Note: Blue highlighting has been applied to the words Elizabeth Dilling underlined in her exhibits. The text is unchanged from the original.
Michael L. Rodkinson: The History of the Talmud
Tikun, and R. Moses b. Solomon, of Saliri, the title of the latter's book being "A Word of Faith," in which he records disputes with Christians; by R. Jechiel b. Joseph, of Paris, R. Nathan, of Upsala, R. Joseph, and R. Meir b. Simeon, in his book "The Battle of Merit," in which are related his disputes with the Archbishop of Narbonne; and by R. Mordecai b. Tehosaph in his book, "The Strengthener of Faith," written against the Christian, Paul Christianus, who had held many controversies with Rambam and others.
In reply to the book of Abner of Burgos, who adopted the name of Alphonse of Valladolid, and who wrote much that was hostile to Judaism, appeared works by R. Isaac Ebn Palkara, as well as by R. Joseph Shalom, under the title of "A Reply to Alfonso's Writings." How great a degree of tolerance the Jews manifested in this controversy may be seen from what Moses of Narbonne wrote of Abner, his former friend — namely, that he was intelligent and virtuous, but despairing; unable to endure the calamities heaped upon the Jewish people; not content with the peace to his soul, but seeking also worldly happiness; and, reading in the stars that the Jews destiny was to suffer and bear trials, he fell into the error of thinking that they would never again be strong as a nation, and counselled them as he himself had done, to accept Christianity, not submit to their fate. R. Moses de Torsilla also wrote a book entitled "Aid to Faith" (1374), consisting of seventeen chapters, in the form of a dialogue between professors of the two religions. In all these books it is declared that the Hagadas of the Talmud are not authoritative but are to be regarded barely as fiction, and as devoid of any sacredness. In Germany also appeared in defense of Judaism the work "Book of Victory" (Sepher Nitzachon), by the excellent writer, R. Lipman of Muelhausen, which appears to have made so deep an impression that the Bishop of Brandenburg, Stephen Batekei, felt it necessary to reply to it.
Lastly may be mentioned the two disputes which took place between the Rabbis and the Frankists in 1756-1757, at the command of Bishops Dembovsky and Micholsky, in Kamenitz, Podolsk and Lemberg, cities of Poland. These terminated the disputes which the Jews were compelled to hold with their opponents in the presence of the people and dignitaries. They
were distinguished by the fact that the Frankists impeached the authority of the Talmud on the strength of the Midrash of R. Simeon b. Jochai, termed "Zohar," which they considered sacred, while they regarded the Talmud as profane. These disputes were further distinguished by the circumstance that the founder of the Hasidismus, R. Israel baal Shem Tob, was elected as the chief disputant to represent the Rabbis, forced to dispute with the Frankists in Micholsky's presence. The Frankists were an offshoot of the sect of the false Messiah, Shabattai Zvi, who produced a storm throughout the whole world in the year 1654. One Jacob Frank, a Polish Jew, accepted Islamism at Salonica, where he joined the sect of Shabattai Zvi, who were seeming Mohammedans and were called Dauma. In 1754 he arrived in Poland and set to work, with the assistance of two Rabbis, Moses and Nachman, who accompanied him, to revive the creed of Shabattai Zvi. The followers of Shabattai Zvi, who still remained in Poland, received him with open arms, and entered upon an open propagation of the mischievous teachings. The Jews thereupon informed the ecclesiastical authorities of the country of their activity, which so alarmed them that they hastened to the Bishop and asserted their belief in the Trinity, and that they were not Talmudic Jews, but followers of the Zohar — "Zoharites." They petitioned Bishop Dembovsky of Kamenitz to force the Jews to dispute with them and thus afford them opportunity to prove that the only true belief is in one God in three persons, incarnate in the flesh, and the teaching of the Talmud all vanity, etc., a rehabilitation of all the old slanderous charges. The Bishop ordered the dispute to begin in May, 1754; and the Jews, not appearing at the appointed time, incurred a heavy fine therefor. In June of that year there assembled at Kamenitz thirty Rabbis, from whom were chosen as disputants R. Leib Meziboz, R. Bar Jozelovitz, R. Mendel Satanow, and R. Joseph Kremenetz; and about the same number of Frankists, headed by Leib Krim of Nadvarna, Soloman Shur of Rahatin and Nachman of Bushk. The pleading of the Rabbis that in the Zohar and in all the books of Israel there is no hint of a Trinity, which was purely an invention of the Frankists themselves, was of no avail, for Dembovsky decided against the Jews and fined them 5,000 gold guldens, to be paid to the Frankists, and also directed the
