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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on the Sabbath in case that day coincides with the
seventh or last day of Sukkot (Suk. 42b); (26) testi-
mony relating to the New Moon may be received
only from those who are properly qualified (R. H.
22a); (27) the reading of E.v. xxx. 11, Deut. xxv. 18,
Num. xix. 1, and Ex. xii. 1 on the four special Sab-
baths before the Passover ; (28) regulations govern-
ing the reading of the Torah (Meg. 21a); (29) per-
mission to import vegetables in the Sabbatical year
(Sheb. vi. 4) ; (30) concerning the collection of wood
and stones in v neighbor's field.

Ordinance ascribed to .Joshua b. Gamla (c. 65 c.e.):
appointment of teachers in all the cities of Judea
for children between six and seven years of age (B.
B. 21a).

Most of the ordinances of Johanan b. Zakkai were
promulgated before the time of the destruction of
the Temple, and were consequently modified after
the year 70. Frankel enumerates eleven of these de-
crees in his "Hodegetica," although Bloch lists nine
only (comp. R. II. 3lb), which are as follows: (1)
the New Moon witnesses must go to
Takkanot the place where the court assembles
of Johanan (R. H. 31b); (2) the testimony of such
ben witnesses to be received at any time

Zakkai. during the day (ib. 301)) ; (3) tliey nuiy
not desecrate the Sabbath by travel-
ing, except in Nisan and Tishri, the most important
two months (ib. 211)): (4) the shofar to be blown
even on tlie Sabbath (R. II. 29b); (5) the lulab to be
swung on all the .seven days of the festival (ib. 30a);

(6) the consumption of new grain is forbidden dur-
ing the entire day of the waving of the "O.meu (ib.);

(7) priests may not wear sandals when they a.-Jcend
the "dukan," or platform, to ]ironounce the bene-
diction (Sotah 40a; R. H. 31b); (8) a proselyte must
deposit a (luarter-shekel in the treasury to be able to
bring his sacrifice when the Temple shall be re-




built (this was repealed bj' Johanan b. Zakkai him-
self; Ker. 9a; K. H. 31b); (9) abolition of the ritual
governing tiials for adultery (Sotah 47a).

Ordinance ascribed to Gamaliel II. and the court
of Jabneh : agriculture is permitted until the first
day of the Sabbatical year (Tosef., Sheb. i.).

Takkanah ascribed to the court of Jabneh: the
fourth benediction in the grace after meals in mem-
ory of those who fell at Bethar (Ber. 48b).

After R. Gamaliel's death the Sanhedrin of Jab-
neh seems to have gone to Usha (the modern Al-
Us) for reasons which are no longer known, and
the grounds of its takkauot are equally obscure.
In view of their ethical import, however, these en-
actments soon became binding. They were as fol-
lows: (1) a man must support his minor children;
(2) if a man transfers his property to his sons, both
he and his wife enjoy a life income from it; (3) the
gift of more than one-fifth of one's property for
alms is forbidden ; (4) a father must deal gently with
his sou until the latter reaches the age of twelve;
but after that age he may be severe with him ; (5)
after a wife's death the husband may sell the prop-
erty included in her dowry; (6) one who attacks an
old man must pay one pound of gold for the injury ;
(7) elucidation of the seven doubtful reasons through
which the terumah becomes unfit for use and must
be burned (Ket. 49a, 50b; Yer. Ket. iv. 28b; M. K.
17a; Yer. M. K. iii. 8; Shab. 15b) These ordi-
nances were enacted by the rabbis of the second
generation of tannainj, R. Ishmael being especially
mentioned (B. B. 28b; Niddah 14b).

An ordinance is also extant which dates from the
time called the period of religious persecution ("she-
mad "). When Hadrian issued his decree forbid-
ding the Jews to observe their religion, the teach-
ers, including R. Akiba, R. Tarfon, and R. Jose the
Galilean, met in council and agreed that during the
time of the persecution the Law might be trans-
gressed in all respects, except as regarded the com-
mands relating to idolatry, chastity, and morality,
although this regulation was observed only super-
ficially and only when necessarj' in order to deceive
the Roman spies.

