Isidore Singer.

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to have exerted a great influence on Luzzatto's de-
velopment as poet and cabalist. Luzzatto soon took
up Isaac Luria's works, endeavoring to master the
practical Cabala by their aid ; and he instructed his
former teachers in its mysteries in a school which he
opened in his own house after Bassani had moved to

Tlic Talmud and mysticism, however, did not sat-
isfy Luzzatto's versatile mind; and at an early age
he began a thorough study of the Hebrew language
and of poetic composition. He wrote epitlialaniia
and elegies, a noteworthy example of the latter being
tlie dirge on tlie death of Iiis teacher Cantarini, a
lofty poem of twonty-four verses written in classical
Helirew. Before completing his twentieth year
Luzzatto had begun liis composition of one hundred
and fifty hymns modolcd on tlie Biblical Psalter. In
these psalms, composed in conformity with the laws
of parallelism, he freed himself from all foreign in-
fluences, imitating the style of the Bible so faithfully
that his poems seem entirely a renaissance of Bib-

lical words and thoughts. They provoked the
criticism of the Rabbis, however, and were one of
the causes of the persecutions to which Luzzatto
was later subjected. R. Jacob Poppers of Frank-
fort -on-the-Main thought it unpardonable presump-
tion to attempt to equal the "anointed of the God of
Jacob. " Only two psalms are known of which it can
with certainty be said that they belonged to Luz-
zatto's psalter ("Bikkure ha-'Ittim," 1825, p. 56;
1826, p. 99) ; in addition seven hymns
His by him which were sung at the inau-

Psalter. guration of the enlarged Spanish syna-
gogue at Padua appeared in the work
" Hanukkat ha-Maron " (Venice, 1729) ; but it is not
certain Avhether they were taken from the psalter.

As a youth Luzzatto essayed also dramatic poetry,
writing at the age of seventeen his first Biblical
drama, "Shimshon u-Felistim," of which only
fragments have been preserved, in another work of
his. This youthful production foreshadows the
coming master; it is perfect in versification, simple
in language, original and thoughtful in substance.
This first large work was followed by the " Leshon
Limmudim," a discussion of Hebrew style with a
new theory of Hebrew versification, in which the
author showed his thorough knowledge of classical
rhetoric. It is in a certain sense a scientific demon-
stration of the neoclassic Italian style, in contrast
with the medieval. There is a vast difference be-
tween Luzzatto's style, which recalls the simplicity,
smoothness, and vigor of the Bible, and the insipid,
exaggerated, and affected work of his contempo-
raries. The book, dedicated to his teacher Bassani,
was printed at Mantua 1727, with a text which de-
viates from the manuscript formerly in the posses-
sion of M. S. Ghirondi.

In the same year or somewhat later, Luzzatto
wrote his allegorical festival drama "Migdal 'Oz"
(or"Tummat Yesharim "), on the occasion of the
marriage of his friend Israel Benjamin Bassani.
This four-act play, which shows Latin and Italian as
well as Biblical influence, illustrates the victory of
justice over iniquity. It is masterly in versification
and melodious in language, the lyrical passages be-
ing especially lofty; and it has a wealth of pleasing
imagery reminiscent of Guarini's "Pastor Fido."
The drama was edited by M. Letteris, and published
with notes by S. D. Luzzatto and prolegomena by
Franz Delitzsch. Leipsic, 1837.

The Cabala, however, attracted Luzzatto more

than did science or poetry; and he was seized with

the illusion that he enjoyed the special

CabaHstic favor of a heavenly genius ("mag-

Produc- gid ") which vouchsafed divine reve-
tions. lations to him as it had done to bis
cabalistic predecessors. He imagined
that he beheld heavenly visionsand that he conversed
with the prophet Elijah, Adam, the Patriarchs, and
others; and he finally became convinced that he
was the Messiah, called to redeem humanity and
more especially Israel. Many cabalistic works, in-
cluding "Shib'im Tikkunim." " Kelale Hokniat ha-
Emet," ''nh? r'if'.'t: I.Iokmah," " Ma'amar ha-Ge'ul-
lah," "Likkute Kawwanot," "Hibbur 'al Kohelet,"
" Ma'amar ha-Wikkuah," " Perush 'al 'Aseret ha-Dib-
rot," "Ma'amar 'ul ha-'Ikkudim Asher be-Sefer ha-




Zohar," "Perush la-Tikkunim ba-Meyuhasim le-
RaSHBI," were the fruit of these aberrations of a
great mind. He explained his teachings in pure,
simple Hebrew reminiscent of the language of the
Mishnah. In his cabalistic commentary on the Pen-
tateuch, on the other hand, which he entitled
"Zohar Tinyana," he imitated the language of the
Zohar, thinking that this " second Zohar " would in
time take the place of the first.

