Isidore Singer.

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(a neighbor of the Jews), and, at last, the excited
people them,selves declared that the child would be
found among the Jews ; but a careful search through
the Jewish (juarter, ordered l)y Bishop Ilinderbach

and executed bj' the podesta of Trent, Johaun Sala,
proved fruitless.

On the eve of Easter Monday, March 26, some
Jews noticed the body of a child in the river, near
the house of one of their number named Samuel.
Without a moment's delay three of them, Tobias (a
physician), Samuel, and Angelus, hastened to notify
the bishop, but were not admitted to his presence.
The podesta, however, visited the of Samuel,
took possession of the child's body, and ordered the
arrest of those present — Samuel, Angelus, Tobias,
Israel, Bonaventura, Toaff, and a second Bonaven-
tura (the cook). After a medical examination of the
body it was stated that death was the result of vio-
lence, not of accidental drowning. A baptized Jew,
Johann of Feltre, who had been a prisoner for several
years for theft, seized the apparent opportunity to
shorten the term of his imprisonment by declaring
that the Jews use the blood of Christians for ritual
purposes at the Passover. On the strength of this
allegation all the members of the Jewish coramunit}-,
women and cliildren included, were arrested. The
proceedings against them began on March 28. The
accused pleaded not guilty, and denounced two men :
Johannes Schweizer, who had access to the river
flowing by Samuel's house and who for a long time
had been an enemy of the Jews; and the German
tailor Enzelin. Johannes Schweizer and his wife
were arrested, but proved an alibi as regards the
23d of March, though only for the daytime; they
were finally liberated from prison in a " miraculous"

Then began days and nights of torture for the
Jews, in which numerous methods of compelling
"confession" were tried. For a long lime the suf-
ferers remained steadfast and faithful ;

Torture but after weeks of torture had weak-
Suffered by ened the will, they "confessed" in the
the Jews, exact words dictated by their clerical
tormentors and assassins. These abom-
inable practises caused Duke Sigmimd and others to
intercede and stop the proceedings (April 21). But
the persecutions were resumed on June 5, and were
maintained until the Jew Moses, aged eighty years,
after terrible tortures and persistent denials, like-
wise "confessed." Toward the end of June (21-23)
eight of the wealthiest Jews, after receiving baptism,
were i)ut to death, some being burned at the stake
and the rest beheaded.

But the cruelty of the proceedings had aroused
general indignation. Pope Sixtus IV., alarmed for
the reputation of the Church, commanded Bishop
Ilinderbach on Aug. 3 to again suspend proceedings,
until the arrival of the papal commissary, Bishop
Giainbattista deiSindiciof Ventimiglia, who, jointly
with the Bishop of Trent, would conduct the inves-
tigation. Thepapalagenthad been fully instructed
])eforehand; after making an investigation, he de-
nied the martyrdom of the child Simon and disputed
the occurrence of a miracle at his grave. Sixtus
IV. had already anticipated tliis denial in his encyc-
lical of Oct. 10, 1475. The commissary uncovered the
tissue of lies, but when he demanded the immediate
release of the Jews he was denounced by the bishop
and assailed by the mob, being compelled to with-
draw to Roveredo. Thence, fortified by his instruc-



Simon, Richard

tious, lie summoned tlie bisliop and the podesta to
answer for tlieir conduct. Instead of appearing,

Bishop Hindcrbach answered by a cir-
Investiga- cular, directed to all clnirchnicn, de-
tion by scribing the martyrdom of Simon,
the Papal justifying his own share in tiie pro-
Envoy, ceedings, and denouncing the work of

the Bishop of Ventinugha as "corrup-
tani inquisitionem. " While the i)apal comiuissary
was taking Enzelin, the supposed actual murderer,
a prisoner to Rome for trial, the Bishop of Trent
and tlie podesta continued their proceedings against
the Jews, several of whom tiiey executed (Dec. 2,
147"); Jan. 13 and 16, 1476).

