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

. (page 167 of 169)
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 167 of 169)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

queror) had doubtless much to do with the successes
of Jeroboam II. (II Kings xiv. 25, 28). The older
Assyrian dynasty was overthrown in April, 745, and
the throne seized by Pul, who took the name of
Tiglatli-pileser III. The Assyrian army was reor-
ganized, and a new policy was entered upon, that of
uniting the whole of western Asia under the rule of
Nineveh. In 738 tribute was paid to Assyria by
Menahem of Samaria and Rezon of Damascus; and
the appeal of Ahaz for help in 734 gave Tiglatli-
pileser a further opportunity of asserting his suze-
rainty over Palestine. Rezon was blockaded in his
capital, while Samaria, Amnion, Moab, and Philistia
were overrun. In 732 Damascus was taken. Rezon
put to death, and his kingdom placed under an As-
.syrian prefect. Pekah had already been murdered,
and lloshea, an Assyrian nominee, placed upon the
throne, a tine of 10 (V) talents of gold and 1,000 of
silver being exacted from him. After this Tiglath-
pileser held an as.seinbly of the subject princes;
among them was Ahaz, to whom the Assyrian
scribes give his full name of Jeho-aliaz (.see II Kings
xvi. 10). Tiglatli-pileser died in Dec, 727, and was
succeeded as king by Ulula, who took the name of
Siialinaneser IV. The revolt of lloshea caused him
to besiege Samaria; but before the siege was ended
he died (Dec, 722), and another usurper, Sargon,
made himself king. Sargon .soon captured Samaria,
an<l carried the upi)er and military classes into
captivity. The captives amounted in all to 27,280
persons, but only fifty ciiariots were found in flic
city. Samaria was now placed under an A.ssyrian

The death of Shalmancser had allowed the Baby-
lonians to recover their independence under a "Chal-
dean " from the Persian Gulf, Merodach-baladan by
name. For some years Sargon was too much occu-
l)ied in fighting against his northern neighbors to




turn to the south. But by 711 u.c. his hiiuds were
free, and Merodach-baladan accordingly began to
look tor allies. An embassy was sent to Hezekiali,
and an anti-Assyrian league was formed in the west
between Judah, Edom, Moab, and Egypt, of whicii
Ashdod (attliat lime under tlie suzerainty of Judah,
like the rest of Fhilistia) was the head. But Sargon
moved too rapidly for the allies. Ashdod was taken
by the tartan or commauiier-in-chief ; the states of
southern Syria were compelled once more to pay
tribute; and Sargon himself invaded Babylonia.
In 709 he entered Babylon in triumph, and Mero-
dach-baladan tied to his ancestral domains.

Sargon was murdered in TO") u.c, and his son
Sennacherib succeeded him in the following July.
In 701 the revolt of Hezekiah and the neighboring
princes, who had trusted to Egyptian help, brought
Sennacherib to Palestine. The Sidonian king tied to
Cyprus; Amnion, Moab, and Edom sub-
Assyrio- mitted ; Judah was wasted with tire and
logical sword, and Hezekiah alone held outbe-
Evidence. hind the strong walls of Jerusalem. He
was, however, compelled to restore to
Ekron its former ruler, whom he had imprisoned in
Jerusalem in consequence of his faithfulness to As-
syria. Tirhakah of Egypt indeed came to Ileze-
kiah's assistance, but was defeated at Eltekeh, and
Hezekiah vainly endeavored to buy off his offended
suzerain by numerous presents, whicli included,
according to Sennacherib, 30 talents of gold, 800
talents of silver, his Arab body-guard, his daugh-
ters, singing men and singing women, and furni-
ture inlaid with ivory. The Jewish king was shut
up in his capital, "like a bird in a cage," but
suddenly, for reasons which Sennacherib naturally
does not state, the Assyrian forces were withdrawn
and the rebellious vassal remained unpunished.
Sennacherib had to content himself with the pres-
ents sent to him at Lachish— the capture and
plunder of which are represented in a bas-relief now
in the British Museum— and with the spoil of the
country districts, 200,150 Jews being carried into

