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add that the beginning of Genesis belongs to the same category.
Hence the Mishna enjoins that the work of Genesis {Maaseh
Bereshith) shall not be treated before two disciples together, and
the work of the Chariot not even before one, unless he be one
that is wise and fit to understand it {Chagiga, ch. 2, n. i). This
injunction of the Mishna is quite in keeping with the words in
which St. Jerome tells how the obscurity of Ezechiel is attested
by the tradition of the Jews: " Nam nisi quis apud eos aetatem
sacerdotalis ministerii id est triginta annos impleverit, nee princi-
pium Geneseos, nee Canticum Canticorum, nee hujus voluminis
exordium, et finem legere permittitur : ut ad perfectam sdentiam,
et mysticos intellectus, plenum humanae naturae tempus accedat."*

The mystical books are written, for the most part, in the same

* Cf. Jerusalem Ckagiga, f. 77 a.

* Pnief. ad Comment, in Ezechielem.



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RABBINICAL STUDIES, 1/7

language as the Talmuds and Midrashim, and employ the same
system of abbreviations and Rashe Theboth, At the same time,
there are naturally some points of difference in the style and
diction of the mystics. In the list of Rashe Theboth many symbols
are noted as peculiar to the Zohar, And the obscurity of the
matter itself has some counterpart in the outward form of these
mysterious writings.

XX. — ^Jewish Vernacular Literature.

Although the Aramaic, first adopted in the days of the Baby-
lonian captivity, has survived as a literary language in the Gemara
and the Midrashim, as the current coin of conversation it was
eventually supplanted in its turn, as it had supplanted the Hebrew.
For the Jewish people scattered among the many-tongued Gentile
races learnt to speak in their various vernacular idioms — in Persian,
in Arabic, in French, and German, and Spanish. And some of
these languages were to play an important part in Rabbinical
literature. Here, in some degree, the history of the earlier
changes repeated itself. The first writers of the Gemara and the
Targums were simply commenting on the Mishna and paraphras-
ing the Bible in what was then the common speech of everyday
life, though it was inevitably leavened by an admixture of the
original Hebrew. The same thing was subsequently done in
other languages. Thus the great mediaeval Rabbi, Maimonides,
first wrote his comments on the Mishna in Arabic. And there
are Targums of Daniel and Tobias written in the Pehlevi, or old
Persian.

It is a curious feature of this Jewish use of other languages,
that most of them are written in the square Hebrew, or Chaldee
character. Nor is this practice confined to Oriental idioms like
Persian and Arabic, for it is extensively employed in' the case of
the modem languages of Europe, notably German and Spanish.
Here again, as with the Aramaic of Babylon, the Jews have clung
to these adopted tongfues with a singular tenacity, carrying them
away in their migrations from one land to another. Such is the
case with the large colonies of Polish and Russian Jews, now con-
gregated in the east of London. Their common speech, the
Yiddish (/. /. Jiidisch), is simply a dialect of Low German with a



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178 THE ECCLESIASTICAL REVIEW.

slight leaven of the Sacred Tongue, written in Hebrew characters.
It had evidently been adopted by these Jews of Eastern Europe
before their first migration into the Slavonic territory.

The case of the Spanish Jews is even more remarkable.
Before their expulsion from the Peninsula under Ferdinand and
Isabella, they had appropriated the speech of Spain, and sifter a
sojourn of more than three hundred years in Turkish territory
they still retain it Thus we may meet with Bibles printed by
the Jews of Constantinople, containing glosses or translations in
Hebrew-Spanish, i, e. Spanish mixed with Hebrew and written,
like Yiddish, in the Hebrew character. We may observe in
passing that the aforesaid Warsaw edition of the Talmud contains
some additional HcUacoth from the Spanish Talmud Babli, but
these have been translated (whether from Spanish or Arabic) into
the Hebrew-Aramaic, or, as the title-page has it, " the tongue of
the Talmud."

