Isidore Singer.

The 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

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ment relating to divorceended
when Isaac, who was much
older and better known than
Spektor, acknowledged the
latter to be in the right.

In 1846 Spektor was chosen
rabbi of Nishvez, govern-
ment of Minsk; but the com-
munity of Baresa was un-
willing to let him go, and he
was obliged to leave the town
at night. The salary of his
new position, four rubles a
week, was a munificent one
for those days; and at first
many of the older members
of the community objected
to so young a rabbi. Aft«r
he had become known, however, his popularity
was such that when he decided to accept the rab-
binate of Novohrodok (government of Kovno),
whose community had exonerated him of a false
charge made against him by an informer of Nishvez,
the people of the latter town wished
Rabbinical to restrain him; and he had to leave
Positions, it, as he had left Baresa, stealthily at
night. He went to Novohrodok in
May, 1851, and remained there until the same month
in 1864, when he accepted the rabbinate of Kovno,
which he occupied imtil his death.

Spektor was an indefatigable worker; and in the
last forty years of his life, when he was steadily be-
coming more generally recognized as the foremost
rabbinical authority in Russia, he maintained a large
corres|)()ndeiue with rabbis, communities, philan-
thropists, and representative men in man}' parts of
the world, who sought his advice and instruction on
all conceivable subjects relating to .lews and Juda-
ism. He early began to take an interest in general




Jewish affairs; aud Jiis sound reasouiug, his liberal
views, aud his love of peace combined to establish
him as one of the great leaders of Russian Jewry. In
lyoT he was the youngest member of a conunitiee of
rabbis chosen to regulate tiie management of the
yesliibah of Volozhin. Ten years later he settled a
(juarrei which threatened to ruin tlie yesliibah of ^lir.
In 1868 he stood at the head of a committee to help
the poor during a drought which almost produced
a famine; and he alloweil as a temporary meas-
ure the use of peas aud beans in the Passover
of tliat year. In 1875 he decided against the use
of "etrogim" (citrons) from (Jorfu, because of
the exorbitant price to which they had risen. In
1879 he arranged, througli Prof. A. Harkavy, his
former pupil, that three rabbis, Reuben of Diina-
burg, Lipa Boslansky of Mir, aud Elijah Elie-
zer Grodzenski of Wilna, should be added to the
official rabbinical commission, which had thitlierto
consisted entirely of men of affairs and secular

Twice Spektor visited St. Petersburg to take part
in the conferences held there to consider the situa-
tion of the Jews after the riots of 1881. During
his second visit, in the summer of 1882, Kovno was
partly destroyed by fire; and Spektor
Relations collected in the capital a large sum for
with the those who had been ruined by the con-
Russian flagration. He succeeded in his oppo-
Govern- sition to the proposed establishment of
ment. a new rabbinical school on the plan of
those in Wilna aud Jitomir; but he
tailed iu his attempt to induce the government to
recognize as the real head of the Jewish communi-
ties the synagogue rabbi instead of the government
rabbi, who was in reality only a civil functionary
and a layman.

In 1889 Spektor was elected an honorary member
of the Society for the Promotion of Culture Among
the Jews of Russia ; and in the same year he de-
clared himself emphatically opposed to the proposed
celebration of his rabbinical jubilee. His efforts to
save the yeshibah of Volozhin from being closed by
the government proved unsuccessful, but las spon-
sorship of the institution known as "' Kovnoer Peru-
shim " assisted to provide a substitute. He corre-
sponded with the leading rabbis of western Europe,
and was the anonymous friend who induced Samson
Raphael Hirsch to write "Ueber die Beziehung des
Talmuds zum Judeuthum." In his later years he
was revered by the Jews of Russia; and his death
caused mourning in Orthodox communities through-
out the world.

