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Encyclopedia Judaica 2nd Edition (Ship in USA)



Encyclopedia Judaica 2nd Edition (Ship in USA) An essential source of information on Jewish life, culture, history, and religion.

See also: Encyclopedia Judaica 2nd Edition (SHIP INTL)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Role of wine in Jewish holidays and rituals

Role of wine in Jewish holidays and rituals

Almost all Jewish holidays, especially the Passover Seder where all present drink four cups of wine, on Purim for the festive meal, and on the Shabbat require obligatory blessings over filled cups of kosher wine that are then drunk. (However, if no wine is present, the blessing over challah suffices). At Jewish marriages, circumcisions, and at Redemption of First-born ceremonies, the obligatory blessing of Borei Pri HaGafen ("Blessed are you O Lord, Who created the fruit of the vine") is almost always recited over kosher wine (or grape juice).

Also see: On-line Kosher Wine Store

According to the teachings of the Midrash, the "forbidden fruit" that Eve ate and which she gave to Adam was the grape from which wine is derived, though many would contest this and say that it was in fact a fig. The capacity of wine to cause drunkenness with its consequent loosening of "inhibitions" is described by the ancient rabbis in Hebrew as nichnas yayin, yatza sod ("wine enters, [and one's personal] secret[s] exit"), similar to the Latin "in vino veritas". Another similarly evocative expression relating to wine is: Ein Simcha Ela BeBasar Veyayin—"There is no joy except through [eating] meat and [drinking] wine".)

Mevushal wines

Mevushal wines

As mentioned above, when kosher wine is mevushal מבושל("cooked" or "boiled"), it thereby becomes unfit for idolatrous use and will keep the status of kosher wine even if subsequently touched by an idolater. This style of wine is frequently used in kosher restaurants and by kosher caterers. Traditionally, this edict was followed literally. The boiling process killed most of the fine mold or "must" on the grapes, and greatly altered the tannins and flavors of the wine. Later, the process was modified to require only that wine be heated to 194°F (90°C). (At this temperature, the wine is not bubbling, but it is cooking, in the sense that it will evaporate much more quickly than usual.) This managed to reduce some of the damage done to the wine, but still had a substantial effect on quality and aging potential.

Kosher California Wines on line

Recently, a process called flash pasteurization has come into vogue. This method avoids causing the juice of the grapes to simmer or boil, and is said to have a minimal effect on flavor, at least to the casual wine drinker. Indeed, the non-kosher winery Château Beaucastel flash pasteurizes[citation needed] and its wines are considered among the world's finest, although few others have copied this technique. In most territories, the bulk of kosher wine is supplied by wineries producing both kosher wine and wine for the general market. However, irrespective of the method, the pasteurization process must be overseen by mashgichim to ensure the kosher status of the wine. Generally, they will attend the winery to physically tip the fruit into the crush, and operate the pasteurization equipment. Once the wine emerges from the process, it can be handled and aged in the normal fashion.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

History of Kosher Wine

History

Also see: On-line Kosher Wine Store

The use of wine has a long history in Judaism, dating back to biblical times. Archeological evidence shows that wine was produced throughout Israel until at least 636 AD when the area came under Muslim control which prohibited alcoholic beverages. The traditional and religious use of wine continued within the Jewish diaspora community. In the United States, kosher wines came to be associated with sweet Concord wines produced by wineries founded by Jewish immigrants to New York. Beginning in the 1980s a trend towards producing dry, premium quality kosher wines begun with the revival of the Israeli wine industry. Today kosher wine is produced not only in Israel but throughout the world including premium wine areas like Napa Valley and the St-Emilion region of Bordeaux.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Megillah

MEGILLAH: By : Solomon Schechter Jacob Zallel Lauterbach

ARTICLE HEADINGS:
  • Interpolations and Digressions.
  • Variations in MS.
  • Tosefta and Gemara.
Name of a treatise in the Mishnah and in the Tosefta, as well as in the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. It is the tenth treatise in the mishnaic order Mo'ed, and includes four chapters, containing thirty-three paragraphs in all. Ch. i. 1-4 treats of the portion of the month Adar in which the Megillah is to be read, and, in case of a leap-year containing two months of Adar, it designates which month is to be chosen. The 15th of Adar, or in a leap-year the same day of the second Adar, is the day appointed for walled cities, and the 14th of Adar for unwalled cities and for villages. The inhabitants of the latter, however, when livingin districts where they meet weekly in the neighboring city, may read the roll on the 13th, 12th, or 11th of Adar, if the gathering takes place on one of these days. Since this distinction is made between the two months of Adar of a leap-year, while both months are alike in all other respects, ch. i. 5-11 notes several other groups of objects and cases which differ from one another in one point only; one such group, e.g., consists of the sacred books, the tefillin, and the mezuzah, the first two of which may be written in any language and script, but the last only in Hebrew and in square script. Greek is given the preference over all other foreign languages, since, according to R. Gamaliel, even the sacred books may be written in it.

Ch. ii. deals with the proper manner of reading the Megillah; with the language (mishnah 1), stating that those who do not understand Hebrew may read it in their own tongue; and with the problems whether it shall be read in whole or in part, which portions are to be read (mishnah 3) and at what time of the day. The statement that it may be read during the entire day is supplemented by the enumeration of many other regulations and customs which may be observed throughout the day if they are assigned to the daytime, or throughout the night if assigned to the night (mishnayot 5-6).

Ch. iii. discusses the sale of sacred objects, the synagogue and its furnishings, and the sacredness which still attaches in many respects to the ruins of a synagogue which has been destroyed (mishnayot 1-3). It further discusses the sections which are to be read on the Sabbaths in Adar in addition to the customary weekly sections, and what is to be read on each feast-day (mishnayot 4-6.). From the stand-point of contents this chapter does not belong to the treatise Megillah, being connected with it only by its fourth paragraph.

Interpolations and Digressions.

Ch. iv. begins with certain rules concerning the reading of the Megillah (mishnah 1a); then follow rules referring to other ritual readings from the Law and the Prophets (mishnayot 1b-2). One of these regulations holds that ten persons must be present at each reading; and in this connection many other religious ceremonies are enumerated as requiring the presence of ten persons (mishnah 3). Mishnah 4 defines the relation of the reader to the translator; mishnayot 5-7 determine who may read, who may lead in prayer, and which priest is entitled to lift up his hands for the blessing; mishnah 8 discusses unseemly dress of the prayer-leader and unseemly behavior regarding the tefillin; mishnah 9 enumerates incorrect expressions in prayer, designates the persons who must be silenced in public prayer, and contains various allusions to the views and customs of the sectarians ("minim") of the time; mishnah 10 enumerates the passages in the Torah which may be read but not translated, and the passages in the Prophets which may not be read as haftarot.

Variations in MS.

The sequence of chapters here given is that of the Palestinian Talmud in the manuscript of the Mishnah edited by Lowe, and is also the one found in most of the editions of the Mishnah, in the Tosefta, and in the codices of the Babylonian Talmud at Munich (MS. No. 140) and Oxford (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 366). The sequence of chapters in the printed editions of the Babylonian Talmud, on the other hand, corresponds with that of MS. Munich No. 95. Here the chapter cited above as the fourth, "Hakore et ha-megillah 'omed," precedes the chapter which has been designated as the third, "Bene ha-'ir." R. Hananeel offers a sequence differing from both; making "Ha-kore et ha-megillah 'omed" the second chapter, "Ha-kore et ha-megillah le-mafrea'" the third, and "Bene ha-'ir" the fourth.

The Tosefta to this treatise omits many of the passages contained in the Mishnah, but, on the other hand, it discusses in full detail much that is not found therein. Noteworthy is the enumeration of the passages in the Bible in which a euphemistic word is read instead of an objectionable one (iv. 39), while the condemnation of any translation of the Scriptures is also a striking feature (iv. 41).

Tosefta and Gemara.

The Gemara of the Babylonian Talmud contains in its first chapter, besides explanations of the various mishnayot, many important comments, of which the most interesting are: (1) on the origin of the final letters ך, ם, ן, ף and ץ (pp. 2b-3a); (2) on the origin of the targumim, that of the Torah being ascribed to the proselyte Onkelos, and that of the Prophets to Jonathan b. Uzziel (p. 3a; no targum of the Hagiographa seems to have been known at that time); (3) on the origin of Purim, which is said to have been originally merely a local festival at Shushan; the objections raised to its introduction that it might rouse the hatred of the Gentiles against the Jews; the hesitation at including the Book of Esther in the canon, and the reasons why it was finally admitted (p. 7a). The Gemara contains also the legend of the origin of the Septuagint (p. 9a, b). King Ptolemy called together seventy-two elders, assigned each one a separate house, and had them translate the Torah individually and without consultation. All these translations were found to agree absolutely, even to the changes made in certain passages. Pages 10b to 17a of the Gemara form a haggadic midrash to Esther.

The second chapter of the Gemara discusses the several mishnayot, gives an account of the origin of the Shemoneh 'Esreh prayer, and explains the sequence of the several benedictions. In the Gemara on ch. iii. the most noteworthy feature is the remark on the pronunciation of Hebrew current among the inhabitants of Bet-She'on, Bet-hefa, and Tibonin, who confounded "alef" with "'ayin," and "he" with "het." The Gemara to ch. iv. contains, in addition to the notes on the mishnayot, some important regulations regarding public worship. The Gemara of the Palestinian Talmud mentions certain other feast-days in the month of Adar, which were similar to Purim, including the Day of Trajan (), the 12th, and the Day of Nicanor, the 13th (i. 5). Especially noteworthy is the remark on the origin of square script and on the translation of Aquila (i. 9). The passage in the Palestinian Talmud on Aquila's version compels the assumption that "Onkelos" in the Babylonian Talmud (3a) ismerely a corruption of "Aquila," and that the reference in this latter Talmud also is to the Greek and not to the Aramaic translation.

Scroll of Eshter

Scroll of Eshter: By : Emil G. Hirsch Carl Siegfried

ARTICLE HEADINGS:
  • Editions and Critical Helps.
  • The Dream of Mordecai.
  • The Destruction of the Jews Decreed.
  • Mordecai's Prayer.
  • The Prayer of Esther.
  • Esther Before the King.
  • The New Edict.
  • Interpretation of Mordecai's Dream.
The canonical Book of Esther undoubtedly presents the oldest extant form of the Esther story. In times of oppression the Jews found comfort in this narrative, for it presented an example of sudden divine salvation in the days of distress (Esth. ix. 22, 28), and it strengthened their hope of being liberated from their desperate condition, especially in the days of the Maccabees. Naturally, the Jews' well-known skill in transforming and enriching traditional narratives was applied especially to those incidents which were touched but lightly in the Biblical Book of Esther. Such variations and additions have been preserved in Greek, but the assumption that they were based on a Hebrew original has been proved erroneous (comp. Scholz, "Kommentar über das Buch Esther mit Seinen Zusätzen," 1892, pp. 21 et seq.), the difficulty of translating many of these additions into Hebrew being especially significant (Fritzsche, "Kurzgefasstes Exegetisches Handbuch zu den Apokryphen des Alten Testaments," 1851, p. 71; Wace, "The Apocrypha," in "The Speaker's Commentary," i. 361-365). The additions were probably made in the time of the Maccabees, when the people were hoping for another sudden liberation by divine intervention. They aimed chiefly to supply the religious element signally lacking in the canonical book (comp. Reuss, "Geschichte der Heiligen Schriften des Alten Testaments," 2d ed., §§ 470 et seq.; Bleek-Wellhausen, "Einleitung in das Alte Testament," 5th ed., § 120; J. S. Bloch, "Hellenistische Bestandtheile im Bibl. Schriftum," 2d ed., p. 8; Ryssel, in Kautzsch, "Die Apocryphen und Pseudepigraphen des Alten Testaments," i. 197). Fritzsche (l.c. p. 73) has pointed out linguistic similarities between the additions and the second Book of the Maccabees.

Editions and Critical Helps.

