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Critical Notices. 541 

35 and after 36 ; therefore he recommends a liy^B*, " space." (That is 
the right reading in a Bodleian MS., instead of the incomprehensible 
IIQ^K' in our text, which Dr. Joel Miiller, in his excellent edition of 
this treatise, ingeniously proposed.) 

The next part in Professor Blau's monograph has for object the 
pendent letters (Jewish Quarterly Review, I., p. 137), which is 
followed by a chapter on the Tikkune Soferin, of which the earlier 
documents count eleven, while later on we find mentioned eighteen. 
Eaym. Martini, for instance (^Puf/io Fidei, p. 277, ed. Carpzov), 
mentions an unknown Tiklnm for Ps. xxii. 17, which was used as an 
argument to brand him as a forger {The Expositor, 1888, Third Series, 
Vol. VII., p. 183) ; but from the variations found in difEerent docu- 
ments on this subject it is highly probable that Martini copied from 
a genuine text. In the sixth part our author treats of the words 
written otherwise than read, and in the last he gives explanations of 
Massoretic notes quoted in the Midrashim. 

We hope that Professor Blau will continue his ingenious 
Massoretic investigations, for if he has succeeded in shaking the 
foundation of the Massorah, he ought to try to repair the breach by 
a new construction. 

A. Neubauer. 

Eldad the Danite. 

Eldad ha-Dani seine BericMe iiber die zeJm Stamme und deren Bitus in 
verschiedenen Versionen nach Handschriften und alien Druckcn mit 
Einleitung und Anmcrkungen nehsi eincm Excurse iiber die Falascha 
und deren Gebr'duche von Abraham Epstein. Pressburg : 1891 
(in Hebrew, and with a Hebrew title also), published by Herr 
Lippe, Wien. 

The author of this interesting and learned monograph is not a stranger 
in the field of Eabbinical literature. Besides his essays on the Mid- 
rash Rabbathi and the Pugio Fidei, on the Book of the Jubilees (of 
which the first part appeared in the Revue des Etudes Juives, t. xxi., 
p. 80, sqq.), and many others of minor importance, Herr Epstein is 
the author of a remarkable book on Jewish antiquities, entitled, 
Beitr'dge zur Jiidischen Alterthumshunde I. (Wien : 1887), of which we 
regard his present book as a second instalment ; indeed, we are 
astonished that the learned author has not described it as such on the 
title-page. The present work is composed of three essays. The first 
treats of the diary of the famous Eldad the Danite, which Herr 

542 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

Epstein thinks genuine. The native country of Eldad, our author 
concludes, was either Yemen, or a province of South-east Africa, 
where the Jews knew Hebrew without having any knowledge of the 
Talmud, whilst in Palestine, Babylonia, Persia, Egypt, Spain and 
the Magreb, the decisions of the Geonim were already well known 
towards the end of the ninth century, the date at which Eldad ap- 
peared, bringing with him strange Halacliotk concerning the Shehitah 
and Bedikah, which agree neither with the views of Rabbanites nor 
Karaites. Eldad, Herr Epstein maintains, could not be a native of 
Abyssinia, the country of the Falashas, since they speak only the 
Geez dialect, and know no Hebrew, whilst there is no trace of this 
dialect in Eldad's Hebrew, but there are some traces of Arabic, which 
Eldad must have known, although he pretended the contrary. Traces 
of Arabic in Eldad'a Hebrew were already recognised by others before 
our author (Jour. Asiatique, 1861, II., p. 206), although Herr Epstein 
supplies a larger number of instances ; but to affirm that the Yemen 
Jews, although knowing and writing Hebrew, were completely 
ignorant of the Talmud and the works of the Geonim, is a premature 
conclusion, for the early history of the Jews in this country is not 
so well known as to permit such a definite conclusion. And were 
this even proved, we could not admit that the Yemen Jews knew 
nothing of the oral law, as is the case with the Falashas, who indeed 
are scarcely of the Jewish race at all. Why should the Babylonian 
and Palestinian Rabbis have communicated Halachas to Africa, 
Spain, France, Italy, and Germany, and not to Yemen ? Surely, the 
Geonim would have been as anxious for the religious observances of 
the Yemen Jews as of those in other countries. It is therefore pro- 
bable that Eldad invented his strange Halakhoth as he did his impos- 
sible visit to the Ten Tribes and the children of Moses. Why the 
Geonim in Babylonia and in Africa believed in them, and why the 
grammarian, Judah ben Qoreish, quoted the explanation of TSYif ac- 
cording to the dialect of the Danites (not of Eldad ; see Journal As., 
1861, loc. cit.), can be answered by another question: Why did they 
believe in so many Agadic books, issued in their own time, as ancient, 
for instance, the Pirke de li. Eliezer, and others? The connection of 
the Ten Tribes with the rise of pseudo-messiahs is well known, and 
therefore any information about them was not only welcome, but 
was eagerly believed, and hence no scepticism was roused as regards 
Eldad's reports. 

