Isidore Singer.

The Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) online

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seq., Leipsic, 1866; idem, in Magiiar Zsido Szemle, 1884, 1.
98 100; M. Sachs, Beitriige zur Spraeh- und Aiterthums-
forschung, i. 108, Berlin, ia52: M.Schwab, Vncahulaire de
VAngetologie, p. 170; Weinstein, Zur Genesis der Agada,
part ii.. Die Alexandrini,sche Agada, GOttlngen, 1901 ; comp.
L. Cohn in Mematsschrift, xlvU. 89-96 ; Zunz, O. V. 2d ed.,

L. B.




METEMPSYCHOSIS. See Transmighation
OF Souls.

METER IN THE BIBLE: The question
whether the poetical passages of the Old Testament
show signs of regular rhythm or meter is yet un-
solved; the question involves princi-
State of the pally Psalms, Proverbs, Job, and most
auestion. of the prophetical books, with many
songs and speeches contained in the
historical books. The subject of strophic arrange-
ment is not treated liere, since it relates as much to
the divisions of thought as to those of metrical form
(see Pahallelism).

No one can establish the metrical character of the
whole of this literature, and no one can successfully
deny that it is metrical in part. The former of these
statements will be generally accepted; for those
who wish to find meter in the Old Testament are
obliged to make many emendations of the text. As
the second statement is often controverted, the ap-
peal must be made to a trained and unprejudiced
ear (not eye). The case might rest on a single
Psalm, the 54th, which is as metrical throughout
as some fam'iliar English poems. The following
translation of verse 3 imitates accurately the flow
of the original :

" O my God ! by Thy name now redeem me.
And by all Thine omnipotence free me."

The rime is unessential, though it is perfect in the
Hebrew. The important matter is the regularity
of movement, indicated by the symbol 3 -|- 3,
which means that the verse consists of two equal
stichoi separated by a cesura, each stichos hav-
ing three tones. The movement may be termed
either "rhythmical" or "metrical," for the two are
identical, as Sievers has shown ("Studien zur Ile-
braischen Metrik," p. 25, Leipsic, 1901). It is just
as erroneous to call such a Hebrew verse a hexameter
as it would be to apply that term to its English
equivalent; it is convenient to call each tone-section
a foot, but even that designation must be ex plained as
referring to rhythm, not to syllabic division. That
which gives these feet their metrical character is
not the accent, which only marks, not makes, the
rhythm ; it is the flow of time, as measured in waves
or pulse-beats recurring at regular in-
Colloca- tervals. The time being equal, it mat-
tions of ters not whether the syllables in the
Regular different feet are alike in number or
Accent. not. In the example given they
happen to correspond ; each foot has
the form X X — except that the two riming feet
are of the form X X — X .

Every kind of foot in this psalm is frequently
met witli in English poetry; take, for example

Pa. llv. 3, 4: XX-', X X -^ X, X -. (Comp.
Tennyson : " That he shouts with his sister at play.")

Ps. llv. 8, 4: - X X, X X X -^. (Comp.
" All in the valley of death.")

There are but three more variations in the psalm:
— X, X — y, -^. which all occur in two consecu-
tive lines from Coleridge's " Christabel " :

- X - -^ X X ~
" Is the niRht chilly and dark ? "
X -ix-x-^X -!■
"The night is chilly but not dark."

This same measure (3 + 3) holds in Psalms liv.,
Ixvii., and Ixxxii., and it is a curious coincidence
that verse 5 in each is extended to 3-f3-|-3 tones,
while nearly all the other verses have 3-|-3.
Psalm f. begins with a single 3, has a triple 3 in
verses 3 and 4, and ends, as does Psalm Ixxxii.,
with a kind of Alexandi-ine. The i-emaiuing feet
are 3 + 3. All these are short iisalms, but several
long ones are almost as strictly regular (e.g., Ps.
Ixxx., Ixxxi., Ixxxv., xci.). Others follow prevail-
ingly the scheme 4 -|-4 (e.g., Ps. xlvi., liii.), and
there are still other combinations, as 3.-|- 3, 3 -|- '-i.
and 4 + 3.