Three ordinances have been preserved which were
promulgated by R. Jose b. Halafta of Sepphoris, of
the third generation of tannaim, who flourished about
the middle of the second century. They are as fol-
lows: (1) during a funeral the mourners must le-
main standing while those wlio console them pass
by (Sanh. 19a); (2) women living in lonely places
must associate with one another, so as not to attract
the attention and evil desire of any man (ib.); (3) a
child accompanied by its mother must not lag be-
hind on the road, lest it come to harm {il>.).

The following ordinances are ascribed to the last
generation of tannaim (end of the second and begin-
ning of the third century): To R. Ju-
Ordinances dah I., ha-Nasi: (1) messengers must
of the Last be sent every month to announce the
Tannaim. new moon to the Diaspora (R. H.
22b); (2) concerning the purchase of
fields among the Sicarii (Git. 55b) ; (3) on menstrua-
tion (Niddah 66a).

Ordinances from the period of the Mishnah and
relating to women are as follows : (1) an orphan girl

married during her minority may leave her husband
without a bill of divorce on attaining her majority
(Ket 46b); (2) the permission to marry a feeble-
minded girl (Yeb. 1 12b); (3) a virgin should be mar-
ried on a Wednesday (Ket. la); (4) various laws of
purification (Niddah 11a); (5) the earnings of the
wife belong to her husband (Ket. 46a); (6) the hus-
band must pay all bills for his wife's illness (Ket.
51a); (7) a husband must ransom his wife from
captivity (i6. 76b); (8) a husband must defray the
expenses of his wife's burial (ib. 76a); (9) what-
ever is found by the wife belongs to her hus-
band (B. M. 12a); (10) a widow is entitled to re-
main in the house of her deceased husband and to
share in the income (ib. 52b); (11) orphan girls share
the income from their father's estate until they
reach their majority (ib. 52b); (12) male heirs suc-
ceed to the property of the mother, even after their
father's death (ib. 52b); (13) the daughter is entitled
to a certain portion of lier father's estate as her
dowry (ib. 67a); (14) a bill of divorce must be writ-
ten and signed in the presence of the messenger
who is to deliver it (Git. i. 1); (15) the date must be
given in all legal documents (ib. 17a); (16) in a bill
of divorce the date must be given according to the
state calendar (Git. 79b; later it was also dated ac-
cording to the era of Creation); (17) witnesses must
sign a bill of divorce in the presence of each other
(ib. 10a); (18) introduction of the "getmekushshar "
to make divorce more difficult (B. B. 160a); (18) a
woman becomes free even though only a single wit-
ness testifies to her husband's death (Yeb. 87b).

The more the Jews came in contact with the Ro-
mans and the Persians, the more they were obliged
to modif}^ the letter of their laws, and
Ordinances to introduce ordinances of the class
" for the characterized as necessary (a) "for the
Sake preservationof theorderof the world,"
of Peace." or (6) "for the sake of peace." The reg-
ulations of this type, like those already
mentioned, date from the mishnaic period, and were
promulgated for the sake of morality. In addition,
there were other takkanot designed (c) to facilitate
repentance and (d) to contribute to " the interests of
the market " or of business.

(a) Takkanot " for the preservation of the order of
the world " : (1) a servant who is half free may com-
pel his master to manumit him entirely ; but he must
give a note for one-half his value; and this debt
must be paid (Git. 41a); (3) the ransom paid for
prisoners must not exceed the usual sum (ib. 45i) !
(3) prisoners must not be allowed to escape (ib.); (4)
phylacteries and other sacred articles must not be
taken from any who are not Gentiles (ib.); (5) if
land in Palestine is sold to a Gentile, the first-fruits
must be forfeited (ib. 47a); (6) if one divorces his
wife for immorality, he may never take her back
again (ib. 45a); (7) on demand, one who has suffered
injury is to receive reimbursement from the best of
the estate ; a creditor, from the medium ; and a wife.-
with her marriage contract as security, from the
worst (ib. 48b); (8) if there is any property without
encumbrance, nothing may be taken in payment of
a debt from a field which has been mortgaged (ib.);
(9) the least desirable portion of the real estate of
orphans may be taken in payjnent of debts (ib. ) ;




(10) mortgaged property may not be applied to tlie
pleasure or support of the wife (il).)\ (11) one wlio
tinds anything shall not take an oath {ib.)\ (12)
a guardian may not be compelled to take an oath
{ib. 52a); (13) accidental defilement of holy vessels
either by a layman or by the priest in the Temple
is punishable (ii. 52b).

