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254 Hebbaioa 

who has the manly courage to come out openly and to proclaim the 
truth, well knowing that he would have to suffer for it, as he did, cer- 
tainly deserves the thanks of every right-minded man, whatever his, 
religious affiliation be. The work contains a wealth of data, culled from 
mediaeval and modem literature, which is interesting alike to the folk- 
lorist as well as to the lawyer, to the physician as well as to the theologian, 
to the historian as well as to every educated man. Let us hope that the 
work will achieve its purpose to shed light on the sad blood-superstition 
and to terminate the blood-accusations which disgrace modern Chris- 
tianity- C. Levias. 

The Hebeew Union Colleoe, 
Cincinnati, O. 



SCHLESSINGER'S OLD FRENCH WORDS IN THE MACHSOR 

VITRY.' 

In spite of the abundant extant material of early French texts with 
Hebrew characters, it may be said that almost nothing has heretofore 
been done that will stand the scrutiny of the philologist of today. 
Bohmer touched the subject only superficially, while Ars^ne Darmesteter 
who alone possessed the proper critical acumen and philological train- 
ing in both the Hebrew and Romance fields, died just as he had under- 
taken to investigate the French glosses in Rashi's commentaries. The 
present investigation, which is carried on in the spirit which Darmesteter 
would have sanctioned, is therefore a gratifying beginning. Let us hope 
that before long will follow other glosses, but especially complete texts, 
such as is the valuable work on mediaeval medicine which Steinschneider 
has described at some length in the catalogue of the Berlin Imperial 
Library. In the present collection from the Machsor Vitry, French 
scholars will find an abundant harvest of new words, while those who 
are interested in any aspect of mediaeval life will be glad to discover a 
few new illustrations of the culinary art, the botany, and the domestic 
life of French Jews in the thirteenth century. Ljjo Wiener. 

Haevabd Univebsity, 
Cambridge, Mass. 



SALOMON BUBER'S LATEST WORKS.'' 

Solomon Buber, the editor of these two works, has been for many 
years one of the best-known scholars in rabbinical literature. A well- 
to-do merchant in Lemberg, at present in his seventy- fourth year, he 
devotes his time to Hebrew literature, and with special predilection 
to Midrash. He has edited several important books of the Midrash 

1 DiK altfeanzOsischen WOetee im Machsoe Vitet nach der Ausgabe des Vereins 
'Mekize Nirdamim," Von Dr. G-ustay Schlessinger. Mainz: Joh. Wirth'sche Hofbuch- 
druckerei a.-O., 1899. 104 pp. ; 8vo. 

2M1DEASCH EcHA Rabbathi. Sammlung agadischer Auslegungen der Elagelieder, 
Eerausgegeben nach einer Handschritt aus der Bibliothek zu Eom, cod. J. 1. 4, und einer 



Book Notices 255 

literature. Thirty-six years ago he published, for the first time, the 
Pesiqtha, the famous work whose existence and nature Zunz had proven 
from quotations, and which, when found, showed how correct his infer- 
ences had been. This time Buber presented us with the Midrash to 
Lamentations. It consists of two parts of almost equal size, the one 
called " Pethihatha," introduction, the other the real Midrash. Like 
all works of this literature, these two are homilies for the subject of 
which these books were chosen, from which scriptural lessons were 
selected for the services at the synagogue. Buber's editions are always 
testimonies of sound scholarship and of an admirably exact method. 
He gives, in a note, text-critical remarks based on careful weighing of 
the various texts, explanatory remarks, and finally very valuable parallels 
from rabbinical literature. It is sufficient to say that this Midrash on 
Lamentations comes up fully to the standard of Buber's older editions 
of the Pesiqtha, of the Thanhuma, and other publications by the learned 
editor. 

Less fortunate Buber is in his views on the origin of these works. He 
places the Midrash on Lamentations in the fourth century. Zunz, and, 
following him, Isaac H. Weiss, in his Hebrew work on rabbinical litera- 
ture, maintained that this book originated not earlier than the seventh 
century. To give a positive decision on these matters is absolutely 
impossible. Our rabbinical literature is in a hopeless condition as 
regards the chronology of its origin. Copyists, and even printers, have 
acted very freely in this respect, by arbitrary changes, interpolations, 
and additions from other similar works. Their interest was exclusively 
limited to the contents of the literature ; the history of the texts and the 
author were of no consequence. It is certainly typical for this state of 
affairs that author and age of the most popular hymn of the synagogue, 
"Adon 01am," are unknown, and that of the greatest Hebrew poet of the 
Middle Ages, Jehuda Halevi, a great many poems are preserved, including 
those which he wrote in the declining years of his life, while we do not 
know where and when he died, although younger contemporaries speak 
of him after his death. This lack of interest in the external side of lit- 
erature is a fact which cannot be remedied any more. But, on the other 
hand, it seems to have stimulated some lovers of literature to antedate 
these works as much as they can. 

The second work is of minor interest. It is a mere compilation of 
rabbinical homilies selected from various sources, and arranged in the 
order of the psalms. The author gives his name as Makir ben Abba 
Mari, and the whole pedigree of his family up to seven generations. He 
is otherwise unknown, but the family name seems to prove that he was 

Handschrift des British Museum, cod. 27089. Kritisch bearbeitet, commentiert and mit einer 
Einleitung versehen. Von Salomon Buber in Lemberg. Wilna : Wittwe <fe GebrHder Bomm, 
1899. 77 + 161 pp. fr. 2.50. 

JAI.KCT Machibi, Sammlung halachischer und hagadischer Stellen aus Talmud und 
Midraschim zu den 150 Psalmen von Maohir ben Abba Marl. Zum ersten Male nach einer 
Handschrift herausgegeben mit Bemerkungen, genauer Indioierung der Quellenangaben' 
Varianten und einer Einleitung versehen. Von Salomon Buber. Berdyczew : J. Scheftel, 
1899. Parti, 18+354 pp.; Part II, 294 pp. fr. 7. 



256 Hebeaica 

a native of southern France, and lived in the thirteenth or fourteenth 
century. He made similar selections on Proverbs, Job, Isaiah, Jeremiah, 
Ezekiel, and the Minor Prophets, but only some are extant, A similar 
work was undertaken by a man called Simeon Kara, who is supposed to 
have lived in Frankfurt, a. M., during the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries. It extends over the whole Bible, and is called Yalkut Simeoni, 
i. e., the compilation of Simeon, as ours is called the compilation of Makir. 
While in this book the editor has less opportunity of displaying his stu- 
pendous knowledge of rabbinical literature, he is entitled to grateful 
acknowledgment for his accuracy in editing the text. Unfortunately, 
Hebrew books can nowadays hardly be printed anywhere outside of 
Eussia, where typesetters and proofreaders can be obtained at a price 
low enough for the limits of the Jewish book market ; consequently the 
paper is not what it ought to be, but the types are very clear, and the 
proofreading is very exact. Q-. Dectsch. 

The Hebkew Union College, 
Cincinnati, O.