bravery,  to  be  the  liberators  of  the  country, 
or  part  of  the  country,  from  the  tyranny  of  oppressors. 
The  virtues  that  were  required  in  order  to  qualify 
them  for  this  mission  were  patriotism  and  courage. 
Some  of  them  may  have  continued  in  power  after  the 
restoration  of  peace  and  order,  but  on  the  whole  their 
mission  as  judges  was  fulfilled  with  the  cessation  of 

^  i.e.,  that  the  war  with  the  Canaanite  tribes  was  to  be  carried  on  as 
a  holy  war,  in  fulfilment  of  God's  command,  and  not  for  the  purpose 
of  spoil  and  plunder. 


64  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

war.  They  were  not  the  religious  teachers  of  the  nation, 
nor  are  they  set  up  as  examples  of  piety. 

During  the  period  of  the  judges  the  tribes  of 
Israel  were  not  united  (song  of  Deborah,  Judges  v. 
15—17).  There  was  no  common  government,  or  if 
there  was  one,  it  must  have  possessed  little  power  and 
influence.  The  people  became  degraded  ;  many  wor- 
shipped idols  and  altogether  ignored  the  Divine  com- 
mandments. But  the  conscience  of  the  nation  was 
roused  when  a  sliocking  crime  was  committed  at 
Gibeah  in  the  tribe  of  Benjamin,  and  all  Israel  united 
in  demanding  the  punishment  of  the  evil-doers  (chaps. 
xix.  to  xxi.).  The  book  contains  two  beautiful  poetical 
passages,  the  song  of  Deborah  (v.)  and  the  parable 
of  Jotham  (ix.). 

3.  The  two  hooks  of  Samnd  ('m  'x  ^SIOK') — also  called 
the  first  and  second  books  of  Kings — contain  the 
history  of  Israel  during  the  time  of  the  high-priest 
Eli,  the  prophet  Samuel,  and  Saul,  the  first  king 
of  Israel  (Book  I.)  ;   and  the  reign  of  David  (Book  II.). 

The  following  passages  are  noteworthy  : — 

ii.  G-y  :  "  The  Lord  killeth  and  maketh  alive  ;  He 
bringeth  down  to  the  grave  and  bringeth  up.  The 
Lord  maketh  poor  and  maketh  rich ;  He  bringeth  low 
and  lifteth  up." 

xii.  22:  "  The  Lord  will  not  forsake  His  people, 
for  His  great  name's  sake ;  because  it  hath  pleased 
the  Lord  to  make  you  His  people." 

XV.  22-23:  "Hath  the  Lord  as  great  delight  in 
burnt  offerings  and  sacrifices  as  in  obeying  the  voice 
of  the  Lord  ?  Behold,  to  obey  is  better  than  sacrifice, 
and  to  hearken  than  the  fat  of  rams.     For  rebellion  is 


OUR  CREED.  65 

as  the  siu  of  witchcraft,  and  stubbornness  is  as  iniquity 
and  idolatry ;  because  thou  hast  rejected  the  word  of 
the  Lord,  He  hath  also  rejected  thee  from  being  king." 

xvi.  7  :  "  The  Lord  seeth  not  as  man  seeth ;  for 
man  looketh  on  the  outward  appearance,  but  the  Lord 
looketh  on  the  heart." 

XX iv.  14:  "Wickedness  proceedeth  from  the  wicked." 

II.,  xsiv.  14  :  "I  am  in  a  great  strait;  let  us  fall 
now  into  the  hand  of  the  Lord ;  for  His  mercies  are 
great :   and  let  me  not  fall  into  the  hand  of  man." 

The  following  poetical  passages  of  the  book  should 
also  be  marked  : — 

The  prayer  of  Hannah  (ii.  i  — 10);  David's  lament 
over  Saul's  death  (II.,  i.  18—27);  Parable  of  the  pro- 
phet Nathan  (xii.  1—6)  ;  Song  of  thanksgiving  by  David 
(xxii.)  ;   David's  faith  in  God's  justice  (sxiii.   1—7). 

4.  The  first  and  the  second  hooks  of  Kings  ('21  'X  D^n^o), 
also  called  the  third  and  fourth  books  of  Kings,  contain 
the  history  of  Israel  from  the  death  of  David  to  the 
Babylonian  exile.  The  first  book  describes  the  last 
days  of  King  David,  the  reign  of  Solomon,  the  division  of 
the  country  into  two  kingdoms,  Judah  and  Israel,  the 
history  of  the  kingdom  of  Judah  from  Rehoboam  to 
Jehoshaphat,  and  the  history  of  the  kingdom  of  Israel 
from  Jeroboam  to  Ahab.  The  second  book  continues 
the  history  of  the  kingdom  of  Israel  from  Ahab  to  the 
conquest  of  Samaria  by  Shalmanessar,  king  of  Assyria, 
and  that  of  the  kingdom  of  Judah  from  Abijam,  son 
of  Jehoshaphat,  to  the  conquest  of  Jerusalem  by  Nebu- 
chadnezzar, king  of  Babylon. 

I.,  ii.  2  :  "  I  go  the  way  of  all  the  earth  ;  be  thou 
strong  therefore,  and  show  thyself  a  man." 

E. 


66  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

xviii.  2  I  :  "  How  long  halt  ye  between  two  opinions  ? 
If  the  Lord  be  God,  follow  Him  ;  but  if  Baal,  then 
follow  him." 

II.,  xiv.  9  :  "  The  thistle  that  was  in  Lebanon  sent 
to  the  cedai'  that  was  in  Lebanon,  saying,  Give  thy 
daughter  to  my  son  to  wife  :  and  there  passed  by 
a  wild  beast  that  was  in  Lebanon  and  trod  down  the 
thistle."  ' 

Note,  besides,  prayer  of  Solomon  (I.,  viii.  1 2-6 1 )  and 
message  of  Isaiah  to  King  Hezekiah  (II.,  xix.  21—31). 

The  D''3'nnx  D"'N''33  Latter  Prophets,  contain  the  fol- 
lowing books : — 

I .  Isaiah  (^n"]}^). — Isaiah  prophesied  chiefly  during 
the  Assyrian  invasions  in  Palestine  in  the  reign  of 
Uzziah,  Jotham,  Ahaz,  and  Hezekiah,  kings  of  Judah. 
The  book  is  divided  into  two  main  sections,  separated 
from  each  other  by  the  narrative  of  Sennacherib's 
invasion  and  defeat,  Hezekiah's  illness  and  recovery, 
and  the  congratulatory  message  of  the  Babylonian  king 
to  Hezekiah  (chaps,  xxxvi.  to  xxxix.).  The  first  section 
is  divided  into  five  parts  with  separate  headings : — 

(i.)  Chap.  i. — This  prophecy  was  probably  repeated 
by  Isaiah  many  times  from  the  beginning  to  the  end 
of  his  prophetic  mission.  The  Israelites  in  Jerusalem 
and  Judah  are  rebuked  for  their  rebellion  against 
God,  which  has  brought  a  series  of  misfortunes  upon 
the  nation ;  God  does  not  accept  their  sacrifices  unless 
they  return  to  Him  and  improve  their  conduct.  They 
will  be  punished,  but  the  punishment  is  only  the  means 

^  King  Amaziah  of  Judah  challenged  Joash,  king  of  Israel,  to 
fight  with  him.  Joash  considered  this  challenge  as  an  arrogance  to 
be  compared  to  the  arrogance  of  the  thistle  in  the  above  fable. 


OUR  CREED.  67 

for  tbeir  purification.  When  this  efiect  is  obtained 
their  redemption  will  follow. 

(2.)  Chaps,  ii.  to  v. — The  fulfilment  of  the  mission 
of  the  Israelites — the  Messianic  period — is  depicted, 
when  the  Israelites  will  be  so  perfect  in  the  knowledge 
and  the  worship  of  God,  that  all  nations  will  seek 
enliofhtenment  and  c^uidance  in  the  house  of  the  God 
of  Jacob.  The  prophet  shows  his  brethren  how 
they  receded  from  that  aim,  and,  estranging  them- 
selves from  the  Almighty,  trusted  in  things  that  are 
powerless.  But  all  these  things,  grand  and  high  as 
they  may  appear,  will  prove  worthless,  and  the  glory 
of  God  will  in  the  end  be  recognised.  The  prophet 
illustrates  the  conduct  of  the  Israelites  and  their 
punishment  in  the  beautiful  parable  of  the  vineyard 
(v.  1—7).  As  special  sins  are  named:  greediness, 
lust,  mockery,  and  injustice.  The  punishment  threat- 
ened is  the  invasion  of  a  cruel  conqueror. 

(3.)  Chap.  vi. — On  the  occasion  of  the  death  of 
King  Uzziah,  who  had  presumed  to  approach  God  and 
to  offer  incense  in  the  Holy  of  Holies,  contrary  to  the 
Law,  and  was  punished  with  leprosy,  Isaiah  had  a 
vision  in  which  he  despairingly  contrasted  the  infinite 
lioliness  of  the  Almighty  with  his  own  sinfulness,  living 
as  he  did  among  people  of  unclean  lips.  He  is  re- 
assm*ed,  and  shown  that  his  sin  is  removed  when  his 
words  are  inflamed  by  the  holy  fire  taken  from  the  altar 
of  God.  He  must,  nevertheless,  not  expect  a  speedy 
eff"ect  from  his  words  to  the  people  ;  they  will  continue 
in  disobedience  and  bring  upon  themselves  continued 
punishments,  but  ultimately,  when  the  leaves  have 
fallen  off,  the  stem  will  remain — a  seed  of  holiness. 


68  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

(4.)  vii.  to  sii. — Tlie  invasion  of  Judali  by  Pekab, 
king  of  Israel,  and  Rezin,  king  of  Aram,  brings  to 
liizlit  the  want  of  faith  in  God  and  His  word  on 
the  part  of  Ahaz,  king  of  Judah.  Isaiah,  taking  with 
him  his  son  S/tar-yashiih  ("  A-remnant-will-return  "), 
a  reminder  of  punishment  and  of  redemption,  rebukes 
Ahaz,  and  gives  him  a  sign  (niN) :  "  The  young  woman 
is  with  child,  and  will  bear  a  son,  and  call  his  name 
Immanvcl"  (^x  IJDj;  "  God-is-\vith-us").  Cream  and 
honey  shall  he  eat,  when  he  will  know  to  reject  the 
evil  and  to  choose  the  good."  By  this  sign  Ahaz 
is  informed  (i)  that  at  the  time  of  the  birth  of  the 
child  Judah  will  be  freed  from  the  armies  of  the  two 
kings,  and  the  name  Immanuel  was  to  be  the  expres- 
sion of  thanks  for  the  delivery ;  (2)  another  more 
serious  invasion  of  the  Assyrians  will  come  and  de- 
vastate the  country  ;  and  after  their  departure  the 
Israelites  will  not  have  any  corn  or  bread  ;  "  cream 
and  honey  will  every  one  eat  that  is  left  in  the  midst 
of  the  land." 

The  invasion  of  Syria  and  Palestine  by  the  Assyrians 
is  also  foretold  in  the  very  name  of  Isaiah's  own  son, 
Maher-shalal-'hash-baz  ("  The  spoiler  hastens  to  be 
quick  with  the  spoil  ").  In  spite  of  such  dark  prospect 
the  prophet  sets  forth  the  testimony  and  the  lesson 
(mu'n,  min):  "Hope  in  the  Lord,  though  He  hides 
His  face  from  the  house  of  Jacob.  For  often  have 
people  in  affliction  seen  great  light."  "  A  child  ^ 
has    been    born    unto   us,   called   The  Almighty,  the 

^  The  faith  of  Israel  in  the  Omnipotence  of  God,  who  can  do  wonders 
for  the  salvation  of  His  people,  is  fij:;uratively  represented  as  a  child, 
called  "The  Almighty,  &c.,  deviseth  wonders,"  «&c. 


OUR  CREED.  69 

Eternal,  the  Prince  of  Peace,  devises  wonders,  for  t)ae 
purpose  of  increasing  the  dominion  and  establishing 
endless  peace  upon  the  throne  of  David  and  his  king- 
dom, to  order  it  and  support  it  by  judgment  and 
righteousness  from  now  even  for  ever"  (ix.  5,  6). 
The  Assyrian  invasion  is  a  punishment  for  the  sins 
of  the  Israelites,  and  its  success  will  continue  so  long 
as  the  Israelites  refuse  to  repent  and  to  return  to 
God.  This,  however,  will  ultimately  come  to  pass, 
and  Ashur  will  then  receive  the  penalty  for  his  in- 
solence and  presuraptuousness.  Israel  will  in  the  end 
be  guided  by  a  wise  and  just  ruler,  who  will  spring 
forth  from  the  roots  of  Jesse.  The  Messianic  times 
will  then  begin,  and  amidst  universal  peace  all  man- 
kind will  join  in  the  praises  of  God. 

(5.)  xiii.  to  XXXV. — This  group  of  prophecies  was 
probably  delivered  during  the  Assyrian  invasion. 
Isaiah  takes  a  survev  of  the  neisfhbouriugf  states,  their 
conduct  in  times  of  success,  and  their  well-deserved 
punishment  in  immediate  or  the  remote  future.  The 
prophecies  are  directed  against  Babylon,  Plesheth, 
Moab,  Damascus,  Egypt,  Ashdod,  Babylon,  Duraah, 
Arab,  the  Assyrian  Shebnah,  Tyre,  Edom,  and  Eph- 
raira.  Great  confusion  will  ensue,  amid  which  Judah 
will  suffer  much,  but  he  will  ultimately  be  delivered 
through  the  Divine  intervention,  and  will  thus  be 
strengthened  in  his  faith  in  God.  Isaiah  rebukes 
Judah  for  seeking  help  from  Egypt  against  Assyria, 
because  such  an  act  indicates  want  of  faith  in  God.  It 
is  only  the  Almighty  that  can  help  in  times  of  distress. 

(6.)  xxxvi.  to  xxxix. — The  historical  chapters  which 
intervene  between  the  two  large  prophetical  sections  of 


70  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

the  book  conclude  with  an  account  of  Hezekiah's  con- 
duct towards  the  Babylonian  ambassadors,  and  the 
rebuke  he  received  of  Isaiah,  who  announced  to  the 
king  that  the  Babylonians  would  one  day  be  conquerors 
of  Jerusalem. 

(7.)  xl.  to  xlviii. — The  prediction  of  the  Babylonian 
exile  is  followed  by  comforting  messages  and  by  the 
good  tidingsof  the  promised  Restoration.  Contrasting 
the  omnipotence  of  God  with  the  helplessness  of  earthly 
powers  and  idols,  the  prophet  calls  for  absolute  faith  in 
God,  who  has  already  appointed  the  conqueror  of  Baby- 
lon and  the  liberator  of  the  exiled  Jews. 

(8.)  xlviii.  to  liv. — It  is  not  only  deliverance 
from  exile  that  the  Jews  have  to  hope  for,  but  far 
greater  things.  The  people  of  the  Lord  are  to  become 
glorious,  and  to  be  the  source  of  salvation  to  all  man- 
kind. Tliey  will  suffer  at  the  hand  of  the  nations,  but 
the  latter  will  ultimately  see  what  wrong  they  have 
done  to  Israel.  Notwithstanding  all  apparent  obstacles, 
this  prophecy  will  be  fulfilled. 

(9.)  Iv.  to  Ix. — The  prophet  exhorts  the  people  to 
follow  the  word  of  God,  to  abandon  idolatry,  and  to 
be  sincere  in  their  prayer  and  repentance ;  only  then 
might  they  hope  for  salvation.  God  has  punished 
Israel,  but  the  redeemer  will  come  unto  Zion. 

(10.)  Ixi.tolxvi. — Encouragement  is  given  especially 
to  the  DMJy  "  the  meek,"  "  the  broken-hearted  ;  "  the  day 
of  vengeance  is  announced  against  the  haughty  and 
sinners.  The  propbet  prays  to  God,  and  God  answers 
him  with  the  promise  of  the  ultimate  triumph  of  the 
D*i3j;  and  ••>  •'NT'  "  the  meek  and  the  God-fearing'." 

2.  Jeremiah  (h'^dt). — Jeremiah  prophesied  in  the  thir- 


OUR  CREED.  71 

teenth  year  of  Josiali,  and  contiuued  to  prophesy  during 
liis  reign  and  that  of  his  successors,  and  after  the 
fall  of  Jerusalem,  but  it  is  not  certain  how  long  he 
lived  after  the  destruction  of  the  Temple,  and  where 
he  died.  He  was  the  son  of  Hilkiah,  of  the  priests  in 
Anathoth,  in  the  tribe  of  Benjamin.  He  was  exposed 
to  cruel  persecutions,  but  these  did  not  deter  him 
from  delivering  the  Divine  message  with  which  he  was 
entrusted  to  the  king  and  to  the  people.  The  pro- 
phecies of  Jeremiah  were  written  down  by  Baruch, 
at  Jeremiah's  dictation  (chap,  xxxvi.),  but  the  book 
was  seized  by  King  Jehoiakim,  and  burnt  by  him. 
The  Book  of  Jeremiah,  in  our  Bible,  is  probably  the 
copy  made  later  on  by  Baruch,  and  mentioned  Jer. 
xxxvi.  32. 

The  book  is  composed  of  the  following  parts : — 

(i.)  Chap.  i. — The  appointment  of  Jeremiah  as 
prophet  "  over  the  nations  and  the  kingdoms,  to  pluck 
up  and  to  break  down,  and  to  destroy  and  to  over- 
throw, to  build  and  to  plant "  (ver.  i  o). 

(2.)  Chaps,  ii.  to  vi. — Jeremiah  addresses  the  in- 
habitants of  Jerusalem.  "  Israel  is  a  holy  portion, 
belonging  to  the  Lord  ;  whosoever  eats  of  it  is  guilty, 
and  will  be  punished."  Israel  ought  therefore  to  be 
faithful  to  God.  This  they  are  not,  in  spite  of  the 
benefits  bestowed  on  thera  ;  they  are  exhorted  to  re- 
pentance :  in  vain.  They  are  therefore  threatened 
with  a  hostile  invasion  from  the  north. 

(3.)  Chaps,  vii.  to  x. — The  prophet  addresses  the 
people  in  the  gate  of  the  Temple,  exhorting  them 
to  true  repentance.  Without  obedience  to  God  the 
Temple    and   sacrificial    service    have    no    value.     The 


72  TUB  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

foundation  of  the  Law  is,  "  Yoit  shall  he  to  one  a  people, 
and  icalk  in  the  ivay  which  I  command  you."  You 
liave  not  obeyed,  and  punishment  is  determined  upon. 
Jeremiah,  foreseeing  the  desolation  of  the  country  and 
the  ruin  of  the  nation,  laments  and  weeps,  but  he 
is  sure  that  God  is  npi^n  DDC'O  non  hk'V  "  one  who  doth 
loving-kindness,  judgment,  and  righteousness,"  and  that 
those  nations  which  indulged  in  cruelties  against  the 
Israelites  when  under  Divine  punishrpent  will  them- 
selves not  escape  retribution. 

(4.)  xi.  to  xiii. — "  The  covenant  was  :  Hear  my 
voice,  and  do  what  I  command  you :  ye  shall  be  my 
people,  and  I  will  be  your  God."  You  have  broken 
this  covenant  and  worshipped  idols ;  evil  must  come 
upon  you.  This  Jeremiah  proclaimed  in  "  the  cities 
of  Judah  and  the  streets  of  Jerusalem,"  and  probably 
also  in  Anathoth  ;  whereupon  he  was  threatened  with 
death.  Such  conduct  gave  occasion  to  further  prophe- 
cies concerning  the  wickedness  of  the  people  and  their 
impending  punishment.  The  fact  that  Israel  has  been 
chosen  to  be  the  people  of  the  Lord  and  has  shown 
himself  unworthy  of  the  distinction,  is  symbolised  by  a 
girdle,  forming  at  first  an  ornament  to  man,  but  which 
when  rotten  by  moisture  in  the  crevices  of  rocks,  is  no 
longer  of  any  use, 

(5.)  Chaps,  xiv.  to  xvii. — Drought  visits  Judah  ; 
Jeremiah  prays  to  God  for  relief  from  famine.  God 
rejects  his  petition.  The  prophet  is  disappointed,  but 
he  is  assured  that  God  will  protect  him  from  the  attacks 
of  the  people,  if  he  tries  "  to  bring  forth  a  precious 
thing  from  the  vile."      He  tries,  but  in  vain. 

(6.)  xvii.  19-27. — Exhortation  to  keep  the  Sab- 


OUR  CREED.  73 

bath,  to  abstain  from  all  manner  of  work,  and  from 
carrying  burdens  out  of  or  into  the  town. 

(7.)  xviii. — God  changes  His  decrees  according  to 
the  deeds  of  man,  as  a  potter  transforms  the  clay  from 
one  vessel  to  another.  Jeremiah  is  again  insulted 
and  threatened,  and  he  prays  to  God  against  his 
persecutors. 

(8.)  xix.  and  xx. — In  the  valley  of  Hinnom,  Jeremiah 
denounces  the  idolatry  of  Israel,  and  as  a  symbol  of 
the  impending  ruin  of  Israel,  he  breaks  a  pot  of 
earthenware.  Returning  from  the  valley,  he  announces 
the  coming  evil  in  the  court  of  the  Temple  in  the 
presence  of  the  people ;  he  is  taken  into  prison  by 
Pashchur,  the  chief  of  the  Temple,  for  one  day.  When 
released  he  repeats  the  same  prophecy,  but  feels  that 
he  has  given  offence,  and  in  utter  despair  curses  the 
day  of  his  birth. 

(9.)  Chaps,  xxi.  to  xxiv. — Nebuchadnezzar  attacked 
Judah,  and  Zedekiah  (later  king  of  Judah)  sent  to 
Jeremiah  asking  him  to  pray  for  the  safety  of  the 
people.  But  Jeremiah  prophesied  defeat  and  disgrace 
on  account  of  their  iniquity.  He  went  even  by  the 
command  of  God  to  the  royal  palace,  and  repeated 
there  the  Divine  decree  against  the  royal  family, 
Shallum  (  =  Joahaz),  Jojakim,  and  Coniah  (  =  Jehoia- 
chin).  There  will  come,  however,  one  day  a  righteous 
offspring  of  David,  who  will  rule  justly  and  prosper- 
ously ;  He  shall  be  called  "  The  Lord  is  our  salvation." 
For  the  present  it  would  be  better  to  submit  to  the 
Babylonian  rule.  They  are  false  prophets  who  flatter 
and  speak  in  the  name  of  God  of  victories  over  the 
Babylonians.     The  false  prophets  will  all  be  punished — 


74  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

those  wlio  proclaim  as  tlieir  own  prophecy  the  very 
words  they  heard  from  true  prophets,  those  who  in 
different  words  reproduce  messages  of  the  true  pro- 
phets as  their  own,  and  those  who  invent  falsehood. 
The  advisability  of  submitting  to  the  Babylonian  power 
is  also  illustrated  by  the  vision  of  two  baskets  of  figs ; 
good  figs  representing  tuose  who  will  submit,  and  bad 
figs  those  who  prefer  war  with  the  Babylonians. 

(lO.)  XXV.  to  xxvii. — Jeremiah  continues,  during 
the  reign  of  Jehoiakim,  his  prophecies  in  favour  of 
a  peaceful  submission  to  the  Babylonians,  with  the 
Divine  promise  of  a  redemption  from  the  exile  and 
the  restoration  to  their  own  country  and  dominion. 

(l  I.)  xxviii. — The  same  prophecy  is  continued  dur- 
ing the  reign  of  Zedekiah.  He  was  opposed  by  the 
false  prophet  Hananiah,  to  whom  Jeremiah  foretold 
that  he  would  be  punished  and  die  the  same  year ; 
this  came  also  to  pass. 

(i2.)  xxix.  to  xxxi. — To  the  Jews  already  in 
Babylon  Jeremiah  sends  a  letter  of  consolation  and 
encourages  them  in  their  hopes  for  the  redemption 
from  exile.  Of  the  sarne  tenor  were  the  messages 
spoken  by  Jeremiah  to  all  Jews.  In  days  to  come  a 
new  covenant  will  be  instituted  ;  new  in  so  far  as  it 
will  not  be  broken  again,  the  Law  remaining  per- 
manently written  on  their  heart,  "  /  shall  he  their  God, 
and  they  shall  be  my  nation." 

(13.)  xxxii.  and  xxxiii. — Jeremiah,  kept  in  prison, 
bought  property  from  his  uncle  Hanamel,  wrote  and 
signed  the  document  of  transfer,  and  handed  it  to 
Baruch.  By  this  he  expressed  his  conviction  that  the 
Jews  would  return  from  exile  and  take  possession  of 


OUR  CREED.  75 

their  land.  In  addition  to  this  he  sent  forth  from 
the  prison  a  Messianic  prophecy,  describing  the  future 
greatness  of  the  seed  of  David,  and  the  restoration  of 
the  priests  and  Levites  to  the  sacrificial  service. 

(14.)  xxxiv.  and  xxxv. — Jeremiah  exhoi^ts  the  people 
to  keep  "  the  year  of  release,"  and  held  up  the  family 
of  the  Rechabites  as  patterns  of  piety,  who  could  not 
be  induced  to  break  their  vovi^  of  abstinence,  though 
it  was  voluntarily  undertaken. 

(15.)  xxxvi.  to  xlv. — Jeremiah  continues  to  pro- 
phesy, advising,  though  fruitlessly,  submission  to  the 
Babylonian  king.  Zedekiah  made  war  against  Nebu- 
chadnezzar, was  defeated,  and  Jerusalem  was  taken  by 
the  Babylonians.  When  some  Jews  wanted  to  emigrate 
to  Egypt,  Jeremiah  warned  them  in  the  name  of  God 
not  to  do  so.  He  was  not  listened  to ;  he  was  even 
forced  to  go  with  them  ;  but  he  prophesied  against 
them,  and  foretold  their  ruin.  Baruch,  to  whom 
Jeremiah  dictated  his  prophecies,  was  discontented  at 
being  driven  from  place  to  place  ;  Jeremiah  appeased 
and  encouraged  him. 

(16.)  xlvi.  to  lii. — Jeremiah  prophesies  against 
Egypt,  the  Philistines,  Moab,  Ammon,  Edom,  Damas- 
cus, Kedar,  Elam,  and  Babylon.  The  book  concludes 
with  an  account  of  the  fall  of  Jerusalem,  similar  to 
that  given  at  the  end  of  the  second  book  of  Kings. 

3.   Ezeldel  (^^p'lrv). — Ezekiel  prophesied  in  exile. 

(i.)  Chap.  i.  to  vii. — In  the  fifth  year  of  the  exile  of 
Joiachin,  Ezekiel,  in  the  vision  of  the  chariot,  represent- 
ing the  rule  of  God  over  the  universe,  is  appointed  a 
Divine  messenger,  to  warn  the  people  and  tell  them 
of  the    impending   danger,   that    they    might   not    be 


76  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

ignorant  of  the  fate  awaiting  them,  whether  they  listened 
or  forbore  to  listen.  The  message  with  which  he  is 
inspired  is  represented  as  a  scroll  which  he  swallows. 
The  threatened  danger  he  indicates  by  symbolic  acts, 
followed  by  their  explanation.  The  siege  of  Jerusalem 
is  illustrated  by  the  prophet  besieging  a  brick  repre- 
senting Jerusalem,  and  the  ruin  of  the  nation  by 
cutting  and  scattering  the  hair  of  his  head  and  beard. 

(2.)  viii.  to  xi. — In  the  sixth  year,  on  the  sixth 
day  of  the  fifth  month,  in  the  presence  of  the  elders  of 
Judah,  Ezekiel  is  carried  in  a  prophetic  vision  to 
Jerusalem,  is  shown  there  the  sins  committed  by  the 
Israelites  in  the  very  Temple,  and  the  consequent 
departure  of  the  Divine  Presence  from  the  Temple. 
Israel  will  suffer  for  his  sins,  but  will  at  last  repent  and 
improve.  God  promises,  "  /  tvill  give  tlietii  one  licart, 
and  I  will  put  a  new  spirit  within  yoit ;  and  I  will 
take  the  stony  heart  out  of  their  flesh,  and  will  give 
them  a  heart  of  fiesh  ;  that  they  may  walk  in  my  statutes, 
and  keep  mine  ordincwces,  and  do  them  ;  and  they  shall 
he  my  people,  and  I  icill  be  their  God"  (xi.  19,  20). 

(3.)  xii.  and  xiii. — The  prophet  indicates  the  coming 
captivity  by  the  symbolic  act  of  preparing  the  things 
necessary  for  going  into  exile.  The  false  prophets  and 
prophetesses,  who  tell  the  people  to  have  no  dread  of 
any  coming  exile,  will  be  disappointed  and  punished. 
The  falseliood  of  the  proverb,  "  In  the  length  of  time 
every  vision  faileth,"  will  then  be  evident. 

(4.)  xiv.  to  xix. — Ezekiel  describes  the  sinfulness 
of  Israel,  and  exhorts  them  to  return  to  God,  or  else 
the  threatened  calamity  will  overcome  them.  He 
illustrates  the  approaching  calamity  by  the  figure  of  a 


OUR  CREED.  77 

cedar-tree  and  the  eagle.  Altliougla  tlie  fathers  have 
sinned,  if  the  sons  abstain  from  sinning  they  may 
prevent  the  catastrophe  ;  for  the  proverb,  "  The  fathers 
have  eaten  the  sour  grapes,  and  the  teeth  of  the  chil- 
dren are  set  on  edge,"  will  prove  untrue.  If  they  do 
not  improve,  the  catastrophe  must  take  place  which 
the  prophet  depicts  in  the  pai'ables  of  the  lioness  caught 
and  of  the  vine  consumed  by  fire. 

(5.)  XX. — In  the  seventh  year,  the  Elders  of  Israel 
came  to  Ezekiel  "  to  inquire  of  the  Lord,"  n  n5<  dlh- 
Ezekiel  describes  the  wickedness  of  Israel,  and  the 
punishment  they  deserved, 

(6.)  xxi.  to  xxiii. — Comparing  Jerusalem  and 
Samaria  to  two  sisters,  Oholibah  and  Oliolah,  he  com- 
plains that  the  former,  having  witnessed  the  punish- 
ment of  the  latter,  has  not  profited  by  it. 

(7.)  xxiv. — On  the  tenth  day  of  the  tenth  month  in 
the  ninth  year  Ezekiel  prophesies  the  siege  and  fall 
of  Jerusalem  on  the  very  day  on  which  the  siege 
commenced.  The  greatness  of  the  calamity,  to  express 
which  the  usual  outward  signs  of  grief  would  be  in- 
adequate, is  indicated  by  the  Divine  command  that  the 
prophet  on  the  death  of  his  wife  should  exhibit  no 
signs  of  mournins:. 

(8.)  XXV.  to  xxxii. — Like  Isaiah  and  Jeremiah,  he 
foretells  the  fate  of  the  neighbouring  nations,  Am- 
monites, Moabites,  Edomites,  Philistines,  Tyrians,  and 
Egyptians.  The  last-named  are  promised  recovery 
after  forty  years'  desolation  of  their  country. 

(9.)  xxxiii.  and  xxxiv. — The  prophet  describes  the 
duties  and  responsibilities  of  watchmen  and  shepherds, 
and   blames    those   of  his  own  time   as   not  fulfilling 


78  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

their  duties :  "  But  I  will  save  my  flock,  and  they 
shall  no  more  be  a  prey  ;  and  I  will  judge  between 
cattle  and  cattle.  And  I  loill  set  up  one  shepherd  over 
them,  and  he  shall  feed  them,  even  my  servant  David : 
he  shall  feed  them,  and  he  shall  he  their  shepherd.  And 
I  the  Lord  will  he  their  God,  and  my  servant  David 
prince  among  them"  (xsxiv.  22—24). 

(10.)  XXXV. — He  prophesies  against  Seir,  for  their 
enmity  against  Israel. 

(11.)  xxxvi.  and  xxxvii. — Ezekiel  foretells  the  re- 
storation of  Israel  in  the  parable  of  the  dry  bones. 
The  union  of  Israel  and  Judah  is  symbolically  shown 
by  the  union  of  two  staves. 

(12.)  xxxviii.  and  xxxix. — Gog,  the  prince  of  Rosh, 
Meshech,  and  Tubal,  will  make  the  last  efforts  for  the 
destruction  of  Israel.  All  his  preparations  will  be  in 
vain.  He  and  his  army  will  fall  in  the  land  of  Israel. 
And  the  Divine  promise  is  given  :  "  Tliey  shall  know 
that  I  am  the  Lord  their  God,  in  that  I  caused  them  to 
go  into  captivity  amon^  the  nations,  and  have  gathered 
them  into  their  own  land,  and  I  will  leave  none  of  them 
any  more  there:  neither  loill  I  hide  my  face  any  more 
from  them ;  for  I  have  jjoured  out  my  spirit  upon  the 
house  of  Israel,  saith  the  Lord  God"  (xxxix.  28,  29). 

(i  3.)  xl.  to  xlviii. — In  the  fourteenth  year  after  the 
fall  of  Jerusalem,  in  the  beginning  of  the  year,  on 
the  tenth  day  of  the  month,  Ezekiel  is  carried  in  a 
vision  to  the  land  of  Israel,  and  is  shown  there  the 
rebuilding  of  the  future  Temple,  and  the  division 
of  the  land  among  the  twelve  tribe?,  the  Levites  and 
the  priests. 

4.   The  Twelve  Minor  Prophets,  Tj'i?  nr — 


OUR  CREED.  79 

(i .)  Hosea  (ycin). — Hosea,  a  contemporary  of  Isaiali, 
prophesied  about  the  sinfulness  of  the  northern  kingdom 
of  the  ten  tribes,  and  turns  his  attention  to  Judah  only 
in  so  far  as  Judah  participated  in  the  sins  of  Israel, 
and  their  consequences. 

(a.)  Chaps,  i.  to  iii. — In  an  allegory  of  a  faithless 
woman  and  her  three  children  the  sin  of  the  ten  tribes 
is  represented,  who  faithlessly  turned  away  from  the 
worship  of  God  in  Jerusalem.  The  consequent  three 
stages  of  punishment  are  represented  by  the  names  of 
the  three  children  :  Jezreel,  referring  to  the  catastrophe 
of  the  house  of  Ahab,  ending  in  the  death  of  Jezebel  in 
Jezreel ;  Lo-ruhama  ("  Not-pitied  "),  indicating  the  fall 
of  the  house  of  Jehu,  from  which  the  mercy  of  God  was 
withdrawn  after  it  had  been  shown  in  the  successes  of 
King  Jeroboam  II. ;  and  the  third,  Lo-ami  ("  Not-my- 
people"),  predicting  the  final  dissolution  of  the  kingdom. 
But  a  time  of  mercy  and  Divine  protection  is  foretold 
by  the  prophet  when  he  said  in  the  name  of  God,  "  I 
will  betroth  thee  unto  me  for  ever ;  and  I  will  betroth 
thee  unto  me  in  righteousness  and  judgment  and  in 
loving-kindness  and  in  mercy ;  and  I  will  betroth  thee 
unto  me  in  faithfulness,  and  thou  shalt  know  the 
Lord  ;  and  I  will  sow  them  unto  me  in  the  land,  and 
I  will  show  mercy  to  Lo-ruhama ;  and  I  will  say  to 
Lo-ami,  Thou  art  my  people  ;  and  he  shall  say,  My 
God"  (ii.  2  1,  2  2,  25).  This  happy  time,  however, 
will  only  come  after  a  period  of  trial,  represented 
in  the  allegory  by  the  period  of  trial  of  a  faithless 
woman  before  the  husband  has  again  full  confidence 
in  her.  "  For  many  days  shall  the  children  of  Israel 
dwell  without  king,  without  prince,  without   sacrifice, 


8o  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

without  a  statue,  and  without  ephod  and  teraphim. 
After  that  the  children  of  Israel  will  return  and  seek 
the  Lord  their  God,  and  David  their  king ;  and  they 
will  anxiously  hasten  to  the  Lord  and  to  His  goodness 
in  latter  days"  (iii.  4,  5). 

(&.)  iv.  to  viii. — Hosea  rebukes  Ephraim  for  their 
sinfulness  and  obstinacy.  When  an  attempt  is  made 
at  repentance  it  is  not  made  in  earnest,  and  is  soon 
abandoned.  The  sins  of  Ephraim  find  imitation  in 
Judah,  and  therefore  the  punishment  of  Ephraim  will 
also  affect  Judah. 

(c.)  ix.  to  xiv. — The  prophet  blames  Israel  for  seek- 
ing help  in  their  distress  in  Egypt  or  Assyria.  He 
censures  their  conduct,  and  contrasts  it  with  the  kind- 
ness of  God  in  the  course  of  the  history  of  Israel  since 
the  time  of  the  patriarchs.  Samaria  must  fall,  but 
Israel  need  but  earnestly  return  to  God,  and  "  he  will 
be  like  dew  to  Israel,  who  will  blossom  like  the  lily, 
and  extend  his  roots  like  the  cedars  of  Lebanon '" 
(xiv.  6)  ;  for  "  straight  are  the  ways  of  the  Lord  :  vjhilsi 
the  righteous  walk  hy  them,  transgressors  stumble  hy 
them  "  (Ibid,  i  o). 

(2.)  Joel  (hav). — Joel  is  a  contemporary  of  Isaiah. 
Locusts  have  devastated  the  fields  in  Judah.  Joel 
exhorts  the  people  to  repentance  and  prayer.  His 
exhortation  is  acted  upon,  and  relief  is  promised.  At 
the  same  time  the  punishment  of  the  enemies  of  Israel 
in  the  valley  of  Jehoshaphat  is  announced.  "  The  day 
of  the  Lord,  great  and  wonderful,"  will  be  indicated 
by  extraordinary  phenomena  in  heaven  and  on  earth, 
so  clear  that  all  will  understand  their  significance  and 
foresee  the  coming  judgment. 


OUR  CREED.  8r 

(3.)  Amos  (dioj;)- — Amos,  a  contemporary  of  the 
former,  prophesied  during  the  reign  of  Uzziah,  king 
of  Judah,  and  Jeroboam,  king  of  Israel.  Amos  first 
mentions  in  short  paragraphs  the  sinful  conduct  of  the 
neighbouring  states,  Damascus,  Gaza,  Tyre,  Edom, 
Ammon,  Moab,  and  Judah,  and  the  punishment  de- 
creed against  them,  introducing  each  paragraph  with 
the  words,  "  For  three  sins  of  .  .  .  {scil.,  will  I  take 
back  the  decree  of  punishment),  but  for  the  fourth,  I 
will  not  take  it  back."  He  then  dwells  on  the  sins  of 
Israel,  laying  special  stress  on  the  luxuries  of  the  rich, 
obtained  through  oppression  of  the  poor,  and  tells  them 
that,  though  God  has  frequently  pardoned.  He  will 
pardon  no  more.  Amaziah,  a  priest  of  Beth-el,  warns 
Amos,  and  bids  him  leave  the  country,  but  the  prophet, 
nevertheless,  continues  to  proclaim  the  coming  judg- 
ment of  God,  viz.,  the  exile  of  Israel,  adding,  however, 
the  comforting  prophecy  that  the  time  will  come  when 
Israel  shall  be  restored  to  his  own  land  and  enjoy 
lasting  happiness. 

(4.)  Obadiah  (n'^l^ii). — Obadiah  prophesies  against  the 
Edomites,  and  announces  the  Divine  decree  against  them 
for  their  cruel  treatment  of  Judah  in  times  of  distress. 

(5-)  Jonah  (n^Y). — Jonah,  son  of  Amittai,  prophesied 
success  to  King  Jeroboam  II.  (2  Kings  xiv.  25).  He 
was  sent  to  threaten  the  inhabitants  of  Nineveh  with 
the  destruction  of  their  city  in  forty  days.  Instead  of 
going  to  Nineveh  he  set  out  in  a  boat  for  Tarshish  ; 
during  a  storm  he  was  thrown  overboard,  swallowed 
by  a  fish,  and  again  brought  to  the  shore.  He  then 
carried  out  the  Divine  mission,  the  result  of  which 
was  that  the  Ninevites  repented  of  their  evil  deeds  and 

F 


82  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

obtained  a  respite.  Jonah,  disappointed  that  the  threat 
of  which  he  was  the  bearer  was  not  fulfilled,  was  re- 
buked by  God,  and  taught  by  his  own  grief  at  the 
destruction  of  a  plant  "  that  had  come  up  in  a  night  " 
how  wrong  it  was  to  wish  that  God  should  not  show 
mercy  upon  the  inhabitants  of  Nineveh,  and  to  neglect 
anything  that  could  lead  to  their  repentance  and  con- 
sequent salvation. 

(6.)  Micah  (n3"'D). — Micah  of  Moresha  was  likewise 
a  contemporary  of  Isaiah.      He  prophesied  in  Judah. 

1 .  (i.— iii.)  He  raises  his  voice  especially  against  the 
princes,  magistrates,  and  false  prophets,  who  unite  in 
oppressing  and  ruining  the  people.  When  Micah  tells 
them  their  sins  and  the  coming  punishment,  they  say 
to  him,  "  Do  not  preach  ;  they  do  not  preach  for  such 
things  ;  they  do  not  offend  "  (ii.  6).  But  the  prophet 
of  the  Lord  is  not  deterred  from  his  mission,  but  con- 
tinues to  denounce  their  wickedness:  "  Her  chiefs  judge 
for  bribery,  and  her  priests  teach  for  payment,  and  her 
prophets  decide  for  silver  ;  yet  will  they  lean  upon  the 
Lord,  and  say.  Is  not  the  Lord  in  our  midst  ?  no  evil 
shall  come  upon  us.  Therefore  shall  Zion  be  plowed 
into  a  field,  and  Jerusalem  shall  become  heaps,  and  the 
mountain  of  the  Temple  as  the  high  places  of  a  forest  " 
(iii.  II,  12). 

2.  (iv.— V.)  Like  Isaiah,  he  depicts  the  Messianic 
period,  in  which  the  house  of  Jacob  will  be  an  example 
of  true  faith  in  God  to  all  nations ;  in  which  Israel 
will  be  restored  to  his  land,  under  the  rule  of  a  de- 
scendant of  David.  But  a  period  of  trials  and  troubles 
must  precede  those  happy  days,  in  order  to  punish  Israel, 
and  to  purify  and  prepare  him  for  his  future  greatness. 


OUR  CREED.  83 

3.  (vi.-vii.)  The  same  principles  ai'e  taught  in  the 
next  part  (vi.  and  vii.)  in  the  form  of  a  controvers}^ 
(ICiJ)  DJJ  '''h  y^)  between  the  Lord  and  His  people.  The 
latter  are  reminded  of  the  benefits  God  has  bestowed  on 
them  ;  and  when  they  ask  how  they  are  expected  to 
show  their  gratitude,  the  prophet  says,  "  0  man,  He  has 
told  thee  ivhat  is  good;  and  what  docs  the  Lord  require 
of  thee  hut  to  do  justice,  love  kindness,  and  to  walk  hunibly 
with  thy  God?"  (vi.  8). 

(7.)  Nahum  (Dim). — The  fall  of  Nineveh  is  predicted. 
The  power  of  the  mighty  Assyrian  Empire,  hitherto  a 
terror  to  Judah  and  other  kingdoms,  will  come  to  an 
end ;   no  remedy  can  save  her  any  more. 

(8.)  Habakkuk  (pipnn). — Habakkuk  prophesied  at  the 
time  when  the  Casdim  or  Chaldeans  were  about  to  oc- 
cupy the  place  of  the  Assyrians  as  conquerors  of  Syria, 
Palestine,  and  Egypt,  and  to  become  the  rod  in  the 
hand  of  God  for  the  punishment  of  Israel.  Habakkuk, 
on  receiving  the  mission  to  announce  the  Casdim  as  the 
executors  of  the  Divine  decree,  is  at  a  loss  to  under- 
stand why  these  wicked  and  cruel  people  should  be 
chosen  to  chastise  those  who  are  far  less  wicked ;  why 
the  evil-doer  should  swallow  him  who  is  more  right- 
eous. The  answer  he  receives  is,  "  But  the  just  shall 
live  by  his  faith."  The  evil-doer  will  in  due  time 
receive  his  full  punishment.  Habakkuk  then  gives 
expression  to  his  implicit  faith  in  the  justice  of  God, 
in  a  hymn  which  is  superscribed,  "  Prayer  (ni^sn)  of 
the  prophet  Habakkuk  on  account  of  errors ; "  for 
in  it  he  rectifies,  as  it  were,  his  previous  erroneous 
opinion. 

(9.)  Zephaniali  (rT'JDv). — He  prophesied  in  the  days 


84  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

of  King  Josiah.  He  proclaims  tlie  approach  of  the 
great  day  of  the  Lord,  on  which  all  those  who  turned 
away  from  Him  will  receive  their  punishment,  all  the 
rich  and  powerful  who  say  the  Lord  does  neither  good 
nor  evil.  He  appeals  to  the  humble  in  the  land 
(pS  '*\:v)  to  S66^  t^^  Lord  in  prayer,  in  order  to  be 
saved  on  "  the  day  of  the  anger  of  the  Lord."  For  the 
Philistines,  the  Phoenicians,  Moab,  Ammon,  and  Assyria 
will  be  punished,  nor  will  Jerusalem  escape  free.  "  I 
will  then  turn,"  he  says  in  the  name  of  God,  "  a  pure 
language  to  the  nations,  that  all  of  them  will  call  by  the 
name  of  God,  and  serve  Him  with  one  accord"  (iii.  9). 
"  In  that  day  shalt  thou  not  be  ashamed  for  all  thy 
doings  wherein  thou  hast  transgressed  against  me  ;  for 
then  I  will  take  away  out  of  the  midst  of  thee  them 
that  rejoice  in  thy  pride,  and  thou  shalt  no  more  be 
haughty  on  my  holy  mountain.  And  I  will  leave  in 
thy  midst  a  poor  and  humble  people,  and  they  shall 
trust  in  the  name  of  the  Lord.  The  remnant  of  Israel 
shall  not  do  iniquity,  and  they  shall  not  speak  false- 
hood, and  a  tongue  of  deceit  shall  not  be  found  in 
their  mouth"  (iii.  9,  11  — 13). 

(10.)  Hagrjai  (ijn) — The  Israelites,  who  by  the  com- 
mand of  Cyrus  had  discontinued  the  rebuilding  of  the 
Temple  after  the  foundation  had  been  laid  by  his  per- 
mission, were  exhorted  by  Haggai,  in  the  second  year 
of  the  reign  of  Darius,  to  resume  the  work.  Guided 
by  Zerubbabel  and  Joshua,  son  of  Jehozadak,  they 
obeyed,  and  the  prophet  describes  to  them  the  blessing 
which  they  will  henceforth  enjoy. 

(11.)  Zechariah  {rvnyi)  : — 

I.   (i.  to  vii.)  Zechariah,  a  contemporary  of  Haggai, 


OUR  CREED.  85 

exhorts  the  Israelites  to  listen  to  the  words  of  the  pro- 
phets, seeing  that  the  words  of  former  prophets  have 
been  fulfilled.  The  Divine  scheme  for  the  restoration 
of  Israel  and  the  rebuilding  of  the  Temple  in  spite  of 
all  obstacles,  is  shown  to  the  prophet  in  various  visions. 
In  one  vision  Joshua  is  appointed  high-priest,  notwith- 
standing the  aspersions  of  his  adversary  (pw),  and 
Zeruhbabel  or  Zcmach,  the  political  chief  of  the  com- 
munity. Joshua  is  exhorted  "  to  walk  in  the  ways 
of  the  Lord,  to  keep  the  charge  entrusted  to  him, 
and  to  guard  the  House  of  God  and  His  courts ; " 
and  Zerubbabel  is  reminded  that  success  is  not  ob- 
tained "  by  might  and  strength,  but  by  the  spirit 
of  the  Lord."  "  Thus  the  one — Zemach  by  name — 
shall  sit  on  his  throne  and  be  ruler,  and  the  other — 
Joshua — shall  sit  on  his  throne  and  be  priest,  and  a 
counsel  of  peace  shall  be  between  the  two  "  (vi.  i  3). 

2.  Chap.  viii. — The  prophet  is  asked  whether  the 
day  of  mourning  in  the  fifth  month  is  to  be  continued. 
The  prophetic  answer  is  as  follows  :  The  reason  for 
the  mourning  was,  that  your  fathers  did  not  listen  to 
the  word  of  God,  and  were  punished  for  their  dis- 
obedience. Now,  as  the  time  of  punishment  is  over, 
it  is  for  you  to  prevent  a  recurrence  of  these  sad 
experiences.  What  you  have  to  do  is  this :  Speak 
the  truth  one  to  another;  triUh  and  judgment  of  peace 
judge  in  your  gates.  Let  no  one  plan  in  his  heart 
the  ruin  of  his  ncighhour,  and  do  not  love  to  swear 
falsely.  Let  the  fasts  of  the  fourth,  fifth,  seventh,  and 
tenth  months  be  to  the  house  of  Judah  for  rejoicing, 
joy,  and  good  seasons ;  love  truth  and  peace  (viii. 
16,  17,  19).      At  the  same  time  the  promise  is  given 


86  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

that  tlie  time  will  come  when  nations  will  seek  the 
Lord  in  Jerusalem,  and  say  to  the  Jews,  "  We  will  go 
with  you,  for  God  is  with  you"  (viii.  23). 

3.  (ix.-xi.)  The  prophet  encourages  Zion  to  re- 
joice in  her  future  mission ;  her  enemies  round  about 
will  be  brought  to  silence,  and  her  king,  meek  and 
humble,  "  poor  and  riding  on  an  ass,"  "  will  speak 
peace  to  the  nations,  and  his  rule  will  extend  from  sea 
to  sea,  and  from  the  river  to  the  ends  of  the  earth  " 
(ix.  9,  10).  Judah  and  Ephraim  will  unite,  and  both 
will  enjoy  the  Divine  protection.  If  this  has  not  yet 
taken  place,  it  is  the  fault  of  the  "  bad  shepherds,"  i.e., 
the  bad  leaders  of  the  people. 

4.  (xii.-xiv.)  The  prophet  foretells  troubles  which 
will  come  upon  Jerusalem  when  the  nations  will  make 
the  last  effort  to  take  that  city.  They  will  be  de- 
feated, and  Judah  will  be  filled  on  that  occasion  with 
"  a  spirit  of  grace "  (D''31jnni  |n  n)l),  and  will  pray 
to  God  for  the  safety  of  his  enemy ;  the  very  Jews, 
"  whom  the  enemy  desired  to  pierce,"  will  pray  for  him, 
and  mourn  for  his  death  as  a  father  mourneth  for  the 
loss  of  his  only  child.  Judah  will  then  be  free  from 
fiilse  prophets  and  bad  shepherds.  God  will  make 
Himself  known  to  all :  "  And  the  Lord  will  be  a  Kiner 
over  the  whole  earth ;  on  that  day  will  the  Lord  be 
One  and  His  name  One  "  (xiv.  9).  All  will  come  to 
Jerusalem  "  to  worship  the  King,  the  Lord  Zebaoth, 
and  to  celebrate  the  feast  of  Succoth"  (Ibid.  16),  ex- 
pressing thereby  their  conviction  that  God  alone  is 
able  to  afford  protection  and  blessing. 

(12.)  Malachi  (''3x^0). — Malachi,  the  last  of  the  pro- 
phets, exhorts   the   priests  to  true  reverence  of  the 


OUR  CREED.  87 

sanctuary,  and  to  conscientious  fulfilment  of  their 
duties.  The  distinction  of  the  priest  was  based  on  the 
distinction  of  his  conduct :  "  The  law  of  truth  was  in 
his  mouth,  and  iniquity  was  not  found  on  his  lips ;  in 
peace  and  uprightness  he  walked  with  me,  and  many 
turned  he  back  from  iniquity.  For  the  lips  of  the 
priest  shall  keep  knowledge,  and  instruction  shall  they 
seek  of  his  mouth,  for  he  is  a  messenger  of  the  Lord 
Zebaoth  "  (ii.  6,  7).  Judah  is  then  rebuked  for  his 
faithlessness.  Both,  the  Levites  (including  the  priests) 
and  Judah,  will  pass  through  a  process  of  refining  ;  the 
wicked  will  be  removed,  whilst  for  "  those  who  fear 
the  name  of  God "  the  sun  of  salvation  will  shine. 
Those  who  desire  to  obtain  a  place  among  these  latter 
must  "  remember  the  law  of  Moses,  the  servant  of  God, 
which  God  commanded  him  on  Horeb  for  all  Israel ; 
statutes  and  judgments  "  (iii.  22).  Before  the  great 
day  of  the  Lord,  the  day  of  judgment,  the  Lord  will 
send  "  the  prophet  Elijah,  who  will  cause  the  hearts  of 
fathers  and  children  to  unite  in  returning  to  God." 

III.  The  Hagiographa  (o'^niriD). — The  Hagiographa 
form  the  last  collection  of  holy  writings,  composed  by 
men  who,  although  they  were  not  prophets,  were  filled 
with  the  spirit  of  the  Lord  ('>''  mi).  They  include  the 
three  larger  works :  (a)  h'hr\r\  (or  tihn)  Psalms,  "6c^tt 
Proverbs,  and  aVi^  Job ;  (h)  the  Five  Scrolls  (c^nn 
T\'h'x6),  viz.,  Dn''t^^■^  y^v  Song  of  Songs,  ni")  Puth,  n3"'S 
Lamentations,  n^np  Ecclesiastes,  "iriDS  Esther ;  (c)  the 
historical  books  :  ^K'':n  Daniel,  NiTj;  Ezra,  N'-on:  Nehe- 
miah,  and  O'lnTi  nan  the  two  books  of  Chronicles. 

I .  Psalms  {uhrTi). — The  Psalms  are  hymns  containing 


88  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

praises  of  God's  greatness,  prayers  for  His  mercy,  and 
meditations  on  His  wisdom,  power,  justice,  and  good- 
ness. However  various  the  Psalms  are  in  form  and 
contents,  they  have  this  in  common,  that  they  all 
are  based  on  the  purest  and  sincerest  trust  in  God's 
justice  and  goodness.  "The  mighty  and  proud,  DHT 
who  rely  on  their  owr>.  strength  and  are  guided  by  the 
dictates  of  their  own  will,  cannot  succeed  for  ever  ; 
the  poor  and  humble,  n^"i3i?  who  rely  on  God's  mercy 
and  are  guided  by  the  word  of  God,  will  not  suffer  for 
ever."  This  is  the  truth  which  the  Psalmist  proclaims 
in  his  songs  over  and  over  again.  Yet  there  is  a 
great  variety  in  the  contents  of  the  Psalms.  Some  are 
simply  praises  of  God's  greatness,  e.g.,  viii.,  xix.,  xxxii., 
xcii.,  xcv.  to  xcix.,  ciii.,  civ.,  &c.  Others  are  the  ex- 
pression of  gratitude,  e.g.,  ix.,  xviii.,  xxxiv.,  Ixvi., 
Ixviii.,  &:c.  Many  are  prayers  in  time  of  trouble  ;  in 
most  of  these  the  suppliant  feels  sure  that  God  will 
accept  his  prayer,  and  is  confident  that  help  will 
come.  Such  psalms  are  iii.,  iv.,  v.,  vi.,  xii.,  xiii.,  &c. 
To  this  class  belong  also  all  the  psalms  which  refer  to 
the  troubles  of  David  during  the  reign  of  Saul,  as  Iii., 
liv.,  Ivi.,  lix.,  Ixiii.,  &c. ;  some  of  the  Asaph-psalms, 
Ixxiii.,  Ixxvii.,  Ixxix.,  Ixxx.  ;  the  penitential  psalms, 
in  which  the  sinner  prays  for  mercy,  as  xxv.,  xxxii., 
xxxviii.,  li. ;  and  those  in  which  a  longing  is  expressed 
for  the  House  of  God,  e.g.,  xxvii.,  xlii.,  xliii.,  Ixv., 
Ixxxiv.  Some  psalms  are  a  protest  against  those  who 
rely  on  human  force  and  human  cunning  instead  of 
having  faith  in  God,  a  protest  of  the  D''"i2y  against  the 
view  and  creed  of  the  n^T  and  n''X3  or  D"^3  e.g.,  ix.  and 
X.,  xi.,  xiv.,  xvi.,  xvii.,  &c.      Some  psalms  are  of  a  more 


OUR  CREED.  89 

didactic  character,  showing  the  way  of  true  happiness 
(Ps.  i.),  depicting  a  truly  pious  life  (xv.,  xxiv.),  or  the  ex- 
cellence of  the  word  of  God,  as  xix.,  cxix. ;  or  the  use- 
lessness  of  sacrifice  without  purity  of  heart  (xl.,  1.,  li.). 

The  poetical  form  of  the  Psalms,  as  of  Hebrew 
poetry  in  general,  is  parallelism.  The  sentences  are 
formed  in  such  a  manner  that  the  psalm  can  be 
arranged  in  lines  divisible  into  two  parts,  which  are 
either  two  elements  of  a  single  idea,  or  a  double 
expression  of  the  same  idea,  or  a  combination  of  two 
ideas  or  things  opposed  to  each  other,  illustrating  an 
idea  by  its  antithesis.  In  some  of  the  Psalms  the 
parallelism  is  perfect  throughout,  in  others  it  is  partly 
abandoned,  probably  in  order  not  to  slavishly  subordi- 
nate the  idea  to  the  form  of  its  expression.  The  same 
is  to  be  noticed  as  regards  other  forms  of  the  Psalms. 
Some  are  arranged  alphabetically,  that  is,  the  successive 
verses  begin  with  successive  letters  of  the  alphabet ; 
but  deviations  from  the  plan  are  met  with  almost  in 
all  such  psalms.  There  are  psalms  which  are  divided 
into  a  certain  number  of  parts  or  strophes,  each  part 
beginning  or  ending  with  the  same  phrase  or  verse  ; 
but  almost  invariably  these  phrases  or  verses  undergo 
some  modification. 

The  style  is  naturally  poetical,  and  figurative  lan- 
guage is  employed  throughout.  God  is  a  Rock  ("iiv),  an 
habitation  (pjjrD),  a  Shepherd  (nj;"n),  who  feeds  His  flock 
with  great  care  and  love ;  He  is  an  eagle,  under 
whose  wings  (imiX,  VS3a)  the  weak  find  protection  ;  He 
rides  in  the  heavens  of  the  heavens  of  old  (''»L*'3  23"i 
tnp  ''^ly).  Man  is  compared  to  "  grass  that  withers," 
to  a  "  flower  that  blossoms  in  the  morning,  and  in  the 


90  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

evening  it  is  withered  and  dried  up  ; "  the  life  of  man 
is  but  a  breath  (bn) ;  a  lie  (3T3)  ;  light  in  the  balance 
{n'6]h  D^JTSnn)  ;  he  changes  like  a  garment,  like  a  rai- 
ment. The  days  of  a  long  life  are  like  the  days  of  the 
heavens, the  sun  or  the  moon  (a'^oc'  ''0"'3)  \y^^  ''^^h,  ^^\i^  Dy 
or  riT  ■'JD^).  The  mighty  are  mountains  with  many  peaks 
(CJIJ^J  D''"in),  they  hav«)  horns  like  those  of  the  unicorns, 
whilst  the  weak  are  "  a  wall  bent "  ('<it33  "cp),  "  a  fence 
thrust  down  "  (nMmn  mj) ;  "  they  have  sunk  in  deep 
mire  ;  "  "  they  have  come  into  fire  and  into  water  ;  " 
"  the  waters  have  come  unto  the  soul."  The  meek  are 
''broken  in  heart,"  "crushed  in  spirit."  The  wicked 
and  unjust  are  like  lions  and  dogs ;  they  have  poison 
"  like  the  poison  of  a  serpent,  like  a  deaf  adder  that 
stoppeth  its  ears,  that  does  not  listen  to  the  voice 
of  charmers,  to  the  clever  sorcerer."  Their  words  are 
smooth  like  cream  and  oil,  whilst  in  the  heart  there  are 
war,  daggers,  sharp  swords.  The  threatened  one  runs 
like  a  hind,  escapes  like  a  bird.  Those  who  have  no 
higher  aim  than  material  enjoyments  are  like  "  sheep 
driven  to  death  ;  "  "  man  in  his  dignity,  without  under- 
standing, is  like  cattle  that  perish."  Mishaps  come 
upon  man  like  the  waves  of  the  sea.  The  Divine 
judgment  visits  the  wicked  like  a  thunderstorm;  it 
shakes  the  earth  like  an  earthquake  or  volcano.  Sinners 
receive  "  the  cup  of  confusion "  (n^ynnn  Din)  at  the 
hand  of  God ;  for  "  a  cup  is  in  the  hand  of  the  Lord, 
and  the  wine  therein  is  red ;  it  is  full  with  drink,  and 
He  pours  out  from  it,  but  its  dregs  all  the  wicked  of 
the  earth  will  suck  and  drink." 

The  sinner  is  punished  by  his  own  deed  ;   "  he  digs 
a  pit  and  falls  into  it ;  "    he  feels  like  a  sick  person' 


OUR  CREED.  91 

whose  "  bones  are  troubled,  and  wither ;  "  his  purifi- 
cation is  the  healing  of  the  soul ;  he  is  purified  with 
hyssop ;  he  becomes  whiter  than  snow  (li.  9).  When 
man  sins  he  feels  as  if  he  had  become  a  changed  crea- 
ture, as  if  he  had  now  been  born  and  conceived  in  sin 
(ver.  7) ;  when  he  repents  and  improves,  God  creates 
in  him  a  new  heart,  and  renews  a  firm  spirit  within 
him  (ver.  i  2).  The  wife  of  the  God-fearing  man  is 
compared  to  the  fruitful  vine,  his  children  to  J'oung 
olive-trees  (cxxviii.).  The  righteous  will  flourish  like 
a  palm-tree,  will  grow  high  like  a  cedar  upon  Lebanon 
(xcii.  13).  Whilst  the  righteous  is  like  a  tree  planted 
by  the  brook  of  water,  the  wicked  are  like  chaff  which 
the  wind  drives  away  (i.  3,  4).  Israel  is  likened  to  a 
vine  brought  from  Egypt  and  planted  in  Palestine 
(Ixxx.  9).  Peacefulness  and  brotherly  love,  between 
high  and  low,  the  mighty  and  the  weak,  the  rich  and 
the  poor,  the  wise  and  the  simple,  are  illustrated  by 
the  fine  oil  that  flows  down  from  the  head  to  the 
beard,  the  beard  that  descends  over  the  garments,  and 
the  dew  of  the  high  Hermon  that  comes  down  to  the 
lower  mountains  of  Zion  (cxxx.). 

There  are  some  instances  of  play  upon  words  (Ivi.  9), 
and  of  rhymes  (cxlv.  1 1  ;  xxxiv.  6)  ;  the  latter  are 
apparently  not  intentional. 

Although  we  generally  speak  of  the  Psalms  of 
David,  only  a  portion  of  them  was  composed  by  King 
David ;  the  headings  ascribe  also  one  psalm  to  Moses, 
two  to  King  Solomon,  twelve  to  Asapb,  one  to  Heman, 
and  one  to  Ethan  ;  and  some  have  no  author  mentioned 
in  the  heading.  Many  have  no  superscription  at  all, 
and  most  of  these  seem  to  belong  to  a  later  period. 


92  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

The  individual  psalms  Lave  various  names.  The 
most  general  of  them  is  iiDtO  a  poem,  set  in  music. 
Of  some  it  is  distinctly  stated  that  they  were  intended 
to  be  sung ;  this  is  expressed  in  the  heading  by  the 
word  TtJ'  "  song,"  which  either  precedes  or  follows  the 
title  -iiiDta  or  stands  alone  without  iioio.  The  terra, 
T^  "  song,"  is  further  qualified  by  n''3n  naiJn  "  of  the 
dedication  of  the  house,"  nnn''  "  of  love,"  and  nhv^n 
or  jyhvioh  "of  degrees  leading  upward,"  i.e.,  towards 
God.  Another  name  occurring  in  twelve  psalms  is 
^^^:^♦0  "  instructive  song ; "  the  mascMl  proclaims  the 
lesson  that  God  is  King  of  the  universe,  and  that  those 
are  happy  who  trust  in  His  justice  and  mercy.  A 
similar  meaning  attaches  to  ic^^  the  word  superadded 
to  ^•'atJ'O  in  Ps.  Ix. ;  lit.  "  to  teach,"  i.e.,  that  the  song- 
be  learnt  by  all,  in  order  that  people  may  strengthen 
their  confidence  in  God  in  times  of  trouble  (comp.  2  Sam. 
i,  1 8).  The  meaning  of  Tntn^  which  occurs  in  two  psalms 
(xxxviii.  and  Ixx.),  is  "  for  prayer."  There  is  one  psalm 
min^  (c),  "  for  thanksgiving  ;  "  another  "  for  the  Sab- 
bath-day," nnt'n  U\'h  (xcii.).  Four  psalms  are  called 
n7Qn  "prayer"  (xvii.,  Ixxxvi.,  xc,  cii.)  ;  one  (cxlv.), 
n^nn  "  praise  ;  "  one  (vii.),  |V3ty  "  an  error,"  ^  referring  to 
the  miscalculation  of  the  wicked  in  preparing  weapons 
against  the  innocent,  which  weapons  are  turned  against 
themselves ;  and  six  are  superscribed  DDSO  "  a  jewel." 
Such  a  jewel  is  the  Psalmist's  "  faith  in  God,"  that 
inspires  him  with  hope  and  pure  joy  in  the  midst  of 
misfortune. 

The  headings  include  also  instructions  for  the  singers 
and  references  to  the  musical  instruments  which  are  to 

^  Conip.  p.  83. 


OUR  CREED.  93 

be  used.  The  most  general  term  is  nVJD^  "  to  tlie  cliief/' 
sciL,  of  the  singers  or  Levites ;  it  refers  to  the  chief 
of  a  particular  division  of  the  Levites  if  it  is  followed 
by  a  qualifying  phrase,  and  to  the  chief  of  all  the 
Levites  if  it  is  not  followed  by  any  qualification.  The 
term  mi'ch  describes  the  psalm  as  a  Temple-song, 
although  this  may  not  have  been  its  original  object. 
Even  poems  which  have  been  composed  by  David  on 
certain  personal  events  became — perhaps  slightly  modi- 
fied— national  songs,  and  formed  part  of  the  public 
service.  The  adaptation  was  easy,  because  these  his- 
torical psalms  rarely  contain  any  allusion  to  the  par- 
ticular event  mentioned  in  the  superscription. 

The  term  nV3»^  is  qualified  by  n3''J3  bv  "  on  a  stringed 
instrument,"  n^i^  being  the  particular  instrument  of 
the  Levites,  of  whom  this  nV30  was  the  master, 
The  term  mrJJl  which  in  several  psalms  follows  the 
word  nv:ioi?  is  grammatically  unconnected  with  the 
latter ;  it  means  "  on  stringed  instruments,"  and  is 
the  instruction  for  the  nvJO.  There  were  several  kinds 
of  such  instruments  ;  two  kinds  are  named  n''3''0ty  and 
DTlJ  "  the  neginath  with  eight  strings "  or  "  chords," 
and  "the  gittith"  coming  from  Gath,  a  town  in  the 
land  of  the  Philistines.  Other  kinds  of  musical  instru- 
ments are  ni^TlJ  (v.),  n^n»  (Hii.),  and  nioi'j;  (xlvi.) ; 
these  are  hollow  flute-like  instruments,  also  called 
n'hl^  (i  Chron.  XV.  20).  In  some  cases  the  division  of 
Levites  is  named  instead  of  the  instrument :  pniT' 
"Jeduthun"  (xxxix.,  Ixii.  and  Ixxvii. ;  comp.  i  Chron. 
XXV.  3)  ;  mp  ''23^  "  to  the  sons  of  Korah  "  (xlii.  to  xlix., 
and  Ixxxiv.  to  Ixxxviii.) ;  once  the  direction  occurs 
rw^]}^   (Ixxxviii.),    "  to    sing   alternately,"    referring  to 


94  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

the  two  divisions  of  Levites  headed  by  ""niTXH  p"'n  and 
^niTSn  jn-S  "  the  Ezrahite  Heman,"  and  "  the  Ezrahite 
Ethan  "  (Ixxxviii.  and  Ixxxix.). 

A  few  terras  are  met  with  in  the  headings  which  de- 
scribe the  contents  of  the  psalm  in  a  poetical  style.  Such 
are  (a.)  nnjJ  ]iyW,  nnjf  n'':^'l^  and  n'^ii^l^  (Ix.,  Ixxx.,  xlv., 
and  Ixix.),  "  Testimony  for  the  lily  or  lilies,"  or  "  for 
lilies."  The  poet  calls  by  this  name  the  flower  of  the 
nation,  the  meek  and  God-fearing,  who  are  under  the 
special  protection  of  God,  and  are  destined  to  be 
crowned  in  the  end  with  glory  and  victory,  (b.)  n^'^s 
"inc^n  (xxii.),  "  The  strength  of  the  dawn."  The  phrase 
refers  to  the  strength  given  to  the  sufferer  in  the 
darkness  of  his  despair  by  the  awakening  of  his  faith 
in  God,  which  is  compared  by  the  poet  to  the  dawn  as 
the  forerunner  of  daylight,  (c.)  nnc>n  bn  "Do  not 
destroy  "  (Ivii.,  Iviii.,  lix.,  and  Ixxv.).  By  this  heading 
the  author  indicates  that  the  psalm  is  a  protest  against 
the  self-confidence  of  the  wicked  in  the  success  of  their 
wickedness,  either  with  reference  to  their  evil  designs 
against  the  author  himself,  or  to  their  plans  in  general. 
(d.)  DVm  thii  nJI^  "Dove  in  the  force  of  those  far," 
sciL,  from  God  (Ivi.).  The  psalm  contains  the  ex- 
pression of  David's  faith  in  God  when  he  was  caught 
by  the  Philistines  in  Gath. 

In  some  of  the  headings  the  event  is  mentioned 
which  prompted  the  Psalmist  to  compose  the  psalm  : 
David's  flight  from  Jerusalem  when  Absalom  rebelled 
against  him  (iii.) ;  the  slander  of  the  Benjamite  Kush 
(vii.)  ;  the  death  of  Labben  (ix.) ;  rescue  from  the 
hands  of  Saul  and  other  enemies  (xiii.) ;  dedication  of 
the  house  (xxx.)  :   David's  escape  from  Abimelech,  kino- 


OUR  CREED.  95 

of  the  Philistines  (xxxiv.)  ;  his  capture  by  the  Philis- 
tines in  Gath  (Ivi.) ;  his  stay  in  the  cave  of  Adullam 
(Ivii.,  cxlii.) ;  danger  of  being  put  to  death  by  the 
servants  of  Saul  (lix.)  ;  war  with  Aram  and  Edoni  (Ix.) ; 
sojourn  in  the  wilderness  of  Judah  (Ixiii.). 

The  order  of  the  Psalms  is  not  chronological;  e.g., 
chap.  iii.  refers  to  the  rebellion  of  Absalom,  whilst 
chap,  cxlii.  was  composed  before  the  death  of  Saul. 
The  principle  which  guided  the  collector  in  fixing 
the  place  of  each  psalm  is  not  known.  But  it  is  cer- 
tainly not  the  result  of  mere  chance  that  the  first  two 
psalms  speak  of  the  Law  of  God,  and  of  the  punish- 
ment of  those  who  rebel  against  God  and  against 
His  anointed  ;  and  that  the  last  psalm  calls  upon  all 
to  praise  God  with  all  their  soul :  "  Let  every  thing 
that  hath  breath  praise  the  Lord,  Hallelujah  !  "  Nor  is 
it  mere  chance  that  the  psalms  are  divided,  like  the 
Law,  into  five  groups  or  books,  each  one  ending  with 
a  doxology.  It  is  possible  that  the  psalms  were  recited 
or  sung  at  the  public  service  in  a  manner  correspond- 
ing to  the  reading  of  the  Law  and  the  Prophets. 

The  first  two  books  contain  most  of  the  psalms  super- 
scribed Tn!?  "  by  David,"  but  there  are  also  some  in  the 
other  books  (one  in  III.,  two  in  IV.,  fourteen  in  V.).  At 
the  end  of  the  second  book  (Ixxii.  20)  the  following 
words  are  added  :  "  The  prayers  of  David,  the  son  of 
Jesse,  are  ended ;  "  i.e.,  the  hope  which  has  just  been 
expressed  in  the  words  }»-iKn  ^3  ns  '•''  Ti33  X^m  "And 
the  whole  earth  shall  be  filled  with  the  glory  of  God,'*' 
forms  the  aim  and  end  of  all  the  prayers  of  David,  the 
son  of  Jesse.  The  verse  does  not  mean  that  the  first 
seventy-two    chapters  of  the   Psalms   contain   all    the 


96  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

prayers  of  David,  as  there  are  several  psalms  of  David 
between  chaps.  Ixxiii.  and  cl. 

The  Psalms  were  composed  by  David  and  other 
authors  partly  for  private  use,  partly  for  the  public 
service  in  the  Temple  and  other  places  of  worship. 
Of  those  that  were  originally  for  private  use  some  were 
subsequently  adapted  for  public  service,  and  even  those 
intended  from  the  beginning  for  public  worship  were 
adapted  to  the  different  modes  of  recitation  or  singing. 
The  Book  of  Psalms  includes,  therefore,  two  recensions 
of  several  chapters  ;  e.g.,  xiv.  and  liii. ;  xviii.  and  2  Sam. 
xxii. ;  Ix.  7—14  and  cviii.  7-14;  Ivii.  8—12  and  cviii. 
2—6;  cv.  I  — 15  and  I  Chron.  xvi.  8—22;  xcvi.  and 
I  Chron.  xvi.  23—33  ;  cxxxv.  and  cxxxvi. 

A  considerable  portion  of  our  daily  prayers  consists 
of  psalms.  We  distinguish  the  following  groups  : — 
(a.)  Kion  '•pIDS  "Verses  of  song,"  Ps.  cxlv.  to  cl. ;  to 
which  the  following  are  added  on  Sabbaths  and  Fes- 
tivals :  xix.,  xxxiv.,  xc,  xci.,  cxxxv.,  cxxxvi.  (called 
byan  hbr^  "the  great  Hallel"),  xxxiii.,  xcii.,  and  xciii. 
(&■)  DV  ^i^'  '\''^  "  Song  of  the  day  ;  "  a  different  psalm  is 
recited  each  day  of  the  week  after  the  morning  prayer  in 
the  following  order  :  xxiv.,  xlviii.,  Ixxxii,,  xciv.,  Ixxxi., 
xciii.,  xcii.  (c.)  nnt^♦  n^np  "  Friday  evening  psalms," 
xcv.  to  xcix.  (d.)  Sabbath  afternoon  psalms :  civ., 
cxx.  to  cxxxiv.  (c.)  ^^n  "Praise,"  cxiii.  to  cxviii. 
(/.)  Penitential  psalms  after  evening  prayer  on  week- 
days, in  the  following  order  :  xxv.,  xxxii.,  xxxviii.,  li., 
Ixxxvi. 

2.  ''^t>D  Proverbs  of  Solomon,  the  son  of  David,  kin^  of 
Israel.  The  Book  of  Proverbs  belongs  to  those  Biblical 
books  which   are  called  nODH  nsD  "  books  of  wisdom." 


OUR  CREED.  97 

Tliey  appeal  to  the  reason  of  man,  and  do  not  support 
their  words  by  the  authority  of  Revelation,  although 
the  authors  and  those  who  gave  them  the  final  shape 
were  inspired  and  guided  by  the  -n  mi  "  the  divine 
spirit."  The  commandments  of  God  and  His  ways  are 
referred  to  as  the  safest  guide  for  man  in  all  condi- 
tions of  life.  Three  books  are  included  in  this  class  : 
Proverbs,  Job,  and  Ecclesiastes. 

"  The  Proverbs  of  Solomon "  are  divided  into  the 
following  six  sections: — (^4.)  Introduction,  i.  to  ix. ; 
(B.)  Collection  of  Proverbs  :  (a.)  Proverbs  of  Solomon, 
X.  to  xxii.  1 6  ;  (b.)  Words  of  the  Wise,  xxii.  1 7  to 
xxiv.  2  2  ;  (c.)  Second  group  of  Words  of  the  Wise, 
XXV.  34;  (d.)  Proverbs  of  Solomon  collected  by  the 
men  of  Hezekiah,  xxv.  to  xxviii. ;  (e.)  Words  of  Agur- 
bin-yakeh,  xxx. ;   (/.)  Words  of  Lemuel,  xxxi. 

The  fourth  section  (chaps,  xxv.  to  xxix.)  is  introduced 
by  the  following  superscription : — "  Also  these  are  the 
Proverbs  of  Solomon,  which  the  men  of  Hezekiah,  king 
of  Judah,  had  removed."  The  men  of  Hezekiah  seem  to 
have  been  uncertain  whether  this  section  should  form 
part  of  the  book,  because  of  the  seeming  contradiction 
between  the  fourth  and  fifth  verses  of  the  twenty-sixth 
chapter.  The  men  of  the  Great  Synagogue  decided 
the  question  in  favour  of  its  incorporation  in  the  book, . 
and  reconciled  the  seeming  contradiction  by  their  in- 
terpretation. 

The  fifth  collection  of  proverbs  is  ascribed  to  Agur- 
hin-yakch,  an  allegorical  phrase  meaning  "  collection 
deserving  respect."  The  collection  is  further  called 
"  the  burden  " — the  usual  heading  of  prophecies — in 
order  to  give  it  more  weight.     Also  the  rest  of  the 


98  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

superscription,  "The  saying  of  the  man  Le'itliiel, 
LeWiicl  vc-ucchal,  is  of  an  allegorical  character,  signify- 
ing, "  God — i.e.,  the  word  of  God — is  my  task,  and  I  shall 
prevail."  The  phrase  is  set  forth  more  clearly  in  the 
succeeding  verses  :  human  knowledge  is  insufficient, 
but  "  All  the  woi\l  of  God  is  pure ;  he  is  a  shield  to 
those  who  trust  in  him"  (xxx.  5).  The  second  half 
of  this  collection  has  the  heading  La-alulmh,  "  For 
a  necklace "  {comiJ.  i.  9),  similar  in  meaning  to  the 
heading  nn3D  "  Jewel,"  in  the  Psalms.  The  form  of 
these  proverbs,  based  on  the  numbers  two,  three,  and 
four,  is  similar  to  ihat  of  the  prophecies  of  Amos 
(chaps,  i.  and  ii.).  The  last  collection  is  headed, 
"Words  to  Lemuel,  the  king;  the  burden  wherewith 
his  mother  instructed  him."  The  contents  of  the  in- 
struction is,  ' '  Be  not  licentious  and  intemperate  ;  help 
the  poor  and  oppressed."  The  name  Lemuel  is  like- 
wise allegorical,  meaning  "  God-ward."  The  book 
concludes  with  the  praises  of  a  virtuous  woman. 

{A.)  Introduction. — The  object  of  the  book  is  set  forth 
in  verses  2  to  7  of  the  first  chapter  as  follows :  "To  make 
man  know  wisdom  and  instruction,  comprehend  words 
of  understanding,  and  take  the  instruction  of  acting 
wisely,  with  justice,  judgment,  and  righteousness ;  to 
give  skill  to  the  simple  ;  to  the  young  knowledge 
and  discretion ;  that  the  wise  may  hear  and  increase 
doctrine,  and  the  prudent  acquire  cleverness  to  under- 
stand proverb  and  figure,  the  words  of  wise  men  and 
their  allegories.  The  beginning  of  knoivledge  is  the  fear 
of  the  Lord ;  wisdom  and  instruction  fools  despise." 
This  last  sentence  is  the  basis  of  the  book.  Without 
fear  of  the  Lord  all  knowledge  and  wisdom  will  prove 


I 


OUR  CREED.  99 

insuflacient  for  establishing  man's  true  happiness.  The 
Introduction  consists  of  several  connected  addresses, 
in  which  the  author  persuades  the  reader  to  listen 
to  his  advice,  and  keep  away  from  wicked  people  be- 
fore it  is  too  late.  He  exhorts  man  to  entrust  him- 
self to  the  guidance  of  the  Lord,  and  not  to  rely  on 
his  own  understanding.  ^'  Be  not  wise  in  thine  eyes; 
fear  the  Lord,  and  dtyart  from  evil "  (iii.  7).  He 
warns  against  bad  society,  against  becoming  security  for 
debtors,  and  against  idleness.  The  two  ways  open  to 
man  are  allegorically  represented  by  two  women,  the 
one  wise,  the  other  foolish ;  the  one  leading  to  happi- 
ness, the  other  to  ruin ;  each  one  inviting  man  to  her 
house,  and  displaying  in  the  very  act  of  invitation  her 
full  character. 

{B.)  The  collections  of  proverbs  begin  with  the 
tenth  chapter.  The  proverbs  have  the  form  of  paral- 
lelism, each  verse  being  divided  into  two  parts,  mostly 
containing  an  anithesis  illustrating  the  difference  be- 
tween the  wise  and  the  foolish,  the  good  and  the  bad, 
the  just  and  the  unjust,  the  industrious  and  the  idle, 
the  rich  and  the  poor,  and  the  like.  Each  verse  is  a 
proverb  by  itself,  and  is  independent  of  the  verses 
which  precede  and  follow.  There  are  only  a  few  pas- 
sages in  which  several  verses  are  connected,  and  these 
occur  in  the  later  collections,  c.^.,  xxii.  22—23,  24—25, 
26-27;  xxiii.  1-3,4-5,6-9,  lo-ii,  12-13,  20- 
21,  29-35;  xxiv.  3-7,  10-12,  30-34;  xxvii.  23- 
27.  The  whole  of  the  thirtieth  chapter  consists  of 
small  paragraphs  of  three  or  four  verses,  and  the  last 
chapter  consists  of  two  continuous  parts. 

In  these  collections  of  proverbs  we  find  advice  for 


icK)  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

every  condition  of  our  life.      Our  relation  to   God  is 
shown  ;  how  He  loves  the  good  and  just : — 

"The  way  of  the  wicked  is  an  abomination  of  the  Lord; 
but  he  loveth  him  who  pursues  righteousness " 
(xv.  9). 

"  The  sacrifice  of  the  Avicked  is  an  abomination  of  the 
Lord,  but  the  prayer  of  the  righteous  is  his  plea- 
sure "  (xv.  8). 

"  The  Lord  is  far  from  the  wicked,  but  he  heareth  tlie 
prayer  of  the  righteous  "  (xv.  29). 

"  To  do  justice  and  judgment  is  more  acceptable  to  the 
Lord  than  sacrifice  "  (xxi.  3). 

He  protects  the  poor,  the  weak,  the  widow,  and  the 
orphan  : — 

"  He  wlio  oppresseth  the  poor,  blasphemeth  his  Maker  ; 

and  he  who   is  gracious  to   the   needy,   honoureth 

him  "  (xiv.  31). 
"  He  who  is  gracious  to  the  poor-,  lendeth  to  the  Lord, 

and  he  will  repay  him  his  reward  "  (xix.  17). 
"Do  not  rob  the  poor  because  he  is  poor;  and  do  not 

crush  the  poor  in  the  gate,  for  the  Lord  will  plead 

their  cause,  and  will  take  the  soul  of  those  who 

rob  them"  (xxii.  23). 
"  The  Lord  will  pull  do\vn  the  house  of  the  proud,  and 

will  estabUsh  the  border  of  the  widow"  (xv,  25). 
"  The  rich  and  the  poor  meet ;  the  Maker  of  them  all  is 

the  Lord"  (xxii.  2). 

He  punishes  the  evil-doer  and  rewards  the  righteous  : — 

"  Do  not  say,  I  will  repay  evil ;  hope  in  the  Lord,  and 

he  will  help  thee"  (xx.  22). 
"  He  who  closeth  his  ear  because  of  the  crying  of  the 


OUR  CREED.  loi 

poor,  he  also  will  call  and  will  not  be  answered " 

(xxi.  13). 
"  He  who  keepeth  a  command,  keepeth  his  soul ;  he  who 

despiseth  his  ways  shall  die"  (xix.  16). 
"  When  the  Lord  is  pleased  with  the  ways  of  man,  he 

will  cause  even   his   enemies   to   make   peace   with 

him"  (xvi.  7). 
"  The   Lord   will  not   let  the  soul  of  the   righteous   be 

hungry,  but  the  desire  of  the  wicked  will  he  thrust 

back"  (x.  3). 

He  knows  the  heart  of  man  : — 

"  There  is  a  test  for  silver,  and  a  refining  pot  for  gold ; 
but  God  trieth  the  hearts  "  (xvii,  3). 

He  directs  all  events  : — 

"  Man's  heart  planneth  his  way,  but  the  Lord  directeth 

his  step  "  (xvi.  9). 
"  The  horse  is   prepared   for  the   day  of  war,  but   the 

victoiy  is  the  Lord's"  (xxi.  31). 

His  blessing  is  a  true  blessing : — 

"The  blessing  of  the  Lord,  it  maketh  rich,  and  doth  not 
increase  trouble  with  it"  (x.  22). 

His  Will  alone  must  be  obeyed  : — 

"There  is  no  wisdom,  and  no   understanding,   and   no 

counsel  against  the  Lord  "  (xxi,  30), 
"  Whoso    despiseth    a  word    will    be    punished,    but    he 

who   feareth  a   commandment  will   be   rewarded " 

(xiii.  13). 
"  Without  a  vision  the  people  cometh  into  disorder;  but 

he  who  keepeth  the  Law,  happy  is  he"  (xxix.  18). 


I02  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

The  fear  of  the  Lord  is  the  basis  of  a  virtuous  and 
happy  life  : — 

"The  fear  of  the  Lord  is  the  beginning  of  knowledge 
(i.  7)  ;  the  fountain  of  hfe  (xiv,  27) ;  the  fear  of  the 
Lord  adds  days,  but  the  years  of  the  wicked  will  be 
short"  (x.  27). 

According  as  we  display  wisdom  or  folly  we  make 
others  and  ourselves  happy  or  unhappy : — 

"  A  wise  son  giveth  joy  to  his  father,  and  a  foolish  son 
is  the  sorrow  of  his  mother"  (x.  i). 

"The  wisdom  of  woman  buildeth  her  house,  and  folly 
pulleth  it  down  by  her  hands"  (xiv.  i). 

"  Eat,  my  son,  honey,  for  it  is  good,  and  honeycomb, 
which  is  sweet  for  thy  palate ;  know  that  thus 
is  wisdom  for  thy  soul ;  if  thou  hast  found  it,  there 
is  a  future,  and  thy  hope  will  not  be  cut  off  "  (xxiv. 

13.  14)- 
"  The  prudent  seeth  evil,  and  is  hidden ;   the  ignorant 

pass  by,  and  are  punished"  (xxvii.  12), 
"  As  a  jewel  of  gold  in  a  swine's  snout,  so  is  a  fair  woman 

without  discretion"  (xi.  22). 
"  The  simple  believeth  every  word ;  but  the  prudent  man 

looketh  well  to  his  going"  (xiv.  15). 

The  ways  of  wisdom  and   folly  are  frequently  dis- 
played in  our  words  : — 

"  In  the  multitude  of  words  there  wanteth  not  sin,  but 
he  who  spareth  his  words  acts  wisely"  (x.  19). 

"A  soft  answer  turneth  back  wrath,  but  a  harsh  word 
raiseth  anger"  (xv.  i). 

"  Also  a  fool  when  silent  is  considered  wise ;  he  who 
closeth  his  lips  is  prudent"  (xvii.  28). 


OUR  CREED.  103 

"  He  who  keepeth  his  mouth  and  his  tongue,  keepeth 

his  soul  from  trovibles  "  (xxi.  23). 
"  By  long-suffering  the  prince  is  persuaded  ;  and  a  soft 

tongue  breaketh  a  bone"  (xxv.  15). 
"  Answer  not  a  fool  like  his  folly,  lest  thou  be  equal  to 

him.     Answer  a  fool  according  to  his  folly,  lest  he 

be  wise  in  his  eyes  "  (xxvi,  4,  5). 

The  principal  virtues  recommended  to  man  are 
righteousness  (npiv),  honesty  (n3104<),  truthfulness  (ntts), 
meekness  (niijj),  industry,  thrift,  temperance,  content- 
ment, and  moderation  : — 

"Treasures  of  wickedness  are  of  no  profit,  but  righteous- 
ness delivereth  from  death  "  (x.  2). 

"  Better  a  little  in  the  fear  of  the  Lord  than  a  large 
treasure,  and  confusion  therewith  "  (xv.  1 6). 

"The  righteousness  of  the  upright  maketh  his  way 
straight,  but  the  wicked  falleth  by  his  wickedness  " 

(xi.  5)- 
"  The  remembrance  of  the  righteous  is  for  blessing ;  but 

the  name  of  the  wicked  will  rot"  (x.  7). 
"  Guilt  is  the  interpreter  of  fools,  but  favour  that  of  the 

straightforward  "  (xiv.  9), 
"To  do  justice  is  joy  to  the  righteous,  and  a  terror  to 

evil-doers"  (xxi.  15). 
"  Like  a  fountain  made  turbid  and  a  well  that  is  cor- 
rupted, is  the  righteous  that  yieldeth  in  the  presence 

of  the  wicked"  (xxv.  26). 
"  Where  a  man    of    honesty   is,   there  is  multitude   of 

blessings ;    but  he  who  hasteneth   to   become   rich 

will  not  be  guiltless"  (xxviii.  20). 
"  The  lip  of  truth  will  be  established  for  ever,  but  the 

tongue  of  falsehood  for  a  moment"  (xii.  19). 
"A    witness    of    faithfulness    is    he    who    does    not    lie, 


104  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

but  he  who  iittereth  falsehood  is  a  false  witness" 

(xiv.  5).i 
"  A  lip   of   excellency  becometh  not   a  low  man ;    how 

much  less  doth  a  lip  of  falsehood  a  noble  man  !  " 

(xvii.  7). 
"  Pride  came,  and  shame  came ;  but  with  the  meek  is 

wisdom"  (xi.  2). 
"Meekness  cometh  L-efore   honour"  (xv.    33).      "Pride 

cometh   before   the  fall,   and  haughtiness  of   spirit 

before  the   stumbling"   (xvi.    18).       "Let   another 

praise  thee,  and  not  thy  mouth ;    a  stranger,  and 

not  thy  lips"  (xxvii.  2). 
"  He  is  poor  who  worketh  with  a  slack  hand,  but  the 

hand  of  the  industrious  maketh  rich  "  (x.  4). 
"  Better  is  he  who  thinketh  little  of  himself,  and  is  a 

slave  to  himself,  than  he  who  thinketh   much   of 

himself  and  lacketh  bread  "  (xii.  9). 
"The  hand  of  the  industrious  shall  rule,  but  the  slack 

hand  shall  be  tributary  "  (xii.  24). 
"In  all  labour  there  is  profit;  but  when  there  is  only  a 

word  of  lips  it  leads  but  to  want"  (xiv.  23). 
"Also  he  who  is  lazy  in  his  woi-k  is  a  brother  to  the  man 

that  destroyeth  "  (xviii.  9). 
"  I  passed  by  the  field  of  a  slothful  man,  and  the  vineyard 

of  a  man  wanting  heart ;  and  behold,  thorns  have 

come  up  over  the  whole  of  it ;  its  surface  is  covered 

with  thistles,  and  its  stone-fence  is   pulled  down. 

And  I  beheld,   I  turned  my  heart,  I  saw,  I  took 

instruction  :  a  little  of  sleep,  a  little  of  slumber,  a 

little  of  joining  the  hands  to  lie  down;  then  thy 

poverty  cometh  like  a  traveller,  and  thy  want  like 

an  armed  man  "  (xxiv.  30-34). 

^  i.e.,  he  who  is  truthful  in  ordinary  conversation  is  also  a  trust- 
worthy witness  in  a  court  of  justice  ;  those  who  are  accustomed  to  say 
falsehood  cannot  be  trusted  in  important  matters. 


OUR  CREED.  105 

"  The  righteous  eateth  to  the  fulness  of  his  soul,  but  the 
belly  of  the  wicked  shall  want"  (xiii.  25). 

"Wine  is  a  mocker,  strong  drink  roareth,  and  every  one 
that  erreth  therein  will  not  be  wise"  (xx.  i). 

"  Who  hath  woe  ?  who  hath  sorrow  ?  who  hath  conten- 
tions ?  who  hath  complaining  1  who  hath  wounds 
without  cause  ?  who  hath  redness  of  eyes  ?  Those 
who  tarry  long  at  the  wine ;  those  who  come  to 
search  mixed  drink.  Do  not  look  upon  the  wine 
though  it  be  red,  though  it  send  forth  its  colour 
through  the  cup,  though  it  flow  smoothly;  in  the 
end  it  biteth  like  a  serpent  and  stingeth  like  an 
asp;  thine  eyes  shall  see  strange  things,  and  thy 
heart  shall  speak  perverse  things ;  and  thou  shalt 
be  like  one  that  lieth  in  the  midst  of  the  sea,  and 
like  one  that  lieth  on  the  top  of  the  mast.  They 
have  stricken  me,  shalt  thou  say,  and  I  was  not  sick. 
They  have  beaten  me  ;  I  felt  it  not.  When  shall  I 
awake?     I  will  seek  it  yet  again"  (xxiii.  29-35). 

"  He  who  is  greedy  after  gain  troubleth  his  house,  but 
he  who  hateth  gifts  shall  live"  (xv.  27). 

"  He  whose  desire  is  wide  stirreth  up  strife,  but  he  who 
trusteth  in  the  Lord  shall  be  fattened"  (xxviii.  25). 

"  There  are  who  sjiend  liberally,  and  there  is  an  increase  ; 
and  there  are  who  withhold  more  than  is  right,  and 
yet  it  leads  to  want "  (xi.  24). 

"  Know  well  the  state  of  thy  flock ;  set  thy  heait  to  the 
droves ;  for  treasure  is  not  for  ever,  nor  a  crown 
for  generation  and  generation.  When  hay  is  gone, 
and  grass  is  spoilt,  and  the  herbs  of  the  field  are 
gathered  in,  there  are  lambs  for  thy  clothing,  and 
he-goats  are  the  price  of  a  field  :  and  there  will  be 
goats'  milk  enough  for  thy  food,  for  the  food  of 
thy  house,  and  maintenance  for  thy  maidens"  (xxvii. 
23-27). 


io6  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

"  Lust   overcome  is  sweet  to  the  soul ;    but  to   depart 

from  evil  is  the  abomination  of  fools"  (xiii.  19). 
"  Better  is  he  who  is  long-suffering  than  a  hero ;  and  he 

who  ruleth  his  spirit  is  better  than  he   who  con- 

quereth  a  city"  (xvi.  32). 
"  Like  an  open  town  without  a  wall  is  the  man  whose 

spirit  is  without  restraint"  (xxv.  28). 

The  following  proverbs  refer  to  the  relation  between 
husband  and  wife,  and  between  man  and  his  neighbour 
as  friend  or  enemy,  father  and  child,  rich  and  poor,  king 
and  people  : — 

"  He  who  hath  found  a  wife  hath  found  a  good  thing, 

and  obtained  favour  of  the  Lord"  (xviii.  22). 
"A  virtuous  wife    is    the   crown    of   her   husband,  but 

a  wicked  woman  is  like  rottenness   in  his  bones " 

(xii.  4). 
"  House  and  wealth  are  the  inheritance  of  fathers,  but  a 

wise  wife  is  from  the  Lord"  (xix.  14;  chap.  xxxi. 

10  to  end). 
"  He  who  revealeth  a  secret  is  a  slanderer,  but  he  who 

is  faithful  in  spirit  covereth  a  thing"  (xi.  13). 
"  Hatred  stirreth  up  strifes,  but  love  covereth  all  sins  " 

(x.  12). 
"  Better  is  a  meal  of  herbs  where  love  is,  than  a  stalled 

ox  and  hatred  therewith"  (xv.  17). 
"  He  who  covereth  transgression   seeketh  love,  but  he 

who  repeateth  a  matter  separateth  a  friend  "  (xvii.  9). 
''Open  rebuke  is  better  than  secret  love"  (xxvii.  5). 
"He  who  saith  to  the  wicked.  Thou  art  righteous,  him 

shall  the  people  curse,  nations  shall  abhor  him  ;  but 

to  them   that  rebuke  him  shall  be  delight,  and  a 

good  blessing  shall  come  upon  them  "  (xxiv.  24,  25). 
"  Faithful  are  the  wounds  of  a  friend,  but  the  kisses  of 

an  enemy  are  like  smoke  "  (xxvii.  6). 


OUR  CREED.  107 

"  When  there  is  no  wood  the  fire  goeth  out  :  so  when 

there  is  no  tale-bearer  strife  ceaseth  "  (xxvi.  20). 
"  A  kind  man  doth  good  to  his  soul,  and  a  ciuel  man 

troubleth  his  flesh  "  (xi.  1.7). 
"  Rejoice  not  when  thine  enemy  falleth,  and  let  not  thy 

heart  be  glad  when  he  stumbleth,  lest  the  Lord  see 

it  and  it  displease  Him,   and   He  turn  away   His 

wrath  from  him"  (xxiv.  17,  18). 
"  The  righteous  knoweth  the  feelings  of  his  cattle,  but 

the  heart  of  the  wicked  is  cruel "  (xii.  10). 
"  He  who  curseth  his  father  and  his  mother,  his  lamp 

shall  be  put  out  in  obscure  darkness  "  (xx.  20). 
"  Children's  children  are  the  crown  of  old  men,  and  the 

glory  of  children  are  their  fathers  "  (xvii.  6). 
"  The  eye  that  mocketh  at  his  father,  and  despiseth  to 

obey  his  mother,  the  ravens  of  the  valley  shall  pick 

it  out,  and  the  young  eagles  shall  eat  it"  (xxx.  17). 
"  Where  there  is  the  instruction  of  the  father,  there  is  a 

wise  son ;  but  a  mocker  will  he  be  who  heard  no 

rebuke ''  (xiii.  i), 
"  He  who  spareth  his  rod  hateth  his  son,  and  he  who 

loveth  him  chastiseth  him  early  "  (xiii,  24). 
"  Chastise  thy  son  while  there  is  hope,  and  let  not  thy 

soul  turn  to  his  crying"  (xix.  iS). 
"  Train  the  lad  in  his  way,  and  when  he  is  old  he  will 

not  depart  from  it "  (xxii.  6). 
"  Foolishness   is   bound    in   the    heart   of   a   child,   but 

the  rod  of  correction  shall  drive  it  far  from  him  " 

(xxii.  15). 
"Withhold  not  correction   from  the  child;  for  if  thou 

beatest  him  with  the  rod,  he  shall  not  die.     Thou 

shalt  beat  him  with  the  rod,  and  shalt  deliver  his 

soul  from  death"  (xxiii.  13,  14). 
"  The  benevolent  shall  be  blessed,  for  he  hath  given  of 

his  bread  to  the  poor  "  (xxii.  9). 


io8  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

"  The  liberal  soul  shall  be  made  fat,  and  he  that  stilleth 

the  thirst  of  others  shall  also  have  his  thirst  stilled  " 

(xi.  25). 
"He  who  despiseth  his  neighbour  sinneth,  but  whoso  is 

gracious  to  the  poor  is  happy"  (xiv.  24). 
"  In  the  multitude  of  people  is  the  glory  of  the  king ; 

but  in  the  want  of  people  is  the  destruction  of  the 

prince  "  (xiv.  28/, 
"The  king's   wrath   is  like   messengers  of    death;    but 

a  wise  man  will  pacify  it "  (xvi.  14). 
"The  heart  of  a  king  is  in  the  hand  of  the  Lord  like 

brooks  of  water ;  He  turneth  it  whithersoever  He 

liketh"  (xxi.  i). 

On  miscellaneous  subjects  : — 

"  There  is  that  maketh  himself  rich,  yet  hath  nothing  ; 

there  is  that  maketh  himself  poor,  yet  hath  great 

riches"  (xiii.  7). 
"  The  heart  knoweth  its  own  bitterness,  and  a  stranger 

doth  not  intermeddle  with  its  joy"  (xiv.  10). 
"  If  care  is  in  the  heart  of  man,  let  him  still  it ;  if  a 

good  thing,  let  him  brighten  it  up"  (xii.  25). 
'•  He  is  a  guide  to  life  who  keepeth  instruction,  but  he 

that  refuseth  reproof  misleadeth  "  (x.  17). 
"Boast  not  thyself  of  to-morrow;  for  thou  knowest  not 

what  a  day  may  bring  forth  "  (xxvii.  i). 
"All  the  ways  of  man  are  clean  in  his  own  eyes;  but 

the  Lord  weigheth  the  spirits"  (xvi.  2). 

Job,  2VX — The  Book  of  Job  consists  of  the  following 
three  parts  : — 

{a.)  Introduction  (i.  and  ii.). — God  is  figuratively 
represented  as  presiding  over  a  council  of  ministers 
(DTi^i^n  '':!  "  sons  of  God "),  amongst  whom  also  the 
accuser  (\i2\yn  "  the  hinderer,"  one  who  is  hostile  to  the 


OUR  CREED.  log 

word  of  God)  appears.  While  God  praised  the  piety 
of  Job,  the  accuser  doubted  the  purity  of  his  heart,  and 
suggested  that  if  any  adversity  were  to  befall  Job  he 
would  no  longer  be  pious  ;  Job,  exposed  to  hard  trials, 
remained  firm  in  his  faith  in  God.  "  Naked  came  I 
forth  from  my  mother's  womb,  and  naked  shall  I 
return  thither  ;  the  Lord  hath  given,  and  the  Lord 
hath  taken  :  let  the  name  of  the  Lord  be  praised  "  (i. 
2  I ).  "  Skin  for  skin,"  said  the  accuser,  "  and  every- 
thing that  man  hath,  he  giveth  for  his  soul ;  but 
stretch  now  forth  thy  hand  and  touch  his  bone  and 
Ids  flesh  :  surely  he  will  take  leave  of  thee  in  thy 
presence"  (ii.  5).  The  trial  was  granted.  And  when 
Job's  wife  was  surprised  that  Job  was  still  holding  to 
his  integrity,  adding  "  Take  leave  of  God  and  die,"  he 
replied,  "  Thou  speakest  like  the  speaking  of  one  of 
the  wicked  women.  Are  we  to  accept  of  God  the 
good,  and  shall  we  not  accept  the  evil  ?  " — "  In  all  this 
did  Job  not  sin  with  his  lips,  and  did  not  find  fault 
with  God"  (i.  22).  His  friends  came  to  see  him,  but 
felt  so  distressed  that  they  sat  with  him  for  seven 
days  without  uttering  a  word. 

(&.)  Discussion  between  Job  and  his  friends  Eliphaz, 
Bildad,  Zophar,  and  Eliliu ;  Job  asserting  his  inno- 
cence, and  consequent  inability  to  see  the  justice 
of  his  afflictions ;  his  friends  contending  that  he  has 
sinned,  and  has  been  justly  punished ;  Elihu  attempts 
to  justify  Job's  sufferings,  on  the  plea  that  they  are 
merely  a  reminder  sent  by  God  that  Job  has  sinned, 
and  must  seek  reconciliation  with  God,  who  is  All- 
wise,  All-good,  and  All-powerful ;  God  addresses  Job, 
and    shows    him    man's    inability    to    comprehend   the 


no  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

Divine  power  and  wisdom  in  the  creation  and  in  the 
ruling  of  the  universe ;  whereupon  Job  repents. 

(c.)  Conclusion. — God  rebukes  the  friends  of  Job, 
that  they  have  not  spoken  rightly  like  His  servant  Job 
(xlii.  7),  and  richly  compensates  Job  for  his  sufferings 
and  losses. 

The  book  has  no  heading,  and  therefore  we  do 
not  know  by  whom  or  when  it  was  written.  There 
is,  however,  a  tradition,  mentioned  in  the  Talmud 
(Eaba  Bathra,  p.  14&),  that  Moses  wrote  the  Book  of 
Job.  Even  about  Job  himself  it  is  impossible  to 
ascertain  at  what  time  he  lived.  But  the  description 
of  his  riches  and  the  length  of  his  life  leads  us  to  think 
of  the  time  of  the  patriarchs.  His  name  is  mentioned 
only  in  one  other  book  of  the  Bible.  The  prophet 
Ezekiel  names  him  together  with  Noah  and  Daniel  as 
a  righteous  man  who  would,  by  his  piety,  save  himself 
in  the  time  of  general  calamity,  though  he  would  not 
be  able  to  save  his  generation  (Ezek.  xiv.  14).  There  is 
also  an  opinion  that  Job  never  existed  at  all.  t<^  nvs 
n'-n  ^ty»  X^X  S123  xh  HTi  "Job  never  lived;  nor  has  he 
had  any  existence;  the  story  is  all  only  an  allegory" 
(Babyl.  Talm.  Baba  Bathra,  i  5a).  This  dictum  can  only 
refer  to  the  detailed  account  of  the  manner  in  which  the 
misfortune  came  upon  Job,  and  the  poetical  discussion  of 
Job  and  his  friends.  But  it  is  undeniable  that  a  pious 
man  of  the  name  of  Job  lived,  and  escaped  from  a  cala- 
mity to  which  others  succumbed  ;  since  it  is  clear  that 
Ezekiel  refers  to  real  and  not  to  imaginary  personages. 
Job  and  his  friends  were  not  Israelites.  The  patriarch 
lived  in  the  land  of  Uz  in  Arabia ;  the  friends  came 
from  Teman,  Shuah,  Naamah,  and  Buz,  in  the  south, 


OUR  CREED.  Ill 

east,  west,  and  north  of  Uz.  Like  the  "Book  of  Jonnli, 
this  book  conveys  the  lesson,  p^n  DH^  t:'^  th)]}^  nvotx  ''T'Dn 
t<3n  D^lj;^  "  The  pious  of  all  nations  have  a  j)ortion  in 
the  world  to  come  "  (Maim.,  Mishneh-torah  I.  Hilchoth 
Teshubah,  iii.  5).  God  rewards  the  righteous  of 
all  nations,  punishes  those  among  them  who  deserve 
punishment,  and  pardons  the  penitent. 

The  introduction  and  conclusion  are  written  in  prose, 
but  the  principal  part  of  the  book  is  poetical,  and  con- 
sequently parallelism  is  a  predominant  feature  of  the 
book. 

The  following  are  a  few  sentences  from  the  book  : — 

"  Shall  we  receive  good  at  the  hand  of  God,  and  shall  we 
not  receive  evil?"  (ii,  10). 

*'  The  small  and  great  are  there  (in  the  grave),  and  the 
servant  is  free  from  his  master  "  (iii.  1 9). 

"  Shall  mortal  man  be  more  just  than  God  1  shall  a  man 
be  more  pure  than  his  Maker?"  (iv.  17). 

"  Behold,  happy  is  the  man  whom  God  correcteth  :  there- 
fore despise  not  thou  the  chastening  of  the  Al- 
mighty "  (v.  I  7). 

"Is  there  not  an  appointed  time  to  man  upon  earth? 
are  not  his  days  also  like  the  days  of  an  hireling  ?  " 
(yii.  i).  ^ 

"  He  is  wise  in  heart,  and  mighty  in  strength ;  who  hath 
hardened  himself  against  him,  and  hath  prospered?" 
(ix.  4). 

"Though  he  slay  me,  yet  will  I  trust  in  him"  (xiii.  15). 

"  For  I  know  that  my  Redeemer  liveth,  and  he  will  rise 
in  the  end  over  the  dust"  (xix.  25). 

"  And  when  my  skin  is  gone,  when  worms  have  destroyed 
this  body,  and  when  my  flesh  is  no  more,  yet  shall  I 
see  God"  (xix.  26). 

"  And  unto  man  he  said,  Behold,  the  fear  of  the  Lord, 


1,2  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

that  is  wisdom;   and  to  depart  from  evil,   that   is 
understanding"  (xsviii.  28). 

The  following  passages  are  noteworthy,  on  account 
of  both  their  lofty  thought  and  their  poetical  form  : — 

Eliphaz  mildly  rebukes  Job,  exhorting  him  to  repent- 
ance (iv.). 

Job's  charge  against  the  cruelty  of  his  friends  (v.  12-30). 

Bildad's  view  of  God's  justice  (viii.  3-13). 

Job's  conception  of  God's  Omnipotence  (ix.  2-12). 

Zophar's  explanation  of  God's  justice  (xi.  2-7,  10-15). 

Job's  declaration  of  his  faith  in  God  (xiii.  6-16;  xix. 
23-27  ;  xxiii.  3-12). 

Job's  confession  of  man's  dependence  on  God's  wisdom 
(xxviii.  I,  2,  12-28). 

Job's  defence  of  his  innocence  (xxxi.). 

Elihu's  defence  of  God's  justice  (xxxiii.  8,  9,  12-30). 

Job  is  shown  his  ignorance  (xxxviii.  3-24) ;  his  impotence 
(xl.  9-14). 

Job's  contrition  (xlii.  2-6). 

The  three  books,  Psalms,  Proverbs,  and  Job,  are 
distinguished  from  the  rest  of  the  Bible  by  their 
peculiar  accents,  which  are  on  this  account  called  '•njJD 
n"cx  "the  accents  of  the  books,  D''^nr),  "'^t^D  and  nvj^." 

The  Song  of  Solomon,  Dn^cn  T'C  (lit.,  The  Song  of 
Songs  =  the  most  poetical  song). — The  faithfulness  of 
the  beloved  to  her  lover,  her  resistance  to  all  tempta- 
tion, and  the  concentration  of  all  her  thoughts  on  the 
well-being  of  her  lover,  form  the  theme  of  the  book. 
The  relation  between  lover  and  beloved  has  been  inter- 
preted allegorically  as  representing  the  relation  between 
God  and  Israel.  The  latter  remains  faithful  to  his 
God,  throughout   all   vicissitudes   of  fortune.     "  I  am 


OUR  CREED.  113 

for  my  lover,  and  my  lover  is  for  me,"  is  the  centre  of 
this  feeling  of  faith.  According  to  the  heading  and  the 
tradition,  King  Solomon  is  the  author  of  the  book. 

Buth,  rrn — The  book  contains  the  history  of  Euth,  a 
Moabite  woman,  who,  by  her  marriage  with  Boaz,  be- 
came the  founder  of  the  house  of  David.  Elimelech  of 
Beth-lehem  in  Judah,  with  his  wife  Naomi  and  his 
two  sons,  left  his  country  in  time  of  famine  in  order 
to  stay  in  the  land  of  Moab.  There  the  two  sons 
marry  Moabite  women,  Orpah  and  Ruth.  Elimelech 
and  the  two  sons  die.  Naomi  returns  to  Judah  ;  Orpah, 
at  the  request  of  Naomi,  remains  in  Moab  and  goes 
back  to  her  family,  but  Ruth  insists  on  accompanying 
Naomi,  saying,  "  Whither  thou  goest  I  will  go,  and 
where  thou  lodgest  I  will  lodge ;  thy  people  shall  be 
my  people,  and  thy  God  my  God  :  where  thou  diest 
will  I  die,  and  there  will  I  be  buried :  so  the  Lord  do 
to  me,  and  more  also,  if  ought  but  death  will  part  thee 
and  me"  (i.  16,  17). 

Naomi  having  lost  her  property,  Ruth  was  obliged 
to  glean  ears  of  corn  in  the  fields  in  order  to  maintain 
herself  and  her  mother-in-law.  She  happened  to 
glean  in  the  field  of  Boaz,  a  near  relative  of  Elimelech. 
Boaz  having  noticed  her,  and  having  heard  of  her 
conduct  toward  Naomi,  married  her ;  his  son  was 
Obed ;  the  son  of  the  latter  was  Jesse,  the  father 
of  David.  Thus  the  virtues  of  Ruth,  modesty,  faith- 
fulness, and  industry,  were  rewarded  ;  this  is  one  of  the 
lessons  derived  from  the  book.  The  principal  object 
of  the  book,  however,  is  to  show  the  origin  of  the 
house  of  David. 

The  Lamentations  of  Jeremiah,  na-N — The  name  of 

II 


114  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

the  author  is  not  mentioned  in  the  book,  but  tradi- 
tion informs  us  that  the  prophet  Jeremiah  composed 
these  lamentations.  The  first  four  chapters  are  alpha- 
betical ;  in  the  third  chapter  there  are  three  verses  for 
each  letter ;  the  fifth  chapter  is  not  alphabetical.  The 
cause  of  the  lamentations  is  the  catastrophe  of  the 
kino-dom  of  Judah  throu^fh  the  victories  of  Nebuchad- 
nezzar,  king  of  Babylon,  although  neither  Nebuchad- 
nezzar nor  Babylon  is  mentioned  in  the  book. 