Extensive though it is, the Rabbinical literature, whether in
Hebrew and Aramaic or in the peculiar idioms known as Yiddish,
Hebrew-Spanish, and Hebrew-Persian, etc., has by no means ex-
hausted the literary activity of Jewish writers. For many of them
have appealed to a larger circle of readers by writing in Latin, or
in the ordinary speech of the land of their adoption. It is beyond
our present purpose, but much might be said on the Jewish
element in the main current of European thought and letters.
Besides writing their comments on the Bible and the Talmud, the
great Rabbis of mediaeval Spain played an active part in the
philosophical movement of the hour, and the works of Maimonides
have left some traces in the pages of our own schoolmen. In
later years, Spinoza and Moses Mendelssohn contributed their
share to the growing stream of modem philosophy. And it is
scarcely surprising to find a recent Jewish writer claiming that its
latest phase, von Hartmann's Philosophy of the Unconscious^ has
something in common with the Chasidism of the Hebrew mystics.

XXI. — The Chaldee Book of Tobias.

From what has been here said it will be seen that the Bible and
the Talmud are, so to say, the centre of a large and varied Rabbin-
ical literature, written partly in Hebrew and Aramaic and partly



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RABBINICAL STUDIES. 179

in the various Hebraized vernaculars. A considerable mass of
this literature is contained in unpublished MSS. scattered in many
public and private libraries of Europe and Asia. With the ad-
vance of critical scholarship in recent years, some of these for-
gotten manuscripts are being turned to good account in the prepa-
ration of improved editions of the Bible and the Talmud. And
what is more, it may well be hoped that discoveries in this field
may throw some welcome light on the history of the books of the
Old Testament.

Happily, in this matter, we have not to be content with hopes
and anticipations. For some notable recoveries have already
been accomplished. Only within the last few years a fragment of
the lost Hebrew of Exclesiasticus was found in a manuscript,
partly written in Hebrew-Persian. And a Targum of Daniel, in
this latter language, has been found among the MSS. of the
National Library of Paris.

But in some respects the most remarkable recovery of this
land was that of the Chaldee version of the Book of Tobias, dis-
covered a few years ago in a manuscript collection of Midrashim,
now in the Bodleian Library. An excellent edition was brought
out at Oxford in 1878.* This should have a special interest for
Catholic readers, by reason of its connection with the history of
the Vulgate version. In his preface to the Book of Tobias, St.
Jerome tells us that he made his translation indirectly from the
Chaldee, by the help of a Jew, who rendered it orally into
Hebrew, as the saint was more familiar with the Sacred Tongue
than with that of Babylon. But for many hundred years nothing
more was heard of a Chaldee Tobias. Our scholars were ac-
quainted with the Greek, the Itala, and the Syriac versions. And
subsequently a Hebrew translation of the book was discovered
and published at Constantinople in 15 16, and afterwards included
in Walton's Polyglot Bible. But so far this statement of St
Jerome was the only evidence that a Chaldee Tobias had ever
existed.

• The Book of Tobit : A Chaldee Text, fipom a Unique MS. in the Bodleian
LibiBTy, with other Rabbinical Texts, English Translations and the Itala, edited by
Ad. Neubauer, M.A., Sab- Librarian of the Bodleian Library. Oxford : Clarendon
Press. 1878.



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l8o THE ECCLESIASTICAL REVIEW.

The fact that the newly found Chaldee text of Tobias is an
integral part of a Midrashic collection, may help to illustrate the
nature of these Rabbinical writings. The book had probably
undergone some modification before being fitted into its place.
But in spite of some minor differences, the text is in remarkable
agreement with the Vulgate version. It may be of interest to
cite Mr. Neubauer's conclusion on this matter. " Accordingly, if
we take into consideration the somewhat arbitrary proceedings of
the Rabbi who adapted his text to the Midrash, and of Jerome,
who paid more attention to the sense than to the words, and who
evidently made many additions (e,g,2\ 12, 19 ; 3 : i6, 23 ; 6 : 17
to end), we may venture to say that our Chaldee text in a more
complete form was the original from which the translation of the
Vulgate was made." (Preface, p. vii.) The same Midrashic MS.,
we may add, contains an Aramaic version of the story of Bel and
the Dragon, derived from the Syriac Bible. It is included by Mr.
Neubauer in his edition of the text of Tobias.

