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netz-Podolsk. Upon the opening of the rabbinical
seminary at Jitomir, Suchostaver was called to that
city; and he remained identified with the institution
until it was closed (1873).

Influenced by the school of the Haskalah, Sucho-
staver wrote a philosophical introduction to Mai-
monides' "Moreh Nebukim," which was published
at Zolkiev in 1829. He was the author also of sev-
eral Biblical-scientific articles, preserved in manu-
script, one of which, entitled " ' Edim Zomemim,"
a treatise on Deut. xix. 1.5-20, appeared in the
monthly "Mizpah" (1885, part iii.).

Bibliography: Papema, in Sokolowski's Siefer ha-Shatiah,
pp. 60-62. Warsaw. 1900; Ha-Meliz. 1889, No. 274, p. 4 ; Ha-
^efirah, 1880. No. 31, p. 247b.
E. C. S. O.

SUFISM (Arabic, "Tasawwuf"): The mystic
and ascetic doctrines of the Mohammedan sect of the



Sufis, whose name is derived from the Arabic noun
"suf " (wool), having reference to the woolen cloth
worn by its adherents to typify the primitive sim-
plicity enjoined by Islam. Sufism has a special
claim upon the attention of Jewish scholars because
of its influence on the ethical and mystic writings of
the Judaeo- Arabian period. According to their own
view the Sufis are simply esoteric Mohammedans,
setting aside the literal meaning of the words of
Mohammed for a mystic or spiritual interpretation.
The Sufic movement arose in the land of the
Magis; and in the first stages of its development it
bore a purely ascetic and ethical character. It de-
clared theological knowledge to be far inferior to
inward perception, or mystic intuition acquired
through religious ecstasies. Later, however, under
the influence of Arabian Neoplatonism, and partly
also under that of the Vedanta school of the Hindu
philosophers, speculative, metaphysical, and pan-
theistic elements were added ; and in this way arose
the Sufic theological system. For the Sufis, God
alone has a real existence, while the material world
or contingent being is merely a reflection of Hit.
revealing His attributes and perfections without
partaking of His substance. In lov-
Doctrines. ing wisdom, beauty, or goodness, man
in reality loves God; and in realizing
that God is the only reality he is able to overlertp,
as it were, his own limitations and to attain the
state of absorption in God. This can only be
reached after one has jjassed through the following
three stages: (1) humanity C'nasut" ), in which the
disciple, or seeker after God, must live according to
the Law, observing all the rites, customs, and pre-
cepts of religion ; (2) angelhood (" malkut "), through
which lies the pathway of purity ; and (3) the pos-
session of power ("jabrut"), through which man
acquires knowledge— the knowledge of God, which
is diilused through all things. As the soul of man
is an exile from its Maker, and human existence is
its period of banishment, death should be the desire
of the Sufi ; for thereby he returns to the bosom of
his Creator. According to the Sufis, all religious
beliefs, sucli as those relating to paradise, hell, etc.,
are allegories. There does not really exist any dif-
ference between good and evil; all is reduced to
unity, and God is the real author of the acts of man-
kind. It is He who determines the will of man:
the latter therefore is not free in his actions. No
one can obtain spiritual union without God's grace;
but this is vouchsafed to those who fervently ask
for it.

To the spread of Sufism in the eighth century was
probably due the revival of Jewish mysticism in
Mohammedan countries at that period. Under the
direct influence of the Sufis arose the Jewish sect
called YuDGiiANiTES. Like the Sufis,
Influence the Yudghanites set a.side the literal
on Yud- meaning of the Torali for a supposed
ghanites. mystic or spiritual interpretation
(comp. Saadia, "Emunot we-De'ot,"
pp. 39b and 68a ; Ibn Ezra. Commentary on the Pen-
tateuch, Introduction). There are also many points
of similarity between the mysticism of the Sufis and
that of the Merkabah-riders of the geonic period
(see Merkabah). To enter the state of ecstasy in