Spektor was the author of the following works,
which are considered authoritative by rabbinical
scholars: "Be'er Yizhak " (K5uigsberg, 1858), re-
sponsa; "Nahal Yizhak " (parti., Wilna, 1872; part
ii., ib. 1884), on parts of the Shulhan 'Aruk, Hoshen
Mishpat: "'En Yizhak" (parti., AYilna, 1889; part
ii., ib. 1895).

T{. Isaac Elhanan liad three sons: Hayyim, who
was tlie son-in-law of R. Joseph Bohmer of Slutzk,
and died in Kovno in 1874, aged forty; Benjamin
Rabinovich ; and Hirsch Rabinovich, who was
maggid or preacher of Wilna, and later succeeded
his father as rabbi of Kovno, which position he still

(1905) holds. An only daughter, named Rachel,
died at an early age in 1876.

Bibliography: Jacob ha-Levi Lipschitz (Spektor's secretary for
twenty-six years), Toledttt Yizhnh. Warsaw, 1H97 (in Yiddish^
Gaou Yizhak. Wilna, 1H99) ';' D'e?- /s7-a('(i7, Mayenee, 1897,
No. 15; EiseiisUdt. Dor RabhaiMW we-Sofezia'w. in. 31-33,
Wilna, 1901; Kliezer Hillel Aronson, Erez ha-Lelxinon^
Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1879; Rosenfeld, Sha'at lia-Ki>fiher,
ill Ahia.'^af. 5659 (1899), pp. 71-80.
E. C. P. Wl.

SPELL. See Incantation.


teacher of religion at the .lewish school and theGei'-
man gymnasium in Lemberg, where he was born iu
1837; died Dec, 1899. He supported the Haskalah
movement in Galicia and was a gifted Neo-Hebrew
)ioet. He has been associated with the periodicals.
"Shomer Ziyyou," " Kokebe Yizhak," "Ha-'Il)ri,"
" Ha-Shahar," and " Ozar ha-Sifrut, " was coeditor of
the "'Jildische Presse " and the "Neuzeit," and was-
the founder of the societies Ahawah we-Haskalah and
Shomer Yisiael in Lemberg. In addition to minor
wiitiugs he has published the following: " Ha??aiat
Melek " (Lemberg, 1854), a poem on the occasion of
Emperor Fiancis Joseph's escape from an assas-
sin; "Hamishshah Ketarim " (ib. 1871), containing-
five poems; "Hokmat Shelomoh " (ib. 1878), a biog-
raphy, iu verse, of S. L. Rapoport; and "Hoi-odot,"^
an epic poem in five cantos (published in " Ozar ha-
Sifrut," 1887).

BiBLiooRAPHV : Sokolow, Sefer Zi'ATearod, pp. 115-116, War-
saw, 189U ; Zeitlin, Bibl. Post-Mendds. pp. 376, 377.

S. S. O.

SPEYER (Hebrew, j<-i"'2:j'{<, NI'DC', NI^DtT) :
Bishopric of Rhenish Bavaria. The first mention ot
a Jewish community in Speyer occurs during the
episcopate of Bishop Klidiger, who officiated from.
1073 to 1090. He admitted several Jewish refugees,
and assigned them, together with the Jews already
settled there, a special quarter, which
The Jewish he enclosed with a wall for the .sake

Q,uarter. of protection. This quarter consisted
of a hill and a valley outside the
city proper. In order further to protect the Jews,
he granted them, on Sept. 13, 1084, a special i)rivi-
lege on condition that they should pay 3+ pounds of
Speyer money annually to the cloisters. The Jews
were also allowed to trade in the harbor iu all kinds
of goods, aud to exchange gold aud silver; they
received as their special property a burial-ground
from the estates of the Church ; the chief rabbi
was given absolute jurisdiction iu all cases arising
among them ; and they were permitted to hire Chris-
tian servants aud nurses, and to sell to Christians
such meat as they tiiemselves did not use.