None of these works, however, was published ;
and only two sympathetic disciples, Isaac Marini
and Israel Treves, Avere initiated by Luzzatto into his
esoteric doctrine and were deemed worthy to meet
him for daily cabalistic discussion. Chance re-
vealed their secret. While Luzzatto was visiting
his teacher Bassani at Reggio, a scholar by the name
of (Raphael) Israel Kimhi (author of the " 'Abodat
Yisrael") came to Padua for a few days, and Luz-
zatto's disciples showed him their master's writings.
Kimhi guarded his discovery while in Padua; but
at Venice he told of it. Luzzatto's reputation as a
cabalist soon spread far and wide, attracting many
pupils, while his native city also began to awaken
to his greatness and to honor him in various ways.

Among Luzzatto's pupils was a Pole, Jekuthiel
b. Lob Gordon of Wilna, who had come to the uni-
versity iu 1729 to study medicine. At home he had
given much time to the Talmud and to other Jewish
literature; and now, putting his other studies aside,
he took up the Cabala under Luzzatto. Fascinated
by his teacher, he described his impressions, together
with Luzzatto's visions, in a letter to Meir H.
Bosing, which, by a trick of fate, fell into the hands
of the court agent Mordecai Jaffeof Vienna. Jeku-
thiel then wrote a letter to R. Joshua HOschel of
Wilna, in which he enclosed a leaf
Opposition from the "Zohar Tinyana." Luz-
and. zatto's reputation thus spread beyond

Polemics. Italy ; and while the followers of the
Cabala rejoiced in its new disciple, its
opponents, who had not forgotten the troubles caused
by Shabbethai Zebi, looked with apprehension upon
Luzzatto's work. Chief among these was Moses
Hagiz of Altona. The Venetian rabbis had still
another cause for complaint against Luzzatto, for
when Leon of Modena's anticabalistic work"Ari
Noham " (or " Sha'agat Aryeh ") fell into his hands
he wrote the pointed reply " Hoker ii-Mekubbal "
(or"Ma'amar ha-Wikk>iah"), in which he unspar-
ingly attacked the famous Venetian rabbi. The
other rabbis thereupon indignantly opposed Luz-
zatto, who now found himself unwillingly the cen-
ter of public discussion. Every effort was made to
condemn him ; and letters and responsa multiplied
in Padua, Venice, Leghorn, and Altona. No de-
cisive steps were taken at the time in Italy itself ;
but the German rabbis, yielding to Luzzatto's ene-
mies who were headed by Moses Hagiz, pronounced
the ban upon any who should write in the language
of the Zohar, in the name of the "faithful shep-
herd," or of other saints.

The Venetian rabbis thereupon requested Bassani
at Reggio to explain to Luzzatto the consequences
of his actions, and to take an active part in the con-
troversy generally. Bassani then went to Padua
and induced Luzzatto to declare in writing before

the delegates of the Venetian rabbinate that he
would renounce the teachings of the Cabala, would
not show his works to any one, and would publish
nothing iu future without the approval of his teacher
Bassani and other reliable men. Luzzatto's works
were locked up in a casket, one key of which was
given to Bassani and another to the representatives
of the Venetian rabbinate. Luzzatto himself re-
ceived the title of rabbi.

