Chapters on Jewish Literature
by Israel Abrahams
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Addresses of parents to their children occur in the Bible, the Apocrypha, and the Rabbinical literature. But the earliest extant Ethical Will written as an independent document is that of Eleazar, the son of Isaac of Worms (about 1050), who must not be confused with the author of the Rokeach. The eleventh and twelfth centuries supply few examples of the Ethical Will, but from the thirteenth century onwards there is a plentiful array of them. "Think not of evil," says Eleazar of Worms, "for evil thinking leads to evil doing.... Purify thy body, the dwelling-place of thy soul.... Give of all thy food a portion to God. Let God's portion be the best, and give it to the poor." The will of the translator Judah Ibn Tibbon (about 1190) contains at least one passage worthy of Ruskin: "Avoid bad society, make thy books thy companions, let thy book-cases and shelves be thy gardens and pleasure-grounds. Pluck the fruit that grows therein, gather the roses, the spices, and the myrrh. If thy soul be satiate and weary, change from garden to garden, from furrow to furrow, from sight to sight. Then will thy desire renew itself, and thy soul be satisfied with delight." The will of Nachmanides is an unaffected eulogy of humility. Asher, the son of Yechiel (fourteenth century), called his will "Ways of Life," and it includes 132 maxims, which are often printed in the prayer-book. "Do not obey the Law for reward, nor avoid sin from fear of punishment, but serve God from love. Sleep not over-much, but rise with the birds. Be not over-hasty to reply to offensive remarks; raise not thy hand against another, even if he curse thy father or mother in thy presence."

Some of these wills, like that of the son of the last mentioned, are written in rhymed prose; some are controversial. Joseph Ibn Caspi writes in 1322: "How can I know God, and that he is one, unless I know what knowing means, and what constitutes unity? Why should these things be left to non-Jewish philosophers? Why should Aristotle retain sole possession of the treasures that he stole from Solomon?" The belief that Aristotle had visited Jerusalem with Alexander the Great, and there obtained possession of Solomon's wisdom, was one of the most curious myths of the Middle Ages. The will of Eleazar the Levite of Mainz (1357) is a simple document, without literary merit, but containing a clear exposition of duty. "Judge every man charitably, and use your best efforts to find a kindly explanation of conduct, however suspicious.... Give in charity an exact tithe of your property. Never turn a poor man away empty-handed. Talk no more than is necessary, and thus avoid slander. Be not as dumb cattle that utter no word of gratitude, but thank God for his bounties at the time at which they occur, and in your prayers let the memory of these personal favors warm your hearts, and prompt you to special fervor during the utterance of the communal thanks for communal well-being. When words of thanks occur in the liturgy, pause and silently reflect on the goodness of God to you that day."

In striking contrast to the simplicity of the foregoing is the elaborate "Letter of Advice" by Solomon Alami (beginning of the fifteenth century). It is composed in beautiful rhymed prose, and is an important historical record. For the author shared the sufferings of the Jews of the Iberian peninsula in 1391, and this gives pathetic point to his counsel: "Flee without hesitation when exile is the only means of securing religious freedom; have no regard to your worldly career or your property, but go at once."

It is needless to indicate fully the nature of the Ethical Wills of the sixteenth and subsequent centuries. They are closely similar to the foregoing, but they tend to become more learned and less simple. Yet, though as literature they are often quite insignificant, as ethics they rarely sink below mediocrity.



Steinschneider.—Jewish Literature, pp. 100, 232.

B.H. Ascher.—Choice of Pearls (with English translation, London, 1859).

D. Rosin.—Ethics of Solomon Ibn Gebirol, J.Q.R., III, p. 159.


Graetz, III, p. 271.


Graetz.—IV, p. 42 [45].

J. Chotzner.—J.Q.R., VIII, p. 414.

T. Goodman.—English translation of Bechinath Olam (London, 1830).


Edelmann.—The Path of Good Men (London, 1852).

I. Abrahams, J.Q.R., III, p. 436.



Eldad the Danite.—Benjamin of Tudela.—Petachiah of Ratisbon.—Esthori Parchi.—Abraham Farissol.—David Reubeni and Molcho.—Antonio de Montesinos and Manasseh ben Israel.—Tobiah Cohen.—Wessely.

The voluntary and enforced travels of the Jews produced, from the earliest period after the destruction of the Temple, an extensive, if fragmentary, geographical literature. In the Talmud and later religious books, in the Letters of the Gaonim, in the correspondence of Jewish ambassadors, in the autobiographical narratives interspersed in the works of all Jewish scholars of the Middle Ages, in the Aruch, or Talmudical Lexicon, of Nathan of Rome, in the satirical romances of the poetical globe-trotters, Zabara and Charizi, and, finally, in the Bible commentaries written by Jews, many geographical notes are to be found. But the composition of complete works dedicated to travel and exploration dates only from the twelfth century.

Before that time, however, interest in the whereabouts of the Lost Ten Tribes gave rise to a book which has been well called the Arabian Nights of the Jews. The "Diary of Eldad the Danite," written in about the year 880, was a popular romance, to which additions and alterations were made at various periods. This diary tells of mighty Israelite empires, especially of the tribe of Moses, the peoples of which were all virtuous, all happy, and long-lived.

"A river flows round their land for a distance of four days' journey on every side. They dwell in beautiful houses provided with handsome towers, which they have built themselves. There is nothing unclean among them, neither in the case of birds, venison, nor domesticated animals; there are no wild beasts, no flies, no foxes, no vermin, no serpents, no dogs, and, in general, nothing that does harm; they have only sheep and cattle, which bear twice a year. They sow and reap, they have all kinds of gardens with all kinds of fruits and cereals, beans, melons, gourds, onions, garlic, wheat, and barley, and the seed grows a hundredfold. They have faith; they know the Law, the Mishnah, the Talmud, and the Hagadah.... No child, be it son or daughter, dies during the life-time of its parents, but they reach a third and fourth generation. They do all the field-work themselves, having no male nor female servants. They do not close their houses at night, for there is no thief or evil-doer among them. They have plenty of gold and silver; they sow flax, and cultivate the crimson-worm, and make beautiful garments.... The river Sambatyon is two hundred yards broad, about as far as a bow-shot. It is full of sand and stones, but without water; the stones make a great noise, like the waves of the sea and a stormy wind, so that in the night the noise is heard at a distance of half a day's journey. There are fish in it, and all kinds of clean birds fly round it. And this river of stone and sand rolls during the six working-days, and rests on the Sabbath day. As soon as the Sabbath begins, fire surrounds the river, and the flames remain till the next evening, when the Sabbath ends. Thus no human being can reach the river for a distance of half a mile on either side; the fire consumes all that grows there."

With wild rapture the Jews of the ninth century heard of these prosperous and powerful kingdoms. Hopes of a restoration to former dignity encouraged them to believe in the mythical narrative of Eldad. It is doubtful whether he was a bona fide traveller. At all events, his book includes much that became the legendary property of all peoples in the Middle Ages, such as the fable of the mighty Christian Emperor of India, Prester John.

Some further account of this semi-mythical monarch is contained in the first real Jewish traveller's book, the "Itinerary" of Benjamin of Tudela. This Benjamin was a merchant, who, in the year 1160, started on a long journey, which was prompted partly by commercial, partly by scientific motives. He visited a large part of Europe and Asia, went to Jerusalem and Bagdad, and gives in his "Itinerary" some remarkable geographical facts and some equally remarkable fables. He tells, for instance, the story of the pretended Messiah, David Alroy, whom Disraeli made the hero of one of his romances. Benjamin of Tudela's "Itinerary" was a real contribution to geography.

Soon after Benjamin, another Jew, Petachiah of Ratisbon, set out on a similar but less extended tour, which occupied him during the years 1179 and 1180. His "Travels" are less informing than those of his immediate predecessor, but his descriptions of the real or reputed sepulchres of ancient worthies and his account of the Jewish College in Bagdad are full of romantic interest, which was not lessened for medieval readers because much of Petachiah's narrative was legendary.

A far more important work was written by the first Jewish explorer of Palestine, Esthori Parchi, a contemporary of Mandeville. His family originated in Florenza, in Andalusia, and the family name Parchi (the Flower) was derived from this circumstance. Esthori was himself born in Provence, and was a student of science as well as of the Talmud. When he, together with the rest of the Jews of France, was exiled in 1306, he wandered to Spain and Egypt until the attraction of the Holy Land proved irresistible. His manner was careful, and his love of accuracy unusual for his day. Hence, he was not content to collect all ancient and contemporary references to the sites of Palestine. For seven years he devoted himself to a personal exploration of the country, two years being passed in Galilee. In 1322 he completed his work, which he called Kaphtor va-Pherach (Bunch and Flower) in allusion to his own name.

Access to the Holy Land became easier for Jews in the fourteenth century. Before that time the city of Jerusalem had for a considerable period been barred to Jewish pilgrims. By the laws of Constantine and of Omar no Jew might enter within the precincts of his ancient capital. Even in the centuries subsequent to Omar, such pilgrimages were fraught with danger, but the poems of Jehuda Halevi, the tolerance of Islam, and the reputation of Northern Syria as a centre of the Kabbala, combined to draw many Jews to Palestine. Many letters and narratives were the results. One characteristic specimen must suffice. In 1488 Obadiah of Bertinoro, author of the most popular commentary on the Mishnah, removed from Italy to Jerusalem, where he was appointed Rabbi. In a letter to his father he gives an intensely moving account of his voyage and of the state of Hebron and Zion. The narrative is full of personal detail, and is marked throughout by deep love for his father, which struggles for the mastery with his love for the Holy City.