Outside the Psalms there are many poems and
long sections either completely or measurably regu-
lar, as Deut. xxxii., Ex. xv., Isa. xli. 1-10, and
large portions of the Book of Job. But the great
majority of the Psalms are very in-egular, and some
of them defy all metrical rules {e.g., Ps. xlv., Iv.,
Ixiv., Ixxi., Ixxxvi., xcv., cii.). The common prac-
tise is to be censured, wliieli, by con jectural emenda-
tion, alters the text in such cases to fit the assumed
meter. Conjectures that approve themselves on
critical grounds give, to be sure, one more sign of
their correctness when they smooth rough meters:
but no metrical system thus far proposed has proved
satisfactory. An example or two may serve to soften
the apparent dogmatism of this judgment. One of
the most elaborate metrical systems is that of Sie-
veis (1901), who analyzes 93 poems. Of these, 20
are psalins, but not a single rhythmically ditiicult
psalm is included. Baethgen's commentary on the
Psalms (3d ed., 1904) attempts to give some met-
rical account of each of the 150 Psalms. In the case
of those noted above as difficult (and of many more)
he frankly admits the difficulty, often confesses
that it is insoluble, and ia most other cases offers
conjectures resting on an assumed regularity of the
meter, whereas the very question at issue is whether
any such regularity can be shown.

So far as the evidence ex tends at present, it can only
be asserted that the Hebrew poets were acquainted
with meter, and employed it very freely, changing
at will from one form to another, within the same
composition, but making the substance of their
thought so far paramount over its form that they
were often unwilling to wait for a perfect rhyth-
mical expression.

Metrical systems published before the nineteenth

century are so mingled with subjective fancies that

none of them is now worth consideiing ; they were all

patiently examined and thoroughly

History refuted by J. L. Saalschiltz ("' Von der
of the Form der llebrJlischen Poesie," Ko-
Q,uestion. nigsberg, 1825). J.J. Bellermann 'slit-
tie book on the subject (" Versuch liber
dieMetrik der IIebriier,"Berlin, 1813) is sound in prin-
ciple, and its only important defects relate to the
" moriii" (units of time) and the " sheva. " Saalsehlitz
corrected these defects, but erred in contending for a
rhythm that descends (-^ XX. —X, etc.) instead
of' one that ascends (X-, XX-, etc.). Ernst
Meier ("Die Form der Hebraischen Poesie," Tu-
bingen, 1853) returned to Bellermann, and reducecJ
the matter to greater simplicity through his folk-lore
studies. His contribution has been unduly belittled.




even by Kiienen ; its chief mistake was in applying
to all poetry what is trne only of a part, .lulius
Ley ('Grundzugedes Rliythnius inder Hebriiischen
Poesie," Halle, ISTo) supplied that defect by a fun-
damental investigation which gave a scienlitic basis
to the whole subject. His system was cumbersome
at first (18G(5). but he imjiroved it under the criti-
cism of thirty-live years. IJickt'll held the untenable
theory that Hebrew meter is syllabic, like the Syriac,
and is written nniforndy in regular trochees or
iambi. Hubert Grinune (" Ps;dnienprobleme," Frei-
burg, 1902) built avowedly on Ley's basis, but added
a new doctrine of the mor:c which is an improve-
ment on the old, but which he has not been able to
establish. In his earlier Avork he held correctly that
the structure of the feet may vary in the same com-
po.sition; at present he holds the opposite theory
and employs it freely in textual emendations.
Sievers was the tirst to trace out thoroughly the
relations of Hebrew metrics to general metrics.
That part of his system possesses permanent value;
but its practical application is marred by the at-
tempt at an impossible simplicity and symmetry
which derives every foot from the auapest.

BiBLioc5RArnv : In addition to works mentioned in the body of
the article, Kwald, Die Divlitcr <les AUen Bundex, part 1,
Gottingen, \».i'i\ (iustav Bickell, Carmiiia Vctcris Tcsta-
menti Mctricr, Innsbruck, 188^; Kuenen. Ei'nieitiniff, part
3, Leipsic, 1894 ; Cliarles A. Brigffs, The Study nf Hnlu Scrip-
ture, pp. 3.J5-t26, New York, 1899; Nivardus SchloKl, De Mc-
trica Veterum Hebra'orum. Vienna, 1899; Eduard Konig,
Stilistik, Rhetorik, Poetih, pp. 313-360, Leipsic, 1900.
J. W. H. C.


