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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Beige de Geologic ") ; " 1 et 2 Notes sur la Structure
des Roches Eruptive " {ib.) ; " Note sur les Taxites et
les Roches Elastiques Volcaniques" {ib.); "Les
Ammonee de la Zone a Sporadoceras Munsteri " (ib.);
" Petrographisches Lexicon" (2 parts, 1893-95);
"Tablitzy dlya Mikroskopicheskikh Opredeleni
Porodoobraznykh Mineralov." The last was pub-
lished in English by Gregory.

Bibliographt: Entziklopedichcski Slovar.
n. R. J. G. L.

LEVINSTEIN, GUSTAV : German manufac-
turer and writer; born in Berlin May, 1842. After
graduating from the Koiluisches Gymnasium in Ber-
lin he went to England, where he and his brothers
founded an anilin-dye factory at Manchester. Re-
turning to Berlin, he entered the university and
studied philosophy. He owns factories in southern
France, though living in Berlin. He has at various
times taken up his pen in behalf of Judaism and
Jewish rights. Of his works the following may be
mentioned: " Wissenschaftlicher Autis»mitismus,"

directed against Paulsen (Berlin, 1896) ; " Der Glaube
Israels" (tb. 1896); "Die Taule" {ib. 1899); "Pro-
fessor Paulsen und die Judenfrage" {ib. 1897); "Die
Forderung des Sonutag - Gottesdienstes: Antwort
auf das Gutachten des Rabbinats und den Beschluss
der Repriisentanten-Versammlung," in support of
supplementary Sunday services {ib. 1898); "Ueber
die Erlosung des Judeuthums," against Benediktus
Levita {ib. 1900); "Professor Ladenburg und der
Unsterblichkeitsgedanke im Judenthum " {ib. 1904).
s. M. K.


sian-Americau rabbi; born at Kovno, Russia, May
12, 1864. He was educated at the rabbinical schools
of Kovno, Wilna, and Byelostok, and received rab-
binical diplomas from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Spector
and Rabbi Samuel Mohilever in 1888. He emigrated
to the United States in 1891, and shortly after his
arrival there was appointed minister of six Russian
congregations in Philadelphia. Leviuthal helped to
found various communal institutions in Philadelphia
and is vice-president of the Union of Orthodox
Rabbis of America, and honorary vice-president of
the Federation of American Zionists.

Bibliography : American Jewish Year Book, 1903-4, p. 74.
A. F. H. V.

LEVIRATE MARRIAGE (Hebr. "yibbum"):
Marriage with a brother"s widow. This custom is
found among a large number of primitive peoples,
a list of which is given by Westermarck ("Historj-
of Human Marriage," pp. 510-514). In some cases
it is the duty of a man to marry his brother's widow-
even if she 'has had children by the deceased, but in
most cases it occurs when there are no children, as
among the Hindus ("Institutes of Manu," v. 59-63).
Among the Hebrews marriage with a brother's wid-
ow was forbidden as a general rule (Lev. xviii. 16,
XX. 21), but was regarded as obligatory (Deut. xxv.
56) when there was no male issue, and when the two
brothers had been dwelling on the same family es-
tate. The surviving brother could evade the obli-
gation by the ceremony of Halizah. The case of
Ruth is not one of levirate marriage, being connected
rather with the institution of the Go'el; but the
relations of Tamar with her successive husbands and
with Judah are an instance (Gen. xxxviii.). If the
levirate union resulted in male issue, the child
would succeed to the estates of the deceased brother.
It would appear that later the levirate marriage
came to be regarded as obligatory only when the
widow had no children of either sex. The Septua-
gint translates " ben " (son) in the passage of Deute-
ronomy by "child," and the Sadducees in the New
Testament take it in this sense (Mark xii. 19; comp.
Josephus, "Ant." iv. 8, § 23).