Ecdesiastcs,  n^np — This  book  contains  reflections  on 
the  vanity  of  man's  labours  and  plans ;  whatever  man 
aims  at  as  the  source  of  his  happiness  and  blessing 
proves  in  the  end  useless  and  deceptive.  Man  is  dis- 
appointed to  find  everything  transient ;  he  discovers  just 
people  in  misery,  and  wicked  people  in  apparent  com- 
fort ;  he  begins  to  doubt  whether  virtue  and  wisdom 
are  really  conducive  to  true  happiness.  Thus  man,  left 
to  himself,  is  at  a  loss  to  find  the  right  way  to  happiness. 
The  author  therefore  concludes  his  reflections  with  the 
exhortation :  "  The  end  of  the  word  in  which  every- 
thing is  heard  is,  Fear  God,  and  keep  His  command- 
ments, for  that  is  the  whole  of  man.  For  every  deed 
will  God  bring  to  account,  together  with  every  bidden 
thought,  whether  good  or  bad"  (xii.   13,  14). 

Koheleth  mentioned  in  the  heading  is  King  Solo- 
mon. The  philosophical  reflections  are  frequently  inter- 
mixed with  proverb-like  lessons  and  maxims,  of  which 
the  following  are  a  few  examples : — 

"For  in  much  wisdom  is  much  grief;  and  he  that  in- 
creaseth  knowledge  increaseth  sorrow"  (i.  18). 

•'  To  every  thing  there  is  a  season,  and  a  time  to  every 
purpose  under  the  heaven  "  (iii.  i). 


OUR  CREED.  115 

"The  fool  foldeth   his  hands  together,   and   eateth   his 

own  flesh  "  (iv.  5). 
"Better  is  an   handful   with   quietness,  than   both   the 

hands    full   with   travail    and    vexation    of    spirit " 

(iv.  6). 
"  Keep  thy  foot  when  thou  goest  to  the  house  of  God, 

and  readiness  to  hear  is  better  than  the  fools'  giving 

of  sacrifice ;  for  tliey  consider  not  that  they  do  evil  " 

(iv.  17). 
"  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  "  (v.  i). 
"  When  thou  vowest  a  vow  unto  God,  defer  not  to  pay 

it ;  for  He  hath  no  pleasure  in  fools  :  pay  that  which 

thou  hast  vowed  "  (v.  3). 
"  A  good  name  is  better  than   precious   ointment ;  and 

the  day  of  death  better  than  the  day  of  one's  birth  " 

(vii.  i). 
"  Be  not   hasty  in   thy  spirit  to   be  angry ;  for  anger 

resteth  in  the  bosom  of  fools"  (vii.  9). 
"  Be    not    righteous  over  much ;    neither  make  thyself 

over  wise:    why  shouldst    thou    destroy    thyself?" 

(vii.  16). 
"  Be  not  over  much  wicked,  neither  be  thou  foolish  :  why 

shouldst  thou  die  before  thy  time  1"  (vii.  17), 
"There  is  not  a  just  man  upon  earth,  that  doth  good, 

and  sinneth  not"  (vii.  20). 
"  Let  thy  garments  be  always  white ;  and  let  thy  head 

lack  no  ointment  "  (ix.  8). 
"  A  wise  man's  heart  is  at  his  right  hand ;  but  a  fool's 

heart  at  his  left"  (x.  2). 
"  He  that  diggeth  a  pit  shall  fall  into  it ;  and  whoso 

breaketh    an    hedge,    a    serpent   shall   bite   him " 

(X.  8). 


ii6  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

"  lie  that  observeth  the  wind  shall  not  sow;  and  he  that 
regardeth  the  clouds  shall  not  reap  "  (xi.  4). 

"  Remember  now  thy  Creator  in  the  days  of  thy  youth, 
while  the  evil  days  come  not,  nor  the  yeai-s  draw 
nigh  when  thou  shalt  say,  I  have  no  pleasure  in 
them  "  (xii.  i ). 

'■  Then  shall  the  dust  return  to  the  earth  as  it  was,  and  the 
spirit  shall  return  fco  the  God  who  gave  it"  (xii.  7). 

Esther,  "inos — The  history  of  the  conception  and 
frustration  of  the  wicked  plans  of  Haman  against 
Mordecai  and  the  Jews  is  described  in  this  book. 
Ahasuerus,  king  of  Persia,  sent  Yashti,  his  wife, 
awav,  and  married  Esther,  a  cousin  of  Mordecai. 
Hainan,  enraged  against  the  Jews  because  Mordecai 
did  not  bow  before  him,  planned  to  kill  the  Jews  on 
the  thirteenth  of  Adar  ;  but  Esther  frustrated  Haman's 
desigfn :  Haman  himself  and  his  ten  sons  were  killed  ; 
and  the  Jews  were  allowed  to  take  up  arms  against 
those  who  attacked  them.  The  Jews  defended  them- 
selves victoriously  on  the  thirteenth  of  Adar ;  in 
Shushan,  the  capital,  also  on  the  fourteenth.  This 
deliverance  was  the  cause  of  the  institution  of  Purim. 

The  name  of  the  author  is  not  mentioned  ;  the  book 
was  probably  written  by  Mordecai  and  Esther  (comp. 
Esther  ix.  29). 

Daniel,  ^s''J1 — The  author  of  this  book  is  not  named. 
The  book  is  called  Daniel  because  it  contains  the 
history  and  the  visions  of  Daniel.  According  to  a 
tradition  mentioned  in  the  Babylonian  Talmud  (Baba 
Bathra,  15a),  the  men  of  the  Great  Synagogue  wrote 
or  edited  the  book  probably  from  trustworthy  tra- 
ditions,   partly    written,    partly    oral.      The    last    six 


OUR  CREED.  117 

chapters  seem  to  have  been  written  by  Daniel  himself; 
he  speaks  in  them  of  himself  in  the  first  person. 

The  object  of  the  book  is  to  show  that  God  is  the 
Ruler  of  the  Universe.  The  author,  therefore,  gives, 
on  the  one  hand,  examples  of  men  of  great  piety  and 
genuine  faith  in  God — Daniel  and  his  friends  ;  and, 
on  the  other  hand,  examples  of  men  of  great  wicked- 
ness— Nebuchadnezzar  and  Belshazzar ;  the  former 
enjoyed  glorious  victories,  the  latter  received  their 
due  punishment.  The  style  is  throughout  bold  and 
emphatic ;  the  frequent  heaping  of  synonyms  is  to 
serve  the  purpose  of  emphasis.  In  the  last  chapters 
the  author  shows  that  the  misdeeds  of  the  wicked  and 
the  sufferings  of  the  pious  are  foreseen  by  God,  and 
that  both  the  punishment  of  the  former  and  the  redemp- 
tion of  the  latter  form  part  of  the  Divine  plan  in  the 
government  of  mankind.  We  are  thus  exhorted  to 
remain  firm  in  our  faith  in  time  of  oppression,  and  to 
wait  patiently  for  deliverance,  which  is  sure  to  come. 

Although  Daniel  belonged  to  those  distinguished 
men  to  whom  God  communicated  coming  events  in 
visions,  he  is  not  classed  among  the  prophets,  because 
he  had  no  Divine  message  to  bring  to  his  fellow-men,  and 
he  was  not  charged  to  address  them  in  the  name  of  God. 
Daniel  was  brought  to  Babylon,  together  with  other 
captives,  in  the  third  year  of  Jehoiakim,  and  remained 
there  during  the  reigns  of  Nebuchadnezzar,  Belshazzar, 
Darius  the  Mede,  and  the  first  years  of  Cyrus  the  Persian. 
He  distinguished  himself  by  great  piety  and  wisdom,  so 
that  in  a  prophecy  of  Ezekiel  (xiv.  14),  in  the  sixth 
year  of  the  exile  of  King  Jehoiachiri,  lie  is  mentioned, 
together  with  Noah  and  Job,  as  famous  for  piety,  as  one 


n8  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

of  those  wliom  God  protects  from  danger  because  of  their 
righteousness,  although  their  piety  could  not  save  their 
fellow-men.  The  same  prophet  mentions  him  as  a  wise 
man  (xxviii.  3). 

Tlie  book  is  divided  into  two  parts  :  (A.)  An  account 
written  in  Chaldee  of  Daniel's  wisdom  and  piety,  with  a 
Hebrew  Introduction  (i.  to  vi.).  (2.)  The  visions  of 
Daniel  in  Chaldee  and  Hebrew  (vii.  to  xii.).  In  the 
introductory  chapter  the  author  narrates  the  principal 
facts  of  the  training  of  Daniel  in  Babylonian  wisdom, 
and  his  great  success  at  the  court  of  Nebuchadnezzar. 
Then  follows  the  Chaldee  portion,  including  the  follow- 
ing subjects : — 

(i.)  Nehuchadnezzar s  Dream. — The  king  demands 
that  the  sages  initiated  in  Babylonian  wisdom  shall  tell 
him  his  dream,  which  he  himself  has  forgotten,  and  its 
interpretation.  They  cannot  do  it,  and  many  of  them 
are  put  to  death.  Daniel  arrests  the  slaughter;  for  he 
prays  to  God,  and  God  reveals  to  him  the  king's  dream. 

When  Daniel  appeared  before  the  king  he  began 
thus:  "The  secret  which  the  king  wants  to  know,  no 
wise  men  can  tell.  But  there  is  a  God  in  heaven,  the 
revealer  of  secrets,  and  He  has  let  King  Nebuchad- 
nezzar know  what  will  come  to  pass  in  the  remote 
future"  (ii.  27,  28).  The  dream  was  this:  He  saw 
a  big  statue,  its  head  of  gold,  breast  and  arms  of  silver, 
belly  and  thighs  of  brass,  legs  and  feet  of  iron  and 
clay.  A  large  stone  fell  upon  the  legs  of  the  statue, 
broke  them,  and  the  whole  statue  fell  together  and  was 
crushed  into  pieces  ;  then  the  stone  grew  larger,  and 
filled  the  whole  earth.  The  following  was  the  interpre- 
tation of  tlie  vision  :  The  statue  represented  a  series  of 


OUR  CREED.  119 

earthly  kingdoms  ;  the  gold  was  Nebuchadnezzar,  the 
silver  referred  to  his  successors,  the  brass  to  the  Persian 
government,  the  iron  to  the  Greek,  and  the  mixture  of 
iron  and  clay  to  the  kingdoms  that  would  then  fol- 
low, all  of  which  would  ultimately  be  overthrown,  and 
the  Divine  kinofdom  would  then  be  recognised  bv  all. 
Daniel  was  greatly  rewarded  ;  he  and  his  friends  re- 
ceived high  positions  in  the  government  of  the  empire. 

(2.)  Nebuchadnezzar  erected  a  large  statue,  and  com- 
manded that  at  certain  times  all  should  worship  it ; 
disobedience  was  to  be  punished  with  death.  Daniel's 
fi'iends  did  not  bow  before  it,  and  were  accused  before 
the  king.  They  said  to  the  king,  "There  is  a  God  whom 
we  worship  ;  he  can  save  us  from  the  burning  furnace 
and  from  thy  hand,  0  king.  And  if  he  does  not  save 
us,  let  it  be  known  to  thee,  0  king,  that  we  shall  not 
woijship  thy  god,  and  not  bow  down  before  the  golden 
image  which  thou  hast  set  up"  (iii.  17,   18). 

They  were  thrown  into  the  furnace,  and  miraculously 
saved.  Thereupon  Nebuchadnezzar  sends  letters  to  all 
the  peoples  of  his  empire,  testifying  to  the  greatness 
of  God,  and  narrating  what  wonderful  thing  had  oc- 
curred to  him.  He  had  a  strange  dream,  and  none  but 
Daniel  was  able  to  interpret  it ;  the  dream  was  liter- 
ally fulfilled  according  to  Daniel's  interpretation.  The 
dream,  which,  after  the  manner  of  such  phenomena,  in- 
troduced and  mingled  together  diverse  elements,  was 
this  :  He  saw  a  high  tree  with  many  branches  and  much 
foliage.  Suddenly  an  angel  from  heaven  came,  and 
ordered  the  tree  to  be  cut  down,  but  the  root  to  be  left 
for  seven  seasons,  bound  with  fetters  of  iron  and  brass, 
in  the  midst  of  the  sfrass  of  the  field.    The  heart  of  man 


I20  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

was  to  be  taken  from  it,  and  replaced  by  a  heart  of  beasts. 
The  interpretation  was,  that  the  mighty  Nebuchadnezzar 
would  be  removed  from  the  society  of  man,  and  live  like 
a  beast  with  beasts  for  seven  seasons.  This  happened 
to  him  just  when  he  was  boasting  of  his  greatness  and 
said,  "  Is  this  not  great  Babylon  which  I  have  built 
for  the  royal  house,  ii:  my  great  power,  and  to  my 
great  glory?"  (iv.  27).  He  was  humbled,  recog- 
nised the  dominion  of  God  over  the  whole  universe, 
and  was  again,  after  seven  seasons,  restored  to  his 
former  power  and  dignity.  "  Praised  be  God,"  he 
exclaimed,  "  whose  deeds  are  all  truth,  and  whose  ways 
are  justice,  and  who  can  humble  those  who  walk  in 
pride"  {Ihicl.  34). 

(3.)  King  Belshazzar,  in  the  midst  of  a  banquet,  at 
which  the  holy  vessels  of  the  Temple  in  Jerusalem 
were  used,  perceived  a  hand  writing  on  the  wall  oppo- 
site him  strange  signs  which  none  could  read.  Daniel 
was  called,  and  read  the  writing :  "  Mene,  mene,  tekel 
iipharsi7i"  and  explained  it  thus :  The  days  of  thy 
government  are  counted  and  brought  to  a  close  ;  thou 
hast  been  weighed  and  found  wanting ;  thy  kingdom 
is  divided,  and  given  to  the  Medes  and  Persians 
(v.  25-28).  That  same  night  King  Belshazzar  was 
killed,  and  the  Mede  Darius  was  made  king  (v. 
30-vi.  i). 

(4.)  King  Darius,  advised  by  his  officers,  who 
sought  to  find  an  opportunity  for  overthrowing  Daniel, 
issued  an  order,  that  within  thirty  days  no  god  or 
other  being  except  Darius  should  be  prayed  to,  and  that 
transgressors  against  this  decree  should  be  punished 
with  death.      Daniel  prayed  to  God  three  times  a  day 


OUR  CREED.  121 

at  bis  open  window.  He  was  tlirovvu  into  the  lions' 
den  ;  but  God  protected  him  from  the  mouths  of  the 
lions.  When  he  was  taken  out  of  the  den,  his  accusers 
were  thrown  into  it,  and  the  lions  immediately  devoured 
them.  Thus  Darius  was  forced  publicly  to  recognise 
the  Omnipotence  of  God. 

(5.)  A  dream  of  Daniel  is  related  by  the  author  in 
Daniel's  own  words,  who  had  written  down  the  dream, 
and  explained  the  chief  points.^  The  following  is 
the  dream  : — He  saw  four  beasts,  viz.,  a  lion,  a  bear 
with  three  ribs  in  its  mouth,  a  leopard  with  four  wings 
and  four  heads,  and  a  fourth  beast  with  iron  teeth  and 
ten  horns,  one  of  the  horns  being'  small,  but  having  "  a 
mouth  speaking  haughtily."  In  a  court  of  justice  the 
latter  beast  was  sentenced  to  death,  and  the  other  beasts 
were  to  be  deprived  of  their  power ;  but  respite  was 
granted  to  them  for  a  time  and  a  season.  The  royal 
power  was  given  to  one  who  approached  the  judge  ap- 
pearing like  a  human  being,  and  not  like  any  of  the 
beasts.  His  rule  was  to  remain  for  ever.  The  interpre- 
tation of  the  dream  is  this  :  There  will  be  four  different 
kingdoms  ;  out  of  the  fourth  ten  different  kingdoms 
will  be  formed.  One  of  these  will  haughtily  presume  to 
oppose  the  Will  of  God,  and  to  abolish  the  festivals  and 
the  religion  of  the  holy  ones.  It  will  succeed  for  "  a 
season,  seasons,  and  half  a  season,"  and  will  then  be 
utterly  destroyed,  whilst  the  rule  of  "  the  holy  ones"  " 
will  in  the  end  be  firmly  established  and  continue  for 
ever. 

^  It  seems  that  the  author  copied  the  dream  as  Daniel  had  written 
it  down,  but  the  interpretation  was  handed  down  by  tradition. 

■-'  The  Israelites.  Conip.  Exod.  xi.x.  6. — Part  of  this  vision  refers  to 
the  time  of  the  Maccabees,  part  to  the  Messianic  period. 


122  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

The  indefinite  character  of  the  vision  shows  that  it 
was  intended  to  apply  to  all  those  oppressors  of  the 
Jews  who  at  different  times  have  presumed,  or  still 
presume,  to  be  able  to  abolish  the  religion  of  '*  the 
holy  ones. '  Whether  the  oppression  lasts  a  "  season 
of  seasons  "  (or  "  a  season  and  seasons  "),  i.e.,  a  very 
long  time,  or  "  half  a  season,"'  i.e.,  a  very  short  time, 
the  holy  ones  are  exhorted  to  remain  firm  in  their 
faith  in  God's  justice.  The  truth  of  this  vision  is 
especially  illustrated  by  the  failure  of  the  attempts  of 
Antiochus  Epiphanes  after  a  temporary  success.  ^Jore 
definite  are  the  numbers  2;oo  "eveninof-morninors " 
(viii.  14),  1290  days  and  1335  days  (xii.  11,  12); 
but  the  absence  of  any  further  description  as  to  the 
date  of  the  first  of  these  days  leaves  even  to  these 
numbers  a  certain  degree  of  indetermination.  From 
the  context  we  learn  that  they  are  somehow  connected 
with  the  persecution  to  which  the  Jews  were  subjected 
by  Antiochus  Epiphanes.  2300  days  (or  6  years  no 
days)  passed  between  the  decree  of  the  Syrian  king 
enforcing  idolatry  and  the  peace  with  Lysias  granting 
religious  libert}" ;  there  were  1 290  days  between  the 
decree  forbidding  the  practice  of  the  holy  religion  and 
the  enforcement  of  idolatry  in  the  Temple  of  Jerusalem, 
and  1335  days  is  the  period  between  the  latter  event 
and  the  death  of  Antiochus. 

(B.)  The  second  part  contains  visions  of  Daniel  as 
written  down  by  himself. 

(1.)  In  the  third  year  of  Belshazzar,  Daniel  had 
the  following  vision  : — Being  in  Susan,  in  the  pro- 
vince of  Elam,  near  the  river  Ulai,  he  saw  a  ram  with 


OUR  CREED.  123 

two  unequal  horns  pushing  towards  west,  north,  and 
south.  From  the  west  came  a  goat  wuth  one  horn, 
and  overthrew  the  ram ;  in  the  place  of  the  one  horn 
four  horns  grew  up  in  all  directions ;  there  was  one 
small  horn  which  pushed  on  against  the  south,  the 
east,  and  Palestine  ;  it  rose  even  against  the  host  of 
heaven  and  the  chief  of  the  host,  and  destroyed  his  holy 
place.  Daniel  heard  one  holy  one  saying  to  another, 
''  This  state  of  things  will  last  till  '  evening-morning 
2300.'"  The  angel  Gabriel  gave  him  the  interpreta- 
tion of  the  vision  :  The  ram  represented  the  empire 
of  the  Medes  and  the  Persians,  the  goat  that  of  the 
Greeks,  out  of  which  four  kingdoms  would  be  formed  ; 
in  one  of  these  a  wicked  king  would  venture  to  rise 
against  the  Prince  of  princes,  but  his  power  would  in 
the  end  be  destroyed.  Daniel  was  told  to  keep  the 
vision  secret,  for  it  referred  to  a  distant  future 
(viii.  26). 

(2.)  In  the  first  year  of  Darius,  son  of  Ahasuerus,  of 
the  seed  of  the  Medes,  Daniel  reflected  on  the  seventy 
years  of  exile  foretold  by  Jeremiah,  and  fervently  prayed 
to  God  for  pardon  and  the  restoration  of  Jerusalem. 
At  the  end  of  his  prayer  the  angel  Gabriel  appeared  to 
him,  and  told  him  that  the  hoped-for  restoration  would 
not  take  place  before  the  lapse  of  seventy  weeks  of 
trouble  and  anxiety.  There  would  elapse  seven  weeks 
before  the  *'  princely  anointed  "  (t3J  IT'C'C))  led  the  Jews 
back  to  Palestine  ;  sixty-two  weeks  of  trouble  and 
anxiety  were  predicted  for  the  time  of  the  rebuild- 
ing of  Jerusalem  and  the  Temple ;  and  one  week's 
misery  on  the  arrival  of  a  new  prince  or  governor, 
who  would  strenfrthen  the  covenant  of  the  enemies  and 


i,^  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

entirely  suspend  the  Divine  Service  in  the  Temple  for 
a  short  time.^ 

(3.)  In  the  third   year   of  Cyrus,   king  of  Persia, 
Daniel,  after  three  weeks'  mourning  and  fasting,  had 
the  following  vision  on  the  twenty-fourth  day  of  the 
first  month  : — He  saw  near  the  river  Tigris  (Hiddekel) 
a  man  of  extraordinary  appearance,  who  told  him  that 
he  came  in   answer  to  his  prayers ;  that  for  twenty- 
one  days  (x.    13)   he  was  opposed   by  the  prince   of 
the   kingdom  of  Persia,   and   had    on    his    side    only 
one  of  the  princes,  Michael.      Future  events  are  fore- 
told :  the  fall  of  Persia,  the  division  of  the  Greek  king- 
dom, the  wars  between  the  Northern  country  (Syria) 
and  the  Southern  (Egypt),  the  troubles  of  the  Jews,  the 
ultimate  deliverance  of  the  Jews  out  of  danger,  and  the 
glorious  victory  of  the  teachers  "  who  taught  many,  and 
led  them  to  righteousness"  (D'^in  •'pnVDI  D'^''3t^on  xii.  3). 
"When  Daniel  asked,  ' '  Till  when  have  we  to  wait  for 
the  end  of  these  wondrous  things  ?  "  (mx^sn  yp  TiO  IV 
Ihicl.  6),  he  was  told,  "  After  a  season,  seasons,  and   a 
half  (ivm  nnyio  TVID^  Ibid.   7) "  all  these  things  will 
come  to  an  end."      He  further  asks,  "  What  then  ? " 
He  is  told,  "  The  things  must  remain  sealed  till  the 
time  of  the  end  {yp  ny  *ij;  Ihid.  9),  when  the  wise  and 
good  (d''^''3::'D)  will  understand  them."    The  vision  ends 
with    the  words  addressed  to  Daniel:  "But  thou  go 
toward  the  end,  and  thou  wilt  rest,  and  rise  for  thy  lot 
at  the  end  of  the  days  "  (xii.  13). 

^  Some  are  of  opinion  that  the  term  "  weeks  "  is  not  to  be  taken 
literally,  but  in  the  sense  of  "year,"  or  "a  period  of  seven  years." 
There  is,  however,  no  proof  for  such  interpretation.  The  many 
attempts  t<i  explain  the  seventy  year- weeks  have  without  exception 
proved  a  failure.  -  See  p.  1 21. 


OUR  CREED.  125 

Uzra,  KiTj; — The  Book  of  Ezra  relates  the  first  return 
of  the  Jews  under  Zerubbabel  from  Babylon  to  Palestine 
by  the  permission  of  King  Cyrus  (t-nii)  of  Persia,  the 
construction  of  the  altar,  the  foundation  and  the  build- 
iug  of  the  Temple  by  permission  of  King  Darius.  It 
also  describes  the  second  settlement  of  Jews  from 
Babyloif  in  Palestine  under  Ezra,  the  Scribe,  in  the 
reign  of  Artaxerxes,  and  his  energy  in  purifying  the 
community  from  intermarriages  with  heathen  people. 
The  book  is  written  in  Hebrew,  with  the  exception  of 
iv.  8— vii.  27,  which  includes  several  documents  written 
in  Chaldee  by  the  Persian  kings.  The  author  of  the 
book  is  probably  Ezra ;  he  speaks  of  himself  in  the 
first  person  (vii.  28;  viii.  i,  &c.)  ;  he  is  also  named 
as  the  author  of  the  book  in  the  Babylonian  Talmud ; 
and  lastly,  the  name  of  the  book  is  Ezra,  although 
Ezra  is  only  mentioned  in  the  second  half  of  the  book. 
The  special  merit  of  Ezra  was  the  promotion  of  the 
study  of  the  Law  ;  his  name  is  followed  by  the  title,  "  A 
ready  scribe  of  the  Law  of  Moses  "  ('n  minn  "iNHD  "ID"1D 
vii.  6),  and  "  Scribe  of  the  words  of  the  command- 
ments of  the  Lord  and  His  statutes  for  Israel "  ("idd 
^X-lL^♦''  hv  vpni  'n  ni^'O  nan  vii.  11);  the  task  he  set  to 
himself  was  "to  study  the  Law  of  God  ('n  miD  DS  D'!"!!^)? 
and  to  practise  it,  and  to  teach  in  Israel  Law  and  judg- 
ment "  (vii.  10). 

Nchemiah,  n"'»m — The  heading  probably  indicates 
the  author,  "Words  of  Nehemiah,  son  of  Hachaliah."  ^ 
The  book  contains  the  history  of  Nehemiah's  visit  to 
Jerusalem  by  the  permission  of  King  Artaxerxes,  and 

^  It  is,  however,  possible  that  'IIT,  lit.  "  words,"  means  here 
"history." 


126  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

the  building  of  the  walls  of  Jerusalem  under  Neliemiah's 
supervision,  in  spite  of  the  opposition  of  Sanballat  and 
Tobiah  the  Ammonite ;  his  example  of  disinterested- 
ness and  of  liberality  towards  the  poor,  which  is 
followed  by  the  princes  and  the  rich ;  the  reading  and 
expounding  of  the  Law  by  Ezra;  the  celebration  of 
the  festival  of  the  first  of  Tishri  and  of  Tabernacles ; 
the  renewal  of  the  covenant  "  to  walk  in  the  Law  of 
God,  which  was  given  through  Moses  the  servant  of 
God,"  to  keep  Sabbath,  to  abstain  from  intermarrying 
with  the  heathen,  and  to  contribute  towards  maintain- 
ing the  Sanctuary ;  the  provision  for  filling  Jerusalem 
with  inhabitants  by  selecting  by  lot  one-tenth  of  the 
general  population  to  dwell  in  the  holy  city ;  the  dedi- 
cation of  the  walls  of  Jerusalem ;  and  Nehemiah's 
energy  in  enforcing  the  laws  of  Sabbath  and  of  mar- 
riao-es.  The  two  books  Ezra  and  Nehemiah  are  also 
called  by  some  "two  books  of  Ezra,"  and  by  some  "the 
book  of  Ezra."     Nehemiah  is  written  in  Hebrew. 

The  Chronicles,  n'^'O'Ti  nm — The  two  books  of 
Chronicles  contain  the  following  three  parts:  (i) 
Genealogical  tables  (I.,  i.— is.) ;  (2)  the  history  of 
the  death  of  King  Saul,  the  history  of  David  and 
Solomon  (I.,  x.— II.,  ix.) ;  (3)  the  history  of  the 
kingdom  of  Judah  from  Hehoboam  till  the  destruc- 
tion of  Jerusalem  by  Nebuchadnezzar  (II.,  x.-xxxvi.). 
Special  attention  has  been  given  by  the  author  to  the 
arrangements  made  at  various  periods  for  the  Temple- 
service,  by  King  David  (I.,  xxiii.  sqq.),  King  Hezekiah 
(II.,  xxix.),  and  King  Josiah  (II.,  xxxiv.,  xxxv.). 

The  author  is  not  named  in  the  book ;  according  to 
the  tradition  it  is  Ezra.      As  the  genealogical  tables 


I 


OUR  CREED.  127 

give  six  generations  after  Zerubbabel  (I.,  iii.  19—24), 
we  may  assume  that  the  author  wrote  about  lifty  years 
after  Zerubbabel ;  that  is,  the  last  years  of  Ezra  and 
Nehemiah. 

The  sources  from  which  the  author  derived  his 
information  were,  besides  the  Biblical  books,  the  fol- 
lowing:— The  book  of  the  kings  of  Judah  ;  the  book 
of  the  kings  of  Israel,  registers  probably  kept  in  the 
Temple  archives ;  the  histories  of  Samuel  the  Seer, 
Nathan  the  prophet,  and  Gad  the  Seer ;  the  prophecy 
of  Ahijah  of  Sliilo  ;  the  visions  of  Jedo  ;  the  Midrash  of 
the  prophet  Iddo  ;  the  history  of  Jehu,  son  of  Hanani ; 
the  history  of  Isaiah,  son  of  Amoz,  and  the  history  of 
Hozai. 

This  is  the  last  book  of  the  series  of  Holy  Writings. 
Books  that  were  written  later,  whatever  their  intrinsic 
value  may  be,  were  not  considered  holy,  and  were  not 
received  into  this  collection.  There  are  a  number  of 
books  known  as  Apocrypha  (criJJ),  lit.  "Hidden  things" 
or  "  put  aside,"  that  is,  kept  separate  from  the  Holy 
Scriptures.  They  were  not  considered  as  genuine,  as 
they  consisted  of  a  mixture  of  fact  and  fiction,  truth 
and  error.  They  were,  however,  not  suppressed  or 
forbidden ;  in  the  Talmud  several  quotations  from 
these  books  are  met  with.  The  following  are  the 
principal  books  belonging  to  the  Apocrypha : — 

( I .)  The  Book  of  Wisdom,  or  the  Wisdom  of  Solomon. 
Wisdom  based  on  the  fear  of  God,  and  guided  by  it,  is 
the  source  of  man's  true  happiness,  and  if  wisdom  and 
virtue  are  not  rewarded  by  success  in  mundane  affairs, 
the  reward  is  sure  to  come  in  the  future  world.  This 
is  the  quintessence  of  the   lessons  taught  in  this  book. 


128  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

The  kings  and  potentates  of  the  earth  are  frequently 
exhorted  to  be  just  and  kind  towards  their  people,  and 
to  remember  that  they  are  but  human  beings,  weak 
and  mortal,  like  the  rest  of  mankind ;  wisdom  alone 
can  raise  them  to  higher  perfection  and  happiness. 

"  For  the  very  true  beginning  of  her  is  the  desire  of 
discipline,  and  the  care  of  discipline  is  love.  And 
love  is  the  keeping  of  her  laws  ;  and  the  giving  heed 
unto  her  laws  is  the  assurance  of  incorruption.  And 
incorrnption  maketh  vts  near  God.  Therefore  the 
desire  of  wisdom  bringeth  to  a  kingdom.  If  your 
delight  be  then  in  thrones  and  sceptres,  O  ye  kings 
of  the  people,  honour  wisdom,  that  ye  may  reign  for 
evermore"  (vi.  17-21). 

"  For  regarding  not  wisdom,  they  got  not  only  this  hurt, 
that  they  knew  not  the  things  which  were  good,  but 
also  left  behind  them  to  the  world  a  memorial  of 
their  foolishness,  so  that  in  the  things  wherein  they 
offended  they  could  not  so  mvich  as  be  hid.  But 
wisdom  delivered  from  pain  those  that  attended  upon 
her.  When  the  righteous  fled  from  his  brother's 
wrath,  she  guided  him  into  right  paths,  shewed  him 
the  kingdom  of  God,  and  gave  him  knowledge  of 
holy  things  that  made  him  rich  in  his  travels,  and 
multiplied  the  fruit  of  his  labours"  (x.  8-10). 

(2.)  TJie  Wisdom  of  Jesus,  son  of  Sirach. — Proverbs, 
maxims,  and  moral  lessons  collected  by  Joshua  (Jesus), 
son  of  Sirach  of  Jerusalem.  After  having  studied  the 
Law,  the  Prophets,  and  the  other  Holy  Writings,  he 
thought  it  advisable  to  write  a  book  on  knowledge 
and  wisdom  for  those  who  seek  instruction,  in  order  to 
lead  them  to  greater  obedience  to  the  Law.  Joshua's 
grandson  migrated  from  Palestine  to  Egypt,  and  trans- 


OUR  CREED.  129 

lated  the  work  of  his  grandfather  into  Greek  for  those 
who  could  not  I'ead  the  Hebrew  original.  The  trans- 
lation was  made  in  the  thirty-eighth  year  of  King 
Euergetes  II.  of  Egypt  (3888  a.m.). 

The  contents  of  the  book  are  similar  to  those  of 
the  Proverbs  of  Solomon  :  the  author  recommends  the 
acquisition  of  wisdom,  patience,  faith  in  God,  meek- 
ness, obedience  of  children  to  parents,  charity,  cautious- 
ness in  the  use  of  the  tongue,  temperance,  honesty, 
and  the  like.  As  models  of  piety  and  wisdom  the 
principal  hei'oes  in  the  Bible,  from  Adam  to  Joshua, 
son  of  Jehozadak,  are  named,  and  in  addition  to  these 
Simon  the  high  priest. 

"  My  son,  if  thou  come  to  serve  the  Lord,  prepare  thy 
soul  for  temptation.  Set  thy  heart  aright,  and 
constantly  endure,  and  make  not  haste  in  time  of 
trouble.  Cleave  unto  him,  and  depart  not  away, 
that  thou  mayest  be  increased  at  thy  last  end. 
Whatsoever  is  brought  upon  thee  take  cheerfully, 
and  be  patient  when  thou  art  changed  to  a  low 
estate.  For  gold  is  tried  in  the  fire,  and  acceptable 
men  in  the  furnace  of  adversity.  Believe  in  him, 
and  he  will  help  thee :  order  thy  way  aright,  and 
trust  in  him"  (ii.  1-6). 

*'  But  he  that  giveth  his  mind  to  the  law  of  the  Most 
High,  and  is  occupied  in  the  meditation  thereof,  will 
seek  out  the  wisdom  of  the  most  ancient,  and  be 
occupied  in  prophecies.  He  will  keep  the  sayings 
of  most  renowned  men,  and  where  subtle  parables 
are,  He  will  be  there  also.  He  will  seek  out  the 
secx'ets  of  grave  sentences,  and  be  convei-sant  in 
dark  parables  "  (xxxix.  1-3). 

(3.)  Baruch. — The  book  may  be  divided  into  two 

I 


130  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

parts.  In  the  first  part  Baruch,  son  of  Nerijah,  the 
amanuensis  of  the  prophet  Jeremiah,  addresses,  in 
Babylon,  Jehoiachin,  the  captive  king  of  Judah,  and 
the  other  captive  Jews  ;  they  send  money  to  Jerusalem 
for  sacrifices,  with  a  letter  exhorting  their  brethren  to 
return  to  God,  and  comforting  them  with  the  prospect 
of  a  glorious  future.  The  second  part  contains  a  letter 
of  Jeremiah  to  his  brethren  in  Jerusalem  denouncing 
idolatry. 

The  letters  are  probably  not  genuine,  not  being  in 
harmony  with  the  facts  related  in  the  books  of  Jeremiah 
and  Kings. 

(4.)  The  Book  of  Tohit. — Tobit,  of  the  tribe  of 
Naphtali,  a  good  and  pious  man,  was  one  of  those  who 
were  carried  away  into  the  Assyrian  captivity.  One 
of  the  charitable  acts  to  which  he  devoted  himself  with 
special  zeal  was  the  burying  of  the  dead.  Twice  was 
misfortune  brought  upon  him  for  practising  this  deed 
of  piety.  Once  he  had  to  flee,  and  to  remain  away 
from  his  family  in  misery  and  want,  and  a  second 
time  something  fell  into  his  eyes,  and  he  became  blind. 
In  both  cases  he  was  saved  out  of  his  trouble,  and  was 
greatly  rewarded  for  his  patience,  his  faith  in  God,  and 
his  perseverance  in  the  performance  of  the  Divine  com- 
mandments.     The  author  of  the  book  is  not  known. 

(5.)  Judith. — An  incident  of  Jewish  history  during 
the  Persian  rule.  Judith  is  set  forth  as  an  ideal  of 
piety,  beauty,  courage,  and  chastity.  Holofernes,  a 
general  in  the  service  of  Nebuchadnezzar,  king  of 
Assyria,  conquers  many  lands,  but  meets  with  vigorous 
resistance  in  Judea ;  he  besieges  Bethulia  and  endea- 
vours to  suppress  the  Jewish  religion.     He  falls  bv  the 


OUR  CREED.  131 

hands  of  Jiulith.  Thus  the  stratagem  and  tlio  cour- 
age of  the  Jewish  heroine,  combined  with  the  plans 
of  Divine  justice,  frustrated  the  wicked  plans  of  the 
heathen  conqueror,  and  delivered  the  besieged  city. 

(6.)  Additions  to  the  Books  of  Daniel  and  Ezra, 
containing — 

(a.)  The  song  of  the  three  men  in  the  furnace 
(Dan.  iii.). 

(&.)  The  false  charges  brought  against  Susanna,  and 
her  deliverance  through  Daniel. 

(c.)  Bel  and  the  Dragon.  Cyrus,  the  Persian,  wor- 
shipped these  idols,  but  was  convinced  by  Daniel  that 
they  had  no  claim  whatever  to  man's  worship. 

(d.)  The  apocryphal  Book  of  Esdras,  containing 
portions  of  the  Books  of  Chronicles,  Ezra,  and  Nehe- 
miah  ;  only  chaps,  iii.  and  iv.  being  original.  In  these 
it  is  related  how  Zerubbabel  distinguished  himself 
before  King  Darius  in  describing  Woman  and  Truth 
as  the  mightiest  rulers  of  mankind,  and  thus  obtained 
permission  to  return  to  Palestine  and  rebuild  the 
Temple.  A  second  apocryphal  Book  of  Esdras  is 
named,  in  which  Ezra  is  represented  as  a  prophet 
addressing  his  brethren  in  the  name  of  God,  and  tell- 
ing them  the  visions  he  had. 

(7.)  27ie  Books  of  the  Maccabees. — Three  books  con- 
taining the  history  of  the  Maccabees,  and  various 
episodes  of  the  wars  against  the  Syrian  oppressors,  both 
legendary  and  historical. 

Sixth  Principle. — "  I  firmly  believe  that  all  the  words 
of  the  Profhets  are  true." 

By  "  the  Prophets  "  the  prophets  thus  designated  in 


133  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

the  Bible  are  to  be  understood  who  have  proved  them- 
selves to  be  the  true  messengers  of  God,  and  were  ac- 
cepted as  such  by  the  people.  They  either  counselled 
the  people  what  to  do  under  various  circumstances,  in 
times  of  peace  and  in  times  of  war,  in  times  of  security 
and  in  times  of  danger,  or  they  announced  the  coming 
catastrophe  as  a  punisiament  sent  by  the  Almighty  for 
disobedience,  and  foretold  future  happiness  and  pros- 
perity in  case  of  improvement  and  return  to  God.  Those 
prophecies  that  referred  to  the  proximate  future  have 
been  verified  by  subsequent  events,  and  so  also  will 
those  prophecies  that  refer  to  the  remote  future  and 
have  not  yet  been  fulfilled. 

"  A  prophet  out  of  thy  midst,  of  thy  brethren,  like 
unto  me,  will  the  Lord  thy  God  raise  up  unto  thee  ; 
unto  him  ye  shall  hearken"  (Deut.  xviii.  15).  "The 
former  things,  behold,  they  are  come  to  pass,  and  new 
things  do  I  declare  ;  before  they  will  spring  forth,  I 
shall  let  you  hear  "  (Isa.  xlii.  9).  "  I  have  also  spoken 
unto  the  prophets,  and  I  have  multiplied  visions,  and 
by  the  ministry  of  the  prophets  have  I  used  simili- 
tudes "  (Hosea  xii.  11).  "  And  by  a  prophet  the  Lord 
brought  Israel  out  of  Egypt,  and  by  a  prophet  was  he 
preserved  "  {Ibid.  1 4). 

In  the  sixth  article  we  declare  our  belief  in  the 
fact  that  the  Almighty  has  communicated  His  Will 
to  human  beings,  although  we  are  incapable  of  forming 
a  clear  and  definite  idea  of  the  manner  in  which  such 
communication  took  place.  The  selection  of  the  indi- 
vidual for  the  office  of  a  prophet,  as  well  as  of  the  time, 
the  place,  and  the  object  of  the  Divine  communication, 
is  dependent  solely  on  the  Will  of  God,  whose  Wisdom 


OUR  CREED.  133 

and  Plan  no  mortals  are  able  to  i^ithoni.  We  know 
only  the  fact  that  Malachi  closed  the  series  of  Pro- 
phets, but  are  ignorant  of  the  reason  why  since  Malachi 
no  human  being  has  "  found  a  vision  from  the  Lord." 
Mankind  is,  however,  not  altogether  deprived  of  the 
benefit  of  prophecy  ;  the  holy  book  need  only  be  opened, 
and  the  message  of  the  prophets  is  heard  once  more. 

Seventh  Frincijjle. — "  I  firmly  believe  that  the  prophecy 
of  Moses  wees  a  direct  prophecy,  and  that  Moses  was  the 
chief  of  the  prophets,  both  of  those  who  preceded  him  and 
of  those  who  followed  him." 

All  that  has  been  said  with  regard  to  the  sixth 
article  applies  to  the  prophecy  of  Moses.  There  is, 
however,  this  distinction  between  the  words  of  Moses 
and  the  words  of  other  prophets : — whilst  other  pro- 
phets chiefly  addressed  their  own  generation,  blaming 
their  brethren  for  disobedience  to  the  Divine  Law, 
threatening  with  punishments  and  comforting  with 
blessings  of  which  experience  was  to  be  made  in  the 
remote  future,  Moses  addresses  all  times  and  genera- 
tions, communicating  to  them  laws  "for  all  generations," 
"everlasting  statutes,"  "the  things  which  have  been  re- 
vealed for  us  and  our  children  for  ever."  He  is  therefore 
proclaimed  by  the  Almighty  as  the  greatest  prophet. 
Whem  Miriam  and  Aaron  had  spoken  against  Moses, 
God  rebuked  them,  saying,  "  If  there  be  among  you  a 
prophet  of  the  Lord,  I  will  make  myself  known  unto 
him  in  a  vision,  I  will  speak  with  him  in  a  dream. 
My  servant  Moses  is  not  so ;  he  is  faithful  in  all  my 
house ;  with  him  will  I  speak  mouth  to  mouth,  even 
manifestly,  and  not  in  dark  speeches ;  and  the  form 
of  the  Lord  shall  he  behold"  (Num.  xii,  6-8).      The 


134  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

Torah  concludes  with  the  praise  of  Moses,  as  follows  : 
"  And  there  hath  not  arisen  a  prophet  since  in  Israel 
like  unto  Moses,  whom  the  Lord  knew  face  to  face  :  in 
all  the  signs  and  the  wonders,  which  the  Lord  sent 
him  to  do  in  the  land  of  Egypt,  to  Pharaoh,  and  to  all 
his  servants,  and  to  all  his  land  ;  and  in  all  the  mighty 
hand,  and  in  all  the  great  terror,  which  Moses  wrought 
in  the  sight  of  all  Israel  "  (Deut.  xxxiv.  lo— i  2).  ) 

The  phrase  "  knew  God  face  to  face,"  or  "  I  will 
speak  with  him  mouth  to  mouth,"  and  the  like,  denotes 
figuratively  "  the  clearest,  most  direct,  and  most  simple 
communication,"  the  figure  being  taken  from  the  w^ay 
in  which  men  communicate  to  each  other  things  when 
they  desire  to  be  clearly  understood,  and  to  leave  no 
doubt  as  to  the  truth  and  the  meaning  of  the  com- 
munication. 

Eighth  Principle. — "  /  firmly  helicve  that  the  Zav; 
'irhich  we  jjossess  now  is  the  same  which  has  hec7i  given  to 
Moses  on  Sinai." 

The  whole  Torah,  including  both  history  and  pre- 
cepts, is  of  Divine  origin  ;  nothing  is  contained  in  the 
Torah  that  was  not  revealed  to  Moses  by  the  Almighty, 
although  we  do  not  know  in  what  manner  Moses 
received  the  information.  The  history  of  preceding 
generations  was  probably  handed  down  to  his  time 
by  tradition  ;  in  part  it  may  have  been  contained  in 
documents  then  extant,  as  is  likely  to  have  been  the 
case  with  the  various  genealogies  mentioned  in  the 
Pentateuch.  But  it  was  by  Divine  inspiration  that 
Moses  knew  to  distinguish  between  truth  and  error,  be- 
tween fiction  and  reality.  The  events  recorded  in  the 
I'entateuch  are  to  demonstrate  and  to  keep  constantly 


OUR  CREED.  13; 

before  our  eyes  the  fact  that  there  is  a  higher  Power 
that  ordains  the  fate  of  men  and  nations  according  to 
their  deeds.  Everything  is  described  in  a  simple  and 
objective  manner.  Although  the  whole  Torah  is  the 
work  of  Moses,  the  great  prophet  speaks  of  himself 
everywhere  in  the  third  person,  except  in  the  Book  of 
Deuteronomy,  in  which  he  records  his  addresses  to  the 
people  in  the  last  year  of  his  life. 

The  last  few  verses,  which  describe  the  death  of 
Moses,  the  mourning  of  the  Israelites  for  the  death  of 
their  teacher,  and  his  exaltation  above  all  other  pro- 
phets, have  been  added  to  the  Torah  by  Joshua  the  son 
of  Nun,  the  leader  of  the  Israelites  after  the  death  of 
Moses.  Thus,  from  that  day  until  the  present  the 
Torah,  in  its  integrity,  has  been  in  the  hands  of  the 
children  of  Israel.  It  was  guarded  as  the  most  valuable 
national  treasure,  and  although  there  have  been  not  a 
few  generations  which  were  corrupt  and  idolatrous,' 
Israel  has  never  been  entirely  bereaved  of  pious  and 
faithful  worshippers  of  the  true  God  ;  and  when  in  one 
generation  or  period  the  study  and  the  practice  of  the 
Torah  were  neglected,  they  were  resumed  with  greater 
vigour  and  zeal  in  the  next. 

There  is  a  tradition  recorded  in  the  Talmud  that 
after  the  Babylonian  exile  Ezra,  the  Scribe,  replaced 
the  ancient  Hebrew  characters  in  which  the  Torah  had 
originally  been  written  by  the  square  characters  still 
in  use.  Nothing,  however,  was  omitted  from  or  added 
to  the  contents  of  the  Torah,  when  the  present  forms 
of  the  letters  were  introduced  by  Ezra.  In  the  scrolls 
of  the  Law  the  letters  were  not  provided  with  vowel- 
points  and  accents ;   the  manner  in  which  the  words, 


136  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

phrases,  and  sentences  were  to  be  read  was  a  subject 
of  oral  teaching.  Also  many  explanations  and  details 
of  the  laws  were  supplemented  by  oral  teaching  ;  they 
were  handed  down  by  word  of  mouth  from  generation 
to  generation,  and  only  after  the  destruction  of  the 
second  Temple  were  they  committed  to  writing.  The 
latter  are,  nevertheless,  called  Oral  Law  (ns  h^y^  min), 
as  distinguished  from  the  Torah  or  Written  Law  (min 
nnsa:;*)?  """hich  from  the  first  was  committed  to  writing. 
Those  oral  laws  which  were  revealed  to  Moses  on  Mount 
Sinai  are  called  tjiDO  r^J'oi'  na^n  '*  Laws  given  to  Moses 
on  Mount  Sinai."'  There  are  several  passages  in  the 
Bible  from  which  it  appears  that  a  certain  unwritten 
law  must  have  supplemented  the  written  Law ;  e.g., 
when  a  man  was  found  in  the  wilderness  gathering 
sticks  on  the  Sabbath-day,  the  persons  who  discovered 
him  brought  him  to  Moses.  They  must  have  been 
taught  before,  that  the  gathering  of  sticks  constituted 
a  nss^D,  labour  prohibited  on  the  Sabbath-day,  although 
this  had  not  been  distinctly  stated  in  the  written  Sab- 
bath-laws. Had  this  not  been  the  case  the  Sabbath- 
breaker  could  not  have  been  put  to  death,  since  he 
would  have  coram.itted  the  sin  in  ignorance.  The  same 
can  be  said  of  the  man  who  cursed  the  name  of  God  ; 
he  must  have  known  that  cursing  the  name  of  God  was 
a  capital  crime ;  for  he  would  not  have  been  put  to 
death  if  the  Israelites  had  not  yet  been  taught  that  death 
would  be  inflicted  for  such  an  act.  The  question  which 
the  prophet  Haggai  (ii.  ii)  addressed  to  the  priests, 
and  the  answers  which  the  priests  gave,  lead  to  the 
conclusion  that  the  details  of  the  laws  on  uncleanness 
and  cleanness  (mriDi  nxDlo)  must  have  been  known  to 


OUR  CREED.  137 

the  priests  and  the  prophets  to  a  greater  extent  than 
has  been  explained  in  the  written  Law.  Besides,  there 
were  many  precepts  that  came  at  once  into  force. 
These  must  have  been  fully  explained  to  the  people, 
who  were  anxious  to  obey  the  word  of  God. 

All  these  explanations  and  the  detailed  rules  with 
regard  to  the  written  Divine  precepts  of  the  Pentateuch, 
together  with  laws  and  institutions  established  in  the 
course  of  time  by  the  highest  authorities  of  the  nation 
in  obedience  to  the  dictates  of  the  Pentateuch,  form 
the  contents  of  the  Oral  Law. 

The  Oral  Law  or  the  Tradition  has  been  handed 
down  in  two  different  forms :  (a)  in  the  form  of  a 
running  Commentary  on  the  Pentateuch  ;  such  Com- 
mentaries were  called  Midrashim ;  (h)  arranged  ac- 
cording to  the  different  subjects,  and  treated  indepen- 
dently of  the  text  of  the  Torah.  This  is  done  in  the 
Talmud  ("  lesson,"  "  tradition  "). 

The  principal  Midrashim  are  :  Mechilta  (lit.  "  mea- 
sure ")  on  Exodus ;  Sifra  ("  book ")  on  Leviticus ; 
Si/re  ("  books ")  on  Numbers  and  Deuteronomy. 
Jiabhoth  on  the  Pentateuch  and  the  five  Megilloth. 
Yalkut  ("  collection  ")  on  all  the  books  of  the  Bible. 

The  Talmud — which  exists  in  two  different  recen- 
sions, viz.,  the  Jerusalem  Talmud  and  the  Babylonian 
Talmud — consists  of  two  elements,  which  have  to  each 
other  the  relation  of  text  and  commentary,  and  are 
called  Mishnah  (nic^  "learnt  by  heart"),  and  Gemara 
(K1D3  lit.  "completion,"  "a  thing  settled");  the  former 
contains  the  traditional  laws  mostly  without  argumen- 
tation ;  in  the  latter  these  laws  are  further  discussed, 
examined,  and  finally  settled.     Following  the  example 


138  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

of  the  Pentateuch,  the  Talmud  includes  two  elements  : 
laws  and  narratives,  or  Halachali  (nD^n)  and  Agada 
(snjx)  ;  the  latter,  the  Agada,  contains  history,  fables, 
allegory,  meditations,  prayers,  reflections,  philosophical 
and  religious  discussions,  and  a  large  number  of  mora] 
sayings.  The  Midrashim  likewise  include  these  two 
elements. 

The  Mishnah  is  divided  into  the  following  sis  orders 
or  sections  (omo) :  ^ — 

1.  n''i?ir  ^^  Seeds."  Laws  referring  to  agriculture; 
preceded  by  laws  on  Divine  Worship. 

2.  liD'o  "  Seasons."      On  Sabbath  and  Festivals. 

3.  D^K^3  "  Women."      Marriage  Laws. 

4.  ppnJ  "  Damages."  Civil  and  criminal  legislation  ; 
the  Government. 

5.  D^^lp  ''Holy  things."     On  Sacrifices. 

6.  minn  "  Purity."  On  the  distinction  between 
clean  and  unclean. 

The  laws  taught  in  the  Talmud  are:  (i)  those 
w^hich  are  directly  or  indirectly  derived  from  the  text 
of  the  Pentateuch  ;  they  are  called  "  laws  derived  from 
the  Torah "  (minn  p  or  xn"'''~nx"iD) ;  (2)  those  which 
trace  their  origin  to  the  time  of  Moses,  or,  in  general, 
to  the  remote  past ;  they  are  called  '>3'»dd  ^J^•!^^  T^'2hT\ 
"Law  given  to  Moses  on  Sinai;"  (3)  those  laws 
which  originated  between  the  period  of  the  Penta- 
teuch and  the  close  of  the  Bible ;  they  are  called 
rh'l\>  nm  ("  words  of  tradition ") ;  (4)  those  which 
have  been  introduced  in  post-Biblical  times ;  they  are 
laws  pnino  "  laws  introduced  by  our  teachers."  These 
are  either  preventives    against    breaking    any   of  the 

1  Tlie  Talmud  is  also  called  U'^  (5/(ass),  the  initials  of  D^"nD  HK'B'. 


OUR  CREED.  139 

Divine  precepts,  and  are  then  called  nilU  or  yo  '"'  a 
fence,"  or  tckanoth  (niJpD  "  institutions "  or  "  regula- 
tions ")  made  in  order  to  ensure  obedience  to  the 
Law  and  improvement  of  conduct,  to  remove  abuses 
and  prevent  error  and  misunderstanding;  (5)  Minhag, 
"  Custom  "  (jnjo) ;  religious  practices  which  have  not 
been  introduced  by  any  authority  or  based  on  a  par- 
ticular Biblical  text,  but  in  consequence  of  long  usage 
have  become  as  sacred  as  a  law  established  by  the 
proper  authority. 

These  laws,  as  finally  settled,  were  again  codified,  in 
various  works,  the  most  important  of  which  are  the  fol- 
lowing two  :  ( I )  Mishneh-torah  (min  riJt^o  or  npTnn  T"  ^ 
lit.  "  Copy  of  the  Law,"  or  "  Strong  Hand  "),  by  Moses 
Maimonides  (twelfth  century)  in  fourteen  books  ;  (2) 
Shtdchan-aruch  ("jiij?  pb^,  lit.  "  Table-arranged  "),  by 
Rabbi  Joseph  Caro  (sixteenth  century). 

Ninth  Principle. — "  /  firmly  believe  that  this  Law 
will  not  he  changed,  and  that  there  will  not  he  any  other 
Law  given  hy  the  Creator,  Messed  he  His  Name." 

In  this  article  we  pronounce  our  belief  in  the  immu- 
tability of  the  Law.  Over  and  over  again  the  phrase 
'"  an  everlasting  statute  "  (d^IJ?  ripn)  occurs  in  the  Pen- 
tateuch. It  is  true  that  the  Hebrew  term  Q^iy  is  used 
in  the  Bible  in  the  sense  of  "  a  very  long  time,"  but 
in  the  phrase  D^IJ?  Dpn  the  word  cannot  have  that 
meaning.  Some  indication  would  have  been  necessary 
to  inform  the  people  when  the  laws  would  cease  to  be 
in  force.  On  the  contrary,  the  test  of  a  prophet 
addressing   his   brethren    in    the  name    of  God,   as  a 

1  The  word  T*  is  intended  to  indicate  the  number  14,  the  work 
being  divided  into  14  books. 


I40  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

Divine  messenger,  consists  in  the  barmony  of  his  words 
with  the  precepts  of  the  Pentateuch.  A  prophet  who, 
speaking  in  the  name  of  God,  abrogates  any  of  the  laws 
of  the  Pentateuch  is  a  false  prophet.  "  If  there  arise 
in  the  midst  of  thee  a  prophet  or  a  dreamer  of  dreams, 
and  he  give  thee  a  sign  or  a  wonder,  and  the  sign 
or  wonder  come  to  pass  whereof  he  spake  unto  thee, 
saying.  Let  us  go  after  other  gods  which  thou  hast  not 
known,  and  let  us  serve  them  :  thou  shalt  not  hearken 
unto  the  words  of  that  prophet  or  unto  that  dreamer 
of  dreams.  .  .  .  Ye  shall  walk  after  the  Lord  your 
God,  and  fear  'him,  and  keep  his  commandments,  and 
obey  his  voice,  and  ye  shall  serve  him,  and  cleave 
unto  him.  And  that  prophet  or  that  dreamer  of 
dreams  shall  be  put  to  death ;  because  he  hath  spoken 
rebellion  against  the  Lord  your  God,  which  brought 
you  out  of  the  land  of  Egypt,  ...  to  draw  thee 
aside  out  of  the  way  which  the  Lord  thy  God  com- 
manded thee  to  walk  in "  (Deut.  xiii.  2—6).  Moses 
distinctly  says,  "  The  things  that  are  revealed  belong 
unto  us  and  to  our  children  for  ever,  that  we  may  do 
all  the  words  of  this  law"  (Ibid.  xxix.  28). 

There  is  also  an  express  commandment  given  :  "  Ye 
shall  not  add  unto  the  word  which  1  command  you, 
neither  shall  you  diminish  from  it,  that  ye  may  keep 
the  commandments  of  the  Lord  your  God  which  I  com- 
mand you  "  (Ibid.  iv.  2).  In  two  ways  this  law  may 
appear  to  have  been  disregarded  :  there  are  certain 
sections  of  the  Law  which  are  at  present  not  in  force  ; 
and,  on  the  other  hand,  there  are  many  apparently  new 
precepts  at  present  in  force  which  have  been  intro- 
duced in  the  course  of  time  by  the  religious  authori- 


OUR  CREED.  141 

ties  of  the  nation.  But  these  are  only  apparent  excep- 
tions ;  in  reality  they  are  entirely  in  harmony  with  the 
Pentateuch. 

As  to  the  first  class,  there  are  many  of  the  Divine 
commandments  the  fulfilment  of  which  depends  on  cer- 
tain conditions  ;  e.g.,  the  existence  of  the  Tabernacle  or 
of  the  Temple  and  its  service,  the  possession  of  Palestine 
by  the  Israelites,  the  independence  of  the  Jewish  State. 
In  the  absence  of  these  conditions  such  laws  cannot  be 
fulfilled.  The  laws  of  sacrifices  belong  to  this  class. 
We  are,  in  reference  to  these  laws,  in  the  same  con- 
dition as  a  person  who  is  physically  prevented  from 
doing  what  he  is  commanded  to  do,  and  what  he  is 
actually  longing  to  do.  The  Law  is  not  altered ;  our 
circumstances  demand  a  temporary  suspense  of  such 
laws  and  not  their  abrogation. 

The  second  class  contains  all  those  precepts  which 
are  known  as  pa"n  ni^'O  "  Rabbinical  precepts,"  niJpn 
and  D''3n:o  "  Institutions  "  and  "  Customs."  But  these 
imply  no  addition  to  the  Torah  ;  they  are  merely  bye- 
laws  and  regulations  as  regards  the  method  of  carrying 
out  the  laws  of  the  Pentateuch,  and  are  designed  to 
facilitate  or  ensure  their  fulfilment,  and  to  prevent 
ourselves  from  forgetting  or  disregarding  them.  Our 
teachers,  the  Rabbis,  made  it  a  matter  of  conscience 
to  describe  their  own  regulations  as  pniT  non-Pen- 
tateuchical,  and  throughout  the  Oral  Law  and  the 
entire  Talmudic  literature  the  distinction  between 
p2"n  and  niinn  p  is  noted  and  scrupulously  upheld. 

It  is  useless  to  investigate  whether  it  would  be  in 
harmony  with  the  immutability  of  the  Divine  Being 
to  change  the  laws  or  any  of  them,  or  to  grant  a  new 


143  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

revelation.  Certainly  the  words  "  I,  the  Lord,  have 
not  changed  "  (Mai.  iii.  6)  have  great  weight ;  so  also, 
"  For  God  is  not  a  son  of  man  that  he  should  change 
his  mind"  (Num.  xxiii.  19).  But  the  fact  that  the 
laws  were  given  by  God  as  "an  everlasting  statute  for 
all  generations "  makes  all  philosophical  speculation 
on  that  point  superfluous.  Persons  who  address  us 
in  the  name  of  God  as  His  messengers,  and  bid  us 
turn  away  from  any  of  the  laws  commanded  in  the 
Pentateuch,  are  in  our  eyes  impostors,  who,  knowingly 
or  unknowingly,  give  forth  their  own  opinions  as 
Divine  inspirations. 

3.   Reward  and  Punishincnt,  ti;j1^T  ~)Dli/. 

"  Behold  I  have  set  before  thee  this  day  life  and 
good,  and  death  and  evil :  in  that  I  command  thee 
this  day  to  love  the  Lord  thy  God,  to  walk  in  his 
ways,  and  to  keep  his  commandments  and  his  statutes 
and  his  judgments,  that  thou  mayest  live  and  multiply, 
and  that  the  Lord  thy  God  may  bless  thee  in  the  land 
whither  thou  passest  over  Jordan  to  go  in  to  possess 
it"  (Deut.  XXX.  15).  "I  call  heaven  and  earth  to 
Avitness  against  you  this  day,  that  I  have  set  before 
thee  life  and  death,  the  blessing  and  the  curse :  there- 
fore choose  life,  that  thou  mayest  live,  thou  and  thy 
seed  :  to  love  the  Lord  thy  God,  to  obey  his  voice, 
and  to  cleave  unto  him  :  for  that  is  thy  life  and  the 
length  of  thy  days"  (Ibid.  xxx.  19,  20). 

The  doctrine  taught  in  this  passage  is  the  alpha 
and  the  omega  of  the  sacred  literature.  The  whole 
history  related  in  the  Bible  from  the  Creation  to  the 


OUR  CREED.  143 

Babylonian  captivity  and  the  restoration  of  tlie  Jews 
to  their  land  is  but  one  continuous  series  of  illustra- 
tions of  this  doctrine.  Obedience  to  God's  word  is 
followed  by  His  blessings,  while  disobedience  is  the 
cause  of  ruin  and  misery.  Thus,  in  Lamentations  the 
poet  exclaims  in  the  name  of  his  nation,  "  Just  is 
the  Lord,  for  I  rebelled  against  his  commandment  " 
(Lam.  i.  18).  Moses,  in  his  last  song  exhorting 
the  people  to  obedience  to  the  Almighty,  begins  his 
address  with  a  praise  of  God's  justice,  saying,  "The 
Rock,  his  work  is  perfect,  for  all  his  ways  are  judg- 
ment :  a  God  of  faithfulness,  and  without  wrong, 
just  and  right  is  he  "  (Deut.  xxxii.  4).  Even  those 
who  doubted  the  Divine  justice,  in  respect  to  the  fate 
of  individual  persons  or  nations,  admitted,  "  Surely  I 
know  that  it  shall  be  well  with  them  that  fear  God, 
which  fear  before  him :  but  it  shall  not  be  well  with 
the  wicked,  neither  shall  he  prolong  his  days,  which 
are  as  a  shadow  :  because  he  feareth  not  before 
God"  (Eccles.  viii.  12,  13).  Job,  wondering  why  he 
should  be  subjected  to  the  greatest  trials,  cannot 
help  confessing,  "  Even  he  will  be  to  me  an  help,  for 
there  shall  not  come  before  him  an  hypocrite  "  (Job 
xiii.  16).  God  is  therefore  called  "  God  of  judgment," 
tDaK'on  ""n^S  (Mai.  ii.  17);  p  "Judge"  (i  Sam.  xxiv. 
15);  pnv  "just,"  p-nv  CDIK^  "just  Judge  "  (Ps.  vii.  1 2)  ; 
x:p  ha  "  a  jealous  God  "  (Exod.  xx.  5);  niDpJ  h^  "God 
of  vengeance"  (Ps.  xciv.  i);  DTiisx  "God"  in  the 
sense  of  "Judge."  The  rejection  of  this  belief  by  the 
wicked  is  expressed  by  the  phrase  qti^^x  fS  "  There  is 
no  God."  Thus  David  exclaims,  "  The  fool  hath  said 
in  his  heart,  There  is  no  God ;   they  are  corrupt ;   they 


144  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

have  done  abominable  things  ;  there  is  none  that  doeth 
fTood"  (Ps.  xiv.  i).  In  post-Biblical  literature  we 
find  this  unbelief,  which  is  characterised  as  the  source 
of  all  corruption  and  wickedness,  expressed  by  the 
phrase,  t<:n  n>^i  p  n*^  "  There  is  no  judgment,  and 
there  is  no  judge  "  (Targ.  Ps.  Jonathan,  Gen.  iv.  8). 

There  are  two  different  sources  from  which  such 
unbelief  springs  forth — limitation  of  God's  powers  and 
limitation  of  man's  capacities.  The  one  of  these 
sources  leads  to  a  denial  of  God's  Omniscience,  whilst 
the  other  deprives  man  of  his  freewill.  There  are 
some  who  argue  that  God  is  too  high  to  notice  the 
ways  and  the  acts  of  individual  men,  and  that  these 
must  be  utterly  insignificant  in  comparison  with  God's 
greatness.  "  They  crush  thy  people,  0  Lord,  and  afilict 
thine  heritage.  They  slay  the  widow  and  the  stranger, 
and  murder  the  fatherless.  And  they  say,  The  Lord 
shall  not  see,  neither  shall  the  God  of  Jacob  con- 
sider "  (Ps.  xciv.  5—7).  "  And  thou  sayest,  What  doth 
God  know  ?  Can  he  judge  through  the  thick  darkness  ? 
Thick  clouds  are  a  covering  to  him,  that  he  seeth  not ; 
and  he  walketh  in  the  sphere  of  heaven "  (Job  xxii. 
13,  14).  The  very  words  which  the  Psalmist  ad- 
dresses to  God  with  a  heart  full  of  gratitude,  "  What 
is  man  that  thou  art  mindful  of  him,  and  the  son 
of  man  that  thou  visitest  him?"  (Ps.  viii.  5),  are 
uttered  in  a  rebellious  spirit  by  the  unbeliever,  who 
thus  "  sets  limits  to  the  Holy  One  of  Israel "  (Ps. 
Ixxviii.  4 1 ).  But  the  power  of  God  is  not  limited,  nor 
is  His  wisdom  or  His  goodness ;  He  is  not  only  "  the 
God  of  heaven,"  but  also  "  the  God  of  the  earth." 
He  who  has  created  everything  has  certainly  a  know- 


OUR  CREED.  145 

ledge  of  everything-.  "  Lift  up  your  eyes  on  higli  and 
see  wlio  hath  created  these  things.  He  who  bringeth 
forth  by  number  their  host,  calleth  all  of  them  by 
name ;  not  one  of  them  escapeth  the  knowledge  of 
him  who  is  great  in  might  and  strong  in  power " 
(Isa.  xl.  26).  The  Psalmist  thus  replies  to  those  who 
deny  God's  Omniscience  :  "  Consider,  ye  brutish  among 
the  people  ;  and  ye  fools,  when  will  ye  be  wise  ?  He 
that  planted  the  ear,  shall  he  not  hear ;  he  that 
formed  the  eye,  shall  he  not  see  ?  He  that  chas- 
tiseth  the  nations,  shall  he  not  correct,  even  he  that 
teacheth  man  knowledge  ?  The  Lord  knoweth  the 
thoughts  of  man,  however  vain  they  be "  (Ps.  xciv. 
8-1 1 ).  It  would  indeed  be  absurd  to  imagine  that 
the  Creator  of  all  things  should  not  take  notice  of 
everything  that  His  hands  have  made.  What  difference 
can  it  make  to  the  Almighty  whether  He  provides  for 
the  whole  human  race  or  for  one  individual  man  ?  It 
would  be  attributing  to  the  Divine  Being  human  weak- 
ness and  false  pride  if  we  assumed  that  He  is  too  great 
to  take  notice  of  any  single  creature  of  His !  Rabbi 
Jochanan  said  wherever  in  the  Bible  we  find  a  descrip- 
tion of  the  greatness  of  God,  there  we  find  His  meek- 
ness. Thus,  e.g.,  it  is  said  in  the  Torah  :  "For  the 
Lord,  your  God,  he  is  the  God  of  gods  and  the  Lord 
of  lords,  the  mighty,  the  great,  the  strong,  and  the 
terrible,  who  regardeth  not  persons,  nor  taketh  reward. 
He  doth  execute  the  judgment  of  the  fatherless  and 
widow,  and  loveth  the  stranger  in  giving  him  food  and 
raiment"  (Deut.  x.  17,  18). 

That  man  is  not  insignificant  in  the  eyes  of  God 
is  clearly  expressed  in  the  account  of  the  Creation, 

K 


146  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

wliere  we  are  taught  that  man  was  made  by  God 
ruler  "  over  the  fish  of  the  sea  and  over  the  fowl  of 
the  air,  and  over  the  cattle,  and  over  all  the  earth, 
and  over  every  creephig  thing  that  creepeth  upon  the 
earth  "  (Gen.  i.  26).  "  Man  is  loved  by  the  Almighty," 
say  our  Sages,  "  because  he  is  created  in  the  image  of 
God ;  but  it  was  by  a  love  still  greater  that  it  was 
made  known  to  him  that  he  was  created  in  the  image 
of  God  "  (Mishnah  Aboth,  iii.  1 8). 

One  of  the  chief  blessings  man  received  at  the  hands 
of  his  Creator  is  freewill.  Within  certain  limits  man 
can  determine  his  own  actions.  When  he  is  about  to 
do  a  thing,  he  can  reflect  on  it,  examine  its  nature, 
investigate  into  its  consequences,  and  accordingly  either 
do  it  or  refrain  from  doing  it.  God  said  to  the  Israel- 
ites, "  I  call  heaven  and  earth  to  witness  against  you 
this  day,  that  I  have  set  before  thee  life  and  death, 
the  blessing  and  the  curse ;  and  thou  shalt  choose 
life  "  (Deut.  xxx.  1 9).  Our  freedom,  however,  is  not 
unlimited.  There  are  various  causes  that  prevent  us 
from  remaining  firm  to  our  will.  If  we  resolve  to 
do  what  is  beyond  our  physical  condition,  we  cannot 
carry  it  out.  Again,  if  a  man  chooses  to  do  what 
would  interfere  with  the  will  of  his  fellow-men,  he 
will  frequently  be  compelled  to  abandon  or  change  his 
own  determination  ;  especially  as  he  is  in  most  cases 
ignorant  of  the  thoughts  and  plans  of  his  fellow-men. 
In  a  still  higher  degree  this  is  the  case  with  regard  to 
the  designs  of  the  Supreme  Being.  Hence  the  great 
difference  between  our  will  and  our  actual  deeds.  We 
have,  however,  the  conviction  that  p  li?  py^DO  "liiD^  Nn 
"b  pnniD    tiOO^    N3    Ci'^iyn   "He  who  wishes  to   purify 


OUR  CREED.  147 

himself  is  helped  by  Heaven  towards  his  aim,  while 
he  who  desires  to  defile  himself  will  find  the  means 
thereto"  (Babyl.  Tal.  Shabbath,  p.  104). 

We  admit  that  there  are  influences  over  which  man 
has  no  control,  and  which,  on  the  contrary,  help  to  shape 
his  will.  No  man  is  so  isolated  as  to  be  entirely 
inaccessible  to  outward  influences.  Man  inherits  cer- 
tain ideas  and  habits  from  his  parents  ;  others  are  forced 
upon  him  by  his  surroundings,  especially  in  his  earliest 
youth ;  society  and  the  State  compel  him  to  conform 
to  certain  notions  and  laws  ;  climate  and  temperature 
also  have  no  small  share  in  the  formation  of  man's 
will.  But  in  spite  of  all  these  influences  man's  will  is 
free,  and  it  is  by  reason  of  his  free-will  that  he  chooses 
to  conform  to  the  rules  of  society  and  the  laws  of  the 
State.  Hence  it  happens  that  individuals,  subject  to 
almost  the  same  influences,  still  vary  greatly  in  their 
resolutions.  What  the  one  praises  is  an  abhorrence  to 
the  other ;  what  repels  the  one  attracts  the  other ;  what 
is  recommended  by  the  one  is  denounced  by  the  other. 

Although  there  may  be  many  who  profess  to  believe 
in  predestination  or  fate,  as  a  matter  of  fact  all  nations, 
ancient  and  modern,  have  based  their  constitutions  on 
the  belief  in  man's  responsibility  for  his  actions.  Every 
State  has  its  laws,  its  system  of  reward  and  punishment. 
A  principle  so  general  and  so  essential  for  the  safety 
and  welfare  of  society,  as  well  as  of  each  individual,  can- 
not be  a  mere  illusion ;  its  good  efiect  has  been  tested 
and  is  generally  recognised. 

In  case  of  criminals  and  sinners,  we  make  allowance 
for  the  possible  outward  influences  under  which  the 
offender  may  have  fallen ;  we  assume  the  broad  prin- 


i^S  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

ciple,  mnt:'  mn  in  D333  p  ds  k^s  xuin  m«  ps  "  No  one 
sinnetli  unless  the  spirit  of  folly  has  entered  into  him  " 
(Babyl.  Talm.  Sotah,  3«)  ;  but  no  one  would  go  so 
far  as  to  acquit  the  sinner  altogether  from  blame.  We 
pity  him  and  try  to  teach  him  how  to  return  to  the 
right  path,  and  how  to  overcome  outward  evil  influ- 
ences. When  David  had  become  aware  of  the  greatness 
of  his  sin  and  sincerely  repented,  he  prayed,  "  Create  in 
me  a  clean  heart,  0  God ;  and  renew  a  right  spirit 
within  me.  Cast  me  not  away  from  thy  presence  ;  and 
take  not  thy  holy  spirit  from  me.  Eestore  unto  me 
the  joy  of  thy  salvation  ;  and  uphold  me  with  a  willing 
spirit.  Then  will  I  teach  transgressors  thy  ways  ;  and 
sinners  shall  return  unto  thee"  (Ps.  li.  10— 13).  Both 
elements  are  here  harmoniously  united.  God's  inter- 
ference is  asked  for ;  He  helps  man  to  carry  out  his 
good  resolution  ;  but  man  has  free-will,  and  the  author 
of  the  psalm,  in  seeking  the  assistance  of  God,  feels 
nevertheless  the  weight  of  his  own  responsibility. 

Tenth  Principle. — ^^  I  firmly  believe  that  the  Creator, 
Messed  be  His  name,  knoiveth  all  the  actions  of  men  and 
all  their  thoughts,  as  it  is  said,  'He  that  fashioneth  the 
hearts  of  them  all,  He  that  considereth  all  their  loorks ' 
(Ps.  xxxiii.  15)." 

In  the  rhymed  form  of  the  Creed  (71^^)  this  article  is 
expressed  thus  :  "  He  watcheth  and  knoweth  our  secret 
thoughts ;  He  beholdeth  the  end  of  a  thing  in  its  be- 
ginning." Here  the  author  proclaims  not  only  the 
Omniscience  of  God,  but  also  His  foresight ;  His  know- 
ledge is  not  limited,  like  the  knowledge  of  mortal  beings, 
by  space  and  time.  The  entire  past  and  future  lies 
unrolled  before  His  eyes,  and  nothing  is  hidden  from 


OUR  CREED.  149 

Him.  Altliong-li  we  may  form  a  faint  idea  of  the 
knowledge  of  God  by  considering  that  faculty  of  man 
that  enables  him,  within  a  limited  space  of  time,  to  look 
backward  and  forward,  and  to  unroll  before  him  the 
past  and  the  future,  as  if  the  events  that  have  happened 
and  those  that  will  come  to  pass  were  going  on  in 
the  present  moment,  yet  the  true  nature  of  God's 
knowledge  no  man  can  conceive.  "  God  considereth 
all  the  deeds  of  man,"  without  depriving  him  of  his 
free-will ;  he  may  in  this  respect  be  compared  to  a 
person  who  observes  and  notices  the  actions  and  the 
conduct  of  his  fellow-men,  without  interfering  with 
them.  It  is  the  Will  of  God  that  man  should  have 
free-will  and  should  be  responsible  for  his  actions  ;  and 
His  foresight  does  not  necessarily  include  predetermi- 
nation. In  some  cases  the  fate  of  nations  or  of  indi- 
vidual men  is  predetermined ;  we  may  even  say  that 
the  ultimate  fate  or  development  of  mankind  is  part  of 
the  design  of  the  Creation.  But  as  the  actual  design 
in  the  Creation  is  concealed  from  man's  searching  eye, 
so  is  also  the  extent  of  the  predetermination  a  mystery 
to  him.  To  solve  this  problem  is  beyond  the  intellec- 
tual powers  of  short-sighted  mortals  ;  it  is  one  of  "  the 
hidden  things  that  belong  to  the  Lord  our  God." 

David,  in  Ps.  cxxxix.  i  — 12,  describes  the  Omnisci- 
ence and  the  Omnipresence  of  God  in  the  following  way  : 
"  0  Lord,  thou  hast  searched  me,  arid  known  me.  Thou 
knowest  ray  down-sitting  and  mine  up-rising ;  thou 
understandest  my  thoughts  afar  off.  Thou  searchest 
out  my  path  and  my  lying  down,  and  art  acquainted 
with  all  my  ways.  For  there  is  not  a  word  in  ray 
tongue,  but  lo,  O  Lord,  thou  knowest  it  altogether. 


150  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

Thou  hast  beset  me  behind  and  before,  and  laid  thine 
hand  upon  me.  Such  knowledge  is  too  wonderful  for 
me ;  it  is  high,  I  cannot  attain  unto  it.  Whither 
shall  I  go  from  thy  spirit  ?  or  whither  shall  I  flee 
from  thy  presence  ?  If  I  ascend  up  into  heaven,  thou 
art  there ;  if  I  make  my  bed  in  the  grave,  behold, 
thou  art  there.  If  I  take  the  wings  of  the  morning, 
and  dwell  in  the  uttermost  parts  of  the  sea:  even 
there  shall  thy  hand  lead  me,  and  thy  right  hand  shall 
hold  me.  If  I  say.  Surely  the  darkness  shall  cover 
me,  and  the  light  about  me  shall  be  night ;  even  the 
darkness  hideth  not  from  thee ;  but  the  night  shineth 
as  the  day ;  the  darkness  and  the  light  are  both-  alike 
to  thee." 

Our  belief  in  God's  Omniscience  is  beautifully  ex- 
pressed in  the  Musaph  prayer  of  New-year  :  "  Thou  re- 
memberest  the  work  of  bygone  times,  and  thinkest  of  all 
the  imaginations  of  former  days  ;  all  hidden  things  are 
revealed  before  thee ;  also  all  the  multitude  of  hidden 
things  which  are  from  the  beginning.  For  there  is  no 
forgetting  before  the  throne  of  thy  glory,  and  nothing 
is  concealed  from  thine  eye.  Thou  rememberest  every 
deed,  and  no  thought  is  hidden  from  thee.  Everything 
is  revealed  and  known  before  thee,  O  Lord  our  God, 
who  beholdest  and  seest  to  the  end  of  all  generations." 

Eleventh  Princiijle. — "  I  firmly  believe  that  the  Creator, 
blessed  he  He,  rewards  those  who  keep  His  command- 
ments, and  punishes  those  who  transgress  His  command- 
ments." 

The  immediate  reward  and  punishment  for  our  con- 
duct we  receive  in  the  pleasure  and  happiness  we  ex- 
perience in  doing  something  good,  and  in  the  grief  and 


OUR  CREED.  151 

remorse  we  ought  to  feel  on  learning  that  we  have 
displeased  the  Almighty  by  our  conduct.  As  a  rule, 
every  good  act  leads  to  further  good  acts,  and  every 
sin  to  further  sins  ;  and  our  Sages  say  therefore  :  "  The 
reward  of  a  good  act  (nivto)  is  another  good  act,  and 
the  punishment  for  a  transgression  is  another  trans- 
gression." 

But  when  we  speak  of  the  principle  of  Eetribution, 
we  generally  mean  such  reward  and  punishment  as  is 
given  in  addition  to  the  feeling  of  happiness  or  un- 
happiness  inseparable  from  our  actions. 

This  principle  of  retribution  has  been  proclaimed 
in  the  grand  Revelation  made  to  all  Israel  on  Mount 
Sinai,  in  the  Decalogue  which  has  been  accepted  by 
all  civilised  nations  as  the  basis  of  religion :  "  I  the 
Lord  thy  God  am  a  jealous  God,  visiting  the  iniquity 
of  the  fathers  upon  the  children,  upon  the  third  and 
upon  the  fourth  generation  of  them  that  hate  me  ;  and 
showing  mercy  unto  thousands  of  them  that  love  me 
and  keep  my  commandments"  (Exod.  xx,  5,  6).  We 
understand  the  doctrine  of  retribution  only  in  its 
general  outlines  ;  we  are  convinced  of  the  truth  of  the 
Divine  words,  "  There  is  no  peace  to  the  wicked  "  (Isa. 
Ivii.  21);  but  how  the  law  is  applied  in  every  single 
case  is  known  to  God  alone.  It  is  presumptuous  on  the 
part  of  short-sighted  man  to  criticise  God's  judgments, 
and  to  find  injustice  in  the  seeming  prosperity  of  the 
wicked  and  the  seeming  misery  of  the  righteous. 
What  man  is  able  to  estimate  the  merits  of  his  neigh- 
bour fully  and  correctly  ?  "  For  the  Lord  seeth  not 
as  man  seeth  ;  for  man  looketh  on  the  outward  appear- 
ance, but  the  Lord  looketh  on  the  heart  "  ( I  Sam.  xvi.  7). 


152  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

This  our  inability  of  rightly  estimating  the  merits  of 
our  neighbour's  actions,  is  illustrated  by  the  Biblical 
narrative  of  Cain  and  Abel.  Both  brought  sacrifices 
to  the  Lord ;  and  we  cannot  discover  any  difierence  in 
their  actions,  and  yet  the  sacrifice  of  Cain  was  rejected 
by  God  and  that  of  Abel  was  accepted.  Some  important 
element  there  must  therefore  be  in  man's  deeds  which 
is  hidden  from  his  neighbour's  eye,  but  is  known  to  the 
Almighty.  The  inability  of  man  to  penetrate  into  the 
secret  of  God's  rule  is  also  illustrated  by  the  prophet 
Habakkuk.  He  asked,  "  Wherefore  lookest  thou  upon 
them  that  deal  treacherously,  and  boldest  thy  peace 
when  the  wicked  swalloweth  up  the  man  that  is  more 
righteous  than  he  ;  and  makest  men  as  the  fishes  of  the 
sea,  as  the  creeping  things  that  have  no  ruler  over 
them  ?  "  Whereupon  he  receives  the  Divine  answer  : 
"  Write  the  vision,  and  make  it  plain  upon  tables,  that 

he  may  run  that  readeth    it Behold,  there    is 

crookedness  in  the  eyes  of  him  whose  soul  is  not 
straight ;  but  the  just  will  live  by  his  faith "  (Hab.  i. 
13,  14,  and  ii.  2,  4). 

One  of  the  Psalmists  (Asaph ;  Ps.  Ixxiii.  2  seq.) 
confesses  that  this  problem  had  greatly  troubled  him 
and  endangered  his  faith.  He  says  :  "  As  for  me,  my 
feet  were  almost  gone  ;  my  steps  had  well  nigh  slipped. 
For  I  was  envious  of  the  arrogant,  when  I  saw  the 
prosperity  of  the  wicked.  For  there  are  no  bands  in 
their  death  ;  but  their  strength  is  firm.  They  are  not 
in  trouble  as  other  men  ;  neither  are  they  plagued  like 
other  men.  .  .  .  Therefore  his  people  return  hither : 
and  waters  of  a  full  cup  are  wrung  out  by  them.  And 
they  say,  How  doth  God  know  ?  and  is  there  know- 


OUR  CREED.  I  S3 

ledge  in  the  ]\Iost  High  ?  Behold,  these  are  the 
wicked,  and  being  alway  at  ease,  they  increase  in 
riches.  Surely  in  vain  have  I  cleansed  my  heart,  and 
washed  my  hands  in  innocency ;  for  all  the  day  long 
have  I  been  plagued,  and  chastened  every  morning. 
If  I  had  said,  I  will  speak  thus  ;  behold,  I  had  dealt 
treacherously  A^yth  the  generation  of  thy  children. 
When  I  think  how  I  might  know  this,  it  is  trouble  in 
mine  eyes :  until  I  come  into  the  sanctuary  of  God  ; 
then  shall  I  consider  their  latter  end."  The  tem- 
porary success  and  seeming  prosperity  of  the  wicked 
does  not  shake  the  firm  belief  of  the  singer  in  the 
justice  of  God  ;  his  communion  with  God,  his  coming 
into  the  sanctuaries  of  God,  is  a  blessing  which  the 
soul  of  the  pious  yearns  for,  and  in  comparison  with 
which  all  the  wealth  and  power  of  the  wicked  is  but  a 
deceitful  shadow. 

The  Book  of  Job  illustrates  the  vanity  of  man's 
attempts  to  lift  the  veil  that  conceals  the  plan  of  God's 
decrees.  The  reader  is  informed  beforehand  why  Job 
is  afflicted  with  pains  and  troubles.  But  Job  and  his 
friends  have  not  been  informed.  Job  desires  to  know 
what  act  of  his  has  brought  upon_  him  that  terrible 
calamity,  if  it  is  to  be  endured  as  a  punishment ;  he 
protests  his  innocence,  and  criticises  the  justice  of  the 
Almighty.  The  three  friends  declare  with  certainty 
that  Job's  sufferings  are  a  punishment  for  sins  com- 
mitted, and  are  angry  that  Job  does  not  accept  their 
view. 

God  appears,  rebukes  Job  for  his  presumption,  but 
declares  that  the  view  expressed  by  his  friends,  insinu- 
ating sinful  conduct  to  Job,  was  wrong,  and  that  Job, 


154  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

who  contended  that  he  did  not  know  the  cause  of  the 
suffering,  spoke  more  rightly  than  his  friends.  For  Job 
had  not  been  afflicted  because  of  his  sins,  and  this  was 
shown  to  the  friends  of  Job  by  the  compensation  which 
God  gave  Job  for  all  that  he  had  lost  and  suffered. 

Koheleth  likewise  shows  the  futility  of  man's  endea- 
vour to  find  independently  of  Divine  revelation  the 
aim  and  object  of  man's  life  on  earth,  or  the  share  his 
free-will  has  in  the  performance  of  his  actions  and  the 
determination  of  his  fate.  Man  is  lost  in  a  labyrinth 
of  problems,  out  of  which  he  can  extricate  himself  only 
by  faith  in  God  and  His  guidance.  The  result  to  which 
the  investigations  of  Koheleth  led  him  is  expressed 
thus  :  "  Fear  God,  keep  his  commandments  ;  for  this  is 
the  whole  of  man's  duty.  For  every  action  God  will 
bring  to  judgment  together  with  all  hidden  thoughts, 
whether  good  or  evil "  (Eccles.  xii.   13). 

The  acts  of  Divine  justice  recorded  in  the  sacred 
literature  serve  as  a  warning  to  the  evil  and  an  en- 
couragement to  the  good.  They  are  all  of  a  material 
character,  as  only  in  this  shape  can  they  be  perceived 
by  man.  But  by  no  means  do  they  exhaust  all  the 
ways  of  God.  The  Divine  retribution  so  frequently 
referred  to  in  the  Law  points  mostly  to  the  good  or 
evil  consequences  which  the  conduct  of  the  Israelites 
will  bring  upon  the  whole  community  or  state,  because 
the  whole  community  is  benefited  by  the  virtues  and 
injured  by  the  misconduct  of  each  of  the  members 
composing  it ;  it  is  the  duty  of  the  authorities,  by 
watchfulness  and  by  well-defined  punishments,  to  pre- 
vent the  spread  of  disobedience  to  the  Divine  Law. 
What  other  rewards  or  punishments   await  the  indi- 


OUR  CREED.  155 

vidual  in  this  life  or  after  death  we  do  not  know.  But 
there  are,  especially  in  the  Psalms,  numerous  indica- 
tions that  the  pious  sufferer  was  sure  that  everlasting 
happiness  would  more  than  compensate  for  the  ab- 
sence of  material  and  transient  success  in  this  life. 
The  following  passages  may  serve  as  an  illustration  : — 

"  Many  sorrows  shall  be  to  the  wicked,  but  he  that 
trusteth  in  the  Lord,  mercy  shall  compass  him  about " 
(Ps.  xxxii.  10). 

"  How  precious  is  thy  loving-kindness,  0  God  !  and 
the  children  of  men  take  refuge  under  the  shadow  of 
thy  wings.  They  shall  be  abundantly  satisfied  with 
the  fatness  of  thy  house ;  and  thou  shalt  make  them 
drink  of  the  river  of  thy  pleasures.  For  with  thee  is 
the  fountain  of  life :  in  thy  light  shall  we  see  light " 
(xxxvi.  8—10). 

"For  evil-doers  shall  be  cut  off:  but  those  that 
wait  upon  the  Lord,  they  shall  inherit  the  land " 
(xxxvii.  9). 

"  For  the  Lord  loveth  judgment,  and  forsaketh  not 
his  saints ;  they  are  preserved  for  ever :  but  the  seed 
of  the  wicked  shall  be  cut  off"  {Ihid.  28). 

"  Mark  the  perfect  man  ;  and  behold  the  upright : 
for  the  latter  end  of  that  man  is  peace.  As  for  trans- 
gressors, they  shall  be  destroyed  together ;  the  latter 
end  of  the  wicked  shall  be  cut  off"  {Ibid.  37,  38). 

In  these  and  similar  passages  the  pious  and  enthusi- 
astic singer  has  in  his  mind  something  more  durable 
and  permanent  than  this  short  life,  or  otherwise  the 
conflict  between  his  hopes  and  the  reality  would  have 
shaken  his  faith. 

Twelfth  Principle. — "  I  firmly  hclicve  in  the  coming  of 


156  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

Messiah;  and  although  he  may  tarry,  I  daily  hope  for 
his  coming." 

When  Abraham  was  chosen  by  God  to  be  the  founder 
of  a  nation  proclaiming  the  Unity  of  God,  when  he  was 
commanded  to  separate  from  his  relatives  and  friends 
and  to  travel  a  stranger  in  a  foreign  land,  the  blessing 
promised  to  him  was  not  to  be  enjoyed  by  him  in  the 
present,  but  by  his  descendants  in  remote  future  :  "  All 
the  families  of  the  earth  shall  be  blessed  in  thee " 
(Gen.  xii.  3).  The  same  promise  was  repeated  when 
Abraham  stood  the  trial,  and  was  ready  to  bring  any 
sacrifice  in  obedience  to  the  Will  of  the  Supreme 
Being  :  "  All  the  nations  of  the  earth  shall  bless  them- 
selves in  thee"  (Ibid.  xxii.  18).  The  conviction  that 
the  seed  of  Abraham  have  the  distinction  and  the  mission 
to  become  a  source  of  a  blessing  to  all  mankind  was 
transmitted  from  generation  to  generation  ;  from  Abi'a- 
ham  through  Isaac  to  Jacob  or  Israel,  whose  descen- 
dants, the  Israelites,  guarded  the  inherited  charge,  as 
their  peculiar  treasure.  Before  receiving  the  Decalogue 
on  Mount  Sinai,  the  Israelites  were  reminded  of  this 
their  mission  in  the  words,  "  And  ye  shall  be  unto  me 
a  kingdom  of  priests  and  a  holy  nation  "  (Exod.  xix.  6). 
It  was  not  by  force  of  arras  or  by  persuasion  that 
they  were  to  influence  the  whole  earth,  bat  by  setting 
an  example  of  noble,  pure,  and  holy  conduct.  A 
special  spot  was  selected  for  them  where  they  should, 
in  seclusion  from  the  rest  of  the  world,  be  trained  in 
the  true  worship  of  God  and  in  the  practice  of  virtue. 
Zion  and  Jerusalem  became  in  course  of  time  the 
religious  centre  from  which  "  instruction  came  forth 
and  the  word  of  the  Lord."     The  Israelites  became 


OUR  CREED.  157 

negligent  in  their  mission  and  faithless  to  their  holy 
charge.  Instead  of  leading  other  nations  to  the  true 
worship  of  God,  they  allowed  themselves  to  be  misled 
by  them  to  idolatry ;  instead  of  living  a  pure  life  of 
justice  and  righteousness,  they  yielded  to  luxury  and 
lust,  and  committed  acts  of  injustice  and  oppression. 
They  were  punished.  Troubles  followed  troubles  ;  they 
lost  their  independence  and  their  religious  centre.  The 
men  of  God,  the  prophets,  from  Moses  to  the  last  of  the 
prophets,  Malachi,  foretold  the  catastrophe,  but  at  the 
same  time  added  words  of  comfort  and  encouragement, 
pointing  to  a  distant  future,  when  "  her  appointed 
time  of  trouble  will  be  complete,  and  her  guilt  atoned 
for ;  "  when  Israel  will  be  restored  to  his  land,  and 
under  the  guidance  of  Messiah,  "  the  Anointed  of  the 
Lord,"  he  will  be  filled  with  the  fear  of  the  Lord 
and  an  earnest  desire  to  do  that  which  is  just  and 
right.  Moses,  in  one  of  his  last  addresses  to  Israel, 
said,  "  And  it  shall  come  to  pass,  when  all  these  things 
have  come  upon  thee,  the  blessing  and  the  curse,  which 
I  have  set  before  thee  ;  and  thou  shalt  call  them  to 
mind  among  all  the  nations  whither  the  Lord  thy  God 
hath  driven  thee,  and  shalt  return  unto  the  Lord  thy 
God,  and  shalt  obey  his  voice,  according  to  all  that  I 
command  thee  this  day,  thou  and  thy  children,  with  all 
thine  heart,  and  with  all  thy  soul ;  that  the  Lord  thy 
God  will  return  thy  captivity,  and  have  compassion  on 
thee,  and  will  return,  and  gather  thee  from  all  the 
peoples  whither  the  Lord  thy  God  hath  scattered  thee.  If 
any  of  thy  outcasts  be  in  the  uttermost  parts  of  heaven, 
from  thence  will  the  Lord  thy  God  gather  thee,  and 
from  thence  will  he  fetch  thee,"  &c.  (Deut.  xxx.  1—3). 


158  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

The  glorious  times  of  Messiah  are  described  by  Isaiah 
in  the  following  words :  "  And  it  shall  come  to  pass 
in  the  end  of  days,  that  the  mountain  of  the  Lord's 
house  shall  be  established  in  the  top  of  the  mountains, 
and  shall  be  exalted  above  the  hills,  and  all  nations 
shall  flow  unto  it.  And  many  peoples  shall  go  and  say, 
Come  ye,  and  let  us  go  up  to  the  mountain  of  the 
Lord,  to  the  house  of  the  God  of  Jacob,  and  he  will 
teach  us  of  his  ways,  and  we  will  walk  in  his  paths, 
for  out  of  Zion  shall  go  forth  the  Law,  and  the  word 
of  the  Lord  from  Jerusalem.  And  he  shall  judge 
among  the  nations,  and  shall  reprove  many  peoples ; 
and  they  shall  beat  their  swords  into  plough-shares,  and 
their  spears  into  pruning-hooks :  nation  shall  not  lift 
up  sword  against  nation,  neither  shall  they  learn  war 
any  more "  (Isa.  ii.  2—4).  The  same  has  been  pro- 
phesied in  almost  identical  words  by  Micah  (iv.  1—4), 
a  contemporary  of  Isaiah.  The  peace  of  the  Messianic 
period  is  figuratively  described  by  Isaiah  in  the  follow- 
ing verses  :  "  And  the  wolf  shall  dwell  with  the  lamb, 
and  the  leopard  shall  lie  down  with  the  kid  ;  and  the 
calf,  and  the  young  lion,  and  the  fatling  together ;  and 
a  little  child  shall  lead  them.  And  the  cow  and  the 
bear  shall  feed :  their  young  ones  shall  lie  down 
together,  and  the  lion  shall  eat  straw  like  the  ox. 
And  the  sucking  child  shall  play  on  the  hole  of  the 
asp,  and  the  weaned  child  shall  put  his  hand  on  the 
basilisk's  den.  They  shall  not  hurt  nor  destroy  in  all 
my  holy  mountain ;  for  the  earth  shall  be  full  of  the 
knowledge  of  the  Lord,  as  the  waters  cover  the  sea  " 
(Isa.  xi.  6-9).  In  the  days  of  Messiah  all  people  will 
unite  in  the  proclamation  of  the  Unity  of  God  and  in 


OUR  CREED.  159 

His  worship  :  "  And  the  Lord  shall  be  King  over  all 
the  earth  :  in  that  day  shall  the  Lord  be  one,  and  his 
name  one  "  (Zech.  xiv.  9).  "  Then  will  I  turn  to  the 
peoples  a  pure  language,  that  they  may  all  call  upon 
the  name  of  the  Lord,  to  serve  him  with  one  consent " 
(Zeph.  iii.  9). 

The  distinction  given  to  Israel  and  to  his  land  wull 
again  appear  in  all  its  glory,  Israel  is  punished, 
deprived  of  independence,  even  despised  and  ill- 
treated  at  times ;  but  with  all  this  he  is  loved  by  God, 
and  not  rejected  by  Him  for  ever.  Isaiah  prophesies 
as  follows :  "  Remember  these  things,  O  Jacob  and 
Israel,  for  thou  art  my  servant :  I  have  formed  thee  ; 
thou  art  my  servant ;  O  Israel,  thou  shalt  not  be  for- 
gotten of  me"  (Isa.  xliv.  21).  "For  the  mountains 
shall  depart,  and  the  hills  be  removed ;  but  my  kind- 
ness shall  not  depart  from  thee,  neither  shall  my  cove- 
nant of  peace  be  removed,  saith  the  Lord  that  hath 
mercy  on  thee"  {Ibid.  liv.  10).  Comp.  lix.  20,  21  ; 
Ix.  19—21  ;  Ixvi.  22  ;  Jer.  xxxiii.  25,  26;  Hos.  ii. 
21,  22. 

Those  who  during  the  years  of  Israel's  punishment 
have  despised  and  ill-treated  him  will  repent  of  their 
conduct  when  they  witness  his  wonderful  redemption. 
Their  repentance  is  beautifully  depicted  by  Isaiah  in 
the  passage  beginning,  "Behold,  my  servant  will  be 
successful"  (Iii.  13).  Israel,  the  servant  of  God, 
patiently  bears  insults  and  persecution,  faithfully  wait- 
ing for  the  fulfilment  of  the  Divine  promise.  Israel's 
oppressors  will  then,  on  seeing  how  God  loves  him, 
confess  their  wrong  and  own  that  Israel  has  innocently 
suffered  at  their  hands.    With  the  redemption  of  Israel 


i6o  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

is  connected  the  restoration  of  tlie  throne  of  David. 
"  A  branch  of  the  house  of  David  "  will  be  at  the  head 
of  the  nation,  upon  whom  "  the  spirit  of  the  Lord  will 
rest,  the  spirit  of  wisdom  and  understanding,  the  spirit 
of  counsel  and  might,  the  spirit  of  knowledge,  and  of 
the  fear  of  the  Lord"  (Isa.  xi.  2).  Thus  Jeremiah  pro- 
phesies :  "  Behold,  the  days  come,  saith  the  Lord,  that 
I  will  raise  unto  David  a  righteous  branch,  and  he 
shall  reign  as  king,  and  deal  wisely,  and  shall  execute 
judgment  and  justice  in  the  land.  In  his  days  Judah 
shall  be  saved,  and  Israel  shall  dwell  safely :  and  this 
is  his  name,  whereby  he  shall  be  called.  The  Lord  is 
our  righteousness  "  (xxiii.  5,  6).  All  the  attributes  of 
Messiah  are  those  of  a  human  being  in  his  highest 
possible  perfection.  No  superhuman  qualities  are 
ascribed  to  him  ;  all  his  glory,  all  his  success,  is  de- 
pendent on  the  Will  of  God.  He  is  an  ideal  man,  and 
an  ideal  king,  but  not  more ;  if  miracles  are  to  be 
wrought,  it  is  not  Messiah  who  will  perform  them,  but 
God,  who  will  act  wondrously  for  Messiah  and  Israel. 
The  advent  of  Messiah  is  not  expected  to  change  the 
nature  of  man,  much  less  the  course  of  the  woi'ld  around 
us.  The  only  change  we  expect  is,  that  the  Unity 
of  God  will  be  acknowledged  universally,  and  that  jus- 
tice and  righteousness  will  flourish  over  all  the  earth. 
Those  who  believe  in  a  superhuman  nature  of  Messiah 
are  guilty  of  idolatry.  Our  Sages  express  this  principle 
in  the  words,  nv^^'D  Ti3y::>  x^s  natron  T\'\'ah  nrn  n^iyn  pi  px 
nn^l,  "  There  is  no  other  difference  between  the  present 
time  and  the  days  of  Messiah  but  the  restoration  of 
Israel's  independence." 

An  opinion  is  mentioned  in  the  Talmud  in  the  name 


OUR  CREED.  i6i 

of  a  Rabbi  Hillel — not  the  great  Hillel,  the  Babylonian 
— that  "  tliere  is  no  Messiah  for  the  Israelites,  because 
they  have  already  enjoyed  the  blessings  of  Messiah  in 
the  reign  of  Hezekiah  "  (Babyl.  Talm.  Sanhedrin,  986). 
This  can  only  refer  to  the  miraculous  defeat  of  the 
enemy,  and  the  direct  benefits  derived  therefrom  by 
the  Israelites.  But  the  Rabbi  by  no  means  rejects 
our  belief  that  Messiah  will  come,  and  with  him  the 
universal  worship  of  the  One  God,  the  universal  prac- 
tice of  virtue  in  all  its  forms,  and  universal  peace 
and  prospei'ity.^  Hillel,  however,  found  no  support 
for  his  view ;  on  the  contrary,  his  error  is  at  once 
shown  to  him,  that  he  forgot  the  prophets  who  pro- 
phesied after  Hezekiah. 

There  are  some  theologians  who  assume  the  Messianic 
period  to  be  the  most  perfect  state  of  civilisation,  but 
do  not  believe  in  the  restoration  of  the  kingdom  of 
David,  the  rebuilding  of  the  Temple,  or  the  repossession 
of  Palestine  by  the  Jews.  They  altogether  reject  the 
national  hope  of  the  Jews.  These  theologians  either 
misinterpret  or  wholly  ignore  the  teaching  of  the  Bible, 
and  the  Divine  promises  made  through  the  men  of  God. 

The  hopes  with  which  our  religion  inspires  us 
can  never  lead  us  to  intrigues,  political  combinations, 
insurrection,  or  warfare  for  the  purpose  of  regaining 
Palestine  and  appointing  a  Jewish  Government.  On 
the  contrary,  our  religion  teaches  us  to  seek  the  welfare 
of  those  nations  in  whose  midst  we  live,  and  to  conscien- 

^  According  to  Rashi,  Rabbi  Hillel  meant  to  say  that  the  Jews  would 
not  be  redeemed  by  any  Messiah,  but  by  God  Himself.  Comp.  Haga- 
dah  for  Seder-evening,  "  And  I  will  pass  through  the  land  of  Egypt ;  I 
myself,  and  not  an  angel." 

L 


i62  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

tiously  take  part  in  the  work  for  their  national  pro- 
gress and  prosperity,  whilst  patiently  waiting  for  the 
miraculous  fulfilment  of  the  prophecies.  Even  if  a 
band  of  adventurers  were  to  succeed  in  reconquering 
Palestine  for  the  Jews  by  means  of  arms,  or  reacquir- 
ing the  Holy  Land  by  purchasing  it  from  the  pre- 
sent owners,  we  should  not  see  in  such  an  event  the 
consummation  of  our  hopes. 

Does  the  advent  of  Messiah  and  the  rebuilding 
of  the  Temple  in  Jerusalem  imply  the  restoration  of 
the  Sacrificial  Service?  The  last  of  the  prophets, 
Malachi,  declares  that  "  then  the  ofiering  of  Judah 
and  Jerusalem  shall  be  pleasant  unto  the  Lord,  as  in 
the  days  of  old,  and  as  in  ancient  years  "  (Mai.  iii.  4). 
In  the  same  spirit  all  the  prophets  spoke,  and  when  in 
some  cases  prophets  denounce  sacrifices,  it  is  only  the 
sacrifices  of  the  wicked  that  they  denounce.  Sacrifices 
must  be  preceded  by  purification  of  the  heart,  and  by 
the  earnest  resolve  to  obey  the  word  of  God,  otherwise 
they  constitute  an  increase  of  sin.  When  we  express 
our  longing  for  the  rebuilding  of  the  Temple  and  the 
restoration  of  the  Temple-Service — the  return  of  the 
priests  to  their  service,  and  the  Levites  to  their  song 
and  music — it  is  solely  our  desire  for  the  opportunity 
of  serving  God  according  to  His  Will  and  command, 
and  is  not  a  feeling  that  should  be  modified  by  fashion 
or  taste.  It  is  because  of  our  sins  that  we  have  been 
deprived  of  our  Temple  ;  the  rebuilding  of  the  Temple 
and  the  restoration  of  the  Sacrificial  Service  will  be 
the  result  of  our  own  purification,  and  the  consequent 
Divine  pardon. 

When  will  this  take  place  ?     We  do  not  know,  and 


OUR  CREED.  163 

are  content  to  bear  in  mind  that  the  time  of  our 
redemption  is  one  of  the  "  hidden  things  which  are 
the  Lord  our  God's  ;  "  "  If  it  tarries,"  says  Habakkuk, 
"  wait  for  it,  for  it  will  surely  come,  and  not  later  than 
the  time  fixed"  (ii.  3).  Certain  numbers  of  days  and 
weeks  are  mentioned  in  Daniel,^  but  it  is  not  stated 
how  these  are  to  be  counted  ;  to  which  period  they 
are  intended  to  apply ;  whether  to  the  time  of  the 
restoration  under  Zerubbabel,  to  the  period  of  the 
Maccabees,  to  the  destruction  of  the  second  Temple, 
or  to  the  future  and  final  redemption.  It  is  also 
possible  that  these  numbers  have  some  symbolic  sig- 
nification. In  reference  to  these  mysterious  numbers 
Daniel  says  (xii.  8—10) :  "And  I  heard,  but  I  under- 
stood not ;  then  said  I,  O  my  lord,  what  shall  be  the 
issue  of  these  things  ?  And  he  said.  Go  thy  way, 
Daniel ;  for  the  words  are  shut  up  and  sealed  till  the 
time  of  the  end.  Many  shall  purify  themselves  and 
make  themselves  white,  and  be  refined  ;  but  the  wicked 
shall  do  wickedly,  and  none  of  the  wicked  shall  un- 
derstand ;  but  they  that  be  wise  shall  understand." 
These  words  of  Daniel  are  a  warning  to  all  those  who 
are  inclined  to  compute  by  means  of  the  numbers 
given  in  Daniel  the  exact  year  of  Messiah.  Many 
have  disregarded  the  warning  and  have  fallen  into 
gross  error.  It  is  the  duty  of  the  pious  Israelite  to 
have  faith  in  God's  wisdom,  goodness,  and  power : 
"  The  righteous  shall  live  in  his  faith  "  (Hab.  ii.  4). 

Thirteenth   Frincijjle. — "/  firmly  helieve  that   there 
will  take  place  a  revival  of  the  dead  at  a  time  which 

^  Coir. p.  supra,  p.  122. 


l64  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

will  please  the  Creator,  Messed  he  His  name  and  exalted 
His  memorial  for  ever  and  ever." 

As  imperfect  as  is  our  conception  of  a  creation  from 
nothing,  so  imperfect  is  our  notion  of  tlie  resurrection 
of  the  dead.  We  only  perceive  the  dissolution  of  the 
body  into  its  elements,  which  enter  into  new  combina- 
tions and  form  new  bodies  ;  and  it  is  almost  impossible 
for  us  to  imagine  a  reconstruction  of  the  original  body 
out  of  its  own  elements.  There  is  no  doubt  that  the 
Almighty  produces  fresh  life  from  death — we  need 
only  observe  the  action  of  Nature  in  the  world  around 
us  to  convince  ourselves  that  God  is  D^nnn  rvnn  "  that 
he  gives  life  to  things  dead."  But  how  this  will  be 
done  in  reference  to  our  own  selves,  whether  we  shall 
enjoy  the  same  life,  whether  our  future  life  will  be  an 
improved  edition  of  the  present  one,  whether  all  will 
be  restored  to  life,  or  whether  the  new  life  after  death 
will  be  enjoyed  by  the  soul  alone,  or  by  body  and 
soul  jointly :  these  and  similar  questions  transcend  the 
bounds  of  human  knowledge.  We  know  nothing  but 
the  bare  fact  that  God  can  restore  to  life  that  which  is 
dead,  and  that  a  resurrection  will  take  place.  But  all 
further  description  of  this  event  rests  on  man's  imagina- 
tive powers.  The  fact  itself  is  stated  by  Daniel  (xii. 
2)  :  "  And  many  of  them  that  sleep  in  the  dust  of  the 
earth  shall  awake,  some  to  everlastingf  life,  and  some  to 
shame  and  everlasting  contempt ; "  it  is  indicated  in 
the  Pentateuch  in  the  words,  "  I  shall  kill  and  I  shall 
make  alive  ;  I  have  wounded  and  I  shall  heal "  (Deut. 
xxxii.  39).  According  to  Maimonides,  the  author  of 
the  Thirteen  Principles,  the  doctrine  of  the  resurrection 
of  the  dead  is  identical  with  that  of  the  immortality 


OUR  CREED.  165 

of  the  soul,  calling  the  life  of  the  soul  after  separation 
from  the  body,  resurrection ;  the  verse  quoted  from 
Daniel  is  accordingly  interpreted  in  a  figurative  sense. 
The  belief  in  D'ntDn  n^^n  "  the  resurrection  of  the  dead," 
emphatically  enjoined  in  the  Talmud,  was  thus  re- 
stricted by  ]\Iaimonides  to  the  separate  life  of  man's 
soul  after  his  death,  because  the  immortality  of  the 
soul  appeared  to  him  more  rational  and  more  accept- 
able to  thinking  man.  This  may  be  the  case,  but  we, 
human  beings,  a  combination  of  soul  and  body,  are,  in 
reality,  as  unable  to  conceive  the  separate  existence  of 
our  soul  as  we  are  to  comprehend  the  resurrection  of 
our  body.  We  are  taught  that  there  exists  for  us  a 
life  beyond  the  present  one.  But  any  attempt  to 
describe  that  life  must  be  considered  merely  as  an 
act  of  imagination  rather  than  of  knowledge.  It  is 
probably  for  this  reason  that  no  distinct  ordinance  in 
the  Pentateuch  sanctioned  the  belief  in  future  life,  or 
in  the  immortality  of  the  soul.  The  belief,  neverthe- 
less, existed  among  the  Israelites,  and  found  expression 
in  several  passages  of  the  Bible.  Foremost  among 
these  is  the  following  verse  of  Koheleth  (xii.  7) : 
"  And  the  dust  shall  return  to  the  earth  as  it  was, 
and  the  spirit  shall  return  unto  God  who  gave  it." 
David  also  gives  frequent  expression  to  this  belief  in 
his  Psalms.  In  the  Seventeenth  Psalm,  e.ff.,  he  speaks 
with  contempt  of  the  wealth  and  the  success  of  the 
wicked,  and  says  of  himself:  "As  for  me,  I  shall  see 
thy  face  in  righteousness  ;  I  shall  be  satisfied,  when 
I  awake,  with  beholding  thy  likeness"  (Ps.  xvii.  15). 
Similarly  he  says  in  Ps.  xvi.  8— 1 1  :  ''I  have  set  the 
Lord  always   before  me  ;   because  he  is  at    my  right 


i66  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

hand,  I  shall  not  be  moved.  Therefore  my  heart  is 
glad  and  my  gloiy  rejoiceth :  my  flesh  also  shall  dwell 
in  safety.  For  thou  wilt  not  leave  my  soul  to  death, 
neither  wilt  thou  suSer  thine  holy  one  to  see  corrup- 
tion. Thou  wilt  show  me  the  path  of  life ;  in  thy 
presence  is  fulness  of  joy,  in  thy  right  hand  there  are 
pleasures  for  evermore."  In  the  Book  of  Proverbs 
(xii.  28)  we  read  :  "  In  the  path  of  righteousness  there 
is  life,  and  a  smoothed  way  where  there  is  no  death." 
These  and  similar  verses  show  that  the  belief  in  the 
immortality  of  the  soul  was  firmly  established  among 
the  Israelites,  and  found  frequent  expression  in  the 
words  of  the  men  of  God. 

