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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child," or, according to R. Hananeel, "the one who
whispers"; that is to say, the midwife whispered
in the woman's ear in order to facilitate parturition.

The question whether the delivery-stool was in
use in Egypt during the Biblical period is answered
by the Rabbis in the affirmative; for they translate
D>J3X "delivery-stool," giving various reasons for
so doing (Sotah I.e.). The Talmudic interpretation
of 1211T) (Hosea xiii. 13) also is "delivery -stool."

A midwife, when called to assist a woman in
labor, is allowed to profane the Sabbath, if neces-
sary, in the discharge of her duties (Shab. I.e. ; Yer.
Shab. xviii. 3); and all concessions are gianted to
her as to one engaged in saving human life.

Although many physicians studied obstetrics, and
rabbis who were acquainted with that science (Sam-
uel, among others) were consulted on certain occa-
sions with regard to the ritual cleanness or unclean-
ness of the mother, yet it does not appear from the
Talmud that men were ever called to assist a woman
in her delivery. It is also difficult to say whether in
the Talmudic times midwives were specially trained
for their profession or whether they gained their
knowledge of it merely by watching the operations
of others. The term riDDn, however, would seem
to indicate that they were well tnuned.

Midwives, as appears from the Talmud, were
called to assist not only women, but even domestic
animals (Hul. 43a).
BiBLiOfiRAPiiY : Willaclin F.ltstein, Dir Mrdiziii in \eii<)i

Testninctit mid iin Talmud, pp. 2Vi ft nfi/.. Stuttgart. 19(i:{;

L. Kotelinauii, Die Geliurtsliilfe di'r AUoi Hehrilrr. 187t>.

s. s. ^I. SliL.


town in tile government of Podolia: it has a total
population of 5,100, including 3,400 Jews. Among
the latter there are 1,009 tirtisans and 57 day-labor-
ers. There are the usual charitable organizations.
About 300 families were assisted in ISitS with fuel,
and were given aid for Passover. A Jewish com-
munity existed at Miedzylioz as early as the six-
teenth century, but in the course of the Cossack
upri.sing under Climielnicki it was destroyed. A
few years later the census (1661) of the district of




Podolia showed that Miedzyboz had only a few
Jewish houses, including two inns; these were ex-
empted from taxation by privilege. During the
war between Russia and Poland for the possession
of Little Russia, the Jews of Miedzyboz were again
liiit to the sword (1664). About 1740 the founder of
Ilasidism, Israel b. Eliezer Ba'al Shem-Toh, settled
there, and began to disseminate his teachings.

Rihlio(;raphy : Uif/eMii i NadpM, i. 42t), 4.53, 464, St. Peters-
burg, 1891); .S. Dulinow, I'ci'rew/fai/a isforii/a, il. 428, Odessa,
H. II. S. J.

RECHYE) : Town in the government of Siedlce,
Itussian Poland ; near Warsaw. It has (1904) a popu-
lation of 13,681, of whom 9,000 are Jews. The first
Jewisli settlement dates probably from the six-
teenth century, its members coming from Germany
and especially from Frankfort-on-the-Main. The
Jews control all the business of the town. The
making of bristles for the German export trade, via
Leipsic, is one of its important industries, in which
many Jewish workmen are employed. Moses Mi-
chel Migdal introduced this enterprise.

The synagogue, a very imposing stone structure,
with a seating capacity of approximately 3,000, was
built about 1800; Count Potocki, who formerly
owned the town, is said to have contributed a large
sum toward its erection. The bet ha-midrash was
built in 1859. Miedzyrzecz has several minor congre-
gations, a Talmud Torah, and a yeshibah (founded by
Bendet Barg; d. 1891). Many Jews from Miedzyr-
zecz settled in the Holy Land, among them being Zebi
HirschFischbein((l. Jeru.saleml870)and David Jano-
wer. Both contributed to the foimding of a Talmud
Torah in Jerusalem. The colonists of Yesod lia-Ma-
'alah, near Safed, in 1885, were all from Miedzyrzecz.

