Isidore Singer.

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the animal -offerings. These " musaf " offerings were
added to the thank-offering (Lev. vii. 11-13, etc.),
to the sacrifice of purification of the Israelites (Lev.
ix. 3) and of the lepers (^■i. xiv. 10-20), and to the
burnt offering (Num. xv. 1-16); and they were
combined with a drink-offering. The unqualified
statement that the unconsumed portion of the meal-
offering should belong to the priests (Lev. ii. 3)
refers probably also to the accompanying meal-
offerings (comp. Franz Delitzschin Riehm's "Hand-
worterb." cols. 1519b, 1520a). Not every burnt
offering, however, is to be supplemented bj' a meal-
offering, as Lev. xii. 6 shows.

Bibliography : For the earlier views see Franz Delitzscli, in
SpciVfopfcr, in Riehm's Handworterh. dcs Bihlischen Al-
tcrtlinnift; the later view of the history of vegetable sacri-
flees is supported by Benzinger, Arch. §8 63 et seq.; Baentsch,
E.vii(}iis-Levificus, in Ha))dkowmeutnr. 1900; Bertholet,
Leviticus, in Kurzer Handkom mentor, 1901.
E. G. II. E. K.

ME'ASHA : 1. Palestinian tanna, to whom one
reference occurs in the Mishnah (Peah ii. 6), from
which it appears that he lived in the time of Hillel's
descendants (comp. Heilprin, "Seder ha-Dorot," ii.).

2. Palestinian haggadist; grandson and pupil of
JosHU.\ B. Levi (Yer. Ber. ii. 3; Yer. Bezah i. Get
fd.). From the few details concerning him it ap-
pears that on Saturdaj's he used to have himself
carried to the synagogue in order to preach (Yer.
Bezah I.e.), that he was not rich, and that he died
suddenly in the time of Ammi (Ket. Bob). Me'asha
is particularly noted for the vision which he is re-
ported to have seen during a trance lasting three
days, and concerning which he said: "I have been
in a world of confusion where people who are hon-
ored here are held in contempt " (Ruth R. iii. 1). In
Pes. 50a this vision is ascribed to Joseph b. Joshua
B. Levi; Joseph was probabh^ Me'asha's father.
Me'asha inferred from Isa. xxxiii. 15-17 that when
one shuts his eyes to things indecent he is worthy
to view the face of the Siiekinah (Pesik. R. 24
[ed. Friedmann, p. 125a] ; Derek Erez i. ; Lev. R.
xxiii. 13).

3. Palestinian amora of the fourth century ; men-
tioned as a companion of Samuel b. Isaac and Zera
(Yer. Ber. ii. 9 et al.). His halakic and haggadic
sentences are met with in both Talmudim.
Buu,iO(iRAPHY: Bacher, An. Pal. Amor. iii. 614 ct seq., ct

passim ; Heilprin, Seder hcb-Dorot, ii.
8. s. M. Sel.

ME' ASSEFIM ("collectors"; from ciDS = "to
collect'"; hence the name of the periodical " Ha-
AIe"assef" = "The Collector "): Name designating
the group of Hebrew writers who bet^'veen 1784 and
1811 published their works in the periodical " Ila-
Me'assef," which they had founded. In 1782 Moses
Mendelssohn's German translation of tlie Pentateuch
had appeared. In the " bi'ur " or commentary which
he added to this translation, he dwelt on the beauty
of the Hebrew language, its wealth of imagery, and
its adaptability for poetic expression. By his com-
ments on Scripture, also, he largely stimulated He-
brew, grammatical, and exegetic studies. The seeds
he thus scattered bore fruit even in his lifetime.
While reading and discussing Mendelssohn's Scrip-
tural expositions, Isaac Abraham Euchel and Men-
del Bressl.\u, who were at that time tutoring in
the house of David Friedliinder at Konigsberg, con-
ceived the idea of causing Hebrew as a literary lan-
guage to be used more widely among the Jews. As-
sured of the material support of Simon and Samuel
Friedliinder, they issued in the spring of 1783 an
appeal to all Jews to assist in establishing a society
for the study of Hebrew (Hebrat Doreshe Leshon
'Eber). The periodical " Ila-Me'assef" was projected
as a rallj'ing-point for all those who were inter-
ested in and able to contribute to the work.