Henry III. confirmed (Feb. 19, 1090) and even
extended grants which had been made to the Jews,
in particular to Judah ben Kalonymus, David beu
Meshullam, and Moses ben Ghutiel (Jekuthiel). The
forcible baptism of any of the children of those
specifically mentioned was made punisiiable by a
fine of twelve pounds gold, while the baptism of a
heathen slave entailed a fine of three pounds silver
and the return of the slave to his owner. The Jews
in general were forbidden to purchase Christian
slaves. It was enacted that in suits at law a Jewish
witness might not be subjected to the ordeal of red-




hot iron or of water or to exceptionally harsh im-
prisonment. Violation of tliese decrees was declared
punishable by a fine of three pounds
The silver. For injuries to a Jew not re-

Charter, suiting in death a tine of one pound
gold was imposed. If the guilty person
was unable to pay the tine, his eyes were to be put
out and his right hand cut off. In proceedings
against Jews the Jew bishop or the bishop of the
diocese was to preside. This privilege was signed
by the emperor himself. But neither the original
charter nor its rcenactment proved sufficient to
afford the Jews adequate protection.

In 1096 Speyer was the very first town in which
Jews suffered at the hands of the C^rusaders, eleven
being slain ("Ben Chananja," 1864, No. 5; comp.
Salfeld, "Martyrologium," p. 102). Of the Jews
who escaped some sought refuge in the king's
palace; others were protected by Bishop John
(1090-1104) in the cathedral. The in-
The stigators of the riot were caught and

Crusades, executed. During the Second Cru-
sade (1146) a fresh butchery occurred
in the city, in wliich not only laymen but also mem-
bers of the clergy took part. For this affair Bishop
Glinther received a letter of reproach from Bernard
of Clairvaux. Among the martyrs who suffered
death on this occasion was a woman named Minna,
whose ears and tongue were cut off because she re-
fused to submit to baptism (1146).

Still worse were the excesses whicli took place
fifty years later. During the rule of Bishop Otto
(1195), aCliristian liaving been fouud murdered out-
side the city walls, the Jews were relentlessly perse-
cuted. The corpse of the recently murdered daugh-
ter of Rabbi Isaac bar Asher ha-Levi was disinterred
and hanged in the market-place, a mouse being
fastened to lier hair; and only by paying a large
sum of money did tlie father succeed in redeem-
ing the body. On the following day the rabbi
liimself and eight other persons were murdered.
]\Iany Jews sought refuge on the high balconj^ of
tlie synagogue, pulling the ladder up after their
ascent; in this terrible position they were forced to
remain until R. Hezekiah ben Reuben of Boppaid
and R. Moses ben Joseph ha-Kohen effected their
release by paying an enormous ransom. The Jews
thereupon fled in the darkness of night; and their
houses were plundered and burned. But when Em-
peror Henry VI. returned from Apulia the murder-
ers were compelled to pay damages to iiim as well
as to the Jews. In 1282 the Jews were accused by
Herbord, Ritter von der Ohm, of having murdered
his grandson, and sucli a storm ot rage broke out
against them that Bishop AVerner found liimself
compelled to lay the matter before the provincial
synod of Aschaffenburg (Sept. 8). A direct account
of these proceedings is not available, but in the fol-
lowing year (1283) Emperor Rudolph approved the
decision reached, and ordered that all the property
taken from the Jews should revert to the royal
treasury. The persecution continued unabated,
however, wherefore the Jews of Speyer decided to
emigrate to the Holy Land ; a few of them succeeded
in carrying out this resolve, whereupon their prop-
erty was confiscated. On June 24, 1291, Emperor

Rudolph issued an order requiring the Jews of
Speyer to maintain by extra taxes the newl}-^ estab-
lished Fort Landau and the militia garrisoned there.
Bishop Gerhard sold the Jewish taxes of Landau to
a citizen of that place (1354). The government
taxes payable by the Jews of Speyer were conveyed
on June 22, 1298, to the city for such a period
as might be necessary to complete payment for the
damage done by the imperial troops on their march
through the city from Alsace. A document of Maj'
13, 1313, has been preserved wiiich ordered that in
case the Jews refused to pay the sum of 1,500
pounds heller, which they had promised the emperor,
the city council should have the right to pawn their
property and to force them to payment through
imprisonment ; if any of them should succeed in
escaping, the council might admit others as citizens
in their places, as also in the places of such as pro-
tested against payment.