Jews to dispute with the latter whenever called upon; one hundred and fifty gold guldens were likewise to be paid by the Jews for the repair of the Christian Cathedral at Kamenitz. All copies of the Talmud were to be burned, although the Jews appealed to the King, August III., against this decree of Dembovsky, claiming that they possessed the right, accorded to them by previous rulers, to print the Talmud; and although they were sustained in this contention by many princes of the kingdom, yet, owing to the political and religious turmoil then existing throughout the kingdom, the king or his minister, could give no heed to the matter, and the Jews were forced to submit to the decree of the bishop. Shortly thereafter, however, Dembovsky died a sudden death (the result of an injury received, it is related, from a fire which consumed the Talmud), and was succeeded by Labinsky, who showed no favor to the Frankists. The Jews, with the help of the government officials and an expenditure of money, effected the expulsion of the Frankists from their residence near Kamenitz, for being neither Jews nor Christians, and they suffered persecutions. They were compelled to shave part of their heads and half of their beard; insults and indignities were heaped upon them, and many fled to Turkey. But even there they found no rest; they were relentlessly persecuted, and Elisha Ratin, one of their leaders, was beaten to death. They therefore betook themselves to the frontiers between Poland and Turkey, in constant peril of their lives from the people of both nations. When their condition became unbearable, they turned again to the king, and begged him to restore to them the freedom granted by Dembovsky. In this they succeeded; the king permitted them in May, 1757, to settle undisturbed in the province of Podalia. And thus they returned to Poland, in poverty and rags. In this state of degradation Frank advised them, in order to better their condition, to embrace Christianity. They therefore, in January, 1758, sent a petition to the Bishop Labinsky by six of their leaders, asking that they be received into the Catholic Church and be granted permission to dispute with the Talmudic Jews, who drink the blood of Christian infants, etc. Labinsky replied that it was not in his power to improve their material condition; their acceptance of Christianity could affect only their spiritual welfare. They again addressed themselves to the king, in May
of the same year, but their petition was not answered. Labinsky suddenly resigned his office and Micholsky was chosen his successor. The latter exhibited a great zeal for proselytizing, and the Frankists hastened to present their petition to him, requesting permission, before being baptized, to dispute again with the Jews. Perhaps, they urged, they might succeed in convincing the Jews of their great error and madness and in inducing them to accept Christianity too. Micholsky acceded to this request, and ordered the Jewish Rabbis to assemble at Lemberg on a day appointed by him.
At the time set for the dispute there came in sorrow to Lemberg, forty of the chief Rabbis of Poland, at their head Israel Besht of Mezibuz, and chose as disputants three of them — Besht, the Rabbi of the district, Haim Rapoport, and R. Bar Jozelovitz. The disputants for the Frankists were Frank himself, Leib Krim, and Solomon Shur.
The dispute lasted three days, beginning June 2 and the hopes of the Frankists for a victory were shattered. Though Micholsky and many Polish nobles sided with them, they failed to prove that the Zohar contained anything that favored their religion. The judges, even, utterly disagreed with the distortions to which they subjected the passages of the Zohar and Kabalistic books. The Jewish Rabbis departed in peace, without being fined, and the petition of their adversaries, that a district in Poland be set apart for their dwelling, was refused, and they were invited to receive baptism. Thus ended favorably for the Jews the last of these peculiar disputes. The Jews made efforts to induce the Frankists to become Christians as soon as possible, that there might in future be no relationship between them. In this they succeeded, and since that time, between the Frankists, as Christians, and the Jews there has been nothing in common in either religious or secular matters.
THE PERSECUTIONS OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, THE HEAD
The victory of Reuchlin, and the establishment of the Reformation by Luther, in the sixteenth century, did not stop the persecution of the Talmud. It was ever renewed by men of rank in the different countries. The most dangerous of them was Johann Andreas Eisenmenger, who spent almost all his lifetime in the destruction of the Talmud and its standard-bearers; and it seems miraculous that he did not succeed.