The undertaking met with a cordial reception in
many quarters, especially in Berlin ; Mendelssohn
and even the aged Naphtali Herz Wessely prom-
ising their support and contributing to "Ha-Me'as-
sef," the former anonyniou.sl3'. The first number
of the periodical was announced April 13, 1783, in a
prospectus, "Nahal ha-Besor," signed by Euchel,
Bresslau, and Samuel and Simon Friedliinder. The
first volume appeared in 1784, being the earliest suc-
ces.sful periodical published in Hebrew. The first
three volumes were issued in monthly numbers at
Konigsberg (the frontispiece to vol. iii. being Naph-
tali Herz Wessely's portrait); vols, iv.-vi. appeared
in quarterly numbers at Konigsberg and Berlin;
vol. vii. (one number only) at Breslau; vol. viii. at
Berlin ; the first two numbers of vol. ix. at Altona,
and the last two at Dessau ; vol. x. (two numbers
only) also at Dessau. The new " Collector " (" Ahare
ba-ke'assef " or "Ha-Me'assef he-Hadash"), edited
by S. Cohen, may be regarded as a continuation of
"Ha-Me'assef." Vol. i. appeared at Berlin in 1809;
vol. ii. at Altona in 1810; and vol. iii. at Dessau in

In addition to articles on Hebrew prose and poetry
" Ha-Me'assef " printed general scientific articles, in-
teresting papers on mathematics and natural science,
biographies of eminent Hebrew scholars, and articles
on the history of the Roman emperors; responsa on
religious questions, e.g., on the speedy burial of
the dead, have also been collected in its pages. The
attitude of "Ha-Me'assef" was by turns Orthodox or
Reform, according to the views of the collaborator.
It was often very aggressive toward the strictly Or-
thodox view, although Wessely had from tlie very
beginning advised a purely objective point of

The principal collaborators on " Ha-Me'assef " were
Ben Zeeb, Bras, Bresslau, Cohen, Dessau, Euchel,
Franco-Mendez, Friedliinder, Friedrichsfeld, Herz,




Joseph Hirsch, Lindau, Lowe, Lowisolin, Mendels-
sohn, Wessely, Witzhausen, and VVolfsohu.
See BiuRisTs; Haskalah; Mendelssohn, Moses.

Bibliography: Furst. BiW. Jud. parts l.-iii.; Gratz, Gescli.
xi. 131 et seq.: Lesser, Register uttd Chnniik der Oe^ell-
schaft der Freunde, Berlin, 1&4~': Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl.
<M\. 575; ZeitUn, J3i7)f. Pott(-3f«nde;.s. parts i. and ii.: AUg.
Zeit. des Jxid. 1837, p. 448; Israel Davidson, The Beginnings
of Perwdical Literature, Baliimore, 1900. ,, _ ^^
G. M. L. B.

MEASURES. See Weights and Measures.

MEAT-TAX: In Austria, as everywhere else,
the Jewish communities imposed a tax on meat,
the revenue from which was used for communal
purposes. During the eighteenth century, however,
the national government used this method of raising
a revenue from the Jews in order to support educa-
tional institutions. Such was the case in Galicia
after 1791. In the congregations belonging to the
kingdom of Bohemia the meat-tax, with the tax on
wine and fisli, was used to compensate the govern-
ment for the loss of revenue attending the abolition
of tiie toleration-tax in 1782. It was about two
kreutzcr on one pound of meat and ten kreutzer on a
goose. Tlie tax was levied in such a way that the
butchers had to give with every pound of meat a
receipt for the payment of that duty, while in the
case of fowl the shohct was not permitted to kill
unless the party requiring his services handed him
such a receipt. This tax was farmed out to a con-
tractor; he paid the government a fixed annual
sum for the whole province and had his subcontract-
ors in every town. The latter were almost invariably
Jews, and exacted their money with merciless rigor.
Those who attempted to evade the tax were heavily
fined. The hardships entailed by the cruelty of
these tax-farmers are vividly presented in Eduard
Kulke's novels.

For tlie meat-tax in Russia see Korobka.