Sennacherib was murdered by two of his sous in
Dec, 681 B.C.; but a l)attle soon afterward near
Malatiyeh placed the crown on the head of Esar-
haddon, who formally ascended the throne at Nine-
veh in May, 680. Esar-haddon adopted a policy of
conciliation, one result of which was that Judah re-
turned to its allegiance, and the name of Manasseh
appears among his tributaries. Babylon, which had
been destroyed by Sennacherib, was restored and
made one of the capitals of the empire (see II
Chron. xxxiii. 11). The conquest of Egypt was ef-
fected by Esar-haddon and completed by his suc-
cessor, Assurbanipal, in whose reign Thebes, the No-
amon of Nah. iii. 8 (R. V.), was razed to the ground.
The inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar and his suc-
cessors which have been tiius far found contain but
few references to political events, and therefore do
not touch directly upon the Old Testament. The
invasion of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, liowever, is
mentioned as taking place in the thirty-seventh year
of his reign (see Jer. xliii. 10-13), and there exists a
very full account of the conquest of Babylonia by
Cyrus, and of the peaceful occupation of Babylon by

his general Gobryas. Belsliazzar, the eldest sou of
Nabonid, the last Babylonian king, is also named in
the inscriptions; he seems to have been in command
of the Babylonian army, and he is found acting as a
wool-merclianl and paying tithes to the temple of
the sun-god at Sippara. The restoration of the vari-
ous exiles in Babylonia witli the images of their gods
(or, in the case of the Jews, their sacred vessels) is
alluded to by C'yrus in a proclamation issued by him
shortly after his occupation of Babylon.

Outside the cuneiform inscriptions the most im-
portant illustration of Old Testament history comes
from the inscription of the :Moabite king Mesha
which was discovered at Diban or Dibon in 1868.
In this reference is made to tlie "oppression" of
Moab by Omri and Ahab, and to its successful revolt
under Mesha and still more successful war against
Israel. Mesha describes also his restoration of the
ruined Moabite towns, as well as of his capital, with
the help of Israelitish captives. See Moabite
Stone; also Asstbiology; Babyi>oni.\; Siloam
E. c. A. H. S.

MONZON : Town near Lerida in the ancient
kingdom of Aragon, Spain. It had a considerable
Jewish community, the members of w^hich were en-
gaged in business, especially money-lending. In 1260
Solomon de Daroca was one of the wealthiest Jews in
Monzon ; he was probably also a farmer of the taxes.
He often advanced large sums of money to the court,
and received as security the taxes of the Jewries of
Monzon and Lerida. In 1262 he appears as lease-
holder of the salt-works of Arcos (Jacobs, "Sources,"
Nos. 221, 249, 336 et seq.).

When the Jews of Aragon were called upon to
render King James II. pecuniary assistance in his
war against Sicily, the Jews of Monzon, by a special
agreement with the king, were exempted from
contributing. During the bitter persecution of
the Jews of Aragon in 1349 the Jews of Monzon
fasted and prayed and fortified themselves within
the Jewry, which they did not leave until the dan-
ger had passed. According to Jewish chronicles, a
general massacre of the Monzon Jews took place on
the middle days of a certain Passover festival.
Some Jews were engaged in playing blind man's
buff, when a quarrel arose between them and cer-
tain Christians who were passing by. In order to
avenge themselves on the Jews, the Christians
lodged a complaint against them with the justice,
Avho believed their statements. Without, however,
awaiting the results of an investigation the people
fell upon the Jews and caused terrible bloodshed,
while many children were forcibly baptized (" Shebet
Yehudah," p. 39). This massacre occurred probably
in 1391, in which year several Jews in Monzon
submitted to baptism.

