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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logical ment of the seminary constitutes Mo-
Seminary, rais' most lasting influence upon
Judaism in America. The directors of
that body have fittingly recognized his memory by
naming the chair of Biblical literature and exegesis
"the Sabato Morais professorship." In 1887 the
University of Pennsylvania conferred upon him the
honorary degree of doctor of laws, he being the first
Jew so honored by that institution.

In addition to the work which he did in ofticial
positions, Morais was most active in religious, edu-
cational, and charity matters. The Hebrew Sunday-
School, Society, the Hebrew Education Society of
Philadelphia, and the Young Men's Hebrew Asso-
ciation of that city numbered him among their most
steadfast friends. In his own home he gathered
about him a small band of young men whom he
instructed in Hebrew, Talmud, and Jewish history,
and in whom he inspired a zealous love for Juda-
ism which has had a very marked effect upon the
character not only of his pupils, but of the commu-
nity at large. The strong conservatism of the
Jews of Philadelphia and the warm interest in the
higher things of Judaism evinced by the younger
men of that city may be in a large measure directly
traced to the influence of Sabato Morais. He was
greatly interested in the Alliance Israelite Univer-
selle, and was in constant correspond-
His Multi- ence with rabbis and scholars in Eu-

faricus rope and the Orient. Through his
Activity, friend Chevalier Emanuel Felice Vene-
ziani, the almoner of Baron de Hirsch,
he was enabled to secure timely aid for the agricul-
tural colonies in New Jersey and was the representa-
tive of Baron de Hirsch in the Carmel Colony.

When the Russo-Jewish exodus began, in 1882,
and Russian Jews in large numbers settled in Phila-
delphia, Morais immediately became their friend.
Although unable to speak their language, his per-
fect familiarity Avith Hebrew as a living tongue gave
him a ready means of communication. Among Gen-
tiles also he was widely known and esteemed, and
was very frequently called upon to address public

Besides his sermons, he contributed to Jewish lit-
erature much in the form of addresses to various
Jewish organizations and of theological, polemical,
literary, and critical articles for the Jewish press
at home and abroad. He wrote classic Hebrew
in prose and in verse with ease and elegance.
Among his later works are: a translation of the
" Prolegomena to a Grammar of the Hebrew Lan-
guage," by S. D. Luzzatto (in "Fifth Biennial Re-




port of the Jewish Theological Seminary"); "An
Essay on the Jew in Italy " (in " Second Biennial Re-
port " of the same) ; " Italian Jewish Literature " (in
" Publications of Gratz College, " 1897). His transla-
tion of the Book of Jeremiah for the Bible of the Jew-
ish Publication Society of America was completed
shortly before his death.

Bibliography : Morals, The Jews of Philadelphia, Philadel-
phia, 1894 ; memoir by H. S. Morals In Sixth Bienniai Re-
port of the Jewish Theological Seminary Association, New
York, 1896.

A. C. L. S.


MORAVIA : Austrian province, formerly part
of the kingdom of Bohemia, containing 44,255 Jews
in a total population of 2,437,706 (1900). The first
historical notice of Jews in Moravia is found in the
toll law of Raffelstetten (Jew. Encyc. ii. 322), which
mentions Jews who came from Moravia (Dudik, i.
381). This, however, does not prove conclusively
that Jews lived in Moravia in the beginning of the
tenth century, for its regulations applied probably to
traveling merchants who went to Moravia chiefly to
buy slaves (Thietmar's " Chronicon," vi. 36, in Pertz,
"Monumenta Germanise Scriptores," iii. 821; "Vita
Sancti Adalberti," in Pertz, ib. iv. 586 and 600;
Dudik, iv. 211). Jews must have lived in Moravia
in the eleventh century, for Cosmas of Prague, the
Bohemian chronicler (1040-1125), refers to them on
various occasions. He gives the somewhat improb-
able report that, in 1096, when the Jews, having
heard of the approach of the Crusaders, desired to
emigrate, Duke Bretislav issued an order for the con-
fiscation of all property belonging to the Jews ; for,
he said, " they have made their money in

Early the country, and therefore should leave

Traces. it there" (Pertz, " Scriptores, "ix. 103-
104; Dudik, iv. 216; D'Elvert. "Zur
Geschichte der Juden in Mahren," p. 49, Brtlnn,
1895; Gratz, "Gesch." vi. 94, 3d ed.). Cosmas re-
ports also that Duke Ladislaus (1109-25) ordered
that thereafter (1124) no Christian should serve a
Jew, because a certain Jew had taken holy relics from
the altar of a church and had thrown them into a
sewer. For this crime the Jews were forced to pay
1,000 pounds of gold and 3,000 pounds of silver as
ransom (Pertz, I.e. ix. 128).