XXII. — The Church and the Talmud.

After this brief survey of the field of Rabbinical literature, it
may not be amiss to ask how these studies have hitherto been
regarded by the authorities of the Church and Catholic theolo-
gians. We need not stay to consider the anti-Semitic polemics
of some recent writers. But something must needs be said on a
more important subject — the ecclesiastical condemnation of the
Talmud. As far back as the thirteenth century, both Church
and State bestirred themselves in this matter. Pope Gregory IX
addressed letters to the kings of France and Portugal, reciting
some of the chief charges made against the teaching of the Tal-
mud, and desiring that the Jewish books might be sought out and
duly examined. If it should be found that they contained the
incriminated passages, they were to be refuted by the rough and
ready argument of combustion. The story may be read at length
in the first volume of D'Argentre's Collectio Judiciarum, where
we learn, not without regret, that cart-loads of the books were
burnt in Paris.

It need hardly be added that this was by no means the only
instance of these ecclesiastical proceedings against the Talmud.



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RABBINICAL STUDIES. l8l

The most famous of these onslaughts occurred on the eve of the
Reformation, when the free-lances of Humanism took part in
the struggle, and the literature of satire was enriched by the bois-
terous buffoonery of the Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum.

It must be frankly confessed that these facts present a diffi-
culty of some magnitude, and that in two different directions. On
the one hand they may be cited by Jewish writers and hostile
historians, as notable instances of ecclesiastical ignorance and
intolerance. And on the other hand, they provide our own
ardent obscurantists with a plausible reason for an uncompromis-
ing condemnation of the Rabbinical writings. It is a difficult
and delicate question ; and it is hardly possible to treat it satisfao-
torily in the brief passing notice permissible on the present occa-
sion. But those who incline to censure the mediaeval Popes and
Bishops would do well to bear in mind the object they had in
view, the danger to be averted, the ideas of the time, and the
limited means of obtaining accurate information.

In these days, it is easy to take a more tolerant line. We can
see the need of preserving whatever there is of good in any form
of religious literature, and readily recognize the historical worth
of erroneous writings. But even now these broad principles are
not carried out with logical consistency. And the most tolerant
rulers find it necessary to make some significant exceptions.
With all our boasted liberty of the press, a short shrift is given to
the worst specimens of incendiary or obscene writings. Repres-
sive measures were naturally more frequent and more severe in
the Middle Ages. And the Catholic rulers of that time had the
same care for the Church and the integrity of the faith as their
successors have for the safety of the State and the purity of pub-
lic morals. Looked at from this point of view, the erroneous
teaching contained in the Talmud might easily assume alarming
proportions, while its better elements were taken at less than their
real value. Moreover, the difficulty and obscurity of the Rabbin-
ical language would naturally leave the authorities more or less
at the mercy of a comparatively small number of expert inter-
preters. And, even supposing that these committed no error in
their report as to the incriminated passages, it was scarcely in
their power, or even in their province, to secure a proper appre-



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l82 THE ECCLESIASTICAL REVIEW.

ciation of the rest of the Talmud, or to suggest some milder
method of refutation. It is curious to note that, apart from cer-
tain statements in conflict with Christian doctrine, the main gist
of the charges seems to have lain in the Rabbinical exaltation of
tradition to the level of Scripture. And some of the orthodox
expressions might awaken strange memories in readers familiar
with later theological controversy.