The latest date that can be given to the additions is the year 30 B.C., when the Ptolemaic rule came to an end (comp. B. Jacob in Stade's "Zeitschrift," 1890, p. 290). These additions are contained in the uncial manuscript of the Codex Sinaiticus (Sin.), Codex Vaticanus (B), and Codex Alexandrinus (A). Among the printed editions may be mentioned those of R. Holmes and J. Parsons, Oxford, 1798-1827; E. Nestle, "Vet. Test. Græce Juxta LXX. Interpretum," Leipsic, 1850; H. B., Swete, "The Old Testament in Greek," 2d ed., Cambridge, 1895-99; O. F. Fritzsche, "Libr. Apoc. V. T. Græce," 1871. The text of the additions has been preserved in two forms, namely, that of the Septuagint, and that revised by Lucian, the martyr of Antioch (comp. B. Jacob, l.c. pp. 258-262). Lagarde has published both texts with complete critical annotations in his "Librorum Veteris Testamenti Canonicorum," 1883, i. 504-541; and later on A. Scholz ("Kommentar über das Buch Esther," pp. 2-99, Würzburg and Vienna, 1892) published a small edition in four parallel columns, showing side by side the Hebrew text of the canonical book, the two Greek texts, and Josephus' text (comp. Ryssel in Kautzsch, l.c. pp. 198, 199).

For textual criticism there are, also, the two Latin translations; not so much the Vulgate—in which Jerome translated very freely, and in part arbitrarily—as the Old Latin, which, in spite of its arbitrariness and incompleteness, and its additions, probably made in part by Christians, has preserved a few good readings of the Codex Vaticanus (comp. Fritzsche, l.c. pp. 74 et seq.; Ryssel, in Kautzsch, l.c. p. 199; B. Jacob, l.c. pp. 249-258). On the forthcoming new edition of pre-Jerome texts of Esther, comp. Ph. Thielmann, "Bericht über das Gesammelte Handschriftliche Material zu einer Kritischen Ausgabe der Lateinischen Uebersetzung Biblischer Bücher des A. T." Munich, 1900; "Sitzungsberichte der Königlichen Bayerischen Academie der Wissenschaften," ii. 205-247. For an explanation of the Greek additions to the Book of Esther see Fritzsche, l.c. (the older interpreters, p. 76; the later, pp. 69-108); F. O. Bissel, "The Apocrypha of Old Testament," New York, 1880; Fuller-Wace, l.c. i. 361-402; O. Zöckler, "Die Apocryphen des Alten Testaments," Munich, 1891; Ball, "The Ecclesiastical, or Deuterocanonical, Books of the Old Testament," London, 1892; V. Ryssel, in Kautzsch, l.c. i. 193-212.

The Dream of Mordecai.

The dream of Mordecai precedes in the Septuagint, as i. 11-17, the canonical story of Esther, and corresponds in the Vulgate to xi. 2-12 and xii. (Swete, "The Old Testament in Greek," ii. 755 et seq.). This version contradicts the account in the canonical book, for, according to the apocryphal version (i. 2), Mordecai is already in the service of King Artaxerxes, and has this dream inthe second year of that king's reign, whereas in the canonical version (ii. 16) Esther was not taken into the royal house until the seventh year of his reign, and Mordecai did not sit "in the king's gate"—that is, enter the king's service—until after that event (ii. 19-20). The author of the apocryphal Esther speaks of two conspiracies against Artaxerxes, and says that Mordecai preceded Esther in coming to court. His account is as follows: Mordecai as a servant in the palace sleeps with the courtiers Gabatha and Tharra (Esth. ii. 21, "Bigthan" and "Teresh"; Vulg. "Bagatha" [whence "Gabatha"] and "Thara"), and overhears their plot against the king. He denounces the conspirators, who are arrested and confess. The king and Mordecai write down the occurrence, and Mordecai is rewarded. As the conspirators are condemned to death (according to B. Jacob in Stade's "Zeitschrift," x. 298, the words of Codex B, διότι ἀνέρήθησαν, are to be added here; comp. Jerome: "qui fuerant interfecti"), Haman, who evidently was in league with them, plans to take vengeance on Mordecai (Apocr. Esth. ii. 12-17).
(see image) Olive-Wood Case for Scroll of Esther, from Jerusalem.(In the U. S. National Museum, Washington., D. C.)

There is a second conspiracy after Esther has been made queen, in the seventh year of the king's reign (Esth. ii. 21 et seq.). Mordecai in his dream (Apocr. Esth. i. 4-11) sees two dragons coming to fight each other (representing Mordecai and Haman, ib. vi. 4); the nations make ready to destroy the "people of the righteous," but the tears of the righteous well up in a little spring that grows into a mighty stream (comp. Ezek. xlvii. 3-12; according to Apocr. Esth. vi. 3, the spring symbolizes Esther, who rose from a poor Jewess to be a Persian queen). The sun now rises, and those who had hitherto been suppressed "devoured those who till then had been honored" (comp. Esth. ix. 1-17).

The Destruction of the Jews Decreed.

The second addition contains an edict of Artaxerxes for the destruction of all the Jews, to be carried out by Haman (Apocr. Esth. ii. 1-7; it follows Esth. iii. 13; comp. Swete, l.c. pp. 762 et seq.). The mere mention of the fact that an edict for the destruction of the Jews had gone forth, was a temptation to enlarge upon it. The "great king" (verse 1), as in Esth. i. 1, sends a letter to the governors of the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of his kingdom—that extends from India even unto Ethiopia—saying that although personally he is inclined toward clemency, he is bound to look to the security of his kingdom.

In a conference on the matter, he said, Haman, the councilor ranking next to him in the kingdom, had pointed out that there was one evilly disposed class of people in his realm, which, by its laws, placed itself in opposition to all the other classes, persisted in disregarding the royal ordinances, and made a unified government impossible. Under these circumstances, he said, nothing remained but to adopt the suggestion of Haman, who, having been placed in charge of the affairs of the state, could in a sense be called the second father of the king; this suggestion was to destroy by the sword of the other nations, on the fourteenth day of Adar (thirteenth of Adar in Esth. iii. 13, viii. 12, ix, 1), all those designated as Jews, together with their wives and children. After these disturbers of the peace had been put out of the way, the king believed the business of the realm could again be conducted in peace.

Mordecai's Prayer.
(see image) Scroll of Esther as Fixed in Olive-Wood Case.(In the U. S. National Museum, Washington, D. C.)

The remaining additions are closely connected with this affair. The next in order is Mordecai's prayer for help (Apocr. Esth. iii. 1-11; Vulg. xiii. 8-18); in the Septuagint it is added to iv. 17 (Swete, l.c. pp. 765 et seq.). It follows the story of Esth. iv. 1-16, according to which Esther commanded Mordecai to assemble all the Jews for a three-days' fast before she herself interceded for them before the king. The prayer begins with the usual praise of divine omnipotence. Heaven and earth are a paraphrase for the idea τὸ πᾶν(verse 2; comp. Gen. i. 1;Isa. xlv. 18). The plight of the Jews was occasioned by the refusal to kiss Haman's feet (comp. Esth. iii. 2-5), a refusal caused not by pride, but because honor as high as that which such an act implied belongs to God alone (comp. the refusal of the προσκύνησις of the Greek ambassadors to Darius). "This scrupulousness is characteristic of post-exilic Judaism; in ancient Israel the honor was unhesitatingly accorded to every nobleman (I Sam. xxv. 23 et seq.; II Sam. xviii. 21, 28): even Judith (x. 23 [21]) honored Holofernes in this way in order to allay his suspicions.

But, Mordecai continues, this refusal was merely a pretext to destroy God's chosen people (κληρονομία, verse 8; comp. Apocr. Esth. iv. 20; vii. 9 = Hebr. ; Ps. xxviii. 9, xciv. 5, etc.; μερίς, verse 9; comp. LXX. on Deut. xxxii. 9; κλῆρος, verse 10 = , Deut. iv. 20), and he implores God to protect them now as He had their fathers in Egypt (comp. in Deut. ix. 26). The prayer closes with the supplication to save His people and turn their mourning into gladness (really "feasting"; comp. vi. 22 et seq.; see also Esth. ix. 17-19, where the prayer also ends in feasting and in the sending of gifts of food to one another). Here, as in Ps. vi. 6 (A. V. 5), xxx. 10 [9], cxv. 17; and Ecclus. (Sirach) xvii. 25, the reason for harkening to the prayer is the desire ascribed to Yhwh of hearing songs of praise and thanks, which only the living can offer (verse 10, where the reading στόμα is preferable to αιμα; Swete, l.c. p. 765). Finally, emphasis is laid on the people's loud calling and crying to God (ἐξ ἰσχύος αὐτῶν . . . ἐκήκραξεν; comp. Dan. iii. 4, ; Isa. lviii. 1, ) when they stood face to face with death (ἐν ὀφϑαλμοῖς αὐτῶν).

The Prayer of Esther.

Closely connected with this is the prayer of Esther (Apocr. Esth. iii. 12-30; Septuagint, xiii. 8-18, xiv. 1-19; Swete, l.c. pp. 766 et seq.; Vulg. xiv. 1-19): she takes off her royal garments (τὰ ἱμάτια τῆς δόξης αὐτῆς [in Esth. i. 11, ii. 17 only the royal crown is mentioned]), and, putting on mourning-robes (, Judges viii. 5 [6]; Neh. ix. 1), strews ashes on her head (comp. Isa. iii. 24; Mal. ii. 3; II Sam. xiii. 19, commonly ; Job ii. 9). She winds her hair about her (verse 13) and takes off all adornments (ἐ;ταπείνωσεν comp. , Lev. xvi. 29, 31; Isa. lviii. 3). In this way the pity of God would be aroused and His anger allayed (I Kings xxi. 21-29).

The prayer refers to the threatening danger (comp. iii. 11): as God once released Israel's ancestors from the Egyptian yoke (verse 16), so Esther beseeches him now to save the Jews from their impending fate, though they deserve it for having participated in Persian idolatry (verses 17, 18 refer to this, and not to the preexilic idolatry; comp. II Kings xvii. 29-33, 41). Following Lagarde and Ryssel, the reading in verse 19 is ἔθηκαν τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν επῖ τὰς χεῖρας τῶν εὶδώλων ("they put their hands in the hands of the idols"; on , to confirm an agreement by clasping of hands, see Ezra x. 19). This means: "The Persian oppressors have vowed to their gods [verse 19] to make vain the divine promise, to destroy Israel [i.e., the divine heritage], to close the mouths of those that praise God, and to extinguish the glory of the house and the altar of God [verse 20]. Furthermore, they swear that the mouth of the heathen will be opened in praise of their impotent [gods], and their mortal king [the Persian] will be for ever admired" (verse 21). Hence God is besought not to give His scepter into the hands of the "non-existing" (τοῖς μὴ οὖσιν; comp. I Cor. viii. 4), and not to make the Jews a laughing-stock to the heathen, but to let the plans of the latter turn against themselves. "Mark him [παρλδιγμάτισον; comp. Heb. vi. 6] who began [to act] against us."

