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Passover Haggadah, which is introduced by four
questions; the reciter of the answer is called
" maggid. " When there were no questions the mag-
gid chose a Biblical text, which was called the
" petihah " (opening).

The greater popularity of the maggid as com pared

with the darshan is instanced by the fact that the

jieople left the lecture-room of R.

Popularity Hiyya, the darshan, and flocked to

of the hear R. Abl)ahu, the maggid. Toap-

Maggid. pease the sensitive Hiyj'a, Abbahu

modestly declared, " We are like two

meieiiants. one selling diamonds and the other selling

trinkets, which are more in demand " (Sotah 40a).



253



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Magren
Magrgid



Talimidists like R. Meir combined the functions of
a darshan and a maggid (Sanli. 38b). When K.
Isaac Nappaha was requested by one in his audience
to preach a popular haggadah, and by another a
halakic discourse, he answered, "I am like the man
who had two wives, one young and one old, and
each wishing her husband to resemble her in ap-
pearance; the younger pulled out his gray hair
while the older pulled out his black hair, with the
result that he became entirely bald.'' R. Isaac
thereupon delivered a lecture that embraced both
halakah and haggadah (B. K. fiOb).

Levi beu Sisi, his son Joshua, and others were at
the head of a regular school of rabbinical maggidim.
R. Ze'era was opposed to their methods of twisting
and distorting the Biblical verses to suit their mo-
mentary fancy. In Ze'era's estimation their works
were of no more value than books on magic (Yer.
Ma'as. iii. 9). In the geonic period and in the Mid-
dle Ages the principal of the yeshibah, or the rabbi,
delivered a lecture before each festival, giving in-
structions in the laws governing the
In Geonic days, of the festival. The maggid's
Times. function was to preach to the common
people in the vernacular whenever
occasion required, usually on Sabbath afternoon,
basing his sermon on the sidra of the week. The
wandering, or traveling, maggid then began to ap-
pear, and subsequently became a power in Jewry.
His mission was to preach morality, to awaken the
dormant spirit of Judaism, and to keep alive the Mes-
sianic hope in the hearts of the people. The mag-
gidim's deliverances were generally lacking in liter-
ary merit, and were composed largely of current
phrases, old quotations, and Biblical interpretations
which were designed merely for temporary effect;
therefore none of the sermons which were delivered
by them have been presierved.

Maggidism reached a period of high literary activ-
ity in the sixteenth century. The expulsion of the
Jews from Spain in 1492 revealed a master mag-
gid in Isaac Abravanel. His homiletic commen-
tary on the Bible became an inexhaustible source of
suggestion for future maggidim. In his method of
explaining every chapter, preceded by a number of
questions, he followed the early maggidim ai^d
sophists. His long argumentations in an easy and
fluent style were admirably suited to the purposes of
a maggid. Moses Alshech, a maggid in Safed,
Palestine, preached every Sabbath before large audi-
ences. In his commentaries he followed closely the
method of Abravanel. Alshech also became an au-
thority for the maggidim, who quoted him fre-
quently.

The persecutions of the Jews brought forth a
number of maggidim who endeavored to excite the
Messianic hope as a balm to the troub-
Relation to led and oppressed Jewry. Asher
Messian- Lemmlein preached in Germany and
ism. Austria, announcing the coming of the

Messiah in 1502, and found credence
everywhere. Solomon Molko preached, without de-
claring the date of the advent, in both Italy and Tur-
key, and as a result was burned at the stake in Mantua
in 1533. R. Hoschel of Cracow (d. 1663) delighted
in the elucidation of difficult passages in the mid-



rash known as the " Midrash Peli'ah " (= " wonder-
ful" or "obscure" midrash). H. Ersolm's biogra-
phy of Hoschel, in his " Hanukkat ha-Torali " (Pie-
trkov, 19U()), gives a coilection of 227 "sayings"
gathered from 227 books by various writers, mostly
Hiischel's pupils. These sayings became current
among the maggidim, who repeated them on every
occasion. Some maggidim copied his methods and
even created a pseudo-^Iidrash Peli'ah for the pur-
pose of explaining the original ingeniously in the
manner initiated by R. HiJschel.

