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RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA 

Monumenia Talmudica. Erster Band : Bibel und Babel. Bearbeitet 
von Salomon Funk, Rabbiner in Boskowitz. Wien und 
Leipzig: Orion-Verlag, 191 3. pp.vii + 346. (Four fascicles.) 

Monumenia Talmudica. Zweiter Band : Recht. Bearbeitet von 
Salomon Gandz. Wien und Leipzig: Orion-Verlag, 1913. 
pp. xvi + 80. (One fascicle.) 

The Talmud, owing to the nature of its origin, lacks a logical 
arrangement of subjects. In academic discussions irrelevant 
arguments are bound to crop up now and then, and the Talmud 
accordingly abounds in digressions. Thus, while treating of the 
principal laws of damages, the Amoraim find analogous points in 
the principal laws of defilement. One thought suggests another, 
and many laws, which at first sight appear entirely different, are 
shown to be similar and to be derived from one principle. It 
may be said that almost immediately after the conclusion of the 
Talmud, about 500 c. e., the problem of re-arranging that vast 
literature occupied the minds of Jewish scholars. The Halakot 
Gedolot was no doubt an attempt in that direction. Notable 
success was later on achieved by Isaac al-Fasi with his Com- 
pendium. The compendia and codes, of which there is a vast 
literature, had it as their object to classify the halakic matter of 
the Talmud, as that branch was considered by far the most 
important. But the haggadic part, too, found its 'redeemer', 
and the 'En Ya'a^b, compiled by Jacob Ibn Habib, has deservedly 
enjoyed great popularity. In modern times scientific monographs 
have appeared now and again on special subjects in the Talmud. 
The investigation of medicine by Preuss may be mentioned here 
as a remarkable achievement. All these attempts, however, impor- 
tant though they are, have not exhausted all the subjects dealt 
with in the talmudic literature. With the advance of Jewish 
VOL. VII. 393 D d 



394 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

learning the need was felt of making the contents of the Talmud 
accessible to more students than those that are willing to devote 
their entire life to the study of this vast subject. Two possible 
methods immediately suggest themselves for the purpose of 
carrying out such a plan, both fraught with almost insurmountable 
difficulties. The most natural method would be to publish a 
critical edition of the Talmud in its present form and provide 
it with thoroughgoing and exhaustive indices which would enable 
the reader to find the passages needed for his researches. The 
excellent index volume of the Kitab al-Agani proves that a great 
deal can be done on these lines, although one would readily admit 
that the difficulties in indexing the Talmud are not to be com- 
pared with those of the former. The second method is to classify 
the Talmud according to subjects and to edit each class separately. 
Certain advantages would be derived from such a treatment, as 
the student would have all the passages arranged for him. It is, 
however, almost inconceivable that a method could be devised 
whereby all passages would be included, for a great number of 
them defies all attempts at classification. It is the second course 
which the editors of the Monumenta Talmudica, Drs. S. Funk, 
W. A. Neumann, and others, have adopted. The plan is well 
conceived, but we shall presently see what degree of success is 
likely to attend its execution. 

According to the prospectus issued by the editors all the 
subjects are to be divided into six general groups : I. Bibel und 
Babel; II. Recht; III. Theologie; IV. Volkstiberlieferungen ; 
V. Geschichte ; VI. Profanes Wissen. These general classes 
are subdivided into various sections and subsections which seem 
to overlap. As only the first volume (Bibel und Babel) and part 
of the second have hitherto been published, it is hard to judge 
whether all the ground will be covered. But the observation 
may be hazarded that, unless the editors are not too strict with 
their classifications, many a passage will have to be excluded. 
A still more serious objection may be raised against the title of 
the first volume. Bibel und Babel is no subject by itself as com- 
pared with law, theology, and the others. At the beginning of 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA— HALPER 395 

this century this was the title of a controversy that raged among 
Assyriologists, owing to a theory advanced by Friedrich Delitzsch, 
but one fails to see how this can be regarded as a suitable title for 
classifying talmudic passages. All the references to Babylon and 
the Babylonians could easily be grouped under the heading of 
history, which, according to the prospectus, contains : A. Greeks 
and Romans; B. Iranians; C. Jews. It seems quite obvious 
that the Babylonians ought to find a place among these nations. 

But disregarding this meaningless title, we may proceed to 
examine the contents of this volume, the publication of which has 
already been completed. In order to give the reader an idea of 
the variety of subjects incorporated in this volume, I shall quote 
the principal parts of the table of contents, omitting the sub- 
sections, which are extremely numerous. A. Land und Leute : 
I. Name des Landes Babel ; II. GewSsser ; III. Fruchtbarkeit ; 
IV. Bewirtschaftung; V. Verkehrsmittel; Vl.Steuem; VII. Woh- 
nungen; VIII. Stadte; IX. BevSlkerung; X. Kulte. B. Baby- 
lonische Geschichte : I. Assyrisches ; II. Neubabylonisches ; 
III. Medopersisches Reich — Chron. Zusammenfassung. C. Welt- 
bild : I. Himmlische Weltordnung : i, SchSpfung ; 2, Himmel ; 3, 
Gestime ; II. Irdische Weltordnung : i, Erde ; 2, Bedingtheit des 
Irdischen; 3, Land Israel. D.Weltanschauung : I. Astrologie und 
babylonische Astronomie ; II. Das Buch der Weisheit ; III. Ab- 
bilder der Weltordnung : i, Der Mensch ; 2, Salomons Thron ; 
3, Salomons Hippodrom ; 4, Heilige Zahlen. In going through 
this multiplicity of disconnected headings one is tempted to 
remark, even at the risk of being considered flippant, that the 
compiler chose the title Bibel und Babel in accordance with the 
etymology of the name Babel given in Gen. 11. 9. There is 
nothing but confusion and chaos. By adding a few more headings 
Dr. Funk might easily have included the entire rabbinic literature 
in this volume. It is pan-Babylonian with a vengeance — ^in a new 
sense. It is almost a kind of practical application of Jensen's 
theory expressed in his book Das Gilgameseh-Epos in der 
Weltliteratur. 

If the grouping of subjects in this volume is termed chaotic, 

D d a 



396 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

there is no adjective to designate the passages themselves that 
are inserted under the various headings. A sign of interrogation 
constantly shapes itself in the reader's mind. Some of the 
passages appear to have been put there to fill up space. In 
many cases it is hard to discover the relation between the 
headings and the passages. Nor is there any attempt made to 
exhaust all passages referring to a certain matter. In a quite 
arbitrary manner the compiler quotes a few sentences, and then 
passes on to another subject. Thus in enumerating the Babylonian 
towns mentioned in the Talmud, he inserts eighteen references to 
the town of Mahuza, and one fails to understand why he just 
included those and excluded a great many others, as for instance 
those of Baba mesia 77 a and Baba batra 7 a. The former 
especially would be a very appropriate description of Mahuza, and 
should certainly have been inserted here. It is true that this 
passage is actually given later on under the heading of Beschafti- 
gung, No. 451 (p. 80); but Dr. Funk has no scruples about 
quoting a reference twice. Comp. Nos. no and 322 which are 
identical. Similarly No. 259 is part of 161. As if he desired to 
startle the reader all the more. Dr. Funk begins his series of 
references to Mahuza with a passage in which that town is not 
mentioned. That passage reads (n'i''?Mp rf2rip) n^?n3 inb nB> Nan 
(No. 2or). To justify this intrusion, Dr. Funk in his translation 
adds after Haba the words derin Machuza wohnte. But why just 
this passage, and not hundreds of others of a similar character ? 
Nor is there any consistency or system in the manner of quoting 
the passages. Some of them are given in their entirety, although 
only one or two words are necessary for the classification, while 
of others the compilers sees fit to quote merely a few words which 
do not even form a complete sentence. Examples to illustrate 
this lack of system can be found on almost every page. Thus 
No. 143 refers to the town of Dewil, and the entire passage is 
given; but No. 144 only has ^'J'l'^^l^ J'^i?*'* 311 (the dagesh in 
the p is omitted throughout !), while No. 146 consists of "J'n 3T 
NmpDTO. No. 152 begins with the words y^i?*^ NJMOn an 
f'O^nip, and here the entire narrative is given. But No. 278, 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA — HALPER 397 

which begins in a similar way (0121 ^Vi'? V?f K NJ'3"l), is cut off 
abruptly, although in the next sentence that town is mentioned 
once more in a manner which in other cases is given by the 
compiler as a special paragraph. Such fragmentary sentences 
do not convey anything to the reader, and as they are not exhaus- 
tive, they are not of great use. A much greater service would 
have been rendered by Dr. Funk had he furnished a complete 
index of all the names of places mentioned in the Talmud. In 
a few cases the compiler considered it advisable to affix Rashi's 
notes at the end of the passages, but no reason can be discovered 
why just these notes and not many others of a similar nature. 
Thus in No. 342 he gives part of Mishnah Kelim 23, 2 on account 
of the words irinBri nahw mentioned therein, and there is no 
need to adorn the text with Rashi's note. Had Dr. Funk been 
consistent, he might have added notes of mediaeval Jewish com- 
mentators to every passage. In No. 612, which is also one of the 
few ' superior ' paragraphs found worthy to be embellished with 
Rashi's note. Dr. Funk mistranslates a very easy sentence. The 
entire passage consists of ''"B'l] ''B'iJDK nns fjoV IT "IDN ? nns ^ND 
[nna toe^l nxp nm Pit^so (Yoma 35 a). This is classified under 
the heading of Kultur of the Medo-Persian empire. Rashi's 
sentence is rendered Ein Baumeister, der ein Zauberer war und 
Parwah geheissen hat. But the word riNU is a verb, and not a 
noun. It should be vocalized i^?J?, and the sentence is to be 
translated : a certain magician named Parwah built it. [A builder 
is 'N|3, not nW3.] 