Among the richest Jews in Monzon at that time
Avere the Zaportas, of which family several members
were converted. Louis Zaporta's daughter married
a son of the first duke of Villahermosa. Jaime
Ram, the son of Rabbi Ram (the word " Ram " being
formed perhaps of the initial letters of "Rabbi
Abraham [or Aaron] Monzon "), was considered one
of the leading jurists of his time. The Jewish com-
munity of Monzon, which in the beginning of the




fifteenth century paid 350 sueldos in taxes, was rep-
resented at the Tortosa disputation by Don Joseph
ha-Levi and R. Yom-Tob Carcosa. The study of
the Talmud was pursued with zeal at Monzon ; and
the rabbinical college there was recognized by Solo-
mon b. Adret as among the foremost of the day. At
Monzon lived En-Parid Saladin, who was among
Isaac ben Sheshet's opponents when the latter
was rabbi in Saragossa; Judah Alshech; Hayyim
Emtabuch (?), who corresponded with Isaac ben
Sheshet; the industrious translator Elijah Habillo;
and others.

Bibliography : Rios, Hist. ii. 146 : iii. 82, 91 ; Isaac b. Sbeshet,
Ref<poma, Nos. 314 el seq., 4«1, 483, 495 et seq., 507; Shebet
Yehudah, p. 68; Joseph ba-Kohen. ^Emek ha-Baka, p. 66.

D. ■ M. K.

MONZON, ABRAHAM (the Elder) : Rabbi
of the latter part of the sixteenth century; died at
Constantinople. He was a pupil of Bezaleel Ash-
kenazi, and on account of his knowledge and acu-
men was called by his contemporaries "Sinai we-
'Oker Harim " = " Polyhistor, and Eradicator of
Mountains." He officiated as rabbi first in Egypt,
but later went to Constantinople, where he remained
until his death. He was an excellent scribe, and
wrote many Torah scrolls, which are still extant in
Egypt. He was also the author of a large number
of deci-sions and responsa, which are included in
great part in the collections of Samuel of Medina
(ii. \1b et seq.), Solomon ben Abraham Cohen (ii. 5;
iii. 2. 20 et seq.\ Abraham de Boton (Nos. 28, 29),
and Joseph di Trani (i. 104, 121, 122, 144; ii. 40).
Other responsa of his, as well as his novellfE, his
collections of "derashot," and his defense of Vi-
tal against Menahem di Lonsano, still exist in

Bibliography: Conforte, Knre ha-Dorot, p. 41b; Azulai,
Shem ha-Gedolim, 1. 13; Furst, Bihl. Jud. ii. 388.

E. c. M. K.

MONZON, ABRAHAM (the Younger) :

Rabbinical and Talinudic scholar of the middle of
the sixteenth century. He was originally from
Tetuan in Morocco, where he was engaged in com-
merce. He left that city and settled successively in
Algiers, Oran, and Cairo. At Cairo a generous
patron enabled him to devote his time to study,
while Jonah Nabon of Jerusalem was one of his cor-
respondents. Monzon was the author of the follow-
ing works, all of which exist in manuscript: "Toze'ot
Hayyim," a reply to the" 'Ez ha-Hayyim" of Hay-
yim Abulafia; " Esliol Abraham," a collection of re-
sponsa; "Sliulhan Sliabbat," a commentary on the
Talinudic treatise Shabbat ; and " 'Ez ha-Da'at," a
commentary on the Yoreii De'ah.

Bini.ioGRAiMiv : Aziilal, >^)ii'm ha-Oedolim. 11. 1.52; Hazan,
Hii-Mii'iiliil li-Sliflitm<ili. }i. .5.

K ( M. K.— M. Fr.

MOON. — Biblical Data : The most common
Hebrew word for the inooii is "yerah," the root of
which is probably akin to "arah," so that the mean-
ing of the term would be "the wanderer." Poetic-
ally, it is called, on account of its wiiiteness, "leba-
nah,"a term occurring in the Bible three times only
(Cant. vi. 10; Isa. xxiv. 23, .\xx. 26). Tiie word
"hodesh," which also occurs thrice (I Sam. xx. 5 and
18; II Kings iv. 2:5). us its meaning indicates, denotes

the New Moon. In the narrative of the Creation,
the moon is indicated, without any special name, as
one of the two great luminaries. Relatively to the
sun, it is "the lesser light to rule the night"; and
it is to serve together with the sun for signs, seasons,
days, and years (Gen. i. 14, 16). In Ps. civ. 19
it is expressly stated that the moon was created in
order to indicate the seasons. Its course, like that
of the sun, was stopped by the divine will (Josh.
X. 13).