Eisenmenger was born in 1654, at Manheim. In 1666 he came to Heidelberg where he found grace in the eyes of Prince Carl Ludwig, who was pleased with Eisenmenger's determination
to learn the Hebrew language, Prince Carl Ludwig sent him, at his own expense, to travel in different countries to become accomplished in the study of Oriental languages. But when Eisenmenger was about to visit Palestine, the prince died (168o), and he established himself in the City of Amsterdam, where he lived for some time in friendly relations with the Hebrew scholars and with Rabbi David Lida of that city.
At the end of the same year it happened that three Gentiles circumcised themselves and embraced the Jewish faith. This, according to Eisenmenger's own confession, angered him almost to death. And this occurrence made him determine to write a voluminous book on the "wickedness" of the Talmud, in order (he said) to save Christianity from danger.
He worked hard and successfully for nineteen years; translated into German from 193 different Hebrew books, and a considerable number of pages from various Tracts of the Talmud itself.
This book, which he named "Endecktes Judenthum" (Unveiled Judaism), containing two volumes of more than a thousand pages each, he gave in the year 1700 to the printers of Frankfort-on-the-Main.
houses and other Jewish property were destroyed by the mob, appealed to Sampson Wertheimer, who was then the banker of Emperor Leopold, that he should point out to the emperor the dangers which such a book would lead to.
Remembering that after the destruction of Jewish property, the mob, in the above-mentioned places, turned to the palaces of the noblemen, the Emperor commanded the Governor of Frankfort to stop the printing of the book, and to conceal all that was printed of the same, until a careful examination of the book by Gentile and Jewish Hebrew scholars would be made.
In spite of the assistance of many prominent men in the German Empire, who petitioned the emperor to release the books, he retained his decision and paid no attention even to the special personal letter from the King of Prussia in behalf of Eisenmenger. When Eisenmenger died in 1704, his books had not yet been redeemed from their captivity; and only in 1711 did Frederick I, King of Prussia, republish the book at his own expense, from a copy which was in the hands of Eisenmenger's heirs, donating all the copies to them. It would take too much space to relate the proceedings of Eisenmenger himself, and those of his heirs against the Jews of Frankfort, and the various decisions of the courts from the time of Leopold to that of the Empress Maria Theresa. We do not deem it necessary to recount them, since they are in no way related to the subject of the persecution of the Talmud.*
We have only to say that in the eleven years since the book was given to the press in Frankfort, until the circulation was permitted in Konigsberg, its influence was weakened, so that it did not cause very much harm at that time.
Thereafter, however, many anti-Semites made use of the material gathered in this book, quoting it as being directly from the Talmud without mentioning Eisenmenger; probably because of his notoriety as an enemy of the Jews.
Concerning the book itself, we would refer the reader to Professor Franz Delizeh's book, "Rohling's Talmudjude," sixth edition, 1881, and many other criticisms of Eisenmenger's
*The details are given in Graetz's (" History of the Jews"), Hamelitz, 1888, by David Kahan.
work by Gentile Hebrew scholars, such as Professor Strack of Berlin and others.
We have refrained from stating our own criticism of the misinterpretation of the quotations from the Talmud, chiefly because we do not deem it necessary to study Eisenmenger's book for criticism. As for the explanation of the Talmud, we do not need to use him as our guide; and also in order to avoid apparent partiality; since we are ourselves the bearers of the Talmud's banner. (See App., No, 16.)
THE POLEMICS AND THE ATTACKS UPON THE TALMUD IN THE
The nineteenth century was the jubilee of the Talmud's 2,000 years since its beginning, and the twelfth century since its conclusion, in which it overcome all attacks directed against it and remained safe, not only bodily but spiritually. This did not prevent the anti-Semites from renewing the persecutions and the accusations of it with increased energy.
Although the accusations were not brought to a public dispute, and to the intervention of the government, still the polemics in books and pamphlets were greatly increased by different persons in different countries. We do not desire to linger on these books, as their discussion would take up too much time and space, still we cannot refrain from mentioning them briefly, as they pertain to the history of the Talmud.