Ludwig tlu! Bavarian utilized the Jewish ceme-
tery at Speyer, which was surrounded b}' strong-
walls, as a fortification against Duke Leopold of

Austria, who was pursuing him. Only

The thirteen tombstones from this ceme-

Cemetery. tery have been preserved, the oldest

of which dates from 1145; the others
were used by the city until quite recent times for
building purposes. The use which Bishop Enricho
made of the Jewish taxes caused a complaint to be
brought against him by the entire diocese, wliich
accused him (1320) of subsisting solely on the usury
of the Jews. Bishop Gerhard of Ehrenburg induced
Ludwig the Bavarian to issue two decrees: (1) ad-
mitting six more Jews to the city and appropriating
their taxes for the good of the diocese (June 2. 1337);
(2) imposing taxes not onh' on the Jews of Speyer,
but also on those of Landau, Lauterburg, Deides-
heim, Bruchsai, Waibstadt, and Udenheim (Nov. 15,
1337). These taxes were collected by Gerhard until
1343, the city of Speyer paying 600 pounds heller
for protection and in direct taxes, while the other
towns contributed the sum of 700 pounds.

A great calamity befell the Jews in Easter week,
1343, when the body of a Christian named Ludwig
was found. A large number of Jews were cajv
tured, tortured, and burned at the stake. On March
11, 1344, the citizens requested the king's jjermis-
sion to confiscate the houses of the Jews for the
l>enefit of the city; and this request was granted.
The Black Death (1348-50) was fateful also for the

Jews of Speyer. On Jan. 22, 1349,

The Black nearly all the Jews, among whom was

Death. Rabbi Eliakim, retired to their,

set fire to them, and perished in the
flames. The corpses of those who had been burned
or murdered were left in the streets so long that the
citizens were obliged to pack them in empty wine-
casks and throw them into the Rhine. The whole
Jewish quarter was thereupon closed, servants being
detailed to (collect any treasure that might be found.
The houses were torn down and the materials used
to repair the city walls; and all money found was
turned into the municijial treasury. The few Jew-
ish families which escaped fled to Heidell)crg and
Sinzheim. When PImperor Charles IV. vLsited
Speyer and inquired into these occurrences, the citi-




zens succeeded in fonvinoiug him of tiieir inno-
cence; and on Mairii 29, 1349, tiie emperor issued a
decree exonerating tlie citizensand declaring all the
property of the Jchvs to belong to the city. If the
latter at any time readmitted Jews, the former were
to become the absolute property of the munici-

Within a short time the Jews were permitted to

return to Speyer; and though in 13o8 they were

again expelled from the city, their

Expulsion houses being distributed among the

and citizens and their cemetery planted

Return. with corn, in the following year they
were once more readmitted, and were
assigned quarters between the Webergasse and
the school-building. On Dec. 24, 1354, they were
allowed to use their synagogue and school, as well
as part of their cemetery; and their " Dantzhus " or
"Brutehus" was given back to them. Ten years
later Bishop Adolph borrowed the sum of 8U0 gulden
from the Jews, jiaying them a weekly interest of
one Strasburg pfennig. When Nicolaus succeeded
to the bishopric (1390; he granted the Jews permis-
sion to settle in any city within the diocese on pay-
ment of a yearly tribute of 15 gulden. Of the in-
come thus derived one-half went to the garrison and
the remaining half to the diocese. In 1394 King
Wenceslaus renewed the decree which declared the
Jews to be the property of the city.