Like the other celestial bodies, the moon was be-
lieved to have an infiuence on the universe. Its in-
jurious infiuence on man is referred to in Ps. cxxi.
6, which passage probably refers to the blindness
which, according to Eastern belief, results from
sleeping in the moonlight with uncovered face
(Carne, " Letters from the East," p. 77). It was also
believed that the moon caused epilepsy (comp. the
Greek ae?.r/viai^6fievnQ and the Latin " lunaticus " ;
Matt. iv. 24). On the other hand, there are " precious
things put forth by the moon" (Deut. xxxiii. 14);
that is to say, the growth of certain plants is influ-
enced by it. Steuernagel, however, thinks the allu-
sion is to the dew.

The moon was regarded by all Oriental nations
as a divinity, whose worship was forbidden to
the Israelites (Deut. xvii. 3). Nevertheless, the lat-
ter practised for a long time the cult of the "queen
of heaven," making sacrifices to her (Jer. vii. 18,
xliv. 17). Kissing the hand on seeing the moon, an
act of adoration, is referred to in Job xxxi. 26-27.
The moon-shaped ornaments which adorned the
necks of the Midianite camels in the time of Gideon
(Judges viii. 21, 26) and the "round tires like the
moon " of the Israelitish women (Isa. iii. 18) were
probably results of the same idolatrous tendency.
The moon is frequently used in figurative language:
it is the emblem of beauty (Cant. vi. 10) and of
eternity (Ps. Ixxii. 5, 7 ; Ixxxix. 37). Its eclipse (Isa.
xiii. 10, xxiv. 23; Joel ii. 10) and its turning to
blood (ib. ii. 31) are tokens that the day of God's
wrath is near. The light of the moon will be as
the light of the sun Avhen Yhwh sliall have restored
His people to their former state (Isa. xxx. 26). See
Calendar; Month.

In Rabbinical Literature : Referring to

Gen. i. 16, where the moon and sun are first called
"the two great lights" and the moon is then styled
"the lesser light," R. Simeon b. Pazzi declared that
at the time of the Creation tiie moon was of the
same size as the sun. The moon then objected that
it would not be decorous for two kings to use
one crown, whereupon God diminished her size.
In reply to the moon's question "Ought I to be
punished for having spoken reasonable words?"
God consoled her by jji-omising that she also .should
reign in the daytime; and on her objecting tiiat tiie
light of a candle in the daytime was useless, God
promised her that the Jews should count the years
after the moon. The latter again objecting that
the sun served a similar purpose, God consoled
her with the idea that cerlain righteous men would
bear the same epithet (" tlic smaller one "), e.g., Jacob
(Amos vii. 5), David (I Sam. xvii. 14). ancl Samuel
lia-Katon. The moon, however, remained discon-
solate, and God therefore required that a he-goat be




sacrificed on the first of every month as a sin-oflfer-
ing for His having diminished the moon's size(Hul.
60b). According to R. Jolianan, God required that
sin-offering for having caused the moon to encroach
on the domain of tlie sun. God appeased the com-
plaints of tlie moon also by surrounding her with a
host of stars, like a veritable queen (Pesik. R. 15;
Gen. R. vi. 3-4). R. Hanina thinks that at first the
sun alone was created to give light, and that God
subsequently created the moon because He foresaw
that the sun and moon would be worshiped like
gods, and He said: " If when they are two, rivaling
each other, they are considered as divinities, how
would it be if the sun were alone? " {ib. vi. 1). The
orbit of the moon is, like that of the sun, in the sec-
ond heaven (ih. vi. 9; comp. Heller, "Tosafot Yom-
Tob " to R. H. ii. 6).