The attempt which had been made by the territo-
rial lords to wrest from the emperor j urisdiction over
the Jews especially affected Bohemia also, as King
Ottocar II. (Margrave of Moravia from 1247 and King
of Bohemia 1253-78), after the death of Duke Fred-
erick II. of Austria in 1246, claimed succession to the
latter's possessions, in which the ducal jurisdiction
had been proclaimed in 1244 (Jew. Encyc. ii. 322).
In his charter of March 29, 1254, Ottocar promulgated
the same law that Frederick had proclaimed for Aus-
tria, but omitted the limit of the rate of interest,
and added the prohibition against accepting Church
vestments as pledges and the provision that a Chris-
tian who accuses a Jew of child-murder, and who can
not support his charge with the testimony of three
Christians and three Jews, shall be punished as the
Jew would have been punished. This last provision
is identical with one in the bull of Innocent IV. of the

same year (Jirecek, "Codex Juris Bohemici," i. 131-
143; Roessler, "Prager Stadtrecht," pp. 177-187).
A second charter, granted 1268, confirms that of
1254 and adds that, except in the presence of two
sworn city officials, the Jews of Briinn shall not be
permitted to receive a pledge after nightfall, nor to
buy horses or cattle on which there rests a suspicion
of theft. They were required to contribute one-
fourth of the cost of maintaining the city's fortifica-
tions. The last provision was a concession to the
rising hostility of the cities against the Jews, a hos-
tility which affected the Jews of Moravia as those
of other countries of western Europe until the be-
ginning of the nineteenth century. An undated
document promulgated by Ottocar exempts the
Jews for one year from all taxes " because they have
been mulcted by foreign lords, and because we shall
soon derive profit from them, they being of our
exchequer" ("Cod. Dipl. Mor." iv. 17-22; Dudik,
viii. 232).

The animosity of the Church, which allied itself
with the cities against the princes, did not affect the
Jews in Moravia at that time. Bishop Bruno of
Olmiltz did not attend the council of Vienna (Jew.
Encyc. ii. 323), held in 1267, which passed resolu-
tions hostile to the Jews; and he absented himself,
as Dudik thinks (vi. 40), probably on account of the
Jews who were favored by the king in the charter
issued the following year. The passing of the
country into the hands of the Hapsburgs did not
produce any change. King Rudolf ordered (1278)
that the Jews of OlmUtz, like those of Briinn,
should contribute to the city's expenses (" Cod. Dipl.

Mor."iv. 218, v. 267; Dudik, viii. 235).

Under Olmiltz must have had an important

the Haps- congregation in the twelfth century,

burgs. for Isaac of Durbalo in his notes to the

Mahzor Vitry quotes a decision which
he had heard in that city (Mahzor Vitry, p. 388.
Berlin, 1896-97). The Rindfleisch riots, which
started in Franconia in 1298, spread also to Bohe-
mia and Moravia. The Jews intended to flee, but
King Wenzel II. (1283-1305) would not permit it.
" He spared their lives, but took from them immense
wealth" (Chronicle of KOnigsaal, in Dudik, viii.
218). Perhaps this is an exaggerated report of the
sums exacted by the same king for confirming the
charter of Ottocar II. about 1300.

While Bishop Bruno of Olmlitz became hostile to
the Jews, and in a report to Pope Gregory XII. in
1273 complained that they were guilty of violating
the Church canons by keeping Christian servants
and by accepting Church vestments as pledges, and
that they were exploiters of the country as usurers
and tax- and mint-farmers, the cities became more
favorably disposed toward them, since the kings had
ordered that they might be taxed for municipal pur-
poses. Iqlau asked even for the privilege of keep-
ing Jews, and the Iglauer " Stadtrecht " restricted
to Maundy Thursday the prohibition that Jews may
not appear in public during Holy Week (Pertz,
"Leges," iii. 426). When King John (1310-46)
came to BrQnn in 1311 the Jews participated in the
festivities, and met the king outside of the city
limits (Dudik, xi. 103). In 1322 King Charles
IV. gave permission to the Bishop of Olmiltz to




allow one Jew to settle in each of his four cities,
including Kremsir.