Tlie Bishop of Ventimiglia reported to Rome that,
as the result of careful investigations, he found the
Jews innocent, that Simon had been killed by Chris-
tians with the intention of ruining the Jews, and
that Bishop Hinderbach had planned to enrich him-
self by confiscating the estates of those executed.
Sixtus IV. then appointed a commission of six car-
dinals to investigate the two proceedings. The
head of the commission being an intimate friend of
Bernardiuus of Feltre, the result was a foregone con-
clusion, especially since the whole Catholic Church
would have been involved in the condemnation of
the Bishop of Trent. Accordingly, in tlie decree of
June 20. 1478, "Facit nos pietas," Sixtus IV. de-
clared the proceedings against the Jews in Trent to
be "rite et recte factum." Both Bernardinus of
Feltre and Simon of Trent are said to have been
canonized by Gregory XIII., about a century later,
the former as a prophet, and the latter as a martyr.

Bibliography : Gesch. den zu Trisnt Ermordeten Cltri'<ten-
kiiides, Trent, 1475; PassioBeati Simonis Pueri Tridentini
a Perfidis Judeis Nuper Occisi ; Relatio de Sinunie Puero
Tridentino, 1475 ; Hermann Schindeleyp, Histitria Simonis
Pueri, 1477; Joann Calphurinus and Raphael Zovenzonins,
De Beatn Simnne Puern et Martyie, etc., HS2; Dr. J. Eck,
Ain JudenMlcldeins YerlegiDiu, 1541 ; Acta Sanctoi'nm,
iii. 495-503; Raynaldus, ^n)ifl7e.s Ecclesiasticfe ad A7nmin
11,75 ; Josepb ha-Kohen. 'Emek hn-Baka, 18.58, pp. 63 et
seq.; Pincio, Annali Overn Chroniclie di Treiito, UH8, book
iv.; (BoneWi), Dissertazioin Apolo(ie.tiche sul Martyi-io del
S. Simoneda Treido nelV Anno li,Tf> degll Ehrei Uccinn,
1747 ; Flamin. Cornelius. De CuUn S. SimrDiia P^ieri Tri-
dentini et Mnrti/ris, 1748 ; Bonelli, CoUectaneaiii Juila'ofi B.
Simniii.s Tride7itini Pueri lntcre)nptore.!<, 17(15, in Man.
Eccl. Trid. iii. 2, 421-463; Luzzatto, Israel it isciir Ainudoi,
ii. 3513; CiviltdCattoUca, xi. 8, 9; Koliling, Meiuc Aniinirten
andie Rabbiner, 188.3, pp. .58-78 ; Desportes, Lea Miistei-ex du
Sang cliez les Juifs, 1890, pp. 133 et seq.; Erler, Die Jnden des
MiltelcUters (in Verlng's Archir fUr KnflKiUsches Kircheii-
recld, xliv. 33 etspg.) ; Deckert.fii/i Rituahiiord Aktenmiisaig
Nachge }ricse n. 1893 ; idem, Vier Tirnlrr Kinder : Opfer des
Cluisaiili^fliru Fanatismus, 1893, pp. 1-73; M. Stern, ./fiid'.sc/ic
Pressc, 1893, Nos. 14 and 15; Strack, Das Blut, 19(K), pp. 12(i
et sccj.; Scherer, Rechtsverhilltnissc der Juden, pp. .59H-.599.

J. A. Ta.

SIMONIAS (modern name, Samuniyyah) : A

city in Galilee, about two hours southwest of Sep-
phoris. In the Talmud (Yer. Meg. 70a) it is identi-
fied with the Shimrnn of Josh. xi. 1, xii. 20, xix.
15, a name which had already been replaced in all
passages of the Septuagint by "Lvuouv, whence the
"Simonias"of the Greek period. Josephus calls
the place a village, and states that while there he
was attacked at night by the Roman decurion Ebu-
tius, who was forced to withdraw, however, with-
out success, since his cavalry could not bo used in
that locality (" Vita," § 24). ' The genuine Jewish
spirit of the inhabitants is shown by the story that
once when the i)atriarch Judah I. passetl through

their cit\', they asked him to send a scholar to in-
struct th^n (Gen. R. Ixxxi. 2; Yer. Yeb. 13a). The
name of nie city occurs also elsewhere (Niddah 24b;
Mek. on Deut. in " Hildesheiiner Jubelschrift," p.
30), and in the Middle Ages it is mentioned by
Estori Farhi ('^Kaftor wa-Ferah," ch. xi.).