The  belief  in  the  Resurrection  assists  us  in  our 
endeavour  of  reconciling  the  apparent  contradictions  be- 
tween the  justice  of  God  and  our  own  experience.  The 
latter  comprises  only  the  transient  pleasures  of  the 
wicked  and  the  sufferings  of  the  just  in  this  short  life, 
and  cannot  be  compared  with  the  pleasure  of  the  good 
and  the  suffering  of  the  bad  in  the  future,  eternal  life. 
Another  benefit  derived  from  this  belief  consists  in  its 
raising  us  above  the  ordinary  sphere  of  earthly  gains 
and  losses ;  it  turns  our  minds  to  higher  aims ;  it 
purifies  our  heart  and  elevates  it. 

Opponents  of  this  belief  quote  some  passages  from 
Job  in  support  of  their  view ;  e.g. :  "  Before  I  go 
whence  I  shall  not  return,  even  to  the  land  of  dark- 
ness and  of  the  shadow  of  death  "  (x.  2  i).  "  As  the 
cloud  is  consumed  and  vanishes  away,  so  he  that  goeth 
down  to  the  grave  shall  come  up  no  more  "  (vii.  9). 
These  and  similar  words  were  uttered  by  Job  when 
he  suffered  great  pain,  and  wished,   as   many    would 


OUR  CREED.  '  167 

wisli  under  similar  circumstances,  to  be  relieved  by- 
death  from  his  momentary  troubles,  unconcerned  as  to 
what  might  happen  in  distant  future.  Besides,  Job 
is  not  an  Israelite;  he  is  described  as  a  man  just  and 
upright,  but  need  not  have  had  the  same  convictions 
and  beliefs  as  the  Israelites.  How  little  the  above 
verses  represent  the  exact  view  of  Job  may  be  learnt 
from  the  fact  that  he  gives  also  expression  to  the 
opposite  belief:  "If  a  man  dieth,  will  he  live  again? 
All  the  days  of  my  appointed  time  will  I  wait,  till  my 
relief  cometh "  (xiv.  14).  "And  when  my  skin  is 
gone,  when  worms  have  destroyed  this  body,  and 
when  my  flesh  is  no  more,  yet  shall  I  see  God " 
(xix.  26), 


NOTES. 


On  page  1 9  sqq. 

The  Number  of  the  Principles  of  our  Creed. — The  contents  of 

our  Creed  has  its  source  in  the  Bible  ;  there  the  Principles  are 

taught,  some  directly,  others  indirectly  ;  but  they  are  neither 

formulated  nor  enumerated.     The  most  ancient  declaration  of 

faith  is  contained  in  the  verse  :  "Hear,  0  Israel,  the  Lord  is 

our  God  ;  the  Lord  is  One  "  (Deut.  vi.  4).     There  is  even  a 

tradition  (Midrash  Rabboth  Gen.  ch.  xcviii.)  that  these  words 

were  first  uttered  by  the  sons  of  Jacob,  when  their  father, 

in  the  last  hour  of  his  life,  wished  to  know  whether  all  his 

children  were  faithful  to  the  inherited  religion.     We  repeat 

these  words  twice  a  day,  in  the  morning  and  in  the  evening ; 

with  these  words  on  their  lips  the  martyrs  of  our  nation 

suffered  death;  these   words   are  the  last  which  the  pious 

Israelite  utters  before  "  his  spirit  returneth  to  him  who  hath 

given  it."     "When  the  Israelites  took  possession  of  Palestine, 

at  the  solemn  assembly  between  the  mountains  of  Gerizim 

and  Ebal,  they  were  not  commanded  to  recite  or  sign  a  series 

of  articles  of  faith,  but  to  declare  their  determination  to  obey 

the  Will  of  God  as  expressed  in  the  Torah.     This  was  also 

done  by  our  forefathers  when  standing  round  Sinai.     They 

declared,    "All  that  the  Lord  hath  said,  will  we  do  and 

hear"  (Exod.  xxiv.    7).     When  Elijah  on   Mount   Carmel 

had  demonstrated  the  i)erverseness  of  the  Laal-worship,  the 

169 


i-jo  NOTES. 

Israelites  declared,  "  The  Lord,  he  is  God."  Jonah  describes 
himself  thus :  "  I  am  a  Hebrew ;  and  I  fear  the  Lord,  the 
God  of  the  heavens,  who  hath  made  the  sea  and  the  dry 
land"  (Jonah  i.  9). — Also,  after  the  Restoration  in  the  days 
of  Zerubbabel,  Ezra,  and  ^N^ehemiah,  the  Jews  were  exhorted 
to  act  according  to  the  words  of  the  Torah,  and  they  renewed 
their  covenant  with  God  in  this  respect,  but  nothing  is 
known  of  a  declaration  of  belief,  of  reciting  or  signing  articles 
of  faith. — The  struggle  with  the  Samaritans  produced  special 
legislation  with  regard  to  certain  religious  observances,  but 
there  was  no  need  for  the  formulation  of  a  creed.  But  care 
has  been  taken  that  the  principles  of  our  faith  should  find 
expression  in  our  daily  prayers.  Thus  the  sections  which 
precede  and  follow  the  Shema  contain  an  indirect  declaration 
of  the  three  fundamental  principles  of  our  religion,  the 
Existence  of  the  Creator,  Revelation,  and  Divine  Justice. 
The  first  section,  called  -ivi""  n3")2  praises  God  as  the  sole 
source  of  everything,  of  light  and  darkness,  of  good  and  evil. 
Li  the  second  section  (ninx  n3")3)  we  acknowledge  in  grati- 
tude the  benefits  of  Revelation  ;  and  in  the  third  (nSlXJ  DDia) 
we  thank  God  for  the  redemption  of  our  forefathers  from 
Egypt,  by  inflicting  punishment  on  our  oppressors.  Al- 
though much  stress  is  laid  on  faith  (n2"lOX),  and  he  who  was 
found  wanting  in  faith  was  stigmatised  as  -1313  or  "ip^yi  "IDID 
unbeliever  or  infidel,  j'et  no  creed  was  officially  formulated. 
Even  the  discussions  between  the  Sadducees  and  Pharisees, 
which  concerned  also  the  principles  of  faith,  brought  only 
about  certain  changes  in  the  prayer — such  as  the  substitution 
of  D^iyn  IV)  Q^iyn  p  for  th)]}  IV  in  the  responses  of  the 
congregation  during  the  public  service,  in  order  to  establish 
the  belief  in  the  existence  of  another  world  and  another  life 
beyond  the  grave. 

The  necessity  of  formulating  the  principles  of  faith  arose 
when  the  contact  and  intercourse  with  other  religious  com- 


NOTES.  171 

munities  gave  frequent  occasion  to  discussions  on  these  and 
similar  subjects.  Witliout  some  fixed  basis,  it  was  feared, 
disorder  and  confusion  would  disturb  the  peace  in  the  camp 
of  Israel. 

Thus  Saadiah  says  in  Emmioth  Ve-deoth  .•  "  I  have  seen 
men  drowned,  as  it  were,  in  the  sea  of  doubts,  covered  by 
the  waves  of  error,  and  there  was  no  diver  to  bring  them  up 
from  the  depth,  nor  any  swimmer  to  take  hold  of  them  and 
draw  them  out.  As  I  possessed  enough  of  what  God  taught 
me  to  support  them,  and  had  the  power  for  upholding  them 
granted  to  me,  I  considered  it  my  duty  to  assist  and  guide 
my  fellow- men  according  to  the  best  of  my  abilities."  In 
ten  chapters  Saadiah  discusses  the  various  theological  prob- 
lems, and  defends  the  following  articles  of  faith  :  Existeiice 
of  God ;  His  Unity  ;  Revelation  ;  Free-will ;  Immortality  of 
the  Soul ;  Resurrection  of  the  Dead ;  Final  Redemption  of 
Israel ;  Reward  and  Punishment.  Although  these  principles 
do  not  seem  to  have  been  shaped  into  the  form  of  a  solemn 
declaration  or  embodied  in  the  prayer,  they  are  treated  as 
themes  familiar  to  the  reader,  and  as  elements  essential  in 
the  Jewish  faith  (j^oxn^  D^n^inD  IJTOX  "ID'S). 

Rabbi  Abraham  ben  David  (Rabad,  na"X"i),  in  his  Hae- 
munah  haramali  ("The  Lofty  Faith"),  seems  to  assume 
three  principles :  Existence  of  God,  Prophecy,  and  Reward 
and  Punishment,  which  to  defend  from  the  attacks  of  the 
unbeliever,  he  considers  as  the  first  duty  of  the  Jewish 
scholar  (*31'nn)  ;  but  he  does  not  follow  this  decision  in  his 
book.  He  comprises  all  religious  truths  which  he  has  to 
demonstrate  under  six  heads  (nnp'!?).  The  first  of  them  he 
calls  "  Root  of  the  faith ; "  it  expresses  the  conviction  that 
all  things  in  the  universe  owe  their  existence  to  a  "  First 
Cause" — God.  Xext  comes  "Unity  of  God,"  which  is  fol- 
lowed by  "Attributes  of  God,"  "The  intermediate  causes 
of  natural  changes,"  "  Prophecy  " — or  nJlinxn  nJIDXn,  "  the 


172  NOTES. 

subsequent  belief,"  i.e.,  the  belief  which  follows  the  belief 
in  God — and  "Divine  Providence." 

Rabbi  Jehudah  ha-levi  explains  to  the  Kuzarite  king  his 
faith  as  follows  :  "  We  believe  in  the  God  of  our  forefathers, 
who  brought  the  Israelites  forth  from  Egypt  by  signs  and 
miracles,  sustained  them  in  the  wilderness  with  manna, 
divided  for  them  the  sea  end  Jordan,  gave  them  the  Law 
through  Moses,  exhorted  them  through  His  prophets  to  obey 
His  commandments  :  in  short,  we  believe  all  that  is  written 
in  the  Torah  "  (Kuzari,  i.  8).  He  then  explains  philosophi- 
cally "  the  root  of  the  faith  "  in  the  following  ten  proposi- 
tions:  (i)  The  universe  is  finite;  (2)  it  had  a  beginning; 
(3)  the  time  of  the  beginning  had  to  be  determined  by  the 
Divine  Being;  (4)  God  is  without  a  beginning;  (5)  God 
is  eternal  (i.e.,  without  an  end) ;  (6)  incorporeal ;  (7)  omni- 
scient;  (8)  all- wise,  all-powerful,  living;  (9)  free  in  His 
actions;  (10)  without  change.  To  these  must  be  added  the 
belief  in  prophecy,  in  the  truth  of  the  prophecies,  and  in 
man's  free-will,  which  he  fully  discusses  in  the  course  of  the 
book. 

Rabbenu  Bachya,  in  his  "Duties  of  the  Hearts"  (nuin 
ni23^n),  considers  also  faith  as  one  of  these  duties,  and  ex- 
presses it  in  the  most  simple  form,  "  Belief  in  God  and  in  His 
Law."  He  does  not,  however,  devote  a  special  chapter  to 
faith.  The  first  chapter  treats  of  the  distinctively  Jewish 
creed  of  God's  Unity,  but  less  as  a  duty  of  belief  than  as  a 
duty  of  research  and  study  for  the  purpose  of  philosophically 
establishing  that  God  is  One.  The  author  states  only  briefly 
in  the  prefatory  notes  to  the  first  chapter,  that  it  is  our  duty 
to  believe  in  the  Existence,  Providence,  and  Unity  of  God, 
as  commanded  in  the  verse,  "  Hear,  0  Israel,  the  Lord  is  our 
God,  the  Lord  is  One." 

Maimonides  comprehended  our  belief  in  thirteen  articles, 
known  as  the  Thirteen  Principles  of  our  Creed.      He  insists 


NOTES.  173 

on  the  fact  that  these  articles  are  not  the  product  of  cliance ; 
they  are  the  result  of  long  study  and  deep  research.  Every 
one  of  them  is  essential,  and  he  who  rejects  any  of  them  is 
an  infidel  ("1D13),  and  puts  himself  by  such  rejection  outside 
the  Jewish  community  ("pNlt^*  ^^3D  NVV). 

Rabbi  Joseph  Albo  criticised  Maimonides'  thirteen  articles 
of  faith  (q^P*];).  Whilst  recognising  all  of  them  as  true, 
he  would  make  a  difference  between  fundamental  principles 
(□'•"ip^y)  and  secondary  beliefs  (□''t^'"lt^').  The  former  are  all 
those  dogmas  by  which  Judaism  falls  and  stands,  without 
which  Jewish  faith  cannot  be  imagined;  the  latter  are  those 
principles  which  are  actually  true,  but  Judaism  can  be  con- 
ceived without  them.  To  the  former  he  counts,  e.g.,  the 
belief  in  the  existence  of  God,  to  the  latter  the  belief  that 
to  Him  alone  prayer  is  to  be  offered.  For  Judaism  cannot 
be  conceived  without  the  belief  in  God's  existence,  but  could 
be  conceived  without  the  belief  that  only  God  is  to  be 
prayed  to.  Albo  further  finds  fault  with  Maimonides  for 
not  having  embodied  in  the  Creed  the  belief  in  man's  free- 
will, in  the  truth  of  the  Biblical  account  of  the  miracles, 
in  the  Creatio  ex  nihilo,  and  the  like.  To  these  objections 
Maimonides  would  reply,  that  the  articles  enumerated  by 
him  were  all  actually  fundamental,  the  question  whether 
Judaism  could  be  imagined  without  this  or  that  principle 
being  of  no  importance  whatever;  and  that  the  dogmas 
named  by  Albo  as  omitted,  were  implied  in  the  Thirteen 
Principles.  According  to  Albo  there  are  three  fundamen- 
tal principles  (nnp^y) :  Existence  of  God,  Revelation,  and 
Reward  and  Punishment.  The  first  includes  four  articles 
{n>^-)^)  :  Unity  of  God,  His  Incorporealitj--,  Eternity,  and 
Perfection ;  the  second  implies  three :  God's  Omniscience, 
Divine  inspiration,  and  Divine  messengers  (prophets) ;  the 
third  only  one :  Providence.  Albo's  criticisms  on  Mai- 
monides have  passed  away  without  effect.     The  Principles 


174  NOTES. 

of  Faith  as  formulated  by  Maimonides  have  found  their  way 
into  the  daily  Prayer-book  in  prose  and  poetry,  and  have 
since  formed  an  essential  element  in  every  text-book  of 
Jewish  religion.  Modern  theologians  erroneously  quote 
Albo  in  favour  of  rejecting  some  of  the  articles,  because  he 
speaks  of  three  fundamental  principles  ;  but  they  forget  that 
Albo  never  rejects  any  of  the  thirteen  principles ;  he  only 
insists  on  making  a  difference  between  those  which  are 
more  and  those  which  are  less  fundamental. 

On  the  First  Principle,  pp.  22  sqq. 

Maimonides  does  not  mention  the  term  Creator  except  in 
the  beginning  of  each  paragraph  as  a  substitute  for  "  God." 
He  employs  the  philosophical  term  "  First  Cause  "  in  defining 
the  existence  of  God.  In  the  sixty-ninth  chapter  of  the 
first  book  of  "  The  Guide  "  we  find  the  explanation  thereof. 
He  says  :  "  The  philosophers,  as  you  know,  call  God  the  First 
Cause  (n?y  and  n3D) ;  but  those  who  are  known  by  the 
name  Mutakallemim  (Mohammedan  theologians)  are  very 
much  opposed  to  the  use  of  that  name,  and  prefer  to  call 
Him  '  ISIaker  '  (''il'lS),  believing  that  there  is  a  great  difference 
whether  we  use  the  one  term  or  the  other.  They  argue  thus  : 
Those  who  say  that  God  is  the  Cause,  implicitly  assume  the 
coexistence  of  the  Cause  with  that  which  was  produced  by 
that  Cause,  and  believe  that  the  universe  is  eternal,  and  that 
it  is  inseparable  from  God.  Those,  however,  who  say  that 
God  is  the  Maker  do  not  assume  the  coexistence  of  the 
maker  with  his  work ;  for  the  maker  can  exist  anterior  to 
his  work ;  we  cannot  even  imagine  how  a  maker  can  be  in 
action  unless  he  existed  before  his  own  work.  This  is  an 
argument  advanced  by  persons  who  do  not  distinguish  be- 
tween the  potential  and  the  actual.  For  there  is  no  differ- 
ence Avhether  we  say  '  cause '  or  '  maker  ; '  '  cause  '  as  a  mere 


NOTES.  175 

potentiality  precedes  its  effect ;  and.  '  cause '  as  actuality 
coexists  with  its  efi'ect.  The  same  is  the  case  with  '  maker  ; ' 
so  long  as  the  work  is  not  done,  he  is  a  maker  potentially, 
and  exists  before  his  work ;  he  is  an  actual  maker  when  the 
work  is  done,  and  then  he  coexists  with  his  work." 

"  The  reason  why  the  philosophers  called  God  '  the  Cause  ' 
and  did  not  call  Him  'the  Maker'  is  not  to  be  sought 
in  their  belief  that  the  universe  is  eternal,  but  in  other 
principles,  which  I  will  briefly  explain  to  you.  Everything 
owes  its  origin  to  the  following  four  causes  :  the  substance, 
the  form,  the  arje?is,  the  final  cause.  The  philosophers  believe 
— and  I  do  not  differ  from  them — that  God  is  the  agens, 
the  form,  and  the  final  cause  of  everything;  in  order  to 
express  this,  they  call  God  '  the  Cause '  of  all  things. 
Every  one  of  these  three  causes  leads,  through  a  chain  of 
causes,  to  God  as  the  Eirst  Cause."  Maimonides  further 
points  out  in  this  chapter  that  the  choice  of  the  term  by  no 
means  decides  the  question  whether  the  universe  has  had  a 
beginning  or  not. 

Maimonides  has  been  severely  criticised  by  his  successors 
for  the  absence  of  the  belief  in  "  Creation  from  nothing  " 
from  the  Creed.  In  "  The  Guide  "  Maimonides  distinctly 
states  that  the  arguments  for  "  Creation  from  nothing  "  and 
the  arguments  against  it  are  equi-balanced,  and  that  for  this 
reason  he  follows  the  literal  interpretation  of  the  Scripture 
as  regards  Creation.  Were  the  arguments  in  favour  of  the 
eternity  of  the  universe  stronger,  he  would  not  have  found 
any  difficulty  in  interpreting  Scripture  accordingly.  Such 
being  the  view  of  our  great  philosopher,  he  could  not  make 
the  belief  in  Creation  part  of  the  Creed,  or  declare  that  all 
who  denied  the  Creation  from  nothing  were  unbelievers. 

However  strange  this  argumentation  of  Maimonides  may 
appear,  and  however  arbitrary  his  treatment  of  Scriptural 
teaching,   his  view  is  not  without  justification.     It  seems 


176  NOTES. 

strange  that,  in  spite  of  all  his  reverence  for  the  Bible,  he 
should  have  entrusted  himself  entirely  to  the  guidance  of 
his  own  reason,  and  forced,  as  it  were,  the  Bible  by  peculiar 
interpretations  to  follow  his  reasoning.  In  truth,  however, 
the  method  of  Maimonides  is  neither  strange  nor  arbitrary. 
There  is  no  doubt  that  figurative  language  is  extensively 
used  in  the  Scriptures,  especially  in  the  poetical  and  the 
prophetical  books.  Whether  a  certain  expression  or  phrase 
was  to  be  understood  in  its  literal  meaning  or  in  a  figurative 
sense  must  be  learnt  from  the  context ;  in  some  cases — as, 
e.g.,  in  the  exhortation,  "  Ye  shall  circumcise  the  foreskin  of 
your  heart"  (Deut.  x.  i6) — the  figurative  sense  is  accepted 
by  all,  whilst  in  other  cases  opinions  are  divided.  Our 
decision  in  favour  of  the  one  interpretation  or  the  other  is 
based  on  our  conviction  that  the  Bible  contains  nothing  but 
truth.  "When  we  discover  a  contradiction  between  a  Biblical 
statement  and  the  dictates  of  our  reason,  we  are  sure  that 
we  have  erred  either  in  the  right  understanding  of  the  words 
of  the  Bible  or  in  our  reasoning.  On  finding  the  mistake  in 
our  reasoning  we  abandon  what  we  have  hitherto  considered 
as  fully  established  ;  but  so  long  as  we  are  unable  to  discover 
where  our  reasoning  is  faulty,  we  either  suspend  our  judg- 
ment for  the  present  and  consider  the  question  as  one  of  the 
problems  which  we  have  not  yet  been  able  to  solve  satis- 
factorily, or,  Avhenever  possible,  we  attempt  to  reconcile  by 
figurative  interpretation  the  teaching  of  the  Bible  with  the 
results  of  our  research.  Maimonides  is  therefore  justified  in 
saying  that  so  long  as  reason  does  not  decide  against  the 
teaching  of  the  Bible  in  its  literal  sense  he  would  adhere  to 
the  latter,  and  only  if  reason  were  to  decide  against  the 
Creatio  ex  nihilo,  he  would  follow  reason  and  interpret 
Scripture  accordingly. 

It  cannot  be  denied  that  Maimonides  travelled  here  on 
rather  slippery  ground,  and  set  a  dangerous  example  ■when 


NOTES.  177 

he  admitted  tliat  lie  would  interpret  Scripture  according  to 
his  preconceived  view  of  the  world's  beginning.  But,  on 
the  other  hand,  it  must  be  owned  that  many  passages  of  the 
Bible  admit  of  a  figurative  interpretation,  and  the  reader 
must  follow  his  own  reason  and  discretion  in  deciding  in 
each  particular  case  which  of  the  two  interpretations  is 
the  correct  one.  ]\Iaimonides  has  not  made  excessive  use 
of  this  license. 

Saadiah  in  his  Emunoth  Ve-deoth  devotes  the  first  chapter 
to  the  problem  of  the  Creation.  It  is  headed  tJ>nn  "  Crea- 
tion," and  examines  thirteen  different  opinions  as  to  the 
origin  of  the  universe.  In  the  conclusion  of  this  chapter  he 
makes  the  following  remarks :  "  Perhaps  some  one  might 
ask  in  what  manner  something  was  produced  from  nothing. 
To  this  we  reply  as  follows :  If  we  were  able  to  understand 
this,  we  should  not  have  ascribed  the  creative  act  to  God 
alone.  But  we  declare  God  as  the  only  Creator,  because  Ave 
can  form  no  idea  as  to  the  manner  in  which  something  is 
created  from  nothing.  Those  who  desire  us  to  show  them 
how  to  do  this,  desire,  in  fact,  that  we  should  make  them 
and  ourselves  creators.  We  only  conceive  in  our  mind  the 
fact  of  the  Creation,  but  cannot  form  an  idea  or  image 
of  the  process  itself.  .  .  .  There  may  be  some  who  think 
little  of  the  universe,  and  wonder  tliat  this  should  be  the 
result  of  all  the  power  and  wisdom  of  God.  We  reply  that 
He  created  as  much  as,  according  to  His  knowledge,  would  be 
within  the  range  of  man's  observation  and  perception,  and 
Avould  be  sufficient  to  teach  man  the  existence  of  God.  .  .  . 
How  can  we  conceive  the  idea  that  the  laniverse  counts  only 
4633  years?  But  the  universe  has  been  created,  as  we 
believe,  and  must  have  had  a  beginning  at  a  certain  time. 
Suppose  we  had  been  living  in  the  year  100;  we  should 
then  not  have  been  surprised  :  why  should  we  be  surprised 
now  1 "     The,  question  as  to  the  purpose  for  which  the  uni- 


178  NOTES. 

verse  was  created,  Saadiah  makes  three  attempts  to  answer. 
Maimonides,  however,  in  "  The  Guide,"  more  correctly,  shows 
that  the  question  is  unanswerable  and  superfluous.  For, 
whatever  purpose  we  assume,  we  must  always  further  inquire 
what  is  the  purpose  of  this  purpose,  and  so  on  ad  infinitum, 
till  we  arrive  at  the  answer,  it  was  the  Will  of  God.  If  the 
prophet  declares  that  God  "hath  not  created  it  in  vain,  but 
hath  formed  it  for  dwelling,"  he  likewise  says  implicitly 
it  was  the  Wilt  of  God  that  the  earth  should  be  for  a 
dwelling. 

The  question,  however,  arises  whether  the  Biblical  account 
of  the  Creation  harmonises  in  all  its  parts  with  the  results 
of  scientific  research.  To  prove  the  existence  of  harmony 
between  the  two  discordant  elements  has  been  since  days 
of  old  the  task  which  theologians  proposed  to  themselves ; 
philosophic  culture  forced  them  to  accept  the  doctrines  of 
a  certain  school  of  thought  as  established  truths,  whilst 
religious  feeling  would  not  allow  them  to  abandon  the 
teaching  of  the  inspired  writers.  But  the  search  after  this 
harmony  Avas  superfluous,  and  the  harmony  found  was 
illusory.  For,  whilst  the  teaching  of  the  Bible  remains  un- 
changed, the  systems  of  philosophy  and  science,  like  every- 
thing human,  have  no  claim  to  permanency  ;  each  system  has 
its  season  ;  it  begins  to  shine,  and  rises  higher  and  higher  ; 
and  when  it  has  reached  the  zenith,  it  begins  steadily  to 
decline  till  it  disappears  beneath  the  horizon  of  science. 
So  long  as  Aristotle  and  Ptolemy  Avere  dominant,  theologians 
exerted  themselves  to  show  that  the  account  contained  in 
the  first  chapter  of  Genesis  fully  harmonises  with  Aristotle 
and  Ptolemy.  When  these  princes  were  dethroned,  and 
their  places  were  occupied  by  others,  the  old  harmony  was 
gone,  and  a  new  method  had  to  be  invented.  Maimonides 
has  clearly  pointed  out  how  the  conflict  between  reason  and 
faith,  where  it  existed,  could  best  be  brought  to  a  conclusion. 


NOTES.  179 

Such  of  the  laws  of  nature  as  have  been  established  by 
human  acumen  and  human  observation  have  been  dis- 
covered in  the  phenomena  of  existing  nature ;  but  the  plie- 
nomenon  of  creation  has  never  been  observed  in  nature 
from  which  we  could  learn  the  laws  of  creation. 

In  the  seventeenth  chapter  of  the  Second  Book  of  "  The 
Guide  "  Maimonides  says  as  follows  :  "  Everything  produced 
comes  into  existence  from  non-existence  ;  even  when  the  sub- 
stance of  a  thing  has  been  in  existence,  and  has  only  changed 
its  form,  the  thing  itself  which  has  gone  through  the  process 
of  genesis  and  development,  after  having  arrived  at  its  final 
state,  has  properties  different  from  those  which  it  possessed 
at  the  commencement  of  the  transition  from  potentiality 
to  reality  or  before  that  time.  ...  It  is  quite  impossible 
to  infer  from  the  qualities  which  a  thing  possesses  after 
having  passed  through  all  the  stages  of  its  development  what 
its  condition  was  at  the  moment  when  this  process  com- 
menced ;  nor  does  the  condition  of  a  thing  at  that  moment 
show  what  its  previous  condition  had  been.  If  you  make 
this  mistake,  and  attempt  to  prove  the  nature  of  a  thing  in 
potential  existence  by  its  properties  when  actually  existim?, 
you  will  fall  into  great  confusion ;  you  will  reject  evident 
truth  and  admit  false  opinions.  ...  If  philosophers  would 
consider  this  well,  and  reflect  on  it,  they  would  find  that  it 
represents  exactly  the  dispute  between  Aristotle  and  our- 
selves. We,  the  followers  of  Moses,  our  teacher,  and  of 
Abraham,  our  father,  believe  that  the  universe  has  been 
produced  from  nothing,  and  has  developed  in  a  certain 
manner,  and  that  it  has  been  created  in  a  certain  order. 
The  Aristotelians  oppose  us,  and  found  their  objections  on 
the  properties  which  the  things  in  the  universe  possess  M'hen 
in  actual  existence  and  fully  developed.  We  admit  the 
existence  of  these  properties,  but  hold  that  these  properties 
themselves  have   come   into  existence  from  absolute  non- 


i8o  NOTES. 

existence.  The  arguments  of  our  opponents  are  thus  refuted  ; 
they  have  demonstrative  force  only  against  those  who  hold 
that  the  nature  of  things  as  at  present  in  existence  proves 
the  Creation.     But  this  is  not  my  opinion." 

This  reasoning  holds  good  with  regard  to  the  modern 
theory  of  Evolution.  We  may  be  able  to  discover  numerous 
facts  in  evidence  of  this  theory,  Ave  may  well  conceive  the 
idea  of  a  protoplasm  developing  into  a  whole  system  of 
worlds,  and  yet  our  belief  in  the  truth  of  the  Biblical 
account  of  the  Creation  is  not  shaken  in  the  least.  The 
laws  of  Evolution  are  the  result  of  the  creative  act  of  the 
Almighty,  and  not  its  cmises ;  they  include  nothing  that 
could  disprove  the  correctness  of  the  theory  of  Creatio  ex 
nihilo. 

Eabbi  S.  R  Hirsch,  in  his  "  Commentary  on  Genesis  "  (i.) 
says  :  "  The  word  ri'L"S"l2  '  in  the  beginning,'  teaches  that 
nothing  preceded  the  act  of  Creation  ;  that  there  was  a  Cre- 
atio ex  nihilo.  This  truth  forms  the  foundation  of  the  faith 
which  the  Divine  Law  is  intended  to  establish  in  our  hearts. 
The  opposite  theory  is  the  doctrine  of  the  eternity  of  the 
substance,  a  theory  which  leaves  to  the  Creator  nothing  but 
the  function  of  giving  form  to  the  substance  that  has  existed 
already  from  eternity,  and  which  has  been  the  basis  of  the 
heathen  belief  up  to  the  present  day.  .  .  .  The  first  word 
of  the  Torah  dispels  the  darkness  of  this  false  belief ;  and 
the  words,  '  The  opening  of  thy  word  giveth  light '  (Ps. 
cxix.  130),  have  in  the  Midrash  correctly  been  applied  to 
the  word  n^CXI^-  Everything,  the  matter  and  the  form  of 
all  beings,  is  the  result  of  the  free  will  of  the  Creator,  who 
continues  to  rule  matter  and  form,  and  to  determine  both  the 
natural  forces  and  the  laws  of  their  action.  For  it  is  His 
free  will  that  created  matter,  endowed  it  with  certain  forces, 
and  fixed  the  laws  by  which  the  forces  impress  the  different 
forms  on  it." 


NOTES.  i8i 

The  idea  of  development  and  evolution  is  not  entirely  ex- 
cluded from  the  account  of  the  Creation.  Not  in  one  moment 
or  in  one  day  was  the  universe  produced,  but  in  six  days 
by  successive  creations  of  a  systematic  order.  In  Mishnah 
Aboth  (v,  i)  this  is  expressed  in  the  following  way:  "By 
ten  words  (nilDXO)  the  universe  was  created,  although 
this  could  have  been  done  by  one  word."  Commentators 
have  variously  attempted  to  explain  this  fact,  and  to  show 
that  the  order  observed  in  the  Creation  was  determined  by 
the  nature  of  the  things  themselves.  Thus  Ibn  Ezra  believes 
that  the  successive  creations  were  the  results  of  the  continued 
action  of  light  and  heat.^  But  it  is  by  no  means  necessary 
to  reconcile  the  Biblical  account  with  every  theory  that 
happens  to  be  considered  by  some  scholar  or  school  as  the 
right  one.  There  may  be  found  in  nature  and  in  the  work- 
ing of  the  natural  laws  some  facts  analogous  to  certain  acts 
of  the  creation ;  but  a  perfect  equality  of  two  such  incon- 
gruent  things  as  the  creation  from  nothing  and  development 
of  created  beings  is  impossible.  By  forcing  the  text  of  the 
Bible  into  such  harmony  we  deprive  the  account  of  its  poetry 
and  beauty,  and  weaken  the  force  of  its  teaching. 

Science  teaches  that  millions  of  millions  of  years  must 
have  elapsed  before  the  earth  received  its  present  form  ; 
that  it  took  millions  of  years  before  the  light  of  certain 
stars  could  reach  the  earth.  In  all  these  calculations  one 
important  factor  is  ignored,  viz.,  that  for  every  development 
something  must  be  given,  which  is  subject  to  the  process  of 
developing ;  to  determine  in  what  condition  that  something 
was,  when  it  passed  from  the  passive  state  of  creation  to  the 
active  state  of  developing,  is  a  problem  for  the  solution  of 
which  there  is  no  analogy  in  nature.  He  who  could  create 
a  germ   endowed  with  all   the   natural  forces  required  for 

^  See  Essays  on  the  Writings  of  Ibn  Ezra,  by  M.  Friedliinder,  p.  7, 
note  I. 


i82  NOTES. 

development  and  diflferentiation  into  the  great  variety  of 
forms  which  we  perceive  at  present,  must  certainly  have 
been  able  to  create  the  things  actually  endowed  with  these 
forms.  Thus,  also,  the  various  strata  of  the  earth,  whatever 
forms  they  contain,  cannot  with  certainty  be  described  as 
the  results  of  development;  they  may  just  as  well  have 
come  directly  from  the  hand  of  the  Creator. 

Maimonides  (The  Guide,  xxx.)  says  in  reference  to  this 
question  :  "  You  should  also  know  the  dictum  of  our  Sages 
— '  All  the  beings  of  the  work  in  the  beginning  (nti'I?D 
JT'^'XId)  were  created  in  their  full  height,  their  fully  de- 
veloped reason,  and  endowed  with  the  best  of  properties.' 
Note  this,  for  it  involves  an  important  principle. — The  work 
of  the  Creation  went  on  for  six  days  ;  every  day  brought  to 
light  a  new  force,  a  new  result  of  a  creative  action,  but  on 
the  seventh  day  '  God  declared  ^  the  work  which  He  had 
done  as  finished,'  as  endowed  with  the  properties  and  forces 
required  for  their  further  development "  (The  Guide,  I. 
Ixvii.). 

Science  has  proved,  it  is  maintained,  that  the  earth  does 
not  form  the  centre  of  the  universe,  and  that  man  does  not 
form  the  principal  object  in  nature,  in  opposition  to  the 
teaching  of  the  Scriptures  that  the  earth  is  the  centre  round 
•which  the  whole  universe  revolves,  and  that  man  on  earth  is 
the  lord  of  the  creation.  Whatever  view  the  authors  of  the 
Biblical  books  held  as  regards  the  systems  of  the  universe, 
whether  they  placed  the  earth  in  the  centre  or  not,  whether 
all  the  stars  and  systems  of  stars  existed,  in  their  opinion, 
only  for  the  sake  of  the  earth  or  for  the  benefit  of  man, 
their  object  was  to  address  man,  to  instruct  him,  and  to  teach 
him  the  omnipotence,  wisdom,  and  goodness  of  God.     For 

^  The  Piel  of  a  verb  has  frequently  this  meaning,  e.g.,  J^'iD  "to  be 
holy;"  Pi.,  "to  declare  as  holy  ;"  -^^^  "to  be  pure;"  Pi.,  "to  de- 
clare as  pure;"  so  n^S  "to  be  at  an  end;"  Pi.,  "to  declare  as 
being  finished." 


NOTES.  183 

tlais  reason  the  account  of  the  Creation  is  given  in  such  a 
manner  that  man  should  be  able  to  reproduce  in  his  mind  the 
work  of  each  day  of  the  Creation,  to  view  it  from  his  stand- 
point, and  to  recognise  the  benefits  each  day's  work  bestowed 
on  him.  The  fact  that  other  beings  are  benefited  at  the 
same  time,  and  that  the  benefit  they  derive  is  likewise 
part  of  the  Creator's  design,  is  by  no  means  denied  by  those 
who  believe  that  the  well-being  of  man  was  included  in 
the  design  of  the  Creator.  It  is  part  Of  our  duty  of  grati- 
tude to  ascribe  the  benefits  we  enjoy  to  their  Author.  The 
prophets  and  the  inspired  singers  knew  well  the  place  whicli 
weak  and  mortal  man  occupies  in  the  universe ;  but  they 
did  not  ignore  the  dignity  and  importance  with  which  the 
Creator  endowed  him  in  spite  of  all  his  weakness  and 
apparent  insignificance.  "  What  is  inan,'^  exclaims  the 
Psalmist,  "  that  thou  art  mindful  of  him  ?  and  the  son  of 
man,  that  thou  visitest  him  1  And  yet  thou  hast  made  hhn  a 
little  lower  than  angels,  and  hast  crowned  him  xoith  glortj  and 
honour  "  (Ps.  viii.  5,  6). 

On  the  Ffth  Principle,  p.  44. 

The  principle  that  no  other  being  but  God  is  worthy  of 
being  addressed  in  prayer  implies  the  belief  that  God  can 
fulfil  our  petitions.  We  believe  in  the  efficacy  of  prayer. 
It  is  true  that  when  we  communicate  our  wishes  to  the  Most 
Holy,  our  just  Lord  and  our  loving  Father,  we  are  eo  ipso 
reminded  to  examine  our  desires,  whether  they  contain  any- 
thing unholy,  anything  unjust  or  ignoble.  Prayer  to  God 
has  tlierefore  the  salutary  effect  of  purifying,  refining,  and 
ennobling  our  heart.  It  banishes  evil  thoughts,  and  thus 
saves  us  much  pain  and  sorrow.  This  effect  may  have  been 
designed  by  the  Creator,  and  it  may  be  for  this  purpose  that 
He  has  endowed  us  with  a  natural  impulse  to  pray,  and 
has  taught  us  to  pray  in  His  Holy  Word.     But  this  cannot 


l84  NOTES. 

Le  tlie  direct  object  of  prayer.  The  immediate  effect  sought 
to  be  obtained  by  this  act  is  the  fulfilment  of  our  wishes. 
Every  such  fulfilment  implies  a  miracle,  a  deviation  from 
the  regular  course  of  nature.  We  are  not  in  the  habit  of 
praying  for  things  -which  wo  expect  as  the  sure  result  of 
the  natural  laws ;  we  may  praise  and  admire  nature  in  its 
workings,  but  we  shall  never  ask  nature  for  the  fulfilment 
of  our  desires.  Only  those  things  which  we  believe  to  be 
dependent  solely  on  the  free  decision  of  the  Supreme  Being 
can  form  the  substance  of  our  petitions ;  and  since  we 
believe  that  everything,  the  regular  working  of  the  natural 
laws  not  excepted,  depends  on  the  Will  of  God,  we  include 
in  the  objects  of  prayer  whatever  concerns  the  well-being 
of  individual  man  and  society  at  large. 

There  have  been  thinkers  that  formed  such  an  idea  of 
God  that  they  were  compelled  to  deny  Him  every  direct 
influence  on  human  affairs.  Some  thought  it  incompatible 
Avith  the  notion  of  God's  Unity  and  Immutability  that  He 
should  be  moved  by  man's  prayer  to  do  something  which 
otherwise  He  Avould  not  have  done.  Again,  others  believe 
that  the  laws  of  nature — whether  given  by  God  or  not — 
are  so  permanent  that  they  never  change  under  any  circum- 
stances. Prayer  has  therefore  been  explained  to  be  of  a  purely 
subjective  character,  and  to  effect  only  the  above-mentioned 
improvement  of  man's  heart.  But  could  we  really  pray  to 
God  to  grant  us  the  one  thing  or  the  other  if  we  were  convinced 
that  He  cannot  grant  us  anything,  but  must  allow  nature  to 
take  its  course  1  Can  a  prayer  offered  in  such  a  frame  of  mind 
be  called  a  "  prayer  without  lips  of  deceit  "  1  In  opposition 
to  such  theories  our  teachers  purposely  introduced  into  the 
daily  prayer  here  and  there  a  reminder  of  the  true  theory  in 
words  like  the  following  :  nt:>j;D  n^DH  DV  !?3a  nVJ2  K'lnan 
n''EJ'X"i3  "  Who  repeateth  anew  every  day  regularly  the  work 
of  the  Creation."  ^  He  is  constantly  iij^  -i^v,  "IK*n  KIIS,  riTlD 


NOTES.  1 85 

D^n!2n  ;  He  constantly  "  formeth  light,"  "  createth  darkness," 
"givetli  life  to  the  dead,"  ic.  ;  tlicy  have  expressed  our  grati- 
tude to  God  ny  ^D2L*'  TTinvoi  i^nx'pD:  byi  ):w  dv  'pnn:;'  yo:  hv 

"for  His  miracles  which  in  our  behalf  He  performs  every 
day,  and  for  His  wonders  and  kindnesses  shown  at  all 
times." 

"  This  idea  of  God's  real  and  active  rule  in  the  universe  is 
the  basis  of  prayer.  It  is  not  only  the  belief  in  the  truth  of 
the  Biblical  account  of  miracles  that  enables  us  to  pray  to 
our  Father,  but  the  conviction  that  wonders  and  miracles 
are  constantly  wrought  by  Him.  In  the  Talmud  and  inthe 
Midrash  man's  earning  his  daily  bread  (nD3"iD)  is  declared  to 
be  a  miracle  by  no  means  inferior  to  the  miracles  wrought 
for  the  deliverance  of  the  Israelites  from  Egypt. — '  Is  need 
greatest,  is  God  nearest,'  is  a  well-known  saying,  the  truth 
of  which  many  have  experienced  in  the  course  of  their  life. 
Those  who  have  been  dangerously  ill,  and  after  liaving 
found  that  man,  with  all  his  science  and  resources,  was  in- 
capable of  affording  relief,  gradually  recover  their  former 
health ;  those  who  have  shared  with  others  a  common 
danger,  and  while  their  companions,  under  exactly  the  same 
circumstances,  perished,  were  themselves  saved ;  those  who, 
having  exhausted  every  means  conceivable  to  them  of  ob- 
taining a  livelihood,  at  length  find  a  new  path  of  subsist- 
ence opened  to  them :  all  these  have  experienced  the 
Divine  help  and  His  nearness  in  their  distress  ;  they  have 
learnt  to  recognise  the  miraculous  power  of  Providence.  But 
it  is  not  only  in  such  extraordinary  events  that  the  finger  of 
God  is  seen ;  to  him  who  has  eyes  to  see  they  appear  daily 
and  hourly.  We  are  exposed  to  many  dangers,  the  existence 
of  which  Ave  frequently  only  learn  when  w^e  are  safe ;  we 
escape  them  by  a  miracle."  ^ 

The  Immutability  of  God  and  of  His  decrees  is  frequently 
^  Die  Religions- Philosophic  der  Juden,  by  S.  Hirsch,  p.  445  JT- 


1 86  NOTES. 

insisted  upon  in  Scripture.  "I,  the  Lord,  I  change  not" 
(Mai.  iii.  6).  "  God  is  not  a  man,  that  he  should  lie ; 
neither  the  son  of  man,  that  he  should  repent"  (Num.  xxiii. 
19).  "The  Strength  of  Israel  "will  not  lie  nor  repent;  for 
lie  is  not  a  man,  that  he  should  repent"  (i  Sam.  xv.  29). 
"And  he  hath  established  them  for  ever  and  ever  :  he  hath 
made  a  decree,  and  it  shall  not  pass  away  "  (Ps.  cxlviii.  6). 
— This  immutability,  however,  does  not  interfere  with  the 
free-will  of  man  and  its  consequences.  The  teaching  of 
the  Bible  is  beautifully  expressed  in  the  well-known  sen- 
tence :  niTjn  yi  ni«  p^ajjo  npn\"i  n^sn  nDun  "  Eepentance, 

prayer,  and  good  deeds  remove  the  evil  of  the  divine  decree  " 
(Musaf  of  Rosh  ha-shanah) ;  whatever  a  man  has  forfeited 
by  evil  deeds,  he  may  recover  by  prayer  and  improved 
conduct.  This  lesson  is  taught  in  the  Bible  on  every  page, 
and  is  illustrated  by  the  history  of  Israel.  For  this  reason  the 
prophets  were  sent  to  the  people  of  Israel  to  exhort  them, 
and  to  show  them  how  they  could,  by  means  of  repentance, 
ward  off  the  impending  catastrophe.  To  non-Israelites  the 
same  mercy  was  extended,  as  is  shown  by  the  history  of  the 
mission  of  the  prophet  Jonah. — Mishnah  Aboth  (iv.  13) 
therefore  declares,  "  Repentance  and  good  deeds  are  like  a 
shield  against  punishment,"  1J23  onriD  D''3'1D  D''Lrj;D1  T\2V^n 

Tlie  seeming  incongruity  of  the  two  principles,  God's 
immutability  and  man's  hope  for  mercy  and  pardon  from. 
God,  has  to  some  extent  occupied  the  attention  of  our 
ancient  teachers,  "  If  our  condition  for  a  whole  year  is 
determined  in  advance,  what  is  the  good  of  our  daily  prayers 
and  our  supplication  for  God's  help  in  times  of  trouble  1 " 
Such  is  the  question  asked  in  the  Babylonian  Talmud,  Rosh 
ha-shanah  (i6a),  and  the  answer  is  given,  mip  ilpVi  ns^ 
mtJ  "inxi  mii  "  Prayer  is  of  good  effect  both  before  the 
decree  and  afterwards."     It  is  always  in  the  power  and  in 


NOTES.  187 

the  will  of  the  Almighty  to  accede  to  our  petitions  and  to 
fulfil  our  wishes.  The  question  has  since  been  repeated 
frequently,  but  no  better  solution  has  as  yet  been  supplied. 

AT)rahani,  who  was  the  first  teacher  of  monotheism,  has 
also  been  made  by  tradition  the  father  of  prayer.  In  the 
Biblical  account  he  is  the  first  who  uttered  a  prayer ;  a 
prayer  in  the  true  sense  of  the  word,  not  for  himself,  but 
for  his  fellow  -  men.  The  words  of  Cain,  Nt^*3?D  ""Jiy  Sn3 
"My  punishment  is  greater  than  I  can  bear,"  have  not  the 
character  of  prayer,  nor  can  the  "  calling  by  the  name  of 
God  "  in  the  age  of  Enosh  be  considered  with  certainty  as 
an  expression  of  prayer.  Tradition  relates,  therefore,  that 
before  Abraham  there  was  no  one  that  called  God  by  the 
name  jnx  "Lord."  Abraham  was  the  first  who  recognised 
God  as  Lord  of  man,  in  whose  hand  his  fate  lies, — the 
condition  sine  qua  non  of  prayer.  From  Abraham  onwards 
prayer  remained  the  chief  refuge  in  danger,  and  the  best 
solace  and  relief  in  time  of  trouble. 

AV^hilst,  however,  insisting  on  the  belief  in  the  efficacy 
of  prayer,  our  Sages  teach  us  that  it  would  be  Avrong  to  ex- 
pect that  every  petition  uttered  before  God  must  be  granted. 
We  pray  to  the  Almighty,  being  convinced  that  it  is  in  His 
power  to  grant  what  we  pray  for ;  but  we  must  trust  in  the 
wisdom  and  mercy  of  God,  that  the  rejection  of  our  peti- 
tion is  also  for  our  good.  "  He  is  near  to  all  those  who  call 
on  him,  to  all  those  that  call  on  him  in  truth,"  who  con- 
tinue to  trust  in  Him  and  His  goodness  even  when  their 
wishes  are  not  fulfilled.  It  would  be  almost  equal  to  super- 
stition to  believe  that  any  words,  however  earnest  and 
devout,  uttered  by  us  will  infallibly  have  the  desired  effect. 
The  Mishnah  (Aboth  ii.  13)  therefore  teaches:  t'yn  bx 
D*3i:nni  D''On-|  n'pX  yip  in^sn  "  Do  not  make  thy  prayer 
a  fixed  claim  or  demand,  which  must  be  fulfilled,  but  a 
supplication  for  mercy,  which  may  or  may  not  be  granted." 


1 88  NOTES. 

The  belief  that  the  praj-er  will  undouhtedly  be  fulfilled  is 
denounced  in  the  Talmud  as  n^Dn  ]VV  "  Looking  out  with 
certainty  for  the  effect  of  the  prayer."  ^  Since  the  principal 
object  of  prayer  is  the  granting  of  our  petitions,  prayer  will  be 
superfluous  when  no  wants  will  any  longer  be  felt,  xn^  Tny'? 
m'p'Ol  ni^Dnn  "  In  future  prayers  will  be  discontinued  ;  "  only 
□biy^  r\hl22  nrx  mm  nh^n  "The  prayer  of  thanksgiving 
will  never  be  discontinued."  "In  the  enjoyment  of  the 
purest  blessings  our  feelings  of  gratitude  will  never  die 
out"  (Yalkut  on  Ps.  Ivi.). 

Rabbi  Joseph  Albo,  in  the  book  Jkkarim,  says  (lY.  xvi.)  : 
"  Although  Prayer  is  not  one  of  the  principles  of  our  Torah, 
it  is  intimately  connected  with  the  belief  in  Providence,  and 
every  one  who  believes  in  Providence  ought  to  believe  in  the 
efficacy  of  prayer.  For  he  who  does  not  pray  to  God  in 
time  of  trouble  either  does  not  believe  in  Divine  Providence, 
or  if  he  does  believe,  he  doubts  whether  God  is  able  to 
supply  his  wants  ;  in  both  cases  man  is  an  unbeliever.  It  is 
also  possible  that  a  person  who  believes  in  Divine  Providence 
and  in  God's  Omnipotence  doubts  whether  he  deserves  that 
his  prayer  should  be  granted — a  feeling  of  humility  which 
ought  indeed  to  fill  the  heart  of  every  person — but  this  idea 
must  not  prevent  him  altogether  from  praying  to  God  con- 
cerning his  wants.  If  he  docs  not  pray  from  this  reason,  he 
may  believe  in  God's  justice,  but  he  does  not  believe  in  His 
mercy  and  kindness.  It  is  also  contrary  to  the  teaching  of  the 
Bible.  *  Not  relying  on  our  righteousness  do  we  offer  our  sup- 
plication before  you,  but  on  your  great  mercy !'  For  the  bene- 
fits bestowed  by  God  on  His  creatures  are  acts  of  love,  not 
of  recompense.  .  .  .  Man  receives  benefits,  whether  he  is 
entitled  to  them  or  not,  because  prayer  gives  him  a  quali- 
fication which  he  does  not  possess  by  nature,  and  enables 

^  The  phrase  n^Sn  \\''V  is  also  used  in  the  sense  of  "  devotion  during 
prayer." 


NOTES.  189 

him  to  receive  such  good  things  as  coukl  not  be  obtained 
from  any  other  being  or  through  any  other  means.   ,  .   , 

"There  are  some  who  doubt  the  efficacy  of  jirayer  ;  they 
argue  thus :  We  must  assume  that  a  certain  good  thing  has 
been  either  decreed  or  not  decreed  in  favour  of  a  certain 
person :  if  it  has  been  decided,  prayer  is  not  wanted  ;  and  if 
it  has  not  been  decided,  how  can  prayer  effect  a  change  in 
the  "Will  of  God,  who  is  unchangeable  1  Neither  righteous- 
ness in  action,  nor  prayer,  is  of  any  avail  in  procuring  any 
good  thing  that  has  not  been  ordained,  or  in  escaping  any  evil 
that  has  been  decreed.  This  is  also  the  argument  of  Job 
in  chap.  xxi.  But  the  answer  to  these  arguments  is  this  : 
Whatever  may  have  been  decreed,  certain  conditions  must  be 
fulfilled  before  the  decree  is  executed.  If  a  good  harvest  is 
decreed  to  a  certain  person,  he  must  plough  and  sow  before 
he  can  secure  such  a  harvest ;  if  punishment  is  decreed 
against  him,  the  punishment  is  not  inflicted  in  the  absence 
of  continued  and  repeated  sinning.  The  history  of  King 
Ahab  shows  that  the  evil  decreed  against  any  sinner  takes 
no  effect  if  the  sinner  repents  and  is  turned  into  another 
man.  The  change  that  takes  place  in  man  himself  is  the 
direct  effect  of  prayer  and  righteousness ;  it  prepares  and 
qualifies  him  for  receiving  benefits  and  protection  from  evil. 
()ur  Sages  say  therefore  :  Prayer  has  its  good  effect  both 
before  and  after  the  Divine  decree.  The  Immutability  of 
God  is  not  less  consistent  with  Efficacy  of  Prayer  than  it 
is  with  His  knowledge  of  things  which  are  possible,  and 
may  happen  or  may  not  happen.  God  and  His  know- 
ledge being  unchangeable,  everything  must  be  certain  and 
nothing  merely  possible.  And  yet  we  are  convinced  of  the 
existence  of  these  things,  and  believe  at  the  same  time  in 
the  Immutability  of  God's  knowledge.  In  the  same  manner 
we  are  convinced  of  the  Efficacy  of  Prayer  without  doubting 
the  Immutability  of  God's  Will." 


I  go  NOTES. 


On  Revelation,  i?.  46. 

The  term  i^»23  "  prophet "  only  expressed  the  prophet's 
function  of  addressing  his  fellow-men  when  inspired  and 
impelled  by  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord.  The  verb  "to  pro- 
phesy "  is  therefore  in  Hebrew  expressed  by  the  nifal  or 
passive.  In  so  far  as  the  Word  of  God  has  been  revealed  to 
him  he  is  called  nSI,  HTin  and  ns^'  "  Seer,"  wrh^  :^'^X  "Man 
of  God,"  ni"in  K'''X  "The  inspired."  In  the  time  of  Samuel 
the  title  nx")  was  generally  given  to  the  prophet  instead  of 
X"'33  (i  Sam.  ix.  9),  as  his  advice  Avas  also  sought  hy 
many  who  believed  him  to  be  able  to  foresee  coming  events 
and  to  know  everything.  As,  however,  the  word  ^"'33  only 
describes  the  prophet  as  addressing  his  fellow-men,  it  is 
used  both  of  the  true  and  the  false  prophets,  and  also  of 
teachers  and  preachers  generally.  The  Targum  on  the  Pro- 
phets (Jer.  xxix.  15  ;  Isa.  xxix.  10)  renders,  therefore, 
the  term  ^^'•33  in  some  instances:  |"'s'?d  "teachers,"  ^nsD 
"scholars." 

The  enthusiasm  manifested  by  the  prophet  in  his  mode  of 
address,  or  in  his  endurance  of  insult  and  ill-treatment,  made 
him  sometimes  appear  in  the  eyes  of  the  public  as  though 
he  were  struck  with  madness,  so  that  scoffers  used  S''33  and 
l?3t^'D  "  mad,"  as  synonyms  (Jer.  xxix.  26),  and  x33nJD  is 
both  one  who  acts  as  a  prophet  and  one  who  imitates  the 
appearance  of  a  prophet  (i  Sam.  xviii.  10). 

The  false  prophets  are  divided  by  Jeremiah  into  three 
classes  :  there  were  those  who  Avere  guilty  of  a  direct  plagiar- 
ism, preaching  the  Divine  messages  of  the  true  prophets  and 
describing  them  as  their  own  inspiration.  There  "were  others 
who  plagiarised  and  reproduced  true  prophecies  in  a  form 
and  style  of  their  own,  and  others  again  who  altogether 
invented  dreams  and  visions.     The  principal  test  for  dis- 


NOTES.  191 

tinguishing  between  the  true  and  tlie  false  prophets  was  the 
purity  of  moral  and  religious  conduct.  In  matters  wholly 
indifferent  as  regards  morality  and  religion  the  prophet  was 
believed  after  having  established  his  trustworthiness  in  some 
way  or  other,  and  his  advice  was  acted  upon.  The  prophet 
himself  could  easily  detect  the  fraud  of  a  false  prophet ;  for 
what  he  was  commanded  by  God  to  do,  another  prophet 
could  not,  speaking  in  the  name  of  the  same  God,  order  not 
to  be  done.  The  prophet,  therefore,  who  deceitfully  induced 
"the  man  of  God"  to  return  to  Beth-el  by  the  very  way 
Avhich  the  word  of  God  had  forbidden  him  to  go  again 
(i  Kings  xiii.  iS),  could  not  have  been  a  true  prophet, 
although  he  was  subsequently  entrusted  with  a  Divine 
message  for  "the  man  of  God."  Bileam  was  likewise  for 
a  certain  purpose  made  the  bearer  of  God's  words,  although 
he  was  by  no  means  a  good  man.  In  either  case  the  sinful 
intention  of  the  false  prophet  was  stigmatised  as  contrary 
to  the  Will  of  the  Most  High,  and  both  had,  as  it  were, 
to  own  the  wickedness  of  their  intention  or  the  wrong  of 
their  actions. 

The  subject-matter  of  the  prophecy  is  called  "  the  vision," 
"  the  word  of  God,"  or  "  the  burden  of  the  word  of  God."  In 
the  days  of  Jeremiah  the  term  "  burden  of  the  Lord"  seems 
to  have  been  used  contemptuously  of  the  prophetic  utter- 
ances in  the  sense  of  "  trouble  "  and  "  strife  "  (comp.  Deut. 
i.  12),  and  the  prophet  Avas  ironically  asked  by  the  people, 
"  AVhat  is  the  burden  of  the  Lord  ? "  Jeremiah  exhorts  them 
to  say,  "  AVhat  hath  the  Lord  answered  thee  ? "  or  "  What 
hath  the  Lord  spoken?"  "But  the  burden  of  the  Lord 
shall  ye  remember  no  more  ;  for  the  burden  shall  be  the 
man's  to  whom  His  word  is  brought "  (Jer.  xxiii.  ;^6). 


192 


NOTES. 


On  the  Sixth  Princi^^h,  p.  131. 


Saadiah  in  Emnnoth  ve-deoth  iii.  says  :  *'  Some  men  believe 
that  we  have  no  need  of  prophets,  our  reason  being  able  to 
distinguish  between  good  and  evil.  But  if  this  were  the 
case,  God  would  not  have  sent  messengers  to  us,  because 
He  does  not  do  a  thing  that  is  purposeless.  I  considered 
the  question  thoroughly,  and  found  that  the  mission  of  the 
prophets  was  necessary,  not  only  for  the  promulgation  of 
categorical  commands,  but  also  for  that  of  rational  precepts. 
Thus  the  duty  of  thanksgiving  to  God  for  His  goodness 
is  dictated  by  our  own  reason,  but  the  Divine  messengers 
had  to  fix  the  time  and  the  form  of  thanksgiving.  Again, 
adultery  is  rejected  by  our  reason  as  a  crime  ;  but  the  Divine 
teaching  determines  the  conditions  of  the  bond  that  unites 
man  and  wife.  .   .   . 

"  As  a  test  of  the  prophet's  truthfulness  and  trustworthiness 
a  sign  is  given,  which  consists  of  an  act  implying  a  deviation 
from  the  ordinary  laws  of  nature  (comp.  Exod.  iii.  and  iv.). 
The  Israelites  are  therefore  frequently  reminded  of  '  the 
great  wonders  which  their  eyes  saw '  (Deut.  vii.  1 9).  Those 
Avho  believed  after  the  sign  was  given  Avere  'tlie  righteous,' 
whilst  those  who  did  not  believe  'went  astray.'  .  .   . 

"  The  object  of  '  the  wonders '  was  to  produce  belief  in  the 
prophecies ;  except  for  such  a  purpose  as  this,  the  regular 
course  of  Xature  is  not  disturbed,  so  that  man  can  make  his 
plans  and  arrange  his  affairs  on  the  basis  of  the  continuance 
of  the  laws  of  Nature.  The  messengers  sent  by  God  were  not 
angels,  but  men  like  ourselves,  in  order  that  the  force  of  the 
sign  may  be  more  apparent ;  for,  seeing  that  beings  like  our- 
selves perform  things  which  we  cannot  perform,  we  conclude 
that  a  higher  Being  has  endowed  them  with  extraordinary 
power  for  a  special  purpose.  If,  however,  angels  had  been 
chosen  for  the  task  of  prophets,  we  should  not  have  con- 


NOTES.  193 

sidered  their  performance  as  signs ;  but,  not  knowing  the  nature 
of  angels,  we  should  have  thought  that  such  acts  were  within 
the  regular  and  natural  powers  of  angels.  Prophets,  like  other 
Imman  beings,  cannot  dispense  with  the  regular  functions  of 
the  organs  of  their  body ;  they  are  subject  to  the  different 
conditions  of  health ;  to  poverty,  ill-treatment  on  the  part 
of  their  fellow-men,  and  to  ignorance  about  future  events, 
except  those  communicated  to  them  by  Divine  inspiration. 
— I  found  it  necessary  to  state  this  here,  because  there 
are  people  who  believe  that  the  prophet  does  not  die  like 
ordinary  people ;  others  deny  him  the  sensation  of  hunger 
and  thirst ;  others  again  think  that  he  does  not  suffer 
from  violence  and  wrong  directed  against  him,  and  some 
even  believe  that  nothing  is  hidden  from  him.  These  '  do 
not  know  the  thoughts  of  the  Lord,  and  do  not  understand 
His  counsel.' 

"  It  is,  further,  my  conviction  that  the  prophets  were  satis- 
fied, by  some  extraordinary  supernatural  phenomena,  that  they 
were  addressed  by  the  Almighty.  (Comp.  Exod.  xxxiii.  9  and 
Ps.  xcix.  7  :  'In  a  pillar  of  cloud  he  speaketh  to  them.') 

"  As  to  the  relation  of  the  Egyptian  Magicians  to  Moses,  we 
are  informed  that  ten  miracles  were  wrought  by  Moses  and 
only  three  by  the  Magicians.  Even  these  three  were  only  men- 
tioned in  order  to  show  the  difference  between  Moses  and  the 
Magicians.  Moses  acted  openlj^,  the  Magicians  secretly  ;  the 
effect  of  Moses'  doing  was  felt  throughout  the  whole  country, 
that  of  the  Magicians  only  in  a  limited  space.  .  .  . 

"  Some  one  might  ask,  '  How  could  Jonah  have  been  chosen 
for  his  mission  1  Wisdom  would  forbid  us  to  appoint  for  an 
important  mission  a  messenger  that  is  disobedient.'  But  I 
have  examined  the  Book  of  Jonah,  and  have  not  found  any 
statement  as  regards  the  disobedience  of  Jonah.  On  the 
contrary,  I  assume  that  he,  like  all  prophets,  brought  the 
Divine  message  to  the  Ninevites.    We  frequently  find  in  the 

N 


194  NOTES. 

Pentateuch.  '  Speak  to  the  children  of  Israel  and  tell  them,' 
and  we  assume  that  Moses  told  the  Israelites,  although  this 
is  not  distinctly  mentioned.  The  reason  why  Jonah  fled  is 
this :  the  first  message  which  he  actually  brought  to  the 
inhabitants  of  Nineveh  contained  simply  a  summons  to 
repentance.  He  feared  that  he  would  be  again  sent  to 
threaten  with  punishment  if  they  did  not  return ;  and  if 
they  returned  and  the  threatened  catastrophe  did  not  occur, 
they  might  in  course  of  time  begin  to  doubt  the  veracity  of 
his  words.  He  tlierefore  left  the  land,  which  was  distin- 
guished as  the  land  of  prophecy  (Jonah  iv.  2)." 

liahbi  Jeliudah  ha-levi,  in  the  book  Cuzari  (V.  xii.), 
describes  prophecy  as  an  extraordinary  gift  granted  by  the 
Almighty  to  such  human  beings  as  are  qualified  for  it  by 
the  highest  degree  of  intellectual  development,  moral  conduct, 
and  an  earnest  desire  for  communion  with  God.  Such  quali- 
fication is  found  only  in  a  few  privileged  individuals — "  the 
heart  of  mankind"  (Qixn  3^) — who,  as  it  were,  possess  it  as 
an  inheritance  transmitted  from  generation  to  generation, 
but  it  can  only  be  possessed  or  acquired  under  certain 
favourable  conditions,  e.g.,  that  the  prophet  live  in  Palestine, 
the  land  of  prophecy,  or  have  his  attention  directed  to  Pales- 
tine (I.  xcv.). 

It  was,  however,  necessary  that  mankind  should  derive  a 
benefit  from  the  revelations  made  to  the  prophets.  All  had 
to  learn  that  it  was  possible  for  a  human  being  to  receive 
a  direct  communication  from  God.  This  lesson  was  given 
when  the  Israelites  stood  ;-ound  Mount  Sinai,  and  sud- 
deidy  became  prophets.  Por,  although  the  Israelites  be- 
lieved in  the  Divine  mission  of  Moses  after  he  had  done 
many  wonderful  deeds,  there  remained  yet  a  doubt  in  their 
minds  whether  God  could  speak  to  man,  and  whether  the 
Torah  did  not  originate  in  the  plans  and  schemes  of  human 
beings,  which  by  the  help  and  assistance  of  God  developed 


NOTES.  195 

to  perfection  ;  for  it  seemed  strange  to  them  to  ascribe  speech, 
which  is  corporeal,  to  a  spiritual  being.  It  is  this  doubt 
which  God  intended  to  remove  from  their  hearts ;  they  were 
therefore  commanded  to  sanctify  themselves  inwardly  and 
outwardly,  whereby  they  were  prepared  for  the  condition  of 
prophets  and  for  hearing  the  Tvords  of  God  which  were  to 
be  directly  addressed  to  them.  After  a  preparation  of  three 
days  they  received  the  Decalogue,  not  from  any  prophet  or 
other  person,  but  from  God  Himself.  But  they  felt  their 
weakness  and  their  inability  to  witness  such  a  great  sight 
again.  They  were  convinced  that  the  Torah  was  communi- 
cated by  God  to  Moses,  and  was  not  the  result  of  human 
invention ;  that  prophecy  does  not  consist  in  the  union  of 
the  soul  of  man  with  the  active  intellect,  in  his  attaining  to 
great  wisdom,  or  in  his  mistaking  his  own  Avords  for  the 
words  of  God.  Such  erroneous  opinions  were  refuted  by 
the  revelation  on  Mount  Sinai. — But,  objects  the  king  of 
the  Cuzarites,  to  believe  that  God  spoke  to  the  Israelites 
and  wrote  the  Decalogue  on  the  tables  of  stone  amounts 
to  believing  in  a  corporeification  of  the  Deity. — To  which 
objection  the  following  reply  is  given  : — "  Far  be  it  from 
us  to  think  that  the  Torah  contains  anything  contrary  to 
reason.  The  Decalogue  commences  with  the  commandment 
to  believe  in  God,  and  prohibits  in  the  second  command- 
ment the  representation  of  God  in  any  corporeal  form.  How 
could  we,  who  deny  corporeality  even  to  some  of  His  crea- 
tures, attribute  any  corporeal  property  to  the  Supreme 
Being  1  For  it  is  not  the  tongue,  heart,  or  brain  of  JNIoses 
that  speaks  to  us,  instructs  and  guides  us,  but  his  soul  which 
is  rational,  incorporeal,  and  not  subject  to  the  relations  of 
space  ;  we  ascribe  to  the  soul  attributes  of  angels,  of  spiritual 
beings.  How  much  more  is  this  the  case  with  God  !  "We 
have,  therefore,  no  reason  for  rejecting  the  Biblical  account 
of  the  revelation  on  Mount  Sinai ;  but  we  admit  that  we 


ig6  NOTES. 

do  not  know  how  the  idea  became  corporeal  and  was 
turned  into  audible  speech,  what  new  thing  was  tlien 
created  or  what  things  then  in  existence  Avere  annihilated. 
He  is  Almighty,  and  when  we  say  that  He  created  the 
tablets  and  covered  them  with  His  writing,  it  Avas  done,  like 
the  creation  of  the  heavens,  by  His  word  ;  that  is,  it  was  His 
Will  that  His  thought  should  become  corporeal  to  a  certain 
extent  and  assume  the  form  of  tables,  and  that  a  certain 
writing  be  inscribed  on  them.  Just  as  the  division  of  the 
sea  and  the  formation  of  a  broad  path  between  the  walls  of 
Avater  Avas  done  directly  by  His  "Will,  Avithout  using  instru- 
ments or  employing  intermediate  causes,  so  the  air  that 
reached  the  ear  of  the  prophet  assumed  such  a  form  that 
sounds  AA'ere  perceived  expressing  the  idea  Avhich  God  desired 
to  communicate  to  the  prophet  or  to  the  people"  (I.,  Ixxxvii.- 
Ixxxix.).  In  describing  the  different  meanings  of  the  names 
of  God,  Eloliim  and  the  Tetragrammaton,'^  the  author  says  : 
"The  nature  of  Elohim  can  be  perceived  by  reason,  Avhich 
teaches  us  that  there  exists  a  being  Avho  governs  the  uni- 
verse. The  opinions  at  which  people  arrive  vary  accord- 
ing to  the  different  modes  of  reasoning  Avhich  they  employ ; 
the  opinions  of  the  philosophers  have  the  greatest  probability. 
But  the  idea  contained  in  the  Tetrar/ram7nato7i  cannot  be 
found  by  reasoning,  but  is  perceived  intuitively  by  that 
prophetic  vision  during  which  man  is  almost  separated  from 
his  felloAV-men,  transformed  into  an  angel,  and  filled  Avith 
another  spirit;  .  .  .  previous  doubts  concerning  God  dis- 
appear, he  smiles  at  the  arguments  by  Avhich  men  generally 
arrive  at  the  idea  of  a  deity  and  unity ;  he  then  Avorships 
God  in  love,  and  would  rather  sacrifice  his  life  than  abandon 
the  Avorship  of  God"  (IV.,  x\'.). 

^  I.e.,  the  name  of  God  consisting  of  four  letters  (^  H.  1  and  H). 
The  correct  pronunciation  of  the  word  not  being  known,  adonai, 
"Lord,"  is  substituted  for  it. 


NOTES.  197 

Abraham  Ihn  Ezra  explains  the  words  "And  the  Lord 
spake  to  Moses "  as  referring  to  true  speech  and  not  to 
speech  with  the  mouth,  which  is  merely  a  representation  of 
the  other.  "  God  spake  to  Moses "  as  man  speaketh  to 
his  neighbour ;  tliat  is  to  say,  directly  and  not  through  a 
messenger  (On  Exod.  xxxiii.  ii). — In  commenting  on  the 
^Mineteenth  Psalm  he  says:  "The  first  part  shows  how  the 
intelligent  man  can  find  in  nature  evidence  for  the  exist- 
ence and  power  of  the  Deity ;  but  there  is  a  far  better  and 
more  trustworthy  witness  :  the  Law,  &c.,  called  by  David 
'  perfect,'  because  no  other  evidence  is  required  in  support  of 
the  Divine  utterances  contained  in  the  Holy  Writings  "  (On 
Ps.  xix.  S). — Ibn  Ezra  is  so  firm  in  his  belief  in  the  truth 
of  the  Divine  Writings  that  he  sets  aside  the  contrary 
opinions  of  men  as  absurd.  "  We  believe  in  the  words 
of  our  God  and  abandon  the  vain  opinions  of  the  sons 
of  man"  (On  Gen.  vii.  19).  —  Whatever  message  they 
brought  from  God  was  true,  and  its  realisation  could  be 
relied  upon  provided  that  the  conditions  were  fulfilled, 
which  were  either  expressed  or  implied.  In  other  things, 
however,  which  were  not  contained  in  the  Divine  message 
they  were  not  infallible  (On  Exod.  iv.  20).  The  prophets 
were  trained  for  the  office.  The  sons  of  the  prophets  (or 
"the  disciples")  led  a  contemplative  life  of  seclusion,  in  the 
hope  of  receiving  inspiration,  every  one  according  to  his 
faculty  (On  Exod.  iii.  15).  The  first  step  in  this  prepara- 
tion was  "  the  training  in  the  fear  of  the  Lord,"  which  leads 
man  to  heed  the  negative  precepts  of  the  Law.  Then  follows 
"  the  worship  of  God,"  which  includes  the  observance  of  all 
positive  precepts  (Yesod  Mora,  vii.). 

Maimonides  (Mishneh  torah,  I.;  Yesode  ha-torah,  vii.  i) : 
— "  One  of  the  principles  of  our  faith  is  to  believe  that  God 
inspires  men.  The  inspiration  can  only  take  place  in  men 
who  distinguish  themselves   by  great    wisdom   and   moral 


198  NOTES. 

strength ;  who  are  never  overcome  by  any  passion,  but, 
on  the  contrary,  overcome  all  passions ;  who  possess  wide 
and  profound  knowledge.  If  those  who  are  endowed  with 
these  various  gifts,  and,  being  physically  perfect,  enter  the 
garden  of  speculation,  are  absorbed  in  these  great  and 
difficult  problems,  have  the  mind  to  understand  and  to 
comprehend,  sanctify  themselves  more  and  more,  abandon 
the  ways  of  the  common  people  that  walk  in  the  deep  dark- 
ness of  the  time,  and  zealously  train  themselves  in  freeing 
their  mind  from  useless  things,  the  vanities  and  tricks  of  the 
time,  in  order  always  to  keep  the  mind  free  for  reflecting  on 
higher  things,  on  the  most  holy  and  pure  forms,  on  the  whole 
work  of  the  Divine  Wisdom  from  the  first  sphere  to  the 
centre  of  the  earth,  and  to  comprehend  thereby  the  greatness 
of  God :  then  they  will  at  once  be  inspired  with  the  holy 
spirit,  their  soul  will  then  be  in  the  society  of  angels,  they 
will  become  other  beings,  they  will  feel  that  they  are  not  the 
same  as  before,  that  they  are  above  other  men,  even  above 
the  wise.  Tlius  it  is  said  of  Saul,  '  And  thou  wilt  prophesy 
with  them,  and  be  turned  into  another  man' "  (i  Sam.  x.  6). 
The  same  opinion  is  expressed  by  Maimonides  in  his  "  Com- 
mentary on  the  Mishnah"  (Sanhedrin,  xi.  i),  and  in  "The 
Guide"  (III.,  xxxii.).  In  the  latter  (I.e.)  the  various  views 
on  prophecy  are  fully  discussed,  and  the  difference  between 
the  view  of  Maimonides  and  that  of  the  "  philosophers  "  is 
given  more  distinctly.  According  to  the  philosophers,  the 
highest  physical,  moral,  and  intellectual  development  is  the 
sole  means  for  the  acquisition  of  the  prophetic  faculty. 
Maimonides  demands  in  addition  to  this  the  Divine  Will ; 
he  reserves,  as  it  were,  for  the  Supreme  Being  a  kind  of  veto, 
and  believes  that  the  prophetic  faculty  may,  by  Divine  inter- 
ference, i.e.,  by  a  miracle,  be  withheld  from  a  person  in  spite 
of  all  preparation  and  fitness.  He  compares  this  interfer- 
ence to  the  sudden  paralysis  and  equally  sudden  recovery 


NOTES.  199 

of  the  hand  of  King  Jeroboam  (i  Kings  xiii.  4).  Although 
the  physical  conditions  for  the  motion  of  the  hand  were 
present,  the  motion  could  not  take  place,  because  it  Avas  the 
Will  of  God  that  the  hand  should  at  that  particular  time  not 
be  able  to  perform  its  natural  functions. 

The  question  naturally  suggests  itself.  Why,  then,  is  the 
number  of  prophets  so  exceedingly  small  ?  Why  are  there 
no  prophets  amongst  the  large  host  of  philosophers  whose 
intellectual  faculties  have  been  most  highly  developed,  and 
who  apparently  live  in  a  sphere  of  ideals  far  above  earthly 
and  ordinary  passions  1  IMaimonides  denies  the  fact  that  the 
conditions  are  fulfilled  ;  he  believes  that  the  life  of  the  philo- 
sophers is  on  the  whole  not  so  pure  as  would  qualify  them 
for  the  office  of  prophecy  (II.,  xxxvi.), 

Eut  Bileam,  Laban,  and  Abimelech  enjoyed  the  privilege 
of  Divine  communication,  although  they  had  not  attained  to 
the  highest  degree  of  moral  sanctity.  Maimonides  says  in 
reference  to  the  dreams  of  Abimelech  and  Laban  (ibid.,  chap, 
xli.)  :  "The  sentence,  'And  Elohim  (an  angel)  came  to  a 
certain  person  in  the  dream  of  the  night,'  does  not  indicate 
a  prophecy,  and  the  person  to  whom  Elohim  appeared  is  not 
a  prophet ;  the  phrase  only  informs  us  that  the  attention 
of  the  person  was  called  by  God  to  a  certain  thing,  and  at 
the  same  time  that  this  happened  at  night.  For  just  as 
God  may  cause  a  person  to  move  in  order  to  save  or  kill 
another,  so  He  may  cause,  according  to  His  Will,  certain 
things  to  rise  in  man's  mind  in  a  dream  by  night.  We 
have  no  doubt  that  the  Syrian  Laban  was  a  wicked  man 
and  an  idolater.  Abimelech,  though  himself  a  virtuous 
man,  is  told  by  Abraham,  'I  said.  Surely  there  is  no  fear 
of  God  in  this  place'  (Gen.  xx.  11).  And  yet  of  both 
it  is  said  that  Elohim  appeared  to  them  in  a  dream. 
Note  and  consider  the  distinction  between  the  phrases 
'Elohim  came'  and  'Elohim  said;'  between  'in  a  dream 


200  NOTES. 

by  night '  and  '  in  a  vision  by  night.'  In  reference  to 
Jacob  it  is  said,  *  And  an  angel  said  to  Israel  in  visions 
by  night'  (Gen.  xlvi.  2),  whilst  in  reference  to  Abimelech 
and  Laban  it  is  said,  'Eloliim  came  to  Abimelech  (or  to 
Labaii)  in  the  dream  by  night'  (Ibid.  xx.  3  and  xxxi.  24). 
Onkelos  therefore  renders  this  phrase  :  'A  word  came  from 
the  Lord,'  and  not  '  God  revealed  himself.'  " 

Eileam  is,  according  to  Maimonides,  in  some  respect  like 
Laban  and  Abimelech ;  what  God  told  him  in  a  dream  by 
night  was  not  a  prophecy.  In  other  respects  he  is  described 
by  this  philosopher  as  a  person  endowed  with  ^'^p^\  ni~l  "  the 
holy  spirit;"  i.e.,  he  felt  that  some  influence  had  come  upon 
him,  and  that  he  had  received  a  new  power  which  en- 
couraged him  to  speak  for  a  certain  object  (The  Guide, 
xlv.).  Maimonides  adds  that  at  that  time  Bileam  was  still 
a  virtuous  man. — This  view  of  the  position  which  Bileam 
occupies  in  the  class  of  inspired  men  is  different  from  the 
place  assigned  to  liim  in  the  Midrash,  where  the  following 
passage  occurs  :  "  '  There  arose  no  prophet  again  in  Israel  like 
Moses ; '  that  is  to  say,  in  Israel  none  arose,  but  among 
other  nations  there  was  a  prophet  as  great  as  Moses,  namely, 
Bileam"  (Sifre,  Deut.  xxxi  v.  10).  Whatever  may  be  the 
meaning  of  these  words — whether  they  are  meant  as  a  satire 
or  not — they  seem  to  indicate  that  Bileam  possessed  a  high 
degree  of  prophetic  faculty.  But  comparing  the  deeds  of 
Bileam  with  tliose  of  Moses,  we  find  that  the  latter  guided 
the  Israelites  and  led  them  to  good  deeds  and  to  a  virtuous 
life,  w^hilst  Bileam  misled  those  who  followed  his  guidance 
to  sin  and  vice. 

The  view  of  Maimonides,  that  man  after  due  prepara- 
tion and  training  may  still  be  debarred  from  the  rank  of 
prophet,  is  severely  criticised  by  the  Commentators  of  the 
Guide.  They  maintain  that  God,  after  having  invited  and 
encouraged  man  to  approach  Him,  would  not  then  thwart 


NOTES.  201 

the  very  liope  lie  had  implanted.  According  to  their  opi- 
nion, God's  liand  is  extended  to  all ;  every  one  may  acquire 
the  prophetic  faculty,  and  tliose  who  have  not  acquired  it 
have  not  been  duly  qualified  for  it.  (Conip.  the  Comm.  of 
Ephodi,  Narboni  a.  o.  on  "  The  Guide,"  II.,  xxxii.), 

Albo  (Ikkarini,  III.,  vii.  sqq.)  likewise  admits  that  it  is 
impossible  to  imagine  a  prophet  who  has  not  attained  a  high 
degree  of  moral  and  intellectual  perfection.  But  he  does 
not  consider  the  prophetic  faculty  as  a  natural  development 
of  man's  intellectual  faculties.  It  is  solely  and  directly  due 
to  Divine  inspiration  {''nhii.  yati'),  by  means  of  which  man 
acquires  a  knowledge  of  things  which  are  otherwise  beyond 
the  limits  of  human  intellect.  Of  what  nature  the  inspira- 
tion is,  how  it  gives  certitude  to  the  prophet,  and  by  what 
psychical  process  it  is  accomplished,  only  the  prophet  him- 
self can  fully  comprehend.  Albo,  like  Maimonides,  assumes 
different  degrees  of  inspiration  from  the  inspiration  (nil 
'n)  which  moved  Samson  to  heroic  deeds  and  David  to 
sacred  songs,  to  the  prophetic  communion  of  Moses  with 
God  "face  to  face."  The  clearness  of  the  prophet's  utter- 
ances varies  according  to  the  different  degrees  of  his  prophetic 
faculty,  although  all  are  equally  true. 

On  the  Seventh  Principle,  p.  133. 
The  words  n^nos  nn^n  n"j;  ijm  nt^'D  nsnrj'  have  been 

wrongly  translated  "  tliat  the  prophecy  of  ]\Ioses  was  true," 
because  this  is  contained  in  the  sixth  principle,  which  ap- 
plies equallj'  to  Moses  and  to  all  other  prophets.  The  term 
n*nOK  does  here  not  denote  "  true,"  but  "real,"  "  perfect,"  or 
"  direct;"  and  the  difference  between  the  Divine  inspiration 
of  Moses  and  that  of  other  prophets  is  expressed  in  the 
above  phrase,  in  accordance  with  the  distinction  made  in  the 
Pentateuch  (Num.  xii.  8).     It  has  been  considered  neces- 


202  NOTES. 

sary  to  formulate  this  distinction  between  Moses  and  other 
prophets  in  a  separate  article,  because  it  is  of  great  im- 
portance in  the  proof  of  the  Immutability  of  the  Law. 

Maimonides  in  "The  Guide"  (chap,  xxxv.)  and  Mishneh 
torah  (I.,  Hilchoth  Yesode  ha-torah  vii.  6)  fully  describes  the 
difference  between  Moses  and  other  prophets.  He  enumerates 
four  points: — (i.)  Other  prophets  received  the  Divine  mes- 
sage in  a  vision  or  a  dream,  whilst  Moses  received  it  in  a  state 
of  complete  consciousness,  being  awake,  and  apprehending 
the  words  like  those  spoken  by  a  man  to  his  fellow-men. 
(2.)  Other  prophets  received  the  message  in  images,  which 
they  had  first  to  interpret  before  communicating  it  to  their  fel- 
low-men ;  Moses  was  addressed  by  God  in  clear  words  and  not 
in  figurative  speech.  (3.)  Other  prophets  were  overcome  by 
the  sight,  and  were  in  a  state  of  fear  and  trembling ;  Moses  ex- 
perienced nothing  of  this  kind.  (4.)  Moses  was  sure  to  receive  a 
Divine  reply  whenever  he  sought  it ;  not  so  the  other  prophets. 

Maimonides  comes  thus  to  the  conclusion  that  the  term 
"  prophet "  when  applied  to  Moses  cannot  have  the  same 
meaning  as  it  has  when  applied  to  other  Divine  messengers ; 
and  tlie  prophecy  of  Moses  differs  from  that  of  other  prophets 
not  only  in  degree,  but  in  kind.  There  are,  however,  other 
theologians  who  hold  that  the  prophecy  of  Moses  is  of  the 
same  kind  as  that  of  other  prophets,  and  excels  the  rest 
oidy  by  a  higher  degree  of  prophetic  faculty.  (Comp.  Albo 
Ikkarim,  III.,  xvii.) 

On  the  Eirjlitli  Principle,  p.  134. 

The  integrity  and  authenticity  of  the  Pentateuch  has 
been  subjected  to  all  kinds  of  tests  by  critics  of  every 
age.  The  ]\Iassoretic  remarks,  to  which  allusions  are  found 
in  the  Talmud,  seem  to  include  the  result  of  critical  exa- 
mination of  the  text  of  the  Bible.     Thus  we  read  in  the 


NOTES.  203 

treatise  Aboth  di-Rabbi  Isathan  (chap,  xxxiv.) :  "  There  arc 
ten  passages  in  the  Pentateuch  which  are  provided  with 
points  on  the  top  of  the  letters,  namel}',  Gen.  xvi.  5  ;  xviii. 
9;  xix.  23)  xxxiii.  4;  xxxvii.  12;  jS'inn.  iii.  39;  ix.  10; 
xxi.  30;  xxix.  15  ;  Deut.  xxix.  28.  What  is  the  meaning 
of  these  points  1  Ezra — who  is  supposed  to  have  added 
them — said,  '  If  Elijah  should  come  and  show  me  that  the 
reading  was  wrong,  I  should  tell  him  that  for  that  reason  I 
marked  them  Avith  points  ;  and  if  he  should  say  that  I  wrote 
correctly,  I  should  remove  the  points.'  "  In  the  treatise  So- 
ferim  (vi.  4)  the  following  passage  occurs : — "Rabbi  Simeon 
ben  Lakish  said,  Three  copies  of  the  Pentateuch  were  found 
in  the  hall  of  the  Temple;  they  are  called  Sefe7'  meonah, 
Sefer  zatute,  and  Sefer  hee.  In  the  one  pyto  was  Avritten 
instead  of  njiyo  (Deut.  xxxiii.  27),  in  the  other  ^t21t3ST 
(Exod.  xxiv.  5)  instead  of  nyj,  and  in  the  third  eleven  times 
SM  instead  of  xin.  The  reading  that  was  found  only  in  one 
of  the  three  copies  was  rejected,  and  that  of  the  other  two  pre- 
ferred. The  received  text  has  therefore  nJIUD,  nyj,  and  x*n." 
These  instances  which  tradition  has  preserved,  are  evi- 
dence of  the  great  care  and  conscientiousness  with  which 
Ezra  the  Scribe  and  other  men  transcribed  and  multiplied 
copies  of  the  Pentateuch.  We  learn  further  from  these 
instances  that  the  text  was  never  altered,  even  where  the 
sense  did  not  seem  quite  clear;  and  where  the  reading  had 
been  changed  in  some  cases,  the  Massoretic  notes  show  the 
way  how  to  read  the  word  whilst  the  text  was  retained  in 
its  original  form.  This  is  the  cause  of  the  Keri  and  Kethib, 
"How  the  word  is  read"  and  "How  it  is  written."  In 
the  Talmud  a  certain  number  of  passages  are  described  as 
tiklcun  soferim,  "  The  style  of  the  scribes ; "  others  as  ittur 
soferim,  "  Elegance  of  the  scribes."  Commentators  have 
interpreted  these  terms  as  indicating  alterations  of  the  text ; 
but  the  instances  quoted  for  illustration  do  not  contain  any 
trace  of  such  a  process.     An  instance  of  tikkun  soferim  is, 


204  NOTES. 

'■'And  Abraham  stood  yet  before  the  Lord"  (Gen.  xviii.  22). 
These  words  -were  believed  to  continue  the  account  of  the 
Divine  vision  introduced  by  the  "U'crds,  "And  God  appeared 
to  Abraliam  "  (ibid,  xviii.  i),  and  interrupted  by  the  narra- 
tive of  the  visit  of  the  three  angels.  The  reader  might 
have  expected,  "  And  God  stood  yet  before  Abraham."  The 
method  of  expressing  the  ?ame  in  the  above  form  for  the 
sake  of  euphemism  is  called  tiklcun  soferim.  From  the 
instances  of  ittur  soferim  quoted  in  the  Talm.  Nedarim  37^, 
we  infer  that  the  occasional  omission  of  the  copulative  vav 
Avas  designated  by  that  name.     (Comp.  Gen.  xviii.  5,  "ins). 

In  Midrashic  interpretations  of  the  Bible  we  frequently 
meet  with  the  phrase  ^-ipn  ^X,  "  Do  not  read,"  seemingly 
implying  an  emendation  of  the  Biblical  text.  It  is,  how- 
ever, certain  that  the  authors  of  such  interpretations  did  not 
for  a  moment  entertain  the  idea  that  the  passage  in  ques- 
tion was  corrupt  and  required  correction.  What  was  meant 
by  the  above  phrase  is  this  :  A  Jewish  audience  was  supposed 
to  be  familiar  with  the  text  of  the  Bible,  and  it  was  there- 
fore believed  that  the  lessons  which  the  teacher  or  preacher 
desired  to  impart  would  better  reach  the  heart  of  the  listener, 
and  be  more  easily  retained  in  his  memory,  if  it  were  ex- 
pressed in  the  words  of  some  Biblical  passage.  If  a  passage 
could,  by  a  slight  alteration,  be  made  to  serve  this  purpose, 
such  alteration  was  adopted  and  introduced  Avith  the  words 
npn  ^X,  "Do  not  read,  .  .  .  b-ut  .  .  ." 

There  are  also  some  instances  in  the  Talmud  and  the  Mid- 
rashim  of  Biblical  quotations  not  in  harmony  with  the 
received  text.  This  discrepancy  is  either  due  to  the  fact 
that  preachers  and  expounders  quoted  from  memory,  and 
may  have  erroneously  confounded  two  similar  passages,  or  it 
is  due  to  the  carelessness  of  the  copyists.  Indications  of  a 
Biblical  text  at  variance  with  the  received  text  are  found 
in  the  ancient  Versions.  But,  with  the  exception  of  the 
Chaldee  Version  of  the  Pentateuch  by  Onkelos,  and  that  of 


NOTES.  205 

the  Prophets  by  Jonathan,  we  have  no  authorised  Version, 
and  it  is  uncertain  how  many  of  the  discrepancies  have  their 
origin  in  a  corrupt  text  in  the  hands  of  the  translator,  and 
how  many  of  them  are  due  to  the  error  of  the  translator  in 
misreading  or  mistranslating  the  correct  text  before  him. 
]>y  no  means  are  these  facts  sufficient  ground  for  doubting 
the  correctness  of  the  received  text,  however  plausible  the 
suggested  emendations  may  appear. 

Samaritans  and  Mohammedans  have  accused  the  Jews  of 
having  altered  the  text  of  the  Bible ;  but  they  have  not  proved 
the  charge,     (See  Emunah-ramah,  5th  Principle,  chap,  ii.) 

Modern  critics  have  impugned  the  authenticity  of  most 
of  the  Biblical  books.  "We  will  discuss  their  opinions 
concerning  three  of  these  books,  and  these  are  the  most 
important  ones  concerning  which  Tradition  speaks  most 
decidedly,  viz.,  the  Pentateuch,  the  Prophecies  of  Isaiah, 
and  the  Book  of  Daniel. 

The  existence  of  the  Pentateuch  at  the  time  when  the 
other  Biblical  books  were  written  is  clear  from  the  frequent 
references  to  the  history  and  the  laws  contained  in  it.  Such 
are,  e.g.  :  "  Only  be  thou  strong  and  very  courageous,  that  thou 
mayest  observe  to  do  according  to  all  the  law  which  !Moses, 
m}'-  servant,  commanded  thee,"  &c.  "This  book  of  the  law 
shall  not  depart  out  of  thy  mouth,"  &c.  (Jos.  i.  7,  8).  "  As 
Moses,  the  servant  of  the  Lord,  commanded  the  children  of 
Israel,  as  it  is  written  in  the  book  of  the  law  of  Moses,"  &c. 
"And  he  wrote  tliere  upon  the  stones  a  copy  of  the  law  of 
Moses  which  he  Avrote  in  the  presence  of  the  children  of 
Israel,  And  afterward  he  read  all  the  words  of  the  law,  the 
blessing  and  cursings,  according  to  all  that  is  written  in  the 
book  of  the  law"  (Ibid,  viii,  31,  32,  34),  "  Keep  the  charge 
of  the  Lord  thy  God,  to  walk  in  his  ways,  to  keep  his  statutes 
and  his  commandments,  and  his  judgments,  and  his  testi- 
monies, as  it  is  written  in  the  law  of  Moses,"  &c.  (i  Kings 


2o6  NOTES. 

ii.  3).  "  But  the  children  of  the  murderers  he  slew  not : 
according  unto  that  -which  is  written  in  the  book  of  the 
law  of  Moses,"  &c.  (2  Kings  xiv,  6).  "Keep  the  passover 
unto  the  Lord  your  God,  as  it  is  written  in  the  book  of  the 
covenant"  (Ibid,  xxiii.  21).  "  Eemember  the  law  of  Moses, 
my  servant,  Avhich  I  commanded  unto  him  in  Horeb  for  all 
Israel,  statutes  and  judgments"  (Mai.  iii.  16). 

The  authors  of  the  other  books  of  the  Bible  show  famili- 
arity with  the  words,  the  phrases,  and  tlie  contents  of  the 
Pentateuch.  Thus  Psalm  civ.  is  based  on  the  first  chapter 
of  Genesis  ;  the  flood  is  mentioned  in  Ps.  xxix.  and  in  the 
prophecies  of  Isaiah  (liv.  9) ;  the  history  of  the  Patriarchs 
and  of  the  Israelites  in  Egypt  and  in  the  wilderness  in  Ps. 
cvi.,  Ixxviii.  ;  the  history  of  Jacob  is  alluded  to  in  Hosea 
xii. ;  the  destruction  of  Sodom  and  Gomorrah  in  Isa,  i.  9, 
Amos  iv.  II. 

Of  the  laws  contained  in  the  Pentateuch  many  are  men- 
tioned or  alluded  to  in  the  books  of  the  Prophets  and  the 
Hagiographa ;  the  feast  of  Passover  (Jos.  iv.).  Tabernacles 
(Zech.  xiv.  16-20,  Ezra  iii.  4,  Neh.  viii.  14-18);  the  first 
day  ^  of  the  seventh  month  (New-year)  is  mentioned  as  a 
"  holy  day  "  (Neh.  viii.  10).  The  dietary  laws  are  referred  to 
by  Isaiah  (Ixvi.  17)  ;  the  laws  of  cleanness  and  uncleanness 
form  the  text  of  a  prophecy  of  Haggai  (ii.  10  sqfj.).  Such 
phrases  as  " Uncircumcised  in  heart"  (Jer.  ix.  25)  and  "Thou 
wilt  purify  me  with  hyssop  and  I  shall  be  clean  "  (Ps.  Ii.  9) 
show  familiarity  with  the  laws  of  the  Pentateuch.  Sabbath 
and  sacrifices  are  frequently  mentioned.  Critics,  however,  assert 
that  certain  laws  seem  to  have  been  unknown  or  out  of  practice 
in  the  period  of  the  Judges  and  the  Kings.  There  is,  e.rj.,  a 
perfect  silence  as  to  the  celebration  of  "the  Day  of  Blowing 
the  shofar"  and  "the  Day  of  Atonement,"  even  where  such 

*  The  "second  day  "  (Neh.  viii.  13),  as  a  day  of  devotion  and  medi- 
tation on  the  Word  of  God,  is  probably  the  Day  of  Atonement. 


NOTES.  207 

mention  is  suggested  by  the  context,  as  Kings  viii.  65,  66, 
and  Neheniiah  viii.  But  the  inspired  historians  preferred 
to  describe  the  celebration  of  those  festivals  that  had  been 
neglected,  or  those  that  were  also  of  national  and  political 
importance  by  concentrating  the  mass  of  the  people  in  the 
capital ;  such  festivals  were  Passover  and  Tabernacles.  The 
Day  of  Blowing  the  sho/ar  and  the  Day  of  Atonement  were 
set  aside  for  quiet,  private  devotion  and  meditation,  tlie  addi- 
tional service  in  the  Temple  being  in  the  hands  of  the  priests, 
and  the  observation  of  these  days  as  holy  days  in  accordance 
with  the  Law  was  a  matter  of  course,  and  was  not  considered 
by  the  authors  as  a  memorable  event  that  required  special 
notice.  One  of  the  prophecies  of  Isaiah  (chap.  Iviii.)  seems 
to  have  reference  to  the  Day  of  Atonement. 

That  in  the  days  of  the  Judges,  Avhen  "every  man  did 
what  was  right  in  his  eyes,"  and  during  the  reign  of  wicked 
kings  many  laws  were  ignored  or  broken  is  not  at  all  sur- 
prising. When  the  sacrifices  offered  up  by  Samuel  and 
Solomon  are  adduced  as  a  proof  that  the  Law,  which  only 
allows  priests  to  sacrifice,  was  not  known  in  those  daj's,  the 
argument  is  based  on  a  misinterpretation  of  the  Biblical  text. 
"When  laymen  brought  sacrifices,  the  priests  performed  the 
service  for  them  ;  the  principal  thing  to  be  mentioned  was  in 
Avhose  name  or  in  whose  presence  the  sacrifice  was  brought ; 
it  was  unnecessary  to  state  that  the  priests  had  to  sprinkle 
the  blood  and  to  burn  certain  portions  upon  the  altar ;  no  one 
doubted  it. 

Another  argument  against  the  authenticity  of  the  Pen- 
tateuch has  been  based  on  the  fact  related  in  the  second 
book  of  Kings  (xxii.  8  sqq.) :  "And  Hilkiah  the  high  priest 
said  unto  Shaphan  the  scribe,  I  have  found  a  book  of  the 
law  in  the  house  of  the  Lord.  And  Shaphan  tlie  scribe 
showed  the  king,  saying,  Hilkiah  the  priest  hath  delivered 
me  a  book.     And  Shaphan  read  it  before  the  king.     And  it 


2o8  NOTES. 

came  to  pass  when  the  king  had  lieard  the  words  of  the  book 
of  the  law,  that  he  rent  his  clothes."  It  is  maintained  by- 
some  scholars  that  the  book,  which  seems  to  have  been  an  un- 
known thing  to  those  who  found  it  and  to  the  king,  had  only 
just  then  been  written.  This  is  not  what  is  directly  stated 
in  the  Bible.  Hilkiah  speaks  of  the  Law  minn,  the  well- 
known  Torah ;  he  would  not  have  said  so  if  the  Torah  had 
not  been  in  existence  before.  Furthermore,  the  king  on 
hearing  the  words  of  the  book  rent  his  garments,  and  sent 
to  inquire  of  the  Lord  concerning  the  words  of  this  book  ; 
for  "great  is  the  wrath  of  the  Lord  that  is  kindled  against 
us  because  021)'  fathers  have  not  hearlcened  unto  the  ivords  of 
this  hook."  These  words  of  the  king  clearly  show  that  the 
king  was  convinced  of  the  divine  character  of  the  book,  and 
also  of  its  existence  in  the  time  of  his  forefathers.  The  fact 
that  King  Josiah  accuses  "  the  fathers  "  suggests  the  following 
explanation  of  the  event : — During  the  reign  of  the  wicked 
King  Manasseh  the  reading  of  the  Law  was  interrupted  ;  the 
book  itself  was  hidden  lest  it  should  be  destroyed  by  the 
idolatrous  priests;  now  that  it  was  found  again,  the  king  was 
reminded  that  the  Torah  had  been  neglected  in  the  interval 
through  the  sin  of  the  preceding  generation.  Whether  there 
was  another  copy  of  the  Law  in  the  Temple,  whether  the  one 
found  by  Hilkiah  was  complete,  or  contained  only  a  portion 
of  the  Law,  perhaps  Deuteronomy,  chap,  xxvii.  and  chap, 
xxviii.,  which  are  in  the  Pentateuch  called  "  the  words  of  this 
covenant"  and  also  "tlie  words  of  the  curse,"  titles  which  occur 
also  in  reference  to  the  above  copy  in  the  books  of  Kings  and 
Chronicles:  to  these  and  similar  questions  the  Biblical  account 
gives  no  decided  answer.  Only  so  much  is  certain  that  the 
book  found  was  not  new  or  unknown  to  those  who  found 
it,  and  the  king  recognised  it  as  the  book  of  the  Torah. 

Far  from  finding  in  the  other  books  of  the  Bible  any 
evidence — whether  positive  or  negative — of  the  later  origin 


NOTES.  209 

of  the  Torali,  we  feel  convinced  that  their  contents  pre- 
suppose not  only  the  existence  of  the  Torah,  but  also  the 
authors'  familiarity  \;'ith  it.  Without  the  Torah  tlie  other 
books  are  unintelligible.  There  is  nothing  in  the  Pentateuch 
that  betrays  a  post-Mosaic  origin.  If  the  Pentateuch  had 
been  written  in  the  period  of  the  Kings,  the  author  would 
have  mentioned  Jerusalem  as  the  appointed  place  for  the 
Sanctuary ;  in  the  rebukes  (nriDin),  in  addition  to  idolatry, 
the  social  corruption  pointed  out  by  the  prophets  wpuld  have 
been  mentioned :  the  restrictive  law  concerning  the  marriage 
of  heiresses  would  have  been  superfluous,  as  it  only  applied 
to  the  first  generation  that  entered  Palestine. 

The  phrase  p-|\i  ~\2V  has  been  quoted  as  a  proof  that  tlie 
author  of  the  Pentateuch  must  have  lived  in  Palestine,  or 
else  he  could  not  have  called  the  east  banks  of  the  Jordan 
"  the  other  side  of  Jordan ; "  but  this  translation  is  Avrong. 
The  phrase  only  means  the  banks  of  Jordan. 

In  the  Talmud  the  Pentateuch  in  its  entirety  is  ascribed 
to  Moses.  "  Moses  wrote  his  book  and  the  book  of  Bileam  " 
(Babyl.  Talm.  Baba  Bathra,  14^).  Tlie  book  of  Bileam  is 
the  section  of  Numbers  which  contains  the  parables  of  Bileam 
(from  xxii.  2  to  xxiv.). 

There  is,  however,  a  difference  of  opinion  with  regard  to 
the  last  eight  verses  of  the  Pentateuch.  According  to  Eabbi 
Jehudah  (or  Rabbi  Kehemiah)  Joshua  wrote  this  passage. 
Rabbi  Shimeon  objected  :  "  Is  it  possible  that  the  Torah  was 
incomplete  when  Moses  was  told,  '  Take  this  book  of  the 
law?'  (Deut.  xxxi.  26).^  God  dictated  the  last  eight  verses 
of  the  Pentateuch  to  Moses,  and  the  latter  wrote  them  with 
tears." 

"With  tliis  exception,  no  doubt  was  entertained  by  any 

^  It  is  here  assumed  that  the  Torah  was  not  intended  to  be  written 
in  a  chronological  order,  and  that  this  commandment  was  given  after 
the  Blessing  of  Moses  was  written. 

O 


210  NOTES. 

of  the  Rabbis  as  to  the  integrity  of  the  Torah.  Various, 
however,  were  the  opinions  as  to  the  method  followed  by 
Moses  in  writing  down  the  events  and  the  laws.  Rabbi 
Jochanan,  following  the  opinion  of  Rabbi  Eanaah,  held  that 
the  Torah  was  written  by  Moses  piecewise  at  different  times, 
just  as  the  events  happened  or  as  each  law  was  revealed  to 
him.  Rabbi  Shimeon  ben  Lakish  said  "  it  was  given  at  one 
time  in  its  entirety  "  (Babyl.  Talm.  Gittin  6oa). 

Passages  of  the  Torah  which  seemed  to  contradict  each 
other,  or  to  be  contradicted  by  statements  found  in  other 
books  of  the  Bible,  were  thoroughly  discussed  and  explained. 
The  belief  in  the  integrity  and  divinity  of  the  Torah  was  so 
strong  that  those  who  rejected  either  of  these  beliefs  were 
considered  as  unworthy  of  the  blessings  of  the  future  world 
(Babyl.  Talm.  Sanhedrin  99a). 

With  the  rise  of  Ivaraism  Bible  criticism  received  new 
encouragement,  as  in  the  warfare  between  Karaism  and 
Rabbinism,  or  Scripturalists  and  Traditionalists,  it  furnished 
both  sides  with  sharp  weapons.  Some,  however,  of  the  com- 
mentators w^ent  further,  and  gave  utterance  to  all  sorts  of 
heterodox  views.  Thus  a  certain  Yitzchaki  of  Spain  was  of 
opinion  that  Gen.  xxxvi.  31-43  was  a  later  addition,  on 
account  of  the  phrase,  "  These  were  the  kings  wdio  ruled 
over  Edom  before  a  king  ruled  over  Israel."  The  critics 
forgot  that  this  passage  is  intended  to  point  out  the  advance 
which  Esau's  descendants  had  made,  when  the  prophecy, 
''And  kings  shall  come  forth  out  of  thee"  (xxxv.  11)  had 
not  yet  been  fulfilled  in  the  case  of  the  Israelites. 

Of  the  Commentators  of  the  Middle  Ages,  Ibn  Ezra  is 
generally  singled  out  as  an  advanced  scholar  who  held  certain 
passages  of  the  Pentateuch  as  later  additions.  Ibn  Ezra  was 
far  from  such  views,  and  lie  sharply  rebuked  those  who 
entertained  them.  Thus  he  says  of  Yitzchaki,  the  author  of 
the  above  criticism,  "Every  one   who  will  hear  this  will 


NOTES.  211 

laugh  at  liiin,  and.  his  book  deserves  to  be  burnt."  Willi 
equal  vigour  he  criticises  a  grammarian  Avho  pointed  out 
certain  passages  as  grammatically  incorrect,  and  also  another 
scholar  who  in  his  interpretations  of  the  Bible  did  not  take 
sufficient  notice  of  the  traditional  accents.  The  error  con- 
cerning Ibn  Ezra  has  its  origin  in  his  habit  of  adding  the 
phrase,  "The  words  have  some  deeper  sense"  (lID  l'?  t'*), 
whenever  the  literal  interpretation  does  not  quite  satisfy 
him,  or  when  the  object  of  the  author  in  adding  a  seemingly 
superfluous  sentence  is  not  clear  to  him  ;  as,  for  instance,  in 
the  four  passages  referred  to  in  the  Commentary  on  Deutero- 
nomy i.  2,  namely,  "The  Canaanite  was  then  in  the  land" 
(Gen.  xii.  6),  "  On  the  mount  of  the  Lord  will  it  appear  " 
(Ibid.  xxii.  14),  the  repetition  of  the  sacrifices  of  the  twelve 
princes  (Num.  vii.),  and  the  stations  enumerated  in  Xumbers 
(chap,  xxxiii.),  in  addition  to  the  detailed  geographical 
description  of  Deut.  i.  i  sqfj.  The  meaning  of  this  remark 
has  been  misunderstood  by  the  early  expounders  of  Ibn 
Ezra's  Commentarj'',  and  since  then  the  mistake  has  been 
repeated  by  most  of  the  critics  of  the  Bible.  Spinoza,  in  his 
theological  treatise,  quotes  Ibn  Ezra,  with  the  usual  misin- 
terpretation, in  support  of  his  view  concerning  the  Torah. 

Modern  critics  have  attempted  to  analyse  the  Pentateuch, 
and  to  assign  to  it  several  authors,  revisers,  and  editors. 
But  there  is  little  harmony  among  the  critics  ;  the  one  con- 
siders as  the  latest  addition  what  the  other  holds  to  be  the 
oldest  portions  of  the  book.  Xumerous  emendations  are 
made  by  every  one  of  them  in  order  to  establish  his  special 
theory.  The  fundamental  principle  of  most  of  them  is  that 
the  section  in  which  the  name  Elohim  is  prevalent  could 
not  have  been  written  by  the  author  of  another  section  in 
which  the  Tetrwjrammaton  is  employed.  But  the  two  names, 
though  denoting  the  same  Being,  are  not  identical  in  mean- 
ing :  the  one  signifies  the  Almighty,  who  is  the  Kulcr  of  the 


212  NOTES. 

universe,  the  Master  and  Judge  of  all  beings;  the  other  is 
the  name  of  the  IVIerciful  Father,  who  reveals  Himself  to 
man,  interferes  in  his  behalf,  and  has  especially  revealed  His 
Providence  and  Kindness  to  the  Israelites. 

A  careful  study  of  the  Hebrew  Bible  will  show  that  it  is 
not  the  author,  or  the  age  of  the  author,  but  the  contents  of 
the  passage  that  determi;ied  which  of  the  Divine  names  was 
to  be  used.  The  same  author  repeats  the  same  account  with 
Pome  variation,  according  to  the  lesson  which  he  intends  to 
convey  to  the  reader.  The  proofs  which  are  based  on  the 
differences  discovered  in  two  accounts  of  apparently  the  same 
event,  or  on  seeming  contradictions  or  anachronisms,  are  so 
indifferently  supported  that  they  are  not  able  to  conquer 
the  fortress  of  Faith  and  Tradition.  The  difficulties  pointed 
out  by  the  critics  vanish  before  patient  study  and  the 
earnest  longing  for  instruction  and  comfort  offered  by  the 
Bible. 

The  Book  of  Isaiah  has  likewise  been  subjected  to  the 
analytical  test  of  the  critic,  and  it  is  generally  believed  that 
the  prophecies  contained  in  the  book  have  not  all  been 
written  by  the  same  author  or  in  the  same  age.  The 
book  is  divided  into  two  large  sections ;  the  second  section, 
from  chap.  xl.  to  chap.  Ixvi.,  is  thought  to  have  been  com- 
posed shortly  before  the  return  of  the  Jews  from  Babylon. 
Although  it  is  possible  that  anonymous  prophecies  were 
added  to  a  book,  the  reasons  which  induced  critics  to  make 
such  a  division  are  untenable.  The  first  reason  is  the 
difference  in  style ;  but  we  must  take  account  of  the  differ- 
ence in  the  contents  of  the  two  sections.  The  prophecies 
in  the  first  section  have  mostly  a  threatening  tendency 
with  regard  to  imminent  punishment,  whilst  in  the  second 
section  Israel  is  to  be  encouraged  in  his  faith  in  the  Al- 
mighty and  in  his  hopes  for  a  better  future.  It  is  but  natu- 
ral that  the  style  should  not  be  the  same  in  both  sections. 


XOTES.  213 

Another  reason  for  ascribing  the  second  section  to  a  h\tcr  pro- 
phet is  the  fact  that  Koresh  (Cyrus),  king  of  Persia,  is  men- 
tioned by  name,  and  the  fall  of  liabylon  and  the  consequent 
deliverance  of  the  Jews  are  described  as  well-known  facts  of 
the  past.  This  and  similar  arguments  are  based  on  a  misun- 
derstanding of  the  character  of  the  prophecies.  Tlie  critics 
ignore  the  essential  diflference  between  the  writings  of  inspired 
messengers  of  God  and  those  of  ordinary  men.  They  deny  to 
the  man  of  God  the  power  of  foreseeing  and  foretelling  coming 
events  of  which  his  fellow-men  could  not  have  any  know- 
ledge. By  such  arguments  the  critics  set  limits  to  the  power 
and  wisdom  of  God,  and  employ  the  same  measure  for  both 
that  which  is  Divine  and  that  which  is  human.  A  Divine 
prophet  has,  by  the  Will  of  the  Almighty,  the  future  unrolled 
before  him ;  he  sees  the  catastrophe  which  is  to  come  cen- 
turies later,  and  perceives  its  effect  and  its  end.  Even  when 
he  reviews  the  present  state  of  affairs  and  takes  the  immediate 
future  into  consideration,  his  eyes  frer^uently  behold  scenes 
and  events  of  "the  end  of  the  days"  (□•'Cn  JT'inx^),  which 
he  points  out  as  the  goal  of  our  hopes  and  aspirations.  When 
he  warns,  advises,  or  encourages  his  brethren  with  regard  to 
their  present  wants,  the  virtues  and  the  happiness  of  the  Mes- 
sianic age  are  not  rarely  introduced.  Earlier  events,  though 
still  future  in  time,  appear  then  in  the  light  of  accomplished 
facts,  and  in  their  description  the  past  tense  is  used  instead 
of  the  future.  Thus  it  happened  that  the  prophet  Isaiah, 
Avho  flourished  during  the  reign  of  King  Hezekiah,  could  take 
his  standpoint  on  the  return  of  tlie  Jews  from  Babylonia, 
look  back  at  the  exile  as  a  thing  of  the  past,  and  reveal  to  his 
brethren  further  troubles,  the  succeeding  final  redemption, 
and  the  ultimate  triumph  of  the  faithful  and  God-fearing 
over  the  faithless  and  wicked. 