METROLOGY. See Weights and Measttreb.

METUENTES (lit. "fearing"): Term used in
the Latin inscriptions by Juvenal for Jewish prose-
lytes. It corresponds to the Greek term aefid/ievot
Tov 0fov, which occurs in Joseplms ("Ant." xiv. 72,
ed. Niese) and in Acts x. 2, 22; xiii. 16, 26, 43, 50;
xvi. 14; xvii. 4, 17; xviii. 7, and to the Hebrew
"More Yiiwii," which, at an early date, likewise
seems to have denoted proselytes (see II Kings
xvii. 28, xxxii. 33). In the Psalms the expression
is used for the whole body of pious persons outside
the house of Israel (Ps. cxv. 11, cxviii. 4, cxxxv.
20; comp. Esth. ix. 27; Isa. Ivi. 6), or perhaps for
certain Gentiles who had adopted some of the Jew-
ish customs, notably the observance of the Sabbath
and abstention from forbidden meat. Paul refers
to such at Antioch, Thyatira, Thessalonica, and
Athens. About the Black Sea a large number of
inscriptions have been discovered relating to " wor-
shipers of the Most High God " who were also of the
same class, though possibly their Judaic practises
were not so pronounced as in the cases nearer Pal-
estine (see Hypsistaiuans). A mocking crucifix
found on the Palatine Hill at Rome has the expres-
sion 2EBETE GEON (see Jew. Encyc. ii. 222, s.r.
Ass-WoRsiiiP). Mek., Mishpatim explains Isa. Ivi.
6 as "those who fear Heaven." See Proselyte.

Bibliography : Schiirer, Gesch. 2d ed., iii. 103-ia5; idem. Die
Judenim Bimporaniachen Reiclie, etc., in Sitziinasbeiichte
der Berliner Akademie, 1897, pp 300-33.5; Bernays, Die
OottesfUrchtigen bei Juvenal, In Gesammelte SchHfteti.

8. J-

METURGEMAN ("interpreter"): With the re-
turn of the exiles from capti-vity the religious in-

struction of the people was put into the hands of
the Levitcs (Neh. viii. 7-9; II Chron. xvii. 8, 9;
XXXV. 3). These functionaries were called D'3'3D
(" teachers "). In all probability the language of in-
struction was still Hebrew (Fiiedniann, "Onkelos,"
]!. 81, to the contrary). How long the Levitcs con-
tinued in the office of teachers and how long the
Hebrew language remained intelligible to the masses
are unknown ; but at a later lime, when Aiamaic had
become the vernacular, and religious instruction had
ceased to be the exclusive privilege of the priest-
hood, the Levitic p30 ("teacher") gave way to the
liiy JOJIinO (" interpreter," " translator "), called also
}OJ~lin oi' DJinJO- The official was paid probably by
the community (comp. Pes. 50b; Rashi tid lor.).
This seems, however, not to have been always the
case, since the Halakah speaks also of a ndnor act-
ing as meturgeman.

The weekly lesson from tlie Pentateuch and the
Prophets was read by a member of the congregation,
and the meturgeman had to translate into the ver-
nacular the Pentateuchal lesson verse by verse; from
the Prophets he translated three verses at a time.
While the reader of the Hebrew text was foibidden
to recite by heart, the meturgeman was not per-
mitted to read his translation from a book, or to look
at the Hebrew text when translating, in order that
the people should not think that the translation was
contained in the text. The meturgeman was also
forbidden to raise his voice higher than that of the
reader of the text. He did not limit himself to a
mere literal translation, but dilated upon the Bib-
lical contents, bringing in haggadie elements, illus-
trations from history, and references to topics of
the day. This naturally recjuired much time, to gain
which the weekly lesson had to be short, so that
the Pentateuch was finished only iu a cycle of three
or three and one-lialf years; while the portion from
the Prophets was frequently abbreviated.