It is hard to say how far Dr. Funk co-operated with his 
colleagues who are to compile the other volumes, and consulted 
them about the general arrangement, but it is obvious that he 
encroached upon the provinces of others. A glaring instance is 
No. 347, which is a long passage from 'Abodah zarah 2 a and b. 
There can be no doubt that the greater part of it belongs to 
Roman history. Similarly No. 501 is a proverb, and should be 
incorporated in volume IV, class E of which, according to the 
prospectus, is to contain: Rdtsel, Fabel, Sprichworter. Now 
Dr. Funk classifies this passage under the heading of Assyrisches 



398 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

Reich (Sennacherib), although the reference to Assyria occurs 
only in the biblical quotation, and has nothing to do with the 
talmudic statement. Some references are given inaccurately. 
Thus No. 74 does not occur in Baba mesi'a io6 b, as stated by 
the compiler, but in Baba batra 8 a. Part of this paragraph 
is also quoted in Baba mesi'a io8 a. 

Examples to illustrate the lack of system in this volume can 
be given by the hundreds, but the few instances that have already 
been cited will suffice to show how little Dr. Funk contributed to 
the logical and scientific arrangement of rabbinic literature. In 
justice to him it may be said that the fault is not entirely his. 
When one begins with an impossible classification, one is bound 
to be driven to all sorts of absurdities. And it should also be 
observed that the part dealing with Babylonian history is, with 
the exception of a few irrelevant passages, fairly well done. But 
why take such a vague and inappropriate title ? 

In a work of such magnitude minor details may perhaps be 
overlooked. Nevertheless attention should be drawn to the fact 
that the vocalization of the texts is far from satisfactory, especially 
as this feature of the work is emphatically referred to in the 
preface. Scholars often experience difficulties in punctuating the 
Aramaic dialect of the Babylonian Talmud, and tradition can 
certainly not be relied upon. At the same time a certain degree 
of accuracy can be attained by a judicious comparison of biblical 
Aramaic, Syriac, and the other dialects. The grammars of Levias 
and Margolis are of great service. Of recent years many Genizah 
fragments have been published which help to establish the exact 
vocalization of some doubtful words. There is, therefore, no 
excuse for offering an inaccurate vocalization. Moreover, in this 
volume errors occur even in biblical words. Before giving some 
characteristic examples of the mistakes which can be found on 
every page, I should like to remark that, according to the preface, 
Dr. Funk is not responsible for this part of the work, as the texts 
were vocalized by Prof. Dr. M. Berkowicz. In the following notes 
the first and second numbers refer to the page and line, respec- 
tively. nto?"T)g3 (i, 2) should be n1m"]]?a. The only exception is 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA— HALPER 399 

Jud. 9. 48, which is probably corrupt. The form ^J (2, 3) does 
not suit the context; read \^; or \^^ Instead of ]i)^'o'? (3, 15) 
read \^^W?. From Ezekiel 13. 9 we know that the construct 
state of 3n3 is ana, not an? (3, 15). The punctuation of Tprfv 
(4, 16) cannot be justified; read PD™''^. It is a form like 1?1'', 
which mediaeval grammarians used to explain as shortened from 
nVo. It was, however, shown by Barth in his essay Das passive 
Qal und seine Particifien that it is the old passive participle of 
Kal A sieve in Hebrew is nn3|, not n"l33 (5, 4). As the root 
of 31J a den is 3?3 (comp. Arabic 44- ^'""^ Aramaic NM), it should 
be vocalized 3^3, not 3lii (6, 2). See Dan. 6. 13. Ni^yD is an active 
participle + N2N, and should be vocalized f'?)??, not NJ^V? (7> 25). 
As the root of Nfii'D is h^ti, it should be KHjim, not «<ri^D1 (9, 11). 
i'OTW (9, 12) is plural, and therefore cannot qualify KJ11"i''C3 which 
is singular ; read ^t^\. For ^^W- (1°. O^ead ^\"'W[. Genizah 
fragments have ''tJ'WX ; we should therefore vocalize ''K'JS, not WN 
(11, 2 and elsewhere). This vocalization is also borne out by 
Biblical Aramaic, Arabic, and Syriac. For i50>i? (n, 6) read 
^59^5, as it is an active participle. ''^D (n, 15) is an impossible 
form; read N^O. Instead of n^J? (12, 13) read n^n. For 
HVIJ (14, 8) read ^Xl- For n;^23 (16, 2) read Vihyi From 
2 Chron. 19. 7 we know that we ought to vocalize ngDp, not 
ni5cb (17, 5). Instead of WX (18, 11) read 'WK. For the 
impossible V.D (23, 4) read V.!?. In an Aramaic text 'na^ 
(24, 9) is out of place; read II^S. For ''i??'ip1 (25, 7) read 
^^V\ which is a well-known nomen agentis in Aramaic. The 
same word is vocalized ''NP'iPT (79, 19), which is a tribute to the 
punctuator's consistency and accuracy. For ^"J315? (27, 5) read 
?nniy or 'n'jaiy. For ''^y\ (27, 7) read 'f^}. Instead of i;a'i''?(29, i) 
read II?J?. The Waw is merely a »?a/«r lectionis. nnil (29, 9) is 
a participle, not a noun; it should be vocalized DDi"', not nnn. 
There is no way of parsing a form like '^5?'?'? (31. 19); read 
NiJEpD or KiJfiO. In the next line read naS"? , not nsi^lD. From 
Syriac we know that the correct vocalization is Nni^, not t5Fi3''^ 
(33, 6). The latter is traditional ; but comp. also Arabic iSS and 
ijS^j. The root of ns they tied up is Tfi; hence read 1"1V, not 



400 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

lis (34, 11). Read NJ'JtO instead of KJ'SI? (38, 15). For NiJEDT 
(40, 9) read J^^f^T. A peculiar error is ''S3T (45, 16) for ^NfT. 
For nNPWD (46, 15) read nx^bp. An entrance in biblical Hebrew 
is Ki3D, which becomes *^30 in the Mishnah. Comp. HNna and 
njna. Hence '^30 (46, 20) is impossible. For ''i?7toj| (49, 4) read 
"^TjtoV. Instead of NlJ^OT s^^na (53, 7) read ^r\j^. ' As n»ra is 
no doubt a perfect, it should be n*n3, not n^nj (54, 18 and else- 
where). An impossible combination is n"iipD 13'NB' (57, n) ; read 
n-ipo. For PijaVa, n-iB'lya (58, 13. 14) read njsja, n-iKSya, respec- 
ively. As ino (64, 22) is construct state, it should be I^Tp, not 
inc. All available data, manuscripts and the cognate languages, 
prove that we should vocalize ^W?, not N3|5'p (66, 24). Comp. 
Dan. 3. 29. For VTVSO (69, 21) read pjjxn. Instead of TNKhl 
(74, 10) read PNBhI. Read ''nlnj for ^nlnj (78, n and elsewhere). 
Instead of i^li?? (80, 15) read ^"W.- P"^?? (82, 23) should be 
r«On. The plural of n^b should be ninVo, not r\Srh^ (83, 16), 
For nan (84, 31) read na") . (See my essay ' The Participial Forma- 
tions of the Geminate Verbs', ZA W., 30, p. 222.) A comparison 
of '?^ and ''?^? would clearly show that we have to vocalize '3N, not 
"K (86, 4)- For IWO (92, 10) read "li?:;». From Jud. 14. 8 we 
know that the correct vocalization is J^^fP, not MI'SO (93, 17). 
The perfect Nithpael of rm is nNJnj, not rmj}} (97, 14). The 
form n''a*n''K which occurs frequently in the Talmud is no doubt 
Afel of ain. It should therefore be i^^iJ^nx, the Yod representing 
a vocal shewa, or at the most i^*3''n*S, but not ii*3''n^X (106, 15). 
The last would suit a fanciful etymology H'3 ^n*N. The form 'P^SK 
instead of '?S>5 occurs several times in this volume, e.g. 107, 2. 
The Hifil 'VW^ does not suit the context of 116, 15, 16. Read 
'•VOB'n. For pJlSD (118, 14) read P|SO. The form *3»n (138, 20) 
is impossible; read 'JOljl. For injOIK (181, 7) read ^nJSN or 
injBN. Comp. Cant. 7. 2. ns^a? (183, 7 and elsewhere) repre- 
sents the so-called 'traditional' pronunciation; read nN"i33. For 
IpSJ (187, 24) read 'pS3, As 'NJan (189, 15) is a /a' 'a/ form, it 
should be'saan, not *N|3n. Read fipv, D^ms for f^pinj, D''DnK 
(191, ir, 12), respectively. Because Prov. 6. 6 and other verses 
have B3ni in a pause, there is no reason why this word should be 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA — HALPER 401 

SO vocalized in the middle of a sentence ; read Q?n! (195, 20). 
For noiVD (202, 21) read IB^D. Instead of ^^1,i' (205, 20) read 
''f'}2. From Num. 25. 8 we know that a vaulted tent is n3j3, not 
nnip (218, 21). For irinil^n (224, 15) read lfia''K'n. From Syriac 
and Arabic we know to vocalize ''??^, not '<?|^ (244). As D?13 
with suffixes is "'OpJ (Ps. 139. 16) it should be vocalized I3?^3, not 
afSi (250). The vocalization of jm I3n has in this volume under- 
gone three stages of evolution. It started out as traditional 'W 
(15, 15), developed into the hybrid form i3Fi (17, n and else- 
where), and finally emerged as the accurate l^n (256). For HDB'a 
(260) read naS'S. The word riD^j; dough is best derived from the 
root DDJ? he pressed; hence read fDy not HD'^JJ (268). For M^V 
(269) read '"^J^y. Comp. i Kings 7. 26. Elsewhere in this volume 
it is i^i^lJ', e. g. 209, 17. 