It  is  true  that  it  is  an  unusual  thing  for  a  prophet  to 
name  a  kin"  who  is  to  rule  centuries  after  the  death  of  the 


214  NOTES. 

prophet,  unless  the  name  is  a  common  noun,  and  has  by 
its  meaning  some  bearing  on  the  prophecy.  The  name 
Cyrus  fulfils,  perhaps,  this  condition ;  according  to  Ktesias, 
it  signifies  "  sun,"  an  appropriate  name  to  be  given  to  the 
king  who  is  destined  to  be  the  deliverer  of  a  captive  people. 
King  Cyrus  may  have  assumed  this  name  when  he  became 
convinced  of  the  mission  entrusted  to  him  by  Providence. 

The  authenticity  of  the  Book  of  Daniel  has  likewise  been 
impugned,  and  its  advocates  are,  it  must  be  admitted,  at  pre- 
sent very  few.  The  narratives  which  the  book  contains  are 
considered  as  improbable  or  even  impossible,  and  its  visions 
as  prophecies  ex  facto.  It  was  written,  according  to  these 
critics,  in  the  period  of  the  Maccabees,  and  the  name  of 
Daniel  was  chosen  in  order  to  give  more  weight  to  the  con- 
tents of  the  book,  Daniel  being  known  as  a  man  famous  for 
his  piety  among  his  fellow-exiles.  Against  this  we  have  the 
distinct  evidence  in  the  book,  in  which  the  author  is  described 
as  the  same  Daniel  that  lived  during  the  Babylonian  exile ; 
Jewish  tradition  knew  of  no  other  author  of  the  book  than 
Daniel.  Although  the  Book  of  Daniel  was  not  placed  amongst 
the  books  of  the  Prophets,  because  he  was  not  charged  with 
any  mission  to  his  fellow -men,  the  visions  described  in 
Daniel  were  nevertheless,  in  Jewish  literature,  considered  as 
true  and  genuine  prophecy.  The  narratives  have  the  dis- 
tinct object  to  teach  that  piety  and  firmness  in  obedience  to 
the  word  of  God  can  conquer  the  rage  of  the  most  powerful 
tyrants  ;  this  tendency  on  the  part  of  the  author  is  especially 
noticed  in  the  manner  in  which  every  circumstance  bearing 
on  this  bsson  is  depicted.  This,  however,  does  not  detract 
the  least  from  the  truth  and  genuineness  of  the  facts  which, 
by  the  plan  of  Providence,  seem  to  have  taken  place  for 
this  very  purpose.  The  demand  of  the  king  that  the  magi- 
cians should  tell  him  his  dream,  which  he  himself  had  for- 
gotten, and  that  failing  to  do  so  they  should  be  put  to  death  ; 


NOTES.  215 

the  decree  commanding  his  subjects  to  worship  the  idol  and 
to  pray  to  him,  and  other  foolisli  royal  acts,  almost  incred- 
ible to  us,  are  strange  indeed,  but  would  appear  less  strange 
if  all  the  records  of  the  acts  of  Eastern  tyrants  had  been  pre- 
served. It  has  been  contended  that  the  history  of  the  Syrian 
wars  with  Egypt,  and  the  suffering  of  the  Jews  through 
the  Syrian  invasion,  is  given  in  such  detail  as  could  only 
be  done  by  a  contemporar}'.  Ikit  apart  from  the  fact  that  a 
careful  study  of  the  visions  of  Daniel  will  convince  us  that 
we  have  here  only  a  faint  outline  of  the  Syrian  wars  and 
not  a  detailed  description,  it  must  not  be  forgotten  tliat  the 
author  only  reproduces  what  was  shown  to  him  by  the 
Omniscient  concerning  the  most  important  event  in  the 
history  of  the  nation — the  preservation  of  the  holy  religion 
througli  the  firmness  and  the  courage  of  a  few  faithful 
servants  of  God.  The  fulfilment  of  the  portion  of  the  vision 
which  referred  to  the  period  of  the  Maccabees  is  a  guarantee 
for  the  fulfilment  of  the  prophecies  yet  unrealised. 

In  like  manner  have  the  authenticity  and  the  integrity  of 
other  Biblical  books  been  rejected ;  the  method  and  the 
arguments  are  the  same ;  they  are  based  on  a  misunder- 
standing of  the  true  essence  of  prophecy  and  inspiration, 
and  originate  in  a  want  of  belief  in  the  Omniscience  and 
Omnipotence  of  the  Divine  Being. 

On  the  Ninth  Princi^ile,  p.  139. 

In  the  Pentateuch  there  is  not  the  slightest  indication  that 
the  laws  revealed  on  Sinai  might  be  superseded  by  a  future 
Revelation.  On  the  contrary,  we  meet  repeatedly  with  the 
phrases,  xhvi  npn,  "  an  everlasting  statute,"  d'pII?  nm^,  "  for 
everlasting  generations,"  and  similar  expressions,  which 
clearly  show  the  intention  of  Him  who  gave  the  laws  that 
these  should  last  for  ever.     The  Israelites  were  told  that 


2i6  NOTES. 

Prophets  -woiild  be  sent  to  them,  and  that  they  must  listen 
to  the  Prophets  and  obey  thera,  but  at  the  same  time  they 
were  commanded  to  put  to  death  a  prophet  who  would 
attempt  "  to  turn  them  aside  from  the  way  which  the  Lord 
commanded  them  to  walk  therein  "  (Deut.  xiii.  6).  Besides, 
the  Prophets  never  speak  of  a  new  Eevelation,  Avhich  would 
supersede  the  Torah.  When  Jeremiah  prophesies  about  a  new 
covenant,  the  context  teaches  the  reader  what  is  meant  by  the 
"  new  covenant."  He  speaks  of  the  future  and  final  restora- 
tion of  Israel  as  follows  :  "Behold,  days  will  come,  saith  the 
Lord,  when  I  shall  make  a  new  covenant  with  the  house  of 
Israel  and  with  the  house  of  Judah.  Kot  like  the  covenant 
which  I  made  with  their  fathers  on  the  day  when  I  took  hold 
of  their  hand  to  bring  them  out  of  the  land  of  Egypt,  be- 
cause they  broke  my  covenant,  and  I  rejected  them,  saith  the 
Lord.  But  this  is  the  covenant  which  I  shall  make  with  the 
house  of  Israel  after  those  days,  saith  the  Lord,  when  I  set 
my  Law  among  them  and  write  it  upon  their  heart :  both  I 
shall  be  to  them  a  God,  and  they  shall  be  to  me  a  people  " 
(Jer.  xxxi.  31-33).  The  Law  is  not  to  be  altered,  but  it 
will  dwell  more  firmly  in  the  heart  of  Israel :  the  deliverance 
from  Egypt  was  soon  forgotten,  but  the  future  deliverance 
will  plant  the  fear  and  love  of  God— here  called  the  Law  of 
God — in  the  hearts  of  the  people  in  such  a  manner  that  it 
Avill  take  a  deep  root  and  will  not  be  plucked  out  of  it  again. 
There  occur,  however,  in  Talmud  and  Midrash  sayings 
Avhich  seem  to  imply  a  future  alteration  of  the  Law ;  e.g., 
"  In  future  all  prayers  will  cease  except  that  of  thanksgiv- 
ing ;  in  future  all  sacrifices  will  cease  except  that  of  thanks- 
offering"  (Midrash  on  Ps.  c).  In  these  sayings  their  authors 
simply  intended  to  emphasise  the  duty  of  thanksgiving  ;  even 
in  the  state  of  physical  and  moral  perfection,  when  there 
will  be  a  perfect  absence  of  trouble  and  fear  and  a  perfect 
immunity  of  sin,  so  that  there  will  be  nothing  to  be  prayed 


NOTES.  217 

for,  nothing  to  be  atoned  for  through  sacrifice,  the  duty 
of  offering  prayers  and  sacrifices  of  thanksgiving  will  still 
remain  in  full  force.  Another  saying  of  this  kind  is  :  "  If 
all  festivals  were  to  cease,  Purim  will  never  be  forgotten  " 
(Piyyut  for  Sabbath  Zachor)  ;  that  is,  even  if  other  festivals 
should  be  neglected,  Purim  is  so  much  liked  that  it  will 
never  be  forgotten  by  the  Jews.  In  Talmud  Jerus.  IVregillah 
(i.  7)  we  read :  "  The  reading  from  the  Prophets  and  the 
Hagiographa  may  at  some  future  time  be  discontinued,  but 
the  reading  of  the  Pentateuch  will  never  be  abolished." 
The  idea  expressed  by  this  dictum  is,  that  the  warnings  or 
consolations  or  prayers  may  become  superfluous  by  the 
changed  condition  of  the  future,  but  the  laws  and  statutes 
of  the  Pentateuch  Avill  always  remain  in  force. 

In  sayings  of  this  kind  the  time  to  which  tlioy  are 
meant  to  apply  is  not  defined.  "  The  future  "  (mh  TTli?*?) 
may  mean  the  time  of  Messiah,  or  else  the  time  of  the 
Resurrection,  or  what  we  are  used  to  call  "the  future  life." 
As  in  the  above  quotation,  the  authors  aimed  at  inculcating 
some  moral  lesson  for  the  present  state  of  things,  and  not  at 
describing  the  results  of  philosophical  speculation  with  regard 
to  remote  times.  A  new  revelation,  or  the  abrogation  of  the 
Law  or  part  of  it,  is  nowhere  mentioned. 

On  the  contrary,  it  is  emphasised  in  the  Talmud  that  the 
Torah  has  been  given  to  Israel  in  its  entirety,  and  nothing 
has  been  reserved  for  a  second  revelation.  "  Tlie  Law  is  not 
any  longer  in  heaven,"  it  is  entirely  in  the  hands  of  man. 
The  only  authority  recognised  in  the  interpretation  of  the 
Law  was  that  based  on  knowledge,  tradition,  and  common 
sense.  Authority  claimed  for  this  purpose  on  the  ground 
of  supernatural  privilege,  prophecy,  hath-lcol  or  miracle,  was 
not  recognised  (Babyl.  Talm.  liaba  Metsia,  59^). 

Maimonides  (Mishneh  torah,  Hilchoth  Yesode  ha-torah 
ix.)  says  on  this  principle  as  follows: — "It  has  been  dis- 
tinctly stated   in  the  Torah   that  its  precepts   remain   in 


2i8  NOTES. 

force  for  ever  without  change,  diminution,  or  addition. 
Comp.  'The  word  which  I  command  you  that  you  must 
keep  to  do,  tliou  shalt  not  add  ought  unto  it  nor  take 
ought  away  from  it'  (Deut.  xiii.  i)  ;  'That  which  has  been 
revealed  for  us  and  for  our  children  for  ever  is  to  do  all  the 
words  of  this  Law'  (Ibid.  xxix.  28).  Hence  it  follows  that 
we  are  bound  for  ever  to  do  according  to  the  words  of  the 
Torah.  It  is  further  said,  '  An  everlasting  statute  for  all 
your  generations '  (Exod.  xii.  14,  17,  et  passim);  'It  is  not 
in  heaven '1  (Deut.  xxx.  12).  Hence  we  see  that  a  prophet 
cannot  reveal  any  new  law.  If,  tlierefore,  any  man,  whether 
an  Israelite  or  a  non-Israelite,  should  rise,  perform  signs  and 
miracles,  and  say  that  the  Lord  sent  him  to  add  one  precept 
or  to  abolish  one  of  the  Divine  precepts,  or  to  interpret  a 
precept  in  a  way  different  from  what  has  been  handed  down 
to  us  from  Moses,  or  assert  that  the  precepts  which  were 
given  to  the  Israelites  had  only  temporary  force  and  were 
not  permanent  laws  :  such  a  man  is  a  false  prophet,  because 
he  contradicts  the  prophecy  of  Moses.  The  mission  of  the 
Prophets  after  Moses  is  to  exhort  the  people  to  obey  the  Law 
of  Moses,  and  not  to  make  a  new  religion." — Comp.  "  The 
Guide,"  II.  xxxix. ;  and  Saadiah,  Emunoth  ve-deoth,  III. 
chap.  vii.  to  x. 

Eabbi  Jehudah  ha-Levi,  in  the  book  Cuzari,  seems  to 
have  a  different  view.  He  likewise  believes  in  the  perma- 
nent character  of  the  Torah,  but  he  modifies  his  view  in 
accordance  with  his  interpretation  of  the  words,  "  And  thou 
shalt  do  according  to  the  word  which  they — viz.,  the  priests 
and  the  judge  that  sliall  be  in  those  days — will  tell  thee 
from  that  place  which  the  Lord  shall  choose  ;  and  thou  shalt 
observe  to  do  according  to  all  that  they  will  teach  thee" 
(Deut.  xvii.   9,   10).     According    to  his   view,   these  words 

^  Maimonides  accepts  for  this  verse  the  Midrashic  explanation  : 
nothing  of  the  Torah  has  remained  in  heaven  for  later  revelations. 


NOTES.  219 

imply  that  from  time  to  time  prophets  or  inspired  men,  or 
the  liighest  autliority  of  tlie  nation,  whilst  the  SliechinaJt 
was  still  filling  the  Temple,  issued  laws  and  orders,  which 
had  legal  force,  and  all  were  bound  to  obey  them.  Eut  since 
the  destruction  of  the  Temple  there  has  not  been  any  man 
or  any  court  that  had  the  authority  to  make  new  permanent 
laws.  According  to  Maimonides,  however,  there  were  no 
additions  made  to  the  Torah ;  the  Rabbinical  laws  are  either 
temporary  regulations  or  served  as  a  means  of  ensuring  the 
strict  observance  of  the  Torah. 

Albo,  in  criticising  the  principles  of  faith  as  laid  down  by 
Maimonides,  objects  also  to  the  Ninth  Principle,  and  con- 
tends that  it  is  not  fundamental,  since  the  belief  in  the  Divine 
origin  of  the  Law  does  not  necessarily  imply  the  belief  in 
its  eternity.  But  although  the  possibility  of  a  second  revela- 
tion superseding  the  first  is  admitted  in  principle  or  theory, 
it  does  not  follow  that  such  revelation  has  in  reality  been 
made.  If  any  person  asserts  that  he  is  sent  by  God  to  repeal 
the  old  laws  or  to  alter  them,  he  must  prove  his  Divine 
mission  before  he  can  be  believed.  We  are  fully  convinced 
of  the  Divine  mission  of  Moses,  and  our  conviction  of  the 
Divine  mission  of  the  new  prophet  must  at  least  be  equally 
strong.  The  Divine  character  of  the  mission  of  j\Ioses  was 
revealed  to  the  Israelites  by  God  Himself;  and  only  such 
direct  revelation  could  satisfy  us  as  to  the  trustworthiness  of 
the  new  prophet  (Ikkarim  III.  xix.). 

R.  Abraham  ben  David,  in  liis  book  Emunah-ramah,,  finds 
in  various  passages  of  the  Bible  indications  that  the  Torah 
was  to  remain  in  force  permanently.  Thus  Isaiah  and  Zecha- 
riah,  speaking  of  the  remote  future,  refer  respectively  to 
the  celebration  of  Sabbath  and  New-moon,  and  to  the  cele- 
bration of  Sukkoth.  Again,  in  refuting  the  claims  of  Chris- 
tians on  behalf  of  Jesus,  and  of  Mohammedans  on  behalf  of 
Mohammed,  to  a  Divine  mission  to  substitute  a  new  covenant 


22a  NOTES. 

for  the  old  one,  Rabbi  Abraham  argues  tlius :  "  The  divinity 
of  the  old  covenant,  or  the  Torah,  has  been  admitted  by 
both  Jesus  and  Mohammed  ;  we  need  not  prove  it.  But  the 
Divine  authority  asserted  by  them  for  its  abrogation  or 
change  is  not  admitted  by  us ;  it  must  be  proved ;  and  since 
no  proof  has  been  given,  it  must  be  rejected  "  (Fifth  Principle, 
chap.  ii.). 

On  the  Tenth  Principle,  p.  148. 

It  is  noteworthy  that  this  principle  is  exceptionally  sup- 
ported by  a  Biblical  verse.  The  same  may  be  noticed  in  the 
book  Ciizari  (V.  xviii.),  in  the  enumeration  of  the  principles 
of  faith  according  to  the  methods  of  Mohammedan  Theologians 
{Medahherim)]  the  principle  of  God's  Omniscience  is  supported 
by  a  Biblical  verse,  only  with  this  difference,  that  in  the 
Cuzari  it  is  not  exactly  the  principle  of  God's  Omniscience, 
but  its  proof  derived  from  the  Creation,  that  is  supported  by  a 
quotation  from  Ps.  xciv.  The  reason  of  the  anomaly  is  this  : 
Some  of  the  opponents  of  this  principle  contend  that  it  would 
be  derogatory  to  the  greatness  of  God  if  He  were  to  take  notice 
of  the  doings  of  each  individual  being.  To  this  the  reply 
is  given  :  The  Psalmist,  who  was  far  from  saying  anything 
derogatory  of  God,  declared  that  God  knows  the  deeds  and 
the  thoughts  of  each  individual. 

The  problem  how  to  reconcile  God's  Prescience  and  Om- 
niscience with  man's  Free-will  has  of  course  engaged  the 
attention  of  all  Jewish  theologians  and  philosophers,  and, 
though  in  different  ways  and  Avords,  they  all  assume  that 
God's  knowledge  of  a  thing  is  by  no  means  the  cause  of  its 
existence.  (See  Cuzari,  V.  xx.  ;  "  Guide,"  III.  xx.  ;  Saadiah, 
Emunotli,  II.  chap,  ix.) 

Perhaps  a  reconciliation  is  not  necessary  at  all,  there 
being  no  conflict.  AVe  should  not  call  it  a  defect  in  God  if 
His  Omniscience  were  restricted  to  things  knowable ;  a  presci- 


NOTES.  221 

ence  of  things  to  "be  determined  by  man's  free-will  is  con- 
tradictory in  itself,  and  illogical,  and  to  say  that  God  would 
not  he  omniscient  if  He  did  not  know  them,  is  as  absurd  as 
to  say  that  God  would  not  be  omnipotent  if  He  could  not 
make  twice  two  to  be  three. 

On  the  Eleventh  Principle,  p.  150. 

The  subject  of  this  creed  has  been  the  main  thought  of  the 
lesson  preached  by  the  prophets,  of  the  hymns  sung  by  the 
psalmists,  and  of  the  narratives  Avritten  by  the  sacred  chroni- 
clers, as  has  been  illustrated  above  (p.  155)  by  Jiiblioal  quo- 
tations. To  tliese  may  be  added  (i.)  the  song  haazinu,  the 
professed  object  of  which  was  to  remind  the  Israelites  of  God's 
Justice  whenever  evil  should  befall  them.  The  Avords  whicli 
form  the  basis  of  the  song,  viz.,  "  The  Kock,  perfect  is  his 
Avork,"  &c.  (Dent,  xxxii.  4),  are  also  at  present  recited  at 
funeral  rites,  as  inn  \>'\'^'^i.  an  expression  of  our  firm  belief 
in  God's  Justice.  (2.)  The  prophet  who  laments  over  the 
fall  of  Jerusalem  declares  :  "  Out  of  the  moutl\  of  the  oNIost 
Higli  do  not  come  forth  the  evil  things  and  the  good  {i.e., 
man  causes  them  by  his  evil  or  good  deeds,  Avhich  are  the 
result  of  his  own  free  will  and  not  of  the  Will  of  God). 
Why  should  man  complain  (of  what  has  befallen  him),  being 
master  over  his  sins?"  (Lam.  iii.  38,  39). 

In  the  Talmud  the  doctrine  of  God's  Justice  is  expressed 
thus :  "  Thy  employer  is  trustworthy,  that  he  will  pay  tliee 
the  reward  of  thy  deeds"  (Aboth  ii.  21).  "The  shop  is 
open,  and  the  merchant  gives  on  credit,  and  all  Avho  like 
may  come  and  borrow ;  but  the  collectors  go  constantly 
about,  and  exact  payment  whether  the  debtor  is  Avilling  to 
pay  or  not,  for  they  have  something  to  rely  upon,  and  the 
judgment  is  a  just  judgment ;  and  everything  is  prepared 
for  a  banquet"  (Aboth  iii.  20).  "God  does  not  withhold 
ought  of  the  desert  of  any  creature"  (Pesachim,  iiSa). 


222  NOTES. 

It  is,  however,  emphatically  declared  in  the  Talmud  that 
the  reward  of  good  deeds  is  given  to  the  righteous  in  the 
future  life,  X3n  D^iy,  "  The  reward  for  obedience  to  the  Divine 
commandments  is  not  to  be  expected  in  this  world "  (Kid- 
dushin,  39^^).  "The  Law  says  Avith  reference  to  the  Divine 
precepts,  '  Which  I  command  thee  this  day  to  do  them ; ' 
hence  we  infer  that  their  performance  is  to  take  place  this 
day,  i.e.,  in  this  life,  but  their  reward  will  be  received  in 
the  future  life  "  (Abodah-zarah,  3a). 

"  Eabbi  Elazar  ha-kappar  used  to  say,  '  Those  that  have 
been  born  will  die ;  those  that  have  died  will  come  to  life 
again ;  those  that  have  come  to  life  again  will  be  judged.' 
He  said  so  in  order  that  he  himself  might  bear  in  mind, 
and  tell  others,  and  that  it  might  become  generally  known, 
that  God,  who  has  formed  and  created  man's  heart  and 
understands  all  his  doings,  is  the  Judge,  the  Witness,  and 
the  Prosecutor ;  He  before  whom  there  is  no  wrong,  no  for- 
getfulness,  no  partiality,  and  no  bribery,  will  one  day  judge. 
Let  thy  imagination  not  persuade  thee  that  the  grave  is  a 
refuge  for  thee.  For  without  tliy  consent  hast  thou  been 
born,  and  without  thy  consent  wilt  thou  die,  and  without  thy 
consent  thou  art  brought  to  life  again  to  account  for  thy  deeds 
before  the  King  of  kings,  blessed  be  He  "  (Aboth  iv.  22).    ' 

The  immediate  enjoyment  of  the  reward  is,  however,  not 
excluded.  We  read  in  the  Law,  "  Do  this  and  thy  days 
will  be  long ; "  and  the  Mishnah  teaches,  "  These  are  the 
good  acts,  the  fruit  of  which  man  enjoys  in  this  life,  whilst 
the  full  reward  awaits  him  in  the  world  to  come  :  honouring 
father  and  mother,  the  practice  of  charity,  peace-making  be- 
tween man  and  man,  and  above  all  the  study  of  the  Law  " 
(Mishnah,  Peali.  i.  i). 

The  faithful  Israelite  is  not  discouraged  at  the  sight  of  the 
successes  of  the  wicked ;  on  the  contrary,  he  believes  :  "  If 
to  those  who  break  the  Divine  laws  such  kindness  is  shown 


NOTES.  223 

by  God,  what  must  be  His  goodness  to  those  who  obey  Him  !  " 
(Midrash  Yalkut  on  Isaiah  viii.  i).  As  regards  the  troubles 
of  the  good,  our  Sages  teach  that  the  good  will  receive  their 
reward  "in  proportion  to  their  suffering."  Yet  pious  men 
do  not  seek  trouble  and  pain  merely  for  the  prospect  of 
future  compensation ;  on  the  contrary,  they  avail  themselves 
of  every  possible  means  to  secure  relief,  and  would  even 
renounce  in  their  agony  all  compensation  in  the  future  world, 
in  order  to  secure  release  from  pain  in  the  present  (Babyl. 
Talm.  Berachoth,  5«). 

As  the  life  of  Adam  and  Eve  in  the  garden  of  Eden  was 
free  from  care  and  trouble,  and  such  a  life  was  the  ideal  of 
human  hopes  and  wishes,  the  Garden-Eden,  py  jj  (lit.,  "the 
garden  of  pleasure"),  became  the  symbol  of  man's  happi- 
ness in  its  perfection,  such  as  will  fall  to  the  share  of  the 
good  and  the  righteous.  On  the  other  hand,  the  valley  of 
Hinnom,  near  Jerusalem,  was  a  place  of  horror  and  dis- 
gust; a  place  where  at  one  time  children  were  burnt  to 
Moloch,  and  where  later  the  refuse  of  the  city  was  cast. 
Dwelling  in  the  valley  of  Hinnom  (DUrT'j)  became  the  sym- 
bol of  the  punishment  to  be  inflicted  on  the  wicked.  Gan- 
eden  or  Paradise,  and  Gehinnom  or  Hell,  are  thus  mere 
figures  to  express  our  idea  of  the  existence  of  a  future  retri- 
bution, and  must  not  be  taken  literally  as  names  of  certain 
places. 

The  detailed  descriptions  of  Paradise  and  hell  as  given 
in  books  both  profane  and  religious  are  notliing  but  the 
offspring  of  man's  imagination. 

The  question  has  been  asked,  How  long  shall  the  punish- 
ment of  the  wicked  last  ?  Will  it  be  eternal  ?  and  if  so,  is  it 
compatible  with  God's  goodness?  This  and  similar  questions 
do  not  concern  us  in  the  least.  Our  task  is  to  do  what  the 
Lord  has  commanded  us  to  do,  and  to  trust,  as  regards  the 
future,  in  Him,  who  knows  best  to  combine  goodness  and 


224  NOTES. 

justice.     "VVo  must  here  bear  in  mind  that  "God's  thoughts 
are  not  ours." 

Equally  ignorant  are  we  as  to  the  cause  of  the  suffering  and 
of  the  death  of  each  individual ;  but  of  this  we  are  certain, 
if  death  is  punishment,  that  every  one  dies  for  his  own  sin. 
This  theory  is  so  frequently  repeated  in  the  Bible  that  it  is 
surprising  how  the  theory  of  Vicarious  Death  and  Vicarious 
Atonement  could  be  considered  as  harmonising  with  the 
teaching  of  the  Bible.  We  are  taught  that  God  visits  the 
iniquity  of  the  fathers  upon  the  children,  upon  the  third  and 
upon  the  fourth  generation  ;  but  at  the  same  time  we  are 
told  that  the  children  are  only  punished  if  they  repeat  the 
sins  of  their  fathers,  and  even  then  only  for  their  own  sins 
(comp.  p.  251).  It  has  been  asserted  that  Isaiah  in  chap, 
liii.  assumes  the  principle  of  vicarious  atonement.  That 
this  is  not  the  case  we  can  easily  see  if  we  turn  from  the 
Anglican  Version  to  the  original  Hebrew,  and  translate  it 
literally  and  in  accordance  wdth  the  context.  Isaiah,  in 
describing  the  future  glory  of  the  servant  of  the  Lord 
(=  Israel),  tells  us  what  those  people  who  oppress  Israel 
will  then  feel,  and  how  they  will  give  expression  to  their 
feeling  of  shame  and  regret,  saying,  "  Surely  he  hath  borne 
griefs  caused  by  us,  and  carried  sorrows  caused  by  us  :  yet 
we  did  esteem  him  stricken,  smitten  of  God,  and  afflicted. 
But  he  was  wounded  through  our  'transgressions,  bruised 
through  our  iniquities  "  (comp.  Family  Bible,  Anglican  Ver- 
sion, revised  by  M.  Friedlander).  Sin-offerings  were  brought, 
but  not  as  a  vicarious  atonement,  although  the  sinner  might 
well  have  felt  that  he  himself  deserved  the  treatment  en- 
dured by  the  sacrifice.  The  sin-offering  could  not  have  been 
a  vicarious  atonement,  as  it  was  not  offered  when  the  sin 
was  committed  knowingly.  Maimonides  explains  the  various 
laws  concerning  sin-offering  as  based  on  the  principle  that 
the  sacrifices  serve  as  the  means  of  reminding  us  more  vividly 


NOTES.  225 

of  our  sins,  and  of  their  evil  consequences  (The  Guide,  III, 
xlvi.  ;  comp.  Mic.  \i.  6-8). 

Oji  the  Tivel/th  rrinciple,  p.  155. 

A  belief  in  Messiah,  although  not  directly  tauglit,  is 
assumed  in  the  Mishnah  as  existing  ;  and  the  days  of  Messiah 
(iT'C^'Dn  niD')  are  spoken  of  as  an  event  that  admits  of  no 
doubt  (comp.  Mishnah  Berachoth,  i.  5).  That  this  belief 
Avas  in  reality  taught  by  the  religious  heads  of  the  Jewish 
community  is  clearly  shown  by  the  introduction  into  the 
Amidah  of  a  prayer  ^  for  the  speedy  appearance  of  Messiah. 

The  belief  in  the  coming  of  Messiah  in  some  future  time 
has  been,  like  the  belief  in  the  Unity  of  God,  the  source 
of  vexatious  disputations  between  Jews  and  non-dews. 
Mohammedans  and  Christians  tried  by  all  means  in  their 
power  to  convince  the  Jews  that  tlie  Anointed  whose  ad- 
vent was  prophesied  by  the  Prophets  had  already  appeared, 
the  former  pointing  to  Mohammed,  the  latter  to  Jesus, 
as  the  person  realising  those  predictions.  The  Biblical 
passages  adduced  as  evidence  prove  nothing  of  the  kind. 
E.g.,  the  three  names,  Sinai,  Seir,  and  Paran,  in  Deut. 
xxxiii.  2,  were  interpreted  by  Mohammedans  to  refer  to 
three  revelations  through  Moses,  Jesus,  and  Mohammed  ;  and 
Mohammed  being  mentioned  last,  his  revelation  was  to  be 
the  final  one.  It  is  not  necessary  to  contradict  such  reasoning; 
one  need  only  read  the  text  in  order  to  see  the  absurdity  of 
the  argument.  Christians  quoted  passages  from  Isaiah  -which 
had  no  reference  ■whatever  to  Messiah  in  evidence  of  the 
Messianity  of  Jesus.  Children  born  in  the  days  of  Isaiali 
(vii.  14  ;  viii,  18),  Avhose  names  had  reference  to  good  or  evil 
events  of  the  time,  were  Avrongly  interpreted  as  referring  to 
the  birth  of  Jesus  :    the  sufferings   and   final   relief  of   the 

1 1131?  nn  nov  nx- 


226  NOTES. 

servant  of  the  Lord,  that  is,  Israel  (chaps.  Hi.  and  liii.),  were 
applied  to  Jesus ;  the  Psalmist  who  sings  of  victories  which 
God  will  grant  to  David  (ex.)  is  made  to  declare  the  divinity 
of  Jesus. 

Commentators  and  philosophers  have  taken  notice  of  these 
arguments  and  refuted  them.  Of  the  many  works  on  these 
topics  a  few  may  be  named  :  "  Nitsachon  "  (pn^'j),  by  Lipp- 
man  Miihlhausen  (1400),  "Strengthening  of  Faith"  (pnn 
n3"i)DS),  by  Isaak  ben  Abraham  Troki  (1594),  "  Vindiciae 
Judseorum,"  by  Manasseh  ben  Israel  (1650). 

In  refuting  arguments  brought  by  Christians  and  Moham- 
medans against  Jews  and  Judaism,  and  rejecting  the  Mes- 
sianic claims  of  Jesus  and  Mohammed,  Jews  are  ready  to 
acknowledge  the  good  work  done  by  the  religions  founded 
by  these  men,  Christians  and  Mohammedans,  in  combating 
idolatry  and  spreading  civilisation.  Maimonides  says  as 
follows  : — "  The  King  Messiah  will  in  some  future  time 
come,  restore  the  kingdom  of  David  to  its  former  power, 
build  the  Temple,  bring  together  the  scattered  of  Israel, 
and  all  the  ancient  laws  will  again  be  in  force :  sacrifices 
will  be  offered,  and  years  of  release  and  Jubilees  will  be  kept 
as  prescribed  in  the  Law.  "Whoever  does  not  believe  in 
him,  or  does  not  hope  for  his  coming,  shows  a  want  of  faith 
not  only  in  the  Prophets,  but  also  in  the  Law ;  for  the  Law 
testifies  concerning  him  in  the  words  :  '  And  the  Lord  thy 
God  will  again  bring  back  thy  captivity,  show  mercy  to  thee, 
and  again  gather  thee,  &c.  If  thy  outcasts  be  at  the  end 
of  the  heavens,  thence  will  the  Lord  gather  thee,'  &c.,  '  and 
the  Lord  will  bring  thee,'  &c.  (Deut.  xxx.  3-5),  &c. 

"You  must  not  imagine  that  Messiah  must  prove  his 
Messianity  by  signs  and  miracles,  doing  something  unex- 
pected, bringing  the  dead  to  life,  or  similar  things,  &c.  The 
principal  thing  is  this  :  the  statutes  and  precepts  of  our  Torah 
remain  for  ever,  and  nothing  can  be  added  to  them  nor  ought 


NOTES.  .  227 

taken  from  them.  If,  therefore,  a  descendant  of  David 
earnestly  studies  the  Law,  observes,  like  David  his  father, 
what  the  Law,  both  the  written  and  the  oral,  enjoins,  causes 
all  Israelites  to  act  similarly,  exhorts  those  who  are  lax  in 
the  performance  of  the  commandments,  and  fights  the  wars  of 
the  Lord  :  he  may  possibly  be  Messiah.  If  he  succeeds,  builds 
the  Temple  in  its  place,  and  gathers  the  outcasts  of  Israel, 
he  is  certainly  Messiah ;  and  if  he  does  not  succeed,  or  is 
killed  in  war,  it  is  certain  that  he  is  not  the  Messiah  promised 
in  the  Law  ;  he  is  like  all  the  noble  and  good  kings  of  the 
House  of  David  who  have  died ;  and  the  Almighty  only 
caused  him  to  rise  in  order  to  try  us  thereby,  as  it  is  said, 
'  And  of  the  wise  some  will  stumble,  and  through  them  the 
people  will  be  tested,  purified,  and  made  white,  till  the  time 
of  the  end  comes ;  for  there  is  yet  a  vision  for  an  appointed 
time'  (Dan.  xi.  35).  Also  Jesus,  the  Nazarene,  who  ima- 
gined that  he  would  be  Messiah,  and  was  killed  through 
the  court  of  law,  is  alluded  to  in  the  Book  of  Daniel,  as  it 
is  said,  '  And  the  sons  of  the  transgressors  among  tliy  people 
will  rise,  in  order  to  establish  a  vision,  and  will  stumble ' 
(ibid.  xi.  14).  Can  there  be  a  greater  stumbling  than  this? 
All  the  prophets  said  that  Messiah  will  be  a  redeemer  and 
a  saviour  to  the  Israelites,  will  bring  together  their  outcasts, 
and  will  strengthen  their  obedience  to  the  Divine  precepts, 
but  he  (Jesus)  caused  destruction  by  the  sword  to  Israel, 
the  dispersion  of  those  left,  and  their  humiliation ;  he 
changed  the  LaAV,  and  misled  many  people  to  worship  a 
being  beside  God.  But  the  thoughts  of  the  Creator  of  the 
universe  cannot  be  understood  by  any  human  being,  for  the 
Avays  of  men  are  not  His  ways,  nor  their  thoughts  His 
tlioughts ;  for  all  the  events  connected  with  Jesus  and  with 
Mohammed,  that  rose  after  him,  served  only  to  pave  the  way 
for  the  King  Messiah,  who  will  reform  all  mankind  and  lead 
them  to  the  unanimous  service  of  God,  as  it  is  said,   'For 


2  28  NOTES. 

then  will  I  turn  to  the  peoples  a  pure  language,  that  all 
may  call  by  the  name  of  God,  and  serve  him  unanimously ' 
(Zeph.  iii.  9).  How  can  this  be  done  1  Almost  all  people 
have  through  them  —  Jesus  and  Mohammed  —  become  ac- 
quainted with  the  idea  of  Messiah,  with  the  words  of  the 
Torah  and  tlie  Divine  precepts.  Through  them  the  know- 
ledge of  the  Bible  spread  even  unto  the  remotest  islands  and 
unto  many  nations  '  uncircumcised  '  in  heart  and  uncircum- 
cised  in  flesh.  They  seek  to  justify  their  disobedience  to 
the  precepts  of  the  Torah ;  some  of  them  say  that  these 
precepts  are  Divine,  but  are  not  in  force  at  present,  and  were 
never  intended  to  be  permanent  laws ;  others  maintain  that 
they  must  not  be  taken  literally,  as  they  are  mere  symbols, 
the  meaning  of  which  has  already  been  explained  by  Mes- 
siah. But  when  the  true  King  Messiah  will  rise,  he  will 
prosper,  be  high  and  exalted  ;  all  will  then  at  once  know  that 
it  was  falsehood  what  their  fathers  have  inherited,  and  that 
their  prophets  and  their  teachers  have  misled  them. 

"  Do  not  imagine  that  in  the  days  of  Messiah  the  course  of 
Nature  will  be  altered  in  any  way,  or  that  any  new  creation 
will  take  place.  When  Isaiah  said,  '  The  wolf  will  dwell 
with  the  lamb,  and  the  leopard  will  lie  down  with  the  kid,' 
he  merely  employed  allegorical  and  figurative  speech ;  and 
he  meant  to  say  that  the  Israelite  Avill  dwell  in  safety 
together  with  his  enemy,  who  has  been  as  cruel  to  him  as 
Avolves  and  leopards,  &c.  ;  all  will  join  the  true  religion  ; 
they  will  not  rob,  nor  commit  any  violence,  &c.,  and  in  the 
days  of  Messiah  the  meaning  of  the  allegories  will  be  clearly 
known. 

"  Our  Sages  said  that  there  will  be  no  other  difference 
between  the  present  time  and  the  days  of  Messiah  but  the 
independence  of  the  people  of  Israel. 

"  It  appears  from  the  literal  meaning  of  the  prophecies  that 
the  Messianic  period  will  be  preceded  by  the  war  of  Gog  and 


NOTES.  229 

Magog,  and  that  before  the  war  a  prophet  will  appear  to  guide 
the  Israelites,  and  to  direct  their  hearts  to  repentance.  Comp. 
'Behold,  I  will  send  you  Elijah,'^  &c.  (j\ral.  iii.  23).  Elijali 
Avill  not  come  to  declare  unclean  that  which  is  clean,  or 
clean  that  which  is  unclean ;  nor  to  disqualify  persons  who 
are  believed  to  be  qualilied  for  joining  the  congregation  of 
the  Lord,  or  to  qualify  persons  who  are  believed  to  be  dis- 
qualified ;  but  he  will  come  to  establish  peace  on  earth,  as 
it  is  said,  *He  shall  turn  the  heart  of  the  fathers  to  the 
children'-  (Ibid.  24). 

"  Some  of  our  Sages  believe  that  Elijah  will  come  before 
Messiah,  but  of  all  these  and  similar  things  no  man  knows 
how  they  will  come  to  pass;  they  are  unexplained  in  the 
Prophets,  and  our  Sages  have  no  tradition  about  them ;  they 
only  adopt  what  they  believe  to  be  the  meaning  of  the 
Biblical  passages  which  refer  to  this  subject.  Hence  the 
difference  of  opinion.  At  all  events,  the  order  and  the  detail 
of  these  events  do  not  form  an  essential  portion  of  our  creed  ; 
we  must  not  take  too  much  notice  of  Agadoth  and  Midra- 
shim  speaking  on  these  and  similar  themes.  We  must  not 
attribute  great  importance  to  them,  for  they  do  not  lead  to 
the  fear  or  the  love  of  God.  We  must  also  abstain  from 
calculating  the  time  of  the  coming  of  Messiah,  &c.  All  wo 
have  to  do  is  to  believe  in  the  coming  of  Messiah,  to  wait 
and  hope. 

"It  is  not  because  they  desired  to  have  dominion  over  all 
lands  and  nations,  and  be  honoured  by  all  people,  or  because 
they  desired  to  have  plenty  to  eat  and  drink,  and  other 
pleasures,  that  the  wise  men  and  the  prophets  longed  for 
the  Messianic  days,  but  because  thdj  would  then  be  at 
leisure   to  study   the   Law  and  its  teaching  without   l)eing 

^  He  is  probably  called  Elijah  on  account  of  the  zeal  which  he  will 
display  in  bringing  men  back  to  tlie  service  of  God. 
^  Mishnah  Eduyoth  viii.  7. 


230  NOTES. 

interrupted  by  any  oppressor,  and  would  thus  make  them- 
selves worthy  of  the  life  in  the  world  to  come  (xan  nb)V)- 

"  There  will  not  be  in  those  days  any  famine,  war,  jealousy, 
or  quarrel,  because  the  good  things  will  be  in  plenty,  and  even 
luxuries  will  be  found  everywhere  ;  all  will  only  busy  them- 
selves with  trying  to  know  the  Lord.  Therefore  the  Israelites 
will  be  great  sages,  kntwing  things  which  are  at  present 
hidden ;  they  will  obtain  a  knowledge  of  their  Creator  as 
far  as  is  possible  by  human  understanding ;  '  For  the  earth 
is  full  with  the  knowledge  of  the  Lord  as  the  waters  that 
cover  the  sea ' "  (Maim.,  Mishneh-torah  xiv.  ;  Hilchoth 
Melachim  xi.-xii.). 

The  war  of  Gog  and  Magog  against  the  Holy  Land  referred 
to  by  Maimonides  is  described  by  the  prophet  Ezekiel  (chaps, 
xxxviii.,  xxxix.)  as  preceding  the  complete  restoration  of 
Israel.  Saadiah  has  a  different  view  of  this  war.  The 
punishment  of  Israel  in  exile  is  to  come  to  an  end  at  a  fixed 
time,  or  as  soon  as  the  Israelites  by  earnest  and  thorough 
repentance  show  themselves  worthy  of  Divine  grace.  In 
that  case  no  war  of  Gog  and  Magog  will  be  waged  against 
them.  But  if  the  Israelites  should  allow  the  approach  of 
the  time  fixed  for  the  redemption  without  having  given 
signs  of  repentance  and  improvement,  great  troubles  will 
be  brought  upon  them,  which  will  forcibly  remind  them  of 
the  necessity  of  returning  to  God ;  they  will  come  together 
under  a  leader,  Messiah  ben  Joseph,  under  whose  leadership 
they  Avill  fight  against  their  enemies,  but  will  be  beaten, 
and  Messiah  ben  Joseph  himself  will  be  killed.  Then 
Messiah  ben  David  will  appear,  and  with  him  the  period 
of  glory,  of  permanent  peace  and  prosperity,  and  of  the 
worship  of  the  One  God  by  all  nations.  The  idea  of  a 
double  Messiah,  a  warlike  and  a  peaceful,  an  unsuccessful 
and  a  successful,  is  not  expressed  in  any  of  the  prophecies  in 
the  Bible,  and  seems  to  be  of  a  later  origin.     Maimonides  is 


NOTES.  231 

silent  about  Messiah  ben  Joseph ;  so  also  Albo  in  Iklcarim, 
and  Rabbi  Jehudah  lia-levi  in  the  book  Cuzari.  Albo 
discusses  the  question  about  Messiah  in  chap.  xlii.  of  the 
fourth  section  of  Ikkarim.  He  refutes  the  opinion  of  those 
■who  maintain  that  the  Messianic  prophecies  refer  to  the 
reign  of  Hezekiah  or  to  the  restoration  of  Israel  under 
Zerubbabel  and  Ezra.  The  condition  of  the  Israelites  in  the 
reign  of  Hezekiah  did  not  resemble  the  state  of  prosperity 
and  glory  and  universal  peace  as  depicted  in  the  Messianic  • 
prophecies  ;  the  fulfilment  of  these  prophecies  is  still  hoped 
for,  and  our  hope  is  founded  on  our  belief  in  the  truthful- 
ness of  the  "Word  of  God,  (Comp.  Saadiah,  Em.  ve-deoth, 
VIII.  iii.). 

On  the  Thirteenth  Principle,  p.  163. 

The  belief  in  the  Resurrection  of  the  Dead  has  been 
formulated  in  the  Mishnah  (Sanhedrin  x.  i)  as  an  essential 
creed  :  "  He  Avho  says  that  the  belief  in  the  Resurrection  of 
the  Dead  is  not  implied  in  the  Law  has  no  portion  in  the 
world  to  come."  Tiiere  is  no  doubt  that  the  Almighty  has 
the  power  to  give  fresh  life  to  the  body  in  which  life  has 
been  extinct.  We  set  no  limits  to  the  Omnipotence  of  God. 
But  it  is  different  if  we  ask  whether  it  is  the  Will  of  God 
to  give  new  life  to  the  dust  and  ashes  of  the  dead,  and  to 
restore  the  soul  to  the  dead  body  in  which  it  has  dwelt 
before.  Maimonides  substitutes  the  Immortality  of  the 
Soul  for  the  Resurrection  of  the  Dead,  and  has  been  vehe- 
mently attacked  by  those  who  had  a  diiferent  opinion.  He 
defended  his  view  in  an  essay  called  DTlJDn  n^^nn  "lOSD, 
"  On  the  Resurrection  of  the  Dead,"  in  which  he  attempts 
to  prove  that  the  Agadoth  and  Midrashim  in  depicting 
the  future  life  employed  figurative  language,  but  in  reality 
meant  only  a  spiritual  life,  without  any  material  enjoyment. 

Saadiah  defends  the  literal  interpretation  of  "  Resurrection 


-32  NOTES. 

of  the  Dead"  {Emunoth  ve-deoth,  VII.),  and  believes  that 
the  event  will  take  place  at  the  time  of  the  final  redemption 
(n:nnx  n^isj).  Rabbi  Jehudah  ha-levi,  in  Ciizari,  though 
mentioning  this  principle,  seems  to  understand  it  as  identical 
with  the  Immortality  of  the  Soul.  The  king,  "VTho  "was  at 
first  surprised  at  the  scarcity  of  references  to  the  future  life  in 
our  prayers,  confessed  his  complete  satisfaction,  after  having 
heard  the  exposition  of  our  prayers  by  the  Jewish  scholar. 
■  "  I  see,"  he  says,  "  that  I  w^as  in  error ;  those  who  pray  to 
have  the  Divine  light  vouchsafed  to  them  during  lifetime, 
who  long  to  see  it  with  their  own  eyes,  and  to  attain  to  the 
degree  of  prophecy,  they  certainly  seek  something  better  even 
than  the  future  life,  and  they  who  attain  it  may  be  sure  that 
they  will  also  enjoy  the  blessing  of  the  future  life ;  for  if 
the  soul  of  a  man,  troubled  by  the  wants  of  the  body,  irf 
nevertheless  cleaving  to  the  Divine  glory,  how  much  more 
may  this  be  the  case  after  the  soul  has  left  this  body  ! " 
(III.  20). 


II. 

OUR    DUTIES. 


Introduction. 

The  king,  in  Rabbi  Jehudali  ha-levi's  Cazari,  anxious 
to  lead  a  good  and  religious  life,  was  told  by  an  angel 
who  appeared  to  him  in  a  dream  that  his  lieart  was 
good,  but  his  deeds  were  not  acceptable.  The  purity 
and  goodness  of  our  heart  certainly  ennobles  our  deeds 
and  gives  them  the  stamp  of  sincerity  and  holiness, 
though  they  may  not  be  marked  by  absolute  perfec- 
tion. But  an  inner  voice,  our  conscience,  does  not 
allow  us  to  be  content  with  the  goodness  of  the 
heart ;  we  feel  the  necessity  of  seeking  also  perfection 
of  words  and  deeds.  We  wish  not  only  our  heart 
but  also  our  entire  self  to  be  good,  so  that  our  inner 
life  and  outer  life,  our  feeling  and  thinking,  our  speak- 
ing and  doing,  may  combine  into  one  harmonious 
whole,  which  comes  as  near  perfection  as  possible. 

It  has  been  shown  above  that  one  of  the  principles 
of  faith  which  we  confess  is  our  belief  in  the  Divine 
origin  of  the  Torah,  and  in  the  obligatory  character  of 
its  precepts.  When  we  pray  to  God  to  make  us  un- 
derstand the  Torah  we  are  not  content  with  the  mere 
knowledge  of  the  words  of  the  Law  ;  we  also  seek  God's 
assistance  to  enable   us  "  to  obey,  to  observe,  and  to 


234  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

perform  "  all  that  He  has  commanded  us.  Man's  nature 
is  not  the  same  in  all  individuals ;  one  person  finds 
special  delight  in  the  performance  of  this  duty,  an- 
other in  the  performance  of  that.  Every  one  likes  to 
devote  his  energies  to  that  work  for  which  he  considers 
himself  best  qualified,  and  which  promises  to  yield  the 
best  fruit.  But  this  individual  liking  or  aptitude  must 
not  mislead  us  into  thinking  that  the  Law  is  divided 
into  important  and  unimportant  precepts.  So  far  as 
they  represent  the  Will  of  the  Almighty  they  are  all 
alike,  and  equally  demand  our  attention  and  our  obe- 
dience. Thus  the  qiqc*  nia^O  b'W  ri^3p/  our  unconditional 
submission  to  the  Will  of  the  Almighty  as  our  King,  is 
followed  in  our  Service  by  ni^'O  hjJ  n^3p/  the  acknowledg- 
ment of  the  binding  force  of  His  precepts. 

There  are  persons  who  question  the  wisdom  and 
usefulness  of  the  precepts ;  they  call  it  legalism,  and 
are  opposed  to  the  tendency  of  subjecting  every  act  of 
ours  to  the  control  of  the  Law.  They  argue  that  legalism 
tends  to  weaken  our  regard  for  the  Law,  and  trains 
hypocrites  rather  than  true  servants  of  the  Lord.  It 
is  a  bold  assertion,  but  one  that  rests  on  imagination 
and  prejudice.  Is  it  possible  that  such  a  constant  re- 
minder of  God's  presence  as  the  Divine  precepts  supply 
should  not  have  a  beneficent  influence  over  us,  by  mak- 
ing us  feel  encouraged  by  His  presence  when  we  are 
engaged  in  a  good  cause,  and  discouraged  when  we  are 
about  to  do  wrong  ?      If  persons  are  found  who  are 

^  Lit. ,  "  The  accepting  of  the  yoke  of  the  heaven's  dominion  ;  "  "The 
accepting  of  the  3'oke  of  the  precepts."  The  expression  "yoke"  is 
here  by  no  means  derogatory.  It  simply  indicates  the  duty  which  in 
the  one  case  "the  dominion  of  heaven,"  and  in  the  other  case  "the 
Divine  precepts,"  impose  upon  us. 


OUR  DUTIES.  235 

devout  worshippers  at  one  time  and  criminals  at  another, 
it  only  shows  human  weakness  in  the  moment  of  trial  in 
spite  of  good  resolves  and  genuine  devotion  ;  and  were 
it  not  for  the  effect  of  such  devotion,  the  number  of 
crimes  would  probably  be  far  greater. 

A  truly  pious  man  will  never  imagine  that  he  may 
freely  transgress  one  set  of  the  precepts,  if  ho  strictly 
obeys  another  set;  that  he  may,  c.r/.,  wrong  his  neigh- 
bour, and  compensate  for  his  sins  by  regular  attendance 
at  the  place  of  worship,  or  by  a  strict  observance  of  the 
dietary  laws,  or  the  laws  of  Sabbath  and  Festivals;  or 
that  he  may  freely  break  the  latter,  if  only  he  is 
honest,  just,  and  charitable.  The  precepts  have  all  the 
same  Divine  origin ;  the  all-wise  and  all-kind  God, 
who  has  commanded  us  to  walk  in  the  way  of  justice 
and  righteousness,  has  also  ordained  the  Sabbath,  given 
the  dietary  laws,  and  established  the  sacrificial  sei'vice. 
He  who  selects  some  of  the  precepts  and  rejects  the 
rest  substitutes  his  own  authority  for  that  of  the 
Almighty,  and  places  his  own  wisdom  above  the  wisdom 
of  Him  who  gave  us  the  Law. 

"  Be  as  zealous  in  the  performance  of  an  unimportant 
precept  as  of  an  important  one,"  is  one  of  the  maxims 
tauofht  in  the  "  Savinofs  of  the  Fathers."  A  difference 
between  precept  and  precept  is  here  admitted,  but  only 
in  so  far  as  they  seem  to  us  more  or  less  important,  with 
regard  to  the  good  which  their  observance  produces 
or  the  evil  which  is  caused  by  their  neglect.  In  case  of 
a  conflict  of  two  duties  we  give  the  preference  to  that 
which  seems  to  us  more  important.  In  times  of  religious 
persecution  the  question  frequently  arose  how  far  resist- 
ance was  necessary,  and  how  far  religious  practice  might 


236  THE  JE  WISH  RELIGION, 

yield  to  physical  force.  The  rule  has  been  laid  down,  that 
when  our  life  is  threatened  we  may  transgress  any  pre- 
cept ;  but  we  must  not  allow  ourselves,  under  any  cir- 
cumstances, to  be  forced  to  idolatry.,  murder,  or  adultery 
(□••on  nysim  nviy  ^^bi  mr  mny) ;  we  must  prefer  death 
to  committing  any  of  these  sins.  But  in  times  of 
trouble  and  persecution  the  spirit  of  resistance  is  as  a 
rule  too  strong  to  be  kept  within  the  strict  lines  of 
demarcation,  and  life  is  willingly  and  heroically  sacri- 
ficed for  any  religious  duty.  This  is  not  surprising,  for 
every  i-eligious  act  which  is  chosen  by  the  enemy  as  a 
test  to  prove  the  faithfulness  or  the  faithlessness  of 
tlie  persecuted  sect  to  its  own  religion,  receives  thereby 
the  stamp  of  great  importance. 

Similar  questions  are  also  asked  in  times  of  peace, 
when  some  of  our  brethren  reject  the  authority  of  the 
Oral  Law,  while  others  refuse  even  to  recognise  the 
authority  of  the  Written  Law,  when  some  set  aside  the 
Divine  precepts  out  of  convenience,  and  others  from  prin- 
ciple, and  still  others  from  ignorance  ;  when  some  limit 
their  Judaism  to  the  nominal  membership  of  the  Jewish 
race,  and  others  to  a  negation  of  other  creeds.  Are  all 
these  Jews  ?  Whatever  the  answer  to  this  question  may 
be  from  a  practical,  political,  social,  and  communal  point 
of  view,  the  fact  is  that  they  are  Jews.  They  may  have 
forfeited  certain  privileges,  they  may  be  disqualified  for 
certain  religions  offices,  they  may  be  dangerous  to  the 
religious  peace  of  our  family  or  community :  they  are 
notwithstanding  Jews,  and  are  bound  to  live  in  accord- 
ance with  the  Law  which  the  Almighty  has  given  to 
the  Jews  and  for  the  Jews.  Our  Sages  say :  '•a  bv  ^X 
Kin  bir\u''  Nt3ntJ>,  "Although  a  man  may  have  sinned,  he 


OUR  DUTIES.  227 

is  an  Israelite  still."  No  theologian,  Rabbi,  or  teacher, 
or  Beth-din,  or  Sanhedriu,  has  the  power  of  granting  ab- 
solution, or  telling  those  who  break  or  reject  any  portion 
of  the  Divine  precepts  that  they  are  not  doing  wrong. 
No  human  being  has  the  authority  to  abrogate  laws  re- 
vealed by  God.  Why  then,  some  may  ask,  do  prophets 
and  moralists,  the  Rabbis  of  the  Talmud  not  excluded, 
single  out  ethical  principles  for  special  recommendation 
to  their  fellow-men,  generally  observing  silence  about  the 
rest  of  the  Divine  commands  ?  The  answer  is  simple. 
The  ethical  principles  and  the  Divine  commandments 
embodying  them  are  different  in  kind  from  the  rest  of 
the  commandments.  The  latter  are  distinct,  well  de- 
fined, and  the  punishment  for  their  transgression  is  fixed ; 
they  are  unchangeable,  and  not  capable  of  expansion. 

The  dietaiy  laws,  e.g.,  are  exactly  the  same  now  as 
they  were  in  the  days  of  Moses.  So  also  the  laws 
concerning  Sabbath.  What  was  then  prohibited  by 
the  Sabbath  is  prohibited  still.  The  ethical  principles, 
however,  are  capable  of  development,  and  the  moral 
standard  rises  with  the  progress  of  civilisation.  Hence 
the  constant  dissatisfaction  of  prophets,  preachers,  and 
teachers  with  the  moral  principles  of  their  followers. 
They  have  a  higher  standard  of  morality,  and  strive  to 
raise  the  moral  consciousness  of  their  generations  to 
their  own  height. 

It  is,  therefore,  no  wonder  that  the  prophet  Isaiah 
exhorts  his  brethren :  "  Wash  you,  make  you  clean  ; 
put  away  the  evil  of  your  doings  from  before  mine 
eyes;  cease  to  do  evil:  learn  to  do  well:  seek  judg- 
ment, relieve  the  oppressed,  judge  the  fatherless,  plead 
for  the  widow"  (i.   i6,  17).      "He  that  walketh  right- 


238  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

eously,  and  speaketh  uprightly ;  he  that  despiseth  the 
gain  of  oppressions,  that  shaketh  his  hands  from  holding 
of  bribes,  that  stoppeth  his  ears  from  hearing  of  blood, 
and  shutteth  his  eyes  from  looking  upon  evil,  he  shall 
dwell  on  high,"  &c.  (Ihid.  xxxiii.  15,  1 6).  In  the 
same  sense  the  virtuous  man  is  described  by  all  pro- 
phets ;  also  in  Ps.  xv.  and  Ps.  xxiv. 

K.  Akiba  says  :  "  '  Thou  shalt  love  thy  neighbour  as 
thyself  (Lev.  xix.  18)  is  an  important  principle  in  the 
Torah,"  but  at  the  same  time  he  shows  what  im- 
portance he  ascribes  to  all  other  principles  and  pre- 
cepts of  the  Law  by  most  carefully  examining  the 
details  of  every  one  of  them  alike.  The  great  Hillel 
told  the  Gentile  who  desired  to  become  a  Jew :  "  '  Do 
not  to  thy  neighbour  what  is  hateful  to  you  ; '  this  is 
our  whole  religion ;  "  but  that  he  did  not  ignore  the 
remainder  of  the  Torah,  or  consider  it  as  not  essential, 
is  proved  by  the  additional  words :  "  The  rest  is  its 
explanation ;  go  and  learn  "  {Bahyl.  Talmud,  Sabbath, 
3  I  a).  Hillel  only  gave  the  proselyte  a  lesson  which 
would  lead  him  to  obey  all  the  words  of  the  Almighty. 

Eabbi  Simlai  (Yalkut  on  Micah  vi.  8)  said  :  "  Six 
hundred  and  thirteen  commandments  were  oriven  to 
Moses  on  Mount  Sinai ;  David  reduced  them  to  eleven 
(Ps.  XV.)  ;  Isaiah  reduced  them  to  six  (xxxiii.  16,  17); 
Micah  (vi.  8)  to  three  ;  then  Isaiah  reduced  them  again 
to  two  (Ivi.  i);  and  Habakkuk  to  one — Faith  (ii.  4)." 
This  Rabbi  does  certainly  not  mean  to  say  that  Isaiah 
cancelled  some  of  the  eleven  virtues  mentioned  by 
David,  or  that  Habakkuk  only  demanded  Faith,  and 
did  not  consider  it  essential  that  man  should  be 
righteous,  truthful,  &c.      Rabbi  Simlai  intended  only 


I 


OUR  DUTIES.  239 

to  point  out  that  by  training  ourselves  in  the  practice 
of  certain  virtues,  the  fulfilment  of  all  Divine  precepts 
will  be  greatly  facilitated. 

All  the  commandments  of  the  holy  Torah  are  equally 
Divine.  Laws  concerning  justice  and  humanity,  and 
laws  concerning  Sabbath  and  Holydays,  are  equally  in- 
troduced by  the  declaration,  "  And  the  Lord  spake  unto 
Moses,  saying."  The  commandments,  "  Thou  shalt  love 
thy  neighbour  as  thyself,"  and  "  A  garment  of  diverse 
kinds,  of  linen  and  wool,  shall  not  come  upon  thee," 
stand  side  by  side  in  the  same  paragraph.  The 
equality  of  all  the  precepts  as  the  expression  of  the 
Will  of  the  Almighty  is  clearly  set  forth  in  the  Law, 
in  the  frequent  exhortations  that  the  Israelites  should 
obey  all  the  precepts,  whatever  their  nature  may  be, 
whether  they  be  of  the  class  of  "  statutes  "  or  of  "judg- 
ments," or  of  any  other  class  of  Divine  commands. 
(Comp.  Exod.  XV.  25,26;  Lev.  xxvi.  i  5,  43  ;  Num.  xv. 
39,  40  ;  Deut.  iv.  i,  5,  8,  &c.) 

As  to  the  various  terms  employed  in  the  Pentateuch 
to  designate  the  Divine  precepts  :  words  (D''"iai),  com- 
mandments (nilVJD),  statutes  (D"'pn),  judgments  (n''L3SC^*?D), 
and  laws  (rrnin),  they  may  be  considered  as  syno- 
nyms signifying  similar  things.  But  even  synonyms 
are  as  a  rule  distinguished  from  each  other  by  a 
certain  variation  in  their  meaning,  especially  when  the 
terms  occur  in  one  and  the  same  sentence.  A  defini- 
tion of  these  terms  is  not  given  in  the  Pentateuch  or 
in  the  Bible ;  from  the  context,  however,  in  which 
they  occur  the  following  distinction  may  be  drawn  : — 

pn  or  npn,  "  statute,"  is  applied  to  those  laws  which 
are  absolute  and  do  not  depend  on  certain  conditions, 


240  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

^Yllilst  misJipat,  "judgment,"  is  a  law  the  performance 
of  which  varies  according  to  circumstances.  Thus  the 
Paschal  sacrifice  is  called  chuJcJcah,  and  must  absolutely 
be  performed,  whilst  the  civil  laws  concerning  slaves, 
damages,  &c.,  are  mishpatim,  because  cases  of  slavery 
or  damages  need  not  occur,  and  the  respective  precepts 
are  then  not  carried  into  effect.  In  a  similar  manner 
Jewish  theologians  divide  the  Divine  precepts  into 
nvyn'^>  mvo  and  T\'\h'2V  niVO  precepts  which  our  duty 
of  obedience  to  God  makes  us  perform,  and  precepts 
which,  without  distinct  Divine  command,  our  own 
reason  would  impel  us  to  do. — The  other  terms,  mits- 
rah,  "commandment,"  and  mishmcrdh,  "charge,"  are 
used  in  a  general  sense,  the  former  in  reference  to  the 
Giver  of  the  law,  and  the  latter  in  reference  to  those 
to  whom  it  is  addressed. 

The  division  of  the  precepts  into  nViJOt:'  and  nv^Jt^ 
is  a  vague  one,  and  the  line  of  demarcation  will  be 
moved  farther  to  the  one  side  or  the  other,  according 
to  the  judgment  exercised  by  the  interpreter.  Of 
greater  importance  is  the  division  into  positive  and 
negative  precepts,  commandments,  and  prohibitions, 
ntry  niVO  and  nt^^yn  n^  ni^'JO-  The  prohibitions  are  of 
two  kinds :  such  as  admit  of  amends  being  made 
for  their  transgression  and  such  as  do  not  admit: 
n-L^j;  Dip  nn  Er^tr,  and  n^^i  Dip  nn  ^^c^•• 

The  number  of  the  commandments  is,  according  to 
Eabbi  Simlai,  6 1  3  (j''"-in),  and  in  some  editions  of  the 
Pentateuch  the  number  of  each  commandment  has 
been  noted  in  the  margin.  Rabbi  Moses  ben  Maimon, 
in  the  introduction  to  his  Mishneh-torah,  enumerates 
the  6 1  3  mitsvoih.      They  are  also  contained  in  liturgical 


OUR  DUTIES.  241 

compositions,  called  minrx  "  exhortations,"  or  "  pre- 
cepts," such  as  are  met  with  in  the  Machzor  for  the 
Feast  of  Weeks. 

Maimonides,  in  "  The  Guide  "  as  well  as  in  Mishneh- 
torah,  treats  of  the  precepts  of  the  Torah  under  the 
following  fourteen  heads  :  ( i )  Fundamental  principles 
of  our  f  aith ;  ^  (2)  Divine  worship;  (3)  Sabbath  and 
festivals  ;  (4)  Marriages ;  ( 5 )  Forbidden  food  and  for- 
bidden relations  of  the  sexes  ;  (6)  Vows  ;  (7)  Agricul- 
ture ;  (8)  The  Temple  and  the  regular  sacrificial  ser- 
vice ;  (9)  Occasional  sacrifices ;  (10)  Cleanness  and 
uncleanness  ;  ( i  i )  Compensation  for  damages ;  (12) 
Transfer  of  property  ;  (13)  Contracts  ;  (14)  Adminis- 
tration of  the  law. 

Another  theologian,  Rabbenu  Jakob,  divided  the 
code  of  laws  into  four  sections :  ( i )  Divine  worship, 
Sabbath,  festivals,  and  fasts;  (2)  Things  forbidden 
and  things  permitted  in  satisfying  our  bodily  desires  ; 
(3)   Marriages;   (4)   Civil  laws. 

The  latter  work  was  recast  by  Rabbi  Joseph  Caro, 

^  Hebrew  titles  of  books  are  often  fanciful  names,  which  more  or 
less  distinctly  imply  either  the  nature  or  contents  of  the  books,  or  the 
name  of  their  authors.  The  Hebrew  names  for  the  fourteen  books  of 
Mishneh-torah  are  as  follows:  (i)  yilO  "Knowledge;"  (2)  HDnX 
"Love;"  (3)  D^Jm  "Seasons;"  (4)  D"'t^'J  "Women;"  (5)  HCmp 
"  Sanctification ; "  (6)  nx^DH  "Distinction;"  (7)  Q*j;-)t  "Seeds;" 
(8)  muy  "Service;"  (9)  m31"ip  "Sacrifices;"  (10)  mntO  "Purity;" 
(II)  P)TT3  "Damages;"  (12)  ]'':p  "Acquisition;"  (13)  D^OBt^•D 
"Disputes  ;"  (14)  D''DQl£i'  "Judges."  Rabbenu  Jakob  calls  his  work 
D''*11tD  nyniX  "Four  Rows,"  a  name  borrowed  from  Exod.  xxviii,  17. 
The  names  of  the  four  parts  are:  D"'^n  mS  "Path  of  Life"  (Ps.  xvi. 
II);  nyT  mi"'  "Teacher  of  knowledge"  (Isa.  xxviii.  9)  ;  "Ityn  pN 
"Stone  of  Help"  (i  Sam.  vii.  12,  and  Gen,  ii.  18),  and  DZi^yD  lE^'H 
"Breastplate  of  Judgment"  (Exod.  xxviii.  15). 

Q 


242  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

and  in  the  new  form,  with  the  new  title  Shulchan 
Aruch,  it  has  become  the  standard  work  of  Jewish  law 
and  life,  and  its  authority  has  been  recognised  and 
upheld  by  Jews  in  the  East  and  the  West.  Annota- 
tions (ninjn)  were  added  by  Eabbi  Moses  Isserles,  but 
his  opinion,  when  differing  from  that  of  Rabbi  Joseph 
Caro,  was  only  accepted  by  the  Polish  and  German 
Congregations,  not  by  the  Sephardim. 

Rabbi  Joseph  Caro,  Rabbenu  Jakob,  and  Maimonides 
appear,  in  their  respective  codes,  not  as  legislators  but 
as  compilers.  The  Torah  and  the  Talmud  were  the 
sources  from  which  they  all  drew  their  laws.  But 
laws,  minhagim  or  customs,  and  institutions  (niJpn) 
of  a  post-Talmudic  date  were  not  neglected.  Ques- 
tions arising  in  the  course  of  time,  through  new  and 
changed  conditions  of  life,  are,  as  a  rule,  discussed  and 
decided  in  notes  and  commentaries  on  the  Shulchan 
Aruch.  There  are  also  numerous  special  works  on 
such  occasional  questions  ;  they  are  called  "  Responsa  " 
(nniK^n  "  Answers,"  or  nUlCTil  m^StJ'  "  Questions  and 
Answers '"),  and  the  importance  attributed  to  them 
varies  according  to  the  reputation  of  the  respective 
authors. 

What  is  the  object  of  the  Divine  laws  ?  This  is  a 
question  that  naturally  rises  in  the  minds  of  those  to 
whom  they  are  addressed.  But  the  question  has  been 
anticipated  by  Him  "  who  knoweth  the  thoughts  of  the 
sons  of  man,"  and  the  answer  is  found  in  clear  and 
distinct  words  in  the  fountain  of  living  waters,  the 
Torah,  that  never  fails  to  satisfy  our  thirst  for  truth  : 
*'  Thou  shalt  keep  his  statutes  and  his  command- 
ments which  I  command  thee  this  day,  that  it  may  be 


OUR  DUTIES.  243 

■urll  with  thee  and  thy  children  after  thee"  (Deut.  iv. 
40).  '  "  And  now,  0  Israel,  what  doth  the  Lord  thy 
God  require  of  thee,  but  to  fear  tlie  Lord  thy  God,  to 
walk  in  all  his  ways  and  to  love  him,  and  to  serve 
the  Lord  thy  God  with  all  thy  heart  and  with  all  thy 
soul :  to  keep  the  commandments  of  the  Lord  and  his 
statutes  which  I  command  thee  this  day,  for  thy  good  " 
(ibid.  X.  12,  13).  It  is  for  our  benefit,  for  our  well- 
being,  that  the  laws  were  revealed  to  us ;  they  serve 
to  make  us  good  and  happy ;  they  train  us  in  the 
mastery  over  our  appetites  and  desires,  in  the  practice 
of  charity  and  justice,  and  in  the  conception  of  noble, 
pure,  and  lofty  ideas,  and  bring  us  nearer  and  nearer 
in  perfection  the  Being  in  whose  image  and  likeness 
we  have  been  created.. 

What  share  each  individual  precept  has  in  the 
attainment  of  this  end  we  cannot  state  with  certainty, 
because  in  the  Torah  the  reason  and  purpose  of  each 
precept  is,  with  very  few  exceptions,  withheld  from  us. 
In  many  cases  our  reflection  on  the  nature  of  a  special 
law,  or  on  the  context  in  which  it  occurs  in  the  Penta- 
teuch, leads  to  a  discovery  of  some  reason  for  it.  But, 
whatever  reason  we  may  thus  discover,  we  must  not 
lose  sight  of  the  fact  that  it  is  we  who  have  found  it, 
we  whose  knowledge  is  imperfect,  and  that  we  or 
others  might  in  future  discover  a  better  reason.  If 
we,  e.g.,  find  that  certain  dietary  laws  serve  to  traiu  us 
in  temperance,  and  see  that  the  virtue  of  temperance 
is  frequently  recommended  in  the  Bible,  we  may  well 
obey  these  dietary  laws,  and  strive  to  be  temperate  in 
every  respect  in  accordance  with  the  spirit  we  detect  in 
them.     It  would,  however,  be  a  gross  error  if,  believing 


244  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

the  training  in  temperance  to  be  their  only  object,  we 
assumed  that  we  could  neglect  them,  and  attain  the 
same  object  by  substituting  our  own  insufficient  know- 
ledge and  imperfect  reason  for  the  Will  and  Wisdom 
of  the  most  perfect  Being.  Moralists,  our  teachers  and 
preachers  of  ancient  and  modern  times,  have  found  in 
these  precepts  an  inexhaustible  treasure  of  lessons  ex- 
horting to  virtue  and  warning  against  vice,  and  the  great 
variety  of  inferences  thus  drawn  from  the  same  source 
proves  the  error  of  those  who  imagine  that  their  own 
exposition  is  the  only  right  one.  Whatever  reason  we 
assign  to  a  religious  precept,  and  whatever  wholesome 
lesson  we  derive  from  it,  our  first  duty  towards  the 
commandment,  and  towards  Him  who  commanded  it, 
is  strict  and  unconditional  obedience. 

Maimonides,  who  may  be  considered  as  the  repre- 
sentative of  the  school  which  seeks  to  establish  a  rational 
explanation  for  all  precepts,  admits  that  the  reason  we 
may  assign  to  any  of  the  commandments  cannot  affect 
their  validity  and  immutability,  and  we  are  bound  to 
obey  them,  although  the  supposed  reason  may  be  of  a 
local  or  temporary  character.  According  to  Maimonides, 
the  object  of  the  Law  is  to  promote  the  well-being  of 
our  body  and  the  well-being  of  our  soul ;  and  every  com- 
mandment has  therefore  some  bearing  upon  one  of  the 
following  three  things :  the  regulation  of  our  opinions, 
the  removal  of  sin,  or  the  teaching  of  good  morals.  He 
does  not  except  the  "  statutes "  from  this  rule,  but 
confesses  that  in  a  few  cases  he  is  unable  to  show 
clearly  the  relation  of  the  commandment  to  any  of 
these  objects.  He  also  restricts  the  principle  of  rational 
interpretation  to  the  main  element  in  each  command- 


OUR  DUTIES.  245 

ment,  and  does  not  apply  it  to  its  details  ;  the  latter, 
as  a  rule,  do  not  demand  an  explanation.     He  says : — 

"  The  general  object  of  the  Law  is  twofold  :  the  well- 
being  of  the  soul  and  the  well-being  of  the  body " 
(Guide,  iii.  27).  "I  am  prepared  to  tell  you  my  ex- 
planations of  all  these  commandments  (the  so-called 
chuJcJcim  or  "  statutes  "),  and  to  assign  for  them  a  true 
reason  supported  by  proof,  with  the  exception  of  some 
minor  rules  and  of  a  few  commandments.  I  will  show 
that  all  these  and  similar  laws  must  have  some  bearing 
upon  one  of  the  following  three  things,  viz.,  the  regula- 
tion of  our  opinions  or  the  improvement  of  our  social 
relations,  which  implies  two  things :  the  removal  of 
wrong-doing  and  the  teaching  of  good  morals  "  (ibid. 
xxviii.).  "  The  repeated  assertion  of  our  Sages  that 
there  are  reasons  for  all  commandments,  and  the  tradi- 
tion that  Solomon  knew  them,  refer  to  the  general  pur- 
pose of  the  commandments,  and  not  to  the  object  of 
every  detail.  This  being  the  case,  I  find  it  convenient 
to  divide  the  six  hundred  and  thirteen  precepts  into 
classes ;  each  class  to  include  many  precepts  of  the 
same  kind.  I  will  first  explain  the  reason  of  each 
class  of  precepts,  and  show  their  common  object,  and 
then  I  shall  discuss  the  individual  commandments  and 
expound  their  reasons.  Only  very  few  will  be  left 
unexplained,  the  reason  for  which  I  have  been  unable 
to  trace  unto  this  day.  I  have  also  been  able  to 
comprehend  in  some  cases  even  the  object  of  many 
of  the  conditions  and  details  of  the  laws  as  far  as  it 
can  be  discovered"  (ibid.  xxvi.). 

"  It  is  also  important  to  note  that  the  Law  does  not 
take  into  account  exceptional  circumstances  ;  it  is  not 
based  on  conditions  which   rarelv  occur."      "  We  must 


246  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

therefore  not  be  surprised  when  we  find  that  the  object 
of  the  Law  does  not  fully  appear  in  every  individual 
case."  "  From  this  consideration  it  follows  that  the  Law 
cannot,  like  medicine,  vary  according  to  the  different 
conditions  of  persons  and  times.  Whilst  the  cure  of  a 
person  depends  on  his  particular  constitution  at  the 
particular  time,  the  Divine  guidance  contained  in  the 
Law  must  be  certain  and  general,  although  it  may  be 
effective  in  some  cases  and  ineffective  in  others.  If 
the  Law  depended  on  the  varying  conditions  of  man,  it 
would  be  imperfect  in  its  totality,  each  precept  being 
left  indefinite.  For  this  reason,  it  would  not  be  right 
to  make  the  fundamental  principles  of  the  Law  depen- 
dent on  a  certain  time  or  a  certain  place.  On  the 
contrary,  the  statutes  and  the  judgments  must  be  de- 
finite, unconditional,  and  general,  in  accordance  with 
the  Divine  words :  '  As  for  the  congregation,  one 
ordinance  shall  be  for  you  and  for  the  stranger '  (Num. 
XV.  15).  They  are  intended,  as  has  been  stated  before, 
for  all  persons  and  for  all  times  "  (ibid,  xxxiv.). 

In  the  present   treatise  our  religious  duties  will   be 
expounded  under  the  following  seven  heads  :  — 

1.  Exposition  of  the  Decalogue. 

2.  General  ethical  principles — 

(a.)  Duties  towards  God. 

(h.)        „  ,,        our  fellow-men, 

(c.)         ,,  ,,        ourselves. 

3.  Outward  reminders  of  God's  Presence. 

4.  Sabbath,  Festivals,  and  Fasts. 

5.  Divine  Worship. 

6.  Dietary  Laws. 

7.  Jewish  Life. 


OUR  DUTIES.  247 


1.  T/ic  Ten  Commandments.     niiDin  mt^y 

The  "  Ten  Words  "  are  distinguished  from  all  other 
lessons  of  the  Torah  both  on  account  of  their  intrinsic 
value  and  on  account  of  the  extraordinary  manner  in 
which  they  have  been  revealed  by  the  Almighty  on 
Mount  Sinai.  They  form  the  contents  of  "  the  cove- 
nant which  God  made  with  us  "  (Deut.  v.  3). 

But  it  must  not  be  forgotten  that  they  are  not 
the  only  Divine  commandments.  When,  therefore, 
Moses  repeated  them  before  his  brethren  in  the  plain 
of  Moab,  he  prefaced  it  by  the  exhortation  :  "'  Hear,  O 
Israel,  the  statutes  and  the  judgments  which  I  speak 
unto  you  to-day,  and  learn  them  and  keep  them  to  do 
them"  (ibid,  i)  ;  and  after  he  had  finished  reciting 
them  he  reminded  the  Israelites  how  they  received  the 
Ten  Commandments  from  the  midst  of  the  fire,  and 
how  they  prayed  that  further  commandments  should  be 
given  to  them  through  Moses  ;  adding  that  the  Al- 
mighty, in  compliance  with  their  petition,  said  to  him  : 
"  Stand  thou  here  with  me,  and  I  will  tell  thee  the 
whole  commandment,  both  the  statutes  and  the  judg- 
ments which  thou  shalt  teach  them"  (ibid.  28). 

"  And  God  spake  all  these  words,  saying  :  " 

First  Commandment. 

"  /  am  the  Lord  thy  God,  who  brought  thee  out  of  the 
land  of  Egypt,  out  of  the  house  of  bondage." 

The  Israelites  who  now  stood   round  Mount   Sinai 


248  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

and  heard  the  voice  of  God  saying,  "  I  am  the  Lord 
thy  God,"  were  the  same  who  a  very  short  time  before 
had  been  slaves  in  Egypt;  they  were  delivered  from 
slavery,  and  saw  their  cruel  taskmasters  perish  in  the 
waves  of  the.  Red  Sea.  Pharaoh,  the  king  of  the 
Egyptians,  and  his  people  had  believed  that  they  were 
the  masters  of  the  Israelites,  and  that  they  could  do 
with  them  as  they  pleased.  And  Pharaoh  said,  "  Who 
is  the  Lord,  that  I  should  listen  to  his  voice  ?  I  know 
not  the  Lord,  nor  will  I  let  Israel  go."  It  has  now  been 
shown  that  Pharaoh  and  his  people  were  not  the  true 
masters ;  that  there  was  a  higher  Being  that  ruled 
over  all  men,  over  kings  and  their  peoples.  After  the 
Israelites  had  crossed  the  Red  Sea,  they  sang  with 
Moses :  "  This  is  my  God,  and  I  will  praise  him,  the 
God  of  my  father,  and  I  will  exalt  him."  They  all 
felt  that  their  liberty  was  not  obtained  by  human 
strength  and  skill ;  that  there  must  be  a  higher  Being 
who  is  All-powerful,  All-wise,  and  All-good ;  and  that 
it  was  He  who  freed  them,  and  punished  the  wicked 
Egyptians  by  whom  they  had  been  kept  in  slavery. 
What  the  Israelites  at  first  felt  in  their  hearts  they 
were  now,  when  standing  round  Sinai,  taught  by  Girod 
Himself,  in  plain,  clear,  and  intelligible  words  :  "  I  am 
the  Lord  thy  God,  who  brought  thee  out  of  the  land 
of  Egypt,  out  of  the  house  of  bondage." 

This  is  the  first  commandment ;  it  is  only  one 
commandment,  but  it  contains  several  important 
lessons : — 

I.  God  has  shown  great  kindness  to  our  nation; 
we  Jews  must  therefore  more  than  other  people  show 
ourselves  grateful  to  Him,  love  Him  as  our  Deliverer 


OUR  DUTIES.  249 

and  Benefactor,  and  do  willingly  all  that  He  commands 
us  to  do. 

2.  When  we  are  in  trouble  we  must  trust  in  God, 
pray  to  Him,  and  hope  that  He  will  help  us  when 
our  fellow-men  cannot  do  so.  When  they  give  us 
up  as  lost  we  need  not  despair ;  for  the  Almighty 
can  help  where  human  wisdom  and  power  are  in- 
sufficient. 

3.  The  wicked  may  for  a  time  succeed  in  doing 
wrong,  whilst  the  good  and  just  suffer;  but  this  does 
not  last  for  ever.  There  is  a  Master  above  all  of  us, 
who  in  due  time  punishes  the  wicked  and  saves  the 
good. 

Second  Commandment. 

"  Tliou  sltali  have  no  other  gods  before  me.  Thou 
shalt  not  mahe  unto  thee  a  graven  image,  nor  the  form 
of  anything  that  is  in  heaven  above,  or  that  is  in 
the  earth  bejieath,  or  that  is  in  the  ivater  under  the 
earth.  Thou  shalt  not  bow  down  thyself  unto  them,  nor 
serve  them,  for  I,  the  Lord  thy  God,  am  a  jealous  God, 
visiting  the  iniquity  of  the  fathers  upon  the  children 
tcpon  the  third  and  upon  the  fourth  generation  of  them 
that  hate  me ;  and  showing  loving -kindness  to  the  thou- 
sandth general  io7i  of  them  that  love  me  and  keep  my 
commandments." 

There  are  no  other  gods  in  existence  ;  it  is  impos- 
sible for  us  to  have  other  gods.  There  is  only  one 
God,  as  we  repeatedly  declare,  "  Hear,  0  Israel,  the 
Lord  is  our  God,  the  Lord  is  one."  The  commandment 
is  nevertheless  not  superfluous.  There  have  been  whole 
jiations,  and  there  are  still  people,  who,  in  their  igno- 


250  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

ranee  and  folly,  attribute  Divine  power  to  things  that 
have  no  Divine  power,  and  who  give  the  name  of  god 
to  things  that  are  not  gods.  Such  people  are  called 
heathens,  idolaters,  or  idol-worshippers.  The  second 
commandment  forbids  us  to  do  any  such  thing. 

It  was  the  custom  in  some  countries  to  worship 
the  king,  either  during  his  lifetime  or  after  his  death, 
as  a  Divine  being ;  it  is  still  the  custom  in  some 
countries  to  pray  to  departed  saints.  All  this  our  holy 
religion  forbids  us  to  do.  We  must  respect  our  king, 
we  must  honour  the  memory  and  the  name  of  good  men, 
but  only  as  human  beings,  not  as  gods  ;  we  may  not 
deify  them.  As  to  our  prophets,  our  great  men,  the 
Patriarchs,  the  kings,  their  names  are  a  pride  unto 
us,  their  memory  a  blessing,  ny\2h  DiliaT — they  are 
honoured  by  us  as  human,  mortal  beings  :  they  are 
not  worshipped.  When  we  visit  the  graves  of  those 
near  and  dear  to  us,  and  honour  their  memory  by 
reflecting  on  their  virtues,  when  we  revere  those  holy 
men  who  have  devoted  their  lives  to  the  service  of 
God,  or  the  martyrs  who  have  sacrificed  their  lives 
for  the  sanctification  of  the  Name  of  God  (nE»>n  ^yip), 
we  do  not  endow  them  with  Divine  attributes,  and 
do  not  offer  up  any  prayer  to  them. 

The  second  commandment,  in  forbidding  all  kinds 
of  idolatry,  includes  the  following  prohibitions  : — 

(i.)  The  worship  of  sun,  moon,  stars,  animals, 
human  beings,  or  any  part  of  Nature,  as  endowed 
with  Divine  power. 

(2.)  The  worship  of  images  representing  things 
that  exist  in  reality  or  in  man's  imagination. 

(3.)  The  worship  of  angels  as  Divine  beings.     They 


OUR  DUTIES.  251 

are  only  messengers  of  God,  and  we  must  nut  pray 
to  them. 

(4.)  The  belief  in  evil  spirits,  demons,  devils,  and 
the  like,  and  the  fear  of  them. 

(5.)  The  belief  in  charms,  witchcraft,  fortune-telling, 
and  similar  superstitions. 

The  words,  "  For  I,  the  Lord  thy  God,  am  a  jealov.s 
God"  are  to  be  understood  in  a  figurative  sense ;  we 
cannot  say  of  CTod  that  He  is  jealous,  in  the  literal 
sense  of  the  word.  It  is  only  because  we  call  a  person 
jealous  who  is  anxious  that  no  one  else  shall  enjoy 
the  same  right  or  privilege  as  he  enjoys,  that  we  imply 
the  term  "jealous"  figuratively  to  God,  because  He 
does  not  concede  Divine  worship  and  service  to  any 
other  being.  He  demands  of  His  worshippers  thnt 
they  serve  Him  alone  and  none  besides. 

Those  who  break  this  commandment  "  hate  God," 
and  will  surely  receive  their  punishment.  He  "visits 
the  iniquity  of  the  fathers  upon  the  children  upon 
the  third  and  upon  the  fourth  generation,"  The  bad 
example  set  by  a  man  frequently  corrupts  his  children, 
gi'andchildren,  and  great-grandchildren.  In  that  case 
they  will  all  receive  their  punishment,  and  there  is  no 
excuse  for  them,  that  they  were  misled  by  the  bad 
example  of  their  father  or  their  forefathers.  A  bad 
example  must  not  be  followed,  even  if  it  be  set  by, 
those  whom  we  love  dearly. 

The  good  example  of  a  man  should  always  be  fol- 
lowed, and  his  good  deeds  bear  good  fruit  and  are  the 
source  of  blessing  even  long  after  his  death.  For  to 
those  that  love  God  and  keep  His  commandments  God 
"  showeth  mercy  even  to  the  thousandth  generation." 


252  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

Third  Commandment. 

"  Thou  shalt  not  take  the  na7iie  of  the  Lord  thy  God, 
in  vain ;  for  the  Lord  will  not  hold  him  guiltless  that 
tahcth  his  naine  in  vain." 

We  pronounce  the  name  of  God  when  we  read  the 
Bible,  when  we  pray,  when  we  take  an  oath,  or  when 
we  speak  of  God's  wisdom,  power,  and  goodness.  We 
take  the  name  of  God  in  vain  when  we  read  the  Bible 
without  attention,  or  pray  without  devotion,  or  take 
an  oath  without  necessity  or  contrary  to  truth.  When 
we  utter  the  name  of  God  we  must  bear  in  mind 
that  it  is  the  name  of  the  most  Holy  and  most  Per- 
fect Being  that  we  are  pronouncing ;  that  it  is  a 
privilege  to  us  to  be  allowed  and  to  be  able  to  pro- 
nounce it. 

The  more  we  meditate  on  the  greatness  and  holi- 
ness of  God,  the  moi'e  careful  should  we  be  "  not  to 
utter  the  name  of  God  in  vain."  We  should  guard 
ourselves  from  falling  into  the  bad  habit  of  utter- 
ing it  thoughtlessly  to  no  purpose  whatever.  Many 
people  are  heard  to  exclaim  every  minute,  "  O  God,"  or 
similar  phrases.  To  them  the  sacredness  of  the  name 
is  entirely  lost,  and  they  are  no  longer  reminded  by  it 
of  the  holiness  of  Him  who  is  designated  by  that  name. 
Still  greater  is  the  thoughtlessness  of  those  who  swear 
by  God  without  any  necessity.  In  swearing  by  God 
we  call  upon  God  to  bear  witness  that  our  words  are 
true.  But  such  a  testimony  is  only  required  when 
our  statement  is  not  believed.  If  we  swear  before  we 
know  whether  we  are  believed  or  not,  we  indicate  that, 
according  to   our   estimate    of  ourselves,  we    are  not 


OUR  DUTIES.  253 

trustworthy,  and  it  has  often  been  observed  as  a  fact 
that  those  who  swear  most  are  least  to  be  believed. 
The  worst  of  all  forms  of  swearing  is  to  swear  falsely, 
that  is,  to  swear  that  something  is  the  case  without 
knowing  that  it  is  true,  or  knowing  that  it  is  not  true. 
This  is  a  terrible  crime,  and  is  called  "  the  profanation 
of  God's  name,"  CDC'n  h'bri. 

There  is  still  another  kind  of  Q'c^n  b)hn  "  profanation 
of  God's  name  :  "  if  we  Jews  who  are  called  by  His 
name,  the  people  of  the  Lord,  or  children  of  the  Lord, 
bring  contempt  upon  God's  people  by  disgraceful  con- 
duct, we  profane  the  name  of  God.  We  sanctify  it  by 
noble  and  generous  deeds ;  by  leading  a  pure  and 
blameless  life  we  cause  a  Dj»>n  t^np  "  sanctification  of 
the  name  of  God." 

The  third  commandment  forbids  us — 

(l.)  To  utter  the  name  of  God  unnecessarily  in  our 
common  conversation. 

(2.)  To  read  the  Bible  carelessly,  or  to  pray  without 
attention  and  devotion. 

(3.)  To  swear  otherwise  than  when  required  by  the 
law  to  do  so,  as,  e.g.,  in  courts  of  law. 

(4.)  To  swear  when  we  are  not  fully  convinced  of 
the  truth  of  our  declaration. 

The  additional  sentence,  "  for  he  will  not  hold  him 
guiltless  who  taketh  his  name  in  vain,"  is  to  remind 
us  that  it  is  against  God  the  Omniscient  that  we 
sin  in  breaking  this  commandment.  God  knows  our 
innermost  thoughts,  whether  we  think  of  what  we 
utter  or  not ;  whether  we  are  convinced  of  what  we 
declare  on  oath  or  not.  He  will  punish  us  if  we 
break  His   commandments,  although  we  may  be   able 


234  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

to  conceal  our  sins  from  men  and  escape  condemnation 
bv  a  human  tribunal. 


Fourth  Commandment. 

"  Remember  the  Sabbath  day  to  hccp  it  holy.  Six 
days  shalt  thou  labour  and  do  all  thy  work.  But  the 
seventh  day  is  a  Sabbath  unto  the  Lord  thy  God :  in  it 
thou  shalt  not  do  any  worh,  thou,  nor  thy  son,  nor 
thy  daughter,  thy  manservant,  nor  thy  7naidservant,  nor 
thy  cattle,  nor  thy  stranger  that  is  within  thy  gates. 
For  i7i  six  days  the  Lord  made  heaven  and  earth,  the 
sea,  and  all  that  is  therein,  and  rested  the  seventh  day  ; 
ivherefore  the  Lord  blessed  the  Sabbath  day,  and  hal- 
lowed it." 

The  Sabbath  day,  that  is,  the  day  of  rest,  is  to  be 
kept  holy.  In  two  ways  it  should  differ  from  other 
days ;  it  is  to  be  a  day  of  rest  and  also  a  holy  day. 
We  keep  it  as  a  day  of  rest  by  not  doing  on  it  any 
kind  of  work  ;  we  keep  it  as  a  holy  day  by  devoting  the 
greater  part  of  it,  since  we  are  free  from  our  ordinary 
occupation,  to  prayer  and  to  reading  the  Bible. 

We  are  thankful  to  God  for  having  commanded  us 
to  keep  the  Sabbath,  and  give  expression  to  our 
feeling  of  gratitude  in  our  prayers,  especially  at  the 
beginning  and  the  end  of  the  Sabbath ;  thus,  on 
Friday  evening,  before  the  meal,  we  praise  God  for 
sanctifying  the  Sabbath  by  a  prayer  called  Kiddush, 
"  sanctification,"  and  on  Sabbath  evening,  after  the 
close  of  the  Sabbath,  we  recite  the  Habdalah,  in  which 
God  is  praised  for  the  distinction  made  between  Sabbath 
and  the  six  week-davs. 


OUR  DUTIES.  255 

The  Israelites  were  told  to  remember  the  Sabbath 
day  ;  that  is,  the  well-known  day  of  rest,  the  same  day 
which  was  instituted  as  a  day  of  rest  in  connection 
with  the  manna.  On  five  days  they  collected  one 
omer  of  the  manna,  on  the  sixth  dav  two  omers  for 
each  person ;  on  the  seventh  day  no  manna  was  col- 
lected nor  was  any  found,  and  the  Israelites  were  com- 
manded to  bake  and  to  cook  on  the  sixth  day  not 
only  for  the  sixth  day,  but  also  for  the  seventh,  on 
which  day  baking  and  cooking  was  not  to  be  done. 
This  same  seventh  day  we  are  told  iu  the  fourth  com- 
mandment to  rcmcmher  to  keep  holy,  that  we  should 
not  forget  it,  or  choose  another  day  instead  of  it.  It 
is  the  same  seventh  day  on  which  God  rested  after  the 
six  days  of  the  Creation,  and  which  "  he  blessed  and 
sanctified." 

It  is  to  be  a  day  of  rest  not  only  for  ourselves ; 
we  must  not  have  work  done  for  us  by  our  children, 
or  by  our  servants,  or  by  strangers ;  even  our  cattle 
must  rest.  After  six  days  of  work  we  enjoy  the 
blessing  of  one  day's  rest,  and  are  rendered  mure 
fit  to  work  another  six  days.  The  harder  we  work 
on  six  days,  the  more  welcome  is  the  rest  of  the 
seventh  day  to  us.  When  Moses  repeated  the  com- 
mandments, he  laid  special  stress  on  the  rest  of  the 
servants,  reminding  the  Israelites  that  they  them- 
selves had  once  been  slaves,  and  must  therefore  re- 
cognise the  necessity  of  granting  a  day  of  rest  to 
their  servants. 

It  is  not  to  be  a  day  of  mere  idleness.  Complete 
idleness  leads  to  evil  thoughts  and  evil  deeds.  Whilst 
our  body  rests  our  mind  should  be  occupied  with  holy 


256  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

thoughts ;  we  should  commune  with  God,  reflect  on 
His  works,  learn  from  them  the  power,  wisdom,  and 
goodness  of  God,  study  the  Word  of  God,  listen  to  the 
instruction  of  our  teachers  and  preachers,  and  alto- 
gether try  to  raise  ourselves  into  a  loftier  sphere. 

On  the  day  of  rest  we  reflect  on  the  works  of  God, 
on  the  work  of  Creation  which  He  completed  in  six 
days,  and  thus  by  keeping  the  Sabbath  we  testify  to 
our  belief  in  God  as  the  Creator  of  the  Universe.  On 
this  account  it  is  that  the  Creation  is  referred  to  in 
this  commandment  as  the  reason  why  rest  was  enjoined 
for  the  seventh  day.      "  For  in  six  days,"  &c. 

"  Therefore  the  Lord  blessed  the  Sabbath  day  ;  "  the 
rest  on  the  seventh  day  is  a  blessing  to  those  who 
have  worked  hard  during  the  preceding  six  days ;  it  is 
a  blessing  to  those  who  spend  the  Sabbath  in  a  proper 
manner.  "And  he  hallowed  it"  by  giving  man  an 
opportunity  to  sanctify  himself  by  more  frequent  com" 
munion  with  the  Most  Holy. 

The  fourth  commandment  tells  us — 

(i.)  To  remember  to  keep  the  same  day  as  Sabbath 
which  has  been  set  apart  as  such  from  the  beginning. 

(2.)   To  abstain  on  that  day  from  all  kind  of  work. 

(3.)   To  devote  part  of  the  day  to  our  sanctification. 

Fifth  Commandment. 

"  Honotcr  thy  father  and  thy  mother :  that  thy  days 
may  he  loncj  upon  the  land  ivhich  the  Lord  thy  God 
givcth  thee." 

The  strongest  desire  that  animates  a  father  and  a 
mother   is    to    see    their   children    good    and    happy. 


OUR  DUTIES.  257 

From  the  first  day  of  tlieir  existence  cliiklren  are 
guarded  by  the  watchful  eyes  of  their  parents  that 
no  evil  may  befall  them.  How  delighted  are  father 
and  mother  when  they  notice  the  progress  of  their 
child  in  health  and  strength,  in  heart  and  soul ! 
What  an  amount  of  trouble  and  anxiety  parents 
undergo  when  they  see  their  child  suffering !  No 
sacrifice  is  too  great  for  them  so  long  as  it  ensures 
the  child's  well-being.  It  is  painful  to  them  to  be 
compelled  to  deny  their  child  anything,  or  to  rebuke 
or  to  punish  it.  To  this  they  are  impelled  only  by 
the  anxiety  for  the  welfare  of  the  child.  The  mutual 
afiection  between  parent  and  child  is  one  which  nature 
has  implanted.  Without  it  the  home  would  be  the 
dwelling  of  misery  and  misfortune  ;  with  it  comfort 
and  happiness  flourish  therein.  The  loving  parents 
have  pleasure  in  whatever  they  do  for  the  benefit  of 
the  child,  and  the  affectionate  child  is  delighted  with 
the  goodness  of  its  parents. 

"Honour  thy  father  and  thy  mother"  says  the  Almighty 
to  us.  How  does  a  child  honour  father  and  mother  ? 
•In  the  eyes  of  the  child  father  and  mother  must  be  the 
king  and  the  queen  of  the  house,  however  small  that 
may  be.  Every  word  that  comes  from  their  mouth, 
every  desire  that  they  express,  must  be  regarded  as 
of  the  greatest  importance,  and  be  well  remembered 
by  the  child.  When  the  king  or  the  queen  speaks,  all 
present  stand  and  listen  respectfully ;  their  words  are 
read  by  every  one  with  the  greatest  interest.  So  it 
must  be  with  the  words  of  our  parents.  Whenever 
they  tell  us  to  do  or  not  to  do  a  thing,  obedience  is  a 
blessing  to  us ;  disobedience  is  the  chief  cause  of  all 
misery  and  trouble.      We  feel  pleasure  and  honour  in 

R 


2  58  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

being  able  to  do  something  that  gratifies  our  parents, 
and  we  like  to  give  them  at  times  some  material  token 
of  our  affection.  The  best  present  we  can  give  them 
is  a  good  heart,  sincere  love  that  prompts  us  to  avoid 
everything  that  would  grieve  them,  and  to  do  every- 
thing we  can  to  give  them  pleasure  and  to  make 
them  happy. 

This  is  one  of  the  few  laws  the  reward  of  which  is 
distinctly  stated,  "  That  thy  days  may  be  long  upon 
the  land,  which  the  Lord  thy  God  giveth  thee,"  We 
can  easily  understand  the  good  effect  of  keeping  the 
fifth  commandment.  Pleasure  and  contentment  con- 
tribute a  good  deal  to  the  health  and  well-being  of 
man,  whilst  anger,  trouble,  and  dissatisfaction  produce 
ill-health  and  weakness.  The  mutual  affection  between 
parent  and  child  is  therefore  the  cause  that  the  days 
of  both  the  parents  and  the  children  are  prolonged, 
and  the  harmony  and  happiness  of  the  house  firmly 
established.  The  blessing  attending  children's  obe- 
dience and  love  towards  their  parents  does  not  end  here. 
The  whole  State  consists  of  small  homes  and  families, 
and  the  greater  the  well-being  of  the  individual  homes, 
the  greater  is  the  well-being  of  the  whole  country. 
Thus  the  child  by  acting  in  accordance  with  this 
Divine  commandipent  contributes  its  share  towards 
the  prosperity  of  the  whole  country. 

When  our  parents  are  not  present,  we  should,  out 
of  love  towards  them,  obey  those  who  take  their 
place,  as,  e.g.,  our  elder  brothers  or  sisters,  our  guar- 
dians, and  our  teachers,  since  all  these  only  do  what 
the  parents  would  themselves  like  to  do  were  the 
opportunity  granted  them. 

We  are  bound  to  honour  our  parents  not  only  so 


OUR  DUTIES.  259 

long  as  we  are  under  their  care  and  live  in  their 
house,  but  also  when  we  have  left  our  parents'  home, 
and  have  become  independent.  Even  when  they  have 
become  old,  weak,  and  poor,  and  we  support  them, 
we  must  not  forget  the  natural  relation  between  parent 
and  child,  and  the  honour  due  to  parents  from  their 
children  must  still  be  shown  to  them.  When  they 
have  departed  from  this  life,  and  we  are  no  longer  able 
to  show  our  feeling  of  love  and  respect  in  the  usual 
way,  we  must  honour  their  name  and  memory,  and  hold 
in  respect  the  wishes  and  commands  which  they  ex- 
pressed when  still  alive.  Death  is  no  bar  to  true 
love  and  sincere  affection. 

Thus  we  obey  the  fifth  commandment — 

(l.)  By  listening  respectfully  to  the  words  of  our 
parents  and  obeying  what  they  say. 

(2.)  By  doing  that  which  pleases  them,  and  avoiding 
that  which  would  displease  them. 

(3.)  By  supporting  them  when  they  are  weak  and  poor 
by  all  our  best  exertion  and  with  genuine  pleasure. 

(4.)  By  honouring  their  name  and  memory  after 
their  death. 

(5.)  By  being  obedient  to  our  elder  brothers  or 
sisters,  to  our  guardians,  and  to  our  teachers. 

Sixth  Commandment. 

"  TJioio  shalt  not  murder."     ^y 

Murder  is  a  most  terrible  thing ;  we  shudder  at 
the  sound  of  the  word,  even  at  the  mere  idea  of  it. 
We  wonder  how  it  is  possible  that  a  person  should  be 
so  wicked,  so  cruel,  and  so  unnatural  as  to  take  the 


26o  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

life  of  another  human  being!  One  who  can  do  such 
a  thing  must  have  lost  all  human  feeling,  and  is 
rather  a  brute  than  a  being  created  in  the  image  of 
God.  But,  unfortunately,  there  have  been  and  there 
are  such  wicked  people.  "VVe  read  in  the  Bible  that  a 
dispute  arose  between  the  two  sons  of  Adam,  and  the 
one,  Cain,  slew  the  other,  Abel,  He  repented  it,  but 
he  could  not  restore  to  his  brother  the  life  which  he 
had  taken.  The  severest  punishment  is  therefore 
inflicted  on  those  who  have  committed  this  crime. 

Tills  commandment  and  those  which  follow  it  have 
their  root  in  the  principle,  "  Zove  thy  fdlo'W-7nan  as 
thyself"  applied  to  the  life  (sixth  commandment),  the 
home  (seventh  commandment),  the  property  (eighth 
commandment),  and  the  honour  of  our  fellow-man 
(ninth  commandment).  We  wish  to  enjoy  life  as  long 
as  possible ;  it  must  therefore  be  our  desire  to  see  our 
fellow-man  enjoy  the  longest  possible  life.  But  we 
must  not  rest  satisfied  with  the  mere  desire.  An  ear- 
nest desire  is  followed  by  acts  dictated  by  it.  We 
must  try  our  utmost,  even  as  we  do  with  regard  to 
ourselves,  to  preserve  the  life  of  our  fellow-man.  We 
have,  e.g.,  seen  before  how  by  obeying  the  fifth  com- 
mandment we  lengthen  not  only  our  own  life,  but 
also  that  of  our  parents,  whilst  by  breaking  this  law 
we  shorten  their  life  as  well  as  our  own. 

By  supporting  the  poor  and  nursing  the  sick  we 
may  be  the  means  of  increasing  a  human  life  by  many 
days  or  even  years,  whilst  by  neglecting  the  duty  of 
charity  we  neglect  to  save  the  life  of  our  fellow-man 
when  it  is  in  our  power  to  do  so. — Another  instance  of 
criminal  neglect  it  would  be  if  a   person  saw  another 


OUR  DUTIES.  261 

in  actual  danger  of  life,  and  did  not  try  everytliiug 
in  his  power  to  save  him. 

Without  having  directly  broken  the  sixth  command- 
ment, without  having  taken  the  life  of  our  neighbour 
by  violence,  we  may  still  be  guilty  of  having  shortened 
his  life  and  caused  his  untimely  death.  Talebearers 
and  slanderers,  e.g.,  often  undermine  the  peace  and 
happiness  of  an  individual,  and  even  of  a  whole  family, 
and  sow  the  seed  of  misery  and  ruin  where  well-being 
and  prosperity  seemed  well  established. 

The  sixth  commandment  enjoins  that  we  should 
respect  the  life  of  our  fellow-man,  and  forbids  us 
therefore — 

(l.)   To  take  it  by  violent  means. 

(2.)  To  do  anything  by  which  the  peace  and  well- 
being  of  our  fellow-man  might  be  undermined. 

(3.)  To  neglect  anything  in  our  power  to  save  our 
neighbour  from  direct  or  indirect  danger  of  life. 

Seventh  Commandmeiit. 

"  Thou  shall  not  commit  adultery." 

The  institution  of  marriage  is  of  very  ancient  date. 
When  Eve  had  been  formed  out  of  the  rib  of  Adam, 
and  was  brought  to  him,  he  exclaimed,  "  She  is  bone 
of  my  bones  and  flesh  of  my  flesh,"  and  the  account 
of  the  first  marriage  concludes  thus  :  "  Therefore  man 
shall  leave  his  father  and  his  mother  and  cleave  unto 
his  wife,  and  they  shall  be  one  flesh"  (Gen.  ii.  24). 
Every  married  couple,  husband  and  wife,  bind  them- 
selves by  a  solemn  promise  to  be  true  and  faithful  to 
each  other,  to  remain  throughout  life  united  in  love 


262  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

and  affection,  and  to  establish  a  home  founded  on 
purity  and  sanctity.  Adultery  is  the  breaking  of  this 
promise.  That  love  and  affection  which  unites  man 
and  wife  cannot  be  shared  by  a  third  person  without 
involving  a  breach  of  the  seventh  commandment. 

Jewish  homes  have  always  been  distinguished  by 
sanctity  and  purity.  In  order  to  retain  this  distinction 
it  is  necessary  that  we  should  be  trained  in  this  virtue 
from  our  childhood.  Our  language  must  be  pure  and 
holy ;  unclean  and  indecent  expressions  must  never 
be  uttered  in  our  homes,  either  by  the  old  or  by  the 
young.  The  purer  our  speech  is,  the  more  sancti- 
fied will  our  heart  be.  Bad  society  often  corrupts 
the  heart  of  the  young  through  bad  example  in  words 
and  conduct.  It  is  therefore  essential  that  immoral 
persons  should  not  come  in  contact  with  our  chil- 
dren ;  that  everything  that  is  contrary  to  the  virtue 
of  modesty  (nijrJ^*)  should  be  rigorously  excluded  from 
Jewish  homes. 

The  seventh  commandment  forbids  : — 

(i.)  Faithlessness  of  a  man  to  his  wife,  or  a  woman 
to  her  husband, 

(2.)   The  use  of  improper  and  indecent  language. 

(3.)  Immodest  conduct. 

(4.)  Associating  with  immoral  persons. 

Eighth  Commandment. 

"  Thou  shali  not  steal." 

We  do  not  like  that  any  one  should  take  a  part  of 
our  property  without  our  knowledge  or  consent.  An 
old  saying  of  the  Rabbis  teaches :   "  Let  the  property 


OUR  DUTIES.  263 

of  tliy  neighbour  be  as  dear  in  thy  eyes  as  thine 
own "  (Aboth  ii.  12);  that  is  to  say,  as  you  do  not 
wish  a  diminution  or  destruction  of  what  is  yours,  so 
you  must  not  cause  a  diminution  or  destruction  of 
what  belongs  to  your  neighbour. 

By  secretly  taking  anything  for  ourselves  that  does 
not  belong  to  us,  we  steal,  and  break  the  eighth  com- 
mandment. 

This  commandment  has  also  a  wider  sense,  and  for- 
bids every  illegal  acquisition  of  property,  whether  it 
be  directly  by  theft  or  robbery,  or  by  cheating,  by 
embezzlement  or  forgery.  Property  acquired  by  any 
of  these  or  similar  means  may  be  considered  as  stolen 
propert}^,  and  is  by  no  means  a  blessing  to  him  who 
possesses  it.  Even  if  human  justice  does  not  reach 
the  evil-doer,  he  is  watched  by  an  All-seeing  Eye,  and 
will  in  due  time  receive  his  full  punishment. 

This  commandment  prohibits  : — 

(i.)  Theft  and  robbery. 

(2.)   All  kinds  of  fraud  and  dishonesty. 

ninth  Commandment. 
"  lliou  shalt  not  hear  false  witness  against  thy  neigh- 

h07l7\" 

It  gives  us  pain  to  hear  that  others  speak  ill  of  us. 
"  Let  the  honour  of  thy  neighbour  be  as  dear  to 
thee  as  thine  own"  (Aboth  ii.  10).  We  must  there- 
fore not  speak  ill  of  our  neighbour.  But  it  is  not 
only  the  speaking  ill  of  others  that  this  commandment 
forbids  ;  we  must  not  say  of  our  fellow-man  anything 
that  is  not  true.      If  we  are  called  as  a  witness  in  a 


264  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

court  of  justice,  we  must  be  most  careful  that  every 
word  we  utter  be  perfectly  true.  We  must  weigh  our 
words  well  and  guard  ourselves  against  stating  as  facts 
things  about  which  we  are  not  quite  certain.  If  we 
are  careless  we  may  become  false  witnesses,  and  may 
even  be  guilty  of  perjury. 

The  consequences  of  false  evidence  are  of  a  very 
grave  nature ;  it  misleads  the  judge,  perverts  justice, 
ruins  innocent  people ;  and  the  false  witness  himself — 
whether  he  sinned  with  intention  or  by  carelessness 
— will  not  escape  punishment. 

God  declared  through  the  mouth  of  the  prophet 
Zechariah  (v.  4)  :  "I  will  bring  forth  the  curse,  saith 
the  Lord  of  hosts,  and  it  shall  enter  into  the  house  of 
the  thief  and  into  the  house  of  him  that  sweareth 
falsely  by  my  name ;  and  it  shall  remain  in  the  midst 
of  his  house,  and  shall  consume  it,  with  the  timber 
thereof  and  the  stones  thereof." 

In  order  to  guard  ourselves  against  the  possibility 
of  such  a  crime,  we  must  train  ourselves  in  speaking 
the  exact  truth  in  everything,  however  trifling  it  may 
appear  to  us.  Even  in  their  play  children  must  be 
careful  in  what  they  utter.  Idle  talk,  gossip,  frequently 
leads  us  to  speak  of  our  neighbours  what  is  not  in 
harmony  with  facts.  Though  we  may  believe  it  to  be 
harmless  and  to  have  no  evil  consequence,  it  has  in 
reality  very  pernicious  results ;  for  we  get  into  the 
habit  of  being  careless  about  our  words,  and  of  ignor- 
ing the  line  that  parts  truth  from  falsehood,  and  when 
we  have  then  to  speak  on  more  important  things,  or 
even  in  a  court  of  justice,  we  may  prove  ourselves 
equally  careless.     There  is  a  proverb  (Prov.  xix.   5)  : 


OUR  DUTIES.  265 

"  A  faithful  witness  is  he  who  doth  not  lie,  but  )ie 
who  uttereth  lies  will  be  a  false  witness ; "  i.e.,  the 
conduct  of  a  witness  with  regard  to  truth  in  ordinary 
and  less  important  utterances  is  a  test  of  his  trust- 
worthiness in  more  important  matters. 

The  ninth  commandment — 

( I .)  Forbids  us  to  give  false  evidence  ;   and 

(2.)  To  utter  an  untruth  of  any  kind  whatever. 

(3.)  It  commands  us  to  be  careful  in  our  utterances. 

Tenth  Commandment. 

^^  Thou  shall  not  covet  thy  neighbours  house;  tho^i 
shalt  not  covet  thy  ncighhonr's  unfc,  nor  his  man-servant, 
nor  his  maidservant,  nor  his  ox,  nor  his  ass,  nor  any 
thing  that  is  thy  neighbours. 

The  coveting  which  the  tenth  commandment  for- 
bids is  the  root  from  which  the  crimes  forbidden  in 
the  four  preceding  commandments  spring.  Coveting 
is  a  desire  to  possess  what  we  cannot  get  in  an  honest 
and  legal  manner.  An  instance  of  such  coveting  is  the 
desire  of  Ahab  to  possess  the  vineyard  of  Naboth. 
It  must  have  been  more  than  an  ordinary  desire,  for 
it  led  him  to  most  wicked  acts  (i  Kings  xxi.). 