In verse 24 Esther adds a prayer for the success of the petition which, according to Esth. iv. 16, she intends to make to the king. "Put orderly speech into my mouth in face of the lion" (the Persian king is thus called also in the Aramaic version of Mordecai's dream; see Merx, "Chrestomathia Targumica," p. 164, 3; comp. Ecclus. [Sirach] xxv. 16, 19). The object of her petition—to turn the anger of the king against Israel's persecutors—anticipates the events of Esth. vii. 9. She prays God to help her, the desolate one (τῇ μόνῃ; corresponding to in Ps. xxv. 17 [A. V. 16], where it occurs next to , "lonely and deserted," differing from verse 14, σὺ εἶ μόνος, referring to the singleness of Yhwh), who has no one else to turn to (verse 25). She refers to the fact that Yhwh knows the splendor of her royal position did not tempt her to yield to the king (in Esth. ii. 7-20 this is not mentioned), but that she submitted to the force of circumstances (verse 25). She continues by affirming that she hates the glitter of the lawless ones (δόξαν ἀνόμων the ἀνόμων here are the heathen; their δόξα is their power), and abhors the bed of the uncircumcised (verse 26). Yhwh, she says, knows her distress in being forced to be the king's wife. She abhors the symbol of pride on her head (i.e., the royal crown she wears in public); she abhors it like a filthy rag (ὡς ῥάκος κλταμηνίων= ; Isa. lxiv. 5 [A. V. 6]), and does not wear it when sitting quietly at home (verse 17). Finally, she has not sat at table in Haman's house, nor graced by her presence the banquet of the king (according to the canonical version [ii. 18], Esther kept her own feast); nor did she drink any of the sacrificial wine of the heathen gods (οῦνον σπονδῶν; comp. LXX. Deut. xxxii. 38; Fuller, in Wace, l.c. p. 390, verse 28). Since her arrival there, God, she says, has been her sole joy. The phrase ἀφ' ἡμήρας μεταβολῆς refers to the change in her dwellingplace (comp. Merx, "Chrestomathia Targumica," p. 163, 11 [Ryssel]), not to the day of her reception into the royal palace (Esth. ii. 16), as Zöckler and Fuller (in Wace, l.c. p. 390) have it. The prayer closes with a petition for a confirmation of faith and a release from all fear (comp. Judith ix. 11).

Esther Before the King.

Esther's reception by the king (iv. 1-15; Swete, l.c. pp. 767 et seq.) follows in the Septuagint immediately upon the prayer (xv. 4-19; Vulg. xv. 1-19). Here the events told in Esth. v. 1, 2 are amplified. In xv. 1 (Septuagint) the "third day" corresponds to Esth. v. 1. According to Septuagint v. 1 she took off the garments she had worn at divine service; in the apocryphal version (iii. 13) she had put them on. Divine service consistedin fasting, according to Esth. iv. 16; in praying, according to Apocryphal Esther iii. 12. In iv. 1 (Apocr. Esth.) she puts on her royal apparel, to which the crown probably belongs, according to ii. 17. After a supplication to God, she appears (iv. 1) accompanied by two handmaidens (ἅβραι= "favorite slaves"; comp. Judith viii. 33); according to Esth. ii. 9, she had seven handmaids. In Apocryphal Esther iv. 2 it is said she was escorted to the king by two maidens, "and upon the one she leaned, as carrying herself daintily" (verse 3: ῶς τρυφευομήνη); "and the other followed, bearing up her train." In the canonical Book of Esther no mention is made of this escort.

iv. (Apocr. Esth.) describes the impression her beauty produced: she was ruddy through the perfection of her beauty, and her countenance was cheerful and love-kindling; but her heart was heavy with fear of the danger of appearing uncalled before the king (comp. Esth. iv. 11). Having passed through all the doors, she stood before the king, who sat upon his throne clothed in the robes of majesty (see Fuller in Wace, l.c.; compare the representation of the king on his throne in the picture of Persepolis according to Rawlinson). Verse 7: Then, lifting up his countenance (that shone with majesty), he looked very fiercely upon her; and the queen fell down, and was pale, and fainted; after she had regained consciousness she bowed herself upon the head of the maid that went before her. Verse 8: Then God changed the spirit of the king into mildness. In concern he leaped from his throne, and took her in his arms till she recovered her composure, comforting her with loving words. In Verse 9 he asks: "Esther, what is the matter? I am thy brother," thereby placing her on the same level with him. In verses 10 et seq. he assures her that the death penalty is meant to apply only to the unauthorized entrance of the king's subjects (comp. Esth. iv. 11), and that it does not apply to her: "Thou shalt not die. . . ." Touching her neck with his golden scepter, he embraced her, and said, "Speak unto me." Then said she unto him, "I saw thee, my lord, as an angel of God [comp. Ezek. viii. 2], and my heart was troubled for fear of thy majesty." And as she was speaking, she fell down for faintness. Verse 16: Then the king was troubled, and all his servants comforted her.

The New Edict.

The king now issues an edict canceling the former edict, and decreeing protection to the Jews (Apocr. Esth. v. 1-24; Vulg. xvi. 1-24; Septuagint addition to viii. 12; comp. Swete, l.c. pp. 773-775, the amplification of the edict mentioned in Esth. viii. 13). The first edict against the Jews is revoked; its instigator, Haman, is accused of conspiracy against the king; and every aid is ordered to be given to the Jews. Verses 2-4: "Many, the more often they are honored with the great bounty of their gracious princes, the more proud they are waxen, and endeavor to hurt not our subjects only, but, not being able to bear abundance, do take in hand to practise also against those that do them good, and take not only thankfulness away from among men, but also, lifted up with the glorious words of lewd persons that were never good, they think to escape the justice of God, that seeth all things, and hateth evil." Verses 5-6: "Oftentimes, also, fair speech of those that are put in trust to manage their friends' affairs [comp. Jacob in Stade, l.c. x. 283, note 2] hath caused many that are in authority to be partakers of innocent blood, and hath enwrapped them in remediless calamities [comp. I Sam. xxv. 26; II Sam. xvi. 4], beguiling with the falsehood and deceit of their lewd disposition the innocency and goodness of princes." Verse 7: "Now ye may see this, as we have declared, not so much by ancient histories, as by observing what hath wickedly been done of late through the pestilent behavior of them that are unworthily placed in authority." Verses 8-9: "We must take care for the time to come that our kingdom may be quiet and peaceable for all men, by changing our purposes and always judging things that are evident with more equal proceeding." Verses 10-14: The king had accorded this gentle treatment to Haman, but had been bitterly deceived by him, and was therefore compelled to revoke his former edict. (According to Dan. vi. 9, 13 this was inadmissible, but Fuller, l.c. pp. 397 et seq., cites a number of cases in which it was done. Verse 10 is about Haman, called in i. 17 "the Agagite," here "the Macedonian"; in verse 14 he is accused of having betrayed the Persian empire to the Macedonians.) "For Aman, a Macedonian, the son of Amadatha, being indeed a stranger to the Persian blood [comp. Vulg. "et animo et gente Macedo"], and far distant from our goodness, and a stranger received of us, had so far obtained the favor that we show toward every nation that he was called our 'father,' and was continually honored of all men, as the next person unto the king. He had also been bowed down to [comp. Esth. iii. 2-6]. But he, not bearing his great dignity, went about to deprive us of our kingdom and life; having, by manifold and cunning deceits, sought of us the destruction, as well of Mordecai, who saved our life, and continually procured our good, as of blameless Esther, partaker of our kingdom with the whole nation. For by these means he thought, finding us destitute of friends, to have translated the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians." According to these verses Haman was guilty of a threefold sin, since he tried to wrest from the king wife, kingdom, and life.

v. 15-16, 18-19: "But we find that the Jews, whom this wicked wretch hath delivered to utter destruction, are no evil-doers, but live by most just laws; and that they are children of the Most High and Most Mighty God, who hath ordered the kingdom both unto us and to our progenitors in the most excellent manner. Therefore, ye shall do well not to put in execution the letters sent unto you by Aman, the son of Amadatha; for he that was the worker of these things is hanged [ήσταυρωσθσι = "impaled"] at the gates of Susa with all his family [according to Esth. vii. 10, viii. 7, Haman alone was hanged; according to Esth. ix. 10, the Jews killed his ten sons; in Dan. vi. 25 the wives and children were thrown into the lions' den], God, who ruleth all things, speedily rendering vengeance to him according to deserts. Therefore he shall publish the copy of this letter in all places [ἐκτιθήναι; Stade, l.c. x. 282, a phrase used in the promulgation of royal commands], that the Jews may live after their own laws" (comp. Ezra vii. 25 et seq.; Josephus, "Ant." xii. 3, § 3, xvi. 6, § 2).

v. 20-24: "Ye shall aid them, that even the same day, being the l3th day of the 12th month Adar, they may be avenged on them who in the time of their affliction shall set upon them [comp. Esth. ix. 1; but see above Apocr. Esth. ii. 6, where the 14th day is fixed upon; according to Esth. iii. 13, Haman had appointed the thirteenth day for exterminating the Jews]. For Almighty hath turned to joy unto them the day wherein the chosen people should have perished. Ye shall therefore, among your solemn feasts, keep it an high day with all feasting [following Grotius, Fritzsche, and Ryssel κλήρων (sc. ὴμιν) is to be added after; according to this the Persian king instituted the Jewish Feast of Purim, as a day to be celebrated also by the Persians], that both now and hereafter there may be safety to us [the reading here should be ὑμιν instead of ἡμιν] and the well-affected Persians, and that it may be, to those which do conspire against us, a memorial of destruction. Therefore every city and country whatsoever which shall not do according to these things, shall be destroyed without mercy with fire and sword, and shall be made not only impassable for men, but also most hateful for wild beasts and fowls forever."

Interpretation of Mordecai's Dream.

In the Septuagint the interpretation of Mordecai's dream is separated from the dream itself, which forms the beginning of the additions, and constitutes the end of the whole apocryphon (vi. 1-10), with verse 11 as subscription (Swete, l.c. pp. 779 et seq.). In the Vulgate the passage stands at the end of the canonical Book of Ezra (x. 4-11), preceding all other apocryphal additions as well as the dream itself, which here occupies xi. 2-11. Neither dream nor interpretation is found in Josephus. The expression "God hath done these things" (comp. Matt. xxi. 42) refers to the whole story of the Book of Esther. Verse 2 refers to the dream told in the beginning of the book, which has been fulfilled in every respect. "The little fountain that became a river" (vi. 3) signifies the elevation of Esther (see i. 9), who became a stream when the king married her and made her queen. The light and the sun (see i. 10) signify the salvation and joy that Esther brought to the Jews (comp. Esth. viii. 16). The two dragons are Mordecai and Haman. The nations that assembled to destroy the name of the Jews (see i. 6) are theheathen (comp. Esth. iii. 6-8). "And my nation is this Israel, which cried to God and were saved" (vi. 6; comp. iii. 11). "Therefore hath he made two lots, one for the people of God, and another for all the Gentiles" (vi. 7; comp. Esth. iii. 7). "And the two lots were drawn [ἦλϑον; lit. "they came, sprang out at the right time"]: one for his people [Fritzsche and Ryssel add τῷ λαῶ αὐτοῦ], the other for all the other peoples." "So God remembered his people and justified [decided in its favor; compare Deut. xxv. 1; I Kings viii. 32; Ecclus. (Sirach) xiii. 22; Vulg. freely rendered, "misertus est"; compare old Latin "salvavit"] his inheritance" (vi.9). "Therefore those days shall be unto them in the month of Adar, the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the same month, with an assembly, and joy, and with gladness before God, according to the generations forever among his people" (vi. 10; comp. Esth. ix. 18, 21). In II Macc. xv. 36 the fourteenth day is called ἥ Μαρδοχαικὴ ἡμέρα.

The subscription, verse 11 (in Swete, ii. 780, inserted in the German Bible between Esther's reception by the king and Ahasuerus' second edict), refers to the whole Book of Esther together with the apocryphal additions, as does also the expression τὴυ προκειμέυηυ ἐπιστολὴυ τῶυ φρουραί (Swete), meaning "the above letter on Purim" (compare Esth. ix. 20, 29).

This letter was taken to Egypt by Dositheus—who called himself a priest and Levite (?)—and his son Ptolemy, who maintained that it was the original (Apocr. Esther). Lysimachus, Ptolemy's son, an inhabitant of Jerusalem, translated the letter in the fourth year of the reign of Ptolemy and Cleopatra (according to some in 455; see Fritzsche, l.c. pp. 72 et seq.). Four Ptolemies had wives by the name of Cleopatra (Epiphanes, Philometor, Physkon, and Soter). Soter II. lived about that time; but all these notices are untrustworthy; compare, on the date of the letter, Jacob in Stade's "Zeitschrift," x. 274-290, especially p. 279.

