Isidore Singer.

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74b, below) agrees with the ancient tradition (Nah-
manides and other.s) that all the small treatises are
Palestinian in origin (" Orient," 1851, p. 218): and
modern scholars, with the exception of Weiss, also
accept this view (Rapoport, in " Kerem Henied,"
vi. 247: Zunz, "G. V." 2d ed., p. 322; Stein.schnei-
der, " Jiidische Lileratur," pp. 369f<«^9.,audMalter'3
Hebrew tran.slalion, "Sifrut Yisrael," p. 44, War-
saw, 1897; Kirchheim. preface to his edition of Mas-
seket Soferim; r.riill's " Jahrb." i. 4). There were
scholars in Palestine even after the final redaction
of Yerushalmi (Zunz, l.r. p. 322, note a); and the
Bibl(! was still the chief subject of study.

The evidence of all these facts makes it very

probable that this treatise was finally redacted about

the middle of the eighth century, an assutnption

wliich is supported by the statement

Date of of R. Asher (c. 1300, in the "Hilkot
Com- Sefer Torah") that Soferim was com-
position, posed at a late date. At that period
written prayer-books were doubtless
in existence and were probably produced by the
scribes, who combined the offices of communal haz-
zan and reader. It was but natural, therefore, that
in treatises intended for the scribes all the regula-
tions should be collected which concerned books, the
Masorah, and the liturgy. It is practically certain
that few copies of the Talmud were made at that
time, and those without s]iecii»l rules; consequently
no allusions to them are found in Soferim.

The fact that no soiuces are given' for a number
of the regulations in the first part points to an early




date of composition (comp. i. 3, 13; ii. 4, 6, 8; iii. 4,
6-9a, 10-12a; iv. 4, 5, 8, 9; v. 1, 2; in i. 7, also, Mlil-
ler cites no authority ; comp., however, Shab. 115a
and Meg. 18a, and sec Blau, I.e. pp. 70 etseq.). Simi-
larly, in the third part (x.-xxi.), which is later, no
sources are assigned for a number of halakot (xv. 3
may, however, be based on Yer. Shab. 15c, 25); so
that care must be taken not to assign the compila-
tion of this longest portion to too recent a date.
Both the form and the content of those passages in
which authorities are not mentioned point to a Pal-
estinian origin ; they may have been derived from
the lost portions of Yerushalmi and various mid
rashic works, which, indeed, they may be regarded
as in part replacing. Only certain interpolations,
as well as the haggadic passage at the end of the
treatise (or, in several manuscripts, at its begin-
ning), may have been added much later. The di-
vision of the last part into sections ("perakim")
seems to have been intended to secure a uniform
size for the several sections; for xvi. 1 belongs to
the end of xv., and xix. 1 to the end of xviii., their
separation being due to external reasons.

As the substance of the treatise has been incor-
porated in later workson orthography, theMasorah,
and the liturgy, only a few points peculiar to it need
be mentioned here. In i. 13 occurs the maxim ''He
■who can not read is not allowed to write." Custo-
dians seem to be mentioned in ii. 12 (based on Yer.
Meg. i. 9; comp. the Vitry Mahzor, p. 689, note).
The first notice in Jewisli literature of the co-
dex in contradistinction to the scroll occurs in iii.
6 (comp. the Vitry Mahzor, p. 691), a passage
which is to be translated as follows: "Only in a
codex [may theTorah, the Prophets, and the Hagiog-
rapha be combined] ; in a scroll the Torah and
the Prophets must be kept sepa-
Peculiari- rate"; while the following section de-
ties of the scribes a scroll of the Law as being

Treatise, divided into verses (doubtless by means
of blank spaces), or as having the
initial portion of its verses pointed. Among the an-
cients the beginning ("resh pasuk")of a verse rather
than the end (" sof pasuk") was emphasized, since the
former was important mnemonically. There were
scribes, therefore, who marked the initial of the
verse, although there is no trace of such points in
the present Masorah and system of accentuation.