The free handling of the text, which frequently
changed the translation into a sermon or homily,
gave the meturgeman ample opportunity to iutro
duce his subjective views into the lesson ; and with
the multiplication of sects this became distasteful to
the Rabbis. The increase in the opposition to the
meturgeman led to the fixation of the Targumim
and to the demand that the meturgeman keep
strictly to mere translation. But a mere translation
satisfied neither the public, who had known the text
from early school-days, nor the meturgeman, who
was deprived of an opportunity to parade his knowl-
edge and to display his oratorical gifts. As a conse-
quence the "darshan," or pi-eachcr, was introduced ;
and the literal translation fell gradually into disuse.

While the meturgeman as Bible interpreter was a
purely Palestinian institution, as interpreter of the
Mishuah he was known also in Babylonia, where he
was called Amora. The head of the academy, while
seated, Avould tell him in Hebrew and in a low voice
the outline of his lecture ; and the meturgeman would
in a lengthy popular discourse explain it in the ver-
nacular to the audience. It is noteworthy that the
meturgeman, whether explaining Bible or Mishnah,
was not held in much esteem by the public ; and in
Talmud and Midrash he is frequently referred to
with contempt. See also Targum.




BIBLIOGRAPHY : A. Hiibsch, in Ben Chananja. v. 77 et seq. ; A.
Berliner, Targum 07ikelns, 11. 73 et seq., Berlin, 1890 ; M.
Frledmann, Onhelos, pp. 81 et seq.

S. S. C. Li.

METZ : German fortified citj^ in Lorraine ; it has
a population of 58,462, including 1,451 Jews. Ac-
cording to ancient clironicles, Jews had settled in
Metz in the year 221 ; they enjoyed municipal free-
dom, and lived on very good terms with the Cliris-
tians. It is stated also that when St. Eucaire, Bishop
of Toul, had undertaken to convert the Jews, the
emperor Julian, who was at Metz at the time, con-
demned the bishop to prison for his untimely zeal.
Under the Merovingians and Carlovingians there
■were Jews at Metz, engaged as agriculturists, mer-
chants, artisans, and especially as goldsmiths and
physicians. Jews and Christians formed intimate
friendships; the clergy dined in the homes of the

Jews, and more than one intermarriage

Early resulted from this friendly intercourse.

Conditions. The cordiality of relations was

increased by the elYorts made by the
Church councils to disturb it. At a council hekl at
the monastery of St. Arnould at Metz May 1, 888,
at which Balbodus,
Archbishop of
Treves, presided, and
which was attended
by Dadou, Bishop of
Verdun; Arnold,
Bishop of Toul ; and
Robert, Bishop of
Metz, on the com-
plaint of the dean of
the cathedral Jews
were forbidden to
drink or eat with, or
to marry. Christians.
These vexations
lasted but a short
time; under the suc-
cessors of Charlt's tlie
Bald, Jews might own
real estate, and tliis
would lead to the
supposition that they
had other municipal
rights. Bishop Adal-

beron in 945 commanded David, a Jew of the dio-
cese of Metz, to restore to the monastery of St. Glos-
sinde a vineyard of which he had secured possession.
This Adalberon, who occupied the episcopal see
until 984, was always very favorable to the Jews,
who revered him. According to the chronicles, at
his death " the Jews wept aloud ; and mourned and
lamented." Some years later tliey showed similar
feeling at the obsequies of another virtuous and tol-
erant archbishop — ^lattard. The dukes of Lorraine
also took them under their protection and treated
them with the greatest consideration. Thanks to
this social peace, they devoted themselves to study,
and among them were scholars called "the sages
of Lorraine " ("ini? ^D3n) : celebrated rabbis, such
as R. Simon ha-Gadol, K. Maclnr, Leontin.R. Eliezer
(the author of llie "Sefer Yere'im"), and especially
Rabbenu Gershom Me'or ha-Gadol.

Ancient SynaRogue at Metz.

(From Frauberger.)

