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Title: Jewish Theology
Author: Kohler, Kaufmann
Language: English
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                             Jewish Theology

                Systematically and Historically Considered


                              Dr. K. Kohler


                           Hebrew Union College

                                 New York

                          The Macmillan Company



   Chapter I. The Meaning of Theology
   Chapter II. What is Judaism?
   Chapter III. The Essence of the Religion of Judaism
   Chapter IV. The Jewish Articles of Faith
Part I. God
   A. God As He Makes Himself Known To Man
      Chapter V. Man’s Consciousness of God and Belief in God
      Chapter VI. Revelation, Prophecy, and Inspiration
      Chapter VII. The Torah—the Divine Instruction
      Chapter VIII. God’s Covenant
   B. The Idea Of God In Judaism
      Chapter IX. God and the Gods
      Chapter X. The Name of God
      Chapter XI. The Existence of God
      Chapter XII. The Essence of God
      Chapter XIII. The One and Only God
      Chapter XIV. God’s Omnipotence and Omniscience
      Chapter XV. God’s Omnipresence and Eternity
      Chapter XVI. God’s Holiness
      Chapter XVII. God’s Wrath and Punishment
      Chapter XVIII. God’s Long-suffering and Mercy
      Chapter XIX. God’s Justice
      Chapter XX. God’s Love and Compassion
      Chapter XXI. God’s Truth and Faithfulness
      Chapter XXII. God’s Knowledge and Wisdom
      Chapter XXIII. God’s Condescension
   C. God In Relation To The World
      Chapter XXIV. The World and its Master
      Chapter XXV. Creation As the Act of God
      Chapter XXVI. The Maintenance and Government of the World
      Chapter XXVII. Miracles and the Cosmic Order
      Chapter XXVIII. Providence and the Moral Government of the World
      Chapter XXIX. God and the Existence of Evil
      Chapter XXX. God and the Angels
      Chapter XXXI. Satan and the Spirits of Evil
      Chapter XXXII. God and the Intermediary Powers
Part II. Man
   Chapter XXXIII. Man’s Place in Creation
   Chapter XXXIV. The Dual Nature of Man
   Chapter XXXV. The Origin and Destiny of Man
   Chapter XXXVI. God’s Spirit in Man
   Chapter XXXVII. Free Will and Moral Responsibility
   Chapter XXXVIII. The Meaning of Sin
   Chapter XXXIX. Repentance Or the Return To God
   Chapter XL. Man, the Child of God
   Chapter XLI. Prayer and Sacrifice
   Chapter XLII. The Nature and Purpose of Prayer
   Chapter XLIII. Death and the Future Life
   Chapter XLIV. The Immortal Soul of Man
   Chapter XLV. Divine Retribution: Reward and Punishment.
   Chapter XLVI. The Individual and the Race
   Chapter XLVII. The Moral Elements of Civilization
Part III. Israel And The Kingdom Of God
   Chapter XLVIII. The Election of Israel
   Chapter XLIX. The Kingdom of God and the Mission of Israel
   Chapter L. The Priest-people and its Law of Holiness
   Chapter LI. Israel, the People of the Law, and its World Mission
   Chapter LII. Israel, the Servant of the Lord, Martyr and Messiah Of the
   Chapter LIII. The Messianic Hope
   Chapter LIV. Resurrection, a National Hope
   Chapter LV. Israel and the Heathen Nations
   Chapter LVI. The Stranger and the Proselyte
   Chapter LVII. Christianity and Mohammedanism, the Daughter-Religions Of
   Chapter LVIII. The Synagogue and its Institutions
   Chapter LIX. The Ethics of Judaism and the Kingdom of God
List Of Abbreviations


To The Memory






In Friendship And


In offering herewith to the English-reading public the present work on
Jewish Theology, the result of many years of research and of years of
activity as President and teacher at the Hebrew Union College of
Cincinnati, I bespeak for it that fairness of judgment to which every
pioneer work is entitled. It may seem rather strange that no such work has
hitherto been written by any of the leading Jewish scholars of either the
conservative or the progressive school. This can only be accounted for by
the fact that up to modern times the Rabbinical and philosophical
literature of the Middle Ages sufficed for the needs of the student, and a
systematic exposition of the Jewish faith seemed to be unnecessary.
Besides, a real demand for the specific study of Jewish theology was
scarcely felt, inasmuch as Judaism never assigned to a creed the prominent
position which it holds in the Christian Church. This very fact induced
Moses Mendelssohn at the beginning of the new era to declare that Judaism
“contained only truths dictated by reason and no dogmatic beliefs at all.”
Moreover, as he was rather a deist than a theist, he stated boldly that
Judaism “is not a revealed religion but a revealed law intended solely for
the Jewish people as the vanguard of universal monotheism.” By taking this
legalistic view of Judaism in common with the former opponents of the
Maimonidean articles of faith—which, by the way, he had himself translated
for the religious instruction of the Jewish youth—he exerted a
deteriorating influence upon the normal development of the Jewish faith
under the new social conditions. The fact is that Mendelssohn emancipated
the modern Jew from the thraldom of the Ghetto, but not Judaism. In the
Mendelssohnian circle the impression prevailed, as we are told, that
Judaism consists of a system of forms, but is substantially no religion at
all. The entire Jewish renaissance period which followed,
characteristically enough, made the cultivation of the so-called science
of Judaism its object, but it neglected altogether the whole field of
Jewish theology. Hence we look in vain among the writings of Rappaport,
Zunz, Jost and their followers, the entire Breslau school, for any attempt
at presenting the contents of Judaism as a system of faith. Only the
pioneers of Reform Judaism, Geiger, Holdheim, Samuel Hirsch, Formstecher,
Ludwig Philippson, Leopold Stein, Leopold Loew, and the Reform theologian
_par excellence_ David Einhorn, and likewise, Isaac M. Wise in America,
made great efforts in that direction. Still a system of Jewish theology
was wanting. Accordingly when, at the suggestion of my dear departed
friend, Dr. Gustav Karpeles, President of the Society for the Promotion of
the Science of Judaism in Berlin, I undertook to write a compendium
(Grundriss) of Systematic Jewish Theology, which appeared in 1910 as Vol.
IV in a series of works on Systematic Jewish Lore (Grundriss der
Gesammtwissenschaft des Judenthums), I had no work before me that might
have served me as pattern or guide. Solomon Schechter’s valuable studies
were in the main confined to Rabbinical Theology. As a matter of fact I
accepted the task only with the understanding that it should be written
from the view-point of historical research, instead of a mere dogmatic or
doctrinal system. For in my opinion the Jewish religion has never been
static, fixed for all time by an ecclesiastical authority, but has ever
been and still is the result of a dynamic process of growth and
development. At the same time I felt that I could not omit the mystical
element which pervades the Jewish religion in common with all others. As
our prophets were seers and not philosophers or moralists, so divine
inspiration in varying degrees constituted a factor of Synagogal as well
as Scriptural Judaism. Revelation, therefore, is to be considered as a
continuous force in shaping and reshaping the Jewish faith. The religious
genius of the Jew falls within the domain of ethnic psychology concerning
which science still gropes in the dark, but which progressive Judaism is
bound to recognize in its effects throughout the ages.

It is from this standpoint, taken also by the sainted founder of the
Hebrew Union College, Isaac M. Wise, that I have written this book. At the
same time I endeavored to be, as it behooves the historian, just and fair
to Conservative Judaism, which will ever claim the reverence we owe to our
cherished past, the mother that raised and nurtured us.

While a work of this nature cannot lay claim to completeness, I have
attempted to cover the whole field of Jewish belief, including also such
subjects as no longer form parts of the religious consciousness of the
modern Jew. I felt especially called upon to elucidate the historical
relations of Judaism to the Christian and Mohammedan religions and dwell
on the essential points of divergence from them. If my language at times
has been rather vigorous in defense of the Jewish faith, it was because I
was forced to correct and refute the prevailing view of the Christian
world, of both theologians and others, that Judaism is an inferior
religion, clannish and exclusive, that it is, in fact, a cult of the Old
Testament Law.

It was a matter of great personal satisfaction to me that the German work
on its appearance met with warm appreciation in the various theological
journals of America, England, and France, as well as of Germany, including
both Jewish and Christian. I was encouraged and urged by many “soon to
make the book accessible to wider circles in an English translation.” My
friend, Dr. Israel Abrahams of Cambridge, England, took such interest in
the book that he induced a young friend of his to prepare an English
version. While this did not answer the purpose, it was helpful to me in
making me feel that, instead of a literal translation, a thorough revision
and remolding of the book was necessary in order to present it in an
acceptable English garb. In pursuing this course, I also enlarged the book
in many ways, especially adding a new chapter on Jewish Ethics, which, in
connection with the idea of the Kingdom of God, appeared to me to form a
fitting culmination of Jewish theology. I have thus rendered it
practically a new work. And here I wish to acknowledge my great
indebtedness to my young friend and able pupil, Rabbi Lee J. Levinger, for
the valuable aid he has rendered me and the painstaking labor he has
kindly and unselfishly performed in going over my manuscript from
beginning to end, with a view to revising the diction and also suggesting
references to more recent publications in the notes so as to bring it up
to date.

I trust that the work will prove a source of information and inspiration
for both student and layman, Jew and non-Jew, and induce such as have
become indifferent to, or prejudiced against, the teachings of the
Synagogue, or of Reform Judaism in particular, to take a deeper insight
into, and look up with a higher regard to the sublime and eternal verities
of Judaism.

“Give to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser; teach a righteous man, and
he will increase in learning.”

CINCINNATI, November, 1917.


Chapter I. The Meaning of Theology

1. The name Theology, “the teaching concerning God,” is taken from Greek
philosophy. It was used by Plato and Aristotle to denote the knowledge
concerning God and things godly, by which they meant the branch of
Philosophy later called Metaphysics, after Aristotle. In the Christian
Church the term gradually assumed the meaning of systematic exposition of
the creed, a distinction being made between _Rational_, or _Natural
Theology_, on the one hand, and _Dogmatic Theology_, on the other.(1) In
common usage Theology is understood to be the presentation of one specific
system of faith after some logical method, and a distinction is made
between _Historical_ and _Systematic Theology_. The former traces the
various doctrines of the faith in question through the different epochs
and stages of culture, showing their historical process of growth and
development; the latter presents these same doctrines in comprehensive
form as a fixed system, as they have finally been elaborated and accepted
upon the basis of the sacred scriptures and their authoritative

2. Theology and Philosophy of Religion differ widely in their character.
Theology deals exclusively with a specific religion; in expounding one
doctrinal system, it starts from a positive belief in a divine revelation
and in the continued working of the divine spirit, affecting also the
interpretation and further development of the sacred books. Philosophy of
Religion, on the other hand, while dealing with the same subject matter as
Theology, treats religion from a general point of view as a matter of
experience, and, as every philosophy must, without any foregone
conclusion. Consequently it submits the beliefs and doctrines of religion
in general to an impartial investigation, recognizing neither a divine
revelation nor the superior claims of any one religion above any other,
its main object being to ascertain how far the universal laws of human
reason agree or disagree with the assertions of faith.(2)

3. It is therefore incorrect to speak of a Jewish religious philosophy.
This has no better right to exist than has Jewish metaphysics or Jewish
mathematics.(3) The Jewish thinkers of the Spanish-Arabic period who
endeavored to harmonize revelation and reason, utilizing the Neo-Platonic
philosophy or the Aristotelian with a Neo-Platonic coloring, betray by
their very conceptions of revelation and prophecy the influence of
Mohammedan theology; this was really a graft of metaphysics on theology
and called itself the “divine science,” a term corresponding exactly with
the Greek “theology.” The so-called Jewish religious philosophers adopted
both the methods and terminology of the Mohammedan theologians, attempting
to present the doctrines of the Jewish faith in the light of philosophy,
as truth based on reason. Thus they claimed to construct a Jewish theology
upon the foundation of a philosophy of religion.

But neither they nor their Mohammedan predecessors succeeded in working
out a complete system of theology. They left untouched essential elements
of religion which do not come within the sphere of rational verities, and
did not give proper appreciation to the rich treasures of faith deposited
in the Biblical and Rabbinical literature. Nor does the comprehensive
theological system of Maimonides, which for centuries largely shaped the
intellectual life of the Jew, form an exception. Only the mystics, Bahya
at their head, paid attention to the spiritual side of Judaism, dwelling
at length on such themes as prayer and repentance, divine forgiveness and

4. Closer acquaintance with the religious and philosophical systems of
modern times has created a new demand for a Jewish theology by which the
Jew can comprehend his own religious truths in the light of modern
thought, and at the same time defend them against the aggressive attitude
of the ruling religious sects. Thus far, however, the attempts made in
this direction are but feeble and sporadic; if the structure is not to
stand altogether in the air, the necessary material must be brought
together from its many sources with painstaking labor.(4) The special
difficulty in the task lies in the radical difference which exists between
our view of the past and that of the Biblical and medieval writers. All
those things which have heretofore been taken as facts because related in
the sacred books or other traditional sources, are viewed to-day with
critical eyes, and are now regarded as more or less colored by human
impression or conditioned by human judgment. In other words, we have
learned to distinguish between _subjective_ and _objective_ truths,(5)
whereas theology by its very nature deals with truth as absolute. This
makes it imperative for us to investigate historically the leading idea or
fundamental principle underlying a doctrine, to note the different
conceptions formed at various stages, and trace its process of growth. At
times, indeed, we may find that the views of one age have rather taken a
backward step and fallen below the original standard. The progress need
not be uniform, but we must still trace its course.

5. We must recognize at the outset that Jewish theology cannot assume the
character of _apologetics_, if it is to accomplish its great task of
formulating religious truth as it exists in our consciousness to-day. It
can no more afford to ignore the established results of modern linguistic,
ethnological, and historical research, of Biblical criticism and
comparative religion, than it can the undisputed facts of natural science,
however much any of these may conflict with the Biblical view of the
cosmos. Apologetics has its legitimate place to prove and defend the
truths of Jewish theology against other systems of belief and thought, but
cannot properly defend either Biblical or Talmudic statements by methods
incompatible with scientific investigation. Judaism is a religion of
_historical_ growth, which, far from claiming to be the final truth, is
ever regenerated anew at each turning point of history. The fall of the
leaves at autumn requires no apology, for each successive spring testifies
anew to nature’s power of resurrection.

The object of a systematic theology of Judaism, accordingly, is to single
out the essential forces of the faith. It then will become evident how
these fundamental doctrines possess a vitality, a strength of conviction,
as well as an adaptability to varying conditions, which make them potent
factors amidst all changes of time and circumstance. According to
Rabbinical tradition, the broken tablets of the covenant were deposited in
the ark beside the new. In like manner the truths held sacred by the past,
but found inadequate in their expression for a new generation, must be
placed side by side with the deeper and more clarified truths of an
advanced age, that they may appear together as the _one_ divine truth
reflected in different rays of light.

6. Jewish theology differs radically from Christian theology in the
following three points:

_A._ The theology of Christianity deals with articles of faith formulated
by the founders and heads of the Church as conditions of _salvation_, so
that any alteration in favor of free thought threatens to undermine the
very plan of salvation upon which the Church was founded. Judaism
recognizes only such articles of faith as were adopted by the people
voluntarily as expressions of their religious consciousness, both without
external compulsion and without doing violence to the dictates of reason.
Judaism does not know salvation by faith in the sense of Paul, the real
founder of the Church, who declared the blind acceptance of belief to be
in itself meritorious. It denies the existence of any irreconcilable
opposition between faith and reason.

_B._ Christian theology rests upon a _formula of confession_, the
so-called Symbolum of the Apostolic Church,(6) which alone makes one a
Christian. Judaism has no such formula of confession which renders a Jew a
Jew. No ecclesiastical authority ever dictated or regulated the belief of
the Jew; his faith has been voiced in the solemn liturgical form of
prayer, and has ever retained its freshness and vigor of thought in the
consciousness of the people. This partly accounts for the antipathy toward
any kind of dogma or creed among Jews.

_C._ The creed is a _conditio sine qua non_ of the Christian Church. To
disbelieve its dogmas is to cut oneself loose from membership. Judaism is
quite different. The Jew is _born_ into it and cannot extricate himself
from it even by the renunciation of his faith, which would but render him
an apostate Jew. This condition exists, because the racial community
formed, and still forms, the basis of the religious community. It is
birth, not confession, that imposes on the Jew the obligation to work and
strive for the eternal verities of Israel, for the preservation and
propagation of which he has been chosen by the God of history.

7. The truth of the matter is that the aim and end of Judaism is not so
much the salvation of the soul in the hereafter as the salvation of
humanity in history. Its theology, therefore, must recognize the history
of human progress, with which it is so closely interwoven. It does not,
therefore, claim to offer the final or absolute truth, as does Christian
theology, whether orthodox or liberal. It simply points out the way
leading to the highest obtainable truth. Final and perfect truth is held
forth as the ideal of all human searching and striving, together with
perfect justice, righteousness, and peace, to be attained as the very end
of history.

A systematic theology of Judaism must, accordingly, content itself with
presenting Jewish doctrine and belief in relation to the most advanced
scientific and philosophical ideas of the age, so as to offer a
comprehensive view of life and the world (“Lebens- und Weltanschauung”);
but it by no means claims for them the character of finality. The
unfolding of Judaism’s truths will be completed only when all mankind has
attained the heights of Zion’s mount of vision, as beheld by the prophets
of Israel.(7)

Chapter II. What is Judaism?

1. It is very difficult to give an exact definition of Judaism because of
its peculiarly complex character.(8) It combines two widely differing
elements, and when they are brought out separately, the aspect of the
whole is not taken sufficiently into account. Religion and race form an
inseparable whole in Judaism. The Jewish people stand in the same relation
to Judaism as the _body_ to the _soul_. The national or racial body of
Judaism consists of the remnant of the tribe of Judah which succeeded in
establishing a new commonwealth in Judæa in place of the ancient
Israelitish kingdom, and which survived the downfall of state and temple
to continue its existence as a separate people during a dispersion over
the globe for thousands of years, forming ever a cosmopolitan element
among all the nations in whose lands it dwelt. Judaism, on the other hand,
is the religious system itself, the vital element which united the Jewish
people, preserving it and regenerating it ever anew. It is the spirit
which endowed the handful of Jews with a power of resistance and a fervor
of faith unparalleled in history, enabling them to persevere in the mighty
contest with heathenism and Christianity. It made of them a nation of
martyrs and thinkers, suffering and struggling for the cause of truth and
justice, yet forming, consciously or unconsciously, a potent factor in all
the great intellectual movements which are ultimately to win the entire
gentile world for the purest and loftiest truths concerning God and man.

2. Judaism, accordingly, does not denote the Jewish nationality, with its
political and cultural achievements and aspirations, as those who have
lost faith in the religious mission of Israel would have it. On the other
hand, it is not a nomistic or legalistic religion confined to the Jewish
people, as is maintained by Christian writers, who, lacking a full
appreciation of its lofty world-wide purpose and its cosmopolitan and
humanitarian character, claim that it has surrendered its universal
prophetic truths to Christianity. Nor should it be presented as a religion
of pure _Theism_, aiming to unite all believers in one God into a Church
Universal, of which certain visionaries dream. Judaism is nothing less
than a message concerning the _One and holy God_ and _one, undivided
humanity_ with a world-uniting _Messianic goal_, a message intrusted by
divine revelation to the Jewish people. Thus Israel is its prophetic
harbinger and priestly guardian, its witness and defender throughout the
ages, who is never to falter in the task of upholding and unfolding its
truths until they have become the possession of the whole human race.

3. Owing to this twofold nature of a universal religious truth and at the
same time a mission intrusted to a specially selected nation or race,
Judaism offers in a sense the sharpest contrasts imaginable, which render
it an enigma to the student of religion and history, and make him often
incapable of impartial judgment. On the one hand, it shows the most
tenacious adherence to forms originally intended to preserve the Jewish
people in its priestly sanctity and separateness, and thereby also to keep
its religious truths pure and free from encroachments. On the other hand,
it manifests a mighty impulse to come into close touch with the various
civilized nations, partly in order to disseminate among them its sublime
truths, appealing alike to mind and heart, partly to clarify and deepen
those truths by assimilating the wisdom and culture of these very nations.
Thus the spirit of separatism and of universalism work in opposite
directions. Still, however hostile the two elements may appear, they
emanate from the same source. For the Jewish people, unlike any other
civilization of antiquity, entered history with the proud claim that it
possessed a truth destined to become some day the property of mankind, and
its three thousand years of history have verified this claim.

Israel’s relation to the world thus became a double one. Its priestly
world-mission gave rise to all those laws and customs which were to
separate it from its idolatrous surroundings, and this occasioned the
charge of hostility to the nations. The accusation of Jewish misanthropy
occurred as early as the Balaam and Haman stories. As the separation
continued through the centuries, a deep-seated Jew-hatred sprang up, first
in Alexandria and Rome, then becoming a consuming fire throughout
Christendom, unquenched through the ages and bursting forth anew, even
from the midst of would-be liberals. In contrast to this, Israel’s
prophetic ideal of a humanity united in justice and peace gave to history
a new meaning and a larger outlook, kindling in the souls of all truly
great leaders and teachers, seers and sages of mankind a love and longing
for the broadening of humanity which opened new avenues of progress and
liberty. Moreover, by its conception of man as the image of God and its
teaching of righteousness as the true path of life, Israel’s Law
established a new standard of human worth and put the imprint of Jewish
idealism upon the entire Aryan civilization.

Owing to these two opposing forces, the one centripetal, the other
centrifugal, Judaism tended now inward, away from world-culture, now
outward toward the learning and the thought of all nations; and this makes
it doubly difficult to obtain a true estimate of its character. But, after
all, these very currents and counter-currents at the different eras of
history kept Judaism in continuous tension and fluctuation, preventing its
stagnation by dogmatic formulas and its division by ecclesiastical
dissensions. “Both words are the words of the living God” became the maxim
of the contending schools.(9)

4. If we now ask what period we may fix as the beginning of Judaism, we
must by no means single out the decisive moment when Ezra the Scribe
established the new commonwealth of Judæa, based upon the Mosaic book of
Law, and excluding the Samaritans who claimed to be the heirs of ancient
Israel. This important step was but the climax, the fruitage of that
religious spirit engendered by the Judaism of the Babylonian exile. The
Captivity had become a refining furnace for the people, making them cling
with a zeal unknown before to the teachings of the prophets, now offered
by their disciples, and to the laws, as preserved by the priestly guilds;
so the religious treasures of the few became the common property of the
many, and were soon regarded as “the inheritance of the whole congregation
of Jacob.” As a matter of fact, Ezra represents the culmination rather
than the starting point of the great spiritual reawakening, when he came
from Babylon with a complete Code of Law, and promulgated it in the Holy
City to a worshipful congregation.(10) It was Judaism, winged with a new
spirit, which carried the great unknown seer of the Exile to the very
pinnacle of prophetic vision, and made the Psalmists ring forth from the
harp of David the deepest soul-stirring notes of religious devotion and
aspiration that ever moved the hearts of men. Moreover, all the great
truths of prophetic revelation, of legislative and popular wisdom, were
then collected and focused, creating a sacred literature which was to
serve the whole community as the source of instruction, consolation, and
edification. The powerful and unique institutions of the Synagogue,
intended for common instruction and devotion, are altogether creations of
the Exile, and replaced the former _priestly_ Torah by the Torah _for the
people_. More wonderful still, the priestly lore of ancient Babylon was
transformed by sublime monotheistic truths and utilized in the formation
of a sacred literature; it was placed before the history of the Hebrew
patriarchs, to form, as it were, an introduction to the Bible of humanity.

Judaism, then, far from being the late product of the Torah and tradition,
as it is often considered, was actually the creator of the Law.
Transformed and unfolded in Babylonia, it created its own sacred
literature and shaped it ever anew, filling it always with its own spirit
and with new thoughts. It is by no means the petrifaction of the Mosaic
law and the prophetic teachings, as we are so often told, but a continuous
process of unfolding and regeneration of its great religious truth.

5. True enough, traditional or orthodox Judaism does not share this view.
The idea of gradual development is precluded by its conception of divine
revelation, by its doctrine that both the oral and the written Torah were
given at Sinai complete and unchangeable for all time. It makes allowance
only for special institutions begun either by the prophets, by Ezra and
the Men of the Great Synagogue, his associates, or by the masters of the
Law in succeeding centuries. Nevertheless, tradition says that the Men of
the Great Synagogue themselves collected and partly completed the sacred
books, except the five books of Moses, and that the canon was made under
the influence of the holy spirit. This holy spirit remained in force also
during the creative period of Talmudism, sanctioning innovations or
alterations of many kinds.(11) Modern critical and historical research has
taught us to distinguish the products of different periods and stages of
development in both the Biblical and Rabbinical sources, and therefore
compels us to reject the idea of a uniform origin of the Law, and also of
an uninterrupted chain of tradition reaching back to Moses on Sinai.
Therefore we must attach still more importance to the process of
transformation which Judaism had to undergo through the centuries.(12)

Judaism manifested its wondrous power of _assimilation_ by renewing itself
to meet the demands of the time, first under the influence of the ancient
civilizations, Babylonia and Persia, then of Greece and Rome, finally of
the Occidental powers, molding its religious truths and customs in ever
new forms, but all in consonance with its own genius. It adopted the
Babylonian and Persian views of the hereafter, of the upper and the nether
world with their angels and demons; so later on it incorporated into its
religious and legal system elements of Greek and Egyptian gnosticism,
Greek philosophy, and methods of jurisprudence from Egypt, Babylon, and
Rome. In fact, the various parties which arose during the second Temple
beside each other or successively—Sadducees and Pharisees, Essenes and
Zealots—represent, on closer observation, the different stages in the
process of assimilation which Judaism had to undergo. In like manner, the
Hellenistic, Apocryphal and Apocalyptic literature, which was rejected and
lost to sight by traditional Judaism, and which partly fills the gap
between the Bible and the Talmudic writings, casts a flood of light upon
the development of the Halakah and the Haggadah. Just as the book of
Ezekiel, which was almost excluded from the Canon on account of its
divergence from the Mosaic Law, has been helpful in tracing the
development of the Priestly Code,(13) so the Sadduceean book of Ben
Sira(14) and the Zealotic book of Jubilees(15)—not to mention the various
Apocalyptic works—throw their searchlight upon pre-Talmudic Judaism.

6. Instead of representing Judaism—as the Christian theologians do under
the guise of scientific methods—as a nomistic religion, caring only for
the external observance of the Law, it is necessary to distinguish two
opposite fundamental tendencies; the one expressing the spirit of
legalistic nationalism, the other that of ethical or prophetic
universalism. These two work by turn, directing the general trend in the
one or the other direction according to circumstances. At one time the
center and focus of Israel’s religion is the Mosaic Law, with its
sacrificial cult in charge of the priesthood of Jerusalem’s Temple; at
another time it is the Synagogue, with its congregational devotion and
public instruction, its inspiring song of the Psalmist and its prophetic
consolation and hope confined to no narrow territory, but opened wide for
a listening world. Here it is the reign of the _Halakah_ holding fast to
the form of tradition, and there the free and fanciful _Haggadah_, with
its appeal to the sentiments and views of the people. Here it is the
spirit of _ritualism_, bent on separating the Jews from the influence of
foreign elements, and there again the spirit of _rationalism_, eager to
take part in general culture and in the progress of the outside world.

The liberal views of Maimonides and Gersonides concerning miracle and
revelation, God and immortality were scarcely shared by the majority of
Jews, who, no doubt, sided rather with the mystics, and found their
mouthpiece in Abraham ben David of Posquieres, the fierce opponent of
Maimonides. An impartial Jewish theology must therefore take cognizance of
both sides; it must include the mysticism of Isaac Luria and Sabbathai
Horwitz as well as the rationalism of Albo and Leo da Modena. Wherever is
voiced a new doctrine or a new view of life and life’s duty, which yet
bears the imprint of the Jewish consciousness, there the well-spring of
divine inspiration is seen pouring forth its living waters.

7. Even the latest interpretation of the Law, offered by a disciple who is
recognized for true conscientiousness in religion, was revealed to Moses
on Sinai, according to a Rabbinical dictum.(16) Thus is exquisitely
expressed the idea of a continuous development of Israel’s religious
truth. As a safeguard against arbitrary individualism, there was the
principle of loyalty and proper regard for tradition, which is aptly
termed by Professor Lazarus a “historical continuity.”(17) The Midrashic
statement is quite significant that other creeds founded on our Bible can
only adhere to the letter, but the Jewish religion possesses the key to
the deeper meaning hidden and presented in the _traditional_
interpretation of the Scriptures.(18) That is, for Judaism Holy Scripture
in its literal sense is not the final word of God; the Bible is rather a
living spring of divine revelation, to be kept ever fresh and flowing by
the active force of the spirit. To sum up: Judaism, far from offering a
system of beliefs and ceremonies fixed for all time, is as multifarious
and manifold in its aspects as is life itself. It comprises all phases and
characteristics of both a national and a world religion.

Chapter III. The Essence of the Religion of Judaism

1. We have seen how difficult it is to define Judaism clearly and
adequately, including its manifold tendencies and institutions. Still it
is necessary that we reach a full understanding of the essence of Judaism
as it manifested itself in all periods of its history,(19) and that we
single out the fundamental idea which underlies its various forms of
existence and its different movements, both intellectual and spiritual.
There can be no disputing the fact that the central idea of Judaism and
its life purpose is the doctrine of the One Only and Holy God, whose
kingdom of truth, justice and peace is to be universally established at
the end of time. This is the main teaching of Scripture and the hope
voiced in the liturgy; while Israel’s mission to defend, to unfold and to
propagate this truth is a corollary of the doctrine itself and cannot be
separated from it. Whether we regard it as Law or a system of doctrine, as
religious truth or world-mission, this belief pledged the little tribe of
Judah to a warfare of many thousands of years against the hordes of
heathendom with all their idolatry and brutality, their deification of man
and their degradation of deity to human rank. It betokened a battle for
the pure idea of God and man, which is not to end until the principle of
divine holiness has done away with every form of life that tends to
degrade and to disunite mankind, and until Israel’s Only One has become
the unifying power and the highest ideal of all humanity.

2. Of this great world-duty of Israel only the few will ever become fully
conscious. As in the days of the prophets, so in later periods, only a
“small remnant” was fully imbued with the lofty ideal. In times of
oppression the great multitude of the people persisted in a conscientious
observance of the Law and underwent suffering without a murmur. Yet in
times of liberty and enlightenment this same majority often neglects to
assimilate the new culture to its own superior spirit, but instead eagerly
assimilates itself to the surrounding world, and thereby loses much of its
intrinsic strength and self-respect. The pendulum of thought and sentiment
swings to and fro between the national and the universal ideals, while
only a few maturer minds have a clear vision of the goal as it is to be
reached along both lines of development. Nevertheless, Judaism is in a
true sense a religion of the people. It is free from all priestly tutelage
and hierarchical interference. It has no ecclesiastical system of belief,
guarded and supervised by men invested with superior powers. Its teachers
and leaders have always been men from among the people, like the prophets
of yore, with no sacerdotal privilege or title; in fact, in his own
household each father is the God-appointed teacher of his children.(20)

3. Neither is Judaism the creation of a single person, either prophet or a
man with divine claims. It points back to the patriarchs as its first
source of revelation. It speaks not of the God of Moses, of Amos and
Isaiah, but of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, thereby declaring the
Jewish genius to be the creator of its own religious ideas. It is
therefore incorrect to speak of a “Mosaic,” “Hebrew,” or “Israelitish,”
religion. The name _Judaism_ alone expresses the preservation of the
religious heritage of Israel by the tribe of Judah, with a loyalty which
was first displayed by Judah himself in the patriarchal household, and
which became its characteristic virtue in the history of the various
tribes. Likewise the rigid measures of Ezra in expelling all foreign
elements from the new commonwealth proved instrumental in impressing
loyalty and piety upon Jewish family life.

4. As it was bound up with the life of the Jewish people, Judaism remained
forever in close touch with the world. Therefore it appreciated adequately
the boons of life, and escaped being reduced to the shadowy form of
“otherworldliness.”(21) It is a religion of _life_, which it wishes to
sanctify by duty rather than by laying stress on the hereafter. It looks
to the _deed_ and the purity of the _motive_, not to the empty creed and
the blind belief. Nor is it a religion of _redemption_, contemning this
earthly life; for Judaism repudiates the assumption of a radical power of
evil in man or in the world. Faith in the ultimate triumph of the good is
essential to it. In fact, this perfect confidence in the final victory of
truth and justice over all the powers of falsehood and wrong lent it both
its wondrous intellectual force and its high idealism, and adorned its
adherents with the martyr’s crown of thorns, such as no other human brow
has ever borne.

5. _Christianity_ and _Islam_, notwithstanding their alienation from
Judaism and frequent hostility, are still daughter-religions. In so far as
they have sown the seeds of Jewish truth over all the globe and have done
their share in upbuilding the Kingdom of God on earth, they must be
recognized as divinely appointed emissaries and agencies. Still Judaism
sets forth its doctrine of God’s unity and of life’s holiness in a far
superior form than does Christianity. It neither permits the deity to be
degraded into the sphere of the sensual and human, nor does it base its
morality upon a love bereft of the vital principle of justice. Against the
rigid monotheism of Islam, which demands blind submission to the stern
decrees of inexorable fate, Judaism on the other hand urges its belief in
God’s paternal love and mercy, which educates all the children of men,
through trial and suffering, for their high destiny.

6. Judaism denies most emphatically the right of Christianity or any other
religion to arrogate to itself the title of “the absolute religion” or to
claim to be “the finest blossom and the ripest fruit of religious
development.” As if any mortal man at any time or under any condition
could say without presumption: “I am the Truth” or “No one cometh unto the
Father but by me.”(22) “When man was to proceed from the hands of his
Maker,” says the Midrash, “the Holy One, Blessed be His name, cast truth
down to the earth, saying, ‘Let truth spring forth from the earth, and
righteousness look down from heaven.’ ”(23) The full unfolding of the
religious and moral life of mankind is the work of countless generations
yet to come, and many divine heralds of truth and righteousness have yet
to contribute their share. In this work of untold ages, Judaism claims
that it has achieved and is still achieving its full part as the prophetic
world-religion. Its law of righteousness, which takes for its scope the
whole of human life, in its political and social relations as well as its
personal aspects, forms the foundation of its ethics for all time; while
its hope for a future realization of the Kingdom of God has actually
become the aim of human history. As a matter of fact, when the true object
of religion is the hallowing of life rather than the salvation of the
soul, there is little room left for sectarian exclusiveness, or for a
heaven for believers and a hell for unbelievers. With this broad outlook
upon life, Judaism lays claim, not to perfection, but to perfectibility;
it has supreme capacity for growing toward the highest ideals of mankind,
as beheld by the prophets in their Messianic visions.

Chapter IV. The Jewish Articles of Faith

1. In order to reach a clear opinion, whether or not Judaism has articles
of faith in the sense of Church dogmas, a question so much discussed since
the days of Moses Mendelssohn, it seems necessary first to ascertain what
faith in general means to the Jew.(24) Now the word used in Jewish
literature for faith is _Emunah_, from the root _Aman_, to be firm; this
denotes firm reliance upon God, and likewise firm adherence to him, hence
both _faith_ and _faithfulness_. Both Scripture and the Rabbis demanded
confiding trust in God, His messengers, and His words, not the formal
acceptance of a prescribed belief.(25) Only when contact with the
non-Jewish world emphasized the need for a clear expression of the belief
in the unity of God, such as was found in the Shema,(26) and when the
proselyte was expected to declare in some definite form the fundamentals
of the faith he espoused, was the importance of a concrete _confession_
felt.(27) Accordingly we find the beginnings of a formulated belief in the
synagogal liturgy, in the _Emeth we __ Yatzib_(28) and the _Alenu_,(29)
while in the Haggadah Abraham is represented both as the exemplar of a
hero of faith and as the type of a missionary, wandering about to lead the
heathen world towards the pure monotheistic faith.(30) While the Jewish
concept of faith underwent a certain transformation, influenced by other
systems of belief, and the formulation of Jewish doctrines appeared
necessary, particularly in opposition to the Christian and Mohammedan
creeds, still belief never became the essential part of religion,
conditioning salvation, as in the Church founded by Paul. For, as pointed
out above, Judaism lays all stress upon conduct, not confession; upon a
hallowed life, not a hollow creed.

2. There is no Biblical nor Rabbinical precept, “Thou shalt believe!”
Jewish thinkers felt all the more the need to point out as fundamentals or
roots of Judaism those doctrines upon which it rests, and from which it
derives its vital force. To the rabbis, the “root” of faith is the
recognition of a divine Judge to whom we owe account for all our
doings.(31) The recital of the _Shema_, which is called in the Mishnah
“accepting the yoke of God’s sovereignty,” and which is followed by the
solemn affirmation, “True and firm belief is this for us”(32) (_Emeth we
Yatzib_ or _Emeth we Emunah_), is, in fact, the earliest form of the
confession of faith.(33) In the course of time this confession of belief
in the unity of God was no longer deemed sufficient to serve as basis for
the whole structure of Judaism; so the various schools and authorities
endeavored to work out in detail a series of fundamental doctrines.

3. The Mishnah, in Sanhedrin, X, 1, which seems to date back to the
beginnings of Pharisaism, declares the following three to have no share in
the world to come: he who denies the resurrection of the dead; he who says
that the Torah—both the written and the oral Law—is not divinely revealed;
and the Epicurean, who does not believe in the moral government of the
world.(34) We find here (in reverse order, owing to historical
conditions), the beliefs in Revelation, Retribution, and the Hereafter
singled out as the three fundamentals of Rabbinical Judaism. Rabbi
Hananel, the great North African Talmudist, about the middle of the tenth
century, seems to have been under the influence of Mohammedan and Karaite
doctrines, when he speaks of four fundamentals of the faith: God, the
prophets, the future reward and punishment, and the Messiah.(35)

4. The doctrine of the One and Only God stands, as a matter of course, in
the foreground. Philo of Alexandria, at the end of his treatise on
Creation, singles out five principles which are bound up with it, viz.: 1,
God’s existence and His government of the world; 2, His unity; 3, the
world as His creation; 4, the harmonious plan by which it was established;
and 5, His Providence. Josephus, too, in his apology for Judaism written
against Apion,(36) emphasizes the belief in God’s all-encompassing
Providence, His incorporeality, and His self-sufficiency as the Creator of
the universe.

The example of Islam, which had very early formulated a confession of
faith of speculative character for daily recitation,(37) influenced first
Karaite and then Rabbanite teachers to elaborate the Jewish doctrine of
One Only God into a philosophic creed. The Karaites modeled their creed
after the Mohammedan pattern, which gave them ten articles of faith; of
these the first three dwelt on: 1, creation out of nothing; 2, the
existence of God, the Creator; 3, the unity and incorporeality of God.(38)

Abraham ben David (_Ibn Daud_) of Toledo sets forth in his “Sublime Faith”
six essentials of the Jewish faith: 1, the existence; 2, the unity; 3, the
incorporeality; 4, the omnipotence of God (to this he subjoins the
existence of angelic beings); 5, revelation and the immutability of the
Law; and 6, divine Providence.(39) Maimonides, the greatest of all
medieval thinkers, propounded thirteen articles of faith, which took the
place of a creed in the Synagogue for the following centuries, as they
were incorporated in the liturgy both in the form of a credo (_Ani
Maamin_) and in a poetic version. His first five articles were: 1, the
existence; 2, the unity; 3, the incorporeality; 4, the eternity of God;
and 5, that He alone should be the object of worship; to which we must add
his 10th, divine Providence.(40) Others, not satisfied with the purely
metaphysical form of the Maimonidean creed, accentuated the doctrines of
creation out of nothing and special Providence.(41)

This speculative form of faith, however, has been most severely denounced
by Samuel David Luzzatto (1800-1865) as “Atticism”;(42) that is, the
Hellenistic or philosophic tendency to consider religion as a purely
intellectual system, instead of the great dynamic force for man’s moral
and spiritual elevation. He holds that Judaism, as the faith transmitted
to us from Abraham, our ancestor, must be considered, not as a mere
speculative mode of reasoning, but as a moral life force, manifested in
the practice of righteousness and brotherly love. Indeed, this view is
supported by modern Biblical research, which brings out as the salient
point in Biblical teaching the ethical character of the God taught by the
prophets, and shows that the essential truth of revelation is not to be
found in a metaphysical but in an ethical monotheism. At the same time,
the fact must not be overlooked that the Jewish doctrine of God’s unity
was strengthened in the contest with the dualistic and trinitarian beliefs
of other religions, and that this unity gave Jewish thought both lucidity
and sublimity, so that it has surpassed other faiths in intellectual power
and in passion for truth. The Jewish conception of God thus makes _truth_,
as well as _righteousness_ and _love_, both a moral duty for man and a
historical task comprising all humanity.

5. The second fundamental article of the Jewish faith is divine
revelation, or, as the Mishnah expresses it, the belief that the Torah
emanates from God (_min ha shamayim_). In the Maimonidean thirteen
articles, this is divided into four: his 6th, belief in the prophets; 7,
in the prophecy of Moses as the greatest of all; 8, in the divine origin
of the Torah, both the written and the oral Law; and 9, its immutability.
The fundamental character of these, however, was contested by Hisdai
Crescas and his disciples, Simon Duran and Joseph Albo.(43) As a matter of
fact, they are based not so much upon Rabbinical teaching as upon the
prevailing views of Mohammedan theology,(44) and were undoubtedly dictated
by the desire to dispute the claims of Christianity and Islam that they
represented a higher revelation. Our modern historical view, however,
includes all human thought and belief; it therefore rejects altogether the
assumption of a supernatural origin of either the written or the oral
Torah, and insists that the subject of prophecy, revelation, and
inspiration in general be studied in the light of psychology and
ethnology, of general history and comparative religion.

6. The third fundamental article of the Jewish faith is the belief in a
moral government of the world, which manifests itself in the reward of
good and the punishment of evil, either here or hereafter. Maimonides
divides this into two articles, which really belong together, his 10th,
God’s knowledge of all human acts and motives, and 11, reward and
punishment. The latter includes the hereafter and the last Day of
Judgment, which, of course, applies to all human beings.

7. Closely connected with retribution is the belief in the resurrection of
the dead, which is last among the thirteen articles. This belief, which
originally among the Pharisees had a national and political character, and
was therefore connected especially with the Holy Land (as will be seen in
Chapter LIV below), received in the Rabbinical schools more and more a
universal form. Maimonides went so far as to follow the Platonic view
rather than that of the Bible or the Talmud, and thus transformed it into
a belief in the continuity of the soul after death. In this form, however,
it is actually a postulate, or corollary, of the belief in retribution.

8. The old hope for the national resurrection of Israel took in the
Maimonidean system the form of a belief in the coming of the Messiah
(article 12), to which, in the commentary on the Mishnah, he gives the
character of a belief in the restoration of the Davidic dynasty. Joseph
Albo, with others, disputes strongly the fundamental character of this
belief; he shows the untenability of Maimonides’ position by referring to
many Talmudic passages, and at the same time he casts polemical side
glances upon the Christian Church, which is really founded on Messianism
in the special form of its Christology.(45) Jehuda ha Levi, in his
_Cuzari_, substitutes for this as a fundamental doctrine the belief in the
election of Israel for its world-mission.(46) It certainly redounds to the
credit of the leaders of the modern Reform movement that they took the
election of Israel rather than the Messiah as their cardinal doctrine,
again bringing it home to the religious consciousness of the Jew, and
placing it at the very center of their system. In this way they reclaimed
for the Messianic hope the universal character which was originally given
it by the great seer of the Exile.(47)

9. The thirteen articles of Maimonides, in setting forth a Jewish _Credo_,
formed a vigorous opposition to the Christian and Mohammedan creeds; they
therefore met almost universal acceptance among the Jewish people, and
were given a place in the common prayerbook, in spite of their
deficiencies, as shown by Crescas and his school. Nevertheless, we must
admit that Crescas shows the deeper insight into the nature of religion
when he observes that the main fallacy of the Maimonidean system lies in
founding the Jewish faith on _speculative knowledge_, which is a matter of
the intellect, rather than _love_ which flows from the heart, and which
alone leads to piety and goodness. True love, he says, requires the belief
neither in retribution nor in immortality. Moreover, in striking contrast
to the insistence of Maimonides or the immutability of the Mosaic Law,
Crescas maintains the possibility of its continuous progress in accordance
with the intellectual and spiritual needs of the time, or, what amounts to
the same thing, the continuous perfectibility of the revealed Law
itself.(48) Thus the criticism of Crescas leads at once to a radically
different theology than that of Maimonides, and one which appeals far more
to our own religious thought.

10. Another doctrine of Judaism, which was greatly underrated by medieval
scholars, and which has been emphasized in modern times only in contrast
to the Christian theory of original sin, is that man was created in the
image of God. Judaism holds that the soul of man came forth pure from the
hand of its Maker, endowed with freedom, unsullied by any inherent evil or
inherited sin. Thus man is, through the exercise of his own free will,
capable of attaining to an ever higher degree his mental, moral, and
spiritual powers in the course of history. This is the Biblical idea of
God’s spirit as immanent in man; all prophetic truth is based upon it; and
though it was often obscured, this theory was voiced by many of the
masters of Rabbinical lore, such as R. Akiba and others.(49)

11. Every attempt to formulate the doctrines or articles of faith of
Judaism was made, in order to guard the Jewish faith from the intrusion of
foreign beliefs, never to impose disputed beliefs upon the Jewish
community itself. Many, indeed, challenged the fundamental character of
the thirteen articles of Maimonides. Albo reduced them to three, viz.: the
belief in God, in revelation, and retribution; others, with more
arbitrariness than judgement, singled out three, five, six, or even more
as principal doctrines;(50) while rigid conservatives, such as Isaac
Abravanel and David ben Zimra, altogether disapproved the attempt to
formulate articles of faith. The former maintained that every word in the
Torah is, in fact, a principle of faith, and the latter(51) pointed in the
same way to the 613 commandments of the Torah, spoken of by R. Simlai the
Haggadist in the third century.(52)

The present age of historical research imposes the same necessity of
restatement or reformulation upon us. We must do as Maimonides did,—as
Jews have always done,—point out anew the really fundamental doctrines,
and discard those which have lost their holdup on the modern Jew, or which
conflict directly with his religious consciousness. If Judaism is to
retain its prominent position among the powers of thought, and to be
clearly understood by the modern world, it must again reshape its
religious truths in harmony with the dominant ideas of the age.

Many attempts of this character have been made by modern rabbis and
teachers, most of them founded upon Albo’s three articles. Those who
penetrated somewhat more deeply into the essence of Judaism added a fourth
article, the belief in Israel’s priestly mission, and at the same time,
instead of the belief in retribution, included the doctrine of man’s
kinship with God, or, if one may coin the word, his _God-childship_.(53)
Few, however, have succeeded in working out the entire content of the
Jewish faith from a modern viewpoint, which must include historical,
critical, and psychological research, as well as the study of comparative

12. The following tripartite plan is that of the present attempt to
present the doctrines of Judaism systematically along the lines of
historical development:


_a._ Man’s consciousness of God, and divine revelation.

_b._ God’s spirituality, His unity, His holiness, His perfection.

_c._ His relation to the world: Creation and Providence.

_d._ His relation to man: His justice, His love and mercy.


_a._ Man’s God-childship; his moral freedom and yearning for God.

_b._ Sin and repentance; prayer and worship; immortality, reward and

_c._ Man and humanity: the moral factors in history.


_a._ The priest-mission of Israel, its destiny as teacher and martyr among
the nations, and its Messianic hope.

_b._ The Kingdom of God: the nations and religions of the world in a
divine plan of universal salvation.

_c._ The Synagogue and its institutions.

_d._ The ethics of Judaism and the Kingdom of God.


A. God As He Makes Himself Known To Man

Chapter V. Man’s Consciousness of God and Belief in God

1. Holy Writ employs two terms for religion, both of which lay stress upon
its moral and spiritual nature: _Yirath Elohim_—“fear of God”—and _Daath
Elohim_—“knowledge or consciousness of God.” Whatever the fear of God may
have meant in the lower stages of primitive religion, in the Biblical and
Rabbinical conceptions it exercises a wholesome moral effect; it stirs up
the conscience and keeps man from wrongdoing. Where fear of God is
lacking, violence and vice are rife;(54) it keeps society in order and
prompts the individual to walk in the path of duty. Hence it is called
“the beginning of wisdom.”(55) The divine revelation of Sinai accentuates
as its main purpose “to put the fear of God into the hearts of the people,
lest they sin.”(56)

2. God-consciousness, or “knowledge of God,” signifies an inner experience
which impels man to practice the right and to shun evil, the recognition
of God as the moral power of life. “Because there is no knowledge of God,”
therefore do the people heap iniquity upon iniquity, says Hosea, and he
hopes to see the broken covenant with the Lord renewed through
faithfulness grounded on the consciousness of God.(57) Jeremiah also
insists upon “the knowledge of God” as a moral force, and, like Hosea, he
anticipates the renewal of the broken covenant when “the Lord shall write
His law upon the heart” of the people, and “they shall all know Him from
the least of them unto the greatest of them.”(58) Wherever Scripture
speaks of “knowledge of God,”(59) it always means the moral and spiritual
recognition of the Deity as life’s inmost power, determining human
conduct, and by no means refers to mere intellectual perception of the
truth of Jewish monotheism, which is to refute the diverse forms of
polytheism. This misconception of the term “knowledge of God,” as used in
the Bible, led the leading medieval thinkers of Judaism, especially the
school of Maimonides, and even down to Mendelssohn, into the error of
confusing religion and philosophy, as if both resulted from pure reason.
It is man’s moral nature rather than his intellectual capacity, that leads
him “to know God and walk in His ways.”(60)

3. It is mainly through the _conscience_ that man becomes conscious of
God. He sees himself, a moral being, guided by motives which lend a
purpose to his acts and his omissions, and thus feels that this purpose of
his must somehow be in accord with a higher purpose, that of a Power who
directs and controls the whole of life. The more he sees purpose ruling
individuals and nations, the more will his God-consciousness grow into the
conviction that there is but One and Only God, who in awful grandeur holds
dominion over the world. This is the developmental process of religious
truth, as it is unfolded by the prophets and as it underlies the historic
framework of the Bible. In this light Jewish monotheism appears as the
ripe fruitage of religion in its universal as well as its primitive form
of God-consciousness, as the highest attainment of man in his eternal
seeking after God. Polytheism, on the other hand, with its idolatrous and
immoral practices, appeared to the prophets and lawgivers of Israel to be,
not a competing religion, but simply a falling away from God. They felt it
to be a loss or eclipse of the genuine God-consciousness. The object of
revelation, therefore, is to lead back all mankind to the God whom it had
deserted, and to restore to all men their primal consciousness of God,
with its power of moral regeneration.

4. In the same degree as this God-consciousness grows stronger, it
crystallizes into _belief_ in God, and culminates in _love_ of God. As
stated above,(61) in Judaism belief—_Emunah_—never denotes the acceptance
of a creed. It is rather the confiding trust by which the frail mortal
finds a _firm_ hold on God amidst the uncertainties and anxieties of life,
the search for His shelter in distress, the reliance on His ever-ready
help when one’s own powers fail. The believer is like a little child who
follows confidingly the guidance of his father, and feels safe when near
his arm. In fact, the double meaning of _Emunah_, faith and faithfulness,
suggests man’s child-like faith in the paternal faithfulness of God. The
patriarch Abraham is presented in both Biblical and Rabbinical writings as
the pattern of such a faith,(62) and the Jewish people likewise are
characterized in the Talmud as “believers, sons of believers.”(63) The
Midrash extols such life-cheering faith as the power which inspires true
heroism and deeds of valor.(64)

5. The highest triumph of God-consciousness, however, is attained in
_love_ of God such as can renounce cheerfully all the boons of life and
undergo the bitterest woe without a murmur. The book of Deuteronomy
inculcates love of God as the beginning and the end of the Law,(65) and
the rabbis declare it to be the highest type of human perfection. In
commenting upon the verse, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy might,” they say: “Love the
Law, even when thy life is demanded as its price, nay, even with the last
breath of thy body, with a heart that has no room for dissent, amid every
visitation of destiny!”(66) They point to the tragic martyrdom of R. Akiba
as an example of such a love sealed by death. In like manner they refer
the expression, “they that love Thee,”(67) to those who bear insults
without resentment; who hear themselves abused without retort; who do good
unselfishly, without caring for recognition; and who cheerfully suffer as
a test of their fortitude and their love of God.(68) Thus throughout all
Rabbinical literature love of God is regarded as the highest principle of
religion and as the ideal of human perfection, which was exemplified by
Job, according to the oldest Haggadah, and, according to the Mishnah, by
Abraham.(69) Another interpretation of the verse cited from Deuteronomy
reads, “Love God in such a manner that thy fellow-creatures may love Him
owing to thy deeds.”(70)

All these passages and many others(71) show what a prominent place the
principle of love occupied in Judaism. This is, indeed, best voiced in the
Song of Songs:(72) “For love is strong as death; the flashes thereof are
flashes of fire, a very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench that
love, neither can the floods drown it.” It set the heart of the Jew aglow
during all the centuries, prompting him to sacrifice his life and all that
was dear to him for the glorification of his God, to undergo for his faith
a martyrdom without parallel in history.

Chapter VI. Revelation, Prophecy, and Inspiration

1. Divine revelation signifies two different things: first, God’s
self-revelation, which the Rabbis called _Gilluy Shekinah_, “the
manifestation of the divine Presence,” and, second, the revelation of His
will, for which they used the term _Torah min ha Shamayim_, “the Law as
emanating from God.”(73) The former appealed to the child-like belief of
the Biblical age, which took no offense at anthropomorphic ideas, such as
the descent of God from heaven to earth, His appearing to men in some
visible form, or any other miracle; the latter appears to be more
acceptable to those of more advanced religious views. Both conceptions,
however, imply that the religious truth of revelation was communicated to
man by a special act of God.

2. Each creative act is a mystery beyond the reach of human observation.
In all fields of endeavor the flashing forth of genius impresses us as the
work of a mysterious force, which acts upon an elect individual or nation
and brings it into close touch with the divine. In the religious genius
especially is this true; for in him all the spiritual forces of the age
seem to be energized and set into motion, then to burst forth into a new
religious consciousness, which is to revolutionize religious thought and
feeling. In a child-like age when the emotional life and the imagination
predominate, and man’s mind, still receptive, is overwhelmed by mighty
visions, the Deity stirs the soul in some form perceptible to the senses.
Thus the “seer” assumes a trance-like state where the Ego, the
self-conscious personality, is pushed into the background; he becomes a
passive instrument, the mouthpiece of the Deity; from Him he receives a
message to the people, and in his vision he beholds God who sends him.
This appearance of God upon the background of the soul, which reflects Him
like a mirror, is Revelation.(74)

3. The states of the soul when men see such visions of the Deity
predominate in the beginnings of all religions. Accordingly, Scripture
ascribes such revelations to non-Israelites as well as to the patriarchs
and prophets of Israel,—to Abimelek and Laban, Balaam, Job, and
Eliphaz.(75) Therefore the Jewish prophet is not distinguished from the
rest by the capability to receive divine revelation, but rather by the
intrinsic nature of the revelation which he receives. His vision comes
from a moral God. The Jewish genius perceived God as the moral power of
life, whether in the form expressed by Abraham, Moses, Elijah, or by the
literary prophets, and all of these, coming into touch with Him, were
lifted into a higher sphere, where they received a new truth, hitherto
hidden from man. In speaking through them, God appeared actually to have
stepped into the sphere of human life as its moral Ruler. This
self-revelation of God as the Ruler of man in righteousness, which must be
viewed in the life of any prophet as a providential act, forms the great
historical sequence in the history of Israel, upon which rests the Jewish

4. The divine revelation in Israel was by no means a single act, but a
process of development, and its various stages correspond to the degrees
of culture of the people. For this reason the great prophets also depended
largely upon dreams and visions, at least in their consecration to the
prophetic mission, when one solemn act was necessary. After that the
message itself and its new moral content set the soul of the prophet
astir. Not the vision or its imagery, but the new truth itself seizes him
with irresistible force, so that he is carried away by the divine power
and speaks as the mouthpiece of God, using lofty poetic diction while in a
state of ecstacy. Hence he speaks of God in the _first_ person. The
highest stage of all is that where the prophet receives the divine truth
in the form of pure thought and with complete self-consciousness.
Therefore the Scripture says of Moses and of no other, “The Lord spoke to
Moses face to face, as a man speaks to another.”(77)

5. The story of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai is in reality the
revelation of God to the people of Israel as part of the great world-drama
of history. Accordingly, the chief emphasis is laid upon the miraculous
element, the descent of the Lord to the mountain in fire and storm, amid
thunder and lightning, while the Ten Words themselves were proclaimed by
Moses as God’s herald.(78) As a matter of fact, the first words of the
narrative state its purpose, the consecration of the Jewish people at the
outset of their history to be a nation of prophets and priests.(79)
Therefore the rabbis lay stress upon the acceptance of the Law by the
people in saying: “All that the Lord sayeth we shall do and hearken.”(80)
From a larger point of view, we see here the dramatized form of the truth
of Israel’s _election_ by divine Providence for its historic religious

6. The rabbis ascribed the gifts of prophecy to pagans as well as
Israelites at least as late as the erection of the Tabernacle, after which
the Divine Presence dwelt there in the midst of Israel.(81) They say that
each of the Jewish prophets was endowed with a peculiar spiritual power
that corresponded with his character and his special training, the
highest, of course, being Moses, whom they called “the father of the

The medieval Jewish thinkers, following the lead of Mohammedan
philosophers or theologians, regard revelation quite differently, as an
_inner_ process in the mind of the prophet. According to their mystical or
rationalistic viewpoint, they describe it as the result of the divine
spirit, working upon the soul either from within or from without. These
two standpoints betray either the Platonic or the Aristotelian
influence.(83) Indeed, the rabbis themselves showed traces of
neo-Platonism when they described the ecstatic state of the prophets, or
when they spoke of the divine spirit speaking through the prophet as
through a vocal instrument, or when they made distinctions between seeing
the Deity “in a bright mirror” or “through a dark glass.”(84)

The view most remote from the simple one of the Bible is the rationalistic
standpoint of Maimonides, who, following altogether in the footsteps of
the Arabic neo-Aristotelians, assumed that there were different degrees of
prophecy, depending upon the influence exerted upon the human intellect by
the sphere of the Highest Intelligence. He enumerates eleven such grades,
of which Moses had the highest rank, as he entered into direct
communication with the supreme intellectual sphere. Still bolder is his
explanation of the revelation on Sinai. He holds that the first two words
were understood by the people directly as logical evidences of truth, for
they enunciated the philosophical doctrines of the existence and unity of
God, whereas the other words they understood only as sounds without
meaning, so that Moses had to interpret them.(85) In contrast to this
amazing rationalism of Maimonides is the view of Jehuda ha Levi, who
asserts that the gift of prophecy became the specific privilege of the
descendants of Abraham after their consecration as God’s chosen people at
Sinai, and that the holy soil of Palestine was assigned to them as the
habitation best adapted to its exercise.(86) The other attempt of some
rationalistic thinkers of the Middle Ages to have a “sound created for the
purpose”(87) of uttering the words “I am the Lord thy God,” rather than
accepting the anthropomorphic Deity, merits no consideration whatever.

7. It is an indisputable fact of history that the Jewish people, on
account of its peculiar religious bent, was predestined to be the people
of revelation. Its leading spirits, its prophets and psalmists, its
law-givers and inspired writers differ from the seers, singers, and sages
of other nations by their unique and profound insight into the moral
nature of the Deity. In striking contrast is the progress of thought in
Greece, where the awakening of the ethical consciousness caused a rupture
between the culture of the philosophers and the popular religion, and led
to a final decay of the political and social life. The prophets of Israel,
however, the typical men of genius of their people, gradually brought
about an advance of popular religion, so that they could finally present
as their highest ideal the God of the fathers, and make the knowledge of
His will the foundation of the law of holiness, by which they desired to
regulate the entire conduct of man. Thus, religion was no longer confined
by the limits of nationality, but was transformed into a spiritual force
for all mankind, to lead through a revelation of the One and Holy God
toward the highest morality.

8. The development of thought brought the God-seeking spirits to the
desire to know His will, or, in Scriptural language, His ways, in order to
attain holiness in their pursuit. The natural consequence was the gradual
receding of the power of imagination which had made the enraptured seer
behold God Himself in visions. As the Deity rose more and more above the
realm of the visible, the newly conceived truth was realized as coming to
the sacred writer through the spirit of God or an angel. _Inspiration_
took the place of _revelation_. This, however, still implies a passive
attitude of the soul carried away by the truth it receives from on high.
This supernatural element disappears gradually and passes over into sober,
self-conscious thought, in which the writer no longer thinks of God as the
Ego speaking through him, but as an outside Power spoken of in the third

A still lower degree of inspiration is represented by those writings which
lack altogether the divine afflatus, and to which is ascribed a share of
the holy spirit only through general consensus of opinion. Often this
imprint of the divine is not found in them by the calm judgment of a later
generation, and the exact basis for the classification of such writings
among the holy books is sometimes difficult to state. We can only conclude
that in the course of time they were regarded as holy by that very spirit
which was embodied in the Synagogue and its founders, “the Men of the
Great Synagogue,” who in their work of canonizing the Sacred Scriptures
were believed to have been under the influence of the holy spirit.(88)

9. Except for the five books of Moses, the idea of a mechanical
inspiration of the Bible is quite foreign to Judaism. Not until the second
Christian century did the rabbis finally decide on such questions as the
inspiration of certain books among the Hagiographa or even among the
Prophets, or whether certain books now excluded from the canon were not of
equal rank with the canonical ones.(89) In fact, the influence of the holy
spirit was for some time ascribed, not only to Biblical writers, but also
to living masters of the law.(90) The fact is that divine influence cannot
be measured by the yardstick or the calendar. Where it is felt, it bursts
forth as from a higher world, creating for itself its proper organs and
forms. The rabbis portray God as saying to Israel, “Not I in My higher
realm, but you with your human needs fix the form, the measure, the time,
and the mode of expression for that which is divine.”(91)

10. While Christianity and Islam, its daughter-religions, must admit the
existence of a prior revelation, Judaism knows of none. It claims its own
prophetic truth as _the_ revelation, admits the title Books of Revelation
(Bible) only for its own sacred writings, and calls the Jewish nation
alone the People of Revelation. The Church and the Mosque achieved great
things in propagating the truths of the Sinaitic revelation among the
nations, but added to it no new truths of an essential nature. Indeed,
they rather obscured the doctrines of God’s unity and holiness. On the
other hand, the people of the Sinaitic revelation looked to it with a view
of ever revitalizing the dead letter, thus evolving ever new rules of life
and new ideas, without ever placing new and old in opposition, as was done
by the founder of the Church. Each generation was to take to heart the
words of Scripture as if they had come “this very day” out of the mouth of
the Lord.(92)

Chapter VII. The Torah—the Divine Instruction

1. During the Babylonian Exile the prophetic word became the source of
comfort and rejuvenation for the Jewish people. Now in its place Ezra the
Scribe made the Book of the Law of Moses the pivot about which the entire
life of the people was to revolve. By regular readings from it to the
assembled worshipers, he made it the source of common instruction. Instead
of the priestly Law, which was concerned only with the regulation of the
ritual life, the Law became the people’s book of instruction, a Torah for
all alike,(93) while the prophetic books were made secondary and were
employed by the preacher at the conclusion of the service as “words of
consolation.”(94) Upon the Pentateuch was built up the divine service of
the Synagogue as well as the whole system of communal life, with both its
law and ethics. The prophets and other sacred books were looked upon only
as means of “opening up” or illustrating the contents of the Torah. These
other parts of the _Mikra_ (“the collection of books for public reading”)
were declared to be inferior in holiness, so that, according to the
Rabbinical rule, they were not even allowed to be put into the same scroll
as the Pentateuch.(95) Moreover, neither the number, order, nor the
division of the Biblical books was fixed. The Talmud gives 24, Josephus
only 22.(96) Tradition claims a completely divine origin only for the
Pentateuch or Torah, while the rabbis often point out the human element in
the other two classes of the Biblical collection.(97)

2. The traditional belief in the divine origin of the Torah includes not
only every word, but also the accepted interpretation of each letter, for
both written and oral law are ascribed to the revelation to Moses on Mt.
Sinai, to be transmitted thence from generation to generation. Whoever
denies the divine origin of either the written or the oral law is declared
to be an unbeliever who has no share in the world to come, according to
the Tannaitic code, and consequently according to Maimonides(98) also. But
here arises a question of vital importance: What becomes of the Torah as
the divine foundation of Judaism under the study of modern times? Even
conservative investigators, such as Frankel, Graetz, and Isaac Hirsch
Weiss, not to mention such radicals as Zunz and Geiger, admit the gradual
progress and growth of this very system of law, both oral and written. And
if different historical conditions have produced the development of the
law itself, we must assume a number of human authors in place of a single
act of divine revelation.(99)

3. But another question of equal importance confronts us here, the meaning
of Torah. Originally, no doubt, Torah signified the instruction given by
the priests on ritual or juridical matters. Out of these decisions arose
the written laws (_Toroth_), which the priesthood in the course of time
collected into codes. After a further process of development they appeared
as the various books of Moses, which were finally united into _the Code_
or _Torah_. This Torah was the foundation of the new Judean commonwealth,
the “heritage of the congregation of Jacob.”(100) The priestly Torah,
lightly regarded during the prophetic period, was exalted by post-exilic
Judaism, so that the Sadducean priesthood and their successors, the
rabbis, considered strict observance of the legal form to be the very
essence of religion. Is this, then, the true nature of Judaism? Is it
really—as Christian theologians have held ever since the days of Paul, the
great antagonist of Judaism—mere nomism, a religion of law, which demanded
formal compliance with its statutes without regard to their inner value?
Or shall we rather follow Rabbi Simlai, the Haggadist, who first
enumerated the 613 commandments of the Torah (mandatory and prohibitive),
considering that their one aim is the higher _moral law_, in that they are
all summed up by a few ethical principles, which he finds in the 15th
Psalm, Isaiah XXXIII, 15; Micah VI, 8; Isaiah LVI, 1; and Amos V, 4?(101)

4. All these questions have but one answer, a reconciling one, Judaism has
the two factors, the priest with his regard for the law and the prophet
with his ethical teaching; and the Jewish Torah embodies both aspects, law
and doctrine. These two elements became more and more correlated, as the
different parts of the Pentateuch which embodied them were molded together
into the one scroll of the Law. In fact, the prophet Jeremiah, in
denouncing the priesthood for its neglect of the principles of justice,
and rebuking scathingly the people for their wrongdoing, pointed to the
divine law of righteousness as the one which should be written upon the
hearts of men.(102) Likewise, in the book of Deuteronomy, which was the
product of joint activity by prophet and priest, the Law was built upon
the highest moral principle, the love of God and man. In a still larger
sense the Pentateuch as a whole contains priestly law and universal
religion intertwined. In it the eternal verities of the Jewish faith,
God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and moral government of the world, are
conveyed in the historical narratives as an introduction to the law.

5. Thus the Torah as the expression of Judaism was never limited to a mere
system of law. At the outset it served as a book of instruction concerning
God and the world and became ever richer as a source of knowledge and
speculation, because all knowledge from other sources was brought into
relation with it through new modes of interpretation. Various systems of
philosophy and theology were built upon it. Nay more, the Torah became
divine Wisdom itself,(103) the architect of the Creator, the beginning and
end of creation.(104)

While the term Torah thus received an increasingly comprehensive meaning,
the rabbis, as exponents of orthodox Judaism, came to consider the
Pentateuch as the only book of revelation, every letter of which emanated
directly from God. The other books of the Bible they regarded as due only
to the indwelling of the holy spirit, or to the presence of God, the
_Shekinah_. Moreover, they held that changes by the prophets and other
sacred writers were anticipated, in essentials, in the Torah itself, and
were therefore only its expansions and interpretations. Accordingly, they
are frequently quoted as parts of the Torah or as “words of

6. Orthodox Judaism, then, accepted as a fundamental doctrine the view
that both the Mosaic Law and its Rabbinical interpretation were given by
God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. This viewpoint is contradicted by all our
knowledge and our whole mode of thinking, and thus both our historical and
religious consciousness constrain us to take the position of the prophets.
To them and to us the real Torah is the unwritten moral law which
underlies the precepts of both the written law and its oral
interpretation. From this point of view, Moses, as the first of the
prophets, becomes the first mediator of the divine legislation, and the
original Decalogue is seen to be the starting point of a long process of
development, from which grew the laws of righteousness and holiness that
were to rule the life of Israel and of mankind.(106)

7. The time of composition of the various parts of the Pentateuch,
including the Decalogue, must be decided by independent critical and
historical research. It is sufficient for us to know that since the time
of Ezra the foundation of Judaism has been the completed Torah, with its
twofold aspect as _law_ and as _doctrine_. As _law_ it contributed to the
marvelous endurance and resistance of the Jewish people, inasmuch as it
imbued them with the proud consciousness of possessing a law superior to
that of other nations, one which would endure as long as heaven and
earth.(107) Furthermore, it permeated Judaism with a keen sense of duty
and imprinted the ideal of holiness upon the whole of life. At the same
time it gave rise also to ritualistic piety, which, while tenaciously
clinging to the traditional practice of the law, fostered hair-splitting
casuistry and caused the petrifaction of religion in the codified Halakah.
As _doctrine_ it impressed its ethical and humane idealism upon the
people, lifting them far above the narrow confines of nationality, and
making them a nation of thinkers. Hence their eagerness for their mission
to impart the wisdom stored in their writings to all humanity as its
highest boon and the very essence of divine wisdom.

Chapter VIII. God’s Covenant

1. Judaism has one specific term for religion, representing the moral
relation between God and man, namely, _Berith_, covenant. The covenant was
concluded by God with the patriarchs and with Israel by means of
sacrificial blood, according to the primitive custom by which tribes or
individuals became “blood brothers,” when they were both sprinkled with
the sacrificial blood or both drank of it.(108) The first covenant of God
was made after the flood, with Noah as the representative of mankind; it
was intended to assure him and all coming generations of the perpetual
maintenance of the natural order without interruption by flood, and at the
same time to demand of all mankind the observance of certain laws, such as
not to shed, or eat, blood. Here at the very beginning of history religion
is taken as the universal basis of human morality, so developing at the
outset the fundamental principle of Judaism that it rests upon a religion
of humanity, which it desires to establish in all purity. As the universal
idea of man forms thus its beginning, so Judaism will attain its final
goal only in a divine covenant comprising all humanity. Both the rabbis
and the Hellenistic writers consider the covenant of Noah with its
so-called Noahitic commandments as unwritten laws of humanity. In fact,
they are referred to Adam also, so that religion appears in its essence as
nothing else than a covenant of God with all mankind.(109)

2. Accordingly, Judaism is a special basis of relationship between God and
Israel. Far from superseding the universal covenant with Noah, or
confining it to the Jewish people, this covenant aims to reclaim all
members of the human family for the wider covenant from which they have
relapsed. God chose for this purpose Abraham as the one who was faithful
to His moral law, and made a special covenant with him for all his
descendants, that they might foster justice and righteousness, at first
within the narrow sphere of the nation, and then in ever-widening circles
of humanity.(110) Yet the covenant with Abraham was only the precursor of
the covenant concluded with Israel through Moses on Mt. Sinai, by which
the Jewish people were consecrated to be the eternal guardians of the
divine covenant with mankind, until the time when it shall encompass all
the nations.(111)

3. In this covenant of Sinai, referred to by the prophet Elijah, and
afterward by many others, the free moral relationship of man to God is
brought out; this forms the characteristic feature of a revealed religion
in contradistinction to natural religion. In paganism the Deity formed an
inseparable part of the nation itself; but through the covenant God became
a free moral power, appealing for allegiance to the spiritual nature of
man. This idea of the covenant suggested to the prophet Hosea the analogy
with the conjugal relation,(112) a conception of love and loyalty which
became typical of the tender relation of God to Israel through the
centuries. In days of direst woe Jeremiah and the book of Deuteronomy
invested this covenant with the character of indestructibility and
inviolability.(113) God’s covenant with Israel is everlasting like that
with the heaven and the earth; it is ever to be renewed in the hearts of
the people, but never to be replaced by a new covenant. Upon this eternal
renewal of the covenant with God rests the unique history of Judaism, its
wondrous preservation and regeneration throughout the ages. Paul’s
doctrine of a new covenant to replace the old(114) conflicts with the very
idea of the covenant, and even with the words of Jeremiah.

4. The Israelitish nation inherited from Abraham, according to the
priestly Code, the rite of _circumcision_ as a “sign of the
covenant,”(115) but under the prophetic influence, with its loathing of
all sacrificial blood, the _Sabbath_ was placed in the foreground as “the
sign between God and Israel.”(116) In ancient Israel and in the Judean
commonwealth the Abrahamitic rite formed the initiation into the
nationality for aliens and slaves, by which they were made full-fledged
Jews. With the dispersion of the Jewish people over the globe, and the
influence of Hellenism, Judaism created a propaganda in favor of a
world-wide religion of “God-fearing” men pledged to the observance of the
Noahitic or humanitarian laws. Rabbinism in Palestine called such a one
_Ger Toshab_—sojourner, or semi-proselyte; while the full proselyte who
accepted the Abrahamitic rite was called _Ger Zedek_, or proselyte of
righteousness.(117) Not only the Hellenistic writings, but also the
Psalms, the liturgy, and the older Rabbinical literature give evidence of
such a propaganda,(118) but it may be traced back as far as
Deutero-Isaiah, during the reign of Cyrus. His outlook toward a Jewish
religion which should be at the same time a religion of all the world, is
evident when he calls Israel “a mediator of the covenant between God and
the nations,” a “light to the peoples,”—a regenerator of humanity.(119)

5. This hope of a universal religion, which rings through the Psalms, the
Wisdom books and the Hellenistic literature, was soon destined to grow
faint. The perils of Judaism in its great struggles with the Syrian and
Roman empires made for intense nationalism, and the Jewish covenant shared
this tendency. The early Christian Church, the successor of the missionary
activity of Hellenistic Judaism, labored also at first for the Noahitic
covenant.(120) Pauline Christianity, however, with a view to tearing down
the barrier between Jew and Gentile, proclaimed a new covenant, whose
central idea is belief in the atoning power of the crucified son of
God.(121) Indeed, one medieval Rabbinical authority holds that we are to
regard Christians as semi-proselytes, as they practically observe the
Noahitic laws of humanity.(122)

6. Progressive Judaism of our own time has the great task of
re-emphasizing Israel’s world-mission and of reclaiming for Judaism its
place as the priesthood of humanity. It is to proclaim anew the prophetic
idea of God’s covenant with humanity, whose force had been lost, owing to
inner and outer obstacles. Israel, as the people of the covenant, aims to
unite all nations and classes of men in the divine covenant. It must
outlast all other religions in its certainty that ultimately there can be
but the one religion, uniting God and man by a single bond.(123)

B. The Idea Of God In Judaism

Chapter IX. God and the Gods

1. Judaism centers upon its sublime and simple conception of God. This
lifts it above all other religions and satisfies in unique measure the
longing for truth and inner peace amidst the futility and incessant
changes of earthly existence. This very conception of God is in striking
contrast to that of most other religions. The God of Judaism is not one
god among many, nor one of many powers of life, but is _the One_ and holy
God beyond all comparison. In Him is concentrated all power and the
essence of all things; He is the Author of all existence, the Ruler of
life, who lays down the laws by which man shall live. As the prophet says
to the heathen world: “The gods that have not made the heavens and the
earth, these shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens....
Not like these is the portion of Jacob; for He is the Former of all
things.... The Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the
everlasting King; at His wrath the earth trembleth, and the nations are
not able to abide His indignation.”(124)

2. This lofty conception of the Deity forms the essence of Judaism and was
its shield and buckler in its lifelong contest with the varying forms of
heathenism. From the very first the God of Judaism declared war against
them all, whether at any special time the prevailing form was the worship
of many gods, or the worship of God in the shape of man, the perversion of
the purity of God by sensual concepts, or the division of His unity into
different parts or personalities. The Talmudic saying is most striking:
“From Sinai, the Mount of revelation of the only God, there came forth
_Sinah_, the hostility of the nations toward the Jew as the banner-bearer
of the pure idea of God.”(125) Just as day and night form a natural
contrast, divinely ordained, so do the monotheism of Israel and the
polytheism of the nations constitute a spiritual contrast which can never
be reconciled.

3. The pagan gods, and to some extent the triune God of the Christian
Church, semi-pagan in origin also, are the outcome of the human spirit’s
going astray in its search for God. Instead of leading man upwards to an
ideal which will encompass all material and moral life and lift it to the
highest stage of holiness, paganism led to depravity and discord. The
unrelenting zeal displayed by prophet and law-giver against idolatry had
its chief cause in the immoral and inhuman practices of the pagan
nations—Canaan, Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon—in the worship of their
deities.(126) The deification of the forces of nature brutalized the moral
sense of the pagan world; no vice seemed too horrible, no sacrifice too
atrocious for their cults. Baal, or Moloch, the god of heaven, demanded in
times of distress the sacrifice of a son by the father. Astarte, the
goddess of fecundity, required the “hallowing” of life’s origin, and this
was done by the most terrible of sexual orgies. Such abominations exerted
their seductive influence upon the shepherd tribes of Israel in their new
home in Canaan, and thus aroused the fiercest indignation of prophet and
law-giver, who hurled their vials of wrath against those shocking rites,
those lewd idols, and those who “whored after them.”(127) If Israel was to
be trained to be the priest people of the Only One in such an environment,
tolerance of such practices was out of the question. Thus in the Sinaitic
law God is spoken of as “the jealous God”(128) who punishes unrelentingly
every violation of His laws of purity and holiness.

4. The same sharp contrast of Jewish ethical and spiritual monotheism
remained also when it came in contact with the Græco-Syrian and Roman
culture. Here, too, the myths and customs of the cult and the popular
religion offended by their gross sensuality the chaste spirit of the
Jewish people. Indeed, these were all the more dangerous to the purity of
social life, as they were garbed with the alluring beauty of art and
philosophy.(129) The Jew then felt all the more the imperative duty to
draw a sharp line of demarcation between Judaism with its chaste and
imageless worship and the lascivious, immoral life of paganism.

5. This wide gulf which yawned between Israel’s One and holy God and the
divinities of the nations was not bridged over by the Christian Church
when it appeared on the stage of history and obtained world-dominion. For
Christianity in its turn succeeded by again dragging the Deity into the
world of the senses, adopting the pagan myths of the birth and death of
the gods, and sanctioning image worship. In this way it actually created a
Christian plurality of gods in place of the Græco-Roman pantheon; indeed,
it presented a divine family after the model of the Egyptian and
Babylonian religions,(130) and thus pushed the ever-living God and Father
of mankind into the background. This tendency has never been explained
away, even by the attempts of certain high-minded thinkers among the
Church fathers. Judaism, however, insists, as ever, upon the words of the
Decalogue which condemn all attempts to depict the Deity in human or
sensual form, and through all its teachings there is echoed forth the
voice of Him who spoke through the seer of the Exile: “I am the Lord, that
is My name, and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to
graven images.”(131)

6. When Moses came to Pharaoh saying, “Thus speaketh JHVH the God of
Israel, send off My people that they may serve Me,” Pharaoh—so the Midrash
tells—took his list of deities to hand, looked it over, and said, “Behold,
here are enumerated the gods of the nations, but I cannot find thy God
among them.” To this Moses replied, “All the gods known and familiar to
thee are mortal, as thou art; they die, and their tomb is shown. The God
of Israel has nothing in common with them. He is the living, true, and
eternal God who created heaven and earth; no people can withstand His
wrath.”(132) This passage states strikingly the difference between the God
of Judaism and the gods of heathendom. The latter are but deified powers
of nature, and being parts of the world, themselves at one with nature,
they are subject to the power of time and fate. Israel’s God is enthroned
above the world as its moral and spiritual Ruler, the only Being whom we
can conceive as self-existent, as indivisible as truth itself.

7. As long as the pagan conception prevailed, by which the world was
divided into many divine powers, there could be no conception of the idea
of a moral government of the universe, of an all-encompassing purpose of
life. Consequently the great thinkers and moralists of heathendom were
forced to deny the deities, before they could assert either the unity of
the cosmos or a design in life. On the other hand, it was precisely this
recognition of the moral nature of God, as manifested both in human life
and in the cosmic sphere, which brought the Jewish prophets and sages to
their pure monotheism, in which they will ultimately be met by the great
thinkers of all lands and ages. The unity of God brings harmony into the
intellectual and moral world; the division of the godhead into different
powers or personalities leads to discord and spiritual bondage. Such is
the lesson of history, that in polytheism, dualism, or trinitarianism one
of the powers must necessarily limit or obscure another. In this manner
the Christian Trinity led mankind in many ways to the lowering of the
supreme standard of truth, to an infringement on justice, and to
inhumanity to other creeds, and therefore Judaism could regard it only as
a compromise with heathenism.

8. Judaism assumed, then, toward paganism an attitude of rigid exclusion
and opposition which could easily be taken for hostility. This prevailed
especially in the legal systems of the Bible and the rabbis, and was
intended primarily to guard the monotheistic belief from pagan pollution
and to keep it intact. Neither in the Deuteronomic law nor in the late
codes of Maimonides and Joseph Caro is there any toleration for idolatrous
practices, for instruments of idol-worship, or for idolaters.(133) This
attitude gave the enemies of the Jew sufficient occasion for speaking of
the Jewish God as hating the world, as if only national conceit underlay
the earnest rigor of Jewish monotheism.

9. As a matter of fact, since the time of the prophets Judaism has had no
national God in any exclusive sense. While the Law insists upon the
exclusive worship of the one God of Israel, the narratives of the
beginnings in the Bible have a different tenor. They take the lofty
standpoint that the heathen world, while worshiping its many divinities,
had merely lost sight of the true God after whom the heart ever longs and
searches. This implies that a kernel of true piety underlies all the error
and delusion of paganism, which, rightly guided, will lead back to the God
from whom mankind had strayed. The Godhead, divided into gods—as is hinted
even in the Biblical name, _Elohim_—must again become the one God of
humanity. Thus the Jew holds that all worship foreshadows the search for
the true God, and that all humanity shall at one time acknowledge Him for
whom they have so long been searching. Surely the Psalms express, not
national narrowness, but ardent love for humanity when they hail the God
of Israel, the Maker of heaven and earth, as the world’s great King, and
tell how He will judge the nations in justice, while the gods of the
nations will be rejected as “vanities.”(134) Nor does the divine service
of the Jew bear the stamp of clannishness. For more than two thousand
years the central point in the Synagogue liturgy every morning and evening
has been the battle-cry, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is
One.” And so does the conclusion of every service, the _Alenu_, the solemn
prayer of adoration, voice the grand hope of the Jew for the future, that
the time may speedily come when “before the kingdom of Almighty all
idolatry shall vanish, and all the inhabitants of the earth perceive that
unto Him alone every knee must bend, and all flesh recognize Him alone as
God and King.”(135)

Chapter X. The Name of God

1. Primitive men attached much importance to names, for to them the name
of a thing indicated its nature, and through the name one could obtain
mastery over the thing or person named. Accordingly, the name of God was
considered to be the manifestation of His being; by invoking it man could
obtain some of His power; and the place where that name was called became
the seat of His presence. Therefore the name must be treated with the same
reverential awe as the Deity Himself. None dare approach the Deity, nor
misuse the Name. The pious soul realized the nearness of the Deity in
hearing His name pronounced. Finally, the different names of God reflect
the different conceptions of Him which were held in various periods.(136)

2. The Semites were not like the Aryan nations, who beheld the essence of
their gods in the phenomena of nature such as light, rain, thunder, and
lightning,—and gave them corresponding names and titles. The more intense
religious emotionalism of the Semites(137) perceived the Godhead rather as
a power working from within, and accordingly gave it such names as _El_
(“the Mighty One”), _Eloha_ or _Pahad_ (“the Awful One”), or _Baal_ (“the
Master”). _Elohim_, the plural form of _Eloha_, denoted originally the
godhead as divided into a number of gods or godly beings, that is,
polytheism. When it was applied to God, however, it was generally
understood as a _unity_, referring to one undivided Godhead, for Scripture
regarded monotheism as original with mankind. While this view is
contradicted by the science of comparative religion, still the ideal
conception of religion, based on the universal consciousness of God,
postulates one God who is the aim of all human searching, a fact which the
term Henotheism fails to recognize.(138)

3. For the patriarchal age, the preliminary stage in the development of
the Jewish God-idea, Scripture gives a special name for God, _El
Shaddai_—“the Almighty God.” This probably has a relation to _Shod_,
“storm” or “havoc” and “destruction,” but was interpreted as supreme Ruler
over the celestial powers.(139) The name by which God revealed Himself to
Moses and the prophets as the God of the covenant with Israel is JHVH
(Jahveh). This name is inseparably connected with the religious
development of Judaism in all its loftiness and depth. During the period
of the Second Temple this name was declared too sacred for utterance,
except by the priests in certain parts of the service, and for mysterious
use by specially initiated saints. Instead, _Adonai_—“the Lord”—was
substituted for it in the Biblical reading, a usage which has continued
for over two thousand years. The meaning of the name in pre-Mosaic times
may be inferred from the fiery storms which accompanied each theophany in
the various Scriptural passages, as well as from the root havah, which
means “throw down” and “overthrow.”(140)

To the prophets, however, the God of Sinai, enthroned amid clouds of storm
and fire, moving before His people in war and peace, appeared rather as
the God of the Covenant, without image or form, unapproachable in His
holiness. As the original meaning of JHVH had become unintelligible, they
interpreted the name as “the ever present One,” in the sense of _Ehyeh
asher Ehyeh_, “I shall be whatever (or wherever) I am to be”; that is, “I
am ever ready to help.” Thus spoke God to Moses in revealing His name to
him at the burning bush.(141)

4. The prophetic genius penetrated more and more into the nature of God,
recognising Him as the Power who rules in justice, mercy, and holiness.
This process brought them to identify JHVH, the God of the covenant, with
the One and only God who overlooks all the world from his heavenly
habitation, and gives it plan and purpose. At the same time, all the
prophets revert to the covenant on Sinai in order to proclaim Israel as
the herald and witness of God among the nations. In fact, the God of the
covenant proclaimed His universality at the very beginning, in the
introduction to the Decalogue: “Ye shall be Mine own peculiar possession
from among all peoples, for all the earth is Mine. And ye shall be unto Me
a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”(142) In other words,—you have the
special task of mediator among the nations, all of which are under My

5. In the Wisdom literature and the Psalms the God of the covenant is
subordinated to the universality of JHVH as Creator and Ruler of the
world. In a number of the Psalms and in some later writings the very name
JHVH was avoided probably on account of its particularistic tinge. It was
surrounded more and more with a certain mystery. Instead, God as the
“Lord” is impressed on the consciousness and adoration of men, in all His
sublimity and in absolute unity. The “Name” continues its separate
existence only in the mystic lore. The name _Jehovah_, however, has no
place whatsoever in Judaism. It is due simply to a misreading of the vowel
signs that refer to the word _Adonai_, and has been erroneously adopted in
the Christian literature since the beginning of the sixteenth

6. Perhaps the most important process of spiritualization which the idea
of God underwent in the minds of the Jewish people was made when the name
JHVH as the proper name of the God of the covenant was given up and
replaced by _Adonai_—“the Lord.” As long as the God of Israel, like other
deities, had His proper name, he was practically one of them, however
superior in moral worth. As soon as He became _the_ Lord, that is, the
only real God over all the world, a distinctive proper noun was out of
place. Henceforth the name was invested with a mysterious and magic
character. It became ineffable, at least to the people at large, and its
pronunciation sinful, except by the priests in the liturgy. In fact, the
law was interpreted so as directly to forbid this utterance.(144) Thus
JHVH is no longer the national God of Israel. The Talmud guards against
the very suspicion of a “Judaized God” by insisting that every benediction
to Him as “God the Lord” must add “King of the Universe” rather than the
formula of the Psalms, “God of Israel.”(145)

7. The Midrash makes a significant comment on the words of the Shema: “Why
do the words, ‘the Lord is our God’ precede the words, ‘the Lord is One’?
Does not the particularism of the former conflict with the universalism of
the latter sentence? No. The former expresses the idea that the Lord is
‘our God’ just so far as His name is more intertwined with our history
than with that of any other nation, and that we have the greater
obligation as His chosen people. Wherever Scripture speaks of the God of
Israel, it does not intend to limit Him as the universal God, but to
emphasize Israel’s special duty as His priest-people.”(146)

8. Likewise is the liturgical name “God of our fathers” far from being a
nationalistic limitation. On the contrary, the rabbis single out Abraham
as the missionary, the herald of monotheism in its march to
world-conquest. For his use of the term, “the God of heaven and the God of
the earth”(147) they offer a characteristic explanation: “Before Abraham
came, the people worshiped only the God of heaven, but Abraham by winning
them for his God brought Him down and made Him also the God of the

9. Reverence for the Deity caused the Jew to avoid not only the utterance
of the holy Name itself, but even the common use of its substitute
_Adonai_. Therefore still other synonyms were introduced, such as “Master
of the universe,” “the Holy One, blessed be He,” “the Merciful One,” “the
Omnipotence” (_ha Geburah_),(149) “King of the kings of kings” (under
Persian influence—as the Persian ruler called himself the King of
Kings);(150) and in Hasidean circles it became customary to invoke God as
“our Father” and “our Father in heaven.”(151) The rather strange
appellations for God, “Heaven”(152) and (dwelling) “Place” (_ha Makom_)
seem to originate in certain formulas of the oath. In the latter name the
rabbis even found hints of God’s omnipresence: “As
space—_Makom_—encompasses all things, so does God encompass the world
instead of being encompassed by it.”(153)

10. The rabbis early read a theological meaning into the two names JHVH
and _Elohim_, taking the former as the divine attribute of _mercy_ and the
latter as that of _justice_.(154) In general, however, the former name was
explained etymologically as signifying eternity, “He who is, who was, and
who shall be.” Philo shows familiarity with the two attributes of justice
and mercy, but he and other Alexandrian writers explained JHVH and _Ehyeh_
metaphysically, and accordingly called God, “the One who is,” that is, the
Source of all existence. Both conceptions still influence Jewish exegesis
and account for the term “the Eternal” sometimes used for “the Lord.”

Chapter XI. The Existence of God

1. For the religious consciousness, God is not to be demonstrated by
argument, but is a fact of inner and outer experience. Whatever the origin
and nature of the cosmos may be according to natural science, the soul of
man follows its natural bent, as in the days of Abraham, to look through
nature to the Maker, Ordainer, and Ruler of all things, who uses the
manifold world of nature only as His workshop, and who rules it in freedom
as its sovereign Master. The entire cosmic life points to a Supreme Being
from whom all existence must have arisen, and without whom life and
process would be impossible. Still even this mode of thought is influenced
and determined by the prevalent monotheistic conceptions.

Far more original and potent in man is the feeling of limitation and
dependency. This brings him to bow down before a higher Power, at first in
fear and trembling, but later in holy awe and reverence. As soon as man
attains self-consciousness and his will acquires purpose, he encounters a
will stronger than his own, with which he often comes into conflict, and
before which he must frequently yield. Thus he becomes conscious of
duty—of what he ought and ought not to do. This is not, like earlier
limitations, purely physical and working from without; it is moral and
operates from within. It is the sense of duty, or, as we call it,
_conscience_, the sense of right and wrong. This awakened very early in
the race, and through it God’s voice has been perceived ever since the
days of Adam and of Cain.(155)

2. According to Scripture, man in his natural state possesses the
certainty of God’s existence through such inner experience. Therefore the
Bible contains no command to _believe_ in God, nor any logical
demonstration of His existence. Both the Creation stories and those of the
beginnings of mankind assume as undisputed the existence of God as the
Creator and Judge of the world. Arguments appealing to reason were
resorted to only in competition with idolatry, as in Deuteronomy,
Jeremiah, and Deutero-Isaiah, and subsequently by the Haggadists in
legends such as those about Abraham. Nor does the Bible consider any who
deny the existence of God;(156) only much later, in the Talmud, do we hear
of those who “deny the fundamental principle” of the faith. The doubt
expressed in Job, Koheleth, and certain of the Psalms, concerns rather the
justice of God than His existence. True, Jeremiah and the Psalms(157)
mention some who say “There is no God,” but these are not atheists in our
sense of the word; they are the impious who deny the moral order of life
by word or deed. It is the villain (_Nabal_), not the “fool” who “says in
heart, there is no God.” Even the Talmud does not mean the real atheist
when speaking of “the denier of the fundamental principle,” but the man
who says, “There is neither a judgment nor a Judge above and beyond.”(158)
In other words, the “denier” is the same as the Epicurean (Apicoros), who
refuses to recognize the moral government of the world.(159)

3. After the downfall of the nation and Temple, the situation changed
through the contemptuous question of the nations, “Where is your God?”
Then the necessity became evident of proving that the Ruler of nations
still held dominion over the world, and that His wondrous powers were
shown more than ever before through the fact of Israel’s preservation in
captivity. This is the substance of the addresses of the great seer of the
Exile in chapters XL to LIX of Isaiah, in which he exposes the gods of
heathendom to everlasting scorn, more than any other prophet before or
afterward. He declares these deities to be vanity and naught, but
proclaims the Holy One of Israel as the Lord of the universe. He hath
“meted out the heavens with the span,” and “weighed the mountains in
scales, and the hills in a balance.” Before Him “the nations are as a drop
of the bucket,” and “the inhabitants of the earth as grasshoppers.” “He
bringeth out the hosts of the stars by number, and calleth them all by
name,” “He hath assigned to the generations of men their lot from the
beginning, and knoweth at the beginning what will be their end.”(160)
Measured by such passages as these and such as Psalms VIII, XXIV, XXXIII,
CIV, and CXXXIX, where God is felt as a living power, all philosophical
arguments about His existence seem to be strange fires on the altar of
religion. The believer can do without them, and the unbeliever will hardly
be convinced by them.

4. Upon the contact of the Jew with Greek philosophy doubt arose in many
minds, and belief entered into conflict with reason. But even then, the
defense of the faith was still carried on by reasoning along the lines of
common sense.(161) Thus the regularity of the sun, moon, and stars,—all
worshiped by the pagans as deities—was considered a proof of God’s
omnipotence and rule of the universe, a proof which the legend ascribes to
Abraham in his controversy with Nimrod.(162) In like manner, the
apocryphal Book of Wisdom(163) says that true wisdom, as opposed to the
folly of heathenism, is “to reason from the visible to the Invisible One,
and from the cosmos, the great work of art, to the Supreme Artificer.”

5. Philo was the first who tried to refute the “atheistic” views of
materialists and pantheists by adducing proofs of God’s existence from
nature and the human intellect. In the former he pointed out order as
evidence of the wisdom underlying the cosmos, and in the latter the power
of self-determination as shadowing forth a universal mind which determines
the entire universe.(164) Still, with his mystical attitude, Philo
realized that the chief knowledge of God is through intuition, by the
inner experience of the soul.

6. Two proofs taken from nature owe their origin to Greek philosophy.
Anaxagoras and Socrates, from their theory of design in nature, deduced
that there is a universal intelligence working for higher aims and
purposes. This so-called _teleological_ proof, as worked out in detail by
Plato, was the unfailing reliance of subsequent philosophers and
theologians.(165) Plato and Aristotle, moreover, from the continuous
motion of all matter, inferred a prime cause, an unmoved mover. This is
the so-called _cosmological_ proof, used by different schools in varying
forms.(166) It occupies the foremost place in the systems of the Arabic
Aristotelians, and consequently is dominant among the Jewish philosophers,
the Christian scholastics, and in the modern philosophic schools down to
Kant. It is based upon the old principle of causality, and therefore takes
the mutability and relativity of all beings in the cosmos as evidence of a
Being that is immutable, unconditioned, and absolutely necessary, causa
sui, the prime cause of all existence.

7. The Mohammedan theologians added a new element to the discussion. In
their endeavor to prove that the world is the work of a Creator, they
pointed as evidence to the multiformity and composite structure, the
contingency and dependency of the cosmos; thus they concluded that it must
have been created, and that its Creator must necessarily be the one,
absolute, and all-determining cause. This proof is used also by Saadia and
Bahya ben Joseph.(167) Its weakness, however, was exposed by Ibn Sina and
Alfarabi among the Mohammedans, and later by Abraham ibn Daud and
Maimonides, their Jewish successors as Aristotelians. These proposed a
substitute argument. From the fact that the existence of all cosmic beings
is merely possible,—that is, they may exist and they may not exist,—these
thinkers concluded that an absolutely necessary being must exist as the
cause and condition of all things, and this absolutely unconditioned yet
all-conditioning being is God, the One who _is_.(168) Of course, the God
so deduced and inferred is a mere abstraction, incapable of satisfying the
emotional craving of the heart.

8. While the cosmological proof proceeds from the transitory and imperfect
nature of the world, the _ontological_ proof, first proposed by Anselm of
Canterbury, the Christian scholastic of the XI century, and further
elaborated by Descartes and Mendelssohn, proceeds from the human
intellect. The mind conceives the idea of God as an absolutely perfect
being, and, as there can be no perfection without existence, the
conclusion is that this idea must necessarily be objectively true. Then,
as the idea of God is innate in man, God must necessarily exist,—and for
proof of this they point to the Scriptural verse, “The fool hath said in
his heart, there is no God,” and other similar passages. In its improved
form, this argument uses the human concept of an infinitely perfect God as
evidence, or, at least, as postulate that such a Being exists beyond the
finite world of man.(169)

Another argument, rather naïve in character, which was favored by the
Stoics and adopted by the Church fathers, is called _de consensu gentium_,
and endeavored to prove the reality of God’s existence from the
universality of His worship. It speaks well for the sound reasoning of the
Jewish thinkers that they refused to follow the lead of the Mohammedans in
this respect, and did not avail themselves of an argument which can be
used just as easily in support of a plurality of gods.(170)

9. All these so-called proofs were invalidated by Immanuel Kant, the great
philosopher of Königsberg, whose critical inquiry into the human intellect
showed that the entire sum of our knowledge of objects and also of the
formulation of our ideas is based upon our limited mode of apperception,
while the reality or essence, “the thing in itself,” will ever remain
beyond our ken. If this is true of physical objects, it is all the more
true of God, whom we know through our minds alone and not at all through
our five senses. Accordingly, he shows that all the metaphysical arguments
have no basis, and that we can know God’s existence only through _ethics_,
as a postulate of our moral nature. The inner consciousness of our moral
obligation, or duty, implies a moral order of life, or moral law; and
this, in turn, postulates the existence of God, the Ruler of life, who
assigns to each of us his task and his destiny.(171)

10. It is true that God is felt and worshiped first as the supreme power
in the world, before man perceives Him as the highest ideal of morality.
Therefore man will never cease looking about him for vestiges of divinity
and for proofs of his intuitive knowledge of God. The wondrous order,
harmony, and signs of design in nature, as well as the impulse of the
reason to search for the unity of all things, corroborate this innate
belief in God. Still more do the consciousness of duty in the
individual—conscience—and the progress of history with its repeated
vindication of right and defeat of wrong proclaim to the believer
unmistakably that the God of justice reigns. But no proof, however
convincing, will ever bring back to the skeptic or unbeliever the God he
has lost, unless his pangs of anguish or the void within fill his desolate
world anew with the vivifying thought of a living God.

11. Among all the Jewish religious philosophers the highest rank must be
accorded to Jehudah ha Levi, the author of the _Cuzari_,(172) who makes
the historical fact of the divine revelation the foundation of the Jewish
religion and the chief testimony of the existence of God. As a matter of
fact, reason alone will not lead to God, except where religious intuition
forms, so to speak, the ladder of heaven, leading to the realm of the
unknowable. Philosophy, at best, can only demonstrate the existence of a
final Cause, or of a supreme Intelligence working toward sublime purposes;
possibly also a moral government of the world, in both the physical and
the spiritual life. Religion alone, founded upon divine revelation, can
teach man to find a God, to whom he can appeal in trust in his moments of
trouble or of woe, and whose will he can see in the dictates of conscience
and the destiny of nations. Reason must serve as a _corrective_ for the
contents of revelation, scrutinizing and purifying, deepening and
spiritualizing ever anew the truths received through intuition, but it can
never be the final source of truth.

12. The same method must apply also to modern thought and research, which
substituted historical methods for metaphysics in both the physical and
intellectual world, and which endeavors to trace the origin and growth of
both objects and ideas in accordance with fixed laws. The process of
evolution, our modern key with which to unlock the secrets of nature,
points most significantly to a Supreme Power and Energy. But this energy,
entering into the cosmic process at its outset, causing its motion and its
growth, implies also an end, and thus again we have the Supreme
Intelligence reached through a new type of teleology.(173) But all these
conceptions, however they may be in harmony with the Jewish belief in
creation and revelation, can at best supplement it, but can certainly
neither supplant nor be identified with it.

Chapter XII. The Essence of God

1. An exquisite Oriental fable tells of a sage who had been meditating
vainly for days and weeks on the question, What is God? One day, walking
along the seashore, he saw some children busying themselves by digging
holes in the sand and pouring into them water from the sea. “What are you
doing there?” he asked them, to which they replied, “We want to empty the
sea of its water.” “Oh, you little fools,” he exclaimed with a smile, but
suddenly his smile vanished in serious thought. “Am I not as foolish as
these children?” he said to himself. “How can I with my small brain hope
to grasp the infinite nature of God?”

All efforts of philosophy to define the essence of God are futile. “Canst
thou by searching find out God?” Zophar asks of his friend Job.(174) Both
Philo and Maimonides maintain that we can know of God only that He _is_;
we can never fathom His innermost being or know what He is. Both find this
unknowability of God expressed in the words spoken to Moses: “If I
withdraw My hand, thou shall see My back—that is, the effects of God’s
power and wisdom—but My face—the real essence of God—thou shalt not

2. Still, a divinity void of all essential qualities fails to satisfy the
religious soul. Man demands to know what God is—at least, what God is to
him. In the first word of the Decalogue God speaks through His people
Israel to the religious consciousness of all men at all times, beginning,
“I am the Lord, _thy_ God.” This word _I_ lifts God at once above all
beings and powers of the cosmos, in fact, above all other existence, for
it expresses His unique self-consciousness. This attribute above all is
possessed by no being in the world of nature, and only by man, who is the
image of his Maker. According to the Midrash, all creation was hushed when
the Lord spoke on Sinai, “_I_ am the Lord.”(176) God is not merely the
supreme Being, but also the supreme Self-consciousness. As man, in spite
of all his limitations and helplessness, still towers high above all his
fellow creatures by virtue of his free will and self-conscious action, so
God, who knows no bounds to His wisdom and power, surpasses all beings and
forces of the universe, for He rules over all as the one completely
self-conscious Mind and Will. In both the visible and invisible realms He
manifests Himself as the absolutely free Personality, moral and spiritual,
who allots to every thing its existence, form, and purpose. For this
reason Scripture calls Him “the living God and everlasting King.”(177)

3. Judaism, accordingly, teaches us to recognize God, above all, as
revealing Himself in self-conscious activity, as determining all that
happens by His absolutely free will, and thus as showing man how to walk
as a free moral agent. In relation to the world, His work or workshop, He
is the self-conscious Master, saying “I am that which I am”; in relation
to man, who is akin to Him as a self-conscious rational and moral being,
He is the living Fountain of all that knowledge and spirituality for which
men long, and in which alone they may find contentment and bliss.

Thus the God of Judaism, the world’s great _I Am_, forms a complete
contrast, not only to the lifeless powers of nature and destiny, which
were worshiped by the ancient pagans, but also to the God of modern
paganism, a God divested of all personality and self-consciousness, such
as He is conceived of by the new school of Christian theology, with its
pantheistic tendency. I refer to the school of Ritschl, which strives to
render the myth of the man-god philosophically intelligible by teaching
that God reaches self-consciousness only in the perfect type of man, that
is, Christ, while otherwise He is entirely immanent, one with the world.
All the more forcibly does Jewish monotheism insist upon its doctrine that
God, in His continual self-revelation, is the supermundane and
self-conscious Ruler of both nature and history. “I am the Lord, that is
My name, and My glory will I not give to another,”—so says the God of

4. The Jewish God-idea, of course, had to go through many stages of
development before it reached the concept of a transcendental and
spiritual god. It was necessary first that the Decalogue and the Book of
the Covenant prohibit most stringently polytheism and every form of
idolatry, and second that a strictly imageless worship impress the people
with the idea that Israel’s God was both invisible and incorporeal.(179)
Yet a wide step still intervened from that stage to the complete
recognition of God as a purely spiritual Being, lacking all qualities
perceptible to the senses, and not resembling man in either his inner or
his outer nature. Centuries of gradual ripening of thought were still
necessary for the growth of this conception. This was rendered still more
difficult by the Scriptural references to God in His actions and His
revelations, and even in His motives, after a human pattern. Israel’s
sages required centuries of effort to remove all anthropomorphic and
anthropopathic notions of God, and thus to elevate Him to the highest
realm of spirituality.(180)

5. In this process of development two points of view demand consideration.
We must not overlook the fact that the perfectly clear distinction which
we make between the sensory and the spiritual does not appeal to the
child-like mind, which sees it rather as external. What we call
transcendent, owing to our comprehension of the immeasurable universe, was
formerly conceived only as far remote in space or time. Thus God is spoken
of in Scripture as dwelling in heaven and looking down upon the
inhabitants of the earth to judge them and to guide them.(181) According
to Deuteronomy, God spoke from heaven to the people about Mt. Sinai, while
Exodus represents Him as coming down to the mountain from His heavenly
heights to proclaim the law amid thunder and lightning.(182) The
Babylonian conception of heaven prevailed throughout the Middle Ages and
influenced both the mystic lore about the heavenly throne and the
philosophic cosmology of the Aristotelians, such as Maimonides. Yet
Scripture offers also another view, the concept of God as the One
enthroned on high, whom “the heavens and the heaven’s heavens cannot

The fact is that language still lacked an expression for pure spirit, and
the intellect freed itself only gradually from the restrictions of
primitive language to attain a purer conception of the divine. Thus we
attain deeper insight into the spiritual nature of God when we read the
inimitable words of the Psalmist describing His omnipresence,(184) or that
other passage: “He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed
the eye, shall He not see? He that chastiseth the nations, shall He not
correct, even He that teaches man knowledge?”(185)

The translators and interpreters of the Bible felt the need of eliminating
everything of a sensory nature from God and of avoiding anthropomorphism,
through the influence of Greek philosophy. This spiritualization of the
God idea was taken up again by the philosophers of the Spanish-Arabic
period, who combated the prevailing mysticism. Through them Jewish
monotheism emphasized its opposition to every human representation of God,
especially the God-Man of the Christian Church.

