Isidore Singer.

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present custom of segregating lepers had its origin
and stimulus in the Biblical example of segregating
those afflicted with zara'at. Had the Bible never
been written it is probable that lepers would to-day
be permitted to go in and out among their fellows
unhindered, for leprosy is a much less actively com-
municable disease than several other well-known
atfections in the case of which segregation is not

The Biblical description of leprosy of garments
and houses is strikingly analogous in its wording to
that of leprosy of persons. The passages in Leviti-
cus (xiii. 47-59) are at present inexplicable in the
light of modern science. The probabilities are that
the description refers to stains upon garments pro-
duced by pus and blood from boils and ulcers of va-
rious kinds. Thus alone could the greenish and
reddish stains be accounted for. That the descrip-
tion in Lev. xiv. 33-48 could not have applied to a
leprosy of walls of houses is beyond reasonable
doubt : such conceptions may possibly be ascribed
to Oriental fancy and love of metaphor. Chemical
incrustations and mildew were doubtless in this man-
ner endowed with the symptoms of a living and
spreading disease.

E. v.. II. J- F. S.

In the Talmud : The subject of leprosy is

treated cliietly in the treatise Nega'im. The Talmud
maintains tliat Lev. xiii. 1 et seq. refers generally
to any disease that produces sores and erui)tions on
the skin (Sifra 60a). The following epitomizes the
Talmudic treatment of leprosy:

1, Leprosy was not considered contagious. While
all peoi)lesofantiquity, from earliest timesup to some
centuries after the Talmudic period, held (as at the
present day; Katzenelenson, in "Ha-Yekeb," p. 75,
St. Petersburg, 1894) that leprosy was
Not Con- contagious, the Talmudic writers trea-
tagious. ted it as not contagious. The follow-
ing evidences this: (1) The Mishnah
does not consider a leprous pagan or an unnatural-
ized proselyte ("ger to.shab") ritually unclean (Neg.
iii. 1, xi. 1). (2) If a bridegroom, on his wedding-
day, observes symptoms of leprosy on his skin, he
is not required to submit himself for examination
at once, but he may postpone it until the seven days
of ids nuptials are over. Similarly, one who is af-
fected Willi it (luring the holy days may postpone
examination until they are over (Neg. iii. 2). Under
other circumstances, one afflicted with leprosy is
forbidden intercoiuse with his wife (Hul. 141a).
(3) The Mishnah says that doubtful cases (with
two exceptions) arc not to be considered unclean
(IIul. \)h rt srf/.). (4) The Bil»le commands tliat if
the priest tinds white hair on the parts all'ected
he shall declare tiie subject unclean, for the white
iiair isaeertain symptom of leprosy. But the Mish-
nah says that if the hair is jilucked out before the
examination takes place the person is clean (Neg.
viii. 4). It was not. then, fear of contagion that led
ti> regarding the leper as unclean.

2. Talmudic tradition, basing its definitions on
the etymology of tlir- Biblical terms used, knows of
four difTerent degrees of wiiite in cases of leprosy,
but not of "netek" (Lev. xiii. 30). "Baheret" is
of the whiteness of snow; the second degree recog-

nized is of the whiteness of lime; "se'et" is of the
color of the white of an egg; and the next degree
of whitene-ss is that of white wool. The Mishnah
adds, also, some intermediate shades; but it calls
" bahak " all those beyond the four shades in ques-
tion (Neg. i. 1-3).

3. While the Bible divides the disease into "white

leprosy "and "ulcerous leprosy " ("mihyah"), the

Mishnah divides it into "limited"

Limited (•' ketannah ") and " extended " (" gedo-

Leprosy. lah ") leprosy (Neg. viii. 9). Accord-
ingly it expounds Lev. xiii. 9-11 as
referring to "limited" leprosy, and Lev. xiii. 12 et
seq. as applying to "limited" leprosy which has ex-
tended, and as such has become clean.