A great change occurred in the fifteenth century,
due partly to the general hostility then manifested
toward the Jews in the cities, and partly to local
conditions, as the country was the prej' of warring
factions owing to the Hussite movement, and the
Jews were accused of favoring the rebels. The
first expulsion occurred in Iglau in 1426 ; and it was
probably due to the influence of the Franciscan friar
John of Capistrano on the young king Ladislaus
Posthumus (1440-57) that the Jews
Expul- were later expelled from Briinn, Zna-
sions. im, Olmiitz, and Neustadt ("Luah,"
ed. by Epstein, Brlinn [1887, or 5648] ;
Willibald MiiUer, pp. 12-17). The king gave them
only four months' time to find another home. The
citizens of the places from which the Jews were ex-
pelled were compelled to pay their debts to the lat-
ter, but without interest; and they received, more-
over, the synagogue cemeteries and baths; but they
had to pay the king an annual tribute equal to the
amount which had been collected from the Jews in
the form of taxes. Occasional expulsions occurred
during the sixteenth century, as in Hradisch, 1514,
and in Neutitschein and Sternberg, 1562. The edicts
of expulsion against all Jews of the kingdom of
Bohemia promulgated by Ferdinand I. in 1541 and
1557 were not carried into effect. The Jews ex-
pelled from the cities settled in small towns under
the protection of the feudal lords, although the rec-
ords of their activities and sufferings are very
meager until the Thirty Years' war, when the Jews
came into greater prominence. Ferdinand II., al-
though a bigot, treated the Jews comparatively
well, because he needed tlie revenues derived from
their taxation to wage his wars and because he con-
centrated all his efforts to crush Protestantism in
his dominions. By a charter, dated Oct. 15, 1629,
he permits Jews to visit fairs even in the cities
where they have no right of residence ; he promises
not to exact more than the sum of 12,000 florins
annually, and forbids that they be taxed by any
one but their lords, to whom, moreover, they shall
pay no more than the usual tribute. Further, it
was expressly stipulated that they should not have
to pay more toll than the legal rate. Still it would
seem that these laws were never strictlj^ enforced,
for as early as 1635 the "Lan(ltshauj)tmann " (gov-
ernor). Cardinal von Dietrichstein, had to admonish
the royal cities to allow the Jews free passage.
Cities and states continued to lay comi)laints before
the emperor that the Jews adulterate spices, mis-
represent the quality of the fabrics, woolen goods,
and hides they deal in, buy stolen goods, seduce
Christian women, and "take the scanty bread from
the mouths of Christians." Nevertheless, Ferdi-
nand II. (1657) and Leopold 1.(1659)
Bight to reconfirmed tiie charter of 1629, and
Attend especially their right to frequent the
Fairs. fairs in the cities in which they had
no right of residence (MUller, pp. 19-
31). The expulsion of the Jews from Vieima in
1670 ))rought a great many of them to Moravia,
and possibly tlie growth of tiie congregation of
Nikolsburg dates from that period. The new-

comers were heavily taxed, and, notwithstanding
the solemn promise made by Ferdinand II. in 1629
that they should not be taxed beyond the limit
stated in his charter, they were continuously har-
assed with "special" and extraordinary imposts by
the imperial treasury, by their lords, and by the
cities to which they went on business, and were
constantly deprived of the means of earning a live-

The emperor, while in need of the taxes paid
b}^ the Jews, had to consider the wishes of the
states and the cities which complained of the con-
stant increase in the Jewish population, and it was
repeatedly stipulated that only those Jews who had
lived there in 1657 might transmit their right of resi-
dence to their children. Still the emperor Charles
VI. not only confirmed their privileges (May 13,
1723), but even reduced their annual taxes from
12,000 to 8,000 florins, renewed their right to visit
all fairs, and allowed them to enter the crafts.
These favors seem to have aroused the enmity of
the states, for on Sept. 15, 1726, the emperor pro-
claimed a law decreeing that in any Jewish family
only one son should be allowed to marry (F.\mi-
LiANTEN Gesetz), and on Dec. 8, 1726, the Jews were
driven into ghettos, having been compelled to sell
all their houses and to accept others which were
assigned to them. The reason for these harsh meas-
ures seems to have been religious fanaticism, for the
edict of the emperor refers specifically to the fact
that the Jewish houses were near the church and
that the object of the tj'^rannical measure was "die
ungehinderte Uebung des Cultus divini." The de-
struction of the synagogue of Aussee in 1722, upon
the false accusation that the Jews had assaulted the
Catholic priest who attempted to convert them to
Christianity, ma}^ have given occasion for the pro-
mulgation of that law. The Bishop of Olmlitz, to
whose diocese the priest belonged and who was par-
ticularly anxious to save him from the punishment
which he had incurred b)' disturbing the peace of a
synagogue, reported that the Jews of Rausnitz had
mocked at the rites of the Catliolic Church. This re-
port, which was written May 6, 1727,
Segregated seems to have had a decisive effect, for
in on June 27, 1727, the order to separate