Elijah b. Solomon Abraham of Smyrna, in the
beginning of the eighteenth century, i)ubii.shed his
"Shebet Musar," which he divided into tifty-two
chapters, one for each week. This book caused
him to be known as the " Terror ]\Iag-
The " Shebet gid " ; lie preached moral and relig-
Musar." ious conduct as a safeguard against
the terrible punishments of the day
of judgment. Dante could not picture the horrors of
hell and the punishments awaiting the wicked more
minutely than did the author of the "Shebet Musar."
It established a new " fire and brimstone " school of
maggidim. Judah Rosanes of Constantinople (d.
1727), in his "Parashat Derakim," combined the
darshan with the maggid. He adopted a new
method of harmonizing the acts of Biblical person-
ages with the legal views of Talmudic scholars.
For instance, Pharaoh, in refusing to release Israel
from bondage, acted according to the contention of
Abaye, while Moses insisted on Israel's release in
accordance with the decision of Rabba. This far-
fetched pilpulism had many followers, some of
Avhom asserted that Ahasuerus concurred in the
decision of Maimonides, and that Vashti coincided
with the opinion of RaBaD.

Jacob Kranz of Dubno, the " Dubner Maggid " (d.
1804), author of "OhelYa'akob," adopted the Mid-
rash's method of explaining by parables and the in-
cidents of daily life, such as the relations betvv-een
the man of the city and the " yeshubnik " (village
man), between the bride, the bride-
The groom, and tlie " mehuttanim " (con-

" Dubner tracting parents), and compared their
Maggid." relations to those between Israel and
Yhwh or between the Gentiles and
the Jews. He drew also moral lessons from the " Ara-
bian Nights " and from other secular stories in illus-
trating explanations of a midra.sh or a Biblical text.
Moses Mendelssohn named Kranz the "Jewi.sh
^^.sop." Kranz's pupil Abraham Biir Plahm and a
host of other maggidim adopted this method. In the
same period there were Jacob Israel of Kremnitz,
author of "Shebet mi-Yisrael," a conunentary on
the Psalms (Zolkiev, 1772); Judali Low Edcl of
Slonim, author of " Afike Yehudah," sermons (Lem-
berg, 1802); Havyim Abraham Katz of Mogliilef,
author of "Milliamak be-Shalom " (Shklov, 1797);
Ezekiel Feiwel of Deretschin, author of "Toledot
Adam " (Dyhernfurth, 1809) and maggid in Wilna
(Levinsohn, "Bet Yehudah," ii. 149).

The most celebrated maggid during the nine-
teenth century was Moses Isaac ben Noah Darshan.
the "Kelmcr Maggid" (b. 1828; d. 1900, in Lida).
He was among the "terror" maggidim of the
" Shebet Musar^' school and preached to crowded



Mag-gld
Magic



THE JEAVISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



254



synagogiies for over tifty years in almost every
city of Kussian Poland. Another prominent nuig-
gid was Ilayyini Zedek, known as the "Runi-
sheshker" (Gersoni, "Skctehes of Jewish Eifc
and History." pp. 62-74, New York, 1873). Thv
" philosophicar' niaggid is one who
Philo- iireachcs from Arama's "Akedat"

sophical and Bahya's "'Hobot ha-Lebabol."

Maggidim. Enofh Sundl IjViria, the author of

•• Kenaf Renanim," on "Pirke Shi-

rah" (Krotoschin, 1842), was a noted philosophical

maggid.

:Meir Leibnsh ^lalbini (d. 1880), in his voluminous
commentaries on the Bible, followed to some extent
Abnivanel and Alsherh, and his conclusions are
pointed and logical. 3Iall)im's commentaries are
considered to offer the best material for the use
of maggidim.