The earliest passage referring to "dyed leather"
(parchment) is iii. 13, although it is possible, in view
of ii. 10, that originally CN^V niTiya stood in place
of D'yn^ miiyS- Even if that be true, however, this
is still the first reference to colored parchment for
synagogal scrolls; for nothing else could be implied
by these words in the received reading. The skin
of game was a favorite writing-material ; so that
while it was forbidden to use half leather and half
parchment, half leather and half skin of game were
allowable (ii. 10). It was forbidden, moreover, to
cut the edges of books (v. 14). A scribal term
which does not occur elsewhere is found in v. 1, 2
(33yO, variant reading 3t3nD). There were gener-
ally seventy-two lines to the column in a scroll of
the Law (xii. 1). The passage xiii. 1 refers to the
stichic writing of the Psalms, .Job, and Proverbs;
and the remark " A good scribe will note " shows

that the passage was written at a time when this,
detail was no longer generally observed (comp.
Miiller, nd loc, and the Vitry ]\Iahzor, p. 704).

Soferim is the first work to distinguish between the
three grades of inspiration in the Bible (xviii. 3, end),
namely, thatof Torah (the Law), of Cabala (tradition
of the holy prophets), and of Hagiographa (words of

BiBi.iofiRAPHY: Vitry Mahznr, ed. Hurwitz. pp. 686-717, Ber-
lin, 18.s!>-93; Wilna (Rom'in) ediUon nt the Talwuil uSofe-
j-int as ail appendix to 'Ah. Znrnh with variants and com-
mentaries) ; Briill's Jalirh. i. 1 ef acq. ; Joel, Blirke in die
/fe/iyi'o/i.^l/csc/iic/i^e zu Aiifcum des Zwciten Chi'Utt lichen
Jahrlinndci-tt<: l.Der Talmud loid die Giiechixvhe Sfjrache,
part i., pp. 1 et seq., Breslaii, ISSO (on the (ireek translation
in Sd/crim, i. 8); Kirchheim, Knrme Shimieron, Frankfort-
on-the-Main, 1851 ; Miiller, Mcuiscket Soferim, iter Talmud-
isclie Traktcit der Schreiber: eine Eitileitniiffin das Stu-
diiim 'ier Althefiriiischen Graphik, der Maj<nra, nnd der
AUjiidi.'<clie)i jLi/wryie, Vienna, 1878; Schonblum, Slielonhah
Sefarim Niftahim, Lemberg, 1877; Weiss, Dor, ii. 244 et
»eq., iv. 20, 34b ;' unz, G. V. pp. 95, 100 et seq., 322, note b.
w. 15. L. B.

SOFIA (the Triaditzaof the Byzantine Greeks^
and the Sredec of the Slavs): Capital of Bulgaria,
350 miles from Constantinople. The city had Jew-
ish inhabitants before the ninth century; and this
community was joined in 811 by coreligionists
among the 30,000 prisoners whom the Bulgarian
czar Krum brought with him on his return from an
expedition against Thessaly, while a number of .Jew-
ish emigrants from the Byzantine empire volunta-
rily settled in Sofia in 967. In 1360 some Jews from
the south of Germany established themselves in the
city, and their number was augmented seven years
later by Jews driven from Hungary. When Mtn-ad
I. seized Sofia, about 1389, he found four syna-
gogues, belonging i-espectively to the Byzantines
("kalial de los Gregos"), the Ashkcnazim, the
"Francos," or Italian .Jews (especially those of Ven-
ice), and the native Jews. According to local state-
ments, a Macedonian and a Maltese sj-nagogue,
founded at dates as yet tmascertained, existed in
Sofia up to the middle of the nineteenth centuiy.

Early in the fifteenth centuiy Joseph Satan was
rabbi in Sofia, and some time before the immigration
of the Spanish Jews the city had a yeshibah whose
instructors included a chief rabbi, Meir ha- Levi. In
1492 a number of Spanish Jews, chiefly from Ca.s-
tile and Aragon, settled at Sofia, where they founded
the Sephardic synagogue. In the second half of the
sixteenth century Joseph Albo (1570) was chief rabbi
of the city ; in the seventeenth century the post
was filled by several rabbis, two of whom, Hayyim
Meboiak Galipapa and Abraham Farhi, are men-
tioned in letters of approbation. In 1666, during
the incumbency of Abraham Farhi, the false Mes-
siah Shabbcthai Zebi sent a letter from the prison
of Abydos, inviting his " brethren of Sofia " to cele-
brate the Ninth of Ab, the anniversary of his birth,
as a day of festivity and rejoicing. After the con-
version of Shabbcthai his follower and successor,
Nathan de Gaza, took refuge in Sofia, where he died,
his body being interred at Uskub.