The commentary at the end of this volume is more like a series 
of interesting excursus rather than detailed notes appertaining to 
the various texts. Although these excursus are for the greater 
part irrelevant, they are replete with Assyriological lore, and may 
be regarded as the redeeming feature of the volume. The indices, 
too, are well compiled. 

Decidedly superior is the second volume containing legal 
passages, of which the first fascicle has hitherto been pubUshed. 
This superiority is immediately noticeable from the technical 
arrangement. Whereas in the first volume there are numerous 
blanks, owing to the lack of proportion between the Hebrew texts 
and the German translation which are printed side by side, in 
this volume the two parts are printed in such a manner as to be 
of almost equal length. The method of giving the references is 
also improved to a considerable extent. But by far of greater 
importance are the intrinsic merits of this volume, the value of 
which is clearly brought out by comparison with the first. Here 
we at last arrive at a proper arrangement and a thorough treat- 
ment of the subject. This is to some extent due to the circum- 
stance that law is a classifiable subject. Dr. Gandz, author of 
this volume, shows a thorough mastery of this branch of research, 
and judging from this fascicle, we may expect from him an 



402 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

extremely valuable contribution. This fascicle contains passages 
referring to the laws appertaining to the king, the court of justice, 
and the priests. Each section is preceded by an excellent r^sumi 
and a short bibliographical sketch. The passages are well chosen, 
and are calculated to acquaint the reader with the rabbinic 
literature treating of these branches. The notes, which are printed 
under the texts, greatly contribute to the elucidation of the 
passages. On the whole one can have no hesitation in asserting 
that the texts are well edited and annotated, and Dr. Gandz 
deserves praise for this part of the work, apart from the 
classification. 

The vocalization, too, is done with almost masoretic accuracy, 
and it is quite evident that great care was bestowed on this feature 
of the volume. The orthography of the Talmud was rightly 
changed to suit the vocalized texts, and practically all vowel letters 
were omitted. Thus ''NO is usually spelt ''0. ' Traditional ' pro- 
nunciations are frequently discarded when they are found to be 
indefensible in the light of recent discoveries and comparative 
grammar. Thus 'iDini h\? is correctly vocalized WJ ?p (e.g. 
p. 48) instead of 1K>hj ?|?, which is an incongruous combination of 
a noun and an adjective. On the other hand ipi? Ibpn (p. 3 and 
throughout the book) instead of "'Oii' I^D^'fl will not meet with 
universal approval. Hardly anything is gained by this change, 
and the phrase does not become more lucid through this vocaliza- 
tion. Moreover we should expect iPp^?. In connexion with 
these improved pronunciations it is to be regretted that Dr. Gandz 
did not consider it necessary to call attention to tradition and to 
justify the alteration. There are also several cases where tradition 
is unnecessarily adhered to. Thus I?!? (p. 4) and I? (p. 22) should 
be \sa and H, respectively, as may be seen from the N which is 
found in the printed editions. Similarly, it is preferable to read 
?I| instead of ?II (p. 7), and 10 instead of "i» (p. 7). f^Wn (p. 27) 
should rather be vocalized fS'^in. Comp. Arabic J^l. Q*1?S 
(p. 43) is against analogy; read n'"5?^. From Syriac we know 
that instead of irittj? (p. 45) we ought to vocalize ^™3I?, which 
is like ni^a. It is true that mediaeval Jewish poets pronounced it 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA — HALPER 403 

ntt| (comp. Judah ha-Levi's Diwan, ed.Brody, vol. II, p. 163, 1. 58); 
but this simply proves that this traditional error is several centuries 
old. The particle j'>N yes, as may be easily seen from Syriac, should 
be read PX, not TN (p. 50). There are also other mistakes, to 
some of which attention should be called here. For in^O^ (p. 5) 
read Vr\f\\. Instead of nan (p. 8) read ^10. Vocalize nn|W for 
nnJIBB' (p. 14). The plural of |i»9 is niJiDD, not nlilDD (p. 22). 
On p. 28 this word is correctly vocalized. The imperative is 
i^SJO, not 53?n (p. 41). An impossible vocalization is 'J??" : 
(p. 54); read ^0^^?'. As the context demands a singular, we 
ought to read ''"^Vn, not NTOVlji (p. 56), which is plural. Instead 
of ?n (p. 64) read Pn, as the root is i"n. The vocalization *i?? 
(p. 74) for ^''^ is an unnecessary deviation from tradition. 

Mishnaiot: Testo ebraico punteggiato, con traduzione italiana, 
proemio, e note illustrative. Di Vittorio Castiglioni, 
Triestino. Parte quarta. — Ordine dei danni (Nezikin). 
Edizione postuma, a cura di Emilio Schreiber. Trattato 
Babk Kammk (Porta anteriore). Roma : Casa Editrice 
Italiana, 1913. pp. 51. (Two fascicles.) 

Mishnaiot: Testo ebraico punteggiato, con traduzione italiana, 
proemio, e note illustrative. Di Vittorio Castiglioni, 
Triestino. Parte quarta. — Ordine dei danni (Nezikin). 
Edizione postuma, a cura di Emilio Schreiber. Trattato 
Babk Metzi'a (Porta media). Roma : Casa Editrice Italiana, 
1914. pp. S3-I02. (Two fascicles.) 

Der Mischnatraktat Orlah. SeinZusammenhangundseineQuellen. 
Von Dr. Arthur Rosenthal. Berlin : N. Itzkowski, 1913. 
pp. 48. 

Books on Jewish scholarship in Italian are now a rare thing. 
After Luzzatto's brilliant achievements in practically all branches 
of Jewish science hardly anything was done in that language. 
Castiglioni's work was a kind of dying echo of former activity. 
Gloomy thoughts fill the mind when one reflects on the condition 
of Jewish learning in Italy, and one cannot help feeling appre- 
hensive about its future in other countries. Store-houses of 



404 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

valuable Hebrew manuscripts in themselves are evidently insuflScient 
to attract scientific workers. Some more potent factors are needed. 
The edition of Baba kamma and Baba megi'a was prepared by 
Castiglioni in 1902, but for some reason or another the publica- 
tion was delayed. Meanwhile Castiglioni died, and the task of 
seeing this edition through the press fell to his pupil Emil Schreiber. 
With the exception of the fact that the translation and the notes 
are in Italian there is nothing special about this edition. The 
introductions are brief, and merely give a definition of the tractates. 
The statements are made with accuracy and scholarly precision. 
Although there is nothing new in them, the hand of a master is 
everywhere discernible. The notes are comprehensive, and 
embody the best results of mediaeval Jewish commentators and 
modern scientific research. In order to explain the various 
laws CastigUoni makes ample use of the Babylonian and Palestinian 
Talmudim. The philological aspect, too, is well taken care of, 
and this part of the work as a whole makes a good impression. 

The consonantal text does not differ from the usually printed 
editions. The few manuscripts of the Mishnah that are still extant 
do not offer many important variants, as may be readily seen from 
the mishnic parts of Rabbinovicz's Variae Lectiones. Even old 
Genizah fragments seldom contain significant variants. This is no 
doubt due to the popularity of the Mishnah. For it is a recognized 
fact in all literatures that books that are widely read tend to 
become fixed even with their errors. Hence in order to establish 
a correct text of the Mishnah one must sometimes go beyond the 
Gemara, and at present this is hardly possible. With regard to 
the vocalization the matter is quite different. With an accurate 
knowledge of Hebrew grammar it is easy to punctuate mishnic 
texts correctly. It is true that now and again one stumbles over 
a new word not occurring in the Bible. But even then analogy 
can be followed with some degree of certainty. However lenient 
one wishes to be, one cannot help declaring this part of the present 
edition falilty. The book teems with errors of this kind. Even 
well-known biblical words and quotations are incorrectly vocalized. 
Misprints, too, are of very frequent occurrence, and it appears that 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA— HALPER 405 

sufficient care was not bestowed upon this part of the work. It is 
rather inauspicious that the very first word contains an error. 
rtaK Va"itf; (p. 9) is impossible, as 3? is masculine in all its signi- 
fications. Read n^^lS. As obvious misprints mention should be 
made of i^^ (p. 22) instead of r\f?f 5 ISE' nWa^ (p. 24) instead 
of »\/\ib ; ppb' (p. 27 twice) instead of ro?*. Comp. p. 38 where 
this word is correctly vocalized. nx1"3 (p. 38) for N2fi*l ; nSD 
(p. 57) instead of NSD; N) (p. 62) instead of njj ^mf (p. 85) 
instead of ^ij??'. Apart from a vast number of mistakes which 
can reasonably be regarded as misprints these two tractates abound 
in errors which betray a lack of knowledge of Hebrew grammar. 
Some of them are due to the confusion of certain vowels in the 
Portuguese pronunciation. Thus probably arose P^^ (p. 15 and 
elsewhere) instead of I^T^S, and 0"'1?PI (p. 16) instead of 0''rsri. The 
former is no doubt a /a' 'J/ form which is of frequent occurrence 
in the Mishnah, while the latter is derived from the root DOPi To 
the same cause may be ascribed such mistakes as tosy nE'J|0 
(p. 18) instead of nbJIP, and E^J for ^'!. almost throughout the 
book. It would take up too much space to enumerate all the 
errors in these two tractates, but some of the most characteristic 
may be pointed out here. 'il'E'? (p. 10), read ^^^?. ^nnsE'l. (p. 1 1), 
read 'fll|E'1. Instead of v3 {ih'd. and throughout the book) read 
V?, as the former is a pausal form. Instead of PJ'H (p. 14 and 
elsewhere) read PIH. The editor vocalizes the Hifil of this word 
correctly, but persists in giving a wrong form of the Hofal. As 
a rule no question marks are used in this edition, but as chance 
would have it, the question mark on p. 18 is erroneously employed : 
it should be placed before nt^ not after it. Instead of Pipi^sn 
(p. 19) read PP}?D, as the root is Pl'i. The form nSFII^J (p. 23) is 
impossible; read nsn^a. This is quite a common error. As 
may be seen from Cant. 2. 9 ?rib is a kutl form ; hence ?ni33 (p. 23) 
is inaccurate. Instead of nnoiJsa (p. 24) read nnoioa. For the 
correct vocalization of maiy (Baba ^amma 5, i) and SD1D {Hid. 8, i) 
see my remarks in /Q^., N. S., VI, p. 211. x. ''fl?(p. 25) isan un- 
known form ; vocalize ^?J^, as in Gen. 11. 30. For n^'O (p. 28) 
read '^l?.'?- The editor did not stop to think about the root of 