He now seemed definitely to have renounced his
connection with the Cabala, and he turned again to
literature, producing his finest poems. He traveled,
cultivated his friends, married the daughter of R.
David at Mantua, and took part also
Renewed in the business affairs of Ids relatives.
Cabalistic Despite all this, he could not perma-
Activity. nently resist the attractions of the
Cabala. It seems that decreasing
prosperity once more led him to mj'sticism ; for, not-
withstanding his promises, he composed the cabalis-
tic works "Kelalim Rishonim le-Hokmat ha-Emet,"
"Tefillah we-Shir 'al Ge'ullat Mizrayim," "Tefillah
we-Shir 'al Mattan Torah," and "AVikkuah ben ha-
Sekel weha-Neshamah," and Bassani was weak
enough to slur his duty and to refrain from opposi-
tion to this activity. The news reached the Venetian
rabbis, who had been informed that Luzzatto in-
tended also to publish his polemic Leon of
Modena. They lent a credulous ear to those who
had been set to watch Luzzatto; and when he re-
fused to take an oath that he would publish no
more works without submitting them to the censor-
ship of the Venetian rabbinate, the six rabbis of
Venice pronounced (Dec, 1734) a ban upon him and
his works, and made it incumbent upon every one
who possessed any copies of his writings to deliver
them to the rabbinate. News of the ban was sent
to all the communities of Germany ; and Hagiz was
informed of the victory he had gained.

It was now impossible for Luzzatto to remain in
Italy; for he was abandoned by all except Bassani
and a few faithful friends. He therefore decided to
emigrate to Amsterdam. On the journey he did
not neglect to exhort his pupils to endurance and
harmony. In Frankfort-on-the-Main a deep humili-
ation awaited him : he had to promise under oath to
give up his mystic studies and not to print or even
write a sentence cabalistic in content. Not until his
fortieth year would he be permitted to study the
mysteries of the Cabala, and then only in the Holy
Land in company with worthy men. This declara-
tion was communicated to many rabbis in different
countries; and Luzzatto's works were taken away
from him.

Luzzatto was welcomed at Amsterdam with great
honor. He Avas received into the house of the prom-
inent Moses de Chaves, whose son he
At Am- taught, and the Sephardic community
sterdam. offered him a salary; but, preferring
his personal independence, he sup-
ported himself hy grinding optical lenses. He de-
voted his spare time to study and teaching, and
was soon able to send for his wife, son, and parents,
who likewise were cordially received. Luzzatto
now resumed liis correspondence with Bassani and
his pupils; he commended the latter to his teacher




and exhorted them to remain faithful to the study
of the Cabala. This correspondence became known
to the Venetian rabbis, and as thej- could do nothing
further to Luzzatto, they attacked Bassani, who
was suspected of having opened the casket which
contained Luzzatto's works (though perhaps the
psalms were not included [Kahana, "Luzzatto," p.
10, note 2]) and of having restored them to him.
This casket, which was supposed to be guarded by
a cherub (Zunz, "Die Monatstage des Kalender-
jahrs," p. 26), is said to have found its way to Prague
after many vicissitudes (comp. Kaufmann, "Con-
tributions a la Biographic de Mose Hayyim Luz-
zatto, Yekutiel Gordon et Mose Ilages.— La Caisse
des Manuscrits de Luzzatto et Jacob Cohen Popers,"
hi " R. E. J." xxiii. 256-261). The ban was then re-
newed against those having forbidden works by
Luzzatto in their possession and failing to deliver
the same to the rabbinate
of Venice.

Meanwhile Luzzatto's
reputation was increasing
at Amsterdam. He won
the friendship of the fore-
most men there and dis-
played great activity as a
teacher, still continuing
his cabalistic studies. In
that city he published the
following works: "Mesil-
lat Yesharim" (1740), a
popular survey of relig-
ious ethics, which was
widely read ; theTalmudic
and methodologic treatise
"Derek Tebunot " (1743);
the smaller works, dealing
with various subjects,
" Ma'amar ha-'Ikkariin,"
"Ma'amar 'al ha-Agga-
dot," "Derek Hokmali,"
" Ma'amar ha - Hokmali "
(1743); and the allegorical
drama "La-Yesharim Te-
hillah," written on the mar-
riage of his pupil Jacob de
Chaves — "a work of art
uni(] ue in Neo-IIebraic lit-
erature, masterly in form, language, and thought,
a monument to his great gifts, fitted to innnortalizc
him and the tongue in wliieh lie composed it." This
drama, which in its simple plot bears miich resem-
blance to that of the "Migdal 'Oz." is clcsely con-
nected in sentiment with the ethical works written
by Luzzatto at Amsterdam and is tilled with lofty
thought. It was imitated by many on account of
its style, which is modeled, though with great free-
dom, on that of the Bible. Luzzatto Inid only fifty
copies printed, whicli he di.stribulcil among the
prominent members of the Sephardic community of
the city.

