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fox was walking alongside a river, the same prison. When R. Akiva when he noticed the fishes crowding saw him, he asked, Papus, What together and moving about in great has brought thee hither ? " who anperturbation. He asked them, “What swered, Happy art thou, R. Akiva ! is it that causes you so much uneasi- Thou sufferest for the cause of the ness ? ' They answered : ' Fear of the law. But woe to Papus ! His suffernets which man has spread for us.' ings arise from the idle matters of Saith the fox, “Let me advise you ; this life.” if you wish to be safe, come and dwell When R. Akiva was led forth to with me on shore, as your fathers execution, it was the hour for saying have dwelt with mine.' Said the the Kriath Schmang.* His sentence fishes, 'Art thou he that is called was to have his fesh rent off with the most cunning of all animals ? iron combs. While this was being Thou art not cunning, but a fool: If done, he submitted to the yoke of we are not safe at the place we are the kingdom of heaven.t His disto live in, what can we expect from ciples who were present said, “Rabmoving to a place which to us is 'bi, even here?”f He answered : certain death? So likewise, if we “ From my earliest infancy have I Israelites are not safe in adhering to suffered || through this expression, the cause of the law, though it is said ' with all my soul,' even if thy soul in it and of it, “This is your life be rent from thee. My constant and length of days unto you,' (Deut. thoughts were, ‘Shall I ever be perxxx. 20,)—what have we to expect mitted to obey this command ?' if we abandon that cause ?. A very And now, when I am permitted, short time afterwards R. Akiva was shall I repine?” He then prolonged apprehended, and cast into a dun- the utterance of the word One till geon. Papus the son of Judah his soul fled. was also seized on, and confined in

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VI. MORALITY OF THE TALMUD.

TREATISE, Brochoth. Folio 28, page 2. When R. Jochanan the son of death, were he to kill me, would not Sachai was ill and on his death-bed, be eternal ; whom I could mollify his disciples came to visit him. with words, or bribe with gifts When he saw them he began to even then I would weep. How much weep. “Light of Israel,” said they greater is my cause for tears, now to him, “main pillar of the right, that I am to be led before the King thou strong hammer! Why dost of kings, the Holy One! Blessed thou » He answered : “ Were be He who liveth and reigneth for I led forth to judgment before a ever! whose wrath, were it excited mortal king, who is here to-day and against me, is everlasting; whose in his grave to-morrow; whose an- fetters, were he to chain me, know ger, were it excited against me, no end; whose infliction of death, would not be lasting ; whose fetters, were he to kill me, would be eterwere he to chain me, could but con- nal; whom I can neither mollify fine the body; whose infliction of

| Even here-In the midst of thy un* Kriath Schmang A confession of equalled torments, dost thou think thyself faith which all Israelites repeat every called upon to repeat the confession of that morning and evening, at stated hours. It faith for which thou art dying ? begins with the words, “ Hear, 0 Israel ! || Suffered — Whenever I repeated my the Lord our God, the Lord, is one ! And confession of faith I was so forcibly im. thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all pressed with the determination to lay down thy heart and all thy soul and all thy my life for it, that I have actually felt the might,” &c.

torments I might be made to endure as † Kingdom of heaven A talmudic acutely as now when they are inflicted. phrase, denoting "providence and the life Ś In talmudic phraseology a of to come.” Here it is used to express his powerful intellect, who perfect submission to the divine will, and crushes every obstacle in the way of his readiness to sacrifice his life to his faith. studies.

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with words, nor bribe with gifts. “May the fear of the Deity be as Moreover, there are two paths open strong on you as the fear of men !” before me,-the one leading to bliss, One of them said, “What, no -the other to torments; and I stronger?” He answered, “O that know not which of them it will be it were as strong! for you know he my doom to take. Then how can that is about committing a sin says I abstain from weeping ?” His dis- within himself, 'I must take care ciples then said, Our Rabbi! give that no man seeth me.'”. us thy blessing." He answered:

