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Critical Notices. 319 



CRITICAL NOTICES. 

Quellmsehriften zur Geschichte des Unterriehts und der Erziehung 
hei den deutschen Juden von den altesten Zeiten Ms auf Mendelssohn, 
von Dr. M. Gudemann. (Berlin, 1891.) 

After having completed in four parts the history of Jewish education 
and learning in Spain, Italy and G-ermany in the fullest sense, Dr. 
Gudemann gives in the present volume the original documents con- 
cerning education amongst the German Jews. The author rightly 
says in his preface, that it is impossible for one man to collect all 
sentences and sayings referring to Jewish education which are 
scattered throughout a great number of works and treatises ; he has 
therefore confined himself to special chapters and monographs on the 
subject. The German-speaking Jews (settled, in consequence of 
various exiles and of voluntary emigration, in Slavonic-speaking 
countries, Hungary, Turkey, and especially in Palestine, and in Upper 
Italy) did not, with but few exceptions, compose special ethical books, 
as their brethren did in Spain and Portugal, and later on (after having 
been exiled from these countries) in Morocco, Tunis, Algeria, 
Salonica, Constantinople, Smyrna and other parts of the East. The 
exceptions are enumerated and extracts are given from them by our 
author, together with " wills," left by learned rabbis, and memorials 
of the various congregations, in which education is touched on by 
various statutes made by a committee of the heads of the community. 
These various documents are written in Rabbinical Hebrew, and also 
often in the German jargon used dialectically by the scattered Jews 
in Germany and in other countries where the emigrants kept to the 
German speech. Thus these documents have also some philological 
value, although not to such an extent as the French glosses found in 
the commentaries of Rashi and his successors. 

Although the central point of education with the Jews in the 
middle ages was chiefly the interpretation of the Bible and the in- 
vestigation of the Talmud, the Midrash and the works on Halakhah, 
the Jews in Spain began early to cultivate Arabic, and thus became 
acquainted with Greek philosophy through the medium of Averroes, 
with medicine through Avicenna, with mathematics and astronomy 
through many Arabic authors who studied and commented on 



320 The Jewish Quarterly Revieto. 

Ptolemy in the first instance, and later on wrote also original works. 
Consequently the Spanish Jews knew the Aristotelian ethics, and had 
some acquaintance with Plato ; and they got hold of a pseudo- 
Aristotelian book of moral sayings. The Hebrew translations of these 
Arabic works reached Provence and Italy, in which countries many 
copies were made. Perhaps some of these were known in Northern 
France, England and Germany, where the Jews it seems, were averse 
to studying anything else but casuistical matter, Kabbalah, and rarely 
grammar. No translations from the Latin or French made in these 
countries are known if we except Berechiah Naqdan and Haginus ; 
the former wrote two ethical books, of which one is in the form of 
fables, as early as 1190. 

Thus whilst Spanish authors recommend the study of philosophical 
and ethical works simultaneously with that of the Bible and the 
Talmud, the French and G-erman writers cared exclusively for Bible, 
Talmud and Kabbalah, so far as is shown by the documents pub- 
lished by Dr. Giidemann. In the sixteenth century Moses Premisla 
(p. 63), although with a little reserve, opposes the study of '' Greek 
learning," viz., of Aristotle, Galen, and others. How the Kabbalah 
was universally taught we can see from the quotations given 
from a book of the celebrated R. Moses Isserls and R. Abraham 
Hayyim (seventeenth century), A mention of the study of 
grammar as being the basis of the study of law, we find in Sabbetai 
of Przemisl's writings (sixteenth-seventeenth century). Indeed, what 
a poor list of titles of philosophical, mathematical, and astronomical 
works we find in the list of R. Manoah Hendel (sixteenth-seventeenth 
century) ! It is true he mentions amongst the works he recommends 
for study the arithmetical books of Elijah Mizrahi and Euclid, as 
well as astronomical works, but this only for the understanding of the 
calendar. 

But the essence of the moral is in all the writings quoted and 
extracted by Dr. Giidemann, the love of one's neighbour, as already 
recommended by the great Hillel. They touch upon many abuses 
amongst their brethren, which are now the weapons of the anti- 
Semites. "Whoever," it is said amongst other moral sentences in the 
Booh of the Pious (thirteenth century) , " whoever lends money on 
percentage (not merely with usury), extorts money, falsifies measure 
and weight — in one word, whosoever cheats — shall perish." There is 
in these recommendations absolutely no diiference made between a Jew 
and non-Jew. In the same Boo)i oj the Pious, it is said further on 
as follows : — " If somebody asks to borrow money, be it a Jew or a 
non-Jew, and you are not willing to lend him money for fear of 
losing it, you must not say that you have no money, if it is not true." 



Critical Notices. 321 

Unfortunately people did not all read ethical books, since the chief 
point of learning in the German schools consisted in Talmudic hair- 
splitting discussions (?1D?E)) and cabbalistical speculations. Indeed 
most of the sermons preached up to the beginning of this century (and 
even now it is sometimes the case) consisted of such matter. 

All this is laid down by Dr. Giidemann in his very interesting pre- 
face, together with the bibliography of the documents he puts before 
the reader. They are classified as follows : — I. Documents written 
in Hebrew and German, of which the first is the will of Eliezer ben 
Isaac of Worms (1050), and the last that of R. Judah Loeb (1787), 
altogether pieces taken from fifty-one authors. This is followed by 
three appendices : — 1. Opinions of non-German Jews on the Judaico- 
German culture and teaching ; 2. Documents extracted from statutes 
of towns and Jewish congregations ; here the Hebrew originals are 
translated into German ; 3. The enumeration of school books used 
by the German Jews. Our author ends with some additional docu- 
ments received when too late for insertion in their place, and with 
detailed indexest ; we miss, however, the table of contents, by which 
the reader could easily learn which writers are quoted. 

If the documents are not always interesting and learned (there 
are, indeed, many repetitious) it is not our author's fault, since no 
others exist which would be more readable. Aud we must take into 
consideration that the new historical school asks for the publication of 
the documents upon which history is based. Anyhow the thirty-two 
pages of Dr. Giidemann's introduction will satisfy readers who care 
more for style than for facts. 

A. Neubaueb. 



THE HAaADA AND THE MASS. 

The Lord's Supper and the Passover Ritual. Translated from Prof. 
Bickell's Messe und Pascha, by W. F. Skene, D.C.L. 

The Origines Judaica of Christianity are bocoming more and more 
extended of late years. The researches of Dr. Taylor have estab- 
lished the fact that The Teaching of the XII. Ajiostles, one of the 
earliest and most iustmctive of Christian documents, is in its early 
part merely an adaptation of the earliest Jewish catechism known as 
The Two Paths. Fischer has shown, conclusively to most minds, that 
the last book of the New Testament, known as the " Revelation of 
St. John," is merely a Jewish apocalypse with a few Christian inter- 
polations. The works of Lightfoot, Schottgen, and Wunsche have 
shown how little of the sayings of the founder of Christianity cannot