In 1848, A. Buchner, a. teacher in Warsaw, printed a book, "Der Talmud in Seine Nichtigkeit," and according to Strack, Jacob Kittseer also printed a volume called "Inhalt des Talmuds and seine Autoritat," etc, both in the German language. The contents of these two books were mainly attacks upon attacks, and accusations upon accusations, rained down upon the Talmud in general and its followers in particular.
At the same time a missionary, McCaul, printed a book in the English language, entitled "The Old Paths," and S. Hoga, an apostate and also a missionary, translated it into Hebrew.
among the Hebrews. We cannot deny that it was somewhat effective, as it caused many Jews to embrace Christianity.
At about the same time Isaac bar Levinson of Kremenetz, named the Russian Mendelssohn, wrote a book, entitled "Teuda b'Israel," in which he collected all the sayings of the Talmud relating to the following topics, (a) that every Jew is obliged to learn the language of his country; (b) to engage in scientific pursuits; (c) that he must learn some trade and occupy himself, if possible, with agriculture, and (d) that he must be patriotic to his country, and must respect the laws of his country just as much as the laws of the "Torah," etc., etc. This book was so excellent that the eye of Nicholas I., Emperor of Russia, was attracted to it and he assisted Levinson both morally and financially. Finally he presented him with 3,000 roubles to enable him to publish his later works, "Zerubbabel," in which he proved the falsehood of the misinterpretations of McCaul in every respect, "Beth Jehuda," and "Efes Damin" (no blood), written against the blood accusation. His books were so effective that as a result McCaul's books were almost ignored.
The later affair in Alexander II's reign, however, we intend to elaborate on more fully, as at that time it created a great stir in Russia.
In 1876 a Roman Catholic priest, Lyotostansky by name, who embraced Greek Catholicism, published a book in the Russian language which he entitled, "Upotreblayut li Jewreay christansky Krov?" (Do the Jews need Christian blood for religious purposes?)
This book, which contains about 300 pages, was dedicated to Alexander III., then Crown Prince of Russia. He accepted the dedication with thanks to the author.
Lyotostansky, desiring to have the thanks of the Crown Prince publicly made known, printed posters announcing the Crown Prince's thanks for the dedication, and set them up everywhere, even on the railroad cars.
The dailies and periodicals in Russia also announced the works favorably owing to the fact that the book found favor in the eyes of his highness, the Crown Prince. The contents of the book are chiefly attacks upon the Talmud, accusing it of being the source of all the bad customs of the Jews, etc.
A meeting of the prominent Jews was then called and resolutions were passed as follows:
First, that Lyotostansky's attacks upon the Talmud itself should be silently ignored, for a debate on this subject in Russia would do the Jews more harm than good.
Second, to republish and distribute the voluminous book of Prof. Chwolson, who was a Christian, which defends the Talmud in general, and conclusively proves, both theoretically and practically, that the blood accusation is a trumped-up affair, and that all investigations in many countries have shown that no instance occurred in which the Jews used Christian blood.
Third, to republish the "Ukase" (decree) of Nicholas I., which declared that no blood accusation for religious purposes should be directed against the Jews as a people, and that if it should happen that a Jew be accused of murdering a Christian, he should be tried as an individual merely.
As is well known, there are people who endeavor to benefit themselves from all current calamities, and to announce themselves as leaders without considering that from such actions the calamity or affliction may become still greater.
At that time there were two such men, one in Russia and one in Austria, who desiring to make themselves popular, endeavored to place themselves in the front ranks of the defenders of Judaism for their own benefit.
In Russia there was Alexander Zederbaum, publisher of the periodical "Hamelitz" in St. Petersburg, a man of little knowledge, and who was never fitted for a public debate. He challenged Lyotostansky to a public debate, which, however, the latter declined to accept.
The real leaders of Israel, like the well known S. I. Funn of Wilna and Perez Smolensky, editor of the "Hashachar" in Vienna, and others, were angry because of Zederbaum's challenge, believing that such a challenge had caused an extremely unfavorable impression upon the Russian people, especially as the newspapers declared that Lyotostansky's declination was due to the fact that the alleged leader of the Russian Jews was an ignoramus.
The very learned Lazar Zweifel, teacher of the Rabbinical Seminary in Zhitomir, who, besides publishing a great book in
Hebrew, entitled "The Defender," against Lyotostansky's book, appealed in our periodical "Hakol," Vol. I. No's 27 to 31, to his co-religionists in Russia that they should appoint a committee to petition the Czar, Alexander II., to forbid all polemics about the blood accusation in newspapers, books or pamphlets, for such incitations always do harm to the government itself.