VII. CUSTOMS AND OBSERVANCES OF THE JEWS.

Rosh hashanah : THE NEW YEAR." The origin of this festival is equinox;) whilst R. Joshua maintains given in Leviticus xxiii. 23—25 : the creation to have taken place in And the Lord spake unto Moses, Nissan (the vernal equinox). Both saying, Speak unto the children of the Rabbies agree, that the extremes Israel, saying, In the seventh month, of heat and cold (summer and win. in the first of the month, shall ye ter) are not adapted for production. have a sabbath, a memorial of blow. The difference between them is, that ing of trumpets, an holy convoca- R. Joshua, placing the creation at tion. Ye shall do no servile work." the time of the vernal equinox, when And also in Numbers xxix. 1 : “And life and vegetation are in full devein the seventh month, on the first of lopement, maintained that, at the the month, ye shall have an boly creation, everything sprung up convocation ; ye shall do no servile spontaneously, without any previous work: it is a day of blowing the germ. Whereas R. Eleazar, placing trumpets unto you.”

the creation at the time of the au. Though not one of the three great tumnal equinox, when the germ of festivals, on each of which the male the future developement is forming population of Israel was to appear in the bosom of the earth, maintainbefore the Lord; it is, nevertheless, ed that creation began with the forconsidered as one of the first among mation of the germ. Though this the principal holydays, has as such discussion is decided in favour of been celebrated by the Israelites R. Joshua, and the Rabbies join him since the giving of the law, and is in the opinion that the world was known by the name of Rosh hash- created in the full bloom of spring ; anah, or new year.”

yet they all, including R. Joshua, As in Exodus xii. 2, we find it agree in dating the new year from said, at the institution of the Pesach, Tishri, or the autumnal equinox ;

“ Passover,”. This month shall agreeably to the rule laid down in be unto you the beginning of months; the sacred Scriptures for all compuit shall be the first month of the year tations of time; namely, from the to you ;” and as the festival we now commencement of the germ. Thus treat of is fixed for the seventh we find in Genesis i. 5:“And it was month; it behoves us to explain evening, and it was morning, one why, nevertheless, it is called, and day.The day is here made to beconsidered as, “ the new year.” This gin with the evening, as the germ of explanation weborrow from folios 168 which the morning is the developeand 263 of the Commentaries on the ment. The same principle is obPentateuch, by R. Isaac Abarbanel, served in Lev. xxiii. 32 : • From an eminent writer of the sixteenth even unto even shall ye celebrate century.

your sabbath ;" the observance of In the Talmud, (Treatise, Rosh one day only being enacted, but to hashanah,) we find a discussion be- begin with the evening as the germ tween R. Eleazar and R. Joshua, of the coming day. In conformity respecting the season in which the with this rule, the Rabbies considered creation of the world took place. the autumnal equinox, which conR. Eleazar asserts that the world was tains the germ to be developed in created in T'ishri ; (the autumnal the coming year, as the commence

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ment of that year ; in which opinion camp were terrified ;" which verse is they were followed by the Chaldean likewise commemorative of the givand other ancient oriental nations; ing of the law. And in Amos iii. 6, the word Tishri, used to denote the Shall a trumpet be blown in the seventh month, being a Persian word, city and the people not be terrified ?” and signifies "first," or "beginning." It likewise expresses thanks, as in Indeed, all the names of months at Psalms, “ Hallelujah! praise him present used by the Jews are Per- with trumpet sounds." It moreover sian, as the Hebrew has no other de- denotes the freedom from error and signation for these divisions of time, transgression, which is to follow the than those found in Scripture, of universal acknowledgment of the

second,” “third,” &c. kingdom of God; as is written The autumnal equinox being thus Lev. xxv. 9, 10: “ Then shalt thou upon principle held to commence the cause the trumpet of the jubilee to year, its festival is celebrated as that sound, and proclaim liberty throughof the new year, and as a day of out all the land unto all the inhabitjudgment to all flesh, which is to de. ants thereof." And, lastly, it decide their fate for the coming year. notes the restoration of Israel; as is Not that it is considered as if the written Isaiah xxvii. 13 : On that destiny of man is on other days day the great trumpet shall sound, less subject to the supremacy and and those that are wandering about control of Providence; but it is held in the land of Ashur, and the outthat, on this particular day, the ab- casts from the land of Egypt, shall solute consequences of men's ac- come and worship the Lord on his tions, and the fate of nations and of holy mountain at Jerusalem.” All climes, are meted out and weighed. these ideas are connected with, and It is a remarkable fact, that all the expressed by, the sounding of the ancient astronomers, of all nations, cornet this day, which is emphatiadopting the idea from the Jews, cally called jom sikaron, “ the day of have given as the sign of the zodiac remembrance," and jom teruang, for this month, the figure of an aged “the day of blowing.” man of stern aspect, holding a pair The service of this festival comof scales in his right hand, and an prises prayers of a threefold kind : open book in his left; thus plainly i. Malchioth, Of homage,” to inexpressing the religious idea of this voke the speedy approach of the festival, on which justice is the rul- kingdom of God, when all mankind ing attribute.