406 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

iTias nafnbi (p. 29) ; vocalize ri3B'n)i. instead of nijrias' (ibid.) 
read n'^niB*. A student accustomed to correctly vocalized Hebrew 
texts will be puzzled by the word nj»52 (p. 30). Read n|3?. The 
editor evidently could not make up his mind as to the exact pro- 
nunciation of nSD. On p. 30 he vocalizes it several times HKp, 
but on p. 84 it becomes HND. In his translation he transliterates 
it Seah throughout. Now this word is HND in the Bible (e. g. 
2 Kings 7. i). B''15'3n (p. 30) in an unconscious attempt to intro- 
duce a. forma mixta in the Mishnah. Vocalize B''''^?in. Even a 
denominative verb has to follow the elementary rules of grammar. 
As may be seen from i Kings and elsewhere the correct vocaliza- 
tion is "1^3, not l^a (p. 31). For fMn (p. 34) read T^'H- Instead 
of T\\-m^r\ (p. 37) read nhnsn, or n\-\nm. The editor rightly 
remarks in his notes that the singular of pat^J nets is 33*3. Yet 
he vocalizes it p?^? in the text {ibid.). As the root of P^l spittle 
is PBl, we ought to read ^P"!) instead of ^P^"i (p. 40). See Job 7. 19. 
A curious mistake is 3??^ (p. 41) which is a quotation from 
Gen. 20. 7, where it is SB'n. The editor should have at least 
taken the trouble to quote accurately. According to Cant. 7. 2 
we ought to vocalize P^BN, or perhaps P^i?^, if we take the Syriac 
^iLa} into consideration. But Castiglioni is inconsistent, and 
vocalizes r?lp1« (p. 43), r^OlK (p. 82), and r?»i« {ibid and p. 84). 
Instead of llDV (p. 44) vocalize S'm. See Hos. 2. 1 1. ^ «'? r6^) 
(p. 44) is an impossible construction ; read D'lpE'p. Instead of 
Sw'\T\ (p. 45) read it^n. Syriac Ji^ajo would seem to indicate 
that D3to is an active participle ; hence read pDaten instead of 
ppaltsn (p. 47). Instead of ysf'^ (p. 49 and elsewhere) read S5^. 
According to the Masoretic Text of Ps. 74. 6 we ought to read 
h'^^^\, and npt i"B>|?1 (p. 51). Instead of nboo, inJWBto (p. 56) 
read i^^^J, i^J^lf'?. In all likelihood ^5^B' Js an active participle, 
and hence we should vocalize I3''"!?1t?1, not ti^'^S^^ (p, 57). Read 
PJIKO' instead of f^lK^?', and 'ia? instead of i3''0 (p. 58). For 
pnsD (p. 59) read n}B». t?*; ^O^?' (p. 60) is an impossible con- 
struction ; read ?nb3? . The word 'h^'St^ is contracted of ^N -j- BN -j- 
6, and should therefore be '?BK, not v'BK («i5«(f.). Arabic £Is 
proves that we should vocalize naij , not nap (p. 62). Instead of the 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA— HALPER 407 

impossible '"IK'B'P vocalize "^^^p (p. 64). For nj? (p. 66, several times) 
read >^V. According to Ezekiel 4. 9 we ought to vocalize T'pMp, 
not rV^'ab (p. 67). Instead of PiJITO (p. 68) read pi?to. The editor 
has i^^l^^fp and I'l?']^? promiscuously on p. 68. Both are inaccurate ; 
vocalize f'I'l???. A comparison with I3*?^'in would have taught 
the editor tO vocalize l''?'?^, not |''?'»in (p. 73). According to 
2 Chron. 19. 7 read n|0, not ngD (p. 74), which is a common 
error. The Kal of HI? signifies he borrowed; hence read 'IJpn, 
not nipn (p. 80), For a similar reason read ^V? instead of Tmj? 
(p. 81), as the Piel means he accompanied. It would be impossible 
to parse the form ^"^ (p. 84) ; read K'n^. Vocalize also tJ'TI, 
instead of B>11 (ibid.). For *Nfl (p. 85) read ''N^l. Read D3i« 
instead of D?.i'5 (p. 88 several times). According to the Bible we 
ought to read nUi^nnD instead of nlJl^nno (p. 94). Read nf^mn 
instead of n^nqisn (p. 99). See i Sam. 13. 20. For ts'w. %S^ 
(p. 99) read -'5*'. Instead of PP? (p. loi) read fp?, as the root is 
Y^. The Kal of njS does not suit on p. loi, hence read ni< nSB 
^■•iDN for iija. Instead of the impossible Q^FIJ'? (p. 102) read 
d^nj^a. Some of the Genizah fragments vocalize DtOb^B; but the 
former is more likely. 

As indicated in the title, Dr. Arthur Rosenthal's edition of the 
tractate 'Orlah is of a rather ambitious character. In modern 
times some of the foremost Jewish scholars have attempted to 
apply to the Mishnah the principles of higher and lower criticism. 
These principles have led to wonderful discoveries in the Bible ; 
but no startUng results can be expected from them in the 
Mishnah. The problems of the latter are not so complicated, as 
we have an almost unbroken tradition which is of invaluable help 
as a starting-point. Nevertheless there is many a problem that 
still awaits solution. The labours of Hoffmann, Schwarz, Rosen- 
thal (the father of the author of this work), and others have 
advanced this branch of study to a considerable extent. Dr. Arthur 
Rosenthal has followed their methods, and set himself the task of 
analysing the tractate "Orlah and putting it on a critical basis. 
He first gives a general rhumi of the composition and sources of 
this tractate, and then discusses each paragraph individually. It 



4o8 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

goes without saying that an attempt is made to go beyond 
R. Judah ha-Nasi the redactor of the Mishnah. Every statement 
of the Mishnah is discussed separately, annotated, and translated 
into German. In these notes the general results of the introduc- 
tion are given in detail. The main result of the inquiry is that 
R. Jose b. Halafta, who is mentioned several times by name in 
this tractate, is the compiler thereof. Even some anonymous 
passages are shown by Dr. Rosenthal to belong to this Tanna. 
In many cases his proofs are convincing, especially when he treats 
of the development of the Halakah in the various tannaitic schools. 
But the arguments adduced from the similarity of phraseology 
cannot be regarded as conclusive. This is one of the most serious 
pitfalls in biblical criticism. Because a word is employed by a 
certain author it does not follow that all passages in which that 
word occurs must be ascribed to him. Bearing this view in mind 
one cannot accept Dr. Rosenthal's conclusions with regard to 2, 5 
and 2, 12, where he tries to identify the author by the words 
»n!?DB' and '<rh»&, respectively. 

As the work is intended for scholars, the text is unvocalized. 
It is, however, a curious fact that the few words that are vocalized 
happen to be inaccurate. Thus MOD (x, 5) should have no 
mappek, and vTt. (3) i) should be PP"]?, or v2'%- On the whole 
Dr. Rosenthal's work is an important contribution to the higher 
criticism of this tractate. The textual side, however, is almost 
entirely neglected. It seems that npli?! (3, 9U) should probably 
be Upl^l which harmonizes better with the remaining part of that 
paragraph. 

The transliteration of Hebrew words is not always accurate. 

Die Mischna, KWajim ( Verbotene Mischgattungen). Text, tJber- 

setzung und ErklSrung. Nebst einem textkritischen Anhang. 

Von Dr. Karl Albrecht, Professor in Oldenburg i. Gr. 

Giessen: Alfred TOpelmann, 1914. pp. vi + 87. 
Die Mischna, Rosch ha-schana (Neujahr). Text, tJbersetzung und 

Erklarung. Nebst einem textkritischen Anhang. Von Lie. 

Paul Fiebig, Oberlehrer in Gotha. Giessen : Alfred Topel- 

MANN, 1914. pp. vii+127. 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA — HALPER 409 

Die Mischna, Horajot [Entscheidungen). Text, tJbersetzung und 
Erklarung. Nebsteinem textkritischenAnhang. Von Walter 
WiNDFUHR, Pastor an St. Catharinen in Hamburg. Giessen : 
Alfred TSpelmann, 1914. pp. v+35. 

Essentially these three volumes do not differ in their treatment 
from their predecessors in the series of the Mishnah edited by 
Georg Beer and Oscar Holtzmann. There is a certain sameness 
about all the volumes that have hitherto appeared : the same kind 
of notes and the same kind of mistakes. They no doubt s€rve 
a useful purpose as text-books for non-Jewish students of theology, 
but can by no means be seriously considered as contributions to 
the scientific study of the Mishnah. The notes are for the greater 
part of an elementary nature, and there is little display of 
originality, in spite of the claims made by the general editors. 
A meritorious feature is the philological treatment of the texts. 