6. On the other hand, we must bear in mind that we naturally ascribe to
God a human personality, whether we speak of Him as the Master-worker of
the universe, as the all-seeing and all-hearing Judge, or the
compassionate and merciful Father. We cannot help attributing human
qualities and emotions to Him the moment we invest Him with a moral and
spiritual nature. When we speak of His punitive justice, His unfailing
mercy, or His all-wise providence, we transfer to Him, imperceptibly, our
own righteous indignation at the sight of a wicked deed, or our own
compassion with the sufferer, or even our own mode of deliberation and
decision. Moreover, the prophets and the Torah, in order to make God plain
to the people, described Him in vivid images of human life, with anger and
jealousy as well as compassion and repentance, and also with the organs
and functions of the senses,—seeing, hearing, smelling, speaking, and

7. The rabbis are all the more emphatic in their assertions that the Torah
merely intends to assist the simple-minded, and that unseemly expressions
concerning Deity are due to the inadequacy of language, and must not be
taken literally.(186) “It is an act of boldness allowed only to the
prophets to measure the Creator by the standard of the creature,” says the
Haggadist, and again, “God appeared to Israel, now as a heroic warrior,
now as a venerable sage imparting knowledge, and again as a kind dispenser
of bounties, but always in a manner befitting the time and circumstance,
so as to satisfy the need of the human heart.”(187) This is strikingly
illustrated in the following dialogue: “A heretic came to Rabbi Meir
asking, ‘How can you reconcile the passage which reads, “Do I not fill
heaven and earth, says the Lord,” with the one which relates that the Lord
appeared to Moses between the cherubim of the ark of the covenant?’
Whereupon Rabbi Meir took two mirrors, one large and the other small, and
placed them before the interrogator. ‘Look into this glass,’ he said, ‘and
into that. Does not your figure seem different in one than in the other?
How much more will the majesty of God, who has neither figure nor form, be
reflected differently in the minds of men! To one it will appear according
to his narrow view of life, and to the other in accordance with his larger
mental horizon.’ ”(188)

In like manner Rabbi Joshua ben Hanania, when asked sarcastically by the
Emperor Hadrian to show him his God, replied: “Come and look at the sun
which now shines in the full splendor of noonday! Behold, thou art
dazzled. How, then, canst thou see without bewilderment the majesty of Him
from whom emanates both sun and stars?”(189) This rejoinder, which was
familiar to the Greeks also, is excelled by the one of Rabban Gamaliel II
to a heathen who asked him “Where does the God dwell to whom you daily
pray?” “Tell me first,” he answered, “where does your soul dwell, which is
so close to thee? Thou canst not tell. How, then, can I inform thee
concerning Him who dwells in heaven, and whose throne is separated from
the earth by a journey of 3500 years?” “Then do we not do better to pray
to gods who are near at hand, and whom we can see with our eyes?”
continued the heathen, whereupon the sage struck home, “Well, you may see
your gods, but they neither see nor help you, while our God, Himself
unseen, yet sees and protects us constantly.”(190) The comparison of the
invisible soul to God, the invisible spirit of the universe, is worked out
further in the Midrash to Psalm CIII.

8. From the foregoing it is clear that, while Judaism insists on the
Deity’s transcending all finite and sensory limitations, it never lost the
sense of the close relationship between man and his Maker. Notwithstanding
Christian theologians to the contrary, the Jewish God was never a mere
abstraction.(191) The words, “I am the Lord thy God,” betoken the intimate
relation between the redeemed and the heavenly Redeemer, and the song of
triumph at the Red Sea, “This is my God, I will extol Him,”
testifies—according to the Midrash—that even the humblest of God’s chosen
people were filled with the feeling of His nearness.(192) In the same way
the warm breath of union with God breathes through all the writings, the
prayers, and the whole history of Judaism. “For what great nation is there
that hath God so nigh unto them as the Lord our God is, whenever we call
upon Him?” exclaims Moses in Deuteronomy, and the rabbis, commenting upon
the plural form used here, _Kerobim_, = “nigh,” remark: “God is nigh to
everyone in accordance with his special needs.”(193)

9. Probably the rabbis were at their most profound mood in their saying,
“God’s greatness lies in His condescension, as may be learned from the
Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. To quote only Isaiah also: ‘Thus
saith the High and Lofty One, I dwell in high and holy places, with him
that is of a contrite and humble spirit.’(194) For this reason God
selected as the place of His revelation the humble Sinai and the lowly
thornbush.”(195) In fact, the absence of any mediator in Judaism
necessitates the doctrine that God—with all His transcendent majesty—is at
the same time “an ever present helper in trouble,”(196) and that His
omnipotence includes care for the greatest and the smallest beings of

10. The doctrine that God is above and beyond the universe, transcending
all created things, as well as time and space, might lead logically to the
view of the deist that He stands outside of the world, and does not work
from within. But this inference has never been made even by the boldest of
Jewish thinkers. The Psalmist said, “Who is like the Lord our God, that
hath His seat on high, that humbleth Himself to behold what is in heaven
and on earth?”(198)—words which express the deepest and the loftiest
thought of Judaism. Beside the all-encompassing Deity no other divine
power or personality can find a place. God is in all; He is over all; He
is both immanent and transcendent. His creation was not merely setting
into motion the wheels of the cosmic fabric, after which He withdrew from
the world. The Jew praises Him for every scent and sight of nature or of
human life, for the beauty of the sea and the rainbow, for every flash of
lightning that illumines the darkened clouds and every peal of thunder
that shakes the earth. On every such occasion the Jew utters praise to
“Him who daily renews the work of creation,” or “Him who in everlasting
faithfulness keepeth His covenant with mankind.” Such is the teaching of
the men of the Great Synagogue,(199) and the charge of the Jewish God idea
being a barren and abstract transcendentalism can be urged only by the
blindness of bigotry.(200)

11. The interweaving of the ideas of God’s immanence and transcendency is
shown especially in two poems embodied in the songs of the Synagogue, Ibn
Gabirol’s “Crown of Royalty” and the “Songs of Unity” for each day of the
week, composed by Samuel ben Kalonymos, the father of Judah the Pious of
Regensburg. Here occur such sentences as these: “All is in God and God is
in all”; “Sufficient unto Himself and self-determining, He is the
ever-living and self-conscious Mind, the all-permeating, all-impelling,
and all-accomplishing Will”; “The universe is the emanation of the
plenitude of God, each part the light of His infinite light, flame of His
eternal empyrean”; “The universe is the garment, the covering of God, and
He the all-penetrating Soul.”(201) All these ideas were borrowed from
neo-Platonism, and found a conspicuous place in Ibn Gabirol’s philosophy,
later influencing the Cabbalah.

Similarly the appellation, _Makom_, “Space,” is explained by both Philo
and the rabbis as denoting “Him who encompasses the world, but whom the
world cannot encompass.”(202) An utterance such as this, well-nigh
pantheistic in tone, leads directly to theories like those of Spinoza or
of David Nieto, the well-known London Rabbi, who was largely under
Spinozistic influence(203) and who still was in accord with Jewish
thought. Certainly, as long as Jewish monotheism conceives of God as
self-conscious Intellect and freely acting Will, it can easily accept the
principle of divine immanence.

12. We accept, then, the fact that man, child-like, invests God with human
qualities,—a view advanced by Abraham ben David of Posquieres in
opposition to Maimonides.(204) Still, the thinkers of Judaism have ever
labored to divest the Deity of every vestige of sensuousness, of likeness
to man, in fact, of every limitation to action or to free will. Every
conception which merges God into the world or identifies Him with it and
thus makes Him subject to necessity, is incompatible with the Jewish idea
of God, which enthrones Him above the universe as its free and sovereign
Master. “Am I a God near at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?
Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the
Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth?”(205) “To whom will you liken Me,
that I should be equal?”(206)

Chapter XIII. The One and Only God

1. From the very beginning no Jewish doctrine was so firmly proclaimed and
so heroically defended as the belief in the One and Only God. This
constitutes the essence and foundation of Judaism. However slowly the
people learned that there could be no gods beside the One God, and that
consequently all the pagan deities were but “naught and vanity,” the
Judaism of the Torah starts with the proclamation of the Only One, and
later Judaism marches through the nations and ages of history with a
never-silent protest against polytheism of every kind, against every
division of the Godhead into parts, powers, or persons.

2. It is perfectly clear that divine pedagogy could not well have demanded
of a people immature and untrained in religion, like Israel in the
wilderness period, the immediate belief in the only one God and in none
else. Such a belief is the result of a long mental process; it is attained
only after centuries of severe struggle and crisis. Instead of this, the
Decalogue of Sinai demanded of the people that they worship only the God
of the Covenant who had delivered them from Egypt to render them His
people.(207) But, as they yielded more and more to the seductive worship
of the gods of the Canaanites and their other neighbors, the law became
more rigid in prohibiting such idolatrous practices, and the prophets
poured forth their unscathing wrath against the “stiff-necked people” and
endeavored by unceasing warnings and threats to win them for the pure
truth of monotheism.(208)

3. The God of Sinai proclaims Himself in the Decalogue as a “jealous God,”
and not in vain. He cannot tolerate other gods beside Himself. Truth can
make no concession to untruth, nor enter into any compromise with it
without self-surrender. A pagan religion could well afford to admit
foreign gods into its pantheon without offending the ruling deities of the
land. On the contrary, their realm seemed rather to be enlarged by the
addition. It was also easy to blend the cults of deities originally
distinct and unite many divinities under a composite name, and by this
process create a system of worship which would either comprise the gods of
many lands or even merge them into one large family. This was actually the
state of the various pagan religions at the time of the decline of
antiquity. But such a procedure could never lead towards true monotheism.
It lacks the conception of an inner unity, without which its followers
could not grasp the true idea of God as the source and essence of all
life, both physical and spiritual. Only the One God of revelation made the
world really one. In Him alone heaven and earth, day and night, growth and
decay, the weal and woe of individuals and nations, appear as the work of
an all-ruling Power and Wisdom, so that all events in nature and history
are seen as parts of one all-comprising plan.(209)

4. It is perfectly true that a wide difference of view exists between the
prohibition of polytheism and idolatry in the Decalogue and the
proclamation in Deuteronomy of the unity of God, and, still more, between
the law of the Pentateuch and the prophetic announcement of the day when
Israel’s God “shall be King of the whole earth, and His name shall be
One.”(210) Yet Judaism is based precisely upon this higher view. The very
first pages of Genesis, the opening of the Torah, as well as the exilic
portions of Isaiah which form the culmination of the prophets, and the
Psalms also, prove sufficiently that at their time monotheism was an axiom
of Judaism. In fact, heathenism had become synonymous with both
image-worship and belief in many gods beside the Only One of Israel, and
accordingly had lost all hold upon the Jewish people. The heathen gods
were given a place in the celestial economy, but only as subordinate
rulers or as the guardian angels of the nations, and always under the
dominion of God on high.(211)

5. Later, in the contest against Græco-Egyptian paganism, the doctrine of
God’s unity was emphasized in the Alexandrian propaganda literature, of
which only a portion has been preserved for us. Here antagonism in the
most forcible form is expressed against the delusive cults of paganism,
and exclusive worship claimed for “the unseen, yet all-seeing God, the
uncreated Creator of the world.”(212) The Rabbinical Haggadah contains but
dim reminiscences of the extensive propaganda carried on previous to
Hillel, the Talmudic type of the propagandist. Moreover, this period
fostered free inquiry and philosophical discussion, and therefore the
doctrine of unity emerged more and more from simple belief to become a
matter of reason. The God of truth put to flight the gods of falsehood.
Hence many gentiles espoused the cause of Judaism, becoming “God-fearing

6. In this connection it seems necessary to point out the difference
between the God of the Greek philosophers—Xenophanes and Anaxagoras, Plato
and Aristotle—and the God of the Bible. In abandoning their own gods, the
Greek philosophers reached a deistic view of the cosmos. As their study of
science showed them plan and order everywhere, they concluded that the
universe is governed by an all-encompassing Intelligence, a divine power
entirely distinct from the capricious deities of the popular religion.
Reflection led them to a complete rupture with their religious belief. The
Biblical belief in God underwent a different process. After God had once
been conceived of, He was held up as the ideal of morality, including both
righteousness and holiness. Then this doctrine was continuously elucidated
and deepened, until a stage was reached where a harmony could be
established between the teachings of Moses and the wisdom of Plato and
Aristotle. To the noble thinkers of Hellas truth was an object of supreme
delight, the highest privilege of the sage. To the adherents of Judaism
truth became the holiest aim of life for the entire people, for which all
were taught to battle and to die, as did the Maccabean heroes and Daniel
and his associates, their prototypes.

7. A deeper meaning was attached to the doctrine of God’s unity under
Persian rule, in contact with the religious system of Zoroaster. To the
Persians life was a continual conflict between the principles of good and
of evil, until the ultimate victory of good shall come. This dualistic
view of the world greatly excels all other heathen religious systems,
insofar as it assigns ethical purpose to the whole of life. Yet the great
seer of the Exile opposes this system in the name of the God of Judaism,
speaking to Cyrus, the king of Persia; “I am the Lord and there is none
else; beside Me there is no God. I will gird thee, though thou dost not
know Me, in order that the people shall know from the rising of the sun
and from the west that there is none beside Me. I form the light and
create darkness; I make peace and also create evil, I am the Lord that
doeth these things.”(214) This declaration of pure monotheism is
incompatible with dualism in both the physical and the moral world; it
regards evil as being mere semblance without reality, an opposing force
which can be overcome and rendered a source of new strength for the
victory of the good. “Out of the mouth of the Most High cometh there not
the evil and the good?”(215)

8. The division of the world into rival realms of good and evil powers, of
angelic and demoniacal forces, which originated in ancient Chaldea and
underlies the Zoroastrian dualism, finally took hold of Judaism also.
Still this was not carried to such an extent that Satan, the supreme ruler
of the demon world, was given a dominion equal to that of God, or
interfering with it, so as to impair thereby the principle of monotheism,
as was done by the Church later on. As a matter of fact, at the time of
nascent Christianity the leaders of the Synagogue took rigid measures
against those heretics (_Minim_) who believed in two divine powers,(216)
because they recognized the grave danger of moral degeneracy in this
Gnostic dualism. In the Church it led first to the deification of Christ
(_i.e._ the Messiah) as the vanquisher of Satan; afterwards, owing to a
compromise with heathenism, the Trinity was adopted to correspond with the
three-fold godhead,—father, mother, and son,—the place of the mother deity
being taken by the Holy Ghost, which was originally conceived as a female
power (the Syrian _Ruha_ being of the feminine gender).(217)

9. The churchmen have attempted often enough to harmonize the dualism or
trinitarianism of Christianity with the monotheism of the Bible. Still
Judaism persists in considering such an infringement upon the belief in
Israel’s one and only God as really a compromise with heathenism. “A Jew
is he who opposes every sort of polytheism,” says the Talmud.(218)

10. The medieval Jewish thinkers therefore made redoubled efforts to
express with utmost clearness the doctrine of God’s unity. In this effort
they received special encouragement from the example of the leaders of
Islam, whose victorious march over the globe was a triumph for the one God
of Abraham over the triune God of Christianity. A great tide of
intellectual progress arose, lending to the faith of the Mohammedans and
subsequently also to that of the Jews an impetus which lasted for
centuries. The new thought and keen research of that period had a lasting
influence upon the whole development of western culture. An alliance was
effected between religion and philosophy, particularly by the leading
Jewish minds, which proved a liberating and stimulating force in all
fields of scientific investigation. Thus the pure idea of monotheism
became the basis for modern science and the entire modern world-view.(219)

11. The Mohammedan thinkers devoted their attention chiefly to elucidating
and spiritualizing the God idea, beginning as early as the third century
of Islamism, so to interpret the Koran as to divest God of all
anthropomorphic attributes and to stress His absolute unity, uniqueness,
and the incomparability of His oneness. Soon they became familiar with
neo-Platonic and afterward with Aristotelian modes of speculation through
the work of Syrian and Jewish translators. With the help of these they
built up a system of theology which influenced Jewish thought also, first
in Karaite and then in Rabbanite circles.(220) Thus sprang up successively
the philosophical systems of Saadia, Jehuda ha Levi, Ibn Gabirol, Bahya,
Ibn Daud, and Maimonides. The philosophical hymns and the articles of
faith, both of which found a place in the liturgy of the Synagogue, were
the work of their followers. The highest mode of adoring God seemed to be
the elaboration of the idea of His unity to its logical conclusion, which
satisfied the philosophical mind, though often remote from the
understanding of the multitude. For centuries the supreme effort of Jewish
thought was to remove Him from the possibility of comparison with any
other being, and to abolish every conception which might impair His
absolute and simple unity. This mental activity filled the dwellings of
Israel with light, even when the darkness of ignorance covered the lands
of Christendom, dispelled only here and there by rays of knowledge
emanating from Jewish quarters.(221)

12. The proofs of the unity of God adduced by Mohammedan and Jewish
thinkers were derived from the rational order, design, and unity of the
cosmos, and from the laws of the mind itself. These aided in endowing
Judaism with a power of conviction which rendered futile the conversionist
efforts of the Church, with its arguments and its threats. Israel’s only
One proved to be the God of truth, high and holy to both the mind and the
heart. The Jewish masters of thought rendered Him the highest object of
their speculation, only to bow in awe before Him who is beyond all human
ken; the Jewish martyrs likewise cheerfully offered up their lives in His
honor; and thus all hearts echoed the battle-cry of the centuries, “Hear O
Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One,” and all minds were illumined
by the radiant hope, “The Lord will be King of the earth; on that day the
Lord shall be One, and His name shall be One.”

13. Under all conditions, however, the doctrine of unity remained free
from outward compulsion and full of intrinsic vigor and freshness. There
was still room for differences of opinion, such as whether God’s life,
power, wisdom, and unity are attributes—distinct from His being, and
qualifying it,—or whether they are inherent in His nature, comprising His
very essence. This controversy aimed to determine the conception of God,
either by Aristotelian rationalism, as represented by Maimonides, or by
the positive religious assumptions of Crescas and others.

This is Maimonides’ statement of the unity: “God is one; that is, He is
unlike any other unit, whether made one in point of numbers or species, or
by virtue of composition, separation, and simplification. He is one in
Himself, there being no multiplicity in Him. His unity is beyond all

Ibn Gabirol in his “Crown of Royalty” puts the same thought into poetic
form: “One art Thou; the wise wonder at the mystery of Thy unity, not
knowing what it is. One art Thou; not like the one of dimension or number,
as neither addition nor change, neither attribute nor quality affects Thy
being. Thou art God, who sustainest all beings by Thy divinity, who
holdest all creatures in Thy unity. Thou art God, and there is no
distinction between Thy unity, Thy eternity, and Thy being. All is
mystery, and however the names may differ, they all tell that Thou art but

14. Side by side with this rationalistic trend, Judaism always contained a
current of mysticism. The mystics accepted literally the anthropomorphic
pictures of the Deity in the Bible, and did not care how much they might
affect the spirituality and unity of God. The philosophic schools had
contended against the anthropomorphic views of the older mystics, and thus
had brought higher views of the Godhead to dominance; but when the
rationalistic movement had spent its force, the reaction came in the form
of the Cabbalah, the secret lore which claimed to have been “transmitted”
(according to the meaning of the word) from a hoary past. The older system
of thought had stripped the Deity of all reality and had robbed religion
of all positiveness; now, in contrast, the soul demanded a God of
revelation through faith in whom might come exaltation and solace.(224)

Nevertheless the Maimonidean articles of faith were adopted into the
liturgy because of their emphasis on the absolute unity and indivisibility
of God, by which they constituted a vigorous protest against the Christian
dogma. Judaism ever found its strength in God the only One, and will find
Him ever anew a source of inspiration and rejuvenation.

Chapter XIV. God’s Omnipotence and Omniscience

1. Among all the emotions which underlie our God-consciousness the
foremost is the realization of our own weakness and helplessness. This
makes us long for One mightier than ourselves, for the Almighty whose acts
are beyond comparison. The first attribute, therefore, with which we
feeble mortals invest our Deity is omnipotence. Thus the pagan ascribes
supreme power over their different realms to his various deities. Hence
the name for God among all the Semites is _El_—“the Powerful One.”(225)
Judaism claims for God absolute and unlimited power over all that is. It
declares Him to be the source and essence of all strength, the almighty
Creator and Ruler of the universe. All that exists is His creation; all
that occurs is His achievement. He is frequently called by the rabbis _ha
Geburah_, the Omnipotence.(226)

2. The historical method of study seems to indicate that various cosmic
potencies were worshiped in primitive life either singly or collectively
under the name of _Elohim_, “divine powers,” or _Zibeoth Elohim_, “hosts
of divine powers.” With the acceptance of the idea of divine omnipotence,
these were united into a confederacy of divine forces under the dominion
of the one God, the “Lord of Hosts.” Still these powers of heaven, earth
and the deep by no means at once surrendered their identity. Most of them
became angels, “messengers” of the omnipotent God, or “spirits” roaming in
the realms where once they ruled, while a few were relegated as monsters
to the region of superstition. The heathen deities, which persisted for a
while in popular belief, were also placed with the angels as “heavenly
rulers” of their respective lands or nations about the throne of the Most
High. At all events, Israel’s God was enthroned above them all as Lord of
the universe. In fact, the Alexandrian translators and some of the rabbis
actually explained in this sense the Biblical names _El Shaddai_ and
_J.H.V.H. Zebaoth_.(227) The medieval philosophers, however, took a
backward step away from the Biblical view when, under the influence of
Neoplatonism, they represented the angels and the spirits of the stars as
intermediary forces.(228)

3. According to the Bible, both the Creation and the order of the universe
testify to divine omnipotence. God called all things into existence by His
almighty word, unassisted by His heavenly messengers. He alone stretched
out the heavens, set bounds to the sea, and founded the earth on pillars
that it be not moved; none was with Him to partake in the work. This is
the process of creation according to the first chapter of Genesis and the
fortieth chapter of Isaiah. So He appears throughout the Scriptures as
“the Doer of wonders,” “whose arm never waxes short” to carry out His
will. “He fainteth not, neither is He weary.” His dominion extends over
the sea and the storm, over life and death, over high and low.
Intermediary forces participating in His work are never mentioned. They
are referred to only in the poetic description of creation in the book of
Job: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?... When
the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for

Proof of God’s supreme power was found particularly in history, either in
His miraculous changing of the natural order, or in His defeat of the
mighty hostile armies which bade Him defiance.(230) Often the heathen
deities or the celestial powers are introduced as dramatic figures to
testify to the triumph of the divine omnipotence, as when the Lord is said
to “execute judgment against the gods of Egypt” or when “the stars in
their courses fought against Sisera.”(231)

4. God’s power is limited only by His own volition. “He doeth what He
willeth.”(232) In man the will and the power for a certain act are far
apart, and often directly conflicting. Not so with God, for the very idea
of God is perfection, and His will implies necessarily the power to
accomplish the desired end. His will is determined only by such factors as
His knowledge and His moral self-restraint.

5. Therefore the idea of God’s omnipotence must be coupled with that of
His omniscience. Both His power and His knowledge are unlike man’s in
being without limitation. When we repeat the Biblical terms of an
all-seeing, all-hearing, and all-knowing God, we mean in the first
instance that the limitation of space does not exist for Him. He beholds
the extreme parts of the earth and observes all that happens under the
heavens; nothing is hidden from His sight. He not only sees the deeds of
men, He also searches their thoughts. Looking into their hearts, He knows
the word, ere it is upon the tongue. Looking into the future, he knows
every creature, ere it enters existence. “The darkness and the light are
alike to Him.” With one glance He surveys all that is and all that
happens.(233) He is, as the rabbis express it, “the all-seeing Eye and the
all-hearing Ear.”(234)

In like manner the distinctions of time disappear before Him. The entire
past is unrolled before His sight; His book records all that men do or
suffer, even their tears;(235) and there is no forgetfulness with Him. The
remotest future also is open before Him, for it is planned by Him, and in
it He has allotted to each being its days and its steps.(236) Yea, as He
beholds events ere they transpire, so He reveals the secrets of the future
to His chosen ones, in order to warn men of the judgments that threaten

6. The idea of divine omniscience could ripen only gradually in the minds
of the people. The older and more child-like conception still remains in
the stories of the Deluge and the Tower of Babel, where God descended from
heaven to watch the doings of men, and repented of what He had done.(238)
Obviously the idea of divine omniscience took hold of the people as a
result of the admonitions of the prophets.

7. Philosophical inquiry into the ideas of the divine omnipotence and
omniscience, however, discloses many difficulties. The Biblical assertion
that nothing is impossible to God will not stand the test as soon as we
ask seriously whether God can make the untrue true,—as making two times
two to equal five—or whether He can declare the wrong to be right.
Obviously He cannot overturn the laws of mathematical truth or of moral
truth, without at the same time losing His nature as the Source and
Essence of all truth. Nor can He abrogate the laws of nature, which are
really His own rules for His creation, without detracting from both His
omniscience and the immutability of His will. This question will be
discussed more fully in connection with miracles, in chapter XXVII.

Together with the problem of the divine omniscience arises the difficulty
of reconciling this with our freedom of will and our moral responsibility.
Would not His foreknowledge of our actions in effect determine them? This
difficulty can only be solved by a proper conception of the freedom of the
will, and will be discussed in that connection in chapter XXXVII.

Altogether, we must guard against applying our human type of knowledge to
God. Man, limited by space and time, obtains his knowledge of things and
events by his senses, becoming aware of them separately as they exist
either beside each other or in succession. With God all knowledge is
complete; there is no growth of knowledge from yesterday to to-day, no
knowledge of only a part instead of the whole of the world. His
omniscience and omnipotence are bound up with His omnipresence and
eternity. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My
ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are
My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”(239)

Chapter XV. God’s Omnipresence and Eternity

1. As soon as man awakens to a higher consciousness of God, he realizes
the vast distance between his own finite being limited by space and time,
and the Infinite Being which rules everywhere and unceasingly in lofty
grandeur and unlimited power. His very sense of being hedged in by the
bounds and imperfections of a finite existence makes him long for the
infinite God, unlimited in might, and brings to him the feeling of awe
before His greatness. But this conception of God as the omnipresent and
everlasting Spirit, as distinct from any created being, is likewise the
result of many stages of growing thought.

2. The primitive mind imagines God as dwelling in a lofty place, whence He
rules the earth beneath, descending at times to take part in the affairs
of men, to tarry among them, or to walk with them.(240) The people adhered
largely to this conception during the Biblical period, as they considered
as the original seat of the Deity, first Paradise, later on Sinai or Zion,
and finally the far-off heavens. It required prophetic vision to discern
that “the heavens and the heavens’ heavens do not encompass God’s
majesty,” expressed also in poetic imagery that “the heaven is My throne
and the earth My footstool.”(241) The classic form of this idea of the
divine omnipresence is found in the oft-quoted passage from Psalm

3. The dwelling places of God are to give way the moment His omnipresence
is understood as penetrating the universe to such an extent that nothing
escapes His glance nor lies without His dominion.(243) They are then
transformed into places where He had manifested His Name, His Glory, or
His Presence (“Countenance,” in the Hebrew). In this way certain
emanations or powers of God were formed which could be located in a
certain space without impairing the divine omnipresence. These
intermediary powers will be the theme of chapter XXXII.

The following dialogue illustrates this stage of thought: A heretic once
said sarcastically to Gamaliel II, “Ye say that where ten persons assemble
for worship, there the divine majesty (_Shekinah_) descends upon them; how
many such majesties are there?” To which Gamaliel replied: “Does not the
one orb of day send forth a million rays upon the earth? And should not
the majesty of God, which is a million times brighter than the sun, be
reflected in every spot on earth?”(244)

4. Nevertheless a conception of pure spirit is very difficult to attain,
even in regard to God. The thought of His omnipresence is usually
interpreted by imagining some ethereal substance which expands infinitely,
as Ibn Ezra and Saadia before him were inclined to do,(245) or by
picturing Him as a sort of all-encompassing Space, in accordance with the
rabbis.(246) The New Testament writers and the Church fathers likewise
spoke of God as Spirit, but really had in mind, for the most part, an
ethereal substance resembling light pervading cosmic space. The
often-expressed belief that man may see God after death rests upon this
conception of God as a substance perceptible to the mind.(247)

A higher standpoint is taken by a thinker such as Ibn Gabirol, who finds
God’s omnipresence in His all-pervading will and intellect.(248) But this
type of divine omnipresence is rather divine immanence. The religious
consciousness has a quite different picture of God, a self-conscious
Personality, ever near to man, ever scanning his acts, his thoughts, and
his motives. Here philosophy and religion part company. The former must
abstain from the assumption of a divine personality; the latter cannot do
without it. The God of religion must partake of the knowledge and the
feelings of His worshiper, must know his every impulse and idea, and must
feel with him in his suffering and need. God’s omnipresence is in this
sense a postulate of religion.

5. The second earthly and human limitation is that of time. Confined by
space and time, man casts his eyes upward toward a Being who shall be
infinite and eternal. Whatever time begets, time swallows up again.
Transitoriness is the fate of all things. Everything which enters
existence must end at last. “Also heaven and earth perish and wax old like
a garment. Only God remains forever the same, and His years have no end.
He is from everlasting to everlasting, the first and the last.” So speak
prophet and psalmist, voicing a universal thought(249); and our liturgical
poet sings:

    “The Lord of all did reign supreme
    Ere yet this world was made and formed;
    When all was finished by His will,
    Then was His name as King proclaimed.

    “And should these forms no more exist,
    He still will rule in majesty;
    He was, He is, He shall remain,
    His glory never shall decrease.”(250)

6. But the idea of God’s eternity also presents certain difficulties to
the thinking mind. As Creator and Author of the universe, God is the First
Cause, without beginning or end, the Source of all existence; as Ruler and
Master of the world, He maintains all things through all eternity; though
heaven and earth “wax old like a garment,” He outlasts them all. Now, if
He is to manifest these powers from everlasting to everlasting, He must
ever remain the same. Consequently, we must add immutability as a
corollary of eternity, if the latter is to mean anything. It is not enough
to state that God is without beginning and without end; the essential part
of the doctrine is His transcendence above the changes and conditions of
time. We mortals cannot really entertain a conception of eternity; our
nearest approach to it is an endless succession of periods of time, a
ceaseless procession of ages and eons following each other. Endless time
is not at all the same as timelessness. Therefore eternity signifies
transcendence above all existence in time; its real meaning is

7. This seems the best way to avoid the difficulty which seemed almost
insuperable to the medieval thinkers, how to reconcile a Creation at a
certain time and a Creator for whom time does not exist. In the effort to
solve the difficulty, they resorted to the Platonic and Aristotelian
definition of time as the result of the motions of the heavenly bodies;
thus they declared that time was created simultaneously with the world.
This is impossible for the modern thinker, who has learned from Kant to
regard time and space, not as external realities, but as human modes of
apperception of objects. So the contrast between the transient character
of the world and the eternity of God becomes all the greater with the
increasing realization of the vast gap between the material world and the
divine spirit.

At this point arises a still greater difficulty. The very idea of creation
at a certain time becomes untenable in view of our knowledge of the
natural process; the universe itself, it seems to us, extends over an
infinity of space and time. Indeed, the modern view of evolution in place
of creation has the grave danger of leading to pantheism, to a conception
of the cosmos which sees in God only an eternal energy (or substance)
devoid of free volition and self-conscious action.(252) We can evade the
difficulty only by assuming God’s transcendence, and this can be done in
such a way as not to exclude His immanence, or—what is the same thing—His

8. Both God’s omnipresence and His eternity are intended only to raise Him
far above the world, out of the confines of space and time, to represent
His sublime loftiness as the “Rock of Ages,” as holding worlds without
number in “His eternal arms.” “Nothing can be hidden from Him who has
reared the entire universe and is familiar with every part of it, however

Chapter XVI. God’s Holiness

1. Judaism recognizes two distinct types of divine attributes. Those which
we have so far considered belong to the metaphysical group, which chiefly
engage the attention of the philosopher. They represent God as a
transcendental Being who is ever beyond our comprehension, because our
finite intellect can never grasp the infinite Spirit. They are not
descriptions, but rather inferences from the works of the Master of the
world to the Master himself. But there are other divine attributes which
we derive from our own moral nature, and which invest our whole life with
a higher moral character. Instead of arising from the external necessity
which governs nature in its causes and effects, these rest upon our
assumption of inner freedom, setting the aims for all that we achieve.
This moral nature is realized to some extent even by the savage, when he
trembles before his deity in pangs of conscience, or endeavors to
propitiate him by sacrifices. Still, Judaism alone fully realized the
moral nature of the Deity; this was done by investing the term “holiness”
with the idea of moral perfection, so that God became the ideal and
pattern of the loftiest morality. “Be ye holy, for I the Lord your God am
holy.”(254)—This is the central and culminating idea of the Jewish

2. Holiness is the essence of all moral perfection; it is purity unsullied
by any breath of evil. True holiness can be ascribed only to Divinity,
above the realm of the flesh and the senses. “There is none holy but the
Lord, for there is none beside Thee,” says Scripture.(256) Whether man
stands on a lower or higher level of culture, he has in all his plans and
aspirations some ideal of perfection to which he may never attain, but
which serves as the standard for his actions. The best of his doings falls
short of what he ought to do; in his highest efforts he realizes the
potentiality of better things. This ideal of moral perfection works as the
motive power of the will in setting for it a standard; it establishes
human freedom in place of nature’s compulsion, but such an ideal can
emanate only from the moral power ruling life, which we designate as the
divine Holiness.

3. Scripture says of God that He “walketh in holiness,”(257) and
accordingly morality in man is spoken of as “walking in the ways of
God.”(258) “Walk before Me and be perfect!” says God to Abraham.(259)
Moses approached God with two petitions,—the one, “Show me Thy ways that I
may know Thee!” the other, “Show me, I pray Thee, Thy glory!” In response
to the latter God said, “No man can see Me and live”, but the former
petition was granted in that the Lord revealed Himself in His moral
attributes.(260) These alone can be understood and emulated by man; in
regard to the so-called metaphysical attributes God will ever remain
beyond human comprehension and emulation.

4. In order to serve as vehicle for the expression of the highest moral
perfection, the Biblical term for holiness, _Kadosh_, had to undergo a
long process of development, obscuring its original meaning. The history
of this term gives us the deepest insight into the working of the Jewish
genius towards the full revelation of the God of holiness. At first the
word _Kadosh_(261) seems to have denoted unapproachableness in the sense
in which fire is unapproachable, that is, threatening and consuming. This
fiery nature was ascribed by primitive man to all divine beings. Hence the
angels are termed “the holy ones” in Scripture.(262) According to both
priestly practice and popular belief, the man who approached one of these
holy ones with hand or foot, or even with his gaze, was doomed to
die.(263) Out of such crude conceptions evolved the idea of God’s majesty
as unapproachable in the sense of the sublime, banishing everything
profane from its presence, and visiting with punishment every violation of
its sanctity. The old conception of the fiery appearance of the Deity
served especially as a figurative expression of the moral power of God,
which manifests itself as a “consuming fire,”(264) exterminating evil, and
making man long for the good and the true, for righteousness and love.

5. The divine attribute of holiness has accordingly a double meaning. On
the one hand, it indicates spiritual loftiness transcending everything
sensual, which works as a purging power of indignation at evil, rebuking
injustice, impurity and falsehood, and punishing transgression until it is
removed from the sight of God. On the other hand, it denotes the
condescending mercy of God, which, having purged the soul of wrong, wins
it for the right, and which endows man with the power of perfecting
himself, and thus leads him to the gradual building up of the kingdom of
goodness and purity on earth. This ethical conception of holiness, which
emanates from the moral nature of God, revealed to the prophetic genius of
Israel, must not be confused with the old Semitic conception of priestly
or ritual holiness. Ritual holiness is purely external, and is
transferable to persons and things, to times and places, according to
their relation to the Deity. Hence the various cults applied the term
“holy” to the most abominable forms of idolatry and impure worship.(265)
The Mosaic law condemned all these as violations of the holiness of
Israel’s God, but could not help sanctioning many ordinances and rites of
priestly holiness which originated in ancient Semitic usages. Hence the
two conceptions of holiness, the priestly or external and the prophetic or
ethical, became interwoven in the Mosaic code to such an extent as to
impair the standard of ethical holiness stressed by the prophets, the
unique and lofty possession of Judaism. Hence the letter of the Law caused
a deplorable confusion of ideas, which was utilized by the detractors of
Judaism. The liberal movement of modern Judaism, in pointing to the
prophetic ideals as the true basis of the Jewish faith, is at the same
time dispelling this ancient confusion of the two conceptions of holiness.

6. The Levitical holiness adheres outwardly to persons and things and
consists in their separation or their reservation from common use. In
striking contrast to this, the holiness which Judaism attributes to God
denotes the highest ethical purity, unattainable to flesh and blood, but
designed for our emulation.

The contemplation of the divine holiness is to inspire man with fear of
sin and to exert a healthful influence upon his conduct. Thus God became
the hallowing power in Judaism and its institutions, truly the “Holy One
of Israel” according to the term of Isaiah and his great exilic successor,
the so-called Deutero-Isaiah.(266) Thus His holiness invested His people
with special sanctity and imposed upon it special obligations. In the
words of Ezekiel, God became the “Sanctifier of Israel.”(267)

The rabbis penetrated deeply into the spirit of Scripture, at the same
time that they adhered strictly to its letter. While they clung
tenaciously to the ritual holiness of the priestly codes, they recognized
the ideal of holiness which is so sharply opposed in every act and thought
to the demoralizing cults of heathenism.(268)

7. Accordingly, holiness is not the metaphysical concept which Jehuda ha
Levi considers it,(269) but the principle and source of all ethics, the
spirit of absolute morality, lending purpose and value to the whole of
life. As long as men do good or shun evil through fear of punishment or
hope for reward, whether in this life or the hereafter, so long will ideal
morality remain unattained, and man cannot claim to stand upon the ground
of divine holiness. The holy God must penetrate and control all of
life—such is the essence of Judaism. The true aim of human existence is
not salvation of the soul,—a desire which is never quite free from
selfishness,—but holiness emulating God, striving to do good for the sake
of the good without regard to recompense, and to shun evil because it is
evil, aside from all consequences.(270)

8. The fact is that holiness is a religious term, based upon divine
revelation, not a philosophical one resting upon speculative reasoning. It
is a postulate of our moral nature that all life is governed by a holy
Will to which we must submit willingly, and which makes for the good. How
volition and compulsion are with God one and the same, how the good exists
in God without the bad, or holiness and moral purpose without unholy or
immoral elements, how God can be exactly opposite to all we know of
man,—this is a question which philosophy is unable to answer. In fact,
holiness is best defined negatively, as the “negation of all that man from
his own experience knows to be unholy.” These words of the Danish
philosopher Rauwenhoff are made still clearer by the following
observations: “The strength in the idea of holiness lies exactly in its
negative character. There is no comparison of higher or lesser degree
possible between man’s imperfections and God’s perfect goodness. Instead,
there is an absolute contrast between mankind which, even in its noblest
types, must wrestle with the power of evil, and God, in whom nothing can
be imagined which would even suggest the possibility of any moral
shortcoming or imperfection.”(271) As the prophet says, “Thou art too pure
of eyes to look complacently upon evil,”(272) and according to the
Psalmist, “Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord, and who shall
stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart.”(273)

9. The idea of holiness became the preëminent feature of Judaism, so that
the favorite name for God in Rabbinical literature was “the Holy One,
blessed be He,” and the acme of all ceremonial and moral laws alike was
found in “the Hallowing of His name.”(274) If the rabbis as followers of
the Priestly Code were compelled to lay great stress upon ritual holiness,
they yet beheld in it the means of moral purification. They never lost
sight of the prophetic principle that moral purity is the object of all
human life, for “the holy God is sanctified through righteousness.”(275)

Chapter XVII. God’s Wrath and Punishment

1. Scripture speaks frequently of the anger and zeal of God and of His
avenging sword and judgment, so as to give the impression that “the Old
Testament God is a God of wrath and vengeance.” As a matter of fact, these
attributes are merely emanations of His holiness, the guide and incentive
to moral action in man. The burning fire of the divine holiness aims to
awaken the dormant seeds of morality in the human soul and to ripen them
into full growth. Whenever we to-day would speak of pangs of conscience,
of bitter remorse, Scripture uses figurative language and describes how
God’s wrath is kindled against the wrongdoing of the people, and how fire
blazes forth from His nostrils to consume them in His anger. The nearer
man stands to nature, the more tempestuous are the outbursts of his
passion, and the more violent is the reaction of his repentance. Yet this
very reaction impresses him as though wrought from outside or above by the
offended Deity. Thus the divine wrath becomes a means of moral education,
exactly as the parents’ indignation at the child’s offenses is part of his
training in morality.

2. Thus the first manifestation of God’s holiness is His indignation at
falsehood and violence, His hatred of evil and wrongdoing. The longer men
persist in sin, the more does He manifest Himself as “the angry God,” as a
“consuming fire” which destroys evil with holy zeal.(276) The husbandman
cannot expect the good harvest until he has weeded out the tares from the
field; so God, in educating man, begins by purging the soul from all its
evil inclinations, and this zeal is all the more unsparing as the good is
finally to triumph in His eternal plan of universal salvation. We must
bear in mind that Judaism does not personify evil as a power hostile to
God, hence the whole problem is only one of purifying the human soul.
Before the sun of God’s grace and mercy is to shine, bearing life and
healing for all humanity, His wrath and punitive justice must ever burst
forth to cleanse the world of its sin. For as long as evil continues
unchecked, so long cannot the divine holiness pour forth its
all-forbearing goodness and love.

3. On this account the first revelation of God on Sinai was as “a jealous
God, who visiteth the sins of the fathers upon the children and the
children’s children until the third and fourth generation.” So the
prophets, from Moses to Malachi, speak ever of God’s anger, which comes
with the fury of nature’s unchained forces, to terrify and overwhelm all
living beings.(277) Thus Scripture considers all the great catastrophes of
the hoary past,—flood, earthquakes, and the rain of fire and brimstone
that destroys cities—as judgments of the divine anger on sinful
generations. Wickedness in general causes His displeasure, but His wrath
is provoked especially by violations of the social order, by desecrations
of His sanctuary, or attacks on His covenant, and His anger is kindled for
the poor and helpless, when they are oppressed and deprived of their

4. Thus the divine holiness was felt more and more as a moral force, and
that which appeared in pre-prophetic times to be an elemental power of the
celestial ire became a refining flame, purging men of dross as in a
crucible. “I will not execute the fierceness of Mine anger,” says the
prophet, “for I am God and not man, the Holy One in the midst of thee, and
I will not come in fury.”(279) So sings the Psalmist, “His anger is but
for a moment; His favor for a life-time.”(280) In the same spirit the
rabbis interpreted the verse of the Decalogue, “The sin of the fathers is
visited upon the children and children’s children only if they continue to
act as their fathers did, and are themselves haters of God.”(281)

The fact is that Israel in Canaan had become addicted to all the vices of
idolatry, and if they were to be trained to moral purity and to loyalty to
the God of the Covenant, they must be taught fear and awe before the flame
of the divine wrath. Only after that could the prophet address himself to
the conscience of the individual, saying:

    “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?
    Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
    He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly;
    He that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands
                from holding of bribes,
    That stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his
                eyes from looking upon evil;
    He shall dwell on high; his place of defense shall be the
                munitions of rocks;
    His bread shall be given, his water shall be sure.
    Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty; they shall behold a
                land stretching afar.”(282)

Here we behold the fiery element of the divine holiness partly depicted as
a reality and partly spiritualized. The last of the prophets compares the
divine wrath to a melting furnace, which on the Day of Judgment is to
consume evildoers as stubble, while to those who fear the Lord He shall
appear as the sun of righteousness with healing on its wings.(283)

5. The idea as expressed by the prophets, then, was that God’s anger will
visit the wicked, and particularly the ungodly nations of heathendom, and
that He shall judge all creatures in fire.(284) This was significantly
altered under Persian influence, when the Jew began to regard the world to
come as promising to the righteous greater bliss than the present one.
Then the day of divine wrath meant doom eternal for evil-doers, who were
to fall into the fiery depths of Gehenna, “their worm is never to die and
their fire never to be quenched.”(285) This became the prevailing view of
the rabbis, of the Apocalyptics and also of the New Testament and the
Church literature.(286) The Jewish propaganda in the Hellenistic
literature, however, combined the fire of Gehenna with the Stoic, or
pagan, view of a general world-conflagration, and announced a general
doomsday for the heathen world, unless they be converted to the belief in
Israel’s one and holy God, and ceased violating the fundamental (Noachian)
laws of humanity.(287)

6. A higher view of the punitive anger of God is taken by Beruriah, the
noble wife of R. Meir,(288)—if, indeed, the wife of the saintly Abba
Helkiah did not precede her(289)—in suggesting a different reading of the
Biblical text, as to make it offer the lesson: “not the sinners shall
perish from the earth, but the sins.” From a more philosophical viewpoint
both Juda ha Levi and Maimonides hold that the anger which we ascribe to
God is only the transference of the anger which we actually feel at the
sight of evildoing. Similarly, when we speak of the consuming fire of
hell, we depict the effect which the fear of God must have on our inner
life, until the time shall come when we shun evil as ungodly and love the
good because it is both good and God-like.(290)

Chapter XVIII. God’s Long-suffering and Mercy

1. In one of the little known apocryphal writings, the Testament of
Abraham, a beautiful story is told of the patriarch. Shortly before his
death, the archangel Michael drove him along the sky in the heavenly
chariot. Looking down upon the earth, he saw companies of thieves and
murderers, adulterers, and other evil-doers pursuing their nefarious
practices, and in righteous indignation he cried out: “Oh would to God
that fire, destruction, and death should instantly befall these
criminals!” No sooner had he spoken these words than the doom he
pronounced came upon those wicked men. But then spoke the Lord God to the
heavenly charioteer Michael: “Stop at once, lest My righteous servant
Abraham in his just indignation bring death upon all My creatures, because
they are not as righteous as he. He has not learned to restrain his
anger.”(291) Thus, indeed, the wrath kindled at the sight of wrongdoing
would consume the sinner at once, were it not for another quality in God,
called in Scripture _long-suffering_. By this He restrains His anger and
gives the sinner time to improve his ways. Though every wicked deed
provokes Him to immediate punishment, yet He shows compassion upon the
feeble mortal. “Even in wrath He remembereth compassion.”(292) “He hath no
delight in the death of the sinner, but that he shall return from his ways
and live.”(293) The divine holiness does not merely overwhelm and consume;
its essential aim is the elevation of man, the effort to endow him with a
higher life.

2. It is perfectly true that a note of rigor and of profound earnestness
runs through the pages of Holy Writ. The prophets, law-givers, and
psalmists speak incessantly of how guilt brings doom upon the lands and
nations. As the father who is solicitous of the honor of his household
punishes unrelentingly every violation of morality within it, so the Holy
One of Israel watches zealously over His people’s loyalty to His covenant.
His glorious name, His holy majesty cannot be violated with immunity from
His dreaded wrath. There is nothing of the joyous abandon which was
predominant in the Greek nature and in the Olympian gods. The ideal of
holiness was presented by the God of Israel, and all the doings of men
appeared faulty beside it.

But its power of molding character is shown by Judaism at this very point,
in that it does not stop at the condemnation of the sinner. It holds forth
the promise of God’s forbearance to man in his shortcomings, due to His
compassion on the weakness of flesh and blood. He waits for man, erring
and stumbling, until by striving and struggling he shall attain a higher
state of purity. This is the bright, uplifting side of the Jewish idea of
the divine holiness. In this is the innermost nature of God disclosed. In
fear and awe of Him who is enthroned on high, “before whom even the angels
are not pure,” man, conscious of his sinfulness, sinks trembling into the
dust before the Judge of the whole earth. But the grace and mercy of the
long-suffering Ruler lift him up and imbue him with courage and strength
to acquire a new life and new energy. Thus the oppressive burden of guilt
is transformed into an uplifting power through the influence of the holy

3. The predominance in God of mildness and mercy over punitive anger is
expressed most strikingly in the revelation to Moses, when he had
entreated God to let him see His ways. The people had provoked God’s anger
by their faithlessness in the worship of the golden calf, and He had
threatened to consume them, when Moses interceded in their behalf. Then
the Lord passed by him, and proclaimed: “The Lord, the Lord, God, merciful
and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping
mercy unto the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression
and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity
of the fathers upon the children and upon the children’s children, unto
the third and unto the fourth generation.”(294) Such a passage shows
clearly the progress in the knowledge of God’s nature. For Abraham and the
traditions of the patriarchs God was the righteous Judge, punishing the
transgressors. He is represented in the same way in the Decalogue on
Sinai.(295) Was this to be the final word? Was Israel chosen by God as His
covenant people, only to encounter the full measure of His just but
relentless anger and to be consumed at once for the violation of this
covenant? Therefore Moses wrestled with his God. Filled with compassionate
love for his people, he is willing to offer his life as their ransom. And
should God himself lack this fullness of love and pity, of which even a
human being is capable? Then, as from a dark cloud, there flashed suddenly
upon him the light of a new revelation; he became aware of the higher
truth, that above the austerity of God’s avenging anger prevails the
tender forgiveness of His mercy; that beyond the consuming zeal of His
punitive justice shines the sun-like splendor of His grace and love. The
rabbis find the expression of mercy especially in the name JHVH (_i.e._
“the One who shall ever be”) which is significantly placed here at the
head of the divine attributes. Indeed, only He who is the same from
everlasting to everlasting, and to whom to-morrow is like yesterday, can
show forbearance to erring man, because in whatsoever he has failed
yesterday he may make good to-morrow.

4. Like Moses, the master of the prophets, so the prophet Hosea also
learned in hard spiritual struggle to know the divine attribute of mercy
and lovingkindness. His own wife had proved faithless, and had broken the
marital covenant; still his love survived, so that he granted her
forgiveness when she was forsaken, and took her back to his home. Then, in
his distress at the God-forsaken state of Israel through her
faithlessness, he asked himself: “Will God reject forever the nation which
He espoused, because it broke the covenant? Will not He also grant
forgiveness and mercy?” The divine answer came to him out of the depths of
his own compassionate soul. Upon the crown of God’s majesty which Amos had
beheld all effulgent with justice and righteousness, he placed the most
precious gem, reflecting the highest quality of God—His gracious and
all-forgiving love.(296) Whether the priority in this great truth belongs
to Hosea or Moses is a question for historical Bible research to answer,
but it is of no consequence to Jewish theology.

5. Certainly Scripture represents God too much after human fashion, when
it ascribes to him changes of mood from anger to compassion, or speaks of
His repentance.(297) But we must bear in mind that the prophets obtained
their insight into the ways of God by this very process of transferring
their own experience to the Deity. And on the other hand, we are told that
“God is not a man that He should lie, neither the son of man that He
should repent.”(298) All these anthropomorphic pictures of God were later
avoided by the ancient Biblical translators by means of paraphrase, and by
the philosophers by means of allegory.(299)

6. According to the Midrashic interpretation of the passage from the
Pentateuch quoted above, Moses desired to ascertain whether God ruled the
world with His justice or with His mercy, and the answer was: “Behold, I
shall let My _goodness_ pass before thee. For I owe nothing to any of My
creatures, but My actions are prompted only by My grace and good will,
through which I give them all that they possess.”(300) According to
Judaism justice and mercy are intertwined in God’s government of the
world; the former is the pillar of the cosmic structure, and the latter
the measuring line. No mortal could stand before God, were justice the
only standard; but we subsist on His mercy, which lends us the boons of
life without our meriting them. That which is not good in us now is to
become good through our effort toward the best. God’s grace underlies this

Accordingly, the divine holiness has two aspects, the overwhelming wrath
of His justice and the uplifting grace of His long-suffering. Without
justice there could be no fear of God, no moral earnestness; without mercy
only condemnation and perdition would remain. As the rabbis tell us, both
justice and mercy had their share in the creation of man, for in man both
good and bad appear and struggle for supremacy. All generations need the
divine grace that they may have time and opportunity for improvement.(301)

7. Thus this conception of grace is far deeper and worthier of God than is
that of Paulinian Christianity; for grace in Paul’s sense is arbitrary in
action and dependent upon the acceptance of a creed, therefore the very
reverse of impartial justice. In Judaism divine grace is not offered as a
bait to make men believe, but as an incentive to moral improvement. The
God of holiness, who inflicts wounds upon the guilty soul by bitter
remorse, offers also healing through His compassion. Justice and mercy are
not two separate powers or persons in the Deity, as with the doctrine of
the Church; they are the two sides of the same divine power. “I am the
Lord before sin was committed, and I am the Lord after sin is
committed”—so the rabbis explain the repetition of the name JHVH in the
revelation to Moses.(302)

Chapter XIX. God’s Justice

1. The unshakable faith of the Jewish people was ever sustained by the
consciousness that its God is a God of justice. The conviction that He
will not suffer wrong to go unpunished was read into all the stories of
the hoary past. The Babylonian form of these legends in common with all
ancient folk-lore ascribes human calamity to blind fate or to the caprice
of the gods, but the Biblical narratives assume that evil does not befall
men undeserved, and therefore always ascribe ruin or death to human
transgression. So the Jewish genius beheld in the destruction of Sodom and
Gomorrah a divine judgment upon the depraved inhabitants, and derived from
it a lesson for the household of Abraham that they should “keep the way of
the Lord to do righteousness and justice.”(303) The fundamental principle
of Judaism throughout the ages has been the teaching of the patriarch that
“the Judge of all the earth cannot act unjustly,”(304) even though the
varying events of history force the problem of justice upon the attention
of Jeremiah,(305) the Psalmists,(306) the author of the book of Job,(307)
and the Talmudical sages.(308) “Righteousness and justice are the
foundations of Thy throne”(309)—this is the sum and substance of the
religious experience of Israel. At the same time man realizes how far from
his grasp is the divine justice: “Thy righteousness is like the mighty
mountains; Thy judgments are like the great deep.”(310)

2. The Master-builder of the moral world made justice the supporting
pillar of the entire creation. “He is The Rock, His work is perfect, for
all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just
and right is He.”(311) There can be no moral world order without a
retributive justice, which leaves no infringement of right unpunished,
just as no social order can exist without laws to protect the weak and to
enforce general respect. The God of Judaism rules over mankind as Guardian
and Vindicator of justice; no wrong escapes His scrutinizing gaze. This
fundamental doctrine invested history, of both the individual and the
nation, with a moral significance beyond that of any other religious or
ethical system.

Whatever practice or sense of justice may exist among the rest of mankind,
it is at best a glimpse of that divine righteousness which leads us on and
becomes a mighty force compelling us, not only to avoid wrongdoing, but to
combat it with all the passion of an indignant soul and eradicate it
wherever possible. Though in our daily experience justice may be sadly
lacking, we still cling to the moral axiom that God will lead the right to
victory and will hurl iniquity into the abyss. As the sages remark in the
Midrash: “How could short-sighted and short-lived man venture to assert,
‘All His ways are just,’ were it not for the divine revelation by which
the eyes of Moses were opened, so that he could gaze into the very depths
of life?”(312) That is, the idea of divine justice is revealed, not in the
world as it is, but in the world as it should be, the ideal cosmos which
lives in the spirit.

3. It cannot be denied that justice is recognized as a binding force even
by peoples on a low cultural plane, and the Deity is generally regarded as
the guardian of justice, exactly as in Judaism. This fact is shown by the
use of the oath in connection with judicial procedure among many nations.
Both Roman jurisprudence and Greek ethics declare justice to be the
foundation of the social life. Nevertheless the Jewish ideal of justice
cannot be identified with that of the law and the courts. The law is part
of the social system of the State, by which the relations of individuals
are determined and upheld. The maintenance of this social order, of the
_status quo_, is considered justice by the law, whatever injustice to
individuals may result. But the Jewish idea of justice is not reactionary;
it owes to the prophets its position as the dominating principle of the
world, the peculiar essence of God, and therefore the ultimate ideal of
human life. They fought for right with an insistence which vindicated its
moral significance forever, and in scathing words of indignation which
still burn in the soul they denounced oppression wherever it appeared. The
crimes of the mighty against the weak, they held, could not be atoned for
by the outward forms of piety. Right and justice are not simply matters
for the State and the social order, but belong to God, who defends the
cause of the helpless and the homeless, “who executes the judgment of the
fatherless and the widow,” “who regardeth not persons, nor taketh
bribes.”(313) Iniquity is hateful to Him; it cannot be covered up by pious
acts, nor be justified by good ends. “Justice is God’s.”(314) Thus every
violation of justice, whether from sordid self-seeking or from tender
compassion, is a violation of God’s cause; and every vindication of
justice, every strengthening of the power of right in society, is a
triumph of God.

4. Accordingly, the highest principle of ethics in Judaism, the cardinal
point in the government of the world, is not love, but _justice_. Love has
the tendency to undermine the right and to effeminize society. Justice, on
the other hand, develops the moral capacity of every man; it aims not
merely to avoid wrong, but to promote and develop the right for the sake
of the perfect state of morality. True justice cannot remain a passive
onlooker when the right or liberty of any human being is curtailed, but
strains every effort to prevent violence and oppression. It battles for
the right, until it has triumphed over every injustice. This practical
conception of right can be traced through all Jewish literature and
doctrine; through the laws of Moses, to whom is ascribed the maxim: “Let
the right have its way, though it bore holes through the rock”,(315)
through the flaming words of the prophets;(316) through the Psalmists, who
spoke such words as these: “Thou art not a God who hath pleasure in
wickedness; evil shall not sojourn with Thee. The arrogant shall not stand
in Thy sight; Thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”(317)

Nor does justice stop with the prohibition of evil. The very arm that
strikes down the presumptuous transgressor turns to lift up the meek and
endow him with strength. Justice becomes a positive power for the right;
it becomes _Zedakah_, righteousness or true benevolence, and aims to
readjust the inequalities of life by kindness and love. It engenders that
deeper sense of justice which claims the right of the weak to protection
by the arm of the strong.

5. Hence comes the truth of Matthew Arnold’s striking summary of Israel’s
Law and Prophets in his “Literature and Dogma,” as “The Power, not
ourselves, that maketh for righteousness.” Still, when we trace the
development of this central thought in the soul of the Jewish people, we
find that it arose from a peculiar mythological conception. The God of
Sinai had manifested Himself in the devastating elements of nature—fire,
storm, and hail; later, the prophetic genius of Israel saw Him as a moral
power who destroyed wickedness by these very phenomena in order that right
should prevail. At first the covenant-God of Israel hurls the plagues of
heaven upon the hostile Egyptians and Canaanites, the oppressors of His
people. Afterward the great prophets speak of the Day of JHVH which would
come at the end of days, when God will execute His judgment upon the
heathen nations by pouring forth all the terrors of nature upon them. The
natural forces of destruction are utilized by the Ruler of heaven as means
of moral purification. “For by fire will the Lord contend.”(318)

In this process the sense of right became progressively refined, so that
God was made the Defender of the cause of the oppressed, and the holiest
of duties became the protection of the forsaken and unfortunate. Justice
and right were thus lifted out of the civil or forensic sphere into that
of divine holiness, and the struggle for the down-trodden became an
imperative duty. Judaism finds its strength in the oft-repeated doctrine
that the moral welfare of the world rests upon justice. “The King’s
strength is that he loveth justice,” says the Psalmist, and commenting
upon this the Midrash says, “Not might, but right forms the foundation of
the world’s peace.”(319)

6. Social life, therefore, must be built upon the firm foundation of
justice, the full recognition of the rights of all individuals and all
classes. It can be based neither upon the formal administration of law nor
upon the elastic principle of love, which too often tolerates, or even
approves certain types of injustice. Judaism has been working through the
centuries to realize the ideal of justice to all mankind; therefore the
Jew has suffered and waited for the ultimate triumph of the God of
justice. God’s kingdom of justice is to be established, not in a world to
come, but in the world that now is, in the life of men and nations. As the
German poet has it, “Die Weltgeschichte ist das Weltgericht” (the history
of the world is the world’s tribunal of justice).

7. The recognition of God as the righteous Ruler implies a dominion of
absolute justice which allows no wrongdoing to remain unpunished and no
meritorious act to remain unrewarded. The moral and intellectual maturity
of the people, however, must determine how they conceive retribution in
the divine judgment. Under the simple conditions of patriarchal life, when
common experience seemed to be in harmony with the demands of divine
justice, when the evil-doer seemed to meet his fate and the worthy man to
enjoy his merited prosperity, reward and punishment could well be
expressed by the Bible in terms of national prosperity and calamity. The
prophets, impressed by the political and moral decline of their era,
announced for both Israel and the other nations a day of judgment to come,
when God will manifest Himself as the righteous Ruler of the world. In
fact, those great preachers of righteousness announced for all time the
truth of a _moral government of the world_, with terror for the
malefactors and the assurance of peace and salvation for the righteous.
“He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity”
becomes a song of joyous confidence and hope on the lips of the
Psalmist.(320) This final triumph of justice does not depend, as Christian
theologians assert, on the mere outward conformity of Israel to the
law.(321) On the contrary, it offers to the innocent sufferer the hope
that “his right shall break forth as light,” while “the wicked shall be
put to silence in darkness.”(322) We must admit, indeed, that the Biblical
idea of retribution still has too much of the earthly flavor, and often
lacks true spirituality. The explanation of this lies in the desire of the
expounders of Judaism that _this_ world should be regarded as the
battle-ground between the good and the bad, that the victory of the good
is to be decided _here_, and that the idea of justice should not assume
the character of other-worldliness.

8. It is true that neither the prophets, such as Jeremiah, nor the sages,
such as the authors of Job and Koheleth, actually solved the great enigma
which has baffled all nations and ages, the adjustment of merit and
destiny by divine righteousness. Yet even a doubter like Job does not
despair of his own sense of justice, and wrestles with his God in the
effort to obtain a deeper insight. Still the great mass of people are not
satisfied with an unfulfilled yearning and seeking. The various religions
have gradually transferred the final adjustment of merit and destiny to
the hereafter; the rewards and punishments awaiting man after death have
been depicted glaringly in colors taken from this earthly life. It is not
surprising that Judaism was influenced by this almost universal view. The
mechanical form of the principle of justice demands that “with the same
measure one metes out, it shall be meted out to him,”(323) and this could
not be found either in human justice or in human destiny. Therefore the
popular mind naturally turned to the world to come, expecting there that
just retribution which is lacking on earth.

Only superior minds could ascend to that higher ethical conception where
compensation is no longer expected, but man seeks the good and happiness
of others and finds therein his highest satisfaction. As Ben Azzai
expresses it, “The reward of virtue is virtue, and the punishment of sin
is sin.”(324) At this point justice merges into divine holiness.

9. The idea of divine justice exerted its uplifting force in one more way
in Judaism. The recognition of God as the righteous Judge of the
world—_Zidduk ha Din_(325)—is to bring consolation and endurance to the
afflicted, and to remove from their hearts the bitter sting of despair and
doubt. The rabbis called God “the Righteous One of the universe,”(326) as
if to indicate that God himself is meant by the Scriptural verse, “The
righteous is an everlasting foundation of the world.”(327)

Far remote from Judaism, however, is the doctrine that God would consign
an otherwise righteous man to eternal doom, because he belongs to another
creed or another race than that of the Jew. Wherever the heathens are
spoken of as condemned at the last judgment, the presumption based upon
centuries of sad experience was that their lives were full of injustice
and wickedness. Indeed, milder teachers, whose view became the accepted
one, maintained that truly righteous men are found among the heathen, who
have therefore as much claim upon eternal salvation as the pious ones of

Chapter XX. God’s Love and Compassion

1. As justice forms the basis of human morality, with kindness and
benevolence as milder elements to mitigate its sternness, so, according to
the Jewish view, mercy and love represent the milder side of God, but by
no means a higher attribute counteracting His justice. Love can supplement
justice, but cannot replace it. The sages say:(329) “When the Creator saw
that man could not endure, if measured by the standard of strict justice,
He joined His attribute of mercy to that of justice, and created man by
the combined principle of both.” The divine compassion with human frailty,
felt by both Moses and Hosea, manifests itself in God’s mercy. Were it not
for the weakness of the flesh, justice would have sufficed. But the divine
plan of salvation demands redeeming love which wins humanity step by step
for higher moral ends. The educational value of this love lies in the fact
that it is a gift of grace, bestowed on man by the fatherly love of God to
ward off the severity of full retribution. His pardon must conduce to a
deeper moral earnestness.(330) “For with Thee there is forgiveness that
Thou mayest be feared.”(331) R. Akiba says: “The world is judged by the
divine attribute of goodness.”(332)

2. As a matter of course, in the Biblical view God’s mercy was realized at
first only with regard to Israel and was afterward extended gradually to
humanity at large. The generation of the flood and the inhabitants of
Sodom perished on account of their guilt, and only the righteous were
saved. This attitude holds throughout the Bible until the late book of
Jonah, with its lesson of God’s forgiveness even for the heathen city of
Nineveh after due repentance. In the later Psalms the divine attributes of
mercy are expanded and applied to all the creatures of God.(333) According
to the school of Hillel, whenever the good and evil actions of any man are
found equal in the scales of justice, God inclines the balances toward the
side of mercy.(334) Nay more, in the words of Samuel, the Babylonian
teacher, God judges the nations by the noblest types they produce.(335)

The ruling Sadducean priesthood insisted on the rigid enforcement of the
law. The party of the pious, the _Hasidim_, however,—according to the
liturgy, the apocryphal and the rabbinical literature,—appealed to the
mercy of God in song and prayer, acknowledging their failings in humility,
and made kindness and love their special objects in life. Therefore with
their ascendancy the divine attributes of mercy and compassion were
accentuated. God himself, we are told, was heard praying: “Oh that My
attribute of mercy may prevail over My attribute of justice, so that grace
alone may be bestowed upon My children on earth.”(336) And the second word
of the Decalogue was so interpreted that God’s mercy—which is said to
extend “to the thousandth generation”—is five hundred times as powerful as
His punitive justice,—which is applied “to the third and fourth

3. Divine mercy shows itself in the law, where compassion is enjoined on
all suffering creatures. Profound sympathy with the oppressed is echoed in
the ancient law of the poor who had to give up his garment as a pledge:
“When he crieth unto Me, I shall hear, for I am gracious.”(338) In the old
Babylonian code, might was the arbiter of right,(339) but the unique
genius of the Jew is shown in adapting this same legal material to its
impulse of compassion. The cry of the innocent sufferer, of the forsaken
and fatherless, rises up to God’s throne and secures there his right
against the oppressor. Thus in the Mosaic law and throughout Jewish
literature God calls himself “the Judge of the widow,” “the Father of the
fatherless,”(340) “a Stronghold to the needy.”(341) He calls the poor, “My
people,”(342) and, as the rabbis say, He loves the persecuted, not the

4. Even to dumb beasts God extends His mercy. This Jewish tenderness is an
inheritance from the shepherd life of the patriarchs, who were eager to
quench the thirst of the animals in their care before they thought of
their own comfort.(344) This sense of sympathy appears in the Biblical
precepts as to the overburdened beast,(345) the ox treading the corn,(346)
and the mother-beast or mother-bird with her young,(347) as well as the
Talmudic rule first to feed the domestic animals and then sit down to the
meal.(348) This has remained a characteristic trait of Judaism. Thus, in
connection with the verse of the Psalm, “His tender mercies are over all
His works,”(349) it is related of Rabbi Judah the Saint, the redactor of
the Mishnah, that he was afflicted with pain for thirteen years, and gave
as reason that he once struck and kicked away a calf which had run to him
moaning for protection; he was finally relieved, after he had taught his
household to have pity even on the smallest of creatures.(350) In fact,
Rabban Gamaliel, his grandfather, had taught before him: “Whosoever has
compassion on his fellow-creatures, on him God will have compassion.”(351)
The sages often interpret the phrase “To walk in the way of the Lord”—that
is, “As the Holy One, blessed be He, is merciful, so be ye also

5. Thus the rabbis came to regard _love_ as the innermost part of God’s
being. _God loves mankind_, is the highest stage of consciousness of God,
but this can be attained only by the closest relation of the human soul to
the Most High, after severe trials have softened and humanized the spirit.
It is not accidental that Scripture speaks often of God’s goodness, mercy,
and grace, but seldom mentions His love. Possibly the term _ahabah_ was
used at first for sensuous love and therefore was not employed for God so
often as the more spiritual _hesed_, which denotes kind and loyal
affection.(353) However, Hosea used this term for his own love for his
faithless wife, and did not hesitate to apply it also to God’s love for
His faithless people, which he terms “a love of free will.”(354) His
example is followed by Jeremiah, most tender of the prophets, who gave the
classic expression to the everlasting love of God for Israel, His beloved
son.(355) This divine love, spiritually understood, forms the chief topic
of the Deuteronomic addresses.(356) In this book God’s love appears as
that of a father for his son, who lavishes gifts upon him, but also
chastises him for his own good.(357) The mind opened more and more to
regard the trials sent by God as means of ennobling the character,(358)
and the men of the Talmudic period often speak of the afflictions of the
saints as “visitations of the divine love.”(359)

6. The sufferings of Israel in particular were taken to be trials of the
divine love.(360) God’s love for Israel, “His first-born son,”(361) is not
partial, but from the outset aims to train him for his world mission. The
Song of Moses speaks of the love of the Father for His son “whom He found
in the wilderness”;(362) and this is requited by the bridal love of Israel
with which the people “went after God in the wilderness.”(363) It is this
love of God, according to Akiba’s interpretation of the Song of Songs,
which “all the waters could not quench,” “a love as strong as death.”(364)
This love raised up a nation of martyrs without parallel in history,
although the followers of the so-called Religion of Love fail to give it
the credit it deserves and seem to regard it as a kind of hatred for the
rest of mankind.(365) Whenever the paternal love of God is truly felt and
understood it must include all classes and all souls of men who enter into
the relation of children to God. Wherever emphasis is laid upon the
special love for Israel, it is based upon the love with which the chosen
people cling to the Torah, the word of God, upon the devotion with which
they surrender their lives in His cause.(366)

7. Still, Judaism does not proclaim love, absolute and unrestricted, as
the divine principle of life. That is left to the Church, whose history
almost to this day records ever so many acts of lovelessness. Love is
unworthy of God, unless it is guided by justice. Love of good must be
accompanied by hate of evil, or else it lacks the educative power which
alone makes it beneficial to man.

God’s love manifests itself in human life as an educative power. R. Akiba
says that it extends to all created in God’s image, although the knowledge
of it was vouchsafed to Israel alone.(367) This universal love of God is a
doctrine of the apocryphal literature as well. “Thou hast mercy upon all
... for Thou lovest all things that are, and hatest nothing which Thou
hast made.... But Thou sparest all, for they are Thine, O Lord, Lover of
souls,” says the Book of Wisdom;(368) and when Ezra the Seer laments the
calamity that has befallen the people, God replies, “Thinkest thou that
thou lovest My creatures more than I?”(369)

8. Among the mystics divine love was declared to be the highest creative
principle. They referred the words of the Song of Songs,—“The midst
thereof is paved with love,”(370) to the innermost palace of heaven, where
stands the throne of God.(371) Among the philosophers Crescas considered
love the active cosmic principle rather than intellect, the principle of
Aristotle, because it is love which is the impulse for creation.(372) This
conception of divine love received a peculiarly mystic color from Juda
Abravanel, a neo-Platonist of the sixteenth century, known as Leo
Hebraeus. He says: “God’s love must needs unfold His perfection and
beauty, and reveal itself in His creatures, and love for these creatures
must again elevate an imperfect world to His own perfection. Thus is
engendered in man that yearning for love with which he endeavors to
emulate the divine perfection.”(373) Both Crescas and Leo Hebraeus thus
gave the keynote for Spinoza’s “Intellectual love” as the cosmic
principle,(374) and this has been echoed even in such works as Schiller’s
dithyrambs on “Love and Friendship” in his “Philosophic Letters.”(375)
Still this neo-Platonic view has nothing in common with the theological
conception of love. In Judaism God is conceived as a loving Father, who
purposes to lead man to happiness and salvation. In other words, the
divine love is an essentially moral attribute of God, and not a
metaphysical one.

9. If we wish to speak of a power that permeates the cosmos and turns the
wheel of life, it is far more correct to speak of God’s creative
goodness.(376) According to Scripture, each day’s creation bears the
divine approval: “It is good.”(377) Even the evil which man experiences
serves a higher purpose, and that purpose makes for the good. Misfortune
and death, sorrow and sin, in the great economy of life are all turned
into final good. Accordingly, Judaism recognizes this divine goodness not
only in every enjoyment of nature’s gifts and the favors of fortune, but
also in sad and trying experiences, and for all of these it provides
special formulas of benediction.(378) The same divine goodness sends joy
and grief, even though shortsighted man fails to see the majestic Sun of
life which shines in unabated splendor above the clouds. Judaism was
optimistic through all its experiences just because of this implicit faith
in God’s goodness. Such faith transforms each woe into a higher welfare,
each curse into actual blessing; it leads men and nations from oppression
to ever greater freedom, from darkness to ever brighter light, and from
error to ever higher truth and righteousness. Divine love may have pity
upon human weakness, but it is divine goodness that inspires and quickens
human energy. After all, love cannot be the dominant principle of life.
Man cannot love all the time, nor can he love all the world; his sense of
justice demands that he hate wickedness and falsehood. We must apply the
same criterion to God. But, on the other hand, man can and should _do
good_ and _be good_ continually and to all men, even to the most unworthy.
Therefore God becomes the pattern and ideal of an all-encompassing
goodness, which is never exhausted and never reaches an end.

Chapter XXI. God’s Truth and Faithfulness

1. In the Hebrew language truth and faithfulness are both derived from the
same root; _aman_, “firmness,” is the root idea of _emeth_, “truth,” and
_emunah_, “faithfulness.” Man feels insecurity and uncertainty among the
varying impressions and emotions which affect his will; therefore he turns
to the immovable Rock of life, calls on Him as the Guardian and Witness of
truth, and feels confident that He will vindicate every promise made in
His sight. He is the God by whom men swear—_Elohe amen_;(379) nay, who
swears by Himself, saying, “As true as that I live.”(380) He is the
supreme Power of life, “the God of faithfulness, in whom there is no
iniquity.”(381) The heavens testify to His faithfulness; He is the
trustworthy God, whose essence is truth.(382)

2. Here, too, as with other attributes, the development of the idea may be
traced step by step. At first it refers to the God of the covenant with
Israel, who made a covenant with the fathers and keeps it with the
thousandth generation of their descendants. He shows His mercy to those
who love Him and keep His commandments. The idea of God’s faithfulness to
His covenant is thus extended gradually from the people to the cosmos, and
the heavens are called upon to witness to the faithfulness of God
throughout the realm of life. Thus in both the Psalms and the liturgy God
is praised as the One who is faithful in His word as in His work.(383)

3. From this conception of faithfulness arose two other ideas which
exerted a powerful influence upon the whole spiritual and intellectual
life of the Jew. The God of faithfulness created a people of faithfulness
as His own, and Israel’s God of truth awakened in the nation a passion for
truth unrivaled by any other religious or philosophical system. Like a
silver stream running through a valley, the conviction runs through the
sacred writings and the liturgy that the promise made of yore to the
fathers will be fulfilled to the children. As each past deliverance from
distress was considered a verification of the divine faithfulness, so each
hope for the future was based upon the same attribute. “He keepeth His
faith also to those who sleep in the dust.” These words of the second of
the Eighteen Benedictions clearly indicate that even the belief in the
hereafter rested upon the same fundamental belief.

On the other hand, the same conception formed the keynote of the idea of
the divine truthfulness. The primitive age knew nothing of the laws of
nature with which we have become familiar through modern science. But the
pious soul trusts the God of faithfulness, certain that He who has created
the heaven and the earth is true to His own word, and will not allow them
to sink back into chaos. One witness to this is the rainbow, which He has
set up in the sky as a sign of His covenant.(384) The sea and the stars
also have a boundary assigned to them which they cannot transgress.(385)
Thus to the unsophisticated religious soul, with no knowledge of natural
science, the world is carried by God’s “everlasting arms”(386) and His
faithfulness becomes token and pledge of the immutability of His will.

4. At this point the intellect grasps an idea of intrinsic and
indestructible truth, which has its beginning and its end in God, the Only
One. “The gods of the nations are all vanity and deceit, the work of men;
Israel’s God is the God of truth, the living God and everlasting
King.”(387) With this cry has Judaism challenged the nations of the world
since the Babylonian exile. Its own adherents it charged to ponder upon
the problems of life and the nature of God, until He would appear before
them as the very essence of truth, and all heathenish survivals would
vanish as mist. God is truth, and He desires naught but truth, therefore
hypocrisy is loathsome to him, even in the service of religion. With this
underlying thought Job, the bold but honest doubter, stands above his
friends with their affected piety. _God is truth_—this confession of
faith, recited each morning and evening by the Jew, gave his mind the
power to soar into the highest realms of thought, and inspired his soul to
offer life and all it holds for his faith. “God is the everlasting truth,
the unchangeable Being who ever remains the same amid the fluctuations and
changes of all other things.” This is the fundamental principle upon which
Joseph Ibn Zaddik and Abraham Ibn Daud, the predecessors of Maimonides,
reared their entire philosophical systems, which were Aristotelian and yet
thoroughly Jewish.(388)

Mystic lore, always so fond of the letters of the alphabet and their
hidden meanings, noted that the letters of _Emeth_—_aleph_, _mem_ and
_tav_—are the first, the middle, and the last letters of the alphabet, and
therefore concluded that God made truth the beginning, the center, and the
end of the world.(389) Josephus also, no doubt in accordance with the same
tradition, declares that God is “the beginning, the center, and the end of
all things.”(390) A corresponding rabbinical saying is: “Truth is the seal
of God.”(391)

Chapter XXII. God’s Knowledge and Wisdom

1. The attempt to enumerate the attributes of God recalls the story
related in the Talmud(392) of a disciple who stepped up to the reader’s
desk to offer prayer, and began to address the Deity with an endless list
of attributes. When his vocabulary was almost exhausted, Rabbi Haninah
interrupted him with the question, “Hast thou now really finished telling
the praise of God?” Mortal man can never know what God really is. As the
poet-philosopher says: “Could I ever know Him, I would be He.”(393) But we
want to ascertain what God is _to us_, and for this very reason we cannot
rest with the negative attitude of Maimonides, who relies on the
Psalmist’s verse, “Silence is praise to Thee.”(394) We must obtain as
clear a conception of the Deity as we possibly can with our limited

To the divine attributes already mentioned we must add another which in a
sense is the focus of them all. This is the knowledge and wisdom of God,
the omniscience which renders Him all-knowing and all-wise. Through this
all the others come into self-consciousness. We ascribe wisdom to the man
who sets right aims for his actions and knows the means by which to attain
them, that is, who can control his power and knowledge by his will and
bend them to his purpose. In the same manner we think of wisdom in view of
the marvelous order, design, and unity which we see in the natural and the
moral world. But this wisdom must be all-encompassing, comprising time and
eternity, directing all the forces and beings of the world toward the goal
of ideal perfection.(395) It makes no difference where we find this
lesson. The Book of Proverbs singles out the tiny ant as an example of
wondrous forethought;(396) the author of Job dwells on the working
together of the powers of earth and heaven to maintain the cosmic
life;(397) modern science, with its deeper insight into nature, enables us
to follow the interaction of the primal chemical and organic forces, and
to follow the course of evolution from star-dust and cell to the structure
of the human eye or the thought-centers of the brain. But in all these
alike our conclusion must be that of the Psalmist: “O Lord, how manifold
are Thy works, in wisdom hast Thou made them all.”(398)

2. Accordingly, if we are to speak in human terms, we may consider God’s
wisdom the element which determines His various
motive-powers,—omniscience, omnipotence, and goodness,—to tend toward the
realization of His cosmic plan. Or we may call it the active intellect
with which God works as Creator, Ordainer, and Ruler of the universe. The
Biblical account of creation presupposes this wisdom, as it portrays a
logical process, working after a definite plan, proceeding from simpler to
more complex forms and culminating in man. Biblical history likewise is
based upon the principle of a divinely prearranged plan, which is
especially striking in such stories as that of Joseph.(399)

3. At first the divine wisdom was supposed to rest in part on specially
gifted persons, such as Joseph, Solomon, and Bezalel. As Scripture has it,
“The Lord giveth wisdom, out of His mouth cometh knowledge and
understanding.”(400) Later the obscure destiny of the nation appears as
the design of an all-wise Ruler to the great prophets and especially to
Isaiah, the high-soaring eagle among the seers of Israel.(401) With the
progressive expansion of the world before them, the seers and sages saw a
sublime purpose in the history of the nations, and felt more and more the
supreme place of the divine wisdom as a manifestation of His greatness.
Thus the great seer of the Exile never tires of illumining the world-wide
plan of the divine wisdom.(402)

4. A new development ensued under Babylonian and Persian influence at the
time when the monotheism of Israel became definitely universal. The divine
wisdom, creative and world-sustaining, became the highest of the divine
attributes and was partially hypostatized as an independent cosmic power.
In the twenty-eighth chapter of the Book of Job wisdom is depicted as a
magic being, far remote from all living beings of earth, beyond the reach
of the creatures of the lowest abyss, who aided the Creator with counsel
and knowledge in measuring and weighing the foundations of the world. The
description seems to be based upon an ancient Babylonian conception—which
has parallels elsewhere—of a divine Sybil dwelling beneath the ocean in
“the house of wisdom.”(403) Here, however, the mythological conception is
transformed into a symbolic figure. In the eighth chapter of Proverbs the
description of divine wisdom is more in accordance with Jewish monotheism;
wisdom is “the first of God’s creatures,” “a master-workman” who assisted
Him in founding heaven and earth, a helpmate and playmate of God, and at
the same time the instructor of men and counselor of princes, inviting all
to share her precious gifts. This conception is found also in the
apocryphal literature,—in Ben Sira, the book of Enoch, the Apocalypse of
Baruch, and the Hellenistic Book of Wisdom.(404)

From this period two different currents of thought appeared. The one
represented wisdom as an independent being distinct from God, and this
finally became merged, under Platonic influence, into the views of
neo-Platonism, Gnosticism, and the Christian dogma. The other identified
the divine wisdom with the Torah, and therefore it is the Torah which
served God as counselor and mediator at the Creation and continues as
counselor in the management of the world. This view led back to strict
monotheism, so that the cosmology of the rabbis spoke alternately of the
divine wisdom and the Torah as the instruments of God at Creation.(405)

5. The Jewish philosophers of the Middle Ages, such as Saadia, Gabirol,
and Jehuda ha Levi, followed the Mohammedan theologians in enumerating
God’s wisdom among the attributes constituting His essence, together with
His omnipotence, His will, and His creative energy. But they would not
take wisdom or any other attribute as a separate being, with an existence
outside of God, which would either condition Him or admit a division of
His nature.(406) “God himself is wisdom,” says Jehuda ha Levi, referring
to the words of Job: “He is wise in heart.”(407) And Ibn Gabirol sings in
his “Crown of Royalty”:

    “Thou art wise, and the wisdom of Thy fount of life floweth from
    And compared with Thy wisdom man is void of understanding;
    Thou art wise, before anything began its existence;
    And wisdom has from times of yore been Thy fostered child;
    Thou art wise, and out of Thy wisdom didst Thou create the world,
    Life the artificer that fashioneth whatsoever delighteth

Chapter XXIII. God’s Condescension

1. An attribute of great importance for the theological conception of God,
one upon which both Biblical and rabbinical literature laid especial
stress, is His condescension and humility. The Psalmist says(409): “Thy
condescension hath made me great,” which is interpreted in the Midrash
that the Deity stoops to man in order to lift him up to Himself. A
familiar saying of R. Johanan is(410): “Wherever Scripture speaks of the
greatness of God, there mention is made also of His condescension. So when
the prophet begins, ‘Thus saith the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth
eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place,’ he adds
the words, ‘With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit.’(411)
Or when the Deuteronomist says: ‘For the Lord your God, the great God, the
mighty and the awful,’ he concludes, ‘He doth execute justice for the
fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger.’(412) And again the
Psalmist: ‘Extol Him that rideth upon the skies, whose name is the Lord, a
Father of the fatherless and a Judge of the widows.’ ”(413) “Do you deem
it unworthy of God that He should care for the smallest and most
insignificant person or thing in the world’s household?” asks Mendelssohn
in his _Morgenstunden_. “It certainly does not detract from the dignity of
a king to be seen fondling his child as a loving father,” and he quotes
the verse of the Psalm, “Who is like unto the Lord our God, that is
enthroned on high, that looketh down low upon heaven and upon the

2. This truth has a religious depth which no philosophy can set forth.
Only the God of Revelation is near to man in his frailty and need, ready
to hear his sighs, answer his supplication, count his tears, and relieve
his wants when his own power fails. The philosopher must reject as futile
every attempt to bring the incomprehensible essence of the Deity within
the compass of the human understanding. The religious consciousness,
however, demands that we accentuate precisely those attributes of God
which bring Him nearest to us. If reason alone would have the decisive
voice in this problem, every manifestation of God to man and every
reaching out of the soul to Him in prayer would be idle fancy and
self-deceit. It is true that the Biblical conception was simple and
child-like enough, representing God as descending from the heavens to the
earth. Still Judaism does not accept the cold and distant attitude of the
philosopher; it teaches that God as a spiritual power does condescend to
man, in order that man may realize his kinship with the Most High and rise
ever nearer to his Creator. The earth whereon man dwells and the human
heart with its longing for heaven, are not bereft of God. Wherever man
seeks Him, there He is.

3. Rabbinical Judaism is very far from the attitude assigned to it by
Christian theologians,(415) of reducing the Deity to an empty
transcendental abstraction and loosening the bond which ties the soul to
its Maker. On the contrary, it maintains these very relations with a
firmness which betokens its soundness and its profound psychological
truth. In this spirit a Talmudic master interprets the Deuteronomic verse:
“For what great nation is there that hath God so nigh unto them, as the
Lord our God is whensoever we call upon Him?”(416) saying that “each will
realize the nearness of God according to his own intellectual and
emotional disposition, and thus enter into communion with Him.” According
to another Haggadist the verse of the Psalm, “The voice of the Lord
resoundeth with power,”(417) teaches how God reveals Himself, not with His
own overwhelming might, but according to each man’s individual power and
capacity. The rabbis even make bold to assert that whenever Israel
suffers, God suffers with him; as it is written, “I will be with him in

4. As a matter of fact, all the names which we apply to God in speech or
in prayer, even the most sublime and holy ones, are derived from our own
sensory experience and cannot be taken literally. They are used only as
vehicles to bring home to us the idea that God’s nearness is our highest
good. Even the material world, which is perceptible to our senses, must
undergo a certain inner transformation before it can be termed science or
philosophy, and becomes the possession of the mind. It requires still
further exertions of the imagination to bring within our grasp the world
of the spirit, and above all the loftiest of all conceptions, the very
being of God. Yet it is just this Being of all Beings who draws us
irresistibly toward Himself, whose nearness we perceive in the very depths
of our intellectual and emotional life. Our “soul thirsteth after God, the
living God,” and behold, He is nigh, He takes possession of us, and we
call Him _our_ God.

5. The Haggadists expressed this intimate relation of God to man, and
specifically to Israel, by bold and often naïve metaphors. They ascribe to
God special moments for wrath and for prayer, a secret chamber where he
weeps over the distress of Israel, a prayer-mantle (tallith) and
phylacteries which He wears like any of the leaders of the community, and
even lustrations which He practices exactly like mortals.(419) But such
fanciful and extravagant conceptions were never taken seriously by the
rabbis, and only partisan and prejudiced writers, entirely lacking in a
sense of humor, could point to such passages to prove that a theology of
the Synagogue carried out a “Judaization of God.”(420)

C. God In Relation To The World

Chapter XXIV. The World and its Master

1. In using the term world or _universe_ we include the totality of all
beings at once, and this suggests a stage of knowledge where polytheism is
practically overcome. Among the Greeks, Pythagoras is said to have been
the first to perceive “a beautiful order of things” in the world, and
therefore to call it _cosmos_.(421) Primitive man saw in the world
innumerable forces continually struggling with each other for supremacy.
Without an ordering mind no order, as we conceive it, can exist. The old
Babylonian conception prevalent throughout antiquity divided the world
into three realms, the celestial, terrestrial, and the nether world, each
of which had its own type of inhabitants and its own ruling divinities.
Yet these various divine powers were at war with each other, and
ultimately they, too, must submit to a blind fate which men and gods alike
could read in the stars or other natural phenomena.

With the first words of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the
heavens and the earth,” Judaism declared the world to be a unity and God
its Creator and Master. Heathenism had always beheld in the world certain
blind forces of nature, working without plan or purpose and devoid of any
moral aims. But Judaism sees in the world the work of a supreme Intellect
who fashioned it according to His will, and who rules in freedom, wisdom,
and goodness. “He spoke, and it was; He commanded, and it stood.”(422)
Nature exists only by the will of God; His creative _fiat_ called it into
existence, and it ceases to be as soon as it has fulfilled His plan.

2. That which the scientist terms nature—the cosmic life in its eternal
process of growth and reproduction—is declared by Judaism to be God’s
creation. Ancient heathen conceptions deified nature, indeed, but they
knew only a cosmogony, that is, a process of birth and growth of the
world. In this the gods participate with all other beings, to sink back
again at the close of the drama into fiery chaos,—the so-called “twilight
of the gods.” Here the deity constitutes a part of the world, or the world
a part of the deity, and philosophic speculation can at best blend the two
into a pantheistic system which has no place for a self-conscious,
creative mind and will. In fact, the universe appears as an ever growing
and unfolding deity, and the deity as an ever growing and unfolding
universe. Modern science more properly assumes a self-imposed limitation;
it searches for the laws underlying the action and interaction of natural
forces and elements, thus to explain in a mechanistic way the origin and
development of all things, but it leaves entirely outside of its domain
the whole question of a first cause and a supreme creative mind. It
certainly can pass no opinion as to whether or not the entire work of
creation was accomplished by the free act of a Creator. Revelation alone
can speak with unfaltering accents: “In the beginning God created heaven
and earth.” However we may understand, or imagine, the beginning of the
natural process, the formation of matter and the inception of motion, we
see above the confines of space and time the everlasting God, the
absolutely free Creator of all things.

3. No definite theological dogma can define the order and process of the
genesis of the world; this is rather a scientific than a religious
question. The Biblical documents themselves differ widely on this point,
whether one compares the stories in the first two chapters of Genesis, or
contrasts both of them with the poetical descriptions in Job and the
Psalms.(423) And these divergent accounts are still less to be reconciled
with the results of natural science. In the old Babylonian cosmography, on
which the Biblical view is based, the earth, shaped like a disk, was
suspended over the waters of the ocean, while above it was the solid vault
of heaven like a ceiling. In this the stars were fixed like lamps to light
the earth, and hidden chambers to store up the rain. The sciences of
astronomy, physics, and geology have abolished these childlike conceptions
as well as the story of a six-day creation, where vegetation sprang from
the earth even before the sun, moon, and stars appeared in the firmament.

The fact is that the Biblical account is not intended to depreciate or
supersede the facts established by natural science, but solely to
accentuate those religious truths which the latter disregards.(424) These
may be summed up in the following three doctrines:

4. First. Nature, with all its immeasurable power and grandeur, its
wondrous beauty and harmony, is not independent, but is the work, the
workshop, and the working force of the great Master. His spirit alone is
the active power; His will must be carried out. It is true that we cannot
conceive the universe otherwise than as infinite in time and space,
because both time and space are but human modes of apperception. In fact,
we cannot think of a Creator without a creation, because any potentiality
or capacity without execution would imply imperfection in God.
Nevertheless we must conceive of God as the designing and creating
intellect of the universe, infinitely transcending its complex mechanism,
whose will is expressed involuntarily by each of the created beings. He
alone is the living God; He has lent existence and infinite capacity to
the beings of the world; and they, in achieving their appointed purpose,
according to the poet’s metaphor, “weave His living garment.” The Psalmist
also sings in the same key:

    “Of old Thou didst lay the foundations of the earth;
    And the heavens are the work of Thy hands;
    They shall perish, but Thou shalt endure;
    Yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment.
    As a vesture shalt Thou change them, and they shall pass away;
    But Thou art the selfsame, and Thy years shall have no end.”(425)

5. Second. The numberless beings and forces of the universe comprise a
unity, working according to one plan, subserving a common purpose, and
pursuing in their development and interaction the aim which God’s wisdom
assigned them from the beginning. However hostile the various elements may
be toward each other, however fierce the universal conflict, “the struggle
for existence,” still over all the discord prevails a higher concord, and
the struggle of nature’s forces ends in harmony and peace. “He maketh
peace in His high places.”(426) Even the highest type of heathenism, the
Persian, divided the world into mutually hostile principles, light and
darkness, good and evil. But Judaism proclaims God as the Creator of both.
No force is left out of the universal plan; each contributes its part to
the whole. Consequently the very progress of natural science confirms more
and more the principle of the divine Unity. The researches of science are
ever tending toward the knowledge of universal laws of growth, culminating
in a scheme of universal evolution. Hence this supports and confirms
Jewish monotheism, which knows no power of evil antagonistic to God.

6. Third. The world is good, since goodness is its creator and its final
aim. True enough, nature, bent with “tooth and claw” upon annihilating one
or another form of existence, is quite indifferent to man’s sense of
compassion and justice. Yet in the wise, though inscrutable plan of God
she does but serve the good. We see how the lower forms of life ever serve
the higher, how the mineral provides food for the vegetable, while the
animal derives its food from the vegetable world and from lower types of
animals. Thus each becomes a means of vitality for a higher species. So by
the continuous upward striving of man the lower passions, with their evil
tendencies, work more and more toward the triumph of the good. Man unfolds
his God-likeness; he strives to

    “Move upward, working out the beast,
    And let the ape and tiger die.”

7. The Biblical story of Creation expresses the perfect harmony between
God’s purpose and His work in the words, “And behold, it was good” spoken
at the end of each day’s Creation, and “behold, it was very good” at the
completion of the whole. A world created by God must serve the highest
good, while, on the contrary, a world without God would prove to be “the
worst of all possible worlds,” as Schopenhauer, the philosopher of
pessimism, quite correctly concludes from his premises. The world-view of
Judaism, which regards the entire economy of life as the realization of
the all-encompassing plan of an all-wise Creator, is accordingly an
energizing optimism, or, more precisely, meliorism. This view is voiced by
the rabbis in many significant utterances, such as the maxim of R. Akiba,
“Whatsoever the Merciful One does, is for the good,”(427) or that of his
teacher, Nahum of Gimzo, “This, too, is for the good.”(428) His disciple,
R. Meir, inferred from the Biblical verse, “God saw all that He had made,
and behold, it was very good,” that “death, too, is good.”(429) Others
considered that suffering and even sin are included in this verse, because
every apparent evil is necessary that we may struggle and overcome it for
the final victory of the good.(430) As an ancient Midrash says: “God is
called a God of faith and faithfulness, because it was His faith in the
world that caused Him to bring it into existence.”(431)

Chapter XXV. Creation As the Act of God

1. “Thus shall ye say unto them: The gods that have not made the heavens
and the earth, these shall perish from the earth, and from under the
heavens. He that hath made the earth by His power, that hath established
the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His
understanding ... the Lord God is the true God.”(432) With this
declaration of war against heathenism, the prophet drew the line, once for
all, between the uncreated, transcendent God and the created, perishable
universe. It is true that Plato spoke of primordial and eternal matter and
Aristotle of an eternally rotating celestial sphere, and that even
Biblical exegetes, such as Ibn Ezra,(433) inferred from the Creation story
the existence of primeval chaotic matter. Yet, on the whole, the Jewish
idea of God has demanded the assumption that even this primitive matter
was created by God, or, as most thinkers have phrased it, that God created
the world _out of nothing_. This doctrine was voiced as early as the
Maccabean period in the appeal made by the heroic mother to the youngest
of her seven sons.(434) In the same spirit R. Gamaliel II scornfully
rejects the suggestion of a heretic that God used primeval substances
already extant in creating the world.(435)

2. Of course, thinking people will ever be confronted by the problem how a
transcendental God could call into existence a world of matter, creating
it within the limits of space and time, without Himself becoming involved
in the process. It would seem that He must by the very act subject Himself
to the limitations and mutations of the universe. Hence some of the
ancient Jewish teachers came under the influence of Babylonian and
Egyptian cosmogonies in their later Hellenistic forms, and resorted to the
theory of intermediary forces. Some of these adopted the Pythagorean
conception of the mysterious power of letters and numbers, which they
communicated to the initiated as secret lore, with the result that the
suspicion of heresy rested largely upon “those who knew,” the so-called

The difficulty of assuming a creation at a fixed period of time was met in
many different ways. It is interesting to note that R. Abbahu of Cæsarea
in the fourth century offered the explanation: “God caused one world after
another to enter into existence, until He produced the one of which He
said: ‘Behold, this is good.’ ”(436) Still this opinion seems to have been
expressed by even earlier sages, as it is adopted by Origen, a Church
father of the third century, who admitted his great debt to Jewish

The medieval Jewish philosophers evaded the difficulty by the Aristotelian
expedient of connecting the concept of time with the motion of the
spheres. Thus time was created with the celestial world, and timelessness
remained an attribute of the uncreated God.(438) Such attempts at
harmonization prove the one point of importance to us,—which, indeed, was
frankly stated by Maimonides,—that we cannot accept literally the Biblical
account of the creation.

The modern world has been lifted bodily out of the Babylonian and
so-called Ptolemaic world, with its narrow horizon, through the labors of
such men as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Lyall, and Darwin. We live in a
world immeasurable in terms of either space or time, a world where
evolution works through eons of time and an infinite number of stages.
Such a world gives rise to concepts of the working of God in nature
totally different from those of the seers and sages of former generations,
ideas of which those thinkers could not even dream. To the mind of the
modern scientist the entire cosmic life, extending over countless millions
of years, forming starry worlds without end, is moved by energy arising
within. It is a continuous flow of existence, a process of formation and
re-formation, which can have no beginning and no end. How is this
evolutionist view to be reconciled with the belief in a divine act of
creation? This is the problem which modern theology has set itself,
perhaps the greatest which it must solve.

Ultimately, however, the problem is no more difficult now than it was to
the first man who pondered over the beginnings of life in the childhood of
the world. The same answer fits both modes of thought, with only a
different process of reasoning. Whether we count the world’s creation by
days or by millions of years, the truth of the first verse of Genesis
remains: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In our
theories the whole complicated world-process is but the working out of
simple laws. This leads back as swiftly and far more surely than did the
primitive cosmology to an omnipotent and omniscient creative Power,
defining at the very outset the aim of the stupendous whole, and carrying
its comprehensive plan into reality, step by step. We who are the products
of time cannot help applying the relation of time to the work of the
Creator; time is so interwoven with our being that a modern evolutionist,
Bergson, considers it the fundamental element of reality. Thus it is
natural that we should think of God as setting the first atoms and forces
of the universe into motion somewhere and somehow, at a given moment.
Through this act, we imagine, the order prevailing through an infinitude
of space and time was established for the great fabric of life. To earlier
thinkers such an act of a supermundane and immutable God appeared as a
single act. The idea of prime importance in all this is the free activity
of the Creator in contradistinction to the blind necessity of nature, the
underlying theory of all pagan or unreligious philosophy.(439) The world
of God, which is the world of morality, and which leads to man, the image
of God, must be based upon the free, purposive creative act of God.
Whether such an act was performed once for all or is everlastingly
renewed, is a quite secondary matter for religion, however important it
may be to philosophy, or however fundamental to science. In our daily
morning prayers, which refer to the daily awakening to a life seemingly
new, God is proclaimed as “He who reneweth daily the work of

Chapter XXVI. The Maintenance and Government of the World

1. For our religious consciousness the doctrine of divine maintenance and
government of the world is far more important than that of creation. It
opposes the view of deism that God withdrew from His creation, indifferent
to the destiny of His creatures. He is rather the ever-present Mind and
Will in all the events of life. The world which He created is maintained
by Him in its continuous activity, the object of His incessant care.

2. Scripture knows nothing of natural law, but presents the changing
phenomena of nature as special acts of God and considers the natural
forces His messengers carrying out His will. “He opens the windows of
heaven to let the rain descend upon the earth.”(441) “He leads out the
hosts of the stars according to their number and calleth them by
name.”(442) He makes the sun rise and set. “He says to the snow: Fall to
the earth!”(443) and calls to the wind to blow and to the lightning to
flash.(444) He causes the produce of the earth and the drought which
destroys them. “He opens the womb to make beasts and men bring forth their
young;” “He shuts up the womb to make them barren.”(445) “He also provides
the food for all His creatures in due season, even for the young ravens
when they cry.”(446) His breath keeps all alive. “He withdraweth their
breath, and they perish, and return to their dust. He sendeth forth His
spirit, they are created; He reneweth the face of the earth.”(447) We are
told also that God assigns to each being its functions, telling the earth
to bring forth fruit,(448) the sea not to trespass its boundary,(449) the
stars and the seas to maintain their order.(450) To each one He hath set a
measure, a law which they dare not transgress. God’s wisdom works in them;
they all are subject to His rule.

3. This conclusion betokens an obvious improvement upon the earlier and
more childlike view. It recognizes that there is an order in the universe
and all under divine supervision. Thus Jeremiah speaks of a covenant of
God with heaven and earth, and of the laws which they must obey,(451) and
in Genesis the rainbow is represented as a sign of the covenant of peace
made by God with the whole earth.(452) As God “maketh peace in the heavens
above,”(453) He establishes order in the world. As the various powers of
nature are invested with a degree of independence, God’s sovereignty
manifests itself in the regularity with which they interact and
coöperate.(454) The lore of the mystics speaks even of an oath which God
administered upon His holy Name to the heavens and the stars, the sea and
the abyss, that they should never break their designated bounds or disturb
the whole order of creation.(455)

4. Further progress is noted in the liturgy, in such expressions as that
“God reneweth daily the work of creation,” or “He openeth every morning
the gate of heaven to let the sun come out of its chambers in all its
splendor” and “at eventide He maketh it return through the portals of the
west.” Again, “He reneweth His creative power in every phenomenon of
nature and in every turn of the season;” “He provideth every living being
with its sustenance.”(456) Indeed, in the view of Judaism the maintenance
of the entire household of nature is one continuous act of God which can
neither be interrupted nor limited in time. God in His infinite wisdom
works forever through the same laws which were in force at the beginning,
and which shall continue through all the realms of time and space.

We feeble mortals, of course, see but “the hem of His garment” and hear
only “a whisper of His voice.” Still from the deeper promptings of our
soul we learn that science does not touch the inmost essence of the world
when it finds a law of necessity in the realm of nature. The universe is
maintained and governed by a moral order. Moral objects are attained by
the forces of the elements, “the messengers of God who fulfilled His
word.”(457) Both the hosts of heaven and the creatures of the earth do His
bidding; their every act, great or small, is as He has ordered. Yet of
them all man alone is made in God’s image, and can work self-consciously
and freely for a moral purpose. Indeed, as the rabbis express it, he has
been called as “the co-worker with God in the work of creation.”(458)

5. The conception of a world-order also had to undergo a long development.
The theory of pagan antiquity, echoed in both Biblical and post-Biblical
writings, is that the world is definitely limited, with both a beginning
and an end. As heaven and earth came into being, so they will wax old and
shrink like a garment, while sun, moon, and stars will lose their
brightness and fall back into the primal chaos.(459) The belief in a
cataclysmic ending of the world is a logical corollary of the belief in
the birth of the world. In striking contrast, the prophets hold forth the
hope of a future regeneration of the world. God will create “a new heaven
and a new earth” where all things will arise in new strength and

This hope, as all eschatology, was primarily related to the regeneration
of the Jewish people. Accordingly, the rabbis speak of two worlds,(461)
this world and the world to come. They consider the present life only a
preliminary of the world to come, in which the divine plan of creation is
to be worked out for all humanity through the truths emanating from
Israel. This whole conception rested upon a science now superseded, the
geocentric view of the universe, which made the earth and especially man
the final object of creation. For us only a figurative meaning adheres to
the two worlds of the medieval belief, following each other after the
lapse of a fixed period of time. On the one hand, we see one infinite
fabric of life in this visible world with its millions of suns and
planets, among which our earth is only an insignificant speck in the sky.
With our limited understanding we endeavor to penetrate more and more into
the eternal laws of this illimitable cosmos. On the other hand, we hold
that there is a moral and spiritual world which comprises the divine
ideals and eternal objects of life. Both are reflected in the mind of man,
who enters into the one by his intellect and into the other by his
emotions of yearning and awe. At the same time both are the manifestation
of God, the Creator and Ruler of all.