However, Zweifel's appeal was a voice in the desert, as the attempts upon the life of the Czar, in which, to our sorrow, some of our race took part at that time, made it impossible to bother the Czar with such petitions.
We may say, however, that even in this case the Talmud itself was saved, and the government did not stop the publication and circulation of it in Russia and even the study of it in the Jewish schools and institutions. Even in the curriculums of the institutes for Hebrew teachers, established by the government, some tracts of the Talmud were inserted.
Alas, we cannot say that the blood accusation by Lyotostansky had no effect; as in 1882, there were massacres in many cities where Jews dwelt. Although these were secretly instigated by the government itself from a political standpoint, the provoking of the mob was on the basis of the blood accusation.*
THE AFFAIR OF ROHLING-BLOCH.
Dr. August Rohling, professor in Prague, wrote a pamphlet, the "Talmudjude," sixth edition, 1877, in the German language, the previous editions of which were translated into many languages, in which he painted the Talmud itself and all past Talmudical laws in very black colors. The material in all Rohling's writings (which are named in the previously
* In all probability the discussion in this chapter will seem very brief and almost inadequate, but the reason for this is that most of the details of this chapter are related at length in our weekly "Hakol" of 1877. Then, again, the entire matter is not so interesting or so important to warrant giving it more space here. Of far more interest is the works of Professor Rohlings and their results to which we shall give considerable space in our next chapter, especially as we ourselves were greatly taken up with this affair and were compelled by the circumstances to write four books about this affair, three in Hebrew and one in German.
mentioned introduction of Strack, page 95) were taken from Eisenmenger, and from other men hired by him, as will be seen further on. Although the above pamphlet was received with great joy by the enemies of the Jews, who quoted him as a great authority, nevertheless, it would have been nothing more than a mere piece of literary work which could create no harm to the Jews had not something unusual occurred which put a different aspect to the affair.
Joseph Samuel Bloch who was at that time a Rabbi in a small town of "Florisdorf," and who was anxious to get a name for himself, considered all Rohling's work as a means of attaining his desire. He understood that if he should challenge Rohling to a debate and should accuse him of perjury and falsehood, and thus compel Rohling to sue him for libel and insult, this would give him a great name and the Jewish congregations of Austria, and especially of Vienna, would be compelled to defend Bloch with all their power, for the case would not be Bloch vs. Rohling, but the Talmud vs. Rohling.
Notwithstanding that at this time the Israelite congregation of Vienna was full of great men and scholars like the famous Dr. Jellinek, Chief Rabbi Giidemann, etc., etc., who deemed it better to pay no attention at all to Rohling's work, considering it as a mere literary piece of work, and the criticism of which they thought better to leave to Gentile Hebrew scholars such as Delitzsch, Strack, etc., who had already criticized Rohlings works. Bloch wrote an article in a weekly paper attacking Rohling most furiously and reviling him terribly with every possible epithet, including the charge of perjury.
Bloch's desire was then realized, for Rohling not being able to remain silent, secured the services of the very great lawyer, Robert Pattai, M.P., and brought suit against Bloch for libel.
The Israelite congregation of Vienna, although they were very much incensed at Bloch for his deed, nevertheless felt themselves compelled to secure a lawyer of equal ability to Pattai for the defense of Bloch, the result of which will be seen further on.
Circumstances helped Rohling to find an apostate Jew named Ahron Briman, pseudonym Dr. Justus, who wrote a book for him named, "Judenspiegel," composed of 100 passages
alleged to be found in the Jewish code, "Schulchan Aruch," according to the ordinances of the Talmud against Christianity, and asserted that the whole Talmud consists of such passages.
This book naturally created a tremendously unfavorable impression upon the whole Christian world, and several papers that were anti-Semitically inclined announced the contents of the book. One of these papers was "Die Merkur," in the City of Munster, which quoted many passages of the book and at the same time inserting a glaring editorial against the Jews. The District Attorney finding this article to be an incitation against a race, brought suit against the editor of the paper. This trial occurred December, 1883, and in order that the reader may have some idea of the proceedings, we translate in our Appendix some pages of our German work, "Der Schulchan Aruch and seine Beziehungen zu den Juden and Nicht juden." (See Appendix, No. 20.)