Issaciiar Abulafia and Reuben Behar Jacob were
chief rabbis of Sofia toward the close of the eight-
eenth century. Issachar Abulafia (1770) was a son
of the famous chief rabbi Hayyim Abulafia, the
founder of the new community of Tiberias. Reuben
Behar Jacob, called from Sofia to Safed, was sue-




ceeded by Abraham Veutura (about 1806). At the
•end of the eighteenth century the director of the
yeshibah was Samuel Conforte, tlie author of the
"Kol Shemu'el" (Saionica, 1787). Tiie present
(1905) occupant of the rabbinate is R. Eiireupreis,
wlio succeeded Moritz Grilnwald.

Many trials befell the Sofia coniniuuity in the
nineteenth century. Had it not been for the inter-
vention of the governor the entire Jewish popula-
tion would iiave been massacred in 18G8, because
three Jews who had been forcibly converted to
Christianity iiad returned to their former religion.
During the TurkoRussian war, less than lifteen
years later, the city of Sotia was fired by the Turks
I when they evacuated the city, and was saved only
by a volunteer fire-brigade formed bj' the Jews of
i both sexes. The Italian consul, Positano, publicly
acknowledged the services of the Jews on this

At the time of the treaty of Berlin, 1878, the Jews
of Sofia declared their sympathy with Bulgaria, and
a regime of liberty shortly began for them. In
1880 Prince Alexander of Battenberg appointed
Gabriel Almosnino chief rabbi of Bulgaria, and in
the following year two Jews of Sofia, Abraham
Behar David and Mordecai Behar Hayyim, were
elected members of the municipal council. Not-
withstanding this, at Easter in 1884 and again in
1885 accusations of ritual murder were brought
against the Jews, although the falsity of the charges
Avas quickly discovered. In 1890 the municipality
of Sofia granted to the poor of the city some land
iu Outch-Bounar, one of the suburbs; three hun-
dred Jewish families were benefited by this con-

Sofia is the seat of the chief rabbinate of Bulgaria
and of the Central Consistory. The Alliance Israe-
lite Universelle supports three schools — two for
boys (855 pupils) and one for girls (459 pupils).
There are also five small synagogues of recent
foundation, and several batte midrashot. One of
these synagogues belongs exclusively to the Asli-
lienazim, of whom there are about fift}' families.
Except for an old cemetery, in which a few ancient
inscriptions are still legible, Sofia has no permanent
memorial of its remote Jewish past.

Several Jews of Sofia fill public offices: Albert
Caleb is minister of foreign affairs ; Albert Behar is
translator for the minister of finances; and Boucos
Baruk is secretary and interpreter for the French
legation. Boris Schatz, a Jew of Russian extrac-
tion, has won a high reputation as a sculptor: one
of his works, "Mattathias Maccabeus," is in the gal-
lery (tf Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria. Two Juda?o-
Spanish journals are published at Sofia — " La Ver-
dad " and "El Eco Judaico," the latter being a
semimonthly bulletin and the organ of the Central
Consistory. There are several benevolent and edu-
cational societies there, including the Zionist Soci-
ety, the Women's Society, and the students' society

Though there are several wealthy Jcwisii families
in Sofia, the majority of the Jews there are very
poor, more so than those of any other part of Bul-
garia. Since 1887 a charitable society for the pur-
pose of aiding poor Jewish youths through ap-

prenticeships to various trades has been in operation,
under the control of the Alliance Israelite Univer-

The population of Sofia is 67,920, including 7,000

Bihliography: Annar Poietru IfnaeUti, 1888, vol. xi.; Con-
forte, Kol Shemu'el, Saionica, 1787 ; Franco, Hixtoire des
Isj-aeliten de VEmpire Ottoman; Bulletin All. 1877,
1881, 1884 90; Bianconi, Cavtes Commerciales: La Bui-
(Itirie. Paris, pp. U»-13.

t> M. Fr.