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Rosh Ha Shanah

ROSH HA-SHANAH: By : Wilhelm Bacher Ludwig A. Rosenthal

ARTICLE HEADINGS:
  • The Shofar.
  • The Tosefta.
Eighth treatise of the order Mo'ed; it contains (1) the most important rules concerning the calendar year together with a description of the inauguration of the months by the nasi and ab bet din; (2) laws on the form and use of the shofar and on the service during the Rosh ha-Shanah feast.

Contents.

The old numerical Mishnah commences with an account of the four beginnings of the religious and the civil year (i. 1); it speaks of the four judgment-days of the pilgrim festivals and Rosh ha-Shanah (i. 2); of the six months in which the messengers of the Sanhedrin announce the month (i. 3); of the two months the beginnings of which witnesses announce to the Sanhedrin even on the Sabbath (i. 4), and even if the moon is visible to every one (i. 5); Gamaliel even sent on the Sabbath for forty pairs of witnesses from a distance (i. 6); when father and son (who as relatives may otherwise not witness together) behold the new moon they must set out for the bet din (i. 7), since they do not absolutely belong to those that are legally unfit for this purpose (i. 8). The weak and sick are borne on litters, and are protected against the attacks of the Sadducees; they must be provided with food, for witnesses are bound to journey even on the Sabbath (i. 9). Others went along to identify the unknown (ii. 1). In olden times bonfire-signals on the mountains announced to all as far as Babylon that the month had been sanctified. The custom of having witnesses and messengers was introduced after the Sadducees had attempted to practise deception (ii. 2, 3, 4).

The large court called "Bet Ya'azek" was the assembly-place for the witnesses (ii. 5); bountiful repasts awaited them, and dispensations from the Law were granted to them (ii. 6); the first pair of witnesses was questioned separately concerning the appearance of the moon, and other witnesses cursorily (ii. 7). Then the ab bet din called out to a large assembly, "Sanctified!" all the people crying out aloud after him (ii. 8). Gamaliel II. had representations of the moon which he showed to the witnesses. Once there arose a dispute between him and Joshua regarding the Tishri moon; the latter, in obedience to the nasi, came on foot to Jamnia on the day which he had calculated to be the Day of Atonement, and the two scholars made peace (iii.). There were various obstacles to the sanctification of the months, as when time was lacking for the ceremony, or when there were no witnesses present before the bet din. In the first case the following day became the new moon; in the second case the bet din alone performed the sanctification.

The Shofar.

The Mishnah treats also of the shofar (iii. 2); the horn of the cow may not be used (iii. 3); the form of the trumpet for Rosh ha-Shanah, the fast-day, and Yobel is determined (iii. 5); injuries to the shofar and the remedies are indicated (iii. 6); in times of danger the people that pray assemble in pits and caves (iii. 7); they pass the house of worship only on the outside while the trumpets sound (iii. 8); they are exhorted to be firm by being reminded of Moses' uplifted hands in the war with the Amalekites. In such times the deaf-mutes, insane, and children are legally unfit for blowing the trumpets.

Even if the festival fell on the Sabbath, Johanan ben Zakkai had the trumpets blown at Jamnia, while at one time this was done only in the Temple and the surrounding places (iv. 1); he also fixed the lulab outside of the Temple for seven days, and forbade the eating of new grain on the second day of Passover (iv. 2); he extended the time for examining witnesses until the evening, and had them come to Jamnia even in the absence of the ab bet din (iv. 3). The Mishnah then treats of the order of the prayers (iv. 4), of the succession of the Malkuyot, Zikronot, and Shoferot, of the Bible sentences concerning the kingdom of God, Providence, and the trumpet-call of the future (iv. 5), and of the leader in prayer and his relation to the teki'ah (iv. 6); descriptions of the festival are given in reference to the shofar (iv. 7); then follows the order of the traditional trumpet-sounds (iv. 8); and remarks on the duties of the leader in prayer and of the congregation close the treatise (iv. 9).

The Tosefta.

Curious as is the order of subjects followed in this treatise, in which several mishnaic sources have been combined, the Tosefta follows it, adding comments that form the basis of the Gemara in both Talmuds. The contents of the Mishnah with the corresponding sections of the Tosefta are as follows: General calendar for the year, i. 1-4 = Tosef. i. 1-13. Regulations concerning the months' witnesses, i. 5-ii. 1 (connecting with i. 4) = Tosef. i. 15-ii. 1 (abbreviated). Historical matter regarding fire-signals and messengers and their reception on the Sabbath, ii. 2-6 = Tosef. ii. 2 (abbreviated). The continuation of the laws of ii. 1 concerning witnesses (ii. 7, 8), and the questioning of witnesses, and the sanctification of the months are entirely lacking in the Tosefta. Historical data concerning Gamaliel and the disputewith Joshua, ii. 8-9 = Tosef. ii. 3 (a mere final sentence). Continuation of the laws of ii. 7 concerning witnesses, iii. 1 = Tosef. iii. 1, 2. Regulations regarding the shofar and its use, iii. 2-5 = Tosef. iii. 3-6a. Haggadic sentence on devotion = Tosef. iii. 6b. Final remarks on the shofar and on its obligations, iii. 6-end = Tosef. iv. 1. Ordinances of Johanan ben Zakkai concerning Rosh ha-Shanah and the Sabbath, and other matters = Tosef. iv. 2. Order of worship, iv. 5-end = Tosef. iv. 4-end. Mishnah ii. 7 seems to have been transposed according to Tosef. iv. 3, but it belongs there according to its contents.

In quoting many of Gamaliel's ordinances the Mishnah emphasizes the authority of the patriarchal house by recounting the dispute between the patriarch and his deputy Joshua and showing how the latter was forced to yield. The Tosefta omits the ordinances of Gamaliel and of Johanan ben Zakhai, and the dispute of the two leaders of the school-house, nor does it mention anything of the power of any tannaitic dignitary; the Tosefta is here a product of the time of the Amoraim. The dignity of the nasi is not emphasized, because acumen and scholarship prevailed in the schoolhouse, and there was no desire to let old precedences (see 'Eduyot) come to the fore again. Even the Mishnah contains some additions from the time of the Amoraim (see, for example, iv. 2, where a gap must be filled from the Tosefta).

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Purim

PURIM: By : Kaufmann Kohler Henry Malter

ARTICLE HEADINGS:
  • Non-Religious Character.
  • Reading of the Megillah.
  • The Megillah—How Read.
  • Social Customs.
  • Feasting.
  • Masquerading.
  • Songs.
  • Boisterousness in the Synagogue.
  • Burning of Haman's Effigy.
  • Fasting Before and After Purim.
  • Purim katan.
Jewish feast celebrated annually on the l4th, and in Shushan, Persia, also on the 15th, of Adar, in commemoration of the deliverance of the Persian Jews from the plot of Haman to exterminate them, as recorded in the Book of Esther. According to that book the feast was instituted as a national one by Mordecai and Esther. For a critical view of Purim see Esther. In the present article are treated only the various features of the feast as developed after its institution.

Non-Religious Character.

Aside from the much-mooted question whether Purim is of Jewish or of heathen origin, it is certain that, as it appears in the Book of Esther, the festival is altogether devoid of religious spirit—an anomaly in Jewish religious history. This is due to the worldly spirit of the Book of Esther. The only religious allusions therein are the mention of fasting in iv. 16 and ix. 31, and perhaps the expression of confidence in the deliverance of Israel in iv. 14. This secular character has on the whole been most prominent in this festival at all times. Like hanukkah, it has never been universally considered a religious holy day, in spite of the fact that it is designated by the term "yom-tob" (Esth. ix. 19, 22.). Accordingly business transactions and even manual labor are allowed on Purim, although in certain places restrictions have beenimposed on work (Shulhan 'Aruk, Orah hayyim, 696).

Nevertheless Purim has been held in high esteem at all times and in all countries, some even maintaining that when all the prophetical and hagiographical works shall be forgotten the Book of Esther will still be remembered, and, accordingly, the Feast of Purim will continue to be observed (Yer. Meg. i. 5a; Maimonides, "Yad," Megillah, iii. 18; comp. Schudt, "Jüdische Merkwürdigkeiten," ii. 311). It is also claimed that Purim is as great as the day on which the Torah was given on Sinai ("Mordekai" on B. M. ix., end; comp. Lampronti, "Pahad Yizhak," s.v. "Purim"). In Italy the Jews, it seems, have even used the word "Purim" as a family name, which also proves the high esteem that the festival enjoys among them (Vogelstein and Rieger, "Gesch. der Juden in Rom," ii. 420; but comp. Steinschneider in "Monatsschrift," 1903, p. 175).

The Book of Esther does not prescribe any religious service for Purim; it enjoins only the annual celebration of the feast among the Jews on the 14th and 15th of Adar, commanding that they should "make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor." It seems, therefore, that the observance of Purim was at first merely of a convivial and social nature. Gradually it assumed religious features.

Reading of the Megillah.

The first religious ceremony ordained for the celebration of Purim is the reading of the Book of Esther in the synagogue, a regulation ascribed in the Talmud (Meg. 2a) to the "Men of the Great Synod," of which Mordecai is reported to have been a member. Originally this enactment was for the 14th of Adar only; later, however, R. Joshua b. Levi (3d cent.) prescribed that the Megillah should be read on the eve of Purim also. Further, he obliged women to attend the reading of the Megillah, inasmuch as it was a woman, Queen Esther, through whom the miraculous deliverance of the Jews was accomplished (Meg. 4a; see, however, Yer. Meg. ii. 5, where this law is reported in the name of Bar kappara; comp. "R. E. J." xxxii. 42).

In the Mishnah there is a difference of opinion as to how much of the Megillalh one must read in order to discharge one's duty. According to R. Judah, the portion from ii. 5 to the end suffices; others considered the portion from iii. 1, or even from vi. 1, to the end sufficient; while R. Meïr demanded the reading of the entire scroll, and his view was accepted in the Talmud (Meg. 19a). In some congregations it was customary to read the first portion of the Megillah, i.-vi., at the "outgoing of the first Sabbath" in Adar and the rest on the outgoing of the second Sabbath of that month. In other places the whole Megillah was read on the outgoing of the second Sabbath (Soferim xiv. 18). In some places it was read on the 15th of Adar also (ib. xxi. 8), for example, at Tyre (comp. Zunz, "Ritus", p. 56). According to the Mishnah, the "villagers" were permitted for the sake of convenience to read the Megillah on the Monday or Thursday of the Purim week, on which days they came to the towns for divine service.
(see image) Purim Players.(From Leusden, "Philologus Hebræo-Mixtus," 1657.)

In the Mishnah the recitation of a benediction either before or after the reading of the Megillah is not yet a universally recognized obligation. The Talmud, however, prescribed three benedictions before and one after the reading (comp. Meg. 21b; Yer. Meg. iv. 1; Masseket Soferim xiv. 5, 6, where the formulas for the closing benediction differ; comp. also Shulhan 'Aruk, Orah hayyim, 692, 1). The Talmud added other provisions also in connectionwith the reading of the Megillah. For example, the reader was to pronounce the names of the ten sons of Haman (Esth. ix. 7-10) in one breath, to indicate their simultaneous death (Meg. 16b; Orah hayyim, 690, 15). The congregation was to recite aloud with the reader the verses ii. 5, viii. 15-16, and x. 3, which relate the origin of Mordecai and his triumph (Abudarham, ed. Amsterdam, 1726, p. 76; Orah hayyim, l.c.). This rule is of geonic origin (see Brück, "Pharisaische Volkssitten," p. 158). Saadia Gaon demanded that only the first two verses of the four mentioned above be read aloud; and this was the custom in Spain (Abudarham, l.c.).
(see image) "Haman Klopfers" Used on Purim Feast by Jewish Children of Russia.(From "Globus.")

The Megillah—How Read.

The Megillah is read with a traditional chant differing from that used in the reading of the pericopes or the Pentateuch. In some places, however, it is not chanted, but is read like a letter, because of the name "iggeret" (epistle) which is applied (Esth. ix. 26, 29) to the Book of Esther (comp. Judah 'Ayyash, "Bet Yehudah," No. 23, Leghorn, 1747). For the same reason it has been also customary since the time of the Geonim to unroll the whole Megillah before reading it, in order to give it the appearance of an epistle (Orah hayyim, 690, 17; comp. Brück, l.c. p. 159).