RiBLiOfJUAPUY : Uol)inson. Eescarches, iii. 439; Zunz, G. S.
ii. 393: Neubaiier, (i. T. p. 189; Boettger. Topografifich-
HiatDrisches Lexikim zu den Schriften des Flavitts Jfise-
pittts, p. 2:53; Buhl, Oeographie des Alten PaUistina, p. 215.

.1. S. Ku.

SIMONS, DAVID: Dutch jurist; born at The
Hague Nov. 3, 1860. He studied law at the Uni-
versity of Leyden (J.U.D. 1883), and then estab-
lished himself as a lawyer in Amsterdam. In 1897
he was appointed professor of penal law at the Uni-
versity of Utrecht. He is the author of: " De Vrij-
heid van Drukpers in Verband met het Wetboek van
Strafrecht" (ins doctor's dissertation, for which
he was awarded the university gold medal, 1882);
"Beknopte Handleiding tot het Wetboek van Straf-
vordering" (3d ed. 1901, Haarlem); "Leerboek van
het Nederlandsche Strafrecht" (vol. i., Groningen,

Simons is associate editor of the department of
theories on the '•Tijdschrift voor Strafrecht." and,
since Julj-, 1902, editor-in-chief of the " Weekblad
van het Recht."

Bibliography: OnzeHoogleeraren (with portrait); HnUand-
selie Revue, 190;j.
s. E. Si,.

and author; born in Copenhagen ^larch 17, 1853. He
studied at the Von Westenske Institut in liis native
city, at the same time receiving private instruction
in Talniudics and Hebrew literature. In 1874 lie
was awarded a prize for a treatise on Arabic philol-
ogy. From 1874 to 1879 he studied at the rabbin-
ical seminary at Breslau ; and on passing liis exam-
ination he received offers of tutorships successively
at the Breslau and Ramsgate seminaries, which
he declined. A few weeks before he was called to
Copenhagen as a.ssistant to Chief Rabbi WollT, being
the first Danish-born rabbi of the Copenhagen con-
gregation. At Wolff's death (1891) Simonscn was
unanimously chosen his successor as chief rabbi of
Denmark; he resigned his ollice in 1902, on which
occasion King Christian IX. conferred upon liim the
honorary title of professor. He is a member of the
executive board of the Alliance Israelite Univcrselle.

Simonscn is a prolific contributor to Danish and
foreign Jewish jieriodicals. In 1889 he published
in Danish and in French a study of .sculptures and
inscriptions from Palmyra, belonging to Dr. Jacob-
sen's famous collection at the Xy Carlsberg Gly-
pothek in Copenhagen.

Bibliography : C. F. Bricka, Dansk Biograflsk Lexicon.
s. F. C.

rist; born in Copenhagen Dec. 2G, 1814; died there
June 21, 1886. He was graduated from the Uni-
versity of Copeniiagen (Candidatus Juris) in 1837,
and in 1851 was admitted to the bar of the superior
court. He soon demonstrated a profound knowl-
edge of the most intricate matters of law, and his
I legal opinions were generally quoted as authorita-




tive. In 1859 Simonsen was elected vice-president
of the Society of Danish Lawj-ers; and from 1848
till his death he officiated as legal counselor of the
Jewish congregation of Copenhagen.

BIBLIOGRAPHY : C. F. Brickii, Daiisk DiograUsk Lexicon.
s. F. C.

SIMONYI, SIGMTJND: Hungarian linguist;
born at Veszprim Jan. 1. 18o3; studied at Eszter-
gom, Budapest, Leipsic, Berlin, and Paris; he has
embraced Christianity. In 1877 lie became lecturer,
in 1885 assistant professor, and in 1889 professor, at
the University of Budapest. The Hungarian Acad-
emy of Sciences elected him a corresponding mem-
ber in 1879 and a regular member in 1893; he is a
member also of the Ugro-Finnic Society of Helsing-
fors. He is a voluminous writer, and has contrib-
uted largely to the development of Hungarian phi-
lology, both by his works and by the influence which
he has exercLsed for a generation upon the students
of philology at the University of Budapest.