(b) Ordinances "for the sake of peace": (1) the
call to the reading of the Law to be made in a defi-
nite order (Git. 59a) ; (2) the " 'erub " may be arranged
even with unoccupied houses {ib.)\ (3) the cistern
nearest the river is to be filled first(2V^.); (4) hunting
includes robbery («6. 59b); (5) things found in the
possession of one to Avhom they would not normally
come imply theft (^i.); (6) the poor are pernutted
to pluck fruit from a neighbor's tree, but taking
what remains on the ground is theft {ib.)\ (7) even
the Gentile may share in the harvest gifts to the
poor {ib.).

(c) Ordinances facilitating repentance: (1) one
who steals a beam and builds it into his house need
pay for the damage to the beam only (Git. 55a); (2)
if a robber or a usurer wishes to restore goods or
money taken, they or it shall not be accepted {ib.);

(3) purchase and sale by persons not regularly deal-
ing in the wares in question are valid, in case such
persons have reached years of maturity, in order
that they may support themselves (Git. 59a); (4) if
one brings a stolen animal as a sin-olfering before
the theft is known, the sacrifice is valid {ib. 55a).

(('?) Takkanah in "the interests of the market" or

of business : if one unwittingly purchases stolen

goods, the owner must refund the

Business money paid for them (B. K. 114b).
Takkanot. Ordinances relating to legal proceed-
ings, like those which governed the
religious life, were highly important so long as the
Jews retained tlieirown judicial system in the Dias-
pora. These regulations fall, according to Bloch
(/.c), into three categories: ordinances relating {a)
to commerce; (b) to civil law ; and (c) to the oath.

{a) Ordinances relating to commerce: (1) it is per-
missible to take possession of real estate under cer-
tain conditions (B. M. 10a, b); (2) movables may be
acquired only by actual possession, not by purchase
{ib. 44a); (3) movables when together with immov-
ables are accjuired by purchase or contract (Kid. 26a) ;

(4) acquisition by a verbal conveyance of the three
parties concerned is legal (Git. 13b; Kid. 48a; this is
not, however, expressly declared to be an ordinance) ;

(5) a verbal conveyance of property by one who is
moribund is legally binding (15. K. 146b); (6) a prose-
lyte may be the heir of a Gentile father (Kid. 17b);
even before taking possession a son may dispose of
a part of his deceased father's property to defray
the funeral expenses (R. M. 16a; Tosef., Ned. vi.).

{b) Ordinances relating to civil law : (1) in actions
for debt testimony may be accejited without further
investigations (Siinh. 3a, 32a); (2) actions for debt
may be tried even by judges who have not yet re-
ceived the "semikaii" (ordination; Sanh., begin-
ning); (3) a contract may be authenticated only by
the witnesses who have signed it (Ket. 18b); (4) on
the strength of his contract a creditor may collect
his debts citlier from the heirs or from those who
purchase from the debtor (B. B. 176a).
XL— 43

{a) Ordinances relating to the oath: (1) if a laborer
demands his wages and his employer asserts that
he has paid them, the former muht take an oath be-
fore he can obtain payment (Shebu. 44b); (2) one
who has been robbed must take an oath before he
can recover his property {ib. 44b) ; (3) one who as-
serts that he has been injured by another person
must take an oath before he can re-
Ordinances cover damages {ib.); (4) if a manager
on asserts that he has paid an employee,