From 1405 to 1421 the Jews were entirely excluded
from the city. l)Ut that thej' were soon readmitted
is evident from the fact that on Feb. 11, 1431, King
Sigismund granted them a privilege ordering that
any complaint brouglit against them should be heard
only before tlie municipal court. Four years later,
iiowever, the authorities had to yield to the demands
of the citizens, and the following decree of expul-
sion was issued on May 5, 1435 :

"The council is compelled to banish the Jews; but it has no
designs upon their lives or their property : it
Final only revokes their rights of citizenship and of

Expulsion, settlement. Until Nov. II they are at liberty
to go whither they please with all their prop-
erty, and in the meantime they may make final disposition of
their business affiiirs."

For a long time after the Jews left Speyer in com-
l)iiauce with this decree, no organized community
existed witiiin tlic limits of the city, although indi
\i(lual Jews settled there before twenty years luid

Formerly it was the custom that upon tlie entry
into the city of a new bishop the Jews should meet
him in procession and present him with a gift; and
this custom was observed by the Jews of Landau on
]\Iarch 27, 1439, upon the entry of Bishop Heinhard,
and in Oct., 14r,9, on the entry of John II. After
the lapse of many years this custom fell into disuse.
The taxes levied upon the Jews of the diocese were
constantly increased; thus, in the years 1464-78,
under Bishop Mathias, the Jews of Landau were re-
(juired to make an annual payment of 120 pounds
heller for the right of retaining their ghetto. The
same bishop ordered all the Jews of his diocese to
submit to baptism, and upon their refusal to com-
jily he issued (Oct. 21, 1468) a decree containing,
:\mong others, the following provi.sions: All male

Jews over five years old were required to wear on
their breasts, asa distinctive badge, a piece of yellow

cloth in the shape of awheel; all Jew-

Bestric- cssesof similar age, two blue stripes on

tions. their veils. Jews might take no part in

public gatherings or entertainments;
they might keep no Christian servants; nor might
they have schools or synagogues of their own. They
might not occupy dwellings in various portions of
the city, but should live close together; on liigh
Christian festivals they were not to appear upon the
streets; and they were forbidden to engage in mone-
tary transactions. Any person violating these rules
was to be summoned before the bishop at Udenheim.
This decree was renewed by that prelate on Dec.
24, 1468, and Dec. 30, 1472. The only modification
which the Jews, by gifts of money, succeeded in
securing was the permission to have one synagogue
in each town, this concession being granted by the
bishop in 1469. The number of Jewish families in
Speyer at this period, according to the testimony of
Schudt (" Jiidische Merckwurdigkeiten," i. 440), did
not exceed ten.

For tiie following two centuries the internal affairs
(if the Jews were administered by the rabbi of

Worms, who received an annual sum

In the Sev- of 10 reichsthaler as compensation,

enteenth the small community not being able to

Century, maintain a rabbi of its own. Official

permission was required on the occa-
sion of visits by the rabbi, and documents according
such permission have been preserved from 1682,1685,
1698, 1713, and 1746; in the reference is
made to " our rabbi David Strauss of Worms. " From
the year 1752 the Jews were forbidden, on pain of
severe punishment, to solicit the services of any
rabbi othei- than their own. The first rabbi of the
diocese was Lsaac Weil (1750-63) ; he was succeeded
in the office by Lowin Lob Calvaria, provision for
whose salary was made by a bequest in the testa-
ment of one Siissle.

Episcoiial edicts in 1717, 1719, 1722, 1726, 1727,
1728, 1736, 1741, and 1748 prohibited Gipsies and
Jews having no safe - conducts from visiting the
estates belonging to the diocese ; and those that were
provided with safe-conducts were required, for sani-
tary reasons, to submit their bundles or packages to
a rigid examination. The present community of
Speyer is _voung, and its documents are conse-
quently of recent dates.