On the other hand, those who are inclined to disparage the
Rabbinical doctors, on the streng^th of this stringent condemna-
tion of the Talmud, may fitly be reminded that such judgments
are largely a matter of discipline, that a pronouncement at an
early stage of the controversy is not necessarily final or adequate,
and that works which are possibly dangerous in one period may
yet be innocuous or useful in different circumstances.

XXIII. — Early Catholic Hebraists.

It must not be thought that this field of learning has been
hitherto neglected by Catholic scholars. No doubt, the leading
works in recent years have come from the pens of Jewish Rabbis
or German Protestants. And in an earlier generation a conspicu-
ous place was held by such Anglican authors as Lightfoot and
Walton. But few, if any, of these scholars could show more ex-
tensive stores of Rabbinical learning than Father Bartolocci, a
Cistercian monk of the seventeenth century. His Bibliotheca
Magna Rabbinica, though open to some criticism, is still a stand-
ard work of reference in these matters. A mastery of this Jewish
literature, in some respects even more remarkable, was displayed
in an earlier period by the Dominican, Friar Raymund Martini,
the author of the Pugio Fideu We have learnt of late to appre-
ciate the merits of the mediaeval divines and philosophers ; but
justice has hardly been done to the scholars of the thirteenth cen-
tury. And too little is heard of such men as William of Mor-
beka, the translator of Arabic philosophy, and Raymund Martini,
who could meet the great mediaeval Rabbis on their own ground.
The rare merit of the Dominican's learning has at last been duly
recognized by some recent Hebrew scholars in England and Ger-
many. But in some quarters, the praise has been more than
neutralized by a grave charge of controversial dishonesty. The



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RABBINICAL STUDIES. 1 83

Pugio Fidei contains some passages purporting to be citations
from the Midrash Rabba, though they have been vainly sought
in its pages. And it has been roundly asserted by some recent
writers that the Dominican controversialist has been guilty of
forgery and of garbling his authorities. Happily, however, this
charge has been ably refuted by Mr. Neubauer in a note appended
to his preface to the Chaldee Text of TobiL It is there shown that
Martini was quoting, not from the Midrash Rabba which we know,
but from a larger work, from which some passages are cited in
the aforesaid Bodleian MS. The value of Mr. Neubauer's vol-
ume is further enhanced by this vindication of a great Catholic
scholar.

XXiy. — ^Judaism and the Monuments.

The good work done by Martini in that early day should be
an encouragement to those who now venture to follow him in
this field of study. With the advantage of the many helps
provided by the results of modem critical scholarship in Ger-
many and elsewhere, the path is now somewhat easier, and stu-
dents who have no portion of the powers of such men as Mar-
tini may yet hope to achieve some measure of fruitful labor.

In some respects it may be said that these Hebrew studies
are more important to-day than they were in some earlier periods.
But, at the same time, they can hardly claim any exclusive share
of our attention, and there is, perhaps, little likelihood of their
being taken for more than their real value. So many other fields
have now been opened up around us, that the great body of
Hebrew tradition and Rabbinical lore and legends can thus be
seen in a truer perspective.

Zend and Sanskrit studies, and the publication of the Sacred
Books of the East, enable the student to follow the course of
some other religious histories that present some curious points of
analogy with the literature of Judaism. And on another side the
change has been yet more remarkable. The name of Babylon
is writ large in the pages of the Talmud: the language, and
something more than the language, is of Babylonian origin. But
Rabbinical scholars of an earlier generation could have little or
no knowledge of Babylon save that which came through the



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1 84 THE ECCLESIASTICAL RE VIE W.

Bible, or through Jewish traditions. It is far otherwise now,
when the decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions has thrown
a fresh flood of light on the history and literature of Assyria and
Babylonia. It is true that this forms a distinct branch of learn-
ing, which is almost necessarily in the hands of specialists. But,
at the same time, the student in the one field cannot afford to be
ignorant of the work done in another so nearly related to his
own. The " Higher Critics " of the Sacred Text have to reckon
with the evidence of the monuments. And it may well be hoped
that the recovery of these ancient records will eventually help to
enlarge and enlighten the field of Rabbinical studies.