Finally, it is to be mentioned that the Megillah may be read in any language intelligible to the audience. In Hebrew and also in Greek it may be read even when not understood (Meg. 18a; Orah hayyim, 690, 8-12; see, however, Soferim xxi. 8, where it is said that all Israel is in duty bound to read the Megillah in Hebrew). In Saragossa the Megillah was read in Spanish, a practise against which Isaac ben Sheshet (Responsa, Nos. 388-391) and Nissim Gerondi protested (see Grätz, "Gesch." viii. 35; Abrahams, "Jewish Life in the Middle Ages," pp. 345 et seq.; Steinschneider, in "Monatsschrift," 1903, p. 178). Talking during the public recitation was prohibited (Orah hayyim, 692, 2). According to the Mishnah (Meg. 30b), In addition to the Megillah Ex. xvii. 8-16, the story of the attack on the Jews by Amalek, the progenitor of Haman, is to be read.

Purim gave rise to many religious compositions, some of which were incorporated into the liturgy. For the large number of hymns intended for the public service as well as other writings (dramas, plays, etc.) intended for general edification, both in Hebrew and in other languages, see the exhaustive study by M. Steinschneider, "Purim und Parodie," in "Monatsschrift," xlvi.-xlviii., Index, especially xlvi. 279 et seq., 372 et seq.; for Karaitic rites see ib. pp. 373 et seq.

Social Customs.

As pointed out above, the Book of Esther prescribed "the sending of portions one to another, and gifts to the poor." This became in the course of time one of the most prominent features of the celebration of Purim. Jews sent gifts of food, especially dainties, to one another; and the poor were made recipients of charity. In the synagogue, too, regular collections were made on the festival, and the money so procured was distributed among the needy. No distinction was to be made among the poor; any one who was willing to accept, even a non-Jew, was to be allowed to participate (Orah. hayyim, 694). It was obligatory upon the poorest Jew, even on one who was himself dependent on charity, to give to other poor—at least to two (ib.). In some congregations it is customary to place a box ("kuppah") in the vestibule of the synagogue into which every one may put the half of the unit coin ("mahazit ha-shekel") of the country, corresponding to the half-shekel which, had been given to the Temple in Adar (ib.). The general provision is for every one to give three halves; but some give according to the number of persons in the family (comp. Jehiel Epstein, "kizzur Shene Luhot ha-Berit," p. 105b, Amsterdam, 1701). The amount of money thus distributed on Purim by wealthy members of the community often reached very large sums (see Steinschneider, l.c. xlvi. 180 et seq.). Dedications of works appear among the various forms of Purim presents (ib. and xlvii. 174 et seq., Nos. 5, 7, 19)
(see image) Purim Players at Prague, Early Eighteenth Century.(From a contemporary drawing.)

Feasting.

The national rather than the religious character of the festival made it appear appropriate to celebratethe occasion by feasting. Hence it was the rule to have at least one festive meal, called "se'udat Purim," toward the evening of the 14th (Meg. 7b; Orah hayyim, 695, 1). In this connection it may be mentioned that for the celebration of Purim there developed among the Jews a special kind of baking. Cakes were shaped into certain forms and were given names having some symbolic bearing on the historical events of Purim. Thus the Jews of Germany eat " Hamantaschen" and "Hamanohren" (in Italy, "orrechi d'Aman"), "Kreppchen," "Kindchen," etc. (comp. Steinschneider, l.c. xlvii. 177, 360 et seq.). The jovial character of the feast was forcibly illustrated in the saying of the Talmud (Meg. 7b) that one should drink on Purim until he can no longer distinguish "Cursed be Haman" from "Blessed be Mordecai," a saying which was codified in the Shulhan 'Aruk (ib.), but which was later ingeniously explained as referring to the letters occurring in the sentences and , in each of which the numerical value of the letters amounts to 502 (comp. Abudarham, l.c.; Lewin, "Gesch. der Juden in Lissa," p. 212, Pinne, 1904). While the Jews have always been noted for abstemiousness in the use of intoxicants, drunkenness was licensed, so to speak, on Purim, to comply with the command which seemed to lie in the Biblical term "mishteh" (drink) applied to Purim (Abudarham, l.c.). It is, therefore, not surprising that all kinds of merry-making, often verging on frivolity, have been indulged in on Purim, so that among the masses it has become almost a general rule that "on Purim everything is allowed" (comp. Steinschneider, l.c. p. 186), even transgressions of a Biblical law, such as the appearance of men in women's attire and vice versa, which is strictly prohibited in Deut. xxii. 5. This went so far that if through exuberance of spirits a man inflicted damage on the property of another on Purim he was not compelled to repair it (Orah hayyim, l.c., and the references there given).

Masquerading.
(see image) Observance of Purim in a German Synagogue of the Eighteenth Century.(From Bodenschatz, "Kirchliche Verfassung," 1748.)

One of the strangest species of merrymaking was the custom of masquerading, which was first introduced among the Italian Jews about the close of the fifteenth century under the influence of the Roman carnival. From Italy this custom spread over all countries where Jews lived, except perhaps the Orient (Steinschneider, l.c. p. 181; xlvii. 469, No. 9). The first among Jewish authors to mention this custom is Judah Minz (d. 1508 at Venice) in his Responsa, No. 17, quoted by Isserles on Orah hayyim, 696, 8. He expresses the opinion that, since the purpose of the masquerade is only merrymaking, it should not be considered a transgression of the Biblical law regarding dress. Although some rigorous authorities issued prohibitions against this custom (comp. Isaiah Horowitz, "Shene Luhot ha-Berit," 261b, Amsterdam, 1653), the people did not heed them, and the more lenient view prevailed (comp. Isserles, l.c., and Lampronti, l.c.). The custom still obtains among the Orthodox Jews of the eastern parts of Europe. Boys and girls walk from house to house in grotesque masks and indulge in all kinds of jollity. As a rule, they sing some comic doggerel, e.g., "heut' is Purim, morgen is aus, gebt mir a Kreuzer, und werft mich hinaus"; and theyare often given a few coins (comp. Steinschneider, l.c. xlvi. 176, 182).

Songs.

Purim songs have even been introduced into the synagogue. For the children's sake certain verses from the Book of Esther have been sung in chorus on Purim (Abrahams, l.c. p. 33).

Boisterousness in the Synagogue.

Indeed, Purim was an occasion on which much joyous license was permitted even within the walls of the synagogue itself. As such may be reckoned the boisterous hissing, stamping, and rattling, during the public service, at the mention of Haman or his sons, as well as the whistling at the mention of Mordecai by the reader of the Megillah. This practise traces its origin to French and German rabbis of the thirteenth century, who, in accordance with a passage in the Midrash, where the verse "Thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek" (Deut. xxv. 19) is explained to mean "even from wood and stones," introduced the custom of writing the name of Haman, the offspring of Amalek, on two smooth stones and of knocking or rubbing them constantly until the name was blotted out. Ultimately, however, the stones fell into disuse, the knocking alone remaining (Abudarham, l.c.; Brück, l.c.; see, however, Löw,"Lebensalter," p. 297, also p. 291, No. 10). Some wrote the name of Haman on the soles of their shoes, and at the mention of the name stamped with their feet as a sign of contempt; others used for the same purpose a rattle—called "gregar" (= Polish, "grzégarz"), and producing much noise—a custom which is still observed by the Russo-Polish Jews. Some of the rabbis protested against these uproarious excesses, considering them a sinful disturbance of public worship (comp., for example, Isaiah Horowitz, l.c. pp. 260a, 261a, below), but often in vain (see Brück, l.c., and Zunz, "Ritus," P. 69).

Burning of Haman's Effigy.

Outside the synagogue the pranks indulged in on Purim by both children and adults have been carried even to a greater extreme. Some of them date from the Talmudic period (see, e.g., the tale in Meg. 7b; Sanh. 64b and Rashi ad loc.; comp. also "'Aruk," s.v. and Abudarham, l.c.). As early as the fifth century (see Schudt, l.c. ii. 309), and especially in the geonic period (9th and 10th cent.), it was a custom to burn Haman in effigy on Purim. This is described in the "'Arnk" (l.c.) as follows: "Four or five days before Purim the young men make an effigy of Haman and hang it on the roof. On Purim itself they make a bonfire into which they cast the effigy while they stand around joking and singing, at the same time holding a ring above the fire and waving it from side to side through the fire" (see Ginzberg in "J. Q. R." xvi. 650; Abudarham, l.c.; Brück, l.c.). In Italy the Jewish children used to range themselves in rows, and pelt one another with nuts; while the adults rode through the streets with fir-branches in their hands, shouted, or blew trumpets round a doll representing Haman and which was finally burned with due solemnity at the stake (Abrahams, l.c. p. 260; and especially Güdemann, "Gesch." p. 211, Vienna, 1884). In Frankfort-on-the-Main it was customary to make a house of wax wherein the figures of Haman and his executioner, also of wax, were placed side by side. The whole was then put on the almemar, where stood also the wax figures of Zeresh, the wife of Haman, and two guards—one to her right and the other to her left—all attired in a flimsy manner, and with pipes in their mouths. As soon as the reader began to read the Megillah the house with all its occupants was set on fire to the enjoyment of the spectators (comp. Schudt, l.c. ii. 309; S. Cassel, "Juden," in Ersch and Gruber, "Encyc." section ii., part 27, pp. 78 et seq.).

It must be mentioned here that these customs often aroused the wrath of Christians, who interpreted them as a disguised attempt to ridicule Jesus and the cross and issued prohibitions against them; e.g., under the reign of Honorius (395-423) and of Theodosius II. (408-450; comp. Schudt, l.c. ii. 309, 317, and Cassel, l.c.). Moreover, the Rabbis themselves, to avoid danger, tried to abolish the obnoxious customs, often even calling the magistracy to their aid, as in London in 1783 (see Mahamad).

Fasting Before and After Purim.

Finally, it must be stated that the Fast of Esther, celebrated before Purim, on the 13th of Adar, is not an original part of the latter, nor was it later instituted "in commemoration of the fasting of Esther, Mordecai, and the people" (Hastings, "Dict. Bible, " i. 854, col. 2), since this fasting fell, according to rabbinical tradition, in the month of Nisan and lasted three days. The first who mentions it is R. Aha of Shabha (8th cent.) in "She'eltot," iv.; and the reason there given for its institution is based on an arbitrary interpretation of Esth. ix. 18 and Meg. 2a, "The 13th was the time of gathering," which gathering is explained to have had also the purpose of public prayer and fasting (comp. Asheri on Meg. i., beginning; Abudarham, l.c. p. 94; Brück, l.c. pp. 56 et seq.; and Berliner, in "Kaufmann Gedenkbuch," p. 270, Breslau, 1900). Some, however, used to fast three days in commemoration of the fasting of Esther; but as fasting was prohibited during the month of Nisan (see Soferim xxi. 2) the first and second Mondays and the Thursday following Purim were chosen (ib. xvii. 4, xxi. 1; Orah hayyim, 686, 3). The fast on the 13th is still commonly observed; but when that date falls on a Sabbath the fast is put back to Thursday, Friday being needed to prepare for the Sabbath and the following Purim festival (Abudarham, l.c. p. 94b; Orah hayyim, 686).

Purim katan.

In leap-years Purim is celebrated in the second Adar, but by the Karaites in the first; the respective days of the first Adar being then called "Purim katan" (Little Purim), for which there have been set forth certain observances similar to those for Purim proper, with the exception of reading the Megillah, sending gifts to the poor, and fasting on the 13th of the month. The distinctions between the first and the second Purim in leap-years are mentioned in the Mishnah (Meg. i. 46b; comp. Orah hayyim, 697).

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Flavius Josephus - Antagonism of John of Giscala

Antagonism of John of Giscala.