By Talmudic times the practise of levirate mar-
riage was deemed objectionable (Bek. 13a), and was
followed as a matter of duty only. To marry a broth-
er's widow for her beauty was regarded by Abba
Saul as equivalent to incest (Yeb. 39b). Bar Kap-
para recommends halizah (Yeb. 109a). A differ-
ence of opinion appears among the later authorities,
Alfasi, Maimonides, and the Spanish school gener-
ally upholding the custom, while R. Tam and the




Northern school prefer luilizah (Shulhan 'Aruk,
Eben ha-'Ezer, 165). The marriage was uot neces-
sary if the brother left a child l)y another marriage,
even if such a child were on the point of death
(I.e. 157). A change of religion on the part of the
surviving brother does not affect the obligation of
the levirate, or its alternative, the halizah (Isaac
b. Sheshet, Responsa, i. 2), yet the whole question
has been profoundly affected by the cliange from
polygamy to monogamy due to the takkanah of
Gershom ben Judah (see Makriage).

The Samaritans followed a slightly diflEerent course,
which may indicate an earlier custom among the He-
brews; the former practised the levirate only when
the woman was betrothed and the marriage had not
been consummated (Kid. 65b). The Karaites appear
to have followed the same practise, and Benjamin
Nahawendi, as well as Elijah Bashyazi, favored it
("Adderet Eliyahu, Nashim," p. 93a).

It has been suggested by Kalisch ("Leviticus," ii.
362-363) that the prohibition in Leviticus is of
later date than the obligation under certain condi-
tions in Deuteronomy, but it is equally possible that
the Leviticus prohibition was a general one, and the
permission in Deuteronomy only an exception when
there was no male issue. J. F. Maclennan (" Studies
in Ancient History," i. 109-114) suggested that the
existence of levirate marriage was due to polyandry
among the primitive Hebrews, and has been followed
by Buhl ("Sociale Verhaltnisse," p. 34) and Barton
("Semitic Origins," pp. 66-67); but this is rather
opposed to the Hebraic conditions, for it would be
against the interests of the surviving brother to al-
low the estate to go out of his possession again.
There is, besides, no evidence of polyandry among
the Hebrews.
Bibliography : Gelger, In JtldwcheZeitschrift, 1863, pp. 19-39.

s. S. J.

PEL LEIVE) : German surgeon; born in Berlin
of a family known as " Schnaber " ; died in Hamburg
Feb. 10, 1797. He evinced an early aptitude for
study, and attended the school of David FrRnkel,
chief rabbi of Berlin. Levisohn chose the medical
profession, to which he devoted himself with enthu-
siasm. He left Germany for England, and, after
studying under Joim Hunter, was appointed physi-
cian at the hospital of the Duke of Portland. Being
called to Sweden by Gu.stavus III., he occupied for
some time the position of professor at the Univer-
sity of Upssilu. Gustavus thought highly of him,
and he translated, at the king's command, from
English into Swedisii liis medical and polemical
works. Levisohn left the court in 1781 and re
turned to Germany, where he published German
translations of most of his English medical works.
Three years later (1784) he went to Hamburg, and,
being well received, settled tliere and followed his
profession with remarkable success.

The large number of his daily patients did not
prevent him from prosecuting with zeal his medical,
philosophical, and theological studies. In 1785-86
he publislied two medical journals, and during the
following years labored at his great work on relig-
ious philosopliy. He was then engaged for five

years in physical researches. His works are:
''Ma'amar ha-Torah we-Hokmah" (London, 1771),
a philosophical treatise (this work caused its author
to be regarded in the light of a dangerous innova-
tor) ; •' An Essay on the Blood " {ib. 1776) ; " Epidem-
ical Sore Throat" {ib. 1778); "Beschreibung der
Londonisclien Mediciuischcn Pra.xis d(>n Dcutschen
Aerzten Vorgelegt .... mit einer Vorrede von T. C.
A. Theden" (Berlin, 1782); "The Passions and
Habits of Man, and Their Influence on Health"
(Brunswick, 1797-1801); "Derek ha-Kodesh ha-
Hadashah," a Hebrew grammar.

Bibliography: Schroder, Hnmhurgischc >^chrifti>teUer;
Cannoly, Les Mfdeciwi Juifs, pp. 217, 219 ; I'icciolto, SkctcJies
of A)igh)-Jewish iJistorj/, p. 147; iiriliaJi Museum Cata-

J. G. L.


Levisohn, Gkougp:.