The following is a list of the rabbis of Miedzyr-
zecz : Zebi Hirsch b. Abbusch. of Frankfort-on-
the-Main (d. 1734); Isaac b. Zebi Hirsch (d.
1771); Iiob of Frankfort; Nahman b. Elijah;
Ephraim Eliezer Zebi b. Zeeb Harlap (Eliezer
Harlap; d. 1849; a descendant of Gedaliah ibn
Yah^^a; he was a cabalist and left many manu-
scripts, some of which have been published under
the title "'Migdenot Eliezer"; in its introduction he
traces his descent from King David); Yom-Tob
Lippe Heilpern (author of "'Oneg Yom-Tob,"
responsa): Joshua Lob Diskin (d. Jerusalem
1898); Simhah Samuel (author of "Mesharet
Moshc'h," iiovclhe onMaimonides'" Yad " ; d. 1865);
Israel Isser Shapiro of Augustow (d. 1895);
Nahman Baer Shapiro (sou of Israel Isser).

Miedzyrzecz has had several authors of note.
Abraham Dob Berusch Flohm, maggid, was the
author of " Hesed le-Abraham," on the Haggadah
(1836). He corrected for the press all the manu-
scripts of Jacob, the maggid of Dubno. Jacob
David Biederman was the author of annotations
on "ToratKohanim" ; he became rabbi of Kozenitz,
a small town near Miedzyrzecz. Moses Hayyim
Triwaks (b. 1868) was the author of "Nod De-
ma'ot" (Warsaw, 1888) and "Nahalat Mosheli "
(1890). Tliere is a congregation in New York city
whose members are mostly natives of Miedzyrzecz.

II. B. J. D. E.

Moses Mielziner.

MIELZINER, MOSES : American rabbi and
author; born at Schubin, province of Posen, Ger-
many, Aug. 12, 1828; died at Cincinnati Feb. 18,
1903. His father, Benjamin, rabbi in his native
town, gave him the first instruction in Talmudic lit-
erature, while he received his secular education
from L. I. Braunhart, a man of superior gifts, who,
after having been a pupil of Heinrich Heine in the
course founded by the Culturvcrein in Berlin, waa
appointed principal of the
Jewisli school in Schubin
in 1835, and remained
there until his death in his
ninety-eighth year in 1904.
In 1843 Mielziner was
sent to Exin, where he at-
tended the yeshibah of the
aged rabbi Wolf Klausner,
and in 1845 he went to Ber-
lin in pursuit of further
secidar education, attend-
ing at the same time the Talmudic course of Rabbi J.
J. Oettinger. Having prepared himself privately for
academic studies, he entered the University of Ber-
lin in 1848, and remained there until 1852, when
Samuel Holdhkim, who took a great interest in
him, recommended him to Waren in Mecklenburg
as teacher and preacher. The Orthodox reaction
introduced by the " Landrabbiner " Llipschilz in 1853
forced Mielziner, much to the regret of his congrega-
tion ("Allg. Zeit.desJud."1854,p.527; 1857, p. 369),
to resign his position. He went to Denmark, where
his brother Solomon was minister in Aalborg, and
soon obtained a position at Banders in 1854. In 1857
he Avas called as principal of the religious school to
Copenhagen, where he remained until 1865, when
he was called to the rabbinate of the Congregation
Aushe Chesed in New York (" New Yorker Staats-
Zeitung," 1865, No. 215). When this congregation
was absorbed by the Beth-El congregation, he opened
a private school, which he conducted until 1879,
Avhen he received a call as professor of Talmud and
rabbinical literature from the Hebrew Union College
in Cincinnati. Upon the death of Isaac M. Wise
March 26, 1900, he became president of this institu-
tion, and held this jiositiou until his death.