It  is  not  every  desire  that  is  prohibited.  If  we  see 
a  thing  that  pleases  us,  we  begin  to  feel  a  desire  for  its 
possession.  Our  reason  must  then  step  in  and  tell  us 
whether  we  can  obtain  it  in  an  honest  way  or  not.  In 
the  latter  case  we  must  conquer  our  desire  and  suppress 
it,  lest  it  obtain  the  mastery  over  us. 

We  must  work  and  try  to  make  progress.  "We  can- 
not be  blamed  if  we  are  not  quite  content  with  our 


266  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

present  condition,  and  wish  to  improve  it.  Without 
such  a  desire  all  industry  and  progress  would  disappear. 
But  we  must  consider  that  the  improvement  of  our  ma- 
terial condition,  the  increase  of  our  property,  is  not  the 
whole  mission  of  man.  We  must  not  forget  that  we 
have  a  higher  mission  :  to  improve  our  heart  and  our 
moral  conduct,  and  to  make  ourselves  worthy  of  being 
called  "the  children  of  God."  The  increase  of  our 
property  must  not  impede  the  progress  of  the  purity 
and  goodness  of  our  heart. 

The  tentli  commandment — 

( I .)  Forbids  us  to  covet  that  which  does  not  belong 
to  us ;   and 

(2.)  Commands  us  to  suppress  any  such  desire  when 
it  rises  in  our  heart. 

Note  i. — There  is  another  way  of  enumerating  the  Ten 
Commandments,  namely,  to  combine  the  first  and  the 
second  into  one,  and  to  divide  the  tenth  into  two.  The 
Masoretic  text  seems  to  point  in  this  direction  ;  for  there 
is  no  pause  between  the  first  and  the  second  command- 
ments, while  there  is  one  in  the  middle  of  the  tenth.  The 
inference  from  the  Masoretic  text,  however-,  is  not  quite  cer- 
tain. It  is  possible  that  the  first  two  commandments  were 
joined  closely  together  in  order  to  separate  more  pointedly 
those  commandments  in  which  God  speaks  of  Himself  in 
the  first  person  from  those  in  which  He  speaks  of  Himself 
in  the  third  person  :  or,  to  use  the  words  of  the  Midrash.  to 
separate  the  first  two,  which  the  Israelites  heard  directly 
from  God,  from  the  rest,  which  they  heard  through  Moses. 
The  last  commandment  was,  on  account  of  its  great  import- 
ance, given  in  two  different  forms.  In  the  first  the  general 
term  "house"  is  employed;  in  the  second  the  various  ele- 
ments constituting  the  "  house "  are  enumerated  instead. 
The  two  forms  of  the  commandment  are  separated  by  the 


I 


OUR  DUTIES.  267 

sign  of  a  pause,  because  each  of  them  is  complete  in  itself. 
Tradition  supports  our  division  of  the  Decalogue.  "  I 
am"  ('D3n)  and  "Thou  shalt  not  have"  ("|^  n^n""  5<^)  are 
mentioned  in  Talmud  and  Midrash,  also  in  Targum,  as  two 
distinct  commandments.  According  to  Philo  (On  the  Ten 
Comm.)  and  Josephus  (Antiq.  III.  v.  5),  the  verse,  "Thou 
shalt  have  .  .  .  before  me"  belongs  to  the  lirst  commandment. 

The  text  of  the  Decalogue,  as  repeated  Ijy  Moses  in  the 
plain  of  Moab  (Deut.  v.  6-8),  differs  from  the  original 
(Exod.  XX.  2-14).  One  of  the  differences,  the  first  word  of 
the  fourth  commandment — "iiaT)  "  Remembei',"  in  Exodus, 
and  "ii^DC',  "Observe,"  in  Deuteronomy  —  is  pointed  out 
in  Midrash  and  Talmud,  and  also  in  the  hymn  for  the 
Eve  of  Sabbath,  beginning,  "Come,  my  friend"  (nn  riD^). 
Tradition  explains  the  first  expression  as  refeiring  to  affir- 
mative commandments,  and  the  second  to  prohibitions ;  it 
further  teaches  that  "  both  expressions  were  spoken  by  God 
simultaneously;  "  that  is  to  say,  the  fouith  commandment 
in  Deuteronomy,  though  different  in  form,  does  not  imply 
anything  that  has  not  been  revealed  by  God  on  Movmt 
Sinai.     The  same  applies  to  all  points  of  difference. 

Why  did  Moses  introduce  the  alterations  ?  Ibn  Ezra, 
in  his  Commentary  on  the  Decalogue,  is  of  opinion  that  the 
question  need  not  be  asked,  or  answered  if  asked,  because  in 
the  repetition  of  a  Divine  message  the  original  words  may 
be  changed  so  long  as  the  sense  remains  intact.  But  the 
addition  of  the  phrase,  "  as  the  Lord  thy  God  commandeth 
thee  "  in  two  cases,  and  the  reference  to  the  deliverance 
from  Egyptian  servitude,  substituted  (in  Deut.)  in  the  fourth 
commandment  for  the  reference  to  the  Creation  (in  Exod.), 
lead  us  to  think  that  the  changes  were  not  introduced  un- 
intentionally or  without  any  purpose.  The  repeated  Deca- 
logue is  a  portion  of  an  address  in  which  Moses  exhorted 
a  new  generation  in  the  plains  of  Moab  to  obey  the  Divine 
Law,     It  is,  therefore,  not  unlikely  that  he  made  additions 


268  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

and  alterations  for  the  sake  of  emphasis,  where  he  noticed 
a  certain  laxity  among  those  whom  he  addressed.  Having 
come  in  contact  with  heathen  nations  and  observed  their 
rites  in  connection  with  their  sacred  days,  the  Israelites  may 
have  been  inclined  to  imitate  them ;  they  were  therefore  ex- 
horted to  sanctify  the  Sabbath  in  the  way  God  commanded ; 
hence  also  the  more  emphatic  "  Observe,"  lIDt^. — A  similar 
reason  may  have  caused  the  addition  of  the  same  phrase,  "  as 
the  Lord,  &c. ,"  to  the  fifth  commandment.  The  participation 
of  a  portion  of  the  Israelites  in  the  licentious  feasts  of  the 
Moabites  and  Midianites  disturbed  the  peace  of  their  homes 
and  loosened  the  sacred  family  tie,  Moses  therefore  points 
to  the  Divine  origin  of  the  law  commanding  obedience  to 
parents,  and  also  emphasises  the  blessings  which  it  will  yield 
by  adding  the  words,  "  and  in  order  that  it  may  be  well  with 
thee." — The  change  of  circumstances  has  also  caused  another 
alteration  in  the  fourth  commandment.  During  the  forty 
years  which  the  Israelites  were  compelled  to  spend  in  the 
wilderness,  they  almost  forgot  the  condition  of  their  former 
servitude ;  the  new  generation  did  not  know  it  at  all,  and 
they  grudged  their  slaves  the  one  day  of  rest  in  the  week. 
They  were  therefore  reminded  of  their  servitude  in  Egypt, 
and  were  asked  to  remember  it  in  order  that  they  might, 
out  of  gratitude  to  the  Almighty,  keep  the  Sabbath  as  He 
commanded  them. 

Another  indication  that  changed  circumstances  caused 
the  alterations  is  noticed  in  the  tenth  commandment. 
Having  arrived  at  the  border  of  Palestine,  the  Israelites 
were  about  to  take  possession  of  houses  and  fields,  and  two 
and  a  half  tribes  were  already  in  possession  of  landed  pro- 
perty. The  term  "house"  (n^n),  which  at  first  denoted  "the 
home  "  or  "  the  household,"  including  the  wife,  was  now  in 
the  minds  of  the  people  chiefly  "a  permanent  building." 
"The  wife,"  the  centre  and  the  chief  element  in  the  home, 
was  therefore  substituted  for  "  the  house  "  in  the  first  part  of 


I 


OUR  DUTIES.  269 

the  commandment,  and  vice  versa,  "  the  house  "  for  "  the 
wife"  in  the  second  part,  where  appropriately  "  nor  his  fiehl  " 
has  been  added. — The  substitution  of  "  Thou  shalt  not  de- 
sire "  (nixnn  ah)  for  the  original  "  Thou  shalt  not  covet "  (^'p 
IIDnn)  may  have  been  intended  to  teach  the  Israelites  that 
all  kinds  and  degrees  of  desire  were  forbidden,  and  to  remind 
them  of  the  consequences  of  desire  which  they  had  experi- 
enced at  "  the  graves  of  the  desire  "  (niNnn  ni"l2p  Num.  xi.). 
— One  more  important  alteration  is  to  be  noticed,  the  con- 
junctive "and"  (1.)  before  the  seventh  and  the  following 
commandments,  which  served  to  create  in  the  minds  of  the 
hearers  the  idea  that  the  crimes  forbidden  in  the  second 
part  of  the  Decalogue  are  to  some  extent  connected,  and  that 
he  who  broke  one  of  these  commandments  was  likely  to  break 
the  others  also.  We  are  thus  bidden  to  be  on  our  guard, 
and  to  take  good  care  that  none  of  them  be  violated  by  us. 
Note  2. — Ibn  Ezra,  in  his  Commentary  on  Exodus  xx. 
9,  says  :  "  Rabbi  Jehudah  ha-levi  asked  me  why  it  is  said 
in  the  Decalogue,  '  who  brought  thee  out  of  the  land  of 
Egypt,  out  of  the  house  of  bondage, '  and  not  '  who  created 
heaven  and  earth.'  My  answer  was  as  follows  :  Know  that 
those  who  believe  in  God  have  not  all  the  same  kind  of  faith. 
Some  believe  because  they  were  told  of  His  existence  by 
others ;  those  who  believe  in  God  because  the  holy  Torah 
teaches  this  belief  possess  a  higher  degree  of  faith.  If  an 
unbeKever  argues  with  either  of  these,  they  are  not  able  to 
refute  his  argument.  Those,  however,  who  study  sciences — 
Astronomy,  Botany,  Zoology,  and  Anthropology — learn  to 
understand  the  works  and  the  ways  of  God,  and  from  these 
the  Creator  Himself.  The  words  '  I  am  the  Lord  thy  God  ' 
can  only  be  understood  by  the  wise  and  intelligent  of  all 
nations.  For  they  all  see  that  God  has  made  heaven  and 
earth.  But  there  is  this  difference :  the  Israelites  believe 
that  the  Creation  has  taken  place  five  thousand  years  ago ; 
non-Israelites  assume  that  God  has  been  continually  creating 


270  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

from  eternity.  Now,  God  wrought  signs  and  wonders  in 
Egypt  by  which  He  delivered  the  Israelites  out  of  Egypt, 
and  thus  showed  them  His  Divine  justice  and  goodness.  In 
reference  to  these  viirades  it  is  said,  '  Thou  hast  been  shotvn 
to  knoio  that  the  Lord  is  God ;'  all  Israelites,  wise  and 
simple,  equally  witnessed  His  miracles.  The  beginning  of 
the  Decalogue,  therefore,  *  I  am  the  Lord  thy  God,'  is  well 
understood  by  the  wise ;  but  for  the  rest  of  the  nation  the 
words  'who  brought  thee  out,'  &c.,  have  been  added,  in 
order  that  all  without  exception  should  understand  it." 

Note  3. — Don  Isaac  Abarbanel,  in  his  Commentary  on 
Exodus  XX.,  says:  "The  Ten  Commandments  are  distin- 
guished from  the  other  Divine  precepts  in  three  things  : 
they  were  directly  communicated  by  God  to  the  Israelites, 
not  through  a  prophet ;  they  were  revealed  to  a  whole 
nation  at  once ;  and  they  were  written  on  the  two  tables  of 
stone  by  the  finger  of  God.  Such  distinction  necessarily 
indicates  a  greater  intrinsic  value  of  the  Ten  Command- 
ments. My  opinion  is  therefore  that  they  are  laws  of  a 
general  character,  and  principles  including  all  the  613 
precepts  which  the  Holy  One,  blessed  be  He,  gave  to  His 
people.  E.g.,  love  and  worship  of  God,  sanctification  of 
His  Name,  submission  to  His  judgment,  fear  of  God,  re- 
verence of  His  sanctuary,  and  other  duties  towards  God ; 
Passover,  Tabernacles,  Tefillin,  Mezuzah,  and  such  other 
precepts  as  are  '  a  memorial  of  the  departure  from  Egypt ; ' 
the  separation  of  the  first-born,  tithes,  &c. — all  these  duties 
are  implied  in  the  first  commandment.  Also  Rabbi  Levi  ben 
Gershon  and  the  Gaon  Saadiah  assume  that  all  the  613  pre- 
cepts are  implicitly  contained  in  the  Decalogue.  Although 
all  precepts  involving  practice  (nVfy^  nil^'io)  are  implied  in 
the  Decalogue,  and  even  allusions  to  each  one  of  the  thirteen 
principles  of  faith  may  be  discovered  in  it,  there  is  no  pre- 
cept concerning  our  faith.  It  has  already  been  proved  by 
Rabbi  Chisdai  that  by  the  Divine  commands  we  are  either 


OUR  DUTIES.  271 

told  to  do  a  certain  thing,  or  told  not  to  do  a  certain  thing ; 
but  what  we  have  to  believe  or  7iot  to  believe  the  Almighty 
taught  us  thx'ough  signs,  wonders,  and  revelation.  The 
words  '  I  am  the  Lord  thy  God,  who  brought  thee  out  of 
the  land  of  Egypt,  ovit  of  the  house  of  bondage,'  teach  a 
certain  truth,  a  principle  from  which  many  of  the  6 1 3 
precepts  may  be  derived,  but  which  is  in  itself  no  com- 
mandment.— The  Decalogue  (D^"l2Tn  mCJ'i?)  must  therefore 
not  be  understood  as  designating  ten  commandments,  but 
'  ten  words  '  or  '  ten  paragraphs  '  indicated  in  the  Hebrew 
text  by  the  pauses,  or  spaces  left  between  two  paragraphs. 

"  The  '  ten  words  '  were  written  on  two  tables,  five  on 
each.  The  first  five,  containing  positive  and  negative  pre- 
cepts, with  the  announcement  of  reward  and  punishment, 
were  exclusively  addressed  to  the  Israelites.  The  latter  five 
are  simple  prohibitions  without  any  mention  of  punishment ; 
because  they  were  addressed  to  man  as  man,  and  include 
only  such  laws  as  are  also  suggested  to  him  by  human 
reason,  without  direct  revelation." 

Rabbi  R.  S.  Hirsch,  in  his  Commentary  on  Exodus  xx., 
says  in  reference  to  the  first  commandment :  "  As  this 
verse  is  not  understood  as  a  mere  declaration,  but  as  a  com- 
mandment (niVtD),  it  does  not  say  '  I  am  thy  God,'  but '  I,  the 
Lord,  shall  be  thy  God,'  and  thus  contains  as  the  foundation 
of  all  our  duties  towards  God  an  exhortation  to  acknowledge 
the  sovereignty  of  God,  D''OK>  nn'pD  b)]}  rhlp. 

"  The  so-called  '  belief  in  the  existence  of  God,'  as  ancient 
and  modern  theologians  generally  express  this  idea,  differs 
widely  from  that  which  underlies  this  fundamental  doctiine 
of  Judaism.  The  truth  which  affords  me  the  foundation  of 
a  Jewish  life  is  not  the  belief  that  there  is  a  God,  or  that 
there  is  only  one  God,  but  the  conviction  that  this  One, 
Only,  and  true  God  is  7ny  God ;  that  He  has  created  and 
formed  me,  has  placed  me  here,  and  given  me  certain  duties  ; 
that  He  constantly  makes  and  forms  me,  preserves,  protects, 


272  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

directs,  and  guides  me ;  not  the  belief  that  I,  an  accidental 
product  of  the  Universe  whose  First  Cause  He  was  millions 
of  years  ago,  am  through  a  chain  of  thousands  of  inter- 
vening beings  related  to  Him,  but  the  belief  that  every 
moment  of  my  existence  is  a  direct  personal  gift  from  the 
Almighty  and  All-good,  and  that  every  moment  of  my  life 
ought  to  be  spent  in  His  service ;  not  the  knowledge  that 
there  is  a  God,  but  the  recognition  of  God  as  my  God,  as 
the  sole  Cause  of  my  fate,  and  my  sole  Guide  in  all  that 
I  do,  gives  me  the  foundation  for  my  religious  life.  The 
response  to  the  exhortation,  '  I  shall  be  thy  God,'  is  '  Thou 
art  my  God.'  " 

Note  4. — The  importance  attached  to  the  Decalogue  may 
be  gathered  from  the  various  attempts  made,  on  the  one 
hand,  to  classify  the  Divine  laws  according  to  the  Ten  Com- 
mandments, showing  that  the  latter  contain  all  the  613 
precepts ;  and,  on  the  other  hand,  to  find  in  such  important 
passages  as  the  Shema  and  Leviticus  xix.  a  parallel  for  each 
of  the  Ten  Commandments.  (Jerus.  Talm.  Ber.,  chap.  i. ; 
Rabboth,  Vayyikra  ad  locum.) 

II.   General  Moral  Principles. 

The  Ten  Commandments,  flowing  as  it  were  from, 
the  one  source,  "  I  am  the  Lord  thy  God,"  branch 
off  in  all  directions,  and  penetrate  all  man's  relations, 
guide  him  in  his  conduct  towards  God,  towards  his 
fellow-men  and  towards  himself,  and  teach  him  how  to 
rule  his  thought,  his  speech,  and  his  actions.  When 
the  Almighty  proclaims  to  us,  "  I  am  the  Lord  thy 
God,"  we  willingly  respond,  "  Thou  art  my  God."  But 
this  declaration  involves  also  duties  on  our  part,  the 
fulfilment  of  which  is  the  natural  consequence  and 
the  verification  of  our  response.     If  our  words,  "  Thou 


OUR  DUTIES.  273 

art  my  God,"  come  from  our  hearts,  and  are  not 
empty  sounds,  uttered  merely  by  the  lips,  we  must  be 
conscious  of  the  duties  they  impose  on  us.  These 
are : — 

A.  Duties  towards  God,  as  our  Master,  Creator,  and 
Father. 

B.  Duties  towards  our  fellow-men,  as  children  of 
one  God.. 

C.  Duties  towards  ourselves,  as  the  object  of  God's 
Providence. 

A.  Duties  towards  God. 

(a.)  Duties  of  the  Heart. 

I.  Fear  of  God.  Dt>'n  nxT" — The  true  knowledge 
of  God,  of  His  Wisdom  and  Greatness,  as  visible  in 
His  works,  leads  us  to  fear  God ;  that  is,  to  fear 
doing  anything  that  might  displease  Him  and  make 
us  unworthy  of  His  love.  It  is  not  a  fear  that  terrifies 
us  and  drives  us  away  from  His  presence ;  on  the  con- 
trary, it  draws  us  nearer  to  Him,  and  causes  us  to  try 
to  become  more  and  more  worthy  of  His  love. 

"  And  now,  0  Israel,  what  doth  the  Lord  thy  God 
require  of  thee  but  to  fear  the  Lord  thy  God  ?  "  (Deut. 
X.  12). 

"  It  thou  wilt  not  observe  to  do  all  the  words  of  this 
law  that  are  written  in  this  book,  that  thou  mayest 
fear  this  name  which  is  to  be  honoured  and  revered, 
the  Lord  thy  God ;  then  the  Lord  will  make  thy 
plagues  wonderful"  (Deut.  xsviii.  58). 

"  The  fear  of  the  Lord  is  the  beginning  of  know- 
ledge" (Prov.  i.  7). 

S 


274  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

"  The  becrinninsr  of  wisdom  is  the  fear  of  the  Lord  " 
(Ps.  cxi.  lo), 

''  The  fear  of  the   Lord  is  to  hate  evil "  (Prov.  viii. 

13). 

"  The  fear  of  the  Lord  prolongeth  days  "  (Prov.  x.  27). 

"  Fear  God,  and  keep  his  commandments ;  for  this 
is  the  whole  duty  of  man"  (Eccles.  xii.  i  3). 

"  He  who  possesses  learning  but  is  without  fear  of 
God,  resembles  a  treasurer  who  has  the  key  for  the 
inner  door,  but  not  for  the  outer  one ''  (Babyl.  Talm. 
Sabb.  31&). 

"  Everything  is  in  the  hand  of  God  except  the  fear 
of  God"  (Babyl.  Talm.  Ber.  S^h)} 

2.  Love  of  God.  Q^n  ranx — The  true  fear  of  God 
is  associated  with  the  love  of  God.  The  latter  means 
the  constant  longing  for  communion  with  Him,  feeling 
happy  and  joyful  when  with  Him,  but  unhappy  and 
miserable  when  without  Him.  Love  of  God  creates  in 
us  an  anxiety  to  do  everything  in  our  power  that  might 
please  the  Almighty.  He  who  is  filled  with  love  of 
God  is  T'on,  pious  ;  he  does  not  rest  content  with  doing 
what  he  is  commanded,  but  anxiously  seeks  the  oppor- 
tunity of  fulfilling  a  Divine  command ;  he  is  iriK  flTi") 
nivon,  "  eager  in  the  pursuit  of  Mitsvoth."  The  fear 
of  God  is  the  beginning  of  knowledge,  but  love  of 
God  is  the  aim  and  end  of  all  our  relio'ious  thinkinfr 
and  striving. 

"  Thou  shalt  love  the  Lord  thy  God  with  all  thine 
heart,  and  with  all  thy  soul,  and  with  all  thy  might  " 
(Deut.  vi.  5). 

'  I.e.,  if  a  person  has  no  fear  of  God,  he  is  himself  the  sole  cause  of 
its  absence,  and  he  alone  is  responsible  for  it. 


I 


OUR  DUTIES.  275 

"  The  Lord  preserveth  all  those  who  love  hiai "  (Ps. 
cslv.  20). 

"  Thou  wilt  show  me  the  path  of  life.  In  thy  pre- 
sence is  fulness  of  joy  ;  in  thy  right  hand  there  are 
pleasures  for  evermore  "  (Ps.  xvi.  1 1 ). 

"  As  the  hart  panteth  after  the  water  brooks,  so 
panteth  my  soul  after  thee,  0  God  "  (Ps.  xlii.  2). 

"  Blessed  are  they  who  dwell  in  thy  house :  they 
will  be  still  praising  thee"  (Ps.  Ixxxiv.  5). 

"  The  desire  of  our  soul  is  to  thy  name,  and  to  the 
remembrance  of  thee  ''  (Isa.  xxvi.  8). 

"  I  will  rejoice  in  the  Lord  ;  I  will  joy  in  the  God 
of  my  salvation  "  (Hab.  iii.  1 8). 

3.  Gratitude  toivards  God. — All  that  v/e  possess,  the 
very  breatk  we  breathe,  is  a  present  received  at  the 
hands  of  the  Almighty.  Whatever  success  we  desire 
to  achieve,  whatever  undertaking  we  desire  to  accom- 
plish, we  must  ourselves  first  strive  for  it  to  the  utmost 
of  our  power,  and  this  done,  we  may  hope  for  the  Divine 
blessing.  When  we  have  attained  what  we  sought,  we 
are  warned  against  believing  that  "  our  power  and  the 
strength  of  our  hand  hath  gotten  us  this  wealth."  We 
are  to  "  remember  the  Lord  our  God,  for  it  is  he  that 
giveth  us  power  to  get  wealth"  (Deut.  viii.  17—18). 

"  For  all  things  come  of  thee,  and  of  thine  own 
hand  have  we  given  thee  "  (l  Chron.  xxix.  14). 

"  Whoso  ofFereth  the  sacrifice  of  thanksgiving  glori- 
fieth  me"  (Ps.  1.  23). 

"  Though  all  sacrifices  should  cease,  the  sacrifice  of 
thanksgiving  will  never  cease"  (Vayyikra  Rabba  ix.). 

4.  Reverence  for  His  Name. — The  more  we  fear  and 
love  God,  the  deeper  and  the  more  intense  is  our  feeling 


276  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

of  reverence  for  everything  whicli  is  connected  in  our 
thoughts  with  the  name  of  the  Ahnightv.  Whenever 
we  enter  a  place  dedicated  to  His  worship,  or  open  the 
Book  that  bears  His  name,  or  celebi-ate  the  days  set 
apart  as  "  seasons  of  the  Lord,"  this  feeling  of  reverence 
overcomes  ns,  and  finds  expression  in  our  conduct.  The 
reverence  for  the  name  of  God  impels  us  also  to  re- 
spect ministers  and  teachers  who  spend  their  life  in 
spreading  the  knowledge  of  God  and  His  Will. 

"  How  awful  is  this  place  !  this  is  none  other  but 
the  house  of  God  "  (Gen.  xxviii.  17). 

"  I  will  come  into  thy  house  in  the  multitude  of  thy 
mercy  :  and  in  thy  fear  will  I  worship  toward  thy  holy 
temple  "  (Ps.  v.  8). 

"  When  I  will  publish  the  name  of  the  Lprd,  ascribe 
ye  greatness  unto  our  God  "  (Deut.  xxxii.  3). 

5.  Obedience  to  the  Will  of  God. — Whatever  the 
Almighty,  whom  we  love  and  fear,  bids  us  do,  we  not 
only  do,  but  find  pleasure  in  doing. 

"  To  obey  is  better  than  sacrifice,  and  to  hearken 
than  the  fat  of  rams.  For  rebellion  is  as  the  sin  of 
witchcraft,  and  stubbornness  is  as  iniquity  and  idolatry  " 
( I  Sam.  XV.  22,  23). 

"  But  this  thing  commanded  I  them,  saying,  Obey 
my  voice,  and  I  will  be  your  God,  and  ye  shall  be  my 
people"  (Jer.  vii.  23). 

'■  Thy  statutes  have  been  my  song  in  the  house  of 
my  pilgrimage"  (Ps.  cxix.  54). 

"  Thy  testimonies  have  I  taken  as  an  heritage  for 
ever :  for  they  are  the  rejoicing  of  my  heart "  (Ps. 
cxix.  III). 

"  Sacrifice  and  ofiering  thou  didst  not  desire ;   mine 


OUR  DUTIES.  277 

ears  liast  thou  opened ;  burnt  offering  and  sin  ottering 
hast  thou  not  required.  Then  said  I,  Lo,  I  come 
with  the  volume  of  the  book  written  for  me  :  I  delight 
to  do  thy  will,  O  my  God :  yea,  thy  law  is  written 
within  my  heart "  (Ps.  xl.  7—9). 

6.  Faith  and  Confidence  in  God. — God  is  All-kind, 
All-wise,  and  All-powerful.  The  Lord  is  good  to 
all,  and  His  mercy  is  over  all  His  creatures :  He 
wills  that  which  is  ffood  for  us.  Being  All-wise,  He 
knows  best  what  is  good  for  us,  and  by  what  means 
it  can  be  attained  ;  being  All-powerful,  He  can  always 
carry  His  Will  into  effect.  He  is,  therefore,  the  only 
Being  to  whom  we  can  safely  entrust  ourselves  every- 
where and  always.  In  His  words  and  commands, 
exhortations  and  warnings,  we  have  the  best  and 
surest  guide  through  life.  Our  confidence  in  God 
causes  us  to  turn  to  Him  for  help  in  time  of  need, 
and  for  comfort  in  time  of  sorrow. 

"  Into  his  hand  I  commend  my  spirit^  when  I  sleep 
and  when  I  wake  ;  and  with  my  spirit  my  body  also  : 
the  Lord  is  for  me,  and  I  shall  not  fear "  (Daily 
Prayers,  Morning  Service). 

"  Blessed  is  the  man  that  trusteth  in  the  Lord,  and 
whose  hope  the  Lord  is  "  (Jer.  xvii,  7). 

"  Trust  in  the  Lord,  and  do  good  "  (Ps.  xxxvii.  3). 

"  Wait  on  the  Lord  :  be  of  good  courage,  and  he 
shall  strengthen  thine  heart  ;  and  wait  on  the  Lord  "' 
(Ps.  xxvii.  14). 

"  The  Lord  is  my  shepherd,  I  shall  not  want "  (Ps. 
xxiii.  i). 

7.  Resignation  to  the  Will  of  God. — Trusting  in 
God's  goodness,  we  are  contented  with  the  lot  which 


278  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

He  determined  for  us.  When  we  are  prosperous  we 
hope  for  His  protection,  lest  we  become  corrupted  and 
unworthy  of  His  goodness ;  when  we  fail,  faith  in  God 
will  keep  us  from  despair  and  encourage  us  to  fresh 
attempts ;  when  misfortune  befalls  us  which  it  is  im- 
possible for  us  to  remedy,  we  resign  ourselves  unto  His 
Will,  and  say,  "  The  Lord  gave,  and  the  Lord  hath 
taken  away  !   blessed  be  the  Name  of  the  Lord  !  " 

"  My  flesh  and  my  heart  failed ;  but  God  is  tlie 
strength  of  my  heart  and  my  portion  for  ever"  (Ps. 
Ixxiii.  26). 

"  I  am  in  a  great  strait :  let  us  fall  now  into  the 
hand  of  the  Lord;  for  his  mercy  is  great"  (2  Sam. 
xxiv.  14). 

"  We  are  bound  to  bless  God  in  evil  even  as  we 
bless  Him  in  good  fortune.  It  is  written  :  '  And  thou 
shalt  love  the  Lord,  thy  God,  with  all  thine  heart,  and 
with  all  thy  soul,  and  with  all  thy  might '  (Deut. 
vi.  5)  ;  love  Him  vAth  all  thy  soul  or  life — i.e.,  even 
though  for  His  sake  thou  risk  thy  life  ;  and  with  all 
thy  ivealth — that  is,  whatever  measure  He  metes  out 
to  thee,  acknowledge  with  exceeding  gratitude "  ^ 
(Mishnah  Berachoth  ix.  5). 

(^.)  Duties  towards  God:  In  Speech. 

The  feelings  of  fear  and  love  of  God,  of  reverence, 
obedience,  faith,  gratitude,  and  resignation,  must  also 

i  The  words  of  the  Mishnah  are  ""in  "j^  "niJS  KinL"  mDI  mO  ^33 
TX?3  V  rniD  'T'^'®  meaning's  of  three  roots  are  combined  in  this  in- 
terpretation of  the  words  "|TXD  ?DI1  viz.,  TXD  "exceedingly,"  HTID 
"measuring,"  and  miD  "thanking."  The  three  words  are  similar  in 
sound. 


OUR  DUTIES.  279 

find  adequate  expression  in  our  speech.  God,  the 
Omniscient,  knows  our  thoughts  and  sentiments,  and 
there  would  be  no  necessity  for  giving  them  an 
outward  expression,  if  we  only  intended  thereby  to 
make  them  known  to  the  Almighty.  But  as  in  our 
relations  to  our  fellow-men — e.g.,  to  our  parents  or  to 
our  children — we  frequently,  in  obedience  to  an  irresist- 
ible impulse,  communicate  to  them  in  words  what  we 
think  and  what  we  feel,  even  when  convinced  that 
we  only  tell  them  things  well  known  to  them  already, 
so  we  address  the  Almighty,  who  is  everywhere  near 
unto  us,  and  listens  to  our  speech,  although  our  wishes 
are  known  to  Him  before  we  utter  them,  and  our  inner- 
most feelings  are  open  before  Him  before  we  express 
them  in  words.  We  are  aware  that  there  is  an  im- 
measurable difference  between  the  Divine  Being  and 
earthly  creatures  like  ourselves.  We  know  that  He 
is  not  subject  to  human  weaknesses,  and  that  the 
audible  sound  of  words  cannot  move  Him  more  than 
the  thoughts  and  feelings  that  prompt  the  words  to 
come  forth.  And  yet  the  mere  communion  of  our 
heart  with  our  Creator  does  not  satisfy  us  ;  we  feel 
ourselves  impelled  by  some  inner  force  to  give  it  an 
outward  expression.  Besides,  there  is  a  constant  inter- 
action between  our  thoughts  and  our  spoken  words. 
Thoughts  and  feelings  that  remain  unspoken,  are 
seldom  permanent :  we  soon  cease  to  be  conscious  of 
them  ourselves,  and  they  often  disappear  without 
leaving  any  trace  behind  them,  whilst  sentiments  and 
ideas  expressed  in  spoken  words  become  strengthened 
and  take  a  deeper  and  firmer  root  in  our  hearts.  The 
relationship  between  our  lips  and  our  heart  is  there- 


28o  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

fore  of  mutual  benefit  to  both  :  the  words  uttered  with 
the  lips  receive  their  value  and  importance  from  the 
heart,  and  the  emotions  of  the  heart  derive  strength 
and  support  from  the  lips. 

I .  Prayer. — All  our  feelings  and  sentiments  towards 
the  Almighty,  our  love  and  fear,  faith  and  confi- 
dence, gratitude  and  resignation,  find  in  Divine  wor- 
ship their  due  expression.  When  our  soul  is  full  of 
the  love  of  God,  and  yearns  for  His  presence,  we 
call  upon  Him  in  hymns  and  songs  of  praise,  and  He 
is  "nigh  to  all  them  who  call  upon  him,  to  all  that 
call  upon  him  in  truth  "  (Ps.  cxlv.  1 8). 

"  I  will  sing  unto  the  Lord  as  long  as  I  live  ;  I  will 
sing  praise  to  my  God  while  I  have  any  being.  Let 
ray  meditation  be  sweet  unto  him :  I  will  rejoice  in 
the  Lord"  (Ps.  civ.  -^"i,  34)- 

"  Praise  ye  the  Lord :  for  it  is  good  to  sing  praises 
unto  our  God  ;  for  it  is  pleasant,  and  praise  is  comely  " 
(Ps.  cxlvii.  i). 

"  I  will  bless  the  Lord  at  all  times :  his  praise 
shall  continually  be  in  my  mouth  "  (Ps.  xxxiv.  2). 

"  0  Lord,  open  my  lips ;  and  my  mouth  shall  show 
forth  thy  praise  "  (Ps.  li.  17). 

Our  desire  to  please  Him  whom  we  love  sincerely, 
our  longing  for  an  opportunity  to  do  what  is  good  in 
His  eyes,  ought  not  to  remain  hidden  and  silent.  The 
sooner  and  the  more  frequently  we  give  expression 
to  these  wishes  in  audible  words,  the  sooner  do  they 
become  realised,  and  the  sooner  are  the  promptings  of 
our  heart  followed  by  deeds. 

"  With  my  lips  have  I  declared  all  the  judgments 
of  thy  mouth"  (Ps.  cxix.  13). 


OUR  DUTIES.  28 1 

"  How  sweet  are  thy  words  unto  my  palate  !  yea, 
sweeter  to  my  mouth  than  honey"  (Ps.  cxix.   103). 

"  Let  my  tongue  sing  of  thy  word  ;  for  all  thy  com- 
mandments are  righteousness"  (Ps.  cxix.  1 7 2). 

We  fear  lest  we  offend  and  displease  Him  by  our 
words  or  acts ;  we  recall  to  our  mind  the  holiness  of 
a  God  "  who  has  no  pleasure  in  wickedness,  and  with 
whom  evil  shall  not  sojourn"  (Ps.  v.  5);  we  not  only 
meditate  on  the  Holy  One,  but  speak  and  sing  of 
Him.  Our  meditation  finds  expression  in  songs  on 
the  holiness  of  God,  and  these  songs  again  supply  fresh 
material  for  meditation  ;  we  thus  hope  to  fence  and 
guard  our  heart  against  the  intrusion  of  anything 
unworthy  of  the  presence  of  the  Most  Holy. 

"  Who  shall  ascend  the  hill  of  the  Lord  ?  and  who 
shall  stand  in  his  holy  place  ?  He  that  hath  clean 
hands  and  a  pure  heart"  (Ps.  xxiv,  3,  4). 

"  I  will  wash  mine  hands  in  innocency  ;  so  will  I 
compass  thine  altar ''  (Ps.  xxvi.  6). 

Our  weakness  and  helplessness  in  many  condi- 
tions of  life  fill  us  with  trouble  and  care.  When 
we  enjoy  good  health,  we  fear  a  change  might  take 
place  ;  in  possession  of  wealth,  we  are  in  anxiet}" :  it 
might  be  taken  from  us.  The  pleasures  of  homo  and 
family  we  know  to  be  but  temporary  :  how  soon  may 
sorrow  visit  us  there !  From  all  these  fears  and 
anxieties  we  seek  and  find  refuge  in  Him,  who  is 
"a  stronghold  to  the  weak,  a  stronghold  in  times  of 
trouble"  (Ps.  ix.  10).  We  tell  Him  confidently  all 
the  troubles  and  cares  of  our  heart,  as  we  would  do  to  a 
friend  who  is  always  willing  and  ready  to  help  us. 
We  have  faith  in  God,  and  therefore  we  approach  Him 


282  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

with  our  petitions  ;  and  when  we  have  poured  forth  our 
heart  before  the  All-merciful  we  feel  more  at  ease,  and 
our  faith  and  confidence  have  gained  in  strength. 

"  He  shall  call  upon  me,  and  I  will  answer  hira  :  I 
will  be  with  him  in  trouble  ;  I  will  deliver  him  and 
honour  him  "  (Ps.  xci.  15). 

"  When  they  have  cried  unto  the  Lord  in  their 
trouble,  he  will  save  them  out  of  their  distresses " 
(Ps.  cvii.  6). 

"  Because  he  hath  inclined  his  ear  unto  me,  therefore 
will  I  call  upon  him  as  long  as  I  live.  When  I  find 
trouble  and  sorrow,  then  will  I  call  upon  the  name  of 
the  Lord.  When  I  take  the  cup  of  salvation,  then  will 
I  call  upon  the  name  of  the  Lord  "  (Ps.  cxvi.  2,  4,  13). 

"  What  suflferings  may  be  called  chastisements  of 
love  ?  Such  as  do  not  prevent  us  from  prayer " 
(Babyl.  Talm.  Ber.  5  a). 

"  Even  when  the  edge  of  the  sword  touches  already 
a  man's  neck,  even  then  he  must  not  abandon  his 
faith  in  praying  to  God  "  (BabyL  Talm.  Ber.  i  oa). 

"  '  I  was  asleep,  but  my  heart  was  awake  ; '  I  have 
no  sacrifices,  but  I  have  '  Shema  '  and  '  Prayer  '  "  (Shir 
ha-shirim  Rabba  on  v.  2). 

"'Hope  in  the  Lord,' and  pray  again "  (Rabboth, 
Deuter.,  chap.  ii.). 

Our  Rabbis  teach,  "  Prayer  is  good  for  man  both 
before  his  fate  has  been  decreed  and  after  it  has  been 
decreed"  (Babyl.  Talm.  Rosh-hashshauah,  p.  i6a).  But 
at  the  same  time  we  are  warned  against  impatiently 
expecting  and  demanding  an  immediate  effect  from  the 
words  uttered  by  our  lips,  however  devoutly  they  may 
have  been  spoken.      Such  expectation — denounced  in 


OUR  DUTIES.  2S.3 

the  Talmud  as  n^sn  jvj)  ^ — \yould  indicate  our  confidence 
in  the  wisdom  of  our  petition,  whilst  confidence  in  the 
wisdom  and  goodness  of  God  would  suggest  that  "  the 
Lord  will  do  wliat  is  good  in  his  eyes." 

We  give  expression  to  onr  feelings  of  gratiUide 
towards  our  benefactor  by  acknowledging  the  fact,  that 
whatever  we  enjoy,  we  are  enabled  to  enjoy  through 
His  kindness.  The  various  blessings  formulated  by 
our  Sages  serve  a  double  purpose  :  first,  they  facili- 
tate the  expression  of  our  feelings ;  secondly,  they 
remind  us  of  the  presence  of  the  Almighty,  and  of 
His  goodness  in  providing  for  us  and  all  His  crea- 
tures. From  the  time  we  awake  in  the  morning  till 
the  evening  when  we  lie  down  to  sleep,  there  is  not  a 
moment  that  does  not  bring  to  our  knowledge  some 
Divine  act  of  kindness  towards  us.  In  the  morning 
we  perceive  the  benefit  of  light,  in  the  evening  we 
have  reason  to  welcome  the  blessing  of  repose  it 
brings  with  it,  while  the  interval  between  the  two 
periods  constantly  reveals  to  him  who  does  not  wilfully 
shut  his  eyes  the  hand  of  Him  "  who  is  good,  and 
whose  loving-kindness  eudureth  for  ever." 

"  I  will  give  thanks  to  thee,  for  thou  hast  answered 
me,  and  art  become  my  salvation  "  (Ps.  cxviii.  2  i). 

"  I  will  sacrifice  unto  thee  with  the  voice  of  thanks 
giving"  (Jon.  ii.  10). 

"Though    all    prayers    were    to    be    discontinued, 

'  The  term  H^SD  JVl?  (lit,  "reflecting  on  prayer")  ha.s  two  mean- 
ings :  (l)  reflecting  on  the  prayer  while  uttering  it;  devotion;  in 
German,  Andacht  ;  (2)  reflecting  on  the  prayer  after  having  uttered 
it,  while  we  are  waiting  for  the  sure  fulfilment  of  the  wishes  expressed 

in  it. 


2S4  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

prayers  of  thanksgiving  will  never  be  discontinued  " 
(Vayyikra  Rabba,  chap.  ix.). 

When  things  happen  which  are  not  pleasant  to  us, 
which  give  us  pain  and  sorrow,  we  ought  to  consider 
that  the  plans  of  God  are  different  from  our  plans, 
and  His  ways  from  our  ways,  and  what  He  wills  is 
better  for  us  than  our  own  wishes.  With  resignation, 
without  murmuring,  we  ought  to  utter  words  of  praise 
and  thanks  to  the  Almighty. 

"  The  Lord  gave,  and  the  Lord  hath  taken  away ; 
blessed  be  the  name  of  the  Lord  "  (Job  i.  21). 

"  Learn  to  say,  *  Whatever  the  Almighty  does,  is 
done  for  our  good'"  (Babyl.  Talm.  Ber.  6oh). 

Public  Service. — Man  has  a  natural  desire  to  com- 
municate his  sentiments  to  his  fellow-men,  and  finds 
a  certain  pleasure  or  relief  in  knowing  that  others 
share  in  his  joys  and  sorrows.  The  same  is  the  case 
with  regard  to  his  sentiments  towards  the  Most  High. 
If,  yearning  for  communion  with  God,  we  fervently 
appeal  to  Him  in  solitude,  where  we  are  undisturbed 
by  the  intrusion  of  any  other  person,  it  will  not  be 
long  before  we  shall  feel  ourselves  in  the  very  presence 
of  Him  who  is  "  nigh  to  all  those  who  call  upon  him 
in  truth."  Standing  before  the  Almighty,  the  Creator 
and  Master  of  the  whole  Universe  as  well  as  of  our- 
selves, we  should  like  all  nature  to  join  in  His  praises, 
and  we  summon  the  inhabitants  of  the  heavens  above. 
His  angels  and  hosts,  sun,  moon,  and  all  the  stars  of  light; 
and  the  dwellers  on  earth  below,  inanimate  and  animate, 
irrational  and  rational,  kings  with  their  peoples,  to 
come  and  to  praise  the  name  of  God  (Ps.  cxlviii.).  Such 
moments  of  solitary   devotion  are   very  precious,  and 


OUR  DUTIES.  2S5 

are  by  no  means  to  be  despised.  But  tbey  are  not 
frequent,  and  not  always  successful.  Public  worship 
lias  this  advantage,  that  the  object  of  our  meeting,  the 
holiness  of  the  place,  and  the  union  in  a  worship  with 
our  fellow-men  combine  to  create,  maintain,  or  in- 
tensify our  devotion.  Although  each  one  has  his  indi- 
vidual wants,  joys,  and  sorrows,  there  are  many  wants, 
joys,  and  sorrows  which  we  have  all  in  common,  and 
concerning  which  we  may  in  common  give  expression 
to  our  feelings  in  prayer,  praise,  and  thanksgiving. 

"  Bless  ye  the  Lord  in  congregations  "  (Ps.  Ixviii.  27). 

"If  ten  pray  together,  the  presence  of  God  is  with 
them"  (Babyl.  Talm.  Ber.  Ca). 

"  '  But  as  for  me,  my  prayer  is  unto  thee,  0  Lord, 
in  an  acceptable  time'  (Ps.  Ixix.  14):  which  is  the 
acceptable  time  ?  The  time  of  public  worship  "  (Babyl. 
Talm.  Ber.  8a). 

2.  Study  of  the  law  (min  TiO^n)- — Another  way  of 
employing  speech  in  the  service  of  the  Lord  is  the 
reading  and  the  study  of  the  Word  of  God :  the  Holy 
Scriptures  and  their  Commentaries.  Our  love  and 
reverence  of  God  ought  to  induce  us  frequently  to  con- 
sult the  book  which  contains  His  commandments,  and 
which  He  has  given  us  as  a  guide  and  companion. 
Even  if  we  derived  no  further  benefit  than  the  con- 
sciousness of  having  spent  some  time  in  reading  His 
Word  revealed  to  us  by  the  mouth  of  the  Prophets, 
the  time  thus  spent  would  not  be  wasted.  But  we 
derive  a  further  advantage.  It  is  impossible  to  imagine 
that  our  devoting  a  certain  time,  however  short  it  may 
be,  to  the  reading  of  the  words  of  the  Most  Holy 
should  have  no  purifying  influence  upon  us,  provided 


286  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

we  approach  the  book  before  us  with  due  reverence, 
and  with  the  intention  to  be  guided  by  its  teachings. 

Joshua,  when  placed  at  the  head  of  the  nation,  is 
exhorted  by  the  Almighty  as  follows :  "  This  book  of 
the  law  shall  not  depart  out  of  thy  mouth  ;  but  thou 
shalt  meditate  therein  day  and  night,  that  thou  mayest 
observe  to  do  according  to  all  that  is  written  therein  " 
(Joshua  i.  8). 

"  As  for  me,  this  is  my  covenant  with  them,  saith 
the  Lord  :  my  spirit  that  is  upon  thee,  and  my  words 
which  I  have  put  in  thy  mouth,  shall  not  depart  out 
of  thy  mouth,  nor  out  of  the  mouth  of  thy  seed,  nor 
out  of  the  mouth  of  thy  seed's  seed,  saith  the  Lord, 
from  henceforth  and  for  ever." 

3.  TeacJiing. — The  gift  of  speech  is  of  service  also 
in  communicating  our  thoughts,  feelings,  and  convic- 
tions to  our  fellow-men.  They  who  are  able  to  read 
the  Word  of  God  and  to  understand  it,  ought  to  read 
and  expound  it  to  those  who  are  less  favoured  ;  they 
who  feel  the  presence  of  God,  and  comprehend  His 
holiness,  goodness,  and  unity,  ought  to  direct  the 
hearts  of  their  brethi-en  to  God,  His  words  and  works. 
It  is  a  special  duty  and  privilege  of  the  Jew  to 
proclaim  and  teach  the  Existence  and  the  Unity  of 
God— siun  mn'' 

"  And  thou  shalt  teach  them  diligently  unto  thy  chil- 
dren, and  shalt  talk  of  them  when  thou  sittest  in  thine 
house,  and  when  thou  walkest  by  the  way,  and  when 
thou  liest  down  and  when  thou  risest  up  "  (Deut.  vi.  7). 

"  Happy  are  Ave  !  how  goodly  is  our  portion,  and 
how  pleasant  is  our  lot,  and  how  beautiful  our  heri- 
tage !     Happy  are  we  who  early  and  late,  morning  and 


OUR  DUTIES.  2S7 

evening-,  twice  every  day,  declare,  '  Hear,  0  Israel,  the 
Lord  is  our  God,  the  Lord  is  One ' !  "  (Daily  Prayers, 
Morning  Service). 

4.  Iicvarnce  of  the  Name  of  God. — The  mention  of 
the  name  of  God  ought  to  make  us  most  careful  about 
that  which  we  utter  in  connection  with  it.  If  a  person 
makes  a  promise  or  statement  on  oath  carelessly  or 
with  levity,  he  shows  that  he  has  no  reverence  of  the 
name  of  God ;  -no  fear  of  God.  It  is  only  through 
such  irreverence  that  a  person  is  capable  of  breaking 
the  third  commandment.  Blasphemy,  a  sin  treated  in 
the  Bible  as  a  capital  crime,  has  likewise  its  source  in 
want  of  due  reverence  of  God's  name.  In  order  to 
preserve  and  strengthen  that  reverence  we  must  avoid 
pronouncing  the  Divine  name  too  frequently.  Hence 
arose  the  custom  of  substituting  such  words  as  COT 
"  the  Name,"  Dlpon  "  the  Omnipresent,"  for  the  names 
of  God,  and  employing  in  ordinary  writing  letters  like 
n  or  T  or  11  instead  of  any  of  the  Divine  names.  In 
writing  single  letters  instead  of  the  full  names  we  also 
intend  to  guard  ourselves  against  causing  irreverence 
towards  the  name  of  God  ;  as  our  writing  is  frequently 
destroyed  or  liable  to  be  thrown  among  the  refuse. 
This  precaution,  dictated  by  a  feeling  of  reverence 
for  God  and  His  name,  serves  at  the  same  time  to 
strengthen  that  feeling.^ 

From  the  same  reason,  the  word  which  is  exclusively 

^  In  the  whole  Book  of  Esther  the  name  of  God  does  not  occur  ewn 
once.  It  is  not  mere  chance  ;  there  are  several  passages  where  tlie 
mention  of  the  Divine  Being  is  expected,  and  it  is  believed  that  the 
omission  is  due  to  the  fear  of  a  subse((uent  desecration  of  the  book  in 
the  hands  of  the  I'eroians. 


288  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

used  as  a  name  of  God,  the  Tetragrammaton/  was 
rarely  pronounced,  and  in  reading  the  Bible  the  word 
Adonai,  "  My  Lord,"  is  substituted  wherever  it  occurs. 
It  was  only  pronounced  in  the  Temple  by  the  High- 
priest  on  the  Day  of  Atonement,  in  the  Confession 
of  Sins,  and  in  the  Prayer  for  Forgiveness  ;  and  by  the 
ordinary  priests  when  they  blessed  the  people  in  ac- 
cordance with  the  Divine  precepts  (Num.  vi.  24—26). 
Since  the  destruction  of  the  Temple  the  Tetragramma- 
ton  has  not  been  pronounced,  and  thus  it  has  come 
about  that  the  right  pronunciation  of  the  word  is  at 
present  unknown. 

5 .  The  consciousness  that  we  frequently  address  the 
Almighty  with  our  lips,  and  read  His  Holy  Word, 
ought  to  make  us  strive  for  the  utmost  purity  and 
holiness  in  our  speech.  When  the  prophet  Isaiah, 
in  a  Divine  vision,  perceived  the  majesty  of  the  Most 
High,  and  heard  the  sound  of  His  ministering  angels 
proclaiming  His  holiness,  a  sense  of  his  own  failings 
forced  even  from  this  chosen  messenger  of  God  the 
confession,  "  Woe  is  me  !  for  I  am  undone  ;  because  I 
am  a  man,  unclean  in  lips,  and  I  dwell  in  the  midst 
of  a  people  unclean  in  lips,  for  mine  eyes  have  seen 
the  King,  the  Lord  of  hosts  "  (Isa.  vi.  5 ). 

Duties  toiva7'ds  God :  In  our  Actions. 

Eabbi  Jose  teaches,  "  Let  cdl  thy  deeds  be  in  the 
service  of  heaven,"  n^Dtr  tiuh  vn"*  y^yn'o  h:^  (Sayings  of 
the  Fathers,  ii.  12). 

The  feeling  of  love  and  fear  of  God  which  fills  our 

^   I.e.,  the  word  consisting  of  four  letters,  yod.  M,  vav  and  he. 


OUR  DUTIES.  289 

heart  and  soul,  and  to  which  we  frequently  give  ex- 
pression in  words,  must  also  be  visible  in  our  actions. 
Our  whole  life  must  be  devoted  to  His  service,  and 
ought  to  be  one  continuous  worship  of  God.  Every 
act  of  ours  mu§t  aim  at  the  sanctification  of  His  name. 
He  has  revealed  unto  us  His  Will,  and  shown  us  the 
way  in  which  we  should  walk  ;  unconditional  submis- 
sion to  His  guidance  and  strict  obedience  to  His 
command  should  distinguish  the  people  of  the  Lord. 
True  love  of  God  and  faith  in  His  goodness  make 
us  "bold  as  a  leopard,  light  as  an  eagle,  swift 
as  a  stag,  and  strong  as  a  lion  to  carry  out  the  will  of 
our  Father  in  heaven"  (Sayings  of  the  Fathers,  v.  20). 
For  what  could  be  the  value  of  our  professions  of  love 
for  God,  if  we  refused  to  listen  attentively  to  His  voice, 
to  walk  in  the  way  He  has  prepared  for  us,  or  to  ob- 
serve His  statutes  ?  From  this  point  of  view  we  may 
consider  all  our  duties  as  duties  towards  God,  since  their 
fulfilment  implies  obedience  to  His  Will.  But  there  are 
certain  duties  which  chiefly  or  exclusively  concern  our 
relations  to  God.  Such  duties  are  :  the  observance  of 
Sabbath  and  Festivals,  providing  reminders  of  God's 
Presence,  establishing  and  supporting  Public  Worship, 
sanctifying  God's  Name  (DtJ'n  K^np),  and  imitating  His 
ways.  Of  these  duties,  the  first  three  will  be  fully 
treated  in  special  sections. 

The  sanctification  of  GocVs  Name  is  a  duty  incum- 
bent on  all  mankind,  but  it  is  incumbent  on  us  Jews 
in  a  higher  degree,  for  we  are  called  the  people  of  the 
Lord,  the  chosen  people,  a  holy  nation,  and  a  kingdom 
of  priests.  We  sanctify  the  name  of  God  by  remaining 
faithful  to  Him  and  to  His  Word,  resisting  every  kind 

T 


ego  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

of  force  or  temptation  to  turn  us  away  from  our  faith, 
making  sacrifices  for  our  holy  religion,  and  conducting 
ourselves  in  such  a  manner  that  our  fellow-men  may 
become  convinced  that  the  tree  of  our  Law  bears  good 
and  holy  fruit.  Every  action  that  brings  disgrace 
upon  us  as  Israelites,  and  causes  our  neighbours  to 
despise  "  the  people  of  the  Lord,  who  profess  to  be 
the  guardians  of  the  revealed  Torah,"  is  nt^n  b'bn 
''  Profanation  of  the  Name  of  God."  "  And  ye  shall 
not  profane  my  holy  name,  but  I  will  be  hallowed 
among  the  children  of  Israel "  (Lev.  xxii.  32). 

"  Profanation  of  the  name  of  God  is  a  greater  sin 
even  than  idolatry"  (Babyl.  Talm.  Sanhedrin  io6a). 

Imitating  the  Ways  of  God.- — We  know  that  God 
is  perfect,  and  that  all  His  ways  are  perfect ;  we  are 
conscious  also  of  our  weakness  and  of  the  impossibility 
of  ever  becoming  perfect.  But  this„  conviction  must 
not  deter  us  from  seeking  perfection  as  far  as  our 
nature  permits  it,  or  from  setting  before  us  the  ways  of 
God  as  an  example  for  us  to  follow,  as  the  aim  which 
should  direct  the  course  of  our  life,  the  balance  in 
which  to  weigh  our  actions,  and  the  test  by  which  to 
determine  their  value. 

"  Ye  shall  be  holy  ;  for  I,  the  Lord  your  God,  am 
holy"  (Lev.  xix.  2). 

"  I  set  the  Lord  always  before  me  "  (Ps.  xvi.  8). 

"  '  Ye  shall  walk  after  the  Lord  your  God '  (Deut. 
xiii.  5).  Is  it  possible  for  man  to  walk  after  the  Lord  ? 
Has  it  not  been  said,  '  The  Lord  thy  God  is  a  con- 
suming fire '  ?  (ibid.  iv.  24).  The  meaning  of  the 
verse,  however,  is  this  :  Follow  the  ways  of  God  :  Ho 
clothes  the  naked,  as  we  are  told,  '  And  the  Lord  God 


OUR  DUTIES.  291 

made  coats  of  skiu  for  Adam  and  bis  wife'  (Geu.  iii. 
21);  do  the  same.  He  visits  the  sick,  as  is  indicated 
in  the  words,  '  And  God  appeared  to  him  in  the  pkun 
of  Mamre  '  {ihid.  xviii.  l);  you  must  also,  visit  the 
sick.  He  comforts  the  mourners,  as  appears  from  the 
passage,  '  And  it  came  to  pass  after  the  death  of  Abra- 
ham, that  God  blessed  his  son  Isaak  '  (ihid.  xxv.  i  i) ; 
do  the  same,  and  comfort  mourners,"  &c.  (Babyl.  Talm. 
Sotah  14a). 

It  may  happen  that  we  are  sometimes  disposed  to 
exclude  a  fellows-man  from  our  brotherly  love.  It 
would  be  against  human  nature  to  love  those  who  have 
hurt  or  wronged  us.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  we  are 
taught  that  we  must  keep  our  heart  free  from  feelings 
of  revenge  and  hatred.  If  an  offence  has  been  com- 
mitted against  us  by  our  brother,  the  Law  directs  us 
as  follows :  "  Thou  shalt  not  hate  thy  brother  in  thine 
heart ;  thou  shalt  surely  reprove  thy  neighbour,  and 
not  bear  sin  against  him.  Thou  shalt  not  revenge,  and 
thou  shalt  not  keep  a  grudge  against  the  children  of 
thy  people,  but  love  thy  fellow-man  like  thyself:  I  am 
the  Lord"  (Lev.  xix.  17,  18).  The  traditional  inter- 
pretation illustrates  revenge  and  grudge  in  the  follow- 
ing way  :  If  your  neighbour,  after  having  been  unkind 
to  you,  is  in  need  of  your  assistance,  and  you  refuse  it 
on  the  ground  of  his  want  of  kindness  towards  you, 
you  are  guilty  of  revenge  ;  if  you  grant  him  his  request, 
but  at  the  same  time  remind  him  of  his  unkind  con- 
duct, you  are  guilty  of  "bearing  a  grudge  against 
vour  neighbour."      (Sifra,  ad  locum.) 


292  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

B. — Duties  towards  our  Fellow-creatures. 
(a.)   Duties  toicards  our  Fellow-men  in  General. 

"Have^Ye  not  all  one  father?  hath  not  one  Gocl  created 
us?"  (Mai.  ii.  lo).  "Thou  shalt  love  thy  fellow-man 
as  thyself"'  (Lev.  xix.  i8).  These  are  the  sentiments 
which,  according  to  the  Will  of  God,  ought  to  guide  us 
in  our  relation  to  our  fellow-men.  When,  therefore,  a 
Gentile  came  to  Hillel  and  asked  him  to  explain  to 
him  in  one  moment  the  duties  which  Judaism  enjoins 
on  its  adherents,  he  replied,  '•  What  is  displeasing  to 
thee,  that  do  thou  not  to  others.  This  is  the  text  of  the 
Law;  all  the  rest  is  commentary  ;  go  and  learn  "' (Babyl. 
Talm.  Shabbath  31  ft)-  ^^  ^  different  form  this  idea 
has  been  expressed  by  Rabbi  Akiba  and  by  Ben-Azai, 
who  respectively  quoted  as  a  fundamental  principle  of 
the  Law,  "Love  thy  neighbour  as  thyself,"  and  "This 
is  the  book  of  the  generations  of  man  ;  in  the  day  that 
God  created  man,  he  made  him  in  the  likeness  of  God  " 
(Yalkut  on  Gen.  v.   i). 

From  this  principle  we  derive  the  following  general 
maxims  with  regard  to  our  neighbour's  (i)  life  and 
health,  (2)  property,  (3)  honour,  and  (4)  well-being  : — 
I.  Life  and  Health,  of  our  Fellow-man. — Life  is  a 
precious  treasure  which  the  Almighty  has  given  us ; 
if  it  is  once  taken  from  us,  no  man  is  able  to  restore 
it.  Among  the  first  lessons  revealed  to  man  in 
Scripture  is  the  value  of  the  life  of  a  human  being, 
created  by  God  in  His  own  likeness,  and  when  the 
first  murder  had  been  committed,  God  said  to  the 
murderer,  "  What  hast  thou  done  ?  the  voice  of  thy 
brother's  blood  is  heard  that  crieth  unto  me  from  the 


OUR  DUTIES.  293 

ground"  (Geu.  iv.  10).  The  first  commandment  in 
the  second  section  of  the  Decalogue  is  directed  against 
this  crime  : .  "  Thou  shalt  not  murder."  The  siofnifi- 
eance  of  these  words,  the  general  lessons  implied  in 
this  commandment,  and  the  extent  to  which  a  person, 
though  not  an  actual  murderer,  may  become  guilty 
of  having  broken  this  commandment,  have  already 
been  explained  in  the  chapter  on  the  Ten  Command- 
ments (p.  261).  It  has  been  shown  how  the  sixth 
commandment  forbade — 

(i.)  The  taking  of  the  life  of  a  fellow-man  by  violent 
means. 

(2.)  The  doing  of  anything  by  which  the  health, 
the  peace,  and  the  well-being  of  our  fellow-man  is 
undermined. 

(3.)  The  omission  of  any  act  in  our  power  to  save 
our  fellow-man  from  direct  or  indirect  danger  of  life. 

2.  The  Property  of  our  Neighhour . — The  eighth  com- 
inandment  in  its  wider  sense  comprehends  all  our 
relations  to  our  neighbour's  property.  It  prohibits,  as 
has  been  shown  above  (p.  263),  the  appropriation  of 
anything  that  belongs  to  our  neighbour — 

(i.)   By  theft  and  robbery,  or 

(2.)   By  any  kind  of  fraud  and  dishonesty. 

Our  Sages  teach  :  '•  Let  the  property  of  thy  fellow- 
man  be  as  dear  to  thee  as  thine  own"  (Aboth  ii.  12)  ; 
i.e.,  you  do  not  like  to  see  your  own  property  damaged, 
diminished,  or  destroyed ;  so  it  would  be  wrong  if 
you  were  to  cause  loss  and  ruin  to  your  fellow-man, 
whether  you  did  it  directly  or  indirectly.^      Let  every 

1  E.<j,  by  giving  batl  advice  and  transgressinjjf  the  law,  "  Thou  shalt 
not  put  a  stumbling  block  before  the  blind  "   (Lev.  xix.  14). 


294  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

one  enjoy  the  labour  of  his  hands ;  partake  of  the 
gifts  of  the  earth  and  the  Divine  blessings  as  much 
as  his  physical  and  mental  powers  enable  hitn  to  do  in 
a  righteous  manner. 

It  is  not  only  direct  illegal  appropriation  of  our 
neighbour's  goods  that  \s  condemned  as  theft  or  rob- 
bery ;  it  is  equally  wicked  to  buy  things  which  one 
knows  to  have  been  stolen  by  others.^  He  who  does 
it  is  worse  than  the  thief;  for,  whilst  the  latter  injures 
only  the  person  whom  he  robs,  the  former  encour- 
ages and  corrupts  the  thief,  hardens  his  heart,  helps  to 
silence  the  voice  of  his  conscience,  and  thus  obstructs 
the  way  to  repentance  and  improvement. 

There  are  transactions  which  are  legal  and  do  not 
involve  any  breach  of  the  law,  and  which  are  yet 
condemned  by  the  principles  of  morality  as  base  and 
disgraceful.  Such  are  all  transactions  in  which  a 
person  takes  advantage  of  the  ignorance  or  embarrass- 
ment of  his  neighbour  for  the  purpose  of  increasing 
his  own  property.  Usurers  frequently  belong  to  this 
low  and  heartless  class  of  society.  The  worst  thing' 
however,  they  do  is,  that  they  plan  the  ruin  of  others  : 
in  many  cases  they  bring  about  disaster  by  inducing 
young  and  inexperienced  persons  to  borrow  money 
and  to  spend  it  in  luxuries,  or  increase  the  em- 
barrassment of  the  distressed  by  charging  exorbitant 
interest  and  imposing  cruel  conditions,  which  make 
it  impossible  for  those  who  have  once  fallen  into 
the  hands  of  usurers  to  free  themselves  from  their 
bondage. 

'  Comp.  the  saying,  xniH  n'?N  N333  X"l33y  X^  "  ^^^  the  mouse 
is  the  thief,  but  the  hole." 


OUR  DUTIES.  295 

It  makes  no  difference  whatever  whether  the  victim 
be  a  Jew  or  a  non-Jew ;  the  transaction  is  equally 
condemuable,  and  the  usurer  equally  wicked.  This 
statement  would  be  superfluous,  were  it  not  for  the 
misunderstanding  that  exists  both  among  some  of  our 
co-religionists  and  among  non-Jews  with  regard  to 
the  principle  it  involves.  Great  stress  is  laid  in  the 
Pentateuch  on  the  prohibition  of  taking  interest  for 
advances  of  money  or  articles  of  food.  "  And  if  thy 
brother  be  waxen  poor  and  fallen  in  decay  with  thee, 
then  thou  shalt  relieve  him  :  yea,  though  he  be  a 
stranger  or  a  sojourner,  that  he  may  live  with  thee. 
Take  thou  no  interest  of  him,  or  increase  :  but  fear 
thy  God,  that  thy  brother  may  live  with  thee.  Thou 
shalt  not  give  him  thy  money  upon  usury,  nor  lend 
him  thy  victuals  for  increase.  I  am  the  Lord  your 
God,"  &c.  (Lev.  xxv.  35-38  ;  comp.  Exod.  xxii.  24). 
— It  is  one  of  the  characteristics  of  the  pious  who  is 
worthy  to  "  abide  in  the  tabernacle  of  God,"  that  "  he 
putteth  not  out  his  money  to  usury  "  (Ps.  xv.   5 ). 

The  strict  prohibition  to  take  interest  on  advances 
of  money  or  goods  served  a  twofold  purpose.  In  the 
first  place,  the  surplus  money  of  the  wealthy  was 
to  be  employed  in  disinterested  charity.  Secondly, 
labour  and  activity,  both  physical  and  mental,  were  to 
be  the  sources  of  income  and  wealth  for  the  individual 
as  well  as  for  the  whole  nation  ;  money  without  labour 
was  not  to  bear  any  fruit  or  produce  any  increase. 

An  exception  from  this  law  was  made  for  the  bene- 
fit of  the  stranger.  The  inhabitants  of  a  town  or  a 
country  who  lived  in  the  midst  of  their  relatives, 
friends,  and  countrymen  could,  as  a  rule,  Ije  trusted  to 


296  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

return  the  loan  in  due  time.  If  they  were  not  known 
themselves,  they  could  find  persons  who  would  recog- 
nise them  or  even  offer  themselves  as  security  for 
them.  It  was  different  with  the  stranger  (najn) 
"who  came  from  a  far  land"  (Deut.  xxix.  21);  he 
was  not  known  ;  he  was,  as  a  rule,  without  friends  ; 
he  had  none  to  offer  security  for  him.^  When  in 
need,  therefore,  he  would  be  unlikely  to  obtain  a  loan, 
if  the  lender  were  not  permitted  in  such  cases  to  take 
interest  as  compensation  for  risking  the  capital  itself. 
The  same  reason  explains  also  a  second  exception 
made  in  the  law  with  regard  to  a  stranger  when  a 
debtor.  The  payment  of  old  debts  is,  as  a  rule,  a  great 
hardship  to  the  insolvent,  especially  at  a  time  when 
the  benefit  derived  from  the  loan  has  already  been 
forgotten.  It  was  therefore  ordained  tliat  every 
seven  years  a  remission  of  all  debts  should  take  place. 
The  debtor  that  lived  in  the  country  could  easily  be 
urged  or  forced  to  pay  his  debts,  and  the  creditor 
Qould  safely  expect  that  he  would  receive  his  money 
before  the  year  of  release  began.  This  was  not  the 
case  with  the  stranger,  who  might  with  impunity  keep 
out  of  sight  for  some  time  before  the  beginning  of  the 
seventh  year :  a  circumstance  that  increased  the  un- 
certainty of  the  repayment,  and  would  have  rendered 
it  almost  impossible  for  a  stranger  to  enjoy  the  benefit 
of  a  loan  in  times  of  temporary  embarrassment,  but 
for  the  exception  made  in  his  case  from  the  law  com- 
manding the  remission  of  all  debts  in  the  seventh  year. 

'  Those  who  become  security  for  a  stranger  are  blamed  (Prov.  vi. 
I  scq.)  as  acting  rashly,  and  foolishly  endangering  their  peace  and 
welfare. 


OUR  DUTIES.  297 

We  see  here  a  difference  made  in  our  duties 
towards  our  t'ellovv-men  between  an  Israelite  and  a 
stranger,  but  solely  for  the  benefit  of  "  the  stranger." 
At  present,  when  the  original  relation  between  the 
Israelite  and  the  stranger  has  ceased,  the  spirit  of 
charity  and  justice  towards  the  stranger  (nsj)  or  non- 
Jew,  which  is  the  basis  of  this  law,  must  continue  to 
regulate  our  intercourse  with  our  neighbours,  and  if 
the  non-Jew  would  recognise  the  prohibition  of  taking 
interest  as  equally  binding  upon  him  as  upon  the  Jew, 
the  latter  would  not  be  allowed  to  take  any  kind  of 
interest  from  a  non-Jew.  At  all  events,  if  any  of  our 
co-religionists  take  this  law  as  a  pretext  for  imposing 
upon  their  non-Jewish  fellow-men,  and  injuring  and 
ruining  them  by  exorbitant  usury,  they  pervert  alike 
the  letter  and  the  spirit  of  the  Divine  command  ;  they 
do  not  act  in  a  Jewish  spirit,  and  instead  of  being 
members  of  a  holy  nation  or  the  people  of  the  Lord, 
they  are  guilty  of  at^'n  ^i^n,  the  profanation  of  the 
name  of  God,  and  do  not  deserve  to  be  honoured  by 
the  name  of  Jews. 

Denunciations  are  sometimes  levelled  against  the 
Jews,  on  account  of  the  misdeeds  of  some  individuals, 
as  cruel  usurers.  Those  non-Jews  who  would  take 
the  trouble  of  thoroughly  studying  Jews  and  Judaism 
would  soon  discover  the  error  and  the  baselessness  of 
such  denunciations.  Judaism  has  never  sanctionetl 
usury,  but,  on  the  contrary,  always  condemned  it.^ 

With  regard  to  the  property  of  our  neighbour  our 
Sages  expressed  the  following  maxim  : — 

"  There   are  four   characters  among  men  :   he   who 

^  See  p.  294. 


298  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

says,  '  What  is  mine  is  mine  and  what  is  thine  is 
thine,'  his  is  a  neutral  character ;  some  say  this  is  a 
character  like  that  of  Sodom  ;  he  who  says,  '  What  is 
mine  is  thine  and  what  is  thine  is  mine '  is  a  boor  ; 
he  who  says  '  What  is  mine  is  thine  and  what  is 
thine  is  thine  '  is  a  saint ;  he  who  says  '  What  is  thine 
is  mine  and  what  is  mine  is  mine '  is  a  wicked  man  " 
(Aboth  V.  lo). 

We  are  not  only  commanded  to  abstain  from  injur- 
ing our  neighbour  with  regard  to  his  property,  but  we 
are  exhorted  to  protect  it  as  far  as  lies  in  our  power. 
"  If  thou  meetest  the  ox  of  thine  enemy  or  his  ass 
going  astray,  bring  it  back  to  him  "  (Exod.  xxiii.  4). 
"  Thou  shalt  not  see  thy  brother's  ox  or  his  sheep  go 
astray,  and  hide  thyself  from  them  :  thou  shalt  surely 
bring  them  again  unto  thy  brother"  (Deut.  xxii.  i). 
"  Thou  shalt  not  see  thy  brother's  ass  or  his  ox  fallen 
down  by  the  way,  and  hide  thyself  from  them :  thou  shalt 
surely  help  him  to  lift  them  up  again  "  (ibid.  ver.  4). 

3 .  The  Honour  of  our  Fellow-man. — "  Let  the  honour 
of  thy  fellow-man  be  as  dear  to  thee  as  thy  own  " 
(Aboth  ii.  10).  We  are  very  sensitive  about  our  own 
honour  ;  and  many  of  us — nay,  all  right-minded  per- 
sons— are  more  anxious  for  the  good  name  acquired 
through  integrity  of  character  than  for  the  safety  of 
their  property.  We  must  be  equally  sensitive  about 
the  honour  of  our  fellow-man,  and  take  good  care  lest 
we  damage  his  repute  by  falsehood,  slander,  or  spread- 
ing evil  reports  in  apparently  innocent  gossip.  An 
evil  tongue  (jnn  ptj'i?)  is  a  serious  failing  from  which  few 
are  exempt ;  even  if  a  person  is  not  guilty  of  the  sin 
of  evil  speech,  he  does  not  entirely  escape  "  the  dust 


OUR  DUTIES.  299 

of  the  evil  tongue"  (Babyi.  Talm.  B.  Bathra  1651;). 
Calumny,  it  is  said,  kills  three — the  slanderer  himself, 
him  who  listens,  and  the  person  spoken  of.  We  there- 
fore add  to  the  Amidah  the  words  :  "  My  God,  guard 
ray  tongue  from  evil,  and  my  lips  from  speaking  guile  ;  " 
and  in  one  of  the  Psalms  we  read  :  "  Who  is  the  man 
that  desireth  life,  and  loveth  days,  that  he  may  see 
good  ?  Keep  thy  tongue  from  evil  and  thy  lips  from 
speaking  guile"  (Ps.  xxxiv.   13,  14). 

Our  Sages  are  ver}*  severe  against  those  who  attack 
the  honour  of  their  fellow-men.  In  one  passage  it  is 
said  :  "  Whoever  causes  by  offensive  words  the  face  of 
his  fellow-man  to  turn  pale  is  almost  guilty  of  shedding 
blood  "  (Babyl.  Talm.  B.  Metsia  58&).  Another  passage 
runs  thus  :  "  Rather  let  a  man  throw  himself  into  a 
furnace  than  publicly  offend  his  fellow-man"  {ihid.  Sga). 

The  Law  does  not  only  forbid  the  utterance  of  evil 
reports,  but  also  the  encouragement  given  to  the 
tale-bearer  by  listening  to  his  stories.  "  Thou  shalt 
not  take  up  a  false  report"  (Exod.  xxiii.  i).  In  the 
Book  of  Proverbs  the  evil  consequences  of  listening  to 
slander  are  thus  depicted  :  "  If  a  ruler  hearkeneth  to 
falsehood,  all  his  servants  are  wicked  '  (Prov.  xxix. 
1 2).  "  He  who  giveth  heed  to  wicked  lips  causeth 
evil-doing  ;  he  who  giveth  ear  to  a  mischievous  tongue 
feedeth  lies  "  {ibid.  xvii.  4). 

When  we  hear  evil  reports  about  our  neighbour, 
we  should  try  to  defend  him  ;  when  we  are  convinced 
that  he  has  done  wrong,  we  must  rebuke  him,  lead 
him  back  to  the  right  way,  and  not  utterly  reject  him  ; 
we  may  still  find  some  redeeming  feature  in  his 
character  that   makes  it  worth  our  while  to   save  him. 


300  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

Thus  Joshua,  the  son  of  Perachjah,  teaches  us  : 
''  Judge  every  man  favourably "  (Aboth  i.  6) ;  that 
is,  if  you  are  uncertain  as  to  a  man's  faults,  let  him 
have  the  benefit  of  the  doubt.  When  we  criticise  our 
neighbour's  character — and  idle  gossip  frequently  leads 
to  this  practice — ^we  are  too  often  inclined  to  dwell 
upon  his  weak  points — his  vices — and  to  pass  over 
his  merits  in  silence  ;  but  we  ought  to  consider  how 
little  we  should  like  to  see  the  same  treatment  applied 
to  ourselves.  Another  fault  of  ours  is  to  judge  the 
doings  of  other  people  without  fully  understanding 
all  the  circumstances  and  the  causes  that  led  to  such 
actions.  Hillel  said,  "  Do  not  judge  thy  neighbour 
until  thou  hast  come  into  his  place  ;  "  that  is,  do  not 
pass  judgment  upon  your  neighbour  before  you  are 
able  to  place  yourself  in  his  position,  and  to  say  with 
certainty  what  you  would  have  done  under  the  same 
circumstances.  The  Law  forbids  us  to  use  divers 
weights  and  divers  measures  in  our  business  transac- 
tions, lest  we  damage  the  property  of  our  neighbour ; 
equally  unlawful  is  the  use  of  one  kind  of  weights  and 
measures  for  weighing  our  own  words  and  deeds,  and 
another  kind  for  weighing  the  words  and  the  deeds 
of  others,  to  the  injury  of  our  fellow-man's  name  and 
repute.  Contrary  to  the  usage  of'  courts  of  justice, 
our  neighbour's  words  and  deeds  are  generally  re- 
ported b}'  us,  interpreted,  tried  and  condemned  in  his 
absence,  when  he  is  unable  to  defend  himself,  to  show 
his  innocence,  or  to  prove  the  falsehood  of  the  report, 
the  error  of  the  interpretation,  and  the  injustice  of  the 
trial  and  the  condemnation. 

The  perversity  of  sucli  conduct  is  evident,  especially 


OUR  DUTIES.  301 

iu  the  case  of  the  departed.  The  prohibition,  ''  Thou 
shalt  not  curse  the  deaf"  (Lev.  xix.  14)  has  been 
interpreted  to  apply  to  all  kinds  of  slander  about  those 
absent  or  dead.  Our  respect  for  the  memory  of  the 
dead  is  expressed  in  the  Latin  maxim,  "  De  mortuis 
nil  nisi  honum;"  or  in  the  Hebrew,  -iiox  D'tnp  mo  ''inx  ^ 
"  After  their  death  say  of  them  '  saints.'  '  Similar 
maxims  are  the  following  :  "  We  must  not  refute  tlie 
lion  after  his  death  ;  "  mD3D  niT'O  "  Death  atones  for 
all  offences." 

4.  The  Well-being  of  uur  Fellow-man. — The  duties 
expounded  in  the  above  are  of  a  negative  character. 
The  commandment,  "  Love  thy  neighbour  as  thyself 
implies  also  certain  positive  duties,  which  are  compre- 
hended in  the  terms,  npnv  and  ion  Jxhj2i  "  charity." 

The  literal  meaning  of  the  term  tsedakah  is  "  right- 
eousness," but  it  occurs  also  frequently  in  the  sense  of 
"charity;"  and  we  may  infer  from  this  that  charity 
was  to  the  Hebrew  a  mere  act  of  righteousness.  In 
the  Book  of  Daniel  and  in  post-Biblical  Hebrew  tseda- 
kah is  "  alms,"  and  distinguislied  from  gemilluth- 
chesed,  "  charity."  The  former  is  given  to  the  poor  ; 
the  latter  to  poor  and  rich  alike  :  tsedakah,  consisting 
of  money  or  things  that  can  be  purchased  for  money, 
is  a  duty  chiefly  incumbent  on  the  wealthier  class ; 
gemilluth-chesed,  consisting  of  personal  acts  of  kind- 
ness, is  a  virtue  that  can  be  acquired  and  practised  by 
every  one,  whether  he  be  poor  or  rich ;  and  whilst 
tsedakah  can  only  be  given  to  those  that  live,  gemil- 
luth-chesed    can    be    shown     even     to    the    departed. 

^   The  Hebrew  is  composed  of  the  names  of  the  three  consecutive 
Sidras,  Lev.  xvi.-xxiv. 


302  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

When  Jacob  asked  his  son  for  a  burial  in  the  cave 
of  Machpelah,  he  relied  on  his  son's  nONI  IDH,  "  Kind- 
ness and  truth  ;  "  and  the  Midrash  adds  the  remark, 
"  Kindness  shown  to  the  dead  is  an  act  of  true  love, 
as  there  can  be  no  prospect  of  gratitude  or  repay- 
ment." 

The  principal  kinds  of  non  m^DJ  are  the  following  : — 

( I  •)  D''^"in  ''\'\\>'2  Visiting  the  sick.^  The  object  of  the 
visit  ought  to  be  to  cheer  up  the  sufferer  by  pleasant 
conversation,  to  assist  him  by  good  advice,  to  render 
him  any  service  that  is  wanted,  to  inspire  him  with 
hope,  and  to  strengthen  his  faith  in  God  by  the  com- 
forting words  of  Scripture  and  by  prayer. 

(2.)  non  n"'1^n  "  Accompanying  the  dead  "  to  his  last 
resting-place,  and  doing  everything  that  our  love  and 
regard  for  the  departed  requires.  Almost  every  Jewish 
community  includes  an  association  whose  members 
undertake  to  perform  personally,  as  far  as  possible, 
these  acts  of  love.  Such  a  society  is  generally  called 
DHDn  m^lOJ  man  "  Association  for  practising  loving- 
kindness  towards  our  fellow-men,"  or  xti^'^p  X"i2n  "  Holy 
Association  ;  "  that  is,  an  association  for  a  holy  object. 

(3.)  D''^3X  Din:  Comforting  the  mourners,  who  find 
relief  in  the  conviction  that  their  fellow- men  have 
sympathy  with  them. 

(4.)  r\^rh  ms  rn  uh\:*  nJ<nn  "  Peace-making." — War, 
whether  carried  on  between  nations,  or  between  parties, 
or  between  one  individual  and  another,  is  equally 
detestable  ;  and  all  those  who  by  their  exertion  and 
intercession  contribute  to  a  diminution  of  warfare  are 

^  Lit.,  inquiring,  scil.,  what  the  condition  of  the  patient  is,  and  what 
is  needed  for  his  recovery. 


OUR  DUTIES.  303 

engaged  in  praiseworthy  work.  The  principal  prayers 
in  our  Liturgy  conclude  with  a  petition  for  peace,  and 
we  look  forward  for  tlie  state  of  uninterrupted  peace, 
the  Messianic  time,  as  the  most  perfect  condition  of 
mankind.  Forbearance,  a  kind  word,  a  judicious 
counsel,  frequently  averts  the  great  evil  of  strife  and 
enmity. — Peace,  harmony,  and  friendship  are  best  pro- 
moted by — 

(5.)  Judging  favourably  the  deeds  and  words  of  our 
fellow -men.  It  is  not  an  easy  task  to  correctly  estimate 
the  motives  which  guide  our  neighbour  in  his  actions, 
and  in  doing  so  we  err  frequently  ;  but  it  is  better  to 
err  by  over-estimating  them  ;  since  this  produces  far 
less  harm  than  going  astray  in  the  other  direction  and 
speaking  ill  of  others  without  any  justifiable  cause. 
Conduct  like  this  leads  to  peace  and  happiness  within 
and  without.  "  Speaking  peace  to  all  his  seed  "  is 
the  climax  of  the  virtues  praised  in  Mordecai,  the  Jew 
(Esther  x.  3). 

Charity  (tsedakah)  in  its  narrower  sense,  as  a  duty 
towards  the  poor,  includes — 

(l .)  Alms-giving  to  the  poor  for  the  purpose  of  alle- 
viating temporary  suffering. 

(2.)  Providing  for  the  comfort  of  the  aged  and  sick, 
widows  and  orphans. 

(3.)  Assisting  the  stranger.  The  Law  lays  special 
stress  on  this  branch  of  charity,  and  reminds  us  that 
we  all  have  once  been  strangers  in  the  land  of  Egypt. 
Even  in  the  various  countries  of  which  we  have 
become  citizens,  our  forefathers,  three  or  four  genera- 
tions back,  were  strangers  ;  and,  besides,  we  are  told 
by  the  Almighty,   "  Ye  are   strangers   and   sojourners 


304  THE  JEWISH  REEIGION. 

with   me"'  (Lev.    xxv.  23).      This   kind   of  charity   is 
known  by  the  name  DTniX  riDJ^n 

(4.)  Support  given  to  the  poor  towards  obtaining  a 
liveUhood,  by  procuring  occupation  for  them,  teaching 
them  a  trade  and  giving  them  a  start  in  it. 

(5.)  Providing  for  tlie  religious  and  secular  educa- 
tion of  the  children  of  the  poor. 

(6.)  Raising  their  intellectual,  social,  and  moral  con- 
dition by  personal  intercourse  with  them,  and  by  kind 
words  of  advice,  comfort,  and  encouragement. 

(7.)  Helping  those  who  have  gone  astray  and  have 
fallen  into  vice  or  crime  to  return  to  the  path  of  virtue, 
industry,  and  righteousness. 

There  are  generally  associations  formed  for  the 
various  branches  of  gonilluth-chesed,  the  number  of 
which  grows,  especially  in  large  towns,  with  the  in- 
crease of  misery.  It  is  our  duty  to  support  such 
institutions,  as  combined  action  is  in  most  cases  more 
practical  and  productive  of  good  result.  But  the  ex- 
istence of  public  institutions,  and  our  support  given 
to  them,  by  no  means  exempt  us  from  assisting  indi- 
vidually those  who  apply  to  us  for  help.  We  must  be 
judicious  in  our  charitable  acts,  lest  we  nurse  poverty 
and  promote  imposture.  But,  on  the  other  hand, 
we  must  not  be  over  cautious,  and  must  not  unduly 
suspect  every  applicant  for  assistance  as  guilty  of  idle- 
ness or  other  vices,  lest  by  refusal  or  hesitation  to  help 
we  become  guilty  of  neglect,  when  by  prompt  action  we 
might  save  from  utter  ruin  a  person  or  a  whole  family 
well  worthy  of  our  sympathy.  In  this  regard  we  are 
warned  by  King  Solomon  :  "  Withhold  not  good  from 
them  to  whom   it  is   due,  when  it  is  in  the  power  of 


OUR  DUTIES.  305 

thine  hand  to  do  it.  Say  not  unto  thy  neighbour,  Go, 
and  come  again,  and  to-morrow  I  will  give  ;  when 
thon  hast  it  by  thee  "  (Prov.  iii.  27.  28). 

(h.)   Special  Duties  toirards  our  Fellow-men. 

I.  Children  toivards  their  Parents. — "Honour  thy 
father  and  thy  mother  "  is  one  of  the  Ten  Words  which 
God  spoke  to  the  Israelites  on  Mount  Sinai.  The 
child  honours  his  parents  by  considering  them  as  his 
superiors,  as  endowed  with  authority  over  him,  and  en- 
titled by  experience  to  be  his  guides  and  instructors  ; 
by  listening  respectfully  when  they  speak  to  him,  and 
by  speaking  with  reverence  when  he  speaks  of  or  to 
them. 

The  love  of  parents  towards  their  child  should  iind 
an  echo  in  the  heart  of  the  latter. 

The  child's  love  of  his  parents  finds  expression  in 
willing,  cheerful  obedience ;  in  the  endeavour  to  do 
everything  that  pleases  them,  in  the  sacrifice  made  for 
the  purpose  of  giving  them  pleasure,  in  the  assistance 
given  them  when,  through  age,  sickness,  or  misfor- 
tune, they  are  in  need  of  aid. 

The  parents'  duty  towards  the  child  is  to  do  every- 
thing that  true  love  demands,  for  his  physical,  moral, 
and  intellectual  well-being. 

With  regard  to  the  child's  duty  towards  his  parents 
the  following  verses  from  Proverbs  may  be  noticed  : — 

"  The  eye  that  mocketh  at  his  father,  and  de- 
spiseth  to  obey  his  mother,  the  ravens  of  the  valley 
shall  pick  it  out,  and  the  young  eagles  shall  eat  it " 
(xxs.  17). 

u 


3o6  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

"Whoso  robbetli  his  father  or  his  mother,  and  saith, 
It  is  no  transgression,  the  same  is  the  companion  of  a 
destroyer"  (xxviii.  24). 

"  Whoso  curseth  his  father  or  his  mother,  his  lamp 
shall  be  put  out  in  obscure  darkness"  (xx.  20). 

"  He  that  wasteth  his  father  and  chaseth  away  his 
mother  is  a  son  that  causeth  shame,  and  bringeth  re- 
proach "  (xix.  26). 

"  The  glory  of  children  are  their  fathers  "  (xvii.  6). 

2.  All  other  special  duties  towards  our  fellow-men 
may  be  divided  into  (i.)  Duties  towards  our  equals  ; 
(ii.)  Duties  towards  our  superiors  and  towards  our 
inferiors. 


(i.)  Duties  towards  our  Equals. 

(i.)  A  bond  of  friendship  frequently  exists  between 
equals. 

Friends  have  certain  duties  to  fulfil  towards  each 
other.  It  is  expected  that  friends  should  have  faith 
in  their  mutual  friendship.  "  As  in  water  face  an- 
swereth  to  face,  so  in  the  heart  man  answereth  to 
man "  (Prov,  xxvii.  1 9).  As  the  water  reflects  the 
face  of  him  who  looks  into  it,  so  the  heart  of  man 
reflects  the  friendship  and  faithfulness  of  him  who  has 
penetrated  into  it.  Our  estimation  of  our  friend's 
feeling  toward  us  is  the  measure  of  the  genuineness 
and  value  of  our  own  friendship  towards  him. 

Disinterestedness  is  an  essential  condition  of  genuine 
friendship.  Every  service  we  render  to  our  friend 
must  be  prompted  by  the  desire  to  be  of  use  to  him, 


OUR  DUTIES.  307 

antl  not  to  advance  our  own  interest.  If  any  other 
motive  enters  our  mind,  if  we  speculate  on  his  grati- 
tude, and  think  that  our  kindness  must  eventually 
be  returned  with  interest,  we  have  no  kuowledge  or 
feeling  of  friendship.  Thus  our  Sages  declare,  "  Friend- 
ship dictated  by  a  selfish  motive  comes  to  an  end 
together  with  the  speculation ;  but  friendship  which 
is  not  based  on  any  selfish  motive  comes  never  to 
an  end.  An  instance  of  the  first  kind  is  the  friend- 
ship between  Amuon  and  Taniar  (2  Sam.  xiii.) ;  of 
the  second  kind,  the  friendship  between  David  and 
Jonathan  (i  Sam.  xviii.)  "  (Aboth  v.  16). 

Friends  bound  to  each  other  by  genuine  and  sincere 
love  find  great  pleasure  in  the  fulfilment  of  the  duties 
involved  in  friendship.  They  do  not  hesitate  to  bring 
sacrifices  for  each  other's  well-being ;  they  evince 
heartfelt  sympathy  for  each  other  in  good  and  evil 
fortune. 

All  the  duties  of  charity — gemilluth  chesed — which 
we  owe  to  our  fellow-men  in  general,  apply  with 
increased  force  when  our  fellow-man  is  also  our  friend. 
One  of  these  duties  demands  our  special  attention, 
because  it  is  frequently  neglected  through  human 
weakness :  truthfulness  and  openness.  Flattery,  ob- 
jectionable as  it  is  in  every  case,  is  most  detestable 
between  friends.  We  must  encourage  our  friends  by 
kind  words,  and  acknowledge  their  merits,  but  we 
must  not  spoil  them  by  undue  flattery.  If,  on  the 
other  hand,  we  discover  errors  or  vices  in  our  friend, 
it  is  our  duty  to  communicate  to  him  openly  our 
opinion,  and  to  do  all  that  is  in  our  power  to  bring 
him    back    to    the    path    of  righteousness    and    truth. 


3oS  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

"  Thou  slialt  surely  rebuke  thy  friend,  and  not  suffer 
sin  upon  him"  (Lev.  xix.  17). 

Friendship  is  mostly  formed  without  premeditation, 
and  without  any  aim  ;  we  are  friends,  we  do  not  know 
how  and  why ;  some  similarity  in  our  character,  in 
our  talents,  in  our  views,  in  our  successes  and  failures, 
or  in  our  fortunes  and  misfortunes,  draws  us  together, 
and  we  become  friends  before  we  are  aware  of  the  fact. 
But  as  far  as  we  have  control  over  our  feelings  we 
ought  to  be  careful  not  to  plunge  into  friendship 
without  knowinsr  somethins^  of  the  character  and  the 
tendencies  of  those  with  whom  we  are  to  associate  our- 
selves in  such  close  relationship.  In  Proverbs  we  are 
told,  "  Make  no  friendships  with  an  angry  man,  and 
with  a  furious  man  thou  shalt  not  go  "  (xxii.  24).  Ben- 
sira  (vi.  6)  exhorts  us,  "  If  thou  wouldst  get  a  friend, 
prove  him  first,  and  be  not  hasty  to  credit  him." 
Our  Sages  say,  "  It  is  easy  to  make  an  enemy ;  it  is 
difficult  to  make  a  friend"  (Yalkut  on  Deut.  vi.  16). 

The  acquisition  of  a  true  friend  is  by  no  means  an 
easy  task.  But  it  is  a  task  that  cannot  be  dispensed 
with.  Persons  who  enjoy  a  life  spent  in  loneliness 
uncheered  by  friendship  are  exceptions  to  the  rule ; 
such  a  life  is  miserable,  and  the  climax  of  all  the  evils 
complained  of  by  Heman  the  Ezrahite  (Ps.  Ixxxviii. 
19)  is  :  "  Lover  and  friend  hast  thou  put  far  from  me, 
and  darkness  is  mine  acquaintance."  Job  in  his  great 
sufferings  longs  for  "  the  love  which  is  shown  to  the 
unhappy  by  his  friend  "  (Job  vi.  14). 

Friendship  being  one  of  our  most  valuable  posses- 
sions, it  must  be  well  guarded  and  cultivated,  lest  it 
be  lost  or  weakened.       "  Thine  own   friend  and  thy 


OUR  DUTIES.  309 

father's  friend,  forsake  not"  (Prov.  xxvii.  10).  "  Let 
tliy  foot  be  seldom  in  thy  friend's  house,  lest  he  be 
weary  of  thee,  and  so  hate  thee"  (ibid.  xxv.  17). 

True  friendship  can  be  extended  only  to  a  few  j  but 
those  who  are  not  our  friends  need  not  be  our  enemies. 
They  are  all  our  fellow-men,  and  our  conduct  towards 
them  is  to  be  guided  by  the  principle,  "  Love  thy 
fellow-man  as  thyself."  We  are  distinctly  commanded, 
'•'  Thou  shalt  not  hate  thy  brother  in  thine  heart " 
(Lev.  xix.  18),  "  brother"  having  here  the  same  mean- 
ing as  fellow-man.  Enmity,  like  friendship,  comes  fre- 
quently unawares  ;  we  dislike  or  even  hate  a  person 
without  knowing  why.  But  it  is  our  duty,  as  soon  as 
such  an  ill-feeling  has  stolen  into  our  heart,  to  search 
for  its  origin ;  and  this  being  done,  we  shall  generally 
feel  ashamed  of  having  allowed  our  heart  to  be  invaded 
by  such  an  unworthy  intruder.  We  must  keep  away 
from  evil-doers,  and  not  associate  with  wicked  people ; 
but  this  is  a  very  different  thing  from  hating  our 
neighbour.  The  pious  wish,  "  May  sinners  cease  to 
exist,  and  the  wicked  be  no  more"  (Ps.  civ.  35),  is 
explained  in  the  Talmud  in  the  words  of  Beruria, 
daughter  of  Rabbi  Meir,  as  follows :  "  ]\Iay  sins  cease 
to  exist,  and  the  wicked  will  be  no  more."  We  often 
conceive  just  indignation  at  the  misdeeds  of  our  neigh- 
bours, and  cannot  well  separate  the  doer  from  the  deed. 
But  we  ought  in  such  cases  of  indignation  to  examine 
ourselves,  whether  the  source  of  our  indignation  is 
pure,  or  has  its  root  in  selfishness.  Such  an  analysis 
of  our  motives  would  soon  purify  our  heart  of  all  ill- 
feeling. 

In  our  conduct  towards  those  whom  we  consider  our 


3IO  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

enemies,  or  who  consider  us  tlieir  enemies,  we  must 
show  forbearance  and  a  desire  to  offer  or  to  seek 
forgiveness,  according  as  we  are  the  doers  or  the 
sufferers  of  wrong.  Self-love  and  self-esteem,  if  not 
kept  within  due  limits,  easily  produce  feelings  of  re- 
venge. Without  entirely  suppressing  human  nature, 
Ave  are  bound  to  control  our  feelings,  and  to  let  love 
of  our  fellow-men  in  all  conditions  occupy  the  first 
place  in  our  heart.  We  are  taught  by  our  Sages,  "  He 
who  is  forbearing,  receives  also  pardon  for  his  sins  " 
(Babyl.  Talm.  Yoraa  230) ;  "  Be  of  the  persecuted,  and 
not  of  the  persecutors"  (ibid.  Baba  Kama  93«) ; 
"  To  those  who  being  offended  do  not  offend,  being 
insulted  do  not  insult,  the  verse  applies  :  '  And 
they  who  love  him  shall  be  as  the  sun  when  he  goeth 
forth  in  his  might ' "  (Judges  v.  3 1  ;  Babyl.  Talm. 
Shabbath  88&). 

(2.)  Man  and  wife  are  united  by  the  holy  bond  of 
marriage.  They  owe  to  each  other  love,  faithfulness, 
confidence,  and  untiring  endeavour  to  make  each  other 
happy.  The  neglect  of  these  duties  turns  a  happy 
home  into  an  abode  of  misery  and  wretchedness.-^  The 
last  of  the  prophets,  Malachi,  rebuking  such  neglect, 
says  :  "  The  Lord  hath  been  witness  between  thee  and 
the  wife  of  thy  youth,  against  whom  thou  hast  dealt 
treacherously,  yet  is  she  thy  companion  and  the  wife 
of  thy  covenant." 

(3.)   As  citizens  of  a  State  we  must  take  our  proper 

share  in  all  work  for  the  welfare  of  the  State.     When  the 

State  is  in  danger  we  must  evince  patriotism,  and  must 

not  withdraw  ourselves  from  those  duties  which,  under 

^  Comp.  supra,  p.  261. 


OUR  DUTIES.  311 

such  circumstances,  devolve  upon  ev^ery  citizen.  All 
our  means,  our  physical  and  intellectual  faculties,  must 
be  at  the  disposal  of  the  country  in  which  we  live  as 
citizens.  Thus  Jeremiah  exhorts  his  brethren  in  Baby- 
lonia :  "  Build  ye  houses  and  dwell  in  them ;  and  plant 
gardens,  and  eat  the  fruit  of  them  ;  .  .  .  and  seek 
the  peace  of  the  city  whither  I  have  caused  you  to  be 
carried  away  captives,  and  pray  unto  the  Lord  for  it : 
for  in  the  peace  thereof  shall  you  have  peace  "  (Jer. 
xxix.  5,  7).  Similarly  we  are  taught,  "  Pray  for  the 
welfare  of  the  government  "  (Aboth  iii.  2).^ 

An  important  dictum  of  Samuel,  a  Rabbi  famous 
for  his  decisions  in  questions  of  civil  law,  is  accepted 
in  the  Talmud  as  law  :  "  The  law  of  the  State  is  bind- 
ing upon  us,"  sj'H  xma^Ol  wn  (Babyl.  Talm.  Baba 
Kamma  113a).  It  is,  according  to  the  teaching  of 
the  Talmud,  incumbent  upon  us,  as  citizens  of  the 
State,  to  obey  the  laws  of  the  country.  There  is  no 
difference  between  Jews  and  their  fellow-citizens  with 
regard  to  the  duty  of  loyalty.  It  is  only  in  case  of 
an  attempt  to  force  us  aside  from  our  religion  that 
we  are  not  only  justified  in  resisting  and  disobeying 
laws  framed  with  this  intention,  but  we  are  commanded 
to  do  so.  But  in  the  absence  of  such  intention,  we 
must  fulfil  all  those  duties  which  devolve  upon  all 
citizens  alike — such  as  military  service  in  countries 
that  have  general  conscription — although  such  obedi- 
ence may  carry  with  it  a  breach  of  some  of  the  laws 
of  our  religion.      On  the  contrary,  evasion  and  deser- 

^  The  prayer  for  the  head  of  the  State,  beginniti'j;  ilUI-'n  ifljil 
D"'D7?D?  has  its  origin  in  this  sense  of  loyalty  towards  the  .State  in 
which  we  live. 


312  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

tiou  of  all  national  obligations  is  a  serious  offence 
against  our  holy  Law. 

(4.)  As  members  of  the  same  religious  community,  we 
must  unite  in  working  for  the  well-being  of  the  whole 
body.  "  Do  not  separate  thyself  from  the  congrega- 
tion "  (Abotli  ii.  4)  is  a  principle  taught  by  the  great 
Hillel.  A  Jew  who  violates  this  principle,  and  keeps 
aloof  from  his  brethren,  unwilling  to  take  his  share  of 
the  communal  burdens,  is  guilty  of  a  serious  dereliction 
of  duty,  and  is  set  forth  in  the  Talmud  as  an  example 
of  most  disgraceful  conduct.  "  When  your  brethren 
are  in  trouble,  do  not  sa\',  '  I  have  my  home,  my  food 
and  di'ink  ;  I  am  safe.'  If  you  ever  were  to  think  so, 
the  words  of  the  prophet  would  apply  to  you  :  '  Surely 
this  iniquity  shall  not  be  purged  from  you  till  you 
die."  "  He  who  does  not  join  the  community  in 
times  of  danger  and  trouble  will  never  enjoy  the 
Divine  blessing  "  (Babyl.  Talm.  Taanith,  p,  i  la)  ;  "  He 
who  separates  from  the  ways  of  the  community  has  no 
portion  of  the  world  to  come,"  i^  j^x  lUV  ''::"no  cnian 
Nan  chj;^  P^n  (Maim.,  Mishneh-torah,  Hilchoth  Teshubah 
iii.  6). 

(5.)  As  to  memhers  of  anotlier  commiunity,  we  have 
to  show  due  regard  for  their  religious  convictions,  and 
not  to  wound  their  feelings  in  respect  of  anything 
they  hold  sacred.  Respect  for  the  religious  feelings 
of  our  fellow-men  will  increase  their  regard  for  our 
own  religion,  and  evoke  in  them  the  same  con- 
sideration for  our  religious  feelings.  All  our  duties 
towards  our  fellow-men  are  equally  binding  upon  us 
whether  in  relation  to  members  of  other  faiths  or  of 
our  own. 


OUR  DUTIES  313 

(6.)  Employers  and  employed,  sellers  and  huijcrs,  must 
act  towards  each  other  witli  the  strictest  honesty.  In 
cases  of  dispute  a  friendly  explanation  or  discussion 
is  more  likely  to  promote  the  interest  of  both  parties 
than  mutual  animosity.  Each  party  must  bear  in 
mind  that  prosperity  depends  on  tlie  co-operation  of 
the  other  party,  and  not  on  its  ruin. 

XoTE. — We  lueeL  in  tlie  Talnuul  and  Avorks  based  on  the 
Talmud  w  itli  dicta  -which  seem  at  first  sight  to  exclude  Gentiles 
(D"13JJ,  "HiJ  or  ''13)  from  our  duty  of  love  towards  our  fellow-men. 
Tins,  however,  was  never  intended.  Sayings  of  this  kind  origi- 
nated in  days  of  warfare  between  the  oppressor  and  the  oppressed, 
and  were  an  outburst  of  feelings  of  pain  and  anger,  caused  by  an 
enemy  who  was  not  restrained  from  tyranny  and  cruelty  by  any 
sense  of  j  ustice  and  humanity.  But  this  state  of  affairs  has  ceased, 
and  such  sayings  have  since  entirely  lost  their  force  and  mean- 
ing, and  are  practically  forgotten.  Some  of  these  passages  have 
been  removed  from  the  Talmudical  works  by  hostile  censors  ;  but 
having  led,  and  being  still  likely  to  lead,  to  errors  or  misunder- 
standing, less  on  the  part  of  Jews  than  of  non-Jewish  readers, 
they  ought  to  be  eliminated  in  future  editions  of  any  of  these 
works  by  Jewish  censors,  especially  as  the  notices  on  the  first 
page  of  the  books,  that  the  terms  i^J,  O'lDJ?  or  1^33  do  not  apply 
to  our  non-Jewish  neighbours  at  the  present  day,  appear  to  have 
proved  ineffectual  against  calumny  and  persecution. 

(ii.)  Duties  to  our  Superiors  and  Inferiors. 

Although  we  are  all  equally  children  of  one  God, 
and  before  the  Most  High  all  our  petty  differences 
disappear,  His  infinite  wisdom  willed  it  that  there 
should  bo  a  certain  degree  of  inequality  among  His 
creatures  ;  that  some  men  should  be  wise,  others  simple  ; 
some  talented,  others  less  skilful ;  some  strong,  others 
weak ;  some  bigh,  others  low ;  some  imperious,  others 


314.  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

submissive  ;  some  rulers,  others  subjects  ;  some  fit  to 
guide,  and  others  only  fit  to  be  guided.  This  in- 
equality is  the  source  of  certain  special  duties  between 
man  and  man.  "  Be  submissive  to  your  superior, 
agreeable  to  your  inferior,  and  cheerful  to  every  one  " 
(Aboth  iii.  12). 

(I.)  'J"he  teacher  who  patiently  strives  to  benefit  his 
pupils  by  his  instruction  and  counsel  has  a  just  claim 
on  their  respect.  It  is  in  the  interest  of  the  pupils 
themselves  to  regard  their  teacher  as  a  friend,  to 
have  confidence  in  him,  and  faith  in  his  superiority. 
It  is  themselves  they  benefit  most  if  they  lighten  the 
labours  of  their  teacher  by  due  attention  and  obedi- 
ence, and  themselves  they  injure  most,  if  by  want  of 
proper  respect  they  render  his  task  diflacult  and 
disagreeable. 

On  the  other  hand,  it  is  the  duty  of  the  teacher  to 
try  to  win  the  respect  and  the  affection  of  the  pupils 
by  conscientiousness  in  his  work,  by  patience  and  for- 
bearance, by  kindness  and  justice,  by  genuine  interest 
in  the  progress  and  welfare  of  those  entrusted  to 
his  care,  and,  above  all,  by  a  pure,  good,  and  noble 
life. — The  pupils  owe  much  to  their  teachers,  but  the 
latter  also  owe  something  to  their  disciples.  "  Much 
have  I  learnt  from  my  teachers,  more  from  my  fellow- 
students,  most  from  my  pupils,"  is  a  well-known  Tal- 
mudical  saying  (Babyl.  Talm.  Taanith  ya).  Of  the 
priest,  who  in  ancient  time  used  to  be  the  principal 
teacher,  the  prophet  Malachi  says:  "The  priest's  lips 
shall  keep  knowledge,  and  they  shall  seek  the  law  at 
his  mouth  ;  for  he  is  the  messenger  of  the  Lord  of 
hosts"  (Mai.  ii.  7).      Rabbi  Jochanan,  in  commenting 


OUR  DUTIES.  315 

on  these  words,  said,  "  If  the  teacher  is  like  the 
messenger  of  the  Lord,  i.e.,  leads  a  pure  life  in  the 
service  of  the  Lord,  then  people  shall  seek  instruction 
at  his  mouth  ;  if  not,  they  cannot  be  instructed  by 
him  in  the  Law "  (Yalkut  ad  locum). — "  Let  the 
honour  of  thy  disciple  be  as  dear  to  thee  as  thy  own, 
and  the  honour  of  thy  colleague  as  dear  as  the  fear 
of  thy  teacher,  and  the  fear  of  thy  teacher  as  dear  as 
the  fear  of  Heaven"  (Aboth  iv.  15). — -"  lie  who  has 
been  taught  something  by  his  neighbour,  whether  it 
be  a  chapter,  a  law,  a  verse,  a  phrase,  or  a  letter,  owes 
him  respect.  Thus  David,  who  only  learnt  two  things 
from  Ahitophel,  called  him  '  teacher,  chief,  and  friend 
(ibid.  vi.  3). 

Reverence  is  shown  by  a  pupil  to  his  teacher,  not 
only  by  outward  signs  of  respect,  but  also  by  refrain- 
ing from  opposing  him,  his  teaching,  or  his  decisions 
(Maimonides  I.  Hilchoth  Talmud  torah  v.  i).  A 
pupil  who  altogether  relinquishes  the  teaching  of  his 
master  is  to  the  latter  a  source  of  intense  grief. — Among 
the  outward  signs  of  regard  for  the  teaclfer  we  find 
the  ancient  custom  or  rule  to  pay  a  visit  to  the  teacher 
on  the  three  festivals  :  Passover,  Feast  of  Weeks,  and 
Tabernacles  (ibid.  v.  7). 

(2.)  blaster  and  Servant. — The  relation  between 
master  and  servant  is  legally  regulated  by  the  same 
rules  as  that  between  employer  and  employed.  Strict 
honesty  in  the  fulfilment  of  the  duties  undertaken 
by  either  party  is  the  basis  of  a  good  understanding 
between  master  and  servant.  The  former  must  not 
exact  from  the  latter  more  than  was  agreed  upon,  and 
the  latter  must  not  fail  to  perform  all  that  he  has  under- 


3i6  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

taken  to  do.  The  relation  between  master  and  servant 
can  be  made  more  pleasant  on  both  sides,  if  they  are 
sensible  enough  to  recognise  their  mutual  obligations. 
On  the  part  of  the  master,  it  is  necessary  that  he 
should  consider  his  servant  as  a  human  being  like 
himself,  who  has  a  right  to  expect  due  reward  for 
faithful  service.  A  treatment  of  the  servant  from  this 
point  of  view  inspires  him  with  a  feeling  of  regard 
and  attachment  for  his  master,  which  finds  expression 
in  good  and  honest  service.  The  servant  will  feel 
comfortable  in  his  work,  and  be  convinced  that  to  be 
a  servant  is  no  degradation. — "  Thou  shalt  not  defraud 
an  hired  servant  that  is  poor  and  needy,  whether  he 
be  of  thy  brethren  or  of  thy  strangers  that  are  in  the 
land  within  thy  gates  ''  (Deut.  xxiv.  14). 

(3.)  Rich  and  Poor. — '"'The  rich  and  poor  meet  to- 
gether :  tiie  Lord  is  the  maker  of  them  all  "  (Prov.  xxii. 
2).  Those  who  are  fortunate  enough  to  possess  more 
than  is  wanted  for  the  necessities  of  life,  are  expected 
to  spend  part  of  the  surplus  in  relieving  those  who 
possess  les3»  than  they  require  for  their  maintenance. 
Sympathy  towards  the  poor  and  needy  is  the  duty 
of  the  rich ;  gratitude  towards  the  generous  and 
benevolent  is  the  duty  of  the  poor.  But  the  rich 
must  by  no  means  make  their  gifts  dependent  on  the 
signs  of  gratitude  on  the  part  01  the  poor  ;  they  must 
even  avoid  eliciting  expressions  of  thanks,  as  these 
lead  too  often  to  flattery,  hypocrisy,  and  servility. 
The  rich  find  ample  reward  for  their  benevolence 
in  the  joyous  feeling  that  Providence  has  chosen 
them  as  the  means  of  diminishing  the  sufferings,  the 
ti'oubles,  and  the  cares  of  some  of  their  fellow-men. 


OUR  DUTIES.  317 

(4.)  The  following  have  a  just  claim  on  our  respect :  — 

Learned  Men  (D"'D3n^T^^n),  ^vho,  even  if  not  directly 
our  teachers,  in  many  ways  benefit  lis  by  their  learning. 
"  It  is  a  great  sin  to  despise  or  to  hate  the  wise  : 
Jerusalem  has  chiefly  been  destroyed  as  a  punishment 
for  the  contempt  shown  for  the  learned  ;  as  it  is  said 
(2  Chron.  xxxvi.  16),  'They  mocked  the  messengers 
of  God,  and  despised  his  words,  and  misused  his  pro- 
phets, until  the  wrath  of  the  Lord  arose  against  his 
people  till  there  was  no  remedy  '  "  (Maimonides,  /.  c. 
vi.  11).  '•  He  who  despises  talmide-chachamim,"  says 
llab,  "  has  no  remedy  for  his  disease  "  (Babyl.  Talm. 
Shabbath,  i  19&),  and  belongs  to  those  who  forfeit  their 
portion  in  the  world  to  come  (xan  D^lj;^  \hn  urb  \'^,il>'^d., 
Sanhedriu  90). 