LEVISON, ESAIAS: Danish educationist and
author; born in Copenhagen April 22, 1803; died
tiiere March 23, 1891; educated at the University of
Copenhagen (B. A. 1823). In 1824 Levison was ap-
pointed tutor at the Jewish school in Copenhagen,
in which position he remained till within two years,
of his death. He published several religious edu-
cational works, of which tlie following may be men-
tioned : " Kortfattet Forklaring over L;erebogen i
Religionen for Ungdommen af den Mosaiske Troes-
bekjendelse " (Copenhagen, 1825) ; " Bibelske For-
tfellinger " {ib. 1827) ; a Jewish prayer-book, with
Hebrew text and Danish translation {ib. 1833).
Levison translated into Danish Bulwer Lytton's
"Paul Clifford." For two years (1837-38) he acted
as coeditor of "Borgervennen," a Danish political
periodical, to which he contributed several articles.
In 1837 the University of Kiel conferred upon him
the honorary degree of Ph.D.

Bibliography: Erslew's Forfatter-Lexicon.

8. F. C.


Danish physician; born in Copenhagen Nov. 9,
1843; educated at the University of Copenhagen
(M.D. 1868). He was successively assistant physi-
cian at Frederik's Hospital, the Lying-in Hospital,
and the Aimindeligt (Communal) Hospital in Copen-
hagen. In 1887 he was appointed guardian of the
poor, which position he still (1904) occupies. Levi-
son is an energetic advocate of cremation ; tlip
first Danish society for cremation was founded
(1881) at his initiative, and he has ever since offici-
ated as its president.

Bibliography: C. F. Brlcka, Datuik Uiografisk Lexicon.

s. F. C.

LEVITA, ELIJAH (known also as Elijah
ben Asher ha-Levi Ashkenazi, Elijah Bahur,
Elijah Medakdek, and Elijah Tishbi) : Gram-
marian. Masorite, and poet; born at Neustadt, near
Nuremberg, in 1468; died at Venice Dec;., 1549.

From his cliildhood Elijaii sliowed a prediiecti;)n
for Biblical studies and Hebrew grammar. He set-
tled early in Venice; but in 1.504 lie was at Padua,
earning a livelihood by instructing Jewish children
in Hebrew. At the request of his pupils he wrote
a commentary to Moses Kimhi's " Mahalak " ; but a

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' nsoTO tDnn "lat irMu) 'nscn^aa'

,r !iJ"^n lib 013) rN "^^fe*
n'Ow « nattn^jc '


Title-Page from the First Edition of Elijah Levita's "Tishbi," Isny, 1541.

(From tht Suizbergor collectioD io the Jewish Theological SemiDary of America, New York.)





certain Benjainiu Colbo, to whom Elijah had given
the manuscript to transcribe, publisfied the worii at
Pesaro under his own name. Colbo interspersed the
annotations with excerpts from another work ; and
in this form Elijah's first production was most in-
correctly printed. In spite of this, however, it
became the favorite manual for students of the He-
brew language, both among Jews and Christians.
It was soon reprinted several times at Pesaro, and
made its way into Germany and France, where also it
was reprinted ; it was translated into Latin by Sebas-
tian Mlinster (Basel, 1531, 1536). It was not until
1546 that Elijah, urged by his friends, claimed the
authorship of the work and published a corrected
edition of it at Venice. During his stay in Padua,
Elijah published in German a version of the Baba


The relatively happy circumstances enjoyed by
Elijah at Padua did not long continue. In 1509 the
city was taken and sacked by the army of the League
of Cambray, and Elijah, losing everything he pos-
sessed, had to leave the place. He betook himself
to Rome, and having heard of the scholarly and
liberal-minded ^-Egidius of Vitekbo, general of the
Augustine Order, who was studying Hebrew, he
called upon him. This prelate, in exchange for
Hebrew lessons from Elijah, offered to maintain him
and his family. For thirteen years
Gram- Elijali remained in the palace of the