A more ambitious work was the "Itinera Mundi" of Abraham Farissol, written in the autumn of 1524. This treatise was based upon original researches as well as on the works of Christian and Arabian geographers. He incidentally says a good deal about the condition of the Jews in various parts of the world. Indeed, almost all the geographical writings of Jews are social histories of their brethren in faith. Somewhat later, David Reubeni published some strange stories as to the Jews. He went to Rome, where he made a considerable sensation, and was received by Pope Clement VII (1523-1534). Dwarfish in stature and dark in complexion, David Reubeni was wasted by continual fasting, but his manner, though harsh and forbidding, was intrepid and awe-inspiring. His outrageous falsehoods for a time found ready acceptance with Jews and Christians alike, and his fervid Messianism won over to his cause many Marranos—Jews who had been forced by the Inquisition in Spain to assume the external garb of Christianity. His chief claim on the memory of posterity was his connection with the dramatic career of Solomon Molcho (1501-1532), a youth noble in mind and body, who at Reubeni's instigation personated the Messiah, and in early manhood died a martyr's death amid the flames of the Inquisition at Mantua.

The geographical literature of the Jews did not lose its association with Messianic hopes. Antonio de Montesinos, in 1642, imagined that he had discovered in South America the descendants of the Ten Tribes. He had been led abroad by business considerations and love of travel, and in Brazil came across a mestizo Indian, from whose statements he conceived the firm belief that the Ten Tribes resided and thrived in Brazil. Two years later he visited Amsterdam, and, his imagination aflame with the hopes which had not been stifled by several years' endurance of the prisons and tortures of the Inquisition, persuaded Manasseh ben Israel to accept his statements. On his death-bed in Brazil, Montesinos reiterated his assertions, and Manasseh ben Israel not only founded thereon his noted book, "The Hope of Israel," but under the inspiration of similar ideas felt impelled to visit London, and win from Cromwell the right of the Jews to resettle in England.

Jewish geographical literature grew apace in the eighteenth century. A famous book, the "Work of Tobiah," was written at the beginning of this period by Tobiah Cohen, who was born at Metz in 1652, and died in Jerusalem in 1729. It is a medley of science and fiction, an encyclopedia dealing with all branches of knowledge. He had studied at the Universities of Frankfort and Padua, had enjoyed the patronage of the Elector of Brandenburg, and his medical knowledge won him many distinguished patients in Constantinople. Thus his work contains many medical chapters of real value, and he gives one of the earliest accounts of recently discovered drugs and medicinal plants. Among other curiosities he maintained that he had discovered the Pygmies.

From this absorbing but confusing book our survey must turn finally to N.H. Wessely, who in 1782 for the first time maintained the importance of the study of geography in Jewish school education. The works of the past, with their consoling legends and hopes, continued to hold a place in the heart of Jewish readers. But from Wessely's time onwards a long series of Jewish explorers and travellers have joined the ranks of those who have opened up for modern times a real knowledge of the globe.


Steinschneider.—Jewish Literature, p. 80.

A. Neubauer.—Series of Articles entitled Where are the Ten Tribes, J.Q.R., Vol. I.


A. Asher.—The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela (with English translation and appendix by Zunz. London, 1840-1).


A. Benisch.—Travels of Petachia of Ratisbon (with English translation. London, 1856).


Graetz.—IV, p. 413 [440].


Graetz.—IV, p. 491 [523].


Graetz.—V, p. 366 [388].



Order of the Tannaim and Amoraim.—Achimaaz.—Abraham Ibn Daud.—Josippon.—Historical Elegies, or Selichoth.—Memorial Books.—Abraham Zacuto.—Elijah Kapsali.—Usque.—Ibn Verga.—Joseph Cohen.—David Gans.—Gedaliah Ibn Yachya.—Azariah di Rossi.

The historical books to be found in the Bible, the Apocrypha, and the Hellenistic literature prove that the Hebrew genius was not unfitted for the presentation of the facts of Jewish life. These older works, as well as the writings of Josephus, also show a faculty for placing local records in relation to the wider facts of general history. After the dispersion of the Jews, however, the local was the only history in which the Jews could bear a part. The Jews read history as a mere commentary on their own fate, and hence they were unable to take the wide outlook into the world required for the compilation of objective histories. Thus, in their aim to find religious consolation for their sufferings in the Middle Ages, the Jewish historians sought rather to trace the hand of Providence than to analyze the human causes of the changes in the affairs of mankind.

But in another sense the Jews were essentially gifted with the historical spirit. The great men of Israel were not local heroes. Just as Plutarch's Lives were part of the history of the world's politics, so Jewish biographies of learned men were part of the history of the world's civilization. With the "Order of the Tannaim and Amoraim" (written about the year 1100) begins a series of such biographical works, in which more appreciation of sober fact is displayed than might have been expected from the period. In the same way the famous Letter of Sherira Gaon on the compilation of the Rabbinical literature (980) marked great progress in the critical examination of historical problems. Later works did not maintain the same level.

In the Middle Ages, Jewish histories mostly took the form of uncritical Chronicles, which included legends and traditions as well as assured facts. Their interest and importance lie in the personal and communal details with which they abound. Sometimes they are confessedly local. This is the case with the "Chronicle of Achimaaz," written by him in 1055 in rhymed prose. In an entertaining style, he tells of the early settlements of the Jews in Southern Italy, and throws much light on the intercommunication between the scattered Jewish congregations of his time. A larger canvas was filled by Abraham Ibn Daud, the physician and philosopher who was born in Toledo in 1110, and met a martyr's end at the age of seventy. His "Book of Tradition" (Sefer ha-Kabbalah), written in 1161, was designed to present, in opposition to the Karaites, the chain of Jewish tradition as a series of unbroken links from the age of Moses to Ibn Baud's own times. Starting with the Creation, his history ends with the anti-Karaitic crusade of Judah Ibn Ezra in Granada (1150). Abraham Ibn Daud shows in this work considerable critical power, but in his two other histories, one dealing with the history of Rome from its foundation to the time of King Reccared in Spain, the other a narrative of the history of the Jews during the Second Temple, the author relied entirely on "Josippon." This was a medieval concoction which long passed as the original Josephus. "Josippon" was a romance rather than a history. Culled from all sources, from Strabo, Lucian, and Eusebius, as well as from Josephus, this marvellous book exercised strong influence on the Jewish imagination, and supplied an antidote to the tribulations of the present by the consolations of the past and the vivid hopes for the future.

For a long period Abraham Ibn Daud found no imitators. Jewish history was written as part of the Jewish religion. Yet, incidentally, many historical passages were introduced in the works of Jewish scholars and travellers, and the liturgy was enriched by many beautiful historical Elegies, which were a constant call to heroism and fidelity. These Elegies, or Selichoth, were composed throughout the Middle Ages, and their passionate outpourings of lamentation and trust give them a high place in Jewish poetry. They are also important historically, and fully justify the fine utterance with which Zunz introduces them, an utterance which was translated by George Eliot as follows:

If there are ranks in suffering, Israel takes precedence of all the nations—if the duration of sorrows and the patience with which they are borne ennoble, the Jews are among the aristocracy of every land—if a literature is called rich in the possession of a few classic tragedies, what shall we say to a National Tragedy lasting for fifteen hundred years, in which the poets and the actors were also the heroes?

The story of the medieval section of this pathetic martyrdom is written in the Selichoth and in the more prosaic records known as "Memorial Books" (in German, Memorbuecher), which are lists of martyrs and brief eulogies of their careers.

For the next formal history we must pass to Abraham Zacuto. In his old age he employed some years of comparative quiet, after a stormy and unhappy life, in writing a "Book of Genealogies" (Yuchasin). He had been exiled from Spain in 1492, and twelve years later composed his historical work in Tunis. Like Abraham Ibn Baud's book, it opens with the Creation, and ends with the author's own day. Though Zacuto's work is more celebrated than historical, it nevertheless had an important share in reawaking the dormant interest of Jews in historical research. Thus we find Elijah Kapsali of Candia writing, in 1523, a "History of the Ottoman Empire," and Joseph Cohen, of Avignon, a "History of France and Turkey," in 1554, in which he included an account of the rebellion of Fiesco in Genoa, where the author was then residing.

The sixteenth century witnessed the production of several popular Jewish histories. At that epoch the horizon of the world was extending under new geographical and intellectual discoveries. Israel, on the other hand, seemed to be sinking deeper and deeper into the slough of despond. Some of the men who had themselves been the victims of persecution saw that the only hope lay in rousing the historical consciousness of their brethren. History became the consolation of the exiles from Spain who found themselves pent up within the walls of the Ghettos, which were first built in the sixteenth century. Samuel Usque was a fugitive from the Inquisition, and his dialogues, "Consolations for the Tribulations of Israel" (written in Portuguese, in 1553), are a long drawn-out sigh of pain passing into a sigh of relief. Usque opens with a passionate idyl in which the history of Israel in the near past is told by the shepherd Icabo. To him Numeo and Zicareo offer consolation, and they pour balm into his wounded heart. The vividness of Usque's style, his historical insight, his sturdy optimism, his poetical force in interpreting suffering as the means of attaining the highest life in God, raise his book above the other works of its class and age.

Usque's poem did not win the same popularity as two other elegiac histories of the same period. These were the "Rod of Judah" (Shebet Jehudah) and the "Valley of Tears" (Emek ha-Bachah). The former was the work of three generations of the Ibn Verga family. Judah died before the expulsion from Spain, but his son Solomon participated in the final troubles of the Spanish Jews, and was even forced to join the ranks of the Marranos. The grandson, Joseph Ibn Verga, became Rabbi in Adrianople, and was cultured in classical as well as Jewish lore. Their composite work, "The Rod of Judah," was completed in 1554. It is a well-written but badly arranged martyrology, and over all its pages might be inscribed the Talmudical motto, that God's chastisements of Israel are chastisements of love. The other work referred to is Joseph Cohen's "Valley of Tears," completed in 1575. The author was born in Avignon in 1496, four years after his father had shared in the exile from Spain. He himself suffered expatriation, for, though a distinguished physician and the private doctor of the Doge Andrea Doria, he was expelled with the rest of the Jews from Genoa in 1550. Settled in the little town of Voltaggio, he devoted himself to writing the annals of European and Jewish history. His style is clear and forcible, and recalls the lucid simplicity of the historical books of the Bible.