Mielziner was not a voluminous writer. Apart
from several sermons which he published, the first
of which was delivered in Waren, 1854, he wrote
" Die Verhaltnisse dcr Sklaven bei den Hebraern,"
Copenhagen, 1859, this being the thesis for which
he received the degree of Ph.D. from the University
of Giessen. This book appeared also in an English
translation under the title " Slavery Among the An-
cient Hebrews," Cincinnati, 1895. As a result of
his lectures at the college lie published: "Jewish
Law of Marriage and Divorce," Cincinnati, 1884;
"Introduction to the Talmud," ib. 1894; second edi-
tion, New York, 1903 ; and "Legal Maxims of the
Talmud," ib. 1898. Mielziner edited a Danish alma-
nac for the year 5622- 1862-63, and "A Selection
from the Psalms for School and Family," Cincinnati,
1890. He also contributed to the "Allgenieine
Zeitung des Judenthums," "Ben Cliananja," the
" American Israelite, " and " Die Deborah, " and wrote
articles for the "Year-Book of the Central Confer-




ence of Americuu Kubbis " and for The Jewish En-

Mielziner married in 1861 Kosctte I>evald of
Copenhagen, and of the seven children who sur-
vived him, one, Leo, is an artist, living in Paris,
and another, Jacob, is a rabbi at Helena, Mont.

Bibliography: American Z^raeHte, Feb. 26, 1903 ; Allg.Zeit.
desJud. 1903, pp. 271-273; Program of the Hebrew Union
College, 1903, and Beretniiiu om den JOdiiike liehgions-
skole's Virksomhed i de ForliJhne 00 Aar, Copenliagen, 1904.

A. ii-

MIESES : A family of German and Austrian
scholars of the nineteenth century, of wiiich the fol-
lowing are prominent members:

Fabius Mieses : Galician litterateur and phi-
losopher; born at Brody Oct. 31, 1824; died at
Leipsic Oct. 10, 1898. Up to his lifteenth year he
studied Hebrew literature exclusively. At an early
age he gave signs of great intellectual power, and
was hailed as a genius. In the house of his father-in-
law, I. Mieses, a scholar living in Dresden, he met,
besides Rapoport and other Maskilim, his future
teacher, M. Schongut, who initiated him into the
study of philosophy, and with Avhom he used to
converse in Hebrew during their regular daily
walks. At the same time he assiduously applied
himself to the study of German, French, Italian,
Latin, mathematics, and astronomy. In 1846 his
German essay "Gegeuwart und Vergangenheit im
Judenthume" appeared in Furst's "Orient"; and
from that time he became assistant editor of and
a regular contributor to that paper. In 1878 he
published (at Lyck) a didactic poem entitled "Ha-
Emunah wehaTebunah," treating of Darwinism and
its opponents. By this production he gained for
himself a prominent and lasting place among He-
brew poets.

Mieses was a prolific writer. Besides frequently
contributing to various Hebrew and German peri-
odicals, he wrote the following independent works:
" Ha-Kabbalah weha-Hasidut" (Breslau, 1866; Odes-
sa, 1871); "Korot ha-Filusufiyah ha-Hadashah"
(Leipsic, 1887), a history of modern philosophy
from Kant to Mieses' own time; "Shirim" (Cra-
cow, 1891), a collection of miscellaneous poems;
"Die Bibel dcr Vernunft" (Leipsic, 1895). Upon
this last work rests his chief claim to fame, as it is
the Hrst and only one of its kind which was written
in the Hebrew tongue. Mieses was opposed to all
religious reforms.

Bibliography: E. Glnzlp, Toledot F. Mieses, Cracow, 1890 ;
Kenestet Y'isracl, p. 11», Warsaw, 1887.

B. L Wau.

Isaac Mieses: Austrian writer; born at Lem-
berg 1»02; died in 1883. A very talented boy.
he acquired at an early age a knowledge of the
Talmud and kindred works. Later on he devoteil
himself muiiily to philosophy. He removed to
Thorn when nearly sixty years of age.

His Avorks include the following: "Beitrag zur
Wiudigung der Wirren im Judentuin," Leipsic,
1845; "Zofnath Paneach: Darstellung und Kriti.sche
Beleuchtung der .tiidischcn Gehcimkhre," in two
parts, Cracow, 1862; "Benedict Spinor.a und Sein
Vcrhilltniss zum Kriticismus," in " Zeitschrift fiir Ex-
arte I'iiilosophie." vol. iii. ; and many other scientific
essays publi.shed in various periodicals.