the Oath, and the latter denies it, both parties
take the oath, and the employer pays
them both {ib); (5) if a contract is falsified by the
wife or by the creditor, they must each take an oath
before they can receive payment (Ket. 87a); (6) if
an employer has only one witness to testify to the
payment of a contract, the claimants must take an
oath before they can receive their money (Ket. 97a);
(7) money due from the property of orphans may be
paid only under oath {ib. 87a): (8) the payment of
debts from mortgaged property may be made only
under oath {ib.); (9) payment in the absence of the
debtor may be made only under oath {ib.)\ (10) liqui-
dation of a debt by means of projjcrty dedicatecl to
the .sanctuary may be made only under oath (Shebu.
42b); (11) expenses incurred in behalf of the wife's
property may be recovered only under oath (Ket.
79b); (12) if two parties each claim to have received
the same piece of property at the same time, they
must take oath to that effect (B. M. 2a); (13) if one
asserts that a piece of property entrusted to him has
been stolen from him, he must take an oath to that
effect (B. M. 34b); (14) one who lias \inwittingly
I)urchased stolen property must take an oatii before
he can recover his money (B. K. 114b); (15) if one
has unintentionally damaged the property of an-
other, he must take an oath to that effect before he
can be released from the payment of damages (B. M.

Other ordinances dating from the mishnaic period
were as follows : Ordinances relating to the Passover;
(1) leaven must be sought with a light on the eve
of the 13th of Nisan (Pes. 2a); (2) on Passover eve
bitter herbs, mixed with "'haroset," must be eaten
{ib. 120a); (3) four cups of wine must be driuik {ib.
99b); (4) those who partake must recline while eat-
ing, in token of freedom {ib.).

Miscellaneous ordinances: (1) if a Sabbath follows
a holy day, an " 'erub tabshilin " is made in order
that food for the Sabbath may be prepared on the
holy day (Bezah 15b); (2) on the Sabbath and on
holy days one may move freely within a radius of
2,000 cubits ('Er. 49b); (3) the owner of lost prop-
erty must bring witnesses to testify that he is not
dishonest, and he must then describe his |)roperty
before he is entitled to recover it (R. M. 28b): (4)
lost articles to be announced in the synagogue
{ib. 28a).

The jirivilege of making new ordinances did not
end witii the completion of the Mishnah : enact-
ments were promidgated also in the amoraic, s:ibo-
raic, and geonic periods, although their exact dates
are no longer known. The post-niishnaic ordinances
which belong in this category are as follows : (1)
the dowry of a wife and the movables of orphans
may be taken in payment of debt (comp. Mordccaioa




Ket. 10; Maimonides, "Yad," Ishut, 15); (2) mov-
ables may be attached for the dowry of orphan
girls (Tur Eben ha-'Ezer. 113, 113);
Post- I'd) an oath is valid in cases involving

Mishnaic real estate (" Halakol Gedolot," xxii.) ;
Or- (4) no oatli may be taken on the Bi-

dinances. ble ("Sha'are ZedeU," v. 4, § 23); (5)
criminal cases may be tried in Baby-
lon {ib. iv. 1, § 62); (6) the property of orphans may
be taken for the marriage portion of the wife
("Hemdah Genuzah," p. 60a); (7) the debtor must
take an oath if he is unable to pay (Tur Hoshen
Mishpat, 61, 2); (8) the debtor must take an oath
if he has obliged the creditor to do so {ib. 87) ; (9)
a widow is obliged to take an oatli only in case
the propeity bequeathed to her by her husband is
insufficient to discliarge her marriage contract
("Sha'are Zedek," iv. 59); (10) in legal trials both the
principals and the witnesses must remain seated
(Maimonides, "Yad," Sanhedrin, xxi. 5); (11) Mo-
hammedan wine is not "issur" (responsa, "Ge'onim
Kadmonim," xlvi.); (13) the priest to be the first one
called up to the reading of the Law, he preceding even
the nasi (Tur Orah Hayyim, 135); (13) permission
to trade with Gentiles on their holy days (Tur Yoreh
De'ah, 149); (14) the fast-day on the Thirteenth
of Adar (Abudarham, ed. Prague, p. 78d); (15) an
apostate may draw up a bill of divorce ("Hem-
dah Genuzah," li., Ixxxvi.); (16) if a Samaritan be-
troths a Jewess, she must have a bill of divorce
before any one else can marry her (Tur Eben ha-
'Ezer, 44); (17) the passage Ex. xxxii. 11-14 must be
read on fast-days ("Hemdah Genuzah," i v. ; Mas-
seket Soferim xvii. ; Meg. 31b; Tosef., Ber. xix.);