The only other histories that need be critically mentioned here are the "Branch of David" (Zemach David), the "Chain of Tradition" (Shalsheleth ha-Kabbalah), and the "Light of the Eyes" (Meoer Enayim). Abraham de Porta Leone's "Shields of the Mighty" (Shilte ha-Gibborim, printed in Mantua in 1612); Leon da Modena's "Ceremonies and Customs of the Jews," (printed in Paris in 1637); David Conforte's "Call of the Generations" (Kore ha-Doroth, written in Palestine in about 1670); Yechiel Heilprin's "Order of Generations" (Seder ha-Doroth, written in Poland in 1725); and Chayim Azulai's "Name of the Great Ones" (written in Leghorn in 1774), can receive only a bare mention.

The author of the "Branch of David," David Cans, was born in Westphalia in about 1540. He was the first German Jew of his age to take real interest in the study of history. He was a man of scientific culture, corresponded with Kepler, and was a personal friend of Tycho Brahe. For the latter Cans made a German translation of parts of the Hebrew version of the Tables of Alfonso, originally compiled in 1260. Cans wrote works on mathematical and physical geography, and treatises on arithmetic and geometry. His history, "Branch of David," was extremely popular. For a man of his scientific training it shows less critical power than might have been expected, but the German Jews did not begin to apply criticism to history till after the age of Mendelssohn. In one respect, however, the "Branch of David" displays the width of the author's culture. Not only does he tell the history of the Jews, but in the second part of his work he gives an account of many lands and cities, especially of Bohemia and Prague, and adds a striking description of the secret courts (Vehmgerichte) of Westphalia.

It is hard to think that the authors of the "Chain of Tradition" and of the "Light of the Eyes" were contemporaries. Azariah di Rossi (1514-1588), the writer of the last mentioned book, was the founder of historical criticism among the Jews. Elias del Medigo (1463-1498) had led in the direction, but di Rossi's work anticipated the methods, of the German school of "scientific" Jewish writers, who, at the beginning of the present century, applied scientific principles to the study of Jewish traditions. On the other hand, Gedaliah Ibn Yachya (1515-1587) was so utterly uncritical that his "Chain of Tradition" was nicknamed by Joseph Delmedigo the "Chain of Lies." Gedaliah was a man of wealth, and he expended his means in the acquisition of books and in making journeys in search of sacred and profane knowledge. Yet Gedaliah made up in style for his lack of historical method. The "Chain of Tradition" is a picturesque and enthralling book, it is a warm and cheery retrospect, and even deserves to be called a prose epic. Besides, many of his statements that were wont to be treated as altogether unauthentic have been vindicated by later research. Azariah di Rossi, on the other hand, is immortalized by his spirit rather than his actual contributions to historical literature. He came of an ancient family said to have been carried to Rome by Titus, and lived in Ferrara, where, in 1574, he produced his "Light of the Eyes." This is divided into three parts, the first devoted to general history, the second to the Letter of Aristeas, the third to the solution of several historical problems, all of which had been neglected by Jews and Christians alike. Azariah di Rossi was the first critic to open up true lines of research into the Hellenistic literature of the Jews of Alexandria. With him the true historical spirit once more descended on the Jewish genius.


Steinschneider.—Jewish Literature, p. 75, seq., 250 seq.

A. Neubauer.—Introductions to Medieval Jewish Chronicles, Vols. I and II (Oxford, 1882, etc.).


Zunz.—Sufferings of the Jews in the Middle Ages (translated by A. Loewy, Miscellany of the Society of Hebrew Literature, Vol. I). See also J.Q.R., VIII, pp. 78, 426, 611.


Graetz.—III, p. 363 [373].


Graetz.—IV, pp. 366, 367, 391 [393].


Graetz.—IV, p. 406 [435].


Graetz.—IV, p. 555 [590].

Chronicle of Joseph ben Joshua the Priest (English translation by Bialoblotzky. London, 1835-6).


Graetz.—IV, p. 290 [312].


Graetz.—IV, p. 638 [679].


Graetz.—IV, p. 609 [655].


Graetz.—IV, p. 614 [653].



Abarbanel's Philosophy and Biblical Commentaries.—Elias Levita.—Zeena u-Reena.—Moses Alshech.—The Biur.

The career of Don Isaac Abarbanel (born in Lisbon in 1437, died in Venice in 1509) worthily closes the long services which the Jews of Spain rendered to the state and to learning. The earlier part of his life was spent in the service of Alfonso V of Portugal. He possessed considerable wealth, and his house, which he himself tells us was built with spacious halls, was the meeting-place of scholars, diplomatists, and men of science. Among his other occupations, he busied himself in ransoming Jewish slaves, and obtained the co-operation of some Italian Jews in this object.

When Alfonso died, Abarbanel not only lost his post as finance minister, but was compelled to flee for his life. He shared the fall of the Duke of Braganza, whose popularity was hateful to Alfonso's successor. Don Isaac escaped to Castile in 1484, and, amid the friendly smiles of the cultured Jews of Toledo, set himself to resume the literary work he had been forced to lay aside while burdened with affairs of state. He began the compilation of commentaries on the historical books of the Bible, but he was not long left to his studies. Ferdinand and Isabella, under the very eyes of Torquemada and the Inquisition, entrusted the finances of their kingdom to the Jew Abarbanel during the years 1484 to 1492.

In the latter year, Abarbanel was driven from Spain in the general expulsion instigated by the Inquisition. He found a temporary asylum in Naples, where he also received a state appointment. But he was soon forced to flee again, this time to Corfu. "My wife, my sons, and my books are far from me," he wrote, "and I am left alone, a stranger in a strange land." But his spirit was not crushed by these successive misfortunes. He continued to compile huge works at a very rapid rate. He was not destined, however, to end his life in obscurity. In 1503 he was given a diplomatic post in Venice, and he passed his remaining years in happiness and honor. He ended the splendid roll of famous Spanish Jews with a career peculiarly Spanish. He gave a final, striking example of that association of life with literature which of old characterized Jews, but which found its greatest and last home in Spain.

As a writer, Abarbanel has many faults. He is very verbose, and his mannerisms are provoking. Thus, he always introduces his commentaries with a long string of questions, which he then proceeds to answer. It was jokingly said of him that he made many sceptics, for not one in a score of his readers ever got beyond the questions to the answers. There is this truth in the sarcasm, that Abarbanel, despite his essential lucidity, is very hard to read. Though Abarbanel has obvious faults, his good qualities are equally tangible. No predecessor of Abarbanel came so near as he did to the modern ideal of a commentator on the Bible. Ibn Ezra was the father of the "Higher Criticism," i.e. the attempt to explain the evolution of the text of Scripture. The Kimchis developed the strictly grammatical exposition of the Bible. But Abarbanel understood that, to explain the Bible, one must try to reproduce the atmosphere in which it was written; one must realize the ideas and the life of the times with which the narrative deals. His own practical state-craft stood him in good stead. He was able to form a conception of the politics of ancient Judea. His commentaries are works on the philosophy of history. His more formal philosophical works, such as his "Deeds of God" (Miphaloth Elohim), are of less value, they are borrowed in the main from Maimonides. In his Talmudical writings, notably his "Salvation of his Anointed" (Yeshuoth Meshicho), Abarbanel displays a lighter and more original touch than in his philosophical treatises. But his works on the Bible are his greatest literary achievement. Besides the merits already indicated, these books have another important excellence. He was the first Jew to make extensive use of Christian commentaries. He must be credited with the discovery that the study of the Bible may be unsectarian, and that all who hold the Bible in honor may join hands in elucidating it.

A younger contemporary of Abarbanel was also an apostle of the same view. This was Elias Levita (1469-1549). He was a Grammarian, or Massorite, i.e. a student of the tradition (Massorah) as to the Hebrew text of the Bible, and he was an energetic teacher of Christians. In the sixteenth century the study of Hebrew made much progress in Europe, but the Jews themselves were only indirectly associated with this advance. Despite Abarbanel, Jewish commentaries remained either homiletic or mystical, or, like the popular works of Moses Alshech, were more or less Midrashic in style. But the Bible was a real delight to the Jews, and it is natural that such books were often compiled for the masses. Mention must be made of the Zeena u-Reena ("Go forth and see"), a work written at the beginning of the eighteenth century in Jewish-German for the use of women, a work which is still beloved of the Jewess. But the seeds sown by Abarbanel and others of his school eventually produced an abundant harvest. Mendelssohn's German edition of the Pentateuch with the Hebrew Commentary (Biur) was the turning-point in the march towards the modern exposition of the Bible, which had been inaugurated by the statesman-scholar of Spain.



Graetz.—IV, II.

I.S. Meisels.—Don Isaac Abarbanel, J.Q.R., II, p. 37.

S. Schechter.—Studies in Judaism, p. 173 [211].

F.D. Mocatta.—The Jews of Spain and Portugal and the Inquisition (London, 1877).

Schiller-Szinessy.—Encycl. Brit., Vol. I, p. 52.


Steinschneider.—Jewish Literature, p. 232 seq.


Specimen of the Biur, translated by A. Benisch (Miscellany of the Society of Hebrew Literature, Vol. I).



Asheri's Arba Turim.—Chiddushim and Teshuboth.—Solomon ben Adereth.—Meir of Rothenburg.—Sheshet and Duran.—Moses and Judah Minz.—Jacob Weil, Israel Isserlein, Maharil.—David Abi Zimra.—Joseph Karo.—Jair Bacharach.—Chacham Zevi.—Jacob Emden.—Ezekiel Landau.