Chapter XXVII. Miracles and the Cosmic Order

    1. “Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the mighty?
    Who is like unto Thee, glorious in holiness,
    Fearful in praises, doing wonders!”(462)

Thus sang Israel at the Red Sea in words which are constantly reëchoed in
our liturgy. Nothing impresses the religious sense of man so much as
unusual phenomena in nature, which seem to interrupt the wonted course of
events and thus to reveal the workings of a higher Power. A miracle—that
is, a thing “wondered” at, because not understood—is always regarded by
Scripture as a “sign”(463) or “proof”(464) of the power of God, to whom
nothing is impossible. The child-like mind of the past knew nothing of
fixed or immutable laws of nature. Therefore the question is put in all
simplicity: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”(465) “Is the Lord’s hand
waxed short?”(466) “Or should He who created heaven and earth not be able
to create something which never was before?”(467) Should “He who maketh a
man’s mouth, or makes him deaf, dumb, seeing or blind,”(468) not be able
also to open the mouth of the dumb beast or the eyes of the blind? Should
not He who killeth and giveth life have the power also to call the dead
back to life, if He sees fit? Should not He who openeth the womb for every
birth, be able to open it for her who is ninety years old? Or when a whole
land is wicked, to shut the wombs of all its inhabitants that they may
remain barren? Again, should not He who makes the sun come forth every
morning from the gates of the East and enter each night the portals of the
West, not be able to change this order once, and cause it to stand still
in the midst of its course?(469)

So long as natural phenomena are considered to be separate acts of the
divine will, an unusual event is merely an extraordinary manifestation of
this same power, “the finger of God.” The people of Biblical times never
questioned whether a miracle happened or could happen. Their concern was
to see it as the work of the arm of God either for His faithful ones or
against His adversaries.

2. With the advance of thought, miracles began to be regarded as
interruptions of an established order of creation. The question then
arose, why the all-knowing Creator should allow deviations from His own
laws. As the future was present to Him at the outset, why did He not make
provision in advance for such special cases as He foresaw? This was
exactly the remedy which the rabbis furnished. They declared that at
Creation God provided for certain extraordinary events, so that a latent
force, established for the purpose at the beginning of the world, is
responsible for incidents which appeared at the time to be true
interferences with the world order. Thus God had made a special covenant,
as it were, with the work of creation that at the appointed time the Red
Sea should divide before Israel; that sun and moon should stand still at
the bidding of Joshua; that fire should not consume the three youths,
Hananel, Mishael, and Azariah; that the sea-monster should spit forth
Jonah alive; together with other so-called miracles.(470) The same idea
occasioned the other Haggadic saying that shortly before the completion of
the creation on the evening of the sixth day God placed certain miraculous
forces in nature. Through them the earth opened to swallow Korah and his
band, the rock in the wilderness gave water for the thirsty multitude, and
Balaam’s ass spoke like a human being; through them also the rainbow
appeared after the flood, the manna rained from heaven, Aaron’s rod burst
forth with almond blossoms and fruit, and other wondrous events happened
in their proper time.(471)

3. Neither the rabbis nor the medieval Jewish thinkers expressed any doubt
of the credibility of the Biblical miracles. The latter, indeed,
rationalized miracles as well as other things, and considered some of them
imaginary. Saadia accepts all the Biblical miracles except the speaking
serpent in Paradise and the speaking ass of Balaam, considering these to
be parables rather than actual occurrences.(472) In general, both Jewish
and Mohammedan theologians assumed that special forces hidden in nature
were utilized by the prophets and saints to testify to their divine
mission. These powers were attained by their lofty intellects, which
lifted them up to the sphere of the Supreme Intellect. All medieval
attempts to solve the problem of miracles were based upon this curious
combination of Aristotelian cosmology and Mohammedan or Jewish
theology.(473) True, Maimonides rejects a number of miracles as contrary
to natural law, and refers to the rabbinical saying that some of the
miraculous events narrated in Scripture were so only in appearance. Still
he claims for Moses, as the Mohammedans did for Mohammed, miraculous
powers derived from the sphere of the Supreme Intellect. In a lengthy
chapter on miracles Albo follows Maimonides,(474) while his teacher
Crescas considers the Biblical miracles to be direct manifestations of the
creative activity of God.(475) Gersonides has really two opinions; in his
commentary he reduces all miracles to natural processes, but in his
philosophical work he adopts the view of Maimonides.(476) Jehuda ha Levi
alone insisted on the miracles of the Bible as historic evidence of the
divine calling of the prophets.(477) To all the rest, the miracle is not
performed by God but by the divinely endowed man. God himself is no longer
conceived of as changing the cosmic order. Both He and the world created
by His will remain ever the same. Still, according to this theory, certain
privileged men are endowed with special powers by the Supreme Intellect,
and by these they can perform miracles.

4. It is evident that in all this the problem of miracles is not solved,
nor even correctly stated. Both rabbinical literature and the Bible abound
with miracles about certain holy places and holy persons, which they never
venture to doubt. But the rabbis were not miracle-workers like the Essenes
and their Christian successors.(478) On the contrary, they sought to
repress the popular credulity and hunger for the miraculous, saying: “The
present generation is not worthy to have miracles performed for them, like
the former ones;”(479) or “The providing of each living soul with its
daily food, or the recovery of men from a severe disease is as great a
miracle as any of those told in Scripture;”(480) or again, “Of how small
account is a person for whom the cosmic order must be disturbed!”(481)
Thus when the wise men of Rome asked the Jewish sages: “If your God is
omnipotent, as you claim, why does He not banish from the world the idols,
which are so loathsome to Him?” they replied: “Do you really desire God to
destroy the sun, moon, and stars, because fools worship them? The world
continues its regular course, and idolaters will not go unpunished.”(482)

5. In Judaism neither Biblical nor rabbinical miracles are to be accepted
as proof of a doctrinal or practical teaching.(483) The Deuteronomic law
expressly states that false prophets can perform miracles by which they
mislead the multitude.(484) We can therefore ascribe no intrinsic
religious importance to miracles. The fact is that miracles occur only
among people who are ignorant of natural law and thus predisposed to
accept marvels. They are the products of human imagination and credulity.
They have only a subjective, not an objective value. They are
psychological, not physical facts.

The attitude of Maimonides and Albo toward Biblical miracles is especially
significant. The former declares in his great Code:(485) “Israel’s belief
in Moses and his law did not rest on miracles, for miracles rather create
doubt in the mind of the believer. Faith must rest on its intrinsic truth,
and this can never be subverted by miracles, which may be of a deceitful
nature.” Albo devotes a lengthy chapter to developing this idea still
further, undoubtedly referring to the Church; he speaks of miracles
wrought by both Biblical and Talmudic heroes, such as Onias the
rain-maker, Nicodemus ben Gorion, Hanina ben Dosa, and Phinehas ben Jair,
the popular saints.(486) In modern times Mendelssohn, when challenged by
the Lutheran pastor Lavater either to accept the Christian faith or refute
it, attacked especially the basic Christian faith in miracles. He stated
boldly that “miracles prove nothing, since every religion bases its claims
on them and consequently the truth of one would disprove the convincing
proof of the other.”(487)

6. Our entire modern mode of thinking demands the complete recognition of
the empire of law throughout the universe, manifesting the all-permeating
will of God. The whole cosmic order is _one_ miracle. No room is left for
single or exceptional miracles. Only a primitive age could think of God as
altering the order of nature which He had fixed, so as to let iron float
on water like wood to please one person here,(488) or to stop sun, star,
or sea in their courses in order to help or harm mankind there.(489) It is
more important for us to inquire into the law of the mind by which the
fact itself may differ from the peculiar form given it by a narrator. With
our historical methods unknown to former ages, we cannot accept any story
of a miracle without seeking its intrinsic historical accuracy. After all,
the miracle as narrated is but a human conception of what, under God’s
guidance, really happened.

Accordingly, we must leave the final interpretation of the Biblical
narratives to the individual, to consider them as historical facts or as
figurative presentations of religious ideas. Even now some people will
prefer to believe that the Ten Commandments emanated from God Himself in
audible tones, as medieval thinkers maintained.(490) Some will adopt the
old semi-rationalistic explanation that He created a voice for this
special purpose. Others will hold it more worthy of God to communicate
directly with man, from spirit to spirit, without the use of sensory
means; these will therefore take the Biblical description as figurative or
mythical. In fact, he who does not cling to the letter of the Scripture
will probably regard all the miracles as poetical views of divine
Providence, as child-like imagery expressing the ancient view of the
eternal goodness and wisdom of God. To us also God is “a Doer of wonders,”
but we experience His wonderworking powers in ourselves. We see wonders in
the acts of human freedom which rises superior to the blind forces of
nature. The true miracle consists in the divine power within man which
aids him to accomplish all that is great and good.

Chapter XXVIII. Providence and the Moral Government of the World

1. None of the precious truths of Judaism has become more indispensable
than the belief in divine Providence, which we see about us in ever new
and striking forms. Man would succumb from fear alone, beholding the
dangers about him on every side, were he not sustained by a conviction
that there is an all-wise Power who rules the world for a sublime purpose.
We know that even in direst distress we are guided by a divine hand that
directs everything finally toward the good. Wherever we are, we are
protected by God, who watches over the destinies of man as “does the eagle
who hovers over her young and bears them aloft on her pinions.” Each of us
is assigned his place in the all-encompassing plan. Such knowledge and
such faith as this comprise the greatest comfort and joy which the Jewish
religion offers. Both the narratives and the doctrines of Scripture are
filled with this idea of Providence working in the history of individuals
and nations.(491)

2. Providence implies first, _provision_, and second, _predestination_ in
accordance with the divine plan for the government of the world. As God’s
dominion over the visible world appears in the eternal order of the
cosmos, so in the moral world, where action arises from freely chosen
aims, God is Ruler of a moral government. Thus He directs all the acts of
men toward the end which He has set. Judaism is most sharply contrasted
with heathenism at this point. Heathenism either deifies nature or merges
the deity into nature. Thus there is no place for a God who knows all
things and provides for all in advance. Blind fate rules all the forces of
life, including the deities themselves. Therefore chance incidents in
nature or the positions of the stars are taken as indications of destiny.
Hence the belief in oracles and divination, in the observation of flying
arrows and floating clouds, of the color and shape of the liver of
sacrificial animals, and other signs of heaven and earth which were to
hint at the future.(492)

On the other hand, Judaism sees in all things, not the fortuitous dealings
of a blind and relentless fate, but the dispensations of a wise and benign
Providence. It knows of no event which is not foreordained by God. It
sanctioned the decision by lot(493) and the appeal to the oracle (the Urim
and Thummim)(494) only temporarily, during the Biblical period. But soon
it recognized entirely the will of God as the Ruler of destiny, and the
people accepted the belief that “the days,” “the destinies,” and even “the
tears” of man are all written in His “book.”(495) Thus they perceived God
as “He who knows from the beginning what will be at the end.”(496) The
prophets, His messengers, could thus foretell His will. They perceive Him
as the One who “created the smith that brought forth the weapon for its
work, and created the master who uses it for destruction.”(497) However
the foe may rage, he is but “the scourge in the hand of God,” like “the
axe in the hand of him who fells the tree.”(498) No device of men or
nations can withstand His will, for He turns all their doings to some good
purpose and transforms every curse into a blessing.(499)

3. Naturally this truth was first accepted in limited form, in the life of
certain individuals. The history of Joseph and of King David were used as
illustrations to show how God protects His own. The experiences of the
people confirmed this belief and expanded it to apply to the nation. The
wanderings of Israel through the wilderness and its entrance to the
promised land were regarded as God’s work for His chosen people. The
prophets looked still further and saw the destinies of all nations,
entering the foreground of history one by one, as the sign of divine
Providence, so that finally the entire history of mankind became a great
plan of divine salvation, centered upon the truth intrusted to Israel.

Beside this conception of _general_ Providence ruling in history, the idea
of _special_ Providence arose in response to human longing. The belief in
Providence developed to a full conception of care for the world at large
and for each individual in his peculiar destiny, a conviction that divine
Providence is concerned with the welfare of each individual, and that the
joyous or bitter lot of each man forms a link in the moral government of
the world. The first clear statement of this comes from the prophet
Jeremiah in his wrestling and sighing: “I know, O Lord, that the way of
man is not in himself, it is not in man that walketh to direct his
steps.”(500) Special Providence is discussed still more vividly and
definitely in the book of Job. Later on it becomes a specific Pharisaic
doctrine, “Everything is foreseen.”(501) “No man suffers so much as the
injury of a finger unless it has been decreed in heaven.”(502) A divine
preordination decides a man’s choice of his wife(503) and every other
important step of his life.

4. This theory of predestination, however, presents a grave difficulty
when we consider it in relation to man’s morality with its implication of
self-determination. While this question of free will is treated fully in
another connection,(504) we may anticipate the thought at this point. The
Jewish conception of divine predestination makes as much allowance as
possible for the moral freedom of man. This is shown in Talmudic sayings,
such as “Everything is within the power of God except the fear of
God,”(505) or “Repentance, prayer, and charity avert the evil
decree.”(506) Thus Maimonides expressly states in his Code that the belief
in predestination cannot be allowed to influence one’s moral or religious
character. A man can decide by his own volition whether he shall become as
just as Moses or as wicked as Jeroboam.(507)

5. The service of the New Year brings out significantly the Jewish
harmonization between the ideas of God’s foreknowledge and man’s moral
freedom. This festival, in the Bible called the Festival of the Blowing of
the Shofar, was transformed under Babylonian influence into the Day of
Divine Judgment. But it is still in marked contrast to the Babylonian New
Year’s Day, when the gods were supposed to go to the House of the Tablets
of Destiny in the deep to hear the decisions of fate.(508) The Jewish
sages taught that on this day God, the Judge of the world, pronounces the
destinies of men and nations according to their deserts. They thus
replaced the heathen idea of blind fate by that of eternal justice as the
formative power of life. Then, moved by a desire to mitigate the rigor of
stern justice for the frail and failing mortal, they included also God’s
long-suffering and mercy. These attributes are thus supposed to intercede,
so that the final decision is left in suspense until the Day of Atonement,
the great day of pardon. Some Tannaitic teachers(509) find it more in
accord with their view of God to say that He judges man every day, and
even every hour.

Of course, the philosophic mind can take this whole viewpoint in a
figurative sense alone. All the more must we recognize that this sublime
religious thought of God liberates morality from the various limitations
of the ancient pagan conception of Deity and the more recent metaphysical
view. In place of these it asserts that there is a moral government of the
world, which must be imitated in the moral and religious consciousness of
the individual.

6. The belief in a moral government of the world answers another question
which the medieval Jewish philosophers and their Mohammedan predecessors
endeavored to solve, but without satisfying the religious sentiment, the
chief concern of theology. Some of them maintain that God’s foreknowledge
does not determine human deeds.(510) Maimonides and his school, however,
say that it is impossible for us to comprehend the knowledge and power of
God, and that therefore such a question is outside the sphere of human
knowledge. “Know that, just as God has made the elements of fire and air
to rise upwards and water and earth to sink downward, so has He made man a
free, self-determining being, who acts of his own volition.”(511) The
Mohammedans would often give up human freedom rather than the omniscience
and all-determining power of God; but the Jewish thinkers, significantly,
with only the possible exception of Crescas,(512) laid stress upon the
divine nature which man attains through moral freedom, even at the risk of
limiting the omniscience of God.

7. The philosophers failed, however, to emphasize sufficiently a point of
highest importance for religion, God’s paternal care for all His
creatures. Indeed, God ceases to be God, if He has not included our every
step in His plan of creation, thus surrounding us with paternal love and
tender care. Instead of the three blind fates of heathendom who spin and
cut the threads of destiny without even knowing why, the divine Father
himself sits at the loom of time and apportions the lot of men according
to His own wisdom and goodness. Such a belief in divine Providence is
ingrained in the soul, and reasoning alone will not suffice to attain it.
Therefore even such great thinkers as Maimonides and Gersonides go astray
as religious teachers when they follow Aristotelian principles in this
very intimate matter. They assume a general Providence aiming for the
preservation of the species, but include a special Providence only so far
as the recipient of it is endowed with reason and has thus approached the
divine Intellect. A Providence of this type, the result of human
reasoning, is a mere illusion, as the pious thinker, Hasdai Crescas,
clearly shows.(513) For the man who prays to God in anxiety or distress
this bears nothing but disappointment.

The Aristotelian conception of the world has this great truth, that there
is no such thing as chance, that everything is foreseen and provided by
the divine wisdom. But religion must hold that the individual is an object
of care by God, that “not a sparrow falls into the net without God’s
will,”(514) that “every hair on the head of man is counted and cared for
in the heavenly order,”(515) and that the most insignificant thing serves
its purpose under the guidance of an all-wise God. We use figurative
expressions for the divine care, because we cannot grasp it entirely or

8. The Bible in the Song of Moses compares divine Providence to the eagle
spreading her protecting wings over her young and bearing them aloft, or
urging them to soar along.(516) The rabbis elaborate this by referring to
the twofold care which the eagle thus bestows, as she watches over those
who are still tender and helpless, shielding them from the arrows below by
bearing them on her wings, but inspiring the maturer and stronger ones to
fly by her side.(517) In the same way Providence trains both individuals
and generations for their allotted task. A little child requires incessant
care on the part of its mother, until it has learned how to eat, walk,
speak, and to decide for itself, but the wise parent gradually withdraws
his guiding hand so that the growing child may learn self-reliance and
self-respect. The divine Father trains man thus through the childhood of
humanity. But no sooner does the divine spirit in man awaken to
self-consciousness than he is thrown on his own resources to become the
master of his own destiny. The divine power which, in the earlier stages,
had worked _for_ man, now works _with_ him and _within_ him. In the
rabbinic phrase, he is now ready to be a “co-worker with God in the work
of creation.”(518) Only at those grave moments when his own powers fail
him, he still feels in the humility of faith that his ancient God is still
near, “a very present help in trouble,” and that “the Guardian of Israel
neither slumbereth nor sleepeth.”(519)

Philosophy cannot tolerate the removal of the dividing line between the
transcendent God and finite man. Hence the relation of man’s free will and
divine foresight cannot be solved by any process of reasoning. But when
religion proclaims a moral government of the world, then man, with his
moral and spiritual aims, attains a place in Creation akin to the Creator.
Of course, so long as he is mentally a child and has no clear purpose,
Providence acts for him as it does for the animal with its marvelous
instinct. Through His chosen messengers God gives the people bread and
water, freedom and victory, instruction and law. The wondrous tales
describing the divine protection of Israel in its early life may strike us
as out of harmony with the laws of nature, but they are true portrayals of
the experience of the people. Whatever happened for their good in those
days had to be the work of God; they had not yet wakened to the power
hidden in their own soul. Their heroes felt themselves to be divine
instruments, roused by His spirit to perform mighty deeds or to behold
prophetic visions. It is God who battles through them. It is God who
speaks through them. Both their moral and spiritual guidance works from
without and above. At this stage of life autonomy is neither felt nor
desired. When man awakens to moral self-consciousness and maturity, this
inner change impresses him as an outer one; the change in him is
interpreted as a change in God. He feels that God has withdrawn behind His
eternal laws of nature and morality which work without direct
interference, and in his new sense of independence he thinks that he can
dispense with the divine protection and forethought. As if mortal man can
ever dispense with that Power which has endowed him with his capacity for
worthy accomplishment! Thus in times of danger and distress man turns to
God for help; thus at every great turning point in the life of an
individual or nation the idea of an all-wise Providence imbues him with
new hope and new security. And in all these cases the great lesson of
providential direction is typified in the history of Israel as related in
the Bible.

10. The idea of Providence, indeed, belongs also to certain pagan
philosophers, who observed the great purposes of nature which the single
creature and the species are both to serve. The Stoics in particular made
a study of teleology, the system of purposive ends in nature. Philo
adopted much from them in his treatise on Providence. Later the popular
philosophic group among the Mohammedans, the so-called “Brothers of
Purity,” based their doctrines of God and His relation to the world on a
teleological view of nature. In fact, the Jewish philosopher and moralist
Bahya ben Pakudah has embodied many of their ideas in his “Duties of the

Jewish folklore—preserved in rabbinic literature—has also attempted a
popular explanation of the obscure ways of Providence, in strange events
of nature as well as the great enigmas of human destiny. Thus the flight
of David from Saul affords the lesson of the good purpose which may be
served by so insignificant a thing as a spider, or by so dreadful a state
as insanity.(521) Vast numbers of the Jewish legends and fables deal with
adversities which are turned into ultimate good by the working of an
all-wise Providence.(522)

Chapter XXIX. God and the Existence of Evil

1. A leading objection to the belief in divine Providence is the existence
in this world of physical and moral evil. All living creatures are exposed
to the influence of evil, according to their physical or moral
constitutions and the peculiar conditions of their existence. Heathenism
accounts for the powers of darkness, pain and death by assuming the
existence of forces hostile to the heavenly powers of light and life, or
of a primitive principle of evil, the counterpart of the divine beings.
But to those who believe in an almighty and all-benign Creator and Ruler
of the universe, the question remains: Why do life and the love of life
encounter so many hindrances? Why does God’s world contain so much pain
and bitterness, so much passion and sin? Should not Providence have
averted such things? The answer of Judaism has already been stated here,
but we need further elaboration of the theme that there is no evil before
God, since a good purpose is served even by that which appears bad. In the
life of the human body pleasure and pain, the impetus to life and its
restraint and inhibition form a necessary contrast, making for health; so,
in the moral order of the universe, each being who battles with evil
receives new strength for the unfolding of the good. The principle of
holiness, which culminates in Israel’s holy God, transforms and ennobles
every evil. As the Midrash explains, referring to Deut. XI, 26: “If thou
but seest that both good and evil are placed in thy hand, no evil will
come to thee from above, since thou knowest how to turn it into

2. The conception of evil passed through a development parallel with that
of the related conceptions which we have just reviewed. At first every
misfortune was considered to be inflicted by divine wrath as a punishment
for human misdeeds. Nations and individuals were thought to suffer for
some special moral cause; through suffering they were punished for past
wrong, warned against its repetition in the future, and urged to
repentance and improvement of their conduct. Even death, the fate of all
living creatures, was regarded as a punishment which the first pair of
human beings brought upon all their descendants through their
transgression of the divine command. The Talmudic sages clung to the view
of the Paradise legend in the Bible, when they held that every death is
due to some sin committed by the individual.(524)

This view, which was shared by paganism, was accompanied by a higher
conception, gradually growing in the thinking mind. As a father does not
punish his child in anger, but in order to improve his conduct, so God
chastens man in order to purify his moral nature. Good fortune tends to
harden the heart; adversity often softens and sweetens it. In the crucible
of suffering the gold of the human soul is purified from the dross. The
evil strokes of destiny come upon the righteous, not because he deserves
them, but because his divine Friend is raising him to still higher tests
of virtue. This standpoint, never reached even by the pious sufferer Job,
is attained by rabbinic Judaism when it calls the visitations of the
righteous “trials of the divine love.”(525) Thus evil, both physical and
spiritual, receives its true valuation in the divine economy. Evil exists
only to be overcome by the good. In His paternal goodness God uses it to
educate His children for a place in His kingdom.

3. According to the direct words of Scripture good and evil, light and
darkness, emanate alike from the Creator. This is accentuated by the great
seer of the Exile,(526) who protests against the Persian belief in a
creative principle of good and a destructive principle of evil. The
rabbis, however, ascribe the origin of evil to man; they take as a
negation rather than a question the verse in Lam. III, 38: “Do not evil
and good come out of the mouth of the Most High?” Thus they refer this to
the words of Deuteronomy, “Behold, I have set before you this day life and
good, death and evil; choose thou life!”(527)

Such medieval thinkers as Abraham Ibn Daud and Maimonides did not ascribe
to evil any reality at all.(528) Evil to them is the negation of good,
just as darkness is the negation of light, or poverty of riches. As evil
exists only for man, man can overcome it by himself. Before God it has no
essential existence. Unfortunately, such metaphysics does not equip man
with strength and courage to cope with either pain or sin. The same lack
is evident in that modern form of pseudo-science which poses as a
religion, Christian Science, which has made propaganda so widely among
both Jews and non-Jews. Christian Science declares pain, sickness, and all
evil to be merely the “error of mortal mind,” which can all be dispelled
by faith; such a view neither strengthens the soul for its real struggles
nor convinces the mind by an appeal to facts.(529)

4. Frail mortals as we are, we need the help of the living God. Thus only
can we overcome physical evil, knowing that He bears with us, feels with
us, and transforms it finally into good. We need it also to overcome moral
evil, in the consciousness that He has compassion upon the repentant
sinner and gives him courage to follow the right path. The modern
philosophers of pessimism had the correct feeling in adopting the Hindu
conception, and emphasizing the pain and misery of existence, repeating
Job’s ancient plaint over the hard destiny of mankind. The shallow
optimism of the age would rather conceal the dark side of life and indulge
in outbursts of self-sufficiency. Yet if we measure it only by a physical
yardstick, life cannot be called a boon. Against shallow optimism we have
the testimony of every thorn and sting, every poisonous breath and every
destructive element in nature’s household, as well as all vice and evil in
the world of man. The world does not appear good, unless we measure it by
the ideal of divine holiness. If God is the Father watching over the
welfare of every mortal, all things are good, because all serve a good
purpose in His eternal plan. Every hindrance or pressure engenders new
power; every sting acts as a spur to higher things. Short-sighted and
short-lived as is man, he forgets too easily that in the sight of God “a
thousand years are as a single day,” world-epochs like “watches in the
night,” and that the mills of divine justice grind on, “slowly but
exceeding small.” But one belief illumines the darkness of destiny, and
that is that God stands ever at the helm, steering through every storm and
tempest toward His sublime goal. In the moral striving of man we can but
realize that our every victory contributes toward the majestic work of

Chapter XXX. God and the Angels

1. Judaism insists with unrelenting severity on the absolute unity and
incomparability of God, so that no other being can be placed beside Him.
Consequently, every mention of divine beings (_Elohim_ or _B’ne Elohim_)
in either the Bible or post-Biblical literature refers to subordinate
beings only. These spirits constitute the celestial court for the King of
the World.(531) All the forces of the universe are His servants,
fulfilling His commands. Hence both the Hebrew and Greek terms for angel,
_Malak_ and _angelos_, mean “messenger.” These beings derive their
existence from God; some of them are merely temporary, so that without Him
they dissolve into nothing. Although Scripture uses the terms, “God of
gods” and “King of kings,” still we cannot attribute any independent
existence to subordinate divine beings. In fact, Maimonides in his sixth
article of faith holds that worship of such beings is prohibited as
idolatry by the second commandment.(532) Thus the unity of God lifts Him
above comparison with any other divine being. This is most emphatically
expressed in Deuteronomy: “Know this day, and lay it to thy heart, that
the Lord He is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath; there is
none else,”(533) and “See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god
with Me; I kill and make alive; I have wounded and I heal, and there is
none that can deliver out of My hand.”(534) The same attitude is found in
Isaiah: “I am the Lord that maketh all things, that stretched forth the
heavens alone, that spread abroad the earth by Myself” “I am the Lord and
there is none else; beside Me there is no god.”(535) Such conceptions
allow no place for angels or spirits.

2. It was certainly not easy for prophet, lawgiver, or sage to dispel the
popular belief in divine beings or powers, which primitive Judaism shared
with other ancient faiths. No sharp line was drawn at first between God
and His accompanying angels, as we may infer from the story of the angels
who appeared to Abraham, and the similar incidents of Hagar and
Jacob.(536) The varying application of the term _Elohim_ to God and to the
angels or gods is proof enough of the priority of polytheism, even in
Judaism. The trees or springs, formerly seats of the ancient deities,
spirits, or demons, were now the places for the appearance of angels,
shorn of their independence, looking like fiery or shining human beings.
Popular belief, however, perpetuated mythological elements, ascribing to
the angels higher wisdom and sometimes sensuality as well. Such a case is
the fragment preserved in Genesis telling of the union of sons of God to
the daughters of men, causing the generation of giants.(537) Obviously the
old Babylonian “mountain of the gods,” with its food for the gods, became
in the Paradise legend the garden of Eden, the seat of God;(538) and the
Psalmist still speaks of the “angels’ food,” which appeared as manna in
the wilderness.(539) On the whole, the sacred writers were most eager to
allot to the angels a very subordinate position in the divine household.
They figure usually as hosts of beings, numbered by myriads, wrapped in
light or in fleeting clouds. They surround the throne or chariot of God;
they comprise His heavenly court or council; they sing His praise and obey
His call.

Scripture is quite silent about the creation of these angelic beings, as
on most purely speculative questions. At the very beginning of the world
God consults them when He is to create man after the image of the
celestial beings. For this is the original meaning of _Elohim_ in Gen. I,
26 and 27 and V, 1: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”;
“And God created man in his own image, in the image of godly beings He
created him.” This view is echoed in Psalm VIII, verse 6: “Thou hast made
him a little lower than godly beings.” In Job XXXVIII, 7, both the morning
stars and the sons of God, or angels, “shout together in joy” when the
Lord laid the foundations of the earth.(540)

3. In Biblical times—which does not include the book of Daniel, a work of
the Maccabean time—the angels and demons were not invested with proper
names or special functions. The Biblical system does not even distinguish
clearly between good and evil spirits. The goat-like demons of the field
popularly worshiped were merely survivals of pagan superstitions.(541)

In general the angels carry out good or evil designs according to their
commands from the Lord of Hosts. They are sent forth to destroy Sodom, to
save Lot, and to bring Abraham the good tidings of the birth of a
son.(542) On one occasion the host of spirits protect the people of God;
on another they annihilate hostile powers by pestilence and plagues.(543)
At one time a multitude appear, led by a celestial chieftain; at another a
single angel performs the miracle. In any case the destroying angel is not
a demon, but a messenger of the divine will. Originally some of these
primitive forces were dreaded or worshiped by the people, but all have
been transformed into members of the celestial court and called to bear
witness to the dominion of the Omnipotent.

4. The belief in angels served two functions in the development of
monotheism. On the one hand, it was a stage in the concentration of the
divine forces, beginning with polytheism, continuing through belief in
angels, and culminating in the one and only God of heaven and earth. On
the other hand, certain sensuous elements in the vision of God by the
seers had to be removed in the spiritualization of God, and it was found
easiest to transform these into separate beings, related to Deity himself.
Thus the fiery appearance of God to the eye or the voice which was
manifested to the ear were often personified as angels of God. This very
process made possible the purification of the God idea, as the sublime
essence of the Deity was divested of physical and temporal elements, and
God was conceived more and more as a moral and spiritual personality.
Hence in Biblical passages the names of God and of the angel frequently
alternate.(544) The latter is only a representative of the divine
personality—in Scriptural terms, the presence or “face” of God. Therefore
the voice of the angel is to be obeyed as that of God himself, because His
name is present in His representative. A similar meaning became attached
later on to the term _Shekinah_, the “majesty” of God as beheld in the
cloud of fire. This was spoken of in place of God that He might not be
lowered into the earthly sphere. For further discussion of this subject,
see chapter XXXII, “God and Intermediary Powers.” In fact, we note that
the post-exilic prophets all received their revelations, not from God, but
through a special angel.(545) They no longer believed that God might be
seen or heard by human powers, and therefore their visions had to be
translated into rational thoughts by a mediating angel.

5. Persian influence gave Jewish angelology and demonology a different
character. The two realms of the Persian system included vast hosts of
beneficent spirits under Ahura-Mazda (Ormuzd) and of demons under the
dominion of Angro-mainyus (Ahriman). So in Judaism also different orders
of angels arose, headed by archangels who bore special names. The number
seven was adopted from the Persians, while both names and order were often
changed. All of them, however, were allotted special functions in the
divine household. The pagan deities and primitive spirits which still
persisted in popular superstition were given a new lease of life. Each
force of nature was given a guardian spirit, just as in nature-worship;
angels were appointed over fire, water, each herb, each fountain, and
every separate function of life. A patron angel was assigned to each of
the seventy nations of the world mentioned in the genealogy of Noah.(546)

Thus the celestial court grew in number and in splendor. A beginning was
made with the heavenly chariot-throne of Ezekiel, borne aloft by the four
holy living creatures (the _hayoth_), surrounded by the fiery _Cherubim_,
the winged _Seraphim_, and the many-eyed _Ofanim_ (wheels).(547) This was
elaborated by the addition of rows of surrounding angels, called “angels
of service,” headed by the seven archangels. Of these the chief was
Michael, the patron-saint of Israel, and the next Gabriel, who is
sometimes even placed first. Raphael and Uriel are regularly mentioned,
the other three rarely, and not always by the same names. The _Irin_ of
Daniel—known as “the Watchers,” but more precisely “the ever-watchful
Ones”—are another of the ten classes of angels included. Below these are
myriads of inferior angels who serve them. Their classification by rank
was a favorite theme of the secret lore of the Essenes, partly preserved
for us in the apocalyptic literature and the liturgy. The Essenic saints
endeavored to acquire miraculous powers through using the names of certain
angels, and thus exorcising the evil spirits.

This secret lore seems to be patterned after the Zoroastrian or Mazdean
system. It is noteworthy that the most prominent angelic figure is
_Metatron_, the charioteer of the _Merkabah_ or chariot-throne on high,
which is merely another form of _Mithras_, the Persian god of light, who
acts as charioteer for Ahura Mazda.(548) Two other angels are mentioned as
standing behind the heavenly throne, _Akathriel_, “the crown-bearer of
God,” and _Sandalphon_, “the twin brother” = Synadelphon.

6. A striking contrast exists between the simple habitation in the sky
depicted in the prophetic and Mosaic books, and the splendor of the
heavenly spheres according to the rabbinical writings. The Oriental courts
lent all their grandeur to the majestic throne of God, on which He was
exalted above all earthly things. The immense space between was filled in
by innumerable gradations of beings leading up to Him. There was no longer
a question how far these other beings shared the nature of God; His
dominion was absolute. Still a new question, not known to the Bible,
arose, as to when the angelic world was created and out of what primordial
element. At first a logical answer was given, that the angels emanated
from the element of fire. Later the schoolmen, trying to dispose of the
angels as possible peers or rivals of the eternal God, ascribed their
creation to the second day, when the heaven was made as a vault over the
earth, or to the fifth day, when the winged creatures arose.(549) On the
whole, the rabbis denied every claim of the angels to an independent or an
eternal existence. Just because they firmly believed in the existence of
angels and even saw them from time to time, they felt bound to declare
their secondary rank. Only the archangels were made from an eternal
substance, while the others were continually being created anew out of the
breath of God or from the “river of fire” which flowed around His throne.
Thus even the realm of celestial spirits was merged into the stream of
universal life which comes and goes, while God was left alone in matchless
sovereignty, above all the fluctuations of time.

On the other hand, the rabbis opposed the Essenic idea of assigning to the
angels an intermediary task between God and man, and deprecated as a pagan
custom the worship or invocation of angels. “Address your prayer to the
Master of life and not to His servants; He will hear you in every
trouble,” says R. Judan.(550) Some of the teachers even declared that any
godly son of Israel excels the angels in power. It is certainly
significant, as David Neumark has pointed out, that the Mishnah eliminates
every reference to the angels.(551)

7. In spite of this, none of the medieval Jewish philosophers doubted the
existence of angels.(552) Indeed, there was no reason for them to do so,
as they had managed to insert them into their philosophic systems as
intermediary beings leading up to the Supreme Intelligence. All that was
necessary was to identify the angels of the Bible with the “ideas” of
Plato or the “rulers of the spheres,” the “separate intelligences” of
Aristotle. By this one step the existence of angels as cosmic powers was
proved to be a logical necessity. The ten rulers of the spheres even
corresponded with the ten orders of angels in the cosmography of the
Jewish, Mohammedan, and Christian schoolmen. The only difference between
the Aristotelian and the rabbinical views was that the former held the
cosmic powers to be eternal; the latter, that they were created.

In both Biblical and rabbinical literature the angels are usually
conceived of as purely spiritual powers superior to man. Maimonides,
however, following his rationalistic method, declared them to be simply
products of the imagination, the hypostases of figurative expressions
which were not meant to be taken literally. To him every force and element
of nature is an angel or messenger of God. In this way the entire
angelology of the Bible, including even Ezekiel’s vision of the heavenly
chariot (the _Merkabah_), in becoming a part of the Maimonidean system
turns into natural philosophy pure and simple.(553) Of course, Saadia,
Jehuda ha Levi, and Gabirol do not share this rationalistic view. To them
the angels are either cosmic powers of an ethereal substance, endowed with
everlasting life, or living beings created by God for special

The later Cabbalistic lore extended the realm of the celestial spirits
still more, creating new names of angels for its mystical system and its
magical practices. Yet in this magic it subordinated the angels to man. In
fact, it followed Saadia largely in this, making man the center and
pinnacle of the work of creation, in fact, the very mirror of the

8. For our modern viewpoint the existence of angels is a question of
psychology rather than of theology. The old Babylonian world has vanished,
with its heaven as the dwelling place of God, its earth for man, and its
nether world for the shades and demons. The world in which we live knows
no above or beneath, no heaven or hell, no host of good and evil spirits
moving about to help or hurt man. It sees matter and energy working
everywhere after the same immutable laws through an infinitude of space
and time, a universe ever evolving new orbs of light, engendering and
transforming worlds without number and without end. There is no place in
infinite space for a heaven or for a celestial throne. A world of law and
of process does not need a living ladder to lead from the earth below to
God on high. Though the stars be peopled with souls superior to ours,
still they cannot stand nearer to God than does man with his freedom, his
moral striving, his visions of the highest and the best. Through man’s
spiritual nature God, too, is recognized as a Spirit; through man’s moral
consciousness God is conceived of as the Ruler of a moral world; but this
same process at once does away with the need for any other spirits or
divine powers beside Him. God alone has become the object of human
longing. Man feels akin to His God who is ever near; he learns to know Him
ever better. He can dispense with the angelic hosts. As they return to the
fiery stream of poetic imagination whence they emerged, nebulous figures
of a glorious world that has vanished, man rises above angel and Seraph by
his own power to the dignity of a servant, nay, a child of God. Indeed, as
the rabbis said, the prophets, sages, and seers are the true messengers of
God, the angels who do His service.(556)

Chapter XXXI. Satan and the Spirits of Evil

1. The great advantage of Judaism over other religious systems lies in its
unified view of life, which it regards as a continuous conflict between
good and evil influences within man. As man succeeds in overcoming evil
and achieving good, he asserts his own moral personality. Outside of man
Judaism sees no real contrast between good and evil, since both have
emanated from God, the Spirit of goodness. Judaism recognizes no primal
power of evil plotting against God and defying Him, such as that of the
Persian dualism. Nor does Judaism espouse the dualism of spirit and
matter, identifying matter with evil, from which the soul strives to free
itself while confined in the prison house of the body. Such a conception
is taught by Plato, probably under Oriental influence, and is shared by
the Hindu and Christian ascetics who torture themselves in order to
suppress bodily desire in their quest of a higher existence. The Jewish
conception of the unity of God necessitates the unity of the world, which
leaves no place for a cosmic principle of evil. In this Judaism dissents
from modern philosophers also, such as John Stuart Mill and even Kant, who
speak of a radical evil in nature. No power of evil can exist in
independence of God.(557) As the Psalmist says: “His kingdom ruleth over
all. Bless the Lord, ye angels of His, ye mighty in strength that fulfill
His word, hearkening unto the voice of His word.”(558)

This increased the difficulty of the problem of the origin of evil. The
answer given by the general Jewish consciousness, expressed by both
Biblical and rabbinical writers, is that evil comes from the free will of
man, who is endowed with the power of rebelling against the will of God.
This idea is symbolized in the story of the fall of man. The serpent, or
tempter, represents the evil inclination which arises in man with his
first consciousness of freedom. So in Jewish belief Satan, the Adversary,
is only an allegorical figure, representing the evil of the world, both
physical and moral. He was sent by God to test man for his own good, to
develop him morally. He is “the spirit that ever wills evil, but achieves
the good,” and therefore in the book of Job he actually comes before God’s
throne as one of the angels.(559)

2. In tracing the belief in demons we must draw a sharp distinction
between popular views and systematic doctrine.(560) During the Biblical
era the people believed in goat-like spirits roaming the fields and woods,
the deserts and ravines, whom they called _Seirim_—hairy demons, or
satyrs,—and to whom they sacrificed in fear and trembling.(561) As Ibn
Ezra ingeniously pointed out in his commentary, Azazel was originally a
desert demon dwelling in the ravines near Jerusalem, to whom a scapegoat
was offered at the opening of the year, a rite preserved in the Day of
Atonement cult of the Mosaic Code.(562) In fact, in ancient Babylon,
Syria, and Palestine diseases and accidents were universally ascribed to
evil spirits of the wilderness or the nether world. The Bible occasionally
mentions these evil spirits as punitive angels sent by God. In the more
popular view, which is reflected by apocryphal and rabbinical literature,
and which was influenced by both the Babylonian and Persian religions,
they appear in increasing numbers and with specific names. Each disease
had its peculiar demon. Desolate places, cemeteries, and the darkness of
night were all peopled by superstition with hosts of demons (_Shedim_), at
whose head was _Azazel_, _Samael_; _Beelzebub_, the Philistine god of
flies and of illness;(563) _Belial_, king of the nether world;(564) or the
Persian _Ashma Deva_ (Evil Spirit), under the Hebrew name of _Ashmodai_ or
_Shemachzai_.(565) The queen of the demons was _Lilith_ or _Iggereth bath
Mahlath_, “the dancer on the housetops.”(566)

The Essenes seem to have made special studies of both demonology and
angelology, believing that they could invoke the good spirits and conjure
the evil ones, thus curing various diseases, which they ascribed to
possession by demons. While these exorcisms are not so common in the
Talmud as they are in the New Testament, there remain many indications
that such practices were followed by Jewish saints and believed by the
people. Often the rabbis seem to have considered them the work of “unclean
spirits,” which they endeavored to overcome with the “spirit of holiness,”
and particularly by the study of the Torah.(567)

3. This answers implicitly the question of the origin of demons. Obviously
the belief in malevolent spirits is incompatible with the existence of an
all-benign and all-wise Creator. Accordingly, two alternative explanations
are offered in the rabbinical and apocalyptic writings. According to one,
the demons are half angelic and half animal beings, sharing intelligence
and flight with the angels, sensuality with beasts and with men. Their
double nature is ascribed to incompleteness, because they were created
last of all beings, and their creation was interrupted by the coming of
the Sabbath, putting an end to all creation.(568) According to the other
view they are the offspring of the “fallen angels,” issuing from the union
of the angels with the daughters of men as described in Gen. VI, 1 f.
These spread the virus of impurity over all the earth, causing carnal
desire and every kind of lewdness. The whole world of demons is regarded
as alienated from God by the rebellion of the heavenly hosts, as if the
fall of man by sin had its prototype in the celestial sphere.(569) A
rabbinical legend, which corresponds with a Persian myth, ascribes the
origin of demons to the intercourse of Adam with Lilith, the night
spirit.(570) On the other hand, the archangel Samael is said to have cast
lascivious glances at the beauty of Eve, and then to have turned into
Satan the Tempter.(571) The Jewish systems of both angelology and
demonology, first worked out in the apocalyptic literature, were further
elaborated by the Cabbalah.

Angelology found a conspicuous place in the liturgy in connection with the
_Kedushah_ Benediction and likewise in the liturgy and the theology of the

On the other hand the belief in evil spirits and in Satan, the Evil One,
remained rather a matter of popular credulity and never became a positive
doctrine of the Synagogue. True, the liturgy contained morning prayers
which asked God for protection against the Evil One, and formulas invoking
the angels to shield one during the night from evil spirits.(573) But the
arch-fiend was never invested with power over the soul, depriving man of
his perfect freedom and divine sovereignty, as in the Christian Church.

4. In the formation of the idea of the arch-fiend, Satan, we can observe
the interworking of several elements. The name Satan in no way indicates a
demon. It denotes simply the adversary, the one who offers hindrances. The
name was thus applied to the accuser at court.(574) In Zechariah and in
Job(575) Satan appears at the throne of God as the prosecutor, roaming
about the earth to espy the transgressions of men, seeking to lure them to
their destruction. In the Books of Chronicles(576) Satan has become a
proper name, meaning the Seducer.

The Serpent in the Paradise story is more completely a demon, although the
legend intends rather to account for man’s morality, his distinction
between good and evil. Satan was then identified with the serpent, who was
called by the rabbis _Nahash ha Kadmoni_, “the primeval Serpent,” after
the analogy of the serpent-like form of Ahriman. Thus Satan in the person
of the serpent became the embodiment of evil, the prime cause of sin and
death.(577) Possibly a part in this process was played by the Babylonian
figure of _Tihamat_, the dragon of _chaos_ (_Tehom_ in the Hebrew), with
whom the god Marduk wrestled for dominion over the world, and who has
parallels in the Biblical Rahab and similar mythological figures.

We must not overlook such rabbinical legends as the one about how the
poisonous breath of the serpent infected the whole human race, except
Israel who has been saved by the law at Sinai.(578) Occasionally we hear
that the Evil Spirit (_Yezer ha Ra_) will be slain by God(579) or by the
Messiah.(580) These Haggadic sayings, however, were never accepted as
normative for religious belief. On the contrary, they were always in
dispute, and many a Talmudic teacher minimized the fiendish character of
Satan, who became a stimulus to moral betterment through the trials he
imposes.(581) Philo, allegorizing the legends, turns the evil angels of
the Bible into wicked men.(582)

5. As to demons in general, the Talmudists never doubted their existence,
but endeavored to minimize their importance. They changed the demon
_Azazel_ into a geographical term by transposing the letters.(583) They
explained “the sons of God who came to the daughters of men to give birth
to the giants of old” as aristocratic Sethites who intermarried with
low-class families of the Cainites.(584) As to the rest, the entire belief
in demons and ghosts was too deeply rooted in the folk mind to be
counteracted by the rabbis. Even lucid thinkers of the Middle Ages were
caught by these baneful superstitions, including Jehuda ha Levi, Crescas,
and Nahmanides, the mystic.(585) Only a small group fought against this
offshoot of fear and superstition, among them Saadia, Maimonides and his
school, Ibn Ezra, Gersonides, and Juda Ibn Balag. To Maimonides the demons
mentioned in Mishnah and Talmud are only figurative expressions for
physical plagues. He considers the belief in demons equivalent to a belief
in pagan deities. “Many pious Israelites,” he says,(586) “believe in the
reality of demons and witches, thinking that they should not be made the
object of worship and regard, for the reason that the Torah has prohibited
it. But they fail to see that the Law commands us to banish all these
things from sight, because they are but falsehood and deceit, as is the
whole idolatry with which they are intrinsically connected.”

6. This sound view was disseminated by the rationalistic school in its
contest with the Cabbalah, and has exerted a wholesome influence upon
modern Judaism. Thus Satan is rejected by Jewish doctrine, while Luther
and Calvin, the Reformers of the Christian Church, still believed in him.
Milton’s “Paradise Lost” placed him in the very foreground of Christian
belief, and the leaders of the Protestant Churches, up to the present,
accord him a prominent place in their scheme of salvation, as the opponent
and counterpart of God. In his work on Christian dogmatics, David
Friedrich Strauss observes acutely: “The whole (Christian) idea of the
Messiah and his kingdom must necessarily have as its counterpart a kingdom
of demons with a personal ruler at its head; without this it is no more
possible than the north pole of the magnet would be without a south pole.
If Christ has come to destroy the works of the Devil, there would be no
need for him to come, unless there were a Devil. On the other hand, if the
Devil is to be considered merely the personification of evil, then a
Christ who would be only the personification of the ideal, but not a real
personality, would suffice equally.”(587) At present Christian theologians
and even philosophers have recourse to Platonic and Buddhist ideas, that
evil is implanted in the world from which humanity must free itself, and
they thus present Christianity as the _religion of redemption par
excellence_.(588) Over against this, Judaism still maintains that there is
no radical or primitive evil in the world. No power exists which is
intrinsically hostile to God, and from which man must be redeemed.
According to the Jewish conception, the goodness and glory of God fill
both heaven and earth, while holiness penetrates all of life, bringing
matter and flesh within the realm of the divine. Evil is but the contrast
of good, as shade is but the contrast of light. Evil can be overcome by
each individual, as he realizes his own solemn duty and the divine will.
Its only existence is in the field of morality, where it is a test of
man’s freedom and power. Evil is within man, and against it he is to wage
the battles of life, until his victory signalizes the triumph of the
divine in his own nature.(589)

Chapter XXXII. God and the Intermediary Powers

1. In addition to the angels who carried out God’s will in the universe,
the Biblical and post-Biblical literature recognizes other divine powers
which mediate between Him and the world of man. The more a seer or thinker
became conscious of the spirituality and transcendency of God, the more he
felt the gulf between the infinite Spirit and the world of the senses. In
order to bridge this gap, the Deity was replaced by one of His
manifestations which could appear and act in a world circumscribed by
space and time.(590) As we found in prophecy the direct revelation of God
giving way to a mediating angel, so either “the Glory” or “the Name” of
JHVH takes the place of God himself. That is, instead of God’s own being,
His reflected radiance or the power invested in His name descends from on
high. The rabbis kept the direct revelation of God for the hallowed past
or the desired future, but at the same time they needed a suitable term
for the presence of God; they therefore coined the word _Shekinah_—“the
divine Condescension” or “Presence”—to be used instead of the Deity
himself. Thus the verse of the Psalm:(591) “God standeth in the
congregation of God,” is translated by the Targum, “The divine Presence
(_Shekinah_) resteth upon the congregation of the godly.” Instead of the
conclusion of the speech to Moses, “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I
may dwell among them,”(592) the Targum has, “And I shall let My Presence
(_Shekinah_) dwell among them.” Thus in the view of the rabbis _Shekinah_
represents the visible part of the divine majesty, which descends from
heaven to earth, and on the radiance of which are fed the spiritual
beings, both angels and the souls of the saints.(593) God himself was
wrapped in light, whose brilliancy no living being, however lofty, could
endure; but the _Shekinah_ or reflection of the divine glory might be
beheld by the elect either in their lifetime or in the hereafter. In this
way the rabbis solved many contradictory passages of Scripture, some of
which speak of God as invisible, while others describe man as beholding

2. Just as the references to God’s appearing to man suggested luminous
powers mediating the vision of God, so the passages which represent God as
speaking suggest powers mediating the voice. Hence arose the conception of
the divine _Word_, invested with divine powers both physical and
spiritual. The first act of God in the Bible is that He spoke, and by this
word the world came into being. The _Word_ was thus conceived of as the
first created being, an intermediary power between the Spirit of the world
and the created world order. The word of God, important in the cosmic
order, is still more so in the moral and spiritual worlds. The Word is at
times a synonym of divine revelation to the men of the early generations
or to Israel, the bearer of the Law. Hence the older Haggadah places
beside the _Shekinah_ the divine _Word_ (Hebrew, _Maamar_; Aramaic,
_Memra_; Greek, _Logos_) as the intermediary force of revelation.

Contact with the Platonic and Stoic philosophies led gradually to a new
development which appears in Philo. The Word or Logos becomes “the
first-created Son of God,” having a personality independent from God; in
fact he is a kind of vice regent of God himself. From this it was but a
short step toward considering him a partner and peer of the Almighty, as
was done by the Church with its doctrine that the Word became flesh in
Christ, the son of God.(595) In view of this the rabbinical schools gave
up the idea of the personified Word, replacing it with the _Torah_ or the
_Spirit of God_. The older term was retained only in liturgical formulas,
such as: “Who created the heavens by His Word,” or, “Who by His Word
created the twilight and by Wisdom openeth the gates of heaven.”(596)

3. As has been shown above,(597) Wisdom is described in the Bible as the
first of all created beings, the assistant and counselor of God in the
work of creation. Then we see that Ben Sira identifies Wisdom with the
Torah.(598) Thus the Torah, too, was raised to a cosmic power, the sum and
substance of all wisdom. In fact, the Torah, like the Logos of Plato, was
regarded as comprising the ideas or prototypes of all things as in a
universal plan. The Torah is the divine pattern for the world. In such a
connection _Torah_ is far from meaning the Law, as Weber asserts.(599) It
means rather the heavenly book of instruction which contains all the
wisdom of the ages, and which God himself used as guide at the Creation.
God is depicted as an architect with His plan drafted before He began the
erection of the edifice,—a conception which avoids all danger of deifying
the Logos.

4. Several other conceptions, however, do not belong at all to the
intermediary powers, where Weber places them.(600) This applies to
_Metatron_ (identical with the Persian Mithras),(601) whom the mystic lore
calls the charioteer of the heavenly throne-chariot, represented by the
rabbis as the highest of the angels, leader of the heavenly hosts, and
vice-regent of God. That no cosmic power was ascribed to him is proved by
the very fact of his identification with Enoch, whom the pre-Talmudic
Haggadah describes as taken up into heaven and changed into an angel of
the highest rank, standing near God’s throne.(602)

5. The only real mediator between God and man is the _Spirit of God_,
which is mentioned in connection with both the creation and divine
revelation. In the first chapter of Genesis the Spirit of God is described
as hovering over the gloom of chaos like the mother bird over the egg,
ready to hatch out the nascent world.(603) God breathed His spirit into
the body of man, to make him also god-like.(604) The prophet likewise is
inspired by the spirit of God to see visions and to hear the divine
message.(605) Thus the spirit of God has two aspects; it is the cosmic
principle which imbues primal matter with life; it is a link between the
soul of man and God on high. The view of Ezekiel was but one step from
this, to conceive the spirit as a personal being, and place him beside God
as an angel.

The prophets and psalmists, feeling the spirit of God upon them,
considered it an emanation of the Deity. Still, a profounder insight soon
disapproved the severance of the Spirit of God from God himself, as if He
were not altogether _spirit_. Therefore the accepted term came to be the
_Holy Spirit_.(606) In this form, however, his personality became more
distinct and his separate existence more defined. Henceforth he is the
messenger of God, performing miracles or causing them, speaking in the
place of God, or defending His people Israel. Nay, more, the Holy Spirit
is supposed to have dictated the words of Scripture to the sacred writers,
and to have inspired the Men of the Great Synagogue in collecting the
sacred writings into a canon.(607)

Moreover, the workings of the Holy Spirit continued long after the
completion of the Biblical canon. All the chief institutions of the
Synagogue originally claimed that they were prompted by the Holy Spirit,
resting upon the leaders of the community. This claim was basic to the
authority of tradition and the continuity of the authority of Jewish lore.
It seems, however, that certain abuses were caused by miracle-workers who
disseminated false doctrines under the alleged inspiration of the Holy
Spirit. Therefore the rabbis restricted such claims to ancient times and
insisted more strongly than ever upon the preservation of the traditional
lore. For a time a substitute was found in the _Bath Kol_ (“Echo” or
“Whisper of a heavenly voice”), but this also was soon discredited by the
schools.(608) Obviously the rabbis desired to avert the deification of
either the Holy Spirit or the Word. Sound common sense was their norm for
interpreting the truth of the divine revelation. In other words, they
relied on God alone as the living force in the development of Judaism.

6. But some sort of mediation was ascribed to several other spiritual
forces. First, the _Name_ of God often takes the place of God
himself.(609) When the name of the Deity was called over some hallowed
spot, the worshipers felt that the presence of God also was bound up with
the sacred place.(610)

“My name is in him,” says God of the angel whom He sends to lead the
people.(611) The invocation of the name was believed to have an actual
influence upon the Deity. Furthermore, since God is frequently represented
as swearing by His own name,(612) this ineffable name was invested with
magic powers, as if God himself dwelt therein.(613) Thus it came to be
used as a talisman by the popular saints.(614) Indeed, God is described as
conjuring the depths of the abyss by His holy name, lest they overflow
their boundaries.(615) Moreover, the Name, like the Word, or Logos, was
regarded as a creative power, so that we are told that before the world
was created there were only God and His holy Name.(616) Owing to the
introduction of _Adonai_ (the Lord) for JHVH, the pronunciation of the
Name fell into oblivion and the Name itself became a mystery; therefore
its cosmic element also was lost and it dropped into the sphere of mystic
and philosophical speculation.

7. Another attribute of God which received some attention, owing to the
frequent mention of the omnipotence of God in the Bible, was _ha Geburah_
(the Power). A familiar rabbinic expression is: “We have heard from the
mouth of the Power,” that is, from the divine omnipotence.(617) Two
fundamental principles were early perceived in the moral order of the
world: the punitive justice and compassion of God. These were taken as the
meanings of the two most common Biblical names of God, _JHVH_ and
_Elohim_. Elohim, being occasionally used in dispensing justice,(618) was
thought to signify God in His capacity as Judge of the whole earth, and
hence as the divine Justice. JHVH, on the other hand, meant the divine
mercy, as it was used in the revelation of the long-suffering and merciful
God to Moses after the sin of Israel before the golden calf.(619) Thus
both the rabbis and Philo(620) often speak of these two attributes,
justice and mercy, as though they constituted independent beings,
deliberating with God as to what He should do. The Midrash tells in a
parable how before the creation of man, Justice, Mercy, Truth, and Peace
were called in by God as His counselors to deliberate whether or no man
should be created.(621)

8. One Haggadah concludes from the passage about Creation in Proverbs,
that there are three creative powers, Wisdom, Understanding, and
Knowledge.(622) Another derives from Scripture seven creative principles:
Knowledge, Understanding, Might, Grace and Mercy, Justice and Rebuke;(623)
and seven attributes which do service before God’s throne: Wisdom,
Judgment and Justice, Grace and Mercy, Truth and Peace.(624) By combining
these lists of three and seven this was finally enlarged to ten, which
became the basis for the entire mystic lore. Thus the Babylonian master
Rab enumerates ten creative principles: Wisdom, Understanding, and
Knowledge, Might and Power, Rebuke, Justice and Righteousness, Love and
Mercy.(625) It is hard to say whether the ten attributes of the Haggadah
are at all connected with the ten _Sefiroth_ (cosmic forces or circles) of
the Cabbalah. These last are hardly the creation of pure monotheism, but
rather emanations from the infinite, conceived after the pattern of
heathen ideas.(626)

9. The assumption of all these intermediaries aimed chiefly to
spiritualize the conception of God and to elevate Him above all
child-like, anthropomorphic views, so that He becomes a free Mind ruling
the whole universe. At the same time, it became natural to ascribe
material substance to these intermediaries. As they filled the chasm
between the supermundane Deity and the world of the senses, they had to
share the nature of both matter and mind. Hence the Shekinah and the Holy
Spirit are described by both the rabbis and the medieval philosophers as a
fine, luminous, or ethereal substance.(627) The entire ancient and
medieval systems were modeled after the idea of a ladder leading up, step
by step, from the lowest to the highest sphere; God, the Most High, being
at the same time above the highest rung of the ladder and yet also a part
of the whole.

10. Our modern system of thought holds the relation of God to nature and
man to be quite different from all this. To our mind God is the only moral
and spiritual power of life. He is mirrored in the moral and spiritual as
well as intellectual nature of man, and therefore is near to the human
conscience, owing to the divine forces within man himself. Not the world
without, but the world within leads us to God and tells us what God is.
Hence we need no intermediary beings, and they all evaporate before our
mental horizon like mist, pictures of the imagination without objective
reality. Ibn Ezra says in the introduction to his commentary on the Bible
that the human reason is the true intermediating angel between God and
man, and we hold this to be true of both the intellect and the conscience.
For the theologian and the student of religion to-day the center of
gravity of religion is to be sought in psychology and anthropology. In all
his upward striving, his craving and yearning for the highest and the
best, in his loftiest aspirations and ideals, man, like Isaiah the
prophet, can behold only the hem of God’s garment; he seeks God above him,
because he feels Him within himself. He must pass, however, through the
various stages of growth, until his self-knowledge leads to the knowledge
of the God before whom he kneels in awe. Then finally he feels Him as his
Father, his Educator in the school of life, the Master of the universal
plan in which the individual also has a place in building up the divine
kingdom of truth, justice, and holiness on earth. For centuries he groped
for God, until he received a Book to serve as “a lamp to his feet and a
light to his path,” to interpret to him his longing and his craving.
Israel’s Book of Books must ever be re-read and re-interpreted by Israel,
the keeper of the book, through ages yet to come. Well may we say: the
mediator between God and the world is _man_, the son of God; the mediator
between God and humanity is _Israel_, the people of God.


Chapter XXXIII. Man’s Place in Creation

1. The doctrine concerning man is inseparably connected with that about
God. Heathenism formed its deities after the image of man; they were
merely human beings of a larger growth. Judaism, on the contrary, asserts
that God is beyond comparison with mankind; He is a purely spiritual being
without form or image, and therefore utterly unlike man. On the other
hand, man has a divine nature, as he was made in the image of God,
fashioned after His likeness. The highest and deepest in man, his mental,
moral, and spiritual life, is the reflection of the divine nature
implanted within him, a force capable of ever greater development toward
perfection. This unique distinction among all creatures gives man the
highest place in all creation.

2. The superiority of the human race is expressed differently in various
passages in Scripture. According to the first chapter of Genesis the whole
work of creation finds its culmination in man, whose making is introduced
by a solemn appeal of God to the hosts of heaven: “Let us make man in our
image, after our likeness.”(628) This declaration proclaimed that man was
the completion and the climax of the physical creation, as well as the
beginning of a new order of creation, a world of moral aims and purposes,
of self-perfection and self-control. In the world of man all life is
placed at the service of a higher ideal, after the divine pattern.

The second chapter of Genesis depicts man’s creation differently. Here he
appears as the first of created beings, leading a life of perfect
innocence in the garden of divine bliss. Before him God brings all the
newly created beings that he may give them a name and a purpose. But the
Serpent enters Paradise as tempter, casting the seed of discord into the
hearts of the man and the woman. As they prove too feeble to resist
temptation, they can no longer remain in the heavenly garden in their
former happy state. Only the memory of Paradise remains, a golden dream to
cast hope over the life of struggle and labor into which they enter. The
idea of the legend is that man’s proper place is not among beings of the
earth, but he can reach his lofty destiny only by arduous struggle with
the world of the senses and a constant striving toward the divine. The
same idea is expressed more directly in the eighth Psalm:

    “What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?
    And the son of man, that Thou thinkest of him?
    Yet Thou hast made him but little lower than the godly beings
    And hast crowned him with glory and honor.
    Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands;
    Thou hast put all things under his feet.”

3. According to the Haggadists,(629) before the fall man excelled even the
angels in appearance and wisdom, so that they were ready to prostrate
themselves before him. Only when God caused a deep sleep to fall upon man,
they recognized his frailty and kinship with other beings of the earth.
The idea expressed in this legend resembles the one implied in the legend
of Paradise, viz. man has a twofold nature. With his heavenly spirit he
can soar freely to the highest realm of thought, above the station of the
angels; yet his earthly frame holds him ever near the dust. It is this
very contrast that constitutes his greatness, for it makes him a citizen
of two worlds, one perishable, the other eternal. He is the highest result
of Creation, the pride of the Creator.(630) Thus he was appointed God’s
vice-regent on earth by the words spoken to the first man and woman: “Be
fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have
dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over
every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.”(631) The rabbis add a
striking comment upon the word _R’du_, which is used here for “have
dominion” but which may also mean, “go down.” They say: “The choice is
left in man’s own hand. If you maintain your heaven-born dignity, you will
have dominion over all things; if not, you will descend to the level of
the brute creation.”(632)

4. An ancient Mishnah derives a significant lesson from the story of the
creation of man(633): “Both the vegetable and animal worlds were created
in multitudes. Man alone was created as a single individual in order that
he may realize that he constitutes a world in himself, and carries within
him the true value of life. Hence each human being is entitled to say:
‘The whole world was created for my sake.’ He who saves a single human
life is as one who saves a whole world, and he who destroys a single human
life is as one who destroys a whole world.”

5. While it is man’s spiritual side which is the image of God, yet he
derives all his powers and faculties from earthly life, just as a tree
draws its strength from the soil in which it is rooted. Judaism does not
consider the soul the exclusive seat of the divine, as opposed to the
body. In fact, Judaism admits no complete dualism of spirit and matter,
however striking some aspects of their contrast may be. The whole human
personality is divine, just so far as it asserts its freedom and molds its
motives toward a divine end. In recognition of this fact Hillel claimed
reverence for the human body as well as mind, comparing it to the homage
rendered to the statue of a king, for man is made in the image of God, the
King of all the world.(634) Thus the Greek idea that man is a _microcosm_,
a world in miniature, reflecting the cosmos on a smaller scale, was
expressed in the Tannaitic schools as well.(635) The stamp of divinity is
borne by man in his entire heaven-aspiring nature, as he strives to
elevate the very realm of the senses into the sphere of morality and

6. In this respect the Jewish view parts from that of Plato and the Hindu
philosophers. These divide man into a pure celestial soul and an impure
earthly body and hold that the physical life is tainted by sin, while the
spirit is divine only in so far as it frees itself from its prison house
of flesh. Judaism, on the other hand, emphasizes the unified character of
man, by which he can bend all his faculties and functions to a godlike
mastery over the material world. This appears first in his upright posture
and heavenward glance, which proclaim him master over the whole animal
world cowering before him in lowly dread. His whole bodily structure
corresponds to this, with its constant growth, its wondrous symmetry, and
the unique flexibility of the hands, with which he can perform ever new
and greater achievements. Above all, we see the nobility of man in his
high forehead and receding jaw, which contrast so strikingly with the
structure of most animals and even with many of the lower races. Indeed,
primitive man could scarcely imagine a nobler pattern by which to model
his deity than the figure of a man.

7. In fact, the Biblical verse, “God created man after the image of the
divine beings” (_elohim_), was originally taken literally, in the sense
that angels posed as models for the creation of man.(636) The phrase was
referred to the spiritual, god-like nature of man only when the difference
between material and spiritual things became better understood, and man
obtained a clearer knowledge of himself. Man grew to feel that his craving
for the perfect, whether in the field of truth and right, or of beauty, is
the force which lifts him, in spite of all his limitations, into the realm
of the divine. His soaring imagination and ceaseless longing for
perfection disclose before his eyes a partial vista of the infinite. The
human spirit carries mortal man above the confines of time and space into
those boundless realms where God resides in lonely majesty.(637)

Man did not emanate perfect from the hand of the Creator, but ready for an
ever greater perfection. Being the last of all created beings, as the
Midrash says, he can be put to shame by the smallest insect, which is
prior to him. Yet before the beginning of creation a light shone upon his
spirit that has illumined his achievements through untold

8. The resemblance of man to God is attributed also to his free will and
self-consciousness, by which he claims moral dignity and mastery over all
things.(639) Still, all these superior qualities which we call human are
not ready-made endowments, free gifts bestowed by God; they are simply
potentialities which may be gradually developed. Man must strive to attain
the place destined for him in the scheme of creation by the exertion of
his own will and the unfolding of the powers that lie within him. The
impulse toward self-perfection, which is constantly stimulated by the
desire to overcome obstacles and to extend one’s power, knowledge, and
possessions, forms the kernel of the divine in man. This is the “spirit in
man, and the breath of the Almighty, that giveth them understanding.”(640)
Thus the teaching of modern science, of the gradual ascent of man through
all the stages of animal life, does not impair the lofty position in
creation which Judaism has assigned him. Plant and animal are what they
have always been, children of the earth; man with his heaven-aspiring soul
is the image of his Creator, a child of God. Giver of name and purpose to
all things about him, he ranks above the angels; he “marches on while all
the rest stand still.”(641)

Chapter XXXIV. The Dual Nature of Man

1. According to Jewish doctrines, man is formed by a union of two natures:
the flesh, which he shares with all the animals, and the spirit, which
renders him a child of God. The former is rooted in the earth and is
earthward bent; the latter is a “breath from God” and strives to unfold
the divine in man until he attains the divine image. This discord brings a
tremendous internal conflict, leading from one historic stage to another,
achieving ever higher things, intellectual, moral, and spiritual, until at
last the whole earth is to be a divine kingdom, the dwelling-place of
truth, goodness, and holiness.

2. According to the Biblical view man consists of flesh (_basar_) and
spirit (_ruah_). The term flesh is used impartially of all animals, hence
the Biblical term “all flesh”(642) includes both man and beast. The body
becomes a living being by being penetrated with the “breath of life”
(_ruah hayim_), at whose departure the living body turns at once into a
lifeless clod. This breath of life is possessed by the animal as well as
by man, as both of them breathe the air. Hence in ancient tongues “breath”
and “soul” are used as synonyms, as the Hebrew _nefesh_ and _neshamah_,
the Latin _anima_ and _spiritus_, the Greek _pneuma_ and _psyche_. A
different primitive belief connected the soul with the blood, noting that
man or beast dies when the hot life-blood flows out of the body, so that
we read in the Bible, “the blood is the soul.”(643) In this the soul is
identified with the life, while the word _ruah_, denoting the moving force
of the air, is used more in the sense of spirit or soul as distinct from
the body.

Thus both man and beast possess a soul, _nefesh_. The soul of man is
merely distinguished by its richer endowment, its manifold faculties by
which it is enabled to move forward to higher things. Thus the animal soul
is bound for all time to its destined place, while the divine spirit in
man makes him a free creative personality, self-conscious and god-like.
For this reason the creation of man forms a special act in the account in
Genesis. Both the plant and animal worlds rose at God’s bidding from the
soil of mother earth, and the soul of the animal is limited in origin and
goal by the earthly sphere. The creation of man inaugurates a new world.
God is described as forming the body of man from the dust of the earth and
then breathing His spirit into the lifeless frame, endowing it with both
life and personality. The whole man, both body and soul, has thus the
potentiality of a higher and nobler life.

3. Accordingly Scripture does not have a thorough-going dualism, of a
carnal nature which is sinful and a spiritual nature which is pure. We are
not told that man is composed of an impure earthly body and a pure
heavenly soul, but instead that the whole of man is permeated by the
spirit of God. Both body and soul are endowed with the power of continuous
self-improvement. In order to see the great superiority of the Jewish view
over the heathen one, we need only study the old Babylonian legend
preserved by Berosus. In this the deity made man by mixing earth with some
of its own life-blood, thus endowing the human soul with higher powers. In
the Bible the difference between man and beast does not lie in the blood,
although the blood is still thought to be the life. The distinction of man
is in the spirit, _ruah_, which emanates from God and penetrates both body
and soul, lifting the whole man into a higher realm and making him a free
moral personality.

Still the Bible makes no clear distinction between the three terms,
_nefesh_, _neshamah_, and _ruah_.(644) Philo first distinguished between
three different substances of the soul, but his theory was the Platonic
one, for which he simply used the three Biblical names.(645) The Jewish
philosophers of the Middle Ages, beginning with Saadia, took the same
attitude, even though they realized more or less that the division of the
soul into three substances has no Scriptural warrant.(646) In rabbinical
literature this division is scarcely known, and there is little mention of
either the animal soul, _nefesh_, or the vital spark, _ruah_. Instead the
word _neshamah_ is used for the human _psyche_ as the higher spiritual
substance, and the contrast to it is not the Biblical _basar_, flesh, but
the Aramaic _guph_, body.(647) This bears a trace of Persian dualism, with
its strong contrast between the earthly body and the heavenly soul.

4. In fact, rabbinical Judaism does not recognize any relationship between
the soul of the animal and that of man, but claims that man has a special
type of existence. The Midrash tells(648) that God formed Adam’s body so
as to reach from earth to heaven, and then caused the soul to enter it. In
the same way God implants the soul into the embryo before its birth and
while in the womb. Before this the soul had a bird-like existence in an
immense celestial cage (_guph_ = _columbarium_), and when it leaves the
body in death, it again takes its flight toward heaven. There its conduct
on earth will reap a reward in the garden of eternal bliss or a punishment
in the infernal regions. The belief in the preëxistence of the soul was
shared by the rabbis with the apocryphal authors and Philo.(649)

However, rabbinical Judaism never followed Philo so far in the footsteps
of Plato as to consider the body or the flesh the source of impurity and
sin, or “the prison house of the soul.” This view is fundamental in the
Paulinian system of other-worldliness. For the rabbis the sensuous desire
of the body (_yezer_) is a tendency toward sin, but never a compulsion.
The weakness of the flesh may cause a straying from the right path, but
man can turn the desires of the flesh into the service of the good. He can
always assert his divine power of freedom by opposing the evil inclination
(_yezer ha ra_) with the good inclination (_yezer ha tob_) to overcome
it.(650) In fact, the rabbis are so far from acknowledging the existence
of a compulsion of evil in the flesh, that they point to the history of
great men as proof that the highest characters have the mightiest passions
in their souls, and that their greatness consists in the will by which
they have learned to control themselves.(651)

5. In the light of modern science the whole theory separating body and
soul falls to the ground, and the one connecting man more closely with the
animal world is revived. In this connection we think of the idea which
medieval thinkers adopted from Plato and Aristotle, that there is a
substance of souls—_nefesh hahiyonith_—which forms the basic life-force of
men and animals. Physiology and psychology reveal the interaction and
dependence of body and soul in the lowest forms of animal life as well as
in the higher forms, including man. The beginnings of the human mind must
be sought once for all in the animal, just as the origin of the animal
reaches back into the plant world. Indeed, Aristotle anticipates the
discoveries of modern science, placing the vegetative and animal souls
beside the spirit of man. Thus motion and sensibility form the lower
boundary-line of the animal kingdom, and self-consciousness and
self-determination are the criteria of humanity.

Yet this very self-conscious freedom which forms man’s personality, his
_ego_, lifts him into a realm of free action under higher motives,
transcending nature’s law of necessity, and therefore not falling within
the domain of natural science. Dust-born man, notwithstanding his earthly
limitations, in spite of his kinship to mollusk and mammal, enters the
realm of the divine spirit. In the Midrash the rabbis remark that man
shares the nature of both animals and angels.(652) Admitting this, we feel
that he is tied neither to heaven nor to the earth, but free to lift
himself above all creatures or sink below them all.

6. Endowed with this dual nature, man stands in the very center of the
universe, and God esteems him “equal in value to the entire creation,” as
Rabbi Nehemiah says of a single human soul.(653) Rabbi Akiba stresses the
image of God in humanity when he says: “Beloved is man, for he is created
in God’s image, and it was a special token of love that he became
conscious of it. Beloved is Israel, for they are called the children of
God, and it was a special token of love that they became conscious of
it.”(654) The Midrash compares man to God in exquisite manner: “Just as
God permeates the world and carries it, unseen yet seeing all, enthroned
within as the Only One, the Perfect, and the Pure, yet never to be reached
or found out; so the soul penetrates and carries the body, as the _one_
pure and luminous being which sees and holds all things, while itself
unseen and unreached.”(655) The conception of the soul is here divested of
every sensory attribute, and portrayed as a divine force within the body.
This conception, which was accepted by the medieval philosophers, is
thoroughly consistent with our view of the world. The soul it is which
mirrors both the material and spiritual worlds and holds them in mutual
relation through its own power. It is at the same time swayed upward and
downward by its various cravings, heavenly and earthly, and this very
tension constitutes the dual nature of the human soul.

Chapter XXXV. The Origin and Destiny of Man

1. Of all created beings man alone possesses the power of
self-determination; he assigns his destiny to himself. While he endeavors
to find the object of all other things and even of his own existence in
the world, he finds his own purpose within himself. Star and stone, plant
and beast fulfill their purpose in the whole plan of creation by their
existence and varied natures, and are accordingly called “good” as they
are. Man, however, realizes that he must accomplish his purpose by his
manner of life and the voluntary exertion of his own powers. He is “good”
only as far as he fulfills his destiny on earth. He is not good by mere
existence, but by his conduct. Not what he is, but what he ought to be
gives value to his being. He is good or bad according to the direction of
his will and acts by the imperative: “I ought” or “I ought not,” which
comes to him in his conscience, the voice of God calling to his soul.

2. The problem of human destiny is answered by Judaism with the idea that
God is the ideal and pattern of all morality. The answer given, then, is
“To walk in the ways of God, to be righteous and just,” as He is.(656) The
prophet Micah expressed it in the familiar words: “It has been told thee,
O man, what is good, and what the Lord doth require of thee: Only to do
justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”(657)
Accordingly the Bible considers men of the older generations the
prototypes of moral conduct, “righteous men who walked with God.” Such men
were Enoch, Noah, and above all Abraham, to whom God said: “I am God
Almighty; walk before Me, and be thou whole-hearted. And I will make My
covenant between thee and Me.”(658) The rabbis singled out Abraham as the
type of a perfect man on account of his love of righteousness and peace;
contrasting him with Adam who sinned, they beheld him as “the great man
among the heroes of the ancient times.” They even considered him the type
of true humanity, in whom the object of creation was attained.(659)

3. This moral consciousness, however, which tells man to walk in the ways
of God and be perfect, is also the source of shame and remorse. With such
an ideal man must feel constantly that he falls short, that he is not what
he ought to be. Only the little child, who knows nothing as yet of good
and evil, can preserve the joy of life unmarred. Similarly, primitive man,
being ignorant of guilt, could pass his days without care or fear. But as
soon as he becomes conscious of guilt, discord enters his soul, and he
feels as if he had been driven from the presence of God.

This feeling is allegorized in the Paradise legend. The garden of bliss,
half earthly, half heavenly, which is elsewhere called the “mountain of
God,”(660) a place of wondrous trees, beasts, and precious stones, whence
the four great rivers flow, is the abode of divine beings. The first man
and woman could dwell in it only so long as they lived in harmony with God
and His commandments. As soon as the tempter in the shape of the serpent
called forth a discord between the divine will and human desire, man could
no longer enjoy celestial bliss, but must begin the dreary earthly life,
with its burdens and trials.

4. This story of the fall of the first man is an allegorical description
of the state of childlike innocence which man must leave behind in order
to attain true strength of character. It is based upon a view common to
all antiquity of a descent of the race; that is: first came the golden
age, when man led a life of ease and pleasure in company with the gods;
then an age of silver, another of brass, and finally the iron age, with
its toil and bitter woe. Thus did evil deeds and wild passions increase
among men. This view fails utterly to recognize the value of labor as a
civilizing force making for progress, and it contradicts the modern
historical view. The prophets of Israel placed the golden age at the end,
not the beginning of history, so that the purpose of mankind was to
establish a heavenly kingdom upon the earth. In fact, the fall of man is
not referred to anywhere in Scripture and never became a doctrine, or
belief, of Judaism. On the contrary, the Hellenistic expounders of the
Bible take it for granted that the story is an allegory, and the book of
Proverbs understands the tree of life symbolically, in the verse: “She
(the Torah) is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her.”(661)

5. Still the rabbis in Talmud and Midrash accepted the legend in good
faith as historical(662) and took it literally as did the great English

    “The fruit
    Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
    Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
    With loss of Eden.”

In fact, they even followed the Persian dualism with its evil principle,
the primeval serpent, or the Babylonian legend of the sea-monster Tiamat,
and regarded the serpent in Paradise as a demon. He was identified with
Satan, the arch-fiend, and later with evil in general, the _yezer ha
ra_.(663) Thus the belief arose that the poisonous breath of the serpent
infected all generations, causing death even of the sinless.(664) The
apocrypha also held that the envy of Satan brought death into the
world.(665) This prepared for the dismal church doctrine of original sin,
the basis of Paul’s teachings, which demanded a blood atonement for
curse-laden humanity, and found it after the pagan pattern in the
vicarious sacrifice of a dying god.(666)

Against such perversion of the simple Paradise story the sound common
sense of the Jewish people rebelled. While the early Talmudists
occasionally mention the poisoning of the human race by the serpent, they
find an antidote for the Jewish people in the covenant with Abraham or
that of Sinai.(667) One cannot, however, discern the least indication of
belief in original sin, either as inherent in the human race or inherited
by them. Nor does the liturgy express any such idea, especially for the
Day of Penitence, when it would certainly be mentioned if the conception
found any place in Jewish doctrine. On the contrary, the prevailing
thought of Judaism is that of Deuteronomy and Ezekiel,(668) that “Each man
dies by his own sin,” that every soul must bear only the consequences of
his own deeds. The rabbis even state that no man dies unless he has
brought it upon himself by his own sin, and mention especially certain
exceptions to this rule, such as the four saintly men who died without
sin,(669) or certain children whose death was due to the sin of their
parents.(670) They could never admit that the whole human race was so
corrupted by the sin of the first man that it is still in a state of

6. Of course, the rabbinical schools took literally the Biblical story of
the fall of man and laid the chief blame upon woman, who fell a prey to
the wiles of the serpent. This is done even by Ben Sira, who says: “With
woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all must die.”(671) So
the Talmud says that due to woman, man, the crown, light, and life of
creation, lost his purity, his luster, and his immortality.(672) The
Biblical verse, “They did eat, and the eyes of them both were opened,” is
interpreted by Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai and Rabbi Akiba as “They saw the
dire consequences of their sin upon all coming generations.”(673) The fall
of man is treated most elaborately in the same spirit in the two
apocalyptic books written after the destruction of the Second Temple, the
Apocalypse of Baruch and the IV Book of Esdras.(674) The incompatibility
of divine love with the sufferings of man and of the Jewish people on
account of the sin of the first man is solved by an appeal to the final
Day of Judgment, and the striking remark is added that, after all, “each
is his own Adam and is held responsible for his own sin.” We cannot deny
that these two books contain much that is near the Paulinian view of
original sin. It seems, however, that the Jewish teachers were put on
their guard by the emphasis of this pessimistic dogma by the nascent
Church, and did their best to give a different aspect to the story of the
first sin. Thus they say: “If Adam had but shown repentance, and done
penance after he committed his sin, he would have been spared the death
penalty.”(675) Moreover, they actually represent Adam and Eve as patterns
of repentant sinners, who underwent severe penance and thus obtained the
promise of divine mercy and also of final resurrection.(676) Instead of
transmitting the heritage of sin to coming generations, the first man is
for them an example of repentance. So do the Haggadists tell us quite
characteristically that God merely wanted to test the first man by an
insignificant command, so that the first representative of the human race
should show whether he was worthy to enter eternal life in his mortal
garb, as did Enoch and Elijah. As he could not stand the test, he
forfeited the marks of divine rank, his celestial radiance, his gigantic
size, and his power to overcome death.(677) Obviously the Biblical story
was embellished with material from the Persian legend of the fall of Yima
or Djemshid, the first man, from superhuman greatness because of his
sin,(678) but it was always related frankly as a legend, and could never
influence the Jewish conception of the fall of man.

7. Judaism rejects completely the belief in hereditary sin and the
corruption of the flesh. The Biblical verse, “God made man upright; but
they have sought out many inventions,”(679) is explained in the Midrash:
“Upright and just as is God, He made man after His likeness in order that
he might strive after righteousness, and unfold ever more his god-like
nature, but men in their dissensions have marred the divine image.”(680)
With reference to another verse in Ecclesiastes:(681) “The dust returneth
unto the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it,”
the rabbis teach “Pure as the soul is when entering upon its earthly
career, so can man return it to his Maker.”(682) Therefore the pious Jew
begins his daily prayers with the words: “My God, the soul which Thou hast
given me is pure.”(683) The life-long battle with sin begins only at the
age when sensual desire, “the evil inclination,” awakens in youth; then
the state of primitive innocence makes way for the sterner contest for
manly virtue and strength of character.

8. In fact, the whole Paradise story could never be made the basis for a
dogma. The historicity of the serpent is denied by Saadia;(684) the rabbis
transfer Paradise with the tree of life to heaven as a reward for the
future;(685) and both Nahmanides the mystic and Maimonides the philosopher
give it an allegorical meaning.(686) On the other hand, the Haggadic
teachers perceived the simple truth that a life of indolence in Paradise
would incapacitate man for his cultural task, and that the toils and
struggles inflicted on man as a curse are in reality a blessing. Therefore
they laid special stress on the Biblical statement: “He put man into the
garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”(687) The following parable is
especially suggestive: “When Adam heard the stern sentence passed: ‘Thou
shalt eat the herb of the field,’ he burst into tears, and said: ‘Am I and
my ass to eat out of the same manger?’ Then came another sentence from God
to reassure him, ‘In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,’ and
forthwith he became aware that man shall attain a higher dignity by dint
of labor.”(688) Indeed, labor transforms the wilderness into a garden and
the earth into a habitation worthy of the son of God. The “book of the
generations of man” which begins with Adam is accordingly not the history
of man’s descent, but of his continuous ascent, of ever higher
achievements and aspirations; it is not a record of the fall of man, but
of his rise from age to age. According to the Midrash(689) God opened
before Adam the book with the deeds and names of the leading spirits of
all the coming generations, showing him the latent powers of the human
intellect and soul. The phrase, “the fall of man,” can mean, in fact, only
the inner experience of the individual, who does fall from his original
idea of purity and divine nobility into transgression and sin. It cannot
refer to mankind as a whole, for the human race has never experienced a
fall, nor is it affected by original or hereditary sin.

Chapter XXXVI. God’s Spirit in Man

1. Man is placed in an animal world of dull feelings, of blind and crude
cravings. Yet his clear understanding, his self-conscious will and his
aspirations forward and upward lead him into a higher world where he
obtains insight into the order and unity of all things. By the spirit of
God he is able to understand material things and grasp them in their
relations; thus he can apply all his knowledge and creative imagination to
construct a world of ideals. But this world, in all its truth, beauty and
goodness, is still limited and finite, a feeble shadow of the infinite
world of God. As the Bible says: “The spirit of man is the lamp of the
Lord, searching all the inward parts.”(690) “It is a spirit in man, and
the breath of the Almighty, that giveth them understanding.”(691)

2. According to the Biblical conception, the spirit of God endows men with
all their differing capacities; it gives to one man wisdom by which he
penetrates into the causes of existence and orders facts into a scientific
system; to another the seeing eye by which he captures the secret of
beauty and creates works of art; and to a third the genius to perceive the
ways of God, the laws of virtue, that he may become a teacher of ethical
truth. In other words, the spirit of God is “the spirit of wisdom and
understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge
and the fear of the Lord.”(692) It works upon the scientific interest of
the investigator, the imagination of the artist and poet, the ethical and
social sense of the prophet, teacher, statesman, and lawgiver. Thus their
high and holy vision of the divine is brought home to the people and
implanted within them under the inspiration of God. In commenting upon the
Biblical verse, “Wisdom and might are His ... He giveth wisdom to the
wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding,”(693) the sages
wisely remark, “God carefully selects those who possess wisdom for His
gift of wisdom.” Even as a musical instrument must be attuned for the
finer notes that it may have a clear, resonant tone, so the human soul
must be made especially susceptible to the gifts of the spirit in order to
be capable of unfolding them. Thus the Talmud records an interesting
dialogue on this very passage between a Roman matron familiar with the
Scripture, and Rabbi Jose ben Halafta. She asked sarcastically, “Would it
not have been more generous of your God to have given wisdom to those that
are unwise than to those that already possess it?” Thereupon the Jewish
master replied, “If you were to lend a precious ornament, would you not
lend it to one who was able to make use of it? So God gives the treasure
of wisdom to the wise, who know how to appreciate and develop it, not to
the unwise, who do not know its value.”(694)

3. Thus the diverse gifts of the divine spirit are distributed differently
among the various classes and tribes of men, according to their capacity
and the corresponding task which is assigned them by Providence. The
divine spark is set aglow in each human soul, sometimes feebly, sometimes
brightly, but it blazes high only in the privileged personality or group.
The mutual relationship between God and man is recognized by the Synagogue
in the Eighteen Benedictions, where the one directly following the three
praises of God is devoted to wisdom and knowledge: “Thou favorest man with
knowledge, and teachest mortals understanding. So favor us with knowledge,
understanding, and discernment from Thee. Blessed art Thou, O Lord,
gracious Giver of knowledge.”(695) This petition, remarks Jehuda ha
Levi,(696) deserves its position as first among these prayers, because
wisdom brings us nearer to God. It is also noteworthy that the Synagogue
prescribes a special benediction at the sight of a renowned sage, even if
he is not a Jew, reading, “Praised be He who has imparted of His wisdom to
flesh and blood.”(697)

4. Maimonides holds that in the same degree as a man studies the works of
God in nature, he will be filled with longing for direct knowledge of God
and true love of Him.(698) “Not only religion, but also the sciences
emanate from God, both being the outcome of the wisdom which God imparts
to all nations,”—thus wrote a sixteenth-century rabbi, Loewe ben Bezalel
of Prague, known usually as “the eminent Rabbi Loewe.”(699) The men of the
Talmud also accord the palm in certain types of knowledge to heathen
sages, and did not hesitate to ascribe to some heathens the highest
knowledge of God in their time.(700) As a mystic of the thirteenth
century, Isaac ben Latif, says: “That faith is the most perfect which
perceives truth most fully, since God is the source of all truth.”(701) Of
the two heads of the Babylonian academies, Rab and Samuel, one asserted
that Moses through his prophetic genius reached forty-nine of the fifty
degrees of the divine understanding (as the fiftieth is reserved for God
alone), while the other claimed the same distinction for King Solomon as
the result of his wisdom.(702)

5. Thus the spirit of God creates in man both consciously and
unconsciously a world of ideas, which proves him a being of a higher order
in creation. This impulse may work actively, searching, investigating, and
creating, or passively as an instrument of a higher power. At first it is
a dim, uncertain groping of the spirit; then the mind acquires greater
lucidity by which it illumines the dark world; and, as one question calls
for the other and one thought suggests another, the world of ideas opens
up as a well-connected whole. Thus man creates by slow steps his
languages, the arts and sciences, ethics, law and all the religions with
their varying practices and doctrines. At times this spirit bursts forth
with greater vehemence in great men, geniuses who lift the race with one
stroke to a higher level. Such men may say, in the words of David, the
holy singer: “The spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was upon my
tongue.”(703) They may repeat the experience of Eliphaz the friend of Job:

    “Now a word was secretly brought to me,
    And mine ear received a whisper thereof.
    In thoughts from the visions of the night,
    When deep sleep falleth on men,
    Fear came upon me, and trembling,
    And all my bones were made to shake.
    Then a spirit passed before my face,
    That made the hair of my flesh to stand up.
    It stood still, but I could not discern the appearance thereof;
    A form was before mine eyes;
    I heard a still voice.”(704)

In such manner men of former ages received a religious revelation, a
divine message.

6. The divine spirit always selects as its instruments individuals with
special endowments. Still, insight into history shows that these men must
needs have grown from the very heart of their own people and their own
age, in order that they might hold a lofty position among them and command
attention for their message. However far the people or the age may be from
the man chosen by God, the multitude must feel at least that the divine
spirit speaks through him, or works within him. Or, if not his own time,
then a later generation must respond to his message, lest it be lost
entirely to the world.

The rabbis, who knew nothing of laws of development for the human mind,
assumed that the first man, made by God Himself, must have known every
branch of knowledge and skill, that the spirit of God must have been most
vigorous in him.(705) They therefore believed in a primeval revelation,
coeval with the first man. Our age, with its tremendous emphasis on the
historical view, sees the divine spirit manifested most clearly in the
very development and growth of all life, social, intellectual, moral and
spiritual, proceeding steadily toward the highest of all goals. With this
emphasis, however, on process, we must lay stress equally on the origin,
on the divine impulse or initiative in this historical development, the
spirit which gives direction and value to the whole.

Chapter XXXVII. Free Will and Moral Responsibility

1. Judaism has ever emphasized the freedom of the will as one of its chief
doctrines. The dignity and greatness of man depends largely upon his
freedom, his power of self-determination. He differs from the lower
animals in his independence of instinct as the dictator of his actions. He
acts from free choice and conscious design, and is able to change his mind
at any moment, at any new evidence or even through whim. He is therefore
responsible for his every act or omission, even for his every intention.
This alone renders him a moral being, a child of God; thus the moral sense
rests upon freedom of the will.(706)

2. The idea of moral freedom is expressed as early as the first pages of
the Bible, in the words which God spoke to Cain while he was planning the
murder of his brother Abel: “Whether or not, thou offerest an acceptable
gift,” (New Bible translation: “If thou doest well, shall it not be lifted
up? and if thou doest not well,”) “sin coucheth at the door; and unto thee
is its desire, but thou mayest rule over it.”(707) Here, without any
reference to the sin of Adam in the first generation, the man of the
second generation is told that he is free to choose between good and evil,
that he alone is responsible before God for what he does or omits to do.
This certainly indicates that the moral freedom of man is not impaired by
hereditary sin, or by any evil power outside of man himself. This
principle is established in the words of Moses spoken in the name of God:
“I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse;
therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed.”(708) In
like manner Jeremiah proclaims in God’s name: “Behold I set before you the
way of life and the way of death.”(709)

3. From these passages and many similar ones the sages derived their
oft-repeated idea that man stands ever at the parting of the ways, to
choose either the good or the evil path.(710) Thus the words spoken by God
to the angels when Adam and Eve were to be expelled from Paradise:
“Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil,” are
interpreted by R. Akiba: “He was given the choice to go the way of life or
the way of death, but he chose the way of death by eating of the forbidden
fruit.”(711) R. Akiba emphasizes the principle of the freedom of the will
again in the terse saying: “All things are foreseen (by God), but free
will is granted (to man).”(712)

4. At the first encounter of Judaism with those philosophical schools of
Hellas which denied the freedom of the human will, the Jewish teachers
insisted strongly on this principle. The first reference is found in Ben
Sira, who refutes the arguments of the Determinists that God could make
man sin, and then goes on: “God created man at the beginning, endowing him
with the power of self-determination, saying to him: If thou but willest,
thou canst observe My commandments; to practice faithfulness is a matter
of free will.... As when fire and water are put before thee, so that thou
mayest reach forth thy hand to that which thou desirest, so are life and
death placed before man, and whatever he chooses of his own desire will be
given to him.”(713) The Book of Enoch voices this truth also in the
forceful sentences: “Sin has not been sent upon the earth (from above),
but men have produced it out of themselves; therefore they who commit sin
are condemned.”(714) We read similar sentiments in the Psalms of Solomon,
a Pharisean work of the first pre-Christian century:(715) “Our actions are
the outcome of the free choice and power of our own soul; to practice
justice or injustice lies in the work of our own hands.”

The Apocalypse of Ezra is especially instructive in the great stress which
it lays on freedom, in connection with its chief theme, the sinfulness of
the children of Adam. “This is the condition of the contest which man who
is born on earth must wage, that, if he be conquered by the evil
inclination, he must suffer that of which thou hast spoken (the tortures
of hell), but if he be victorious, he shall receive (the reward) which I
(the angel) have mentioned. For this is the way whereof Moses spoke when
he lived, saying unto the people, ‘Choose life, that thou mayest live!’...
For all who knew Me not in life when they received My benefits, who
despised My law when they yet had freedom, and did not heed the door of
repentance while it was still open before them, but disregarded it, after
death they shall come to know it!”(716)

5. Hellenistic Judaism also, particularly Philo,(717) considered the truly
divine in man to be his free will, which distinguishes him from the beast.
Yet Hellenistic naturalism could not grasp the fact that man’s power to do
evil in opposition to God, the Source of the good, is the greatest
reminder of his moral responsibility. Josephus likewise mentions
frequently as a characteristic teaching of the Pharisees that man’s free
will determines his acts without any compulsion of destiny.(718) Only we
must not accept too easily the words of this Jewish historian, who wrote
for his Roman masters and, therefore, represented the Jewish parties as so
many philosophical schools after the Greek pattern. The Pharisean doctrine
is presented most tersely in the Talmudic maxim: “Everything is in the
hands of God except the fear of God.”(719) Like the quotation from R.
Akiba above, this contains the great truth that man’s destiny is
determined by Providence, but his character depends upon his own free
decision. This idea recurs frequently in such Talmudic sayings as these:
“The wicked are in the power of their desires; the righteous have their
desires in their own power;”(720) “The eye, the ear, and the nostrils are
not in man’s power, but the mouth, the hand, and the feet are.”(721) That
is, the impressions we receive from the world without us come
involuntarily, but our acts, our steps, and our words arise from our own

6. A deeper insight into the problem of free will is offered in two other
Talmudic sayings; the one is: “Whosoever desires to pollute himself with
sin will find all the gates open before him, and whosoever desires to
attain the highest purity will find all the forces of goodness ready to
help him.”(722) The other reads: “It can be proved by the Torah, the
Prophets, and the other sacred writings that man is led along the road
which he wishes to follow.”(723)

As a matter of fact, no person is absolutely free, for innumerable
influences affect his decisions, consciously and unconsciously. For this
reason many thinkers, both ancient and modern, consider freedom a delusion
and hold to determinism, the doctrine that man acts always under the
compulsion of external and internal forces. In opposition to this theory
is one incontestable fact, our own inner sense of freedom which tells us
at every step that _we_ have acted, and at every decision that we have
decided. Man can maintain his own power of self-determination against all
influences from without and within; his will is the final arbiter over
every impulse and every pressure. Moreover, as we penetrate more deeply
into the working of the mind, we see that a long series of our own
voluntary acts has occasioned much that we consider external, that the
very pressure of the past on our thoughts, feelings and habits, which
leaves so little weight for the decision of the moment, is really only our
past will influencing our present will. That is, the will may determine
itself, but it does not do so arbitrarily; its action is along the lines
of its own character. We have the power to receive the influence of either
the noble or the ignoble series of impressions, and thus to yield either
to the lofty or the low impulses of the soul.

In this way the rabbis interpret various expressions of Scripture which
would seem to limit man’s freedom, as where God induces man to good or
evil acts, or hardens the heart of Pharaoh so that he will not let the
Israelites go, until the plagues had been fulfilled upon him and his
people.(724) They understand in such an instance that a man’s heart has a
prevailing inclination toward right or wrong, the expression of his
character, and that God encouraged this inclination along the evil course;
thus the freedom of the human will was kept intact.

7. The doctrine of man’s free will presents another difficulty from the
side of divine omniscience. For if God knows in advance what is to happen,
then man’s acts are determined by this very foreknowledge; he is no longer
free, and his moral responsibility becomes an idle dream. In order to
escape this dilemma, the Mohammedan theologians were compelled to limit
either the divine omniscience or human freedom, and most of them resorted
to the latter method. It is characteristic of Judaism that its great
thinkers, from Saadia to Maimonides and Gersonides,(725) dared not alter
the doctrine of man’s free will and moral responsibility, but even
preferred to limit the divine omniscience. Hisdai Crescas is the only one
to restrict human freedom in favor of the foreknowledge of God.(726)

8. The insistence of Judaism on unrestricted freedom of will for each
individual entirely excludes hereditary sin. This is shown in the
traditional explanation of the verse of the Decalogue: “Visiting the
iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth
generation of them that hate Me.”(727) According to the rabbis the words
“of them that hate Me” do not refer to the fathers, according to the plain
meaning of the passage, but to the children and children’s children. These
are to be punished only when they hate God and follow the evil example of
their fathers.(728) Despite example and hereditary disposition, the
descendants of evildoers can lead a virtuous life, and their punishment
comes only when they fail to resist the evil influences of their parental
household. To illustrate the Biblical words, “Who can bring a clean thing
out of an unclean?”(729) the rabbis single out Abraham, the son of Terah,
Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, and Josiah, the son of Manasseh.(730) Man,
being made in God’s image, determines his own character by his own free
choice; by his will he can raise or lower himself in the scale of being.

9. The fundamental character of the doctrine of free will for Judaism is
shown by Maimonides, who devotes a special chapter of his Code to it,(731)
and calls it the pillar of Israel’s faith and morality, since through it
alone man manifests his god-like sovereignty. For should his freedom be
limited by any kind of predestination, he would be deprived of his moral
responsibility, which constitutes his real greatness. In endeavoring to
reconcile God’s omnipotence and omniscience with man’s freedom, Maimonides
says that God wants man to erect a kingdom of morality without
interference from above; moreover, God’s knowledge is different in kind
from that of man, and thus is not an infringement upon man’s freedom, as
the human type of knowledge would be. However, Abraham ben David of
Posquieres blames Maimonides for proposing questions which he could not
answer satisfactorily in the Code, which is intended for non-philosophical
readers. The fact is that this is only another of the problems insoluble
to human reasoning; the freedom of the will must remain for all time a
postulate of moral responsibility, and therefore of religion.

Chapter XXXVIII. The Meaning of Sin

1. Sin is a religious conception. It does not signify a breach of law or
morality, or of popular custom and sacred usage, but an offense against
God, provoking His punishment. As long as the deity is merely dreaded as
an external power, not adored as a moral power ruling life from within for
a holy purpose, sin, too, is considered a purely formal offense. The deity
demands to be worshiped by certain rites and may be propitiated by other
formal acts.(732) For Judaism, however, sin is a straying from the path of
God, an offense against the divine order of holiness. Thus it signifies an
abuse of the freedom granted man as his most precious boon. Therefore sin
has a twofold character; formally it is an offense against the majesty of
God, whose laws are broken; essentially it is a severance of the soul’s
inner relations to God, an estrangement from Him.

2. Scripture has three different terms for sin, which do not differ
greatly in point of language, but indicate three stages of thought. First
is _het_ or _hataah_, which connotes any straying from the right path,
whether caused by levity, carelessness, or design, and may even include
wrongs committed unwittingly, _shegagah_. Second is _avon_, a crookedness
or perversion of the straight order of the law. Third is _pesha_, a wicked
act committed presumptuously in defiance of God and His law. As a matter
of course, the conception of sin was deepened by degrees, as the prophets,
psalmists and moralists grew to think of God as the pattern of the highest
moral perfection, as the Holy One before whom an evil act or thought
cannot abide.

The rabbis usually employed the term _aberah_, that is, a transgression of
a divine commandment. In contrast to this they used _mitzwah_, a divine
command, which denotes also the whole range of duty, including the desire
and intention of the human soul. From this point of view every evil design
or impulse, every thought and act contrary to God’s law, becomes a sin.

3. Sin arises from the weakness of the flesh, the desire of the heart, and
accordingly in the first instance from an error of judgment. The Bible
frequently speaks of sin as “folly.”(733) A rabbinical saying brings out
this same idea: “No one sins unless the spirit of folly has entered into
him to deceive him.”(734) A sinful imagination lures one to sin; the
repetition of the forbidden act lowers the barrier of the commandment,
until the trespass is hardened into “callous” and “stubborn” disregard,
and finally into “reckless defiance” and “insolent godlessness.” Such a
process is graphically expressed by the various terms used in the Bible.
According to the rabbinical figure, “sin appears at first as thin as a
spider’s web, but grows stronger and stronger, until it becomes like a
wagon-rope to bind a man.” Or, “sin comes at first as a passer-by to tarry
for a moment, then as a visitor to stay, finally as the master of the
house to claim possession.” Therefore it is incumbent upon us to “guard”
the heart, and not “to go astray following after our eyes and our

4. According to the doctrine of Judaism no one is sinful by nature. No
person sins by an inner compulsion. But as man has a nature of flesh,
which is sensuous and selfish, each person is inclined to sin and none is
perfectly free from it. “Who can say: I have made my heart clean, I am
pure from any sin?”(736) This is the voice of the Bible and of all human
experience; “For there is not a righteous man upon earth, that doeth good,
and sinneth not.”(737) The expression occurs repeatedly in Job: “Shall
mortal man be just before God? Shall a man be pure before his Maker?”(738)
Even Moses is represented in numerous passages as showing human foibles
and failings.(739) In fact, “the greater the personality, the more
severely will God call him to account for the smallest trespass, for God
desires to be ‘sanctified’ by His righteous ones.”(740) The Midrash tells
us that no one is to be called holy, until death has put an end to his
struggle with the ever-lurking tempter within, and he lies in the earth
with the victor’s crown of peace upon his brow.(741) When we read the
stern sentence: “Behold, He putteth no trust in His holy ones,”(742) the
rabbis refer us to the patriarchs, each of whom had his faults.(743)
Measured by the Pattern of all holiness, no human being is free from

5. In connection with the God-idea, the conception of sin grew from crude
beginnings to the higher meaning given it by Judaism. The ancient
Babylonians used the same terminology as the Bible for sin and
sin-offering, but their view, like that of other Semites, was far more
external.(744) If one was afflicted with disease or misfortune, the
inference was that he had neglected the ritual of some deity and must
appease the angered one with a sacrificial offering. Any irregularity in
the cult was an offense against the deity. This became more moralized with
the higher God-idea; the god became the guardian of moral principles; and
the calamities, even of the nation, were then ascribed to the divine wrath
on account of moral lapses. The same process may be observed in the views
of ancient Israel. Here, too, during the dominance of the priestly view
the gravest possible offense was one against the cult, a culpable act
entailing the death penalty—_asham_, or “doom” of the offender. We shudder
at the thought that the least violation of the hierarchical rules for the
sanctuary or even for the burning of incense should meet the penalty of
death. Yet such is the plain statement of the Mosaic law and such was the
actual practice of the people.(745)

The more the prophetic conception of the moral nature of the Deity
permeated the Jewish religion, the more the term sin came to mean an
offense against the holiness of God, the Guardian of morality. Hence the
great prophets upbraided the people for their moral, not their ceremonial
failings. They attacked scathingly transgressions of the laws of
righteousness and purity, the true sins against God, because these
originate in dullness of heart, unbridled passion, and overbearing pride,
all so hateful to Him. The only ritual offenses emphasized as sins against
God are idolatry, violation of the name of God and of the Sabbath, for
these express the sanctity of life.(746) Except for these points, the
prophets and psalmists insisted only on righteous conduct and integrity of
soul, and repudiated entirely the ritualism of the priesthood and the
formalism of the cult.(747) This view is anticipated by Samuel, the master
of the prophetic schools, when he says:

    “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
    And to hearken than the fat of rams.
    For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
    And stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim.”(748)

As soon as we realize that obedience to God’s will means right conduct and
purity of soul, we see in sin the desecration of the divine image in man,
the violation of his heavenly patent of nobility.