W. H. Kent, O.S.C.
London^ England,



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Hnatecta.



E SAOBA FOEiriTENTIABIA.
Religiosae, in communitate viventes, confiteri possunt

QUILIBET CONFESSARIO PRO UTROQUE SEXU ADPROBATO,
QUANDO EXTRA MONASTERIUM VERSANTUR.

Statuta archidioecesis Mechliniensis et dioecesis Tomacensis
haec habent:

1. Nemo, praeter confessarium turn ordinarium, turn extra-
ordinarium, sacramentalem confessionem religiosarum quarum-
cumque in communitate viventium, in monasterio valide exdpere
potest absque praevia Ordinarii facultate.

2. Monialium quae per aliquot dies extra monasterium ver-
santur, confessiones audire potest in ecclesiis, etc., quilibet confes-
sarius pro utroque sexu approbatus.

Ita, ad litteram statuta Tomacensia, Mechliniensia autem fere
idem sonant, nisi quod, in altero articulo, pro per aliquot dies^
ponunt W tempus.

His positis,

Titius ab Episcopo Tomacensi litteras accipit, quibus appro-
batur ad confessiones excipiendas personarum utriusque sexus, non
ianten religiosarum,

Dum in publica ecclesia confessarii munere defungitur, fideli-



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1 86 THE ECCLESIASTICAL REVIEW.

bus reliquis se adjungit Soror quaedam, ut aiunt, pertinens ad
communitatem civitatis in qua Titius excipit confessiones, sed ad
horam egressa e suo monasterio ad aliquod negotium componen-
dum. In pluribus enim Institutis, integrum est Superiorissae
facultatem facere exeundi per diem. Titius, audita confessione,
absolvit sororem illam.

Postea autem dubitare coepit utrum valide impertierit absolu-
tionem, an contra, defectu jurisdictionis, nulla sit haec absolutio.
Cum autem hujusmodi casus facile iterari possint, et, pro valore
vel nullitate talis sacramentalis iudidi, variare debeat oflicium
inquirendi de conditione religiosarum quae in ecclesia publica
accesserint ad confessarium, ideo suppliciter (orator) adit Eminen-
tiam Vestram, quatenus dubium sequens solvere dignetur: Utrum
Titius in casu valide absolvent praedictam religiosam, an caruerit
requisita iurisdictione ?

Quod si invalide absolvent, quomodo se in posterum gerere
debeat si inter poenitentes animadverterit monialem ; id est, qua
cura interrogare debeat de adiunctis in quibus versetur accedens
Soror f

S. Poenitentiaria ad praemissa respondet : Ratione habita prio-
ns statuH, Titium valide absolvisse: quoad interrogationes vero
faciendaSy nisi prudens suspicio suboriatur quod poenitens illicite
apud ipsum confiteatur, posse confessarium a supradictis interro-
^gationibus abstinere.

Datum Romae in S. Poenitentiar. die 7. Febr. 1901.



E SAOBA OONaBEOATIONE BITUUM.

I.

Praecepto satisfaciunt qui missam audiunt in capella fixa

in navibus.

Quum nuper declarata sit uti publica pro navibus, capella fixa
in navibus, et cum non raro contingat. quod dum naves in portu
inveniuntur, familiae navigantium et officialium aliaeque personae,
diversis ex causis eas adeant: hodiemus cappellanus primarius
Societatis Transatlanticae Barcinonensis, Sacrorum Rituum Con-
g^egationi sequens dubium pro opportuna declaratione humillime
exposuit, nimirum :



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ANALECTA, 1 8/

Utrum omnes qui in dicta Capella Sacrosancto Missae sacri-
fido adstant, illud audire valeant in adimplementum praecepti de
Sacro in festis audiendo.