The religious literature of the Jews, so far as practical life was concerned, culminated in the publication of the "Table Prepared" (Shulchan Aruch), in 1565. The first book of its kind compiled after the invention of printing, the Shulchan Aruch obtained a popularity denied to all previous works designed to present a digest of Jewish ethics and ritual observances. It in no sense superseded the "Strong Hand" of Maimonides, but it was so much more practical in its scope, so much clearer as a work of general reference, so much fuller of Minhag, or established custom, that it speedily became the universal hand-book of Jewish life in many of its phases. It was not accepted in all its parts, and its blemishes were clearly perceived. The author, Joseph Karo, was too tender to the past, and admitted some things which had a historical justification, but which Karo himself would have been the first to reject as principles of conduct for his own or later times. On the whole, the book was a worthy summary of the fundamental Jewish view, that religion is co-extensive with life, and that everything worth doing at all ought to be done in accordance with a general principle of obedience to the divine will. The defects of such a view are the defects of its qualities.

The Shulchan Aruch was the outcome of centuries of scholarship. It was original, yet it was completely based on previous works. In particular the "Four Rows" (Arbaea Turim) of Jacob Asheri (1283-1340) was one of the main sources of Karo's work. The "Four Rows," again, owed everything to Jacob's father, Asher, the son of Yechiel, who migrated from Germany to Toledo at the very beginning of the fourteenth century. But besides the systematic codes of his predecessors, Karo was able to draw on a vast mass of literature on the Talmud and on Jewish Law, accumulated in the course of centuries.

There was, in the first place, a large collection of "Novelties" (Chiddushim), or Notes on the Talmud, by various authorities. More significant, however, were the "Responses" (Teshuboth), which resembled those of the Gaonim referred to in an earlier chapter. The Rabbinical Correspondence, in the form of Responses to Questions sent from far and near, covered the whole field of secular and religious knowledge. The style of these "Responses" was at first simple, terse, and full of actuality. The most famous representatives of this form of literature after the Gaonim were both of the thirteenth century, Solomon, the son of Adereth, in Spain, and Meir of Rothenburg in Germany. Solomon, the son of Adereth, of Barcelona, was a man whose moral earnestness, mild yet firm disposition, profound erudition, and tolerant character, won for him a supreme place in Jewish life for half a century. Meir of Rothenburg was a poet and martyr as well as a profound scholar. He passed many years in prison rather than yield to the rapacious demands of the local government for a ransom, which Meir's friends would willingly have paid. As a specimen of Meir's poetry, the following verses are taken from a dirge composed by him in 1285, when copies of the Pentateuch were publicly committed to the flames. The "Law" is addressed in the second person:

Dismay hath seized upon my soul; how then Can food be sweet to me? When, O thou Law! I have beheld base men Destroying thee?

Ah! sweet 'twould be unto mine eyes alway Waters of tears to pour, To sob and drench thy sacred robes, till they Could hold no more.

But lo! my tears are dried, when, fast outpoured, They down my cheeks are shed, Scorched by the fire within, because thy Lord Hath turned and sped.

Yea, I am desolate and sore bereft, Lo! a forsaken one, Like a sole beacon on a mountain left, A tower alone.

I hear the voice of singers now no more, Silence their song hath bound, For broken are the strings on harps of yore, Viols of sweet sound.

I am astonied that the day's fair light Yet shineth brilliantly On all things; but is ever dark as night To me and thee.

* * * * *

Even as when thy Rock afflicted thee, He will assuage thy woe, And turn again the tribes' captivity, And raise the low.

Yet shalt thou wear thy scarlet raiment choice, And sound the timbrels high, And glad amid the dancers shalt rejoice, With joyful cry.

My heart shall be uplifted on the day Thy Rock shall be thy light, When he shall make thy gloom to pass away, Thy darkness bright.

This combination of the poetical with the legal mind was parallelled by other combinations in such masters of "Responses" as the Sheshet and Duran families in Algiers in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In these men depth of learning was associated with width of culture. Others, such as Moses and Judah Minz, Jacob Weil, and Israel Isserlein, whose influence was paramount in Germany in the fifteenth century, were less cultivated, but their learning was associated with a geniality and sense of humor that make their "Responses" very human and very entertaining. There is the same homely, affectionate air in the collection of Minhagim, or Customs, known as the Maharil, which belongs to the same period. On the other hand, David Abi Zimra, Rabbi of Cairo in the sixteenth century, was as independent as he was learned. It was he, for instance, who abolished the old custom of dating Hebrew documents from the Seleucid era (311 B.C.E.). And, to pass beyond the time of Karo, the writers of "Responses" include the gifted Jair Chayim Bacharach (seventeenth century), a critic as well as a legalist; Chacham Zevi and Jacob Emden in Amsterdam, and Ezekiel Landau in Prague, the former two of whom opposed the Messianic claims of Sabbatai Zevi, and the last of whom was an antagonist to the Germanizing tendency of Moses Mendelssohn.

Joseph Karo himself was a man of many parts. He was born in Spain in 1488, and died in Safed, the nest of mysticism, in 1575. Master of the Talmudic writings of his predecessors from his youth, Karo devoted thirty-two years to the preparation of an exhaustive commentary on the "Four Rows" of Jacob Asheri. This occupied him from 1522 to 1554. Karo was an enthusiast as well as a student, and the emotional side of the Kabbala had much fascination for him. He believed that he had a familiar, or Maggid, the personification of the Mishnah, who appeared to him in dreams, and held communion with him. He found a congenial home in Safed, where the mystics had their head-quarters in the sixteenth century. Karo's companion on his journey to Safed was Solomon Alkabets, author of the famous Sabbath hymn "Come, my Friend" (Lecha Dodi), with the refrain:

Come forth, my friend, the Bride to meet, Come, O my friend, the Sabbath greet!

The Shulchan Aruch is arranged in four parts, called fancifully, "Path of Life" (Orach Chayim), "Teacher of Knowledge" (Yoreh Deah), "Breastplate of Judgment" (Choshen ha-Mishpat), and "Stone of Help" (Eben ha-Ezer). The first part is mainly occupied with the subject of prayer, benedictions, the Sabbath, the festivals, and the observances proper to each. The second part deals with food and its preparation, Shechitah, or slaughtering of animals for food, the relations between Jews and non-Jews, vows, respect to parents, charity, and religious observances connected with agriculture, such as the payment of tithes, and, finally, the rites of mourning. This section of the Shulchan Aruch is the most miscellaneous of the four; in the other three the association of subjects is more logical. The Eben ha-Ezer treats of the laws of marriage and divorce from their civil and religious aspects. The Choshen ha-Mishpat deals with legal procedure, the laws regulating business transactions and the relations between man and man in the conduct of worldly affairs. A great number of commentaries on Karo's Code were written by and for the Acharonim (=later scholars). It fully deserved this attention, for on its own lines the Shulchan Aruch was a masterly production. It brought system into the discordant opinions of the Rabbinical authorities of the Middle Ages, and its publication in the sixteenth century was itself a stroke of genius. Never before had such a work been so necessary as then. The Jews were in sight of what was to them the darkest age, the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Though the Shulchan Aruch had an evil effect in stereotyping Jewish religious thought and in preventing the rapid spread of the critical spirit, yet it was a rallying point for the disorganized Jews, and saved them from the disintegration which threatened them. The Shulchan Aruch was the last great bulwark of the Rabbinical conception of life. Alike in its form and contents it was a not unworthy close to the series of codes which began with the Mishnah, and in which life itself was codified.


Steinschneider.—Jewish Literature, p. 213 seq.

I.H. Weiss.—On Codes, J.Q.R., I, p. 289.


Graetz.—IV, p. 34 [37].


Graetz.—IV, p. 88 [95].


Graetz.—III, p. 618 [639].


Graetz.—III, pp. 625, 638 [646].


Graetz.—IV, p. 294 [317].


S. Schechter.—Studies in Judaism, p. 142 [173].


Graetz.—IV, p. 393 [420].


D. Kaufmann, J.Q.R., III, p. 292, etc.


Graetz.—IV, p. 537 [571].


Graetz.—IV, p. 637 [677].


Graetz.—IV, p. 641 [682].



Manasseh ben Israel.—Baruch Spinoza.—The Drama in Hebrew.—Moses Zacut, Joseph Felix Penso, Moses Chayim Luzzatto.

Holland was the centre of Jewish hope in the seventeenth century, and among its tolerant and cultivated people the Marranos, exiled from Spain and Portugal, founded a new Jerusalem. Two writers of Marrano origin, wide as the poles asunder in gifts of mind and character, represented two aspects of the aspiration of the Jews towards a place in the wider world. Manasseh ben Israel (1604-1657) was an enthusiast who based his ambitious hopes on the Messianic prophecies; Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) lacked enthusiasm, had little belief in the verbal promises of Scripture, yet developed a system of ethics in which God filled the world. Manasseh ben Israel regained for the Jews admission to England; Spinoza reclaimed the right of a Jew to a voice in the philosophy of the world. Both were political thinkers who maintained the full rights of the individual conscience, and though the arguments used vary considerably, yet Manasseh ben Israel's splendid Vindiciae Judeorum and Spinoza's "Tractate" alike insist on the natural right of men to think freely. They anticipated some of the greatest principles that won acceptance at the end of the eighteenth century.

Manasseh ben Israel was born in Lisbon of Marrano parents, who emigrated to Amsterdam a few years after their son's birth. He displayed a youthful talent for oratory, and was a noted preacher in his teens. He started the first Hebrew printing-press established in Amsterdam, and from it issued many works still remarkable for the excellence of their type and general workmanship. Manasseh was himself, not only a distinguished linguist, but a popularizer of linguistic studies. He wrote well in Hebrew, Latin, English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and was the means of instructing many famous Christians of the day in Hebrew and Rabbinic. Among his personal friends were Vossius, who translated Manasseh's "Conciliator" from Spanish into Latin. This, the most important of Manasseh's early writings, was as popular with Christians as with Jews, for it attempted to reconcile the discrepancies and contradictions apparent in the Bible. Another of his friends was the painter Rembrandt, who, in 1636, etched the portrait of Manasseh. Huet and Grotius were also among the friends and disciples who gathered round the Amsterdam Rabbi.