To illustrate who the person Ahron Briman the assistant of Rohling was, we have only to translate a few lines written by us about him in our "Hakol," No. 191, page 117, March 19, 1885:* "Anti-Semitism was stricken very hard this year. All their leaders are taken one by one to the prison, and they will have to give an account for their deeds to the judges. With the imprisonment of Briman, Rohling's sources were revealed and annulled, as his right hand, Briman, or Dr. Brimanus, or Justus, all of which names are identical, is now behind the bars, and the newspapers are now recounting his sins one by one.
We, however, say that he and all his literature are not worthy of such an honor. There is no doctor, nor learned man, no distinguished being, no Satan, but a simple, ordinary swindler, who endeavors by everything that comes to his hand to deceive the people. He (according to his biography which is published in the dailies of this week) has made a study of the Talmud and the Schulchan Aruch only that they, might serve as his business schemes. He was a student in the college of Hildesheimer, where it was easy to imbibe
* At the time he was imprisoned for many crimes and the dailies wrote continuously about this in long articles.
sanctification and really become sanctified in the city of Hague. To be still more purified he washed himself in the holy waters of Protestantism. Seeing, however, that this act would not bring him much fruit, for to be a "Pfarrer" (minister) one must labor diligently, and this he would not do, he set all this deed aside at one stroke and swerved over to the Catholic faith.
And then he followed his nature to catch in his net some young girls, who had confidence in him, and going further in this way the attention of the police was called to this, who put a stop to him.
For whom then such a fuss? We are neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but nevertheless we recognized his character from his so-called literature even as far back as 1883. As the following are our words in our pamphlet "Kritischer Ueberblick uber den Judenspiegelprozess in Munster," December, 1884, page 8, footnote 11, (when we were not aware who the author was): "If such would be written by a Jew he would be named criminal, deceiver, misanthrope, etc." True, that when we wrote this, we did not know that he was a Jew, and now we see that he was. For this, however, we have only to be grateful to him because he left the Jewish fight before he wrote his hateful "Judenspiegel," and also before he gave his miserable material to Rohling. This, because the anti-Semites can no longer blame the Jews on account of this person as they brought him over to become their ally.
But what became of the suit of Rohling against Bloch? We have to give the full credit to Dr. Kopp who forced Rohling to withdraw his complaint seeing that according to the testimony of his co-religionist scholars he could not win his case. And this may be seen from the book which Kopp has published in Leipzig, 1886, second edition. (See criticism of it in Strack, page q5.) We, however, deem it necessary to give the details of this book, in order to defend the Talmud, as this will throw light upon all past and present accusations against the Talmud. As we have done this in our Hebrew monthly "Morgenblitze," Vienna, 1886, we have only to translate here a part of our review to the book of Kopp named "Zur Judenfrage nach den Akten des Prozesses Rohling-Bloch
von Dr. Joseph Kopp Hofgerichtsadovkat Zu Wien," Leipzig, 1886:
"Many books are lying before us for review or for announcement. However, the book named above is unique in every respect. It cannot be criticised either way, and the same is true of the author of this book as he himself does not give his own opinion concerning the subject matter of the book. Nevertheless, we may fully say that it is a scientific book in every respect.
" The author of this book is a Gentile, a prominent member of the bar in Vienna, and, according to his own testimony, he knows neither the Hebrew language nor the talmudic and post-talmudic literature at all. Notwithstanding this, the book, as a whole, sanctifies the Talmud and all post-talmudical literature.
It can not be taken as a defender of the Talmud because of arguments, as the whole book contains merely facts which can never be denied and which prove clearly that the Talmud and its banner-bearers are clear of every accusation and of every suspicion concerning the love of man, be he who he may, even according to the present laws and established etiquette. "
The above facts were not given by the author himself, but by two well-known Gentile Hebrew scholars, upon whom the Supreme Court of Vienna threw the burden of translating four hundred passages and quotations. These the Jew-haters have used as a sample of the wretchedness of the Jewish literature. The chief aim of the Jew-haters was to belittle the Talmud, which is the pillar of the Jewish race.