1900. Paris.

1901. Molile Carlo.

1902. Hanover.

Bibliography : K. CUnzig, Toledot F(tbius Mieses, Cracow,
s. A. H. K.

Jacques Mieses : German journalist and chess
master; born at Leipsic Feb. 27, 1865; educated at
the universities of his native city and Berlin, where
he studied mainly the natural sciences. When S('v-
euteen years of age he won the first prize at the an-
nual tournament of one of the Berlin chess clubs,
and then for some time devoted himself chiefly to
theoretical chess and problems. Of the latter he
is generally admitted to be one of the leading solvers.
Since 1888 he has participated in most of the inter-
national tournaments, at each of which he has gained

1888. Nuremberg.

1888. Leipsic.

1889. Breslau.
1899. London.

At the tourney held at Cambridge Springs, Pa., in
1904, he Avas jilaced eighth, tying with Pillsbury.

Mieses is the author of the followi"ng works on
chess: " Kleines Lehrbuch des Schachspiels " (Leip-
sic); "Schachmeister-Partieen" (ib.); and, with C.
von Bardeleben, "Lehrbuch des Schachspiels" (//!/.
1894). He edits also the chess columns of the " Ber-
liner Tageblatt," " Lc\]y/.\gc'V Neueste Nachrichteu,"
and "Zur Guten Stunde."

Bibliography: The Hastings Chess Toiir)iament, 1895, ed.
Cheshire, p. 361, London, 189t; ; ('. T. Blanchard, FJjamjjlcn of
Chess Master-Play, second series, p. 117, London, 1894.
s. A. P.

Judah Lob Mieses : One of the most pnuni-
nent Maskilim of Galicia; died at Lemberg 1831.
He was a man of wealth and education, and made
his house the center of a literary circle. He en-
couraged and aided Isaac Erter and other young
men who showed eagerness for knowledge and self-
culture, and he offered them the use of his valuable

Mieses was a fluent Hebrew writer and a strong
opponent of Hasidism. He was the author of
"Kin'at ha-Emet" (Vienna, 1828; 2d ed., Lemberg,
1879), containing an introduction and three dialogues
between Maimonides and Solomon of Chelm, author
of "Merkebet ha-Mishncii " (Salonica, 1777). In
this work Mieses pleads for pure Judaism free from
all superstitious belief in spirits, dreams, demons,
witchcraft, metempsychosis, etc., whicli in the
course of time had obscured the light of the sub-
lime religion. He sharply criticizes the zaddik for
spreading the grossest superstition among the Hasi-
(lim, and for exploiting the credulity of the igno-
niut masses. The autlior evinces a wide acquaint-
ance with Jewish and general literature; and he
appends to his book, under the title "Likkute Pera-
him," extracts from tlu; writings of Judah ha-Levi,
Ibn Ezra, Kiinhi, Albo, Abravanel, Joseph Del-
medigo, and others, in support of his own views.
He wrote also additions to David Caro's "Tekunat
ha-Rabbanim" (2d ed., Lemberg, 1879; see Jew.
p]NCYC. iii. 582, s.r. Cako, David).

Bibliography : Benjacob, Ozar ha-Sefnrim.p.!'M: Bikkure
lia-'Ittin), xi. 126-142, Vienna. 18.30; Kiirst, Bihl.Jud. ii. 377;
(ieiger. Melo <hofnajim. pp. xlviii., 51, and Hebrew text, p.
6, Berlin, 1840; (Jriitz, (lesih. xi. 42.')-426, 488, Leipsic, 1870;
Kerem Henied, pp. 124-134, Vienna. Wii; Letteris, in Erter,
(if.samniclte Schriften, p. v.. Vienna. 1864; Zeillin, Bihl.
Pnst-Meudels. p. 239.
u. S. Man.




MIGAS, IBN. See lux Migas.