Simonyi has publi.shed the following works:
" Antibarbarus " (1879), on foreign words in Hun-
garian ; " A Magyar Kotijszok " (3 vols., 1881-83), on
Hungarian conjunctions; "A Magyar Hatarozok "
(2 vols., 1888), on Hungarian adverbs; "A Magyar
Nyelv " (2 vols., also in German, 1897), on the Hun-
garian language; ".Magyar Nyelvtorteneti Szotar "
(3 vols.), a historical dictionary of the Hungarian
language; "Nemet es Magyar Szolasok " (1895),
on Teutonisms and Magyarisms; and (in collabora-
tion with Balassa) a German-Hungarian dictionary
(1899). He has also translated the works of Ma.x
Miiller and Cox.

Bibliography : Pallas Lex.

SIMSON. See Samson.

L. V.

Martin Eduard von Sinison.


man jurist and statesman; born Kov.lO, 1810, at
Konigsberg, East Prussia ; died at Berlin May 22,
1899. Educated at the universities of Konigsberg

(LL.D. 1829), Berlin, and
Bonn, and at the Ecole de
Droit, Paris, he became pri-
vat-docent at the university
of his native town in 1831 ;
he was appointed assistant
professor in 1833 and pro-
fessor of Poman lavv in 1836,
serving also as judge. In
1846 he received the title of
"Pat" at the higher court.
He took an active part in
tlie turbulent political life
of his time, and in 1848'
was sent as deputy from
Konigsberg to the Nation-
al Congress of Frankfort.
He was elected secretary of this body at its first
meeting, later became its vice-president, and on
Dec. 19 was chosen as president, in which office lie
.showed great skill in controlling an a.ssembly made
up of men animated by vastlj' diverse political
ideas. As president of the congress he was also
chairman of the deputation selected to offer the

crown of the German empire to King Frederick
William IV. of Prussia.

Resigning from the congress in May, 1849, Simson
was in the same year elected to the lower liouse of
the German Parliament, in which he was an adherent
of the Constitutional party. In 1850 he presided
over the congress at Erfurt. From 1852 to 1859 he
took no i)art in politics, but in the latter year he
again became a member of the Prussian lower house,
over whicli he presided in 1860 and 1861. In 1860
he was ai)pointed vice-president and in 18G9 presi-
dent of the higher court of Frankfort-on-the-Oder.
A member of the North-German Congress from its
opening, Simson was elected its first president in
1867, and in that capacity he offered the crown of
Germany to William I. of Prussia in 1870. He was
elected a member of the first German Reichstag and
became its president, from which position he retired
in 1874 on account of failing health, declining re-
election in 1877. In 1879 he was appointed first
president of the German Supreme Court in Leipsic;
in 1888 he received the decoration of the Black
Eagle of Prussia and was ennobled. In 1892 he re-
tired to private life.

Simson became a Christian when very young.
He was the author of "Geschichte des Konigsberger
Ober-Tribunals. "

Bibliography : Meuers Kotiversatiovs-Lexikon; .Brockhans
s. F. T. H.

SIMUNA (SEMONA) : Sabora of the second
generation (Halevy, " Dorot ha-Rishonim," iii. 26);
principal of the Academy of Pumbedita (520-540)
while R. 'Ena was filling a similar position at Sura.
According to Gratz, these two scholars committed
the Talmud to writing; but no further details are
known concerning Simuna.

Bibliography : Letter of Sherira Gaon, in Neubauer, 3f. J. C.
i. 34 : Gratz, Gesch. v. 7, 8; Weiss, Dor, iv. 6.

w. B. J. Z. L.

SIN : Under the Jewish theocracy, wilful disre-
gard of the positive, or wilful infraction of the
negative, commands of God as proclaimed by Moses
and interprtrted by the Rabbis; it thus includes
crimes against God and crimes against society or an
individual member thereof. This article is con-
fined, as far as possible, to the former class. Of the
three kinds of sin embraced in this division, the light-
est is the " het, " " hatta'ah," or " l.iattat " (lit. " fault,"
"shortcoming," "misstep "), an infraction of a com-
mand committed in ignorance of the existence or
meaning of that command (" be-shogeg "). The sec-
ond kind is the " 'awon," a breach of a minor com-
mandment committed with a full knowledge of the
existence and nature of that commandment ("be-
mezid "). The gravest kind is the "pesha'" or
"mered," a presumptuous and rebellious act against
God; or a "resha'," such an act committed with a
wicked intention. These tliree degrees are men-
tioned by the Psalmist (cvi. 6) : " We have sinned
["hata'nu"], . . . we have committed iniquity
["he-'ewinu "], we have done wickedly ["hirsha'-
nu"] " (comp. I Kings viii. 47; Dan. ix. 5).