From the " terror." or " >Iusar," maggid developed
the "penitential" maggid, who, especially during
the month of Elul anil the ten days of penitence be-
tween New-Year's Day and Yom Kippur, urged
the wicked to repent of their sins and seek God's for-
giveness. Jacob Joseph, chief rabbi of the Russian
Jews in New York (d. 1902), formerly maggid of
Wilna, was one of these. In the middle of his
preaching he would pause to recite with the people
the ''Shema'," the " Kolenu," and the "Ashamnu,"
raising the audience to a high pitch of religious
emotion. The maggid usually ends his preaching
■with the words, "u-ba le-Ziyyon goel," etc. (a re-
deemer shall come to Zion speedilj' in our days; let
us say " Amen "). Some of the wandering maggidim
act also as meshullahim. The yeshibot in Russia
and the charitable institutions of Jerusalem, espe-
cially the Wa'ad ha-Kelali, send abroad meshul-
lah-maggidim. The resident maggid who preaches
at different synagogues in one city is called the
"Stadt Maggid," as in Wilna and other large cities
in Russia. The modern, or "maskil," maggid is
called "'Volksredner " (people's orator), and closely
follows the German "Prediger" in his method of
preaching. Zebi Hirseh Dainow (d. 1877) was the
first of the modern type of maggid, which soon de-
veloped into that of the "national," or "Zionistic,"
maggid. Hirseh Masliansky and Joseph Zeff, both
of New York, are representatives of the latter class.
See Ho.Mii-ETics.

Bibliography : G. Deiitsfh, Tlie Decline nf the Pulpit, In
Amerirnn tfehrew. l«9f). No. IT : Dor Dor u-Darshanim, in
Ha-Yi)ni, 1W7, No. 213.
J. J. D. E.

MAGGID (STEINSCHNEIDER), HILLEL
NOAH: Rus>iaii genealogist and historian; a de-
scendant of the family of Saul Wahl; born at Wilna
1829; died there Oct. 29, 1903. His father was a
bibliographer, and his grandfather Phinehas was
rabl)i at Polotsk and Wilna. the emissary of Elijah
of Wilna in liis struggle with the Hasidim, and the
author of nine exegetical works. Having lost his
father at tiie age of eighteen, Maggid learned tiie
calling of a lapidary, but not content with cutting
epitaphs on tomlistones and monuments, lie occa-
sionally composed inscriptions. He early joined the
Progressionists of Wilna, among whom were Fuenn,
Lebensolin, and M. A. Glinzburg. He indulged his



taste for general literature and jmblished various
articles and bibliographical ])apcrs in the current
Hebrew jieriodicals. Among these may be noted
his biography of David Oppenheim, rabbi of Prague
(in "Gan Perahim," 1882), and his notes on the his-
tory of the Jewish community of Lemberg (in " Anshe
Shem," 189o). ^Niaggid also collaborated with Fuenn
in the latter's history of the Jewish community of
Wilna (" Kiryah Ne'enianah "). Maggid's most im-
portant work was "Ir Wilna," the first volume of
which appeared in Wilna in 1900; it contains the
biographies of more than three hundred pnmiinent
rabbis, preachers, and communal workcis. Tiie
notes alone, referring to genealogical literature,
show that the author was familiar with responsa
literature as Avell as with general rabbinical and
historical works in Hebrew literature. ISIaggid left
in manuscript two other volumes, containing biog-
raphies of the important scholars and communal
workers of Wilna in more recent times. The third
volume contains also new material for the history of
the Jews in Wilna aiul Lithuania, and includes numer-
ous documents liitherto unpublished. A sketch of
his life was written by Ben ' Amini in his " Ochcrki o
Litvye" (in "Voskhod"). Maggid's son is David
Maggid. of St. Petersburg, author of "Toledot
Mishpat," Glinzburg.

BiBLior.R.^pnv: Halpern, in Sihoriiik Bmhishchnost , iv. 249,
St. Petersburg, V.m ; ro.s/f/iotf, Nov., 1903.

II. R. J. G. L.

MAGGID MISHNEH. See Periodicals.

MAGHARIYYAH, AL- : Arabic name of a
Jewish sect, meaning" Men of the Caves." According
to the account given by Joseph al-Kirkisani this sect
was founded in the first century before the common
era and derived its designation from the fact that it
kept its books in caves. Except the writingsof one
named "the Alexandrinian," and a later work enti-
tled "Sefer Yadua'," these books, he says, were of
little value. The sect reckoned the months from
the appearance of the new moon and prohibited
games of every kind. It possessed strange commen-
taries on the Bible, and, contrary to the Saddueees,
it was opposed to all anthropomorphisms. Believ-
ing God to be too sublime to mingle with matter,
the sect rejected the idea that the world was created
directly by Him, and invented an intermediary
power. This power was an angel who produced
the world, in which he is God's representative. The
Law and all communications to prophets proceeded
from this angel, to whom are referable all the an-
thropomorphic expressions concerning God found in
the Bible.