John's next scheme was to have Josephus accused before the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem. The most influential members, being convinced of Josephus' guilt, sent four of their number with a force of 2,500 men to depose him. He, however, pretended to be occupied with preparations for war; and the delegates could not see him. Several Galileans went voluntarily to Jerusalem to demand the recall of the envoys. The latter then ordained a day for general fasting and prayer in Tiberias, but Josephus fell upon his opponents with his armed guards. A few days afterward messengers from Jerusalem brought letters in which the leaders of the people confirmed him in his position as governor of Galilee. He sent the Sanhedrin delegates back to Jerusalem in chains, and subdued by force the inhabitants of Tiberias, who were in revolt against him ("B. J." ii. 21, § 7; "Vita," §§ 38-64). They, however, still refused to recognize Josephus; but by a ruse he again overcame them ("B. J." ib. §§ 8-10; "Vita," §§ 32-34; comp. §§ 68, 69).

Sepphoris now asked for and received a Roman garrison in order to be safe from the rebels. Josephus, who was obliged to heed the insistence of his followers, tried to punish the city before the Romans arrived; but hearing that the last-named were on the way he beat a retreat. When the troop sent by Cestius Gallus had entered Sepphoris, it was no longer possible for Josephus to storm the city. A few days later the Romans made a sortie, and Josephus was defeated ("Vita," §§ 67-71). He was more successful against Sylla, a lieutenant of King Agrippa, whom he put to flight beyond the Jordan (ib. §§ 72, 73).

In the spring of 67 the Romans under Vespasian and Titus began the war. Josephus was encamped near the village of Garis, not far from Sepphoris; but he was forced to draw back upon Tiberias because his men had fled at the approach of the Romans (ib. § 71; "B. J." iii. 6, §§ 2-3). He demanded of Jerusalem whether or not he should treat with Vespasian, and asked for reenforcements. The Sanhedrin was unable to comply with his request; and Josephus entrenched his troops at Jotapata (May, 67), which place was besieged by Vespasian on the following day. Josephus had recourse to all possible stratagems; but in spite of these and of marvelous deeds of valor performed by the defenders, the Romans, after a siege of forty-seven days, forced their way into the city, which with the fortifications was razed to the ground (July, 67). Josephus escaped into a cistern connected with a cave in which he found forty soldiers. Their hiding-place was discovered; and Josephus, whose life had been assured to him by the Romans through the intervention of a friend named Nicanor, escaped only by playing a trick on his companions. He persuaded them to kill each other after drawing lots, but arranged to be the last, and then surrendered to the Romans with one companion ("B. J." iii. 8, §§ 1-8). Led before Vespasian, Josephus, asserting earnestly that he possessed the prophetic gift, prophesied that that general would become emperor (ib. § 9). According to the Talmud, Johanan b. Zakkai had made the same prophecy, and heathen priests had foretold the accession of Vespasian and Titus to the imperial throne (see Schürer, "Gesch." i. 613). Josephus' actions from this time on do not cover him with glory; and the suspicion of treachery rests heavily upon him.

Josephus

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chattels

CHATTELS:

By : Marcus Jastrow Lewis N. Dembitz


In English and American law property is divided into two kinds: real or landed, and personal or chattels; in Continental law, into immovable and movable. Jewish law speaks of "karka'ot" (ground) and "mittaltelin" (movables). Slaves are included in the former; demands on other persons, in the latter, though in many respects the law governing the ownership and incidents of bonds ("shetarot") or other demands differs from the law of tangible, bodily chattels, as has been shown in the article Alienation. Lands and slaves are sometimes joined together under the name of "property which has responsibility" ("sharayot"), chattels, bond, and, other demands as property having none; because, under the Talmudic law (see Deeds), a properly written and attested bond became as soon as delivered a lien on all of the debtor's lands, but not on his chattels and effects, and because, moreover, after the death of the debtor, only lands and slaves, not chattels or demands, were liable to his creditors. During the Middle Ages, however, as a matter of necessity, goods, moneys, and effects were made liable for the decedent's debts (see Debts; compare hoshen Mishpat, 107, 1).

Since the non-observance of the Jubilee there has been no difference in the laws of descent (see Agnates) between landed estate and chattels. They form together one mass, as they do in countries having a system of civil law. The modes of Alienation and Acquisition are different, as has been shown in the article under that caption. Moreover, a sale of chattels can be set aside or corrected for Overreaching on the sole ground of inadequacy or excessive price, while the law of overreaching ("ona'ah") does not apply to either lands or bonds. These broad distinctions are readily found in the Mishnah kid. i. 1-6, and B. M. iv. 1-9; for details see the articles under the captions indicated above.

Judaic, Archeology and Biblical

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Chattels

CHATTELS:

By : Marcus Jastrow Lewis N. Dembitz


In English and American law property is divided into two kinds: real or landed, and personal or chattels; in Continental law, into immovable and movable. Jewish law speaks of "karka'ot" (ground) and "mittaltelin" (movables). Slaves are included in the former; demands on other persons, in the latter, though in many respects the law governing the ownership and incidents of bonds ("shetarot") or other demands differs from the law of tangible, bodily chattels, as has been shown in the article Alienation. Lands and slaves are sometimes joined together under the name of "property which has responsibility" ("sharayot"), chattels, bond, and, other demands as property having none; because, under the Talmudic law (see Deeds), a properly written and attested bond became as soon as delivered a lien on all of the debtor's lands, but not on his chattels and effects, and because, moreover, after the death of the debtor, only lands and slaves, not chattels or demands, were liable to his creditors. During the Middle Ages, however, as a matter of necessity, goods, moneys, and effects were made liable for the decedent's debts (see Debts; compare hoshen Mishpat, 107, 1).

Since the non-observance of the Jubilee there has been no difference in the laws of descent (see Agnates) between landed estate and chattels. They form together one mass, as they do in countries having a system of civil law. The modes of Alienation and Acquisition are different, as has been shown in the article under that caption. Moreover, a sale of chattels can be set aside or corrected for Overreaching on the sole ground of inadequacy or excessive price, while the law of overreaching ("ona'ah") does not apply to either lands or bonds. These broad distinctions are readily found in the Mishnah kid. i. 1-6, and B. M. iv. 1-9; for details see the articles under the captions indicated above.

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Duress

DURESS

By : Louis Ginzberg Lewis N. Dembitz


In law, the use of such unlawful force against a contracting party as will entitle him to rescind a contract. The rabbinical law on this subject goes back to the wars of Vespasian and Titus, when many Jews, in order to save their lives, gave up their lands to armed robbers ("sikarikin" = daggermen; Git. v. 6).

From several Talmudic passages (compare B. B. 40b, 47b; B. k. 62a) the standards have drawn the following rules:(Maimonides, "Yad," Mekirah, x.; much to the same effect is Shulhan 'Aruk, hoshen Mishpat, 305).

"If one has been put under duress until he sells, and takes the purchase-money, even if they hang him up till he sells, yet the sale is valid, whether of movables or of lands, and this though the price has not been accepted before witnesses. Hence he should make his protest before two witnesses, and say to them: 'Know ye that I sell this field [or this article] under compulsion.' If the seller does this, the sale may be set aside after many years' possession, and the buyer must make restoration. But the witnesses must know of their own knowledge that force was used; and when the protest is written out to be signed by them, it should recite such knowledge on their part. This refers only to a sale of property or to the compromise of a claim; but a gift of property, or the free release of a claim, is void whenever the donor or releasor protests his unwillingness at the time, though he be not under duress at all. Beating or other bodily violence is not the only form of duress; duress may consist in the threat of any harm which it is in the power of the other party to inflict. . . . But no protest is necessary to prevent the possession of land which is taken by sheer violence from ripening into a title by prescription. An admission made by the seller after the protest does not estop; for it is presumed that he was forced to make it"

What has been said as to deeds or other acts of conveyance would, with proper changes, apply to bonds or promises of payment made under compulsion; but the case of sale under duress, being that which occurs most frequently, has been especially treated here.

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Jewish Sale

SALE.

By : Joseph Jacobs Lewis N. Dembitz

ARTICLE HEADINGS:
—Of Land:
Inclusive Sale.
General Rule.
Measures.
Sales of Vacant Lots and of Tombs.
—Of Chattels:
Inclusive Sale.
Dispute as to Price.



—Of Land:

The steps by which the title to land is changed in a gift or sale have been shown under Alienation. The conveyance might be by deed ("shetar"), for the requisites of which see Deed. It remains to be shown how the object conveyed is described, and how the words describing it are construed.

It was so usual for the ownership of houses to be divided (mostly among coheirs), one man owning the rooms on the ground floor and another the upper story, that the maxim of the Roman law "cujus estsolum, ejus est usque ad cœlum" was not applied to buildings. Two chapters of the Mishnah (B. B. iv., v.) define the meaning of words applied to the objects of a sale. Such of these definitions as refer to land or to things annexed thereto are here given, though most of them are only of archeologic interest.

Inclusive Sale.

(1)

He who sells a house ("bayit") does not sell the separate wainscot walls, nor a movable interior closet, nor a roof with a railing more than ten hands in height, nor a dug cistern, nor a walled cistern. In order to include these, the words "from the abyss below to the sky above" are necessary, "depth and height" not being sufficient.

According to the prevailing opinion of R. Akiba, the purchaser, if the cistern is included, has the exclusive right of way to it; and where the cistern alone is sold, the right of way to it passes to the purchaser by implication. He who sells a house sells the door, but not the key; he sells a mortar attached to the ground, but not a movable one; he sells also the base for a mill, but not the hollow stone receptacle, nor the baking-oven or cooking-hearth (all these being considered personalty); but where the seller says "the house and all that is in it," all these things pass in the sale. Where one sells a "court" he sells the houses, cistern, pit, and cellar, but not the movables; however, if he sells "the court and all that is in it," everything is sold excepting the bath-house and the oil-press in the court. He who sells an oil-press (let into the ground) sells the "sea" (the hollow stone which receives the olives), the stone roller, and the "maidens" (the cedar frame on which the beams rest), but not the planks (for weighting down the olive-bags), nor the wheel (for turning the press), nor the cross-beam; but if the seller says "the oil-press and all within it" everything passes.

He who sells a bath-house does not sell the shelves (for clothes), nor the benches, nor the curtains (? bathing-wrappers). If he says "the bath-house and what is in it," these things are sold, but not the pipes which conduct water to the bath, nor the stock of fuel on hand.

He who sells a town sells the houses, cisterns, pits, and cellars, the bath-houses and dove-cots, the olive-presses and the "gardens and orchards" (?), but not the movables therein; but if he says "the town and all that is in it," even the slaves and cattle that may be in the town are regarded as having been included in the sale.

He who sells a field or a vineyard sells the stones that are there for its needs, and the canes in the vine-yard (necessary to prop the vines), and the crops still standing, and a cane fence enclosing less than a "quarter" (see Weights and Measures), and a watchman's lodge not made of mud, and carob-trees that have not been grafted, and the young, uncut sycamores; but he does not sell stones not needed for the field, nor canes not in use in the vineyard, nor the crop that has been cut. If, however, he says "the field and all that is within it," everything is sold with the exception of the following: a place fenced about with cane and of more than a quarter's contents (this being considered a separate field), a watchman's lodge built of mud (it being deemed a house), grafted carob-trees or improved sycamores, a cistern or an oil-press, whether dry or in use, and a dove-cot. And, according to the prevailing opinion of Akiba, the seller must obtain from the buyer a right of way (to reach the cistern and oil-press), with the same incidents and exceptions as in the sale of a house.

All these rules apply to the terms of a sale; but a gift is construed more liberally, so as to comprise everything in and upon the ground. Where brothers divide an estate, he who receives a named field for his share is entitled to everything upon it.

General Rule.

The rules here given for special cases may be generalized thus: Where a house, field, etc., are sold simply, nothing passes which bears a special name, whether real estate in itself or not, nor anything that is not attached bodily to the ground. If the words "and all that is in it" or "on it" are added, such parts as are always known by a separate name, and such movables as are not permanently on the place but are changed from day to day, are still excluded.