The confession of sin by the high priest in the
Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur followed the order
here given—" het," " 'awon," " pesha' " (Yoma 36b).




These three classes are subdivided under the terms
'"asham" (guilt), a sin which is later repented;
"ma'al," "me'ilah" (sacrilege); "tif-
Various lah " (vice, depravity) ; " 'amal " (enor-
Sins. niity, corruption); and "awon" (hei-

nous crime, atrocity). The word " re-
sha' " is generally used to express the idea of ill
conduct, viciousness, criminality. The Talmudic
word " 'aberah " carries the idea of trespass, trans-
gression, and includes both sin and crime.

The motive ascribed as underlying the proliibi-
tion against sin is the benefit of man. Sin defiles
the body and corrupts the mind; it is a perver-
sion and distortion of the principles of nature; it
creates disorder and confusion in societj'; it brings
mischief, misery, and trouble into communal life.
Man, not God, reaps the benefit of obedience to
God's laws: "If thou sinncst, what doest thou
against him? . . . Thy wickedness may liurt a man
as thou art" (Job x.xxv. 6, 8).

Man is responsible for sin because he is endowed
with free will ("behirali "); yet he is by nature
frail, and the tendency of the mind is to evil: "For
the imagination of man's heart is evil from his
youth" (Gen. viii. 21; Yoma 20a; Sanh. 105a).
Therefore God in His mercy allowed
Original man to repent and be forgiven. Jew-
Sin, ish theologians are divided in regard
to the cause of this so-called " orig-
inal sin"; some teach that it was due to Adam's
yielding to temptation in eating of the forbidden
t'ruit and has been inherited by his descendants; the
majority, however, do not hold Adam responsible for
the sins of mankind. The Zohar pictures Adam as
receiving all the departed souls at his resting-place
in the cave of Machpelah and inquiring of each soul
the reason of its presence, whereupon the soul la-
ments: " Wo unto me! thou art the cause of my de-
parture from the world." Adam answers: "Verily,
I have transgressed one precept and was punished ;
but see how many precepts and commandments of
the Lord thou hast transgressed!" R. Jose said
that every soul, before departing, visits Adam,
and is convinced that it must blame its own
wickedness, for there is no death without sin
(Zohar, Bereshit, 57b). R. Hanina b. Dosa said :
" It is not the wild ass that kills ; it is sin that causes
death" (Ber. 33a). On the other hand, it is main-
tained that at least four persons — Benjamin, Am-
ram, Jesse, and Chileab — died without having com-
mitted any sin and merely as the nssult of Adam's
weakness in yielding to tlie temptation of the ser-
pent. To uphold the view of the majority, R. Ammi
quoted the Scripture to show that sin causes pain
and death: "I visit their transgression with tiie
rod and their iniquity with stripes " (Ps. xxxix. 33) ;
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die " (Ezek. xviii. 4).
This verse is in contrast to another: "All things
come alike to all: there is apparent one event to
the righteous, and to the wicked" (Eccl. ix. 2;
comp. Shab. 55a, b) ; but these two verses may per-
haps be reconciled through others which declare
"There is no man that sinneth not" (I Kings viii.
46); "For there is not a just man ujion earth, that
doeth good, and sinneth not" (Eccl. vii. 20; see
Sanh. 105a).

Some of the Rabbis, while disclaiming the influ-
ence of Adam's sin, made the sin of the golden calf

("the cloven foot") a hereditary one,

The afTecting twenty-four generations, till

Golden the final destruction of the Jewish

Calf. state in the time of King Hezekiah:

"In the day when I visit, I will visit
their sin upon them "(Ex. xxxii. 34; Sanh. 102a;
comp. 'Ab. Zarah 4b). Moses "was numbered with
the transgressors" of the generation in the wilder-
ness, "and he bare the sin of many" who ]iartici-
pated in the worship of the golden calf (Sotah 14a,
in reference to Isa. liii. 12).