6. Sin, then, is in its essence unfaithfulness to God and to our own
god-like nature. We see this thought expressed in Job:(749)

    “If thou hast sinned, what doest thou against Him?
    And if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto Him?
    If thou be righteous, what givest thou unto Him?
    Or what receiveth He of thy hand?
    Thy wickedness concerneth a man as thou art;
    And thy righteousness a son of man.”

Thus the source of sin is the human heart, the origin of all our thinking
and planning. We know sin chiefly as consciousness of guilt. Man’s
conscience accuses him and compels him to confess, “Against Thee, Thee
only, have I sinned.”(750) Not only the deed itself, but even more the
will which caused it, is condemned by conscience. Such self-accusation
constantly proves anew that there is no place for original sin through the
fall of Adam. “I could have controlled my evil desire, if I had but
earnestly willed it,” said King David, according to the Talmud.(751)

7. Sin engenders a feeling of disunion with God through the consciousness
of guilt which accompanies it. It erects a “wall of separation” between
man and his Maker, depriving him of peace and security.(752) Guilt causes
pain, which overwhelms him, until he has made atonement and obtained
pardon before God. This is no imaginary feeling, easily overcome and
capable of being suppressed by the sinner with impunity. Instead, he must
pay the full penalty for his sin, lest it lead him to the very abyss of
evil, to physical and moral death. Sin in the individual becomes a sense
of self-condemnation, the consciousness of the divine anger. Hence the
Hebrew term _avon_, sin, is often synonymous with punishment,(753) and
_asham_, guilt, often signifies the atonement for the guilt, and sometimes
doom and perdition as a consequence of guilt.(754) Undoubtedly this still
contains a remnant of the old Semitic idea that an awful divine visitation
may come upon an entire household or community because of a criminal or
sacrilegious act committed, consciously or unconsciously, by one of its
members. Such a fate can be averted only by an atoning sacrifice. This
accords with the rather strange fact that the Priestly Code prescribes
certain guilt offerings for sins committed unwittingly, which are called

8. But even these unintentional sins can be avoided by the constant
exercise of caution, so that their commission implies a certain degree of
guilt, which demands a measure of repentance. Thus the Psalmist says: “Who
can discern errors? Clear Thou me from hidden faults.”(756) He thus
implies that we feel responsible in a certain sense for all our sins,
including those which we commit unknowingly. The rabbis dwell especially
on the idea that we are never altogether free from sinful thoughts. For
this reason, they tell us, the two burnt offerings were brought to the
altar each morning and evening, to atone for the sinful thoughts of the
people during the preceding day or night.(757)

9. At any rate, Judaism recognizes no sin which does not arise from the
individual conscience or moral personality. The condemnation of a whole
generation or race in consequence of the sin of a single individual is an
essentially heathen idea, which was overcome by Judaism in the course of
time through the prophetic teaching of the divine justice and man’s moral
responsibility. This sentiment was voiced by Moses and Aaron after the
rebellion of Korah in the words: “O God, the God of the spirits of all
flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt Thou be wroth with all the
congregation?”(758) In commenting upon this, the Midrash says: “A human
king may make war upon a whole province, because it contains rebels who
have caused sedition, and so the innocent must suffer together with the
guilty; but it does not behoove God, the Ruler of the spirits, who looks
into the hearts of men, to punish the guiltless together with the
guilty.”(759) The Christian view of universal guilt as a consequence of
Adam’s sin, the dogma of original sin, is actually a relapse from the
Jewish stage to the heathen doctrine from which the Jewish religion freed

10. According to the Biblical view sin contaminates man, so that he cannot
stand in the presence of God. The holiness of Him who is “of eyes too pure
to behold evil”(760) becomes to the sinner “a devouring fire.”(761) Even
the lofty prophet Isaiah realizes his own human limitations at the sublime
vision of the God of holiness enthroned on high, while the angelic
choruses chant their thrice holy. In humility and contrition he cries out:
“Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I
dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For mine eyes have seen
the King, the Lord of hosts.”(762) The prophet must undergo atonement in
order to be prepared for his high prophetic task. One of the Seraphs
purges him of his sins by touching his lips with a live coal taken from
the altar of God.

Under the influence of Persian dualism, rabbinical Judaism considers sin a
pollution which puts man under the power of unclean spirits.(763) In the
later Cabbalah this idea is elaborated until the world of sin is
considered a cosmic power of impurity, opposed to the realm of right,
working evil ever since the fall of Adam.(764) Still, however close this
may come to the Christian dogma, it never becomes identical with it; the
recognition is always preserved of man’s power to extricate himself from
the realm of impurity and to elevate himself into the realm of purity by
his own repentance. Sin never becomes a demoniacal power depriving man of
his divine dignity of self-determination and condemning him to eternal
damnation. It ever remains merely a going astray from the right path, a
stumbling from which man may rise again to his heavenly height, exerting
his own powers as the son of God.

Chapter XXXIX. Repentance Or the Return To God

1. The brightest gem among the teachings of Judaism is its doctrine of
repentance or, in its own characteristic term, the return of the wayward
sinner to God.(765) Man, full of remorse at having fallen away from the
divine Fountainhead of purity, conscious of deserving a sentence of
condemnation from the eternal Judge, would be less happy than the
unreasoning brute which cannot sin at all. Religion restores him by the
power to rise from his shame and guilt, to return to God in repentance, as
the penitent son returns to his father. Whether we regard sin as
estrangement from God or as a disturbance of the divine order, it has a
detrimental effect on both body and soul, and leads inevitably to death.
On this point the Bible affords many historical illustrations and
doctrinal teachings.(766) If man had no way to escape from sin, then he
would be the most unfortunate of creatures, in spite of his god-like
nature. Therefore the merciful God opens the gate of repentance for the
sinner, saying as through His prophets of old: “I have no pleasure in the
death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.”(767)

2. The great value of the gift of divine grace, by which the sinner may
repent and return to God with a new spirit, appears in the following
rabbinical saying: “Wisdom was asked, ‘What shall be the sinner’s
punishment?’ and answered, ‘Evil pursues sinners’;(768) then Prophecy was
asked, and answered, ‘The soul that sinneth, it shall die’;(769) the
Torah, or legal code, was consulted, and its answer was: ‘He shall bring a
sin-offering, and the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be
forgiven.’(770) Finally God Himself was asked, and He answered:(771) ‘Good
and upright is the Lord; therefore doth He instruct sinners in the
way.’ ”(772) The Jewish idea of atonement by the sinner’s return to God
excludes every kind of mediatorship. Neither the priesthood nor sacrifice
is necessary to secure the divine grace; man need only find the way to God
by his own efforts. “Seek ye Me, and live,”(773) says God to His erring

3. _Teshubah_, which means return, is an idea peculiar to Judaism, created
by the prophets of Israel, and arising directly from the simple Jewish
conception of sin. Since sin is a deviation from the path of salvation, a
“straying” into the road of perdition and death, the erring can return
with heart and soul, end his ways, and thus change his entire being. This
is not properly expressed by the term repentance, which denotes only
regret for the wrong, but not the inner transformation. Nor is _Teshubah_
to be rendered by either penitence or penance. The former indicates a sort
of bodily self-castigation, the latter some other kind of penalty
undergone in order to expiate sin. Such external forms of asceticism were
prescribed and practiced by many tribes and some of the historical
religions. The Jewish prophets, however, opposed them bitterly, demanding
an inner change, a transformation of soul, renewing both heart and spirit.

    “Let the wicked forsake his way,
    And the man of iniquity his thoughts;
    And let him return unto the Lord, and He will have compassion upon
    And to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”(774)

Judaism considers sin merely moral aberration, not utter corruption, and
believes in the capability of the very worst of sinners to improve his
ways; therefore it waits ever for his regeneration. This is truly a return
to God, the restoration of the divine image which has been disfigured and
corrupted by sin.

4. The doctrine of _Teshubah_, or the return of the sinner, has a
specially instructive history, as this most precious and unique conception
of Judaism is little understood or appreciated by Christian theologians.
Often without intentional bias, these are so under the influence of the
Paulinian dogma that they see no redemption for man corrupted by sin,
except by his belief in a superhuman act of atonement. It is certainly
significant that the legal code, which is of priestly origin, does not
mention repentance or the sinner’s return. It prescribes various types of
sin-offerings, speaks of reparation for wrong inflicted, of penalties for
crime, and of confession for sins, but it does not state how the soul can
be purged of sin, so that man can regain his former state of purity. This
great gap is filled by the prophetic books and the Psalms. The book of
Deuteronomy alone, written under prophetic influence, alludes to
repentance, in connection with the time when Israel would be taken captive
from its land as punishment for its violation of the law. There we read:
“Thou shalt return unto the Lord thy God, ... with all thy heart, and all
thy soul, then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have
compassion upon thee.”(775)

Amos, the prophet of stern justice, has not yet reached the idea of
averting the divine wrath by the return of the sinner.(776) Hosea, the
prophet of divine mercy and loving-kindness, in his deep compassion for
the unfaithful and backsliding people, became the preacher of repentance
as the condition for attaining the divine pardon.

    “Return, O Israel, unto the Lord thy God;
    For thou hast stumbled in thine iniquity.
    Take with you words (of repentance),
    And return unto the Lord;
    Say unto Him, “Forgive all iniquity,
    And accept that which is good;
    So will we render for bullocks the offering of our lips.’ ”(777)

The appeal of Jeremiah is still more vigorous:

    “Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord....
    Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed
                against the Lord thy God....
    Break up for you a fallow ground, and sow not among thorns....
    O Jerusalem, wash thy heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be
    How long shall thy baleful thoughts lodge within thee?...
    Return ye now every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and
                your doings.”(778)

Ezekiel, while emphasizing the guilt of the individual, preached
repentance still more insistently. “Return ye, and turn yourselves from
all your transgressions; so shall they not be a stumbling-block of
iniquity to you. Cast away from you all your transgressions, wherein ye
have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will
ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that
dieth, saith the Lord God; wherefore turn yourselves, and live.”(779) The
same appeal recurs after the exile in the last prophets, Zechariah(780)
and Malachi.(781) The latter says: “Return unto Me, and I shall return
unto you.” Likewise the penitential sermon written in a time of great
distress, which is ascribed to the prophet Joel, contains the appeal:

    “Turn ye unto Me with all your heart,
    And with fasting, and with weeping, and with lamentation;
    And rend your heart, and not your garments,
    And turn unto the Lord your God;
    For He is gracious and compassionate,
    Long-suffering, and abundant in mercy,
    And repenteth Him of the evil.”(782)

This prophetic view, which demands contrition and craving for God instead
of external modes of atonement, is expressed in the penitential Psalms as
well,(783) especially in Psalm LI. The idea is expanded further in the
parable of the prophet Jonah, which conveys the lesson that even a heathen
nation like the people of Nineveh can avert the impending judgment of God
by true repentance.(784) From this point of view the whole conception took
on a larger aspect, and the entire history of mankind was seen in a new
light. The Jewish sages realized that God punishes man only when the
expected change of mind and heart fails to come.(785)

5. The Jewish plan of divine salvation presents a striking contrast to
that of the Church, for it is built upon the presumption that all sinners
can find their way back to God and godliness, if they but earnestly so
desire. Even before God created the world, He determined to offer man the
possibility of _Teshubah_, so that, in the midst of the continual struggle
with the allurements of the senses, the repentant sinner can ever change
heart and mind and return to God.(786) Without such a possibility the
world of man could not endure; thus, because no man can stand before the
divine tribunal of stern justice, the paternal arm of a merciful God is
extended to receive the penitent. This sublime truth is constantly
reiterated in the Talmud and in the liturgy, especially of the great Day
of Atonement.(787) Not only does God’s long-suffering give the sinner time
to repent; His paternal love urges him to return. Thus the Haggadists
purposely represent almost all the sinners mentioned in the Bible as
models of sincere repentance. First of all comes King David, who is
considered such a pattern of repentance, as the author of the fifty-first
Psalm, that he would not have been allowed to sin so grievously, if he had
not been providentially appointed as the shining example of the penitent’s
return to God.(788) Then there is King Manasseh, the most wicked among all
the kings of Judah and Israel, who had committed the most abominable sins
of idolatrous worship. Referring to the story told of him in Chronicles,
it is said that God responded to his tearful prayers and incessant
supplications by opening a rift under His throne of mercy and receiving
his petition for pardon. Thus all mankind might see that none can be so
wicked that he will not find the door of repentance open, if he but seek
it sincerely and persistently.(789) Likewise Adam and Cain, Reuben and
Judah, Korah, Jeroboam, Ahab, Josiah, and Jechoniah are described in
Talmud, Midrash, and the apocalyptic literature as penitent sinners who
obtained at last the coveted pardon.(790) The optimistic spirit of Judaism
cannot tolerate the idea that mortal man is hopelessly lost under the
burden of his sins, or that he need ever lose faith in himself. No one can
sink so low that he cannot find his way back to his heavenly Father by
untiring self-discipline. As the Talmud says, nothing can finally
withstand the power of sincere repentance: “It reaches up to the very seat
of God;” “upon it rests the welfare of the world.”(791)

6. The rabbis follow up the idea first announced in the book of Jonah,
that the saving power of repentance applies to the heathen world as well.
Thus they show how God constantly offered time and opportunity to the
heathens for repentance. For example, when the generation of the flood,
the builders of the Tower of Babel, and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah
were to be punished, God waited to give them time for Repentance and
improvement of their ways.(792) Noah, Enoch, and Abraham are represented
as monitors of their contemporaries, warning them, like the prophets, to
repent in time lest they meet their doom.(793) Thus the whole Hellenistic
literature of propaganda, especially the Sibylline books, echoes the
warning and the hope that the heathen should repent of their grievous sins
and return to God, whom they had deserted in idolatry, so that they might
escape the impending doom of the last judgment day. According to one
Haggadist,(794) even the Messiah will appear first as a preacher of
repentance, admonishing the heathen nations to be converted to the true
God and repent before Him, lest they fall into perdition. Indeed, it is
said that even Pharaoh and the Egyptians were warned and given time for
repentance before their fate overtook them.

7. Accordingly, the principle of repentance is a universal human one, and
by no means exclusively national, as the Christian theologians represent
it.(795) The sages thus describe Adam as the type of the penitent sinner,
who is granted pardon by God. The “sign” of Cain also was to be a sign for
all sinners, assuring them they might all obtain forgiveness and
salvation, if they would but return to God.(796) In fact, the prophetic
appeal to Israel for repentance, vain at the time, effected the
regeneration of the people during the Exile and gave rise to Judaism and
its institutions. In the same way, the appeal to the heathen world by the
Hellenistic propaganda and the Essene preachers of repentance did not
induce the nations at once to prepare for the coming of the Messianic
kingdom, but finally led to the rise of the Christian religion, and,
through certain intermediaries, of the Mohammedan as well.

However, the long-cherished hope for a universal conversion of the heathen
world, voiced in the preachments and the prayers of the “pious ones,” gave
way to a reaction. The rise of antinomian sects in Judaism occasioned the
dropping of this pious hope, and only certain individual conversions were
dwelt on as shining exceptions.(797) The heathen world in general was not
regarded as disposed to repent, and so its ultimate fate was the doom of
Gehenna. Experience seemed to confirm the stern view, which rabbinical
interpretation could find in Scripture also, that “Even at the very gate
of the nether world wicked men shall not return.”(798) The growing
violence of the oppressors and the increasing number of the maligners of
Judaism darkened the hope for a universal conversion of humanity to the
pure faith of Israel and its law of righteousness. On the contrary, a
certain satisfaction was felt by the Jew in the thought that these enemies
of Judaism should not be allowed to repent and obtain salvation in the

8. The idea of repentance was applied all the more intensely in Jewish
life, and a still more prominent place was accorded it in Jewish
literature. The rabbis have numberless sayings(800) in the Talmud and also
in the Haggadic and ethical writings concerning the power and value of
repentance. In passages such as these we see how profoundly Judaism dealt
with the failings and shortcomings of man. The term _asa teshubah_, do
repentance, implies no mere external act of penitence, as Christian
theologians often assert. On the contrary, the chief stress is always laid
on the feeling of remorse and on the change of heart which contrition and
self-accusation bring. Yet even these would not be sufficient to cast off
the oppressive consciousness of guilt, unless the contrite heart were
reassured by God that He forgives the penitent son of man with paternal
grace and love. In other words, religion demands a special means of
atonement, that is, _at-one-ment_ with God, to restore the broken relation
of man to his Maker. The true spiritual power of Judaism appears in this,
that it gradually liberates the kernel of the atonement idea from its
priestly shell. The Jew realizes, as does the adherent of no other
religion, that even in sin he is a child of God and certain of His
paternal love. This is brought home especially on the Day of Atonement,
which will be treated in a later chapter.

9. At all events, the blotting out of man’s sins with their punishment
remains ever an act of grace by God.(801) In compassion for man’s frailty
He has ordained repentance as the means of salvation, and promised pardon
to the penitent. This truth is brought out in the liturgy for the Day of
Atonement, as well as in the Apocalyptic Prayer of Manasseh. At the same
time, Judaism awards the palm of victory to him who has wrestled with sin
and conquered it by his own will. Thus the rabbis boldly assert: “Those
who have sinned and repented rank higher in the world to come than the
righteous who have never sinned,” which is paralleled in the New
Testament: “There is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repenteth than
over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance.”(802) No
intermediary power from without secures the divine grace and pardon for
the repentant sinner, but his own inner transformation alone.

Chapter XL. Man, the Child of God

1. The belief that God hears our prayers and pardons our sins rests upon
the assumption of a mutual relation between man and God. This belief is
insusceptible of proof, but rests entirely upon our religious feelings and
is rooted purely in our emotional life. We apply to the relation between
man and God the finest feelings known in human life, the devotion and love
of parents for their children and the affection and trust the child
entertains for its parents. Thus we are led to the conviction that
earth-born man has a Helper enthroned in the heavens above, who hearkens
when he implores Him for aid. In his innermost heart man feels that he has
a special claim on the divine protection. In the words of Job,(803) he
knows that his Redeemer liveth. He need not perish in misery. Unlike the
brute creation and the hosts of stars, which know nothing of their Maker,
man feels akin to the God who lives within him; he is His image, His
child. He cannot be deprived of His paternal love and favor. This truly
human emotion is nowhere expressed so clearly as in Judaism. “Ye are the
children of the Lord your God.”(804) “Have we not all one Father? Hath not
one God created us?”(805) “Like as a father hath compassion on his
children, so hath the Lord compassion upon them that fear Him.”(806)

2. Still, this simple idea of man’s filial relation to God and God’s
paternal love for man did not begin in its beautiful final form. For a
long time the Jew seems to have avoided the term “Father” for God, because
it was used by the heathen for their deities as physical progenitors, and
did not refer to the moral relation between the Deity and mankind. Thus
worshipers of wooden idols would, according to Scripture, “say to a stock,
Thou art my father.”(807) Hosea was the first to call the people of Israel
“children of the living God,”(808) if they would but improve their ways
and enter into right relations with Him. Jeremiah also hopes for the time
when Israel would invoke the Lord, saying, “Thou art my Father,” and in
return God would prove a true father to him.(809) However, Scripture calls
God a Father only in referring to the people as a whole.(810) The “pious
ones” established a closer relation between God and the individual by
means of prayer, so that through them the epithets, “Father,” “Our
Father,” and “Our Father in heaven” came into general use. Hence, the
liturgy frequently uses the invocation, “Our Father, Our King!” We owe to
Rabbi Akiba the significant saying, in opposition to the Paulinian dogma,
“Blessed are ye, O Israelites! Before whom do you purify yourselves (from
your sins)? And who is it that purifies you? Your Father in heaven.”(811)
Previously Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanos dwelt on the moral degeneration of
his age, which betokened the end of time, and exclaimed: “In whom, then,
shall we find support? In our Father who is in heaven.”(812) The
appellative “Father in heaven” was the stereotyped term used by the “pious
ones” during the century preceding and the one following the rise of
Christianity, as a glance at the literature of the period indicates.(813)

3. It is instructive to follow the history of this term. In Scripture God
is represented as speaking to David, “I will be to him for a father, and
he shall be to Me for a son,”(814) or “He shall call unto Me: Thou art my
Father, ... I also will appoint him first-born.”(815) So in the apocryphal
writings God speaks both to Israel and to individual saints: “I shall be
to them a Father, and they shall be My children.”(816) Elsewhere it is
said of the righteous, “He calls God his Father,” and “he shall be counted
among the sons of God.”(817) We read concerning the Messiah: “When all
wrongdoing will be removed from the midst of the people, he shall know
that all are sons of God.”(818) Obviously only righteousness or personal
merit entitles a man to be called a son of God. In fact, we are expressly
told of Onias, the great Essene saint, that his intimate relation with God
emboldened him to converse with the Master of the Universe as a son would
speak with his father.(819) According to the Mishnah the older generation
of “pious ones” used to spend “an hour in silent devotion before offering
their daily prayer, in order to concentrate heart and soul upon their
communion with their Father in heaven.”(820) Thus it is said of
congregational prayer that through it “Israel lifts his eyes to his Father
in heaven.”(821) In this way prayer took the place of the altar, of which
R. Johanan ben Zakkai said that it established peace between Israel and
his Father in heaven.(822) Afterwards the question was discussed by Rabbi
Meir and Rabbi Jehuda whether even sin-laden Israel had a right to be
called “children of God.” Rabbi Meir pointed to Hosea as proof that the
backsliders also remain “children of the living God.”(823)

4. In the Hellenistic literature, with its dominating idea of universal
monotheism, God is frequently invoked or spoken of as the Father of
mankind. The implication is that each person who invokes God as Father
enters into filial relation with Him. Thus what was first applied to
Israel in particular was now broadened to include mankind in general, and
consequently all men were considered “children of the living God.” The
words of God to Pharaoh, speaking of Israel as His “first-born son,”(824)
were taken as proof that all the nations of the earth are sons of God and
He the universal Father. Israel is the first-born among the sons of God,
because his patriarchs, prophets, and psalmists first recognized Him as
the universal Father and Ruler. From this point of view Judaism declared
love for fellow-men and regard for the dignity of humanity to be
fundamental principles of ethics. “As God is kind and merciful toward His
creation, be thou also kind and merciful toward all fellow-creatures,” is
the oft-repeated teaching of the rabbis.(825) Likewise, “Whoever takes
pity on his fellow-beings, on him God in heaven will also take pity.”(826)
Love of humanity has so permeated the nature of the Jew that the rabbis
assert: “He who has pity on his fellow-men has the blood of Abraham in his
veins.”(827) This bold remark casts light upon the strange dictum: “Ye
Israelites are called by the name of man, but the heathen are not.”(828)
The Jewish teachers were so deeply impressed with man’s inhumanity to man,
so common among the heathen nations, and the immorality of the lives by
which these desecrated God’s image, that they insisted that the laws of
humanity alone make for divine dignity in man.

5. Rabbi Akiba probably referred to the Paulinian dogma that Jesus, the
crucified Messiah, is the only son of God, in his well-known saying:
“Beloved is man, for he is created in God’s image, and it was a special
token of love that he became conscious of it. Beloved is Israel, for they
are called the children of God, and it was a special token of love that
they became conscious of it.”(829) Here he claims the glory of being a son
of God for Israel, but not for all men. Still, as soon as the likeness of
man to God is taken in a spiritual sense, then it is implied that all men
have the same capacity for being a son of God which is claimed for Israel.
This is unquestionably the view of Judaism when it considers the Torah as
entrusted to Israel to bring light and blessing to all the families of
men. Rabbi Meir, the disciple of Rabbi Akiba, said: “The Scriptural words,
‘The statutes and ordinances which _man_ shall do and live thereby,’ and
similar expressions indicate that the final aim of Judaism is not attained
by the Aaronide, nor the Levite, nor even the Israelite, but by
mankind.”(830) Such a saying expresses clearly and emphatically that God’s
fatherly love extends to all men as His children.

6. According to the religious consciousness of modern Israel man is made
in God’s image, and is thus a child of God. Consequently Jew and non-Jew,
saint and sinner have the same claim upon God’s paternal love and mercy.
There is no distinction in favor of Israel except as he lives a higher and
more god-like life. Even those who have fallen away from God and have
committed crime and sin remain God’s children. If they send up their
penitent cry to the throne of God, “Pardon us, O Father, for we have
sinned! Forgive us, O King, for we have done evil!”; their prayer is heard
by the heavenly Father exactly like that of the pious son of Israel.

Chapter XLI. Prayer and Sacrifice

1. The gap between man and the sublime Master of the universe is vast, but
not absolute. The thoughts of God are high above our thoughts, and the
ways of God above our ways, baffling our reason when we endeavor to solve
the vexatious problems of destiny, of merit and demerit, of retribution
and atonement. Yet religion offers a wondrous medium to bring the heart of
man into close communion with Him who is enthroned above the heavens, one
that overleaps all distances, removes all barriers, and blends all
dissonances into one great harmony, and that is—Prayer. As the child must
relieve itself of its troubles and sorrows upon the bosom of its mother or
father in order to turn its pain into gladness, so men at all times seek
to approach the Deity, confiding to Him all their fears and longings in
order to obtain peace of heart. Prayer, communion between the human soul
and the Creator, is the glorious privilege enjoyed by man alone among all
creatures, as he alone is the child of God. It voices the longing of the
human heart for its Father in heaven. As the Psalmist has it, “My soul
thirsteth for God, for the living God.”(831)

2. However, both language, the means of intercourse between man and man,
and prayer, the means of intercourse between man and God, show traces of a
slow development lasting for thousands of years, until the loftiest
thoughts and sublimest emotions could be expressed. The real efficacy of
prayer could not be truly appreciated, until the prophetic spirit
triumphed over the priestly element in Judaism. In the history of speech
the language of signs preceded that of sounds, and images gradually
ripened into abstract thoughts. Similarly, primitive man approaches his
God with many kinds of gifts and sacrificial rites to express his
sentiments. He acts out or depicts what he expects from the Deity, whether
rain, fertility of the soil, or the extermination of his foes. He shares
with his God his food and drink, to obtain His friendship and protection
in time of trouble, and sacrifices the dearest of his possessions to
assuage His wrath or obtain His favor.

3. In the lowest stage of culture man needed no mediator in his
intercourse with the Deity, who appeared to him in the phenomena of nature
as well as in the fetish, totem, and the like. But soon he rose to a
higher stage of thought, and the Deity withdrew before him to the
celestial heights, filling him with awe and fear; then rose a class of men
who claimed the privilege to approach the Deity and influence Him by
certain secret practices. Henceforth these acted as mediators between the
mass of the people and the Deity. In the first place, these were the
magicians, medicine-men, and similar persons, who were credited with the
power to conjure up the hidden forces of nature, considered either divine
or demoniac. After these arose the priests, distinguished from the people
by special dress and diet, who established in the various tribes temples,
altars, and cults, under their own control. Then there were the saints,
pious penitents or Nazarites, who led an ascetic life secluded from the
masses, hoping thus to obtain higher powers over the will of the Deity.
All these entertained more or less clearly the notion that they stood in
closer relation to the Deity than the common people, whom they then
excluded from the sanctuary and all access to the Deity.

The Mosaic cult, in the so-called Priestly Code, was founded upon this
stage of religious life, forming a hierarchical institution like those of
other ancient nations. It differed from them, however, in one essential
point. The prime element in the cult of other nations was magic,
consisting of oracle, incantation and divination, but this was entirely
contrary to the principles of the Jewish faith. On the other hand, all the
rites and ceremonies handed down from remote antiquity were placed in the
service of Israel’s holy God, in order to train His people into the
highest moral purity. The patriarchs and prophets, who are depicted in
Scripture as approaching God in prayer and hearing His voice in reply,
come under the category of saints or elect ones, above the mass of the

4. Foreign as the entire idea of sacrifice is to our mode of religious
thought, to antiquity it appeared as the only means of intercourse with
the Deity. “In every place offerings are presented unto My name, even pure
oblations,”(832) says the prophet Malachi in the name of Israel’s God.
Even from a higher point of view the underlying idea seems to be of a
simple offering laid upon the altar. Such were the meal-offering
(_minha_);(833) the burnt offering (_olah_), which sends its pillar of
smoke up toward heaven, symbolizing the idea of self-sacrifice; while the
various sin-offerings (_hattath_ or _asham_) expressed the desire to
propitiate an offended Deity. However, since the sacrificial cult was
always dominated by the priesthood in Israel as well as other nations, the
lawgiver made no essential changes in the traditional practice and
terminology. Thus it was left to the consciousness of the people to find a
deeper spiritual meaning in the sacrifices instead of stating one
directly. The want was supplied only by the later Haggadists who tried to
create a symbolism of the sacrificial cult. The laying on of hands by the
individual who brought the offering, seems to have been a genuine symbolic
expression of self-surrender. In the case of sin-offerings the Mosaic cult
added a higher meaning by ordering a preceding confession of sin. Here,
indeed, the individual entered into personal communion with God through
his prayer for pardon, even though the priest performed the act of
expiation for him.

5. The great prophets of Israel alone recognized that the entire
sacrificial system was out of harmony with the true spirit of Judaism and
led to all sorts of abuses, above all to a misconception of the worship of
God, which requires the uplifting of the heart. In impassioned language,
therefore, they hurled words of scathing denunciation against the practice
and principle of ritualism: “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will
take no delight in your solemn assemblies.

Yea, though ye offer Me burnt-offerings and your meal-offerings, I will
not accept them; Neither will I regard the peace-offerings of your fat

Take thou away from Me the noise of thy songs; and let Me not hear the
melody of thy psalteries.

But let justice well up as waters, and righteousness as a mighty

Thus speaks Amos in the name of the Lord. And Hosea:

    “For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God
    rather than burnt-offerings.”(835)

Isaiah spoke in a similar vein:

    “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me?
    saith the Lord; I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the
    fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or
    of lambs, or of he-goats....

    Bring me no more vain oblations; it is an offering of abomination
    unto Me; new moon and sabbath, the holding of convocations—I
    cannot endure iniquity along with the solemn assembly....

    And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from
    you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands
    are full of blood.

    Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings From
    before Mine eyes, cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek
    justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for
    the widow.”(836)

Most striking of all are the words of Jeremiah, spoken in the name of the
Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Add your burnt-offerings unto your
sacrifices, and eat ye flesh. For I spoke not unto your fathers, nor
commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt,
concerning burnt-offerings and sacrifices, but this thing I commanded
them, saying; ‘Hearken unto My voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall
be My people; and walk ye in all the way that I command you, that it may
be well with you.’ ”(837)

6. However, the mere rejection of the sacrificial cult was quite negative,
and did not satisfy the normal need for communion with God. Therefore the
various codes established a sort of compromise between the prophetic ideal
and the priestly practice, in which the ideal was by no means supreme.
Sometimes the prophetic spirit stirred the soul of inspired psalmists, and
their lips echoed forth again the divine revelation:

“Hear, O My people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against
thee: God, thy God, am I. I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices; and
thy burnt-offerings are continually before Me. I will take no bullock out
of thy house, nor he-goats out of thy folds. For every beast of the forest
is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.... Do I eat the flesh of
bulls, or drink the blood of goats?”(838) Another psalmist says:
“Sacrifice and meal-offering thou hast no delight in; Mine ears hast Thou
opened; burnt-offering and sin-offering hast Thou not required.”(839)

Still, the sacrificial cult was too deeply rooted in the life of the
people to be disturbed by the voice of the prophets or the words of a few
psalmists. It was connected with the Temple, and the Temple was the center
of the social life of the nation. The few faint voices of protest went
practically unheeded. The priestly pomp of sacrifice could only be
displaced by the more elevating and more spiritual devotion of the entire
congregation in prayer, and this process demanded a new environment, and a
group of men with entirely new ideas.

7. The need of a deeper devotion through prayer was not felt until the
Exile. There altar and priesthood were no more, but the words of the
prophets and the songs of the Levites remained to kindle the people’s
longing for God with a new zeal. Until then prayer was rare and for
special occasions. Hannah’s prayer at Shiloh filled even the high priest
with amazement.(840) The prophets alone interceded in behalf of the
people, because the ordinary man was not considered sufficiently clean
from sin to approach the Deity in prayer. But on foreign soil, where
sacrifices could not be offered to the God of Israel, the harp of David
resounded with solemn songs expressing the national longing toward God.
The most touching psalms of penitence and thanksgiving date from the
exile. A select class of devout men, called the godly or pious ones,
_Hasidim_ or _Anavim_,(841) assembled by the rivers of Babylon for regular
prayer, turning their faces toward Jerusalem, that the God of Israel might
answer them from His ancient seat.(842) Thus the great seer of the exile
voiced the hope for “a house of prayer for all peoples” to stand in the
very place where the sacrifices were offered to God.(843) The congregation
of Hasidim elaborated a liturgy under the Persian influence, in which
prayer was the chief element, and the secondary part, the instruction from
the Torah and the monitions of the prophets. The Synagogue, the house of
meeting for the people, spread all over the world, and by its light of
truth and glow of fervor it soon eclipsed the Temple, with all its worldly
pomp. In fact, the priesthood of the Temple were finally compelled to make
concessions to the lay movement of the Hasidim. They added a prayer
service, morning and evening, to the daily sacrifices, and opened the Hall
of Hewn Stones, the meeting place of the High Court of Justice, as a
Synagogue in charge of the priests.(844)

8. In this manner the ancient sacrificial cult, thus long monopolized by
the priesthood, was gradually superseded by congregational prayer which
was no longer confined to a certain time or class, and justly called by
the rabbis “a service of the heart.”(845) Moreover, the Temple itself lost
much of its hold upon the hearts of the people, owing to the more
spiritual character of the Synagogue. Thus the torch of the Roman soldiery
which turned the Temple into a heap of ashes broke only the national bond,
but left the religious bond of the Synagogue unbroken. True, the hope for
the restoration of the Temple with the priestly sacrifices was not
relinquished, and officially the daily prayers were considered only a
“temporary substitute” for the divinely ordained sacrificial cult.(846)

Nevertheless, the deeper religious consciousness of the people felt that
the celestial gate of divine mercy opens only to prayer, which emanates
from the innermost depths of the soul. Accordingly, some of the Haggadists
try to prove from Scripture that prayer ranks above sacrifice,(847) while
others even identify worship with prayer.(848) They represent God as
appearing to Moses in the guise of one who leads the congregation in
prayer, His face covered by the prayer-shawl (_tallith_), in order to
teach man for all time the mode and power of prayer.(849) Still these
remain isolated expressions of an underlying sentiment; on the whole, the
rabbis regarded the Mosaic legislation, with its emphasis on sacrifice,
far too highly to accord prayer any but a secondary place, either
accompanying sacrifice or as its substitute.(850)

9. Through many centuries, then, the belief in the divine origin of the
sacrificial cult remained, even though it could no longer be carried out.
The liturgy contained prayers for the speedy restoration of the Temple and
the sacrifices, which were preserved by tradition, and nowhere was even an
echo heard of the bold words of Jeremiah denying the divine character of
the sacrifices,(851) even though the idea of the restoration of the old
cult must have been repugnant to thinkers. The sages of former ages could
only resort to a compromise or an allegorical interpretation. It is
noteworthy that the Haggadist Rabbi Levi considered the sacrifices a
concession of God to the people, who were disposed to idolatry, in order
to win them gradually for the pure monotheistic ideal.(852) This view was
adopted by the Church Fathers, and later by Maimonides and other medieval
thinkers. On the other hand, an allegorical meaning was assigned to the
sacrifices by Philo and Jehuda ha Levi, as well as by Samson Raphael
Hirsch in modern times.(853)

Reform Judaism, recognizing the results of Biblical research and the law
of religious progress, adopted the prophetic view of the sacrifices.
Accordingly, the sacrificial cult of the Mosaic code has no validity for
the liberal movement, and all reference to it has been eliminated from the
reform liturgy. In this, however, the connection with the past was by no
means severed. The main part of the service remains the same, although
much of the character and many of the details have been changed.(854) Only
the allusions to the Temple worship and the sacrifices were eliminated,
and the entire form of the service was made more solemn and inspiring “by
combining ancient time-honored formulas with modern prayers and
meditations in the vernacular and in the spirit of the age.” The morning
and evening services retained their places, while the additional festal
service (_mussaf_) was abrogated, because it stood for the additional
festal sacrifice. As to the voluntary element in the old sacrificial
system, the peace, sin, and thank-offerings, this is replaced in the
reform ritual, as in the traditional practice, by private devotions for
special occasions, to be selected by the individual.

The traditional Jewish prayer has certainly a wondrous force. It remains a
source of inspiration from which the religious consciousness will ever
draw new strength and vitality. It echoes the voice of Israel singing the
song of redemption by the Red Sea: “This is My God, and I will glorify
Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.”(855) Consequently our liturgy
must ever respond to a double demand; it must throb with the spirit of
continuity with our great past, to make us feel one with our fathers of
yore; and it must express clearly and fully our own views and needs, our
convictions and our hopes.

Chapter XLII. The Nature and Purpose of Prayer

1. Prayer is the expression of man’s longing and yearning for God in times
of dire need and of overflowing joy, an outflow of the emotions of the
soul in its dependence on God, the ever-present Helper, the eternal Source
of its existence. Springing from the deepest necessity of human weakness,
the expression of a momentary wish, prayer is felt to be the proud
prerogative of man as the child of God, and at last it becomes adoration
of the Most High, whose wisdom and whose paternal love and goodness
inspire man with confidence and love.

2. Every prayer is offered on the presumption that it will be heard by God
on high. “O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee doth all flesh come,”
sings the Psalmist.(856) No doubt of the efficacy of prayer can arise in
the devout spirit. There can be only the question whether, and how far,
the Deity can allow its decrees to be influenced by human wishes.
Childlike faith anticipates divine interference in the natural order at
any time, because it has not yet attained the conception of a moral order
in the universe and, therefore, expects from prayer also miraculous
effects on life. As the Deity can suddenly send or withhold rain or
drought, barrenness or birth, life or death, so the inference is that the
man of God can do the same with his prayer. This is the point of view of
the Biblical and Talmudic periods, as well as of the entire ancient world.
It seems almost childish to our religious consciousness when, according to
Talmudic tradition, the high priest petitioned God in the Sanctuary on the
Day of Atonement for a year rich in rain and blessed with sunshine and
with dew, and at the same time expressed the entreaty that the prayers of
travelers for dry or cool weather should find no hearing.(857) That the
prayers of the pious may alter God’s decree is not doubted for a moment by
the rabbis; only they insist that God has taken into account beforehand
the efficacy of this prayer in deciding the fate of the pious, in order
that they may petition for that which He actually plans to do. “God longs
for the prayer of the pious”; for that reason, they say, the Mothers of
Israel were afflicted with barrenness, until the prayers of the Patriarchs
had accomplished the transformation in their constitutions.(858) On the
other hand, the rabbis warn against excessive pondering over prayer and
its efficacy, as through it that childlike faith would be weakened, which
is the basis of all prayer.(859)

3. According to the rabbinic viewpoint, prayer has the power to reverse
every heavenly decree, inasmuch as it appeals from the punitive justice of
God, which has decided thus, to His attributes of grace and mercy, which
can at any time effect a change. When the prophet Isaiah came to King
Hezekiah with the message: “Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die,”
he replied, “Finish thy message and go; I have received the tradition from
my royal ancestor David that, even when the sword already touches the
neck, man shall not desist from an appeal to the divine mercy.”(860) Nay
more, the rabbis believed that God Himself prays, saying, “Oh, that My
mercy shall prevail over My justice!”(861) Only after the divine judgment
has been executed prayer becomes vain. In general, the entire Talmudic
period ascribed miraculous power to prayer, especially the prayers of the
pious, like the popular saint Onias or Hanina ben Dosa.(862) In many such
cases the invocation of God was combined with the use of the sacred name,
the tetragrammaton, to which magical powers were ascribed.(863)

4. The two attributes of God, Justice and Mercy, correspond to the double
nature of mankind, as the sinful man, who deserves punishment, is called
to account by the former, while the righteous man may appeal to the
latter. Accordingly, the efficacy of prayer could be so explained that,
before it can influence the decision of God, it demands the reformation of
man. While the unregenerate man meets an evil destiny, the reformed man
has become a different being, and hence instead of justice mercy will
control his fate. Albo pleads for this view of prayer, when he cites the
Talmudic incident about R. Meir. It is said that R. Meir interceded for
the people of Mimla, who all seemed to have been doomed to die on
attaining manhood because they inherited the curse of the priestly family
of Eli.(864) But he also recommended to them that they should devote their
lives to worthy deeds, as it is said in the Proverbs:(865) “The hoary head
is a crown of glory, it is found in the way of righteousness.”(866)

Other thinkers ascribe to prayer the power to change the fate determined
by the stars, because it exalts man into a higher sphere of godliness,
exactly like the spirit of prophecy. Of course, this conception is
connected with the belief in astrology, which swayed even clear thinkers
like Ibn Ezra.(867)

5. According to our modern thinking there can be no question of any
influence upon a Deity exalted above time and space, omniscient,
unchangeable in will and action, by the prayer of mortals. Prayer can
exert power only over the relation of man to God, not over God Himself.
This indicates the nature and purpose of prayer. Man often feels lonely
and forlorn in a world which overpowers him, to which he feels superior,
and yet which he cannot master. Therefore he longs for that unseen Spirit
of the universe, with whom alone he feels himself akin, and in whom alone
he finds peace and bliss amid life’s struggle and unrest. This longing is
both expressed and satisfied in prayer. Following the natural impulse of
his soul, man must pour out before his God all his desires and sighs, all
the emotions of grief and delight which sway his heart, in order that he
may find rest, like a child at its mother’s bosom. Therefore the childlike
mind believes that God can be induced to come down from His heavenly
heights to offer help, and that He can be moved and influenced in human
fashion. The truth is that every genuine prayer lifts man up toward God,
satisfies the desire for His hallowing presence, unlocks the heavenly gate
of mercy and bliss, and bestows upon man the beatific and liberating sense
of being a child of God. The intellect may question the effect of prayer
upon the physical, mental, or social constitution of man, or may declare
prayer to be pious self-deception. The religious spirit experiences in
prayer the soaring up of the soul toward union with God in consecrated
moments of our mortal pilgrimage. This is no deception. The man who prays
receives from the Godhead, toward whom he fervently lifts himself, the
power to defy fate, to conquer sin, misery, and death. “The Lord is nigh
to all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.”(868)

6. To pray, then, is to look up to God and to pour out before Him one’s
wishes, thoughts, sorrows, and joys. Certainly the All-knowing does not
require to be told by us what we desire or what we need. “For there is not
a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether.”(869) But
we mortals merely aspire toward Him who bears the world on His eternal
arms, to express in His presence our agony and our jubilation, because we
are certain of His paternal sympathy. When we praise and extol Him for the
happiness and the many pleasures which He has granted us, He becomes the
Partaker and Protector of our fortune, just as He is our sympathetic
Helper when we cry out to Him under the burden of sin or grief, in the
anxiety of danger or of guilt. Every genuine prayer realizes deeply the
truth of the words, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain

7. Self-expression before God in prayer has thus a double effect; it
strengthens faith in God’s love and kindness, as well as in His all-wise
and all-bountiful prescience. But it also chastens the desires and
feelings of man, teaching him to banish from his heart all thoughts of
self-seeking and sin, and to raise himself toward the purity and the
freedom of the divine will and demand. The essence of every prayer of
supplication is that one should be in unison with the divine will, to sum
up all the wishes of the heart in the one phrase, “Do that which is good
in Thine own eyes, O Lord.”(871) On the other hand, only the prayer which
avoids impure thoughts and motives can venture to approach a holy God, as
the sages infer from the words of Job, “There is no violence in my hands,
and my prayer is pure.”(872)

8. Every prayer, teach the sages, should begin with the praise of God’s
greatness, wisdom, and goodness, in order that man should learn submission
and implicit confidence before he proffers his requests.(873) While
looking up to the divine Ideal of holiness and perfection, he will strive
to emulate Him, and seek to grow ever nearer to the holy and the perfect.
But only when he prays with and for others, that is, in public worship,
will he realize that he is a member of a greater whole, for then he prays
only for that which advances the welfare of all. “He who prays with the
community,” say the rabbis, “will have his prayer granted.”(874)

Another saying of theirs is that he who prays should have his face
directed to the sanctuary, and when he stands on its sacred precincts, he
should turn his face toward the Holy of Holies.(875) By this they meant
that the attitude of the suppliant should ever be toward the highest,
making the soul soar up to the Highest and Holiest in reverent awe and
adoration, transforming the worshiper into a new character, pure from all

9. Therefore prayer offered with the community upon the sanctified ground
of the house of God exerts a specially powerful influence upon the
individual. In the silent chamber the oppressed spirit may find calm and
composure in prayer; but the pure atmosphere of heavenly freedom and bliss
is attained with overwhelming might only by the united worship of hundreds
of devout adorers, which rings out like the roaring of majestic billows:
“The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before
Him.”(876) The familiar strains from days of yore touch the deep,
long-silent chords of the heart, and awaken dormant sentiments and
repressed thoughts, endowing the soul with new wings, to lift itself up
toward God, the Father, from whom it had felt itself alienated. In the
ardor of communal worship the traditional words of the prayer-book obtain
invigorating power; the heart is newly strengthened; the covenant with
heaven sealed anew. To such communal prayer, which springs from the heart,
the rabbis refer the Biblical words, “to serve Him with the whole
heart.”(877) The synagogal worship exerts an ennobling influence upon the
spirit of the individual as well as that of the community. For after all
the main object is that the soul which aspires toward God may learn to
find God. “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while
He is near.”(878) No man is so poor as he who calls in agony: “O God!” and
to whom neither the heaven above nor the heart within answers, “Behold,
God is here.” Nor is any man so rich with all his possessions as he who
realizes, like the Psalmist, that “the nearness of God is the true good,”
and imbued with this thought exclaims, “Whom have I in heaven but Thee?
And beside Thee I desire none upon earth.”(879)

Chapter XLIII. Death and the Future Life

1. The vision of man is directed upwards and forwards; he will not resign
himself to decay in the dust like the beast. As he bears in his breast the
consciousness of a higher divine world, he is equally confident of his own
continuity after death. He cannot and will not believe that with the
giving up of his last living breath his being would become dust like that
of the animal; or that his soul, which has hitherto accomplished and
planned so much, should now suddenly cease altogether to exist. The
longing for a future life, however expressed, has filled him and buoyed
him up since the very beginning of history. Even the most primitive tribe
does not allow its dead to lie and rot like the carcasses of the beast,
but lays them to rest in the grave with all their possessions, in the
expectation that somewhere and somehow, under, over or beyond the earth,
they will continue their lives, even in a better form than before.

This longing for immortality implanted in the human soul is so represented
in the legend of Paradise that the tree whose fruit bestowed upon the
celestial beings the gift of eternal life—like the Greek ambrosia, “the
food of the gods”—was originally intended for mankind also in the divine
“Garden of Bliss.” But after man fell through sin, all access to it was
denied him, in order that he might not stretch out his hand for it and
thereby attain that immortality which was vouchsafed only to divine
beings.(880) According to his original destiny, therefore, man should live
forever; and, just as legend allows those divinely elected, like Enoch and
Elijah,(881) to ascend to heaven alive, so at a later period prophecy
predicts a time when God will annihilate death forever.(882) Accordingly,
through the power of his divine soul man possesses a claim to immortality,
to eternal life with God, the “Fountain of life.”

2. It was just this keen longing for an energetic life on earth, this
mighty yearning to “walk before God in the land of the living,”(883) which
made it more difficult for Judaism to brighten the “valley of the shadow
of death” and to elevate the vague notion of a shadowy existence in the
hereafter into a special religious teaching. Until long after the Exile
the Jewish people shared the view of the entire ancient world,—both the
Semitic nations, such as the Babylonians and Phœnicians, and the Aryans,
such as the Greeks and Romans,—that the dead continue to exist in the
shadowy realm of the nether world (_Sheol_), the land of no return
(_Beliyaal_),(884) of eternal silence (_Dumah_), and oblivion
(_Neshiyah_),(885) a dull, ghostly existence without clear consciousness
and without any awakening to a better life. We must, however, not overlook
the fact that even in these most primitive conceptions a certain
imperishability is ascribed to man as marking his superiority over the
animal world, which is altogether abandoned to decay. Hence the belief in
the existence of the shades, the _Refaim_ in Sheol.(886) But throughout
the Biblical period no ethical idea yet permeated this conception, and no
attempt was made to transform the nether world into a place of divine
judgment, of recompense for the good and evil deeds accomplished on
earth,(887) as did the Babylonians and Egyptians. Both the prophets and
the Mosaic code persist in applying their promises and threats, in fact,
their entire view of retribution, to this world, nor do they indicate by a
single word the belief in a judgment or a weighing of actions in the world
to come.

3. Whether the Mosaic-prophetic writings be regarded from the standpoint
of traditional faith or of historical criticism, the limitation of their
teaching and exhortation to the present life can be considered narrowness
only by biased expounders of the “Old Testament.” The Israelitish lawgiver
could not have been altogether ignorant of the Egyptian or the Babylonian
conceptions of the future world. Obviously Israel’s prophets and lawgivers
deliberately avoided giving any definite expression to the common belief
in a future life after death, especially as the Canaanitish magicians and
necromancers used this popular belief to carry on their superstitious
practices, so dangerous to all moral progress.(888) The great task which
prophetic Judaism set itself was to place the entire life of men and
nations in the service of the God of justice and holiness; there was thus
no motive to extend the dominion of JHVH, the God of life, to the
underworld, the playground of the forces of fear and superstition. As late
as the author of the book of Job and of the earlier Psalms, Sheol was
known as the despot of the nether world with its demoniacal forms, as the
“king of terrors” who extends his scepter over the dead.(889) Only
gradually does the thought find expression in the Psalms that the
Omnipotent Ruler of heaven could also rescue the soul out of the power of
Sheol,(890) and that His omnipresence included likewise the nether
world.(891) In this trustful spirit the Hasidic Psalmist expressed the
hope: “Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Sheol, neither wilt Thou suffer
Thy godly one to see the pit. Thou makest me to know the path of life; in
Thy presence is fulness of joy; in Thy right hand bliss forevermore.”(892)

4. Biblical Judaism evinced such a powerful impetus toward a complete and
blissful life with God, that the center and purpose of existence could not
be transferred to the hereafter, as in other systems of belief, but was
found in the desire to work out the life here on earth to its fullest
possible development. Virtue and wisdom, righteousness and piety, signify
and secure true life; vice and folly, iniquity and sin, lead to death and
annihilation. This is the ever recurring burden of the popular as well as
of the prophetic and priestly wisdom of Israel.(893) In the song of thanks
of King Hezekiah after his recovery, the Jewish soul expresses itself,
when he says:(894) “I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord in the
land of the living.... But Thou hast delivered my soul from the pit of
corruption. For the nether world cannot praise Thee; death cannot
celebrate Thee. The living, the living, he shall praise Thee, as I do this
day. The father to the children shall make known Thy truth.” Therefore the
author of the seventy-third Psalm, ennobled by trials, finds sufficient
comfort and happiness in the presence of God that he can spurn all earthly
treasures.(895) Job, too, in his affliction longed for death as release
from all earthly pain and sorrow, but not to bring him a state of rest and
peace like the Nirvana of the Indian beggar-monk, or an outlook into a
better world to come. Such an awakening to a new life seems to him
unthinkable,—although many commentators have often endeavored to read such
a hope into certain of his expressions.(896) Instead, his belief in God as
the Ruler of the infinite world, with His lofty moral purpose far
outreaching all human wisdom, lent him courage and power for further
effort and persistent striving on earth. Since to this suffering hero,
impelled to deeds by his own energy, life is a continuous battle, a
hereafter as a “world of reward and punishment” can hardly solve the great
enigma of human existence in a satisfactory manner for him. The wise
ones—says a Talmudic maxim—find rest neither in this world nor in the
world to come, but “they shall ascend from strength to strength, until
they appear before God on Zion.”(897)

5. In the course of time, however, the question of existence after death
demanded more and more a satisfactory answer. Under the severe political
and social oppression that came upon the Jewish people, the pious ones
failed to see a just equation of man’s doings and his destiny in this
life. The bitter disappointment which they experienced made them look to
the God of justice for a future, when virtue would receive its due reward
and vice its befitting punishment. The community of the pious especially
awaited in vain the realization of the great messianic hope with which the
prophetic words of comfort had filled their hearts. They had willingly
offered up their lives for the truth of Judaism, and the God of
faithfulness could not deceive them. Surely the shadowy realm of the
nether world could not be the end of all. So the voice of promise came to
them from the book of Isaiah, where these encouraging and comforting words
were inserted by a later hand: “Thy dead shall live; thy (My) dead bodies
shall arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust, for Thy dew is as
the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast forth the shades.”(898) Even
before this time the God of Israel had been praised as “He who killeth and
maketh alive, who bringeth down to Sheol, and bringeth up.”(899) So was
also the miraculous power of restoring the dead to life ascribed to the
prophets.(900) Furthermore, the vision of the prophet Ezekiel concerning
the dry bones which arose to new life, in which he beheld the divine
revelation of the approaching event of the restoration of the Jewish
nation,(901) shows how familiar the idea of resurrection must have been to
the people. Hence the minds of the Jewish people were sufficiently
prepared to adopt the Persian belief in the resurrection of the dead.

6. This, however, led to a tremendous process of transformation in Judaism
with a wide chasm between Mosaism and Rabbinism, or, more accurately,
between the Sadducees, who adhered to the letter of the law, and the
Pharisees, who embodied the progressive spirit of the people. On the one
hand, Jesus ben Sira, who at the close of his book speaks with great
admiration of the high-priest Simon the Just as his contemporary, knew as
yet nothing of a future life, and like Koheleth saw the end of all human
existence in the dismal realm of the nether world. Yet at the same time,
the Hasidim or pious ones and their successors, the Pharisees, were
developing after the Persian pattern the thought of a divine judgment day
after death, when the just were to awaken to eternal life, and the
evil-doers to shame and everlasting contempt.(902) This advanced moral
view, frequently overlooked, transformed the ancient Semitic Sheol from
the realm of shades to a place of punishment for sinners, and thus
invested it with an ethical purpose.(903) After this the various Biblical
names for the nether world became the various divisions of hell.(904)
Indeed, the Psalmists and the Proverbs had announced to the wicked their
destruction in Sheol, and on the other hand held out for the godly the
hope of deliverance from Sheol and a beatific sight of God in the land of
the living. Thus the transition was prepared for the new world-conception.
All the promises and threats of the law and the prophets, when they did
not receive fulfillment in this world, appeared now to point forward to
the world to come. Moreover, the Pharisees in their disputes with the
Sadducees made use of every reference, however slight, to the future
life,—even of such passages as those which speak of the Patriarchs as
receiving the promise of possessing the Holy Land, as if they were still
alive,—as proofs of the continued life of the dead, or of their
resurrection.(905) Thus it came about that the leading authorities of
rabbinic Judaism were in the position to declare in the Mishnah: “He who
says that the belief in the resurrection of the dead is not founded on the
Torah (and therefore does not accept it) shall have no share in the world
to come.”(906)

7. The founders of the liturgy of the Synagogue, in opposition to the
Sadducees, formulated therefore the belief in resurrection in the second
of the “Eighteen (or Seven) Benedictions” of the daily prayer in the
following words: “Thou, O Lord, art mighty forever. Thou revivest the
dead. Thou art mighty to save. Thou sustainest the living with
loving-kindness, revivest the dead with great mercy, supportest the
falling, healest the sick, loosest the bound, and keepest Thy faith to
them that sleep in the dust. (This refers to the Patriarchs, to whom God
has promised the land of the future.) Who is like unto Thee, O Lord of
mighty acts, and who resembleth Thee, O King, who killest and bringest to
life, and causest salvation to spring forth? Yea, faithful art Thou to
revive the dead. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who revivest the dead.” In this
prayer dating from the age of the Maccabees(907) the Jewish consciousness
of two thousand years found a twofold hope,—the national and the
universally human. The national hope, which combined the belief in the
restoration of the kingdom of David and of the sacrificial cult with the
resurrection of the dead in the Holy Land, can be understood only in
connection with a historic view of Israel’s place in the world, and is
treated in the third part of this book. The purely human hope for the
continuity or the renewal of life rests on two fundamental problems which
must be examined more closely in the next two chapters. The one belongs to
the province of psychology and considers the question: What is the eternal
divine element in man? The other goes more deeply into the religious and
moral nature of man and considers the question: Where and how does divine
retribution—reward or punishment—take place in human life? To both of
these questions our modern view, with its special aim toward a unified
grasp of the totality of life, requires a special answer. This can be
neither that of rabbinic Judaism, which rests upon Persian dualism, nor
that of medieval philosophy, which was under the Platonic-Aristotelian

Chapter XLIV. The Immortal Soul of Man

1. The idea of immortality has been found in Scripture in a rather obscure
and probably corrupt passage,(908) “In the way of righteousness is life,
and in the pathway thereof there is no death.” In the same spirit Aquila,
the Bible translator, who belonged to the school of R. Eliezer and R.
Joshua, renders the equally obscure passage from the Psalms,(909) “He will
lead us to immortality,” reading _al maveth_, the Al with _Alef_, for _al
muth_, the Al with _Ayin_. There is more solid foundation for the view
that the verse, “God created man in His own image” implies that there is
an imperishable divine essence in man. In fact, that which distinguishes
man from the animal as well as from the rest of creation, both the starry
worlds above and the manifold forms of life on earth about him, is his
self-conscious personality, his ego, through which he feels himself akin
with God, the great world-ruling _I Am_. This self-conscious part of man,
which lends to his every manifestation its value and purpose, can no more
disappear into nothingness than can God, who called into existence this
world with all its phenomena, who set it in motion and directs it.
Whatever thought the crudest of men may have of his ego, his self,(910) or
however the most learned scholar may explain the marvelous action and
interaction of physical and psychical or spiritual forces which culminates
in his own self-conscious personality, it appears certain that this ego
cannot cease to be with the cessation of the bodily functions. There is in
us something divine, immortal, and the only question is wherein it may be

2. The creation of man which is described in the Bible in the words, “God
formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the
breath of life, and man became a living soul”(911) corresponds to the
child-like conceptions of a primitive people. On the other hand, Scripture
speaks of death in parallel terms, “The dust returneth to the earth as it
was, and the spirit (Ruah, the life-giving breath) returneth unto God who
gave it.”(912)

The conception that the soul enters into man as the breath of life and
leaves him at his death, flying toward heaven like a bird,(913) is quite
as ancient and as universal as the other, that the soul descends into the
nether world as a shadowy image of the body, there to continue a dull
existence. The two are related to one another, and in the Bible, as well
as in the literature of other peoples, they have given rise to diverse
definitions of the soul. This was the point of departure for the
development of the conception of immortality in one or the other
direction, according to whether the body was considered a part of the
personality which somehow survives after death, or only the spiritual
substance of the soul was thought to live on in celestial regions as
something divine. The former led to the theory of the resurrection of the
body and its reunion with the soul; the latter to the belief in a future
life for the soul, after it had been separated or released from the body.

3. When once the soul was felt to be a “lamp of the Lord,” filling the
body with light when man is awake,(914) it was easy to imagine that the
soul had escaped and temporarily returned to God in sleep. This induced
the teachers of the Synagogue to prescribe a morning prayer of thanks
which reads, “Blessed art Thou, O God, who restorest the souls unto dead
bodies.”(915) The conception underlying this prayer throws light upon the
entire belief in resurrection. Death to the pious is only a prolonged
sleep. On that account the prophet in the passage from Isaiah already
referred to, as well as the Hasidic author of the Book of Daniel,(916)
could express the hope that “those who sleep in the dust shall awake.” As
at every awakening from sleep in the morning, so at the great awakening in
the future, the souls which have departed in death shall return again to
their bodies. These bodies could then hardly be conceived of as subject to
decomposition, and the picture in Ezekiel’s vision of resurrection(917)
had to be accepted as fact. Still R. Simeon b. Yohai in the especially
instructive thirty-fourth chapter of Pirke de R. Eliezer assumes the
complete disintegration of the body, in order to render the miracle of
resurrection so much the greater. Later still arose the legend of an
indestructible bone of the spinal column, called _Luz_, which was to form
the nucleus for the revival of the whole body.(918) The name Luz, which
denotes an almond tree and is the name given in the Bible to a city
also,(919) seemed to point to a connection with two legends, a fabulous
city into which death could not enter,(920) and the tree of resurrection
in the Osiris cycle.(921)

4. Still, no clear, consistent view of the soul prevailed as yet in the
rabbinic age. The popular belief, influenced by Persian notions, was that
the soul lingers near the body for a certain time after it has
relinquished it, either from three to seven days or for an entire
year.(922) Furthermore it was said that after death the souls hovered
between heaven and earth in the form of ghosts, able to overhear the
secrets of the future decreed above and to betray them to human beings
below. In fact, the rabbis of the Talmud, especially the Hasidim, never
hesitated to accept these ghost stories.(923) Some sages of the Talmudic
period taught that the souls of the righteous ascend to heaven, there to
dwell under the throne of the divine majesty, awaiting the time of the
renewal of the world, while the souls of the godless hovered over the
horizon of the earth as restless demoniacal spirits, finally to succumb to
the fate of annihilation, after they had been cast down into the fiery pit
of Gehenna or Sheol.(924) Of course, this view, which prevails in both the
Talmud and the New Testament, according to which the souls of the wicked
are to be consumed in the fire of Gehenna, is inconsistent with the
conception of the purely spiritual nature of the soul.

Nevertheless at this same epoch we find the higher idea expressed that the
soul is an invisible, god-like essence, pervading the body as a spiritual
force and differing from it in nature in much the same way as God is
differentiated from the world.(925) “Thou wishest to know where God
dwells, who is as high as are the heavens above the earth; tell me then
where dwells thy soul, which is so near,” replied R. Gamaliel to a
heathen.(926) The prevailing view of the schools is that God implants the
soul in the embryo while in the mother’s womb, together with all the
spiritual potentialities which make it human. In fact, R. Simlai, the
third-century Haggadist, advances the Platonic conception of the
preëxistence of the soul, as a being of the highest intelligence, which
sees before birth all things throughout the world, but forgets all at
birth, so that all subsequent learning is only a recollection.(927) In
Hellenistic Judaism especially the doctrine seems to have been general of
the preëxistence of the soul, or of the creation of all human souls
simultaneously with the creation of the world.(928) Of course, the soul
which emanates from a higher world must be eternal.

5. The first clear idea of the nature of the soul came with the
philosophically trained thinkers, who were dependent either on Plato, main
founder of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, or on Aristotle,
who ascribes immortality only to the creative spirit of God, the supreme
Intelligence as a cosmic power. The nearest approach to Plato was
Philo,(929) who saw in the three Biblical names for the soul, _nefesh_,
_ruah_, and _neshama_, the three souls of the Platonic system,—the
sensuous soul, which has its seat in the abdomen; the courageous or
emotional soul, situated in the breast; and the intellectual soul, which
dwells in the brain and contains the imperishable divine nature. This last
is kept in its physical environment as in a prison or a grave, and ever
yearns for liberation and reunion with God. The soul of the righteous
enters the world of angels after death; that of the wicked the world of

Saadia, who was under the influence of Aristotle interpreted from the
neo-Platonic viewpoint, did not share the Platonic dualism of matter and
spirit, nor did he divide the soul into three parts, seated in various
parts of the human body. He finds the soul to be a spiritual substance
created simultaneously with the body, and uniting the three forces of the
soul distinguished in Scripture into one inseparable whole, the seat of
which is in the heart,—wherefore soul and heart are often synonymous in
the Bible. This indivisible substance possesses a luminous nature like
that of the spheres, but is simpler, finer, and purer than they, and
endowed with the power of thought. It was created by God out of the primal
ether from which He made the angels, simultaneously with the body and
within it. By this union it was qualified to display that moral activity
prescribed for it in the divine teaching, the neglect of which would
defile and tarnish it. According to Saadia some kind of material substance
adheres to the soul as well as to the angels, and on that account he does
not hesitate to accept the Talmudic expressions about the abode of the
soul after death, or the last judgment which is to take place as soon as
the appointed number of souls shall have made their entrance into their
earthly bodies, when the souls of the righteous will have their angelic
nature recognized, and those of the wicked will have their lower character
revealed. However, Saadia combats with so much greater fervor the Hindu
teaching of metempsychosis, which had been adopted by Plato and

Bahya connects his theory with the three souls of Plato, and likewise
ascribes to the soul an ethereal essence.(931) He holds that its destiny
is to raise itself to the order of the angels through self-purification,
and finally to return to God as the divine Source of light. To this end
the intellectual soul, which has its being from the primal light, must
overcome the lower sensuous soul which leads to sin.

6. The conception that the soul is a substance derived from the luminous
primal matter, like the heavenly spheres and the angels, was now
persistently retained by the Jewish thinkers, who explained thereby its
immortality. In adopting the Aristotelian theory that the soul is the
form-principle of the body, the Platonic doctrine of its preexistence was
gradually relinquished, and its existence ascribed to a creative act of
God at the birth of the child or at its conception. But Jehuda ha-Levi,
the most pious of all the philosophers, emphasized vigorously the
indivisibility of the soul, its incorporeality and its reality apart from
the condition of the body, and—in opposition to the Aristotelian
free-thinkers, who expected the human soul to be absorbed into the divine
soul, the active intellect,—he declared the immortality of the individual
a fundamental article of faith.(932)

Now some of the Jewish thinkers, following Jehuda ha Levi, Ibn Daud, and
others, though Aristotelians, shrank from the logical conclusion of
denying all individuality to the soul, and attributed to it rather a
process of purification, which ends with the elevation of the soul-essence
to angelic rank and thus guarantees its immortality. Not so Maimonides,
who accepted with inexorable earnestness the Aristotelian idea of form as
the perfection of matter. The essence of the human soul is, for him, that
force or potentiality which qualifies it for the highest development of
the intellect, and is alone capable of grasping the divine. Yet it can
acquire a part in the creative World-spirit only in the same degree as it
unfolds this potentiality to share the divine intellect, whose seat is the
highest sphere of the universe. By dint of this acquired intelligence it
can live on as an independent intellect, in the image of God, and thus
attain beatitude in the contemplation of Divinity.(933)

7. Naturally the view of Maimonides, that a certain measure of immortality
is granted only to the wise,—though they must be morally perfect as
well,—aroused great opposition. Hasdai Crescas proves its untenableness by
asking, “Why shall the wise alone share in immortality? Furthermore, how
can something that came into existence in the course of human life
suddenly acquire eternal duration? Or how can there be any bliss in the
knowledge of God where there is no personality, no self-conscious ego to
enjoy it?” Therefore Crescas ascribed to the soul an indestructible
spiritual essence whose perfection is attained, not by mere intellect or
knowledge, but by love of God manifested in a religious and moral life,
and which is thereby made to share in eternal bliss.(934)

8. All these various thinkers find the future life either expressed or
suggested in the Scriptures as a truth based upon reason. This is
especially the conception of Abraham ibn Daud, who, contrary to his
Aristotelian successor Maimonides, sees in self-consciousness, by which
the soul differentiates itself from the body as a personality, the proof
that it cannot be subject to dissolution with the body.(935)

Besides the philosophic doctrine of the immortality of the soul, however,
the traditional belief in the resurrection of the body demanded some
consideration on the part of these philosophers. Saadia defends the latter
with all his might, endeavoring to reconcile the two as best he can.(936)
All the rest leave us in doubt whether resurrection is to be understood
literally or symbolically. Maimonides especially involves himself in
difficulties, inasmuch as in his commentary on the Mishna he considers the
resurrection of the dead an unalterable article of faith, whereas in his
Code(937) and in the Moreh he speaks only of immortality; and again before
the end of his life he wrote, obviously in self-defense, a work which
seems to favor bodily resurrection, yet without clarifying his conceptions
at any time.(938) The belief in resurrection had taken too deep a root in
the Jewish consciousness and had been too firmly established through the
liturgy of the Synagogue for any philosopher to touch it without injuring
the very foundations of faith.

Moreover, beside external caution a certain inner need seems to have
impelled toward the acceptance of resurrection. As soon as one thinks of
the soul as existing or continuing to live in an incorporeal state, one is
involuntarily led toward the belief in the soul’s preëxistence or even in
the possibility of metempsychosis. Thus it seemed more reasonable to
believe in a new formation of the human body together with a new creation
of the world. Therewith came the disposition to assign to the soul in the
future world a body of finer substance, like that assumed by the mystic
Nahmanides,(939) in order to assure to the new humanity a wondrous
duration of life like that of Elijah.

9. While the popular philosopher Albo rightly declares that the nature of
the soul is as far beyond all human understanding as is the nature of
God,(940) the mystics sought all the more to penetrate its secrets. The
Cabbalah also divides the soul into three different substances according
to the three Biblical names, assigning their origins to the three
different spheres of the universe, and reiterating the Platonic theory of
the preexistence of the soul and its future transmigration. This division
into three parts provided scope for all types of theories concerning the
soul in its sensuous, its moral, and its intellectual nature.
Fundamentally the Cabbalah considered the soul an emanation from the
divine intellect with a luminous character just like the philosophers. But
in the Platonic view of the ascending order of creation, which forms the
basis of the Cabbalah, this mundane life is an abyss of moral degradation,
so that the soul yearns toward the primal Source of light, finally to find
freedom and bliss with God.(941) Thus the later Cabbalah returned to the
teachings of Philo, the Jewish Plato, for whom death was only the
stripping off of the earthly frame in order to enter the pure and luminous
world of God.

10. With Moses Mendelssohn, who in his _Phædon_ tried to translate Plato’s
proof of immortality into modern terms, a new attitude toward the nature
and destiny of the soul arose in Judaism among both the philosophers and
the educated laity. Mendelssohn not only endeavored to prove the
immortality of the soul through its indivisibility and incorporeality, as
all the neo-Platonists and Jewish philosophers had done before him; he
also attempted to show from the harmonious plan which pervades and
controls all of God’s creation, that the soul may enter a sphere of
existence greater in extent and content than the little span of earthly
life which it relinquishes. The progress of the soul toward its highest
unfolding, unsatisfied in this life, demands a future growth in the
direction of god-like perfection.(942) At this point the philosopher
enters the province of faith, and thus furnishes for all time the cardinal
point of the belief in immortality. The divine spirit in man, which is
evinced in the self-conscious, morally active personality, bears within
itself the proof and promise of its future life. Moreover, this
corresponds with the belief in God as One who rules the world for the
eternal purposes and aims of perfection, who cannot deceive the hope of
the human heart for a continued living and striving onward and forward,
without thereby impairing His own perfection. For we all close our lives
without having attained the goal of moral and spiritual perfection toward
which we strive; and therefore our very nature demands a world where we
may reach the higher degree of perfection for which we long. In this sense
we may interpret the Psalmist’s verse: “I shall be satisfied, when I
awake, with (beholding) Thy likeness.”(943) That is: our spirit, when no
longer bound to the earth, shall behold the divine glory,—a vision which
transcends our powers of thought.

11. In the light of modern investigation, body and soul are seen to be
indissolubly bound together by a reciprocal relation which either benefits
or impedes them both. Wherein the spiritual bond exists that renders both
the physical organs with their muscular and nervous systems and the
magnetic or electric currents which set them in motion subservient to the
will of the intellect; what the mind actually _is_, into whose deepest
recesses science is casting its search-light to illumine its
processes,—these are problems which will probably remain ever incapable of
solution by human knowledge, and will therefore always afford new food for
the imagination. Yet it is just in periods like ours, when the belief in
God is weakening, that the human spirit is especially solicitous to guard
itself against the thought of the complete annihilation of its god-like
self-conscious personality. This gives rise to the superstitious effort to
spy out the soul by sensory means and to find ways of seeing or hearing
the spirits of the dead,—a tendency which is as dangerous to the spiritual
and moral welfare of humanity as was the ancient practice of
necromancy.(944) It is therefore all the more important to base the belief
in immortality solely on the God-likeness of the human soul, which is the
mirror of Divinity. Just as one postulate of faith holds that God, the
Creator of the world, rules in accordance with a moral order, so another
is the immortality of the human soul, which, amidst yearning and groping,
beholds God. The question where, and how, this self-same ego is to
continue, will be left for the power of the imagination to answer ever

12. Certainly it is both comforting and convenient to imagine the dead who
are laid to rest in the earth as being asleep and to await their
reawakening. As the fructifying rain awakens to a new life the seeds
within the soil, so that they rise from the depths arrayed in new raiment,
so, when touched by the heavenly dew of life, will those who linger in the
grave arise to a new existence, clad in new bodies. This is the belief
which inspired the pious founders of the synagogal liturgy even before the
period of the Maccabees, when they expressed their praise of God’s power
in that He would send the fertilizing rain upon the vegetation of the
earth, and likewise in due time the revivifying dew upon the sleeping
world of man. Both appeared to the sages of that age to be evidences of
the same wonder-working power of God. Whoever, therefore, still sees God’s
greatness, as they did, revealed through miracles, that is, through
interruptions of the natural order of life, may cling to the traditional
belief in resurrection, so comforting in ancient times. On the other hand,
he who recognizes the unchangeable will of an all-wise, all-ruling God in
the immutable laws of nature must find it impossible to praise God
according to the traditional formula as the “Reviver of the dead,” but
will avail himself instead of the expression used in the Union Prayer Book
after the pattern of Einhorn, “He who has implanted within us immortal

Chapter XLV. Divine Retribution: Reward and Punishment.

1. The feeling of equity is deeply rooted in human nature, demanding
reparation for every wanton wrong and yielding recognition to every
benevolent act. In fact, upon this universal principle is based all
justice and to a certain extent all morality. Judaism of every age
compresses this demand of the religious and moral nature of man into the
doctrine: God rewards the good and punishes the evil. This doctrine, which
is the eleventh of Maimonides’ articles of faith, constitutes the
underlying presumption of all the Biblical narratives as well as of the
prophetic threats and warnings and those of the Mosaic law, in so far as
earthly success and prosperity were regarded as the rewards of God and
earthly misfortune and misery as His punishments. In the same degree,
however, as experience contradicted this doctrine, and as examples
multiplied of wicked persons revelling in prosperity and innocent ones
laboring under adversity and woe, it became necessary to defer the divine
retribution more and more to the future—at first to a future on earth and
later to one in the world to come, until finally it developed into a pure
spiritual conception in full accord with a higher ethical view of life.

2. As long as in the primitive process of law the family or the clan was
held responsible for the crime of the individual, ancient Israel also
adhered to the idea that “God visits the sins of the fathers upon the
third and fourth generation,” as Jeremiah still did(946) in full accord
with the second commandment. It was in a far later stage that the rabbis
interpreted the words “of those who hate Me” in the sense of individual
responsibility.(947) Only in accordance with the Deuteronomic law which
says: “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither
shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man shall be put
to death for his own sin,”(948) did the religious consciousness rebel
against the thought that a later generation should suffer for the sins of
its ancestors, and hence the popular adage arose, “The fathers have eaten
sour grapes, and the teeth of the children are set on edge.”(949) It is
the prophet Ezekiel who refutes once and for all the idea of a guilt
transmitted to children and consequently of hereditary sin and punishment,
insisting on the doctrine that personal responsibility alone determines
divine retribution.(950) But here a new element affects divine
retribution. God’s long-suffering and mercy do not desire the immediate
punishment, the death of the sinner. He should be given time to return to
a better mode of life.(951)

But the great enigma of human destiny, which vexes the author of the
seventy-third Psalm and that of the book of Job, still presses for a
better solution. It is true that the popular belief and popular legends
which are preserved in post-Biblical writings as well, insisted on a
justice which requites “measure for measure.”(952) Still insight into
actual life does not confirm the teaching of the popular philosophy that
the “righteous will be requited in the earth” and that “evil pursueth
sinners.”(953) The unshakeable belief in the justice of God had to find
another solution for life’s antinomies, and was forced to reach out for
another world in which the divine righteousness would find its complete

3. Biblical Judaism with few exceptions recognized only the present world
and the subterranean world of shadows, a view preserved in its essentials
by Ben Sira and the Sadducees, who were subsequently declared heretics. In
contrast to them Pharisaic or Rabbinic Judaism teaches a resurrection
after death for a life of eternal bliss or eternal torment, according as
the divine judgment finds one righteous and another wicked. We may leave
aside the consideration that the first impulse toward a Jewish belief in
resurrection came from the non-fulfillment of the national hope, wherefore
it was always bound up with the soil of the Holy Land, as will be seen in
Chapter LIV. The fact remains that the divine judgment to follow upon
resurrection was consistently regarded as a great world-judgment, which
was to decide the future lot of all men and spirits. It must be noted also
that the apocalyptic and midrashic literature often identifies the pious
with the God-fearing Israelites as those who shall arise to eternal life,
while the wicked are identified with the idolatrous heathen, who are
condemned to eternal death, or, as it is frequently expressed, to a second

4. Exactly as the old Persian Mazdaism expected the resurrection of all,
both good and bad, the believers in Ahura Mazda as well as the rest of
humanity, so the apocalyptic writers prior to the Talmudic period describe
resurrection as universal: “In those days the earth will give back those
who have been entrusted to her, and the nether-world will release that
which it has received,” according to Enoch LI, 1. Similarly fourth Esdras
remarks: “And after seven days of silence for all creatures, the new order
of the world shall be raised up, and mortality itself shall perish; and
the earth shall restore those that are asleep in her; and so shall the
dust give back those that dwell in silence; and the chambers shall deliver
those souls that were committed unto them. The Most High shall appear on
the throne of judgment, and shall say: Judgment only shall remain, truth
shall stand, and faith shall wax strong. The good deeds shall be of force,
and wicked deeds shall no longer sleep. The lake of torment shall be
revealed, and opposite to it the place of joy; the furnace of Gehinnom
will be visible, and opposite to it the bliss of Paradise. Then the Most
High will speak to the heathen nations, who have awakened: behold now Him
whom ye have denied, whom ye have not served, whose command ye have
abhorred. Gaze now here and there,—here bliss and rest, there fire and

The rabbinic form of the doctrine of resurrection is quite unambiguous:
“Those born into the world are destined to die; the dead, to live again;
and those who enter the world to come, to be judged.”(956) And wherever
the rabbinic or apocalyptic literature mentions the share of the pious, or
of Israel, in eternal life, this implies that, while these enter the world
to come, the evil-doers or idolaters shall enter hell for eternal death;
the understanding being that there is a universal resurrection for the

5. The whole system of eschatology in connection with resurrection arose
undoubtedly from the Persian doctrine, according to which death together
with all that is evil and unclean is created by Ahriman, the evil
principle, and will suffer annihilation with him, as soon as the good
principle, Ahura Mazda, has achieved the final victory. Then Soshiosh “the
Savior,” the descendant of Zoroaster, will begin his kingdom of eternal
life for the righteous, coincident with the awakening of the dead.(957)
Pharisaic Judaism, however, gave the hope of resurrection a deeper moral
and religious meaning. The proofs, or rather analogies from nature, of the
seeds springing from the earth in a new form, of men awakening from sleep
in the morning, or of the original creation, are shared by the rabbis and
the New Testament writers with the Persians. On the other hand, proofs
based on the prophetic hope for the future are purely national. So also
are those proofs based on the Biblical passage that the God of the fathers
had sworn to the Patriarchs to give them the Promised Land.(958) Likewise
the reference to the wondrous resurrections related in the history of
Elijah and Elisha offers no proof of a universal resurrection. A striking
point and one which deepens the idea of retribution is the simile of the
Lame and the Blind(959) employed by Jehuda ha Nasi in a dialogue with the
Emperor Antoninus. The latter had said that at the last judgment both soul
and body might deny all guilt. The body may say: “The soul alone has
sinned, for since it has parted from me, I have lain motionless as a
stone.” And the soul, on its part, may reply: “It must be the body that
sinned, for since I have parted from it I soar about in the air free as a
bird.” To this Jehuda ha Nasi answered: “A king once possessed a garden
with splendid fig-trees, and appointed as watchmen in it a blind man and a
lame man. Then the lame man spoke to the blind man, ‘I see fine figs up
there; take me upon your shoulders, and I shall pick them, and we can
enjoy them together.’ They did so, and when the king entered the garden,
the figs were gone. But when they were held to account for it, the lame
man said, ‘How could I have taken them, since I cannot walk?’ And the
blind man said, ‘And I cannot see.’ Then the king had the lame man placed
upon the shoulders of the blind man and judged them both together. In like
manner will God treat the body and the soul, as it is said:(960) ‘He
calleth to the heavens above—that is, the heavenly element, the soul—and
to the earth beneath—the earthly body—and places them together before His
throne of judgment.’ ”

6. It cannot be denied that the idea that the soul and body, having
committed good or evil deeds together in this life, should receive in
common their reward or punishment in the world to come, satisfied the
Jewish sense of justice better than the conception developed by
Hellenistic Judaism (after the Platonic and, in the last resort, the
Egyptian view) that the soul alone should partake of eternal bliss or
torment. Nevertheless the philosophically trained Jewish thinkers of
Alexandria could not bring themselves to accept a bodily resurrection, and
therefore emphasized so much more strongly the great day of judgment and
the reward and punishment of the soul in the world to come. Still we find
much inconsistency among various authors, sometimes even in the same work,
in the conception of future bliss for the good and torture for the wicked.
These varied according to the more sensuous or more spiritual view taken
of the soul and the celestial world, and according to the literal or
figurative interpretation of the Biblical allusions to “fire,” “worms,”
and the like in the punishment of evil-doers, and of the delights awaiting
the righteous in the future.(961)

On this point free play was allowed to the imagination of the people and
the fancy of the Haggadists. Still, throughout, the solemn thought found
its echo that mortal man must give account to the inexorable Judge of the
living and the dead for the life just completed, in order to be ushered,
according to his deserts, into the portals of the celestial Paradise or of
hell.(962) This led to the view that this whole mundane life is but like a
wayfarers’ inn for the life to come, or the vestibule of the palace (more
precisely the “banquet-hall”) of the future.(963)

7. A further development of the principle of justice in application to
future retribution led not merely to such a depiction of the tortures of
hell and the delights of heaven that the maxim: “measure for measure,” so
often deviated from in this life, could find complete realization in the
world to come. An intermediate stage also was devised for those whose
merit or guilt would enroll them neither among the righteous for eternal
bliss, nor among the wicked for eternal punishment. While the stern
teachers of the school of Shammai insisted that these mediocre ones must
undergo a twelve-month process of purification in the fires of Gehenna,
the milder school of Hillel maintained that the divine mercy would grant
them admission into Paradise even without the fires of purgatory(964),
either through the merit of the patriarchs(965) or owing to the deserts of
a son who has been trained to reverence for God, as is indicated by the
legend concerning the Kaddish prayer.(966) In any case, the teaching of
Hillel concerning the all-sufficing mercy of God swept aside the old
hopeless conception that eternal suffering in hell awaits the average man,
which was adhered to by the Christian church in connection with its dogma
of the atoning blood of Christ. Likewise, in the dispute of schools as to
whether or not the bliss of eternal life would be accorded also to the
righteous among the heathen, the more humane view of Joshua ben Hananiah
prevailed over the gloomier one of the Shammaite Eliezer ben Hyrcanos, and
therefore the doctrine became generally accepted, “The righteous of all
nations shall have a share in the world to come.”(967)

8. The apocalyptic writers, who largely influenced the New Testament, and
also the Haggadists refer with fond interest to the banquet of the pious
in the world to come, where they would be served with heavenly manna as
bread, with wine preserved from the days of the creation, and with the
flesh of the Leviathan or the fruit of the Tree of Life.(968) On the other
hand they elaborated the tortures of the evil-doers in hell which are to
afford a pleasing sight to the pious in heaven, just as the torments of
the sinners are aggravated by the sight of the righteous enjoying all
delights.(969) But at the same time we meet with a more refined and
spiritual conception of future reward and punishment among the disciples
of R. Jehuda ha Nasi, in the Babylonian Rab, and the Palestinian R.
Johanan and his pupil Simeon ben Lakish. “In the future world,” says Rab,
“there are no sensual enjoyments nor passions, but the righteous sit at
the table of God with wreaths upon their heads (like the Greek sages at a
symposium!), feeding on the radiance of the divine majesty, as did the
chosen ones of Israel on the heights of Sinai.”(970) R. Johanan teaches,
“All the promises held forth in Scripture in definite form as reward for
the future, refer to the Messianic era, whereas in regard to the bliss
awaiting the pious in the world to come, the words of Isaiah hold good:
‘No eye hath seen it, O God, beside Thee.’ ”(971) Simeon ben Lakish even
went so far as to say, “There is neither hell nor paradise. Instead, God
sends out the sun in its full strength from its encasement, and the wicked
are consumed by its heat, while the pious find delight and healing in its

However, the popular imagination demanded more perceptible pictures of
heaven and hell, if fear of punishment was to deter men from sin, and hope
of reward to lead them to virtue. The description of the modes of reward
and punishment for the future in the Koran is the outcome of mingled
Persian and Jewish popular conceptions, and its crass sensuousness exerted
in turn a decisive influence upon the entire Gaonic period,(973) leaving
its mark upon even so clear a thinker as Saadia. Not only does he admit
into his philosophic work all the crude and conflicting descriptions of
the future world, but he also argues for the eternity of the punishments
of hell and of the delights of heaven as logical necessities, because only
such could sufficiently deter or allure mankind, and a righteous God must
certainly carry out His threats and promises.(974)

9. The entire Jewish philosophy or theology of the Middle Ages remained
under the influence of the traditional belief in resurrection. Even
Maimonides, whose purely spiritual conception of the soul and of salvation
is utterly irreconcilable with the belief in bodily resurrection, and who
accordingly dwells instead, in both his Moreh and his Code, on the future
world of spirits, with explicit emphasis on their incorporeality, did not
have the courage to break altogether with the traditional belief in
resurrection. In his apologetic treatise on resurrection he even attempts
to present it as a miraculous act of God beyond the grasp of the
intellect. He omits, however, to specify what purpose this miracle may
serve, since in the Maimonidean system reward and punishment would be
administered in the world of spirits in a much purer and more satisfactory
manner.(975) The same standpoint is taken also by Jehuda ha Levi as well
as by Crescas and Albo.(976) If then resurrection be a miracle, it falls
outside the scope of philosophic speculation and becomes a matter of
faith; accordingly the mystics from Nahmanides down to Manasseh ben Israel
associated with it the grossest conceptions.(977)

10. The actual view of Maimonides concerning future retribution is
expressed clearly and unambiguously in both his early product, the
commentary on the Mishna, and in the ripest fruit of his life work, the
Mishneh Torah, where he says “Not immortality, but the power to win
eternal life through the knowledge and the love of God is implanted in the
human soul. If it has the ability to free itself from the bondage of the
senses and by means of the knowledge of God to lift itself to the highest
morality and the purest thinking, then it has attained divine bliss, true
immortality, and it enters the realm of the eternal Spirit together with
the angels. If it sinks into the sensuousness of earthly existence, then
it is cut off from eternal life; it suffers annihilation like the beast.
In reality this life eternal is not the future, but is already potentially
present and invariably at hand in the spirit of man himself, with its
constant striving toward the highest. When the rabbis speak of paradise
and hell, describing vividly the delights of the one and the torments of
the other, these are only metaphors for the agony of sin and the happiness
of virtue. True piety serves God neither from fear of punishment nor from
desire for reward, as servants obey their master, but from pure love of
God and truth. Thus the saying of Ben Azai is verified, ‘The reward of a
good deed is the good deed itself.’(978) Only children need bribes and
threats to be trained to morality. Thus religion trains mankind. The
people who cannot penetrate into the kernel need the shell, the external
means of threats and promises.”(979) These splendid words of the great
thinker require supplementing or modification in only one direction, and
that has been afforded by the keenest critic among Jewish philosophers,
Hasdai Crescas. Too deeply enmeshed in the Aristotelian system, Maimonides
found the happiness and immortality of man solely in the acquired
intellectual power which becomes part of the divine intellect, and the
mere knowledge of God is to him tantamount to the blissful enjoyment of
the pious in the radiance of God’s majesty. Consequently those who strive
and soar heavenward through their moral conduct and noble aspirations,
without at the same time being thinkers, receive no reward. Against this
Aristotelian one-sidedness Crescas emphasizes God’s love and goodness for
which the righteous yearn, and in whose pursuit man finds perfection and
happiness. Not for the sake of attaining bliss shall we love God and
practice virtue and truth, but to love God and practice virtue is itself
true bliss. This is the nearness of God referred to by the Psalmist and
declared to be man’s highest good.(980) There is no need of any other
reward than this, and there is no greater punishment than to be deprived
of this boon forever.(981)

11. In the face of these two great thinkers, to whom Spinoza owes the
fundamental ideas of his ethics,(982) the question considered by Albo,
whether the eternal duration of the tortures of hell is reconcilable with
the divine mercy,(983) a question which still plays an important rôle in
Christian theology, and which was probably suggested to Albo through his
disputations with representatives of the Church,—is for us superfluous and
superseded. Our modern conceptions of time and space admit neither a place
or a world-period for the reward and punishment of souls, nor the
intolerable conception of eternal joy without useful action and eternal
agony without any moral purpose. Modern man knows that he bears heaven and
hell within his own bosom. Indeed, so much more difficult is the life of
duty which knows of no other reward than happiness through harmony with
God, the Father of the immortal soul, and of no other punishment than the
soul’s distress at its inner discord with the primal Source and the divine
Ideal of all morality. All the more powerfully is modern man controlled by
the thought that the universe permits no stagnation, no barren enjoyment
or barren suffering, but that every death marks the transition to a higher
goal for greater accomplishment. This yearning of the soul finds
expression in the Talmudic maxim, “The righteous find rest neither in this
world, nor in the world to come, as it is said, ‘They go from strength to
strength, until they appear before God on Zion.’ ”(984)

Chapter XLVI. The Individual and the Race

1. In every system of belief the object of divine care and guidance is the
individual. His soul and his conscience raise him up, especially according
to the Jewish doctrine, to the divine image, to Godchildship. His freedom
and moral responsibility are the patent of nobility for his divine nature;
his ego, controlling external forces and carrying out its own designs,
vouches for his immortality. Nevertheless the spirit of the Biblical
language indicates rightly that the individual is only a son of man,—_ben
adam_,—that is, a segment or member of the human race, but not the perfect
typical exemplification of the whole of mankind. From the social organism
he receives what he is, what he has, and what he ought to do, both his
nature and his destiny; and only in association with the community and
under the guidance of the highest ideal of humanity can he attain true
perfection. Only mankind as a whole, in its coöperation, as it extends
over the vast expanse of the earth, and in its succession which reaches
through the centuries of the world’s history, can bring to full
development the divine image in man, his moral and religious nature with
all its varied potentialities. It is man collectively who in the first
chapter of Genesis receives the command to subject the earth with all its
creatures to his cultural purposes.(985) In whatever stage of culture we
meet man, his modes of thought and speech, his customs and moral views,
even his spiritual faculties are the result of a long historic process of
development, the product of an extremely complicated past, as well as the
basis of a future which expands in all directions. The ancients expressed
this in their suggestive way, remarking in connection with the verse of
the Psalm, “Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance, and in Thy book
they were all written,”(986) that at the creation of the first man God
recorded the succession of races with their sages, seers and leaders until
the end of time.(987) And when the Haggadists say that in creating man God
took dust from every part of the world, so that he would be everywhere at
home,(988) again they were thinking of mankind. Similarly in the passage
from the Psalms, “Thou hast hemmed me in behind and before,” they explain
that God made the first man with two faces, one looking forward and the
other backward, that is, with a Janus head; and thus they regard man in
his relation to the past and the future, in his historic continuity.(989)
As both physically and spiritually he is the heir of innumerable ancestors
who have transmitted to him with their blood all their idiosyncrasies and
capacities in a peculiar combination, so will he transmit both consciously
and unconsciously the inherited possessions of mankind to future
generations for continued growth or for degeneration. He forms but a link
in the great chain of history, whose goal is the perfected ideal of
humanity, the completed idea of man. This was the underlying thought of
Ben Azzai in his dispute with R. Akiba, who held that the principal maxim
of Jewish teaching is “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” In
opposition to this Ben Azzai presented as the most important lesson of the
Bible the verse which says, “This is the book of the generations of man;
in the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him.”(990)
The godlikeness of man develops more and more through the evolution of the
human race. This is the basic force for all human love and all human

2. This social bond existing between the individual and the race imposes
upon him in accordance with his occupation certain duties in the same
degree as it confers benefits. Ben Zoma, a colleague of Ben Azzai,
expressed this as follows: When he saw great crowds of people together, he
exclaimed, “Praised be Thou who hast created all these to serve me.” In
explanation of this blessing he said, “How hard the first man in his
loneliness must have toiled, until he could eat a morsel of bread or wear
a garment, but I find everything prepared. The various workmen, from the
farmer to the miller and the baker, from the weaver to the tailor, all
labor for me. Can I then be ungrateful and be oblivious of my duty?”(991)
In the same sense he interprets the last verse in Koheleth, “This is the
end of the matter; fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the
whole duty of man.” That is to say, all mankind toils for him who does so.
Thus does human life rest upon a reciprocal relation, upon mutual

3. Man is a social being who must strike root in many spheres of life in
order that the variegated blossoms and fruits of his spiritual and
emotional nature may sprout forth. The more richly the communal life is
specialized into professions and occupations, the more does the province
of the individual expand, and the more difficult it is for him to attain
perfection on all sides. According to his faculties and predisposition he
must always develop one or the other side of human endeavor and pursue now
the beautiful, now the good, now the true and now the useful, if as the
image of God he is to emulate the Ideal of all existence, the Pattern of
all creation. Consequently he may reflect some radiance of the divine
glory in his character and achievements, whether as moral hero, as sage
and thinker, as statesman and battler for freedom, as artist, or as the
discoverer of new forces and new worlds; and yet the full splendor of
God’s greatness is mirrored only by mankind as a whole through its
ceaseless common action and interaction. Therefore Judaism deprecates
every attempt to present a single individual, be he ever so noble or wise,
as the ideal of all human perfection, as a perfect man, free from fault or
blemish. “There is none holy as the Lord, for there is none beside Thee,”
says Scripture.(993) Instead of extolling any single mortal as the type or
ideal of perfection, our sages rather say with reference to the lofty
characters of the Bible: “There is no generation which cannot show a man
with the love for righteousness of an Abraham, or the nobility of spirit
of a Moses, or the love for truth of a Samuel.”(994) That is to say, every
age creates its own heroes, who reflect the majesty of God in their own

4. As man is the keystone of all creation, so he is called upon to take
his full share in the progress of the race. “He who formed the earth
created it not a waste; He formed it to be inhabited,” says the
prophet.(995) True humanity has its seat, not in the life of the recluse,
but in the family circle, amid mutual love and loyalty between husband and
wife, between parents and children. The sages, with their keen insight
into the spirit of the Scripture, point to the fact that it is man and
wife together who first receive the name of “man,” because only the mutual
helpfulness and influence, the care and toil for one another draw forth
the treasures of the soul, and create relations which warrant permanency
and give promise of a future.(996)

5. Still the family circle itself is only a segment of the nation, which
creates speech and custom, and assigns to each person his share in the
common activity of the various classes of men. Only within the social bond
of the nation or tribe is the interdependence of all brought home to the
consciousness of the individual, together with all the common moral
obligations and religious yearnings. Through the few elect ones of the
nation or tribe, God’s voice is heard as to what is right in both custom
and law, and through them the individual is roused to a sense of duty. It
is society which enables the human mind to triumph over physical necessity
by ever new discoveries of tools and means of life, thus to attain freedom
and prosperity, and, through meditation over the continually expanding
realm of God’s world, to build up the various systems of science and of

6. But the single nation also is too dependent upon the conditions of its
historic past, of its land and its racial characteristics, to bring the
divine image to its full development in a perfect man. Humanity as a whole
comes to its own, to true self-consciousness, only through the reciprocal
contact of race with race, through the coöperation of the various circles
and classes of life which extend beyond the narrow limits of nationality
and have in view common interests and aims, whether in the pursuit of
truth, in the achievement of good, or in the creation of the useful and
the beautiful. Only when the various nations and groups of men learn to
regard themselves as members of one great family, will the life of the
individual find its true value in relation to the idea and the ideal of
humanity. Then only will the unity and harmony of the entire cosmic life
find its reflection in the blending of the factors and forces of human

7. Judaism has evolved the idea of the unity of mankind as a corollary of
its ethical monotheism. Therefore the Bible begins the history of the
world with the creation of Adam and Eve, the one human pair. The covenant
which God concluded after the flood with Noah, the father of the new
mankind, has its corresponding goal at the end of time in the divine
covenant which is to include all tribes of men in one great brotherhood;
and so also the dispersion of man through the confusion of tongues at the
building of the Tower of Babel has its counterpart in the rallying of all
nations at the end of time for the worship of the One and Only God in a
pure tongue and a united spirit on Zion’s heights.(997) Whatever the
civilizations of Greece and Rome and the Stoic philosophy have achieved
for the idea of humanity, Judaism has offered in its prophetic hope for a
Messianic future the guiding idea for the progress of man in history, thus
giving him the impulse to ceaseless efforts toward the highest of all aims
for the realization of which all nations and classes, all systems of faith
and thought, must labor together for millenniums to come.

Chapter XLVII. The Moral Elements of Civilization

1. Because Judaism sees the attainment of human perfection only when the
divine in man has reached complete development through the unimpeded
activity of all his spiritual, moral, and social forces, it insists upon
the full recognition of all branches of human society as instruments of
man’s elevation, either individually or collectively. It deprecates the
idea that any force or faculty of human life be regarded as unholy and
therefore be suppressed. It thus rejects on principle monastic
renunciation and isolation, pointing to the Scriptural verse, “He who
formed the earth created it not a waste; He formed it to be

2. Accordingly Judaism regards the establishment of family life through
marriage as a duty obligatory on mankind, and sees in the entrance into
the marital relation an act of life’s supreme consecration. In contrast to
the celibacy sanctioned by the Church and approved by the rabbis only
under certain conditions, and exceptionally for their holy exercises by
the Essenes, the Tannaite R. Eliezer pronounces the man who through
bachelorhood shirks the duty of rearing children to be guilty of murder
against the human race. Another calls him a despoiler of the divine image.
Another rabbi says that such a one renounces his privilege of true
humanity, in so far as only in the married state can happiness, blessing,
and peace be attained.(999) It is significant as to the spirit of Judaism
that, while other religions regard the celibacy of the priests and saints
as signs of highest sanctity, the Jewish law expressly commands that the
high priest shall not be allowed to observe the solemn rites of the Day of
Atonement if unmarried.(1000) Love for the wife, the keeper and guardian
of the home, must attune his heart to tenderness and sympathy, if he is to
plead for the people before the Holy God. He can make intercession for the
household of Israel only if he himself has founded a family, in which are
practiced faithfulness and modesty, love and regard for the
life-companion, all the domestic virtues inherited from the past.

3. Another moral factor for human development is industry, which secures
to the individual his independence and his dignity when he engages in
creative labor after the divine pattern, and which rewards him with
comfort and the joy of life. This also is so highly valued by Judaism that
industrial activity, which unlocks from the earth ever new treasures to
enrich human life, is enjoined upon all, even those pursuing more
spiritual vocations. “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall
stand before kings.”(1001) “When thou eatest the labor of thy hands, happy
art thou and it shall be well with thee.”(1002) In commenting on this last
verse, the sages say: “This means that thou wilt be doubly blessed; happy
art thou in this world, and it shall be well with thee in the world to
come.”(1003) Again they say, “No labor, however humble, is
dishonoring,”(1004) also: “Idleness, even amid great wealth, leads to the
wasting of the intellect.”(1005) Moreover it is said, “Whoever neglects to
train his son to a trade, rears him to become a robber.”(1006) True, there
were some among the pious who themselves abstained from participation in
industry, and therefore proclaimed, in the same tenor as the Sermon on the
Mount, “Behold the beasts of the field and the birds of heaven, they sow
not and reap not, and their heavenly Father cares for them.”(1007) But
these formed an exception, while the majority of Jewish teachers extolled
the real blessing of labor and its efficacy in ennobling heart and

4. Neither does Judaism begrudge man the joy of life which is the fruit of
industry, nor rob it of its moral value. On the contrary, that ascetic
spirit which encourages self-mortification and rigid renunciation of all
pleasure is declared sinful.(1009) Instead, we are told that in the world
to come man shall have to give account for every enjoyment offered him in
this life, whether he used it gratefully or rejected it in
ingratitude.(1010) Abstinence is declared to be praiseworthy only in
curbing wild desires and passions. For the rest, true piety lies in the
consecration of every gift of God, every pleasure of life which He has
offered, and using it in His service, so that the seal of holiness shall
be imprinted even upon the satisfaction of the most sensuous desires.

5. Judaism, then, lays special emphasis upon sociability as advancing all
that is good and noble in man. The life of the recluse, according to its
teaching, is of little use to the world at large and hence of no moral
value. Only in association with one’s fellow-men does life find incentive
and opportunity for worthy work. “Either a life among friends or death” is
a Talmudic proverb.(1011) Unselfish friendship like that of David and
Jonathan is lauded and pointed out for imitation.(1012) Through it man
learns to step beyond the narrow boundaries of his ego, and in caring for
others he will purify and exalt his own soul, until at last its love will
include all mankind.

6. “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his
friend,” says the book of Proverbs,(1013) and the sages derive from this
verse the doctrine that learning does not thrive in solitude.(1014) A
single log does not nourish the flame; to keep up the fire one must throw
in one piece of wood after the other. This applies also to learning; it
lacks in vigor, if it is not communicated to others. Wisdom calls to her
votaries on the highways, in order that the stream of knowledge may
overflow for many. For both the culture of the intellect and the ennobling
of the soul it is necessary that man should step out of the narrow limits
of self and come into touch with a larger world. Only in devotion to his
fellows is man made to realize his own godlike nature. In the same measure
as he honors God’s image in others, in foe as well as in friend, in the
most lowly servant as well in the most noble master, man increases his own
dignity. This is the fundamental thought of morality as expressed in Job,
especially in the beautiful thirty-first chapter, and as embodied in
Abraham,(1015) and later reflected in various Talmudic sayings about the
dignity of man.(1016) Everywhere man’s relation to society becomes a test
of his own worth. The idea of interdependence and reciprocal duty among
all members of the human family forms the outstanding characteristic of
Jewish ethics. For it is far more concerned in the welfare of society than
in that of the individual, and demands that those endowed with fortune
should care for the unfortunate, the strong for the weak, and those
blessed with vision for the blind. As God Himself is Father to the
fatherless, Judge of the widows, and Protector of the oppressed, so should
man be. “Works of benevolence form the beginning and the end of the
Torah,” points out R. Simlai.(1017)

7. It is in the life of the nation that the individual first realizes that
he is only a part of a greater whole. The nation to which he belongs is
the mother who nourishes him with her spirit, teaches him to speak and to
think, and equips him with all the means to take part in the achievements
and tasks of humanity. In fact, the State, which guarantees to all its
citizens safety, order and opportunity under the law, and which arranges
the relations of the various groups and classes of society that they may
advance one another and thus promote the welfare and progress of all, is
human society in miniature. Here the citizen first learns obedience to the
law which is binding upon all alike, then respect and reverence for the
authority embodied in the guardians of the law who administer justice
“which is God’s,” and hence also loyalty and devotion to the whole,
together with reciprocal obligation and helpfulness among the separate
members and classes of society. The words of Jeremiah to his exiled
brethren, “Seek ye the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be
carried away captive, and pray unto the Lord for it, for in the peace
thereof shall ye have peace,”(1018) became the guiding maxim of Jewry when
torn from its native soil. It impressed upon them, once for all, the
deeply rooted virtues of loyalty and love for the country in which they
dwelt. To pray for the welfare of the State and its ruler, under whose
dominion all citizens were protected, and so in modern times for its
legislative and administrative authorities, has become a sacred duty of
the Jewish religious community. To sacrifice one’s life willingly, if need
be, for the welfare of the country in which he lived, was a demand of
loyalty which the Jew has never disregarded. “The law of the State is as
the law of God”(1019) taught Samuel the Babylonian, and another sage of
Babylon said, “The government on earth is to be regarded as an image of
God’s government in heaven.”(1020)

8. But, after all, the community of the State or the nation is too
confined in its cultural work by its special interests and particular
tasks ever to reach the universal ideal of man, that is, a perfected
humanity. Where the interests of one State or nation come into conflict
with those of another, far too often the result is enmity and murderous
warfare. Therefore there must be a higher power to quench the brands of
war whenever they flare up, to cultivate every motive leading toward peace
and harmony among nations, to impel men toward a higher righteousness and
to obviate all conflict of interests, because in place of selfishness it
implants in the heart the self-forgetfulness of love. Religion is the
power which trains peoples as well as individuals toward the conception of
one humanity, in the same measure as it points to the one and only God,
Ruler over all the contending motives of men, the Source and Shield of all
righteousness, truth, and love, the Father of mankind as the only
foundation upon which the grand edifice of human civilization must
ultimately rest. Thus it teaches us to regard the common life and endeavor
of peoples and societies as one household of divine goodness. Every system
of belief, every religious denomination which transcends the limits of the
national consciousness with a view to the broader conception of mankind,
and binds the national groups and interests into a higher unity to include
and influence all the depths and heights of the human spirit, paves the
way toward the attainment of the mighty goal. In the same sense the united
efforts of the various classes and societies or States for the common
advance of culture, prosperity, national welfare and international
commerce, as well as of science and art, tend unceasingly toward that full
realization of the idea of humanity which constitutes the brotherhood of

9. Not yet has any religious body, however great and remarkable its
accomplishments may have been, nor any of the religious, scientific, or
national organizations, much as they have achieved, performed the sublime
task which the prophets of Israel foretold as the goal of history. Each
one has drawn to itself only a portion of mankind, and promised it success
or redemption and bliss, while the rest have been excluded and denied both
temporal and eternal happiness. Each one has singled out one side of human
nature in order to link to it the entire absolute truth, but at the same
time has underestimated or cast aside all other sides of human life, and
thereby blocked the road to complete truth, which can never be presented
in final form, nor ever be the exclusive possession of one portion of
humanity. Judaism, which is neither a religious nor a national system
_solely_, but aims to be a _covenant with God_ uniting all peoples, lays
claim to no exclusive truth, and makes its appeal to no single group of
mankind. The Messianic hope, which aims to unite all races and classes of
men into a bond of brotherhood, has become an impelling force in the
history of the world, and both Christianity and Islam, in so far as they
owe their existence to this hope and to the adoption of Jewish teachings,
constitute parts of the history of Judaism. Between these world-religions
with their wide domains of civilization stands the little Jewish people as
a cosmopolitan element. It points to an ideal future, with a humanity
truly united in God, when, through ceaseless progress in the pursuit of
ever more perfect ideals, truth, justice, and peace will triumph,—to the
realization of the kingdom of God.