Bibliography: Stiiper, GesetzUche Verfassimg der Galizi-
.sc7itu Juilenschaft, Lemberg. 18:51 ; Scari, Smteniatixche
Dai'xtellungdcr in BetirffJiulen in MUhren und Sc/€u
Erlattiencn Genetze, Briinn, 1835.

ME'ATI, HA- ("TlKOn) : Family of translators
whicli flourished at Rome in the thirteenth and four-
tcciitli fi'iitiirics.

Nathan b. Eliezer ha-Me'ati : Earliest known
member of the family ; called the "Prince of Trans-
lators " and the " Italian Tibbonide " ; lived in Rome
from 1279 to 1283. His native pluce seems to have
been Cento, whence his name "Me'ati," which is the
Hebrew e(}uivalent of "Cento" (= 100). After ac-
quiring iiuuiy languages during liis long wander-
ings, he settled at Rome, where he translated scien-
tific and especially medical works from Arabic into
Hebrew, to take the place, as he declared, of tlu;
medical literature of the Jews which had existed
even at the lime of Solomon 1)ut had been lost, and
to silence the mockery of tlu; ('hristians, who said
that the Jews had no such literature. His transla-
tions are: (1) 'Ammar ben 'Ali al-Mau'^uli's "Al-
MuMtahib fi 'Ilaj al-'Ain," on the treatment of the
eye ; (2) the " Canon " of A vicenna ; (3) the aphorisms
of Hippocrates witli Galen's commentary (Neubaucr,
"Cat. Bodl. Hcbr. MSS." No. 1588); (4) the apho-
risms of Maimonides, a selection from various

authors, cliiefly from Galen, published under the
title "Pirke Mosheh," Lemberg, 1804.

Many anonymous translations are attributed to
Me'ati, among them: (1) Razi's treatise on bleeding,
" Ma'amar be-Hakkazah " ; (2) Zahrawi's " Kitab al-
Tasrif " (Hebrew title, " Zeruf "); (3) Ibn Zuhr's " Ki-
tab al-Aghdhiyah " (Hebrew title, "Sefer ha-Mezo-
not ") ; (4) an anonymous work on the causes of eclip-
ses entitled "Ma'amar 'alSibbot Likkutha-Me'orot."

Samuel lia-Me'ati : Son of Solomon ha-Me'ati.
He concluded the translation of an extract from
Galen's commentary to Hippocrates' work "On
Regimen in Acute Diseases," and, some time after
1306, the translation of a medical work by Ibn

Solomon ha-Me'ati : Son of Nathan b. Eliezer
ha-Me'ati. He completed (1299) the translation, be-
gun by his father, of Galen's commentary to Hip-
pocrates' work "On Airs, Waters, and Places."

Bibliography: De Rossi, Dizionario, p. 53; Nepi-Gliirondi,
Toledot Gedole Yisrael, p. 274 ; Carmoly, Histoire (fe.s Midc-
cinn Juiffi, p. 84 ; Zunz, in (ieiger's Jttd. Zeit. iv. 1«); Stein-
schneider, CoA. Bodl. col. 2073; idem, Hehr. Ueber^. pp. .595,
6<J2, 663, 666, 670, 679. 701, 746; idem, in M<>natsf<chrift, 1893,
xxxviii. 179; Vogelstein and Rieger, Gesch. der Juden in
Rom, i. 398 et seq. „

.J. L Br— I. E.


MECHANIC. See Artisans; Labor; Master
AND Serv.\nt.
MECHNIKO"V. See Novaciiovich, L.


Jewish chartographer of ^Majorca at the begiiiuiiig
of the fifteenth century. He was the author of a
map, dated 1413, formerly in the convent of Val de
Cristo, near Segorbe, but now in the Bibliotlieque
Nationale at Paris. In it he gives special promi-
nence to the navigation in African waters of Jacme
Ferrer, also of Majorca. It fills six sheets in i^Iar-
cel's " Choix de Cartes et de Mappemondesdes XI Ve
et XVe Siecles" (Paris, 1896). The map is based
upon the work of Jaffuda Cresques, the probable
author of the atlas of Charles V. Mecia therefore
belonged to the Judneo-Catalan school of chartog-
raphers. Don Miguel Bonet has discovered in the
archives of Majorca a permit of the governor's lieu-
tenant allowing the "convert Macia" to debark in
Sicily. This is dated Jan. 20, 1401, and probably
refers to Mecia.