There is a disagreement between R. Judah and the
other rabbis as to the setting of the moon and the
sun. According to tiie former, after setting they
continue their route above the celestial vault; and
it is for this reason that in summer the springs are
colder than the surface of the earth. The Rabbis
argued that, after setting, both moon and sun travel
below the vault and consequently under the earth ;
and this is why in the winter the springs are not as
cold as the surface of the earth (Gen. R. vi. 8). The
reason why the Jews count the daj's of the year
by the moon is that, like the moon, which reigns
both in the daytime and at night, the Jews have
both this world and the future one (ib. vi. 2). On
this account the eclipse of the moon is considered
by the Rabbis as a bad sign for the Jews. The
eclipse of the moon and stars is caused by four kinds
of sin: (1) forgery, (2) false witness, (3) breeding
small cattle in Palestine (for they spoil the land),
and (4) cutting down fruit-trees (Suk. 29a). The
fact of women spinning their wool or flax by the
light of the moon is mentioned several times in the
Talmud (Sotah vi. 1 [= p. 31a] ; Git. 89a; et passim).

The moon, on account of its monthly reappearance,
is considered as the emblem of Israel ; the latter, like
the moon, undergoing several phases through per-
secution without being destroyed. Therefore the re-
appearance of the moon is sanctified, like the entrance
of the Sabbath or festivals, by the recitation of ben-
edictions known in the liturgy as " Kiddush ha-
Lebanah " or " Birkat ha-Lebanah. " See New Moon,
Blessing of.

s. M. Sel.

MOOS, SOLOMON: German otologist; born at
Randegg, near Constance, Germany, July 15, 1831 ;
died at Heidelberg July 15, 1895; educated at the
universities of Prague, Vienna, and Heidelberg
(M.D. 1856). He settled in Heidelberg and was ad-
mitted to the medical faculty of the university there
in 1859. In 1866 he was appointed assistant pro-
fessor. From 1875 he practised otology, and he was
elected assistant professor of that science in 1891.
He founded the otological clinic hospital and dis-
pensary at Heidelberg, of which he remained chief
surgeon and director until his death.

Moos wrote many essays and monographs on his
specialty, and conjointly with Knapp founded in
1868 the " Archiv fur Augen- und Ohrcnheilkunde,"
which journal now appears in Wiesbaden under

the title "Zeitschrift fiir Ohrcnheilkunde." He
translated Toynbee's "Diseases of the Ear " under
the title "Lehrbuch der Ohrenkrankheiten " (WUrz-
burg, 1863).

Of his works may be mentioned : " Klinik der
Ohrenkrankheit," Vienna, 1866; "Anatomic und
Physiologic der Eustachischen R5hre," Wiesbaden,
1875 ; " Meningitis Cerebrospinalis Epidemica," 1881 ;
" Ueber Pilzinvasion des Labyrinths im Gefolge von
Einfacher Diphtheric," Wiesbaden, 1887: "Ueber
Pilzinvasion des Labyrinths im Gefolge von Masern,"
ib. 1888; " Histologische und Bakterielle Untersuch-
ungen ilber Mittelohrerkrankungen bei den Ver-
schiedenen Formen der Diphtheric," ib. 1890.

Moos was one of the leading otologists of his time.
He succeeded in demonstrating that in various infec-
tious diseases microorganisms enter the labyrinth,
causing disturbances in the auditory organs and in
the equilibrium.

BiBLiOGRAPHT : Pagel, BUtg. Lex.


F. T. H.

writer and minister; born May 13, 1860, at Philadel-
phia, Pa. ; educated at private and public schools of
that city. He received his religious instruction from
his father, Sabato Morals. For about twelve years
he was a teacher in the schools of the Hebrew Edu-
cation Society and in the Hebrew Sabbath -schools
of Philadelphia. Morals was the principal founder
and for the first two years managing editor of the
"Jewish Exponent." He edited also "The Musical
and Dramatic Standard" (Philadelphia) and "The
Hebrew Watchword and Instructor" (ib.), and has
been a frequent contributor to the Jewish and gen-
eral press of the United States; he was on the repor-
torial and special staff of the "Philadelphia Public
Ledger " almost four years.

Morals has been successively acting minister of the
Mikve Israel congregation in Philadelphia (1897-98)
and minister of the Adath Yeshurun congregation,
Syracuse, N. Y. (1899-1900 and again 1902-3). and
of the Jeshuat Israel congregation at Newport,
R. I. (1900-1). He is the author of : " Eminent Israel-
ites of the Nineteenth Century," Philadelphia, 1880;
"Tlie Jews of Philadelphia," e6. 1894, the most im-
portant local history of the Jews in America thus
far published ; and of various pamphlets.