Chapter XLVIII. The Election of Israel

1. The central point of Jewish theology and the key to an understanding of
the nature of Judaism is the doctrine, “God chose Israel as His people.”
The election of Israel as the chosen people of God, or, what amounts to
the same, as the nation whose special task and historic mission it is to
be the bearer of the most lofty truths of religion among mankind, forms
the basis and the chief condition of revelation. Before God proclaimed the
Ten Words of the Covenant on Sinai, He addressed the people through His
chosen messenger, Moses, saying: “Ye have seen what I did unto the
Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto
Myself. Now therefore, if ye will hearken unto My voice, indeed, and keep
My covenant, then ye shall be Mine own treasure from among all peoples,
for all the earth is Mine; and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests,
and a holy nation.”(1021)

2. The fact of Israel’s election by God as His peculiar nation is repeated
in Deuteronomy, with the special declaration that God had found delight in
them as the smallest of the peoples, on account of the love and the faith
He had sworn to the Patriarchs.(1022) It is accentuated in the Synagogal
liturgy, especially in the prayer for holy days which begins with the
words: “Thou hast chosen us from all peoples; Thou hast loved us and found
pleasure in us and hast exalted us above all tongues; Thou hast sanctified
us by Thy commandments and brought us near unto Thy service, O King, and
hast called us by Thy great and holy name.”(1023) Inasmuch as the election
of Israel is connected with the deliverance of the people from Egypt, the
whole relation of the Jewish nation to its God assumes from the outset an
essentially different character from that of other nations to their
deities. The God of Israel is not inseparably connected with His people by
mere natural bonds, as is the case with every other ancient divinity. He
is not a national God in the ordinary sense. He has chosen Israel freely
of His own accord. “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and out of
Egypt I called My son,” says God through Hosea,(1024) and thus prefers to
call Himself “thy God from the land of Egypt.” This election from love is
echoed also in Jeremiah, who said, “Israel is the Lord’s hallowed portion,
His first-fruits of the increase.”(1025) The moral relation between God
and Israel is most clearly characterized, however, by Amos, in the words:
“You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will
visit upon you all your iniquities.”(1026) Here is stated in explicit
terms that the God of history selected Israel as an instrument for His
plan of salvation, in the expectation that he would remain faithful to His

3. The real purpose of the election and mission of Israel was announced by
the great prophet of the Exile when he called Israel the “servant of the
Lord,” who has been formed from his mother’s bosom and delivered from
every other bondage, in order that he may declare the praise of God among
the peoples, and be a harbinger of light and a bond of union among the
nations, the witness of God, the proclaimer of His truth and righteousness
throughout the world.(1027) The entire history of Israel as far back as
the Patriarchs was reconstructed in this light, and we find the election
of Abraham also similarly described in the Psalms(1028) and in the
liturgy. Indeed, in every morning prayer for the past two thousand years
the Jewish people have offered thanks to God for the divine teaching that
has been intrusted to their care, and praised Him “who has chosen Israel
in love.”(1029)

4. The belief in the election of Israel rests on the conviction that the
Jewish people has a certain superiority over other peoples in being
especially qualified to be the messenger and champion of religious truth.
In one sense this prerogative takes into account every people which has
contributed something unique to any department of human power or
knowledge, and therein has served others as pattern and guide. From the
broader standpoint, all great historic peoples appear as though appointed
by divine providence for their special cultural tasks, in which others can
at most emulate them without achieving their greatness. Yet we cannot
speak in quite the same way of the election of the Greeks or Romans or of
the nations of remote antiquity for mastery in art and science, or for
skill in jurisprudence and statecraft. The fact is that these nations were
never fully conscious that they had a historic or providential destiny to
influence mankind in this special direction. Israel alone was
self-conscious, realizing its task as harbinger and defender of its
religious truth as soon as it had entered into its possession. Its
election, therefore, does not imply presumption, but rather a grave duty
and responsibility. As the great seer of the Captivity had already
declared, to be the servant of the Lord is to undergo the destiny of
suffering, to be “the man of sorrow,” from whose bruises comes healing
unto all mankind.(1030)

5. Accordingly the election of Israel cannot be regarded as a single
divine act, concluded at one moment of revelation, or even during the
Biblical period. It must instead be considered a divine call persisting
through all ages and encompassing all lands, a continuous activity of the
spirit which has ever summoned for itself new heralds and heroes to
testify to truth, justice, and sublime faith, with an unparalleled scorn
for death, and to work for their dissemination by words and deeds and by
their whole life. Judaism differs from all other religions in that it is
neither the creation of one great moral teacher and preacher of truth, nor
seeks to typify the moral and spiritual sublimity which it aims to develop
in a single person, who is then lifted up into the realm of the
superhuman. Judaism counts its prophets, its sages, and its martyrs by
generations; it is still demonstrating its power to reshape and regenerate
religion as a vital force. Moreover, Judaism does not separate religion
from life, so as to regard only a segment of the common life and the
national existence as holy. The entire people, the entire life, must bear
the stamp of holiness and be filled with priestly consecration. Whether
this lofty aim can ever be completely attained is a question not to be
decided by short-sighted humanity, but only by God, the Ruler of history.
It is sufficient that the life of the individual as well as that of the
people should aspire toward this ideal.

6. Of course, the election of Israel presupposes an inner calling, a
special capacity of soul and tendency of intellect which fit it for the
divine task. The people which has given mankind its greatest prophets and
psalmists, its boldest thinkers and its noblest martyrs, which has brought
to fruition the three great world-religions, the Church, the Mosque,
and—mother of them both—the Synagogue, must be the religious people _par
excellence_. It must have within itself enough of the heavenly spark of
truth and of the impetus of the religious genius as to be able and eager,
whenever and wherever the opportunity is favorable, to direct the
spiritual flight of humanity toward the highest and holiest. In fact, the
soul of the Jewish people reveals a peculiar mingling of characteristics,
a union of contrasts, which makes it especially fit for its providential
mission in history. Together with the marked individuality of each person
we find a common spirit highly sensitive to every encroachment. Here there
is a tenacious adherence to what is old and traditional, and there an
eager assimilation of what is new and strange. On the one hand, a
materialistic self-interest; on the other, an idealism soaring to the
stars.(1031) The sages of the Tannaitic period already remarked that
Israel has been intrusted with the law which it is to defend and to
disseminate, just because it is the boldest and most obstinate of
nations.(1032) On the other hand, the three special characteristics of the
Jewish people according to the Talmud are its chastity and purity of life,
its benevolence and its active love for humanity.(1033) A heathen scoffer
calls Israel “a people of generous impulses which promised at Sinai to do
what God would command, even before it had hearkened to the
commandments.”(1034) “Gentle and shy as a dove, it is also willing like
the dove to stretch out its neck for the sacrifice, for love of its
heavenly Father,” says the Haggadist.(1035) And yet R. Johanan remarks
that Israel, called to be the bearer of light to the world, must be
pressed like the olive before it will yield its precious oil.(1036) Every
individual in Israel possesses the requisite qualities for a holy
priest-people, according to a Midrash of the Tannaitic period, and hence
we read in Deuteronomy, “The Lord hath chosen thee to be His own treasure
out of all peoples that are upon the face of the earth.”(1037)

7. All these and similar sayings disprove completely the idea that the
election of Israel was an arbitrary act of God. It is due rather to
hereditary virtues and to tendencies of mind and spirit which equip Israel
for his calling. To this must be added the important fact that God
educated the people for its task through the Law, which was to make it
conscious of its priestly sanctity and keep it ever active in mind and
heart. The election of Israel is emphasized in Deuteronomy especially in
connection with the prohibition of marriage with idolaters and with the
prohibition of unclean animals, which also originated in the priestly
laws.(1038) The underlying idea is that the mission of Israel to battle
for the Most High imperatively demands separation from the heathen
peoples, and on the other hand, that its priestly calling necessitates an
especial abstinence. And as has the law in its development and realization
for thousands of years, so has also God’s wise guidance trained Israel in
the course of history so as to render him at times the unyielding
preserver and defender and at other times the bold champion and
protagonist of the highest truth and justice, according as the outlook and
the mental horizon of the period were narrow or broad.

8. It is true that the thought of Israel’s calling and mission in
world-history first became clear when its prophets and sages attained a
view of great world-movements from the lofty watch-tower of the centuries,
so that they could take cognizance of the varying relations of Judaism to
the civilized peoples around. The summons of the Jewish people to be
heralds of truth and workers for peace is first mentioned in Isaiah and
Micah,(1039) while only in the great movement of nations under Cyrus did
the seer of the Exile recognize the peculiar mission of Israel in the
history of the world. If in gloomy periods the outlook became dark, still
the hope for the fulfillment of this mission was never entirely lost. In
fact, the contact of the Jewish people with Greek culture after Alexander
the Great gave new power and fresh impetus to the conception of Israel’s
mission,(1040) as the rich Hellenistic literature and the vision of Daniel
in chapter VII testify. In fact, Abraham, the ancestor of the Jewish
people, became for the earliest Haggadists a wandering missionary and a
great preacher of the unity of God, and his picture was the pattern for
both Paul and Mohammed.(1041) The election of Israel is clearly and
unequivocally expressed by Rabbi Eleazar ben Pedath in the words, “God
sent Israel among the heathen nations that they may win a rich harvest of
proselytes, for, as God said through Hosea, ‘I will sow her unto Me in the
land,’ so He wishes from this seed to reap a bountiful and world-wide

9. In the Middle Ages, when the historical viewpoint and the idea of human
progress were both lacking, the belief in the mission of Israel was
confined to the Messianic hope. Both Jehuda ha Levi and Maimonides,
however, regard Christianity and Islam as preparatory steps for the
Messiah, who is to unify the world through the knowledge of God.(1043)
“The work of the Messiah is the fruit, of which Israel will be universally
acknowledged as the root,” says the Jewish sage in the Cuzari. Therefore
he rightly accepts the election of Israel as a fundamental doctrine of
belief. Modern times, however, with their awakened historical sense and
their idea of progress, have again placed in the foreground the belief in
the election and mission of Israel. The founders of reform Judaism have
cast this ancient doctrine in a new form. On the one hand, they have
reinterpreted the Messianic hope in the prophetic spirit, as the
realization of the highest ideals of a united humanity. On the other, they
have rejected the entire theory that Israel was exiled from his ancient
land because of his sins, and that he is eventually to return there and to
restore the sacrificial cult in the Temple at Jerusalem. Therefore the
whole view concerning Israel’s future had to undergo a
transformation.(1044) The historic mission of Israel as priest of humanity
and champion of truth assumed a higher meaning, and his peculiar position
in history and in the Law necessarily received a different interpretation
from that of Talmudic Judaism or that of the Church. As individuals,
indeed, many Jews have taken part in the achievements and efforts of all
civilized peoples; the Jewish people as such has accomplished great things
in only one field, the field of religion. The following chapters will
consider more closely how Judaism has taken up and carried out this sacred

Chapter XLIX. The Kingdom of God and the Mission of Israel

1. The hope of Judaism for the future is comprised in the phrase, “the
kingdom of God,”—_malkuth shaddai_ or _malkuth Shamayim_,—which means the
sovereign rule of God. From ancient times the liturgy of the Synagogue
concludes regularly with the solemn _Alenu_, in which God is addressed as
the “King of kings of kings”—king of kings being the Persian title for the
ruler of the whole Empire—and directly after this the hope is expressed
that “we may speedily behold the glory of Thy might, when Thou wilt remove
the abominations from the earth, and the idols will be utterly cut off;
when the world will be perfected under the kingdom of the Almighty, and
all the children of flesh will call upon Thy name; when Thou wilt turn
unto Thyself all the wicked of the earth. Let all the inhabitants of the
earth perceive and know that unto Thee every knee must bend, and every
tongue give homage. Let them all accept the yoke of Thy kingdom, and do
Thou reign over them speedily, and forever and ever.”(1045) At the close
of the Torah lesson in the house of learning the assembly regularly
recited the blessing, “Praised be Thy name! May Thy kingdom soon
come!”—afterwards known as the _Kaddish_,(1046) and reëchoed in the
so-called “Lord’s Prayer” of the Church. The words of the prophet, “The
Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall the Lord be One,
and His name One,”(1047) voiced for all ages this ideal of the future, and
thus gave a goal and a purpose to the history of the world and at the same
time centered it in Israel, the chosen people of God.

2. The establishment of the kingdom of the One and Only God throughput the
entire world constitutes the divine plan of salvation toward which,
according to Jewish teaching, the efforts of all the ages are tending.
This “Kingdom of God” is not, however, a kingdom of heaven in the world to
come, which men are to enter only after death, and then only if redeemed
from sin by accepting the belief in a supernatural Savior as their
Messiah, as is taught by the Church. Judaism points to God’s Kingdom on
_earth_ as the goal and hope of mankind, to a world in which all men and
nations shall turn away from idolatry and wickedness, falsehood and
violence, and become united in their recognition of the sovereignty of
God, the Holy One, as proclaimed by Israel, His servant and herald, the
Messiah of the nations. It is not the hope of bliss in a future life
(which is the leading motive of Christianity), but the building up of the
divine kingdom of truth, justice, and peace among men by Israel’s teaching
and practice.(1048) In this sense God speaks through the mouth of the
prophet, “I will also give thee for a light of the nations, that My
salvation may be unto the end of the earth.”(1049) “All the ends of the
earth shall see the salvation of our God.”(1050) “The remnant of Jacob
shall be in the midst of many peoples, as dew from the Lord, as showers
upon the grass.”(1051)

3. Clearly, the idea of a world-kingdom of God arose only as the result of
the gradual development of the Jewish God-consciousness. It was necessary
at first that the prophetic idea of God’s kingship, the theocracy in
Israel, should triumph over the monarchical view and absorb it. The
patriarchal life of the shepherd was certainly not favorable to a
monarchical rule. “I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule
over you, the Lord shall rule over you,” said Gideon in refusing the title
of king which the people had offered him.(1052) According to one tradition
Samuel blamed the people for desiring a king and thereby rejecting the
divine kingship.(1053) “I give thee a king in Mine anger,” says God
through Hosea.(1054) The more the monarchy, with its exclusively worldly
and materialistic aims, came into conflict with the demands of the
prophets and their religious truth, the higher rose the prophetic hope for
the dawning of a day when God alone would rule in absolute sovereignty
over the entire world. Now, in the kingdom of the Ten Tribes, with its
frequently changing dynasties, the old patriarchal conception was
dominant, while in the kingdom of Judah, which remained loyal to the house
of David, the monarchical idea developed. Isaiah, living in Jerusalem and
favorably disposed towards the monarchy, prophesied that a shoot from the
house of David, endowed with marvelous spiritual powers, should come
forth, occupying the throne in the place of God, and through his victories
would plant righteousness and the knowledge of God everywhere upon earth,
and establish throughout the world a wonderful reign of peace.(1055) Upon
this royal “shoot” of David(1056) rested the Messianic hope during the
Exile, and amidst the disappointments of the time this vision became all
the more idealized. In contrast to this the great prophet of the Exile
announced the establishment of the absolute dominion of God as the true
“King of Israel”(1057) over all the earth by the nucleus of Israel, “the
servant of God,” who would become conscious of his great historic mission
in the world and be willing to offer his very life in its cause. In all
this the prophet makes no reference to the royal house of David, but makes
bold to confer the title of the “anointed of God”—that is, Messiah—upon
Cyrus, the king of Persia, as the one who was to usher in the new
era.(1058) Subsequently these two divergent hopes for the future run
parallel in the Psalms and the liturgy as well as in the apocryphal and
rabbinic literature.

4. While the Messianic aspirations as such bore rather a political and
national character in Judaism (as will be explained in Chapter LIII), yet
the religious hope for a universal kingdom of God took root even more
deeply in the heart of the Jewish people. It created the conception of
Israel’s mission and also the literature and activity of the Hellenistic
propaganda, and it gave a new impetus to the making of proselytes among
the heathen, to which both Christianity and Islam owe their existence. The
words of Isaiah, repeated later by Habakkuk, “The earth will be full of
the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea,”(1059) became now
an article of faith. While in earlier times the rule of Israel’s God,
JHVH, was attached to Zion, from whose holy mount He ruled as invisible
King,(1060) later on we find Zechariah proclaiming Him who was enthroned
in heaven as having dominion over the entire earth,(1061) and the Psalter
summons all nations to acknowledge, adore, and extol Him as King of the
world.(1062) Nay, at the very time when Judah lay humbled to the ground,
the prophet exclaimed, “Who would not fear Thee, O King of the nations?
for it befitteth Thee; forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations,
and in all their royalty there is none like unto Thee.”(1063) Israel’s
great hope for the future is expressed most completely and in most sublime
language in the New Year liturgy: “O Lord our God, impose Thine awe upon
all Thy works, and let Thy dread be upon all that Thou hast created, that
they may all form one single band to do Thy will with a perfect heart....
Our God and God of our fathers, reveal Thyself in Thy splendor as King
over all the inhabitants of the world, that every handiwork of Thine may
know that Thou hast made it, and every creature may acknowledge that Thou
hast created it, and whatsoever hath breath in its nostrils may say: the
Lord God of Israel is King, and His dominion ruleth over all.”(1064)

5. In the earlier period, then, the rule of JHVH seems to have been
confined to Israel as the people of His covenant. During the Second Temple
Jerusalem was called the “city of the great King”(1065) and the
constitution was considered by Josephus to have been a theocracy, that is,
a government by God.(1066) Indeed, the entire Mosaic code has as its main
purpose to make Israel a “kingdom of priests,” over which JHVH, the God of
the covenant, was alone to rule as King. The chief object of the strict
nationalists, in opposition to the cosmopolitanism of the Hellenists, was
that this government of God, in its intimate association with the Holy
Land and the Holy People, should be maintained unchanged for all the
future. Thus the book of Daniel predicts the speedy downfall of the fourth
world-kingdom and the establishment of the kingdom of God through Israel,
“the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom is an
everlasting kingdom.”(1067) Naturally, such a purely nationalistic
conception of the rulership of God does not admit the thought of a mission
or its corollary, the conversion of the heathen.(1068) These appear among
the liberal school of Hillel in their opposition to the more rigorous
Shammaites and the party of the Zealots.(1069) It is, therefore, quite
consistent that the modern nationalists should again dispute the mission
of Israel.

6. As soon as Jewish monotheism had once been conceived by the Jewish mind
as the universal truth, the idea of the mission of Israel as a bearer of
light and a witness of God for the nations, as enunciated by
Deutero-Isaiah, became ever more firmly established. Many Psalms exhort
the people to make known the wondrous doings of God among the nations, so
that the heathen world might at last acknowledge the One and Only
God.(1070) Nay, Israel is even called God’s anointed and prophet,(1071)
and in one Psalm we find Zion, the city of God, elevated to be the
religious metropolis of the world.(1072) The book of Jonah is simply a
refutation of the narrow nationalistic conception of Judaism; it holds
forth the hope of the conversion of the heathen to the true knowledge of
God. In the same spirit Ruth the Moabitess became the type of the heathen
who are eager to “take refuge under the wings of God’s majesty.”(1073) The
author of the book of Job no longer knows of a national God; to him God is
the highest ideal of morality as it lives and grows in the human heart.
The wisdom literature also teaches a God of humanity. Under His wings Shem
and Japheth, the teaching of the Jew and the wisdom of the Greek, can join
hands; the religious truth of the one and the philosophic truth of the
other may harmoniously blend.

7. Thus a new impulse was given to Jewish proselytism in Alexandria, and
the earlier history of Israel, especially the pre-Israelite epoch with its
simple human types, was read in a new light. Enoch(1074) and Noah(1075)
became preachers of penitence, heralds of the pure monotheism from which
the heathen world had departed. Abraham especially, the progenitor of
Israel, was looked upon as a prototype of the wandering missionary people,
converting the heathen.(1076) Wherever he journeyed, his teaching and his
example of true benevolence won souls for the Lord proclaimed by him as
the “God of the heaven and the earth.”(1077) In this sense of missionary
activity were now interpreted the words, “Be thou a blessing ... and in
thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”(1078) This was no
longer understood in the original sense, that Abraham by his prosperity
should be an example of a blessed man, to be pointed out in blessing
others; the words were given the higher meaning that Abraham with his
descendants should become a source of blessing for mankind through his
teachings and his conduct, so that all the families of men should attain
blessing and salvation by following his doctrine and example. Thus the
idea of the Jewish mission was connected with Abraham, the “father of a
multitude of nations,”(1079) and this was later on adopted by Paul and
Mohammed in establishing the Church and the Mosque.

8. In contradistinction, then, to the political concept of the kingdom of
God, which Ezekiel still hoped to see established by the exercise of
external power,(1080) the idea assumed now a purely spiritual meaning.
This kingdom of God is accepted by the pious Jew every morning through his
confession of the divine Unity in the Shema. Abraham had anticipated this,
say the rabbis, when he swore by the God of heaven and earth, and so also
had Israel in accepting the Torah at Sinai and at the Red Sea.(1081) In
fact, the kingdom of God began, we are told, with the first man, since,
when he adored God freely as King of the world, every living creature
acknowledged Him also. But only when Israel as a people proclaimed God’s
dominion at the Red Sea, was the throne of God and His kingdom on earth
established for eternity.(1082) And when Ezekiel says: “With a mighty hand
will I be King over you,” they explain this to mean that the people chosen
as the servant of God will be continually constrained anew by the prophets
to recognize His kingdom.(1083) Yea, the closing words of the Song at the
Red Sea, “The Lord shall reign for ever and ever” were taken to imply that
all the nations would in the end recognize only Israel’s One God as King
of the world.(1084) As a matter of fact, the rabbinical view is that every
proselyte, in “taking upon himself the yoke of the sovereignty of God,”
enters that divine Kingdom which at the end of time will embrace all men
and nations.(1085) In the book of Tobit and the Sibylline Oracles also we
find this universalistic conception of the Messianic age expressed.(1086)

9. Accordingly, proselytism found open and solemn recognition both before
and after the time of the Maccabees, as we see in the Psalms,—especially
those which speak of proselytes in the term, “they that fear the
Lord,”(1087) and also in the ancient synagogal liturgy, where the
“proselytes of righteousness” are especially mentioned.(1088) The school
of Hillel followed precisely this course. Matters changed, however, under
the Roman dominion, which was contrasted to the dominion of God especially
from the time of Herod, when the belief became current that “only when the
one is destroyed, will the other arise.”(1089) Particularly after the
Christian Church had become identified with Rome, all missionary endeavors
by the Jews were considered dangerous and were therefore discouraged as
much as possible. In their place arose the hope for a miraculous
intervention of God. In Hellenistic circles the Messiah was believed to be
the future founder of the kingdom of God,(1090) which assumed more and
more of an other-worldly nature, such as the Church developed for it later

10. The more the harsh oppression of the times forced the Jew to isolate
himself and to spend his life in studying and practicing the law,—which
was tantamount to “placing himself under the kingdom of God,”(1091) the
more he lost sight of his sublime mission for the world at large. Only
individual thinkers, such as Jehuda ha Levi and Maimonides, kept a vision
of the world-mission of Israel, when they called Jesus and Mohammed, as
founders of Christianity and Islam, messengers of God to the idolatrous
nations, divinely appointed to bring them nearer to Israel’s truth,(1092)
or when they pointed forward to the time when all peoples will recognize
in the truth their common mother and in God the Father of all
mankind.(1093) A most instructive Midrash on Zechariah IX, 9 gives the
keynote of this belief. “At that time God as the King of Zion will speak
to the righteous of all times, and say to them, ‘Dear as the words of My
teaching are to Me, yet have ye erred in that ye have followed only My
Torah, and have not waited for My world-kingdom. I swear to you that I
shall remember for good him who has waited for My kingdom, as it is said,
Wait ye for Me until the day that I rise up as a witness.’ ”(1094)

On the other hand, it was owing to the sad consequences of the missionary
endeavors of the Church that the idea of the mission of Judaism was given
a different direction. Not conversion, but conviction by teaching and
example, is the historic task of Judaism, whose maxim is expressed in the
verse of Zechariah, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith
the Lord of hosts.”(1095) It is not the creed, but the deed, which tells.
Not the confession, but conduct, with the moral principles which govern
it, counts. Such a view is implied in the well-known teaching of Joshua
ben Hananiah, “The righteous of all nations will have a share in the world
of eternal bliss.”(1096) Judaism does not deny salvation to those
professing other religions, which would tend to undermine the foundation
of their spiritual life. Standing upon the high watchtower of time, it
rather strives ever to clarify and strengthen the universal longing for
truth and righteousness which lies at the heart of all religion, and is
thus to become a bond of union, an all-illuminating light for the world.
To quote the beautiful words of Leopold Stein in his _Schrift des
Lebens_:(1097) “Judaism, while recognizing the historic justification of
all systems of thought and faith, does not cherish the ambition to become
the Church Universal in the usual sense of the term, but aims rather to be
the focus, or mirror, of religious unity for all the rest. ‘The people
from of old,’ as the prophet called them, are to accompany mankind in its
progress through the ages and the continents, until it reaches the goal of
the kingdom of God on earth, the ‘new heaven and new earth’ of the
prophetic vision.”(1098) The thought of the Jewish mission is most
adequately expressed in the Neilah service of the Union Prayer Book, based
upon the Einhorn Prayerbook, which reads as follows:(1099) “Endow us, our
Guardian, with strength and patience for our holy mission. Grant that all
the children of Thy people may recognize the goal of our changeful career,
so that they may exemplify by their zeal and love for mankind the truth of
Israel’s watchword: One humanity on earth, even as there is but One God in
heaven. Enlighten all that call themselves by Thy name with the knowledge
that the sanctuary of wood and stone, which erst crowned Zion’s hill, was
but a gate through which Israel should step out into the world, to
reconcile all mankind unto Thee!”

Chapter L. The Priest-people and its Law of Holiness

1. The checkered, stormy, and yet triumphant march of the Jewish people
through the ages remains the great enigma of history for all those who do
not believe in a divine plan of salvation to be consummated through
Israel. The idea of Israel’s mission alone throws light on its law and its
destiny. Even before God had revealed to the people at Mt. Sinai the Ten
Commandments, the foundation of all religion and morality, and there
concluded with them a covenant for all time, He spoke: “Ye shall be unto
Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation,” thus consecrating them to be a
priest-people among the nations, and enjoining them to a life of especial
holiness. Possessing as a heritage from the Patriarchs the germ of a
higher religious consciousness, in distinction from all other peoples,
they were to make the cultivation, development, and promotion of the
highest religious truth their life-task, and thus to become the people of
God. At first they were to establish in the Holy Land a theocratic
government, a State in which God alone was the Ruler, while they lived in
priestly isolation from all the nations around. Thus they prepared
themselves for the time when, scattered over all the earth, they might
again work as the priest-people through the ages for the upbuilding of the
universal kingdom of God. This was Israel’s destiny from the very first,
as expressed by the great seer of the Exile when he beheld Israel
wandering forth among the nations, “Ye shall be named the priests of the
Lord; men shall call you the ministers of our God.”(1100)

2. Among all religions the priest is considered especially holy as the
mediator between God and man, and in his appearance as well as in his mode
of life he must observe special forms of purity and holiness. He alone may
approach the Godhead, ascertain its will, and administer the sacrificial
cult in the sanctuary. He must represent the Divinity in its relation to
the people, embody it in his outward life, enjoy nothing which it abhors,
and touch nothing which could render him impure. These priestly rules
exist among all the nations of antiquity in striking similarity, and
indicate a common origin in the prehistoric period, during which the
entire cult developed through a priestly caste, beginning with simple,
primitive conceptions and transmitted in ever more elaborate form from
father to son. It goes without saying that the priests of the original
Hebrew race, which migrated from Babylonia, retained the ancient customs
and rules. They must also have adopted many other things from neighboring
peoples. During the entire period of the first temple, the priests—despite
all prophetic warnings—preferred the heathen cult with its vainglorious
pomp to the simple worship of the patriarchal times. As everywhere else,
the priesthood of Israel, and later of Judæa as well, thought only of its
own interests, of the retention of its ancient prerogatives, unmindful of
the higher calling to which it had been chosen, to serve the God of truth
and justice, to exemplify true holiness, to stand for moral rather than
ceremonial purity. Yet the sacerdotal institutions were indispensable so
long as the people required a sanctuary where the Deity should dwell, and
where the sacrificial cult should be administered. Every trespass by a
layman on the sanctuary reserved for the priests was considered sacrilege
and called for divine punishment. It was thus necessary to deepen the
popular notion of holiness and of the reverence due the sanctuary, before
these could be elevated into the realm of spirituality and morality. The
priesthood had to be won for the service of the loftier religious ideas,
so that it might gradually educate the people in general for its sublime
priestly mission. This conception underlies both the Mosaic law and its
rabbinical interpretation.

3. Through Biblical and post-Biblical literature and history there runs a
twofold tendency, one anti-sacerdotal,—emanating from the prophets and
later the Hasideans or Pharisees,—the other a mediating tendency,
favorable to the priesthood. The ritualistic piety of the priests was
bitterly assailed by the prophets as being subversive of all morality, and
later on the Sadducean hierarchy also constituted a threat to the moral
and spiritual welfare of the people. Before even the revelation at Sinai
was to take place, we read that warning was given to the priests “not to
break through” and stand above the people.(1101)

On the other hand, the law demands of the Aaronites a peculiar degree of
holiness, since “they offer the bread of their God upon the altar.”(1102)
Their blood must be kept pure by the avoidance of improper marriages.
Everything unclean or polluting must be kept far from them.(1103) The law,
following a tradition which probably arose in ancient Babylon, prescribed
minutely their mode of admission into the divine service, their vestments
and their conditions of life, the ritual of sacrifice and of purity; and
every violation of these laws, every trespass by a layman, was declared to
be punishable with death.(1104) The sanctuary contains no room for the
_nation_ of _priests_; no layman durst venture to cross its threshold.
Even in the legal system of the rabbis the ancient rights and privileges
of the priesthood, dating from the time when they possessed no property,
remained inviolate, and their precedence in everything was

The glaring contrast between the idea of a universal priesthood of the
people and the institution of the Aaronites is explained by a deeper
insight into history. The success of the reformation under Josiah on the
basis of the Deuteronomic code rested in the last analysis on the fact
that the priests of the house of Zadok at Jerusalem were placed in the
service of the higher prophetic teaching by being rendered the guardians,
executors, and later, in conjunction with the Levites, the teachers of the
Law, as it was presented in the book of the law of Moses, soon afterward
completed. The priesthood, deprived of everything that might remind one of
the former idolatry and heathenish practices, was, in its purer and holier
character, to lead the priest-people to true moral holiness through its
connection with the sanctuary and its ancient cult. Still the impulse for
the moral rebirth of the nation, for the establishment of a priest-people,
did not emanate from the Temple priesthood, nor even from the sacred soil
of Palestine; but from the Synagogue, which began in the Exile, under the
influence of the prophetic word and the Levitical song, in the form of
public worship by the congregation of the pious. Here arose a generation
of godly men, a class of singularly devout ones, living in priestly
holiness, who consecrated their lives to the practice of the law, and whom
the exile seer had designated as the true Israel, the servant of the Lord,
and these formed the nucleus of the renewed Israel.

4. That which the prophet Ezekiel had attempted in his proposed
constitution(1106) was accomplished in a far more thorough manner by the
Holiness Code, which emanated from his school and became the central
portion of the Mosaic books, and by the so-called Priestly Code, which
followed later. The object was to bring about the sanctification of the
entire people upon the holy soil of the national land, through
institutions embodying the ideal of the holiness of God in the life and
cult of the people. Circumcision, idealized by the prophetic author of
Deuteronomy,(1107) was to be made the sign of the covenant to mark as holy
the progeny of Abraham;(1108) strict laws of marriage were to put an end
to all heathenish unchastity; the Sabbath rest was to consecrate the
labors of the week, the Sabbatical month and year the produce of the
soil.(1109) The prohibition of unclean foods, heretofore reserved, as
among other nations, for the priests and other consecrated persons, was
now applied to the whole community in order that Israel should learn “to
set itself apart from all other nations as a holy people.”(1110) Even
their apparel was to proclaim the priestly holiness of the people by a
blue fringe at the border of the garments.(1111)

Whereas from the time of Ezra to Simon the Just priestly rulers endeavored
to promote the work of educating the people for holiness, the pious men
from among the people made still greater efforts to assert the claim of
holiness for the entire Jewish people as a priest-nation.(1112) The
repasts of these pious fellowships should be in no way inferior in
sanctity to those of the priests in the Temple. New ceremonies of
sanctification were to open and close the Sabbaths and festivals. Symbols
of priestly consecration should adorn forehead and arm in the form of the
phylacteries (_tefillin_), and should be placed at the entrance of every
house in the so-called _mezuzzah_. “God has given unto all an heritage
(the Torah), the kingdom, the priesthood, and the sanctuary”(1113)—this
became the _leitmotif_ for the Pharisaic school, who constantly enlarged
the domain of piety so that it should include the whole of life. Whoever
did not belong to this circle of the pious was regarded with scorn as one
of the lower class (_am ha-aretz_).

5. The chief effort of the pious, the founders of the Judaism of the
Synagogue, was to keep the Jewish people from the demoralizing influences
of pagan nature-worship, represented first by Semitic and later by Greek
culture. The leaders of the Pharisees “built a fence about the law”(1114)
extending the prohibition of mingling with the heathen nations so as also
to prohibit eating with them and participating in their feasts and social
gatherings,—not for the preservation of the Jewish race merely, as
Christian theologians maintain, but for the sake of keeping its inner life
intact and pure.(1115) “God surrounded us with brazen walls, hedged us in
with laws of purity in regard to food and drink and physical contact, yea,
even to that which we see and hear, in order that we should be pure in
body and soul, free from absurd beliefs, not polluted by contact with
others or through association with the wicked; for most of the peoples
defile themselves with their sexual practices, and whole lands pride
themselves upon it. But we hold ourselves aloof from all this”—so spoke
Eleazar the priest to King Ptolemy Philadelphus, according to the Letter
of Aristeas, thus giving expression to the sentiment most deeply rooted in
the souls of the pious of that period.(1116) They strove to build up a
nation of whom the Tannaim could say, “Whoever possesses no sense of shame
and chastity, of him it is certain that his ancestors did not stand at

Naturally enough, the Greek and Roman people took offense at this
aloofness and separation from every contact with the outer world, and
explained it as due to a spirit of hostility to mankind. Even up to the
present it has been the lot of Jewry and Judaism to be misunderstood by
the world at large, to be the object of either its hate or its pity. The
world disregards the magnificence of the plan by which an entire people
were to be reared as a priest-nation, as citizens of a kingdom of God,
among whom, in the course of centuries, the seed of prophetic truth was to
germinate and sprout forth for the salvation of humanity. If, in complete
contrast to heathen immorality, the Jew in his life, his thinking, and his
will was governed by the strictest moral discipline; if, in spite of the
most cruel persecutions and the most insidious temptations, the Jewish
people remained steadfast to its pure belief in God and its traditional
standards of chastity, exhibiting a loyalty which amazed the nations and
the religious sects about, but was neither understood nor followed by
them, this was mainly due to the hallowing influences of the priestly
laws. They steeled the people for the fulfillment of their duty and
shielded them against all hostile powers both within and without. The very
_burden_ of the law, so bitterly denounced by Christianity since the time
of Paul, lent Judaism its dignity at all times, protecting it from the
assaults of the tempter; and that which seemed to the outsider a heavy
load was to the Jew a source of pride in the consciousness of his divine

6. But most significant in the character and development of Judaism is the
fact that all the leading ideas and motives which emanated from the
priesthood of the Jewish people were concentrated in one single focus, the
_hallowing of the name of God_. Two terms expressed this idea in both a
negative and a positive form, the warning against “_Hillul ha
Shem_”—profanation of the name of God—and the duty of “_Kiddush ha
Shem_”—sanctification of God’s name. These exerted a marvelous power in
curbing the passions and self-indulgence of the Jew and in spurring him on
to the greatest possible self-sacrifice and to an unparalleled willingness
to undergo suffering and martyrdom for the cause. These terms are derived
from the Biblical verse, “Ye shall not profane My holy name, but I will be
hallowed among the children of Israel; I am the Lord who halloweth
you.”(1119) This verse forms the concluding sentence of the precepts for
the Aaronitic priesthood and warns them as the guardians of the sanctuary
to do nothing which might in the popular estimation degrade them or the
divine cause intrusted to them. When, however, during the Maccabean wars,
the little band of the pious proved themselves to be the true priesthood
in their Opposition to the faithless Aaronites, offering their very lives
as a sacrifice for the preservation of the true faith in God, the
Scriptural word received a new and higher meaning. It came to signify the
obligation of the entire priest-people to consecrate the name of God by
the sacrifice of their lives, and also their duty to guard against its
profanation by any offensive act. In connection with this Scriptural
passage the sages represent God as saying, “I have brought you out of
Egypt only on the condition that you are ready to sacrifice your lives, if
need be, to consecrate My name.”(1120) From that period it became a duty
and even a law of Judaism, as Maimonides shows in his Code, for each
person in life and in death to bear witness to His God.(1121) “Ye are My
witnesses, saith the Lord, and I am God”(1122)—and witnesses being in the
Greek version martyrs, the word afterward received the meaning of
“blood-witnesses.”—This passage of the prophet is commented on by Simeon
ben Johai, one of the great teachers who suffered under Hadrian’s
persecution, in the following words, “If ye become My witnesses, then am I
your Lord, God of the world; but if ye do not witness to Me, I cease to
be, as it were, the Lord, God of all the world.”(1123) That is to say, it
is the martyrdom of the pious which glorifies God’s name before all the
world. Or, as Felix Perles says so beautifully, “As every good and noble
man must ever bear in mind that the dignity of humanity is intrusted to
his hand, so should each earnest adherent of the Jewish faith remember
that the glory of God is intrusted to his care.”(1124) The Jewish people
has fulfilled this priestly task through a martyrdom of over two thousand
years and has scornfully resisted every demand to abandon its faith in
God, not consenting to do so even in appearance. Surely historians or
philosophers who can ridicule or commiserate such resistance betray a
hatred which blinds their sense of justice. As a matter of fact, it was
the consciousness of the Jewish people of its priestly mission that has
made it a pattern of loyalty for all time.

7. Moreover, the fear of profaning the divine name became the highest
incentive to, and safeguard of the morality of the Jew. Every misdeed
toward a non-Jew is considered by the teachers of Judaism a double sin,
yea, sometimes, an unpardonable one, because it gives a false impression
of the moral standard of Judaism and infringes upon the honor of God as
well as that of man. The disciples of Rabbi Simeon ben Shetach once bought
an ass for him from an Arab, and to their joy found a precious stone in
its collar. “Did the seller know of this gem?” asked the master. On being
answered in the negative, he called out angrily, “Do you consider me a
barbarian? Return the Arab his precious stone immediately!” And when the
heathen received it back, he cried out, “Praised be the God of Simeon ben
Shetach!”(1125) Thus the conscientious Jew honors his God by his conduct,
says the Talmud, referring to this and many similar examples. Such lessons
of the Jew’s responsibility for the recognition of the high moral purity
of his religion have ever constituted a high barrier against immoral acts.

The words, “Be ye holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” form
significantly the introduction to the chapter on the love of man, the
nineteenth chapter of Leviticus, placed at the very center of the entire
Priestly Code. “Your self-sanctification sanctifies Me, as it were,” says
God to Israel, according to the interpretation of this verse by the
sages.(1126) In contrast to heathendom, which deifies nature with its
appeal to the senses, Judaism teaches that holiness is a moral quality, as
it means the curbing of the senses. And in order to prevent Israel, the
bearer of this ideal of holiness, from sinking into the mire of heathen
wantonness and lust, the separation of the Jew from the heathen world,
whether in his domestic or social life, was a necessity and became the
rule and maxim of his life for that period. All the many prohibitions and
commands had for their object the purification of the people in order to
render the highest moral purity a hereditary virtue among them, according
to the rabbis.(1127)

8. It is true that the accumulation of “law upon law, prohibition upon
prohibition” by the rabbis had eventually the same injurious effect which
it had exerted upon the priests in the Temple. The formal law, “the
precepts learned by rote,” became the important factor, while their
purpose was lost to sight. The shell smothered the kernel, and blind
obedience to the letter of the law came to be regarded as true piety. It
cannot be denied that adherence to the mere form, which was transmitted
from the Temple practice to the legalism of the Pharisees and the later
rabbinic schools with their casuistry, impaired and tarnished the lofty
prophetic ideal of holiness. It almost seems as if the clarion notes of
such sublime passages as that of the Psalmist,

    “Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord,
    And who shall stand in His holy place?
    He that hath clean hands and a pure heart;
    Who hath not taken My name in vain, and hath not sworn

no longer found its full resonance in the heart of Judaism. In the
practice of external acts of piety religion became petrified and the
spirit took flight. That which is of secondary importance became of
primary consideration. This is the fundamental error into which the
practice and the development of the Law in Judaism lapsed, and to which no
careful observer can or dares close his eyes. Undoubtedly the Law, as it
embraced the whole of life in its power, sharpened the Jewish sense of
duty, and served the Jew as an iron wall of defense against temptations,
aberrations, and enticements of the centuries. As soon as the modern Jew,
however, undertook to free himself from the tutelage of a blind acceptance
of authority and inquired after the purpose of all the restrictions which
the Law laid upon him, his ancient loyalty to the same collapsed and the
pillars of Judaism seemed to be shaken. Then the leaders of Reform, imbued
with the prophetic spirit, felt it to be their imperative duty to search
out the fundamental ideas of the priestly law of holiness, and,
accordingly, they learned how to separate the kernel from the shell. In
opposition to the orthodox tendency to worship the letter, they insisted
on the fact that Israel’s separation from the world—which it is ultimately
to win for the divine truth—cannot itself be its end and aim, and that
blind obedience to the law does not constitute true piety. Only the
fundamental idea, that Israel as the “first-born” among the nations has
been elected as a priest-people, must remain our imperishable truth, a
truth to which the centuries of history bear witness by showing that it
has given its life-blood as a ransom for humanity, and is ever bringing
new sacrifices for its cause.

Only because it has kept itself distinct as a priest-people among the
nations could it carry out its great task in history; and only if it
remains conscious of its priestly calling and therefore maintains itself
as the people of God, can it fulfill its mission. Not until the end of
time, when all of God’s children will have entered the kingdom of God, may
Israel, the high-priest among the nations, renounce his priesthood.

Chapter LI. Israel, the People of the Law, and its World Mission

1. Judaism differs from all the ancient religions chiefly in its
intrusting its truth to the whole people instead of a special priesthood.
The law which “Moses commanded us is an inheritance of the Congregation of
Jacob,”(1129) is the Scriptural lesson impressed upon every Jew in early
childhood. As soon as the Torah passed from the care of the priests into
that of the whole nation, the people of the book became the priest-nation,
and set forth to conquer the world by its religious truth. This aim was
expressed by all the prophets beginning with Moses, who said: “Would that
all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put His spirit
upon them.”(1130) The prophetic ideal was that “they shall all know Me
(God), from the least of them unto the greatest of them,”(1131) and that
“all thy (Zion’s) children shall be taught of the Lord.”(1132) After the
people came to realize that the Law was “their wisdom and understanding in
the sight of the peoples,”(1133) they soon felt the hope that one day “the
isles shall wait for His teaching,”(1134) and confidently expected the
time when “many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the
mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach
us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths, for out of Zion shall go
forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”(1135) Once
liberated from the dominance of the priesthood, religion became the
instrument of universal instruction, the factor of general spiritual and
moral advancement. In addition it endowed humanity with an educational
ideal, destined to regenerate its moral life far more deeply than Greek
culture could ever do. The object was to elevate all classes of the people
by the living word of God, by the reading and expounding of the Scripture
for the dissemination of its truth among the masses.

2. Those who define Judaism as a religion of law completely misunderstand
its nature and its historic forces. This is done by all those Christian
theologians who endeavor to prove the extraordinary assertion of the
apostle Paul that the Jewish people was providentially destined to produce
the Old Testament law and become enmeshed in it, like the silkworm in its
cocoon, finally to dry up and perish, leaving its prophetic truth for the
Church. This fateful misconception of Judaism is based upon a false
interpretation of the word _Torah_, which denotes moral and spiritual
instruction as often as law, and thus includes all kinds of religious
teaching and knowledge together with its primary meaning, the written and
the oral codes.(1136) In fact, in post-Biblical times it comprised the
entire religion, as subject of both instruction and scientific
investigation. True, law is fundamental in Jewish history; Israel accepted
the divine covenant on the basis of the Sinaitic code; the reforms of King
Josiah were founded on the Deuteronomic law;(1137) and the restoration of
the Judean commonwealth was based upon the completed Mosaic code brought
from Babylon by Ezra the Scribe.(1138) This book of law, with its further
development and interpretation, remained the normative factor for Judaism
for all time. Still, from the very beginning the Law of the covenant
contained a certain element which distinguished it from all the priestly
and political codes of antiquity. Beside the traditional juridical and
ritualistic statutes, which betray a Babylonian origin, it contains laws
and doctrines of kindness toward the poor and helpless, the enemy and the
slave, even toward the dumb beast, in striking contrast to the spirit of
cruelty and violence in the Babylonian law.(1139) In the name of the
all-seeing, all-ruling God it appeals to the sympathy of man. These
exhortations to tenderness increase in later codes of law under the
prophetic influence, until finally the rabbis extended them as far as
possible. They held that every negligence which leads to the loss of life
or property by the neighbor, every neglect of a domestic animal, even
every act of deceit by which one attempts to “steal” the good opinion of
one’s fellow-men, is a violation of the law.(1140) Hence Rabbi Simlai, the
Haggadist, said that from beginning to end the Law is but a system of
teachings of human love,(1141) while another sage tried to prove from the
books of Moses that God implanted mercy, modesty, and benevolence in the
souls of Israel as hereditary virtues.(1142) In the same spirit Rabbi Meir
described the law of Israel as the law of humanity, supporting his
statement by a number of biblical passages.(1143)

3. But, as light by its very nature illumines its surroundings, so the
Torah in the possession of the Jewish people was certain to become the
light of mankind. First of all, the book of Law itself insists that the
father shall teach the word of God to his children, using many signs and
ceremonies that they may meditate on the works of God and walk in the path
of virtue, and that the divine commands should be “in the mouth and in the
heart of all to do them.”(1144) It was made incumbent upon the high priest
or king to read the Law at least once every seven years to the whole
people assembled in the holy city for the autumnal festival,—men, women,
children, and the sojourners in the gates,—so that it should become their
common property.(1145) This precept probably gave rise to the triennial
and later the annual system of Torah reading on the Sabbath. But in
addition to the book of Law the prophetic words of consolation were read
to the people, a custom which originated in the Babylonian exile, and was
continued under the name of _Haftarah_ (“dismissal” of the
congregation).(1146) The seer of the exile refers to these prophetic words
of comfort which were offered to the people on the Sabbath as well as
other feasts and fasts: “Attend unto Me, O My people, and give ear unto
Me, O My nation, for instruction (Torah) shall go forth from Me, and My
right on a sudden for a light of the people.... Hearken unto Me, ye that
know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; fear ye not the
taunt of men, neither be ye dismayed at their revilings. For the moth
shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool;
but My favor shall be forever, and My salvation unto all
generations.”(1147) Moved by such stirring ideals, Synagogues arose in
Jewish settlements all over the globe, and the book of the Law, in its
vernacular versions, Greek and Aramaic, together with the words of the
prophets, became the general source of instruction. In the words of the
Psalms, it became “the testimony of the Lord, making wise the simple,”
“rejoicing the heart,” “enlightening the eyes,” “more to be desired than
gold.”(1148) Nay more, the study of the Law became the duty of every man,
and he who failed to live up to the precepts of the devotees of the Law,
the Pharisean fellowships, was scorned as belonging to the lower class,
_am haaretz_. Every morning the pious Jew, first thanking God for the
light of day, followed this up by thanking Him for the Torah, which
illumines the path of life. “The welfare of society rests upon the study
of the Law, divine service and organized charity,” was a saying of Simon
the Just, a high priest of the beginning of the third pre-Christian
century.(1149) Thus learning and teaching became leading occupations for
the Jew, and the two main departments of Jewish literature,
correspondingly, are _Torah_ and _Talmud_, that is, the written Law and
its exposition. Indeed, the highest title which the rabbis could find for
Moses was simply “Moses our Teacher.” Nay, God Himself was frequently
represented as a venerable Master, teaching the Law in awful

4. Later under the successive influence of Babylonian and Greek culture,
the wisdom literature was added to the Prophets and the Psalms, giving to
the whole Torah a universal scope, like that claimed for Greek philosophy.
The Jewish love of learning led to an ever greater longing for truth by
adding the wisdom of other cultured nations to its own store of knowledge.
This motive for universalism became all the stronger, as the faith became
more centered in the sublime conception of God as Master of all the world.
As the God of Israel appeared the primal source of all truth, so the
revealed word of God was considered the very embodiment of divine
wisdom.(1151) In fact, the men of hoary antiquity described in the opening
chapters of Genesis were actually credited with being the instructors of
the Greeks and other nations.(1152) We read a strange story by a pupil of
Aristotle that the great sage admired a Jew, whom he happened to meet, as
both wise and pious, so that the little Jewish nation was often
considered, like the wise men of India, to be a sect of
philosophers.(1153) Indeed, Judaism became a matter of curiosity to the
pagan world on account of the Synagogue, which attracted them as a unique
center of religious devotion and instruction, and especially because of
the Bible, which was read and expounded in its Greek garb from Sabbath to
Sabbath. The Jewish people raised themselves to be a nation of thinkers,
and largely through association with Greek thought. For example, in the
Greek translation of the Scriptures all anthropomorphic expressions are
avoided. As the personal name of Israel’s God of the covenant, *JHVH*, was
replaced by the name _Adonai_, “the Lord,”(1154) the universality of the
Jewish God became still more evident. Thus the pagan world could find God
in the Scriptures to be the living God who dwells in the heart and is
sought by all mankind. The Jew became the herald of the One God of the
universe, his Bible a book of universal instruction. Many of the heathen,
without merging themselves into the community of the covenant people and
without accepting all its particularistic customs, rallied around its
central standard as simple theists, “worshipers of God,” or “they who fear
the Lord,” according to the terminology of the Psalms.(1155)

5. An old rabbinical legend, which is reflected in the New Testament
miracle of Pentecost, relates that the Ten Words of Sinai were uttered in
seventy tongues of fire to reach the known seventy nations of the
earth.(1156) We are told that when the people entered Canaan, the words of
the Law were engraved in seventy languages on the stones of the altar at
Mount Ebal.(1157) That is, the law of Sinai was intended to provide the
foundation for all human society. One Haggadist even asserts that the
heathen nations all refused to accept the Law, and if Israel also had
rejected it, the world would have returned to chaos.(1158) Israel was, so
to speak, _forced_ by divine Providence to accept the Law on behalf of the
entire race. Hillel, under the Romanized reign of Herod, was fully
conscious of this world-mission when he said: “Love your fellow creatures
and lead them to the study of the Law.”(1159)

6. The outlook for the Jewish people, however, became darker and darker
through its struggle with Rome. The fanatical Zealots entirely opposed the
spreading of the knowledge of the Torah among those who did not belong to
the household of Israel.(1160) Then the Church sent forth her missionaries
to convert the pagan world by constant concessions to its polytheistic
views and practices. The seed sown by Hellenistic Judaism yielded a rich
harvest for the Church, even though it was won at the sacrifice of pure
Jewish monotheism. The Ten Words of Sinai, the Mosaic laws of marriage,
the poor laws, and other Biblical statutes became the cornerstone of
civilization, but in a different guise; the heritage of Judaism was
transplanted to the Christian and Mohammedan world in a new garb and under
a new name. Henceforth the Jew, dispersed, isolated, and afflicted, had to
struggle to preserve his faith in its pristine purity. The very danger
besetting the study of the Law during the Hadrianic persecutions, which
followed the Bar Kochba revolt, increased his zeal and courage. “Devoid of
the Torah, our vital element, we are surely threatened with death,” said
Rabbi Akiba, applying to himself the fable of the fox and the fishes, as
he defied the Roman edict.(1161) The fear lest the Torah should be
forgotten, stimulated the teachers and their disciples ever anew to its
pursuit. The Torah was regarded as the bond and pledge of God’s nearness;
hence the many rabbinical sayings concerning its value in the eyes of God,
which are frequently couched in poetic and extravagant language.(1162) The
underlying idea of them all is that Israel could dispense with its State
and its Temple, but not with its storehouse of divine truth, from which it
constantly derives new life and new youth.

7. One important question, however, remains, which must be answered: Has
the Jewish people, shut up for centuries by the ramparts of Talmudic
Judaism, actually renounced its world mission? In transmitting part of its
inheritance to its two daughter-religions, has Judaism lost its claim to
be a world-religion? The Congregation of Israel, according to the Midrash,
answers this question in the words of the Shulamite in the Song of Songs:
“I sleep, but my heart waketh.”(1163) During the sad period of the Middle
Ages, Judaism in its relation to the outer world slept a long
winter-sleep, now in one land and now in another, but its inner life
always manifested a splendid activity of mind and soul, exerting a mighty
influence upon the history of the world. It was declared dead by the
ruling Church, and yet it constantly filled her with alarm by the truths
it uttered. The Jewish people was given over to destruction and
persecution a thousand times, but all the floods of hatred and violence
could not quench its flame. Its marvelous endurance constituted the
strongest possible protest against the creed of the Church, which claimed
to possess an exclusive truth and the only means of salvation. To suffer
and die as martyrs by thousands and tens of thousands, at the stake and
under the torture of bloodthirsty mobs, testifying to the One Only God of
Israel and humanity, was, to say the least, as heroic a mission as to
convert the heathen. Indeed, the Jew, in reciting the Shema each morning
in the house of God, renewed daily his zeal and faith, by which he was
encouraged to sacrifice himself for his sacred heritage.

8. But the cultivation of the Torah, obligatory upon every Jew, effected
more even than the preservation of monotheism. Alongside of the Church,
which did its best to suppress free thought, Islam provided a culture
which encouraged study and investigation, and this brought the leading
spirits in Judaism to a profounder grasp of their own literary treasures.
Bold truth-seekers arose under the Mohammedan sway who had the courage to
break the chains of belief in the letter of the Scripture, and to claim
the right of the human reason to give an opinion on the highest questions
of religion. The leading authorities of the Synagogue followed a different
course from that of the Church, which had brought the Deity into the
sphere of the senses, divided the one God into three persons, and induced
the people to worship the image of Mary and her God-child rather than God
the Father. They insisted on the absolute unity and spirituality of God,
eliminated all the human attributes ascribed to Him in Scripture, and
strove to attain the loftiest and purest possible conception of His being.
It took a mighty effort for the people of the Law to reëxamine the entire
mass of tradition in order to harmonize philosophy and religion, and
invest the divine revelation with the highest spiritual character. This
mental activity exerted a great influence upon the whole course of thought
of subsequent centuries and even upon modern philosophy. Again Israel
became conscious of his mission of light. Jewish thinkers, often combining
rabbi, physician, and astronomer in one person, carried the torch of
science and free investigation, directly or indirectly, into the cell of
many a Christian monk, rousing the dull spirit of the Middle Ages and
bringing new intellectual nurture to the Church, else she might have
starved in her mental poverty.

The Jews of Spain became the teachers of Christian Europe. The forerunners
of the Protestant Reformation sat at the feet of Jewish masters. Jewish
students of the Hebrew language, scientifically trained, opened up the
simple meaning of the Scriptural word, so long hidden by traditional
interpretation. The Lutheran and the English translations of the Bible
were due to their efforts, and thus also the rise of Protestantism, which
inaugurated the modern era. Yet this intellectual revival, this wonderful
activity of various thinkers among medieval Jewry, required a soil
susceptible to such seeds, an atmosphere favorable to this intense search
for truth. This existed only in the Jewish people, since the universal
study of the Torah brought it about that “all the children of Israel had
light in their dwellings” even while dense darkness covered the nations of
the medieval world.

9. We must not underrate the cultural mission of the Jewish people, with
its striking contrast to the New Testament point of view, which created
monasteries and the celibate ideal, and thus discouraged industry,
commerce, and scientific inquiry. Dispersed as they were, the Jewish
people cultivated both commerce and science, and thus for centuries were
the real bearers of culture, the intermediaries between East and West.
While the Church divided mankind into heirs of heaven and hell, thus
sowing discord and hatred, the little group of Jews maintained their ideal
of an undivided humanity. But even their industrial and commercial
activity had more than a mere economic significance. Forced upon the Jew
by external pressure, it was favored by Jewish teaching as a means of
promoting spiritual life. Not poverty and beggary, but wealth begotten by
honest toil has the sanction of Judaism in accordance with the saying
“Where there is no flour for bread, there can be no support for the study
of the Torah.”(1164) Moreover, the rabbis interpreted the verse, “Rejoice,
O Zebulun, in thy going out, and thou, Issachar, in thy tents,”(1165) as
meaning that Zebulun, the seafarer, shared the profit of his commerce with
Issachar, who taught the law in the tents of the Torah, that he, in turn,
might share his brother’s spiritual reward. Indeed, the Jew used his gains
won by trade in the service of the promotion of learning, and thus his
entire industry assumed a higher character. Our modern civilization, with
its higher values of life, owes much to the cultural activity of the
medieval Jew, which many leaders of the ruling Church still ignore
completely. It is true that the hard struggle for their very existence
kept the people unconscious of their cultural mission, and only now that
they have attained the higher historical point of view can they exclaim
with Joseph their ancestor: “As for you, ye meant evil against me; but God
meant it for good, to bring it to pass, as it is this day, to save much
people alive.”(1166) The fact is that Jewish commerce has been an
important cosmopolitan factor in the past, and is still working, to a
certain extent, in the same direction.(1167)

10. New and great tasks have been assigned by divine Providence to the Jew
of modern times, who is a full citizen in the cultural, social, and
political life of the various nations. These tasks are most holy to him as
Jew, the bearer of a great mission to the world, which is embodied in his
heritage, the Torah. However splendid may have been his achievements in
the fields of industry and commerce, of literature and art, his own
peculiar possession is the Torah alone, the religious truth for which he
fought and suffered all these centuries past; this must forever remain the
central thought, the aim of all his striving.(1168) Every achievement of
the Jewish people, every attainment in power, knowledge, or skill, must
lead toward the completion of the divine kingdom of truth and justice;
that for which the Jew laid the foundation at the beginning of his history
is still leading forward the entire social life of man to render it a
divine household of love and peace. In order that it may carry out the
world mission mapped out by its great seers of yore, the Jewish people
must guard against absorption by the multitude of nations as much as
against isolation from them. It must preserve its identity without going
back into a separation rooted in self-adulation and clannishness. Instead,
the great goal of Israel will be reached only by patient endurance and
perseverance, confidently awaiting the fulfillment in God’s own time of
the glorious prophecy that all the nations shall be led up to the mountain
of the Lord by the priest-people, there to worship God in truth and
righteousness. The Law is to go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord
from Jerusalem, as a spiritual, not a geographical center. This vision
forms the highest pinnacle of human aspiration, rising higher and higher
before the mind, as man ascends from one stage of culture to another,
striving ever for perfection, for the sublimest ideal of life. This is
characteristically expressed by the Midrash, which refers to the Messianic
vision: “And it shall come to pass in the end of days, that the mountain
of the Lord’s house shall be established as the top of the mountains, and
shall be exalted above the hills.”(1169) “One great mountain of the earth
will be piled upon the other, and Mount Zion will be placed upon the top
as the culminating point of all human ascents.” Taken in a figurative
sense, in which alone the saying is acceptable, this means that all the
heights of the various ideals will finally merge into the loftiest of all
ideals, when Israel’s one holy God will be acknowledged as the One for
whom all hearts yearn, whom all minds seek as the Ideal of all ideals.

Chapter LII. Israel, the Servant of the Lord, Martyr and Messiah Of the

1. “If there are ranks in suffering, Israel takes precedence. If the
duration of sorrows and the patience with which they are borne, ennoble,
the Jews are among the aristocracy of every land. If a literature is
called rich which contains a few classic tragedies, what shall we say to a
national tragedy lasting for fifteen hundred years, in which the poets and
the actors are also the heroes?” With these classic words Leopold Zunz
introduces the history of sufferings which have occasioned the hundreds of
plaintive and penitential songs of the Synagogue described in his book,
_Die Synagogale Poesie des Mittelalters_. They are the cries of a nation
of martyrs, resounding through the whole Jewish liturgy, and appearing
already in many of the Psalms: “Thou hast given us like sheep to be eaten;
and hast scattered us among the nations. Thou makest us a taunt to our
neighbors, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us. All
this is come upon us, yet have we not forgotten Thee, neither have we been
false to Thy covenant: Nay, for Thy sake are we killed all the day; we are
accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Awake, why sleepest Thou, O Lord?
Arouse Thyself, cast not off forever. Wherefore hidest Thou Thy face, and
forgettest our affliction and our oppression?”(1170) Thus the congregation
of Israel laments; and what is the answer of Heaven?

2. The Bible contains two answers: the first by Ezekiel, priest and
prophet; the other by the great unknown seer of the Exile whose words of
comfort are given in the latter part of Isaiah. Ezekiel gave a stern and
direct answer: “The nations shall know that the house of Israel went into
captivity because of their iniquity, because they broke faith with Me, and
I hid My face from them; so I gave them into the hand of their
adversaries, and they fell all of them by the sword. According to their
uncleanness and according to their transgressions did I unto them; and I
hid My face from them. Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Now will I bring
back the captivity of Jacob, and have compassion upon the whole house of
Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name. And they shall bear their
shame, and all their breach of faith which they committed against
Me.”(1171) These words are echoed in the harrowing admonitory chapter of
Leviticus, which, however, closes with words of comfort: “And they shall
confess their iniquity ... if then perchance their uncircumcised heart be
humbled, and they then be paid the punishment of their iniquity; then will
I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and
also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the
land.”(1172) This view of divine justice as external and punitive was
basic to the Synagogue liturgy and the entire rabbinic system. The
priestly idea of atonement, that sin could be wiped out by sacrifice, made
a profound impression, not only upon individual sinners, but also upon the
nation. Hence it was applied especially to the people in exile when they
could not bring sacrifices to their God. Still, one means of atonement
remained, the exile itself, which could lead the people to repentance and
finally to God’s forgiveness.(1173) Thus the people retained a hope of
return from their captivity. They were assured by their prophetic monitors
that the faithful community of the Lord would again be received in favor
by the God of faithfulness. They even built their hope upon the portions
of the Law, which was read to assembled worshipers that they might know
and observe it on their return to the land of their fathers. Israel could
say with the Psalmist: “Unless Thy law had been my delight, I should then
have perished in mine affliction.”(1174) According to a Palestinian
Haggadist, “Israel would never have persevered so long, had not the Torah,
the marriage contract of Israel with its God, pledged to it a glorious
future on the holy soil.”(1175) Wait patiently for God’s mercy, which in
His own time will rebuild Israel’s State and Temple!—this is the keynote
of all the prayers and songs of the Synagogue.

3. But the great seer of the exile, whose anonymity lends still greater
impressiveness to his words of comfort, stood on a higher historical plane
than that of Ezekiel the priest. He witnessed the transformation of the
entire political world of his time through the victory of Cyrus the Mede
over the Babylonian empire, and thus was able to attain a profounder grasp
of the destiny of his own nation. Hence he was not satisfied with the view
of Ezekiel. The latter had applied the popular saying, “The fathers have
eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge,”(1176) to
refute the belief that an individual was punished for the sins of his
fathers; but he failed to extend this doctrine to the whole nation.
Whatever sins were committed by the generation who were exiled, their
children ought not to suffer for them “in double measure.”(1177) Moreover,
the realm of love has a higher law than atonement through retribution.
Love brings its sacrifice without asking why. By willing sacrifice of self
it serves its higher purpose. He who struggles and suffers silently for
the good and true is _God’s servant_, who cannot perish. He attains a
higher glory, transcending the fate of mortality. This is the new
revelation that came to the seer, as he pondered on the destiny of Israel
in exile, illumining for him that dark enigma of his people’s tragic

The problem of suffering, especially that of the servant of God, or the
pious, occupied the Jewish mind ever since the days of Jeremiah and
especially during the exile. The author of the book of Job elaborated this
into a great theodicy, speaking of Job also as the “servant of the
Lord.”(1178) Whatever pattern our exilic seer employed, beside the
chapters about the Servant of the Lord,(1179) whatever tragic fate of some
great contemporary the plaintive song in the fifty-second and fifty-third
chapters referred to (some point to Jeremiah, others to Zerubabel),(1180)
or whether the poet had in mind only the tragic fate of Israel, as many
modern exegetes think; in any case he conceived the unique and pathetic
picture of Israel as the suffering Servant of the Lord, who is at last to
be exalted:(1181)

“Behold, My servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and
shall be very high. According as many were appalled at thee—so marred was
his visage unlike that of a man, and his form unlike that of the sons of
men—so shall he startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths
because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and
that which they had not heard shall they perceive. Who would have believed
our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he
shot up right forth as a sapling, and as a root out of a dry ground; he
had no form nor comeliness, that we should look upon him, nor beauty that
we should delight in him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of
pains, and acquainted with disease, and as one from whom men hide their
face; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely our diseases he did
bear, and our pains he carried; whereas we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God and afflicted. But he was wounded because of our
transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement
of our welfare was upon him, and with his stripes we were healed. All we,
like sheep, did go astray, we turned every one to his own way; and the
Lord hath made to light on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed,
though he humbled himself, and opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led
to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before her shearers is dumb; yea, he
opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away, and
with his generation who did reason? For he was cut off out of the land of
the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due.
And they made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich his tomb;
although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet
it pleased the Lord to crush him by disease; to see if his soul would
offer itself in restitution, that he might see his seed, prolong his days,
and that the purpose of the Lord might prosper by his hand. Of the travail
of his soul he shall see to the full, even My servant, who by his
knowledge did justify the Righteous One to the many, and their iniquities
he did bear. Therefore will I divide him a portion among the great, and he
shall divide his soul with the mighty; because he bared his soul unto
death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of
many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

4. Whatever be the historical background of this great elegy, our seer
uses it to portray Israel as the tragic hero of the world’s history. His
prophetic genius possessed a unique insight into the character and destiny
of his people, seeing Israel as a man of woe and grief, chosen by
Providence to undergo unheard-of trials for a great cause, by which, at
the last, he is to be exalted. Bent and disfigured by his burden of misery
and shame, shunned and abhorred as one laden with sin, he suffers for no
guilt of his own. He is called to testify to his God among all the
peoples, and is thus the _Servant of the Lord_, the atoning sacrifice for
the sins of mankind, from whose bruises healing is to come to all the
nations,—an inimitable picture of a self-sacrificing hero, whose death
means life to the world and glory to God, and who will at last live
forever with the Lord whom he has served so steadfastly. Our seer mentions
in earlier passages the Servant of the Lord who “gave his back to the
smiters, and his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; and hid not his
face from shame and spitting.”(1182) Yet “he shall set his face like a
flint,” so that “he shall not fail nor be crushed, till he have set the
right in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his teaching.”(1183)
Still more directly, he says: “And He said unto Me, ‘Thou art My servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’ ... It is too light a thing that
thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to
restore the offspring of Israel; I will also give thee for a light of the
nations, that My salvation may be unto the end of the earth. Thus saith
the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, to him who is despised of
men, to him who is abhorred of nations, to a servant of rulers: kings
shall see and arise, princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because
of the Lord that is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel, who hath chosen

5. It was, however, no easy matter for men reared in the old view to reach
the lofty conception of a suffering hero. Even the dramatic figure of Job
seemed to lack the right solution. Job protests his guiltlessness, defies
the dark power of fate, and even challenges divine justice, but God
himself announces at the end that no man can grasp the essence of His plan
for the world. A later and more naïve writer, who added the conclusion of
the book, reversed Job’s destiny and compensated him by a double share of
what he had lost in both wealth and family.(1185) As if the great problem
of suffering could be solved by such external means! Neither would the
problem of the great tragedy of Israel, the martyr-priest of the
centuries, the Job of the nations, ever find its solution in a national
restoration. A mere political rebirth could never compensate for the
thousandfold death and untold woe of the Jew for his God and his faith!
But the people at large could not grasp such a conception as is that of
Deutero-Isaiah’s of the mission of Israel to be the suffering servant of
the Lord, the witness of God—which is “martyr” in the Greek version,—the
redeemer of the nations. They were eager to return to Palestine, to
rebuild State and Temple under the leadership of the heir to the throne of
David. But when their hope had failed that Zerubbabel would prove to be
the “shoot of Jesse,”(1186) the prophetic elegy was referred to the
Messiah, and the belief gained ground that he would have to suffer before
he would triumph.(1187) Thus many a pseudo-Messiah fell a victim to the
tyranny of Rome in both Judæa and Samaria,—for the Samaritans also hoped
for a Messiah, a redeemer of the type of Moses.(1188) Finally a belief
arose that there would be two Messiahs, one of the house of Joseph, that
is, the tribe of Ephraim, who would fall before the sword of the
enemy,(1189) and the other of the house of David, who was to conquer the
heathen nations and establish his throne forever.(1190)

The Church referred the pathetic figure of the man of sorrow to her
crucified Messiah or Christ. Yet he who was to be a world-savior bore
through his followers damnation to his own kinsmen, and thus was rendered
the chief cause of the persecution of the martyr-race of Israel.

6. We learn, however, from Origen, a Church father of the third century,
that Jewish scholars, in a controversy with him, expressed the view that
the Servant of the Lord refers to the Jewish people, which, dispersed
among the nations and universally despised, would finally obtain the
ascendancy over them, so that many of the heathen would espouse the Jewish
faith.(1191) Most of the medieval Jewish exegetes, including Rashi, who
usually follows the traditional view, refer the chapter likewise to the
Jewish people. As a matter of fact, the earlier chapters which speak of
the Servant of the Lord can have no other meaning, while many points in
the description of the suffering hero, especially the reference to his
seed after his death, do not fit the Nazarene at all. Hence all
independent Christian scholars to-day have abandoned the tradition of the
Church, and admit that Israel alone is declared by the prophet to be the
one singled out by God to atone for the sins of the nations, to arouse all
humanity to a deeper spiritual vision, and finally to triumph over all the
heathen world.(1192)

7. Thus the strange history of the martyr people is put in the right light
and the great tragedy of Israel explained. Israel is the champion of the
Lord, chosen to battle and suffer for the supreme values of mankind, for
freedom and justice, truth and humanity; the man of woe and grief, whose
blood is to fertilize the soil with the seeds of righteousness and love
for mankind. From the days of Pharaoh to the present day, every oppressor
of the Jews has become the means of bringing greater liberty to a wider
circle; for the God of Israel, the Hater of bondage, has been appealed to
in behalf of freedom in the old world and the new. Every hardship that
made life unbearable to the Jew became a road to humanity’s triumph over
barbarism. All the injustice and malice which hurled their bitter shafts
against Israel, the Pariah of the nations, led ultimately to the greater
victory of right and love. So all the dark waves of hatred and fanaticism
that beat against the Jewish people served only to impress the truth of
monotheism, coupled with sincere love of God and man, more deeply upon all
hearts and to consign hypocrisy and falsehood to eternal contempt. Such is
the belief confidently held by the people of God, and ever confirmed anew
by the history of the ages. “He is near that justifieth me; who will
contend with me? let us stand up together; who is mine adversary? let him
come near to me. Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall
condemn me?”(1193) Thus speaks the Servant of the Lord, certain that he
will finally triumph, because he defends God’s cause, and is bound
indissolubly to Him.(1194) Indeed, God says of him: “Surely, he that
toucheth you toucheth the apple of Mine (his) eye.”(1195)

8. The great importance which the rabbis attached to Israel’s martyrdom is
shown by the following remarks in connection with the laws of sacrifice:
“Behold, how the Torah selects for the sacrificial altar only such animals
as belong to the pursued, not the pursuers: the ox which is pursued by the
lion; the lamb which is pursued by the wolf; the goat which is pursued by
the panther, but none of those which feed on prey. In like manner God
chose for His own the persecuted ones: Abel, who was persecuted by his
brother Cain; Noah, who was derided by the generation of the flood;
Abraham, who had to flee before the tyrant Nimrod; and Isaac, Jacob, and
Joseph, who met with unkindness from their own brothers. In the same way
God has chosen Israel from among the seventy nations, as the lamb hunted,
as it were, by seventy wolves, that it should bear His law to
mankind.”(1196) This idea is expressed also in the Haggadic saying: “Those
shall be privileged to see the majesty of God in full splendor who meet
humiliation, but do not humiliate others; who bear insult, but do not
inflict it on others; and who endure a life of martyrdom in pure love of

Indeed, the medieval Jew accepted his sad lot in this spirit of
resignation. But the modern Jew is in a different situation. In the mighty
effort of our age for higher truth, broader love and larger justice, he
beholds the nearing of the prophetic goal of a united humanity, based on
the belief in God, the King and Father of all. Accordingly, modern Judaism
proclaims more insistently than ever that the Jewish people is the Servant
of the Lord, the suffering Messiah of the nations, who offered his life as
an atoning sacrifice for humanity and furnished his blood as the cement
with which to build the divine kingdom of truth and justice. Indeed, the
cosmopolitan spirit of the Jew is the one element needed for the
universality of culture. On the other hand, the world at large is to-day
learning more and more to regard the superb loyalty of the Jew to his
ancestral faith with greater fairness and admiration and to accord larger
appreciation to him and his religion. Once the flood of hatred,
dissension, and prejudice that brought such untold havoc shall have
disappeared from the earth; once religion emerges from the nebulous
atmosphere of other-worldliness, and directs its longing for God toward a
life of godliness on earth in the spirit of the ancient prophets, then the
historic mission of the Jew will also be better understood. Israel, the
hunted dove, which found no resting-place for the sole of its foot during
the flood of sin and persecution, will then appear with the olive-branch
of peace for all humanity, to open the hearts of men that all may enter
the covenant with the universal Father. Then, and not till then, will the
shame of those thousands of years be rolled away, when the world will
recognize that not _a_ Jew, but _the_ Jew has been the suffering Messiah,
and that he was sent forth to be the savior of the nations.

Chapter LIII. The Messianic Hope

1. Recent investigators have brought to light many a vision of an era of
heavenly bliss brought about by some powerful ruler, voiced in hoary
antiquity by seer or singer in addressing the royal masters of Babylon or
Egypt.(1198) But no word in the entire vocabulary of ancient poetry or
prose can so touch the deeper chords of the heart, and so voice the
highest hopes of mankind, as does the name _Messiah_ (“God’s anointed”).
From a simple title for any of the kings of Israel, it grew in meaning
until it comprised the highest hopes of the nation. The Jewish vision of
the future was not the twilight of the gods, which meant the end of the
world with its deities, but the dawn of a new world, bright with the
knowledge of God and blessed by the brotherhood of man. This, the
Messianic ideal, is the creation of the prophetic genius of Israel, and in
turn it influenced man’s conception of God, lifting Him out of the
national bounds, and making Him the God of humanity, Ruler of history.
Israel’s Messianic hope has become the motive power of civilization. In
the time of deepest national humiliation it gave the prophets their power
to surmount the present and soar to heights of vision; through it the
Jewish people attained their strength to resist oppression, buoyed up by
perfect confidence and sublime hope. At the same time its magic luster
captivated the non-Jewish nations, spurring them on to mighty deeds. Thus
it has actually conquered the whole world of man. With every step in
culture it points forward to higher aims, still unattained; it promises to
lead mankind, united in God, the Only One, to truth and justice,
righteousness and love. As the banner of Israel, the Messiah of the
nations, it is destined to become the lode-star of all nations and all
religions. This is the kernel of the Jewish doctrine concerning the

2. This Messianic hope, on closer analysis, reveals two elements, both of
prophetic origin: one national, the other religious and universal. The
latter is the logical outcome of the monotheism of the great exilic seer,
who based his stirring pictures of the glorious future of Israel upon the
all-encompassing knowledge of God possessed by the Chosen People. The
classic expression of this hope appears in Isaiah II, 1-4, and Micah IV,
1-14: “And it shall come to pass in the end of days, that the mountain of
the Lord’s house shall be established as the top of the mountains, and
shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And
many peoples shall go and say: ‘Come ye and let us go up to the mountain
of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His
ways, and we will walk in His paths,’ for out of Zion shall go forth the
law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge between
the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their
swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation
shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any
more.” We note, indeed, that no reference to the Messiah or a king of the
house of David appears either in this passage or any of the prophecies of
Deutero-Isaiah. Justice and peace for all humanity are expected through
the reign of God alone. The specific Messianic character of this prophecy
took shape only in its association with the older national hope, voiced by
the prophet Isaiah.

3. The real Messianic hope involved the reëstablishment of the throne of
David, and was expressed most perfectly in the words of Isaiah: “And there
shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a twig shall grow
forth out of his roots. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall
be in the fear of the Lord; and he shall not judge after the sight of his
eyes, neither decide after the hearing of his ears; but with righteousness
shall he judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the land;
and he shall smite the land with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath
of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the
girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. And the
wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the
kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a
little child shall lead them.... They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My
holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord,
as the waters cover the sea.”(1199)

This pattern of the ideal ruler may have been modeled after some ancient
Babylonian formula for the adoration of kings, as has been asserted of
late; and the same may be true of the mystic titles given by Isaiah to the
royal heir: “Wonderful counselor, divine hero, father of spoil, prince of
peace.”(1200) When the little kingdom of Judæa fell, the prospect of a
realization of the great prophetic vision seemed gone forever. Therefore
the exiles in Babylon fastened their hopes so much more firmly on the
“Shoot,” particularly on Zerubabel (“the seed born in Babylon”), the
object of the fondest hopes of the later prophets.(1201) When he, too,
disappointed their expectations, probably due to Persian interference,
they transferred the advent of the Messiah more and more into the realm of
miracle, and popular fancy dwelt fondly on his appearance as God’s
champion against the hosts of heathendom (Gog and Magog).(1202)

4. The conception of the priest-prophet Ezekiel is very significant in
this connection; for him the kingdom of Israel’s God could only be
established by the restoration of the throne of David, the servant of the
Lord, and by the utter destruction of the hosts of heathendom, who were
hostile to both God and Israel. In accordance with this hope the author of
the second Psalm presents a dramatic picture of the Messiah triumphing
over the heathen nations, a picture which became typical for all the
future. “Why are the nations in an uproar? And why do the peoples mutter
in vain? The kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel
together against the Lord, and against His anointed: ‘Let us break their
bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.’ He that sitteth in
heaven laugheth, the Lord hath them in derision. Then will He speak unto
them in His wrath, and affright them in His sore displeasure: ‘Truly it is
I that have established My king upon Zion, My holy mountain.’ I will tell
of the decree: The Lord said unto me: ‘Thou art My son, this day have I
begotten thee. Ask of Me, and I will give the nations for thine
inheritance, and the ends of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt
break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a
potter’s vessel.’ ” Henceforth the conception of the Messiah alternated
between Isaiah’s prince of peace and the world-conqueror of the
Psalmist.(1203) The name Messiah does not occur in Scripture in the
absolute form, but always occurs in the construct with JHVH or a pronoun,
signifying “the Anointed of the Lord.” Accordingly, it expresses the
relation of the Anointed to God, his sovereign, in striking contrast to
the heathen kings who themselves claimed adoration as gods. The very name
Messiah excludes the possibility of deification. The term Messiah was used
with the article only in much later times, _ha Meshiah_, or in the
Aramaic, _Meshiha_, from which we derive the name, Messiah.

5. In the course of time, however, as the people waited in vain for a
redeemer, the expected Messiah was lifted more and more into the realm of
the ideal. The belief took hold especially in the inner circle of the
pious (Hasidim) that the Messiah was hidden somewhere, protected by God,
to appear miraculously after having vanquished the hostile powers. The
Essenes, the representatives of the secret lore, developed this conception
in the Apocalyptic writings, thus giving the Messiah a certain cosmic or
supernatural character. They probably modeled their thoughts upon the
Zoroastrian system, where _Soshiosh_, the world savior, would appear in
the last millennium as the messenger of Ormuzd to destroy forever the
kingdom of evil and establish the dominion of the good.(1204) Thus, when
Isaiah says of the Messiah that “by the breath of his mouth he shall slay
the wicked,” this is referred to the principle of evil, Satan or Belial,
who was sometimes actually identified with the Persian Ahriman.(1205)
Moreover, after the Persian system, the whole process of history was
divided into six millenniums of strife between the principle of good and
evil, represented by the Torah and the ungodliness of the world, and a
seventh millennium, the kingdom of God or the Messianic age. The dates of
these were calculated upon the basis of the book of Daniel, with its four
world-kingdoms and mysterious numbers.(1206)

6. The Biblical passages which refer to “the end of days” were also
connected with the advent of the Messianic age, and the so-called
eschatological writings speak of fixed periods following one another. In
accordance with certain prophetic hints, they expected first the
“birth-throes”(1207) or “vestiges” of the Messianic age, a great physical
and moral crisis with the turmoil of nature, plagues, and moral
degeneracy. Before the Messiah would suddenly appear from his hiding
place, the prophet Elijah was to return from heaven, whither he had
ascended in a fiery chariot. But, while he had lived in implacable wrath
against idolaters, he was now to come as a messenger of peace, reconciling
the hearts of Israel with God and with one another, preparing the way to
repentance, and thus to the redemption and reunion of Israel.(1208) The
next stage is the gathering together of Israel from all corners of the
earth to the holy land under the leadership of the Messiah, summoned by
the blast of the heavenly trumpet.(1209) Then begins that gigantic warfare
on the holy soil between the hosts of Israel and the vast forces of
heathendom led by the half-mystic powers of Gog and Magog, a conflict
which, according to Ezekiel, is to last for seven years and to end with
the annihilation of the powers of evil. Before the real Messiah, the son
of David, appears in victory, another Messiah of the tribe of Ephraim is
to fall in battle, according to a belief dating from the second century
and possibly connected with the Bar Kochba war.(1210) In another
tradition, probably older, the true Messiah himself is to suffer and
die.(1211) At all events, he must destroy Rome, the fourth world-kingdom.
But he is also to slay the arch-fiend Ahriman, afterwards known as
Armillus. Moreover, he will redeem the dead from Sheol, as he possesses
the key to open all the graves of the holy land, and thus all the sons of
Israel will partake in the glory of his kingdom. Then at last the city of
Jerusalem will arise in splendor, built of gold and precious stones, the
marvel of the world, and in its midst the Temple, a structure of
surpassing magnificence. The holy vessels of the tabernacle, hidden for
ages in the wilderness, will appear, and the nations will offer the wealth
of the whole earth as their tribute to the Messiah. All will practice
righteousness and piety, and will be rewarded by bliss and numerous

Opinions differ widely as to the duration of the Messianic age. They range
from forty to four hundred years, and again from three generations to a
full millennium.(1213) This difference is partly caused by the distinction
between the national hope, with the temporary welfare of the people of
Israel, and the religious hope concerning the divine kingdom, which is to
last forever. A very late rabbinic belief holds that the Messiah will be
able to give a new law and even to abrogate Mosaic prohibitions.(1214)

7. At any rate, no complete system of eschatology existed during the
Talmudic age, as the views of the various apocalyptic writers were
influenced by the changing events of the time and the new environments,
with their constant influence upon popular belief. A certain uniformity,
indeed, existed in the fundamental ideas. The Messianic hope in its
national character includes always the reunion of all Israel under a
victorious ruler of the house of David, who shall destroy all hostile
powers and bring an era of supreme prosperity and happiness as well as of
peace and good-will among men. The Haggadists indulged also in dreams of
the marvelous fertility of the soil of Palestine in the Messianic
time,(1215) and of the resurrection of the dead in the holy land. But in
Judaism such views could never become dogmas, as they did in the Church,
even though they were common in both the older and younger Haggadah. These
national expectations were expressed in the liturgy by the Eighteen
Benedictions, composed by the founders of the Synagogue, the so-called Men
of the Great Synagogue; here the prayers for “the gathering of the
dispersed” and the “destruction of the kingdom of Insolence” precede those
for the “rebuilding of Jerusalem and the restoration of the throne of
David.” But the mystic speculations on the origin, activity, and sojourn
of the Messiah, which were a favorite theme of the apocalyptic writers and
the Haggadists during the pre-Christian and the first Christian centuries,
gave way to a more sober mode of thought, in the disappointment that
followed the collapse of the great Messianic movements. On the one hand,
the Church deified its Messiah and thus relapsed into paganism; on the
other, Bar Kochba, “the son of the star,” whom the leading Jewish masters
of the law actually considered the Messiah who would free them from Rome,
proved to be a “star of ill-luck” to the Jewish people.(1216) “Like one
who wanders in the dark night, now and then kindling a light to brighten
up his path, only to have it again and again extinguished by the wind,
until at last he resolves to wait patiently for the break of day when he
will no longer require a light,” so were the people of Israel with their
would-be deliverers, who appeared from time to time to delude their hopes,
until they exclaimed at last: “In Thy light alone, O Lord, we behold
light.”(1217) Samuel the Babylonian, of the third century, in opposition
to the Messianic visionaries of his time, declared: “The Messianic age
differs from the present in nothing except that Israel will throw off the
yoke of the nations and regain its political independence.”(1218) Another
sage said: “May the curse of heaven fall upon those who calculate the date
of the advent of the Messiah and thus create political and social unrest
among the people!”(1219) A third declared: “The Messiah will appear when
nobody expects him.”(1220) Most remarkable of all is the bold utterance of
Rabbi Hillel of the fourth century, a lineal descendant of the great
master Hillel and the originator of the present Jewish calendar system. In
all likelihood many of his contemporaries were busy calculating the advent
of the Messianic time according to the number of Jubilees in the
world-eras, whereupon he said: “Israel need not await the advent of the
Messiah, as Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled by the appearance of King

8. Throughout the Middle Ages, when the political or national hopes rose
high, we find various Messianic movements in both East and West revived by
religious aspirations. But Maimonides, the great rationalist, in his
commentary on the Mishnah and in his Code, formulated a Messianic belief
which was quite free from mystical and supernatural elements. His twelfth
article of faith declares that “the Jew, unless he wishes to forfeit his
claim to eternal life by denial of his faith, must, in acceptance of the
teachings of Moses and the prophets down to Malachi, believe that the
Messiah will issue forth from the house of David in the person of a
descendant of Solomon, the only legitimate king; and he shall far excel
all rulers in history by his reign, glorious in justice and peace. Neither
impatience nor deceptive calculation of the time of the advent of the
Messiah should shatter this belief. Still, notwithstanding the majesty and
wisdom of the Messiah, he must be regarded as a mortal being like any
other and only as the restorer of the Davidic dynasty. He will die and
leave a son as his successor, who will in his turn die and leave the
throne to his heir. Nor will there be any material change in the order of
things in the whole system of nature and human life; accordingly Isaiah’s
picture of the living together of lamb and wolf cannot be taken literally,
nor any of the Haggadic sayings with reference to the Messianic time. We
are only to believe in the coming of Elijah as a messenger of peace and
the forerunner of the Messiah, and also in the great decisive battle with
the hosts of heathendom embodied in Gog and Magog, through whose defeat
the dominion of the Messiah will be permanently established.” “The
Messianic kingdom itself,” continues Maimonides with reference to the
utterance of Samuel quoted above, “is to bring the Jewish nation its
political independence, but not the subjection of all the heathen nations,
nor merely material prosperity and sensual pleasure, but an era of general
affluence and peace, enabling the Jewish people to devote their lives
without care or anxiety to the study of the Torah and universal wisdom, so
that by their teachings they may lead all mankind to the knowledge of God
and make them also share in the eternal bliss of the world to come.”(1222)

9. Against this rationalized hope for the Messiah, which merges the
national expectation into the universal hope for the kingdom of God,
strong objections were raised by Abraham ben David of Posquieres, the
mystic, a fierce opponent of Maimonides, who referred to various Biblical
and Talmudical passages in contradiction to this view.(1223) On the other
hand, Joseph Albo, the popular philosopher, who was trained by his public
debates against the representatives of the Church, emphasized especially
the rational character of the Jewish theology, and declared that the
Messianic hope cannot be counted among the fundamental doctrines of
Judaism, or else Rabbi Hillel could never have rejected it so

On this point we must consider the fine observation of Rashi that Hillel
denied only a personal Messiah, but not the coming of a Messianic age,
assuming that God himself will redeem Israel and be acknowledged
everywhere as Ruler of the world. As a matter of fact, too much difference
of opinion existed among the Tanaim and Amoraim on the personality of the
Messiah and the duration of his reign to admit of a definite article of
faith on the question. The expected Messiah, the heir of the Davidic
throne, naturally embodied the national hope of the Jewish people in their
dispersion, when all looked to Palestine as their land and to Jerusalem as
their political center and rallying point in days to come. Traditional
Judaism, awaiting the restoration of the Mosaic sacrificial cult as the
condition for the return of the _Shekinah_ to Zion, was bound to persist
in its belief in a personal Messiah who would restore the Temple and its

10. A complete change in the religious aspiration of the Jew was brought
about by the transformation of his political status and hopes in the
nineteenth century. The new era witnessed his admission in many lands to
full citizenship on an equality with his fellow-citizens of other faiths.
He was no longer distinguished from them in his manner of speech and
dress, nor in his mode of education and thought; he therefore necessarily
identified himself completely with the nation whose language and
literature had nurtured his mind, and whose political and social destinies
he shared with true patriotic fervor. He stood apart from the rest only by
virtue of his religion, the great spiritual heritage of his hoary past.
Consequently the hope voiced in the Synagogal liturgy for a return to
Palestine, the formation of a Jewish State under a king of the house of
David, and the restoration of the sacrificial cult, no longer expressed
the views of the Jew in Western civilization. The prayer for the
rebuilding of Jerusalem and the restoration of the Temple with its
priestly cult could no longer voice his religious hope. Thus the leaders
of Reform Judaism in the middle of the nineteenth century declared
themselves unanimously opposed to retaining the belief in a personal
Messiah and the political restoration of Israel, either in doctrine or in
their liturgy.(1225) They accentuated all the more strongly Israel’s hope
for a Messianic age, a time of universal knowledge of God and love of man,
so intimately interwoven with the religious mission of the Jewish people.
Harking back to the suffering Servant of the Lord in Deutero-Isaiah, they
transferred the title of Messiah to the Jewish nation. Reform Judaism has
thus accepted the belief that Israel, the suffering Messiah of the
centuries, shall at the end of days become the triumphant Messiah of the

11. This view taken by reform Judaism is the logical outcome of the
political and social emancipation of the Jew in western Europe and
America. Naturally, it had no appeal to the Jew in the Eastern lands,
where he was kept apart by mental training, social habits and the
discrimination of the law, so that he regarded himself as a member of a
different nationality in every sense. Palestine remained the object of his
hope and longing in both his social and religious life. When modern ideas
of life began to transform the religious views and habits in many a
quarter, and terrible persecutions again aroused the longing of the
unfortunate sufferers for a return to the land of their fathers, the term
Zionism was coined, and the movement rapidly spread. It expressed the
purely national aims of the Jewish people, disregarding the religious
aspirations always heretofore connected with the Messianic hope. This term
has since become the watchword of all those who hope for a political
restoration of the Jewish people on Palestinian soil, as well as of others
whose longings are of a more cultural nature. Both regard the Jewish
people as a nation like any other, denying to it the specific character of
a priest-people and a holy nation with a religious mission for humanity,
which has been assigned to it at the very beginning of its history and has
served to preserve it through the centuries. On this account Zionism,
whether political or cultural, can have no place in Jewish theology. Quite
different is the attitude of religious Zionism which emphasizes the
ancient hopes and longings for the restoration of the Jewish Temple and
State in connection with the nationalistic movement.

12. Political Zionism owes its origin to the wave of Anti-Semitism which
rose as a counter-movement to the emancipation of the Jew, that alienated
many of the household of Israel from their religion. Thus it has the merit
of awakening many Jews upon whom the ancestral faith had lost its hold to
a sense of love and loyalty to the Jewish past. In many it has aroused a
laudable zeal for the study of Jewish history and literature, which should
bring them a deeper insight into, and closer identification with, the
historic character of Israel, the suffering Messiah of the nations, and
thus in time transform the national Jew into a religious Jew. The study of
Israel’s mighty past will, it is hoped, bring to them the conviction that
the power, the hope and the refuge of Israel is in its God, and not in any
territorial possession. We require a regeneration, not of the nation, but
of the faith of Israel, which is its soul.

Chapter LIV. Resurrection, a National Hope

1. The Jewish belief in resurrection is intimately bound up with the hope
for the restoration of the Israelitish nation on its own soil, and
consequently rather national; indeed, originally purely local and
territorial.(1227) True, the rabbis justified their belief in resurrection
by such Scriptural verses as: “I kill and I make alive”(1228) and “The
Lord killeth, and maketh alive; He bringeth down to the grave, and
bringeth up.”(1229) Founded on such passages, the belief would have to
include all men, and could be confined neither to the Jewish people nor to
the land of Judea. However, we find no trace of such a belief in the
entire Bible save for two late post-exilic passages(1230) which are in
fact apocalyptic, being based upon earlier prophecies, and themselves, in
turn, basic to the later dogma of the Pharisees.

2. The picture of a resurrection was first drawn by the prophet Hosea, who
applied it to Israel. In his distress over the destiny of his people he
says: “Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for He hath torn, and He
will heal us, He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will
He revive us, on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in
His presence.”(1231) Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones which rose to a new
life under the mighty sway of the spirit of God,(1232) gave more definite
shape to the picture, although in the form of allegory. As the prophet
himself says, he aimed to describe the resurrection of Judah and Israel
from their grave of exile. The obscure Messianic prophecy in Isaiah,
chapters XXIV to XXVII, strikes a new note. First the author deals with
the terrible slaughter which God will inflict upon the heathen, after
which “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away
tears from off all faces; and the reproach of His people will He take away
from off all the earth.”(1233) Finally, when the oppressors of Israel are
completely annihilated, exclaims the seer: “Thy dead shall live, thy dead
bodies shall arise—awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust—for thy dew
is a fructifying dew, and the earth shall bring to life the shades.”(1234)
Daniel speaks in a similar vein: “And many of them that sleep in the dust
of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproaches
and everlasting abhorrence.”(1235)

3. In this hope for resurrection at the end of days the leading thought is
that the prophecies which have been unfulfilled during the lifetime of the
pious, and particularly the martyrs, shall be realized in the world to
come.(1236) In the oldest apocalyptic writings this life of the future is
still conceived as earthly bliss, inasmuch as the writers think only of
the Messianic time of national glory, depicted in such glowing colors by
the prophets. Unbounded richness of the soil and numerous offspring,
abundant treasures brought by remote nations and their rulers, peace and
happiness far and wide—such are the characteristics of the Messianic age.
In order that the dead may share in all this, it is to be preceded by the
resurrection and the great _Day of Judgment_ in the valley of Jehoshaphat
or Gehinnom (Gehenna), where the righteous are to be singled out to
participate in the realm of the Messiah.(1237) As a national prospect the
Messianic hope was based upon the passage in Deutero-Isaiah: “Thy people
also shall be all righteous, they shall inherit the land forever.”(1238)
Consequently an ancient Mishnah taught that “All Israel shall have a share
in the world to come.”(1239) In fact, the term “inherit the land” was used
as late as the Mishnah to express the idea of sharing in the future life;
so also in the New Testament, where the resurrection was expected before
the coming of the kingdom of the Messiah.(1240)

4. The logical assumption was, accordingly, that only the dead of the holy
land should enjoy the resurrection. The prophetic verses were cited: “I
will set glory in the land of the living,”(1241) and “He that giveth
breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein,”(1242)
and were interpreted in the sense that God would restore the breath of
life only to those buried in the holy land.(1243) Likewise the verse of
the Psalmist, “I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living,”
was referred to Palestine, as the land where the dead shall awaken to a
new life.(1244) Hence the rabbis held the strange belief that when the
great heavenly trumpet is sounded to summon all the tribes of Israel from
the ends of the earth to the holy land,(1245) those who have been buried
outside of Palestine must pass through cavities under the earth, until
they reach the soil where the miracle of the resurrection will be
performed.(1246) It has, therefore, become a custom of the pious among the
Orthodox to this very day, in case they could not bury the dead in
Palestine, to put dust of the holy land beneath their head, that they
might arise wherever they were buried.

5. We may take it for granted that this naïve conception of the
resurrection could not be permanent, and so was modified to include a
double resurrection: the first, national, to usher in the Messianic
kingdom, and the other, universal, to usher in the everlasting life of the
future. The former offered scant room for the heathen world, at best only
for those who had actually joined the ranks of Judaism; the latter,
however, included the last judgment for all souls and thus opened the way
for the salvation of the righteous among the nations as well as the people
of Israel. At this point the conception of resurrection led to higher and
more spiritual ideas, as has been shown in Chapter XLIII.

6. However, the belief in the resurrection of the body, though expressed
in the ancient liturgy, is in such utter contradiction to our entire
attitude toward both science and religion, that it may be considered
obsolete for the modern Jew. Orthodoxy, which clings to it in formal
loyalty to tradition, regards it as a miracle which God will perform in
the future, exactly like the many Biblical miracles which defy reason.

7. The Zionist movement has given many Jews a new attitude toward the
national resurrection of Israel. The nationalists expect the Jewish nation
to awaken from a sleep of eighteen hundred years to new greatness in its
ancient home, not as a religious, but as a political body, and in
renouncing all allegiance to the priestly mission of Israel and its
ancestral faith they are as remote from genuine Orthodoxy as from Reform
Judaism. They assert that the soul of the Jewish people requires a
national body rooted in its ancient soil in order that it may fulfill its
appointed task among the nations; they even go so far as to declare all
the achievements brought about by the assimilation of the culture of the
surrounding nations to be a deterioration of the genuine character of the
Jewish nation. The fact is that, as in nature there is nowhere a
resurrection of the dead but an ever renewed regeneration of life, so is
the history of the Jew and of Judaism a continuous process of regeneration
manifested at every great turning-point of history, when the ideas and
cultural elements of a new civilization exert their powerful influence on
life and thought. There never was, nor will be an exclusively Jewish
culture. It is the wondrous power of assimilation of the Jew which ever
created and fashioned his culture anew. That which constitutes the
peculiarity of the Jew and his life force is his religion fostered through
the ages, preserved amidst the most antagonistic influences and hostile
environments, and ever rejuvenated by its unique universalistic spirit
when revived by contact with kindred movements. To maintain and propagate
this, his religion in all lands and amidst all civilizations, is the task
assigned to him by Providence, until God’s Kingdom has been established
all over the globe.

Chapter LV. Israel and the Heathen Nations

1. As there is but one Creator and Ruler of the universe, so there is
before Him but one humanity. All the nations are under His guidance, while
Israel, His chosen people, points to the kingdom of God which is to
embrace them all. Israel was called the “first-born son” of God(1247) at
the very moment of his election, implying that all the sons of men are His
children. All of them are links in the divine plan of salvation. In the
same sense God spoke through Isaiah: “Blessed be Egypt, My people, and
Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance.”(1248) As the
first page of Scripture assigns a common origin to them all in the first
man, so, the prophets tell us, at the end of time they shall all be filled
with longing for the one God and form with Israel one community on earth,
a great brotherhood of man serving the common Father above.(1249) Still,
the actual world began, not with the unity, but with the wide diversity
and dispersion of mankind. The idea of the unity of man came as a
corollary to the kindred conception of the unity of God, after a long
historical process.

Just as the creation of the world opens with the separation of light from
darkness, so the process of the spiritual and moral development of mankind
begins, according to the divine plan of salvation, with the separation of
Israel from the heathen nations.(1250) The sharper the contrast became
between the spiritual God of Israel and the crude sensual gods of
heathendom, the wider grew the chasm between Judaism and heathenism,
between Israel and the nations. As light is opposed to darkness, so
Israel’s truth stood opposed to the idolatry of the nations, until
Christianity and Islam, its daughter-religions, arose between the two
extremes. Henceforth Israel waits with still more confidence for the age
whose dawning will bring the full knowledge of God to all mankind, leading
the world from the night of error and discord to the noon-day brightness
of truth and unity, when a universal monotheism will make all humanity

2. Nothing was more remote from ancient Israel than the hatred of the
stranger or hostility to other nations, so often attributed to it.(1251)
In the time of the patriarchs and under the monarchy, the Hebrews fostered
a spirit of friendly intercourse with their neighbors, which was often
confirmed by peaceful alliances.(1252) Of course, during war time the
spirit of hostility had full sway, particularly as ancient warfare imposed
a relentless ban upon both booty and human life among the vanquished. But
even then the kings of Israel were called compassionate also toward their
enemies when compared with other rulers.(1253) Indeed, the code of Israel
is distinguished from all other codes of antiquity by mildness and tender
compassion. On the other hand, the God of justice, revealed through Amos,
Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Habakkuk, punishes Israel and the nations
impartially on account of their moral transgressions.(1254) He avenges
acts of treachery, even when committed against pagan tyrants. “Shall not
the Judge of all the earth do justly?”(1255) Such is the recurrent thought
that governs Israel, demanding the same standard of judgment for Israelite
and stranger.

3. The simple sense of justice inherent in the Jewish people admits so
little difference between our own God-consciousness and that of others,
that Scripture represents the Philistine King Abimelech as receiving a
warning from Abraham’s God *JHVH*.(1256) As the Bible holds up Job, the
Bedouin Sheik, as the pattern of a blameless servant of God and true lover
of mankind,(1257) so the Talmud cites the Philistine Dama ben Nethina as
an example of filial piety.(1258) Altogether, the merits of the heathen
receive their full measure of appreciation throughout Jewish
literature,(1259) even though a narrow dissenting view occurs now and

4. Still from the very beginning a tendency to relentless harshness
existed in one direction, when the pure worship of Israel’s one and only
God was endangered. The early Book of the Covenant forbade every alliance
with idolatrous nations,(1261) and the Deuteronomic Code made this more
stringent by prohibiting intermarriage and even the toleration of
idolaters in the land, lest they seduce the people of God to turn away
from Him.(1262) The Pharisean leaders, the founders of Rabbinism, went
still further by placing an interdict upon eating with the heathen or
using food and wine prepared by them, thus aiming at a complete separation
from the non-Jewish world.(1263)

The contrast between Judaism and heathenism was further heightened by the
view of the prophets and psalmists, showing that the great nations were
the very embodiment of idolatrous iniquity, murderous violence and sexual
impurity, a world of arrogance and pride, defying God and doomed to
perdition, because they opposed the kingdom of God proclaimed by
Israel.(1264) Henceforth the term “the nations” (_goyim_) was taken by the
religious as meaning the wicked ones, who would not be able to stand the
divine judgment in the future life, but would go down to Sheol, or
Gehenna, to fall a prey to everlasting corruption, to the fire that is
never quenched.(1265)

5. Yet such a wholesale condemnation could not long be maintained; it was
too strongly contradicted in principle by the prophets and Psalmists, and
quite as much by the apocalyptic writers and Haggadists of later times.
The book of Jonah testifies that Israel’s God sent His prophet to the
heathen of Nineveh to exhort them to repentance, that they might obtain
forgiveness and salvation like repentant Israel.(1266) Heathenism is
doomed to perish, not the heathen; they are to acknowledge the heavenly
Judge in their very punishments and return to Him. Such is the conclusion
of all the exhortations of the prophets predicting punishment to the
nations. Moreover, those heathen who escape the doom of the world-powers
are to proclaim the mighty deeds of the Lord to the utmost lands. Nay,
according to the grand vision of the exilic seer, among the many nations
that shall assemble at the end of days to worship the Lord in Zion, select
ones will be admitted to the priesthood with the sons of Aaron.(1267) The
name _Hadrak_, understood as “he who bringeth back,” suggested itself to
the rabbis as a title of the Messiah, the converter of the heathen
nations.(1268) So in both the Talmud and the Sibylline books(1269) Noah is
represented as a preacher of repentance to the nations before the flood,
and accordingly the latter book adjures the Hellenic world to repent of
their sinful lives before they would be overwhelmed by the flood of fire
at the great judgment day. In the same spirit the Haggadists tell that God
sent Balaam, Job, and other pious men as prophets of the heathen to teach
them the way of repentance.(1270) And the rabbis actually say that, if the
heathen nations had not refused the Torah when the Lord offered it to them
at Sinai, it would have been the common property of all mankind.(1271)

6. The leading minds of Judaism felt only pity for the blind obstinacy of
the great mass of heathen, who worshiped the creatures instead of the
Creator, or the stars of heaven instead of Him who is enthroned above the
skies. They regarded heathenism either as evidence of spiritual want and
weakness, or as the result of destiny. Indeed, the words of the
Deuteronomist sound like an echo of Babylonian fatalism when he asserts
that God himself assigned to the nations the worship of the stars as their
inheritance.(1272) Later the opinion gained ground that the heathen
deities were real demons, holding dominion over the nations and leading
them astray.(1273) The exilic seer attacked idolatry most vigorously as
folly and falsehood, and thus the note of derision and irony is struck by
Deutero-Isaiah, the Psalms, and in many of the propaganda writings of the
Hellenistic age, in their references to heathenism.