The author of this work, whom the Israelite congregation of Vienna choose to defend Bloch in the case of Rohling-Bloch, has done his work well. He gathered all the quotations quoted by Rohling in his writings from both the Talmud itself as well as from post-talmudical literature, those which were written in the Hebrew language and also in other languages, by converted Jews who reached then the dignity of Catholic priests. All these quotations he divided into two groups, (a) the quotations in Hebrew he brought before the Supreme Court, who appointed Gentile Hebrew scholars to translate them correctly under oath, into the German
language; (b) the quotations in the living languages he examined himself. However, when he found a quotation in another language besides German he submitted it to the sworn interpreter of the Supreme Court for translation. Then, when both the translations of the quotations by the Jew-haters and the translations of the same by those who were appointed by the Court appeared before the court, it was revealed that the alleged quotations of Rohling were not quotations of the Talmud at all, but merely falsehoods. And thus was it proved that every line written by Rohling in his "Talmudjude," "Antichrist and Das Ended der Welt," "The Catechism des 19 Jahrhundert fur Juden and Protestanten" (in which he praises the Spanish Inquisition, declaring it holy to the Lord and to the Catholic Church), "Das Salomonische Spruchbuch," "Meine Antworten an die Rabbiner," "Die Polemik and die Menschenopfer des Rabbinismus," and also in his letter to Ghetza Anhadi of June 19, 1883, were all fabrications which never existed since the creation of the world.
"If such a falsehood would not be revealed by the learned Christians under oath it would be impossible to believe that a man whose dignity came from a professorship of a university should act so. The contents of this book are as follows: All quotations which were translated by the experts as well as those which Rohling himself falsely quoted,* Dr. Kopp arranged them thus, preface, instruction, the story proceeding the trial, the proceedings of the trial, the conclusion derived from the true testimony which was obtained from non-Jews; i.e., the Bishop of Leon Agobardus, Paul Medriki, Rabbi Maldava, Rabbi Mendel, August Fabius, Gerhard Tickson, Franz Delitzsch and August Wunsche.
"After sub-dividing the answers of the above scholars in two parts, (a) those which are mentioned in the Talmud, etc., in general, and (b) where it speaks of the subjects in particular, and this he again sub-divided into nine groups; i.e., (1) about injuring of Gentile property, (2) harming their lives, (3) partiality in cases where Christians come before Jewish
* The author Kopp points out also many quotations quoted by Rohling from books which never existed.
judges, (4) the application of animals' and beasts' names to Christians by Jews, (5) about the oath of the Jews, (6) about Jewish witnesses, (7) the Jews against the Christians in the laws of slaughtering cattle, (8) about the flattering and deceiving practised by Jews: divided into two paragraphs, (a) the non-responsibility of the Jews (see Appendix No. 19), (b) about the infallibility of the Rabbis concerning the blood accusation, and (9) the conclusion of the author himself. All these comprise 196 royal octavo pages.
" It is self-evident that such a book is above criticism, for, as we said before, the book contains only facts, viz: (1) the translations under oath of the well-known Christian scholars, and (z) the falsehood of Rohling's quotations translated into German when compared with the text, and this is all the more evident when it is known that Rohling, after seeing all these facts, not only withdrew his complaint but pardoned even the most rigorous accusation of perjury which Bloch accused him of in the past, saying that he was always ready to swear falsely at any time if only it would cause harm to the Jews."
EXILARCHS; THE TALMUD AT THE STAKE AND ITS DEVELOPMENT AT THE PRESENT TIME.
Since the colleges were open in Palestine and Babylon, after the destruction of the Temple, there were two kinds of rulers: the Palestinian were called princes (Nassies), and the Babylonian were called Exilarchs (Rashee Hagula). The former are well known to the students, as every one of them is mentioned in the Talmud, and their biographical sketches are written in many books by modern historians, also in our historical and literary introduction to our new edition.
The Exilarchs, however, who are seldom mentioned in the Talmud, are almost forgotten by the historians. Notwithstanding that the duration of their reign is about 450 years, no arrangement of their names and times is to be found in their history.
It is true that some of their names are mentioned in "Seder
Ualam Zuta," "Machzor Witree" and "Yuchssin," but it is so confused that no order can be found out.