Leprosy if " extended " at the outset is to be treated
as limited leprosy (Neg. viii. 7) ; extension does not
render leprosy clean, unless following upon a dis-
ease which has shown sure symptoms of real leprosy
(Neg. viii. 3). Leprosy should, moreover, be con-
sidered extended only when it invades the face
(Neg. X. 9) and, if the individual is bald and beard-
less, the scalp and chin (Neg. vi. 8, viii. 5). If, after
the scales of leprosy have spread over nearly the
whole body, a bleeding and scaleless ulcer (mih-
yah) is observed, the subject is unclean. Simi-
larly, if the scales, having covered almost the whole
body, fall off in one place and uncover an old bleed-
ing ulcer, the subject is unclean (Neg. viii. 2).

The bleeding ulcer must be of the size of a lentil in
order to render one unclean, in cases both of " lim-
ited " and of " extended " leprosy. In case the ulcer
develops on the extremities of the body, as on the
fingers or toes, or on the ears, nose, breast, etc., the
person is not considered unclean (Neg. vi. 7). But
if this ulcer had once been covered with scales and
had then become open again, the person is unclean,
unless the remaining scales are smaller than a
"gruel" ("geris"; Neg. viii. 1). Finally, the mih-
yah does not make a person unclean if it invades
a place previously affected by a "shehin " or a burn,
or if it develops on the hairy parts of the body, or
in the recesses and cavities ( 8). When it
settles on parts from which the hair has fallen out,
or on parts previously affected by shehin or a burn,
but which have become entirely healed before the
appearance of the leprosy, two cases are to be dis-
tinguished, according as the mihyah has previously
been covered with scales or not; in the latter case it
does not render the subject unclean.

4. In regard to leprosy consequent upon shehin
or a burn (Lev. xiii. 18-28), the iMislinah maintains:

(1) If the shehin or the burn has not

Consequent been healed before the appearance

on Burns, of the scales of leprosy, the person is

clean (Neg. ix. 2). (2) Where these
affections have become completely healed before the
appearance of leprosy, only that is to be considered
as leprosy which invades iiarts of the body never
before diseased (ih.). (3) Finally, leprosy conse-
quent upon shehin or a burn is not rendered unclean
l)y the development of a mihyah, and one so affected
can be isolated for seven days once only, not twice,
as in the case of an ordinary leper (Neg. iii-. 4).

5. In regard to leprosy on the scalp and chin (Lev.
I xiii. 29 et wy.), the Mishnah contains the following:




<1) The symptoms of leprosy here (i.e., leprous
scales) may present any color; but iu any other part
of the body only one or more of the four degrees of
white can be presented (Sifra60a). (3) As the j\Iish-
iiah distiuguislies a " linnted " and an "extended"
leprosy, so it distinguishes a "limited " and an "ex-
tended " uetek (Neg. x. 9). (3) The netek does
not become unclean in consequence of the pres-
ence of a mihyah, but through the presence of fine
while or yellow hair, and through the extension of
the disease ("pisyou"; Neg. x. 1). (4) Finally, if
the hair of the head or of the chin has fallen out,
those parts are to be treated like other parts of the
body (Neg. x. 10).

In the Talmud the classification or definition of
leprosy and of its symptoms seems to be determined
not by medical ideas, but by a literal and indiscrim-
inating adherence to the letter of the Levitical law ;
Talmudic sages were satisfied merely with commu-
nicating the Biblical decisions. The Rabbis appear
at times even to confuse true leprosy with eczema.

Bibliography: Rahbinowicz, Ln Mklccincdu Thaliniul, pp.
107 it xeq., Paris, 1S8(I.

J. A. S. W.

In Modern Times : Leprosy among Jews is sel-
dom mentioned in modern medical literature. Zom-
bacco("Bul. de la Societed'Anthropologiede Paris,"
Oct., 1891) states that the disease is very frequent
among the Jews of Constantinople. Buschan, quot-
ing this statement ("Globus," Ixvii. 61), argues that
the i)redisposilion of the Jews to leprosy is a racial
characteristic hereditarily transn.itted from the an-
cient Hebrews to the modern Israelites. In support
of this he mentions that the Karaites of Constantino-
ple have not been observed by Zombacco, during his
twenty years of medical practise among them, to
suffer from leprosj'. These Jews Buschan considers
Jews only by religion, not by virtue of biood-rela-
tionship to the Semites. Ethnically he considers
them as derived from the Chazars and other peoples
of "Finnic" blood. On the other hand, the Rab-
binic Jews of Constantinople, who are derived from
"Syro- Arabic Semitic" race, have been often ob-
served by Zombacco to suffer from the disease. He
further states that the Mohammedans, Christians,
Greeks, Armenians, and other non-Jews in Con-
stantinople are free from it, notwithstanding the
fact that they come in contact with the Jews. All
this tends to show that the alleged predisposition of
the Jews to leprosy is an ethnic ti'ait.