On the other hand, it is very significant that the Palestinian sages and
their successors condemned heathenism as a moral plague, conducing to
depravity, lewdness, and bloodshed. They regarded the powers of the world,
especially Edom (Rome), as being under the dominion of the Evil One, and
therefore doomed to perish in the flames of Gehenna. As they rejected the
Ten Commandments out of love for bloodshed, lust, and robbery, so,
according to the Haggadists, they will be unable to withstand the last
judgment and will suffer eternal punishment. Since their one desire was to
enjoy the life of this world, their lot in the future will be Gehenna;
while the gates of the Garden of Eden will be open for Israel, the people
oppressed and sorely tried, yet ever faithful to the covenant of
Abraham.(1274) Of course, this view implied both comfort and vengeance,
but we must not forget that the harsh statements contained in the Talmud
owe their origin to bitter distress and cannot be considered Jewish
doctrines, as unfriendly critics frequently do.(1275)

7. As has been shown above, the dominant view of the Synagogue is that
eternal salvation belongs to the righteous among the nations as well as
those of Israel. In this sense, Psalm IX, 18, is understood to the effect
that “all those heathens who have forgotten God will go down to the nether
world.”(1276) One of the sages expresses a still broader view: “When
judging the nations, God determines their standard by their best
representatives.”(1277) Many rabbis held the belief that circumcision
secured for the Jew a place in “Abraham’s bosom” while the uncircumcised
are consigned to Gehenna, thus assigning to circumcision a corresponding
place to that of baptism in the Christian Church. This belief seems to be
based upon a passage in Ezekiel, where the prophet speaks of the _arelim_,
or “uncircumcised,” as dwelling in the nether world.(1278) But a number of
passages in the Talmud, especially in the Tosefta,(1279) show that
circumcision was not believed to have the power to save a sinner from
Gehenna, On the other hand, we have the great teaching of R. Johanan ben
Zakkai in opposing his disciple Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, telling that the
sacrifices which atoned for the sins of Israel are paralleled by deeds of
benevolence, which can atone for the sins of the heathen.(1280) Both the
Talmud and Philo state that the seventy bullocks which were offered up
during the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles were brought by Israel
as sacrifices for the seventy nations of the world.(1281)

8. Where no cause existed to fear the influence of idolatry, friendly
relations with non-Jews were always recommended and cultivated. A non-Jew
who devotes his life to the study and practice of the law, said Rabbi
Meir, is equal to the high priest; for Scripture says: “The laws which, if
a man do, he shall live by them,” implying that pure humanity is the one
essential required by God.(1282) Indeed, Rabbi Meir enjoyed a close
friendship with Œnomaos of Gadara,(1283) a heathen philosopher spoken of
admiringly in Talmudic sources and placed on a par with Balaam as noble
representatives of heathendom. Obviously this good opinion was held,
because both spoke favorably of Judaism, whose “synagogues and
schoolhouses formed the strongest bulwark against the attacks of
Jew-haters.” Other friendships which were described in popular legends and
held up as examples for emulation are those between Jehuda ha Nasi and the
Emperor Antoninus (Severus)(1284) and that of Samuel of Babylonia with
Ablat, a Persian sage.(1285)

9. The Mosaic and Talmudic law prescribed quite different treatment for
those heathen who persisted in idolatrous practices and refused to observe
the laws of humanity, called the seven Noahitic laws, as will be explained
more fully in the next chapter. No toleration could be granted them within
the ancient jurisdiction; “Thou shall show them no mercy” was the phrase
of the law for the seven tribes of Canaan, and this was applied to all
idolaters.(1286) Hence Maimonides lays down the rule in his Code that
“wherever and whenever the Mosaic law is in force, the people must be
compelled to abjure heathenism and accept the seven laws of Noah in the
name of God, or else they are doomed to die.”(1287)

On the other hand, in the very same Code, Maimonides writes in the spirit
of Rabbi Meir: “Not only the Jewish tribe is sanctified by the highest
degree of human holiness, but every human being, without difference of
birth, in whom is the spirit of love and the power of knowledge to devote
his life exclusively to the service of God and the dissemination of His
knowledge, and who, walking uprightly before Him, has cast off the yoke of
the many earthly desires pursued by the rest of men. God is his portion
and his eternal inheritance, and God will provide for his needs, as He did
for the priest and the Levite of yore.”(1288)

10. To be sure, a statement of this nature presents a different judgment
of heathenism from that of the ancient national law. But the historical
and comparative study of religions has caused us to entertain altogether
different views of the various heathen religions, both those representing
primitive stages of childlike imagination and superstition, and those more
developed faiths which inculcate genuine ideals of a more or less lofty
character. Certainly the laws of Deuteronomy, written when the nation had
dwindled down to the little kingdom of Judæa, and those further expounded
in the Mishnah enjoining the most rigorous intolerance toward every
vestige of paganism, had only a theoretical value for the powerless Jewish
nation; while both the Church and the rulers of Islam were largely guided
by them in practical measures. The higher view of Judaism was expressed by
the last of the prophets: “ ‘For from the rising of the sun even unto the
going down of the same My name is great among the nations; and in every
place offerings are presented unto My name, even pure oblations, for My
name is great among the nations,’ saith the Lord of hosts.”(1289) The fact
is that heathenism seeks the God whom Israel by its revelation has found.
In this spirit both Philo and Josephus took the Scriptural passage, “Thou
shalt not curse God,” taking the Hebrew _Elohim_ in the plural sense, “the
gods”; thus they said a Jew must not offend the religious sense of the
heathen by scorn or ridicule, however careful he must be to avoid the
imitation of their practices and superstitions.(1290)

As a matter of fact, the Code of Law aimed to separate Israel and the
nations in order to avoid the crude worship of idols, animals and stars
practiced by the heathen of antiquity. It was not framed for masters like
Socrates, Buddha, and Confucius, with their lofty moral views and their
claims upon humanity. The God who revealed himself to Abraham, Job, Enoch,
and Balaam, as well as to Moses and Isaiah, spoke to them also, and the
wise ones of Israel have ever hearkened to their inspiring lessons. Their
words are echoed in Jewish literature together with Solomon’s words of
wisdom. Plato, Plotinus, and Aristotle received the most friendly
hospitality from the rabbinic philosophers and mystic writers of Jewry,
and so Buddhist sayings and views penetrated into Jewish ethics and
popular teachings. Both the Jew and his literature are cosmopolitan, and
Judaism never withholds its appreciation of the merits of the heathen

11. We must especially emphasize one claim of the Jewish people above
other nations which the rabbis call _zekuth aboth_, “the merit of the
fathers,” and which we may term “hereditary virtue.” The election of
Israel, in spite of its own lack of merit, is declared in Deuteronomy and
elsewhere to be due to the merit of the fathers, with whom God concluded
His covenant in love.(1292) The promise is often repeated that God will
ever remember His covenant with the fathers and not let the people perish,
even though their sins were great; therefore the rabbis assumed that the
patriarchs had accumulated a store of merit by their virtues which would
redound before God to the benefit of their descendants, supplementing
their own weaknesses.(1293) This merit or righteousness of the fathers
formed a prominent part of the hope and prayer, nay, of the whole
theological system of the Jewish people. They regarded the patriarchs and
all the great leaders of the past as patterns of loyalty and love for God,
so that, according to the Midrash, Israel might say in the words of the
Shulamite: “Black am I” considering my own merit, “but comely” when
considering the merit of the fathers.(1294) Whether this store of merit
would ever be exhausted is a matter of controversy among the rabbis. Some
referred to God’s own words that He will ever remember His covenant with
the fathers; others pointed to the verse in Deutero-Isaiah: “For the
mountains may depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not
depart from thee, neither shall My covenant of peace be removed,” which
they interpreted symbolically to mean: when the merit of the patriarchs
and matriarchs of Israel is exhausted, God’s mercy and compassion for
Israel will be there never to depart.(1295) Translated into our own mode
of thinking, this merit of the fathers claimed for Israel signifies the
unique treasure of a spiritual inheritance which belongs to the Jew. This
inheritance of thousands of years provides such rare examples and such
high inspiration that it incites to the highest virtue, the firmest
loyalty, and the greatest love for truth and justice. Judaism, knowing no
such thing as original sin, points with pride instead to hereditary
virtue, deriving an inexhaustible source of blessing from its historical
continuity of four thousand years.

Chapter LVI. The Stranger and the Proselyte

1. Among all the laws of the Mosaic Code, that which has no parallel in
any other ancient code is the one enjoining justice, kindness and love
toward the stranger. The Book of the Covenant teaches: “And a stranger
shall thou not wrong, neither shalt thou oppress him; for ye were
strangers in the land of Egypt,”(1296) and “A stranger shalt thou not
oppress; for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in
the land of Egypt.” The Deuteronomic writer lays special stress on the
fact that Israel’s God, “who regardeth not persons nor taketh bribes, doth
execute justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loveth the stranger,
in giving him food and raiment.” He then concludes: “Love ye therefore the
stranger; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.”(1297) The Priestly
Code goes still further, granting the stranger the same legal protection
as the native.(1298)

2. We would, however, misunderstand the spirit of all antiquity, including
ancient Israel, if we consider this as an expression of universal love for
mankind and the recognition of every human being as fellow-man and
brother. Throughout antiquity and during the semi-civilized Middle Ages, a
stranger was an enemy unless he became a guest. If he sought protection at
the family hearth or (in the Orient) under the tent of a Sheik, he thereby
entered into a tutelary relation with both the clan or tribe and its
deity. After entering into such a relation, temporary or permanent, he
became, in the term which the Mosaic law uses in common with the general
Semitic custom, a _Ger_ or _Toshab_, “sojourner” or “settler,” entitled to
full protection.(1299) This relation of dependency on the community is
occasionally expressed by the term: “thy stranger that is within thy
gates.”(1300) Such protection implied, in turn, that the _Ger_ or
_protegé_ owed an obligation to the tribe or community which shielded him.
He stood under the protection of the tribal god, frequently assumed his
name, and thus dared not violate the law of the land or of its deity, lest
he forfeit his claim to protection.

3. In accordance with this, the oft-repeated Mosaic command for
benevolence toward the stranger, which placed him on the same footing with
the needy and helpless, imposed certain religious obligations upon him. He
was enjoined, like the Israelite, not to violate the sanctity of the
Sabbath by labor, nor to provoke God’s anger by idolatrous practices, and,
according to the Priestly Code, to avoid the eating of blood and the
contracting of incestuous marriages as well as the transgression of the
laws for Passover and the Day of Atonement. Naturally, in criminal cases
such as blasphemy he was subject to the death-penalty just like the
native.(1301) Still, the _Ger_ was not admitted as a citizen, and in the
Mosaic system of law he was always a tolerated or protected alien, unless
he underwent went the rite of circumcision and thus joined the Israelitish

4. With the transformation of the Israelitish State into the Jewish
community—in other words, with the change of the people from a political
to a religious status,—this relation to the non-Jew underwent a decided
change. As the contrast to the heathen became more marked, the _Ger_
assumed a new position. As he pledged himself to abandon all vestiges of
idolatry and to conform to certain principles of the Jewish law, he
entered into closer relations with the people. Accordingly, he adopted
certain parts of the Mosaic code or the entire law, and thus became either
a partial or a complete member of the religious community of Israel. In
either case he was regarded as a follower of the God of the Covenant. In
spite of the exclusive spirit which was dominant in the period following
Ezra, two forces favored the extending of the boundaries of Judaism beyond
the confines of the nation. On the one hand, the Babylonian Exile had
visualized and partially realized the prophecy of Jeremiah: “Unto Thee
shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say: ‘Our
fathers have inherited naught but lies, vanity and things wherein there is
no profit.’ ”(1303) For example, Zechariah announced a time when “many
peoples and mighty nations shall come to seek the Lord of Hosts in
Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord,” and “Ten men shall take
hold, out of all the languages of nations, shall even take hold of the
skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, ‘We will go with you, for we have
heard that God is with you.’ ”(1304) Another prophet said at the time of
the overthrow of Babylon: “For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob, and
will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land, and the stranger
(_Ger_, or proselyte) shall join himself with them, and they shall cleave
to the house of Jacob.”(1305) The Psalmists especially refer to the
heathen who shall join Israel,(1306) so that _Ger_ now becomes the regular
term for proselyte.(1307)

In addition to this inward religious desire we must consider the social
and political impulse. The handful of Judæans who had returned from
Babylonia were so surrounded by heathen tribes that, while the Samaritans
had attracted the less desirable groups, they were glad to welcome the
influx of such as promised to become true worshipers of God. The chief
problem was how to provide a legal form for these to “come over,”
_proselyte_ being the Greek term for “him who comes over.” By such a form
they could enter the community while accepting certain religious
obligations. In fact, such obligations had been stated before in the
Priestly Code, which admitted into the political community as “sojourners”
or “indwellers” those who pledged themselves to abstain from idolatry,
blasphemy, incest, the eating of blood or of flesh from living animals,
and from all violence against human life and property. They were debarred
only from marriage into the religious community, “the congregation of the
Lord.” Henceforth _Ger_ and _Ger Toshab_ became juridical terms, the
social and legal designation of those proselytes who had abjured
heathenism and joined the monotheistic ranks of Judaism as “worshipers of

5. Thus the first great step in the progress of Judaism from a national
system of law to a universal religion was made in Judæa. The next step was
to recognize the idea of the revelation of God to the “god-fearing men” of
the primeval ages, as described in the Mosaic books, and thus to open the
gates of the national religion for heathen who had become “God-fearing
men” or “worshipers of the Lord.” Thus the Psalms, after enumerating the
customary two or three classes, “the house of Israel,” “of Aaron,” and “of
Levi,” often add the “God-fearing” proselyte.(1308) The Synagogue was
especially attractive to the heathen who sought religious truth because of
its elevating devotion and its public instruction in the Scripture,
translated into Greek, the language of the cultured world. This sponsored
a new system for propagating the Jewish faith. The so-called Propaganda
literature of Alexandria laid its chief stress upon the ethical laws of
Judaism, not seeking to submit the non-Jew to the observance of the entire
Mosaic law or to subject him to the rite of circumcision. The Jewish
merchants, coming into contact with non-Jews in their travels on land and
sea, endeavored especially to present their religious tenets in terms of a
broad, universal religion. As a universal faith forms the background of
the entire Wisdom literature, particularly the book of Job, a simple
monotheism could be founded upon a divine revelation to mankind in
general, corresponding to the one to Noah and his sons after the flood.
The laws connected with this covenant, called the Noahitic laws, were
general humanitarian precepts. We find these enumerated in the Talmud as
six, seven, and occasionally ten. Sometimes we read of thirty such laws to
be accepted by the heathen, probably founded upon the nineteenth chapter
of Leviticus, at one time central in Jewish ethics.(1309) At any rate, the
observance of the so-called Noahitic laws was demanded of all worshipers
of the one God of Israel.

Strange to say, however, this extensive propaganda of the Alexandrian Jews
during the two or three pre-Christian centuries left few traces in the
history and literature of Palestinian Judaism. Two reasons seem at hand;
the growth of the Paulinian Church, which absorbed the missionary activity
of the Synagogue, and the effort of Talmudic Judaism to obliterate the old
missionary tradition. To judge from occasional references in Josephus and
the New Testament, as well as many inscriptions all over the lands of the
Mediterranean,(1310) the number of heathen converts to the Synagogue was
very large and caused attacks on Judaism in both Rome and Alexandria.
Josephus tells us that Jews and proselytes in all lands sent sacrificial
gifts to Jerusalem in such abundance as to excite the avarice of the
Romans.(1311) The Midrash preserves a highly interesting passage which
casts light on the earlier significance of the winning of heathen
converts, reading as follows: “When it is said in Zephaniah II, 5: ‘Woe to
the inhabitants of the sea-coast, the nation of Kerethites’; this means
that the inhabitants of the various pagan lands would be doomed to undergo
_Kareth_, ‘perdition,’ save for the one God-fearing proselyte, who is won
over to Judaism each year and set up to save the heathen world.”(1312) In
other words, the merit of the one proselyte whose conversion awakens the
hope for the winning of the entire heathen world to pure monotheism, is an
atoning power for all. Such was the teaching of the Pharisees, whom the
gospel of Matthew brands as hypocrites because of their zeal in making

6. This kind of proselytism was encouraged only by Alexandrian or
Hellenistic Judaism. In Palestine, however, the social system of the
nation was quite unfavorable to the simple “God-worshiper,” who remained
merely a tolerated alien, even though protected, and never really entered
the national body. Legally he was termed _Ger Toshab_, “settler,” which
meant semi-proselyte. The type of this class was Naaman, the Syrian
general who was instructed by Elijah to bathe in the Jordan to cure his
leprosy, and then became a worshiper of the God of Israel.(1313)
Similarly, whatever the real origin of the proselyte’s bath may have been,
a baptismal bath was prescribed for the proselyte to wash off the stain of
idolatry.(1314) He was regarded as one who had “fled from his former
master” (in heaven) to find refuge with the only God;(1315) therefore he
was legally entitled to shelter, support, and religious instruction from
the authorities.(1316) Certain places were assigned where he was to
receive protection and provision for his needs, but he was not allowed to
settle in Jerusalem, where only full proselytes were received as
citizens.(1317) According to Philo, special hospices were fitted out for
the reception of semi-proselytes.(1318)

7. In order to enjoy full citizenship and equal rights, the proselyte had
to undergo both the baptismal bath and the rite of circumcision, thus
accepting all the laws of the Mosaic Code equally with the Israelite born.
Beside this, he had to bring a special proselyte’s sacrifice as a
testimony to his belief in the God of Israel. In distinction from the _Ger
Toshab_, or semi-proselyte, he was then called _Ger ha Zedek_ or _Ger
Zedek_. This name, usually translated as “proselyte of righteousness,”
obviously possesses a deeper historical meaning. The Psalmist voices a
pure ethical monotheism in his query: “O Lord, who shall be a guest
(_Ger_, sojourner) in thy tent?” which he answers: “He that walketh
uprightly and worketh righteousness and speaketh truth in his
heart.”(1319) But the legal view of the priestly authorities was that only
the man who offers a “sacrifice of righteousness” and pledges himself to
observe all the laws binding upon Israel might become a “guest” in the
Temple on Zion, an adopted citizen of Jerusalem, the “city of
righteousness.”(1320) In illustration of this view a striking
interpretation to a Deuteronomic verse is preserved: “They shall call
people unto the mountain, there shall they offer sacrifices of
righteousness: that is, the heathen nations with their kings who come to
Jerusalem for commerce with the Jewish people shall be so fascinated by
its pure monotheistic worship and its simple diet, that they will espouse
the Jewish faith and bring sacrifices to the God of Israel as

The prominence of the full proselyte in the early Synagogue appears in the
ancient benediction for the righteous leaders and Hasidim, the Soferim and
Synedrion, the ruling authorities of the Jewish nation, where special
mention is made of “the Proselytes of (the) Righteousness.”(1322) These
full proselytes pushed aside the half-proselytes, so that, while both are
mentioned in the earlier classification, only the latter are considered by
the later Haggadah.(1323) With the dissolution of the Jewish State no
juridical basis remained for the _Ger Toshab_, the “protected stranger.”
R. Simeon ben Eleazar expressed this in the statement: “With the cessation
of the Jubilee year there was no longer any place for the _Ger Toshab_ in
Judæa.”(1324) We read in Josephus that no proselytes were accepted in his
time unless they submitted to the Abrahamitic rite and became full

However, as Josephus tells us, a strong desire to espouse the Jewish faith
existed among the pagan women of neighboring countries, especially of
Syria.(1326) The same situation existed in Rome according to the
rabbinical sources, Josephus, Roman writers, and many tomb
inscriptions.(1327) Conspicuous among these proselytes was Queen Helen of
Adiabene, who won lasting fame by her generous gifts to the Jewish people
in time of famine and to the Temple at Jerusalem; her son Menobaz, at the
advice of a Jewish teacher, underwent the rite of circumcision in order to
rise from a mere God-worshiper to a full proselyte.(1328) The
Midrash(1329) enumerates nine heathen women of the Bible who became
God-worshipers: Hagar; Asenath, the wife of Joseph, whose conversion is
described in a little known but very instructive Apocryphal book by that
name;(1330) Zipporah, the wife of Moses; Shifra and Puah, the Egyptian
midwives;(1331) Pharaoh’s daughter, the foster-mother of Moses, whom the
rabbis identified with Bithia (_Bath Yah_, “Daughter of the Lord”);(1332)
Rahab, whom the Midrash represents as the wife of Joshua and ancestress of
many prophets;(1333) Ruth and Jael. Philo adds Tamar, the daughter-in-law
of Judah, as a type of a proselyte.(1334)

8. Beside the term _Ger_, with its derivatives, which gave legal standing
to the proselyte, the religious genius of Judaism found another term which
illustrated far better the idea of conversion to Judaism. The words of
Boaz to Ruth: “Be thy reward complete from the Lord thy God of Israel,
under whose wings thou art come to take refuge,”(1335) were applied by the
Pharisean leaders to all who joined the faith as Ruth did. So it became a
technical term for converts to Judaism, “to come, or be brought, under the
wings of the divine majesty” (Shekinah).(1336) Philo frequently expresses
the idea that the proselyte who renounces heathenism and places himself
under the protection of Israel’s God, stands in filial relation to Him
exactly like the born Israelite.(1337) Therefore Hillel devoted his life
to missionary activity, endeavoring “to bring the soul of many a heathen
under the wings of the Shekinah.” But in this he was merely following the
rabbinic ideal of Abraham,(1338) and of Jethro, of whom the Midrash says:
“After having been won to the monotheistic faith by Moses, he returned to
his land to bring his countrymen, the Kenites, under the wings of the
Shekinah.”(1339) The proselyte’s bath in living water was to constitute a
rebirth of the former heathen, poetically expressed in the Halakic rule:
“A convert is like a newborn creature.”(1340) The Paulinian idea that
baptism creates a new Adam in place of the old is but an adaptation of the
Pharisaic view. Some ancient teachers therefore declared the proselyte’s
bath more important than circumcision, since it forms the sole initiatory
rite for female proselytes, as it was with the wives of the

9. The school of Hillel followed in the footsteps of Hellenistic Judaism
in accentuating the ethical element in the law;(1342) so naturally it
encouraged proselytism as well. The Midrash preserves the following
Mishnah, handed down by Simeon ben Gamaliel, but not contained in our
Mishnaic Code: “If a _Ger_ desires to espouse the Jewish faith, we extend
to him the hand of welcome in order to bring him under the wings of the
Shekinah.”(1343) Both the Midrash and the early Church literature reveal
traces of a Jewish treatise on proselytes, containing rules for admission
into the two grades, which was written in the spirit of the Hellenistic
propaganda, but was afterward rewritten and adopted by the Christian
Church. The school of Shammai in its rigorous legalism opposed proselytism
in general, and its chief representative, Eliezer ben Hyrcanos, distrusted
proselytes altogether.(1344) On the other hand, the followers of Hillel
were decidedly in favor of converting the heathen and were probably
responsible for many Haggadic passages extolling the proselytes. Thus the
verse of Deutero-Isaiah: “One shall say, ‘I am the Lord’s,’ and another
shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with
his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel” is
peculiarly applied in the Midrash. The first half, we are told, denotes
two classes of Israelites, those who are without blemish, and those who
have sinned and repented; the second half includes the two classes of
proselytes, those who have become full Jews (_Gere ha Zedek_) and those
who are merely worshippers of God (_Yir’e Shamayim_). A later Haggadic
version characteristically omits the last, recognizing only the full
converts (_Gere Emeth_) as proselytes.(1345) The following parable in the
spirit of the Essenes illustrates their viewpoint. In commenting upon the
verse from the Psalms: “The Lord keepeth the strangers,” the story is
told: A king possessed a flock of sheep and goats and noted that a deer
joined them, accompanying them to their pasture and returning with them.
So he said to the herdsmen: “Take good care of this deer of mine which has
left the free and broad desert to go in and out with my flock, and do not
let it suffer hunger or thirst.” Likewise God takes special delight in the
proselytes who leave their own nation, giving up their fellowship with the
great multitude in order to worship Him as the One and Only God, together
with the little people of Israel.(1346) Similarly the Biblical verse
concerning wisdom: “I love them that love me, and those that seek me
earnestly shall find me”(1347) is referred to the proselytes, “who give up
their entire past from pure love of God, and place their lives under the
sheltering wings of the divine majesty.” All these Midrashic passages and
many others are but feeble echoes of the conceptions of the Hellenistic
propaganda, which were so ably set forth by Philo and the Book of Asenath.
Indeed, Judaism must have exerted a powerful influence upon the cultured
world of Hellas and Rome in those days, as is evidenced both in the
Hellenistic writings of the Jew and in the Greek and Roman writers
themselves. Their very defamation of Judaism unwittingly gives testimony
to the danger to which Judaism exposed the pagan conception of life, and
to the hold it took upon many of the heathen.(1348)

10. The reaction against this missionary movement took place in Judea. The
enforced conversion of the Idumeans to Judaism by John Hyrcanus benefited
neither the nation nor the faith of the Jew, and turned the school of
Shammai, which belonged to the party of the Zealots, entirely against the
whole system of proselytism. On the whole, bitter experience taught the
Jews distrust of conversions due to fear, such as those of the Samaritans
who feared the lions that killed the inhabitants, or to political and
social advantage, like those under David and Solomon, or in the days of
Mordecai and Esther, or still later under John Hyrcanus.(1349) Instead,
all stress was laid upon religious conviction and loyalty to the law. In
fact, Josephus mentions many proselytes who in his time fell away from
Judaism,(1350) who may perhaps have been converts to Christianity. The
later Halakah, fixed under the influence of the Hadrianic persecution and
quoted in the Talmud as Baraitha, prescribes the following mode of
admission for the time after the destruction of the Temple, omitting
significantly much that was used in the preceding period:(1351) “If a
person desires to join Judaism as a proselyte, let him first learn of the
sad lot of the Jewish people and their martyrdom, so as to be dissuaded
from joining. If, however, he persists in his intention, let him be
instructed in a number of laws, both prohibitory and mandatory, easy and
hard to observe, and be informed also as to the punishment for their
disobedience and the reward for fulfillment. After he has then declared
his willingness to accept the belief in God and to adhere to His law, he
must submit to the rite of circumcision in the presence of two members of
the Pharisean community, take the baptismal bath, and is then fully
admitted into the Jewish fold.” It is instructive to compare this Halakic
rule with the manual for proselytes preserved by the Church under the name
of “The Two Ways,” but in a revised form.(1352) The mode of admission in
the Halakah seems modeled superficially after the more elaborate one of
the earlier code, where the Shema as the Jewish creed and the Ten
Commandments, possibly with the addition of the eighteenth and nineteenth
chapters of Leviticus and the twenty-seventh chapter of Deuteronomy, seem
to have formed the basis for the instruction and the solemn oath of the

11. As long as the Jewish people possessed a flourishing world-wide
commerce, unhampered by the power of the Church, they were still joined by
numerous proselytes in the various lands and enjoyed general confidence.
Indeed, many prominent members of the Roman nobility became zealous
adherents of Judaism, such as Aquilas, the translator of the Bible, and
Clemens Flavius, the senator of the Imperial house,(1353) and many
prominent Jewish masters were said to be descendants of illustrious
proselytes.(1354) All this changed as soon as the Christian Church girded
herself with “the sword of Esau.” From that time on proselytism became a
peril and a source of evil to the Jew. The sages no longer took pride in
the prophetic promise that “the stranger will join himself to Israel,” nor
did they find in the words “and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob”
an allusion to the prediction that some of these proselytes would be added
“to the priesthood of the Lord,” as some earlier teachers had interpreted
the passage.(1355) R. Helbo of the fourth century, on the contrary,
explained that proselytes have become a plague like “leprosy” for the
house of Jacob, taking the Hebrew _nispehu_ as an allusion to the word
_Sappahat_, “leprosy.”(1356) Henceforth all attempts at proselytism were
deprecated and discouraged, while uncircumcised proselytes,—probably
meaning the persecuting Christians—were relegated to Gehinnom.(1357)

12. This view was not shared by all contemporaries, however. R. Abbahu of
Cæsarea, who had many an interesting and bitter dispute with his Christian
fellow-citizens,(1358) was broad-minded enough to declare the proselytes
to be genuine worshipers of God.(1359) Joshua ben Hanania encouraged the
proselyte Aquilas and prognosticated great success for proselytes in
general as teachers of both the Haggada and Halakah. So other Haggadists
urged special love and compassion for the half-proselyte,(1360) and
entertained a special hope of the Messianic age that many heathen should
turn to God in sincerity of heart.(1361) At all events, it was considered
a great sin to reproach a convert with his idolatrous past.(1362) Indeed,
the phrase, “they that fear the Lord,” used so often in the Psalms, is
referred by the Haggadists to the proselytes; true, the chief stress is
laid upon the full proselytes, the _Gere Zedek_, but a foremost place in
the world to come is still reserved for God-worshipers like the Emperor
Antoninus.(1363) Thus Psalm CXXVIII, which speaks of the “God-fearing
man,” was applied to the proselyte, to whom were therefore promised
temporal bliss and eternal salvation, rejoicing in the Law, in deeds of
love and bounteous blessing from Zion.(1364) While the Halakah remained
antagonistic to proselytism on account of its narrow adherence to the
spirit of the Priestly Code, the Haggadah exhibits a broader view.
Resonant with the spirit of prophecy, it beckons to all men to come and
seek shelter under the wings of the one and only God, in order to
disseminate light and love all over the world.

13. Modern Judaism, quickened anew with the spirit of the ancient seers of
Israel, cannot remain bound by a later and altogether too rigid Halakah.
At the very beginning of the Talmudic period stands Hillel, the liberal
sage and master of the law, who, like Abraham of old, extended the hand of
fellowship to all who wished to know God and His law; he actually pushed
aside the national bounds to make way for a faith of love for God and the
fellow man. For this is the significance of his answer to the Roman
scoffer who wanted to hear the law expounded while he was standing on one
foot: “Whatever is hateful to thee, do not do to thy fellow man! That is
the law; all the rest is only commentary.”(1365) Thus the leaders of
progressive Judaism also have stepped out of the dark prison walls of the
Talmudic Ghetto and reasserted the humanitarian principles of the founders
of the Synagogue, who welcomed the proselytes into Israel and introduced
special blessings for them into the liturgy. They declare again, with the
author of Psalm LXXXVII, that Zion, the “city of God,” should be, not a
national center of Israel, but the metropolis of humanity, because Judaism
is destined to be a universal religion.(1366)

Not that Judaism is to follow the proselytizing methods of the Church,
which aims to capture souls by wholesale conversion without due regard for
the attitude or conviction of the individual. But we can no longer afford
to shut the gate to those who wish to enter, impelled by conviction or
other motives having a religious bearing, even though they do not conform
to the Talmudic law.(1367) This attitude guided the leaders of American
Reform Judaism at the rabbinical conference under the presidency of Isaac
M. Wise, when they considered the admission of proselytes at the present
time. In their decision they followed the maxim of the prophet of yore:
“Open the gates (of Judaism) that a righteous nation may enter that
keepeth the faith.”(1368)

14. It is interesting to observe how Philo of Alexandria contrasts those
who join the Jewish faith with those who have become apostates. The
former, he says, become at once prudent, temperate, modest, gentle, kind,
human, reverential, just, magnanimous, lovers of truth, and superior to
the temptations of wealth and pleasure, whereas the latter are
intemperate, unchaste, unjust, irreverent, low-minded, quarrelsome,
accustomed to falsehood and perjury, and ready to sell their freedom for
sensual pleasures of all kinds.(1369) In the times of Hellenic culture
apostasy made its appearance among the upper classes of the Jews. As the
higher-minded among the heathen world were drawn towards the sublime
monotheistic faith of the Jew, so the pleasure-seeking and worldly-minded
among the Jews were attracted by the allurements of Greek culture to
become faithless to the God of Israel, break away from the law, and
violate the covenant. Especially under Syrian rule, apostasy became a real
danger to the Jewish community, and many measures had to be decided upon
to avert it. The desertion of the ancestral faith was looked upon as
rebellion and treason against God and Israel.(1370) With the rise of the
Christian Church to power and influence the number of apostates increased,
and with it also the danger to the small community of the Jews in the
various lands. In the same measure as the Church made a meritorious
practice of the conversion of the Jews, whether by persuasive means or by
force and persecution, the authorities of Judaism had to provide the Jew
with spiritual weapons of self-defense in the shape of polemical and
apologetic writings,(1371) and to warn him against too close a contact
with the apostate, which was too often fraught with peril for the whole
community. As a number of these apostates became actual maligners of the
Jews under the Roman empire, a special malediction against sectarians, the
so-called _Birkat ha-Minim_, was inserted in the Eighteen Benedictions
under the direction of Gamaliel II.(1372) “Those who have emanated from my
own midst hurt me most,” says the Synagogue, referring to herself the
words of the Sulamite in the Song of Songs.(1373) While every other
offender from among the Jewish people is declared to be “brother,”
notwithstanding his sin,(1374) the apostate was declared to be one from
whom no free-will offering was to be accepted,(1375) and to whom the gates
of repentance and the gates of salvation are forever closed.(1376) The
feeling of bitterness against him grew in intensity, as throughout Jewish
history he often played the despicable rôle of an accuser of his former
coreligionists and betrayer of their faith. The modern Jew also, though he
sympathizes with every liberal movement among men and respects every
honest opinion, however radically different from his own, cannot but
behold in the attitude of him who deserts the small yet heroic band of
defenders of his ancient faith and joins the great and powerful majority
around him, a disloyalty and weakness of character unworthy of a son of
Abraham, the faithful. Since the beginning of the new era in the time of
Mendelssohn, apostasy has made great inroads upon the numerical and
intellectual strength of Judaism, especially among the upper classes. It
is no longer, however, of an aggressive character, but rather a result of
the lack of Jewish self-respect and religious sentiment, against which
measures tending to a revival of the Jewish spirit are being taken more
and more. The Jews are called by the rabbis “the faithful sons of the
faithful.” The apostate must be made to feel that he is of a lower type,
since he has become a deserter from the army of the battlers for the Lord,
the Only One God of Israel.

Chapter LVII. Christianity and Mohammedanism, the Daughter-Religions Of

1. “It shall come to pass on that day that living waters shall go out from
Jerusalem; half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the
western sea.... And the Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day
shall the Lord be One, and His name one.”(1377) These prophetic words of
Zechariah may be applied to the two great world-religions which emanated
from Judaism and won fully half of the human race, as it exists at
present, for the God of Abraham. Though they have incorporated many
non-Jewish elements in their systems, they have spread the fundamental
truths of the Jewish faith and Jewish ethics to every part of the earth.
Christianity in the West and Islam in the East have aided in leading
mankind ever nearer to the pure monotheistic truth. Consciously or
unconsciously, both found their guiding motive in the Messianic hope of
the prophets of Israel and based their moral systems on the ethics of the
Hebrew Scriptures. The leading spirits of Judaism recognized this,
declaring both the Christian and Mohammedan religions to be agencies of
Divine Providence, intrusted with the historical mission of coöperating in
the building up of the Messianic Kingdom, thus preparing for the ultimate
triumph of pure monotheism in the hearts and lives of all men and nations
of the world. These views, voiced by Jehuda ha Levi, Maimonides, and
Nahmanides,(1378) were reiterated by many enlightened rabbis of later
times. These point out that both the Christian and Mohammedan nations
believe in the same God and His revelation to man, in the unity of the
human race, and in the future life; that they have spread the knowledge of
God by a sacred literature based upon our Scripture; that they have
retained the divine commandments essentially as they are phrased in our
Decalogue; and have practically taught men to fulfill the Noahitic laws of
humanity.(1379) On account of the last fact the medieval Jewish
authorities considered Christians to be half-proselytes,(1380) while the
Mohammedans, being pure monotheists, were always still closer to Judaism.

2. In general, however, rabbinic Judaism was not in a position to judge
Christianity impartially, as it never learned to know primitive
Christianity as presented in the New Testament. We see no indication in
either the oldest Talmudic sources or Josephus that the movement made any
more impression in Galilee or Jerusalem than the other Messianic
agitations of the time. All that we learn concerning Jesus from the rabbis
of the second century and later is that magic arts were practiced by him
and his disciples who exorcised by his name; and, still worse, that the
sect named after him was suspected of moral aberrations like a few Gnostic
sects, known by the collective name of _Minim_, “sectarians.”(1381) As a
matter of fact, the early Church was chiefly recruited from the Essenes
and distinguished itself little from the rest of the Synagogue. Its
members, who are called Judæo-Christians, continued to observe the Jewish
law and changed their attitude to it only gradually.(1382) Matters took a
different turn under the influence of Paul, the apostle to the heathen,
who emphasized the antinomian spirit; the Judæo-Christian sects were then
pushed aside, hostility to Judaism became prominent, and the Church strove
more and more for a _rapprochement_ with Rome.(1383) Then the rabbis awoke
to the serious danger to Judaism from these heretics, _Minim_, when after
the tragic downfall of the Jewish nation they grew to world-power as
allies of the Roman Empire. Thus Isaac Nappaha, a Haggadist of the fourth
century, declared: “The turning point for the advent of the Messiah, the
son of David, will not come until the whole (Roman) Empire has been
converted to Christianity (_Minuth_).”(1384) This is supplemented by the
Babylonian Rabbah, who plays with a Biblical phrase, saying: “Not until
the whole (Roman) world has turned to the Son (of God).”(1385) Henceforth
Christian Rome was termed _Edom_, like pagan Rome from the days of Herod
the Idumean. In fact, her imperial edicts showed the fratricidal hatred of
Esau, with hardly a trace of the professed religion of love. No wonder the
Haggadists identified Rome with the Biblical “Boar of the forest,” and
waited impatiently for the time when she would have to give up her rule as
the fourth world-empire to the people of God, ushering in the Messianic

3. Meanwhile the relapse of Christianity from monotheism became more
steady and more apparent. The One God of the Jew was pushed into the
background by the “Son of Man”; and the Virgin-Mother with her divine
child became adored like the Queen of Heaven of pagan times, showing
similarity especially to Isis, the Egyptian mother-goddess, with Horus,
the young son-god, on her lap. The pagan deities of the various lands were
transformed into saints of the Church and worshiped by means of images, in
order to win the pagan masses for the Christian faith. The original pure
and absolute monotheism and the stern conception of holiness were thus
turned into their very opposites by the hierarchy and monasticism of the
Church. How, then, could the Jewish people recognize the crucified Christ
as one of their own? One whose preaching seemed to bring them only
damnation and death instead of salvation and life, even while speaking in
the name of Israel’s God after the manner of the prophets of yore? How
could they see in the strange doctrines of the Church any resemblance to
their own system of faith, especially as the very doctrines which repelled
them were those most emphasized by Christianity? Maimonides considered the
adherents of the Roman Church to be idolaters,(1387) a view which was
modified by the Jewish authorities in the West, as they became better
acquainted with Christian doctrines.(1388)

4. The world-empire of the Church was subsequently divided between Rome,
which the Jewish writers called _Edom_,(1389) and Byzantium, which they
named _Yavan_, but neither showed any real advance in religious views and
ideals. On the contrary, they both persecuted with fire and sword the
little people who were faithful to their ancient monotheism, and
suppressed what remained of learning and science. As the Church had the
great task of disciplining wild and semi-barbarous races, there was little
room left for learning or for high ideals. At this time a rigorous avenger
of the persecuted spirit of pure monotheism arose among the sons of
Ishmael in the desert of Arabia in the person of Mohammed, a camel-driver
of Mecca, a man of mighty passions and void of learning, but imbued with
the fire of the ancient prophets of Israel. He felt summoned by Allah, the
God of Abraham, to wage war against the idolatry of his nation and restore
the pure faith of antiquity. He kindled a flame in the hearts of his
countrymen which did not cease, until they had proclaimed the unity of God
throughout the Orient, had put to flight the trinitarian dogma of the
Church in both Asia and Africa, and extended their domain as far as the
Spanish peninsula. He offered the Jews inducements to recognize him as the
last, “the seal,” of the prophets, by promising to adopt some of their
religious practices; but when they refused, he showed himself fanatical
and revengeful, a genuine son of the Bedouins, unrelenting in his wrath
and ending his career as a cruel, sensuous despot of the true Oriental
type. Nevertheless, he created a religion which led to a remarkable
advancement of intellectual and spiritual culture, and in which Judaism
found a valuable incentive to similar endeavors. Thus Ishmael proved a
better heir to Abraham than was Esau, the hostile brother of Jacob.(1390)

5. The important, yet delicate question, which of the three religions is
the best, the Mohammedan, Christian or Jewish, was answered most cleverly
by Lessing in his _Nathan the Wise_, by adapting the parable of the three
rings, taken from Boccaccio. His conclusion is that the best religion is
the one which induces men best to promote the welfare of their fellow
men.(1391) But the question itself is much older; it was discussed at the
court of the Kaliphs in Bagdad as early as the tenth century, where the
adherents of every religion there represented expressed their opinions in
all candor. For centuries it was the subject of philosophical and
comparative investigations.(1392) Among these, the most thorough and
profound is the _Cuzari_ by the Jewish philosopher and poet, Jehuda ha
Levi. But the parable of the three rings also has been traced through
Jewish and Christian collections of tales dating back to the thirteenth
century, and seems to be originally the work of a Jewish author. Standing
between the two powerful faiths with their appeal to the temporal arm, the
Jew had to resort to his wit as almost his only resource for escape. Two
Jewish works have preserved earlier forms of the parable. In Ibn Verga’s
collection of histories of the fifteenth century, it is related that “Don
Pedro the Elder, King of Aragon (1196-1213), asked Ephraim Sancho, a
Jewish sage, which of the two religions, the Jewish or Christian, was the
better one. After three days’ deliberation, the sage told the king a story
of two sons who had each received a precious stone from their father, a
jeweler, when he went on a journey. The sons then went to a stranger,
threatening him with violence, unless he would decide which of the jewels
was the more valuable. The king, believing the story to be a fact,
protested against the action of the two sons, whereupon the Jew explained:
Esau and Jacob are the two sons who have each received a jewel from their
heavenly Father. Instead of asking me which jewel is the more precious,
ask God, the heavenly Jeweler. He knows the difference, and can tell the
two apart.”(1393)

An older and probably more original form of the parable was discovered by
Steinschneider in a work by Abraham Abulafia of the thirteenth century,
running as follows: “A father intended to bequeath a precious jewel to his
only son, but was exasperated by his ingratitude, and therefore buried it.
His servants, however, knowing of the treasure, took it and claimed to
have received it from the father. In the course of time they became so
arrogant that the son repented of his conduct, whereupon the father gave
him the jewel as his rightful possession.” The story ends by stating that
Israel is the son and the Moslem and Christian the servants.

Beside this witty solution of a delicate problem, some Mohammedans made
attempts very early, doubtless on account of discussions with learned
Jews, to prove the justification of the three religions from the Jewish
Scriptures themselves. Thus they referred the verse speaking of the
revelation of God on Sinai, Mount Seir, and Mount Paran(1394) to the
religious teachings of Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed. Naturally, the Jewish
exegetes and philosophers objected vigorously to such an interpretation.

6. The question which religion is the best, has been most satisfactorily
answered for Judaism by R. Joshua ben Hanania, who said that “the
righteous of the heathen have also a share in the world to come.”(1395)
The question which religion is true, has been, alas, too long arbitrated
by the sword, and will be decided peacefully only when the whole earth
will be full of the knowledge of God. Our own age, however, has begun to
examine the title to existence of every religion from the broad standpoint
of history and ethnology, assigning to each its proper rank. In this large
purview even the crude beliefs of savages are shown to be of value, and
the various heathen religions are seen to have a historical task of their
own. Each of them has to some extent awakened the dormant divine spark in
man; one has aided in the growth of the ideal of the beautiful in art,
another in the rise of the ideal of the true in philosophy and science; a
third in the cultivation of the ideal of the good and in stimulating
sympathy and love so as to ennoble men and nations. Thus after a careful
examination of the historical documents of the Christian and Mohammedan
religions, it is possible to state clearly their great historic mission
and their achievements in the whole domain of civilization. The Jewish
religion, as the mother who gave birth to both, must deliver the verdict,
how far they still contribute to the upbuilding of God’s kingdom on earth.
In fulfilling their appointed mission, each has given rise to valuable and
peculiar institutions, and each has fallen short of the Messianic ideal as
visualized by our great prophets of old. Only an impartial judgment can
say which one has reached the higher stage of civilization.

7. Christianity’s origin from Judaism is proved by its religious documents
as well as by its very name, which is derived from the Greek for the title
Messiah (_Christos_), bestowed on the Nazarene by his followers. Still the
name Christianity arose in Antioch among non-Jews who scarcely knew its
meaning. All the sources of the New Testament, however much they conflict
in details, agree that the movement of Christianity began with the
appearance of John the Baptist, a popular Essene saint. He rallied the
multitude at the shore of the Jordan, preparing them for the approaching
end of the Roman world-kingdom with the proclamation, “Wash yourselves
clean from your sins!” that is, “Take the baptismal bath of repentance,
for the kingdom of heaven is nigh.”(1396) He conferred the baptismal bath
of repentance upon Jesus of Nazareth and the first apostles.(1397) Jesus
took up this message when John was imprisoned and finally killed by Herod
Antipas on account of his preachment against him.(1398) The life of Jesus
is wrapt in legends which may be reduced to the following historical
elements:(1399) The young Nazarene was of an altogether different
temperament from that of John the Baptist, the stern, Elijah-like preacher
in the wilderness;(1400) he manifested as preacher and as a healer of the
sick a profound love for, and tender sympathy with suffering humanity, a
trait especially fostered among the Essenes. This drew him toward that
class of people who were shunned as unclean by the uncompromising leaders
of the Pharisees, and also by the rigid brotherhoods of the Essenes, whose
chief object was to attain the highest degree of holiness by a life of
asceticism. His simple countrymen, the fishers and shepherds of Galilee,
on hearing his wise and humane teachings and seeing his miraculous cures,
considered him a prophet and a conqueror of the hosts of demons, the
workers of disease. In contrast to the learned Pharisees, he felt it to be
his calling to bring the good tidings of salvation to the poor and
outcast, to “seek the lost sheep of the house of Israel” and win them for
God. He soon found himself surrounded by a multitude of followers, who, on
a Passover pilgrimage to Jerusalem, induced him to announce himself as the
expected Messiah. He attracted the people in Jerusalem by his vehement
attacks upon the Sadducean hierarchy, which he threatened with the wrath
of heaven for its abuses, and also by his denunciations of the
self-sufficient Pharisean doctors of the law. Soon the crisis came when he
openly declared war against the avarice of the priests, who owned the
markets where the sacrificial fowl for the Temple were sold, overthrowing
the tables of the money-changers, and declaring the Temple to have become
“a den of robbers.”(1401) The hierarchical council delivered him to
Pontius Pilatus, the Roman prefect, as an aspirant to the royal title of
Messiah, which in the eyes of the Romans meant a revolutionary leader. The
Roman soldiers crucified him and mocked him, calling him, “Jesus, the king
of the Jews.”(1402)

The fate of crucifixion, however, did not end the career of Jesus, as it
had that of many other claimants to the Messiahship in those turbulent
times. His personality had impressed itself so deeply upon his followers
that they could not admit that he had gone from them forever. They awaited
his resurrection and return in all the heavenly glory of the “Son of Man,”
and saw him in their ecstatic visions, attending their love-feasts,(1403)
or walking about on the lake of Nazareth while they were fishing from
their boats, or hovering at the summit of the mountains.(1404) This was
but the starting point of that remarkable religious movement which grew
first among the lower classes in northern Palestine and Syria,(1405) then
gradually throughout the entire Roman Empire, shaking the whole of
heathendom until all its deities gave way to the God of Israel, the divine
Father of the crucified Messiah. The Jewish tidings of salvation for the
poor and lowly offered by the Nazarene became the death-knell to the proud
might of paganism.

8. But the ways of Providence are as inscrutable as they are wonderful.
The poor and lowly members of the early Christian Churches, with their
leaders, called “apostles” or “messengers” of the community,—elected
originally to carry out works of charity and love,(1406)—would never have
been able to conquer the great world, if they had persisted in the Essene
traditions. They owed their success to the large Hellenistic groups who
joined them at an early period and introduced the Greek language as their
medium of expression. Henceforth the propaganda activity of the
Alexandrian Jews was adopted by the young Church, which likewise took up
all the works of wisdom and ethics written in Greek for the instruction of
the proselytes and the young, scarcely known to the Palestinian schools.
The Essene baptism for repentance was replaced by baptism for conversion
or initiation into the new faith, while the neophyte to be prepared for
this rite was for a long time instructed mainly in the doctrines of the
Jewish faith.(1407) Subsequently collections of wise sayings and moral
teachings ascribed to the Nazarene and handed down in the Aramaic
vernacular, orally or in writing, were translated into Greek. These
together with the manuals for proselytes were the original Church
teachings. The Greek language paved the way for the Church to enter the
great pagan world, exactly as the Greek translation of the Bible in
Alexandria brought the teachings of Judaism to the knowledge of the
outside world.

At first the same obstacle confronted the early Church which had prevented
the Synagogue from becoming a world conqueror, namely, the rite of
circumcision, which was required for full membership. Without this,
baptized converts were only half-proselytes and could not be fully
assimilated. This classification was still upheld by the Apostolic
Convention, which met under the presidency of James the Elder.(1408) The
time was ripe for a bold and radical innovation, and at this psychological
moment arose a man of great zeal and unbridled energy as well as of a
creative genius and a mystical imagination,—Saul of Tarsus, known by his
Roman name Paulus.(1409) He had been sent by the authorities at Jerusalem
to pursue the adherents of the new sect, but when he had come as far as
Damascus in Syria, he suddenly turned from a persecutor into the most
ardent promoter of the nascent Church, impelled by a strange
hallucination. Paul was a carpet weaver by trade, born and reared in
Tarsus, a seaport of Asia Minor, where he seems to have had a Greek
training and to have imbibed Gnostic or semi-pagan ideas beside his
Biblical knowledge. In this ecstatic vision on his journey he beheld the
figure of Jesus, “the crucified Christ,” whose adherents he was pursuing,
yet whom he had never seen in the flesh, appearing as a heavenly being
whom Paul identified as the heavenly Adam, the archetypal “godlike” man.

Upon this strange vision he constructed a theological system far more
pagan than Jewish in type, according to which man was corrupt through the
sin of the first couple, and the death of Jesus on the cross was to be the
atoning sacrifice offered by God himself, who gave His own son as a ransom
for the sins of humanity. This doctrine he used as a lever with which, at
one bold stroke, he was to unhinge the Mosaic law and make the infant
Church a world-religion. Through baptism in the name of the Christ, the
old sin-laden Adam was to be cast off and the new heavenly Adam, in the
image of Christ, put on instead. The new covenant of God’s atoning love
was to replace the old covenant of Sinai, to abolish forever the old
covenant based upon the Jewish law, and to set mankind free from all law,
“which begets sin and works wrath.” In Christ, “who is the end of the
law,” the sinfulness of the flesh should be overcome and the gates of
salvation be opened to a world redeemed from both death and sin.(1410) The
one essential for salvation was to accept the _mystery_ concerning the
birth and death of Christ, after the manner of the heathen
mystery-religions, and to employ as sacramental symbols of the mystery the
rites of baptism and communion with Christ.

9. This system of Paul, however, demanded a high price of its votaries.
Acceptance of the belief meant the surrender of reason and free thinking.
This breach in pure monotheism opened the door for the whole heathen
mythology and the worship of the heathen deities in a new form. But the
saddest result was the dualism of the system; the kingdom of God predicted
by the prophets and sages of Israel for all humanity was transferred to
the hereafter, and this life with all its healthy aspirations was
considered sinful and in the hands of Satan. The cross, originally a sign
of life,(1411) became from this time and through the Middle Ages a sign of
death, casting a shadow of sin upon the Christian world and a shadow of
terror upon the Jew.

The greatest harm of all, however, was done to Judaism itself. Paul made a
caricature of the Law, which he declared to be a rigid, external system,
not elevating life, but only inciting to transgression and engendering
curse. He even aroused a feeling of hatred toward the Law, which grew in
intensity, until it became a source of untold cruelty for many centuries.
This spirit permeated the Gospels more and more in their successive
appearance, even finding its way into the Sermon on the Mount. In the
simple form given in the Gospel of Luke this was a teaching of love and
tenderness; in Matthew, Jesus is represented as offering a new
dispensation to replace the revelation of Sinai.(1412) Here the Mosaic law
is presented as a system of commandments demanding austere adherence to
the letter with no regard to the inner life, whereas, on the other hand,
the actual teachings of the Nazarene were animated by love and sympathy,
emanating from the ethical spirit of the Law. Yet the very words of Jesus
in this same sermon disavow every hint of antinomianism: “Verily I say
unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no
wise pass from the Law till all be fulfilled.”(1413) As a matter of fact,
the very teachings of love and inwardness which are embodied in both the
Sermon on the Mount and the epistles of Paul were largely adopted from the
Pharisean schools and Hasidean works as well as from the Alexandrian
Propaganda literature and the Proselyte Manuals preserved by the Church.

In fact, part of this criticism was voiced by the Pharisees, as they
attacked the Sadducean insistence upon the letter of the Law. The
Pharisean spirit of progress applied new methods of interpretation to the
Mosaic Code and especially to the Decalogue, deriving from them a higher
conception of God and godliness, breaking the fetters of the letter, and
working mainly for the holiness of the inner life and the endeavor to
spread happiness about.(1414) Taking no heed of the actual achievements of
the Synagogue, the Paulinian Church rose triumphantly to power after the
downfall of the Jewish State and impregnated the Christian world with
hostility to Judaism and the Jew, which lasts to this very day, thus
turning the gospel of love into a source of religious hatred.

10. Nevertheless it cannot be denied that Paulinian Christianity, while
growing into a world-conquering Church, achieved the dissemination of the
Sinaitic doctrines as neither Judaism nor the Judæo-Christian sect could
ever have done. The missionary zeal of the apostle to the heathen caused a
fermentation and dissolution in the entire neo-Jewish world, which will
not end until all pagan elements are eliminated. Eventually the whole of
civilization will accept, through a purified Christianity, the Fatherhood
of God, the only Ruler of the world, and the brotherhood of all men as His
children. Then, in place of an unsound overemphasis on the principle of
love, justice will be the foundation of society; in place of a pessimistic
other-worldliness, the optimistic hope for a kingdom of God on earth will
constitute the spiritual and ethical ideal of humanity. We must not be
blind to the fact that only her alliance with Rome, her holding in one
hand the sword of Esau and in the other the Scriptures of the house of
Jacob, made the Church able to train the crude heathen nations for a life
of duty and love, for the willing subordination to a higher power, and
caused them to banish vice and cruelty from their deep hold on social and
domestic life. Only the powerful Church was able to develop the ancient
Jewish institutions of charity and redeeming love into magnificent systems
of beneficence, which have led civilization forward toward ideals which it
will take centuries to realize.

Nor must we overlook the mission of the Church in the realm of art, a
mission which Judaism could never have undertaken. The stern conception of
a spiritual God who tolerated no visible representation of His being made
impossible the development of plastic art among the Jews. The semi-pagan
image worship of the Christian Church, the representation of God and the
saints in pictorial form, favored ecclesiastical art, until it broadened
in the Renaissance into the various arts of modern times. Similarly, the
predominance of mysticism over reason, of the emotions over the intellect
in the Church, gave rise to its wonderful creation of music, endowing the
soul with new powers to soar aloft to undreamed-of heights of emotion, to
be carried along as upon Seraph’s wings to realms where human language
falters and grows faint. Beyond dispute Christianity deserves great credit
for having among all religions opened wide the flood gates of the soul by
cultivating the emotions through works of art and the development of
music, thereby enriching human life in all directions.

11. Islam, the other daughter of Judaism, for its part, fostered the
intellectual side of humanity, so contemptuously neglected by the Church.
The cultivation of philosophy and science was the historical task assigned
to the Mohammedan religion. From the sources of information we have about
the life and revelation of Mohammed, we learn that the origin of the
belief in Allah, the God of Abraham, goes back to an earlier period when
Jewish tribes settled in south Arabia. Among these Jews were traders,
goldsmiths, famous warriors, and knights endowed with the gift of song,
who disseminated Jewish legends concerning Biblical heroes.(1415) Amid
hallucinations and mighty emotional outbursts this belief in Allah took
root in the fiery soul of Mohammed, who thus received sublime conceptions
of the one God and His creation, and of the world’s Judge and His future
Day of Judgment. The sight of idolatry, cruelty, and vice among his
countrymen filled him with boundless indignation, so that he began his
career as a God-sent preacher of repentance, modeling his life after the
great prophets of yore. With drastic threats of the last Judgment he tried
to force the idolaters to return to Allah in true repentance. But few of
his hearers believed in his prophetic mission, and the leading men of the
city of Mecca, who derived a large income from the heathen sanctuary
there, opposed him with fierce and violent measures.

Thus he was forced to flee to the Jewish colony of Yathrib, afterwards
called Medina, “the city” of the prophet. He hoped for recognition there,
especially after he had made certain concessions, such as turning the face
toward Jerusalem in prayer, and keeping the Day of Atonement on the tenth
of Tishri. In addition, he emphasized the unity of God in the strongest
possible manner, and opposed every encroachment upon it by the belief in
additional powers or persons, attacking the Christians on the one hand and
his Arabian countrymen on the other, with the sarcastic phrase: “Verily,
God has neither a son, nor has He any daughter.” In spite of all these
facts, the Jews could not be brought to recognize the uneducated son of
the desert as a prophet. Therefore his proffered friendship was turned to
deadly hatred and passionate revenge. His whole nature underwent a great
change; his former enthusiasm and prophetic zeal were replaced by
calculation and worldly desire, so that the preacher of repentance of
Mecca became at the last a lover of bloodshed, robbery and lust. Instead
of Jerusalem he chose Mecca with its heathen traditions as the center of
his religious system and aimed chiefly to win the Arabian tribes for his
divine revelation.

Thus the entire Arabian nation, full of youthful energy, burning with the
impulse of great deeds, bore the faith of the One God to the world by the
sword. Like Israel of old, it stepped forth from the desert with a divine
revelation contained in a holy book. It conquered first the Christian
lands of the East, which under the Trinitarian dogma had lapsed from pure
monotheism, then the northern coast of Africa, and it finally unfurled the
green flag of Islam over the lands of the West to free them from the
fanatical Church. Henceforth war was waged for centuries between the One
God of Abraham and the triune God of the Church in both Spain and
Palestine. Then might the genius of history ask: “Watchman, what of the
night? Watchman, what of the night?” And again the words are heard, as
from on high: “The morning cometh, and also the night.” The final victory
is yet to come.

12. It cannot be denied that the Mohammedan monotheism has a certain
harshness and bluntness. It cannot win the heart by the mildness of heaven
or the recognition of man’s individuality. _Islam_, as the name denotes,
demands blind submission to the will of God, and it has led to a fatalism
which paralyzes the sense of freedom, and to a fanaticism which treats
every other faith with contempt. Islam has remained a national religion,
which has never attained the outlook upon the whole of humanity, so
characteristic of the prophets of Israel. Its view of the hereafter is
crude and sensuous, while its picture of the Day of Judgment bears no
trace of the divine mercy. On the other hand, we must recognize that the
reverence of the Koran lent the “Men of the Book,” the representatives of
culture, greater dignity, and provided a mighty incentive to study and
inquiry. Damascus and Bagdad became under the Caliphs centers of learning,
of philosophical study and scientific investigation, uniting Nestorian,
Jew, and Mohammedan in the great efforts towards general enlightenment.
The consequence was that Greek science and philosophy, banished by the
Church, were revived by the Mohammedan rulers and again cultivated, so
that Judaism also felt their fructifying power. Our modern Christian
civilization, so-called by Christian historians, is largely the fruit of
the rich intellectual seeds sown by Mohammedans and Jews, after the works
of ancient Greeks had been translated into Syrian, Arabic, and Hebrew by a
group of Syrian Unitarians (the Nestorians) assisted by Jewish

As for instance the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II, the friend of
Jewish and other liberal thinkers, was much more of an investigator than a
believer, so did the spirit of investigation derived from Islam and
Judaism pervade Christendom, and create the great intellectual movements
which finally undermined its creeds and shattered its solidarity into
contending sects. _Return_ to the Bible and the God of the Bible, to a
Sabbath devoted to instruction in the word of God, and to the recognition
of human freedom and the sanctity of the family—this was the watchword of
the Reformation. Return to the right of free thought and free conscience,
which implies the pure worship of God as He lives in the heart, is now the
watchword of those who endeavor to reform the Protestant Church. That is,
both are moved by a desire to return to the principles and ideals set
forth by Israel’s prophets of old.

13. Both the Church, Protestant and Catholic, and the Mosque have a
Providential mission which they must fulfill through the ages of history,
until all the heathen have learned to worship God as the spirit of
holiness in man, instead of seeking Him in the blind forces of nature or
of destiny. True, the Mohammedan religion is predisposed to sensuality and
still awaits the process of purification to become completely
spiritualized; yet indications are not lacking that a process of reform is
approaching to bring out the gold of pure monotheism and cast off the
dross of Oriental voluptuousness and superstition. We must remember that
during the dark night of medieval ignorance and barbarism Islam carried
throughout all lands the torch of philosophy and scientific investigation
and of the pure faith in God. Even to-day it accomplishes far more for the
advancement of life in the east of Asia and the south of Africa than did
the Russian Church with her gross superstition and idolatry, or even some
branches of Protestantism, with their deification of a human being.

Between Church and Mosque, hated and despised by both, stood and still
stands the Synagogue, proudly conscious of its divine mission. It feels
itself the banner-bearer of a truth which brooks no compromise, of a
justice which insists on the rights of all men. It offers the world a
religion of peace and love, admitting no division or discord among
mankind, waiting for the day when the God of Sinai shall rear high His
throne in the hearts of all men and nations. To-day the Synagogue,
rejuvenated by the influences of modern culture, looks with ever greater
confidence to a speedy realization of its Messianic hope for all humanity.

Hitherto Judaism was restrained by its two daughter-religions from
pursuing its former missionary activity. It was forced to employ all its
energy in the single effort for self-preservation. But in the striking
contrasts of our age, when the enlightened spirit of humanity struggles so
bitterly with the forces of barbarism and brutality, we may well see the
approaching dawn of a new era. That glorious day, we feel, will witness
the ultimate triumph of justice and truth, and out of the day which is
“neither day nor night” will bring forth the time when “the Lord shall be
King over all the earth, the Lord shall be One and His name One.”(1417)
This will be an auspicious time for Israel to arise with renewed prophetic
vigor as the bearer of a world-uniting faith, as the triumphant Messiah of
the nations. Through Israel the monotheistic faiths of the world may find
a union so that, in fulfillment of the ancient prophecy,(1418) its Sabbath
may be a world-Sabbath and its Atonement Day a feast of at-one-ment and
reconciliation for all mankind. “He that believeth shall not make

Yet just because of this universalistic Messianic hope of Judaism it is
still imperative, as it has been throughout the past, that the Jewish
people must continue its separateness as “a Kingdom of priests and a holy
nation,” and for the sake of its world-mission avoid intermarrying with
members of other sects, unless they espouse the Jewish faith.(1420)
Israel’s particularism, says Professor Lazarus,(1421) has its universalism
as motive and aim.

Chapter LVIII. The Synagogue and its Institutions

1. Every religion, as soon as it attains any degree of self-consciousness,
aims to present a convincing form of truth to the individual and to win
adherents in increasing numbers. Nevertheless the maintenance of a
religion does not rest upon its doctrines, which must differ according to
the intellectual capacity of the people and the prevailing views of each
age. Its stability is based upon those forms and institutions which lend
it a peculiar character, and which express, symbolically or otherwise,
definite ideas, religious, ethical, and historical. For this reason many
exponents of Judaism would entirely discard the idea of a systematic
theology, and insist on the observance of the ceremonial laws as the one
essential. In following tradition in this manner, they forget that the
forms of religious practice have undergone many changes in the course of
time. In fact, the vitality of Judaism lies in its unique capacity for
development. Its ever youthful mind has constantly created new forms to
express the ideas of the time, or has invested old ones with new

2. The greatest and, indeed, the unique creation of Judaism is the
Synagogue, which started it on its world-mission and made the Torah the
common property of the entire people. Devised in the Exile as a substitute
for the Temple, it soon eclipsed it as a religious force and a rallying
point for the whole people, appealing through the prayers and Scriptural
lessons to the congregation as a whole. The Synagogue was limited to no
one locality, like the Temple, but raised its banner wherever Jews settled
throughout the globe. It was thus able to spread the truths of Judaism to
the remotest parts of the earth, and to invest the Sabbath and festivals
with deeper meaning by utilizing them for the instruction and elevation of
the people. What did it matter, if the Temple fell a prey to the flame for
a second time, or if the whole sacrificial cult of the priesthood with all
its pomp were to cease forever? The soul of Judaism lived indestructibly
in the house of prayer and learning. In the Synagogue was fanned the holy
flame which kindled the heart with love of God and fellow-men; here were
offered sacrifices more pleasing to God than the blood and fat of beasts,
sacrifices of love and charity.(1423)

3. The Synagogue has its peculiar institutions and ceremonies, but no
sacraments like those of the Church. Its institutions, such as the
festivals, aim to preserve the historic memory of the people; its
ceremonies, called “signs” or “testimonies” in the Scripture, are to
sanctify the life of the nation, the family, or the individual. Neither
possesses a sacramental power, as does baptism or communion in the Church,
in giving salvation, or imparting something of the nature of the Deity, or
making one a member of the religious community. The Jew is a member of the
Jewish community by his birth, which imposes upon him the obligations of
the covenant which God made with Israel at Mount Sinai. Judaism is a
religious heritage intrusted to a nation of priests, and is not acquired
by any rite of consecration or confession of faith. Such a form of
consecration and confession is required only in the case of
proselytes.(1424) It is superfluous to state that Confirmation does not
bestow the character of Jew upon the young, any more than the former rite
of Bar Mizwah did upon the young Israelite who was called up to the
reading from the Law in his thirteenth year as a form of initiation into
Jewish life.(1425)

4. The rite of circumcision is enjoined upon the father in the Mosaic Code
as a “sign” of the covenant with Abraham, to be performed on every son on
the eighth day after birth.(1426) Therefore it is held in high esteem, and
the father terms the act in his benediction “admission into the covenant
of Abraham”;(1427) but in spite of this it is not a sacrament and does not
determine membership in the Jewish community. The operation was not to be
performed by a person of sacred calling such as priest or rabbi, but in
ancient Biblical times was performed by women,(1428) and in the Talmudic
period by the surgeon.(1429) In fact, if no Jewish surgeon was at hand,
some Talmudic authorities held that a non-Jewish surgeon could perform it.
Moreover, where hygienic reasons forced the omission of the rite, the man
was still a Jew.(1430) The rite itself underwent a change; it was
performed with stone knives in Biblical times, just as in Egypt and even
to-day in Arabia and Syria.(1431) It became a mark of distinction for the
people during the Exile.(1432) But the act was invested with special
religious sanctity during the Syrian persecution, when many Jewish youths
“violated the covenant” in order to appear uncircumcised when they
appeared in the arena with the heathen.(1433) At this time new methods
were introduced to guard the “seal” of the covenant,(1434) while pious
mothers faced martyrdom willingly to preserve the rite of Abraham among
their children. Later on the rabbis even declared circumcision to be a
safeguard against the pit of Gehenna(1435) and made Elijah the guardian of
the covenant.(1436) The rite may be traced back to primitive life, when
the operation was usually performed at the time of puberty and as a
preliminary to marriage,(1437) but in Jewish life it assumed a religious
meaning and became endeared to the people as the consecration of the child
as the future head of a family. The idea underlying the institution (as
Zunz correctly calls it)(1438) is the sanctification of the Jewish
household as represented by its male members. The member of a people that
is to be holy unto God must bear the seal of the covenant on his flesh; as
a potential father of another generation, the sign he bore had a deeper
meaning for the future of the people.(1439) The rationalistic view that
the Mosaic law is merely hygienic, although found as early as Philo, is
quite erroneous.(1440)

5. The same rationalist view(1441) is often applied to the dietary laws of
the Mosaic Code, but without any justification from the Biblical point of
view. These laws prohibit as unclean various species of animals, or such
as have fallen dead or as the prey of wild beasts, or certain portions
like blood and suet.(1442) The Holiness Code states its reason for these
prohibitions very emphatically: “I am the Lord your God, who have set you
apart from the peoples. Ye shall therefore separate between the clean
beast and the unclean, and between the unclean fowl and the clean; and ye
shall not make your souls detestable by beast, or by fowl, or by any thing
wherewith the ground teemeth, which I have set apart for you to hold
unclean. And ye shall be holy unto Me; for I the Lord your God am holy,
and have set you apart from the peoples, that ye should be Mine.”(1443)
The Deuteronomic Code gives the same reason for the prohibition of the
unclean beasts: “For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God.” It
seems that these prohibitions of “unclean” foods were intended originally
for the priesthood and other holy men, as appears in Ezekiel and
elsewhere.(1444) As a matter of fact, the same class of animals from which
the Israelites were commanded to abstain were also forbidden to the
priests or saints of India, Persia, Mesopotamia, and partly of
Egypt.(1445) The natural conclusion is that the Mosaic law intended these
rules as a practical expression of its general principle that Israel was
to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”(1446) In other words,
Israel was to fill the usual place of the priest among the nations of the
ancient world, a priest-people observing the priestly laws of
sanctification. Whatever the origin of these customs may have been,
whether they were tabu laws in connection with totemism or some other
primitive view, the Priestly Code itself admits their lack of an
Israelitish origin by recognizing that they were known to Noah.(1447) They
were simply adopted by the law-giver of Israel to make the whole people
feel their priestly calling.

In later times the dietary laws, especially abstinence from the flesh of
swine, became a mark of distinction which separated the Jew from his
heathen surroundings; and they became a symbol of Jewish loyalty in the
Syrian persecutions when pious Jews faced martyrdom for them as willingly
as for the refusal to adore the Syrian idols.(1448) In fact, Pharisaism
adopted the principle of separation from the heathen in every matter
pertaining to diet, and this spirit of separatism was strengthened by the
scorn of the Greeks and Romans and afterward by the antinomian spirit of
Christianity. While Hellenistic writers, eager to find a universal meaning
in these laws, assigned certain physical or psychic reasons for
them,(1449) the rabbis of the Talmud insisted that they were given solely
for the moral purification of Israel. Thus they were to be observed as
tests of Israel’s submission to the divine will and not because of
personal distaste. In their own words, “We must overcome all desire for
the sake of our Father in heaven”; and “Only to those who wrestle with
temptation does the kingdom of God come.”(1450) In the course of time
these prohibitions were steadily extended, until they encircled the whole
life of the Jew, forming an insurmountable wall which secluded him from
his non-Jewish environment. Finally, separation from the world came to be
regarded as an end in itself.(1451)

Now, it cannot be denied that these laws actually disciplined the medieval
Jew, so that during centuries of wild dissipation he practiced sobriety
and moderation; as Maimonides says,(1452) they served as lessons in
self-mastery, in curbing carnal desire, and keeping him clean in soul as
well as body. The question remains whether they still fulfill their real
object of consecrating Israel to its priestly mission among the nations.
Certainly the priestly character of these laws is no longer understood,
and the great majority of the Jewish people who live among the various
nations have long discarded them. Orthodox Judaism, which follows
tradition without inquiring into the purpose of the laws, is entirely
consistent in maintaining the importance of every item of the traditional
Jewish life. Reform Judaism has a different view, as it sees in the
humanitarianism of the present a mode of realizing the Messianic hope of
Israel. Therefore it cannot afford to encourage the separation of the Jew
from his environment in any way except through the maintenance of his
religion, and cannot encourage the dietary laws as a means of separatism.
Its great problem is to find other methods to inculcate the spirit of
holiness in the modern Jew, to render him conscious of his priestly
mission, while he lives in unison and fellowship with all his

6. The tendency to distinguish the Jew from his non-Jewish neighbor in the
course of time found expression in the laws for wearing phylacteries
(_tefillin_) on his forehead and arm, a special sign on the doorpost of
his house (_mezuzzah_) and fringes (_zizith_) on the four corners of his
shawl (_tallith_).(1454) As a matter of fact, the original Biblical
passages had no such meaning, but acquired it through rabbinical
interpretation. The Mosaic law said: “And thou shalt bind them for a sign
upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes. And
thou shalt write them upon the doorposts of thy house and upon thy gates.”
This refers clearly to the words of God, admonishing the people to keep
them in mind, as the preceding verse indicates. Likewise, the precept
regarding the fringes upon the four-cornered garment emphasizes rather the
blue thread in the fringes, which is to help the people remember the
commandments of the Lord, that they may not go astray, “following after
the promptings of their own hearts and eyes.” As the name phylacteries
shows, these were originally talismans or amulets. True, the law as stated
in Deuteronomy may be taken symbolically;(1455) but the corresponding
passage in Exodus, which is traditionally referred to the phylacteries,
indicates its origin by its close relation to the Passover sacrifice. The
blood of this was, no doubt, put originally on the arm and forehead,(1456)
which is still done by the Samaritans(1457) and has striking parallels in
the practice of the Fellahin in Palestine and Syria.(1458) Originally the
sacrificial blood was supposed to ward off evil spirits from men, beasts
and houses or tents, and gradually this pagan custom was transformed into
a religious precept to consecrate the body, life, and home of the Jew. In
more ancient times the phylacteries were worn by pious men and women all
day and not merely during the time of prayer, and seem to have served both
as a religious symbol and an amulet. This was certainly the case with the
_mezuzzah_ on the doorpost and probably with the blue thread at the
corners of the _tallith_.(1459) As both phylacteries and _tallith_ came
into use at the divine service in connection with the recital of the
_Shema_ and the chapter on the _zizith_, the symbols assumed a higher
meaning. Arrayed in his vestments, the pious Jew offered daily allegiance
to his Maker, feeling that he was thereby protected from evil within and
without; similarly, the sacred sign upon the door both consecrated and
protected his home. Even with this conception the talismanic character was
never quite forgotten. Throughout the Middle Ages these ceremonies were
observed as divine commandments; and tradition having seemingly fixed them
for all time, the Jew took great pride in the fact that he was
“distinguished” in many ways, and especially in his forms of
worship.(1460) Of course, they distinguished him far more when these
ceremonies were practiced for the entire day. Since the modern era has
brought the Jew nearer to his neighbors and he has opened the Synagogue to
invite the non-Jewish world to hear its teachings, these practices have
lost their hold upon the people, becoming meaningless forms. The wearing
of these sacred symbols while at prayer seems superfluous as a means of
“turning men’s hearts away from frivolous and sinful thoughts.”(1461)

7. The most important institution of the Synagogue, and the one most
fraught with blessing for all mankind, is the Sabbath. Although its name
and existence point to a Babylonian origin,(1462) it is still the peculiar
creation of the Jewish genius and a chief pillar of the Jewish religion.
As a day of rest crowning the daily labor of the week, it testifies to the
Creator of the universe who made all that is in accordance with His divine
plan of perfection. The underlying idea expressed in Scripture is that the
Sabbath is a divine institution. As God himself worked out His design for
the world in absolute freedom and rested with delight at its completion,
so man is to follow His example, working during six days of the week and
then enjoying the rest of the Sabbath with a mind elated by higher
thoughts. Moreover, the day of rest observed by Israel should recall his
redemption from the slavery and continual labor of Egypt. Thereby every
creature made in God’s image, the slave and stranger as well as the born
Israelite, is given the heavenly boon of freedom and recreation to hallow
the labor of the week. There are thus two explanations given for the
Sabbath, one in the Decalogue of Exodus, the Holiness Code and Priestly
Code,(1463) the other in the Decalogue of Deuteronomy and the Book of the

These two views, in turn, gave rise to different conceptions of the
Sabbath laws. Many ancient teachers laid chief stress on the letter of the
law which bids men cease from labor. Others, who penetrated farther into
the spirit of Deuteronomy and the Covenant Code, emphasized the human need
for relaxation and refreshment of soul. The older school, especially the
Sadducees, demanded absolute cessation of labor on pain of death for any
work, however insignificant, and even for the moving from one place to
another. They thought of the Sabbath as a sign of the covenant between God
and Israel, and hence held that it should be observed as punctiliously as
possible.(1465) In the same measure as the Pharisees, with their program
of religious democracy and common sense, obtained the upper hand, the
Biblical strictness of the Sabbath law was modified. The term labor was
defined by analogy with the work done for the tabernacle, and so
restricted as to make the death penalty much more limited.(1466) Moreover,
the Pharisees held that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the
Sabbath;(1467) so, although they adhered strictly to the prohibition of
labor, the Sabbath received at their hands more of the other element, and
became a day for the elevation of the soul, “a day of delight” for the
spirit.(1468) The whole man, body and soul alike, should enjoy God’s gifts
more fully on this day; he should cast off care and sanctify the day by
praise offered to God at the family table. At a very early period in
Israel the Sabbath was distinguished by the words of instruction and
comfort offered by the prophets to the people who consulted them on the
day of rest.(1469) During the Exile and afterward the people assembled on
the Sabbath to hear the word of God read from the Torah and the prophets
and to join in prayer and song, which soon became a permanent
institution.(1470) Thus the Sabbath elevated and educated the Jewish
people, and afterward transferred its blessings also to the Christian and
Mohammedan world. Especially during the Middle Ages the Sabbath became an
oasis, a refreshing spring of water for the Jew. All through the week he
was a Pariah in the outside world, but the Sabbath brought him bliss in
his home and spiritual power in his Synagogue and school. Cheerfully he
bore the yoke of statutes and ordinances that grew ever heavier under the
rabbinical amplification; for he hailed the Sabbath as the “queen” that
raised him from a hated wanderer to a prince in his own domain.(1471)

Modern life has worked great changes in the Jewish observance of the
Sabbath. Caught up in the whirl of commercial and industrial competition,
the Jew, like Ixion in the fable, is bound to his wheel of business, and
enjoys neither rest for his body nor elevation for his soul on God’s holy
day. True, the Synagogue still preserves the sanctity of the ancient
Sabbath, however small may be the attendance at the divine service, and in
many pious homes the family still rallies around the festive table,
lighted by the Sabbath lamp and decorated by the symbolic cup of wine. But
for the majority of Western Jews the Sabbath has lost its pristine
sanctity and splendor, to the great detriment of Jewish religious life.
Therefore many now ask: “Is it sufficient to have a vicarious observance
of the historical Sabbath, the ‘sign between God and Israel,’ by an hour
or two in the Synagogue, but without rest for the entire day? Or shall the
civic day of rest, though Christian in origin and character, take the
place of the Jewish Sabbath with its sacred traditions, so that possibly
at last it may become the Sabbath day predicted by the seer upon which
‘all flesh shall come to worship before the Lord’?”(1472) In the halcyon
days of the reform movement in Germany this view was often expressed when
the radical reformers celebrated the civic day of rest as the Jewish
Sabbath, not in the spirit of dissension, but for the sake of giving
Judaism a larger scope and a wider outlook. In America, too, the idea of
transferring the Sabbath to Sunday was broached by some leading Reform
rabbis and met with hearty support on the part of their congregations.
Since then a more conservative view has taken hold of most of the liberal
elements of Jewry also in America. While divine service on Sundays has
been introduced with decided success in many cities and eminent preachers
bring the message of Judaism home to thousands that would otherwise remain
strangers to the house of God and to the influence of religion, the
conviction has become well established that the continuity with our great
past must be upheld, and the general feeling is that the historical
Sabbath should under no condition be entirely given up. It is inseparably
connected with the election of Israel as a priest-people, while the
Christian “Lord’s Day” represents views and tendencies opposed to those of
Judaism, whether considered in its original meaning or in that given it by
the Church.(1473) The Jew may properly use the civic day of rest in common
with his Christian fellow-citizen for religious devotion and instruction
for young and old; it will supplement his neglected Sabbath service, until
conditions have changed. Perhaps the Jew in Mohammedan countries may even
at some time observe Friday as is done by the Mosque, and accordingly
consecrate this day in common with his fellow-citizens. Still, between the
Sabbath observed by the Church and the one of the Mosque stands the Jewish
Sabbath in solemn grandeur and patriarchal dignity, waiting with Israel,
its keeper and ally, for the day when all humanity will worship the one
holy God of Abraham, and when our ancient Sabbath may truly become the
Sabbath of the world.

8. In all lands time was originally regulated by the movements of the
moon, which are within the observation of all. The alternation of its
increase and decrease divided the month into two parts, which were then
subdivided into four. Therefore the original month among both the
Babylonians and the Hebrews consisted of four weeks of seven days each,
the last day of each week being the Sabbath, the “day of standstill,” and
two days of the new moon.(1474) Both the new moon and full moon were
special days of celebration,(1475) and later two other Sabbath days were
added between them to correspond to the four phases of the moon. Still
later the week was detached altogether from the moon and made a fixed
period of seven days, solemnly ended by the Sabbath. Thus Judaism raised
the Sabbath above all dependence on nature and into the realm of holiness.
The Jewish Sabbath became the witness to God, the Creator ruling above
nature in absolute freedom.(1476)

Still the ancient festival of the new moon was preserved as an observance
in the Temple, and it afterward survived only in the liturgy of the
Synagogue. While ancient Israel had observed the New Moon as a day of rest
even more sacred than the Sabbath,(1477) the Priestly Code placed it among
the festivals only as a day of sacrifice, but as neither a day of rest nor
of popular celebration.(1478) Beside the recital of the _Hallel_ Psalms
and the _Mussaf_ (“additional”) prayer in the Synagogue no religious
significance was attached to it in the daily life of the people. Still the
fact that the Jewish calendar was regulated by the moon, while that of
other nations depended on the solar year, led the rabbis to compare the
unique history of Israel to the course of the moon. As the moon changes
continually, waxing and waning but ever renewing itself after each
decline, so Israel renews itself after every fall; while the proud nations
of the world, which count their year by the course of the sun, rise and
set, as it does, with no hope of renewal.(1479) At the same time,
assurance was found in the prophetic words that “the light of the moon
shall be as the light of the sun and the light of the sun shall be
sevenfold as the light of the seven days” and “thy (Israel’s) sun shall no
more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself, for the Lord shall
be thine everlasting light.”(1480)

9. The various Jewish festivals, like the Sabbath, were detached from
their original relation to nature and turned into historical memorials,
eloquent testimonies to the great works of God and of Israel’s power of
rejuvenation. The Passover was originally the spring festival of the
shepherds when they hallowed the thresholds,(1481) but was later
identified with the agricultural Feast of Unleavened Bread in Palestine,
and at an early period was further transformed into a festival of
redemption. The former rites of consecration of tent and herd were taken
as symbols of the wondrous deliverance of the Hebrews from the Egyptian
yoke. The sacrifice of the “passing over the threshold,” with the
sprinkling of the blood on the doorposts and lintels of each house,
observed each spring exactly as is still done among the semi-pagan
inhabitants of Syria and Arabia, was reinterpreted. According to the
Mosaic code it indicated the wondrous passing of the angel of death over
the thresholds of the Israelites in Egypt, while he entered the homes of
the Egyptians to slay the first-born and avenge the wrongs of
Israel.(1482) Likewise the cakes of bread without leaven (the _Mazzoth_)
baked for the festival were taken as reminders of the hasty exodus of the
fathers from the land of oppression. Thus the spring festival became a
memorial of the springtime of liberty for the nation and at the same time
a consecration of the Jewish home to the covenant God of Israel. God was
to enter the Jewish home as He did in Egypt, as the Redeemer and Protector
of Israel. Young and old listened with perennial interest to the story of
the deliverance, offering praise for the wonders of the past and voicing
their confidence in the future redemption from oppression and woe.

However burdensome the Passover minutiæ, especially in regard to the
prohibition of leaven, became to the Jewish household, the predominant
feature was always an exuberance of joy. In the darkest days of
medievalism the synagogue and home resounded with song and thanksgiving,
and the young imbibed the joy and comfort of their elders through the
beautiful symbols of the feast and the richly adorned tale of the
deliverance (the _Haggadah_). The Passover feast with its “night of divine
watching” endowed the Jew ever anew with endurance during the dark night
of medieval tyranny, and with faith in “the Keeper of Israel who
slumbereth not nor sleepeth.”(1483) Moreover, as the springtide of nature
fills each creature with joy and hope, so Israel’s feast of redemption
promises the great day of liberty to those who still chafe under the yoke
of oppression. The modern Jew is beginning to see in the reawakening of
his religious and social life in western lands the token of the future
liberation of all mankind.(1484) The Passover feast brings him the clear
and hopeful message of freedom for humanity from all bondage of body and
of spirit.

10. The Feast of Weeks or Festival of the First Fruits in Biblical times
was merely a farmer’s holiday at the end of the seven weeks of harvest. At
the beginning of the harvest parched grains of barley were offered, while
at its end two loaves of the new wheat flour were brought as a
thank-offering for the new crop.(1485) Rabbinical Judaism, however,
transformed it into a historical feast by making it the memorial day of
the giving of the Ten Words on Mount Sinai. It was thus given a universal
significance, as the Midrash has it, “turning the Feast of the First
Fruits into a festival commemorating the ripening of the first fruits of
the spiritual harvest for the people of the covenant.”(1486) Henceforth
the Ten Words were to be solemnly read to the congregation on that day,
and the pledge of loyalty made by the fathers thereby renewed each year by
Israel’s faithful sons. The leaders of Reform Judaism surrounded the day
with new charm by the introduction of the confirmation ceremony,(1487)
thus rendering it a feast of consecration of the Jewish youth to the
ancient covenant, of yearly renewal of loyalty by the rising generation to
the ancestral faith.

11. The main festival in Biblical times was the Feast of _Sukkoth_, or
Tabernacles, the great harvest festival of autumn, when the people flocked
to the central sanctuary in solemn procession, carrying palms and other
plants. Hence this was called the _Hag_ or Pilgrimage Feast.(1488) In the
post-exilic Priestly Code this festival also was made historical, and the
name Feast of Sukkoth (which denoted originally Feast of Pilgrimage Tents)
was connected with the exodus from Egypt, when the town of _Sukkoth_
(possibly named from the tents of their encampment) was made the rallying
point of the fugitive Hebrews at their departure from Egypt. The
commentators no longer understood this connection, and traced the name to
the tents erected by the people in their wanderings through the
wilderness.(1489) It seems that from very ancient times popular rites were
performed at this feast, which took a specially solemn form in the holding
of a procession from the pool of Shiloah at the foot of the Temple mount
to the altar in the Temple, to offer there a libation of water, which was
a sort of symbolic prayer for rain for the opening year. Obviously, it is
this feast which is referred to in the last chapter of Zechariah, while
this outburst of popular joy found a deep response among the pious leaders
of the people and is echoed in the liturgy of the medieval
Synagogue.(1490) The Halakic rules concerning the tabernacle and the four
plans for it tended to obscure the real significance of the
festival;(1491) yet in the synagogue and the home it retained its original
character as a “season of gladness.” The joyous gratitude to God for His
protection of Israel during the forty years of wanderings through the
wilderness expanded into thanksgiving for His guidance throughout the
forty centuries of Israel’s pilgrimage through all lands and ages. This
joy culminated on the last day in the Feast of Rejoicing in the Law, when
the annual cycle of readings from the Pentateuch was completed in the
Synagogue amid overflowing pride in the possession of God’s law by
Israel.(1492) The rabbis gave Sukkoth a universal significance by taking
the seventy bullocks prescribed for the seven days as offerings for the
salvation of the seventy nations of the world, while the one bullock
offered on the last day suggested the uniqueness of Israel as God’s
peculiar people.(1493)

12. The highest point of religious devotion in the synagogue is reached on
the New Year’s day and the Day of Atonement preceding the Feast of
Sukkoth. These are first mentioned in the Priestly Code and were
undoubtedly instituted after the time of Ezra;(1494) they were then
brought into closer connection by the Pharisees and permeated with lofty
ideas which struck the deepest chords of the human heart and voiced the
sublimest truths of religion for all time to come.

The New Year’s Day on the first of Tishri appears in the Mosaic Code
simply as the memorial “Day of the Blowing of the Trumpet,” because of the
increased number of trumpet blasts to usher in the seventh or Sabbatical
month with its great pilgrim feast. Under Babylonian influence, however,
it received a new name and meaning. The Babylonian New Year was looked
upon as a heavenly day of destiny when the fates of all beings on earth
and in heaven were foretold for the whole year from the tables of destiny.
The leaders of Jewish thought also adopted the first day of the holy month
of Tishri as a day of divine judgment, when God allots to each man his
destiny for the year according to his record of good and evil deeds in the
book of life.(1495) Accordingly, the stirring notes of the Shofar were to
strike the hearts of the people with fear, that they might repent of their
sins and improve their ways during the new year. As fixed by tradition,
the liturgy contained three blasts of the Shofar to proclaim three great
ideas of Judaism:(1496) the recognition of God as King of the world; as
Judge, remembering the actions and thoughts of men and nations for their
reward and punishment; and as the Ruler of history, who revealed Himself
to Israel in the trumpet-blasts of Sinai and will gather all men and
nations by the trumpet-blasts of the Judgment Day at the end of time.

The main purpose of the New Year was to render it a day of renewal of the
heart, so that man might put himself in harmony with the great Judge on
high and receive life anew from His hand, while he fills his spirit with
new and better resolves for the future. Judaism does not place the day of
judgment after death, when repentance is beyond reach and the sinner can
only await damnation, as is done by Christianity after the apocalyptic
views adopted from the Parsees. The Jewish judgment day occurs at the
beginning of every year, a day of self-examination and improvement of men
before God. On this day—in the orthodox Synagogue on the second day of the
New Year—the chapter is read from the Torah describing Abraham’s great act
of faith on Mount Moriah, the heroic pattern of Jewish martyrdom, and
stirring prayers, litanies, and songs prepare the worshiper for the “great
day” of the year, the Day of Atonement, which is to come on the tenth day
of Tishri, the last of the ten Days of Repentance.

13. The Day of Atonement figures in the Mosaic Code as the day when the
high priest in the Temple performed the important function of expiation
for the sanctuary, the priesthood, and the people. The mass of the people
were to observe the day from evening to evening as a Sabbath and a fast
day to obtain pardon for their sins before God.(1497) A very primitive
rite which survived for this day was the selection of two goats, one of
which was to be sent to Azazel, the demon of the wilderness, to bear away
the sins of the people, while the other was to be offered to the Lord as a
sacrifice. We learn from the Mishnaic sources that the sending forth of
the scapegoat was accompanied by strange practices betraying intense
popular interest, and its arrival at the bottom of the wild ravine, where
Azazel was supposed to dwell, was announced by signals from station to
station, until they reached the Temple mount, and the news of it was then
received with wild bursts of joy by the people. The young men and maidens
assembled on the heights of Jerusalem, like the men at the pilgrimage
feast at Shiloh, and held, as it were, nuptial dances.(1498) The day was
one of communion with God for the high-priest alone; he confessed his sins
and those of the people and implored forgiveness, and it was actually
believed that he beheld the Majesty of God on that day when he entered the
Holy of Holies with the incense shrouding his face.(1499)

In contrast to this priestly monopoly of service with its external and
archaic forms of expiation, the founders of the Synagogue invested the Day
of Atonement with a higher meaning in accord with the spirit of the
prophets of old, the doctrine of God’s mercy and paternal love. Atonement
could no longer be obtained by the priest with the sacrificial blood, the
incense, or the scapegoat; it must come through the repentance of the
sinner, leading him back from the path of error to the way of God. As the
high-priest in the Temple, so now every son of Israel was to spend the day
in the house of prayer, confessing his sins before God with a contrite
heart, awaiting with awe the realization of God’s promise to Moses: “I
have pardoned according to thy word.”(1500) Indeed, a forward step in the
history of religion is represented in the interpretation of the verse:
“For on this day _he_—that is, the high-priest—shall make atonement for
you to cleanse you,” which was now understood to refer to God: “He shall
make atonement for you through this day.”(1501) Therefore R. Akiba could
exclaim proudly, as he thought of the Paulinian doctrine of vicarious
atonement: “Happy are ye Israelites! Before whom do you cleanse yourselves
from sin, and who cleanses you? Your Father in heaven!”(1502) No mediator
was needed between man and his heavenly Father from the moment that each
individual learned to approach God in true humility on the Day of
Atonement, imploring His pardon for sin and promising to amend his ways.
With profound intuition the rabbis attributed God’s pardon to the petition
of Moses, saying that He revealed Himself in His attribute of mercy on the
very tenth of Tishri, foreshadowing for all time the divine forgiveness of
sin on the Day of Atonement.(1503)

As the Mishnah expressly states, even the Day of Atonement cannot bring
forgiveness so long as injustice cleaves to one’s hand or evil speech to
the lips and no attempt is made to repair the injury and appease one’s
fellow-man.(1504) Where justice is lacking, divine love cannot exert its
saving power. God’s mercy and long-suffering cannot remove sin, unless the
root of evil is removed from the heart and every wrong redressed in
sincere repentance. The spirit of God is invoked on these great days at
the year’s commencement only that the penitent soul may thus receive
strength to improve its ways, that good conduct in the future may atone
for the errors of the past. Surely no religion in the world can equal the
sublime teachings of the New Year’s day and the Day of Atonement, first
filling the heart of mortal man with awe before the Judge of the world and
then cheering it with the assurance of God’s paternal love being ever
ready to extend mercy to His repentant children. While the other festivals
of the year are specifically Jewish in historic associations and meaning,
these two days on the threshold of each new year are universally human,
and the chief prayers for this day are of a universal character, appealing
to every human heart. Indeed, it is characteristic that both the
concluding service for the day, the _Neilah_, and the Scriptural reading
of the _Minhah_ Service, selected from the book of Jonah, tell that God’s
all-forgiving mercy extends to the non-Jewish world as well as to the

14. Altogether, the Synagogue gave to the annual cycle of the Jewish life
a beautiful rhythm in its alternation of joy and sorrow, lending a higher
solemnity to general experience. All the festivals mentioned above were
preceded by a series of Sabbaths to prepare the congregation for the
coming of the sad or the joyful season with its historical reminiscences.
So the memorial day of the destruction of Jerusalem, the ninth of Ab, had
three weeks previously to herald in a day commemorating the siege of
Jerusalem, the seventeenth of Tammuz; but it had also seven Sabbath days
to follow, which afforded words of consolation and hope of a more glorious
future for the mourning nation.(1506) Of course, the brighter days of the
present era have greatly modified the lugubrious character of these
eventful days of the past, even in those circles where the hope for the
restoration of the Jewish nation and Temple is still expressed in prayer.
At the same time, the commemoration of the destruction of State and
Temple, the great turning-point in the history of the Jew, ought to be
given a prominent place in the Reform Synagogue as well, though celebrated
in the spirit of progressive Judaism.

The feast of Hanukkah with its lights and song, jubilant with the
Maccabean victory in the battle for Israel’s faith, still resounds in the
Jewish home and the house of God with the prophetic watchword: “Not by
might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.”(1507)

The mirthful feast of Purim, with its half-serious, half-jovial use of the
scroll of Esther and its popular rejoicing, assumed in the course of time
a more earnest character, because the plot of Haman and the rescue of the
Jews became typical in Jewish history. Therefore the story of Amalek, the
arch-foe of Israel, is read in the Synagogue on the preceding Sabbath as a
reminder of the constant battle which Israel must wage for its supreme
religious task.(1508)

15. Through the entire history of Judaism since the Exile, the Synagogue
brought its religious truth home to the people each Sabbath and holy day
through the reading and expounding of the Torah and the prophets. These
words of consolation and admonition struck a deep chord in the hearts of
the people, so that learning was the coveted prize of all and ignorance of
the law became a mark of inferiority. Beside these stated occasions, all
times of joy or sadness such as weddings and funerals were given some
attention in the Synagogue, as linking the individual to the communal
life, and linking his personal joy and sorrow with the past sadness and
future glory of Jerusalem, as if they but mirrored the greater events of
the people. Thus the whole life was to be placed in the service of the
social body, and could not be torn asunder or divided into things holy and
things profane. Religion must send forth its rays like the sun, illumining
and warming all of man’s deeds and thoughts.

16. The weakness of the Synagogue was its Orientalism. Amid all the
changes of time and environment, it remained separated from the
surrounding world to such an extent that it could no longer exert an
influence to win outsiders for its great truths. Until recently the Hebrew
language was retained for the entire liturgy, although it had become
unintelligible to the majority of the Jews in western lands, and even
though the rabbis had declared in Talmudic times that the verse: “Hear O
Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One” indicates that the words
should be spoken in a language which can be heard and understood by the
people.(1509) The Torah likewise was, and in the ancient Synagogue is
still read exclusively in the Hebrew original, in spite of the fact that
the original reading under Ezra was accompanied by a translation and
interpretation in the Aramaic vernacular. Thus only could the Torah become
“the heritage of the whole congregation of Jacob,” which fact gave rise to
both the Aramaic and Greek translations of the Bible which carried the
truths of Judaism to the wider circle of the world. These plain facts were
ignored through the centuries to the detriment of the Jewish faith, and
this neglect, in turn, engendered a false conception of Judaism, making it
seem ever more exclusive and narrow. Instead of becoming “our wisdom and
understanding before all the nations,”(1510) knowledge of the Torah
dwindled to a possession of the few, while the ceremonial laws, observed
by the many, were performed without any understanding of their origin or
purpose. But in the last century under the banner of Reform Judaism many
of these points were altered. The vernacular was introduced into the
Synagogue, so that the modern Jew might pray in the same tongue in which
he feels and thinks, thus turning the prayers from mechanical recitations
into true offerings of the soul, and bringing the Scriptural readings
nearer to the consciousness of the congregation. Likewise the
reintroduction of the sermon in the vernacular as part of the divine
service for Sabbath and holy days became the vehicle to awaken religious
sentiments in the hearts of the people, and thereby to revive the spirit
of the ancient prophets and Haggadists.(1511)

17. This Orientalism is especially marked in the attitude of the older
Synagogue to women. True enough, woman was honored as the mistress of the
home. She kindled the Sabbath light, provided for the joy and comfort of
domestic life, especially on the holy days, observed strictly the laws of
diet and purity, and awakened the spirit of piety in her children. Still
she was excluded from the regular divine service in the Synagogue. She did
not count as a member of the religious community, which consisted
exclusively of men. She had to sit in the gallery behind a trellis during
the service and could not even join the men in saying grace at table. A
few rare women were privileged to study Hebrew, such as the daughter of
Rashi, but as a rule woman’s education was neglected as if “she had no
claim on any other wisdom than the distaff.”(1512) More and more Judaism
lost sight of its noble types of women in antiquity; it forgot the
Biblical heroines such as Miriam and Deborah, Hannah and Hulda, and
Talmudic ones such as Beruria the wife of Rabbi Meir. Such women as these
might have repeated the words: “Hath the Lord indeed spoken only through
Moses? Hath He not also spoken through us?”(1513) Aside from the sphere of
religion, in which woman always manifests a splendid wealth of sentiment,
she was held in subjection by Oriental laws in both marital and social
relations,(1514) and her natural vocation as religious teacher of the
children in the home failed to receive full recognition also.

The first attempt to liberate the Jewish woman from the yoke of
Orientalism was made in the eleventh century by Rabbi Gershon ben Jehudah
of Mayence, at that time the leading rabbi of Germany. Under the influence
of Occidental ideas he secured equal rights for men and women in
marriage.(1515) But only in our own time were full rights accorded her in
the Synagogue, owing to the reform movement in Germany and Austria. As a
matter of fact, the confirmation of children of both sexes, which was
gradually introduced in many conservative congregations also, was the
virtual recognition of woman as the equal of man in Synagogue and
school.(1516) Finally, upon the initiative of Isaac M. Wise, then Rabbi in
Albany, N. Y., family pews were introduced in the American Synagogue and
woman was seated beside her husband, son, father, and brother as their
equal. With her greater emotional powers she is able to lend a new
solemnity and dignity to the religious and educational efforts of the
Synagogue, wherever she is admitted as a full participant in the service.

18. Another shortcoming of the Synagogue and of Rabbinical Judaism in
general was its formalism. Too much stress was laid upon the perfunctory
“discharge of duty,” the outward performance of the letter of the law, and
not enough upon the spiritual basis of the Jewish religion. The form
obscured the spirit, even though it never quite succeeded in throttling
it. This formalism of the ignorant, but observant multitude was censured
as early as the eleventh century by Bahya ben Joseph ibn Pakudah in his
“Duties of the Heart,” a philosophical work in which he emphatically urges
the need of inwardness for the Jewish faith.(1517) Later the mystics of
Germany and Palestine, while strong supporters of the law, opposed the
one-sidedness of legalism and intellectualism, and endeavored to instill
elements of deeper devotion into the Jewish soul through the introduction
of their secret lore, _Cabbalah_, or “esoteric tradition.”(1518) Their
offering, however, was anything but beneficial to the soul of Judaism. A
mysticism which attempts to fathom the unfathomable depth of the divine
accords but ill with the teaching of Judaism, which says: “The secret
things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed
belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words
of this law.”(1519) The Cabbalah was but the reaction to the excessive
rationalism of the Spanish-Arabic period. As the ultimate source of
religion is not reason but the heart, so the cultivation of the intellect
at the expense of the emotions can be only harmful to the faith. The
legalism and casuistry of the Talmud and the Codes appealed too much to
the intellect, disregarding the deeper emotional sources of religion and
morality; on the other hand, the mysticism of the Cabbalists
overemphasized the emotional element, and eliminated much of the rational
basis of Judaism. True religion grasps the whole of man and shows God’s
world as a harmonious whole, reflecting in both mind and heart the
greatness and majesty of God on high. In order to open the flood-gates of
the soul and render religion again the deepest and strongest force of
life, the Synagogue must revitalize its time-honored institutions and
ceremonies. Thus only will they become real powers of the Jewish spirit,
testimonies to the living God, witnessing to the truth of the Biblical
words: “For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not too
hard for thee, neither is it too far off. It is not in heaven, that thou
shouldest say, ‘Who shall go up for us to heaven and bring it unto us, and
make us to hear it, that we may do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that
thou shouldest say, ‘Who shall go over the sea for us and bring it unto
us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?’ But the word is very nigh
unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.”(1520)

19. The Synagogue need no longer restrict itself to the ancient forms of
worship in its appeal to the Jewish soul. It must point to the loftiest
ideals for the future of all humanity, if it is to be true to its
prophetic spirit of yore. “My house shall be called a house of prayer for
all peoples,” exclaimed the seer of the exile.(1521) “Hear O Israel, the
Lord our God, the Lord is one” must be echoed in all lands and languages,
by all God-seeking minds and hearts, to realize the prophetic vision: “And
the Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day the Lord shall be
One, and His name One.”(1522) Just as there is but one truth, one justice,
and one love, however differently the various races and classes of men may
conceive them, so Israel shall uphold God, the only One, as the bond of
unity for all men, despite their diversity of ideas and cultures, and His
truth will be the beacon-light for all humanity. As the Psalms, prophets,
and the opening chapters of the Pentateuch speak a language appealing to
the common sense of mankind, so the divine worship of the Synagogue must
again strike the deeper chords of humanity, in its weal and woe, its hope
and fear, its aspirations and ideals. Therefore it is not enough that the
institutions and ceremonies of the Synagogue are testimonies to the great
past of Israel. They must also become eloquent heralds and monitors of the
glorious future, when all mankind will have learned the lessons of the
Jewish festivals, the ideals of liberty, law, and peace, the thoughts of
the divine judgment and the divine mercy. They must help also to bring
about the time when the ideal of social justice, which the Mosaic Code
holds forth for the Israelitish nation, will have become the motive-power
and incentive to the reëstablishment of human society upon new

Jehudah ha Levi, the lofty poet of medieval Jewry,(1523) speaks of Israel
as the “heart of humanity,” because it has supplied the spiritual and
moral life-blood of the civilized world. Israel provides continually the
rejuvenating influence of society. Israel’s history is the history of the
world in miniature. As the Midrash says,(1524) the confession of God’s
unity imposes upon us the obligation to lead all God’s children to love
Him with heart and soul and might, thus working toward the time when “the
earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the
waters cover the sea.”(1525) All the social, political, and intellectual
movements of our restless, heaven-storming age, notwithstanding temporary
lapses into barbarism and hatred, point unerringly to the final goal, the
unity of all human and cosmic life under the supreme leadership of God on
high. In the midst of all these movements of the day stands the Jew, God’s
witness from of old, yet vigorous and youthful still, surveying the
experiences of the past and voicing the hope of the future, exclaiming in
the words of his traditional prayers: “Happy are we; how goodly is our
portion! how pleasant our lot! how beautiful our inheritance!”(1526) Our
faith is the faith of the coming humanity; our hope of Zion is the kingdom
of God, which will include all the ideals of mankind.