Bibliography : E. T. Hamy, In Cnmptes BeofJiw of the Aca-
di-niie des Inscriptions et BcUes-Lettres, 19(J2, p. 71.

.1. G.

MECKLENB'CIIG : Territory in Nortli Ger-
many ; bounded on the north by the Baltic Sea.
Formerly it constituted one duchy, but since 1701 it
has been divided into Mecklenburg-Schwerin and
Mecklenburg-Strelitz, forming two separate grand
duchies of the German empire. However, their
governments are still intimately connected. Meck-
ienburg Schwerin has (1900) 607,770 inhabitants,
among whom are 1,763 Jews, divided into 36 con-
gregations; Mecklenburg-Strelitz has 102,602 inhab-
itants, including 331 Jews, divided into 6 congrega-
tions. It is possible that the settlement of Jews
ill Mecklenburg dates from 1243, when Brandenburg
expelled its Jews; but it is equally probable that
the first Jewish settlers arrived from western Ger-




many, where the Jews were frequently persecuted.
It is certahi, however, that Jews lived in Meck-
lenburg as early as 1266, for in a
Early Set- document dated April 14, 1266, in
tlement. wliich Henry I. (the Pilgrim) con-
ferred upon Wismar the Lilbeck rights,
Jews are mentioned together with the private
servants and officials of the prince. Thus Wismar
seems to contain the oldest settlement of Jews in
Mecklenburg. By and by they are heard of in other
cities: in Boizenburg, 1267; Kostock, 1279; Cracow
and Giistrow, 1325; Malchin, 1332; Schwerin (now
the center of the Jewish communities in Mecklen-
burg), about 1340; Friedland and Parchim, 1350;
Neubrandenburg, 1440.

The Jews of Mecklenburg were compelled to pay
a considerable sum annually for the privilege of liv-
ing there and for protection by the prince. The
several estates looked with great disfavor upon their
presence and never neglected an opportunity of in-
juring them. They had no right to own real estate,
and their residence, as a rule, was confined to the
most neglected quarters of the city they dwelt in.
In AVismar, for instance, they inhabited the Altbo-
terstrasse, which was called " Platea Judaeorum " ;
here they had a synagogue, called " Domus Judffi-
orum." Naturally their fate was bound up with
that of their protector. Thus when Henry under-
took a pilgrimage to Palestine, where he remained
for twenty-four years in Mohammedan captivity,
the Jews were expelled from Wismar (1290), and
were not readmitted until the succession of Henry
II. (the Lion - Hearted). During his reign a Jew
named Nathan (1310) — was permitted to own real
estate in Wismar. Under Albrecht II. their po-
sition changed for the worse ; only two Jewish fami-
lies were permitted to i-eside in Wismar, and they
became subject to the jurisdiction of the city magis-
trates instead of to that of the prince, thus being
exposed to the fanaticism and hatred of the people.
Some Jews were admitted into Wismar in 1349, but
they were expelled again in 1350, and since then and
for 500 years theieafter there was no trace of Jew-
ish residence there.

In the other cities matters were worse. Jews at
Cracow and Giistrow suffered martyrdom three
times within 107 years. A baptized Jewess accused
her brother-in-law Eleazar of having desecrated the
host; all the Jews were seized and burned, the syna-
gogue was destroyed, and in its place was erected a
" chapel of the Holy Blood " (1325). Two Christians
of Rostock who were found guilty of having robbed
and murdered a Jew and Jewess were punished
with banishment only (1320). In 1350 the wide-
spread accusation that the Jews had poisoned the
wells was made in Mecklenburg, and nearly all the
Jews there were driven out. They seem, however,
to have resettled there within a few decades.

Mecklenburg's cruel treatment of the Jews reached
its climax in 1492, in connection with a charge of
j desecrating the host. A Jew was accused of having
I persuaded a priest to become a convert to Judaism
1 and of having induced him to steal the sacred host
1 for the purpose of desecrating it. The matter being
1 brouglit before the duke, he ordered all the Jews to
be placed under arrest and brought to Sternberg.