Suflsm
Suicide



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



580



which the Merkabah-ride was taken one had to re-
main motionless, with tlie head between tlie knees,
absorbed in contemplation, and murmuring prayers
and liymns. The Sufis distinguisiied seven different
ecstatic stages, each of whicli was marked by the
vision of a different color. The contemplative suc-
cessively saw green, blue, red, yellow, white, and
black ; while in the seventh and last stage he saw
nothing, being completely absorbed in God, like a
drop of water which, failing into the sea, loses its
individual identity and acquires an infinite exist-
ence. The same distinction by colors of the ecstatic
stages was made by the Merkabah-rider, who at each
ne^v stage entered a heavenly hall ("hekal") of a
different color, until he reached the seventh, which
was colorless, and the appearance of which marked
both the end of his contemplation and his lapse
into unconsciousness (comp. Zohar, i. 41b).

A far greater influence was exercised hy Sufism
upon the ethical writings of the Judaeo-Arabian
period than upon the mysticism of the Geonim.
In the first writing of this kind, the " Kitab al-Hi-
dayah ila Fara'id al-Kulub " of Bahya ben Joseph
IBN Pakuda (translated by Judah ibu Tibbon into
Hebrew under the title " Hobot ha-Lebabot "), the
author says: "The precepts prescribed by the Law
number 613 onij'; those dictated by
Influence the intellect are innumerable." This
on Bahya. was precisely the argument used by
the Sufis against their adversaries, the
' Ulamas. The very arrangement of the book seems
to have been inspired by Sufism. Its ten gates or
sections correspond to the ten stages through which
the Sufi had to pass in order to attain that true and
passionate love of God which is the aim and goal of
all ethical self-discipline. It is noteworthy that in
the ethical writings of the Sufis Al-Kusajri and Al-
Harawi there are sections which treat of the same
subjects as those treated in the " Hobot ha-Lebabot "
and which bear the same titles: e.g., " Bab al-Tawak-
kul " (pnonn lyL"); " Bab al-Taubah" (naiBTin -lycr) :
"Bab al-Muhasabah " (K'SJH p^KTI lyCJ') ; "Babal-
Tawadu'" (nyjDn lyL*'); "Bubal-Zuhd" (lytT
mtJ'^IDn). In the nintli gate Bahya directly quotes
sayings of the Sufis, whom he calls "Perushim."
However, the author of the " Hobot ha-Lebabot "
did not go so far as to approve of the asceticism
of the Sufis, although he showed a marked pre-
dilection for their ethical principles. On the other
hand, Abraham bau Hivy.\ teaches the asceti-
cism of the Sufis. His distinction with regard
to the observance of the Law by various classes
of men is essentially a Sufic theory. According
to it there are four principal degrees of human
perfection or sanctity: namely: (1) of "Shari'ah,"
i.e., of strict obedience to all ritual
VieAvs of laws of Mohamme<ianisni, such as
Abraham prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, almsgiv-
bar Hiyya. ing, ablution, etc., which is the low-
est degree of worship, and is attain-
able by all; (2) of "Tarikah," which is accessible
only to a higher class of men who, while strictly ad-
hering to the outward or ceremonial injunctions of
religion, rise to an inward perception of mental
power and virtue necessar\- for the nearer approach
to the Divinity; (3) of "Haljikah," the degree at-



tained by those who, through continuous contem-
plation and inward devotion, have risen to the true
perception of the nature of the visible and invisible ;
who, in fact, have recognized the Godhead, and
through this knowledge have succeeded in estab-
lishing an ecstatic relation to it; and (4) of the "Ma-
'arifah," in which state man communicates directly
with the Deity.