Et Sacra eadem Congregatio, referente infrascripto Secretario,
exquisite voto Commissionis Liturgicae, proposito Dubio respon-
dendum censuit :

Affirmative f juxta Decretum. Vicen diei 4 Martii 1901.
Absque speciali indulto.

Atque ita rescripsit die 10 Maii 1901.

D. Card. Ferrata, S, R, C. Praefectus,
D. Panici, Archiep. Laodicen., Secreiarius,

II.
Electrica Illuminatio super Altari prohibita.

Rmus Dnus Thomas Heslin, Episcopus Natcheten. a Sacra
Rituum Congregatione sequentis dubii declarationem humiliter
expetivit; nimirum:

Quum Sacra Rituum Congregatio in una Novarcen. 8 Martii
1879 prohibuerit illuminationem t^gaz una cum candelis ex cera
super altari, ob paritatem rationis et sub iisdem circumstantiis cen-
serine potest vetita edam illuminatio electrica ?

Et Sacra eadem Congregatio, referente subscripto Secretario,
atque audito voto Commissionis Liturgicae, rescribere rata est :
Affirmative ad tramites Decretorum 8 Martii 1879 ^^ 4 J"'^ ^895.
Atque ita declaravit et rescripsit die 16 Maii 1902.

D. Card. Ferrata, Praef.

L. t S. D. Panici, Archiep. Laodicen., Seer.



E SAOBA OONaBEaATIONE FBOPAaAKDAE FIDEI.

I.
De Missae celebratione in navibus.

DECRETUM

Ad removendos abusus, quos circa Missae celebrationem,
durante maritimo itinere, non semel occurrisse relatum est, EE.



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1 88 IHE ECCLESIASTICAL REVIEW,

ac RR. S. Congregationis Propagandae Fidei Patres in comitiis
generalibus die 24 ultimi elapsi mensis Februarii habitis, omnibus
mature perpensis, decreverunt ut infra : omnibus videlicet Missio-
nariis suae iurisdictioni subiectis et speciali indulto fruendbus
celebrandi in mari sacrosanctum Missae Sacrifidum praecipiendum
esse, quemadmodum per praesens Decretum S. Congregatio
praecipit, ut, quoties eo privilegio utuntur, sedulo et religiose
servent praescriptas regulas, in ipso apostolicae concessionis
rescripto apponi solitas. Videant nempe, utrum mare sit adeo
tranquillum, ut nullum adsit periculum effusionis Sacrarum Spe-
derum e calice ; curent ut alter sacerdos, si adfuerit, rite celebranti
adsistant ; et si in navi non habeatur Capella propria vel altare
fixum, caveant omnino Missionarii ne locus ad Missae celebratio-
nem delectus quidquam indecens aut indecorum praeseferat:
quod certe eveniret, si augustissimum altaris mysterium in cellulis
celebraretur pro privatis viatorum usibus destinatis.

Porro huiusmodi EE. Patrum sententiam infrascriptus Cardi-
nalis Praefectus vigore spedalium facultatum sibi a SSmo Dno
Nostro Leone div. prov. PP. XIII concessarum, nomine et auc-
toritate Sanctitatis Suae die 25 supradicti mensis Februarii ratam
et adprobatam esse declaravit.

Datum Romae ex Aedibus S. Congregationis de Propaganda
Fide hac die i mensis Martii 1902.

M. Card. Ledochowski, Praefectus.

Aloys. Veccia, Secreiarius.

11.
ExTRACTio Foetus Immaturi.
Illme ac Rme Dne :

R. D. Carolus Lecoq Decanus Facultatis Theologiae in ista
Universitate Marianopolitana per literas diei 12 Martii anni 1900
sequens dubium proponebat circa interpretationem resolutionum
S. Officii quoad liceitatem extractionis chirurgicae foetus imma-
turi; "Utrum aliquando liceat e sinu matris extrahere foetus
ectopicos adhuc immaturos nondum exacto sexto mense post
conceptionem."

Curae mihi fuit fatum dubium solvendum transmittere eidem



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