The dispute between Akiba and his contemporaries about the right of way turns on the question (ib. 64b) whether the seller sells "with a kindly eye" or "with an evil eye"; that is, whether his words are to be interpreted so as to enlarge the scope of the sale or so as to restrict it. The former view prevails.

(2)

So far the Mishnah deals with the incidents of a house, court, town, field, etc. But B.B.v., § 4 presents the inverse case of the sale of single trees (this includes grape-vines), which may carry with them the underlying and surrounding land—an idea not strange in Syria, where even to-day single fruit-trees are often owned separately. With the aid of the comments in the Talmud (ib. 81-83) the law may be stated thus: "He who buys two trees in the midst of another man's field does not thereby buy the soil [R. Meïr says he does]. If the branches spread out too far, the owner of the soil must not trim them, though they shade his land; for by selling the trees he has put a servitude on his land. What grows out from the trunk belongs to the owner of the tree; whatever shoots come above the ground out of the roots belong to the land-owner; and, if the trees die, their owner has no further right to the soil. But when a man buys three trees, not less than four cubits and not more than sixteen apart, and placed in a triangle, he acquires the soil under them and a path around them wide enough for a fruit-gatherer with his basket. If the branches spread beyond this space, they should be trimmed. If the trees should die, the soil belongs to their owner, who may plant others in their places.

(3)

Executory sales, in which land is sold by measure, and has to be laid off, or buildings are contracted for by name, to be put up thereafter, have still to be considered (see ib. vi., vii.).

Measures.

"When one says to his companion 'I sell thee a named measure of soil,' and there are holes ten palms in depth, or rocks rising more than ten palms in height, these are not counted in the measure. Smaller holes or lower rocks are measured as part of the soil sold; but if the words are 'I sell about such a measure,' then holes and protruding rocksare all measured along with the rest" (thus the Mishnah; but in the Gemara this statement concerning smaller holes or standing rocks is limited as to quantity and position). When one says "I sell thee a named quantity [e.g., enough for a kor of seed, i.e., 75,000 square cubits) chain measure," the seller, if he gives any less, no matter how little, must make a rebate; if he gives any more, the buyer must return it. But if one sells a named quantity "more or less," should there be a deficit of as much as one part in thirty, the contract is filled; if the difference is greater, an account must be taken. It seems that the naming of a quantity without adding "chain measure" is of the same import as if the words "more or less" were added (ib. 104a).

Where an excess is to be corrected the buyer may return the surplus land; but where the excess is small (the Mishnah names the measure of nine kabs for a field, and a half-kab for a garden) the returned land would do the seller no good; hence the sages require the buyer to rectify the mistake in money. In case of deficit, the seller, of course, returns a part of the price pro rata.

Where both the expressions "chain measure" and "more or less" are used, according to the eminent lawyer Ben Nannos, the expression used first in the contract should prevail, the other falling to the ground; but the prevailing opinion is that the doubt is resolved against the buyer. Where the sale is made according to monuments and metes and bounds, and the quantity stated disagrees with the description, if the discrepancy is more than one-sixth it must be corrected; if less, the sale, stands (see Ona'ah).

Where one says "I sell thee half my field," one-half in value is meant; but the seller has the privilege of choosing the smaller portion from the best land. If the proposition is "I sell thee the southern half," the southern half by area is estimated. The seller may then give to the buyer the equivalent of that area from any part of the land; and the buyer takes in his part the space for dividing fence and ditch.

Sales of Vacant Lots and of Tombs.

(4)

He who sells to another a place whereon to build a house, or he who contracts with another to build a house for his son-in-law or his widowed daughter, must make it at least eight cubits in length by six in width (the opinion of R. Ishmael, which here seems to prevail over that of R. Akiba, who says six by four); a stall for oxen means one at least six by four; a large house, eight by ten; a banqueting-hall, ten by ten; and the height half of the sum of length and breadth. These measurements are evidently meant to be "in the clear." The word "house" ("bayit") in the Mishnah seems to mean one with a single room, a house of several rooms being known as a "birah."

He who sells a lot for a family tomb, or contracts with another to make a tomb for him, has to furnish a vault with a clear space of six cubits by four, with eight actual graves ("kukin") opening into it, three on each side, and two opposite the entrance, each grave being four cubits in length, six palms in width, and seven palms in height. Another opinion (which did not prevail) made the vault eight by six cubits, and surrounded it with thirteen graves, requiring, moreover, that two such vaults should open from a "court," six by six cubits, on the surface of which the bier and the grave-diggers might rest.

—Of Chattels:

The modes by which and the precise time at which the ownership of movables passes from the seller to the buyer are set forth under Alienation; the rescission of a sale and purchase, for Fraud and Mistake or for Duress is treated under those heads; and the right to rescind for inadequacy or excess of price is dealt with under Ona'ah. It remains to indicate, as under Sale of Land, how the words denoting the movable object sold are construed by the Mishnah (B. B. v.) and Gemara (ib. 73a-81), and to speak of some incidental points.

Inclusive Sale.

He who sells a ship sells with it the mast and sail (others render "flag"), the anchor, and the oars and tackle, but not the slaves (employed in navigation), nor the bags (to hold the cargo), nor the cargo, nor the boats; but when the seller says "the ship and all that is in it" all of these things are included. He who sells a wagon does not sell the horses (unless they are harnessed to it); he who sells the horses does not sell the wagon to which they are attached; he who sells the yoke (and appendages) does not sell the oxen (though they be attached); he who sells the oxen does not sell the yoke; he who sells an ass does not sell the harness. R. Judah's opinion, that the price should indicate what was meant to be sold, is disallowed, because the rule Ona'ah offers sufficient protection.

He who sells a suckling ass sells her colt; but he who sells a suckling cow does not sell the calf, for the milk of the cow is of value. He who sells a beehive sells the bees in it. He who sells a dovecot sells the pigeons; he who buys from another the "fruits" (i.e., the next brood) of a dove-cot leaves to the seller the first two chicks for each mother bird, to keep her from deserting the nest. He who buys the next brood of a beehive takes the first three swarms that come out of the hive, and then stops impregnation, to save the honey for the seller. He who buys the cakes of honey leaves two behind (as winter food for the bees). He who buys olives, to cut them (from the tree), leaves two twigs full (to the seller). Unless there is a local custom to the contrary, the sale of the head of a beef does not include the feet, nor vice versa; the sale of the liver does not include the lungs, nor vice versa; but in the case of sheep and goats the sale of the head carries with it the feet, and the sale of the lungs includes the liver.

In measuring out oil or wine the seller (unless he is a retail merchant) must give the buyer three extra drops, to make up for that which adheres to the measuring vessel; but any that adheres to the bottom of the measure when it is tipped belongs to the seller.

Where grain is sold the buyer must accept as much dirt as one part in thirty; in buying figs, ten that are worm-eaten in a hundred; in a row of wine-jars, ten that are below the prescribed grade in a hundred. Where one sells wine to another and itsours, he is not liable on an implied warranty; but if the seller's wine is known to be apt to sour, it is a "mistaken purchase" (see Fraud and Mistake). If the seller says, "I sell thee spiced wine," it must keep good till Pentecost; if he sells it for "old wine," it must be of the previous year; if for "aged," it must be in its third year.

Dispute as to Price.

If seller and buyer disagree about the price, and if when they meet again the buyer takes the goods away unasked, he is supposed to take them at the seller's price; but if the seller tells the buyer to take his goods, they are sold at the price which is offered by the buyer.

The Mishnah treats the duty of keeping scales, weights, and measures in proper order in connection with the law of sales of goods (B. B. v. 10, 11), Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel being the principal authority therefor. The rules deduced in the Talmud and found in the codes stand thus: A wholesale seller should wipe his hollow measures for liquids once in every thirty days; a householder need not do it more than once a year; the retailer should wipe them twice a week, and he should wipe his scales after every weighing. The patriarch named says that hollow measures for dry foodstuffs need not be wiped; and this (the opinion of Maimonides, "Yad," Genebah, viii., to the contrary) seems to be the accepted rule. In using scales the merchant must allow the meat or other goods weighed to sink down a palm's width below the level; or if he brings the scales to a dead level, he should give the customer the usual overweight, that is, 1 in 100 in the case of liquids, and 1 in 200 in that of solids. Where the custom is to deal out by small measures, the merchant must not use larger ones, as the customer would thereby lose part of the heaping; nor the contrary, where he buys. In like manner local custom must be followed as to heaped or level measure; and it is no excuse that deviation is compensated for by difference in price. A baraita (B. B. 89a) derives this rule from Deut. xxv. 15 ("a perfect and just weight," etc.). On the moral aspect of wrong weights and measures see Jew. Encyc. v. 500, s.v. Fraud and Mistake, I. 4.


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Jewish War

WAR.

By : Executive Committee of the Editorial Board. M. Seligsohn

ARTICLE HEADINGS:
Details.
—Biblical Data:
The War-Priest.
Raids.
Fortresses.
Treatment of Captives.
Conditions of Peace.
Attitude of the Prophets.
—In Rabbinical Literature:

Details.

—Biblical Data:

The earliest war recorded in the Old Testament is that of the Elamitic king Chedorlaomer and his allies against the five kings of Sodom and its adjacent cities (Gen. xiv. 1et seq.). The result of the conflict was the destruction of the vanquished army in the field and the captivity of all the non-combatants, whose possessions became spoils of war. In the battle the troops were arranged in order (Gen. xiv. 8, R. V.), and the King of Sodom and his four allies displayed a certain degree of strategy by fighting in a valley, although their plan proved unsuccessful. Some modern scholars infer from the obscure passage II Sam. xi. 1 that wars were regularly begun in the spring. In many instances negotiations were carried on through messengers or ambassadors to avert bloodshed (Judges xi. 12-28; I Sam. xi. 1-10; I Kings xx. 2-11); and the Hebrews were expressly forbidden to make an attack without first demanding the surrender of the enemy (Deut. xx. 10 et seq.). The only instance in which war was declared without previous negotiations was that of the war between Amaziah, King of Judah, and Jehoash, King of Israel (II Kings xiv. 8).

In addition to the various modes of Divination employed by all the nations before setting out for war (comp. Ezek. xxi. 26 et seq.), the Israelites consulted Yhwh, who was not only their divinity, but also the war-god par excellence (comp. Ex. xv. 3, and the frequent phrase ), deciding whether they should begin the war and whether they would be successful (Judges i. 1; xx. 18, 23). In these passages the manner of consultation is not indicated, but from other sections and from the Septuagint it may be inferred that the priest put on the ephod and stood before the Ark to consult the Urim and Thummim (Judges xx. 27-28; I Sam. xiv. 18, xxviii. 6, xxx. 7). Occasionally the divinities were consulted through dreams or prophets, or even through familiar spirits evoked by a witch (Judges vii. 13; I Sam. xxviii. 6 et seq.; I Kings xxii. 15). Troops were generally summoned by the blowing of a trumpet or the warhorn, which was likewise the signal that warned the people of an enemy's approach (Judges iii. 27; II Sam. xx. 1; comp. Ezek. xxxiii. 2-11), although sometimes banners were placed on the tops of high mountains or messengers were sent through the different tribes of Israel (Judges vii. 24; I Sam. xi. 7; Isa. xiii. 2). Occasionally extraordinary means were used to arouse a popular feeling of indignation which would ultimately impel the nation to make war, as in the case of the Levite who cut the body of his concubine into twelve parts and sent them to the other tribes of Israel, thus kindling between them and the Benjamites the war which resulted in the destruction of the latter tribe (Judges xix. 29 et seq.; comp. also I Sam. xi. 7).

The War-Priest.