At Amsterdam Ln/zatto lived quietly and com-
fortably for ten years, making one slioit visit to
London. When liis jieriod of renunciation of the
Cabala drew to a close he was tilled with a longing
for the Holy Land, and after many liardships he ar-

Samuel David Luzzatto.

rived with his wife and son at Safed. He exchanged
some letters with his disciples at Padua, in which
he spoke of his aims and hopes ; but in the midst of
his plans for the future he, together with his wife
and son, died of the Plague in his fortieth year, and
was buried at Tiberias beside R. Akiba.

Ribliograpmy: Jacob Emden. Tnrat ha-Keiia'ot ; M. S. Ghi-
rondi, in Kerem Hemed, ii. 54 e( tieq.; J. Almanzi, ib. iii. 113
et seq.; Franz Deiitzsch, Zur Gcisch. tier JlidUschen Poesie,
pp. 89 et seq.; Jost, Gesch. des Judenthums und Seiner
Sekten, iii. 179 ft seq.; Griitz, Gench. x. 869 et seq.; Zunz,
Literaturgcsch. p. 449; Antobiografla di S. D. Luzzatto
Preceduta di Alcujie Notizie Stnrico-Letterarie sulla Fa-
miglia Luzzatto, Padua, 1882; Abraham Kahan, RahbL Hau-
yim Luzzatto, Warsaw, 1899 ; Kaufmann, Poemes de Moise
Hayyim Luzzatto, etc., in R. E. J. xxxix. 133 et seq.; Hal-
berstam. ib. 317 et seq.
s. E. K

Samuel David (ShaDaL) Luzzatto : Italian
philologist, poet, and Biblical exegete; born at
Triest Aug. 23, 1800; died at Padua Sept. 30, 1865.

While still a boy he en-
tered the Talmud Torah
of his native city, where
besides Talmud, in which
he was taught by Abra-
ham Eliezer ha-Levi, chief
rabbi of Triest and a dis-
tinguished pilpulist, lie
studied ancient and mod-
ern languages and pro-
fane science under Mor-
decai de Cologna, Leon
Vita Saraval, and Raphael
Baruch Segre, whose son-
in-law he later became,
lie studied Hebrew also
at home, with his father,
who, though a turner by
trade, was an eminent

Luzzatto manifested ex-
traordinary ability from
his very childhood, so that
while reading the Book
of Job at school he formed
the intention to Avrite a
conunentary thereon, con-
sidering the existing com-
mentaries to be deficient.
In ISll he received as a
prize Montesquieu's "Considerations sur les Causes
de la Grandeur des Romains," etc., whicli contributed
much to the development of his critical faculties.
Indeed, his literary activity began in that very year,
for it was then that lie undertook to write a He-
lirew grammar in Italian, translated into Hebrew
the life ol ^"I^sop, anil wrote exegetieal
Early notes on the Pentateuch (comp. "II
Ability. Vessillo Israelitico," xxv. 374, xxvi.
10). The discovery of an unpul)-
lished commentary on the Targuni of Onkelos in-
(lu(;ed him to studv Aramaic (preface to his " Oheb

At tile age of thirteen Luzzatto was withdrawn
from school, attendiiiir only the lectures in Talmud
of Abraham Eliezer ha-Levi. Wiiile he was reading
the " En Ya'akob " by Jacob ibn Habib, lie came to
the conclusion that the vowels and accents did not




exist in tlie time of the Talinudists, and tiiat tiie
Zoliar, speaking as it does of vowels and accents,
must necessarily be of later composition. He pro-
pounded this theory in a pamphlet which was the
origin of his later work " Wikkuah 'al ha-Kab-