Persecutions, especially during the Crusades, scat-
tered the Jews of Metz. Those who afterward re-
turned found a refuge there, for which
Period of they were obliged to pay thirty-four
Persecu- denicrs, levied on them when they en-
tion. tered the city. Nevertheless, in 1365

they were e.xpellcd by the magistrates,
who assigned their presence as the cause of the
destruction by lightning of twenty-two houses. In
1567, after France had taken possession of Metz,
some Jewish families were again admitted with the
consent of the marshal of Vieilleville, and less than
thirty years later they were organized
Under into a commuiiit}'. In 1595 the)' met
French in general assembly and elected a corn-
Rule, luunal board, to which they delegated
all power and all authority in every-
thing concerning administration and police, and the
jurisdiction of civil cases. Of the six men compo-
sing this council the following three were rabbis:
Isaac, son of Lazare Levy; Joseph Lev}-; and Solo-
mon, son of Gershon Zay. The proceedings of this
assembly, as well as those of the election, were sub-
mitted for the approval of the higher authorities,

wlKMm Julyl2, 1595,
" by the grace of God,
and with the consent
of his majesty, and
of Monsieur, the
Duke of Epergnan,"
recognized those
elected as the official
representatives and
the regularly ap-
pointed intermedi-
aries of the Jewish
community of Metz.
The community
developed in infiu-
ence and numbers;
in 1614 it numbered
500: in 1624 there
were 120 families,
consisting of more
than 600 individuals.
The rabbi at that
time Avas Moses
Cohen of Prague.
His nomination was confirmed by the Duke de Va-
lette, peer and colonel-general of France and com-
manding general of the king in the city and citadel
of Metz, "to undertake the above-mentioned charge
and functions of ral)bi." A fact that should be no-
ticed is that throughout the Middle Ages the nomi-
nation of the rabbi required ratification by the state.
In 1650 the rabbi was Moses Nerol; contrary to
custom, and for some unknown reason, the council
of the community did not ask the government to
confirm his nomination. Louis XIV., during his
visit to Metz Sept. 25, 1657. visited the synagogue
and gave audience to the council of tlie trustees of
the community its well as to the rabbi. The same
day he signed letters patent for the privileges of the
Jews, in which he warned them that in the future
they would not be allowed to choose a rabbi with-
out obtaining his consent.




As early as Maicli 24. 1603, aud Oct. 18. 1605,
Heniy IV. had gianU-d tlic Jews letters patent, ac-
cording to which he "took them under his jirotec-
tion, and permitted them to trade according to their
franchises, liberties, and ancient customs." These
letters patent were maintained, and the Jews' privi-
leges were even increa.sed, by Louis XIII. (Jan. 24,
1632), by Louis XIV., and i)y Louis XV. (July 9,
1718). Louis Xlll. "rewarded them for their
devotion and charity," and granted them a new law
to remove all difficulties between them aud the in-
habitants of the city, in consideration of the services
they had i-endered the garrison of Metz during the
civil wars. The letters patent granted by Louis
XIV. and Louis XV. were ratified and registered
by the Parliament of Metz (Sept. 3, 1718). Tiiose

himself. Uri Cohen, already advanced in years,
offered an example of patriotism by tendering his
services for the defense of the city. It was he,
also, who, after the victory of Valmy, set out at the
head of the defenders of Thionvillc aud, with Rol-
Icy, mayor of Metz, led them before the Ark, where,
in an enthusiastic speech, he extolled the bravery of
the Jews and declared the country had the rigiit to
count upon the cooperation of all its citizens. Dur-
ing tiie Keign of Terror the synagogue was closed,
tiie sacred utensils used in the services were put un-
der seal, and the courtyard was used for a jiasture;
the tombstones were taken from the cemetery and
used for building purposes.

By the decrees of 1806 and of March 7, 1808, the
Jewisli cree<l was otiiciallv recognized, and in the

Interior of an uld Sy.vagogce at Metz.

(From FraubergiT.)

of May 7, 1777, gave the Jews still greater liberties
and spoke of them as citizens of the land. In 1782,
when the Count of Provence, afterward Louis
XVIII. , went to Metz, he visited the synagogue,
and the chief rabbi. Lion Asser (Aryeh Loeb ben
AsHEU), in the name of the community, assured him
of his homage and bestowed upon him the priestly
benediction. This made a profound impression
upon the count, and those about him were aston-
ished to hear him praise the Jew. "Jew or Chris-
tian," he said, "what is the difference? I honor
virtue wherever it is found."