The army of the Israelites was always accompanied to the field by a priest, Phinehas having this post in the battle with the Midianites (Num. xxxi. 6). It was the duty of the priest to care for the spiritual welfare of the soldiers and, before the attack, to encourage them and to inspire martial enthusiasm in them (Deut. xx. 2-4). Sometimes, however, the high priest himself went upon the field, where he attended the Ark, which was carried into action quite as idols and images were borne into battle by the Philistines (I Sam. iv. 3-4; II Sam. v. 21, xi. 11). Like other Semites, the Israelites began a war with burnt offerings and fasting (Judges vi. 20, 26; xx. 26; I Sam. vii. 9, xiii. 10), this explaining the frequency of the phrase "to sanctify war," and the epithet "sanctified" as applied to warriors (Micah iii. 5; Isa. xiii. 3; Jer. vi. 4, xxii. 7). A single instance is recorded, though in obscure terms, of a human sacrifice as a burnt offering in a time of extreme danger (II Kings iii. 27). According to a passage of D, furthermore, the officers of the Hebrew troops were required to proclaim before a battle that whosoever had betrothed a wife and had not taken her, or had built a house and had not dedicated it, or had planted a vineyard and had not eaten of it, or was fearful and faint-hearted, should return home (Deut. xx. 5-9). This regulation was actually carried out under the Maccabees (I Macc. iii. 56), which shows that the document is of a post-exilic date.

Raids.

From the geographical condition of Palestine, the raid was the favorite mode of warfare both among the Hebrews and among the other Semites (Gen. xlix. 19; I Sam. xiii. 17, xxvii. 8; II Sam. iii. 22; II Kings xiii. 20), although in the course of time regular battles were fought, and in certain cases tactics of modern warfare were employed. The first instance recorded was in the battle of Gibeah between the tribes of Israel and the Benjamites (Judges xx. 30 et seq.). After laying an ambush behind the city, the Israelites pretended to flee from the Benjamites, thus enticing the latter from their fortified positions. Suddenly the Israelites wheeled, and the Benjamites found themselves outflanked on all sides. It is also probable that in the battle of Gilboa between the Philistines and the army of Saul, the Philistines resorted to strategy by striking northward at the plain of Esdraelon instead of attacking the Israelites by the shorter route from the southwest. By this device, which proved completely successful, the Philistines lured Saul's army from the valleys, where a stout defense could be offered, to the open plain, where the Israelites might be overwhelmed by sheer force of numbers (I Sam. xxviii. 1-xxxi. 7). A strong army was sometimes divided so that the enemy might be attacked from different directions (Gen. xiv. 15; II Sam. xviii. 2), and ambuscades were often used with success (Josh. xiii. 10-28; Judges xx. 30-44; II Kings vi. 8-9). Night marches were particularly in favor with the Hebrews; thus Joshua marched at night, Gideon assailed the Midianites about midnight, and Saul attacked the Ammonites before dawn (Josh. x. 9; Judges vii. 19; I Sam. xi. 11). It may be noted that night marches were made by other Semites as well, for Nebo was captured from the Israelites by Mesha, King of Moab, after such a march (Moabite Inscription, line 15). An instance is likewise recorded in which the Philistines chose a champion who challenged one of the opposing army to a duel to decide the fate of both forces (I Sam. xvii. 4 et seq.). Such proceedings were afterward much in vogue among the Arabs in their pre-Islamic tribal conflicts.

Fortresses.

Fortresses played an important part in war, especially in defense. In early times the Israelites were unable to reduce the fortified cities of the inhabitants of the land, and consequently had no meansof defense except to hide themselves in caves or mountains (Judges vi. 2; I Sam. xiii. 6; comp. Isa. ii. 21); but in the regal period they became so proficient in the art of warfare that they not only reduced the fortresses of the enemy, beginning with Jerusalem (II Sam. v. 7 et seq.), but also built many fortified cities. The chief method of reducing one of these towns seems to have been to throw up around the walls a bank, from which the archers might shoot their arrows into the place; while an instance is recorded from an earlier period in which the gates of a city were set on fire (Judges ix. 48 et seq.). According to a marginal note on I Kings xx. 12, R. V., the Syrians used engines in their effort to reduce Samaria, while similar machines were frequently employed in addition to the battering-ram for breaching walls in the time of Ezekiel (Ezek. iv. 2, xxvi. 8-9). The strength of the walls and the efficiency of the beleaguering army naturally conditioned the length of a siege. Thus Jericho, which fell in consequence of a miracle, was taken after a continuous onslaught of seven days (Josh. vi. 3 et seq.), but the Syrian sieges in Samaria were doubtless lengthy since they entailed terrible famines, and Jerusalem was captured by the Babylonians only after a siege of two years, despite the systematic operations of Nebuchadnezzar (II Kings xxv. 1-4). In their sieges the Hebrews were forbidden to fell fruit-trees for use in building bulwarks against the fortified city (Deut. xx. 19-20).

Treatment of Captives.

The accounts of wars in the patriarchal period show that the conquered peoples were reduced to captivity and their property was taken as spoils of war. In the case of the Shechemites, all the males were massacred by the sons of Jacob, while the women and children and all their possessions were carried off as booty (Gen. xxxiv. 25-29). Later, according to a document belonging to D (Deut. xx. 10-17), the Hebrews were commanded to make a wide distinction between the inhabitants of the land whom they were to replace and the Gentiles outside the land. Mildness was to be shown the latter in case they surrendered without fighting and submitted to pay tribute. If they were subdued by force of arms, however, every man was to be slain, while the women, children, cattle, and all else should belong to the victors. Far different was to be the treatment of the inhabitants of the land, who were to be slaughtered without exception, not even the cattle being left alive. If this passage is of early date, it is evident that the command with regard to the inhabitants of the land was only partially executed, since, excepting the thirty-one kings enumerated in Josh. xii. 9-24, the greater part remained unconquered, and the Israelites were obliged to live with the very Gentiles whom they had been bidden to exterminate (comp. Josh. xviii. 2-3; Judges i. 21-35). Even when the Israelites proved victorious, they often granted the inhabitants their lives, and subjected them only to tribute (Judges i. 28, 30, 33, 35). At a later period, however, gross cruelty was practised both by the Hebrews and by the other nations. After having defeated the Moabites, David cast them down to the ground and measured them with a line, putting to death two lines and keeping one alive (II Sam. viii. 2), while he put the Ammonites under saws, harrows, and axes of iron and made them pass through the brick-kiln (ib. xii. 31). Menahem, King of Israel, the Syrians, and the Ammonites are charged with the massacre of pregnant women (II Kings viii. 12, xv. 16; Amos i. 13); and Amaziah is described as causing ten thousand Edomite captives to be hurled from a cliff (II Chron. xxv. 12), while in some instances children were dashed against rocks (Ps. cxxxvii. 9).

Conditions of Peace.

There are instances of treaties of peace in which conditions were imposed by the victors on their defeated foes. The first treaty recorded is that which Nahash, King of Ammon, proposed to the people of Jabesh-gilead, and which was marked by the savagery of the Ammonite king, the terms being that the right eye of every inhabitant of the city should be put out (I Sam. xi. 2). A treaty which might almost have been made in modern times, on the other hand, was drawn up between Ben-hadad and Ahab; by it the cities previously captured from Israel were to be restored, while Ahab had the right of making streets in Damascus, the same conditions having been previously imposed on the father of Ahab by Ben-hadad's father (I Kings xx. 34). Sennacherib, in the treaty with Hezekiah by which he withdrew his army from Judah, exacted a heavy indemnity from the Jewish king (II Kings xviii. 14). The victors generally returned home in triumphal processions and celebrated their victories with songs and festivals (Judges v. 1 et seq., xi. 34, xvi. 23; comp. Prism Inscription, col. 1, line 53, in Schrader, "K. B.," ii. 141 et seq.).

Attitude of the Prophets.

The wars in the earlier period were religious in character and thus had the sanction of the Prophets. Deborah herself urged Barak to make war on Sisera and accompanied him into the field (Judges iv. 6 et seq.), while Elisha exhorted Joash, King of Israel, to prosecute the war with Syria and advised the allied kings to avail themselves of stratagem against the Moabitish army (II Kings iv. 16 et seq., xiii. 14-19), and an anonymous prophet encouraged Ahab to battle with Ben-hadad (I Kings xx. 13-14). Naturally the Prophets were opposed to war among the tribes of Israel, and when Rehoboam wished to resort to arms to recover his lost sovereignty over the ten tribes, he was prevented by the prophet Shemaiah (ib. xii. 21-24). In later times the Prophets considered war from a political point of view, and Jeremiah, seeing that hostilities against the Babylonians would be to the detriment of the Israelites, always advised the latter to submit to the stronger people and live in peace with them (Jer. xxvii.12 et passim). War in general was represented by the Later Prophets only in its horrible aspect, and many of them, particularly Isaiah, longed for the time when there would be no more war, and when weapons should be transformed into agricultural implements (Isa. ii. 4; Micah iv. 3; and elsewhere). See Army; Fortress.

—In Rabbinical Literature:

The Rabbis laid special stress on the distinction between obligatorywar ("milhemet mizwah," or "milhemet hobah") and voluntary war ("milhemet ha-reshut"). The former category comprised the campaigns against the seven nations who inhabited the land, the battles against Amalek, and the repulse of an enemy attacking an Israelitish city; while the latter class denoted any war waged for the extension of Jewish territory. Obligatory war had the priority, nor was it necessary for the king to ask the permission of the Sanhedrin to levy troops, since he could compel the people to take the field. Voluntary war, on the other hand, could be declared only by the Great Sanhedrin of seventy-one members. Although certain persons were permitted by Deut. xx. 5 et seq. to leave the field before a battle began, this was allowed, according to rabbinical opinion, only in case of a voluntary war. No such leave of withdrawal was granted in an obligatory war, but, on the contrary, even a bridegroom and bride were obliged to leave their nuptial chamber and join the army (Sotah 44b; Sanh. 2a, 20b; Maimonides, "Yad," Melakim, v. 1-2). The Rabbis differed greatly regarding the terms of peace to be offered the inhabitants of a beleaguered city (Deut. xx. 10 et seq.). According to Sifre, Deut. 199, which was followed by Rashi (on Deut. l.c.), peace might be proposed only in a voluntary war, while in an obligatory war no terms should be allowed. It would appear, however, from Lev. R. xvii. 6 and Deut. R. v. 13 that peace might be offered even in an obligatory war, and this was established as a law by Maimonides (l.c. vi. 1; comp. Nahmanides on Deut. l.c.). According to both Maimonides and Nahmanides, the command of extermination which was imposed regarding the seven nations (Deut. xx. 16-17) was applied only in case the beleaguered people refused to surrender. The submission in consideration of which the conquered were granted their lives had to be complete, since they were required to accept the seven commandments of the Noachidæ, and were obliged to pay tribute and to recognize their condition of servitude (Maimonides, l.c.).

In direct opposition to the obvious interpretation of Deut. xx. 5-9, the Rabbis declared that all the proclamations contained in that passage were made by the priest anointed as the chaplain of the army ("meshuah milhamah"), and the verses were interpreted as meaning that the priest made the proclamations and the officers repeated them to the troops, who could not hear the priest (Sotah 43a; Maimonides, l.c. vii. 1, 4; comp. Sifre, Deut. 193). A Jewish army was forbidden to begin the siege of a Gentile city less than three days before the Sabbath, but it might continue its operations on that day even in a voluntary war. The army was permitted to encamp in any place, and the slain soldiers were to be buried in the place where they had fallen, since the combat had made it their own.

The Jewish soldiers enjoyed four privileges: they might take wood anywhere without incurring the charge of robbery; they were permitted to eat fruit even though it was not certain that it had been properly tithed ("demai"); and they were exempt from washing their hands and from "'erube hazerot" (Shab. 19a; 'Er. 17a; Tosef., 'Er. iv. [iii.] 7; see also 'Erub). In besieging a Gentile city, the troops were commanded to invest it on three sides and to leave one side free so that any one who wished might escape from the town (Maimonides, l.c. vi. 7). During the seven years consumed by Joshua's conquest of Palestine the Israelitish soldiers were allowed to eat any food which they found in the houses of the Gentiles, even though such provisions were forbidden under all other circumstances (hul. 17a; Maimonides, l.c. viii. 1)


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