marian. cardinal, writing works which spread
his rejiutation, giving lessons in He-
brew, and, in turn, taking lessons in Greek from the
cardinal. During this period Elijah produced the
"Sefer ha-Bahur," a grammatical treatise written at
the request of the cardinal, to whom it was dedi-
cated, and first published at Rome in 1518 (2d ed.
Isny, 1542, and many subsequent reissues). As the
author explains in his preface, he called the work
"Bahur " because that was his surname, and further
because the w'ord denoted both "youth" and "ex-
cellent." The treatise is divided into four parts,
each of which is subdivided into thirteen sections,
corresponding to the thirteen articles of the Jewish
creed; while the total number of sections, fifty-two,
represents the numerical value of " Elijah," his name.
The first part discusses the nature of the Hebrew
verbs; the second, the changes in the vowel-points
of the different conjugations; the tliird, the regular
nouns; and the fourth, tiie irregular ones.

In the same year (1518) Elijah published tables of
paradigms for beginners, entitled " Luah bc-Dikduk
ha-Po'alim weha-Binyanim " ; and a work, on the
irregular words in the Bible, entitled "Sefer lia-
Harkabah." Desiring to explain every intricacj-
and anomaly in the Hebrew language, but fearing
that too many digressions might prevent his gram-
mar from becoming a popular manual, he in 1520
published dissertations on various grammatical sub-
jects under tiie general title " Pirke Eliyahu. " This
hedivided into four parts: the first, " Perek Sliirah,"
discussing in thirteen stanzas the laws of tiie letters,
the vowel-points, and the accents; the second, " Perek
ha-Minim," written in prose, treating of the dilTcr-
ent parts of speech; the third, "Perek ha-Middot,"
discussing tiie various parts of speech ; and the
fovirtii. " Perek ha Shimmushim." treating of tiie ser-

vile letters. Like his preceding works, it was trans-
lated into Latin and published by Sebastian Mlinster.
In 1527 misfortune again overtook Elijah; he was
driven from his studies when the Imperialists sacked
Rome, and lost all his property and the
Proof- greater part of his manuscripts. He
Reader and then returned to Venice, and was en-
Tutor, gaged by the printer Daniel Bom-
berg as corrector of his Hebrew press.
To the income derived from this employment was
added that earned by tuition. Among his pupils
was the French ambassador George de Selve, after-
ward Bishop of Lavaur, who by generous pecuniary
assistance placed Elijah in a position to complete
his great Masoretic concordance " Sefer ha-Zikronot,"
on which he had labored for twenty years. This
work, which De Selve, to whom it was dedicated,
sent to Paris to be printed at his expense, has for
some unknown reason never been published, and is
still extant in manuscript in the Bibliotheque Na-
tionale, Paris. An attempt to edit it was made by
Goldberg in 1875, but he got no farther than 'OJK-
The introduction and the dedication to it were pub-
lished by Frensdorf in Fraenkel's " Monatsschrift "
(xii. 96-108). Still the "Seferha-Zikronot," to which
Elijah often refers as his chef-d'oeuvre, made a
good impression in Paris, and Elijah was offered by
Francis I. the position of professor of Hebrew at tJie
university there, which he declined, being unwilling
to settle in a city forbidden to his coreligionists.
He declined also invitations from several cardinals,
bishops, and princes to accept a Hebrew professor-
ship in Christian colleges.

Two years after the completion of the "Sefer ha-
Zikronot" Elijah published his Masoretic work
"Massoretlia-Massoret " (V^enice, 1538), divided into
three parts, respectivelj^ denominated " First Tables,"
" Second Tables," and " Broken Tables," each with an
introduction. The " First Tables " is divided into ten
sections, or commandments (" 'Aseretha-Debarim "),
dealing with the "full" and "defective" writing of
syllables. The " Second Tables " treats of the " kere "
and "ketib," "kamez" and "patal.i," "dagesh,"
"mappik,""rafe," etc. The " Broken Tables " dis-
cusses the abbreviations used by the
"Mas- Masorites. In the third introduction
soret." Elijah produces an array of most pow-
erful arguments to prove that the
vowel-points in the Hebrew Bibles were invented
by the Masorites in the fifth century of the com-
mon era. This theory, although suggested by
some Jewish scholars as early as the ninth cen-
tury, provoked a great outcry among the Ortho-
dox Jews, who ascribed to the vowel points the
greatest antiquity. They were already dissatisfied
with Elijah for giving instruction in Hebrew to
Christians, since the latter openly confessed that
they studied the Hebrew language with the liope of
finding in the Hebrew texts, especially in the Cabala,
arguments against Judaism. To this Elijah replied in
the first introduction to tiie " Massoret ha-Massoret"
that he taught only the elements of the language
and did not teach Cabala at all. Moreover, he
pointed out that Christian Hebraists generally de-
fended the Jews against the attacks of the fanatical
clergy. Elijah's theory concerning the modernity