The French Revolution was greeted with enthu-
siasm by the Jews of Metz. In 1792 the chief rabbi

creation of the seven consistories and grand rabbin-
ates the district of Metz and the community of the
city of Metz are mentioned.

the first chief rabbi was Mayer Charleville, who
was followed by Joseph Gougenheim,
In Recent Wittersheim, Aaron Worms, Lyon
Times. Lambert, and Lippmann. After the
war of 1870 Lippmann, who was un-
willing to surrender his allegiance to France, resigned
his post. lie was subseqxiently made chief rabbi
at Lille. During this period Louis Morhange, for-
merly professor at the rabbinical school in Metz,
served as chief rabbi until the installation of Bigard.
In 1885 the latter was succeeded by Isaac Weill,




■who in 1890 succeeded Arnold Aron as chief rabbi
at Strasburg. His successors at Metz were Adolpiie
Ury aud tlie present (1904) incumbent, Nathan

By the royal decree of 1824 the rabbinical school
that was transferred to Paris in 1859 was established
at Metz. The synagogue was erected in 1840 and
dedicated in 1845. The comninnity possesses com-
munal schools, an infant school, a liospital, a niaz-
zah bakery, and numerous charitable societies,
including a society of young people, which is recog-
nized by the state and which gives aid without dis-
tinction as to creed.

Bibliography: A. Kahn, Lcs Rahbiris de Metz, in U. K. J.
xii. 295; Schwab, Repertoire.
D. A. L.

METZ, ISAAC : German scholar ; lived at Ham-
burg in the tirst half of the nineteenth century. He
compiled a catalogue, entitled " Kehillat Dawid," of
David Oppenheimer's library (translated into Latin
by Lazar Embden, Hamburg, 1826). To this cata-
logue Jacob Goldenthal added an index (Leipsic,
1845). Metz published also an edition of Judah ha-
Levi's "Cuzari" (Hanover, 1836), based upon the
Venice 1547 and 1594 editions.

BiBLiooRAPHY: Steinschneider, Cat. B(wH. col. 1752; Zeitlin,
Bibl. Post-Mendek. pp. 238-239.
D. S. Man.

contralto singer; born at Theresieustadt, Bohemia,
Aug. 31, 1853. At the age of seven she entered the
Prague Conservatorium, where she studied for four
years. Graduating with honors, she immediately
received an engagement at the theater in Altenburg.
Her principal roles at this time were in Gluck's
"Orpheus," Alcnzene in "II Trovatore," and Nancy
in "Martha." In 1875 she went to Leipsic at the
invitation of Friedrich Ilasse, then manager of tlie
Stadt theater there, and after her debut was at once
permanently engaged. Here she remained for
twelve years, singing with extraordinary success
under three successivo managers, Friedrich Ilasse,
Angelo Neumann, and Max Staegemann. She fre-
quently appeared also at concerts and in oratorio at
Hamburg, Bremen, Leipsic, Brunswick, and otlier
cities, her appearance at the musical festival of the
AUgemeiner Deutscher Musikvereia in 1886 being
especially memorable in this connection.

In 1881 Pauline Lovvy married the piano-teacher
Ferdinand Metzler. Since her retirement from the
operatic stage (June 12, 1887) she lias devoted her-
self principally to concert jjcrformances and later
(from 1897) exclusively to vocal instruction.

Bibliography: Bernharrt Vogrel, in Mufiliali.'iches Wnchcn-
t)latt, pp. 4t>K-4T0, Leipsic, 188H ; Riemann, Mu.nk-Leriknn.

8. J. So.

MEXICO. See South and Central America.

MEYER, ADOIiPH : American congressman;
born at New Orleans, La., Oct. 19, 1842. He was
a student at the University of Virginia when the
Civil war broke out; and in 1862 he entered the
Confederate army, .serving until the close of the

Online LibraryIsidore SingerThe Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) → online text (page 128 of 169)