This allegation, based as it is on very scanty evi-
dence, is not confirmed by any other observer. In
Russia, where in some provinces leprosj' is endemic,
the Jews are not observed to be frequently affected,
while in some Oriental countries the evidence avail-
able tends to show that, on the contrarj', the Jews
are peculiarly free from leprosy. Thus. Nicholas
Senn, speaking of leprosj' in Jerusalem, says:
"Most of the lepers are Arabs; and tlie Jews are
singularly free from this disease. . . . Among the
47 inmates [of the Jesus Hilfe Hospital] there i^
only one Jew. Dr. Eiusler. during his long and ex-
tensive practise in Jerusalem, has seen only five Jews
affected with leprosy; and of these one came from
Salonica and of the remainder two from Morocco.
It seems that the Jernsaleni Jewsli;ive in the course

of time accpiired an immunity from this disease,
notwithstanding the increase of poverty and unsani-
tary surroundings" (N. Senn, "The Hospitals in
Jerusalem," in "American Medicine," iv. 509-512).
J. M. Fr.

LERIDA (Catalan, Leyda ; Ilerda) : City in
Catalonia, which as early as the fourteenth century
had an imjiortaut Jewish community possessed of
several i)rivileges. Thus, it was exempted from the
general obligation to provide the royal court, during
its jiresence in the city, with beds and the necessa-
ries of life. Again, the Jews of Lerida, at the ear-
nest request of the rei)resentatives of the congrega-
tion, were not compelled to attend the conversion
sermons of Maestre Huesca and other Dominicans.
In 1306 the congregation was granted permission by
the king to receive into its membership ten JeA\ish
families driven from France. The Shepherd perse-
cutions brought great affliction to the community.
Seventy Jews surrentlered their possessions to the
commander of the cit3% "so that he might bring
them in safety to Aragon ; but when they got out-
side the city he slew them with his sword." Eight
years later the Jews had to defend themselves against
attacks upon their lives. The hatred of the Chris-
tians was a constant source of menace to them. In
1325 the right to prepare Passover cakes was re-
fused to them, so that they had to turn to the king
for assistance.

The Jews of Lerida engaged in industry and car-
ried on an extensive commerce ; they had one large
synagogue and several small ones. In 1269 " Nasi
Azday " (Hasdai) was appointed as rabbi, whom in
the following year the king presented with a build-
ing-plot. In 1275 the communal laws ("takkanot")
were sanctioned by the king. The ominous year
1391 was for the Jews of Lerida one of great calam-
ity. The massacre occurred there Aug. 13 ; seventy-
eight Jews being killed, while most of the survivors
accepted baptism. The neophytes transformed the
synagogue into a church under the name " S. Maria
del Milagro"; in the fifteenth century it was still
almost exclusively attended by neophytes. With
1391 the real "aljama"in Lerida ceased; Jews in
scant numbers probably continued to live in the
city, enjoying the old privileges, but they no longer
constituted a congregation. The city soon felt the
decline of the taxes formerly paid by the Jews.
In 1410 the city council entered into negotiations
with the Jews for the purpose of reimposing part
of these taxes; but this led to no result.

The poet Joseph bar Sheshet ben Latimi (1308)

and the physician Abraham, who, Sept. 12, 1468,

performed an operation on King Juan of Aragon for

cataract, lived in Lerida.

Bim.iofJRAPHY: .lospph ha-Kohen, 'Emrk lia-Baha. pp. 60,
tiT; Rios, Hist. ii. 1.5.5, 1.58, 380, 403; ill. 83: Jose Pleyan de
Porta. Apuntos de Histniia de Lerida, Lerida, 1873 ; Jacobs,
.^ourceK, Nos. 756, 941, 1063.

o. M. K.