The  Aged.- — •"  Thou  shalt  rise  up  before  the  hoary 
head,  and  honour  the  face  of  the  old  man,  and  fear 
thy  God"  (Lev.  xix.  32).  The  Bible  illustrates,  in  the 
history  of  Rehoboam  (i  Kings  xii.),  the  evil  conse- 
quences of  the  contempt  shown  by  this  king  to  the 
words  of  the  old  men. — "  With  the  ancient  is  wisdom, 
and  in  length  of  days  understanding"  (Job  xii.  12). 
"  The  building  of  the  young  is  destruction  ;  the  de- 
struction of  the  old  is  building"  (B.  T.  Megillah  31/')-^ 

Great  men  who  have  accomplished  great  works  in 
the  interest  of  mankind,  and  have  thus  merited  the 
gratitude  of  all. 

The  great  men  of  our  nation,  their  works  and  the 
institutions  founded  by  them  at  various  periods  of  our 

^  I.e.,  When  the  old  and  experienced  counsel  to  pull  down  a  house, 
the  pulling  down  is  essential  to  its  rebuilding ;  whilst  the  counsel  of 
young  and  inexperienced  men  to  build  may  imply  destructive  elements. 


3i8  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

history.  "  Do  not  despise  thy  mother,  though  she 
hath  become  old"  (Prov.  xxiii  22).  The  feeling  of 
piety  and  reverence  towards  our  Sages  and  Teachers  of 
former  generations,  and  towards  institutions  of  ancient 
times  that  have  come  down  to  us,  is  an  essential  element 
in  our  inner  religion  (rmni5n  nuin). 

The  magistrates,  judges,  and  statesmen,  who  devote 
their  time,  their  talents,  and  their  energy  to  promoting 
the  well-being  of  the  State. 

The  Head  of  the  State. — "Fear  the  Lord,  0  my  son,  and 
the  king,  and  do  not  mix  with  rioters  "  (Prov.  xxiv.  2  i). 

(c.)  Kindness  to  Animals. 

"  Be  fruitful,  and  multiply,  and  replenish  the  earth, 
and  subdue  it :  and  have  dominion  over  the  fish  of 
the  sea,  and  over  the  fowl  of  the  air,  and  over  every 
living  thing  that  moveth  upon  the  earth  "  (Gen.  i.  2  8 
and  ix.  2,  &c.;  comp.  Ps.  viii.  7,  &c.).  Thus  spake  the 
Creator  to  the  first  man.  He  gave  him  a  right  to 
make  use  of  the  animals  for  his  benefit ;  and  man 
makes  the  animals  work  for  him  ;  they  serve  him  as 
food,  provide  him  with  clothing  and  other  necessary 
or  useful  things.  In  return  for  all  these  services  the 
animals  ought  to  be  treated  with  kindness  and  con- 
sideration. It  is  a  necessity  to  force  certain  beasts  to 
work  for  us,  and  to  kill  certain  animals  for  various 
purposes.  But  in  doing  so  we  must  not  cause  more 
pain  than  is  absolutely  necessary.  It  is  a  disgraceful 
act  to  give  pain  to  animals  merely  for  sport,  and  to 
enjoy  their  agony.  Bullfights  and  similar  spectacles 
are    barbarous,   and    tend    to    corrupt    and    brutalise 


OUR  DUTIES.  319 

the  beai't  of  man.  The  more  we  abstain  from  cruelty 
to  animals,  the  more  noble  and  loving  is  our  con- 
duct likely  to  be  to  one  another.  "  A  righteous  man 
regardeth  the  feelings  of  his  beast,  but  the  heart  of 
the  wicked  is  cruel"  (Prov.  xii.   10). 

The  following  are  instances  of  kindness  to  animals 
enjoined  in  the  Pentateuch  : — 

"  Ye  shall  not  kill  an  animal  and  its  young  on 
one  day"  (Lev.  xxii.  28). 

"  If  a  bird's  nest  happen  to  be  before  thee  on  the 
way  upon  the  earth  or  upon  a  tree,  with  young  ones 
or  eggs,  thou  shalt  not  take  the  mother  with  the  young. 
Let  the  mother  go  away  ;  then  thou  mayest  take  the 
young  ones,  in  order  that  it  may  be  well  with  thee, 
and  thy  days  be  long"  (Deut.  xxii.  6,  7). 

"  Thou  shalt  not  muzzle  the  ox  when  he  treadeth 
out  the  corn  "  (ibid.  xxv.  4). 

In  the  Talmud  we  have  the  following  saying  in  the 
name  of  Rab  : — "  We  must  not  begin  our  meal  before 
having  given  food  to  our  cattle ;  for  it  is  said,  '  And 
I  will  give  you  grass  in  thy  field  for  thy  cattle.'  and 
after  that  '  thou  shalt  eat  and  be  full ' "  (Deut.  xi.  15; 
Babyl.  Talm.  40a). 


C. — Duties  to  Ourselves. 

Our  duties  to  ourselves  are  to  a  great  extent  in- 
cluded in  our  duties  towards  God  and  towards  our 
fellow-men,  because  these  likewise  tend  to  promote  our 
own  well-being. 

The   fundamental    principle  of  our   duties   towards 


320  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

ourselves  is  to  make  the  best  use  of  the   gifts  which 
the  kindness  of  God  has  bestowed  upon  us. 

I.  Life  and  health  are  precious  gifts  received  by 
us  at  the  hands  of  Divine  Providence.  We  must 
therefore  guard  them  as  valuable  treasures,  and  must 
not  endanger  them  without  absolute  necessity.  On 
the  contrary,  as  much  as  lies  in  our  power,  we  must 
improve  our  health  and  preserve  our  life.  Food  and 
bodily  enjoyment,  however  pleasant  for  the  moment, 
must  be  let  alone  if  they  are  injurious  to  health.  If 
we  find  ourselves  inclined  to  exceed  the  right  measure 
in  the  enjoyment  of  a  thing,  it  is  advisable  to  turn, 
for  a  while  at  least,  to  the  other  extreme  and  avoid 
that  enjoyment  altogether.  Thus  persons  that  are 
easily  misled  to  excess  in  drink  should  become  total 
abstainers  from  drink.  But  in  ordinary  cases  the 
golden  mean  is  preferable,  especially  for  us  Jews  who 
are  trained  by  the  Dietary  Laws,  and  by  other  pre- 
cepts, to  have  control  over  our  appetites.  AVe  are 
not  commanded  to  be  ascetics  and  to  lead  a  gloomy, 
miserable  life.  On  the  contrary,  we  are  frequently 
told  in  the  Pentateuch,  "  And  ye  shall  rejoice  before 
the  Lord  your  God."  The  Psalmist  exhorts  us  to 
"  serve  the  Lord  with  gladness ;  to  come  before  his 
presence  with  singing  "  (Ps.  c.  2).  "  He  who  doeth 
good  to  his  own  soul  is  a  man  of  love  ;  and  he  who 
troubleth  his  own  flesh  is  a  cruel  man  "  (Prov.  xi.  1 7)  ; 
i.e.,  he  who  does  good  to  himself  is  of  a  cheerful  dis- 
position, and  is  likely  to  do  good  to  others ;  but  he 
who  deprives  himself  of  enjoyments  is  often  also  cruel 
to  his  fellow-creatures.  The  Nazirite  had  to  bring  a 
sin-offering  after  the  expiration  of  the  period  of  his 


OUR  DUTIES.  321 

vow.  "  What  sin  has  he  committed  ?  "  was  asked. 
The  answer  is  given  in  the  Talmud  by  Samuel : 
'•  Because  he  deprived  himself  of  wine  ;  "  and  the 
Rabbi  further  infers  from  this,  that  it  is  prohibited  to 
impose  a  voluntary  fast  upon  oneself.  Eabbi  Eleazar, 
however,  thinks  that  the  vow  of  a  Nazirite  is  a  praise- 
worthy act,  and  his  view  found  many  followers,  especi- 
ally in  the  Middle  Ages.  Abraham  Ibn  Ezra,  e.(/., 
explains  that  the  sin  of  the  Nazirite  consists  in  not 
prolonging  the  state  of  Naziritism.  But,  however 
different  their  opinions  may  be  theoretically,  all  agree 
that  no  voluntary  fast  should  be  undertaken,  if  it  en- 
dangers the  health  of  the  faster,  changes  cheerfulness 
into  sadness,  and  disables  him  from  doing  necessary 
or  useful  work. 

2.  Wealth,  if  acquired  in  an  honest  manner,  by 
hard  work,  is  conducive  to  our  well-being.  But  in 
our  search  for  wealth  we  must  bear  in  mind  that  it  is 
not  an  end  in  itself,  but  serves  only  as  a  means  of 
securing  our  well-being.  Koheleth  tells  us,  what 
experience  endorses,  that  there  are  "  riches  kept  for 
the  owners  thereof  to  their  hurt"  (Eccles.  v.  12). 
It  is  true  we  must  struggle  for  the  means  of  our 
existence.  But  in  the  struggle  for  wealth  we  must 
not  entirely  suppress  the  claims  of  our  moral  and 
intellectual  wants,  and  if  we  were  to  suppress  them, 
we  should  only  work  for  our  own  ruin.  "  Two  things 
have  I  required  of  thee ;  deny  me  them  not  before  i 
die :  Eemove  far  from  me  vanity  and  lies ;  give  me 
neither  poverty  nor  riches  ;  feed  me  with  food  con- 
venient for  me :  lest  I  be  full,  and  deny  thee,  and 
say,  Who  is  the  Lord  ?  or  lest  I  be  poor,  and  steal, 

X 


322  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

and  take  the  name  of  my  God  in  vain  "  (Prov.  xxx. 
7-9).  To  this  golden  mean  we  should  adhere.  It  is 
our  duty  to  seek  an  honest  livelihood,  but  we  are  told, 
"  Labour  not  to  be  rich  :  cease  from  thine  own  wisdom  " 
(Prov.  xxiii.  4).  One  of  the  various  duties  of  parents 
towards  their  children  is  to  take  good  care  that  they 
learn  a  trade,  and  "  he  who  does  not  teach  his  son 
a  trade,"  say  our  Sages,  "  is  as  guilty  as  if  he 
directly  taught  him  to  rob "  (Babyl.  Talm.  Kiddu- 
shin,  p.  2ga). 

There  is  an  erroneous  opinion  abroad,  that  commerce 
is  more  congenial  to  Judaism  than  handicraft.  In  our 
Law  no  trace  of  such  preference  is  noticeable ;  on  the 
contrary,  agriculture  was  the  principal  occupation  of 
the  Israelites.  "  When  thou  eatest  the  labour  of  thine 
hands,  happy  art  thou,  and  it  is  well  with  thee  "  (Ps. 
cxxviii.  2).  "  Love  work,  and  hate  lordship  "  is  a  well- 
known  lesson  of  the  sayings  of  the  Fathers  (Aboth  i. 
10).  Bible  and  post- Biblical  literature  equally  teach 
us  the  lesson  that  our  comfort  and  happiness  do  not 
depend  on  the  amount  of  wealth  we  have  amassed,  but 
on  the  degree  of  contentment  our  heart  has  acquired. 
"  Sweet  is  the  sleep  of  the  labourer,  whether  he  eat 
little  or  much :  but  the  abundance  of  the  rich  will  not 
suffer  him  to  sleep"  (Eccles.  v.  11). 

Industry  is  one  of  the  sources  of  human  happiness ; 
but  the  blessing  of  industry  is  easily  lost,  if  it  is  not 
combined  with  thrift  and  temperance.  In  days  of 
prosperity  we  must  bear  in  mind  that  days  of  misfor- 
tune may  come ;  we  must,  so  far  as  we  can,  provide  for 
them,  so  that  we  may  be  able  to  hold  out  "  till  the  storm 
has  passed."      Temperance  is  inseparable  from  thrift 


OUR  DUTIES.  323 

and  industry.  Intemperance  not  only  consumes  the 
products  of  thrift  and  industry,  but  in  course  of  time 
destroys  these  very  sources  of  our  prosperity.  Even 
with  regard  to  Sabbath,  in  honour  of  which  some  de- 
gree of  comfort  and  even  of  luxury  may  be  indulged  in, 
the  principle  is  laid  down  :  "  Treat  thy  Sabbath  like  an 
ordinary  day,  if  additional  expense  is  likely  to  make  thee 
dependent  on  charity  "  (Babyl.  Talm.  Shabbath  i  i  Sa). 
3.  Knowledge. — God  has  made  man  "a  little  lower 
than  the  angels,  and  has  crowned  him  with  glory  and 
honour"  (Ps.  viii.  6);  He  has  endowed  him  with  the 
faculty  of  acquiring  knowledge :  "  There  is  a  spirit  in 
man,  and  an  inspiration  of  the  Almighty,  that  gives 
him  understanding "  (Job  xxxii.  8).  It  is  our  duty 
to  cultivate  this  faculty,  to  nurse  it  with  all  possible 
care,  that  it  may  grow,  produce  beautiful  blossoms, 
and  bear  goodly  fruit.  The  training  must  begin  very 
early,  at  an  age  iu  which  we  are  entirely  dependent 
on  the  assistance  and  guidance  of  others.  Parents,  to 
whom  the  Almighty  has  entrusted  the  care  of  their 
children,  are  therefore  commanded  to  provide  for  their 
education ;  and  as  parents  are  not  always  capable  of 
doing  this,  the  duty  devolves  on  the  community  or  on 
the  State.  Every  civilised  country  has  its  schools,  col- 
leges, and  seminaries  for  the  development  of  the  intel- 
lectual and  moral  faculties  of  its  inhabitants,  and  as 
these  institutions  increase  in  number  and  efficiency,  tlie 
prosperity  of  the  nation  grows  in  like  proportion.  Put 
the  success  of  these  educational  institutions,  however 
well  provided  they  may  be  with  an  excellent  teaching 
staff  and  the  best  appliances,  depends  on  the  regular 
and  punctual  attendance  of  the  children,  their  atten- 


324  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

tion,  nnd  their  industry.  It  is  the  duty  of  parents  to 
see,  as  far  as  it  is  in  their  power,  that  these  conditions 
be  fulfilled.  Among  the  various  branches  of  know- 
ledge we  seek  to  acquire,  there  is  one  branch  of  para- 
mount importance,  the  absence  of  which  would  make 
all  other  knowledge  valueless :  it  is — 

4.  Moral  and  Religious  Training. — "  The  fear  of 
the  Lord  is  the  beginning  of  knowledge;  fools  despise 
wisdom  and  correction  "  (idioi  n»3n  Prov.  i.  7).  The 
author  of  the  Book  of  Proverbs  teaches  that  know- 
ledge must  be  combined  with  dkti  nxT  "  fear  of  God  ; " 
and  that  it  is  a  perverse  idea  to  separate  wisdom 
(nDnn)  from  moral  training  ("1D1»),  and  to  seek  know- 
lege  (nj;t)  without  the  fear  of  the  Lord  ('n  nxi"")- 
Our  Sai^es  teacli  us  that  our  training  should  include 
both  fear  of  God  and  wisdom.  "  If  there  is  no  wisdom, 
there  is  no  fear  of  God ;  and  in  the  absence  of  the 
latter  there  is  no  wisdom "  (Aboth  iii.  1 7).  Fear  of 
the  Lord,  however,  and  fear  of  sin  must  have  pre- 
cedence. "  Eabbi  Chanina,  son  of  Dosa,  says :  "If  a 
man's  wisdom  is  preceded  by  fear  of  sin,  his  wisdom 
is  well  established ;  if  the  fear  of  sin  is  preceded  by 
wisdom,  his  wisdom  is  not  well  established  "  {ibid.  9). 

The  result  of  our  training  must  be  the  acquisition 
of  good  manners  and  noble  principles.  Avoid  ex- 
tremes, and  hold  to  the  golden  mean,  is  an  excel- 
lent rule  that  leads  us  safely  through  the  various 
conditions  of  life  and  wards  off  many  troubles  and 
dangers.  The  following  examples  may  serve  as  an 
illustration  of  this  rule :  Do  not  ignore  your  own  self ; 
let  self-love  and  self-respect  influence  your  conduct ; 
but  these  must  not  be  allowed  to  develop  into  selfish- 


OUR  DUTIES.  325 

ness  and  arrogance.  Look  after  your  own  interests, 
but  do  not  consider  them  as  the  supreme  rulers  of 
your  actions.  Be  self-reliant,  and  keep  equally  far 
from  self-conceit  and  self-distrust.  Haughtiness  and 
self-contempt  are  extremes  to  be  avoided :  be  modest. 
When  wronged  or  insulted  by  your  neighbour,  be 
neither  callous  nor  over-sensitive ;  ignore  insult  and 
wrong  in  most  cases,  forgive  them  readily  in  others, 
and  resent  them  only  when  forced  to  do  so.  In  dis- 
putes and  discussions  be  neither  weak  nor  obstinate : 
be  firm.  Be  neither  passionate  nor  indifferent :  be 
calm.  Do  not  trust  every  one,  lest  your  credulity  mis- 
lead you ;  do  not  suspect  every  one,  lest  you  become 
liiisanthropic :  be  discreet.  Do  not  seek  danger,  nor 
fear  it ;  but  be  prepared  to  meet  it  with  courage. 
Be  temperate  in  eating  and  drinking,  and  avoid  both 
excess  and  needless  privation.  In  spending  your  earn- 
ings show  neither  niggardliness  nor  recklessness :  be 
economical.  Work,  but  not  in  such  a  manner  as  to 
ruin  your  health.  As  to  your  future,  be  neither  too 
sanguine  in  your  hopes,  nor  despondent :  do  your 
duty,  and  trust  in  God. 

There  are,  however,  exceptions  from  this  rule ;  for 
in  certain  cases  there  is  only  the  choice  between  two 
extremes.  Such  is  Truthfulness.  It  is  our  duty  to 
approach  nearer  and  nearer  the  extreme  of  this  virtue, 
and  to  consider  the  least  deviation  from  it  as  vice. 
From  our  earliest  youth  we  should  train  ourselves  in 
the  practice  of  this  virtue.  Every  word  that  we  desire 
to  utter  should  be  well  examined  before  it  passes  our 
lips.  We  must  be  on  our  guard  that  nothing  should 
escape  our  lips  that  is  not  in  harmony  with  what  we 


326  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

feel  or  think.  In  small  matters  as  well  as  in  important 
things  truthfulness  must  be  the  principle  which  guides 
us  in  our  utterances.  "  The  lips  of  truth  shall  be 
established  for  ever,  but  for  a  moment  only  the  tongue 
of  falsehood  "  (Prov.  xii.  1 9).  "  Keep  thee  far  from 
a  word  of  falsehood  "  (Exod.  xxiii.  7).  "  Falsehood," 
say  our  Sages,  "  has  no  legs  to  stand  upon ;  whilst 
'  truth '  is  declared  to  be  the  seal  of  the  Holy  One, 
Blessed  be  He  "  (n"2pn  b^  V2n\n  ddx). 

Our  moral  and  religious  training  is  based  on  the 
Word  of  God,  on  the  Torah,  and  the  study  of  the 
Torah,  min  nio^n,  is  an  essential  element  in  Jewish 
education.  The  term  Torah  is  to  be  understood  in  no 
narrow  sense,  but  as  including  the  written  and  the  oral 
Law,  all  the  books  of  the  Holy  Writings,  and  such 
works  as  have  from  time  to  time  been  composed  for 
the  purpose  of  facilitating  and  promoting  the  study 
of  the  Torah.  The  importance  of  this  duty  has  been 
recognised  from  ancient  times,  and  Jewish  congrega- 
tions, before  building  a  synagogue,  made  provision  for 
the  religious  education  of  the  young  and  for  the  study 
of  the  Law,  by  establishing  schools  and  colleges  (nsD  m 
or  ni  "'3  and  i^niriin  rr-a). 

Talmud-torah  is  one  of  those  duties  to  which  no 
measure  was  fixed  (-iijr'D'  Drb  px  ityx  Mishnah  Peah 
i.  i).  Whenever  we  can  find  time  and  leisure,  we 
ought  to  turn  to  the  Word  of  God,  every  one  according 
to  his  capacity  and  his  opportunities.  The  readings 
from  the  Torah,  both  the  written  and  the  oral,  whiclt 
I'orm  part  of  our  Service,  have  been  introduced  for  the 
purpose  of  facilitating  for  the  general  public  the  ful- 
filment of  the  dutv  of  Talmud-torah. 


OUR  DUTIES.  327 

The  study  of  the  Law  and  the  rei,adar  and  punctual 
attendance  at  the  Beth-hammidrash  belon"  to  those 
relij^aous  acts  which  "  bear  fruit  here  on  earth  and 
procure  bliss  in  the  future  life "  (ibid.).  Our  Sages 
exhort  us  in  various  sayings  to  devote  ourselves 
earnestly  to  the  study  of  the  Torah.  The  object  of 
this  study  is,  in  the  first  instance,  to  enable  us  to  live 
in  accordance  with  His  Commandments ;  secondly,  to 
purify  our  thoughts  by  turning  them  from  common, 
ordinary  things  to  higher  and  loftier  subjects  ;  for  while 
we  are  reading  the  Divine  messages  and  reflecting  on 
them,  we  move  in  a  purer  atmosphere  and  must  be 
inspired  with  holy  and  noble  thoughts. 

The  book  which  is  expected  to  produce  these  results 
must  be  approached  "  with  awe,  with  meekness,  with 
cheerfulness,  and  with  purity "  (Aboth  vi.  6).  Our 
intention  must  be  to  be  instructed  and  guided  by  what 
we  read.  We  must  not  presume  to  criticise  the  Divine 
decrees  therein  recorded.  If  we  meet  with  })assages  that 
strike  us  as  strange  or  objectionable,  we  may  be  sure 
that  we  have  not  yet  comprehended  the  true  sense  of 
the  Divine  words.  Modesty  must  cause  us  rather 
to  assume  shortcomings  on  our  part  than  to  find  fault 
with  the  Holy  Writings.  "  Turn  it  over,  and  read  it 
again  and  again  ;  for  all  is  in  it,  and  behold  everything 
through  it;  and  even  when  old  and  weak,  cleave  to  h, 
and  do  not  move  away  from  it ;  for  there  is  no  better 
guide  for  thee  than  this  one"  (Aboth  v,  22).  There 
is  one  great  advantage  in  the  study  of  the  Torah ;  it 
constantly  supplies  us  with  one  of  the  best  means  of 
promoting  our  moral  training,  viz.,  with  good  conipan\ . 

The    society    in    which   we  move    and   the    persons 


328  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

with  whom  we  associate  are  an  important  factor  in 
the  formation  of  our  character.  Bad  companions 
corrupt  us,  and  lead  us  to  ruin ;  good  companions 
improve  our  moral  conduct  by  their  example  and  not 
rarely  by  their  words.  "  If  one  joins  mockers,  he  will 
be  a  mocker ;  if  he  joins  the  lowly,  he  will  show  grace  " 
(Prov.  iii.  34).  "  Keep  away  from  a  bad  neighbour ; 
do  not  associate  with  the  wicked,  and  do  not  believe 
thyself  safe  from  evil"  (Aboth  i.  7).  In  our  daily 
prayers  we  ask  God  for  His  assistance  in  our  endeavour 
to  act  according  to  this  principle. 

The  aim  and  end  of  all  our  moral  training  must  be 
to  keep  our  mind  pure  from  evil  thoughts,  to  make 
our  heart  the  seat  of  noble  and  lofty  desires ;  to 
accustom  our  tongue  to  the  utterance  of  that  which 
is  good  and  true,  and  to  lead  a  pure,  honourable,  and 
godly  life.  If  we  succeed,  we  establish  our  well-being 
during  our  life  on  earth,  and  secure  Divine  blessing 
for  our  soul  in  the  future  world. 

III.  Signs  as  Outward  Reminders  of  God's  Presence. 

The  voice  that  comes  from  within,  from  our  own 
heart  and  conscience,  is  the  best  reminder  of  God's 
Presence  and  Will.  But  it  does  not  always  sound 
with  sufficient  force  to  make  itself  heard,  and 
we,  weak  mortals,  have  the  weakness  of  forgetting 
even  most  important  duties,  unless  we  are  reminded 
of  them  from  time  to  time.  The  Divine  Law  has 
therefore  set  up  signs  as  outward  reminders.  Such 
are  the  commandments  of  nvv  "  fringe,"  \hQr\  "  orna- 
ments," and  nriTD  "door-post  symbol." 


Of; A'  DUTIES.  329 

nv"'V  "  Fringe  "  or  "  Tassel." 

"  Thou  shalt  make  thee  fringes  upon  the  four  cor- 
ners of  thy  vesture,  wherewith  thou  coverest  thyself " 
(Deut.  xxii.  1 2).  The  object  of  this  commandment 
is  described  as  follows : — "  It  shall  be  unto  you  for  a 
fringe,  that  ye  may  look  upon  it,  and  remember  all 
the  commandments  of  the  Lord,  and  do  them,  and  that 
ye  seek  not  after  your  own  heart  and  your  own  eyes, 
after  which  ye  use  to  go  astray :  that  ye  may  remem- 
ber and  do  all  my  commandments,  and  be  holy  unto 
your  God"  (Num.  xv.  39,  40). 

In  obedience  to  this  commandment,  we  have  two 
kinds  of  four-cornered  garments  provided  with  "fringes." 
The  one  is  small,  and  is  worn  under  the  upper  garments 
the  whole  day ;  it  is  called  ao^ha'  Jcanfoth,  "  four  corners," 
or  talith  katan,  "  small  scarf."  The  other  and  larger 
one  is  worn  over  the  garments  during  the  Morning 
Service.^  It  is  called  simply  talith,  "scarf,"  or  talith 
gadol,  "  large  scarf." 

The  form  of  the  blessing  which  accompanies  the 
performance  of  this  mitsvah  varies  according  as  it  refers 
to  the  small  talith  or  to  the  large  one.  In  the  former 
case  the  blessing  concludes  with  nv'V  mvD  bv  "  concern- 
ing the  commandment  of  tsitsith  ;  "  in  the  latter  with 
n^"'V3  Pitoynn^,  "to  wrap  ourselves  with  a  garment  pro- 
vided with  tsitsith."  ^ 

^  There  are  some  exceptions  to  this  rule  : — The  Reader  wears  the 
(aZi(/t  during  every  Service  ;  in  some  congregations  mourners  wear  it 
when  they  recite  kaddish.  On  the  iJay  of  Atonement  the  whole  con- 
gregation wear  the  talith  during  all  the  Services.  On  the  Fast  of  Ab 
the  talith  is  put  on  before  the  Afternoon  Service  instead  of  during  tiie 
Morning  Service. 

^  There  are  two  forms  of  the  blessing  which  accompanies  the  per- 


330  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION, 

The  tsitsith,  which  is  appended  to  each  of  the  four 
corners,  consists  of  four  long  threads  drawn  through 
a  small  hole  about  an  inch  from  the  corner ;  the  two 
parts  of  the  threads  are  bound  together  by  a  double 
knot ;  the  largest  thread — called  shammash,  "  the  ser- 
vant " — is  then  wound  seven,  eight,  eleven,  and  thirteen 
times  round  the  other  seven  halves  of  the  four  threads, 
and  after  each  set  of  windings  a  double  knot  is  made. — 
It'  one  of  the  four  tsitsith  is  not  in  order,  e.g.,  two  of 
the  threads  being  torn  off,  the  talith  is  called  iiasul, 
"  disqualified  "  for  the  mitsvah,  and  must  not  be  worn 
till  that  tsitsith  is  replaced  by  a  new  one. 

There  is,  however,  an  important  element  in  this 
Divine  commandment,  which  is  now  altogether 
neglected,  viz.,  "  And  they  shall  put  upon  the  fringe 
of  the  corner  a  thread  of  n^an  purple  blue  wool " 
(Num.  XV.  38).  Tradition  determined  the  exact  shade 
of  the  purple  blue  indicated  by  the  term  rb'zn ;  iu 
the  Talmud  (Menachoth  426)  the  various  ways  of 
its  preparation  are  given.  But  the  colour  seems  to 
have  been  rare,  and  we  are  warned  against  using  imita- 
tions of  techeleth.      Eegulations  were  also  made  provid- 

formance  of  a  Divine  precept:  the  precept  is  expressed  (l)  by  a  noun 
which  is  preceded  by  the  preposition  ^y  "  concerning  ;  "  (2)  by  the  infi- 
nitive of  a  verb  preceded  by  the  preposition  ^  "to,"  e.g.,  "concerning 
the  commandment  of  tsitsith,"  and  "to  wrap  ourselves  with  a  garment 
provided  with  tsitsith."  The  latter  form  is  used  (l)  when  the  blesi- - 
ing  is  recited  before  the  performance  of  the  mitsvah  has  commenced  ; 
(2)  when  he  who  performs  the  mitsvah  is  personally  commanded  tu 
perform  it.  In  all  other  cases  the  first  form  is  used.  Hence  ni^j'j^  py 
ri^'V,  because  we  are,  as  a  rule,  not  in  a  fit  state  for  prayer  when  we 
put  it  on,  and  therefore  recite  the  blessing  later  on  ;  n^JD  XIpD  7]}  • 
because  he  who  reads  might  just  as  well  be  one  of  the  listeners.  We 
^*y  r^Cn  n^^n^  ^^  *^^^  commencement  of  the  mitsvah;  ril^O  pV 
I'^Cri'.before  the  second  part.     (See  Baby).  Talm.  Pesachim,  p.  7.) 


OUR  DUTIES.  331 

ins  for  the  case  when  tccheldh  could  not  be  obtained. 
The  natural  white  colour  was  then  substituted,  and  no 
other  colour  was  allowed.  After  the  conclusion  of 
the  Talmud  doubts  seem  to  have  arisen  as  regards  the 
exact  shade  of  the  purple  blue  demanded  by  the 
Divine  precept  in  the  term  n^^n,  and  thus  the  use  of 
the  thread  of  purple  blue  wool  gradually  ceased  to 
form  part  of  the  tsitsith.  The  exact  time  when  it 
ceased  cannot  be  fixed. 

pi^an  ^  "  Ornaments." 

Four  times  the  Law  repeats  the  commandment 
concerning  the  tefillin  :  "  And  thou  shalt  bind  them  " 
— the  words  of  God — "  for  a  sign  upon  thy  hand,  and 
they  shall  be  for  a  frontlet  between  thine  eyes  "  (Deut. 
vi.  8  and  xi.  18);  "  And  it  shall  be  unto  thee  for  a 
sign  upon  thy  hand,  and  for  a  memorial  between  thine 
eyes,  in  order  that  the  Law  of  the  Lord  be  in  thy 
mouth "  (Exod.  xiii.  9)  ;  "  And  it  shall  be  for  a  sign 
upon  thy  hand,  and  for  a  frontlet  between  thine  eyes  " 
(ibid.  16). 

The  object  of  this  commandment  is  to  direct  our 
thoughts  to  God  and  His  goodness,  and  to  remind  us 
of  the  important  lessons  taught  in  the  following  four 
paragraphs,  in  which  the  commandment  of  tefillin  is 
mentioned : — 

( I .)  The  first  paragraph  (c^np  Exod.  xiii.  i  - 1  o)  teaches 

^  The  term  p';?sri  reminds  us  of  nSsn  "  pi'^'yer,"  and  denotes  things 
used  during  prayer.  Originally  it  had  probably  the  more  general 
signification  :  ornament  or  head-ornament  ;  in  the  Chaldee  Version  it 
is  the  translation  of  niDDtS.  which  denotes  "  head-ornament."  (Comp. 
Mishnah  Shabbath'vi.  i.)' 


-332  '  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

that  we  must,  iu  various  ways,  express  our  belief  in 
God  as  the  King  and  Euler  of  the  universe.  Two 
laws  are  contained  in  this  paragraph  which  are  to 
serve  this  object — the  sanctification  of  the  first-born 
to  the  service  of  the  Lord,  and  the  celebration  of  the 
Feast  of  Unleavened  Cakes. 

(2.)  The  second  paragraph  (ix'^n''  ''^  hmi  Exod.  xiii. 
II  — 1 6)  reminds  us  of  the  wonderful  way  in  which 
God  delivered  our  forefathers  from  Egyptian  bondage. 
Kemembering  this  deliverance,  we  are  strengthened 
in  our  faith  in  God  in  days  of  trouble,  for  His  ways 
are  not  ours,  and  when  tue  do  not  see  any  prospect  of 
relief  God  may  be  preparing  help  for  us. 

(3.)  The  third  paragraph  (jjoe*  Deut.  vi.  4-9)  pro- 
claims the  Unity  of  God,  and  teaches  us  to  love  God 
and  obey  Him  out  of  love. 

(4.)  The  fourth  paragraph  (j;oK>  DX  nfll  Deut.  xi. 
1 3-20)  teaches  that  Providence  deals  with  men 
according  to  their  merits,  according  as  each  deserves 
reward  or  punishment. 

Tradition  has  handed  down  to  us  the  way  in  which 
this  precept  is  to  be  carried  out.  The  four  above- 
mentioned  paragraphs  are  written  twice  on  parchment, 
once  on  one  piece,  and  once  on  four  pieces,  each  piece 
containing  one  paragraph.  The  two  sets  are  put  into 
two  leather  cases  (rT'n),  one  of  which  is  divided  into 
four  compartments,  for  the  four  separate  slips  of  parch- 
ment, and  marked  outside  by  the  letter  simi}     Through 

'  Two  sides  of  the  hayith  have  the  shin  impressed  on  them,  the 
right  and  the  left ;  but  in  different  forms,  on  the  right  the  letter  has 
three  strokes  (t^),  on  the  left  it  has  four  strokes  {^'>),  in  order  to  ensure 
the  right  order  of  the  four  paragraphs  (nVE'li)  which  the  bayith  con- 
tains from  riirht  to  left. 


OUR  DUTIES.  333 

a  loop  attached  to  each  hayith  a  leather  strap  (nj;i\'-i) 
is  passed,  the  two  parts  of  which  are  tied  together  ^  in 
such  a  manner  as  to  hold  the  hayith  on  the  arm  or  on 
the  head.  On  the  arm  the  case  is  placed  that  contains 
the  four  paragraphs  written  on  one  piece,  on  the  head 
that  which  contains  them  written  on  four  pieces.  The 
former  is  called  tcfillah  shel  yad,  "  tefillin  of  the  hand  ;  " 
the  latter  tejillah  shel  rosh,  "the  tefillin  of  the  head." 

The  tefillin  are  put  on  in  the  following  way  : — ( i .)  Te- 
jillah shel  rosh.  The  case  is  placed  in  front,  just  over  the 
forehead  in  the  middle,  and  the  knot  of  the  straps  ("iK^p) 
on  the  back  of  the  head  over  the  middle  of  the  neck  ;  the 
remainder  of  the  two  straps  hang  down  in  front,  one 
on  each  side.  (2.)  Tefillah  shel  yad.  The  case  containing 
the  parchment  is  placed  on  the  inner  side  of  the  left 
upper  arm,  near  the  elbow ;  the  knot  is  kept  near  it, 
and  the  strap  is  twisted  seven  times  round  the  arm  and 
three  times  round  the  middle  finger ;  there  are,  how- 
ever, different  customs  with  regard  to  this  latter  practice. 

Tefillah  shel  yad  is  put  on  first,  being  mentioned 
first  in  the  Divine  precept.  The  reverse  order  is  ob- 
served in  taking  off  the  tefillin.  Originally  the  tefillin 
were  worn  all  day  long,"  but  at  present  they  are  worn 
only  during  the  morning  prayer. 

1  The  knot  formed  by  the  rilU"!^*")  of  tho  tefillah  nhel  rosh  has  the 
shape  of  a  dideth,  that  of  the  tefillah  shel  yad  is  like  a  yod  ;  these  two 
letters  added  to  the  shin  of  the  tefillin  shel  rosh  read  shaddai,  "Almighty." 

-  In  the  evening  it  was  but  natural  that  tsitsith  and  tefillin  should  be 
laid  aside,  as  the  greater  part  of  the  night  was  devoted  to  sleep  ;'  the 
rule  was  therefore  generally  adopted  :  "  The  night  is  not  the  proper  time 
for  laying  tefillin  "  (|'''?"'an  pT  1J<^  H^^^)-  The  opposite  principle,  how- 
ever, "  The  night  is  likewise  a  suitable  time  for  laying  tefillin  "  (jOT  H^^? 
P?Dn)>  had  also  its  advocates  among' Rabbinical  authorities  (Babyl. 
Talm.  Menachoth'366). 


334  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

The  tefiUin  are  not  worn  on  Sabbath  or  Festival. 
The  observance  of  these  days  is  "  a  sign  for  ever  "  of 
our  belief  "  that  in  six  days  the  Lord  made  the  heavens 
and  the  earth."  The  very  days  of  rest  thus  remind  us 
of  the  truths  of  which  the  tcfilliii  are  "  a  sign."  The 
tefillin  became,  therefore,  unnecessary  on  those  days. 

The  commandment  of  tefillin  applies  to  all  male 
persons  from  their  thirteenth  birthday.^ 

The  performance  of  this  commandment  is  preceded 
by  the  usual  benediction  (nivnn  n3"in),  concluding  n^jn^ 
j^i'Sn,  "  to  place  the  tefillin,"  scil.,  on  the  arm  and  on  the 
head.  According  to  the  German  rite,  a  second  bene- 
diction is  recited  before  placing  the  tefillah  shel  rosh  on 
the  head,  viz.,  p^an  mvo  hv,  "  concerning  the  command- 
ment of  tefillin.'" " 

In  order  to  prevent  a  mere  perfunctory  observance 
of  this  commandment,  we  are  taught  to  reflect  on  the 
importance  and  the  object  of  the  tefillin,  and  to  declare 
that  by  placing  the  tefillin  on  the  head  and  on  the 
arm,  near  the  heart,  we  indicate  our  consciousness  of  the 
duty  to  employ  the  thoughts  that  rise  in  our  mind, 
and  the  desires  of  our  heart,  in  the  service  of  the  Lord, 
who  gave  us  the  powers  of  thought  and  will.g 

^  With  the  completion  of  the  thirteenth  year  a  boy  becomes  of  age 
in  reference  to  the  fulfilment  of  all  religious  duties.  He  is  then  called 
Bar-mitsvali  (lit.  "a  sou  of  the  commandment"),  a  member  of  the 
Jewish  community,  upon  whom  devolve  all  such  duties  as  a  Jew 
has  to  perform.  On  the  Sabbath  following  that  birthday  he  is  called 
to  the  Law,  either  to  read  a  portion  of  the  Sidra  or  to  listen  to  its  read- 
ing, and  publicly  acknowledge  God  as  the  Giver  of  the  Law. 

-  Compare  p.  329.  ^  See  Daily  Prayer  Book.  Morning  Service. 


OUR  DUTIES.  335 

ntiTD     DooT-'post  Si/mhul. 

The  Mezuzah  is  a  piece  of  parchment  on  which 
the  two  first  paragraphs  of  Shema  (Deut.  vi.  4-9,  xi. 
I  3—20)  are  written.  The  parchment  is  rolled  together, 
pat  into  a  small  case,  and  fixed  on  the  right-hand  door- 
post. A  small  opening  is  left  in  the  case,  where  the 
word  *i}^  "  Almighty,"  written  on  the  back  of  the 
scroll,  is  visible.^ 

The  object  of  the  mezuzah,  commanded  in  the  words, 
"  And  thou  shalt  write  them  on  the  door-posts  of  thy 
house  and  upon  thy  gates"  (Deut.  vi.  9  and  xi.  20), 
is  to  remind  us  of  the  Presence  of  God,  of  His  Unity, 
I'rovidence,  and  Omnipotence,  both  on  entering  our  home 
and  on  leaving  it ;  of  the  all-seeing  eye  that  watches 
us,  and  of  the  Almighty  who  will  one  day  call  us  to 
account  for  our  deeds,  words  and  thoughts.  The  me- 
zuzah thus  serves  to  sanctify  our  dwelling  and  protect 
it  from  being  polluted  by  evil  deeds. 

Signs  of  God's  Covenant. 

Besides  the  signs  mentioned  above,  there  are  two 
other  signs  of  the  covenant  between  God  and  Israel. 

I.  Sabbath  is  called  "an  everlasting  covenant,"  and 
"  a  sign  between  God  and  the  children  of  Israel  for 
ever"  (Exod.  xxxi.  16,  17).  See  pp.  254  sqq.  and 
339  ^^1- 

^  There  are,  besides,  on  the  back  of  the  scroll,  just  behind  the  names 
of  God  in  the  first  line,  three  words  of  a  mystic  character  consisting 
of  the  letters  following  in  the  alphabet  the  letters  of  these  divine  names. 
The  words  have  in  themselves  no  meaning,  and  [it  may  be  that  their 
object  is  simply  to  indicate  from  outside  \\  hero  the]  names  of  God  are 
written, 'and^to  prevent  a'nail  bshig  driven  through  that  part  in  fixing 
the  mezuzah  to  the  door-post. 


336  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

2.  The  covenant  of  Abraham  {rh^^  nnn  "  the  cove- 
nant of  circumcision  ").  God  made  a  covenant  with 
Abraham,  and  said,  "  Thou  shalt  keep  my  covenant, 
thou  and  thy  seed  after  thee  in  their  generations.  This 
is  my  covenant  which  ye  shall  keep  between  me  and 
you,  and  thy  seed  after  thee  :  Every  male  child  among 
you  shall  be  circumcised  when  eight  days  old"  (Gen. 
xvii.  9,  10,  12).  If  the  eighth  day  happens  to  be  on 
a  Sabbath,  the  circumcision  takes  place  on  that  day ; 
but  if,  because  of  illness,  or  from  any  other  cause,  the 
rite  has  not  been  performed  on  the  eighth  day,  it  must 
be  done  on  some  other  day,  but  not  on  a  Sabbath  or 
Festival. 

Notes. — i.  In  reference  to  tlie  importance  of  these  mitsvoth, 
Maimonides,  in  Mishneh-torali,  says  as  follows  : — 

"Although  we  are  not  commanded  to  get  a  talith,  and  to  put  it 
on  in  order  to  join  the  tsitsiih  ("fringes")  to  it,  a  religious  person  will 
not  consider  himself  free  from  this  duty,  but  will  always  endea- 
voiir  to  wear  a  garment  to  which  fringes  must  be  affixed.  During 
prayer  we  must  be  especially  careful  to  provide  ourselves  with  a 
talith.  It  is  a  disgrace  for  a  scholar  (Talmid  chacham)  to  say  the 
prayer  without  the  talith.  We  must  be  particularly  anxious  to 
perform  this  miisvak ;  it  is  of  great  importance  with  regard  to  all 
the  precepts,  according  to  the  words,  '  And  ye  shall  look  upon  it, 
and  remember  all  the  commandments  of  the  Lord'"  (2nd  Book" 
Ahahhah,  Hilchoth  tsitsith  iii.  12). 

"  The  holiness  of  the  tefillin  is  great,  for  so  long  as  the  tefillin 
are  upon  the  head  and  the  arm  of  a  man,  he  is  humble  and  God- 
fearing, keeps  away  from  levity  and  idle  talk,  does  not  conceive 
evil  thoughts,  but  turns  his  heart  exclusively  to  words  of  truth 
and  justice.  We  ought  therefore  to  wear  them  all  day  long ; 
this  would  be  the  proper  way.  It  is  said  of  Rab,  the  pupil  of 
Rabbi  Jehudah,  the  Holy,  that  he  was  never  seen  otherwise  than 
with  torah  or  tsitsith  or  tefillin. 

"Although  we  ought  to  wear  tefillin  all  day  long,  it  is  our  special 
duty  to  wear  them  during  prayer.     Our  Sages  said,  'He  who 


OUR  DUTIES.  337 

reads  Sheina  -without  tefillin  rejects,  as  it  were,  his  evidence  con- 
cerning the  Almighty  as  false'""  (ibid.,  Hilchoth  tefillin  iv.  26). 

"We  should  be  particular  with  regard  to  the  mezuzah,  which  is 
a  duty  incumbent  uninterruptedly  on  every  one.  Whenever  we 
enter  or  leave  the  house  our  eye  meets  with  the  name  of  God  ;  we 
remember  His  love,  and  rousing  ourselves  from  our  torpitude,  we 
are  led  to  regret  our  foolish  devotion  to  the  vanities  of  the  time, 
and  recognise  that  nothing  remains  for  ever  except  the  know- 
ledge of  the  RoL-k  of  the  universe.  We  shall  then  at  once  devote 
ourselves  to  know  Him,  and  walk  in  the  way  of  uprightness.  Our 
ancient  Sages  said,  '  He  who  has  tefillin  upon  his  head  and  upon 
Ills  arm,  tsitsitJi,  on  liis  garment,  and  mezuzah  on  his  door,  he  is  safe 
from  sin,  since  he  has  many  reminders  of  liis  duties,  and  these  are 
the  angels  that  protect  him  from  going  astray  ;  and  to  him  the 
i'ollowing  verse  applies  :  "An  angel  of  the  Lord  encampetli  round 
those  who  fear  llim'""  (ibid.,  Hilchoth  mezuzah  vi.  13). 

2.  The  great  importance  of  the  tefillin,  as  described  by  Mai- 
monides,  was  not  understood  or  recognised  by  all  Jews.  Various 
sayings  occurring  in  the  Talmud  indicate  the  existence  of  laxity 
or  even  oj^position  with  regard  to  the  carrying  out  of  this  precept 
in  its  literal  sense.  When  persons  with  tefillin  on  their  head  and 
on  their  arm  showed  by  their  conduct  that  their  heart  was  not 
filled  with  the  lioliness  and  uprightness  of  which  the  tefillin  are 
the  symbol,  it  was  btit  natural  that  not  only  were  these  j^ersons 
accused  of  hypocrisy,  but  the  Divine  precept  itself  was  discredited. 
But  the  greater  the  opposition  by  one  section  of  the  Jewish  com- 
munity, the  more  the  enthusiasm  of  the  other  section  grew  in  its 
favour.  Hence  the  numerous  Talmudical  and  Rabbinical  utter- 
ances concerning  the  sanctifying  force  inherent  in  the  tefillin 
(comp.  Tur  Orach  Chai/yim  xxxvii.).  Thus,  when  a  Rabbi  was 
cautioned  not  to  be  over  joyous,  as  excess  of  joy  led  to  sin,  he 
replied,  "I  lay  tefillin ;"  i.e.,  "The  thoughts  which  the  observ- 
ance of  tliis  i)recept  awakens  protects  me  from  sin."  This  idea 
of  protection  from  sin  may  be  the  origin  of  the  Greek  name  p]i,i/- 
lacterion,  "  protection." — In  times  of  persecution,  when  the  Jews 
were  forbidden  by  their  oppressors  to  perform  any  of  their  re- 
ligious rites  on  penalty  of  death,  the  precept  of  tefillin  was  not 
included  among  those  which  they  performed  even  at  the  risk  of 
their  life.  To  this  circumstance  Rabbi  Simeon  b.  Elazar  ascribes 
the  laxity  with  regard  to  the  tefillin  (Babyl.  Talm.  Shabbath  130a). 

Y 


338  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

3.  There  occurs  in  tlie  Midrash  (Sifre  on  Dent.  xi.  i8\  in 
reference  to  tsitsith  and  tejillin,  the  following  passage:  "Also 
when  in  exile  deck  yourselves  with  mitsvoth,  in  order  that  on 
your  return  to  your  own  land  the  Divine  precepts  should  not 
seem  to  you  new  and  unknown."  This  passage  has  heen  misin- 
terpreted as  if  the  author  of  that  passage  were  of  opinion  that 
precepts  like  tsitsith  and  tejillin  did  originally  not  apply  to  those 
who  are  outside  the  Holy  Land.  The  meaning  is  rather  this  : 
Although  a  large  jjoriion  of  the  laws  is  not  in  force  outside  Pales- 
tine, yet  continue  to  wear  these  reminders  in  exile,  in  order  that 
by  this  act  your  attention  may  constantly  be  turned  to  the  whole 
Torah,  to  those  precepts  which  are  in  force  at  present  as  well  as 
to  those  which  are  not.  Thus  all  the  precepts  will  be  familiar 
to  you,  and  wdien  the  time  comes  in  which  the  observance  of 
all  the  laws  will  again  be  possible,  none  of  the  laws  will  appear 
to  you  new  and  strange. 

4.  There  is,  on  the  whole,  no  difference  between  men  and  women 
with  regard  to  the  obedience  due  to  the  Divine  commandments. 
All  Jews  are  equally  bound  to  obey  the  Will  of  God  expressed 
in  the  Law.  This  is  absolutely  the  case  with  all  jirohibitions 
(nti'yn  VO)-  in  the  case  of  positive  commandments  (ncy  mVD) 
the  following  rule  has  been  laid  down  by  our  Sages  :  Women  are 
exempt  from  the  performance  of  such  religious  duties  as  are  re- 
stricted to  a  certain  period  of  time  (D^K'J  XD~13  \12\T\^  HK'y  m^*D 
niTltSS).  The  object  of  the  seeming  anomaly  is  probably  this  : 
the  principal  duty  and  the  privilege  of  women  is  to  manage  the 
household,  a  task  that  demands  constant  attention.  Religious 
acts  which  are  to  be  performed  at  a  certain  time  might  involve 
an  interference  with  such  of  their  household  duties  as  demand 
immediate  attention  ;  e.g.,  nursing  a  patient,  a  task  which  gene- 
rally falls  to  the  lot  of  the  female  section  of  the  family.  Jewish 
women,  nevertheless,  zealously  fulfil  most  of  the  duties  from 
Avhich  the  above  rule  exempts  them.  They  thus  are  most  eager 
to  obey  the  laws  concerning  shofar  on  New-year,  lulab  on  Taber- 
nacles, and  the  like  ;  and  some  of  them  are  named  as  having 
conscientiously  laid  tejillin  (Mechilta  on  Exod.  xiii.  9). 


OUR  DUTIES.  339 

IV.  Sabbath  and  Festivals. 

The  daily  work  which  has  chiefly  the  well-being  of 
the  body  as  its  aim  must  be  interrupted  on  certain 
days  which  the  Almighty  has  appointed  for  the  pro- 
motion of  man's  spiritual  well-being.  Sabbath  and 
Festivals  are  the  days  thus  appointed,  and  are  there- 
fore called  It  "njnJO  "  the  seasons  of  the  Lord,"  and  ^aip^ 
cnp  "  holy  convocations."  The  blessing  derived  from 
the  observance  of  Holy-days  in  the  true  spirit  is  de- 
scribed by  the  prophet  as  follows  :  "If  thou  keep  back 
thy  foot  because  of  the  sabbath,  from  doing  thy  busi- 
ness on  my  holy  day  ;  and  call  the  sabbath  a  delight, 
the  holy  of  the  Lord,  honourable,  and  shalt  honour 
it,  not  doing  thine  own  ways,  nor  finding  thine  own 
business,  nor  speaking  thine  own  words :  then  thou 
shalt  delight  thyself  in  the  Lord :  and  I  will  cause 
thee  to  ride  upon  the  high  places  of  the  earth,  and 
feed  thee  with  the  heritage  of  Jacob,  thy  father  "  (Isa. 
Iviii.  13,  14).  To  those  who  fail  to  observe  the 
seasons  of  the  Lord  in  the  true  spirit,  the  jDrophet 
says  in  the  name  of  the  Almighty  :  "  Your  new-moons 
and  your  festivals  my  soul  liateth  :  they  are  a  trouble 
unto  me;   I  am  weary  to  bear  them"  (ihid.  i.   14). 

Maimonides  ^  comprehends  the  various  duties  and 
observances  of  the  Holy-days  in  the  following  four 
terms :  -113?  "  remember,"  -not;;  "  take  heed,"  nuj 
"  honour,"  and  jjiy  "  delight."  The  first  two  are  found 
in  the  Pentateuch,  and  form  the  beginning  of  the 
fourth  commandment  in  Exodus  and  Deuteronomy 
respectively  ;  the  other  two  occur  in  the  above  descrip- 

^  Mishneh-torah  III.,  Zemannim,  Hil.  Shabbath,  ch.  xxx,  §  i. 


340  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

tion  of  the  Sabbath  quoted  from  Isaiah  (Iviii.  13,  14). 
Following  the  example  of  our  great  teacher,  we  shall 
likewise  treat  of  the  laws  and  customs  of  Sabbath  and 
Festivals  under  these  four  heads :  ^ — 

a.  "I13T  "  Bememher" 

Remember  the  Sabbath-day  ;  speak  of  it,  of  its  holi- 
ness and  its  blessings.  We  fulfil  this  duty  when 
Sabbath  comes  in,  by  the  Kidclush,  "  the  sanctification 
of  the  day,"  in  which  we  praise  the  Almighty  for  the 
boon  bestowed  upon  us  by  the  institution  of  the  Sab- 
bath ;  and  when  Sabbath  goes  out,  by  the  Hdbhdalah, 
in  which  we  praise  God  for  the  "  distinction "  made 
between  the  holy  and  the  ordinary  days.  We  have 
both  Kidtbcsh  and  Hahhdalah  in  a  double  form  :  (a) 
as  a  portion  of  the  Amidah  in  the  Evening  Ser- 
vice ;  the  Kiddv.sh  being  the  middle  section  of  the 
Amidah,  the  Hahhdalah  consisting  of  a  prayer  added 
to  the  fourth  paragraph  beginning  pn  nns  ;  (b)  as  a 
separate  service  esj^ecially  intended  for  our  homes. 
It  is  this  home-service  that  we  generally  understand 
by  the  terms  Kiddush  and  Hahlidalah,  and  in  this 
sense  they  are  employed  in  the  following." 

Kiddush. 

There  is  a  traditional  explanation  of  the  term  zachor  : 

pn  hv  in"i3T  "  remember  it  over  the  wine."      As  "  wine 

1  Maimonides  applies  these  terms  to  Sabbath  ;  but  they  apply 
generally  with  equal  force  to  the  Festivals. 

-  We  "  remember  "  also  the  Sabbath  or  Festival  by  naming  after  it  the 
preceding  day,  the  night  following,  and  iu  the  case  of  Festivals  the  day 


OUR  DUTIES.  341 

gladdens  the  heart  of  man  "  and  forms  an  important 
element  in  a  festive  meal,  it  has  been  ordered  that  our 
meal  on  the  eve^  of  Sabbath  and  Festival  should  be  begun 
with  a  cup  of  wine  in  honour  of  the  day,  and  that  men- 
tion should  be  made  of  the  holiness  of  the  day  before 
partaking  of  the  wine.  The  Kiddush  consists  of  two 
blessings  (nuia)  •  one  over  the  wine,""'  and  one  that  refers 
to  the  holiness  of  the  day.  On  Holy-days — except  the 
last  days  of  Passover — a  third  blessing  (irnn::')  follows, 
praising  God  for  having  granted  us  life  and  enabled 
us  again  to  celebrate  the  Festival.  On  Friday  evening 
a  portion  from  Genesis  (i.  31  to  ii.  3)  is  added,  which 
contains  the  first  mention  of  the  institution  of  Sabbath. 
If  a  Festival  happens  to  fall  on  Sunday,  we  add  part 
of  the  Habhdcdali  to  the  Kiddush  on  Saturday  evening,^ 

following  :  the  eve  of  Sabbath  or  Festival,  nnC>  Zny,  31^  DV  3"iy  ; 
the  night  after  Sabbath  or  Festival,  Dnt:'  "S^'ID,  310  DV  "'XilTO  ; 
"the  day  after  the  Festival,"  JPl  IIDN  (lit.,  "bind  the  Festival,"  with 
reference  to  Ps.  cxviii.  2"). 

^  A  similar  ceremony  takes  place  before  the  first  meal  in  the  morn- 
ing. A  cup  of  wine  or  other  .spirituous  liquor  is  poured  out,  some 
Biblical  passages  referring  to  the  Sabbath  are  recited,  and  the  usual 
blessing  is  said  before  partaking  of  the  beverage.  The  blessing  con- 
taining the  Kiddush  is  not  said,  and  the  ceremony  has  the  name 
Kiddush  or  Kiddusha  rahha,  "  great  Kkldush,"  ouly  on  account  of  its 
similarity  with  the  evening  Kiddush.  The  passages  recited  are  the 
following:  E.\-od.  xxxi.  l6,  17,  xx.  S-II  ;  Isa.  Iviii.  13,  14. 

-  |S3n  ns  Xin  .  .  .  nnX  "Ilia.  "Blessed  art  thou,  O  Lord,  our 
God,  King  of  the  universe,  who  hast  created  the  fruit  of  the  vine." 
In  the  absence  of  wine,  or  if  wine  is  disliked  or  injurious  to  health, 
the  blessing  over  bread  is  substituted  for  that  over  wine. — The  bless- 
ings are  generally  preceded  by  the  word  """130  "  Is  it  your  pleasure,  scil., 
that  I  read  ?  "  whereby  it  is  simply  intended  to  call  the  attention  of  the 
company  to  the  prayer. 

^  See  p.  352,  on  the  difference  between  the  holiness  of  Sabbath  and 
that  of  Festivals.— The  last  two  m3"13,'  viz.,  fXH  niXO  NIU  and 


242  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

referring  to  the  distinction  between  tlie  holiness  of  the 
Sabbath  and  that  of  the  Festivals. 

The  Kiddush  is  part  of  the  Sabbath  or  Festival 
evening  meal,  and  in  the  absence  of  the  latter  the 
Kiddush  is  omitted.-^  In  Synagogues  of  the  German 
and  Polish  Minliag  the  Reader  recites  the  Kiddush 
at  the  conclusion  of  the  Maarih  Service.  This  custom 
is  a  survival  of  the  ancient  way  of  providing  for  the 
poor  and  the  stranger.  In  the  absence  of  better 
accommodation  lodging  and  food  were  given  to  the 
needy  in  rooms  adjoining  the  Synagogue,  or  even  in 
the  Svnao^ogue  itself.  It  was  for  these  that  the 
Reader  recited  the  Kiddush,  before  they  commenced 
the  evening  meal,  as  most  probably  wine  was  not 
served  to  all.  Although  circumstances  have  changed 
the  mode  of  maintaining  the  poor,  and  the  latter  lind 
no  longer  lodging  and  board  in  the  Synagogue,  the 
Kiddush  has  been  retained  as  part  of  the  Maard)  Service, 
except  on  the  first  two  nights  of  Passover,  when  there 
had  never  been  an  occasion  for  reading  Kiddush  in  the 
Synagogue.  The  poor  were  treated  on  these  nights 
with  four  cups  of  wine  each,  and  they  recited  Kiddush 
by  themselves  as  part  of  the  Seder. 

?n30n  are  added  ;  the  second  part  of  the  latter  is  slightly  modified 
in  order  to  suit  the  transition  from  Sabbatli  to  [Festival. — The  Hahli- 
dalah  on  the  night  following  the  Day  of  Atonement  consists  of  three 
niD~l3,  that  over  spices  being  omitted,  except  if  Jojii-k'tpinir  falls  on 
Sabbath  ;  in  that  case  the  Habhdalah  includes  all  the  four  ni313. 

^  Habhdalah  is  likewise  omitted  when  Sabbath  is  closely  followed 
by  the  Fast  of  Ab.  On  Sabbath  night,  eating  and  drinking  being 
forbidden,  only  the  one  blessing,  t^'^^^  "'"lIXO  t^Tli  is  recited  ;  that 
over  spices  is  omitted,  and  the  remaining  two  blessings  are  recited  on* 
Sunday  evening  after  the  fast. 


OUR  DUTIES.  34; 


Hahhdalah  n^nan. 

Habhdalah  is  recited  in  the  evening  following  Sab- 
bath or  Holy-day,  after  the  Evening  Service.  A  cup  of 
wine  is  raised,  and  the  nsin  over  wine  is  followed  by 
another  nain,  in  which  God  is  praised  for  the  distinction 
made  between  the  holy  and  the  ordinary  day  (^.'ip  p 
h^rh),  or  between  two  kinds  of  holiness  (^'ipi?  cnp  p) 
in  case  Sabbath  is  followed  by  a  Holy-day. — On  Sab- 
bath night  we  take  a  candle  and  a  spice-box,  and 
add  two  blessings  after  that  over  wine  ;  in  the  one  we 
thank  God  for  the  enjoyment  of  the  fragrance,  in  the 
other  for  the  benefit  He  bestowed  on  ns  by  the  creation 
of  light.  A  few  verses  from  the  Bible,  especially  the 
Prophets,  precede  the  Habhdalah. 

The  origin  of  the  introduction  of  the  blessings  for 
light  and  for  spices  in  the  Halhdalah  may  be  the  follow- 
ing : — The  principal  meal  of  the  day  used  to  be  taken 
about  sunset ;  light  and  burning  incense  were  essential 
elements  of  a  festive  meal.  On  Sabbath  these  could 
not  be  had,  and  were  therefore  enjoyed  immediately 
after  the  going  out  of  Sabbath.  Although  the  custom 
of  having  incense  after  the  meal  has  long  ceased,  it 
has  survived  in  the  Hahhdalah,  and  has,  in  course  of 
time,  received  another,  a  more  poetical  interpretation. 
The  Sabbath  inspires  us  with  cheerfulness,  gives  us, 
as  it  were,  an  additional  soul — ^yy_  HDC': — traces  of 
which  are  left  on  the  departure  of  Sabbath,  and  are  sym- 
bolised by  the  fragrance  of  the  spices.  For  the  use  of 
the  special  light  there  has  likewise  been  suggested  a 
second  reason,  namely,  that  it  is  intended  at  the  com- 


344  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

menceraent  of  the  week  to  remind  us  of  the  first  pro- 
duct of  Creation,  which  was  light. 

There  are  a  few  customs  connected  with  the  Hdbh- 
dalah  that  may  be  noticed  here. 

(l.)  The  wine,  when  poured  into  the  cup,  is  allowed 
to  flow  over,  as  a  symbol  of  the  overflowing  Divine 
blessing  which  we  wish  and  hope  to  enjoy  in  the 
coming  week. 

(2.)  Some  dip  their  finger  in  wine  and  pass  it  over 
their  eyes,  in  allusion  to  the  words  of  the  Nineteenth 
Psalm  (ver.  9),  "  The  commandment  of  the  Lord  is 
pure,  enlightening  the  eyes."  The  act  expresses  the 
love  of  the  Divine  commandments  ("^J^'^  3^3n). 

(3.)  Only  male  persons  partake  of  the  wine;  they 
have  more  interest  in  the  Habhdalah  as  the  signal  for 
the  resumption  of  ordinary  work  and  business. — The 
exclusion  of  women  from  the  wine  of  Hablidalali  may 
also  have  its  origin  in  the  fact  that  Jewish  women 
generally  abstained  from  taking  wine,  considering 
strong  drink  suitable  only  for  the  male  portion  of 
mankind.  They  only  partake  of  the  wine  of  Kiddush 
on  account  of  its  importance  ;  to  Habhdalah  less  im- 
portance was  ascribed. 

(4.)  On  reaching  the  words  "jcn^  "ilX  pn,  "  between 
light  and  darkness,"  some  hold  their  hands  against  the 
light,  the  fingers  bent  inside,  in  illustration  of  the 
words  which  they  utter,  showing  darkness  and  shadow 
inside  and  light  outside. — With  the  practice  of  these 
and  similar  customs  we  must  take  good  care  that  we 
should  not  combine  any  superstitious  motive,  or  join 
actions  which  are  really  superstitious,  and  did  not 
originate  in  Jewish  thought  and  Jewish  traditions. 


OUR  DUTIES.  345 

We  farther  remember  the  Sabbath-day  to  sanctify  it 
by  increased  devotion,  by  reading  special  Lessons  from 
the  Pentateuch  and  the  Prophets,  and  by  attending  reli- 
gious instruction  given  by  teachers  and  preachers. 

Besides  various  additions  in  the  Service,  and  the 
substitution  of  one  paragraph  concerning  Sabbath  or 
Festival  for  the  thirteen  middle  paragraphs  of  the 
Amidah,  there  is  another  Service  inserted  between 
the  Morning  and  the  Afternoon  Services ;  it  is  called 
Musaph,  "  the  Additional  Service,"  and  corresponds  to 
the  additional  offering  ordained  for  Sabbath  and  Fes- 
tival (Num.  xxviii.  9,  sqq.). 

An  essential  element  in  the  Morning  Service  is  the 
Reading  from  the  Torah  (minn  ns'np)  and  the  Prophets 
(mtoan).  A  periodical  public  reading  from  the  Law 
was  enjoined  in  the  following  words  :  "  At  the  end  of 
every  seven  years,  in  the  solemnity  of  the  year  of  re- 
lease, in  the  feast  of  tabernacles,  when  all  Israel  is 
come  to  appear  before  the  Lord  thy  God  in  the  place 
which  he  shall  choose,  thou  shalt  read  this  law  before 
all  Israel  in  their  hearing.  Gather  the  people  together, 
men  and  women  and  children,  and  the  stranger  that  is 
within  thy  gates,  that  they  may  hear,  and  that  they 
may  learn,  and  fear  the  Lord  your  God,  and  observe  to 
do  all  the  words  of  this  law  ;  and  that  their  children, 
which  have  not  known  anything,  may  hear  and  learn 
to  fear  the  Lord  your  God"  (Deut.  xxxi.  10—13). 

A  seven  years'  interval  would  surely  have  destroyed 
the  impression  produced  by  the  reading.  The  reading 
was  probably  repeated  throughout  the  country  at  shorter 
intervals.  Tradition  ascribes  to  Moses  the  institution 
of  reading  the  Law  every  Sabbath,  Monday,  and  Thurs- 
day morning,  in  order  that  three  days  might  never  pass 


346  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

without  Torah.  Ezra  is  said  to  have  added  the  reading 
on  Sabbath  afternoon,  and  to  have  made  various  other 
regulations  with  recrard  to  the  reading  of  the  Law. 

Quantity  and  manner  of  reading  were  at  first,  no 
doubt,  variable.  In  the  course  of  time  certain  systems 
found  favour  and  became  the  fixed  rule.  Some  com- 
pleted the  reading  of  the  whole  Pentateuch  in  three 
years,  others  in  one  year.  The  former  mode  was  gradu- 
ally displaced  by  the  latter,  and  the  attempts  which 
have  lately  been  made  to  revive  it  have  not  succeeded. 
Traces  of  the  triennial  reading  may  be  noticed  in  the 
number  of  scdarim  contained  in  each  of  the  five  books 
of  the  Pentateuch.  At  present,  however,  the  annual 
course  is  followed  in  almost  all  our  Synagogues.  The 
section  read  on  one  Sabbath  is  called  sidra ;  the  first, 
n""LyX"i3,  is  read  the  first  Sabbath  after  the  Feast  of 
Tabernacles,  and  the  last  sidra  is  read  on  Simchath- 
torah  (the  23  rd  of  Tishri). 

For  the  Festivals  such  sections  were  selected  as  con- 
tained either  direct  or  indirect  reference  to  the  Festivals. 
If  these  happen  to  be  on  a  Sabbath,  the  ordinary  reading 
is  interrupted,  and  that  of  the  Festivals  substituted  for  it. 

The  number  of  persons  who  were  to  take  part  in  the 
reading  varied  according  as  the  people  were  likely  to 
devote  less  or  more  time  to  Divine  Service  :  on  week- 
days and  on  Sabbath  afternoon  three,  on  New-moon 
and  Chol-hammocd  four,  on  the  Festivals  five,  on  the 
Day  of  Atonement  six,^  and  on  Sabbath  seven.  Some 
may  have  required  the  assistance  of  the  cJiazan,  and  in 

^  Althoiigh  the  whole  of  the  Day  of  Atonement  is  devoted  to  Divine 
Service,  less  time  is  given  to  reading  from  the  Law  than  on  Sabbath, 
in  order  to  leave  more  time  for  Prayers,  Confessions,  and  Meditations. 
Rabbi  Akiba,  however,  was  of  opinion  that  seven  should  be  called  up 


OUR  DUTIES.  347 

some  cases  the  cliazans  voice  was  tlie  only  one  that 
was  heard ;  gradually  the  chazan  became  the  reader, 
and  the  original  reader  became  silent,  being  content 
with  reciting  the  Vrcwlioth.  Only  in  the  case  of  the 
Bar-mitsvah^  the  Chathan-torah,  and  the  Chathan- 
h'rcshil/i  the  original  practice  has  been  retained. 

As  regards  the  order  of  those  who  take  part  in  the 
reading  of  the  Law,  the  first  place  is  given  to  a  Cohen, 
i.e.,  a  descendant  of  Aaron,  the  priest ;  the  second  to  a 
Levite,  i.e.,  a  non-priest  of  the  tribe  of  Levi ;  and  then 
follow  other  Israelites,  that  are  neither  Levites  nor 
Cohanim,  without  any  prescribed  order.  The  last  who 
concludes  the  reading  from  the  Law  on  those  days  on 
which  a  chapter  from  the  Prophets  is  also  read  is  called 
onaftir,  "  concluding  ; "  and  the  lesson  from  the  Pro- 
phets is  called  liaplUarah,  "  conclusion." 

In  the  selection  of  the  haplitarah  care  was  taken 
that  it  should  contain  some  reference  to  the  contents 
of  the  lesson  from  the  Pentateuch,  and  as  there  was 
not  much  choice,  the  liaplitarali,  once  chosen,  Avas  as  a 
rule  read  again  on  the  recurrence  of  the  same  sidra. 
Different  communities  had  different  series  of  hcqjhtarotJi. 
A  few  negative  rules  concerning  the  selection  of  the 
haphtarah  are  mentioned  in  the  Mishnah  (Megillah  iv. 
lo)  ;  Ezek.  i.  and  xvi.,  2  Sam.  xi.  and  xiii.,  are  to  be 
excluded.  These  rules,  however,  were  not  observed,  as 
Ezek.  i.  is  the  liapldarali  for  the  fii'st  day  of  the  Feast 
of  Weeks.  There  is  an  ancient  rule  about  the  nature  of 
the  haphtaroth  between  the  Fast  of  Tamuz  and  New- 
year;  viz.,  there  should  be  three  hapJiiaroth  of  "rebuke" 

to  the  Law  on  the  Day  of  Atonement,  and  six  on  Sabbath  (B.  Talm. 
Megillah  23a). 


348  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

and  seven  of  "comfort"  (xm^jnai  %  xnDnJT  'r).  The  for- 
mer are  taken  from  Jeremiah  (i.  and  ii.)  and  Isaiah 
(i.)  ;  the  latter  are  selected  from  Isaiah  (xl.  to.  Ixvi.) 

Various  accounts  are  given  of  the  origin  of  the 
haphtarah.  One  account  traces  its  origin  to  a  period 
of  persecution,  when  the  Jews  were  not  allowed  to  read 
from  the  Torah,  and  the  scrolls  of  the  Law  were  either 
confiscated  or  concealed.  In  both  cases  it  was  easy  to 
read  from  the  Prophets,  for  this  could  be  done  by 
heart  and  in  any  place  ;  whilst  for  the  reading  of  the 
Torah  it  was  necessary  to  produce  a  copy  of  the  Law. 
According  to  another  account,  the  lutphtarah  served  as 
a  protest  against  the  theory  of  the  Samaritans,  who 
recognised  the  Torah  alone  as  holy.  But  it  is  more 
likely  and  more  natural  to  suppose  that  the  liaiilitarali 
was  introduced  as  soon  as  the  Prophets  became  part  of 
the  Holy  Scriptures. 

There  was  a  tendency  to  have  recourse  to  the  Divine 
messages  of  future  comfort  and  glory  when  the  present 
was  gloomy  and  sad.  At  the  end  of  the  Service  or  a 
religious  discourse,  just  before  leaving  the  Synagogue 
or  the  BdK  lia-viidrash,  passages  from  the  Prophets 
were  read,  in  order  that  the  people  might  carry  away 
with  them  a  strengthened  faith  in  God  and  in  the 
ultimate  victory  of  their  religion.  On  Sabbath  morning 
the  lessons  from  the  Prophets  were  of  greater  import- 
ance, since  a  larger  number  congregated,  and  more  time 
could  be  devoted  to  it.  A  Vrachah  therefore  introduced 
it,  and  h'raclwth,  including  a  prayer  for  the  restoration 
of  Zion,  followed  it.  The  name  haphtarah  suggests 
this  explanation  ;  it  denotes  literally  "  causing  to  leave," 
"  departure,"  or  "  conclusion." 


OUR  DUTIES.  349 

After  the  return  of  the  Jews  from  Babylon  they 
spoke  the  Chaldee  dialect ;  the  lessons  from  the  Bible 
were  accordingly  accompanied  by  a  Chaldee  trans- 
lation called  targum.  The  translation  was  not  always 
literal,  but  was  frequently  a  paraphrase.  It  was  given, 
as  a  rule,  after  each  verse,  by  an  appointed  incthiirgc- 
onan. — In  communities  which  only  understood  Greek 
the  Greek  version  was  read.  A  Spanish  translation  of 
the  haphtarah  is  still  added  at  present  on  the  Fast  of 
Ab  in  the  Portuguese  Ritual ;  but  otherwise  the  prac- 
tice of  adding  a  translation  to  the  text  has  long  since 
been  discontinued. 


l>'  11»K^      "  Tahe  Heed." 

The  negative  commandment  concerning  the  Holy- 
days  is  :  nji^^D  ^3  TVl''VT\  N^,  "  Thou  shalt  do  no  manner 
of  work."  The  very  name  Sabbath  (n3^,  "  rest  ")  im- 
plies absence  of  labour.  We  are  commanded  to  rest 
on  the  Sabbath,  but  not  to  indulge  in  laziness  and 
indolence,  which  are  by  no  means  conducive  to  the 
health  of  the  body  or  the  soul.  The  Sabbath  rest  is 
described  in  our  Sabbath  Afternoon  Service  as  "  volun- 
tary and  congenial,  true  and  faithful,  and  happy  and 
cheerful."  Moderate  exercise,  cheerful  reading,  and 
pleasant  conversation  are  indispensable  for  a  rest  of 
this  kind. 

What  is  to  be  understood  by  the  term  "  labour  "  or 
"  work  "  in  the  prohibition  "Thou  shalt  not  do  any 
manner  of  work  "  ?  The  Pentateuch  gives  no  defini- 
tion of  the  term.  But  the  Israelites,  when  they  were 
told  that  work  was  prohibited  on   Sabbath,  and  that 


350  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

any  breach  of  the  law  was  to  be  punished  with  death, 
must  have  received  orally  a  full  explanation  of  the 
prohibition.  A  case  is  mentioned  of  one  who  profaned 
the  Sabbath  by  gathering  sticks,  and  was  put  to  death  ; 
this  could  not  have  been  done  if  any  doubt  had  been 
left  in  his  mind  whether  the  act  of  gathering  sticks 
was  included  in  the  prohibition. 

A  few  instances  of  work  prohibited  on  a  Sabbath- 
day  are  met  with  in  the  Bible.  In  connection  with 
the  manna,  the  prohibition  of  cooking  and  baking  is 
mentioned  ;  also  the  commandment,  "  Let  no  man  go 
out  of  his  place  on  the  seventh  day  "  (Exod.  xvi.  29)  ; 
i.e.,  we  must  not  travel  or  go  beyond  a  certain  distance  ^ 
on  the  Sabbath.  Another  act  distinctly  forbidden  is 
contained  in  the  words,  "  Ye  shall  kindle  no  fire  in  all 
your  dwellings  on  the  day  of  rest"  (ibid.  xxxv.  3). 
The  prophet  Amos  (viii.  5),  in  rebuking  the  Israelites 
for  cheating  their  fellow-men,  puts  the  following  words 
into  their  mouth  :  "  When  will  the  new  moon  be  gone, 
that  we  may  sell  corn  ?  and  the  Sabbath,  that  we  may 
open  our  stores  of  wheat  ?  "  This  shows  that  the 
Israelites  conducted  no  business  on  New -moon  and 
Sabbath.  Jeremiah  (xvii.  2 1  sqq.)  says  as  follows : 
"  Thus  saith  the  Lord,  Take  heed  to  yourselves,  and 
bear  no  burden  on   the  sabbath  day,  nor  bring  it  in 

1  The  distance  allowed  is  called  n^f  Dinn  "a  Sabbath-journey," 
and  is  2000  cubits  in  every  direction  ;  it  is  reckoned  from  the  outskirts 
of  the  place  in  which  we  live.  If,  however,  a  person  desires  to  perform 
a  mitsvah,  such  as  milah,  at  a  place  distant  about  a  double  Sabbath - 
journey  from  his  domicile,  he  may  fix  before  Sabbath  his  abode  for 
that  day  half-way  between  the  two  places,  and  then  traverse  on  Sabbath 
the  whole  distance  from  the  one  place  to  the  other.  This  change  of 
abode  is  called  cruhhc  thechumin,  "  combination  of  two  Sabbath- journeys 
into  one,"  by  changing  the  centre  from  which  they  are  measured. 


OUR  DUTIES.  351 

by  the  gates  of  Jerusalem  ;  neither  carry  forth  a  burden 
out  of  your  houses  on  the  sabbath  day,  neither  do  ye 
any  work,  but  hallow  ^e  the  sabbath  day." — Nehemiah 
relates  (xiii.  15):  "In  those  days  saw  I  in  Judah  some 
treading  wine-presses  on  the  sabbath,  and  bringing  in 
sheaves,  and  lading  asses  ;  as  also  wine,  grapes,  and 
tigs,  and  all  manner  of  burdens,  which  they  brought 
into  Jerusalem  on  the  sabbath  day :  and  I  testified 
against  them  in  the  day  wherein  they  sold  victuals. 
Then  I  said  unto  them,  What  evil  thing  is  this  that 
ye  do  and  profane  the  sabbath  day  ?  "  As  a  general 
rule,  we  may  say  that  the  work  prohibited  on  Sabbath 
and  Festivals  embraces  two  classes  :  viz.,  ( i )  All  such 
acts  as  are  legally — i.e.,  in  the  Oral  Law — defined  as 
nax^D  "  work."  It  makes  no  difference  whether  we 
consider  auy  of  them  as  labour  or  not.  Under  thirty- 
nine  different  heads  ^  they  are  enumerated  in  the 
Mishnah  (Shabbath  vii.  2).  The  following  are  a  few 
of   them  : — Ploughing,    sowing,     reaping,    threshing, 

^  They  are  called  ni3t<?0  m2X  '"'principal  kinds  of  work,"  and 
are  those  which  directly  or  indirectly  were  wanted  in  the  erection  of 
the  Tabernacle,  and  were  therefore  included  in  the  prohibition  of  doing 
any  work  for  this  purpose  (Exod.  xxxi.  15  and  xxxv.  2). 

There  are  certain  things  which  cannot  be  brought  under  any  df  the.se 
heads,  and  are  nevertheless  prohibited,  because  they  frequently  lead 
to  a  breach  of  the  Sabbath  laws  ;  e.f/.,  riding  in  a  carriage  or  in  any 
kind  of  conveyance  ;  playing  music.  These  prohibitions  are  called 
m3C',  i.e.,  acts  prohibited  on  Sabbath  and  Holy-days  by  our  Sages  ; 
or  n~lT3  (lit,  "decree"),  safeguard  against  breaking  the  Law. 

Divine  precepts,  however,  ordained  for  the  Sabbath — e.g.,  sacrifices — 
or  for  a  certain  day,  which  happens  to  fall  on  a  Sabbath — c.</.,  initiation 
of  a  male  child  into  the  covenant  of  Abraham  on  the  eighth  day  of  its 
birth,  or  saving  the  life  of  a  fellow-man  in  case  of  illness  or  any  other 
danger — must  be  performed  although  they  may  involve  any  of  the  acts 
otherwise  prohibited  on  the  day  of  rest. 


352  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

grinding;  baking,  hunting,  killing  an  animal,  tanning, 
sewing,  writing,  kindling  light  or  fire,  and  carrying 
things  abroad. 

(2.)  Everything  which  our  conscience  tells  us  to  be 
inappropriate  for  the  Sabbath  ;  acts  which  come  neither 
under  the  head  of  nDKi^D  nor  under  that  of  nuti',  but 
which  would  tend  to  change  the  Sabbath  into  an  ordi- 
nary day ;  e.g.,  preparing  for  our  daily  business  trans- 
actions, although  such  preparation  does  not  involve  an 
actual  breach  of  any  of  the  Sabbath  laws. 

Whatever  we  are  not  allowed  to  do  ourselves,  we 
must  not  have  done  for  us  by  a  co-religionist,  who  de- 
liberately disregards  the  fourth  commandment.  Neither 
must  we  employ  non-Israelites  to  do  our  work  on  Sab- 
bath, except  in  case  of  need ;  c.ff.,  in  case  of  illness  or 
fear  of  illness. 

As  regards  Holy-days,  there  is  the  general  rule  that 
work  (n^xSo)  prohibited  on  Sabbath  must  not  be  done 
on  Holy-days  :  "  Save  that  which  every  man  must  eat, 
that  only  may  be  done  of  you  "  (Exod.  xii.  1 6)  ;  that 
is  to  say,  it  is  allowed  on  Festivals  to  cook,  to  bake, 
or  to  prepare  food  in  any  other  way.^  Of  course, 
for  the  Festival  that  happens  to  fall  on  a  Sabbath,  the 

^  The  preparation  of  food  is  only  permitted  on  Holy-days  if  wanted 
for  the  same  day,  except  when  Sabbath  follows  immediately  after  the 
Holy-day.  In  that  case  it  is  allowable  to  prepare  the  food  for  Sabbath 
on  the  Holy-day,  provided  such  preparation  has  commenced  before  and 
need  only  be  continued  on  the  Holy-day.  The  preparation  made  for 
Sabbath  before  the  Holy-day  comes  in  is  called  erubhtabhshilin,  "com- 
bination of  dishes,"  i.e.,  of  the  dishes  prepared  for  Sabbath  on  the  eve 
of  the  Festival  (2)1^  DV  3"iy)  and  of  those  prepared  bn  the  Festival 
itself  ;  it  is  accompanied  by  a  blessing  and  a  declaration  of  the  signifi- 
cance of  the  erubh.  The  following  is  the  blessing :  "Mi^H  .  .  .  "jn^ 
any  m^*a  hv  IJI^'I  VniVOa  '\}C>1D  "Blessed  art  thou  .  .  .  who  hast 


OUR  DUTIES.  353 

laws  of  Sabbath  remain  in  force.      The  Day  of  Atone- 
ment is  in  this  respect  equal  to  Sabbath. 


c.  :i3y  "  Delight" 

The  principal  and  noblest  delight  yielded  by  Holy- 
days  is  the  pleasure  we  feel  in  more  frequent  com- 
munion with  the  Divine  Being,  in  the  purer  and  holier 
thoughts  with  which  we  are  inspired  when  at  rest  from 
ordinary  work,  and  able  to  devote  ourselves  more  fully 

sanctified   us   by  thy  commandments,  and   hast  ordained  for  us  the 
mitsvah  of  erubh." 

It  may  here  be  noted  that  there  are,  besides,  three  kinds  of  cruhh, 
viz. : — 

1.  Eruhh  techumim.     See  above,  page  350. 

2.  Eruhh  chatseroth  (lit.,  "combination  of  the  houses  in  a  court''). 
According  to  the  traditional  law,  we  must  not  carry  anytiiing  on 
Sabbath  from  a  private  place  (T'n\"t  mC^I)  into  the  street  (Dlt^'l 
D''2"in).  The  former  is  defined  to  be  a  locality  belonging  to  one  person 
or  family,  and  separated  from  the  public  by  a  fence.  The  Jewish 
inhabitants  of  a  court  or  a  town  closed  on  all  sides  combine  to  form 
.me  family,  and  thus  turn  the  D"'n"in  Hi:^!  into  TTI^H  Dlt^n.  The 
symbol  of  such  combination  consists  of  some  food  kept  in  a  room,  to 
which  all  have  access  [c.rj.,  the  Synagogue).  This  is  the  origin  and 
meaning  of  the  Passover-cake  (HVD)  which  may  still  be  noticed  in 
some  of  the  Continental  Synagogues. 

3.  Eruhh  par  excellence. — An  opening  left  in  a  fence  or  wall  round  a 
TTlTI  nit^*"!  must  at  least  have  some  token  that  indicates  the  closino- 
of  the  space  ;  e.ff.,  a  wire  drawn  through  the  open  space  from  one  part 
of  the  fence  to  the  other.  Such  symbol  is  called  eruhh,  "combination 
of  the  various  parts  of  the  fence  or  wall  into  one."  Such  eruhh  may 
likewise  be  noticed  in  some  of  the  Continental  towns.  In  all  these 
cases  the  symbol  was  not  introduced  for  the  purpose  of  permitting  the 
actual  transgression  of  a  law,  but  rather  for  the  purpose  of  reminding 
us  of  what  the  law  forbids  us  to  do  ;  since,  in  fact,  that  which  becomes 
permitted  through  these  symbols  is  even  in  their  absence  no  direct 
breach  of  any  of  the  Sabbath  laws. 

Z 


354  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

to  the  contemplation  of  the  works  and  words  of  God. 
In  this  sense  the  day  of  rest  is  described  in  one  of  the 
hymns  (rrn'^or)  after  supper  as  '•  a  foretaste  of  the  world 
to  come  "  (nmjD  mil'*  nv  i<nn  th'W  T^srz). 

But  onej  shahhath  includes  also  delight  of  a  less 
spiritual  character.  We  are  not  commanded  on  the 
days  of  rest  to  forget  altogether  the  wants  of  the  body. 
On  the  contrary.  Nehemiah,  when  on  the  first  day  of 
the  seventh  month,  that  is,  on  New-year,  he  perceived 
that  his  brethren  were  sad,  addressed  them  thus : 
"  Go  your  way,  eat  the  fat  and  drink  the  sweet,  and 
send  portions  unto  him  for  whom  nothing  is  prepared  : 
for  this  day  is  holy  unto  the  Lord  :  neither  be  ye 
grieved  ;  for  the  joy  of  the  Lord  is  your  strength  " 
(Xeh.  viii.  lo).  The  same  conception  of  "  the  sabbath 
unto  the  Lord ''  is  met  with  in  Talmud,  Midrash,  and 
throughout  the  whole  of  the  Rabbinical  literature. 
In  one  of  our  Sabbath-hymns  (n'n''DT)  we  say  :  "  This 
day  is  for  Israel,  light  and  joy,  a  sabbath  of  rest ;  "  and 
in  our  prayers  for  Sabbath  we  glory  in  being  shom're 
sliaVbath  vc-lcorc  oncg,  "  observers  of  the  sabbath,  and 
such  as  call  it  a  delight," — With  regard  to  the  Festivals, 
the  duty  of  rejoicing  is  repeatedly  enjoined  (Deut. 
^vi.  II,   14). 

In  our  regulations,  customs,  and  prayers  for  Sabbath 
and  Festivals,  this  duty  is  clearly  indicated.  All  fast- 
ing and  mourning  is  prohibited.  Care  was  taken  that 
Divine  Service  should  be  free  from  such  prayers  as 
would  be  likely  to  create  feelings  of  grief  and  sadness. ■"■ 
A  special  formula  has  also  been   introduced   for   the 

^  Comp.  the  two  forms  of  the  prayer  IHTL'TI  in  the  Evening  Service 
for  week-daj's  and  for  Sabbatli;  in  the  Spanish  Ritual. 


OUR  DUTIES.  355 

expression  of   our    sympathy  with    the    sick  and  the 
mourner  on   Sabbath  and  Festivals.^ 

When  any  of  the  obligatory  fasts — except  the  Day 
of  Atonement — happens  to  fall  on  a  Sabbath,  the  fast- 
ing is  put  off  (nmj)  till  the  next  day,  or  kept,  as  in  the 
case  of  the  fast  of  Esther,  on  the  preceding  Thursday. 
Tradition  has  raised  the  taking  of  the  three  regular 
meals  on  Sabbath  (niTiyD  *c6cO'  ^^''^'^•■>  supper,  breakfast, 
and  dinner,  to  a  religious  act — a  mitsvah,  and  the 
religious  character  of  the  meals  is  shown  by  the 
special  prayers  and  hymns — zcmirotk — which  accom- 
pany them.  A  foui'th  meal  is,  according  to  some 
authority,  likewise  obligatory  ;  whilst,  according  to  an- 
other authority,  it  may  be  replaced  by  spiritual  food, 
by  reading  and  studying  the  Torah. 

d.  nnD  '•  Honour.'" 

We  honour  the  day  inwardly  by  considering  it  a 
holy,  distinguished  season,  which  ought  to  be  devoted 
to  higher  objects  than  the  Avants  of  our  body.  Our 
mind  should  be  entirely  turned  aside  from  our  daily 
business,  in  order  to  be  free  for  loftier  and  holier 
thoughts.  For  the  purpose  of  effecting  this  inward 
distinction  of  the  Sabbath,  we  honour  it  also  outwardly 
by  various  things,  which  are  partly  a  symbol,  partly 
a  reminder  of  the  distinction  claimed  by  the  day.  We 
honour  the  Sabbath,  therefore,  by  giving  a  festive  ap- 
pearance to  our  meals,  our  dress,  and  our  dwelling.    The 

"To-day  is  Sabbath  and  we  must  nut  lament,  for  recovery  (comfort) 
is  near  to  come  ;  now  keep  Sabbath  in  peace." 


356  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

principal  thing  required  is  neatness  and  cheerfulness ; 
not  luxury.  On  the  contrary,  we  are  guided  in  this 
respect  by  the  principle  :  Make  rather  thy  Sabbath  an 
ordinary  day — i.e.,  omit  the  distinction  in  food  and  dress 
— than  render  thyself  dependent  on  the  support  of  thy 
fellow-men,^ 

It  is  customary  to  have  two  loaves  on  the  table,  over 
which  the  blessing  ha-motsec  is  said.  They  are  to 
remind  us  of  the  double  portion  of  bread  or  manna 
(n3C*?3  DH^,  Exod.  svi.  22)  given  to  the  Israelites  in  the 
wilderness  on  the  sixth  day  because  of  the  succeeding 
Sabbath-day.  The  cloth  spread  beneath  the  loaves, 
and  the  cover  over  them,  represent  symbolically  the 
dew  which  both  lay  on  the  ground  under  the  manna 
and  also  over  it.^  The  origin  of  this  custom  of  cover- 
ing the  bread  may  perhaps  be  found  in  the  following 
Talmudic  law  :  "  If  a  meal  that  has  commenced  on 
Friday  afternoon  is  continued  in  the  night,  it  must  be 
interrupted  when  Sabbath  comes  in  ;  a  cloth  is  to  be 
spread  over  the  bread  whilst  the  Kiddush  is  recited  " 
(Babyl.  Talm.  Pesachim,  lOOfl).  The  spreading  of  the 
cloth  appears  to  be  here  merely  a  sign  of  the  pause, 
and  the  distinction  between  the  ordinary  meal  and  that 
of  Sabbath.^      That  which   was    at    first  ordained  for 

1  nV'ls'?  TlDVn  bxi  "pin  "inSt^  n^V  (B.  Talm.  Shabbath,  i8a). 

2  Exod.  xvi.  13,  14. 

"•  Another  explanation  of  this  custom  has  been  suggested.  Bread  and 
wine  being  before  us,  it  is  doubtful  which  should  have  the  preference 
for  the  purpose  of  Kiddush  ;  the  bread  is  therefore  covered,  so  that  no 
choice  is  left  (Tur  Orach  Chayyim  271).  Bread  being  the  ordinary 
requisite  at  our  meals,  the  use  of  wine  for  Kiddush  is  considered  more 
indicative  of  the  distinction  of  the  day.  If,  however,  wine  is  disliked 
or  injurious,  bread  is  used  as  its  substitute. 


OUR  DUTIES.  357 

special  cases  became  in  course  of  time  a  general 
custom.^ 

The  loaves  are  called  hirchoth  (m3"i3),  taashir  (yt'VT\)i 
or  chcdlah  (n^n).  The  first  name  they  received  as  symbols 
of  God's  blessing,  the  double  portion  of  manna  which 
the  Almighty  sent  to  the  Israelites  on  Friday  because 
of  the  Sabbath  (see  Rashi  on  Gen.  ii.  3).  The  verse, 
"  The  blessing  of  the  Lord,  it  maketh  rich  "  (■l'':^•J;n, 
Prov.  X.  22),  suggested  the  second  name.  Challah  re- 
minds us  of  the  commandment  to  give  the  first  part 
of  the  dough  to  the  priest  (Num.  xv.  17-21).  Al- 
though at  present  this  commandment  cannot  be  carried 
out,  we  separate  a  small  piece,  called  chcdlah,  of  the 
dough  which  we  prepare  for  bread,  and  burn  it, 
after  having  recited  an  appropriate  blessing."  It 
is  customary  to  prepare  the  dough  for  the  Sabbath 
loaves  at  home,  in  order  to  be  able  to  act  in  accordance 
with  this  custom.  This  is  one  of  the  religious  acts 
which  it  is  the  special  duty  of  women  to  perform,  and 
some  of  the  pious  women  of  Israel  (nV3pl!»'  D^::'^)  have 
the  praiseworthy  custom  to  lay  something  aside  for 
charity  when  performing  this  or  similar  religious  acts. 

Another  act  performed  in  honour  of  Sabbath  and 

^  A  peculiar  ceremony  may  here  be  noticed.  Some  pass  the  knife 
over  the  bread  before  the  berachah  is  said.  The  origin  of  this  custom 
is  this  :  the  rule  has  been  laid  down  that  there  should  not  be  a  long 
interval  between  the  hcrachuh  and  the  partaking  of  the  food.  The 
knife  and  the  bread  are  therefore  kept  ready,  and  originally  an  incision 
•was  made  into  the  loaf  in  order  to  shorten  that  interval  as  much  as 
possible. 

=  n'pn  trnan'p  ijivi  vnivoa  iJtrnp  TL^'X  'n  'd  's  "•  'i^  1113, 

"  Blessed  art  thou,  O  Lord,  our  God,  King  of  the  Universe,  who  liast 
sanctified  us  by  thy  commandments,  and  connnauded  us  to  separate 
challah." 


358  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

Festivals  is  the  kindling  of  special  lights  before  the 
holy  day  comes  in,  to  indicate  symbolically  the  approach 
of  a  day  of  light  and  cheerfulness.  This  duty  is  like- 
wise the  privilege  of  the  housewife  ^  or  her  representa- 
tive. Before  "  kindling  the  lights  the  following  blessing 
is  recited:  nac-'  b::^  13  p^hirh  1J1!i1  ....  nnx  Tnn  "Blessed 
art  thou  ....  and  hast  commanded  us  to  kindle  the 

sabbath  lights."  niD  Dv,  D'-iisDn  Dv,  niD  DVT  nn:^^  or 
CilDnn  DVT  nlt^'  is  substituted  for  T\2\i^  according  as  a 
Holy-day,  the  Day  of  Atonement,  or  these  days  when 
they  happen  to  fall  on  a  Saturday,  come  in.  On  Festi- 
vals, except  the  last  days  of  Passover,  the  following 
blessing,  called  irnriB^,  is  added :  i^j^-'pT  ij-'nnB'  .  •  •  "jinn 
ntn  JD^  IJyjm  "  Blessed  art  thou  .  .  .  who  hast  kept 
us  in  life,  preserved  us,  and  enabled  us  to  reach  this 

season." 

Notes. 
I.  The  reading  of  the  Law  is  preceded  and  followed  by  a 
blessing.  In  the  first  we  praise  God  for  liaving  distinguished 
Israel  by  revealing  the  Law  to  them,  and  in  tlie  second  for  the 
benefit  derived  from  tlie  Law  as  the  source  of  eternal  life.  The 
love  and  regard  for  the  Law  expressed  in  these  blessings  should 
be  shown  by  the  congregants  in  silent  and  respectful  attention  to 
what  is  recited  by  the  Reader.  Those  who  are  called  up  to  the 
Law  consider  this  as  an  important  event,  and  make  it  an  occasion 
of  special  prayers  for  relatives  and  friends  {mi-shebberach),  accom- 

^  Comp.  Mishnah  Shabbath  ii.  i6. 

"  Some  kindle  the  lights  first,  and  then  say  the  blessing  whilst  their 
hands  are  spread  out  before  the  lights.  The  origin  of  this  latter 
practice  is  this  :  It  happens  sometimes  that  the  housewife  is  not  ready 
in  time  for  kindling  the  lights,  and  lets  another  do  it  for  her,  she  re- 
serving to  herself  the  privilege  of  saying  the  herachali  later  on.  In 
that  case  the  holding  of  the  hands  before  the  lights  and  withdrawing 
them  after  the  blessing  represents  symbolically  the  kindling  of  the 
lights.  What  was  originally  done  in  exceptional  cases  became  sub- 
sequently the  rule. 


OUR  DUTIES.  339 

panied  In'  promises  of  contributions  to  communal  and  charitable 
institutions.  On  days  of  family  rejoicing,  as  well  as  on  days  of 
mourning,  the  religious  privilege  of  being  called  to  the  Reading 
of  the  Law  is  especially  valued;  in  the  former  case  offerings  are 
vowed  in  honour  of  our  living  friends,  in  the  oilier  case  in  me- 
moriam  of  those  near  and  dear  to  us,  who  have  departed  from  our 
midst.  These  additional  prayers  thus  serve  a  double  purpose  ; 
they  help  to  preserve  the  bond  of  relationship  and  friendship, 
and  secure  a  material  support  for  the  benevolent  and  other 
institutions  of  the  community. 

Objections  have  been  raised  to  this  in  itself  praiseworthy 
custom  for  two  reasons  :  first,  the  mi-shehberach  only  concerns  a 
few,  and  appears  to  the  rest  of  the  congregation  a  useless  inter- 
ruption in  tlie  reading  of  the  Law  ;  secondly,  it  gives  occasion 
to  a  display  of  vanity  and  pride. 

As  to  the  first  objection,  provision  could  and  should  be  made 
that  the  interruption  be  not  unduly  long,  and  cause  irritation 
among  the  congregants.  Due  regard  should  be  shown  to  the 
fact  that  the  Divine  Book  is  open  on  the  reading-desk,  and 
everything  should  be  avoided  that  might  diminish  the  reverence 
proper  to  such  an  occasion.  The  second  objection  is  based  on  a 
pessimistic  estimate  of  our  fellow-men  ;  if  there  is  any  one  whose 
offerings  are  made  from  vain  and  ostentatious  motives,  he  is  cer- 
tainly lost  in  the  multitude  of  those  who  take  a  more  serious 
and  a  more  dignified  view  of  their  duties  when  standing  before 
the  open  Torah. 

2.  There  is  an  old  tradition  that  we  should  recite  daily  a  hun- 
dred benedictions.  On  Sabbath  and  Holy-days,  when  the  Amidah 
contains  only  seven  herachoth  instead  of  eighteen,  the  deficiency  is 
made  up  by  seeking  an  occasion  for  hirchotJi  lui-nclienin.  Hence 
the  viinhag  spread  of  partaking  on  these  days  of  various  kinds  of 
fruit  between  the  meals. 

3.  Tradition  teaches  us  that  on  the  holy  days  of  rest  we  must 
not  only  abstain  from  actual  work,  but  also  from  ordering  any- 
thing to  be  done  by  those  who  refuse  to  recognise  the  Sabbath- 
laws  as  binding  on  them. — Circumstances  force  us  to  deviate  at 
times  from  this  rule.  There  were  Jews  who  would  not  allow 
any  work  to  be  imdertaken  on  Friday  which  would  continue  of 
its  own  accord  after  the  Sabbath  had  set  in.  Thus  they  would 
not  have  light  in  their  homes  on  Friday  evening  or  warm  food 


36o  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

on  the  Sabbath-day,  allhou^^h  all  necessary  precautions  had  been 
taken  before  Sabbath  came  in  to  keep  the  liglit  burning  and  the 
food  warm  for  twenty-four  hours.  But  the  more  these  Jews  in- 
sisted on  excluding  light  and  fire  from  their  homes,  the  more  did 
our  Sages  demand  liglit  and  wariu  food  as  essential  comforts  of 
the  Sabbath,  and  to  them  the  Sabbath-candles  and  the  warm 
food  were  a  mitsvah  of  great  importance.  Much  work  is  done 
on  Sabbath  for  the  public  by  non-Jews  ;  e.r/.,  in  connection  with 
railway-trains,  steamboats,  and  other  public  conveyances.  May 
the  Jew  avail  himself  of  the  work  thus  done  for  all  alike  without 
his  bidding  1  He  may  in  some  cases — e.g.,  for  a  long  sea- voyage 
— in  others  not.  But  he  must  always  bear  in  mind  that  Judaism 
depends  on  the  adherence  of  tlie  Jews  to  the  noble  principle, 
nT3  riT  D''2"iy  ^Xl"^''  bs  "All  Israelites  are  sureties  responsible 
for  each  otiier."  The  meaning  of  this  principle  is  this  :  If  a  cer- 
tain act  appears  to  one  of  us  allowable,  but  at  the  same  time  our 
action  might  mislead  others  and  cause  them  to  break  the  Law. 
we  must  not  do  it.  Thus  if  Jews  were  to  avail  themselves  of 
the  public  conveyances,  the  whole  aspect  of  the  Sabbath  would 
change,  and  the  day  would  ultimately  be  forgotten. 

4.  When  dire  necessity  compels  a  Jew  to  break  the  Sabbath, 
let  him  not  think  that  the  Sabbath  is  lost  to  him,  or  he  to  Juda- 
ism. So  long  as  Jewi.-^h  conscientiousness  is  alive  within  him,  let 
him  endeavour  to  keep  as  much  of  the  Sabbath  as  he  is  able. 
He  must  not  say,  "  I  have  broken  the  Sabbath.  How  can  I  join 
my  brethren  in  the  Sabbath  Service  !  "  Whatever  he  does  con- 
scientiously will  be  acceptable  before  God,  and  he  will  thus  find 
himself  exhorted  to  watch  carefully,  and  to  seize  the  first  oppor- 
tunity of  returning  to  the  full  observance  of  Sabbath.  The  same 
principle  applies  to  all  the  Divine  Precepts. 

The  Jewish  Calendae. 

The  Jewish  Calendar  ^  reckons  the  day  from  evening 
to  evening,  in  accordance  with  the  order  observed  in 

^  Calendar  is  derived  from  the  Latin  Calcndw,  which  signifies  the 
first  of  the  month.  The  Hebrew  term  ni'?,  used  for  "Calendar"  or 
"  Almanac,"  denotes  "table''  or  "tnblet."  In  tlie  Talmud,  Sod  (nr 
Yesod)  ha-ibbur  is  used  in  the  sense  of  "  the  theory  of  the  Calendar  : " 


OUR  DUTIES.  361 

the  verse,  "  And  it  was  evening  and  it  was  morning, 
one  day"  (Gen.  i.  5).  The  evening  begins  after  sun- 
set, at  the  moment  when  stars  become  visible  under 
normal  conditions  of  the  atmosphere  :  at  D''33i::n  ns:; 
"  the  coming  forth  of  the  stars,"  soil.,  of  at  least  three 
stars  of  middle  size. 

The  day  is  divided  into  evening,  morning,  and 
afternoon.  With  each  of  these  periods  is  connected 
an  appropriate  prayer  or  service,  viz.,  Maarib  or  Even- 
ing-prayer, Shacharith  or  Morning-prayer,  and  Ifmchah 
or  Afternoon- prayer. 

Seven  days  form  a  week.  The  days  of  the  week 
are  described  in  the  Bible  and  the  Talmud  simply  as 
the  first  day,  the  second  day,  &c.  Only  the  seventh 
day  has  a  second  name,  Yom  ha-shahhath  or  shahhath, 
"  the  day  of  rest,"  or  "  the  rest."  In  post-Biblical  litera- 
ture the  sixth  day  is  called  Urebh  shahhatJi  or  Mciale 
shahhatha,  "  the  eve  of  Sabbath,"  or  "  the  coming  in 
of  Sabbath."  The  evening  following  Sabbath  is  named 
Motsee  shahbath,  "  the  departure  of  Sabbath."  Similarly 
the  day  preceding  a  Festival  and  the  evening  following 
it  are  called  Urev  yom-tobh  and  Motsee  yom-tobh,  "the 
eve  of  the  Festival,"  and  "the  departure  of  the  Festival." 

Four  weeks  and  one  or  two  days  make  one  month, 
cnn  or  m\  The  length  of  the  month  is  determined 
by  the  duration  of  one  revolution  of  the  moon  round 
the  earth.  Such  revolution  is  completed  in  twenty- 
nine  days  and  a  half  ^    As,  however,  the  calendar  month 

literally,  the  term  denotes  the  fixing  of  the  additional  day  to  the  month 
or  the  additional  month  to  the  year. 

^  Or  more  exactly,  29  days,  labours,  44  minutes,  33  seconds.  The 
technical  formula  in  Hebrew  is:  UNftiTl  2  '  \2'2  29  days,  la/y-j^' 
Lours. 


362  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

does  not  commence  in  the  middle  of  the  day,  but  at 
the  beginning  of  the  evening,  it  was  necessary  to  add 
half  a  day  to  one  month,  and  to  take  off  half  a  day 
from  the  next.  The  months  have  therefore  alternately 
twenty-nine  and  thirty  days. 

The  months  are  named  according  to  their  order,  the 
first  month,  the  second,  &c.  ;  the  first  being  the  first 
month  in  the  spring.  Other  names,  implying  agricul- 
tui*al  and  climatic  relations,  were  likewise  in  use,  and 
the  following  four  of  them  have  been  preserved  in  the 
Bible  :  the  first  month  is  called  Ahih,  "  ears  of  corn  ;  " 
the  second  ^tr,  "beauty;"  the  seventh  Ethanim,  "hardy 
fruit ;  "  and  the  eighth,  Bui,  "  rain."  ^  Since  the  return 
of  the  Jews  from  the  Babylonian  exile,  names  of  foreign 
origin  have  been  in  use,  viz.,  Nisan,  lyar,  Sivan, 
Tammuz,  Abh,  Elul,  Tishri,  Cheshvan,  Kislev,  Tebheth, 
Slichhat  and  Adar.~  Roughly  speaking,  these  months 
correspond  to  April,  May,  June,  July,  August,  Sep- 
tember, October,  November,  December,  January,  Feb- 
ruary, and  March. 

The  year  is  either  an  ordinary  year  or  a  leap-year, 
the  former  consisting  of  twelve,  the  latter  of  thirteen 
months.  The  extra  month  is  called  Adar-sheni,  "  the 
second  Adar,"  and  is  added  between  Adar  and  jVisan. 
It  serves  to  adjust  from  time  to  time  the  lunar  to  the 

^  In  the  first  month  the  barley  becomes  ripe  ;  in  the  second  the 
whole  vegetation  of  the  country  stands  in  its  full  splendour  ;  in  tlie 
seventh  the  hardy  fruit,  which  withstood  the  heat  of  the  summer, 
ripens ;  and  in  the  eighth  the  first  rain  of  the  season  comes 
down. 

-  The  meaning  of  most  of  these  names  is  uncertain.  The  two 
names  Elul  and  Tishri  seem  to  denote  "the  disappearance"  and  "the 
beginning  "  of  the  year. 


OUR  DUTIES.  363 

solar  year  ;  ^  for  there  is  between  tlie  lunar  year — that 
is,  the  time  of  twelve  revolutions  of  the  moon  round  the 
earth — and  the  solar  year,  or  the  time  of  one  revolution 
of  the  earth  round  the  sun,  a  difference  of  about  eleven 
days,  the  one  consisting  of  about  3  54^,  the  other  of 
about  36 5 1-  days.  In  nineteen  years  the  difference 
amounts  to  about  seven  months.  We  have  therefore 
seven  leap-years  in  every  cycle  ("TiTno)  of  nineteen  years, 
viz.,  the  3rd,  6th,  8th,  i  itli,  14th,  i/th,  and  19th. 

Neither  the  ordinary  years  nor  the  leap-years  have 
a  uniform  duration ;  the  former  fluctuate  between 
3  5  3)  354)  ^^^  35  5  ^a-ys;  the  latter  between  383,  384, 
and  385  days.  The  following  is  the  cause  of  this 
variety  :  There  are  certain  days  in  the  week  which  are 
never  made  the  beginning  of  the  new  year  (the  i  st  of 
TisJiri).  Whenever  the  astronomical  beginning  of  the 
year  happens  to  be  on  one  of  these  days,  a  day  is  added 
to  one  year,  and  taken  from  the  next.  The  addition 
in  the  former  case  is  made  in  the  month  of  Chcshvan, 
and  the  curtailing  in  the  latter  case  in  the  month  of 
Kislcv.  The  length  of  the  months  is  therefore  as  fol- 
lows : — Nisan,  30  ;  lyar,  29;  Sivcm,  30;  Tammuz,  29; 
Abh,  30  ;  Elul,  29  ;  Tisliri,  30  ;  Chcshvan,  29  or  30  ; 
Kislcv,  30  or  29  ;  Tchheth,  29  ;  Shehhat,  30  ;  Adar,  29, 
in  leap-year  30 ;   Adar-shcni  (in  leap-year),  29  days. 

The  first  day  of  the  month  is  called  New-moon-day 

^  The  ailjiistment  is  necessary  for  the  right  observance  of  Passover, 
which  must  be  celebrated  in  the  first  month  (Exod.  xii.  2),  the  month 
of  Ahib  (Deut.  xvi.  i),  that  is,  in  the  spring,  when  in  Palestine  the 
corn  begins  to  ripen.  Without  the  periodical  insertion  of  a  month, 
Passover  would  be  celebrated  in  every  succeeding  year  eleven  days 
earlier  than  in  the  previous  one,  and  in  course  of  time  at  different 
seasons,  contrary  to  the  Law. 


364  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

C'"in  ^  or  cnn  C'X"i,  "  beginning  of  the  montli."  In  those 
months  which  have  thirty  days,  the  thirtieth  day  is 
likewise  kept  as  liosh-chodcsh. 

The  beginning  of  the  astronomical  month  is  the 
moment  of  the  conjunction  of  sun  and  moon,^  when 
the  moon  is  exactly  between  the  earth  and  the  sun. 
Nothing  is  then  visible  of  the  moon.  Six  hours  at 
least  later  a  very  small  portion  of  the  moon  can,  under 
favourable  conditions,  be  seen,  and  the  day  on  which 
this  takes  place  is  the  first  of  the  calendar  month. 

At  first,  from  the  earliest  days  down  to  Hillel  II. 
(about  360  C.E.),  Rosh-chodcsh  was  determined  by  direct 
observation.  The  highest  court,  the  great  Scmhcdrin, 
examined  the  witnesses  who  had  noticed  the  reappear- 
ance of  the  moon,  and  accordingly  determined  the  first 
day  of  the  month  by  the  solemn  declaration,  Jlfekuddash, 
"  sanctified ;  "  that  is,  the  day  is  to  be  kept  as  Hosh- 
chodesh.  These,  proceedings  took  place  on  the  thirtieth 
day  of  the  month.  If  witnesses  presented  themselves 
who  testified  to  the  appearance  of  the  new  moon,  and 
after  due  examination  their  statement  was  found  to  be 
correct,  the  same  day  was  proclaimed  as  Rosli-chodesh, 
and  the  preceding  month  had  twenty-nine  days ;  if  no 
witnesses  presented  themselves,  or  the  witnesses  could 
not  sustain  their  evidence,  the  day  was  added  to  the 
expiring  month,  and  the  day  following  was  the  first  of 
the  next  month.  The  decision  of  the  Sanhedrin  con- 
cerned only  the  thirtieth  day  of  the  month.  As  soon 
as  their  decision  was  arrived  at,  Jewish  congregations 
located  within  a  certain   distance  were   informed   by 

^  The  Hebrew  term  Ei'in  bas  a  double  meaning  "beginning  of  the 
month  "  and  "month  ;  "  comp.  ^3t^^  "  day  of  rest,"  and  also  "  week," 
or  the  period  that  passes  between  two  consecutive  Sabbaths. 

*  In  Hebrew  molad,  "  birth." 