UEL: Ru.ssian joiuualist ; born in Wishograd, gov-
ernment of Piock, Russian Poland, Jan. 10, 1859.
His father, a descendant of Nathan Shapira, author
of "Megalleh 'Amukkot," removed to Plock about
1865, where Nahum received the usual Jewish edu-
cation. He- made rapid progress in his studies, and
at the age of ten was kiiown as a ])rodigy of learn-
ing and ability. Destined to become a rabbi, he
studied under the supervision of his uncle, rabbi
of Lubich, and of several ot her Talmudists, devoting
part of his time to the study of the medieval Jewish
philosophers, Neo-Hebrew literature, and modern
languages. In 1876 he married, and remained for
five years with his wife's parents in Makow, con-
tinuing his studies. In 1880 he removed to Warsaw,
where he became (1884) assistant editor and (1885)
associate editor of Hayyim Selig Slonimski's Ha-
Zefikah. Owing to Slonimski's advanced age, the
editing and management of the newspaper, which
became a daily in 1886, devolved entirely upon
Sokolow, who became its sole editor and proprietor
after Slonimski's death.

Sokolow began to write for Hebrew periodicals
at an early age, and is probably the most prolific
contributor to the Hebrew press of this generation.
His earlier productions appeared in "Ha-Maggid,"
"Ha-Meliz," " Ha-Karmel," and other journals, but
since about 1885 he has written, in Hebrew, almost
exclusively for " Ha-Zefirah." He is the author of
"Mezuke Erez," on geography (Warsaw, 1878);
"Sin'at '01am le-'Am '01am," on the development
of Jew-hatred (ib. 1882); "Zaddik we-Nishgab,"
historical novel, in which R. Yom-Tob Lipmann
Heller is the hero {ib. 1882); "Torat Sefat Anglit."
a primer for self-instruction in English (ib. 1882);
"Erez Hemdah," geograph}- of Palestine, with a
resume of Oliphant's "Land of Gilead " (ib. 1885).

Sokolow was the foumkr and editor of the year-
book Ha-Asik, and of its successor, the "Sefer ha-
Shanah," which appeared in Warsaw from 1899 to

1902. He edited the "Sefer Zikkaron " (Warsaw,
1890), a biographical dictionary of contemporar}'
Jewish writers, which appeared as a supplement to
"Ha-Asif"; and "Toledot Sifrut Yisrael," a Hebrew
translation of Karjieles' "Geseh. der Jiidischen Lit-
teratur" (ib. 1888-91). After Pkltin's death, in
1896, Sokolow succeeded him as editor of the Poli-sh
weekly "Izraelita." Sokolow came to be regarded
as the foremost Hebrew journalist in Russia. In

1903, twenty -five years having elapsed since the
publication of his first work, a literary celebration
was held in his honor, and was made memoratilc
by the publication, in the following year, of a julji-
lee book, "Sefer ha-Yobel," to which numerous
scholars contributed important articles, and of

Sola, De



"Ketabim Nibharim," a collection of sketches and
articles written by Sokolow for various periodicals.

Bibliography : Eisenstadt, Dor Rabbanaw we-Snferau\ iii.
3:1-34, Wilna, 190(); idem, in Jewish Gazette, xxviii., No. 52;
Zeitlin, Dibl. Post-Mendeh. pp. 373-374.
S. P. Wl.

SOLA, DE : Sephardic famih'. According to
family tradition, its earliest known members lived in
Toledo and Navarre in the eighth and ninth cen-
turies. After having risen to liigh distinction in
Navarre, largely through the merits of one of its
members. Barucli ben Isliac ibn Daud (Don Barto-
lome), the family gravitated again to Andalusia, and
produced a number of eminent men in Cordova in
the tenth century, when that city, under the sway
of the Ommiad califs, had become the center of
wealth and culture. It flourisi)ed also in Seville,
wliere a number of its members enjoyed the favor
of the Ommiad rulers, and in Luceua, where they
intermarried with the Ibn Ghayyats (or Ibn Giats).
The irruption of the Almohades caused them to re-
move to Tudela in 1146, and during the century
which followed they were successively in Navarre,
Castile, and Aragon. They seem to have adopted
the surname of De Sola toward tlie latter part of
the twelfth century, only their Hebrew names ap-
pearing before that period. Tiie name is said to
have had its origin in an estate they pcssessed in
northern Spain. During the thirteenth and first