There they were subjected to horriVile torture in
order to extort from them a confession. But
tliough they persistently denied the charge, the

sentence to burn them alive was pro-

The nounced. On Oct. 24, 1492, iwenty-

Sternberg four Jews and two Jewesses were taken

Burning-, to a hill near the city of Sternberg —

since then called the " Judenberg " —
where they died on the pyre. Those not burned
were banished from the land. The prominent rab-
bis of the time declared the ban against any Jew
who would settle in cruel Mecklenburg, and there
is no evidence that any Jew settled there until the
second half of the seventeenth century.

In the meantime Protestantism had taken root in
Mecklenburg, and religious fanaticism was no longer
so rampant as in former days. Yet it was during
the reign of the Catholic prince Christian I. (1658-
1692) that the second movement of Jews to Mecklen-
burg began. In 1676 he called to hiscourt the Jews
Abraham Haym and Nathan Benedix of Hamburg,
gave them special privileges, and granted them a
tobacco monopoly, the first in Mecklenburg. At the
intervention of the court Jews, Duke Frederick
William abolished the poll-tax. But his successor,
Charles Ludwig (1747-56), who had special political
reasons for wishing to please the people, issued an
edict that all unprivileged Jews should leave the
land within four weeks; this left only about thirty
"Schutzjuden " in Mecklenburg. The same prince
called to his court the brothers Philip and Nathan
Aaron, who became the real founders of the present
Jewish communities in Mecklenburg. Through
their influence the Jewish population there so in-
creased that they were able in 1752 to call a con-
vention to deliberate upon their religious needs.
They decided, among other things, to request the
chief rabbi of Frankfort-on-the-Oder to remove the
ban of 1492 and to establish a Jewish tribunal. The
latter, however, did not receive the sanction of the
government, and was abolished (1755) by a rescript
of the duke. In 1764 they held another convention,
with the sanction of Duke Frederick the Pious, who
vested in the rabbis the power of judges among
the Jews. In 1765 one Marcus Moses graduated as
a physician, and an edict of the duke permitted him
to practise. This was the first graduation of a Jew
in Mecklenburg. One Marcus Isaac (who distin-
guished himself during the occupation of Mecklen-
burg by Frederick the Great) and a certain Hirsch
were the first in the commercial field ; they began
about this time to export wool, thus encouraging
the raising of sheep, which occupation has greatly
contributed to the prosperity of the country.

Under this mild government the community de-
veloped rapidly. Two synagogues were dedicated
—one on Sept. 5, 1763, at Altstrelitz, the com-
munity of which numbered 130 families; the other
at Schwerin in 1773. Still the populace was hos-
tile toward the Jews and often insisted on the
strict enforcement of the constitutional provisions
by which the dukes of the Mecklenburg duchies
pledged themselves to grant no privileges to Jew-
ish settlers to the detriment of Christian citizens.
Duke Frederick Francis I. was the first prince that
earnestly desired their emancipation. On Feb. 2f},




1811, the Jews petitioned him on that subject, and
he consulted the estates at the following conven-
tion. They acknowledged the justice of the pe-
tition, but argued that the Jews were
Their First not as yet ready for emancipation.
Emanci- But Professor Tjchsen of the Univer-
pation. sity of Rostock, who was consulted
on the matter, declared himself in
favor of the petition. After some hesitation the
duke finally decided in favor of the Jews, and issued,
Feb. 23, 1813, a constitution which declared that
his Jewish subjects, with their wives and children,
were citizens of Mecklonburg; leaving future legis-
lation to decide whether or not they were to be ad-
mitted to government positions. The Jews soon
had an opportunity to show their gratitude; the
Jewish youth enthusiastically responded to the
duke's call to arms in 1813. But the reaction which
set in after Waterloo and the ill-will of the states
brought about a suspension of- this law in 1815. In
1829 the Jews were first admitted to the practise
of law, with the limitation that they could prac-
tise only in the city courts. Mecklenburg adopted
in 1848 the "Grundreclite " (constitution) of the
Frankfort Parliament abolishing all disabilities on
account of religion, but repealed it two years later.
But times had changed. While in former days
the people opposed the emancipation of the Jews,
in 1867 the municipal boards of various cities in
Mecklenburg petitioned the Reichstag for it, and a
member of the Reichstag, Wigger b}' name, was the
most ardent advocate of the passage of a law abol-
ishing all disabilities based on dilTereuces of religion.
The Reichstag passed that law by a large majority
March 12, 1869, and King William of Prussia, a"^s
the head of the North German Federation, confirmed
it July 3, 1869. With the passage of this law and
its insertion in the constitution of the German em-
pire in 1871, the last political disability resting on
the Jews of ^Mecklenburg, as on Jews througliout
the empire, was removed.