Ghettos, the Jewish houses from those of the
Christians was finally issued. Further
hostile measures were planned. The Jews should be
compelled to wear beards and a distinctive costume;
they should not be locksmiths or goldsmiths; for-
eigfi Jews should not be tolerated in tiie country,
and private synagogues should not be permitted.
These propositions were submitted to the " Landes-
rabbiner" Issacliar Berusii Eskeles, who curioush-
enough took occasion to ask the government to
issue a prohibition against shaving with a razor,
but at the same time declared himself against the
distinctive costume and against the order to comjiel
the Jews to wear beards (Schram, "Ein Biich fi'ir
Jeden Brl\nuer," iii. 39, BrUnn, 1903; Mailer, pp.

A time of severe trial for the Jews of Moravia
began with the reign of Maria Theresa (1740-80).
As soon as war broke out the Jews were accused of
aiding the enemy. General von Seherr, the com-

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mander of th^ fortress of Briinn, gave orders tliat no
Jew be admitted into the city, no matter what pass-
port he held. On March 14, 1742, he ordered also
that the Jews of Moravia should pay within six
days the sum of 50,000 florins under penalty of mas-
sacre and pillage. Upon the intercession of Baron
Diego d'AGuiL.\R and of the " Landesrabbiner " Es-
keles, the empress repealed this order temporarily ;
but the Jews had to pay the amount afterward.

The second war between Frederick the Great and
Maria Theresa brought still greater trouble upon
the Jews, and the empress, influenced by the persist-
ent report of a conspiracy of the Jews with the
Prussians, ordered the expulsion of the former from
the kingdom of Bohemia within six months. For
the province of Moravia this edict was promulgated

Jan. 2, 1745 (Trebitsch, " Korot ha-

In the Sev- 'Ittim," pp. 17b et seq. ; D'Elvert, I.e.

en Years' pp.l901e^«f7. ;Gratz, "Gesch."3ded.,

War. X. 355; Kaufmann, "Barthold Dowe

Burmania," in " Gratz Jubelschrift,"
pp. 279-313, Breslau, 1887). Efforts made by the
Jews, who were supported not only by some foreign
powers, astlie Netherlands and the Hamburg Senate
(" Oesterreichische Wochenschrift," 1902, p. 137),
but even by the local authorities, induced the em-
press to grant a temporary suspension of the cruel
law (May 15, 1745). Later a further suspension
was granted which permitted the Jews to remain
ten years, and finally the entire edict was relegated
to obscurity. The imperial office ("Hofkanzlei") ex-
pressly stated in 1762 that the suspicion of high trea-
son under which the Jews had suffered had never
been proved ("Allg. Zeit. des Jud." 1887, p. 678).
But the attitude of the empress did not become any
more favorable to the Jews. Immediately after the
edict of expulsion had been revoked she considered
the suggestion of a Jew named David Heinrich
Lehraann of Prague to put a tax on Etrogim, and
demanded of the Jews of tlie Bohemian kingdom
an annual sum of 40,000 florins for the privilege of
importing this fruit, of which tax the Jews of
Moravia were to pay tive-twelfths. The impossi-
bility of collecting this exorbitant sum led to a re-
duction of the amount in 1746 to 4,000 florins; and
in 1748, when the Jews were given permission to re-
main another ten years in the province, this tax,
like all other Jewish special taxes, was abolished, and
the Jews of Moravia were, called on to pay annually
a "Schutzgeld " of 87,000 florins during the first five
years, and of 76,700 florins during the next five
years. In 1752, when the first five years had ex-
pired, the tax was increased to 90,000 florins, but in
1773 it was reduced to 82,200. For the empress the
ten-year limit was evidently merely a means of sa-
ving herself from the embarrassmentof a direct repeal
of tlie edict of expulsion, and she ordered at once a
compilation of tiie existing statutes regulating tlie
affairs of the Jews of Moravia. Alois von Sonnen-
FEL8 was ordered to prepare a translation of the old
Jewish constitution as it had grown out of the de-
liberations of the periodical a.ssemblies ("Shay Tak-
kanot,"311 articles). Tlie prodiictof iiis labors was
the "General Polizei-Prozess- und Kommerziaiord-
nung fUrdie Judenschaft des Markgrafthums Maeh-
rcn," published in 1754. In its attempt at reg

ulating all details of congregational life it is typ-
ical of the spirit of institutionalism prevailing m
Austria. It states who has the right
The to confer the title of " Reb " (Haber) and