The tractate Kil'ayim, dealing with the prohibition against 
crossing certain plants and animals (Lev. 19. 19 ; Deut. 22. 9-11), 
has its technical difficulties in identifying the numerous plants and 
animals mentioned therein, otherwise it is one of the easiest 
tractates of the Mishnah. The problem as to the reason of this 
prohibition does not belong to the province of mishnic studies, 
but to the Bible. For the Mishnah, while amplifying these laws, 
bases itself on the Bible, without investigating the reason. More- 
over, even the technical difficulties have to a great extent been 
overcome by the exhaustive researches of Immanuel Low to whom 
Prof. Albrecht constantly refers. Accordingly, the latter's claim 
made in his preface that his edition of Kil'ayim is the first modern 
attempt to give a comprehensive commentary is only true in a 
literal sense. His introduction, which is very brief, deals with 
the prohibition of Kil'ayim. He adopts Goldziher's view that 
this prohibition is connected with the magical and idolatrous 
practices of primitive races. As to the time of the composition 
of this tractate. Prof. Albrecht rightly points out that, since all the 
authorities cited, with the exception of R. Simon b. Eleazar, 
flourished before R. Judah ha-Nasi, there is no reason to doubt 
the unanimous tradition which ascribes the redaction of this 

VOL. VII. E e 



4IO THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

Mishnah to the latter. He, however, considers i, 6 as a later 
interpolation, because that paragraph deals with animals, while 
the rest of the chapter treats of plants. But this argument is 
hardly of sufficient validity, as not all details of R. Judah ha-Nasi's 
method have been clearly determined, and it is quite possible 
that he himself, as well as another interpolator, might have been 
induced to insert that paragraph on account of the similar 
phraseology. This remark applies with equal force to 2, 8 a. 

Owing to the great number of post-biblical nouns the vocaliza- 
tion of this tractate is by no means an easy matter. Arabic and 
Syriac, especially the latter, are sometimes very helpful, but cannot 
always be relied upon. For even a noun directly borrowed from 
these languages may undergo some vocalic changes in Hebrew. 
The exact pronunciation of some of these nouns must therefore 
be regarded as doubtful. To the credit of Prof. Albrecht it must 
be said that his vocalization is the most acceptable, or at least as 
acceptable as any that can be suggested. There are nevertheless 
some indefensible inaccuracies, a few of which may be mentioned 
here. Instead of 0);")|^ (2, 9 b) vocalize DHIN The plural of nniP 
is n^rrji?, not niirji? (2, 9 c), as the form is obviously like nD?L In 
3, 3 b VBp is an infinitive like fW? (comp. njn? i Kings 6. 19, 
which is probably a combination of MO? and W?), Such forms 
are the masculine infinitives instead of the feminine riyDP and 
^D? occurring in the Bible. Prof. Albrecht's suggestion to take 
y^p as the so-called 7-imperfect is precluded by the construction 
yap B'ij!5D, as ^S? invariably takes an infinitive. He moves in a 
vicious circle when he refers to his Grammar in support of his 
explanation. P.P'JJ? (5, 7 b) should be p^"]!?, or p^in, as the ?al 
is intransitive in that sense. The latter is more likely, as a passive 
form seems to be required. The vocalization !T7|'n '31X (8, 5 b) 
is not quite sure. See also E. Fink, Monatsschrifi, 1907, pp. 173- 
8a ; N. M. Nathan, ibid., pp. 501-6. Instead of nlrtB^p (9, 3) 
vocalize niriB^p. Comp. Isa. 3. 22. 

From a theological standpoint the tractate Rosh ha-Shanah 
offers a great deal of material for an introduction, especially if the 
writer has no particular desire to avoid digressions. Dr. Fiebig's 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA — HALPER 41 1 

introduction is mainly devoted to the history of the New Moon 
and New Year Festivals, and at the same time the questions that 
are of immediate concern to the tractate are adequately dealt 
with. He gives a brief analysis of this mishnic tractate, and then 
compares it with the Tosephta. This comparison leads him to 
consider as probable Zuckermandel's theory that the Tosephta is 
the old Palestinian Mishnah. There can, indeed, be no doubt 
that in spite of the numerous objections that have been raised 
against this fascinating theory, it is the only one which offers a 
reasonable solution to a difficult problem. Dr. Fiebig divides the 
history of the Jewish New Moon and New Year Festivals into six 
periods: i. pre-exilic; 2. exilic and post-exilic ; 3. Hellenistic- 
4. tannaitic (from 100 b.c.e. to 100 c.e.); 5. amoraic and gaonic 
(down to8ooc.E.)j 6. from the Middle Ages down to our present 
time. He adopts the current view that these Festivals had their 
origin in the cult of the moon, which is common to all primitive 
races who live in close proximity to nature. For the first two 
periods interesting details may be gleaned from passages in the 
Prophets and in the Pentateuch. In treating of the second period 
Dr. Fiebig cites and translates the scriptural passages appertaining 
to these Festivals. For the Hellenistic period Ben Sira contains 
a few passages, while for the remaining three periods ample 
material is to be found in the Talmud, in the gaonic literature, 
and in the present practice of the Jews. Of these two Festivals 
the New Year presents much greater difficulties, for there is no 
explicit mention of it in the Old Testament. And yet there can 
be no doubt of its antiquity. As a remarkable phenomenon in 
the development of religious practices it is to be observed thit 
the New Moon, on which so much emphasis is laid in the Old 
Testament, became comparatively insignificant in post-biblical 
times, whereas the New Year, to which there is no clear allusion 
in the Bible and Apocrypha, assumed great importance ftom 
the time of the Mishnah down to our own times. A great deal 
of space is devoted by Dr. Fiebig to the liturgy of these Festivals. 
In this branch of his study he is entirely dependent upon 
Dr. Elbogen to whom he acknowledges his indebtedness. And 

E e 3 



412 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

yet despite this reliable guide, Dr. Fiebig commits some glaring 
inaccuracies. Thus on p. 49, note 6, he remarks that the prayer 
Alenu is not only recited on New Year's Day, but also on the 
Sabbath and on the Day of Atonement. He refers to his own 
article in the Christliche Welt, 1909, No. 29, as authority on this 
prayer. He might have received more reliable information from 
the first Jew he met in the street. But it is common experience 
to find some Christian scholars better informed on difficult 
problems than on elementary subjects which Jewish scholars do 
not consider worthy of treatment. 

Although most of the texts cited in the introduction have 
repeatedly been published and vocalized. Dr. Fiebig commits 
some blunders of an elementary character. On p. 28 Q'^'in n^niN 
dngio^ is translated by Zeiten, Monate und Fesie, and yet it does 
not require an advanced knowledge of Hebrew to find out that this 
phrase can mean nothing else than signs of months and festivals. 
On the same page \Q^ '""?¥! ^^'^ '^S?l is impossible Hebrew, and 
the correct reading is that of Mtiller, Masseket Soferim, p. 272, 
'131 D^n 13^1. Our editor quotes Miiller's reading in the foot-note, 
and displays wonderful judgement in rejecting it. mDN m nnl'D 
(p. 48) should be rendered : It is a statement which Rab made. 
Dr. Fiebig's translation : Ein Ausspruch des Rab sagt, may be 
good German, but is clearly based on a misreading of the Aramaic 
expression. It should be vocalized i^'Jtp^ 31"] nnpt?. P. 60, 
fjmina irpy nisra is impossible Hebrew ; vocalize nj2f03 as in all 
editions of the Siddur. Instead of niSIp (p. 67) vocalize rii^'"!?, as 
the Piel of this verb signifies he appeased, which does not suit this 
context. There is no Hebrew word nsfj? (p. 68); vocalize ^"i^., 
which is a good biblical word. The plural of n«pa and nUT is 
n1*3pp and M^^at, respectively, and not n1*3pp (p. 42) and Hi^at 
(p. 64). With regard to this mistake it must be said that 
Dr. Fiebig errs in good company. Similar errors Ukewise occur 
in the text of the tractate, which as a whole is fairly well vocalized. 
In the sentence PT'ien (p i^^s pbai50 \r\\ kVe* (7., i b) the object is 
understood, and the expression is in accordance with the mishnic 
idiom. But Dr. Fiebig appears to be puzzled by the active 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA — HALPER 413 

participle, and in his notes remarks that one would expect n?9, 
as if the latter were a passive participle ! Instead of P?'"!*^ (2, 3) 
vocalize T?"!}.^. Comp. 2 Sam. 3. i^ and elsewhere, v 19^X5. 
(2, 6 a) is out of harmony with P?^???' of the coordinate clause. 
There is no doubt that the reading v D'^IO^XI mentioned in the 
Textkritischer Anhang is correct. The manuscripts or editions 
which have "ipi^'l. intended it to be an abbreviation. The ex- 
pression in« ]V\7 (2, 9 c) is to be compared with "inN |3"i, and iriK 
is not necessarily temporal. The punctuation ip^31_ (3, 7 b) is 
erroneous, as it is a Hebrew active participle like "lOiX. Here 
again Dr. Fiebig errs in good company. The Hifil participle of 
NT would be NnpO not Nli?P (4, 7). Dr. Fiebig quotes Mar- 
golis's Lehrbuch der aram. Sprache des babyl. Talmuds, where 
the same form occurs, but he forgets that there is some difference 
between Aramaic and Hebrew. Either we are to read ^'''1pP or 
^lijlp , the latter being a Piel. The vocalization no^ (4, 8 a) is 
traditional, but, judging from analogous expressions, nb^ would 
be more accurate, naa^ (4, 9 a) is less natural than naa^. 