(18) the interruption of the first and last three bene-
dictions of the "Tefillah" by the supplications
n^n IDOa, D'^n!? nin^V 1103 '•D, D^n!? IJ-IDT (" Hem-
dah Genuzah," cxii.; "Halakot Gedolot," p. 9a);

(19) the recitation of the morning benediction in the
synagogue (Tur Orah Hayyim, 46); (30) the recita-
tion of the prayer " Ahabah Rabbah " in the morn-
ing and of '■ Ahabat '01am " in the evening (" Hem-
dah Genu'zah," cxxv.); (21) the recitation of the
Biblical passage " Praised be the Lord in eternity.
Amen and Amen" (Ps. xli. 13) in the daily evening
prayer before the "Tefillah" (Tur Orah Hayyim,
236) : (22) the insertion of the passage I Chron. xxix.
10-13 in the morning prayer {ib. 51); (23) the recita-
tion of the " Shema' " in the " Kedushshah " (Abu-
darham, p. 53c); (24) iiitrodurtion of the prayer be-
ginning with the words -p ijn^ 1713 in the " Kedush-
shah " of the musaf, and the prayers beginning with
the words tJ'V"! h^p2 TN and ^:2bJD "lOipOD in the
"Kedushshah" of the Shaharit Tefillah of Sabbath
(Tur Orah Hayyim, 221); (25) the recitation of Ps.
cxix. 142 at the Minhah prayer on the Sabbath, in
memory of the death of Moses (ib. 392) ; ('26) the
benediction for the bridal night (Abudarham, p.
115a); (27) "Parashat ha-Musafim " (Tur Orah Hay-
yim, 283).

The following are ordinances of the ninth cen-
tury, chiefiy directed, according .to Weiss, against
Karaite teachings: (1) the benediction when the
Sabbath candles are lit (earliest source of the " Sid-
dur Rab ' Amram " ; Maimonides, " Yad," Shab. v. ;
ROSH on Shab. ii., § 18); (2) the counting of the

" 'omer " in the evening (" Halakot Gedolot, " p. 101c) ;
(3) the ring in the marriage ceremony ("Sha'are
Zedek," i. 3, §§ 12, 16); (4) the Mishnah "Ezehu

Mekoman" in the morning prayer (Tur Orah Hay-
yim, 50).

Only the following five ordinances, so far as
known, bear the name of a gaon : (1) of Rab Rab-
bah of Pumbedita and R. Huna of Sura (7th cent.):
if a woman demands a bill of divorce,
Geonic it must be drawn up for her imrae-

Takkanot. diately (Weiss, "Dor," iv. 5, 9. 37;
"Sha'are Zedek," i v. 4, § 15); (2) of
R. Huna at Pumbedita and Mar Rab Bibai of Sura
(8th cent.): a debt and a marriage portion may be
recovered even from the property of orphans {ib. iv.
28, 37, 41, 45); (3) of Mar Rab Zadok of Sura (9th
cent.): in suits relating to real estate the defendant
must take an oath (controverting Shebu. 45a ; Weiss,
I.e. pp. 43, 123); (4) of R. Nahslion of Sura (end of
9th cent.): the introduction of " Amen " before the
"Tefillah" ("Seder ha-Eshkol," ed. Halberstadt,
1867, i. 9; Weiss, I.e. p. 124); (5) of Hananiah b.
Judah of Pumbedita (1000): abrogation of the "ke-
tubat benin dikrin " ("Sha'are Zedek," iv. 4, 17;
Weiss, Ic. pp. 162, 203).