Talmudist ; flourished in the middle of the sixteenth
century. He was the author of " Lehem Yehudah,"
a commentary on Pirke Abot, and of "Derush 'al
ha-Neshamah," a treatise on the soul, published to-
gether under the former title (Sabbionetta, 1554).




In tlie preface Lerma laments the burning of the
Talmud in Italy, which occurred in 1554, under
Pope Julius III. According to Zcdner (" Cat. Hebr.
Books Brit. Mus." p. 551), the 1554 edition is the
second; in that case either the whole preface or the
part relating to the burning of the Talmud is an
addition. Judah ben Samuel Lerina must not be
confounded with Judah Lerma, rabbi of Belgrade (as
seems to have been done by Steinschneider and other
authorities^ who was a pupil of Jehiel Bassuni and
belonged, therefore, to the seventeenth century.
Lerma was the author of a huge number of re-
sponsa, wiiich, with the exception of thirty, weie
destroyed by tire; these thirty were rescued fiom
the flames by Lerma's pupil, Simhah b. Gershon ha-
Kohen, who published them, adding a preface, un-
der the title "Peletut Bet Yeliudah " (Venice, 1G47).

BIBLIOGRAPHT : Confortp, Kdkc hn-Dorot, pp. 40b. .511i ; Fiicnn,
Kene»et Yi.*rael. p. 408; Fiirst, Bihl. Jud. ii. ~'33; Stein-
schneider, Cat. Bndl. col. 13;i7.
J. M. Sel.

LERNER, HAYYIM ZEBI : Russian gram-
marian and teacher of Hebrew; born at Dubno 1815;
died at Jitonu'r 1889. His early education in Bible
and Talmud he received from his father. At the
age of thirteen he was married. In 1833, when \Volf
Adelsohn went to Dubno and gathered around him
a circle of Maskilini, to whom he taught Hebrew
grammar and philosophy, Leruer became one of his
disciples. He went to Odessa in 1835 and entered
the model school of Bezalecl Stern, where Simhah
F*insker was his teacher in Hebrew grammar. In
the same school he also acquired a thorough knowl-
edge of the Russian, German, French, and Italian
languages. In 1838 Lerner returned to Diibno and
hecame a teacher of Hebrew; from 1841 to 1849 he
taught in Radzivilov; on Nov. 16 of the latter year
he was appointed government teacher of the Jewish
public school of Berdychev; and in 1851 he was ap-
pointed teacher of Hebrew at the rabbinical school
of Jitomir, in which position he remained until the
school was closed by the government (July 1, 1873).

Lemer's reputation among Hebrew grammarians
was founded on ids "Mctreh ha-Lashon." It is
written in a pure, popular Hebrew, and follows
the system of grammar of European tongues, en-
abling the student to accpiire the language more
easily than did the works of his predecessors. The
first edition appeared in 1859; six editions were is-
sued during Lerner's lifetime; and many more have
appeared since his death. Lerner was criticized for
having adopted liis methods from his teacher Pin-
sker; lie himself acknowledged his indebtedness in
the second edition of liis work (p. 136, note).

Besides this grammar, Lerner wrote "Dikduk La-
shon Aramit " (Warsaw, 1875), an Aramaic grammar;
"Ma'amar Toledot ha-Dikduk " (Vienna, 187(5); and
a translation of S. D. Luzzatto's "Dikduk Leshon
Talmud Babli " (St. Petersburg, 1880). He left in
manuscript: " Yalkut," a collection of commentaries
on the Bible and Rasin, together with critical and
literary articles; "Arba' Middot," on the Baraita of
the thirty-two Middot; and a Hebrew translation of
Young's "Night Thoughts" and other poems.

Bibi.iooraphy : Ha-Melu. 1889. Nos. TtV7!t; Sokolov, Scfcr
hn-Shniiah. 1. 62; Idem, Sefcr Zikkaron, p. 66.
"• " M. R.