will arrive at the true knowledge of The blowing of trumpets, which their Creator, and unite in the worwe find commanded both in Lev. ship of their supreme Benefactor. xxiii. 23-25, and in Num. xxix. 1, is 2. Sichronoth, Of remembrance ;" a rite peculiar to this festival ; and acknowledging the omniscience, pro, is not only observed to this day, but vidence, and exercise of supremacy the hearing of it is obligatory towards the individual, that it may on all Jews. It has a direct refer- please an all-merciful God to rememence to, and close connexion ,with, ber his creatures in pity, and temper 'the service of the day. It proclaims his judgment with mercy. And, the King and his day of judgment; lastly, 3. Shophroth, “Of sounding as is said i Kings i. 39, “And they the cornet,” to celebrate that future blew the trumpet; and all the peo- jubilee, when mankind will be free ple exclaimed, God save the king !” from the fetters of error, and acquire and in Joel ii. 1, “ Blow ye the perfection in the knowledge of trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm their God. Therefore the prayers in my holy mountain : let all the in- which it is the duty of every Israelhabitants tremble ; for the day of ite to recite on this festival, enumethe Lord cometh, for it is nigh at rate such verses of the sacred Scriphand.” It is intended to call forth tures as relate to the supreme reign terror at the judginent; as is written of the Deity, to his omniscience and in Exod. xix. 16, “And the voice of providence and to the trumpet which is the trumpet was exceeding loud; so at once to proclaim the liberation, and that all the people that were in the express the grateful joy, of mankind. The sacrifice of Isaac is likewise Who is not visited on this day, a principal part of the commemora- when the record of all that is formed tive service of the day; to recal the cometh before thee?-the actions of perfect obedience of the great fathers man and his pursuits, and the effects of our nation, and the memory of of every man's deeds; the inward the covenant and oath of Mount thoughts of man, and his designs, Moriah ; and by an appeal to that the secret motives of his deeds. covenant to implore mercy for a sin- Happy is the man who forgetteth ful race.

thee not, and the mortal who con.. We conclude by giving transla- firms his faith in thee! For they tions of a few of the many soul- who seek thee will never stumble, stirring prayers of that day:

those who rely on thee will never be “And now, O Lord our God, deign put to shame!” to extend the fear of thee to all thy “Our God! God of our fathers, works, and dread of thee to all thy deign in pity to us to remember the creatures ; that all that is made may covenant, and the mercy, and the fear thee, and all that is created may oath which thou didst swear unto our bow unto thee, and become one body father Abraham on Mount Moriah : to obey thy will in singleness of Let there be present; before thee, heart. For well we know, O Lord the binding of įhis son Isaac on the our God, that all dominion is before altar, when our father Abraham subthee, majesty is in thy power, might dued his paternal feelings of pity, in thy right hand, and thy name is in order to obey thy will in perfect to be feared by all that thou hast devotion. Olet thy mercy in like created.”