Tins account of the tenets of the MaghariyjMh
agrees with that of the Jewish sect erroneously
called by Shahrastani " Al-Mukaribah," and coupled
liy him witji tliat of the Yudghanites founded in the
eighth century ("Kitab al-Milal wal-Nuhal," ed.
Cureton, p. 168). This confusion of names and
dates led to the erroneous ascription of its foundation
to Benjamin ben Moses al-Nahawendi, who was in-
fluenced by the writings of the ^laghariyyah (some
of them were still extant at the time of David ben
Merwan al-Mukammaz), as, according to Kirkisani,
was also Arius, the founder of the Christian sect of
the Arians.



255



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Maggid
Mag-ic



Harkavy idonlitios tlie ]\Iaglianyyuii Avitli the Es-
senes. TJie reasons given by liini lor tliis identiti-
cationare: (1) tlie name of the sect, wiiicli, accord-
ing to liim, does not reler to its books, but to its
followers, who lived in caves or in the desert, this
being known to have been tlie Essene mode of life;
(2) the coincidence in the date of its foundation with
that of the Essencs; (3) the theory of the angel,
which is in keeping with the tenets of the Essenes;
(4) Kirkisani's omission of the Essenes from his list
of the Jewish sects, whi(!h omission would be unac-
countable had he not considered the ]\Iaghariyyah to
be identical with the Essenes. Harkavy goes still
further and identities the " Alexandrinian " author
with Philo, whose syinjiathies with the Essenes are
well known, and sees in the theory of the angel a
perfect analogy to Philo's "Logos."

Bini,inf;R.\piiY : .lellinek, in f>n"el)^ Lit. xii. 410; (U-'Atz, Gcsili.
vi. HC; Gdttlober, Bikktirrt Ic-l'oleiltit lia-Kerd'im, \>. UK);
Harkavv, Lc-Korot ha-Kitiot hc-YbivacU' m the Hebrew
transl. of tiriitz's Gcscli. (iii. 496).
s. I. Bk.

MAGI. See Babylonia.

MAGIC (CD^^'n): The pretended art of producing
preternatural effects; one of the two principal divi-
sions of occultism, the other being Divination. The
effects produced may be either physical (as a storm
or death under conditions insufficient to explain its
occurrence, or any ])heuonienon impossible in the or-
dinary course of nature) or mental, and the latter
either intellectual (as preternatural insight or knowl-
edge) or emotional (as love or hate arising or disap-
pearing in obedience to the arbitrary will of the magi-
cian). Themethodsof producing these effects include
on the one hand actions of various sorts, and on the
other incantations, invocations, and the recitation
f)f formulas. Even in the Talmud the act and the
results produced by it are regarded as the criteria
of magic, and these two factors appear in all forms
of witchcraft as essential characteristics. Closely
connected with magic are Supekstition and De-
MONOi,OGY. In so far as gods are invoked (demons
frequently being degraded gods), magic is akin to
idolatr}', and, in a certain sense, to Astrology.

Jewish magic is mentioned as early as Deut. xviii.

10-11, where various classes of diviners, astrologers,

and exorcists are named, their cere-

In the monies being forbidden as idolatrous

Bible. (comp. II Kings xxi. 6; II Chron.
xxxiii. 6). Nor is there any doubt
expressed as to the actual potency of magic, and the
magician, who may misuse it, is accordingly feared
and abhorred (Micah v. 11 [A. V. 12]; Jer. xxvii.
9; Ex. xxii. 17-23; et al.). The commonest form of
magic was the love-charm, especially the love-
charm required for an illicit amour. Such magic
was practised especially by women, so that magic
and adultery frequently are mentioned together (II
Kings ix. 22; Nah. iii. 4; Mai. iii. 5). The law (Ex.
xxii. 17 [A. V. 18]) which punishes sorcery with
death speaks of the witch and not of the wizard.
This was correctly interpreted by the Talmud (Sanh.
67a) as implying that magic was practised chiefly
by women, and the context of the passages in Exo-
dus whicli mention sorcery clearly shows that it was
associated with sexual license and unnatural vices
(Blau, "Das Altjudische Zauberwesen." pp. 17-18,



Strasburg, 181)8; see AVitchcuaft). The frequency
of allusions to it in the Bible indicates that the prac-
tise of magic was common throughout ancient Israel.