sian Journalist; born Jan. 1, 1849, at Berdychev;
educated at the gymnasium of Jitomir. In 1866 he
went to Odessa, where he studied law foi' a yeai',
and then entered ujton a journalistic career. He
served for ten 3-eais on the staff of the "Odeski
Vyestnik," acting as war correspondent for that pa-
per during the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78. In
Bucharest he published during the war a daily papei-,
■'Zapiski Grazhdanina." In 1880 he founded at
Odessa a Jewish theater, for av Inch he wrote many
plays in Judteo-German. The years 1883and 1884 he
s[K'nt in Germany and France as correspondent of
the Moscow daily " Russkiya Vyedomosli," wilting
articles for other RiLssian papers also. In Hebrew
Lerner published: a short sketch on the Chazar.s
(Odessa, 1866); ":Ma'amar Bikkoret " (/A. 1867), a
criticism upon Gottlobers; " Yamimmi-Kedem " (rt.
1868), a tale of Jewish life in Russia; and articles on
various topics of the time. Of his dramas in Jud.eo-
German may be mentioned "Zhidovka," "Hanuk-
kah," and "Der Fetter Moshe Mendelssohn " (War-
saw, 1889).

Lerner wrote many articles in Russian on tin.'
Jewish question, a list of which is to be found in
" Sistematicheski Ukazatel," etc., St. Petersburg,
1893. In 1903 Lerner published "Yevrei Novoros-
siskavo Kraya," a historical sketch of the life of the
Jews in South Russia, which, however, is rather a
memoir than a history.

Lerner, who has recently become a convert to
Christianity, is now (1904) residing in Odessa.
BiBLiociRAPUY : Solfolov, Scfcr Zikkaron, p. 66.

II. n. M. R.

LERNER, MAIER: German rabbi; born in
Galicia 1857. He studied in Berlin under Hildes
heimer, became rabbi at Winzenheim, Al.sace (1884-
1890), and pi-eacher for the Federation of Synagogues
in London (1890-94), and, since 1890, has been chief
rabbi of Altona. He wrote "Anlage und C^uelleu
des Bereschit Rabba" (Berlin, 1882) and has contrib-
uted to various periodicals ("Berliner's Magazin
filr die Wissenschaft des Judenthums," "Der
Israelii, " " Jiidische Presse," "Jewish World," etc.).
His literary woik is devoted almost exclusively to
the defense of Orthodox Judaism. Lerner married
a daughter of Hirsch Plato, a son of Samson R.

BiHLiOC.RAiMiv: Dulfi'sz, Iivoh LeniDxchaw, Cracow, 1903.


TISTE ANATOLE : French historian ; born at
Lisieux i. 1842. The first Avorks that appeared
fi'om his pen were " Une Troupe des Comediens"
and "Essai sur la Restauration de nos Monuments
Historicjues Devant I'Art et Devant le Budget"
(1866). In 1867 he went to Ru.ssia to study the po-
litical and economic organization of the Slavic peo-
I)les, the result of his studies being pulilished under
the title " L'Empire des Tsars et les " (3 vols.,
Paris, 1882-89). In 1881 he was appoint(-d pro-
fessor of contemporaneous history and of Oriental
affairs at L'Ecole Libre fles Sciences Politic] ues, and
in 1887 he became a member of the Academic des
Sciences Morales et Politiques. From 1883 to 1891




]ie rci)rescnted tliL' canton of Auberive in the Con-
seil G<';neml of the department of Hitute-Maiiie.

In 1879 Leroy-Beaulieu published a critical analy-
sis of the political situation under the Second Em-
pire, entitled " Un Empereur, Un Koi, Un Pape,
Une Restauration," and in 1884, under the title " Un
Homme d'Elat Kusse. Nicolas Milutine," a liistor-
ical novel vividly depicting the great reformation
due to the emancipation of the Russian serfs bj^ Al-
exander II. Of his other political writings may be
mentioned: " Les Catholiques Liberaux, I'Eglise et
le Liberalisme de 1830 a Nos Jours" (Paris, 1885);
"La France, la Russie et 1 "Europe " {ib. 1888); "La
Revolution et le Liberalisme " {ib. 1890) ; " La Pa-
paute, le Socialisme et la Democratie " {ib. 1892) ;
"L'Antisemitisme" (ib. 1897); "Les Doctrines de la
Ilaine, I'Antisemitisme, I'Antiprotestantisme, I'An-
ticlericalisme " {ib. 1902). Of chief interest to the
Jewish world, however, is his work "Israel cliez les
Nations " (1893). In this work the author embodies
tlie result of a thorough study of the conditions
governing the Russian Jews, and, while he is not
lavish of his praise of the oppressed, he is emjihatic
in maintaining that nothing but emancipation can
improve them mentally and morally. "All the vir-
tues that the Jews possess are-their own, while their
vices are largely due to persecutions b}' Christian