An unexpected result of Manasseh ben Israel's zeal for the promotion of Hebrew studies among his own brethren was the rise of a new form of poetical literature. The first dramas in Hebrew belong to this period. Moses Zacut and Joseph Felix Penso wrote Hebrew dramas in the first half of the seventeenth century in Amsterdam. The "Foundation of the World" by the former and the "Captives of Hope" by the latter possess little poetical merit, but they are interesting signs of the desire of Jews to use Hebrew for all forms of literary art. Hence these dramas were hailed as tokens of Jewish revival. Strangely enough, the only great writer of Hebrew plays, Moses Chayim Luzzatto (1707-1747), was also resident in Amsterdam. Luzzatto wrote under the influence of the Italian poet Guarini. His metres, his long soliloquies, his lyrics, his dovetailing of rural and urban scenery, are all directly traceable to Guarini. Luzzatto was nevertheless an original poet. His mastery of Hebrew was complete, and his rich fancy was expressed in glowing lines. His dramas, "Samson," the "Strong Tower," and "Glory to the Virtuous," show classical refinement and freshness of touch, which have made them the models of all subsequent efforts of Hebrew dramatists.

Manasseh ben Israel did not allow himself to become absorbed in the wider interests opened out to him by his intimacy with the greatest Christian scholars of his day. He prepared a Spanish translation of the Pentateuch for the Amsterdam Jews, who were slow to adopt Dutch as their speech, a fact not wonderful when it is remembered that literary Dutch was only then forming. Manasseh also wrote at this period a Hebrew treatise on immortality. His worldly prosperity was small, and he even thought of emigrating to Brazil. But the friends of the scholar found a post for him in a new college for the study of Hebrew, a college to which it is probable that Spinoza betook himself. In the meantime the reports of Montesinos as to the presence of the Lost Ten Tribes in America turned the current of Manasseh's life. In 1650 he wrote his famous essay, the "Hope of Israel," which he dedicated to the English Parliament. He argued that, as a preliminary to the restoration of Israel, or the millennium, for which the English Puritans were eagerly looking, the dispersion of Israel must be complete. The hopes of the millennium were doomed to disappointment unless the Jews were readmitted to England, "the isle of the Northern Sea." His dedication met with a friendly reception, Manasseh set out for England in 1655, and obtained from Cromwell a qualified consent to the resettlement of the Jews in the land from which they had been expelled in 1290.

The pamphlets which Manasseh published in England deserve a high place in literature and in the history of modern thought. They are immeasurably superior to his other works, which are eloquent but diffuse, learned but involved. But in his Vindiciae Judeorum (1656) his style and thought are clear, original, elevated. There are here no mystic irrelevancies. His remarks are to the point, sweetly reasonable, forcible, moderate. He grapples with the medieval prejudices against the Jews in a manner which places his works among the best political pamphlets ever written. Morally, too, his manner is noteworthy. He pleads for Judaism in a spirit equally removed from arrogance and self-abasement. He is dignified in his persuasiveness. He appeals to a sense of justice rather than mercy, yet he writes as one who knows that justice is the rarest and highest quality of human nature; as one who knows that humbly to express gratitude for justice received is to do reverence to the noblest faculty of man.

Fate rather than disposition tore Manasseh from his study to plead before the English Parliament. Baruch Spinoza was spared such distraction. Into his self-contained life the affairs of the world could effect no entry. It is not quite certain whether Spinoza was born in Amsterdam. He must, at all events, have come there in his early youth. He may have been a pupil of Manasseh, but his mind was nurtured on the philosophical treatises of Maimonides and Crescas. His thought became sceptical, and though he was "intoxicated with a sense of God," he had no love for any positive religion. He learned Latin, and found new avenues opened to him in the writings of Descartes. His associations with the representatives of the Cartesian philosophy and his own indifference to ceremonial observances brought him into collision with the Synagogue, and, in 1656, during the absence of Manasseh in England, Spinoza was excommunicated by the Amsterdam Rabbis. Spinoza was too strong to seek the weak revenge of an abjuration of Judaism. He went on quietly earning a living as a maker of lenses; he refused a professorship, preferring, like Maimonides before him, to rely on other than literary pursuits as a means of livelihood.

In 1670 Spinoza finished his "Theologico-Political Tractate," in which some bitterness against the Synagogue is apparent. His attack on the Bible is crude, but the fundamental principles of modern criticism are here anticipated. The main importance of the "Tractate" lay in the doctrine that the state has full rights over the individual, except in relation to freedom of thought and free expression of thought. These are rights which no human being can alienate to the state. Of Spinoza's greatest work, the "Ethics," it need only be said that it was one of the most stimulating works of modern times. A child of Judaism and of Cartesianism, Spinoza won a front place among the great teachers of mankind.



Graetz.—V, 2.

H. Adler.—Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, Vol. I, p. 25.

Kayserling.—Miscellany of the Society of Hebrew Literature, Vol. I.

Lady Magnus.—Jewish Portraits, p. 109.

English translations of works, Vindiciae Judeorum, Hope of Israel, The Conciliator (E.H. Lindo, 1841, etc.).


Graetz.—V, 4.

J. Freudenthal.—History of Spinozism, J.Q.R., VIII, p. 17.


Karpeles.—Jewish Literature and other Essays, p. 229.

Abrahams.—Jewish Life in the Middle Ages, ch. 14.

Graetz,—V, pp, 112 [119], 234 [247].



Mendelssohn's German Translation of the Bible.—Phaedo.—Jerusalem.—Lessing's "Nathan the Wise."

Moses, the son of Mendel, was born in Dessau in 1728, and died in Berlin in 1786. His father was poor, and he himself was of a weak constitution. But his stunted form was animated by a strenuous spirit. After a boyhood passed under conditions which did little to stimulate his dawning aspirations, Mendelssohn resolved to follow his teacher Fraenkel to Berlin. He trudged the whole way on foot, and was all but refused admission into the Prussian capital, where he was destined to produce so profound an impression. In Berlin his struggle with poverty continued, but his condition was improved when he obtained a post, first as private tutor, then as book-keeper in a silk factory.

Berlin was at this time the scene of an intellectual and aesthetic revival dominated by Frederick the Great. The latter, a dilettante in culture, was, as Mendelssohn said of him, a man "who made the arts and sciences flourish, and made liberty of thought universal in his realm." The German Jews were as yet outside this revival. In Italy and Holland the new movements of the seventeenth and the eighteenth century had found Jews well to the fore. But the "German" Jews—and this term included the great bulk of the Jews of Europe—were suffering from the effects of intellectual stagnation. The Talmud still exercised the mind and imagination of these Jews, but culture and religion were separated. Mendelssohn in a hundred places contends that such separation is dangerous and unnatural. It was his service to Judaism that he made the separation once for all obsolete.

Mendelssohn effected this by purely literary means. Most reformations have been at least aided by moral and political forces. But the Mendelssohnian revival in Judaism was a literary revival, in which moral and religious forces had only an indirect influence. By the aid of greater refinement of language, for hitherto the "German" Jews had not spoken pure German; by a widening of the scope of education in the Jewish schools; by the introduction of all that is known as culture, Mendelssohn changed the whole aspect of Jewish life. And he produced this reformation by books and by books alone. Never playing the part of a religious or moral reformer, Mendelssohn became the Jewish apostle of culture.

The great event of his life occurred in 1754, when he made the acquaintance of Lessing. The two young men became constant friends. Lessing, before he knew Mendelssohn, had written a drama, "The Jews," in which, perhaps for the first time, a Jew was represented on the stage as a man of honor. In Mendelssohn, Lessing recognized a new Spinoza; in Lessing, Mendelssohn saw the perfect ideal of culture. The masterpiece of Lessing's art, the drama "Nathan the Wise," was the monument of this friendship. Mendelssohn was the hero of the drama, and the toleration which it breathes is clearly Mendelssohn's. Mendelssohn held that there was no absolutely best religion any more than there was an absolutely best form of government. This was the leading idea of his last work, "Jerusalem"; it is also the central thought of "Nathan the Wise." The best religion, according to both, is the religion which best brings out the individual's noblest faculties. As Mendelssohn wrote, there are certain eternal truths which God implants in all men alike, but "Judaism boasts of no exclusive revelation of immutable truths indispensable to salvation."

What has just been quoted is one of the last utterances of Mendelssohn. We must retrace our steps to the date of his first intimacy with Lessing. He devoted his attention to the perfecting of his German style, and succeeded so well that his writings have gained a place among the classics of German literature. In 1763, he won the Berlin prize for an essay on Mathematical Method in Philosophical Reasoning, and defeated Kant entirely on account of his lucid and attractive style. Mendelssohn's most popular philosophical work, "Phaedo, or the Immortality of the Soul," won extraordinary popularity in Berlin, as much for its attractive form as for its spiritual charms. The "German Plato," the "Jewish Socrates," were some of the epithets bestowed on him by multitudes of admirers. Indeed, the "Phaedo" of Mendelssohn is a work of rare beauty.

One of the results of Mendelssohn's popularity was a curious correspondence with Lavater. The latter perceived in Mendelssohn's toleration signs of weakness, and believed that he could convert the famous Jew to Christianity. Mendelssohn's reply, like his "Jerusalem" and his admirable preface to a German translation of Manasseh ben Israel's Vindiciae Judeorum, gave voice to that claim on personal liberty of thought and conscience for which the Jews, unconsciously, had been so long contending. Mendelssohn's view was that all true religious aspirations are independent of religious forms. Mendelssohn did not ignore the value of forms, but he held that as there are often several means to the same end, so the various religious forms of the various creeds may all lead their respective adherents to salvation and to God.