MIGGO: An Aniniiiic word contracted from
" luiu giiw " (= "from witliiu "), ineaniiig to proceed
fiom the content of a sentence or circumstance, and
designating originally a conclusion based on anal-
ogy. It is used in this sense in 13. M. ob. If it be
assumed that one lias transgressed a connnand-
ment, and has taken money or property which docs
not belong to him, it follows that he may be sus-
pected with regard to an oath, and that he is likely
to commit perjury. Such a conclusion, however,
is valid only when the breaking of a venial com-
mandment is inferred from the violation of an im-
portant one, and not conversely (comp. Tos. B. M.
l.<-., catch-word " de-hashid "). Another example of
the use of " miggo " in this sense occurs in Suk. 7a,
where, from the assumption tliat a ledge is consid-
ered a wall in the case of a bootii, the conclusion is
drawn that a ledge is likewise a wall so far as the
Sabbath is concerned. The Hebrew equivalent for
the Aramaic "miggo" in this sense is"mittok,"a
contraction of " min tok " (= " from within "). An
example of tiie use of this term occurs in Bczah
12a, where, from the fact that work is permissible on
a holiday when it is necessary for a livelihood, it is
inferred that it is allowed also when it is not neces-
sary for subsistence: "Mittok she-hutterah le-zorek
hutterah nami shello le-zorek."

Later the expression "miggo" was frequently
used as a legal term, connoting " for this reason."
When, for instance, a defendant or a plaintiff who
bases his statements on a given a.sscrtion is known
to have other and better reasons for his complaint
or his defense, he is believed on the ground of the
assertion made, and it is assumed that

Bases of he has spoken only the truth; for had
Legal he wished to perjure Iiimself he would
Argument, have alleged better reasons. Thus the
expression "The defendant (or the plain-
tiff) has a miggo" signifies that he was in a position
to produce more convincing grounds for his state-
ments; and in like manner, the formula "Ilis case
is decided on account of a miggo" signifies that he
is believed for this reason.

The Mishnah does notcontain the word "miggo,"
l)ut a similar idea is expressed in the sentence "ha-
pch she-asar hu ha-peh she-hittir " (= " the mouth
-which has bound has loosed"). An application of
this principle occurs in Ket. 15b : " When one says,
' This field belonged to thy father, but I have bouglit
it from him,' he is believed; for, had he wished to
appropriate what was not his, he would not have
called attention to the fact that the land had pre-
viously belonged to another."

Miggo is not, however, conclusive proof, but
only evidence of probability. If two parties present
their opposing statements to a judge who can not
decide which is true, and if one party has a nuggo,
the fact that he did not plead other arguments
which he might have alleged is allowed to decide
the matter and results in a favorable judgment for
him. The miggo is valid, therefore, only when it
must be admitted that the party in question omitted
the presentation of other pleas within hi-* power in
good faith and not for some ulterior reastm. If, on

the other hand, the latter motive is to be assumed,
the miggo is absolutely invalid. An example may
make this clearer. A entrusts B with a given ob-
ject. If B asserts that tlic object so given him was
destroyed through no fault of his, he is obliged to
lake the oath luescribeil by the Bible, in spite of
the facttiiathe has a miggo— namely, he uiight deny
that A had given him the object in (luestion. But
in the case in (luestion B did not avail himself
of thisi)lea, only because he did not have the audac-
it\ to deny a fact known to A and because he pre-
ferred to tell a falsehood which was not known by
ills o[)i)onents to be such (comp. Asheri to Shebu.

The nuggo is, furthermore, subject to many limi-
tations. Thus it is invalid when the better plea of
the party in (juestion is an unusual

Limita- one, or one of an incriminating char-
tions. acter, or one which is known oidy to
lawyers. It is invalid also when the
court recognizes the assertion made to be false
(comp. Tos. B. B. 30a, ».r. tX^). Neither is the
miggo valid when the assertion made is suspected
to be based on error, although the defendant or the
plaintiff believes he is speaking the truth. When,
for example, a wife declares that her husband died
in battle, she is not believed simply she has
a miggo — namely, she might have averred that he
died elsewhere than in battle. The miggo can find
no application here, because the woman's veracity
has not been questioned, the point at issue being
whether or not she was mistaken and thought that
her husband died on the field, whereas he was only
severely wounded (Yeb. 115a).