RiBi.inr.RAPiiY; Donath, Gcsch. dcr Juden in MeckleyiMiro,
1,1'ipsif, 1874.
U. I. W.AK.

Of the internal conditions of the Mecklenburg
Jewry during the first settlement, up to 1492, noth-
ing is known. During the second settlement, in
the seventeenth century, the community was too
small to show any spiritual activity. The first sign
of such is in the case of Nathan Aaron, who main-
tained Joshua Spira in his house as a chaplain. The
first rabbi appointed by the duke was Jeremiah
Israel (1763), whose chief duty consisted in acting
as judge for the scattered conununities of the duch-
ies, lie was succeeded by the above-mentioned
Jo.shua Spira, author of " Panim Masbirot " (or
"'Arba' Shittot li McIIuRISh '"), novella? and re-
sponsa (Fiankfort-on-the-Oder, 1770).

During the latter part of the eighteenth and at
the beginning of the nineteenth century the dilTer-
ences between R. Marcus Lazarus JalTc
Spiritual and R. Joshua Falk Albu and their con-
Activities, gregations frequently occupied tlie at-
tention of the autiiorities. As these
rabbis were Poles and not in sympathy with the edu-
cational movement which had won the allegiance

of the Jews of Mecklenburg, as of other communi-
ties in Germany, an attempt was made about 1828
to establish in Gustrow a normal school where Jew-
ish teachers might be trained, but the movement
failed for lack of means. The congregation of Alt-
strelitz, however, established a parochial .school,
which at one time flourished under the famous Ger-
man lexicographer Daniel Sanders.

The movement for emancipation which began
about 1830 resulted in the foundation of a society for
promoting the adoption of manual occupations by
Jews (1836). Three years later tiie government took
steps toward improving the condition of the Jews
by giving them a constitution. An " Oberrath " was
organized consisting of two government officials,
the "Landrabbincr," and five representatives of the
communities. The "Landrabbincr," who was re-
cpiired to have academic training, was to raise the
intellectual standard of the congregation and intro-
duce certain reforms. The first to hold this office
was Samuel Hoi.diikim, elected in 1840. He re-
signed in 1847 to take charge of the Berlin Reform
congregation. He organized parochial schools and
instituted Reform services; his reforms, however,
were all of a moderate character, although they
aroused considerable opposition.

A far stronger opposition was experienced by
Holdheim's successor, David Einiiorn (1847-53),
when he blessed in the synagogue a child whose
father refu.sed to permit its circumcision. In the
ensuing controversy Franz Delitzscii, then pro-
fessor at Rostock, participated, publishing in a Ros-
tock daily a series of articles to which Einhorn re-
plied in very heated terms.

With Einhorn 's resignation the government de-
cided to strengthen the Orthodox party by calling
Baruch Lips^chltz, who was to effect a restoration
of historic Judaism. The rigiditj- of his views,
however, caused the government to dismiss him in
1858, when he was succeeded by another exponent
of strict Orthodoxy, Solomon Coiin, who in 1876
was succeeded by the present (1904) incumbent, G.
F. Fkilchknfeld.

The smaller principality of iMecklenburg-Strelitz
had a rabbi in the middle of the eighteenth century
—Marcus Levin Sli.sskind, who published a German
sermon preached at the dedication of the sj'nagogue
in 1763. He was succeeded by R. Sanwil of Bran-
denburg; the present (1904) incumbent, Jacob Ham-
burger, has officiated since 1852. The rabbinical
author Judah Lob lived in Altstrelitz ; his treatise on
resurrection was tianslated by Professor Tychsen
under the title "Die Auferstehung der Todten aus
dem Gesetze Mosis Bewiesen " (1766). Later, Ju-

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 97 of 169)