Mendelssohn's most epoch-making work was his translation of the Pentateuch into German. With this work the present history finds a natural close. Mendelssohn's Pentateuch marks the modernization of the literature of Judaism. There was much opposition to the book, but on the other hand many Jews eagerly scanned its pages, acquired its noble diction, and committed its rhythmic eloquence to their hearts. Round Mendelssohn there clustered a band of devoted disciples, the pioneers of the new learning, the promoters of a literature of Judaism, in which the modern spirit reanimated the still living records of antiquity. There was certainly some weakness among the men and women affected by the Berlin philosopher, for some discarded all positive religion, because the master had taught that all positive religions had their saving and truthful elements.

It is not, however, the province of this sketch to trace the religious effects of the Mendelssohnian movement. Suffice it to say that, while the old Jewish conception had been that literature and life are co-extensive, Jewish literature begins with Mendelssohn to have an independent life of its own, a life of the spirit, which cannot be altogether controlled by the tribulations of material life. A physical Ghetto may once more be imposed on the Jews from without; an intellectual Ghetto imposed from within is hardly conceivable. Tolerance gave the modern spirit to Jewish literature, but intolerance cannot withdraw it.



Graetz.—V, 8.

Karpeles.—Sketch of Jewish History, p. 93; Jewish Literature and other Essays, p. 293.

English translations of Phaedo, Jerusalem, and of the Introduction to the Pentateuch (Hebrew Review, Vol. I).

Other translations of Jerusalem were made by M. Samuels (London, 1838) and by Isaac Leeser, the latter published as a supplement to the Occident, Philadelphia, 5612.


Graetz.—V, 10.


Abayi, Amora, 51.

Abba Areka, Amora, 47, 48, 51. popularizes Jewish learning, 49. wide outlook of, 50.

Abbahu, Amora, 48-49.

Abraham de Balmes, translator, 149.

Abraham de Porta Leone, historian, 220.

Abraham Ibn Chisdai, story by, 154-155.

Abraham Ibn Daud, historian, 213-214.

Abraham Ibn Ezra, on Kalir, 88. life of, 115. quotations from, 115. activities and views of, 116, 123, 151.

Abraham Abulafia, Kabbalist, 171.

Abraham Farissol, geographer, 206.

Abraham Zacuto, historian, 216.

Abul-Faraj Harun, Karaite author, 77.

Abulwalid Merwan Ibn Janach, grammarian, 101. works of, translated, 148.

Achai, Gaon and author, 70.

Acharonim, later scholars, 240.

AEsop, used by Berachya ha-Nakdan, 157.

"Against Apion," by Josephus, 34.

Akiba, a Tanna, 23, 24-26. characteristics and history of, 24-26. school of, 26. fable used by, 65. Alphabet by, 175.

Al-Farabi, works of, translated, 185.

Alfassi. See Isaac Alfassi.

Alfonso V of Portugal, Abarbanel with, 225.

Alfonso VI of Spain, takes Toledo, 126.

Alfonso X of Spain, employs Jews as translators, 150, 156.

Almohades, the, a Mohammedan sect, 134, 135.

"Alphabet of Rabbi Akiba," Kabbalistic work, 175.

Amoraim, the, teachers of the Talmud, 44. characterised, 45-46. some of, enumerated, 46-52.

Amram, Gaon, liturgist, 70.

Anan, the son of David, founder of Karaism, 75.

Andalusia, the Spanish Piyut in, 85.

"Answers." See "Letters"; "Responses."

"Antiquities of the Jews," by Josephus, 34.

Antonio de Montesinos, and the Ten Tribes, 208, 247.

Apion, attacks Judaism, 36.

Apocrypha, the, addresses of parents to children in, 194.

Aquila, translates the Scriptures, 26. identical with Onkelos, 26-27.

Aquinas, Thomas, studies the "Guide," 140.

Arabic, used by the Gaonim, 71. in Jewish literature, 83. poetry, 84. translation of the Scriptures, 91, 93, 94. commentary on the Mishnah, 135.

Aragon, Spanish Piyut in, 85.

Aramaic, translation of the Pentateuch, 27. used by Josephus, 37. language of the Talmud, 44. used by the Gaonim, 71. translation of Scriptures in the synagogues, 94. language of the Zohar, 173.

Arbaea Turim, code by Jacob Asheri, 234, 239.

Archimedes, works of, translated, 150, 185.

Aristotle, teachings of, summarized, 140. interpreted by Averroes, 149. works of, translated, 185.

Aruch, the, compiled by Zemach, 70. by Nathan, the son of Yechiel, 121, 200.

Asher, the son of Yechiel, the will of, 195-196. codifier, 234.

Ashi, Amora, compiler of the Talmud, 51-52.

Atonement, the Day of, hymn for, 162.

"Autobiography," the, of Josephus, 34.

Averroes, works of, translated, 148, 149, 185.

Azariah di Rossi, historian, 221-222, 223.

Azriel, Kabbalist, 171.

Azulai, Chayim, historian, 220.

Babylonia, Rabbinical schools in, 44. centre of Jewish learning, 49, 68. loses its supremacy, 92.

Bachya Ibn Pekuda, works of, translated, 148. ethical work by, 190.

Bacon, Roger, on the scientific activity of the Jew, 150.

Bahir, Kabbalistic work, 171.

Bar Cochba, Akiba in the revolt of, 24.

"Barlaam and Joshaphat," by Abraham Ibn Chisdai, 154-155.

Baruch of Ratisbon, Tossafist, 161.

Beast Fables, in the Midrash, 64-67. examples of, 65-66.

Bechinath Olam, by Yedaiah Bedaressi, 191-192.

Benjamin of Tudela, traveller, 203.

Benjamin Nahavendi, Karaite author, 77.

Berachya ha-Nakdan, fabulist, 156-157.

Berlin, under Frederick the Great, 254.

Beruriah, wife of Meir, 28.

Bible, the. See Scriptures, the.

Bidpai, Fables of, and the Jews, 155-156.

Biur, the, commentary on the Pentateuch, 230.

Bohemia, the Kalirian Piyut in, 85.

"Book of Creation, The," Kabbalistic work, 175.

"Book of Creation, Commentary on the," by Saadiah, 95.

"Book of Delight, The," by Joseph Zabara, 157-158.

"Book of Genealogies, The," by Abraham Zacuto, 216.

"Book of Lights and the High Beacons, The," by Kirkisani, 80.

"Book of Principles, The," by Joseph Albo, 141.

"Book of Roots, The," by David Kimchi, 117.

"Book Raziel, The," Kabbalistic work, 175.

"Book of the Exiled, The," by Saadiah, 94.

"Book of the Pious, The," ethical work, 191.

"Book of Tradition, The," by Abraham Ibn Daud, 213-214.

Braganza, Duke of, friend of Abarbanel, 226.

Brahe, Tycho, friend of David Gans, 220.

"Branch of David, The," by David Gans, 219, 220-221.

"Breastplate of Judgment, The," part of the Shulchan Aruch, 240.

"Brilliancy," Kabbalistic work, 171.

Browne, Sir Thomas, alluded to, 127.

Buddha, legend of, 154-155.

Burgundy, the Kalirian Piyut in, 85.

Buxtorf, as translator, 148.

"Caged Bird, The," fable, 65.

Cairo, Old. See Fostat.

Calendar, the Jewish, arranged, 48.

"Call of the Generations, The," by David Conforte, 220.

"Captives of Hope, The," by Penso, 246.

Castile, the Spanish Piyut in, 85.

Catalonia, the Spanish Piyut in, 85.

"Ceremonies and Customs of the Jews," by Leon da Modena, 220.

Chacham Zevi, author of "Responses," 238.

"Chaff, Straw, and Wheat," fable, 65.

"Chain of Tradition, The," by Gedaliah Ibn Yachya, 220, 222-223.

Chanina, the son of Chama, Amora, 46.

Charizi, on Chasdai, 99-100, 107. on Moses Ibn Ezra, 114. as a poet, 131-132. influences Immanuel of Rome, 184. ethical work by, 189. geographical notes by, 200.

Chasdai Ibn Shaprut, patron of Moses ben Chanoch, 97. Charizi on, 99-100, 107. activities of, 100. as a patron of Jewish learning and poetry, 100-101, 102. and the Chazars, 102-103. as translator, 150.

Chasdai Crescas, philosopher, 141. studied by Spinoza, 251.

Chassidim, the, new saints, 176. hymns by, 177.

Chayim Vital Calabrese, Kabbalist, 176.

Chazars, the, and Chasdai Ibn Shaprut, 102-103.

Chiddushim, Notes on the Talmud, 234.

Chiya, Amora, 49.

Chizzuk Emunah, by Isaac Troki, 81.

Choboth ha-Lebaboth, by Bachya Ibn Pekuda, 190.

"Choice of Pearls, The," by Solomon Ibn Gebirol, 110, 189.

Choshen ha-Mishpat, part of the Shulchan Aruch, 240.

"Chronicle of Achimaaz," 213.

Clement VII, pope, and David Reubeni, 207.

"Cluster of Cyprus Flowers, A," by Judah Hadassi, 80.

"Cock and the Bat, The," fable, 65.

Cohen, Tobiah, geographer, 209.

"Collections." See Machberoth.

"Come, my Friend," Sabbath hymn, 239.

"Conciliator, The," by Manasseh ben Israel, 245.

"Consolations for the Tribulations of Israel," by Samuel Usque, 217-218.

Constantine, forbids Jews to enter Jerusalem, 205.

Cordova, centre of Arabic learning, 96-97. a Jewish centre, 103, 112. in the hands of the Almohades, 134.

Corfu, Abarbanel in, 226.

Council, the Great. See Synhedrion, the.

Cromwell, and Manasseh ben Israel, 248.