half of the fourteenth
century the De Solas
were in Aragon and
Castile, and attained to
high rank. The perse-
cutions of the second
half of the fourteenth
century drove them to
Granada. Here they
remained till the edict
of 1492 banished them
from Spain. Members
of the family were then
scattered in many di-
rections. Two broth-
ers, Isaac de Sola and
Baruch de Sola, crossed to Portugal, but perse-
cution forced the elder brother, Isaac, almost imme-
diately to seek refuge elsewhere. After suffering
many vicissitudes in various countries Isaac's de-
scendants settled in Holland early in the seventeenth
century. Here they resided and prospered for sev-
eral generations. But Baruch, the younger brother,
finding the life of his wife endangered by the hard-
ships endured, was forced to remain in Portugal, and
avoided further persecution by professing to be a
Marauo. His family became largely interested in
various enterprises then developing in the Portu-
guese Indies, but ultimately it rejoined relatives
in Holland, where the children were trained in
their ancestral faith. The connections which they
had established with the Portuguese Maranos were,
however, long maintained, and led some of the
members of the family to occasionally risk visits
to Lisbon and the Portuguese colonies in the pursuit
of their enterprises, notwithstanding the dangers of
the Inquisition. But early in the eighteeutli cen-

Arms of the De Sola Family

tury, when Da-id de Sola, the head of the elder
branch, and his family, under assumed names,
reached Lisbon, he was seized and tortured by the
Incjuisition, and later his youngest two sous suffered
death at an auto da fe. In 1749 his eldest son,
Aaron, effected his escape from Portugal with his
wife, five sons (David, Isaac, Jacob, Benjamin, and
Abraham), and a daughter, and returned to Holland.
Their first act was to openly avow their unshaken
adherence to the faith of their forefathers. The de-
scendants of the eldest son, David, have lived suc-
cessively in Holland, England, and Canada. The
second and third sons, Isaac and Jacob, went to
C/Uragao, and their descendants are yet on that
island and in the United States and other parts of

The accompanying pedigree shows the various
branches and chief members of the De Sola famil}',
the numbers in parentheses corresponding to those
given in the text.

1. Don Bartolome (Baruch ben Ishac ibn
Daud) : Styled a "nasi " ; progenitor (jf the De Sola
family ; is said to have occupied aliigh office of state
in Navarre in the ninth century.

2. Shalom ibn Daud: Descendant of Don Bar-
tolome (No. 1) ; lived in Cordova in the tenth century.
Througli the friendship of Hasdai ibn Shaprut he
enjoyed the favor of the calif Abd al-Rahman III.
He was appointed a dayyan of the community of

3. Aaron ben Shalom ibn Daud: Son of
Shalom (No. 2); born in the second quarter of the
tenth century ; was a physician in Cordova. He is
said to have been lecturer at the college of medicine
established in that city by Al-Hakam II.

4. Michael ibn Daud : Descendant in the male
line of Aaron ben Shalom (No. 3); born in Seville
about 1025. He was a physician and naturalist,
and wrote a work, no longer extant, on the medicinal
properties of plants.

5. Menahem ben Michael: Eldest son of
Michael ibn Daud (No. 4); lived in Seville and at-
tained to a political position of responsibility at the
court of King Al-Mu'tamid in the second half of the
eleventh century.

6. Hai ben Michael: Second son of Michael
ibn Daud (No. 4); born in Seville about the middle
of the eleventh century; lived in Lucena, where
he devoted himself to philo.sophy and theolog3^
He married Miriam, a daughter of Isaac ben Judah
ibn Ghayyat (or ibn Giat), and sister of Judah
ibn Ghayyat, who influenced his studies; and he
enjoyed the advantage of close association with
Alfasi. Into his circle came also the young Judah
ha-Levi, then a student at the Lucena college. Hai
is said to have been the author of some writings on
the Talmud and of a work on philosophy'. He
wrote also a brief commentary on the Megillot.
He had four sons, Michael, Isaac, Enoch, and
Joseph, who lived in Lucena and Cordova until the
invasion of the Almohades caused them to go to
Tudela in 1146.