Complete seclusion from the world was highly
praised by many cabalists. In his commentary on
the Pentateuch entitled "Me'irat 'Enayim " Isaac
BEN S.-VMUEL OK AciiE cxprt'sses liimsclf as follows:
" He who readies the degree of attachment to God
[nip2T] will reach that of indifference [niinBTl] ;
ami he who reaches the degree of indifference will
reach that of seclusion from the world." The de-
gree of seclusion is illustrated by R. Abner in the
following story : " A lover of wisdom once addressed
himself to an anchoret and asked to be enrolled in
his order. The hermit said to him: ' My son, may
the blessings of Heaven be upon thee; for thy inten-
tion is good. But tell me, hast thou been indiffer-
ent or not? ' ' Master, what do you mean by that? '
' My son, is the man who respects thee, and the one
who offends thee, equal in thy eyes or not? ' 'By
your life, master, I find pleasure in the man who
shows me respect, and feel hurt by

Influence him who offends me; but I bear no
on grudge against the offender, and do

the Cabala, not seek vengeance.' 'Depart in
peace, my son, ' said the anchoret ; ' so
long as thou art not completely indifferent to praise
and blame, thou art not prepared for the life of a
hermit ' " (Deut. vii.).

Like the Sufis, the cabalists considered love of
God to be the final object of the existence of the
soul. "In the love of God," says the Zohar, "is
found the secret of the divine unity: it is love that
unites the higher and the lower stages, and that
raises everything to that stage in which all must be
one "(Zohar, ii. 216a).

The allegorical and symbolical style of the Sufic
poetry found imitators among many liturgical poets
of the Middle Ages. Of these the most renowned
was Israel Najara, who, in the preface to his
"Zemirot Yisrael," acknowledges this influence, say-
ing that in his youth he had composed many relig-
ious hymns to Arabic and Turkish tunes, with the
intention of turning the Jewish young men from
profane songs. The characteristic feature of these
hymns is the same as that of the Sufic poetry;
namely, the representation of the highest things by
human emblems and human passions, and the use
of erotic terminology to illustrate the relations of
man and God, religion being identical with love.
Thus in the language of the Sufis, as well as in that
of many Jewish poets, the beloved one's curls indi-
cate the mysteries of the Deity ; sensuous pleasures,
and chiefly intoxication, the highest degree of divine
love as ecstatic contemplation; while the wine-room
merely represents the state in consequence of which
the human qualities merge or are exalted into those
of the Deity.

Although Hasidism is opposed to asceticism, it
lias many points in common with Sufism. Like the
latter, it aims to create by means of psychological



581



THP: JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Safism
Suicide



suggestion a new type of religious man — a type that
places emotion above reason and rites, and religious
exaltation above knowledge. As the Sutis, too, the
llasidim believe that by means of constant spiritual
communion witli God it is possible to secure clear
mental vision and llie gift of prophcc}^ and to work
miracles. A striking analogy between Hasidism
and Sufism is the prominence, in both sects, of the
spiritual guide. As Suljsm inculcates the absolute
necessity of blind submission to the "murshid,"
or inspired guide, so Hasidism teaclios that the zad-
di^ is the mediator between God and ordinary per-
sons, and that through him the salvation of the soul
is achieved and earthly blessings are obtained.

Bibliography: De Slane, introduction to the Diographi'Ml
Dictionaru of Ibn KhaUikan, Paris, 1)54^; Bicknell, Transla-
tion of Hafii (if Shiraz ; Silvestre de Sacy, in Notices et Ex-
traits, xii. 291 ; Kremer, in Journal Asiatique, 1868, p. 271 ;
Jellinek, iu Orient, xii. 577 ; Steinschneider, Ma''amar ha-
Yihud, pp.21, 22: Ignaz Go\dziher, Materialen zur Eiit-
vnckeluugsgeschichte des Svfismus, in W. Z. K. M. xiil.
35-56; Sc.hTeiimr, Der Kalam in der JUdischen Litcrattir,
in Bericld fUr die Lehranstalt fUr die Wissenschaft des
Judenthums zu Devlin, 1895.