manner subdue thy wrath, and in “Our God! God of our fathers ! thy great goodness turn away thine Reign over the universe in thy glory. anger from thy people, thy city, and Exalt thyself over all the earth in thine inheritance; and perform unto thy splendour. And shine forth in us, O Lord, our God! the assurthe excellence of thy supreme majes- ance which thou hast given us in ty over all that dwelleth on thy ter- thy law through Moses thy serrestrial globe. That all which is vant, “I will in mercy to them created may know thou hast created remember the covenant of their it; and that every being may un- ancestors whom I brought forth derstand that thou hast formed it; out of the land of Misraim, in the and all that lives and breathes may sight of the nations, that I might exclaim, “The Lord God of Israel is be their God. I am the Lord.' King, and his supreme power ruleth (Leviticus xxvi. 45.) For the Rethroughout the universe. »

corder of all that is forgotten. art “ Thou rememberest thy creation, thou for ever : there is no oblivion the universe, and visitest all that before the throne of thy glory ; and was formed in days of old. Unto the binding of Isaac, wilt thou this thee all things concealed are mani- day remember in mercy unto his defest, the manifold secrets since the scendants. Blessed art thou, O Lord, beginning of time : For there is no who rememberest the covenant." oblivion before the throne of thy “ Our God! God of our fathers, glory, nor is there any concealment sound the great trumpet of our libebefore thy eye.

Thou bearest in ration ; raise the standard to collect mind all that has ever been done; us that are exiled; assemble us that and of all that is formed nothing is are scattered amongst the nations, hidden from thee. All is revealed and gather us from the utmost and known unto thee, O Lord our hounds of the earth. Bring us to God, whose view penetrates to the Zion in triumph, and to Jerusalem end of all generations, when thou the temple of thy holiness in everwilt enter into the decree of investi- lasting joy; that we may there pregation, to examine every spirit and sent to thee the offerings of our duty soul, to recal the many deeds, and the as we are commanded in thy law multifarious beings without end. through Moses thy, servant.”

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I. CABBALA. The Cabbala of the Jews is, before that book was composed, according to the assertions of its but the Patriarchs themselves were professors, a divine, sublime, se- amongst its most enlightened procret, and infinite science, and treats fessors. Nor does it in any other of the creation of the world, and work appear as new, but always as of the Mosaic laws. We call old-established, and commenting on it “the Cabbala of the Jews,” be- the sacred Scriptures. Moses, Dacause in its doctrines the Jewish vid, Solomon, and the Prophets religion is so closely interwoven, must, according to the Cabbala, its references are

so continual to have been inost illustrious masters of the sacred Scriptures, and its tech- the science; and, though the Cabnical terms so purely and originally balists assert that there have been Hebrew, that, though it may not, as men amongst them, who, without ever the science itself claims, date from having received any instruction, and the beginning of time and the days solely through the merits of their of Adam, it certainly, at some pe- pious and sanctified conduct, have, by riod or other, had its origin among means of inspiration or the revelathe Jews. The word CABBALA sig- tion of Elijah, been taught the senifies tradition; and this expression crets of Cabbala ; yet these secrets is not only to denote, that the doc- were none other than what the Patrines of this science were verbally triarchs, Moses, and the blessed transmitted, but likewise that their characters of the Old Testament altransmission from mouth to mouth ready knew, and consisted in explawas so private, that they never nations of holy writ. The most cewere taught at any school accessible lebrated of the Cabbalists nerer atto all. No trace of the first rise of tempted to spread their Cabbala is any where to be found. science, or to render it general. On Whenever and wherever it appears, the contrary, they were most cauit is treated of as an old-established tious and reserved in their communi. and intimately-cherished science. cations. They rather preferred abShould we, for instance, assume,

solute silence to the desecration of that the book Sohar, Splendour," their science, by imparting it to any by R. Simon the son of Jochai, * is one who was not, through piety and the first work composed on Cabbala;

a meritorious life, properly preaccording to its contents, the pared to receive and preserve their science was not only known long treasures. When they deigned to

afford their confidence and instruc* R. Simon ben Jochai, called by the tion, it was done in the strictest priCabbalists, “ the great light,” was born vacy, in some remote and undissome time before the destruction of the turbed part of their dwellings, or city and temple of Jerusalem. He was a beneath the sombre shades of a fodisciple of R. Akiva. Fear of the Romans rest. Should the reader, who perdrove him to seek shelter during twelve haps has heard of the mystifications years in a cavern, where he occupied himself with contemplations on divine subjects, milar secret societies, be tempted to

of the Rossicrucians, and other siwhich he either taught or dictated to his

confound the Cabbalists with them, disciples, who, about sixty years after his death, collected his treatises, and out of he would fall into great error.

The them composed the celebrated work Sohar, Cabbalists never formed a

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