7. Enoch ben Hai: Third son of Hai (No. 6);
born at Lucena at the end of the eleventh century.
He was the author of a work on astronomy. He
died at Tudela, wliere he had acted as dayyan.



Sola, De

8. Isaac ben Elijah ibn Daud de Sola : Grand-
son of Enoch ben Hai (No. 7); born in the middle
of the twelfth century. Isaac de Sola was a rabbi
and one of the heads of the Jewish communities of
Navarre. He was also a commentator and poet,
and made Hebrew renderings of Arabic poems. He
died 1216.

9. David de Sola : Grandson of Isaac ibn Daud
de Sola (No. 8); born about the close of the twelfth
century; lived in Barcelona. He was a man of
learning and wealth, and by his munificence greatly
encouraged Hebrew scholarship in his native city.
Family traditions mention him as the author of a
work on the Mekilta and of several theological
writings. He married Judith Benveniste. During
the second half of the thirteenth century some of
his relatives settled in Narboune, Montpellier, and
other par.ts of southern France, but his descendants
in the main line continued in Spain.

10. Abraham de Sola (usually styled Abra-
ham of Aragon) : Lived in the thirteenth cen-
tury ; a brother of David de Sola (No. 9). He was
a distinguished physician, and was employed by
Alphonse, Count of Poitou and Toulouse, brother of
Louis IX. of France.

11. Aaron Enrique de Sola: Lived iu the
thirteenth century, and was a brother of David (No.
9) and of Abraham (No. 10) ; died at Salamanca
1280. He devoted his life to the study of science,
and is said to have written works on astronomy and
mathematics. His earlier years were spent at Bar-
celona and Saragossa.^but later he went to Toledo
at the invitation of Alfonso X. of Castile, el Sabio.

12. Don Baruch (Bartolome) de Sola : Great
grandson of David de Sola (No. 9). Don Baruch
was born at the close of the thirteenth century,
either at Barcelona or at Saragossa. Family tradi-
tion records that he won distinction fighting as a
knight under the infante Alfonso, afterward Al-
fonso IV. of Aragon. He took part in the war
against the Shepherds, 1320-22, and in the war in
Sardinia, 1325-30. He was accorded noble rank by
the king. After the death of Alfonso IV. he went
to Toledo, where he died. His son, Jacob Al-
fonso, lived in Toledo for a while, but outbreaks
of intolerance caused him to remove to Granada
with his family.

13. Solomon de Sola: Flourished during the
first half of the fourteenth century. He was a son
of the Jacob de Sola who was a great-grandson of
David (No. 9), and was a brother of Don Baruch
(No. 12). He was a physician at Saragossa and also
a rabbinical scholar.

14. Elijah de Sola : Born in Granada 1420; was
a grandson of Jacob Alfonso de Sola, the son of
Don Baruch (Bartolome) (No. 12). He was a rabbi
and wrote lectures on Hebrew grammar.

15. Isaac de Sola : Sonof Elijah (No. 14); born
in Granada in 1459. He took part in the de-
fense of his native city, and left it on its fall. The
expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 drove
him to Portugal. His descendants took up their
abode in Holland a century later. Among his chil-
dren was a son named Gabriel, referred to below.

16. Baruch de Sola (Bartolomeu) : Younger
brother of Isaac de Sola (No. 15); born at Granada

1461. On the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in
1492 he went to Portugal. (For his connection with
the family history .sec introduction.)

17. Carlos de Sola (Hebrew pranomen vari-
ously stated): Born about 1595; great-grandson of
Gabriel de Sola, the son of Isaac de Sola (No. 15).
He went to Holland in the first half of the seven-
teenth century. He was the writer of a family
chronicle (in manuscript).

18. David de Sola: Grandson of Carlos de
Sola (No. 17); born about 1670. His youth was

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 11) → online text (page 103 of 160)