In 1814 there began a most trying time for Luz-
zatto. His mother dying in that year, he had to do
the housework, including cooking, and to help his
father in his work as a turner. Nevertheless, by
the end of 1815 he had composed thirty-seven poems,
which form a part of his "Kinnor Na'im," and in
1817 had finished his "Ma'amar ha-Nikkud," a trea-
tise on tlic vowels. In 1818 he began to write his
"Torah Nidreshet," a philosophico-theological work
of which he composed only twenty-four chapters,
the first twelve being published in the "Kokebe
Yizhak," vols, xvi.-xvii., xxi.-xxiv., xxvi., and
the remainder translated into Italian by M. Coen-
Portoand published in "Mose," i.-ii. In 1879 Coen-
Porto published a translation of the whole work in
book form. In spite of his father's desire that he
should learn a trade, Luzzatto had no inclination for
one, and in order to, earn his livelihood he was
obliged to give private lessons, finding pupils with
great difficulty on account of his timidity. From
1824, in which year his father died, he had to de-
pend entirely upon himself. Until 1829 he earned
a livelihood by giving lessons and by writing for the
" Bikkure ha-'Ittim " ; in that year he was appointed
professor at the rabbinical college of Padua.

At Padua Luzzatto had a much larger scope for
his literary activity, as he was able to devote all liis
time to literary work. Besides, while explaining
certain parts of the Bible to his pupils he wrote
down all his observations. Luzzatto was the first
Jewish scholar to turn his attention to Syriac, con-
sidering a knowledge of this language necessary for
the understanding of the Targum. His letter pub-
lished in Kirchheim's " Karme Shomeron " shows his
thorough acquaintance with Samaritan. He was also
the first Jew who permitted himself to amend the
text of the Old Testament; and his
Critical emendations have met witli the ap-
Treatment pro val of Christian scholars. Through
of Bible, a careful examination of the Book of
Ecclesiastes, Luzzatto came to the
conclusion that its author was not Solomon, but
some one who lived several centuries later and whose
name was Kohelet. The author, Luzzatto thinks,
ascribed his work to Solomon, but his contempora-
ries, having discovered the forgery, substituted the
correct name " Kohelet " for " Solomon " wherever
the latter occurred in the book. As to the Book of
Isaiah, in spite of the prevalent opinion that chapters
xl.-lxvi. Avere written after the Captivity, Luzzatto
maintained that the whole book was written by
Isaiah. Difference of opinion on this point was one
of the causes why Luzzatto, after having main-
tained a friendly correspondence wnth Rapoport,
turned against the latter. Another reason for the
interruption of his relations with the chief rabbi of
Prague Avas that Luzzatto, though otherwise on
good terms with Jost, could not endure the lattcr's
rationalism. He consequently requested Rapoport
to cease his relations with Jost; but Rapoport, not
VIII.— 15

knowing Luzzatto personally, ascribed the request
to arrogance.

Luzzatto was a warm defender of Biblical and
Talmudical Judaism ; and his opposition to philo-
sophical Judaism brought him many opponents

among his contemporaries. But his

Views on opposition to philosophy was not the

Philoso- result of fanaticism nor of lack of un-

phy. derstanding. He claimed to have read

during twenty-four j^ears all the an-
cient philosophers, and that the more he read them
the more he found them deviating from the truth.
What one approves the other disproves; and so the
philosophers themselves go astray and mislead stu-
dents. It is for this reason that while praising
Maimonides as the author of the "Yad," Luzzatto
blames him severely for being a follower of the
Aristotelian philosophy, which, he says, brought no
good to himself while causing much evil to other
Jews C'Penine Shadal,"p. 417). Luzzatto attacked
Abraham ibn Ezra also, declaring that the lattcr's
works were not the products of a scientific mind,
and that as it was necessary for him in order to
secure a livelihood to w^ite a book in every town
in which he sojourned, the number of his books cor-
responded with the number of towns he visited. Ibn
Ezra's material, he declared, was always the same,
the form being changed sometimes slightly, and at
other times entirely (" Kerem Hemed," iv. 131 et seq.).
Luzzatto's pessimistic opinion of philosophy made
him naturally the adversary of Spinoza, Avhom he
attacked on more than one occasion.

During his literary career of more than fifty years,
Luzzatto wrote a great number of works, both in
Hebrew and in Italian. Besides he contributed to
most of the Hebrew and Jewish periodicals of his
time. His correspondence with his contemporaries
is both voluminous ancl instructive; there being
hardly any subject in connection with Judaism on
which he did not write. The following is a list of
Luzzatto's works:

In Hebrew.