More abundant information is fountl in jiost Bib-
lical literature, especially in the Babylonian Tainuid,
where the great number of the pas-

In Tal- sages alluding to magic furnishes in-
mudic Lit- controvertible evidence of its wide

erature. diffusion. It was, however, onlv the
practise of witchcraft which was pro-
hibited, for a knowledge of magic was indispensable
to a memberof the chief council or of the judiciarv,
and might be acquired even from the heathen. Tlie
most i)rofound scholars were adepts in the black
art, and the Law did not deny its i)o\ver. The peo-
ple, who cared little for the views of the learned,
were devoted to witchcraft, though not so much as
the Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans
(Blau, I.e. pp. 17 ct seq.). "Adultery and .sorcery
have destroyed everything" (Sotah ix. 13); the
majesty of God departed from Israel and His wrath
came upon the world when the " wizards " became
too numerous (Tos(!f. , Sotah, xiv. 3); Simon b. Slie-
tah hanged eighty witches in a single day (Sanh.
4r)b); Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) xlii. 9-10 is quoted in
Sanh. 100b with the addition of the words "When
the daughter grows old she will probably deal in
magic " (see further examples in Blau, I.e. pp. 23-26).

This ingrained belief in magic infected even the
scholars; for although they did not practise witch-
craft for gain or for milawful ends, they occasionallj'
counteracted black magic by white. They Avere
even able to create a calf when the}^ needed food
(ib. pp. 26 et seq.). Healing by means of white
magic is not condemned except when the means
employed are pagan or idolatrous. Many scholars
consumed men with a glance, or reduced them to
a heap of bones, but since this magic was regarded
as a punishment for sins which had been committed,
the passages of the Talmud which mention it take
no exception to it (Blau, I.e. pp. 49-61). Exorcism
also flourished, although not as widely as in Judao-
Christian circles (Acts viii. 9, xiii. 0-9). Jesus was
regarded in the Talmud and by the ancient world
generally as a magician (Sanh. 106b ; Sotah 47b ; see
Jesus in Jewish Legend). The Greco-Roman
world regarded the Jews as a race of magicians
(Juvenal, vi. 542-547 ; Suidas, s.v. 'Et^cKLac, et pas,n'iii).

The means adopted in witchcraft were manifold.
The most potent was human speech, to which all
peoples attribute invincible ])ower. " Open not thy
mouth for evil " (Ber. 19a and parallels). Those
words of the magician are all-powerful which he
utters at the right time and place and under proper
conditions (Blau, I.e. pp. 68-82). Since

Magic official Judaism bitterly opposed black
Agencies, magic, there was a constant stream
of prohibitions against it, and from
these the existence of various forms of witchcraft can
be inferred. The secret Jewish name of God was a
powerful factor in incantation, as is shown by the
Egyptian magic papyri written in Greek, in which
heathen and Jewish names of the Deity are fre-
quently found in juxtaposition or combination,
termed CjDK^ (= "union") by the Talmud {ib. pp.
117-146).