K. I. Bk.

SUICIDE : Self-murder. The influence of race
on the frequency of suicide is evident from statistics
giving the rates of mortality from this cause in vari-
ous countries. Of the European peoples, the Ger-
mans, Scandinavians, English, etc., i.e., those who
are mostly of the Teutonic race, are more given to
self-destruction than the peoples of Celtic or Med-
iterranean origin. Wherever the Celtic race is in
the majority the rates of suicide fall perceptibly.
In the United States, where nearly all the European
races live under approximately the same environ-
ment, each nationality retains its own rate of suicide.
Morselli declares that religion has a great influ-
ence on the suicide rate, and that Catholics and
Jews are the least liable to commit suicide. He
maintains that those who are fervently devoted to
religion, especially women (nuns and lay sisters), fur-
nish very few suicides. That religion is not the
only factor in such cases, however, is shown by the
fact that "a great difference generally exists between
Catholic and Protestant countries only, not between
Catholic and Protestant inhabitants
Influence of the same country. Where the tend-
of Social ency to suicide is great among the
Envi- latter, it will be found to be also high
ronment. among the former " (Morselli). " When
it is found that people living under
the same social, economic, and physical environ-
ments soon come to have the same suicide rate,
whatever their faith, we have proof that the differ-
ence between Protestantism and Roman Catholi-
cism as preventives of suicide can not be great "
(Strahan).

Among the ancient Hebrews suicide appears not
to have been very common, only four cases being
definitely mentioned in the Old Testament: those of
Samson, Saul and his armor-bearer, and Ahithopliel ;
to these may perhaps be added the cases of Abim-
elech, Razis (II Mace. xiv. 46), and a few others.
Later it appears to have become more frequent.
Josephus records the suicide of several thousand
Jewish soldiers who were besieged by the Romans in
the stronghold of Masada in the year 72 or 73 c.r.
Under medieval persecution the Jews often chose



self-destruction as a means of relief. In 1190 in York,
England, 500 Jews committed suicide to escape
persecution ; and many similar instances are to be
found in the history of the Jews in England, France,
and Germany. In modern times (during the tirst
half of the nineteenth century) Jews were less liable
to self-destruction. Suicide is said to be very in-
frequent among the Orthodox Jews in Europe, par-
ticularly those living iu small towns iu Russia, Po-
land, and Galicia.

Table Showing the Average of Suicides Among
Catholics, Pkotestants, and Jews per
1,000,000 OF Popi'LATioN (Afteu Morselli).



Country.



Austria

Austria

Baden

Baden

Bavaria

Bavaria

Bavaria

Bavaria, Upper

Bohemia

Franconia, Central.. .

Franponia, Lower

Franconia, Upper

Galicia

Hungary

Moravia

Palatinate of the Rhine

Posen

Prussia

Prussia

Prussia Province

Rhine Province

Silesia

Transylvania

Westphalia

VViirttemberg

WQrttemberg



Period.



1 1852 54 (
I 1858-59 f
1864-65
1864 69
1870-74
1814 56
1857-66
186t)-67
1844-56
1858-59
1844-56
1844-56
1844-56
1858-59
( 1852-54 /
■) 1858-59 (
ia58-59
1844-56
1849-55
1849-55
1869-72
1849-55
1849-55
1W9-55
( 1852-54 I
^ 1858-59 (
1849-55
1846-60
1873-74



Total
verage of
ulcides.


i

o

S3

03


1


■<^'


o


PL.


72.0


51.3


79.5




73.7


100.0


139.0


121.1


161.9


156.6


136.7


171.0


72.0


49.1


135.4


80.0


55.2


136.1


91.0


56.7


152.7


44.6


56.0


237.0


81.0


69.0


132.0


126.0


59.0


134.0


61.0


49.0


164.0


107.0


75.0


146.0


47.9


45.0


16.0


30.0


32.8


54.4


69.4


67.0


67.0


50.3


52.0


62.0


68.7


41.5


124.1


122.0


49.6


1.59.9


133.0


69.0


187.0


99.7


31.0


96.6


52.6


27.7


108.0


152.0


58.5


153.0


36.0


113.2


73.6


63.5


24.4


80.2


96.7


77.9


113.5


163.0


120.0


180.0



Jews.