Kinnor Na'im, collection of poems. Vol. i.. Vienna, 1825 ; vol.
ii., Padua, 1879.

Kinab, elegy on the death of Abraham EHezer ha-Levl.
Triest, 1826.

Oheb Ger, guide to the understanding of the Targum of Onke-
los, with notes and variants; accompanied by a short Syriac
grammar and notes on and variants In the Targum of Psalms.
Vienna. 1830.

Hafla'ah sheba-'Arakin of Isaiafi Berlin, edited by Luzzatto.
with notes of his own. Part i., Breslau, 1830; part ii., Vienna,

Seder Tannaim wa-Amoraim, revised and edited with vari-
ants. Prague, 1839.

Betulat Bat Yehudah. extracts from the diwan of Judah ha-
Levi, edited with notes and an inti-oduction. Prague, 1840.

Abne Zikkaron, seventy-six epitaphs from the cemetery of
Toledo, followed by a coiumenUiry on Micah by Jacob Pardo,
edited with notes. Prague, 1841.

Bet ha-Ozar, collection of essays on the Hebrew language,
exegetical and archeological notes, collectanea, and ancient po-
etr>\ Vol. i., Leraberg, 1847; vol. ii., Przemysl, 1888; vol. iii.,
Cracow, 1889.

Ha-Mishtaddel, scholia to the Pentateuch. Vienna, 1849.

Wikkuah "al tia-Kabbalah, dialogues on Cabala and on the an-
tiquity of punctuation, (ioritz. 1852.

Sefer Yeslia'yah. the Book of Isaiah edited with an Italian
translation and a Hebrew commentary. Padua, 18.")5 ()7.

Meho. a historical and critical introduction to the Mahzor.
Leghorn, 18.5(5.




Diwan, eighty-six religious poems of Judah ha-Levi corrected,
vocalized, and edited, with a commentary and introduction.
Lyck. 1864.

Yad Yosef, a catalogue of the Library of Joseph Almanzi.
Padua, 1864.

Ma'amar bi-Yesode ha-Dikduk, a treatise on Hebrew grammar.
Vienna, 1865.

Hereb ha-Mithappeket, a poem of Abraham Bedersi, published
for the first time with a preface and a commentary at the be-
ginning of Bedersi's " Hotam Toknit." Amsterdam, 186.5.

Commentary on the Pentateuch. Padua, 1871.

Perushe Shedal, commentary on Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Proverbs,
and Job. Lemberg, 1876.

Nahalat Shedal, in two parts : the first containing a list of the
Gieonim and Rabbis, and the second one of the payyetanim and
their piyyutim. Berlin, 1878-79.

Yesode lia-Torah, a treatise on Jewish dogma. Przemysl,

Tal Orot, a collection of eighty-one unpublished piyyutim,
amended. Przemysl, 1881.

Iggerot Shedal, 301 letters, published by Isaiah Luzzatto and
prefaced by David Kaufmann. Przemysl, 1882.

Penlne shedal (see below). Przemysl, 1883.

In Italian.

Prolegomeni ad una Grammatica Raglonata della Lingua
Ebraica. Padua, 18!^.

II Giudalsino lUustrato. Padua, 1848.

Calendario Ebraico. Padua, 1849.

Lezioni di Storia Giudaica. Padua, 1852.

Grammatica della Lingua Ebraica. Padua, 1853.

Italian translation of Job. Padua, 18.53.

Dlscorsl Morali agli Studenti Israellti. Padua, 1857.

Opere del De Rossi. Milan, 1857.

Italian translation of the Pentateuch and Haftarot. Triest,

Lezioni dl Teologia Morale Israelltica. Padua, 1862.

Lezioni dl Teologia Doginatica Israelltica. Triest, 1864.

Element! Grammaticali del Caldeo Blbllco e del Dialetto Tal-
mudicx). Padua, 186.5. Translated into German by Kriiger, Bres-
lau, 1873 ; into English by Goldammer, New York, 1876 ; and
the part on the Talmudic dialect, into Hebrew by Hayylm Zebl
Lerner, St. Petersburg, 1880.

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