of the vowel-poiuts caused still greater excitement
among Christians, and for three centuries it gave
occasion for discussions among Catholic and Protes-
tant scholars, suchasBuxtorf, Walton, De Rossi, and
others. The " Massoret ha-Massoret " was so favor-
ably received that in less than twelve months after
its appearance it was republished at Basel (1539).
In this edition Sebastian ]\Iunster translated into
Latin the three introductions, and gave a brief sum-
mary of the contents of the three parts. The third
part, or the "Broken Tables, "was republished sepa-
rately at Venice in 1566, under the title " Perush ha-
Massoret we-Kara Shemo Sha'are Shibre Luhot."
This part of the book was again republished, with
additions, by Samuel ben Ilayyimat Prague in 1610.
The three introductions were also translated into
Latin by Nagel (Altdorf, 1758-71). In 1772 the
whole book was translated into German by Chris-
tian Gottlob Meyer, and in 1867 into English by
Christian D. Ginsburg.

In 1538, also, Elijah published at Venice a treatise
on the laws of the accents entitled " Sefer Tub
Ta'am." Meanwhile David Bomberg's printing-
office had ceased to exist, and Elijah, although at
that time seventy years of age, left his wife and
children and departed in 1540 for Isny, accepting
the invitation of Paul Fagius to superintend his He-
brew printing-press there. During Elijah's stay with
Fagius (until 1542 at Isny and from 1542 to 1544 at

Constance) he published the following

Lexi- Avorks : " Tishbi, " a dictionary contain-

cograplier. ing 712 words used in Talmud and

Midrash, with explanations in German
and a Latin translation by Fagius (Isny, 1541);
"Sefer Meturgeman," explaining all the Aramaic
words found in the Targum(«i.); "Shemot Deba-
rim." an alphabetical list of the technical Hebrew
words (Isny, 1542); a Jud«o-Gernian version of the
Pentateuch, the Five Megillot, and Haftarot (Con-
stance, 1544); and a new and revised edition of the
"Bahur." On returning to Venice, Elijah, in spite
of his great age, still labored on the edition of several
works, among which was David Kinihi's "Miklol,"
to which he added notes of his own (" nimukim ").

Bibliography: Vf o\f, Bihl. Hehr. iii. 97; Azulai, iS'/fcm ha-
Gcdotim, S.V.; G. B. de Rossi, Diziimario, s.v.; Oiioit, Lit.
1848, Nos. 4-6; Frensdorf, in Monatssclnift, xii. 9(i ct seq.;
Gesenius. Gesch. ilcr Hehiiiisclien Spraclic, Leipsic, 1815;
Briill's Jahrb. viii. 188; S. Buber, Talcdot Eliijalni, 1856;
Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 934; Idem, BihUngva]ihiAchcs
Haiiill>ur)i, Nos. 1159-1167; Gratz, Gesch. viii. 199; Kabana,
in Ha-Slidhnr, xii. 498 ct ticq.; V. D. Ginsburg, The Masoreth
ha-Ma^drc'th of EJias Levita, London, 1867 ; I. Davidson, in
Mdilia' la-Hadashim, ii. 31 ct .xey.; J. Levi, FAia Livitir.
Breslau. 1888; liactier, in Erscli and (iruber, Eiicur. s.v.
Lcrita ; idem, Lcvita^s )Vi.<sieni<cliaftliche Leistunqen,
mZ. D. M. G. xiiil. 306-273; idem, Zur Biograptiie Elija
if fi7(('s, in 3f())ia<wc/inff, xxxvii. 398 et scg.
J. L Br.