In the beginning of 1904 Leroy-Beaulieu went to
the United States to deliver a series of lectures at
some of the American universities (Harvard, Penn-
sylvania, etc.). The Jewish community of New
York, during his sojourn in that city, tendered him
a testimonial of appreciation of his vigorous war
against anti-Semitism in France, and of his scholarly
defense of Jewish character and traditions. Leroy-
Beaulieu is a chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

BiBLioriRAPHV: La Grande Encyclopedic \ Metiers Konver-
xntUms-Lexihon; Nouveau Laroiisse lUiistri'; Curinier,
Diet. Sat.: American Hebrew (New York), Mav 6, 13, 2U,
19()4; Jewish Comment (Baltimore), April 29, 19(14.

s. F. C.

LESSEE. See L.\NDr.OKD and Tenant.

LESSER, ADOLF: German physician and
writer on medical jurisprudence; born at Stargard,
province of Pomerania, Prussia, May 23, 1851; grad-
uated from Berlin University in 1875. From 1877
to 1884 he Avas assistant in the pharmacological in-
stitute of that university, and from 1879 to 1886
physician at Klinnsmann's lunatic asyhuu. In 1881
he became privat-docent in pharmacology at the
university. In 1886 he was appointed pJiysician-in-
chief (•' Stadtphysikus ") to the board of health of
Breslau, at the university of which city he was ap-
pointed assistant professor in 1887.

Of Lesser'.s numerous essays contributed to the
medical journals may be mentioned: "Experimen-
telle Uutersuchungen fiber den Einfluss Einiger Ar-
senverbindungen auf den Thierischen Organismus,"
in Virchow's " Archiv " ; " Ueber die Localen Befunde
beim Selbstmorde Durch Erhangen " and " Ueber
die Wichtigsten Sectionsbefunde bei dem Tode Durch
Ertrinken in Dunnflussigen Medien," in the " Vier-
teljahresschrift fur Gerichtliche Medizin."

Lesser is the author also of the well-known " Atlas
der Gerichtlichen Medizin," 1884-92, and " Zur Lehre
vom Abort," "Zur Lehre von den Kopfverletzungen

Neugeboi-ener, ■' and "Erkrankungen Sowie Prae-
und Postmortale Yerletzungen des liaises," in Neis-
sers " Stcreoskopischer Medizinischer Atlas."
Bibliography : Pagel, Bing. Lcrikon. s.v., Vienna, 1901.
s. F. T. H.

LESSER, ALEXANDER: Polish painter;
born at Warsaw 1814; died there 1884. He was
educated at the Warsavv lyceum and studied art at
AVarsaw University, at the Academy of Dresden
(1833-35), and at Munich under Cornelius and
Schnorr (1842). He devoted himself mainly to
jiainting scenes from Polish history ; and in search
of historical material he made extensive tours
through Germany, France, Belgium, and England.
Among his historical paintings the best known are:
"Wincent Kadlubek," "Skarbek Habdank," "The
Young Boleslaw," " The Wry-Mouthed," and " Wan-
da and Jadwiga. " For his " forty portraits of Polish
kings " (reproductions published at Warsaw in 1860)
he was elected a member of the Cracow Academy of

Lesser was also active as an art critic and as
a writer of historical sketches, contributing to
the Polish periodicals "Klosy," "Tygodrik Illustro-
wanj'," and others.
Bibliography : Orgelbrand, Encyldopedja Powszchna, ix.

u. K. G. D. R.

LESSER, EDMTJND : German physician; born
at Neisse May 12, 1852; educated at the universities
of Berlin, Bonn, and Strasburg (M.D. 1876). He
became assistant at the dermatological clinic at
Breslau; in 1882 established himself as privat-docent
at the University of Leipsic ; was appointed assist-
ant professor in the University of Bonn in 1892;
in 1896 became chief physician of the syphilitic
department at the Charite Hospital at Berlin; and
in 1897 was appointed chief of the newly founded
dermatological and syphilitic dispensary of the uni-

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 5 of 169)