' ' General- of " doppelter Reb " (Morenu), makes it
ordnung-" the duty of the "Landesrabbiner" to
of 1754. assign to the other rabbis which "so-
called Masechte " they should teach
during the coming term, regulates the marriage fees
of the rabbi, liazzan, and sexton, and contains several
very humiliating regulations, e.g., that the " Landes-
rabbiner " should every other year pronounce the
"great ban " against thieves and receivers of stolen
goods. This law contains also a civil code and a
constitution of the Jewish congregations. The em-
press was very fond of interfering in every detail of
government. Thus she revised personally the
cost of the elections of the elders for the province
in 1758 (G. Wolf, in Wertheimer's "Jahrbuch,"
vol. x.,pp. I4:etse(i.)\ she had a census of the Jewish
families taken in 1754, and limited the number of
all Jewish families in the province to 5,106 (Von
Scari. p. 3; D'Elvert, I.e. p. 177).

Under the reign of Joseph II. (1780-90) conditions
were considerably improved. Although most of the
officials and the city councils did not favor it, he
issued his "Toleranzpatent" in Brunn on Feb.
13, 1782. Limitation of the number of Jewish
families remained, but the number was increased
to 5,400. The " Schutzgeld " was abolished, but the
Jews still had to pay special taxes — namely, a family
tax of five florins annually for each head of a family,
and an impost on every article of consumption — so-
that the treasury should not lose the 82,200 florins
paid theretofore by the Jews of the
Under province. From the surplus of these-
Joseph II. taxes a fund was created which still
exists as the " Maehrisch-Juedischer
Landesmassafonds. " The tax on articles of con-
sumption was especially burdensome, and its method
of levy led to constant quarrels and accusations.
The dues on cattle and fowl were levied when they
were killed, but fish had to be carried from the mar-
ket to the revenue oftice, and a receipt for two
kreutzer had to be shown when the collector ap-
peared in the house, which he did very often during
the Friday night meal. Similar vexatious measures
were applied in the case of wine which the Jews
used for their own households. These conditions
remained almost unchanged until 1848.

Ugder Francis II. further restrictions were added:
an edict of 1803 prohibited the Jews from dealing in
flour and grain ; and an edict of 1804 required that
Jews should not be permitted to buy any cattle in
the markets, unless they could prove that they
needed it for the purposes of retail trade as butchers
or feeders, or could show a written order from a
butcher for whom they acted as agents. When
the Reichstag of Kremsir proclaimed freedom of
religion the Catholic clergy protested, and the cit-
ies and villages where Jews had not been before
tolerated also opposed the new policy. The city
of Stcrnbetg, whence Jews had been expelled in 1562,
passed a resolution tliat it would never allow a Jew
to settle there ("Allg. Zeit. des Jud." 1849, p. 506).
In the village of Raitz as late as 1861 the mayor




would not allow a Jewish family to settle. In other
cities where Jews had been living from times im-
memorial, the popidation arose against them wlien
they left the ghetto and opened stores in the part of
the city formerly not open to them. This was
the case in Trebitsch. Pirnitz, Strassnitz, and Ol-
tnlitz in 1850 (" Allg. Zeit. des Jud." 1850, pp. 296,
314, 339, 359). But after the proclamation of the
constitution of Dec. 20, 1867, the old restrictions
were entirely removed, and the Jewish population
shifted from its former habitations to the cities, es-
pecially to the larger ones from which it had
been excluded ; so that when, in accordance with the
law of March 21, 1890, the new congregational dis-
tricts were formed by the minister of worshiji (June

15, 1891), of the previous tifty-two

Present congregations twelve were dissolved,

Constitu- while ten new ones were formed,

tion. among wliich are the largest, namelj',

Brunn, Olmiitz, and Mahrisch Ostraii.
A peculiarity of jNIoravia is the fact that it still has
(1904) twenty-five Jewish settlements whicii are reg-
ular townships, as they used to be up to 1848, when
almost every Jewisli settlement was governed as a
political community ("Jiidisches Volksblatt," Vi-
enna, June 24, 1904). These communities have been
required since 1884 to have separate boards for re-
ligious and municipal affairs (D'Elvert, I.e. p. 207);
their members are those living within the old ghetto
confines, so that in many instances the community
counts more Christians than Jews, while the major-
ity of the latter live in "the Christian city." The
" Landesmassafonds " (to wliich fines and other rev-
enues were later added) for assisting poor congrega-
tions which through excessive special taxes fell
into debt, is now used exclusively for the assist-
ance of needy congregations and congregational
officials. It was handed over to the Jcavs in 1868,
and is administered by a board of eleven members,
chosen by the congregations. It amounted when
first given over to the Jews, to 911,846 florins, and

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 168 of 169)