Bibliography: Z. Franiel, Der Gcrichtliche Bciicia imrh
Mdnaiifch-Talmrniiscltem Rechie, pp. 437-474, Berlin, I84ti;
¥\n)i, yiiooc als Rrchtshcweis im Bahiihiiiisclirti Talrmul,
Breslau, 1891.
s. J. Z. L.

MIGRATION : Removal from one region to
another. Ever since the Exile, Jews have been
forced to Avander from country to country, and a
full histoiy of their migrations woidd be almost iden-
tical with a complete history of that people.

In the first century the center of Jewish popula-
tion, taking the whole spread of the Diaspora, was
probably somewhere about Tarsus. In the twelfth
century it had moved to the neighborhood of Troves of the migration of the Jews to Rome, to
Spain, to Gaul, to England, and to Germany. By the
middle of the sixteenth century, owing to the ex-
pulsion and migrations from western Europe, the
center of Jewish population had moved over to
Poland. It is impossible here to deal with these
movements in detail, but the forcible migration of
Jews to Babylonia in Bible times, whence they
spread to Persia, and, it has been conjectured, even
up to Caucasia, is a typical instance of such move-
ments. Expulsion from England removed 16,000
Jews; that from Spain is reckoned to have spread
more than 300,000 over the lands bordering the
Mediterranean. The medieval history of the Ger-
man Jews consists almost entirely of wholesale
movements of communities from one town to an-
other. Unfortunately in few of these instances are
any numerical details available. It was only re-




cently that new conditions enable some estimate to
be made of the numbers of Jews forced through
migration from their native countries.

In recent times a new kind of migration has taken
phice, due partlj-^ to economic causes and partly to
persecution, which can be traced in some detail foi-
the past quarter of a century. The chief countries
from which emigration has taken place are Kussia,
Galicia, and Rumania; the chief countries of immi-
gration, England and the United States. J.

The emigration of Jews from Kussia increased
remarkably in the seventies and became wide-
spread in the eighties of the nineteenth cen-
tury. That until then the emigration movement
was but slight is evidenced by the fact
From that between the j^ears 1821-70 only

Russia. 7,550 Jewish emigrants trom Russia
and Russian Poland '=!et out for the
United States, at that time the most important ob-
jective point, and in the decade 1871-80 no less than
41,057 came from Russia alone.

The direct cause which led to the largely increased
emigration may be found in the anti-Jewish riots
which occurred in the early eighties. Maddened by
fearaftertheseriots, the Jewish population, including
not a few professional men, formed regular emigrant
companies. These removed to Germany, Austro-
Hungary, England, France, the United States, and
Palestine. There are no exact figures at hand to
show the extent of that first emigration movement.
The emigration from Russia to the United States,
which amoimted, on the average, to no more than
4, 100 persons a year even in the decade 1871-80,
readied in the decade 1881-90 an annual average of
20, 700. The following table gives the number of Rus-
sian Jews who emigrated to the United States during
llie .several years of tliis decade according to the fig-
ures of the United States Immigration (Jommission
and of the United Hebrew Charities respectively:


u .



a; vj

i a


a 2j


x: zj











B-" !


c .-




6 - ^


















i 9,6 11




However, while tlie riots of 1881 were the immediate
cause of the increased emigration, the true cause was
undoubtedly the very unfortunate economic condi-
tion of the Jewish population in Russia, and the
riots merely supplied the stimulus. The pio-
neers were scarcely settled in their new homes
wiien their friends and relatives followed them. Tlie
relations between the Pale of Settlement and the
countries whither the emigrants moved became more
intimate, and because of the more favorabh; eco-
nomic conditions in these countries tiie emigration
to them increased. The fluctuations in the separate;
years covering the period may be explained mainly
l)y the fluctuations in the commercial prosperity of
these lands.

The new and repressive measures inaugurated by
the Russian government in the early nineties re-
sulted ill anotJier increase of Jewish emigration.
In 1891 and 1892 occurred the administrative ex-

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 144 of 169)