The importance of the tractate Horayot naturally lies in its 
exposition of the principles of the Jewish Halakah, and as it 
deals with abstract laws it is apparently of little interest to 
the Christian theologian, who fails to find in it a reflection of 
Jewish life in the time of Jesus. Hence one can easily under- 
stand Dr. Windfuhr's remark at the very outset of his preface 
that he laid the book aside with a sense of relief. Nevertheless 
the editor managed to analyse the contents of the tractate, and 
he intelligently attacked the problems appertaining thereto, though 
he did not advance the subject in the least. On the whole it may 
be said that the notes are replete with details, and acquaint the 
student with the subject under discussion. This is no easy 
matter in a tractate like Horayot, where various subjects are 
touched upon without being discussed or explained. In some 
cases Dr. Windfuhr failed to grasp the purport of the laws. 
Thus the phrase D^' "^Jja Di'' HlD^B' (1, 3 b) is a well-known 
designation of a woman who has an issue of blood for one or 
two days between the seventh and eleventh days after the 



414 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

beginning of her menstruation, ^nd the words 0\'' 1333 are abso- 
lutely necessary, as the expression signifies one who observes 
a day of purity corresponding to the day of impurity. But 
Dr. Windfuhr offers the following translation : die den festgesetzten 
\Reinheiis\tag abwartef. In his notes he remarks that the words 
^ *'.5?| are a pleonastischer Zusatz. Nor is the vocalization free 
from errors, np occurs only once in the Bible (i Sam. 21. 10), 
and n|3 would certainly have been preferable in i, 2. In the 
same paragraph naE* should be njE', The Piel is transitive, and 
is therefore out of place here. In his notes Dr. Windfuhr quotes 
Bacher, who vocalizes nj^ correctly, and yet, without giving any 
reason, he adopts an erroneous vocalization. This is a remarkable 
case of lack of philological judgement. Instead of nil n*j^3J|a 
(i, 5 a and elsewhere) vocalize HIT n"jb5?3. As nij is undeter- 
mined, fi^i^JJ, too, must be undetermined. The Piel PKB^D is 
transitive, and therefore impossible in 3, 4 b. Vocalize pNBQl? 
/Hithpael), and compare Lev. 21. i, to which this law alludes. 
Instead of the impossible 1.3? (3, 8) vocalize IJ?. Sense of style 
and a little knowledge of Hebrew grammar would have taught 
Dr. Windfuhr that 7^13 |r)3? (ibid^ is an impossible combination. 
Moreover, all the other co-ordinate nouns in this paragraph are 
undetermined. Vocalize yf^\ ins?. It should be observed that 
all these editors seem to have a tendency to put in as many 
definite articles as possible. They almost invariably give it ' the 
benefit of the doubt '. As a matter of fact in the mishnic idiom 
the definite article is less frequent with nouns than in the Bible, 
as may be readily seen from the usage of the word C^an . 

Der Tosephtatrahtat Ros HaMana. In vokalisiertem Text mit 
sprachlichen und sachlichen Bemerkungen. Von Lie. 
Paul Fiebig, Gymnasialoberlehrer in Gotha. Bonn : 
A. Marcus und E. Weber, 19 14. pp. 16. 

This edition of the Tosephta Rosh ha-Shanah belongs to 
a series of small texts edited by Hans Lietzmann. It is designed 
to meet the requirements of students at the University, and lays 
no claim to original contribution. It supplies the reader with all 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA — HALPER 415 

necessary information. In a few well-chosen sentences the editor 
acquaints the learner with the nature of the edition, and refers 
for fuller information to his publication of the Mishnah Rosh 
ha-Shanah under the editorship of Beer and Holtzmann. (That 
publication is reviewed in another place.) The text mainly 
follows Zuckermandel's edition of the Erfurt manuscript. In the 
notes, which are brief and of a very elementary character, some 
of the important variants are recorded. In some cases, however, 
the notes are quite superfluous. Thus one cannot see the neces- 
sity of writing special notes offering the information that bsS? means 
a ^a^and ''13 means a h'd(p. 6, notes 13 and 14), as these words are 
of frequent occurrence in the Old Testament. If Dr. Fiebig assumed 
that the reader's knowledge is of such a low standard, he might 
as well have taken the trouble to annotate every word. And 
yet even post-biblical words are frequently passed over without 
notes. He would have utilized his space more profitably had he 
explained the etymology of pVnnp (i, 3) and po'i'in (i, 9). He 
might also have given the etymology of Of® (2, 3). 

In such a text the accuracy of vocalization is of great impor- 
tance, as the student is expected to derive his Hebrew knowledge 
from these sources. There is an evident endeavour in this 
tractate to punctuate correctly, but an imperfect knowledge of 
Hebrew prevented Dr. Fiebig from carrying out his desire. 
D'B'inpi (i, i) violates an elementary rule. Comp. i Chron. 23. 
31, where it is D''?'"jnj. From the Bible Dr. Fiebig might like- 
wise have known to punctuate n^Sj), not ITisy (i, 2, and through- 
out the book). The exact pronunciation of iV3T of the fourth 
year is not definitely known. Dr. Fiebig has it as *??"] (i, 8), 
which in itself is not unlikely. We should perhaps vocalize it 
■■ViT, as a derivative from D''??'! (see e.g. Exod. 20. 5). In a 
punctuated text ''l?nS3?l. (i, 15) is out of place ; read ''I?;???'!. For 
XVS. (2, 2 b) read T^Jp. It is common to consider the word tJ^pn 
as a Hifil form of the root B'PJ, and Dr. Fiebig, too, vocalizes it 
E'''i3np (2, 3). But, as there is no clear evidence for the existence 
of such a root with this signification, why not derive B'^pn from 
2^P like Arabic JiilS? One should accordingly read ^'V!^. 



4l6 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

Instead of 313? (2, 4) read 315?, as the former is Piel and transi- 
tive. There are also a few misprints like HOto (4, 2), instead of 

nains; ■'jBa {4, 6) for ^333; rfJlipa (4, 7 a) for nbinpsi. 

Babylonische Geonim iin nachgaonischen Zeitalter, nach hand- 
schriftlichen und gedruckten Quellen. Von Samuel Poz- 
NANSKi. Berlin: Mayer und MCller, 1914. pp. x+144. 
Our knowledge of the gaonic period has been recently 
enriched with some very interesting details owing chiefly to the 
discovery of the Genizah. Many problems were solved, but at the 
same time new difficulties arose through the investigation of the 
new material. That period, which is no doubt one of the most 
fascinating in Jewish history, has always occupied the minds of 
Jewish scholars, and despite the paucity of material many a fact 
has been reclaimed from oblivion. Yet some of the views that 
have hitherto been considered as settled will have to be revised. 
It had long ago been accepted as an established fact that the 
gaonate proper ceased to exist with the death of R. Hai in 1038. 
There are explicit statements to that effect to be found in the 
writings of mediaeval Jewish historians, as for instance in Neu- 
bauer's Mediaeval Jewish Chronicles, vol. I, p. 1 78. It is true that 
there are in some books sporadic references to Geonim, who 
flourished after that date. But these references were either 
ignored or explained away in one manner or another. For it is 
an indisputable fact that the title Gaon is not always employed 
in its technical sense, and even Sherira in his Epistle uses it 
somewhat loosely. (Comp. Neubauer, Mediaeval Jewish Chronicles, 
vol. I, pp. 31, 32.) Here again the Genizah fragments and manu- 
scripts recently brought to light have somewhat modified the old 
established theories. Persistent references to post-gaonic Geonim 
caused scholars to investigate anew this phase of Jewish history, 
and to re-examine the old material in the light of recent dis- 
coveries. It soon became apparent that the academy still lingered 
on for some time after the extinction of the gaonate. Its im- 
portance was diminished owing to the absence of a really great 
man to succeed R. Hai. Subsequently in the twelfth century 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA — HALPER 417 

a serious attempt was made to re-establish the gaonate in Bagdad, 
and to restore it to its pristine glory. Other countries, too, 
endeavoured to found the office of gaonate. In Palestine Geonim 
existed even during the brilliant epoch of the Babylonian gaonate. 
Sufficient details about Ben Meir are still lacking, but there can 
be no doubt that his acrimonious strife with Sa'adya was more 
than a mere controversy over the calendar. 