Crusades, the, and the Jews of France, 124.

Cuzari, by Jehuda Halevi, 127, 139.

Damascus, Jehuda Halevi in, 129.

Daniel, the Book of, commentary on, 48.

Dante, influences Jewish poets, 179, 182, 183, 186.

David, the son of Abraham, Karaite author, 79.

David ben Maimon, brother of Moses, 135.

David Abi Zimra, author of "Responses," 238.

David Alroy, pseudo-Messiah, 203.

David Conforte, historian, 220.

David Gans, historian, 220-221.

David Kimchi, grammarian, 117, 123.

David Reubeni, traveller, 207.

"Deeds of God, The," by Abarbanel, 229.

Descartes, studied by Spinoza, 250.

"Deuteronomy." See "Strong Hand, The."

"Diary of Eldad the Danite," 201-203.

Dictionary, Hebrew rhyming, by Saadiah, 93. See also Lexicon.

Dioscorides, works of, translated, 150.

Doria, Andrea, doge, physician of, 219.

Dramas in Hebrew, 246-247.

Dunash, the son of Labrat, grammarian, 101, 123.

Duran family, writers of "Responses," 237.

Eben Bochan, by Kalonymos, 185.

Eben ha-Ezer, part of the Shulchan Aruch, 240.

Egypt, Jehuda Halevi in, 129.

Eldad the Danite, traveller, 201-203.

Eleazar of Worms, writer, 191.

Eleazar the Levite, will of, 196-197.

Eleazar, the son of Azariah, saying of, 25-26.

Eleazar, the son of Isaac, will of, 194-195.

Elias del Medigo, critic, 222.

Elias Levita, grammarian, 229.

Elijah Kapsali, historian, 216.

Elisha, the son of Abuya, and Meir, 28.

Emden, Jacob, author of "Responses," 238.

Emek ha-Bacha, by Joseph Cohen, 218, 219.

Emunoth ve-Deoth, by Saadiah, 95.

En Yaakob, by Jacob Ibn Chabib, 192.

Enan, giant in "The Book of Delight," 157-158.

England, the Kalirian Piyut in, 85. Jews re-admitted into, 244. "Ennoblement of Character, The," by Solomon Ibn Gebirol, 110.

Eshkol ha-Kopher, by Judah Hadassi, 80.

Esthori Parchi, explorer of Palestine, 204-205.

Ethical Wills, prevalence and character of, 193-194. examples of, and quotations from, 194-198.

"Ethics, the," by Spinoza, 251.

Euclid, works of, translated, 149.

Eusebius, used in "Josippon," 214.

"Examination of the World," by Yedaiah Bedaressi, 191-192.

Exilarchs, the, official heads of the Persian Jews, 72.

"Eye of Jacob, The," by Jacob Ibn Chabib, 192.

Ezra, Kabbalist, 171.

Fables. See Beast Fables; Fox Fables.

"Faith and Philosophy," by Saadiah, 95.

Fathers, the Christian, and Simlai, 47.

Fayum, birthplace of Saadiah, 91.

Ferdinand and Isabella, Abarbanel with, 226.

Fez, the Maimon family at, 135.

Fiesco, rebellion of, 217.

Folk-tales, diffusion of, 153.

Fostat, Maimonides at, 135.

"Foundation of the World, The," by Moses Zacut, 246.

"Fountain of Life, The," by Solomon Ibn Gebirol, 110.

"Four Rows, The," code by Jacob Asheri, 234, 239.

"Fox and the Fishes, The," fable, 65.

"Fox as Singer, The," fable, 66.

Fox Fables, by Meir, 64. by Berachya ha-Nakdan, 156-157.

France, the Kalirian Piyut in, 85. a Jewish centre, 116, 119, 124. Jewish schools of, destroyed, 124.

Fraenkel, teacher of Mendelssohn, 253.

Frederick II, emperor, patron of Anatoli, 149.

Frederick the Great, the Berlin of, 254.

Galen, works of, translated, 150, 185.

Galilee, centre of Jewish learning, 20. explored by Esthori Parchi, 205.

Gaonim, the, heads of the Babylonian schools, 68. work of, 68-69. literary productions of, 69-71. language used by, 71. "Letters" of, 71-74. religious heads of the Jews of Persia, 72. as writers, 74. Karaite controversies with, 78. works of, collected, 104. analyze the Talmud, 121.

Gedaliah Ibn Yachya, historian, 222-223.

Gemara. See Talmud, the.

Genesis, commentary on, by Saadiah, 94.

Geographical literature among the Jews, 200.

German Jews, stagnation among, 254.

Germany, the Kalirian Piyut in, 85.

Gersonides. See Levi, the son of Gershon.

"Glory to the Virtuous," by Luzzatto, 247.

Graetz, H., quoted, 21, 168.

Grammar, Hebrew, works on, 77, 79, 117.

Granada, Jewish literary centre, 112.

Greece, the Kalirian Piyut in, 85.

Greek, translation of the Scriptures, 26. used by Josephus, 37. used in the Sibylline books, 39. used among the Jews, 48.

Grotius, friend of Manasseh ben Israel, 245.

Guarini, influences Luzzatto, 246.

"Guide of the Perplexed, The," by Moses Maimonides, 136, 139-141, 142.

Habus, Samuel Ibn Nagdela minister to, 103.

Hagadah, the poetic element of the Talmud, 47.

Hai, the last Gaon, 71.

Halachah, the legal element of the Talmud, 47, 55.

Halachoth Gedoloth, compilation of Halachic decisions, 73.

Haman, a fable concerning, 66.

Hassan, the son of Mashiach, Karaite author, 78, 79.

"Heart Duties," by Bachya Ibn Pekuda, 190.

Hebrew, the, of the Mishnah, 29. used by the Gaonim, 71. the language of prayer, 83. influenced by Kalir, 88. translations into, 145, 146. a living language, 147. studied by Christians, 230.

Heilprin, Yechiel, historian, 220.

Heine, quoted, 128.

"Hell and Eden," by Immanuel of Rome, 182, 184-185.

"Higher Criticism," the, father of, 116.

Hillel I, parable of, 62.

Hillel II, arranges the Jewish Calendar, 48.

Hippocrates, works of, translated, 150.

Historical works, 33-34.

Historical writing among the Jews, 211-212, 213, 217.

"History of France and Turkey," by Joseph Cohen, 217.

"History of the Jewish Kings," by Justus, 34.

"History of the Ottoman Empire," by Elijah Kapsali, 216.

Holland, a Jewish centre, 243.

Homiletics, in the Midrash, 57. in Sheeltoth, 70.

"Hope of Israel, The," by Manasseh ben Israel, 208-209, 248.

Hosannas, the Day of, hymn for, 89.

Huet, friend of Manasseh ben Israel, 245.

Huna, Amora, 49-50.

Ibn Roshd. See Averroes.

Icabo, character in Samuel Usque's poem, 218.

Iggaron, dictionary by David, 79.

Ikkarim, by Joseph Albo, 141.

Immanuel, the son of Solomon, Italian Jewish poet, 179, 180. life of, 180-181. works of, 182-185.

Isaac the Elder, Tossafist, 161.

Isaac, the son of Asher, Tossafist, 161.

Isaac Abarbanel, in Portugal, 225-226. writes commentaries, 226, 227. in Castile, 226. in Naples and Corfu, 226-227. in Venice, 227. as a writer, 227-228. as an exegete, 228, 229. as a philosopher, 229.

Isaac Aboab, ethical writer, 192.

Isaac Alfassi, Talmudist, 121-122.

Isaac Lurya, Kabbalist, 176.

Isaac Troki, Karaite author, 81.

Isaiah Hurwitz, Kabbalist, 176.

Isaiah, the Book of, Abraham Ibn Ezra on, 116.

Islam, sects of, 75-76.

Israel Baalshem, Kabbalist, 176-177.

Israel Isserlein, author of "Responses," 237.

"It was at Midnight," by Jannai, 86.

Italian Jewish literature, 178-180, 187.

Italy, the Kalirian Piyut in, 85.

"Itinera Mundi," by Abraham Farissol, 206.

"Itinerary," by Benjamin of Tudela, 203.

Jabneh. See Jamnia.

Jacob Ibn Chabib, writer, 192.

Jacob Anatoli, translator, 148. patron and friend of, 149.

Jacob Asheri, compiler of the Turim, 234, 239.

Jacob Weil, author of "Responses," 237.

Jacobs, Mr. Joseph, quoted, 65, 66, 156, 158-159.

Jair Chayim Bacharach, author of "Responses," 238.

Jamnia, centre of Jewish learning, 19-22.

Jannai, originator of the Piyut, 86. date of, 87.

Japhet, the son of Ali, Karaite author, 78, 79.

Jayme I of Aragon, orders a public disputation, 164.

Jehuda Halevi, models of, 107. subjects of, 109. prominence of, 126. youth of, 126-127. as a philosopher and physician, 127-128, 139. longs for Jerusalem, 128. on his journey, 128-129. quotation from, 129-130. works of, translated, 148.

Jerome, under Jewish influence, 48.

"Jerusalem," by Mendelssohn, 256.

"Jewish War, The," by Justus, 34.

"Jews, The," by Lessing, 256.

Jochanan, the son of Napacha, Amora, 46, 47, 51.

Jochanan, the son of Zakkai, characterized, 20-21, 24. as a Tanna, 23-24.

Jochanan Aleman, Kabbalist, 174.

John of Capua, translator, 155.

Joseph Ibn Caspi, will of, 196.

Joseph Ibn Verga, historian, 218-219.

Joseph al-Bazir, Karaite author, 78, 79.

Joseph Albo, philosopher, 141.

Joseph Cohen, historian, 216-217, 219.

Joseph Delmedigo, on Gedaliah Ibn Yachya, 222.