Although the succeeding ordinances belong to the
same period, their place of origin is Europe instead
of the East. The first to promulgate enactments in
Europe was R. Gershom; and, while it is no longer
possible to determine how many rules he authorized,
their number was doubtless considerable, since the
renewal of old takkanot in the thirteenth and four-
teenth centuries seems to have been due to him. The
following ten ordinances by Gershom are found in
a manuscript in the possession of N. Briill: (1) one
who wittingly enters a thoroughfare against the or-
ders of the court is liable to punishment; (2) the
prohibition of bigamy ; (3) respect for

Takkanot the privacy of letters; (4) services in
of R. the synagogue must not be interrupted

Gershom. on account of a quarrel ; (5) the oAvner
of a synagogue may not refuse ad mis-
sion to any one on the score of a personal grievance ;
(6) services may be interrupted to search for a lost
object, and he who finds it without reporting the
fact is liable to excommunication ; (7) a majority may
refuse to obey a regulation of the communal direct-
ors only with the consent of the court; (8) property
held in trust may not be retained maliciously ; (9)
no case may be carried before a secular court except
one involving heavy damages; (10) a divorce may
not be forced upon a woman (comp. Meir of Ro-
thenburg, Responsa, p. Hid; "Kol Bo," ed. Fiirth,
Appendix, la).

The following takkanot also are ascribed to R.
Gershom; (1) no one ought to leave the synagogue if
only ten are present; but if one should leave, the
service may be continued ; (2) a Jew is forbidden to
rent to another Jew who lives with a Gentile; (8)
if absence or poverty renders it impossible for a man
to support his wife, the communitj'^ must provide for
her; (4) in case of an altercation with serious conse-
quences, both parties are liable to punishment: and
if one of them falls ill a second time in consequence
of the brawl, he may bring the matter into court;
(5) one who is summoned to court by a messenger




must attend (Mei'r of Rothenburg, I.e. pp. 112d-

During the twelfth century rabbinical synods were
convened for the first time in the post-Talmudic
period in the chief cities where fairs were held. The
object of these synods was to promulgate new ordi-
nances as circumstances required and to harmonize
Talmud law with the conditions obtaining in Chris-
tian Europe, from a religious, legal, and moral point
of view. R. Tam seems to have acted as the chair-
man of several synods, although the precise ones over
which he presided are uncertain. The chief schol-
ars mentioned as members of these bodies were
RaSHBaM, Isaac b. Solomon of Sens, Solomon b.
Jacob of Auxerre, Isaac b. Nehemiah of Drome,
and Menahem b. Perez of Joigny. Seven ordinances
are ascribed to these conventions, although their
exact provenience is no longer known. One of the
earliest of the enactments seems to have been that
governing commercial relations with Christians,
which was promulgated as a result of the persecu-
tions during the Second Crusade. The ordinances
in question are as follows: (1) no Jew maj' pur-
chase crucifixes, ecclesiastical vessels, vestments,
ornaments, or prayer-books; (2) cases may be tried
in the national court only with the mut\ial consent
of plaintiffs and defendants; (3) if the case of either
party has been prejudiced by this procedure, the
plaintiff must make amends according to the judg-
ment of the seven directors of the community ; (4) no
one may accept an appointment from the govern-
ment; (5) if a wife dies within ayearof her marriage,
herhusband must return her dowry ; (6) if the dowry

was payable at a later date, the hus-

Takkanot baud has no claims upon it; (7) a

of Synods, bill of divorce, when once drawn up,

may not be questioned or criticized
("Kol Bo," ed. "Flirth, 1782, ^ 117; "Sefer ha-
Yashar," No. 579; Gratz, "Gesch." [Hebr. ed.] iv.

When the representatives of the Jews convened
at IMayence in the early part of the thirteenth cen-
tury (1220 or 1223) to regulate the taxes and imposts
to be paid to the emperor, they promulgated new
ordinances which were accepted throughout Ju-
daism, and they also revised earlier enactments.
Among the members of the first synod were David
b. Kalonymus of IMiinzenberg, Baruch b. Samuel of
Mayence, Hezekiah b. Reuben of Boppard, Simhah
b. Samuel of Speyer, Eliezer b. Joel ha-Levi of
(/Ologne, and Eleazar 1). Judah of Worms. These
ordinances have been jjreserved under the name of
" takkanot Shum " (DIC' = Speyer, Worms, and Ma-
yence), and are indicative of the status of the German
Jews of the period. Six of the enactments may be
ascribed with some degree of certainty to the first
synod, and are as follows: (1) no Jew should be
guilty of bad faith toward a Christian, or of coun-
terfeiting; (2) one who has caused harm by lodging

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