20.7

33.3
141.0
124.0
105.9
100.3
140.4
123.0

81.0

86.0
141.0
114.0

10.0

17.6

12.0
35.0
38.0
46.4
96.0
33.3
34.5
31.3

35.6

66.3
65.6
80.0



From the figures in the foregoing table it is found
that in most countries the order of frequency of sui-
cide, according to religion.s, is: Protestants, Catho-
lics, Jews. It is, however, a striking fact that
the Jews vary more among themselves in dif-
ferent countries than do Catholics from Protes-
tants, who maintain a certain relative proportion
with little variation. Morselli is inclined to at-
tribute these differences to the anthropological and
social diversities observed among the Jews in vari-
ous countries. This is substantiated by the fact that
in Austria, where they are economically poor and
socially isolated, the nimiber of suicides per 1,000,-
000 Jews is only 20. 7, and in Galicia only 10. On the
other hand, in Baden and Bavaria,
where socially and economically they
are on a higlicr plane, the rate is as
iiigh as 140, about seven times more
frequent than in Austria; while in
Posen, where their condition at the time these sta-
tistics were taken was an intermediate one, the sui-
cide rate was 38 per 1,000.000 Jews.

Another important point observable from these
figures is that the rate of suicide among Jews is
greatly influenced by that among Gentiles in the



Compara-
tive Infre-
quency.



Suicide
Sullam



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



582



same country ; aucl this is particularly true when
comparison is made witli the Protestants, and can
best be seen by comparing the rates in Austria with
those in Prussia, Bavaria, and Baden. In Austria
the rates are low both among the general population
and among the Jews. In Baden and Prussia, where
it is higiier among the Christians, it is higher among
the Jews also. The same is evidently true of the
various provinces of Austria and Prussia.

It is a known fact that suicide is increasing in
most of the European countries and in America.
From the time when statistics were first collected to
the present the increase has been very great, even
in respect to countries differing in race, religion, and
number of inhabitants. Morselli explains this in-
crease as due to the effects of "that " universal and

complex influence to which we give
Increase the name ' civilization.' " In western
in Modern Europe this increase is more pro-
Times, nounced among the Jews than among

the Christian populations of the same
countries. In Prussia the suicide rate from 1849
to 1901 was as follows:

1849-55 46.4 per 1,000,000 Jews.

1869-72 96.0 "

^''"^^**^M Jewesses 124.1

This shows that in fifty years the rate increased
more than sevenfold. When compared with the
Christians in Prussia, it is found that Jews are de-
cidedly more liable to self-destruction than non-
Jews, as may be seen from the following figures per
100,000 population:





Suicide Rate.


Year.


Suicide Rate.


Year.


Non-
Jews.


Jews.


Non-
Jews.


Jews.


1890


19
21
21
21
21
19


18
29
25
26
26
21


1896


20
30
19
19
30
20


21


1891


1897


27


1892


1898


23


1893


1899


20


1894


1900


23


1895


1901


33









While during the twelve years mentioned in the
table the suicide rate has remained almost stationary
among the non-Jewi.sh population in Prussia, among
the Jews it has increased from 18 to 32 per 100,000
population. This increase applies to Jewesses also,
and in a much higher degree than among the non-
Jewish women. From 1892 to 1901 the annual av-
erage of suicides per 100,000 women was: Jewesses,
12.41 ; Christian women, 8.11. This shows that while
among the general population men commit suicide
twice as often as women, Jews commit suicide
nearly three times as often as Jewesses. Hoppe has
called attention to the fact that the absence of al-
coholism among the Jews reduces the rate of suicide
when compared with that of non-Jews, while early
puberty increases the rate among Jewesses.

The increase of suicide among the Jews is not con-
fined to Prussia. In Bavaria, where, according to
Morselli, the rate per 1,000,000 Jews was 105.9 in the
period 1844-56, falling to 100.3 in 1857-66, and rising
to 140.4 in 1866-67, it further increased to 185.6
(among the Christians 128.3 only) in 1883-92. In



Wlirtleaiberg the rate was 142 during 1881-90 (P.
Hanvillier, "Du Suicide," 1899, p. 65) as against 65
in 1846-60. In Baden the rate, which was 87 in
1852-60, increased to 210 in 1878-88. In Hungary,
only 17.6 per 1,000,000 Jews committed suicide dur-
ing 1852-59, while in the period 1891-95 the rate in-
creased to 54.7 (among the Christians it was much
higher, 136.9). In Vienna, according to Bratessevic
(" Die Selb-stmorde in Wien Waiirend der Jahre 1854-
1894," in "Statistische Monatsschrift " [1895], xxi.
263), the rate was as follows: 230 in 1869; 234 in
1880; 246 in 1890.