All these questions have never before been exhaustively 
investigated, and Dr. Poznanski has put scholars under very 
great obligation by collecting and examining all the existing 
material, some of which has hitherto been inaccessible. With 
his characteristic thoroughness and wonderful mastery of details 
he presents in this monograph all the facts that can possibly be 
gleaned. By piecing the fragments together he draws a picture 
of those Geonim and the times they lived in. This picture, to be 
sure, is still dim ; but this is due to the lack of further docu- 
ments which even the historian cannot supply. It is, however, to 
be hoped that no time will be lost in exploring the Genizah that 
is now housed at Cambridge and elsewhere. Thus even the 
small collection at the Dropsie College contains a fragment 
which is of great value for the period to which Dr. Poznariski's 
monograph is devoted. It is a dirge on the death of a Gaon 
named Daniel written on a narrow strip of parchment in a large 
character. On one side of the fragment is a marriage document 
dated Fustat, 1063. The bridegroom's name is Jepheth the son 
of Nissim, and the bride's name is Sitt al-Dar the daughter of 
Isaac. The marriage document is incomplete, and from the 
appearance of the fragment it is evident that the copyist trimmed 
it in order to use its blank side for the dirge. This dirge is 
written in the Wafir metre, which is quite a favourite with the 
mediaeval Jewish poets whose mother-tongue was Arabic. The 
rhyme thereof is CX throughout. Our fragment contains the 
last sixteen lines of the dirge, and begins with the line : 

D''N''B'2n n'liDOB vntona 



4l8 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

Now it is sufficiently obvious from the context that the man, on 
whose death this dirge was written, was named Daniel. The 
supposition that the poet compared the object of his praise to 
Daniel of the Bible may be dismissed as unworthy of considera- 
tion. But the death of which Daniel does the poet lament? 
There are four post-gaonic Geonim who bore that name : Daniel 
b. Azariah, Gaon of Palestine ; Daniel b. Eleazar b. Hibat Allah, 
Gaon of Bagdad ; Daniel b. Abi al-Rabi' ha-Kohen, Gaon of 
Bagdad ; Daniel the Babylonian, who was vice-Gaon. Our dirge 
contains no more than general praises which could easily apply to 
any man, and we have no definite data wherewith to identify this 
Daniel. I, however, venture to put forth the conjecture that the 
author of this dirge is Eleazar b. Jacob. The style of this poem 
is smooth and fluent, but lacks that depth which is found in our 
great poets. And these are just the characteristics of Eleazar b. 
Jacob. There are also resemblances in phraseology, as for 
instance p. 75, 1. 15 of this monograph. This point, it must be 
owned, cannot be pressed too far, as minor poets who lack 
originality will often borrow the same phrases from their model. 
Should this hypothesis prove to be right, the dirge would refer 
to Daniel b. Abi al-Rabi', to whom Jacob b. Eleazar addressed 
several panegyrics, as well as a dirge on his death and the death 
of his son Azariah (see below). Of course there is still the 
possibility that the subject of the dirge is Daniel b. Azariah, the 
Palestinian Gaon, who died about 1062, a year before the date of 
the marriage document. It may also lament the death of a Daniel 
who lived in Egypt, of whom nothing is as yet known. 

Dr. Pozna6ski's studies are chiefly based on the books of the 
twelfth-century travellers, Benjamin of Tudela and Pethahiah of 
Regensburg, on the Diwan of Eleazar b. Jacob, brought from 
Aleppo by Elkan N. Adler in 1898, and upon an Arabic fragment 
of the Mohammedan historian Abu Talib b. Anjab ibn al-Sha'i, 
who flourished in the thirteenth century. About a third part of 
the book is taken up with the real subject of the monograph as 
indicated by the title. All the details that are known about the 
nine Geonim of Bagdad are presented in a masterly fashion. 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA— HALPER 419 

The rest of the book consists of the following six appendixes : 
I. Samuel b. 'All's a responsum addressed to Moses of Kiew, and 
an exposition of Ketubot 63 a. II. Part of an Arabic letter by 
Maimonides addressed to his pupil Joseph b. Judah ibn 'Aiinin. 

III. Extracts from the Diwan of Eleazar b. Jacob ha-Babli. 

IV. An 'Al:edah by the Gaon 'Ali 11. V. Non-Geonim with the 
title of Gaon. VI. Exilarchs in post-gaonic times. Of these 
appendixes the iSrst four are interesting texts which directly or 
indirectly bear upon the historical phases discussed in the mono- 
graph. The last two are independent studies which are almost 
complete in themselves, and are printed here in order to furnish 
the sketch a proper background. Appendix V is especially 
replete with facts which were quite unknown up till recently. It 
treats of the Palestinian Geonim whose existence was made known 
through Dr. Schechter's discovery of the Megillat Ebiatar 
{Saadyana, XXXVIII) ; Geonim in Egypt ; a list of scholars who 
were styled Gaon as a mark of respect by later writers. The 
last list is arranged alphabetically, and is by no means exhaustive. 
The sixth appendix contains the names of exilarchs who flourished 
after the gaonic epoch in Fustat, Bagdad, Mosul, and Damascus. 
The exilarchs of the Rabbanites are followed by a list of exilarchs 
among the Karaites. 

In a subject of this nature where the material is as yet scanty, 
and where more discoveries may confidently be expected, pro- 
visional hypotheses are unavoidable. Dr. Poznafiski, who is one of 
the most careful and productive scholars, is naturally an extremely 
reliable guide, and is most suitable for this pioneer work. He 
makes use of clever combinations, and identifies persons in the 
most ingenious manner. Nevertheless some of the conjectures 
are far from being convincing. They are such as can at present 
neither be established nor refuted, and hence it would be useless 
to offer counter-suggestions. I, however, wish to make a few 
remarks in connexion with the texts. The suffix of KniJiSN 
(p. 58, 1. 3) refers to jjisiD, which is a broken plural, and therefore 
the suggestion to read QmnaN (note 2) is unnecessary. NXIN 
(p. 59, note s) should perhaps be read NXnN, that is to say, Lj,t 



420 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

a worm. The meaning of the sentence would then be : Do not 
treat that man as a worm, for if he has no wisdom, he has old age. 
Instead of the unintelligible xai'J^N (p. 60, note 5) we should read 
some such word as NasiipoN. The obvious a^NjlsN does not suit 
the context. D'»^J?3 (p. 63, 1. 39 b) should be 0<libH:, parallel to 
115?^. The metre, which is Basit, demands the insertion of ^3 
after arpn (p. 65, 1. 10). In the next line read nnsio instead of 
nnsn. It is also possible to read nnvni, and to take the verse 
as if it were W2.^'i ^^ nnvm nnin n^N. For inyni {ibid., 
1. 26) read something like n*aj?n D3. The meaning of ]wh VisryD 
nnmt^D din ''Ja i^n {ibid., 1. 34) is : The tongue of all sons of men 
declares his deeds, and not Machtjede Zunge reden, as suggested 
by Pozna6ski. 1''E'J?D is masculine, while ptJ'^ is feminine ; hence 
the feminine participle nnnitTD should have the latter as its 
subject. Instead of NT- apn^f {ibid., 1. 41) read DpiV \T. Ac- 
cording to the metre, which is Wafir, we should read liN instead 
of 7<N1 (p. 66, 1. 20). Instead of nc* (p. 67, No. 20, 1. i) vocalize 
riE'. Line 2 of No. r66 (p. 68) should perhaps read ^lpl fIB'B' 
lyDETl p»i3 nnDB'. The next line should be completed by the 
insertion of ''5']?. Line 10 of the same poem (p. 69) should be 
completed by ^9?iJ'. At the beginning of the following line i«to? 
would suit the context and the metre, which is Kamil. There 
is no difficulty in explaining No. 167, 1. 6 (p. 69), which reads : 

It should be rendered : Thy only law (i.e. thy aim and occupa- 
tion) is to make our crooked straight and to guide our ferflexed. 
Pozna6ski in note 6 remarks that fiDN is an augenscheinlicher 
Fehler, But it is quite correct, and is to be construed with ^m. 
Comp. Esther 4. 11. The metre demands ^3J^t for 'X'$'-\\ (ibid., 
1. 11). Read ^W instead of T'N (No. 170, 1. 14, p. 71). Delete 
1 of B«N1 (No. 176, 1. 21, p. 72). The vocalization n^lb? (No. 178, 
1. 2, p. 72) is against grammar and metre; read ^^IlvS. l^^''1 
(ibid., 1. 10) is short of a syllable ; read ru^nm. As the root of 
niiriD (jbid., 1. 12) is ^r\, it should be vocalized ri^?n», not 
n^?D1>. It is strange that the few words that are vocalized are 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA — HALPER 42I 

nearly all wrong. In the Arabic superscription of 203 (p. 74) the 
manuscript has riySDjiiN »a smniN nDS33 in fiPll , and Goldziher 
emends NmilN into xmNT'K. This is too radical a change, 
and the sentence still remains slightly awkward. Read simply 
NimiXI, and render : He himself stood up, and recited it before the 
assembly. It is also possible to insert a 1 before nDa33. This 1 
may have fallen out after in. ^^ {ibid., 1. 15, p. 75) gives no 
sense; read DB'. Instead of B'ln {ibid., 1. ig) read can. Comp. 
Job 40. 3. n*Dn»3 (p. 76, 1. 20) should be INDnOD. Brody 
emends it into niXDnDD ; but next to 13»ci my suggestion is 
preferable, especially as we only have to assume that N was misread 
as f. Instead of ^ (p. 77, 1. 39) read 33^. The metre of 'All's 
'Akedah (p. 78) is Kamil. Poznanski does not give the name of 
the metre, but merely a row of straight and curved lines. The 
number of his lines, however, does not tally with the syllables, as 
another straight line should be added at the end. Delete the 
n of rb^^n (stanza 3, 1. 5), and the second 1 of T\Xi (stanza 4, 
1. 2). Before pnv^ (}bid., 1. 3) two long syllables are missing ; 
some such word as 3^13 should perhaps be supplied. 



Die Petichot des Midrasch rabba zu Leviticus. Von Dr. David 
KtJNSTLiNGER. Krakau : Verlag des Verfassers, 1913. pp. 38. 

Die Petichot des Midrasch rabba zu Genesis. Von Dr. David 
KUnstlinger. Krakau: Verlag des Verfassers, 1914. pp.51. 