Joseph Karo, prohibits the Machberoth, 183. compiler of the Shulchan Aruch, 233. life of, 238-239. See Shulchan Aruch, the.

Joseph Kimchi, exegete, 116.

Joseph Zabara, poet, 157-158. geographical notes by, 200.

Josephus, Flavius, historian, 34-38. works of, 34. characterized, 35-36. champion of Judaism, 36, 37-38. style of, 36-37. language used by, 37. used in "Josippon," 214.

Joshua, the son of Levi, Amora, 47.

"Josippon," a romance, 214.

Judah the Prince, a Tanna, 23, 28-29. characterized, 28-29.

Judah Ibn Ezra, anti-Karaite, 214.

Judah Ibn Tibbon as a translator, 146, 147. as a physician, 146-147.

Judah Ibn Verga, chronicler, 218.

Judah Chayuj, grammarian, 101.

Judah Chassid, ethical writer, 191.

Judah Hadassi, Karaite author, 80-81.

Judah Minz, author of "Responses," 237.

Judah Romano, school-man, 185.

Judaism, after the loss of a national centre, 21. championed by Josephus, 36, 37-38. philosophy of, 77.

Justus of Tiberias, historian, works of, 34.

Kabbala, mysticism, 170. development of, 171. and Christian scholars, 174. the later, 175.

Kalila ve-Dimna. See Bidpai, Fables of.

Kalir, new-Hebrew poet, 85, 86, 87. date of, 87. style of, 87-88, 107. subject-matter of, 88-89. quotation from, 89-90.

Kalirian Piyut, the, 85.

Kalonymos, the son of Kalonymos, translator, 149, 185. as poet, 179, 180, 185-186.

Kant, and Mendelssohn, 257.

Kaphtor va-Pherach, by Esthori Parchi, 205.

Karaism, rise of, 75-76. a reaction against tradition, 76. defect of, 76. literary influence of, 77. history of, 80. Rabbinite opposition to, 82. opposed by Saadiah, 91, 92.

Kepler, correspondent of David Gans, 220.

Kether Malchuth, by Solomon Ibn Gebirol, 110. quotation from, 111-112.

Kimchi. See Joseph; Moses; David.

Kirkisani, Karaite author, 80.

Kodashim, order of the Mishnah, 31.

Kore ha-Doroth, by David Conforte, 220.

"Lamp of Light, The," by Isaac Aboab, 192.

Landau, Ezekiel, author of "Responses," 238.

Lavater, and Mendelssohn, 258.

"Law of Man, The," by Nachmanides, 166.

Lecha Dodi, Sabbath hymn, 239.

Lecky, on the scientific activity of the Jews, 150.

Leon da Modena, historian, 220.

Leon, Messer, physician and writer, 187.

Leshon Limmudim, by Sahal, the son of Mazliach, 79.

"Lesser Sanctuary, The," by Moses Rieti, 186.

Lessing, and Mendelssohn, 255-256.

"Letter," by Sherira, 70-71, 212.

"Letter of Advice, The," by Solomon Alami, 197-198.

"Letter of Aristeas," by Azariah di Rossi, 223.

"Letters," the, of the Gaonim, scope of, 71-73. style of, 74. geographical notes in, 200. and the "Responses," 234.

Levi, the son of Gershon, philosopher, 141.

Lexicon, by Sahal, 79. by David, 79. by David Kimchi, 117.

Lexicon, Talmudical. See Aruch, 70.

"Light of God, The," by Chasdai Crescas, 141.

"Light of the Eyes, The," by Azariah di Rossi, 220, 223.

Literature, Jewish, oral, 21-22. principle of, 23-24. under the influence of Karaism, 77. See Mishnah, the.

Liturgy, the, earliest additions to, 83. See Piyut, the.

Lorraine, the Kalirian Piyut in, 85.

Lost Ten Tribes, book on, 201. in Brazil, 208.

Lucas, Mrs. Alice, translations by, quoted, 63.

Lucian, used in "Josippon," 214.

Luzzatto, Moses Chayim, Kabbalist and dramatist, 176. ethical work by, 193. as dramatist, 246-247.

Lydda, centre of Jewish learning, 20.

Machberoth, by Immanuel of Rome, 182-185.

Maggid, familiar of Joseph Karo, 239.

Maharil, collection of Customs, 238.

Maimonides, Moses, the forerunner of, 95. youth of, 134-135. activities of, 135-136. disinterestedness of, 136. attacks on, 137, 141. prominence of, 137-138. as a philosopher, 138-141, 142, 151. works of, translated, 148. and Nachmanides, 163. studied by Spinoza, 250.

Mainz, Rashi at, 122.

Majorca, the Spanish Piyut in, 85.

Manasseh ben Israel, and the Lost Tribes, 208-209, 243, 247-248. political activity of, 244, 248. life of, 244. attainments and friends of, 245. activities of, 247. as a pamphleteer, 248-249. and Spinoza, 250.

Manetho, historian, and Josephus, 36.

Massechtoth, tractates of the Mishnah, 31.

"Maxims of the Philosophers," by Charizi, 189.

Mebo ha-Talmud, by Samuel Ibn Nagdela, 104.

Mechilta, a Midrashic work, 57.

Megillath Taanith. See "Scroll of Fasting, The."

Meir, a Tanna, 23, 27-28. characterized, 27-28. fables by, 64.

Meir of Rothenburg, poet, 131, 235-237. writer of "Responses," 235.

"Memorial Books," historical sources, 216.

Menachem, the son of Zaruk, grammarian, 100, 101, 123.

Mendelssohn, Moses, antagonized by Ezekiel Landau, 238. life of, 253. objects to the separation of culture and religion, 254. service of, to Judaism, 254-255. and Lessing, 255-256. style of, 257. and Lavater, 258. translates the Pentateuch, 258-259. circle of, 259. influence of, 259-260.

Menorath ha-Maor, by Isaac Aboab, 192.

Meoer Enayim, by Azariah di Rossi, 220.

Meshullam of Lunel, patron of learning, 146, 147.

Messiah, the, Joshua on, 47.

Messilath Yesharim, by Moses Chayim Luzzatto, 193.

Metre, in Hebrew poetry, 84.

Michlol, by David Kimchi, 117.

Midrash, the, characterized, 55-57. poetical, 56, 57. popular homiletics, 57. works called, 57-58. style of, 58-59. proverbs in, 59-60. parables in, 60-64. beast fables in, 64-67. and the Piyut, 86, 88-89. used by Rashi, 123, 124.

Midrash Haggadol, a Midrashic work, 58.

Midrash Rabbah, a Midrashic work, 58.

Mikdash Meaet, by Moses Rieti, 186.

Minhag, established by the Gaonim, 69.

Miphaloth Elohim, by Abarbanel, 229.

Mishnah, a paragraph of the Mishnah, 31.

Mishnah, the, origin of, 22. principle of, 24. compiled by Rabbi, 28. contents and style of, 29-31. divisions of, 31. development of, 43. See Talmud, the. date of, 52. Sherira on, 70. Maimon's commentary on, 135. commentary on, 206. personified, 239.

Mishneh Torah. See "Strong Hand, The."

Moed, order of the Mishnah, 31.

Mohammedanism assumed by the Maimon family, 135.

Moreh Nebuchim. See "Guide of the Perplexed, The."

Moses, teachings of, summarized, 140.

Moses of Leon, author of the Zohar, 172, 173.

Moses, the son of Chanoch, founds a school at Cordova, 97.

Moses, the son of Maimon. See Maimonides, Moses.

Moses Ibn Ezra, and the Scriptures, 107, 109. life of, 112-113. quotation from, 113-114. hymns of, 114. Charizi on, 114.

Moses Ibn Tibbon, translator, 148.

Moses Alshech, homiletical writer, 230.

Moses Kimchi, grammarian, 117.

Moses Minz, author of "Responses," 237.

Moses Rieti, poet, 186-187.

Mysticism, an element of religion, 169-170. in Judaism, 170.

Nachmanides, Moses, Talmudist, 160-168. on the French Rabbis, 160, 162. as a poet, 162. gentleness of, 163. in a disputation, 163-164. in Palestine, 165. as an exegete, 165-168. teacher of, 171. will of, 195.

Nahum, poet, 109.

"Name of the Great Ones, The," by Chayim Azulai, 220.

Naples, Abarbanel in, 226.

Nashim, order of the Mishnah, 31.

"Nathan the Wise," by Lessing, 256.

Nathan, the son of Yechiel, lexicographer, 121.

Nehardea, centre of Jewish learning, 44.

Nehemiah Chayun, Kabbalist, 176.

New-Hebrew, as a literary language, 83.

New-Hebrew poetry, and the Scriptures, 107. characteristics of, 108-109. after Jehuda Halevi, 130-131, 132. See also Piyut.

Nezikin, order of the Mishnah, 31.

Nicholas, monk, translator, 150.

"Novelties," Notes on the Talmud, 234.

Numeo, character in Samuel Usque's poem, 218.

Obadiah of Bertinoro, Rabbi of Jerusalem, 206.

Omar, forbids Jews to enter Jerusalem, 205.

Onkelos. See Aquila.

Orach Chayim, part of the Shulchan Aruch, 239, 240.

"Order of Generations, The," by Yechiel Heilprin, 220.

"Order of the Tannaim and Amoraim," 212.

Orders of the Mishnah, 31.

Origen, under Jewish influence, 48.

Pablo Christiani, convert, and Nachmanides, 164.

Palestine, the Kalirian Piyut in, 85. the Maimon family in, 135. explored, 204-205. open to Jews, 205-206.

Parables, in the Midrash, 60-64. examples of, 62, 63.

Parallelism of line, in the Scriptures, 108.

Passover, hymn for, 86.

"Path of Life, The," part of the Shulchan Aruch, 239, 240.

"Path of the Upright, The," by Moses Chayim Luzzatto, 193.

Penso, Joseph Felix, dramatist, 246.

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