In general it may be stated that suicide among
the Jews increased in western Europe during the
second half of the nineteenth century to a much
greater extent than among the Christian population.
Suicide due to drunkenness is very rare among the
Jews, while among non- Jews about one-third of all
suicides are directly or indirectly traceable to the
abuse of alcoholic beverages. This indicates that
self-destruction not due to alcoholism is nowadays
even more frequent among Jews than among Chris-
tians, and that these statistics do not represent the
exact conditions.

Bibliography : Hugo Hoppe, Krankheiten und Sterhlichkeit
hei Juden imd Nichtjuden, Berlin, 1903; H. Morselli, Sui-
cide, New York, 1882 ; A. Ruppin. Die Juden der Geaenwart,
Berlin, 1904; H. Singer, AUgemeive und Specielle Krank-
heitMehre der Jude7u Leipsle, 1904; S. A. K.Strahan, Suicide
and Insanity, London, 1893.
J. M. Fi.

STJKKAH (" Tabernacle ") : Treatise in the Mish-
nah, the Tosefta, and both Tahnudim, dealing
chiefly with the regulations regarding the Feast
of Tabernacles (Lev. xxiii. 34-36; Num. xxix. 12 et
seq.; Deut. xvi. 13-16). In most of the editions it
is the sixth treatise in the mishnaic order Mo'ed.
It is divided into five chapters, containing fifty-three
paragraphs in all. The contents may be summa-
rized as follows:

Ch. i. : Prescribed height of the Tabernacle; its
walls; nature of the covering; and time of making
the tent or booth (§ 1); circumstances rendering
the booth unfit for use at the festival; material to
be used for the covering and the walls; nature of
the walls; distance between the walls and the cov-
ering (§§ 2-11).

Ch. ii. : How the obligation of sleeping in the tent
during the festival may be fulfilled (5^ 1); further
details as to the nature of the tent (g§ 2-3) ; cases in
which a person is relea.sed from the obligation of
sleeping and eating in the booth (§ 4); how the obli-
gation of eating in the tent may be met, and how
many meals must be eaten in the
Contents, booth during the festival (g§ 5-7);
women, slaves, and small children are
released from all obligation regarding the tent; age
at which children are subjected to the laws regard-
ing the booth (g 8); cases in which persons are re-
leased from the obligation of remaining in the booth
during rain (^ 9).

Ch. iii. : The Lulab (comp. Lev. xxiii. 40; Neh.
viii. 15), made of the palm-, myrtle-, and willow-
branches, and the etrog (citron); the kinds of
branches that are unfit ("pasul"; §§ 1-3); the num-
ber of myrtle- and willow-branches necessary for the
lulab (§ 4); the kind of etrog that is unfit (§§ 5-7);



583



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Suicide
SuUam



material for binding tlie lulab (§ 8) ; passages of the
Psalms during which the lulab must be waved on
reciting "Hallel"(§9); recitation of the "Ilallel"
(§§ 10-11); while the Temple was standing the
lulab was carried within its walls on all the seven
days of the feast, but outside on one day only;
after the destruction of the Temple R. Johanan b.
Zakkai decreed that in commemoration of the
former custom the lulab should be carried in the
provinces on all the seven days (§12); what must
be done if the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles
falls on a Sabbath (t$§ 13-15).

Ch. iv. : Number of days on which the several
ceremonies of Sukkot are observed (§>; 1-3, 8); nsan-
ner of observing the regulation regarding the lulab
(§ 4); manner of placing the willow-
The branches around the altar, and the

Ceremony processions around it; the recitations
of Drawing during these processions, and the sen-



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 139 of 160)