We have to be grateful to the learned Abraham Krochmal, who first took up this matter, and wrote an excellent long article of seventy-three pages in his "Scholein zum babylonischen Talmud."
His suggestions, however, though of a great genius, are scholastical and were criticised by many in periodicals and pamphlets. Finally Felix Lazarus, in the "Jahrbucher" of N. Brill, issued a separate pamphlet about this subject, the result of which the reader will find in a list further on.
And as many of the Exilarchs were the heads of the colleges in Sura, Pumbeditha and Nehardea and took a great part in the development of the Talmud, they must not be omitted from the History of the Talmud.
*We are unable to give their biographical sketches in a clear way, as in many instances we agree with Krochmal, whose arrangement is much different from Lazarus's list and the discussion would take up too much space, which we cannot spare. We have only to say that many of the Exilarchs were only holding their offices, but were not so learned as to take part in the colleges. They were appointed by inheritance and according to the excellence of their morality. All of them were descendants of David's kingdom, direct from Solomon. The Princes of Palestine, who were also descendants of the same kingdom, were only from their mother's side descended from Shepetiah b' Abital.
With the conclusion of the first volume of this work at the beginning of the twentieth century, we would invite the reader to take only a glance over the past of the Talmud, in which he will see that in almost every century and place of the different countries in Europe, the Talmud was condemned to the stake. By a glance over the present time, however, he will see that not only was the Talmud not destroyed, but was so saved that not even a single letter of it is missing; and now it is flourishing to such a degree as cannot be found in its past history, as will be seen further on.
The details of all the persecutions of the Talmud were given in the preceding chapters. Here we give a list of the places and dates in which it was at the stake, as well as the names of the persecutors.
1322. — Burned in Rome by order of Pope John XXII., and accompanied by robbery and murder of the Jews by the mob.
1553 — Rome: Pope Julius III.-Similar burnings by the same order took place in Barcelona, Venice, Romagna, Urbino and Pesaro.
Here three wagons full of books were burned; but first they were carried through the streets of the city, while royal officers proclaimed publicly that their condomnation was due to the insults to Christianity which they contained. (See also note, vol. ii, p. 52.)
1554. — Burned by hundreds and thousands in Ancona, Ferrara, Mantua, Padua, Candia and Ravenna.
1558. — Rome: Cardinal Ghislieri.
1559. — Rome: Sextus Sinensis.
1557. — Poland: Talmud burned because of the charge made against the Jews that they used the blood of Christian children in their ceremonies. This occurred during the Frankist disturbances.
Such was the past of the Talmud which we hope will never be repeated. Now a glance at the end of the last century and the beginning of this one.
The colleges for the study of the Talmud are increasing — almost in every place where Israel dwells, especially in this country where millions are gathered for the funds of the two great colleges, the Hebrew Union College of Cincinnati and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, in which the chief study is the Talmud and its post-talmudical literature. The heads of these colleges are of the most learned scholars of their time, who are very careful in selecting the professors and instructors for these institutions of learning. We were honored to be present at some lectures which the late great Talmudist, Professor Milliner, delivered before the senior class in Cincinnati, from which we derived great pleasure and, we may also say that in some instances they were to a degree instructive to us in our task of translating the Talmud.
What concerns the theological seminary in our own city, in which we were not permitted (see App. No. 20) to hear the lectures on the Talmud, we are also in the full belief that it will do much for the study and development of the Talmud in this and in future generations. We use the statement of the Talmud, "One may be certain that a master will not leave out from his hand a thing imperfect," and as the dean of this faculty is not only a learned man but also an experienced teacher, there is great hope that he will do all in his power to select instructors and perfect lecturers for this institution.
There are also in our city houses of learning (Jeshibath) for the study of the Talmud in the lower East Side, where many young men are studying the Talmud every day.
We are also glad to notice that among Gentiles the study
of the Talmud is more or less spreading, as we have the experience that a great number of Gentiles and almost all the theological seminaries and public libraries subscribed to the Talmud, and also many queries concerning it frequently came to us from Gentiles. This all shows that the study of the Talmud among Gentiles is not very rare.
The Jewish Encyclopaedia (see App. 21) which is in progress now is also a great help to the study and development of the Talmud, as all the treatises of the Talmud are and will be separately named, with many particulars which will cause many readers to study the Talmud itself.