But apart from the question of the genuineness of Eldad's diary, we 
consider Herr Epstein's geographical notes, as well as the comparison 
of Eldad's Halakhoth with the Rabbanltic ones, as a boon to Rabbinical 
literature. His publication of the different texts of Eldad's diary 
from old editions, and from MSS. is also an important contribution, 

Critical Notices. 543 

and this remark applies more especially to the copious and learned 
notes. It seems, however, that our author was not aware that the 
Jewish Quarterly Eevie w, vol. I., pp. 95 to 114, has an article on the 
same subject, where in a supplementary note (p. 423) another text is 
pointed out in which the diary in a concise form is ascribed to a 
merchant Elhanan. 

The Halakhoth are also given as found in four different texts, of 
which the most authentic seem to be those reported by Samuel Jama 
ben Jacob of Cabes in Tunisia. Here in the neighbourhood of 
Kairowdn the tradition was better kept up. That the Arabic book 
entitled Bisaleh al-Burhdn f, Tadzkiyat al-Haiman, without the name 
of the author, in the unique Bodleian MS. is indeed, according to Herr 
Halberstam's ingenious deduction, the work of our Samuel, results from 
passages in Yemen MS. which we shall mention in another number of 
the Jewish Quarterly Eeview. Why Herr Epstein doubts the 
existence of this MS. (p. 105, N) we do not know. 

The third part treats of the Talashas, which has become now a 
subject a la mode. Of course Herr Epstein, as well as others who 
have busied themselves with this strange tribe, have to rely chiefly upon 
the report made by the celebrated M. Joseph Halevy, and the 
accounts published by Flad and others. The name of Falasha is 
derived from the root falash to emigrate ; they indeed call themselves 
" the exiled " in their prayer-book. Is the name of Pelisktim, " the 
Philistines," derived from the same word ? It is possible, for they 
came from Caphtor (Amos ix. 7). 

After a brief description of the dwelling-places and the language of 
the Palashas, Herr Epstein gives an account of their literature. To 
this ought to be added some apocrypha which M. Halevy brought 
from Abyssinia, and which are still in his possession. Our author 
continues then with a chapter on the creed of the Falashas, and with 
the enunciation of their feasts and fasts with the calculation necessary 
for fixing them. In mentioning that the Falashas rely in these respects 
on the book of the Jubilee, our author speaks of the similar calculation 
of the Samaritans according to a late source. Why not rather quote 
the introduction to a Samaritan chronicle which appeared in the 
Journal Asiatique, 1869, II., p. 422 ? After having spoken about 
the priests, the Nazirites. the house of prayer, the sacrifices, the 
prayers, the ritual rules and the costumes of the Falashas, Herr 
Epstein concludes with a chapter on the origin of this curious tribe, 
for which they have themselves three traditions, and after having 
mentioned and discussed the opinions on the subject by Filoxene 
Luzzatto, the late Marcus and M. Halevy, our author comes to the 
conclusion that the Falashas for the greater part came from Egypt, 
whence they brought their strange ritual, which is neither Samaritan 


544 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

nor Judaic, but a mixture of both made by Onias when he built the 
temple of Heliopolis, and tried to satisfy the different sects by accept- 
ing something from each of them. That is also the reason suggested 
for the strange literature the Falashas possess, and perhaps also of 
their ignorance of Hebrew. We, for our part, believe that the Falashas 
are converted slaves, made by the Jews of Abyssinia at an early 

From this short summary it can be seen how much of proved theory 
as well as of conjecture are to be found in our author's book, the read- 
ing of which we can recommend to those who are interested in the 
fictions found in Rabbinical literature. We only regret that Herr 
Epstein uses G-erman words written in Hebrew characters, which are 
unintelligible for all Jewish students, except perhaps in German- 
speaking countries. ODpJ^tO (Text) could have been given by NnD13. 

What a barbarism the word TltOX"iyiD''7n? represents ! A Hebrew 
particle and a Hebrew article appended to the German word 
" Literatur " ! Why not rather employ the word D''3n3 ? 

A. Neubauer. 

Geography of Palestine. 

BiUiotheca Gcographica Palcestinm. Chronologischcs Verzeiclmiss der 
avf die Geographie des Heiligen Landes dezugliclien Literatur, 
von Z2i'i ¥is 1878, und Versiich einer Cartograpliie. Herausgegeben. 
By Reinhold Roheicht. Berlin, 1890. (Reuther.) 

As the comparatively small volume of the Bible has produced, and 
still continues to produce, an immense literature, so also Palestine, 
which was one of the least extensive countries of the ancient world, 
has been the subject of an immense literature of travels and pilgrim- 
ages, which is of the highest importance for the geography of the 
Bible. Of course, the greatest number of pilgrims were Christians 
of all denominations, and thus from them proceeded the greater bulk 
of this literature. A smaller amount was written by Jews, and a still 
smaller portion by Mahomedans. But the last have composed special 
works of geography, of which Palestine, of course, forms a part, and 
they wrote histories of Jerusalem and Hebron, which they also 
regard as holy places. It was high time for compiling a bibliography of 
the works concerning Palestine, which are written in so many 
languages. This task the Nestor of Palestine studies, the late 
Dr. Titus Tobler, undertook, and issued a bibliography in 1868. 
Before his book appeared, and soon after, societies for Palestine