Chapter LIX. The Ethics of Judaism and the Kingdom of God

1. The soul of the Jewish religion is its ethics. Its God is the
Fountainhead and Ideal of morality. At the beginning of the summary of the
ethical laws in the Mosaic Code stands the verse: “Ye shall be holy, for I
the Lord your God am holy.”(1527) This provides the Jew with the loftiest
possible motive for perfection and at the same time the greatest incentive
to an ever higher conception of life and life’s purpose. Accordingly, the
kingdom of God for whose coming the Jew longs from the beginning until the
end of the year,(1528) does not rest in a world beyond the grave, but (in
consonance with the ideal of Israel’s sages and prophets) in a complete
moral order on earth, the reign of truth, righteousness and holiness among
all men and nations. Jewish ethics, then, derives its sanction from God,
the Author and Master of life, and sees its purpose in the hallowing of
all life, individual and social. Its motive is the splendid conception
that man, with his finite ends, is linked to the infinite God with His
infinite ends; or, as the rabbis express it, “Man is a co-worker with God
in the work of creation.”(1529)

2. Both the term ethics (from the Greek _ethos_) and morality (from the
Latin _mores_) are derived from custom or habit. In distinction to this,
the Hebrew Scripture points to God’s will as perceived in the human
conscience as the source of all morality. Those ethical systems which
dispense with religion fail to take due cognizance of the voice of duty
which says to each man: “Thou shalt” or “Thou shalt not!” Duty
distinguishes man from all other creatures. However low man may be in the
scale of freedom, he is moved to action by an impulse from within, not by
a compulsion from without. Of course, morality must travel a long road
from the primitive code, which does not extend beyond the near kinsmen, to
the ideal of civilized man which encompasses the world. Still man’s steps
are always directed by some rule of duty. The voice of conscience, heard
clearly or dimly, is not, as is so often asserted, the product, but the
original guiding factor of human society. The divine inner power of
morality has made man, not man morality. Morality and religion,
inseparably united in the Decalogue of Sinai, will attain their perfection
together in the kingdom of God upon the Zion heights of humanity.

3. Ethical elements, greater or smaller, enter into all religions and
codes of law of the various nations. Ancient Egypt, Persia and India even
connected ethical principle and the future of the soul so closely, that
certain ethical laws were to determine one’s fate in heaven or hell. This
led to the idea that this life is but the preparatory stage to the great
hereafter. But antiquity also witnessed more or less successful attempts
to emancipate ethics from religion. When the old beliefs no longer
satisfied the thinking mind and no longer kept men from corruption,
various philosophers attempted to provide general principles of morality
as substitutes for the departed deities. Confucius built up in China a
system of common-sense ethics based upon the communal life, but without
any religious ideals; this satisfied the commonplace attitude of that
country, but could not pass beyond the confines of the far East. A
semi-religious ascetic system was offered at about the same time by
Gautama Buddha of India, a prince garbed as a mendicant friar, who
preached the gospel of love and charity for all fellow creatures. His
leading maxims were blind resignation and self-effacement in the presence
of the ills, suffering and death which rule the entire domain of life. All
existence was evil to him, with its pleasure, passion and desire, its
thought and feeling; his aim was a state of apathy and listlessness,
_Nirvana_; while sympathy and compassion for fellow creatures were to
offer some relief to a life of delusion and despair. The Hindu conception
of the unbearable woe of the world corresponded more or less with the hot
climate, which renders the people indolent and apathetic. In striking
contrast to this was the vigorous manhood of the ethical systems developed
on the healthy soil of Greece, under the azure canopy of a sky that fills
the soul with beauty and joy. Life should be valued for the happiness it
offers to the individual or to society. The good should be loved for its
beauty, the just admired for its nobility. Greek ethics was thus both
aristocratic and utilitarian; it took no heed of the toiling slave, the
suffering poor, or the unprotected stranger. Both the Buddhist and the
Hellenic systems lacked the energizing force and motive of the highest
purpose of life, because both have left out of their purview the great
Ruler who summons man to his duty, saying: “I am the Lord thy God; thou
shalt and thou shalt not!”

4. Between the two extremes, the Hellenic self-expansion and the Buddhist
self-extinction, Jewish ethics labors for self-elevation under the
uplifting power of a holy God. The term which Scripture uses for moral
conduct is, very significantly, “to walk in the ways of God.” The rabbis
explain this as follows: “As God is merciful and gracious, so be thou
merciful and gracious. As God is called righteous, so be thou righteous.
As God is holy, so do thou strive to be holy.”(1530) Another of their
maxims is: “How can mortal man walk after God, who is an all-consuming
fire? What Scripture means is that man should emulate God. As He clothes
the naked, nurses the sick, comforts the sorrowing, and buries the dead,
so should man.”(1531) In other words, human life must take its pattern
from the divine goodness and holiness.

5. Obviously, Jewish ethics had to go through the same long process of
development as the Jewish religion itself. A very high stage is
represented by that disinterested goodness taught by Antigonus of Soko in
the second pre-Christian century and by ben Azzai in the second century of
the present era, which no longer anticipates reward or punishment, but
does good for its own sake and shuns evil because it is evil.(1532) As
long as the law tolerated slavery, polygamy, and blood vengeance, and
man’s personality was not recognized on principle as being made in the
image of God, the practical morality of the Hebrews could not rise above
that of other nations, except in so far as the shepherd’s compassion for
the beast occasioned sympathy also for the fellow-man. After all, Jewish
ethics became the ethics of humanity because of the God-conception of the
prophets,—the righteous, merciful, and holy God, the God “who executeth
the judgment of the fatherless and the widow, and loveth the stranger in
giving him food and raiment.”(1533) The conception of Jewish ethics as
human ethics is voiced in the familiar verse: “It hath been told thee, O
man, what is good and what the Lord doth require of thee: only to do
justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God.”(1534) The
all-ruling and all-seeing God of the Psalmist made men feel that only such
a one can stand in His holy place “who hath clean hands and a pure heart,
who hath not lifted up his soul unto falsehood, nor sworn
deceitfully.”(1535) After law-giver, prophet, and psalmist came the wise,
who gave ethics a more practical and popular character in the wisdom
literature, and then came the _Hasidim_ or Essenes, who, while seeking the
highest piety or saintliness as life’s aim, deepened and spiritualized
their ethical ideals. Some of these considered the essential principles of
morality to be love of God and of the fellow-man;(1536) while rabbinical
ethics in general laid great stress on motive as determining the value of
the deed. The words, “Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God,” so often repeated
in the law, are taken to mean: Fear Him who looks into the heart, judging
motives and intentions.(1537)

6. As the Mosaic Code presented the ceremonial and moral laws together as
divine, so the rabbinical schools treated them all as divine commandments
without any distinction. Hence the Mishnah and the Talmud fail to give
ethics the prominent place it occupies in the prophetic and wisdom
literature of the Bible and did not even make an attempt to formulate a
system of ethics. The ethical rules in the “Sayings of the Fathers” and
similar later collections make no pretentions to being general or
systematic. The ethical teachings became conspicuous only through contact
with the Hellenic world in the propaganda literature, with its aim to win
the Gentile world to Judaism. Thus at an early period handbooks on ethics
were written and circulated in the Greek language, some of which were
afterward appropriated by the Christian Church. This entire movement is
summed up in the well-known answer of Hillel to the heathen who desired to
join the Jewish faith: “What is hateful to thee, do thou not unto thy
fellow man; this is the law, and all the rest is merely commentary.”(1538)

On the whole, rabbinical Judaism elaborated no ethical system before the
Middle Ages. Then, under Mohammedan influence, the Aristotelian and
Neo-Platonic philosophies in vogue gave rise to certain ethical works more
or less in accord with their philosophic or mystic prototypes. In
addition, ethical treatises were often written in the form of wills and of
popular admonitions, which were sometimes broad and human, at other times
stern and ascetic. One thought, however, prevailed through the ages: as
life emanates from the God of holiness, so it must ever serve His holy
purposes and benefit all His earthly children. “All the laws given by God
to Israel have only the purification and ennobling of the life of men for
their object,” say the rabbis.(1539)

7. Perhaps the best summary of Jewish ethics was presented by Hillel in
the famous three words: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But
if I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, when then?”(1540) We
find here three spheres of duty: toward one’s self, toward others, and
toward the life before us. In contrast to purely altruistic or socialistic
ethics, Jewish morality accentuated the value of the individual even apart
from the social organism. Man is a child of God, a. self-conscious
personality, who is to unfold and improve the powers implanted by his
divine Maker, in both body and soul, laboring in this way toward the
purpose for which he was created. Man was created single, says one of the
sages in the Mishnah,(1541) that he might know that he forms a world for
himself, and the whole creation must aid him in unfolding the divine image
within himself. Accordingly, self-preservation, self-improvement and
self-perfection are duties of every man. This implies first the care for
the human body as the temple which enshrines the divine spirit. In the
eyes of Judaism, to neglect or enfeeble the body, the instrument of the
soul, is altogether sinful. As the Sabbath law demands physical rest and
recreation after the week’s work, so the Jewish religion in general trains
men to enjoy the gifts of God; and the rabbis declare that their rejection
(except for disciplinary reasons) is ingratitude for which man must give
an account at the last Judgment Day.(1542) The Pharisean teacher who
opposed the Essenic custom of fasting and declared it sinful, unless it be
for special purposes, would have deprecated even more strongly the ascetic
Christian or Hindoo saint who castigated his body as the seat of
sin.(1543) As Hillel remarked: “See what care is bestowed upon the statue
of the emperor to keep it clean and bright; ought we not, likewise, keep
God’s image, our body, clean and free from every blemish?”(1544)

In regard to our moral and spiritual selves the rabbinical maxim is:
“Beautify thyself first, and then beautify others.”(1545) Only as we first
ennoble ourselves can we then contribute to the elevation of the world
about us. Our industry promotes the welfare of the community as well as of
ourselves; our idleness harms others as well as ourselves.(1546) Upon
self-respect rest our honor and our character. Virtue also is the result
of self-control and self-conquest.(1547) “There shall be no strange God in
thee.” This Psalm verse is taken by the rabbis to mean that no anger and
passion nor any evil desire or overbearing pride shall obtain their
mastery over thee.(1548) Man asserts himself in braving temptation and
trial, in overcoming sin and grief. Greater still is the hero who, in
complete self-mastery, can sacrifice himself in a great cause. Martyrdom
for the sake of God, which the rabbis call sanctification of the name of
God,(1549) is really the assertion of the divine life in the midst of
death. But desertion of life from selfish motives through suicide is all
the more despicable. He who sells his human birthright to escape pain or
disgrace, though greatly to be pitied, has forfeited his claim and his
share in the world to come.(1550)

Not only our life is to be maintained amid all trials as a sacred trust,
but also our rights, our freedom, and our individuality, for we must not
allow our personality to become the slave or tool of others. Job, who
battled for his own convictions against the false assumption of his
friends, was at last praised and rewarded by God.(1551) The Biblical
verse: “For they are My servants whom I brought forth out of the land of
Egypt, they shall not be sold as slaves,” is explained by the rabbis: “My
servants, but not servants to servants,” and is thus applicable to
spiritual slavery as well.(1552)

8. Therefore the Jewish conception of duty to our fellow-men is by no
means comprised in love or benevolence. Long before Hillel, other Jewish
sages gave the so-called Golden Rule: “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” a
negative form: “What is hateful to thee do not do unto thy fellow
men.”(1553) Taken in the positive form, the command cannot be literally
carried out. We cannot love the stranger as we love ourselves or our kin;
still less can we love our enemy, as is demanded by the Sermon on the
Mount. According to the Hebrew Scriptures(1554) we can and should treat
our enemy magnanimously and forgive him, but we cannot truly love him,
unless he turns from an enemy to a friend. The real meaning given by the
rabbis to the command, “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is: “Put thyself in
his place and act accordingly. As thou dost not desire to be robbed of thy
property or good name or to be injured or insulted, so do not these things
unto thy fellow man.”(1555) They then take the closing words, “I am the
Lord thy God,” as an oath by God: “I am the Lord, the Creator of thy
fellow man as well as of thee; therefore, if thou showest love to him, I
shall surely reward thee, and if not, I am the Judge ready to punish
thee.”(1556) Love of all fellow-men is, in fact, taught by both
Hillel(1557) and Philo.(1558) Love and helpful sympathy are implied also
by the verse from Deuteronomy: “He (the Lord) loveth the stranger in
giving him bread and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger.”(1559) All
members of the human household are dependent on each other for kindness
and good will, whether we are rich or poor, high or lowly, in life or in
death; so do we owe love and kindness to all men alike.

9. However, love as a principle of action is not sufficiently firm to
fashion human conduct or rule society. It is too much swayed by impulse
and emotion and is often too partial. Love without justice leads to abuse
and wrong, as we see in the history of the Church, which began with the
principle of love, but often failed to heed the admonitions of justice.
Therefore justice is the all-inclusive principle of human conduct in the
eyes of Judaism. Justice is impartial by its very nature. It must right
every wrong and vindicate the cause of the oppressed. “When Thy judgments
are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness,”
said the prophet,(1560) describing the just man as he “that walketh
righteously and speaketh uprightly, that despiseth the gain of
oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth
his ear from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from looking on
evil.”(1561) Justice is the requisite not only in action, but also in
disposition,(1562) implying honesty in intention as in deed, uprightness
in speech and mien, perfect rectitude, neither taking advantage of
ignorance nor abusing confidence.(1563) It is sinful to acquire wealth by
betting or gambling,(1564) or by cornering food-supplies to raise the
market price.(1565) The rabbis derive from Scripture the thought that,
just as “your balances and weights, your ephah and hin” must be just, so
should your yea and nay.(1566) The verse, “Justice, justice shalt them
follow,”(1567) is explained thus in a Midrash which is quoted by Bahya ben
Asher of the thirteenth century: “Justice, whether to your profit or loss,
whether in word or in action, whether to Jew or non-Jew.”(1568) This
category of justice covers also regard for the honor of our fellow-men,
lest we harm it by the tongue of the back-biter,(1569) by the ear that
listens to calumny,(1570) or by suspicion cast upon the innocent.(1571)
“God in His law takes especial care of the honor of our fellow-men,” say
the rabbis, and “he who publicly puts his fellow man to shame forfeits his
share in the world to come.”(1572)

10. But the Jewish conception of justice is broader than mere abstention
from hurting our fellow-men. Justice is a positive conception.
Righteousness (_Zedakah_) includes also charity and philanthropy. It
asserts the claim of the poor upon the rich, of the helpless upon him who
possesses the means to help. “He who prevents the poor from reaping the
corners of the field or the gleanings of the harvest, or in any way
withholds that which has been assigned them by the law of Moses, is a
robber,” says the Mishnah, “for it is written: ‘Remove not the old
landmark, and enter not into the field of the fatherless.’ ”(1573) Jewish
ethics holds that charity is not a gift of condescending love, but a duty.
It is incumbent upon the fortunate to rescue the unfortunate, since all
that we possess is only lent to us by God, the Owner of the world, with
the charge that we provide for the needy who are under His special
protection. Those who refuse to give the poor their share abuse the divine
trust. “If thou lendest money to My people, to the poor with thee,”(1574)
says Scripture, and the rabbis comment on this to the effect that “the
poor are called God’s people; do not forget that the turn of fortune which
made you rich and them poor may turn, and that you may then be in
need.”(1575) Nor is it sufficient merely to give to him who is poor; we
are bidden to uphold him when his powers fail.(1576)

This is the very principle of ethics of the Mosaic law, the principle for
which the great prophets fought with all the vigor and vehemence of the
divine spirit—social justice. The cry: “Woe unto them that join house to
house, that lay field to field, till there be no room,”(1577) the
condemnation of those “that swallow the needy and destroy the poor of the
land,”(1578) the curse hurled at him who withholdeth corn,(1579) laid the
foundations of a higher justice, which is not satisfied with mitigating
the misery of the unfortunate by acts of charity, but insists on a
readjustment of the social conditions which create poverty. This spirit
created the poor laws of the Mosaic Code, which were partially adopted by
both Christians and Mohammedans. It dictated the Mosaic institutions of
the seventh year of release and the Jubilee year for the restoration of
fields and houses, to prevent the tyranny of wealth from becoming a
permanent source of oppression. While these were scarcely ever put into
practice, they remained as a protest and an appeal. Their aim and
permanent influence tended toward relations between the upper and lower
classes, which would insure the latter some degree of independence and
dignity. In fact, the foundations laid by the Hebrew Scripture underlie
all our great modern efforts to turn the forces of charity so as to check
the sources of evil in our social organism. Modern philanthropy, taking
its clue from the old Hebrew ideal, aims not to alleviate but to cure, and
to stimulate the natural good in society, material, moral and
intellectual, that it may overcome the evil. We are recognizing more and
more the principle of mutual responsibility and interdependence of men and
classes. Yet this very principle, modern as it seems, was recognized by
the Jewish sages, as we see in the remarkable passage where the rabbis
comment on the law concerning the case of a slain body found in the field,
with the murderer unknown. The Bible commands that in such a case the
elders of the city should kill a heifer, wash their hands over it, and
say: “Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen
it.”(1580) The rabbis then ask: “How could the elders of a city ever be
suspected of the crime of murder?” and their reply is: “Even if they only
failed to provide the poor in their charge with the necessary food, and he
became a highway robber and murderer; or if they left him without the
necessary protection, and he fell a victim to murderers, they are held
responsible for the crime before the higher court of God.”(1581) That is,
according to our station we are all responsible for the social conditions
which create poverty and crime, and it is our duty to establish such
relations between the individual and the community as will remove the
causes of all the evils of society.

11. This, in a way, anticipates the third maxim of Hillel: “If not now,
when then?” Judaism cannot accept the New Testament spirit of
other-worldliness, which prompted the teaching: “Take no thought for your
life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body what
ye shall put on,” or “Resist not evil.”(1582) Such a view disregards the
values and duties of domestic, civic, and industrial life, and creates an
inseparable gulf between sacred and profane, between religion and culture.
In contrast to this, Jewish ethics sets the highest value upon all things
that make man more of a human being and increase his power of doing good.
To Judaism marriage and home life are regarded as the normal conditions of
human welfare and sane morality, while celibacy is considered
abnormal.(1583) Labor establishes the dignity of man,(1584) while wealth
is a source of blessing, a stewardship in the service of society.(1585) In
opposition to the practice fostered by the Essenes and afterwards adopted
by the early Church, of devoting one’s whole fortune to charity, the
rabbis decreed that one should not give over one fifth of one’s
possessions.(1586) As has well been said, Judaism teaches a “robust
morality.”(1587) It regards life as a continual battle for God and right
against every sort of injustice,(1588) for truth against every kind of
falsehood. At the same time it fosters also the gentler virtues of
meekness,(1589) kindness to animals,(1590) peaceableness and

12. Jewish ethics excels all other ethical systems, especially in its
insistence on purity and holiness. Not only is any unchaste look, thought,
or act condemned, exactly as in the Sermon on the Mount,(1592) as
approaching adultery,(1593) but all profanity of act or speech is declared
to be an unpardonable offense against the majesty of God.(1594) Modesty in
demeanor and dress was both preached and practiced by the Jews throughout
the Middle Ages, while in non-Jewish circles coarseness and lewdness
prevailed among high and low, in minstrel song and monastic life. “The
Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp ... therefore shall thy camp
be holy, that He see no unseemly thing in thee, and turn away from
thee.”(1595) These Biblical words created among the Essenes (the _Zenuim_)
and later among the entire Jewish people a spirit of chastity and modesty
which made the Jewish home of old a model of purity and sanctity. The
great problem for modern Israel, amid our present allurements of luxury
and pleasure, is to restore the home to its pristine glory as a sanctuary
of God, a training school for virtue, so that its influence may extend
over the whole of life.

13. Thus Jewish ethics derives its sanction from the idea of a God of
holiness. But it never made life austere, depriving it of joy, or
begrudging man his cheerfulness and laughter. On the contrary, the Sabbath
and many of the holy days are seasons of joy, for gladness should bring
the spirit of God near to man.(1596) Moreover, the Talmud holds that we
should encourage every means of promoting cheer among men. This is
illustrated by one of the popular legends of the prophet Elijah, who told
the saintly Rabbi Beroka, who prided himself upon his austerity, that his
companions in Paradise were to be two jesters, because they cheered the
depressed and increased the joy in the world.(1597)

As a matter of fact, the Jewish ideal of holiness is all-inclusive. It
aims to hallow every pursuit and endeavor, all social relations and
activities, insisting only on a pure motive and disinterested service. As
the Ruler of life is the source of all morality, so all of life should be
made holy with duty. Man becomes a child of God through his
responsibility, instead of remaining a mere product of the social forces
about him or of claiming self-sufficient sovereignty and refusing to
acknowledge a higher Will. Jewish ethics is autonomous, because it insists
on the divine spirit in man.(1598) As we follow the divine Pattern of
holiness, all that we have and are, body and soul, weal and woe, wealth
and want, pain and pleasure, life and death, become stepping-stones on the
road to holiness and godliness. Life is like a ladder on which man can
rise from round to round, to come ever nearer to God on high who beckons
him toward ever higher ideals and achievements. Man and humanity are thus
given the potentiality of infinite progress in every direction. Science
and art, industry and commerce, literature and law, every pursuit of man
comes within the scope of religion and ethics. For God’s kingdom of truth,
righteousness and peace, as beheld by Israel’s seers of old, will be fully
established on earth only when all the forces of material, intellectual,
and social life have been unfolded, when all the prophetic ideals, the
visions and aspirations of all the seers of humanity have been realized,
and the Zion heights of human perfection have at last been attained. “The
wise have no rest, neither in this world nor in the world to come, for it
is said: ‘they go from strength to strength, [until] they appear before
God on Zion.’ ”(1599)


A. d. R. N.    Aboth di Rabbi Nathan
A. T.          Altes Testament
Ab. Z.         Aboda Zarah
Ag.            Agada
Ann.           Annotations
Ant.           Antiquities (of Josephus)
Ap.            Apionem, contra
Apoc.          Apocalyptic
Arak.          Arakin
Art.           Article

B.             Babli (Babylonian)
b.             ben
B. B.          Baba Bathra
B. H.          Beth ha Midrash
B. K.          Baba Kamma
B. M.          Baba Metzia
Beitr.         Beitraege
Ber.           Berakoth
Bibl.          Bible or Biblical

C. C. A. R.    Central Conference of American Rabbis
Cant.          Canticles
Chron.         Chronicles
Ch.            Chapter
Comm.          Commentary, -ies
Comp.          Compare
Cor.           Corinthians, Epistle to

Dan.           Daniel
Deut.          Deuteronomy
Dict.          Dictionary

Eccl.          Ecclesiastes
Enc.           Encyclopedia
               (_a_) Brit. Britannia
               (_b_) R. a. Eth....  of Religion and Ethics
Ep.            Epistle
Eph.           Ephesians, Epistle to
Ethnol.        Ethnologische
Ex.            Exodus
Ez.            Ezekiel

G. J.          Geschichte der Juden (Graetz)
G. Jud.        Geschichte des Judenthums (Jost)
G. V. I.       Geschichte des Volkes Israel (Schuerer)
Gal.           Galatians, Epistle to
Gen.           Genesis
Ges. Abh.      Gesammelte Abhandlungen
Ges. Schrf.    Gesammelte Schriften
Gesch. u. Lit. Geschichte und Literature
Gottesd.       Gottesdienstliche

H.             Hilkoth
H. B.          Handbuch
H. J.          History of Jews (Graetz)
H. U. C.       Hebrew Union College
Hab.           Habakkuk
Hag.           Hagigah
Hist.          History
Hor.           Horayoth
Hul.           Hullin

Introd.        Introduction
Isai.          Isaiah
Israel.        Israelitisch

J.             Journal
J. E.          Jewish Encyclopedia
J. Q. R.       Jewish Quarterly Review
J. W.          Jewish War (Josephus)
Jahrb.         Jahrbuch
Jer.           Jeremiah
Jew.           Jewish
Josh.          Joshua
Jud.           Judenthums
Judg.          Judges
Jued.          Juedisch

K. A. T.       “Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament”
Ker.           Kerithoth
Keth.          Kethuboth
Kil.           Kilayim

L.             Literature
l. c.          loco citato, the same place;
               libro citato, the same book (for the usual o. c. = opere
Lam.           Lamentations
Lev.           Leviticus

M. K.          Moed Katan
Macc.          Maccabees, Book of
Maim.          Maimonides
Mak.           Makkoth
Mal.           Malachi
Mas.           Masseketh
Meg.           Megillah
Mek.           Mekiltha
Men.           Menahoth
Mid.           Midrash
Mtschr.        Monatsschrift fuer Geschichte und Wissenschaft des
Mitth.         Mittheilungen

Nachgel-Schr.  Nachgelassene Schriften
Neh.           Nehemiah
Nid.           Niddah
Numb.          Numbers

P. d. R. El.   Pirke di Rabbi Eliezer
Pars.          Parsisch
Pes.           Pesahim, -ee
Pes. R.        Pesikta Rabbathi
Pesik.         Pesikta di Rab Kahana
Phil.          Philosophy or Philosophical
Prov.          Proverbs
Prot.          Protestantisch
Ps.            Psalms
Psych.         Psychologisch

Quel.          Quellen

R.             Rabbah, also Rabbi, Rabban
R. h. Sh.      Rosh ha Shanah
R. W. B.       Real-Woerterbuch
ref.           referring or reference
Rel.           Religion

S. O.          Seder Olam
s. v.          sub verbo
Sam.           Samuel
Sanh.          Sanhedrin
Sh. A.         Shulhan Aruk
Shab.          Shabuoth
Sibyl.         Sibylline Books
Slav.          Slavonic
Soc.           Society
Stud.          Studien or Studies
Suk.           Sukkah
Syst.          System or Systematic

T. d. b. E.    Tanna di be Eliahu
Tanh.          Tanhuma
Teh.           Tehillim
Theol.         Theologisch
Tos.           Tosefta
Tosaf.         Tosafoth

u.             und or ueber

W. B.          Woerterbuch
Wiss.          Wissenschaft or Wissenschaftlich

Yalk.          Yalkut
Y. B.          Yearbook
Yeb.           Yebamoth
Yer.           Yerushalmi

Zech.          Zechariah
Zeitschr.      Zeitschrift


Aaronites, 344 f.

Ab, Ninth of, 461, 469

Abba Areka
  _See_ Rab

Abbahu, 153, 422

Abelson, 245, 271, 422

Ablat, 403

Abraham, 32, 62, 65 f., 112, 114, 219, 259, 292, 329, 336 f., 417

Abraham ben David of Posquieres, 14, 81, 237, 387

Abraham ibn Daud, 22, 68, 136, 178, 292

Abraham Ibn Ezra, 97, 152, 188, 190, 194, 273

Abrahams, Israel, 192, 346, 348

Abravanel, Isaac, 27

  _See_ Asceticism

Abulafia, Abr., 431

Adam, 222-230, 244, 252; heavenly, 437

Adonai, 59, 61, 221 f., 359

Affliction, 130

Ahha, R., 224

Ahriman, 301, 382 f.

Akiba, R., 14, 26, 32, 50, 126, 130 f., 150, 176, 216, 222, 232, 257, 259,
            311, 361, 467

Albo, Joseph, 24-26, 163 f., 272 f., 294, 309-339

Alenu, 57, 331, 341, 477

Alfarabi, 68

Allegory, 116, 224, 268

Alpha and Omega, 137

Altruism, 482

Am haaretz, 347, 358

Amos, 248, 264, 324

Anaxoras, 37, 67, 84

Angels, 81, 180-188

  _See_ Wrath

Animals, 489

Anselm of Canterbury, 68

Anthropology, 204

Anthropomorphism, 74-76, 115 f.

Antigonos of Soko, 480

Antinomian, 428, 439

Antoninus, 403, 422

Apicoros—Epicurean, 21, 65

Apocalyptic books, 12 f. 232 f., 283

Apocryphal books, 12 f.

Apologetics, 4

Apostate, 6, 424 f.

Apostles, 435

Apostolic convention, 436

Aquilas, 286, 421

Arelim, 402

Aristeas, 347

Aristotelian, 38, 68, 75, 89, 153, 162, 172, 291

Aristotle, 1, 67, 84, 87, 152, 215, 359, 405

Arnold, Matthew, 121, 131

Art, 480 f.

Articles of faith, 19-28

Aryan, 9, 58

Asceticism, 150, 189, 318, 490

Asenath, 416

Assimilation, 12, 396

Atheism, 65, 67

Atonement, 254

Atonement, Day of, 466-469

Attributes of God
  _See_ God

Aub, Joseph, 446

Autonomy of morality, 491

Azazel, 190, 194, 466

Azkarah, 263

Babylonian, 11, 15, 75, 118, 128, 140, 181, 220, 240, 356

Bacher, W., 76

Bahya ben Asher, 486

Bahya b. Joseph ibn Pakudah, 3, 68, 175, 291, 473

Banquet of the pious in the future, 305

Baptism, 417, 436

Bar Kochba, 361, 384, 385

  _See_ Baptism

Bath Kol, 201

Beck, L., 15

Beecher, W. J., 42

Belief, 20, 65
  _See also_ Faith

Ben Azzai, 124, 311, 480

Ben Sira, 13, 40, 232, 282, and elsewhere

Ben Zoma, 312

Benedictions, Eighteen, 135, 192, 284, 297

Benevolence, 319, 485

Bentwich, N., 140, 290

Bergson, H., 71, 154

Bernays, J., 49, 412

Beroka, R., 490

Berosus, 213

Bertholet, A., 409

Beruria, 110, 396

Bezold, C., 194

Biblical canon, 11, 43, 201

Bloch, M., 12

Bloch, Ph., 23, 236

Blood, 48, 123

Body, 209, 214

Boeklen, E., 302 f.

Bousset, W., 19, 43 f., 61 f., 74, 84, 123, 128, 143 f., 185, 195, 246,
            252, 303

Breath of life, 212

Brugsch, H., 288

Buddha, 405, 478

Cabbalah, 203, 244, 294, 473

Calendar, Jewish, 460

Calvin, 195

Caro, Joseph, 56

Cassel, D., 214, 236, 489

Celibacy, 313, 316

Ceremonies, 346, 449 ff.

Charles, R. H., 283

Cheerfulness, 318, 490

Cheyne, T. K., 409

Christian Science, 178

Christian theology, 5, 123, 192, 248, 252 f., 304, 347, 355

Christian trinity, 56, 86, 116 f., 441 f.

Christianity, 17, 41, 54, 116, 329, 427

Christianity, Paulinian, 12, 51, 116, 439

Christ(os), 86, 221, 433, 437

Church’s providential mission, 444

Circumcision, 50, 346, 402, 416, 449 f.

Civilization, 316

Clemens, Flavius, 421

Cohen, Hermann, 196

Commerce, Jewish, 364

Compassion of God
  _See_ God

Compassion of man, 126

Condescension of God
  _See_ God

Confession, 5, 20, 192

Confirmation, 449, 463, 473

Confucius, 405, 478

Conscience, 30, 64

Consciousness, Man’s, of God, 29

Continuity of soul
  _See_ Immortality

Continuity with the past, 14

Conversion, 418, 423

Cosmogony, 148 f.

Cosmology, 141

Cosmos, 68, 146

Covenant, God’s, 48, 51, 157-161, 235-270, 322

Creation, 147-153

Creative principles, 203

Credo, 22-25, 31

Crescas, Hasdai, 24 f., 131, 163, 172, 194, 236 f., 293, 308 f.

Critical research of Bible
  _See_ Historical research

Cross, 438

Culture, 310, 363

Curtiss, S. I., 454

  _See_ Jehuda ha Levi

Cyrus, 85, 334

Dama ben Nethina, 399

Daniel, 288

Darwin, 154

David, 242, 291

David ben Zimra, 27

Davidson, A. B., 83, 115 f., 139, 167, 182 f., 247, 370

Day of judgment, 394

Day of the Lord
  _See_ JHVH, Day of

Death, 85, 177, 278 f.

Deism, 79

Delitzsch, Fried., 6

Dembitz, L. N., 269

Demons, 190 ff.

Descartes, 68

Determinism, 255, 330

Deutero-Isaiah, 51, 85, 267, 336, 369

Dietary laws, 346, 451 f.

Dillmann, A., 30 f., 59, 83 ff., 157 ff., 231

Doctrine, 47

Doellinger, J. J. I. v., 54

Dorner, A., 6, 18

Dosithean, 13

Draper, J. W., 88

Drummond, J., 69, 72 f., 99 f.

Dualism, 85 f., 178, 184, 189, 214, 220, 438

Dubno, S., 7

Duran, Simon, 24

Duty, 478

Duty to fellow man, 319, 484

Duty to self, 482

Ecclesiastical, 5, 16

Ecstasy, 38

Edom—Rome, 430

Einhorn, David, viii, 389, 446, 453 f., 461

Elbogen, I., 269

Eleazar ben Pedath, 329

Election of Israel
  _See_ Israel

Eliezer ben Hyrcanos, 50, 257, 305, 316, 403, 419

Elijah, 46, 49

Elisha ben Abuyah, 118

Elohim, 57 f., 180 f., 210, 405

Emden, Jacob, 427

Enoch, 232, 336

  _See_ Future life

Eschelbacher, J., 15

Essenes, 12, 40, 163, 183, 185, 191, 316, 419, 434, 481, 489 f.

Eternity, 98 f.

Ethics, 69, 120, 398, 477, 491

Euken, R., 195

Evil, 176, 179

Evil, Spirits of, 189-196

Evolution, 11, 36, 100

Exile, Babylonian, 10 f., 266

Ezekiel, 13, 105, 221, 249, 283, 299, 337 f., 345, 392 f.

Ezra, 10 f., 17

Faith, 19 f.

Faithfulness of God
  _See_ God

Faithfulness of Israel
  _See_ Israel

Falashas, 13, 457

Family life, 316

Fasting, 483

Fate, 168

Fatherhood of God, 256-260

Fear of God, 29

Feast of Weeks
  _See_ Shabuoth

Felsenthal, B., 19

Festivals, 461-470

Finality, 6, 475 f.

Finkelscherer, 194

Flesh, 212

Formalism, 351, 473

Foster, 62, 271

Frankel, Z., 3, 43

Frederick II, 444

Freedom of will, 171 f., 231, 237

Friedlander, G., 438

Friendship, 318

Future life, 281-308

Gabirol, Solomon Ibn, 80, 89, 98, 141, 187

Gamaliel, 77, 97, 129, 152, 289

Gehenna, 110

Geiger, Abraham, viii, 2, 12, 14 ff., 35, 43, 58, 110, 201, 446, 453, 472

Genius, 35, 103

Ger, 50, 409 ff.
  _See also_ Proselyte

Gershom ben Jehuda, 472

Gersonides, 13, 156, 194, 236

Ginzberg, Asher, 7

Gnosticism, 86, 141, 153, 427

God, 52-145

God no abstraction, 78, 143

God of the fathers, 16

God’s, condescension, 72, 81, 142-144
  essence, 72-81
  eternity, 98-100
  existence, 64-71
  faithfulness, 134-137
  fatherhood, 256-260
  foreknowledge, 105, 167
  goodness, 126, 132
  grace, 114 f., 246 f.
  holiness, 100-109, 149 f.
  immanence, 79 f., 98
    _See_ Spirituality
  jealousy, 54, 83, 105
  justice, 118, 125
    _See_ Kingdom of God
  knowledge, 138-141
  mercy, 113
  names, 58, 63, 291
  omnipotence, 91-95
  omnipresence, 96-98
  omniscience, 93-95
  personality, 73-76, 98, 106, 144
  relation to the world, 146-151
  self-consciousness, 73
  spirit, 97-200; in man, 216-230
  spirituality, 22, 74-78
  supermundaneity, 99
  transcendence, 74 f., 100
  truthfulness, 134-137
  unity, 82-90, 96 f., 105
  wisdom, 138 f.
  wrath and punishment, 107

God-childship, Man’s, 27

God-consciousness, Man’s, 29-31

Gods, Heathen, 53, 113, 136, 177

Goel, 256

Gog and Magog, 381, 383

Golden rule, 484

Goldziher, I., 22, 441

Goodness, 126, 132, 150

Goy, 400

Grace of God
  _See_ God

Graetz, H., 7, 43, 416, 472

Greek church, 429
  ethics, 443
  philosophy, 12, 23, 66 f., 84 f., 315
  wisdom, 336

Gressmann, H., 378

Guedemann, M., 42, 355

Guttmann, J., 22, 306

Habakkuk, 334

Haftarah, 357

Haggada and Halakah, 12 f.

Hananel, R., 21

Haninah ben Dosa, 163, 165, 273

Hanukkah, 409

Harnack, A., 413

Harper, R. F., 190

Hartmann, E. v., 78

Hasidim and Hasidean, 62, 127, 163, 266 f., 283, 289, 308, 344, 481

Hatred, 398

Heathenism, 52, 57, 83 f., 176, 399 f., 405

Hebrew, 16, 470 f.

Helbo, R., 421

Helen of Adiabene, 416

Hellenism, 23, 335

Hellenistic Judaism, 233, 289, 303, 339, 414
  literature, 12, 258
  philosophy, 232
  propaganda, 251 f., 334, 415 f., 436

Herford, R. T., 439

Hezekiah, 281

Hillel, 127, 209, 304, 335, 360, 418, 423, 481 ff.

Hillel, R., 388

Hillul and Kiddush hashem, 348 f.

Hirsch, E. G., 19, 458, 480

Hirsch, Samson Raphael, 269, 453

Hirsch, S. A., 407

Hirsch, Samuel, viii, 446

Historical research, 4, 12, 46

Hochmuth, A., 23 f.

Holdheim, Samuel, viii, 462

Holiness, 102, 109, 477 f., 491

Holiness, God’s
  _See_ God

Holiness, Levitical, 104

Holy Land
  _See_ Palestine

Holy spirit, 11, 200 f.

Horowitz, S., 22 f., 37

Horwitz, Sabbathai, 14

Hosea, 29, 49, 114 f., 249, 257, 264, 324, 333

Humanity, 51, 310, 315, 398, 475

Husik, 37, 68 ff., 214 f., 291 f.

Ibn Daud
  _See_ Abraham ibn Daud

Ibn Ezra
  _See_ Abraham Ibn Ezra

Ibn Sina, 68

Ibn Verga, 431

Ihering, R. v., 409

Imitatio Dei, 477, 479, 490

Immanence of God
  _See_ God

Immortality, 24, 286, 297

Individual man, 310

Industry, 317

Inspiration, 39 f.

Institution of the synagogue
  _See_ Synagogue

Intercession, 200 f., 406 f.

Intermarriage, 444 f.

Intermediary powers, 197-205

Internationalism, 321 f.

Intolerance, 404 f.

Isaac ben Shesheth, 171, 427

Isaac Napaha, 428

Isaiah, 244, 264, 328, 333, 397

Ishmael, 430

Islam, 17, 41, 86 f., 329, 427, 441 f.

Islam’s mission, 444

Israel, 389 f., 397

Israel’s, characteristics, 326 f.
  commerce, 364
  consecration, 37
  election, 37, 323-330
  hope, 378-391, 392-396
  martyrdom, 33, 130, 349, 367-377
  mission, 328-341, 352-354
    cultural, 363
  priesthood, 342-343
  prophetic genius, 39, 103, 122, 372
  relation to the nations, 9, 397-407
  separateness, 8, 347 f., 364, 374, 445 f., 452
  world-duty, 16

JHVH—Jahveh, 45, 59, 63, 72, 114, 117, 202, 280

JHVH, Day of, 122

James, Wm., 271

Jastrow, J., 296

Jastrow, Morris, 128

Jealousy of God
  _See_ God

Jehuda ha Levi, 25, 38, 70, 105, 110, 141, 163, 187, 194, 228, 291, 329,
            339, 426, 431, 475

Jehuda ha Nasi, 128, 302, 305, 403

Jellinek, 210

Jeremiah, 30, 45, 126, 249, 252, 257, 265, 320, 410

Jerusalem, 335, 365, 423

Jesus of Nazareth, 46, 433 f.

Jew and Jewry, 7 f., 359, 364, 376

Jew hatred, 9

Jewish nationality, 8

Jewish religion
  _See_ Judaism

Job, 32, 124, 281, 319, 370, 372, 484

Joel, 250

Joel, D., 187

Joel, M., 3, 86, 131, 161, 163, 196, 307 f.

Johanan, R., 79, 306, 309, 327

Johanan ben Zakkai, 222, 258, 403

John the Baptist, 434

John Hyrcanus, 419

Jonah, 127, 250

Jose, R., 46, 227

Joseph Ibn Zaddik, 136

Joseph, Morris, 116, 179, 405, 420, 453 f., 458, 489

Josephus, 21, 46 f., 137, 233, 405, 413, 420

Joshua ben Hananiah, 77, 305, 340, 422, 432, 453, 455

Jost, M., 7

Joy of life, 318, 490

Juda Ibn Balag, 144

Judæo-Christians, 427 f., 439

Judaism, Modern or progressive, 51, 104, 342, 364, 422, 445

Judaism, Rabbinic, 143

Judan, R., 186

Justice, 118-124, 485 f.

Justice, Social, 122, 487

Kaddish, 304, 331

Kant, Immanuel, 65, 69, 189

Karaites, 22, 87, 475

Kaufmann, David, 22 f., 68 f., 80, 97, 105, 153, 195 ff.

Kedusha, 192

Kiddush hashem, 348 f.

Kingdom of God, 331-341, 491

Klein, J., 412, 436, 482

Knowledge of God, 29

Knowledge, God’s
  _See_ God

Koeberle, 117

Koheleth, 124

Kohler, K., 20, 32, 44, 267, 304, 405, 438, 447, 453 f.

Kohler, M. J., 409

Kohut, Alex., 42, 199

Krauskopf, J., 443

Kremer, A. v., 22, 87

Kuenen, A., 337

Labor, 224, 317

Lame and blind parable, 302

Landsberg, M., 473

Lange, F. A., 87

Lauterbach, J. Z., 439, 482 ff., 486

Law, 45-47, 355-358

Lazarus, L., 106

Lazarus, M., 14, 101, 106, 349, 477 f.

Lecky, W. E. H., 345, 364, 443

Leo Hebraeus, 131

Leo da Modena, 14

Lessing, E. G., 430

Levi, R., 268

Levkovits, M., 178

Life a battle, 282

Loew, Leopold, 22, 27, 472

Loewe ben Bezalel, 228

Logos, 198 f.

Love, 31 f., 121, 126-131, 484

Love, God’s
  _See_ God

Loyalty to country, 319 f.

Luria, Isaac, 14

Luther, Martin, 195

Luz, 288

Luzzatto, S. D., 23, 30

Maimonides, 3, 13, 22 f., 30, 38, 72, 87, 110, 138, 153, 162, 170, 178,
            187, 194, 224, 228, 236 f., 268, 272, 307 f., 321, 339, 386
            f., 404, 426

Makom, 62, 97

Malachi, 249, 263

Man, 182, 206-232

Man, child of God, 256, 260, 310

Man’s, brotherhood, 314, 321
  dual nature, 212-217
  destiny and origin, 218-230
  fall, 221-225
  freedom of will, 208, 231-237
  individuality, 208
  perfectibility, 210, 491
  self-consciousness, 35, 216

Manasseh, King, 211, 251

Manasseh ben Israel, 339

Mankind, 310-315

Margolis, Max, 2

Martyrdom of Israel
  _See_ Israel

  _See_ Persian

Measure for measure, 124

Medieval Jewry, 361 f., 376, 386, 455

Meir, R., 77, 151, 154, 258, 260, 273, 356, 403, 450, 453

  _See_ Logos

Mendelssohn, M., vii, 19, 30, 68, 142, 165, 295

Mercy of God
  _See_ God

Merkabah, 187

Messianic hope, 8, 334 f., 378, 389, 445

Messianic kingdom, 426

Messiah, 25, 333 f., 373, 382 f., 389, 400

Metaphysical, 65, 100, 105

Metatron—Mithras, 185, 199

Micah, 218, 328

Microcosm, 209

Mielziner, M., 446

Mill, John Stuart, 181

Milton, J., 195

Minim—Heretics, 86, 424 ff.

Miracle, 36, 160-166

Misanthropy, 9, 398

Mission of Israel
  _See_ Israel

Modesty, 490

Mohammed, 429 f., 441 f.

Mohammedan religion
  _See_ Islam

Mohammedan theology, 2, 24, 37, 68, 87, 141, 162, 171, 236

Monotheism, 55-183
  Absolute, 428
  Ethical, 23, 54, 69, 415

Montefiore, Claude G., 43, 246, 348, 438, 449

Month, 459

Moral order, 119-123

Morgenstern, J., 239

Mosaic code, 335, 345, 414
  cult, 263-268
  law, 13, 16, 26, 104

Mosaism, 283

Moses, 35-37, 46, 113 f., 228, 232 ff., 240 f.

Mueller, Max, 58

Mutuality, 488

Mysticism and mystics, 3, 14, 36, 89, 131, 136, 157, 473

Naaman, 414

Nahmanides, 194, 224, 244, 294, 307, 426

Nahum of Gimzo, 151, 163

Names of God, 58-63

Nationalism, Jewish, 13 f., 335

Nationality, Jewish, 8

Nature, 148, 156

Nature’s laws, 135, 187

Neoplatonism, 2, 37, 87, 92

Nestorians, 443

Nether world, 279
  _See also_ Sheol

Neumark, David, 19, 22, 70, 92, 98, 172, 284, 297, 406

New Year’s Day, 465-468

Nieto, David, 80

Nirvana, 479

Noah, 336, 452

Noahitic laws, 48-51, 110, 404, 412 f., 427

Nomism, 13, 44, 355

Nomos—Law, 43

Oath, 120

Objective and subjective truths, 3

Œnomaos of Gadara, 403

Onias the Saint, 165, 268, 273

Ontological proof
  _See_ God’s existence

Optimism, 132, 179, 251

Order, Moral, of the world, 167

Orientalism, 470 f.

Origin, 374

Orthodoxy, 11, 46

Otherworldliness, 124, 352, 395, 440, 489

Pain, 176

Palestine, 3, 38, 335, 394

Pantheism, 80

Paradise legend, 177, 207, 219, 278

  _See_ Persian

Particularism, 446

Passover, 461 f.

Patriotism, 320

Paul and Paulinian dogma, 25, 50 f., 116, 21, 259, 355, 417, 428, 437, 440

Peace, 379, 491

Pentecost miracle, 359

Perles, F., 350

Persian, 85, 140, 184-191, 283 ff., 300 f.

Personality of God
  _See_ God

Pessimism, 150, 439 f.

Pharaoh, 55

Pharisaic and Pharisees, 12, 20, 189, 233 f., 283 f., 302, 344 f., 413,
            418, 439, 457

Philanthropy, 486 f.

Philippson, Ludwig, 165, 210, 444, 446

Philipson, David, 269, 297, 389, 446, 458

Philo, 21, 67, 72, 80, 186, 189, 194, 198, 203, 214 f., 233 f., 268, 290,
            294, 351, 405, 413, 423, 439, 452, 457, 485

Philosophy, Greek, 66
  Hindoo, 209
  Jewish, 2

Philosophy of religion, 70

Phineas ben Yair, 163, 165

  _See_ Tefillin

Plato, 84, 209 f., 215, 405

Platonism, 141, 285, 289 f.

Ploss, H., 449 f.

Porter, F. Ch., 215

Prayer, 261-277

Predetermination, 232

Preëxistence of the Soul, 289

Priest, 343 f.

Priest code, 263, 351

Priest, High, 317, 466

Priesthood of Israel
  _See_ Israel

Profanation of name
  _See_ Hillul ha Shem

Propaganda, 51, 412-419

Prophecy, 35, 38

Prophetic books, 42

Proselyte, 336 f., 411-423

Protestantism, 363

Providence, 167-175

Psalmist, 10, 13, 60, 265, 299, 309,480

Psychology, 187, 204

Ptolemy Philadelphus, 347

Punishment, Divine
  _See_ Retribution

Purgatory, 304

Purim, 470

Purity, 146, 153, 291, 490

Pythagoras, 146, 291

Rab-Abba Areka, 203, 305 f.

Rabba, 428

Rabbinism, 283

Radin, M., 416

Rashi, 312, 388

Rationalism, 13, 38, 89, 450, 474

Rauwenhoff, L. W. E., 2, 65, 101, 106

Redemption, Religion of, 17, 195

Reform Judaism, 269, 330, 340, 389

Reform liturgy, 269, 297, 340, 389, 469

Reformation, 363, 444

Reizenstein, R., 310

Religion, Absolute, 19

Religion’s unifying power, 15, 315, 321, 491

Repentance, 246, 257

Responsibility, 233 f., 246, 255, 337, 488-491

Resurrection, 282-285, 292, 297 f., 392, 396

Retribution, 107-111, 298

Revelation, 23, 34, 41, 147

Reward and punishment
  _See_ Retribution

Rhode, E., 290

Ritschl, A. B., 74

Ritualism, 13

Roman church, 428 f.

Rome, 401

Rosenau, Wm., 447

Rosin, D., 30

Ruth, 336, 417

Saadia, 68, 97, 162, 187, 194, 224, 236, 274, 290, 307

Sabbath, 50, 346, 455-460

Sachs, M., 80, 89, 141

Sacrament, 448

Sacrifice, 261-270

Sadduceeism and Sadducees, 12 f., 127, 284, 300, 434, 439, 456

Salvation, 5, 20, 258, 402

Samaritans, 13, 373, 420, 454

Samuel, 241

Samuel of Nehardea, 127, 320, 386, 403, 420

Sanctification of the name, 484

Satan, 86, 189-195, 300

Schechter, S., 3, 6, 13, 19, 27, 76, 78, 145, 208, 223, 239, 263, 275,
            323, 348, 455, 458

Scheyer, S., 214, 292

Schiller, Fr., 132

Schlesinger, W. and L., 19

Schmiedl, 37, 90 ff., 155 f., 197 ff., 393

Schreiber, E., 27

Schreiner, M., 19, 78, 103, 431

Schuerer, E., 159, 410, 413, 416, 448

Schulman, S., 364, 445

Science, Modern, 128, 139, 147 f., 215

Scripture, 11, 40, 43

Seeberg, A., 412, 436

Sefiroth, Ten, 203

Self-conquest, 483

Self-elevation _versus_ self-extinction, 479

Seligman, C., 71, 155, 179

Semikah, 12

Semites and Semitic, 68, 104, 347

Sermon on the Mount, 438

Serpent, 193, 221 f.

Servant of the Lord, 324, 367-375

Seventy languages, 359

Seventy nations, 403, 464

Shabuoth—Feast of the Weeks, 462

Shaddai, 59

Shammai and Shammaite, 235, 335, 418 f.

Shekinah, 46, 97, 183, 197, 204

Shema, 20, 57, 61, 426

Sheol, 279 f.
  _See also_ Nether world

Siegfried, C., 80 f., 203

Simeon ben Eleazar, 416

Simeon ben Gamaliel, 418

Simeon ben Lakish, 306

Simeon ben Shetach, 350

Simeon ben Yohai, 163, 349

Simhat Torah, 464

Simlai, R., 27, 287, 319, 356

Simon the Just, 345, 357

Sin, 231-345

Sin, Original, 221-223, 244

Sinai, 53, 60

Slavery, 42, 146

Smith, W. R., 58, 409

Sociability, 318

Social justice, 487

Society, 318 f.

Socrates, 37, 405

Solomon ben Adret, 426

Soul, 24, 212 f., 286 f.

Spiegel, F., 63

Spinoza, B., 80, 131, 309

Spirit of God
  _See_ God

Spirit, Holy, 11

Spirituality of God
  _See_ God

Spitta, F., 434

Stade, B., 42

Stanley, A. P., 454

State, Duty to the, 319

Stave, E., 302

Stein, L., 340, 389

Steinschneider, M., 273, 430 f.

Steinthal, H., 146

Stoics, 110, 198, 315

Stranger, 408-411

Strauss, D. F., 19, 67 f., 74, 83 f., 96 f., 101 f., 119, 153 f., 195

Suffering, 130

Suffering, Israel’s
  _See_ Martyrdom

Suicide, 484

Sukkoth festival, 463

Sunday, 451 f., 459

Symbolum Apostolicum, 5

Synagogal liturgy and worship, 277, 284, 288, 389, 514

Synagogue, 447, 475

Synagogue, Men of the Great, 40, 79, 201

Tabernacles, Feast of
  _See_ Sukkoth

Taëb, 373

Tallith, 454

Tamar, 417

Tefillin, 346, 453 f.

Teleological proof
  _See_ God’s existence

Temple, Destruction of
  _See_ Ab, Ninth of

  _See_ Repentance Theism, 8

Theocracy, 342

Theology, 1-6

Theology, Christian, 5-6, 342

Theology, Mohammedan
  _See_ Mohammedan

This-worldliness, Jewish, 17, 124, 477

Tihamat, 193, 220

Time, 99

Torah, 11, 23, 42-47, 199, 354 ff.

Torah, Reading from the, 470

Toy, C. H., 480

Tradition, 12, 14, 43, 46

Transcendentalism, 143

  _See_ Christian trinity

Trumbull, H. Clay, 461

Truth, 136

Truthfulness of God
  _See_ God

Tylor, E. B., 286, 449

Unifying power, 15

Unity of God, 82-90
  of man, 321, 339 f.
  of the cosmos, 149

Univeralism, 8, 13, 48, 51, 396, 445

Universe, 146

Values of life, 489

Vernacular, 357

Virtue, Hereditary, 328, 406, 489

Vision, Prophetic
  _See_ Prophecy

Water libation, 464

Weber, F., 45, 61, 78, 86, 117, 123, 126, 143, 145, 223, 246, 252, 361

Weiss, Isaac Hirsch, 43, 54

Wells, H. G., 71

White, Andrew D., 443

Will, Freedom of, 138 f., 199

Windelband-Tufts, 67 ff., 290

Windishman, Fr., 305

Wisdom, 45, 140

Wisdom of God
  _See_ God

Wisdom, Book of, 66

Wisdom literature, 60

Wise, Isaac M., 423, 473

Woman, 222, 472 f.

World, Infinitude of, 154, 159
  Moral government of, 171 f.
  Order of, 157

Worlds, Two, 159

Wrath of God
  _See_ God

Wuensche, A., 430, 439

Xenophanes, 84

Yavan, 424

Yethro, 417

Yezer ha ra and ha tob, 193, 215, 223, 239

Zealot, 12, 334, 360

Zebulon and Issachar, 364

Zechariah, 249, 334, 410, 464

Zedakah, 121, 486

Zekuth Aboth, 406

Zeller, E., 310

Zerubbabel, 330, 370, 380

Zidduk ha Din, 125

Zimmels, 131

Zimmern, H., 103, 170

Zionism, 390, 395

Zizith, 454

  _See_ Persian

Zunz, Leopold, 41, 43, 367, 450, 471

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    1 Compare Heinrici _Theologische Encyclopaedie_, p. 4; Enc. Brit. art.

    2 Heinrici, l. c., p. 14 f., 212; Hagenbach-Kautsch: _Encyc. d.
      theolog. Wiss._, p. 28-30; Rauwenhoff: _Religionsphilosophie_,
      Einl., xiii; Margolis: “The Theological Aspect of Reformed Judaism,”
      in Yearbook of C. C. A. R., 1903, p. 188-192. Lauterbach, J. E.,
      art. Theology.

    3 See, however, Geiger: _Nachgel. Schriften_, II, 3-8; also Margolis,
      l. c., p. 192-196.

    4 A fine beginning in this direction has been made by Professor
      Schechter in _Some Aspects of Rabbinic Theology_, New York, 1909.

    5 See Joel: “D. Mosaismus u. d. Heidenthum,” in Jahrb. f. Jued. Gesch.
      und Lit., 1904, p. 70-73.

    6 See Schaff-Herzog’s Encycl., art. Apostles’ Creed and Symbol.

    7 See Schechter: _Studies in Judaism_, Intr., XXI-XXII; p. 147, 198
      f.; Foster: _The Finality of the Christian Religion_, Chicago, 1906;
      Friedr. Delitzsch: _Zur Weiterentwicklung der Religion_, 1908; and
      comp. Orelli: _Religionsgeschichte_, 276 f., and Dorner: _Beitr. z.
      Weitrentwicklung d. christl. Religion_, 173.

    8 For the origin of the name Judaism, see Esther VIII, 17. Compare
      _Yahduth_, Esther Rabbah III, 7; II Macc. II, 21; VIII, 1, 14, 38;
      Graetz: _G. d. J._, II, 174 f.; Jost: _G.d. Jud._, I, 1-12; _J. E._,
      art. Judaism. Regarding the unfairness of Christian authors in their
      estimate of Judaism, see Schechter, l. c., 232-251; M. Schreiner:
      _D. juengst. Urtheile u. d. Judenthum_, p. 48-58. Dubnow, Asher
      Ginsberg and the rest of the nationalists underrate the religious
      power of the Jew’s soul, which forms the essence of his character
      and the motive power of all his aspirations and hopes, as well as of
      all his achievements in history.

_    9 Erub._ 13 b.

   10 Neh. VIII, 1-18; Ez. VII, 12-28.

   11 See M. Bloch: _Tekanot_, and art. Tekanot J. E. Regarding
      inspiration see J. E.; Sanh, 99 a; Meg. 7 a; Maim.: _Moreh_, II, 45;
      comp. Yerush. Ab. Zar., I, 40; Horay. III, 48 c; Levit. R. VI, 1;
      IX, 9; and Yoma 9 b. The laying on of hands for ordination
      (_Semikah_) implied originally the imparting of the holy spirit, see
      J. E., art. Authority.

   12 See Geiger, J. Z., I, p. 7.

   13 Aboth d. R. Nathan, I; Shab. 30 b with reference to Ezek.

   14 See Geiger: Z. D. M. G., XII, 536; Schechter, _Wisdom of Ben Sira_,
      p. 35.

   15 See J. E., art. Jubilees, Book of. Very instructive in this
      connection is a comparative study of the Falashas, the Samaritans,
      especially the Dosithean sect, and the still problematical sect
      discovered through the document found by Schechter, edited by him
      under the title _Fragments of a Zadokite Sect_.

   16 See Yer. Hag., I, 76, and elsewhere.

_   17 Ethics of Judaism_, I, 8-10; Geiger: J. Z., IX, 263.

   18 See _Pesik. R._, V, p. 146; _Midr. Tanhuma_, ed. Buber, Wayera 6 and
      Ki Thissa, 17. Comp. the legend of Moses and Akiba, Men. 29 b.

   19 Comp. Geiger: _Nachgel. Schr._, II, 37-41; also his _Jud. u. s.
      Gesch._, I, 20-35; Beck: _D. Wesen d. Judenthums_; Eschelbacher: _D.
      Judenthum u. d. Wesen d. Christenthums_; Schreiner, l. c., 26-34.

   20 Deut. VI, 7; XI, 19.

   21 See Geiger: _Nachgel. Schr._, II, 37 f.

   22 John XIV, 6. Comp. Dorner, l. c., 173; and his _Grundprobleme d.
      Religionsphilosophie_; Orelli: _Religionsgeschichte_, 276 f.

   23 Gen. R. VIII, 5.

   24 See Schechter: _Studies_, 147-181 and notes 351 f.; Mendelssohn:
      _Ges. Schr._, III, 321. Comp. Schlesinger: _Buch Ikkarim_, 630-632;
      Bousset: _Religion d. Judenthums_, 170 f., 175, and thereto Perles:
      _Bousset_, 112 f.; Martin Schreiner: l. c., 35 f.; J. E., art. Faith
      and Articles of Faith (E. G. Hirsch); Felsenthal, Margolis, and
      Kohler, in Y. B. C. C. A. R., 1897, p. 54; 1903, p. 188-193; 1905,
      p. 83; Neumark: art. Ikkarim in _Ozar ha Yahduth_; D. Fr. Strauss:
      _D. christl. Glaubenslehre_, I, 25.

   25 See Gen. XV, 6; Mek. to Ex. XIV; J. E., art. Faith.

   26 Deut. VI, 1-6; XI, 13-21; Num. XV, 37-41.

   27 See Bousset, II, 224 f. The term _Pistis_ = faith, assumes a new
      meaning in Hellenistic Literature.

   28 See J. E., art. Emeth we Yatzib.

   29 See J. E., art. Alenu.

   30 See J. E., art. Abraham in Apocryphical and Rabbinical Lit.

_   31 Sifra_ Behukothai, III, 6; _Sanh._ 38 b; _Targ. Y._ to Gen. IV, 8.

   32 Ber. II, 2; see Kohler: _Monatsschrift_, 1883, p. 445.

   33 Kohler, l. c.

   34 The Mishnaic _Apicoros_ corresponded to the Greek, _Epicoureios_,
      and was no longer understood by the Talmudists; see Schechter:
      _Studies in Judaism_, I, 157. It is defined by Josephus:
      _Antiquities_, X, 11, 7: “The Epicureans ... are in a state of
      error, who cast Providence out of life, and do not believe that God
      takes care of the affairs of the world, nor that the universe is
      governed by a Being which outlives all things in everlasting
      self-sufficiency and bliss, but declare it to be self-sustaining and
      void of a ruler and protector ... like a ship without a helmsman and
      like a chariot without a driver.” Comp. also Oppenheim in
      _Monatsschr._, 1864, p. 149.

   35 See Rappaport; “Biography of R. Hananel,” in _Bikkure ha Ittim_,

_   36 Contra Apionem_, II, 22. See J. G. Mueller: _Josephus’ Schrift
      gegen Apion_, 311-313.

   37 See Alfred v. Kremer: _Gesch. d. herrsch. Ideen d. Islam_, 39-41;
      Goldziher, D. M. L. Z., XLIV, p. 168 f.; XLI, p. 72 f., which
      passages cast much light upon the Jewish _Ani Maamin_.

   38 See Jost: _Gesch. d. Jud._, II, 330 f.; Frankl: art. Karaites in
      _Ersch und Gruber’s Encyclopaedie_; Loew: _Juedische Dogmen_, Ges.
      s. I, 154; Schechter, l. c.

   39 J. Guttman: _D. Religionsphil, v. Abraham Ibn Daud_; David Kaufmann,
      _Gesch. d. Attributenlehre_; Neumark: _Gesch. d. juedisch. Phil._
      vols. I and II.

   40 Maimonides: Commentary on Mishnah, Sanh., X, 1; Schechter, l. c.,
      163; Holzer: _Gesch. d. Dogmenlehre_, Berlin, 1901.

   41 See Loew, l. c., 156; Schechter, l. c, 165.

   42 See P. Bloch: “Luzzatto als Religionsphilosoph” in _Samuel David
      Luzzatto_, p. 49-71. Comp. Hochmuth: _Gotteskenntniss und
      Gottesverehrung_, Einleitung.

   43 See Schechter, l. c., 167 and the notes.

   44 See Horowitz: _D. Psychologie u. d. jued. Religionsphilosophie_,

   45 See J. E., art. Albo by E. G. Hirsch, and the bibliography there.

   46 See Schechter, l. c., p. 162.

   47 Isa. XLIX, 9, and elsewhere.

   48 See Schechter, l. c., p. 169.

   49 Aboth, III, 1; Gen. R. XXI, 5.

   50 See Schechter, l. c.

   51 See Loew, l. c., 157, and his “_Mafteah_,” p. 331; Schechter, l. c.

   52 Makk. 23 b.

   53 See J. E., art. Catechism by E. Schreiber.

   54 Gen. XX, 11.

   55 Ps. CXI, 10; Prov. IX, 10; Job XXVIII, 28.

   56 Ex. XX, 20.

   57 Hos. IV, 1, 6; II. 3; XIII, 4-5.

   58 Jer. IX, 23; XXII, 16; XXXI, 32-33.

   59 Deut. IV, 39; VII, 9.

   60 Knowledge as intellect is brought out as early as the Book of
      Wisdom, XIII, 1; see especially Maimonides: _Yesode ha Torah_, I,
      1-3; _Moreh_, I, 39; III, 28. In opposition, see Rosin: _Ethik des
      Maimonides_, 101; Luzzatto and Hochmuth, l. c.; also Dillmann: H. B.
      d. alttestamentl. Theol., 204 f.

   61 Ch. IV.

   62 Gen. XV, 6; see J. E., art. Abraham.

   63 Shab. 97 a.

   64 Mek. Beshallak 6, p. 41 ab.

   65 Deut. VI, 5; X, 12; XI, 1; XIII, 22; XXX, 6, 16, 20.

   66 Sifre to Deut. VI, 5.

   67 Judges V, 31.

   68 Shab. 88 b.

   69 See Testament of Job, and notes by Kohler, in _Semitic Studies in
      Memory of Alexander Kohut_, 271, and Sota, V, 5.

   70 Sifre, l. c.

   71 See Yoma, 86 a; T. d. El. R., XXIV; Maimonides, _H. Teshubah_, X;
      Crescas: _Or Adonai_, I, 3. Comp. _Testaments Twelve Patriarchs_,
      Simeon 3, 4; Issachar, 5; Philo: Quod omnis probus liber, 12 and

   72 Song of Songs VII, 6, 7.

   73 See Sifre Deut. XXVI, 8; Sanh. X, 1; J. E., art. Revelation;
      Dillmann, 61 f.; Geiger, D. Jud. u. s. Gesch. I, 34 f.

   74 See Deut. XIII, 2-6, where prophet forms a parallel to dreamer of
      dreams. God appears in a dream to Abraham (Gen. XV, 1, 12), to
      Abimelek (Gen. XX, 3, 6), to Jacob (XXVIII, 12; XXXI, 11; XLVI, 2),
      to Laban (XXXI, 24), to Balaam (Num. XXIV, 3), and to Eliphaz (Job
      IV, 3-6). Dream-like visions open the prophetic career of Moses
      (Exod. III, 3-6), Samuel (I Sam. III, 1, 15, 21), Isaiah (Is. VI, 1
      f.), Jeremiah (Jer. I, 11 f.), Ezekiel (Ezek. I, 4), and others.
      Revelation in the Bible is _Mahazeh_, _hazon_, and _hizayon_,
      “vision”—whence _hozeh_, “seer”; or _mareh_, “sight,” whence _roeh_,
      “seer.” See also Geiger: _Urschrift_, 340; 390. Prophecy without
      dream or vision is claimed for Moses (Num. XII, 6-8; Exod. XXX, 11;
      Deut. XXXIV, 10; see Maimonides: _Moreh_, II, 43-47; Albo,
      _Ikkarim_, III, 8). The revelation on Sinai is described as “the
      great vision,” or _mareh:_ Exod. III, 3; XXIV, 17; compare Deut. IV,
      11-V, 23, according to which only a “voice” is heard. Instead of God
      the later prophets see an angel, as Zach. I, 8, 11; II, 2 f. Compare
      Yebam. 49 b, as to the difference between Isaiah, who saw God in a
      vision, and Moses, who saw Him “in a shining mirror.” He will appear
      in the latter way to the righteous in the future world, Suc. 45 b;
      Lev. R. I, 14; I Cor. XIII, 12.

   75 See Gen. XX, 6; XXXI, 29; Num. XXIV; Job IV, 16 f.; XXXVIII, 1.

   76 The Hebrew word for prophecy is passive,—_nibba’_ or _hithnabbe’_,
      “to be made to speak,” or “to bubble forth,”—the Deity being the
      active power, while the prophet is His mouthpiece.

   77 Ex. XXXIII, 11; Deut. XXXIV, 10.

   78 Ex. XIX, 19; XX, 19.

   79 Ex. XIX, 1-8.

   80 Shab. 88 a after Ex. XXIV, 7.

_   81 Seder Olam_ R., I and XXI; Lev. Rab. I, 12-14; B. B. 15 b.

   82 Hag. 13 b; Sanh. 89 a; Lev. R. l. c.

   83 See Schmiedl: _Stud. u. jued.-arabische Religionsphilosophie_,
      191-192; S. Horowitz: _D. Prophetologie i. d. jued.
      Religionsphilosophie_; Sandler: _D. Problem d. Prophetie i. d. jued.
      Religionsphilosophie_; J. E., art. Prophets and Prophecy; _Emunoth_
      III, 4; _Cuzari_, I, 95; II, 10-12; _Emunah Ramah_, II, 5, 1;
      _Moreh_, II, 32-48; _Yesode ha Torah_, VII; _Or Adonai_, II, 4, 1;
      _Ikkarim_, III, 8-12, 17; Nachmanides to Gen. XVIII, 2; Abravanel to
      Gen. XXI, 27; Comp. Husik, _Hist. Med. Jew. Phil._, Index s. v.
      Prophecy; Enc. Rel. Ethics, art. Philosophy and Prophecy.

   84 Horowitz, l. c. p. 11-16; Gen. R. XVII, 6; Lev. R, l. c; Sanh. 17 b;
      Philo: De Decalog., 21; de Migratione Abrahami, 7; comp. I Corinth.
      XIII, 12.

_   85 Moreh_, l. c.

_   86 Cuzari_, l. c.

_   87 Kol Nibra_: _Moreh_, I, 65; _Emunoth_, II, 8; _Cuzari_, I, 89.

   88 According to the rabbis, the working of the holy spirit ceased with
      Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who, with Ezra, were included also
      among the “Men of the Great Synagogue.” See Tos. Sota XIII, 2; Seder
      Olam R. XXX; Sanh. 11 a. See J. E., art. Synagogue, Men of the
      Great; Holy Spirit; Inspiration. Comp. B. B. 14 b, 15 a; Yoma 9 b;
      Meg. 3 a, 7 a; I Macc. IV, 46; Ps. LXXIV, 9; Josephus, _Con.
      Apion._, I, 8; Philo: _Vita Mosis_, II, 7; Aristeas, 305-307. As to
      the difference between the spirit of prophecy and the holy spirit,
      see _Cuzari_, III, 32-35; _Moreh_, II, 35-37. The Essenes claimed
      the holy spirit for their apocryphal writings; see IV Esdras XIV,
      38; Book of Wisdom VII, 27.

   89 On the disputes concerning canonical books, see Yadayim III, 5; Ab.
      d. R. N., I, ed. Schechter, 2-3; Shab. 30 b; Meg. 7 a. Comp. B. K.
      92 b, where Ben Sira is quoted as one of the Hagiographa.

   90 See Tos. Pes. I, 27; IV, 2; Sota XIII, 3; Yer. Horay. III, 48 c;
      Lev. R. XXI, 7.

   91 R. h. Sh. 27 a; Mak. 22 b.

   92 Sifre Deut. VI, 4.

   93 On the term Torah see Smend: _Lehrb. d. alttest. Religionsgesch._;
      Stade: Bibl. Theol. d. Alt. Test., Index s. v. Torah; W. J. Beecher:
      _Jour. Bibl. Lit._, 1905, 1-16; “Thora a Word Study in the Old
      Testament.” For Torah as _Law_, see Neh. VIII, 1; Joshua I, 7, and
      throughout the Pentateuch; as _moral instruction_, see Hos. IV, 6;
      VIII, 1; Is. I, 10; V, 24; XXX, 9; LI, 4; Mic. IV, 2; Jer. XXXVI, 4
      f.; XXXI, 32; Ps. XVI, 8; Prov. VI, 22; VII, 2; Guedeman: _Quell. z.
      G. d. Unterrichts_, at the beginning; Claude Montefiore: _Hibbert
      Lectures_, 1892, p. 465 f.

_   94 Nehematha_, which means the Messianic hope; see Kohut: Aruch V, 328
      and Appendix 59.

   95 See B. B. 13 b; Meg. III, 1; IV, 4; comp. Ned. 22 b; Taan. 9 a;
      Shab. 104 a; _Sifra_ Behukothai at end; Eccl. R. I, 10; Ex. R.
      XXXVIII, 6. Zunz: _Gottesd. Vortr._, 46 f., and art. _Canon_ and
      _Bible_ in the various encyclopedias. As to Torah for the whole
      Bible, see Mek. Shira I; Sanh. 37 a, 91 b; Ab. Zar. 17 a; M. K. 5 a;
      comp. I Cor. XIV, 21; John X, 34; XII, 34; XV, 25. For Torah as
      Nomos, or Law, see II Macc. XV, 9.

   96 Bousset, l. c., 128-129.

   97 On the divine origin of the Torah, see Sanh. 99 a; _Sifra_ Kedoshim
      8; Behar I; Behukothay 8. Regarding the meaning of _metammin eth ha
      yadayim_ in the sense of taboo for the holy writings, see Geiger:
      _Urschrift_, p. 146.

   98 Sanh. 99 a; Maim. H. Teshubah III, 8.

   99 Comp. Kohler: _Hebrew Union College Annual_, 1904, “The Four Ells of
      the Halakah.”

  100 Deut. XXXIII, 4.

  101 Mak. 23 b.

  102 Jerem. XXXI, 32.

  103 Comp. Schechter, _Aspects_, p. 120-136, and see Ben Sira, XXIV,
      8-23; XVII, 11; Baruch III, 38 f.; Apoc. Baruch XXXVIII, 4; XLIV,
      16; IV Esdras VIII, 12; IX, 37; Philo: _Vita Mosis_, II, 3, 9; Gen.
      R. I; P. d. R. El. III.

  104 This apotheosis of the Torah is put in a wrong light by Weber,
      _Juedische Theologie_, 157 f., 197, but is stated better in Bousset,
      l. c., 136-142.

_  105 Dibre Kabbalah_, R. h. Sh. 7 a, 19 a; Yer. Halla I, 57 b; see Levy,
      W. B., s. v. Kabbalah.

  106 The personality of Moses was at first exalted to almost superhuman
      height; see _Ben Sira_, XLV, 2; _Assumptio Mosis_, I, 14; XI, 16;
      Philo: _Vita Mosis_, III, 39; Josephus: _Antiquities_, IV, 32 b;
      Bousset, l. c., 140 f. In contrast to the Church view of Jesus the
      rabbis later emphasized the human frailties of Moses: “Never did
      divine majesty descend to the habitations of mortal man, nor did
      ever a mortal man such as Moses and Elijah ascend to heaven, the
      dwelling-place of God,” taught Rabbi Jose (Suk. 5 a).

  107 See Deut. IV, 6-8; Jer. XXXI, 34-35; Philo: _Vita Mosis_, II, 14;
      Josephus: _Apion_, II, 277.

  108 See Herodotus, III, 8; IV, 70; Jer. XXIV, 18; H. Clay Trumbull: _The
      Blood Covenant_, New York, 1885; Kraetschmar: _D. Bundervorstellung
      i. A. Test._, 1896; J. E. and Encyl. of Rel. and Ethics, art.

  109 See Gen. IX, 1-17; Tos. Ab. Zar. VIII, 4; San. 56 a; Gen. R. XVI,
      XXIV; Jubilees VI, 10 f.; Bernays: _Ges. Abh._ I, 252 f., 272 f.;
      II, 71-80.

  110 Gen. XV, 18; XVII, 2 f.; XVIII, 19; Lev. XXVI, 42; Jubilees I, 51.

  111 Ex. XIX, 5; XXIV, 6-8; XXXIV, 28; Deut. IV-V, XXVIII, XXIX; Comp. I
      Kings XIX, 10, 14; Jer. XI; XXXI; XXXIV, 13; Ezek. XVI-XVII.

  112 Hos. II, 18-20.

  113 Jer. XXXI, 30-32, 34-35; XXXIII, 25; Deut. XXIX, 14.

  114 See Ep. Hebrews VIII, 8 f.; Gal. III, 15; I Cor. XI, 25; Matt. XXIV,
      21, and parallels.

  115 Gen. XVII, 11.

  116 Ex. XXXI, 13-17; comp. Deut. X, 16; Josh. V, 9; Isa. LVI, 4-6. See
      Mek. to Ex. XIX, 5, the controversy between R. Eliezer and R. Akiba,
      whether the Sabbath or circumcision was the essential sign of the

  117 Ker. 9 a; Yeb. 45-48 and see Chapter LVI below.

  118 Ps. XXII, 28 f.; CXV, 11; CXVIII, 4; Is. LVI, 6.

  119 Isaiah XLIX, 6-8.

  120 Acts XV, 20, 29.

  121 See J. E., art. Saul of Tarsus; Enc. Rel. Eth. art. Paul.

  122 Isaac ben Shesheth: Responsa, 119. Comp, J. E., art. Christianity.

  123 See further, Chapter XLIX.

  124 Jer. X, 11; 16 and 10.

  125 Shab. 89 b.

  126 Lev. XVIII, 2, 27 f.; Num. XXV, 3-8; Hos. IV, 10; V, 4.

  127 Num. XV, 39; Ex. XXIII, 24; Deut. XX, 18; Sanh. XII, 5; X, 4-6; Ab.
      Zar. II-IV; Sanh. 106 a: “Israel’s God hates lewdness.”

  128 Ex. XX, 5; Deut. IV, 24; VI, 15.

  129 See Philo: De Humanitate; Doellinger: _Heidenthum u. Judenthum_,
      682, 700 f.; I. H. Weiss: _Dor Dor we Doreshav_, II, 19 f.

  130 See J. E., art. Christianity.

  131 Isa. XLII, 8. Scripture always emphasizes the contrast between
      Israel’s God and the heathen gods. See Ex. XII, 12; XV, 11; XVIII,
      11; Deut. X, 17; also in the prophets, Isa. XL; XLIV, 9; Jer. X; and
      the Psalms, XCVI, CXV, CXXXV. Absolute monotheism was a slow growth
      from this basis.

  132 See Ex. R. V, 18.

  133 Deut. VII; XVII, 2 f.; XX, 16; Maimonides: _H. Akkum_, II-VII;
      _Melakim_, VI, 4; _Yoreh Deah_, CXII-XLVIII.

  134 Ps. XCVI-XCIX.

  135 See Singer’s _Prayerbook_, p, 76-77, and J. E., art. Alenu.

  136 See Cheyne’s Dict. Bibl. art. Name and Names with Bibliography;
      Jacob: _Im Namen Gottes_; Heitmueller, _Im Namen Jesu_, 1903, p.
      24-25. The _Name_ for the Lord occurs Lev, XXIV, 11, 16; Deut.
      XXVIII, 58; Geiger, _Urschrift_, 261 f.

  137 See Baudissin, _Stud. z. Sem. Religionsgesch._, I, 47; 177; Robinson
      Smith: _Religion of the Semites_; Max Mueller, _Chips from a German
      Workshop_, I, 336-374.

  138 See J. E., art. God. Comp. also Encycl. of Religion and Ethics, art.
      God. Primitive and Biblical; Name of God, Jewish.

  139 Gen. XVII, 11; Ex. VI, 3, and commentators; Gen. R. XLVI. The Book
      of Job, where the name _Shaddai_ is constantly used, refers to the
      patriarchal age.

  140 Ex. III, 14, and commentators, espec. Dillmann. Comp. art. Jahweh in
      Prot. Realencyc. and Cheyne’s Dict. Bible, art. _Names_, § 109 ff.,
      where different etymologies are given.

  141 Ex. III, 14.

  142 Ex. XIX, 5, 6.

  143 See Prot. Enc., art. Jahveh, p, 530 f.

  144 See J. E., art. Adonai; Bousset, l. c., 352 f.

  145 Ber. 40 b. On the alleged “Judaisirung des Gottesbegriffs,” see
      Weber, l. c., 148-158.

  146 Sifre to Deut. VI, 4.

  147 Gen. XXIV, 3.

  148 Gen. R. XXIV, 3.

  149 Shab. 87 a, 89 b; Mek. Yithro IV.

  150 See J. E., art. Alenu.

  151 See J. E., art. _Abba_ and Names of God; Weber, l. c, 148 f.;
      Bousset, II, 356-361; Schechter: _Aspects_, II, 21-28.

  152 See J. E., art. Heaven; Levy, W. B.: “Shamayim.”

  153 See Pes. X, 5; Ber. 16 b; Ab. Zar. 40 b; Gen. R. LXVIII, 9,
      referring to Gen. XXVIII, 11 and Ex. XXXIII, 21; P. d. R. El. XXXV;
      Pes. Rab. 104 a; comp. LXX, Ex. XXIV, 10; see also Siegfried:
      _Philo_, p. 202, 204, 217; Schechter, l. c., 26, 34. The passage in
      Mekilta on Ex. XVII, 7, which refers _Makom_ to the Sanhedrin (after
      Deut. XVII, 8), seems originally to have been a marginal note
      belonging to Ex. XXI, 13, where _Makom_ is the equivalent of
      _Makam_, a place of refuge, and put here at the wrong place by an
      error;—Against Schechter, l. c., 27 note 1, Bousset (p. 591) thinks
      that _ha Makom_ for God is Persian, where both space and time were
      deified. See Spiegel: _Eranisches Alterthum_, II, 15 f.

  154 See Gen. R. XII, 15; XXX, 3; Targum to Psalm LVI, 11; comp. Philo,
      I, 496; Siegfried, l. c., 203, 213.

  155 Metaphysical proofs for God’s existence have been outlawed since
      Kant. God is the postulate of man’s moral consciousness. See
      Rauwenhoff, l. c., 236-357.

  156 See art. Atheism, in J. E. and in Enc. Reli. and Ethics, II, 18 f.

  157 Jer. V, 12; Psalm X, 4; XIV, 1; LIII, 1.

  158 B. B. 16 b; Targ. to Gen. IV, 8.

  159 See above, Chapter IV, 3.

  160 Isa. XL, 12-26; XLVI, 10.

  161 See Bousset, l. c., 295-298.

  162 See J. E., art. Abraham.

  163 Ch. XIII.

  164 Philo: De Somniis, I, 43, 44; Zeller: _D. Philosophie d. Griechen_,
      III, 2, 307 f.; Drummond: _Philo Judæus_, II, 4-5.

  165 See D. F. Strauss: _Christl. Glaubenslehre_, I, 364-399; Windelband:
      _Hist. of Phil._, transl. by J. H. Tufts, 2d ed., 1914, p. 54, 98,
      128, 327.

  166 See Windelband-Tufts, l. c., 145, 292.

  167 See Strauss, l. c.; Kaufmann, l. c., 2-3, 58; _D. Theologie d.
      Bachya_, p. 222 f.; Husik: _Hist. Jew. Phil._, p. 32 ff., 89 ff.

  168 Kaufmann, l. c., p. 341 f., 431 f.; Husik, l. c., 218 f., 254 f.

  169 See D. F. Strauss, l. c.; Windelband-Tufts, p. 292, 393.

  170 D. F. Strauss, l. c., 375, 394; Windelband-Tufts, l. c., 450.

  171 See Windelband-Tufts, l. c., 549-550.

  172 See Kaufmann, l. c., p. 223 f., and, opposed to him, Neumark:
      _Jehuda Halevi’s Philosophy_, Cincinnati, 1909. See also Husik, l.
      c., 157 ff.

  173 Compare C. Seligman: _Judenth. u. moderne Anschauung_. The
      philosophy of Bergson, which eliminates design and purpose from the
      cosmos and places Deity itself into the process as the vital urgent
      of it all, and thus sees God forever in the making, is pantheistic
      and un-Jewish, and therefore cannot be considered in a theology of
      Judaism. This does not exclude our accepting minor elements of his
      system, which contains suggestive hints. H. G. Wells’ _God the
      Invisible King_ (Macmillan, 1917) is likewise a God in the making,
      _man-made_, not the Maker and Ruler of man.

  174 Job XI, 7.

  175 Ex. XXXIII, 23; Maim.; _Yesode ha Torah_, I, 8, 10; _Moreh_, I, 21
      a; Kaufmann, l. c., 431; Philo: Mutatio Nom., 2; Vita Mosis, I, 28;
      Leg. All., I, 29, and elsewhere. See J. Drummond: _Philo Judæus_,
      II, 18-24.

  176 Ex. R. XXIX, at the close.

  177 Jer. X, 10.

  178 Isaiah XLIV, 6.

  179 Comp. Dillmann, l. c., 226-235; D. F. Strauss, l. c., I, 525-553.

  180 See J. E., art. Anthropomorphism and Anthropopathism. Comp.
      Schmiedl, l. c., 1-30.

  181 Ps. XXXIII, 13-14.

  182 Deut. IV, 36; Ex. XIX, 20. Comp. Gen. XI, 5.

  183 Isa. XLVI, 1.

  184 Ps. CXXXIX, 7-10.

  185 Ps. XCIV, 9.

  186 See Ab. d. R. Nathan II; Bacher: _D. Exegetische Terminologie_, I,
      8; Schechter, l. c., 35.

  187 Gen. R. XXVII; Mek. Ex. XV; Pes. d. R. K. 109 b; Tanh. to Ex. XXII,
      16; Schechter, l. c., 43 f.

  188 Gen. R. IV, 3; comp, Pes. d. R. K. 2 b; Schechter, l. c., 29 f.

  189 Hul. 59, 60; Sanh. 39 a; Philo: De Abrahamo, 16.

  190 Mid. Teh. Ps. CIII, 1; Sanh. 39 a.

  191 See Weber, l. c., 149 f., 157; Bousset, l. c., 302, 313; von
      Hartman: _Das religioese Bewusstsein_. Against this Schreiner, l.
      c., 49-58, and Schechter, _Aspects_ 33 f.

  192 Mek. and Tanh. to Ex. XV, 11.

  193 Deut. IV, 7; Yer. Ber. IX, 13 a.

  194 Isa. LVII, 15. See also Deut. X, 17-18; Ps. LXXXVI, 5-6. Comp. R.
      Johanan, Meg, 31 a.

  195 Ex. R. II, 9; Mid. Teh. Ps. LXVIII, 7.

  196 Ps. XLVI, 2.

  197 Ab. Zar. 3 b.

  198 Ps. CXIII, 5, 6.

  199 Ber. 60 b. Singer’s _Prayerbook_, 291.

  200 On pantheism in Judaism see Seligman, l. c.

  201 See Sachs: _D. religioese Poesie d. Juden. in Spanien_, 225-228;
      Kaufmann: _Stud u. Solomon Ibn Gabirol._

  202 See Siegfried: _Philo_, 199-203, 292; Gen. R. LXVIII, 10; comp.
      Geiger: Zeitschr., XI, 218; Hamburger: R. W. B., II, 986.

  203 See Graetz: G. d. J., X, 319.

  204 See Maimonides: _H. Teshubah_, III, 7 and R. A. B. D., notes.

  205 Jer. XXIII, 23.

  206 Isa. XL, 25.

  207 Lev. XIX, 4; XXVI, 1; Isaiah II, 8, 11; Psalm XCVI, 5.

  208 Comp. Ex. XX, 3; XXII, 19; XXIII, 13; with Deut. VI, 4; IV, 35, 39;
      XXXII, 39; Isaiah XL to XLVIII.

  209 See Dillmann, l. c., 235-241; D. F. Strauss, l. c., 402-408; A. B.
      Davidson: _Theology of O. T._, p. 105; 149 f.

  210 Zach. XIV, 9.

  211 Deut. IV, 19; Jer. X, 2.

  212 Bousset, l. c., 221 f., 348.

  213 See Chapter LVI, below.

  214 Isa. XLV, 5-7.

  215 Lam. III, 38.

_  216 Shethe Reshuyoth_, see Hag. 15 a; Deut. R. I. 10; Eccl. R. II, 12;
      Weber, l. c., 152; Joel, _Blicke in d. Religionsgesch._, II, 157.

  217 D. F. Strauss, l. c., 409-501; J. E., art. Christianity.

  218 Meg. 13 a.

  219 Comp. Lange: _Gesch. d. Materialismus_, I, 149-158.

  220 Alfred v. Kremer, l. c., 9-33; J. E., art. Arabic and Arabic-Jewish

  221 See Draper’s _Conflict between Religion and Science_.

  222 Maim.: _Yesode ha Torah_, I, 7.

  223 Sachs, l. c., 3.

  224 See Schmiedl, l. c., 239-258.

  225 See Hebrew Dictionary, _El_; comp. Dillmann, l. c., 210, 244.

  226 See Levy, W. B.: _Geburah_.

  227 See Septuagint to Job V, 17; VIII, 3, and II Sam. V, 10; VII, 8, and
      Ber. 31 b.

  228 See Schmiedl, l. c., 67 ff. David Neumark thinks that both the
      prophet Jeremiah and the Mishnah knew and rejected the belief in
      angels. See his article _Ikkarim_ in Ozar Ha Yahduth.

  229 Gen. XVIII, 14; Num. XI, 13; Is. XL, 12; Jer. V, 22; X, 12; XXVII,
      5; XXXII, 17; Zach. VIII, 6; Job XXXVIII, 7; XLII, 1.

  230 Deut. III. 24; XI, 3; XXVI, 8; XXIX, 2; Jer. X, 6; Ps. LXV, 7; LXVI,
      7; LXIV-LXXVIII; I Chron. XXIX, 11, 12.

  231 Ex. XII, 12; Judges V, 10.

  232 Daniel IV, 35.

  233 Ps. XI, 4; XXXIII, 13 f.; CXXXIX; Jer. XI, 20; XVII, 10; Job XII,
      13; Dan. II, 20 f.

  234 Aboth II, 1.

  235 Mal. III, 16; Ps. LVI, 9.

  236 See New Year liturgy, Singer’s _Prayerbook_, 249.

  237 Amos III, 7.; Gen. XVIII, 17.

  238 Gen. VI, 5; XI, 5; XVIII, 21.

  239 Isa. LV, 8, 9.

  240 Gen. IV, 16; XI, 5; XVIII, 21; XXVIII, 16; Deut. XXVI, 15; Micah I,
      3; see Strauss, l. c., I, 548 f.

  241 I Kings VIII, 27; Isa. LXVI, 1.

  242 See above, Chapter XII, 5.

  243 Comp. Amos IX, 2; Jer. XXIII, 24.

  244 Sanh. 39 a.

  245 Comp. Kaufmann, l. c., 70 and 71, notes 130, 131; Strauss, l. c., I,

_  246 Makom_, see above, Chapter X, 8-9; Schechter, _Aspects_, 26 f.

  247 Luk. 45 b; comp. I Corinth. XIII, 12, based on Ex. XXXIII, 28; Ps.
      XVII, 15.

  248 See Kaufmann, l. c., 100 f.

  249 Isa. XLVIII, 12; Ps. XC, 2 f.; CII, 26, 27. On the process of
      development of the idea of eternity, see Neumark, l. c., II, 77.

  250 Adon Olam, Singer’s _Prayerbook_, p. 3.

  251 See Strauss, l. c., 562, 651; Kaufmann, l. c., 306 f.; Drummond:
      _Philo_, II, 46.

  252 See Chapter XXV below.

  253 Tanh. Naso ed. Buber, 8; Gen. R. IX, 9 with reference to Jer. XXIII,

  254 Lev. XIX, 1.

  255 Comp. Dillmann, l. c., 252 f.; Strauss, l. c., 593 f.; Rauwenhoff,
      l. c., 498-505; Lazarus: _Ethics of Judaism_, Chapters IV-V.

  256 I Sam. II, 21.

  257 Ps. LXXVII, 14.

  258 Deut. X, 12; XI, 22, and elsewhere.

  259 Gen. XVIII, 19.

  260 Ex. XXXIII, 13-23.

  261 See J. E., art. Holiness. The Assyrian _Kuddisu_ denotes “bright,”
      “pure,” according to Zimmern in _Religion und Sprache_, K. A. T., 3d
      ed., 603.

  262 Deut. XXXIII, 3; Job V, 1; VI, 10; XV, 15; Ps. LXXXIX, 6, 8.

  263 Ex. XIX, 21 f.; XXIV, 17; I Sam. VI, 20; Josh. XXIV, 19; Isa. IV, 3;
      VI, 3, 13; X, 17; XXXI, 9; XXXIII, 14; Hab. I, 13.

  264 Deut. IV, 24; Ex. XXIV, 17.

  265 Comp. the name _Kadesh_ and _Kedesha_ for the hierodules consecrated
      to Astarte. See Deut. XXIII, 18; I Kings XIV, 24; XV, 12; Hosea IV,
      14. Comp. Zimmern, l. c., p. 423.

  266 Isa. I, 4; V, 12; X, 20; XII, 6; XLI, 14; XLIII, 3 f.; XLV, 11; and

  267 Ezek. XX, 12; XXXVII, 28; Ex. XXXI, 13, and elsewhere.

  268 See Sifra and Rabba to Lev. XIX, 2.

_  269 Cusari_ IV, 3; Kaufmann, l. c., 162 f.

  270 Aboth, I, 3.

  271 Rauwenhoff, l. c., 504.

  272 Hab. I, 13.

  273 Psalm XXIV, 4-5.

  274 L. Lazarus: _Z. Characteristik d. juedisch. Ethik_, 40-45; M.
      Lazarus: _Ethics of Judaism_, p. 184.

  275 Isa. V, 16.

  276 Comp. Dillmann, l. c., 258 f.; J. E., art. “Anger.”

  277 Ex. XX, 5; Isa. XXX, 27 f.; Nahum I, 5 f.

  278 Ex. XXII, 23; Num. XVII, 10 f.; XXV, 3; Deut. XXIX, 19; XXXII, 21;
      Isa. IX, 16.

  279 Hosea XI, 9.

  280 Psalm XXX.

  281 Targum to Ex. XX, 3; Sanh. 27 b.

  282 Isa. XXXIII, 14-17.

  283 Mal. III, 2, 19 f.

  284 Deut. XXXII, 35; comp. Sifre, 325; Geiger: _Urschrift_, 247,
      regarding Samaritan text. Zeph. I, 15; Isa. LXVI, 15-16.

  285 Isa. XVLI, 24.

  286 See J. E., art. “Gehenna”; Mid. Teh. to Ps. LXXVI, 11, and LXXIX;
      Ned. 32 a; Taan. 9 b; Yer. Taan. II, 65 b; Ab. Zar. 4 a and b; 18 b;
      Ber. 7 a; Shab. 118 a; Sanh. 110 b; Gen. R. VI, 9; XXVI, 11, et al.;
      comp. Romans II, 5; Eph. V, 6; I Thess. I, 10.

  287 Sibyll. II, 170, 285; III, 541, 556 f., 672-697, 760, 810; Enoch
      XCI, 7-9.

  288 Ber. 10 a; Midr. Teh. to Ps. CIV, 35.

  289 Tan. 23 b.

_  290 Cusari_ IV, 5; _Moreh_ I, 36, and Commentary to Sanh. X, I.

  291 Testament of Abraham, A, X.

  292 Hab. III, 2.

  293 Ezek. XVIII, 23, 32; XXXIII, 11.

  294 Ex. XXXII-XXXIV, 7. Comp. Num. XIV, 18.

  295 Gen. XIX, 1-28; Ex. XX, 5-6.

  296 Hosea I-III; XI, 1-9; XIV, 5. Comp. Micah XIII, 18; Jer. III, 8-12;
      Isa. LIV, 6-8; LVII, 16 f.; Joel II, 13; Jonah IV, 2, 10 f.; Lam.
      III, 31; Ps. LXXVIII, 38 et al. See Dillmann, l. c., 263 f.;
      Davidson _Theology of O. T._, 132 f.

  297 Gen. VI, 6; I Sam. XV, 11; Jer. XVIII, 7-10; Joel II, 14; Jonah III,
      10; IV, 2.

  298 Num. XXIII, 19; I Sam. XV, 29; see Targum and commentaries.

  299 See J. E., art. Anthropomorphism and Allegorical Interpretation.

  300 Tanh. Waethhanan, ed. Buber, 3.

  301 Gen. R. VIII, 4-5. See Morris Joseph: _Judaism as Creed and Life_,
      p. 59, 90-95.

  302 R. h. Sh. 17 b; compare, J. Davidson, 134; Koeberle: _Suende und
      Gnade_, 1905, p. 625, 634 f.; but p. 658, 614, are misleading;
      Weber, l. c., 154, 260, 303 f., altogether misrepresents the Jewish
      doctrine of grace.

  303 Gen. XVIII, 19.

  304 Gen. XVIII, 25.

  305 Jer. XII, 1.

  306 Ps. LXXIII, 12.

  307 Job X, 22 f.

  308 Yer. Hag. II, 1; Elisha ben Abuyah.

  309 Ps. LXXXIX, 15.

  310 Ps. XXXVI, 7; see Davidson, l. c., 143 f.; J. E., art. Justice;
      Hamburger: _Realencyclopaedie_, art. Gerechtigkeit; Dillmann, l. c.,
      270 f.; Strauss, l. c., 596-604. Bousset, 437 f., is misleading.

  311 Deut. XXXII, 4.

  312 Tanh., Jithro 5.

  313 Deut. X, 17-18.

  314 Deut. I, 17.

  315 Yeb. 92 a; Yer. Sanh. I, 18 b.

  316 Amos V, 24; Isa. I, 17, 28; XXVIII, 17; LIV, 14.

  317 Ps. V, 5-6.

  318 Isa. LXVI, 16.

  319 Ps. XCIX, 4; Tanh. Mishpatim 1.

  320 Ps. XCVI, 13; XCVIII, 9.

  321 See Bousset, l. c., 357-366; Weber, l. c., 259-279, and comp. Suk.
      30 a, where it is stated, referring to Isa. LXI, 8, that “good deeds
      can never justify evil acts.”

  322 Hosea VI, 6; Ps. XXXVII, 6; I Sam. II, 9.

  323 Sota I, 7-8; Tos. Sota III; Mek. Shirah 4; B. Wisdom XV, 3; XIX, 17
      Jubilees IV, 3, elsewhere, comp. Math. VII, 2, and parallels.

  324 Aboth IV, 2.

  325 See Levy, W. B.: _Zidduk_; comp. Ex. IX, 27; Lam. I, 18; Neh. IX,

  326 Gen. R. XLIX, 19; Yoma 37 a.

  327 Prov. X, 25.

  328 See Tos. Sanh. XIII, 2; Sanh. 105 a; Yalkut Isaiah 296; Crescas: _Or
      Adonai_, III, 44.

  329 Gen. R. VIII, 4-5; XII, 15; Midr. Teh. to Ps. LXXXIX, 2; comp. Ben
      Sira, XVIII, 11; Testaments of XII Patr.: Zebulon 9; Ap. Baruch
      XLVIII, 14; IV Esdras VIII, 31; Psalms of Solomon IX, 7; Prayer of
      Manasseh, 8, 13.

  330 See J. E., art. “Love.” Both Weber, l. c., 57 f. and Bousset, l. c.,
      443 f. show Christian bias.

  331 Ps. CXXX, 4.

  332 Aboth III, 19; comp. B. Wisdom XI, 23, 26; XII, 16, 18; Ben Sira,
      II, 18.

  333 Ps. CXLIV, 8-9; comp. Ben Sira, XVIII, 13.

  334 Tos. Sanh. XIII, 3.

  335 Yer. R. h. Sh. I, 57 a.

  336 Ber. 7 a.

  337 Tos. Sota IV, 1, with reference to Ex. XX, 5-6. The plural,
      _laalafim_, is taken to mean _two thousand_.

  338 Ex. XXII, 26; comp. 21, 23.

  339 See Harper: _Code of Hammurabi_, 1900; Oettli: _D. Gesetz Hammurabis
      und d. Thora Israels_, 1903; Cohn: _D. Gesetz Hammurabis_, Zürich,
      1903; Grimm: _D. Gesetz Chammurabis und Moses_, Cologne, 1903. Also
      M. Jastrow, _Hebrew and Babylonian Traditions_, p. 255-319.

  340 Deut. X, 18; Ps. LXXIII.

  341 Isa. XXV, 4.

  342 Ex. XXII, 24.

  343 Ex. R. XXVII, 5; Eccles. R. to III, 15.

  344 Gen. XXIV, 19.

  345 Ex. XXIII, 5.

  346 Deut. XXV, 4.

  347 Lev. XX, 28; Deut. XXII, 6.

  348 Git. 62 a, with reference to Deut. XI, 15.

  349 Ps. CXLV, 9.

  350 B. M. 85 a; Yer. Kil. IX, 4.

  351 Tos. B. K. IX, 30; Sifre, Deut. 96.

  352 Sifre, Deut. § 49; Shab. 133 b; comp. Philo: _De Humanitate._

  353 See Concordance to _ahabah_ and _hesed_. Note especially Hos. VI, 6.

  354 Hos. III, 1; XI, 1, 4; XIV, 5.

  355 Jer. XXXI, 2, 19.

  356 Deut. VII, 8; X, 15.

  357 Deut. VIII, 5; see Sifre, Deut. 32.

  358 Prov. III, 13.

  359 Ber. 5 a; Sifre, l. c.; Mek. Yithro 10.

  360 See Mek. and Sifre, l. c.

  361 Ex. IV, 22.

  362 Deut. XXXII, 6, 10 f.

  363 Jer. II, 2.

  364 Song of Songs, R. to III, 7. Comp. Davidson, l. c., 235-287.

  365 See Schreiner, l. c., 103-112; Perles: _Bousset_, 58 f.

  366 Pesik, 16-17; Mek. Yithro 6, at end.

  367 Aboth III, 14.

  368 XI, 23-26.

  369 IV Esdra VIII, 47.

  370 III, 10.

  371 Zohar I, 44 b; II, 97 a.

  372 See _Or Adonai_, I, 3, 5, and Joel: _Crescas_ 36-37.

_  373 Dialoghi di Amore_; see Zimmels: _Leo Hebraeus_, 1886.

  374 Ethics V, proposition XXXV.

  375 “The Theosophy of Julius”: “God.”

_  376 Middath tobah._

  377 Gen. I, 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 23, 31.

  378 Gen. R. IX, 5, 9; Ber. 60 a; Yer. Ber. IX, 13 c-14 b; Taan. 21 a.

  379 Isa. LXV, 16.

  380 Deut. XXXII, 40.

  381 Deut. XXXII, 4.

  382 Num. XXIII, 19; Isa. XL, 8; Jer. X, 10; Ps. XXXI, 6; comp. Dillmann,
      l. c. 269 f.

  383 Ps. XXXVI, 6; LXXXIX, 3, 38; CXLVI, 6; Benediction at seeing the
      rainbow, Singer’s _Prayerbook_, p. 291.

  384 Gen. IX, 11.

  385 Ps. CIV, 9; Job XXXVIII, 11; Jer. XXXI, 34.

  386 Deut. XXXIII, 27.

  387 Jer. X, 10, 15.

_  388 Emuna Rama_ 54. See Kaufmann, l. c., 333 f., 352 f.; comp.
      Guttmann: _Religionsphilosophie des Ibn Daud_, 136 f.; Albo II, 27,
      at the end; Maimonides: _Yesode ha Torah_, I, 3-4; Hillel of Verona
      refers even to Aristotle’s “Metaphysics.” See Kaufmann, l. c., 334,
      note; Neumark, l. c., and Husik., l. c. _passim_.

  389 See Yer. Sanh. I, 18 a.

_  390 Contra Apionem_, II, 22; compare J. E., art. “Alpha and Omega.”

  391 See Yer. Sanh. I, 18 a.

  392 Ber. 33 b.

  393 Jedayah ha Penini.

  394 Ps. LXV, 2.

  395 Jer. X, 12; Amos IV, 13; Job XXXVIII-XXXIX.

  396 Prov. VI, 6.


  398 Ps. CIV, 24.

  399 Gen. L, 20; see Dillmann, l. c., 280; Strauss, l. c., 575 f.;
      Hamburger, l. c., art. “Weisheit Gottes”; A. B. Davidson, l. c.,

  400 Gen. XLI, 38; I Kings III, 12; Ex. XXXV, 31; Prov. II, 6.

  401 Isa. XXV, 1; XXVII, 29.

  402 Isa. XL-LV.

  403 Prov. IX, 1. Comp. A. Jeremias: _D. A. Test. i. L. d. i. alt.
      Orients_, 5, 80, 336, 367.

  404 Ben Sira XXIV, 3-6, 14, 21; Enoch XLII, 1-2; Slavonic Enoch XXX, 8;
      Baruch III, 9-IV, 4; comp. Bousset, l. c., 337 f.; J. E., art.
      Wisdom; Bentwich: _Philo_, pp. 141-147.

  405 Targ. Ver. to Gen. I, 1. Gen. R. I. 2, 5. See Schechter: _Aspects_,

  406 Kaufmann, l. c., 16, 107, 113, 163, 325, 418.

  407 Job IX, 4; _Cuzari_, II, 2.

  408 Sachs, cl, 6, 227.

  409 Ps. XVIII, 36.

  410 Meg. 35 a.

  411 Isa. LVII, 15.

  412 Deut. X, 17-18.

  413 Ps. LXVIII, 5-6.

  414 Ps. CXIII, 5-6.

  415 Weber, l. c., 154.

  416 Deut. IV, 7; Yer. Ber. IX, 19 a, where the plural, _Kerobim_,
      suggests the idea, “all kinds of nearness.”

  417 Ps. XXIX, 4; Tanh. Yithro, ed. Buber, 17.

  418 Ps. XCI, 15; Isa. LXIII, 9; Sifre Num. 84.

  419 Ber. 6 a; 7 a; R. ha Sh. 17 b; Hag. 5 b; Sanh. 39 a. Comp.
      Schechter, _Aspects_, p. 21-50.

  420 Weber, l. c., 157-160.

  421 Plutarch: “De placitis philosophiae,” II, 1; comp. for the entire
      chapter Dillmann, l. c., 284-295; Smend: 1. c., 454 f.; H.
      Steinthal: “Die Idee der Schöpfung” in J. B. z. Jued. Gesch. u.
      Lit., II, 39-44.

  422 Ps. XXXIII, 9.

  423 Job XXXVIII; Ps. CIV.

  424 Comp. Albo I, 12, and Schlesinger’s Notes, 625.

  425 Ps. CII, 25-27.

  426 Job XXV, 2.

  427 Ber. 60 b.

_  428 Gam su le tobah_, an allusion to his own name. Taan. 21 b.

  429 Gen. R. IX, 5.

  430 Gen. R. IX, 9-10.

  431 Sifre Deut. 307.

  432 Jer. X, 11-12 and 10.

  433 See his commentary to Gen. I, 1; comp. Neumark, l. c., I, 70, 71, 80
      f., 87, 412, 439, 515; Husik, l. c., p. 190; D. Strauss, l. c.,

  434 II Macc. VII, 28.

  435 Gen. R. I, 12; X. 3; Hag. II b-13 a; Slavonic Enoch, XXV; see J. E.,
      art. Cosmogony and Creation; Enc. Rel. and Eth., 151 ff., 167 f.