sian painter; born near Eidtkuhneii Aug. 18, 1860;
died at Moscow July 22, 1900. Ilis father, who
earned a livelihood by giving private tuition, re-
moved to Moscow when Levitan Avas still a boy and
gave him a good home training. About 1875 Levi-
tan entered the Moscow School of Art, where he fin-
ished the course. Living in great poverty, and at
times in actual want, he still continued his work, and
at tlie age of nineteen disjilayed considerable talent
in his "An Autumn Day at Sokolniki." Tills pic-

ture was purchased by the well-known connoisseur
Tretyakov. In 1880 Levitan exhibited " The Plowed
Field," which attracted much favorable comment.
As late as 1886, notwithstanding the reputation
whicli he had acquired, he still continued to derive
only a very small income from his profession.

The period 1887-97 was the most happy of Levi-
tan's life, and to it belong liis best works. He was
a tireless worker and painted a very large number of
pictures. Twenty-tive of his paintings are to be
seen in the Tretyakov gallery alone. He probably
produced in all about 1,000 i)aintings and studies,
most of them in the decade 1887-97. In 1892, when
Levitan was already widely known and after the
award to him of the lirst prize for his picture "Twi-
light" at the Art Lovers' Exhibition, the notori-
ous May Laws were enforced in Moscow, and he
was permitted to remain there only owing to the in-
tluence of powerful friends. His nearest relatives,
however, were compelled to leave the city, their
business was ruined, and Levitan had to render them
material aid to the end of his life. In 1897 Levitan
was elected an active member of the Munich society
Secession, and the Academy of Art selected him an

Levitan's paintings are marked by a thorough
knowledge of Russian scenery and types. They
possess a decided originality; at the same time they
convey an expression of sadness. In his funeral
oration Count A. E. Lvov said of Levitan : " He was
an artist-poet. He not only painted pictures — in his
paintings there was something besides; we not only
saw his pictures, we also felt them. He knew how
to interpret Nature and her mysteries as no other
man. " Even the " Novoye Vremya" (July 29, 1900),
an organ decidedly anti-Semitic in its policy, ad-
mitted that "this full-blooded Jew knew, as no
other man, how to make us realize and love our
plain and homely country scenes."

Among the works of Levitan may be mentioned :
" Over Eternal Rest " ; " The Neglected Graveyard " ;
" A Tatar Graveyard " ; " Relics of the Past— Twi-
light in Finland " ; "The Golden Autumn"; " Vladi-
mlrka " ; " March " ; " After the Rain " ; " Forest " ;
"Evening"; "The Peaceful Retreat"; "The Hay-
Harvest " ; and two lake scenes. A picture by Levi-
tan, entitled "A Convent on the Eve of a Holiday,"
was exhibited at the Columbian Exposition, Chicago,
in 1893.
Bibliography: S. Vermel, To.s7i?i(H?, xxii. 34. -r /i t

H. K. J- G. L.

LEVITES (Temple Servants). — Biblical
Data: Of the Levites, Aaron and his sons were
chosen for the priestly office (Ex. xxviii. let seq.);
the menial services of the Tabernacle were assigned
to the rest of the tribe (Num. i. 47 et seq.). The
Kohathites were to bear the sacred furniture of the
Tabernacle; the Gershonites, its curtains; and the
Merarites, its boards, pins, and poles (Num. iv.
4-16, 22-28, 29-33). It is distinctly stated that the
Levites shall not approach the most holy things
(Num. iv. 19)— that is, they shall not act as priests,
a function which the context reserves for Aaron and
liis sons.

In Deuteronomy the representation is quite differ-
I ent ; " priests " and " Levites " aie there synonymous




terms, and the one is regularly placed in apposition
with the other. In Deut. xviii. 1, apparently, every
Levite is a potential priest. In Josliua, as in Num-
bers, the Levites consist of the clans of Kohatli,
Gershou, and Merari, and to each clan a large num-
ber of cities is assigned (comp. Josh. xxi. ; see
Levi, Tuibe of). The Levites, as the servants of the
Temple, appear next in I Chronicles, where David
is represented as dividing them into "courses"
to wait on the sons of Aaron by doing the menial

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