There is a difTerence between the sin of the whole
people and the sin of the individual. A communal
or national sin is the more severely punished as an
example to other peoples, that they may be deterred
from similar wickedness. For this reason public
sins ought to be exposed, while the sins of individ-
uals should rather be concealer! ('Ab. Zarah 5a;
comp. Yoma 86b). Rab thought to explain the ap-
parently contradictory verses, "Blessed is he . . . sin is covered" (Ps. xxxii. 1) and "He that
covereth his sins shall not prosper " (Prov. xxviii.
13), by distinguishing between the confession of a
known and the confession of an unknown sin. R.
Nahman distinguishes between a sin against God
and a sin against man: the latter must be confessed
openly (Yoma 86b). R. Kahana said the man is in-
solent who recounts his sins (Ber. 34b). The enu-
meration of sins included in the " 'Al Het" is per-
mitted only on the ground that they are of a general
character, concerning the jjublic as a unit ; and every
individual recites it as part of that unit, using the
plural "We have sinned." In strictness, private
sins must be confessed to God in silence.

The earliest Biblical conception of what consti-
tuted sin is illustrated by the story of Adam's pun-
ishment, which was due to his failure to obey tlie

divine will and his revolt against the

What divine government. The catastrophe

Constitutes of the Flood was a punishment for

Sin. man's demoralization and corruption,

his violence and immorality (see Gen.
vi. 11, 12). The builders of the Tower of Babel re-
volted against divine government, and were dis-
persed (see Gen. xi. 1-9). Sodom and Gomorrah
were destroyed for their heinous crimes: "Tlie
men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before
the Lord exceedingly" (Gen. xiii. 13): they were
"wicked" in civil matters, "sinners" in blas-
l)liemy "exceedingly," with full apjireciation of the
enormity of their sins (Sanh. 109a). The Egyp-
tians were punished for the sin of enslaving the
Israelites, and for not heeding the command of God
to release them. The most serious sin of the Israel-
ites was the worship of the golden calf, contrary to
God's commandments delivered from Sinai. Korali
rebelled against the authority of Moses, and of the
Levites, priests by the choice of God. The Canaan-
ites ])ractised incestand immorality : " For they com-
mitted all these things, and therefore I abhorred
them " (Lev. xx. 23); "But for the wickedness of
these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out
from before thee" (I)eut. ix. 5).
The principal sins for which the Israelites forfeited




tlieir national existence were idolatry, immorality,
judicial corruption and deception (comp. Isa. i. 21-
23), desecration of the Sabbath (comp. Jer. xvii. 21-
27), and non-observance of the law relating to the
release of servants after six years' service (comp.
Jer. xxxiv. l(j); citing "Arise ye and depart: for
tliis is not your rest: it is polluted, it shall
destroy you" (Micah ii. 10), the Midrash says,
"God would not have hastened the destruction of
Jerusalem for any transgression other than fornica-
tion." The Ten Tribes were exiled for the same
cause (Num. R. ix. 4). Tlie sliedding of innocent
blood was the cause of the destruction of the Tem-
ple (Shab. 33a): though other reasons are given in
Shab. 119b.

In tlie post-exilic period the inclination toward
idolatry was eradicated, and the disposition toward
fornication was weakened (Yoma 69b). The list of
sins in tlie confession of Yom Kippur
" 'Ai Het." gives an idea of tlie rabbinical concep-
tion of sin. The "'Al Het " was ex-
tended from the simple formula in the Talmud
(Yoma 87b) to that of the Geonim, which includes
the AsHAMNU, 'Al Het, and " 'Al Hata'im " (" Seder
R. 'Amrani," p. 48a; see also Ahai Gaon, "She'eltot,"
§ 1G7). The " Ashamnu " is in alphabetical order
and enumerates the following sins : " trespass, treach-
ery, slander, presumptuousness, violence, lying,
scoffing, rebellion, blasphemy, oppression, extreme
wickedness, corruption." The " 'Al Het " qualifies
man's sins and makes him ask forgiveness for the
sins which have been committed against God " either
(1) by compulsion or (2) voluntarily, (3) unwittingl}-
or (4) with knowledge, (5) in private or (6) in pub-
lic, (7) presumptuously or (8) without intent. " The

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 90 of 160)