The most prominent scholars of Speyer have been
the following; In the eleventh century; Kalony-
mus ben Moses, Jekuthiel ben Moses, Moses ben

Jekuthiel, Judali ben Kalonymus,
Scholars and David ben Meshuilam.

and Twelfth century : Abraham ben

Rabbis. Mei'rha-Kohen, Kalonymus ben Isaac,

Jacob ben Isaac ha-Levi, Eleazar ha-
Hazzan, Eliakim ha-Levi, R. Isaac ben Asher ha-
Levi, Samuel ben Kalonymus, R. Abraham ben Sol-
omon (p'KI). R- Isaac of Bohemia, Eliezer ben
Isaac, Judah, Mei'r ben Kalonymus, David of
Speyer, Simhah ben Samuel, R. Judah ben Kalony-
mus ha-Bahur, Shemariah ben Mordecai, Eliezer ben
Joel ha-Levi, Simhah ben Samuel, and Abraham ben


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Thirteenth century : Eleazar ben Jacob, Jacob of
Speyer, R. Jedidiahbeulsrael, and Sohjinon of Speyer.

Fourteenth century : 3loses Siisslin, hiter " Juden-
nieister" in Frankforton-the-.Main.

Fifteenth century: Samuel Isaac ha-Kadosli and
Sheniariah Sahiiau = T "1 ha-Levi (Zunz, " Hitus," p.

Of the cities formerly belonging to tlie diocese of
Speyer may be mentioned: Speyer, included in
the district rabbinate of Durklieim. The present
rabbi is Dr. Wolf Salvendi, and the community
numbers H74 Jews and supports six benevolent so-
cieties. Deidesheim, with 50 Jewish inhabitants.
Landau, having 874 Jews and five benevolent
societies. Its present rabbi is Dr. V. Einstein.
Bruchsal, with 741 Jews and eight societies, under
the spiritual guidance of Rabbi Doctor.

Bibliography: Zunz, /;i7i(.'<, p. 200; idem, Z. G. p. 415; Ko-
hut, <lcsi-li. (lev Dctiti^clirii, Juilen, Index, .s.i;.; Wiener,
'Enii'k ha-Baha, p. 9, Lelpsic, 1858 ; idem, Gesch. del' Judcn
in dcr Stadt und Diik-cse StJeicr, in M(»iatsschrift, IStilJ,
pp. 161, 255, 297, 417, 454 ; Jaffe, Urkunde des Bischnp RIUU-
(jer vom IJ September, lOSU, in Orient, Lit. 1842, No. 46;
idem, Urkunde Hetnrich III. voni 19 Fehruar, 1090, ib.
1842, No. 47; H. Breslau, JjiplomatiscJie Erliiuterungen
zum Jude)tpricilegium Heiiirirh IV. in Zeitschrift fiir
Gescli. dcr Juden in Detdsclil(Uiil, i. 152-159; Stnhhe, Die
Judeiiprivilegiiim Heinrirli IV. fllr Speier und H'ocm.s,
ib. i. 20.5-215 ; idem. Die J ttdeii in Deutscldand ^Vdllrend
des Mittelalterg, Index, s.t>., Brunswick, 1866; Berliner,
ElialciinvonSpeiier.m Monatssclirift. 1808, pp. 183-183;
Kiiufiuann, Die HeJrrdixchen Crl.unden des Stadt Speier, ih.
1880, pp. 517-520; A. Eppstein, Jildi.'tche Alterthllmer i)i
Worms nnd Speiier, pp. i;S 31, Breslau, 1896; L. Rothsfhild,
Die J udengemeinden in Mainz, Speier. xind Wm-nxs, ISltH-
WiS, Berlin, 1904 ; Neubaneraiid Stern, Hehrdische Berichte,
Index, s.r., Berlin, 1902; Salfeld, Martiiroloqium, pp. 91, 101,
246; E. Zivier. in M()nats,ielirift, xlix. 225-226; Doctor, in

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