  436 Gen. R. IX, 1.

  437 See Strauss, l. c., 645 f.

  438 See Schmiedl, l. c., 91-128; Kaufmann, l. c., 280 f., 306, 387 f.

  439 See C. Seligman, _Judenthum und Moderne Weltanchauung_.

  440 The first benediction before the Shema.

  441 Gen. VII, 11; VIII, 2.

  442 Isa. XL, 26.

  443 Job XXXVI, 6.

  444 Job XXXVIII, 25.

  445 Gen. XX, 17-18; XXX, 22.

  446 Ps. CXLVII, 8-9.

  447 Ps. CIV, 27-30.

  448 Gen. I, 11.

  449 Ps. CIV, 8.

  450 Gen. VIII, 22; Job XXXVIII, 33.

  451 Jer. XXXI, 39; XXXIII, 25.

  452 Gen. IX, 12 f.

  453 Job XXV, 2.

  454 See Dillmann, l. c., 295 f.; D. Strauss, l. c., 629-643.

  455 Enoch LXIX, 15-25; Prayer of Manasseh, 3; Suk. 53 a b; Hag. 12 a.

  456 See Singer’s _Prayerbook_, 37, 96, 290, 292.

  457 Ps. CIII, 20.

  458 Shab. 119 b.

  459 Ps. CII, 27; Isa. XXXIV, 4.

  460 Isa. LXV, 17.

  461 See J. E. and Enc. of Rel. and Eth., art. “Eschatology”; Schuerer,
      _G. V. I._ II, 545.

  462 Ex. XV, 11.

_  463 Oth_, sign for miracle, Ex. IV, 8, 17, and elsewhere.

_  464 Mopheth_, Ex. VII, 3, and elsewhere.

  465 Gen. XVIII, 14.

  466 Num. XI, 23.

  467 Ex. XXXIV, 10; Num. XVI, 30.

  468 Ex. IV, 11.

  469 Josh. X, 12-14. See Joel: “D. Mosaismus u. d. Wunder,” in Jb. d.
      Jued. Gesch. u. Lit., 1904, p. 66-94.

  470 Mek. Beshallah 3; Gen. R. V, 4.

  471 Aboth V, 6; comp. Ab. d. R. N., ed. Schechter, 95; Mek. Beshallah,
      5; Sifre Debarim, 355; Pes. 54 a; P. d. R. Eli., XIX; Targ. Y. to
      Num. XXII, 28, where a different list of ten wondrous things is

  472 Emunoth we Deoth II, 44, 68. Comp. Ibn Ezra to Gen. III, 1, and Num.
      XXII, 28.

_  473 Moreh_, II, 25, 35, 37; III, 24; _Yesode ha Torah_, VII, 7; VIII,
      1-3. Comp. Joel: _Moses Maimonides_, p. 77.

_  474 Ikkarim_, I, 18.

  475 Or _Adonai_, III, 5; comp. Joel: _Don Chasdai Crescas_, p. 70.

_  476 Milhamoth Adonai_, last chapters; comp. J. E., art. Levi ben

_  477 Cuzari_, II, 54.

  478 The _Anshe maaseh_, mentioned together with the _Hasidim_ in Suk. V,
      4, and Sot. IX, 15, are wonderworkers, of whom Haninah ben Dosa, the
      last, is singled out. The same epithet was given to Simeon ben
      Yochai in Aramaic, _Iskan_, see Lev. Rabba XXII, 2, and to R. Assi,
      eod. XIX, 1,—where it means, worker in nature’s realm. Thus Nahum of
      Gimzo is called “trained in the skill to perform miracles”—Taan. 21
      a; Phinehas ben Jair was also a wonderworker—Hul. 7 a. The whole
      portion regarding rain-miracles seems to be taken from a work on the
      miracles of saints.

  479 Taan, 18 b.

  480 Pes. 118 a; Ned. 41 a.

  481 Shab. 53 b.

  482 Ab. Za. IV, 7; comp. Ber. 4 a, 20 a; Sanh. 97 b.

  483 B. M. 59 b.

  484 Deut. XIII, 2-6.

_  485 Yesode ha Torah_, VIII, 1-5.

_  486 Ikkarim_, I, 18.

  487 Mendelssohn: G. Sch., III, 65, 120 f., 320 f.

  488 II Kings VI, 6.

  489 Joshua X, 13.

_  490 Moreh_, II, 33.

  491 The Hebrew term _Hashgaha_—Providence—is derived from Ps. XXXIII,
      14, _hishgiah_, “He observes.” See J. E., art. Providence; Davidson,
      l. c., 178-182; Hamburger, R. W. B. II, art. Bestimmung; Rauwenhoff,
      l. c., 538 f.; Ludwig Philippson: “_Israel. Religionsl._,” II, 98
      f.; Formstecher: “_Religion des Geistes_,” 114-119.

  492 Jer. X, 2. See art. Divination, in J. E.; Dict. Bible; Enc. R. and

  493 See Lev. XVI, 8 f.; Num. XXVI, 56; Josh. XVIII-XIX; Prov. XVIII, 18.

  494 Ex. XVIII, 30; I Sam. see LXX; XIV, 41.

  495 Ex. XXXIII, 32; Ps. LVI, 9; CXXXIX, 16; comp., however, the
      Babylonian “tables of destinies.”

  496 Isa. XL, 21; XLI, 4, 22 f.; Amos III, 7.

  497 Isa. LIV, 16.

  498 Isa. X, 5, 15.

  499 Isa. VIII. 11; Ps. II, 2 f.; Deut. XXIII, 6.

  500 Jer. X, 33.

  501 Aboth III, 15.

  502 Hul. 7 a.

  503 Gen. XXIV, 50; M. K. 18 b.

  504 Ch. XXXIV.

  505 Ber. 33 b.

  506 R. h. Sh. 17 b; New Year’s liturgy.

_  507 H. Teshubah_, V, 1-2.

  508 See, on the Zagmuk festival, Zimmern, K. A. T., p. 514 f.

  509 Tos. R. h. Sh, I, 13; R. h. Sh. 16 a.

  510 Saadia: _Emunoth_, IV, 7; Bahya: _Hoboth ha Lebaboth_, III, 8; IV,

_  511 H. Teshubah_ V; _Moreh_, I, 23; III, 16-19; comp. _Cuzari_, V,
      20-21; Albo: _Ikkarim_, IV, 1-11; Gersonides: _Milhamoth_, III, 2;
      VI, 1-18; Isaac ben Shesheth: Responsa, 119; Lipman Heller to Aboth
      III, 15. See Joel: _Levi ben Gerson_, p. 56.

  512 See _Or Adonai_, II, 3; comp. Joel: _Hasdai Crescas_, 41-49, 54-55;
      Neumark: “_Crescas and Spinoza_,” in Y. B. C. C. A. R., 1908, vol.
      XVIII, p. 277-319.

_  513 Or Adonai_, III, 24.

  514 Gen. R. LXXIX, 16; comp. Matt. X, 29.

  515 B. B. 16 a; comp. Matt. X, 30; Luke XII, 7.

  516 Deut. XXXII, 11.

  517 Mek. Yithro 2; Sifre ad loc.

  518 Shab. 119 b.

  519 Ps. XLVI, 2; CXXI, 4.

  520 See David Kaufmann: “_Theol. d. B. b. Pakudah_,” p. 240.

  521 Mid. Teh. to Ps. XXXIV; L. Ginzberg, _Legends of the Jews_, IV,
      89-90; _Alphabet of Ben Sira_.

_  522 Comp. Maasehhbuch_; Tendlau: _Sagen d. jued. Vorzeit_.

  523 See Gen. R. IX, 5, 10, 11; Dillmann, l. c., 309-318; D. F. Strauss,
      l. c., II, 343-384.

  524 Shab. 55 a.

  525 Ber. 5 a, after Deut. VIII, 5; Prov. III, 12.

  526 Isa. XLV, 7.

  527 Deut. XI, 27; see the Midrash ad loc.

_  528 Emunah Ramah_, ed. Weil, 93 f.; _Moreh_, III, 10.

  529 See M. Lefkovitz, “The Attitude of Judaism to Christian Science,” in
      Y. B. C. C. A. R. XXII, 300-318.

  530 See Morris Joseph, l. c., p. 108, 127 ff.; C. Seligman, l. c.,

  531 Gen. VI, 2; Job I, 6; II, 1; XXXIII, 7; Gen. XXXII, 29; XXXIII, 10;
      Jud. XIII, 22; Ps. VIII, 6.

  532 Comp. Mek. Yithro 7 through 10; Hul. 40; Tos. Hul. II, 18; Ab. Z. 42
      b; Maimonides to Sanh. X; Targ. Y. to Ex. XX, 3.

  533 Deut. IV, 39.

  534 Deut. XXXII, 39.

  535 Isa. XLIV, 24; XL, 5.

  536 Gen. XVIII and XVII, 11, 13.

  537 Gen. VI, 1 f.

  538 Comp. Ezek. XXVIII, 13 f.

  539 Ps. LXXVIII, 25.

  540 See Dillmann, l. c., 318-333; Davidson, l. c., 289-300; J. E., art.
      Angelology; Enc. Rel. and Eth. IV, 594-601, art. Demons.

  541 Lev. XVII, 7; Deut. XXXII, 17; Isa. XXXIV, 14.

  542 Gen. XVIII.

  543 Ex. XXIII, 20; II Sam. XXIV, 16; II Kings XIX, 35 _et al._ See J.
      E., art. Angelology.

  544 Ex. III, 2-4; XXIII, 20-21; Isa. LXIII, 9.

  545 Zech. I, 9 f.; II, 1 f.

  546 See J. E., art. Angelology.

  547 Ezek. I, 4-24; X, 1-22; Isa. VI, 2; Dan. IV, 10 f.; VII, 9 f.; VIII,
      16 f.; X, 13 f; Enoch XV, 1 f., and elsewhere.

  548 See J. E., art. Merkabah, though still doubted by Bousset, l. c., p.
      406. For Akathriel see Ber. 7 and J. E., art. Sandalfon.

  549 Jubilees II, 2; Slav. Enoch. XXIX, 3; I, 3; Gen. R, III, 11.

  550 Yer. Ber. IX; Sanh. 93 a; Hul. 91 b; Ned. 32 a; Gen. R. VIII, XXI;
      Midr. Teh. to Ps. CIII, 18; CIV, 1.

  551 Neumark, l. c.

  552 Schmiedl, l. c., 69-87.

_  553 Yesode ha Torah_, II, 4-9; _Moreh_, I, 43; II, 3-7, 41; III, 13;
      Husik, l. c., 303 f.

_  554 Emunoth_, IV, 1; VI, 2; _Hoboth ha Lebaboth_, I, 6; _Cuzari_, IV,
      3; _Emunah Ramah_, IV, 2; VI, 1; _Ikkarim_, II, 28, 31.

  555 Zohar, III, 68; Joel: _Religionsphilosophie des Zohar_, 278 f.

  556 Ned. 20 b; Midr. Teh. Ps. CIII, 17-18; Ibn Ezra: Introduction to his
      commentary on the Pentateuch.

  557 Compare Gen. R. to Gen. I, 31.

  558 Ps. CIII, 19-20.

  559 Job I, 6.

  560 See J. E., art. Demonology; Satan; Belial; Enc. Rel. and Eth., art.
      Demons and Spirits, Jewish; Davidson, l. c., 300-306; Dillmann, l.
      c., 334-340; D. F. Strauss, l. c., II, 1-18.

  561 Lev. XVII, 7; Deut. XXXII, 17; Isa. XIII, 21; XXXIV, 14.

  562 Lev. XVI, 8; see Ibn Ezra; J. E. and Enc. Rel. and Eth., art.

  563 J. E., art. Beelzebub.

  564 J. E., art. Belial.

  565 Enoch VI, 7; J. E., art. Ashmodai; Levy: W. B., Shemachzai.

  566 Levy: W. B., Lilith; Iggereth.

  567 J. E., art. Demonology.

  568 Aboth V, 6; P. d. R. El., XIX; Gen. R. VII, 7.

  569 Enoch VII; Yalkut Gen. 44, 47.

  570 Erubin, 18 b.

  571 P. d. R. El., XIII; Yalkut Gen. 25.

  572 See Abrahams’ Ann. to Singers’ _Prayerb_. XLIV f. and for the
      Church, Enc. Rel, and Eth., Demons and Spirits, Christian.

  573 Abrahams, l. c., p. 7, 196; XX, CCXV.

  574 Ps. CIX, 6.

  575 Zech. III, 1; Job I, 6.

  576 I Chron. XXI, 1.

  577 See B. Wisdom II, 24; P. d. R. El., XIII.

  578 Shab. 146 a; Yeb. 103 b; Ab. Zar. 22 b.

  579 Suk. 52 a.

  580 Targ. to Isa. XI, 4.

  581 B. B. 16 a.

  582 De Gigantibus, 2-4.

  583 Sifra Lev. XVI, 8; Yoma, 67 b.

  584 See the Ethiopic “Adam and Eve”; C. Bezold, _Die Schalzhochle_, p.
      18; comp. Gen. R. XXVI.

  585 See D. Cassel: _Cuzari_, p. 402 note.

_  586 Moreh_ III, 29-37, 46; Ibn Ezra to Job I, 6; comp. Finkelscherer:
      _Maimunis’ Stellung zum Aberglauben_, 1894, p. 40-51.

_  587 Christliche Glaubenslehre_, II, 18.

  588 Euken, _D. Wahrheitsgehalt d. Religion_, p. 384, 402; Bousset,
      _Wesen d. Rel._, p. 239.

  589 See H. Cohen: _Ethik des reinen Willens_, 282 f., 341 f., 428 f.,
      593: “Eine Macht des Boesen gibt es nur im Mythos.” “Dieser Mythos
      fuehrt folgerichtig sum mythologischen Gottmenschen.” M. Joel, in
      his article, “Der Mosaismus und das Heidenthum,” in J. B. j. Gesch.
      u. Lit, 1904, p. 49-66, ascribes the belief in demons to Greek
      influence. He holds that the prophetic teaching of God’s unity was
      the best bulwark against demonology and mysticism.

  590 See Dillmann, l. c., 341-351; Weber, l. c., 177-190; Bousset, l. c.,
      336, 346; Davidson, l. c, 36-38, 115-129; Schechter, Aspects, p.
      21-45; Schmiedl, l. c., 35-48; J. E., art. Holy Spirit; Logos;
      Memra; Metatron; Name of God; Shekinah; Enc. Rel. and Eth., I,

  591 Ps. LXXXII, 1.

  592 Ex. XXV, 8.

  593 Ber. 17 a.

  594 See Ber., l. c., Rab’s reference to Ex. XXIV, 11.

  595 John I, 1-6.

  596 Singer’s _Prayerbook_, p. 96, 292.

  597 Ch. XXII. See Prov. VIII, 22.

  598 XXIV, 9 f.

  599 Weber, l. c., 197 f.

  600 L. c., 178 f.

  601 See Kohut: _Jued, Angelologie_, 36-38; Schorr: He Halutz, VIII, 3;
      J. E., art. Merkabah.

  602 See Targ. Yer. to Gen. V, 24; J. E., art. Metatron. Comp. Eth. Enoch
      LXX, 1, and Slav. Enoch III-XXIV.

  603 Gen. I, 2.

  604 Gen. II, 7; VI, 3; Job XXXII, 8.

  605 Num. XI, 17 f.; XXIV, 2; XXVII, 18; Ex. XXVIII, 3; XXXI, 3 f.; Isa.
      XI, 2; LXI, 1; Ezek. I, 12, 20.

  606 Isa. LXIII, 10; Ps. LI, 13.

  607 See J. E., art. Holy Spirit.

  608 See J. E. art., Bath Kol.

  609 See Tos. Sota XIII, 2; XXLV, 11; compare Levy: W. B., _Shem;_
      Geiger: _Urschrift_, 273 f.

  610 Deut. XII, 5, 11; II Sam. XII, 28; Neh. I, 9; Jer. VII, 12, 14.

  611 Ex. XXIII, 21.

  612 Jer. XLIV, 26; Isa. XLV, 23.

  613 Midr. Teh. to Ps. XXXVIII, 8; XCI, 8.

  614 Taan. III, 8.

  615 Prayer of Manasses, 3.

  616 P. d. R. El. III.

  617 See Levy: W. B., _Geburah_.

  618 Ex. XXI, 6.

  619 Ex. XXXIV, 5 f.

  620 Gen. R. XXI, 8; Targ. Ps. LVI, 11, and see Siegfried: _Philo_, 213

  621 Gen. R. VIII, 5, after Ps. LXXXV, 11-12.

  622 P. d. R. El. III; Midr. Teh. Ps. L, 1, ref. to Prov. III, 19-20.

  623 A. d. R. N. XXXVII, ref. to Prov. III, 19 f.; Ps. LXV, 7; LXXXV,
      21-22; Job XXVII, 11.

  624 Ref. to Hosea II, 21-22.

  625 Hag. 12 a.

  626 See J. E., art. Sefiroth, the Ten; Yezirah, Sefer.

  627 See J. E., art. Shekinah; _Cuzari_, II, 4; IV, 3.

  628 Gen. I, 26, and the commentaries.

  629 Gen. R. VIII, 9.

  630 Gen. R. XIV, 1.

  631 Gen. I, 28.

  632 Gen. R. VIII, 12; P. d. R. El., XI.

  633 Sanh. IV, 5, correctly preserved in the Yerushalmi, and the addition
      in the Babli, _Me Yisrael_, ought not to have been inserted by
      Schechter, Ab. d. R.N., p. 90.

  634 Lev. R. XXXIV, 3.

  635 Ab. d. R. N. XXXI.

  636 See Jubilees XV, 27; comp. Gen. R. VIII, 7-9; Ab. d. R. N., ed.
      Schechter, p. 153.

  637 See Jellinek: _Bezelem Elohim;_ Philippson, l. c., II, 58-72;
      Dillmann, l. c., 325. The words of Plato (_State_, X, 613, and
      _Theætetos_, 176), “Man should strive for God-likeness through
      virtue, and be holy, righteous and wise like the Deity,” may have
      influenced the ethical interpretation of the Biblical term.

  638 Gen. R. VIII, 1.

  639 See Gen. I, 26; Comm. of Rashi, Saadia, Ibn Ezra, Nahmanides, and
      Ob. Sforno.

  640 Job XXXII, 8.

  641 Zach. III, 7; see comm.

  642 Gen. VI, 12, 19.

  643 Gen. IX, 21; Lev. XVII, 11, 14.

  644 See Dillmann, l. c., 355-361; Davidson, l. c., 182-203; comp. Gen.
      R. XIV, 11, where these three terms are given, and also _yehidah_,
      Ps. XXII, 21; XXXV, 17, and _hayah_, Ps. XCLIII, 3; Job XXXIII, 1.

  645 De Leg. Alleg. III, 38.

  646 See Horovitz: _D. Psychologie Saadias_; Scheyer: _D. psycholog.
      System d. Maimonides_; Cassel’s _Cuzari_, p. 382-400; Husik, l. c.,
      IX, 41; and see also Index: _Soul_.

  647 Sanh. 91 a, b; Nid. 30 b-31 b; Sifre Deut. 306, ref. to Deut. XXXII,
      1; Lev. IV, 5-8.

  648 Ab. Z. 5 a; Gen. R. VIII, 1.

  649 B. Wisdom, VIII, 20; Slav. Enoch XXIII, 5; Philo I, 15, 32; II, 356;
      comp. Bousset, l. c., p. 508 f.

  650 Gen. VI, 5; VIII, 21; B. Sira XV, 14; XVII, 31; XXI, 11; Ber. 5 a;
      Kid. 30 b; Suk. 52 a, b; Shab. 152 b; Eccl. R. XII, 7; comp. F. Ch.
      Porter: “The Yezer ha Ra” in _Biblical and Semitic Studies_, 93-156;
      Bousset, l. c., 462 f.

  651 Suk. 52 a, b.

  652 Gen. R. VIII, 11.

  653 Ab. d. R. N. XXXI.

  654 Aboth III, 18.

  655 Ber. 10 a; Midr. Teh. Ps. CIII, 4-5.

  656 Gen. XVIII, 19; Deut. VIII, 6; X, 12; XXXII, 4.

  657 Micah VI, 8.

  658 Gen. V. 22; VI, 9; XVII, 1-2.

  659 Gen. R. XII, 8; XIV, 6, ref. to Josh. XIV, 15.

  660 Ezek. XXVIII, 14.

  661 Prov. III, 18.

  662 Gen. R. XVI, 10; Shab. 55 b.

  663 B. B. 15 a.

  664 Shab. 146 a; Yeb. 103 b; Ab. Zar. 22 b; Shab. 55 b.

  665 B. Wisdom, II, 24.

  666 Romans V, 12 f.

  667 Shab. 146 a.

  668 Deut. XXIV, 16; Ezek. XVIII, 4.

  669 Shab. 55 a, b.

  670 Shab. 32 b.

  671 B. Sira XXV, 24.

  672 Yer. Shab. II, 5 b.

  673 Gen. R. XIX, 10, ref. to Gen. III, 6-7.

  674 Apoc. Baruch XXIII, 4; XLVIII, 42 f.; LVI, 6; and especially LIV,
      14-19; IV Esdras III, 7; VII, 11, 118.

  675 Pesik. 160 b; Num. R. XIII, 5.

  676 P. d. R. El., XX; comp. Adam and Eve, I; Erub. 18 b.

  677 Gen. R. XII, 5; XIX, 11; XXI, 4 f.; comp. Shab. 55 b.

  678 See Windishman: _Zoroastrische Studien_, p. 27 f.

  679 Eccl. VII, 29.

  680 Tanh. Yelamdenu to Gen. III, 22.

  681 Eccl. XII, 7.

  682 Shab. 152 b.

  683 Ber. 80 a. The rabbis did not have the belief that the body is
      morally impure and therefore the seat of the _yezer ha ra_, as is
      stated by Weber, l. c., 228 f. See Potter, l. c., 98-107; Schechter:
      _Aspects_, 242-292. It is wrong also to explain Ps. LI, 7, “Behold I
      was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive
      me,” as inherited sinfulness, as Delitzsch and other Christian
      commentators have done, following Ibn Ezra, who refers this to Eve,
      the mother of all men. The correct interpretation is given by R.
      Ahha in Lev. R. XIV, 5; “Every sexual act is the work of sensuality,
      the _Yezer ha ra_.” Comp. Yoma 69 b. Needless to say that Hosea VI,
      7; Isa. XLIII, 37; Job XXXI, 33 do not refer to the sin of Adam.

  684 See Ibn Ezra to Gen. III, 1.

  685 See Taan. 10 a; Ber. 34 b; D. comp. Enoch XXIX-XXXII; _Seder Gan
      Eden_, in Jellinek, _Beth ha Midrash_, II, III.

_  686 Moreh_, II, 30; Nahmanides to Gen. III, 1.

  687 Gen. R. XVI, 8, ref. to Gen. II, 15.

  688 Pes. 111 a; Gen. R. XX, 24.

_  689 Seder Olam_ at the close; Gen. R. XXIV, 2.

  690 Prov. XX, 27.

  691 Job XXXII, 8.

  692 Isa. XI, 2.

  693 Dan. II, 20-21.

  694 Tanh. Miketz 9; comp. Tanh. Yelamdenu Wayakhel, where the story is
      told differently.

  695 Singer’s _Prayerbook_, p. 46.

  696 Cuzari III, 19.

  697 Ber. 58 a; Singer’s _Prayerb._, p. 291.

_  698 Yesode ha Torah_, II, 2.

_  699 Nethibot Olam_, XIV.

  700 Pes. 94 b.

_  701 Shaare Shamayim_, IV, 3.

  702 R. h. Sh. 21 b.

  703 II Sam. XXIII, 2.

  704 Job IV, 12-16.

  705 Gen. R. XXIV, 7; comp. Jubilees III, 12.

  706 See Dillmann, l. c., 301 f., 375; J. E., art. Freedom of Will.

  707 Gen. IV, 7.

  708 Deut. XXX, 15-19.

  709 Jer. XXI, 8.

  710 See Sifre Deut. 53-54; J. E., art. Didache.

  711 Gen. III, 22; Mek. Beshallah 6; Gen. R. XXI. 5; Mid. Teh. Ps. XXXVI,
      3; LVIII, 2.

  712 Aboth III, 15, but see Schechter: _Aspects_, 285, note 4.

  713 Ben Sira XV, 11-20.

  714 Enoch XCVIII, 4.

  715 IX, 7.

  716 IV Ezra VII, 127-129; IX, 10-11.

  717 Quod deus immutabilis, 10, I, 279; Di confusione linguarum, 35, I,
      432; Quod deterius potiori insid.

  718 Josephus, J. W., II, 8, 14; Ant. XVIII, I, 3.

  719 Ber. 33 b.

  720 Gen. R. LXVII, 7. Comp. P. R. El. XV.

  721 Tanh. Toledoth, ed. Buber, 21.

  722 Shab. 104 a; Yoma 38 b-39 a; Yer. Kid. I, 67 d.

  723 Mak. 10 b; ref. to Ex. XXI, 12; Num. XXII, 12; Isa. XLVIII, 17;
      Prov. III, 34.

  724 Ex. IV, 21; VII, 3, and elsewhere; see the Jewish commentaries to
      these passages. Comp. Pes. 165 a; Num. R. XV, 16. See Schechter,
      _Aspects_, 289-292.

  725 Saadia: _Emunoth_, III, 154; IV, 7 f.; Bahya: _Hoboth haleboboth_,
      III, 8; _Cuzari_, V, 20; _Moreh_ I, 23; III, 16; _H. Teshuba_, V;
      Gersonides: _Milhamoth_, III, 106; Albo: _Ikkarim_, IV, 5-10; see
      Cassel notes, _Cuzari_, p. 414.

_  726 Or Adonai_ II, 4; comp. Bloch: _Willensfreiheit des Hisdai
      Crescas_; Neumark: _Crescas and Spinoza_, Y. B. C. C. A. R. 1908.

  727 Ex. XX, 5.

  728 Sanh. 27 b.

  729 Job XIV, 4.

  730 Pesik. 29 b.

_  731 H. Teshubah_, V.

  732 See Morgenstern, “_The Doctrine of Sin in the Babylonian Religion_,”
      in Mitth. Vorderas. Gesellsch. 1905.

  733 Gen. VI, 3; Ps. LXXVIII, 39.

  734 Sota 3 a.

  735 Suk. 52 a, b. Comp. Schechter, “The Evil Yezer, Source of Rebellion
      and Victory over the Evil Yezer,” l. c., 242-292.

  736 Prov. XX, 9.

  737 Eccl. VII, 20.

  738 Job IV, 17; XV, 14 f; XXV, 5.

  739 Num. XX, 12; XXVII, 14.

  740 Yeb. 121 b.

  741 Mid. Teh. Ps. XVI, 2.

  742 Job XV, 15.

  743 Midr. Teh. eodem.

  744 Morgenstern, l. c.

  745 Ex. XXX, 33, 38; Lev. X, 2; XVI, 1-2; Num. XVII, 28; XVIII, 7.

  746 Ezek. XVIII, 6 f.; XX, 13 f.; Isa. LVI, 2 f.

  747 Hos. VI, 6; Mic. VI, 8; Isa. I, 11 f.

  748 I Sam. XV, 22-23.

  749 Job XXXV, 6-8.

  750 Ps. LI, 6.

  751 Sanh. 107 a.

  752 Isa. LIX, 2.

  753 Gen. IV, 13; XV, 16; XIX, 15; Ps. XL, 13.

  754 Gen. XXVI, 10; XLII, 21; Ps. XXXIV, 22.

  755 Lev. IV, 13 f.; Num. V, 6.

  756 Ps. XIX, 13.

  757 Num. R. XXI, 19.

  758 Num. XVI, 22.

  759 Tanh. Korah, ed. Buber, 19.

  760 Habak. I, 13.

  761 Isa. XXXIII, 14.

  762 Isa. VI, 5-7.

  763 Pes. 45 b; Gen. R. XXIII, 9.

  764 See J. E., art. Cabala; Abelson, _Jewish Mysticism_, p. 127 f., 171

  765 See J. E., art. Repentance; Claude Montefiore: “Rabbinical
      Conceptions of Repentance,” in J. Q. R., Jan. 1904; Schechter,
      _Aspects_, 313-343. The works of Weber (p. 261 f.), Bousset (p. 446
      f.), and Davidson (l. c., 327-338) do not do justice to the Jewish

  766 Ezek. XVIII, 4; Ps. XXXIV, 21; Prov. XIV, 12.

  767 Ezek. XVIII, 32; XXXIII, 11.

  768 Prov. XIII, 21.

  769 Ezek. XVIII, 4.

  770 Lev. I, 4; IV, 26-31.

  771 Ps. XXV, 8.

  772 Yer. Mak. II, 37 d; Pesik. 158 b. See Schechter, l. c., p. 294, note

  773 Amos V, 4.

  774 Isa. LV, 7.

  775 Deut. IV, 30; XXX, 2-3.

  776 Amos IV, 6 f.

  777 Hos. VI, 1; XIV, 2 f.

  778 Jer. III, 12-13; IV, 3; 14; XVIII, 11.

  779 Ezek. XVIII, 1-32.

  780 Zech. I, 3.

  781 Mal. III, 7.

  782 Joel II, 12-13.

  783 See Ps. XXXII, 1 f.

  784 Jonah III-IV.

  785 The Hebrew _teshubah_ is translated in Greek _metanoia_, meaning a
      change of mind.

  786 Pes. 119 a; P. d. R. El. XLIII.

  787 Pes. 54 a; Gen, R. I, 5; P. d. R. El. III; Singer’s _Prayerb._ 267

  788 Shab. 56 a; Ab. Z. 4 b-5 a; Midr. Teh. Ps. XL, 3; LI, 13.

  789 Ter. Sanh. X, 78 c; Sanh. 103 a; Pes. 162; Prayer of Manasseh.

  790 Pesik. 160 a-162; Shab. 56 a, b; Gen. R. XI, 6; XXII, 12-13;
      XXXVIII, 9; XLIX, 6; P. R. El. XX; XLIII; Num. R. XVIII, 6; Ab. d.
      R. N. I, 32; Sanh. 102 b.

  791 Yoma 86 a, b; Pes. R. XLIX.

  792 Mek. Shira 5; Gen. R. XXI, 6; XXX, 4; XXXII, 10; XXXVIII, 14;
      LXXXIV, 18; Ex. R. XII, 1; Num. R. XII, 13; B. Wisdom XI, 23; XII,
      10, 19.

  793 Sanh. 108; Sibyllines, I, 125-198.

  794 Cant. R. VII, 5, ref. to the name _Hadrach_, Zech. IX, 1.

  795 Weber, l. c., 261 f.; Bousset, l. c., 446 f.; comp. Perles:

  796 Gen. R. XXII, 27; comp. Sanh 107 b.

  797 Mek. Yithro I.

  798 Erub. 19 a.

  799 Mid. Teh. Ps. I, 21 f.; IX, 13, 15; XI, 5.

  800 See Maimonides, Bahya, and others on _Teshubah;_ comp. J. E., art.
      Repentance; Tobit XIII, 6; XIV, 6; Philo II, 435.

  801 See Schechter, l. c., 323 f.

  802 Sanh. 99 a, Luke XV, 7. The third Gospel more than the others
      preserved the original Jewish doctrines of the Church.

  803 Job XIX, 25. The Hebrew _Goel_ signifies kinsman as well as redeemer
      and avenger, implying blood-relationship. In Job it means

  804 Deut. XIV, 1.

  805 Mal. II, 10.

  806 Ps. CIII, 13.

  807 Jer. II, 27.

  808 Hosea II, 1.

  809 See Jer. III, 4.

  810 Jer. XXXI, 9; Deut. XXXII, 7; Isa. LXIII, 16; LXIV, 7; Mal. I, 4; I
      Chron. XXIX, 10.

  811 Yoma VIII, 9.

  812 Sota IX, 15.

  813 See next paragraph, and the art. _Abba_ in J. E.

  814 II Sam. VII, 14.

  815 Ps. LXXXIX, 27-28.

  816 Jubilees I, 24.

  817 Wisdom II, 16; V, 5.

  818 Psalms of Solomon XVII, 27.

  819 Taan. III, 8.

  820 Ber. V, 1.

  821 Midr. Teh. Ps. CXXI, 1.

  822 Mek. Yithro 11.

  823 Sifre Deut. 96; Hosea I, 10.

  824 Ex. IV, 22.

  825 Sifre Deut. 49.

  826 Sifre Deut. 96.

  827 Beza 32 b.

  828 Yeb. 61 a.

  829 Aboth III, 13, quoted above, Chap. XXXIV, par. 6.

_  830 Sifra Ahare_ 13, p. 86.

  831 Ps. XLII, 3.

  832 Mal. I, 11.

  833 With its _azkarah_, the flame of incense rising in “pyramidal” form,
      generally translated “memorial,” or “memorial-part.” Lev. II, 9, 16.
      For sacrifice as means of atonement see Schechter: _Aspects_,

  834 Amos V, 21-24.

  835 Hosea VI, 6.

  836 Isa. I, 11-18.

  837 Jer. VII, 21-23.

  838 Ps. L, 7-13.

  839 Ps. XL, 7.

  840 I Sam. I, 13-14.

  841 Often mentioned in the Psalms, under such terms as “the congregation
      of the righteous,” “the holy ones,” “the devout ones,” etc.

  842 See I Kings VIII, 48; Dan. VI, 11.

  843 Isa. LVI, 7.

  844 Tamid V, 1; comp. Kohler: Monatsschr., 1893, p. 441.

  845 Sifre Deut. 41: “What is meant by, ‘To serve Him with all your
      heart?’ this is prayer.”

  846 Ber. 26 a.

  847 Ber. 32 b; Midr. to Sam. I, 7.

  848 P. d. R. El. XVI.

  849 R. ha Sh. 17 b.

  850 Meg. 31 b; Yer. Taan. IV, 68 c. But compare Isaac Aboab: _Menorath
      ha Maor_, III, 3 a; Bahya ben Asher: _Kad ha Kemah_, art.

  851 Jer. VI, 22.

  852 Lev. R. XXII, 5.

_  853 Cuzari_, II, 25, see note by Cassel; _Moreh_, III, 32; comp.
      Midrash Tadshe 12; I, 177 f.; comp. Hebrews IX-X; _Barnabas_, I, 25.
      S. R. Hirsch in _Horeb_ p. 639 f.

  854 See Philipson: _The Reform Movement in Judaism_ for the various
      views and debates on sacrifice and prayer. I. Elbogen: _D. jued.
      Gottesdienst i. s. geschichtl. Entwicklung_, p. 374 f., 435 f., is
      written in a more conservative spirit and unfavorable to American
      Reform Judaism. Comp. for the traditional liturgy: Dembitz: _Jewish
      Services in the Synagogue and Home_, especially on the Prayerbook,
      p. 233-246, and for America, 497-499.

  855 Ex. XV, 2.

  856 Ps. LXV, 3. See Wm. James: _Varieties of Rel. Experience_, 463-477;
      Foster: _Function of Religion_, 183-185; Abelson: _Jewish
      Mysticism_, p. 15 and elsewhere.

  857 Yoma 53 b.

  858 Yeb. 64 a; Ex. R. XXI, 6.

  859 Ber. 55 a.

  860 Ber. 10 a.

  861 Ber. 7 a.

  862 Taan. III, 8; Ber. V, 6; Babl. 34 b; Yer. 9 d.

  863 Pes. R. XXII, p. 114 b; Midr. Teh. Ps. XCI, 8; see Schechter:
      _Aspects_, 156; 42.

  864 I Sam. II, 31.

  865 Prov. XVI, 32.

  866 Gen. R. LIX, 1; Yeb. 105 a, where R. Johanan ben Zakkai is mentioned
      instead of R. Meir; Albo: _Ikkarim_, IV, 18.

  867 See Steinschneider: _Abraham Ibn Ezra_, 126 ff.

  868 Ps. CXLV, 18.

  869 Ps. CXXXIX, 4.

  870 Ps. LV, 23.

  871 Ber. 29 b; Tos. Ber. III, 7; comp. Albo: _Ikkarim_, IV, 24.

  872 Job XVI, 17; Ex. R. XXII, 4; comp. Schechter: _Aspects_, 228.

  873 Ab. Z. 76.

  874 Ber. 8 a.

  875 Ber. 30 a.

  876 Hab. II, 20.

  877 Sifre Deut. 41.

  878 Isa. LV, 6.

  879 Ps. LXXIII, 25, 28.

  880 Gen. III, 22.

  881 Gen. V, 24; II Kings II, 1.

  882 Isa., XXV, 8.

  883 Isa. XXXVIII, 11; Ps. CXVI, 9.

  884 Ps. XVIII, 5, and J. E., art. Belial.

  885 Ps. CXV, 17; LXXXVIII, 13.

  886 Isa. XXVI, 14, 19; Ps. LXXXVIII, 11; Prov. IX, 18; Job XXVI, 5.

  887 Ps. XLIX, 15.

  888 See Isa. VIII, 19; XXVIII, 15, 18; I Sam. XXIX, 7-14.

  889 Job XVIII, 14; Ps. XLIX, 15.

  890 Ps. XLIX, 16; Job XIV, 13.

  891 Ps. CXXXIX, 8.

  892 Ps. XVI, 10-11; Hosea XIII is a late emendation of the text.

  893 Deut. XXX, 19; Jer. XXI, 8; Ezek. XX, 11; Lev. XVIII, 5; Ps. XXXIV,
      3; Prov. III, 22; V, 5 f.

  894 Isa. XXXVIII, 10-20.

  895 Ps. LXXIII, 25-28.

  896 Job XIX, 25 f., challenges God to be his vindicator on earth or on
      his tomb, testifying to his righteousness. Resurrection is denied
      directly: VII, 8-21; XIV, 12-22. The whole argument of the book
      excludes the thought.

  897 Ber. 64 a, with ref. to Ps. LXXXIV, 4.

  898 Isa. XXVI, 19. Read, “_thy_ dead instead of _My_ dead.” The
      translation given here differs from the new translation.

  899 I Sam. II, 6.

  900 II Kings IV, 20-37.

  901 Ezek. XXXVII, 1-14.

  902 Dan. XII, 2, and comp. II Macc. VII, 9-36; XII, 43, and the
      Apocalyptic books such as Enoch, Test. Twelve Patriarchs, Jubilees,
      Psalms of Solomon, IV Ezra and Baruch Apocalypse, whereas I Macc.,
      Judith and Tobit, belonging to the Sadducean circles, never allude
      to the future life.

  903 Passages like Ps. IX, 18; XI, 6; XLIX, 15, comp. with Isa. XXXIII,
      14; LXV, 24; Mal. III, 19, lent themselves especially to this
      conception of Sheol as a fiery place of punishment identified
      afterwards with _Gehinnom_. Jer. VII, 31 f.; XIX, 6. See J. E., art.
      Gehenna, and R. H. Charles, _Hebrew, Jewish and Christian
      Eschatology_, 2d, 1913, p. 75 f., 132, 160 f., 292 f.

  904 Midr. Teh. Ps. XI, 5-6; Erub. 19 a.

  905 Sanh. 90 b; comp. Matt. XXII, 32.

  906 Sanh. X, 1; see J. E., art. Resurrection, and Neumark, art. Ikkarim
      in l. c.

  907 See Singer’s _Prayerb._, 44 f., and Abrahams’ Notes, LIX.

  908 Prov. XII, 28, comp. LXX, and see Kittel: _Bibl. Hebr._, note.

  909 Ps. XLVIII, 15; see Kittel, note; Midr. Teh. to Psalms and note by
      Buber; Yer. Meg. II, 73 b; M. K. 83 b; Lev. R. XI, 9.

  910 See Tylor: _Primitive Culture_, Index, s. v. Soul.

  911 Gen. II, 7.

  912 Eccl. XII, 7.

  913 See J. E., art. Birds as Souls.

  914 Prov. XX, 27.

  915 Ber. 60 b; Singer’s _Prayerb._, 5.

  916 Isa. XXVI, 19; Dan. XII, 2.

  917 Ezek. XXXVII, 1 f.

  918 Eccl. R. XII, 5: J. E., art. Luz.

  919 Judg. I, 26.

  920 Sota 46 b.

  921 Brugsch: _Religion u. Mythologie d. alt. Aegypten_, p. 618, 634.

  922 P. d. R. El. XXXIV.

  923 Ber. 18 b.

  924 Shab. 152 b.

  925 Midr. Teh. Ps. CIII, 1.

  926 Sanh. 39 b.

  927 Nid. 30 b.

  928 B. Wisd. VIII, 19; Slav. Enoch XXII, 4, comp, Bousset, l. c., 313 f.

  929 Philo: Leg. All. III, 38; Migrat. Abrah. 12; De Concupiscentia, 2;
      De Fortitudine, 3; Drummond: _Philo_, I, 318 f.; Bentwich: _Philo_,
      178, 181; Windleband-Tufts on Plato, 123 f., on Philo, 231, comp.
      Bousset, l. c., 508; Rhode: _Psyche_, 557 f.

_  930 Emunoth_, Ch. VI; Schmiedl, l. c., 135 f.; Neumark, l. c., I, 536
      f.; Husik, l. c., 376.

  931 Neumark, l. c., 495; Husik, l. c., 108 f.; J. E., art. Bahya.

_  932 Cuzari_, V, 12. See Cassel, notes; Schmiedl, l. c., 141; Neumark,
      l. c., 561; Husik, l. c., 179 f.

  933 Schmiedl, l. c., 149; Neumark, l. c., 536 f., 551, 558, 573, 586;
      Husik, l. c., 281 f. Comp. Scheyer: _d. Psychol. Syst. d. Maim._;
      Simon, _Aspects of the Hebrew Genius_, 75-78, 86.

_  934 Or Adonai_, II, 6; Joel: “_Crescas_”; Husik, l. c., 400.

_  935 Emunah Ramah_, 39; Husik, l. c., 259 b.

_  936 Emunoth_, VII.

  937 H. _Teshubah_, VIII, 2.

_  938 Maamar Tehiyyath ha Metim_, see Schmiedl, l. c., 172.

_  939 In Schaar ha Gemul._

_  940 Ikkarim_, IV, 35.

_  941 Zohar_, I, 96 b; _Yalk. Reubeni_ to Deut. XIX, 2; J. E., art.

  942 See Kayserling: _Moses Mendelssohn_, 148 ff.

  943 Ps. XVII, 15.

  944 See J. Jastrow: _Fact and Fable in Psychology._

  945 Singer’s _Prayerb._, 45. The Rabb. Conf. of Philadelphia in 1869
      passed the resolution: “The belief in the Resurrection of the Body
      has no religious foundation (in Judaism), and the doctrine of
      Immortality refers to the after-existence of the Soul only,” Comp.
      D. Philipson: l. c., p. 489 and 492.

  946 Jer. XXXII, 18.

  947 Targ. to Ex. XX, 5; Sanh. 27 b.

  948 Deut. XXIV, 16.

  949 Ezek. XVIII, 2.

  950 Ezek. XVIII, 20.

  951 XVIII, 23, 32.

  952 Ex. XVIII, 11; XXI, 23-25; Sota I, 7-9; Tos. Sota III-IV; Sanh. 90
      a; B. Wisdom XVI-XIX; Jubilees IV, 31; II Macc. V, 10; XV, 32.

  953 Prov. XI, 31; XIII, 21.

  954 See especially Sanh. 90 b-92 b, ref. to Ex. VI, 4; Deut. XI, 9; IV,
      5; XXXI, 16; Isa. XXVI, 19; Dan. XII, 13; Ps. LXXII, 16; also Ex.
      XV, 1; Josh. VIII, 30; and Song of Songs, VII, 10. On the Second
      Death see _Targ._ to Deut. XXXIII, 6; Isa. XIV, 19; LXV, 6; Jer. LI,
      39; and Revelation XX, 6, 14; XXI, 8.

  955 IV Ezra VII, 31 f.; comp. Baruch Apoc. 42 ff.; Adam et Eva, 42; II
      Sibyll., 220-236; IV Sibyll., 180 f.

  956 Aboth IV, 22.

  957 See Stave, _Ueb. d. Einfluss d. Parsismus a. d._ Judenth., 145 ff.;
      Boecklen: _D. Verwandtschaft d. jued, christl. u. d._ pars.
      _Eschatologie_; Schorr: _He Haluz_, VII-VIII.

  958 Sanb. 91 a, b; Matt. XXII, 31 f.

  959 The parable is found in an Apocryphon ascribed to the prophet
      Ezekiel, see Epiphanius Haeres, LXIV, ed. Dindorf, II, 683 f. and
      ascribed to R. Ishmael, Lev. R. IV, 5; in Sanh. 91 a, b it is given
      in a dialogue with Antonius; in Tanh. Wayithro, ed. Buber, § 12, it
      is anonymous.

  960 Ps. L, 4.

  961 Isa. LXVI, 24; see Yalkut; Bousset, 308-321; J. E., art.

  962 Aboth III, 1, 19, 20; Ber. 28 b.

  963 Aboth IV, 21.

  964 Tos. Sanh. XIII, 3; R. H. 16 b; see J. E., art. Purgatory.

  965 See Testament of Abraham XIV; comp. Kohler in J. Q. R. VII, 587.

  966 T. d. b. El. Zuta XVII, ed. Friedman, p. 23. See note, Kalla R. II.,
      J. E., art. Kaddish, but comp. IV Ezra VII, 102-115.

  967 Tos. Sanh. XIII, 2; Sanh. 105 a; Midr. Teh. Ps. IX, 18: “The wicked
      shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God,” R. Joshua
      taking the last sense as restrictive and R. Eliezer as a

  968 For the banquet of the pious see Aboth. III, 16; Shab. 153 a; Pes.
      R. XLI; comp. Luke XIII, 28; XXII, 30, and parallels. The idea rests
      on Isa. LXV, 13, which is taken literally, and Ps. XXIII, 5; see
      Midr. Teh., ad loc. For the Leviathan and Behemoth see Job XL,
      15-30; B. B. 74 b-75 a; Enoch LX, 7 f.; IV Ezra VI, 52; Baruch Apoc.
      XXIX, 4; Targ. Ps. CIV, 26; Lev. R. XIII, 3. For the giant bird Ziz
      see Ps. L, 40-41; Targ. and Midr. Teh., ad loc.; Tanh. Beshallah,
      ed. Buber, 24; Jellinek, B. H. III, 76, 80. For the heavenly manna
      Ps. LXXVIII, 24; Joma 75 b; Hag. 12 b; Tanh. Beshallah, ed. Buber,
      21; Sibyll. Prœmium 87; II, 318; III, 746; IV Ezra IX, 19. For the
      wine see Ex. R. XXV, 10; Ber. 34 b; Sanh. 99 a; Matt. XXVI, 29;
      comp. also Num. R. XIII, 3 for other fruits of Paradise. For the
      Persian origin of these ideas see _Bundahish_, XIX, 13; XXX, 25. The
      Behemoth corresponds with the primeval ox Hadhayos, whose flesh
      produces the sap of immortality; the giant fish and bird with
      _Bundahish_, XVIII, 5-8; XIX, 16-19; the wine corresponds with the
      Parsee Hom: _Bundahish_, XXX, 25. See Windishman: _Zoroastr. Stud._,
      92 f., 252 f., and Boeklen, l. c., p. 68.

  969 Shab. 153 a, with ref. to Isa. LXV, 13-14; LXVI, 24; IV Ezra VII,
      83, 93.

  970 Ber. 17 a.

  971 Ber. 34 b; with ref. to Isa., LXIV, 3.

  972 Ab. Zar. 36 with ref. to Mal. III, 19-22.

  973 See Jellinek, B. H. I, II and III, the Treatise on _Gehinnom_ and
      _Gan Eden_.

_  974 Emunoth_ VII, IX, and comp. J. Guttman; _Religionsphil. des
      Saadia_, 208 f., 249 f.

  975 See Joel, _Religionsphil. d. Mose b. Maimon_., p. 40.

_  976 Cuzari_, I, 15; V, 14; _Or Adonai_ III, 4, 2. See Joel: _Crescas_,
      p. 74 f.; Albo: _Ikkarim_, IV, 29-41.

  977 Nahmanides, l. c., last chapter; Manasse b. Israel in _Nishmat

  978 Aboth. IV, 2.

  979 Com. to Sanh. XI and _H. Teshubah_, VIII.

  980 Ps. LXXIII, 28.

_  981 Or Adonai_, II, 55; VI, 1; comp. Joel, l. c., 56-62; comp. Bahya:
      _Hoboth, Halebaboth, Shaar Bitahon_.

  982 See Joel: _Z. Gen. d. Lehre Spinoza_, p. 64.

_  983 Ikkarim_, IV, 35-38.

  984 Ber. 64 a, with ref. to Ps. LXXXIV, 8; see also Midr. Teh. ad loc.

  985 See J. E., art. Adam, and Jellinek: _Bezelem Elohim_, Sermon IV. The
      term _humanity_ arose among the Stoics. See Reizenstein: _Wesen u.
      Werden d. Humanität_; comp. Schmidt, _Ethik d. Griechen_, II, 324,
      477; and Zeller, _Griech. Philo._ III, 1, 287, 299. For the
      rabbinical _Berioth_ for humanity see B. Sira, XVI, 16.

  986 Ps. CXXXIX, 16.

  987 Midr. Teh., ad loc.; Pesik. R. XXIII; Gen. R. XXIV, 2; Sanh. 38 b
      after _Seder Olam_ at the close.

  988 Gen. R. VIII, 1.

  989 Eodem; Midr. Teh. to Ps. CXXXIX, 5; Ber. 61 a.

  990 Gen. R. XXIV, 8.

  991 Tos. Ber. VII, 2; Ber. 58 a.

  992 Ber. 6 b; Shab. 30 b; see Rashi (against Bacher: _Ag. Tann._, I,

  993 I Sam. II, 2.

  994 Gen. R. LVI, 9.

  995 Isa. LXV, 18; see Yeb. 62 a.

  996 Gen. R. XVII, 2.

  997 For the term _Aguddah Ahath_ in the New Year and Atonement Day
      Prayer, Singer’s _Prayerbook_, p. 239, comp. Gen. R. LXXXVIII, 6,
      and XXXIX, 3.

  998 Isa. XLV, 18.

  999 Yeb. 62 a, b

 1000 Yoma I, 1.

 1001 Prov. XXII, 29.

 1002 Ps. CXXVIII, 2.

 1003 Ber. 8 a.

 1004 Ned. 49 b.

 1005 Keth. V, 5, 59 b.

 1006 Kid. 29 a; comp. R. Simeon b. Yohai, Mek. Beshallah, 56.

 1007 Kid. 82 a.

 1008 Abot. I, 10; II, 2; B. B. 11 a.

 1009 Taan. 11 a.

 1010 Yer. Kid. IV at the close.

 1011 Taan. 23 a.

 1012 Abot. V, 19.

 1013 Prov. XXVII, 17.

 1014 Taan. 7 a.

 1015 See J. E., art. Abraham.

 1016 Abot. IV, 1; B. K. 79 b; Ber. 19 b.

 1017 Sota 14 a.

 1018 Jer. XXIX, 7; comp. Abot. III, 2.

 1019 B. K. 113 a and elsewhere.

 1020 Ber. 58 a.

 1021 Ex. XIX, 4-5.

 1022 Deut. VII, 6-8; X, 15; XIV, 2. Comp. Schechter: _Aspects_, 57 ff.

 1023 See Singer’s _Prayerbook_, 226 f.

 1024 Hos. XI, 1; XII, 10; XIII, 4.

 1025 Jer. II, 3.

 1026 Amos III, 2.

 1027 Isa. XLI, 8 f.; XLII, 6; XLIII, 10; XLIX, 8.

 1028 CV, 7 f., comp. Neh. IX, 7.

 1029 Singer’s _Prayerb._, p. 40.

 1030 Isa. LII, 3-LIII, 12.

 1031 Meg. 16 a.

 1032 Beza 25 b.

 1033 Yeb. 79 a.

 1034 Shab. 88 a.

 1035 Cant. R. IV, 2; Tanh. Tezaveh 1.

 1036 Menah. 53 b with ref. to Jer. XI, 16.

 1037 Sifre to Deut. XIV, 2.

 1038 Deut. VII, 6; XIV, 2.

 1039 Isa. II, 3; Micah IV, 2—passages considered by modern critics to be
      of exilic origin.

 1040 See Bousset, l. c., 60-99.

 1041 Gen. R. to Gen. XII, 4, and see J. E., art. Abraham.

 1042 Pes. 87 b. with ref. to Hosea II, 25.

_ 1043 Cuzari_ IV, 23; Maim. H. Melakim XI, 4.

 1044 See Geiger: Zeitschr. 1868, p. 18 ff.; 1869, 55 ff.

 1045 J. E., art. _Alenu_; Singer’s _Prayerb._, 76 f.

 1046 J. E., art. Kaddish.

 1047 Zech. XIV, 9.

 1048 See Schechter: _Aspects_, 89 f., 93 f.

 1049 Isa. XLIX, 6.

 1050 Isa. LII, 10

 1051 Micah V, 6.

 1052 Judg. VIII, 23.

 1053 I Sam. VIII, 7; XII, 12, 17 f.

 1054 Hos. XIII, 11.

 1055 Isa. IX, 5; XI, 1-10.

 1056 Isa. IV, 2; Jer. XXIII, 5; XXXII, 15; and Zech. III, 8; VI, 12. Here
      Zerubbabel is referred to.

 1057 Isa. XLI, 21; XLIII, 15; XLIV, 6. Comp. XLIII, 22.

 1058 Isa. XLV, 1.

 1059 Isa. XI, 9; Hab. II, 14.

 1060 Isa. VI, 5; XXIV, 23. Comp. Jer. XLVI, 18; XLVIII, 15.

 1061 Zech. XIV, 9; Mal. I, 14.

 1062 Ps. XXII, 29; XCIII, 1; XCV, 99.

 1063 Jer. X, 7. This chapter is post-exilic; comp. Jer. XLVI, 18; XLVIII,
      15 and I Chron. XXIX, 11.

 1064 Singer’s _Prayerb._, 239.

 1065 Ps. XLVIII, 3.

_ 1066 Cont. Apion_, II, 16, 7.

 1067 Dan. VII, 27.

 1068 See J. E., art. Zealots.

 1069 Shab. 31 a.

 1070 Ps. XXII, 28; LXVII, 3; LXXXVI, 10; CXVII, 1.

 1071 Ps. CV, 15.

 1072 Ps. LXXXVII, 5. See Commentaries and LXX.

 1073 Ruth II, 12. Comp. Lev. R. II, 8.

 1074 See both Enoch books and B. Sira XLIV, 16.

 1075 Sibyll. I, 128-170; Sanh. 108 a.

 1076 Gen. R. XXXIX, 21.

 1077 Sifre Deut. 313, with ref. to Gen. XXIV, 3.

 1078 See Dillmann’s Comm. to Gen. XII, 2; XXII, 18; and Kuenen: _The
      Prophets and Prophecy_, 373, 457.

 1079 Gen. XVII, 5.

 1080 Ezek. XX, 33.

 1081 Sifre, l. c.

 1082 P. D. R. El. XI; Mek. Yithro 6; Lev. R. II, 4.

_ 1083 Sifra_ Behukkothai VIII with ref. to Ezek. XX, 33; Sanh. 105 a.

 1084 Mek. Beshallah X, p. 52.

 1085 Tanh. Lek leka 6.

 1086 Tobit XIII, 1-11; Sibyll. III, 47, 76 b.

 1087 Ps. CXVII; CXVIII, 4. See chapter LVI.

 1088 Singer’s _Prayerb._, 48.

 1089 Mek. Amalek at close; Cant. R. II, 28; IV Ezra VI, 9-10.

 1090 B. Wisdom V, 16; Sibyll. III, 76 b.

_ 1091 Sifra_ Kedoshim at close; Sifre Deut. 323.

_ 1092 Cuzari_ IV, 23; Maim. _H. Melakim_ XI, 4.

 1093 Maim.: Commentary to Eduyoth at close.

 1094 Pes. R. XXXIV, p. 158 ref. to Zeph. III, 8. See Friedman’s note.

 1095 Zech. IV, 6.

 1096 Tos. Sanh. XIII, 2.

 1097 P. 374-378.

 1098 Isa. LXVI, 22.

 1099 Part II, p. 332.

 1100 Isa. LXI, 6.

 1101 Ex. XIX, 22 f.

 1102 Lev. XXI, 6; XXII, 2.

 1103 Lev. VIII, 2, 8.

 1104 Num. XVIII, 7.

 1105 M. K. 28 b.

 1106 Ezek. XL-XLVIII.

 1107 Deut. X, 16. Comp. Jer. IX, 24.

 1108 Gen. XVII, 9.

 1109 Lev. XXV, 1-24.

 1110 Deut. XIV, 2-11; Lev. XI. Comp. Ezek. XLIV, 31, and Judg. XIII, 4.

 1111 Num. XV, 40.

 1112 See J. E., art. Pharisees.

 1113 II Macc. II, 17.

 1114 Aboth. I, 1.

 1115 See Perles: _Bousset_, 68, 89.

 1116 Aristeas 139-152.

 1117 Ned. 20 a.

 1118 See Schechter, _Studies_, I, 233 ff. I. Abrahams in J. Q. R. XI, 62;
      b ff., and Claude Montefiore, J. Q. R. XIII, 161-217.

 1119 Lev. XXII, 32.

_ 1120 Sifra Emor._ IX.

_ 1121 Yesode ha Torah_ V. Comp. Lazarus: _Ethics_, 29, 184.

 1122 Isa. XLIII, 12.

 1123 Pesik. 102 b.

 1124 Perles, l. c., 68 f.

 1125 Yer. B. M. II, 8 c.

_ 1126 Sifra_ Kedoshim 1.

 1127 Mak. 23 b.

 1128 Ps. XXIV, 3-4; XV, 1-5.

 1129 Deut. XXXIII, 4.

 1130 Num. XI, 29.

 1131 Jer. XXXI, 34.

 1132 Isa. LIV, 13.

 1133 Deut. IV, 6.

 1134 Isa. XLII, 4.

 1135 Isa. II, 3; Micah IV, 2.

 1136 See Guedemann: _Das Judenthum_, 67 f.; _Jued. Apologetik_, 12b;
      Schechter: _Studies_, I, 233 f., and _Aspects_, I, 116 f.

 1137 II Kings XXII, 8 f.

 1138 Neh. VIII-X.

 1139 See Gunkel: _Israel u. Babylonien_; Jeremias: _Moses u. Hammurabi_;
      H. Grimme: _D. Gesetz Chammurabi’s u. Moses’_; George Cohen: _D.
      Gesetze Hammurabi’s_; D. M. Mueller: _D. Gesetz Hammurabi’s u. d.
      mosaische Gesetzgebung_.

 1140 See Chapter LIX.

 1141 Sota 14 a.

 1142 Yer. Kid. IV, 1; 65 c.

_ 1143 Sifra_ Ahare Moth 13.

 1144 Deut. VI, 7; XI, 19; XXX, 14; Ex. XIII, 9.

 1145 Deut. XXXI, 12.

 1146 See Elbogen: _D. Jued. Gottesdienst_, 174 f.

 1147 Isa. LI, 4, 7-8.

 1148 Ps. XIX, 7-10.

 1149 Aboth I, 2.

 1150 Mek. Beshallah 45 b, note by Friedman; Yalkut Yithro 286.

 1151 B. Sira XXIV, 8-10; comp. Bousset, l. c., 136 f.

 1152 See Josephus: _Cont. Apion._ II, 36 f., 39; Aristobulus in Eusebius:
      Prep. Ev. XIII, 121, 413; _Cuzari_, I, 63 f.; II, 66; comp. Cassel,
      l. c. ad loc.

 1153 Josephus, l. c., I, 22; Gutschmidt: _Kleine Schriften_, IV, 578; Th.
      Reinach: _Textes Relatifs au Judaism_, 11-13.

 1154 J. E., art. Adonai.

 1155 Ps. CXV, 11; CXVIII, 4; comp. Bernays: _Ges. Abh._, II, 71;
      Schuerer, l. c., III, 124 f.

 1156 Shab. 88 b.; Ex. R. V, 9; Tanh. Shemoth, ed. Buber, 22; Midr. Teh.
      Ps. LXVIII, 6; Acts II, 6; Spitta: _Apostelgeschichte_, 27,
      referring to Philo II, 295.

 1157 Sifre Deut. XXXIII, 2; XXVII, 8; Sota 35 b.

 1158 Shab., 88 a, b.

 1159 Aboth I, 12.

 1160 J. E., art. Zealots.

 1161 Ber. 61 b.

 1162 Weber, l. c., 46-56; he fails completely to grasp this spirit.

 1163 Song of Songs, V, 2.

 1164 Aboth. III, 21.

 1165 Deut. XXXIII, 18. See Gen. R. XCIX, 11.

 1166 Gen. L, 20.

 1167 See J. E., art. “Commerce”; American Encyclopedia, art. Jewish
      Commerce; Publ. Am. Hist. Soc. X, 47; Schulman in _Judaean
      Addresses_, II, 77 ff., and Lecky: _Rationalism in Europe_, II, 272.

 1168 See Saadia: _Emunoth_, III, 17, quoted by Schechter: _Aspects_, 105.

 1169 Isa. II, 2; Micah IV, 1; see Pesik 144 b; Midr. Teh. Ps. XXXVI, 6;
      LXXXVII, 3.

 1170 Ps. XLIV, 12-25.

 1171 Ezek. XXXIX, 23-26.

 1172 Lev. XXVI, 40-42.

 1173 I Kings VIII, 47-50.

 1174 Ps. CXIX, 92.

 1175 Pesik. 139 b.

 1176 Ezek. XVIII, 2.

 1177 Isa. XL, 2.

 1178 Job I, 8; II, 3; XLII, 7, 8.

 1179 Isa. XLII, 1 f.; XLIX, 1; L, 4; LII, 13-LIII, 12.

 1180 See Ibn Ezra, quoting Saadia; Ewald and Giesebrecht, commentaries;
      Sellin: _Serubabel_, 96 f., 144 f.; also Davidson, l. c., p.

 1181 Isa. LII, 13-LIII, 12. In LIII, 9, we should read “the evil-doers”
      instead of “the rich” by a slight amendment of the text.

 1182 Isa. L, 6.

 1183 Isa. XLII, 4.

 1184 Isa. XLIX, 1-6.

 1185 Job XLII, 10-17.

 1186 The disappointment is especially voiced in Ps. LXXX, 16 f.; LXXIX,

 1187 See Targum and Abravanel to Isa. LII, 13; comp. Pes. R.
      XXXVI-XXXVII; Sanh. 98 b.

 1188 He is called Taeb “Moses redivivus,” after Deut. XVIII, 18. Merk, E.
      _Samarit. Fragment ueb. d. Taeb_. See Bousset, l. c., 258; J. E.,
      art. Samaritans.

 1189 Suk. 52 a; Jellinek: B. H. III, 141 f; Schuerer, l. c., II, 535.

 1190 J. E., art. Messiah.

 1191 Contra Celsum I, 155.

 1192 See commentaries of Cheyne, Duhm, Giesebrecht, and others.

 1193 Isa. L, 8-9.

 1194 Comp. Pesik. 131 b; Ex. R. II, 7.

 1195 Zech. II, 12. See Geiger: _Urschrift_, 324, as to the Soferic

 1196 Pesik. 76 a; Eccl. R. III, 19; Lev. R. XXVII, 5.

 1197 Yoma 23 a, referring to Jud. V, 31.

 1198 See Gressmann: _Urspr. d. israel. u. jued. Eschatologie_,—an
      instructive work, but full of unsubstantiated assertions, thus
      failing to do justice to the creative genius of the Jewish prophets.

 1199 Isa. XI, 1-8.

 1200 Isa. IX, 5; the note in the new Jewish translation takes the words
      in a different sense.

 1201 Jer. XXIII, 5; XXXIII, 15; Zech. III, 8; VI, 12; see Sellin. l. c.
      Compare Ps. LXXX, 16 f.; LXXXIV, 10; LXXXIX, 39, 52; CXXX, 10; see
      Ewald’s commentary.

 1202 Ezek. XXXVIII-XXXIX; Sibyll. III, 663; J. E., art. Gog u. Magog;
      Bousset, l. c., 231 f.

 1203 For the prince of peace, see, for example, Zech. IX, 9.

 1204 See Bousset, l. c., 255-261.

 1205 See Targum to Isa. XI, 4, where the older Mss. read Arimalyus, later
      on corrupted into Armillus. See Bousset, l. c., 589.

 1206 Dan. II; VII; IX; see J. E., art. Eschatology.

 1207 Sota IX, 15; Enoch XCIX, 4; C, 1; Matt. XXIV, 8; Bousset, l. c.,

 1208 Mal. III, 23; B. Sira XLVIII, 10 f.; Sibyll. II, 187.

 1209 Isa. XXVII, 13; B. Sira XXXVI, 13; Tobit XIII, 13; Enoch XC, 32; II
      Macc. II, 18; Bousset, l. c., 271.

 1210 See Chap. LII.

 1211 IV Ezra VIII, 28.

 1212 Sanh. 96 f.; J. E., art. Eschatology; Bousset, l. c.

 1213 Sanh. 97 a, b, 99.

 1214 Midr. Teh. Ps. CXLVI, 4; see Buber’s note.

 1215 Ket. 111-112; comp. Irenæus: Adver. Haeres. V, 32.

 1216 See Ekah. R. II, 2; J. E., art. Bar Kokba.

 1217 Pesik. 144 a, b.

 1218 Ber. 34 b.

 1219 Sanh. 97 b.

 1220 Sanh. 97 a.

 1221 Sanh. 98 b.

 1222 Commentary to San. X; Yad, H. _Melakim_, XI-XII; _H. Teshubah_

 1223 Notes of R. A. B. D. to Maimuni.

_ 1224 Ikkarim_, IV, 42.

 1225 See Philipson: _The Reform Movement in Judaism_, 246 f.

 1226 See Einhorn: Sinai I, 133; Leopold Stein: _Schrift des Lebens_, 320,
      336. For the term Messiah comp. Ps. LV, 15; Hab. III, 13; also Ps.
      XXVIII, 8; LXXXIV, 10; LXXXIX, 39, 52.

 1227 See J. E., art. Resurrection.

 1228 Deut. XXXII, 39; see Sifre ad loc.

 1229 I Sam. II, 6; see Midr. Sh’muel, ad loc.

 1230 Isa. XXVI, 19; Dan. XII, 2.

 1231 Hosea VI, 1-2; comp. XIII, 14.

 1232 Ezek. XXXVII, 1-14.

 1233 Isa. XXV, 8.

 1234 Isa. XXVI, 19. Instead of “my dead bodies” in the new Bible
      translation, read “thy dead,” and instead of “light” translate
      _oroth_, after II Kings IV, 39, “herb,” which means “dew of
      revival”; the last is also a rabbinic term.

 1235 Dan. XII, 2.

 1236 See II Macc. VII, 9-36; XII, 43; XIV, 46; Sibyll. II, 47; Midr. Teh.
      Ps. XVII, 13.

 1237 See Joel IV, 2; Erub. 19 a, ref. to Isa. XXXI., 9; Enoch XXVIII, 1.

 1238 Isa. LX, 21.

 1239 Sanh. X, 1.

 1240 Kid. I, 10; Matt. V, 5, ref. to Ps. XXXVII, 11; Enoch V, 7.

 1241 Ezek. XXVI, 20.

 1242 Isa. XLII, 5.

 1243 Keth. 111 a.

 1244 Ps. CXVI, 9; Yer. Keth. XII, 35 b; Pesik. R, I, 2 b.

 1245 Ber. 15 b; Alphabet d. R. Akiba in Jellinek, B. H. III, 31; Targum
      Yer. to Ex. XX, 15; I Cor. XV, 52.

 1246 Keth. l. c.

 1247 Ex. IV, 22.

 1248 Isa. XIX, 25.

 1249 Isa. XLII, 4; XLV, 23; LI, 5; Zeph. III, 9; Zech. VIII, 22; XIV, 9.

 1250 Lev. XX, 26; Deut. XX, 16-18; comp. Gen. R. II, 4; III, 10.

 1251 Weber. l. c., 57-79.

 1252 Gen. XIV, 13; XXI, 32.

 1253 I Kings XX, 31.

 1254 Amos I-II; Isa. XXIX-XXXIII; Jer. XXV f.; Hab. I.

 1255 Gen. XVIII, 25.

 1256 Gen. XX, 3.

 1257 Job XXXI.

 1258 Kid. 31 a.

 1259 Tos. Sanh. XIII, 2; B. B. 10 b.

 1260 See Lazarus: _Ethics_, 49 and appendix.

 1261 Ex. XXIII, 32.

 1262 Deut. VII, 2; XX, 16 f.

 1263 Shab. 27 b; Jubil. XXII, 16.

 1264 Isa. LX, 12; LXIII, 6; LXVI, 14 f.; Zech. XIV, 2 f.; Joel IV, 9-19;
      Jer. X, 25; Ps. IX, 16, 18, 20; X, 17.

 1265 Tos. Sanh. XIII, 2.

 1266 Jonah III-IV.

 1267 Isa. LXVI, 19-21.

 1268 Zech. IX, 1; Cant. R. VII, 10.

 1269 Sanh. 108 a; Sibyll. I, 129 f.

 1270 B. B. 15 b; Seder Olam R. XXI.

 1271 Mek. Yithro V; Ab. Z. 2 b-3 a.

 1272 Deut. IV, 19; XXIX, 25; Jer. X, 16; B. Sira XVIII, 17; comp.
      Bousset, l. c., 350.

 1273 Jubil. XI, 3-5; XIX, 20; Enoch XV; XIX; XCIX, 7; see Bousset, l. c.,

 1274 Yeb. 98 a, ref. to Ezek. XXIII, 20; Ab. Z., l. c. In this sense we
      must take the Talmudic passage: “Israel are really men, not the
      heathen,” Yeb. 61 a; B. M. 114 b; B. B. 16 b; whereas the passage,
      Lev. XVIII, 5, “which man doth to live thereby,” is declared to
      include all who observe the laws of humanity, _Sifra_ eodem; Midr.
      Teh. Ps. I, 1-2.

 1275 Lazarus, l. c., 49.

 1276 Tos. Sanh. XIII, 2.

 1277 Yer. R. Sh. I, 57 a.

 1278 Ezek. XXVIII, 10; XXXI, 18; XXXII, 19-32. Possibly the prophet in
      speaking of _arelim_ had in mind the Babylonian _Arallu_, “the
      nether-world”; see Ex. R. XIX, 5; Gen. R. XL; VIII, 7; Tanh. Lek
      Leka, ed. Buber, 27.

 1279 Tos. Sanh. XIII, 4-5; Rosh ha Shana, 17 a.

 1280 B. B. 10 b; A. d. R. N. IV.

 1281 Suk. 55 b; Pesik. 193 b; Philo; Vita Mosis, 2 f; De Special; I, 3;
      II, 104, 227. 238.

_ 1282 Sifra_, Ahare Moth 13.

 1283 Gen. R. L; LXV, 16; Ruth R. I, 8; J. E., art. Œnomaos.

 1284 J. E. art. Antoninus in the Talmud; Kraus: _Antoninus_.

 1285 Ab. Z. 30 a.

 1286 Deut. VII, 3; Sanh. 57 a-59 b.

 1287 H. Melakim VIII, 9-10.

 1288 H. Shemitta we Yobel XIII, 13.

 1289 Mal. I. 11.

 1290 Ex. XXII, 26; Philo II, 166; Josephus: _Ant._, IV, 8, 10; _Con.
      Apio._, II, 34; comp. Kohler: “The Halakic Portions in Josephus’
      Antiquities,” in H. U. C. Monthly III, 117.

 1291 See Meg. 16 a; J. E., art. Aristotle; Neumark, l. c., Index:
      Aristoteles, Plato, Plotin; comp. Bahya: _Hoboth ha Lebaboth_, and
      other medieval philosophic works.

 1292 Deut. IV, 37.

 1293 Ex. XXXIII, 12; Lev. XXVI, 42; Ex. R. XLIV, 7-8; Lev. R. XXXVI, 2-5.

 1294 Cant. R. I, 5.

 1295 Isa. LIV, 10; Shab. 55 a; comp. S. Hirsch: “The Doctrine of Original
      Virtue” in Jew. Lit. Annual, 1905; Schechter, l. c., 170 f.

 1296 Ex. XXII, 20; XXIII, 9.

 1297 Deut. X, 18-19.

 1298 Lev. XIV, 22.

 1299 Gen. XXIII, 4; Lev. XX, 35. On the term _Ger_ see W. R. Smith: _The
      Religion of the Semites_, 75 ff.; Bertholet: _Die Stellung d.
      Israeliten und Juden zu den Fremden_, 28, 178; Schuerer, l. c., III,
      150-188; Encyc. Biblica, art. Stranger and Sojourner; Cheyne,
      _Bampton Lectures_, 1889, p. 429. Commerce between the Phoenicians
      and Greeks was protected by the Greek god of the stranger (Zeus
      Xenios); see Ihering: _D. Gastfreundschaft im Alterthum, Deutsche
      Rundschau_, 1887, showing how the Phoenicians developed the _Ger_
      idea in the direction of international commerce, just as the Jews
      developed it toward international religion; M. J. Kohler: “Right of
      Asylum” in Am. Law Review, LI, p. 381.

 1300 Ex. XX, 10.

 1301 Lev. XVI, 29; XVII, 8-15; XVIII, 26; XXIV, 16-29.

 1302 Ex. XII, 48; see Yeb., 46 a-47 b; Mas. Gerim I-III. The opinion of
      Bertholet and Schuerer concerning the semi-proselyte or _Ger Toshab_
      is contradicted by both the Book of Jubilees and the Talmudic
      sources, as will be shown below.

 1303 Jer. XVI, 19.

 1304 Zech. VIII, 21-23.

 1305 Isa. XIV, 1.

 1306 Ps. XXII, 30; LXVII, 3; LXVIII, 30 f; LXXXVII, 4 f.

 1307 II. Chron. II, 16; XXX, 25.

 1308 Ps. CXV, 11; CXVIII, 4; CXXXV, 20; comp. LXVII, 8; CII, 16; Job I,
      1; Tobit LXIV, 6; Sibyll. III, 572, 756; Acts X, 2; XXI, 13; V, 26
      f.; XVI, 44; XVII, 4; XVIII, 7; Midr. Teh. Ps. XXII, 29; Lev. III,
      2; Mek. to Ex. XXII, 20; see Bernays: Ges. Abh., II, 74.

 1309 Tos. Ab. Z. IX, 4; Sanh. 56 b-57; Gen. R. XXXIV, 7; Jubil. VII, 20
      f.; Sibyll. III, 38, 762. For the thirty commandments, see Yer. Ab.
      Z. II, 40 c; Midr. Teh. Ps. II. 5; Gen. R. XCVIII, 9; J. Q. R.,
      1894, p. 259. Comp. also Pseudo-Phocylides in Bernays’ _Ges. Abh._,
      I, 291 ff.; Seeberg: _D. beiden Wege u. d. Aposteldecret_, p. 25.
      Klein: _Der aelteste christl. Katechismus_; J. E., art.

 1310 See Schuerer, l. c., 165, 175; Harnack, _D. Mission u. Ausbreitung
      d. Christentums_, chapter I.

 1311 Ant. XVI, 7.

 1312 Gen. R. XXVIII, 5; Cant. R. I, 4; see Matt. XXIII, 15; Jellinek, B.
      H. VI, Introd., p. XLVI.

 1313 II Kings C, 1-15; see LXX to verse 14; Sanh 96 b.

 1314 See Sota, 12 b; Sibyll. IV, 164; comp. Gen. R. II, 5; J. E., art.
      Baptism and Birth, New; Enc. Religion and Ethics, art. Baptism,

 1315 See J. E., art. Asenath, and the passages quoted there.

 1316 Sifre and Targum to Deut. XXIII, 16-19.

 1317 Tos. Negaim VI, 2; Mas. Gerim III.

 1318 Philo, De Monarchia, I, 7.

 1319 Ps, XV, 1-2; see Cheyne’s Commentary.

 1320 The article _ha Zedek_ seems to point to Jerusalem, called “the
      city” or “dwelling place of righteousness” (Zedek). See Isa. I, 21;
      Jer. XXXI, 23; L, 7. Comp. “Gates of righteousness” (Zedek) for the
      Temple gates, in Ps. CXVIII, 19, and the ancient legendary hero of
      Jerusalem, _Malki-Zedek_, Gen. XIV, 18; Josephus, J. W. VI, 10;
      Epis. Heb. VII, 10; and _Adoni Zedek_, first king of Jerusalem,
      Josh. X, 3.

 1321 Sifre and Targum to Deut. XXXIII, 19.

 1322 Singer’s _Prayerb._ p. 48.

 1323 See Mek. Mishpatim XVIII; comp. A. d. R. N. XXXVI ref. to Isa. XLIV,

 1324 Arak. 29 a.

 1325 Vita 25.

 1326 J. W. II, 20, 2.

 1327 Josephus: Ant. XIII, 9, 1; 11, 3; XVIII, 3, 5; XX, 8, 11; Mek. Bo
      XV: Beluria (Fulvia or Valeria); Schuerer, III, 176; _Gemeindeverf.
      v. Juden in Rome_; Graetz: _D. juedisch, Proselyten im Roemerreich_;
      Radin: _Jews among Greeks and Romans_, p. 389. See also Crooks: _The
      Jewish Rate in Ancient and Roman History._

 1328 Josephus: Ant. XX, 2-4; Yoma III, 10; Yoma 37 a.; Suk. 2 b; B. B. 11
      a; Gen. R. XLVI, 8.

 1329 Midrash Tadshe in Jellinek: B. H. III, 111; Epstein: Jued.
      _Alierthumskunde_, XLIII.

 1330 See J. E., art. Asenath.

 1331 Comp. Sifre Num. 178.

 1332 I Chron. IV, 18; Meg. 13 a.

 1333 Meg. 15 b.

 1334 Philo: De Nobilitate, 6; II, 443.

 1335 Ruth II, 12.

 1336 Ab. d. R. N., ed. Schechter, 53 f.; Shab. 31 a; Lev. R. II, 8.

 1337 See Bertholet, l. c., 285-287.

 1338 Ab. d. R. N., l. c.

 1339 Mek. to Ex. XVIII, 27.

 1340 Gen. R. XXXIX, 14; Yeb. 22 a; comp. Pes. VIII, 8.

 1341 Yeb. 46 a; comp. Josephus: Ant. XX, 2-4.

 1342 Shab. 31 a.

 1343 Lev, R. II, 8.

 1344 Gen. R. LXX, 5; B. M. 59 b.

 1345 Mekilta, l. c.; comp. Ab. d. R. N. XXXVI, ed. Schechter, 107.

 1346 Midr. Teh. Ps. CXLVI, 9; Num. R. VIII, 2.

 1347 Prov. VIII, 17; Num. R., l. c.

 1348 Schuerer, l. c., III, 4; Radin, l. c.

 1349 Yeb. 24 b; Yer. Kid., IV, 65 b.

 1350 Apion, II, 10, 3.

 1351 Yeb. 47 a; comp. Mas. Gerim I.

 1352 See J. E., art. Didache and Klein, l. c.

 1353 Git. 56 b; Ab. Z. 10 b; on Clemens see Graetz: H. J. II, 387-389;
      but see literature in Schuerer, l. c., III, 169.

 1354 Git. 56 b-57.

 1355 Ex. R. XIX, 4; comp. Midr. Teh. Ps. LXXXVII, 4, ref. to I Sam. II,
      36 and Isa. LXVI, 2; comp. Bacher: _Agada d. Palest. Amorder_., III,
      45, 363.

 1356 Yeb. 47 b; 109 b; Kid. 70 b, ref. Isa. XIV to Lev. XIV, 56.

 1357 Ex. R. XIX, 5.

 1358 See Bacher, l. c., II, 115-118.

 1359 Num. R. VIII, 1.

 1360 Gen. R. LXX, 5.

 1361 Ab. Z. 3 b.

 1362 B. M. 59 b.

 1363 Midr. Teh. Ps. XXII, 34; here also a later Haggadist removes the
      reference to the half-proselytes. See Buber, l. c.; Yer. Meg. I, 72

 1364 Num. R. VIII, 10.

 1365 Shab. 31 a.

 1366 See com. to Ps. LXXXVII, and LXX version.

 1367 Yearb. C. C. A. R., 1891, 1892, 1895.

 1368 Isa. XXVI, 2.

 1369 Philo, De Penitentia, 2.

 1370 See J. E., art. Apostasy and Apostates.

 1371 See J. E., art. Apologetic and Polemical Literature.

 1372 Ber. 28 a; Singer’s _Prayerb._ 48.

 1373 Cant. R. I. 6.

 1374 Deut. XXV, 3 and Sifre ad loc.; Sanh. 44 a.

_ 1375 Sifra_ Wayikra 2.

 1376 Sifre Num. 112; R. H., 17 a; Tos. Sanh. XIII, 5.

 1377 Zech. XIV, 8-9.

_ 1378 Cusari_, IV, 23; Maim.: H. Melakim XI, 41; _Responsa_, 58;
      Nahmanides: _Derashah_, ed. Jellinek, 5; see Rashi and Tosafot to
      Ab. Z. 2 a, 57 b; Sanh. 63 b.

 1379 Solomon ben Adret; _Responsa_, 302; Yore Deah CXLVIII, 12; Jacob
      Emden, Comm. to Abot. V, 17; comp. Chwolson: _D. Blutanklage_,

 1380 Isaac ben Sheshet’s _Responsa_, 119.

 1381 Yer. Shab. XIV, 14 d; Ab. Z. II, 40 d; Sota, 47 a; Sanh. 103 a;
      Eccl. R. I, 24-25.

 1382 See J. E., art. Christianity; Ebionites; Minim; and comp. the
      various Church Histories.

 1383 See J. E., art. Saul of Tarsus.

 1384 Sanh. 97 a.

 1385 Lev. XIII, 13: _Kullo happak laben_, instead of _laban_.

 1386 Ab. d. R. N. XXXIV; Lev. R. XIII, 4 ref. to Ps. LXXX, 14; Midr. Teh.
      Ps., l. c.

 1387 H. Akkum IX, 4.

 1388 Tosaf. Sanh. 63 b; Isserles Sh. Ar. Orah Hayim, 156; comp. J. E.
      art. Sanhedrin, Napoleonic.

 1389 Edom, the name for Rome since the time of the Idumean Herod, became
      the name for the Church of Rome, while _Yavan_ = Greek was the name
      given to the Greek Church.

 1390 On Ishmael and Edom see Steinschneider: _Polemisch. u. Apologet.
      Literatur_, 256-273; on Mohammed, eodem, 302-388.

 1391 See Wuensche: “Urspr. d. Parabel v. d. drei Ringen” in
      _Lessing-Mendelssohn Gedenkbuch_, Leipzig, 1879; comp.
      Steinschneider, l. c., 37, 317, 319; _Hebr. Bibliogr._ IV, 79; XII,
      21; Dunlop-Liebrecht: _Gesch. d. Prosadichtung_, p. 221, note to 294

 1392 See Schreiner: _D. juengst. Urteile u. d. Judenth._, 3-5.

_ 1393 Shebet Yehudah_, ed. Wiener, p. 107. See Steinschneider: Heb.
      Bibl., l. c.

 1394 Deut. XXXIII, 2; see Steinschneider: “Pol. u. Apol. Lit.,” 317 f.

 1395 Tos. Sanh. XIII, 2; Sanh. 105 a; Maimonides: H. Teshubah III, 5.

 1396 Matt. III, 2; Luke III, 3; Josephus: Ant. XVIII, 5, 2; see J. E.,
      art. John the Baptist. Perhaps John was identical with Hanan, “the
      hidden one,” a popular saint called “father” by the people, and
      believed to be a descendant of Moses, a grandson of Onias the
      rainmaker, and a rain-invoking saint himself. See Taan. 23 b; Tanh.
      Waera, ed. Buber, II, 37.

 1397 Matt. III, 33; Mark I, 7; Luke III, 21; John I, 29-40.

 1398 Matt. IV, 12; XIV, 10.

 1399 J. E., art. Christianity; Jesus; New Testament; Simon Kaifa. Among
      the Gospels, that of Luke has the oldest records, rather than Mark.
      See also Spitta: _D. Synoptische Grundschrift_.

 1400 See J. E., art. John the Baptist.

 1401 Matt. XXI, 12, and parallels; comp. Yer. Taan. IV, 8; Tos. Menah.
      XIII, 21.

 1402 Matt. XXVII, 37-42, and parallels.

 1403 John XX; the latter part of the Gospel of John belonged originally
      to Matthew.

 1404 Matt. XIV, 24 f.; XVII, 1; see Wellhausen: Comm.

 1405 See J. E., art. Ebionites.

 1406 See J. E., art. Apostles.

 1407 J. E., art. Didache and Didascalia; Klein, l. c.

 1408 Acts XV, 5-29; comp. R. Seeberg: _Das Aposteldecret; Didache u. d.

 1409 J. E., art. Saul of Tarsus.

 1410 Paul’s opposition to the law includes the moral law, and even the
      Decalogue. See Romans VII-VIII; X, 4; XIV; I Cor. VI, 1-3, 15; VII,
      31; VIII; II Cor. III, 3.

 1411 See J. E., art. Cross.

 1412 Luke VI, 20-49; comp. with Matt. V-VII; XXIII, 15-36. See Claude
      Montefiore, _The Synoptic Gospels_, I and II; G. Friedlander,
      _Jewish Sources of the Sermon on the Mount_; Kohler: “D.
      Naechstenliebe im Judenth.,” _Judaica_, Berlin, 1912.

 1413 Matt. V, 17-18.

 1414 See J. E., and Enc. Rel. and Ethics, art. Pharisees; Lauterbach,
      “The Sad. and Phar.,” in _Stud. in Jew. Lit._, Berlin, 1913;
      Herford: _Pharisaism_; Wuensche: _Neue Beitr. z. Erläuterung d.

 1415 See J. E., art. Mohammed; Islam; and the works of Muir, W. Robertson
      Smith, Hirschfeld; of Geiger, Weil, Sprenger, von Kremer, Noeldeke,
      Grimme, Dozy, and above all Goldziher, on the Koran, Mohammed and
      Islam; also Enc. Religion and Ethics, VIII, 871-907.

 1416 See Draper, _Conflict of Religion with Science_; _Intellectual
      Development of Europe_; Lecky, _History of Rationalism_; Andrew D.
      White: _Warfare between Religion and Science_; Krauskopf: _Jews and
      Moors in Spain_.

 1417 Zech. XIV, 6-9.

 1418 Isa. LXVI, 20.

 1419 Isa. XXVIII, 16.

 1420 Ex. XIX, 6; Num. XXIII, 9; Deut. VII, 2-6; Isa. LXI, 6; 9; Maim. H.
      Issure Biah XII, 1; Sh. A. Eben ha Ezer XVI, 1; Einhorn in _Jewish
      Times_ 1876, against Sam. Hirsch; Samuel Schulman in Y. B. C. C. A.
      R. 1909, comp. D. Philipson, l. c. Index s. v. Intermarriage; J. E.,
      art. Intermarriage; also Mielziner: _The Jewish Law of Marriage and
      Divorce_, p. 45-54, where the opinions of L. Philippson, Geiger,
      Aub, Einhorn and I. M. Wise are quoted.

 1421 Lazarus, l. c., § 159.

 1422 See Kohler: “Origin a. Function of Ceremonies in Judaism,” in Y. B.
      C. C. of Am. R., 1907. Rosenau: _Jewish Ceremonies, Institutions a.
      Customs_, 1912.

 1423 See art. Synagogue, in various encyclopedias; Enelow: _The Synagogue
      in Modern Life_; Schuerer, l. c., II, 429; Bousset, l. c., 197 ff.

 1424 See Chapter LVI above; J. E., art. Proselyte.

 1425 See J. E., art. Bar Mizwah and Confirmation.

 1426 Gen. XVII, 10-14.

 1427 Singer’s _Prayerb._, p. 305.

 1428 Ex. IV, 25; see commentaries; Ebers: _Ægypten_, B. M. I, 183.

 1429 Josephus: Ant. XX, 2,4; Shab. 130 b, 133 b, 156 a; Men. 42 a; Ab. Z.
      26 b; comp. Gen. R. XLVI, 9.

 1430 Ab. Z. 27 a.

 1431 Ex. IV, 25; Josh. V, 2; comp. Tylor: _Early History of Mankind_,
      217-222; J. E. and Encyc. of Rel. and Ethics, art. Circumcision;
      Ploss: _Knabenbeschneidung_, p. 11.

 1432 Gen. XVII, 10-14; comp. Deut. X, 16; Jer. IX, 25; Claude Montefiore:
      Hibbert Lectures, 229, 337.

 1433 I Macc. I, 15, 48, 60; Josephus: Ant. XII, 5, 1; Aboth III, 11; Tos.
      Shab. XV, 9; Yer. Peah I, 16 b; Gen. R. XLVI, 9; Jubil. XV, 26 f.

 1434 Yer. Shab. XIX, 6; Yeb. 71 b.

 1435 Gen. R. XLVIII, 7; Tanh. Lek Leka, ed. Buber, 27; Singer’s
      _Prayerb._, 304, after Tos. Ber. VI, 12, 13; Shab. 137 b.

 1436 P. d. R. El. XIX.

 1437 Ploss: _Geschicht. u. Ethnol. ue. Knabenbeschneidung_, 1844; Encyc.
      Rel. and Ethics, art. Circumcision.

 1438 Zunz: _Ges. Schr._ II, 197; comp. _Rabbin Gutachlen ue. d.
      Beschneidung_, 1844; Frankel: Zeitsch., 1844, p. 66-67.

 1439 See J. E., art. Circumcision; Sam. Cohn: _Gesch. d. Beschneidung b.
      d. Juden_ (Hebrew), Cracaw, 1903, for the extensive literature.

 1440 Philo II, 210; Josephus: Con. Apion. II, 13; Saadia: _Emunoth_, III,
      10; Maimonides: _Moreh_, III, 49; Michaelis: _Mosaisches Recht_, IV,

 1441 Maimonides, l. c., III, 48; Samuel ben Meir to Lev. XI, 3;
      Michaelis, l. c., IV, 202.

 1442 Lev. XI; Deut. XIV, 3-21; Ex. XXII, 30; Lev. VII, 23; XVII, 9 f.;
      see Kalisch’s: commentary to Lev. vol. II, 2-189; J. E., art.
      Dietary Laws.

 1443 Lev. XX, 24-26, which belongs to Lev. XI, 1-47; comp. Deut. XIV,

 1444 See Ezek. XLIV, 31; IV, 14; Jud. XIII, 7, 14. The law in Ex. XXII,
      30, “Ye shall be holy men unto Me, therefore ye shall not eat any
      flesh that is torn of beasts in the field,” seems to have been
      originally only for priests and other holy men.

 1445 See _Laws of Manu_, V, 7; 11-20 in _Sacred Books of the East_, XXV,
      171 f.; comp. II, 64; XIV, 38-48; 74; 184; _Bundahish_, XIV; S. B.
      E. V, 47; Chwolson: _Die Szabier_, II, 7; 102; Porphyrius: _De
      Abstinentia_, IV, 7; Sommer, _Bibl. Abh._ 271-322; J. E., l. c.,

 1446 Ex. XIX, 6.

 1447 Gen. VII, 2, 8.

 1448 II Macc. VI, 18; VII, 41.

 1449 Aristeas, 144-170.

 1450 Sifra to Lev. XX, 26; Tanh. to Lev. XI, 2.

 1451 Shab. 17 b; Ab. Z. 36 b, 38 a, 8 a; Sanh. 104 a; P. d. R. El. XXIX.

_ 1452 Moreh_, III, 25; see also Morris Joseph, l. c., 180-189.

 1453 For the orthodox view, see S. R. Hirsch: _Horeb_, Chap. LXVIII; M.
      Friedlander: _The Jewish Religion_, 237; for the reform, Einhorn:
      _Sinai_, 1859; Kohler: _Jewish Times_, 1872; Geiger: _Ges. Schr._ I,
      253 f.

 1454 Deut. VI, 8-9; XI, 18-20; Num. XV, 38-39.

 1455 Comp. Prov. III, 3; Samuel ben Meir to Ex. XIII, 9.

 1456 Ex. XIII, 9 and commentaries.

 1457 Stanley: _Hist. of the Jewish Church_, I, 561; Peterman: _Reisen im
      Orient_, I, 237.

 1458 Curtiss: _Ursemitische Religion_, Chap. XX-XXI; Kohler:
      _Monatsschrift_, 1893, p. 445, note.

 1459 Ber. 6 a, 14 b, 23 a, b; Tos. Ber. VII, 25; Midr. Teh. to Ps. VI, 1;
      Yer. Peah I, 15 d; Targum Song of Songs, VIII, 3; Pes. III b;
      Schorr: _HeHalutz_, VII, 56-57; Baentsch: Comm. to Num. XV, 37; also
      Schuerer, G. V. II, 483-486.

 1460 Cant. R. III, 11; Sifre Deut. 43; M. K. 16 b.

 1461 Kohler, l. c.: comp. Schechter: _Studies_, I, 249; Morris Joseph, l.
      c., p. 178, where he quotes Maimonides H. Tefillin IV, 25.

 1462 See art. Sabbath in various encyclopedias and the Babel-Bibel
      controversies; Zimmern and Schrader: K. A. T., II, 592 f.; Jastrow:
      American Journal of Theology, 1898, p. 315-352.

 1463 Ex. XX, 8-11; XVI, 23-29; XXXV, 2-3; XXXI, 13; comp. Jer. XVIII,
      21-27; Neh. XIII, 15-18.

 1464 Deut. V, 12-15; Ex. XXIII, 12; XXXIV, 21; comp. Isa. LVIII, 13.

 1465 See Jubilees II, 23-30; L, 6; Geiger, _Zeitsch._, 1868, 116;
      _Nachgel. Schr._, III, 286 f.; V, 142 f.; Schechter: _Document of a
      Jewish Sect_, I; XXV; XLVIII-L; Halevi: _The Commandments of the
      Sabbath for the Falashas_, 1902; Harkavy L. K., II, 69 f., for the

 1466 Shab. VII, 2, 70 a; Mek. Wayakhel.

 1467 Mek. Ki Thisla I, comp. Mark II. 2 f.

 1468 Isa. LVIII; Shab. 118 a, b; Mek. Yithro VII; Pes, R. XXIII, p. 121.

 1469 II Kings IV, 23.

 1470 Philo II, 137, 166, 281, 631.

 1471 See Schechter: _Studies_, I, 249 f.; Morris Joseph, l. c., 202-214.

 1472 See David Philipson: _Reform Movement in Judaism_, 275-302, 503-508;
      E. G. Hirsch in J. E., art. Sabbath; Sabbath and Sunday.

 1473 See Schaff-Herzog Encyc., art. Sunday.

 1474 See I Sam. XX, 5-27, where the two new-moon days are spoken of as
      approaching, proving the use of the Babylonian month of four weeks
      of seven days each, and two new-moon days.

 1475 II Kings IV, 23; Prov. VII, 20; comp. Ps. LXXXI, 4, _Kese_.

 1476 Ex. XX, 11; Gen. II, 2-3.

 1477 II Kings IV, 23; Isa. I, 13; LXVI, 23.

 1478 Num. XXVIII, 11 f.

 1479 Mek. Bo I; Pes. R. XV; P. d. R. El. LI; Sanh. 42 a; Singer’s
      _Prayerb._, 292.

 1480 Isa. XXX, 26; LX, 20.

 1481 Ex. XII, 11-27; Deut, XVI, 1; see the commentaries, also Clay
      Trumbull: _The Threshold Covenant_; Curtiss, l. c.

 1482 In Deut. the Passover sacrifice was the first-born of the flock, see
      Deut. XVI, 2, comp. with Ex. XIII, 2-16, and the celebration took
      place on the night of the new moon. The Priestly Code observed it on
      the full moon, with a lamb instead of the first-born sheep or
      cattle. Ex. XII, 3 f.; Lev, XXIII, 5 (the Holiness Code); Josh. V,

 1483 About the watch-night, see Jubilees XLVIII, 5; Pesah. 109 b.

 1484 See Einhorn’s _Prayerbook_, 485; Holdheim: _Prediglen_, 1853, II,
      189, referring to Jer. XXIII, 7-8; Tos. Ber. I, 12; Ber. 12 b.

 1485 Ex. XXIII, 16; XXXIV, 22; Deut. XVI, 9; Lev. XXIII, 10-17.

 1486 Ex. R. XXXI, 17, with reference to Ex. XIX, 1; Jubilees VI, 17-21.

 1487 See J. E., art. Confirmation.

 1488 Deut. XVI, 13; Lev. XXIII, 34-43; comp. I Kings VIII, 65; Ezek. XLV,
      23; R. h. Sh. I, 2.

 1489 See Ex. XII, 37; XIII, 20; Num. XXXIII, 5, and comp. Mek. Bo 14;
      _Sifra_ Emor XVII.

 1490 Zech. XIV, 16-19; comp. Is. XII, 3; Suk. V, 1-4; Tos. Suk. IV, 1-9;
      _Piyut_ to the Sukkoth festival.

 1491 Suk. I-IV; Talmud and Codes.

 1492 Ibn Yarchi: _Manhig_, H. Suk. 53-60; T. O. Ch. DCLXIX; J. E., art.
      Simhath Torah.

 1493 Pesik. 193 b; Suk. 55 b; Philo: De Victimis, I, 2, II, 238-239.

 1494 Lev. XXIII, 24-32; comp. Neh. VIII, 1-18.

 1495 J. E., art. New Year’s Day; Life, Book of.

 1496 R. h. Sh. IV, 6-7; Tos. R. h. Sh. IV, 4-9; R. h. Sh. 27 a; Singer’s
      _Prayerb._, 247-254, and Abrahams Ann. CXCV, 111 f.; and _Union
      Prayer Book_, II, 70-75.

 1497 Lev. XVI, 2-34; comp. Ezek. XLV, 18-20.

 1498 Yoma VI; Kalish’s commentary to Lev. XVI; Taan. IV, 8; comp. Jud.
      XXI, 21; see Morgenstern in Journal Oriental Soc., 1917, and J.Q.R.
      1917, p. 94.

 1499 Yoma IV-VI; comp. Lev. R. XXI, 11; V, 1.

 1500 Num. XIV, 20; XV, 26.

 1501 Lev. XVI, 30; _Sifra_ Ahare VI; Yoma 30 b; Yer. Yoma V, 42 c.

 1502 Yoma VIII, 9.

 1503 P. d. R. El. XLVI; Taan. 30 b; B. B. 121 a; S. Olam R. VI; T. d. El.
      Zutta IV; Ex. R. LI, 4. Jubilees XXXIV, 18-19 connects the Day of
      Atonement with the repentance of Joseph’s brethren.

 1504 Yoma, l. c.

 1505 Comp. above, Chapter XXXIX.

 1506 Josephus J. W. VI, 4, 5; Meg. Taan. V; Taan. IV, 4; Taan. 12 a, 29
      ab. J. E., art. Ab, Ninth of; see also Pes. R. XXVI-XXXIII; Pesik.
      110 b-148 a.

 1507 Zech. IV, 6; J. E., art. Hanukka; Maccabees.

 1508 Meg. IV, 5; 18 a, 21 b; J. E., art. Purim; Esther; Sifre to Deut.

 1509 Ber. 13 a.

 1510 Deut. IV, 6.

 1511 See Zunz: _Gottesdienstliche Vortraege_.

 1512 Yoma 66 b; comp. R. Eliezer’s other dictum, Sota III, 4.

 1513 Num. XII, 2.

 1514 See Geiger’s _Zeitschr._, 1836, 1 f., 354; 1839, 333 f.

 1515 Graetz, _H. J._ III, 244 f.; L. Loew: _Ges. Sch._ III, 57.

 1516 See Landsberg in J. E., art. Confirmation; L. Loew: _Lebensalter_,

 1517 See his Introduction.

 1518 Comp. Schechter: _Studies_, II, 148 f., 202 f.

 1519 Deut. XXIX, 28.

 1520 Deut. XXX, 11-14.

 1521 Isa. LVI, 7.

 1522 Zech. XIV, 9.

_ 1523 Cuzari_, I, 103; II, 12.

 1524 Sifre to Deut. VI, 5.

 1525 Hab. II, 14.

 1526 Singer’s _Prayerb._, 8.

 1527 Lev. XIX, 2; comp. on the whole E. G. Hirsch in J. E., art. Ethics.

 1528 See Alenu in Singer’s _Prayerb._, 67 f.; _Union Prayerbook_, I, 48,
      104 f.

 1529 Shab. 119 b.

 1530 Deut. XI, 22; Sifre Deut. 49.

 1531 Deut. XIII, 5; Sota 14 a; see Schechter: _Aspects_, 200-203.

 1532 Aboth. I, 3; IV, 2; E. G. Hirsch in J. E., art Ethics. See Toy:
      _Judaism and Christianity_, p. 260.

 1533 Deut. X, 19.

 1534 Micah VI, 8.

 1535 Ps. XXIV, 3-4.

 1536 See J. E., art. Essenes, Hasidim and Test. Twelve Patriarchs: Iss.
      V, 2; VII, 6; Dan. V, 3.

 1537 Lev. XIX, 14, 32; _Sifra_ ad loc. B. M. 58 b.

 1538 Shab. 31 a; comp. J. E., art. Didache and Klein, l. c.

 1539 Tanh. Shemini, ed. Buber, § 12; comp. Lauterbach, _Ethics of
      Halakah_, p. 12.

 1540 Aboth. I, 14.

 1541 Sanh. IV, 5.

 1542 Yer. Kid. IV, 66 d.

 1543 Taan. 22 b; Ned. 10 a.

 1544 Lev. R. XXXIV, 3, ref. to Prov. XI, 17.

 1545 Sanh. 18 a, 19 a.

 1546 Keth. V, 5.

 1547 Prov. XVI, 32; Shab. 105 b; Ned. 22 b; Sota 4 b; Ber. 43 b.

 1548 Ps. LXXXI, 10.

 1549 See above, chapter L, par. 6.

 1550 Semakot II; R. Eleazar in B. K. 91 b with reference to Gen. IX, 5.
      Prof. Lauterbach referred me to _Shebet Mussar_, XX, obviously a
      quotation from some lost Midrash.

 1551 Job XLII, 7.

 1552 Lev. XXV, 42, 55; Tos. B. K. VII, 5; Kid. 22 d.

 1553 Targ. to Lev. XIX, 18; Tobit IV, 15; Philo II, 236.

 1554 Ex. XXIII, 4-5; Prov. XXIV, 17; XXV, 21.

 1555 Ab. d R. N., ed. Schechter, 53, 60.

 1556 Eodem, 64.

 1557 Aboth. I, 12.

 1558 Philo II, 284 f.

 1559 Deut. X, 18-19.

 1560 Isa. XXVI, 9.

 1561 Isa. XXXIII, 15.

_ 1562 Sifra_ Behar IV; B. M. 58 b.

 1563 Tos. B. K. VII, 8; B. M. III, 27; B. B. 88 a-90 b; Makk. 24 a.

 1564 Sanh. 24 b.

 1565 B. B. 90 b.

 1566 Lev. XIX, 36; B. M. 49 a.

 1567 Deut. XVI, 20.

_ 1568 Kad ha Kemah_, s. v. _Gezelah_.

 1569 Ps. XV, 3.

 1570 Pes. 118 a.

 1571 Shab. 97 a; Yoma 19 b.

 1572 Mek. Mishpatim 82; B. K. 79 b; B. M. 58 b-59 a; Lauterbach l. c.

 1573 Peah V, 6; Prov. XXIII, 10.

 1574 Ex. XXIII, 24.

 1575 Tanh. Mishpatim. ed. Buber, 8.

 1576 Lev. XXV, 35; Sifra ad loc.

 1577 Isa. V, 8.

 1578 Amos VIII, 4.

 1579 Prov. XI, 26.

 1580 Deut. XXI, 1-8.

 1581 Sifre ad loc.; Sota IX, 7.

 1582 Matt. VI, 25-28, V, 39; comp. Cor. VI, 6-7.

 1583 Yeb. 62 a, 63 a.

 1584 Prov. XXII, 29; Ned. 49 b.

 1585 Ber. 8 a, ref. to Ps. CXXVIII, 2.

 1586 Keth. 50 a.

 1587 Morris Joseph in _Religious Systems of the World_, 1892, p. 701.

 1588 Deut. I, 17; see Schmiedl: _D. Lehre v. Kampf um’s Recht_, 1875.

 1589 Ps. XXXVII, 11; Shab. 88 b.

 1590 Ex. XXIII, 5; Deut. XXV, 4; Prov. XII, 10; Git. 62 a.

 1591 Aboth. I, 12; IV, 4, 12; Taan. 20 b.

 1592 Matt. V. 17-30.

 1593 Job XXXI, 1; Pes. R. XXIV; Lev. R. XXIII, 12; Ber. 12 b; Nid. 13 a.

 1594 Shab. 33 a, referring to Isa. IX, 17; Ben Sira XXIII, 13; Test.
      Twelve Patriarchs, _passim_.

 1595 Deut. XXIII, 14.

 1596 Deut. XVI, 11; 14 f.; Shab. 118 a; Pes. R. XXIII; Meg. 16 b; Shab.
      30 b; Ber. 31 a; comp. M. Lazarus, l. c., 254-261.

 1597 Taan. 22 a.

 1598 See Lazarus, l. c., 99.

 1599 Ber. 64 a, refer. to Ps. LXXXIV, 8; comp. Lazarus, l. c., p. 280.

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