Magric
Mag-nus



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



256



In addition to the magic word and the magic
formula there were various magic objects {ib. pp.
156-165) which were used to avert the Evil Eye.
Women and children, and even animals, as being
weaker and less capable of resistance, were protected
by Amulets and Talismans. These charms con-
sisted either of natural objects or of papers with
writing on them. Copies of the Bible had protect-
ive power and were carried especially on journeys,
while the tetillin, as their Greek name. Phylac-
teries, implies, were also regarded as preservative,
at least in Hellenistic circles, as were the slips of
paper ('-mezuzot") attached to the door-posts.
Blau {ib. pp. 96-117) has edited, translated, and ex-
plained two Hellenistic exorcismal formulas, one of
which was found in a grave in Hadrumetum (in the
ancient Byzacium), in the Roman province of Africa.
In addition to the official sources from which the
data given above are derived, the Apocrypha, in
view of its antiquity, deserves attention in con-
nection with the subject of magic. The general
picture which it presents is the same
Apoc- as that given by the Bible and the
rypha. Talmud. According to the Book of
Enoch (ix. 7), the angels taught the
daughters of men "incantations, exorcisms, and
the cutting of roots, and revealed to them healing
plants" (comp. viii. 1 et. seq. with vii. 6, ix. 8; x.
7-8 with xiii. 2, xvi. 3, and Ixix. 12 et seq.). The
heart, liver, and gall are magic agencies, and the
blind Tobit recovers his sight when his eyes are
anointed with the gall of a fish (vi. 4 et seq., viii.
3, xi. 10; see Sibyllines. iii. 220 et seq., discussed in
"Alter Orient," iii. 41; Ascensio Isaite, ii. 5; Syriac
Apoc. Baruch, Ix. 1, where the muttering of the in-
cantations of the Ammonites is mentioned; see
Kautzsch, "Apokryphen," ii. 435, note). Noah's
book of healing (Jubilees, x.) was magical in char-
acter, as were the writings of Solomon and Mo.ses,
mentioned elsewhere.

In the Middle Ages, as in antiquity, the Jews
were regarded as magicians, and many of them
doubtless profited by the general de-
Medieval lusion. In the ninth century a Jewish
Jewish magician named Zambrio is found in
Magicians. Italy (Gudemann, "Gesch." ii. 40;
comp. p. 255), and Sicilian sorcerers
flourished even a century earlier (Zunz, "Z. G."
p. 486 ; " Magyar Zsido Szemle," xv. 47). The Ara-
bic author Mas'udi speaks of a Jewish magician
(Budge, "Egyptian Magic," p 23). The Jews were
considered sorcerers in Germany also (Gudemann,
I.e. iii. 233; comp. "Israelitische Monatsschrift,"
1899, No. 7; "Ilebraische Bibliographic," 1903, No.
24; Micelle, p. 30, "JiuUti . . . pessimi magici " ;
"Jlidische Waiirsager," in Van Vloten, "Recherches
sur la Domination Arabe," pp. 55 et seq., Amster-
dam, 1894). In times of drought, during the Middle
Ages, the people turned to the Jews, who were
supposed to be able to cause rain, and they are still
regarded by some peoples as magicians.

The diversity existing witliin ancient Jewish
magic and the essential contradiction between witch-
craft and monotheism are in themselves evidences
of foreign influence on the system. The scholars
of the first centuries of the present era refer fre-



quently and unanimously to Egypt as the original

home of magic arts (Blau, I.e. pp. 37-49). In the

Bible the real homes of all varieties of

Sources of witchcraft are given as Egypt (Ex.

Jewish. vii. et passim) and Babylon (Isa. xlvii.

Mag-ic. 9-15). It is very probable that in this
respect both countriesinfluenced Israel,
and their political power and high civilization made it
inevitable thatthat influence should bedeep, although
the lack of historical data renders it impossible to de-
termine its extent or trace its course. The influence
of Egypt admits of no doubt as regards post-Biblical
Judaism, which was for a long period under the
control of the Ptolemies both in its civilization and
its government. The Egypto-Hellenistic syncretism
influenced first the Hellenistic Jews, especially those
of Alexandria, and through them the Jews of Pales-
tine. The Jewish and Judaeo-Christian view as to
the source of Hebrew magic is confirmed by the
Books of Hermes and by the recently discovered
Greek and Coptic magic papyri, in which the Jew-
ish element is no small factor; and Jacob ("Im
Namen Gottes ") has recently proved that the belief
in the almighty power of the name of God is Egyp-
tian in origin. Although Assyro-Babylonian and
other elements are not lacking, they are for the
most part astrological and divinatory in character.
Egypt, therefore, gave ancient Judaism its magic



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 64 of 169)