Bibliography: Markens. The Hebrews in America, pp. 231-
232. New York, 1888.

A. I. G. D.

MORAIS, SABATO : American rabbi ; born at
Leghorn, Italy, April 13, 1823; died at Philadelphia
Nov. 11, 1897. He was tiie elder son and the third
of nine children of Samuel and Bona Morals. The
Morals family came originally from Portugal, being
probably among the large number of Jews who fled
tiience from the Inquisition. At the time of Saba-
to's birth Italy was in the thick of her great struggle
for freedom. Samuel Morals was an ardent repub-
lican, at one time undergoing imprisonment for his
political views; and his father, Sabato Morals, was
l^rominently identified with the political movements
of his day. Upon young Sabato early rested the re-
sponsibility of aiding in the support of the family.
While still a child he earned a little by teaching




Hebrew hymns and prayers to other children, mean-
time pursuing his own studies under Rabbis Funaro,
Curiat, and others, and tiien under his Hebrew mas-
ter, Rabbi Abraham Baruch Piperno, and gaining
honorable mention in belles-lettres
Early under Prof. Salvatore de Benedetti.
Years. In addition to Hebrew and Italian, he
acquired familiarity with Aramaic,
French, and Spanisli. He remained at his home
studying and teaching until 1845, when he went to
London to apply for the vacant post of assistant

hazzan of the Spanish
and Portuguese con-
gregation in that city.
Owing to his unfamili-
arity with English he
w^as unsuccessful and
returned to his home ;
but in the following
year (1846) he accepted
an invitation to be-
come Hebrew master
of the Orphans' School
of the same congrega-
tion. Here he remained
five years, meantime
perfecting himself in
English. During this
Sabato Morals. period he formed a

close friendship with
Joseph Mazzini; and that patriot's struggle for
Italian freedom was warmly seconded by Morals.

In 1850, owing to the withdrawal of Isaac Leeser,
the pulpit of the Mickve Israel congregation at
Philadelphia, Pa., became vacant, and Morals was
an applicant for the post. He arrived in Philadel-
phia on March 17, 1851, and was elected April 13
following, the synagogue services in the interval
being conducted by him. In 1855 he married Clara
Esther Weil, who died in 1872, leaving seven children.
From the date of his installation as hazzan until his
death hisinfluence was a continually growing power
for conservative .Judaism. The synagogue now oc-
cupied by the Mickve Israel congregation was built
and consecrated during his incumbency. Though
his ministry covered the period of greatest activity
in the adaptation of Judaism in America to changed
conditions, he, as the advocate of Orthodox Juda-
ism, withstood every appeal in behalf of ritual-
istic innovations and departures from traditional
practise, winning the esteem of his opponents by his
consistency and integrity. His ser-
Elected mons covered a wide scope of thought
Hazzan in and action ; and he showed the lot'ti-
Philadel- ness of his spirit when, in spite of
phia. congregational opposition to the ex-
pre.ssion of his views during the
American Civil war, he continued, both in prayer
and in his discourses, to show his warm sympathy
Avith the cause of the slave. In appreciation of his
attitude during these trying times the Union League
Club of Philadelphia placed him on the roll of its
honorary members.

When, in 1867, Maimonides College was estab-
lished in Philadelphia, Morais was made professor
of the Bible and of Biblical literature; and lie held

the chair during the six years that the college ex-
isted. For a number of years thereafter he felt the
urgent need of an institution for the training of
Jewish ministers on historical and traditional lines;
and the declarations of the Pittsburg Conference in
1885 urged him to immediate action. After a consid-
erable agitation of the subject he succeeded, in con-
junction with a few others, in establishing (Jan.,
1886) the Jewish Theological Seminary at New
York. He was at once made presi-

Aids in dent of the faculty and professor of
Founding' Bible, holding both posts until his
the Theo- death. Unquestionably the establish-

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 167 of 169)