The scientific study of the Midrash has the same difficulties 
and problems as are met with in all the other branches of 
Jewish literature. Nevertheless the literary and textual criticism 
of the various Midrashim has made slow but steady progress 
since the time of Zunz. Theodor's edition of the Midrash rabba, 
of which only a small portion has hitherto appeared, shows the 
excellent results that have already been attained. Dr. Kiinst- 
linger has devoted himself to a special branch of the literary 
criticism of the Midrash, namely, to the analysis of the opening 
addresses known as Petihot. In his book AltjUdische Bibeldeu- 
tung, which was published in 191 1, he established certain prin- 



422 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

•ciples whereby the genuine Petihot may be distinguished from the 
spurious. This is by no means an easy matter, as redactors and 
copyists, especially the former, tampered with the original form of 
these addresses. As they now stand, the Petihot are frequently 
inaccurate, and the names of the authorities are not always given 
correctly. The superficial mode of treatment of regarding as 
a Petihah every address beginning with nns would not take the 
investigator very far, for manuscripts as well as printed editions 
vary in this respect. There is many a passage which begins with 
nns in some manuscripts and editions, while in others it is pre- 
ceded by another formula. Dr. Kunstlinger rightly points out 
that in this investigation external evidence is misleading owing 
to the interpolations of the redactors. But guided by the general 
principles he successfully analysed the Petihot of the Pesikta 
d'Rab Kahana in a book which appeared in 191 2. He now 
offers a similar analysis of Leviticus and Genesis rabba. He 
only gives his own independent results, and refrains from dis- 
cussing the work of other scholars in this field of research. His 
presentation is, accordingly, constructive, and is an interesting 
contribution to the higher criticism of the Midrash. As 
Dr. Kiinstlinger endeavours to go beyond the oldest manuscripts, 
his results can only be considered plausible, but not final. 



[Paris: Imprimerie Danzig, 1914. pp. vii+150.] 

Geschichte der Methodologie in den Hochschukn Judaas, Galilaas, 
Suras, und Neharddas, Von Jacob Samuel Zuri-Schesak, 
Lehrer am hebr. Gymnasium in Jerusalem. Erster Teil. 
Jerusalem : Buchdruckerei 'Achduth', 1914. pp. v-h 160. 

It is an old axiom that the characteristics of nations or 
groups of individuals are reflected in their literary productions. 
But in order to investigate the mental traits of an author we have 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA — HALPER 423 

to establish the authenticity of his writings. This is no easy task 
when one attempts to draw a picture of the numerous amoraic 
authorities mentioned in the Talmudim and Midrashim. For in 
this literature we have no coherent and consecutive writings of any 
single individual, but a conglomeration of questions and answers 
and pithy sayings uttered at various occasions. The difficulties 
are still more enhanced when an attempt is made to group the 
various authorities geographically, and to describe the general 
characteristics shared by the different individuals constituting 
each group or school. In many cases we have no apparent data 
as to the origin of the scholars. It is just this difficult subject 
which Mr. Schesak has set for himself. He believes that there 
is abundant material for a comprehensive study, and that much 
can be achieved by a careful and painstaking investigation of 
every statement recorded in the Talmud. He displays very deep 
insight, and penetrates into the characters of the various Amoraim, 
and presents a vivid picture of their frame of mind. After 
giving a brief characterization of each Amora, he cites sayings 
from the Talmudim and Midrashim to bear out his theories. 
The first book, the first volume of which is now complete, deals 
specifically with the Amoraim of southern Palestine. By very 
ingenious conjectures Mr. Schesak endeavours to ascertain the 
place of birth and education of a number of authorities of whom 
little is definitely known. In some cases, however, he moves in 
a vicious circle. Mr. Schesak assumes general characteristics for 
the Amoraim of the south, and if an Amora happens to possess 
these characteristics he is taken to belong to that group. This 
method, to say the least, is very precarious. Moreover, our 
author's characterizations are too definite to be accurate. It is 
impossible to lay down hard and fast rules about the frame of 
mind and point of view of the authorities mentioned in the 
Talmud. Human nature is too complex to be reduced to simple 
equations. As an instance of Mr. Schesak's tendency towards 
generalizations the following assertion may be cited. He says 
that the difference between the system of the Amoraim of the 
south (Judea) and that of the Galileans is to some extent the 



424 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

same as the diiSference between classicism and modernism. The 
former look at life indirectly, and study man through his works, 
while the latter penetrate straight into the human heart (p. vi). 
As a matter of fact, it is even hard to draw the line of demar- 
cation between classicism and modernism, and Mr. Schesak's 
definition will not stand too close an examination. Furthermore, 
the distinction between the Amoraim of Galilee and those of the 
south cannot be sharply drawn, as after all these men lived 
during the same period and in practically the same environments. 
Their goal, too, was identical, and there no doubt was an inter- 
change of teachers in the various academies which helped to 
obliterate the original differences, if any existed. In spite of this 
objection to Mr. Schesak's mode of treatment, his point of view 
will command attention. 

The second book, the first volume of which has now appeared, 
is of a more general character. It deals with the methodology 
of all the Amoraim. Here again the author emphasizes the 
radical difference in method that existed in the various academies. 
The results of the first book are taken for granted. The author's 
fondness for generalizations is manifest also in this book. On 
p. 73 he makes the sweeping assertion that the Nehardeans were 
interpreters, whereas the Syrians and Palestinians were creators. 
Apart from this tendency Mr. Schesak displays gi-eat erudition 
and mastery of his subject. He handles his material very skil- 
fully, even when his results are too bold to commend themselves 
to scholars. 

Both books are written in a very good Hebrew. The author's 
style, which belongs to the latest phase of modern Hebrew, is 
fluent, and well suited for the treatment of this subject. 
Mr. Schesak expresses himself with clearness and precision, and 
avoids unnecessary coinages. As such books are rare in modern 
Hebrew, the author ought to be encouraged to continue the 
publication of the remaining volumes, as well as his other books 
to which he refers. 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA — HALPER 425 

Jesus in the Talmud. His personality, his disciples, and his 
sayings. By Bernhard Pick, Ph.D., D.D. Chicago : The 
Open Court Publishing Company, 191 3. pp. 103. 

To the student of the Talmud the scanty references to Jesus 
that occur in the unexpurgated editions of that vast literature are, 
to say the least, a negligible quantity. Considering the size of 
rabbinic literature, one must come to the inevitable conclusion 
that Christ and Christianity left little or no impression on the 
teachers of the Talmud, who treated the new religion and its 
founder with indifference. On the other hand, when one excerpts 
these few references out of their context, collects them, and 
annotates them, they loom large, and are apt to become unduly 
prominent. These passages have been repeatedly collected, and 
have done the Jews incalculable harm. In recent years a more 
scientific treatment, which is sometimes a mere guise, has been 
accorded these passages. This little book is not an original 
contribution. It simply follows Dalman's collection, and shows 
no first-hand knowledge of the Talmud. And yet the author 
speaks with a tone of authority. His remarks, which are 
interspersed between the quotations, betray an unmistakable 
anti-Jewish tendency. As these remarks are not new, it is 
scarcely worth while to controvert them. The views of Jewish 
scholars are dismissed by him as biassed. When a non-Jewish 
scholar happens to side with them, he discounts his view by 
quoting the opinions of ' unbiassed ' Christians. Thus against 
Renan, who thinks that the Talmud and the Rabbis were copied 
by Jesus, he (p. 73) pits 'a better authority, the late Dunlap 
Moore, for many years missionary among the Jews' (we know 
that scholarly type !). Nor is it easy to see why, from a scientific 
standpoint, Jewish scholars are biassed, whereas Christian writers 
monopolize the absolute truth. The former at least have the 
merit of knowing the Talmud in its true perspective. Dr. Pick 
triumphantly quotes the views of Wellhausen and Dean Farrar. 
This is, however, not scientific evidence. Wellhausen is one of 
the foremost Semitists and hterary critics of our age, and 
VOL. VII. F f 



426 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

Dean Farrar was a graceful writer ; but their knowledge of the 
Talmud is practically nil : the former would not, and the latter 
could not read rabbinic literature. 



Meziza: 1st sie religios geboten? Wirkt sie heilend oder 
schadlich? Von Emanuel Rosenbaum, Praktischer Arzt 
in Paris. Frankfurt a. M. : SInger and Friedberg, 1913. 
pp. 47- 

The question of Mesisah, that is to say, the sucking of the 
blood after circumcision, has been repeatedly discussed. Many 
physicians have condemned this practice on hygienic grounds. 
It has been urged that hereditary diseases may be communicated 
by the infant to the one who performs the operation, and it is 
possible for the former to be inoculated with harmful germs in 
this manner. Nevertheless this practice continues. Dr. Rosen- 
baum in this pamphlet tries to prove the untenability of this 
objection. He first points out that ritually Mesisah is essential. 
This part of his work is hardly necessary, as rabbinical testimony 
is unanimous on this point. He then goes on to demonstrate 
physiologically that the performance of Mesi§ah helps to heal 
the wound, and cites famous medical authorities in support of 
his view. He finally proves that the infant can neither communi- 
cate nor be inoculated with diseases. The first few pages of this 
treatise is devoted to the definition of Mesisah, and to the 
talmudic use of the root f^o. He takes issue with J. Levy, who 
declares in his Neuhebraisches und Chalddisches Worterbuch that 
the omission of Mesisah is not harmful, and that the root fVD 
can be applied to the absorption by lifeless things. Dr. Rosen- 
baum's language in discussing this question is far from dignified. 
Moreover, to obviate all difficulties there are instruments well 
adapted to the performance of this rite. One of these instru- 
ments has been applied with great success by Mr. Alexander 
Tertis, of London. This gentleman published a pamphlet con- 
taining the opinions of several Rabbis, who emphatically state 
that the Jewish law does not stipulate that the Mesisah should 



RECENT HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA— HALPER 427 

be done with the mouth. Many of the letters of these Rabbis 
appeared in the Hebrew weekly Ilayehoody during the year 1901. 
Dr. Rosenbaum does not seem to be aware of this mass of 
correspondence. At the end of the book Dr. Rosenbaum makes 
a solemn declaration that the last thousand cases that have come 
under his notice have almost been entirely successful. This, 
however, does not prove that there is no possibility of danger, 

B. Halper. 
Dropsie College. 



F fa