OUR  DUTIES.  365 

signal  or  by  trustworthy  messengers  which  day  had 
been  fixed  as  the  first  of  the  new  month.  The  decrees 
of  the  Sanhedrin,  the  highest  religious  council  of  the 
nation,  were  accepted  by  all  Jewish  congregations  as 
law,  and  the  Festivals  were  celebrated  in  accordance 
with  the  New  Moon  thus  appointed.  There  were,  how- 
ever, Jewish  congregations  in  distant  parts  that  couhl 
not  be  reached  by  the  messengers  in  due  time,  and 
these  were  in  doubt  concerning  the  day  on  which  a 
Festival  had  to  be  celebrated.  Being  anxious  not  to 
miss  the  day  kept  as  a  Festival  on  the  authority  of 
the  Sanhedrin  by  their  brethren  at  the  religious  centre 
of  the  nation,  the  Jews  abroad  observed  two  days  as 
Holy-days  instead  of  one  ;  only  the  Fast  of  the  Day 
of  Atonement  had  no  additional  day,  because,  being  a 
fast-day,  the  majority  of  the  people  were  unable  to 
abstain  from  food  for  two  consecutive  days.  New-year, 
on  the  other  hand,  was,  as  a  rule,  everywhere  observed 
two  days,  even  in  places  near  the  seat  of  the  SanJicdrin, 
and  sometimes  even  in  the  very  place  where  the  San- 
hedrin met,  on  account  of  the  uncertainty  whether  the 
30th  of  Uhd  or  the  day  following  would  be  fixed  by 
the  Sanhedrin  as  JRosh  ha-shanah.  Thougli,  with  regard 
to  the  most  holy  Festival,  the  uncertainty  of  the  day 
admitted  of  no  remedy,  this  circumstance  did  not  pre- 
vent our  pious  ancestors  from  applying  a  remedy  where 
it  could  be  done. 

It  was  not  ignorance  that  led  Jews  outside  Palestine 
to  observe  two  Holy-days  instead  of  one.  A  rough 
calculation  of  the  time  in  which  the  various  phenomena 
of  the  moon  are  to  be  noticed  is  not  difficult,  and  could 
be  made  by  many  Rabbis  and  laymen  long  before 
Hillel  II.  framed  the  permanent  Calendar.     Neverthe- 


366  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

less,  two  days  were  kept,  because  it  was  impossible  to 
calculate  or  anticipate  all  the  accidental  circumstances 
that  might  cause  the  Sanhcdrin  to  defer  the  fixing  of 
liosh-cJiodcsh  for  the  next  day. 

Nor  was  it  a  decree  of  the  Sanhedrin,  or  of  a  Rab- 
binical assembly,  that  ordered  the  observance  of  dv 
"'Jw'  niD,  "  a  second  day  of  the  Festival."  This  was  done 
by  the  voluntary  act  of  the  nation,  and  their  resolution 
was  confirmed  by  continued  usage.  It  was  the  out- 
come of  genuine  piety,  of  the  earnest  desire  to  be  at 
one  with  the  central  authority  of  the  nation.  The 
observance  of  ire  31t2  DV  is  so  old  that  no  trace  of  its 
actual  introduction  can  be  discovered  in  the  Talmud  ; 
wherever  mention  is  made  of  it,  it  is  represented  as 
an  institution  already  in  existence.  It  may  already 
have  existed  in  the  days  of  the  prophets,  and  traces  of 
the  celebration  of  a  second  day  of  Rosh-chodesh  may  be 
recognised  in  the  first  book  of  Samuel  (i.  xx.  27). 

This  practice,  which  sprang  from  true  fear  and  love 
of  God,  was  spontaneously  adopted  by  all  the  Jews  out- 
side Palestine,  continued  by  generation  after  generation 
for  more  than  two  thousand  years,  and  has,  as  a  minhag 
of  long  standing,  become  law.  It  is  not  a  precept 
commanded  in  the  Written  Law,  or  decreed  in  the 
Oral  Law  ;  it  is  only  a  minhag  '•  practice,"  but  a  minliag 
that  must  be  cherished  and  respected  as  a  national 
institution.  There  may  come  a  time  when  the  institu- 
tion of  ijc'  3"it3  DV  will  be  abolished  ;  this  can,  however, 
only  be  done  by  the  national  will,  confirmed  by  a  San- 
hcdrin which  will  be  recognised  by  the  whole  nation  as 
the  only  religious  authority.  Until  then  it  is  incum- 
bent upon  us  to  adhere  firmly  to  the  observance  of  the 
second  days  of  the  Festivals. 


OUR  DUTIES.  367 

Notes. 
The   fullo\viii,L,'   are    the   general   principles   upon  wliicli    our 
Caleiular  is  based  : — 

1.  Twenty-nine  days  iCj^y^^^g  liours  elapse  Letweeu  one  inolad 
and  tlie  next.^ 

2.  An  ordinary  year  mnst  not  have  less  than  353  or  more  than 
355  davs,  nor  tlie  leap-year  less  than  383  or  nioi'e  than  385  days. 

3.  The  1st  of  Tishri  is  fixed  on  the  day  of  the  molad  of  Tishri. 
There  are  four  exceptions  (nvm) : — 

«•  C'N"l  l"'"tX  vh-  If  the  1st  of  Tisliri  falls  on  a  Sunday,  Wed- 
nesday, or  Friihiy. 

h.  JpT  ^^'lO.     If  tlie  molad  of  Tishri  is  at  noon  or  later. 

c.  If  the  molad  of  Tishri  in  an  ordinary  year  is  on  Tuesday 
3,-4-17  A.M.  or  later  d" -I  'D  ':). 

(/.  IF  the  molad  of  Tishri  of  a  year  succeeding  a  leap-year  is  on 
Monday  9-^^^-io  a.m.  or  later  (L:D"pn  1"D  n)- 

The  first  of  these  four  exceptions  is  10  prevent  the  Day  of 
Atonement  from  falling  on  Friday  or  Sunday,  and  Hoshaana- 
rabba  from  falling  on  Sabbath  ;  the  third  exception  is  to  guard 
against  having  an  ordinary  year  of  more  than  355,  and  the  last 
from  having  a  leap-year  of  less  than  383  days. 

4.  The  character  of  the  year  is  described  by  three  letters,  the 
fust  of  which  indicates  the  day  of  the  week  for  the  ist  of  Tishri, 
the  last  the  day  of  the  week  for  the  ist  of  Nisan,  the  middle 
letter,  according  as  it  is  3,  n.  or  ^^(=1103  "regular;"  mon 
"defective  ;"  riD^Ci'  "perfect"'),  indicates  a  regular  year  of  354 
(in  leap-year  384)  days,  a  defective  year  of  353  (in  leap-year  383), 
or  a  perfect  one  of  355  (in  leap-year  3S5)  days. 

The  present  year  (September  1890  to  October  1891)  is,  accord- 
ing to  Jewish  tradition,"  tlie  year  5651  A.M.  (of  the  Creation)  ;  its 
characteristics  are  'n  'n  '2,  ;  "i"^-,  the  ist  of  Tishri  is  on  Monday  ; 
the  year  is  defective  ;  and  tlie  ist  of  Nisan  is  on  Thursday. 
The   year   is,   besides,  a   leap-year,    consisting   of   13  months ; 

^  The  molad  of  Tishri  in  the  year  I  is  assumed  to  have  been  on 
Sunday  evening  between  eleven  and  twelve.      "T'"in2' 

-  In  this  tradition  the  ptriod  of  the  Persian  rule  in  Palestine,  which 
lasted  over  two  centuries,  is  contracted  to  thirty-four  years.  It  is 
possible  that  the  years  were  counted  according  to  the  years  of  Release 
(^D?2t.^')  or  the  years  of  the  Jubilee,  and  these  were  probably  not 
kept  immediately  after  the  return  of  the  Jews  from  Babylon. 


368  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

it  is  the  eighth  year  of  the  igSth  cycle  (of  19  years).  It  is  llie 
first  year  of  the  Septennate,  or  the  first  year  alter  the  year  of 
release  (nm^ti*.     See  Lev.  xxv.). 


The  Festivals. 

"  The  feasts  of  the  Lord,  even  holy  convocations, 
which  ye  shall  proclaim  in  their  seasons  "  (Lev.  xxiii. 
4),  are  Passover,  Feast  of  Weeks,  Day  of  Memorial, 
Day  of  Atonement,  and  Feast  of  Tabernacles.  These 
are  divided  into  two  groups  called  ni^ji  c"6^  and  d''0'' 
D''N~i13,  "  three  festivals  "  and  "  solemn  days."  In  the 
Pentateuch  the  two  groups  are  kept  distinctly  asunder. 
Thus  in  Exod.  xxiii.  14—17  and  xxxiv.  18,  and 
Deut.  xvi.,  only  the  former  group  is  mentioned. 

The  name  shcdosh  rcgalim  derives  its  origin  from 
the  following  Biblical  passage :  "  Three  times  thou 
shalt  keep  a  feast  unto  me  in  the  year,"  jnn  n'hy\  vh^ 
r\yc^2  ^b  (Exod.  xxiii.  14).  Although  in  a  parallel 
passage  the  word  qi^jt  has  been  replaced  by  D''0J,'2 
(ibid.  ver.  17),  of  the  same  meaning,  "times,"  shalosh 
regalim  has  been  preferred,  because  qi^j-i  reminds  one 
also  of  "  a  journey  on  foot,"  "  a  pilgrimage,"  an  impor- 
tant element  in  the  celebration  of  these  three  festivals, 
according  to  the  Divine  commandment,  "  Three  times 
every  year  shall  thy  males  appear  before  the  Lord  thy 
God,  in  the  place  which  he  shall  choose,  in  the  feast 
of  unleavened  bread,  in  the  feast  of  weeks,  and  in  the 
feast  of  tabernacles  "  (Deut.  xvi.  1 6). 

The  name  yamim  noraini  for  the  remaining  two 
feasts  is  not  founded  on  a  Biblical  phrase,  but  on  the 
fact  that  these  festivals  are  devoted  more  than  the  rest 
to  earnest  reflection  and  solemn  devotion. 


f 


OUR  DUTIES.  369 

I.    The  Three  Festivals  (d^^Ji  c6c')- 

The  tlu'ee  festivals  have  the  following  three  charac- 
teristics in  common : — 

1.  They  refer  to  important  events  in  our  national 
history  ;  viz.,  Passover  to  the  deliverance  of  the  Israel- 
ites from  Egyptian  bondage ;  Feast  of  Weeks  to  the 
Revelation  on  Mount  Sinai ;  and  Tabernacles  to  the 
travels  of  the  Israelites  through  the  Arabian  desert. 

2.  They  mark  the  various  stages  of  the  harvest ;  viz., 
Passover  marks  the  season  of  the  early  harvest,  Feast 
of  Weeks  the  second  harvest,  and  the  Feast  of  Taber- 
nacles the  ingathering  of  the  fruit. 

3.  They  serve  as  a  means  for  imparting  essential 
religious  truths ;  viz.,  Passover  embodies  the  principle 
of  the  Existence  of  God,  the  Feast  of  Weeks  that  of 
Revelation,  and  the  Feast  of  Tabernacles  that  of  Divine 
Providence. 

The  Distinguished  Sabbaths  (r\VV\Q  'l).^ 

There  are  in  the  months  Adar  and  Nisan  four  Sab- 
baths distinguished  by  the  circumstance  that  on  them 
additional  sections  are  read  from  the  Pentateuch  and 
special  lessons  from  the  Prophets.  Two  of  them  are 
connected  with  the  celebration  of  Passover. 

I.  D''^pti'  n2C*  "Sabbath  of  the  shekels;'"  i.e.,  on 
which  the  law  concerning  the  half-shekel  contribution 
is  read  from  the  Pentateuch  (Exod.  xxx.  i  i  — 16),  and 
also  the  account  of  the  gifts  for  the  repair  of  the 
Temple   in   the   reign   of  King   Joash    (2    Kings   xii. 

'  See  Mishiiab,  Megillah  iii.  4. 

2  A 


370  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

I  — 17).  Every  male  Israelite,  twenty  ""years  old  or 
upward,  had  to  contribute  annually  one  half-shekel 
towards  the  maintenance  of  the  Temple  and  the 
Temple  Service.  The  year  commenced  the  ist  of 
Nisan,  when  public  sacrifices  had  to  be  bought  with 
money  of  the  new  contributions.'^  Every  one  was 
therefore  expected  to  send  his  contribution  before 
the  ist  of  Nisan.  On  the  ist  of -^f?ar  proclamations 
were  made  throughout  the  country  that  the  half-shekel 
was  due.^  Hence  the  custom  to  read  the  above-named 
sections  on  the  Sabbath  before  the  i  st  of  Adar,  or  on 
the  1st,  if  this  happens  to  be  on  a  Sabbath. 

2.  niDT  T\'2^  "  Sabbath  Remember  "  is  the  Sabbath 
on  which  the  paragraph  concerning  the  enmity  of 
Amalek  is  read  from  the  Pentateuch  (Deut.  xxv. 
17—19),  and  the  defeat  of  Amalek  by  King  Saul  from 
the  Prophets  ( i  Sam.  xv.).  The  Agagite  Haman,  one 
of  the  principal  figures  in  the  history  of  Purim,  is 
believed  to  be  a  descendant  of  Agag,  king  of  Amalek 
(ibid,  ver,  8).  And  as  the  Law  commands  us  to  re- 
member the  hostilities  of  Amalek  against  Israel,  it  has 
been  found  appropriate  to  read  the  above  sections  on 
the  Sabbath  before  Purim. 

3-  ma  nyi^  "The  Sabbath  of  the  Red  Heifer,"  i.e., 
the  Sabbath  on  which  the  law  concerning  the  sacrifice 
of  the  red  heifer  and  the  purification  with  its  ashes 
is  read  from  the  Pentateuch  (Num.  xix.),  and  "  the 
future  purification  of  Israel"  (Ezek.  xxxvi.  17—38) 
from  the  Prophets.  It  is  the  Sabbath  after  Purim. 
or,  when  the  15  th  or  i6th  of  Adar  falls  on  Saturday, 
the  second   Sabbath  after  Purim.      All  Israelites  had 

1  Talm.  .Jerusb.,  Shekalim  i.  i.  -  Mishnah/Shekalim  i.  i. 


OUR  DUTIES.  371 

to  come  to  the  Temple,  and  to  oflfer  the  Passover- 
lamb  on  the  14th  of  Nlsan,  and  this  could  not  be 
done  by  any  unclean  person.  By  the  reading  of 
the  above  sections,  all  are,  as  it  were,  reminded  to 
take  the  necessary  steps  for  their  purification,  and 
thus  prepare  themselves  for  the  celebration  of  Pass- 
over. 

4.  L'nnn  nT^r  "  The  Sabbath  of  ha-chodesh"  i.e.,  the 
Sabbath  before  the  ist  of  Nisan,  or  on  the  1st  of 
Xisan  if  it  falls  on  a  Saturday,  on  which  the  law  that 
fixes  Nisan  as  the  first  month  ^  and  the  command- 
ment concerning  Passover  are  read  from  the  Penta- 
teuch (Exod.  xii.  1—20),  and  the  description  of  the 
sacrifices  of  the  ist  of  Nisan,  Passover,  and  other 
Festivals  in  the  future  Temple  from  the  Prophets 
(Ezek.  xlv.  i6-xlvi.  18). 

In  addition  to  these  four  Sabbaths,  the  Sabbath 
])receding  Passover  is  to  be  mentioned.  It  is  not  dis- 
tinguished by  any  special  lesson  from  the  Pentateuch, 
but  it  has  nevertheless  received  the  title  "  the  Great 
Sabbath,"  ^jnjn  T\1^ "  on  account  of  the  importance  of 

^  According  to  Tradition,  Exod.  xii.  2  not  only  deals  with  the 
appointment  of  Nisan  as  the  first  month  of  the  year,  but  implies  also 
the  rules  for  fixing  k^TPl  lyU"),  New-moon,  or  the  first  of  the  month  ; 
and  this  verse,  with  its  traditional  interpretation,  was  therefore  con- 
sidered as  the  basis  of  the  Jewish  Calendar.  Hence  the  prominence 
i:iven  to  this  section  of  the  Pentatevich  by  having  it  read  ou  the  1st 
i>i  Nisan  or  on  the  Sabbath  before  the  1st  of  Nisan. 

"  Various  reasons  are  given'for  this  title.  According  to  Tradition, 
the  loth  of  Nisati  in  the  year  of  the  Exodus  was  on  Saturday  ;  it  was 
considered  a  great  event,  a  miracle,  in  fact,  that  the  Israelites  could  ou 
that  day  select  a  lamb  for  sacrifice  without  being  molested  by  their 
Egyptian  masters,  who  at  other  times  would  liave  stoned  them  for  such 
daring  (Exod.  viii.  22).  Another  reason  is  this  :  The  Sabbath  before 
any  of  the  chief  Festivals  was  called  the  great  Sabbath  on  account  of 


372  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

the  approaching  Festival.  The  last  part  of  Malachi  (iii. 
4—24)  is  read  as  the  Jiaphtarah  of  the  day,  in  which 
the  ultimate  triumph  of  the  God-fearing  is  described 
by  the  Prophet. 

nos  Passover. 

Passover  is  the  first  of  the  Three  Feasts,  and  is  kept 
eight  days,  from  the  15  th  of  Nisan  to  the  22nd;  the 
four  middle  days  being  half-Holy-days,  called  chol 
ha-moed  ("the  week-days  of  the  festival"). 

The  name  Fesach,  "  Passover,"  ^  reminds  us  of  the 
way  in  which  the  Israelites  enjoyed  the  Divine  pro- 
tection before  they  left  Egypt.  Pharaoh,  king  of 
Egypt,  kept  the  Israelites  as  slaves,  and  when  asked 
in  the  name  of  God  to  let  them  go,  refused  to  obey. 
But  the  ten  plagues  which  consecutively  afflicted  his 
land  without  causing  injury  to  the  Israelites  taught 

the  instruction  sought  and  given  respecting  the  importance  and  the 
observances  of  the  coming  Festival  (see  Zunz,  Ritus.  p.  9).  This 
name  has  only  been  preserved  in  the  case  of  the  Sabbath  before  Pass- 
over.— It  is,  however,  possible  that  "the  great  day,"  the  predominant 
idea  in  the  haphtarah  of  the  day,  suggested  the  name. 

It  is  the  custom  in  some  congregations  to  read  in  the  Afternoon- 
service  of  Shahhath  harjgadol  part  of  the  Hagyadah  instead  of  the 
Psalms  (civ.  and  cxx.-cxxxiv.). 

^  The  word  HDQ  "Passover,"  signifies  (i)  the  act  of  passing  over  or 
sparing  (Exod.  xii.  ii);  (2)  the  sacrifice  of  passover,  especially  as 
object  to  the  verb  T['Z'V  "  to  make  "  (ibid.  47,  48)  ;  (3)  the  time  when 
the  passover  was  offered  and  consumed  ;  i.e.,  the  14th  of  Nisan,  after- 
noon and  evening  (Lev.  xxiii.  5  ;  Num.  xxviii.  16) ;  (4)  the  whole  of 
Passover  (Misbnah,  and  in  all  post-Biblical  literature). 

The  day  on  which  an  Israelite  brought  a  sacrifice  was  a  Festival  to 
him  and  his  family  ;  and  no  work  was  done  on  that  day.  Accord- 
ingly on  the  afternoon  of  the  14th  of  Nisan,  riDS  3"iy,  the  time  fixed 
for  the   Passover-offering,  no  work  was  done  ;    ?ome  abstained  from 


OUR  DUTIES.  373 

liim  the  existence  of  a  higher  Power,  to  whose  decrees 
the  will  of  earthly  rulers  has  to  submit.  It  was 
especially  the  tenth  plague,  the  slaying  of  the  first- 
born, that  convinced  the  king  and  his  people  of  this 
truth.  When  the  Lord  smote  all  the  first-born  in  the 
land  of  Egypt,  "  he  ijasscd  over  the  houses  of  the  chil- 
dren of  Israel  "  (Exod.  xii.  27). 

The  Feast  has  a  second  name,  viz.,  "feast  of  un- 
leavened bread,"  ni^'On  jn,  a  name  derived  from  the 
commandment  to  eat  n^'o  "  unleavened  bread,"  instead 
of  the  ordinary  ]*on  "  leavened  bread,"  during  the 
Festival.  The  purpose  of  this  commandment  is  to 
■commemorate  the  deliverance  of  the  Israelites  from 
Egypt  as  well  as  the  mode  of  their  actual  departure. 
For  when  the  tenth  plague,  the  slaying  of  the  first- 
born, had  visited  the  Egyptians,  they  were  overcome 
with  fear,  and  urged  the  Israelites  at  once  to  leave  the 
■country.     The  Israelites  therefore  left  Egypt  hurriedly, 

•work  tlie  whole  day  (Mishnah,  Pesachim  iv.  i  ;  comp.  also  ibid.  5). — 
It  is  customary  for  the  first-born  to  fast  the  whole  or  part  of  PIDS  3")^ 
(Talm.  Jerus.  x.  i,  and  Masecheth  Soferim  xxi.  3).  They  might  rathtr 
■be  expected  to  feast  in  memory  of  the  deliverance  of  the  first-born 
Israelites  in  Egypt.  But  the  case  is  similar  to  that  of  Furini,  Botli 
the  day  of  danger  and  the  day  of  victory  are  celebrated  ;  the  one  by 
fasting  (fast  of  Esther),  the  other  by  feasting  (Purim),  So  here  the 
14th  of  A'isa,7i  was  for  the  first-born  the  day  of  danger,  the  following 
night  the  season  of  deliverance.  Hence  the  fasting  during  the  daj' 
and  the  feasting  in  the  evening.  The  day  suggests  thoughts  like  the 
following  :  Our  forefathers  were  saved  from  danger  :  should  we  deserve 
t.i  be  saved  if  danger  threatened  us  ?  Such  reflections  may  have  been 
the  origin  of  the  fast  of  the  first-born  on  the  eve  of  Passover.  Some 
also  fast  on  this  day,  or  at  least  abstain  on  it  from  a  full  meal,  in 
«rder  to  do  honour  to  the  festive  meal  in  the  evening  and  approach 
it^with  appetite  (n^KTl^)*  -^  similar  custom  obtains,  though  not  to 
the  same  extent,  on  tlie  eve  of  Sabbath  and  of  every  Festival  (Mishn.ih, 
Pesachim  x.  i). 


374  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

and  had  no  time  for  preparing  the  ordinary  "  leavened 
bread,"  and  baked  for  themselves  unleavened  cakes 
(nivro)  of  the  dongh  which  they  had  made. 

Passover  thus  commemorates  two  distinct  moments  in 
the  deliverance  of  the  Israelites  from  Egyptian  slavery, 
viz.  (i)  the  special  protection  which  the  Almighty 
granted  them  in  Egypt,  and  (2)  their  departure  from 
the  house  of  bondage. 

Two  distinct  observances,  therefore,  were  ordained 
for  the  Feast  of  Passover,  viz.  (i)  the  sacrifice 
of  the  Passover- lamb,  and  (2)  the  eating  of  "un- 
leavened bread "  and  the  abstaining  from  "  leavened 
bread." 

I.  The  Passover-lamh. — A  short  time  before  their 
departure  from  Egypt  the  Israelites  were  commanded 
by  the  Almighty  that  on  the  tenth  of  the  first  month 
every  family  should  procure  a  lamb,  keep  it  four  days,^ 
kill  it  in  the  afternoon  of  the  fourteenth,  sprinkle  of 
its  blood  on  the  "  lintel  and  the  two  door-posts,"  and 
"  eat  in  the  evening  the  meat  roast  in  fire,  with  un- 
leavened bread  and  bitter  herbs,  in  haste,  their  loins 
girded,  their  shoes  on  their  feet  and  their  staff  in  their 
hand"  (Exod.  xii.  3—  1 1 ).  Whatever  the  material  benefit 
was  which  the  Israelites,  in  the  moment  of  starting  for 
a  long  and  uncertain  journey,  derived  from  the  meal 
prepared  and  partaken  of  in  this  manner,  there  was  a 
higher  purpose  in  the  Divine  commandment ;   it  was 

^  Within  the  four  days  there  was  ample  time  for  examining  the 
lamb,  whether  it  was  really  D''Dni  without  blemish,  and  fit  both  for 
sacrifice  and  for  human  fond. — Soms  suggest  that  the  keeping  of  tlie 
lamb  for  four  days  was  to  be  a  test  of  the  faith  of  the  Israelites, 
whether  they  would  obey  the  Will  of  God  in  spite  of  the  dreaded  wrath 
of  the  Egyptians. 


OUR  DUTIES.  375 

demanded  that  the  lamb  should  le  "  a  passover  sacri- 
fice unto  the  Lord  "  (ihid.).  The  proceedings  should 
be  an  expression  of  faith  in  God,^  and  of  gratitude  to 
Him  for  His  protection.  Every  house  should  thus 
form  a  place  holy  unto  the  Lord  ;  an  altar,  as  it  were, 
on  which  the  blood  of  the  sacrifice  was  sprinkled. 

The  Passover  sacrifice  first  observed  in  Egypt  was 
afterwards  ordained  as  a  permanent  institution  {ibid. 
ver,  24).  This  difierence,  however,  was  observed,  that 
the  Passover-lamb,  like  all  sacrifices,  had  to  be  brought 
to  the  Sanctuary,  to  "  the  place  which  the  Lord  chose 
to  place  his  name  in  "  (Deut.  xvi.  6).  All  who  were 
prevented  from  performing  their  duty  on  the  14th  of 
Nisan  were  allowed  to  offer  the  Passover  on  the  I4tli 
of  the  second  month  {lyar).  By  way  of  distinction 
from  the  sacrifice  on  the  first  date,  this  offering  was 
called  "the  second  passover"  ('•2^^  riDD,'  Num.  ix. 
9—14).  Since  the  destruction  of  the  Temple  all  sacri- 
ficial service  has  been  discontinued,  and  in  accordance 
with  the  words,  "  We  will  compensate  with  our  lips  for 
the  bullocks"  (Hos.  xiv.  3),  prayers  and  recitals  from 

1  Their  faith  in  God  had  to  be  shown  by  their  willingly  going  forth 
whither  the  command  of  God  led  them,  without  taking  with  them  any 
provision  for  the  journey.  The  lamb  which  they  had  prepared  was  to 
be  consumed  before  they  left  Egypt,  and  whatever  was  left  had  to  be 
burnt.  This  was  probably  also  the  object  of  the  precepts  that  no 
bone  of  the  lamb  was  to  be  broken,  and  no  part  of  it  was  to  be  carried 
from  one  house  to  another  ;  for  the  breaking  of  the  bones  and  the 
carrying  part  of  the  meat  about  from  place  to  place  would  facilitate  its 
being  stored  away  for  the  journey. — Other  precepts,  which  implied 
haste  and  readiness,  e.g.,  the  roasting  it  with  fire,  eating  it  with  loins 
girded,  &c.,  were  to  teach  the  Israelites  the  lesson  that  they  were  to 
be  always  ready  and  willing  to  do  God's  bidding. 

-  An  instance  of  Passover  being  put  off  because  of  the  unfitness  of 
the  priests  to  offer  up  sacrifices  is  met  with  in  the  Second  Book  of 


376  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

the  Bible  have  taken  the  place  of  sacrifices,  whilst 
psalms  and  hymns  are  added  such  as  used  to  accom- 
pany the  act  of  offering  sacrifices.  The  Passover 
sacrifice  has  therefore  been  discontinued ;  but  the  law 
of  eating  unleavened  bread  and  bitter  herbs  is  still 
observed. 

2.  The  Unleavened  Bread. — "  Seven  days  shall  ye 
eat  unleavened  bread ;  even  the  first  day  ye  shall  have 
put  away  leaven  out  of  your  houses  :  for  whosoever 
eateth  leavened  bread  from  the  first  day  until  the 
seventh  day,  that  soul  shall  be  cut  off  from  Israel  " 
(Exod.  xii,  15).  "  Unleavened  bread  shall  be  eaten 
seven  days ;  and  there  shall  no  leavened  bread  be  seen 
with  thee,  neither  shall  there  be  leaven  seen  with  thee 
in  all  thy  quarters  "  {ibid.  xiii.  7).  "  Seven  days  shall 
there  no  leaven  be  found  in  j^our  houses "  {ibid. 
xii.  19).  The  distinction  between  leavened  and  un- 
leavened only  applies  to  bread  or  any  other  form  of 
food  prepared  out  of  any  of  the  following  five  kinds  of 
grain :  barley,  wheat,  rye,  oats,  and  spelt.  Bread  or 
cake  prepared  from  any  of  these  five  kinds  is  called 
unleavened  bread,  or  n5»D,  if  the  dough  is  baked  imme- 
diately after  it  has  been  prepared,  no  time  being  left 
for  fermentation.-^      It  is  not  only  forbidden  during  the 

Chronicles  (xxx.  2).  It  seems  similar  to  the  rule  of  Pesach  sheni,  but 
is  in  reality  different  from  it.  King  Hezekiah  did  not  put  off  the 
Passover  sacrifice  for  a  month  on  account  of  the  uncleanness  of  the 
priests,  but  he  made  the  preceding  year  a  leap-year,  and  the  month 
which  would  have  been  the  second  became  the  first,  whilst  the  first 
was  counted  as  the  thirteenth  of  the  past  year  (comp.  Mishnah,  Pesa- 
chim  iv.  9). 

^   It  is  only  the  fermentation   of  any  of  these  five    kinds  of  ^rain 
that  forms  VOH-     Fermentation  of  grapes  or  other  fruit  coiistitult-s  no 


OUR  DUTIES.  377 

Festival  to  eat  leavened  bread,  but  it  is  not  permitted 
to  derive  any  benefit  whatsoever  from  it.^  All  leaven 
and  leavened  bread  must  be  removed  before  Passover 
comes  in  ;  and  in  accordance  with  the  traditional  inter- 
pretation of  the  precept,  "  Thou  shalt  not  offer  the 
blood  of  my  sacrifice  with  leavened  bread  "  (ibid,  xxiii. 
1 8),  the  leaven  must  be  removed  before  the  time  in 
which  the  Passover  was  ofiered.^ 

The  law  forbidding  j*on  "  leavened  bread,"  to  be 
kept  in  the  house  during  Passover  is  frequently  and 
m-ost  emphatically  repeated  in  the  Torah.  Jews  have 
therefore,  as  a  rule,  been  very  conscientious  and  zeal- 
ous in  the  fulfilment  of  this  Divine  command.  In 
accordance  with  this  law,  the  following  observances 
have  been  ordained  : — 

(i .)  }*?Dn  npnn  "  the  searching  for  leavened  bread  "  on 
the  eve  of  the  14th  of  Nisan.^  The  head  of  the  family, 
or  his  deputy,  examines  his  residence  thoroughly,  and 
keeps  the  chamets,  which  he  has  found,  in  a  safe  place 
till  the  next  morning.  This  searching,  like  every  other 
performance  of  a  religious  duty,  is  preceded  by  a  bless- 
ing, viz.,  |»nn  "iij)'>n  bv  i^ivi  vni^'on  ):\inp  nc's  .  .  •  Tnn 
"  Blessed  art  thou   .    .    .  who  hast  sanctified  us  by  thy 

1  }>!0n  is  both  n^''3Xn  "11DX  and  nX^HQ  11DX  (Mishnah,  Pe.sachim 
ii.  I). 

-  It  is  now  the  custom  to  eat  }*Cn  on  Erchh  Pcsach,  only  during  the 
first  third  of  the  day  ;  i.e.,  till  about  tt-u  o'clock  in  the-  morning  {ibid, 
i.  4). 

^  Ibid.  i.  I. — The  evening  was  chosen  for  this  task,  because  with  a 
taper  or  lump  the  corners  and  dark  recesses  can  be  better  searched 
than  by  daylight.  Besides,  in  the  evening,  when  every  one  has 
finished  his  day's  work,  people  are  more  at  ease  to  do  the  searching 
in  a  thorough  maimer. 


378  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

commandments,  and  hast  commanded  us  concerning  the 
removal  of  the  leavened  bread."  ^ 

(2.)  j'nn  "iiy'^l,  "the  removal  or  the  destruction  of 
chamets."  All  the  chamcts  that  is  left  after  the  first 
meal  on  the  14th  oi  Nisan  must  be  removed,  i.e.,  sold 
or  given  as  a  present  to  a  non-Israelite,  or  destroyed. 
In  addition  to  the  actual  removal  or  destruction  of 
chamets,  a  solemn  declaration  is  made  by  the  head  of  the 
family,  that  if  any  chamcts  should  be  left  in  his  house 
without  liis  knowledge,  he  would  not  claim  it  as  his. 
The  object  of  this  declaration  is  to  free  the  master  of 
the  house  from  all  responsibility  in  case  any  chamcts 
should  be  found  on  his  premises,  contrary  to  the  Law." 

(3.)  Utensils  which  have  been  used  for  chamcts  are 
put  away,  and  replaced  by  new  ones,  or  by  such  as 
have  exclusively  been  kept  for  Passover.  Some  vessels 
used  during  the  year  may  be  used  for  Passover,  after 
having  undergone  a  certain  process  called  kasher ;'^  i.e., 
"  fitting  "  them  as  vessels  for  use  on  Passover. 

'  The  formula  with  ?!?  is  employed  here,  because  we  need  not  do 
the  searching  by  ourselves  ;  it  may  be  done  by  a  substitute. — Although 
we  only  search  in  the  evening,  we  use  the  term  t'^pl  "Tiy^2  ?y  "  con- 
cerning the  removal  or  the  destruction  of  the  chamcts,"  because  this 
removal  or  destruction  is  the  object  of  the  searching. 

"  The  declaration,  printed  usually  on  the  first  page  of  the  Haggadali, 
is  made  twice  :  once  in  the  evening  after  the  searching  of  the  chamets, 
and  once  in  the  morning  after  its  removal  ;  with  this  difference,  that 
in  the  evening  only  the  chamets  that  has  not  been  found  is  disclaimed  ; 
in  the  morning  all  chamets,  if  left  in  the  house,  is  disclaimed,  whether 
it  has  been  noticed  in  the  course  of  searching  or  not. 

^  There  are  different  kinds  of  the  process  of  Icasher  :  (i)  by  making 
the  articles  in  question  red  hot — this  applies  to  the  iron  oven  and  other 
iron  vessels  ;  (2)  by  dipping  the  vessel  in  boiling  water,  or  pouring 
boiling  water  over  it,  or  letting  the  water  in  the  vessel  boil  over.  The 
object  of  this  process  is  to  free  the  vessel  from  any  chamets  it  m.iy  have' 


OUR  DUTIES.  379 

(4.)  Although  the  articles  of  food  that  are  directly 
forbidden  as  chamets  are  very  few,  there  are  a  great 
many  things  that  contain  an  admixture  of  chamets,  and 
those  "who  fear  the  word  of  the  Lord"  use  during 
Passover  only  those  articles  of  food  concerning  which 
there  is  no  doubt  whatever  that  they  are  perfectly  free 
from  chamets.  Articles  of  food  for  Passover  are  there- 
fore only  bought  of  persons  who  can  be  trusted  to  hold 
these  observances  in  respect. 

In  addition  to  the  commandments  of  the  Passover- 
offering  and  the  unleavened  bread,  there  is  a  special 
duty,  mentioned  four  times  in  the  Pentateuch,  for  the 
Israelite  to  relate  to  his  children  the  history  of  the 
departure  from  Egypt,  and  to  explain  to  them  the 
meaning  of  the  several  rites  connected  with  the  cele- 
bration of  Passover.  This  duty  is  called  haggadah, 
"  relating,"  and  a  service  has  been  arranged  for  the 
purpose,  called  Seder,  "  the  Order."  The  first  two  even- 
ings of  Passover  are  therefore  called  "/S'c'ier-evenings," 
and  the  book  which  contains  this  Service  is  generally 
called  Haggadah. 

The  ^f/cr-service  contains  four  elements:  (i)  the 
relation  of  the  deliverance  of  the  Israelites  from  Egypt ; 
(2)  the  festive  meal,  preceded  by  Kiddush  and  the 
partaking  of  bitter  herbs  and  unleavened  bread,  and 
followed  by  Grace;  (3)  j&aZ^eZ  and  other  hymns  ;  (4) 
the  partaking  of  four  cups  of  wine  (arha  kosoth).^ 

absorbed. — Before  the  process   of  kosher  begins,  the  vessel   must,   of 
course,  be  thoroughly  cleaned. 

^  The  four  cups  of  wine  are  not  taken  at  once  ;  but  one  serves  for 
Kiddush,  as  on  Sabbath  and  Hol^'-days  ;  the  second  is  taken  at  the 
conclusion  of  the  first  part  of  the  Seder  ;  the  third  after  Grace,  it  being 
customary  also  on  ordinary  days  to  take  a  cup  of  wine  after  Grace  ;  the 
fourth  at  the  conclusion  of  the  second  part  of  the  Seder.    The  four'cups 


38o  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

The  head  of  the  family  or  his  substitute  who  reads 
the  Service  has  before  him  on  the  table:  (i)  three 
unleavened    cakes   (matsotli) ;  ^    (2)    bitter  herbs    and 

are  also  said  to  indicate  our  joy  in  reference  to  four  elements  con- 
stituting the  redemption,  and  implied  in  the  four  terms :  TlXVini, 
Tl^XJIi  Tl'PVril)  ^^^  Tinp^li  (Exod.  vi.  6,  7),  liberation  from  bondage, 
deliverance  from  service,  redemption  from  all  dependence  on  Egypt, 
and  appointment  as  "the  people  of  the  Lord." — These  four  cups  were 
considered  of  such  importance  for  the  .S'ecZcr-evening  that  the  poor  were 
provided  as  of  right  with  wine  for  the  arha  hosoth  (Mishnah,  Pesachim 
X.  l). — Although  the  number  of  the  four  cups  of  wine  is  sanctioned 
by  the  reference  to  the  above  four  expressions  of  redemption,  a  fifth  cup 
may,  if  needed,  be  interpolated  before  singing  Ps.  cxxxvi,  (Tosaphoth, 
Pesachim  1 1 76). 

It  is  customary  to  pour  in  an  extra  cup  and  keep  it  ready  for  any 
new-comer  that  might  join  the  company.  The  cup  is  called  D13 
irivK  ?K*  "the  cup  of  Elijah,"  because  his  advent  may  be  looked  for 
at  any  time.     Comp.  Mai.  iii.  23. 

^  Two  of  them  are  the  "  double  portion,"  nSK'D  Dfl?,  of  Sabbath 
and  Holy-day.  The  third  represents  the  tjy  q]-|'?  "bread  of  poverty," 
and  is  therefore  broken  into  pieces,  in  order  to  be  distinguished  from 
the  others  as  "  bread  of  poverty."  The  bread  of  poverty  is  intended 
to  remind  us  of  the  bread  of  poverty  or  affliction  eaten  by  our  fore- 
fathers when  kept  as  slaves  in  Egypt.  But  les  extrtmes  se  touchent ; 
it  is  remarkable  that  this  very  term  ijy  Qro  admits  also  of  the  mean- 
ing "bread  of  song,"  and  has  been  interpreted  to  signify  the  bread 
eaten  at  a  joyous  meal,  such  as  the  Israelites  in  Egypt  ate  the  night  of 
their  liberation.  It  is  possible  that  the  author  of  the  opening  para- 
graph of  the  Haggadah  purposely  employed  the  term  {^ijy  XIOH?  ^^ 
this  double  sense  (Pes.  115a). 

Among  some  Israelites  it  is  the  custom  to  style  the  three  unleavened 
cakes,  Cohen,  Levi,  and  Israel.  The  three  matsoth,  as  a  play  upon 
words,  are  also  called  mitsvoth,  "commandments;"  i.e.,  matsoth  em- 
ployed in  fulfilment  of  the  commandment,  "  In  the  evening  ye  shall  eat 
unleavened  bread."  These  matsoth  are  distinguished  from  the  rest  by 
being  baked  especially  for  this  purpose.  Some  are  careful  in  regard  to 
these  nuitsoth  to  have  every  process  in  their  preparation,  from  the 
cutting  of  the  wheat  to  the  baking  of  the  matsoth,  done  for  the  express 
purpose  of  the  Seder,  and  to  have  the  wheat  and  the  flour  well  guarded 
from  moisture  or  any  foreign  admixture.     Matsoth  prepared  in  this  way 


OUR  DUTIES.  381 

other  vegetables;^  (3)  salt  water,  in  which  the  vege- 
tables (karpas)  are  dipped  before  they  are  eaten,  and 
charoseth,  a  mixture  of  apples,  almonds,  various  spices, 
especially  cinnamon,  and  wine,  in  which  mixture  the 
bitter  herbs  are  dipped  ;  "^  (4)  a  bone  with  some  meat 
on  it  and  an  egg,^  both  roasted. 

The    order    of  the    Service    is    indicated    in    most 

are  called  miDCJ'  HVID,  "  guarded  matsoth. "  People  still  more  particular 
have  all  their  unleavened  bread  for  Passover  prepared  in  this  way. 

^  The  vegetables,  that  were  ordinarily  taken  as  a  relish  and  a  means 
of  producing  appetite  for  the  meal,  have  only  been  introduced  here 
(Pesachim  II4&)  for  the  purpose  of  attracting  the  attention  of  the 
children.  According  to  the  custom  of  those  ancient  days,  the  master 
of  the  house  had  before  him  a  table  covered  with  the  different  dishes 
required  for  the  meal,  and  sent  portions  to  every  member  of  the  com- 
pany. When  the  meal  was  finished,  before  Grace,  this  table  was 
removed.  But  on  the  Seder-evening  the  table  was  removed  immediately 
after  the  partaking  of  a  little  parsley  or  other  vegetables.  The  child, 
accustomed  on  ordinary  evenings  to  have  supper  without  such  an  intro- 
duction, asks  expressly  or  implicitly  why  things  are  different  to-night, 
adding  also  other  questions.  Instead  of  parsley,  other  vegetables,  or 
even  some  of  the  bitter  herbs,  may  be  taken.  This  last  act  not  being 
an  essential  element  in  the  Service,  and  not  being  obligatory,  is  not 
preceded  by  the  berachah,  "  Blessed  art  thou  .  .  .  who  hast  commanded 
us,  &c.,"  but  "  Blessed  art  thou  .  .  .  who  hast  created  the  fruit  of  the 
earth." — At  present  the  table  is  not  removed,  but  the  lifting  up  of  the 
Seder-dish  while  reciting  the  first  paragraph  ({<on^  NHS)  is  the  survival 
of  that  custom. 

2  Two  views  are  expressed  in  the  Talmud  concerning  charoseth ."  ( i ) 
it  is  a  medicinal  protective  against  the  evil  effects  of  the  bitter  herbs  ; 
(2)  it  is  an  essential  part  of  the  mitsvah,  a  symbol  and  reminder  of 
the  bricks  and  mortar  with  which  the  Israelites  had  to  do  the  work  im- 
posed on  them  by  their  taskmasters  (B.  Talm.,  Pesachim  11 S^') ;  it  may 
also  serve  to  suggest  to  us  the  idea  that  there  is  a  means  of  softening  the 
bitterness  of  oppression,  viz.,  faith  in  God  (Mishnah,  Pesachim  x.  3). 

^  The  bone  and  the  egg  are  symbols  of  two  dishes  that  used  in  the 
time  of  the  Temple  to  be  on  the  table  :  the  Passover  sacrifice  and  the 
festive  offering  called  n3''jn  ;  the  latter  was  added  when  the  company 
was  large  (ibid.  vi.  3,  and  B.  Talm.,  Pes.  114^). 


.382  '        THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

.editions    of    the    Haggadah    in    rhymed    Hebrew    as 

follows : — 

.  nvo  s^iD  .  yn^  T'Jd  .  yrv'  02-13  .  )*rni  tnp 

The  following  is  the  explanation  of  these  lines : — 

1.  {>>ip  Say  Kiddush.      See  above,  page  379. 

2.  |>m  "Wash,"  scil.,  your  hands. — Only  the  head 
of  the  family  does  so  at  this  part  of  the  Service.-^ 

3.  D213  "Vegetables."  A  piece  of  parsley  or  salad 
or  bitter  herb  is  dipped  in  salt  water,  and  eaten  after 
the  recitation  of  the  blessing  :  riDlxn  "na  Nin  ■ .  .  .  yr\2. 
"  Blessed  art  thou  .  .  .  who  hast  created  the  fruit  of 
the  ground."  ^ 

4.  yn''  "  He  divides."  Of  the  three  matsoth  before 
him,  the  head  of  the  family  breaks  the  middle  one, 
part  of  which  is  laid  aside,  to  be  eaten  at  the  end  of 
the  meal."  ^ 

5.  T'JD   "Relating,"'*  scil.,   the   history  of  the   de- 

^  The  eating  of  anything  dipped  in  water  or  in  any  other  liquid  was 
usually  preceded  by  the  washing  of  the  hands.  But  as  the  eating  (jf 
vegetables  at  this  point  is  not  obligatory,  the  reader  alone  washes  his 
bands,  but  without  reciting  the  blessing,  Q^-jt  n^'*t03  hV' 

-  See  p.  381,  note  i. 

^  Comp.  p.  380,  note  i.  The  part  laid  aside  is  called  afikuman,  a 
pame  of  which  many  curious  etymologies  have  been  suggested.  The 
meaning  is  clear  ;  it  is  that  which  is  eaten  just  before  the  table  is 
removed  (i^.  381,  note  i),  or  before  the  dishes  are  cleared  away  :  the 
dessert.  The  name  is  therefore  a  compound  of  two  Chaldaic  words, 
afiku-man,  "dish-remover,"  i.e.,  the  dessert  after  which  all  dishes  are 
removed  and  the  company  is  ready  for  Grace  (B.  T.  Pesachim  86a  Rashi). 

■*  The  term  is  derived  from  the  words  of  the  Pentateuch,  "132?  m^HI 
"  And  thou  shalt  tell  thy  son  "  (Exod.  xiii.  8).  Hence  also  the  name  of 
the  book  Haggadah. 


OUR  DUTIES.  333 

parture  from  Egypt.  The  reader,  pointing  to  the 
broken  nVD  before  him,  exclaims,  "  Such  was  the  bread 
of  poverty  which  our  forefathers*  ate  in  the  land  of 
Egypt ;  "  as  if  to  say,  "  We  are  all  alike  descendants  of 
those  who  ate  the  bread  of  poverty  in  Egypt."  In  the 
same  sense,  the  reader  continues,  "  We  all  alike  should 
rejoice  in  the  kindnesses  shown  by  the  Almighty 
to  our  nation,  and  all  alike  should  seek  and  find 
true  comfort  in  the  hope  of  the  Messianic  blessing  pro- 
mised by  Him  for  the  future."  ^  One  of  the  company, 
usually  the  youngest,  puts  to  the  reader  four  questions, 
as  formulated  in  the  paragraph  beginning  n3nc'3  no 
"  Why  is  different  ?  "  "  Additions  and  alterations 
may,  of  course,  be  made  by  the  inquirer  according 
to  his  knowledge  and  intellect.  The  object  of  these 
questions  is  to  obtain  an  explanation  of  the  rites  that 
distinguish  this  evening  from  others.  In  answer  to 
these  questions,  the  reader  refers  to  the  past  history  of 
Israel  in  three  different  forms,^  viz. : — 

(i.)  The  first  answer  begins,  lyn  onaj;,  "  We  were 

^  The  first  paragraph  is  not  an  invitation  sent  forth  to  those  whom 
it  cannot  reach,  but  an  appeal  to  those  present  to  join  heartily  in  the 
Service  and  the  succeeding  meal ;  that  none  should  feel  ashamed  of 
his  poverty,  none  elated  on  account  of  his  possessions  ;  all  having  been 
brethren  in  past  troubles,  and  in  the  deliverance  from  tiiem,  and  all 
destined  alike  to  share  in  the  glories  of  the  coming  redemption. 

-  The  questions  have  been  arranged  according  to  their  importance  ; 
otherwise  the  third  question  might  have  been  expected  first  (see  p.  381, 
noteji)-  The  expression  "dipping"  (^13to)  used  in  this  question 
merely  signifies";  "taking  some  relish,"  in  distinction  from  the  real 
and  solid  meal,  and  the  meaning  of  the  question  is,  "  Why  do  we 
to-night  partake  twice  of  the  vegetables  before  approaching  the  actual 
meal  ?     It  indicates  a  festive  supper.     What  is  the  reason  for  this  ? " 

^  The  three  different  forms  correspond  perhaps  to  the  three  characters 
or  ages  of  the  inquirers  :  the  ignorant,  the  simple,  and  the  sceptic  ; 


384  the:  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

slaves ; "  and  ends,  y:^^  D''nJ1»  "ITIDI  n^*D  ^"•ti'  nj;::'3 
"  When  unleavened  bread  and  bitter  herbs  lie  before 
thee."  Here  the  reader  restricts  himself,  without  any 
comment,  to  the  one  fact  that  our  forefathers  were  at 
first  slaves  in  Egypt,  and  were  then  delivered,  and 
illustrates  the  duty  of  speaking  that  night  more  fully 
concerning  the  departure  from  Egypt,  by  precedent,  by 
the  authority  of  the  Mishnah,  and  by  the  Midrashic 
interpretation  of  the  law  commanding  us  to  tell  our 
children  this  event. 

(2.)  The  second  form  of  the  answer  begins,  n^nno 
IJTllX  vn  mr  mny  'nny  "  Our  forefathers  were  at  first 
worshippers  of  idols,"  and  ends,  qto  13^''V»  "  delivers  us 
out  of  their  hand."  Here  the  exodus  from  Egypt  is 
described  as  the  fulfilment  of  the  promise  made  by  God 
to  Abraham,  that  his  descendants  would  be  delivered 
out  of  the  hands  of  their  oppressors. 

(3.)  The  passage  from  Deut.  xxvi.  5-8  is  recited 
with  its  Midrashic  interpretations,^  and  in  conclusion 
all  the   benefits  received  by   the  Israelites    from    the 

whilst  the  answer  to  the  wise  has  not  been  formulated,  but  depends 
on  his  question,  and  the  capacity  of  the  father  to  instruct  him.  It 
is  only  the  general  question  as  to  the  difference  between  the  Seder- 
evening  and  other  evenings  that  is  answered  in  these  three  forms. 
Each  of  these  forms  was  probably  followed  by  the  explanation  of 
Pesach,  Matsah,  and  Maror. 

^  The  Midrashic  comparison  of  "finger  of  God"  to  "His  hand"' 
and  the  multiplication  of  the  number  of  plagues  must  not  be  under- 
stood as  intended  to  gratify  our  feeling  of  revenge,  but  merely  as  ;i 
simple  and  child-like  illustration  of  the  greatness  of  the  Divine  Power 
displayed  on  those  occasions. — Rabbi  Jehudah,  probably  from  a  feel 
ing  of  tender  sympathies  with  the  sufferers,  would  not  mention  even 
the  full  names  of  the  plagues,  but  merely  indicated  them  by  initial 
letters. 


OUR  DUTIES.  385 

departure  from  Egypt  till  the  building  of  the  Temple 
are  enumerated,  and  our  duty  of  gratitude  is  shown. 

In  all  these  three  forms  no  notice  has  been  taken 
of  the  particular  questions.  Rabban  Gamaliel  insists 
that  this  should  be  done,  and  a  section  is  therefore 
added,  containing  the  explanation  why  the  Passover- 
offering,  the  unleavened  bread,  and  the  bitter  herbs 
were  to  be  eaten;  this,  like  the  three  other  sections, 
concludes  with  the  emphatic  declaration  that  we — after 
so  many  generations — are  still  bound  to  praise  and  to 
thank  God  for  the  benefits  bestowed  upon  our  nation 
so  long  ago.  Hereupon  follows  the  Mallei,  of  which 
the  first  two  paragraphs,  containing  special  reference 
to  the  departure  from  Egypt,  are  sung  before  supper ; 
the  first  part  of  the  Seder-Service  concludes  with  a 
blessing,  in  which  we  praise  God  for  our  past  deliver- 
ance and  pray  for  the  approach  of  our  future  redemption. 

6.  ^m  "  Washing."  All  those  who  partake  of  the 
meal  wash  their  hands,  as  is  ordinarily  done  before  meals. 

7.  n^'D  N"^*10.  Two  pieces  of  n\*D  are  taken  ;  one  piece, 
broken  off  the  whole  cake,  representing  the  bread  eaten 
at  ordinary  meals  for  j^^^id,  and  the  other  piece  taken 
from  the  broken  one,  representing  the  n^*D  we  are 
commanded  to  eat  on  the  Seder-night.  Before  eating 
the  two  pieces  two  blessings  are  recited  .  .  .  -jna 
]'^iin  p  nrh  N'^^non  "  Blessed  art  thou  ,  .  .  who  bringest 
forth  bread  from  the  earth,"  and  .  .  .  i3c>np  nc'X  .  •  •  ']T)2 
nVD  rh''2ii  bv  "  Blessed  art  thou  .  .  .  who  hast  sanc- 
tified us  by  Thy  commandments  and  hast  commanded 
us  to  eat  T]"^}::)"  ^ 

^  It  seems  that  in  the  time  of  the  Talmud  the  one  piece  was  eaten 
after  the  first  blessing,  and  the  other  after  the  second.     As,  therefore, 

2  B 


386  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

8.  -|>n»  "  Bitter  herb."  Bitter  herbs  dipped  in 
charoseth  are  eaten,  after  the  following  blessing  has 
been  recited  Tno  n^^3N  ^J?  .  •  •  "limp  nCN  .  .  •  inn 
"  Blessed  art  thou  .  .  .  who  hast  sanctified  us  by  thy 
commandments  and  hast  commanded  us  to  eat  bitter 
herbs." 

9.  "|"TiD  "  Combining ;  "  sciL,  unleavened  bread  and 
bitter  herbs  ;  these  are  eaten  together,  just  as  formerly, 
in  the  time  of  the  Temple,  Hillel  used  to  eat  together 
meat  of  the  Passover-offering,  unleavened  bread,  and 
bitter  herbs  (Esod.  xii.  8  ;   Num.  ix.  1 1 ). 

10.  ^-iij?  jn^tr  "Table  laid."  The  evening  meal  is 
taken. 

1 1.  jlS^*  "  Laid  aside."  The  meal  is  concluded  with 
a  piece  of  the  half  matsah  that  has  been  laid  aside  at 
the  beginning  of  the  Service.  It  is  called  afikuman, 
"  dessert."  -^ 

the  partaking  of  matsah  has  taken  place  before  the  second  blessing, 
the  formula  nVD  n?^3X  ?^  is  used  (see  p.  329,  note  2).  The  same 
is  the  case  with  regard  to  the  blessing  before  "  eating  bitter  herbs,"  as 
it  was  not  contrary  to  usage  to  partake  of  bitter  herbs  instead  of 
Icarpas  at  the  beginning  of  the  Service. 

1  The  ajikiiman  has  been  reserved  wrapped  in  a  napkin  (reminding 
of  Exod.  xii.  34),  in  order  that  the  meal  should  finish  up  with  matsah, 
just  as  in  the  time  of  the  Temple  it  finished  up  with  meat  of  the  Pass- 
over-sacrifice.— In  the  Talmud  (Pes.  lOQrt)  the  rule  is  given  pSt3lm 
nVO  "We  make  haste  to  come  quickly  to  the  eating  of  matsah,"  before 
the  younger  members  of  the  company  become  drowsy  or  fall  asleep. 
The  words  HVO  TDtDim  have  erroneously  been  interpreted,  "  We 
should  snatch  away  the  matsah,"  and  this  interpretation  caused  the 
Service  to  be  accompanied  by  a  certain  kind  of  childish  amusement : 
some  one  of  the  company  stealthily  possesses  himself  of  the  matsah  laid 
aside  for  ajikuman,  and  does  not  surrender  it  until  the  master  of  the 
house  promises  him  some  present. — The  custom  is  unseemly  and  ought 
to  be  discouraged. 


OUR  DUTIES.  387 

12.  "inn  "Say  grace."  ^ 

13.  ^^n  ''  HalleL"— The  rest  of  Halld  is  sung,  fol- 
lowed by  Ps.  cxxxvi.,  and  the  whole  of  riKDC'J  with  the 
concluding  blessing. — The  fourth  cup  of  wine  is 
then  taken,  and  the  usual  prayer  after  the  partaking 
of  wine  is  recited, 

14.  n^"iJ    "Completed."-  —  The    Seder-Service    is 

^  After  Grace  a  few  verses  from  the  Bible  (Ps.  Ixxix.  6,  7,  and  Lam. 
iii.  66)  have  been  added,  beginning  "in?On  *]SC'  and  containing  a 
praj'er  for  God's  wrath  to  be  poured  forth  over  the  godless  people 
who  seek  the  destruction  of  Israel.  The  cause  of  the  addition  is  this  : 
The  season  of  Passover  was,  in  the  Middle  Ages,  a  season  of  constant 
terror  and  danger  to  the  Jews,  because  of  the  hostilities  of  their  Chris- 
tian neighbours  against  them.  Helpless  and  defenceless,  the  Jews 
had  no  other  way  of  meeting  their  foe  than  to  cry  to  Him  "  who  is 
near  to  all  who  call  upon  Him  in  truth."  The  conduct  of  their  neigh- 
bours towards  them  hardly  suggested  thoughts  of  love,  especially  at 
that  moment.  For  it  frequently  happened  that  several  families  met 
in  one  house  for  the  purpose  of  hearing  the  Seder-Service.  They 
dispersed  after  the  first  part  of  the  Service,  took  their  meals  at  home, 
and  assembled  later  in  the  evening  for  the  second  part  of  the  Seder. 
Sometimes  another  course  was  taken.  One  person  read  the  Service  in 
several  houses  consecutively  for  the  benefit  of  those  who  were  not 
capable  of  doing  so  for  themselves  ;  then,  after  having  had  his  meal, 
he  began  his  circuit  again  for  reading  the  second  part  of  the  Service. 
The  return  of  the  Keader  or  of  the  several  families  was  anxiously 
waited  for.  Tlie  opening  of  the  door  before  "jntDH  "JSti',  at  present 
meaningless,  had  its  origin  in  this  circumstance.  On  returning  to  the 
second  part  of  the  Service,  the  guests  had  too  often  a  sad  tale  to  tell 
of  their  experiences  in  the  street,  and  filled  with  indignation,  they  gave 
expression  to  their  feeling  in  the  above  verses.  We  continue  to  read 
these  verses  now,  but  in  a  different  spirit.  We  live  in  peace  with  our 
neighbours,  protected  by  the  laws  of  the  country  and  unmolested  iu 
the  performance  of  our  religious  duties.  We  have  nothing  but  feelings 
and  thoughts  of  love  for  our  fellow-men,  and  in  reciting  these  verses 
we  merely  condemn  the  wickedness  of  those  who  seek  the  destruction 
of  the  people  of  the  Lord.  Our  Christian  neighbours  may  certainly 
join  us  in  this  condemnation. 

-  Comp.  Isa.  xl.  2. 


388  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

completed  ;  it  concludes  with  a  prayer  for  the  re- 
building of  the  Temple  and  the  restoration  of  Israel 
to  Zion.  The  prayer  seems  to  have  been  originally 
the  conclusion  of  a  Piyyut  or  liturgical  poem  on  the 
Passover  Sacrifice. 

The  Haggadah  contains,  besides,  several  hymns  and 
songs,  of  which  the  following  are  found  in  the  ordinary 
editions  of  the  work  : — 

1 .  Tb'hT\  ''^'na  TT'"!  "  And  it  was  in  the  middle  of  the 
night.''  The  author  reflects  on  the  various  marvellous 
events  in  our  history  that  happened  in  the  night-time. 

2.  nOD  nar  Dmoxi  "And  ye  shall  say,  It  is  a  sacri- 
fice of  Passover."  A  song  referrinor  to  wonderful 
events  which,  according  to  Tradition,  took  place  on 
Passover. 

3.  n>5J  "h  "'3  "  To  him  praise  is  seemly."  A  praise 
of  God  as  the  only  Being  worthy  to  be  called  King 
and  Ruler. 

4.  i^in  "i"''nx  "  He  is  mighty."  A  praise  of  God,  and 
an  expression  of  hope  that  He  will  soon  rebuild  the 
Temple. 

5.  J?Ti'' •'D  inx  "One,  who  knows?"  A  popular 
song  enumerating  persons  and  objects  in  Jewish  His- 
tory and  Tradition,  as  well  as  in  Nature  according  to 
numbers  up  to  thirteen,  with  the  object  of  emphasising 
the  Unity  of  God. 

6.  N''nJ  in  "  One  kid."  A  popular  song  that  illus- 
trates the  working  of  Divine  Justice  in  the  history  of 
mankind. 

Passover  as  an  agricultural  feast  was  kept  "  in  the 
season  of  the  month  of  ripeness "  (n"'3Nn   \y^n  njn»^), 


OUR  DUTIES.  3S9 

when  the  barley  sown  in  the  winter  had  become  ripe. 
On  the  second  day  of  Passover  an  offering  was  brought 
of  "  the  beginning  of  the  harvest ;  "  it  consisted  of  an 
omer  ^  of  barley  (Lev.  xxiii.  9  sqq.).  Before  this  offer- 
ing was  presented  it  was  not  allowed  to  eat  of  the  new 
corn  (ibid.  14). 

From  the  bringing  of  the  Omer  to  "  the  harvest 
feast"  the  days  are  counted,  viz.,  forty-nine  days,  and 
the  fiftieth  day  is  the  feast  of  harvest  ("I'Vpn  jn),  or 
"  the  day  of  the  first-fruit  offering  "  (Dmsnn  DV). 

The  counting  commences  on  the  second  evening.  It 
is  done  either  immediately  after  Maarib,  or  later  on 
during  the  Seder-Service ;  it  is  preceded  by  the  follow- 
ing blessing :  loiyn  m^DD  hv  •  -  -  iJtJ'np  nc'x  .  .  .  yn^ 
"  Blessed  art  thou  .  .  .  who  hast  sanctified  us  by  thy 
commandments  and  hast  commanded  us  ...  to  count 
the  days  of  the  Omer."  The  following  is  the  way  of 
counting :  '\yy\)h  •  .  •  DV  DiTi  "  This  day  is  the  first 
day  since  the  Omer."  From  seven  upward  the  number 
of  weeks  is  likewise  expressed,^  .  .  .  one'  •  •  .  DV  DVn 
"iDiy^  .  .  .  nijnntJ'  "This  day  completes  .  .  .  that  is 
.    .   .   weeks   .   .    .   since  the  offering  of  the  Omer." 

The  celebration  of  Passover  serves  to  inculcate  into 
our  hearts  the  first  principle  of  our  faith  :  the  exist- 
ence of  God,  the  Supreme  Being  who  rules  the  whole 
universe,  in  whose  hand  are  the  destinies  of  kings 
and  peoples,  whose  power  was  recognised  by  the 
Egyptians  when    they  were    punished  for  their  mis- 

^  An  omer  is,  according  to  Tradition,  equal  to  the  space  occupied 
by  43i  eggs  of  ordinary  size  ;  it  is  about  half  a  gallon. 
2  Or  .  .  .  Ur\^  "lOy^  .  .  .  DIM  (Portug.  Ritual). 


390  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

deeds,  and  'whose  might  was  seen  by  the  Israelites 
when  He  divided  the  Red  Sea  for  them,  and  fulfilled 
the  Divine  promise  made  to  the  patriarchs,  Abraham, 
Isaac,  and  Jacob. 

The  season  of  Passover,  in  which  we  celebrate  our 
liberation  from  earthly  taskmasters,  is  called  liniin  pT 
"  The  season  of  our  freedom."  The  deliverance  from 
Egypt,  the  first  step  leading  to  the  fulfilment  of  the 
promise,  '■  And  I  will  take  you  unto  me  for  a  people," 
has  been  poetically  conceived  as  the  betrothal  of  Israel 
to  God,  and  in  the  Piyyut  for  Passover  ample  use  has 
been  made  of  this  idea.  It  has  further  found  expres- 
sion in  the  custom  of  reading  the  Song  of  Solomon  ou 
the  first  Sabbath  after  the  first  two  days  of  Passover, 
and  by  some  also  on  the  Seder- evening  after  the  con- 
clusion of  the  ordinary  Service. 

The  Service  is,  in  general  outline,  the  same  as  on 
Sabbath.  It  consists  of  3faarih,  Shacharith,  Ihisaph, 
and  Minchah.  The  Morning- Service  includes  Hallel, 
the  reading  of  the  Law,  and  Lessons  from  the  Prophets 
(minn  nx'np  and  mosn)-  The  following  sections,  con- 
taining description  of,  or  reference  to,  Passover  or  to  the 
departure  from  Egypt,  are  read  consecutively  on  the 
eight  days:  Exod.  xii.  21—51,  on  the  Passover  cele- 
brated by  the  Israelites  in  Egypt ;  Lev.  xxii.  26  to  xxiii, 
44,  on  "the  seasons  of  the  Lord;"  Exod.  xiii.,  xxii. 
24  to  xxiii.  19,  andxxxiv.  1—26:  Num.  ix.  i  — 14,  on 
the  second  Passover;  Exod.  xiii.  17— xv.  26,  the 
crossing  of  the  Red  Sea;  Deut.  xv.  19  (on  Sabbath, 
xiv.  22)  to  xvi.  17  contains  laws  referring  to  the 
three  Festivals.  On  Sahhath  chol-ha-mo'ed,  Exod. 
xxxiii.  I  2  to  xxxiv.  26. — In  addition  to  these  sections 


I 


OUR  DUTIES.  391 

verses  from  Num.  ssviii.— xxix.,  referring  to  the  sacri- 
fices prescribed  for  each  day  of  the  Festival,  are  read 
from  a  second  sefer. 

The  Lessons  from  the  Prophets  are  the  following  : — 
Josh.  V.  (preceded  in  the  German  Kitual  by  iii.  5—7), 
on  the  first  Passover  kept  by  the  Israelites  in  Pales- 
tine ;  2  Kings  xxiii.  1—9  and  21— 2 5,  on  the  Pass- 
over celebrated  in  the  days  of  King  Josiah  ;  2  Sam. 
xxii.,  the  song  of  David  after  deliverance  from  his 
enemies,  a  parallel  to  the  Song  of  Moses ;  Isa.  x. 
32— xii.,  on  the  defeat  of  Sennacherib,  and  the  bless- 
ings of  the  Messianic  days.  According  to  Tradition 
the  defeat  of  Sennacherib  took  place  on  Passover ; 
moreover,  the  celebration  of  the  deliverance  from 
Egypt  suggests  the  reflection  on  the  final  Redemption 
of  Israel.  The  Lesson  from  the  Prophets  chosen  for 
Sahhath  cliol-ha-moed  is  taken  from  Ez.  xxxvi.  I  — 14. 
The  prophet  sees  in  a  vision  how  the  dry  bones  of  the 
dead  are  awakened  to  fresh  life  by  the  Will  and  the 
Spirit  of  the  Lord :  a  precious  lesson  for  us,  designed 
to  strengthen  our  hope  of  a  revival  of  every  good 
and  noble  idea,  though  for  the  present  it  be  dormant 
within  us.  Nature  around  us  awakening  to  fresh  life 
in  the  spring  supplies  a  parallel  to  the  vision  of 
Hezekiel. 

The  MacTizor  (lit.  Cycle)  or  Prayer-book  for  the  Holy- 
days  contains  numerous  additions  to  the  ordinary  prayers. 
They  are  called  Piyyutim,  and  vary  according  to  the 
custom  and  the  taste  of  the  congregation.  The  Piyyut 
added  in  the  second  paragraph  of  the  Musaph-amidah  on 
the  first  day  of  Passover  is  called  ted,  "  dew,"  or  prayer 
for  dew ;  the  rain  season  having  come  to  an  end,  we 


393  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

pray  that  the  vegetation  may,  during  the  hot  season,  be 
refreshed  by  the  regular  descent  of  the  dew.  The  praise 
for  "  sending  down  rain  "  in  the  same  paragraph,  viz., 
Lill'in  miDI  nnn  n''t^lo,  "  Thou  causest  the  wind  to  blow 
and  the  rain  to  fall,"  is  discontinued  after  the  shacharith 
prayer  of  the  first  day  of  Passover.  In  the  Portuguese 
Ritual  the  words  ^tDn  nniD,  "  Thou  causest  the  dew  to 
fall,"  are  introduced  instead. 

Similarly,  there  is  an  additional  prayer  for  rain 
(n:yi)  in  the  Musaf  of  Shemini-atsereth.  The  time 
chosen  for  these  prayers  is  in  accordance  with  the 
meteorological  conditions  of  Palestine.  This  custom, 
however,  does  not  exclude  the  addition  of  prayers  for 
rain  or  dew,  according  to  the  needs  of  the  country  in 
which  we  live. 

The  Days  of  the  Counting  of  the  Omcr,  riTDDn  ''O'* 

The  period  from  Passover  to  the  Feast  of  Weeks 
is  full  of  sad  memories  of  massacres  of  Jews  that 
took  place  in  the  days  of  the  Crusades ;  also  of  the 
miseries  that  befell  the  Jews  in  Palestine  in  the  days 
of  the  Emperor  Hadrian.  During  the  month  of  lyar, 
the  Jews  abstain  from  rejoicings  and  weddings,^  with 
the  exception  of  the  1 8th  of  the  month,  which  is  the 
33rd  of  the  Omer,  because,  according  to  Tradition,  a 
plague  that  had  raged  among  the  disciples  of  Rabbi 
Akiba  ceased  on  that  day.  The  i  8th  of  lyar,  "iniya  yb 
is  therefore  called  "  the  scholars'  festival." 

^  As  the  month  of  lyar  corresponds  to  some  extent  to  May,  some 
assert,  without  foundation,  that  the  Jews  hold  no  weddings  this  month, 
because  May  is  held  by  non- Jews  to  be  an  unlucky  season  for  marriages. 
Jews  who  refuse  to  celebrate  marriages  in  May  for  this  reason  are 
guilty  of  gross  superstition. 


OUR  DUTIES.  393 

The  Feast  of  Weeks,  n1yn:^' 

The  Feast  of  Weeks  is  celebrated  on  the  fiftieth  day  ^ 
of  the  Omer  (Lev.  xxiii.  l6);  i.e.,  the  6th  of  Sivan. 
It  is,  in  the  first  place,  "  the  feast  of  harvest,"  "i"'^*pn  an 
(Exod.  xxiii.  i6),  especially  of  the  wheat,  and  "the 
day  of  the  first-fruit  offering,"  D''"n32n  D1''  (Num.  xxviii. 
26).  The  first  sacrifice  of  the  new  corn  was  offered  : 
"  the  bread  of  the  first-fruit,"  which  was  to  serve  as 
an  expression  of  gratitude  for  the  blessing  of  the 
harvest.  In  the  absence  of  sacrifices  in  our  days,  the 
custom  widely  prevails  of  adorning  the  Synagogue  and 
the  home  with  plants  and  flowers,  in  order  that  the 
sight  of  these  beautiful  objects  might  awaken  and 
strengthen  feelings  of  gratitude  toward  the  Almighty 
for  His  loving-kindness.  Each  one  of  the  plants  and 
flowers  reveals  a  special  form  of  the  Creator's  wisdom, 
power,  and  goodness. — The  feast  is  called  Feast  of 
Weeks,  niyn'J'n  in  (Deut.  xvi.  10),  on  account  of  the 
completion  of  the  seven  weeks  counted  from  the  day  of 
the  Omer. 

The  Feast  of  Weeks,  the  6th  and  the  7th  of  Sivan, 
commemorates  also  an  historical  event :  the  Law- 
giving on  Mount  Sinai.  It  is  therefore  called  "  the 
season  of  the  giving  of  our  Law,"  i:min  |nD  }DT. 

As  Passover  has  been  poetically  called  the  day  of 
Israel's  betrothal  to  God,  the   Feast  of  Weeks  would 

^  Accordinfj  to  the  traditional  interpretation  of  n^t^•^  mPIDD 
"from  the  morrow  after  the  Sabbath,"  the  term  "Sabbath"  signifies 
"day  of  rest"  or  "festival,"  and  refers  to  the  first  day  of  Passover 
(comp.  Lev.  xxiii.  32).  The  Sadducees,  and  afterwards  the  Karaites, 
contested  the  correctness  of  this  interpretation,  but  without  success 
(see  Babyl.  Tahn.,  Menachoth  65  ;  and  Ibn  Ezra  on  Lev.  xxiii.  15). 


394  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

correspond  to  the  wedding-day,  and  the  counting  of 
the  Omer  does  thus  not  only  connect  two  harvest- 
feasts,  but  represents  the  longing  of  the  bride  for  the 
day  of  her  complete  happiness  ;  i.e.,  the  looging  of  the 
Israelites  for  the  Divine  Revelation,  which  was  ^  to 
complete  the  work  of  their  deliverance  from  Egypt. 

The  celebration  of  the  Feast  of  Weeks  thus  involves 
the  second  principle  of  our  faith  :  Qintrn  |0  min  "  The 
belief  in  the  Divine  origin  of  the  Law,"  or  "  Divine 
Kevelation." 

On  the  first  day  we  read  Exod.  xix.— xx.,  the  account 
of  the  Law-giving  on  Mount  Sinai,  and  Ez.  i.,  the 
first  vision  of  the  prophet  Ezekiel,  in  which  the  glory 
of  God  is  revealed  to  him.  On  the  second  day  Deut. 
XV.  19  (on  Sabbath,  xiv.  22)  to  xvi.  17  ;  and  Hab. 
iii.,  "  the  prayer  of  Habakkuk,"  in  reference  to  God's 
Revelation  as  the  Ruler  of  the  universe. — There  is 
also  the  custom  to  read  the  Book  of  Ruth,  which  con- 
tains the  account  of  Ruth's  embracing  the  true  faith, 
and  a  description  of  the  harvest  and  the  treatment  of 
the  poor  in  the  harvest-season. 

There  is  a  custom  among  some  of  our  brethren 
to  employ  the  first  night  of  the  Feast  in  preparing 
themselves  for  the  coming  celebration  of  the  giving  of 
the  Law.  The  greater  part  of  the  night  is  spent  in 
reading  passages  from  the  Scriptures  and  from  the 
Talmudical  books. ^  The  custom  has  its  basis  in  the 
preparation  commanded  by  God  to  be  made  during 
'*  the  three  days  of  bordering"  (n^3jn  ""tt^  r\:^h^)  which 
preceded  the  Law-giving  (Exod.  xix.  10-12). 

^  The  collection  of  these  passages  is  called  myi^B'  ? v?  |1pn.  A 
similar  collection  for  the  seventh  night  of  Tabernacles  is  called 
Nm  NJyj^'in  h'h^  }ipn-     See  p.  398,  note  I. 


OUR  DUTIES.  395 

The  Feast  of  Tahcrnaclcs,  niDD 

''  The  fifteenth  day  of  this  seventh  month  (Tishri) 
shall  be  the  Feast  of  Tabernacles  (niDD)  for  seven 
days  unto  the  Lord"  (Lev.  xxiii.  34).  The  name  has 
its  explanation  in  the  commandment,  "  Ye  shall  dwell 
in  booths  seven  days"  (ibid.  42);  "that  your  genera- 
tions may  know  that  I  made  the  children  of  Israel 
to  dwell  in  booths,  when  I  brought  them  out  of  the 
land  of  Egypt"  (ver.  43).  We  are  thus  commanded 
to  commemorate  the  travelling  of  the  Israelites  through 
the  wilderness.  They  dwelt  in  tents,  that  gave  them 
shelter  to  some  extent ;  but  without  the  Divine  pro- 
tection this  shelter  would  have  pi'oved  insufficient.  Of 
this  twofold  shelter  and  protection  we  are  reminded  by 
the  tabernacle  in  which  the  Law  commands  us  to  dwell 
during  the  Festival. 

In  fulfilment  of  this  commandment  we  make  booths 
(ni3D).  The  chief  difierence  between  a  booth  and 
an  ordinary  house  consists  in  the  mode  and  in  the 
material  employed  for  roofing  the  two  structures.  For 
the  succah  must  not  be  covered  with  fixed  boards  and 
beams  or  with  canvas,  but  with  detached  branches  of 
trees,  plants,  flowers,  and  leaves,  in  such  a  manner 
that  the  covering  is  not  quite  impenetrable  to  wind 
and  rain,  or  starlight.  During  the  Festival  the  succah 
is  our  dwelling-house,  in  which  we  take  our  meals, 
study,  receive  our  friends,  and,  if  possible,  enjoy  rest 
and  sleep.  If,  on  account  of  the  severity  of  the 
climate,  the  constant  dwelling  in  the  succah  threatens 
to  prove  injurious  to  our  health,  we  content  ourselves 
with  taking  our  meals  in  the  succah.     Before  each  meal 


396  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

we  recite  the  blessing  n31D2  ^li^'h  .  .  .  IJK'np  le'K  .  .  .  "[Ml 
"  Blessed  art  thou  .  .  .  who  hast  sanctified  us  by  thy 
commandments  and  hast  commanded  us  to  dwell  in 
the  booth."  The  first  time  we  are  in  the  succah  we 
add  the  blessing,  l^^nn^J'  (p.  358). 

The  Festival  is,  secondly,  called  "  the  Feast  of 
Ingathering,"  f|"'DSn  jn.  The  produce  of  the  fields  and 
gardens  have  been  gathered  in,  and  the  people  rejoice 
before  the  Lord  in  gratitude  for  the  blessings  which 
He  has  granted  to  them.  "  And  ye  shall  take  unto 
you  on  the  first  day  the  fruit  of  the  goodly  tree, 
branches  of  palm-trees,  and  boughs  of  thick-leaved 
trees,  and  willows  of  the  brook ;  and  ye  shall  rejoice 
before  the  Lord  your  God  seven  days"  (Lev.  xxiii. 
40).  In  accordance  with  the  traditional  interpre- 
tation of  this  verse,  we  take  four  kinds  of  plants 
(|''3''D  nymx),  viz.,  iiiriN  "  the  citron  ;  "  2^1^,  "  a  branch 
of  the  palm-tree  ;  "  D''Dnn,  three  "  myrtle  branches  ;  " 
and  nmy,  two  "  branches  of  the  willow."  According 
to  a  Midrashic  interpretation,  they  represent  four 
different  types  of  plants,  that  which  has  a  pleasant 
fragrance  and  a  beautiful  form  (esrog)  ;  the  beautiful  in 
form,  but  without  fragrance  (lulabli)  ;  that  which  smells 
pleasantly,  but  is  inferior  in  form  (Jiadassim)  ;  and  that 
which  has  neither  a  goodly  form  nor  an  agreeable 
fragrance  (arahhotJi),  as  if  to  say  that  we  are  thankful  to 
God  for  all  that  He  has  given  us,  although  to  our  mind 
some  of  these  seem  imperfect  in  comparison  with  others. 

In  obedience  to  this  commandment  we  take,  every 
day  of  Succoth  except  Saturday,^  the  above  four  kinds 

*  On  Sabbath  the  luldbh  is  not  taken,  because  it  might  be  necessary 
to  carry  it  from  place  to  place  through  the  street  (D"'3"in  HIE'")),  and 


OUR  DUTIES.  397 

into  our  hands,  hold  them  during  the  recitation  of  the 
Hallel,  and  make  with  them  a  procession  round  the 
Synagogue/  while  singing  the  hymns  called  hosha- 
anoth  (so  called  on  account  of  the  repeated  occurrence 
of  the  word  hoshaanah  in  them). 

Before  taking  the  arhaah  tninim  into  our  hands  we 
say  the  following  blessing :  .  .  .  "liC'np  "iC'X  .  .  .  "jTia 
2'?'!^  n^^D3  hv  "  Blessed  art  thou  .  .  .  who  hast  sanc- 
tified us  by  thy  commandments  and  hast  commanded 
us  to  take  the  lulahh." "  On  the  first  day  "irnnt'  is 
added. 

Succoth  lasts  seven  days,  the  last  five  days  being 
half  Holy-days,  njJitDn  ^in.  The  seventh  day  is  called 
Hoshaana-rahha,  because  on  that  day  many  prayers 
beginning  with  hoshaana  are  offered  up,   during  the 

this  is  forbidden  (see  Mishnah,  Shabbath  i.  I  and  vii.  2).  For  the  same 
reason  the  shofar  is  not  blown  on  the  first  day  of  New-year,  if  it  happens 
to  fall  on  Saturday.  In  the  Temple,  however,  there  was  no  occasion 
for  the  above  apprehension  ;  the  lulabh  was  therefore  taken  and  the 
shofar  was  blown  on  Sabbath  (Mishnah,  Succah  iv.  i,  and  Rosh  ha- 
.shanali  iv.  i). 

^  In  the  Temple  willow-branches  were  placed  round  the  altar,  the 
shofar  was  blown,  and  the  priests  made  then  a  circuit  round  the  altar, 
with  the  lulahli  in  their  hands,  and  singing  part  of  Hallel. — The  hosha- 
anoth  refer  chiefly  to  the  redemption  of  Israel  and  the  rebuilding  of  the 
Temple. — The  circuit  round  the  altar  reminds  us  of  the  taking  of 
Jericho,  and  strengthens  our  hope  that  in  future  also  the  Almighty 
will  be  with  us,  and  help  us  through  all  difficulties  to  ultimate 
victory. 

-  The  lulahh  alone  is  mentioned  in  the  blessing,  because  it  is  the 
most  prominent,  and  the  other  three  species  seem  to  be  its  appendages. 
— The  form  n?^t3J  7V  is  explained  by  the  fact  that  we  generally  hold 
the  four  species  in  our  hand,  and  thus  commence  the  mitsiah,  before 
the  berachah  (see  p.  329,  note  2). — The  three  species,  palm-branch, 
myrtle,  and  willow,  are  usually  bound  together  by  means  of  leaves 
of  the  palm-tree.  Some  used  to  add  golden  bands  to  these  leaves 
(Mishnah,  Succah  iii.  8). 


39S  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

chanting  of  which  seven  processions  round  the  Syna- 
gogue are  made.-^ 

The  Feast  of  Tabernacles  is  closely  followed  by  "  the 
feast  of  the  eighth  day,"  mw  ^rnK^,"  which,  like  all 
other  Festivals,  is  kept  two  days.  The  second  day  is, 
in   addition,  called  "  Rejoicing  of  the  Law,"  min  nriDty 

^  Mishnah,  Succah  iv.  5. — In  the  Temple  the  shofar  was  sounded 
during  the  priests'  circuit  round  the  altar.  A  similar  custom  exists  in 
the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  Synagogues  on  Hoshaana-rahha. — Tradition 
attributed  great  importance  to  the  Morning  Service  on  U oshaana-rabha, 
and  made  it  a  kind  of  sequel  to  the  Service  on  the  "Solemn  Days,"  as 
if  to  give  another  opportunity  of  repentance  to  those  who  had  not 
made  full  use  of  the  means  of  grace  afforded  by  the  Day  of  Atonement, 
before  the  final  sentence  (H^ID  nO^nn  HOJ)  is  pronounced.  The  pre- 
ceding evening   is  therefore    spent   by    many   in  devotional  exercises 

(xm  xjy'j'in  h'hh  ppn)-    Comp.  p.  394. 

It  is  an  old  custom  to  take  a  few  extra  twigs  of  the  willow-tree  on 
this  day  and  keep  them  in  one's  hand  during  the  chanting  of  the 
hoshaanoth.  These  branches,  when  shaken  or  struck,  lose  their  leaves 
one  after  the  other  ;  so  do  the  trees  from  which  the  branches  have  been 
cut,  and  so  also  all  other  trees.  But  the  rain  and  heat  sent  by  God  in 
due  time  give  them  fresh  life,  and  they  produce  new  leaves.  A  similar 
experience  is  ours.  The  struggle  for  life  reduces  our  strength  and 
weakens  our  health  ;  cares  and  troubles  discourage  us.  But  faith  in 
God  and  trust  in  His  Providence  renew  our  strength  ;  our  health 
improves,  our  cares  and  troubles  are  diminished,  and  we  feel  ourselves 
restored  to  fresh  life. 

"  Lit.  "the  eighth  day,  a  festival." — A  prayer  for  rain  (DfJ)  is  in- 
serted in  the  jl/usa/-Service,  and  corresponds  to  the  pi-ayer  for  dew  on 
the  first  day  of  Passover  ;  for  fine  weather  we  pray  on  the  first  day  of 
the  Festival,  for  rain  on  the  eighth  day.  From  Shemini-utsereth  to  the 
Musafoi  the  first  day  of  Passover  the  words  CCi'JH  imai  nnn  3''tJ'D 
"Thou  causest  the  wind  to  blow  and  the  rain  to  fall,"  are  inserted  in 
the  second  paragraph  of  the  Amidah.  The  words  do  not  contain  a 
direct  prayer  for  rain,  but  a  praise  of  Him  who  causes  the  rain  to  fall 
(□^Ctrj  nilUJ),  whilst  the  daily  direct  prayer  for  rain  ("lODI  ^D  |ni 
"Give  dew  and  rain")  begins  about  two  months  later, — the  time  when 
the  pilgrims  that  had  come  from  distant  countries  to  Jerusalem  to  the 
J'estival  were  assumed  to  have  reached  their  homes. 


OUR  DUTIES.  399 

because  on  this  day  the  reading  of  the  Pentateuch  is 
completed  and  recommenced. 

The  nine  days  of  the  Festival  are  called  i^nno:;'  JOT 
"  The  season  of  our  rejoicing,"  and  it  is  the  third 
principle  of  our  faith,  the  belief  in  Divine  Providence, 
that  this  Festival  impresses  on  our  hearts.  On  the 
one  hand,  we  have  the  rejoicing  and  the  four  species  of 
plants  as  proofs  and  tokens  of  Divine  blessing  ;  and,  on 
the  other  hand,  the  sitccah  is  a  symbol  of  human  frail- 
ties and  imperfections.  Thus,  in  all  our  rejoicings  we 
should  remember  that  our  abode  on  earth  is  not  per- 
manent, and  that  all  earthly  happiness  is  like  the  plants 
that  easily  fade  away.  In  order  to  impress  this  idea 
on  our  mind,  we  read  the  book  of  Koheleth  on  Sahhath 
clwl-ha-moed  or  on  Shcmini-atsereth. 

The  following  portions  are  read  from  the  Pentateuch  : 
Lev.  xxii.  26  to  xxiii.  44  ^  (on  the  first  two  days)  ; 
Exod.  xxxiii.  i  2  to  xxxiv.  26  (on  Sabhaih  chol-ha-moed); 
Deut.  xiv.  22  to  xvi,  7  (on  the  eighth  day)  ;  Deut. 
xxxiii.  to  end  of  Pentateuch  ;  and  Gen.  i.  i  to  ii.  3 
(on  Simchath  Torah).  In  addition,  the  paragraph  of 
the  sacrifices  of  the  day  (Num.  xxix.    12—39)  is  read 

^  It  has  always  been  considered  a  special  mitsvah  and  lionour  to 
be  called  to  the  reading  either  of  the  last  or  of  the  first  section  of  the 
Pentateuch.  Those  on  whom  this  honour  is  conferred  are  called  re- 
spectively nmn  iJin  "  Bridegroom  of  the  Law,"  and  n''L*'N^3  |nn 
"Bridegroom  of  the  first  section  of  the  Law."  In  the  rejoicing  with 
the  Law  special  efforts  are  made  to  induce  the  younger  members  of  the 
congregation  to  take  part.  They  are  usually  invited  to  join  the  pro- 
cession with  the  scrolls  of  the  Law  round  the  Synagogue,  and  have 
also  the  privilege  of  being  called  to  the  Torah,  although  they  are  not 
yet  thirteen  years  old.  This  and  similar  things  are  done  in  order  to 
inspire  our  children  with  love  for  the  Torah  and  for  tiie  study  of  the 
Torah. 


4CO  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

from   a  second  sefcr.      The  Lessons  for  chol-Jia-moed 
are  taken  from  the  same  passage. 

The  Lessons  from  the  Prophets  are  the  following : 
Zech.  siv.,  prophecy  on  the  future  of  Israel  and  on  the 
punishment  of  those  who  would  not  come  to  Jerusalem 
to  celebrate  there  the  Succoth  Festival ;  I  Kings  viii. 
2—21,  on  the  opening  of  the  new  Temple ;  on  Sahhath 
choWia-moed,  Ez.  xxxviii.  1 8  to  xxxix.  1 6,  on  the 
war  with  Gog  ;  i  Kings  viii,  2  2—66,  prayer  of  Solomon 
on  the  eighth  day  of  the  services  for  the  consecra- 
tion of  the  Temple  ;  Jos.  i.,  accession  of  Joshua  to  the 
leadership  of  Israel. 

Solemn  Days,  w^y\l  W'ly^ 

By  n*K"i"ii  D"'0^  "  solemn  days,"  we  understand  the 
first  ten  days  of  the  month  Tishri,  especially  their 
beginning  and  their  end  :  n^^Ti  L"X~i,  "  New-year,"  and 
11SD  DV  "the  Day  of  Atonement." -^ 

It  is  customary  to  prepare  for  the  "  solemn  days  " 
during  the  month  of  Uhd,  by  additional  prayers,  called 
mn^^D  "forgiveness,"  after  or  before  the  Daily  Ser- 
vice, and  by  blowing  the  sJiofar  at  the  close  of  the 

^  Whilst  the  three  Festivals  demanded  great  sacrifices  of  each  in- 
dividual Israelite — to  undertake  a  pilgrimage  to  the  Temple,  and  not 
to  appear  empty  before  the  Lord — the  "Solemn  Days  "  demanded  only 
abstention  from  work,  and  on  one  day  also  from  food.  The  Sacrificial 
Service  on  the  Day  of  Atonement  concerned  directly  the  High-Priest 
and  the  priests  in  the  Temple,  the  public  at  large  but  indirectly;  and 
if  great  multitudes  assembled  in  the  Temple,  it  was  curiosity  rather 
than  duty  that  brought  them  there.  More  importance  was  therefore 
attached  by  chroniclers  and  historians  to  the  three  Festivals  and  the 
national  gathering  in  and  round  the  Temple  on  the  Feasts  of  Pilgrimage 
than  to  the  Day  of  Memorial  or  the  Day  of  Atonement.     The  Law 


OUR  DUTIES.  401 

Daily  Service.^  According  to  the  Portuguese  Ritual,  the 
Sdichoth  begin  on  the  1st  of  Elul,  and  are  continued 

deemed  it  necessary  to  urge  on  the  Israelites  the  celebration  of  the 
former  more  frequently  than  that  of  the  latter.  When  Solomon  at  the 
dedication  of  the  Temple  celebrated  with  the  Israelites  twice  seven 
days,  the  first  seven  days  probably  commenced  the  1st  of  Tishri  on  the 
Festival  (l  Kings  viii.  2),  and  the  second  seven  days  on  the  15th  of 
the  month  ;  therefore  they  are  reckoned  separately  {ibid.  viii.  65  ;  2 
Chron.  vii.  9,  10).  Ezra,  who  read  the  Law  to  the  Jews  on  the  ist  of 
Tishri  (Neh.  viii.  2),  which  was  a  Holy-day  {ibid.  10),  read  it  also  on 
the  second  day,  which  may  likewise  have  been  a  special  day  for  reading 
the  Law,  probably  the  Day  of  Atonement,  and  here  they  learnt  that 
they  were  commanded  to  build  booths  for  the  next  Festival.  They 
must  therefore  have  heard  Leviticus  xxiii.,  which  includes  the  com- 
mandment concerning  the  fasting  on  the  Day  of  Atonement.  It  may 
also  be  noticed  that,  although  the  commandment  concerning  the  Day 
of  Atonement  is  not  mentioned  in  Exodus,  the  day  is  referred  to  as  a 
well-known  institution  (Exod.  xxx.  10). 

^  The  reason  Tradition  assigns  for  this  observance  is  as  follows  : 
After  the  giving  of  the  Law  Moses  ascended  Mount  Sinai  on  the  7th 
of  Sivan,  and  descended  on  the  fortieth  day,  the  17th  of  Tammu:. 
with  the  tables  of  testimony.  On  the  i8th  he  ascended  again,  and 
spent  forty  days  in  prayer  for  forgiveness  for  Israel  ;  and  ascended  for 
the  third  time  on  the  Ist  of  Elul,  and  returned  on  the  loth  of  Tishri 
with  the  Divine  message,  "  I  have  pardoned  in  accordance  with  thy 
words  of  prayer."  Cherishing  the  hope  that  we  may  ourselves  receive 
such  a  heavenly  response  on  the  Day  of  Atonement,  we  follow  the 
example  of  Moses,  and  add  these  Sdichoth  or  devotional  exercises  to 
our  daily  prayers,  while  the  sound  of  the  shofar  aids  in  awakening 
us  to  earnest  reflection  and  true  improvement. 

There  are  various  names  for  these  additional  prayers  :  D''313nn 
"Supplications,"  and  flirivD  "Prayers  for  forgiveness,"  the  latter 
being  the  general  name  for  the  early  additional  Service.  Some  of 
them  have  special  names:  nPlTlQ  "opening"  {i.e.,  the  first  prayer); 
pots  "psalm,"  a  hymn  sung  or  recited  alternately  by  the  Reader  and 
the  congregation  ;  mpj?  a  composition  referring  to  the  binding  of 
Isaac  ;  H^nn  "  supplication,"  generally  at  the  end  of  the  Sdichoth. 
Prominent  among  these  prayers  is  the  recitation  of  the  Thirteen 
Attributes  of  Mercy  (Exod.  xxxiv.  6,  7)  and  the  "Confession  of 
sins"  Cni). 

2   C 


402  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

morning  and  evening  till  tlie.  Day  of  Atonement.  The 
German  Ritual  has  Sdichoth  only  in  the  Morning  Ser- 
vice ;  they  begin  on  the  Sunday  before  New-year,  and 
if  the  Festival  is  on  Monday  or  Tuesday,  on  the  second 
Sunday  before,  and  end  on  the  Day  of  Atonement. 
The  blowing  of  the  sliofar  takes  place  in  the  German 
Synagogues  during  the  month  of  Elul^  in  the  Por- 
tuguese during  the  penitential  days. 

^\^W^\  B'ST  New-year. 

The  first  and  the  second  days  of  Tishri  are  kept  as 
New-year.^  In  accordance  with  the  command,  "  The 
first  of  the  first-fruits  of  thy  land  thou  shalt  bring  unto 
the  house  of  the  Lord  thy  God  "  (Exod.  xxxiv.  26),  we 
devote  the  first  ten  days  of  the  year  as  an  offering  to 
the  Lord ;  they  are  days  of  increased  devotion,  earnest 
self-examination,  and  new  efforts  to  lead  a  good,  vir- 
tuous, and  godly  life.  They  are  called  nniKTi  '•ID'»  niEJ'j; 
"  ten  days  of  return "  to  God,  or  "  ten  penitential 
days." 

We  greet  and  congratulate  each  other  on  New-year, 
using  the  phrase,  2n3n  nait:  HJt^b — or  nnan.  '•anan  'o  '^h 
njariDn  according  as  a  male,  a  female,  several  males, 
or  several  females  are  addressed — "  May  you  be  in- 
scribed for  a  happy  year."  It  is  a  figurative  expression, 
borrowed  from  the  writing  and  signing  of  decrees  by 
earthly  judges. 

^  Although  Nisan,  the  month  of  the  departure  of  the  Israelites  from 
Egypt,  is  the  first  month,  and  Passover  the  first  of  the  Festivals  of  the 
year,  Tishri,  though  the  seventh  month,  was  in  many  respects  the 
beginning  of  the  year.  In  the  month  of  Tishri  the  Jubilee  year  com- 
menced, the  slaves  were  liberated,  and  landed  property  returned  to 
the  original  owners  (comp.  Mishnab,  Ilosh  ha-shanah  i.  l). 


OUR  DUTIES.  403 

In  the  Bible  the  Festival  is  not  called  New-year/ 
but  nynn  DV  ''Day  of  blowing  the  slwfar"  (Num. 
xxis.  i);  and  nynn  pi^T  "Memorial  of  the  blowing 
of  the  shofar"  (Lev.  xxiii.  24);  in  our  prayers  the 
names  pi3Tn  DV  and  pin  Dl"*  "  Day  of  Remembering  " 
and  "  Day  of  Judgment,"  are  also  used. 

The  first  of  these  four  names  implies,  according  to 
the  traditional  interpretation,  the  commandment  of 
blowing  the  shofa?-.  As  a  rule  the  shofar  is  blown 
during  the  Morning  Service  before  the  sefer  is  returned 
to  the  Ark,  and  during  Musaf}  The  blowing  of  the 
shofar  is  expressed  by  nynn,  which  denotes  the  sound 
of  an  alarm  ;  hence  we  learn  that  the  slwfar  is  intended 
to  awaken  us,  and  to  call  us  forth  to  range  ourselves 
under  our  banner.  It  is  an  ideal  banner,  the  worship 
of  God  and  faith  in  Him,  that  we  are  called  upon 
to  protect  and  to  defend  from  enemies  without  and 
within.^  Prominence  is  therefore  given  in  our  Service 
for  New-year  to  the  proclamation  of  God  as  King  of 
the  universe,  and  to  our  longing  for  the  time  when  all 
mankind  will  unite  in  the  worship  of  the  One  God. 

^  The  name  does,  however,  occur  in  the  Mishnah  as  a  term  long  in 
use  and  well  known.  It  is  impossible  to  decide  when  the  name  was  in- 
troduced. The  words  ilDK^n  t^'^5")  in  Ez.  (xl.  i)  denote  the  beginning  of 
the  year,  including  ten  days  or  more,  but  do  not  signify  "  New-year." 

-  The  blowing  of  the  shofar  is  preceded  by  the  blessing  :  .  .  .  1113 
IDICi'  Sip  yiJOCJ*!?  •  •  •  13£^'^p  "IK'N  "  Blessed  art  thou  .  .  .  who  hast 
sanctified  us  by  thy  commandments  and  hast  commanded  us  to  hear 
the  sound  of  the  shofar."     This  blessing  is  followed  by  imntJ'. 

3  According  to  Saadiah,  the  shofar  reminds  us  of  the  following  ten 
things  with  which  it  is  directly  or  indirectly  connected: — (i)  Crea- 
tion ;  (2)  Our  duty  to  return  to  God ;  (3)  Revelation  on  Mount 
Sinai ;  (4)  The  exhortations  of  the  Prophets  ;  (5)  Destruction  of  the 
Temple  ;  (6)  The  binding  of  Isaac  for  sacrifice  ;  (7)  Imminent  danger  ; 
(8)  Day  of  Judgment ;  (9)  Redemption  of  Israel ;  (10)  Resurrection. 


404  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

The  name  ••  Memoi'ial  of  blowing  the  sJiofar"  indi- 
cates that  we  are  to  remember  some  historical  event 
suggested  by  the  sound  of  the  shofar.  We  are  re- 
minded of  the  period  when  the  Israelites,  encamped 
round  Mount  Sinai,  on  hearing  the  Divine  message, 
"  Ye  shall  be  my  peculiar  people,'"  "  a  kingdom  of 
priests,"  and  "  a  holy  nation,"  joyfully  replied,  "  All 
that  the  Lord  hath  spoken  we  will  do  "  (Exod.  xix.  8). 
The  sliofar  thus  awakens  us  to  greater  watchfulness 
and  activity  in  the  purification  and  sanctification  of 
our  heart. 

The  third  name,  "  Day  of  Memorial,"  seems  to  be  a 
modification  of  the  second ;  but  it  has  a  more  general 
meaning.  The  second  name,  that  reminds  us  of  our 
duty  as  God's  peculiar  people,  suggests  also  the  idea 
that  God,  who  declared  us  to  be  His  people,  watches 
over  us ;  that  what  we  do,  we  do  in  His  presence. 
He  perceives,  notes,  and  remembers  all  our  deeds, 
words,  and  thoughts.  When,  therefore,  we  appeal  to 
the  goodness  of  Him,  who  remembers  all  His  creatures 
and  provides  for  the  wants  of  every  one  of  them,  we 
must  not  forget  that  He  is  also  just.  This  idea,  again, 
suggests  the  fourth  name,  pnn  DT"  "  Day  of  Judgment," 
the  day  on  which  we  are  judged  according  td  our 
deeds,  both  our  merits  and  our  shortcomings  being 
taken  into  account. 

The  essential  elements  in  our  Service  are  the  three 
sections  in  the  Amidah  of  Musaf :  nVD^O,  niJIiST  and 
nnsitJ'.  They  chiefly  refer  to  the  three  fundamental 
principles  of  our  religion  :  ( i )  Existence  of  God,  a 
Being  that  is  King  of  the  univex'se ;  (2)  Divine 
,  Justice,  and  (3)  Revelation.      Ten  passages  are  quoted 


{ 


OUR  DUTIES.  405 

from  the  Bible  in  support  of  each  of  these  prin- 
ciples. 

Tradition  has  fixed  the  1st  of  Tishri  as  the  date  of 
several  events  in  the  history  of  Israel,  e.g.,  the  birth  of 
Isaac,  the  binding  of  Isaac  (mpl?),  and  the  birth  of 
Samuel  (B.  T.  Rosh  ha-shanah  loh).  Hence  Gen. 
xxi.  and  xxii.  are  read  on  the  two  days  of  New-year, 
in  addition  to  the  paragraph  on  the  sacrifices  of  the 
Festival  (Num.  xxix.  1—6). 

From  the  Prophets,  we  read  on  the  first  day  i  Sam. 
i.  I  to  ii.  I  o,  on  the  birth  of  Samuel,  and  the  prayer 
of  Hannah  praising  the  justice  of  God ;  on  the  second 
day,  Jer.  xxxi.  2—20,  a  prophecy  concerning  the  re- 
storation of  Israel.^ 

The  Sabbath  between  New-year  and  the  Day  of 
Atonement  is  called  r\2\^  T\y^  because  the  lia'plitarah, 
taken  from  Hosea  (xiv.  i  stvy.),  commences  with  the 
word  naiB'  and  is  an  exhortation  of  Israel  to  return 
to  God. 

msa  nv  "  Bay  of  Atonement." 

The  tenth  day  of  the  seventh  month,  Tishri,  is  the 
most  important  of  all  the  Holy- days.  It  is  the  Day 
of  Atonement,  on  which  "  God  will  forgive  you,  to 
cleanse  you,  that  you  may  be  clean  from  all  your  sins 
before  the  Lord  "  (Lev.  xvi.  30). 

'  In  some  congregations  it  is  the  custom  to  walk  in  the  afternoon 
of  New-year  along  the  banks  of  a  river  or  the  sea-shore,  in  order  to 
reflect  on  the  purifying  effect  which  water  has  on  the  body,  and  to  be 
reminded  that  even  as  the  body  is  purified  by  water,  so  ought  our 
souls  be  purified  by  repentance  and  tlie  appsal  to  the  help  and  mercy 
of  God.  An  appropriate  passage  from  Micah  (vii.  18-20)  is  recited, 
and  the  custom  has  received  its  name  tas/dich  from  t!ie  word  ~]''7t»'ni 
"  and  thiiu  wilt  cast,"  which  occurs  in  the  passage. 


4o6  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

"  Ye  shall  do  no  mannei-  of  work ;  it  shall  be  a 
statute  for  ever  throughout  your  generations  in  all 
your  dwellings.  It  shall  be  unto  you  a  sabbath  of 
rest,  and  ye  shall  afflict  yourselves :  in  the  ninth  day 
of  the  month  at  even,  from  even  unto  even,  shall  ye 
celebrate  your  sabbath"  (Lev.  xxiii.  31,  32). 

The  Day  of  Atonement  is  therefore  a  day  of  resting, 
fasting,  prayer,  and  spiritual  improvement. 

It  is  a  day  of  rest,  and  the  prohibition  of  work  is 
the  same  as  on  the  ordinary  Sabbath. 

The  fasting  begins  the  9th  of  Tisliri — iidd  nv  my  — 
about  sunset,  and  lasts  till  the  beginning  of  night  on 
the  following  day.  The  phrase,  D^'•nE^'S3  nx  nn''3j;'i  "  Ye 
shall  afflict  yourselves,"  is  explained  by  Tradition  to 
signify  the  total  abstinence  from  all  kinds  of  food  and 
the  gratification  of  other  bodily  desires  (Mishnah,  Yoma 
viii.  i).  The  reason  of  this  commandment  may  be 
the  following  :  The  principal  source  of  sin  is  the  gratifi- 
cation of  our  bodily  appetites  ;  nmcn  "  return  "  to  the 
right  way  must  therefore  include  the  earnest  attempt  to 
control,  and  when  necessary  to  suppress,  such  appetites. 
Fasting  is  such  an  attempt.  But  it  must  be  borne 
in  mind  that  fasting  is  only  one  of  the  duties  we  have 
to  fulfil  on  the  Day  of  Atonement,  and  that  the  other 
duties  are  equally  essential. 

\\iwr\  "return,"  is  the  principal  object  of  the  cele- 
bration of  the  Day  of  Atonement ;  it  implies  the 
following  four  steps  : — 

I.  Consciousness  of  sin,  N"L:nn  nynv  We  must  figain 
and  again  examine  ourselves  and  try  to  discover  our 
failings  ;  our  actions  and  our  words  must  pass  in  review, 
and  we  must  remember  that,  however  good   we   may 


OUR  DUTIES.  407 

be,  no  man  is  righteous  upon  earth  ''  that  doeth  good 
and  sinneth  not"  (Eccles.  vii.  20). 

2.  Confession  of  sin,  '•ni/  On  the  discovery  of 
sin,  we  must  have  the  courage  to  confess  our  guilt 
before  him  against  whom  we  have  sinned ;  if  it  is 
against  God  alone  that  we  have  sinned,  we  make 
silent  confession  before  Him ;  if  we  find  ourselves 
guilty  of  an  offence  against  our  fellow-man,  we  must 
confess  our  sin  to  him. 

3.  Regret,  ni3"in.  Having  discovered  and  confessed 
our  sin,  we  should  feel  pain  and  remorse,  alike  for  the 
evil  we  have  done  and  for  the  good  we  have  left 
undone. 

4.  Amendment,  snnn  nnny.  The  regret  should  be 
followed  by  a  firm  resolve  to  abandon  the  way  of  evil. 
and  not  to  sin  again,  even  if  occasion  be  given  for  a 
repetition  of  the  sinful  act. 

There  are  five  Services  on  the  Day  of  Atonement : 

^  The  confession  of  sins  (*m)  as  contained  in  our  Prayer-book  is 
made  by  the  whole  community  collectively  ;  and  those  who  have  not 
themselves  committed  the  sins  mentioned  in  the  confession  regret 
that  they  were  unable  to  prevent  them  from  being  committed  by 
others.  The  form  of  the  confession  is  therefore  in  the  plural:  "We 
have  been  guilty,"  &c.  The  words  l^j^t^H  I^H^N  73N  "Indeed  we 
have  sinned,"  would  suffice  for  the  purpose  of  confession.  But  the 
long  lists  of  various  forms  of  sins  in  the  sections  beginning  IJDK'K. 
XDH  hv  "^"  D''SDn  ?V  ^^^  which  are  repeatedly  recited  during  the  Ser- 
vice, help  us  to  remember  our  misdoings ;  what  has  escaped  our  attention 
the  first  time  may  be  revived  in  our  memory,  when  we  read  the  confes- 
sion a  second  or  third  time.  Especially  numerous  are  the  terms  denoting 
sins  committed  with  our  tongue  ;  and  indeed  they  are  numerous  !  And 
where  is  the  person  that  could  say  that  his  tongue  has  never  been 
employed  in  falsehood,  or  slander,  or  self-praise,  or  hasty  promises,  and 
similar  offences  ?  It  is  necessary  that  we  should  reflect  over  and  over 
again  on  these  vices,  and  on  the  way  in  which  to  obtain  better  control  over 
our  tongue,  and  thereby  a  fuller  mastery  over  the  passions  of  our  heart. 


4o8  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

(i)  Evening  Service,  nny»  ;  ^  (2)  Morning  Service, 
nnnj:';  (3)  Additional  Service,  P|D1»  ;  (4)  Afternoon 
Service,   nn30  ;    (5)   Concluding  Service,  nb^yj.^ — The 

^  The  Evening  Service  is  preceded  by  a  formal  rescinding  of  previous 
vows.  Of  what  kind  were  the  vows  which  are  thus  annulled  ?  None 
of  those  that  were  made  by  a  member  of  the  community  individually. 
No  one  can  by  means  of  this  formula  free  himself  from  the  obligation  to 
fulfil  what  he  has  promised  to  his  fellow-man.  The  declaration  concerns 
the  whole  congregation,  and  has  probably  its  origin  in  the  customs  of 
former  days,  when  those  who  refused  to  join  in  the  communal  work,  or 
to  submit  to  the  law  of  the  congregation,  or  shocked  by  any  act  of  theirs 
the  conscience  of  their  brethren,  or  abandoned  Judaism  outwardly,  were 
excommunicated  and  shut  out  from  all  contact  with  their  co-religionists. 
Such  transgressors,  abarjanim,  when  desirous  to  pray  in  the  Synagogue 
on  the  Day  of  Atonement,  were  admitted,  and  all  opposition  was 
silenced  by  the  solemn  declaration. 

That  such  was  the  original  object  of  Kol-nidre  is  sufficiently  clear 
from  its  surroundings.  It  is  preceded  by  the  following  announcement : 
"In  the  name  of  God,  and  in  the  name  of  the  congregation,  with  the 
sanction  of  the  Court  above,  and  that  of  the  Court  below,  we  declare 
that  it  is  permitted  to  pray  together  with  those  who  have  been  trans- 
gressors [aharjanim)."  Kol-nidrc  is  followed  by  the  verse,  "And  it 
shall  be  forgiven  all  the  congregation  of  the  children  of  Israel,  and  the 
stranger  that  sojourneth  among  them;  seeing  all  the  people  were  in 
ignorance"  (Num.  xv.  26). 

The  original  object  of  this  declaration  does  not  apply  at  present ; 
but  it  serves  as  a  reminder  of  the  following  principles  : — 

1.  We  should  always  be  disposed  to  forgive  those  who,  in  the  heat 
of  strife,  acting  under  strong  irritation,  have  offended  us. 

2.  We  should  be  careful  with  regard  to  vows,  and  before  making 
them  consider  their  efEect. 

3.  We  should  reflect  on  human  weakness,  and  consider  that  what 
we  believe  to  be  able  to  do  to-day  may  prove  impossible  for  us  to- 
morrow. This  reflection  would  remove  every  thought  of  pride  from 
our  heart  and  inspire  us  with  humility. 

-  At  the  conclusion  of  the  Service  we  once  more  proclaim  the  Unity 
of  God  ('pxiC'^^  yOti^)>  repeat  three  times  the  praise  of  His  kingdom, 
and  seven  times  that  He  alone  is  the  Almighty.  The  sound  of  the 
shofar  announces,  as  on  the  occasion  of  the  Revelation  on  Mount  Sinai, 
the  conclusion  of  the  Holy-day. 


OUR  DUTIES.  409 

confession  of  sin,  <m  is  the  most  essential  and  charac- 
teristic element  in  the  Services  of  the  Day  of  Atone- 
ment. 

In  the  Morniucj  Service  we  read  Lev.  xvi.,  and  Num. 
sxix.  7— II,  on  the  sacrifices  on  tlie  Day  of  Atone- 
ment ;  in  the  Afternoon  Service,  Lev.  xviii.,  on  for- 
bidden marriages.  The  Lessons  from  the  Prophets 
are:  in  the  morning,  Isa.  Ivii.  14— Iviii.  14,  on  our 
duties  on  the  fast-day ;  in  the  afternoon,  the  Book  of 
'Tonah,  illustrating  the  effect  of  sincere  repentance, 
and  Micali  vii.  18—20,  on  Israel's  repentance. 

Historical  Feasts  and  Fasts. 

Besides  the  Festivals  commanded  in  the  Torah,  we 
celebrate  also  in  the  course  of  the  year  anniversaries  of 
certain  days  both  of  joy  and  of  sorrow.  Of  the  former 
kind  are  n3"i3n  and  oms  ;  of  the  latter,  the  9th  of  Ab 
and  four  other  fasts. 


n3i2n  Feast  of  Dedication. 

On  the  25th  of  Kislev  we  begin  to  celebrate  eight 
days  of  n313n  or  Dedication,  in  commemoration  of  the 
victories  of  the  Maccabees  over  Antiochus  Epiphanes, 
king  of  Syria.  Antiochus  had  attempted  to  force  the 
Jews  to  idolatry,  and  to  make  them  abandon  the  wor- 
ship of  the  true  God.  The  Jews,  led  by  the  Macca- 
bees, resisted,  and,  armed  with  faith  in  God,  gained  the 
victory  over  large  armies  of  the  enemy.  The  Temple, 
which  had  been  defiled  by  the  heathen  soldiers,  was 
again  purified,  and  the  Service  of  God  re-established. 


4IO  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

For  lighting  the  continual  lamp  (Tinn  "i:)  pure  oil  was 
wanted,  that  had  not  been  touched  by  the  heathen. 
Only  a  small  cruse  of  pure  oil  was  found,  which  was 
believed  to  be  sufficient  for  one  night ;  but  it  sufficed 
for  eight  days,  by  which  time  a  fresh  supply  could  be 
procured. 

The  Feast  of  Dedication  commemorates  the  victory 
of  the  faithful  over  the  faithless,  of  the  true  religion 
over  idolatry,  of  light  over  darkness,  and  is  celebrated — 

(i.)  By  lighting  n313n  lights,  one  on  the  first  even- 
ing, and  adding  one  light  each  successive  evening,  so 
that  on  the  eighth  evening  eight  lights  are  kindled. 

(2.)  By  giving  expression  to  our  feeling  of  gratitude 
in  psalms  (^^n)  and  prayers  of  thanks  (D^D:n  b]})- 

In  the  Morning  Service  a  few  verses  from  Num.  vii., 
on  the  dedication  of  the  Altar,  are  read.  On  Sahhath 
Chanuccah,  Zechariah's  vision,  Zech.  ii.  10  to  iii.  7,  in- 
cluding the  vision  of  the  golden  candlestick,  is  read  as 
hapJitarah  ;  and  if  there  happen  to  be  a  second  Sahhath 
Chanuccah,  i    Kings  vii.  40-50,   a  description  of  the  || 

various  vessels  and  ornaments  in  the  Temple  of 
Solomon  is  read  on  that  Sabbath, 

Note  i. — The  n3"l3n  lights  remind  us,  in  the  first  place,  of  the 
reopening  of  the  Temple  and  the  resumption  of  the  regular 
Temple  Service.  But  they  are  also  intended  to  remind  us  of  the 
light  of  our  holy  faith,  which  Antiochus  Epiphanes  attempted 
in  vain  to  extinguish.  For  it  shed  forth  its  light  again,  and 
siione  brighter  and  brighter  every  successive  day.  We  thus  learn 
that  when  our  religion  is  imperilled,  firmness  against  temptation 
or  force  is  sure  to  lead  to  success  and  victory. 

2.  Before  lighting  the  Chanuccah  lights  the  following  blessings 
are  said  :  nSlin  hl^^  13  p^bir6  •  •  •  IJCJ'np  IK'K  •  .  .  in3  "  Blessed 
art  thou  .  .  .  who  hast  sanctified  us  by  thy  commandments 
and  hast  commanded  us  to  kindle   the   lights   of  Chanuccah.^' 


OUR  DUTIES.  411 

nin  i^Tn  onn  Q^on  irnnx^  n^o:  nc'yji'  .  •  .  -["nn"  Blessed 

art  thou  .  .  .  who  wroughtest  miracles  for  our  fathers  in  days  of 
old  at  this  season."     On  the  first  night  ij^nnt^  is  added. 


aniD  PiiTim. 

DniD  or  "Feast  of  Lots,"  is  celebrated  on  the  i4tLi 
and  the  i  5th  of  ^rftt?- (second  Adar  in  a  leap-year),  in 
commemoration  of  the  defeat  of  Haman's  wicked  plans. 
Haman  was  chief  minister  to  Ahasuerus,  king  of  Persia, 
and  planned  to  kill  all  the  Jews  in  the  Persian  Empire, 
but  the  Almighty  frustrated  his  designs  through  th^ 
agency  of  Mordecai  and  his  cousin  Esther.  The  Feast 
is  called  Purim,  that  is,  "  lots,"  because  Haman  had 
cast  lots  in  order  to  discover  the  day  most  favourable 
to  his  plans. 

We  celebrate  Purim — 

(l.)  By  reading  twice,  once  during  the  Evening 
Service  and  once  during  the  Morning  Service,  the 
Book  of  Esther  (nnox  n^Jn),  which  contains  the  history 
of  Haman's  plans  and  their  frustration.  The  reading 
is  preceded  by  the  following  blessing :  "iEJ>K  .  .  .  "inn 
rhyc)  KiprD  ^y  .  .  .  iJC^np  "  Blessed  art  thou  .  .  .  who 
hast  sanctified  us  by  thy  commandments  and  hast 
commanded  us  to  read  the  Mcgillah."  r\'^W  •  •  •  "II12 
nrn  pta  onn  D^n^n  i^Tinx'?  d-'Dj  "  Blessed  art  thou  .  .  . 
who  wroughtest  miracles  for  our  fathers  in  days  ot 
old  at  this  season,"  and  '\V<nr\^. 

(2.)  By  giving  presents  to  our  friends  (ni30  m^t^'o) 
and  gifts  to  the  poor  (o-ivn^!?  m:no). 

(3.)  By  a  festive  meal  (onis  miyo).  Com  p.  Esth. 
ix.  During  the  Morning  Service  the  account  of  the 
war  with  Amalek  is  read  from  Exod.  xvii.  8— 16. 


412  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

The  I  5  til  of  Adar  is  called  Shushan  Purim,  because 
the  Jews  in  Shushan  continued  to  fight  against  the 
enemy  on  the  14th  of  Adar,  and  kept  Purim  on  the 
15th.  The  13th  of  Adar,  being  the  day  appointed 
for  the  slaughter  of  the  Jews,  is  now  kept  as  a  fast- 
day,  and  is  called  inDX  n^jyn  "  the  Fast  of  Esther." 

The  Four  Fasts. 

There  are  four  days  kept  as  fast- days  in  commemo- 
ration of  events  connected  with  the  fall  of  Jerusalem. 
They  are  called  in  the  Bible  (Zech.  viii.  19)"  the  fast 
of  the  fourth  month  and  the  fast  of  the  fifth,  and 
the  fast  of  the  seventh  and  the  fast  of  the  tenth." 
These  days  are  the  anniversaries  of  the  commencement 
of  the  siege  of  Jerusalem  ( i  oth  of  Teheth),  of  the  breach 
made  in  the  wall  (17th  of  Tammuz),  of  the  destruction 
of  the  Temple  (9th  of  Ab),  and  of  the  murder  of 
Gedaliah  (3rd  of  Tishri).  The  9th  of  Ah  is  kept  as  a 
day  of  fasting  and  mourning  for  the  destruction  of  the 
Temple.  According  to  Tradition,  both  the  first  and 
the  second  Temple  were  destroyed  on  the  same  day. 

The  Lesson  from  the  Pentateuch  read  in  the  Morning 
and  in  the  Afternoon  Services  on  the  fast-days  is  Exod. 
xxxii.  II  — 14  and  xxxiv.  i-io.  On  the  9th  of  Ah 
this  section  is  read  in  the  afternoon  only  ;  the  Morning 
Lesson  being  Deut.  iv.  25—40  and  Jer.  viii.  13  to  ix. 
23  ;  in  the  Afternoon  Service  on  all  fasts  Isa.  Iv.  6 
to  Ivi.  8  is  read  as  liaphtarah. 

Note  i. — These  fasts  be^nn  with  daybreak,  except  the  fast  of 
the  9th  of  Ab,  which  commences  with  the  previous  evening  and 
lasts  twenty-four  hours,  and  is  in  all  respects  like  that  of  tiie 


OUR  DUTIES.  413 

Day  of  Atonement.  During  tlie  Jay  tlie  Lamentations  of  Jeremiah, 
various  elegies  called  ni3''p,  "  Lamentations,"  and  the  Book  of 
Job  are  read.  On  the  Fast  of  Ab,  as  a  sign  of  mourning,  talitlo 
and  tefillin  are  not  worn  during  the  Morning  Service.  They  are, 
however,  put  on  for  the  Afternoon  Service. 

2.  The  Sabbath  preceding  the  Fast  of  .46  is  called  ptn  r\1Z\ 
and  the  Sabbath  following,  \0T\1  T\2^  because  the  Haphiarotk  on 
these  Sabbaths  (ch.  i.  and  ch.  xl.  of  Isaiah)  begin  respectively 
with  the  words  |"iTn  and  '\J2r\2  ',  the  one  containing  rebukes  and 
threats,  the  other  a  message  of  comfort. 

Besides  these  historical  fasts,  there  are  voluntary 
fasts  observed  by  some  as  an  expression  of  deep-felt 
piety ;  e.g.,  the  three  fasts  of  "•jti'l  ''^'<^n  '•:ej»  of  Monday, 
Thursday,  and  ]\Ionday,  kept  after  the  festive  seasons 
of  Passover  and  Tabernacles,  in  imitation  of  Job,  who 
after  the  days  of  feasting  sanctified  his  sons,  and  brought 
special  sacrifices  (Job  i.).  To  this  class  of  fasts  may 
be  reckoned  the  day  before  New-moon,  called  |t3p  -iid3  nv 
on  which  in  some  congregations  the  Afternoon  Service 
is  enlarged  by  propitiatory  prayers. 

V.  Divine  Worship,  mny 

In  the  Midrash  the  following  legend  is  related : 
When,  at  the  conclusion  of  the  seventh  day,  the  sun 
had  set  and  darkness  had  spread  over  the  earth,  Adam 
was  afraid  that  the  world  was  now  coming  to  an  end. 
But  the  Almighty  caused  him  to  find  two  stones,  by 
means  of  which  he  produced  light.  On  seeing  this 
Adam  was  full  of  joy,  and  although  he  had  himself 
produced  the  spark,  he  felt  that  it  was  to  his  Creator 
and  Master  that  thanks  were  due,  and  gave  expression 
to  his  feelings  in  the  words,  "  Blessed  art  Thou,   O 


414  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

Lord,  our  God,  King  of  the  Universe,  who  Greatest 
the  light  of  the  fire." 

Thus  the  legend  traces  the  beginning  of  Divine 
Worship  to  the  first  man;  and,  in  fact,  the  desire  to 
commune  with  the  Creator  and  to  give  outward  ex- 
pression to  the  inner  feeling  of  reverence  and  allegiance 
is  so  general  that  it  seems  to  be  part  of  man's  nature. 

In  a  different  way  this  feeling  was  expressed  by 
the  sons  of  Adam,  by  Cain  and  Abel.  They  brought 
presents  to  the  Lord,  probably  accompanied  by  words 
of  praise  and  prayer.  No  essential  difierence  is  noticed 
by  us  in  the  offerings  of  the  two  brothers  ;  each  of 
them  brought  what  seemed  best  in  his  eyes.  And 
yet  the  offering  of  Cain  was  rejected,  whilst  that  of 
Abel  was  received  favourably.  An  important  lesson 
it  is  that  Scripture  teaches  here  at  the  very  threshold 
of  the  history  of  Sacrifices.  It  is  this  :  The  value  of 
an  offering  does  not  lie  in  its  outward  appearance,  in 
that  which  is  open  to  man's  judgment,  but  in  some- 
thing that  is  known  to  the  Omniscient  alone,  in  the 
heart  of  him  who  approaches  his  Creator  with  a 
gift,  in  the  motives  which  prompt  him  to  do  so,  and 
in  the  feelings  which  accompany  that  act.  From 
these  beginnings  the  two  forms  of  Divine  Worship, 
Sacrifice  and  Prayer,  gradually  developed. 

Sacrifice  (nn3D,  l^lp). 

What  was  the  main  idea  that  prompted  man  to 
bring  an  offering  to  the  Almighty  ?  He  felt,  as  it 
were,  the  existence  of  a  higher  Being,  the  Creator  and 
Ruler  of  all  things ;  he  was  conscious  that  his  own  life 


OUR  DUTIES.  415 

and  welfare  depended  on  the  Will  of  the  Being  to  whom 
in  reality  everything  belongs  that  man  believes  himself 
to  possess  and  to  enjoy.  In  order  to  give  expression 
to  this  feeling  of  allegiance  man  brought  the  first  and 
best  of  what  he  had  acquired  to  the  true  Owner,  and 
thus  introduced  ^  himself  by  such  gifts  as  a  faithful 
subject  who  is  anxious  to  merit  the  favour  of  his 
blaster.  That  which  was  at  first  introduced  by  man 
voluntarily,  was  afterwards  sanctioned  and  regulated 
by  Divine  command. 

There  were  two  kinds  of  sacrifices :  bloodless  sacri- 
fices, mincJiah  and  ncsech,  "  flour-offering  "  and  "  drink- 
offering,"  and  blood  sacrifices  :  animal-offerings.  But 
no  difference  is  discernible  between  these  two  kinds 
with  regard  to  their  importance,  sanctity,  and  efficiency. 
As  a  rule,  the  animal-ofiy  ng  was  supplemented  by 
iiiinchah  and  nescch.  The^'^ureatment  of  sacrifices  varied 
iiccording  as  they  were  intended  to  express  the  feeling 
uf  reverence,  rejoicing,  gratitude,  or  repentance,  and 
special  rules  had  to  be  observed  in  each  case,  the  various 
kinds  of  sacrifice  being  n^iy  "  burnt-offering,"  or  wubu 
"  peace- oSering,"  or  min  "  thanksgiving,"  or  nXDH  "  sin- 
offering,"  or  Q^^a  "guilt-offering."  The  Law  further  fixed 
the  place,  the  time,  and  the  method  of  sacrificing,  and 
appointed  also  the  persons  who  alone  were  allowed  to 
attend  to  this  function,  so  that  no  strange  element,  no 

^  The  idea  of  introduction  is  implied  in  the  term  minchah,  "  intro- 
duction "  (from  the  root  nPIJ  "to  lead,"  "to  conduct"). — Minchah, 
originally  denoting  any  present  or  offering,  was  the  special  name  of 
flour-offerings,  probably  because  flour  or  corn  was  the  most  common 
minchah  offered  by  people  to  their  sovereign. — Comp.  "  I  will  appease 
him  with  the  present  {mincluih)  that  goeth  before  me,  and  afterwards  I 
will  see  his  face"  (Gen.  xxxii.  21). 


4i6  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

idolatrous  or  superstitious  customs,  could  be  introduced 
into  the  sacrificial  service  ordained  by  the  Law. 

Great  stress  is  laid  on  the  sprinkling  of  the  blood 
of  the  sacrifice  upon  the  altar.  "  The  blood,"  the  Law 
says,  "  is  the  soul  of  all  flesh  ;  and  I  have  given  it  to 
you  upon  the  altar  to  make  an  atonement  for  the 
soul  "  (Lev.  xvii.  i  i).  We  are  thus  reminded  that,  in 
so  far  as  the  animal  life  is  concerned,  "  the  pre-eminence 
of  man  over  the  beast  is  nought,"  and  yet  the  Creator 
gave  us  the  right  to  shed  the  blood  of  animals  in  order 
to  save  our  life.  Why  ?  Because  man  has  a  higher 
mission  to  fulfil ;  he  has  been  created  in  the  image  of 
God. 

These  and  similar  reflections  were  suggested  by 
the  diSerent  elements  constituting  the  sacrificial  rite. 
With  the  destruction  of  the  Temple  sacrifices  ceased  ; 
with  the  Restoration  of  Israel  and  the  Rebuilding  of  the 
Temple  the  Sacrificial  Service  will  likewise  be  resumeil. 
(Comp.  Mai.  iii.  4).  There  are  persons  who  believe 
that  the  Sacrificial  Service,  implying  much  of  anthro- 
pomorphism, could  not  have  been  intended  to  be  per- 
manent, and  that  it  was  only  a  concession  made  to  the 
fashion  and  the  low  degree  of  culture  of  the  age.  Those 
who  reject  sacrifices  on  this  account  must  also  reject 
prayer,  which  is  likewise  based  on  a  certain  degree  of 
anthropomorphism,  though  less  strikingly  than  sacrifice. 
If  the  law  concerning  offerings  were  only  intended  for 
a  certain  age,  such  limitation  would  have  been  indi- 
cated in  the  Law.  In  the  absence  of  such  indication 
\ve  have  no  right  to  criticise  the  Word  of  God,  and  to 
think  that  we  are  too  advanced  in  culture  to  obey  the 
Divine  commands.      It  has  been  further  ai'gued  that, 


OUR  DUTIES.  417 

according  to  Maimonides  and  bis  followers,  the  laws 
concerning  sacrifices  only  served  as  a  means  of  counter- 
acting the  idolatrous  tendencies  of  the  age.  But  Mai- 
monides never  went  so  far  as  to  contend  that  these 
laws  have  served  their  purpose,  and  are  now  null  and 
void.  Even  those  laws  which  have  been  enacted  by 
human  authority  remain  in  force  till  they  are  rejoealed 
in  a  regular  and  legal  manner.  But  what  human  being 
can  claim  a  right  to  abolish  laws  given  by  the  Almighty? 
Whether  any  of  the  laws  of  the  Torah  will  ever  be 
abrogated  we  do  not  know,  but  we  are  sure  that,  in 
case  of  such  abrogation  taking  place,  it  will  be  done 
by  a  revelation  as  convincing  as  that  on  Mount  Sinai. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  revival  of  the  Sacrificial 
Service  must  likewise  be  sanctioned  by  the  divine 
voice  of  a  prophet.  Thej  mere  acquisition  of  the 
Temple  Mount  or  of  all  1  alestine  by  Jews,  by  war, 
or  political  combinations,  or  purchase,  would  not 
justify  the  revival.  It  is  only  the  return  of  the  Jews 
to  Palestine,  and  the  rebuilding  of  the  Temple  by 
Divine  command  and  by  Divine  intervention,  that  will 
be  followed  by  the  restoration  of  the  Sacrificial  Service. 
And  however  contrary  the  slaughter  of  animals,  the 
sprinkling  of  their  blood,  and  the  burning  of  theii* 
flesh  be  to  our  taste,  we  ought  to  look  forward  with 
eagerness  and  pleasure  for  the  revival  of  the  full  Temple 
Service  as  an  event  that  will  enable  us  to  do  the  Will 
of  the  Almighty  revealed  in  the  Torah.  Instead  of 
modelling  the  Divine  laws  according  to  our  liking,  we 
ought  rather  to  regulate  the  latter  according  to  the 
teaching  of  Scripture,  and  suppress  it  when  contrary 
to    the    express   Will    of   God.      We    therefore    give 

2  D 


41 8  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

expression  to  our  hope  "  for  the  restoration  of  the 
Temple  with  its  ancient  Service  "  in  frequent  and  fer- 
vent prayers,  and  in  accordance  with  the  exhortation 
of  Hosea  (xiv.  2)  we  read  each  day  during  the  Service 
Scriptural  passages  referring  to  the  sacrifice  of  the 
day. 

"  Sacrifices  have  been  condemned  by  prophets  and 
psalmists  "  !  But  in  the  passages  which  seem  antago- 
nistic to  sacrifices  only  those  sacrifices  are  referred  to 
which  are  brought  in  a  wrong  spirit  or  from  bad 
motives.  (Comp.  i  Sam.  xv.  22  ;  Isa.  i.  i  i  — 13,  xliii. 
24,  Ixvi.  2  ;  Jer.  vii.  21  ;  Hosea  vi.  6  ;  Amos  v.  25  ; 
Ps.  1.  8.) 

Prayers,  nSsn  ^ 

Prayer  is  the  general  name  for  that  form  of  Divine 
Worship  which  is  expressed  in  words ;  it  has  a  wider 
scope  than  sacrifices,  for  it  is  not  limited  to  a  special 
place,  or  to  a  certain  time,  or  to  one  privileged  family. 
It  is  accessible  to  all,  in  all  places  and  at  all  times. 
All  alike  are  addressed  by  the  Psalmist,  "  Let  every- 
thing that  hath  breath  praise  the  Lord.  Praise  ye  the 
Lord  "  (Ps.  cl.  6). 

There  is  no  direct  commandment  in  the  Torah  con- 
cerning prayer ;  it  is  rather  assumed  as  a  matter  of 
course,  and  as  inseparable  from  our  belief  in  God,  Ac- 
cording to  Tradition  (Sifre  on  Deut.  xi.  i  3),  the  exhor- 
tation to  serve  God  with  all  the  heart  implies  the  duty 
of  prayer.  "  What  duty  depends  on  the  heart  ?  It  is 
the  duty  of  prayer."      (Comp.   Maim.   Mishneh-torah, 

^  n^Sn  from  ??D  "to  judge,"  implies  self-examination  whether  we 
are  worthy  of  addressing  the  Most  Holy.  As  to  the  purifying  effect 
of  prayer,  see  above,  p.  183. 


OUR  DUTIES.  419 

Hilchoth  Tefillali  i.  i.)  Tlie  following  are  a  few  of 
the  general  rules  laid  down  by  our  Sages  with  regard 
to  Prayer : — 

"  Better  little  with  devotion  (nm)  than  much  with- 
out devotion  "  (Shulchan-aruch,  Orach  Chayyim  i.  4). 

"  During  prayer  bear  in  mind  before  whom  you 
stand"  (Babyl.  T.,  Berachoth  2Sh). 

"  The  value  of  the  words  uttered  with  the  lips  is 
determined  by  the  devotion  of  the  heart "  (Babyl.  T., 
Berachoth  I  5 ft). 

AVhat  is  devotion  ?  The  concentration  of  all  our 
attention  upon  the  words  we  utter,  the  banishment  of  all 
foreisrn  thoughts  from  the  mind,  and  the  consciousness 
that  we  stand  in  the  presence  of  the  Almighty,  whom 
it  is  our  duty  to  love,  fear,  and  obey.  A  prayer 
uttered  in  this  frame  of  mind  is  called  "  a  prayer  with- 
out lips  of  deceit"  (Ps.  xvii.  i).  Comp.  Maim.,  I.  c, 
iv.   15. 

It  is  a  matter  of  course  that  indecorous  conduct,  un- 
becoming attitudes,  and  the  like  cannot  harmonise  with 
true  devotion.  With  regard  to  language,  form,  time, 
and  place  of  prayer  nothing  was  fixed  originally  ;'  all 
was  regulated  by  the  momentary  impulse  of  the  heart 
of  the  worshipper.  But  people  who  considered  them- 
selves incapable  of  giving  adequate  expression  to  their 
devotional  feelings  borrowed  the  words  of  those  more 
capable  than  themselves  and  followed  their  leading. 
Such  a  course  was  also  necessary  for  common  and  united 
devotion.  When  a  certain  prayer  or  a  certain  order  of 
Service  was  frequently  repeated  at  the  same  season  and 
in  the  same  place,  the  form,  the  time,  and  the  place  of 
prayer  became  to  a  certain  degree  fixed  by  custom — 


420  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

minhag — and  that  whicb.  had  in  the  beginning  been 
voluntary  (nilin)  was  subsequently  made  law  or  duty 
(ni^*?D  or  nnin).^ 

The  minhag  is  a  most  important  element  in  Jewish 
religious  life.  What  one  has  been  accustomed  to  do 
for  a  long  time,  or  even  from  his  earliest  youth,  is 
deeply  impressed  on  the  heart,  and  is  not  readily  sur- 
rendered. Such  customs  are  sometimes  more  cherished 
and  more  firmly  adhered  to  than  express  precepts." 
It  is  the  outcome  of  this  respect  for  custom  that  in 
all  countries  the  Jews  pray  in  Hebrew.  But  neverthe- 
less the  general  principle  remains  in  force  that  it  is  not 
the  language  that  determines  the  value  of  prayer  but 
"  the  devotion  of  the  heart,"  and  those  who  do  not 
understand  Hebrew  may  give  expression  to  "  the  de- 
votion of  their  heart "  in  the  language  they  understand 
and  speak.  Women,  who  as  a  rule  were  not  expected 
to  be  Hebrew  scholars,  used  to  read  translations  of 
the  Hebrew  prayers  in  the  vernacular  instead  of,  or  in 
addition  to,  the  original ;  they  had  also  prayers  com- 
posed for  them  in  the  vernacular  (niJnn)-  And  in 
more  ancient  times,  when  the  Jews  of  Babylon  had 
adopted  the  Aramean  dialect  spoken  in  that  country, 
and  retained  it  also  after  their  return  to  Palestine, 
many  prayers  were    composed    in   the    more   familiar 

^  This  was  necessary  for  two  reasons  :  it  served  to  foster  a  disposition 
for  devotion  and  to  assist  the  multitude  in  their  endeavour  to  give 
expression  to  their  feelings  ;  it  gave  also  uniformity  to  the  prayers, 
which  is  indispensable  in  public  Divine  Worship  (-|12^*3  nPDn)- — l'^^'^ 
free  effusion  of  our  heart  before  our  Creator  is  by  no  means  restrained, 
and  is  certainly  not  intended  to  be  excluded  by  these  regulations. 

"  nD?n  "Ipiy  in^O  "Custom  overrules  law,"  is  a  well-known  saying 
that  is  frequently  acted  upon  (Soferim  xiv.  i8). 


OUR  DUTIES.  421 

language,  although  Hebrew  was  retained  for  the 
principal  prayers.  Hebrew  has  a  special  claim  to 
privilege  and  distinction  among  the  Jews.  It  is  our 
national  language,  which  our  forefathers  once  spoke  ; 
it  is  the  language  in  which  the  Almighty  addressed  the 
prophets,  and  through  them  the  Israelites  ;  the  language 
in  which  God  revealed  His  Will  to  the  Israelites  on 
Mount  Sinai ;  the  language  in  which  the  holy  Psalmist 
sang  the  praises  of  the  Creator,  the  priests  blessed  the 
people,  and  worshippers  prayed  in  the  Temple  at 
Jerusalem.  It  must  be  the  pride  of  every  Jew  to  be 
enabled  to  pray  at  home,  and  especially  in  the  Syna- 
gogues, in  that  same  language,  and  if  Hebrew  be  not 
the  language  of  his  every- day  life,  he  should  seek  to 
perfect  his  knowledge  of  it  to  such  an  extent  that  he 
shall  be  able  to  understand  the  prayers  and  to  pray 
with  his  whole  heart.  Those  who  seek  the  abolition 
of  Hebrew  in  our  Services  aim,  consciously  or  uncon- 
sciously, at  the  destruction  of  our  nationality  as  the 
people  of  the  Lord,  by  breaking  asunder  one  important 
link  which  connects  us  with  the  wonderful  past  of  our 
nation. 

Equally  indifferent  with  regard  to  the  value  of 
prayer  are  its  length  and  its  form.  The  Bible  offers 
examples  for  all  kinds  and  lengths  of  prayer.  If  one 
wishes  to  pray  in  a  few  words,  he  need  only  follow  the 
example  of  Moses,  who  in  the  moment  of  anguish 
uttered  nothing  beyond  the  words,  "  0  God,  heal  her 
now  "  (Num.  xii.  13).  If  one  prefers  a  long  prayer, 
he  may  also  take  Moses  as  a  guide,  who  prayed  forty 
days  for  the  forgiveness  of  the  Israelites  after  they  had 
made  the  golden  calf  (Deut.  ix.  18,  25).     Both  prayers 


4C3  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

were  equally  efficacious.  Miriam  was  healed,  and  the 
Israelites  obtained  pardon.  With  regard  to  the  form, 
we  have  in  the  Bible  prayers  in  prose  and  in  poetry ; 
some  uttered  in  simple  speech,  others  in  song ;  some 
with  musical  accompaniment,  some  without  it.  All  of 
them  seem  to  have  been  at  first  the  response  to  a 
momentary  impulse,  but  were  afterwards  I'epeated  on 
similar  occasions  in  the  original  or  in  a  modified  form. 
Among  the  various  motives  that  impel  us  to  seek 
communion  with  our  Father,  is  the  desire  for  certain 
things  which  we  have  not,  and  the  conviction  that  it 
is  solely  in  His  hand  to  fulfil  our  wishes.'^  A  genuine 
prayer  of  this  kind — for  the  fulfilment  of  certain  wishes 
of  ours — is  impossible  without  the  belief  in  the  efficacy 
of  prayer.  We  cannot  with  certainty  expect  that  our 
petition  will  be  granted,  but  we  hope  that  it  will ;  we 
submit  our  wishes  to  the  Will  of  the  Almighty.  The 
Hebrew  name  for  prayer  n^sn  implied  the  idea  of 
judgment,  as  if  we  judged  that  the  concession  of  our 
petition  might  fairly  be  anticipated.  Such  judgment, 
however,  is  not  to  be  considered  as  decisive  ;  and  if 
our  request  is  to  be  granted,  it  will  be  as  an  act  of 
mercy  and  grace  (Q''j"i3nni  DVom),  and  not  because  it  is 
a  claim  fully  proved  (i?3p).^  We  hope  that  our  prayer 
will  be  granted,  but  never  lose  sight  of  the  condition 
"  if  it  please  God."  There  are  a  few  exceptional  cases. 
Prophets  like  Moses  (Exod.  viii.  6),  Samuel  (i   Sam. 

1  Comp.  supra,  page  183  sqq.,  on  the  efficacy  of  prayer.  Comp.  page 
2S0  sqq. 

-  This  is  one  of  the  three  explanations  suggested  in  Babyl.  Talm., 
Berachoth  296  :  ( i )  A  burdensome  task,  of  which  one  desires  to  get 
rid  ;  (2)  a  claim  and  not  a  supplication  ;  (3)  fixed  without  any  spon- 
taneous addition. 


OUR  DUTIES.  423 

xii.  17),  Elijah  (i  Kings  xviii.),  Elislia  (2  Kings  iv. 
33  ^i^-))  ^^^  others,  men  inspired  by  the  Almighty, 
were,  on  certain  occasions,  sure  of  the  effect  of  their 
prayer.  In  the  Mishnah  (Taanith  iii.  8)  the  case  of 
Choni  (^iynn  '•Jin)  is  mentioned,  who  spoke  with  cer- 
tainty of  the  result  of  his  prayer.  It  must,  however, 
in  the  latter  case  be  added  that  the  head  of  the 
Sanhedrin,  Shimeon  ben  Shatach,  blamed  him  for  his 
conduct. 

This  we  know  for  certain,  that  whenever  and  wher- 
ever we  respond  to  an  inner  impulse  by  the  utterance 
of  a  prayer,  God  is  near  us,  for  "  He  is  nigh  unto  all 
them  that  call  upon  him,  to  all  that  call  upon  him  in 
truth  "  (Ps.  cxlv.  18)  ;  that  we  and  the  place  on  which 
we  stand  are  hallowed  by  the  Divine  Presence.  Places 
once  hallowed  by  such  devotion,  whether  of  our  own 
or  of  our  fellow-men,  we  like  to  visit  again  and  again 
for  the  same  purpose.  The  spot  of  Jacob's  first 
communion  with  God  thus  became  "  the  house  of 
God ; "  and  even  during  the  period  when  there  was 
one  central  Sanctuary  for  the  Sacrificial  Service  in 
Israel,  at  Gilgal,  Mizpah,  Shiloh,  and  later  in  Jeru- 
salem, there  were  houses  of  God  throughout  the 
country  for  devotion  unaccompanied  by  sacrifices. 
These  were  "  the  meeting- places  of  God  "  (Ps.  Ixxiv.  8), 
in  which  the  Israelites  assembled  to  meet  their  Creator. 
Such  houses  of  God  were  established  wherever  Jews 
settled  ;  their  main  purpose  was  united  devotion  ;  but 
they  served  also  many  other  purposes — in  fact,  every 
holy,  good,  and  noble  cause.  The  house  of  God  was 
the  Assembly-house,  Synagogue  (nD33n  JT'n),  in  which 
tlie  affairs  of  the  community  (lu^*  ''3"i^*)  were  settled ; 


424  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

the  young  liad  there  their  school,  adults  came  there 
for  religious  instruction,  and  found  there  opportunity 
for  the  study  of  the  Law,  and  the  poor  and  stranger 
received  there  support  and  hospitality. 

In  a  Jewish  Synagogue  there  were  two  important 
features,  the  platform  (nD''3)  and  an  ark  (nan)  con- 
taining scrolls  of  the  Law.  From  the  platform  in  the 
middle  of  the  Synagogue,  the  lessons  from  the  Penta- 
teuch and  the  Prophets  were  recited,  and  everything 
else  that  was  directly  or  indirectly  addressed  to  the 
congregants.  But  prayers  addressed  to  the  Most 
High  were  offered  up  from  a  lower  place  near  the 
Holy  Ark/  in  accordance  with  the  words  of  the 
Psalmist  (cxxx.  i),  "Out  of  the  depth  have  I  cried 
unto  thee,  0  Lord." 

The  Ark,  or  Holy  Ark  (piN  or  ^i^ipri  pix),  in  almost 
all  modern  Synagogues — in  places  west  of  Jerusalem 
— occupies  the  middle  of  the  east  side  of  the  Syna- 
gogue. In  the  time  of  the  Talmud  the  Synagogues 
were  to  some  extent  made  to  resemble  the  Tabernacle 
which  the  Israelites  built  in  the  wilderness  or  the 
Temple  in  Jerusalem.  The  entrance  was  from  the 
east,  and  the  Ark,  which  was  to  represent  the  Most 
Holy,  was  in  the  west.  The  Ark  was,  like  the  original 
one,  movable.  It  was  called  tchhah,  lit.  "  box,"  in 
order  to  distinguish  it  from  the  original.  The  recess 
in  which  it  was  kept  was  the  Hechal  or  Kpdcsh,  "  The 
Holy."     The  tehliah  seems  to  have  served   both   as   a 

^  Hence  the  phrases  in  the  Talmud,  "  He  went  down  toward  the 
Ark  "  (tchhah),  or  simply  "  He  went  down  "  to  read  the  tcfillah.  It  was 
not  so  in  all  places  of  worship,  because  another  phrase  is  sometimes 
used,  "He  passed  toward  the  tchhah." 


OUR  DUTIES.  425 

receptacle  for  the  scrolls  of  the  Law,  and  as  a  desk  ou 
which  these  were  put  whenever  they  were  required  for 
the  reading  of  the  Torah.  On  certain  extraordinary- 
occasions,  when,  on  account  of  the  absence  of  rain,  a 
general  fast  was  ordered,  the  tebhah,  with  a  Sefer-torah 
on  it,  was  carried  into  the  street,^  where  a  special 
service  was  held. 

The  reason  why  the  entrance  to  the  Sanctuary  and 
to  the  Synagogues  was  from  the  east,  and  the  wor- 
shippers consequently  stood  during  prayer  with  their 
face  toward  the  west,  may,  according  to  the  Mishnah 
(Succah  V.  4),  be  explained  thus :  The  principal 
prayer  of  the  day  being  that  in  the  morning,  the  Jews, 
as  a  protest  against  the  sun-worship  of  the  idolaters, 
who  at  that  hour  were  accustomed  to  greet  the  sun 
with  their  prayer,  turned  away  from  the  east  and  offered 
up  their  prayer  to  the  Almighty  in  the  opposite  direc- 
tion. When  sun-worship  had  ceased,  probably  after 
the  destruction  of  the  second  Temple,  the  national 
grief  and  hope  found  expression  in  the  custom  of 
praying  toward  the  Sanctuary  in  Jerusalem.  Hence 
the  Jews  who  live  west  of  Jerusalem  stand  during 
prayer  with  the  face  toward  the  east,  while  those  east 
of  Jerusalem  turn  westward.  This  custom  is,  besides, 
supported  by  the  following  passage  from  the  prayer  of 
King  Solomon :  "  And  they  pray  unto  thee  toward 
their  land,  which  thou   gavest  unto  their  fathers,  the 

^  On  such  occasions  a  large  congregation  was  expected,  coming  from 
the  whole  neighbourhood,  and  the  Synagogue  was  considered  too  small. 
It  is  also  possible  that  a  prayer-meeting  in  the  open  air  was  intended 
to  attract  the  indifferent,  who  did  not  attend  the  regular  Services  in 
the  Synagogue. 


426  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

city  which  thou  hast  chosen,  and  the  house  which  I 
have  built  for  thy  name"  (i  Kings  viii.  48).^ 

In  most  Synagogues  there  is  a  continual  lamp 
(n^»n  "13)  burning.  It  is  a  Biblical  institution,  but 
only  designed  for  the  Sanctuary  ;  its  presence  in  the 
Synagogue  is  of  comparatively  modern  date.  The  ncr 
tamid  of  the  Sanctuary,  however,  is  explained  to  be  a 
lamp  burning  "  from  evening  to  morning  "  (Exod.  xxvii. 
21).  A  golden  candlestick  standing  in  the  Sanctuary 
against  the  south  side,  with  its  seven  branches  arranged 
from  east  to  west,  served  this  purpose.  According  to 
Tradition  it  was  the  second  branch,  counting  from  east 
to  west,  which  really  burnt  continually;  but  this  was 
not  considered  as  implied  in  the  term  ner  tamid,  which 
only  meant  "  a  continual  lamp  "  in  the  sense  of  a  lamp 
that  burns  regularly  every  night. 

The  ner  taynid  in  the  Synagogue,  which  burns  con- 
tinually day  and  night,  is  not  mentioned  by  any  of  the 
earlier  Rabbinical  authors.  It  has  been  introduced  as 
a  symbol  representing  our  conviction  that  from  the 
Synagogue  shall  continually  come  forth  the  light  of 
instruction,  the  light  of  comfort  and  blessing,  and  the 
light  of  love  and  peace. 

In  the  Synagogue  women  are  separated  from  men. 
There  was  also  in  the  Temple  an  D'-t^j  mry  "  court  of 
the  women,"  distinguished  from  the  W^^^  mty  "  court 
of  the  men,"  to  which  women  had  no  access.  During 
the  Feast  of  Tabernacles,  when  the  great  rejoicings  in 
the  Temple  attracted  a  large  assembly,  special  care  was 
taken  (D'tT  n\"i  PHJ  |"ipn)  that  the  separation  of  the  sexes 
should    be    maintained    (Mishnah,   Succali    v.    2  ;   and 

^  See  Mishnah,  Berachoth  iv.  5, 6,  and  Babyl.  Talm.,  Berachoth  30a. 


OUR  DUTIES.  427 

Talm.  B.,  Snccali  SiZ').  This  precedent  has  been 
followed  in  the  Synagogue,  and  has  been  accepted  as 
law  up  to  tins  day. 

Eeservedness  and  modesty  (myjv)  have  always  been 
the  pride  and  ornament  of  Jewish  women,  both  in  their 
homes  and  in  the  Synagogue  ;  hence  also  their  taking 
a  silent  part  in  the  public  devotion  is  an  honour  to 
them,  and  by  no  means  derogatory. 

In  addition  to  the  above-mentioned  points,  a  Syna- 
gogue ought  to  be  distinguished  by  the  greatest  possible 
simplicity,  by  the  absence  of  all  kinds  of  images,  por- 
traits, or  statues  representing  living  beings,  whether 
real  or  imaginary.  The  Jewish  religion  is  void  of 
every  visible  symbol ;  and  the  so-called  magen-david 
(the  double  triangle)  is  probably  not  of  Jewish  origin, 
and  has  no  connection  with  our  holy  religion.  It  is 
not  a  symbol  of  this  kind,  but  some  inscription  of  a 
passage  from  the  Scriptures  that  in  most  houses  of 
worship  reminds  us  of  the  sacredness  of  the  place. 
We  enter  it  with  due  reverence,  manifesting  it  out- 
wardly, in  our  peculiar  traditional  manner,  by  keeping 
the  head  covered.  It  is  our  ancient  custom  to  cover 
the  head  when  engaged  in  prayers,  in  reading  the  Bible 
or  Talmud  and  their  commentaries.  This  outward  sign 
serves  to  remind  us  that  not  only  our  Service  but  even 
our  literature  is  something  holy,  and  its  study  a  re- 
ligious act  (ni^D).^ 

Before   we   proceed  to   describe  the  details  of  our 

^  As  our  religion  demands  frequent  recitations  of  berachotk  in  the 
course  of  the  day,  the  custom  spread  among  the  Jews  of  keeping  the 
head  always  covered.  Comp.  Babyl.  T.,  Kiddushin  31a  ;  Shulchan- 
aruch,  Orach  Chayyim  ii.  6. 


428  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

ritual,  we  mention  one  important  point  in  which  the 
present  Synagogal  Service  differs  from  the  ancient 
Service  in  the  Temple.  From  what  we  are  told  in  the 
Scriptures  and  in  the  Talmud,  we  learn  that  instru- 
mental music  was  an  essential  element  in  the  Service, 
and  that  King  David  and  his  successors  paid  great 
attention  to  it,  whilst,  with  a  few  exceptions,  it  is 
almost  entirely  absent  from  our  Synagogues.  The 
principal  reason  why  instrumental  music  is  excluded 
from  the  Synagogue  is  its  prohibition  on  Sabbaths  and 
Holy-days  by  Eabbinical  law  (Babyl.  T.,  Erubin  104a). 
This  prohibition,  like  many  other  enactments,  did  not 
apply  to  the  Temple  Service ;  for  the  sacrificial  laws 
had  to  be  obeyed,  irrespective  of  the  fact  that  they 
involved  acts  which,  if  performed  apart  from  the 
Temple  Service,  would  constitute  a  breach  of  the 
Sabbath  laws.  Apart  from  the  Temple  Service  the 
Sabbath  laws  remained  in  full  force  for  the  priests  as 
well  as  for  the  general  public. 

There  were  also  other  considerations  that  helped  to 
keep  instrumental  music  out  of  the  Synagogue  Service. 
Its  absence,  though  not  directly  a  sign  of  mourning, 
served  to  preserve  the  memory  of  the  destruction  of  the 
Temple,  and  to  strengthen  our  longing  for  its  restora- 
tion. It  is  also  urged  that  the  introduction  of  instru- 
mental music  into  the  Service  would  not  satisfy  any 
real  want  of  Jewish  worshippers,  but  would  merely 
be  a  concession  to  the  desire  to  assimilate  our  Divine 
Service  to  that  of  our  non-Jewish  neighbours,  contrary 
to  the  prohibition  of  chuhhoth  haggoyim  contained  in 
the  words,  "  Ye  shall  not  walk  in  their  statutes  "  (Lev. 
xviii.  3),  i.e.,  in  the  statutes  of  the  Gentiles.     But,  on 


OUR  DUTIES.  429 

the  other  hand,  it  has  been  argued  that  the  feeling 
once  expressed  by  the  nation  in  the  words  "  This  is  my 
God,  and  I  will  worship  liim  in  a  beautiful  manner  " 
(Exod.  XV.  2),  still  animates  us.  It  is  said  that  it  is 
our  duty  to  make  our  Service  as  beautiful  and  as 
attractive  as  possible.  This  argument  deserves  con- 
sideration, and  might  even  outweigh  some  of  the  above- 
mentioned  arguments  against  the  introduction  of  music 
into  our  Service,  if  we  were  sure  of  the  result  of  such 
introduction.  But  this  is  by  no  means  the  case,  for 
the  experiment,  wliere  tried,  has  not  been  successful  if 
judged  by  the  most  practical  test.  The  number  of 
worshippers  has  not  been  increased,  and  discontent 
has  not  been  removed.  Whether  the  devotion  of  the 
worshippers  has  been  improved,  refined,  or  intensified 
by  music  is  a  question  that  cannot  be  answered  with 
certainty.  Even  if  the  answer  were  satisfactory,  it 
could  only  apply  to  the  introduction  of  instrumental 
music  into  our  Service  on  week-days,  on  Friday  evening 
before  the  commencement  of  Sabbath,  but  not  on 
Sabbaths  and  Holy-days. 

The  lUtual. 

In  the  Bible  there  is  no  indication  of  a  fixed  ritual ; 
there  are,  however,  a  few  instances  of  forms  of  prayer 
prescribed  for  certain  occasions.  There  is  the  priests' 
blessing  (Num.  vi.  24—26);  the  thanksgiving  on 
bringing  the  first-fruit  offering  to  the  Temple  (Deut. 
xxvi.  3—10);  prayer  on  distributing  the  tithes  which 
accumulated  in  three  years  {ibid.  13—15).  David 
(Ps.   Iv.    18)  says,   "Evening,  and   morning,   and   at 


430  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

noonday  do  I  pray  ;  "  Daniel  "  kneeled  upon  liis  knees 
three  times  a  day  and  prayed,  and  gave  thanks  before 
his  God,  as  he  did  aforetime"  (Dan.  vi.  ii);  but 
nothing  is  said  about  the  form  and  the  contents  of 
these  prayers.  The  Mishnah  first  speaks  of  certain 
fixed  forms  of  prayer :  the  "  Eighteen  "  (n-i:^j;  n^lDt'), 
the  reading  of  Shema  (ynK'  n^np),  and  Benedictions 
(ni3"ia).  The  composition  of  the  tefillah,  "  Prayer  "  par 
excellence,  is  attributed  to  the  Men  of  the  Great  Syna- 
gogue (n^njn  nOJS  ""t'OS),  but  only  in  its  outlines.  The 
jumber  of  the  paragraphs,  the  theme  of  each  paragraph, 
and  the  formula  by  which  it  is  concluded  may  then 
have  been  fixed,  the  rest  being  left  to  be  filled  up  by 
each  supplicant  according  to  his  capacity.  It  was  but 
natural  that  prayers  uttered  repeatedly  by  men  eminent 
for  their  piety  should  be  eagerly  copied  by  others,  and 
gradually  become,  to  some  extent  at  least,  fixed  forms 
of  prayer.  The  tefillah,  however,  in  the  time  of  the 
Mishnah  was  by  no  means  identical  with  the  tefillah 
of  the  Men  of  the  Great  Synagogue.  The  destruction 
of  the  Temple  necessitated  several  changes ;  e.g.,  the 
prayers  for  the  welfare  of  Jerusalem,  for  the  prosperity 
of  Israel  and  of  the  Holy  Land,  and  for  the  acceptance 
of  the  Service  in  the  Temple  were  altered  in  accord- 
ance with  tlie  new  state  of  affairs. 

The  Mishnah  speaks  of  the  tefillah  as  a  well-known 
existing  institution ;  it  seems  that  it  was  the  regular 
prayer  in  the  Synagogue  Service,  and  the  discussion 
whether  the  tefillah  should  be  repeated  every  day  in 
extenso  or  in  an  abbreviated  form  (Mishnah,  Berachoth 
iv.  3)  refers  probably  to  the  prayer  recited  privatim 
(tti^  n'psn),  and  not  to  the  Service  in  the  Synagogue. 


OUR  DUTIES.  431 

The  prescribed  "  Eighteen  Blessings  "  were  the  frame- 
work, into  which  each  man  was  expected  to  fit  in  liis 
peculiar,  individual  supplications;  whilst  in  the  public 
Service  the  tcfillah  remained  uniform.  In  the  days  of 
Rabban  Gamliel  of  Jamnia,  and  with  his  sanction,  an 
important  addition  was  made  by  Samuel :  a  prayer  for 
the  discomfiture  of  those  who  by  slander,  denuncia- 
tion, or  other  wicked  means  attempt  to  undermine 
the  existence  of  the  Jewish  religion  and  community 
(D''pnvn  nain  or  D''rDn  DDIsV  In  some  congregations 
two  other  paragraphs  (ni2^  nx  and  D^t^n^^l)  were  at  the 
same  time  combined  into  one,  in  order  to  keep  to  the 
traditional  "  Eighteen  Blessings."  " 

The  reading  of  shcma  in  the  evening  and  in  the 
morning,  the  three  sections  constituting  the  sJiema, 
and  the  order  of  these  sections,  are  assumed  in  the 
Mishnah  as  fully  established  by  law  and  usage.  Only 
a  few  regulations  are  discussed  concerning  the  time 
and  the  mode  of  the  reading.  There  was  this  diSer- 
ence  between  the  custom  of  the  Babylonian  Jews  and 
that  of  their  brethren  in  Palestine,  that  the  latter 
omitted  in  the  evening  the  passage  referring  to  isitsith. 
Later  on,  however,  the  Palestine  Jews  conformed  to 
the  Babylonian  custom.      Suggestions  have  been  made 

^  Attempts  have  been  made  to  modify  and  to  soften  down  the 
seemingly  harsh  words  against  those  who  design  our  ruin  ;  some  even 
wish  to  have  the  whole  paragraph  expunged  from  the  prayer.  In  these 
attempts  it  has  been  ignored  that  the  prayer  is  not  directed  against 
certain  persons  or  nations  ;  it  is  a  petition  for  the  protection  of  Israel 
from  the  wicked  plans  of  evildoers. 

"  Tiiis  fact  is  probably  the  source  of  the  statement  in  Midrash  Rab- 
both  (Num.  xviii.),  that  the  tefillah  before  the  birchath  ha-tsadukini 
was  added  contained  seventeen  paragraphs. 


432  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

to  substitute  otlier  Biblical  passages  for  shcma,  but 
they  Lave  been  rejected.  Several  attempts  have  been 
made  to  introduce,  as  an  addition  to  the  three  sections 
of  shcma,  the  reading  of  the  Decalogue  ;  the  addition 
was  disallowed,  lest  people  should  be  misled  to  think 
that  the  Ten  Commandments  alone  were  to  be  observed, 
and  that  the  other  laws  were  not  binding  (Babyl.  T., 
Berachoth  I2a)} 

The  Benedictions  which  precede  and  follow  the 
reading  of  shcma  were  fixed  in  the  time  of  the  Mishnah 
as  regards  number,  order,  and  form ;  but  the  contents 
were  left  unsettled  for  some  time  (Mishnah,  Berachoth 
i.  4)  ;  in  the  Gemara  their  wording  is  still  a  subject 
for  discussion.  The  same  can  be  said  with  regard 
to  the  relative  order  of  shcvia  and  tcfillah.  For  the 
Evening  Service  the  tcfillah  seems  to  have  generally 
been  considered  as  optional.  As  to  Benedictions  in 
general,  their  obligatory  character  is  assumed  in  the 
Mishnah  as  admitted  by  all,  and  only  their  form  seems 
to  have  been  fixed  by  the  regulations  mentioned  in 
Berachoth  vi.-ix. 

The  Mishnah  (Megillah  iii.  4-iv.  10)  includes  a 
number  of  regulations  concerning  the  reading  of  the 
Law,  the  Prophets,  and  the  Book  of  Esther.  Detailed 
rules  were  laid  down  for  the  reader  and  the  translator 
(mcthurgcman),  pointing  out  which  passages  should  be 
omitted  in  the  translation,  and  which  should  be  omitted 

^  In  the  Temple  the  priests  recited  daily  the  Decalogue,  and  no 
objection  was  raised,  because  the  congregation — priests,  Levites,  and 
general  worshippers — constantly  changed;  and  secondly,  the  very 
Service  in  the  Temple  sufficiently  proved  the  existence  of  other  Divine 
laws. — This  ruling  applies  only  to  the  addition  of  the  Decalogue  to  the 
shcma,  not  to  its  introduction  into  any  other  part  of  the  Service. 


OUR  DUTIES.  433 

even  in  the  original.  It  seems  that  there  was  a  regular, 
consecutive  reading,  which  was  interrupted  on  extra- 
ordinary days  by  the  reading  of  passages  referring  to 
these  days. 

The  ritual  which  was  adopted  for  the  priests  in  the 
Temple  was  an  abridged  form  of  the  ritual  then  in 
general  use.  It  was  as  follows :  They  commenced 
with  a  benediction — the  first  of  those  which  precede 
the  shema  (lis  "iw)  ;  then  they  read  the  Decalogue, 
shema  (the  three  paragraphs),  and  three  further  bene- 
dictions, n''VM  riDS,  muy  (corresponding  to  n^i  in  our 
prayer),  and  the  blessing'  of  the  priests  (Mishnah, 
Tamid  v.  i). 

A  special  ritual  is  also  mentioned  in  the  Talmud 
(Mishnah,  Taanith  iv.  2)  for  the  Maamadoth  and  the 
Fast-days.-^  There  were  four  Services  daily,  as  on  the 
Day  of  Atonement.  The  principal  feature  in  the 
Service  of  the  Maamadoth  was  the  reading  of  the  first 
chapter  of  Genesis. 

At  the  conclusion  of  the  Talmud  (about  500  c.E.) 
the  essential  parts  of  our  present  ritual  were  already 
in  a  settled  state ;  the  shema  with  the  benedictions 
preceding  and  following,  the  tefillah  with  its  variations 
for  New-moon,  Sabbath,  and  Holy-days,  the  reading 
from  the  Law  and  the  prophets,  and  Hallel.  The 
Seder  evening  Service  was  complete  in  its  main  parts, 

■'  The  priests  were  classed  in  twenty-four  divisions  ;  they  had  to 
perform  a  week's  active  Service  in  the  Temple  by  turns  ;  the  same 
was  the  case  with  the  Levites.  The  Israelites  of  the  district  of  which 
it  was  the  turn  cf  the  priests  and  the  Levites  to  serve  in  the  Temple 
sent  a  deputation  (Maaviad)  to  Jerusalem,  who  represented  them  in 
the  Temple  ;  whilst  they  themselves  held  special  prayer  meetings,  called 
Maamadoth. 

2  E 


434  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

Of  the  Benedictions  (Berachoth)  on  various  occasions 
both  form  and  contents  were  fixed,  and  the  rule  was 
laid  down  by  Rabbi  Meir  (Berachoth  40a)  that  he 
who  uttered  a  herachah  in  a  form  different  from  that 
fixed  by  our  Sages  has  not  fulfilled  his  duty  (or, 
according  to  Maimonides,  Hilchoth  Berachoth  i.  5,  is 
in  error).  Notwithstanding  this  rule,  however,  changes 
were  made  ;  new  benedictions  were  introduced  and  old 
ones  discontinued.^ — Kaddish  and  Kcdushah  seem  to 
have  formed  part  of  the  Service  ;  of  the  latter  the 
Talmud  mentions  the  name,  of  the  former  the  response  : 
"  May  his  great  Name  be  praised"  "|-ii3?D  bnjn  ')'0^'  XiT* 
or  'JD  xm  n''?D:r  xrr  (Comp.  Babyl.  Talm.,  Berachoth  3a). 

In  the  next  period,  that  of  the  Geonim,  we  meet 
with  the  complete  Siddur,  "  Arrangement "  or  "  Order  " 
of  Service  for  ordinary  days,  for  Sabbaths  and  Fes- 
tivals, Benedictions  for  all  occasions,  and  Piyyutim  as 
optional  additions.  Such  a  Siddur  was  arranged  by 
the  Gaon  Rabbenu  Saadia  (892-942),  and  another  by 
the  Gaon  Rabbenu  Amram  (about  880).  Henceforth 
the  principal  prayers  underwent  only  insignificant 
alterations.  Of  the  next  period  the  most  important 
Siddurim  are  those  included  in  the  Mishneh-torah,  at 
the  end  of  the  second  book,  and  that  contained  in  the 
Machzor  Vitry? 

The  additional  prayers  and  piyyvMm,  being  optional, 
varied  according  to  the  taste  of  each  congregation  and 

^  E.rj.,    the    addition    of    DD  ^V\>  |ni3n    to.    and    the    omission    of 

in  "•3::'y  vh^  from,  the  -inEi'n  nm^. 

^  Maclaor,  lit.,  "Cycle"  of  prajers,  both  the  obligatory  and  the 
optional,  or  the  oniinary  tcfilloth  and  the  piyyutiiii,  for  the  various 
seasons  of  the  whole  year.  It  is  called  Machzor  Vitry,  after  its  ccm- 
piler,  Simclia  of  Yitry  (about  iico). 


i 


OUR  DUTIES.  435 

its  leaders ;  iu  course  of  time  these  variations  became 
permanent ;  the  same  was  the  case  with  minor  changes, 
especially  in  the  less  essential  elements  of  the  Service, 
and  thus  the  various  Minliagim  (Rites)  of  the  various 
congregations  came  into  existence.  The  principal 
Minliagim  of  importance  for  us  are  :  the  Polish,  the 
Sephardic,  the  German,  and  the  Italian  Rites. ^  In 
the  following  description  of  the  Ritual  only  the  two 
rites  adopted  in  the  principal  Synagogues  of  the  Anglo- 
Jewish  congregations  in  England  will  be  noted. 

Prayers  at  Fixed  Times. 

Although  we  constantly  enjoy  the  blessings  of  God, 
the  very  breath  we  breathe  being  the  gift  of  our 
Heavenly  Father,  yet  certain  seasons  of  the  day,  of 
the  week,  of  the  month,  and  of  the  year  have  been 
selected  as  especially  fit  for  reminding  us  of  God's 
kindness,  and  predisposing  our  heart  to  devotion. 
Thus  in  the  day,  morning,  noon  and  evening  have 
been  fixed  for  prayer ;  in  the  week,  Sabbath  ;  in  the 
month.  New-moon ;   in  the  year,  the  Festivals. 

We  have  three  daily  Services  :  Ifaarihh,  "  Evening 
prayer  ;  "  SJiacharith,  "  Morning  prayer,"  "  and  3Iin- 
chah,  "Afternoon  prayer."  On  Sabbath,  New-moon, 
and  Festivals  an  "  Additional  prayer,"  Musaf,  is  inserted 

^  As  to  the  importance  of  minhag  in  our  religious  life,  see  above 
p.  420. 

"  According  to  the  Mishnah  (Berachoth  iv.  i),  the  time  fixed  for 
this  Service  is  the  first  fourth  of  the  day  ;  but  the  notions  of  "early" 
and  "late"  are  now  different  from  what  they  were  in  ancient  times. 
An  extension  of  the  time  has  long  been  conceded,  especially  for  the 
Public  Service  on  Sabbaths  and  Festivals. 


436  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

between  the  Morning  and  tlie  Afternoon  Services,  and 
on  the  Day  of  Atonement,  Ne'ilah,  "  Concluding  Ser- 
vice," is  added  after  Mincliah. 

The  two  most  essential  elements  in  these  Services 
are:  (i)  the  Eeading  of  Shema  (sJOL^  nN"*"!!":?),  in  the 
Maarihh  and  the  Shacharith ;  (2)  the  TcfiUah  or 
Amidah,  common  to  all  the  Services. 

I.   Tlic  Beading  of  Shcma. 

In  obedience  to  the  precept,  "  Thou  shalt  speak  of 
them,"  i.e.,  of  "  the  words  which  I  command  thee  this 
day — when  thou  liest  down  and  when  thou  risest  up/' 
three  sections  of  the  Law  are  read  daily  in  the  morn- 
ing and  in  the  evening,  viz.,  (i)  Deut.  vi.  4—9,  be- 
ginning yoti'  "Hear;"  (2)  Ibid.  xi.  13—21,  beginning 
"lytDKTi  Vty^  Lii<  n^m  "And  it  shall  be  if  ye  will  diligently 
hearken;"  (3)  Num.  xv.  37—41,  beginning  1'' nox^l 
"  And  the  Lord  said."  The  first  section  teaches  the 
Unity  of  God,  and  our  duty  to  love  this  One  God  with 
all  our  heart,  to  make  His  Word  the  subject  of  our 
constant  meditation,  and  to  instil  it  into  the  heart  of 
the  young. — The  second  section  contains  the  lesson  of 
reward  and  punishment:  that  our  success  depends  on 
our  obedience  to  the  Will  of  God.  This  important  truth 
must  constantly  be  kept  before  our  eyes  and  before  the 
eyes  of  our  children. — The  third  section  contains  the 
commandment  of  tsitsith,  the  object  of  which  is  to 
remind  us  of  God's  precepts :  "  Ye  shall  see  it  and 
remember  all  the  commandments  of  the  Lord  and  do 
them,  and  that  ye  seek  not  after  your  own  heart  and 
vour  own  eves,  after  which  ve  use  to  qo  astrav,  that 


OUR  DUTIES.  437 

you  remember  'and  do  all  my  commandments,  and  be 
holy  unto  your  God." 

The  reading  of  the  shema  is  preceded  by  two 
herachotk:  (i)  lis  "IVI"'  Praise  of  the  Creator  for  the 
regular  sequence  of  day  and  night,  light  and  darkness  ; 
(2)  nm  nnnx  or  ^h)]}  nnnx  Praise  of  His  goodness  in 
giving  us  the  Torah,  and  prayer  for  His  assistance  in 
the  study  of  the  Torah.  The  slicma  is  followed  by  a 
hcrachah  on  the  Redemption  of  Israel ;  it  contains  a 
reflection  on  the  last  words  of  shema,  "  I  am  the  Lord 
your  God,"  an  expression  o£  our  faith  in  the  truth  of 
these  words,  which  strengthen  our  belief  in  the  future 
Redemption  of  Israel/  In  the  Evening  Service  a  second 
herachah  follows,  beginning  i33''3K'n,  and  containing  a 
prayer  for  protection  during  the  night." 

2.   The  Tcfillah  or  A-midah. 

The  Tcfillah,  "  Prayer "  pa?-  excellence,  is  called 
Amidah  (lit.,  "  standing "),  because  the  worshipper 
stands  during'  the  time  he  offers  it  up.  It  is  also 
called  Shemoneh-esreh,  "  Eighteen,"  because  it  contains 
on  most  occasions  eighteen  (or  nineteen,  comp.  p.  431) 
paragraphs,  each  concluding  with  a  benediction. 

■•  As  to  the  principle  expressed  in  these  three  ierachoth,  see  supra, 
p.  J  70. 

^  In  the  German  Ritual  for  week-days  a  third  berachaJi,  beginning 
U?)V?  ^^  "11"!^  ^^'^  concluding  vti'yD  ^3  ^i?1>  is  added.  This  herachah 
seems  to  have  been  at  first  a  substitute  for  the  Amidah,  which  was 
optional  in  the  Maaribh  Service.  The  substitute  became  in  many  con- 
gregations an  integral  part  of  the  Maaribh,  and  was  retained  even 
when  the  Aviidah  was  generally  adopted  as  obligatory.  On  the  eve  of 
Sabbath  and  Festivals  the  Aviidah  was  always  recited,  and  there  was 
no  need  for  the  substitute.  The  third  berachah  is  therefore  absent 
from  the  Maaribh  on  these  eveninsrs. 


438  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

The  first  three  paragraphs  contain  praise  of  God's 
goodness  to  us,  the  descendants  of  the  pious  patri- 
archs  (l),    His    omnipotence    (2),    and    His    holiness 

(3)- 

The  next  thirteen  paragraphs  are  petitions  for  our 
individual  and  national  well-being.  For  our  indi- 
vidual well-being  (4—9),  namely,  for  reason  and  wisdom 
(4),  assistance  in  our  endeavour  to  return  to  God  (5), 
forgiveness  of  our  sins  (6),  deliverance  from  trouble 
(7),  from  illness  (8),  and  from  want  (9). — For  our 
national  well-being  (10— I  5),  namely,  for  the  gathering 
of  those  who  are  scattered  ( i  o),  under  good  leaders 
(11),  protected  from  the  evil  designs  of  our  foes  (12), 
for  the  support  of  the  faithful  (13),  the  rebuilding  of 
Jerusalem  (14),  and  the  advent  of  Messiah  (15).  The 
sixteenth  paragraph  is  a  prayer  that  our  petition  may 
be  accepted. — The  last  three  paragraphs  include  a 
petition  for  the  re-establishment  of  Divine  Service  in 
the  Temple  of  Jerusalem  (17),  thanksgiving  (18),  and 
prayer  for  peace  and  prosperity  (19).  When  the 
prayer  is  finished  we  express  the  wish  that  our  lips, 
from  which  prayer  to  God  has  come  forth,  may  not  be 
defiled  by  unworthy  language. 

On  Sabbaths,  Holy-days,  and  in  every  Musaph  tlie 
thirteen  middle  paragraphs  are  replaced  by  one  in 
which  reference  is  made  to  the  characteristic  feature  of 
the  day ;  in  the  Musaph  of  New-year  three  herachoth 
(p,  404)  are  substituted  for  the  thirteen  middle  hera- 
choth of  the  ordinary  tefillah.  The  thirteen  paragraplis 
have  been  eliminated  in  order  that  we  should  not  be 
reminded  on  Sabbath  and  Holy-days  of  our  failings, 
wants,   and    troubles ;    that  those    seasons    should    be 


OUR  DUTIES.  439 

marked  by  a  happier  and   naore  cheerful  mood  than 
ordinary  daj^s  (siqjra,  p.  3  54)- 

There  are  two  shorter  forms  of  the  tcfillah  for  urgent 
occasions :  the  one  is  a  substitute  for  the  "  Eighteen," 
in  which  the  middle  thirteen  paragraphs  are  contracted 
into  one  ;  it  is  callediij^nn  (the  first  word  of  this  middle 
section),  or  nx'j?  n31Dt'  j'^yo  "  abstract  of  the  '  Eighteen.'  " 
The  other  is  a  contraction  of  the  Friday  evening 
tefillah,  and  is  called  ynC'  pj?D  '''  abstract  of  the  '  Seven 
(scil.,  paragraphs  forming  the  tejillah),  originally  in- 
tended for  those  who  were  too  late  for  the  full  Service.^ 

Each  of  the  above  Services  ends  with  a  prayer  called 
after  its  initial  word  alcnu,  "  It  is  our  duty."  In  this 
prayer  we  thank  God  that  we  have  the  privilege  of 
proclaiming  His  Unity,  and  express  our  hope  to  see  the 
worship  of  the  One  God  adopted  by  all  mankind.  It 
is  omitted  between  two  Services  following  closely  the 
one  upon  the  other. 

In  addition  to  the  above,  the  Service  contains  the 
following  parts : — 

(I.)  "inti'n  mmn  "  Blessings  of  the  Morning,"  forming 
the  first  part  of  the  Morning  Service.  It  contains 
benedictions,  reflections,  and  prayers  suggested  by  the 
change  from  night  to  day,  from  sleep  to  wakefulness, 
from  rest  to  activity. 

(2.)  Psalms. — Our  Service  contains  various  groups 
of  psalms  :  chief  among  them  the  mizmorim  or  jkshIcc 
dezimrah  ("songs"  or  "verses  of  song"),  and  shir  shel 
yo'in  ("  song  of  the  day  "),  in  the  Morning  Service.  The 
former  include  Ps.  cxlv.  to  cl.,  some  other  psalms,  and 
^  See  note  2  on  p.  446  ui. 


440  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

the  song  of  Moses  (Excel,  xv.).  The  latter  correspond 
to  the  songs  of  the  Levites  in  the  Temple,  and  consist 
of  Ps.  xxiv.  (for  Sunday),  xlviii.  (for  Monday),  Ixxxii. 
(for  Tuesday),  xciv.  (for  Wednesday),  Ixxxi.  (for  Thurs- 
day), xciii.  (for  Friday),  and  xcii.  (for  Saturday). — The 
repetition  of  Ps.  cxlv.  three  times  'a  day,  twice  during 
Bhacharith  and  once  during  Minchali,  is  an  old  tninhag 
(Babyl.  Talm.,  Berachoth,  p.  4&). 

(3.)  Supplications  (□'•j'ljnn)  added  in  the  Morning 
and  the  Afternoon  Services  after  the  tefillah. 

(4.)  Readings  from  the  Bible  and  Post-Biblical 
Sacred  Literature,  such  as  Num.  vi.  2  2  sqq.  (priests' 
blessing) ;  Gen,  xxii.  (binding  of  Isaac) ;  Exod.  xvi. 
(manna)  ;  Mishnah,  Peah  i.  I,  and  Babyl.  T.,  Shabbath 
12/(1,  in  the  earlier  part  of  the  Morning  Service  ;  and 
words  of  comfort  (beginning  |rv^  xai)  from  the  Prophets 
after  the  "  Supplications."  Originally  an  exposition  of 
the  Written  and  the  Oral  Law  followed  the  "  Supplica- 
tions," and  concluded  with  Messianic  prophecies,  re- 
cited in  Hebrew  and  in  the  Chaldee  Version. 

(5.)  Biblical  and  Post-Biblical  passages  referring  to 
the  Sacrificial  Service,  in  the  Morning  and  the  After- 
noon Services. 

In  addition  to  the  above  Services,  read  either  in  the 
Synagogue  or  privately  at  home,  there  is  a  special 
prayer  read  by  us  before  retiring  to  rest.  The  chief 
element  in  it  is  the  first  section  of  sltcma ;  hence  tlie 
name  ntocn  hw  yOK'  n^np  "  Reading  of  shema  before 
going  to  bed."  Some  psalms  and  supplications  are 
generally  added. 


OUR  DUTIES.  441 

Puhlic  Serrke,  nn^'n  rh^T\} 

The  following  points  mark  off  the  Public  Service 
from  the  various  forms  of  private  prayer  : — 

(i.)  Kaddish,  "  Sanctitication,"  a  prayer  for  the 
universal  sanctification  of  God's  name,  which  will  dis- 
tinguish the  age  of  Messiah.  In  the  second  part  of  the 
Kaddish  we  pray  for  the  Messianic  peace,  and  in  the 
last  sentence  express  our  hope  that  it  may  soon  be 
granted. 

Formerly  the  Kaddish  concluded  the  Service ;  at 
present  it  is  recited  at  the  end  of  the  Service  in  its 
full  form  (d'^C  cnp  "  the  whole  Kaddish  ") ;  the  first 
half  (cj'np  ''^n  "  hult'-Kaddisk  ")  has  its  place  at  the  end 
of  a  section  of  the  Sei'vice — e.g.,  after  the  mOTT  ''p\Dti  in 
the  Morning  Service;  a  third  form  is  recited  by  mourners 
after  ly'py  and  after  special  hymns  or  psalms  ;  it  is  the 
whole  Kaddish  with  the  omission  of  the  sentence  be- 
ginning ^npnn.  It  is  called  oin^  cnp  ^'Kaddish  of  the 
orphan,"  and  is  intended  to  express  the  mourner's  faith 
in  God  and  his  resignation  to  His  Will. — Sometimes 
a  special  Kaddish,  called  Kaddish  dirahhanan,  is  recited 
after  the  reading  of  some  Talmudic  or  Midrashic  pas- 
sages. It  is  the  same  as  Kaddish  shalem,  except  that 
the  sentence  beginning  Slpnn  is  replaced  by  a  prayer 
for  the  welfare  of  the  scholars,  the  Rabbis,  and  their 
pupils. 

^  As  to  the  merits  of  Public  Service,  see  above,  p.  284.  Ten  male 
persons  of  thirteen  years  and  upwards  constitute  a  congregation,  "113^* 
(or  p3D  "number"  or  "quorum"),  and  their  united  devotions  form 
Public  Service  ("113^3  H^Sn)'  '"*'^'  which  tlie  additions  enumerated 
above  are  introduced. 


442  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

(2.)  Repetition  of  the  tcfillah  by  the  Reader,  with 
the  addition  of  Kedushah  before  the  third  paragraph, 
and  the  Priests'  Blessing  before  the  last  paragraph, 
of  the  tcfillah.  The  Kedmhah,  "Proclamation  of  the 
Holiness  of  God,"  is  based  on  the  visions  of  Isa.  vi.  and 
of  Ezek.  iii.,  with  citation  of  three  verses,  Isa.  vi.  3, 
Ezek.  iii.  12,  and  Ps.  cxlvi.  lO,  in  which  the  Holiness, 
Glory,  and  Kingdom  of  God  are  proclaimed. 

The  Priests'  Blessing,  originally  spoken  by  priests, 
descendants  of  Aaron,  is  now  in  most  Synagogues 
included  by  the  Reader  in  the  tcfillah  by  way  of 
quotation ;  only  on  Holy-days  it  is  pronounced  by 
the  priests. 

(3.)  minn  nxnp  "  the  Reading  of  the  Law,"  and  the 
"  Lessons  from  the  Prophets  "  (nTJSn),  with  the  bene- 
dictions preceding  and  following  (supra,  p.  348). 

Occasional  Prayers — Bcyicdictions,  ni3"i3. 

The  feeling  of  our  dependence  on  the  goodness  of 
God  must  constantly  be  present  to  our  mind.  AVhat- 
ever  we  enjoy,  be  it  in  the  form  of  eating  or  drinking, 
or  some  pleasing  or  remarkable  sight,  an  agreeable 
smell,  a  festivity  on  a  joyful  event,  or  the  performance 
of  a  Divine  commandment  (m^'o)  ;  whatever  befall  us, 
whether  it  be  pleasant  or  unpleasant — all  this  we  con- 
sider as  sent  to  us  by  the  Will  of  the  Almighty,  and 
we  express  our  conviction  by  a  suitable  hcrachah. 
The  general  rule  is  thus  laid  down  by  our  Sages  :  It 
is  unlawful  for  man  to  enjoy  anything  on  earth  without 
previously  acknowledging  by  a  hcrachah  that  God  is 
the    source  whence    the    enjoyment   is    derived.      For 


OUR  DUTIES.  443 

different  cases  different  forms  of  "  blessings  "  have  been 
fixed  by  our  Sages.  In  some  cases  the  enjoyment  is 
also  followed  by  a  prayer  of  thanksgiving,  the  most 
important  being  the  prayer  after  meals,  called  jnon  n3"i:i 
"  Benediction  for  food  or  Grace."  ^  In  the  Mishnah 
it  is  called  "  Three  Blessings  "  (ni3"i3  11-6^'),  because  it 
consisted  originally  of  three  paragraphs,  each  ending 
with  a  benediction.  The  three  paragraphs  are  the 
following:  (i)  ]Tn  nD")3  ("Benediction  commencing 
itn "),  in  which  we  praise  God's  providential  care  of  all 
creatures,  (2)  nxnin  "Thanksgiving,"  or  pxn  n3"i2 
(Benediction  referring  to  Palestine).  In  this  paragraph 
we  offer  thanks  for  our  individual  sustenance,  as  well 
as  for  our  national  gifts :  Palestine,  the  Covenant,  and 
the  Law.  (3)  Prayer  for  the  restoration  of  Zion  and 
the  rebuilding  of  the  Temple  (D^^^nT  TJl).- — Subsequently 
a  fourth  paragraph  was  added  (3"'t20ni  21t3n  '"'  who  is  good 
and  causes  His  creatures  to  be  good  ")  in  commemo- 
ration of  the  relief  given  to  the  Jews  after  the  close 
of  the  war  with  Hadrian.^ — On  certain  occasions,  e.</., 
at  a  wedding  repast,  suitable  additions  are  made. 
Besides  these,  various  supplications  have  been  added  in 
later  times. 

There  are  various  short  forms  of  this  pton  n3"i2  ; 
the  shortest  is  that  for  children,  "  Blessed  be  the 
Merciful,  the  Giver  of  this  bread."  ^ — When  three 
grown-up   male   persons  or  more  have  their  meal  to- 

^  Before  meals  we  wash  our  hands,  say  the  blessing,  Q"i"]i  n?''l3J  ?]}> 
and  eat  a  piece  of  bread  after  having  said  thebcrachah,  X'VIOH. — Some 
wash  their  hands  a  second  time  (□'•JlinX  D^D)  before  Grace.  See 
Shulchan-aruch,  Orach-chayyim  clxxxi. 

^  Conip.  Babyl.  Talm.,  Berachoth,  p.  486. 

^  xn^a  ''xm  nniD  xj^m  ina  ^^  i^::v:)  Vjh^^u^  ina- 


444  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

gether,  a  special  introductory  form  is  used,  called  pOT 
"  summons  to  prayer,"  one  of  the  company  acting  as 
Reader,  aiid  the  rest  forming  the  congregation. 

Another  form  of  thanksofivinof  is  the  "  Abstract  of 
the  Three  Blessings "  (phl^  'CV^),  consisting  of  one 
paragraph  wliich  contains  the  whole  of  the  Grace  in  a 
contracted  form,  and  is  used  after  cake,  wine,  and  the 
like. 

No  restriction  is  enforced  upon  us  if  we  desire  on 
our  part  to  give  expression  to  our  feeling  of  gratitude 
and  reverence  toward  the  Almighty  in  our  own  words 
on  occasions  not  provided  for  in  the  ancient  forms  of 
benedictions  and  prayers.  In  order,  however,  to  make 
a  distinction  between  the  forms  of  obligatory  herachoth 
fixed  by  our  Sages  and  the  optional  ones  introduced 
by  ourselves,  we  do  not  employ  the  words,  "  0  Lord, 
our  God,  King  of  the  Universe,"  which  are  essential 
in  the  former. 

Notes. 

I.  On  Page  424  sgg. 

Among  the  different  minhagim  observed  in  the  Synagogue  the 
following  are  noteworthy  : — The  head  is  kept  covered,  the  hands 
uncovered  ;  gloves  are  generally  taken  off  before  the  beginning 
of  the  Service.  It  was  customary  to  spread  forth  the  hands 
duri  ng  prayer,  and  the  phrase  "  spreading  forth  the  hands  "  is  used- 
in  tlie  Bible  in  the  sense  of  "praying."  The  priests  still  raise 
their  hands  when  pronouncing  the  blessing.  Isaiah,  rebuking 
tliose  who  prayed  to  God  without  seeking  purification  from  evil 
deeds,  says,  "And  when  you  spread  forlh  your  hands  I  will  hide 
mine  eyes  from  you  ;  yea,  when  ye  make  many  prayers  I  will  not 
hear  ;  your  hands  are  full  of  blood"  (Isa.  i.  15).  Following  the 
example  of  the  Psalmist,  '•  I  will  wash  my  hands  in  innocency, 
so  will  I  compass  thine  altar"  (Ps.  xxvi.  6),  we  wa~h  our  hands 


OUR  DUTIES.  445 

before  prayer,  as  a  symbol  of  the  duty  of  purifyincr  our  conscience 
from  guilt  before  approaching  the  Almighty  with  our  petitions. 
We  thus  uncover  our  hands  as  if  to  say,  "The  reproach  of  Isaiah 
does  not  apply  to  us  ;  we  have  tried  to  free  our  heart  and  our 
hands  from  guilt." 

A  custom  frequently  animadverted  upon  is  the  habit  which 
many  Jews  have  adopted  of  swinging  their  bodies  forward  and 
backward  during  prayer.  We  consider  it  a  more  decent  way  to 
stand  or  sit  still  when  communing  with  the  Supreme  Being.  Both 
M'ays  hnd  support  in  the  Talmud  (Babyl.  T.,  Berachoth  31(7,  and 
Shabbatli  loa)  ;  whilst  the  one  stands  like  "a  servant  in  the 
presence  of  his  master,"  the  other  gives  way  to  his  emotions  and 
e.xcitement.  The  Magen  Abraham,  on  chap,  xlviii.  4,  says  :  "  He 
who  follows  the  one  example  is  right,  and  he  wlio  follows  the 
other  is  likewise  right  :  all  depends  on  the  devotion  of  the  heart." 
Rabbi  Jehudah  ha- Levi  in  his  Cuzari  (Book  II.  chap.xli.)  mentions 
and  explains  the  custom  of  shaking  during  prayer.  The  habit  of 
accompanying  the  emotions  of  our  heart  by  corresponding  motions 
of  our  body  has  produced  the  custom  of  raising  the  whole  body 
upwards  when  uttering  the  word  '•  lioly  "  in  the  kedushali. 

During  tefillah  we  remain  standing  in  tlie  same  place  ;  at  the 
end,  when  we  have  finished  our  petition,  we  retire  slowly  a  few 
steps  backward  ;  the  same  is  done  by  the  Reader  during  the  last 
paragraph  of  the  kaddish.  It  is  as  if,  our  petition  ended,  we 
leverently  withdrew  from  the  heavenly  King  who  has  given  us 
audience  during  the  jirayer. 

We  bend  the  knee,  incline  our  head,  and  bow  down  on  certain 
occasions  during  the  Service,  but  we  do  not  kneel  during  prayer. 
—It  has  perhaps  been  avoided  as  an  idolatrous  practice,  with 
reference  to  Judges  vii.  5. 

When  the  Ark  is  opened  and  the  Scfcr  is  taken  out  or  put 
back,  we  stand  and  show  our  respect  for  the  Word  of  God  in 
various  ways.  Some  bow  the  head  ;  others,  considering  this  as 
worship,  kiss  the  Sefer,  or  otherwise  express  their  reverence. 

The  traditional  way  in  which  the  kohanini  proceed  to  bless 
the  people  is  this  :  they  remove  their  shoes,  as  the  priests  did 
who  ministered  in  the  Temple  ;  water  is  then  poured  over  their 
hands  by  the  Levites,  the  ablutions  of  the  ancient  priests  being 
thus  imitated  to  some  extent  (see  Exod.  xxx.  20).  It  is  a  holy 
act,  and  is  done  in  the  Synagogue  generally  in  front  of  the  Ark. 


446  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

The  priests  ascend  the  stejjs  of  the  hcchal  and  wait  till  called  upon 
by  the  Reader  to  pronounce  tlie  blessing.  They  turn  toward  the 
congregation,  spread  forth  their  hands  in  the  traditional  manner, 
and  cover  head  iind  face  with  the  talith,  in  order  not  to  be  dis- 
turbed in  their  devotion  by  the  sight  of  the  congregation  before 
them  ;  the  Reader  dictates  the  words  of  the  benediction  to  theiu 
to  guard  against  any  mistakes  being  made  by  them.  The  con- 
gregation, giving  special  importance  to  each  word,  add  Biblical 
quotations  and  special  supplications  during  the  interval  between 
one  word  and  the  other.  Of  greater  importance,  however,  is 
respectful  listening  to  the  words  uttered  by  the  priests,  and 
chanted  by  them  is  a  peculiar  traditional  tune.  The  priests  turn 
to  all  directions  while  pronouncing  the  blessing,  expressing 
thereby  that  they  would  have  no  one  excluded  from  the  blessing. 
Some  hohanim  refuse  to  perform  this  duty,  pretending  or 
believing  that  they  are  unworthy  to  bless  the  congregation.  This 
is  a  mistake.  Those  who  feel  that  they  are  unworthy  must  try 
by  improved  conduct  to  render  themselves  worthy,  but  dis- 
obedience to  the  direct  commandment  of  the  Divine  Law  is 
certainly  not  the  beginning  of  improvement.  Others  object  to 
the  singing,  in  which  they  are  unable  to  join  ;  others  to  taking 
off  their  boots.  The  excuses  are  certainly  insufficient.  But  as 
these  two  elements  are  less  essential,  they  might,  if  necessary,  be 
dispensed  with  if  the  fulfilment  of  the  commandment  is  secured 
thereby. 

2.  On  Page  439. 

There  are  various  parts  in  our  Service  which  originally  seem 
to  have  formed  a  substitute,  under  certain  circumstances,  for 
a  section  of  the  Service  or  for  the  whole  of  it,  but  were  subse- 
quently, when  the  circumstances  altered,  embodied  as  an  integral 
part  of  the  Service  in  addition  to  the  sections  which  they  had 
replaced. 

In  the  Morning  Service  there  is  in  the  section  called  m3"lll 
"in:^'n  a  prayer  beginning  D^^<  XD'  D^iyi?  and  concluding  QS^r:;^ 
^"'  "IDS-  This  prayer,  preceded  by  an  exhortation  to  be  God- 
fearing in  secret— Avhen  persectttion  prevented  pitblic  worship  of 
God — contains  an  expression  of  pride  in  our  history,  and  of 
gratitude  to  God  that  we  have  the  privilege   to   proclaim   the 


OUR  DUTIES.  447 

Unity  of  God  in  the  words,  "Hear,  0  Israel,"  etc.,  and  a  petition 
for  the  fulfilment  of  the  Messianic  prophecies. 

In  the  Maaribh  the  part  beginning  ch)^^  ''*  "jll^  and  ending 
Vi:'yo  ^3  hv  was  originally  a  substitute  for  the  Amidah,  and  the 
conclusion  of  the  Evening  Service  for  those  who  considered  the 
tefillali  in  the 'evening  optional.  Similarly,  on  Friday  evening 
the  contracted  tefillali  was  originally  a  substitute  for  the  tefillah 
for  those  who  came  late.  In  both  these  and  similar  cases  the 
substitute  and  its  original  have  been  retained  as  integral  parts  of 
the  Service. 

3.   On  Page  442  (2). 

In  the  public  Service  the  tefillah  is  repeated  by  the  Reader 
after  the  silent  prayer  (E^•^?3)  of  the  congregation  T!\\\?,  minhag 
must  have  been  introduced  very  early.  In  the  Talmud  (end  of 
Eosh  ha-shanah)  it  is  spoken  of  as  a  regi^lar  institution,  its  i)ur- 
pose  is  discussed,  and  the  reason  stated  why  we  should  not 
dispense  with  the  Reader's  repetition  or  with  the  silent  tefillali. 
It  seems  that  there  was,  on  the  one  hand,  a  desire  on  the  pai't  of 
the  congregants  to  have  an  uninterrupted  silent  tefillah  in  which 
ihey  could  give  suitable  expression  each  one  to  his  personal 
and  peculiar  wants  and  wishes.  On  the  other  hand,  there  was 
also  a  desire  felt  by  many  to  be  guided  in  their  devotions  by  the 
Reader.  Our  minhag  satisfies  both  requirements.  But  it  is  a 
grave  error  to  think,  as  unfortunately  many  do,  that,  while  the 
Reader  repeats  the  tefillah,  the  congregants  may  turn  their  heart 
and  mind  to  other  things,  however  holy  these  be.  The  congrega- 
tion and  the  Reader  must  be  united  in  devotion  during  n^SJl 
"lin^'D?  i^ud  where  the  continiied  concentration  of  thought  during 
the  tefillali  and  its  repetition  seems  unattainable,  it  would  be 
better  to  sacrifice  the  minhag  of  repeating  the  tefillah  rather  than 
to  have  the  repetition  of  the  prayer  without  the  participation  of 
the  congregants,  or  even  without  decorum. 

In  the  repetition  of  the  tefillah  the  keclushah  forms  an  important 
addition.  The  essential  idea  of  the  hedushah  is  repeated  thrice 
during  ihe  Morning  Service,  viz.,  in  the  first  of  the  benedictions 
preceding  the  shema,  in  the  tefillah  or  Amidah,  and  in  the  con- 
cluding section  commencing  jVVP  X3"l. 

In  the  first  hedushah  (called  "i^'in  nL*"np),  while  praising  God 


448  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

as  the  Creator  of  light  and  of  the  heavenly  luminaries,  we  intro- 
duce these,  as  proclaimin<i,  as  it  were,  the  holiness  and  glory  of 
God  in  tlie  words  of  the  Proi^hets.  In  the  last  kedushah  (called 
Sn^DT  nti'np  or  nCi'npn  NIT'D)  we  merely  read,  among  other 
passages  from  the  Prophets,  those  verses  of  Isaiah  and  Ezekiel 
which  contain  the  chief  sentences  of  the  kedushah.  In  the  keda- 
shah  of  the  tefilhih  the  Reader  summons  the  congregation  to  pro- 
claim the  sanctification  of  God  in  the  manner  of  the  angels  above  ; 
it  has  therefore  its  place  only  in  Public  Wor-hip,  whilst  as  to  the 
other  two  hedushoth  there  is  no  difference  whether  a  person  prays 
by  himself  or  in  a  congregation  of  worshippers. 

As  regards  1d~i31  Clp,  two  prayers  generally  united,  it  must 
be  remarked  that  in  their  meaning  they  are  disunited  :  the  half- 
kaddish  is  the  conclusion  of  the  viizmovim  or  pesuke  dezimrah,  and 
ISIil  is  the  commencement  of  the  next  section  :  shema,  with  its 
benedictions.  The  halt-kaddish,  wherever  it  occurs,  concludes 
some  section  of  the  Service.  In  shacharith,  after  Amidah,  or  after 
''  Supplications,"  or  after  the  Reading  of  the  Law  ;  at  Musaf, 
Mmchah,  Ne'Uah,  and  Maarihh  after  the  introductory  jjsalms. 
The  hdli-kaddish  before  the  Amidah  in  the  Maarihh  is  probably 
a  remnant  of  the  whole  kaddish  that  used  to  be  said  when  the 
Service  ended  there  and  the  Amidah  was  considered  optional 

(nitri). 

4.  On  Page  442  (3). 

An  important  element  in  the  Service  is  religious  instruction. 
The  means  adopted  were  the  reading  of  the  Torah  and  Haph- 
tarah,  the  introduction  of  moral  lessons,  principles  of  faith, 
exposition  of  Divine  precepts  into  the  Service,  and  lectures  con- 
taining various  lessons,  exhortations,  and  explanations  of  the 
Biblical  and  Post-Biblical  Sacred  Literature.  These  lectures 
are  an  ancient  institution.  The  prophets  instructed  the  people, 
especially  on  New-moon  and  Sabbath  (2  Kings  iv.  23) ;  the 
Scribes  and  the  Rabbis  of  the  Talmudic  age  expounded  the  Torah 
and  other  Biblical  and  Post-Biblical  writings  ;  they  were  followed 
by  darshanim  and  mac/gidim,  the  modein  preachers  and  ministers. 
The  aim  of  these  lectures  is  to  create,  maintain,  or  intensify  the 
fear  of  God  and  the  love  of  the  Torah  {Q-<r>'C*  nXT'1  min  nnns). 

The  Sermon  has  lost  much  of  its  original  force  and  influence. 
The  cause  of  tliis  fact  is  probably  to  be  sought  chiefly  in  the 


OUR  DUTIES.  449 

materialism  and  scepticism  of  the  age,  but  to  some  degree  also 
in  the  character  of  the  sermon.  It  cannot  be  denied  that  the 
pulpit,  instead  of  being  made  a  place  from  which  Love  of  Torah 
and  Fear  of  God  receive  life,  encouragement,  and  strength,  is 
frequently  turned  into  a  platform  for  discussing  communal  or 
personal  quarrels  or  theological  controversies,  or  creating  a  dis- 
content with  existing  institutions,  without  sutRciently  considering 
the  result  of  such  discontent.  Themes  like  these  are  not  outside 
the  province  of  the  preacher,  but  they  must  not  be  the  staple  of 
his  discourses,  which  must  principally  seek  to  foster  niin  n^riN 
WJDC  nXT'l  in  the  hearts  of  the  congregants.  As  to  the  history 
and  literature  of  this  branch  of  the  Service,  see  Zunz,  Die 
Gottesdicnstlichen  Vurtriige  der  Juden.     Berlin,  1832. 

5.  On  Page  420. 

The  question  is  frequently  asked  whether  special  meetings  and 
Services  may  be  arranged  w'ith  a  view  of  imjjroving  the  religious 
status  of  the  Jewish  community.  There  is  no  reason  why  attempts 
should  not  be  made  in  this  direction.  By  all  means  let  every- 
thing be  done  that  is  conduciA^e  to  a  revival  of  religious  feeling 
and  religious  practice.  But  in  sucb  attempts  care  must  be  taken 
that  nothing  be  done  that  is  contrary  to  the  precepts  of  the  Law, 
both  "Written  and  Oral ;  that  the  teachers,  preachers,  or  lecturers 
do  not  themselves  display  a  disregard  for  recognised  religious 
authority,  and  by  such  conduct  undermine  the  existing  reverence 
for  the  inhei-ited  traditional  Eeligion. 

On  this  basis  meetings  on  Sabbath  for  the  ])urpose  of  reading 
the  Bible,  praying,  and  singing,  in  whatever  language  this  be 
done,  and  special  Services  for  the  pupils  of  Religion  Clas.-;es  at 
the  close  of  the  session,  must  be  welcome  to  all  who  have  a  love 
for  our  holy  Religion. 

6.  On  Page  420. 

A  question  of  equal  importance  that  frequently  disturbs  the 
peace  of  the  congregation  is  this :  whether  and  in  how  far  the  esta- 
blished Ritual  or  minhag  of  a  Synagogue  may  be  altered.  The 
Ritual  is  not  the  work  of  one  man  or  of  one  age  ;  it  is  the  pro- 
duct of  the  tlioughts  and  the  feelings  of  our  nation  through  many 

2  F 


450  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

centuries.  Its  foundation  was  laid  by  the  Men  of  the  Great 
Synagogue  in  the  time  of  Ezra.  Generation  after  generation 
were  busy  in  the  construction  of  the  building  ;  storey  was  added 
to  storey  ;  from  time  to  time  new  wings  made  their  appearance. 
Eeverence  and  piety  made  successive  builders  reluctant  to  pull 
down  what  the  same  feelings  of  preceding  generations  had  reared. 
The  whole  formed  a  Sanctuary  every  single  stone  of  which  was 
cherished  and  guarded  against  desecration.  Notwithstanding  the 
storms  and  tempests  to  which  it  was  exposed,  and  which  certainly 
caused  a  breach  here  and  there,  our  Sanctuary  stands  still  on  its 
ancient  foundations,  and  its  walls  retain  their  power  of  resistance. 

What  is  the  duty  of  the  present  generation  with  regard  to  this 
structure  ?  Architects  or  would-be  architects  examine  it  minutely 
from  foundation  to  top-stone  ;  but  they  come  to  different  con- 
clusions. We  will  examine  these  conclusions,  sine  ird  et  studio, 
assuming  that  the  examination  has  been  conducted  6o?ia  ^(Ze,  with 
a  view  of  strengthening  the  Sanctuary,  and  that  the  reports  are  in 
accordance  with  truth  and  the  examiners'  innermost  conviction. 

(l.)  Some  declare  "the  Building  no  longer  attractive;  there 
are  so  many  other  edifices  full  of  points  of  attraction  both 
without  and  within  ;  these  must  in  course  of  time  draw  away  the 
visitors  from  our  Sanctuary,  and  estrange  those  Avho  used  to  fill 
it."  We  admit  the  force  of  the  argument.  It  has  always  been 
the  aim  of  those  who  had  the  management  of  the  Synagogue  in 
their  hands  to  make  the  Service  attractive  ;  there  is  no  reason 
why  it  could  or  should  not  be  done  at  present.  Means  of  attrac- 
tion are  mostly  of  an  external  character  :  the  art  and  luxury 
displayed  in  the  building  and  its  furniture,  the  eloquence  of  the 
preacher,  the  voice  of  the  reader,  the  singing  of  the  choir,  intro- 
duction of  novelties,  such  as  instrumental  music  {scil.^  on  week- 
days) and  prayers  in  the  vernacular.  In  themselves  these  things 
are  harmless,  and  although  they  are  not  the  essence  of  the  worship, 
they  may  lead  to  it ;  ^  and,  for  this  reason,  it  must  be  considered 
a  condition  sine  qua,  non,  that  the  style  of  singing,  reading,  and 
preaching  should  be  such  as  to  please  the  majority,  if  not  every 
one,  of  the  congregants.^  But  there  is  this  to  be  feared  and  guarded 

*  The  Reader  must  be  '\)2)i  PIvC'  the  real  representative  of,  and 
acceptable  to  the  congregants  (Shulchan-aruch  I.  liii,  4). 


OUR  DUTIES.  451 

against :  viz.,  that  tlie  husk  be  mistaken  for  the  fruit,  and  true 
devotion  be  lost.  Besides,  the  experiment  has  been  made,  and 
the  desired  result  has  not  been  obtained.  There  are  plenty  of 
places  for  the  enjoyment  of  vocal  and  instrumental  mu.sic,  with 
which  the  Synagogue  would  vie  in  vain  in  jioint  of  attractiveness, 
and  novelties,  us  novelties,  soon  wear  away,  and  bring  no  n-al 
improvement.  Let  the  leaders  of  the  Synagogue  strengthen  the 
faith  of  their  brethren  in  God  and  His  Word,  maintain,  by  good 
example,  their  reverence  for  our  ancient  traditions  and  customs, 
and  be  themselves  earnest  and  devout  worshippers  ;  they  will 
then  surelv  be  more  successful  in  drawing  others  to  the  House 
of  God. 

(2.)  Another  critic  says  :  "  The  Synagogue  Services  are  dis- 
cordant ; "  that  is,  the  feelings  expressed  in  our  prayers  have  no 
echo  in  the  hearts  of  the  worshippers.  "  Education  and  general 
progress  have  so  entirely  changed  the  whole  life  of  man  that 
he  can  no  longer  be  edified  by  the  prayers  and  method  of 
devotion  followed  hj  our  forefathers."  Those  who  assert  this,  of 
course,  only  assert  it  of  themselves,  and  so  far  their  statement 
may  be  accepted  as  correct.  But  on  examining  it  more  closely 
we  find  that  there  must  be  something  misleading  in  it.  For  what 
is  the  central  idea  of  the  ancient  prayers  and  hymns  ?  The  con- 
viction that  we  address  our  Heavenly  Father,  who  is  the  Creator 
and  Ruler  of  the  Universe  ;  who  is  just,  good,  and  holy  ;  who 
alone  can  fulfil  the  wishes  which  we  utter  in  our  prayers,  and 
"  who  is  near  to  all  those  who  call  upon  him  in  truth."  Does 
progress  of  education  force  us  to  abandon  this  principle  ?  Cer- 
tainly not.  Those  who  do  abandon  it  cannot  be  said  to  do  so  bv 
force  of  education,  for  they  are  found  among  the  educated  and 
uneducated  alike  ;  and  we  should  be  false  to  our  own  Faitli  if 
we  were  to  abandon  this  fundamental  principle  of  our  Divine 
Service. 

The  second  of  the  fundamental  Principles  of  our  Faith,  tliougli 
less  general  than  the  preceding,  is  yet  equally  essential  in 
Judaism,  viz.,  the  belief  in  Revelation,  in  the  Integrity  and  the 
Divine  origin  of  the  Torah,  and  the  trutli  of  the  Divine  messages 
sent  through  the  prophets.  The  Ritual  is  replete  with  references 
to  this  belief,  and  it  would  amount  to  a  rejection  of  this  essen- 
tially Jewish  Principle,  if  we  were  to  expunge  such  references 
from  the  Ritual  in  order  to  please  a  few  unbelievers. 


452  THE  JEWISH  RELIGIOX. 

References  to  tlie  Sacrificial  Service,  and  especially  prayers  for 
its  restoration,  are  disliked  by  some,  who  think  such  restoration 
undesirable.  Lt-t  no  one  pray  for  a  thing  against  his  ■will ;  let 
him  whose  heart  is  not  with  his  fellow-worshippers  in  any  of 
their  supplications  silently  substitute  his  own  prayers  for  them, 
but  let  him  not  interfere  with  the  devotion  of  those  to  whom 
"the  statutes  of  the  Lord  are  right,  rejoicing  the  heart;  the 
commandment  of  the  Lord  pure,  enlightening  the  eyes  ;  the 
judgments  of  the  Lord  true  and  righteous  altogether"  (Ps.  xix. 
9,  lo),  and  who  yearn  for  the  opportunity  of  fulfilling  Divine 
commandments  which  they  cannot  observe  at  present."^  Prayer,  in 
the  true  sense  of  the  word,  is  impossible  without  the  recognition 
of  God  as  our  Master,  whom  we  are  willing  to  serve,  and  who?e 
commands  we  desire  to  do,  whether  the  act  implied  in  them  be 
in  other  respects  agreeable  to  us  or  not. 

(3.)  The  Ritual  contains  many  sections  which  owe  their  exist- 
ence to  particular  circumstances  that  have  passed  away,  and 
to  local  conditions  which  are  different  from  those  prevailing  in 
the  countries  in  which  we  live.  Have  these  a  right  to  be  kept 
jierpetually  in  the  Ritual?  Certainly  not.  There  is  no  reason 
why  prayers  which  have  become  obsolete  and  meaningless  should 
not  be  modified  or  discontinued.  But  as  a  rule  our  prayers  are 
free  from  references  to  the  particular  causes  of  their  composition, 
and  there  is  no  need  to  expunge  from  the  Service  petitions, 
Thanksgivings,  or  praises  which  were  originally  intended  for  a 
special  occasion,  if  they  are  expressed  in  general  lerms,  and  have 
become  in  the  Synagogue  a  source  of  devotion  and  edification. 
But  as  to  the  latter  condition,  it  is  diffictilt  to  decide  whether  a 
liturgical  composition  has  become,  and  is  still,  an  aid  to  devotion. 
Much  depends  on  the  individual  character  of  the  particular  con- 
i;re;^ation  in  which  the  question  has  been  raised,  and  each  case 
should  be  decided  on  its  own  merits  by  a  competent  and  respon- 
sible authority. 

^lany  of  the  Piyyutivi-  and  Selichoih  belong  to  this  class  ;  also  a 
few  .sections  in  the  ordinary  Ritual  (see  note  2),  and  the  repetition 


^  See  above,  page  417. 

-  Kg.,  D^i  and  ?t3,  in  the  Musaph  of  the  first  day  of  Pcsach  and  the 
eic^hth  day  of  Succoih  are  based  on  the  climatic  conditions  of  Palestine. 


OUR  DUTIES.  453 

of  the  Aviidiih,  ami  the  Kiddash  in  the  Synagogue  on  the  eve  of 
Sabbaths  and  Festivals. 

(4.)  It  is  further  asserted  that  the  Ritual  was  formulated  in 
bygone  times  ;  our  wants  and  tastes  are  different  from  those  of 
former  ages.  We  can  neither  pray  for  the  sauie  things  nor  in 
the  same  way  as  our  ancestors.  But  what  did  our  ancestors  pray 
for  ?  For  the  well-being  of  their  body  and  of  their  soul ;  for  the 
realisation  of  our  national  hopes  and  the  ultimate  triumph  of  our 
holy  Religion.  Just  the  same  ends  we  wish  to  obtain  at  present, 
and  these  objects  form  the  substance  of  our  Ritual. — There  are 
some  petitions  which  seem  to  many  out  of  place,  and  out  of  date. 
Such,  are  petitions  against  cruel  o]ipressors.  Our  fathers  had 
good  reason  to  cry  to  the  Almighty  for  relief,  for  they  were 
oppressed,  whilst  we,  living  in  a  free  country,  iu  the  enjoyment 
of  all  the  rights  of  citizens,  have  no  cause  whatever  ior  com- 
plaint. If  we  were  to  separate  ourselves  from  our  brethren  in 
distant  countries,  we  could  expunge  all  such  petitions  from  the 
Ritual.  This  is,  however,  not  the  case  ;  we  feel  deeply  grieved 
at  the  sufferings  of  our  brethren.  We  should  like  to  see  them 
relieved  from  oppression  and  jiersecution,  and  pray  to  God  for 
His  interference  in  behalf  of  the  persecuted.  When  we  use  the 
term  "  revenge  "  (DpJ)  we  do  not  associate  witli  it  any  base  desire 
to  see  the  enemy  crushed  or  annihilated  ;  we  use  it  rather  in  the 
sense  of  a  just  and  merited  penalty  for  evil-doers,  and  associate 
Avith  it  the  idea  of  the  ultimate  victory  and  triumph  of  our  holy 
Religion  alter  long  periods  of  oppression  and  persecution.  It  is 
their  Faith  for  which  our  fatheis  suffered,  and  our  brethren  in 
some  countries  still  suffer,  and  tue  triumph  of  which  forms  the 
centre  of  these  petitions.  Intense  grief  and  sorrow  sometimes 
suggested  harsh  expressions,  such  as  "  Destroy  our  enemies," 
"  Pitt  an  end  to  them,"  but  these  are  figurative  expressions,  and 
are  used  in  the  sense  explained  by  Beruria,  the  wife  of  Rabbi 
Meir  :  "  May  the  sinners  cease  from  sinning,  and  sinners  will  be 
no  more."  Similarly  we  pray  in  the  Amidali :  "  Let  our  slanderers 
have  no  hope  of  success,  so  that  evil-doers  may  soon  vanish  and 
disappear  ;  l)reak  the  power  of  the  presumptuous,  and  humble 
them."  In  these  words  we  give  expression  to  our  feeling  of  in- 
dignation against  the  slanderers  of  our  holy  Religion,  the  revilers 
of  Judaism,  such,  e.g.,  as  from  time  to  time  renew  the   blood- 


454  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

accusations,  or  by  false  and  deceptive  arguments  or  otlier  means 
entice  Jews  to  abandon  their  faith. ^ 

(5.)  We  liear  frequently  the  complaint  that  the  Public  Service 
is  too  long.  This  complaint  is  of  a  relative  character  ;  it  is 
different  from  the  feeling  of  joy  expressed  in  the  words,  '•  Blessed 
are  those  who  dwell  in  thy  house  ;"  it  is  different  from  the  senti- 
ment of  those  chasidivi  (Mishnah,  Berachoth  v.  i)  who  sat  still 
a  while  before  the  commencement  of  the  piescribed  prayer,  or 
those  who  alter  the  conclusion  thereof  sit  down  again,  sayini:, 
"  Surely  the  righteous  shall  give  thanks  to  thy  name  ;  the  upright 
shall  dwell  in  thy  presence"  (Ps.  cxl.  14).  As  regards  the  length 
of  the  Service,  we  should  bear  in  mind  the  principle  of  our 
Sages  :  It  makes  no  difference  whether  the  Service  is  long  or 
short :  only  be  devout.  It  is  provocative  of  irreverence  to  protract 
the  Service  unnecessarily  until  it  becomes  wearisome  ;  but  it  is 
equally  itnbecoming  to  hurry  over  it  as  though  it  were  an  un- 
pleasant task.  On  the  whole  the  Services,  especially  when  they 
are  well  regulated,  are  not  too  long,  unless  too  much  time  be 
spent  in  singing  or  in  unnecessary  interruptions. 

In  all  cases  in  which  a  modification  seems  advisable  and  lawful 
it  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  Ritual  is  a  Sanctuary  every 
element  of  which  is  holy,  and  that  htisty  reforms  may  be  less 
effective  than  is  hoped.  It  may  j^erhaps  be  easy  to  pull  down, 
but  it  is  not  so  easy  to  build  up.  Devout  members  of  a  congre- 
gation may  easily  be  alienated,  but  not  so  easily  will  new  members 
be  attracted,  or  if  attracted,  permanently  retained. 

7.   On  Page  424. 

Rabban  Gamaliel  said,  "  Provide  thyself  a  teacher,  and  be  quit 
of  dottbt"  (Aboth  i.  16).  The  rule  laid  down  in  these  words  for 
every  individual  applies  also  to  tlie  whole  community.  Ques- 
tions like  those  mentioned  in  the  preceding  note  frequently 
arise  in  Jewish  congrei^ations,  and  cause  dissension  where  union 
is  so  much  needed.     A  teacher  must  be  appointed  in  every  com- 


1  Those  who  fear  that  the  seemingly  harsh  expressions  might  imply 
or  suggest  ideas  and  feelings  of  a  baser  kind  can  easily  modify  them 
and  remove  the  sting. — Similarly,  expressions  contrary  to  our  taste  and 
sense  of  propriety  ought  to  be  removed. 


OUR  DUTIES.  455 

munity,  who  shall  be  able  to  guide  and  to  instruct  it  as  to  what 
is  right  and  wrong.  In  fact,  such  a  teacher  has,  as  a  rule,  been 
appointed  in  Jewish  congregations  ;  he  is  known  by  various 
names:  Haham  (D3n),  Rav  (31  "Teacher"),  Rabbi  ('•m  "My 
teacher"),  Teacher  of  righteousness  {pT^  mio),  and  Judge  (jn). 
The  weight  of  his  authority  is  less  to  be  determined  by  the  nature 
of  his  office  or  by  Avritten  conditions  than  by  his  learning,  piety, 
and  personal  influence.  According  to  the  rule,  "Judge  not 
alone ''  (ibid.  iv.  8),  he  is  generally  assisted  by  two  councillors 
(dayganim),  with  whom  he  forms  a  court  of  judgment — Beth-din 
— when  questions  of  more  than  ordinary  importance  have  to  be 
decided.  The  congregation  must  accept  his  decisions  as  final,  and 
must  have  confidence  that  he,  like  the  high-priest  of  old,  will 
give  his  answers  according  to  "  light  and  integrity." 

VI.  The  Dietary  Laws. 

"  Tliou  shalt  not  eat  any  abominable  tiling  "  (Deut. 
xiv.  3);  tliat  is,  according  to  our  traditional  explana- 
tion, everything  that  the  Word  of  God  declares  to  be 
abominable  (Sifre,  ad  locum).  One  of  the  sections  of 
the  Dietary  Laws  concludes  thus  :  "  For  I  am  the  Lord 
that  brought  you  up  out  of  the  land  of  Egypt,  to  be 
your  God  :  ye  shall  therefore  be  holy,  for  I  am  holy  " 
(Lev.  xi.  45). 

Holiness  is  therefore  the  only  object  of  these  laws 
that  is  distinctly  mentioned  in  the  Pentateuch.  But 
what  is  the  nature  of  the  holiness  which  they  are 
intended  to  produce  or  to  promote  ?  "  The  Dietary 
Laws,"  says  Maimonides, ''  train  us  in  the  mastery  over 
our  appetites  ;  they  accustom  us  to  restrain  the  growth 
of  desire,  the  indulgence  in  seeking  that  which  is 
pleasant,  and  the  disposition  to  consider  the  pleasure 
of  eating  and  drinking  the  end  of  man's  existence  " 
("The  Guide,"  IIL,  chap.  xxv.  p.  167).      And,  indeed, 


456  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

wherever  the  Law  commands  restraint  of  some  bodih^ 
enjoyment,  or  restriction  of  any  of  our  appetites,  such 
commandment  is  followed  or  preceded  by  the  exhor- 
tation to  be  holy,  or  the  warning  not  to  defile  oneself. 

Is  there  any  secondary  object  in  these  laws  besides 
the  motive  distinctly  mentioned  ?  It  has  frequently 
been  observed  that  Jews  have  enjoyed  a  certain  degree 
of  immunity  from  epidemics  that  raged  among  their 
non-Jewish  neighbours.  It  has  further  been  noticed 
that  they  have  a  lower  rate  of  mortality  and  a  greater 
longevity.  These  facts  are  generally  explained  to  be 
the  result  of  a  temperate  life,  regulated  by  the  Divine 
Law.  Finding  that  such  is  the  consequence  of  obedi- 
ence to  the  Dietary  Laws,  we  maj'  fairly  assume  that 
in  distinguishing  certain  things  from  the  rest,  in  pro- 
hibiting some  and  permitting  others,  the  Lawgiver 
aimed  at  the  health  and  the  well-being  of  man's  body. 
Our  conception  of  the  goodness  of  God  compels  us  to 
believe  that  in  recommending  certain  things  for  our 
use  He  intended  thereby  to  promote  our  well-being, 
and  to  show  us  what  is  good  for  our  health,  and  what 
is  injurious.  But  we  must  take  care  that  we  do  not 
on  that  account  consider  these  precepts  exclusively  as 
sanitary  regulations,  however  important  such  regula- 
tions may  be.  We  must  not  lose  sight  of  the  fact 
that  Holiness  is  the  only  object  of  the  Dietary  Laws, 
mentioned  in  the  Pentateuch. 

But  what  difference  can  it  make  to  the  Almighty 
whether  we  eat  this  or  that  ?  Surely  it  makes  no 
difference  to  the  Almighty ;  but  we  have  faith  in  His 
Goodness  and  Wisdom,  and  are  convinced  that  He 
knows    by   what   means   we    may  best  attain  to  that 


OCR  DUTIES.  457 

holiness  which  we  are  so  frequently  exhorted  to  seek, 
and  that  the  Divine  Laws  which  He  revealed  to  us 
for  this  very  purpose  show  the  shortest  and  the  safest 
road  to  this  aim. 

With  the  following  exceptions,  the  Dietary  Laws 
concern  only  animal  food  : — 

(i.)  n^iy  ''Forbidden  fruit,"  i.e.,  the  fruit  of  a  tree 
during  the  first  three  years  after  its  planting  (Lev. 
xix.  23). — The  fruit  of  the  fourth  year  ('•ym  i;t3J)  was 
formerly,  in  the  time  of  the  Temple,  brought  to  Jeru- 
salem, and  consumed  there  amidst  praises  and  thanks- 
giving to  Him  who  is  the  source  of  all  blessing  (ibid. 
V.  24).  Those  who  lived  far  irom  Jerusalem  were 
allowed  to  redeem  the  fruit  of  the  fourth  year  with 
silver,  and  to  spend  the  latter  in  the  holy  city. 

(2.)  j^nn  "  New  corn." — The  Omer  of  barley  offered 
on  the  second  day  of  Passover  is  called  "  the  first  of 
your  harvest"  (Lev.  xxiii.  10),  and  it  was  enjoined, 
"  Ye  shall  eat  neither  bread,  nor  parched  corn,  nor 
fresh  ears,^  until  this  selfsame  day,  until  ye  have 
brought  the  oblation  of  your  God"  (ibid.  14). 

These  two  laws  (n^ny  and  lym)  seem  to  have  their 
source  in  the  dictum,  "  The  first  of  the  first-fruits  of 
thy  ground  thou  shalt  bring  into  the  house  of  the 
Lord  thy  God"  (Exod.  xxiii.  19). 

(3.)  n''N^D. — Mixture  of  different  kinds.  "Thou 
shalt  not  sow  thy  field  with  two  kinds  of  seed  "  (Lev. 
xix.   19)."      "Thou   shalt  not   sow   thy   vineyard  with 

^  7.C.,  of  the  new  corn.  This  law  of  ti'^^  ai>plied  to  tlie  corn  sown 
during  the  year  preceding  the  festival  of  Passover  and  beginning  with 
the  previous  Passover  (Babyl.  Talm.,  Menachotii  69). 

"  The  grafting  of  two  species  of  trees  one  upon  the  other  is  included 
in  this  prohibition. 


458  THE  JEWISH  RELIGION. 

two  kinds  of  seed "  (Deut.  sxii.  9).  In  the  former 
case  only  the  sowing  of  divers  kinds  is  prohibited,  but 
the  produce  of  such  sowing  is  not  forbidden  ;  in  the